This book provides a rare opportunity to look over the shoulders of two prominent personalities as they exchange letters over a one-year period. They write about their impressions and reflections on travels and work, seasons and places, close friends and public figures they have known. Both are men of wide experience. Ikeda has visited China a number of times, contributing to the restoration of friendly relations between China and Japan. Yasushi Inoue (1907-1991) is an award-winning author of historical short stories and novels, many of them set in China. Through correspondence they reveal not only much of themselves but of Japanese society as well.