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The Sound of Waves

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Set in a remote fishing village in Japan, The Sound of Waves is a timeless story of first love. It tells of Shinji, a young fisherman and Hatsue, the beautiful daughter of the wealthiest man in the village. Shinji is entranced at the sight of Hatsue in the twilight on the beach and they fall in love. When the villagers' gossip threatens to divide them, Shinji must risk his Set in a remote fishing village in Japan, The Sound of Waves is a timeless story of first love. It tells of Shinji, a young fisherman and Hatsue, the beautiful daughter of the wealthiest man in the village. Shinji is entranced at the sight of Hatsue in the twilight on the beach and they fall in love. When the villagers' gossip threatens to divide them, Shinji must risk his life to prove his worth.


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Set in a remote fishing village in Japan, The Sound of Waves is a timeless story of first love. It tells of Shinji, a young fisherman and Hatsue, the beautiful daughter of the wealthiest man in the village. Shinji is entranced at the sight of Hatsue in the twilight on the beach and they fall in love. When the villagers' gossip threatens to divide them, Shinji must risk his Set in a remote fishing village in Japan, The Sound of Waves is a timeless story of first love. It tells of Shinji, a young fisherman and Hatsue, the beautiful daughter of the wealthiest man in the village. Shinji is entranced at the sight of Hatsue in the twilight on the beach and they fall in love. When the villagers' gossip threatens to divide them, Shinji must risk his life to prove his worth.

30 review for The Sound of Waves

  1. 5 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    The first couple of times I read Mishima, he left me feeling a little cold, and I wasn't in any rush to return to him. But return to him I did, after picking up this in a charity bookstore recently. And this simple tale of boy-meets-girl easily eclipsed the other Mishima books I'd read. It is, in all intents and purposes, a little work of art, that captures the purity of love and candor of youthful desire beautifully. He handles his story is a maturely and realistic conceived way, that never The first couple of times I read Mishima, he left me feeling a little cold, and I wasn't in any rush to return to him. But return to him I did, after picking up this in a charity bookstore recently. And this simple tale of boy-meets-girl easily eclipsed the other Mishima books I'd read. It is, in all intents and purposes, a little work of art, that captures the purity of love and candor of youthful desire beautifully. He handles his story is a maturely and realistic conceived way, that never pushes the novel into soppy and melodramatic territory. The Sound of Waves takes place in a small Japanese coastline community, Uta-jima Island, that is rocky, wooded and agriculturally barren. The men are fishermen naturally, especially for octopus, and the women are skin divers after seaweed and marine snails. Shinji is a young chap, who is manly in his ways, and a hard worker on the fishing boats. He is also smitten with love for the young girl Hatsue, daughter of the island's wealthiest, most formidable man, Terukichi Miyata, a ship owner. Hatsue returns Shinji's love, but as gossip spreads, their meetings must be remain clandestine as her father has her lined up to marry Yasuo, a cocky so-and-so, who doesn't deserve her love. After Shinji proves his worth on a shipping voyage, which turns out to be a kind of test, Mishima dishes out a most satisfying finale that would warm even the coldest soul. Mishima has the craftsman's touch to evoke all the pictorial and dramatic ramifications of his setting, which is a character in itself throughout, and plays a key role in how this blossoming relationship prevails. The result is a work that carries us deeply into the lives and personalities of people who are as closely bonded to the sea as they are to each other. It was simply a wise, radiant, and lovely piece of storytelling.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jr Bacdayan

