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Mishima's The Sound of Waves
retold in drawings and words by the Advanced Placement English Class at  Haddonfield  Memorial High School
June 2003

Teacher:
Ms. Marilyn Lee-Mauger 


Web Designer:
Ms. Debra Licorish

Thanks to:
Mr. Ted Cook 
for serving as consultant to the student artists.

The Fulbright Memorial Fund (FMF) Program 
Teacher Marilyn Lee-Mauger, an FMF participant in the fall of 2001,  visited the fishing towns along the Noto Peninsula on the Sea of Japan as part of the FMF Program.

  The National Consortium for Teaching Asia (NCTA) 
Lee-Mauger attended an East Asian Seminar sponsored by the National Consortium for Teaching Asia during the winter/spring of 2003.

 

Yukio Mishima’s The Sound of Waves, his first novel translated in the United States, was published in Japan in 1954.  We selected this novel in part for its setting by the sea, reminiscent of the fishing communities along the Noto Peninsula, and for its depiction of traditional Japanese life on a remote island, one less influenced by the West.  

Our version of The Sound of Waves is inspired by traditional Japanese storytelling called kamishibai.  In this folk art, popular especially during the 1920’s to  1950’s, candy sellers on bicycles roamed the countryside of Japan, entertaining children with folktales on colorful cardboard illustrations.  

The Sound of Waves is easily adaptable to this format, since the novel itself is a kind of folktale: the story of young love in a fishing village on the fictional island of Uta-Jima off the coast of central Japan.  Shinji, a poor fisherman, loves a shipowner's daughter, Hatsue, and must overcome obstacles to win her.  Although a simple plot,  Mishima's lyrical descriptions equate this timeless story of love to the eternal motion of the sea.

 Although we can’t provide the candy these traditional storytellers offer children in Japan, we do invite you to enjoy our version of  Mishima’s tale and to learn more about Japanese culture through links to student research that accompany our student illustrations.

Class Project Procedures: Lesson Plan for Teachers

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