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About the Author
Hyakken Uchida (1889-1971) was born in Okayama to a family of sake brewers whose business later went bankrupt. He started submitting his creative writing to magazines while still in secondary school and came to greatly admire the novelist Soseki Natsume. In 1911 he met Soseki, then in the hospital for a stomach ulcer, thereafter becoming his disciple. Following graduation from college he taught at various institutions, including the army academy and Hosei University, but abandoned his teaching career after 1934. His major works include the short-story anthologies Realm of the Dead and Triumphant March into Port Arthur (both tr. 2006 under the title Realm of the Dead); Tokyo shojin (Tokyo in Ruins), a painstakingly detailed depiction of life in Tokyo during and immediately after World War II; Aho ressha (Idiot Train), a series of humorous short stories about train travel; and Gansaku wagahai wa neko de aru (The Counterfeit "I Am a Cat").