    The fresh morning breeze blows through your face, the sun is rising in the far horizon. An early ray of sunlight catches your vision and you feel temporarily overwhelmed by the gentle brightness of its glare but you welcome the comforting warmth caressing your skin. The chirping of morning birds and the steady buzzing of insects melt into a unified chorus of vitality that invigorates your slowly rising spirit. A smile comes to your lips. You live a simple rural life, uncomplicated, fulfilling. The fresh morning breeze blows through your face, the sun is rising in the far horizon. An early ray of sunlight catches your vision and you feel temporarily overwhelmed by the gentle brightness of its glare but you welcome the comforting warmth caressing your skin. The chirping of morning birds and the steady buzzing of insects melt into a unified chorus of vitality that invigorates your slowly rising spirit. A smile comes to your lips. You live a simple rural life, uncomplicated, fulfilling. You labor during the day; you rest at night your back sore and aching but your soul peaceful and contented. This is the life of your ancestors, the life your father had, the life of his father before him, and the only kind of life they thought possible. But then a sudden gust of wind covers the footprints they’ve made and you find yourself astray drifting towards the crossroads of change, a scary but promising future forcing itself into your consciousness. The sound of waves is a simple tale of a fisherman who falls in love with the beautiful daughter of the most prosperous man on their small island. At the surface a heart wrenching story of impossible love but on a deeper layer also a melancholy cry against the encroachment of the modern western world to the simple life of rural Japan. It is innocent, lovely, and enchanting like a young virgin pure at heart. It brings a certain air of unassuming pride to the simple life of the past which pierces the modern sentimentality our generation has learned to romanticize. The story spotlights the rustic lifestyle of a traditional, conservative country that during that time was slowly losing grip of its identity. Shinji, a young fisherman, physically gifted, but financially and mentally at the bottom of the pile, falls in love with the modest beauty of young Hatsue. She returns his affections and together they strive to stay afloat in the surging seas of the island’s moral and socioeconomic judgments. This is a happy story, like the fairy tales and folklores that have been passed down from one generation to the next; we’ve all learned that good things come to good people. “Once again it came to pass that Shinji, little given to thinking as he was, was lost in thought. He was thinking that in spite of all they’d been through, here they were in the end, free within the moral code to which they had been born, never once been estranged from the providence of the gods… that, in short, it was this little island, enfolded in darkness, that had protected their happiness and brought their love to this fulfillment.” Work hard, obey the law, please the gods, follow your parents, get along with your neighbors, and love your country, this is the creed of our forefathers, their answer to the question of a good and happy life. Today we’ve complicated the answer to this simple question. We’ve introduced self-discovery, existentialism, all kinds of anxieties and other concepts, which befuddle the mind into a constant state of perplexity and indecision. Maybe the answer is not so complicated, then again maybe the answer to a question of the past is an answer from the past, and the answer to the question of the present, one from the present. But what I do know is that these little nuggets of wisdom have tided generations of our ancestors into the safe and prosperous shores of simple satisfaction. These overused instructions, no matter how ancient, are worth paying attention to, if not out of applicability then out of reverence. The moral codes and traditions of those before us, no matter how backward and revolting to our modern sensibilities, have played a guiding hand to the fruition of our current circumstances. And we owe it to them, from their success we’ve either immortalized or forgotten, to their mistakes we’ve learned from, to live lives worthy of the future. “Oh, Shinji-san, let us go on truly, with strong hearts!” In the dark seas and unexplored fields of the unknown, the lighthouse of the past shines ever so brightly guiding the children of tomorrow, reminding us of the simple lessons that the farmer and the fisherman have known for ages. Let us not forget.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    You must remember this A kiss is still a kiss A sigh is just a sigh The fundamental things apply As time goes by. The most enduring stories are often very simple. Boy meets girl, they like each other, the world conspires to drive them apart, they remain faithful to each other and, in the end, they may be reunited or forever alone. His name is Shinji, her name is Hatsue, but for most of the book they are referred to as 'the boy' and 'the girl'. The boy is a poor fisherman whose father has been You must remember this A kiss is still a kiss A sigh is just a sigh The fundamental things apply As time goes by. The most enduring stories are often very simple. Boy meets girl, they like each other, the world conspires to drive them apart, they remain faithful to each other and, in the end, they may be reunited or forever alone. His name is Shinji, her name is Hatsue, but for most of the book they are referred to as 'the boy' and 'the girl'. The boy is a poor fisherman whose father has been killed in the war, and now he has to work to support his mother and little brother. The girl is a pearl diver who has been recalled home by her rich father after being sent for adoption a long time ago. They live on a small island in the picturesque Gulf of Ise, their daily lives following a pattern set down since ancient times by the phases of the moon and the turning of the seasons. Few of them are aware or care about the modern times and the sophistication of the mainland Japan. Their lives are complete in their traditions and routines and their ambitions are narrow : a boat, a house, children to carry on honouring the ancestors and the family name. The author quotes as his source of inspiration a visit to Greece and the history of Daphnys and Chloe, the same legend that has inspired in XVI century France the popular Arcadian or Pastoral poetry and pageants. Instead of shepherds and shepherdesses Mishima chooses fishermen and pearl divers, but the basic premise of innocence and purity being threatened by envious modernists (civilization as the enemy?) is present here. While Shinji and Hatsue are presented as either unaware or immune to the temptations of carnal love, Chiyoko and Yasuo - the two youngsters who are responsible for driving them apart - are selfish and insecure and jealous. It is implied that both of them have been tainted by spending too much time on the mainland: Chiyoko at university in Tokyo, and Yasuo in seaside towns where he takes care of his father's shipping business. The contrast between tradition and emancipation may reflect Mishima's own conservative political views, although this is one of his early novels and I understand that the far-right drift manifested itself later in the author's career. One of his other signature touches is the fascination with suicide, present here in the young Chiyoko storyline and argued as a valid way to restore honour after making a mistake. I have used the world pastoral earlier, but I believe it is misleading. There is a strong lyrical sense and metaphor in the novel and an untainted natural environment, but it reminds me more of the Italian neorealism in cinema, of Passolini, Fellini, Rossellini and Visconti, with their amateur actors and their working class poetry. I see the translation into a Japanese setting in the minimalist yet luminous and clear etched prose of Mishima, in the constant awareness of nature where every coastal pine, every sea channel and gulf, every mountain fading to blue in the distance is arranged with the attention to detail and the symbolism of a Hokusai woodcut. I have only one example of the imagery that charmed me in the novel, from a visit Shinji and his mother make to the local cemetery: In the pale light of daybreak the gravestones looked like so many white sails of boats anchored in a busy harbor. They were sails that would never again be filled with wind, sails that, too long unused and heavily dropping, had been turned into stone just as they were. The boats' anchors had been thrust so deeply into the dark earth that they could never again be raised. Of all the metaphors in the novel, the strongest one by far is the one in the title - the sea is ever present, taking the role of the Greek chorus from the ancient plays, always singing in the background, marking the passage of time and the inner turmoil of the characters to the rhythm of the waves breaking powerfuly on the island's promontories. There is no place on the small island to hide away from their constant rumbling, they follow Shinji even when he goes away on a voyage to prove his manhood, when the sea rises up like an angry god and punishes the mortals by unleashing a hurricane. The sea is also constant in its inconstancy, always changing. It never stays angry for ever, and after the storm there will always be a respite, and that is the last snapshot I take from the novel: Nor was the sound of the waves strong, but coming regularly and peacefully, as though the sea were breathing in healthy slumber. Life goes on, and there will surely be another boy and another girl who will ride the waves up and down, to stormy seas or to quiet harbors.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mariel

    I'm probably crazy and am imagining a considering feeling between Yukio Mishima and me. I'm feeling like he's a kindred spirit kind of author who wants the same kinds of things that I wanted. (Past tense, I mean. For him, not me. I want.) Pretend I'm not crazy. What if The Sound of Waves was a beautiful story about young love between two young and loving individuals? Shinji, a simple guy who liked simple, pure at heart things like providing for his family and village. Not simple life stuff like I'm probably crazy and am imagining a considering feeling between Yukio Mishima and me. I'm feeling like he's a kindred spirit kind of author who wants the same kinds of things that I wanted. (Past tense, I mean. For him, not me. I want.) Pretend I'm not crazy. What if The Sound of Waves was a beautiful story about young love between two young and loving individuals? Shinji, a simple guy who liked simple, pure at heart things like providing for his family and village. Not simple life stuff like gossip and possession. What if his girlfriend was Hatsue. She's beautiful in the wake up and smell the flowers kind of way. Sunny days and ocean horizons. Uncomplicated goodness and babies smiling that's a real smile and you don't wonder if they just have gas. I wasn't a nice baby the way my mom tells it. I probably wasn't. I probably just had gas. But I like sunsets and watching fish underneath the water. The way their mouths open and they breathe with gills. I'd want them to stay under there forever and never have to come up (guess that rules out life as a simple fisher woman or diving woman, like Hatsue or Shinji's mother). Their surroundings aren't as easy as that. The seas don't part when it sees (sea) love. It's earned like rain or stuff that happens with time. Not grisly for ratings on the nature channel nature just real nature time. I felt like Mishima wanted to be like Shinji and Hatsue. Or at least part for them. Their gossip mongerer is a young woman named Chiyoko. All she wanted was to smile beautifully like they did. She's outside, bitter and another taste can make it bearable. I liked that. The ability to stop and smell flowers, as they say. To be pretty too and share that smile. I felt like The Sound of Waves was the yearning to be like them and it felt all the more bittersweet for being outside. They aren't hurt by the world that doesn't find it that hard. The fish are still under the water and there are still flowers. They won't go away. Some feeling I had about innocence. It's just a feeling I had. It could be possible to see it and follow it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Liz* Fashionably Late

