“The most critical thing for us Japanese in the 21st century is to free ourselves from Japanese-style nationalism, both politically and culturally.” So said author Kenzaburo Oe to me in the autumn of 1995, a year after he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Prominent in the world of Japanese letters since the late 1950s, Oe has been, for more than 30 years, at the forefront of issues relating to Japan’s role in World War II and its place in the world today.

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