So here are some talking points I have come up with. These should not be taken in a quiz—be sure and address these in your discussion—way, but just to provide various starting points for discussion.
Spring Snow is often called a “a novel of conflicted Japan” referring to the consequences of major changes during the reign of the Emperor Meiji over the years 1868 to 1912 when dramatic modernization politically, militarily, culturally, and economically occurred, including the introduction of many Western methods and ideas. How did the characters Kiyoaki Matsugae, Satoko Ayakura, Shigekuni Honda, and Shigeyuki, as representative of the first generation to come of age after the Meiji Era, represent these conflicts?
Though Mishima wrote Spring Snow in in 1966 the main story of the tragic love affair between Kiyoaki and Satoko seems to harken back to the sort of novel that would have been written in the Age of Romanticism. Would you agree. Did this appeal to you and did you find it well written?
What did you make of the friendship between Kiyoaki and Honda? What did each see in the other?
How about the relationship between the Matsugae family and the Ayakura family?
What purpose did the princes from Siam serve in the novel?
What about Buddhist/Shinto beliefs?
What role did dreams play in the novel and how much importance did Mishima attach to them?
Excluding those here who were able to read it in the original Japanese, did you feel the translation process resulted in much loss, not only in the change in language, but many references to Japan and its culture being a mystery?
The novel is very rich in its descriptions of the setting of various scenes, especially involving nature, and sometimes obviously germane to the scene, but usually not. Did you find that this enhanced the book for you, detracted from it, or were you indifferent?