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XXII. OF A I)ANt;iNa-OntL 525 


XXIV, Of Sour* . , . 620 





D 0001 D15SM3S 3 




MY little two-story house by the Ohashigawa* 
although dainty as a bird-cage, proved much too 
small for comfort at the approach of the hot season, 
the rooms being scarcely higher than steamship 
cabins, and so narrow that an ordinary mosquito-net 
could not be suspended in them. I was sorry to lose 
the beautiful lake view, but 1 found it necessary to 
remove to the northern quarter of the city, into a 
very quiet street behind the mouldering castle. My 
new home is a katchiu-yashiki, the ancient residence 
of some samurai of high rank. It is shut off from 
the street, or rather roadway, skirting the castle moat 
by a long, high wall coped with tiles. One ascends 
to the gateway, which is almost as large as that of a 
temple court, by a low broad flight of stone steps; 
and projecting from the wall, to the right of the gate, 
is a lookout window, heavily barred, like a big wooden 
cage. Thence, in feudal days, armed retainers kept 
keen watch on all who passed by, invisible watch, 
for the bars are set so closely that a face behind them 
cannot be seen from the roadway. Inside the gate 
the approach to the dwelling is also walled in on both 
sides, so that the visitor, unless privileged, could see 

V03U 1% 


before him only the house entrance, always closed with 
white shoji. Like all samurai homes, the residence it- 
self is but one story high, but there are fourteen rooms 
within, and these are lofty, spacious, ami beautiful* 
There Is, alas, no lake view nor any charming pros- 
pect. Part of the ()-Shiroyama, with the castle on 
its summit, half concealed by a park of pines, may 
he seen above the coping of the front wail, but only 
a part; and scarcely a hundred yards behind the 
house rise densely wooded heights, cutting oil not 
only the horizon, but a large slice of the sky as well. 
For this Immurement, however, there exists fair com* 
peusation in the shape of a very pretty garden, or 
rather a series of garden spaces, which surround the 
dwelling on three sides. Broad verandas overlook 
these, and from a certain veranda angle 1 can enjoy 
the sight of two gardens at once. Screens of bamboos 
and woven rushes, with wide gateless openings in 
their midst, mark the boundaries of the three divisions 
of the pleasure-grounds. But these structures are 
not intended to serve as true fences ; they are orna- 
mental, aticj. only indicate where one style of land- 
scape gardening ends and another begins. 


Now a few words upon Japanese gardens in gen* 

After having learned merely by seeing, for the 
practical knowledge of the art requires years of study 
and experience, besides a natural, instinctive seniie 
of beauty something about the Japanese manner 
of arranging flowers, one can thereafter consider 
European ideas of floral decoration only as vulgari- 
ties. This observation is not the result of any hasty 


enthusiasm, but a conviction settled by long residence 
in the Interior. I have come to understand the un- 
speakable loveliness of a solitary spray of blossoms 
arranged as only a Japanese expert knows how to 
arrange it, not by simply poking the spray into a 
vase, but by perhaps one whole hour's labor of trim- 
ming and posing and daintiest manipulation, and 
therefore I cannot think now of what we Occidentals 
call a " bouquet " as anything but a vulgar murdering 
of flowers, an outrage upon the color-sense, a bru- 
tality 3 an abomination. Somewhat In the same way, 
and for similar reasons, after having learned what an 
old Japanese garden is, I can remember our costliest 
gardens at home only as ignorant displays of what 
wealth can accomplish In the creation of incongrui- 
ties that violate nature. 

Now a Japanese garden is not a flower garden; 
neither is it made for the purpose of cultivating 
plants. In nine cases out of ten there is nothing In 
It resembling a flower-bed. Some gardens may con- 
tain scarcely a sprig of green ; some have nothing 
green at all, and consist entirely of rocks and peb- 
bles and sand, although these are exceptional. 1 As 
a rule, a Japanese garden Is a landscape garden, yet 
Its existence does not depend upon any fixed allow- 
ance of space. It may cover one acre or many acres. 
It may also be only ten feet square. It may, In ex- 
treme cases, be much lees; for a certain kind of 

1 Such as the garden attached to the abbot's palace at Tokuwa- 
monji, cited by Mr, Condor, which was made to ommemomte the 

legend of stoa which bowed themselves In ament to the doctrine of 

Buddha* At Togo-ike, in Tottori-ken, I saw a very large garden 
consisting almost entirely of stones and sand. The Impression whidj 
the designer had intended to convey was that of approaching tfaa m 
tver a verge of donas, and the illusion was beautiful 


Japanese garden can be contrived small enough to 
put In a tokonoma. Such a garden, in a vessel no 
larger than a fruit-dish, is called kooiwa or toko- 
niwa, and may occasionally be seen iu the tokonoma 
of humble little dwellings so closely squeezed be- 
tween other structures as to possess no ground in 
which to cultivate an outdoor garden. (I BHJ "an 
outdoor garden,*' because there are indoor gardens, 
both upstairs and downstairs, in some large Japa- 
nese houses.) The toko-niwa Is usually made in 
some curious bowl, or shallow carved box, or quaintly 
shaped vessel impossible to describe by any English 
word. Therein are created minuscule hills with 
minuscule houses upon them, and microscopic ponds 
and rivulets spanned by tiny humped bridges; and 
queer wee plants do duty for trees, and curiously 
formed pebbles stand for rocks* and there are tiny 
toro, perhaps a tiny torii as well, in abort, a charm* 
]ng and living model of a Japanese landscape. 

Another fact of prime importance to remember is 
that, in order to comprehend the beauty of a Japa- 
nese garden, it is necessary to understand or at 
least to learn to understand the beauty of stones, 
Not of stones quarried by the hand of man, but of 
stones shaped by nature only. Until you can feel, 
and keenly feel, that stones have character, that 
stones have tones and values, the whole artistic mean* 
ing of a Japanese garden cannot be revealed to you* 
In the foreigner, however aesthetic he may b% this 
feeling needs to be cultivated by study* It ia inborn 
in the Japanese ; the soul of the race comprehends 
Nature infinitely better than we do, at least in her 
visible forms. But although, being an Occidental, 
the true sense of the beauty of stones can be reached 


by you only through long familiarity with the Jap- 
anese use and choice of them, the characters of the 
lessons to be acquired exist everywhere about you, 
if your life be in the interior. You cannot walk 
through a street without observing tasks and problems 
in the aesthetics of stones for you to master. At the 
approaches to temples, by the side of roads, before 
holy groves, and in all parks and pleasure-grounds,, 
as well as in till cemeteries, you will notice large, 
irregular, flat slabs of natural rock mostly from 
the river beds and water-worn sculptured with 
ideographs, but unhewn. These have been set up as 
votive tablets, as commemorative monuments, as 
tombstones, and are much more costly than the ordi- 
nary cut-stone columns and haka chiseled with the 
figures of divinities in relief. Again, you will see 
before most of the shrines, nay, even in the grounds 
of nearly all large homesteads, great irregular blocks 
of granite or other hard rock, worn by the action of 
torrents, and converted into water-basins (ehodswr* 
bachi) by cutting a circular hollow in the top. Such 
are but common examples of the utilization of stones 
even in the poorest villages; and if you have any 
natural artistic sentiment, you cannot fail to discover, 
sooner or later, how much more beautiful are these 
natural forms than any shapes from the liand of the 
stone-cutter* It is probable, too, that you will be- 
come so habituated at last to the sight of inscriptions 
cut upon rock surfaces, especially if you travel much 
through the country, that you will often find yourself 
involuntarily looking for texts or other chiselings 
where there are none, and could not possibly be, aa 
if ideographs belonged by natural law to rock forma* 
tion* And stones will begin, perhaps, to assume fot 


you a certain individual or physiognomical aspect, 
to suggest moods and sensations, a they do to the 
Japanese. Indeed, Japan Is particularly a land of 
suggestive sbapes in stone, as high volcanic lands are 
apt to be ; and such shapes doubtless addressed them- 
selves to the imagination of the race at a tlniu I*. nig 
prior to the elate of that archaic text which tells of 
demons in Izumo u who made rocks, and the roots of 
trees, and leaves, and the foam of the green waters 
to speak." 

As might "be expected in a country where the ug- 
gestiveness of natural forms is thus recognized, there 
are in Japan many curious beliefs and superstitions 
concerning stones. In almost every province therg 
are famous stones supposed to be sacred or haunted, 
or to possess miraculous powers, such a the Women's 
Stone at the temple of Hacliimau at Kamakura, and 
the Sessho-seki, or Death Stone of Kanu^ and the 
Wealth-giving Stone at Enoshima, to which pilgrims 
pay reverence. There are even legends of stones 
having manifested sensibility, like the tradition of the 
Nodding Stones "which bowed down before the monk 
Daita when he preached unto them the word of Bud- 
dha; or the ancient story from the KojikI, that the 
Emperor O-Jin, being auguatly intoxicated, ** smoto 
with his august staff a great stone in the middle of 
the Ohosaka road, whereupon the ran away / n l 

Now stones are valued for their bo&ufcy ; and largo 
stones selected for their shape may have an awthetic 
worth, of hundreds of dollars. And large atones 
form, the skeleton, or framework, in the cimgn of 0U1 
Japanese gardens. Not only IB every stone chosen 
with a view to its particular expressiveness 01 form* 

1 The Kojiki, tansiafced by Pxofeasor B* H. Charaborlalo, p, ^54* 


but every stone in the garden or about the premises 
has its separate and individual name, indicating its 
purpose or its decorative duty. But I can tell you 
only a little, a very little, of the folk-lore of a Japa- 
nese garden ; and if you want to know more about 
stones and their names, and about the philosophy of 
gardens, read the unique essay of Mr. Conder on the 
Art of Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1 and his beau- 
tiful book on the Japanese Art of Floral Decoration ; 
and also the brief but charming chapter on Gardens, 
in Morse's Japanese Homes. 2 


No effort to create an impossible or purely Ideal 
landscape is made in the Japanese garden* Its ar- 
tistic propose is to copy faithfully the attractions of a 
veritable landscape, and to convey the real impression 
that a real landscape communicates. It is therefore 
at once a picture and a poem ; perhaps even more a 
poem than a picture. For as nature's scenery, in its 
varying aspects, affects us with sensations of joy or 
of solemnity, of grimness or of sweetness, of force or of 
peace, so must the true reflection of it in tlie labor of 

1 Since this paper was written, Mr. Conder has pnbliBhed a beau- 
tiful Illustrated volume, " Landscape Gardening in Japan, By 
Josx&h Condor, If, K, I., B. A. Tokyo : 189S. W A photographic sup- 
plement to the work givm views of the most famous gardens in the 
capital and elsewhere, 

* The observations of Dr. Rein on Japanese gardens are not t@ be 
recommended, in reBpeet either to accuracy or to comprehension of 
the subject. Item spout only two years in Japan, the larger part of 
which time he devoted to the study of the lacquer industry, the manu- 
facture of Milk and paper, and other practical matters. On these sub- 
jects his work is justly valued. But his chapters on Japanese man- 
ners and customs, art> religion, and literature show extremely little 
acquaintance with those topics. 


the landscape gardener create not merely an irapres* 
sion of beauty,, but a mood in the soul The grand 
old landscape gardeners, those Buddhist monks who 
first Introduced tie art into Japan, and subsequently 
developed it into an almost occult science, carried 
their theory yet farther than this* They held it pos- 
sible to express moral lessons in the design of a gar- 
den, and abstract ideas, such as Chastity, Faith, Piety, 
Content, Calm, and Connubial Bliss. Therefore were 
gardens contrived according to the character of the 
owner, whether poet, warrior, philosopher, or priest 
In those ancient gardens (the art, alas, is passing 
away under the withering influence of the utterly 
commonplace Western taste) there were expressed 
both a mood of nature and some rare Oriental con- 
ception of a mood of man 

I do not know what human sentiment the princi- 
pal division of my garden was intended to reflect; 
and there is none to tell me. Those by whom it was 
made passed away long generations ago, in the eter- 
nal transmigration of souls* But as a poem of na- 
ture it requires BO interpreter. It occupies the front 
portion of the grounds, facing south ; and it also ex- 
tends west to the verge of the northern division of the 
garden, from which it is partly separated by a curt* 
ous screen-fence structure. There are large rocks in 
it, heavily mossed; and divers fantastic basins of 
stone for holding water ; and stone lamps green with 
years; and a shachihoko, such as one at the 

peaked angles of castle roofs, a great stone fish, an 
idealized porpoise, with its nose in the ground and it* 
tail in the air. 1 There are miniature hills, with old 
1 This attitude of the shachihoko is somewhat tkriyww, whence tlit 


trees upon them ; and there are long slopes of green f 
shadowed by flowering shrubs, like river banks ; and 
there are green knolls like islets. All these verdant 
elevations rise from spaces of pale yellow sand, smooth 
as a surface of silk and miming the curves and mo- 
anderings of a river course. These sanded spaces 
are not to be trodden upon ; they are much too beau- 
tiful for that. The least speck of dirt would mar 
their effect; and it requires the trained skill of an 
experienced native gardener a delightful old man 
lie is to keep them in perfect form. But they are 
traversed in various directions by lines of flat unhewn 
rock slabs, placed at slightly irregular distances from 
one another, exactly like stepping-stones across a 
brook* The whole effect is that of the shores of a 
still stream in some lovely, lonesome, drowsy place. 

There is nothing to break the illusion, so secluded 
the garden is* High walls and fences shut out streets 
and contiguous things ; and the shrubs and the trees, 
heightening and thickening toward the boundaries, 
conceal from view even the roofs of the neighboring 
katchiu-yashiki. Softly beautiful are the tremulous 
shadows of leaves on the sunned sand ; and the scent 
of flowers comes thinly sweet with every waft of tepid 
air ; and there is a humming of bees- 


By Buddhism all existences are divided into Hija, 
things without desire, such as stones and trees ; and 
Ufa things having desire, such as men and animals. 
This division does not, so far as I know, find expres- 
sion in the written philosophy of gardens ; but it is a 

common exprwion $hacMtwk& d<u, signifying 'Ho ataud on one's 


convenient one* The folk-lore of my little domain 
relates both to the inanimate and the animate. la 
natural order, the Hijd may be considered first, begin- 
ning with a singular shrub near the entrance of the 
yashiki, and close to the gate of the first garden. 

Within the front gateway of almost every old 
samurai bouse, and usually near the entrance of the 
dwelling itself, there is to be seen a small tree with 
large and peculiar leaves. The name of tins tree in 
Izurao is tegashiwa, and there is one beside my door. 
What the scientific name of it is I do not know ; nor 
am I quite sura of the etymology of the Japanese 
name. However, there is a word tt'gasln, meaning a 
bond for the hands ; and the shape of the leaves of 
the tegashiwa somewhat resembles the shape of a 

Now, in old days, when the samurai retainer was 
obliged to leave his home in order to accompany his 
daimyo to Yedo, it was customary, just before lus 
departure, to set before him a baked tai * servrd up 
on a tegashiwa leal After this farewell repast, the 
leaf upon which the tai had been served was hung up 
above the door as a charm to bring the departed 
knight safely back again. This pretty superstition 
about the leaves of the tegashiwa had its origin not 
only in their shape but in their movement. Stirred 
by a wind they seemed to beckon, not indent after 
our Occidental manner, but in the way that a Jfaj>- 
anese signs to his friend to com**, by gently waving 
his band up and down with the palm toward** the 

1 The magnificent perch called tai (Swranm imm/iYm/ift), which Is 
very common along the jfetjrao coast. Is not only jutttiy prized us th* 
most delicate of Japanese fiali, but fe also held to tw im emblem of 


Another shrub to be found in most Japanese 
gardens is the nanten, 1 about which a very curious 
belief exists. If you have an evil dream, a dream 
which bodes ill luck, you should whisper it to the 
nanten early in the morning, and then it will never 
come true. 2 There are two varieties of this graceful 
plant : one which bears red berries, and one which 
bears white. The latter is rare. Both kinds grow 
in my garden. The common variety is placed close 
to the veranda (perhaps for the convenience of dream- 
ers) ; the other occupies a little flower-bed in the 
middle of the garden, together with a small citron- 
tree. This most dainty citron-tree is called "Bud- 
dha's fingers," 8 because of the wonderful shape of its 
fragrant fruits. Near it stands a kind of laurel, with 
lanciform leaves glossy as bronze ; it is called by the 

good fortune. It is a ceremonial gift at weddings and on congratti 
latory occasions. The Japanese call it also ** the king of fishes." 

1 Ntindlna donwstim, 

2 The most lucky of all dreanw, they say m Iznmo, Is a dream of 
Fuji, tho Sacred Mountain, Next in order of good omen is dreaming 
of a falcon (tttka). The third best subject for a, dream is the egg- 
plant (nasuhi). To dream of the sun or of tho moon IB very lucky; 
but it is still more so to dream of stars. 3for a young wife it is most 
fortunate to dream of swallowing a star: this signifies that she will 
become the mother of a beautiful child. To dream of a cow is a good 
onion ; to dream of a horse is lucky, but it signifies traveling* To 
dream of rain or fire in good. Some dreams are hold in Japan, as in, 
the West, *' to go by contraries." Therefore to dream of having one's 
houHe burned up, or of funerals, or of being dead, or of talking to tho 
ghost of a dead person, is good* Some dreams which arc good for 
women mean the reverse when dreamed by men ; for example, it is 
good for a woman to dream that her none bleeds, but for a man this 
is very bad, To dream of much money ii a sign of IOHM to como* To 
dream of the koi, or of any fresh- water fish, is the most unlucky of 
all. This is curious, for in other parts of Japan the koi is a 

bal of good fortune. 
8 Ttbiwhukan : Citrus 


Japanese yuzuri-lia, 1 and is almost as common in tlio 
gardens of old samurai homes a tho tegushiwa itself. 

It is held to be a tree of good omen, because no one 
of Its old leaves ever falls off before a new one, grow- 
ing behind it, has well developed. For thus the y ussuri- 
ha symbolizes hope that the father will not paas away 
before his son has become a vigorous man, well able 
to succeed him as the head of the family. Therefore, 
on every New Year's Day the leaves of tho yuzuri-ha, 
mingled with fronds of fora, are attached to tho 
shimenawa which is then suspended before every 

Izumo home. 


The trees, like the shrubs, have their curious poetry 
and legends. Like the stones, each tree has itn special 
landscape name according to its position and purpose 
in the composition. Just as rocks and atones form 
the skeleton of the ground-plan of a garden, so pines 
form the framework of its foliage design. They give 
body to the whole. In this garden there are fiv pmes t 
not pines tormented into fantasticalities* but pines 
made wondrously picturesque- by long and tireless 
care and judicious trimming. The ohjVct of the 
gardener has been to develop to the utmost possible 
degree their natural tendency to rugged line and 
massings of foliage* that spiny sombrt'-grcwn foli- 
age which Japanese art is never weary of imitating 
In metal inlay or golden lacquer. The pine h a ay w* 
bolic tree in this land of symbolism* Ever gnwzt, it 
Is at once the emblem of unflinching purpose and uf 
vigorous old age ; and its needle-shaped leaves am 
credited with the power of driving demons away, 

1 Yuzuru signifies to resign m favor of another ; ki 
The botanical name, as given in Hepburn'* dtctiouary, i# 
iwm macro/wdum. 


There are two sakuranokl, 1 Japanese cterry-trees ? 
those trees whose blossoms, as Professor Cfaamber- 
.ain so justly observes, are " beyond comparison more 
lovely than anything Europe has to show." Many 
varieties are cultivated and loved ; those in my gar- 
den bear blossoms of the most ethereal pink, a flushed 
white. When, in spring, the trees flower, it is as 
though fleeciest masses of cloud faintly tinged by sun- 
set had floated down from the highest sky to fold 
themselves about the branches. This comparison is 
no poetical exaggeration ; neither Is it original : it Is 
an ancient Japanese description of the most marvel- 
ous floral exhibition which nature is capable of 
making. The reader who has never seen a cherry- 
tree blossoming in Japan cannot possibly imagine the 
delight of the spectacle. There are no green leaves ; 
these come later : there is only one glorious burst of 
blossoms, veiling every twig and bough in their deli- 
cate mist ; and the soil beneath each tree is covered 
deep out of sight by fallen petals as by a drift of 
pink snow. 

But these are cultivated cherry-trees. There are 
others which put forth their leaves before their 
blossoms, such us the yamazakura, or mountain 
cherry, 2 This too, however, has its poetry of beauty 
and of symbolism. Sang the great Shinto writer and 
poet, Motowori : 

1 Cerasus pseudo-c&rasus (Lindley), 

4 About this mountain cherry there is a humorous saying which 
illustrates the Japanese love of puns. In order fully to appreciate it, 
the reader should know that Japanese nouns have no distinction of 
singular and plural. The word ha, as pronounced, may signify either 
** leaves " or '* teeth ; " and the word hana, either " flowers " or " nose. 1 * 
The yamazakura puts forth its ha (leaves) before its hana (flowers). 
Wherefore a man whose ha (teeth) project in advance of his hana 
(nose) is called a yamazakura. Progiiathfcxn is not uncommon in 
Jamil, eswciallv among the lower classes, 


ShikisJiima no 

Ytimato-ffokoro too 


Asii-hi id nion 
Yamazaku ra lumaJ- 

Whether cultivated or uncultivated, the Japanese 
cherry-trees are emblems. Those planted in old 
samurai gardens were not cherished for their loveli- 
ness alone. Their spotless blossoms were regarded 
'as symbolizing that delicacy of sentiment and blumu- 
lessness of life belonging to high courtesy and true 
knightliness. "As the cherry flower is first among 
flowers/' says an old proverb, u so should the warrior 
be first among men." 

Shadowing the western end of this garden, and 
projecting its smooth dark limbs above the awning of 
the yeranda, is a superb umenoki, Japanese plum-tree, 
yery old, and originally planted here, no doubt, as in 
other gardens, for the sake of the sight of its blossom- 
ing. The flowering of the umenoki, 2 in the earliest 
spring, is scarcely less astonishing than that of the 
cherry-tree, which does not bloom for a full month 
later; and the blossoming of both is celebrated by 
popular holidays. Nor are these, although the most 
famed, the only flowers thus loved* The wistaria, 
the convolvulus, the peony, each in its season, form 
displays of efflorescence lovely enough to draw whole 
populations out of the cities into the country to sw 
them. In Izumo, the blossoming of the peony is 
especially marvelous. The most famous place for this 
spectacle is the little island of I)aikonshim& in the 

1 "H one should ask you concerning the haarfc of a true Japanese* 
point to the wild cherry flower glowing- in the san." 

2 There are three noteworthy varieties : one bearing rd, one pink 
and white, and 0110 pure white flowers. 


grand Naka-umi lagoon, about an hour's sail from 
Matsue, In May the whole Island flames crimson 
with peonies; and even the boys and girls of the 
public schools are given a holiday, in order that they 
may enjoy the sight, 

Though the plum flower is certainly a rival in 
beauty of the sakura-no-hana, the Japanese compare 
woman's beauty physical beauty to the cherry 
flower, never to the plum flower. But womanly 
virtue and sweetness, on the other hand, are com- 
pared to the time - no - liana, never to the cherry 
blossom. It is a great mistake to affirm, as some 
writers have done, that the Japanese never think of 
comparing a woman to trees and flowers. For grace, 
a maiden is likened to a slender willow ; 1 for youthful 
charm, to the cherry-tree in flower; for sweetness of 
heart, to the blossoming plum-tree. Nay, the old Jap- 
anese poets have compared woman to all beautiful 
things. They have even sought similes from flowers 
for her various poses, for her movements, as in the 

. hot an ; 
Aruku mgatawa 

Why, even the names of the humblest country 
girls are often those of beautiful trees or flowers pre- 

1 The expression yanagi-gosfii^ " a willow-waist," is one of several in 
common use comparing slender beauty to the willow-tree. 

2 Peonia ulbifiora. The name signifies the delicacy of beauty. The 
simile of the botan (the tree peony) can be folly appreciated only by 

one who is acquainted with the Japanese flower. 

* Some say keshiyuri (poppy) instead of himeyurl. The latter is a 
graceful species of lily, IMiwn, calltmtm, 

* " Standing, ah is a shakuyaku ; seated, she is a botan ; and th& 
ciiarm of her figure ia walking i the charm 


fixed by the honorific O: 1 O-Matsu (Fine), O-Tak 
(Bamboo), O-IIni6 (Plum), O-IIana (Blossom), 

O-In6 (Ear-of-Young-Rice), not to speak of the pro- 
fessional flower-names of dancing-girls and of joro. 
It has been argued with considerable force that the 
origin of certain tree-names borne by girls must be 
sought in the folk-conception of the tree as an em- 
blem of longevity, or happiness, or good fortune, 
rather than in any popular idea of the beauty of the 
tree in itself. But however this may be, proverb, 
poem, song, and popular speech to-day yield ample 
proof that the Japanese comparisons of women to 
trees and flowers are in no wise inferior to our own 
in aesthetic sentiment. 


That trees, at least Japanese trees, have souls, can- 
not seem an unnatural fancy to one who has seen the 
blossoming of the umenoki and the sakuranokL This 
Is a popular belief in Izumo and elsewhere. It is not 
in accord with Buddhist philosophy, and yet in a 
certain sense it strikes one as being much closer to 
cosmic truth than the old Western orthodox notion 
of trees as "things created for the use of man* 1 * 
Furthermore, there exist several odd superstitions 
about particular trees, not unlike certain West Indian 
beliefs which have had a good influence in chocking 
the destruction of valuable timber, Japan, like tlm 
tropical world, has its goblin trees. Of th#so f thd 
enoki (Celtis Willdenowiana) and the yanagi (droop- 

1 In the higher classes of Japanese society to-day, the honorific 
is not, as a rule, used before the names of girls, atul showy ap|,!Ia* 
tions are not given to daughters. Even among the poor reifwtiiblu 
classes, names resembling those of geisha, etc,, arc In disfavor. Bui 
those above cited are good, honest, every-day names. 


ing willow) are deemed especially ghostly^ and are 
rarely now to be found in old Japanese gardens. 
Both are believed to have the power of haunting* 
"JSnoJci ga bakeru," the Izumo saying is. You will 
find in a Japanese dictionary the word "bakeru n 
translated by such terms as " to be transformed, 5 * u to 
be metamorphosed/' " to be changed," etc. ; but the 
belief about these trees is very singular, and cannot 
be explained by any such rendering of the verb " ba~ 
keru." The tree itself does not change form or place, 
but a spectre called Ki~noo-bak disengages itself 
from the tree and walks about in various guises. 1 
Most often the shape assumed by the phantom is that 
of a beautiful woman. The tree spectre seldom 
speaks, and seldom ventures to go very far away from 
its tree. If approached, it immediately shrinks back 
into the trunk or the foliage. It is said that if either 
an old yanagi or a young enoki be cut blood will flow 
from the gash. When such trees are very young it 
is not believed that they have supernatural habits* 
but they become more dangerous the older they 

There is a rather pretty legend recalling the old 
Greek dream of dryads about a willow-tree which 
grew in the garden of a samurai of KySto* Owing 
to its weird reputation, the tenant of the homestead 

1 Mr. Satow has found in Hirata a belief to which this seems to 
some extent akin, the curious Shinto doctrine " according to which 
a divine being throws off portions of itself by a process of fissure, thus 
producing what are called waki-mi-tama, parted spirits, with sepa- 
rate functions.'* The great god of Izumo, Oho-kuiti-nushi-no-Kami, 
is said by Hirata to have three such "parted spirits:" his rough 
spirit (arcMni-tama) that puttishos, his gentle spirit (nigi-mi-tama) that 
pardons, and his benedictory or beneficent spirit (sM-mi^ama) that 
blesses. There is a Shinto story that the rough spirit of this god one 
met the gentle spirit without recognising it. 

Y0L, X& 


desired to cut It down ; but another samurai' dissuaded 
Mm, saying : " Rather sell it to me, that 1 may plant 
it in my garden. That tree has a soul; it were 
cruel to destroy its life." Tims purchased and trans- 
planted, the yanagi flourished well in its new horae 
and its spirit, out of gratitude, took the form of a 
beautiful woman, and became the wife of the samurai 
who bad befriended it. A charming boy was the 
result of this union. A few years later, the daimyo 
to whom the ground belonged gave orders that the 
tree should be cut down* Then the wife wepfc bit* 
terly, and for the first time revealed to her husband 
the whole story. " And now," she added, <fc I know 
that I must die ; but our child will live, and you will 
always love him. This thought is my only solace/ 9 
Vainly the astonished and terrified husband sought 
to retain her. Bidding him farewell forever, alia 
vanished into the tree. Needless to say that the 
samurai did everything in his power to persuade the 
daimyo to forego his purpose. The prince wanted 
the tree for the reparation of a great Buddhist tern* 
pie, the San-jiu-san-gen-do. 1 The tree was felled, 
but, having fallen, it suddenly became so heavy that 
three hundred men could not move it. Then the 
child, taking a branch in his little band, said, 
"Come," and the tree followed him, gliding along 
the ground to the court of the temple. 

Although said to be a bakemono-ki, the enoki some- 
times receives highest religious honors ; for the spirit 
of the god Kojin, to whom old dolls are dedicated, 
is supposed to dwell within certain very ancient 

1 Perhaps the mosfc impressive of all the Buddhinfc temples in 
Kyoto. It is dedicated to Kwannon of the Thousand Hands, and it 
iaid to contain 33,333 of her images. 


enokl trees, and before these are placed shrines 
whereat people make prayers. 


The second garden, on the north side, Is my favor- 
ite. It contains no large growths. It is payed with 
blue pebbles, and its centre is occupied by a pondlet, 
a miniature lake fringed with rare plants, and con- 
taining a tiny island, with tiny mountains and dwarf 
peach-trees and pines and azaleas, some of which are 
perhaps more than a century old, though scarcely 
more than a foot high. Nevertheless, this work, seen 
as it was intended to be seen, does not appear to the 
eye in miniature at all. From a certain angle of the 
guest-room looking out upon it, the appearance is 
that of a real lake shore with a real island beyond it, 
a stone's throw away. So cunning the art of the 
ancient gardener who contrived all this, and who has 
been sleeping for a hundred years under the cedars 
of Gesshoji, that the illusion can be detected only 
from the zashiki by the presence of an ishiddro, or 
stone lamp* upon tho island. The size of the Ishidoro* 
betrays the false perspective, and I do not think it 
was placed there when the garden was made, 

Here and there at the edge of the pond, and almost 
level with the water, are placed large flat stones, on 
which one may either stand or squat, to watch the 
lacustrine population or to tend the water-plants. 
There ate beautiful water-lilies, whose bright gteen 
leaf-disks float oilily upon the surface (JVwpA&r Jo* 
ponica), and many lotus plants of two kinds, those 
which beat pink and those which bear pure white 
flowers. There are iris plants growing along the 
bank, whose blossoms are prismatic violet, and there 


are various ornamental grasses and ferns and mosses. 
But the pond Is essentially a lotus pond ; the lotus 
plants make Its greatest charm. It Is a delight to 
watch every phase of their marvelous growth, from 
the first unrolling of the leaf to the fall of the last 
flower. On rainy days, especially, the lotua plants 
are worth observing. Their great cup-shaped loaves, 
swaying high above the pond, catch the rain and hold 
it a while; but always after the water in the leaf 
reaches a, certain level the stem bends, and empties the 
leaf with a loud plash, and then straightens again. 
Rain-water upon a lotus -leaf is a favorite subject 
with Japanese metal-workers* and metal-work only 
can reproduce the effect, for the motion and color of 
water moving upon the green oleaginous surface are 
exactly those of quicksilver. 


The third garden, which is very large, extends be- 
yond the inclosure containing the lotas pond to the 
foot of the wooded hills which form the northern and 
northeastern boundary of this old samurai quarter. 
Formerly all this broad level space was occupied by 
a bamboo grove ; but it is now little more than a 
waste of grasses and wild flowers. In the northeast 
corner there is a magnificent well, from which ice-coUi 
water is brought into the house through a most in- 
genious little aqueduct of bamboo pipes ; and in the 
northwestern end, veiled by tall weeds* there stands 
a very small stone shrine of Inari, with two propor- 
tionately small stone foxes sitting before it, Shrino 
and images are chipped and broken* and thickly 
patched with dark green moss. But on the east side 
of the house one little square of soil belonging to this 


large division of the garden Is still cultivated. It is 
devoted entirely to chrysanthemum plants, which are 
shielded from heavy rain and strong sun by slanting 
frames of light wood fashioned like shoji, with panes 
of white paper, and supported like awnings upon thin 
posts of bamboo. I can venture to add nothing to 
what has already been written about these marvelous 
products of Japanese floriculture considered in them- 
selves ; but there is a little story relating to chrysan- 
themums which I may presume to tell. 

There is one place in Japan where it is thought 
unlucky to cultivate chrysanthemums, for reasons 
which shall presently appear ; and that place is in the 
pretty little city of Himeji, in the province of Harima. 
Himeji. contains the ruins of a great castle of thirty 
turrets; and a daimyS used to dwell therein whose 
revenue was one hundred and fifty-six thousand koku 
of rice. Now, In the house of one of that daimyo's 
chief retainers there was a maid-servant, of good 
family, whose name was O-Kifcu; and the name 
" Kiku " signifies a chrysanthemum flower. Many 
precious things were intrusted to her charge, and 
among others ten costly dishes of gold. One of these 
was suddenly missed, and could not be found; and 
the girl, being responsible therefor, and knowing 
not how otherwise to prove her innocence, drowned 
herself in a well. But ever thereafter her ghost, 
returning nightly, could be heard counting the dishes 
slowly, with sobs : 

Ichimcri, To-mat, 


Then would b heard a despairing cry and a loud 


burst of weeping ; and again the girl's voice counting 
the dishes plaintively: " One two three four 
, five six seven eight nine " 

Her spirit parsed into the body of a strange little 
insect, whose head faintly resembles that of a ghost 
with long disheveled hair; and it is called O-Kiku- 
mushi, or a the fly of O-Kiku; " and it is found, they 
say, nowhere save In Himeji. A famous play was 
written about O-Kiku, which is still acted in all the 
popular theatres, entitled Banshu-O-Kifcu-no-Sara-ya- 
shiki; or, The Manor of the Dish of O-Kiku of 

Some declare that Banshn is only the corruption of 
the name of an ancient quarter of Tokyo (Yedo), 
where the story should have been laid* But the peo- 
ple of Himeji say that part of their city now called 
Go-Ken- Yashiki is identical with the site of the an- 
cient manor. What is certainly true is that to culti- 
vate chrysanthemum flowers in the part of Himeji 
called Go-Ken-Yashiki is deemed unlucky* because 
the name of O-Kiku signifies u Chrysanthemum." 
Therefore, nobody, I am told, ever cultivates chry- 
santhemums there. 


Now of the ujo, or things having desire, which in, 
habit these gardens. 

There are four species of frogs : three that dwell in 
the lotus pond, and one that lives in the trees. The 
tree frog is a very pretty little creature, exquisitely 
green ; it has a shrill cry, almost like the note of a 
semi ; and it is called amagaeru, or ** the rain frog, 1 * 
because, like its kindred in other countries, its croak- 
ing is an omen of rain. The pond frogs are called 
babagaeru, shinagaeru, and Tono-san-gaeru. Of these* 


the first named variety Is the largest and the ugliest : 
its color is very disagreeable, and its full name 
( u babagaera " being a decent abbreviation) is quite 
as offensive as its hue. The shinagaeru, or "striped 
frog," is not handsome, except by comparison with 
the previously mentioned creature. But the Tono- 
san-gaeru, so called after a famed daimyo who left 
behind him a memory of great splendor, is beautiful : 
its color is a fine bronze-red. 

Besides these varieties of frogs there lives in the 
garden a huge uncouth goggle-eyed thing which, al- 
though called here hikigaeru, I take to be a toad. " Hi- 
kigaeru " is the term ordinarily used for a bullfrog. 
This creature enters the house almost daily to be 
fed, and seems to have no fear even of strangers. My 
people consider it a luck-bringing visitor; and it is 
credited with the power of drawing all the mosquitoes 
out of a room into its mouth by simply sucking its 
breath in. Much as it is cherished by gardeners and 
others, there is a legend about a goblin toad of old 
times, which, by thus sucking in its breath, drew into 
its mouth, not insects, but men. 

The pond is inhabited also by many small fish ; 
imori, or newts, with bright red bellies ; and multi- 
tudes of little water-beetles, called maimaimushi, 
which pass their whole time in gyrating upon the 
surface of the water so rapidly that it is almost im- 
possible to distinguish their shape clearly. A man 
who runs about aimlessly to and fro, under the influ- 
ence of excitement, is compared to a maimaimushi. 
And there are some beautiful snails, with yellow 
stripes on their shells. Japanese children have a 
charm-song which is supposed to have power to make 
the snail put out its horns ; 


Daidaimushi, 1 daidaimushi, tsuno chitto dashare ! 
Ame Icazefaku Jcara tsuno chitto dashare ! a 

The playground of the children of the better 
classes has always been the family garden, as that of 
the children of the poor is the temple court. It is in 
the garden that the little ones first learn something 
of the wonderful life of plants and the marvels of the 
insect world ; and there, also, they are first taught 
those pretty legends and songs about birds and flowers 
which form so charming a part of Japanese folk-lore, 
As the home training of the child is left mostly to the 
mother, lessons of kindness to animals are early incul- 
cated ; and the results are strongly marked in after 
life. It is true, Japanese children are not entirely 
free from that unconscious tendency to cruelty char- 
acteristic of children in all countries, as a survival of 
primitive instincts. But in this regard the great 
moral difference between the sexes is strongly marked 
from the earliest years. The tenderness of the woman- 
soul appears even in the child. Little Japanese girls 
who play with insects or small animals rarely hurt 
them, and generally set them free after they have 
afforded a reasonable amount of amusement. Little 
boys are not nearly so good, when out of sight of 
parents or guardians. But if seen doing anything 
cruel, a child is made to feel ashamed of the act, and 
hears the Buddhist warning, u Thy future birth will 
be unhappy, if thou dost cruel things." 

Somewhere among the rocks in the pond lives a 
small tortoise, left in the garden, probably, by the 

1 Daidaimushi in Izumo. The dictionary word is dedtmuahi* The 
snail is supposed to bo very fond of wet weather; and one who goei 
out much in the rain is compared to a snail,' dedemttthi no yma. 

2 " Snail, snail, put out your horns a little ; it rains and the wind li 
blowing, so put out your horns, just for a IMa while." 


previous tenants of the house* It Is very pretty 9 but 
manages to remain Invisible for weeks at a time. In 
popular mythology, the tortoise is the servant of the 
divinity Kompira; 1 and If a pious fisherman finds a 
tortoise, he writes upon his back characters signifying 
44 Servant of the Deity Kompira," and then gives it a 
drink of sak6 and sets it free. It is supposed to be 
very fond of sake. 

Some say that the land tortoise, or a stone tor- 
toise," only, Is the servant of Kompira, and the sea 
tortoise, or turtle, the servant of the Dragon Empire 
beneath the sea. The turtle is said to have the 
power to create, with its breath, a cloud, a fog, or a 
magnificent palace. It figures m the beautiful old 
folk-tale of Urashitna. 2 All tortoises are supposed 
to live for a thousand years, wherefore one of the 
most frequent symbols of longevity in Japanese art 
is a tortoise. But the tortoise most commonly repre- 
sented by native painters and metal-workers has a 
peculiar tail, or rather a multitude of small tails, ex- 
tending behind it like the fringes of a straw rain-coat, 
mine, whence it is called minogam^. Now, some of 
the tortoises kept in the sacred tanks of Buddhist 
temples attain a prodigious age, and certain water- 
plants attach themselves to the creatures' shells and 
stream behind them when they walk. The myth of 
the minogam is supposed to have had Its origin in 
old artistic efforts to represent the appearance of 
such tortoises with conforvce fastened upon their 

1 A Buddhist divinity, but within recent times identified by Shmtd 
with the god Kotohira. 

2 See Professor Chamberlain's version of it in The Japanese Fairy- 
Tale Series, with charming illustrations by a native artist* 



Early in summer the frogs are surprisingly m* 
merous, and, after dark, are noisy beyond description ; 
bat week by week their nightly clamor grows feebler, 
as their numbers diminish under the attacks of many 
enemies. A large family of snakes, some fully three 
feet long, make occasional inroads into the colony. 
The -victims often utter piteous cries, which are 
promptly responded to, whenever possible, by some 
inmate of the house, and many a frog has been saved 
by my servant-girl, who, by a gentle tap with a 
bamboo rod, compels the snake to let its prey go* 
These snakes are beautiful swimmers. They make 
themselves quite free about the garden; but they 
come out only on hot days. None of my people 
would think of injuring or killing one of them. In- 
deed, in Izumo it is said that to kill a snake is un- 
lucky. a lf you kill a snake without provocation/* 
a peasant assured me, tc you will, afterwards find its 
head in the komebitsu [the box in which cooked rice 
is kept] when you take off the lid." 

But the snakes devour comparatively few frogs- 
Impudent kites and crows are their most implacable 
destroyers ; and there is a very pretty weasel which 
lives under the kura (godown), and winch does not 
hesitate to take either fish or frogs out of the pond v 
even when the lord of the manor is watching* There 
is also a cat which poaches in my preserves, a gaunt 
outlaw, a master thief, which I have made sundry 
vain attempts to reclaim from vagabondage* Partly 
because of the immorality of this cat, and partly be- 
cause it happens to have a long tail, it has the evil 
reputation of being a aekoraata, or goblin cat* 


It Is true that In Izumo some kittens are born with 
long tails ; but It Is very seldom that they are suffered 
to grow up with long tails. For the natural tendency 
of cats is to become goblins ; and this tendency to 
metamorphosis can be checked only by cutting off 
their tails in kittenhood. Cats are magicians, tails 
or no tails, and have the power of making corpses 
dance. Cats are ungrateful, "Feed a dog for three 
days/' says a Japanese proverb, " and he will remem- 
ber your kindness for three years; feed a cat for 
three years and she will forget your kindness In three 
days." Cats are mischievous: they tear the mat- 
tings, and make holes in the shoji, and sharpen their 
claws upon the pillars of tokonoma. Cats are under 
a curse ; only the cat and the venomous serpent wept 
not at the death of Buddha ; and these shall never 
enter Into the bliss of the Gokuraku. For all these 
reasons, and others too numerous to relate, cats are 
not much loved in Izumo, and are compelled to pass 
the greater part of their lives out of doors. 


Not less than eleven varieties of butterflies have 
visited the neighborhood of the lotus pond within the 

past few days. The most common variety is snowy 
white. It is supposed to be especially attracted by 
the na, or rapcseed plant ; and wlieu little girls see 

it, they sing : s 

Cka~cJw, ch6-eh5 t na no ha ni tomare ; 

Na no ha ga iyenam, te ni toman)* 

But the most Interesting insects are certainly the 

semi (elcadie). These Tapanese tree crickets are ' 

1 " Butterfly, little butterfly, light u port the na leaf* But if thou dost 
not like th na loaf, light, 1 pray thoe, upon my hand." 


much more extraordinary singers than even the won* 
derful cicadas of the tropics ; and they are much less 
tiresome, for there is a different species of semi, with 
a totally different song, for almost every month during 
the whole warm season. There are, 1 believe, seven 
kinds ; but I have become familiar with only four* 
The first to be heard in my trees is the natsuzemi, or 
summer semi : it makes a sound like the Japanese 
monosyllable /, beginning wheezily, slowly swelling 
into a crescendo shrill as the blowing of steam, and 
dying away in another wheeze. This j-i-i-iiuuiiii is 
so deafening that when two or three natsuzcmi come 
close to the window I am obliged to make them, go 
away. Happily the natsuzemi is soon succeeded by 
the minminzemi, a much finer musician, whose name 
is derived from its wonderful note. It is said u to 
chant like a Buddhist priest reciting the fcyo ; " and 
certainly, upon hearing it the first time, one can 
scarcely believe that one is listening to a mere cicada* 
The raimninzemi is followed, early in autumn, by a 
beautiful green semi, the higurashi, which makes 
a singularly clear sound, like the rapid ringing of 
a small bell, kana-kana-kana-kana-kana. But the 
most astonishing visitor of all comes still later, the 
tsuku-tsuku-boshi. 1 I fancy this creature can have 
no rival in the whole world of cicada) : its music is 
exactly like the song of a bird. Its name, like that 
of the minminzemi, is onomatopoetic ; but in Issumo 
the sounds of its chant are given thus : 

Tsuku-tsuku uimi^ 

TsuJcu-isuku uisUf 

1 Bdshi means " a "hat ; w tmkeni, 4 * to pwt on." But this etymology 
is more than doubtful. 

2 Some say " Chokkwfiokko*ui8u" "UiHU* would be pronoancw! 
in English very much like " weece," the final u being silent ** Uiuffu* 
would be something like *' we-oce." 


Tsuku-tsuku uisu ; 

Ui-osu t 


However, the semi are not the only musicians of 
the garden. Two remarkable creatures aid their 
orchestra. The first is a beautiful bright green 
grasshopper, known to the Japanese by the curious 
name of hotoke-no-uma, or " the horse of the dead," 
This insect's head really bears some resemblance in 
shape to the head of a horse, hence the fancy. It 
is a queerly familiar creature, allowing itself to b 
taken in the hand without straggling, and generally 
making itself quite at home in the house, which it 
often enters. It makes a very thin sound, which the 
Japanese write as a repetition of the syllables jun~ta ; 
and the name junta is sometimes given to th grass- 
hopper itself. The other insect is also a green grass- 
hopper, somewhat larger, and much shyer: it Is 
called gisu, 1 on account of its chant : 




Chon ... (ad libitum). 

Several lovely species of dragon-flies (tombd) hover 
about th pondlet on hot bright days. One variety 
th most beautiful creature of th kind I ever 
saw, gleaming with metallic colors indescribable, 
and spectrally slender is called TensM-tombo, "the 
Emperor's dragon-fly." Thr is another, th largest 
1 Pronounced almost as " geece." 


of Japanese dragon-flies, but somewhat rare, which is 
much sought after by children as a plaything. Of 
this species it is said that there are many more males 
than females ; and what I can vouch for as true is 
that, if you catch a female, the male can be almost 
immediately attracted by exposing the captive* 
Boys, accordingly, try to secure a female, and when 
one is captured they tie it with a thread to some 
branch, and sing a curious little song, of which these 
are the original words : 

Konna l dansho Korat o 
Adzuma no meto ni makete 
Nigeru wa haji dma naikai f 

Which signifies, u Thou, tbe male, King of Korea, 
dost thou not feel shame to flee away from the Queen 
of the East ? " (This taunt is an allusion to the story 
of the conquest of Korea by the Empress Jin-ga) 
And the male comes invariably, and is also caught* 
In Izumo the first seven words of the original song 
have been corrupted into " konna unjo Korai abura 
no mito;" and the name of the male dragon-fly, 
unjoi and that of the female, rnito^ are derived from 
two words of the corrupted version. 


Of warm nights all sorts of unbidden guests invade 
the house in multitudes. Two varieties of xnosquitoea 
do their utmost to make life unpleasant, ami these 
have learned the wisdom of not approaching a lamp 

too closely ; but hosts of curious and harmless things 
cannot be prevented from seeking their death in the 
flame. The most numerous victims of all, which 
eome thick as a shower of rain, are called Sanemoii 
1 Contraction of kore naru* 


At least they are so called in Izumo, where they do 
much damage to growing rice. 

Now the name Sanemori is an illustrious one, that 
of a famous warrior of old times belonging to the 
Genji clan. There is a legend that while he was 
fighting with an enemy on horseback his own steed 
slipped and fell in a rice-field, and he was conse- 
quently overpowered and slain by his antagonist* 
He became a rice-devouring insect, which is still re- 
spectfully called, by the peasantry of Izumo, Sane- 
mori-San. They light fires, on certain summer nights, 
in the rice-fields, to attract the insect, and beat gongs 
and sound bamboo flutes, chanting the while, " O 
Sanemori, augustly deign to come hither ! " A kan- 
nushi performs a religious rite, and a straw figure 
representing a horse and rider is then either burned 
or thrown into a neighboring river or canal. By this 
ceremony it is believed that the fields are cleared of 
the insect. 

This tiny creature is almost exactly the size and 
color of a rice-husk. The legend concerning it may 
have arisen from the fact that its body, together with 
the wings, bears some resemblance to the helmet of 
a Japanese warrior* 1 

1 A kindred legend attaches to the shiwan, a little yellow insecfc 
which preys upon cucumbers. The shiwan fa said to have been once 

a physician, who, being detected in an amorous intrigue, had to fly 
for his life ; but as he wont his foot caught in a cucumber vine, so 
that he fell and was overtaken and killed, and his ghost became an 
Insect, the destroyer of cucumber vlnen. 

In the zoological mythology and plant mythology of Japan ther 
exist many legends offering 1 a curious resemblance to the old Greek 
tales of metamorphoses. Some of the most remarkable bits of such 
folk** lore have originated, however, in comparatively modern time* 
The legend of the crab called heikegani, found at Nagato, is an ex- 
ample. The souls of the Taira warriors who perished in the great 
naval battle of Dan-no~ura (now Seto-Nakai), 1185, arc supposed to 


Next IB number among the victims of fire are tho 
moths, some of which are very strange and beautiful. 
The most remarkable is an enormous creature popu- 
larly called okori-chocho, or the "ague moth," bo- 
cause there Is a superstitious belief that it- bring 
intermittent fever into any house it enters. It lias a 
body quite as heavy and almost as powerful as that 
of the largest humming-bird, and its struggle*, when 
caught in the hand, surprise by their force. It makes 
a very lond whirring sound while flying. The \vmg*t 
of one which I examined measured, outspread, five 
inches from tip to tip, yet seemed small in proportion 
to the heavy body. They were richly mottled with 
dusky browns and silver grays of various tone. 

Many flying night-comers, however, avoid tho 
lamp. Most fantastic of all visitors is the ton! or 
kamakiri, called in Izumo kamakakc, a bright green 
praying mantis, extremely feared by children for its 
capacity to bite. It is very large* 1 have aeen speci- 
mens over six inches long. The eyes of the kama- 
take are a brilliant black at night, but by day they 
appear grass-colored, like the rest of tho body, Tho 
mantis is very intelligent and surprisingly aggressive, 
I saw one attacked by a vigorous frog easily put its 
enemy to flight It fell a prey subsequently to other 
inhabitants of the pond, but it required the combined 
efforts of several frogs to vanquish the monstrous in- 
sect, and even then the battle was decided only when 
the kamakak^ had been dragged into the water* 

Other visitors are beetles of divers colors, ami ft 

have been transformed into beikegani. The itholl of the 
IB certainly surprising. It is wrinkled Into tho Hkcwiw of a grim FIM?% 
or rather into exact semblance of one of thwa black ircm vigor*, or 
masks, which feudal warriors worn in battle, and which wuro 
like frowning visages. 


sort of small roach called goki-kaburi, signify Ing 
u one whose head is covered with a bowl." It is 

alleged that the goki-kaburi likes to eat human eyes, 
and is therefore the abhorred enemy of Ichibata- 
Sama, Yakushi-Nyorai of Ichibata, by whom 
diseases of the eye are healed. To kill the goki- 
kaburi is consequently thought to be a meritorious 
act in the sight of this Buddha. Always welcome 
are the beautiful fireflies (Jiotaru), which enter quite 
noiselessly, and at once seek the darkest place in the 
house, slow -glimmering, like sparks moved by a 
gentle wind. They are supposed to be very fond of 
water; wherefore children sing to them this little 
song : 

Hotaru koe midzu nomasfio; 
Achi no midzu wa niyaizo ; 
Kochi no midzu wa amaizo. 1 

A pretty gray lizard, quite different from some 
which usually haunt the garden, also makes its ap- 
pearance at night, and pursues its prey along the 
ceiling. Sometimes an extraordinarily large centi- 
pede attempts the same thing, but with less success, 
and has to be seized with a pair of fire-tongs and 
thrown into the exterior darkness. Very rarely, an 
enormous spider appears. This creature seems in- 
offensive. If captured, it will feign death until cer- 
tain that it is not watched, when it will run away 
with surprising swiftness if it gets a chance. It 
is hairless, and very different from the tarantula, or 
fukurogumo. It is called miyamagumo, or mountain 
spider. There are four other kinds of spiders com- 
mon in this neighborhood : tenagakumo, or u long- 

1 ** Come, firefly, I will give you water to drink. The water of that 
place is bitter; the water here is sweet" 



armed spider ; " hiratakumo, or " flat spider ; " jikumo, 
or " earth spider ; " and totatekumo, or u door-shutting 

spider," Most spiders are considered evil beings, A 
spider seen anywhere at night, the people say, should 
be killed ; for all spiders that show themselves after 
dark are goblins. While people are awake and 
watchful, such creatures make themselves small ; but 
when everybody is fast asleep, then they assume their 
true goblin shape, and become monstrous. 


The high wood of the hill behind the garden is full 
of bird life* There dwell wild uguiau, owls, wild 
doves, too many crows, and a queer bird that makes 
weird noises at night, long deep sounds of faoOj koo 
It is called awamakidori or the " millet-sowing bird," 
because when the farmers hear its cry, they know 
that it is time to plant the millet. It is quite small 
and brown, extremely shy, and, so far as I can learn, 
altogether nocturnal in its habits, 

But rarely, yery rarely, a far stranger cry is heard 
in those trees at night, a voice as of one crying in 
pain the syllables u hoJo-to-gi-su." The cry and the 
name of that which utters it are one and the same, 

It is a bird of which weird things are told ; for they 
say it is not really a creature of this living world, but 
a night wanderer from the Land of Darkness* In the 
Meido its dwelling is among those sunless mountains 
of Shide over which all souls must pass to reach the 
place of judgment. Once in each year it comes ; the 
time of its coming is the end of the fifth month, by 
the antique counting of moons; and the peasants, 
hearing its voice, say one to the other, u Now mast 


we sow the rice ; for the Shide-no-taosa is with us.' 9 
The word taosa signifies the head man of a mura, or 
village, as villages were governed in the old days ; 
but why the hototogisu is called the taosa of Shide I 
do not know. Perhaps it is deemed to be a soul from 
some shadowy hamlet of the Shide hills,, whereat the 
ghosts are wont to rest on their weary way to the 
realm of Emma, the King of Death. 

Its cry has been interpreted in various ways. Some 
declare that the hototogisu does not really repeat its 
own name, but asks, "Honzon kaketaka?" (Has 
the honzon l been suspended ?) Others, resting their 
interpretation upon the wisdom of the Chinese, aver 
that the bird's speech signifies, u Surely it is better 
to return home," This, at least, is true : that all 
who journey far from their native place, and hear the 
voice of the hototogisu in other distant provinces* 
are seized with the sickness of longing for home. 

Only at night, the people say, is its voice heard, 
and most often upon the nights of great moons ; and 
it chants while hovering high out of sight, wherefore 
a poet has sung of it thus : 

Hito koe wa. 
Tsuld ga naitaka 
Hototogisu / 2 

And another has written : 

Nakitsuru kata wo 

1 By honaon is here meant the sacred kakemono, or picture, ex- 
posed to public view in the temples only upon the birthday of the 
Buddha, which is the eighth day of the old fourth month, 
also signifies the principal image in a Buddhist temple. 

a " A solitary voice ! 
Did the Moon cry ? 
*T was but the hototogisu/* 


Tada ariake no 
Tsuki zo nokoreru. 1 

The dweller In cities may pass a lifetime without 
hearing the hototogisu. Caged, the little creature 
will remain silent and die. Poets often wait vainly 
in the dew, from sunset till dawn, to hear the strange 
cry which has inspired so many exquisite verses* 
But those who have heard found it so mournful that 
they have likened it to the cry of one wounded sud- 
denly to death* 


Chi ni naJcu koe wa 
Ariake no 

Tsuki yon hokani 

Kiku hito mo nashi? 

Concerning Izumo owls, I shall content myself with. 
citing a composition by one of my Japanese stu- 
dents : 

" The Owl is a hateful bird that sees in the dark. 
Little children who cry are frightened by the threat 
that the Owl will come to take them away ; for the 
Owl cries, 'Ho ! ho! sorotto koka! sorotto koka!" 
which means, * Thou ! must I enter slowly ? ' It also 
cries * Noritsuke hose ! ho ! ho ! ' which means, * Do 
thou make the starch to use in washing to-morrow 1 * 
And when the women hear that cry, they know that 
to-morrow will be a fine day. It also cries, * TototoJ 
* The man dies/ and * Kotokokko? * The boy dies.' 
S P e pl hate it. And crows hate It so much that it 
is used to catch crows. The Farmer puts an Owl in 
the rice-field; and all the crows come to kill it, 

1 " When I gaze towards the place where I heard the hototogisu cxy, 
lo! there is naught save the wan morning moon/* 

2 " Save only the morning moon, none heard the heartVMood rt 
of the hototogisu." 


they get caught fast in the snares. This should teach 
us not to give way to our dislikes for other people." 

The kites which hover over the city all day do not 
live in the neighborhood. Their nests are far away 
upon the blue peaks; but they pass much of their 
time in catching fish, and in stealing from back yards. 
They pay the wood and the garden swift and sudden 
piratical visits ; and their sinister cry pi-yoroyoro^ 
pi-yoroyoro sounds at intervals over the town from 
dawn till sundown. Most insolent of all feathered crea- 
tures they certainly are, more insolent than even 
their fellow-robbers, the crows, A kite will drop five 
miles to filch a tai out of a fish-seller's bucket, or a 
fried-cake out of a child's hand, and shoot back to 
the clouds before the victim of the theft has time to 
stoop for a stone. Hence the saying, " to look as 
surprised as if one's aburagfi l had been snatched from 
one's hand by a kite." There is, moreover, no telling 
what a kite may think proper to steal. For exam- 
ple, my neighbor's servant-girl went to the river the 
other day, wearing in her hair a string of small scar- 
let beads made of rice-grains prepared and dyed in a 
certain ingenious way. A kite lighted upon her 
head, and tore away and swallowed the string of beads* 
But it is great fun to feed these birds with dead rats 
or mice which have been caught in traps over night 
and subsequently drowned. The instant a dead rat is 
exposed to view a kite pounces from the sky to bear 
it away. Sometimes a crow may get the start of the 
kite, but the crow must be able to get to the woods 
very swiftly indeed in order to keep his prize. The 
children sing this song : 

* A sort of doughnut made of boart flour, or tof n. 


ToM, tobij maute mise ! 
AsMta no ba ni 
Karasu ni kufcushite 
Nezumi yarw. 1 

The mention of dancing refers to the beautiful 
balancing motion of the kite's wings In flight. By 
suggestion this motion is poetically compared to the 
graceful swaying of a maiko, or dancing-girl, extend- 
ing her arms and waving the long wide sleeves of her 
silken robe. 

Although there is a numerous sub-colony of crows 
in the wood behind my house, the headquarters of the 
corvine army are in the pine grove of the ancient 
castle grounds, visible from my front rooms* To see 
the crows all flying home at the same hour every 
evening is an interesting spectacle, and popular im- 
agination has found an amusing comparison for It In 
the hurry-skurry of people running to a fire. This 
explains the meaning of a song which children sing 
to the crows returning to their nests : 

At no karasu saki me, 
Ware ga iye ga yakerv ken, 
Hayo inde midzu kake, 
Midzu ga nakya yarozo, 
Aniattara ko ni yre, 
Ko ga nakya modo&ej* 

Confucianism seems to have discovered virtue IE 
the crow. There Is a Japanese proverb, * 4 Maram 
ni hampo no ko ari" meaning that the crow performs 
the filial duty of hampo, or, more literally, u the filial 

1 " Kite, kite, let me see you dance, and to-morrow evening, whon 
the crows do not know, I will give you a rat." 

2 " tardy crow, hasten forward 1 Your house is all on fire. Hurry 
to throw water upon it. If there be no water, I will give you. If you 
have too much, give it to your child. If you have no child, timn f ivi 
ife back to me," 


duty of hampo exists in the crow." 4C Hampo** 

means, literally, " to return a feeding." The young 
crow is said to requite its parents' care by feeding 
them when it becomes strong. Another example of 
filial piety has been furnished by the dove. " Sato 
ni sansM no rei ari" the dove sits three branches 
below its parent ; or, more literally, " has the three- 
branch etiquette to perform." 

The cry of the wild dove (j/amdbato)^ which I hear 
almost daily from the wood, is the most sweetly plain* 
tive sound that ever reached my ears. The Izumo 
peasantry say that the bird utters these words, which 
it certainly seems to do if one listen to it after having 
learned the alleged syllables : 




T& . . , (sudden pause). 

