Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan

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Cosimo, Inc., 2005 - Travel - 324 pages
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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. Also available from Cosimo Classics: Hearn's Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life. 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. He also wrote In Ghostly Japan (1899), and Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation (1904).

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User Review  - nhoule - LibraryThing

Ever since reading a quotation in a, oddly enough, Fortran WhatV programming book, I was intrigued with Lafcadio Hearn. I have not read the entire book (Glimpses) but pick it from time to time when ... Read full review


My First Day in the Owkkt
The Wwtikg of Kgbobaisbi
III IvixziTia The Most Amcient Shrine of Japan
In the Cave of thk Childrens Ghosts
The Household Shrine
Of Womens Hair
From the Diary of an English Teacher
Of a DancingGirl
Of Sools
Of Ghosts and Goblins
XI The Japanese Smile

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Page 16 - Elfish everything seems ; for everything as well as everybody is small, and queer, and mysterious : the little houses under their blue roofs, the little shop-fronts hung with blue, and the smiling little people in their blue costumes. The illusion is only broken by the occasional passing of a tall foreigner, and by divers shop-signs bearing announcements in absurd attempts in English.
Page 16 - East so much read of, so long dreamed of, yet, as the eyes bear witness, heretofore all unknown. There is a romance even in the first full consciousness of this rather commonplace fact; but for me this consciousness is transfigured inexpressibly by the divine beauty of the day. There is some charm unutterable in the morning air, cool with the coolness of Japanese spring and...

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