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Nagasaki rejoices over Ishiguro's winning Nobel Prize in literature


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This is kind of overblown since he was only there til 5. All his education is British. He's British. If Japan only had dual citizenship

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Who cares really ? I'm not impressed after hearing his lack of understanding of Kawabata (for not having writing stories with big plots or whatever, which is truly ignorant) but that non withstanding here are many worse things to get excited about. The media isn't making Ishiguro out to be Japanese in the news case I saw, the facts of his birth and life were in the first sentence of the presentation.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Isn't he technically British?

17 ( +18 / -1 )

My uncle told me that he once had a friend who knew someone whose dog chewed up one of Ishiguro's novels…. I'm SO glad to have a connection with such an esteemed author… (^_-)

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Ishiguro is a brilliant writer, totally deserving of the Nobel Prize. My personal favourite is The Unconsoled; reading that book for the first time was the greatest reading experience of my life. Hats off to Mr.Ishiguro and his unreliable narrators!

10 ( +11 / -1 )


He happily seems to be British, all the non-Japanese outlets say "Brit won award".

This is an odd claim of a "win" for Japan I think.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He got the a Nobel price, not Japan, nor UK.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

My local Japanese paper here was full of it, but hidden away deep in the bottom paragraph was a single line on how his name would look in Japanese, 石黒一雄.

Anyway, a great day for all, and a story for the good children of Nagasaki for years to come.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What's wrong with his city of birth celebrating his prize? What does Ishiguro say about his Japanese-ness?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Yes, he's British, but he was born in Nagasaki and lived there until he was 5 years old so of course people in Nagasaki would celebrate this connection.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I didn’t know that thoughtfulness was a Japanese trait.

He didn't say "thoughtfulness was a Japanese trait".  He said "important Japanese traits, such as thoughtfulness for others", which means Japanese traits includes thoughtfulness ( no mention about other people who may or may not have thoughtfulness).

-10 ( +5 / -15 )


Nothing wrong with it at all, just clearly shows some of the issues and clear disconnects about what citizenship is, what makes someone of a place and so on.

Japan fiercely protects its.. mono culture, by blood, to what might be to its ultimate demise.

I'm not actually sure of his citizenship but seems likely it has been changed.

If Japan celebrated its residents of all heritage like Britain has in this case no-one would have anything to say but that just isn't the case.

Im sure he is a wonderful writer and I might check some of it out now, but given he hasn't lived here since he was 5 I have almost certainly contributed far more financially to Japan than him, the goings on of this country legally and politically have far more effect on me, yet even if I lived here forever, even if I changed my citizenship to Japanese I would never ever be seen as part of Japan if current attitudes continue.

He said he would like to reconnect maybe write some material to be used in Anime and Manga... he said, which I like, that there is no two thirds this that or the other, that the Japanese influence is there as part of his whole makeup.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Ishiguro says 日本はもう一つの古里, "Japan is another hometown" (in todays Mainichi Shinbun). So Ishiguro himself says he has a connection to Japan connection. It is not just about nationality. And one of his early works was about the aftermath of the bombing of Nagasaki.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Same as I said yesterday: “He’s a great writer. I've read both Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go and loved them both. Very sad, and touching. I'm not sure why Japanese are so proud, though -- the guy is British, and has been since he was six. In fact, most Japanese I know whom I've mentioned him to (and I didn't know he was British at first when I started reading him; I thought it was a translation) don't even know who he is, and those who did twisted their noses and said he's not Japanese.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yeah... the previous article mentioned a Brit had won the award and then mentioned he was born in Japan... no problem with that considering the Japanese name and it clears that side of it up. This article though... not really right for Japan to claim him as one of their own. I can understand the excitement from his former kindergarten teacher... I think anybody would be at least a little excited to have known a Nobel prize winner personally.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Everyone has to come from somewhere and that is not even their choice. Kazuo happens to have come from Nagasaki.

People from particular places spend a life time explaining it all to people. Ishiguro has probably spent a life time in Britain explaining that, and also even explaining his own name.

