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Japanese Ghost Stories for Halloween

Classic Japanese Ghost Stories by Lafcadio Hearn

Japanese Ghost Stories: Spirits, Hauntings, and Paranormal Phenomena - Catrien RossJapanese Ghost Stories: Spirits, Hauntings, and Paranormal Phenomena; Catrien Ross A collection of the eerie and terrifying from around Japan. This book opens a window into the hidden aspects of the Japanese world of the paranormal, where trees grow human hair, rocks weep and a graveyard where Jesus is reputed to have been buried.

Japanese Horror Movies

KwaidanKwaidan Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes, Kwaidan features four nightmarish tales in which terror thrives and demons lurk. Adapted from traditional Japanese ghost stories, this lavish, widescreen production drew extensively on Kobayashi's own training as a student of painting and fine arts.

Japanese Tales - Royall TylerJapanese Tales ed. Royall Tyler 220 dazzling tales from medieval Japan welcome us into a fabulous, faraway world populated by saints and scoundrels, ghosts and magical healers, and a vast assortment of deities and demons. Stories of miracles, visions of hell, jokes, fables, and legends, these tales reflect the Japanese worldview during a classic period in Japanese civilization.

OnibabaOnibaba Deep within the wind-swept marshes of war-torn medieval Japan, an impoverished mother and her daughter-in-law eke out a lonely, desperate existence. When a bedraggled neighbor returns from the skirmishes, lust, jealousy, and rage threaten to destroy the trio's tenuous existence, before an ominous, ill-gotten demon mask seals their horrifying fate.

In Ghostly Japan - Lafcadio HearnIn Ghostly Japan by Lafcadio Hearn A collection of 12 stories from this celebrated author. Some are ghostly and ghastly, while others are wonderfully benign. From telling a ghost story to explaining a Buddhist proverb, Hearn's writings are never less than enthralling. One of the first great interpreters of things Japanese for Western readers, Hearn's keen intellect, poetic imagination and clear style have ensured him a devoted readership for more than a century.

JigokuJigoku Shocking, outrageous, and poetic, Jigoku (Hell) is the most innovative creation from Nobuo Nakagawa, the father of the Japanese horror film. After a young theology student flees a hit-and-run accident, he is plagued by both his own guilt-ridden conscience and a mysterious, diabolical doppelganger. A striking departure from traditional Japanese ghost stories, Jigoku, with its truly eye-popping (and gouging) imagery, created aftershocks that are still reverberating in cinema around the world today.

Ancient Japanese Ghost Stories - Toyo HashiAncient Japanese Ghost Stories These stories were first recorded in 1918 by Richard Gordon Smith, who spent 20 years traveling in Japan, collecting vintage folklore related to supernatural events. With over 50 stories this rare collection that once again shines a light on Japanese myths and the haunting tales of ghosts in its ancient culture. (Kindle edition)

Ju-on - The GrudgeJu-on (The Grudge) It is said that the owner of a now empty house murdered his wife before committing suicide. Their six-year old son was never found after the incident. The angry and violent spirit of the dead wife spreads throughout the house, and infects it with her vengeance, and plagues the life of anyone who enters the house. Don't watch it alone!


Japanese Stories of the Supernatural
by Lafcadio Hearn

The stories featured here are from Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things by Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo) (1850-1904) an author, best known for his collections of Japanese legends and ghost stories.

Hearn declares in his introduction to the first edition of the book, which he wrote on January 20, 1904, shortly before his death, that most of the these stories were translated from old Japanese texts (probably with the help of his wife, Setsu Koizumi). He also states that one of the stories - Yuki-Onna - was told to him by a farmer in Musashi Province, and his was, to the best of his knowledge, the first record of it. Riki-Baka is based on a personal experience of Hearn's.

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About Lafcadio Hearn

Lafcadio Hearn was born in Lefkada (the origin of his middle name), one of the Greek Ionian Islands, the son of an Irish father and Greek mother, moving to Dublin, Ireland at the age of 6.

At 19, Hearn was sent to live in the United States of America where he settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. For a time, he lived in utter poverty, which may have contributed to his later paranoia and distrust of those around him.

He found work as newspaper journalist, later moving to New Orleans, Louisiana, and spending two years in the West Indies.

In 1890 Lafcadio Hearn went to Japan with a commission as a newspaper correspondent, which was quickly broken off. It was in Japan, however, that Hearn found his home and his greatest inspiration. Through the goodwill of Basil Hall Chamberlain, Hearn gained a teaching position in the summer of 1890 at the Shimane Prefectural Common Middle School and Normal School in Matsue, a town in western Japan on the coast of the Sea of Japan. Most Japanese identify Hearn with Matsue, as it was here that his image of Japan was molded. Today, The Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum and Lafcadio Hearn's Old Residence are still two of Matsue's most popular tourist attractions. During his fifteen-month stay, Hearn married Setsu Koizumi, the daughter of a local samurai family, and became a naturalized Japanese, taking the name Koizumi Yakumo.

In late 1891, Hearn took another teaching position in Kumamoto, Kyushu, at the Fifth Higher Middle School, where he spent the next three years and completed his book Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan (1894). In October of 1894 he secured a journalism position with the English-language Kobe Chronicle, and in 1896, with some assistance from Chamberlain, he began teaching English literature at Tokyo (Imperial) University, a post he held until 1903. On September 26, 1904, he died of heart failure at the age of 54.

In the late 19th century Japan was still largely unknown and exotic to the Western world. With the introduction of Japanese aesthetics, however, particularly at the Paris World's Fair in 1900, the West had an insatiable appetite for exotic Japan, and Hearn became known to the world through the depth, originality, sincerity, and charm of his writings. As the man who offered the West some of its first glimpses into pre-industrial and Meiji Era Japan, his work still offers valuable insight today.

The Japanese director Masaki Kobayashi adapted four Hearn tales into his 1965 film, Kwaidan.

More Japanese Horror at CULTJAPAN

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia articles "Lafcadio Hearn" and "Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things".