online great books

#64- Transmitting Culture in Mishima’s The Sound of Waves


This week, Scott and Karl read The Sound of Waves, a 1954 novel by the Japanese author Yukio Mishima.

The novel follows Shinji and his romance with Hatsue, the beautiful daughter of the wealthy shipowner, on the island of Uta-Jima (Song Island). It’s a charming coming-of-age story, but as Scott points out, “There’s not a reformer in this book.”

Do you believe it is the obligation of a good and just society to protect the material circumstances in a place?

To this point, Scott adds, “If all the material circumstances in life change from generation to generation, then my experiences are completely irrelevant to my children. I’m unable to transfer my wisdom or my culture to my kids because everything has changed.”

Karl says, “I don’t know you can escape the change of material conditions… that just means you should hold on tighter to the spiritual conditions, the traditions.”

Tune in to hear more about this heartwarming story that will make you think about the way things are, the way they were, and maybe the way things ought to be.

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