Kenzaburo Oé and Amartya Sen's Capability Approach

I was a bookish girl (or bungaku shojyo in Japanese), especially I was a fan of Kenzaburo Oé in my adolescent years. Oé was so cool and his esoteric writings satisfied the slightly rebellious and sassy teenager/young adult. Later on, I switched my major from Japanese literature to sociology and moved to the US. So, I did not have much time to read Japanese novels. For decade, I rarely read Oé.

It was only recently that I restarted reading Oé. Reading his so-called late work reminded me of how I had felt as a teenager ... what an incredible story teller!

Also, last summer I found his book A public Exchange of Letters with Oe Kenzaburo – Writing in Defiance of Violence (「暴力に逆らって書く」朝日新聞社、2006年). In the book, our old friend (!) exchanged a few letters with our great sensei, Amartya Sen.

In this blog, using Oé's words and examples, I tried to explain the basic insights of Sen's view in Japanese.


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