Kenzaburô Ôe was born in 1935 on the island of Shikoku in southern Japan. From 1954 to 1959 he studied French literature at the University of Tokyo. One of his first stories The Catch (1958) was awarded the Akutagawa Prize.
In 1960 he co-founded 'Wakai Nihon no kai' (Group of Young Japan), which protested against the Japan-US Security Treaty with their actions. In 1994 Ôe was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for his poetic strength that lead post-war Japanese literature in new directions. In addition to his short stories such as Lavish are the Dead (1958) and Women listening to the "rain tree" (1980/1983) a number of his novels have also been published in German language, including Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids (1958), the trilogy of novels The Flaming Green Tree (1993), Tagame. Berlin – Tokyo (2000), The Silent Cry (2008) and The Tower of Treatment and the Planet (2011).