Abe Kôbô (1924-1993) was one of Japan’s leading avant-garde writers of the postwar period, and he is frequently credited with helping to establish prose science fiction as a viable genre in Japan. But arguably this is not a result Abe himself wanted. As these essays show, Abe vigorously championed the cause of science fiction, but he was wary about setting sf up as separate genre with its own definable rules, urging instead that it be seen as a flexible branch of avant-garde literature and judged on the same terms.
Published in the 2002 Japanese issue of Science Fiction Studies:
Keeping sf in a fannish enclosure of its own and fattening it like a pig is nothing to be proud of. What I dream of is the rehabilitation of the spirit of science fiction within literature at large, the restoration of the territory of hypothetical literature, which has been under occupation by naturalism. – read the rest of the essays.