It is notable that Blofeld’s plan here is not to hijack a Vulcan bomber and its deadly cargo of two nuclear bombs for a grand ransom (Thunderball ) or to use biological weapons against the United Kingdom (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) but merely to induce the notoriously suicide-prone native Japanese population to kill themselves in ever more eccentric fashion in a “garden of delights” populated by highly poisonous flora and fauna, piranha fish, scorpions, snakes and fumaroles. This garden is the locale where Blofeld goes utterly insane and indeed it is a veritable anti-Eden where the Fall of Man brought about by Adam and Eve’s quest for knowledge is all too evident. It is as if the imaginative horrors of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale or a novel by the Marquis de Sade have somehow come to life in the early 1960s with a little early Swinging Sixties hocus-pocus thrown in for good measure. Blofeld does his rounds of the garden in a full suit of armour as does his companion Bunt (with the grotesque addition of a bee-keeper’s hat) and Fleming seems to be making the point that Blofeld is trying to be a legitimate samurai warrior with all of the code of honour that implies though we the reader see he is woefully inadequate in this role and that he is a mere gaijin, common criminal and definite bounder. The madman Blofeld is nothing more than a mere shadow warrior playing at being a samurai warrior just like children play at being James Bond. Blofeld and Bunt even plan to eventually sell up from Japan and then take their ghastly “death show” on the road in other locations around the world such is their ultimate cruelty, depravity and deeply twisted inhumanity.
You Only Live Twice (1964): US First Edition.
Dedicated to Sir Miles (Paul) of AJB007 Forums, with thanks.
TBB Article No. 22