Miyazawa Kenji has become one of Japan's most read and best loved authors. Born in 1896 in Iwate Prefecture, he was only 37 at the time of his death. Kenji's literary works received scant attention during his lifetime and only two books were published before his passing: a collection of children's tales entitled The Restaurant of Many Orders and the first section of his most famous work of poetry, Spring and Ashura. The remainder of the great number of children's stories and poems that he left behind was edited and published only posthumously, after which the richness and depth of his art finally gained wide recognition. In 1996, the one-hundredth anniversary of Kenji's birth was commemorated by exhibitions not only in Iwate, his birthplace, but throughout Japan. Numerous books, TV programs, and several movies also added to the nation's fascination with him.