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Yukio Mishima's Death

In 1970, the right-wing Japanese novelist and playwright Yukio Mishima proved that striving for physical perfection can literally prove fatal. After building a splendidly buff torso from years of pumping iron, Mishima committed hara-kiri (seppuku) rather than grow old and ugly.

[Some saw Mishima's death as a political protest or as a public act of homosexual love for Morita, the young student who assisted him and died after him. (In feudal Japan, lovers often ended their lives with Shinju -- double suicide).]

[Some bodybuilders suffer from "muscle dysmorphia" (or "bigorexia"), a pathological belief that they are puny. This delusion often leads sufferers to exercise obsessively and gobble steroids.]

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