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Coming Home: The Open Mind of Patrick Lafcadio Hearn

Coming Home: The Open Mind of Patrick Lafcadio Hearn

October 7th 2015 – January 3rd 2016

On October 7th, 2015, one of Dublin’s most extraordinary authors came home. Patrick Lafcadio Hearn, who was also known as Koizumi Yakumo, is celebrated both in New Orleans – where he is credited with “inventing” New Orleans as a mysterious place in popular culture – and in Japan, where his ghost stories and folktales made him one of the country’s most famous writers. There he enjoys a reputation far beyond any other Irish writer. Yet he is virtually unknown here in his hometown.

Despite being the subject of a museum dedicated to his life in Matsue, Japan, this was the first time he is being honoured in Dublin. The Little Museum of Dublin was proud to present a landmark exhibition that features first editions of Hearn’s key works in Japan, as well as personal items from The Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, Tokyo. In collaboration with the Koizumi family, The Ireland Funds and The Japan Foundation, this remarkable new show traced Hearn’s odyssey around the world, his binding ties to Dublin and Ireland, and his artistic influence across the globe.

This exhibition will celebrate a great Irish writer who has remained hidden from the memory of his fellow Dubliners. “It’s a privilege to host this show,” says Simon O’Connor, curator of the Little Museum, “and an amazing opportunity for the people Ireland to discover one of their most successful and influential writers, and the enchanting effect he had on Japanese culture.”

Exhibition Events

A number of free classes and workshops for children and families were programmed to accompany this exhibition, generously supported by the Ireland Japan Association. .

An Introduction to Japanese – Language Lessons for Families (adults and children age 5+, 1 hr )
Saturday 10 October, 11am  
Saturday 17 October,11am
Saturday 24 October, 11am
Saturday 31 October, 11am


Lafcadio’s Ghost Stories  (adults and children age 8-12, 1 hr)
Thursday 29 October, 5pm  
Families can learn about different mythical creatures and ghosts from the places that Lafcadio Hearn travelled to. 


Night of the Fireflies (ages 6-11, 1 hr)
Saturday 14 November, 12pm
Lafcadio Hearn wrote a wonderful account of how Fireflies lit up 19th Century Japan and how Japanese legend says that fireflies or hotaru are the ghosts of opposing clans going to battle. Children will make their own fireflies using arts & crafts materials and at the end of the workshop they can see their creations glow in a darkened room like real fireflies! 

Around the World with Lafcadio Hearn (ages 6-11) 
Saturday 21 November, 12pm
Children will be introduced to Lafcadio’s adventures from Greece to Ireland, to the US, West Indies, and finally Japan. Through colouring pictures of objects that Lafcadio might have encountered in each country they will find out about different cultures and how one might have travelled in the 19th Century. Each child can take their own map home with their artwork attached.

Origami lessons for families  (ages 5+, 1 hr) 
Sunday 27 December, 11am & 12.30pm
Saturday 2 January, 11am & 12.30pm
Sunday 3 January, 11am & 12.30pm