You Only Live Twice (1964)
|16th March 1964
|Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Irma Bunt
|Creating a garden of death for Japanese suicides
|Tiger Tanaka; Dikko Henderson, M, Sir James Molony,
Miss Moneypenny, Mary Goodnight, Colonel Bill Tanner
|London, UK; Tokyo, Japan; Kyoto, Japan; Fukuoka, Japan;
Kuro Island, Japan
|Obituary, exploration of castle grounds, fight with
James Bond suffers a breakdown and becomes a security risk
after the murder of his wife. M, granting him one final chance,
sends him on a vital diplomatic assignment to the Japanese
Secret Service. There, he must go to impossible lengths to
complete his mission and avenge Tracy.
Above: 1st edition Jonathan Cape hardback (UK). Artwork
by Richard Chopping.
Official Blurb (Penguin 2002 Edition)
Bond, a shattered man after the death of his wife at the hands
of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, has gone to pieces as an agent, endangering
himself and his fellow operatives. M, unwilling to accept the
loss of one of his best men, sends 007 to Japan for one last,
near-impossible mission. But Japan proves to be Bond's downfall,
leading him to a mysterious residence known as the 'Castle of
Death' where he encounters an old enemy revitalized. All the omens
suggest that this is the end for the British agent and, for once,
even Bond himself seems unable to disagree...
Official Blurb (Penguin Modern Classics 2004
‘You only live twice:
Once when you are born
And once when you look death in the face’
Shattered by the murder of his wife at the hands of Ernst Stavro
Blofeld, James Bond has gone to pieces as an agent. M gives him
one last chance, sending him to Japan for a near-impossible mission.
There Bond is trained in the fighting arts of Ninja warriors and
sent to infiltrate a mysterious fortress known as the ‘Castle
of Death’ – a place of nightmares where a lethal poisoned
garden destroys all who go there – and awakens an old, terrifying
enemy. You Only Live Twice sees Bond’s final encounter with
the insane mastermind Blofeld – one that could mean the
end for 007...
Part 1 / "It is better to travel
- Scissors Cut Paper
- Curtains for Bond?
- The Impossible Mission
- Dikko on the Ginza
- MAGIC 44
- Tiger, Tiger!
- The Death Collector
- Slay it with Flowers
- Instant Japan
- Advanced Studies
- Anatomy Class
Part 2 / "...than to arrive"
- Appointment in Samara
- Kissy Suzuki
- One Golden Day
- The Six Graduations
- The Lovesome Spot
- Something Evil Comes this Way
- The Question Room
- Blood and Thunder
- Sparrow's Tears
Above: British Pan paperback 2nd edition (1971).
Obituary: Commander James Bond, CMG, RNVR
M writes: As readers will have learned from recent issues, a senior
officer of the MoD, Commander James Bond, is missing, believed
killed, while on an official mission to Japan. It grieves me to
have to report that the hope of his survival must now be abandoned...
Above: British Book
Club edition (artowk by Cuthill); British Pan paperback
film tie-in 2nd edition (1966); British
Triad/Granada paperback edition (1978)
Following the death of Tracy, Bond has become a liability to the
secret service, and on the advice of Sir James Molony M decides
there is only one possibility of turning Bond around - to send
him on an impossible mission. Bond’s job is to get direct
access from the Japanese to Magic 44, the project revealing all
Soviet radio transmissions. In Japan, Bond is directed by Australian
Dikko Henderson to Tiger Tanaka, head of Japan’s SIS. However,
the Japanese already have Blue Route, a Chinese information system,
which Bond hoped to exchange for Magic 44. Tanaka shows Bond an
example of Magic 44's work, an instruction by the USSR trying
to blackmail weaponry from England, and Bond sends this home and
thus averts a major crisis.
Tanaka chooses to give the access to England in returning for
Bond completing a mission, on which Tanaka’s best man had
already been killed. Dr Guntrun Shatterhand, a Swiss botanist,
has opened a garden in a Japanese castle, but has stocked it only
with deadly and poisonous birds and fishes. Every year, thousands
of Japanese flock to the garden to commit suicide. Bond must kill
Shatterhand to gain Magic 44.
