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"Vivid and accurate." -Los Angeles Times "A wonderful storyteller with a variety of unusual experiences." -Washington Post Book World "Packed with colorful details and insights, told straightforwardly without machismo or exaggeration... Important and entertaining." -Manoa "This is the kind of history that rarely gets recorded... Interesting, candid, and honest." -Far Eastern Economic Review Memories of pain and pleasure...a witness to the past." -Le Monde "Fascinating ... gang hierarchy, the relationship between the police and the mob, the organization of gambling sessions and of prison life." -Quadrant "Compelling...big-hearted."-International Herald Tribune
Dr. JUNICHI SAGA is a medical doctor with a general practice in Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Lake Kasumigaura. He began taping his elderly patients' reminiscences about thirty years ago when he realized what a wealth of detail and information they contained. He has published numerous works of local history and ecology, two of which are available in English: Memories of Wind and Waves and Memories of Silk and Straw. In his spare time he does ink painting. JOHN BESTER, the translator, is one of the foremost translators of Japanese fiction. In 1990 he was given the first Noma Award for the Translation of Japanese Literature, for his English version of a short-story collection by Yukio Mishima entitled Acts of Worship.