Friday, April 8, 2016
Lafcadio Hearn, aka Koizumi Yakumo
Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) was an open-minded writer and world-traveller who settled in Matsue as an English teacher in 1890. There, he met his wife, daughter to a samurai family, and lived in a simple but beautiful traditional Japanese house on Shiomi Nawate Street, north of Matsue Castle. His former residence is now open to the public, and located next to it is the Memorial Museum dedicated to his life and his works. Like in so many places in Matsue, there are great discounts for international visitors.
Hearn was one of the earliest and most prolific writers to reveal Japan to the western world, in books such as Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan and Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things, a collection of translated legends. He was also one of the first westerners to adopt Japanese citizenship and was naturalized as Koizumi Yakumo (小泉八雲), the name by which he remains known in Japan.