Ever since his death in 1927, Ryunosuke Akutagawa has been hailed as one of the greatest short story writers in world literature. Most famous for his story Rashomon and the Kurosawa movie it inspired, Akutagawa's wide range of fiction is beautifully displayed in this newly reissued collection of his stories. With characteristic lyricism and great style, the stories here capture the strange world of Akutagawa, from the slow, gentle death of a haiku master (“Withered Fields”) to a vicious, marauding gang and their bloody fight with samurai (“The Robbers”), and the sly tale told from a dog's perspective of his escape from home (“The Dog, Shiro”). Throughout these stories, Akutagawa captures the often confused spirit of a Japan undergoing great change and confronting modernity at the turn of the last century. But these stories remain timeless classics, and any reader, whether a fan of Akutagawa or someone discovering him for the first time, will find wonderful delight in these unusual stories. Previously published in a Liveright edition as Exotic Japanese Stories.