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Hearn’s Romantic Representation Of Shinto, The Way Of Japanese Gods

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Chapter Summary

Lafcadio Hearn was the first Western appreciator of Shinto and successfully showed what a great possibility it has for the modern world. Hearn, moreover, discarded many other aspects of Shinto as useless and out of date. In a word, he presented a new version of Shinto, especially in his Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation. It was the same kind of concentration and transformation of his ghost stories. Hearn does not look like a Shinto god partly because he rides on the neck of a dragon-fly. He created his own Shinto which conflicts less with the Western ideas of justice, Buddhist doctrine of karma and scientific facts of heredity. In order to redefine and redesign Shinto, some of his literary inventions, particularly the vision from a Shinto shrine, could be useful.

Keywords: Buddhist doctrine of karma; dragon-fly; Lafcadio Hearn; Shinto god



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