The Cornell East Asia Series presents the first volume of Annotated Japanese Literary Gems, which makes available representative examples of annotated Japanese short stories and novellas from Meiji to the present. This multi-volume set of books - six volumes are planned - provides rubi for nearly all kanji at first use. Each story is also included in a plain-text version. Along with the extensive annotations provided, the collection serves as a resource for students of modern Japanese literature and can also be used as an intermediate to advanced language text. The volume is printed Japanese-style, with pages ordered from right to left. The present volume, the first in the collection, introduces stories by three important postwar authors: Readers on the Train, A Dictionary Village, and A Town Called Z from Fox-Possessed Moon, by Tawada Yoko; My Friend, by Hayashi Kyoko; and Trees and Grass, by Nakagami Kenji. Tawada Yoko lives in Hamburg and publishes in both German and Japanese with insight into how individual languages and the spaces between them work. Hayashi Kyoko is a Nagasaki author who spent her childhood years in wartime Shanghai and has written about both A-bomb and colonial experiences. Nakagami Kenji, a native of Shing in Wakayama, and the first Japanese author to identify himself as burakumin, concentrates on the themes of burakumin and their heritage.