Cultural identity and readers’ responses to a Kazuo Ishiguro novel in the UK and Japan


Ana Maria SaNCHEZ-ARCE (Sheffield Hallam University) Mitoko HIRABAYASHI (愛知淑徳大学)
Isabelle BILODEAU (愛知淑徳大学)


2024 年6月9日(日)14 時 30 分開場
15 時スタート 17 時終了


愛知淑徳大学 星が丘キャンパス 15A 号室




5 月 31 日(金)→6月7日(金)まで。
・なお、手話通訳希望される方は、5 月 15 日(水)までにお申し込みください。 お問い合わせ:JAITS 関西支部 飯田奈美子

Cultural identity and readers’ responses to a Kazuo Ishiguro novel in the UK and Japan We know that culture influences our ability to form a perspective during social interactions, but there is little knowledge in literary studies about its influence on how readers process fictional narratives. Do the public identities of authors affect individual responses to texts? What is the role of readers’ previous knowledge of the author, the subject matter, or the nation where the texts are set? How do the choices that translators make redirect readers’ interpretations?
To shed light on these questions, we designed an unusual reader survey that gathers empirical data on how readers interpreted two novels. One novel is set in Japan by a British writer (Kazuo Ishiguro’s A Pale View of Hills) and the other is set in England by a Japanese writer (Hiroko Minagawa’s The Resurrection Fireplace). We recruited participants through libraries in the UK (Sheffield area) and Japan (Nagoya area) to read and report on the two novels. The survey asked participants how they understood the characters, relationships, settings, events of the novel, how they perceived the writer’s cultural identity, and how they reacted to the translation. Thematic analysis of the responses is underway, and participants will be invited to follow-up workshops (one in each country) to compare their responses with those in the other country and explore their own reading practices.
The present workshop will focus on the results of the Ishiguro survey. We will present the concepts and methodology behind the survey, examine the hurdles of comparing how a novel and its translation are read, and present the results of an initial thematic analysis showing how interpretations vary in the two countries and how the author’s perceived identity may affect readers’ interpretations. What different fictional worlds do these two groups of readers create? And, arising from different texts–one of which underwent rewriting in translation–can these fictional worlds be compared?

ANA MARÍA SÁNCHEZ-ARCE works on contemporary literature and film. She is the author of The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar and editor of Identity and Form in Contemporary Literature.

is honorary professor of literature. Her research has spanned Canadian literature, gender studies, and contemporary English writers including Jeanette Winterson and Kazuo Ishiguro.

has focused on Japanese literary translators and how they interact with readers in yakusha atogaki. She is now interested in readers’ response to translated literature.