Authors

Shohei Ooka

Shohei Ooka 大岡昇平

Shohei Ooka  (1909–1988)  was born in Tokyo and studied French literature at Kyoto University. He became an avid follower of Stendhal upon encountering his works after graduation. Drafted in 1944, Ooka was stationed in Mindoro in the Philippines, where he was captured by U.S. forces a year later and sent to a POW camp on the island of Leyte. After returning to Japan he wrote such novels as Furyoki  (tr. Taken Captive) and Musashino fujin (tr. A Wife in Musashino) while also supporting himself as a translator. His other major works include Reite senki (The Battle of Leyte Gulf), Nobi (tr. Fires on the Plain), and Kaei (tr. The Shade of Blossoms). He won the 1949 Yokomitsu Riichi Prize for Taken Captive, the 1952 Yomiuri Prize for Literature for Fires on the Plain, the 1961 Shincho Literary Prize and Mainichi Publishing Culture Award for The Shade of Blossoms, and the 1971 Mainichi Art Award for Reite senki.

Books by Shohei Ooka
  • Book

    Taken Captive

    Widely considered one of Shohei Ooka's best works, this series of linked stories based on the author's World War II experiences offers an unblinking portrayal of the egotism and degeneration of human beings cut off from the larger world. The book opens w …

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  • Book

    A Wife in Musashino

    Published in 1950, A Wife in Musashino was written concurrently with Ooka's better-known novel, Fires on the Plain. It recounts the story of an ill-fated love between a young demobilized soldier, Tsutomu, and his married cousin, Michiko, depicting al …

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