The Ark Sakura

The Ark Sakura

( Japanese - Hakobune Sakura Maru ( 方舟さくら丸 ) 1984 )

novel by Kobo Abe

translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter

Published: Knopf - hardback - 1988 ( 1st US )
ISBN: 0394558367 / 9780394558363

Martin, Secker & Warburg - hardback - 1988 ( 1st UK )
ISBN: 0436000237 / 9780436000232

Vintage Books - paperback - 1989
ISBN: 0679721614 / 9780679721611

Vintage Books - paperback - 2009
ISBN: 0307389634 / 9780307389633

Penguin Classics Science Fiction - paperback - 2021
ISBN: 0241454581 / 9780241454589

Penguin Classics Science Fiction - e-book - 2021
eISBN: 0141993189 / 9780141993188

An intelligent social outcast ( nicknamed Pig or Mole, depending on who you ask ), who, fearing imminent nuclear war, makes his home in an abandoned quarry. He spends years of his life stockpiling resources necassary for human survival. He not only secures enough supplies to keep himself going for years after the bombs drop, but enough to support an entire small village.
The story starts with him heading into town to recruit crew-members for his 'ship.' Feeling that he's running out of time, he hastily recruits a man who sells curious insects and two shills, both of who worked for the insect dealer. One of the shills ( or sakura )is a woman to whom he is sexually attracted, though all of his advances on her are frustrated by his own assumptions and her vague relationships to the other two men on board.
It's not long before the four unlikey comrades realize that they aren't alone in Pig's ark, and, even though they can barely trust each other (especially when Pig's weapon cache is discovered) they all try to work together to discover who the outsiders in their ark are and what their purpose is in the old quarry.


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