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The Sound of Waves

  • 006 4  I found this book to be very unique , which is why i loved it so much . Though it's for a more mature audience . At my school it was such a controversial book because some of the sexual content . Though i'm glad that the teachers won the battle agains't the parents of banning it . That's what created the mood in the story , without it , it wouldn't be The Sound Of Waves . A very good romantic book , it will draw you in , you'll feel your in it .
    • 020 4  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and consider it one of his finest works . It's subtle presentation and simplistic beauty just makes it an amazing story . It is HIGHLY recommended to anyone who wants a purely beautiful story . If yer looking for Stephen King or Robert Heinline , you'll be disappointed - - however , if you want something with some soul , READ THIS ! !
    • 036 4  Of all the Mishima novels I have read , this is my favorite . Although it is not as complex as , for example , the books in the Sea of Fertility tetralogy , it nonetheless has a feeling of contentment that is lacking in his later works .
    • 048 4  i read this book over a two day period while studying vocabulary for my GRE exam . It was quite a pleasant little love story . I really thought that the ending was going to be different , this book being by Mishima and all , but it was a breath of fresh air the way things wrapped up in the end . It still shows Mishima's love of the strong Japanese male spirit , but it also shows great tenderness without being overly sappy .
    • 056 4  I'm going to be incredibly blunt , cause that's just the way I am . I'm in HS English 3P , and we're reading Sound of Waves , by Yukio Mishima . The book put me to sleep every time I tried to read it . I was bored out of my mind , and you will be too if you bother with it . Just tell your teacher some * choice advice * and save yourself some problems , okay ? DON'T READ IT ! ! ! !
    • 059 4  Maybe this book is good for some people . I have talked to a bunch of people and can't find a soul who thinks it's a good book . In short , really bad .
    • 060 4  This book is awful , boring , has no real excitement and is disgusting . Do not read , I do not recommend this .

  • 014 4  Yukio Mishima's THE SOUND OF WAVES is , on its face , a classical and infinitely subdued love story , a Romeo and Juliet tale without the tragedy . A young but poor fisherman , Shinji , falls deeply in love with Hatsue , daughter of the wealthy businessman Terukichi Miyata who has just returned to her small home island of Uta-Jima ( Song Island ) during a vacation break from her studies . Hatsue reciprocates Shinji's amorous interests , and the two exchange secret messages and arrange covert ( but essentially Platonic ) trysts . The more sociably acceptable match , Yasuo , also desires to marry Hatsue , and her father presumably leans toward this better arrangement . Yasuo's marital goals are further aided by Chiyoko , daughter of the island's lighthouse keeper , who informs Yasuo about the young couple's illicit romantic escapades because she fancies Shinji for herself . Unknown to Shinji ( but patently obvious to the reader ) , Uncle Teru recruits both young men to work on one of his ships in order to gauge their character and test their mettle for their marriageable worth to his daughter . Of course , for the ultranationalistic Mishima , the story provides little more than literary cover for his philosophical leanings . In that regard , THE SOUND OF WAVES operates on several symbolic levels . First is the question of fate versus free will - are Hatsue and Shinji fated to be together , or are their actions ( and those of others ) the driving forces from free choice that bring them together . Mishima offers events on both sides of this issue , from Hatsue's writing of hidden notes and Shinji's courageous actions on Uncle Teru's ship during a bad storm on the one hand to the interventions on the other hand by Nature in the form of an angry wasp when Yasuo attempts to seduce Hatsue during her late-night water drawing and during Hatsue's chance meeting of Shinji at the island's former military observation tower . Second is the question of individuality versus community - do Hatsue and Shinji owe more allegiance to the good of their island community and their respective families than to their personal feelings for one another ? Mishima idealizes the traditional Japanese cultural emphasis on community and family over the welfare of the individual , presenting a Japan that now seems hopelessly naïve and outdated . Every character is ultimately selfless , acting with saintly virtue and atoning for earlier sins and errors before the story's end . Not surprisingly , virtue is its own reward , and each character's selfless action leads , against all societal odds , to a fairy tale ending . Mishima's characters on Uta-Jima live outside of time - like Rousseau's noble savages or Paul Gauguin's Tahitian natives , they live in a world where a healthy and virginal adolescent boy and girl can like naked in each other's arms without apparent thought of consummation . The only person who displays a sense of heightened sexuality is the author himself , who repeatedly demonstrates a female breast fetish that can only be described as disturbing . Life on Uta-Jima projects an Eden-like simplicity , so utterly withdrawn from the modern ( i.e . , real ) world that the story itself could be taking place any time from 1750 to 1950 . Not until well into the novel do we discover that World War II is already history ( obviously never having touched this Eden ) and that the Korean War is underway . Only in the last several chapters of this book , as the story reaches its denouement , does the modern world impinge ever so lightly on Uta-Jima and its inhabitants . Mishima may well have been lionizing them , but to the modern reader's sensibilities , they appear ( with the exception of Uncle Teru ) as hopelessly childlike , ill-equipped for the Japan we know is charging toward them from a decade or two down the road . THE SOUND OF WAVES is elegant in its slow pacing and narrow story line , illustrating a Japan that may once have existed - or perhaps it only ever existed in idealized form , in Yukio Mishima's mind . Regardless , the story line is classical , the writing as translated by Meredith Weatherby is lyrical , and the world it describes contrasts sharply with the militaristic leanings and violent har-kiri death of its author . Uta-Jima is a life some readers might wish still existed , while others may be glad that such backwardness and naïve isolation have followed Mishima into increasingly ancient history .
