"What I despise about Dazai is that he exposes precisely those things in myself that I most want to hide." -- Yukio Mishima
OSAMU DAZAI was born in 1909 into a powerful landowning family of northern Japan. A brilliant student, he entered the French department of Tokyo University in 1930, but later boasted that in the five years before he left without a degree, he had never attended a lecture. Dazai was famous for confronting head-on the social and moral crises of postwar Japan before he committed suicide by throwing himself into Tokyos Tamagawa Aqueduct. His body was found on what would have been his 39th birthday. SAM BETT is a fiction writer and Japanese translator. His translation of Yukio Mishimas Star won the 20192020 JapanU.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature.