Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

From Folklore To Literature – Hearn And Japanese Legends Of Tree Spirits

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

In his essay 'In a Japanese Garden', Lafcadio Hearn writes down every small legend, folk song, superstition, etc., about the flowers and trees in his garden. In a word, Hearn simply rejoiced in the abundance of Japanese plant folklore. These first impressions of the trees and his thoughts were to be developed later into stories of tree spirits, included in his last book, Kwaidan (1904). First of all, he added a striking element: that is, the act of 'hara-kiri' performed by a samurai, under the tree. Secondly, in Hearn's story, it is the ancient character of the tree that the samurai cherishes and dies for. The author feels sure his folk tales will outlive all disputes and evaluations. They will live on, not only as literature in the English language, but as a part of the Japanese imagination.

Keywords: hara-kiri; Japanese plant folklore; Kwaidan; Lafcadio Hearn; samurai



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Lafcadio Hearn in International Perspectives — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation