Go by Kazuki Kaneshiro


For two teens, falling in love is going to make a world of difference in this beautifully translated, bold, and endearing novel about love, loss, and the pain of racial discrimination. As a Korean student in a Japanese high school, Sugihara has had to defend himself against all kinds of bullies. But nothing could have prepared him for the heartache he feels when he falls hopelessly in love with a Japanese girl named Sakurai. Immersed in their sha...

Details Go

Release DateMar 1st, 2018
GenreFiction, Cultural, Japan, Young Adult

Reviews Go

  • ✨ D i a n n a ✨
    3.75 stars "But you should live a random life. I mean, your life has already veered off the rails. I wish you'd keep on veering and see where it takes you. You're someone who could pull that off. But you know, that's just me." Go by Kazuki Kaneshiro isn't what I expected it to be. It is a love story but not the kind of love that the blurb promised. It's not a just high school love story between Sugihara and Sakurai, no. It's more than that. Go ...
  • Shawn Mooney
    Bailed 2/3rds of the way in. It’s a wonderful translation, the audio narration was fantastic, and I especially enjoyed the well drawn young Korean-Japanese man’s character and social context. But this novel devolved into pukeworthy YA romance, and I simply could not bring myself to finish.
  • Lucy Chen
    I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book, as I received it through an Amazon First selection. I'm still not sure how I feel about it..GO is a somewhat coming-of-age story that follows Sugihara, a Korean-Japanese national and explores the struggles and prejudice of growing up between these two cultures. The prose can be truly beautiful at times, though there are times in which it feels stilted. The same can be said for the storyline, which...
  • Louise
    This book jumped around a lot and I wish it was much longer, but I really enjoyed it. Favorite passage: “I saw this show the other day about a retirement home for guide dogs in Hokkaido. It’s this place where old dogs that can’t do their job anymore can go to live out their last days. The fact that a place like that even existed moved me so much that I couldn’t take my eyes off the TV. And then they showed a woman saying goodbye to her gu...
  • Basma A
    This was a disappointing read for me and I guess it might be my fault because I didn't know it was categorized as young adult until later. This is a story about a high school student -Sugihara- from Korea born in Japan and is living and studying there. It follows his story of being bullied, fighting back, trying to figure out who he is and what makes a person Korean or Japanese or American...etc, of trying to understand nationalism and the extent...
  • Kim
    Not really a coming of age story and not what I would call YA; the character voice of the narrator, Sugihara, is older than that. The story explores themes of blood and family from the perspective of a Korean born and raised in Japan. I found it interesting, but did not care much for the vehicle the author uses to make his points (Sugihara is intelligent, but little more than a thug) or for the flippant, half-humorous narrative style. The love in...
  • broken-barriers
    Did you know racism exists in Japan? Did you? DID YOU?Well, I for sure didn’t, so this novel was a real eye opener in that regards.Anyway, now that my earlier ignorance has been covered, I’m moving onto the review. I’d give the first 50% five stars, the next 20% three stars, and the final 30% four stars. Overall, the book was immensely enjoyable — the protagonist was witty and had this style of narration that really captivated me. He’s ...
  • J.C.
    Having lived in Japan around the time this book takes place, it stirred all kinds of nostalgia. The story is heartwarming, poignant, and hilarious, all the while touching on minority issues in a homogeneous society. The narrator's compelling voice draws you in and introduces you to a colorful cast of characters.
  • Kavitha Sivakumar
    The author wanted to narrate serious issues of racism and ethnicity discrimination. However, he started with such a hilarious style, I thought this is going to be one fun entertainment story told from a teenager point of view. The story weaves around with so many unexpected turns that a reader is left confused. And the hilarious style of writing also gone after couple of chapters.
  • Siv30
    3.5 כוכבים.ספר התבגרות של נער, שמוצאו צפון קוריאני, ביפן. המתחים המעמדיים והבין תרבותיים הזכירו לי את המאבקים בין מזרחים לאשכנזים. הנער האינטיליגנטי, שוגיהרה, מנסה לעמוד על זהותו בו בזמן שהסביבה לא מאפשרת לו לשכוח ולהטמע בחברה. הוא מפלס דרכו באמצעות ...
  • Goth Gone Grey
    Interesting glimpse into a different worldThe moment you see where the title of a book comes from is somewhat magical to me, but it's a fine line. It can't be over done or it's just silly. Here, it's purely magic. Go can be the main character's wish for the future to sit and play the game Go with his wife, or his friends telling him to go, do something, succeed. The main character is intelligent, physically strong, and feels like a caged lion cau...
  • Gingerbread Girl
    This is a love story. The description would have you believe that it's a love story between a young man and the girl he meets, but it is so much more than that. It is a story of a young man learning to love himself, in a time and place where the only way he thinks he can be accepted is to hide his true identity. Even that doesn't work.Set in Japan, the Korean protagonist is living a double life. Forced to hide his heritage, he soon learns a fake ...
