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Full Online Book HomeAuthor Lafcadio HearnPage 1
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At Yaidzu At Yaidzu

At Yaidzu
I Under a bright sun the old fishing-town of Yaidzu has a particular charm of neutral color. Lizard-like it takes the grey tints of the rude grey coast on which it rests,--curving along a little bay. It is sheltered from heavy seas by an extraordinary rampart of boulders. This rampart, on the water-side, is built in the form of terrace-steps;--the rounded stones of which it is composed being kept in position by a sort of basket-work woven between rows of stakes driven deeply into the ground,--a separate row of stakes sustaining each of the grades. Looking landward from the top of... Short Stories - Post by : 2ndincome4u - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 2839

Story Of A Tengu Story Of A Tengu

Story Of A Tengu
Story of a Tengu (1) In the days of the Emperor Go-Reizei, there was a holy priest living in the temple of Saito, on the mountain called Hiyei-Zan, near Kyoto. One summer day this good priest, after a visit to the city, was returning to his temple by way of Kita-no-Oji, when he saw some boys ill-treating a kite. They had caught the bird in a snare, and were beating it with sticks. "Oh, the, poor creature!" compassionately exclaimed the priest;--"why do you torment it so, children?" One of the boys made answer:--"We want to kill it to get the feathers."... Short Stories - Post by : John_Ellis - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 801

Ingwa-banashi Ingwa-banashi

Ingwa-banashi
Ingwa-banashi(1) The daimyo's wife was dying, and knew that she was dying. She had not been able to leave her bed since the early autumn of the tenth Bunsei. It was now the fourth month of the twelfth Bunsei, --the year 1829 by Western counting; and the cherry-trees were blossoming. She thought of the cherry-trees in her garden, and of the gladness of spring. She thought of her children. She thought of her husband's various concubines,--especially the Lady Yukiko, nineteen years old. "My dear wife," said the daimyo, "you have suffered very much for three long years. We have done all... Short Stories - Post by : freebie - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 1120

Suggestion Suggestion

Suggestion
I had the privilege of meeting him in Tokyo he was making a brief stay on his way to India;--and we took a long walk together, and talked of Eastern religions, about which he knew incomparably more than I. Whatever I could tell him concerning local beliefs, he would comment upon in the most startling manner,--citing weird correspondences in some living cult of India, Burmah, or Ceylon. Then, all of a sudden, he turned the conversation into a totally unexpected direction. "I have been thinking," he said, "about the constancy of the relative proportion of the sexes, and wondering whether... Short Stories - Post by : denny3d - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 3216

Japanese Buddhist Proverbs Japanese Buddhist Proverbs

Japanese Buddhist Proverbs
As representing that general quality of moral experience which remains almost unaffected by social modifications of any sort, the proverbial sayings of a people must always possess a special psychological interest for thinkers. In this kind of folklore the oral and the written literature of Japan is rich to a degree that would require a large book to exemplify. To the subject as a whole no justice could be done within the limits of a single essay. But for certain classes of proverbs and proverbial phrases something can be done within even a few pages; and sayings related to Buddhism, either... Essays - Post by : vinnet - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 2035

Bits Of Poetry Bits Of Poetry

Bits Of Poetry
I Among a people with whom poetry has been for centuries a universal fashion of emotional utterance, we should naturally suppose the common ideal of life to be a noble one. However poorly the upper classes of such a people might compare with those of other nations, we could scarcely doubt that its lower classes were morally and otherwise in advance of our own lower classes. And the Japanese actually present us with such a social phenomenon. Poetry in Japan is universal as the air. It is felt by everybody. It is read by everybody. It is composed by almost everybody,--... Essays - Post by : RoyChan - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 2708

Ululation Ululation

Ululation
SHE is lean as a wolf, and very old,--the white bitch that guards my gate at night. She played with most of the young men and women of the neighborhood when they were boys and girls. I found her in charge of my present dwelling on the day that I came to occupy it. She had guarded the place, I was told, for a long succession of prior tenants--apparently with no better reason than that she had been born in the woodshed at the back of the house. Whether well or ill treated she had served all occupants faultlessly as a... Short Stories - Post by : cwbaugh - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 769