    • 001 4  Richard Hugo , an excellent poet and teacher , said that each poem has two subjects - the triggering subject ( or the story ) , and the second , deeper subject . This holds true for many great works of literature , not just poems , and The Sound of Waves is no exception . On the surface , we have a subtly erotic love story about Shinji and Hatsue , two hard-working young Japanese people in a close-knit , isolated , traditional village . They go on with their romance despite ugly rumors which prompt Hatsue's father , Terukichi ( known as Uncle Teru ) to forbid his daughter from seeing Shinji . There is a happy ending , but I won't give it away . This is more than your typical love story . The main characters , Shinji and Hatsue , are ideal Japanese people in the traditional , uncorrupted village : hard-working , devoted to the family , honest , and religious . The rumormongers are Westernized : Chiyoko - a pessimistic girl - is a student in western literature at a city university , and Yasuo - a rude , selfish , lazy boy who wants Hatsue for himself - is well-read in pulp magazines . It is traditional Japanese willpower and discipline that keeps Shinji and Hatsue together despite their obstacles . What is remarkable is that the book does not make its point with a sledgehammer . The traditional characters win out , not because they tattle or scream ; their integrity forces the modern characters to face the errors of their modern ways . This book is almost as relavent to our changing America as it was to Mishima's changing Japan . One read-through and you will understand Mishima's patriotism , his long quest for a return to tradition that led to his seppuku .
    • 002 4  Few books accurately capture the feeling of first love the way Yukio Mishima's The Sound of Waves does . Set in a small Japanese fishing village in the mid - 20th century , this is a beautiful story that will charm the romantic at heart with its simplicity and intensity . Shinji is a poor young fisherman , living with his widowed mother and relatively carefree . That changes when he sees a lovely young pearl-diver named Hatsue looking out to sea . Shinji soon finds that he can't get Hatsue out of his mind ; he's fallen in love , for the very first time . She soon falls in love with him as well - - it's first love for them both , and for a few days everything seems fine . But things start to go wrong when an unhappy young girl sees the two of them leaving a secluded spot . Soon rumors are spread about Hatsue and Shinji's relationship , and the arrogant Yasuo even physically chases Hatsue when she is getting water . When Hatsue's overprotective father forbids her to see Shinji again , and seems about to betroth her to Yasuo , Shinji has only one chance to be reunited with his love . Generally the word romance conjures images of busty half-naked women being held in impossible positions by chiseled he-men with torn shirts . But Sound of Waves is genuine romance , about the sort of love that any person could experience if they are open to it , in any part of the world . He is also one of the few authors who can convey the joy and pain of being in love . Not to mention the exalted way one can feel , without losing sight of their humanity : Shinji and Hatsue definitely have hormones , but keep them in check . There's a kind of mature innocence to how these two interact . Yukio Mishima's writing is both brief and detailed . Simple and descriptive , evoking the wind , sea , trees , and shorelines . The story is a simple one ( boy meets girl , girl and boy fall in love , boy and girl are separated , etc ) , but its simplicity is part of its appeal . There are even some things about pearl-diving and fishing included , to give a glimpse of the lives that Hatsue , Shinji and their families live . The best thing abou this brief novel is the lead characters . Shinji is a shy , inexperienced , capable teenage boy , not a confident stud . Hatsue captures his attention not through mere physical beauty ( though she sounds quite pretty ) , but through her sweetness . The wannabe-playboy , and the ugly girl who wistfully falls for Shinji , are like real people . This is romance as it should be written , beautiful and tender with lovable characters and haunting prose . What it lacks in complexity it makes up for in sweetness . A memorable and beautiful story .
    • 003 4  A 16 - year-old recommended this book to me because it has a lot of SAT words and I , being the SAT prep instructor that I am , had to investigate . My young pupil was indeed correct in saying that the English translation of this book contains many words commonly seen on the SAT , but she failed to mention how incredibly well-written the book was , too ! I had a very hard time putting down this book simply because it flows so beautifully . Words are not wasted ; everything is said for a purpose , from the desriptions of the scenery of this small Japanese island to the descriptions of the sunburnt faces of the main characters . Mishima tells the story of a forbidden love that doesn't become too sappy sweet . It is refreshing to read a novel that focuses so much on human character traits ( flaws ) while also leaving room for serendipity fate . An easy read with a nice plot and excellent character developments , this book is highly recommended to readers of all ages . And if you happen to know of a high school student who wants to improve his / her vocabulary and critical reading abilities ( or you happen to be one ) , then this is the perfect book for you ! You won't regret it !