44 T$t6 " is the baby word for u father/' and 
"kaka" for "mother;" and "poppS" signifies, in 
infantile speech, "the bosom," 1 

Wild uguisu also frequently sweeten my summer 
with their song, and sometimes come very near the 
house, being attracted, apparently, by the chant of 
my caged pet. The uguisu is very common in this 
province. It haunts all the woods and the sacred 
groves in the neighborhood of the city, and I never 

1 The words papa and mamma exist in Japanese baby language, 
but their meaning is not at all what might be supposed. Mamma, or, 
with the usual honorific, famamma, means " boiled rice." Papa means 


made a journey In Izumo during the warm season 
without hearing its note from some shadowy place* 
But there are uguisu and uguisu. There are uguisu 
to be had for one or two yen, but the finely trained, 
cage-bred singer may command not less than a hun- 

It was at a little village temple that I first heard 
one curious belief about this delicate creature. In 
Japan, the coffin in which a corpse is borne to burial 
is totally unlike an Occidental coffin. It is a surpris* 
ingly small square box, wherein the dead is placed 
in a sitting posture. How any adult corpse can be 
put into so small a space may well be an enigma to 
foreigners. In cases of pronounced rigor mortis the 
work of getting the body into the coffin is difficult 
even for the professional doshin-bozu. But the de- 
vout followers of Mchiren claim that after death 
their bodies will remain perfectly flexible; and the 
dead body of an uguisu, they affirm, likewise never 
stiffens, for this little bird is of their faith, and passes 
its life in singing praises unto the Sutra of the Lotus 
of the Good Law. 


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, or, at long, lazy i 


vals, the solitary plash of a diving frog. Nay, those 
walls seclude me from much more than city streets 
Outside them hums the changed Japan of telegraphs 
and newspapers and steamships ; within dwell the 
all-reposing peace of nature and the dreams of the 
sixteenth century. There Is a charm of quaintness 
in the very air, a faint sense of something viewless 
and sweet all about one ; perhaps the gentle haunt- 
ing of dead ladles who looked like the ladies of the 
old picture-books, and who lived here when all this 
was new. Even in the summer light touching 
the gray strange shapes of stone, thrilling through 
the foliage of the long-loved trees there is the 
tenderness of a phantom caress. These are the gar- 
dens of the past. The future will know them only 
as dreams, creations of a forgotten art, whose charm 
no genius may reproduce. 

Of the human tenants here no creature seems to be 
afraid. The little frogs resting upon the lotus-leaves 
scarcely shrink from my touch ; the lizards sun them* 
selves within easy reach of my hand; the water- 
snakes glide across my shadow without fear ; bands 
of semi establish their deafening orchestra on a plum 
branch just above my head, and a praying mantis 
insolently poses on my knee. Swallows and spar- 
rows not only build their nests on my roof, but even 
enter my rooms without concern, one swallow has 
actually built its nest in the ceiling of the bath-room, 
and the weasel purloins fish tinder my very eyes 
without any scruples of conscience. A wild uguism 
perches on a cedar by the window, and in a burst o 
savage sweetness challenges my caged pet to a contest 
In song ; and always through the golden air, from 
the green twilight of the mountain pines, there purls 


to me the plaintive^ caressing, delicious call of the 
yamabato : 




No European dove has such a cry. He who can hear, 
for the first time, the voice of the yamabato with- 
out feeling a new sensation at his heart little de- 
serves to dwell in this happy world. 

Yet all this the old katchiu-yashiki and its gar 
dens will doubtless have vanished forever before 
many years. Already a multitude of gardens, more 
spacious and more beautiful than mine, have been 
converted into rice-fields or bamboo groves ; and the 
quaint Izumo city, touched at last by some long-pro- 
jected railway line, perhaps even within the present 
decade, will swell, and change, and grow common- 
place, and demand these grounds for the building </ 
factories and mills. Not from here alone, but from 
all the land the ancient peace and the ancient charm 
seem doomed to pass away. For impermanency is the 
nature of things, more particularly in Japan ; and 
the changes and the changers shall also be changed 
until there is found no place for them, and regret 
is vanity. The dead art that made the beauty of this 
place was the art, also, of that faith to which belongs 
the all-consoling text, " Verily^ even plants and trees $ 
rooks and stones, all shall enter into Nirvana." 




IN Japan there ate two forms of the Religion of 
th Dead, that which belongs to Shinto, and that 
which belongs to Buddhism. The first is the primi* 
tive cult, commxmly called ancestor -worship* But 
the term ancestor-worship seems to me much too con- 
fined for the religion which pays reverence not only 
to those ancient gods believed to be the fathers of the 
Japanese race, but likewise to a host of deified sover- 
eigns, heroes, princes, and illustrious men. "Within 
comparatively recent times, the great Daimyo of 
Izumo, for example, were apotheosized; and the 
peasants of Shimane still pray before the shrines of 
the Matsudaira. Moreover Shinto, like the faiths of 
Hellas and of Rome, has its deities of the elements 
and special deities who preside over all the various 
affairs of life. Therefore ancestor-worship, though 
still a striking feature of Shinto, does not alone con- 
stitute the State Religion : neither does the term fully 
describe the Shinto cult of the dead, a cult which 
In Izumo retains its primitive character more than in 
other parts of Japan. 

And here I may presume, though no sinologue, to 
say something about that State Religion of Japan, 
that ancient faith of Ixumo, which, although even 
more deeply rooted in national life than Buddhism, 
la far less known to the Western world. Except in 


special worts by such men of erudition as Chamber- 
lain and Satow, works with which the Occident * 
reader, unless himself a specialist, is not likely U 
become familiar outside of Japan, little has been 
written in English about Shinto which gives the least 
idea of what Shinto is. Of its ancient traditions and 
rites much of rarest interest may be learned from 
the works of the philologists just mentioned ; but, as 
Mr. Satow himself acknowledges, a definite answer 
to the question, u What is the nature of Shinto? 5 ' is 
still difficult to give. How define the common ele- 
ment in the six kinds of Shinto which are known to 
exist, and some of which no foreign scholar has yet 
been able to examine for lack of time or of authorities 
or of opportunity? Even in its modern external 
forms, Shinto is sufficiently complex to task the 
united powers of the historian, philologist, and an- 
thropologist, merely to trace out the multitudinous 
lines of its evolution, and to determine the sources 
of its various elements : primeval polytheisms and 
fetichisms, traditions of dubious origin, philosophical 
concepts from China, Korea, and elsewhere, all 
mingled with Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. 
The so-called " Revival of Pure Shinto " an effort, 
aided by Government, to restore the cult to its 
archaic simplicity, by divesting it of foreign charac- 
teristics, and especially of every sign or token of 
Buddhist origin resulted only, so far as the avowed 
purpose was concerned, in the destruction of price- 
less art, and in leaving the enigma of origins as com- 
plicated as before. Shinto had been too profoundly 
modified in the course of fifteen centuries of change 
to be thus remodeled by a fiat. For the like reason 
scholarly efforts to define its relation to national ethics 


by mere historical and philological analysis must fail : 
as well seek to define the ultimate secret of Life by 
the elements of the body which it animates. Yet 
when the result of such efforts shall have been closely 
combined with a deep knowledge of Japanese thought 
and feeling, the thought and sentiment, not of a 
special class, but of the people at large, then in- 
deed all that Shinto was and is may be fully compre- 
hended. And this may be accomplished, I fancy* 
through the united labor of European and Japanese 

Yet something of what Shinto signifies, in the 
simple poetry of its beliefs, in the home-training of 
the child, in the worship of filial piety before the 
tablets of the ancestors, may be learned during a 
residence of some years among the people, by one 
who lives their life and adopts their manners and 
customs. With such experience he can at least claim 
the right to express his own conception of Shinto. 


Those far-seeing rulers of the Meiji era, who dis- 
established Buddhism to strengthen Shinto, doubt- 
less knew they were giving new force not only to a 
faith in perfect harmony with their own state policy, 
but likewise to one possessing in itself a far more 
profound vitality than the alien creed, which although 
omnipotent as an art-influence, had never found deep 
root in the intellectual soil of Japan. Buddhism 
was already in decrepitude, though transplanted from 
China scarcely more than thirteen centuries before; 
while Shinto, though doubtless older by many a thou- 
sand years, seems rather to have gained than to have 
lost force through all the periods of change. Eclectic 


like the genius of the race, it had appropriated and 
assimilated all forms of foreign thought which could 
aid its material manifestation or fortify its ethics* 
Buddhism had attempted to absorb its gods, even 
as it tad adopted previously the ancient deities of 
Brahmanism; but Shinto* while seeming to yield, 
was really only borrowing strength from its rival, 
And this marvelous vitality of Shinto is due to the 
fact that in the course of its long development out 
of unrecorded beginnings, it became at a very ancient 
epoch, and below the surface still remains, a religion 
of the heart. Whatever be the origin of its rites and 
traditions, its ethical spirit has become identified 
with all the deepest and best emotions of the race* 
Hence, in Izumo especially, the attempt to create a 
Buddhist-Shintoism resulted only in the formation 
of a Shinto-Buddhism. 

And the secret living force of Shinto to-day that 
force which repels missionary efforts at proselytizing 
means something much more profound than tradi- 
tion or worship or ceremonialism. Shinto may yet, 
without loss of real power, survive all these. Cer- 
tainly the expansion of the popular mind through 
education, the influences of modern science, must 
compel modification or abandonment of many ancient 
Shinto conceptions ; but the ethics of Shinto will 
surely endure* For Shinto signifies character in the 
higher sense, courage, courtesy, honor, and above 
all things, loyalty* The spirit of Shinto is the spirit 
of filial piety, the zest of duty, the readiness to sur* 
render life for a principle without a thought of wher^* 
fore. It is the docility of the child ; it is the sweet 
ness of the Japanese woman. It is conservatism 


likewise; the wholesome check upon the national 
tendency to cast away the worth of the entire past in 
rash eagerness to assimilate too much of the foreign 
present. It is religion, but religion transformed 
into hereditary moral impulse, religion transmuted 
into ethical instinct. It is the whole emotional life 
of the race, the Soul of Japan. 

The child is born Shinto. Home teaching and 
school training only give expression to what is innate : 
they do not plant new seed ; they do but quicken the 
ethical sense transmitted as a trait ancestral. Even 
as a Japanese infant inherits such ability to handle a 
writing-brush as never can be acquired by Western 
fingers, so does it inherit ethical sympathies totally 
different from our own. Ask a class of Japanese stu- 
dents young students of fourteen to sixteen to 
tell their dearest wishes ; and if they have confidence 
in the questioner, perhaps nine out of ten will answer : 
u To die for His Majesty Our Emperor," And the 
wish soars from the heart pure as any wish for mar- 
tyrdom ever born. How much this sense of loyalty 
may or may not have been weakened in such great 
centres as Tokyo by the new agnosticism and by the 
rapid growth of other nineteenth century ideas among 
the student class, I do not know ; but in the country 
it remains as natural to boyhood as joy. Unreasoning 
it also is, unlike those loyal sentiments with us, the 
results of maturer knowledge and settled conviction. 
Never does the Japanese youth ask himself why; 
the beauty of self-sacrifice alone is the all-sufficing mo- 
tive. Such ecstatic loyalty is a part of the national 
life ; it is in the blood, inherent as the impulse of 
the ant to perish for its little republic, unconscious 
as the loyalty of bees to their queen. It is Shinto. 


That readiness to sacrifice one's own life for loy- 
alty's sake, for the sake of a superior, for the sake of 
honor, which has distinguished the race in modern 
times, would seero. also to have been a national char- 
acteristic from the earliest period of its independent 
existence. Long before the epoch of established 
feudalism, when honorable suicide became a matter of 
rigid etiquette, not for warriors only, but even for wo- 
men and little children, the giying one^ life for one's 
prince, even when the sacrifice could avail nothing, 
was held a sacred duty. Among various instances 
which might be cited from the ancient Kojiki, the 
following is not the least impressive : 

Prince Mayowa, at the age of only seven years, having 
killed his father's slayer, fled into the house of the Grandee 
(Omi) Tsubura. " Then Prince Qho-hateuse raised an army, 
and besieged that house. And the arrows that were shot 
were for multitude like the ears of the reeds. And the 
Grandee Tsubura came forth himself, and having taken off 
the weapons with which he was girded, did obeisance eight 
times, and said : * The maiden-princess Kara, my daughter 
whom thou deignedst anon to woo, is at thy service. Again 
I will present to thee five granaries. Though a vile slave of 
a Grandee exerting his utmost strength in the fight can 
scarcely hope to conquer, yet must he die rather than desert 
a prince who, trusting in Mm, has entered into his house** 
Having thus spoken, he again took Ms weapons, and went 
in once more to fight. Then, their strength being exhausted* 
and their arrows finished, he said to the Prince: *My 
hands are wounded, and our arrows are finished. We ean- 
not now fight : what shall be done ? * The Prince replied 
saying : ' There is nothing more to do. Do thou now slay 
me/ So the Grandee Tsubura thrust the Prince to death 
with his sword, and forthwith kOled himself by cutting oft 
his own head." 


Thousands of equally strong examples could easily 
be quoted from later Japanese history, including many 
which occurred even within the memory of the living. 
Nor was it for persons alone that to die might become 
a sacred duty : in certain contingencies conscience 
held it scarcely less a duty to die for a purely "personal 
conviction; and he who held any opinion which he 
believed of paramount importance would, when other 
means failed, write his views in a letter of farewell, 
and then take Ms own life, in order to call attention 
to his beliefs and to prove their sincerity. Such an 
instance occurred only last year in Tokyo, 1 when the 
young lieutenant of militia, Ohara Takeyoshi, killed 
kimself by harakiri in the cemetery of Saitokuji, 
leaving a letter stating as the reason for his act, his 
hope to force public recognition of the danger to 
Japanese independence from the growth of Russian. 
power in the North Pacific. But a much more touch- 
ing sacrifice, in May of the same year, a sacrifice 
conceived in the purest and most innocent spirit of 
loyalty, was that of the young girl Yoko Hatake- 
yama, who, after the attempt to assassinate the Czare- 
vitch, traveled from Tokyo to Kyoto and there killed 
herself before the gate of the Kencho, merely as a 
vicarious atonement for the incident which had caused 
shame to Japan and grief to the Father of the people, 
His Sacred Majesty the Emperor* 

As to its exterior forms, modern Shinto is indeed 
difficult to analyse ; but through all the intricate 

texture of extraneous beliefs so thickly interwoven 

about it, indications of its earliest character are still 

* This was written early in 1892. 


easily discerned. In certain of Its primitive rites* In 
its archaic prayers and texts and symbols, in the his- 
tory of Its shrines, and even in many of the artless 
ideas of Its poorest worshipers, it is plainly revealed 
as the most ancient of all forms of worship, that 
which Herbert Spencer terms " the root of all reli- 
gions," devotion to the dead. Indeed, it has been 
frequently so expounded by its own greatest scholars 
and theologians. Its divinities are ghosts ; all the 
dead become deities. In the Tama-no-mihashira 
the great commentator Hirata says " the spirits of 
the dead continue to exist in the unseen world which 
is everywhere about us, and they all become gods of 
varying character and degrees of influence. Some 
reside in temples built in their honor; others hover 
near their tombs ; and they continue to render ser- 
vices to their prince, parents, wife, and children, as 
when in the body." 1 And they do more than this, 
for they control the lives and the doings of men. 
44 Every human action," says Hirata, " is the work of 
a god." 2 And Motowori, scarcely less famous an 
exponent of pure Shinto doctrine, writes ; " All the 
moral ideas which a man requires are implanted in 
his bosom by the gods, and are of the same nature 
with those instincts which impel him to eat when he 
is hungry or to drink when he is thirsty," s With 
this doctrine of Intuition no decalogue is required* 
no fixed code of ethics ; and the human conscience 
Is declared to be the only necessary guide. Though 

1 Quoted from Mr, Satow's masterly essay, ** The Kevival of Faro 
Shinto," published in the Transaction* of the Asiatic Society of Japan. 
By " gods " are not necessarily meant; beneficent Kami. Shinto has 
no devils ; but it has its " bad gods" as well as good deities, 

2 Satow, " The Revival of Pure Shinto." 
* Ibid. 


every action be "the work of a Kami,'* yet each 
nan has within him the power to discern the right- 
eous impulse from the unrighteous, the influence of 
the good deity from that of the evil. No moral 
teacher is so infallible as one's own heart. " To 
have learned that there is no way (mielui)" 1 says 
Motowori, " t be learned and practiced, is really 
to have learned the Way of the Gods." 3 And Hi- 
rata writes : " If you desire to practice true virtue, 
learn to stand in awe of the Unseen ; and that will 
prevent you from doing wrong. Make a vow to the 
Gods who rule over the Unseen, and cultivate the 
conscience (morffokoro') implanted in you ; and then 
you will never wander from the way," How this 
spiritual self-culture may best be obtained, the same 
great expounder has stated with almost equal brev- 
ity: u Devotion to the memory of ancestors is the 
mainspring of all virtues. No one who discharges his 
duty to them will ever be disrespectful to the Gods 
or to his living parents. Such a man will be faithful 
to his prince, loyal to his friends, and kind and gentle 
with his wife and children." 8 

How far are these antique beliefs removed from 
the ideas of the nineteenth century ? Certainly not 
so far that we can afford to smile at them. The faith 
of the primitive man and the knowledge of the most 
profound psychologist may meet in strange harmony 

1 In tli sense of Moral Path, i, e. an ethical system. 

^ Satow, "The Revival of Pure Shinto." The whole force of Mo- 
towori's words will not bo fully understood unless the reader knows 
that the term '* Shinto " is of comparatively modem origin in Japan, 
having been borrowed from the Chfaose to distinguish the ancient 
faith from Buddhism; and that the old name for the primitive 
religion is Kami-no-michi, " the Way of the Gods." 

Satow, " The Kevival pf Pa? $hfet$." 


upon the -threshold of the same ultimate truth, and 
the thought of a child may repeat the conclusions of 
a Spencer or a Schopenhauer. Are not our ancestors 
IE very truth our Kami? Is not every action Indeed 
the work of the Dead who dwell within us ? Have 
not our impulses and tendencies, our capacities and 
weaknesses, our heroisms and timidities, been created 
by those vanished myriads from whom we received 
the all-mysterious bequest of Life? Do wo still 
think of that infinitely complex Something which is 
0ach one of us, and which we call EGO, as u I " or 
as "They"? What is our pride or shame but the 
pride or shame of the Unseen in that which They 
have made ? and what our Conscience but the in- 
herited sum of countless dead experiences with vary- 
ing good and evil? Nor can we hastily reject the 
Shinto thought that all the dead become gods, while 
we respect the convictions of those strong souls of 
to-day who proclaim the divinity of man* 


Shinto ancestor-worship, no doubt, like all ancestor. 
worship, was developed out of funeral rites, according 
to that general law of religious evolution traced so 
fully by Herbert Spencer. And there is reason to 
believe that the early forms of Shinto public worship 
may have been evolved out of a yet older family 
worship, much after the manner in which M* 
Fustel de Coulanges, in his wonderful book, "La CibS 
Antique," has shown the religious public institutions 
among the Greeks and Romans to have been devel- 
oped from the religion of the hearth. Indeed, the 
word ujigami, now used to signify a Shinto parish 
temple, and also its deity, means ^family God/* and 


In Its present form Is a corruption or contraction 
of nchi-no-Kami, meaning the " god of the interior " 
or "the god of the house." Shinto expounders have* 
It Is true, attempted to Interpret the term otherwise ; 
and Hirata, as quoted by Mr. Ernest Satow, declared 
the name should be applied only to the common an-> 
cestor^ or ancestors, or to one so entitled to the grati- 
tude of a community as to merit equal honors. Such f 
undoubtedly, was the just use of the term In his 
time, and long before It ; but the etymology of th 
word would certainly seem to indicate its origin In 
family worship, and to confirm modern scientific be- 
liefs In regard to the volution of religious Institu- 

Now just as among the Greeks and Latins the 
family cult always continued to exist through all the 
development and expansion of the public religion* 
so the Shinto family worship has continued concomi- 
tantly with the communal worship at the countless 
ujigaml, with popular worship at the famed Oho-ya- 
shiro of various provinces or districts, and with 
national worship at the great shrines of Tse and Ki- 
tzuki. Many objects connected with the family cult 
are cei'tainly of alien or modern origin ; but its simple 
rites and Its unconscious poetry retain their archaic 
charm. And, to the student of Japanese life, by far 
the most Interesting aspect of Shinto is offered in 
this home worship, which, like the home worship of 
the antique Occident, exists in a dual form. 



In nearly all Iznmo dwellings there Is a kamidana, 1 
or " Shelf of the Gods," On this is usually placed a 
small Shinto shrine (miyd) containing tablets bear- 
ing the names of gods (one at least of which tab- 
lets is furnished by the neighboring Shinto parish 
temple), and various ofuda, holy texts or charms, 
which most often are written promises in the name 
of some Kami to protect his worshiper. If there be 
no miya, the tablets or ofuda are simply placed upon 
the shelf in a certain order, the most sacred having 
the middle place. Very rarely are images to be seen 
upon a kamidana : for primitive Shintoism excluded 
images rigidly as Jewish or Mohammedan law ; and 
all Shinto iconography belongs to a comparatively 
modern era, especially to the period of Bydbu- 
Shinto, and must be considered of Buddhist origin* 
If there be any images, they will probably be such 
as have been made only within recent years at Ki- 
tzuki : those small twin figures of Oho-kuni-nushi-no- 
Karai and of Koto-shiro-nushi-no-Kami, described 
in a former paper upon the Kitzuki-no-oho-yashiro. 
Shinto kakemono, which are also of latter-day origin, 
representing incidents from the Kojiki, are much 
more common than Shinto icons : these usually oc- 
cupy the toko, or alcove, in the same room in which 
the kamidana is placed ; but they will not be seen in 
the houses of the more cultivated classes* Ordina- 
rily there will be found upon the kamidana nothing 

1 From Kami, te the [Powers] Abore," or the Gods, and tana, " a 
shelf," The initial " t " of the latter word changes into " d ** in the 
compound, just as that of tokkuri, " a jar " or " bottle/' becomes dch- 
kuri in the compound omikiddkkuri. 


but the simple miya containing some ofuda: very, 
very seldom will a mirror 1 be seen, or gohei, ex- 
cept the gohei attached to the small shimenawa 
either hung just above the kamidana or suspended 
to the box-like frame in which the miya sometimes 
is placed. The shimenawa and the paper gohei are 
the true emblems of Shinto: even the ofuda and 
the mamori are quite modern. Not only before the 
household shrine, but also above the house-door of 
almost every home in Izumo, the shimenawa is sus- 
pended. It is ordinarily a thin rope of rice straw; 
but before the dwellings of high Shinto officials, such 
as the Taisha-Guji of Kitzuki, its size and weight 
are enormous. One of the first curious facts that the 
traveler in Izumo cannot fail to be impressed by is 
the universal presence of this symbolic rope of straw, 
which may sometimes even be seen round a rice-field. 
But the grand displays of the sacred symbol are 
upon the great festivals of the new year, the acces- 
sion of Jimmu Tenno to the throne of Japan, and 
the Emperor's birthday. Then all the miles of 
streets are festooned with shimenawa thick as ship- 


A particular feature of Matsue are the miya-shops, 
establishments not, indeed, peculiar to the old 
Immo town, but much more interesting than those 

i The mirror, as an emblem of female divinifcien, is kept in the 
secret innermost ahrine of various Shinto temples, But the mirror of 
metal commonly placed before the public gaze in a Shinto shrine Is 
not really of Shmtd origin, but was introduced into Japan as a Bud- 
dhist symbol of the Shingon sect. As the mirror is the symbol in Shinto 
of female divinities, the sword is the emblem of male deities. The real 
symbols of the god or goddess are not, however, exposed to human 
gaze under any circumstances. 


to be found In larger cities of otter provinces. There 
are miya of a hundred varieties and sizes, from the 
child's toy miya which sells for less than one sen ? to 
the large shrine destined for some rich home, and 
costing perhaps ten yen or more. Besides these, the 
household shrines of Shinto, may occasionally be seen 
massive shrines of precious wood, lacquered and 
gilded, worth from three hundred even to fifteen 
hundred yen* These are not household shrines ; but 
festival shrines, and are made only for rich mer- 
chants. They are displayed on Shinto holidays, and 
twice a year are borne through the streets in proces- 
sion, to shouts of " Chosaya ! chosaya !" * Each tem- 
ple parish also possesses a large portable miya which 
is paraded on these occasions with much chanting 
and beating of drums. The majority of household 
miya are cheap constructions, A very fine one can 
be purchased for about two yen; but those little 
shrines one sees in the houses of the common people 
cost, as a rule, considerably less than half a yen. 
And elaborate or costly household shrines are con- 
trary to the spirit of pure Shinto. The true miya 
should be made of spotless white hinoki 2 wood, and 
be put together without nails* Most of those I have 

1 Anciently the two great Shinto festivals on which the miya were 
thus carried in procession were the Yoshigami-no-matsari, or festival 
of the God of the New Year, and the anniversary of Jimmu Tenno 
to the throne. The second of these is still observed. The celebration 
of the Emperor's hirthday is the only other occasion when the miya 
are paraded. On hoth days the streets are beautifully decorated with 
lanterns and shimenawa, the fringed ropes of rio straw which are 
the emhlems of Shinto. Nobody now knows exactly what the words 
chanted on these days (chosayal chosaya!) mean. One theory is 
that they are a corruption of Sagicho, the name of a great samurai 
military festival, which was celebrated nearly at the same time as tbe 
Yoshigami-no-matsuri, both holidays now being obsolete, 

* Thuya obtusa. 


seen In the shops had their several parts joined 
only with rice-paste ; but the skill of the maker ren- 
dered this sufficient. Pure Shinto requires that a 
miya should be without gilding or ornamentation. 
The beautiful miniature temples In some rich homes 
may justly excite admiration by their artistic struc- 
ture and decoration ; but the ten or thirteen cent 
miya, In the house of a laborer or a kurumaya, of 
plain white wood, truly represents that spirit of sim- 
plicity characterizing the primitive religion* 


The kamidana or u God-shelf," upon which are 
placed the miya and other sacred objects of Shinto 
worship, is usually fastened at a height of about six 
or seven feet above the floor. As a rule it should 
not be placed higher than the hand can reach with 
ease ; but in houses having lofty rooms the miya Is 
sometimes put up at such a height that the sacred 
offerings cannot be made without the aid of a box or 
other object to stand upon. It is not commonly a 
part of the house structure, but a plain shelf at- 
tached with brackets either to the wall itself, at some 
angle of the apartment, or, as is much more usual, to 
the kamoi, or horizontal grooved beam, In which the 
screens of opaque paper (fusuma), which divide 
room from room s slide to and fro. Occasionally it is 
painted or lacquered. But the ordinary kamidana is 
of white wood, and i& made larger or smaller in pro- 
portion to the size of the miya, or the number of the 
of uda and other sacred objects to the placed upon It. 
In some houses, notably those of innkeepers and 
small merchants, the kamidana Is made long enough 
to support a number of small shrines dedicated to 


different Shinto deities* particularly those believed 
to preside over wealth arid commercial prosperity, 
In the houses of the poor it is nearly always placed 
in the room, facing the street ; and Matsue shop- 
keepers usually erect it in their shops, so that the 
passer-by or the customer can tell at a glance in what 
deities the occupant puts his trust There are many 
regulations concerning it. It may be placed to face 
south or east, but should not face west, and under no 
possible circumstances should it be suffered to face 
north, or northwest. One explanation of this is the 
influence upon Shinto of Chinese philosophy, accord- 
ing to which there is some fancied relation between 
South, or East and the Male Principle, and between 
"West or North and the Female Principle* But the 
popular notion on the subject is that because a dead 
person is buried with the head turned north, it would 
be very wrong to place a miya so as to face north, 
since everything relating to death is impure ; and the 
regulation about the west is not strictly observed. 
Most kaxnidana in Izumo, however, face south or 
east. In the houses of the poorest often consisting 
of but one apartment there can be little choice as 
to rooms ; but it is a rule, observed in the dwellings 
of the middle classes, that the kamidana must not be 
placed either in the guest room (zashiki) nor in the 
kitchen ; and in shizoku houses its place is usually in 
one of the smaller family apartments. Respect must 
be shown it. One must not sleep, for example, or 
even lie down to rest* with his feet turned towards 
it. One must not pray before it, or even stand be- 
fore it, while in a state of religious impurity, sudbi 
as that entailed by having touched a corpse, or at- 
tended a Buddhist funeral, or even during the period 


of mourning for kindred burled according to the 
Buddhist rite. Should any member of the family be 
thus buried, then during fifty days * the kamidana 
must be entirely screened from view with pure white 
paper, and even the Shinto ofuda, or pious invoca- 
tions fastened upon the house-door, must have white 
paper pasted over them. During the same mourning 
period the fire in the house is considered unclean ; 
and at the close of the term all the ashes of the bra- 
ziers and of the kitchen must be cast away, and now 
fire kindled with a flint and steel. Nor are funerals 
the only source of legal uncleanliness. Shinto, as the 
religion of purity and purification, has a Deuteron- 
omy of quite an extensive kind* During certain 
periods women must not even pray before the miya, 
much less make offerings or touch the sacred vessels* 
or kindle the lights of the Kami 


Before the miya, or whatever holy object of Shinto 
worship be placed upon the kamidana, are set two 
quaintly shaped jars for the offerings of sak6 ; two 
small vases, to contain sprays of the sacred plant 
sakaki, or offerings of flowers ; and a small lamp, 
shaped like a tiny saucer, where a wick of rush-pith, 
floats In rapeseed oil. Strictly speaking, all these 
utensils except the flower-vases should be made of un- 
glaml red earthenware, such as we find described 
in the early chapters of the Kojiki: and still at 
Shinto festivals in Izumo, when sak6 Is drunk in 

1 Sucli afc least is the mourning period under such circumstances m 
certain samurai families. Others say twenty days is sufficient. The 
Buddhiat code of mourning is extremely varied and complicated, and 
would require much space to dilate upon. 


honor of the gods, it is drunk out of cups of red 
baked unglazed clay shaped like shallow round dishes. 
But of late years it has become the fashion to make 
all the utensils of a fine kamidana of brass or bronze, 
even the hanai'ke, or flower-vases. Among the 
poor, the most archaic utensils are still ued to a 
great extent, especially in the remoter country dis- 
tricts ; the lamp being a simple saucer or kawarakd 
of red clay ; and the flower-vases most often bamboo 
cups, made by simply cutting a section of bamboo 
immediately below a joint and about five inches 
above it. 

The brazen lamp is a much more complicated object 
than the kawarak^, which costs but one rin. The 
brass lamp costs about twenty-five sen, at least. It 
consists of two parts. The lower part, shaped like 
a very shallow, broacl wineglass, with a very thick 
stem, has an interior as well as an exterior rim ; and 
the bottom of a correspondingly broad and shallow 
brass cup, which is the upper part and contains the 
oil, fits exactly into this inner rim. This kind of 
lamp is always furnished with a small brass object in 
the shape of a flat ring, with a stem sot at right 
angles to the surface of the ring. It is used for mov- 
ing the floating wick and keeping it at any position 
required; and the little perpendicular stem is long 
enough to prevent the fingers from touching the oil. 

The most curious objects to be seen on any ordi- 
nary kamidana are the stoppers of the sak4*vessels or 
o-mikidokkuri ( u honorable sak^-jars "). These stop* 
pers o-mikidokkuri-no-kuchisashi may be m ade 
of brass, or of fine thin slips of wood jointed and bent 
into the singular form required. Properly speaking, 
the thing is not a real stopper, in spite of its name ; 


Its lower part does not fill the mouth, of the jar at 
all : It simply hangs in the orifice like a leaf put 
there stem downwards. I find it difficult to learn its 
history ; but, though there are many designs of it, 
the finer ones being of brass, the shape of all 
seems to hint at a Buddhist origin. Possibly the 
shape was borrowed from a Buddhist symbol, the 
Hoshi-no-tama, that mystic gem whose lambent glow 
(iconographically suggested as a playing of flame) is 
the emblem of Pure Essence; and thus the object 
would be typical at once of the purity of the wine- 
offering and the purity of the heart of the giver. 

The little lamp may not be lighted every evening 
in all homes, since there are families too poor to af- 
ford even this infinitesimal nightly expenditure of oil. 
But upon the first, fifteenth, and twenty-eighth of each 
month the light is always kindled ; for these are 
Shinto holidays of obligation, when offerings must be 
made to the gods, and when all uji-ko, or parishioners 
of a Shinto temple, are supposed to visit their uji- 
gamL In every home on these days sak^ is poured 
as an offering into the o-mikidokkuri, and in the 
vases of the kamidana are placed sprays of the holy 
sakaki, or sprigs of pine, or fresh flowers. On the 
first day of the new year the kamidana is always 
decked with sakaki, moromoki (ferns), and pine- 
sprigs, and also with a shimenawa ; and large double 
rice cakes are placed upon it as offerings to the gods. 


But only the ancient gods of Shinto are worshiped 
before the kamidana- The family ancestors or fam- 
ily dead are worshiped either in a separate room 
(called the mitemaya, or ** Spirit Chamber "), or, if 


worshiped according to the Buddhist rites 3 before 
the butsuma or butsudan. 

The Buddhist family worship coexists in the vast 
majority of Izumo homes with the Shinto family 
worship ; and whether the dead be honored in the 
mitainaya or before the butsudan altogether depends 
upon the religious traditions of the household. More- 
over, there are families in Izumo particularly in 
Kitzuki whose members do not profess Buddhism 
in any form, and a very few, belonging to the Shin- 
elm or Nichiren-shu, 1 whose members do not practice 
Shinto. But the domestic cult of the dead is main- 
tained, whether the family be Shinto or Buddhist. 
The ihai or tablets of the Buddhist family dead (Ho- 
toke) are never placed in a special room or shrine, 
but in the Buddhist household shrine 2 along with 

1 In spite of the supposed rigidity of the Niehiren sect in aueh mat- 
ters, most followers of its doctrine in Izumo are equally frrrettt Shin* 
toists. I have not been able to observe whether tho HHXRO is true 
of Izumo Shin-shu families as a rule ; but 1 know that some Shm-ha 
believers in Matsue worship at Shinto shrines. Adoring only that 
form of Bnddha called Amida, the Shin sect might h termed a Bud- 
dhist " Unitarianism." It seems never to have been able to secure a 
strong footing in Iznmo on account of its doctrinal hostility to Shinto* 
Elsewhere throughout Japan it is the most vigorous and prosperous of 
all Buddhist sects. 

2 Mr. Morse, in his Japanese Homes, published on hearsay a very 
strange error when he stated : '* The Buddhist household shrines 
rest on the floor at least so I was informed } * They never rest on the 
floor under any circumstances. In the better class of houses special 
architectural arrangements are made for the butendan ; an alcove, re- 
cess, or other contrivance, often so arranged as to be concealed from 
view by a sliding panel or a little door. In smaller dwellings it my 
be put on a shelf, for want of a better place, and in tho homes of fchd 
poor, on the top of the tansu, or clothes-chest. It is never placed 
so high as the kamidana, but seldom at a km height than three feet 
above the floor. In Mr. Morse's own illustration of a Buddhist honge* 
hold shrine (p. 226) it does not rest on the floor at all, but on the 
upper shelf of a cupboard, which must not be confounded with the bi* 



the Images or pictures of Buddhist divinities usually 
there Inclosed, or, at least, this Is always the case 
when the honors paid them are given according to 
the Buddhist instead of the Shinto rite. The form 
of the butsudan or butsuma, the character of its holy 
images, Its of uda, or its pictures, and even the prayers 
said before it, differ according to the fifteen differ- 
ent aim, or sects; and a very large volume would 
have to be written in order to treat the subject of the 
butsuma exhaustively. Therefore I must content 
myself with stating that there are Buddhist house- 
hold shrines of all dimensions, prices, and degrees of 
magnificence ; and that the butsudan of the Shin-shit, 
although to me the least interesting of all, is popu- 
larly considered to be the most beautiful In design 
and finish* The butsudan of a very poor household 
may be worth a few cents, but the rich devotee 
might purchase In Kyoto a shrine worth as many 
thousands of yen as he could pay. 

Though the forms of the butsuma and the charac- 
ter of its contents may greatly vary, the form of the 
ancestral or mortuary tablet is generally that repre- 
sented in Fig. 4 of the illustrations of lhai given in 
this book. 1 There are some much more elaborate 

tsudaia a very small one. The sketch in question seems to have been 
made during the Festival of the "Dead, for the offerings in the picture 
are those of the BomraatsurL At that time the household butsudan 
is always exposed to view, and often moved from its usual place in 
order to obtain room for the offerings to be set before it. To place 
any holy object on the floor is considered by the Japanese very dis- 
respectful, As for Shinto objects, to place even a mamori on the 
floor is deemed a sin. 

1 Two ihai are always made for each Buddhist dead. One usually 
larger than that placed in the family shrine, is kept in the temple of 
which the deceased was a parishioner, together with a cup in which 
lea or water is daily poured out aa an offering. IB any iarj>e 


shapes, costly and rare, and simpler shapes of the 
cheapest and plainest description; but the form thus 
illustrated is the common one in Izumo and the 
whole San-indo country. There are differences, 
however, of size ; and the ihai of a man is larger 
than that of a woman, and has a headpiece also, 
which the tablet of a female has not; while a child's 
ihai is always Yery small. The average height of the 
ihai made for a male adult is a little more than 
a foot, and its thickness about an inch. It has a 
top, or headpiece, surmounted by the symbol of the 
Hoshi*no-tama or Mystic Gem, and ordinarily dec- 
orated with a cloud -design of some kind, and the 
pedestal is a lotus-flower rising out of clouds. As a 
general rule all this is richly lacquered and gilded ; 
the tablet itself being lacquered in black, and bearing 
the posthumous name, or kaimyo, in letters of gold, 
ken-mu-ji-sho-sMnyi) or other syllables indicating the 
supposed virtues of the departed. The poorest peo- 
ple, unable to afford such handsome tablets, have 
ihai made of plain wood ; and the kairayo is some- 
times simply written on these in black characters; 
but more commonly it is written upon a sfcrip of white 
paper, which is then pasted upon the ihai with rice- 
paste. The living name is perhaps inscribed upon 
the back of the tablet. Such tablets accumulate, of 
course, with the passing of generations ; and in eer* 
tain homes great numbers are preserved, 

A beautiful and touching custom still exists in 
Izumo, and perhaps throughout Japan, although 

temple, thousands of such ihai may be seen, arranged la rows, tier 
above tier, each with its cup before it, for even the souls of the 
dead are supposed to drink tea. Sometimes, J fear, the offering Is 
forgotten, for I have seen rows of cups containing only dost, thd 
fault, perhaps, of some lazy acolyte. 







O _: 











much less common than It used to be. So far as I 
can learn, however, It was always confined to the cul- 
tivated classes. When a husband dies, two ihai are 
made, in case the wife resolves never to marry again. 
On one of these the kaimyo of the dead man is 
painted in characters of gold, and on the other that 
of the living widow; but, in the latter case, the 
first character of the kaimyo is painted in red, and 
the other characters in gold. These two tablets are 
then placed in the household butsuma. Two larger 
ones, similarly inscribed, are placed in the parish 
temple ; but no cup is set before that of the wife. 
The solitary crimson ideograph signifies a solemn 
pledge to remain faithful to the memory of the dead. 
Furthermore, the wife loses her living name among 
all her friends and relatives, and is thereafter ad- 
dressed only by a fragment of her kaimyo, as, for 
example, u Shln-toku-in-San," an abbreviation of the 
much longer and more sonorous posthumous name, 
Shin-tok^in-denyoi/QJeisd-daishi}' Thus to be called 
by one's kaimyo is at once an honor to the memory 
of the husband and the constancy of the bereaved 
wife. A precisely similar pledge is taken by a man 
after the loss of a wife to whom he was passionately 
attached ; and one crimson letter upon his ihai regis- 
ters the vow not only in the home but also in the 
place of public worship. But the widower is never 
called by his kaimyo, as is the widow. 

The first religious duty of the morning in a Bud- 
dhist household is to set before the tablets of the 

1 This is a fine example of a samurai kaimyo. The kaimyo ot 
Ikwassoku or samurai are different from those of humbler dead ; and 
a Japanese, by a single glance at an ihai, can tell at once to what clasi 
of society the deceased belonged, by the Buddhist worda uaed* 


dead a little cup of tea, made with the first hot water 
prepared, O-Hotoke-San-ni-o-cha-to-ai/eru* 1 Daily 
offerings of boiled rice are also made; and fresh 
flowers are put in the shrine vases ; and incense - 
although not allowed by Shinto is burned before 
the tablets. At night, and also during the day upon 
certain festivals, both candles and a small oil-lamp 
are lighted in the butsuma, a lamp somewhat dif- 
ferently shaped from the lamp of the miya and called 
rinto. On the day of each month corresponding to 
the date of death a little repast is served before the 
tablets, consisting of shojin-ryori only, the vegeta- 
rian food of the Buddhists. But as Shinto family 
worship has its special annual festival, which en- 
dures from the first to the third day of the new year, 
so Buddhist ancestor-worship has its yearly Bonku, 
or Bommatsuri, lasting from the thirteenth to the 
sixteenth day of the seventh month* This is the 
Buddhist Feast of Souls. Then the butsuma is 
decorated to the utmost, special offerings of food and 
of flowers are made, and all the house is made beau- 
tiful to welcome the coming of the ghostly visitors, 

Now Shinto, like Buddhism, has its ihai; but these 
are of the simplest possible shape and material,- 
mere slips of plain white wood. The average height 
is only about eight inches* These tablets are either 
placed in a special miya kept in a different room from 
that in which the shrine of the Kami Is erected, or 
else simply arranged on a small shelf called by the 
people Mitama-Sanrno-tana, " the Shelf of the Au- 

* " Presenting the honorable tea to the august Baddhas," for by 
Buddhist faith it is hoped, if not believed, that tha dead become Bad- 
dhas and escape the sorrows of further transmigration. Thus tho 
expression " is dead" is often rendered in Japanese by the phrase M k 
become a Buddha. 1 * 


gust Spirits" The shelf or the shrine of the an- 
cestors and household dead is placed always at a 
considerable height in the mitamaya or soreisha (as 
the Spirit Chamber is sometimes called), just as is the 
miya of the Kami in the other apartment. Some- 
times no tablets are used, the name being simply 
painted upon the woodwork of the Spirit Shrine. But 
Shinto has no kaimyo : the living name of the dead 
is written upon the ihai, with the sole addition of the 
word "JMKtama" (Spirit). And monthly upon the 
day corresponding to the menstrual date of death, 
offerings of fish, wine, and other food are made to 
the spirits, accompanied by special prayer. 1 The 
Mitama-San have also their particular lamps and 
flower-vases, and, though in lesser degree, are honored 
with rites like those of the Kami. 

The prayers uttered before the ihai of either faith 
begin with the respective religious formulas of Shinto 
or of Buddhism. The Shintoist, clapping his hands 
thrice or four times, 2 first utters the sacramental 
Harai-tamaL The Buddhist, according to his sect, 
murmurs Jtfam^mo-ho-ren-e-kdi or Namu Amida 

1 The idea underlying this offering of food and drink to the dead, 
or to the gods, is not so irrational as unthinking critics have declared 
it to be. The dead are not supposed to consume any of the visible 
substance of the food set before them, for they are thought to be 
in an ethereal state requiring only the most vapory kind of nutrition. 
The idea is that they absorb only the invisible essence of the food. 
And as fruits and other such offerings lose something of their flavor 
after having been exposed to the air for several hours, this slight 
change would have been taken in other days as evidence that the 
spirits had feasted upon them. Scientific education necessarily dissi- 
pates these consoling illusions, and with them a host of tender and 
beautiful fancies as to the relation between the living and the dead. 

2 I find that the number of clappings differs in different provinces 
somewhat. In Kyfohft the clapping is very long, especially before 
tihe prayer to the Bising Sun. 


Butsu., or some other holy words of prayer or of 
praise to the Buddha, ere commencing his prayer to 
the ancestors. The words said to them are seldom 
spoken aloud, either by Shintdist or Buddhist: they 

are either whispered very low under the breath, or 
shaped only within the heart. 


At nightfall in Izumo homes the lamps of the gods 
and of the ancestors are kindled, cither by a trusted 
servant or by some member of the family, Shinto 
orthodox regulations require that the lamps should 
be filled with pure vegetable oil only, tomoshi- 
abura, and oil of rapeseed is customarily used, 
However, there is an evident inclination among the 
poorer classes to substitute a microscopic kerosene 
lamp for the ancient form of ufcenail. But by the 
strictly orthodox this is htld to be very wrong, and 
even to light the lamps with a match is somewhat 
heretical. For it is not supposed that matches are 
always made with pure substances, and the lights of 
the Kami should be kindled only with purest fire, 
that holy natural fire which lies hidden within all 
things. Therefore in some little closet in the home of 
any strictly orthodox Shinto family there is always 
a small box containing the ancient instruments used 
for the lighting of holy fire. These consist of the 
hi-uchi-ishi, or " fire-strike-stone ; " the hi-uohi-gane, 
or steel ; the hokuchi, or tinder* made of dried moss ; 
and the tsukegi, fine slivers of resinous pine, A 
little tinder is laid upon the flint and set smouldering 
with a few strokes of the steel* and blown upon until 
it flames. A slip of pine is then ignited at this flame, 
and with it the lamps of the ancestors and the gods 


are lighted. If several great deities are represented 
in the naiya or upon the kamidana by several of uda 5 
then a separate lamp is sometimes lighted for each ; 
and if there be a butsuma in the dwelling, its tapers 
or lamp are lighted at the same time. 

Although the use of the flint and steel for lighting 
the lamps of the gods will probably have become ob- 
solete within another generation, it still prevails 
largely in Izumo, especially in the country districts. 
Even where the safety-match has entirely sup- 
planted the orthodox utensils, the orthodox sentiment 
shows itself in the matter of the choice of matches 
to be used. Foreign matches are inadmissible : the 
native matchmaker quite successfully represented that 
foreign matches contained phosphorus " made from 
the bones of dead animals," and that to kindle the 
lights of the Kami with such unholy fire would be 
sacrilege. In other parts of Japan the matchmakers 
stamped upon their boxes the words : u SaiJcyo go 
honzon yo " (Fit for the use of the August High Tem- 
ple of Saikyo 1 ). But Shinto sentiment in Izumo 
was too strong to be affected much by any such decla- 
ration : indeed, the recommendation of the matches 
as suitable for use in a Shio-shu temple was of itself 
sufficient to prejudice Shintoists against them. Ac- 
cordingly special precautions had to be taken before 
safety-matches could be satisfactorily introduced into 
the Province of the Gods. Izumo match-boxes now 
bear the inscription : " Pure, and fit to me for kin- 
dling the lamps of the Kami> or of the HotoJce ! " 

The inevitable danger to all things in Japan 
* Another name for Kyoto, the Sacred City of Japanese Buddhism. 


is fire. It Is the traditional rule that when a house 
takes fire, the first objects to be saved, If possible, 
are the household gods and the tablets of the ances- 
tors. It Is even said that If these are saved, most 
of the family valuables are certain to be saved, and 
that If these are lost, all Is lost. 


The terms soreisha and mitamaya, as used In 
Izumo, may, I am told, signify either the small miya 
In which the Shinto ihai (usually made of cherry- 
wood) Is kept, or that part of the dwelling in which it 
is placed, and where the offerings are made. These, 
by all who can afford It, are served upon tables of 
plain white wood, and of the same high narrow form 
as the tables upon which offerings are made in the 
temples and at public funeral ceremonies* 

The most ordinary form of prayer addressed to the 
ancient ancestors in the household cult of Shinto is 
not uttered aloud. After pronouncing the initial 
formula of all popular Shinto prayer, u jffarai-tamai," 
etc., the worshiper says, with his heart only, 

"Spirits august of our far-off ancestors, ye fore- 
fathers of the generations, and of our families and of 
our kindred, unto you, the founders of our homes, we 
this day utter the gladness of our thanks/* 

In the family cult of the Buddhists a distinction is 
mad between the household Hotoke the souls of 
those long dead and the souls of those but recently 
deceased. These last are called Shin-botoke* "new 
Buddhas," or more strictly, " the newly dead" No 
direct request for any supernatural favor is made to 
a Shin-botoke; for, though respectfully called Ho 


toke, the freshly departed soul is not really deemed 
to have reached Buddhahood : it is only on the long 
road thither, and Is In need Itself, perhaps, of aid, 
rather than capable of giving aid, Indeed, among 
the deeply pious its condition Is a matter of affec- 
tionate concern* And especially is this the case when 
a little child dies ; for it Is thought that the soul of 
an infant is feeble and exposed to many dangers. 
Wherefore a mother, speaking to the departed soul 
of her child, will advise It, admonish it, command it 
tenderly, as If addressing a living son or daughter. 
The ordinary words said in Izumo homes to any 
Shin-botoke take rather the form of adjuration or 
counsel than of prayer, such as these : 

"Jobutsu sei/a*," r "Jobutau shimasare*" [Do 
thou become a Buddha.] 

"Jjfayo na yo^ [Go not astray; or, Be never 

u Miren-wo nokorazu" [Suffer BO regret (for this 
world) to linger with thee.] 

These prayers are Bever uttered aloud. Much 
more in accordance with the Occidental idea of 
prayer is the following, uttered by Shin-shu believers 
on behalf of a Shin-botoke : - 

u O^mukai kudamre AmidorSama" [Vouchsafe, 
Lord Amida, augustly to welcome (this soul).] 

Needless to say that ancestor-worship, although 
adopted In China and Japan into Buddhism, is not 
of Buddhist origin. Needless also to say that Bud- 
dhism discountenances suicide. Tet in Japan, anxi- 
ety about the condition of the soul of the departed 
often caused suicide, or at least justified it on the 
part of those who, though accepting Buddhist dogma, 
might adhere to primitive custom* Retainers killed 


themselves In the belief that by dying they might 
give to the soul of their lord or lady, counsel, aid, 
and service. Thus in the novel Hogen-no-mono- 
gatari, a retainer is made to say after the death of 
his young master : 

44 Over the mountain of Shide, over the ghostly 
Eiver of Sanzu, who will conduct him? If he be 
afraid, will he not call my name, as he was wont to 
do ? Surely better that, by slaying myself, 1 go to 
serve him as of old, than to linger here, and mourn 
for him in vain." 

In Buddhist household worship, the prayers ad- 
dressed to the family Hotoke proper, the souls of 
those long dead, are very different from the addresses 
made to the Shin-botoke. The following are a few 
examples : they are always said under the breath, 

"jBTawai anzen" [(Vouchsafe) that our family 
may be preserved.] 

"Ulnmei sdkusai" [That we may enjoy long life 
without sorrow.] 

"Shobai hango" [That our business may prosper*] 
Said only by merchants and tradesmen.] 

"Shison choMn." [That the perpetuity of our 
descent may be assured.] 

u Onteki tatsan" [That our enemies be scattered.] 

"Yakubyo shometsu" [That pestilence may not 
come nigh us.] 

Some of the above are used also by Shinto wor- 
shipers. The old samurai still repeat the special 
prayers of their caste : 

a T&nka taihei." [That long peace may prevail 
throughout the world,] 

"2faMm chGkyu" [That we may have eternal 
good-fortune in war.] 


" Ka~ei~manzolku" [That our house (family) may 

forever remain fortunate.] 

But besides these silent formulae, any prayers 
prompted by the heart, whether of supplication or of 
gratitude, may, of course, be repeated. Such prayers 
are said, or rather thought, in the speech of daily 
life. The following little prayer uttered by an Izumo 
mother to the ancestral spirit, besought on behalf of 
a sick child, is an example : 

a 0-kage ni kodomo no lyoJd mo zenkwai itashima- 
$Mte, ariffato-t/ozarimasu ! " [By thine august influ- 
ence the illness of my child has passed away; I 
thank thee,] 

" Q-ltage ni " literally signifies u in the august 
shadow of." There is a ghostly beauty in the origi- 
nal phrase that neither a free nor yet a precise 
translation can preserve. 


Thus, in this home-worship of the Far East, by 
love the dead are made divine; and the foreknow- 
ledge of this tender apotheosis must temper with 
consolation the natural melancholy of age. Never 
in Japan are the dead so quickly forgotten as with 
us : by simple faith they are deemed still to dwell 
among their beloved; and their place within the 
home remains ever holy. And the aged patriarch 
about to pass away knows that loving lips will 
nightly murmur to the memory of him before the 
household shrine; that faithful hearts will beseech 
Mm in their pain and bless him in their joy ; that 
gentle hands will place before his ihai pure offerings 
of fruits and flowers, and dainty repasts of the things 
Which, he was wont to like ; and will pour out for 


Mm, Into the little cup of ghosts and gods, the fra~ 
grant tea of guests or the amber rice-wine. Strange 
changes are corning upon the land : old customs are 
vanishing ; old beliefs are weakening ; the thoughts 
of to-day will not be the thoughts of another age, 
but of all this he knows happily nothing In his own 
quaint, simple, beautiful Izumo. He dreams that for 
him, as for his lathers, the little lamp will burn on 
through the generations; he sees, In softest fancy, 
the yet unborn - the children of his children's chil- 
dren clapping their tiny hands in Shinto prayer, 
and making filial obeisance before the little dusty 
tablet that bears his unf orgotten name. 




THB hair of the younger daughter of the family is 
very long ; and it is a spectacle of no small interest 
to see it dressed. It Is dressed once in every three 
days ; and the operation, which costs four sen, is ac- 
knowledged to require one hour. As a matter of fact 
it requires nearly two* The hairdresser (kamiyui) 
first sends her maiden apprentice, who cleans the 
hair, washes it, perfumes it, and combs it with ex- 
traordinary combs of at least five different kinds. So 
thoroughly is the hair cleansed that it remains for 
three days, or even four, immaculate beyond our 
Occidental conception of things. In the morning, 
during the dusting time, it is carefully covered with 
a handkerchief or a little blue towel ; and the curious 
Japanese wooden pillow, which supports the neck s 
not the head, renders it possible to sleep at ease with- 
out disarranging the marvelous structure. 1 

After the apprentice has finished her part of the 
work, the hairdresser herself appears, and begins to 
build the coiffure. For this task she uses, besides 
the extraordinary variety of combs, fine loops of gilt 

* Formerly both sexes used the same pillow for the same reason. 
The long hair of a samurai youth, tied up in an elaborate knot, re- 
quired much time to arrange. Since it has become the almost 
mniyersal custom to wear the hair short, the men liave adopted a 
pillow shaped like a small bolster* 


thread or colored paper twine, dainty bits of deli 
ciously tinted crape-silk, delicate steel springs, and 
curious little basket-shaped things over which the 
hair is moulded into the required forms before being 
fixed in place. 

The kamiyui also brings razors with her ; for the 
Japanese girl is shaved, cheeks, ears, brows, chin, 
even nose ! What is there to shave ? Only that 
peachy floss which is the velvet of the finest human 
skin, but which Japanese taste removes. There is, 
however, another use for the razor. All maidens 
bear the signs of their maidenhood in the form of a 
little round spot, about an inch in diameter, shaven 
clean upon the very top of the head. This is only 
partially concealed by a band of hair brought back 
from the forehead across it, and fastened to the 
back hair. The girl-baby's head is totally shaved. 
When a few years old the little creature's hair is al- 
lowed to grow except at the top of the head, where a 
large tonsure is maintained. But the size of the ton- 
sure diminishes year by year, until it shrinks after 
childhood to the small spot above described; and 
this, too, vanishes after marriage, when a still more 
complicated fashion of wearing the hair is adopted* 


Such, absolutely straight dark hair as that of most 
Japanese women might seem, to Occidental ideas at 
least, ill-suited to the highest possibilities of the art 
of the eoiffeuse. 1 But the skill of the kamiyui has 

1 It is an error to suppose tbat all Japanese bare blue-black lair. 
There are two distinct racial types. In one tbe hair is a <3aep brown 
instead of a pure black, and is also softer and finer, Bairely, but 

rarely, one may see a Japanese ckwdure having a natural tea* 


made it tractable to every aesthetic whim. Ringlets, 
indeed, are unknown, and curling irons. But what 
wonderful and beautiful shapes the hair of the girl 
is made to assume : volutes? jets 3 whirls, eddyings 5 
foliations, each passing into the other blandly as a 
linking of brush-strokes in the writing of a Chinese 
master ! Far beyond the skill of the Parisian coif. 
feuse is the art of the kamiyui. From the mythical 
era l of the race, Japanese ingenuity has exhausted 
itself in the invention and the improvement of pretty 
devices for the dressing of woman's hair ; and prob- 
ably there have never been so many beautiful fashions 
of wearing it in any other country as there have been 
in Japan. These have changed through the centuries 5 
sometimes becoming wondrously intricate of design, 
sometimes exquisitely simple, as in that gracious 
custom, recorded for us in so many quaint drawings, 
of allowing the long black tresses to flow unconfined 
below the waist. 2 But every mode of which we 
have any pictorial record had its own striking charm. 
Indian, Chinese, Malayan, Korean ideas of beauty 
found their way to the Land of the Gods, and wer 
appropriated and transfigured by the finer native 
conceptions of comeliness. Buddhism, too, which so 
profoundly influenced all Japanese art and thought, 
may possibly have influenced fashions of wearing the 

dency to ripple. For curious reasons, which cannot be stated here, an 
Isramo woman is very much ashamed of having wavy hair, raore 
ashamed than she would be of a natural deformity. 

1 Even in the time of the writing of the KojiM the art of arranging 
the hair must have been somewhat developed. See Professor Cham- 
berlain's introduction to translation, p. xxxi ; also vol. i. section ix. ; 
vol. vii. section xii, ; vol. ix. section xviii., et passim, 

2 An art expert can decide the age of an unsigned kakemono or 
other work of art in which human figures appear, by the style of the 
coiffure of the female personages* 


hair ; for Its female divinities appear with the most 
beautiful coiffures. Notice the hair of a Kwannon 
or a Benten, and the tresses of the Tennin, those 
angel-maidens who float in azure upon the ceilings of 

the great temples. 


The particular attractiveness of the modem atyles 
is the way in which the hair is made to servo as an 
elaborate nimbus for the features, giving delightful 
relief to whatever of fairness or sweetness the young 
face may possess. Then behind this charming black 
aureole is a riddle of graceful loopings and weavings 
whereof neither the beginning nor the ending can 
possibly be discerned. Only the kamiyul knows the 
key to that riddle. And the whole is held in place 
with curious ornamental combs, and shot through 
with long fine pins of gold, silver* nacre, transparent 
tortoise-Bhell, or lacquered wood, with cunningly car- 
ven heads. 1 


Not less than fourteen different ways of dressing 
the hair are practiced by the coiffemes of Izumo ; but 
doubtless in the capital, and in some of the larger 
cities of eastern Japan, the art is much more elab* 
orately developed* The hairdressers (kamtyuf) go 
from house to house to exercise their calling^ visit- 
ing their clients upon fixed days at certain regular 
hours, The hair of little girls from seven to eight 
years old is in Matsue dressed usually after the style 

1 The principal and indispensable hair-pin (kanzasM)^ usually about 
seven inches long, is split, and its well-tempered double abaft can be 
used like a small pair of chopsticks for picking mp small things. The 
head is terminated by a tiny spoon-shaped projection, which has * 
special purpose in the Japanese toilette. 


called O~tabako-bon, unless It be simply "banged/* 
In the O - tabako - boo (" honorable smoking - box " 
style) the hair is cut to the length of about four 
inches all round except above the forehead, where it 
is clipped a little shorter ; and on the summit of the 
head it is allowed to grow longer and is gathered up 
into a peculiarly shaped knot, which justifies the 
curious name of the coiffure. As soon as the girl be- 
comes old enough to go to a female public day-school, 
her hair is dressed in the pretty, simple style called 
katsurashita, or perhaps in the new, ugly, semi-foreign 
** bundle-style " called sokuhatsu, which has become 
the regulation fashion in boarding-schools. For the 
daughters of the poor, and even for most of those of 
the middle classes, the public-school period is rather 
brief ; their studies usually cease a few years before 
they are marriageable, and girls marry very early in 
Japan. The maiden's first elaborate coiffure is ar- 
ranged for her when she reaches the age of fourteen 
or fifteen, at earliest. From, twelve to fourteen her 
hair is dressed in the fashion called Omoyedzuki; 
then the style is changed to the beautiful coiffure 
called jorowage* There are various forms of this 
style, more or less complex, A couple of years later, 
the jorowage yields place in the turn to the shinjocho l 
( a new-butterfly n style), or th.0 shimada, also called 
takawage. The shinjocho style is common, is worn 
by women of various ages, and is not considered very 
genteel. The shimada, exquisitely elaborate, is ; but 

1 The ehinjdcho" is also called Ichogaeshi by old people, although the 
original Ichagaeshi was somewhat different. The samurai girla used 
to wear their hair in the true Ichogaeshi manner; the name is derived 
from theicho-tree (Salisburia mdiantifolia), whose leaves have a queer 
shape, almost like that of a duck's foot. Certain hands of the hair in 
this coiffiiro bore a resemblance in form to icho-leaves. 


the more respectable the family, tho smaller the form 
of tins coiffure ; geisha and joro wear a larger and 
loftier variety of it, which properly answers to the 
name takawage, or u high coiffure," Between eigh- 
teen and twenty years of age the maiden again ex- 
changes this style for another termed Tenjingaeshi ; 
between twenty and twenty-four years of age she 
adopts the fashion called mitsuwage, or the u triple 
coiffure " of three loops ; and a somewhat similar but 
still more complicated coiffure, called mitsuwaktuku* 
slii Is worn by young women of from twenty-five to 
twenty-eight. Up to that age every change in the 
fashion of wearing the hair has been In the t direction 
of elaborateness and complexity. But after twenty- 
eight a Japanese woman Is no longer considered 
young, and there is only one more coiffure for her, 
the mochiriwage or bobai, the simple and rather 
ugly style adopted by old women. 

But the girl who marries wears her hair In a fash- 
ion quite different from any of the preceding. The 
most beautiful, the most elaborate, and the most 
costly of all modes is the bride's coiffure* called hana- 
yorne, a word literally signifying 4 a flower-wife," 
The structure is dainty as Its name* and must be seen 
to be artistically appreciated. Afterwards the wife 
wears her hair in the styles called kumesa or maru* 
wage, another name for which is katsuyanaa. The 
kumesa style is not genteel, and is the coiffure of the 
poor ; the maruwage or katsuyama Is refined. In for* 
mer times the samurai women wore their hair in two 
particular styles : the maiden's coiffure was iobogae 
shi, and that of the married folk katahajjishi. It la 
still possible to see m Matsue a few katahajishi coif* 



The family kamiyui, O-Koto-San, the most skillful 
of her craft In Izumo, Is a little woman of about 
thirty, still quite attractive. About her neck there 
are three soft pretty lines, forming what connois- 
seurs of beauty term " the necklace of Venus/' This 
Is a rare charm ; but it once nearly proved the ruin 
of Koto. The story is a curious one. 

Koto had a rival at the beginning of her profes- 
sional career, a woman of considerable skill as a 
coiffeuse, but of malignant disposition, named Jin. 
Jin gradually lost all her respectable custom, and 
little Koto became the fashionable hairdresser. But 
her old rival, filled with jealous hate, invented a 
wicked story about Koto, and the story found root 
in the rich soil of old Izumo superstition, and grew 
fantastically. The idea of it had been suggested to 
Jin's cunning mind by those three soft lines about 
Koto's neck. She declared that Koto had a " NUKB- 


What Is a tmke-kubi ? " Kubi " signifies either the 
neck or head* 4 * Nukeru " means to creep, to skulk, 
to prowl, to slip away stealthily. To have a nuke- 
kubi is to have a head that detaches itself from the 
body, and prowls about at night by itself. 

Koto has been twice married, and her second match 
was a happy one. But her first husband caused her 
much trouble, and ran away from her at last, In com- 
pany with some worthless woman. Nothing was 
ever heard of him. afterward, so that Jin thought 
it quite safe to invent a nightmare-story to account 
for his disappearance. She said that he abandoned 
Koto because, on awaking one night, he saw his 

VOX,, II, 


young wife's head rise from the pillow, and her neck 
lengthen like a great white serpent, while the rest of 
her body remained motionless. He saw the head, 
supported by the ever lengthening neck, enter the 
farther apartment and drink all the oil in the lamps, 
and then return to the pillow slowly,- the neck 
simultaneously contracting. " Then he rose up and 
fled away from the house in great fear/ 1 said Jin* 

As one story begets another, all sorts of queer 
rumors soon began to circulate about poor Koto* 
There was a tale that some police-officer, late at 
night, saw a woman's head without a body, nibbling 
fruit from a tree overhanging some garden-wall ; and 
that, knowing it to be a nuke-kubi, he struck it with 
the flat of his sword. It shrank away as swiftly as a 
bat flies, but not before he had been able to recognize 
the face of the kamiyui. u Oh ! it is quite true ! " 
declared Jin, the morning after the alleged occur- 
rence; "and if you don't believe it, send word to 
Koto that you want to see her, She can't go out ; 
her face is all swelled up." Now the last statement 
was fact, for Koto had a very severe toothache at 
that time, and the fact helped the falsehood* And 
the story found its way to the local newspaper, which 
published it only as a strange example of popular 
credulity ; and Jin said, u Am 1 a teller of the truth? 
See, the paper has printed it I n 

Wherefore crowds of curious people gathered be- 
fore Koto's little house, and made her life such a 
burden to her that her husband had to watch her con- 
stantly to keqp her from killing herself* Fortunately 
she had good friends in the family of the Governor, 
where she had been employed for years as eoiffaute ; 
and the Governor, hearing of the wickedness* wrote 


a public dentraciatlon of It, and set Ms name to it, 
and printed It. Now the people of Matsue rever- 
enced their old samurai Governor as if lie were a 
god, and believed Ms least word; and seeing what 
lie had written, they became ashamed, and also de- 
nounced the lie and the liar ; and the little hair- 
dresser soon became more prosperous than before 
through popular sympathy. 

Some of the most extraordinary beliefs of old days 
are kept alive in Izumo and elsewhere by what are 
called in America " traveling side-shows ; " and the 
inexperienced foreigner could never imagine the pos- 
sibilities of a Japanese side-show. On certain great 
holidays the showmen make their appearance, put up 
their ephemeral theatres of rush-matting and bamboos 
in some temple court, surfeit expectation by the most 
incredible surprises, and then vanish as suddenly as 
they came. The Skeleton of a Devil, the Claws of 
a Goblin, and "a Rat as large as a sheep," were 
some of the least extraordinary displays which I saw. 
The Goblin's Claws were remarkably fine shark's 
teeth ; the Devil's Skeleton had belonged to an orang- 
outang, all except the horns ingeniously attached 
to the skull ; and the wondrous Rat I discovered to 
be a tame kangaroo. What I could not fully under- 
stand was the exhibition of a nuke-kubi, in which a 
young woman stretched her neck, apparently, to a 
length of about two feet, making ghastly faces during 
the performance. 


There are also some strange old superstitions about 
women's hair. 
The myth of Medusa has many a counterpart in 


Japanese folk-lore: the subject of such tales being 
always some wondrotisly beautiful girl, whose hair 
turns to snakes only at night, and who Is discovered 
at last to be either a dragon or a dragon's daughter, 
But in ancient times it was believed that the hair of 
any young woman might, under certain trying ciz> 
cumstanees, change into serpents. For instance: 
under the influence of long-repressed jealousy. 

There were many men of wealth who, in the days 
of Old Japan, kept their concubines (jnekak or 
auJio) under the same roof with their legitimate 
wives (ohmama"). And it is told that, although the 
severest patriarchal discipline might compel the me- 
kak$ and the okusama to live together in perfect 
seeming harmony by day, their secret hate would 
reveal itself by night in the transformation of their 
hair. The long black tresses of each would uncoil 
and hiss and strive to devour those of the other; 
and even the mirrors of the sleepers would dash 
themselves together; for, saith an ancient proverb, 
kagami onna-no tam^shiij "a Mirror is the Soul 
of a "Woman." l And there is a famous tradition of 
one Kato Sayemon Shigenji, who beheld in the night 
the hair of his wife and the hair of his concubine, 
changed into vipers, writhing together and hissing 
and biting. Then Kato Sayemon grieved much for 
that secret bitterness of hatred which thus existed 
through his fault ; and he shaved his head and be- 
came a priest in the great Buddhist monastery of 

1 The old Japanese mirrors were made of metal, and ware ex- 
tremely beautiful. K<Kjami g<i htmoru to tttnutmlui // Awmoxtt 
(" When the Mirror IB dim, th Soul is unclean ") Is another curious 
proverb relating to mirrors. Perhaps the most beautiful and touch- 
ing story of a mirror in any language m that called MfttHuyauta*no* 
kagami, which has been translated by Mrs. 


Koya-San, where lie dwelt until the day of Ms death 
under the name of Karakaya. 


.The hair of dead women is arranged in the manner 
oalled tabanegami, somewhat resembling the shi- 
mada extremely simplified, and without ornaments of 
any kind. The name tabanegami signifies hair tied 
into a bunch, like a sheaf of rice. This style must 
also be worn by women during the period of mourn- 

Ghosts, nevertheless, are represented with hair 
loose and long, falling weirdly over the face. And 
no doubt because of the melancholy suggestlveness 
of its drooping .branches, the willow is believed to b 
the favorite tree of ghosts. Thereunder, ? t is said, 
they mourn in the night, mingling their shadowy 
hair with the long disheveled tresses of the tree. 

Tradition says that Okyo Maruyama was the first 
Japanese artist who drew a ghost. The Shogun, 
having invited him to Ms palace, said: "Make a 
picture of a ghost for me." Okyo promised to do so ; 
but he was puzzled how to execute the order satisfac- 
torily, A few days later, hearing that one of his 
aunts was very ill, he visited her. She was so ema- 
ciated that she looked like one already long dead. 
As he watched by her bedside, a ghastly inspiration 
came to him: he drew the fleshless face and long 
disheveled hair, and created from that hasty sketch 
a ghost that surpassed all*the ShcSgun's expectations. 
Afterwards Okyo became very famous as a painter 
of ghosts* 

Japanese ghosts are always represented as diapha- 
nous, and preternaturally tall, only the upper part 


of the figure being distinctly outlined, and the lower 
part fading utterly away. As the Japanese say, u a 
ghost has no feet : " Its appearance is like an exha- 
lation, which becomes visible only at a certain dis- 
tance above the ground ; and it wavers and lengthens 
and undulates in the conceptions of artists, like a 
vapor moved by wind. Occasionally phantom women 
figure In picture -books in the likeness of living 
women; but these are not true ghosts. They are 
fox-women or other goblins ; and their supernatural 
character is suggested by a peculiar expression of the 
eyes and a certain impossible elfish grace. 

Little children In Japan, like little children in all 
countries, keenly enjoy the pleasure of fear ; and they 
have many games in which such pleasure forms the 
chief attraction. Among these la 0-bake-goto, or 
Ghost-play- Some nurse-girl or elder sister loosens 
her hair in front, so as to let it fall over her face, and 
pursues the little folk with moans and weird gestures, 
miming all the attitudes of the ghosts of the picture- 

As the hair of the Japanese woman is her richest 
ornament, it Is of all her possessions that which she 
would most suffer to lose; and In other days the man 
too manly to kill an erring wife deemed It vengeance 
enough to turn her away with all her hair shorn off* 
Only the greatest faith, or the deepest love can prompt 
a woman to the voluntary sacrifice of her entire ehew- 
lure, though partial sacrifices, offerings of one or two 
long thick cuttings, may be seen suspended before 
many an, Izumo shrine. 

What faith can do in the way of such sacrifice* he 
best knows who has seen the great cables, woven of 


women's hair, that hang in the vast HongwanjI 
temple at Kyoto. And love Is stronger than faith, 
though much less demonstrative. According to an- 
cient custom a wife bereaved sacrifices a portion of 
her hair to be placed in the coffin of her husband^ 
and buried with him. The quantity is not fixed : in 
the majority of cases it is very small, so that the 
appearance of the coiffure is thereby nowise affected* 
But she who resolves to remain forever loyal to the 
memory of the lost yields up all. With her own 
hand she cuts off her hair, and lays the whole glossy 
sacrifice emblem of her youth and beauty upon 
the knees of the dead. 

It is never suffered to grow again. 


MATSUB, September , 1890. 

I AM under contract to serve as English teacher In 
the Jinjo Chugakko, or Ordinary Middle School, and 
also in the Shihan-Gakko, or Normal School, of Ma- 
tsue, Izumo, for the term of one year. 

The Jinjo Chugakko is an immense two-story 
wooden building in European style, painted a dark 
gray-blue. It has accommodations for nearly three 
hundred day scholars. It is situated in one corner of 
a great square of ground, bounded on two sides by 
canals, and on the other two by very quiet streets* 
This site is very near the ancient castle. 

The Normal School is a much larger building oc- 
cupying the opposite angle of the square* It is also 
much handsomer, is painted snowy white, and has a 
little cupola upon its summit. There are only about 
one hundred and fifty students in the Shihan-Gakko f 
but they are boarders, 

Between these two schools are other educational 
buildings, which 1 shall learn more about later. 

It is my first day at the schools. Nishida Sentaro, 
the Japanese teacher of English, has taken me through 
the buildings, introduced me to the Directors, and 
to all my future colleagues, given me all necessary 
instructions about hours and about text-book^ and 


furnished my desk with, all things necessary. Before 
teaching begins, however, I must be introduced to the 
Governor of the Province, Koteda Yasusada, with 
whom my contract has been made, through the me- 
dium of his secretary. So Nishida leads the way to 
the Kencho, or Prefectural office, situated in another 
foreign-looking edifice across the street. 

We enter it, ascend a wide stairway, and enter a 
spacious room carpeted in European fashion, a room 
with bay windows and cushioned chairs. One person 
is seated at a small round table, and about him are 
standing half a dozen others : all are in full Japanese 
costume, ceremonial costume, splendid silken ha- 
kama, or Chinese trousers, silken robes, silken haori 
or overdress, marked with their mon or family crests : 
rich and dignified attire which makes me ashamed 
of my commonplace Western garb. These are officials 
of the Kencho, and teachers : the person seated is the 
Governor* He rises to greet me, gives me the hand- 
grasp of a giant : and as I look into his eyes, I feel I 
shall love that man to the day of my death. A face 
fresh and frank as a boy's, expressing much placid 
force and large-hearted kindness, all the calm of a 
Buddha* Beside him, the other officials look very 
small : indeed the first impression of Kim is that of 
a man of another race. While I am wondering 
whether the old Japanese heroes were cast in a simi- 
lar mould, he signs to me to take a seat, and ques- 
tions my guide in a mellow basso. There is a charm 
in the fluent depth of the voice pleasantly confirming 
the idea suggested by the face. An attendant brings 

" The Governor asks," interprets Nishida, ** if you 
know the old history of Izumo*" 


I reply that I have read the Kojiki, translated by 
Professor Chamberlain,, and have therefore some 
knowledge of the story of Japan's most ancient prov- 
ince. Some converse in Japanese follows. Nlshlda 
tells the Governor that I came to Japan to study the 
ancient religion and customs, and that I am particu- 
larly interested in Shinto and the traditions of Izumo* 
The Governor suggests that I make visits to the cel- 
ebrated shrines of Kitzuki, Yaegaki, and Kumano, 
and then asks : 

** Does he know the tradition of the origin of the 
clapping of hands before a Shinto shrine ? " 

I reply in the negative ; and the Governor says 
the tradition is given in a commentary upon the 

44 It is in the thirty-second section of the four- 
teenth volume, where it is written that Ya-he-Koto- 
Shiro-nushi-no-Kami clapped his hands.' 7 

I thank the Governor for his kind suggestions and 
his citation* After a brief silence I am graciously 
dismissed with another genuine hand grasp ; and we 
return to the school. 


I have been teaching for three hours in the Middle 
School, and teaching Japanese boys turns out to be a 
much more agreeable task than I had imagined. Each 
class has been so well prepared for me beforehand by 
Nishida that my utter ignorance of Japanese makes 
no difficulty in regard to teaching : moreover, although, 
the lads cannot understand my words always when I 
speak, they can understand whatever I write upon 
the blackboard with chalk. Most of them have 
already been studying English from childhood, with 
Japanese teachers. All are wonderfully docile and 


patient. According to old custom, when the teacher 
enters, the whole class rises and bows to him. He 
returns the bow, and calls the roll. 

Nishida is only too kind. He helps me in every 
way he possibly can, and Is constantly regretting 
that he cannot help me more. There are, of course* 
some difficulties to overcome. For instance, it will 
take me a very, very long time to learn the names of 
the boys, most of which names I cannot even pro- 
nounce, with the class-roll before me. And although 
the names of the different classes have been painted 
upon the doors of their respective rooms In English 
letters, for the benefit of the foreign teacher, it will 
take me some weeks at least to become quite familiar 
with them. For the time being Nishida always 
guides me to the rooms. He also shows me the way, 
through long corridors, to the Normal School, and 
introduces me to the teacher Nakayama who is to 
act there as my guide. 

I have been engaged to teach only four times a 
week at the Normal School; but I am furnished 
there also with a handsome desk in the teachers' 
apartment, and am made to feel at home almost im- 
mediately. Nakayama shows me everything of In- 
terest in the building before introducing me to my 
future pupils. The introduction is pleasant and 
novel as a school experience. I am conducted along 
a corridor, and ushered into a large luminous white- 
washed room full of young men In, dark blue military 
uniform. Each sits at a very small desk, supported 
by a single leg, with three feet. At the end of the 
room Is a platform with a high desk and a chair for 
the teacher. As I take my place at the desk, a voice 
rings out in English : ** Stand up 1 " And all rise 


with a springy moyement as If moTed by machinery* 
"Bow down!" the same voice again commands,* 
the voice of a young student wearing a captain's 
stripes upon his sleeve ; and all salute me. 1 bow in 
return ; we take our seats ; and the lesson begins. 

All teachers at the Normal School are saluted in 
the same military fashion before each class-hour, * 
only the command is given in Japanese. For my 
sake only, it is given in English, 


September 22, 1890, 

The Normal School is a State institution. Stu- 
dents are admitted upon examination and production 
of testimony as to good character ; but the number 
is, of course, limited. The young men pay no fees, 
no boarding money, nothing even for books, college- 
outfits, or wearing apparel. They are lodged, clothed, 
fed, and educated by the State ; but they are required 
in return, after their graduation, to serve the State 
as teachers for the space of five years. Admission, 
however, by no means assures graduation, There 
are three or four examinations each year ; and the 
students who fail to obtain a certain high average of 
examination marks must leave the school, however 
exemplary their conduct or earnest their study. No 
leniency can be shown where the educational needs 
of the State are concerned, and these call for natural 
ability and a high, standard of its proof. 

The discipline is military and severe. Indeed, it is 
so thorough that the graduate of a Normal School is 
exempted by military law from more than a year's 
service in the army : he leaves college a trained sol- 
dier* Deportment is also a requisite ; special marks 


are given for it ; and however gawky a freshman may 
prove at the time of his admission, he cannot remain 
so. A spirit of manliness is cultivated, which ex- 
cludes roughness but develops self-reliance and self- 
control. The student is required, when speaking, to 
look his teacher in the face, and to utter his words 
not only distinctly, but sonorously. Demeanor in 
class is partly enforced by the class-room fittings 
themselves. The tiny tables are too narrow to allow 
of being used as supports for the elbows ; the seats 
have no backs against which to lean, and the student 
must hold himself rigidly erect as lie studies. He 
must also keep himself faultlessly neat and clean. 
Whenever and wherever he encounters one of his 
teachers he must halt, bring his feet together, draw 
himself erect, and give the military salute. And 
this is done with a swift grace difficult to describe. 

The demeanor of a class during study hours is if 
anything too faultless. Never a whisper is heard; 
never is a head raised from the book without permis- 
sion. But when the teacher addresses a student by 
name, the youth rises instantly, and replies in a tone 
of such vigor as would seem to unaccustomed ears 
almost startling by contrast with the stillness and 
self-repression of the others. 

The female department of the Normal School, 
where about fifty young women are being trained as 
teachers, is a separate two-story quadrangle of build- 
ings, large, airy, and so situated, together with its 
gardens, as to be totally isolated from all other build- 
ings and invisible from the street. The girls are not 
only taught European science by the most advanced 
methods, but are trained as well in Japanese arts, 
the arts of embroidery, of decoration, of painting, 


and of arranging flowers, European drawing Is also 
taught, and beautifully taught, not only here, but in 
all the schools. It is taught, however, in combina- 
tion with Japanese methods ; and the results of this 
blending may certainly be expected to have some 
charming influence upon future art-production. The 
average capacity of the Japanese student in drawing 
is, I think, at least fifty per cent, higher than that of 
European students. The soul of the race is essen- 
tially artistic ; and the extremely difficult art of learn- 
ing to write the Chinese characters, in which all are 
trained from early childhood, has already disciplined 
the hand and the eye to a marvelous degree, a 
degree undreamed of in the Occident, long before 
the drawing-master begins Ms lessons of perspective* 

Attached to the great Normal School, and con- 
nected by a corridor with the Jinjo Chugakko like- 
wise, is a large elementary school for little boys and 
girls : its teachers are male and female students of 
the graduating classes, who are thus practically 
trained for their profession before entering the ser- 
vice of the State, Nothing could be more interesting 
as an educational spectacle to any sympathetic for- 
eigner than some of this elementary teaching. In 
the first room which I visit a class of very little girls 
and boys some as quaintly pretty as their own 
dolls are bending at their desks over sheets of 
coal-black paper which you would think they were 
trying to make still blacker by energetic use of 
writing-brushes and what we call Indian-ink. They 
are really learning to write Chinese and Japanese 
characters, stroke by stroke. Until one stroke has 
been well learned, they are not suffered to attempt 


another much less a combination. Long before 
the first lesson Is thoroughly mastered, the white 
paper has become all evenly black under the multi- 
tude of tyro brush-strokes. But the same sheet is 
still used ; for the wet ink makes a yet blacker mark 
upon the dry, so that it can easily be seen. 

In a room adjoining, I see another child-class 
learning to use scissors Japanese scissors, which, 
being formed in one piece, shaped something like the 
letter U, are much less easy to manage than ours. 
The little folk are being taught to cut out patterns t 
and shapes of special objects or symbols to be 
studied. Flower-forms are the most ordinary pat- 
terns; sometimes certain ideographs are given as 

And in another room a third small class is learn- 
ing to sing? the teacher writing the music notes 
(do, re, mz) with chalk upon a blackboard, and ac- 
companying the song with an accordion. The little 
ones have learned the Japanese national anthem 
(JKimi ga yo wa) and two native songs set to Scotch 
airs, one of which calls back to me, even in this 
remote corner of the Orient, many a charming mem- 
ory : Auld Lang Syne. 

No uniform is worn in this elementary school : ali 
are in Japanese dress, the boys in dark blue ki- 
mono, the little girls in robes of all tints, radiant as 
butterflies. But in addition to their robes, the girls 
wear hakama, 1 and these are of a vivid, warm sky- 

Between the hours of teaching, ten minutes are 
allowed for play or rest. The little boys play at 

1 There is a legend that the Sun-Goddess invented the first hakama, 
by tying together the skirts of her robe. 


Demon-Shadows or at blindmanVbuff or at some 
other funny game : they laugh, leap, shout, race, and 
wrestle, but, unlike European children, never quarrel 
or fight. 1 As for the little girls, they get by them- 
selves, and either play at hand-ball, or form into cir- 
cles to play at some round game, accompanied by 
song. Indescribably soft and sweet the chorus of 
those little voices in the round. 

Kango-kango sho-ya t 
Naka yoni sho-ya 9 
Don-don to kunde 
Jizo-San no midzu wo 
Matsuba no midzu irete f 
Makkuri kaso^ 

I notice that the young men, as well as the young 
women, who teach these little folk, are extremely 
tender to their charges. A child whose kimono is 
out of order, or dirtied by play, is taken aside and 
brushed and arranged as carefully as by an elder 

Besides being trained for their future profession 
by teaching the children of the elementary school, 
the girl students of the Shihan-Gakko are also trained 
to teach in the neighboring kindergarten. A delight- 
ful kindergarten it is, with big cheerful sunny rooms, 

1 Since the above was written I have had two years* experience as 
a teacher in various large Japanese schools ; and I have never had 
personal knowledge of any serious quarrel between students, and 
have never even heard of a fight among my pupils. And I have 
taught some eight hundred boys and young men. 

2 "Let us play the game called kango-kango. Plenteotisly the 
water of Jizo-San quickly draw, and pour on the pine-leaves, and 
turn back again." Many of the games of Japanese children, like 
many of their toys, have a Buddhist origin, or at least a Buddhist 


where stocks of the most Ingenious educational toys 

are piled upon shelves for daily use. 


October 1, 1890. 

Nevertheless I am destined to see little of the Nor- 
mal School, Strictly speaking, I do not belong to 
its staff : my services being only lent by the Middle 
School, to which I give most of my time. I see the 
Normal School students in their class-rooms only, 
for they are not allowed to go out to visit their 
teachers' homes in the town. So I can never hope 
to become as familiar with them as with the stu- 
dents of the Chugakko, who are beginning to call 
me " Teacher " instead of " Sir," and to treat me as a 
sort of elder brother. (I objected to the word " mas- 
ter," for in Japan the teacher has no need of being 
masterful.) And I feel less at home in the large, 
bright, comfortable apartments of the Normal School 
teachers than in our dingy, chilly teachers* room at 
the Chugakko, where my desk is next to that of Ni- 

On the walls there are maps, crowded with Japa- 
nese Ideographs } a few large charts representing zo- 
ological facts in the light of evolutional science ; and 
an Immense frame filled with little black lacquered 
wooden tablets, so neatly fitted together that the 
entire surface Is uniform as that of a blackboard. 
On these are written, or rather painted, in white, 
names of teachers, subjects, classes, and order of 
teaching hours ; and by the ingenious tablet arrange- 
ment any change of hours can be represented by 
simply changing the places of the tablets. As all 
this Is written in Chinese and Japanese characters, it 

VOli. II* 


remains to me a mystery, except In so far as the 
general plan and purpose are concerned. I have 
learned only to recognize the letters of my own name, 
and the simpler form of numerals. 

On every teacher's desk there is a small Mbachi of 
glazed blue-and-white ware, containing a few lumps 
of glowing charcoal in a bed of ashes. During the 
brief intervals between classes each teacher smokes 
his tiny Japanese pipe of brass, iron, or silver. The 
hibachi and a cup of hot tea are our consolations for 
the fatigues of the class-room. 

Nishida and one or two other teachers know a 
good deal of English, and we chat together some- 
times between classes. But more often no one 
speaks. All are tired after the teaching hour, and 
prefer to smoke in silence. At such times the only 
sounds within the room are the ticking of the clock, 
and the sharp clang of the little pipes being rapped 
upon the edges of the hibachi to empty out the ashes. 


October 15, 1890. 

To-day I witnessed the annual athletic contests 
(undo-Jcwai) of all the schools in Shimane Ken. 
These games were celebrated in the broad castle 
grounds of Ninomaru. Yesterday a circular race- 
track had been staked off, hurdles erected for leaping, 
thousands of wooden seats prepared for invited or 
privileged spectators, and a grand lodge built for the 
Governor, all before sunset. The place looked like 
a vast circus, with its tiers of plank seats rising 
one above the other, and the Governor's lodge mag- 
nificent with wreaths and flags. School children 
from all the villages and towns within twenty-five 


miles had arrived In surprising multitude. Nearly 
six thousand boys and girls were entered to take part 
in the contests. Their parents and relatives and 
teachers made an Imposing assembly upon the benches 
and within the gates. And on the ramparts over- 
looking the huge inclosure a much larger crowd had 
gathered, representing perhaps one third of the popu- 
lation of the city. 

The signal to begin or to end a contest was a pistol- 
shot. Four different kinds of games were performed 
in different parts of the grounds at the same time 9 
as there was room enough for an army ; and prizes 
were awarded to the winners of each contest by the 
hand of the Governor himself. 

There were races between the best runners in each 
class of the different schools ; and the best runner of 
all proved to be Sakane, of our own fifth class, who 
came in first by nearly forty yards without seeming 
even to make an effort. He is our champion athlete, 
and as good as he is strong, > so that it made me 
very happy to see him with his arms full of prize 
books. He won also a fencing contest decided by the 
breaking of a little earthenware saucer tied to the 
left arm of each combatant. And he also won a leap- 
ing match between our older boys. 

But many hundreds of other winners there were 
too, and many hundreds of prizes were given away. 
There were races in which the runners were tied to- 
gether in pairs, the left leg of one to the right leg 
of the other. There were equally funny races, the 
winning of which depended on the runner's ability 
not only to run, but to crawl, to climb, to vault, and 
to jump alternately. There were races also for the 
little girls, - pretty as butterflies they seemed in 


their sky-blue hakama and many colored 
races In which the contestants had each to pick up as 
they ran three balls of three different colors out of a 
number scattered over the turf. Besides this, the 
little girls had what is called a flag-race, and a contest 
with battledores and shuttlecocks. 

Then came the tug-of-war. A magnificent tug-of- 
war, too, one hundred students at one end of a rope, 
and another hundred at the other. But the most 
wonderful spectacles of the day were the dumb-bell 
exercises. Six, thousand boys and girls, massed in 
ranks about five hundred deep ; six thousand pairs 
of arms rising and falling exactly together ; six 
thousand pairs of sandaled feet advancing or retreat- 
ing together, at the signal of the masters of gym- 
nastics, directing all from the tops of various little 
wooden towers ; six thousand voices chanting at once 
the " one, two, three," of the dumb-bell drill : u Ichi^ 
m, san, shi, go, roku, sJiichi, hachi" 

Last came the curious game called "Taking the 
Castle." Two models of Japanese towers, about 
fifteen feet high, made with paper stretched over a 
framework of bamboo, were set up, one at each end 
of the field. Inside the castles an inflammable liquid 
tad been placed in open vessels, so that if the vessels 
were overturned the whole fabric would take fire. 
The boys, divided into two parties, bombarded the 
castles with wooden balls, which passed easily through 
the paper walls ; and in a short time both models 
were making a glorious blaze. Of course the party 
whose castle was the first to blaze lost the game* 

The games began at eight o'clock in the morning, 
and at five in the evening came to an end. Then 
at a signal fully ten thousand voices pealed out the 


superb national anthem, "Kimigayo" and concluded 
It with three cheers for their Imperial Majesties, the 
Emperor and Empress of Japan. 

The Japanese do not shout or roar as we do when we 
cheer. They chant. Each long cry Is like the opening 
tone of an immense musical chorus : 


It Is no small surprise to observe how botany, 
geology, and other sciences are daily taught even in 
this remotest part of old Japan. Plant physiology 
and the nature of vegetable tissues are studied under 
excellent microscopes, and In their relations to chem- 
istry; and at regular intervals the instructor leads 
his classes into the country to illustrate the lessons 
of the term by examples taken from the flora of their 
native place. Agriculture, taught by a graduate of 
the famous Agricultural School at Sapporo, Is practi- 
cally Illustrated upon farms purchased and maintained 
by the schools for purely educational ends. Each 
series of lessons in geology is supplemented by visits 
to the mountains about the lake, or to the tremendous 
cliffs of the coast, where the students are taught to 
familiarize themselves with forms of stratification 
and the visible history of rocks. The basin of the 
lake, and the country about Matsue, Is physiography 
cally studied, after the plans of instruction laid down 
In Huxley's excellent manual. ' Natural History, too, 
Is taught according to the latest and best methods, 
and with the help of the microscope. The results of 
such teaching are sometimes surprising. I know of 
one student, a lad of only sixteen, who voluntarily 
eollected and classified more than two hundred varie- 
ties of marine plants f&r a Tokyo professor. Another* 


a youth of seventeen, wrote down for me In my mote- 
took, without a work of reference at hand, and, as 
I afterward discovered, almost without an omission 
or error, a scientific list of all the butterflies to be 
found in the neighborhood of the city. 

Through the Minister of Public Instruction, His 
Imperial Majesty has sent to all the great public 
schools of the Empire a letter bearing date of the 
thirteenth day of the tenth month of the twenty-third 
year of Meiji. And the students and teachers of the 
various schools assemble to hear the reading of the 
Imperial Words on Education. 

At eight o'clock we of the Middle School are all 
waiting in our own assembly hall for the coming of 
the Governor, who will read the Emperor's letter 
in the various schools. 

We wait but a little while. Then the Governor 
comes with all the officers of the Kencho and the 
chief men of the city. We rise to salute him ; then 
the national anthem is sung. 

Then the Governor, ascending the platform, pro- 
duces the Imperial Missive, a scroll of Chinese 
manuscript sheathed in silk. He withdraws it slowly 
from its woven envelope, lifts it reverentially to his 
forehead, unrolls it, lifts it again to his forehead, 
and after a moment's dignified pause begins in that 
clear deep voice of his to read the melodious syllables 
after the ancient way, which is like a chant : 

"GHO~KU-GU* Chin omommiru ni waga &oso 

wo. . . . 
" We consider that the Founder of Our Empire and tlxe 


ancestors of Our Imperial House placed the foundation of 
the country on a grand and permanent basis, and established 
their authority on the principles of profound humanity and 

" That Our subjects have throughout ages deserved well of 
the state by their loyalty and piety and by their harmonious 
cooperation is in accordance with the essential character of 
Our nation ; and on these very same principles Our educa- 
tion has been founded. 

" You, Our subjects, be therefore filial to your parents ; be 
affectionate to your brothers ; be harmonious as husbands and 
wives ; and be faithful to your friends ; conduct yourselves 
with propriety and carefulness ; extend generosity and benev- 
olence towards your neighbors ; attend to your studies and 
follow your pursuits ; cultivate your intellects and elevate 
your morals; advance public benefits and promote social 
interests ; be always found in the good observance of the 
laws and constitution of the land; display your personal 
courage and public spirit for the sake of the country when- 
ever required ; and thus support the Imperial prerogative, 
which is coexistent with the Heavens and the Earth* 

" Such conduct on your part will not only strengthen the 
character of Our good and loyal subjects, but conduce also 
to the maintenance of the fame of your worthy forefathers. 

u This is the instruction bequeathed by Our ancestors and 
to be followed by Our subjects ; for it is the truth which has 
guided and guides them in their own affairs and in their 
dealings towards aliens* 

" We hope, therefore, We and Our subjects will regard 
these sacred precepts with one and the same heart in order 
to attain the same ends/* * 

1 I take the above translation from a Tokyo educational journal, 
entitled The. Museum, The original document, however, was im- 
pressive to a degree that? perhaps DO translation could give. The 
Chinese words by which the Emperor refers to himself and his will 
are far more impressive than our Western " We" or " Our ; " and the 
words relating to duties, virtues, wisdom, and other matters are words 


Then the Governor and the Head-master speak a 
few words, dwelling upon the full significance of 
His Imperial Majesty's august commands, and ex- 
horting all to remember and to obey them to the 

After which the students have a holiday, to enable 
them the better to recollect what they have heard. 


All teaching in the modern Japanese system of 
education is conducted with the utmost kindness and 
gentleness. The teacher is a teacher only : he is 
not, in the English sense of mastery, a master. He 
stands to his pupils in the relation of an elder brother. 
He never tries to impose his will upon them: he 
never scolds, he seldom criticises, he scarcely ever 
punishes. No Japanese teacher ever strikes a pupil : 
such an act would cost him his post at once* He 
never loses his temper: to do so would disgrace 
him in the eyes of his boys and in the judgment 
of his colleagues. Practically speaking, there is no 
punishment in Japanese schools. Sometimes very 
mischievous lads are kept in the schoolhouse during 
recreation time ; yet even this light penalty is not 
inflicted directly by the teacher, but by the director of 
the school on complaint of the teacher. The purpose 
in such cases is not to inflict pain by deprivation of 
enjoyment, but to give public illustration of a fault; 
and in the great majority of instances, consciousness 
of the fault thus brought home to a lad before his 
comrades is quite enough to prevent its repetition* 

that evoke in a Japanese mind ideas which only those who know Jap- 
anese life perfectly can appreciate, and which, though variant from 
our own, are neither less beautiful nor less sacred- 


No such cruel punition as that of forcing a dull pupil 
to learn an additional task, or of sentencing him to 
strain his eyes copying four or five hundred lines, is 
ever dreamed of. For would such forms of punish- 
ment, In the present state of things, be long tolerated 
by the pupils themselves. The general policy of the 
educational authorities everywhere throughout the 
empire is to get rid of students who cannot be per- 
fectly well managed without punishment; and ex- 
pulsions, nevertheless, are rare, 

I often see a pretty spectacle on my way home 
from the school, when I take the short cut through 
the castle grounds. A class of about thirty little 
boys, in kimono and sandals, bareheaded, being 
taught to march and to sing by a handsome young 
teacher, also in Japanese dress. While they sing, 
they are drawn up in line ; aiid keep time with their 
little bare feet. The teacher has a pleasant high 
clear tenor: he stands at one end of the rank and 
sings a single line of the song. Then all the children 
sing it after him. Then he sings a second line, and 
they repeat it. If any mistakes are made, they have 
to sing the verse again. 

It is the Song of Kusunoki Masashig^, noblest of 
Japanese heroes and patriots. 


I have said that severity on the part of teachers 
would scarcely be tolerated by the students them- 
selves, a fact which may sound strange to English 
or American ears. Tom Brown's school does not 
exist in Japan; the ordinary public school much 
more resembles the ideal Italian institution so charm* 


Ingly painted for us In the a Cuore " of De Amicla 
Japanese students furthermore claim and enjoy an 
independence contrary to all Occidental ideas of 
disciplinary necessity. In the Occident the master 
expels the pupil* In Japan it happens quite as often 
that the pupil expels the master. Each public school 
Is an earnest, spirited little republic, to which director 
and teachers stand only in the relation of president 
and cabinet. They are indeed appointed by the pre- 
fectural government upon recommendation by the 
Educational Bureau at the capital; but in actual 
practice they maintain their positions by virtue of 
their capacity and personal character as estimated 
by their students, and are likely to be deposed by a 
revolutionary movement whenever found wanting* 
It has been alleged that the students frequently 
abuse their power. But this allegation has been 
made by European residents, strongly prejudiced in 
favor of masterful English ways of discipline. (I 
recollect that an English Yokohama paper, in this 
connection, advocated the introduction of the birch.) 
My own observations have convinced me, as larger 
experience has conylnced some others, that in most 
instances of pupils rebelling against a teacher, reason 
is upon their side. They will rarely insult a teacher 
whom they dislike, or cause any disturbance in his 
class : they will simply refuse to attend school until 
he be removed. Personal feeling may often be a 
secondary, but it is seldom, so far as I have been able 
to learn, the primary cause for such a demand. A 
teacher whose manners are unsympathetic, or even 
positively disagreeable, will be nevertheless obeyed 
and revered while his students remain persuaded of 
his capacity as a teacher, and Ms sense of justice; 


and they are as keen to discern ability as they are to 
detect partiality. And, on the other hand, an ami- 
able disposition alone will never atone with them 
either for want of knowledge or for want of skill 
to impart it. I knew one case, in a neighboring 
public school, of a demand by the students for the 
removal of their professor of chemistry. In making 
their complaint, they frankly declared: u We like 
Mm. He is kind to all of us ; he does the best he 
can. But he does not know enough to teach us as 
we wish to be taught. He cannot answer our ques- 
tions. He cannot explain the experiments which he 
shows us. Our former teacher could do all these 
things. We must have another teacher." Investi- 
gation proved that the lads were quite right. The 
young teacher had graduated at the university; he 
had come well recommended : but he had no thorough 
knowledge of the science which he undertook to im- 
part, and no experience as a teacher. The instructor's 
success in Japan is not guaranteed by a degree, but 
by his practical knowledge and his capacity to com- 
municate it simply and thoroughly. 


November 3, 1890. 

To-day is the birthday of His Majesty the Em- 
peror. It is a public holiday throughout Japan ; and 
there will be no teaching this morning. But at eight 
o'clock all the students and instructors enter the 
great assembly hall of the Jinjd Chugakko to honor 
the anniversary of His Majesty's august birth. 

On the platform of the assembly hall a table, cov- 
ered with dark silk, has been placed ; and upon this 
table the portraits of Their Imperial Majesties, the 


Emperor and the Empress of Japan, stand side by 
side upright, framed In gold. The alcove above the 
platform has been decorated with flags and wreaths. 

Presently the Governor enters, looking like a 
French general in his gold-embroidered uniform of 
office, and followed by the Mayor of the city, the 
Chief Military Officer, the Chief of Police, and all 
the officials of the provincial government. These 
take their places in silence to left and right of the 
platform. Then the school organ suddenly rolls out 
the slow, solemn, beautiful national anthem; and 
all present chant those ancient syllables, made sacred 
by the reverential love of a century of generations : 

Ki-mi ga-a yo~o wa 

Chi-yo ni"i4 ya-chi-yo ni $a>zar& 

I-shi no 
I-wa o to na~ri-te 

Ko-ke no 
Mu-u su-u 


1 Kimi ga yo wa chiyo ni yackiyo ni sazare isht no iw& o to n<anl 
oke no musu made. Freely translated : f< May Onr Gracious Sover- 
eign reign a thousand years, reign ten thousand thousand years, 
reign till the little stone grow into a mighty rock, tMck-velveted with 
ancient moss S " 


The anthem ceases. The Governor advances with 
a slow dignified step from the right side of the apart- 
ment to the centre of the open space before the plat- 
form and the portraits of Their Majesties, turns his 
face to them, and bows profoundly. Then he takes 
three steps forward toward the platform, and halts, 
and bows again. Then he takes three more steps 
forward, and bows still more profoundly. Then he 
retires, walking backward six steps, and bows once 
more. Then he returns to his place. 

After this the teachers, by parties of six, perform 
the same beautiful ceremony. When all have saluted 
the portrait of His Imperial Majesty, the Governor 
ascends the platform and makes a few eloquent 
remarks to the students about their duty to their 
Emperor, to their country, and to their teachers. 
Then the anthem is sung again ; and all disperse to 
amuse themselves for the rest of the day, 


March 1, 1891, 

The majority of the students of the Jinjo Chu- 
gakko are day-scholars only (externe^ as we would 
say in France) : they go to school in the morning, 
take their noon meal at home, and return at one 
o'clock to attend the brief afternoon classes. All the 
city students live with their own families ; but there 
are many boys from remote country districts who have 
no city relatives, and for such the school furnishes 


boarding-houses, where a wholesome moral discipline 
is maintained by special masters. They are free, 
however, if they have sufficient means, to choose 
another boarding-house (provided it be a respectable 
one), or to find quarters in some good family ; but 
few adopt either course. 

I doubt whether in any other country the cost of 
education education of the most excellent and ad- 
vanced kind is so little as in Japan. The Izumo 
st udent is able to live at a figure so far below the 
Occidental idea of necessary expenditure that the 
mere statement of it can scarcely fail to surprise the 
reader. A sum equal in American money to about 
twenty dollars supplies him with board and lodging 
for one year. The whole of his expenses, including 
school fees, are about seven dollars a month. For 
his room and three ample meals a day he pays every 
four weeks only one yen eighty-five sen, not much 
more than a dollar and a half in American currency. 
If very, very poor, he will not be obliged to wear a 
uniform ; but nearly all students of the higher classes 
do wear uniforms, as the cost of a complete uniform, 
including cap and shoes of leather, is only about 
three and a half yen for the cheaper quality. Those 
who do not wear leather shoes, however, are required, 
while in the school, to exchange their noisy wooden 
geta for zori or light straw sandals. 


But the mental education so admirably imparted in 
an ordinary middle school is not, after all, so cheaply 
acquired by the student as might be imagined from 
the cost of living and the low rate of school fees. 
For Nature exacts a heavier school fee, and rigidly 
collects her debt in human life. 


To understand why, one should remember that 
the modern knowledge which the modern Izumo stu- 
dent must acquire upon a diet of boiled rice and 
bean-curd was discovered, developed, and synthetized 
by minds strengthened upon a costly diet of flesh. 
National underfeeding offers the most cruel problem 
which the educators of Japan must solve in order 
that she may become fully able to assimilate the 
civilization we have thrust upon her* As Herbert 
Spencer has pointed out, the degree of human energy* 
physical or intellectual, must depend upon the nutri- 
tiveness of food ; and history shows that the well-fed 
races have been the energetic and the dominant. 
Perhaps mind will rule in the future of nations ; but 
mind is a mode of force, and must be fed through 
the stomach. The thoughts that have shaken the 
world were never framed upon bread and water: 
they were created by beefsteak and mutton-chops, by 
ham and eggs, by pork and puddings, and were 
stimulated by generous wines, strong ales, and strong 
coffee. And science also teaches us that the growing 
child or youth requires an even more nutritious diet 
than the adult ; and that the student especially needs 
strong nourishment to repair the physical waste 
involved by brain-exertion. 

And what is the waste entailed upon the Japanese 
schoolboy's system by study ? It is certainly greater 
than that which the system of the European or 
American student must suffer at the same period of 
life. Seven years of study are required to give the 
Japanese youth merely the necessary knowledge of 
his own triple system of ideographs, or, in less ac- 
curate but plainer speech, the enormous alphabet of 
Ms native literature. That literature, also, he must 


study, and the art of two forms of his language, * 
the written and the spoken : likewise, of course, he 
must learn native history and native morals. Besides 
these Oriental studies, his course includes foreign 
history, geography, arithmetic, astronomy, physics, 
geometry, natural history, agriculture, chemistry, 
drawing, and mathematics. Worst of all, he must 
learn English, a language of which the difficulty 
to the Japanese cannot be even faintly imagined by 
any one unfamiliar with the construction of the native 
tongue, a language so different from his own that 
the very simplest Japanese phrase cannot be intelli- 
gibly rendered into English by a literal translation 
of the words or even the form of the thought. And 
he must learn all this upon a diet no English boy 
could live on; and always thinly clad in his poor 
cotton dress without even a fire in his schoolroom 
during the terrible winter, only a hibachi containing 
a few lumps of glowing charcoal In a bed of ashes. 1 
Is it to be wondered at that even those Japanese 
students who pass successfully through all the educa- 
tional courses the Empire can open to them can only 
in rare instances show results of their long training 
as large as those manifested by students of the West ? 
Better conditions are coming ; but at present, under 
the new strain, young bodies and young minds too 
often give way. And those who break down are not 
the dullards, but the pride of schools, the captains of 

1 Stoves, however, are "being Introduced, In the higher government 
schools, and in the Normal Schools, the students who are hoarders ob- 
tain a hetter diet than most poor hoys can get at home* Their rooms 
are also wejl warmed. 



Yet, so far as the finances of the schools allow, 
everything possible is done to make the students 
both healthy and happy, to furnish them with 
ample opportunities both for physical exercise and 
for mental enjoyment. Though the course of study 
Is severe, the hours are not long : and one of the daily 
five is devoted to military drill, made more inter* 
esting to the lads by the use of real rifles and bay- 
onets, furnished by government. There is a fine 
gymnastic ground near the school, furnished with 
trapezes, parallel bars, vaulting horses, etc. ; and 
there are two masters of gymnastics attached to the 
Middle School alone. There are row-boats, in which 
the boys can take their pleasure on the beautiful lake 
whenever the weather permits. There is an excel- 
lent fencing-school conducted by the Governor him- 
self, who, although so heavy a man, is reckoned one 
of the best fencers of his own generation. The style 
taught is the old one, requiring the use of both hands 
to wield the sword ; thrusting is little attempted, 
it is nearly all heavy slashing. The foils are made 
of long splinters of bamboo tied together so as to 
form something resembling elongated fasces : masks 
and wadded coats protect the head and body, for the 
blows given are heavy. This sort of fencing requires 
considerable agility, and gives more active exercise 
than our severer Western styles. Yet another form 
of healthy exercise consists of long journeys on foot 
to famous places. Special holidays are allowed for 
these. The students march out of town in military 
order, accompanied by some of their favorite teachers, 
and perhaps a servant to cook for them. Thus they 


may travel for a hundred, or even a hundred and 
fifty miles and back ; but if the journey is to be a 
very long one, only the strong lads are allowed to go. 
They walk in waraji, the true straw sandal, closely 
tied to the naked foot, which it leaves perfectly supple 
and free, without blistering or producing corns. They 
sleep at night in Buddhist temples ; and their cook- 
ing is done in the open fields, like that of soldiers 
in camp. 

For those little inclined to such sturdy exercise 
there is a school library which is growing every 
year. There is also a monthly school magazine, 
edited and published by the boys. And there is a 
Students' Society, at whose regular meetings debates 
are held upon all conceivable subjects of interest to 


April 4, 1891. 

The students of the third, fourth, and fifth year 
classes write for me once a week brief English com- 
positions upon easy themes which I select for them. 
As a rule the themes are Japanese. Considering the 
immense difficulty of the English language to Japa- 
nese students, the ability of some of my boys to 
express their thoughts in it is astonishing. Their 
compositions have also another interest for me as rev- 
elations, not of individual character, but of national 
sentiment, or of aggregate sentiment of some sort or 
other. What seems to me most surprising in the 
compositions of the average Japanese student is that 
they have no personal cachet at all. Even the hand- 
writing of twenty English compositions will be found 
to have a curious family resemblance ; and striking 
exceptions are too few to affect the rule. Here is 


one of the best compositions on my table 5 by a stu- 
dent at the head of his class. Only a few idiomatic 
errors have been corrected : 


"The Moon appears melancholy to those who are sad, 
and joyous to those who are happy. The Moon makes 
memories of home come to those who travel, and creates 
homesickness. So when the Emperor Godaigo, having been 
banished to Oki by the traitor Hojo, beheld the moonlight 
upon the seashore, he cried out, The Moon is heartless ! ' 

" The sight of the Moon makes an immeasurable feeling 
in our hearts when we look up at it through the clear air of 
a beauteous night. 

" Our hearts ought to be pure and calm like the light of 
the Moon. 

" Poets often compare the Moon to a Japanese [metal] 
mirror (Jcagami) ; and indeed its shape is the same when it 
is ML 

" The refined man amuses himself with the Moon. He 
seeks some house looking out upon water, to watch the 
Moon, and to make verses about it. 

" The best places from which to see the Moon are Tsuki- 
gashi, and the mountain Obasute. 

" The light of the Moon shines alike upon foul and pure, 
upon high and low. That beautiful Lamp is neither yours 
nor mine, but everybody's. 

" When we look at the Moon we should remember that 
its waxing and its waning are the signs of the truth that the 
culmination of all things is likewise the beginning of their 

Any person totally unfamiliar with Japanese edu- 
cational methods might presume that the foregoing 
composition shows some original power of thought 
and imagination. But this is nofc the case. I fonnd 
the same thoughts and comparisons in thirty other 


compositions upon the same subject. Indeed, tlie 
compositions of any number of middle-school students 
upon the same subject are certain to be very much 
alike in idea and sentiment though they are none 
the less charming for that. As a rule the Japanese 
student shows little originality in the line of imagina- 
tion. His imagination was made for him long cen- 
turies ago partly in China, partly in his native 
land. From his childhood he is trained to see and to 
feel Nature exactly in the manner of those wondrous 
artists who, with a few swift brush-strokes, fling 
down upon a sheet of paper the color-sensation of 
a chilly dawn, a fervid noon, an autumn evening. 
Through all his boyhood he is taught to commit to 
memory the most beautiful thoughts and comparisons 
to be found in his ancient native literature. Every 
boy has thus learned that the vision of Fuji against 
the blue resembles a white half-opened fan, hanging 
inverted in the sky. Every boy knows that cherrj T - 
trees in full blossom look as if the most delicate of 
flushed summer clouds were caught in their branches. 
Every boy knows the comparison between the falling 
of certain leaves on snow and the casting down of 
texts upon a sheet of white paper with a brush. 
Every boy and girl knows the verses comparing the 
print of catVfeet on snow to plum-flowers, 1 and that 
comparing the impression of bokkuri on snow to the 
Japanese character for the number " two." 2 These 
were thoughts of old, old poets; and it would be 
very hard to invent prettier ones. Artistic power in 

1 Ilachi yuki ya 
NeJco no ashi ato 

Ume no hana. 

2 Ni nojifmni dasu 

Bokkuri kana* 


composition is chiefly shown by the correct memoriz- 
ing and clever combination of these old thoughts. 

And the students have been equally well trained 
to discover a moral in almost everything, animate or 
inanimate. I have tried them with a hundred sub- 
jects Japanese subjects for composition ; I have 
never found them to fail in discovering a moral when 
the theme was a native one. If I suggested "Fire- 
flies," they at once approved the topic, and wrote for 
me the story of that Chinese student who, being too 
poor to pay for a lamp, imprisoned many fireflies in 
a paper lantern, and thus was able to obtain light 
enough to study after dark, and to become eventually 
a great scholar. If I said " Frogs," they wrote for 
me the legend of Ono-no-Tofu, who was persuaded 
to become a learned celebrity by witnessing the tire- 
less perseverance of a frog trying to leap up to a 
willow-branch. I subjoin a few specimens of the 
moral ideas which I thus evoked. I have corrected 
some common mistakes in the originals, but have 
suffered a few singularities to stand : 


a The botan [Japanese peony] is large and beautiful to 
see ; but it has a disagreeable smell. This should make us 
remember that what is only outwardly beautiful in human 
society should not attract us. To be attracted by beauty 
only may lead us into fearful and fatal misfortune. The 
best place to see the botan is the island of Daikonshima in 
the lake Nakaumi. There in, the season of its flowering all 
the island is red with its blossoms." 


"When the Dragon tries to ride the clouds and come 
into heaven there happens immediately a furious storm- 


When the Dragon dwells on the ground It Is supposed to 
take the form of a stone or other object ; but when It wants 
to rise It calls a cloud. Its body Is composed o parts of 
many animals. It has the eyes of a tiger and the horns of 
a deer and the body of a crocodile and the claws of an eagle 
and two trunks like the trunk of an elephant. It has a 
moral. We should try to be like the dragon, and faid out 
and adopt all the good qualities of others*" 

At the close of this essay on the dragon Is a note 
to the teacher, saying : u I believe not there is any 
Dragon. But there are many stories and curious 
pictures about Dragon." 


" On summer nights we hear the sound of faint voices ; 
and little things come and sting our bodies very violently. 
We call them ka t In English * mosquitoes.* I think the 
sting is useful for us, because if we begin to sleep, the ka 
shall come and sting us, uttering a small voice ; then we 
shall be bringed bach to study by the sting** 

The following, by a lad of sixteen, is submitted 
only as a characteristic expression of half-formed 
ideas about a less familiar subject. 


4i Europeans wear very narrow clothes and they wear 
shoes always in the house. Japanese wear clothes which 
are very lenient and they do not shoe except when they 
walk out-of-the-door. 

"What we think very strange Is that in Europe every 
wife loves her husband more than her parents. In Nippon 
there is no wife who more loves not her parents than her 

"And Europeans walk out in the road with their wives, 
which we utterly refuse to, except OB the festival of Hachi* 


** The Japanese woman is treated by man as a servant, 

while the European woman is respected as a master. I 
think these customs are both bad. 

" We think it is very much trouble to treat European 
ladies ; and we do not know why ladies are so much re- 
spected by Europeans." 

Conversation in the class-room about foreign sub- 
jects is often equally amusing and suggestive : 

" Teacher, I have been told that if a European 
and his father and his wife were all to fall into the 
sea together, and that he only could swim, he would 
try to save Ms wife first. Would he really ? " 

" Probably," I reply. 

But why ? " 

" One reason is that Europeans consider it a man's 
duty to help the weaker first especially women 
and children." 

a And does a European love his wife more than his 
father and mother ? " 

" Not always but generally, perhaps, he does." 

" Why, Teacher, according to our ideas that is 
very immoral." 

* . . " Teacher, how do European women carry 
their babies?" 

" In their arms." 

u Very tiring ! And how far can a woman walk 
carrying a baby in her arms ? " 

"A strong woman can walk many miles with a 
child in her arms." 

a But she cannot use her hands while she is carry- 
ing a baby that way, can she ? " 

" Not very well" 

** Then it is a very bad way to carry babies," etc. 



May I, 1891. 

My favorite students often visit me of afternoons, 
Tliey first send me their cards, to announce their 
presence. On being told to come in they leave their 
footgear on the doorstep, enter my little study, pros- 
trate themselves; and we all squat down together 
on the floor, which is in all Japanese houses like a 
soft mattress. The servant brings zabuton or small 
cushions to kneel upon, and cakes, and tea. 

To sit as the Japanese do requires practice; and 
some Europeans can never acquire the habit. To 
acquire it, indeed, one must become accustomed to 
wearing Japanese costume. But once the habit of 
thus sitting has been formed, one finds it the most 
natural and easy of positions, and assumes it by pref- 
erence for eating, reading, smoking, or chatting. It 
is not to be recommended, perhaps, for writing with 
a European pen, as the motion in our Occidental 
style of writing is from the supported wrist ; but it is 
the best posture for writing with the Japanese fude, 
in using which the whole arm is unsupported, and the 
motion from the elbow. After having become habit- 
uated to Japanese habits for more than a year, I 
must confess that I find it now somewhat irksome to 
use a chair. 

When we have all greeted each other, and taken 
our places upon the kneeling cushions, a little polite 
silence ensues, which I am the first to break. Some 
of the lads speak a good deal of English. They 
understand me well when I pronounce every word 
slowly and distinctly, using simple phrases, and 
avoiding idioms. When a word with which they are 


not familiar must be used, we refer to a good English- 
Japanese dictionary, which gives each vernacular 
meaning both in the kana and in the Chinese char- 

Usually my young visitors tay a long time, and their 
stay is rarely tiresome. Their conversation and their 
thoughts are of the simplest and frankest. They 
do not come to learn : they know that to ask their 
teacher to teach out of school would be unjust. They 
speak chiefly of things which they think have some 
particular interest for me. Sometimes they scarcely 
speak at all, but appear to sink into a sort of happy 
reverie. What they come really for is the quiet pleas- 
ure of sympathy. Not an intellectual sympathy, but 
the sympathy of pure good-will : the simple pleasure 
of being quite comfortable with a friend. They peep 
at my books and pictures ; and sometimes they bring 
books and pictures to show me, delightfully queer 
things, family heirlooms which I regret much that 
I cannot buy. They also like to look at my garden, 
and enjoy all that is in it even more than I. Often 
they bring me gifts of flowers. Never by any possible 
chance are they troublesome, impolite, curious, or 
even talkative. Courtesy in its utmost possible ex- 
quisiteness an exquisiteness of which even the 
French have no conception seems natural to the 
Izumo boy as the color of his hair or the tint of 
his skin. Nor is he less kind than courteous. To 
contrive pleasurable surprises for me is one of the 
particular delights of my boys ; and they either 
bring or cause to be brought to the house all sorts 
of strange things. 

Of all tbe strange or beautiful things which I am 
thus privileged to examine, none gives me so much 


pleasure as a certain wonderful kakemono of Amida 
Nyorai. It is rather a large picture, and has beea 
borrowed from a priest that 1 may see it. The Bud- 
dha stands in. the attitude of exhortation, with one 
hand uplifted. Behind his head a huge moon makes 
an aureole ; and across the face of that moon stream. 
winding lines of thinnest cloud. Beneath his feet, 
like a rolling of smoke, curl heavier and darker clouds* 
Merely as a work of color and design, the thing is a 
marvel. But the real wonder of it is not in color or 
design at all. Minute examination reveals the aston- 
ishing fact that every shadow and clouding is formed 
by a fairy text of Chinese characters so minute that 
only a keen eye can discern them ; and this text is 
the entire text of two famed sutras, the Kwammu- 
ryo-ju-kyo and the Amida-kyo, "text no larger 
than the limbs of fleas." And all the strong dark 
lines of the figure, such as the seams of the Buddha's 
robe, are formed by the characters of the holy invo- 
cation of the SMii-shu sect, repeated thousands of 
times: * 6 Namu Amida JButsu!" Infinite patience, 
tireless silent labor of loving faith, in some dim 
temple, long ago. 

Another day one of my boys persuades his father 
to let him bring to my house a wonderful statue of 
Koshi (Confucius), made, I am told, in China, toward 
the close of the period of the Ming dynasty. I am 
also assured it is the first time the statoe has ever 
been removed from the family residence to be shown, 
to any one. Previously, whoever desired to pay it 
reverence had to visit the house. It is truly a beau- 
tiful bronze. The figure of a smiling, bearded old 
with fingers uplifted and lips apart as if dis* 


coursing. He wears quaint Chinese shoes, and his 
flowing robes are adorned with the figure of the mys- 
tic phoenix. The microscopic finish of detail seems 
indeed to reveal the wonderful cunning of a Chinese 
hand : each tooth, each hair, looks as though it had 
been made the subject of a special study. 

