This classic collection of Japanese ghost and folk stories is of enormous importance to the field of Japanese studies.
Japanese curios, with sundry cobwebs, excite the curiosity and imagination of a master spinner of tales, and the result is Kotto, another Lafcadio Hearn classic about old Japan. Here Hearn spins tales from old Japanese books to illustrate some strange beliefs. They are only curios, he says laconically, but some of these legends will make your spine tingle and your heart trip faster, like the one about a waterfall called Yurei Daki, or the Cascade of Ghosts.
The ghosts were as real as their warnings, but a bold woman failed to heed them-a horrible mistake. Hearn could also find in the commonplace the stuff of which imperishable literature is spun. A drop of dew hangs quivering on the bamboo lattice of his study window. Its tiny sphere repeats the colors of the morning-of sky and field and far-off trees, of a cottage with children at play. But much more than the visible world is imaged by that dewdrop: the world invisible, of infinite mystery, is likewise repeated. Buddhism finds in such a dewdrop the symbol of that other microcosm called the Soul.