Kobo Abe (2709 words)

  • Yasuko Claremont (University of Sydney)

Abe Kōbō was born in Tokyo, but grew up in Mukden, a lawless city surrounded by barren plains in Japanese-occupied Manchuria. His father practised there as a physician. A horrific memory from his childhood is that of a marsh on the outskirts of Mukden, which was both an execution ground and rubbish dump, its surface heaving each day with thousands of scavenging crows. Subsequently Abe lived in Hokkaido – the place of his mother’s origins – before returning to Tokyo. These progressive changes of location, which occurred at a time of great upheaval in Japan’s history, formed a significant background in determining the direction that his writing would take. “I do not identify with any fixed place”, he once wrote. “…

Claremont, Yasuko. "Kobo Abe". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 February 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12673, accessed 27 October 2016.]