This chronology remains a work in progress and will be revised as time permits. In compiling the chronology I referred mainly to Tani Shunsuke's "Abe Kôbô ryaku nenpu" (An abbreviated chronology for Abe Kôbô) as published in the August 1994 issue of Yuriika, pp. 250-254. I also consulted the Abe Kôbô zenshû katarogu (Catalog for the complete works of Abe Kôbô) published by Shinchôsha (1997).


Future updates will include expansion of the nearly non-existant world/Japan history chronology on the far right as well as greater depth in Abe's publications and important events in his life.























































































































































































1927.03.07 Abe Kimifusa (Kôbô) is born in Tokyo. His family moves to Mukden where his father works as a doctor at the Manchurian Imperial Medical College.





1940.04 Enters Seijô High School in Tokyo.

1943.09 Enters medical department of Tokyo Imperial University.

1944.12 Feeling that Japan will soon be defeated, he forges a medical certificate allowing him to leave Tokyo and return to Mukden in Manchuria,

1945.12.21 Father dies of cholera,

1946.11 Abe makes journey to Japan. Experience said to provide material for 1957 novel Kemonotachi wa kokyô o mezasu (The beasts head for home).

1947.03 Marries artist Yamada Machiko.

1947.05 Self-finances publication of Mumei shishû (Anonymous poetry collection)

1948.01 Joins the avant garde group Yoru no kai (The night association)along with such figures as Hanada Kiyoteru (1909-1974), Okamoto Tarô (1911-1996), and Haniya Yutaka (1909-1997). Introduced to Marxism and surrealism.

1948.03 Graduates from medical department of Tokyo Imperial University.

1948.10 Owarishimichi no shirube ni (To the sign at road's end) published in book form by Shinzenbi press.

1949.4.20 "Dendrocacalia" (short story) published. Hailed as the "...first and greatest response to the prayers of the avant garde movement."


1950.01 "Akai mayû" (Red cocoon), "Kôzui" (The flood), "Mahô no chôku" (The magic chalk), and "Jigyô" (Enterprise) appear in Ningen magazine.

1951.03 Joins Japanese Communist Party.

1951.04 "Akai mayû" wins the 2nd Postwar Literary Prize.

1951.5.28 Kabe (The wall) published. Includes the novellas S. Karuma-shi no hanzai (The crime of Mr. S. Karuma), Baberu no tô no tanuki (The badger of the Tower of Babel), and the short stories "Akai mayû" (Red cocoon), "Kôzui" (The flood), "Mahô no chôku" (The magic chalk), and "Jigyô" (Enterprise).

1951.07 Kabe wins the 25th Akutagawa Prize.

1951.11 Publishes "Chinnyûsha" (The intruders) in Shinchô. The short story is the predecessor of the play Tomodachi (Friends).

1953.03 R62-gô no hatsumei (Invention #62) published in Bungakukai.

1953.10 Screenplay for Kabe atsuki heya (Thick-walled room) criticizing the arbitrariness of the War Crimes Tribunals.

1954.02 Daughter Abe Neri (Mano Neri) born.

1954 Novel Kiga dômei (Starving coalition) published by Kodansha.

1954.12 Play "Seifuku" (The uniform) appears in Gunzô.

1955.03 Short story "Bô" (Stick) published in Gunzô.

1955.06 Play "Doreigari" (slave hunting) staged.

1956.04 Attends the Czechoslovakia Writers Conference as a representative for Shin nihon bungaku and Kokumin bungaku kaigi. Traveks through the Balkans, East Germay and France before returning to Japan in June.

1957.01~04 Kemonotachi wa kokyô o mezasu (The beasts head for home) is serialized in Gunzô.

1957.02 Tôou o iku - hangaria mondai no haikei (Travelling Eastern Europe - background on the Hungary problem) published by Kodansha..

1957.11 "Bô ni natta otoko" (The man who turned into a stick) broadcast on NHK radio. Receives the Geijutsusai shôrei Prize

1957.12 Heibonsha publishes Abe's First collection of critical essays, Moju no kokoro ni keisanki no te o (Calculator's hand on the beast's mind).

