How to Remember


Caption: Military Vietnam Memorial Wall Honoring Veterans

People remember the good and bad experiences in life through many forms of medium. The usage of pictures, paintings, lyrics, films, literature, as well as street art are ways in showing important events in human lives. The use of many forms of mediums are outlets in which people not only use to pinpoint moments in their lives, but is also used to capture raw emotion among the event. From wars to festivals, people are able to remember through forms of art before their own memory is unable to remember every moment. When looking back at a picture, or a specific line of lyrics, it can help spark back to the specific memory we thought we forgot once again.


Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro focuses on an artist named Masuji Ono that is living between the past and the present. Throughout the book Ono is nogalistic and often looks back into his past during World War 2. From his post war memory, he is often presented as a well-respected artist, with a beautiful family, living in a house he won from battle of honor. As he reveals to his grandson that he no longer paints and has his art tucked away in the attic, it is apparent that he is no longer the same man he was during the war. Although he is proud of his art and what he did for his country, he struggles with the new generation’s perspective of what it is to be loyal to the nation. The guilt that is manifesting within him on how his intentions were always pure and for the good of the country shows through as he expresses, ”there is surely no shame in mistakes made in the best of faith. It is surely a thing far more shameful to be unable or unwilling to acknowledge them (pg 125).” With the occupation happening in Japan, Ono’s values and perspectives are very different from the younger generation’s which shows a side of him that is struggling with conflicting emotions.For instance, this is shown between Ono’s and Miyuke’s conversation as Ono states, “I see your point. But those who fought and worked loyally for our country during the war cannot be called war criminals. I fear that’s an expression used too freely these days (pg 56).”He defends the president of the company that commited suicide as he feels it was a waste and he had not done anything wrong. This shows that he is reflecting upon himself, showing signs of guilt and regret.

Chea-Lene Tan


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