Followers of Green Shinto will know of our interest in the works of Lafcadio Hearn, particularly with regard to his interest in and elucidation of Shinto. So far we’ve carried seventeen different postings on the subject. Now comes the wonderful news of a huge event devoted to the subject to be held at Meiji Jingu on June 3. ‘Japan, the Land of the Kami, as perceived by Lafcadio Hearn’ runs the title.
There are two major speakers, one of whom is the former Tokyo University professor Sukehiro Hirakawa, who has spearheaded the revival of Hearn studies in recent years. He has also edited a couple of thick volumes of papers by various contributors covering the enormous achievements of Hearn not only in Japan, but in the United States where he was a successful journalist, novelist and interpreter of French literature.
I’m also very much looking forward to the talk by Yoko Makino on ‘The Image of Shinto Shrines in the Works of Lafcadio Hearn’. Imbued with the spirit of Greek paganism, Hearn had an instinctive liking for the spiritual essence of Shinto shrines, particularly the atmospheric old shrines found in his beloved Izumo region. (When he naturalised, he chose the Japanese name Yakumo in reference to the ‘many clouded’ region.)