Morio Kita, an author known both for serious novels and light essays, died of an intestinal obstruction on Oct. 24. He was 84.
Kita, whose real name is Sokichi Saito, is known especially for his Doctor Mambo series of essays, in which he criticized civilizations with dry humor.
Kita, a psychiatrist, traveled through the southern seas and Europe as a doctor aboard a Fisheries Agency research vessel.
"Dokutoru Manbo Kokaiki" (Doctor Mambo at Sea), based on that experience, became a bestseller in 1960.
The same year, Kita won the Akutagawa Prize for "Yoru to Kiri no Sumide" (In the Corner of Night and Fog), a novel in which he portrayed doctors' resistance against Nazi Germany's massacre of people who suffered from mental disorders.
In 1964, he released "Nireke no Hitobito" (The House of Nire), a novel about the rise and fall of a family over three generations. The story is modeled after his grandfather, who opened a hospital, and others.
Author Yukio Mishima praised the book as "one of the most important novels written after World War II."
Kita was born in Tokyo in 1927 as the second son of poet Mokichi Saito.
He graduated from the medical department of Tohoku University.
His brother, Shigeta Saito, was a psychiatrist and essayist. His daughter, Yuka, is also an essayist.
- « Prev
- Next »