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Showing 1-10 of 37 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 107 reviews
on December 12, 2014
This book is about love in its purest form, but oddly enough it doesn't hit you over the head with it: a testament to Mishima's beautiful writing and also to the deeper meaning of the story. The main characters Shinji and Hatsue are traditional in every sense and he is drawn to her at first sight, then comes a chance for them to get it on but they don't, even though everyone thinks they did, no thanks to the antagonists Chiyoko who has been westernized along with Yasuo who tries to get it on with Hatsue in a not so traditional way. Mishima was certainly disillusioned with his changing Japan and longed for a return to its traditional roots and this book shows that, as good old tradition triumphs in the end and the antagonists come to some sort of realization of the error of their ways. And like i said, this is the beauty of Mishima's writing, in that first and foremost this is a romance about two teenagers falling in love, but by the end you realize that it is so much more. Mishima was great indeed.
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on May 4, 2017
This is an elegiac book about 1950s rural Japan and its values and harsh life, always on the edge of poverty. The plot is simplistic only on the surface but it is at its heart, an exploration of Shintoism in the daily life of simple people. Don't let the plot of boy meets girl and undergoes a few trials before he is permitted to become engaged-it is far more complex. Read it slowly and then consider each detail. It is lyrical in its descriptions of the landscape and sea.
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on February 16, 2016
Mishima's love poem to an island, wrapped in a traditional story of young, forbidden love. This was my first Mishima. Like the best poets, Mishima paints vivid pictures of the natural world. The island of Uta-jima comes alive on the pages, its surrounding waters equal parts beautiful and dangerous, its beaches diverse, its ecosystem unique. The love story is familiar, especially for those of us who grew up in small communities where farming and gossip are the primary local trades. For the most part, Mishima likes his characters, even the ones who clearly are not the heroes. In fact, he may like his characters a bit too much, at least in this early stage of his career, as the heroes are somewhat overloaded with virtue. It was also odd to me, that we learn so much about the breasts of the female inhabitants of Uta-jima. But I'm fond of breasts, and you could do worse than have someone of Mishima's capabilities describe them for you.
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on September 18, 2016
This is one of the modern Japanese classics written by a talented author Mishima who has written many best sellers, and is about a timeless theme of love at first sight. The story takes place on a remote island called Utajima, and is love story between a young fisherman and a daughter of a wealthy man. Through his courageous acts during a dangerous storm, he gains the approval of the villagers and the wealthy man for their relationship that was kept hidden until then. Utajima (Song Island) in the story is actually Kamishima (God's Island), a small fishing island off the coast of Ise in south central Japan. As of 2016, though the island has a few accommodations for tourists, it remains pretty much the busy, fishing village it was when this story was written.
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on August 1, 2017
I actually was required to read this book for a summer reading project for school. I actually found this book to be enjoyable in many ways. It is a great love story that warmed and crushed my heart several times over, and it has great character development as well as very distinguishable characters. I actually found the story to be a bit drawn out at times, however, it was more than made up for with its exciting and enticing moments. I would definitely recommend this one to a casual reader, but likely not someone who is attempting to deeply analyze the books they read.
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on August 22, 2013
The descriptions of the islands and people are excellent ,you can almost feel the ocean breeze, the smell of salt water and fish.

I fell in love with the main characters and the sense of honor and respect that they displayed to one another, something very much missing today.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in Japan or just looking for a joyful love story full of hope. A truly inspiring love story. I plan to read more of Yuko Mishima's masterpieces,He was a brilliant author.
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on April 13, 2001
Written in a simple yet lovely style that is vaguely reminiscent of Hesse's Siddhartha, Mishima's tale of innocent love and virtue is stirring. Unlike his customarily dark themes, he takes us to a small fishing village on a Japanese isle and creates a legend of two hardy youths that meet and fall in love. Despite their young age, their bonds are strong and through all their trials together you can't help but fall in love with them both. This is an excellent book that I would recommend to any reader.
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on July 25, 2017
It's as good as I remember it when I read it in school 30 years ago -- even better, maybe! It remains most perfect though or a teenage boy to read.
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on June 5, 2008
June 5, 2008

I just finished reading the Sound of Waves. It's a true to life account of life in a Japanese fishing island in the mid 1950's.
What would people do without all their modern conveniences, luxuries and entertainments? They would probably live like the people of Uta Jima, finding joy in a simple life close to nature and their families and neighbors. When someone needs to fix their house, all their friends come to help out. When a young couple suffers a crisis, the whole village helps work out the problem. And being close to nature, even the Gods are there to lend their behind the scenes assistance.
I recommend this book to anyone who would like to experience life in rural Japan.
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on October 14, 2015
Mashima's use of language is extradinary. I have compared him with Shakespeare. I am enjoying it as I do any great art. The plot almost doesn't matter, but it,too, keeps me reading. I am so glad I have been introduced to his writing.
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