A Brief Biography of Lafcadio Hearn
(June 27, 1850 - September 26, 1904)
LAFCADIO HEARN was born in Lefkas, Greece. He was a son of an army doctor Charles Hearn from Ireland and a Greek woman Rosa Cassimati.
After making remarkable works in America as a journalist, he went to Japan in 1890 as a journey report writer of a magazine. But as soon as he arrived in Yokohama, he quit the job because of a dissatisfaction with the contract.
After that, he moved to Matsué as an English teacher of Shimané Prefectural Middle School. In Matsué, he got acquainted with his lifelong friend Nishida Sentarô, a colleague teacher, and married Koizumi Setsu, a daughter of a samurai.
In 1891, he moved to Kumamoto and had taught at the Fifth High School for 3 years. Kanô Jigorô, the president of the School of that time, is known as the man who spread judo to the world.
In 1896, when he lived in Kôbé after he worked as a journalist there, he got Japanese citizenship and a new name, Koizumi Yakumo. This name was taken from "Kojiki", a Japanese ancient myth.
On that year, he moved to Tôkyô and began to teach at the Imperial University of Tôkyô. There he got respect of students and many of them made a remarkable literary career.
In addition, he wrote much reports of Japan and published in America. His works was read by so many people as an introduction of Japan.
He quit the Imperial University in 1903 and began to teach at Waseda University on the year next. But after only a half year he died of angina pectoris.
Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan
Out of the East
In Ghostly Japan
A Japanese Miscellany
Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation