Lefkada and poetry
The island of poets, Lefkada, fascinates with its rich literary history. Many memorable places of the poets are in Lefkada town. Here you will find museums, statues, houses of poets, names of the streets that will remind you of Lefkadian poets. In Lefkada town besides the museum of the poet Angelos Sikelianos, you can visit the smaller museum dedicated to Lafcadio Hearn. If you are interested in Japanese culture you surely do not want to miss this place.
Lafcadio Hearn – Koizumi Yakumo
Patrik Lafcadio Hern (1850-1904) was born in Lefkada, from which derived his name. His other name was Koizumi Yakumo, the Japanese name. The origins of Lafcadio are anglo-irish and greek. His life journey was interesting as much as his books. Lafcadio lived in Greece, but also in Ireland, Unated States, and finally Japan. He was an international figure and a national poet of Japan. He gain recognition for his books about the distant and unfamiliar Japan in that time. Due to his stories many Europeans could perceive and imagine Japan of the late 19th century. Even today the books he wrote are one of the most insightful books about Japan that we have. He revealed the folklore, literature and culture of the Land of the Rising Sun to the Western world for the first time. Lafcadio worked also as a journalist and a professor during his lifetime.
Museum of Lafcadio Hearn
Historical center was open in 2014, in the Cultural Centre of Lefkada. The museum was inaugurated on 4th of July, on the 110th anniversary of the death of Lafcadio Hearn. Among the founders and donators of this museum are the members of his family, Bon and Shoko Koizumi. Before you enter to the Historical center, you will face a statue called ‘Odyssey of an open mind’, in a hall of the Cultural center. This beautiful statue shows wings that blend in the middle and create a shape of the heart. The statue expresses Lafcadio’s wandering between East and West.
The Historical center exibits the biographical details, the literary work and a portrait painting of the writer. In the interior of the museum you will find many objects that will remind you of Japan. Lafcadio’s last books “Japan:an attempt at Interpretation” and “Kwaidan” are considered to be his best books. The other books on Japan are “Exotics and Retrospectives”,“In Ghostly Japan” ,“Shadowings”,“A Japanese Miscellany”. In the second room you will see the list of Lafcadio’s books and the detail descriptions of them. His literary opus includes ghost stories, fairy tales, short stories, folk tales, travel books, reportages.
Memorable places of Lafcadio
Lafcadio Hearn has his statue in the Garden of Poets, next to the other significant writers of Lefkada. There is also a street in Lefkada town with his name. Somewhere in the winding alleys of Lefkas, you will pass next to his house too. Every year on 26th and 27th of June are being held the Lefkadio Hearn Days. Two day cultural event organizes Cultural Centre of Lefkada at the Historical Center. Cultural Center organizes also during the year the Cultural Events dedicated to Japanese culture and Japanese language courses.
The Historical centre of Lafcadio Hearn in Lefkada was his fist museum in Europe. Lafcadio is a prominent writer also in Ireland, where his museum exists in the town of Tramore. Across this country, in July, they honour the writer through exhibitions, performances and lectures. Additionally, there are two more museums in Japan that are presenting his achievements. In Japanese towns Matsue and Yaizu, are the first museums opened to Lafcadio Hearn.
To sum up, visit to museum of Lafcadio Hearn will surely be an interesting experience and it will broaden your horizons!