Family Reunions
Hearn - Koizumi

1997 Hearn-Koizumi Reunion

Great Story

Guns saluted and brass mourned my father’s death in 84. They slid his ashes into a marble niche in Arlington. Then I remembered dad’s dusty books by Lafcadio . “These are family legacy. They’re yours when I leave.” He said with reverent hands. I was afraid to open them for years. Who knows me? Someone did. Japan’s cultural center called me in 1997. They wished for my attendance in April in Washington DC. Why should I leave my Florida for cold memories? “Because, it’s been a hundred years!” they breathed with dignity. I had no idea. Bon Koizumi was there. There were TV cameras and reporters too. Then I saw dad in a flash. He was there too. Somewhere in the lights I saw him smile. As I gazed into my Japanese cousin’s eyes I saw the “…dark and beautiful face, with large brown eyes like a wild deer's…“ It was our mother Rosa’s eyes; my dad’s eyes. I stood stunned in the din. I felt our handshake heal generations of pain. A hundred years and 10,000 miles had separated brothers Lafcadio and James Daniel Hearn. Lafcadio had written: “It pains me that I could not see you. I am, however, and must be, for several years more, a slave of contracts and opportunities.” Now we were free! The power of life broke us free. I am so grateful to a circle of passionate fans that helped reunite the offspring of these estranged brothers. Neither “contracts” nor “opportunities” can claim our separation again. As Bon and I stepped into a crisp April night a comet blazed above. “Look!” I whispered. “It’s mother Rosa’s eyes!” -- Bradford Hearn
Holding the plaques commemorating the 100th year of Lafcadio's arrival to Japan, are the respective great grandsons of both brothers: Bon Koizumi (Lafcadio) and Bradford Hearn (James Daniel). The Koizumi plaque went to the Hearn Memorial Museum. The Hearn plaque went to Tulane University.
Photo opportunities and presentations held during the National Tour of Tulane University's Rare Books Lafcadio Hearn/ Koizumi Yakumo Collection sponsored by NewSouth Magazine at the Japanese Embassy Washington, DC April 1997.
"We did have our Hearn 2003 reunion in Bethany, Michigan but our numbers are dwindling. James Hearn's grandchildren are getting older, from about 60 years to 93 years living. And it is hard to get the younger ones to come. We did have a good time together."
  This is the first reunion of the Hearn brothers since their estrangement 100 years ago!