Born: June 27, 1850
Died: Sep. 26, 1904
Birthplace: Leucadia, Greek Island

Location of death: Okubo, Japan
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Author

He became a teacher of English at the University of Tokyo, and soon fell completely under the spell of Japanese ideas. He married a Japanese wife, became a naturalized Japanese under the name of Yakumo Koizumi, and adopted the Buddhist religion. For the last two years of his life (he died on the 26th of September 1904) his health was failing, and he was deprived of his lecturership at the University. But he had gradually become known to the world at large by the originality, power and literary charm of his writings. This wayward bohemian genius, who had seen life in so many climes, and turned from Roman Catholic to atheist and then to Buddhist, was curiously qualified, among all those who were interpreting the new and the old Japan to the Western world, to see it with unfettered understanding, and to express its life and thought with most intimate and most artistic sincerity. Lafcadio Hearn's books were indeed unique for their day in the literature about Japan, in their combination of real knowledge with a literary art which is often exquisite.

Author of books:
Stray Leaves from Strange Literature (1884)
Gombo Zhebes (1885)
Some Chinese Ghosts (1887)
Chita (1889)
Two Years in the French West Indies (1890)
Youma: The Story of a West-Indian Slave (1890, novel)
Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan (1894, essays)
Out of the East (1895)
Kokoro (1896)
Gleanings in Buddha-Fields (1897)
Exotics and Retrospectives (1898)
Japanese Fairy Tales (1893-1903, tales, 4 vols.)
In Ghostly Japan (1899)
Shadowings (1900)
A Japanese Miscellany (1901)
Kotto (1902)
Kwaidan (1904)
Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation (1904, lectures)
Writings (1922, 16 vols.)

Many of these books can be found at the SUNY Fredonia Library.

Biography found at


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