Hakobune sakuramaru [The Ark Sakura].

ABE Kobo (1984.)

£550.00  [First Edition]

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First edition. Signed by the author in white pen to front free endpaper. 8vo. Original black cloth covered boards, red titling to spine, in slipcase with obi. A fine copy. 333 pp. Tokyo, Shinchosha,

The first edition of Kobo Abe's dystopian novel The Ark Sakura, with the author's distinctive signature in silver pen.

The novel centres around the character of Mole, a paranoid survivalist who fears an imminent nuclear holocaust. In preparation, Mole builds an underground bunker which he names the Ark. With the continuation of mankind in mind – no doubt echoing Noah's Ark – Mole seeks to recruit people to co-inhabit his bunker. Soon his careful plans turn to chaos as a hoard of eccentric characters descent on the Ark and wreak havoc.

Abe has spoken of his childhood in Manchuria and Tokyo as a period of displacement, reflecting that he lacked a true hometown and with it a sense of stability. A combination of parental pressure and a desire to escape World War Two conscription took him to Tokyo University, where he studied medicine. However, he did not pursue a medical career. Instead, Abe's artistic talents led him to Tokyo’s burgeoning avant-garde scene, where he emerged as a novelist and playwright. Abe is also well-known for his involvement in the Japanese Communist Party and his later criticism of the Soviet actions in Hungary and Poland. Displacement, oppression and medical themes are present in many of his works, of which The Ark Sakura is no exception. His most famous work, The Woman in the Dunes, was adapted into a film by director Hiroshi Teshigahara in 1962 and received two Academy Award nominations.

Stock Code: 248378

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