The Sound of Waves

by

Yukio Mishima

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Hatsue Miyata Character Analysis

Hatsue Miyata is the beautiful, brave, sensitive daughter of Terukichi Miyata, one of the wealthiest men on the small island of Uta-jima. At the beginning of the novel, Terukichi calls Hatsue home years after adopting her out into a pearl-diving family on a neighboring island. Shortly after Hatsue returns home, she catches the eye of the young fisherman Shinji Kubo—and soon finds herself having feelings for the humble and thoughtful young man. When Shinji and Hatsue rendezvous at an abandoned watchtower one stormy day, they kiss, embrace, and exchange gifts and declarations of love—but when Chiyoko, the jealous daughter of the lighthouse-keeper and his wife, sees Shinji and Hatsue walking together, she starts a vicious rumor about them having slept together. Hatsue’s rageful father forbids her from seeing Shinji, threatens to marry her off to the cruel Yasuo Kawamoto, and all but forces her to stay in the house day in and day out. She can only communicate with Shinji through letters, yet she never gives up on her hope that one day they will be able to be together. Hatsue is sensitive and emotional yet never self-absorbed or self-pitying. As a young but talented pearl diver, she is attuned to the rhythms of nature, she is fearless when it comes to dangerous pursuits, and she understands the value of hard work. Ultimately, after Terukichi Miyata devises a test through which Shinji can prove his worth, Terukichi allows Hatsue and Shinji to become engaged. Hatsue and Shinji are grateful to be together at last, and, toward the end of the novel, they announce their intent to be one another’s light in the darkness and each other’s shelter in the storm. Intuitive, graceful, and optimistic, the perceptive and thoughtful Hatsue is in many ways the novel’s beating heart.

Hatsue Miyata Quotes in The Sound of Waves

The The Sound of Waves quotes below are all either spoken by Hatsue Miyata or refer to Hatsue Miyata. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Sound of Waves published in 1994.
Chapter 3 Quotes

“God, let the seas be calm, the fish plentiful, and our village […] prosperous. […] Let me have much knowledge in the ways of the sea, in the ways of fish, in the ways of boats, in the ways of the weather . . . […] Please protect my gentle mother and my brother, who is still a child. […] Then there's a different sort of request I'd like to make. . . . Some day let even such a person as me be granted a good-natured, beautiful bride . . . say someone like Terukichi Miyata's returned daughter. . . .” […]

Shinji looked up at the star-filled sky and breathed deeply. Then he thought:

“But mightn't the gods punish me for such a selfish prayer?”

Related Characters: Shinji Kubo (speaker), Hatsue Miyata, Terukichi Miyata
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

As they walked along, the girl asked him his name and now, for the first time, he introduced himself. But he went on hurriedly to ask that she not mention his name to anyone or say anything about having met him here: Shinji well knew how sharp the villagers’ tongues could be. Hatsue promised not to tell. Thus their well-founded fear of the village’s love of gossip changed what was but an innocent meeting into a thing of secrecy between the two of them.

Related Characters: Shinji Kubo, Hatsue Miyata
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

Their dry, chapped lips touched. There was a slight taste of salt.

“It’s like seaweed,” Shinji thought.

Related Characters: Shinji Kubo (speaker), Hatsue Miyata
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

“What made you so mad?” Shinji asked, looking her full in the face.

“All that talk about you and Chiyoko-san.”

“Stupid!”

“Then there’s nothing to it?”

“There’s nothing to it.”

Related Characters: Shinji Kubo (speaker), Hatsue Miyata (speaker), Chiyoko
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:

“I’ll do my best to help make life on our island the most peaceful there is anywhere . . . the happiest there is anywhere. . . . Because if we don’t do that, everybody will start forgetting the island and quit wanting to come back. No matter how much times change, very bad things—very bad ways—will always disappear before they get to our island. . . . The sea—it only brings the good and right things that the island needs . . . and keeps the good and right things we already have here. . . .”

Related Characters: Shinji Kubo (speaker), Hatsue Miyata
Page Number: 53
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

“What would make you quit being ashamed?”

To this the girl gave a truly naive answer, though a startling one: “If you took your clothes off too, then I wouldn't be ashamed.”

Related Characters: Shinji Kubo (speaker), Hatsue Miyata (speaker)
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

All the time the luminous watch of which Yasuo was so proud, strapped above the hand with which he was holding onto the branch of the beech tree, was giving off its phosphorescent glow, faintly but distinctly ticking away the seconds. This aroused a swarm of hornets in the nest fastened to this same branch and greatly excited their curiosity.

