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State of Mind
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A young man who was banished as a rebel in the past. At first glance, he seems a judgmental, contrary person, but he shows his inherently kind nature to those he trusts. He hates authority, but he will not give up his pacifist ways; in the crisis this time, too, he will help out, but in his own way. Despite his slender appearance, he is a big eater.


  • Though he was born on December 1 according to the current calendar system, his birthday was recorded as October 13 (according to the lunar calendar) in his family register.
  • He grew up in Otaru, a port city in Hokkaidou, received a good education, and later worked at the Otaru branch of the Hokkaidou Development Bank. He did take the entrance exam to Tokyo University of Commerce, but failed and returned to Hokkaidou.
  • He became interested in literature in high school, especially great Russian novels and the works of Shiga Naoya. He started writing letters to Shiga around then, and Shiga remembered his name when they met around 10 years later.
  • His most famous work, The Crab Cannery Ship sold fifteen thousand copies before it was finally banned. Even after the book had been abanned, abridged versions (omitting half the text) were generally available. The complete text was republished in 1948.
  • Shiga praised the story of The Crab Cannery Ship in a letter written August 7, 1931 (half a year before Kobayashi's death), but advised Kobayashi that "...it weakens one's work in every sense if one writes with a conscious ideology." Kobayashi was apparently extremely pleased to have received the letter.
  • After a few years of constantly hiding from police and writing for magazines, he was finally lured into a trap by a police agent and caught on February 20, 1933.
  • He died at age 29 as a victim of police terror against Communists in Japan. Circumstances surrounding his death are muddled by the police, but it is now known that he died 5 hours after his capture from Third Degree torture methods.
  • The alleged cause for his death is heart failure, but the ghastly wounds on his body proved otherwise. However, due to the influence of the police, no hospitals agreed to perform an autopsy.
  • His mother, at the time 60 years old, asked that her son be given a workers' funeral instead of the religious one. When she saw the body, she turned on the police and said that never would she believe he had died a natural death.
  • His death marked the end for the proletarian literature movement, as it soon came under fire and some of its most prominent members withdrew. It did not revive until 1945.