Episode 1: An Artist of the Floating World within 1980s Britain

Episode 1 of a three part series on Ishiguro’s context in relation to the prescribed text for Module B An Artist of the Floating World delivered by Mr H Chen of Mosman High School.

Lecture by H.Chen at Mosman Highschool, 2022


“So, just like The Merchant of Venice was set in Venice, but was likely a commentary on  Shakespeare’s experience of Elizabethan England, An Artist is set in Japan, but it’s really about 1980s Britain. In an essay, you might say that the pre/post-war Japan of the novel is a microcosm or symbolic representation of Britain in the 1980s. The Japan in the novel is very much Ishiguro’s imagined Japan. Ishiguro himself said in an interview: “I grew up with a very strong image in my head of this other country, a very important other country to which I had a strong emotional tie … In England I was all the time building up this picture in my head, an imaginary Japan.” (1991, Kenzaburo)

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