‘The Sound of Waves’ stands alone in the sea of Yukio Mishima’s works

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By Iain Maloney

“The Sound of Waves” is a typical boy-meets-girl story. Shinji is a poor fisherman on Uta-jima, a small island in Ise Bay. Hatsue left the island as a young girl to train to be a pearl diver. When she returns, now a young woman, Shinji falls for her but finds he has a rival in the rich and powerful Yasuo.

The couple struggle to maintain an illicit courtship in the face of malicious rumors and parental intransigence. When Yasuo and Shinji are chosen to join the crew of a merchant cargo ship, Shinji’s selflessness and bravery in a crisis mark him out as the better man.

The continuing popularity of “The Sound of Waves” — it has been adapted for screen five times — lies in its accessibility. The dense philosophizing that characterized Yukio Mishima’s later works is absent here, and the story is disarming in its simplicity. Read more

Source: The Japan Times

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