Another student conducts me to the home of one 
of his relatives, that I may see a cat made of wood, 
said to have been chiseled by the famed Hidari Jin- 
goro, a cat crouching and watching, and so lifelike 
that real cats " have been known to put up their 
backs and spit at it." 


Nevertheless I have a private conviction that some 
old artists even now living in Matsue could make a 
still more wonderful cat. Among these is the vener- 
able Arakawa Junosuke, who wrought many rare 
things for the Daimyo of Izumo in the Tempo era, 
and whose acquaintance I have been enabled to 
make through my school -friends. One evening he 
brings to my house something very odd to show me, 
concealed in his sleeve. It is a doll : just a small 
carven and painted head without a body, the body 
being represented by a tiny robe only, attached to 
the neck. Yet as Arakawa Junosuke manipulates 
it, it seems to become alive. The back of its head is 
like the back of a very old man's head ; but its face 
is the face of an amused child, and there is scarcely 
any forehead nor any evidence of a thinking dispo- 
sition. And whatever way the head is turned, it 
looks so funny that one cannot help laughing at 
it. It represents a kirakubo, what we might call 
in English " a jolly old boy," one who is naturally 
too hearty and too innocent to feel trouble of any 


sort. It is not an original, but a model of a very 
famous original, whose history is recorded in a 
faded scroll which. Arakawa takes out of his other 
sleeve, and which a friend translates for me. This 
little history throws a curious light upon the simple- 
hearted ways of Japanese life and thought in other 
centuries : 

" Two hundred and sixty years ago this doll was made 
by a famous maker of ^Vb-masks in the city of Kyoto, for 
the Emperor Go-midzu-no-O. The Emperor used to have 
it placed beside his pillow each night before lie slept, and 
was very fond of it. And he composed the following poem 
concerning it : 

Yo no naka wo 

ICiraku ni kurase 
Nani goto mo 
Omoeba omou 
Qmowaneba koso}- 

" On the death of the Emperor this doll became the prop- 
erty of Prince Konoye, in whose family it is said to be still 

"About one hundred and seven years ago, the then Ex- 
Enipress, whose posthumous name is Sei-Kwa-Mon-Yin, bor- 
rowed the doll from Prince Konoye, and ordered a copy of 
it to be made. This copy she kept always beside her, and 
was very fond of it. 

" After the death of the good Empress this doll was given 
to a lady of the court, whose family name is not recorded. 
Afterwards this lady, for reasons which are not known, cut 
off her hair and became a Buddhist nun, taking the name 
of Shingyo-in. 

" And one who knew the Nun Shingyo-in, a man whose 
name was Kondo-ju-haku-in-Hokyo, had the honor of 
receiving the doll as a gift. 

1 This little poem signifies that whoever in this world thinks much, 
must have care, and that not to think about things is to pass one's 
life in untroubled felicity. 


" Now I, who write this document, at one time fell sick 5 
and my sickness was caused by despondency. And my 
friend Kondo-ju-haku-in-Hokyo, coming to see me, said: 
* I have in my house something which will make you well/ 
And he went home and, presently returning, brought to me 
this doll, and lent it to me, putting it by my pillow that 
I might see it and laugh at it. 

"Afterward, I myself, having called upon the Nun 
Shingyo-in, whom I now also have the honor to know, wrote 
down the history of the doll, and made a poem thereupon." 

(Dated about ninety years ago : no signature.) 


June 1, 1891. 

I find among the students a healthy tone of skep- 
ticism in regard to certain forms of popular belief. 
Scientific education is rapidly destroying credulity in 
old superstitions yet current among the unlettered, 
and especially among the peasantry, as, for in- 
stance, faith in mamori and ofuda. The outward 
forms of Buddhism its images, its relics, its com- 
moner practices affect the average student very lit- 
tle. He is not, as a foreigner may be, interested in 
iconography, or religious folk-lore, or the comparative 
study of religions ; and in nine cases out of ten he is 
rather ashamed of the signs and tokens of popular 
faith all around him. But the deeper religious sense, 
which underlies all symbolism, remains with him; 
and the Monistic Idea in Buddhism is being strength- 
ened and expanded, rather than weakened," by the 
new education. What is true of the effect of the 
public schools upon the lower Buddhism is equally 
true of its effect upon the lower Shinto. Shinto the 
students all sincerely are, or very nearly all ; yet not 
as fervent worshipers of certain Kami, but as rigid 


observers of what the higher Shinto signifies, loy- 
alty, filial piety, obedience to parents, teachers, and 
superiors, and respect to ancestors. For Shinto 
means more than faith. 

When, for the first time, I stood before the shrine 
of the Great Deity of Kitzuki, as the first Occidental 
to whom that privilege had been accorded, not with- 
out a sense of awe there came to me the thought; 
u This is the Shrine of the Father of a Race ; this 
is the symbolic centre of a nation's reverence for its 
past." And I, too, paid reverence to the memory of 
the progenitor of this people. 

As I then felt, so feels the intelligent student of 
the Meiji era whom education has lifted above the 
common plane of popular creeds. And Shinto also 
means for him whether he reasons upon the ques- 
tion or not all the ethics of the family, and all that 
spirit of loyalty which has become so innate that, at 
the call of duty, life itself ceases to have value save as 
an instrument for duty's accomplishment. As yet, 
this Orient little needs to reason about the origin of 
its loftier ethics. Imagine the musical sense in our 
own race so developed that a child could play a com- 
plicated instrument so soon as the little fingers gained 
sufficient force and flexibility to strike the notes. By 
some such comparison only can one obtain a just idea 
of what inherent religion and instinctive duty signify 
in Izumo. 

Of the rude and aggressive form of skepticism so 
common in the Occident, which is the natural reac- 
tion after sudden emancipation from superstitious be- 
lief, I find no trace among my students. But such 
sentiment may be found elsewhere, especially in 
Tokyo, among the university students, one of 


whom, upon hearing the tones of a magnificent 
temple bell, exclaimed to a friend of mine : u Is it 
not a shame that in this nineteenth century we must 
still hear such a sound?" 

For the benefit of curious travelers, however, 1 
may here take occasion to observe that to talk Bud- 
dhism to Japanese gentlemen of the new school is in 
just as bad taste as to talk Christianity at home to 
men of that class whom knowledge has placed above 
creeds and forms. There are, of course, Japanese 
scholars willing to aid researches of foreign scholars 
in religion or in folk-lore ; but these specialists do not 
undertake to gratify idle curiosity of the "globe- 
trotting " description. I may also say that the for- 
eigner desirous to learn the religious ideas or super- 
stitions of the common people must obtain them 
from the people themselves, not from the educated 


Among all my favorite students two or three 
from each class I cannot decide whom I like the 
best. Each has a particular merit of his own. But 
I think the names and faces of those of whom I am 
about to speak will longest remain vivid in my re- 
membrance, Ishihara, Otani-Masanobu, Adzuki- 
zawa, Yokogi, Shida. 

Ishihara is a samurai, a very influential lad in 
his class because of his uncommon force of character. 
Compared with others, he has a somewhat brusque, 
independent manner, pleasing, however, by its hon- 
est manliness. He says everything he thinks, and 
precisely in the tone that he thinks it, even to the 
degree of being a little embarrassing sometimes. He 


does not hesitate, for example, to find fault with, a 
teacher's method of explanation, and to Insist upon 
a more lucid one. He has criticised me more than 
once; but I never found that he was wrong. We 
like each other very much. He often brings me 

One day that he had brought two beautiful sprays 
of plum-blossoms, he said to me : 

u I saw you bow before our Emperor's picture at 
the ceremony on the birthday of His Majesty. You 
are not like a former English teacher we had.' 5 


u He said we were savages." 


u He said there is nothing respectable except God, 
Ms God, and that only vulgar and ignorant peo- 
ple respect anything else." 

" Where did he come from ? n 

"He was a Christian clergyman, and said he was 
an English subject." 

" But if he was an English subject, he was bound 
to respect Her Majesty the Queen. He could not even 
enter the office of a British consul without removing 
his hat." 

"I don't know what he did in the country he came 
from. But that was what he said. Now we think 
we should love and honor our Emperor, We think 
it is a duty. We think It Is a joy. We think It Is 
happiness to be able to give our lives for our 
Emperor. 1 But he said we were only savages 
ignorant savages. What do you think of that ? " 

^ a Having asked in various classes for written answer** to the ques. 
tion, " What is your dearest wish ? " I found about twenty per cent 
of the replies expressed, with little yariatioE of words, the simpk 


u I think, my dear lad, that lie himself was a sav- 
^ a vulgar, Ignorant, savage bigofc. I think it 
is your highest social duty to honor your Emperor s 
to obey his laws, and to be ready to give your blood 
whenever he may require it of you for the sake of 
Japan. I think it is your duty to respect the gods 
of your fathers, the religion of your country, even 
if you yourself cannot believe all that others believe. 
And I think, also, that it is your duty, for your 
Emperor's sake and for your country's sake, to resent 
any such wicked and vulgar language as that you 
have told me of, no matter by whom uttered.'* 

Masanobu visits me seldom and always comes 
alone. A slender, handsome lad, with rather femi- 
nine features, reserved and perfectly self-possessed 
in manner, refined. He is somewhat serious, does 
not often smile ; and I never heard him laugh. He 
has risen to the head of his class, and appears to 
remain there without any extraordinary effort. Much 
of his leisure time he devotes to botany collecting 
and classifying plants. He is a musician, like all 
the male members of his family. He plays a variety 
of instruments never seen or heard of in the West, 
including flutes of marble, flutes of ivory, flutes of 
bamboo of wonderful shapes and tones, and that 
shrill Chinese instrument called sho, a sort of 
mouth-organ consisting of seventeen tubes of differ- 
ent lengths fixed in a silver frame. He first ex- 
plained to me the uses in temple music of the taiko 

desire to die "for His Sacred Majesty, Our Beloved Emperor." But 
a considerable proportion of the remainder contained the same aspi- 
ration, less directly stated in the wish to emulate the glory of Nelson, 
or to make Japan first among nations by heroism and sacrifice. 
While this splendid spirit lives in the hearts of her youth, Japan 
should have little to fear for the future. 

YOIi. II. 


and stoke, which, are drums; of the flutes called 
fei or teki; of the flageolet termed hichiriki ; and 
of the kakko, which is a little drum shaped like a 
spool with very narrow waist. On great Buddhist 
festivals, Masanobu and his father and his brothers 
are the musicians in the temple services, and they 
play the strange music called Ojo and Batto, music 
which at first no Western ear can feel pleasure In, 
but which, when often heard, becomes comprehensi- 
ble, and is found to possess a weird charm of Its own. 
When Masanobu comes to the house, it is usually 
In order to invite me to attend some Buddhist or 
Shinto festival (matsun) which he knows will Inter- 
est me. 

Adzukizawa bears so little resemblance to Masa- 
nobu that one might suppose the two belonged to 
totally different races. Adzukizawa Is large, raw- 
boned, heavy-looking, with a face singularly like that 
of a North American Indian. His people are not 
rich; he can afford few pleasures which cost monejs 
except one, buying books. Even to be able to do 
this he works in his leisure hours to earn money. He 
is a perfect bookworm, a natural-born researcher, a 
collector of curious documents, a haunter of all the 
queer second-hand stores In Teramachi and other 
streets where old manuscripts or prints are on sale as 
waste paper. He is an omnivorous reader, and a per- 
petual borrower of volumes, which he always returns 
in perfect condition after having copied what he 
deemed of most value to him. But his special 
delight is philosophy and tlie history of philosophers 
in all countries. He has read various epitomes of 
the history of philosophy in the Occident, and every- 
thing of modern philosophy which has been trans- 


lated Into Japanese, including Spencer's " First 
Principles." 1 have been able to introduce him to 
Lewes and John Fiske, both of which he appreci- 
ates, although the strain of studying philosophy in 
English is no small one. Happily he is so strong that 
no amount of study is likely to injure his health, and 
his nerves are tough as wire. He is quite an ascetic 
withal. As it is the Japanese custom to set cakes 
and tea before visitors, I always have both in readi- 
ness, and an especially fine quality of kwashi, made 
at Kitzuki, of which the students are very fond. Ad- 
zukizawa alone refuses to taste cakes or confection- 
ery of any kind, saying : u As I am the youngest 
brother, I must begin to earn my own living soon. 
I shall have to endure much hardship. And if I 
allow myself to like dainties now, I shall only suffer 
more later on." Adzukizawa has seen much of hu- 
man life and character. He is naturally observant ; 
and he has managed in some extraordinary way to 
learn the history of everybody in Matsue. He has 
brought me old tattered prints to prove that the 
opinions now held by our director are diametrically 
opposed to the opinions he advocated fourteen years 
ago in a public address. I asked the director about 
it. He laughed and said, " Of course that is Adzu- 
kizawa ! But he is right : I was very young then." 
And I wonder if Adzukizawa was ever young. 

Yokogi, Adzukizawa's dearest friend, is a very rare 
visitor ; for he is always studying at home. He is 
always first in his class, the third year class, 
while Adzukizawa is fourth. Adzukizawa's account 
of the beginning of their acquaintance is this : u I 
watched him when he came and saw that he spoke 
very little, walked very quickly, and looked straight 


into everybody's eyes. So I knew lie had a particular 
character. I like to know people with a particular 
character." Adzukizawa was perfectly right : under 
a very gentle exterior, Yokogi has an extremely 
strong character. He is the son of a carpenter ; and 
his parents could not afford to send him to the Mid- 
dle School. But he had shown such exceptional 
qualities while in the Elementary School that a 
wealthy man became interested in him, and offered to 
pay for his education. 1 He is now the pride of the 
school. He has a remarkably placid face, with pecu- 
liarly long eyes, and a delicious smile. In class he 
is always asking intelligent questions questions 
so original that I am sometimes extremely puzzled 
how to answer them ; and he never ceases to ask 
until the explanation is quite satisfactory to himself. 
He never cares about the opinion of his comrades if 
he thinks he is right. On one occasion when the 
whole class refused to attend the lectures of a new 
teacher of physics, Yokogi alone refused to act with 
them, arguing that although the teacher was not 
all that could b desired, there was BO immediate 
possibility of his removal, and no just reason for 
making unhappy a man who, though unskilled, was 
sincerely doing his best. Adzukizawa finally stood 
by him. These two alone attended the lectures until 
the remainder of th students, two weeks later, found 
that Yokogi's views were rational. On another oc- 
casion when some vulgar proselytism was attempted 
by a Christian missionary, Yokogi went boldly to the 
proselytizer's house, argued with him on th morality 
of his effort, and reduced him to silence. Some of 
bis comrades praised his cleverness in th argument 
* Beautiful generosities of this kind are not uncommon in Japan, 


** I am not clever," lie made answer : " it does not 
require cleverness to argue against what is morally 
wrong ; it requires only the knowledge that one is 
morally right." At least such is about the transla- 
tion of what he said as told me by Adzukizawa. 

Sliida, another visitor, is a very delicate, sensitive 
boy, whose soul is full of art. He is very skillful at 
drawing and painting; and he has a wonderful set 
of picture-books by the old Japanese masters. The 
last time he came he brought some prints to show 
me, rare ones, fairy maidens and ghosts. As I 
looked at his beautiful pale face and weirdly frail 
fingers, I could not help fearing for him, fearing 
that he might soon become a little ghost. 

I have not seen him now for more than two 
months. He has been very, very ill ; and his lungs 
are so weak that the doctor has forbidden him to 
converse. But Adzukizawa has been to visit Mm, 
and brings me this translation of a Japanese letter 
which the sick boy wrote and pasted upon the wall 
above his bed : 

" Thou, my Lord-Soul, dost govern me. Thou knowest 
that I cannot now govern myself. Deign, I pray thee, to 
let me be cured speedily. Do not suffer me to speak much. 
Make me to obey in all things the command of the physi- 

" This ninth day of the eleventh month of the twenty- 
tourth year of Meiji. 

"Prom the sick body of SMda to his Soul." 


September 4, 1891. 

The long summer vacation is over ; a new school 
year begins. 


There have been many changes. Some of the boys 
I taught are dead. Others have graduated and gone 
away from Matsue forever. Some teachers, too, have 
left the school, and their places have been filled; 
and there Is a new Director. 

And the dear good Governor has gone been 
transferred to cold Niigata in the northwest. It 
was a promotion. But he bad ruled Jzumo for seven 
years, and everybody loved him, especially, perhaps, 
the students, who looked upon him as a father. All 
the population of the city crowded to the river to bid 
Mm farewell. The streets through which he passed 
on his way to take the steamer, the bridge, the 
wharves, even the roofs were thronged with multi- 
tudes eager to see his face for the last time. Thou- 
sands were weeping. And as the steamer glided from 
the wharf such a cry arose, u JUa-a-a-a~a-a-a-a-<x-& / n 
It was intended for a cheer, but it seemed to me the 
cry of a whole city sorrowing, and so plaintive that 
I hope never to hear such a cry again. 

The names and faces of the younger classes are all 
strange to me. Doubtless this was why the sensation. 
of my first day's teaching in the school came back 
to me with extraordinary vividness when I entered 
the class-room of First Division A this morning. 

Strangely pleasant is the first sensation of a Japa- 
nese class, as you look over the ranges of young faces 
before you* There is nothing in them familiar to 
inexperienced Western eyes; yet there is an inde- 
scribable pleasant something common to alL Those 
traits have nothing incisive, nothing forcible : com- 
pared with Occidental faces they seem but " half- 
sketched," so soft their outlines are indicating 
neither aggressiveness nor shyness, neither eccentri- 


city nor sympathy, neither curiosity nor indifference, 
Some, although faces of youths well grown, have a 
childish freshness and frankness indescribable ; some 
are as uninteresting as others are attractive; a few 
are beautifully feminine. But all are equally char- 
acterized by a singular placidity, expressing nei- 
ther love nor hate nor anything save perfect repose 
and gentleness, like the dreamy placidity of Bud- 
dhist images. At a later day you will no longer 
recognize this aspect of passionless composure : with 
growing acquaintance each face will become more 
and more individualized for you by characteristics 
before imperceptible. But the recollection of that 
first impression will remain with you ; and the time 
will come when you will find, by many varied expe- 
riences, how strangely it foreshadowed something in 
Japanese character to be fully learned only after 
years of familiarity. You will recognize in the mem- 
ory of that first impression one glimpse of the race- 
soul, with its impersonal lovableness and its imper- 
sonal weaknesses, one glimpse of the nature of a 
life in which the Occidental, dwelling alone, feels a 
psychic comfort comparable only to the nervous relief 
of suddenly emerging from some stifling atmospheric 
pressure into thin, clear, free Hying air. 


Was it not the eccentric Fourier who wrote about 
the horrible faces of "the civilizes?" Whoever it 
was, would have found seeming confirmation of his 
physiognomical theory could he have known the 
effect produced by the first sight of European faces 
In the most eastern East. What we are taught at 
home to consider handsome, interesting, or character* 


istic in physiognomy does not produce the same im- 
pression in China or Japan. Shades of facial expres- 
sion familiar to us as letters of our own alphabet are 
not perceived at all in Western features by these 
Orientals at first acquaintance. What they discern. 
at once is the race-characteristic, not the individual- 
ity. The evolutional meaning of the deep-set West- 
ern eye, protruding brow, accipitrine nose, ponderous 
jaw symbols of aggressive force and habit was 
revealed to the gentler race by the same sort of in- 
tuition through which a tame animal immediately 
comprehends the dangerous nature of the first pre- 
datory enemy which it sees. To Europeans the 
smooth - featured, slender, low-statured Japanese 
seemed like boys ; and " boy " is the term by which 
the native attendant of a Yokohama merchant is 
still called. To Japanese the first red-haired, rowdy, 
drunken European sailors seemed fiends, shojo, de- 
mons of the sea ; and by the Chinese the Occidentals 
are still called u foreign devils." The great stature 
and massive strength and fierce gait of foreigners 
in Japan enhanced the strange impression created 
by their faces. Children cried for fear on seeing 
them pass through the streets* And in remoter dis- 
tricts, Japanese children are still apt to cry at the 
first sight of a European or American face. 

A lady of Matsue related in rny presence this curi- 
ous souvenir of her childhood: "When I was a 
very little girl," she said, " our daiinyo hired a for- 
eigner to teach the military art. My father and a 
great many samurai went to receive the foreigner; 
and all the people lined the streets to see, for no 
foreigner had, ever come to Izumo before ; and we all 


went to look. The foreigner came by ship: there 
were no steamboats here then. He was very tall, 
and walked quickly with long steps ; and the children 
began to cry at the sight of him, because his face 
was not like the faces of the people of Nihon. My 
little brother cried out loud, and hid his face in 
mother's robe ; and mother reproved him and said : 
4 This foreigner is a very good man who has come 
here to serve our prince ; and it is very disrespectful 
to cry at seeing him.' But he still cried. I was not 
afraid ; and I looked up at the foreigner's face as he 
came and smiled. He had a great beard; and I 
thought his face was good though it seemed to me a 
very strange face and stern. Then he stopped and 
smiled too, and put something in my hand, and 
touched my head and face very softly with his great 
fingers, and said something I could not understand, 
and went away. After he had gone I looked at what 
he put into my hand and found that it was a pretty 
little glass to look through. If you put a fly under 
that glass it looks quite big. At that time I thought 
the glass was a very wonderful thing. I have it 
gtill." She took from a drawer in the room and 
placed before me a tiny, dainty pocket-microscope. 

The hero of this little incident was a French mili- 
tary officer. His services were necessarily dispensed 
with on the abolition of the feudal system. Memo-* 
ries of him still linger in Matsue; and old people 
remember a popular snatch about him, a sort of 
rapidly - vociferated rigmarole, supposed to be an 
imitation of Ms foreign speech. 

Tojin no negoto niwa kinkarakuri medagasho, 
Saiboji ga ahimpeishite harishite keisaii, 
Hanryo na 



November 2, 1891. 

Shida will never come to school again. He sleeps 
trader the sbadow of the cedars, in the old cemetery 
of Toko j I. Yokogi, at the memorial service, read a 
beautiful address {saibun) to the soul of his dead 

But Yokogi himself is down. And I am very 
much afraid for him. He is suffering from some 
affection of the brain, brought on, the doctor says, 
by studying a great deal too hard. Even if he gets 
well, he will always have to be careful. Some of us 
hope much; for the boy is vigorously built and so 
young. Strong Sakane burst a blood-vessel last month 
and is now well. So we trust that Yokogi may rally. 
Adzukizawa daily brings news of his friend. 

But the rally never comes. Some mysterious 
spring in the mechanism of the young life has been 
broken. The mind lives only in brief intervals be- 
tween long hours of unconsciousness. Parents watch, 
and friends, for these living moments to whisper 
caressing things, or to ask: "Is there anything 
thou dost wish ? " And one night the answer 
comes : 

"Yes: I want to go to the school; I want to 
see the school.' 9 

Then they wonder if the fine brain has not wholly 
given way, while they make answer : 

" It is midnight past, and there is no moon. And 
the night is cold." 

" No ; I can see by the stars I want to see the 
school again." 


They make kindliest protests In vain : the dying 
boy only repeats, with the plaintive persistence of a 
last wish, 

" I want to see the school again ; I want to see it 

So there is a murmured consultation in the neigh- 
boring room ; and tansu-drawers are unlocked, warm 
garments prepared. Then Fusaichi, the strong ser- 
vant, enters with lantern lighted, and cries out in his 
kind rough voice : 

44 Master Tomi will go to the school upon my 
back: 'tis but a little way; he shall see the school 

Carefully they wrap up the lad in wadded robes ; 
then he puts his arms about Fusaichi's shoulders like 
a child; and the strong servant bears him lightly 
through the wintry street; and the father Lurries 
beside Fusaichi, bearing the lantern. And it is not 
far to the school, over the little bridge. 

The huge dark gray building looks almost black 
in the night ; but Yokogi can see. He looks at the 
windows of Ms own class-room ; at the roofed side- 
door where each morning for four happy years he 
used to exchange his getas for soundless sandals of 
straw; at the lodge of the slumbering Kodzukai; 1 
at the silhouette of the bell hanging black in its little 
turret against the stars. 

Then he murmurs : 

44 1 can remember all now. I had forgotten so 
sick I was. I remember everything again* Oh, 
Fusaichi, you are very good* I am so glad to have 
seen the school again." 

And they hasten back through the long void 


* The college porter. 



November 26, 1891. 

Yokogl will be burled to-morrow evening beside 
Ms comrade Shida. 

When a poor person is about to die, friends and 
neighbors come to the house and do all they can to 
help the family. Some bear the tidings to distant 
relatives; o thers prepare all necessary things ; others, 
when the death has been announced, summon tbe 
Buddhist priests. 1 

It is said that the priests know always of a parish- 
ioner's death at night, before any messenger is sent 
to them ; for the soul of the dead knocks heavily* 
once, upon the door of the family temple. Then the 
priests arise and robe themselves, and when the mes- 
senger comes make answer: u We know: we are 

Meanwhile the body Is carried out before the 
family butsudan, and laid upon the floor. No pillow 
is placed under the head. A naked sword is laid 
across the limbs to keep evil spirits away. The doors 
of the butsudan are opened ; and tapers are lighted 
before the tablets of the ancestors ; and Incense ia 
burned. All friends send gifts of Incense. Where- 
fore a gift of incense, however rare and precious, 
given upon any other occasion, Is held to be un- 

But the Shinto household shrine must be hidden 

1 Except in those comparatively rare instances where the family 
is exclusively Shintd in its faith, or, although belonging to both faiths, 
prefers to bury its dead according to Shinto rites. In Matsue, as a 
rule, high officials only have Shinto funerals. 


from view with white paper; and the Shinto ofuda 
fastened upon the house door must be covered up 
during all the period of mourning. 1 And in all that 
time no member of the family may approach a Shinto 
temple, or pray to the Kami, or even pass beneath a 

A screen (Jbiobu) is extended between the body 
and the principal entrance of the death chamber; 
and the kaimyo, inscribed upon a strip of white 
paper, is fastened upon the screen. If the dead be 
young the screen must be turned upside-down ; but 
this is not done in the case of old people. 

Friends pray beside the corpse. There a little 
box is placed, containing one thousand peas, to b 
used for counting during the recital of those one 
thousand pious invocations, which, it is believed, 
will improve the condition of the soul on its unfa* 
miliar journey. 

The priests come and recite the sutras ; and then 
the body is prepared for burial. It is washed in 
warm water, and robed all in white. But the 
kimono of the dead is lapped over to the left side. 
Wherefore it is considered unlucky at any other time 
to fasten one's kimono thus, even by accident. 

1 Unless the dead be buried according to the Shinto rite. In Ma- 
tsue the mourning period is usually fifty days. On the fifty-first day 
after the decease, all members of the family go to Enjoji-nada (the 
Jake-shore at the foot of the hill on which the great temple of Enjoji 
stands) to perform the ceremony of purification. At Enjoji-nada, on 
the beach, stands a lofty stone statue of Jizo. Before Jt the mournera 
pray ; then wash their mouths and hand$ with the water of the lake. 
Afterwards they go to a friend's house for breakfast, the purification 
being always performed at daybreak, if possible. During the mourn- 
ing period, no member of the family can eat at a friend's house. But 
if the burial has been according to the Shinto rite, all theae cere* 
momal observances may be dispensed with. 


When the body has been put into that strange 
square coffin which looks something like a wooden 
palanquin, each relative puts also into the coffin some 
of Ms or her hair or nail parings, symbolizing their 
blood. And six Tin are also placed in the coifin, for 
the six Jizo who stand at the heads of the ways of the 
Six Shadowy Worlds. 

The funeral procession forms at the family resi- 
dence. A priest leads it, ringing a little bell ; a boy 
bears the ihai of the newly dead. The van of the 
procession is wholly composed of men relatives and 
friends. Some carry hata, white symbolic bannerets ; 
some bear flowers; all carry paper lanterns, for 
in Izumo the adult dead are buried after dark : only 
children are buried by day, Next comes the kwan 
or coffin, borne palanquin-wise upon the shoulders 
of men of that pariah caste whose office it is to dig 
graves and assist at funerals. Lastly come the wo- 
men mourners. 

They are all white-hooded and white-robed from 
head to feet, like phantoms. 1 Nothing more ghostly 
than this sheeted train of an Isramo funeral pro- 
cession, illuminated only by the glow of paper lan- 
terns, can be imagined. It is a weirdness that, once 
seen, will often return in dreams* 

At the temple the kwan is laid upon the pavement 
before the entrance ; and another service is performed, 
with plaintive music and recitation of sutras. Then 
the procession forms again, winds once round the 
temple court, and takes its way to the cemetery. But 
the body is not buried until twenty-four hours later, 
lest the supposed dead should awake in the grave. 

1 But at samurai funerals in the olden time the women were robed 
In black. 


Corpses are seldom burned in Izumo. In this, as 
In other matters, the predominance of Shinto senti- 
ment is manifest, 


For the last time I see his face again, as he lies 
upon his bed of death, white-robed from neck to 
feet, white-girdled for his shadowy journey, but 
smiling with closed eyes in almost the same queer 
gentle way he was wont to smile at class on learning 
the explanation of some seeming riddle in our difficult 
English tongue. Only, methinks, the smile is sweeter 
now, as with sudden larger knowledge of more nays- 
terious things. So smiles, through dusk of incense in 
the great temple of Tokoji, the golden face of Bud- 


December 28, 1891. 

The great "bell of Tokoji is booming for the me- 
morial service, for the tsuito-kwai of Yokogi, 
slowly and regularly as a minute-gun. Peal on peal 
of its rich bronze thunder shakes over the lake, 
surges over the roofs of the town, and breaks in deep 
sobs of sound against the green circle of the hills. 

It is a touching service, this tsuito-kwai, with 
quaint ceremonies which, although long since adopted 
into Japanese Buddhism, are of Chinese origin and 
are beautiful. It is also a costly ceremony ; and the 
parents of Yokogi are very poor. But all the ex- 
penses have been paid by voluntary subscription of 
students and teachers. Priests from every great 
temple of the Zen sect in Izumo have assembled at 
Tokoji. All the teachers of the city and all the stu- 
dents have entered the hondo of the huge temple, 
and taken their places to the right and to the left of 


the high altar, kneeling on the matted floor, ancl 
leaving, on the long broad steps without, a thousand 
shoes and sandals. 

Before the main entrance, and facing the high 
shrine, a new butsudan has been placed, within whose 
open doors the ihai of the dead boy glimmers in 
lacquer and gilding. And upon a small stand before 
the butsudan have been placed an incense-vessel with 
bundles of senko-rods and offerings of fruits, con* 
fections, rice, and flowers* Tall and beautiful flower 
vases on each side of the butsudan are filled with 
blossoming sprays, exquisitely arranged. Before the 
honzon tapers burn in massive candelabra whose stems 
of polished brass are writhing monsters, the Dragon 
Ascending and the Dragon Descending ; and incense 
curls up from vessels shaped like the sacred deer, like 
the symbolic tortoise, like the meditative stork of 
Buddhist legend. And beyond these, in the twilight 
of the vast alcove, the Buddha smiles the smile of 
Perfect Rest. 

Between the bufcsudan and the honzon a little 
table has been placed ; and on either side of it the 
priests kneel in ranks, facing each other: rows of 
polished heads, and splendors of vermilion silks and 
vestments gold-embroidered. 

The great bell ceases to peal ; the Segaki prayer, 
which is the prayer tittered when offerings of food 
are made to the spirits of the dead, is recited ; and 
a sudden sonorous measured tapping, accompanied by 
a plaintive chant, begins the musical service. The 
tapping is the tapping of the mokugyo, a huge 
wooden fish-head, lacquered and gilded, like the head 
of a dolphin grotesquely idealized, marking the 
time; and the chant is the chant of the Chapter 


of Kwannon In the Hokkekyo, with its magnificent 
invocation : 

" Thou whose eyes are clear, whose eyes are kind, 
whose eyes are full of pity and of sweetness, Thou 
Lovely One, with thy beautiful face, with thy beauti- 
ful eyes*) 

" Thou Pure One^ whose luminosity is without 
spot, whose knowledge is without shadow s Thou 
forever shining like that Sun whose glory no power 
may repel, Thou Sun-like in the course of Thy 
mercy r , pourest Light upon the world I " 

And while the voices of the leaders chant clear and 
high in vibrant unison, the multitude of the priestly 
choir recite in profoundest undertone the mighty 
verses ; and the sound of their recitation is like the 
muttering of surf. 

The mokugyo ceases its dull echoing, the impres- 
sive chant ends, and the leading officiants, one by 
one, high priests of famed temples, approach the ihai. 
Each bows low, ignites an incense-rod, and sets it 
upright in the little vase of bronze. Each at a time 
recites a holy verse of which the initial sound is the 
sound of a letter in the kaimyo of the dead boy ; and 
these verses, uttered in the order of the characters 
upon the ihai, form the sacred Acrostic whose name 
is The Words of Perfume. 

Then the priests retire to their places ; and after a 
little silence begins the reading of the saibun, the 
reading of the addresses to the soul of the dead. The 
students speak first, one from each class, chosen by 
election. The elected rises, aproaches the littl^ table 
before the high altar, bows to the honzon, draws 
from his bosom a paper and reads it in those melodi- 

VOL. H. 


ous, chanting, and plaintive tones which belong to 
the reading of Chinese texts. So each one tells the 
affection of the living to the dead. In words of loving 
grief and loving hope. And last among the students 
a gentle girl rises a pupil of the Normal School 
to speak in tones soft as a bird's. As each saibun is 
finished, the reader lays the written paper upon the 
table before the honzon, and bows, and retires. 

It is now the turn of the teachers ; and an old man 
takes his place at the little table, old Katayama, 
the teacher of Chinese, famed as a poet, adored as an 
instructor. And because the students ail love him. 
as a father, there is a strange intensity of silence as 
he begins, Ko-Shimane-JKei^injo^Ghuffakk^yo-nen- 

** Here upon the twenty-third day of the twelfth 
month of the twenty-fourth year of Meiji, I, Kata* 
yama Shokei, teacher of the Jinjo Chugakko of Shi- 
mane Ken, attending in great sorrow the holy service 
of the dead [tsui-fuku^ do speak unto the soul of 
Yokogi Tomisaburo, my pupil, 

"Having been, as thou knowest 5 for twice five 
years, at different periods, a teacher of the school, I 
have indeed met with not a few most excellent stu- 
dents* But very* very rarely in any school may the 
teacher find one such as thou, so patient and so 
earnest, so diligent and so careful in all things, so 
distinguished among thy comrades by thy blameless 
conduct, observing every precept, never breaking a 

"Of old in the land of Kihoku, famed for its 
horses, whenever a horse of rarest breed could not be 
obtained, men were wont to say : 4 There is no horse** 


Still there are many fine lads among our students, 
many ryume^ fine young steeds ; but we have lost the 

"To die at the age of seventeen, the best period 
of life for study, even when of the Ten Steps thou 
hadst already ascended six ! Sad is the thought ; but 
sadder still to know that thy last illness was caused 
only by thine own tireless zeal of study. Even yet 
more sad our conviction that with those rare gifts, 
and with that rare character of thine, thou wouldst 
surely, in that career to which thou wast destined, 
have achieved good and great things, honoring the 
names of thine ancestors, couldsfc thou have lived to 

44 1 see thee lifting thy hand to ask some question | 
then, bending above thy little desk to make note of 
all thy poor old teacher was able to tell thee. Again 
I see thee in the ranks, thy rifle upon tby shoul- 
der, so bravely erect during the military exercises. 
Even now thy face is before me, with its smile, as 
plainly as if thou wert present in the body ; thy 
voice I think I hear distinctly as though thou hadst 
but this instant finished speaking ; yet I know 
that, except in memory, these never will be seen and 
heard again. O Heaven, why didst thou take away 
that dawning life from the world, and leave such a 
one as I old Shokei, feeble, decrepit, and of no 
more use ? 

44 To thee my relation was indeed only that of 
teacher to pupil. Yet what is my distress ! I have a 
son of twenty-four years; he is now far from me, 
in Yokohama. I know he is only a worthless youth ; l 

1 Said only in courteous self-depreciation. In the same way a son, 
inciting to his parent, would never according to Japanese idfcas of true 


yet never for so mucli as the space of one hour does 
the thought of Mai leave his old father's heart. 
Then how must the* father and mother, the brothers 
and the sisters of this gentle and gifted youth feel 
now that he is gone ! Only to think of it forces the 
tears from my eyes; I cannot speak so full my 
heart is. 

"Aa! aa! then hast gone from us; tliou hast 
gone from us! Yet though thou hast died, thy 
earnestness, thy goodness, will long be honored and 
told of as examples to the students of our school. 

"Here, therefore, do we, thy teachers and thy 
schoolmates, hold this service in behalf of thy spirit, 
with prayer and offerings. Deign thou, O gentle 
Soul, to honor our love by the acceptance of oui 
humble gifts," 

Then a sound of sobbing is suddenly whelmed by 
the resonant booming of the great fishVhead, as the 
high-pitched voices of the leaders of the chant begin 
the grand Nehan-gyo, the Sutra of Nirvana, the 
song of passage triumphant over the Sea of Death 
and Birth; and deep below those high tones and 
the hollow echoing of the mokugyo, the surging 
bass of a century of voices reciting the sonorous words, 
sounds like the breaking of a sea : 

"Sho-gyo mu-jo, je-sho meppo. Transient are 
all They, being born, must die. And beinff born, 
are dead. And being dead, are glad to be at rest" 

courtesy and duty sign himself " Your qfectionak $m f " but Few 
ungrateful, or unloving son," 


THE outward signs of any Japanese matsuri are 
the most puzzling of enigmas to the stranger who 
sees them for the first time* They are many and 
varied ; they are quite unlike anything in the way of 
holiday decoration ever seen in the Occident ; they 
have each a meaning founded upon some belief or 
some tradition, a meaning known, to every Japa- 
nese child; but that meaning is utterly impossible 
for any foreigner to guess. Yet whoever wishes to 
know something of Japanese popular life and feeling 
must learn the signification, of at least the most com- 
mon among festival symbols and tokens. Especially 
is such knowledge necessary to the student of Japa- 
nese art : without it, not only the delicate humor and 
charm of countless designs must escape him, but in 
many instances the designs themselves must remain, 
incomprehensible to him. For hundreds of years the 
emblems of festivity have been utilized by the Japar 
nese in graceful decorative ways : they figure in metal- 
work, on porcelain, on the red or black lacquer of the 
humblest household utensils, on little brass pipes, on 
the clasps of tobacco-pouches. It may even be said 
that the majority of common decorative design is 
emblematical. The very figures of which the mean- 
ing seems most obvious, those matchless studies 1 

1 As it has become, among a certain sect of Western Philistines and 


of animal or vegetable life witli which the Western 
curio-buyer Is most familiar, have usually some 
ethical signification which is not perceived at all. 
Or take the commonest design dashed with a brush 
upon the fusuma of a cheap hotel, a lobster, 
sprigs of pine, tortoises waddling in a curl of 
water, a pair of storks, a spray of bamboo. It 
is rarely that a foreign tourist thinks of asking why 
such designs are used Instead of others, even when 
he has seen them repeated, with slight variation, at 
twenty different places along his route. They have 
"become conventional simply because they are em- 
blems of which the sense is known to all Japanese, 
however Ignorant, but is never even remotely sus- 
pected by the stranger. 

The subject is one about which a whole encyclo- 
pedia might be written, but about which I know very 
little, much too little for a special essay. But I 
may venture, by way of illustration, to speak of the 
curious objects exhibited during two antique festivals 
still observed in all parts of Japan. 

self-constituted art critics, the fashion to sneer at any writer who 
"become** enthusiastic about the truth to nature of Japanese art, I may 
cite here the words of England's most celebrated living naturaligt on. 
this very subject. Mr, Wallace's authority will scarcely, I presume, 
be questioned, even by the Philistines referred to ; ~~ 

"Dr. Mohnike possesses a large collection of colored sketches of 
the plants of Japan made by a Japanese lady* which are the most mas- 
terly things I have ever sem. Every stem, twig, and leaf is produced 
by single touches of the brush, the character and perspective of very 
complicated plants being admirably given, and the articulations of 
stem and leaves shown in a most scientific manner*** (Malay Archi* 
pelago, chap, xx.) 

Now this was written in 1857, before European methods of drawing 
had been introduced. The same art of painting leaves, etc*, with 
Btngle strokes of the brush is still common in Japan, even among 
the poorest class of decorators. 



The first is the Festival of the New Year, which 
lasts for three days. In Matsue Its celebration is 
particularly interesting, as the old city still preserves 
many matsuii customs which have either become, 
or are rapidly becoming, obsolete elsewhere. The 
streets are then profusely decorated, and all shops 
are closed. Shimenawa or shlmekazari, the straw 
ropes which have been sacred symbols of Shinto from 
the mythical age, are festooned along the fagades 
of the dwellings, and so inter joined that you see to 
right or left what seems but a single mile-long shime- 
nawa, with its straw pendents and white fluttering 
paper gohei, extending along either side of the street 
as far as the eye can reach. Japanese flags bear- 
ing on a white ground the great crimson disk which 
is the emblem of the Land of the Rising Sun flut- 
ter above the gateways ; and the same national em- 
blem glows upon countless paper lanterns strung in 
rows along the eaves or across the streets and temple 
avenues. And before every gate or doorway a kado- 
matsu ( u gate pine-tree ") has been erected. So that 
all the ways are lined with green, and full of bright 

The kadomatsu Is more than its name implies. 
It is a young pine, or part of a pine, conjoined with 
plum branches and bamboo cuttings. 1 Pine, plum, 
1 There is a Buddhist saying about the kadomatsu : 

Meido no tabi no 

The meaning is that each kadomatsu is a milestone on the journey to 
the Meido ; or, in other words, that each New Year's festival signals 
only the completion of another stage of the ceaseless journey to death. 


and bamboo are growths of emblematic significance. 
Anciently the pine alone was used; but from the 
era of O-ei, the bamboo was added ; and within more 
recent times the plum-tree. 

The pin has many meanings. But the fortunate 
one most generally accepted is that of endurance and 
successful energy in time of misfortune* As the pine 
keeps Its green leaves when other trees lose their 
foliage, so the true man keeps his courage and hia 
strength in adversity. The pine is also, as I have 
said elsewhere, a symbol of vigorous old age. 

No European could possibly guess the riddle of 
the bamboo. It represents a sort of pun in sym- 
bolism. There are two Chinese characters both pro- 
nounced setsU) one signifying the node or joint of 
the bamboo, and the other virtue, fidelity, constancy. 
Therefore is the bamboo used as a felicitous sign* 
The name "Setsu," be it observed, is often given 
to Japanese maidens, just as the names "Faith," 
"Fidelia," and "Constance" are given to English 

The plum-tree of whose emblematic meaning I 
said something in a former paper about Japanese 
gardens is not invariably used, however; some- 
times sakaki, the sacred plant of Shinto, is substi- 
tuted for it ; and sometimes only pine and bamboo 
form the kadomatsu. 

Every decoration used upon the New Year's festi- 
val has a meaning of a curious and unfamiliar kind ; 
and the very commonest of all the straw rope 
possesses the most complicated symbolism. In the 
first place it is scarcely necessary to explain that its 
origin belongs to that most ancient legend of the 
Sun-Goddess being tempted to issue from the cavern 


Into which she had retired, and being prevented from 
returning thereunto by a deity who stretched a rope 
of straw across the entrance, all of which is writ- 
ten in the KojikL Next observe that, although 
the shimenawa may be of any thickness, it must 
be twisted so that the direction of the twist is to the 
left ; for in ancient Japanese philosophy the left 
Is the u pure " or fortunate side : owing perhaps to 
the old belief, common among the uneducated of 
Europe to this day, that the heart lies to the left. 
Thirdly, note that the pendent straws, which hang 
down from the rope at regular intervals, in tufts, like 
fringing, must be of different numbers according to 
the place of the tufts, beginning with the number 
three : so that the first tuft has three straws, the 
second five, the third seven, the fourth again three, 
the fifth five, and the sixth seven, and so on, the 
whole length of the rope. The origin of the pendent 
paper cuttings (gohei), which alternate with the straw 
tufts, is likewise to be sought in the legend of the 
Sun-Goddess ; but the gohei also represent offerings 
of cloth anciently made to the gods according to a 
custom long obsolete. 

But besides the gohei, there are many other things 
attached to the shimenawa of which you could not 
imagine the signification. Among these are fern- 
leaves, bitter oranges, yuzuri-leaves, and little bundles 
of charcoal. 

Why fern-leaves (moromoki or urajiro} ? Because 
the fern-leaf is the symbol of the hope of exuberant 
posterity: even as it branches and rebranches so 
may the happy family increase and multiply through 
the generations. 

Why bitter oranges (daidaf) ? Because there is 


a Chinese word daldai signifying *' from generation 
unto generation." Wherefore the fruit called daidai 
has become a fruit of good omen. 

But why charcoal (sumi) ? It signifies u prosper- 
ous cJiant/elessness" Here the idea is decidedly 
curious. Even as the color of charcoal cannot be 
changed, so may the fortunes of those we love remain 
forever unchanged in all that gives happiness ! The 
signification of the yuzuri-leaf I explained in a former 

Besides the great shimenawa in front of the house, 
shimenawa or shimetazari 1 are suspended above the 
toko, or alcoves, in each apartment; and over the 
back gate, or over the entrance to the gallery of the 
second story (if there be a second story), is hung a 
wajime, whicK is a very small shimekazari twisted 
into a sort oi wreath, and decorated with fern-leaves, 
gohei, and yuzuri-leaves. 

But the great domestic display of the festival is the 
decoration of the Jkamidana, the shelf of the Gods. 
Before the household miya are placed great double 
rice cakes ; and the shrine is beautified with flowers, 
a tiny shimekazari, and sprays of sakaki. There also 
are placed a string of cash ; kabu (turnips) ; daikon 
(radishes) ; a tai-fish, which is the u king of fishes/* 
dried slices of salt cuttlefish ; jinbaso, or u the Sea^ 
weed of the Horse of the God ; " 2 also the seaweed 
kombu, which is a symbol of pleasure and of joy, 
because its name is deemed to be a homonym, for 

1 The difference "between the shimenawa and shimekaxari is that 
the latter is a strictly decorative straw rope, to which many curious 
emblems are attached. 

2 It belongs to the sargassum family, and is full of air sacs. Varl 
ous kinds of edible seaweed form a considerable proportion of Japa* 
nese diet. 


gladness ; and mochibana, artificial blossoms formed 
of rice flour and straw. 

The sambo is a curiously shaped little table on 
which, offerings are made to the Shinto gods; and 
almost every well-to-do household in Izumo has its 
own sambo; such a family sambo being smaller^ 
however, than sambo used in the temples. At the 
advent of the New Year's Festival, bitter oranges, 
rice, and rice-flour cakes, native sardines (iwashi), 
chikara-iwai (" strength -rice -bread"), black peas f 
dried chestnuts, and a fine lobster, are all tastefully 
arranged upon the family sambo. Before each vis- 
itor the sambo is set ; and the visitor, by saluting it 
with a prostration, expresses not only his heartfelt 
wish that all the good-fortune symbolized by the ob- 
jects upon the sambo may come to the family, but 
also his reverence for the household gods. The black 
peas (mame) signify bodily strength and health, be- 
cause a word similarly pronounced, though written 
with a different ideograph, means " robust." But 
why a lobster ? Here we have anotfier curious con- 
ception. The lobster's body is bent double : the body 
of the man who lives to a very great old age is also 
bent. Thus the lobster stands for a symbol of ex- 
treme old age ; and in artistic design signifies the 
wish that our friends may live so long that they 
will become bent like lobsters, under the weight 
of yearp. And the dried chestnuts (Jcaehiguri) are 
emblems of success, because the first character of 
their name in Japanese is the homonym of kachi, 
which means " victory," "conquest." 

There are at least a hundred other singular customs 
and emblems belonging to the New Year's Festival 
which would require a large volume to describe. I 


have mentioned only a few which immediately appeal 
to even casual observation. 


The other festival I wish to refer to is that of the 
Setsubun, which, according the ancient Japanese cal- 
endar, corresponded with the beginning of the natu- 
ral year, the period when winter first softens Into 
spring. It is what we might term, according to 
Professor Chamberlain, " a sort of movable feast ; " 
and it is chiefly famous for the curious ceremony of 
the casting out of devils, Qni~yaraL On the eve 
of the Setsubun, a little after dark, the Yaku-otoshi, 
or caster-out of devils, wanders through the streets 
from house to house, rattling his shakujd, 1 and utter- 
ing his strange professional cry: "Oniwasoto! 
fuku wa ucJii ! " [ Devils out ! Good-fortune in ! J 
For a trifling fee he performs his little exorcism In 
any house to which he is called. This simply con- 
sists In the recitation of certain parts of a Buddhist 
kyo, or sutra, and the rattling of the shakujo. After- 
wards dried peas (shiro-mame) are thrown about the 
house In four directions. For some mysterious rea- 
son, devils do not like dried peas and flee there- 
from. The peas thus scattered are afterward swept 
up and carefully preserved until the first clap of 
spring thunder is heard, when It Is the custom to 
cook and eat some of them. But just why, I cannot 

1 This is a curiously shaped staff with which the divinity Jml is 
commonly represented. It is still carried by Buddhist mendicants, 
and there are several sizes of it. That carried by the Yaku-otoshi is 
usually very short. There is a tradition that the shalnjo was first in- 
Tented as a means of giving warning to insects or other little creatures 
in the path of the Buddhist pilgrim, so that they might not be trodden 
upon unawares. 


find out; neither can I discover the origin of the 
dislike of devils for dried peas. On the subject of 
this dislike, however, I confess my sympathy with 

After the devils have been properly cast out, a 
small charm is placed above all the entrances of the 
dwelling to keep them from coming back again. 
This consists of a little stick about the length and 
thickness of a skewer, a single holly-leaf, and the 
head of a dried iwashi, a fish resembling a sardine. 
The stick is stuck through the middle of the holly- 
leaf ; and the fish's head is fastened into a split made 
in one end of the stick ; the other end being slipped 
into some joint of the timber -work immediately 
above a door. But why the devils are afraid of the 
holly-leaf and the fish's head, nobody seems to know. 
Among the people the origin of all these curious cus- 
toms appears to be quite forgotten ; and the families 
of the upper classes who still maintain such customs 
believe in the superstitions relating to the festival 
just as little as Englishmen to-day believe in the 
magical virtues of mistletoe or ivy. 

This ancient and merry annual custom of casting 
out devils has been for generations a source of in- 
spiration to Japanese artists. It is only after a fair 
acquaintance with popular customs and ideas that 
the foreigner can learn to appreciate the delicious 
humor of many art-creations which he may wish, 
indeed, to buy just because they are so oddly attrac- 
tive in themselves, but which must really remain 
enigmas to him, so far as their inner meaning is con- 
cerned, unless he knows Japanese life. The other 
day a friend gave me a little card-case of perfumed 
leather. On one side was stamped in relief the face 


of a devil, through the orifice of whose yawning 
mouth could be seen, painted upon the silk lining 
of the interior, the laughing, chubby face of Ota- 
fuku, joyful Goddess of Good Luck. In itself the 
thing was very curious and pretty; but the real 
merit of its design was this comical symbolism of 
good wishes for the New Year : " Oni wa soto ! - 
fuTcu wa uchi / " 


Since I have spoken of the custom of eating some 
of the Setsubun peas at the time of the first spring 
thunder, I may here take the opportunity to say a 
few words about superstitions in regard to thunder 
which have not yet ceased to prevail among the peas- 

When a thunder-storm comes, the big brown mos- 
quito curtains are suspended, and the women and 
children perhaps the whole family squat down 
tinder the curtains till the storm is over, From an- 
cient days it has been believed that lightning cannot 
kill anybody under a mosquito curtain. The Raiju, 
or Thunder-Animal, cannot pass through a mosquito- 
curtain. Only the other day, an old peasant who 
came to the house with vegetables to sell told us 
that he and his whole family, while crouching tinder 
, their mosquito-netting during a thunder-storm, actu- 
ally saw the Lightning rushing up and down the 
pillar of the balcony opposite their apartment, 
furiously clawing the woodwork, but unable to enter 
because of the mosquito-netting. His house had been 
badly damaged by a flash; but he supposed the 
mischief to have been accomplished by the Claws of 
the Thunder-Animal. 

The Thunder-Animal springs from tree to tree 


during a storm, they say ; wherefore to stand under 
trees in time of thunder and lightning is very dan- 
gerous: the Thunder- Animal might step on one's 
head or shoulders. The Thunder -Animal Is also 
alleged to be fond of eating the human navel ; for 
which reason people should be careful to keep their 
navels well covered during storms, and to lie down 
upon their stomachs if possible. Incense is always 
burned during storms, because the Thunder-Animal 
hates the smell of incense. A tree stricken by light- 
ning is thought to have been torn and scarred by the 
claws of the Thunder- Animal ; and fragments of its 
bark and wood are carefully collected and preserved 
by dwellers in the vicinity ; for the wood of a blasted 
tree is alleged to have the singular virtue of curing 

There are many stories of the Raiju having been 
caught and caged. Once, it is said, the Thunder- 
Animal fell into a well, and got entangled in the 
ropes and buckets, and so was captured alive. * And 
old Izumo folk say they remember that the Thunder- 
Animal was once exhibited in the court of the Tem- 
ple of Tenjin in Matsue, inclosed in a cage of brass ; 
and that people paid one sen each to look at it. It 
resembled a badger. When the weather was clear it 
would sleep contentedly in its cage. But when there 
was thunder in the air, it would become excited, and 
seem to obtain great strength, and its eyes would 
flash dazzlingly. 


There is one very evil spirit, however, who is not 
in the least afraid of dried peas, and who cannot be 
so easily got rid of as the common devils ; and that 
is Bimbogami. 


But in Izumo people know a certain household 
charm whereby Blmbogaml may sometimes be cast 

Before any cooking is done in a Japanese kitchen, 
the little charcoal fire is first blown to a bright red 
heat with that most useful and simple household 
ntensil called a hifukidake. The liif ukidako (** fire- 
blow-bamboo ") is a bamboo tube usually about three 
feet long and about two inches in diameter. At one 
end the end which is to be turned toward the fire 
only a very small orifice is left ; the woman who 
prepares the meal places the other end to her lips, 
and blows through the tube upon the kindled char- 
coal. Thus a quick fire may be obtained in a few 

In course of time the hifukidake becomes scorched 
and cracked and useless. A new *' fire-blow-tube " is 
then made; and the old one is used as a charm 
against Bimbogami One little copper coin (riri) is 
put into it, some magical formula is uttered, and 
then the old utensil, with the rin inside of it, is 
either simply thrown out through the front gate 
into the street, or else flung into some neighboring 
stream. This I know not why is deemed equiv* 
alent to pitching Bimbogami out of doors, and ren- 
dering it impossible for him to return during a 
considerable period. 

It may be asked how is the invisible presence of 
Bimbogami to be detected. 

The little insect which makes that weird ticking 
noise at night called in England the Death-watch 
has a Japanese relative named by the people Bimbo* 
mushi, or the " Poverty-Insect" It is said to be the 


servant of Bimbogami, the God of Poverty ; and its 
ticking in a house is believed to signal the presence 

of that most unwelcome deity* 


One more feature of the Setsubun festival Is worthy 
of mention, the sale of the Mtogata (" people* 
shapes ") These are little figures, made of white 
paper, representing men, women, and children. They 
are cut out with a few clever scissors strokes ; and 
the difference of sex is indicated by variations in the 
shape of the sleeves and the little paper obi* They 
are sold in the Shinto temples. The purchaser buys 
one for every member of the family, the priest 
writing upon each the age and sex of the person for 
whom it is intended. These hitogata are then taken 
home and distributed ; and each person slightly rubs 
his body or her body with the paper, and says a 
little Shinto prayer. Next day the hitogata are 
returned to the kannushi, who, after having recited 
certain formulas over them, burns them with holy 
fire. 1 By this ceremony it is hoped that all physical 
misfortunes will be averted from the family during 
a year. 

1 I may make mention here of another matter, in no way relating 
to the Setsubun. 

There lingers in Izumo a wholesome and I doubt not formerly a 
most valuable superstition about the sacredness of writing. Paper 
upon which anything has been written, or even printed, must not be 
crumpled up, or trodden upon, or dirtied, or put to any base use. If 
it be necessary to destroy a document, the paper should be burned. 
I have been genbly reproached in a little hotel at which I stopped foi 
tearing tip and crumpling some paper covered with my own writing. 



IT Is the fifteenth day of the seventh month,* 
and I am in Hold. 

The blanched road winds along a coast of low 
cliffs, the coast of the Japanese Sea. Always on 
the left, oyer a narrow strip of stony land, or a heap- 
ing of dunes, its vast expanse appears, blue- wrinkling 
to that pale horizon beyond which Korea lies, tinder 
the same white sun. Sometimes, through sudden 
gaps in the cliff's verge, there flashes to us the run- 
ning of the surf. Always upon the right another 
sea, a silent sea of green, reaching to far misty 
ranges of wooded hills, with huge pale peaks behind 
them, a vast level of rice-fields, over whose surface 
soundless waves keep chasing each other under the 
same great breath that moves the blue to-day from 
Ch5sen to Japan. 

Though during a week the sky has remained un- 
clouded, the sea has for several days been growing 
angrier; and now the muttering of its surf sounds 
far into the land. They say that it always roughens 
thus during the period of the Festival of the Dead, - 
the three days of the Bon, which are the thirteenth, 
fourteenth, and fifteenth of the seventh month by the 
ancient calendar. And on the sixteenth day, after 
the shoryobune, which are the Ships of Souls, have 
been launched* no one dares to enter it : no boats can 


then be tired; all the fishermen remain at home. 
For on that day the sea Is the highway of the dead ? 
who must pass back over its waters to their myste- 
rious home ; and therefore upon that day is it called 
Hotoke-umi, the Buddha-Flood, the Tide of the 
Eeturning Ghosts. And ever upon the night of that 
sixteenth day, whether the sea be calm or tumult- 
uous, all its surface shimmers with faint lights 
gliding out to the open, the dim fires of the dead ; 
and there is heard a murmuring of voices, like the 
murmur of a city far-off, the indistinguishable 
speech of souls. 


But it may happen that some vessel, belated In 
spite of desperate effort to reach port, may find her- 
self far out at sea upon the night of the sixteenth 
day. Then will the dead rise tall about the ship, and 
reach long hands and murmur: " Tago, tago o-kure! 
tago o-kure ! " 1 Never may they be refused ; but, 
before the bucket is given, the bottom of it must be 
knocked out. Woe to all on board should an entire 
tago be suffered to fall even by accident into the sea! 
- for the dead would at once use it to fill and sink 
the ship, 

Nor are the dead the only powers Invisible dreaded 
in the time of the Hotoke-umi, Then are the Ma 
most powerful, and the Kappa. 2 

l " A bucket honorably condescend [to give]/* 

3 The Kappa is not properly a sea goblin, but a river goblin, and 
haunts the sea only in the neighborhood of river mouths. 

About a mile and a half from Matsne, at the little village of 
Kawacbi-mura, on the river called Kawachi, stands a little temple 
called Kawako-no-miya, or the Miya of the Kappa. (In Izumo, 
among the common people, the word " Kappa" is not used, but th 


But in all times the swimmer fears the K.appa t 
the Ape of Waters, hideous and obscene, who reaches 
up from the deeps to draw men down ? and to devour 
their entrails. 

Only their entrails. 

