Photo/IllutrationThe letter sent by Kazuo Ishiguro to Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue (Keita Mano)

  • Photo/Illustraion

NAGASAKI--Nobel Literature Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro emphasized how his birthplace of Nagasaki holds a special place in his heart and had helped propel his career in letters he wrote to the city's mayor and prefectural governor.

"My memories of my childhood in Nagasaki have formed the foundations of my career as a writer, and Nagasaki will always be a part of me," Ishiguro, who moved to Britain with his family at the age of 5, wrote in a letter to Nagasaki Governor Hodo Nakamura.

Ishiguro, 63, sent the letters dated Nov. 14 to Nakamura and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue in response to their written congratulations in October after it was announced that he was this year's Nobel winner.

The prefecture and city announced Dec. 27 that they had received the letters in late November.

In his reply to Taue, Ishiguro first thanked the mayor for the congratulatory letter and wrote, "What I always remembered as 'Japan' when I was growing up in England was Nagasaki--I know no other Japan!"

"I still feel a special emotion just to hear the word 'Nagasaki,'" he added.

Ishiguro sent the letters before the Nobel Prize ceremony in December and briefly mentioned to Taue what he would say in his acceptance speech.

"I plan to talk in some detail about how Nagasaki, and my memories of Nagasaki, were the foundations of my writing career," he wrote.

He concluded the letter by writing, "I am so glad that the people of Nagasaki are able to share in my joy at receiving this huge honour."

Taue said at a news conference Dec. 27, "I was very happy with the letter because I felt there was an invisible thread bonding Ishiguro with Nagasaki. We are considering making the letter available for public viewing after obtaining his consent."

Nakamura told The Asahi Shimbun, "I was deeply moved by the heartfelt response that he sent. I felt that he still placed great importance on the Nagasaki where he was born."

(This article was written by Keita Mano and Rui Morimoto.)