An Artist of the Floating World

by

Kazuo Ishiguro

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Suichi Character Analysis

Formerly a polite and friendly man, Setsuko’s husband Suichi has become angry and sullen, scarred by his experiences as a soldier in Manchuria. He is bitter toward the older generation, holding them responsible for the many losses of the war. He walks away from the funeral service for his brother-in-law Kenji, which Setsuko explains is a result of his anger at the many lives lost during the war.

Suichi Quotes in An Artist of the Floating World

The An Artist of the Floating World quotes below are all either spoken by Suichi or refer to Suichi . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Memory, Self-Perception, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of An Artist of the Floating World published in 1986.
October 1948 Quotes

"We took him once to the cinema to see an American cowboy film. He's been very fond of cowboys ever since. We even had to buy him a ten-gallon hat. He’s convinced cowboys make that funny sound he does. It must have seemed very strange.”

“So that’s what it was,” I said with a laugh. “My grandson’s become a cowboy.”

Down in the garden, a breeze was making the foliage sway.

Noriko was crouching down by the old stone lantern near the back wall, pointing something out to Ichiro.

“Still,” I said, with a sigh, “only a few years ago, Ichiro wouldn't have been allowed to see such a thing as a cowboy film.”

Setsuko, without turning from the garden, said: “Suichi believes it's better he likes cowboys than that he idolize people like Miyamoto Musashi. Suichi thinks the American heroes are the better models for children now.”

Related Characters: Masuji Ono (speaker), Noriko, Suichi , Ichiro
Related Symbols: Lanterns, Gardens
Page Number: 35-36
Explanation and Analysis:

But as I say, there is a different mood in the country these days, and Suichi's attitudes are probably by no means exceptional. Perhaps I am being unfair if I credit young Miyake, too, with such bitterness, but then the way things are at present, if you examine anything anyone says to you, it seems you will find a thread of this same bitter feeling running through it. For all I know, Miyake did speak those words; perhaps all men of Miyake's and Suichi's generation have come to think and speak like that.

Related Characters: Masuji Ono (speaker), Suichi , Jiro Miyake, Hirayama Boy
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:
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Suichi Character Timeline in An Artist of the Floating World

The timeline below shows where the character Suichi appears in An Artist of the Floating World. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
October 1948
Family Reputation, Family Secrets, and Familial Loss Theme Icon
...if he ever heard anything about why the proposal fell through, explaining that her husband Suichi believes there must be some secret reason behind it. Coldly, Ono tells her he would... (full context)
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
City, Nation, History Theme Icon
...see a cowboy movie only a few years before, and Setsuko replies that her husband, Suichi, thinks that American heroes are a good influence on their son. Ono tells Setsuko that... (full context)
Family Reputation, Family Secrets, and Familial Loss Theme Icon
Setsuko laughs nervously and apologizes for being so bad at expressing herself. She says Suichi would be much better at expressing her meaning and that they do not want any... (full context)
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...realizes that his irritation is not directed at Setsuko so much as it is at Suichi, her husband. Ono knows how much Suichi suffered in Manchuria and tries to show tolerance... (full context)
Memory, Self-Perception, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Family Reputation, Family Secrets, and Familial Loss Theme Icon
Setsuko seems to have new theories, instilled in her by Suichi, for why Noriko’s marriage fell through. Since her recent visit, Ono has been thinking over... (full context)
Memory, Self-Perception, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...wonders whether Jiro really said those words. They sound much more to him like something Suichi would say and, indeed, he reflects, since he considered Jiro to be his future son-in-law... (full context)
Family Reputation, Family Secrets, and Familial Loss Theme Icon
City, Nation, History Theme Icon
...killed charging across a minefield in Manchuria. During the ceremony at the cemetery, Ono sees Suichi walk away looking angry. After the ceremony, Setsuko explains to Ono that Suichi has been... (full context)
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Later, with the guests gathered in the reception room, Ono approaches Suichi, who is standing alone, to ask him why the ceremony made him angry. Suichi says... (full context)
Memory, Self-Perception, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Looking back, Ono thinks that it was at this moment that Suichi used the phrase, saying that those who have not admitted responsibility show “the greatest cowardice... (full context)
November 1949
Memory, Self-Perception, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...optimistic everyone at KNC is and how inspiring his branch director is. Setsuko says that Suichi is also very inspired by his work at Nippon Electrics. (full context)
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...but says that he thinks Japan is finally on a good path. Setsuko says that Suichi feels the same way. Taro says that he went to a high school reunion the... (full context)
Memory, Self-Perception, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Family Reputation, Family Secrets, and Familial Loss Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...she was puzzled by her father’s behavior—as were the Saitos. She adds that she and Suichi were also puzzled by Noriko’s account of what he had said. Ono tries to remind... (full context)