    • 004 4  Yukio Mishima wrote The Sound of Waves following a visit to Greece and his immersion in the literature of ancient Greece . His fascination with the Mediterranean world and his affection for ancient literature ( in particular , Daphnis and Chloe ) is reflected in this sunny novel . He produced a very approachable and charming story about a island fishing village , and it is no wonder that this book was the first selected for translation into English in 1956 ( published in Japan in 1954 ) . The novel centers around Shinji , a young fisherman , and Hatsue , who had been given away by her father Terukichi but was called back by him when his son died so he could marry his daughter and adopt the husband into his family . The story follows what one would expect in a small village where everyone is known and gossip abounds . It is assumed that Hatsue will marry Yasuo , who is from a family that is well off whereas Shinji is poor . Love , however , takes a different hand and when Shinji and Hatsue see each other something begins that cannot be stopped . Of course , there are obstacles in their way and Terukichi places his daughter under house arrest because of the gossip that has grown over their relationship . But the reader understands early that Shinji is bound to triumph over adversity and win Hatsue because his character is noble and hard-working . I don't think anyone would doubt the end of the novel ; it is the character development and Mishima's powers of description that keep your attention . What adds so much to this novel is Mishima's description of island life . For example , he brilliantly describes the women divers who struggle to bring up abalone and notes how they cut their toes when they use their foot to push off the sea floor . We also have descriptions of the men of the island relaxing in the bath-house , the meetings of the islands Young Men's Association and such mundane tasks as the women fetching water from the local spring . Mishima's fascination with the cultures of the Mediterranean did not last long and he repudiated The Sound of Waves . This novel may not be characteristic of Mishima's writing but it is a good place to start to get to know his writing before advancing on into Confessions of a Mask . The Sound of Waves is a lyrical and sunny book that deserves a high readership .
    • 005 4  A subtle and masterfully told tale about two youths discovering love on a rural Japanese island . This book is very different from the other 5 or 6 Mishima novels I've read , but it is still beautifully constructed and skillfully rendered . The book explores themes of innocence , loyalty , fidelity to tradition and the transition from adolescence to adulthood . Despite the lack of action in the book , the story is still riveting because of the chasm between rumor and truth that the protagonists must cross . Mishima definately adds a unique twist at the end that is sure to irritate some and I was a bit perplexed about it myself for a while . Then I remembered this is a Mishima novel and we certainly wouldn't expect anything less from a man capable of such grave seriousness , outlandish specatcles and biting humor .
    • 007 4  I read Mishima's The Sailor who fell from Grace with the Sea years ago and while Sailor got rave reviews , I actually preferred this story . Mishima masterfully weaves a simple love story that , despite its Japanese setting , is evocative of youthful love everywhere . The sensitive protagonist is a hero the reader will root for from the first page ; of course , it's partly a fairy tale we've read a thousand times before , where the peasant ( fisher boy ) falls in love with the princess ( bourgeois daughter ) . There are no dragons slain in this tale , however , except those of personal dilemmas and our hero's inevitable rivals . A charming , heartwarming tale of unforgettable characters told with Mishima's trademark poetic simplicity .
    • 008 4  Written in a simple yet lovely style that is vaguely reminiscent of Hesse's Siddhartha , Mishima's tale of innocent love and virtue is stirring . Unlike his customarily dark themes , he takes us to a small fishing village on a Japanese isle and creates a legend of two hardy youths that meet and fall in love . Despite their young age , their bonds are strong and through all their trials together you can't help but fall in love with them both . This is an excellent book that I would recommend to any reader .
    • 009 4  The book The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima first caught my attention when I read one of its short reviews saying that it is the story of first love set on a small Japanese island . I decided to read it and was not disappointed . The book starts when a young and poor fisherman , Shinji , coming back from his work catches a sight of a beautiful girl , Hatsue , a daughter of the wealthiest man in the village . The two young people meet and fall in love with each other - for the first time in their lives . As they set out on adventure of experiencing all joys of their feelings they also have to overcome all the difficulties their life presents them with such as gossips and ill-natured stories aroused by the villagers . Although this book's major theme is first love it is not the only one that compels the reader to take this book and to keep reading until the end . Yes , The Sound of Waves shows all the beauty of being in love for the first time , it describes all the feelings of wonder , joy and uneasiness that love brings . Also this book captures the beauty of nature of a small island , untouched by civilization . Between describing the adventures of the characters , Yukio Mishima takes time to describe the scenery around them - graceful pine-trees , powerful ocean and rocks on the beach . All of these have their own beauty and wisdom in them that teaches and helps any person from the island that needs it . People and nature in this book are intermingled with each other in some natural and powerful way . The island is very remote and has its distinct traditions and ways of living and thinking ; and the book is excellent in portraying all of these . It describes the ways of fishermen and divers . The book shows the souls of its characters , their hopes and dreams , their reaching out into unknown and growing as a person while still being closely connected with nature and being devoted to each other and their island . The Sound of Waves is a fairly simple book , yet this fact does not make it less forceful . It does not complicate things but rather shows everything in naive and simple perspective full of events and feelings . If you are looking for some romantic and charming story , The Sound of Waves is your pick .
    • 010 4  I was assigned to read this book for school and did not expect to enjoy it . Well , I was pleasantly surprised . Not only did I find the setting both sweet and unique , the characters were captivating and very well developed . After all , it's not everyday that one gets to see inside the life of a young Japanese boy as he falls head-over-heals in love with a strange girl he knows almost nothing about . When I finished the book , I immediately re-read all of the parts concerning Shinji's feelings , thoughts , etc . toward Hatsue . ( I especially liked how Shinji and Hatsue keep on running into each other and planning to do so again ! ) Yukio Mishima lovingly weaves a tale which describes the feelings and emotions of a naive young couple as they discover what it is to be in love . If you like a rewarding and beautifully written romance story , this book is for you !
