KWAIDAN: STORIES AND STUDIES OF STRANGE THINGS. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin and Company, 1904. Octavo, pp. [1-2] [i-ii] iii [iv-viii] [1-2] 3-240 [241: blank] [242: printer's imprint] [243-244: blank] [note: leaf (1)5 (pages [vii-viii]) is an insert; title leaf is conjugate with (1)8; final leaf is a blank], fly leaf precedes credit leaf, two inserted plates with drawings by Keichu Takenouche, text printed throughout in orange and black, original pictorial greenish-black sateen-like cloth, front and spine panels stamped in orange, green and gold, t.e.g. First edition. A "collection of stories, vignettes, and prose poems based on Japanese folklore (the title means ghost stories). The style is deft, the stories designed to be savored for their poignancy and calm fatalism." - Barron, ed., Fantasy and Horror (1999) 5-131. "KWAIDAN was next to the last book Hearn wrote, and the last that he actually saw in the completed state. It was published in April, 1904 and its author died five months later, on September 16, while his JAPAN: AN ATTEMPT AT INTERPRETATION was going through the presses. Hearn had been living in Japan more than a dozen years when KWAIDAN was written, and inevitably some of his early enthusiasm for the country had been tempered by increased familiarity and more accurate understanding. But for the rich and varied folklore of the Japanese Hearn's admiration had by no means slackened. To the last, he was eager to unearth some quaint legend or trace down some curious bit of superstition as he had been during the first months after his arrival, and he worked with the same slow patience to render his discoveries accurately and without distortion into English ... Readers of ... [these weird tales] will not regret Hearn's passion for accuracy in detail and atmosphere, for here we have a group of tales of ancient Japan rendered with a fidelity to the originals that can be found nowhere else in the English language." - Oscar Lewis. Ashley, Who's Who in Horror and Fantasy Fiction, pp. 91-2. Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 788. Tymn, ed., Horror Literature 3-97. Bleiler (1978), p. 97. Reginald 07013. BAL 7940 (issue B; priority, if any, not established). Cloth lightly worn at lower spine end and lower corner tips, a bright, nearly fine copy in pictorial dust jacket (light green paper stock printed with dark green ink) with wear and shallow chipping along top and bottom edges, tanning, and old creases where once folded to lay into the book. The jacket is rare. (#157142).
"Published April 1904" on copyright page.