The boy was only eighteen, having finished high school just last year. He was tall and well-built beyond his years, and only his face revealed his youthfulness. Skin can be burned no darker by the sun than he was burned. He had the well-shaped nose characteristic of the people of his island, and his lips were cracked and chapped. His dark eyes were exceedingly clear, but their clarity was not that of intellectuality – it was a gift that the sea bestows upon those who make their livelihood upon it; as a matter of fact, he had made notably bad grades in school. He was still wearing the same clothes he fished in each day – a pair of trousers inherited from his dead father and a cheap jumper. PAGE 6Shinji… … FIRST
But the vast ocean stretched away from the prow, where he was standing, and gradually the sight of it filled his body with the energy of familiar, day-to-day toil, and without realizing it he felt at peace again. P. 13 Shinji did not especially burn with impossible dreams of great adventure across the sea. His fisherman’s conception of the sea was close to that of the farmer for his land. The sea was the place where he earned his living, a rippling field where, instead of waving heads of rice or wheat, the white and formless harvest of waves was forever swaying above the unrelieved blueness of a sensitive and yielding soil… P. 19Shinji… … and NATURE
He heard the sound of the waves striking the shore, and it was as though the surging of his young blood was keeping time with the movement of the sea’s great tides. P. 45 When he could no longer bear the thought of waiting, Shinji… went down to meet the sea. It seemed to him that only the sea would be kind enough to answer his wordless conversation.’ Pp. 66-67 He was not defying the storm; instead, in exactly the same way that he felt a quiet happiness when surrounded by the quietness of nature, his feelings now were in complete concord with nature’s present fury. P. 69Shinji… … and NATURE
The wind was bitterly cold, but while he pulled the first rope towards the pulley Shinji stared out over the dark-indigo sea and felt boiling up within him energy for the toil that would soon have him sweating. P. 15Shinji… … and WORK
… he realised how rude his inspection had been. The thought filled his cheeks with shame. (P. 8) “But mightn’t the Gods punish me for such a selfish prayer?” P. 25 The boy moved away and stood up, propelled by a feeling of guilt at this first experience in his life.’ P. 42 AS he helped Hatsue up, the boy remembered with shame how he had lain in wait for her a while ago… P. 52Shinji… … and
The honest boy immediately clamped his eyes tightly shut. Now that he thought about it, it had certainly been wrong of him to pretend to be still sleeping… But then, was it his fault that he had waked up when he did? Taking courage from this just and fair reasoning, for a second time he opened wide his black, beautiful eyes. P. 73 … his thoughts turned so ardently upon the girl opposite him that for the moment his body had completely lost its sense of shame. P. 75Shinji… … and
As for the mother, ever since the last year of the war, when her husband had been killed in a strafing attack, until Shinji had become old enough to go to work, she had supported the family all alone on her earnings as a diving woman. Pp. 11-12 Even such recollections as these could not dent her natural cheerfulness; she felt boastful about her own good health, and the storm outside quickened her feeling of well-being, just as it had her son’s. P. 69Shinji… … and FAMILY
At the mere sound of the name his cheeks flushed and his heart pounded. It was a strange feeling to sit thee motionless and feel within himself these physical changes that, until now, he had experienced only during heavy labour. P. 22 … he became tormented with unrest and lost in thought, falling prey to the feeling that there was nothing about him that could possibly appeal to Hatsue. P. 33 He smiled, his white teeth flashing handsomely in the darkness. The girl had come in a hurry and her breasts were rising and falling rapidly. Shinji was reminded of opulent dark-blue waves on the open sea. All the day’s torment disappeared, and his spirits revived within him. P. 41Shinji… … and LOVE
The sharp, fresh saltiness ran down his flushed cheeks, down the lines of his nose, and Shinji recalled the taste of Hatsue’s lips. P. 67 … he could not understand why, just because she was naked, a barrier should have risen between them, making difficult everyday civilities, the matter-of-course familiarities. P. 74Shinji… … and LOVE
