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98 Great Quotes By Kazuo Ishiguro That Will Give A New Perspective To Life

Famous As: Nobel Prize Winner in Literature
Born On: November 8, 1954
Born In: Nagasaki, Japan
Age: 68 Years

Sir Kazuo Ishiguro is an eminent British short-story writer, novelist, and screenwriter. He is regarded as one of the finest contemporary fiction authors. He was nominated for the ‘Man Booker Prize,’ several times and bagged in the award for ‘The Remains of the Day,’ in 1989. He also earned accolades for his novel ‘Never Let Me Go.’ He received the ‘Nobel Prize in Literature,’ in 2017. In 2018, he was also knighted in the ‘Queen’s Birthday Honours List.’ Let us browse through the inspirational quotes by Kazuo Ishiguro, which have been collected from his books, novels, plays, stories, tweets, public utterances, and interviews. Take a look at some thoughts by Kazuo Ishiguro on history, energy, children, dreams, travel, generation, politics, future, connection, believe and many other topics.

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There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.

There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.

Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Sometimes I get so immersed in my own company, if I unexpectedly run into someone I know, it's a bit of a shock and takes me a while to adjust.

Sometimes I get so immersed in my own company, if I unexpectedly run into someone I know, it's a bit of a shock and takes me a while to adjust.

Kazuo Ishiguro
We took away your art because we thought it would reveal your souls. Or to put it more finely, we did it to prove you had souls at all.

We took away your art because we thought it would reveal your souls. Or to put it more finely, we did it to prove you had souls at all.

Kazuo Ishiguro
What I'm not sure about, is if our lives have been so different from the lives of the people we save. We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we've lived through, or feel we've had enough time.

What I'm not sure about, is if our lives have been so different from the lives of the people we save. We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we've lived through, or feel we've had enough time.

Kazuo Ishiguro
You have to accept that sometimes that's how things happen in this world. People's opinions, their feelings, they go one way, then the other. It just so happens you grew up at a certain point in this process.

You have to accept that sometimes that's how things happen in this world. People's opinions, their feelings, they go one way, then the other. It just so happens you grew up at a certain point in this process.

Kazuo Ishiguro
You say you’re sure? Sure that you’re in love? How can you know it? You think love is so simple?

You say you’re sure? Sure that you’re in love? How can you know it? You think love is so simple?

Kazuo Ishiguro
All children have to be deceived if they are to grow up without trauma.

All children have to be deceived if they are to grow up without trauma.

Kazuo Ishiguro
She always wanted to believe in things.

She always wanted to believe in things.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Indeed — why should I not admit it? — in that moment, my heart was breaking.

Indeed — why should I not admit it? — in that moment, my heart was breaking.

Kazuo Ishiguro
The evening's the best part of the day. You've done your day's work. Now you can put your feet up and enjoy it.

The evening's the best part of the day. You've done your day's work. Now you can put your feet up and enjoy it.

Kazuo Ishiguro
The problem, as I see it, is that you've been told and not told. You've been told, but none of you really understand, and I dare say, some people are quite happy to leave it that way.

The problem, as I see it, is that you've been told and not told. You've been told, but none of you really understand, and I dare say, some people are quite happy to leave it that way.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Poor creatures. What did we do to you? With all our schemes and plans?

Poor creatures. What did we do to you? With all our schemes and plans?

Kazuo Ishiguro
It had never occurred to me that our lives, which had been so closely interwoven, could unravel with such speed.

It had never occurred to me that our lives, which had been so closely interwoven, could unravel with such speed.

Kazuo Ishiguro
As a writer, I'm more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened

As a writer, I'm more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened

Kazuo Ishiguro
You need to remember that. If you’re to have decent lives, you have to know who you are and what lies ahead of you, every one of you.

You need to remember that. If you’re to have decent lives, you have to know who you are and what lies ahead of you, every one of you.

Kazuo Ishiguro
I can't even say I made my own mistakes. Really - one has to ask oneself - what dignity is there in that?

I can't even say I made my own mistakes. Really - one has to ask oneself - what dignity is there in that?

Kazuo Ishiguro
Memory is quite central for me. Part of it is that I like the actual texture of writing through memory...

Memory is quite central for me. Part of it is that I like the actual texture of writing through memory...

