Set in a fishing village of a remote island in Japan, The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima was a coming-of-age story of a boy named Shinji and his romantic encounter with a beautiful girl, Hatsue. Shinji was a content boy and enjoys simple things in life. After the death of his father during World War II, Shinji worked as a fisherman to support his mother and brother. His mother worked as a diver of abalone when it was in the season.
One day, he met an unfamiliar face among their village girls. He was no longer a calm and collected person like before and he prayed to meet with the girl again. Turned out, she is the daughter of the richest man in their village. Shinji knew his chances were very low. Soon after a few encounters, they were in love. On a stormy day, they had secret rendezvous. One person saw them and a horrible gossip about two of them started spreading in their village. When Hatsue’s father found out, they were forbidden meet again. Shinji was in despair but when the opportunity came to be with Hatsue, he jumped on it although it could endanger his life.
Mishima wrote an exceptionally beautiful story of first love. We all know there is timelessness in stories about first love cause we all have been there. Some of the books may be cringeworthy but some are charmingly written and filled with nostalgia. The Sound of Waves belongs in the latter. It is a simple story but Mishima’s storytelling was exquisite. The history and traditions of the village were brilliantly told and the way he described various parts of the small island was meticulously genius. His characterization was superb, as well.
This is my first book of Mishima and I was told that his other works, the Sea of Fertility tetralogys, are amazing. I’m planning to read it next month.