Yukio Mishima's The Decay of the Angel is the final novel in his masterful tetralogy, The Sea of Fertility . It is the last installment of Shigekuni Honda's pursuit of the successive reincarnations of his childhood friend Kiyoaki Matsugae. nbsp; It is the late 1960s and Honda, now an aged and wealthy man, once more encounters a person he believes to be a reincarnation of his friend, Kiyoaki -- this time restored to life as a teenage orphan, Tōru. Adopting the boy as his heir, Honda quickly finds that Tōru is a force to be reckoned with. The final novel of this celebrated tetralogy weaves together the dominant themes of the previous three novels in the series: the decay of Japan's courtly tradition; the essence and value of Buddhist philosophy and aesthetics; and, underlying all, Mishima's apocalyptic vision of the modern era.