    Kinda BR with Lau and Shii :P "But the strange way in which love can torture the heart with desire was no longer a novel thing for him." Mishima was a peculiar author and his uniqueness is reflected in Shinji and Hatsue's love story. You can expect Mishima's commitment to the island with detailed, aesthetic descriptions just as much as to breasts and tanning. Star-crossed lovers are often fated and forced to chose between life and love so I thought I knew what to expect from The Sound of Waves. Kinda BR with Lau and Shii :P "But the strange way in which love can torture the heart with desire was no longer a novel thing for him." Mishima was a peculiar author and his uniqueness is reflected in Shinji and Hatsue's love story. You can expect Mishima's commitment to the island with detailed, aesthetic descriptions just as much as to breasts and tanning. Star-crossed lovers are often fated and forced to chose between life and love so I thought I knew what to expect from The Sound of Waves. What I was not expecting was to fall in love with the islanders. Mishima illustrates the daily life of the diving women, the men relaxing at the bath-house and the meetings of the Young Men's Association with such an ease. Every single chapter is a little piece of a beautiful picture perfectly painted. Shinji's transformation from a shy kid to a brave, confident young man and his pure love towards Hatsue are the highlights of this story. With unpretentious charm, The Sound of Waves is a simple yet entrancing thing. "Please, please don't give up hope; please keep on fighting."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Clearly, breasts fascinated Mishima. Now that weve established this (or rather he did through a couple of scenes and descriptions) This is a story that embraces modern sexuality and teenage angst, a love story involving a young fisherman, Shinji, and a rich mans daughter named Hatsue. Where there is love, there is rivalry, for Shinji must deal with another boy who feels entitled to Hatsue. As a result, conflict and gossip ensues and though deeply in love, Shinji and Hatsue find themselves Clearly, breasts fascinated Mishima. Now that we’ve established this (or rather he did through a couple of scenes and descriptions)… This is a story that embraces modern sexuality and teenage angst, a love story involving a young fisherman, Shinji, and a rich man’s daughter named Hatsue. Where there is love, there is rivalry, for Shinji must deal with another boy who feels entitled to Hatsue. As a result, conflict and gossip ensues and though deeply in love, Shinji and Hatsue find themselves constrained by the dating rules of their village. Set within the small fishing village of Uta-jima, there are lots of intricacies about the fishing life to be admired: octopus-fishing, seaweed diving, and more. Even with Mishima’s occasional bobble with metaphoric language, stylistically, this is a novel to be admired. The imagery is affected by simple phrasing, the sense of longing and desire designed artfully through tone. I could feel Shinji’s yearning to be with Hatsue—and vice versa. Could feel the desperation and self-loathe of Chiyoko, the young girl who had always thought of herself as ugly and invisible. The simplicity of ordinary life is captured so beautifully here. Even though you’re reading about a small village where the most heightened activities include boats heading out in the mornings and returning in the evenings, and women going diving, it is still fulfilling. This examination of innocent love and the male-female dynamics is effective most likely because of the way Mishima balances the imagery of the sea, with the youthful tone of the novel. Get to the characters though, and you know that Mishima wants you to think a certain way about each character. He is not bashful in his descriptions: some are brusque and even slightly comical. It is apparent that this is a short novel with a lot to say, and yet it does so in only a few words. It is a novel about naiveté, yet it is written with informed grace, with quite a few thematic undertones smartly interlaced through story and setting. The ending though…heh…

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    More like 4 and a half stars. My introduction to Yukio Mishimas work a couple of years ago left a lasting impression: the prose, even translated, was intoxicating, the characters tragically real and the setting perfectly captured. A friend especially recommended I read The Sound of Waves next. This is a short book that contains a familiar story: coming of age and falling in love for the first time. We never really get tired of writing and reading about that, do we? But youll find no tired clichés More like 4 and a half stars. My introduction to Yukio Mishima’s work a couple of years ago left a lasting impression: the prose, even translated, was intoxicating, the characters tragically real and the setting perfectly captured. A friend especially recommended I read “The Sound of Waves” next. This is a short book that contains a familiar story: coming of age and falling in love for the first time. We never really get tired of writing and reading about that, do we? But you’ll find no tired clichés here, despite the timelessness of the plot. Just as in “Spring Snow” (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), what could have been an easy tale of young love has much more going on below the surface than you might think! There is something incredibly romantic to me about the setting: a small, isolated island surrounded by the beauty of the ocean (they say the world’s most beautiful sunsets are to be seen in Japan…), where life is rough but simple, and has followed the pace set by the fishing seasons with a certain indifference towards the modernization of the rest of the country. I probably wouldn’t want to live there is real life, but it’s nice to imagine that such places exist and to escape there for a few hours between the pages of a book. I know that Mishima was going for something very different, though: he longed for the idealized past of his country, before it opened to the West, before the War, and remote places such as Uta-Jima probably seemed to him like relics of “his” Japan. The people who leave this idyllic little fishing village come back spoiled by city life, corrupt in their actions; as where those who stay behind seem to remain innocent, their hearts untarnished by the big bad world out there. It’s a naïve view, but it infuses this story with a certain fairy tale flavor that’s hard to resist. Shinji is a young fisherman, who lives with his mother and younger brother on a small, remote island in post-WWII Japan. His life is simple and he is content with his routine, until Hatsue, the daughter of the island’s wealthiest man, comes back to live with her father. But life in a small town means that everyone knows about everyone else’s business, so when he and the young pearl diver fall in love, malicious gossip will try to drive them apart. But Shinji’s devotion is stronger than any spiteful attempt to separate him from Hatsue. The juxtaposition of the strength and purity of the feelings experienced by Shinji and Hatsue and the descriptions of the fragile houses and huts, the threadbare clothes worn by everyone and the grueling work they must do, with the sea always in the background, is a lyrical and powerful blend. The 200 pages go by in a wink. Mishima’s simple but incredibly graceful prose describes innocent love so well, but it also makes Chiyoko’s feelings just as vivid and painful to witness. I will be looking for more novels by Mishima: his stories seem to always linger in my mind long after I've turned the last page, the way only great books do.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Loretta

