Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy New
$14.52
  • List Price: $16.95
  • Save: $2.43 (14%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Kwaidan: Stories and Stud... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things Paperback – March 15, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

See all 19 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$85.00
Paperback, March 15, 2005
$14.52
$8.42 $6.76
MP3 CD, Audiobook
"Please retry"
$17.00

The Numberlys Best Books of the Year So Far
$14.52 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things
  • +
  • In Ghostly Japan (Tuttle Classics)
  • +
  • Lafcadio Hearn's Japan: An Anthology of His Writings on the Country and Its People (Tuttle Classics)
Total price: $44.29
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

COSIMO CLASSICS offers distinctive titles by the great authors and thinkers who have inspired, informed and engaged readers throughout the ages.

Covering a diverse range of subjects that include Health & Science, Eastern Philosophy, Mythology & Sacred Texts, Philosophy & Spirituality, and Business & Economics these newly revitalized treasures are now available to contemporary readers.

About the Author

Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) was born on the Greek island of Lefkas, the son of an Anglo-Irish surgeon in the British army and a Greek mother. After his parent's divorce when he was six, he was brought up in Dublin by a great aunt. At the age of nineteen, he went to America, eventually ending up in New Orleans as a newspaper reporter. His flight from Western materialism brought him to Japan in 1890, where he worked for an English newspaper, the Kobe Chronicle, and taught in various schools. In 1896, he began teaching English literature at Tokyo Imperial University, a position he held until 1903, and at Waseda University. Hearn married a samurai's daughter, Koizumi Setsu, became a Japanese citizen and a Buddhist, and changed his name to Koizumi Yakumo. At the young age of 54, he died of a heart attack. Hearn's search for beauty and tranquility, for pleasing customs and lasting values made him a confirmed Japanophile. His keen intellect, poetic imagination, and wonderful clear style permitted him to penetrate to the very essence of things Japanese. He became the great interpreter of things Japanese to the West. Hearn's most famous work is a collection of lectures entitled Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation (published posthumously in 1905). His other books on Japan include Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan (1894), Out of the East (1895), Kokoro (1896), Gleanings in Buddha Fields (1897), Exotics and Retrospectives (1898), In Ghostly Japan (1899), Shadowings (1900), and A Japanese Miscellany (1901).
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing (March 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804836620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804836623
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
"Kwaidan" is Hearn's most famous book, and justifiably so. It is the least academic of his works, collecting together some of Japan's core ghost and monster stories into one slim volume. Much like the Brothers Grimm, Hearn did not actually create these stories but rather compiled them and put them into written form for the first time, learning them from folk tales and storytellers.

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.

Included are:

The story of Mimi-nashi Hoichi

Oshidori

The story of O-Tei

Ubazakura

Diplomacy

Of a mirror and a bell

Jikininki

Mujina

Rokuro-kubi

A dead secret

Yuki-Onna

The story of Aoyagi

Jiu-Roku-Zakura

The dream of Akinosuke

Riki-Baba

Hi-Mawari

Horai

Insect Studies -

Butterfiles

Mosquitos

Ants
1 Comment 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a very readable series of very short stories

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.
1 Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To be clear, this review is for the March 15, 2005 edition of this book.

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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I very much enjoyed this unique and ghostly little book, as to give it the rare five stars.

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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While this is not the most in depth collection of Japanese folktales and ghost stories, Hearne does recount the stories in an effective manner. The stories are in fact shared by a storyteller, rather than being catalogued in an encyclopedic nature. If you are interested in tales of ghosts, fairy spirits, or all manner of goblinry, Kwaidan should give you your money's worth. If you are interested in ancient or feudal Japanese culture, this book also gives a decent glimpse into customs and beliefs. Good as both an introduction to Japanese folklore and as light reading for anyone into supernatural stories and fairy tales. The ending is more of a series of academic essays on insects and beliefs tied to them; it is interesting reading but much drier than the stories. Ultimately, there are a wide variety of tones and themes in these stories.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: classic literature, classics literature, witch fiction