Episode 298 – The Ghost of Japan Past

This week, we profile one of the great Western interpreters of Japan: Lafcadio Hearn. How did some Anglo-Greek kid end up in Japan by way of New Orleans, and why do we still care about him today?


Because Hearn was a Japanese national at the time of his death and he died in 1904, everything he ever wrote is public domain and freely searchable online.

Here is the Pulvers article I quote from so much in this episode.

Starr, S. Frederick. Inventing New Orleans: Writings of Lafcadio Hearn.

Hirakawa, Sukehiro, ed. Lafcadio Hearn in International Perspectives.


Lafcadio Hearn and his wife Koizumi Setsu.
Hearn, his wife, and their first child. From the Lafcadio Hearn memorial museum.
Lafcadio Hearn. Note that in every photo of him he is facing to your right. This is to hide his bad eye.
Lafcadio Hearn’s gravestone, where his name is written as Koizumi Yakumo.
A still from the 1965 Kwaidan movie (this one from the Yuki Onna chapter). It’s an enormously stylish film and worth checking out or that reason6



1 thought on “Episode 298 – The Ghost of Japan Past”

  1. YES, WE WANT TO HEAR ABOUT KWAIDAN! That’s what I was hoping to hear about! I was also hoping to hear about “In Ghostly Japan.”

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