Junji Ito made his professional manga debut in 1987 and since then
has gone on to be recognized as one of the greatest contemporary
artists working in the horror genre. His titles include
Tomie and Uzumaki, which have been adapted into
live-action films; Gyo, which was adapted into an animated
film; and his short story collections Fragments of Horror,
Shiver and Frankenstein, all of which are available
from VIZ Media. Ito's influences include classic horror manga
artists Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino, as well as authors Yasutaka
Tsutsui and H.P. Lovecraft.
Osamu Dazai was born in Aomori, Northern Japan, in 1909, the son of a wealthy landowning family. During his boyhood and youth, he wrestled with his own complicated mental state and eventually dropped out of Tokyo Imperial University's French Literature Department. He went onto pen a number of important works, including Run, Melos!, Return to Tsugaru, and The Setting Sun, becoming one of the leading voices in contemporary literature, even while he struggled with drug addiction and attempted suicide on multiple occasions. In June 1948, one month after completing No Longer Human, considered by some to have been his own suicide note, he drowned himself with his lover Tomie Yamazaki in the Tamagawa Canal in Mitaka, Tokyo. He was 38.