    • 011 4  Excellent book ! One can literately feel the sea breeze and the sunshine coming out of this book . One strenght of this book is that unlike Yukio Mishima's other deeply philosophical works , this book is very accessible to everyone . Read it first for the fairy tale like love story , that can easily be done in 2 days . Then read it a second time to appreceiate it's literary value - - the simple but lively characterazation , the beautiful yet realistic protray of the island landscape / seascape . In a more subtle philosophical note , this book express Mishima's believe in the traditional Japanese values . Live simple , work hard , harmonize with nature , trust others , be self-reliance , be courageous ; these are the strenght that gule the island people together and made them prosper .
    • 012 4  Lovely cover to start with , and then Mishima's style in analyzing the life of the island is so real , he describes perfectly the responsibilities of the women and men in the fishing island and their life style . . . Shinji and Hatsue have an automatic attraction that leads the rest of the city to talk about the little they have . The biggest challenge they have is that Shinji the boy is poor and his social class puts him in a disadvantage compared to the son of the richest man in town . Hatsue's father decides to send the 2 boys on a fishing trip on board of one of his ships to test their manhood and choose a husband for his daughter . . . A book to read in a day .
    • 013 4  Using fluid words , sparingly , Mishima weaves a tale which operates on many levels . On one level , this is a timeless story of coming of age and young love . On another level , it is the story of a Japan rarely seen , that of a small fishing island off the main island . Or , it is a story about words , meaning only Mishima can write such fluid , crisp , and spare prose which are both poetic and descriptive . The gift of this novel , as in most of Mishima's work , is not in the story , but in the way it is told .
    • 015 4  When I picked up this book , the book jacket said something like And so , Mr . Mishima uses a simple setting of a fishing village to create an unforgettable love scene of amazing tenderness and purity . I remember being skeptical about this , thinking Tenderness ? In this century ? Pshaw ! This Mr . Mishima must be full of it . And I've never been happier to be wrong . The Sound of Waves is not a multi-faceted epochal genre-shattering masterpiece . And it's all the better for it . It's an extremely simple love story set in a remote Japanese island where the people work all their lives fishing and / or diving for pearls . And it's beautiful . The book jacket was right on . Hatsue is portrayed with such amazing tenderness and sympathy on the author's part that she becomes a human being , but she's not the only one . The ugly girl who falls in love with Shinji is also an amazingly real person . As is Shinji's mother , as is almost everybody else . It's incredibly refreshing to finally read an author who eschews all that arty deep complex psyche crud for the sake of such simple , yet unmistakably _ human _ characterization . Sometimes the language seems a little clunky - this is entirely the fault of the translation . I imagine it must sound even more beautiful in the original Japanese . ( And the translation is no great impediment - come on , this book _ is _ extremely short . ) In short , this is why humanity invented writing - so authors like Mishima could write books like The Sound of Waves . Now , I've only read three of his works , so it's theoretically possible that he has surpassed The Sound of Waves somewhere else , but I doubt it . Remarkable .
    • 016 4  The Sound of Waves has been described as the Japanese Romeo and Juliet , flowing from the pen of talented author Yukio Mishima . It is set on the mythic island of Uta-Jima , far from modernity's shifting tides . Shinji is a poor fisherman ; he loves Hatsue , a daughter of nobility . Despite class differences , can they be together ? Sound of Waves is a fascinating , unconventional work . Though Mishima disdained modernity , Shinji and Hatsue defy the class structure . While Japanese culture puts much emphasis on saving face , the lovers care more about each other than the gossip-mongers around them . Mishima's novel also explores themes that aren't in Romeo & Juliet . Hatsue must prove her virginity . However , her amorous night with Shinji is one of the most erotic ever written . They lie together , naked , yet we are supposed to think nothing happens . Mishima redefines virginity - or his emphasis on it questions the concept in general . He leaves it to the reader . Again , the lovers defy conservative Japanese sexual mores . Sound of Waves is like a perfectly cut crystal , or a spare Japanese sand garden . It is a thing of beauty for contemplation and satori ( enlightenment ) . Like Zen Buddhism , it is about finding beauty in the present moment .
    • 017 4  Yukio Mishima ( The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea ) is the fascinating subject of two recent DVD releases Mishima : A Life in Four Chapters - Criterion Collection and Patriotism - Criterion Collection . Set in a small fishing village , his 1954 novel , The Sound of Waves ( Shiosai ) , tells the coming-of-age story of Shinji Kubo and his love for Hatsue , the beautiful daughter of the wealthy Terukichi Miyata . Hatsue , much like the pearls she dives for , is the object of much admiration . Soon she and Shinji fall in love , much to the disappointment of Shinji's vengeful admirer , Chiyoko , who schemes to divide the two young lovers by spreading untrue rumours about Hatsue's loss of virginity . While The Sound of Waves is a timeless meditation on the power of love , whether or not Hatsue is virtuous also becomes a central theme of the novel . Mishima uses the sea as a metaphor for the unpredictable , ever-changing nature of life in his novel , a novel which won the Shincho Prize in 1954 . The Sound of Waves offers a good introduction to the rare genius of Yukio Mishima . G . Merritt
    • 018 4  The story Mishima tells of the love between a young fisherman and a pretty girl newly-arrived into his tiny world is sweet and touching in itself . However , peeling back the layers of the love story reveals Mishima's sense of Japan and its place in history . The Japanese nationalism lurking underneath the simple story is evident only upon further understanding of Mishima's life and writings . There are far away lands where wonders exist that could not be seen on Shinji's small island , but these things lose their meaning once they are out of sight . Shinji himself is young and strong , a metaphor for the Japan that Mishima imagined . A very good book for the beginning reader of Mishima . A second read is warranted to understand the nationalist underpinnings of his writing , though .
