This collection of Japanese short stories reveals a rapidly changing Japanese society and the deep draw of its traditional culture. The first half of this century saw the coming of age of the Japanese short story. Influenced by Western literary techniques, such innovative writers as Shiga Naoya, Ozaki Shiro, Yasunari Kawabata, Shimaki Kensaku, Hayashi Fumiko, Dazai Osamu, and (somewhat later) Kobo Abe reassessed the Japanese story tradition and brought new vigor to the uniquely Japanese sense of the detail and natural context of everyday life. The works of these writers stand at the center of modern Japan's literary development. Despite their differences, it is the simplicity and purity of their natural images-sultry late-summer days, cicadas, lizards, and the sounds of life's routines-that more than anything anchor the emotions and perceptions of their stories. For A Late Chrysanthemum, translator and editor Lane Dunlop has selected twenty-one stories by these seven intriguing and influential authors to convey the depth and range of the modern Japanese story, a discriminating selection which, in Dunlop's sure and masterful English renderings, won this book the Japan-United States Friendship Award for Literary Translation.