Description of Proposed Hearn Commemorative Plaque for Cincinnati, Ohio



(clockwise from left to right)

Henry Watkins on left holding up medallion of Lafcadio Hearn (in relief) at the time he was in Cincinnati.  Without Watkins, Hearn probably dies from starvation in Cincinnati.  He arrived on an immigrant train, penniless and for four days he had no food.   Watkins gave him food and shelter and eventually his first job when Hearn was 19 years of age.  Watkins remains a lifelong friend of Hearn’s.

Newspapers are stacked to the left of Watkins (Enquirer and Commercial papers where Hearn worked) 

Steeple of Cathedral of St. Peter's in Chains....  Hearn wrote an article for the Commercial being lashed to the very top of the steeple....  He was asked to write about what he saw, viewing the city, from his unique perspectives.

Matsue castle is at the top of the plaque and is nearby Hearn’s residence and is called the crow castle for its black walls.

The bird is a raven.  Hearn revered Edgar Allen Poe and used the same symbol for Poe, as Watkins would call him the raven as well.

The snow queen ghost in perhaps his most famous Japanese work, Kwaidan

Setsu Koizumi, his second wife, whose family adopted him so he became a citizen of Japan and why his Japanese last name is Koizumi. 

His books on Japanese culture and folklore, of which he is most famous, and the foods on the table representing his creole topics and cookbooks of New Orleans. 

So, the left side represents the Cincinnati years and center and right side his years thereafter.

The Sculptor

Tom Tsuchiya is the sculptor for this project.  Tom is famous for his Baseball Hall of Fame plaques in Cooperstown, NY, and is particularly famous in Cincinnati for the statues and founding team plaques that he has done around the Cincinnati Reds ballpark.  He has sculptures and installations across the U.S.A.


To Pledge or Donate to the Hearn Plaque Project

Described below are the funding levels and offers related to donor levels of participation:

$99 and below “donor” gets listed in dedication program (unless not preferred)

$100-$249 “supporter” gets copy of a past original Hearn/USA Society Journal and listing in dedication program

$250-$499 “friend” gets a frameable print of the plaque design and listing in program

$500-$999 “patron” gets mini plaque suitable for display and listing in program

$1000-$1,999 “benefactor” gets special tour of the sculptor’s studio and listing in program and mini plaque

$2,000+ “commemorator” gets a tour of studio, designation on the actual memorial plaque, and listing in program and mini plaque


It is important to make all checks out to: The Japan Research Center of Greater Cincinnati.  Please include in the memo section “Hearn Plaque.”  The Center is a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization and through this we can provide you with an acknowledgement for tax purposes.  Please send your checks to:

The Japan Research Center of Greater Cincinnati
c/o Kiyoshi Peter Tanaka
5728 Gilmore Dr.
Fairfield, OH   45014


Please complete the remainder of this form, detach it or send the entire form and mail it  to one of the above addresses with your payment or pledge:


Donation or Pledge Form


Name______________________________ Donation $__________ Pledge$_________


Mailing address_________________________________________________________

City____________________________  State_______  Zip code__________________

Email address:_________________________________Phone:___________________