LEFKADA, Greece — A gallery to commemorate works by writer Lafcadio Hearn, who devoted his life to introducing Japan to the West in the 19th century, opened recently in his birth town in western Greece.
The opening of the new gallery on the island of Lefkada coincides with the 110th anniversary of Hearn’s death. The gallery exhibits his memorabilia, including a manuscript of his representative work, “Kwaidan,” (1904), a collection of old Japanese ghost stories; a letter to his Japanese wife Setsu and photographs.
“Through the first archive of his works in Europe, I want the people around the world to learn about Hearn,” said the writer’s great-grandson, Bon Koizumi, at an opening ceremony.
Hearn was known as Yakumo Koizumi in Japan. He was born in 1850, the son of an Irish father and a Greek mother, and worked as a journalist in the United States before going to Japan in 1890. Hearn became a naturalized citizen of Japan before he died in 1904.
He wrote stories in English based on Japanese folklore and fairy tales during his stay in Japan. His other representative works include “Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan” (1894) and his 1904 work, “Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation.”