The Sound of Waves

by

Yukio Mishima

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Hiroshi Kubo Character Analysis

Hiroshi is Shinji’s younger brother. He is excitable, impetuous, and occasionally a bit greedy. He enjoys stirring up trouble so that he can temporarily get Shinji in trouble and become his mother’s favorite. Hiroshi is a restless spirit who finds his curiosity about the world expanded and deepened after a trip to the cities of Kyoto and Osaka with his classmates—yet in many ways, Hiroshi is deeply naïve. When rumors about Shinji and Hatsue sleeping together out of wedlock begin to spread and Hiroshi’s friends tease him, Hiroshi is confused by what the rumors are exactly about. He wants to be part of the world and participate in life outside of Uta-jima—but even by the end of the novel, he has a lot of growing up to do before he achieves the centered, calm selflessness that Mishima suggests marks someone’s entrance into adulthood.

Hiroshi Kubo Quotes in The Sound of Waves

The The Sound of Waves quotes below are all either spoken by Hiroshi Kubo or refer to Hiroshi Kubo. 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 10 Quotes

The mother took a very tolerant view of young people’s amorous affairs. And even during the diving season, when everyone stood about the drying-fire gossiping, she held her tongue. But when it came to its being her own son's affair that was the subject of malicious gossip, then there was a motherly duty that she would have to perform.

Related Symbols: Pearl Diving
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Sound of Waves PDF

Hiroshi Kubo Character Timeline in The Sound of Waves

The timeline below shows where the character Hiroshi Kubo appears in The Sound of Waves. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...school on time and begin working as a fisherman in order to provide for his brother, Hiroshi, and his widowed mother. As Shinji arrives at the lighthouse, the older couple rejoices... (full context)
Chapter 2
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
...fertile fishing grounds on the open ocean. Last night, when Shinji returned home, his twelve-year-old brother Hiroshi and his widowed mother, who has worked as a pearl diver since her husband... (full context)
Chapter 3
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...the sea [and] the weather.” He asks for the protection of his mother and his brother. Lastly, he asks to become a person worthy of a beautiful bride—someone like Hatsue. As... (full context)
Chapter 5
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Class, Wealth, and Power Theme Icon
On the monthly commemoration of the day of Shinji’s father’s death, Shinji, Hiroshi, and their mother head to the graveyard to visit Shinji’s father’s grave in the early... (full context)
Chapter 6
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Class, Wealth, and Power Theme Icon
...his dreams of working hard, saving money, and buying a lumber freighter that he and Hiroshi can use to get into the shipping business and take care of their mother financially.... (full context)
Chapter 7
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
It is time for Shinji’s brother Hiroshi to embark on his school trip, during which he will tour the Kyoto-Osaka area... (full context)
Chapter 8
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Two days after Hiroshi’s departure, the island of Uta-jima is struck by a roaring storm. Shinji awakes knowing that... (full context)
Chapter 9
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Class, Wealth, and Power Theme Icon
A postcard from Hiroshi arrives. He describes seeing his first-ever movie in a cinema—he and his friends didn’t know... (full context)
Chapter 10
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Hiroshi returns home to the island full of stories about his trip to the city—but as... (full context)
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
...the day. When the waves keep coming into the cave, stronger than ever, one of Hiroshi’s friends, Sochan, suggests the sea-god has sent the waves because of an immorality in their... (full context)
Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
That night, when Hiroshi gets home, he asks his mother what his friend Sochan meant about Shinji and Hatsue... (full context)
Chapter 15
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Class, Wealth, and Power Theme Icon
...of age, the two can have a proper wedding. He even volunteers to take in Hiroshi and Shinji’s mother. (full context)