Kazuo Ishiguro
Your life must now run the course that's been set for it.

Your life must now run the course that's been set for it.

Kazuo Ishiguro
If you are under the impression you have already perfected yourself, you will never rise to the heights you are no doubt capable of.

If you are under the impression you have already perfected yourself, you will never rise to the heights you are no doubt capable of.

Kazuo Ishiguro
We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we've lived through, or feel we've had enough time.

We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we've lived through, or feel we've had enough time.

Kazuo Ishiguro
A part of us stayed like that: fearful of the world around us, and-no matter how much we despised ourselves for it-unable quite to let each other go.

A part of us stayed like that: fearful of the world around us, and-no matter how much we despised ourselves for it-unable quite to let each other go.

Kazuo Ishiguro
After all, what can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished?

After all, what can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished?

Kazuo Ishiguro
It was like there was some parallel universe we all vanished off to where we had all this sex.

It was like there was some parallel universe we all vanished off to where we had all this sex.

Kazuo Ishiguro
As with a wound on one's own body, it is possible to develop an intimacy with the most disturbing of things

As with a wound on one's own body, it is possible to develop an intimacy with the most disturbing of things

Kazuo Ishiguro
What is pertinent is the calmness of that beauty, its sense of restraint.

What is pertinent is the calmness of that beauty, its sense of restraint.

Kazuo Ishiguro
I think of my pile of old paperbacks, their pages gone wobbly, like they'd once belonged to the sea.

I think of my pile of old paperbacks, their pages gone wobbly, like they'd once belonged to the sea.

Kazuo Ishiguro
And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind of world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go.

And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind of world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go.

Kazuo Ishiguro
But then, I suppose, when with the benefit of hindsight one begins to search one's past for such 'turning points', one is apt to start seeing them everywhere.

But then, I suppose, when with the benefit of hindsight one begins to search one's past for such 'turning points', one is apt to start seeing them everywhere.

Kazuo Ishiguro
What is pertinent is the calmness of beauty, its sense of restraint. It is as though the land knows of its own beauty, its own greatness, and feels no need to shout it.

What is pertinent is the calmness of beauty, its sense of restraint. It is as though the land knows of its own beauty, its own greatness, and feels no need to shout it.

Kazuo Ishiguro
She might be a great person, but life's so much bigger than just loving someone.

She might be a great person, but life's so much bigger than just loving someone.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Memory, I realize, can be an unreliable thing; often it is heavily coloured by the circumstances in which one remembers.

Memory, I realize, can be an unreliable thing; often it is heavily coloured by the circumstances in which one remembers.

Kazuo Ishiguro
It's all right. I'm not upset. After all, they were just things. When you've lost your mother and your father, you can't care so much about things, can you?

It's all right. I'm not upset. After all, they were just things. When you've lost your mother and your father, you can't care so much about things, can you?

Kazuo Ishiguro
And if these incidents now seem full of significance and all of a piece, it's probably because I'm looking at them in the light of what came later...

And if these incidents now seem full of significance and all of a piece, it's probably because I'm looking at them in the light of what came later...

Kazuo Ishiguro
When you are young, there are many things which appear dull and lifeless. But as you get older, you will find these are the very things that are most important to you.

When you are young, there are many things which appear dull and lifeless. But as you get older, you will find these are the very things that are most important to you.

Kazuo Ishiguro
One is not struck by the truth until prompted quite accidentally by some external event.

One is not struck by the truth until prompted quite accidentally by some external event.

Kazuo Ishiguro
An artist's concern is to capture beauty wherever he finds it.

An artist's concern is to capture beauty wherever he finds it.

Kazuo Ishiguro
It was like being given a maths problem when your brain's exhausted, and you know there's some far-off solution, but you can't work up the energy even to give it a go. Something in me just gave up.

It was like being given a maths problem when your brain's exhausted, and you know there's some far-off solution, but you can't work up the energy even to give it a go. Something in me just gave up.

Kazuo Ishiguro
There is certainly a satisfaction and dignity to be gained in coming to terms with the mistakes one has made in the course of one’s life

There is certainly a satisfaction and dignity to be gained in coming to terms with the mistakes one has made in the course of one’s life

Kazuo Ishiguro
What I wished more than anything was that the thing hadn't happened at all, and I thought that by not mentioning it I'd be doing everyone else a favor.

