A discussion of one of the great interpreters of Japan. The Japanese have always revered Hearn and this book shows the West why he is revered. Experts look at his writings and discuss his integrity as an observer and interpreter of Japan and the Japanese.
This collection of writings from Lafcaido Hern paints a rare and fascinating picture of pre-modern Japan Over a century after his death, author, translator, and educator Lafcaido Hearn remains one of the best-known Westerners ever to make Japan his home. Almost more Japanese than the Japanese—"to think with their thoughts" was his aim—his prolific writings on things Japanese were instrumental in introducing Japanese culture to the West. In this masterful anthology, Donald Richie shows that Hearn was first and foremost a reliable and enthusiastic observer, who faithfully recorded a detailed account of the people, customs, and culture of late nineteen-century Japan. Opening and closing with excerpts from Hearn's final books, Richie's astute selection from among "over 4,000 printed pages" not including correspondence and other writing, also reveals Hearn's later, more sober and reflective attitudes to the things that he observed and wrote about. Part One, "The Land," chronicles Hearn's early years when he wrote primarily about the appearance of his adopted home. Part Two, "The People," records the author's later years when he came to terms with the Japanese themselves. In this anthology, Richie, more gifted in capturing the essence of a person on the page than any other foreign writer living in Japan, has picked out the best of Hearn's evocations. Select writings include: The Chief City of the Province of the Gods Three Popular Ballads In the Cave of the Children's Ghosts Bits of Life and Death A Street Singer Kimiko On A Bridge
"This book, “Lafcadio Hearn in Japan,” is our Japanese appreciation; we observed him under many different shades, but our appreciation of his art, and also of him as a man—unique in character doubtless, sincere even to a fault,—and as a professor in our Imperial University, is uniform, I think, through every chapter. Where you will find a frequent repetition in the book is the exact place we wish to emphasize; and if the book appears to lack a certain unity, I will say that it was not my intention to write a biography." Yone Noguchi
Scholar and self-taught ethnographer Lafcadio Hearn spent much of his life documenting and interpreting Japanese culture for Western audiences. His observations and essays in Glimpses of an Unfamiliar Japan offer an exciting look into the daily lives of the Japanese in a bygone era.
In 1889, Westerner Lafcadio Hearn arrived in Japan on a journalistic assignment, and he fell so in love with the nation and its people that he never left. In 1894, just as Japan was truly opening to the West and global interest in Japanese culture was burgeoning, Hearn published this delightful series of essays glorifying what he called the "rare charm of Japanese life." Beautifully written and a joy to read, Hearn's love letters to the land of the rising sun enchant with their sweetly lyrical descriptions of winter street fairs, puppet theaters, religious statuaries, and even the Japanese smile and its particular allure. Presented here in one combined volume, Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan is a wonderful journal of immersion on a foreign land that will bewitch Japanophiles and travelers to the East. Bohemian and writer PATRICK LAFCADIO HEARN (1850-1904) was born in Greece, raised in Ireland, and worked as newspaper reporter in the United States before decamping to Japan. His writings include In Ghostly Japan (1899), Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation (1904), and Kwaidon (1904), a book of Japanese ghost stories.
A collection of twenty-eight brilliant and strange stories, inspired by Japanese folk tales and written by renowned Western expatriate Lafcadio Hearn Lafcadio Hearn (1850–1904) was one of the nineteenth century’s best-known writers, his name celebrated alongside those of Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson. Born in Greece and raised in Ireland, Hearn was a true prodigy and world traveler. He worked as a reporter in Cincinnati, New Orleans, and the West Indies before heading to Japan in 1890 on a commission from Harper’s. There, he married a Japanese woman from a samurai family, changed his name to Koizumi Yakumo, and became a Japanese subject. An avid collector of traditional Japanese tales, legends, and myths, Hearn taught literature and wrote his own tales for both Japanese and Western audiences. Japanese Tales of Lafcadio Hearn brings together twenty-eight of Hearn’s strangest and most entertaining stories in one elegant volume. Hearn’s tales span a variety of genres. Many are fantastical ghost stories, such as “The Corpse-Rider,” in which a man foils the attempts of his former wife’s ghost to haunt him. Some are love stories in which the beloved is not what she appears to be: in “The Story of Aoyagi,” a young samurai narrowly escapes the wrath of his lord for marrying without permission, only to discover that his wife is the spirit of a willow tree. Throughout this collection, Hearn’s reverence for Japan shines through, and his stories provide insights into the country’s artistic and cultural heritage. With an introduction by Andrei Codrescu discussing Hearn’s life and work, as well as a foreword by Jack Zipes, Japanese Tales of Lafcadio Hearn provides a unique window into one writer’s multicultural literary journey.
This volume presents twenty-two diverse essays drawn from papers delivered at conferences held in four cities in Japan in 2004 – the centenary of Lafcadio Hearn's death –, as well as at other international conferences that took place earlier. Contributors are Joan Blythe, John Clubbe, Susan Fisher, Ted Goosen, George Hughes, Yoko Makino, Peter McIvor, Hitobe Nabae, Cody Poulton and Masaru Toda.