Related Characters: Yasuo Kawamoto, Hatsue Miyata
Related Symbols: Hornets
Page Number: 89-90
Explanation and Analysis:

After a moment Yasuo glanced back and saw that Hatsue had come down from the grove without his knowing it and was following along about two yards behind him. She did not so much as smile. When she saw him stop walking, she stopped too, and when he started on down the steps again, she started too.

Related Characters: Yasuo Kawamoto, Hatsue Miyata
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

“It’s all because I'm poor,” Shinji said.

He was usually not one to let such querulous words pass his lips. And he felt tears of shame springing in his eyes, not because he was poor, but because he had been weak enough to give voice to such a complaint.

Related Characters: Shinji Kubo (speaker), Hatsue Miyata
Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:

“I know exactly what you two are thinking. You’re planning to give Yasuo a beating. But you listen to me—that won't do a bit of good. A fool’s a fool, so just leave him alone. Guess it’s hard for Shinji, but patience is the main thing. That’s what it takes to catch a fish.”

Related Characters: Jukichi Oyama (speaker), Shinji Kubo, Ryuji, Yasuo Kawamoto, Hatsue Miyata
Page Number: 114
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

Double suicide then? Even on this island there had been lovers who took that solution. But the boy’s good sense repudiated the thought, and he told himself that those others had been selfish persons who thought only of themselves. Never once had he thought about such a thing as dying; and, above all, there was his family to support.

Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

Hatsue got to her feet in silence and went around the rock to receive her 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.” […]

The mother's simple, straightforward heart had immediately understood the modesty and respect behind the girl’s gesture. Hatsue smiled, and Shinji's mother told herself how wise her son had been in his choice of a bride.

Related Characters: Shinji’s Mother (speaker), Hatsue Miyata (speaker), Shinji Kubo
Related Symbols: Pearl Diving
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 16 Quotes

Nature too again smiled on them. When they reached the top they turned around and looked out over the Gulf of Ise. The night sky was filled with stars and, as for clouds, there was only a low bank stretching across the horizon in the direction of the Chita Peninsula, through which soundless lightning ran from time to time. Nor was the sound of the waves strong, but coming regularly and peacefully, as though the sea were breathing in healthy slumber.

Related Characters: Shinji Kubo, Hatsue Miyata
Page Number: 177
Explanation and Analysis:

Out in front of them stretched the unfathomable darkness, where the beam from the lighthouse was making its vast, regular sweeps. […] Shinji […] was lost in thought. He was thinking that in spite of all they’d been through, here they were in the end, free within the moral code to which they had been born, never once having been estranged from the providence of the gods . . . that, in short, it was this little island, enfolded in darkness, that had protected their happiness and brought their love to this fulfillment.. . .

Related Characters: Shinji Kubo, Hatsue Miyata
Page Number: 182
Explanation and Analysis:

Hatsue touched the picture lightly with her own hand and then returned it. Her eyes were full of pride. She was thinking it was her picture that had protected Shinji. But at this moment Shinji lifted his eyebrows. He knew it had been his own strength that had tided him through that perilous night.

Related Characters: Hatsue Miyata, Shinji Kubo
Page Number: 183
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Sound of Waves LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Sound of Waves PDF