Footprints Of The Buddha Footprints Of The Buddha

Footprints Of The Buddha
I I was recently surprised to find, in Anderson's catalogue of Japanese and Chinese paintings in the British Museum, this remarkable statement:--"It is to be noted that in Japan the figure of the Buddha is never represented by the feet, or pedestal alone, as in the Amravati remains, and many other Indian art-relics." As a matter of fact the representation is not even rare in Japan. It is to be found not only upon stone monuments, but also in religious paintings,--especially certain kakemono suspended in temples. These kakemono usually display the footprints upon a very large scale, with a multitude of... Short Stories - Post by : Martynas - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 1758

A Passional Karma A Passional Karma

A Passional Karma
One of the never-failing attractions of the Tokyo stage is the performance, by the famous Kikugoro and his company, of the Botan-Doro, or "Peony-Lantern." This weird play, of which the scenes are laid in the middle of the last century, is the dramatization of a romance by the novelist Encho, written in colloquial Japanese, and purely Japanese in local color, though inspired by a Chinese tale. I went to see the play; and Kikugoro made me familiar with a new variety of the pleasure of fear. "Why not give English readers the ghostly part of the story?"-- asked a friend who... Short Stories - Post by : mutsu - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 1316

Silkworms Silkworms

Silkworms
I was puzzled by the phrase, "silkworm-moth eyebrow," in an old Japanese, or rather Chinese proverb:--The silkworm-moth eyebrow of a woman is the axe that cuts down the wisdom of man. So I went to my friend Niimi, who keeps silkworms, to ask for an explanation. "Is it possible," he exclaimed, "that you never saw a silkworm- moth? The silkworm-moth has very beautiful eyebrows." "Eyebrows?" I queried, in astonishment. "Well, call them what you like," returned Niimi;--"the poets call them eyebrows.... Wait a moment, and I will show you." He left the guest-room, and presently returned with a white paper-fan, on... Short Stories - Post by : stevemay - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 1604

A Story Of Divination A Story Of Divination

A Story Of Divination
I once knew a fortune-teller who really believed in the science that he professed. He had learned, as a student of the old Chinese philosophy, to believe in divination long before he thought of practising it. During his youth he had been in the service of a wealthy daimyo, but subsequently, like thousands of other samurai, found himself reduced to desperate straits by the social and political changes of Meiji. It was then that he became a fortune-teller,--an itinerant uranaiya,--travelling on foot from town to town, and returning to his home rarely more than once a year with the proceeds of... Short Stories - Post by : dontscam - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 1824

Furisode Furisode

Furisode
Recently, while passing through a little street tenanted chiefly by dealers in old wares, I noticed a furisode, or long-sleeved robe, of the rich purple tint called murasaki, hanging before one of the shops. It was a robe such as might have been worn by a lady of rank in the time of the Tokugawa. I stopped to look at the five crests upon it; and in the same moment there came to my recollection this legend of a similar robe said to have once caused the destruction of Yedo. Nearly two hundred and fifty years ago, the daughter of a... Short Stories - Post by : human - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 2968

In Ghostly Japan In Ghostly Japan

In Ghostly Japan
Fragment And it was at the hour of sunset that they came to the foot of the mountain. There was in that place no sign of life,--neither token of water, nor trace of plant, nor shadow of flying bird,-- nothing but desolation rising to desolation. And the summit was lost in heaven. Then the Bodhisattva said to his young companion:--"What you have asked to see will be shown to you. But the place of the Vision is far; and the way is rude. Follow after me, and do not fear: strength will be given you." Twilight gloomed about them as they... Short Stories - Post by : poncho_dude - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 2320

Sayonara! Sayonara!

