Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681372600
Pages: 288
Publication Date: October 2, 2018

Once and ForeverThe Tales of Kenji Miyazawa

by Kenji Miyazawa, translated from the Japanese by John Bester


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Kenji Miyazawa is one of modern Japan’s most beloved writers, a great poet and a strange and marvelous spinner of tales, whose sly, humorous, enchanting, and enigmatic stories bear a certain resemblance to those of his contemporary Robert Walser. John Bester’s selection and expert translation of Miyazawa’s short fiction reflects its full range from the joyful, innocent “Wildcat and the Acorns,” to the cautionary tale “The Restaurant of Many Orders,” to “The Earthgod and the Fox,” which starts out whimsically before taking a tragic turn. Miyazawa also had a deep connection to Japanese folklore and an intense love of the natural world. In “The Wild Pear,” what seem to be two slight nature sketches succeed in encapsulating some of the cruelty and compensations of life itself.


A marvelous writer who deserves to be much better known in English.

Miyazawa seems to have been something of a genius.
The Observer

A humble and gifted writer.

Miyazawa’s tales beg to be read and reread slowly and out loud.

Readers who haven’t outgrown imaginative stories...will enjoy Miyazawa no less than Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, Dickens and Dr. Seuss.
Asahi Evening News

The work of a truly good man and a great writer.
Insight Japan

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