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by Lafcadio Hearn
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Asia
  • Author:
    Lafcadio Hearn
  • ISBN:
    0559102984
  • ISBN13:
    978-0559102981
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    BiblioLife (April 30, 2009)
  • Pages:
    344 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Asia
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1922 kb
  • ePUB format
    1177 kb
  • DJVU format
    1487 kb
  • Rating:
    4.8
  • Votes:
    379
  • Formats:
    lit mobi docx mbr


Lafcadio Hearn says that Japanese culture is like a Bonsai tree . I found three excellent titles of which Lafcadio Hearn's "Japan: An attempt at interpretation" was one (the other books where Tales of Japan and Bushido).

Lafcadio Hearn says that Japanese culture is like a Bonsai tree, meticulously sculpted and trimmed and controlled for thousands of years. Even during his time (1890-1904) the rules were changing and the gardner was putting away his shears, and chaos was beginning to reclaim the tree. This book really surprised me, I thought it would be the most tedious of the three but it turned out to be the best and most insightful.

Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (/hɜːrn/; Greek: Πατρίκιος Λευκάδιος Χερν; 27 June 1850 – 26 September 1904), known also by the Japanese name Koizumi Yakumo (小泉 八雲), was a writer, known best for his books about Japan, especially his collections of Japanese l. .

Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (/hɜːrn/; Greek: Πατρίκιος Λευκάδιος Χερν; 27 June 1850 – 26 September 1904), known also by the Japanese name Koizumi Yakumo (小泉 八雲), was a writer, known best for his books about Japan, especially his collections of Japanese legends and ghost stories, such as Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. In the United States, Hearn is also known for his writings about the city of New Orleans based on his ten-year stay in that city.

Lafcadio became Koizumi Yakumo. Lafcadio Hearn lived a kind of loose cannonball life, but both interesting and productive. The book Japan: an attempt at interpretation is a way in, a deeper look into the Japanese life, way-beyond the surface. You cannot really know/understand a Japanese painting, or sculpture or even any decoration work, if you don’t understand the religion. Just like understanding Shakespeare; you got to have some knowledge of the Christian belief. Born half Greek on an Ionian island to a British military doctor and local woman, he grew up there, in Ireland, England, and France with little or no home life.

LibriVox recording of Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation by Lafcadio Hearn. Even today, over 100 years after this book was written, some of the described traditions and fundamental ideas still exist. Summary by Julia Niedermaier). Read in English by Julia Niedermaier. For more free audio books or to become a volunteer reader, visit LibriVox. Download M4B 01-12 (203MB) Download M4B 13-24 (177MB). External metadata update.

The writing of this book has afforded him pleasure in his leisure moments, and that pleasure would be much . Born in Greece to an Irish soldier and a Greek mother, Lafcadio Hearn emigrated to the United States at the age of nineteen.

The writing of this book has afforded him pleasure in his leisure moments, and that pleasure would be much increased if he knew that the perusal of it would create any bond of sympathy between himself and the angling community in general. This section is interleaved with blank shects for the readers notes. While working as a newspaperman in Cincinnati, Ohio, Hearn married a black woman, which was then illegal, and fled to New Orleans to escape prosecution. Once there, he began to work for the New Orleans Item.

Greece-born Lafcadio Hearn (1850 - 1904) spent decades of his life in Japan, even marrying a Japanese woman, thus becoming a Japanese citizen by the name of Koizumi Yakumo (小泉 八雲). He wrote many books on Japan, especially about its folklore.

Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (27 June 1850 – 26 September 1904), known also by the Japanese name Koizumi Yakumo, was an international writer, known best for his books about Japan, especially his collections of Japanese legends and ghost stories

Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (27 June 1850 – 26 September 1904), known also by the Japanese name Koizumi Yakumo, was an international writer, known best for his books about Japan, especially his collections of Japanese legends and ghost stories. Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation" was originally published in 1904, in it Hearn explores the difficulty of perceiving and comprehending what underlies the surface of Japanese life.

Hearn, Lafcadio, 1850-1904. Book digitized by Google from the library of the New York Public Library and uploaded to the Internet Archive by user tpb. "Bibliographical notes": p. 527-528. You can read Japan, An Attempt At Interpretation by Hearn, Lafcadio, 1850-1904 in our library for absolutely free. Read various fiction books with us in our e-reader.

This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.

Mullador
Having been recently in Japan, I read this book while on my trip and after it and I found a lot of truth in Hearn's study of Japanese society.

