The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima

Shinji, an eighteen y.o. boy, lives in Uta-jima (The Song Island), an island which the inhabitants are only 1400. Same as others, Shinji had became a fisherman after school graduation. One day, after a busy work from the sea, Shinji saw a beautiful girl he never met, her name is Hatsue.

As if born under a lucky star, Hatsue accepted Shinji’s pure love. When their story were just about to begin, Chiyoko, another girl who was studying in Tokyo and just got back to her hometown for vacation, showed both of them walking hand in hand. Chiyoko always had an eye for Shinji. So, she asked Yatsuo for help to spread the rumors about Hatsue and Shinji, that both of them already had sex. Such a worst rumour in the village, Shinji and Hatsue then couldn’t meet each other.

Yatsuo, the son of a leading family in the village was indeed Shinji’s rival ever since Hatsue’s arrival by saying he would be Hatsue’s husband. One day, Shinji was asked to work in a bigger ship owned by Hatsue’s father. Although he was confused with this circumstance, he took a job and sailed to another island. Yatsuo was one of the crew. This could be a chance to prove himself that he is the rightest man for Hatsue…

But perhaps it could be not?

I was ready for an absurd story but it turned out that this is a classic love story, or in Indonesian you can say “Roman Picisan”. I was like “Eeeaaa what is it I am reading now?” every time Hatsue and Shinji do flirting towards each other. The story basically just about love at the first sight, with the common obstacles and common solution. I am a fan of a bittersweet ending *laugh* so I was a bit disappointed with this book’s ending. No spoiler, it might be sweet, it might be bitter :p This book was first published in 1956 which I consider classic, so the living way of the characters were also different with current situation now.

Now that they were dressed, they could kiss in comfort… (Page 78)

Anyhow, I like this book. The pace is not slow which is good because I was quite not patient enough to know the development of the stories and to reveal the ending. The strength of this book are the beautiful words written, the simple and humble life of the people, and also the details.

Hatsue got to ger feet in silence and went around the rock to receive the prize. And the prize she returned with was the brown, middle-aged handbag, which she pressed into the hands of Shinji’s mother. The mother’s cheeks flushed red with delight.

“But…why?…”

“Because I’ve always wanted to apologize ever since my father spoke so rudely to Auntie that day.” (Page 146)

Yasuo quickly mounted the sloping street to the right, his sneakers making not so much as a footfall. He passed through the playground of the elementary school, enclosed in rows of cherry trees, their blossoms half-open. This playground was a recent addition to the school, and the cherry trees had been transplanted from the mountains. One of the young trees had been blown over by the storm; its trunk showed dead-black against a moonlit sand pile. (Page 88)

So far Japanese-English translation never be a problem for me. Some chosen words are indeed unfamiliar, I need to read slowly in some paragraphs, for example when Shinji was fighting alone at the sea, in a stormy night. Another nice point for Japanese-English translation is, I like how the translator made some Japanese words easy to understand.

The boy entered and, by the faint light of the windows, soon found his mother’s mark – red rags tied to several bundles, the name “Tomi Kubo” written on them in childish characters (Page 28)

I believe original word for this “childish characters” is “hiragana”. But if it was just written “hiragana”, some people probably wouldn’t understand.

The Sound of Waves (Shiosai)

Yukio Mishima | Translator: Meredith Weatherby

Pages: 183 p

Tuttle Publishing, 2001

Advertisements

Reading Haruki (Part 2)

It was hard for me to talk about Haruki thus I am glad I wrote the reason why I read Haruk in previous post. Actually, the previous post is a preamble, to practice my writing. A friend R asked me if I could write about Haruki on the website where he’s being an editor. I said yes. It is in Indonesian, please feel free to visit :)

haruki 2

Reading Haruki

I always feel a burden when someone asking me about Haruki. I think many people I know, recognize that I read Haruki a lot. But why? Why do I read them? What make his works special? Is he really that good?

P_20180804_205934

The thing is, Haruki came to me just right at the perfect moment. In 2008, my old friend K introduced him to me. I really like K. Without her consent, K is probably one of the most influential person in my life. I won’t be like who I am now without K. She told & taught me many new things, including Haruki. My first Haruki is “Dengarlah Nyanyian Angin”, directly translated from “Hear the Wind Sings” / “Kaze no uta wo kike”. On that year KPG, firstly published it in Indonesian language. I didn’t understand what it’s all about. I was just happy reading it because it’s a new fresh thing, and because K recommended it. For years admitting that I have read the book, I actually don’t remember what the story about until Wind/Pinball republished.

