The Sound of Waves

The Sound of Waves and Post World War 2 Japan 12th Grade

In The Sound of Waves, Yukio Mishima conveys the loss of traditional values in Japan due to Westernization in after the Second World War. Through powerful symbols and juxtaposition, Mishima effectively expresses his anger towards the devastating effects of the war, such as a corrupted society, on Japan. With this novel Mishima sends a message that “the old way is the right way.” In times of oppression and hardship, Mishima was still able to portray these difficulties, like the loss of culture, which gives the work great significance.

The Second World War transformed Japan economically and socially; furthermore, it significantly influenced the way the writers began to write (Japanese history: Postwar (1945)). After the war Japanese writers began to write with darker connotations. Many writers included themes of disaffection and defeat in their works; writers had to face “moral and intellectual issues in their attempts to raise social and political consciousness” (Japanese Post-war literature). Nonetheless, Mishima’s writing did not resemble these author’s styles. “Yukio Mishima” is an alias for Kimitake Hiraoka, Mishima changed his name in order to hide from his father (Belsky), he oppressed Mishima’s ideas, even before the war...

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