    This was an endearing book about how a boy meets a girl. It reminded me of Romeo and Juliet a bit although with a much happier ending. ☺ This was an endearing book about how a boy meets a girl. It reminded me of Romeo and Juliet a bit although with a much happier ending. ☺️

  9. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    A simple story told beautifully.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

    Instead of reading the classics that most people read during their junior year of high school, we read stuff like this. Which, truth be told, is perfectly okay with me, because this is an absolutely stunning novel that I probably never would've read if it weren't for my International Baccalaureate program. The book centers around a young teen romance that seems destined to never be achieved - yes, a typical plot, but it is approached so atypically by Mishima. He writes in a style not too unlike Instead of reading the classics that most people read during their junior year of high school, we read stuff like this. Which, truth be told, is perfectly okay with me, because this is an absolutely stunning novel that I probably never would've read if it weren't for my International Baccalaureate program. The book centers around a young teen romance that seems destined to never be achieved - yes, a typical plot, but it is approached so atypically by Mishima. He writes in a style not too unlike that of someone like Murakami - very light and simple, but beautiful in its lightness and simplicity. Mishima is a bit older, a bit darker, and a bit stranger, which makes his work all the more compelling. This would be a good starting novel for someone who's never read any Asian literature, as well as a good continuation for those who've only read Murakami. It's also just a fantastic book in general.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hiba Arrame

    Only a couple of days ago, I was wondering when was I going to read a book this year and name it a favourite. And then this one came along. Again, the plot is quite simple, with a few small twists here and there to give it a flavor. All along the book, I felt myself lulled into a very calming state of mind, I felt myself burying my toes into the lukewarm sand, right when the sun is sitting; I felt its reddish rays kissing my cheeks, and the northern cold breeze tingling every inch of my skin. I Only a couple of days ago, I was wondering when was I going to read a book this year and name it a favourite. And then this one came along. Again, the plot is quite simple, with a few small twists here and there to give it a flavor. All along the book, I felt myself lulled into a very calming state of mind, I felt myself burying my toes into the lukewarm sand, right when the sun is sitting; I felt its reddish rays kissing my cheeks, and the northern cold breeze tingling every inch of my skin. I could feel every bit of the island, the storm, the calm, the sounds; I was over and over transported from my realm to Uta-Jima. Mishima proved very talented with words, I could imagine him sitting in a dimly lit room, rolls of parchment laid out before him, an endless stream of ink coming out of his fountain pen. I could see him putting his head back, closing his eyes, and creating inside his brain the world he wanted us to see and feel, and then snapping into reality and writing what he saw as fast as he could as to not lose the stream of thoughts and feelings that invaded him, as if possessing him, and he had the responsibility to rid of them. His descriptions are so lyrical, but he somehow knows when to stop, never giving us too little or too many details. The plot as I said was simple, a boy and a girl fall in love, the universe conspires against their happiness, but will it stay that way? When Shinji and Hatsue were broken apart and trying to find ways to meet, I was strangely reminded of Romeo and Juliet. I believe I am drawn to Mishima and his works all the more now, I want to read everything he ever wrote, from diary entries to grocery lists (if such a thing existed). I want to inhale his writing and bury myself in it, I want to be submerged in his descriptions and for them to flow through my veins.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Khashayar Mohammadi

    Shinji was too sweet a character for a Mishima novel. He lacked the destructive personality and anti-authority sentiments of a Mishima protagonist. I knew I wasn't going to enjoy this one when Shinji talked of how he dreamed of owning a freight ship to relieve her mother of her duties.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jim Fonseca

    Ive read a half-dozen novels by this Japanese author. All have been dark, focused on planning secret rebellions, a planned murder, ritual suicide, death and reincarnation. The author himself headed up a ritualistic right-wing group and ended up committing ritual suicide. So imagine my surprise to find Im reading a book about first love with a happy ending! (We know this from the blurbs on the cover, so Im not really giving away plot.) Its a coming-of-age story of a young man on a small Japanese I’ve read a half-dozen novels by this Japanese author. All have been dark, focused on planning secret rebellions, a planned murder, ritual suicide, death and reincarnation. The author himself headed up a ritualistic right-wing group and ended up committing ritual suicide. So imagine my surprise to find I’m reading a book about first love with a happy ending! (We know this from the blurbs on the cover, so I’m not really giving away plot.) It’s a coming-of-age story of a young man on a small Japanese island. Most of the men are fishermen going out daily in small 2-3-man boats. The island women are famous for their endurance diving to collect buckets of abalones, hopefully with an occasional pearl inside. Social class is a theme. The main character’s father died in WW II, so his work as a fisherman is the main support of his mother and young brother, although his mother is a diver. He falls in love with the newly arrived beautiful daughter of the wealthiest man on the island who owns a large freighter. Of course it’s understood that the daughter will marry one of the few other upper-class boys on the island. The father prohibits her from seeing the lower-class boy. They interact by secret notes. The boy graduates from the small fishing boat to work on a freighter where he proves himself by an act of valor while at sea where he risks his life in a storm. The plot is elaborated with ‘rivals,’ a young man and young woman who are interested in each of the two main characters; a scene between the boy’s mother and the wealthy man, and village gossipers who seem to do all they can to complicate the path of true love. In the end, love finds a way through hard work, courage, honestly and doing the right thing. It could be a YA novel if the three pages describing women’s breasts were omitted, (lol, the women dive wearing only loin cloths). The novel, published in 1954, is rich in local color and in descriptive detail of a way of life - housing, cooking, dress - that is now gone. Even the women divers are only there for tourists now. (Like the Greek sponge divers in Tarpon Springs, Florida) The story has been made into a movie in Japan several times. While writing this review I happened to come across this article about Japanese Nobel Prize winners (Yasunari Kawabata 1968; Kenzaburo Oe 1968) and how Mishima basically ‘campaigned’ for the prize and the hope of fans that Haruki Murakami might eventually win one. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/... Top photo of a traditional Japanese village from artmajeur.com Abalone divers from library.ucsd.edu The author from wikimedia.commons.com