The corpse of him who has been seized by the 
Kappa may be cast on shore after many days. Un- 
less long battered against the rocks by heavy surf, or 
nibbled by fishes, it will show no outward wound* 
But it will be light and hollow empty like a long- 
dried gourd* 


Betimes, as we journey on, the monotony of undu- 
lating blue on the left, or the monotony of billowing 
green upon the right, is broken by the gray appari- 
tion of a cemetery, a cemetery so long that our 
jinrikisha men, at full run, take a full quarter of an 

term Kawako, or "The Child of the Kiver.") la this little shrine Is 
preserved a document said to hare been signed by a Kappa. Tha 
story goes that in ancient times] the Kappa dwelling in the KawacM 
used to seize and destroy many of the inhabitants of the village and 
many domestic animals. On day, however, while trying to seize a 
horse that had entered the river to drink, the Kappa got its head 
twisted in some way under the belly-baud of the horse, and the terri- 
fied animal, rushing out of the water, dragged the Kappa into a field. 
There the owner of the horse and a number of peasants seized and 
bound the Kappa. All the villagers gathered to see the monster* 
which bowed its head to the ground, and audibly begged for mercy. 
The peasants desired to kill the goblin at once ; but the owner of the 
horse, who happened to- be the head man of the mura, said : w It is 
better to make it swear never again to touch any person or animal 
belonging to Kawachi-mura." A written form of oath was prepared 
and read to the Kappa. It said that It could not write, but that It 
would sign the paper by dipping Its hand in ink, and pressing the 
imprint thereof at the bottom of the document This having been 
agreed to and done, the Kappa was set free. Prom that time for- 
ward no inhabitant or animal of Kawachi-mura was ever assaulted 
by the goblin. 


tour to pass the huge congregation of Its perpendicu- 
lar stones. Such visions always indicate the approach 
of villages ; bat the villages prove to be as surpris- 
ingly small as the cemeteries are surprisingly large. 
By hundreds of thousands do the silent populations 
of the hakaba outnumber the folk of the hamlets 
to which they belong, tiny thatched settlements 
sprinkled along the leagues of coast, and sheltered 
from the wind only by ranks of sombre pines. Le- 
gions on legions of stones, a host of sinister wit- 
nesses of the cost of the present to the past, and 
old, old, old ! hundreds so long in place that they 
have been worn into shapelessness merely by the 
blowing of sand from the dunes, and their inscrip- 
tions utterly effaced. It is as if one were passing 
through the burial-ground of all who ever lived on 
this wind-blown shore since the being of the land. 

And in all these hakaba for it is the Bon 
there are new lanterns before the newer tombs, the 
white lanterns which are the lanterns of graves. TV 
night the cemeteries will be all aglow with lights like 
the fires of a city for multitude. But there are also*. 
unnumbered tombs before which no lanterns are, ~ 
elder myriads, each the token of a family extinct, o 
of which the absent descendants have forgotten even 
the name. Dim generations whose ghosts have nono 
to call them back, no local memories to love so 
long ago obliterated were all things related to their 


Now many of these villages are only fishing settle- 
ments, and in them stand old thatched homes of men 
who sailed away on some eve of tempest, and never 
came back. Yet each drowned sailor has his tomb in 


the neighboring hakaba, and beneath It something of 
him has been buried. 


Among these people of the west something is 
always preserved which in other lands is cast away 
without a thought, the hozo-no-o, the flower-stalk 
of a life, the navel-string of the newly born. It is 
enwrapped carefully in many wrappings ; and upon 
Its outermost covering are written the names of the 
father, the mother, and the infant 9 together with 
the date and hour of birth, and it is kept in the 
family* o-mamori-bukuro. The daughter, becoming 
a bride, bears it with her to her new home : for the 
son it is preserved by his parents. It is buried with 
the dead ; and should one die in a foreign land, or 
perish at sea, it is entombed in lieu of the body. 


Concerning them that go down into the sea in 
ships, and stay there, strange beliefs prevail on this 
far coast, beliefs more primitive, assuredly, than 
the gentle faith which hangs whii5,e lanterns before 
the tombs. Some hold that the drowned never jour- 
ney to the Meido. They quiver forever in the cur- 
rents; they billow in the swaying of tides; they 
toil in the wake of the junks; they shout in the 
plunging of breakers. *T is their white hands that 
toss in the leap of the surf ; their clutch that clat- 
ters the shingle, or seizes the swimmer's feet in the 
pull of the undertow. And the seamen speak euphe- 
mistically of the O-bak6, the honorable ghosts, and 
fear tKem with a great fear* 

Wherefore cats are kept on board ! 

A cat, they aver ? has power to keep the O-bak 


away. How or why, I have not yet found any to 
tell me. I know only that cats are deemed to have 
power over the dead. If a cat be left alone with a 
corpse, will not the corpse arise arid dance ? And of 
all cats a mike-neko, or cat of three colors, is most 
prized on this account by sailors. But if they cannot 
obtain one, and cats of three colors are rare, 
they will take another kind of cat ; and nearly every 
trading junk has a cat; and when the junk comes 
into port, its cat may generally be seen, peeping 
through some little window in the vessel's side, or 
squatting in the opening where the great rudder 
works, that is, if the weather be fair and the sea 


But these primitive and ghastly beliefs do not 
affect the beautiful practices of Buddhist faith in the 
time of the Bon ; and from all these little villages 
the shoryobune are launched upon the sixteenth day. 
They are much more elaborately and expensively 
constructed on this coast than in some other parts of 
Japan ; for though made of straw only, woven over 
a skeleton framework, they are charming models of 
junks, complete in every detail. Some are between 
three and four feet long. On the white paper sail is 
written the kaimyo or soul-name of the dead. There 
is a small water-vessel on board, filled with fresh 
water, and an incense-cup ; and along the gunwales 
flutter little paper banners bearing the mystic manji, 
which is the Sanscrit svastika. 1 

The form of the^ shoryobune and the customs in 
regard to the time and manner of launching them 
differ much in different provinces. In most places 
1 The Buddhist symbol P| . 


they are launched for the family dead In general, 
wherever burled; and they are In some places 
launched only at Bight, with small lanterns on board. 
And I am told also that It is the custom at certain 
sea-villages to launch the lanterns all by themselveSj 
in lieu of the shoryobune proper, lanterns of a 
particular kind being manufactured for that purpose 

But on the Izumo coast, and elsewhere along this 
western shore, the soul-boats are launched only for 
those who have been drowned at sea, and the launch- 
ing takes place in the morning instead of at night* 
Once every year, for ten years after death, a shoryo- 
bune is launched; in the eleventh year the cere- 
mony ceases. Several shoryobune which I saw at 
Inasa were really beautiful, and must have cost a 
rather large sum for poor fisher-folk to pay. But the 
ship-carpenter who made them said that all the rela- 
tives of a drowned man contribute to purchase the 
little vessel, year after year* 


Near a sleepy little village called Kami-ichi I 
make a brief halt in order to visit a famous sacred 
tree. It is in a grove close to the public highway, 
but upon a low hill. Entering the grove I find my- 
self in a sort of miniature glen surrounded on three 
sides by very low cliffs, above which enormous pines 
are growing, incalculably old. Their vast coiling 
roots have forced their way through the face of the 
cliffs, splitting rocks ; and their mingling crests make 
a green twilight in the hollow. One pushes out three 
huge roots of a very singular shape ; and the ends of 
these have been wrapped about with long 


papers bearing written prayers, and with offerings of 
seaweed. The shape of these roots, rather than any 
tradition, would seem to have made the tree sacred 
In popular belief ; it Is the object of a special cult ; 
I and a little torii has been erected before It, bearing a 
; votive annunciation of the most artless and curious 
Ikind. I cannot venture to offer a translation of it > 
though for the anthropologist and folk-lorist it cer- 
tainly possesses peculiar interest. The worship of 
the tree, or at least of the Kami supposed to dwell 
therein, is one rare survival of a phallic cult probably 
common to most primitive races, and formerly wide- 
spread in Japan. Indeed it was suppressed by the 
government scarcely more than a generation ago. 
On the opposite side of the little hollow, carefully 
posed upon a great loose rock, I see something 
equally artless and almost equally curious, a kl- 
toja-no-mono, or ex-voto. Two straw figures joined 
together and reclining side by side : a straw man 
and a straw woman. The workmanship is childishly 
clumsy; but still the woman can be distinguished 
from the man by the ingenious attempt to imitate . 
the female coiffure with a straw wisp. And as the 
man is represented with a queue, now worn only 
by aged survivors of the feudal era, I suspect that 
this kitoja-no-mono was made after some ancient 
and strictly conventional model. 

Now this queer ex-voto tells its own story. Two 
who loved each other were separated by the fault of 
the man; the charm, of some joro, perhaps, having 
been the temptation to faithlessness. Then the 
wronged one came here and prayed the Kami to 
dispel the delusion of passion and touch the erring 
heart. The prayer has been heard; the pair have 


been reunited; and she has therefore made these 
two quaint effigies with her own hands, and brought 
them to the Kami of the pine, tokens of her inno- 
cent faith and her grateful heart. 


Night falls as we reach the pretty hamlet of Ha~ 
mamura, our last resting-place by the sea, for to- 
morrow our way lies inland. The inn at which we 
lodge is very small, but very clean and cosy; and 
there is a delightful bath of natural hot water ; for 
the yadoya is situated close to a natural spring. 
This spring, so strangely close to the sea beach, also 
furnishes, I am told, the baths of all the houses in 
the village. 

The best room is placed at our disposal ; but I 
linger awhile to examine a very fine shoryobune, 
waiting, upon a bench near the street entrance, to be 
launched to-morrow. It seems to have been fin- 
ished but a short time ago ; for fresh clippings of 
straw lie scattered around it, and the kaimyo has not 
yet been written upon its sail. I am surprised to 
hear that it belongs to a poor widow and her son, 
both of whom are employed by the hotel. 

I was hoping to see the Bon-odori at Hamamura, 
but I am disappointed. At all the villages the 
police have prohibited the dance. Fear of cholera 
has resulted in stringent sanitary regulations. In 
Hamamura the people have been ordered to use no 
water for drinking, cooking, or washing except the 
hot water of their own volcanic springs. 

A little middle-aged woman, with a remarkably 


sweet voice, comes to wait upon us at supper-time. 
Her teeth are blackened and her eyebrows shaved 
after the fashion of married women twenty years 
ago 5 nevertheless her face is still a pleasant one, and 
in her youth she must have been uncommonly pretty* 
Though acting as a servant, it appears that she is 
related to the family owning the inn, and that she is 
treated with the consideration due to kindred. She 
tells us that the shoryobune is to be launched for her 
husband and brother both fishermen of the village, 
who perished in sight of their own home eight years 
ago. The priest of the neighboring Zen temple is to 
come in the morning to write the kaimyo upon the, 
sail, as none of the household are skilled in writing 
the Chinese characters. 

I make her the customary little gift, and, through 
my attendant, ask her various questions about her 
history. She was married to a man much older 
than herself, with whom she lived very happily ; and 
her brother, a youth of eighteen, dwelt with them. 
They had a good boat and a little piece of ground, 
and she was skillful at the loom ; so they managed to 
live well. In summer the fishermen fish at night : 
when all the fleet is out, it is pretty to see the line of 
torch-fires in the offing, two or three miles away, 
like a string of- stars. They do not go out when the 
weather is threatening; but in certain months the 
great storms (taifu) come so quickly that the boats 
are overtaken almost before they have time to hoisfc 
sail. Still as a temple pond the sea was on the nighfc 
when her hosband and brother last sailed away ; the 
taifu rose before daybreak. What followed, she 
relates with a simple pathos that I cannot reproduce 
in our less artless tongue* 


U A11 the boats had come back except my hus- 
band's ; for my husband and my brother had gone 
out farther than the others, so they were not able 
to return as quickly. And all the people were look- 
ing and waiting. And every minute the waves 
seemed to be growing higher and the wind more ter- 
rible ; and the other boats had to be dragged far up 
on the shore to save them. Then suddenly we saw 
my husband's boat coming very, very quickly. We 
were so glad ! It came quite near, so that I could 
see the face of my husband and the face of my 
brother. But suddenly a great wave struck it upon 
one side, and it turned down into the water, and it 
did not come up again. And then we saw my hus- 
band and my brother swimming ; but we could see 
them only when the waves lifted them up. Tall like 
Mils the waves were, and the head of my husband, 
and the head of my brother would go up, up, up, and 
then down, and each time they rose to the top of a 
wave so that we could see them they would cry out, 
^Tasukete! tasuJcete!' 1 But the strong men were 
afraid ; the sea was too terrible ; I was only a wo- 
man ! Then my brother could not be seen any more. 
My husband was old, but very strong ; and he swam 
a long time, so near that I could see his face was 
like the face of one in fear, and he called * Tasu- 
Jcete ! ' But none could help him ; and he also went 
down at last* And yet I could see his face before he 
went down. 

" And for a long time after, every night, I used to 
see his face as I saw it then, so that I could not 
rest, but only weep. And I prayed and prayed to 
the Buddhas and to the Kami-Sama that I might not 


dream that dream. Now It never comes; but I can 
still see Ms face, even while I speak. ... In that 

time my son was only a little child." 

Not without sobs can she conclude her simple re- 
cital. Then, suddenly bowing her head to the mat- 
ting, and wiping away her tears with her sleeve, she 
humbly prays our pardon for this little exhibition of 
emotion, and laughs the soft low laugh de rigueur 
of Japanese politeness. This, I must confess, touches 
me still more than the story itself. At a fitting 
moment my Japanese attendant delicately changes 
the theme, and begins a light chat about our journey, 
and the danna-sama's interest in the old customs and 
legends of the coast. And he succeeds in amusing 
her by some relation of our wanderings in Izumo. 

She asks whither we are going. My attendant 
answers probably as far as Tottori. 

** Aa ! Totfcori ! So degozarimasu ka ? . . . Now, 
there is an old story, the Story of the Futon of 
Tottori. But the danna-sama knows that story?" 

Indeed, the danna-sama does not, and begs ear. 
nestly to hear it. And the story is set down, some- 
what as I learn it through the lips of my interpreter, 


Many years ago, a very small yadoya In Tottori 
town received its first guest, an itinerant merchant. 
He was received with more than common kindness, 
for the landlord desired to make a good name for 
his little inn. It was a new inn, but as its owner 
was poor, most of its dogu furniture and uten- 
sils had been purchased from the furuteya. 1 Nev 

1 Furuteya, the establishment of a dealer in second-hand wares, -* 


ertheless, everything was clean, comforting, and 
pretty. The guest ate heartily and drank plenty of 
good warm sak^ ; after which his bed was prepared 
on the soft floor, and he laid himself down to 

[But here I must interrupt the story for a few 
moments, to say a word about Japanese beds. Never, 
unless some inmate happen to be sick, do you see 
a bed in any Japanese house by day, though you 
visit all the rooms and peep into all the corners. In 
fact, no bed exists, in the Occidental meaning of the 
word. That which the Japanese call bed has no 
bedstead, no spring, no mattress, no sheets, no 
blankets. It consists of thick quilts only, stuffed, 
or, rather, padded with cotton, which are called 
futon. A certain number of futon are laid down 
upon the tatami (the floor mats), and a certain num- 
ber of others are used for coverings. The wealthy 
can lie upon five or six quilts, and cover themselves 
with as many as they please, while poor folk must 
content themselves with two or three. And of course 
there are many kinds, from the servant's cotton fu- 
ton which is no larger than a Western hearth rug, 
and not much thicker, to the heavy and superb fu- 
ton silk, eight feet long by seven broad, which only 
the kanemochi can afford. Besides these there is the 
yogi, a massive quilt made with wide sleeves like a 
kimono, in which you can find much comfort when 
the weather is extremely cold. All such things 
are neatly folded up and stowed out of sight by day in 
alcoves contrived in the wall and closed with fusuma 
pretty sliding screen doors covered with opaque paper 
usually decorated with dainty designs. There also 


are kept those curious wooden pillows, Invented to 
preserve the Japanese coiffure from becoming disar- 
ranged during sleep. 

The pillow has a certain sacredness ; but the origin 
and the precise nature of the beliefs concerning it 
I have not been able to learn. Only this I know, 
that to touch it with the foot is considered very 
wrong ; and that if it be kicked or moved thus, even 
by accident, the clumsiness must be atoned for by 
lifting the pillow to the forehead with the hands, 
and replacing it in its original position respectfully, 
with the word ** go-men," signifying, I pray to be ex- 

Now, as a rule, one sleeps soundly after having 
drunk plenty of warm sak, especially if the night be 
cool and the bed very snug. But the guest, having 
slept but a very little while, was aroused by the 
sound of voices in his room, voices of children* 
always asking each other the same questions : 

66 Ani-San samukaro ? " 

** Omae samukaro ? " 

The presence of children in his room might annoy 
the guest, but could not surprise him, for in these 
Japanese hotels there are no doors, but only papered 
sliding screens between room and room. So it 
seemed to him that some children must have wan- 
dered into his apartment, by mistake, in the dark. 
He uttered some gentle rebuke. For a moment only 
there was silence ; then a sweet, thin, plaintive voice 
queried, close to his ear, " Ani-San samukaro ? " 
[Elder Brother probably is cold ?], and another sweet 
voice made answer caressingly, a Omae samukaro ? " 
[Nay, thou probably art cold ?] 


He arose and rekindled the candle In the andon, 1 
and looked about the room. There was no one. The 
shoji were all closed- He examined the cupboards ; 
they were empty. Wondering, he lay down again, 
leaving the light still burning ; and immediately the 
voices spoke again, complainingly, close to his pillow ; 

a Ani-San samukaro ? " 

66 Omae samukaro ? " 

Then, for the first time, he felt a chill creep over 
him, which was not the chill of the night. Again 
and again he heard, and each time he became more 
afraid. For he knew that the voices were in the 
futon ! It was the covering of the bed that cried out 

He gathered hurriedly together the few articles 
belonging to him, and, descending the stairs, aroused 
the landlord and told what had passed. Then the 
host, much angered, made reply : u That to make 
pleased the honorable guest everything has been 
done, the truth is ; but the honorable guest too much 
august sak having drank, bad dreams has seen." 
Nevertheless the guest insisted upon paying at once 
that which he owed, and seeking lodging elsewhere, 

Next evening there came another guest who asked 
for a room for the night. At a late hour the land- 
lord was aroused by his lodger with the same story. 
And this lodger, strange to say, had not taken any 
sakd. Suspecting some envious plot to ruin his busi- 
ness, the landlord answered passionately : ** Thee to 
please all things honorably have been done : never- 
theless, ill-omened and vexatious words thou utterest. 
And that my inn my means-of-livelihood is that 

1 Andon, a paper lantern of peculiar construction, used as a night 
light. Some forms of the aadon are remarkably beautiful. 


also thou knowest. Wherefore that such things be 
spoken, right-there-is-none ! " Then the guest, get- 
ting Into a passion, loudly said things much more 
evil | and the two parted in hot anger. 

But after the guest was gone, the landlord, think- 
ing all this very strange, ascended to the empty 
room to examine the futon. And while there, he 
heard the voices, and he discovered that the guests 
had said only the truth. It was one covering only 
one which cried out. The rest were silent. He 
took the covering into his own room, and for the re- 
mainder of the night lay down beneath it. And the 
voices continued until the hour of dawn : " Ani-San 
samukaro ? " " Omae samukaro ? " So that he could 
not sleep. 

But at break of day he rose up and went out to 
find the owner of the f uruteya at which the futon had 
been purchased. The dealer knew nothing. He had 
bought the futon from a smaller shop, and the keeper 
of that shop had purchased it from a still poorer 
dealer dwelling in the farthest suburb of the city. 
And the innkeeper went from one to the other, ask- 
ing questions. 

Then at last it was found that the futon had be- 
longed to a poor family, and had been bought from, 
the landlord of a little house in which the family had 
lived, in the neighborhood of the town. And the 
story of the futon was this : 

The rent of the little house was only sixty sen a 
month, but even this was a great deal for the poor 
folks to pay. The father could earn only two or 
three yen a month, and the mother was ill and 
could not work; and there were two children, a 

VOL. n. 


boy of six years and a boy of eight* And they 
were strangers in TottorL 

One winter's day the father sickened ; and after a 
week of suffering he died, and was buried. Then 
the long-sick mother followed him, and the children 
were left alone. They knew no one whom they 
could ask for aid ; and in order to live they began to 
sell what there was to sell. 

That was not much: the clothes of the dead 
father and mother, and most of their own ; some 
quilts of cotton, and a few poor household utensils, 
hibachi, bowls, cups, and other trifles. Every day 
they sold something, until there was nothing left but 
one futon. And a day came when they had nothing 
to eat; and the rent was not paid. 

The terrible Dai-kan had arrived, the season of 
greatest cold; and the snow had drifted too high 
that day for them to wander far from the little 
house. So they could only lie down under their one 
futon, and shiver together, and compassionate each 
other in their own childish way, 

44 Ani-San, samukaro ? " 

" Omae samukaro ? " 

They had no fire, nor anything with which to 
make fire ; and the darkness came ; and the icy wind 
screamed into the little house, 

They were afraid of the wind, but they were 
more afraid of the house-owner, who roused them 
roughly to demand his rent. He was a hard man, 
with an evil face. And finding there was none to 
pay him, he turned the children into the snow, and 
took their one futon away from them, and locked up 
the house. 

They had but one thin blue kimono each, for all 


their other clothes had been sold to buy food ; and 
they had nowhere to go* There was a temple of 
Kwannon not far away, but the snow was too high 
for them to reach it. So when the landlord was 
gone, they crept back behind the house* There the 
drowsiness of cold fell upon them, and they slept, 
embracing each other to keep warm. And while 
they slept, the gods covered them with a new futon, 
ghostly-white and very beautiful. And they did 
not feel cold any more. For many days they slept 
there; then somebody found them, and a bed was 
made for them in the hakaba of the Temple of Kwan- 

And the innkeeper, having heard these things, 
gave the futon to the priests of the temple, and 
caused the kyo to be recited for the little souls. 
And the futon ceased thereafter to speak. 

One legend recalls another; and I hear to-night 
many strange ones. The most remarkable is a tale 
which my attendant suddenly remembers, a legend 
of Izumo. 

Once there lived in the Izumo village called Mo- 
chlda-no-ura a peasant who was so poor that he was 
afraid to have children. And each time that his wife 
bore him a child he cast it into the river, and pre- 
tended that it had been born dead. Sometimes it 
was a son, sometimes a daughter; but always the 
infant was thrown into the river at night. Six were 
murdered thus. 

But, as the years passed, the peasant found himself 


more prosperous. He had been able to purchase 
land and to lay by money. And at last his wife 
bore him a seventh child, a boy. 

Then the man said: "Now we can support a 
child, and we shall need a son to aid us when we are 
old. And this boy is beautiful. So we will bring 
him up." 

And the infant thrived ; and each day the hard 
peasant wondered more at his own heart, for each 
day he knew that he loved his son more. 

One summer's night he walked out into his gar- 
den, carrying his child in his arms. The little one 
was five months old. 

And the night was so beautiful, with its great 
moon, that the peasant cried out, 

"Aa! kon ya medzurashii e yo da!" [Ah! to- 
night truly a wondrously beautiful night is !] 

Then the infant, looking up into his face and 
speaking the speech of a man, said, 

" Why, father I the LAST time you threw me away 
the night was just like this, and the moon looked 
just the same, did it not ? " l 

And thereafter the child remained as other chil- 
dren of the same age, and spoke no word. 

The peasant became a monk. 


After the supper and the bath, feeling too warm to 
sleep, I wander out alone to visit- the village hakaba, 
along cemetery upon a sandhill, or rather a pro- 
digious dune, thinly covered at its summit with soil, 

1 " Ototsan ! wasJii wo sMmai ni shitesashita toJd mo, chodo kon ya no 
tsuki yo data-ne f" Izunao dialect. 


but reTeallng through its crumbling flanks the story 
of Its creation by ancient tides, mightier than tides 
of to-day. 

I wade to my knees in sand to reach the cemetery. 
It is a warm moonlight night, with a great breeze. 
There are many bon-lan terns (bondoro)^ but the sea- 
wind has blown out most of them ; only a few here 
and there still shed a soft white glow, pretty 
shrine-shaped cases of wood, with apertures of sym- 
bolic outline, covered with white paper. Visitors 
beside myself there are none, for it is late. But 
much gentle work has been done here to-day, for 
all the bamboo vases have been furnished with fresh 
flowers or sprays, and the water basins filled with 
fresh water, and the monuments cleansed and beau- 
tified. And in the farthest nook of the cemetery I 
find, before one very humble tomb, a pretty zen or 
lacquered dining tray, covered with dishes and bowls 
containing a perfect dainty little Japanese repast. 
There is also a pair of new chopsticks, and a little 
cup of tea, and some of the dishes are still warm. A 
loving woman's work ; the prints of her little sandals 
are fresh upon the path. 


There is an Irish folk-saying that any dream may 
be remembered if the dreamer, after awakening, for- 
bear to scratch his head in the effort to recall it. 
But should he forget this precaution, never can the 
dream be brought back to memory : as well try to 
re-form the curlings of a smoke-wreath blown away. 

Nine hundred and ninety -nine of a thousand 
dreams are indeed hopelessly evaporative. But cer- 
tain rare dreams, which come when fancy has been 


strangely impressed by unfamiliar experiences,- 
dreams particularly apt to occur in time of travel, t 
remain in recollection, imaged with all the vividness 
of real events. 

Of such was the dream I dreamed at Hamamura 9 
after having seen and heard those things previously 
written down. 

Some pale broad paved place perhaps the thought 
of a temple court tinted by a faint sun ; and be- 
fore me a woman, neither young nor old, seated at 
the base of a great gray pedestal that supported I 
know not what, for I could look only at the 
woman's face. Awhile I thought that I remembered 
ter a woman of Izumo; then she seemed a weird- 
Bess. Her lips were moving, but her eyes remained 
closed, and I could not choose but look at her. 

And in a voice that seemed to come thin through 
distance of years she began a soft wailing chant; 
and, as I listened, vague memories came to me of a 
Celtic lullaby* And as she sang, she loosed with 
one hand her long black hair, till it fell coiling upon 
the stones. And, having fallen, it was no longer 
black, but blue, pale day-blue, and was moving 
sinuously, crawling with swift blue ripplings to and 
fro. And then, suddenly, I became aware that the 
ripplings were far, very far away, and that the 
woman was gone. There was only the sea, blue* 
billowing to the verge of heaven, with long slow 
flashings of soundless surf. 

And wakening, I heard in the night the muttering 
of the real sea, the vast husky speech of the 
Hotoke-Umi, the Tide of the Returning Ghosts. 


NOTHING- is more silent than the beginning of a 
Japanese banquet ; and no one, except a native, who 
observes the opening scene could possibly imagine 
the tumultuous ending. 

The robed guests take their places, quite noiselessly 
and without speech, upon the kneeling-cushions. The 
lacquered services are laid upon the matting before 
them by maidens whose bare feet make no sound. 
For a while there is only smiling and flitting, as in 
dreams. You are not likely to hear any voices from 
without, as a banqueting-house is usually secluded 
from the street by spacious gardens. At last the 
master of ceremonies, host or provider, breaks the 
hush with the consecrated formula: u 0-somatsu 
deffozarimasu ga! dozo o-hasM !" whereat all pres- 
ent bow silently, take up their hashi (chopsticks), 
and fall to. But hashi, deftly used, cannot be heard 
at all. The maidens pour warm sake* into the cup of 
each guest without making the least sound ; and it is 
not until several dishes have been emptied, and sev- 
eral cups of sak absorbed, that tongues are loosened, 

Then, all at once, with a little burst of laughter, 
a number of young girls enter, make the customary 
prostration of greeting, glide into the open space be- 
tween the ranks of the guests, and begin to serve the 
wine with a grace and dexterity of which no common 
maid is capable. They are pretty ; they are clad in 
very costly robes of silk; they are girdled like 


queens ; and the beautifully dressed hair of each Is 
decked with mock flowers, with wonderful combs and 
pins, and with curious ornaments of gold. They 
greet the stranger as if they had always known him ; 
they jest, laugh, and utter funny little cries. These 
are the geisha, 1 or dancing-girls, hired for the ban- 

S amis en 2 tinkle. The dancers withdraw to a clear 
space at the farther end of the banqueting-hall, al- 
ways vast enough to admit of many more guests than 
ever assemble upon common occasions. Some form 
the orchestra, under the direction of a woman of 
uncertain age ; there are several samisen, and a tiny 
drum played by a child. Others, singly or in pairs, 
perform the dance. It may be swift and merry, con- 
sisting wholly of graceful posturing, two girls 
dancing together with such coincidence of step and 
gesture as only years of training could render possi- 
ble. But more frequently it is rather like acting 
than like what we Occidentals call dancing, acting 
accompanied with extraordinary waving of sleeves 
and fans, and with a play of eyes and features, sweet, 
subtle, subdued, wholly Oriental. There are more 
voluptuous dances known to geisha, but upon ordi- 
nary occasions and before refined audiences they por- 
tray beautiful old Japanese traditions, like the legend 
of the fisher Urashima, beloved by the Sea God's 
daughter ; and at intervals they sing ancient Chinese 
poems, expressing a natural emotion with delicious 
vividness by a few exquisite words. And always 
they pour the wine, that warm, pale yellow, drowsy 
wine which fills the veins with sqft contentment, 
making a faint sense of ecstasy, through which, as 
1 The Kyoto word is maiko. 2 Guitars of three strings. 


through some poppied sleep, the commonplace be- 
comes wondrous and blissful, and the geisha Maids of 
Paradise, and the world much sweeter than, in the 
natural order of things, it could ever possibly be. 

The banquet, at first so silent, slowly changes to 
a merry tumult. The company break ranks, form 
groups; and from group to group the girls pass, 
laughing, prattling, still pouring sak into the cups 
which are being exchanged and emptied with low 
bows. 1 Men begin to sing old samurai songs, old 
Chinese poems. One or two even dance. A geisha 
tucks her robe well up to her knees ; and the 
samisen strike up the quick melody , "Kornpira 
fun$-fun" As the music plays, she begins to run 
lightly and swiftly in a figure of 8, and a young 
man, carrying a sak6 bottle and cup, also runs in the 
same figure of 8. If the two meet on a line, the one 
through whose error the meeting happens must drink 
a cup of sak. The music becomes quicker and 
quicker and the runners run faster and faster, for 
they must keep time to the melody ; and the geisha 
wins. In another part of the room, guests and geisha 
are playing ken. They sing as they play, facing 
each other, and clap their hands, and fling out their 
fingers at intervals with little cries ; and the samisen 
keep time. 

CkoltOy don-don I 

Otagaidan ; 
Choito, don-don ! 

Oidemashitantf ; 
Choito, don-don ! 


Now, to play ken with a geisha requires a perfectly 

1 It is sometimes customary for guests to exchange cups, after 
duly rinsing them. It is always a compliment to ask for your friend's 


cool head, a quick eye, and much practice. Having 
been trained from childhood to play all kinds of ken s 
and there are many, she generally loses only 
for politeness, when she loses at all. The signs of 
the most common ken are a Man, a Fox, and a Gun. 
If the geisha make the sign of the Gun, you must 
instantly, and in exact time to the music, make the 
sign of the Fox, who cannot use the Gun. For if you 
make the sign of the Man, then she will answer with 
the sign of the Fox, who can deceive the Man, and 
you lose. And if she make the sign of the Fox first, 
then you should make the sign of the Gun, by which 
the Fox can be killed. But all the while you must 
watch her bright eyes and supple hands. These are 
pretty ; and if you suffer yourself, just for one frac- 
tion of a second, to think how pretty they are, you 
are bewitched and vanquished. 

Notwithstanding all this apparent comradeship, a 
certain rigid decorum between guest and geisha is 
invariably preserved at a Japanese banquet. How- 
ever flushed with wine a guest may have become, 
you will never see him attempt to caress a girl ; he 
never forgets that she appears at the festivities only 
as a human flower, to be looked at, not to be touched. 
The familiarity which foreign tourists in Japan fre- 
quently permit themselves with geisha or with waiter- 
girls, though endured with smiling patience, is really 
much disliked, and considered by native observers an 
evidence of extreme vulgarity. 

For a time the merriment grows ; but as midnight 
draws near, the guests begin to slip away, one by 
one, unnoticed. Then the din gradually dies down, 
the music stops ; and at last the geisha, having e&. 
corted the latest of the feasters to the door, with 


laughing cries of Sayonara? can sit down alon to 
break their long fast in the deserted hall. 

Such is the geisha's role. But what is the mystery 
of her ? What are her thoughts, her emotions, her 
secret self ? What is her veritable existence beyond 
the night circle of the banquet lights, far from the 
illusion formed around her by the mist of wine ? Is 
she always as mischievous as she seems while her 
voice ripples out with mocking sweetness the words 
of the ancient song ? 

Kimi to neyaru ka, go sengoku toruka f 
Nanno gosengoku kimi to neyo ? 1 

Or might we think her capable of keeping that pas- 
sionate promise she utters so deliciously ? 

Omae shmdara tera ewa yaranu ! 
Yaete konishite sake de nomu. 2 

Why, as for that," a friend tells me, " there was 
O-Kama of Osaka who realized the song only last 
year. For she, having collected from the funeral 
pile the ashes of her lover, mingled them with sak, 
and at a banquet drank them, in the presence of many 
guests*" In the presence of many guests 1 Alas for 
romance ! 

Always in the dwelling which a band of geisha 

i " Once more to rest beside her, or keep five thousand fcoku ? 

What care I for koku ? Let me be with her I " 

There lived in ancient times a hatamoto called Fuji-eda GeM, a vas- 
*al of the Shogun. He had an income of five thousand koku of rice, 
a great income in those days. But he fell in love with an inmate 
of the Yoshiwara, named Ayaginu, and wished to marry her. When 
his master bade the vassal choose between his fortune and his passion, 
the lovers fled secretly to a farmer's house, and there committed sui- 
cide together. And the above song was made about them. It is still 


* "Dear, shouidst thou die, grave shall hold thee never ! 
I thj bpdy'a, aehes ? p^ixed with wine, will drink." 


occupy there Is a strange image placed In the alcova 
Sometimes It -is of clay, rarely of gold, most com- 
monly of porcelain* It is reTerenced : offerings are 
made to it, sweetmeats and rice bread and wine ; in- 
cense smoulders In front of it, and a lamp Is burned 
before it. It is the image of a kitten erect, one paw 
outstretched as if inviting, whence its name, " the 
Beckoning Kitten." 1 It is the genius loci : it brings 
good-fortune, the patronage of the rich, the favor of 
banquet-givers. Now, they who know the soul of the 
geisha aver that the semblance of the image is the 
semblance of herself, playful and pretty, soft and 
young, lithe and caressing, and cruel as a devouring 

Worse, also, than this they have said of her : that 
In her shadow treads the God of Poverty, and that 
the Pox- women are her sisters ; that she is the ruin 
of youth, the waster of fortunes, the destroyer of 
families ; that she knows love only as the source of 
the follies which are her gain, and grows rich upon 
the substance of men whose graves she has made; 
that she is the most consummate of pretty hypo- 
crites, the most dangerous of schemers, the most 
insatiable of mercenaries, the most pitiless of mis- 
tresses. This cannot all be true- Yet thus much is 
true, that, like the kitten, the geisha Is by pro- 
fession a creature of prey. There are many really 
lovable kittens* Even so there must be really de- 
lightful dancing-girls. 

The geisha is only what she has been made In 

answer to foolish human desire for the illusion of 

love mixed with youth and grace, but without regrets 

or responsibilities: wherefore she has been taught, 

A Maneki-Neko, 


besides ken, to play at hearts. Now, tie eternal law 
Is that people may play with impunity at any game 
In this unhappy world except three, which are called 
Life, Love 3 and Death. Those the gods have re- 
served to themselves, because nohody else can learn 
to play them without doing mischief. Therefore, to 
play with a geisha any game much more serious than 
ken, or at least go, is displeasing to the gods* 

The girl begins her career as a slave, a pretty child 
bought from miserably poor parents under a contract, 
according to which her services may be claimed by 
the purchasers for eighteen, twenty, or even twenty- 
five years. She is fed, clothed, and trained in a house 
occupied only by geisha ; and she passes the rest of 
her childhood under severe discipline. She is taught 
etiquette, grace, polite speech ; she has daily lessons 
in dancing ; and she is obliged to learn by heart a 
multitude of songs with their airs. Also she must 
learn games, the service of banquets and weddings, 
the art of dressing and looking beautiful. Whatever 
physical gifts she may have are carefully cultivated* 
Afterwards she is taught to handle musical instru- 
ments : first, the little drum (tsudzumi)^ which can- 
not be sounded at all without considerable practice ; 
then she learns to play the samisen a little, with a 
plectrum of tortoise-shell or Ivory, At eight or nine 
years of age she attends banquets, chiefly as a drum- 
player. She is then the most charming little creature 
imaginable, and already knows how to fill your wine- 
cup exactly full, with a single toss of the bottle and 
without spilling a drop, between two taps of her 

Thereafter her discipline becomes more cruel. Her 


voice may be flexible enough, but lacks the requisite 
strength. In the iciest hours of winter nights, she 
must ascend to the roof of her dwelling-house, and 
there sing and play till the blood oozes from her 
fingers and the voice dies in her throat. The desired 
result is an atrocious cold. After a period of hoarse 
whispering, her voice changes its tone and strength- 
ens. She is ready to become a public singer and 

In this capacity she usually makes her first appear- 
ance at the age of twelve or thirteen. If pretty and 
skillful, her services will be much in demand, and 
her time paid for at the rate of twenty to twenty-five 
sen per hour. Then only do her purchasers begin to 
reimburse themselves for the time, expense, and 
trouble of her training ; and they are not apt to be 
generous. For many years more all that she earns 
must pass into their hands* She can own nothing, 
not even her clothes. 

At seventeen or eighteen she has made her artistic 
reputation. She has been at many hundreds of en- 
tertainments, and knows by sight all the important 
personages of her city, the character of each, the his- 
tory of all. Her life has been chiefly a night life; 
rarely has she seen the sun rise since she became a 
dancer* She has learned to drink wine without ever 
losing her head, and to fast for seven or eight hours 
without ever feeling the worse. She has had many 
lovers. To a certain extent she is free to smile upon 
whom she pleases ; but she has been well taught, above 
all else to use her power of charm for her own advan- 
tage. She hopes to find Somebody able and willing 
to buy her freedom, which Somebody would al- 
most certainly thereafter discover many new and 


excellent meanings in those Buddhist texts that tell 
about the foolishness of love and the impermanency 
of all human relationships. 

At this point of her career we may leave the 
geisha : thereafter her story is apt to prove unpleas- 
ant, unless she die young. Should that happen, she 
will have the obsequies of her class, and her memory 
will be preserved by divers curious rites. 

Some time, perhaps, while wandering through Jap- 
anese streets at night, you hear sounds of music, a 
tinkling of samisen floating through the great gate- 
way of a Buddhist temple, together with shrill yoices 
of singing-girls ; which may seem to you a strange 
happening. And the deep court is thronged with 
people looking and listening. Then, making your 
way through the press to the temple steps, you see 
two geisha seated upon the matting within, playing 
and singing, and a third dancing before a little table. 
Upon the table is an ihai, or mortuary tablet ; in 
front of the tablet burns a little lamp, and incense in 
a cup of bronze; a small repast has been placed 
there, fruits and dainties, - such a repast as, upon 
festival occasions, it is the custom to offer to the 
dead. You learn that the kaimyo upon the tablet is 
that of a geisha ; and that the comrades of the dead 
girl assemble in the temple on certain days to glad- 
den her spirit with songs and dances. Then who- 
soever pleases may attend the ceremony free of 

But the dancing-girls of ancient times were not 
as the geisha of to-day. Some of them were called 
shirabyoshi; and their hearts jwere not extremely 
hard. They were beautiful ; they wore queerly 


shaped caps bedecked with gold ; they were clad in 
splendid attire, and danced with swords in the dwell- 
ings of princes. And there is an old story about 
one of them which I think it worth while to tell. 


It was formerly, and indeed still is, a custom with 
young Japanese artists to travel on foot through 
various parts of the empire, in order to see and 
sketch the most celebrated scenery as well as to 
study famous art objects preserved in Buddhist tem- 
ples, many of which occupy sites of extraordinary 
picturesqueness. It is to such wanderings, chiefly, 
that we owe the existence of those beautiful books of 
landscape views and life studies which are now so 
curious and rare, and which teach better than aught 
else that only the Japanese can paint Japanese scen- 
ery. After you have become acquainted with their 
methods of interpreting their own nature, foreign 
attempts in the same line will seem to you strangely 
flat and soulless. The foreign artist will give you 
realistic reflections of what he sees ; but he will give 
you nothing more. The Japanese artist gives you 
that which he feels, the mood of a season, the pre- 
cise sensation of an hour and place; his work is 
qualified by a power of suggestiveness rarely found 
in the art of the West. The Occidental painter 
renders minute detail ; he satisfies the imagination he 
evokes. But his Oriental brother either suppresses 
or idealizes detail, steeps his distances in mist, 
"bands his landscapes with cloud, makes of his experi- 
ence a memory in which only the strange and the 
beautiful survive, with their sensations. He sur- 
passes imagination, excites it, leaves it hungry with 


the hunger of charm perceived in glimpses only* 
Nevertheless, in such glimpses he is able to convey 
the feeling of a time, the character of a place, after a 
fashion that seems magical. He is a painter of recol- 
lections and of sensations rather than of clear-cut 
realities ; and in this lies the secret of his amazing 
power, a power not to be appreciated by those 
who have never witnessed the scenes of his inspira- 
tion. He is above all things impersonal. His hu- 
man figures are devoid of all individuality ; yet they 
have inimitable merit as types embodying the char- 
acteristics of a class: the childish curiosity of the 
peasant, the shyness of the maiden, the fascination 
of the joro, the self-consciousness of the samurai, the 
funny, placid prettiness of the child, the resigned 
gentleness of age. Travel and observation were the 
influences which developed this art ; it was never a 
growth of studios. 

A great many years ago, a young art student was 
traveling on foot from Kyoto to Yedo, over the 
mountains. The roads then were few and bad, and 
travel was so difficult compared to what it is now 
that a proverb was current, Kawai ko wa tali wo sasS 
(A pet child should be made to travel). But the 
land was what it is to-day. There were the same for- 
ests of cedar and of pine, the same groves of bamboo, 
the same peaked villages with roofs of thatch, the 
same terraced rice-fields dotted with the great yellow 
straw hats of peasants bending in the slime, From 
the wayside, the same statues of Jizo smiled upon 
the same pilgrim figures passing to the same temples ; 
and then, as now, of summer days, one might see 



naked brown children laughing in all the shallow 
rivers, and all the rivers laughing to the sun. 

The young art student, however, was no kawai Tea : 
he had already traveled a great deal, was inured to 
hard fare and rough lodging, and accustomed to make 
the best of every situation. But upon this journey 
he found himself, one evening after sunset, in a 
region where it seemed possible to obtain neither 
fare nor lodging of any sort, out of sight of culti- 
vated land. While attempting a short cut over a 
range to reach some village, he had lost his way. 

There was no moon, and pine shadows made black- 
ness all around him. The district into which he had 
wandered seemed utterly wild ; there were no sounds 
but the humming of the wind in the pine-needles, 
and an infinite tinkling of bell-insects. He stumbled 
on, hoping to gain some river bank, which he could 
follow to a settlement. At last a stream abruptly 
crossed his way ; but it proved to be a swift torrent 
pouring into a gorge between precipices. Obliged to 
retrace his steps, he resolved to climb to the nearest 
summit, whence he might be able to discern some 
sign of human life; but on reaching it he could see 
about him only a heaping of hills. 

He had almost resigned himself to passing the 
night under the stars, when he perceived, at some 
distance down the farther slope of the hill he had 
ascended, a single thin yellow ray of light, evidently 
issuing from some dwelling. He made his way to- 
wards it, and soon discerned a small cottage, appar* 
ently a peasant's home. The light he had seen still 
streamed from it, through a chink in the closed 
storm-doors. He hastened forward, and knocked at 
the entrance* 



Not until he had knocked and called several times 
did he hear any stir within j then a woman's voice 
asked what was wanted. The voice was remarka- 
bly sweet, and the speech of the unseen questioner 
surprised him, for she spoke in the cultivated idiom 
of the capital. He responded that he was a student, 
who had lost his way in the mountains; that he 
wished, If possible, to obtain food and lodging for 
the night ; and that if this could not be given, he 
would feel very grateful for Information how to reach 
the nearest village, adding that he had means 
enough to pay for the services of a guide. The voice, 
in return, asked several other questions, indicating 
extreme surprise that any one could have reached 
the dwelling from the direction he had taken. But 
his answers evidently allayed suspicion, for the in- 
mate exclaimed: "I will come in a moment. It 
would be difficult for you to reach any village to- 
night ; and the path is dangerous." 

After a brief delay the storm-doors were pushed 
open, and a woman appeared with a paper lantern, 
which she so held as to illuminate the stranger's 
face, while her own remained in shadow. She scru- 
tinized him in silence, then said briefly, u Wait ; I 
will bring water." She fetched a wash-basin, set it 
upon the doorstep, and offered the guest a towel. 
He removed his sandals, washed from his feet the 
dust of travel, and was shown into a neat room which 
appeared to occupy the whole interior, except a 
small boarded space at the re^r, used as a kitchen, 
A cotton zabuton was laid for him to kneel upoa s 
and a brazier set before him. 


It was only then that he had a good opportunity 
of observing his hostess, and he was startled by the 
delicacy and beauty of her features. She might 
have been three or four years older than he, but was 
still in the bloom of youth. Certainly she was not 
a peasant girl. In the same singularly sweet voice 
she said to him : " I am now alone, and I never re- 
ceive guests here. But I am sure it would be dan- 
gerous for you to travel farther to-night. There are 
some peasants in the neighborhood, but you cannot 
find your way to them in the dark without a guide. 
So I can let you stay here until morning. You will 
not be comfortable, but I can give you a bed. And 
I suppose you are hungry. There is only some 
shojin-ryori, 1 not at all good, but you are welcome 
to it." 

The traveler was quite hungry, and only too glad 
of the offer. The young woman kindled a little fire, 
prepared a few dishes in silence, stewed leaves 
of na, some aburage*, some kampyo, and a bowl of 
coarse rice, and quickly set the meal before him, 
apologizing for its quality. But during his repast 
she spoke scarcely at all, and her reserved manner 
embarrassed him. As she answered the few ques* 
tions he ventured upon merely by a bow or by # 
solitary word, he soon refrained from attempting tG 
press the conversation. 

Meanwhile, he had observed that the small house 
was spotlessly clean, and the utensils in which his 
food was served were immaculate. The few cheap 
objects in the apartment were pretty. The fusuma 
of the oshiire and zendana 2 were of white paper 

1 Buddhist food, containing no animal substance. Some kinds of 
shojin-ryori are quite appetizing. 
a The terms oshiire and zendana might be partly rendered bv 


only, but had been decorated with large Chinese 
characters exquisitely written, characters suggesting, 
according to the law of such decoration, the favorite 
themes of the poet and artist: Spring Flowers* 
Mountain and Sea, Summer Rain 9 Sky and Stars, 
Autumn Moon, River Water, Autumn Breeze. At 
one side of the apartment stood a kind of low altar s 
supporting a butsudan, whose tiny lacquered doors 9 
left open, showed a mortuary tablet within, before 
which a lamp was burning between offerings of wild- 
flowers. And above this household shrine hung a 
picture of more than common merit, representing 
the Goddess of Mercy, wearing the moon for her 

As the student ended his little meal the young 
woman observed: "I cannot offer you a good bed* 
and there is only a paper mosquito-curtain. The 
bed and the curtain are mine, but to-night I have 
many things to do, and shall have no time to sleep; 
therefore I beg you will try to rest, though I am not 
able to make you comfortable." 

He then understood that she was, for some strange 
reason, entirely alone, and was voluntarily giving up 
her only bed to him upon a kindly pretext. He pro* 
tested honestly against such an excess of hospitality, 
and assured her that he could sleep quite soundly any- 
where on the floor, and did not care about the mos- 
quitoes. But she replied, in the tone of an elder 
sister, that he must obey her wishes. She really had 
something to do, and she desired to be left by herself 
as soon as possible ; therefore, understanding him to 
be a gentleman, she expected he would suffer her to 

** wardrobe " and " cupboard." The fusuma are sliding screens serv 
kir as doors* 


arrange matters In her own way. To this tie could 
offer no objection 5 as there was but one room. She 
spread the mattress ,on the floor, fetched a wooden 
pillow, suspended her paper mosquito - curtain, un- 
folded a large screen on the side of the bed toward 
the butsudan, and then bade him good-night in a 
manner that assured him she wished him to retire at 
once ; which he did, not without some reluctance at 
the thought of all the trouble he had unintentionally 
caused her. 


Unwilling as the young traveler felt to accept a 
kindness involving the sacrifice of another's repose, 
he found the bed more than comfortable. He was 
very tired, and had scarcely laid his head upon the 
wooden pillow before he forgot everything in sleep, 

Yet only a little while seemed to have passed 
when he was awakened by a singular sound. It was 
certainly the sound of feet, but not of feet walking 
softly. It seemed rather the sound of feet in rapid 
motion, as of excitement. Then it occurred to him 
that robbers might have entered the house. As for 
himself, he had little to fear because he had little to 
lose. His anxiety was chiefly for the kind person 
who had granted him hospitality. Into each side 
of the paper mosquito - curtain a small square of 
brown netting had been fitted, like a little window, 
and through one of these he tried to look ; but the 
high screen stood between him and whatever was 
going on. He thought of calling, but this impulse 
was checked by the reflection that in case of real 
danger it would be both useless and imprudent to 
announce his presence before understanding the situ* 
ation. The sounds which had made him uneasy con- 


tinned, and were more and more mysterious* He 
resolved to prepare for the worst, and to risk his life, 
if necessary, in order to defend his young hostess. 
Hastily girding up his robes, he slipped noiselessly 
from under the paper curtain, crept to the edge of 
the screen, and peeped. What he saw astonished 
Mm extremely. 

Before her illuminated butsudan the young woman, 
magnificently attired, was dancing all alone. Her 
costume he recognized as that of a shirabyoshi, 
though much richer than any he had ever seen worn 
by a professional dancer. Marvelously enhanced by 
it, her beauty, in that lonely time and place, ap- 
peared almost supernatural ; but what seemed to him 
even more wonderful was her dancing. For an in- 
stant he felt the tingling of a weird doubt. The 
superstitions of peasants, the legends of Fox- women, 
flashed before his imagination ; but the sight of the 
Buddhist shrine, of the sacred picture, dissipated the 
fancy, and shamed him for the folly of it. At the 
same time he became conscious that he was watching 
something she had not wished him to see, and that it 
was his duty, as her guest, to return at once behind 
the screen ; but the spectacle fascinated him. He 
felt, with not less pleasure than amazement, that he 
was looking upon the most accomplished dancer he 
had ever seen ; and the more he watched, the more 
the witchery of her grace grew upon him. Suddenly 
she paused, panting, unfastened her girdle, turned in 
the act of doffing her upper robe, and started vio 
lently as her eyes encountered his own. 

He tried at once to excuse himself to her. He 
said he had been suddenly awakened by the sound of 
quick feet, which sound had caused him some un* 


easiness, chiefly for her sake, because of the lateness 
of the hoar and the lonesomeness of the place. Then 
he confessed his surprise at what he had seen, and 
spoke of the manner in which it had attracted him. 
" I beg you," he continued, " to forgive my curiosity, 
for I cannot help wondering who you are, and how 
you could have become so marvelous a dancer. All 
the dancers of Saikyo I have seen, yet I have never 
seen among the most celebrated of them a girl who 
could dance like you ; and once I had begun to watch 
you, I could not take away my eyes," 

At first she had seemed angry, but before he had 
ceased to speak her expression changed. She smiled, 
and seated herself before him. "No, I am not angry 
with you," she said. " I am only sorry that you 
should have watched me, for I am sure you must 
have thought me mad when you saw me dancing that 
way, all by myself ; and now I must tell you the 
meaning of what you have seen." 

So she related her story. Her name he remem- 
bered to have heard as a boy, her professional 
name, the name of the most famous of shirabyoshi, 
the darling of the capital, who, in the zenith of her 
fame and beauty, had suddenly vanished from public 
life, none knew whither or why. She had fled from 
wealth and fortune with a youth who loved her. 
He was poor, but between them they possessed 
enough means to live simply and happily in the 
country. They built a little house in the mountains* 
and there for a number of years they existed only 
for each other. He adored her. One of his greatest 
pleasures was to see her dance. Each evening he 
would play some favorite melody, and she would 
dance for him. But one long cold winter he fell sicl^ 


and, in spite of her tender nursing, died. Since then 
she had lived alone with the memory of him, per- 
forming all those small rites of love and homage 
with which the dead are honored. Daily before his 
tablet she placed the customary offerings, and nightly 
danced to please him, as of old. And this was the 
explanation of what the young traveler had seen. It 
was indeed rude, she continued, to have awakened 
her tired guest ; but she had waited until she thought 
him soundly sleeping, and then she had tried to dance 
very, very lightly. So she hoped he would pardon 
her for having unintentionally disturbed him, 

When she had told him all, she made ready a little 
tea, which they drank together ; then she entreated 
him so plaintively to please her by trying to sleep 
again that he found himself obliged to go back, with 
many sincere apologies, under the paper mosquito- 

He slept well and long ; the sun was high before 
he woke. On rising, he found prepared for him a 
meal as simple as that of the evening before, and he 
felt hungry. Nevertheless he ate sparingly, fearing 
the young woman might have stinted herself in thus 
providing for him ; and then he made ready to de- 
part. But when he wanted to pay her for what he 
had received, and for all the trouble he had given 
her, she refused to take anything from him, saying : 
"What I had to give was not worth money, and 
what I did was done for kindness alone. So I pray 
that you will try to forget the discomfort you suf- 
fered here, and will remember only the good-will of 
one who had nothing to offer." 

He still endeavored to induce her to accept some- 
thing; but at last, finding that his insistence only 


gave her pain, he took leave of her with, such words 
as he could find to express his gratitude, and not 
without a secret regret, for her beauty and her gen- 
tleness had charmed him more than he would have 
liked to acknowledge to any but herself. She indi- 
cated to him the path to follow, and watched him 
descend the mountain until he had passed from sight. 
An hour later he found himself upon a highway with 
which he was familiar. Then a sudden remorse 
touched him : he had forgotten to tell her his name : 
For an instant he hesitated ; then said to himself f 
" What matters it ? I shall be always poor." And 
lie went on. 


Many years passed by, and many fashions with 
them ; and the painter became old. But ere becom- 
ing old he had become famous. Princes, charmed 
by the wonder of his work, had vied with one another 
in giving him patronage ; so that he grew rich, and 
possessed a beautiful dwelling of his own in the City 
of the Emperors. Young artists from many prov- 
inces were his pupils, and lived with him, serving 
him in all things while receiving his instruction; and 
his name was known throughout the land. 

Now, there came one day to his house an old wo- 
man, who asked to speak with him. The servants, 
seeing that she was meanly dressed and of miserable 
appearance, took her to be some common beggar, and 
questioned her roughly. But when she answered : 
"I can tell to no one except your master why I have 
come," they believed her mad, and deceived her, say- 
ing : " He is not now in Saikyo, nor do we know how 
soon he will return." > 

But the old woman came again and again, day 


after day ? and week after week, each time being 
told something that was not true : u To-day he is 
ill," or, " To-day he is very busy," or, " To-day he 
has much company, and therefore cannot see you." 
Nevertheless she continued to come, always at the 
same hour each day, and always carrying a bundle 
wrapped in a ragged covering ; and the servants at 
last thought it were best to speak to their master 
about her. So they said to him : " There is a very 
old woman, whom we take to be a beggar, at our 
lord's gate. More than fifty times she has come f 
asking to see our lord, and refusing to tell us why, 
saying that she can tell her wishes only to our lord. 
And we have tried to discourage her, as she seemed 
to be mad ; but she always comes. Therefore we 
have presumed to mention the matter to our lord, in 
order that we may learn what is to be done here- 

Then the Master answered sharply : " Why did 
none of you tell me of this before ? " and went oufc 
himself to the gate, and spoke very kindly to the 
woman, remembering how he also had been poor. 
And he asked her if she desired alms of him. 

But she answered that she had no need of money 
or of food, and only desired that he would paint for 
her a picture. He wondered at her wish, and bade 
her enter his house. So she entered into the vesti- 
bule, and, kneeling there, began to untie the knots of 
the bundle she had brought with her. When she had 
unwrapped it, the painter perceived curious rich 
quaint garments of silk broidered with designs in 
gold, yet much frayed and discolored by wear and 
time, the wreck of a wonderful costume of other 
days, the attire of a shirabyoshi. 


While the old woman unfolded the garments oiie 
by one, and tried to smooth them with her trem- 
bling fingers, a memory stirred in the Master's brain, 
thrilled dimly there a little space, then suddenly 
lighted up. In that soft shock of recollection, he 
saw again the lonely mountain dwelling in which he 
had received unremunerated hospitality, the tiny 
room prepared for his rest, the paper mosquito-cur- 
tain, the faintly burning lamp before the Buddhist 
shrine, the strange beauty of one dancing there alone 
in the dead of the night. Then, to the astonishment 
of the aged "visitor, he, the favored of princes, bowed 
low before her, and said : " Pardon my rudeness in 
having forgotten your face for a moment; but it is 
more than forty years since we last saw each other* 
Now I remember you well. You received me once 
at your house. You gave up to me the only bed 
you had. I saw you dance, and you told me all 
your story. You had been a shirabyoshi, and I have 
not forgotten your name." 

He uttered it. She, astonished and confused, could 
not at first reply to him, for she was old and had suf- 
fered much, and her memory had begun to fail. But 
he spoke more and more kindly to her, and reminded 
her of many things which she had told him, and 
described to her the house in which she had lived 
alone, so that at last she also remembered ; and she 
answered, with tears of pleasure : u Surely the Divine 
One who looketh down above the sound of prayer has 
guided me. But when my unworthy home was hon- 
ored by the visit of the august Master, I was not as 
I now am. And it seems to me like a miracle of our 
Lord Buddha that the Master should remember me." 

Then she related the yest of her simple story. In 


the course of years, she had become, through pov- 
erty, obliged to part with her little house ; and in 
her old age she had returned alone to the great city., 
in which her name had long been forgotten. It had 
caused her much pain to lose her home ; but it 
grieved her still more that, in becoming weak and 
old, she could no longer dance each evening before 
the butsudan, to please the spirit of the dead whom 
she had loved. Therefore she wanted to have a pic- 
ture of herself painted, in the costume and the atti- 
tude of the dance, that she might suspend it before 
the butsudan. For this she had prayed earnestly 
to Kwannon, And she had sought out the Master 
because of his fame as a painter, since she desired, for 
the sake of the dead, no common work, but a picture 
painted with great skill ; and she had brought her 
dancing attire, hoping that the Master might be will- 
Ing to paint her therein. 

He listened to all with a kindly smile, and answered 
her : " It will be only a pleasure for me to paint the 
picture which you want. This day I have something 
to finish which cannot be delayed. But if you will 
come here to-morrow, I will paint you exactly as you 
wish, and as well as I am able/' 

But she said : a I have not yet told to the Master 
the thing which most troubles me. And it is this, 
that I can offer in return for so great a favor nothing 
except th^se dancer's clothes ; and they are of no value 
in themselves, though they were costly once. Still, 
I hoped the Master might be willing to take them, 
seeing they have become curious ; for there are no 
more shirabyoshi, and the maiko of these times wear 
no such robes," 

"Of that matter," the good painter exclaimed^ 


^ you must not think at all ! No ; I am glad to have 
this present chance of paying a small part of my old 
debt to you. So to-morrow I will paint you just as 
you wish." 

She prostrated herself thrice before him, uttering 
thanks, and then said, u Let my lord pardon, though 
I have yet something more to say. For I do not wish 
that he should paint me as I now am, but only as I 
used to be when I was young, as my lord knew me." 

He said : " I remember well. You were very beau- 

Her wrinkled features lighted up with pleasure, as 
she bowed her thanks to him for those words. And 
she exclaimed : " Then indeed all that I hoped and 
prayed for may be done ! Since he thus remembers 
my poor youth, I beseech my lord to paint me, not as 
I now am, but as he saw me when I was not old and, 
as it has pleased him generously to say, not uncomely. 

Master, make me young again ! Make me seem 
beautiful that I may seem beautiful to the soul of 
him for whose sake I, the unworthy, beseech this ! 
He will see the Master's work : he will forgive me 
that I can no longer dance." 

Once more the Master bade her have no anxiety, 
and said : " Come to-morrow, and I will paint you. 

1 will make a picture of you just as you were when. I 
saw you, a young and beautiful shirabyoshi, and I 
will paint it as carefully and as skillfully as if I were 
painting the picture of the richest person in the land. 
Never doubt, but come." 


