chapter  16
20 Pages

Posthumous

While Poe was living to reply to his enemies, the attempts to smirch his reputation amounted to very little, but after his death there was a feast of the ghouls, in which no form of malignity was omitted to paint him as a moral and physical debauchee. 1

WHEN HEARN ' S FUNERAL took place on 30 September, he was, according to Yone Noguchi, the first foreigner ever buried in Japan with the Buddhist rite. Only three foreigners attended.2 There were about 40 Japanese professors and 100 students. A graphic account was sent to The Critic by Margaret Emerson, who had gone to Japan before Hearn's death with hopes of seeing him. She found that some of the English-speaking community had never heard of him, the missionaries spoke of him with horror and the business and diplomatic elements were not personally acquainted with him. She tried Tokyo University, to be told he had ceased lecturing there because of eye trouble. Another English professor said he had gone home for treatment and nobody knew where his home was. In general, the impression she was given by the foreign community was that he was' ... a recluse, averse to all society, and more especially to that of Europeans'. 3

next, men carrying long poles from which hung streamers of paper gohei; after them two boys in rickshaws containing birds, that were to be released on the grave, symbols of the soul released from its earthly prison. The emblems were all Buddhist, but the portable hearse, next in line, carried by six men in blue, was a beautiful object, of unpainted and unvarnished, perfectly fresh, white wood, trimmed with blue silk tassels, and with gold and silver lotus flowers at the four comers. Directly behind it, on foot, followed the chief mourners, a middle-aged Japanese man and Lafcadio Hearn's oldest son, a nice-looking boy of about fifteen. In rickshaws were his Japanese wife, all in white, the color of mourning in Japan, and his daughter.