Go by Kazuki Kaneshiro


Two young lovers…one little secret. 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 shared love for classical music and foreign movies, the two gradually grow closer and closer.One night, after being hit by personal tragedy, Sugihara ...

Details Go

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

Reviews Go

  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • Janci
    So much more than the love story. I think I would have liked it better had I not read "Pachinko" first.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • KayKay
    4.5 starsWow, such a wonderful book about social inequality in Japan. Discrimination exists everywhere that I knew of. By all means, "Go" introduces me to a problem in Japan that I have had never given too much thought about. Extremely well written, funny at time, and definitely some food for thoughts.A complex social issue is told through a life of a high school student, a North Korean by birth, a South Korean on immigration record, but was born...
  • 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...
  • Jessica
    2.5 (but here I will give it three stars) I can't say that I loved this books or that it rocked my world. However, minus a couple of spots I really did enjoy what the author had to say, how he said it, and the glimpse into a culture in which I am pretty much a stranger.I like certain reading challenges because they help me think outside of the box in reading things that I wouldn't normally pick up. This book fell into two categories of the challe...
  • Zether Books
    The translation for this book was wonderful, thought the writing style was a bit narrative. I had knew nothing about Koreans living in Japan and the discrimination against them, so this was an eye opener. It reads like a modern story but some of the details about leaders at the time lead me to believe it was more likely the time the author was a teenage. It's brings about so many questions of who you are what determines it: nationality or ethnici...
  • 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...
  • Diane D White
    Enlightening In 2018, with North Korea's appalling rush to become a serious nuclear threat frightening Americans and South Korea's seeming ambivalence deeply frustrating us, I found the cultural insights of this book enlightening. Koreans, according to Koneshiro's tale, carry terrible burdens of unfair racist discrimination and thus develop what may be the world's biggest chip on the shoulder as a coping mechanism. They are all Leroy Browns ("Bad...
  • Laura
    Slow to start, but quickly captivating if that makes any sense. Sugihara is an endearing brawler, the son of a boxer, and struggles with his Korean heritage in Japan. Sakurai seems like little more than a manic pixie dream girl for much of the book, a characterization she only somewhat escapes later. It's billed as a romance, but I was mostly won over by Sugihara's complicated relationships with his childhood friends, parents, country, and identi...
  • Chris
    I enjoyed this quick free Amazon first read. It was first published in Japanese in 2000; this translation comes out this month. Reading books from other cultures certainly is eye-opening. I guess I thought that the US held the market on systemic prejudice, but this is the second book I have read this year ("A River of Darkness") that demonstrates the Japanese distrust and dislike for Koreans in Japan - even those who were born there. Emotionally,...
  • Samantha
    I liked the book, but I didn't love it. The female lead was not very fleshed out. I get that she was supposed to be mysterious, but the outcome of that decision was that I didn't care much about her at all. She was very much a background character in what was billed as a love story in the book description. I also didn't like the overuse of the "and now I'm going to tell you about," or, "here's where I should tell you about," device. The narrative...
  • Allison Lassiter
    Well A+ for its lack of predictability even though he spells out where it’s going in the beginning. You know where it will end but the journey is still mysterious. It was a good coming of age novel, relatable for those who feel trapped in a mold that doesn’t define them or that limits them. The book deals with issues of race and discrimination but more importantly how that impacts the one who is branded. For an American reader, mired in our o...
  • Debra
    4.5 starsI learned a lot, much of it disturbing, from this quick read. I also laughed out loud several times. I cannot add anything new to the many positive reviews. The only reason I personally held back in my rating this a full five stars is that Sugihara throws punches the way Holden Caulfield spits out curse words. I GET it; there's a point to it. I just personally feel some of it was overkill, that's all. I highly recommend this work and loo...
  • Patty Chang
    New voice in Japanese fiction It that I’m an expert in the field but this short novel surprises on a number of levels. It deals with the commonly acknowledged but rarely discussed racism of Japanese society, particularly with regard to Koreans. It also introduces a James Dean type of rebel as a very appealing character who attracts a mysterious girl who seems to appear out of nowhere. She is also a bit of an inconoclast, nothing like the charac...
  • Mickey Graham
    Illuminating!This novel about 2 teenage kids in Japan, the boy from Korean heritage. It was fascinating & sad to learn about the deep patterns of discrimination towards anyone not considered racially Japanese. The author skillfully & humorously examines life for those who are considered outsiders & offers a slight ray of hope. I enjoyed the dark & gritty portraits of the various characters & the author manages to provide a lot of information in s...
  • Bridgette Eichelberger
    Sugihara, a "Zainichi" (ethnically Korean people living in Japan), faces discrimination from his classmates at a Japanese high school. Sugihara's humanist/scientific take on petty nationalist divisions is the most interesting part of the book, although some of his dialogue on the subject is chunkily translated into English.Meanwhile, his uber-cliched romance with a girl who fulfills all of the tropes (she mysteriously doesn't reveal her name, end...
  • Michael Charles Yett
    A mirror by chanceI had a choice between six books from prime. I chose this one because I liked the cover illustration and simple title. I must say this is not my normal kind of read. What kept me in the book initially was the setting and landscape, something that is relative to today's political landscape. As I kept reading, the parallel aspects to my own life started haunting me, it's as though this book was telling my story some forty years la...