Hatsue Miyata Character Timeline in The Sound of Waves

The timeline below shows where the character Hatsue Miyata appears in The Sound of Waves. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Class, Wealth, and Power Theme Icon
Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
...the other men think about Terukichi Miyata—whom he calls “old Uncle Teru”—bringing his youngest daughter, Hatsue, back to the island. Years ago, Teru had adopted her out to a family of... (full context)
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Class, Wealth, and Power Theme Icon
As Shinji thinks more about the prospect of courting Hatsue, however, he begins to feel down on himself for “his own poor condition in life”—Terukichi... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...to the other young men talk and joke. When one of them mentions the name Hatsue, Shinji cannot help but blush and startle. (full context)
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Class, Wealth, and Power Theme Icon
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...him Yasuo is on his way to a party given by Terukichi Miyata to celebrate Hatsue’s homecoming. (full context)
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...his brother. Lastly, he asks to become a person worthy of a beautiful bride—someone like Hatsue. As a wind rises, Shinji wonders if the sea-god has accepted his prayer—or whether he... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Coming of Age Theme Icon
Shinji heads upstairs to the roof, where he finds Hatsue alone and sobbing in the wind. Shinji asks Hatsue why she is crying. She tells... (full context)
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Hatsue suggests they head out. Shinji notices a black smudge on her sweater. As he stares... (full context)
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On the way back down the mountain, Hatsue at last asks Shinji’s name. The two introduce themselves to one another, though Shinji already... (full context)
Chapter 5
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In the days that follow his meeting with Hatsue, Shinji transforms from a peaceful, contented young man into a brooding, sad one. He feels... (full context)
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...the Taihei-maru, Shinji hears someone on the docks gossiping: it’s rumored that Yasuo Kawamoto and Hatsue are going to be married. Distressed by the news, Shinji spends the day on the... (full context)
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
...women helping to push the boat onto land. As he gets closer, he sees that Hatsue is among the women pushing. The strong Shinji grabs a rope and pulls while the... (full context)
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
...door and asks for Shinji. Shinji’s mother tells her that Shinji went out again. The girl—Hatsue—hands Shinji’s mother Shinji’s pay envelope with his name on it. Shinji’s mother urges Hatsue to... (full context)
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
On the dark beach, Hatsue finds Shinji bent over, combing through the sand. She approaches him and tells him that... (full context)
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As the two break apart, Shinji tells Hatsue that he plans to bring some fish to the lighthouse-keeper’s place tomorrow when he is... (full context)
Chapter 6
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...the waves. He slowly makes his way toward the lighthouse, excited yet nervous about meeting Hatsue there. (full context)
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
The lighthouse-keeper and his wife have taken Hatsue into their hearts as if she were their own child. They do have a daughter... (full context)
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Hatsue arrives at the lighthouse with a gift of sea cucumbers, even though no etiquette lesson... (full context)
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Shinji decides to wait for Hatsue along the path down to the village from the lighthouse. He stares into the sea... (full context)
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As Shinji walks Hatsue back to the village, he tells her about his dreams of working hard, saving money,... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
...back, Chiyoko asks Yasuo what news there is on the island. He tells her about Hatsue’s return—and her beauty. Yasuo boasts that he will likely be picked out of all the... (full context)
Chapter 8
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
...a black sweater full of holes. Later today, he is going to meet up with Hatsue in secret. (full context)
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
...sea and feels salt spray on his face, he is reminded of the taste of Hatsue’s lips. A wave washes a beautiful pink shell up near Shinji’s feet. He picks it... (full context)
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
...through the storm up the mountain and toward the abandoned observation tower where he and Hatsue met before, when she was lost on her way to the lighthouse. At the highest... (full context)
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
...and her clothes. Shinji wonders if he is dreaming—but then he recognizes the girl as Hatsue. He decides to pretend to be asleep so that he can watch her a while... (full context)
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Shinji blinks. Hatsue notices the movement. She screams out for him to shut his eyes, and, though he... (full context)
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
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Coming of Age Theme Icon
As the storm intensifies, Shinji and Hatsue leap toward one another and embrace. They sink to the floor by the fire and... (full context)
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When it is time for Shinji and Hatsue to head home, they walk the easiest path down the mountain—the path takes them directly... (full context)
Chapter 9
Class, Wealth, and Power Theme Icon
Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
...to Shinji—Chiyoko went to see Yasuo. She told Yasuo that she had seen Shinji and Hatsue coming down the mountain, clinging to one another and in various states of undress. Now,... (full context)
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
...Shinji—and purposefully ignoring him—Yasuo hurries home, where he obsesses about how Shinji managed to bed Hatsue. His animosity toward Shinji keeps him awake until it is time to sneak out of... (full context)
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Hatsue greets Yasuo defensively but politely. Yasuo says he has been waiting to give her a... (full context)
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Yasuo wrestles Hatsue to the ground. Hatsue spits in Yasuo’s face—but this only arouses him more. As he... (full context)
Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
