Kwaidan

Stories and Studies of Strange Things

By Lafcadio Hearn
(Tuttle Publishing, Paperback, 9780804836623, 256pp.)

Publication Date: February 2005

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Description
This collection of Japanese supernatural stories is a classic work in the field of Japanese horror.
Known primarily as an early interpreter of Japanese culture and customs, the famous writer Lafcadio Hearn also wrote ghost stories--"delicate, transparent, ghostly sketches"--about his adopted land. Many of the stories found in "Kwaidan," "stories and studies of strange things," are based on Japanese tales of long ago told to him by his wife; others possibly have a Chinese origin. All have been re-colored and reshaped by Hearn's inimitable hand.
Some critics attribute Hearn's fascination with eerie tales to his partial blindness. Whatever its roots, he was clearly drawn to the hidden realms of the spirit world and to strange facts and marvels. In this collection of unforgettably haunting stories, Hearn brings together "the meeting of three ways"--the austere dreams of India, the subtle beauty of Japan and the relentless science of the Western world.
Japanese ghost and supernatural tales include: A musician called upon to perform for the deadMan-eating goblinsInsects who uncannily mimic human behavior.



About the Author
Hearn (1850-1904) was born in Levkas, Greece, as the son of Greek and British parents. In 1869 he went to the United States and did various work, finally as a journalist. In 1890 he came to Japan and taught English in Japanese schools, and became a Japanese citizen under the name of Koizumi Yakuma. He died in Tokyo.
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