Kazuo Ishiguro's "A Family Supper" Title: Fugu Runs in The Family

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Fugu Runs in The Family

Fugu is a traditional Japanese fish that's been a part of Japan's culture for

many years. Kazuo Ishiguro's "A Family Supper" is the story of a family that is

recovering from the loss of their mother due to fugu poisoning a few years ago.

The boy in the family has lived in California for some time and decides to move

back to Japan to stay with his father. Upon his arrival, a series of clues lead us to

believe that the dinner his father has prepared will be their last.

The first spoken line of the story comes from the boy's father asking him,

"Did you eat on the plane?" He implies that he only had a snack and the father

insists by saying, "You must be hungry. We'll eat as soon as Kikuko arrives." His

father's overbearing concern with the food is unusual; he didn't bother to ask how

the flight was or anything of that nature.

We learn that his father's firm has just

collapsed and how pure samurai blood actually runs in their family. In shame of

their company's failure, his father's partner Watanabe took his own life. The boy,

curious to know what his father will do now, asks if he will go into business again.

An awkward pause takes place; his father replies, "I am-in retirement" (568).

Does this mean he's done working or does it mean he will retire forever after they

eat dinner?

Kukiko, the boy's sister arrives at the house and immediately the father

heads to the kitchen to check on dinner. The boy and Kukiko step outside to talk

and catch up on a few things. During their conversation Kukiko says, "Mother

never really blamed you, you know. She always used to say to me...