Cultural and Educational Links
The Lafcadio Hearn Gardens are already making a tangible contribution to strengthening the knowledge of Japan in Ireland, and of Ireland in Japan. We are particularly grateful to the Ambassadors and staff of the Embassy of Japan to Ireland and the Embassy of Ireland in Japan, who have facilitated this project at all stages.
Hearn’s descendants in Japan, Professor Bon Koizumi and his wife, Shoko, have provided copious information, photographs and images about Hearn’s life in Japan, which have been integrated into the story and design of the gardens. The gardens have been visited several times by members of the Koizumi family, and by the Mayor and senior officials of the City of Matsue. The gardens are proud to display a bronze relief of Hearn by Japanese sculptor Minoru Kurasawa gifted by Matsue City.
Tramore, the boyhood haunt of Lafcadio Hearn, has through these gardens become one of Ireland’s most effective cultural bridges to Japan.
Broader Educational Mission: The gardens promote awareness to Irish and international visitors of the writings of Lafcadio Hearn, and of the Waterford poet, Sean Dunne, whose prophetic poem “A Shrine to Lafcadio Hearn” (1996) is displayed in the garden.
Educational tours of the gardens for schools commenced in 2016 and will be further developed in 2017. The gardens regularly provide a setting for cultural events, poetry readings and story telling for children and adults.
The great pillars at Newtown Head, Tramore, united by the sea to the iconic Sea Torii gates of Itsukushima shrine.
The gardens are a valuable and unique addition to the already significant garden tourism offering of South East Ireland, which includes internationally recognised Mount Congreve and the historic castles, houses and gardens of the Waterford Garden Trail.