What I wished more than anything was that the thing hadn't happened at all, and I thought that by not mentioning it I'd be doing everyone else a favor.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Why, Mr Stevens, why, why, why do you always have to pretend?

Why, Mr Stevens, why, why, why do you always have to pretend?

Kazuo Ishiguro
There was surely nothing to indicate at the time that such evidently small incidents would render whole dreams forever irredeemable.

There was surely nothing to indicate at the time that such evidently small incidents would render whole dreams forever irredeemable.

Kazuo Ishiguro
When Winston Churchill was asked to cut arts funding in favour of the war effort, he simply asked,'then what are we fighting for?

When Winston Churchill was asked to cut arts funding in favour of the war effort, he simply asked,'then what are we fighting for?

Kazuo Ishiguro
Memory, I realize, can be an unreliable thing; often it is heavily coloured by the circumstances in which one remembers, and no doubt this applies to certain of the recollections I have gathered here.

Memory, I realize, can be an unreliable thing; often it is heavily coloured by the circumstances in which one remembers, and no doubt this applies to certain of the recollections I have gathered here.

Kazuo Ishiguro
But God will know the slow tread of an old couple’s love for each other, and understand how black shadows make part of its whole.

But God will know the slow tread of an old couple’s love for each other, and understand how black shadows make part of its whole.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Maybe all of us at Hailsam had little secrets like that -- little private nooks created out of thin air where we could go off alone without fears and longing.

Maybe all of us at Hailsam had little secrets like that -- little private nooks created out of thin air where we could go off alone without fears and longing.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Who knows what will come when quick-tongued men make ancient grievances rhyme with fresh desire for land and conquest?

Who knows what will come when quick-tongued men make ancient grievances rhyme with fresh desire for land and conquest?

Kazuo Ishiguro
It never occurred to me that our lives, until then so closely interwoven, could unravel and separate

It never occurred to me that our lives, until then so closely interwoven, could unravel and separate

Kazuo Ishiguro
For some reason, we called it

For some reason, we called it "umbrella sex"; if you fancied someone your own sex, you were "an umbrella.

Kazuo Ishiguro
When it was too late for rescue, it was still early enough for revenge.

When it was too late for rescue, it was still early enough for revenge.

Kazuo Ishiguro
It didn't hurt, did it? When I hit you?

It didn't hurt, did it? When I hit you?" "Sure. Fractured skull. Concussion, the lot..." "But seriously, Kath. No hard feelings, right? I'm awfully sorry. I honestly am.

Kazuo Ishiguro
For their kind do not know what it is to risk everything in the endeavor to rise above the mediocre.

For their kind do not know what it is to risk everything in the endeavor to rise above the mediocre.

Kazuo Ishiguro
In fact, the harder he tried, the more laughable his efforts turned out.

In fact, the harder he tried, the more laughable his efforts turned out.

Kazuo Ishiguro
How can old wounds heal while maggots linger so richly?

How can old wounds heal while maggots linger so richly?

Kazuo Ishiguro
Why should one not enjoy in a light-hearted sort of way stories of ladies and gentlemen who fall in love and express their feelings for each other, often in most elegant phrases?

Why should one not enjoy in a light-hearted sort of way stories of ladies and gentlemen who fall in love and express their feelings for each other, often in most elegant phrases?

Kazuo Ishiguro
Because somewhere underneath, a part of us stayed like that: fearful of the world around us, and - no matter how much we despised ourselves for it - unable quite to let each other go.

Because somewhere underneath, a part of us stayed like that: fearful of the world around us, and - no matter how much we despised ourselves for it - unable quite to let each other go.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Silence is just as likely to indicate the most profound ideas forming, the deepest energies being summoned.

Silence is just as likely to indicate the most profound ideas forming, the deepest energies being summoned.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Are you still there, Axl?”
“Still here, princess.

Are you still there, Axl?” “Still here, princess.

Kazuo Ishiguro
The giant, once well buried, now stirs. When soon he rises, as surely he will, the friendly bonds between us will prove as knots young girls make with the stems of small flowers.

The giant, once well buried, now stirs. When soon he rises, as surely he will, the friendly bonds between us will prove as knots young girls make with the stems of small flowers.

