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. “…

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Claremont, Yasuko. "Kobo Abe". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 February 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12673, accessed 26 September 2016.]