An improved English service offered by the great-grandson of Lafcadio Hearn, who wrote numerous books about Japan in the late 19th century, has helped to boost the number of foreign visitors to a museum in western Japan dedicated to the author.

Since the 2016 renovation of the museum in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Bon Koizumi, 57, has added detailed English captions for all displayed objects, including a desk, manuscripts and a suitcase used by Hearn (1850-1904), who became a naturalized Japanese at the age of 45 and was known as Yakumo Koizumi.

The number of foreign visitors to the Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum more than doubled to 2,749 in fiscal 2017, which ended in March, from 1,144 in fiscal 2015, when it was closed for three months for renewal.