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KWAIDAN: Stories and Studies of Strange Things

By Lafcadio Hearn

Boston; Houghton, Mifflin and Co.


A Note from the Digitizer On Japanese Pronunciation

Although simplified, the following general rules will help the reader unfamiliar with Japanese to come close enough to Japanese pronunciation.

There are five vowels: a (as in fAther), i (as in machIne), u (as in fOOl), e (as in fEllow), and o (as in mOle). Although certain vowels become nearly "silent" in some environments, this phenomenon can be safely ignored for the purpose at hand.

Consonants roughly approximate their corresponding sounds in English, except for r, which is actually somewhere between r and l (this is why the Japanese have trouble distinguishing between English r and l), and f, which is much closer to h.

The spelling "KWAIDAN" is based on premodern Japanese pronunciation; when Hearn came to Japan, the orthography reflecting this pronunciation was still in use. In modern Japanese the word is pronounced KAIDAN.

There are many ellipses in the text. Hearn often used them in this book; they do not represent omissions by the digitizer.

Author's original notes are in brackets, those by the digitizer are in parentheses. Diacritical marks in the original are absent from this digitized version.

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