Meaning of ABE KOBO in English

born March 7, 1924, Tokyo, Japan died Jan. 22, 1993, Tokyo pseudonym of Abe Kimifusa Japanese novelist and playwright noted for his use of bizarre and allegorical situations to underline the isolation of the individual man. He grew up in Mukden (now Shen-yang), in Manchuria, where his father, a physician, taught at the medical college. The youngster was interested in insect collecting, mathematics, and the writings of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers, Franz Kafka, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Edgar Allan Poe. Abe went to Japan in 1941 and in 1943 began studying medicine at the University of Tokyo but returned to Manchuria to face the end of World War II. Repatriated to Japan, he was graduated in medicine in 1948 but never practiced. He started writing poetry, publishing in 1947 Mumei shishu ("Poems of an Unknown Poet") at his own expense. The critical acceptance of his novel Owarishi michi no shirube ni ("The Road Sign at the End of the Street") in 1948 established his reputation. Among his important novels, many of which have been called Kafkaesque, are Suna no onna (1962; The Woman in the Dunes), which was adapted into an internationally successful film; Daiyon kampyoki (1959; Inter Ice Age 4); Tanin no kao (1964; The Face of Another); Moetsukita chizu (1967; The Ruined Map); Hako otoko (1973; The Box Man); Mikkai (1977; Secret Rendezvous); and Hakobune Sakura-maru (1984; The Ark Sakura). Beyond the Curve (1990) was Abe's first collection of short fiction to appear in English. Of his many plays, which met with great success in Japan, Tomodachi (1967; Friends) and a few others were performed in English, in Honolulu. He directed his own theatre company in Tokyo, for which he wrote several plays each season.

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