  • Janci
    So much more than the love story. I think I would have liked it better had I not read "Pachinko" first.
  • Lakshmi
    This was an extraordinary read and I'm so glad it was a Kindle First pick because I would have never found it otherwise. Sugihara is a North Korean national living in Japan and the scenes set in his North Korean high school and the depictions of the racism and marginalization he experiences will stay with me for a while. (I don't know if I would classify this book as a YA though. While the characters are teenagers the content was much more adult ...
  • Mcvane
    Teenager Sugihara has the misfortune of falling for a hot Japanese girl, who's prejudiced against "zainichi chosenjin" (ethnically-Korean Japanese people). How should he break the news to her that he's a Japanese-born Korean himself? Should he at all? While he ponders upon this question, he struggles to deal with bullying at a Japanese school where almost everyone thinks he should return to a Korean school; his former boxer North-switched-to-Sout...
  • Steven Ramirez
    I've enjoyed Japanese food for decades. I adore Kurosawa and Miyazaki and consider Ringu to be one of my all-time favorite horror movies. That said, I know nothing about Japan. To me, it's a distant, wondrous place filled with smart, hard-working people who like eating raw fish, smoking, and frequenting public baths.Reading Go by Kazuki Kaneshiro was a revelation to me, cutting through the myth of an orderly society to reveal deep-seated racism n...
  • Erica
    This story was not what I was expecting, but it was good nonetheless. It is about a high school romance of sorts, but the story was mainly cultural and about the main character trying to find his way when he's facing discrimination. The romance was really sweet and added to the story and the point but is not the main focus. The main character, Sugihara, and his family were given well defined backgrounds but I'm not sure that I liked how the autho...
  • Jennifer Taw
    It really IS a coming of age novel, which was, for me, one of the two downsides (seeing girls and women through the eyes of a teenaged boy - *ugh*), the other being my own impatience with uncritical narratives of both manic discipline and violence as measures of a man. Having had this conversation with lots of men, I can imagine that the novel's depiction of the kid testing his mettle and building up his ability to throw, but also take, a masterf...
  • Kathryn
    Discrimination and the absurdity of nationalism through the eyes of a boy holding South Korean citizenship who has elected to attend a Japanese high school. It's a coming-of-age story, a love story, and -- because our protagonist prefers heavy reading over fiction -- a great introduction to mitrochondrial DNA and the origins of man. There's a great deal of humor in this book as well because Sugihara's father is a former prizefighter who operates ...
  • Susanna Chin
    Love conquers all even against some serious odds. Having lived several years in both Japan and Korea as a foreigner, this novel struck a chord with me. Citizens of both countries should read this novel and re-examine their stance on accepting foreigners in their homelands.
  • Gabrielle
    Pros: racism and discrimination as nuanced themes. Cons: all about the male gaze.
  • Jason
    Thought provoking and timelyJust as we in America are having to figure out the answer to "Who is American?" , this book explores the question "Who is Japanese?". Read it and think.
  • Tiffany
    I am glad this was an Amazon first pick of the month because I don't think I would have found it otherwise.
  • Makena Hulme
    This book is stunning. A piece of pure literary magic.
  • Marian
    Well worth reading.This felt like a YA novel, with the protagonist in high school; which allowed for the usual teenage angst to top off the discrimination he experienced as a Japanese-born Korean. I had only a vague idea of the disdain Koreans faced in Japan, so this was educational. The book is well done, and I ached for the kid whose life was often not pleasant due to his ethnicity.
  • Tfalcone
  • Ebehi
    I got a copy from the Amazon First reads program. I found the writing style a bit odd and hard to get used to, and the story dragged at the beginning. But the book did have its moments.It's a quick read, I finished it in a couple of hours. I'm not sure that I would recommend it.
  • Katya Kazbek
    I don't think I've ever read such a great portrait of male adolescence: tenderness beneath a puffed out chest, something you rarely get, because the balance is usually skewed towards the one or the other, and the characters are either machos or nerds. Sugihara, however, is both smart, cultured, tortured, and violent, complicated and full of contradictions. I really connected with him as a protagonist. And this is only one of the reasons why I rea...
  • Angela Sangalang
    This was an Amazon First selection, and I chose it because I was looking for a book in translation (part of my reading challenge this year). It was advertised (in the synopsis) as a coming-of-age, young star-crossed lovers, overcoming cultural prejudices story. It was sort-of that and not quite.The story was really about the main character and a snapshot of a small part of his life. It didn't quite feel like a "coming of age" story because the ma...
  • meeners
    all the macho-macho stuff got tedious very fast, but it was still a pretty fun (by which i mean easy XD) read. exactly the type of book you'd expect would become a trendy publishing hit.