Kōbō Abe

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In this Japanese name, the family name is Abe.
Kōbō Abe
Native name
安部 公房
BornAbe Kimifusa (安部 公房)
(1924-03-07)March 7, 1924[1]
Kita, Tokyo, Japan
DiedJanuary 22, 1993(1993-01-22) (aged 68)
Tokyo, Japan
EducationSeijo High School
Tokyo Imperial University
GenreAbsurdist, surrealism
Literary movementModernism
Notable worksThe Woman in the Dunes
The Face of Another
The Box Man
Notable awardsAkutagawa Prize
Yomiuri Prize
Tanizaki Prize
SpouseMachi Abe
ChildrenNeri Abe

Kōbō Abe (安部公房, Abe Kōbō, March 7, 1924–January 22, 1993) was a Japanese writer. Abe's birth name was Abe Kimifusa (安部公房, Kimifusa Abe). His most notable work include The Woman in the Dunes, The Face of Another, and The Box Man. E. Dale Saunders translated these works into English. The Woman in the Dunes was made into a 1964 award-winning movie by Hiroshi Teshigahara.

Early life[change | change source]

He was born in Kita, Tokyo, Japan and grew up in Mukden (Shenyang), Manchuria.[1] He studied at Seijo High School before returning to Manchuria. Abe later studied medicine at the Tokyo Imperial University (University of Tokyo).[2] There, he began writing novellas and short stories.

Career[change | change source]

His first poem that was published was in the poem magazine Mumei-shishū ("Poems of an Unknown") in 1947. His first published novel was Owarishi michi no shirube ni ("The Road Sign at the End of the Street") in 1948.[1] He won the Akutagawa Prize in 1951 for the short story collection The Crime of S. Karuma.[2]

Abe's first internationally known work was The Woman in the Dunes.[3] This was a novel he published in 1962.[4] The novel won the Yomiuri Prize that same year.[5] A movie based on the novel by Hiroshi Teshigahara was made in 1964.[6]

His next award-winning work was Friends. This was a play published in 1967. It won the Tanizaki Prize the same year.[7]

Death[change | change source]

Abe died on January 22, 1993 due to heart failure in Tokyo after a short illness.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Abe Kōbō | Japanese author | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Shields, Nancy K. (1996). Fake fish: the theater of Kobo Abe. New York: Weatherhill. ISBN 9780834803541.
  3. Rogala, Joseph. A collector's guide to books on Japan in English: a select list of over 2500 titles. Richmond, Surrey: Japan Library. p. 3. ISBN 9781873410905.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sterngold, James (23 January 1993). "Kobo Abe, 68, the Skeptical Poet Of an Uprooted Society, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  5. "読売文学賞受賞作・候補作一覧1-74回|文学賞の世界". 2023-03-25. Archived from the original on 2023-03-25. Retrieved 2023-07-11.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. IV, Stuart Galbraith (2008). The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography. Scarecrow Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-4616-7374-3.
  7. "各賞紹介|中央公論新社". www.chuko.co.jp. Retrieved 10 July 2023.