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Hoichi The Earless

My latest reading for the online kaidan series “Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai: 100 days, 100 supernatural stories” is Hengtee Lim’s retelling of the Japanese folktale Hoichi the Earless (耳なし芳一, Mimi-nashi Hōichi).

The story of the blind biwa player whose rendition of the Battle of Dan-no-ura is so evocative that it calls forth the ghosts of the fallen Taira clan was immortalized by Lafcadio Hearn in his 1904 book Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things and in Masaki Kobayashi‘s 1965 film Kwaidan.

In Hengtree Lim’s retelling, a young boy falls under the spell of the playing of the now aged and forgotten Hoichi and inadvertently resurrects the spirits of the Taira clan himself.

You can hear my reading here.


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