The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current, October 16, 2017, Page Page 5, Image 5

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    October 16, 2017
Japanese roots of Nobel winner
Kazuo Ishiguro celebrated
By Mari Yamaguchi
The Associated Press
OKYO — His kindergarten teacher
recalls Kazuo Ishiguro as a quiet
boy who liked to read books. The
British writer left Japan at a young age,
but his birthplace became part of his
artistic approach, which was recognized
with the Nobel Prize in literature.
“It’s like a dream come true,” his former
teacher, 91-year-old Teruko Tanaka, told
Kyodo News service at her home in
Nagasaki. She saw Ishiguro when he
visited the southern Japanese city after
winning the 1989 Man Booker Prize for
The Remains of the Day.
“It was a difficult book,” she said and
laughed. “I had to read the same pages
over and over.”
Ishiguro left Nagasaki when he was five
years old and didn’t make a return visit to
Japan for 30 years, but that hasn’t stopped
some in the country of his birthplace from
celebrating his roots. His family moved to
England for his father’s work, and
Ishiguro studied English and philosophy
at the University of Kent.
Speaking to the media in London after
the prize announcement, the British
writer said, “although I’ve grown up in this
country and am educated in this country, a
large part of my way of looking at the
world, my artistic approach, is Japanese.
Because I was brought up by Japanese
parents, speaking in Japanese inside a
Japanese home. And so I think I’ve always
looked at the world partly through my
parents’ eyes, as we all do.”
On a visit to Japan in 2015, the British
writer said his knowledge of the country is
largely based on childhood memories, said
Keiko Nagano, an editorial staff member
at Hayakawa Publishing Co., which has
translated his novels into Japanese.
He clearly remembered his old neighbor-
hood in Nagasaki, even the name of a
department store, she recalled. “I was so
impressed by his memory, and thought
that he still treasures his memories of
where he came from.”
In his debut novel, A Pale View of Hills,
Ishiguro describes Nagasaki soon after the
1945 U.S. atomic bomb attack that killed
more than 70,000 people.
“I’m so proud that Nagasaki is
remembered as an indelible scene from the
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ist Kazuo Ishiguro smiles during a press conference
at his home in London. Ishiguro, best known for The
Remains of the Day, won the Nobel Prize in literature,
marking a return to traditional literature following two
years of unconventional choices by the Swedish Acad-
emy for the $1.1-million prize. (AP Photo/Alastair
becoming an important motif of his work,”
Nagasaki mayor Tomihisa Taue said in a
statement, adding that he hopes Ishiguro
will visit soon.
While his first novels were set partially
or entirely in Japan, Ishiguro shifted
mainly to Europe for his later works,
including The Remains of the Day. The
Japan he writes about is a bit imagined,
his personal Japan, writes Richard
Medhurst, an editor at, a
Tokyo-based website that seeks to
introduce Japan to a global audience.
“It’s not quite the way you normally
relate to a country, but he had this very
strong personal connection to it,” he said in
an interview.
In some of Ishiguro’s later works,
Medhurst sees a sense of dislocation that
may reflect the author’s background, a
person living between two nationalities.
Ishiguro’s Nobel came as a surprise in
Japan, where for several years the talk
had been whether Japanese author
Haruki Murakami would win the prize.
Speaking in London, Ishiguro said he is
in discussions with people to work on a
graphic novel. “This is a new thing for me
and reconnects me to my childhood, my
Japanese childhood of reading manga,” he
Associated Press writers Jill Lawless in London and
Ken Moritsugu in Tokyo contributed to this story.
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Duterte losing favor amid drug killings, wealth allegations
By Jim Gomez
The Associated Press
ANILA, The Philippines —
Filipinos’ satisfaction with
President Rodrigo Duterte has
made its steepest drop since he took office
last year amid an outcry over unabated
drug killings and unresolved allegations
that he has unexplained wealth, an
independent poll showed.
Social Weather Stations (SWS) said its
September 23-27 nationwide survey
showed Duterte’s satisfaction rating drop-
ping by 18 points to 48, a level classified as
“good,” compared from its last survey in
June, when he got a “very good” 66-point
The president’s trust rating dropped by
15 points to 60, which is classified as “very
good,” from his “excellent” grade of 75
points in June, according to the SWS poll.
Although Duterte generally remains
popular, the survey outcome immediately
reignited calls by several groups for an end
to the killings of mostly poor suspects
under his brutal crackdown against illegal
drugs and for him to sign a bank secrecy
waiver to allow an investigation into
allegations of undeclared wealth.
An alliance of civil society groups called
Tindig Pilipinas said the steep drop in
Duterte’s satisfaction and trust ratings
means the “honeymoon is over.’’
“The huge drop in the president’s rating
must serve notice to him: the people expect
nothing but the truth on the allegations of
corruption, ill-gotten wealth, and drug
smuggling facilitation levelled against
him and members of his family,” the
alliance said. “Mr. President, we reiterate
our call: sign the bank waiver!”
“The people are now seeing through the
hype and fake news, and are realizing that
change is not coming under President
Duterte’s watch,” left-wing representative
Emmi de Jesus said, citing “nonstop” drug
killings, the rise in prices of commodities,
and the entry of a large shipment of illegal
drugs through the Bureau of Customs in
There was no immediate comment from
Duterte, but he has repeatedly denied that
he condones extrajudicial killings of drug
suspects even though he has publicly
threatened drug dealers with death. He
won the presidency with a wide margin
last year on a pledge to eradicate wide-
spread crime, especially drug trafficking
and use, and corruption.
Police officials said the arrests of more
than 100,000 suspected drug offenders in
71,393 anti-drug raids since July last year
help prove that suspects only get killed
when they fight back and threaten law
Continued on page 16
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