A glimpse into the humorous, sardonic world of Dazai Osamu, presenting a new and very different look at a one of the recognized masters of Japanese, and indeed global, literature. These works from the middle years of his brief career show a skilled hand, with angst muted and his penchant for subtle comedy deftly displayed. Scholars and fans often divide the career of Dazai Osamu (1909-1948) into three periods: early, middle, and late. The early and late periods tend to get all the attention, but in fact Dazai was at his very best in the middle period, which corresponds roughly to the years of the Pacific War. All the stories in this collection, with the exception of the early “Romanesque,” were written during that time.