Miyamoto Teru has established a considerable and devoted following in Japan, and is rapidly building a devoted readership in other Asian countries and parts of Europe as his fiction is translated into various languages. With only a few of his works currently available in English, however, Anglophone readers have for the most part been unaware of the "Teru" literary phenomenon. This book brings together his most famous work, the superlative Rivers Sequence: "Muddy River," which was published in 1977 and won the 78th Akutagawa Prize; "River of Fireflies," published the following year and promptly winning the 13th Dazai Osamu Prize; and "River of Lights," also published in 1978 but later extensively rewritten and expanded into a novel. All three works have been released as major films in Japan.
Kojima Nobuo is best-known in English for his outstanding novella, "Amerikan sukuuru" (1954, "The American School"), which earned the Akutagawa Prize that year. Strongly affected by World War II and the postwar era, his style evolved into a powerful, often painfully honest satire depicting the Japanese male as a Milquetoast, under the thumbs of women and society in general. Influenced by Gogol and other giants of Russian literature, Kojima's style and technique immerse the reader in the doubts and dilemmas of his characters to powerful effect.