DISCOVER ANOTHER JAPAN SAN'IN Vol.2
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BonKoizumiTakao IshimuraInterviewerGreat-grandson ofLafcadio HearnSpecial InterviewThe first time I found interest in Koizumi Yakumo was about 20 years ago. I learned that he introduced Mt. Daisen, Tottori in his book. When I present information about the mountain nation-wide, I quote from his book and introduce it by saying “this is how Yakumo described Mt. Daisen”.In Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, he described Mt. Daisen as “the mighty mountain of Daisen”. His impressions were conveyed in other varied poetic phrasings. From his works, you can easily tell that he was infatuated with the San’in area including Matsue and Izumo. From recent studies, it is clear Yakumo knew the area’s name Izumo before reading the Kojiki in the US.Yakumo had bought and owned a book called Anthologie Japonaise pub-lished in France in 1871, in which a part of Izumo mythology was translated. Also, the words Izumo Legendary Cycle written on, The map of mythology in the English translated Kojiki that Yakumo read in New York must have caught his heart and attention. Thus, we can be assured that he was excited about his first work posting in Japan being in Matsue in the Izumo region. Yakumo was born in Greece, right?Yes. He was born on Lefkada, an island in Western Greece. The view of the sea from the island is very similar to the view of Lake Shinji. It could poten-tially be the reason why Yakumo fell in love with Matsue. He moved to Ireland at the age of two and became attracted to the world of fairies and spirits by hearing stories told by his nanny. Later, he moved to the US and went to newspaper publishing companies to sell his articles.Bon KoizumiAt Koizumi Yakumo’s old residenceSo why are Koizumi Yakumo’s works still popular and his beloved San’in area receiving a lot of attention worldwide?We were able to ask Bon Koizumi, the great-grandson of Yakumo and Takao Ishimura, the chief director at Tottori Con-vention Bureau (a public service corporation). Koizumi who has been tackling research of Yakumo’s work from a folkloric perspective and Ishimura being an avid reader of Yakumo’s works lend their educated perspectives to the question. Folklorist: Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum Director: Honorary Director at Yaizu Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum: Emeritus Professor at Shimane Prefectural Junior College. He conducts practical research using perspectives from Yakumo or the Kwaidan, for tourism and cultural creations: The great-grandson of Koizumi Yakumo.Open MindThe interview took place at Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum that opened after renewal in summer, 2016. This is 82 years after the first Koizumi Yakumo’s memorial museum opened, 120 years after he was reborn with his new name of Koizumi Yakumo.6

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