Unfamiliar Lafcadio Hearn by Kenneth P. Kirkwood

By Kenneth P. Kirkwood

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By Kenneth P. Kirkwood

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Extra resources for Unfamiliar Lafcadio Hearn

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In March 1902, Hearn was dismissed from the faculty of the Imperial University* Hearn’s explanation was that, as a naturalized Japanese, he was expected to accept a salary insufficient to his Western needs ; but the fact that for six years after his naturalization he had been retained at a salary greater than that paid to most of the other foreign professors at the University is clear evid­ ence against this claim. The official reason ap1. Life and Letters. Vol. II. p. 284. 2. Hakucho Masamune.

Perhaps I was right in one way. For that moment Japan was really for me what I thought it. ’’ 12 1. 2. Ibid. Bisland: Japanese Letters, p. 7. (A p r il11,1890)^ p. 313. (May 2 5 ,1894). 33 So he wrote to Professor Chamberlain in a de­ jected mood in May 1894. And in a letter to Mr. W. B* Mason he said : “ Professor Chamberlain spoke to me about the variability o f one's feelings toward Japan being like the oscillation of a pendulum : one day swinging toward pessimism and the next to optimism.

Bisland: Japanese Letters, p. 412. (August 6,1892). 2. Ibid. p. 225. (January 12,1894). I. 117. 34 Matsue has become a Mecca for all devotees of Hearn since his delightful descriptions idealized it as an unspoiled corner o f Old Japan. A charm­ ing description o f a pilgrimage to H e a r ts first home in Japan has been given to us by Mr, John Eills of Tokyo, in his volume o f essays and poems Safe Thoughts for Skittish Times ; one particularly likes the parting inscription Mr. n This is undoubtedly the prayer we all would wish to pray* But soon the idyll of Izumo ended.

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