    • 019 4  Sound of Waves is a story of 2 young teenagers falling in love with each other on a very strict island . In the book Sound Of Waves , the most memorable part was the letter writing between Hatsue and Shinji . Shinji and Hatsue meet at the light house and Shinji gives Hatsue a seashell . My favorite character is Hatsue because she knows how to defend herself from others . She is not a type of person that likes to be pushed around by others . What I liked about the book was when Shinji and Hatsue met each other at the light house and Shinji pretended to be asleep while watching Hatsue getting undressed . The part I didn't like was that Hatsue's father prohibits her from seeing her boyfriend . Hatsue's father would not see Shinji's mother . The book has a happy ending .
    • 021 4  This is a story of young love in a fishing village in Japan . It is a gem . We have a simple boy , salt in his hair and dreaming of nothing more than owning his own fishing boat some day . And here is a simple girl training to be a diver after mollusks . ( True , this particular occupation has been an object of cheesy soft-core since Hokusai and before , but . . . . ) The story has a timeless quality - - there is no other way to put it . The boats run on diesel , but it is no accident that our setting is an island , removed from the dust and distractions of Tokyo , where other stories by Mishima are studies in anxiety , squalor , materialism and so forth . There is no element of badness here , save a little jealousy and deceit which are painted as , in their way , natural things . As our young ones have their first thrills of intimacy in a secluded hut , their love seems to crystallize the tender innocence of the place , the sunburned faces and pine trees rustling in the salty breeze . Remember this old , old tanka : If only the world would always stay this way , fishermen drawing up their boats on misty banks .
    • 022 4  It's a young romance . Usually I don't like romances , but this one made a lot of sense . It gave a sense of innocence ; gave actual typical adolescent behavior ; coming to terms with infatuation , sexuality , and pride ; and a great moral in the end . Beautifully described about village islanders ' situations and everyday life . After I read this , I wanted to get this story in the original Japanese , just like Mishima's Temple of the Golden Pavilion .
    • 023 4  This book is not like all the other love novels because it seems to deliver from a different background ( actually , it does deliver from a different background ) . If you have read The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima you may like this book . And if you haven't read the Temple . . . . . then you should . This man was a genius , many saw him as disturbed as many geniuses were / are in fact . And for a little more background information , Yukio Mishima was the final person in Japan to commit honorable seppuku which is honorable suicide . Check it out .
    • 024 4  Set on an Island of the coast of Japan , this novel shares a tale of a great love between two people who bear the ridicule from other townspeople to be together . It's excellent form , and beautifully detailed scenes make this an exquisite read for all ages . Even though it's setting is set many years ago , the story is timeless and with no equal . Definately a must read !
    • 025 4  I really enjoyed this wonderfully simple romantic tale timelessly set in a Japanese fishing village . Those who are used to reading Mishima's other works might find this book a wonderful change of pace . I thoroughly enjoyed the development of the characters and the sweet , awkward moments that occur between the two lovers in this classic tale of first love .
    • 026 4  . . . is how , according to Nathan's biography , Mishima referred to this book on several occasions . It does seem very uncharacteristic , being a straightforward love story , showing great interest in its humble setting and without Mishima's trademark disdain for ' ordinary people , ' but I think it may have been as true to his aesthetic inclinations as his darker works . It highlights the other side of the tradition which fascinated him - the life-affirming courage and old-fashioned masculine code of the samurai , as opposed to the more morbid dictate that the samurai ' must die each day in his mind . ' Near the end , a character makes a remark along the lines of : ' Shinji's got guts . That's really all that matters , ' and that seems to sum this book up pretty well . I think this book may have meant more to Mishima than he admitted . It's certainly accesible to those who wouldn't like his more intense stuff , and provides a spot of definite interest for fans .
    • 027 4  In a time when understanding and good will seem all too hard and too fine , classic novels like this and The Tale of Gengi , written by a lady of the court , Murasaki Shikibu , give a westerner a feel for Japan that is needed . Japan still has an Emperor and England has a Queen . . . their customs and traditions remain .
    • 028 4  Although this story has a fairy tale-like element to it , it also has a satirical meaning . It is actually a satire on society and his opinion regarding other issues such as suicide . The island of Uta-jima is a utopian society and , of course , can't exist in real life . A delightful story and has some inappropriate scenes but is tolerable . Only love story that isn't perverted or sardonic by Mishima .
    • 029 4  This review is from : The Sound of Waves ( Paperback ) This was a homework asignment project . The book was interesting but it would not be my choice for pleasure reading . Nothing wrong with the book or writing , Its just not my type of book to read .
    • 030 4  This was a homework asignment project . The book was interesting but it would not be my choice for pleasure reading . Nothing wrong with the book or writing , Its just not my type of book to read .
