Arts & Entertainment

Japan mourns death of Literature Nobel Prize winner Kenzaburo Oe

Tokyo, Mar 14 (EFE).- Japan’s government mourned Tuesday the death of writer and Nobel Prize in Literature Kenzaburo Oe, who passed away in early March.

Oe’s death, of natural causes, was announced Monday by his editorial in Japan, Kodansha and occurred on Mar. 3.

“We want to show our condolences for who was the second winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in Japan after Yasunari Kawabata,” Japanese government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference.

Matsuno called Oe “a writer highly valued in the world and who gave way to Japanese postwar literature,” despite having remained critical of the country’s use of nuclear energy or militaristic policies.

Born in Ehime prefecture in 1935, Oe studied French literature at the University of Tokyo and won the Nobel Prize in 1994, becoming the second Japanese author to achieve this recognition.

The author made his literary debut with the text “A Strange Job” (1957) and rose to fame thanks to “Hiroshima Notebooks” (1965), an account of his trip to this city in southern Japan in 1963 and years later in order to interview the victims of the atomic bombing of 1945.

Later, in 1970, he would also publish “Okinawa Notebooks,” a travel notebook in which Oe narrates his encounters with the residents of this group of islands in southern Japan, and questions the living conditions in this region and the power exercised by the central government on it.

On the more journalistic side of him, Oe wrote articles in newspapers and magazines about the nuclear situation facing Japan and was active in various groups against this type of energy.

In addition to the Nobel Prize in 1994, the writer was awarded other prestigious prizes such as the Literature Prize at the University of Tokyo in 1957 and the Akutagawa Prize in 1958, considered the most important among young writers in the country, when he was only 23.

Following the announcement of Oe’s death, his books rose to prominence in bookstores and on bestseller lists. EFE


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