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Newsdesk > Kazuo Ishiguro Wins Nobel Prize for Literature

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message 1: by Reera, Bookmaster (new)

Reera | 258 comments Mod
Wow, congratulations to Kazuo Ishiguro for this tremendous milestone! We'll have to read one of his books for book club soon. Though, it'll be difficult to pick which one. :)

Japanese British Author Kazuo Ishiguro Wins 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-41513246

[Ishiguro] was praised by the Swedish Academy as a writer "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world."

His most famous novels The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go were adapted into highly acclaimed films. He was made an OBE in 1995.

...

When contacted by the BBC, he admitted he hadn't been contacted by the Nobel committee and wasn't sure whether it was a hoax.

He said: "It's a magnificent honor, mainly because it means that I'm in the footsteps of the greatest authors that have lived, so that's a terrific commendation ... The world is in a very uncertain moment and I would hope all the Nobel Prizes would be a force for something positive in the world as it is at the moment."



message 2: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) @_@ The first Nikkeijin to win it.


message 3: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) There are some in Japan who claim Ishiguro as their own, but he's not really. Or is he?
The newspaper Sankei proclaimed him the "third Japan-born literary laureate", after Yasunari Kawabata and Kenzaburo Oe.

Meanwhile other outlets have zoomed in on how Ishiguro - who has written two books linked to Japan - has talked about the importance of his Japanese identity.
...
But it's also sparked a backlash online, where some have criticised the double standards in embracing a Japanese raised abroad, given recent controversies over mixed-race citizens such as politician Renho.

(http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41...)
Who is Renho and what's the controversy?
When Renho was elected the first female leader for Japan's main opposition Democratic Party on Thursday, she also broke another glass ceiling. She is the first person of mixed descent to hold the position.

Her late father was from Taiwan and her mother is Japanese.

Dual nationality is not allowed in Japan, and anyone born to parents of different nationalities must choose one by the age of 22.

She has said she thought her father officially gave up her Taiwanese citizenship on her behalf when she was 17.
...
It turns out it didn't - the official record in Taiwan has since confirmed that she still has citizenship.

She has since apologised and asked for her Taiwanese citizenship to be revoked, but the controversy is likely to follow her throughout her political career.

Her critics say the problem is that she lied about her nationality.

Renho - who goes by only one name - insists it was a mistake not a lie.
...
As for Renho, as the controversy over her citizenship raged on she insisted: "As a politician, I have never acted in a way other than being a Japanese citizen.")

(http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37...)



message 4: by Reera, Bookmaster (new)

Reera | 258 comments Mod
The following is from an interview with Ishiguro from 1989.

Interviewer: You were born in Japan and came to England when you were five . . . How Japanese would you say you are?

Ishiguro: I’m not entirely like English people because I’ve been brought up by Japanese parents in a Japanese-speaking home. My parents didn’t realize that we were going to stay in this country for so long, they felt responsible for keeping me in touch with Japanese values. I do have a distinct background. I think differently, my perspectives are slightly different.

Reporter: Would you say that the rest of you is English? Do you feel particularly English?

Ishiguro: People are not two-thirds one thing and the remainder something else. Temperament, personality, or outlook don’t divide quite like that. The bits don’t separate clearly. You end up a funny homogeneous mixture. This is something that will become more common in the latter part of the century—people with mixed cultural backgrounds, and mixed racial backgrounds. That’s the way the world is going.



message 5: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Meng (resareviews) | 30 comments haha another example of why hyphenated identities are problematic. I was talking to my creative writing professor (who is white and American) about the news and I accidentally referred to Ishiguro as "the Japanese writer who recently won the Nobel Prize" and she corrected me "no, he's English".


message 6: by Reera, Bookmaster (new)

Reera | 258 comments Mod
Teresa wrote: "haha another example of why hyphenated identities are problematic. I was talking to my creative writing professor (who is white and American) about the news and I accidentally referred to Ishiguro ..."

I would love to learn more about how British citizens of Asian descent identify themselves. After all, it's been barely two decades since the term "Asian Americans" came to the forefront. It makes me curious how multiculturalism is viewed in other countries.

I know the term "British Asian" often refers to second-gens and immigrants who were raised in the U.K., but I also heard that for British people, the word "Asians" primarily refer to South Asians, particularly those of Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, and Bangladeshi descent. So, the question is what do British East Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, etc.) identify themselves as? And when did "British Asians" first come up in the English language? My guess is that the term wasn't coined until decades after Ishiguro immigrated to the U.K., which was back in 1954.

I personally find it interesting (and disheartening) at how both the U.K. and Japan are disregarding essential parts of Ishiguro's cultural identity. To say that Ishiguro is either solely British or Japanese is not accurate.


message 7: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Meng (resareviews) | 30 comments Reera wrote: "Teresa wrote: "haha another example of why hyphenated identities are problematic. I was talking to my creative writing professor (who is white and American) about the news and I accidentally referr..."

I agree Reera. And is it more common for Asians in America to refer to ourselves as Asian-Americans? When I lived in Canada, I didnt remember there being a specific distinction.


message 8: by Marvin, Bobamaster (new)

Marvin Yueh | 40 comments Mod
Canada is interesting when it comes to race. We had a Kollaboration team there for while and the way it was explained to me was that there is a general feeling that Canada is super tolerant and doesn't have a race problem, so diversity, representation, and inclusion aren't really as heavily discussed in the mainstream, but that also means that things like institutionalized racism, poverty, and power dynamics (especially against the indigenous population) are also not discussed.

I think that's a huge reason Kim's Convenience has done so well, because (similar to Fresh off the Boat) it's the first piece of media to illustrate what's been missing.

As for the Asian American moniker, it was coined in the 60's to help organize the Asian communities in the civil rights movement. It's a term that we're also still working through because it encompasses so many distinct cultures within subcultures, but yeah, for many of us who grew up in the states, we're more likely to identify as Asian American.


message 9: by Krystal (new)

Krystal (krystalkavitajagoo) | 16 comments As an Asian who has lived in Canada more than anywhere else in the world, it is built of post racial myths on stolen land, but in reality white supremacy is just more implicitly maintained here with model minority myths, multiculturalism propaganda, etc.


message 10: by Nicola (new)

Nicola  (violetsugarheart) | 17 comments I'm British (my mum is half Burmese but I'm British born & bred) and I'd say that "British Asian" definitely tends to be more used in relation to people of South Asian descent. In my experience, people of East Asian descent don't call themselves "British Asian" or "British East Asian", they either say "British" or they'll say that their parents or family are from elsewhere, or in some cases they'll say they are Chinese/Japanese/Korean.


message 11: by Reera, Bookmaster (new)

Reera | 258 comments Mod
Nicola wrote: "I'm British (my mum is half Burmese but I'm British born & bred) and I'd say that "British Asian" definitely tends to be more used in relation to people of South Asian descent. In my experience, pe..."

Thank you, Nicola, for sharing! I know that a lot of German-raised Asians identify themselves as Germans rather than some form of hyphenate as well. It's really interesting to hear how unique each Asian community is in each country.


message 12: by Nicola (new)

Nicola  (violetsugarheart) | 17 comments No worries :) I feel like in the US there does seem to be a need or a desire to hyphenate, although I'm not an expert on it by any means


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