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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.

The Dogs That Kill Men

It was like a tawdry oil painting of Mount Fuji. To the right was a view of Mount Tokachi against a backdrop of clear blue sky. To the left, the highlands unfurled into rolling hills along the vast expanse of land. The black line curving into the foreground was the railroad to Kushiro, and where water sparkled in the sunlight, the twisting contours of the Tokachi River were made known.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2023

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