Factbook

A Dynamic Compendium of Interesting Japanese Literary and Publishing Facts
If you would like to contribute to this compendium please submit your ideas here.
All will be considered for publication by our expert panel.

Kobo Abe is said to be the Kafka of Japan

[UPDATED: 11-22-2019]
Kobo Abe (1924-1992) is said to be ‘The Kafka of Japan’. He is best known for: The Road Sign at the End of the Street (1948), The Woman in the Dunes (1962), as well as being avant-garde, being expelled from the Japanese Communist Party, and collecting insects.

His novella, The Wall, won the Akutagawa Prize and established his reputation. His best friend was Yukio Mishima (1925-1970) and he was also a friend of Harold Pinter (1930-2008).

He didn’t give many interviews, but an interesting conversation with him is reported in the New York Times under the headline: Japan’s Kafka Goes on the Road, where his experimental theatre group is discussed. 

He and his book The Woman in the Dunes in particular are still popular today amongst some of Japan’s most talented and creative individuals such as the up-and-coming film director Yuka Eda, director and screenwriter of the 2018 crowd-funded film Shojo Kaiko, Girls’ Encounter, and the 2019 drama 21st Century Girl

Eda cites Abe’s The Woman in the Dunes as one of the books that has had the most influence on her and one she returns to when she is looking for inspiration. She says she admires the novel’s kafkaesque tone and narrative style.
Kobo Abe is said to be the Kafka of Japan Posted by Richard Nathan