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For years thereafter he lived alone in a hut among the mountains; studying without a fire in winter, and without a fan in summer; writing his thoughts upon the wall of his room - for lack of paper; - and using only a tile for his pillow. Scarcely had he fallen asleep when a rat ran across his face and woke him with a start. Feeling angry, he seized his tile and flung it at the rat; but the rat escaped unhurt, and the tile was broken.

Then suddenly he perceived, upon the freshly exposed clay of the broken tile, some Chinese characters - between the upper and lower surfaces. Thinking this very strange, he picked up the pieces , and carefully examined them. He found that along the line of fracture seventeen characters had been written within the clay before the tile had been baked; and the characters read thus: At once he left his hut, and, taking with him the pieces of the tile, hurried to the neighboring town in search of the tilemaker.

He found the tilemaker in the course of the day, showed him the broken tile, and asked him about its history. But I do not know his name. A serving-student courteously invited him to enter, and ushered him into an apartment where several young men were at study. Then the one who had first addressed him bowed and said: But we have been waiting for you, because he predicted that you would come today to this house, at this very hour.

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And our master told us to give you a book which he believed would be of service to you. Here is the book; - please to accept it. After having thanked the young men, and properly expressed his regret for the death of their teacher, he went back to his hut, and there immediately proceeded to test the worth of the book by consulting its pages in regard to his own fortune.

Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Japanese have two kinds of ghosts in their folklore—the spirits of the dead, and the spirits of the living. This classic of Japanese literature invites you to take your choice if you dare. In Ghostly Japan collects twelve ghostly stories from Lafcadio Hearn, deathless images of ghosts and goblins, touches of folklore and superstition, salted with traditions of the natio The Japanese have two kinds of ghosts in their folklore—the spirits of the dead, and the spirits of the living.

In Ghostly Japan collects twelve ghostly stories from Lafcadio Hearn, deathless images of ghosts and goblins, touches of folklore and superstition, salted with traditions of the nation. While some of these stories contain nightmare imagery worthy of a midnight creature feature, others are not ghostly or ghastly at all.

Whether you're looking to spot the demons that walk among us, or simply to enjoy the prose of a legendary craftsman, In Ghostly Japan affords countless delights. Paperback , pages. Published April 15th by Tuttle Publishing first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about In Ghostly Japan , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Apr 24, Horace Derwent rated it it was amazing. D well, that's a living ghost homicide. View all 7 comments. Jan 28, Jackie Munzar rated it it was amazing Shelves: A fantastic book from the chief exporter of Japanese culture to the westerns world.

A sketchbook of sorts, in the same vein of The Sketchbook by Washington Irving, full of short stories and well informed observations of a rural Japan that has now, unfortunately, mostly slipped into the clutches of urban development. Hearn was obviously extremely enamoured by his chosen subject, and as such he has left us with a plethora of vivid descriptions that help conjure beautiful, ethereal and often chilli A fantastic book from the chief exporter of Japanese culture to the westerns world. Hearn was obviously extremely enamoured by his chosen subject, and as such he has left us with a plethora of vivid descriptions that help conjure beautiful, ethereal and often chilling images of the darker corners of Japan.

The story of the peony lantern stuck in my mind as a wonderful amalgamation of all the aforementioned elements and helped highlight the unique nature of the Japanese supernatural world view.

In Ghostly Japan by Lafcadio Hearn - Free Ebook

If the subject matter should interest you enough that you would like to read something in a similar vein then I highly recommend Kwaidan, by the same author, and also Japanese Ghosts and Demons: Art of the supernatural by Stephen Addiss. Based on the title of this book, and the cover art my copy depicts the Bodhisattva and a pilgrim climbing an enormous mountain made of human skulls , I was expecting a collection of ghost stories and weird fiction. Instead, this is primarily a collection of essays, parables, and fables of Buddhist life in old Japan the book was first published in There is also an interesting essay about incense, and a lovely essay about poetry.

The "ghostly" tales in this volume are gently spooky, with Based on the title of this book, and the cover art my copy depicts the Bodhisattva and a pilgrim climbing an enormous mountain made of human skulls , I was expecting a collection of ghost stories and weird fiction. The "ghostly" tales in this volume are gently spooky, with strong Buddhist overtones.

There is one exception, however: The final piece,'At Yaidzu', starts out sounding as if it might be a ghost story, but it morphs into a beautiful meditation on the sea, life, death, and the eternal Self. I enjoyed this book even more because it was a total surprise, completely different than what I was expecting.

