Marie Seton, recipients: Ronald Moody, Helene Moody

Letter from Marie Seton to Ronald and Helene Moody, addressed from Tokyo

1 December 1970

Page 1

Created by
Marie Seton 1910–1985
Ronald Moody 1900–1984 Helene Moody 1902–1978
1 December 1970
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Ronald Moody, ‘Page 1’ 1 December 1970
Created by
Marie Seton 1910–1985
Recipient s
Ronald Moody 1900–1984
Helene Moody 1902–1978
Letter from Marie Seton to Ronald and Helene Moody, addressed from Tokyo
1 December 1970
Document - correspondence
Tate Archive
Presented to Tate Archive by Cynthia Moody, the sculptor's niece, 1995.
TGA 956/1/2/58/69


1 Dec 1970
Much of the first part of this letter relates to the novelist, Yukio Mishima, who committed seppuku [ritual suicide] after an attempted coup. Marie Seton mentions that she was asked to contact Yukio Mishima by Malcolm Leigh and stated that Kay Kawakita said he [Mishima] was strange. She tells Moody of her decision to write to Mishima rather than call and gives an account of seeing the last moments of Mishima's life on TV. She describes the aftermath of his suicide and the various reactions in Tokyo. Seton writes about the friendliness of the Japanese in contrast to their reputation for formality and describes the journey to Tokyo via Delhi and elsewhere. She also mentions the airlines she flew with and the flying conditions.

5 Dec 1970 (contd)
In the second part of the letter, Seton tells Moody about the enthusiastic response to her unorthodox project [the name of the project is not specified] and discusses conformity and non-conformity in Japan. She talks about Japanese food, the expansion of Tokyo and the city's history and development as well as sharing her thoughts on the younger generation in Japan. Seton discusses the influence of Eisenstein on Malcolm Leigh who discovered him through Marie's book (she also mentions that the composer Alexander Goehr was inspired in same way). She also talks about her sense that Japan was Eisenstein's route to film and theatre. The letter concludes with a description of the International House of Japan, an academic intellectual residential centre.

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