Kwaidan (meaning ''ghost stories'' is a fitting title for this collection of ''stories and studies of strange things'' originally published in 1904 just months before the author's death, and arguably Lafcadio Hearn's most famous book - and justifiably so. Shisei-Do Publications is proud to offer this new, augmented presentation of Kwaidan, edited and profusely illustrated by Japan scholar Hayato Tokugawa, which contains seventeen Japanese stories from the Reikai or ''world of ghosts and spirits.'' Actually one, ''Himawari,'' is a personal recollection of Hearn's childhood set in Wales; while another, ''Riki-Baka,'' is a personal experience of the author's in Tokyo. Many of these stories are based on old Japanese legends told to him by his wife Setsuko, while others have a Chinese origin - all wonderfully transformed into Hearn's own unique style. He concludes this volume with three essays on unique members of the insect world - butterflies, mosquitoes, and the ''civilization'' of ants - which are far more metaphysical than entomological. Earlier in his career, the author spoke of pledging himself to ''woo the Muse of the Odd'' and to ''worship the odd, the queer, the strange, and the monstrous.'' If that was truly the case, then he exceeded even his own expectations, giving us some of the very best of Lafcadio Hearn.