Episode 75 – Kwaidan

This week, we’re going to take a look at the collection of supernatural stories published by American author and journalist Lafcadio Hearn, called Kwaidan. We’ll look at Hearn’s life and how he came to Japan, and also discuss the nature of one of the creatures he describes: the yuki onna, or snow woman. We’ll close with a reading of Hearn’s story on the yuki onna.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Hearn, Lafcadio. Kwaidan.

Images

Lafcadio Hearn. Note that his head is turned to his left and that he avoids looking at the camera. Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Lafcadio Hearn. Note that his head is turned to his left and that he avoids looking at the camera. Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Lafcadio Hearn and his wife Koizumi Setsu. Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Lafcadio Hearn and his wife Koizumi Setsu. Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
A Yuki Onna. Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
A Yuki Onna. Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
An Edo period print of a Yuki Onna. Both this and the preceding picture are from the 1700s.C ourtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
An Edo period print of a Yuki Onna. Both this and the preceding picture are from the 1700s.C ourtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
The Yuki Onna from the 1965 film version of Kwaidan. Courtesy of Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
The Yuki Onna from the 1965 film version of Kwaidan. Courtesy of Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Yuki, who is totally not a Yuki Onna. Courtesy of Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Yuki, who is totally not a Yuki Onna. Courtesy of Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
A wider view of the Yuki Onna in the 1965 film version of Kwaidan. Courtesy of ferdyonfilms.com.
A wider view of the Yuki Onna in the 1965 film version of Kwaidan. Courtesy of ferdyonfilms.com.
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