1958.06 "Yûrei wa koko ni iru" (The ghosts are here) staged. Wins the Kishida Drama Prize.

1958.07~1959.03 Sekai serializes Daiyon kanpyôki (Inter Ice-Age 4).

1960.06 Ishi no me (Stone eye) published by Shinchôsha.

1960.09 "Chichindera yapana"--the predecessor of Suna no onna (Woman in the dunes)--is published in Bungakukai.

1961.01 Publishes "Tanin no shi" (The death of a stranger) in Gunzô.

1961.08 Abe, along with 27 other communist literary figures, declares his opposition to certain party policies.

1961.12 Wins the Screenplay writer's association award for his movie Otoshi ana (The trap).

1962.02 Purged from the Japanese Communist Party

1962.06 Suna no onna (Woman in the dunes) is published by Shinchôsha.

1962.11 Asahi radio broadcasts "Hoero!" (Howl), wins Geijutsusai prize.

1963.01 Suna no onna (Woman in the dunes) wins the Yomiuri literature prize.

1964.01 Tanin no kao (The face of another) appears in Gunzô.

1964.01~1965.03 Novel Enomoto Buyô is serialized in Chûô kôron.

1964.02 Film Suna no onna (Woman in the dunes) is shown. Wins special jury prize at Cannes Film Festival.

1964.11 Collection of works Mukankei no shi (An irrelevant death) is published by Shinchôsha.

1965.01 "Omae ni mo tsumi ga aru" (You too have sinned) is staged.

1965.10 Collection of critical essays, Sabaku no shisô (Thoughts on the desert) is published by Kodansha.

1965.12 Heavily revised version of Owarishi no michi no shirube ni (To the sign at road's end) is published.

1966.01 "Kaabu no mukô" (Beyond the curve) appears in Chûô kôron.

1966.07 Film version of Tanin no kao (The face of another) is completed.

1967.02 Collection of works Ningen sokkuri (Exactly human) is published.

1967.03 Play "Tomodachi" (Friends) is staged. Wins the Tanizaki Jun'ichirô prize.

1967.09 Novel Moetsukita chizu (The ruined map) is published by Shinchôsha.

1967.09 Play "Enomoto Buyô" is staged.

1968.04 Movie Moetsukita chizu (The ruined map) is completed.

1968.04 Collection Yume no tôbô (Dream escape) is published.

1968.04 Film version of Moetsukita Chizu (The ruined map) is completed.

1969.09 Three act play (Stick) is published by Shinchôsha.

1970.01 Abe Kôbô gikyoku zenshû (Complete plays of Abe Kobo) is published by Shinchôsha.

1970.07 Abe Kôbô shû (Collection of works by Abe Kobo) is published by Daikôsha.

1971.02~1975.06 Essay "Shûhen kôkô" (Flight along the periphery) is serialized in Nami.

1971.09 Play Mihitsu na koi (Willful negligence) published by Shinchôsha.

1971.11 Abe produces and stages the play "Gaidobukku" (Guide book)

1971.11 Chûô Kôron publishes collection of essays, Uchinari henkyô ron (On the border within).

1972.05~1973.07 Inappropriately titled Abe Kôbô zensakuhin (Complete works of Abe Kobo) is published by Shinchôsha. (15 vols.)

1973.01 Drama troupe "Abe Kôbô sutajio" (Abe Kôbô studio) is formed.

1973.03 Shinchôsha publishes novel Hako otoko (Box man).

1973.05 Play Ai no megane ha iro gurasu (Love's spectacles are tinted glasses) published by Shinchôsha.

1973.05 A collection of discussions with Donald Keene, Hangekiteki ningen (Anti-dramatic people) is published by Chûô kôronsha.

