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Nov. 12th '91 Dear Mr. Scudder: - Your kind letter reaches me just on the eve of my departure for Kumamoto, Kyushu, where I expect to remain for a few years; - the climate being much warmer in Kyushu, the hours of teaching fewer, and the salary double that I received in Matsue. I am very sorry you should have been sick so long, and that I should have caused you some trouble during that time. All the more thanks for your kind words of advice and sympathy. The phantoms of my earlier papers (on the yellow stuff) have been haunting me lately; and I think they must be recast entirely, - or almost entirely. It would be no small favor could you return me papers which you feel would need recasting. I should at once set to work on them. I was too nervous in my first days in Japan; - indeed the first
experience in any unfamiliar country, usually puts me a little hors de moi, as they say in French. When I become a veteran, I shall stand fire better. I am more than satisfied with what you say about fair possibilities for the book. The best work will, of course, be the last; and during the coming year I think I shall be able to send papers of a different kind altogether. The whole book will, I trust, be much lighter than my recent papers would indicate; and the lighter work will be shaped to alternate with the simple narrative, or essay. - But all this is for the future. -- -- Perhaps, also, it will be best to keep all future papers for me, - unless you return some for revision. As for revision in final print, I feel such a book must be proof-read in Japan itself, and with the help of Japanese friends. The distance between Japan and
Boston is being yearly lessened by better steamers and swifter trains; - so I trust this will be possible to accomplish. I have sent you since last hearing from you several other papers, - "In the Cave of the Children's Ghosts," "Note on Kitzuki," "At Hinomisaki," "At Mionoseki", "Yaegaki," and "Kitsune." There may follow soon a paper on "Houshold Gods" , and one on "Japanese Students," and one on "Folklore of the Japanese Sea. Should any expense be incurred in returning me papers needing reshaping, please deduct such expenses from anything paid for MS. received. However on the question of immediate or later revision, I leave everything gladly to your judgment. With best thanks and best wishes, Believe me, very truly Lafcadio Hearn My new address is - Daigo [Kotocluegahko ?] Kumamoto Kyushu Japan
I must confess that I am grievously tormented by the accumulation of new material which I don't know how to use, and which I can at best hope to work up into future stories and sketches. Nothing in this country is what it seems at first sight to be, and the most trifling image by a roadside, or object in a shop window, demands not only much explanation but a long familiarity after the explanation has been given, - so that one can understand I hope also to be able to illustrate the book. I have numbers of little rough woodcuts made every month, as illustrations of unknown things. The photographs recently sent were taken by my order. Vague as it all looks now, I think my book on Japanese things will be something altogether different from anything yet written and will show quite another side of Japan. This letter is very hasty - please excuse it: I take the steamer in another hour. Please tell me if I can be of any service to you, or to H & M in Japan.