Lafcadio Hearn

Japanese Ghost Stories
  • Japanese Ghost Stories

  • The dead wreak revenge on the living, paintings come alive, spectral brides possess mortal men and a priest devours human flesh in these chilling Japanese ghost stories retold by a master of the supernatural. Lafcadio Hearn drew on the phantoms and ghouls of traditional Japanese folklore - including the headless 'rokuro-kubi', the monstrous goblins 'jikininki' or the faceless 'mujina' who stalk lonely neighbourhoods - and infused them with his own memories of his haunted childhood in nineteenth-century Ireland to create these terrifying tales of striking and eerie power. Today they are regarded in Japan as classics in their own right.

    Edited with an introduction by Paul Murray

The improbable life story of Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) included a peculiarly gothic childhood in Ireland during which he was successively abandoned by his mother, his father and his guardian; two decades in the United States, where he worked as a journalist and was sacked for marrying a former slave; and a long period in Japan, where he married a Japanese woman and wrote about Japanese society and aesthetics for a Western readership. His ghost stories, which were drawn from Japanese folklore and influenced by Buddhist beliefs, appeared in collections throughout the 1890s and 1900s. He is a much celebrated figure in Japan.


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