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No Longer Human (Ningen Shikkaku) is the story of a young man caught between the disintegration of the traditions of his aristocratic provincial family and the impact of modern Western ideas. Largely auto biographical, No Longer Human explores Dazai’s feeling of being ‘disqualified from being human’ (the literal translation of the original title) – a sense of loss and anomie that remains strong in Japan even today among those who struggle to reconcile their attachments to tradition with the necessities of living in a global economy.
’To know the nature of despair and to triumph over it in the ways that are possible to oneself – imagination was Dazai’s only weapon – is surely a sort of grace.’ – Richard Gilman, Jubilee
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