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An Artist of the Floating World

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'An Artist of the Floating World' is Kazuo Ishiguro's second novel published in 1986, was short listed for the Man Booker Prize. But his next novel was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 1989. In this book he depicted a Japanese of postwar Japan again as well as 'A Pale View of Hills'.

Masuji Ono is a retired Japanese painter. The situation is somewhere in postwar Japan around 1948. He knows the reason of the failures of the marriage negotiation of Noriko, his younger daughter, is caused by his past. Setsuko, his elder daughter, also points out the same thing to him. He looks back his young and training life, about his old teachers and colleagues, his own pupils. We readers begin to realize that his recollection is slightly different from others view.

What is Ono's past? It seems that Ono was the follower of the war as one of the artists of the war propaganda. Ishiguro, of cause, doesn't mention of Ono's past so much.

Ono confesses his past and apologizes…

A Pale View of Hills

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'A Pale View of Hills' is Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel, published in 1982. I've never read his first two novels. It was interesting for me that he wrote about Japanese people in his first two novels.

The situation is in postwar Nagasaki around 1950. People were living with wounds of war and the atomic bomb and feeling changes of the times for the future. And also it was the period when I was born.

Etsuko who is living in England now lost her elder daughter by suicide recently, and Etsuko recalls things in Nagasaki of 30 years ago. Etsuko recalls, especially, her friend Sachiko and the daughter Mariko.

Etsuko is a virtuous and pregnant housewife now and her husband Jiro is a capable office-worker. Ogata-san, her father-in-law living in Fukuoka, is staying at their home. She gets to know Sachiko and Mariko who are living at a small house nearby. Mariko is a taciturn girl and often sees creepy phantom because of a grim experience in postwar mess in Tokyo. And also she do…