    • 031 4  The Sound of Waves is a simple and charming story about two young people falling in love , their trials and triumph , on a tiny island that lies in the straits connecting the Gulf of Ise with the Pacific . The 1400 inhabitants of Uta-jima ( Song Island ) live in a tightly woven , stratified society that mirrors the larger Japanese culture in its essentials , though the island has been bypassed by much of the postwar modernization sweeping over the rest of Japan . Shinji is 18 when the story opens , a recent graduate of high school where he earned notably poor grades . His inclinations propel him in another direction : that of the robust physical outdoorsman , working on a small fishing boat earning a living harvesting mainly octopus from the sea , whose presence dominates the lives of all the islanders . Shinji's mother , a widow , ekes out a living as a diving woman . The island's calm routines rarely ever change ; thus it is a topic of conversation when a new face turns up on the island . Shinji first sees the unfamiliar girl on the beach as he is going to visit the lighthouse keeper , and later , on the fishing boat , he learns that she is the daughter of Uncle Teru Miyata . One of four daughters , Hatsue , had been put out for adoption to a family of diving women on another island . But when Miyata's only son was killed , he called her back , had her put back in the family register and decided to adopt a husband into the family for her to carry on the name . Shinji's dormant adolescent feelings have been stirred by his encounter with Hatsue , and he suddenly finds himself distracted by thoughts of her . At the same time , he is reminded that his lowly station in life places her beyond his reach . That night , at a meeting of the Young Men's Association , Shinji learns that Yasuo Kawamoto , the son of a prominent village family , has been invited to a homecoming celebration for Hatsue . It would appear that Kawamoto , whose social standing eclipses Shinji's , is Hatsue's father's likely choice for his daughter's future husband . The rest of the story relates the growing attraction between Hatsue and Shinji , and the rivalry between Shinji and the self-important Kawamoto , who assumes that he will prevail . Eventually Hatsue's father arranges to have both Shinji and Yasuo serve as apprentice seamen on one of his ocean-going vessels . Unbeknownst to either of them , he has designed this as a test of their mettle . The one who shows the greatest get up and go will win Hatsue's hand . The steamer sails for Okinawa to pick up a cargo . Shinji throws himself into the life of a sailor , while Yasuo slacks off and brags that he will become the owner of the ship when he marries Hatsue after the voyage ( thus enraging the captain ) . A tense moment arrives when , setting out for home during a typhoon , the ship is forced to return to harbor . Moored to a buoy , the craft lurches in the storm-tossed sea . One of the mooring lines snaps , and the ship's officers are fearful that the others might come loose and they would be set adrift . The captain asks for a volunteer to swim to the buoy and attach another line . While Yasuo cowers fearfully , Shinji steps forward and dives into the turbulent sea . The mission , though fraught with tension and danger , is a success . The ship rides out the storm and sails for home . Teru announces that he has decided on Shinji as a husband for Hatsue . The reports of the ship's captain have convinced him that Shinji has the most get-up-and-go . It was deceiving to read this book before taking up Temple of the Golden Pavilion and Confessions of a Mask . In those books , written before Sound of Waves , Mishima's complex personality is exposed : his self doubts , homosexuality , obsession with death and blood . Compared with these works , Waves seems completely out of character . The plot is romantic , the characters wholesome and one-dimensional . Even the world they inhabit , an island , stands apart . One wonders why he wrote it ? Was it because he knew this story would be a resounding commercial success ? Mishima's biographer John Nathan relates that Mishima referred to TSOW as that joke on the public . There were , apparently , other commercial novels that remain untranslated . Mishima seems to have pursued two parallel careers , one that brought him predictable financial rewards , the other a riskier artistic path ( that nonetheless brought great fame , commercial success , and Nobel Prize nominations ) . The duality resembles that near schizophrenic divided personality that drove him to extremes throughout his life .
    • 032 4  I read this book for my senior summer reading and I was stunned by how it soon engulfed me . I just couldn't put down the book ! The characters and story were well developed and there was always something to keep you in suspense . It is definitely a great romantic novel .
    • 033 4  June 5 , 2008 I just finished reading the Sound of Waves . It's a true to life account of life in a Japanese fishing island in the mid 1950 ' s . What would people do without all their modern conveniences , luxuries and entertainments ? They would probably live like the people of Uta Jima , finding joy in a simple life close to nature and their families and neighbors . When someone needs to fix their house , all their friends come to help out . When a young couple suffers a crisis , the whole village helps work out the problem . And being close to nature , even the Gods are there to lend their behind the scenes assistance . I recommend this book to anyone who would like to experience life in rural Japan .
    • 034 4  Written in 1954 , this is Mishima's fourth novel and one that stands out from his more famous works in a number of ways . Mishima is mostly known for character introspection ; dark , mysterious protagonists whose psyches are peeled away chapter by chapter . The Sound of Waves isn't like that . It's not like many Mishima novels that I've read . It's a simple love story . Kind of reminiscent of the one told in Spring Snow , although here , we're given a more minimal brush stroke from the writer in that the story's setting takes place on a very small , secluded island off of mainland Japan . Though it would be easy to label this as typical Japanese romance-drama , it's really more than that . It shows a writer coming out of his shell and holds some very beautiful passages that I would attribute only to Mishima . He writes in a way that is very personal for me , so I guess I'm a little biased , but this is a great piece of work . Like the tide pulling sand from a beach , Mishima's place in literature becomes more apparent with each novel I progress through .
