The Ishiguro archive in the Harry Ransom Center in Austin houses Ishiguro’s extensive research on Japanese ghost stories and films from his early film writing, revealing his fascination with Kenji Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu Monogatari and Sansho Dayu. This article explores Kazuo Ishiguro’s references to Ugetsu in The Buried Giant to reflect on the realistic portrayal of ghosts as a way to reveal a suppressed pagan narrative. Using materials from the Ishiguro archive, I argue that Ishiguro borrows tactics from Ugetsu and then incorporates the Japanese Buddhist myth and folklore underlying Sansho Dayu to build a hidden discourse of the dead that subverts the dominant discourse of God, creating an implicit supernatural plot that parallels the novel’s explicit realistic plot and that decentres Britain’s national beliefs.

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