My first job allowed me to have lots of free time. It was in my early twenties, recently graduated, just returned to the hometown in a big city where none of my close friends live (except one high school friend who’s very busy and I am not good in maintaining friendship). I felt lonely. Since I could mobile as much as I would, I visited the Japan Foundation Jakarta very often and found more Haruki in their library. I wasn’t really care what the main theme of Haruki’s works but I could feel about solitude, emptiness, and sadness. Reading Haruki in those days made me feel like that I have friends, that it’s okay to be alone, to feel the lonely pain on my own.

I think Haruki wasn’t as popular as he is now in Indonesia. So when I met an online friend reading Haruki too, I was very surprised and happy. In short time we became friends. We shared same likeness towards many things. We loathed same matters. And most important, she made me back into reading. And since I started to earn money by myself, I also started to buy books, more and more books, and slowly but sure, turned me to tsundoku. Sadly to say, we aren’t close as we were. But l will always remember her kindness and our good memories.

In most articles, two Haruki that are very acknowledged are “Norwegian Wood” and “the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”. I haven’t read the second one, but “Norwegian Wood” is indeed stunning. I avoided this book for about eight years and wanted to make the book as a major journey. All I can say, the persistent time is worth it. Still, my favorites aren’t them. They are “Sputnik Sweetheart” & “After Dark”. Again, it’s not about the story, it is just about the timing. Reason why I love both are because back then I was falling in love *laugh hard*

P_20180804_205916

Ok, the first one is not a love. I happened to meet this guy and we spent time together for few days, with other friends, of course. I read “Sputnik Sweetheart” around that time. He was very nice and gentle -surely as friends, but I knew his care and attention wouldn’t last long because we’d separate soon. He was just like a summer rain. I do notice my feeling towards him was more shallow than Sumire’s to Miu – the character. But once he used to be my Sputnik, he will always be.

“I run the risk of being betrayed.”

My actual love went to another person *laugh*. I was (or am I?) so much deeply in love with someone for such a long time though he doesn’t love me back *laugh hard again*. And not sure why, but everytime I remember him, mostly I remember Haruki’s After Dark. Although neither I nor the story share the same plot & storyline.

“The silence is so deep it hurts our ears.”

“I may not look it, but I can be a very patient guy. And killing time is one of my specialities.”

“And when you come back to Japan next summer, let’s have that date or whatever you want to call it. We can go to the zoo or the botanical garden or the aquarium, and then we’ll have the most politically correct and scrumptious omelets we can find.”

Everyone can find a book (or more) that most relatable to their life. In my case, it belongs to the books of Haruki. In my rushed life, reading Haruki is like taking pills, soothing and making me calm. I can’t wait to have more journeys with him, with the old but unread or new published ones. But maybe, just maybe, through Haruki,  I just want to remember all those memories. I don’t only take books seriously. I feel them sincerely too.

Fifty

Today is August first. One day after Neville Longbottom’s birthday. And I am many books behind schedule of my 2018 Goodreads Challenge. This slow progress most probably because I did spend two months without finishing any book. It wasn’t an accident called “reader’s block”. At that time I just chose not to read. I just decided to do anything else – which I don’t exactly remember what they were, probably watching movies, or crocheting, or just lying on bed.

It is about two months since I’ve changed my major routine activities. To be honest, right at this moment, it sucks, because I really really really like what I was doing. Puty of Byputy then reminded me, indirectly, to remember purposes of things we do. She was talking about her career change, so I am. Why I was so eager to move out and move on, why I was often crying of pain and sadness. It is my choice and I am gonna live with it happily (or at least not too much grumbling). On a different note, recently I’ve gotten some new experiences that I’ve been dreaming about. It feels weird because I thought I never going to do those but now I am. No, not going to the details, maybe one day I might write here.

Back to book talks, these are fifty books I have read by today. Well, you will only see 49 books on pics below, another is one that I can’t talk about it yet (ha!). There are some that I don’t like, but most are quite enjoyable.

12

Although it’s just 4 months left, I am optimistic that I can reach 100 books goal. We’ll see later. How’s your reading progress?