15.4 C
Tuesday, March 21, 2023

He was the social conscience of Japan

Must read

- Advertisement -
Kenzaburo Oe (APA/AFP/Pachoud)
- Advertisement -

He was the social conscience of Japan: Kenzaburo Oe. On March 3, the 88-year-old Nobel Prize winner for literature died of old age, as his publisher announced yesterday.

Oe was considered by many to be Japan’s first modern writer, with strong European influences, not least through French Existentialism. However, Oe achieved his literary breakthrough with his early story “Der Fang” (1958) about the world of experiences and adventures of children through impressions of the war. It was not always easy to read, especially in the western world. “I don’t make it easy for my readers,” he once said.

- Advertisement -

Oe was born on January 31, 1935 on the island of Shikoku in southwestern Japan into a noble samurai family and his rural origins remained marked throughout his life. In 1994 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Nobel Prize committee not only honored Oe’s literary work, but also his role as a social critic and admonisher against the uncritical Westernization of Japan. The author was a co-founder of a citizens’ organization campaigning for the preservation of Article 9 of the post-war constitution. Oe, who was long considered a literary loner or a left-wing intellectual “citizen fright”, often spoke up.

Another central topic for Oe was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. “Hiroshima must be engraved in our memories: it is a catastrophe even more dramatic than natural disasters because it is man-made. To repeat this through the same disregard for human life in nuclear power plants is the worst betrayal of the memory of the victims of Hiroshima,” Oe said in an interview after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

But German authors such as Grimmelshausen and Goethe also impressed him. Shortly before his 80th birthday, a German translation of his autobiographical essays in “Light shines on my roof” was published. It is about his mentally handicapped son Hikari, who composes classical music. His son’s birth was also the subject of what is perhaps his best-known novel, the 1964 masterpiece A Personal Experience.

more from culture

Two visions of the seven sorrows of Mary

Favorite successes and surprises: These were the Oscar highlights

“My journey began on a refugee boat” – The Quotes from Oscar Night

Oscars: How Jamie Lee Curtis and Brendan Fraser surprised

: Nachrichten

- Advertisement -


More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest article