Born in Tokyo in 1924, Tomiko Inui joined a publishing house in 1950, where she began working as an editor, as well as writing books for children. She published many books over her long career, winning prizes along the way including the Mainishi Publishing Culture Award and the Akaitori Award for Children's Literature. She was also runner-up in 1964 for the Hans Christian Andersen prize. The Secret of the Blue Glass is the first of her books to be translated into English. She died in 2002.
I love this book. Pushkin Children's Books are to be congratulated in making it available to an English audience. How important it is, in these times, that our children read the stories from other peoples, other cultures, other times... While the story has elements of the work of Oscar Wilde and Hans Christian Andersen, the author admits to having been inspired by Kenneth Grahame and Antoine de Saint-Exupery -- Michael Morpurgo Guardian [The book] has a sensibility and a poetry of its own Independent on Sunday The Secret of the Blue Glass is a tender and beautifully written story full of adventure, hardship and cultural revelations. Lancashire Evening Post A glorious fantasy story... utterly captivating. Read it Daddy Hurrah once again for Pushkin's wonderful mission to bring fresh translations of foreign classics to a generation of english speaking readers. First published in Japan in 1959, think the borrowers, under the shadow of WW2. Angels & Urchins A terrific story of courage, loyalty and love Books for Keeps The English translation of Tomiko Inui's 1967 classic has been a long but worthwhile wait, the author's tribute to love and courage in the face of a menacing new form of patriotism, reminding us that children's literature can both address adult concerns and provide alternatives to our failings Japan Times, Books of the Year An extraordinary book and Pushkin Children's Books are to be congratulated... story has elements of the work of Oscar Wilde and Hans Christian Andersen The School Librarian A fascinating and absorbing read that opens up a window into another world... A terrific story of love and courage in the face of change and adversity as well as a gripping fantasy read South China Morning Post A unique and valuable read Lines from the Horizon (blog)