Kazuo Ishiguro

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Nagasaki, Japan
Birth Sign
Nagasaki, Japan

Kazuo Ishiguro is a British novelist who was born in Japan and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2017. He has been nominated for the ‘Booker Prize’ on several occasions, winning it in 1989 for ‘The Remains of the Day.’ When his parents went to England when he was five, he had vivid images of a fictional Japan that he often bases his novels around. His parents were also in charge of instilling in young Kazuo a sense of his Japanese heritage. While he is unfamiliar with Japanese literature, he was affected by Jun’ichir Tanizaki’s writings and, to a greater extent, films by Yasujir Ozu and Mikio Naruse. The majority of his works are set during World War II, and they are distinguished by his almost lyrical descriptions of regret mixed with optimism. Except for ‘The Buried Giant,’ all of his works are told in the first person, and his protagonists frequently display human flaws. In his Noble acceptance speech, he stated that he intends to create a “good mood at a very uncertain moment” with his works. He has been vocal about recent political turbulence, voicing his anxieties for Britain after Brexit.

Childhood and Adolescence of Kazuo Ishiguro

Shizuo Ishiguro and his wife Shizuko had Kazuo Ishiguro on November 8, 1954 in Nagasaki, Japan. Fumiko, his older sister, and Yoko, his younger sister, are his siblings.

His physical oceanographer father relocated to Guildford, Surrey, to begin a two-year research project at the National Institute of Oceanography. When Kazuo Ishiguro was 15, his father declined a job offer from a Tokyo university in order to stay in England, and Kazuo Ishiguro became a British citizen in 1983.

He began his education at Stoughton Primary School before enrolling in Woking County Grammar School in Surrey. He journeyed to the United States and Canada after finishing his study in 1973, and worked as a grouse beater for the Queen Mother in Balmoral.

He graduated from Kent University with a bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy in 1978. He received his master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia two years later, when he was classmates with Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter.

A Career in Literature

In 1981, ‘Introduction 7: Stories by New Writers’ includes three of Kazuo Ishiguro’s short stories: ‘A Strange and Sometimes Sadness,’ ‘Waiting for J,’ and ‘Getting Poisoned.’

‘A Pale View of Hills,’ his debut novel, was released in 1982, based on his thesis. In 1982, he won the ‘Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize’ for his novel about Etsuko, a Japanese widow in England who is trying to cope with her daughter’s death.

‘A Family Supper’ appeared in ‘Firebird 2: Writing Today’ in 1983, and ‘The Summer After the War’ appeared in ‘Granta 7.’ ‘October 1948,’ another of his short pieces, was published in ‘Granta 17’ in 1985.

‘An Artist of the Floating World,’ his second novel, is set in post-World War II Japan and follows Masuji Ono as he reflects on his previous career as an imperialist propaganda political artist. The book was shortlisted for the ‘Booker Prize’ in 1986 and won the ‘Whitbread Book of the Year Award’ that same year.

He won the ‘Man Booker Prize for Fiction’ in 1989 for his novel ‘The Remains of the Day,’ in which butler Stevens recounts his professional and personal connection with former colleague, housekeeper Miss Kenton, in first person. In 1993, the novel was made into a film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, which received eight Academy Award nominations.

His third novel, ‘The Unconsoled,’ (1995), depicted a great pianist’s unhappiness with his inability to manage his commitments before a performance and marked a stylistic break from his earlier works. The book was first panned for being “indecipherable,” but it went on to win the ‘Cheltenham Prize’ that year and was named the third “greatest British, Irish, or Commonwealth novel from 1980 to 2005” in 2006.

In 2000, he published his fifth novel, ‘When We Were Orphans,’ which was his first foray into the detective novel genre. Despite the fact that it is often regarded as one of his worse works, an opinion he shares, the novel was nominated for the Man Booker Prize that year. The next year, in ‘The New Yorker,’ he wrote the short story ‘A Village After Dark.’

His sixth novel, ‘Never Let Me Go,’ was published in 2005. It is a dystopian science fiction novel that was made into a film in 2010 and a Japanese television drama in 2016. It was named the best novel of the year by ‘Time’ magazine, and it was featured in the ‘TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005’ list. The novel was also nominated for the Booker Prize in 2005, the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2006, and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2005.

In the years that followed, he penned short stories including ‘Crooner,’ ‘Come Rain or Shine,’ ‘Malvern Hills,’ ‘Nocturne,’ and ‘Cellists,’ which were collected in 2009 as ‘Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall.’

‘The Buried Giant,’ his most recent novel, was published in 2015 and is an existential fantasy tale set shortly after Arthurian Britain. Critics gave the book a mixed response.

Screenplays and Music of Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro is also a screenwriter who worked on two Channel 4 television films in 1984 and 1987, ‘A Profile of Arthur J. Mason’ and ‘The Gourmet.’ He created the screenplay for the Canadian film ‘The Saddest Music in the World’ in 2003, as well as the drama film ‘The White Countess’ in 2005.

Stacey Kent requested him to contribute lyrics to her album ‘Breakfast on the Morning Tram’ when he chose her song ‘They Can’t Take That Away from Me’ for his ‘Desert Island Discs’ in 2002. He continued to write songs for her 2011 album, ‘Dreamer in Concert,’ her 2013 album, ‘The Changing Lights,’ and her 2017 album, ‘I Know I Dream,’ after the album garnered a Grammy nomination in 2009.


Major Projects of Kazuo Ishiguro

His third novel, ‘The Remains of the Day,’ has been turned into a film, a BBC radio show, and a musical, and is Kazuo Ishiguro’s most well-known work to date.
‘Never Let Me Go,’ his 2005 novel, has also gained him numerous prizes and accolades, as well as being turned into a film, a stage play, and a television show.

Achievements & Awards of Kazuo Ishiguro

In 2017, Kazuo Ishiguro was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his distinguished literary career.
For his work “The Remains of the Day,” he won the Man Booker Prize in 1989.

For his work ‘A Pale View of Hills,’ he earned the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize in 1982.

Personal History and Legacy

While working as a residential resettlement worker at the West London Cyrenians homelessness organization in Notting Hill, Kazuo Ishiguro met social worker Lorna MacDougall. Naomi is their daughter, whom they married in 1986.

Estimated Net Worth

In 2022, Kazuo Ishiguro’s revenue will be $1.8 million. It’s a rough estimate of Kazuo Ishiguro’s net worth, which may range between $656.3K and $1.7M.


Kazuo Ishiguro says he is frequently amazed by how nice his neighbors have been in a new country following the war. The only time he felt uneasy was when he was playing war games with his pals, and he frequently advocated for fighting the Germans rather than the Japanese.