The author relies on the famous Herbert Spencer to explain the sociological aspect of the Japanese and gives a sincere and knowledgeable interpretation of the religious, social, political, and economic reality of these amazing islanders.

The most surprising thing is that this book was written at the beginning of the 20th century and yet you still see the same wonderful traits in Japanese society today.

There is an extremely interesting letter in the Appendix of this book; a letter written by Herbert Spencer to a policy maker in Japan, where Spencer strongly advices against the Japanese mixing with other races (and, meanwhile, venting his own adamant opposition to interracial relationships in general). Spencer even adds at the end a caution against these views of him ever getting out. You won't want to miss it.

I have read other works by Lafcadio Hearn on Japan but I think this one comes closest to explaining the Japanese.
Gir
He's a bit of an unapologetic racist and the addendum including a letter from Herbert Spencer, the father of Sociology, to the Japanese government should put to rest any debate about his support of Eugenics.

Regarding interracial marriage Spencer makes it clear he considers Asians and Caucasians not just different races but different species:
"if you mix the constitution of two widely divergent varieties which have severally become adapted to widely divergent modes of life, you get a constitution which is adapted to the mode of life of neither—a constitution which will not work properly"

Otherwise, he does have some remarkable insights about the form and nature in which Japanese subscribed to Shinto and Buddhism. At times he's almost prophetically predicting WWII.
Unlike even most modern scholars, he's also intelligent enough to notice that Shinto is much broader than the minority elements dedicated to the imperial line.
I can't decide if his latent racism is a product of the times or an internal desire to not come off as too appreciative of Japanese culture by juxtaposing his obvious obsession with consistently xenophobic remarks. After the first few chapters one may start to feel that Lafcadio doth protest the superiority of Europeans too much.
Scoreboard Bleeding
Lafcadio Hearn says that Japanese culture is like a Bonsai tree, meticulously sculpted and trimmed and controlled for thousands of years. Even during his time (1890-1904) the rules were changing and the gardner was putting away his shears, and chaos was beginning to reclaim the tree.
However, to understand this strange plant, with the roots and bends and twists of Bonsai sculpting, one must look at its past, and the methods of shaping. From Hearn's point of view, this shaping is religion, specifically Ancestor worship and the "rule of the dead." Without insight into Japanese religious history and practices, Hearn says, you cannot understand Japan, its history or its people.
"Japan: An attempt at interpretation" is incredibly insightful and thorough, offering a history of the various forms of Shinto, Buddhism, Confucianism and other folk-practices that shaped the national character. I am currently working on my MA in Japanese Religion, and I can verify that his research is correct, and his conclusions still hold. It is the longest of Hearn's books, and obviously a great deal of work went into it.
All though time has passed him by, "Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation" is still a valid, interesting book, both well-written and accurate. It DOES help explain Japanese interactions and culture. Most interesting are his speculations of Japanese culture, and where it would go in his pre-WWII era. Unfortunately, some of his worst fears were realized.
anonymous
I was browsing gutenberg.org and wanted to find a few books about Japan to read. I found three excellent titles of which Lafcadio Hearn's "Japan: An attempt at interpretation" was one (the other books where Tales of Japan and Bushido).

This book really surprised me, I thought it would be the most tedious of the three but it turned out to be the best and most insightful. In my opinion Lafcadio was a very modern thinker and understood the Japan of a century ago like no other (of course viewed from a western perspective).

Highly recommended.
Moswyn
The first half is a detailed look at the religion of Japan as originally developed. The later, more interesting, half shows how it interplays with the Meiji Restoration and contacts with the West, up to 1904. Hearn forecasts in broad brush the next half century of Japanese culture. I'm happy I read it, though it took half the book before I got into it.
Nenayally
Again, after "Glimpses on unfamiliar Japan" and "Out of the East" Lafcadio Hearn does his best for the comprehension of Japan. His love for Japan is infectious. It is impossible do not love Japan after any Hearn reading. Besides, he is very clear, sometimes elegant, always sober and intelligent. A side remark: I am interested, after "Japan, an attempt..." in reading Mr. Herbert Spencer!
JoJolar
A very informative must-to-read book for anyone interested in understanding Japan and the Japanese. It is not particularly a research treatise but a very thoughtful and very readable excursion in the Japanese history, culture, ethics, beliefs and etc. Although the book was first published more than a century ago it remains valuable to the date.
A little dense in places (particularly the description of Buddhism) but very informative despite being somewhat dated.