As the brevity of this page indicates there remains much to be added before any sort of claims to comprehensiveness can be made. This will be a slow process which will begin in what will hopefully be the not-too-distant future.



Horvat, Andrew. Kobo Abe: Four Stories. Tokyo: Hara shobô, 1973.

Though somewhat dated, there is an extensive and informative introduction to the translation of four of Abe's stories that would be useful to those looking into Abe for the first time. The stories are presented in both Japanese and English (Japanese on one side, English on the other) making the text a useful resource for language learners.

Kimball, Arthur G.. Crisis in Identity and Contemporary Japanese Novels. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle, 1973.

Shields, Nancy K.. Fake fish : the Theater of Kobo Abe. New York : Weatherhill, 1996.

Yamanouchi, Hisaaki. The Search for Authenticity in Modern Japanese Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978.


Bolton, Christopher Andrew. Science and Fiction in the Work of Abe Kobo. (Stanford University) Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1998.

Examines Abe's extensive use of science and scientific terminology. Focuses (though not exclusively) on three of Abe's novels: Inter Ice Age 4 (Daiyon kanpyôki, 1959), The Face of Another (Tanin no kao, 1964), and Secret Rendezvous (Mikkai, 1977). One of the primary foci of the dissertation is to question the distinction between science and art.

Currie, William Joseph. Metaphors of Alienation : the Fiction of Abe, Beckett and Kafka. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1977.

Gibeau, Mark. Transforming Self and Society: Surrealism, Marxism and Their Integration in the Early Works of Abe Kôbô. M.A. Thesis for Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. August, 1996.

My Master's thesis. I discuss many of Abe's works up to Suna no onna (Woman in the Dunes, 1962) focusing on the ways surrealism and Marxism appear and develop in his works. For a master's thesis, i think it is solid, but I am not entirely unbiased.

Iles, Timothy John Frederick. Towards a New Community: Abe Kobo: an Exploration of his Prose, Drama and Theatre. (University of Toronto) Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1997.

This dissertation provides an overview of Abe's novels as well as his plays, the oft-neglected "other half" of his literary production. Along with Nancy Shields' Fake Fish the works provide a good overview of Abe's plays and the activities of his drama troupe. The dissertation focuses on the very important theme of the community (kyôdôtai) and provides some unusually perceptive readings of his works. There is also a monograph version of the dissertation, but it is extremely difficult to get, expensive, and exactly the same (so far as I could tell) as the UMI version, so you are much better off getting that.

Morishige, Alyce Hisae Kawazoe. The Theme of the Self in Modern Japanese Fiction: Studies on Dazai, Mishima, Abe, and Kawabata. (Probably available via Ann Arbor, Mich. : University Microfilms International), 1970.


Gibeau, Mark. "Transformation of the Self: Surrealism in the Early Works of Abe Kôbô." The CUHK Journal of Humanities. 3 (January 1999).

Essentially the same as the first chapter of my M.A. thesis, with the sole exception being a series of annoying typos inserted by a disgruntled editor?

Motoyama, Mutsuko. "The Literature and Politics of Abe Kôbô." Monumenta Nipponica 50 (Autumn 1995): pp. 305-323.

Yamamoto, Fumiko. "Metamorphosis in Abe Kôbô's Works." Journal of the Association of Teachers of Japanese 15 (November 1980): pp. 170-194.