… when the day’s fishing was almost done, the sight of a white freighter sailing against the evening clouds on the horizon filled the boy’s heart with strange emotions. From far away the world came pressing in upon him with a hugeness he had never before apprehended. The realization of this unknown world came to him like distant thunder… P. 19 He put the palm of his hand against his cheek to feel it. The hot flesh felt like that of some complete stranger. It was a blow to his pride to realize the existence of things within himself that he had never so much as suspected, and rising anger made his cheeks even more flaming hot. P. 22Shinji… … and CHANGE
…the boy could have closed his eyes, and his feet would still have picked their way unerringly among the rocks and exposed pine roots. Even now when he was deep in his own thoughts, he did not once stumble. Pp. 6-7 Shinji had always been very level-headed. He had realised that he was still only eighteen and that it was too soon to be thinking about women. Unlike the environment of city youths, always exploding with thrills, Uta-Jima had not a single pin-ball parlour, not a single bar, not a single waitress. And the boy’s simple daydream was only to own his own engine-powered boat some day and go into the coastal-shipping business with his younger brother. Pp. 18-19 City youths learn the ways of love early from novels, movies and the like, but on Uta-Jima there were practically no models to follow… Shinji had not the slightest idea what he should have done during those precious minutes between the observation tower and the lighthouse. P. 34Shinji… … and UTA-JIMA
I’ll never forget our island… 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… That’s why there’s not a thief on the whole island – nothing but brave, manly people – people who always have the will to work truly and well and put up with whatever comes – people whose love is never double-faced – people with nothing mean about them anywhere… P. 53Shinji… … and UTA-JIMA
Her forehead was moist with sweat and her cheeks glowed. A cold west wind was blowing briskly, but the girl seemed to enjoy it, turning her work-flushed face into the wind and letting her hair steam out behind her. She was wearing a sleeveless, cotton-padded jacket, women’s work-pants gathered at the ankles, and a pair of soiled work-gloves. The healthy color of her skin was no different from that of the other island girls, but there was something refreshing about the cast of her eyes, something serene about her eyebrows. The girl’s eyes were turned intently toward the sky over the sea to the west. Pp. 7-8Hatsue… FIRST
… the idea that she was undressing in front of a man had never crossed her mind.Pp. 72-73Hatsue… … and LOVE
“It’s bad. It’s bad!... It’s bad for a girl to do that before she’s married.” P.77Shinji… … and
In their boat it was the master who knew the art of octopus fishing; all Shinki and the other boy, Ryuji, had to do was lend their strong bodies willingly to the heavy labour involved…. He was a man who seldom laughed, but was always in calm good spirits, and even the loud voice he used when giving commands on the boat was never raised in anger. When fishing he seldom left his place on the sculling platform at the stern, only occasionally taking one hand off the oar to regulate the engine. P. 15Jukichi Oyama FATHER FIGURE?
Although only nineteen, Yasuo was the son of a leading family in the village and possessed the power to make others follow him. Young as he was, he already knew the secret of giving himself importance… he was quite fat and had inherited a red complexion from his tippling father. His face was naïve enough in appearance, but there was a crafty look about his thin eyebrows. He spoke glibly, without any trace of the local dialect… P. 22Yasuo Kawamoto FIRST
He took great pride in showing this girl from a Tokyo University how well he could speak, with out any trace of island dialect. P. 59 … on straight-laced Uta-jima he had to keep his mouth shut. Young as he was, he had already learned to play the hypocrite.Yasuo Kawamoto FOIL TO SHINJI
Yasuo very much wanted to drop a hint about how he had slipped off and bought himself a piece last night… P. 60Yasuo Kawamoto… …and love
This unsociable girl, returning to the island after a long absence, disliked having the islanders greet and speak to her. Chiyoko never wore a trace of make-up and her face was made all the more inconspicuous by the plain, dark-brown suit she was wearing. There was something about the cheerful, slapdash way her dingy features were thrown together that might have appealed to some. But she always wore a gloomy expression and, in her constantly perverse way, insistes upon thinking of herself as unattractive. P. 58Chiyoko FIRST
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