So the aged dancer came at the appointed hour ; 
and upon soft white silk the artist painted a picture 


of her. Yet not a picture of her as she seemed to 
the Master's pupils, but the memory of her as she had 
been in the days of her youth, bright-eyed as a "bird, 
lithe as a bamboo, dazzling as a tennin l in her raiment 
of silk and gold. Under the magic of the Master's 
brush, the vanished grace returned, the faded beauty 
bloomed again. When the kakemono had been fin- 
ished, and stamped with his seal, he mounted it richly 
upon silken cloth, and fixed to it rollers of cedar with 
ivory weights, and a silken cord by which to hang it ; 
and he placed it in a little box of white wood, and so 
gave it to the shirabyoshi. And he would also have 
presented her with a gift of money* But though he 
pressed her earnestly, he could not persuade her to 
accept his help. " Nay," she made answer, with 
tears, " indeed I need nothing. The picture only I 
desired. For that I prayed ; and now my prayer has 
been answered, and I know that I never can wish for 
anything more in this life, and that if I come to die 
thus desiring nothing, to enter upon the way of Bud- 
dha will not be difficult. One thought alone causes 
me sorrow, that I have nothing to offer to the 
Master but this dancer's apparel, which is indeed of 
little worth, though I beseech him to accept it ; and 
I will pray each day that his future life may be a life 
of happiness, because of the wondrous kindness which 
he has done me." 

4 * Nay," protested the painter, smiling, " what is it 
that I have done ? Truly nothing. As for the dancer's 
garments, I will accept them, if that can make you 
more happy. They will bring back pleasant memo- 
ries of the night I passed in your home, when you 
gave up all your comforts for my unworthy sake, and 
; * Twain, a " Sky-Maiden," a Buddhist angel. 


yet would not suffer me to pay for that which I used; 
and for that kindness I hold myself to be still In your 
debt. But now tell me where you live, so that I 
may see the picture in its place." For he had re* 
solved within himself to place her beyond the reach 
of want. 

But she excused herself with humble words, and 
would not tell him, saying that her dwelling-place 
was too mean to be looked upon by such as he ; and 
then, with many prostrations, she thanked him again 
and again, and went away with her treasure, weeping 
for joy. 

Then the Master called to one of his pupils : " Go 
quickly after that woman, but so that she does not 
know herself followed, and bring me word where 
she lives." So the young man followed her, unper- 

He remained long away, and when he returned he 
laughed in the manner of one obliged to say some- 
thing which it is not pleasant to hear, and he said : 
" That woman, Master, I followed out of the city 
to the dry bed of the tiver, near to the place where 
criminals are executed. There I saw a hut such as 
an Eta might dwell in, and that is where she lives. 
A forsaken and filthy place, Master ! " 

" Nevertheless," the painter replied, " to-morrow 
you will take me to that forsaken and filthy place. 
What time I live she shall not suffer for food or 
clothing or comfort." 

And as all wondered, he told them the story of the 
shirabyoshi, after which it did not seem to them that 
his words were strange. 



On the morning of the day following, an hour after 
sunrise, the Master and his pupil took their way to 
the dry bed of the river, beyond the verge of the city f 
to the place of outcasts. 

The entrance of the little dwelling they found 
closed by a single shutter, upon which the Master 
tapped many times without evoking a response. 
Then, finding the shutter unfastened from within, he 
pushed it slightly aside, and called through the aper- 
ture. None replied, and he decided to enter. Simul- 
taneously, with extraordinary vividness, there thrilled 
back to him the sensation of the very instant when, 
as a tired lad, he stood pleading for admission to the 
lonesome little cottage among the hills. 

Entering alone softly, he perceived that the woman 
was lying there, wrapped in a single thin and tattered 
futon, seemingly asleep. On a rude shelf he recog- 
nized the butsudan of forty years before, with its 
tablet, and now, as then, a tiny lamp was burning in 
front of the kaimyo. The kakemono of the Goddess 
of Mercy with her lunar aureole was gone, but on 
the wall facing the shrine he beheld his own dainty 
gift suspended, and an of uda beneath it, an of uda 
of Hito-koto-Kwannon, 1 that Kwannon unto whom 
it is unlawful to pray more than once, as she answers 
but a single prayer. There was little else in the 
desolate dwelling ; only the garments of a female 
pilgrim, and a mendicant's staff and bowl. 

But the Master did not pause to look at these 
things, for he desired to awaken and to gladden the 

1 Her shrine is at >Iara, not far from the temple of the giant 
VOL. H. 


sleeper, and lie called her name cheerily twice and 

Then suddenly he saw that she was dead, and he 
wondered while he gazed upon her face, for it seemed 
less old. A vague sweetness, like a ghost of youth, had 
returned to it ; the lines of sorrow had been sof tened f 
the wrinkles strangely smoothed, by the touch of a 
phantom Master mightier than he. 


I RESOLVED to go to OkL 

Not even a missionary had ever been to Oki, and 
its shores had never been seen by European eyes, 
except on those rare occasions when men-of-war 
steamed by them, cruising about the Japanese Sea. 
This alone would have been a sufficient reason for 
going there ; but a stronger one was furnished for 
me by the ignorance of the Japanese themselves 
about OkL Excepting the far-away Riu-Kiu, or 
Loo-Choo Islands, inhabited by a somewhat different 
race with a different language, the least-known por- 
tion of the Japanese Empire is perhaps Oki. Since 
it belongs to the same prefectural district as Izumo^ 
each new governor of Slrimane-Ken is supposed to 
pay one visit to Oki after his inauguration ; and ,the 
chief of police of the province sometimes goes there 
upon a tour of inspection. There are also some mer- 
cantile houses in Matsue and in other cities which 
send a commercial traveler to Oki once a year. Fur- 
thermore, there is quite a large trade with Oki, 
almost all carried on by small sailing-vessels. But 
such official and commercial communications have 
not been of a nature to make Oki much better 
known to-day than in the mediseval period of Japa- 
nese history. There are still current among the 
common people of the west coast extraordinary sto* 


ries of Oki much like those about that fabulous Isle 
of Women, which figures so largely In the imaglna* 
tive literature of various Oriental races. According 
to these old legends, the moral notions of the people 
of Oki were extremely fantastic : the most rigid as- 
cetic could not dwell there and maintain his indiffer- 
ence to earthly pleasures ; and, however wealthy at 
Ms arrival, the visiting stranger must soon return to 
Ms native land naked and poor, because of the se- 
ductions of women. I had quite sufficient experi- 
ences of travel in queer countries to feel certain that 
all these marvelous stories signified nothing beyond 
the bare fact that Oki was a terra incognita; and 
I even 'felt inclined to believe that the average 
morals of the people of Oki judging by those of 
the common folk of the western provinces must 
be very much better than the morals of our ignorant 
classes at home. 

Which I subsequently ascertained to be the case. 

For some time I could find no one among my Jap- 
anese acquaintances to give me any information about 
Oki, beyond the fact that in ancient times it had 
been a place of banishment for the Emperors Go- 
Daigo and Go-Toba, dethroned by military usurpers, 
and this I already knew. But at last, quite unex- 
pectedly, I found a friend a former fellow-teacher 
who had not only been to Oki, but was going there 
again within a few days about some business matter. 
We agreed to go together. His accounts of Oki dif- 
fered very materially from those of the people who 
tad never been there. The Oki folks, he said, were 
almost as much civilized as the Izumo folks: they 
had nice towns and good public schools. They wer 


very simple, and honest beyond belief, and extremely 
kind to strangers. Their only boast was that of 
having kept their race unchanged since the time that 
the Japanese had first come to Japan; or, in more 
romantic phrase, since the Age of the Gods. They 
were all Shintoists, members of the Izumo Taisha 
faith, but Buddhism, was also maintained among 
them, chiefly through the generous subscription of 
private individuals. And there were very comfort- 
able hotels, so that I would feel quite at home. 

He also gave me a little book about Oki, printed 
for the use of the Oki schools, from which I obtained 
the following brief summary of facts : 


Oki-no-Kuni, or the Land of Oki, consists of two 
groups of small islands in the Sea of Japan, about 
one hundred miles from the coast of Izumo. Dozen, 
as the nearer group is termed, comprises, besides 
various islets, three islands lying close together: 
Chiburishima, or the Island of Chiburi (sometimes 
called Higashinoshima, or Eastern Island) ; Nishino- 
shima, or the Western Island, and Nakanoshima, or 
the Middle Island. Much larger than any of these 
Is the principal island, Dogo, which together with 
various islets, mostly uninhabited, form the remaining 
group. It is sometimes called Oki, though the 
name Oki Is more generally used for the whole archi- 
pelago. 1 

Officially, Oki is divided into four kori or coun- 
ties. Chiburi and Nishinoshima together form Chi- 
burigori; Nakanoshima, with an islet, makes Ama- 
gori, and Dogo Is divided into Ochigori and SukigorL 

1 The names Dozen or Tozen, and D5go or Togo, signify " the 
Before-Islands " and " the Behind-Islands." 


All these Islands are very mountainous, and only a 
small portion of their area has ever been cultivated. 
Their chief sources of revenue are their fisheries, in 
which nearly the whole population has always been 
engaged from the most ancient times, 

During the winter months the sea between OH 
and the west coast is highly dangerous for small ves- 
sels, and in that season the islands hold little com- 
munication with the mainland. Only one passenger 
steamer runs to Oki from Sakai in Hoki. In a direct 
line, the distance from Sakai in Hoki to Saigo, the 
chief port of Oki, Is said to be thirty-nine ri ; but the 
steamer touches at the other islands upon her way 

There are quite a number of little towns, br rather 
villages, in Oki, of which forty-five belong to Dogo. 
The villages are nearly all situated upon the coast. 
There are large schools In the principal towns. 
The population of the islands is stated to be 30,1 96, 
but the respective populations of towns and villages 
are not given. 


From Matsue In Izumo to Sakai in Hoki is a trip 
of barely two hours by steamer. Sakai Is the chief 
seaport of Shimane-Ken. It Is an ugly little town, 
full of unpleasant smells ; it exists only as a port ; 
it has no industries, scarcely any shops, and only one 
Shinto temple of small dimensions and smaller inter- 
est. Its principal buildings are warehouses, pleasure 
resorts for sailors, and a few large dingy hotels, 
which are always overcrowded with guests waiting 
for steamers to Osaka, to Bakkan, to Hamada, to 
Niigata, and various other ports. On this coast no 
steamers run regularly anywhere; their owners at* 


tach no business value whatever to punctuality, and 
guests have usually to wait for a much longer time 
than they could possibly have expected, and the 
hotels are glad. 

But the harbor is beautiful, along frith between 
the high land of Izumo and the low coast of HokL 
It is perfectly sheltered from storms, and deep enough 
to admit all but the largest steamers. The ships 
can lie close to the houses, and the harbor is nearly 
always thronged with all sorts of craft, from junks to 
steam packets of the latest construction. 

My friend and I were lucky enough to secure back 
rooms at the best hotel. Back rooms are the best in 
nearly all Japanese buildings : at Sakai they have 
the additional advantage of overlooking the busy 
wharves and the whole luminous bay, beyond which 
the Izumo hills undulate in huge green billows against 
the sky. There was much to see and to be amused 
at. Steamers and sailing craft of all sorts were lying 
two and three deep before the hotel, and the naked 
dock laborers were loading and unloading in their 
own peculiar way. These men are recruited from 
among the strongest peasantry of Hoki and of Izumo, 
and some were really fine men, over whose brown 
backs the muscles rippled at every movement. They 
were assisted by boys of fifteen or sixteen appar- 
ently, apprentices learning the work, but not yet 
strong enough to bear heavy burdens. I noticed that 
nearly all had bands of blue cloth bound about their 
calves to keep the veins from bursting. And all sang 
as they worked. There was one curious alternate 
chorus, in which the men in the hold gave the 
signal by chanting " dokoe, dokoe ! " (haul away I) 


and those at the hatch responded by Improvisations 

on the appearance of each package as it ascended : 

Dokoe, dokoe I 
Onnago no ko da. 

Dokoe, dokoe ! 
Oya da yo, oya da yo, 

Dokoe, dokoe I 
Choi-choi da, choi-choi da. 

Dokoe, dokoe / 
Matsue da, Matsue da. 

Dokoe, dokoe ! 
Koetsumo Yonago da, 1 etc. 

But this chant was for light quick work. A very 
different chant accompanied the more painful and 
slower labor of loading heavy sacks and barrels upon 
the shoulders of the stronger men : 

Yan-yui ! 

Yan-yui ! 
Yan-yui ! 

Yan-yui ! 
Yoi~ya-sa-a-a-no-do-koe-shi ! 2 

Three men always lifted the weight. At the first 
yan-yui all stooped ; at the second all took hold ; the 
third signified ready ; at the fourth the weight rose 
from the ground ; and with the long cry of yoiyasa 
no dokoeshi it was dropped on the brawny shoulder 
waiting to receive it, 

Among the workers was a naked laughing boy, 
with a fine contralto that rang out so merrily through 
all the din as to create something of a sensation in 

1 " Dokoe, dokoe ! '* " This is only a woman's baby " (a very small 
package.) " Dokoe, dokoe ! " " This is the daddy, this is the daddy " 
(a big package)." " Dokoe, dokoe ! " " T is very small, very small ! " 
" Dokoe, dokoe I " " This is for Matsue, this is for Matsue I " "Do* 
koe, dokoe .' " " This is for Koetsumo of Yonago,' * etc. 

2 These words seem to have no more meaning than our " yo-heave* 
ho" Yan-yui is a cry used by all Izumo and Hoki sailors. 


the hotel. A young woman, one of the guests, came 
out upon the balcony to look, and exclaimed : " That 
"boy's voice is BED," whereat everybody smiled. 
Under the circumstances I thought the observation 
very expressive, although it recalled a certain famous 
story about scarlet and the sound of a trumpet, which 
does not seem nearly so funny now as it did at a 
time when we knew less about the nature of light 
and sound. 

The Oki steamer arrived the same afternoon, but 
she could not approach the wharf, and I could only 
obtain a momentary glimpse of her stern through a 
telescope, with which I read the name, in English 
letters of gold, OKT-SAIGO. Before I could obtain 
any idea of her dimensions, a huge black steamer 
from Nagasaki glided between, and moored right in 
the way. 

I watched the loading and unloading, and listened 
to the song of the boy with the red voice, until sun- 
set, when all quit work ; and after that I watched 
the Nagasaki steamer. She had made her way to 
our wharf as the other vessels moved out, and lay 
directly under the balcony. The captain and crew 
did not appear to be in a hurry about anything* 
They all squatted down together on the foredeck, 
where a feast was spread for them by lantern-light. 
Dancing-girls climbed on board and feasted with 
them, and sang to the sound of the samisen, and 
played with them the game of ken. Late "into the 
night the feasting and the fun continued; and al- 
though an alarming quantity of sak was consumed, 
there was no roughness or boisterousness. But sak6 
is the most soporific of wines ; and by midnight only 


three of the men remained on deck. One of these 
Jiad not taken any sak6 at all, but still desired to eat. 
Happily for him there climbed on board a night- 
walking mochi'ya with a box of mochi, which are 
cakes of rice-flour sweetened with native sugar. The 
hungry one bought all, and reproached the mochiya 
because there were no more, and offered, neverthe- 
less, to share the mochi with his comrades. Where- 
upon the first to whom the offer was made answered 
somewhat after this manner : 

u I-your-servant mochi-f or this-world-in no-use-have* 
Sak^-alone this-life-in if-there-be, nothing-beside-desir- 

" For me-your-servant," spake the other, " Woman 
this-fleeting-life-in the-supreme-thing is ; mochi-or- 
sak^-for earthly-use have-I-none." 

But, having made all the mochi to disappear, he 
that had been hungry turned himself to the mochiya, 
and said : 

*' O Mochiya San, I-your-servant Woxnan-or-sak&- 
f or earthly-requirement have-none, Mochi-than things 
better this-life-of-sorrow-in existence-have-not ! " 


Early in the morning we were notified that the 
Oki-Saigo would start at precisely eight o'clock, and 
that we had better secure our tickets at once. The 
hotel-servant, according to Japanese custom, relieved 
us of all anxiety about baggage, etc., and bought 
our tickets : first-class fare, eighty sen. And after a 
hasty breakfast the hotel boat came under the win- 
dow to take us away. 

Warned by experience of the discomforts of Euro* 
pean dress on Shimane steamers, I adopted Japanese 


costume and exchanged my shoes for sandals. Our 
boatmen sculled swiftly through the confusion of 
shipping and junkery ; and as we cleared It I saw, 
far out in midstream, the joki waiting. for us. Joki 
is a Japanese name for steam-vessel. The word had 
not yet impressed me as being capable of a sinister 

She seemed nearly as long as a harbor tug, though, 
much more squabby ; and she otherwise so much re- 
sembled the lilliputian steamers of Lake Shinji, that 
I felt somewhat afraid of her, even for a trip of one 
hundred miles. But exterior inspection afforded no 
clue to the mystery of her inside. We reached her and 
climbed into her starboard through a small square 
hole. At once I found myself cramped in a heavily- 
roofed gangway, four feet high and two feet wide, 
and in the thick of a frightful squeeze, passengers 
stifling in the effort to pull baggage three feet in 
diameter through the two-foot orifice. It was impos- 
sible to advance or retreat ; and behind me the en- 
gine-room gratings were pouring wonderful heat into 
this infernal corridor. I had to wait with the back 
of my head pressed against the roof until, in some 
unimaginable way, all baggage and passengers had 
squashed and squeezed through. Then, reaching a 
doorway, I fell over a heap of sandals and geta, into 
the first-class cabin. It was pretty, with its polished 
woodwork and mirrors ; it was surrounded by divans 
five inches wide ; and in the centre it was nearly six 
feet high. Such altitude would have been a cause 
for comparative happiness, but that from various pol- 
ished bars of brass extended across the ceiling all 
kinds of small baggage, including two cages of sing- 
ing-crickets (chon-gisu)) had been carefully sus- 


pended. Furthermore the cabin was already ex- 
tremely occupied : everybody, of course, on the floor, 
and nearly everybody lying at extreme length ; and 
the heat struck me as being supernatural. Now 
they that go down to the sea in ships, out of Izumo 
and such places, for the purpose of doing business in 
great waters, are never supposed to stand up, but to 
squat in the ancient patient manner ; and coast or 
lake steamers are constructed with a view to render 
this attitude only possible. Observing an open door 
in the port side of the cabin, I picked my way over a 
tangle of bodies and limbs, among them a pair of 
fairy legs belonging to a dancing-girl, and found 
myself presently in another gangway, also roofed, and 
choked up to the roof with baskets of squirming eels. 
Exit there was none : so I climbed back over all the 
legs and tried the starboard gangway a second time, 
Even during that short interval, it had been half 
filled with baskets of unhappy chickens. But I 
made a reckless dash over them, in spite of frantic 
cacklings which hurt my soul, and succeeded in find- 
ing a way to the cabin-roof. It was entirely occu- 
pied by watermelons, except one corner, where there 
was a big coil of rope. I put melons inside of the 
rope, and sat upon them in the sun. It was not 
comfortable ; but I thought that there I might have 
some chance for my life in case of a catastrophe, and 
I was sure that even the gods could give no help to 
those below. During the squeeze I had got sepa- 
rated from my companion, but I was afraid to make 
any attempt to find him. Forward I saw the roof of 
the second cabin crowded with third-class passengers 
squatting round a hibachi. To pass through them 
did not seem possible, and to retire would have in- 


volved the murder of either eels or chickens. Where- 
fore I sat upon the melons. 

And the boat started, with a stunning scream* In 
another moment her funnel began to rain soot upon 
me, for the so-called first-class cabin was well 
astern, and then came small cinders mixed with 
the soot, and the cinders were occasionally red-hot. 
But I sat burning upon the watermelons for some 
time longer, trying to imagine a way of changing 
my position without committing another assault upon 
the chickens. Finally, I made a desperate endeavor 
to get to leeward of the volcano, and it was then for 
the first time that I began to learn the -peculiarities 
of the joki* What I tried to sit on turned upside 
down, and what I tried to hold by instantly gave 
way, and always in the direction of overboard. 
Things clamped or rigidly braced to outward seem- 
ing proved, upon cautious examination, to be danger- 
ously mobile; and things that, according to Occi- 
dental ideas, ought to have been movable, were 
fixed like the roots of the perpetual hills. In what- 
ever direction a rope or stay could possibly have been 
stretched so as to make somebody unhappy, it was 
there. In the midst of these trials the frightful little 
craft began to swing, and the watermelons began to 
rush heavily to and fro, and I came to the conclusion 
that this joki had been planned and constructed by 

Which I stated to my friend. He had not only 
rejoined me quite unexpectedly, but had brought 
along with him one of the ship's boys to spread an 
awning above ourselves and the watermelons, so as 
to exclude cinders and sun. 

** Oh, no I " he answered reproachfully. " She was 


designed and built at Hyogo, and really she might 
iiave been made muck worse. ..." 

"I beg your pardon," I interrupted; "I don't 
agree with you at all." 

"Well, you will see for yourself," he persisted. 
u Her hull is good steel, and her little engine is won- 
derful; she can make her hundred miles in five 
hours. She is not very comfortable, but she is very 
swift and strong." 

"I would rather be in a sampan," I protested, "if 
there were rough weather." 

" But she never goes to sea in rough weather. If 
it only looks as if there might possibly be some 
rough weather, she stays in port. Sometimes she 
waits a whole month. She never runs any risks." 

I could not feel sure of it. But I soon forgot all 
discomforts, even the discomfort of sitting upon 
watermelons, in the delight of the divine day and 
the magnificent view that opened wider and wider 
before us, as we rushed from the long frith into the 
Sea of Japan, following the Izumo coast. There 
was no fleck in the soft blue vastness above, not one 
flutter on the metallic smoothness of the all-reflecting 
sea ; if our little steamer rocked, it was doubtless be- 
cause she had been overloaded. To port, the Izumo 
hills were flying by, a long, wild procession of broken 
shapes, sombre green, separating at intervals to form 
mysterious little bays, with fishing hamlets hiding in 
them. Leagues away to starboard, the Hoki shore 
receded into the naked white horizon, an ever-dimin- 
ishing streak of warm blue edged with a thread-line 
of white, the gleam of a sand beach ; and beyond it, 
in the centre, a vast shadowy pyramid loomed up into 
heaven/ the ghostly peak of Daisen. 


My companion touched my arm to call my atten- 
tion to a group of pine-trees on the summit of a peak 
to port, and laughed and sang a Japanese song. How 
swiftly we had been traveling I then for the first 
time understood, for I recognized the four famous 
pines of MioiioseM, on the windy heights above the 
shrine of Koto-shiro-nushi-no-Kami. There used to 
be five trees : one was uprooted by a storm, and some 
Izumo poet wrote about the remaining four the 
words which my friend had sung : 

Seki no gohon matsu 
Ippun kirya, shihon ; 
Ato wa kirarenu 
Miyoto matsu. 

Which means : " Of the five pines of Seki one has been 
cut, and four remain ; and of these no one must now 
be cut, they are wedded pairs." And in Mio- 
noseki there are sold beautiful little sak cups and 
sak bottles, upon which are pictures of the four 
pines, and above the pictures, in spidery text of gold, 
the verses, "Seki no gohon matsu." These are for 
keepsakes, and there are many other curious and 
pretty souvenirs to buy in those pretty shops : porce- 
lains bearing the picture of the Mionoseki temple* 
and metal clasps for tobacco pouches representing 
Koto-shiro-nushi-no-Kami trying to put a big tai-fish 
into a basket too small for it, and funny masks of 
glazed earthenware representing the laughing face of 
the god. For a jovial god is this Ebisu, or Koto- 
shiro-nushi-no-Kami, patron of honest labor and espe- 
cially of fishers, though less of a laughter-lover than 
his father, the Great Deity of Kitzuki, about whom 
'tis said: "Whenever the happy laugh, the God 


We passed the Cape, the Miho of the Kojiki, * 
and the harbor of Mionoseki opened before us, show- 
ing Its islanded shrine of Benten in the midst, and 
the crescent of quaint houses with their feet in the 
water, and the great torii and granite lions of the 
far-famed temple. Immediately a number of pas- 
sengers rose to their feet, and, turning their faces 
toward the torii, began to clap their hands in Shinto 

I said to my friend : 

" There are fifty baskets full of chickens in the 
gangway ; and yet these people are praying to Koto- 
shiro-nushi-no-Kami that nothing horrible may hap- 
pen to this boat." 

" More likely," he answered, u they are praying 
for good-fortune ; though there is a saying : * The 
gods only laugh when men pray to them for wealth/ 
But of the Great Deity of Mionoseki there is a good 
story told., Once there was a very lazy man who 
went to Mionoseki and prayed to become rich. And 
the same night he saw the god in a dream ; and the 
god laughed, and took off one of his own divine 
sandals, and told him to examine it. And the man 
saw that it was made of solid brass, but had a big 
hole worn through the sole of it. Then said the 
god: 'You want to have money without working 
for it. I am a god ; but I am never lazy. See ! my 
sandals are of brass : yet I have worked and walked 
so much that they are quite worn out.' " 


The beautiful bay of Mionoseki opens between 
two headlands: Cape Mio (or Miho, according to 
the archaic spelling) and the Cape of Jizo (Jizo* 


gaki) 9 now most inappropriately called by the people 
"The Nose of Jizo" (Jizo~no~hana). This Nose of 
Jizo is one of the most dangerous points of the coast 
in time of surf, and the great terror of small ships 
returning from. Oki. There is nearly always a heavy 
swell there, even in fair weather. Yet as we passed 
the ragged promontory I was surprised to see the 
water still as glass. I felt suspicious of that noiseless 
sea: its Boundlessness recalled the beautiful treach- 
erous sleep of waves and winds which precedes a 
tropical hurricane. But my friend said : 

44 It may remain like this for weeks. In the sixth 
month and in the beginning of the seventh, It is 
usually very quiet ; it is not likely to become danger- 
ous before the Bon, But there was a little squall last 
week at Mionoseki ; and the people said that it was 
caused by the anger of the god." 

" Eggs ? " I queried. 

"No: a Kudan." 

"What Is a Kudan " 

" Is it possible you never heard of the Kudan ? 
The Kudan has the face of a man, and the body of a 
bull. Sometimes it is born of a cow, and that is a 
Sign-of-things-going-to-happen. And the Kudan al- 
ways tells the truth. Therefore in Japanese letters 
and documents it is customary to use the phrase, 
Eudan~no-ffoto$hi 9 * like the Kudan/ or 4 on the 
truth of the Kudan.' " * 

"But why was the God of Mionoseki angry aboufc 
the Kudan?" 

44 People said it was a stuffed Kudan. I did not 

1 This curious meaning is not given in Japanese-English diction* 
aries, where the idiom is translated merely by the phrase " as afore> 



see It, so I cannot tell you bow it was made. There 
were some traveling showmen from Osaka at Sakai, 
They had a tiger and many curious animals and the 
stuffed Kudan ; and they took the Izumo Mam for 
Mionoseki. As the steamer entered the port, a sud- 
den squall came ; and the priests of the temple said 
the god was angry because things impure bones 
and parts of dead animals had been brought to the 
town* And the show people were not even allowed 
to land : they had to go back to Sakai on the same 
steamer. And as soon as they had gone away, the 
sky became clear again, and the wind stopped blow- 
ing : so that some people thought what the priests had 
said was true." 


Evidently there was much more moisture in the 
atmosphere than I had supposed. On really clear 
days, Daisen can be distinctly seen even from Oki ; 
but we had scarcely passed the Nose of Jizo when the 
tuge peak began to wrap itself in vapor of the same 
color as the horizon ; and in a few minutes it van- 
ished, as a spectre might vanish. The effect of this 
sudden disappearance was very extraordinary; for 
only the peak passed from sight, and that which had 
veiled it could not be in any way distinguished from 
horizon and sky. 

Meanwhile the Oki-Saigo, having reached the far- 
thest outlying point of the coast upon her route, began 
to race in a straight line across the Japanese Sea. 
The green hills of Izumo fled away and~turned blue, 
and the spectral shores of Hoki began to melt into 
tie horizon, like bands of cloud. Then I was obliged 
to confess my surprise at the speed of the horrid little 
steamer* She moved, too, with scarcely any soundf 


so smooth was the working of her wonderful little 
engine. But she began to swing heavily, with deep, 
slow swingings. To the eye, the sea looked level as 
oil ; but there were long invisible swells ocean- 
pulses that made themselves felt beneath the sur- 
face, Hoki evaporated ; the Izumo hills turned gray, 
and their gray steadily paled as I watched them. 
They grew more and more colorless, seemed to be- 
come transparent. And then they were not. Only 
blue sky and blue sea, welded together in the white 

It was just as lonesome as if we had been a thou- 
sand leagues from land. And in that weirdness we 
were told some very lonesome things by an ancient 
mariner who found leisure to join us among the 
watermelons. He talked of the Hotoke-umi, and 
the ill-luck of being at sea on the sixteenth day of 
the seventh month. He told us that even the great 
steamers never went to sea during the Bon : no crew 
would venture to take a ship out then. And he re- 
lated the following stories with such simple earnest- 
ness that I think he must have believed what he 
said : 

u Th first time I was very young. From Hok- 
kaido we had sailed, and the voyage was long, and 
the winds turned against us. And the night of the 
sixteenth day fell, as we were working on over this 
very sea. 

" And all at once in the darkness we saw behind 
us a great junk, all white, that we had not 
noticed till she was quite close to us. It made us 
feel queer, because she seemed to have come from 
nowhere. She was so near us that we could hear 


voices ; and her hull towered up high above us. She 
seemed to be sailing very fast ; but she came no 
closer. We shouted to her ; but we got no answer. 
And while we were watching her, all of us became 
afraid, because she did not move like a real ship. 
The sea was terrible, and we were lurching and 
plunging ; but that great junk never rolled* Just at 
the same moment that we began to feel afraid she 
vanished so quickly that we could scarcely believe 
we had really seen her at all. 

u That was the first time. But four years ago I 
saw something still more strange. We were bound 
for Oki, in a junk, and the wind again delayed us, so 
that we were at sea on the sixteenth day. It was in 
the morning, a little before midday; the sky was 
dark, and the sea very ugly. All at once we saw 
a steamer running in our track, very quickly. She 
got so close to us that we could hear her engines, 
Jcatakata^ katakata ! but we saw nobody on deck* 
Then she began to follow us, keeping exactly at the 
same distance, and whenever we tried to get out of 
her way she would turn after us and keep exactly in 
our wake. And then we suspected what she was. 
But we were not sure until she vanished. She van- 
ished like a bubble, without making the least sound* 
None of us could say exactly when she disappeared. 
None of us saw her vanish. The strangest thing was 
that after she was gone we could still hear her en- 
gines working behind us, katakata^ Jcatakata,^ Jca^ 
takata ! 

"That is all I saw. But I know others, sailors 
like myself, who have seen more. Sometimes many 
ships will follow you, though never at the same 
time. One will come close and vanish, then another. 


and then another. As long as they come behind 
you, you need never be afraid, But if you see a 
ship of that sort running before you, against the 
wind, that is very bad ! It means that all on board 
will be drowned." 


The luminoos blankness circling us continued to 
remain unfiecked for less than an honr. Then out 
of the horizon toward which we steamed, a small 
gray vagueness began to grow. It lengthened fast, 
and seemed a cloud. And a cloud it proved ; but 
slowly, beneath it, blue filmy shapes began to define 
against the whiteness, and sharpened into a chain of 
mountains. They grew taller and bluer, a little 
sierra, with one paler shape towering in the middle 
to thrice the height of the rest, and filleted with 
cloud, Takuhizan, the sacred mountain of Oki, in 
the island Nishinoshima. 

Takuhizan has legends, which I learned from my 
friend* Upon its summit stands an ancient shrine of 
the deity Gongen-Sama. And it is said that upon 
the thirty-first night of the twelfth month three 
ghostly fires arise from the sea and ascend to the 
place of the shrine, and enter the stone lanterns 
which stand before it, and there remain, burning 
like lamps. These lights do not arise at once, but 
separately, from the sea, and rise to the top of the 
peak one by one. The people go out in boats to see 
the lights mount from the water. But only those 
whose hearts are pure can see them ; those who have 
evil thoughts or desires look for the holy fires in 


Before us, as we steamed on, the sea-surface ap- 
peared to become suddenly speckled with queer craft 
previously invisible, light, long fishing-boats, with 
immense square sails of a beautiful yellow color, 1 
could not help remarking to my comrade how pretty 
those sails were ; lie laughed, and told me they were 
made of old tatami. 1 I examined them through a 
telescope, and found that they were exactly what he 
tad said, woven straw coverings of old floor-mats, 
Nevertheless, that first tender yellow sprinkling of 
OM sails over the soft blue water was a charming 

They fleeted by, like a passing of yellow butter- 
flies, and the sea was void again. Gradually, a little 
to port, a point in the approaching line of blue cliffs 
shaped itself and changed color, dull green above, 
reddish gray below ; it defined into a huge rock, with 
a dark patch on its face, but the rest of the land 
remained blue. The dark patch blackened as we 
came nearer, a great gap full of shadow. Then 
the blue cliffs beyond also turned green, and their 
bases reddish gray. We passed to the right of the 
huge rock, which proved to be a detached and unin- 

1 The floor of a Japanese dwelling might be compared to an Im- 
mense hut very shallow wooden tray, divided into compartments 
corresponding to the various rooms. These divisions are formed by 
grooved and polished woodwork, several inches above the level, and 
made for the accommodation of the fusuma, or sliding screens, sepa- 
rating room from room. The compartments are filled up level with 
the partitions with tatami, or mats about the thickness of light mat- 
tresses, covered with beautifully woven rice-straw. The sqxiared edges 
of the mats fit exactly together, and as the mats are not made for the 
house, but the house for the mats, all tatami are exactly the same 
size. The fully finished floor of each room is thus like a great soft 
bed. No shoes, of course, can be worn in a Japanese house, As 
soon aa the mats become in the least soiled they are replaced by new 


habited Islet, Hakashima ; and In another moment 
we were steaming Into the archipelago of Old, be- 
tween the lofty islands Chiburishima and Nakashima. 


The first impression was almost uncanny. Rising 
sheer from the flood on either hand, the tall green 
silent hills stretched away before us, changing tint 
through the summer vapor, to form a fantastic vista 
of blue cliffs and peaks and promontories. There 
was not one sign of human life. Above their pale 
bases of naked rock the mountains sloped up be- 
neath a sombre wildness of dwarf vegetation. There 
was absolutely no sound, except the sound of the 
steamer's tiny engine, poum-poum^ ^poum ! poum* 
poum^ poum! like the faint tapping of a geisha's 
drum. And this savage silence continued for miles : 
only the absence of lofty timber gave evidence that 
those peaked hills had ever been trodden by human 
foot. But all at once, to the left, in a mountain 
wrinkle, a little gray hamlet, appeared; and the 
steamer screamed and stopped, while the hills re* 
peated the scream seven times. 

This settlement was Chiburimura, of Chiburishima 
(Nakashima being the island to starboard), evi- 
dently nothing more than a fishing station. First 
a wharf of uncemented stone rising from the cove 
like a wall ; then great trees through which one 
caught sight of a torii before some Shinto shrine, 
and of a dozen houses climbing the hollow hill one 
behind another, roof beyond roof; and above these 
some terraced patches of tilled ground in the midst 
of desolation : that was all. The packet halted to 
deliver mail, and passed on. 


But then, contrary to expectation, the scenery be 
came more beautiful. The shores on either side at 
once receded and heightened : we were traversing an 
inland sea bounded by three lofty islands. At first 
the way before us had seemed barred by vapory 
hills ; but as these, drawing nearer, turned green, 
there suddenly opened magnificent chasms between 
them on both sides, mountain-gates revealing league- 
long wondrous vistas of peaks and cliffs and capes of 
a hundred blues, ranging away from velvety indigo 
into far tones of exquisite and spectral delicacy. A 
tinted haze made dreamy all remotenesses, and veiled 
with illusions of color the rugged nudities of rock. 

The beauty of the scenery of Western and Central 
Japan is not as the beauty of scenery in other lands ; 
it has a peculiar character of its own. Occasionally 
the foreigner may find memories of former travel 
suddenly stirred to life by some view on a mountain, 
road, or some stretch of beetling coast seen through 
a fog of spray. But this illusion of resemblance van- 
ishes as swiftly as it comes ; details immediately de* 
fine into strangeness, and you become aware that the 
remembrance was evoked by form only, never by 
color. Colors indeed there are which delight the 
eye, but not colors of mountain verdure, not colors 
of the land. Cultivated plains, expanses of growing 
rice, may offer some approach to warmth of green ; 
but the whole general tone of this nature is dusky ; 
the vast forests are sombre ; the tints of grasses are 
harsh or dull. Fiery greens, snch as burn in tropical 
scenery, do not exist; and blossom-bursts take a 
znore exquisite radiance by contrast with the heavy 
tones of the vegetation out o which, they flame. 


Outside of parks and gardens and cultivated fields, 
there Is a singular absence of warmth and tenderness 
in the tints of verdure ; and nowhere need you hope 
to find any such richness of green as that which 
makes the loveliness of an English lawn. 

Yet these Oriental landscapes possess charms of 
color extraordinary, phantom-color, delicate, elfish, 
indescribable, created by the wonderful atmosphere. 
Vapors enchant the distances, bathing peaks in be- 
witchments of blue and gray of a hundred tones, 
transforming naked cliffs to amethyst, stretching 
spectral gauzes across the topazine morning, magni- 
fying the splendor of noon by effacing the horizon, 
filling the evening with smoke of gold, bronzing 
the waters, banding the sundown with ghostly pur- 
ple and green of nacre. Now, the old Japanese 
artists who made those marvelous ehon those pic- 
ture-books which have now become so rare tried to 
fix the sensation of these enchantments in color, and 
they were successful in their backgrounds to a degree 
almost miraculous. For which very reason some of 
their foregrounds have been a puzzle to foreigners 
unacquainted with certain features of Japanese agri- 
culture. You will see blazing saffron-yellow fields, 
faint purple plains, crimson and snow-white trees, in 
those old picture-books ; and perhaps you will ex- 
claim : " How absurd ! " But if you knew Japan you 
would cry out : " How deliciously real ! " For you 
would know those fields of burning yellow are fields 
of flowering rape, and the purple expanses are fields 
of blossoming miyako, and the snow-white or crimson 
trees are not fanciful, but represent faithfully certain 
phenomena of efflorescence peculiar to the plum-trees 
and the cherry-trees of the country. But these chrcy 


matic extravaganzas can be witnessed only during 
very brief periods of particular seasons : throughout 
the greater part of the year, the foreground of an 
inland landscape is apt to be dull enough in the 
matter of color. 

It is the mists that make the magic of the back- 
grounds ; yet even without them there is a strange, 
wild, dark beauty in Japanese landscapes, a beauty 
not easily defined in words. The secret of it must 
be sought in the extraordinary lines of the moun- 
tains, in the strangely abrupt crumpling and jagging 
of the ranges; no two masses closely resembling each 
other, every one having a fantasticality of its own. 
Where the chains reach to any considerable height, 
softly swelling lines are rare : the general character- 
istic is abruptness, and the charm is the charm, of 

Doubtless this weird Nature first inspired the Jap- 
anese with their unique sense of the value of irregu- 
larity in decoration, taught them that single secret 
of composition which distinguishes their art from all 
other art, and which Professor Chamberlain has said 
it is their special mission to teach to the Occident. 1 
Certainly, whoever has once learned to feel the beauty 
and significance of the old Japanese decorative art 
can find thereafter little pleasure in the correspond- 
ing art of the West. What he has really learned is 
that Nature's greatest charm is irregularity. And 
perhaps something of no small value might be written 
upon the question whether the highest charm of hu- 
man life and work is not also irregularity. 

1 See article on Art in Ms Things Japanese. 



From. Chiburimura we made steam west for the 
port of Urago, which is in the island of Nishinoshima* 
As we approached it Takuhizan came into imposing 
view. Far away it had seemed a soft and beautiful ' 
shape; but as its blue tones evaporated its aspect 
became rough and even grim: an enormous jagged 
bulk all robed in sombre verdure, through which, 
as through tatters, there protruded here and there 
naked rock of the wildest shapes. One fragment, I 
remember, as it caught the slanting sun upon the 
irregularities of its summit, seemed an immense gray 
skull. At the base of this mountain, and facing the 
shore of Nakashima, rises a pyramidal mass of rock, 
covered with scraggy undergrowth, and several hun- 
dred feet in height, Mongakuzan. On its desolate 
summit stands a little shrine. 

64 Takuhizan " signifies The Fire-burning Mountain, 
a name due perhaps either to the legend of its 
ghostly fires, or to some ancient memory of its vol- 
canic period. ** Mongakuzan " means The Mountain 
of Mongaku, Mongaku Shonin, the great monk. 
It is said that Mongaku Shonin fled to Ofci, and that 
he dwelt alone upon the top of that mountain many 
years, doing penance for his deadly sin. Whether he 
really ever visited Ofci, I am not able to say ; there 
are traditions which declare the contrary. But the 
peaklet has borne his name for hundreds of years. 

Now this is the story of Mongaku Shonin : 

Many centuries ago, in the city of Kyoto, there 
was a captain of the garrison whose name was Endo 
Morito. He saw and loved the wife of a noble 
samurai ; and when she refused to listen to his de- 


sires, he vowed that lie would destroy her family un- 
less she consented to the plan which he submitted to 
her. The plan was that upon a certain night she 
should suffer him to enter her house and to kill her 
husband ; after which she was to become his wife, 

But she, pretending to consent, devised a noble 
stratagem to save her honor. For, after having per- 
suaded her husband to absent himself from the city, 
she wrote to Endo a letter, bidding him come upon a 
certain night to the house. And on that night she 
clad herself in her husband's robes, and made her 
hair like the hair of a man, and laid herself down in 
her husband's place, and pretended to sleep. 

And Endo came in the dead of the night with his 
sword drawn, and smote off the head of the sleeper 
at a blow, and seized it by the hair and lifted it up 
and saw it was the head of the woman he had loved 
and wronged. 

Then a great remorse came upon him* and hasten- 
ing to a neighboring temple, he confessed his sin, and 
did penance, and cut off his hair, and became a monk, 
taking the name of Mongaku* And in after years 
he attained to great holiness, so that folk still pray 
to him, and his memory is venerated throughout the 

Now at Asakusa in Tokyo, In one of the curious 
little streets which lead to the great temple of Kwan- 
non the Merciful, there are always wonderful images 
to be seen, figures that seem alive, though made of 
wood only, figures illustrating the ancient legends 
of Japan, And there you may see Endo standing : 
in his right hand the reeking sword ; in his left the 
head of a beautiful woman. The face of the woman 
you may forget soon, because it is only beautifuL 


But the face of Endo yon will not forget, because it 

is naked hell. 


Urago is a queer little town, perhaps quite as large 
as Mionoseki, and built, like Mionoseki, on a narrow 
ledge at the base of a steep semicircle of hills. But it 
is much more primitive and colorless than Mionoseki ; 
and its houses are still more closely cramped between 
cliffs and water, so that its streets, or rather alleys, 
are no wider than gangways. As we cast anchor, my 
attention was suddenly riveted by a strange spectacle, 
a white wilderness of long fluttering vague shapes, 
in a cemetery on the steep hillside, rising by terraces 
high above the roofs of the town. The cemetery was 
full of gray haka and images of divinities ; and over 
every haka there was a curious white paper banner 
fastened to a thin bamboo pole. Through a glass 
one could see that these banners were inscribed with 
Buddhist texts, " Namu - myo - ho -renge - kyo ; " 
u Namu Amida Butsu ; " " Namu Daiji Dai-Tii Kwan- 
ze-on JBosatsuJ' and other holy words. Upon in- 
quiry I learned that it was an Urago custom to 
place these banners every year above the graves dur- 
ing one whole month preceding the Festival of the 
Dead, together with various other ornamental or 
symbolic things. 

The water was full of naked swimmers, who 
shouted laughing welcomes ; and a host of light, swift 
boats, sculled by naked fishermen, darted out to look 
for passengers and freight. It was my first chance 
to observe the physique of Oki islanders ; and I was 
much impressed by the vigorous appearance of both 
men and boys. The adults seemed to me of a taller 
more powerful type than the men of the Izumo 


coast ; and not a few of those brown backs and shoul- 
ders displayed, in the motion of sculling, what Is 
comparatively rare in Japan, even among men picked 
for heavy labor, a magnificent development of 

As the steamer stopped an hour at Urago, we had 
time to dine ashore in the chief hotel It was a very 
clean and pretty hotel, and the fare infinitely su- 
perior to that of the hotel at Sakai. Yet the price 
charged was only seven sen ; and the old landlord 
refused to accept the whole of the chadai-gift offered 
him, retaining less than half, and putting back the 
rest, with gentle force, into the sleeve of my yukata. 


From Urago we proceeded to Hishi-ura, which Is 
in Nakanoshima, and the scenery grew always more 
wonderful as we steamed between the Islands. The 
channel was just wide enough to create the illusion 
of a grand river flowing with the stillness of vast 
depth between mountains of a hundred forms. The 
long lovely vision was everywhere walled in by peaks, 
bluing through sea-haze, and on either hand the 
ruddy gray cliffs, sheering up from profundity, 
sharply mirrored their least asperities in the flood 
with never a distortion, as In a sheet of steel* Not 
until we reached Hishi-ura did the horizon reappear ; 
and even then it was visible only between two lofty 
headlands, as if seen through a river's mouth. 

Hishi-ura is far prettier than Urago, but it is much 
less populous, and has the aspect of a prosperous 
agricultural town, rather than of a fishing station. 
It bends round a bay formed by low hills which slope 


back gradually toward the mountainous interior, and 
which display a considerable extent of cultivated sur- 
face. The buildings are somewhat scattered, and 
in many cases isolated by gardens ; and those facing 
the water are quite handsome modern constructions. 
Urago boasts the best hotel in all Oki ; and it has 
two new temples, one a Buddhist temple of the Zen 
sect, one a Shinto temple of the Izumo Taisfaa faith, 
each the gift of a single person, A rich widow, the 
owner of the hotel, built the Buddhist temple ; and 
the wealthiest of the merchants contributed the other, 
one of the handsomest miya for its size that I ever 


Dogo, the main island of the Oki archipelago, 
sometimes itself called " Oki," lies at a distance of 
eight miles, northeast of the Dozen group, beyond a 
stretch of very dangerous sea. We made for it im* 
mediately after leaving Urago ; passing to the open 
through a narrow and fantastic strait between Na- 
kanoshima and Mshinoshima, where the cliffs take 
the form of enormous fortifications, bastions and 
ramparts, rising by tiers. Three colossal rocks, an- 
ciently forming but a single mass, which would seem 
to have been divided by some tremendous shock, 
rise from deep water near the mouth of the channel, 
like shattered towers. And the last promontory of 
Nishinoshima, which we pass to port, a huge red 
naked rock, turns to the horizon a point so strangely 
shaped that it has been called by a name signifying 
' The Hat of the Shinto priest." 

As we glide out into the swell of the sea other ex- 
traordinary shapes appear, rising from great depths. 
Komori, " The Bat," a Bagged silhouette against the 


horizon, lias a great hole worn through it, which 
glares like an eye. Farther out two bulks, curved 
and pointed, and almost joined at the top, bear a 
grotesque resemblance to the uplifted pincers of a 
crab; and there is also visible a small dark mass 
which, until closely approached, seems the figure of a 
man sculling a boat. Beyond these are two islands : 
Matsushiina, uninhabited and inaccessible, where 
there is always a swell to beware of ; Omorishima, 
even loftier, which rises from the ocean in enormous 
ruddy precipices. There seemed to be some grim 
force in those sinister bulks ; some occult power 
which made our steamer reel and shiver as she passed 
them. But I saw a marvelous effect of color under 
those formidable cliffs of Omorishima. They were 
lighted by a slanting sun ; and where the glow of 
the bright rock fell upon the water, each black-blue 
ripple flashed bronze : I thought of a sea of metallic 
violet ink. 

From Dozen the cliffs of Dogo can be clearly seen 
when the weather is not foul : they are streaked here 
and there with chalky white, which breaks through 
their blue, even in time of haze. Above them a 
vast bulk is visible, a point-de-repere for the mar- 
iners of Hoki, the mountain of DaimanjL Dogo, 
indeed, is one great cluster of mountains. 

Its cliffs rapidly turned green for us, and we fol- 
lowed them eastwardly for perhaps half an hour. 
Then they opened unexpectedly and widely, reveal* 
ing a superb bay, widening far into the land, sur- 
rounded by hills, and full of shipping. Beyond a 
confusion of masts there crept into view a long gray 
line of house-fronts, at the base of a crescent of 
cliffs, the city of Saigo ; and in a little while w 


touched a wharf of stone. There I bade farewell for 
a month to the Oki-SaigOo 


Saigo was a great surprise. Instead of the big 
fishing village I had expected to see, I found a city 
much larger and handsomer and in all respects more 
modernized than Sakai ; a city of long streets full of 
good shops ; a city with excellent public buildings ; 
a city of which the whole appearance indicated com- 
mercial prosperity. Most of the edifices were roomy 
two-story dwellings of merchants, and everything had 
a bright, new look. The unpainted woodwork of 
the houses had not yet darkened into gray ; the blue 
tints of the tiling were still fresh. I learned that 
this was because the town had been recently rebuilt, 
after a conflagration, and rebuilt upon a larger and 
handsomer plan. 

Saigo seems still larger than it really Is. There 
are about one thousand houses, which number in any 
part of Western Japan means a population of at least 
five thousand, but must mean considerably more in 
Saigo, These form three long streets, Nishimachi, 
Nakamachi, and Higashimachi (names respectively 
signifying the Western, Middle, and Eastern Streets), 
bisected by numerous cross-streets and alleys. What 
makes the place seem disproportionately large is the 
queer way the streets twist about, following- the 
irregularities of the shore, and even doubling upon 
themselves, so as to create from certain points of 
view an impression of depth which has no existence. 
For Saigo is peculiarly, although admirably situated. 
It fringes both banks of a river, the Yabigawa, near 
its mouth, and likewise extends round a large point 


within the splendid bay, besides stretching Itself out 
upon various tongues of land. But though smaller 
than it looks, to walk through all its serpentine 
streets is a good afternoon's work. 

Besides being divided by the Yabigawa, the town 
is intersected by various water-ways, crossed by a 
number of bridges. On the hills behind it stand 
several large buildings, including a public school, 
with accommodation for three hundred students; 
a pretty Buddhist temple (quite new), the gift of a 
rich citizen ; a prison ; and a hospital, which deserves 
its reputation of being for its size the handsomest 
Japanese edifice not only in Oki, but in all Shimane- 
Ken; and there are several small but very pretty 

As for the harbor, you can count more than three 
hundred ships riding there of a summer's day. Grain- 
biers, especially of the kind who still use wooden 
anchors, complain of the depth ; but the menof-war 
do not. 


Never, in any part of Western Japan, have I been 
made more comfortable than at Saigo. My friend 
and myself were the only guests at the hotel to 
which we had been recommended* The broad and 
lofty rooms of the upper floor which we occupied 
overlooked the main street on one side, and on the 
other commanded a beautiful mountain landscape 
beyond the mouth of the Yabigawa, which flowed 
by our garden. The sea breeze never failed by 
day or by night, and rendered needless those pretty 
fans which it is the Japanese custom to present to 
guests during the hot season. The fare was aston- 
ishingly good, and curiously varied ; and I was told 


that I might order Sey&ryori (Occidental cook- 
ing) if I wished, beefsteak with fried potatoes, 
roast chicken, and so forth. I did not avail myself 
of the offer, as I make it a rule while traveling 
to escape trouble by keeping to a purely Japanese 
diet; but it was no small surprise to be offered in 
Saigo what is almost impossible to obtain in any 
other Japanese town of five thousand inhabitants. 
From a romantic point of view, however, this dis- 
covery was a disappointment. Having made my way 
into the most primitive region of all Japan, I had 
imagined myself far beyond the range of all modern- 
izing influences ; and the suggestion of beefsteak 
with fried potatoes was a disillusion. Nor was I 
entirely consoled by the subsequent discovery that 
there were no newspapers or telegraphs. 

But there was one serious hindrance to the enjoy- 
ment of these comforts: an omnipresent, frightful, 
heavy, all-penetrating smell, the smell of decompos- 
ing fish, used as a fertilizer. Tons and tons of cuttle- 
fish entrails are used upon the fields beyond the Ya- 
bigawa, and the never-sleeping sea wind blows the 
stench into every dwelling. Vainly do tb^ keep 
incense burning in most of the houses during the 
heated term. After having remained three or four 
days constantly in the city you become better able to 
endure this odor ; but if you should leave town even 
for a few hours only, you will be astonished on re- 
turning to discover how much your nose had been 
numbed by habit and refreshed by absence. 


On the morning of the day after my arrival at 
Saigo, a young physician called to see me, and re- 


quested me to dine with hra at his house. He ex- 
plained very frankly that as I was the first foreigner 
who had ever stopped in Saigo, it would afford much 
pleasure both to -his family and to himself to have i\ 
good chance to see me ; but the natural courtesy of 
the man overcame any scruple I might have felt to 
gratify the curiosity of strangers. I was not only 
treated charmingly at his beautiful home, but actu- 
ally sent away loaded with presents, most of which I 
attempted to decline in vain. In one matter, how- 
ever, I remained obstinate, even at the risk of offend- 
ing, the gift of a wonderful specimen of bateiseki (a 
substance which I shall speak of hereafter). This I 
persisted in refusing to take, knowing it to be not 
only very costly, but very rare. My host at last 
yielded, but afterwards secretly sent to the hotel two 
smaller specimens, which Japanese etiquette rendered 
it impossible to return. Before leaving Saigo, I ex- 
perienced many other unexpected kindnesses from 
the same gentleman. 

Not long after, one of the teachers of the Saigo 
public school paid me a visit. He had heard of my 
interest in Oki, and brought with him two fine maps 
of the islands made by himself, a little book about 
Saigo, and, as a gift, a collection of Oki butterflies 
and insects which he had made. It is only in Japan 
that one is likely to meet with these wonderful ex- 
hibitions of pure goodness on the part of perfect 

A third visitor, who had called to see my friend, 
performed an action equally characteristic, but which 
caused me not a little pain. We squatted down to 
smoke together. He drew from his girdle a remark- 
ably beautiful tobacco-pouch and pipe-case, containing 


a little silver pipe, which, he began to smoke. The 
pipe-case was made of a sort of black coral, curiously 
carved, and attached to the tabako-ir, or pouch, by 
a heavy cord of plaited silk of three colors, passed 
through a ball of transparent agate. Seeing me ad- 
mire it, he suddenly drew a knife from his sleeve, 
and before I could prevent him, severed the pipe-case 
from the pouch, and presented it to me. I felt al- 
most as if he had cut one of his own nerves asunder 
when he cut that wonderful cord; and, neverthe- 
less, once this had been done, to refuse the gift would 
have been rude in the extreme. I made him accept 
a present in return ; but after that experience I waa 
careful never again while in Oki to admire anything 
In the presence of its owner, 


Every province of Japan has its own peculiar dia- 
lect; and that of Oki, as might be expected in a 
country so Isolated, is particularly distinct* In Saigo, 
however, the Izumo dialect is largely used. The 
townsfolk in their manners and customs much re- 
semble Izumo country-folk ; indeed, there are many 
Izumo people among them, most of the large busi- 
nesses being in the hands of strangers. The women 
did not impress me as being so attractive as those of 
Izumo : I saw several very pretty girls, but these 
proved to be strangers. 

However, it is only in the country that one can 
properly study the physical characteristics of a popu- 
lation. Those of the Oki islanders may best be noted 
at the fishing villages, many of which I visited. 
Everywhere I saw fine strong men and vigorous wo- 
men | and it struck me that the extraordinary plenty 


and cheapness of nutritive food had quite as much to 
do with this robustness as climate and constant exer- 
cise. So easy, indeed, is it to live in Oki, that men 
of other coasts, who find existence difficult, emigrate 
to Oki if they can get a chance to work there, even 
at less remuneration. An interesting spectacle to me 
were the vast processions of fishing-vessels which al- 
ways, weather permitting, began to shoot out to sea 
a couple of hours before sundown. The surprising 
swiftness with which those light craft were impelled 
by their sinewy scullers many of whom were 
women told of a skill acquired only through the 
patient experience of generations. Another matter 
that amazed me was the number of boats. One 
night in the offing I was able to count three hundred 
and five torch-fires in sight, each one signifying a 
crew ; and I knew that from almost any of the forty- 
five coast villages I might see the same spectacle at 
the same time. The main part of the population, in 
fact, spends its summer nights at sea. It is also a 
revelation to travel from Izumo to Hamada by night 
upon a swift steamer during the fishing season. The 
horizon for a hundred miles is alight with torch-fires ; 
the toil of a whole coast is revealed in that vast illu- 

Although the human population appears to have 
gained ratherr than lost vigor upon this barren soil, 
the horses and cattle of the country seem to have de- 
generated. They are remarkably diminutive. I saw 
cows not much bigger than Izumo calves, with calves 
about the size of goats. The horses, or rather ponies, 
belong to a special breed of which Oki is rather 
proud, very small, but hardy. I was told that 


there were larger horses, but I saw none, and could 
not learn whether they were imported. It seemed to 
ine a curious thing, when I saw Oki ponies for the 
first time, that Sasaki Takatsuna's battle-steed 
not less famous in Japanese story than the horse 
Kyrat in the ballads of Kurroglou is declared by 
the islanders to have been a native of Oki. And 
they have a tradition that it once swam from Oki to 

Almost every district and town in Japan has ita 
meibutsu or its kembutsu. The meibutsu of any 
place are its special productions, whether natural or 
artificial The kembutsu of a town or district are 
its sights, its places worth visiting for any reason, 
religious, traditional, historical, or pleasurable. 
Temples and gardens, remarkable trees and curious 
rocks, are kembutsu. So, likewise, are any situations 
from which beautiful scenery may be looked at, or 
any localities where one can enjoy such charming 
spectacles as the blossoming of cherry-trees in spring, 
the flickering of fireflies in summer nights, the flush- 
ing of maple-leaves in autumn, or even that long 
snaky motion of moonlight upon water to which 
Chinese poets have given the delightful name of 
Kinryo, a the Golden Dragon." 

The great meibutsu of Oki is the same as that of Hi- 
nomisaki, - dried cuttlefish ; an article of food much 
in demand both in China and Japan. The cuttlefish 
of Oki and Hinomisaki and Mionoseki are all termed 
ika (a kind of sepia) ; but those caught at Miono- 
seki are white and average fifteen inches in length, 
while those of Oki and HinomisaM rarely exceed 


twelve inches and have a reddish tinge. The fish- 
eries of Mionoseki and Hinomisaki are scarcely 
known ; but the fisheries of Oki are famed not only 
throughout Japan, but also in Korea and China. 
It is only through the tilling of the sea that the 
islands have become prosperous and capable of sup- 
porting thirty thousand souls upon a coast of which 
but a very small portion can be cultivated at alL 
Enormous quantities of cuttlefish are shipped to the 
mainland ; but I have been told that the Chinese are 
the best customers of Oki for this product. Should 
the supply ever fail, the result would be disastrous be- 
yond conception ; but at present it seems inexhausti- 
ble, though the fishing has been going on for thou- 
sands of years. Hundreds of tons of cuttlefish are 
caught, cured, and prepared for exportation month 
after month ; and many hundreds of acres are fertil- 
ized with the entrails and other refuse. An officer 
of police told me several strange facts about this 
fishery. On the northeastern coast of Saigo it Is no 
uncommon thing for one fisherman to capture up* 
wards of two thousand cuttlefish in a single night. 
Boats have been burst asunder by the weight of a 
few hauls, and caiftiou has to be observed in loading. 
Besides the sepia, however, this coast swarms with 
another variety of cuttlefish which also furnishes a 
food-staple, the formidable tako, or true octopus* 
Tako weighing fifteen kwan each, or nearly one hun- 
dred and twenty-five pounds, are sometimes caught 
near the fishing settlement of Nakamura I was sur- 
prised to learn that there was no record of any per- 
son having been injured by these monstrous cvea* 
Another meibutsu of Oki is much less known than, 


It deserves to be, the beautiful jet-black stone called 
batelseki, or "horse-hoof stone." 1 It is found only 
in Dogo, and never in large masses. It is about as 
heavy as flint, and chips like flint ; but the polish 
which it takes is like that of agate. There are no 
veins or specks in it ; the intense black color never 
varies. Artistic objects are made of bateiseki : ink- 
stones, wine-cups, little boxes, small dai, or stands 
for vases or statuettes ; even jewelry, the material 
being worked in the same manner as the beautiful 
agates of Yumachi in Izumo. These articles are 
comparatively costly, even in the place of their 

There is an odd legend about the origin of the 
bateiseki. It owes its name to some fancied resem- 
blance to a horse's hoof, either in color, or in the 
semicircular marks often seen upon the stone in its 
natural state, and caused by its tendency to split in 
curved lines. But the story goes that the bateiseki 
was formed by the touch of the hoofs of a sacred 
steed, the wonderful mare of the great Minamoto war- 
rior, Sasaki Takatsuna. She had a foal, which fell 
Into a deep lake in Dogo, and was drowned. She 
plunged into the lake herself, but could not find her 
foal, being deceived by the reflection of her own 
head in the water. For a long time she sought and 
mourned in vain ; but even the hard rocks felt for 
her, and where her hoofs touched them beneath the 
water they became changed into bateiseki. 2 

Scarcely less beautiful than bateiseki, and equally 
black, is another Oki-meibutsu, a sort of coralline 

i It seems to be a black obsidian. 

