As an interpreter of Japan to the West, Lafcadio Hearn was without parallel in his time. His numerous books about that country were read with a fascination that was a tribute to his keen powers of observation and the vividness of his descriptions. Today, even though Japan has changed greatly from what it was when he wrote about it, his writing is still valid, for it captures the essence of the country - an essence that has actually changed a good deal less than outward appearances might suggest. In a word, the Japanese character and the Japanese tradition are still fundamentally the same as Hearn described.
MY little two-story house by the Ohashigawa, although dainty as a bird- cage, proved much too small for comfort at the approach of the hot season-the rooms being scarcely higher than steamship cabins, and so narrow that an ordinary mosquito-net could not be suspended in them. I was sorry to lose the beautiful lake view, but I found it necessary to remove to the northern quarter of the city, into a very quiet Street behind the mouldering castle. My new home is a katchiu-yashiki, the ancient residence of some samurai of high rank. It is shut off from the street, or rather roadway, skirting the castle moat by a long, high wall coped with tiles. One ascends to the gateway, which is almost as large as that of a temple court, by a low broad flight of stone steps; and projecting from the wall, to the right of the gate, is a look-out window, heavily barred, like a big wooden cage. Thence, in feudal days, armed retainers kept keen watch on all who passed by-invisible watch, for the bars are set so closely that a face behind them cannot be seen from the roadway. Inside the gate the approach to the dwelling is also walled in on both sides, so that the visitor, unless privileged, could see before him only the house entrance, always closed with white shoji. Like all samurai homes, the residence itself is but one story high, but there are fourteen rooms within, and these are lofty, spacious, and beautiful. There is, alas, no lake view nor any charming prospect. Part of the O-Shiroyama, with the castle on its summit, half concealed by a park of pines, may be seen above the coping of the front wall, but only a part; and scarcely a hundred yards behind the house rise densely wooded heights, cutting off not only the horizon, but a large slice of the sky as well. For this immurement, however, there exists fair compensation in the shape of a very pretty garden, or rather a series of garden spaces, which surround the dwelling on three sides. Broad verandas overlook these, and from a certain veranda angle I can enjoy the sight of two gardens at once. Screens of bamboos and woven rushes, with wide gateless openings in their midst, mark the boundaries of the three divisions of the pleasure-grounds. But these structures are not intended to serve as true fences; they are ornamental, and only indicate where one style of landscape gardening ends and another begins.
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Lafcadio Hearn is a notable person in Japan now and yesteryear. In 1947 for a month I lived in "his Matsue" and also nearby Yonago. His tales of Fox are very relevant to this area with many shrines to foxes and in turn the many symbols for Fox from village folk. For a westerner his varied writings combine enthusiasim with accurate description of what must be the enigma of Japan. I enjoyed his writings, again, in an economical book
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"
Excerpt from Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, Vol. 2 of 2 After having learned - merely by seeing, for the practical knowledge of the art requires years of study and experience, besides a natural, instinctive sense of beauty - something about the Japanese manner of arranging ﬂowers, one can thereafter consider European ideas of ﬂoral decoration only as vulgari ties. This Observation is not the result of any hasty. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
This edition is written in English. However, there is a running Portuguese thesaurus at the bottom of each page for the more difficult English words highlighted in the text. There are many editions of Glimpses of an Unfamiliar Japan, Volume 2. This edition would be useful if you would like to enrich your Portuguese-English vocabulary, whether for self-improvement or for preparation in advanced of college examinations. Webster's edition of this classic is organized to expose the reader to a maximum number of difficult and potentially ambiguous English words. Rare or idiosyncratic words and expressions are given lower priority compared to "difficult, yet commonly used" English words. Rather than supply a single translation, many words are translated for a variety of meanings in Portuguese, allowing readers to better grasp the ambiguity of English without using the notes as a pure translation crutch. Having the reader decipher a word's meaning within context serves to improve vocabulary retention and understanding. Each page covers words not already highlighted on previous pages. This edition is helpful to Portuguese-speaking students enrolled in an English Language Program (ELP), an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) program, an English as a Second Language Program (ESL), or in a TOEFL or TOEIC preparation program. Students who are actively building their vocabularies in Portuguese or English may also find this useful for Advanced Placement (AP ) tests. TOEFL, TOEIC, AP and Advanced Placement are trademarks of the Educational Testing Service which has neither reviewed nor endorsed this book. This book is one of a series of Webster's paperbacks that allows the reader to obtain more value from the experience of reading. Translations are from Webster's Online Dictionary, derived from a meta-analysis of public sources, cited on the site.
To what extent can music be employed to shape one culture's understanding of another? In the American imagination, Japan has represented the "most alien" nation for over 150 years. This perceived difference has inspired fantasies--of both desire and repulsion--through which Japanese culture has profoundly impacted the arts and industry of the U.S. While the influence of Japan on American and European painting, architecture, design, theater, and literature has been celebrated in numerous books and exhibitions, the role of music has been virtually ignored until now. W. Anthony Sheppard's Extreme Exoticism offers a detailed documentation and wide-ranging investigation of music's role in shaping American perceptions of the Japanese, the influence of Japanese music on American composers, and the place of Japanese Americans in American musical life. Presenting numerous American encounters with and representations of Japanese music and Japan, this book reveals how music functions in exotic representation across a variety of genres and media, and how Japanese music has at various times served as a sign of modernist experimentation, a sounding board for defining American music, and a tool for reshaping conceptions of race and gender. From the Tin Pan Alley songs of the Russo-Japanese war period to Weezer's Pinkerton album, music has continued to inscribe Japan as the land of extreme exoticism.
This second collection under the 'Biographical Portraits' title, incorporates a further 20 studies of key personalities, including Edmund Morel, pioneer railway builder in Meiji Japan, Alexander Shand, an important figure in the development of Japanese banking, Lafcadio Hearn, the great interpreter of Japanese culture, Rev. Dr. John Batchelor whose work with the Ainu people of northern Japan is legendary and, more recently, Shigeru Yoshida, Japan's first post-war prime minister and Christmas Humphreys, founder of the Buddhist Society.
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