A Review of An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro

Superficially, Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel An Artist Of The Floating World appears to present a mild observation of manners. There’s a daughter to marry and so associated contracts to get nurtured and negotiated. There’s a relationship by having an eight-year-old grandson who in the late 1940s is growing up with American cartoons and comic strip heroes as his cultural icons. And, above all, you have the artist himself, bound track of concerns of fashion and expression, keen to re-examine his influences, particularly those arising in the floating world.
His teacher ended up instrumental in focusing his tutees about this floating world that could be found within the city’s night-time entertainment district. The artist of this arena of pleasure, Masuji Ono, learned well from his master and adopted much from his style, technique and philosophy of Japanese painting.
But Ono was not satisfied to portray the floating world’s beauty for the own sake, or mere pleasure to evoke delight or diversion. No, he’d other ideas, such as comment, loyalty, justice, pride, a few. And it is due to the direction of Masuji Ono’s developing inspiration that gives the novel having its sinister, even violent thread.
An Artist Of The Floating World is set in post-war Japan. There is cleaning up and reconstruction to be done. There is much rebuilding, and not just a little reconstruction, most of it not only physical, but also cultural. A victor’s imposed norms are changing Japan’s future, perhaps to the relief of several who cannot accept their unique country’s past.
Masuji Ono finds himself at the centre of the transformation as a result of his previous success as an artist. But, as he will continue to seek an upcoming husband for his younger daughter, his personal achievements apparently divide his acquaintances, pupils and even friends into distinct camps, those for, even reluctantly, the ones definitely against.
The novel generally seems to inhabit similar territory to Orhan Pamuk’s later book, My Name Is Red. There is a debate about culture, heritage and identity at the heart associated with an apparently rather narrow discussion of aesthetics and artistic influence. While Pamuk’s characters inhabit the cut-throat world of the Ottoman court, Masuji Ono lives in the country defeated in war and ravaged by it. The desire to interrupt with the past brings as much tension to Ono since the wish to retain it lets you do in Red. But the style utilized in An Artist Of The Floating World is deceivingly gentle and belies the deep tension and conflict at its heart.
Kazuo Isiguro’s prose is definitely silky smooth, a case in point that An Artist Of The Floating World seems like a short, even simple book. Luckily for ซีรี่ย์ญี่ปุ่น can be neither.