    • 035 4  I was forced to read this book by the Honors program at my school , and i thought it was pure revenge against the students from our teachers . . . but . . . After I started reading this book , I got addicted , and kept on reading and wanted to know what was going to happen next . I thought it was very inspiring and truthful . Being a Buddhist myself , I understood what the writer had to say . I know 1 thing . . . I didn't spend my summer reading junk , but i spent it wisely by choosing this book . . . = )
    • 037 4  At first read I was charmed by the book and thought a typical love story where the love always prevail . But then at my second time around I began to see the deeper meaning of what Mishima was trying to say . Throughout the whole story he uses the character to convey a tension between the carefree good spirit wildness of Shinji and Hatsue and the evil ill spirit controled spirit of Chiyoto and Yasou . I love the theme and the message that Mishima conveys through the book .
    • 038 4  Japanese tend to be shy and meek people , which surprised me greatly to read the dramatically brief and stark blunt nudity scenes described in this book . Such an innocent cover , but this book really is full of shocks and surprises . This truely is a timeless story about two lovers , a rich female with a posessive and over protective father , who's intelligence we are incapable of knowing at first glance . Super .
    • 039 4  The Sound of Waves is , simply put , a story of romantic love woven from the simple life of a fishing village in post-war Japan . Mishima's book doesn't include vast social criticism , but rather hearkens back to a world where common people have simple dreams , and where right wins out in the end . The highlight of the book is perhaps the descriptions of people and nature , and especially the way nature affects people . Butterflies are signs , but Mishima makes clear that it is people who make them such , and not the gods . The sea and village are both backdrops to Shinji's and Hatsue's romantic coming of age , and their romance is on their own shoulders with only the feelings and ambitions of their rejected alternatives to stand in their way . A good read for any time when you're in the right amorous mood .
    • 040 4  Mishima was such a great writer and this story is such a beautiful tale and full of nature and the angry sea . True love conquers all in the end I guess even if it's a cliche . This is easy to read and can appeal to any age from middle school to senior citizen . I recommend it as a gift to someone you love . This is so tame compared to his other darker but great other books . I'm sorry the world has lost this man .
    • 041 4  This book is a great example of the perfect romance / love story ; guy falls for girl , girl falls for guy , they get married , etc . However , Shinji and Hatsue had a lot of obstacles to overcome before they could be together . The characters did this with will power and personal strength , which I think is also major theme of the book . Not only Shinji and Hatsue show examples of this theme , but will power is also displayed by Shinji's mother and the mistress of the lighthouse . This theme is not immediately obvious , but many retorical devices of the book symbolize it , so there is an essance of it there , under the surface . The book shows a great tale of love ; however , will power is what helped the characters obtain their happiness .
    • 042 4  i've read many of mishima's later works , and was surprised by the gentleness and simplicity of this story . while lacking the undercurrents of torment and eroticism he later developed , this poetic little novel is timeless .
    • 043 4  I read this book , and it was really nice . It talks about a young man named Shinji and how he falls in love with a young woman named Hatsue . They can't let the neighborhood know that they like eachother because Hatsue is more upper-class . It has a wonderful story line and I reccomend this book to people of all ages . . . but especially to teenagers who love to read about love stories .
    • 044 4  Certainly the nicest Mishima novel I've read - - sweet , even . It was wonderful to read this after some of his darker work ; it shows that Mishima has a lucid grasp of both ends of the artistic and aesthetic spectrum , and is not necessarily preoccupied with being disturbing . While not my favorite , this is a fine , fine novel ; where some of Mishima's other books will only appeal to some , The Sound of Waves I could easily recommend to almost anyone who doesn't make squinchy faces at the mere mention of classic literature .
    • 045 4  A love story situated in a small little fishing village . I'm sure you can read the synopsis from the other reviews . Therefore , I'd just like to say that this book is worth reading because : 1 ) It is short and easy to read . 2 ) It is well-written and has that Japanese thing about it . 3 ) It definitely surpasses modern pop-culture style love stories .
    • 046 4  As the title of the review says . The book doesn't innovate in the genre , is a tad cliche , etc . . . yet somehow still manages to be captivating and interesting . Character development is part of it . I mean , the protagonist ( Shinji ) isn't some sort of uber-stud perfect guy ( for once ) , Hatsue isn't very cliche either , though I can't pin down any reasons why . The main thing that I liked about it was that the characters seemed like _ real _ people , not a cheesy-pickup-line-spouting product of a bad imagination . The story was a tad cliche , but was nonetheless very good . My main reason for liking the story is that it wasn't a few paragraphs of romance thrown into another story here and there just for kicks , the purpose of the book was to be a romance novel and nothing else . I say this in comparison to other stories , like the LotR movies , which threw in 5 - 10 minutes of Aragorn and Arwen being mushy ( which wasnt even in the book ) just to attract a wider audience and make more money . . . But anyway , I'm rambling . . . the point is that this book is GOOD . And that's coming from person who HATES romance novels , so that's gotta be some indicator as to the quality of the work .
    • 047 4  If you want to read a romantic and straight forward book , Then The Sound of Waves , by Yukio Mishima , is right for you . This book have very easy ideas and easy to understand . It is like many other romantic stories and you can pretty much predict . For me I didn't really like the book because it is too concrete . I like to solve problem and figure out what is going to come next , but this book did not give me the chance to do so . However , the cover and introduction of the book really caught my attention and basically that is why I chose the book . The book is about two teenagers fell in love the first time they met . Unfortunately , both of them had an arrangement of marriage with someone else , so the two lovers need to go through some obstacle to get together . Both of them need to find ways to deal with their parent and people in the village . So if you want to read a book that is simple and easy to understand , then I recommend you to read this book . Because it is so easy to understand , it does increase your reading rate and build up your vocabulary . Overall , this book is not too bad , and not the best .
