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April 30 , 2010

Out of the East

Reveries and Studies in New Japan


Out of the East came wonderful tales by a Westerner who loved the old Japan—devotion, ancestor worship, courtesy, and kindness—and record his feelings for the rest of the world to read.
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This collection of "reveries and studies," as author and legendary Japanologist Lafcadio Hearn subtitled Out of the East, contains unforgettable tales like "The Red Bridal," in which the conflict between duty and human feelings leads to tragedy in classically Japanese style; moving personal memoirs like "with Kyushu Students," Hearn's account of his experiences teaching at Kumamoto Higher Middle School; and marvelous evocations of atmosphere like "The Dream of Summer Day."

In works like these Hearn perceived and captured the essence of Japan as it was in the days when he fell under its spell and made Japan his adopted country. It is small wonder that Hearn's writing continues to live, for his very soul is in his writing—and the soul of Japan well.

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