The Sound of Waves

by

Yukio Mishima

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The lighthouse-keeper operates the lone lighthouse on the island of Uta-jima. A quiet and thoughtful man who is deeply dedicated to his wife and his daughter, Chiyoko, he has a curious and tender soul and he takes his work very seriously. The lighthouse-keeper finds great purpose in his job, and, toward the end of the novel, as he gives the young lovers Shinji and Hatsue a tour of the watchtower and the beacon, he helps them to see that just as the lighthouse provides a light in the darkness for the island itself, so too can love and devotion provide a warm and guiding light in the darkness of life.
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The Lighthouse-keeper Character Timeline in The Sound of Waves

The timeline below shows where the character The Lighthouse-keeper 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
...On many nights, he brings fish to the lighthouse, because he is indebted to the lighthouse-keeper and his wife. They helped pull some strings so that Shinji could graduate from school... (full context)
Chapter 5
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
...two break apart, Shinji tells Hatsue that he plans to bring some fish to the lighthouse-keeper’s place tomorrow when he is done fishing. Hatsue says she, too, will be at the... (full context)
Chapter 6
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... (full context)
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
...cucumbers, even though no etiquette lesson is scheduled for the day. She visits with the lighthouse-keeper’s wife, who, much to Hatsue’s embarrassment, asks Hatsue about her romantic life. To change the... (full context)
Chapter 15
Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
The lighthouse-keeper and his wife, meanwhile, grow fretful when Chiyoko refuses to return to the island for... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
On the way to Terukichi’s, the lighthouse-keeper’s wife spies Shinji’s mother doing laundry in the stream with some other diving women. Realizing... (full context)
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Class, Wealth, and Power Theme Icon
At the Miyata home, the lighthouse-keeper’s wife enters and finds Terukichi already descending the stairs. He greets her happily and asks... (full context)
Chapter 16
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...Yashiro Shrine and then the lighthouse to announce their engagement and give thanks to the lighthouse-keeper’s wife. At the shrine, as Shinji and Hatsue stoop to pray, he realizes that he... (full context)
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Gossip and Rumor Theme Icon
At the lighthouse, Shinji calls out to announce their presence. The lighthouse-keeper’s wife opens the door and excitedly invites Shinji and Hatsue in. She happily tells them... (full context)
Lessons from Nature Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Devotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
At the top, the lighthouse-keeper leaves Shinji and Hatsue alone so that they can enjoy the beauty of the rotating... (full context)