Koizumi Yakumo, born Patrick Lafcadio Hearn, was a writer. He worked in the United States before moving to Japan and becoming Japanese. He was of Greek-Irish descent. He wrote about Japanese culture, especially his collections of legends and ghost stories, such as Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. In the United States, he is also known for his writings about New Orleans, based on his decade-long stay there.
Hearn was born on the Greek island of Lefkada to a Greek mother and an Irish father, after which a complex series of conflicts and events led to him being moved to Dublin, where he was abandoned first by his mother, then his father, and finally by his father's aunt (who had been appointed his official guardian). At the age of 19, he emigrated to the United States, where he found work as a newspaper reporter, first in Cincinnati and later in New Orleans. From there, he was sent as a correspondent to the French West Indies, where he stayed for two years, and then to Japan, where he would remain for the rest of his life.
In Japan, Hearn married a Japanese woman with whom he had four children. His writings about Japan offered the Western world a glimpse into a largely unknown but fascinating culture at the time.
Books by Lafcadio Hearn
Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things
Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things, often shortened to Kwaidan ("ghost story"), is a 1904 book by Lafcadio Hearn that features several Japanese ghost stories and a brief non-fiction study on insects. It was later used as the basis for a 1...
Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation
In this posthumously published book, he takes a closer look at Japan's religious history: How it developed from ancient beliefs into Shintoism, resisted suppression attempts by both Buddhism and Christianity and how – despite efforts to westernise Ja...
Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life
"The papers composing this volume treat of the inner rather than of the outer life of Japan, for which reason they have been grouped under the title Kokoro (heart). Written with the above character, this word signifies also mind, in the emotional sen...
Some Chinese Ghosts
This book has become a classic in the horror genre, providing a unique insight into Chinese folklore and the supernatural. Hearn's extensive knowledge of Chinese culture and language allowed him to delve deep into the country's traditional ghost sto...