3 There are several other versions of this legend. In one, it is th 
mare, and not the foal, which was drowned. 


marine product called umi-matsu, or "sea -pine." 
Pipe-cases, brush-stands, and other small articles are 
manufactured from It ; and these when polished 
seem to be covered with black lacquer. Objects of 
umi-matsu are rare and dear. 

Nacre wares, however, are very cheap in Okl ; and 
these form another variety of meibutsu. The shells 
of the awabi, or " sea-ear," which reaches a surpris- 
ing size In these western waters, are converted by 
skillful polishing and cutting into wonderful dishes, 
bowls, cups, and other articles, over whose surfaces 
the play of iridescence is like a flickering of fire of a 
hundred colors. 


According to a little book published at Matsue, 
the kembutsu of Oki-no-Kuni are divided among 
three of the four principal islands; Chiburishima 
only possessing nothing of special interest. For 
many generations the attractions of Dogo have been 
the shrine of Agonashi Jizo, at Tsubamezato ; the 
waterfall (Dangyo-taki) at Yuenimura ; the mighty 
cedar-tree (jwigt) before the shrine of Tama-Wakusa- 
jinja at Shimomura, and the lakelet called Sai-no- 
ike where the bateiseki is said to be found. Naka- 
noshima possesses the tomb of the exiled Emperor 
Go~Toba, at Amamura, and the residence of the an- 
cient Choja, Shikekuro, where he dwelt betimes, and 
where relics of him are kept even to this day. Ni- 
shmoshima possesses at Beppu a shrine in memory of 
the exiled Emperor Go-Daigo, and on the summit of 
Takuhizan that shrine of Gongen-Sama, from the 
place of which a wonderful view of the whole archi- 
pelago is said to be obtainable on cloudless days. 


Though Chlburishima has no kembutsm, her poor 
little village of Chiburi the same Chiburlmura at 
which the Oki steamer always touches on her way to 
Saigo is the scene of perhaps the most interesting 
of all the traditions of the archipelago. 

Five hundred and sixty years ago, the exiled 
Emperor Go-Daigo managed to escape from the 
observation of his guards, and to flee from Nishino- 
shima to ChiburL And the brown sailors of that 
little hamlet offered to serve him, even with their 
lives if need be. They were loading their boats 
with u dried fish," doubtless the same dried cuttlefish 
which their descendants still carry to Izumo and to 
Hoki. The emperor promised to remember them, 
should they succeed in landing him either in Hoki or 
in Izumo ; and they put him in a boat. 

But when they had sailed only a little way they 
saw the pursuing vessels. Then they told the em- 
peror to lie down, and they piled the dried fish high 
above Mm. The pursuers came on board and 
searched the boat, but they did not even think of 
touching the strong-smelling cuttlefish. And when 
the men of Chiburi were questioned they invented 
a story, and gave to the enemies of the emperor a 
false clue to follow. And so, by means of the cuttle- 
fish, the good emperor was enabled to escape from 


I found there were various difficulties in the way 
of becoming acquainted with some of the kembutsu. 
There are no roads, properly speaking, in all Oki, 
only mountain paths ; and consequently there are no 
jinrikisha, with the exception of one especially im- 
ported by the leading physician of Saigo, and availa- 


ble for use only In the streets. There are not even 
any kago, or palanquins, except one for the use of 
the same physician. The paths are terribly rough, 
according to the testimony of the strong peasants 
themselves ; and the distances, particularly in the 
hottest period of the year, are disheartening. Ponies 
can be hired ; but my experiences of a similar wild 
country In western Izumo persuaded me that neither 
pleasure nor profit was to be gained by a long and 
painful ride over pine-covered hills, through slippery 
gullies and along torrent-beds, merely to look at a 
waterfall. I abandoned the idea of visiting Dangyo- 
taki, but resolved, if possible, to see Agonashi-Jizo* 

I had first heard in Matsue of Agonashi-Jizo, 
while suffering from one of those toothaches m 
which the pain appears to be several hundred miles 
in depth, one of those toothaches which disturb 
your ideas of space and time. And a friend who 
sympathized said : 

" People who have toothache pray to Agonashi- 
Jizo. Agonashi-Jizo is In Oki, but Izumo people 
pray to him* When cured they go to Lake Shinji, 
to the river, to the sea, or to any running stream, 
and drop into the water twelve pears (nashi), one for 
each of the twelve months* And they believe the 
currents will carry all these to Oki across the sea* 

u Now, Agonasbi-Jizo means * Jizo-who-has-no- 
Jaw.' For it is said that in one of his former lives 
Jizo had such a toothache in his lower jaw that he 
tore off his jaw, and threw it away, and died. And 
he became a Bosatsu. And the people of Oki made 
a statue of him without a jaw ; and all who suffer 
toothache pray to that Jizo of Oki," 


This story Interested me; for more than once I tad 
felt a strong desire to do like Agonashi-Jizo, though 
lacking the necessary courage and indifference to 
earthly consequences. Moreover, the tradition sug- 
gested so humane and profound a comprehension of 
toothache, and so large a sympathy with its victims, 
that I felt myself somewhat consoled. 

Nevertheless, I did not go to see Agonashi-Jizo, be- 
cause I found out there was no longer any Agonashi- 
Jizo to see. The news was brought one evening by 
some friends, shizoku of Matsue, who had settled in 
Oki, a young police officer and his wife. They had 
walked right across the island to see us, starting be- 
fore daylight, and crossing no less than thirty-two 
torrents on their way. The wife, only nineteen, 
was quite slender and pretty, and did not appear 
tired by that long rough journey. 

What we learned about the famous Jizo was this : 
The name Agonashi-Jizo was only a popular corrup- 
tion of the true name, Agonaoshi-Jizo, or " Jizo-the- 
Healer-of-Jaws," The little temple in which the 
statue stood had been burned, and the statue along 
with it, except a fragment of the lower part of the 
figure, now piously preserved by some old peasant 
woman. It was impossible to rebuild the temple, as 
the disestablishment of Buddhism had entirely de- 
stroyed the resources of that faith in Oki. But the 
peasantry of Tsubamezato had built a little Shinto 
miya on the sit of the temple, with a torii before it, 
and people still prayed there to Agonaoshi-Jizo. 

This last curious fact reminded me of the little 
torii I had seen erected before the images of Jizo in 
the Cave of the Children's Ghosts. Shinto, in these 


remote districts of the west, now appropriates the 
popular divinities of Buddhism, just as of old Bud- 
dhism used to absorb the divinities of Shinto In other 
parts of Japan. 


I went to the Sai-no-lke, and to Tama-Wakasu- 
jinja, as these two kenibutsu can be reached by 
boat. The Sai-no-ike, however, much disappointed 
me. It can only be visited in very calm weather, 
as the way to it lies along a frightfully dangerous 
coast, nearly all sheer precipice. But the sea is 
beautifully clear, and the eye can distinguish forms 
at an immense depth below the surface. After fol- 
lowing the cliffs for about an hour, the boat reaches 
a sort of cove, where the beach is entirely composed 
of small round boulders. They form a long ridge* 
the outer verge of which is always in motion, rolling 
to and fro with a crash like a volley of musketry at 
the rush and ebb of every wave. To climb over this 
ridge of moving stone balls is quite disagreeable ; but 
after that one has only about twenty yards to walk, 
and the Sai-no-ike appears, surrounded on three sides 
by wooded hills. It is little more than a large fresh- 
water pool, perhaps fifty yards wide, not in any way 
wonderful. You can see no rocks under the surface, 
only mud and pebbles. That any part of it was 
ever deep enough to drown a foal is hard to believe. 
I wanted to swim across to the farther side to try the 
depth, but the mere proposal scandalized the boat- 
men. The pool was sacred to the gods, and was 
guarded by Invisible monsters ; to enter it was Impi- 
ous and dangerous. I felt obliged to respect the 
local ideas on the subject, and contented myself with 
inquiring where the bateiseki was found. They 


pointed to the hill on the western side of the water. 
This indication did not tally with the legend. I 
could discover no trace of any human labor on that 

savage hillside; there was certainly no habitation 
within miles of the place ; it was the very abomina- 
tion of desolation. 1 

It is never wise for the traveler in Japan to ex- 
pect much on the strength of the reputation of kem- 
butsu. The interest attaching to the vast majority 
of kembutsu depends altogether upon the exercise of 
imagination 5 and the ability to exercise such imagi- 
nation again depends upon one's acquaintance with 
the history and mythology of the country. Knolls, 
rocks, stumps of trees, have been for hundreds of 
years objects of reverence for the peasantry, solely 
because of local traditions relating to them. Broken 
Iron kettles, bronze mirrors covered with verdigris, 
rusty pieces of sword blades, fragments of red earth- 
enware, have drawn generations of pilgrims to the 
shrines in which they are preserved. At various 
small temples which I visited, the temple treasures 
consisted of trays full of small stones. The first 
time I saw those little stones I thought that the 
priests had been studying geology or mineralogy, 
each stone being labeled in Japanese characters. On 
examination, the stones proved to be absolutely 
worthless in themselves, even as specimens of neigh- 
boring rocks. But the stories which the priests or 
acolytes could tell about each and every stone were 
more than interesting. The stones served as rude 

1 There are two ponds not far from each other. T!he one I visited 
was ca-lled 0-ike, or " The Male Pond," and the other, Me-ike, or " The 
Female Pond." 


beads, in fact, for the recital of a litany of Buddhist 

After the experience of the Sai-no-ike, I had little 
reason to expect to see anything extraordinary at 
ShimonisMmura. But this time I was agreeably 
mistaken. Shimonishimura is a pretty fishing vil- 
lage within an hour's row from Saigo. The boat fol- 
lows a wild but beautiful coast, passing one singular 
truncated hill, Oshiroyama 9 upon which a strong 
castle stood in ancient times. There is now only a 
small Shinto shrine there, surrounded by pines. 
From the hamlet of Shimonishimura to the Temple 
of Tama-Wakasu-jinja is a walk of twenty minutes, 
over very rough paths between rice-fields and vege- 
table gardens. But the situation of the temple, sur- 
rounded by its sacred grove, in the heart of a land- 
scape framed in by mountain ranges of many colors, 
is charmingly impressive. The edifice seems to have 
once been a Buddhist temple ; it is now the largest 
Shinto structure in Oki. Before its gate stands the 
famous cedar, not remarkable for height, but won- 
derful for girth. Two yards above the soil its cir- 
cumference is forty-five feet. It has given its name 
to the holy place ; the Oki peasantry scarcely ever 
speak of TamarWakasu-jinja, but only of " 0-Sugi/* 
the Great Cedar. 

Tradition avers that this tree was planted by a 
Buddhist nun more than eight hundred years ago.' 
And it is alleged that whoever eats with chopsticks 
made from the wood of that tree will never have the 
toothache, and will live to become exceedingly old. 1 

1 Speaking of the supposed power of certain trees to cure tooth- 
sche. I may mention a carious superstition about the yunagi, or 



The shrine dedicated to the spirit of tlw 'JEmperor 
Go-Daigo Is in Nishinoshima, at Beppu, a picturesque 
fishing village composed of one long street of thatched 
cottages fringing a bay, at the foot of a demilune of 
hills. The simplicity of manners and the honest 
healthy poverty of the place are quite wonderful, 
even for Oki. There is a kind of inn for strangers 
at which hot water is served instead of tea, and dried 
beans instead of kwashi, and millet instead of rice. 
The absence of tea, however, is much more signifi- 
cant than that of rice. But the people of Beppu do 
not suffer for lack of proper nourishment, as their 
robust appearance bears witness: there are plenty 
of vegetables, all raised in tiny gardens which the 
women, and children till during the absence of the 
boats ; and there is abundance of fish. There is no 
Buddhist temple, but there is an ujigami. 

The shrine of the emperor is at the top of a hill 
called Kurokizan, at one end of the bay. The hill is 
covered with tall pines, and the path is very steep, 
so that I thought it prudent to put on straw sandals, 
in which, one never slips, I found the shrine to be 
a small wooden miya, scarcely three feet high, and 
black with age. There were remains of other miya, 
much older, lying in some bushes near by. Two 
large stones, unhewn and without inscriptions of any 
sort, have been placed before the shrine, I looked 
into it, and saw a crumbling metal-mirror, dingy 

willow-tree. Sufferers from toothache sometimes stick needles into 
the tree, believing that the pain caused to the tree-spirit will force it 
to exercise its power to cure* I could not, however, find any record 
of this practice in Oki, 
VOL. n. 


paper gohei attached to splints of bamboo, two little 
0-mikidokkuri, or Shinto sak&vessels of red earthen- 
ware, and one rin. There was nothing else to see, 
except, indeed, certain delightful glimpses of coast 
and peak, visible in the bursts of warm blue light 
which penetrated the consecrated shadow, between 
the trunks of the great pines. 

Only this humble shrine commemorates the^ good 
emperor's sojourn among the peasantry of Oku 
But there is now being erected by voluntary sub- 
scription, at the little village of Go-sen-goku-mura 
near Yonago in Tottori, quite a handsome monument 
of stone to the memory of his daughter, the princess 
Hinako-Nai-Shinno, who died there while attempting 
to follow her august parent into exile. Near the 
place of her rest stands a famous chestnut-tree, of 
which this story is told : While the emperor's daugh- 
ter was ill, she asked for chestnuts ; and some were 
given to her. But she took only one, and bit it a 
little, and threw it away. It found root and became 
a grand tree. But all the chestnuts of that tree bear 
marks like the marks of little teeth ; for in Japanese 
legend even the trees are loyal, and strive to show 
their loyalty in all sorts of tender dumb ways. And 
that tree is called Hagata-guri-no-ki, which signifies : 
" The Tree-of-the-Tooth-marked-Chestnut8. n 


Long before visiting Oki I had heard that such a 
crime as theft was unknown in the little archipelago ; 
that it had never been found necessary there to lock 
things up; and that, whenever weather permitted, the 
people slept with their houses all open to the four 
winds of heaven. 


And after careful Investigation, I found these sur- 
prising statements were, to a great extent, true* In 
the Dozen group, at least, there are no thieves, and 
practically no crime. Ten policemen are sufficient 
to control the whole of both Dozen and Dogo, with 
their population of thirty thousand one hundred and 
ninety-six souls. Each policeman has under Ms in- 
spection a number of villages, which he visits on 
regular days ; and his absence for any length of 
time from one of these seems never to be taken 
advantage of. His work is mostly confined to the 
enforcement of hygienic regulations, and to the writ- 
ing of reports. It is very seldom that he finds it 
necessary to make an arrest, for the people scarcely 
ever quarrel. 

In the island of Dogo alone are there ever any 
petty thefts, and only in that part of Oki do the peo- 
ple take any precautions against thieves. Formerly 
there was no prison, and thefts were never heard of ; 
and the people of Dogo still claim that the few per- 
sons arrested in their island for such offenses are not 
natives of Oki, but strangers from the mainland. 
What appears to be quite true is that theft was un- 
known in Oki before the port of Saigo obtained its 
present importance. The whole trade of Western 
Japan has been increased by the rapid growth of 
steam communications with other parts of the em- 
pire ; and the port of Saigo appears to have gained 
commercially, but to have lost morally, by the new 

Yet offenses against the law are still surprisingly 
few, even in Saigo. Saigo has a prison ; and there 
were people in it during my stay in the city ; but 
the inmates had been convicted only of such misde* 


meanors as gambling (which Is strictly prohibited 
in every form by Japanese law), or the violation of 
lesser ordinances. When a serious offonse is com- 
mitted, the offender is not punished in Old, but is 
sent to the great prison at Matsue, in lanrno* 

The Dozen islands, however, perfectly maintain 
their ancient reputation for irreproachable honesty. 
There have been no thieves in those three islands 
within the memory of man ; and there are no serious 
quarrels, no fighting, nothing to inake life miserable 
for anybody. Wild and bleak as the land is, all can 
manage to live comfortably enough; food is cheap 
and plenty, and manners and customs have retained 
their primitive simplicity. 


To foreign eyes the defenses of even an Izumo 
dwelling against thieves seem ludicrous. Chevau& 
de~fri$e of bamboo stakes are used extensively in 
eastern cities of the empire, but in Izumo these are 
not often to be seen, and do not protect the really 
weak points of the buildings upon which they are 
placed. As for outside walls and fences, they serve 
only for screens, or for ornamental boundaries ; any 
one can climb over them. Any one can also cut his 
way into an ordinary Japanese house with a pocket- 
knife. The amado are thin sliding screens of soft 
wood, easy to break with a single blow ; and in most 
Izumo homes there is not a lock which could resist 
one vigorous pull. Indeed, the Japanese themselves 
are so far aware of the futility of their wooden, panels 
against burglars that all who can afford it build kura, 
small heavy fire-proof and (for Japan) almost 
burglar -proof structures, with very thick earthen 


walls, a narrow ponderous door fastened with a 
gigantic padlock, and one very small Iron-barred 
window, high up, near the roof. The kura are white- 
washed, and look yery neat. They cannot be used 
for dwellings, however, as they are mouldy and dark; 
and they serve only as storehouses for valuables. It 
is not easy to rob a kura. 

But there is no trouble In " burglariously " enter- 
Ing an Izumo dwelling unless there happen to be 
good watchdogs on the premises. The robber knows 
the only difficulties in the way of his enterprise are 
such as he Is likely to encounter after having effected 
an entrance. In view of these difficulties, he usually 
carries a sword. 

Nevertheless, he does not wish to find himself In 
any predicament requiring the use of a sword ; and 
to avoid such an unpleasant possibility he has re- 
course to magic. 

He looks about the premises for a tarai, a kind 
of tub. If he finds one, he performs a nameless op- 
eration in a certain part of the yard, and covers the 
spot with the tub, turned upside down. He believes 
If he can do this that a magical sleep will fall upon 
all the inmates of the house, and that he will thus 
be able to carry away whatever he pleases, without 
being heard or seen. 

But every Izuzno household knows the counter- 
charm. Each evening, before retiring, the careful 
wife sees that a hocho, or kitchen knife, is laid upon 
the kitchen floor, and covered with a kanadaral, or 
brazen wash-basin, on the upturned bottom of which 
Is placed a single straw sandal, of the noiseless sort 
called zori, also turned upside down. She believes 
this little bit of witchcraft will not only nullify the 


robber's spell, but also render it Impossible for Mm. 

even should lie succeed in entering the house with- 
out being seen or heard to carry anything what- 
ever away. But, unless very tired indeed, she will 
also see that the tarai is brought into the house before 
the amado are closed for the night. 

If through omission of these (precautions as the 
good wife might aver), or in despite of them, the 
dwelling be robbed while the family are asleep, 
search is made early in the morning for the footprints 
of the burglar ; and a moxa 1 is set burning upon each 
footprint. By this operation it is hoped or believed 
that the burglar's feet will be made so sore that he 
cannot run far, and that the police may easily over- 
take him. 


It was in OH that I first heard of an extraordinary 
superstition about the cause of okori (ague, or inter* 
termittent fever), mild forms of which prevail in 
certain districts at certain seasons ; but I have since 
learned that this quaint belief is an old one in Izumo 
and in many parts of the San-indo. It is a curious 
example of the manner in which Buddhism has been 
used to explain all mysteries. 

Okori is said to be caused by the GaM-botoke, or 
hungry ghosts. Strictly speaking, the Gaki-botoke 
are the Pretas of Indian Buddhism, spirits oon- 

1 Moxa, a corruption of the native name of the x&ragworfc plant : 
moe-kusa, or mogusa, " the burning weed." Small cones of its fibre ard 
used for cauterizing, according to the old Chinese system of medicine, 

the little cones being placed upon the patient's skin, lighted, and 
left to smoulder until wholly consumed. The result; IK a profound 
scar. The moxa is not only used therapeutical!?, but also an n ptm- 
5shment for very naughty children. See the interesting uote on tiutf 
subject in Professor Chamberlain's Things Japanese, 


deemed to sojourn in the Gakido, tlie sphere of the 
penance of perpetual hunger and thirst. But in 
Japanese Buddhism, the name Gaki is given also to 
those souls who have none among the living to re- 
member them, and to prepare for them the custo- 
mary offerings of food and tea. 

These suffer, and seek to obtain warmth and nutriU 
ment by entering into the bodies of the living. The 
person into whom a gaki enters at first feels intensely 
cold and shivers, because the gaki is cold. But the 
chill is followed by a feeling of intense heat, as the 
gaki becomes warm. Having warmed itself and 
absorbed some nourishment at the expense of its un- 
willing host, the gaki goes away, and the fever 
ceases for a time. But at exactly the same hour 
upon another day the gaki will return, and the vie* 
tim must shiver and burn until the haunter has be- 
come warm and has satisfied its hunger. Some gaki 
visit their patients every day ; others every alternate 
day, or even less often. In brief : the paroxysms of 
any form of intermittent fever are explained by the 
presence of the gaki, and the intervals between the 
paroxysms by its absence. 


Of the word hotoke (which becomes botoke in 
such compounds as nure-botoke, 1 gaki-botoke), there 
is something curious to say. 

Hotoke signifies a Buddha. 

Hotoke signifies also the Souls of the Dead, since 
faith holds that these, after worthy life, either enter 
upon the way to Buddhahood, or become Buddhas. 

2 Nure-botoke, " a wet god." This term is applied to the statue ol 
a deity left exposed to the open air. 


Hotoke, by euphemism, has likewise come to mean 
a corpse: hence the verb hotoke-zukuri, "to look 
ghastly," to have the semblance of one long dead. 

And Hotoke-San is the name of the Image of a 
Face seen in the pupil of the eye, Ilotokc-San, 
"the Lord Buddha." Not the Supreme of the Hok- 
kekyo, but that lesser Buddha who dwelleth in each 
one of us, the Spirit. 1 

Sang Rossetti : " Hooked and saw your heart in the 
shadow of your eyes" Exactly converse is the Ori- 
ental thought. A Japanese lover would have said : 
44 1 looked and saw my own Buddha in the shadow of 
your eyes." 

What is the psychical theory connected with so 
singular a belief ? 2 I think it might be this ; The 
Soul, within its own body, always remains viewless, 
yet may reflect itself in the eyes of another, as in the 
rairror of a necromancer. Vainly you gaze into the 
eyes of the beloved to discern her soul : you see there 
only your own soul's shadow, diaphanous ; and be- 
yond is mystery alone reaching to the Infinite. 

But is not this true ? The Ego, as Schopenhauer 
wonderfully said, is the dark spot in consciousness, 
even as the point whereat the nerve of sight enters 
the eye is blind. We see ourselves in others only ; 
only through others do we dimly guess that which 
we are. And in the deepest love of another being do 
we not indeed love ourselves ? What are the person- 

1 According to popular legend, in each eye of the child of a god 
or a dragon two Buddkas are visible. The statement in Homo of the 
Japanese ballads, that the hero sung of had^/m/r Buddhatt In his eyes, 
is equivalent to the declaration that each of his eyes had a double- 

2 The idea of the Atman will perhaps occur to many readers. 


alities, the Individualities of us but countless vibra- 
tions in the Universal Being ? Are we not all One 
in the unknowable Ultimate ? One with the incon- 
ceivable past ? One with the everlasting future ? 


In Oki, as in Izumo, the public school is slowly but 
surely destroying many of the old superstitions. Even 
the fishermen of the new generation laugh at things 
in which their fathers believed. I was rather sur- 
prised to receive from an intelligent young sailor, 
whom I had questioned through an interpreter about 
the ghostly fire of Takuhizan, this scornful answer : 
" Oh, we used to believe those things when we were 
savages ; but we are civilized now ! " 

Nevertheless, he was somewhat in advance of Ms 
time. In the village to which he belonged I discov- 
ered that the Fox-superstition prevails to a degree 
scarcely paralleled in any part of Izumo. The his- 
tory of the village was quite curious, From time 
immemorial it had been reputed a settlement of ki- 
tsune-mochi : in other words, all its inhabitants were 
commonly believed, and perhaps believed themselves, 
to be the owners of goblin-foxes. And being all alike 
Mtsune-mochi, they could eat and drink together, and 
marry and give in marriage among themselves with- 
out affliction* They were feared with a ghostly fear 
by the neighboring peasantry, who obeyed their de- 
mands both in matters reasonable and unreasonable. 
They prospered exceedingly. But some twenty years 
ago an Izumo stranger settled among them. He was 
energetic, intelligent, and possessed of some capital. 
He bought land, made various shrewd investments, 
and in a surprisingly short time became the wealthiest 


citizen In the place. He built a very pretty SMnt<f 
temple and presented it to the community. There 
was only one obstacle in the way of his becoming a 
really popular person : he was not a kitsune-mochi, 
and he had even said that he hated foxes. This 
singularity threatened to beget discords in the mura, 
especially as he married hie children to strangers, 
and thus began in the midst of the kitsune-mochi to 
establish a sort of anti-Fox-holding colony. 

Wherefore, for a long time past, the Fox-holders 
have been trying to force their superfluous goblins 
upon him. Shadows glide about the gate of his 
dwelling on moonless nights, muttering: "Kaere! 
Jcyo kara "kokoye : Jcuruda ! " [Be off now ! from now 
hereafter it is here that ye must dwell; go !] Then 
are the upper shoji violently pushed apart ; and the 
voice of the enraged house owner Is heard : u Koko 
wa Jciraida! modori!" [Detestable is that which ye 
do I get ye gone !] And the Shadows flee away. 1 


Because there were no cuttlefish at Hiahi-ura, 
and no horrid smells, I enjoyed myself there more 
than I did anywhere else in OkL But, in any event, 
Hishi-ura would have interested me more than 
Saigo. The life of the pretty little town is pecul- 
iarly old-fashioned ; and the ancient domestic indus- 
tries, which, the introduction of machinery lias almost; 

1 In 1892 a Japanese newspaper, published In Tokyo, stated upon 
the authority of a physician who had visited Shimane, that the people 
of Old believe in ghostly dogs instead of ghostly foxes* This is a 
mistake caused by the literal rendering of a term often used in Shi* 
mane, especially in Iwami, namely, inu-gami-mochi. It Is only a 
euphemism for kitsune-mochi ; the mu-gami is only the hlfco-kifcsune* 
which is supposed to make itself visible in various animal forms. 


destroyed In Izumo and elsewhere, still exist in Hi* 
shi-ura. It was pleasant to watch, the rosy girls 
weaving robes of cotton and robes of silk, relieving 
each other whenever the work became fatiguing. 
All this quaint gentle life is open to inspection, and 
I loved to watch it. I had other pleasures also : the 
bay is a delightful place for swimming, and there 
were always boats ready to take me to any place of 
interest along the coast. At night the sea breeze 
made the rooms which I occupied deliciously cool ; 
and from the balcony I could watch the bay-swell 
breaking in slow, cold fire on the steps of the wharves, 
a beautiful phosphorescence ; and I could hear 
Oki mothers singing their babes to sleep with one of 
the oldest lullabys in the world : 

O-yama no 
Usagi no Jco t 
Naze mata 
Q~mimi ga 
Nagai e yara f 
OJckasan no 
O-naka ni 
Oru toku w, 
Biwa no ha, 
Sasa no ha, 
Tabeta sona ; 
Sore de 
0-mimi ga 
Nagai e sona. 1 

The air was singularly sweet and plaintive, quite 
different from that to which the same words are sung 
in Izumo, and in other parts of Japan. 

1 Which words signify something like this : 

** Sleep, baby, sleep I Why are the honorable ears of the Child of the 
If are of the honorable mountain so longf 'Tis because when he dwelt 
within her honored womb, his mamma ate the leaves of the Zoquat, the 
haves of the bamboo-grass. That is why his honorable ears are so long' 9 


One morning I had hired a boat to take me to 
Beppo, and was on the point of leaving the hotel for 
the day, when the old landlady, touching my arm, 
exclaimed : " Wait a little while ; it is not good to 
cross a funeral." I looked round the corner, and 
saw the procession coming along the shore. It was 
a Shinto funeral, a child's funeral. Young lads 
came first, carrying Shinto emblems, little white 
flags, and branches of the sacred sakaki ; and after 
the coffin the mother walked, a young peasant, 
crying very loud, and wiping her eyes with the long 
sleeves of her coarse blue dress. Then the old 
woman at my side murmured; "She sorrows; tut 
she is ^ery young : perhaps It will @ome back to her" 
For she was a pious Buddhist, my good old landlady, 
and doubtless supposed the mother's belief like her 
own, although the funeral was conducted according 
to the Shinto rite. 

There are in Buddhism certain weirdly beautiful 
consolations unknown to Western faith. 

The young mother who loses her first child may 
at least pray that it will come back to her out of the 
night of death, not In dreams only, but through 
reincarnation. And so praying, she writes within 
the hand of the little corpse the first ideograph of 
her lost darling's name. 

Months pass ; she again becomes a mother. Eagerly 
she examines the flower-soft hand of the infant, 
And lo! the self-same ideograph is there, a rosy 
birth-mark on the tender palm; and the Soul re- 
turned looks out upon her through the eyes of the 
newly born with the gaze of other days. 



While on the subject of death I may speak of a 
primitive but touching custom which exists both in 
Old and Izumo, that of calling the name of the dead 
immediately after death. For it is thought that the 
call may be heard by the fleeting soul, which might 
sometimes be thus induced to return. Therefore, 
when a mother dies, the children should first call her, 
and of all the children first the youngest (for she 
loved that one most) ; and then the husband and all 
those who loved the dead cry to her in turn. 

And it is also the custom to call loudly the name 
of one who faints, or becomes insensible from any 
cause ; and there are curious beliefs underlying this 

It is said that of those who swoon from pain or 
grief especially, many approach very nearly to death, 
and these always have the same experience. u You 
feel," said one to me in answer to my question about 
the belief, u as if you were suddenly somewhere else, 
and quite happy, only tired. And you know that 
you want to go to a Buddhist temple which is quite 
far away. At last you reach the gate of the temple 
court, and you see the temple inside, and it is won- 
derfully large and beautiful. And you pass the gate 
and enter the court to go to the temple. But sud- 
denly you hear voices of friends far behind you call- 
ing your name very, very earnestly. So you turn 
back, and all at once you come to yourself again, 
At least it is so if your heart cares to live. But one 
who is really tired of living will not listen to the 
voices, and walks on to the temple. And what there 
happens no man knows, for they who enter that 
temple never return to their friends* 


" That Is why people call loudly Into the ear of one 
who swoons. 

"Now, It is said that all who die, before going to 
the Meido, make one pilgrimage to the great temple 
of Zenkdji, which is in the country of Shinano, in 
Nagano- Ken. And they say that whenever the priest 
of that temple preaches, he sees the Souls gather 
there in the hondo to hear him, all with white wrap- 
pings about their heads. So Zenkoji might be the 
temple which is seen by those who swoon. Bat I do 
not know." 


I went by boat from Hishi-ura to Amamnra, in 
Nakanoshima, to visit the tomb of the exiled Em- 
peror Go-Toba. The scenery along the way was 
beautiful, and of softer outline than I had seen on my 
first passage through the archipelago. Small rocks 
rising from the water were covered with sea-gulls 
and cormorants, which scarcely took any notice of 
the boat, even when we came almost within an oar's 
length. This fearlessness of wild creatures Is one of 
the most charming impressions of travel in these re- 
moter parts of Japan, yet unvisited by tourists with 
shotguns. The early European and American hunt- 
ers in Japan seem to have found no difficulty and 
felt no compunction In exterminating what they con- 
sidered " game " over whole districts, destroying life 
merely for the wanton pleasure of destruction. Their 
example is being imitated now by u Young Japan," 
and the destruction of bird life Is only Imperfectly 
checked by game laws. Happily, the government 
does interfere sometimes to check particular forms of 
the hunting vice. Some brutes who had observed 
the habits of swallows to make their nests in Japa- 


nese houses, last year offered to purchase some thou- 
sands of swallow-skins at a tempting price. Th 
effect of the advertisement was cruel enough', but 
the police were promptly notified to stop the murder- 
ing, which they did, About the same time, in one 
of the Yokohama papers, there appeared a letter 
from some holy person announcing, as a triumph of 
Christian sentiment, that a ** converted " fisherman 
had been persuaded by foreign proselytizers to kill 
a turtle, which his Buddhist comrades had vainly 
begged him to spare. 

Amamura, a very small village, lies in a narrow 
plain of rice-fields extending from the sea to a range 
of low hills. From the landing-place to the village 
is about a quarter of a mile. The narrow path lead- 
ing to it passes round the base of a small hill, 
covered with pines, on the outskirts of the village. 
There is quite a handsome Shinto temple on the Mil, 
small, but admirably constructed, approached by 
stone steps and a paved walk. There are the usual 
lions and lamps of stone, and the ordinary simple 
offerings of paper and women's hair before the shrine. 
But I saw among the ex-voto a number of curious 
things which I had never seen in Izumo, tiny min- 
iature buckets, well-buckets, with rope and pole com- 
plete, neatly fashioned out of bamboo. The boatman 
said that farmers bring these to the shrine when 
praying for rain. The deity was called Suwa-Dai- 

It was at the neighboring village, of which Suwa- 
Dai-Myojin seems to be the ujigami, that the Em- 
peror Go-Toba is said to have dwelt, in the house of 
the Choja Shikekuro, The Shikekuro homestead 


remains, and still belongs to the Choja's descend- 
ants, but they have become very poor. I asked per- 
mission to see the cups from which the exiled em- 
peror drank, and other relics of his stay said to be 
preserved by the family ; but in consequence of Ill- 
ness In the house I could not be received. So 1 had 
only a glimpse of the garden, where there is a cele- 
brated pond, a kernbutsu. 

The pond is called Shikekuro's Pond, Shlke- 
kuro-no-Ike. And for seven hundred years, 't is said* 
the frogs of that pond have never been heard to 

For the Emperor Go-Toba, having one night been 
kept awake by the croaking of the frogs in that 
pond, arose and went out and commanded them, 
saying: " Be silent ! " Wherefore they have remained 
silent through all the centuries even unto this day. 

Near the pond there was in that time a great 
pine-tree, of which the rustling upon windy nights 
disturbed the emperor's rest. And he spoke to the 
pine-tree, and said to It : " Be still ! " And never 
thereafter was that tree heard to rustle, even in time 
of storms. 

But that tree has ceased to be. Nothing remains 
of it but a few fragments of its wood and bark, 
which are carefully preserved as relics by the ancients 
of Okl. Such a fragment was shown to me in the 
toko of the guest chamber of the dwelling of a phy- 
sician of Saigo, the same gentleman whose kind- 
ness I have related elsewhere. 

The tomb of the emperor lies on the slope of a 
low Mil, at a distance of about ten minutes' walk 
from the village. It is far less imposing than the 


least of the tombs of the Matsudaira at Matsue, in 
the grand old courts of Gesshoji ; but it was perhaps 
the best which the poor little country of Oki could 
furnish. This is not, however, the original place of 
the tomb, which was moved by imperial order in the 
sixth year of Meiji to its present site. A lofty fence, 
or rather stockade of heavy wooden posts, painted 
black, incloses a piece of ground perhaps one hun- 
dred and fifty feet long, by about fifty broad, and 
graded into three levels, or low terraces. All the space 
within is shaded by pines. In the centre of the last 
and highest of the little terraces the tomb is placed : a 
single large slab of gray rock laid horizontally. A 
narrow paved walk leads from the gate to the tomb, 
ascending each terrace by three or four stone steps. 
A little within this gateway, which is opened to 
visitors only once a year, there is a torii facing the 
sepulchre ; and before the highest terrace there are a 
pair of stone lamps. All this is severely simple, but 
effective in a certain touching way. The country 
stillness is broken only by the shrilling of the semi 
and the tintinnabulation of that strange little insect, 
the suzumushi, whose calling sounds just like the 
tinkling of the tiny bells which are shaken by the 
miko in her sacred dance. 


I remained nearly eight days at Hishi-ura on the 
occasion of my second visit there, but only three at 
Urago. Urago proved a less pleasant place to stay 
in 9 n ot because its smells were any stronger than 
those of Saigo, but for other reasons which shall pres- 
ently appear. 

More than one foreign man-of-war has touched at 


Saigo, and English and Russian officers of the navy 
have been seen In the streets* They were tall, fair* 
haired, stalwart men ; and the people of Oki still im- 
agine that all foreigners from the West have the same 
stature and complexion. I was the first foreigner 
who ever remained even a night in the town, and I 
stayed there two weeks ; but being small and dark, 
and dressed like a Japanese, I excited little attention 
among the common people : it seemed to them that I 
was only a curious -looking Japanese from some re- 
mote part of the empire. At Hishi-ura the same im- 
pression prevailed for a time ; and even after the fact 
of my being a foreigner had become generally known, 
the population caused me no annoyance whatever; 
they had already become accustomed to see me walk- 
Ing about the streets or swimming across the bay* 
But it was quite otherwise at Urago. The first time 
I landed there I had managed to escape notice, being 
in Japanese costume, and wearing a very large Izumo 
hat, which partly concealed my face. After I left 
for Saigo, the people must have found out that a 
foreigner the very first ever seen in Dozen had 
actually been in Urago without their knowledge ; 
for my second visit made a sensation such as I had 
never been the cause of anywhere else, except at 

I had barely time to enter the hotel, before the 
street became entirely blockaded by an amazing 
crowd desirous to see. The hotel was unfortunately 
situated on a corner, so that it was soon besieged on 
two sides. I was shown to a large back room on the 
second floor ; and I had no sooner squatted down on 
my mat, than the people began to come upstairs 
quite noiselessly, all leaving their sandals at the foot 


of the steps. They were too polite to enter the room ; 
but four or five would put their heads through the 
doorway at once, and bow, and smile, and look, and 
retire to make way for those who filled the stairway 
behind them. It was no easy matter for the servant 
to bring me my dinner. Meanwhile, not only had 
the upper rooms of the houses across the way become 
packed with gazers, but all the roofs north, east, 
and south which commanded a view of my apart- 
ment had been occupied by men and boys in multi- 
tude. Numbers of lads had also climbed (I never 
could imagine how) upon the narrow eaves over the 
galleries below my windows ; and all the openings of 
ray room, on three sides, were full of faces. Then 
tiles gave way, and boys fell, but nobody appeared 
to be hurt. And the queerest fact was that during 
the performance of these extraordinary gymnastics 
there was a silence of death : had I not seen the 
throng, I might have supposed there was not a soul 
In the street. 

The landlord began to scold ; but, finding scolding 
of no avail, he summoned a policeman. The police- 
man begged ine to excuse the people, who ha<| never 
seen a foreigner before ; and asked me if I wished 
him to clear the street. He could have done that by 
merely lifting his little finger; but as the scene 
amused me, I begged him not to order the people 
away, but only to tell the boys not to climb upon the 
awnings, some of which they had already damaged. 
He told them most effectually, speaking in a very 
low voice. During all the rest of the time I was in 
Urago, no one dared to go near the awnings. A Jap- 
anese policeman never speaks more than once about 
anything new, and always speaks to the purpose. 


The public curiosity, however, lasted without abate 
for three days, and would have lasted longer if 1 had 
not fled from Urago. Whenever I went out I drew 
the population after me with a pattering of geta like 
the sound of surf moving shingle, l r et, except for 
that particular sound, there was silc nee. No word 
was spoken. Whether this was because the whole 
mental faculty was so strained by the Intensity of the 
desire to see that speech became impassible, I am not 
able to decide* But there was no roughness in all 
that curiosity ; there was never anything approaching 
rudeness, except in the matter of ascending to my 
room without leave ; and that was done so gently 
that I could not wish the intruders rebuked* Never- 
theless, three days o such experience proved trying, 
Despite the heat, I had to close the doors and win- 
dows at night to prevent myself being watched while 
asleep. About my effects I had no anxiety at all : 
thefts are never committed in the island. But that 
perpetual silent crowding about me became at last 
more than embarrassing. It was innocent, but it was 
weird. It made me feel like a 'ghost, a new arrival 
in the Meido, surrounded by shapes without voice, 


There is very little privacy of anj sort in Japa- 
nese life. Among the people, indeed, what we term 
privacy, in the Occident, does not exist. There are 
only walls of paper dividing the lives of men ; there 
are only sliding screens instead of doors; there are 
neither locks nor bolts to be used by day ; and when- 
ever weather permits, the fronts, and perhaps evea 
the sides of the house are literally removed, and its 
interior widely opened to the air, the light, and the 


public gaze. Not even the rich man closes his front 
gate by day. Within a hotel or even a common 
dwelling-house, nobody knocks before entering your 
room ; there is nothing to knock at except a shoji or 
f usuma, which cannot be knocked upon without be- 
ing broken. And in this world of paper walls and 
sunshine, nobody is afraid or ashamed of fellow-men 
or fellow-women. Whatever is done, is done, after a 
fashion, in public. Your personal habits, your idio- 
syncrasies (if you have any), your foibles, your likes 
and dislikes, your loves or your hates, must be 
known to everybody. Neither vices nor virtues can 
be hidden : there is absolutely nowhere to hide them. 
And this condition has lasted from the most ancient 
time. There has never been, for the common millions 
at least, even the idea of living unobserved. Life 
can be comfortably and happily lived in Japan only 
upon the condition that all matters relating to it are 
open to the inspection of the community. Which 
implies exceptional moral conditions, such as have 
no being in the West It is perfectly comprehen- 
sible only to those who know by experience the ex- 
iraordinary charm of Japanese character, the infinite 
goodness of the common people, their instinctive po- 
liteness, and the absence among them of any tenden- 
cies to indulge in criticism, ridicule, irony, or sarcasm, 
No one endeavors to expand his own individuality 
by belittling his fellow ; no one tries to make himself 
appear a superior being : any such attempt would be 
vain in a community where the weaknesses of each 
are known to all, where nothing can be concealed or 
disguised, and where affectation could only be re* 
garded as a mild form of insanity. 


Some of the old samurai of Matsue are living in the 
Oki Islands. When the great military caste was dis- 
established, a few shrewd men decided to try their 
fortunes in the little archipelago, where customs re- 
mained old-fashioned and lands were cheap. Several 
succeeded, probably because of the whole-souled 
honesty and simplicity of manners in the islands ; for 
samurai have seldom elsewhere been able to succeed 
in business of any sort when obliged to compete with 
experienced traders. Others failed, but were able 
to adopt various bumble occupations which gave 
them the means to live. 

Besides these aged survivors of the feudal period, I 
learned there were in Oki several children of once 
noble families youths and maidens of illustrious 
extraction bravely facing the new conditions of life 
in this remotest and poorest region of the empire. 
Daughters of men to whom the population of a town 
once bowed down were learning the bitter toil of the 
rice-fields. Youths," who might in another era have 
aspired to offices of state, had become the trusted 
servants of Oki heimin. Others, again, had entered 
the police, 1 and rightly deemed themselves fortunate* 

No doubt that change of civilimtion forced upon 
Japan by Christian bayonets, for the holy motive of 
gain, may yet save the empire from perils greater 
than those of the late social disintegration ; but it 
was cruelly sudden. To imagine the consequence of 

1 The Japanese police are nearly all of the samurai class, now called 
shizoku* I think this force may be considered the most perfect police 
in the world ; hut whether it will retain those magnificent qualities 
which at present distinguish it, after the lapse of another generation, 
is doubtful It is now the samurai blood that tells. 


depriving the English landed gentry of their reve- 
nues would not enable one to realize exactly what a 
similar privation signified to the Japanese samurai. 
For the old warrior caste knew only the arts of 
courtesy and the arts of war. 

And hearing of these things, I could not help 
thinking about a strange pageant at the last great 
Izumo festival of Rakusan-jinja. 


The hamlet of Rakuzan, known only for its bright 
yellow pottery and its little Shinto temple, drowses 
at the foot of a wooded hill about one ri from Matsue, 
beyond a wilderness of rice-fields. And the deity of 
Rakuzan-jinja is Naomasa, grandson of lyeyasu, and 
father of the Daimyo of Matsue. 

Some of the Matsudaira slumber in Buddhist 
ground, guarded by tortoises and lions of stone, in the 
marvelous old courts of Gesshoji. But KTaomasa, the 
founder of their long line, is enshrined at Rakuzan ; 
and the Izumo peasants still clap their hands in 
prayer before his miya, and implore his love and 

Now formerly upon each annual matsuri, or festi- 
val, of Rakuzan-jinja, it was customary to carry the 
miya of Naomasa-San from the village temple to the 
castle of Matsue. In solemn procession it was borne 
to those strange old family temples in the heart of 
the fortress-grounds, Go - jo - nai - Inari - Daimyojin, 
and Kusunoki-Matsuhira-Inari-Daimyojin, whose 
mouldering courts, peopled with lions and foxes of 
stone, are shadowed by enormous trees. After cer* 
tain Shinto rites had been performed at both temples, 
the miya was carried back in procession to Rakuzan. 


And this annual ceremony was called the miyuki or 
togyo, " the August Going," or Visit, of the ances- 
tor to the ancestral home, 

But the revolution changed all things. The dai- 
myo passed away ; the castles fell to ruin ; the 
samurai caste was abolished and dispossessed. And 
the miya of Lord Naomasa made no August Visit to 
the home of the Matsudaira for more than thirty 

But It came to pass a little time ago, that certain 
old men of Matsue bethought them to revive once 
more the ancient customs of the Rakuzan matsuri. 
And there was a miyuki. 

The miya of Lord Naomasa was placed within a 
barge, draped and decorated, and so conveyed by 
river and canal to the eastern end of the old Matsu- 
bara road, along whose pine-shaded way the diumyo 
formerly departed to Yedo on their annual visit, or 
returned therefrom. All those who rowed the barge 
were aged samurai who had been wont In their youth 
to row the barge of MatsudairarDewa-no-Kami, the 
last Lord of Izumo. They wore their ancient feudal 
costume ; and they tried to sing their ancient boat- 
song, o~funa~uta. But more than a generation had 
passed since the last time they had sung It ; and 
some of them had lost their teeth, so that they could 
not pronounce the words well ; and all, being aged, 
lost breath easily in the exertion of wielding the oars. 
Nevertheless they rowed the barge to the place ap- 

Thence the shrine was borne to a spot by the side 
of the Matsubara road, where anciently stood an 
August Tea-House, O-Chaya, at which the daimyo, 
returning from the Shogun's capital, were accustomed 


to rest and to receive their faithful retainers, who 
always came in procession, to meet them* No tea- 
house stands there now; but, in accord with old cus- 
tom, the shrine and its escort waited at the place, 
among the wild -flowers and the pines. And then 
was seen a strange sight. 

For there came to meet the ghost of the great lord 
a long procession of shapes that seemed ghosts also, 
shapes risen out of the dust of cemeteries : warriors 
in crested helmets and masks of iron and breast* 
plates of steel, girded with two swords ; and spear- 
men wearing queues; and retainers in kamishimo; 
and bearers of hasami-bako. Yet ghosts these were 
not, but aged samurai of Matsue, who had borne 
arms in the service of the last of the daimyo. And 
among them appeared his surviving ministers, the 
venerable karo ; and these, as the procession turned 
city-ward, took their old places of honor, and marched 
before the shrine valiantly, though bent with years. 

How that pageant might have impressed other 
strangers I do not know. For me, knowing some- 
thing of the history of each of those aged men, the 
scene had a significance apart from its story of for- 
gotten customs, apart from its interest as a feudal 
procession. To-day each and all of those old samu- 
rai are unspeakably poor. Their beautiful homes 
vanished long ago ; their gardens have been turned 
into rice-fields; their household treasures were cru- 
elly bargained for, and bought for almost nothing by 
curio-dealers to be resold at high prices to foreigners 
at the open ports. And yet what they could have 
obtained considerable money for, and what had 
ceased to be of any service to them, they clung to 
fondly through all their poverty and humiliation. 


Never could they be Induced to part with their armor 
and their swords, even when pressed by direst want, 
under the new and harder conditions of existence. 

The river banks, the streets, the balconies, and 
blue-tiled roofs were thronged. There was a great 
quiet as the procession passed. Young people gazed 
in hushed wonder, feeling the rare worth of that 
chance to look upon what will belong in the future 
to picture-books only and to the quaint Japanese 
stage. And old men wept silently, remembering 
their youth. 

Well spake the ancient thinker : " Everything i 
only for a day^ loth that which remembers, and that 
which is remembered*" 


Once more, homeward bound, I sat upon the 
cabin-roof of the Oki-Saigo, this time happily un- 
encumbered by watermelons, and tried to explain 
to myself the feeling of melancholy with which I 
watched those wild island-coasts vanishing over the 
pale sea into the white horizon. No doubt it was 
inspired partly by the recollection of kindnesses re* 
eeived from many whom I shall never meet again ; 
partly, also, by my familiarity with the ancient soil 
itself, and remembrance of shapes and places: the 
long blue visions down channels between islands, 
the faint gray fishing hamlets hiding in stony bays, 
the elfish oddity of narrow streets in little primitive 
towns, the forms and tints of peak aad vale made 
lovable by daily intimacy, the crooked broken paths 
to shadowed shrines of gods with long mysterious 
names, the butterfiy-drlf ting of yellow sails out of 
the glow of an unknown horizon. Yet I think it was 


due much more to a particular sensation in which 
every memory was steeped and toned, as a landscape 
is steeped in the light and toned in the colors of the 
morning : the sensation of conditions closer to Na- 
ture's heart, and farther from the monstrous ma- 
chine-world of "Western life than any into which I 
had ever entered north of the torrid zone. And then 
it seemed to me that I loved Oki in spite of the 
cuttlefish, chiefly because of having felt there, as 
nowhere else in Japan, the full joy of escape from 
the far-reaching influences of high-pressure civiliza- 
tion, the delight of knowing one's self, in Dozen at 
least, well beyond the range of everything artificial 
in human existence. 


O, the ancient gardener, whoso head shines 
Ilk an ivory ball, sat him down a moment on the 
edge of the ita-no-ma outside my study to smoke 
his pipe at the hibachl always left there for him. 
And as he smoked he found occasion to reprove the 
boy who assists him* What the boy had been doing 
I did not exactly know ; but I heard Kin jure bid him 
try to comport himself like a creature having more 
than one Soul. And because those words interested 
me I went out and sat 'down by Kinjuro. 

44 O Kinjuro," I said, " whether I myself have one 
or more Souls I am not sure. But it would much 
please me to learn how many Souls have you/' 

" I-the-Selfish-One have only four Souls,** made 
answer Kinjuro, with conviction imperturbable. 

" Four ? " reechoed I, feeling doubtful of having 

" Four," he repeated, " But that boy 1 think 
can have only one Soul, so much is he wanting in 

u And in what manner," I asked, ** came you to 
learn that you have four Souls ? n 

u There are wise men," made he answer, while 
knocking the ashes out of his little silver pips, ** there 
are wise men who know these things. And there is 
an ancient book which discourses of them. Accord- 
ing to the age of a man, and the time of his birth, 
and the stars of heaven, may the number of his Souls 

OF SOULS. 627 

be divined. But this Is the knowledge of old -men s 
tbe young folk of these times who learn the things of 
the West do not believe." 

" And tell me, O Kinjuro, do there now exist peo- 
ple having more Sonls than you ? " 

" Assuredly. Some have five, some six, some 
seven, some eight Souls. But no one Is by the gods 
permitted to have more Souls than nine," 

[Now this, as a universal statement, I could not be- 
lieve, remembering a woman upon the other side of 
the world who possessed many generations of Souls, 
and knew how to use them all. She wore her Souls 
just as other women wear their dresses, and changed 
them several times a day; and the multitude of 
dresses in the wardrobe of Queen Elizabeth was as 
nothing to the multitude of this wonderful person's 
Souls. For which reason she never appeared the 
same upon two different occasions ; and she changed 
her thought and her voice with her Souls. Some- 
times she was of the South, and her eyes were brown ; 
and again she was of the North, and her eyes were 
gray. Sometimes she was of the thirteenth, and 
sometimes of the eighteenth century ; and people 
doubted their own senses when they saw these things ; 
and they tried to find out the truth by begging pho- 
tographs of her, and then comparing them. Now the 
photographers rejoiced to photograph her because 
she was more than fair ; but presently they alsfc were 
confounded by the discovery that she was never the 
same subject twice. So the men who most ad* 
mired her could not presume to fall in love with her 
because that would have been absurd. She had 
altogether too many Souls. And some of you who 


read this I have written will bear witness to the 
verity thereof.] 

" Concerning this Country of the Gods, Kinjurd, 
that which you say may be true* But there arc other 
countries having only gods made of gold ; and in those 
countries matters are not so well arranged ; and the 
inhabitants thereof are plagued with a plague of 
Souls. For while some have but half a Soul, or no 
Soul at all, others have Souls in multitude thrust 
upon them for which neither nutriment nor employ 
can be found. And Souls thus situated torment ex- 
ceedingly their owners. . . . That is to say, Western 
Souls. . . . But tell me, I pray you, what is the use 
of having more than one or two Souls ? n 

" Master, if all had the same number and quality 
of Souls, all would surely be of one mind* But that 
people are different from each other is apparent; and 
the differences among them are because of the differ- 
ences in the quality and the number of their Souls/* 

" And it is better to have many Souls than a few ? " 

" It is better." 

" And the man having but one Soul is a being im- 
perfect ? " 

" Very imperfect." 

"Yet a man very Imperfect might have had an 
ancestor perfect ? " 

" That is true/* 

44 So that a man of to-day possessing but one Soul 
may have had an ancestor with nine Souls ? " 

" Yes." 

" Then what has become of those other eight Souls 
which the ancestor possessed, but which the descend* 
ant is without ? " 

OF SOULS. 629 

u Ah! that Is the work of the gods. The gods 
alone fix the number of Souls for each of us. To the 
worthy are many given ; to the unworthy few." 

44 Not from the parents, then, do the Souls de- 

44 Nay ! Most ancient the Souls are : innumerable 
the years of them." 

44 And this I desire to know : Can a man separate 
his Souls ? Can he, for instance, have one Soul in 
Kyoto and one in Tokyo and one in Matsue, all at 
the same time ? " 

44 He cannot ; they remain always together." 

44 How ? One within the other, like the little 
lacquered boxes of an inro ? " 

44 Nay : that none but the gods know," 

u And the Souls are never separated ? " 

44 Sometimes they may be separated. But if the 
Souls of a man be separated, that man becomes 
mad. Mad people are those who have lost one of 
their Souls." 

44 But after death what becomes of the Souls ? " 

"They remain still together. . . When a man 
dies his Souls ascend to the roof of the house. And 
they stay upon the roof for the space of nine and 
forty days." 

44 On what part of the roof?" 

44 On the yane-no-mune, upon the Ridge of the 
Roof they stay," 

44 Can they be seen ? " 

44 Nay : they are like the air is. To and fro upon 
the Ridge of the Roof they move, like a little wind." 

44 Why do they not stay upon the roof for fifty days 
instead of forty-nine ? " 

44 Seven weeks is the time allotted them before 


they must depart : seven weeks make the measure of 
forty-nine days. But why this should be, I cannot 

I was not unaware of the ancient belief that the 
spirit of a dead man haunts for a time the roof of his 
dwelling, because it is referred to quite impressively 
in many Japanese dramas, among others in the play 
called Kagazni-yaxna, which makes the people weep* 
But I had not before heard of triplex and quadruples 
and other yet more highly complex Souls; and I 
questioned Kinjuro vainly in the hope of learning 
the authority for his beliefs. They were the beliefs 
of his fathers : that was all he knew* 1 

1 Afterwards I found that the old man had expressed to me otily 
one popular form of a belief which would require a large hook to fully 
explain, a belief founded upon Chinese astrology, but posmbly 
modified by Buddhist and by Shinto ideas. This notion of compound 
Souls cannot be explained at all without a prior knowledge of the 
astrological relation between the Chinese Zodiacal Siftnn and the Tea 
Celestial Stems. Some understanding- of these may be obtained from 
the curious article "Time/* in Professor Chamberlain's admirable 
little book, Things Japanese. The relation having been perceived, it 
is further necessary to know that under the Chinese astrological ays- 
torn each year is under the influence of one or other of the H Five 
Elements," Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water; and according to 
the day and year of one's birth, one's temperament is celestially de- 
cided, A Japanese mnemonic verse tells us the number of souls or 
natures corresponding to each of the Five Elemental Influences, 
namely, nine souls for Wood, three for Fire, one for Earth, seven for 
Metal, five for Water ; 

JSTiku "karani 
Himitm no yama ni 

Nanatw kane to so 
Go miryS are. 

Multiplied into ten by being each one divided into *' Elder f * and 
"Younger," the Ifive Elements become the Ten Celestial Stems; and 
their influences are commingled with those of the Rat, Bull, Tiger^ 
Hare, Dragon, Serpent, Horso, Goat, Ape, Cock, Dog, and Boar (the 
twelve Zodiacal Signs), all of which have relations to time, plac, 

OF SOULS. 631 

Like most Iziuno folk, Klnjuro was a Buddhist as 
well as a Shintoist. As the former he belonged to 
the Zen-shii, as the latter to the Izumo-Taisha. Yet 
his ontology seemed to me not of either. Buddhism 
does not teach the doctrine of compound-multiple 
Souls. There are old Shinto books inaccessible to 
the multitude which speak of a doctrine very re- 
motely akin to Kinjuro's; but Kinjuro had never 
seen them. Those books say that each of us has two 
souls, the Ara-tama, or Rough Soul, which is vindic- 
tive ; and the Nigi-tama, or Gentle Soul, which is all- 
forgiving. Furthermore, we are all possessed by the 
spirit of Oho-maga-tsuhi-no-Kami, the " Wondrous 
Deity of Exceeding Great Evils ; " also by the spirit 
of Oho-naho-bi-no-Kami, the " Wondrous Great Rec- 
tifying Deity," a counteracting influence. These 
were not exactly the ideas of Kinjuro. But I re- 
membered something Hirata wrote which reminded 
me of Kinjuro's words about a possible separation of 
souk. Hirata's teaching was that the ara-tama of a 
man may leave his body, assume Ms shape, and with- 
out Ms knowledge destroy a hated enemy. So I 

life, luck, misfortune, etc. But even these hints give no idea what- 
ever how enormously complicated the subject really is. 

The book the old gardener referred to once as widely known in 
Japan as ever fortune-telling book in any European country was 
the San~ze~so, copies of which may still be picked up. Contrary to 
Kinjuro's opinion, however, it is held, by those learned in such Chinese 
matters, just as bad to have too many souls as to have too few. To 
have nine souls is to be too "many-minded," without fixed pur- 
pose ; to have only one soul is to lack quick intelligence. According 
to the Chinese astrological ideas, the word "natures" or "characters" 
would perhaps be more accurate than the word " souls " in this case. 
There is a world of curious fancies, horn out of these beliefs. For 
one example of hundreds, a person having a Fire-nature must not 
marry one having a Water-nature. Hence the proverbial saying about 
two who cannot agree, " They are like Fire and Water/' 

TOL xz 


asked Kinjuro about It. He said lie had never heard 
of a nigi-tama or an ara-tama; but he told me this: 

44 Master, -when a man has been discovered by his 
wife to be secretly enamored of another, it sometimes 
happens that the guilty woman Is seized with a sick- 
ness that no physician can cure, For one of the 
Souls of the wife, moved exceedingly by anger, passes 
into the body of that woman to destroy her. But th 
wife also sickens, or loses her inind awhile, because 
of the absence of her Soul. 