007 now undergoes an extensive training programme, and is trained
as a ninja and disguised as a Japanese. Through this wonderfully-written
travelogue section, Bond slowly becomes Japanese. Bond chooses
to climb up to the castle from the cliffs, helped by transport
from Ama tribes of fishermen, and on Kuro Island he meets up with
the stunningly beautiful Kissy Suzuki, who was a Hollywood star
before choosing her life of poverty as a fisherwoman. Bond gets
to know the tribe and goes fishing every day with the naked women.
But Bond also knows one thing Tiger doesn’t. Shatterhand
is Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Bond recognised him at once from a photograph.
Kissy leads Bond through the straits to the castle, and he climbs
up using ninja techniques and hides in an outhouse. He sees both
suicides and murder of people entering the garden, and the next
morning he sees Blofeld and Bunt, heavily armoured, going for
their walk. Next night, Bond breaks into the castle, but is foiled
by an oubliette (revolving floor). Pretending to be a dumb and
deaf beggar, Bond is put above a geyser and told it will blow
up at 11.15. At 11.14 he gets up, and after a powerful exchange
of words, Blofeld comes at Bond with a Samurai sword. They duel,
Bond defending himself with improvised weapon. Then:
‘For a moment the two sweating faces were almost up
against each other. The boss of Blofeld’s sword battered
into Bond’s side. Bond hardly felt the blows. He pressed
with his thumbs, and pressed and pressed and heard the sword clank
to the floor and felt Blofeld’s fingers and nails tearing
at his face, trying to reach his eyes. Bond whispered through
gritted teeth, ‘Die, Blofeld! Die!’ And suddenly the
tongue was out and the eyes rolled upwards and the body slipped
down to the ground. But Bond followed it and knelt, his hands
cramped round the powerful neck, seeing nothing, hearing nothing,
in the terrible grip of bloodlust.’
With Bunt already dead, Bond switches the geezer so that it will
blow up the castle and he grabs the rope of a helium balloon to
escape. But a bullet hits him, and he plunges into the sea.
We read Bond’s obituary in The Times, and only afterward
do we learn that Kissy picked Bond half-dead from the sea, and
nursed him into health and into love with her. Bond is suffering
from Amnesia, but finds a piece of paper in his pocket saying
‘Vladivostok’ and, not even knowing who he is, Bond
heads for there.
"Finally, after much crossing out and rewriting he
said, 'Tiger, who's this? It makes just as much sense as
old Basho and it's more pithy.' He read out:
' You only live twice:
Once when you are born
And once when you look death in the face.'
Tiger clapped his hands softly. He said with real delight,
'But that is excellent Bond-san. Most sincere.'"
"The whole demoniac concept was on Blofeld's usual
grand scale - the scale of a Caligula, of a Nero, of a Hitler,
of any other great enemy of mankind."
"Bond softly unzipped his container and took a bite
of one of his three slabs of pemmican and a short draught
from his water-bottle. God, for a cigarette!"
"James Bond wrestled with his chopsticks and slivers
of raw octopus and a mound of rice."
"Tiger Tanaka's face darkened perceptibly. 'For the
time being,' he said with distaste, 'we are being subjected
to what I can best describe as the "Scuola di Coca-Cola".
Baseball, amusement arcades, hot dogs, hideously large bosoms,
neon lighting - these are part of our payment for defeat
Above: British Pan paperback 1st edition
Signet paperback 1st edition (1965); British Coronet paperback
5th edition (1989), illustration by Paul Robinson; British
Penguin paperback edition (2002)
sensational imagination, informed by style and zest"
- Sunday Times
"Instructive and entertaining"
- Cyril Connolly
"Bond is what every mn would like to be, and what
every woman would like to have between her sheets"
- Raymond Chandler, Sunday Times
Above: Penguin USA paperback 1st edition