Edited by one of Japan s leading and internationally acclaimed writers, this collection of short stories was compiled to mark the fortieth anniversary of the August 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Here some of Japan s best and most representative writers chronicle and re-create the impact of this tragedy on the daily lives of peasants, city professionals, artists, children, and families. From the crazy iris that grows out of season to the artist who no longer paints in color, the simple details described in these superbly crafted stories testify to the enormity of change in Japanese life, as well as in the future of our civilization. Included are The Crazy Iris by Masuji Ibuse, Summer Flower by Tamiki Hara, The Land of Heart s Desire by Tamiki Hara, Human Ashes by Katsuzo Oda, Fireflies by Yoka Ota, The Colorless Paintings by Ineko Sata, The Empty Can by Kyoko Hayashi, The House of Hands by Mitsuharu Inoue, and The Rite by Hiroko Takenishi."
Kenzaburo Oe was born in 1935 in the remote mountain village of Ose on Shikoku, the smallest of Japan's four main islands. The winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Literature, he is considered one of the most dynamic and revolutionary writers to have emerged in Japan since World War II.