Pico Ishiguro Autobiography

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2. Biographical Background

The British novelist, Pico Iyer, notes in 1994 that, “To this day, one notices, he [Ishigu-ro] refers to both the Japanese and the British as ‘they’ and seems to look on both with an outsider’s amused detachment” (Iyer, “Connoisseur of Memory” 42). As shown in this minute observation, Ishiguro apparently has a distinct background among a number of contemporary writers in Britain, in that he immersed himself both into Japan and into Britain; and this biculturalism should be relevant to his writing. Thus, before proceeding directly to examine Ishiguro’s Japaneseness in his style, it is essential to overview his personal history. As a prominent British writer, Ishiguro has talked about himself in plenty of interviews, and they are considerably useful to understand what he is. The following part, therefore, describes his detailed biography from his childhood to his
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. . so it was a strange sort of way of actually changing country, and I think my parents certainly did not adopt the mentality of immigrants. They were always visitors who preserved their Japanese-ness, and to a certain extent tried to bring their children up for preparation in growing up in Japan ultimately and not in England. And for this reason I think I grew up with a certain distance on the so- ciety around me, the British society around me. (Swaim 92)

Up to 1973, Kazuo had been educated in British schools. He was the only non-white kid in school, and Tony Beagley, his friend then and now, remembers that, “He [Kazuo] was just the unusual bloke in the school and I can’t recall any bullying or him getting a hard time because he was Japanese” (Qtd. in Wroe n. p.). In the wake of the consequential World Wars, the climate as to one’s ethnicity in Europe including Brit-ain seemed fairly different from today (Devlin n. p.). Nonetheless, for the young Kazuo, this upbringing period was critical to assimilate himself into the British culture and soci-ety. He

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