Kazuo Ishiguro
You'll figure it out! You get on your plane and I'll get on mine. And we'll see which one crashes!

You'll figure it out! You get on your plane and I'll get on mine. And we'll see which one crashes!

Kazuo Ishiguro
Plenty of couples, they start off loving each other, then get tired of each other, end up hating each other. Sometimes though it goes the other way.

Plenty of couples, they start off loving each other, then get tired of each other, end up hating each other. Sometimes though it goes the other way.

Kazuo Ishiguro
It might be just some trend that came and went,

It might be just some trend that came and went," I said. "But for us, it’s our life.

Kazuo Ishiguro
I don't know why, but it didn't seem an option for more than one of us to storm off, and I wanted to make sure that one was me.

I don't know why, but it didn't seem an option for more than one of us to storm off, and I wanted to make sure that one was me.

Kazuo Ishiguro
A couple may claim to be bonded by love, but we boatmen may see instead resentment, anger, even hatred. Or a great barrenness. Sometimes a fear of loneliness and nothing more.

A couple may claim to be bonded by love, but we boatmen may see instead resentment, anger, even hatred. Or a great barrenness. Sometimes a fear of loneliness and nothing more.

Kazuo Ishiguro
The rest of my life stretches out as an emptiness before me.

The rest of my life stretches out as an emptiness before me.

Kazuo Ishiguro
We're the only ones who care now. The likes of you and me, Ono, when we look back over our lives and see they were flawed, we're the only ones who care now.

We're the only ones who care now. The likes of you and me, Ono, when we look back over our lives and see they were flawed, we're the only ones who care now.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Democracy is a fine thing. But that doesn't mean citizens have a right to run riot whenever they disagree with something.

#Page: 120

Democracy is a fine thing. But that doesn't mean citizens have a right to run riot whenever they disagree with something. #Page: 120

Kazuo Ishiguro
If disappointments do come, you will carry on still. You will say, just as he does, I am so lucky.

If disappointments do come, you will carry on still. You will say, just as he does, I am so lucky.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Dinner will be served at the usual time and I am pleased to say there will be no discernible traces left of the recent occurrence by that time.

Dinner will be served at the usual time and I am pleased to say there will be no discernible traces left of the recent occurrence by that time.

Kazuo Ishiguro
The giant, once well buried, now stirs. When soon he rises,

The giant, once well buried, now stirs. When soon he rises,

Kazuo Ishiguro
Then he took the sword in both hands and raised it—and Gawain’s posture took on an unmistakable grandeur.

Then he took the sword in both hands and raised it—and Gawain’s posture took on an unmistakable grandeur.

Kazuo Ishiguro
But Ruth and Tommy never did anything gross in front of people, and if sometimes they cuddled or whatever, it felt like they were genuinely doing it for each other, not for an audience.

But Ruth and Tommy never did anything gross in front of people, and if sometimes they cuddled or whatever, it felt like they were genuinely doing it for each other, not for an audience.

Kazuo Ishiguro
After all, what can we gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished?

After all, what can we gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished?

Kazuo Ishiguro
It would have been so stupid, Niki went on, If you would just accepted everything the way it was and just stayed where you were. At least you made an effort.

It would have been so stupid, Niki went on, If you would just accepted everything the way it was and just stayed where you were. At least you made an effort.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Now naturally, like many of us, I have a reluctance to change too much of the old ways.

Now naturally, like many of us, I have a reluctance to change too much of the old ways.

Kazuo Ishiguro
How so much honourable is such a contest, in which one's moral conduct and achievement are brought as witnesses rather than the size of one's purse.

#Page: 10

How so much honourable is such a contest, in which one's moral conduct and achievement are brought as witnesses rather than the size of one's purse. #Page: 10

Kazuo Ishiguro
I'm wondering if without our memories, there's nothing for it but for our love to fade and die.

I'm wondering if without our memories, there's nothing for it but for our love to fade and die.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Today’s world is too foul a place for fine and noble instincts.

Today’s world is too foul a place for fine and noble instincts.

Kazuo Ishiguro
How often have you know it for the butler who is on everyone's lips one day as the greatest of his generation to be proved demonstrably within a few years to have been nothing of the sort?

