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September 24, 2004

Japan, Ireland to Honor Hearn

Events will be held in both Japan and Ireland in the coming months to mark the cenntennial of the death of Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904). A series of six symposiums across Japan will begin in Tokyo on Saturday, and Japan Post will issue a commemorative stamp on November 4. Of Irish-Greek heritage, Hearn came to Japan in 1890 and wrote 14 books on the country, including "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan" and "Kwaidan." He wrote about various aspects of Japanese culture, such as religion, rituals, myths, and traditional art. He married a local woman in Matsue, Shimane prefecture and worked as an English teacher there and in Kumamoto. After working briefly as a journalist for the Kobe Chronicle, he taught English literature at the University of Tokyo from 1896 to 1903, before moving to Waseda in March 1904. He is well known among Japanese today by the name Koizumi Yakumo.

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