Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, Vol 1

Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, Vol 1

by Lafcadio Hearn

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Overview

A Japanese magic-lantern show is essentially dramatic. It is a play of which the dialogue is uttered by invisible personages, the actors and the scenery being only luminous shadows. Wherefore it is peculiarly well suited to goblinries and weirdnessess of all kinds; and plays in which ghosts figure are the favourite subject. -from "Of Ghosts and Goblins"

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, even the Japanese smile and its particular allure.

A wonderful journal of immersion on a foreign land, this will bewitch Japanophiles and travelers to the East.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940148322030
Publisher: Tower Publishing
Publication date: 04/24/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 905 KB

About the Author

Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (June 27, 1850 - September 26, 1904), also known as Koizumi Yakumo (小泉八雲) after gaining Japanese citizenship, was an author, best known for his books about Japan. He is especially well-known for his collections of Japanese legends and ghost stories, such as Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. Early life Hearn was born in Lefkada (the origin of his middle name), one of the Greek Ionian Islands. He was the son of Surgeon-major Charles Hearn (of King's County, Ireland) and Rosa Antonia Kassimati, who had been born on Kythera, another of the Ionian Islands. His father was stationed in Lefkada during the British occupation of the islands. Lafcadio was initially baptized Patricio Lefcadio Tessima Carlos Hearn in the Greek Orthodox Church. Hearn moved to Dublin, Ireland, at the age of two. Artistic and rather bohemian tastes were in his blood. His father's brother Richard was at one time a well-known member of the Barbizon set of artists, though he made no mark as a painter due to his lack of energy. Young Hearn had a rather casual education, but in 1865 was at Ushaw Roman Catholic College, Durham. He was injured in a playground accident in his teens, causing loss of vision in his left eye. Emigration The religious faith in which he was brought up was, however, soon lost, and at 19 he was sent to live in the United States of America, where he settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. For a time, he lived in utter poverty, which may have contributed to his later paranoia and distrust of those around him. He eventually found a friend in the English printer and communalist Henry Watkin. With Watkin's help, Hearn picked up a living in the lower grades of newspaper work. Through the strength of his talent as a writer, Hearn quickly advanced through the newspaper ranks and became a reporter for the Cincinnati Daily Enquirer, working for the paper from 1872 to 1875. With creative freedom in one of Cincinnati's largest circulating newspapers, he developed a reputation as the paper's premier sensational journalist, as well as the author of sensitive, dark, and fascinating accounts of Cincinnati's disadvantaged. He continued to occupy himself with journalism and with out-of-the-way observation and reading, and meanwhile his erratic, romantic, and rather morbid idiosyncrasies developed. While in Cincinnati, he married Alethea ("Mattie") Foley, a black woman, an illegal act at the time.

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