Hearn Chronology



Birth in Greece [1850]

Arrives in Dublin [1852]

Mother returns to Greece [1854]

Brought up by great-aunt, Mrs Brenane, in Dublin

Education in England, [1863-7]; loss of eye/disfigurement

Bankruptcy of family and experience of poverty in London [1867-9]

USA [1869-1890]

Cincinnati [1869(?)-1877]

Arrives in Cincinnati [1869?]

Start in sensational journalism with Cincinnati Enquirer

Foundation and failure of Ye Giglampz periodical

Interest in the black culture of the riverside “levee”

Illegal marriage to black ex-slave, Mattie Foley; marriage fails

Changes to Cincinnati Commercial

Decides to go south

New Orleans[1877-1887]

Arrives in New Orleans [1877]

Introduction to Creole culture

Collapse of connection with Cincinnati Commercial

Editorial assistant on the Item newspaper [1878-81]

Early interest in the Orient/Japan

Development of “Fantastics”, early creative writing

Taken on by Times-Democrat [1881]

Translations from French; publication of One of Cleopatra’s Nights [1882]

Starts being published in national magazines

Books published: Stray Leaves from Stray Literature [1884], La Cuisine Creole, Gumbo Zhebes [1885], Some Chinese Ghosts [1886], and novel of Louisiana Gulf life, Chita [1887]

Falls under the influence of the philosophy of Herbert Spencer

WEST INDIES [1887-1889]

Goes to West Indies for the first time, summer 1887

Returns to West Indies and stays two years, 1887-1889

Results in book, Two Years in the French West Indies and a novel, Youma,

Returns to USA, [1889] stays with George Gould in Philadelphia

Contact with his long-lost brother, James

JAPAN [1890-1904]

Arrives in Yokohama [1890]

Breaks with publisher [Harper]

Starts to form long-term analysis of Japan

Matsue [1890-91]

Takes up teaching post in interior of Japan

Marries Japanese, Setsuko Koizumi

Development of his analysis of Japan; gathers material for first Japanese book, Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan

Kumamoto [1891-94]

Teaching post in south of Japan, unhappy experience

Drafts second Japanese book, Out of the East

Birth of son, Kazuo

Kobe [1894-96]

Editorial writer on Kobe Chronicle, October-December 1894

Illness forces resignation from journalism

Out of work for 1½ years

Begins work on Kokoro

Adopts Japanese citizenship

Working on Gleanings in Buddha Fields

Tokyo [1896-1904]

Takes up appointment as lecturer at Tokyo University

Eight further books on Japan completed

Becomes increasingly withdrawn and immersed in work

Health failing; wants to leave Japan

Loses job at Tokyo University; become lecturer at Waseda University

Supports Japan in Russo-Japanese War



Bitter newspaper controversy over character in USA in 1906

George Gould’s denunciatory Concerning Lafcadio Hearn published [1908]; further public controversy over Hearn’s life

Visit of biographer, Nina Kennard, and Hearn’s half-sister to Japan in 1909

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