  14. 4 out of 5

    Smitha Murthy

    If you love the sea as I do, then please dont hesitate to read this book. I love my mountains, yes, but I also adore the sea. If I dont go to a beach every few months, then I feel like there is this piercing absence of a good friend from my life. In The Sound Of Waves Yukio Mishima brings the sea alive - its rhythms, forms, and essence. At heart, this is a simple love story. But like most of the Japanese authors I have read, there is a lyricism that touches you. There is a Zen-like poetry to the If you love the sea as I do, then please don’t hesitate to read this book. I love my mountains, yes, but I also adore the sea. If I don’t go to a beach every few months, then I feel like there is this piercing absence of a good friend from my life. In ‘The Sound Of Waves’ Yukio Mishima brings the sea alive - its rhythms, forms, and essence. At heart, this is a simple love story. But like most of the Japanese authors I have read, there is a lyricism that touches you. There is a Zen-like poetry to the words that transport you the way good books should. A beautiful and atmospheric rendition to the joy of love, its agonies, and one of the few novels I have read where the sea and the lighthouse are main characters.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    A beautiful, simple and classic story of the trials of love. Also, these Vintage editions are just gorgeous.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sentimental Surrealist

    The weakest entry in the Mishima canon that I've read so far. It's hampered in part by near-rape scene that's played at first like a bit of tawdry drama and then (after it's thwarted, thank Amun-Ra, but the way it plays out still sucks) an utterly jarring and unfunny and just plain "why" turn toward slapstick of all fucking things that's timed about as well as a fart at a funeral. Structural problems abound, too. For the whole of the last two chapters, it seems that Mishima had written himself The weakest entry in the Mishima canon that I've read so far. It's hampered in part by near-rape scene that's played at first like a bit of tawdry drama and then (after it's thwarted, thank Amun-Ra, but the way it plays out still sucks) an utterly jarring and unfunny and just plain "why" turn toward slapstick of all fucking things that's timed about as well as a fart at a funeral. Structural problems abound, too. For the whole of the last two chapters, it seems that Mishima had written himself in a corner, realized he'd written himself into the corner, and stuck his authorial hand into the narrative in the most intrusive way possible, pretty much reaching in and moving the necessary pieces around the board and hey-presto here's (view spoiler)[an ending that's way too fucking happy and doesn't acknowledge the conflict that played out across the rest of the book at all. (hide spoiler)] True, the last line sort of complicates matters, but literally fucking anything would've complicated what Mishima set up, so let's not go slapping each other on the back for our brilliant literary-analysis skills quite yet. I also have a vague feeling that Mishima intended Spring Snow, which might be his masterpiece and if not is really fucking close (I'm utterly enthralled by Runaway Horses, which I interpret as one of literature's all-time most brutal self-portraits, but Spring Snow is often absolutely beautiful), was a second go at this. Yr protagonists, Shinji and Hatsue, are kinda yr basic Mishima protagonists, and unfortunately there's no one as fascinating as the Sea of Fertility tetralogy's Honda to complicate their relationship and push things along. Same basic premise, a romance between two impulsive teenagers leads down the rabbit hole, but Spring Snow feels more fully realized and has more sustained emotional impact. Besides, exposing the hypocrisy of Japan's ruling class strikes me as a more productive use of authorial time than exposing the hypocrisies of a small fishing village. Y'know, punch up and all that. Still, what Mishima does well, he does very fucking well. You can't talk about this guy without mentioning his steely-eyed intensity, especially when juxtaposed against the calmness of Yasunari Kawabata and the deadpan humor of Junichiro "I Really Fucking Hate Osaka" Kawabata. Mishima excels here when he finds little tableaux upon which he can let that shit flourish, in this case an episode at a youth club that creates a society and casts protagonist Shinji in relation to that society with enviable efficiency (even though it (view spoiler)[never fucking pays off (hide spoiler)] ) and a scene involving a storm that's not only captivating but so immersive and vivid they don't even need to do a movie of this one (even though it (view spoiler)[sets up everything wrong that happens in the ending and has little to do with the arc overall (hide spoiler)] ). So I wouldn't recommend this to the Mishima newcomer, whom I'd instead direct straight to The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, which is a brilliant distillation of Mishima's whole deal, and the aforementioned Spring Snow, which again, beautiful book. Anyone who isn't already a fan might be put off by all the stuff I've mentioned above. Which makes sense, because this book at its worst is some amateur-hour shit from a novelist who had already produced at least one solid novel (Confessions of a Mask) and would go onto write some seriously great ones. Even when it's on, it's more for what's inherently good about Mishima than what's specifically excellent about this book. Still, if you've covered the basics and want a little more, it's a satisfying way to spend a few days of your reading time. At least until the shitty scenes crop up and ruin everything.

  17. 5 out of 5

    April Hayes

    As unabashedly delicious and pervy as one of those really good/bad Aussie teen soaps from the early 90s, but written by a literary and philosophical genius. I love how Mishima just dashed off all these pulp novellas throughout his career, in between his masterworks, but didnt accord them any less respect, attention, or craft. Its like if Tolstoy, between "Anna Karenina" and "The Death of Ivan Ilyich," decided to write steamy young adult fiction or gay soldier stories, and you could buy them at As unabashedly delicious and pervy as one of those really good/bad Aussie teen soaps from the early ‘90s, but written by a literary and philosophical genius. I love how Mishima just dashed off all these pulp novellas throughout his career, in between his masterworks, but didn’t accord them any less respect, attention, or craft. It’s like if Tolstoy, between "Anna Karenina" and "The Death of Ivan Ilyich," decided to write steamy young adult fiction or gay soldier stories, and you could buy them at the drug store for 10¢. It’s a deceptively simple and universal love story, and told with such fluidity and gentleness, but of course there are the typical Mishima undertones of the hollow corruption created by Western influence, the repressive class structure of Japan, the sacrifice of the individual at the altars of family and tradition, etc. But you sort of have to let the poetry and politics here wash over you, I think this is one to be read quickly and eagerly. It’s only thinking back on it and after a second read that I realized what a classic this is, maybe even more so than his real “classics.”

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sala

    What a novel ?! oh my God , how gentle and high moral was the characters !! it was really amazing story of a first love between two innocent good spirits , i loved Japan through this book , and Yukio Mishima's description of scenes makes you really hear the sound of waves love love love .

