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Caption:

By all accounts Minakata was known for being a bit eccentric, but he also had a sense of humor. Minakata concludes his letter with a blunt request for Swingle, who apparently had trouble keeping the correct spelling of his name straight. “Do not write my personal name as Kumaguso as you have lately done,” he admonished, “It then means bear’s dung.” He goes on to explain that the Chinese characters used in his name mean “bear” and “camphor tree”. “Yama no kami monogatari” (Japanese Rare Book Collection, Asian Division, Library of Congress).

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