Sunday, May 19, 2019

Go, by Kazuki Kaneshiro (author), Takami Nieda (translator), Brian Nishii (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, May 2018, (original publication January 2000)

Sugihara is a student in a Japanese high school, but he's not Japanese. Born, raised, and educated in Japan, he is still Korean, a citizen of South Korea, and legally a resident alien. This places some legal restrictions on him; it also makes him a target of bullying and prejudice.

He has had to become a fighter, while keeping his eyes on the prize of passing the entrance exams for a Japanese university. When he meets and falls in love with a Japanese girl named Sakurai, they bond over classical music and foreign films.

But she doesn't know he's Korean, until, after a personal tragedy in his own life, he finally tells her.

Anti-Korean prejudice runs deep in Japan, and it's not clear that Sakurai will be able to overcome it in herself, or even want to.

This is a short novel, and a novel of first love, but it is so much more than that. It captures, effectively and without a heavy hand, the complexities of being a foreigner in the only country Sugihara knows, the ways it has affected his parents, especially his father, and both the bonds and the conflicts in his relationship with his father.

I found it both enjoyable and enlightening. Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

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