Mar 15, Czarny Pies rated it liked it. In addition to the ghost stories, this volume also contains interesting discussions of incense, Japanese proverbs and Haiku.


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It lacks however any unifying theme which is why I urge to GR members to read "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan" first which provides a framework for the motley assortment of items in this book. One Grand Books Asif Kapadia's list. Though I read a later edition, the first edition was published in In a way, this little collection reminds me of Washington Irving's Tales of the Alhambra.

This is a delightful little collection that surely must have been a Though I read a later edition, the first edition was published in This is a delightful little collection that surely must have been an enticing look at Japan through a Westerner's lens, especially when first published. In another section entitled "Bits of Poetry" , Hearn explains The old ethical teaching was somewhat like this: Is your best-beloved dead?

Are you troubled because you are about to die, leaving so many things unfinished? Whatever injustice or misfortune disturbs you, put aside your resentment or your sorrow as soon as possible, and write a few lines of sober and elegant verse for a moral exercise. In the section "Japanese Buddhist Proverbs", number 11 made me chuckle a bit: A neat window, via , looking into Japan. Ale, ya lo he dicho. Estoy un poco decepcionada por la editorial.

May 18, Nick rated it liked it Shelves: Not gonna write an elaborate review. Listened to the whole book on Libravox while doing manual tasks: The best chapters were the ones which were actual horror stories. Ingwa-Banashi, A Passional Karma, pt 1 and 2, and maybe one or 2 im forgetting. The Buddhist proverbs and bits of poetry were kind of nice too. A lot of this book is premised in Buddhist culture, as opposed to Shinto. I don't know how representative this is of archaic Japanese Pretty good.

I don't know how representative this is of archaic Japanese "horror", but it certainly is entertaining.

IN GHOSTLY JAPAN

Its not really a horror text though. If anything it is merely strange or weird. May 02, Ariel Hudnall rated it it was amazing. More a philosophical and spiritual musing on the supernatural stories of Japan than a collection of ghost stories, In Ghostly Japan by Lafcadio Hearn is beautifully written and wonderfully thought-provoking. The text leans heavily into the doctrines of Buddhism, but with a clear, Western interpretation and consideration.

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Despite not totally living up to its name think more anecdotes, rather than actual ghost stories , In Ghostly Japan is still worth a read for its cultural relevance, as well as More a philosophical and spiritual musing on the supernatural stories of Japan than a collection of ghost stories, In Ghostly Japan by Lafcadio Hearn is beautifully written and wonderfully thought-provoking. Despite not totally living up to its name think more anecdotes, rather than actual ghost stories , In Ghostly Japan is still worth a read for its cultural relevance, as well as Hearn's unique and powerful imagery.

There are a couple of short ghost stories in the collection, but most lend themselves to 'impressions' of ghosts rather than full-on haunting, so if that is what you are looking for, you won't find it here.


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  • As well, some background in the language of culture of Japan will greatly increase your enjoyment, as there are not enough footnotes or translations of certain pivotal words like sen for money to make the work abundantly clear. Also, as I mentioned, the book leans on Buddhism for most if its readings, so be aware of that going in. A book I would happily pick up for a second or third reading. Apr 19, Rufus rated it it was amazing Shelves: In Ghostly Japan is Lafcadio Hearn's wonderfully-written long essay on various interesting subjects in Japan.

    He talks of supernatural and ghost stories, Buddhist proverbs, there's an interesting meditation on spirituality brought upon by the howling of his dog I particularly liked this one because of its humor , the curious history and activities surrounding incense, on the science of divination, among other subjects. This is a must-read for any serious cultural understanding of Japan.

    Treat it as an introduction of sorts. What stands out is the writing of Hearn. It is warm and inviting. Though written more than a century ago, it is still highly readable. Also I recommend his separate short essay 'On the Gothic' as it explains the reason for his fascination with subjects of this sort.

    May 18, Andrew rated it really liked it Shelves: This is an odd hodgepodge of essays and recollections by Hearn, a European who became a Japanese citizen in the late 19th century. Although there are one or two ghost stories, in the Western sense, the book focuses more on the occult and spiritual aspects of Japanese culture, including a collection of Buddhist proverbs. I had intended to read this while I was on vacation in Kyoto, but never had much time. It was a great way to "revisit" my trip a month or so later. Oct 02, Celine rated it it was amazing.

    Wonderful, and wonderfully read by the good folk at librivox.