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The Sound of Waves

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  10,069 ratings  ·  922 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, New Edition, 141 pages
Published September 1971 by Berkley Medallion (first published June 10th 1954)
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Robert Enomoto The description of the setting of a story is important to give the readership a wholesome view of where the story takes place. It also educates the…moreThe description of the setting of a story is important to give the readership a wholesome view of where the story takes place. It also educates the readership of the culture, customs and traditions of the Japanese.(less)

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  10,069 ratings  ·  922 reviews


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Steven Godin
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, japan
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 ...more
Jr Bacdayan
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014

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
...more
Mariel
Sep 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dream land
Recommended to Mariel by: I think I love Yukio Mishima now
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
...more
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."

description
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.
...more
Cheryl
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
...more
Gabrielle
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
...more
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. ...more
Peter
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A simple story told beautifully.
Taylor
May 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, esp. fans of Murakami, people looking to try asian literature
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
...more
Hiba Arrame
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hiba by: Hicham Mellouki
Shelves: favorites
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
...more
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.
Smitha Murthy
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia, favorites, classic
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
...more
Trish
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful, simple and classic story of the trials of love. Also, these Vintage editions are just gorgeous.
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
...more
April Hayes
Jun 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Sala
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 .
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 ...more
Jonathan
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Smiley
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan, fiction
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' ...more
Justin
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Ms. Jones
Apr 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Abraham Salas
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
...more
David
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-red-circle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Portia S
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mishima, japan
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
...more
Vishy
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Charles
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Scott
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Mishima book, and I really enjoyed it.

Like much of Japanese art, this book is a study in understatement. This works very well for the story, given how essentially simple it is.

The simplicity should not, however, be confused with a lack of depth or artistry. The tale of the two young lovers in this story - Shinji and Hatsue - exhibits very real and very honest emotion. The amazing thing is how these elements are blended with other, larger ones.

The basic tale is the stuff of
...more
Gertrude & Victoria
Mishima Yukio's novella, The Sound of Waves, is thought to have been inspired by the Daphnis and Chloe myth of Greek origin. The influence may be most evident in the choice of theme and style. In this beautiful work, also his most accessible, the theme of first love is explored with grace and delicacy - a sensation of being swept up by cool waves under warm and brilliant skies permeates the spirit.

This novella is different from most of Mishima's other works. It is not about latent destructive
...more
bookczuk
Mar 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
What a lovely, gentle book! So refreshing to read of first love that is simple and pure. So many of the books I've read of late have a rather harsh view of life. This is a gentle tale, set in a remote fishing village in Japan.

I loved the descriptions of village life, of the island and of the blossoming of love. So different from all the anime coming out of Japan now.
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Yukio Mishima (三島 由紀夫) was born in Tokyo in 1925. He graduated from Tokyo Imperial University’s School of Jurisprudence in 1947. His first published book, The Forest in Full Bloom, appeared in 1944 and he established himself as a major author with Confessions of a Mask (1949). From then until his death he continued to publish novels, short stories, and plays each year. His crowning achievement, ...more
“He heard the sound of waves striking the shore, and it was as though the surging of his young blood was keeping time with the movement of the sea's great tides. It was doubtless because nature itself satisfied his need that Shinji felt no particular lack of music in his everyday life.” 14 likes
“In the pale light of daybreak the gravestones looked like so many white sails that would never again be filled with wind, sails that, too long unused and heavily drooping, 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.” 11 likes
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