Yasuo drives the hornet away and begins calling out for Hatsue. He promises he won’t do anything bad to her. As he approaches the stand of... (full context)
Chapter 10
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
...immorality in their midst—he says that the god is angry about what Shinji did to Hatsue by sleeping with her. Hiroshi hits Sochan and the two begin fighting until their friend... (full context)
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...Hiroshi gets home, he asks his mother what his friend Sochan meant about Shinji and Hatsue sleeping together. Shinji is not yet home from work. Hiroshi’s mother urges him not to... (full context)
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...he overhears a nearby pair of young fisherman—who have not noticed his arrival—talking about how Hatsue is a “cracked pitcher” due to Shinji’s dastardly machinations. Terukichi gets out of the bath,... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...a piece of paper. He tells Shinji that earlier, when he passed the Miyata household, Hatsue came outside and gave him the note—it is for Shinji. Shinji takes the note and... (full context)
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
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Shinji is relieved to know that Hatsue still cares so deeply for him. He grows lost in thoughts of love as Ryuji... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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Ryuji volunteers to pick up Hatsue’s letters each morning, and soon, the letters are the principal topic of conversation between the... (full context)
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The news that Terukichi has forbidden Hatsue to see Shinji reaches the lighthouse that evening. Chiyoko, overhearing the gossip, is immediately overcome... (full context)
Chapter 12
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
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...nearing its end already, yet Shinji still has not found a way to meet with Hatsue. Sometimes, Shinji wanders the neighborhood around her house at night, and sometimes he is able... (full context)
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
...was just so happy and calm as to be exceptional. The next morning, Ryuji delivers Hatsue’s daily letter to Shinji, and Shinji is excited to find that within it she talks... (full context)
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...proud in spite of her plain appearance. Inside the house, Shinji’s mother announces her presence. Hatsue excitedly flies into the room to greet her. Shinji’s mother asks Hatsue if Hatsue will... (full context)
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A moment later, Hatsue returns and sheepishly announces that her father will not see Shinji’s mother. Shinji’s mother, enraged,... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
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...the truth, she learns that Shinji already knew all about the encounter from one of Hatsue’s letters. Shinji, too, feels angry and humiliated that Terukichi turned his mother away. He begins... (full context)
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Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
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One day, Ryuji brings Shinji a letter from Hatsue that tells of her father’s impending visit from some prefectural officials. Hatsue knows that whenever... (full context)
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
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...coming toward the shrine. He resists the urge to run down the steps to meet Hatsue. Just then, he hears a rageful voice call Hatsue’s name. Shinji sees Terukichi come out... (full context)
Chapter 13
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...which are the most youthful-looking among the women of her age—but she must admit that Hatsue’s breasts are the most beautiful. What’s more is that upon seeing Hatsue’s breasts for the... (full context)
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Shinji’s mother and Hatsue immediately enter the contest along with six other women. They take a boat out to... (full context)
Chapter 14
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The rainy season brings Shinji nothing but boredom. Hatsue’s letters have stopped since the incident at the Yashiro Shrine. Shinji is surprised, then, when... (full context)
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...departure, Shinji and Yasuo board the ferry to the mainland. At the docks, Shinji sees Hatsue whisper something to his mother, then hand her a small package. Shinji’s mother approaches him... (full context)
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...about being adopted into the Miyata family, Shinji asks if Yasuo has a picture of Hatsue. Yasuo says he does, but Shinji can tell he is lying. Yasuo asks if Shinji... (full context)
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...waist and swim for the buoy. As he leaps into the sea, he realizes that Hatsue’s picture is in his raincoat. (full context)
Chapter 15
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...last she replies, writing down the truth of the rumor she began about Shinji and Hatsue earlier in the year. She says she is tormented by guilt and refuses to return... (full context)
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...she stops and quietly asks Shinji’s mother if there is any news where Shinji and Hatsue are concerned. Shinji’s mother says that while Shinji and Hatsue are in love, Hatsue’s father... (full context)
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...mother, enter the sitting-room. The lighthouse-keeper’s wife says she wants to talk to Teruichi about Hatsue and Shinji. Terukichi cuts her off—he says he has already chosen Shinji to be Hatsue’s... (full context)
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...continues explaining himself to the shocked women. He admits that after he stopped Shinji and Hatsue from seeing each other, Hatsue became so depressed that he engineered a test to see... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...can now visit the Miyata house openly. He arrives one night after fishing to collect Hatsue—they are going to visit the Yashiro Shrine and then the lighthouse to announce their engagement... (full context)
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...to announce their presence. The lighthouse-keeper’s wife opens the door and excitedly invites Shinji and Hatsue in. She happily tells them that Chiyoko is returning home tomorrow at long last. Shinji,... (full context)
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At the top, the lighthouse-keeper leaves Shinji and Hatsue alone so that they can enjoy the beauty of the rotating beacon. Though darkness stretches... (full context)