1974.04 Collection of discussions, Hassô no shûhen (On the periphery of conception) published by Shinchôsha.

1974.04 Produces and stages the play Tomodachi (kaichôban) (Friends, revised edition)

1974.10 The play Midoriiro no sutokkingo (The green stockings) is published by Shinchôsha.

1974.11 Abe produces and stages and wins Yomiuri literary prize for Midoriiro no sutokkingo (The green stockings).

1975.05 Play Uê (shin doreigari) (Uê! (the new slave hunt)) is published by Shinchôsha.

1975.05 Play Uê (shin doreigari) (Uê! (the new slave hunt)) produced and staged by Abe.

1975.05.13 Abe is awarded an honorary Doctorate by Columbia University.

1975.11 "Yume no sunappushotto shû" (Collection of dream snapshots) appears in Nami.

1975.11 Collection of essays, Warau tsuki (Laughing moon), is published by Shinchôsha.

1976.10 Play Annaijin (The guide) is staged and produced by Abe.

1977.06 Abe produces and stages the play Imeiji no tenrankai (Image exhibition).

1977.12 Novel Mikkai (Secret Rendezvous) published by Shinchôsha.

1977 Becomes an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

1978.01 Exhibition of Abe's photography, "Kamera ni yoru sôsaku nôto" (Notebooks created by the camera) opens.

1978.06 Imeiji no tenkrankai hitosarai (Image exhibition kidnappers) produced and staged by Abe.

1978.10 S. Karma-shi no hanzai (The crime of Mr. S. Karma) produced and staged by Abe.

1979.01 Abe takes drama troupe to America, produces and stages Kozô wa shinda (The little elephant is dead).

1979.06 Attends the Lahti International Writer's Conference in Finland, speaking on the topic of contemporary literature.

1979.09 Audio-visual piece, Kozô wa shinda (The little elephant is dead) is completed.

1979.11 Abe Kôbô no gekijo--7 nenkan no ayumi (The Abe Kôbô theater--7 years' steps) published by Sôrinsha.

1980.01~1981.12 "Foto & essei--toshi o toru" (Photos and essays--stealing the city) is serialized in Geijutsu shinchô.

1980.02 Short story "Yûpukeccha" (Yupu catcher) appears in Shinchô.

1980.06 Collection of essays, Toshi e no kairo (Circuit to the city), published by Chûô kôron.

1984.11 Novel Hakobune sakuramaru (The ark sakura) is published by Shinchôsha.

1986.04 Tire chains invented by Abe receive the International Inventor's Silver Prize.

1986.04 Essay "Kureôru tamashii" (The spirit of creole) is published in Sekai.

1986.09 Collection of essays and interviews Shi ni isogu kujiratachi (Whales rushing toward death) published by Shinchôsha.

1986.10 Abe Kôbô shinario sen (Selected screenplays by Abe Kobo) published by Sôrinsha.

1989.12 Film Friends (based on Tomodachi) by Swedish director Andersson is screened.

1991.01~07 Novel Kangarû nôto (Kangaroo notebook) is serialized in Shinchô.

1991.12 Novel Kangarû nôto (Kangaroo notebook) is published by Shinchôsha.

1993.01 Short story, "Samazama na chichi daiichiwa - shômetsu" (Various fathers, the first story - extinction) published in Shinchô.

1993.01.22 7:01 a.m. Abe dies of a heart attack.

1993.02 Short story, "Samazama na chichi dainiwa - zaisei" (Various fathers, the second story - resurrection) published in Shinchô.

1993.04 Unifinished novel Tobu otoko (Flying man) appears in Shinchô.

1993.11 Essay collection Mogura nikki (A mole's diary) appears in Herumesu.

1994.01 Unfinished novel Tobu otoko (Flying man) is published by Shinchôsha.

1997.07 Publication of Shinchôsha's Abe Kôbô zenshû (Complete works of Abe Kobo, 30 vols.) begins.


Taishô emperor dies December 25, 1926. Shôwa emperor ascends to throne.

Manchurian Incident, September 8, 1931.

Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo (Manchuria) established March 1, 1932.

Japan withdraws from the League of Nations, March 1933.

Marco Polo Bridge Incident March 7, 1937 used as a pretext for Japanese occupation of Beijing, beginning of full-scale war in China.


Pacific War begins with Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 8, 1941.