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Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954 and moved to Britain at the age of five. His eight works of fiction have earned him many awards and honours around the world, including the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Booker Prize. His work has been translated into over fifty languages.
See the fact file below for more information on the Kazuo Ishiguro or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Tokyo worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Kazuo Ishiguro was born on November 8, 1954 in Nagasaki, Japan, to Shizuo Ishiguro and his wife Shizuko. He is the second of three siblings, Fumiko and Yoko.
- When Ishiguro was still young, his family migrated to England so his father, who was an oceanographer, could work with the National Institute of Oceanography on a two-year research contract.
- The family then decided to stay in England for good as his father turned down a post at a Tokyo university. It was also at that time Ishiguro formally became a British citizen.
- He attended Stoughton Primary School and then got into Woking County Grammar School in Surrey. During the gap year that he took after school, Ishiguro wrote a journal and sent its tapes to various record companies.
- In 1974, he enrolled in the University of Kent in Canterbury and attained a degree of Bachelor of Arts with two majors, English and Philosophy. After his graduation, Ishiguro started working on fiction novels for almost a year after which he entered the University of East Anglia in 1980 for a master’s program in creative writing.
- Ishiguro’s novels are mainly historical in nature. The Remains of the Day, published in 1989, is set in a house of a wealthy man, a lord, and the incidents that take place are immediately after the end of World War I.
- Similarly Artist of the Floating World is set in Nagasaki and shows the post war time period. This novel is written from personal experience as Ishiguro was born there.
- Although Ishiguro was born in Japan and has a Japanese name, he left the country when he was only five and returned almost thirty years later in 1989, also as a member of the ‘Japan Foundation Short Term Visitors’ program.
- The dates mentioned in his novels are correct and the atmosphere presented is very accurate. He writes in the first person viewpoint and portrays the narrator to be human, complete with flaws. He leaves his reader with an unresolved end and makes his characters accept who they are, bringing an end to their mental torment.
- The setting of his first two novels was in Japan; however, he bears no resemblance to the Japanese style of writing fiction. Some of his later novels include The Unconsoled (1995), When We Were Orphans (2000) and Never Let Me Go (2005).
- ‘Never Let Me Go’, adopts the method of dystopian science fiction. Set in an otherwise recognizable recent past, it portrays a society where human clones are created and raised to young adulthood, only to be killed so that their organs can be harvested for transplant. The gruesome premise supports a haunting tale of doomed young love.
- It was named Best Novel of the Year by TIME Magazine and was included in its 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.
- ‘The Remains of the Day’ and ‘Never Let Me Go’ were adapted into films in 1993 and 2010 respectively. His short story collection called Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall was published in 2009. It also got a nomination for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.
- Ishiguro has also written screenplays for A Profile of Arthur J. Mason which aired in 1984 and The Gourmet in 1986.
Awards and Recognition
- By age 35, Ishiguro had won Britain’s top literary honors. Not only was he eager to keep writing, he now had the extra challenge of living up to an exalted reputation.
- He has received immense appreciation with his work being translated in over thirty languages and has been given many prestigious distinctions such as being an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (1995), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (1998), and a Knight Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1998).
- In 2017, the Swedish Academy awarded Ishiguro the Nobel Prize in Literature, describing him in its citation as a writer “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world”.
- Ishiguro also received a 2nd Class Gold and Silver Star Award from the Order of the Rising Sun in 2018, established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji.
- More recently, Prince Charles knighted Ishiguro for his services to literature at an investiture ceremony held February 2019 at the Buckingham Palace.
Kazuo Ishiguro Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Kazuo Ishiguro across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Kazuo Ishiguro worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Kazuo Ishiguro who was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954 and moved to Britain at the age of five. His eight works of fiction have earned him many awards and honours around the world, including the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Booker Prize. His work has been translated into over fifty languages.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Authors Online
- Pop Quiz
- According to Kazuo
- Japan’s Finest
- Judge by the Cover
- Ishiguro’s Inspirations
- Man Booker Winners
- Dystopia 101
- Japan’s Nobel Pride
- Perfect Collaboration
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Link will appear as Kazuo Ishiguro Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 24, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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