  19. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Warriner

    The Sound of Waves (1954) by Yukio Mishima is a fairly slim novel that rather surprised me. After reading his Death in Midsummer and Other Stories (1953) and short story "Patriotism" (1960), both dark and philosophical, this one, by comparison, felt refreshingly light and optimistic. I didn't know he had it in him. And while the subject of suicide does come up, as an option in the mind of the young protagonist, [spoiler...] nobody offs themselves or dies in otherwise tragic circumstances, as The Sound of Waves (1954) by Yukio Mishima is a fairly slim novel that rather surprised me. After reading his Death in Midsummer and Other Stories (1953) and short story "Patriotism" (1960), both dark and philosophical, this one, by comparison, felt refreshingly light and optimistic. I didn't know he had it in him. And while the subject of suicide does come up, as an option in the mind of the young protagonist, [spoiler...] nobody offs themselves or dies in otherwise tragic circumstances, as tends to happen in his other works. It's basically a boy-meets-girl story. Shinji is coming of age in a fishing village on Uta-jima, a small island in Ise Bay between Japan's prefectures of Mie and Aichi. He and Hatsue, a young woman who has returned to the island after training to be a pearl diver, fall in love but feel compelled to keep their relationship a secret so as not to set off the rumor mill. Alas, the mill eventually grinds into action, leaving the fate of the young lovers fraught with uncertainty. The prose are quite beautiful and the narrative rolls in like mellow waves, creating a calming effect as you read. Mishima here also shows his talent for describing the sea and nature, and for capturing the essence of village life and young love. Mishima won the Shincho Prize from Shinchosha Publishing for The Sound of Waves. It has been adapted for film five times (three of these are apparently very hard to track down) as well as a two-part animation.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly

    This is the incongruity between happiness and sadness. Ecstacy, which is happiness in in its most extreme, does not bring one to anywhere beyond life. He will still be alive, as before, maybe more uplifted, in a walking-in-the-clouds kind of joy but that'd be it. In contrast, sadness in its most extreme often brings suicide as an option Not only can death be desired, it can actually be realized. Not even the possibility of future happiness can rescue the man. We know, of course, that Yukio This is the incongruity between happiness and sadness. Ecstacy, which is happiness in in its most extreme, does not bring one to anywhere beyond life. He will still be alive, as before, maybe more uplifted, in a walking-in-the-clouds kind of joy but that'd be it. In contrast, sadness in its most extreme often brings suicide as an option Not only can death be desired, it can actually be realized. Not even the possibility of future happiness can rescue the man. We know, of course, that Yukio Mishima died by his own hands in 1970 after acquiring for himself worldwide fame, wealth and a sexy body honed by martial arts. More than a decade before despondency sunk him to the depths of despair, however, he had written this happy novel, a story of young love, set in a coastal village in Japan, long before modernity had claimed the breasts of nubile Japanese maidens and covered them with brassieres. These place and time make the reader aware of what had made the young Yukio Mishima happy: women's breasts. For he dwelt on these many times here, in a couple of different ways, seemingly mesmerized like a baby before his mother's tits, that one (pair) could be the same and different from the other at the same time: "All of their breasts were well tanned, and if they lacked the quality of mysterious whiteness, still less did they have the transparent skin that reveals a tracery of veins. Judging merely by the skin, there seemed to be no particular indication of any sensitivity. But beneath the sunburned skin the sun had created a lustrous, semi-transparent color like that of honey. The dark areolas of the nipples did not stand out as isolated spots of black, moist mystery, but instead shaded off gradually into this honey color. "Among the many breasts jostling around the fire there were some which already hung slack and others whose last vestiges remained only in form of dry, hard nipples. But in most cases there were well-developed pectoral muscles, which supported the breasts on firm, wide chests, without letting them droop under their own weight. Their appearance bespoke the fact that these breasts had developed each day beneath the sun, without any knowledge of shame, like ripening fruit. "One of the girls lamented the fact that one of her breasts was smaller than the other, but an outspoken old woman consoled her: "'That's nothing to worry about. Any day now there'll be some handsome young swain to pet them into shape for you.'" Standing as these breasts' polar opposite, however, is suicide which had cropped up in as many times breasts did in the story, presented as an option (never taken though) to solve life problems of the protagonists. With these come the inevitable question: Could Yukio Mishima have survived despair in 1970 with a pair of fresh, firm, supple pointed breasts? The answer could lay buried under one of his other novels. I think I should read more of them.

  21. 5 out of 5

    George Ilsley

    An unusual book for Mishima I kept expecting the handsome young fisherman to kill himself, or for the lovers to jump off the cliff, but no! It's Happily Ever After for once. Classic in tone and execution, this novel truly demonstrates Mishima's range and talent. And sadly emphasizes the loss of that talent. Makes one wonder about the bulk of his work which remains unavailable in English. An unusual book for Mishima — I kept expecting the handsome young fisherman to kill himself, or for the lovers to jump off the cliff, but no! It's Happily Ever After for once. Classic in tone and execution, this novel truly demonstrates Mishima's range and talent. And sadly emphasizes the loss of that talent. Makes one wonder about the bulk of his work which remains unavailable in English.

  22. 5 out of 5

    David

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I can't believe he survived. Being a sexy man in a Mishima book must be like being in "Takeshi's Castle". But Shinji makes it through to the final, and carries off the woman with the great tits. Incredible.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Shinji and Hatsue live on the tiny Japanese island of Uta-Jima (Song Island), where they fall in love. Shinji is a poor young fisherman, and Hatsue is a pearl-diver, and the daughter of the terrifying Terukichi Miyata, the richest man on the island. Naturally, Terukichi wants his daughter to have nothing to do with the boy she loves. Any story about two young lovers whose families get in the way of their happiness is bound to be compared to Romeo and Juliet. The Sound of Waves is the Shinji and Hatsue live on the tiny Japanese island of Uta-Jima (Song Island), where they fall in love. Shinji is a poor young fisherman, and Hatsue is a pearl-diver, and the daughter of the terrifying Terukichi Miyata, the richest man on the island. Naturally, Terukichi wants his daughter to have nothing to do with the boy she loves. Any story about two young lovers whose families get in the way of their happiness is bound to be compared to Romeo and Juliet. “The Sound of Waves” is the anti-R&J. Whereas in “Romeo and Juliet”, love is a destructive force that tears everything apart, in “The Sound of Waves” love inexorably pulls everything together, and whether they like it or not, sooner or later, everyone on Uta-Jima becomes complicit in the plot to unite the young lovers. I would say the story is deceptively simple, only there is nothing deceptive about it. Like its hero, Shinji, the novel is straightforward and unrefined, without ever being crude. Like its heroine, Hatsue, the novel is lovely and passionate, without ever being sentimental. This novel reminded me of the Thomas Mallory quote: “Enough is as good as a feast.” Yukio Mishima shows that a good story, well-told, is not only enough, but that sometimes, enough can be even better than a feast.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Smiley

