- 10 / 23 / 19
Lecture “Lafcadio Hearn in the Present Day” by
Bon Koizumi (Lafcadio Hearn’s great-grandson) & Calligraphy Live Performance “Oma—The Twilight Hour—An Encounter between Hearn’s Spirit and Calligraphy”
by Nanami Nanasawa（Calligrapher）and Kyoji Yamamoto（Guitarist）
The Greek-Irish writer Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo, 1850-1904) was born in Greece. He lived in Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, the USA and on the Caribbean island of Martinique, before arriving in Japan in 1890. He is known as a writer who communicated the fundamental culture of Japan in the Meiji era to the world through acute insights with his five senses.
He explored the spiritual culture of the Japanese people with an open mind, and introduced this to the world through more than ten works, including Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, Kokoro, Kwaidan, and Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation. Exactly 150 years ago, in 1869, Hearn, aged 19, arrived in New York alone, as an Irish immigrant. Throughout his childhood, he had overcome much hardship. After his arrival in the USA, he worked as a journalist in Cincinnati and New Orleans. He continued such work for around 20 years, and established himself as a top class journalist and writer.
In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Hahn’s visit to the United States, The Nippon Club will organize “Lecture & Calligraphy Live Performance”, co-organized by The Hearn Society.
Bon Koizumi, Lafcadio Hearn’s great-grandson”, will give a lecture titled “Lafcadio Hearn in the Present Day”.
“In recent years, there has been an increasing re-evaluation of Hearn in Japan and in places around the world that are associated with him. Hearn is no longer merely a target of literary research. He is becoming more relevant to the needs of contemporary society as a multi-faceted figure with an open mind. As a descendant of Hearn’s, this has great significance for me,” says Koizumi.
After the lecture, Nanami Nanasawa will give a calligraphy performance to Kyoji Yamamoto’s guitar accompaniment.
“In the time between day and night, the times that connects this world with the other,
the time when humans encounter demons, at the boundary connecting the realm of the gods,
the world of Oma, the twilight hour when nothing can be seen, will be created on paper, ” says Nanami.
Please come and witness the moment of “an Encounter between Hearn’s Spirit and Calligraphy.”
Date & Time: Wednesday, October 23rd, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Location: The Nippon Club
Attendance $10 (members) / $15 (non-members) Including Drink
Registration: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ms. Honda)
Bon Koizumi is from Tokyo. He is the great-grandson of Lafcadio Hearn.
He studied Folklore at Seijo University and graduate school, and moved to Matsue in 1987. He explores cultural resources from the perspective of ghost stories and the supernatural, and conducts practical research, which is used in tourism and cultural experiences. He introduces the “open mind” of Lafcadio Hearn to society in places around the world that are associated with Hearn. Along with the actor Shiro Sano and the musician Kyoji Yamamoto, he participates in the Lafcadio Hearn Reading Performance. In July, 2017, he was a recipient of the Foreign Minister’s Commendation for contribution to the cultural exchange between Japan and Ireland. He has published works including Minzoku Gakusha—Koizumi Yakumo (Kobunsha, 1995) and Kwaidan yondaiki—Yakumo no itazura (Kodansha, 2014) He is a member of The Japan P.E.N. Club.
Koizumi is the director of the Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, and the honorary director of the Yaizu Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum. He is also an honorary professor of the University of Shimane Junior College.
Nanami Nanasawa is a calligrapher and ink painting artist. She is from Toyama Prefecture.
After studying calligraphy at Tokyo Gakugei University, she worked as a graphic designer. Later, she became an ink painting artist. In addition to traditional calligraphy, she combines ink painting and calligraphy, and ink painting and photographs to create unique art. She has held exhibitions in Japan and overseas. She has also produced calligraphy for products, packages and brand logos.
Her “Calligraphy Live Performance”, in which she draws on a large piece of paper to music, is performed with elegance and beauty, and is highly rated. In November 2018, she made her overseas debut with a solo exhibition in Singapore. Her collaborative work in apparel, architecture and stage design is also attracting attention.
She has written the calligraphy for the titles of the Lafcadio Hearn Reading Performance for six consecutive years from 2013.
For two years, starting in 2018, she is in charge of the cover of Kyodo Weekly, the membership magazine of Kyodo News. In June 2019, she held an exhibition of Kyodo Weekly covers, featuring the four seasons, in the head office of the company. She also drew the title of a photography collection commemorating 30 years since the enthronement, and 60 years of marriage, of the Heisei Emperor.
Kyoji Yamamoto is a musician from Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture.
He started playing the guitar when he was 15, and entered the Yamaha/Nemu Music Academy. At that time, he was hailed as a genius guitarist, and while still a student, was selected as the lead guitarist and lead vocalist of BOWWOW. At the time of his debut, his tour with KISS and Aerosmith attracted much attention. He has constantly led the Japanese rock scene with his dynamic and powerful sound and guitar technique. He later formed the band VOWWOW, which was based in London and was active in Europe and the USA for around four years. The band was highly rated overseas, and had a chart entry in the UK. It also had a large influence on famous artists from overseas.
In addition to activities with the band, Yamamoto has released a guitar instrumental album, held sessions with jazz fusion musicians, and sung and played acoustically. In recent years, he has been in charge of the music for the reading performance with Shiro Sano, and has produced other artists. With wide-ranging musical experience, he plays an active role on the global music scene.