Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life, was first published in 1896 at a time when Japan was largely unknown to the Western world. Kokoro (心) which translates as ‘heart’ in English offers the reader the first glimpses into pre-industrial and Meji era Japan. Today the works of Lafcadio Hearn are mostly forgotten in the West and are fading from the memories of the Japanese.

This paperback edition of Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life has been taken from the original edition of 1896. The copy took 18 months to prepare and was carefully cross-referenced with three other early editions. The book also features Japanese calligraphy that was commissioned by Wabi Sabi Press and written by a qualified Japanese calligraphy (Shodo - 書道) artist living in Kyushu, Japan where Lafcadio Hearn lived from 1891 - 1894.

“Why should not Japan become the France of the Further East?”


Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life has been set in Minion Pro 11/13 x 23, a typeface designed by Robert Slimbach (1956– ) in 1990 and issued by Adobe Systems. Minion can be traced back to 1873 and found in Miller & Richards Typefounders Catalogue of the same year. The title is set in FF Meta Bold by Erik Spiekermann (1947– ) issued in 1991 and released through FontShop International.

Japanese Calligraphy (書道 – Shodou), an ancient form of artistic writing of the Japanese language by Shoko CopeKoga.



by Lafcadio Hearn


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Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life offers the reader the first glimpses into pre-industrial and Meji era Japan.

Book Shelf Category
Literature, Japanese Studies, Folklore, Cultural Studies, and Travel Writing

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Lafcadio Hearn

Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (June 27, 1850 - September 26th, 1904) was born on the Greek island of Lefkada. He later become known as Lafcadio Hearn and as Koizumi Yakumo (小泉 八雲), when he became a Japanese citizen. Lafcadio Hearn was the son of Charles Hearn, an Irish Surgeon-major in the British Army and Roas Antonia Kassimati of Kythera, a local Greek woman for the Ionian Islands. When Hearn’s parents divorced at aged six, Hearn moved to Dublin and later attended Ushaw Roman Catholic College, Durham. He was injured in an accident and lost the sight of his left eye.

At 19, he was sent to live in the United States of America and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio and later New Orleans, Louisiana. It was while working for the Times Democrat newspaper in New Orleans, that Hearn’s writing talent emerged. His writings focused on the city’s history, cuisine, underworld and Voodoo. In 1889, Lafcadio Hearn was sent as a correspondent to the West Indies, where he spent two years. He wrote Two Years in the French West Indies and Youma: The Story of a West-Indian Slave. Both books were published in 1890. In late 1889, Hearn traveled to Japan as a newspaper correspondent, a commission that was soon broken off. Hearn soon made Japan his home and gained a teaching position at Shimane Prefectural Common Middle School and at Normal School in Matsue. Lafcadio Hearn later married Setsu Koizumi, the daughter of a local samurai family from Matsue.

In 1891, Hearn moved to Kumamoto, Kyushu to teach at the Fifth Higher Middle School. His book, Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan (1894) was written during this period in Kumamoto. Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life was first published in 1896 during his time as an English Teacher at Tokyo Imperial University, were he worked until 1903. In the same year Hearn began to teach at Waseda University until his death due to heart failure in 1904.

Photo: Frederick Gutekunst, 1889. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Lafcadio Hearn

ISBN: 978-0-9567273-1-2
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 2011
Language: English
Pages: 245
Typography: Minion Pro
Dimensions: 5" x 8" (203mm x 127mm)
Weight: 287 grams


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