    Reading "The Sound of Waves" by Yukio Mishima was a bit different from his style due to his narrations on an island called Utah-Jima, its inhabitants and the waves as we are likely to perceive them as eternal phenomena, that is, something taken for granted with less changes. All living or natural there might bore us at first sight of this interesting novel but Mishima could make it for his readers by means of his exceptional literary expertise. I don't know Japanese so I presumed 'Song Island' Reading "The Sound of Waves" by Yukio Mishima was a bit different from his style due to his narrations on an island called Utah-Jima, its inhabitants and the waves as we are likely to perceive them as eternal phenomena, that is, something taken for granted with less changes. All living or natural there might bore us at first sight of this interesting novel but Mishima could make it for his readers by means of his exceptional literary expertise. I don't know Japanese so I presumed 'Song Island' as the island's literally translated meaning which is aptly romantic. The novel's relatively short 11 chapters seem readable since the readers can find them quite manageable to enjoy reading without haste. As for the hero, Shinji, and his love, Hatsue, they have been portrayed as normal youths who meet casually and later deliberately as dictated by fortune. It's all right to read how they live, work and solve some problems decently and wisely. However, it seems they tend to be confronted by a few obstacles, for instance, Yasuo as his rival, Chiyoko as another love candidate and Terukichi, Hatsue's father who suspects their affairs and orders them not to meet each other again. Of course, we read on and are curious how they would solve the problem and wonder if they're successful in love, especially, her father whose wealth is something formidable to Shinji and his mother who are aware of the fact and their own humbleness as a poor family. We can't help guessing how they would try to find any feasible way and be lucky. Moreover, this is not an ordinary romantic novel and Mishima has proved he could write such a good, sensible and unique novel as well. It’s quite rare to find Mishima’s sense of humor in his novels so, I think, his readers may find this excerpt light-heartedly amusing: … Shinji looked back. The girl was standing there, laughing. “What is it?” he asked. “I’m dark too, but you – you’re practically black.” “What?” “You’ve really been burnt by the sun, you have.” The boy laughed in meaningless reply … (p. 31) Moreover, this part reveals Hatsue’s good manners from which the readers would not expect and thus we can’t help admiring her due to her sensibility: … The winner and the runner-up, Hatsue and Shinji’s mother, exchanged glances out of tired, bloodshot eyes. The island’s most expert diver had been bested by a girl who had learned her skill from the divers of another island. Hatsue got to her feet in silence and went around the rock to receive her prize. And the prize she returned with was the brown, middle-aged handbag, which she pressed into the hands of Shinji’s mother. The mother’s cheeks flushed red with delight. “But … why? …” “Because I’ve always wanted to apologize ever since my father spoke so rudely to Auntie that day.” “She’s a fine girl!” the peddler shouted, … (p. 146) I also liked how Hatsue’s father has subtly planned to admit Yasuo and Shinji to work in the Utajima-maru to test who should be Hatsue’s future husband. In conclusion, this happy-ending novel should be a good introduction to other more serious ones by one of the most famous Japanese authors with his works from 1941-1970.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    I came into The Sound of Waves directly after reading Mishima's The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea, and the contrast was jarring. In The Sound of Waves, Mishimas fetish for manliness is leeched of the corrupting influences that pervert the protagonist, Noboru, in The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea. Mishima paints the setting of Uta-Jima as an idyllic microcosm of the traditional Japan that he seems to yearn for. In general, the plot mirrors the idealism of the setting by paring I came into The Sound of Waves directly after reading Mishima's The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea, and the contrast was jarring. In The Sound of Waves, Mishima’s fetish for manliness is leeched of the corrupting influences that pervert the protagonist, Noboru, in The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea. Mishima paints the setting of Uta-Jima as an idyllic microcosm of the traditional Japan that he seems to yearn for. In general, the plot mirrors the idealism of the setting by paring the story down to folktale simplicity and transparent symbolism. The threat in the story comes from Yasuo, a boy whose mind has been skewed by his experiences in a newly modernized Japan and by an excess of wealth and luxury that deprives him of the frank manliness of our protagonist, Shinji. Mishima’s description of the setting and the mounting tension between Shinji and the world around him is spare, but moving. The characters are generally very believable throughout the main of the story, but I ended up feeling that the ending was lacking. Mishima seemed torn between writing this story as a folktale and writing it as a fairytale, and in the end, all the hints at an allegorical representation of Japan’s transition to modernity was undermined by the folktale ending. The story’s totem to traditional Japan, Uncle Teru, faces a choice between traditional Japanese manhood as represented by Shinji, and a corrupted modernity embodied in Yasuo. The decision that Teru reaches and the way the it is carried out feels cheap and oversimplified in the context of the ominous encroachment of the modern world. In the end, I couldn’t help feeling that Mishima wrote the ending that he wished could be true, not the ending that reflected his reality. In sum, I would give it a 5/5 for the setting and language, and a 3/5 for the story.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Jones

    When I first began the school year teaching Global Lit, this was one of the texts I most looked forward to teaching. For one thing, I really enjoy reading novels and for another, this is a beautifully-written one. It reminds me of teaching the juniors last year and reading Ragtime in preparation to teach it. There are undoubtedly heartbreaking moments in this story. There are also incredible subtleties that make re-reading it really enjoyable. Mishima uses nature metaphors vivid and often, and When I first began the school year teaching Global Lit, this was one of the texts I most looked forward to teaching. For one thing, I really enjoy reading novels and for another, this is a beautifully-written one. It reminds me of teaching the juniors last year and reading Ragtime in preparation to teach it. There are undoubtedly heartbreaking moments in this story. There are also incredible subtleties that make re-reading it really enjoyable. Mishima uses nature metaphors vivid and often, and when it's not too wordy, the novel is poetry. Overall, I recommend this book to any ninth grade student. I don't just recommend it because you have to read it, but because it's beautiful.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Abraham Salas