    • 049 4  Sound of Waves is a typical love story that takes place in an idyllic Japan . It has many elements which was very perdictable , Boys meets Girl , Boy falls in love , etc . As I see it , this is Yukio Mishima's thoughs as to how Japan should achieve modernization without losing tradition values . The author of this book was an extreme patriot and lived during the second world war . I suggest this to anybody who enjoys good romances . This book does though lag in any real exitement , but that's how fairytales are . If you actually read this , e-mail me and give me some feedback if you read the book .
    • 050 4  The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima appears to be a modern classic that is not holding up well to the test of time . It was one of the first modern literary novels coming out of postwar Japan to gain wide recognition and fame . Its 1956 release in English translation a decade after the close of World War II was perfect timing . It soon became a standard in English classes all over the United States . The book appealed on many levels : as exquisite lyrical literature ; as a charming first-love and coming-of-age tale with strong moral overtones ; but perhaps most importantly , as a subtle way to build better understanding about a culture that young Americans needed to accept with greater respect following years of war-induced Japanese demonization . I was only ten years old when this book came on the American scene , so I missed out on having to read it as a teenager . I read it for the first time a few days ago , more than fifty years after it was first published in English . I approached the book with great expectations , but I was sorely disappointed . First , I suspect much of the original beauty of this lyrical novel is lost in translation . There is still a great deal in the writing to be admired , but the words lack the sparkle of innovation that no doubt exists in the original Japanese . The story is endearing in its lyric simplicity , but it stretches the credulity of the modern mind . Perhaps I am too world-weary and academically well-read , but for me the story seemed far too unrealistic - - more like a fairy tale . All was too rosy , too one-sidedly idealistic , too much the idyll - - the perfect harmony of man and nature . I've read too much anthropology to know this is possible at any time , in any culture . The noble savage is , after all , a complete fiction . The Sound of Waves was Mishima's own delusional vision of a perfect Japanese past that was quickly slipping away . It was a theme he returned to repeatedly over the next fifteen years of his life before committing seppuku ( ritualistic suicide ) because , in his words : I came to wish to sacrifice myself for the old , beautiful tradition of Japan , which is disappearing very quickly day by day . Mishima certainly was not a man of sound mind . I see no continuing redeeming value to reading this fairy tale in the present day . In its time , it sparked an interest as a lovely tale about love in Japan - - subconsciously , it helped move many toward a love of Japan . But those times are over . There is widespread tolerance and understanding of differing cultures . Today , there are far more compelling works of worldwide modern literary fiction , some written directly in English , that have more meaningful messages to convey to the modern reader - - messages that may help us deal with the reality of the human predicament that we find ourselves in at this , the beginning of the 21st century - - this an age of widespread terrorism and ecological disaster , a time where oil wars , water wars , global climate change , and famine loom on the not-too-distant horizon . Much modern world literature aims indirectly to helps readers comes to terms with these all too pressing comtemporary world issues . If you are not familiar with these books and themes , try reading most Booker Prize winning authors .
    • 051 4  I was forced into reading this book by my Language Arts teacher , as a comparison to Romeo and Juliet . The book had excellent discriptions , but I'm afraid thats it . The plot was dull , you couldn't get to know the characters at all , nor could you begin to understand them in any way whatsoever . I would have given it a 3 if it wasn't for the last sentence , which left me angry and irritated , I won't go into it incase someone else actually wants to read it to find out , though I suggest against it . Also , there are some fairly graphic scenes with discriptions that I really didn't want to read .
    • 052 4  This is a book about two teenagers who fall in love . One of them is a Fisherman and the other is the richest man in the villages daughter . they both go through a lot of conflict in priving their love .
    • 053 4  The Sound Of Waves is one of the best little books I've ever read . While there isn't much deep philosophical introspection , it is a brilliant story , crystal-clear , with no wasted words . It tells the tale of Shinji , a young man just becoming aware of his sexuality , and his love for a pearl diver named Hatsue . While the love story is very traditional and familiar , Mishima uses subtle and strikingly vivid imagry to make the book fully come to life in the reader's mind . Mishima was a body-worshiping homosexual , and like the romantic works of Pierre Loti , the boy-girl story is probably a cover-up for a boy-boy relationship . Mishima's lust for the male body comes out in this book during his descriptions of the young men at their club meating . The book's ending , a nice twist , also brings into focus that aspect of Mishima's philosophy and lifestyle . I enjoyed the book very much ; it was good company during a sleepless night .
    • 055 4  I had to read this book The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima for school . We were supposed to read it and write about the human emotions that the book expressed . This was a very tough assignment because the book didn't express much . Even though the stroy is a love story the plot moves very slowly . This is because of the excessive despcription of even insignificant things throughout the story . If one were to cut the inane descriptions the story would be about 20 pages long . However , it would also be a much better story . The reader would be able to understand the true power of love that does manage to shine through all of the excessive imagery . Other than the fact that the author had to some how manage to make the book over 100 pages long the story is fair . It is interesting to all ages , prbably more to those interested in love stories and romance . Younger readers will get a taste of mid 1900 ' s Japanese vulture as well as a pretty entertaining tale . Over all the book is fair . A good book to read to pass the time on a rainy day or a long plane ride .
    • 058 4  i would rather stick a rifle down my throat and pull the trigger then read this again

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