Kobo Abe

Kōbō Abe (安部 公房 Abe Kōbō, March 7, 1924 – January 22, 1993), was a Japanese writer, playwright, photographer and inventor. Abe has been often compared to Franz Kafka and Alberto Moravia for his modernist sensibilities and his surreal, often nightmarish explorations of individuals in contemporary society.

Kobo Abe was born in Tokyo. He moved to Shenyang, China with his family when he was a few months old and lived there until he finished junior high school. Back in Japan he became a writer. ‘The Raccoon Dog of the Tower of Babel’ is included in a collection of short stories called ‘The Wall’, for which Kobo Abe received the Akutagawa Award. Even though Abe was said to be a materialist, ‘The Raccoon Dog of the Tower of Babel’ is an occult work. Translating it, is extremely difficult, unless one has a deep understanding of the Japanese culture.