Taken at the home of Lafcadio Hearn, an Irish-Greek-American writer who came to Japan in 1890 and worked as a teacher in the city of Matsue for a short time. He became one of the foremost "interpreters" of Japan to the West in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Perhaps his most well-known book is Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan (1894), which contains a very famous essay called "In a Japanese Garden" based on his careful observation of the garden at this Matsue house:
I have already become a little too fond of my dwelling-place. Each day, after returning from my college duties, and exchanging my teacher's uniform for the infinitely more comfortable Japanese robe, I find more than compensation for the weariness of five class-hours in the simple pleasure of squatting on the shaded veranda overlooking the gardens. Those antique garden walls, high-mossed below their ruined coping of tiles, seem to shut out even the murmur of the city's life. There are no sounds but the voices of birds, the shrilling of semi [cicada], or, at long, lazy intervals, the solitary plash of a diving frog.