Have you ever participated in the IrishFestival? This event is a festival touched on the culture of Ireland which isthe home of Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo). In addition, in March of this year, I willappear on the stage.

Although it is a story about the Heike Monogatari, Hearnwill also appear. Because Hearn has a connection in that he wrote a ghost storycalled “Miminashi Hoichi” using Heike Monogatari. Hearn left a lot ofghost stories and literature on Japan. Lafcadio Hearn is one of the foreignerswho emigrated to Japan despite being born and raised abroad. Patrick Lafcadio Hearn was born in 1850 atlefcada in Greece. So his middle name was named from the island he was born. Hewas born to the Greek mother and the Irish father.

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When Hearn was a child, hisparents divorced and Hearn was raised by a mother’s aunt. Because of thisaunt’s education, Hearn began to focus on the occult. “His surrogate parent was an Irish aunt who believed,rather strangely, that locking children in closets cured their fear of thedark. Subjected to this treatment, the terrified Hearn developed an interest inthe occult, which inspired much of his later writing about New Orleans’s voodooculture” (Danny Heitman).

Later, he went to the UK for study. Andhe was injured his left eye. Hearn worked in Cincinnati, New Orleans, etc.after moving to London due to bankruptcy of his aunt. And he went to Japan andlived in Matsue too. He met Koizumi Setsu and got married.

In 1895, he becamenaturalized in Japan and came to call him “Koizumi Yakumo” famous inJapan today. “In the short period of 14 yearsthat he had lived in Japan, he felt that he had become privy to the most deeplycherished secrets of the Japanese mindset”(Roger Pulvers). Hearnlived in Japan, living in the Japanese culture, until he was 54 years old untilleaving the world. Since Hearn came to Japan, he left a lot ofworks such as “Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan”and “Out of the East”. “Hearn’sdepictions of Meiji-era Japan are still well regarded today. Interestingly,though, his Japanese-language ability was apparently very limited, and helargely relied on his wife for communication”(David White).

His wifesupported Hearn in many parts. In addition, he wrote many ghost stories such as”Miminashi Hoichi” and “Yukionna”.”It was these themesthat were to make him enduringly well-known in Japan, with Kwaidan, hiscollection of Japanese ghost stories and legends, in particular, making its markamongst Japanese and those with an interest in Japan. Kwaidan was alsomade into a film in 1965, directed by Masaki Kobayashi”(David White).”Kwaidan” is still loved by many Japanese people.

 I knew about Lafcadio Hearn and was moved byhis love of Japan. Even if foreign blood is flowing to him, I think that no onehas a heart like “Japanese” as he is. I think also that the ghost stories he wrotewill continue to be read by many people.