February 21, 2018

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Kazuo Ishiguro Wins Novel Literature Prize

On October 5th, 2017 Swedish Academy announced that the Nobel Literature Prize was awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro, a Japanese born British author who is known for novels such as The Remain of the Day and Never Let Me Go. Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan in 1958, and when he was five years old, he moved to the UK with his parents due to his father’s work as a marine biologist upon invitation by the British government. He grew up in the UK and went to a British school where he often found himself as the only Asian child, so English became his primary language. He does not speak much Japanese since his mother was the only person who spoke Japanese with him, as his father was often away from home due to his work. Because of this, Ishiguro found himself able to understand the speech of Japanese women, but it was hard for him to understand when a Japanese man spoke. In 1983, Ishiguro obtained British citizenship. In 1982, Ishiguro debuted as a novelist publishing A Pale View of Hills.

The Remain of the Day in 1989 won a prestigious British literature award, the Booker Prize, and the novel was adapted into a movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. The science fiction novel, Never Let Me Go written in 2005, was adapted into a Hollywood movie in 2010, starring Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield. Never Let Me Go was adapted into a theater performance in Japan in 2014, and was directed by one of the most prominent theater directors in Japan, Yukio Ninagawa.

In addition, the novel was adapted into a drama series in Japan in 2016 with the story being separated into 10 episodes and was aired from January 15th to March 18th, 2017. In response to the news of Ishiguro winning an award, Haruka Ayase released a comment as follows in the evening of October 5th.

“Dear Mr. Kazuo Ishiguro,

Congratulations on your winning of the Nobel Literature Prize. The drama series Watashi Wo Hanasanaide (Never Let Me Go) is a treasure to me as well. Before the shooting started, I met you in Tokyo and then again met with you in the UK, and I was able to hear various accounts from you in order for me to prepare for the role. They were memorable and they still remain in my heart. I was exposed to Kazuo Ishiguro’s work through the drama series, but I hope more people will take this opportunity to know of his works through this award and that his works will resonate in their hearts. I am really delighted.”

Due to the winning of the award, the drama series of Never Let Me Go is going to be making reruns on the cable television channel, Sky Perfect TV, from October 14th to 15th, and November 25th. On October 14th, episodes 1 to 5 will be broadcasted and on the 15th, episodes 6 to 10 will be played.  On November 25th, all ten episodes will be making reruns.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also released a comment during the evening of October 5th saying, “There are a lot of fans of his novels in Japan. I would like to celebrate his winning of the prize with them.”

Below are links of the discussion between Haruka Ayase and Kazuo Ishiguro in London in 2016.  On October 6th, Hayakawa Shobo, a Japanese publisher that published eight of Ishiguro’s novels decided to reprint a total 225,000 copies for those eight works following the news of his award.



The Official Website of the Drama Series will be linked below





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