In the Bibliography post, the last website link mentioned was the British Council, Contemporary Writers page for Kazuo Ishiguro. This website was helpful for an overall understanding of Ishiguro the author. It has categories such as Biography, Genres, Bibliography, Prizes and Awards, Critical Perspective, Further Reading, etc.
To inspire some closing remarks for our journey discussing civilisation exclusivity and many posts and comments about The Remains of the Day, Japanese concepts, and our own experiments with these ideas, I think that Ishiguro's Author Statement from the British Council is particularly relevant:
“I am a writer who wishes to write international novels. What is an 'international' novel? I believe it to be one, quite simply, that contains a vision of life that is of importance to people of varied backgrounds around the world. It may concern characters who jet across continents, but may just as easily be set firmly in one small locality.”
This quotation leads me to believe that Ishiguro was intending his novel to be a "bridge" across cultures, just as Dr. Nitobe envisioned. However, this is one quotation taken out of context from an interview. We cannot know what Ishiguro was intending, even if we ask him directly, because the novel takes on its own purpose as a work of art from a specific time - in other words, pre-Huntington and Fukuyama articles. It is our job (as students engaging these questions) to connect the concepts and texts together and emphasise the relevant information.
Personally, I consider our blog dialectic a pertinent method of contemplation. I don't need to decide whether or not I agree with Dr. Ogden's civilisation exclusivity thesis because I have made a conscious effort to understand both positions (and many in between) to satisfy my curiousity. Maybe one day - possibly after I visit Japan - I will stake a claim; but for now, I choose to remain as objective as possible while continuing to acknowledge my so-called Western bias.