Kenji Miyazawa was born in 1886 in Iwate Prefecture in northern Japan, where his father was a merchant. His many interests included entomology, mineralogy, and astronomy. He was also well-read in philosophy and the Buddhist classics. He worked at a local agricultural high-school, where he was a very caring teacher. In addition to his many works of poetry, such as Haru to Shura, he wrote many short stories that demonstrate a profound insight into nature and all living entities. These stories are very popular in Japan among children and adults alike. His work is rich in humor, religious and scientific observation, and linguistic experimentation. His position in modern Japanese is sure and unique. Miayzawa died young, aged 37 in 1933. But his work has been revived in film, theater, comic books, songs, and other visual arts, evidence of his wide-ranging influence not only on art in general, but on aesthetic, ethical and philosophical endeavors too. The centennary of his birth will be celebrated with a festival in his native land this year.