Takiji Kobayashi

is widely seen as the leading figure of the proletarian literature movement of the 1920s and 30s, which sought to forge solidarity between intellectuals and the working classes. His best-known work is The Crab Cannery Boat, a 1929 novel depicting oppressive labor conditions in the industrial age, which notably cropped up on Japanese best-seller lists amid the 2008 global financial crisis. A member of the then outlawed Japanese Communist Party, he died in police custody in 1933, at the age of 29.

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