How often have you know it for the butler who is on everyone's lips one day as the greatest of his generation to be proved demonstrably within a few years to have been nothing of the sort?

Kazuo Ishiguro
I think genre rules should be porous, if not nonexistent.

I think genre rules should be porous, if not nonexistent.

Kazuo Ishiguro
After all, there’s no turning back the clock now. One can’t be forever dwelling on what might have been. One should realize one has as good as most, perhaps better, and be grateful.

After all, there’s no turning back the clock now. One can’t be forever dwelling on what might have been. One should realize one has as good as most, perhaps better, and be grateful.

Kazuo Ishiguro
But you will no doubt agree that the very best staff plans are those which give clear margins of error to allow for those days when an employee is ill or for one reason or another below par.

But you will no doubt agree that the very best staff plans are those which give clear margins of error to allow for those days when an employee is ill or for one reason or another below par.

Kazuo Ishiguro
You could sense just from the huge sky, that you were walking towards the sea.

You could sense just from the huge sky, that you were walking towards the sea.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Abiding love that has endured the years—that we see only rarely. When we do, we’re only too glad to ferry the couple together.

Abiding love that has endured the years—that we see only rarely. When we do, we’re only too glad to ferry the couple together.

Kazuo Ishiguro
And it started to dawn on me, I suppose, that a lot of things I’d always assumed I’d plenty of time to get round to doing, I might now have to act on pretty soon or else let them go forever.

And it started to dawn on me, I suppose, that a lot of things I’d always assumed I’d plenty of time to get round to doing, I might now have to act on pretty soon or else let them go forever.

Kazuo Ishiguro
It would be the saddest thing to me, princess. To walk separately from you, when the ground will let us go as we always did.

It would be the saddest thing to me, princess. To walk separately from you, when the ground will let us go as we always did.

Kazuo Ishiguro
…in bantering lies the key to human warmth.

…in bantering lies the key to human warmth.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Like you were sad, maybe. And a bit scared.

Like you were sad, maybe. And a bit scared.

Kazuo Ishiguro
Dignity’ has to do crucially with a butler’s ability not to abandon the professional being he inhabits.

Dignity’ has to do crucially with a butler’s ability not to abandon the professional being he inhabits.

Kazuo Ishiguro
This country awakens so many memories, though each seems like some restless sparrow I know will flee any moment into the breeze.

This country awakens so many memories, though each seems like some restless sparrow I know will flee any moment into the breeze.

Kazuo Ishiguro
You've got to enjoy yourself. The evening's the best part of the day. You've done your day's work. Now you can put your feet up and enjoy it.

You've got to enjoy yourself. The evening's the best part of the day. You've done your day's work. Now you can put your feet up and enjoy it.

Kazuo Ishiguro
If we'd understood that back then-who knows?-maybe we'd have kept a tighter hold of one another.

If we'd understood that back then-who knows?-maybe we'd have kept a tighter hold of one another.

Kazuo Ishiguro
When we were eleven, say, we really weren't interested in each other's poems at all. . . . But we didn't know a thing about poetry. We didn't care about it.

When we were eleven, say, we really weren't interested in each other's poems at all. . . . But we didn't know a thing about poetry. We didn't care about it.

Kazuo Ishiguro
When the hour’s too late for rescue, it’s still early enough for revenge.

When the hour’s too late for rescue, it’s still early enough for revenge.

Kazuo Ishiguro
What's going on here, Tommy? Has Keffers recruited you for his porn patrol?

What's going on here, Tommy? Has Keffers recruited you for his porn patrol?

Kazuo Ishiguro
Foolishness, sir. How can old wounds heal while maggots linger so richly? Or a peace hold for ever built on slaughter and a magician’s trickery?

Foolishness, sir. How can old wounds heal while maggots linger so richly? Or a peace hold for ever built on slaughter and a magician’s trickery?

Kazuo Ishiguro
Be merciful and leave this place. Leave this country to rest in forgetfulness.

Be merciful and leave this place. Leave this country to rest in forgetfulness.

Kazuo Ishiguro
A lot of the time, how you were regarded at Hailsham, how much you were liked and respected, had to do with how good you were at “creating.” Ruth

A lot of the time, how you were regarded at Hailsham, how much you were liked and respected, had to do with how good you were at “creating.” Ruth

Kazuo Ishiguro