(Persona: A Biography of Yukio Mishima)
There's certainly a sense of reality to "A Dark Night's Passing"; it's a detailed account of an unhappy young writer's experiences in pre-war Japan. There's no trouble with money, luckily for him. The focus is his personal relationships, his work, and how he feels about himself and his life.
Touching, very sad, nice visits to various parts of Japan (Takamatsu and Matsuyama, Shikoku fans!) ... and not much that's magical. I wouldn't go for another of his novels ... even if he'd written one ... but I will look out for his short stories.
"This isn't the best time of year for tempura. It's always wise not to take chances between seasons."
"Kensaku remembered the legend so often told: a girl, in love with a young man living on another island, swam every night from her island to his, guided by a beacon; the young man then ceased to love her, and one stormy night blew out the light and let her drown."
"They were in a dark alley. Suematsu stopped, faced the wall and began urinating. Just then a young man wearing a felt hat low over his eyes walked past him. 'Forgive me,' Suematsu said solemnly. The young man walked on, ignoring the apology. 'Idiot!' shouted Suematsu. 'How dare you not answer when someone speaks to you!' And as soon as he had finished urinating, he began running after the young man, ... Kensaku stood in the middle of the narrow alley, his arms stretched out, and blocked his friend. The young man quickly disappeared around the corner.
'Let me have a good fight, please,' said Suematsu, his breath reeking of alcohol."