Abe Kōbō (1924–1993) By Swain, John
Abe Kōbō (1924–1993) was a pivotal shingeki playwright and director as Japanese contemporary theatre matured after World War II. Known also as a novelist, Abe addressed themes of Japan’s struggle to redefine itself after the social and physical devastations of World War II. He did so without following a specific socialist agenda, and before the rise of 1960s counterculture political activism characterised by angura theatre. His works of fiction and drama have surreal characteristics, and his drama verges on Absurdism.