Abe Kobo

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Abe Kobo


Born Mar. 7, 1924, in Tokyo. Japanese writer.

Abe graduated from the Tokyo University Medical School. In 1947 he published the collection Poems of an Unknown Poet at his own expense. The story “The Red Cocoon” (1950) brought him to the attention of the public. In 1951 he won the Akutagawa Literary Prize for the novella The Wall: The Crime of S. Karma. Abe’s early works were influenced by F. Kafka, but his later works are basically realistic. He became widely popular for his novels, which include The Fourth Ice Age (1959; Russian translation, 1965), The Woman in the Dunes (1963; Russian translation, 1966), The Face of Another (1964; Russian translation, 1967), and The Burned Map (1967; Russian translation, 1969). Abe is also the author of plays, including The Slave Hunt (1955), Ghosts Among Us (1958), Tale of the Giants (1960), The Fortress (1962), Friends (1967), and The Man Who Turned Into a Stick (1969). The main theme of Abe’s work is the conflict between man and bourgeois society that is hostile to him and the consequent alienation of the individual.


Abe Kobo zensakuhin, vols. 1–14. Tokyo, 1972–73.
In Russian translation:
Totaloskop. Moscow, 1965.
“Sovsem kak chelovek.” In Prodaetsia Iaponiia. Moscow, 1969.


Zlobin, G. “Doroga k drugim—doroga k sebe.” In Abe Kobo, Zhenshchina ν peskakh. Chuzhoe litso. Moscow, 1969.
Grivnin, V. “Trilogiia Kobo Abe.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1969, no. 10.
Sasaki Kiichi, K. Akutagawa Sakka shirizu. Abe Kobo. Tokyo, 1965.
Isoda Koichi. “Bukokusekisha-no shiten.” Bungakukai, May, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Rhetoric of Photography in Modern Japanese Literature: Materiality in the Visual Register as Narrated by Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, Abe Kobo, Horie Toshiyuki and Kanai Mieko
Sometimes called "the Japanese Kafka," Abe Kobo is primarily known for the audience-dazzling science fiction and plays he produced in postwar Japan.
Foremost among the younger generation are Abe Kobo [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1924-93) and Oe Kenzaburo [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (b.
The time span covered ranges from the depths of prehistory to roughly 1993: thus Abe Kobo (d.1993) has his death mentioned; but there is no analysis of the collapse of the postwar political system with the defeat of the LDP in this year's poll.
More recently, Abe Kobo has written Hakootoko (1973; translated as The Box Man, 1975), a story about a man who attempts to avoid anxieties and become nobody by placing a cardboard box over himself.
Some stories, like Abe Kobo's "The Bet" or Sakaguchi Ango's "In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom" (previously untranslated), are explorations of the fantastic.
The coverage is commendably thorough and up-to-date: Abe Kobo, who died just a few months ago, has his date of death given.