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Literature: The Sound of Waves
A Japanese coming-of-age novel written by Yukio Mishima and published in 1954, The Sound of Waves is the story of dull yet hardworking Shinji, who lives with his widowed mother and younger brother in a small fishing village. He lives a simple but happy life until meeting the beautiful Hatsue, daughter of the village's wealthiest and most respected businessman. The two fall in love, but complications, rivals and ugly rumors about the young couple conspire to tear them apart. More than a simple love story, The Sound of Waves is a snapshot of Japanese life and culture that details the everyday lives of simple people and the challenges brought about by inevitable change. We get to see the central character, Shinji, grow and mature from a guileless youth to a responsible young man who is willing to risk everything for a chance at happiness.


This book provides examples of:

  • Attempted Rape: Yasuo tries to do this to Hatsue—going so far as to pin her down—but is promptly cut off by a pesky hornet.
  • Anti-Climax: One of the biggest complaints with the story is that all the problems get Hand Waved away if not outright ignored completely at the ending of the book.
  • Book Dumb: Shinji.
  • Coming of Age Story
  • Disappeared Dad: Shinji's father died during a bombing attack in World War II.
  • Holly Wood Homely: Chiyoko.
  • Jerk Ass: Yasuo.
  • Love at First Sight: Shinji to Hatsue, and vice-versa.
  • Love Triangle: Two of them. Shinji has a crush on Hatsue, and as does Yasuo. Fair enough. Chiyoko happens to like Shinji, but unfortunately for her, he barely knows she exists, and her low self-esteem makes the situation especially problematic for her.
    • When Chiyoko realizes this, she uses Yasuo to spread a rumor claiming that Shinji and Hatsue had slept together. She does regret it later on.
  • Thanks for the Mammary
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Considering that the book can be described as Mishima's love song to traditional Japanese culture, it's unsurprising that Hatsue fits this trope perfectly.

A Sound of ThunderLiterature of the 1950sThe Star Beast
Sorcery and CeceliaRomance NovelSymphony of Ages
The Sky CrawlersJapanese LiteratureSouth of the Border, West of the Sun
ShelterAdministrivia/Needs a Better DescriptionStalin vs. Martians

alternative title(s): The Sound Of Waves
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