This book came to my hands unexpectedly. I was walking through the book store when I noticed it on a shelf, squeezed between other authors and other genres. I had only heard about its author, Yukio Mishima, because I love the soundtrack of his biographical film Mishima. So naturally, when I saw the book, I bought it.
The Sound of Waves, by Yukio Mishima
Written by one of Japan’s most controversial and respected writers, The Sound of Waves is a beautifully-written, rather short novel about youth, honor, and love.
It is the story of Shinji, a modest, hard-working young fisherman who has never given much thought to anything other than working to help maintain his mother and younger brother. But this all changes when he meets Hatsue for the first time. Hatsue is the daughter of the island’s wealthiest ship owner, Terukichi. As expected, they fall in love with each other. But their love is not easy, as they come from different worlds, different positions, and there are others willing to do horrible things to keep them apart.
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.
In this book, Mishima paints a portrait of a small life on a small island, far away from the noise and the urbanity that characterize and even saturate our every day, modern life. It is a simple, yet charming love story that reminded me of the tales I read when I was younger. The main characters were sweet, innocent, and likable, and even though there were some aspects that I didn’t like too much (details, really), the story was compelling and overall enjoyable. It is a quick read, easy and up-lifting.