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Kwaidan Paperback – June 14, 2004
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Along with famous, "Kwaidan" is Hearn's most influential book. "The Story of Mimi-nashi Hoichi" is as well-known in Japan as "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is in the United States. The "Yuki Onna" has made it into a few films, including Kurosawa's "Dreams" and the filmed version of this book, "Kwaidan."
The stories themselves are of excellent quality, ranging from spooky ghost tales to humorous tales of wandering monks encountering monsters. Each story ranges from 5-15 pages long.
Along with the stories are three insect studies, the likes of which can be found in all Hearn books. These are excellent academic studies of insects in traditional Japanese folk lore, including children's songs and haiku poetry involving insects.
The story of Mimi-nashi Hoichi
The story of O-Tei
Of a mirror and a bell
A dead secret
The story of Aoyagi
The dream of Akinosuke
Insect Studies -
of Japan, followed in the latter part of the book by some
reflections on the part of the author, a Westerner living in
Japan one hundred years ago. It is of interest to read of
such cultural diversity, mythology and relgious views.
The author's book, IN GHOSTLY JAPAN, was a much better collection of Japanese lore, in that the stories were longer
and lent themselves to greater character development and
complexity. Nevertheless, I know of no other author who translates Japanese myths, and both books are worthwhile.
The book is of good quality, pages are the right thickness, and the cover is beautiful. I am a firm believer than the cover of a book can indeed change how you view the stories inside that book.
The stories are wonderful, and the insect studies at the end of the book are very interesting. The insect studies talk a lot about Chinese origins of stories related to them, especially butterflies.
The stories themselves are great, and the way Hearn writes is very smooth and not boring. This is a book everyone should have a copy of if they are interested in short stories, or Japan.
This is the kind of book you can re-read in a few months and still enjoy.
Much of my acclaim for 'Kwaidan' is, admittedly, subjective in nature, stemming mainly from my own personal perceptions of it (and, the personal circumstances in which I read it); but I will present my impressions, for what their worth. I found the book, first, to be enchanting and engaging, in a whimsical, simplistic way that is rarely encountered in contemporary literature. The classical, no-nonsense storytelling forced me to suspend all disbelief, which, combined with the book's archaic age and matching tone, left me in a state of childhood acceptance, as few books can (even vastly more-elaborate ones). Additionally, the book contains an overarching surreal quality, with its antiquated folklore being recounted by a nineteenth-century scholar of Japan, now himself antiquated; reading it, I felt to be observing an observer observe somebody (who was themselves observing the world, through their storytelling). Finally, the book's last chapter threw me for a loop, in a positive sense, being so suddenly philosophical and profound (yet with an odd relevance that only contributed to the book's overall allure). All in all, I loved 'Kwaidan' (though I could see someone of different tastes being wholly unimpressed -- or even myself being so, had I read the book under different circumstances).
My thanks goes out to the book's author (posthumously), subjects, and publishers. I am grateful for, and have benefited from, your work and service.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sort of like a Japanese horror version of Grimms Fairy Tales. However, I read the whole thing, and it was quite interesting. The stories are extremely short and simple. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
If you were drinking out of the toilet bowl with a dog named Hachi and you had only one book to read between flushes, this would be that book. Drink responsibly.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
I genuinely love every story in this book! I highly recommend this to everyone and anyone who might be interested.Published on June 15, 2013 by sarah
When I first saw this film it was difficult. the stories behind the film are fascinating if also somewhat frightening. Love it though.Published on February 26, 2013 by Mayling Holm
Hearn loved Japan and loved its stories. This hidden, magic world that only children and adult people with pure soul can read and understand. Read morePublished on December 26, 2012 by Filippo Zizzo
This book is a well written collection of old, macabre, unusual, and spooky oriental (mainly Japanese) stories. Read morePublished on December 29, 2010 by Bookie
Kwaidan is a beautiful selection of Japanese ghost stories; some of them are horrifying, some of them are touching, and all of them provide an intricate look into the many... Read morePublished on October 22, 2010 by A. Baker
Classic masterpiece by Lafcadio Hearn. This opened the door of mysterious Japanese culture to the West. Read morePublished on December 28, 2009 by Kyo Takahashi