Sayonara!
I am going away--very far away. I have already resigned my post as teacher, and am waiting only for my passport. So many familiar faces have vanished that I feel now less regret at leaving than I should have felt six months ago. And nevertheless, the quaint old city has become so endeared to me by habit and association that the thought of never seeing it again is one I do not venture to dwell upon. I have been trying to persuade myself that some day I may return to this charming old house, in shadowy Kitaborimachi, though all the while... Essays - Post by : b2wforum - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 1430

The Japanese Smile The Japanese Smile

The Japanese Smile
THOSE whose ideas of the world and its wonders have been formed chiefly by novels and romance still indulge a vague belief that the East is more serious than the West. Those who judge things from a higher standpoint argue, on the contrary, that, under present conditions, the West must be more serious than the East; and also that gravity, or even something resembling its converse, may exist only as a fashion. But the fact is that in this, as in all other questions, no rule susceptible of application to either half of humanity can be accurately framed. Scientifically, we can... Essays - Post by : clement - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 1406

Of Ghosts And Goblins Of Ghosts And Goblins

Of Ghosts And Goblins
THERE was a Buddha, according to the Hokkekyo who 'even assumed the shape of a goblin to preach to such as were to be converted by a goblin.' And in the same Sutra may be found this promise of the Teacher: 'While he is dwelling lonely in the wilderness, I will send thither goblins in great number to keep him company.' The appalling character of this promise is indeed somewhat modified by the assurance that gods also are to be sent. But if ever I become a holy man, I shall take heed not to dwell in the wilderness, because... Essays - Post by : azdon - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 1013

Of Souls Of Souls

Of Souls
Kinjuro, the ancient gardener, whose head shines like an ivory ball, sat him down a moment on the edge of the ita-no-ma outside my study to smoke his pipe at the hibachi always left there for him. And as he smoked he found occasion to reprove the boy who assists him. What the boy had been doing I did not exactly know; but I heard Kinjuro bid him try to comport himself like a creature having more than one Soul. And because those words interested me I went out and sat down by Kinjuro. 'O Kinjuro,' I said, 'whether I... Essays - Post by : wonder - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 2511

From Hoki To Oki From Hoki To Oki

From Hoki To Oki
I RESOLVED to go to Oki. Not even a missionary had ever been to Oki, and its shores had never been seen by European eyes, except on those rare occasions when men-of- war steamed by them, cruising about the Japanese Sea. This alone would have been a sufficient reason for going there; but a stronger one was furnished for me by the ignorance of the Japanese themselves about Oki. Excepting the far-away Riu-Kiu, or Loo-Choo Islands, inhabited by a somewhat different race with a different language, the least-known portion of the Japanese Empire is perhaps Oki. Since it belongs to the... Essays - Post by : Dee33 - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 2822

Of A Dancing-girl Of A Dancing-girl

Of A Dancing-girl
NOTHING is more silent than the beginning of a Japanese banquet; and no one, except a native, who observes the opening scene could possibly imagine the tumultuous ending. The robed guests take their places, quite noiselessly and without speech, upon the kneeling-cushions. The lacquered services are laid upon the matting before them by maidens whose bare feet make no sound. For a while there is only smiling and flitting, as in dreams. You are not likely to hear any voices from without, as a banqueting-house is usually secluded from the street by spacious gardens. At last the master of ceremonies, host... Essays - Post by : Grant - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 3402

By The Japanese Sea By The Japanese Sea

By The Japanese Sea
IT is the fifteenth day of the seventh month--and I am in Hokii. The blanched road winds along a coast of low cliffs--the coast of the Japanese Sea. Always on the left, over a narrow strip of stony land, or a heaping of dunes, its vast expanse appears, blue-wrinkling to that pale horizon beyond which Korea lies, under the same white sun. Sometimes, through sudden gaps in the cliff's verge, there flashes to us the running of the surf. Always upon the right another sea--a silent sea of green, reaching to far misty ranges of wooded hills, with huge pale peaks... Essays - Post by : dalijon - Date : September 2011 - Author : Lafcadio Hearn - Read : 4273