‘who on earth is kazuo ishiguro?’ asks japan
TOKYO: Minutes after Japanese-born Briton Kazuo Ishiguro was announced as the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature, the Japanese took to Twitter to ask: “Who (the heck) is Kazuo Ishiguro?” For those who had never heard of the author of The Remains of the Day and other award-winning novels, the name that flashed across smartphones and TV screens was puzzling - it was undoubtedly Japanese-sounding, but written in the local script reserved for foreign names and words. But by Friday morning, the nation was celebrating the 62-year-old British transplant, who writes exclusively in English, as one of its own, seizing on his own declaration of an emotional and cultural connection to Japan, which he left at age five. “I’ve always said throughout my career that although I’ve grown up in this country (Britain) ... that a large part of my way of looking at the world, my artistic approach, is Japanese, because I was brought up by Japanese parents, speaking in Japanese,” Ishiguro said on Thursday. Japanese newspapers carried his Nobel win as front-page news, describing him as a Nagasaki native who had obtained British citizenship as an adult. Japanese may yet yearn for an elusive Nobel for Murakami, but for now, Ishiguro is their man of the hour.