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Kazuo Ishiguro, Memory, and JapanRichard Medhurst

In March 2015, Kazuo Ishiguro once again came under the spotlight as he published his first new novel for a decade, The Buried Giant. Born in Nagasaki but brought up in England, the writer has been influenced by his Japanese background in various ways through his career, though sometimes in an indirect manner. Growing up, Kazuo Ishiguro’s image of Japan was shaped by “very distorted, very color…

“Chinese” Writing in East Asia (Part Two)Wang Min

(Continued from part one.) In the middle of the nineteenth century, with the Western powers encroaching further into East Asia, Japan decided to open itself to the outside world. A process of Westernization and modernization rapidly ensued. When Japan entered the ranks of the world powers following victories in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95 and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–5, people in China…

“Chinese” Writing in East Asia (Part One)Wang Min

Of the approximately 200 countries in the world today, China and Japan are the only two that still use the Chinese writing system, known as kanji in Japanese. According to the Kojiki and Nihonshoki, court-sanctioned collections of early history and myth that are Japan’s earliest books, it was during the reign of the emperor Ōjin (r. 270–310) that word of the Chinese writing system arrived in Japa…

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