    It always looked like it was going to happen a tragedy, or that they would have real hard obstacles to be together. But being sincere, they both were too young; what is more difficult at that age than the father of your girl decides to lock her up and you are unable to be with her? And also you are so inexperienced about a lot of stuff to know how to react. I liked the writing, very fluid but not simple; after a while I felt I knew the island. I loved the beginning but not that much the ending. It always looked like it was going to happen a tragedy, or that they would have real hard obstacles to be together. But being sincere, they both were too young; what is more difficult at that age than the father of your girl decides to lock her up and you are unable to be with her? And also you are so inexperienced about a lot of stuff to know how to react. I liked the writing, very fluid but not simple; after a while I felt I knew the island. I loved the beginning but not that much the ending. I truly digged (dug?) Shinji and Hatsue, nice couple of lovers.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Portia S

    NOT a REVIEW: Just Thoughts. The first Mishima I read was The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea. I fell in love with the work, which I bought at a second hand shop, and scanned the same shop for more, but it was the only one. Now, some time after, I contemplated what books to buy, that I would read, that I would feel at ease with, and I bought three different Mishima novels. One is for Kevin for Christmas, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, which I can safely put here, since he never checks NOT a REVIEW: Just Thoughts. The first Mishima I read was The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea. I fell in love with the work, which I bought at a second hand shop, and scanned the same shop for more, but it was the only one. Now, some time after, I contemplated what books to buy, that I would read, that I would feel at ease with, and I bought three different Mishima novels. One is for Kevin for Christmas, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, which I can safely put here, since he never checks social media. But the one I ended up reading first was The Sound of the Waves, (because my sister relieved me of Confessions of a Mask, why does everyone steal my books?). (Spoilerish?) This work was easy to get into, because it is simple, straightforward, and because of its boy-meets-girl plot, it's easy to relate to. Shinji undergoes changes to his personality throughout the book, and the catalyst for this is Hatsue, the daughter of the richest man in the village. What really struck me with this work was how vivid the descriptions were to complement the temperament of the individual. Uncle Teru ( Hatsue's father) was fully described in the communal bath house, his body, his skin, his hair, and his disposition was aptly revealed. The village life is lucid, as though I myself have lived there for years. Only as I type about it here, I realise that the story keeps alluding to time and experiences and how they lend to maturity. The diving women, start off as girls who are living in anxiety of the Summer, whereas the older women dive as though it is work mixed with play, and burst through the waves laughing and smiling. Is it that experience gives us confidence and comfort in our lives? Chiyoko, the lighthouse keeper's daughter is interesting , and a somewhat driving character, though her importance fades to the end. I still think it's significant to note her own growth in the novel, where she regrets her actions and attempts to reverse the grief she caused unto Shinji and Hatsue. Throughout the book, Shinji and Hatsue are referred to as a boy and a girl, but they are working persons, who will garner experiences that will extinguish their naivety and push them to be mature men and women. Hatsue demonstrates this when she wins the diving competition and gives the prize to Shinji's mother, but she hasn't shed all of her childish notions as we see to the end. Shinji's major development occurs during his time aboard the Utajima-maru, he loves the island, the place of his birth, yet he is eager to leave it. He comes back different, and it is seen here in the last line: "Her eye were full of pride. She was thinking it was her picture that had protected Shinji. But at this moment Shinji lifted his eyebrows. He knew it had been his own strength that had tided him through that perilous night." I feel as though the old Shinji would have agreed with Hatsue, but instead he has become confident in his own strength and capabilities. I found that truly interesting, because it's something Kevin said about me. That my younger friends expect different things from me because I'm the older one, to be all together, to think in a clear and rational way, to be that adult. It makes me think a lot about that. I think about Chiyoko and her actions. A really good read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vishy

    I read Yukio Mishima's 'Thirst For Love' sometime back. I thought I should read my next Mishima now. In 'The Sound of Waves', there is a young man called Shinji who works in a fishing boat. He is from a poor family, he has a simple heart, and he works hard. His father died during the war. Shinji lives with his mother, who works as a diver during the diving season, and his younger brother, who is in school. Things are going nicely for Shinji, when one day he meets a beautiful girl who is helping I read Yukio Mishima's 'Thirst For Love' sometime back. I thought I should read my next Mishima now. In 'The Sound of Waves', there is a young man called Shinji who works in a fishing boat. He is from a poor family, he has a simple heart, and he works hard. His father died during the war. Shinji lives with his mother, who works as a diver during the diving season, and his younger brother, who is in school. Things are going nicely for Shinji, when one day he meets a beautiful girl who is helping out on another fishing boat. He discovers that she is the daughter of a rich man. He can't stop thinking about her. Something like this has never happened to Shinji before. Soon, while he is on an errand helping out his mother, he meets this girl again, and this time they are alone. Sparks fly between them and one thing leads to another – well, you have to read the book to find out more. In 'The Sound of Waves', Yukio Mishima takes the classic love story – boy meets girl and they fall in love, girl's father hates boy, girl gets a rich suitor etc. – puts it in a fishing village in Japan and lets the events unfold and gives us a fascinating front-seat view. It is as if one day Mishima-San got up on the right side of his bed and told himself – "Okay, I have written about a monk who burns down a temple. I have written about the woman who kills the man she loves. What about a simple story with a ray of sunshine? What about a story in which two young people meet and fall in love? Why not write that? St.Francis of Assisi said, "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light from a single candle." Why not light that candle here and see whether it dispels some of the darkness?" And then Mishima-San went and locked himself inside his room and wrote this book in one breath and completed it in the wee hours of the morning, before he could change his mind. And that is how we got 'The Sound of Waves'. Atleast that is the story I tell myself. That is the story I want to believe. 'The Sound of Waves' is a beautiful celebration of young love. It is so famous that it has been made into many movies. I have seen atleast one of those movies. It is very different from the regular dark, intense fare we expect from Mishima. I loved it. Have you read 'The Sound of Waves'? What do you think about it?

  30. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    Candid and gentle, and absolutely beautiful. It redeemed Yukio Mishima to me, after Confessions of a Mask - my initial interest in this author - had failed to wow me a while back.

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