I believe that he never really grew up with Japanese language either, and from 1959 now that is quite a long time to be out of, well, Nagasaki.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

In speaking with the Mainichi, "To me, Japan is a foreign country, but emotionally it's a special country, it's another mother land."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe a day will come when the great and the good endowed with truly inspirational abilities will be celebrated for their proficiency and accomplishments, irrespective of citizenship.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

It seems that Japanese are glad Ishiguro is ethnically 100% pure Japanese got such a Prize , but of course his national is now UK.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Who cares what nationality he is? I'm a Brit and don't feel any sense of pride because someone from my home country won a Nobel Prize. I'm just glad that I could read some of his books in the language this great writer used.

He wrote those excellent books. I had absolutely nothing to do with it. Petty crap about claiming him is irritating.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Congratulations to him - well deserved!

I am British too. I was not born in the country of my ancestors, but I was raised in a household where we spoke its language, ate its cuisine and celebrated its special cultural events, was sent to a Saturday school and summer camps that taught its language, history, and traditions. I feel a a strong connection and am proud to have a dual heritage. Of course Ishiguro feels a connection to Japan - and let's face it, people in the UK, with their hostility to the Japanese post-WW2 (which remains to some extent), won't have let him forget it.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

"Nationality" and "ethnicity" are both silly human constructions, so both points are moot. He was born in Nagasaki so obviously those who were born in the same area would be proud, while Brits would also be proud to claim him as their own coming through their education system

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The bookstore employee in the photo accompanying the article was featured on the TV news as well. Ishiguro seems to have inadvertently made her famous, even if only for the proverbial 15 minutes.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In the pic, Murakami's work is below on the bookshelf. J-believers are going to bemoan him being snaked again by the Nobellers. Oh well, time for him to go back to writing about sleeping cats and sleeping girls and sleeping catgirls.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Used to get annoyed with ppl/countries claiming others achievements as theirs but reckon there are often valid or at least understandable reasons for these OTT reactions.

In this case, I think Nagasaki locals are genuinely happy/proud that 'one of them' won such prize, they aren't bragging about it as such.

Then you have the OTT media reaction (which is imo more annoying). My 2 cents; fairly isolated and/or smallish countries (often islands btw) crave recognition and accolades on the international stage and often over-celebrate/react when one of them wins something or is simply 'acknowledged' on the international scene. You get these "see, someone in NY or London talked about us and said we were great etc " in the media which are more or less feel good stories to make locals feel they really are part of big boys world i.e North Am & Europe, "see, they know 'we' exist". I think it's just human nature.

What was priceless (in a funny way) last night was that all J media & Murakami supporters almost instantly jumped on the Ishiguro bandwagon i.e "and the winner is....huh?! that's a J name...polite clapping then smiles then 'yattaaaaa' next thing the bloke is all over the news & is everyone's favourite writer, love it!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Isn't he technically British? brought up in the British culture his work is in English, speaks English fluently, gave up his Japanese nationality for British, He isnt technically British, he is British. I doubt his Japanese ancestry had anything to do with him winning a Nobel prize. Its the culture of a country is what defines a person , not the location they were born in. Next they'll be saying Obama is Kenyan

7 ( +8 / -1 )

His works won the Nobell price?

His born and adopted nations didn't factor in the decision.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I wish the BBC would stop calling him Ishiguru.

btw, congratulations, Kazuo.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

And yes, he is british. He is NOT Japanese

Ishiguro is Japanese ethnically and his nationality is Britain.

Donald Keene is an American who used to be a Columbia University professor, but he immigrated to Japan years ago. Is he a Japanese? Nobody thinks so. His nationality is Japan but he is still American.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

There was similar 'claiming' going on when Fujimori became President in Peru. 'A Japanese, the President of a nation'. It was wild, nothing else on TV for a good while. He head even less of a connection to Japan, so I'm not surprised.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Readers, this ends discussion on Ishiguro's citizenship. It is not to relevant to this story.

Except for may be science, nobel prize is all but a political tool, so what literary qualities were lacking in other candidates which Kazuo Ishiguro possessed in abundance..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just glad it wasn't Murakami.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

To all cinics and haters here, and everywhere: the topic is about Nagasaky enjoying the fact one if his son's getting the Nobel Prize!

Firts of all, Ishiguro is a good writer - that's whay he took that prize.

Second - it happens to be born in Nagasaki, Japan!

Third - he lives in England

Fourth - both Japan and England (and not only...) are happy and they express their happiness about this.

So, what is wrong with that, people?!

Just live your life and make it happy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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