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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lafcadio Hearn's Old Residence Matsue


Across the moat from Matsue Castle and next door to the Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, is Lafcadio Hearn's Old Residence - a delightful, small samurai house and gardens, where the writer lived from May-November 1891.

Lafcadio Hearn's Old Residence, Matsue

It was here that Hearn began work on two of his most famous books: Kwaidan, a collection of ghost stories, and his classic Glimpses of Unfamilar Japan.

The tatami mat rooms are left open to the gardens when the weather is fine. Hearn's writing desk is preserved near the smaller of the two gardens, with a pond, at the back of the house.

Lafcadio Hearn's Old Residence Matsue

"There are large rocks in it, heavily mossed; and divers fantastic basins of stone for holding water; and stone lamps green with years. There are miniature hills, with old trees upon them; and there are long slopes of green, shadowed by flowering shrubs, like river banks; and there are green knolls like islets." Glimpses of Unfamilar Japan, Vol II

The atmosphere is genuinely one of the late nineteenth century when Hearn lived in the house. The peaceful place lends itself to contemplation, as you sit on the floor and gaze at the beautiful gardens.

Lafcadio Hearn's Old Residence, Matsue

Lafcadio Hearn's Old Residence
9am-5pm (March-November); 10am-4.40pm (December-February)
Admission: 350 yen

Take a bus from Matsue Station to Koizumi Yakumo Kinenkan-mae bus stop.

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