Born in Tokyo in 1924, Tomiko Inui joined a publishing house in 1950, where she began working as an editor, as well as writing books for children. She published many books over her long career, winning prizes along the way including the Mainishi Publishing Culture Award and the Akaitori Award for Children's Literature. She was also runner-up in 1964 for the Hans Christian Andersen prize. The Secret of the Blue Glass is the first of her books to be translated into English. She died in 2002.