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Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life

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By: (1850-1904)

In an introductory paragraph, Lafcadio Hearn declares his intention: "The papers composing this volume treat of the inner rather than of the outer life of Japan, for which reason they have been grouped under the title Kokoro (heart). Written with the above character, this word signifies also mind, in the emotional sense; spirit; courage; resolve; sentiment; affection; and inner meaning, just as we say in English, "the heart of things."" The result is a highly eclectic collection of stories, diary entries, cultural essays, and collected traditional texts that illustrate not only the state of Japanese society in the 1890s but also the endlessly fascinating issue of the intersection of cultures as demonstrated in a Westerner's interpretations of what he observed in Japan. As much is revealed about the Western mind as the Japanese mind whenever such an intersection occurs.

First Page:

THE papers composing this volume treat of the inner rather than of the outer life of Japan, for which reason they have been grouped under the title Kokoro (heart). Written with the above character, this word signifies also mind, in the emotional sense; spirit; courage; resolve; sentiment; affection; and inner meaning, just as we say in English, "the heart of things."

KOBE September 15, 1895.

CONTENTS

I. AT A RAILWAY STATION II. THE GENIUS Of JAPANESE CIVILIZATION III. A STREET SINGER IV. FROM A TRAVELING DIARY V. THE NUN OF THE TEMPLE OF AMIDA VI. AFTER THE WAR VII. HARU VIII. A GLIMPSE OF TENDENCIES IX. BY FORCE OF KARMA X. A CONSERVATIVE XI. IN THE TWILIGHT OF THE GODS XII. THE IDEA OF PRE EXISTENCE XIII. IN CHOLERA TIME XIV. SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT ANCESTOR WORSHIP XV. KIMIKO APPENDIX. THREE POPULAR BALLADS

KOKORO

I

AT A RAILWAY STATION

Seventh day of the sixth Month; twenty sixth of Meiji.

Yesterday a telegram from Fukuoka announced that a desperate criminal captured there would be brought for trial to Kumamoto to day, on the train due at noon... Continue reading book >>


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