Kôbô Abe (Kimifusa Abe)
Kôbô Abe set off to medical school to please his parents. While still a student, he became interested in writing, and managed to sell a short story to a magazine. He failed his medical exam twice, and asked to be spared dishonor and allowed to pass the third time, under the agreement that he would never practice medicine, because he wanted to be a writer. In the 1960s he adapted his novels The Man Without a Map (1968), The Box Man (2002), Woman in the Dunes (1964), and Tanin no kao (1966) to film. Read more... they had dissolved. Abe's works did not shy away from the surreal or even elements of science fiction, and frequently dealt with medical doctors and medical terminology, even when becoming extremely Kafkaesque. His last book, Kangaroo Notebook, was published posthumously and maddeningly questions Abe's favorite themes: illusion vs. reality.