DISCOVER ANOTHER JAPAN SAN'IN Vol.2
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Recommended location Early lifeYakumo was born on June 27th, 1850 on Lefkada, an island in Western Greece. His Irish father Charles was a surgeon in the British army and Greek mother Rosa was from the island of Kythira in Greece. He was taken to Ireland when he was 2 and later received a Catholic education in Britain and France. Throughout his life he questioned the teaching he received there.He lost the sight in his left eye in a playground accident when he was 16. At 19, his great-aunt, who had brought up Yakumo instead of his parents, went bankrupt. After that event he moved to the US on his own. In Cincinnati, he found a job as a journal-ist where his literary talents were recognized.After Cincinnati he lived in New Orleans, Louisiana and on Martinique, an island in the Caribbean. He was fascinated by the cultural diversity he found in these places and enthusiastically continued his reporting and writing activities. In New Orleans, he encountered Japanese culture at an exposition and in New York read the English translation of the Kojiki. Afterwards he resolved to visit Japan. Key Person01Key Person02Bernard LeachHe arrived in Yokohama, Japan in April 1890. In August of the same year, he began working as an English teacher at Shimane Prefectural Common Middle School in Matsue. He spent a year and three months there and during that time started a relationship with Setsu Koizumi, who was originally hired as his liaison. They went on a honeymoon before marriage and traveled along the Japan Sea coast.In 1892, he worked at the Fifth Higher Middle School in Kumamoto. Two years later, he moved to Kobe to work at the Kobe Chronicle (an English-language news-paper). He then moved to Tokyo to accept a position as a lecturer of English litera-ture at the Tokyo Imperial University. In 1896, he officially married Setsu and became a naturalized Japanese citizen. He renamed himself Koizumi Yakumo and they were blessed with three sons and a daughter. In 1904, he was invited and taught as a professor at Waseda University. Sadly enough he died from a heart attack on 26th September of that year, at the age of fifty-four. A British potter who deeply loved Japan. He was born in Hong Kong and spent his infancy in Japan. While he was back in England, he read books by Koizumi Yakumo and became interest-ed in Japan. He focused on and promoted pottery as a “fusion of Eastern and Western arts and philosophies”. It is now an index to advance modern Japanese pottery as an art form. During the period when Yakumo was staying in the US, he encoun-tered the Kojiki after borrowing it from an acquaintance in New York. The translation was by Basil Hall Chamberlain, a British Japanologist and Yakumo became fascinated by Eastern mythology and decided to go to Japan.He purchased a new translated Kojiki after arriving in Yokohama. It is known that he perused this and wrote observations about Japan. Later, he was fatefully led to Shimane, where the stories within the chronicle took place.Kojiki Kojiki is the oldest extant chronicle of the origin of Japan. From the beginning of the world, emergence of the gods to the succession to the Imperial Throne the dramatic writings are contained within these storied pages. The major locations talked about in the Kojiki are in the San’in region, where Izumo Grand Shrine is located. Splendid stories led by gods still attract many people today.A US Army officer who served during World War 2. He was a keen reader of Yakumo and had the nickname “Hearn buff”, since he kept a vast collection of his books. He even had a good friendship with the Koizumi family. After Japan’s loss in World War 2, he came with General MacArthur from GHQ (General Allied Command) and played a major role in absolving the Emperor and maintaining the Imperial system. Bonner Fellers1887 - 19791896 - 1973Living in Japan1850-18901890-1904 Turningpoint古事記Dublin1852Durham1863Kumamoto1891London1867Cincinnati1869New Orleans 1877Tokyo1896Yokohama1890Kobe1894Matsue 1890Place where he was bornTo Japan as a magazine correspondentTo Matsue as an English teacherLefkada 1850322 Okudani-cho, Matsue, Shimane 136 Teramachi, Matsue, Shimane488 Tonomachi, Matsue, ShimaneLafcadio Hearn Memorial MuseumThe museum exhibits about 1500 docu-ments or materials including drafts written by his own hand. It is located next to the old residence where he lived for 6 months. Admission booklets are in 5 languages and sometimes you’re lucky enough to get Bon Koizumi (the great-grandson of Lafcadio Hearn) to guide you directly. English explanations about Yakumo’s life are very popular and English subtitles are projected on the wall in the “Retellings” corner.RyushojiTempleJozan Inari ShrineThere are statues of the Sixteen Arhats made in the middle of the Edo period. The various facial expressions appealed to Yakumo and he wrote, “you can find dreaming Kannon or smiling Kannon” that tell about the uniqueness of these statues. The ones you see now are second versions, however, there is a restored original exhibited at Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum.Naomasa, first feudal lord of the Matsudaira family, enshrined the tutelary god for both Izumo and Oki areas in Jozan Inari Shrine in Matsue. The shrine owns many statues made by Jyodei Kobayashi, a master-sculptor. It is said that Yakumo liked the hundreds of large to small stone foxes sitting around the shrine precinct and visited here often.5

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