Critical Essay on Confessions of a Mask: Kochan's Love for Omi

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Book review
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The book Confessions of a mask focuses on the life of a young boy Kochan, the main protagonist. Kochan was born and raised in Japan during the era of World War II. Kochan was born to an extended suburban Japanese family. During his early years, he suffered illnesses has to live with his grandmother. Kochan spends most of his life alone revealing his knight’s and dragon’s childhood fantasies. Kochan develops signs of homosexuality since he is young but strives to hide it for it was not socially accepted (Gill, 2015).

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During his puberty, Kochan sees Reni's painting of the half-naked and dying Saint Sebastian after which he undergoes sexual awakening. He is sure that he is interested in men and not women despite his denial (Gill, 2015).In fact, while in quasi-military school, the boy has his first crush on Omi, a terrible schoolyard boy. Omi is several years older than his classmates and thus is more masculine than them. The combination of his masculinity and the fact that he is portrayed to have an evil lousy character further attracts Kochan to him (Connell, 2013).

Moreover, due to his evil character and the fact that he is older than the other students, Omi is a loner who makes Kochan more attracted to him. It is because, he considered him to be more like him because personally, he was a loner (Gill, 2015). It was also interesting that, though Omi was wicked to all other students, he was not in any way nasty to Kochan. This was even despite the fact that Omi knew that Kochan had developed the feeling for him. In fact, Kochan succeeds in befriending Omi. However, he resolves that he is too jealous of Omi’s physical strength and virility to allow him to fall in love with him (Connell, 2013).

Additionally, Kochan still tries to convince himself that he does not really have a crush on Omi but only admires his male body. Nonetheless, he eventually falls in love with him and cannot deny it. Kochan describes how he is attracted to Omis’s body hair. He sees him be beautiful which makes him love him despite his gay denial (Gill, 2015).

Kochan profoundly describes his feelings for Omi combined with his fantasies and obsessions of him. According to Kochan, Omi was beautiful he even says that he had gorgeous eyes. Moreover, as Kochan continues to develop his love for Omi, it overwhelms him. During boring class lessons, he did nothing but stare at Omis’s profile. He found it the most fulfilling thing to do because he had no idea of love, yet he was already in love with Omi (Connell, 2013). He says that Omi was his first love and he says it felt like a baby bird hiding its acquitted lusts hidden beneath its wings. Kochan was being tempted not by the desire to possess Omi, but by unembellished temptation. He felt as though he owned the world. It was because he is love and fantasies about Omi took away his loneliness. He was happier because he held personal dialogues and riddles about him (Gill, 2015).

Kochan has a memory of two leather gloves that belong to Omi. In his memory, the gloves were harmonious with Omis coarse features. Omi could not tell whether Omi had touched him with the gloves or his bare hands given that he has course masculine hands. Kochan is obsessed and moved by the memory. Surprisingly, he is not sure if the memory took place or it was just one of his many fantasies (Gill, 2015). Kochan is so obsessed with Omi that he feels like Omi has some secret superiority around his face which made him love him. Kochan's love for Omi is also filled with challenges because he cannot express his appreciation to him. He is then sometimes filled with pain due to his secret lover. And even though, Omi knows about Kochan's feelings for him, he could never reciprocate them. His love for Omi is, however, cut short when Omi is expelled from school during summer break, after which he never sees him again. He is hurt and is in pain because he has to forget him. However, he eventually finishes high school and eventually outgrows his feelings (Gill, 2015).


In conclusion, Kochan has his first crush on Omi, a terrible schoolyard boy who is several years older than his classmates and thus is more masculine than them. The combination of his masculinity and his evil character further attracts Kochan to him. Additionally, Omi is not unkind to Kochan despite that he knows Kochan likes him. Kochan thus develops the love for Omi captivated by his beautiful eyes and body. He continues to have fantasies of him which make him love him deeper. However, he is confused as to what love is given that Omi was his first love. Additionally, he is still scared to admit that he is gay which makes his desire for Omi more difficult. Nonetheless, he still loves him and is sad when he never sees him again.

Works Cited

Connell, Raewyn. "The Social Organization of Masculinity." Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives. Eds. Carole R. McCann and Seung-Kyung Kim. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge, 2013. 252-63. Print.

Gill, Shannon Michelle. The Reluctant Masquerade: Constructing the Closet in Yukio Mishima’s Confessions of a Mask. Diss. The University of North Carolina at Asheville, 2015. 27. Print.

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