Kafu Nagai (1879-1959), one of the best known and most popular of Japanese novelists during the first half of the twentieth century, had a versatile career as newspaper reporter, bank clerk, university teacher, playwright, essayist, diarist, and lecturer on woodblock prints. His works are noted for their depictions of life in early twentieth-century Tokyo, especially among geisha, prostitutes, cabaret dancers, and other inhabitants of the city's lively entertainment districts.
Kurt Meissner, a German businessman and an enthusiastic admirer of Japanese culture, has resided in Japan almost continuously since 1906. He has translated numerous Japanese literary works into his native language and is well known for his promotion of Japanese-German cultural relations. Mr. Meissner was a friend of novelist Nagai. His collaborator, Ralph Friedrich, a resident of Japan since 1946, has translated two Japanese childrenAEs books into English and is the author of a collection of poetry.