The Sound of Waves is a simple, lyrical love story, set on the island of Uta-Jima, which has "about fourteen hundred inhabitants and a coastline of something under three miles". The protagonists and a few other characters are nicely rendered, but Mishima devotes just as much attention to the island, giving such detailed descriptions of locations that one could almost paint or map them. And various scenes depict the daily life of the islanders: fishermen catching octopus, a pedlar selling wares to women diving for abalone, fetching water from a spring, men relaxing in a bath-house, meetings of the Young Men's Association, and so forth. This is romanticised — the women are attractive and the men strong and virile, while the perils of diving and the deprivations of poverty are passed over quickly — but fascinating just the same.
With its classical simplicity and unpretentious charm, The Sound of Waves is an entrancing tale.