" And there is another and more wonderful thing 
known to us of Nippon, which you t being of the 
West, may never have heard. By the power of the 
gods, for a righteous purpose, sometimes a Soul may 
be withdrawn a little while from its body, and be 
made to utter its most secret thought. But no suf- 
fering to the body is then caused. And the wonder 
is wrought in this wise : 

" A man loves a beautiful girl whom he is at lib- 
erty to marry ; but he doubts whether he can hope 
to make her love him in return. He seeks the kan- 
nushi of a certain Shinto temple, 1 and tells of his 
doubt, and asks the aid of the gods to solve it. Then 
the priests demand, not his name, but his age and 
the year and day and hour of his birth, which they 
write down for the gods to know ; and they bid the 
man return to the temple after the space of seven 

"And during those seven days the priests offer 
prayer to the gods that the doubt may be solved ; 
and one of them each morning bathes all his body in 
cold, pure water, and at each repast eats only food 

1 Usually an Inari temple. Such things are sever dona at tb 
great Shinto shrines. 

OF SOULS. 683 

prepared with holy fire. And on the eighth day the 
man returns to the temple, and enters an inner 
chamber where the priests receive Mm, 

U A ceremony is performed, and certain prayers 
are said, after which all wait in silence. And then* 
the priest who has performed the rites of purifica- 
tion suddenly begins to tremble violently in all his 
body, like one trembling with a great fever. And 
this is because, by the power of the gods, the Soul 
of the girl whose love is doubted has entered, all 
fearfully, into the body of that priest. She does not 
know ; for at that time, wherever she may be, she is 
in a deep sleep from which nothing can arouse her. 
But her Soul, having been summoned into the body 
of the priest, can speak nothing save the truth ; and 
It is made to tell all Its thought. And the priest 
speaks not with his own voice, but with the voice of 
the Soul ; and he speaks in the person of the Soul, 
saying: C I love,' or *I hate,' according as the truth 
may be, and in the language of women. If there be 
hate, then the reason of the hate is spoken; but if the 
answer be of love, there is little to say. And then 
the trembling of the priest stops, for the Soul passes- 
from him ; and he falls forward upon his face like 
one dead, and long so remains." 

* 4 Tell me, Kinjuro," I asked, after all these queer 
things had been related to me, " have you yourself 
ever known of a Soul being removed by the power of 
the gods, and pjaced in the heart of a priest ? " 

u Yes : I myself have known it." 

I remained silent and waited. The old man emp- 
tied his little pipe, threw it down beside the hibachi, 
folded his hands, and looked at the lotus-flowers for 


some time before lie spoke again. Then lie smiled 
and said; 

" Master, I married when I was very young. For 
many years we liad no children : then my wife at 
last gave me a son, and became a Buddha, Hut my 
son lived and grew up handsome and strong ; and 
when the Revolution came, he joined the armies of 
the Son of Heaven ; and he died the death of a man 
in the great war of the South, in Kyushu. 1 loved 
Mm ; and I wept with joy when I heard that he had 
been able to die for our Sacred Emperor ; since there 
is no more noble death for the son of a samurai. So 
they buried my boy far away from me in Kyushu, 
upon a hill near Kunaamoto, winch w a famous city 
with, a strong garrison ; and 1 went there to make 
Ms tomb beautiful. But his name is here alao, in 
Ninomara, graven on the monument to the men of 
Izumo who fell in the good fight for loyalty and 
honor in our emperor's holy cause ; and when I sea 
Ms name there* my heart laughs, and 1 speak to Mm, 
and then it seems as if he were walking beside me 
again, under the great pines. . . But all that is 
another matter. 

" I sorrowed for my wife. All the years we had 
dwelt together, no unkind word had ever been ut- 
tered between us* And when she died, I thought 
never to marry again. But after two more years 
had passed, my father and mother desired a daughter 
in the house, and they told me of their wish, and of 
a girl who was beautiful and of good family, though 
poor. The family were of our kindred, and the girl 
was their only support: she wove garments of silk 
and garments of cotton, and for this she received but 

OF SOULS. 635 

little money* And because she was filial and comely* 
and our kindred not fortunate, my parents desired 
that I should marry her and help her people ; for in 
those days we had a small Income of rice. Then 9 
being accustomed to obey my parents, I suffered 
them to do what they thought best. So the nakodo 
was summoned, and the arrangements for the wed- 
ding began. 

u Twice I was able to see the girl in the bouse of 
her parents. And I thought myself fortunate the first 
time 1 looked upon her ; for she was very comely and 
young. But the second time, I perceived she had 
been weeping, and that her eyes avoided mine. Then 
my heart sank ; for I thought : She dislikes me ; and 
they are forcing her to this thing. Then I resolved 
to question the gods ; and I caused the marriage to 
be delayed ; and I went to the temple of Yanagi-no- 
Inari-Sama, which is in the Street Zaitookucho. 

44 And when the trembling came upon Mm, the 
priest, speaking with the Soul of that maid, declared 
to me : * My heart hates you, and the sight of your 
face gives me sickness, because I love another, and 
because this marriage is forced upon me. Yet though 
iny heart hates you, I must marry you because my 
parents are poor and old, and I alone cannot long 
continue to support them, for my work is killing me. 
But though I may strive to be a dutiful wife, there 
never will be gladness in your house because of me ; 
for my heart hates you with a great and lasting hate ; 
and the sound of your voice makes a sickness In my 
breast (koe Mite mo mune ga waruJcu nani) ; and 
only to see your face makes me wish, that I were 
dead (kao miru to shinitaku naru)S 

u Thus knowing the truth, I told It to my parents ; 


and I wrote a letter of kind words to the maid, pray* 
ing pardon for the pain I had unknowingly caused 
her ; and 1 feigned long illness, that the marriage 
might be broken olf without gossip ; and we made a 
gift to that family ; and the maid was glad. For 
she was enabled at a later time to marry the young 
man she loved. My parents never pressed me a^aui 
to take a wife ; and since their death 1 have lived 
alone. . . . O Master, look upon the extreme wick- 
edness of that boy ! " 

Taking advantage of our conversation, KinjurcTs 
young assistant had improvised a rod and line with 
a bamboo stick and a bit of string ; and had fastened 
to the end of the string a pellet of tobacco stolen 
from the old man's pouch. With this bait lie had 
been fishing in the lotus pond ; and a frog had a wal- 
lowed ifc, and was now suspended high above tho 
pebbles, sprawling in rotary motion, kicking in 
frantic spasms of disgust and despair. u Kaji ! n 
shouted the gardener, 

The boy dropped his rod with a laugh, and ran to 
us unabashed ; while the frog, having disgorged the 
tobacco, plopped back into the lofcus pond. Evidently 
Kaji was not afraid of scoldings. 

u Gf-osM gm warm ! 5a declared the old man^ shaking 
his ivory head. u O Kaji, much I fear that your ntstt 
birth will be bad ! Do I buy tobacco' for frogs ? 
Master, said I not rightly this boy has but one 



THERE was a Buddha, according to the Hokkekyo, 
who u even assumed the shape of a goblin to preach 
to such as were to be converted by a goblin." And 
in the same Sutra may be found this promise of the 
Teacher : " While he is dwelling lonely in the wilder- 
ness, I will send thither goblins in great number to 
keep him company" The appalling character of this 
promise is indeed somewhat modified by the assur- 
ance that gods also are to be sent. But if ever I 
become a holy man, I shall take heed not to dwell 
in the wilderness, because I have seen Japanese gob- 
lins, and I do not like them. 

Kinjuro showed them to me last night. They had 
come to town for the matsuri of our own ujigami, 
or parish-temple; and, as there were many curious 
things to be seen at the night festival, we started for 
the temple after dark, Kiojuro carrying a paper lan- 
tern painted with my crest. 

It had snowed heavily in the morning ; but now 
the sky and the sharp still air were clear as diamond ; 
and the crisp snow made a pleasant crunching sound 
under our feet as we walked ; and it occurred to me 
to say : w O Kinjuro, is there a God of Snow ? " 

" I cannot tell," replied Kinjuro. " There be many 
gods I do not know ; and there is not any man who 
knows the names of all the gods. But there is the 
Yuki-Onna, the Woman of the Snow." 


46 And what Is the Yuki-Onna ? " 

" She is the White One that makes the Faces in 
the snow. She does not any harm, only malvas afraid* 
By day she lifts only her head, and fri^hti*n thoao 
who journey alone. But at night she rises up some- 
times, taller than the trees, and looks about a little 
while, and then falls back in a shower of snow." l 

" What is her face like ? " 

" It is all white, white. It is an enormous face* 
And it is a lonesome face,' 7 

[The word Kinjuru used was samvsML Its com- 
mon meaning is u lonesome " ; but tie used it, i think, 
in the sense of ** weird."] 

" Did you ever see her, Kinjurd ? n 

" Master, I never saw her. Bub my father told me 
that once when he was a child, he wanted to go to a 
neighbor's house through the snow to play with an- 
other little boy ; and that on the way he saw a great 
white Face rise up from the snow and look lone* 
somely about, so that he cried for fear and ran back* 
Then his people all went out and looked ; but there 
was only snow ; and then they knew that he had seen 
the Yuki-Onna/' 

a And in these days, Kinjurd, do people ever see 

" Yes. Those who make the pilgrimage to Yabu- 
mura, in the period called Dai-Kan, winch is the 
Time of the Greatest Cold, 2 they sometimes see her n 

" What is there at Yabumura, Kinjuro ? n 

u There is the Yabu-jinja, which is an ancient and 

1 In other parts of Japan I have heard the Yuki-Onna described m 
a very beautiful phantom who hires young men to lonesome places 
for the purpose of sucking their blood, 

2 In Izumo the Dai-Kan, or Period of Greatest, Cold, falls in Peb* 


famous temple of Yabu-no-Tenno-San, tlie God of 
Colds, Kaze-no-Kami. It is high upon a hill, nearly 
nine ri from Matsue. And the great matsuri of that 
teraple is held upon the tenth and eleventh days of 
the Second Month. And on those days strange 
things may be seen. For one who gets a very bad 
cold prays to the deity of Yabu-jinja to cure it, and 
takes a vow to make a pilgrimage naked to the tem- 
ple at the time of the matsuri," 


" Yes : the pilgrims wear only waraji, and a little 
cloth round their loins. And a great many men and 
women go naked through the snow to the temple, 
though the snow is deep at that time. And each man 
carries a bunch of gohei and a naked sword as gifts 
to the temple ; and each woman carries a metal mir- 
ror. And at the temple, the priests receive them, per- 
forming curious rites. For the priests then, accord- 
ing to ancient custom, attire themselves like sick 
men, and lie down and groan, and drink potions mad 
of herbs, prepared after the Chinese manner." 

" But do not some of the pilgrims die of cold, Kin- 

u No: our Izumo peasants are hardy. Besides, 
they run swiftly, so that they reach, the temple all 
warm. And before returning they put on thick 
warm, robes. But sometimes, upon the way, they see 
the Yuki-Onna." 


Each side of the street leading to the miya waa 
Illuminated with a line of paper lanterns bearing holy 
symbols ; and the immense court of the temple had 
been transformed into a town of booths, and shops, 
and temporary theafires. In spite of the cold, thd 


crowd was prodigious* There 'Warned to be all the 
usual attractions of a raatsari, and a number of un- 
usual ones. Among the familiar lures, I mitred at 
this festival only the maiden wearing an obi of living 
snakes; probably it had become too cold for the 
snakes. There were several fortune-tellers and jug- 
glers ; there were acrobats and dancers ; there wa a 
mau making pictures out of sand ; and there was 
a menagerie containing an emu from Australia, awl 
a couple of enormous bate from the Loo Choc Is- 
lands,- bats trained to do several things. 1 did rev- 
erence to the gods* and bought some extraordinary 
toys; and then we went to look for the goblins. 
They were domiciled in a large permanent structure, 
rented to showmen on special occasions. 

Gigantic characters signifying ^ IKI-NINOVS/' 
painted upon the sign-board at the entrance, partly 
hinted the nature of the exhibition. Iki-mngyo 
(" living images ") somewhat correspond to our Occi- 
dental" wax figures"; but the equally realistic Jap- 
anese creations are made of much cheaper material. 
Having bought two wooden tickets for one sen each, 
we entered, and passed behind a curtain to find our- 
selves in a long corridor lined with booths, or rather 
matted compartments, about the size of small rooms* 
Each space, decorated with scenery appropriate to the 
subject, was occupied by a group of Ufe-sizo figures* 
The group nearest the entrance, representing two 
men playing samisen and two geisha dancing, seemed 
to me without excuse for being, until Kinjuro had 
translated a little placard before it, announcing 
that one of the figures was a living person. We 
watched in yam for a wink or palpitation. Suddenly 
one of the musicians laughed aloud, shook his head. 


and began to play and sing. The deception was per- 

The remaining groups, twenty-four in number, 
were powerfully impressive in their peculiar way, 
representing mostly famous popular traditions or 
sacred myths. Feudal heroisms, the memory of 
which stirs every Japanese heart ; legends of filial 
piety; Buddhist miracles, and stories of emperors 
were among the subjects. Sometimes, however, the 
realism was brutal, as in one scene representing the 
body of a woman lying in a pool of blood, with 
brains scattered by a sword stroke. Nor was this 
unpleasantness altogether atoned for by her miracu- 
lous resuscitation in the adjoining compartment, 
where she reappeared returning thanks in a Mchiren 
temple, and converting her slaughterer, who hap- 
pened, by some extraordinary accident, to go there at 
the same time. 

At the termination of the corridor there hung a 
black curtain, behind which screams could be heard. 
And above the black curtain was^a placard inscribed 
with the promise of a gift to anybody able to trav- 
erse the mysteries beyond without being frightened. 

** Master," said Kinjuro, " the goblins are inside." 

We lifted the veil, and found ourselves in a sort of 
lane between hedges, and behind the hedges we saw 
tombs ; we were in a graveyard. There were real 
weeds and trees, and sotoba and haka, and the effect 
was quite natural. Moreover, as the roof "was very 
lofty, and kept invisible by a clever arrangement of 
lights, all seemed darkness only ; and this gave one 
a sense of being out under the night, a feeling accen- 
tuated by the chill of the air. And here and there 
we could discern, sinister shapes, mostly of supeir- 


human stature, some seeming to wait in dim places, 
others floating above the graves. Quite near us, 
towering above the hedge on our right, was a Bud- 
dhist priest, with his back turned to us. 

" A yamabushi, an exerciser?"* 1 queried of Kin- 

" No," said Kinjuro; "see how tall he is, 1 think 
that must be a Tanuki-Bozu." 

The Tanuki-Bozu is the priestly form assumed by 
the goblin-badger (tanuki') for the purpose of decoy- 
Ing belated travelers to destruction. Wo went on, 
and looked up into his face. It was a nightmare, ~ 
his face. 

" In truth a Tanuki-Bozu," said Kinjuro. u What 
does the Master honorably think concerning it?" 

Instead of replying, I jumped back ; for the mon- 
strous thing had suddenly readied over the hedge 
and clutched at me, with a moan* Then it fell back, 
swaying and creaking. It was moved by invisible 

"I think, Kinjuro, that it is a nasty t horrid thing. 
, . . But I shall not claim the present.'* 

We laughed, and proceeded to consider a Three- 
Eyed Friar (Jffitwwne-Nyiidu). The Three -Eyed 
Friar also watches for the unwary at night. His 
face is soft and smiling as the face of a Buddha, but 
he has a hideous eye in the summit of his shaven pate, 
which can only be seen when seeing it does no good. 
The Mitsu-me-Nyudc) made a grab at Kinjuro, and 
startled him almost as much as the TanukiBozu had 
startled me. 

Then we looked at the Yama-Uba, 4he "Moun- 
tain Nurse." She catches little children and nurses 
them for a while, and then devours them. In her 


face she lias BO mouth ; but she has a mouth in the 
top of her head, under her hair. The Yama-TIba did 
not clutch at us, because her hands were occupied 
with a nice little boy, whom she was just going to 
eat. The child had been made wonderfully pretty 
to heighten the effect. 

Then I saw the spectre of a woman hovering in 
the air above a tomb at some distance, so that I felt 
safer in observing it. It had no eyes ; its long hair 
hung loose ; its white robe floated light as smoke. I 
thought of a statement in a composition by one of 
mj pupils about ghosts : u Their greatest Peculiarity 
is that They have no feet." Then I jumped again, for 
the thing, quite soundlessly but very swiftly, made 
through the air at me. 

And the rest of our journey among the graves was 
little more than a succession of like experiences ; but 
it was made amusing by the screams of women, and 
bursts of laughter from people who lingered only to 
watch the effect upon others of what had scared 


Forsaking the goblins, we visited a little open-air 
theatre to see two girls dance. After they had 
danced awhile, one girl produced a sword and cut off 
the other girl's head, and put it upon a table, where 
it opened its mouth and began to sing. All this was 
very prettily done ; but my mind was still haunted 
by the goblins. So I questioned Kinjuro : 

** Kinjuro, those goblins of which we the ningyo 
have seen, do folk believe in the reality thereof? " 

" Not any more," answered Kinjuro, "not at 
least among the people of the city. Perhaps in the 
country it may not be so. We believe in the Lord 


Buddha i we believe in the ancient gods ; and there 
be many who believe the dead sometimes return to 
avenge a cruelty or to compel an act of justice. But 
we do not now believe all that wan believed in an- 
cient time* - * . Master," he added, as wo reached 
another queer exhibition, " it 5s only one sen to go 
to hell, if the Master would like togo n 

a Yery good* Kinjurd," I made reply, u Fay two 
sen that we may both go to hell" 


And we passed behind a curtain into a big room 
full of curious clicking and squeaking noises, Thcne 
noises were made by unseen wheels and pulleys mov- 
ing a multitude of ningyo upon a broad shelf about 
breast-high, which surrounded the apartment upon 
three sides. These ningyo were not iki-mngyo, but 
very small images, puppets. They represented all 
things in the Under- World. 

The first I saw was Sozu-Baba, the Old Woman of 
the River of Ghosts, who takes away the garments 
of Souls. The garments were hanging upon a tree 
behind her. She was tall ; she rolled her green eyes 
and gnashed her long teeth, while the shivering of 
the little white souls before her was as a trembling 
of butterflies* Farther on appeared Emma Dai-0* 
great King of Hell, nodding grimly. At IBB right 
hand, upon, their tripod, the heads of Koguhana and 
Mirume, the Witnesses, whirled as upon a wheel* 
At his left, a devil was busy sawing a Soul in two ; 
and I noticed that he used his saw like a Japanese 
carpenter, pulling it towards him instead of push- 
ing it. And then various exhibitions of the tortures 
of the damned. A liar bound to a post was liavuig 


his tongue pulled out by a devil, -slowly, with ar- 
tistic jerks ; it was already longer than the owner's 
body. Another devil was pounding another Soul iri 
a mortar so vigorously that the sound of the braying 
could be heard above all the din of the machinery. 
A little farther on was a man being eaten alive by 
two serpents having women's faces ; one serpent was 
white, the other blue. The white had been his wife, 
the blue Ms concubine. All the tortures known to 
medieval Japan were being elsewhere deftly prac- 
ticed by swarms of devils. After reviewing them, 
we visited the Sai-no-Kawara, and saw Jizo with a 
child in his arms, and a circle of other children run- 
ning swiftly around him, to escape from demons who 
brandished their clubs and ground their teeth, 

Hell proved, however, to be exiti'emely cold; and 
while meditating on the partial inappropriateness of 
the atmosphere, it occurred to me that in the com- 
mon Buddhist picture-books of the Jigoku I had 
never noticed any illustrations of torment by cold. 
Indian Buddhism, indeed, teaches the existence of 
cold liells. There is one, for instance, where people's 
lips are frozen so that they can say only ct Ah-ta-ta ! " 
~ wherefore that hell is called Atata. And there is 
the hell where tongues are frozen, and where people 
say only u Ah-baba ! " for which reason it is called 
Ababa. And there is the Pundarika, or Great 
White-Lotus hell, where the spectacle of the bones 
laid bare by the cold is " like a blossoming of white 
lotus-fldwers." Kinjuro thinks there are cold hells 
according to Japanese Buddhism ; but he is not sure. 
And I am not sure that the idea of cold could be 
made very terrible to the Japanese. They confess a 
general liking for cold, and compose Chinese poems 
about the loveliness of ice and snow. 



Out of hell, we found oar way to a magic-lanto.rn 

show being given in a larger and even much colder 
structure. A Japanese magic-lantern how Is nearly 
always interesting in more particulars than one, but 
perhaps especially as evidencing the native genius 
for adapting Western inventions to Eastern tastes. 
A Japanese magic-lantern show is essentially dra- 
matic. It is a play of which the dialogue is uttered 
by invisible personages, the actors and the scenery 
being only luminous shadows. Wherefore it is pecul- 
iarly well suited to goblinries and weirdnesses of all 
kinds; and plays in which ghosts figure are the favor- 
ite subjects. As the hall was bitterly cold, 1 waited 
only long enough to see one performance, of which 
the following is an epitome : 

SCENE L A beautiful peasant girl and her aged 
mother, squatting together at home. Mother weeps 
violently, gesticulates agonizingly. Prom her frantic 
speech, broken by wild sobs, we learn that the girl 
must be sent as a victim to the Kami-Sama of some 
lonesome temple in the mountains* That god is a 
bad god. Once a year he shoots an arrow into the 
thatch of some farmer's house as a sign that he 
wants a girl -to eat ! Unless the girl be sent to him 
at once, he destroys the crops and the cows. Exit 
mother, weeping and shrieking, and. pulling out her 
gray hair. Exit girl, with downcast head, and air of 
sweet resignation, 

SOBHB II. Before a wayside inn ; cherry-trees 
in blossom. Enter coolies carrying, like a palanquin, 


a large box. In wlilch the girl is supposed to be. 
Deposit box ; enter to eat ; tell story to loquacious 
landlord. Enter noble samurai, with two swords,, 
Asks about box. Hears the story of the coolies 
repeated by loquacious landlord. Exhibits fierce 
indignation ; TOWS that the Kami-Sama are good, 
do not eat girls. Declares that so-called Kami-Sama 
to be a devil. Observes that devils must be killed, 
Orders box opened. Sends girl home. Gets into 
box himself, and commands coolies under pain of 
death to bear him right quickly to that temple. 

SCENE III. Enter coolies, approaching tempi 
through forest at night. Coolies afraid. Drop box 
and run. Exeunt coolies. Box alone in the dark. 
Enter veiled figure, all white. Figure moans un- 
pleasantly ; utters horrid cries. Box remains impas- 
sive* Figure removes veil, showing Its face, a skull 
with phosphoric eyes, [Audience unanimously utter 
the sound " Aaaaaa ! "] Figure displays Its hands, 
monstrous and apish, with claws. [Audience utter a 
second "Aaaaaa!"] Figure approaches the box, 
touches the box, opens the box! Up leaps noble 
samurai, A wrestle ; drums sound the roll of battle. 
Noble samurai practices successfully noble art of 
jiujutsu. Casts demon down, tramples upon him 
triumphantly, cuts off his head. Head suddenly 
enlarges, grows to the size of a house, tries to bite 
off head of samurai. Samurai slashes it with his 
sword. Head rolls backward, spitting fire, and van- 
ishes. Finis, Exeunt omnes. 

V0, II, 



The vision o the samurai and the goblin re- 
minded Kinjuro of a queer tale, which lie bet^an to 
tell me as soon as the shadow-play was over. Ghastly 
stories are apt to fall flat after such an exhibition ; 

but Kinjuro's stories are always jxieuliar enough to 
justify the telling under almost any circumstances* 

Wherefore I listened eagerly, in spite of the cold : 

" A long time ago, in the days when Fox-women 
and goblins haunted this land* there came to the 
capital with her parents a samurai girl, BO beautiful 
that all men who saw her fell enamored of her* 
And hundreds of young samurai desired and hoped 
to marry her, and made their desire known to her 
parents. For it has ever been the custom in Japan 
that marriages should be arranged by parents. Hut 
there are exceptions to all customs, and tlu> case 
of this maiden was such an exception, Her parents 
declared that they intended to allow their daughter 
to choose her own husband, and that all who wished 
to win her would be free to woo her. 

"Many men of high rank and of great wealth 
were admitted to tbe house as suitors ; and each one 
courted her as he besfc knew how, with gifts, and 
with fair words, and with poems written in her 
honor, and with promises of eternal love. And to 
each one she spoke sweetly and hopefully ; but she 
made strange conditions. For every suitor she 
obliged to bind Hmself by his word of honor as a 
samurai to submit to a test of his love for her, and 
never to divulge to living person what that test might 
be. And to this all agreed. 


" But even the most confident suitors suddenly 
ceased their importunities after having been put to 
the test; and all of them appeared to have been 
greatly terrified by something. Indeed, not a few 
even fled away from the city, and could not be per- 
suaded by their friends to return. But no one ever 
so much as hinted why. Therefore it was whispered 
by those who knew nothing of the mystery, that 
the beautiful girl must be either a Fox-woman or a 

u Now, when all the wooers of high rank had 
abandoned their suit, there came a samurai who had 
no wealth but his sword. He was a good man and 
true, and of pleasing presence ; and the girl seemed 
to like him. But she made him take the same pledge 
which the others had taken ; and after he had taken it, 
she told him to return upon a certain evening. 

u When that evening came, he was received at the 
house by none but the girl herself. With her own 
hands she set before him the repast of hospitality 9 
and waited upon him, after which she told him that 
she wished him to go out with her at a late hour* 
To this he consented gladly, and inquired to what 
place she desired to go. But she replied nothing 
to Ms question, and all at once became very silent, 
and strange in her manner. And after a while she 
retired from the apartment, leaving him alone. 

44 Only long after midnight she returned, robed all 
IB white, like a Soul, and, without uttering a 
word, signed to him to follow her* Out of the house 
they hastened while all the city slept. It was what 
is called an oborozuki-yo - * moon-clouded night. 9 
Always upon such a night, 'tis said, do ghosts wander. 
She swiftly led the way ; and the dog$ howled as she 


flitted by ; and she passed beyond the confines of the 
city to a place of knolls shadowed by enormous 
where an ancient cemetery wan. Into it ahe 
a white shadow Into blackness. He followed, won- 
dering, his hand upon his sword. Then his eyes 
became accustomed to the gloom ; and he saw. 

" By a new-made grave she paused and signed to 
him to wait* The tools of the grave-maker were still 
lying there. Seizing one, she began to dig furiously, 
with strange haste and strength. At last her spade 
smote a coffin-lid and made it boom: another moment 
and the fresh white wootl of the kwan was bare. 
She tore off the lid, revealing a corpse within, the 
corpse of a child. With goblin gestures h wrung 
an arm from the body, wrenched it in twain, and, 
squatting down, "began to devour the uppwr half* 
Then, flinging to her lover the other half, she cried 
to him, * j?a, if tJiou lowest me ! this zw what I eat ! ' 

"Not even for a single instant did he heal tote. Ho 
squatted down upon the other side of the grave, and 
ate the half of the arm, and said, L Kekko d0yozari~ 
mam ! mo mkoshi cJiffdaiS l For that arm waa made 
of the best kwashi 2 that Saifcyo could produce, 

u Then the girl sprang to her feet with a burafe of 
laughter, and cried : 4 You only, of all my brave suit* 
ors, did not run away ! And 1 wanted a husband who 
could not fear, I will marry you ; I can love you ; 
you are a man!* " 


u O KinjurS," I said, as we took our way home, 
44 1 have heard and I have read many Japanese stories 

* "It is excellent : I pray you give me a little more,*' 
8 Kwo&hi; Japanese confectionary* 


of the returning of the dead* Likewise you yourself 
have told me It Is still believed the dead return, and 
why. But according both to that which I have read 
and that which you have told me, the coming back of 
the dead is never a thing to be desired. They return 
because of hate, or because of envy, or because they 
cannot rest for sorrow. But of any who return for 
that which Is not evil where is it written ? Surely 
the common history of them is like that which we 
have this night seen : much that is horrible and much 
that is wicked and nothing of that which is beautiful 
or true." 

Now this I said that I might tempt him. And he 
made even the answer I desired, by uttering the story 
which is hereafter set down : 

" Long ago, in the days of a daimyo whose name 
has been forgotten, there lived in this old city a 
young man and a maid who loved each other very 
much. Their names are not remembered, but their 
story remains. From infancy they had been be- 
trothed; and as children they played together, for 
their parents were neighbors And as they grew up, 
they became always fonder of each other, 

" Before the youth had become a man, his parents 
died* But he was able to enter the service of a rich 
samurai, an officer of high rank, who had been a 
Mend of his people. And his protector soon took 
him into great favor, seeing him to be courteous, in- 
telligent, and apt at arms. So the young man hoped 
to find himself shortly in a position that would make 
it possible for him to marry his betrothed. But war 
broke out in the north and east ; and he was sum- 
moned suddenly to follow his master to the field. 


Before departing, however, he was able to see the 
girl; and they exchanged pledges in the prmiiee of 
her parents ; and ho promised, ahcwltl lit* remain alive, 
to return within a year from that day to marry his 

u After his going much time pasni'd without news 
of him, for there was no post in that tiiw UH now; 
and the girl grieved so much for thinking of tho 
chances of war that she became all white and thin 
and weak. Then at last she heard of him through a 
messenger sent from tlw army to bear news to the 
daiinyd, and once again a letter was brought to her 
by another messenger. And thereafter there caino 
no word. Long Is a year to one who waits. And 
the year passed, and he did not return* 

u Other seasons passed, and still lie did not cnme; 
and she thought him dead ; and she sickened and lay 
down, and died, and was burled- Then her old par- 
ents, who had no other child, grieved unspeakably f 
and came to hate their home for the lonesormm<*8 of 
it. After a time they resolved to sell all they had, 
and to set out upon a sengaji, the great pilgrim- 
age to the Thousand Temples of the Niehirt*n-8h5 t 
which requires many years to perform* So they sold 
their small house with all that it contained, except- 
ing the ancestral tablets, and the holy things which 
must never be sold, and the Thai of their buried 
daughter, which were placed^ according to the cus- 
tom of those about to leave their native place, in the 
family temple. Now the family was of the Niehiren* 
Shu ; and their temple was Myokoji. 

" They had been gone only four days \vh*m the 
young man who had been betrothed to their daugh- 
ter returned to the eity. He had attempted, with 


the permission of Ms master, to fulfill his promise, 
But the provinces upon Ms way were full of war, 
and the roads and passes were guarded by troops, 
and he had been long delayed by many difficulties. 
And when he heard of his misfortune he sickened 
for grief, and many days remained without know- 
ledge of anything, like one about to die. 

** But when he began to recover his strength, all 
the paio of memory came back again; and he re- 
gretted that he had not died. Then he resolved to 
kill himself upon the grave of his betrothed ; and, as 
soon as he was able to go out unobserved, he took 
his sword and went to the cemetery where the girl 
was buried : it is a lonesome place, the cemetery 
of Myokoji. There he found her tomb, and knelt 
before it, and prayed and wept, and whispered to her 
that which lie was about to do. And suddenly he 
heard her voice cry to him : * Anata ! J and felt her 
hand upon his hand ; and he turned, and saw her 
kneeling beside him, smiling, and beautiful as he 
remembered her, only a little pale. Then his heart 
leaped so that he could not speak for the wonder 
and the doubt and the joy of that moment. But she 
said ; 6 Do not doubt : it is really I. I am not dead. 
It was all a mistake. I was buried, because my 
people thought me dead, buried too soon. And my 
own parents thought me dead, and went upon a pil- 
grimage. Yet you see I am not dead, not a ghost. 
It is I: do not doubt itl And I have seen your 
heart, and that was worth all the waiting and the 
pain* . , But now let us go away at once to another 
city, so that people may not know this thing and 
trouble us 5 for all still believe me dead.' 

"And they went away, BO one observing them. 


And they went even to the village of Minobu, which 
is in the province of Kal For thrre is a famous 
temple of the Niehiren-Shu iu that place ; aiul the 
girl had said: fc l know that in the course of their 
pilgrimage my parents will im,ly visit Minobu : so 
that if we dwell there, they will Uriel UH, and we 
shall be all again together. 1 And when they came 
to Minobu, she said : 4 Let us open a little shop. 1 
And they opened a little food-whop, on the wide way 
leading to the holy place ; and there they sold cakes 
for children, and toys, and food for pilgrims. For 
two years they so lived and prospered ; and there 
was a son born to them. 

"Now when the child was a year and two months 
old, the parents of the wife came In the course o 
their pilgrimage to Minobu ; and they stopped at the 
little shop to buy food. And seeing their daughter's 
betrothed, they cried out and wept and asked ques- 
tions. Then he made them enter, and lx>wed down 
before them, and astonished them, saying* : c Truly as 
I speak It, your daughter Is not dead ; and she is my 
wife; and we have a son. And she is even now 
within the farther room, lying down with the child* 
I pray you go in at once and gladden her, for her 
heart longs for the moment of seeing you again.' 

" So while he busied himself in making all things 
ready for their comfort, they entered the inner room 
very softly, the mother first. 

u They found the child asleep ; but the mothflt 
they did not find. She saemed to have gone out fot 
a little while only : her pillow was Bttll warm* They 
waited long for her: then they began to seek her* 
But never was she seen again, 

"And they understood only when they found 


beneath tie coverings which had coYered the mother 

and child, something which they remembered hav- 
ing left years before in the temple of Myokoji, 
a little mortuary tablet, the ihai of their buried 

I suppose I must have looked thoughtful after this 
tale ; for the old man said : 

** Perhaps the Master honorably thinks concerning 
the story that it is foolish ? " 

** Nay, Kinjuro, the story is in my heart.' 9 



THOSE whose ideas of the world and Its wonders 
have beou formed chiefly by novels and romance nfcill 
Indulge a vague belief that the East Is more serious 
than the "West. Those who judge things from a 
higher standpoint arguo, on the contrary, that, under 
present conditions, the West must Im more serious 
than the East ; and also that gravity, or ev*in some- 
thing resembling its converse, may cxint only an a 
fashion* But the fact is that in this, a In all other 
questions, no rule susceptible of application to either 
half of humanity can be accurately framed. Scientifi- 
cally, we can do no more just now than study certain 
contrasts iu a general way, without; hoping to explain 
satisfactorily the highly complex cau8i*n which pro- 
duced them. One such contrast, of particular inter- 
est, Is that afforded by the English and the Japanese. 

It is a commonplace to say that the English are a 
serious people, not superficially serious, but serious 
all the way down to the bed-rock of the raoe oharao* 
ter. It is almost equally safe to say that the Japa- 
nese are not very serious, either above or below the 
surface, even as compared with races much seri- 
ous than our own* And In the same proportion, at 
least, that they are less serious, they are more happy : 
they still, perhaps, remain the happiest people in the 
civilized world. We serious folk of the West cannot 
call ourselves very happy. Indeed, wa do not yet 


fully know how serious we are ; and it would prob- 
ably frighten us to learn liow much more serious we 
are likely to become under the ever-swelling pressure 
of industrial life. It is, possibly, by long sojourn 
among a people less gravely disposed that we can 
best learn our own temperament. This conviction 
came to me very strongly when, after having lived 
for nearly three years in the interior of Japan, 1 re- 
turned to English life for a few days at the open 
port of Kobe. To hear English once more spoken 
by Englishmen touched me more than I could have 
believed possible ; but this feeling lasted only for a 
moment. My object was to make some necessary 
purchases- Accompanying me was a Japanese friend, 
to whom all that foreign life was utterly new and 
wonderful, and who asked me this curious question : 
44 Why is it that the foreigners never smile ? You 
smile and bow when you speak to them ; but they 
never smile. Why ? " 

The fact was, T had fallen altogether into Japanese 
habits and ways, and had got out of touch with West- 
ern life ; and my companion's question first made me 
aware that I had been acting somewhat curiously. It 
also seemed to m" a fair illustration of the difficulty 
of mutual comprehension between the two races, 
each quite naturally, though quite erroneously, esti- 
mating the manners and motives of the other by it 
own. If the Japanese are puzzled by English gravity, 
the English are, to say the least, equally puzzled by 
Japanese levity. The Japanese speak of the a angry 
faces " of the foreigners. The foreigners speak with 
strong contempt of the Japanese smile : they suspect 
it to signify insincerity ; indeed, some declare it can- 
not possibly signify anything else* Only a few of 


the more observant have recognized it ay an enigma 
worth studying. One of my Yokohama frienda a 
thoroughly lovable man, who had pai-wd more than 
half his life in the open ports of the East said to 

me, just before my departure for the interior : u Since 
you are goin# to study Japanese life, perhaps you 
will be able to find out something for me* I ean't un- 
derstand the Japanese smile. Let me tell you one 
experience out of many. One da}% as I woa driving; 
down from the Bluff, i saw an empty kuruma coming 
up on the wrong side of the curve. 1 could not have 
pulled up in time if I had tried ; but 1 did n't try, be- 
cause I did n't think there was any particular danger. 
I only yelled to the man in Japanese to gut to the 
other side of the road ; instead of which ho simply 
backed his kuruma against a wall on the lower side 
of the curve* with the shafts outwards. At the rate 
I was going, there was n't room even to uvrerve ; and 
the next minute one of the shafts of that kuruma was 
in my horse's shoulder* The man %vaai^t hurt at alt 
When I saw the way my horse was bleeding, 1 quite 
lost my temper, and struck the man over the head 
-with the butt of my whip* Ho looked right into my 
face and smiled, and then bowed. 1 see that 
Bmile now, I felt as if I had been knocked clown* 
The smile utterly nonplused me, killed all my 
anger instantly. Mind you, it was a polite smile, 
But what did it mean ? Why the devil did the man 
smile ? I can*t understand it." 

Neither, at that time, oould I ; but the meaning of 
much more mysterious smiles has sinoe beem revealed 
to me, A Japanese can smile in the teeth of death, 
and usually does. But he then smiles for the same 
reason that he smiles at other times* There is nei* 


ther defiance nor hypocrisy in the smile ; nor is it to 
bo confounded with that smile of sickly resignation 
which we are apt to associate with weakness of 
character. It is an elaborate and long-cultivated eti- 
quette* It is also a silent language. But any effort 
to interpret it according to Western notions of phy- 
siognomical expression would be just about as success- 
ful as an attempt to interpret Chinese ideographs by 
their real or fancied resemblance to shapes of familiar 

Blr&t impressions, being largely instinctive, are 
scientifically recognized as partly trustworthy ; and 
the very first impression produced by the Japanese 
smile is not far from the truth. The stranger cannot 
fail to notice the generally happy and smiling charac- 
ter of the native faces ; and this first impression is, 
in most cases, wonderfully pleasant. The Japanese 
smile at first charms* It is only at a later day, when 
one has observed the same smile under extraordinary 
circumstances, in moments of pain, shame, disap- 
pointment, that one becomes suspicious of it. Its 
apparent inopportuneness may even, on certain oc- 
casions, cause violent anger. Indeed, many of the 
difficulties between foreign residents and their native 
servants have been due to the smile. Any man who 
believes in the British tradition that a good servant 
must be solemn is not likely to endure with patience 
the smile of his u boy." At present, however, this 
particular phase of Western eccentricity is becoming 
more fully recognised by the Japanese 5 * they are 
beginning to learn that the average English-speak- 
ing foreigner hates smiling, and is apt to consider it 
insulting ; wherefore Japanese employees at the open 
ports have generally ceased to smile, and have as* 
sumed an air of sullenness. 


At tins moment there conit*s to mu the recollection 
of a queer story told by a lady of Yokohama about 
one of her Japanese servants. <fc My Japiiww, 
came to me the other day, smiling as If Komethbg 
very pleasant had happened, and Haul that lur hus- 
band was dttad, and that she wanted pt*rmiHHum to 
attend his funeral. 1 told her she could go. It si*ms 
they burned the maifs body. Well, In the evening 
she returned, and showed me a VUHQ containing 8ome 
ashes of bones (1 saw a tooth among them) ; and 
she said: 'That is my husband/ And she actually 
laughed as she said it ! Did you ever hear of such 
disgusting creatures ? " 

It would have been quite impossible to convince 
the narrator of thin incident that the demeanor of her 
servant, instead of being hearties^ might have been 
heroic, and capable of a very touching interpretation* 
Even one not a Philistine might lx* deceived in such 
a case by appearances. But quite a numlxjr of the 
foreign residents of the open ports are pure Philis- 
tines, and never try to look below the surface of the 
life around them, except as hostile critics. My Yoko- 
hama friend who told me the story about the kurtt- 
maya was quite differently disposed ; he recognised 
the error of judging by appearances* 


Miscomprehension of the Japanese smile has more 
than once led to extremely unpleasant results* as hap- 
pened in the case of T , a Yokohama merchant of 

former days. T had employed in some capacity 

(I think partly as a teacher of Japanese) a nioo old 
samurai, who wore, according to the fashion of the 
era, a queue and two swords. The English and the 


Japanese do not understand each other very well 
now ; but at the period in question they understood 
each other much less. The Japanese servants at first 
acted in foreign employ precisely as they would have 
acted in the service of distinguished Japanese ; l and 
this innocent mistake provoked a good deal of abuse 
and cruelty. Finally the discovery was made that 
to treat Japanese like West Indian negroes might 
be very dangerous. A certain number of foreigners 
wore killed, with good moral consequences. 

But I am digressing, T was rather pleased 

with his old samurai, though quite unable to under- 
stand his Oriental politeness, his prostrations, or the 
meaning of the small gifts which he presented occa- 
sionally, with an exquisite courtesy entirely wasted 

upon T . One day he came to ask a favor, (I 

think it was the eve of the Japanese New Year, when 
everybody needs money, for reasons not here to be 

dwelt upon.) The favor was that T would lend 

him a little money upon one of his swords, the long 

1 The reader will find it well worth his while to consult the chap- 
ter entitled " Domestic Service," in Miss Bacon's Japanese Girls and 
Women, for an interesting and juat presentation of the practical side 
of the subject, as relating to servants of both sexes. The poetical 
side, however, is not treated of, perhaps because intimately con- 
nected with religious beliefs which one writing from the Christian 
standpoint could not be expected to consider sympathetically. Domes- 
tic service in ancient Japan was both transfigured and regulated by 
vdigion ; and the force of the religious sentiment concerning it may 
be divined from the Buddhist saying, stiU current : 

Oya-ko wa is-se, 
FSfu wa ni-se, 
Shujtt wa $an~se. 

The relation of parent and child endures for the space of one life 
only ; that of husband and wife for the space of two lives ; but the 
relation between master and servant contimies for the period of three 


one. It was a very beautiful weapon, and the mei> 
chant saw that it was also very valuable, and knt 
the money without hesitation* Some weeks later the 
old man was able to redeem his sword. 

What caused the beginning of the subsequent 
n n ploasan tness n obody now reme in I M* ra. Perhaps 
T ' nerves got out of order. At all events, one 
day he became very angry with the old man, who 
submitted to the expression of his wrath with bows 
and smiles. This made him still mon% angry, and he 
used some extremely bad language j but the old man 
still bowed and smiled ; wherefore he was ordered to 
leave the house* But the old man continued to smile* 

at which T- , losing nil self-control, struck him* 

And then T suddenly became afraid, for the long 

sword instantly leaped from its sheath, and swirled 
above him; and the old man ceased to seem old, 
Now, in the grasp of any one who known how to nm 
it, the razor-edged blade of a Japanese* sword wielded 
with both hands can take a head off with extreme 
facility* But, to T ~'s astonishment, the old samu- 
rai, almost in the same moment, returned the blade 
to its sheath with the skill of a practiced swordsman, 
turned upon his heel, and withdrew* 

Then T- wondered, and sat down to think* 

He began to remember some nice things about the 
old man, the many kindnesses unasked Mid unpaid, 

the curious little gifts, the impeccable honesty* T* - 

began to feel ashamed* He tried to console himself 
with the thought : " Well, it was his own fault ; he had 
no right to laugh at me when he knew 1 was angry/* 

Indeed, T even resolved to make amends when 

an opportunity should offer. 

But no opportunity ever came, because on the 


evening the old man performed hara-kiri, after the 
manner of a samurai. He left a very beautifully 
written letter explaining Ms reasons. For a samurai 
to receive an unjust blow without avenging it was a 
shame not to be borne. He had received such a blow* 
Under any other circumstances he might have avenged 
It. But the circumstances were, in this Instance, 
of a very peculiar kind. His code of honor forbade 
him to use his sword upon the man to whom he had 
pledged it once for money, in an hour of need. And 
being thus unable to use his sword, there remained 
for him only the alternative of an honorable suicide. 
In order to render this story less disagreeable, the 

reader may suppose that T was really very sorry, 

and behaved generously to the family of the old 

man. What he must not suppose Is that T was 

ever able to imagine why the old man had smiled the 
smile which led to the outrage and the tragedy. 


To comprehend the Japanese smile, one must be 
able to enter a little Into the ancient, natural, and 
popular life of Japan* From the modernized upper 
classes nothing is to be learned. The deeper signifi- 
cation of race differences is being daily more and 
more illustrated in the effects of the higher education. 
Instead of creating any community of feeling, it ap- 
pears only to widen the distance between the Occi- 
dental and the Oriental, Some foreign observers 
have declared that it does this by enormously devel- 
oping certain latent peculiarities, among others an 
inherent materialism little perceptible among the 
common people. This explanation is one I cannot 
quite agree with ; but it is at least undeniable that, 



the more highly he Is cultivated, according to Woat- 
ern methods, the farther Is the Japiimw psychologi- 
cally removed from us. Under the new education, 
his character seems to crystalline into aomcthinjj; of 
singular hardness, and to Wentern observation, at 
least, of singular opacity. Emotionally, the Japa- 
nese child appears incomparably closer to UH than 
the Japanese mathematician, the peasant than tho 
statesman. Between the most elevated chuM of thor- 
oughly modernized Japanese and the Western thinker 
anything akin to intellectual sympathy is non-oxtat* 
ent; it is replaced on the native aide by a cold and 
faultless politeness. Those influences which in other 
lands appear most potent to develop the Mgliw eracv 
tions seem here to have the extraordinary effect of 
suppressing them. We are acetwtomid abroad to 
associate emotional sensibility with intellectual expan- 
sion: it would be a grievous error to apply thi rule 
in Japan* Even the foreign teacher in an ordinary 
school can feel, year by year, his pupils drifting far- 
ther away from him, as they pass from eUuw to class ; 
in various higher educational institutions, the separa- 
tion widens yet more rapidly, so that, prior to gradu- 
ation, students may become to their profiwtor little 
more than casual acquaintances, Tho enigma I per* 
haps, to some extent, a physiological one, requiring 
scientific explanation ; but its solution must first be 
sought in ancestral habits of life and of imagination* 
It can be fully discussed only when tin natural 
are understood ; and these, we may be mire, are not 
simple. By some observers it is asserted that because 
the higher education in Japan has not yet Intel the 
effect of stimulating the higher emotions to the Occi- 
dental pitch, its developing power cannot have been 


exerted uniformly and wisely., but in special direct 
tions only, at the coat of character. Yet this theory 
involves the unwarrantable assumption that character 
can bo created by education ; and it ignores the fact 
that the best results are obtained by affording oppor- 
tunity for the exercise of preexisting inclination rather 
than by any system of teaching. 

The cattses of the phenomenon must be looked 
for in the race character ; and whatever the higher 
education may accomplish in the remote future, it 
can scarcely bo expected to transform nature* But 
does it at present atrophy certain finer tendencies ? 
I think that it unavoidably doea, for the simple rea- 
son that, under existing conditions, the moral and 
mental powers are overtasked by its requirements. 
All that wonderful national spirit of duty, of pa- 
tience, of self-sacrifice, anciently directed to social, 
moral, or religious ideal ism, nmst, under the disci- 
pline of the higher training, bo concentrated upon an 
end which not only demands, but exhausts its fullest 
exorcise. For that end, to be accomplished at all, 
must be accomplished in the face of difficulties that 
the Western student rarely encounters, and could 
scarcely be made even to understand* All those 
moral qualities which made the old Japanese charac- 
ter admirable are certainly the same which make the 
modern Japanese student the most indefatigable, the 
most docile, the mont ambitious in the world* Bub 
they are also qualities which urge him to efforte in 
excess of bin natural powers, with the frequent result 
of mental and moral enervation* The nation has en- 
tered upon a period of intellectual overstrain. Con* 
<!iouly or unconHciounly, in obedience to niulden 
necessity, Japan has undertaken nothing less than 


the tremendous task of forcing mental expansion up 
to the highest existing standard; and tins means 
forcing the development of the nervous system. For 
the desired intellectual change, to be accomplished 
within a few generations, must involve a physiologi- 
cal change never to be effected without terrible cost. 
In other words, Japan has attempted too much ; yefc 
under the circumstances she could not have attempted 
less. Happily, even among the poorest of her poor 
the educational policy of the government is seconded 
with an astonishing zeal ; the entire nation haa 
plunged into study with a fervor of which it is utterly 
impossible to convey any adequate conception in this 
little essay. Yet I may cite a touching example. 
Immediately after the frightful earthquake of 1891, 
the children of the ruined cities of Gifu and Aichi, 
crouching among the ashes of their homes, cold and 
hungry and shelterless, surrounded by horror and 
misery unspeakable, still continued their small studies, 
using tiles of their own burnt dwellings in lieu of 
slates, and bits of lime for chalk, even while the earth 
still trembled beneath them. 1 What future miracles 
may justly be expected from the amazing power of 
purpose such a fact reveals ! 

But it is true that as yet the results of the higher 
training have not been altogether happy. Among 
the Japanese of the old regime one encounters a 
courtesy, an unselfishness, a grace of pure goodness, 
impossible to overpraise. Among the modernized of 
the new generation these have almost disappeared. 
One meets a class of young men who ridicule the 
old times and the old ways without having been 

1 The shocks continued, though with lessening- frequency and vio* 
fence, for more than six mouths ater the cataclysm. 


able to elevate themselves above the vulgarism of 
imitation and the commonplaces of shallow skepti- 
cism. What has become of the noble and charming 
qualities they must have inherited from their fathers ? 
Is it not possible that the best of those qualities 
have been transmuted into mere effort, an effort so 
excessive as to have exhausted character, leaving it 
without weight or balance ? 

It is to the still fluid, mobile, natural existence of 
the common people that one must look for the mean- 
ing of some apparent differences in the race feeling 
and emotional expression of the West and the Par 
East, With those gentle, kindly, sweet-hearted folk, 
who smile at life, love, and death alike, it is possible 
to enjoy community of feeling in simple, natural 
things; and by familiarity and sympathy we can 
learn why they smile. 

The Japanese child is born with this happy ten- 
dency, which is fostered through all the period of 
home education. But it is cultivated with the same 
exquisiteness that is shown in the cultivation of the 
natural tendencies of a garden plant. The smile is 
taught like the bow ; like the prostration ; like that 
little sibilant sucking-in of the breath which follows, 
as a token of pleasure, the salutation to a superior ; 
like all the elaborate and beautiful etiquette of the 
old courtesy. Laughter is not encouraged, for obvi- 
ous reasons. But the smile is to be used upon all 
pleasant occasions, when speaking to a superior or 
to an equal, and even upon occasions which are not 
pleasant; it is a part of deportment. The most 
agreeable face is the smiling face; and to present 
always the most agreeable face possible to parents, 


relatives, teachers, friends, well-wishers, is a rule of 
life. And furthermore, it is a rule of life to turn 
constantly to the outer world a mien of happiness, to 
convey to others as far as possible a pleasant impres- 
sion. Even though the heart Is breaking, it Is a 
social duty to smile bravely. On the other hand, to 
look serious or unhappy Is rude, because this may 
cause anxiety or pain to those who love us ; it is 
likewise foolish, since It may excite unkindly curi- 
osity on the part of those who love us not. Cul- 
tivated from childhood as a duty, the smile soon 
becomes instinctive. In the mind of the poorest 
peasant lives the conviction that to exhibit the ex- 
pression of one's personal sorrow or pain or anger is 
rarely useful, and always unkind* Hence, although 
natural grief must have, in Japan as elsewhere, its 
natural Issue, an uncontrollable burst of tears In the 
presence of superiors or guests Is an Impoliteness; 
and the first words of even the most unlettered coun- 
trywoman, after the nerves give way In such a cir- 
cumstance, are invariably : u Pardon my selfishness 
in that I have been so rude ! " The reasons for the 
smile, be it also observed, are not only moral ; they 
are to some extent aesthetic ; they partly represent 
tke same idea which regulated the expression of suf- 
fering In Greek art. But they are much more moral 
tSaan aesthetic, as we shall presently observe. 

From this primary etiquette of the smile there has 
teen developed a secondary etiquette, the observance 
of which has frequently impelled foreigners to form 
the most cruel misjudgments as to Japanese sensibil- 
ity. It is the native custom, that whenever a painful 
w shocking fact must be told, the announcement 
should be made, by the sufferer, with a smile. 1 The 

* Of course the converse Is the rule in condoling with the sufferer 


graver the subject, the more accentuated the smile ; 
and when the matter is very unpleasant to the person 
speaking of it, the smile often changes to a low, soft 
laugh. However bitterly the mother who has lost 
her first-born may have wept at the funeral, it is 
probable that, if in your service, she will tell of her 
bereavement with a smile; like the Preacher, she 
holds that there is a time to weep and a time to 
laugh. It was long before I myself could under- 
stand how it was possible for those whom I believed 
to have loved a person recently dead to announce 
to me that death with a laugh. Yet the laugh was 
politeness carried to the utmost point of self-abnega- 
tion. It signified : u This you might honorably think 
to be an unhappy event ; pray do not suffer Your 
Superiority to feel concern about so inferior a matter^ 
and pardon the necessity which causes us to outrage 
politeness by speaking about such an affair at all." 

The key to the mystery of the most unaccounta- 
ble smiles is Japanese politeness. The servant sen- 
tenced to dismissal for a fault prostrates himself, and 
asks for pardon with a smile. That smile indicates 
the very reverse of callousness or insolences U B0 
assured that I am satisfied with the great justice of 
your honorable sentence, and that I am now aware 
of the gravity of my fault. Yet my sorrow and my 
necessity have caused me to indulge the unreasona- 
ble hope that I may be forgiven for my great rude- 
ness in asking pardon." The youth or girl beyond 
the age of childish tears, when punished for some 
error, receives the punishment with a smile which 
means : " No evil feeling arises in my heart 3 much 
worse than this my fault has deserved." And the 
kurumaya cut by the whip of my Yokohama friend 


smiled for a similar reason, as my friend must have 
intuitively felt, since tlie smile at once disarmed him : 
" I was very wrong, and you are right to be angry : 
I deserve to be struck, and therefore feel no resent- 

But It should be understood that the poorest and 
humblest Japanese is rarely submissive under injus- 
tice. His apparent docility is due chiefly to his 
moral sense. The foreigner who strikes a native for 
sport may have reason to find that he lias made a 
serious mistake. The Japanese are not to be trifled 
with ; and brutal attempts to trifle with them have 
cost several worthless lives. 

Even after the foregoing explanations, the incident 
of the Japanese nurse may still seem incomprehen- 
sible ; but this, I feel quite sure, is because the nar- 
rator either suppressed or overlooked certain facts in 
the case. In the first half of the story, all Is per- 
fectly clear. When announcing her husband's death, 
the young servant smiled. In accordance with the 
native formality already referred to. What Is quite 
incredible is that, of her own accord, she should 
have invited the attention of her mistress to the 
contents of the vase, or funeral urn. If she knew 
enough of Japanese politeness to smile in announ- 
cing her husband's death, she must certainly have 
known enough to prevent her from perpetrating such 
an error. She could have shown the vase and its 
contents only in obedience to some real or fancied 
command ; and when so doing, it is more than possi- 
ble she may have uttered the low, soft laugh which 
accompanies either the unavoidable performance of a 
painful duty, or the enforced utterance of a painful 
statement. My own opinion is that she was obliged 


to gratify a wanton curiosity. Her smile cr laugh 
would then have signified : " Do not suffer your hon- 
orable feelings to be shocked upon my unworthy 
account ; it is indeed very rude of me, even at your 
honorable request, to mention so contemptible a 
thing as my sorrow/' 


But the Japanese smile must not be imagined as 
a kind of sourire fig&, worn perpetually as a soul- 
mask. Like other matters of deportment, it is regu- 
lated by an etiquette which varies in different classes 
of society. As a rule, the old samurai were not 
given to smiling upon all occasions ; they reserved 
their amiability for superiors and intimates, and 
would seem to have maintained toward inferiors an 
austere reserve. The dignity of the Shinto priest- 
hood has become proverbial ; and for centuries the 
gravity of the Confucian code was mirrored in the 
decorum of magistrates and officials. From ancient 
times the nobility affected a still loftier reserve ; and 
the solemnity of rank deepened through all the hie- 
rarchies up to that awful state surrounding the Ten- 
shi-Sama, upon whose face no living man might look. 
But in private life the demeanor of the highest had 
its amiable relaxation ; and even to-day, with some 
hopelessly modernized exceptions, the noble, the 
judge, the high priest, the august minister, the mili- 
tary officer, will resume at home, in the intervals of 
duty, the charming habits of the antique courtesy. 

The smile which illuminates conversation is in 
itself but a small detail of that courtesy; but the 
sentiment which it symbolizes certainly comprises 
the larger part. If you happen to have a cultivated 
Japanese friend who has remained in all things truly 


Japanese, wliose character has remained untouched 
by the new egotism and by foreign influences, you 
will probably be able to study in him the particular 
social traits of the whole people, traits in his case 
exquisitely accentuated and polished. You will ob- 
serve that, as a rule, he never speaks of himself, 
and that, in reply to searching personal questions, he 
will answer as vaguely and briefly as possible, with a 
polite bow of thanks. But, on the other hand, he will 
ask many questions about yourself : your opinions, 
your ideas, even trifling details of your daily life, 
appear to have deep interest for him ; and you will 
probably have occasion to note that he never forgets 
anything which he has learned concerning you. Yet 
there are certain rigid limits to his kindly curiosity, 
and perhaps even to his observation : he will never 
refer to any disagreeable or painful matter, and he will 
seem to remain blind to eccentricities or small weak- 
nesses, if you have any. To your face he will never 
praise you ; but he will never laugh at you nor criti- 
cise you. Indeed, you will find that he never criti- 
cises persons, but only actions in their results. As 
a private adviser, he will not even directly criticise a 
plan of which he disapproves, but is apt to suggest 
a new one in some such guarded language as ; u Per- 
haps it might be more to your immediate interest to 
do thus and so." When obliged to speak of others, 
he will refer to them in a curious indirect fashion, by 
citing and combining a number of incidents suffi- 
ciently characteristic to form a picture. But in 
that event the incidents narrated will almost cer- 
tainly be of a nature to awaken interest, and to create 
a favorable impression* This indirect way of con- 
veying information is essentially Confucian. '* Even 


when yon have BO doubts," says the LiKi, "do not 
let what you say appear as your own view." And it is 
quite probable that you will notice many other traits 
in your friend requiring some knowledge of the Chi- 
nese classics to understand. But no such knowledge 
is necessary to convince you of his exquisite consider- 
ation for others, and his studied suppression of self. 
Among no other civilized people is the secret of happy 
living so thoroughly comprehended as among the 
Japanese; by no other race is the truth so widely 
understood that our pleasure in life must depend upon 
the happiness of those about us, and consequently 
upon the cultivation in ourselves of unselfishness and 
of patience. For which reason, in Japanese society, 
sarcasm, irony, cruel wit, are not indulged. I might 
almost say that they have no existence in refined life, 
A personal failing is not made the subject of ridicule 
or reproach; an eccentricity is not commented upon; 
an involuntary mistake excites no laughter. 

Stiffened somewhat by the Chinese conservatism 
of the old conditions, it is true that this ethical sys- 
tem was maintained to the extreme of giving fixity 
to ideas, and at the cost of individuality. And yet, 
if regulated by a broader comprehension of social re- 
quirements, if expanded by scientific understanding 
of the freedom essential to intellectual evolution, the 
very same moral policy is that through which the 
highest and happiest results may be obtained* But 
as actually practiced it was not favorable to origi- 
nality; it rather tended to enforce that amiable medi- 
ocrity of opinion and imagination which still pre- 
vails. Wherefore a foreign dweller in the interior 
cannot but long sometimes for the sharp, erratic 
inequalities of Western life, with its larger joys and 


pains and its more comprehensive sympathies. But 
sometimes only, for the intellectual loss is really 
more than compensated by the social charm ; and 

there can remain no doubt in the mind of one who 
even partly understands the Japanese, that they are 
still the best people in the world to live among. 


As I pen these lines, there returns to me the 
vision of a Kyoto night. While passing through 
some wonderfully thronged and illuminated street, of 
which I cannot remember the name* I had turned 
aside to look at a statue of Jizo, before the entrance 
of a very small temple. The figure was that of a 
kozo, an acolyte, a beautiful boy; and its smile 
was a bit of divine realism. As I stood gazing, a 
young lad, perhaps ten years old, ran up beside me, 
joined his little hands before the image, bowed his 
head, and prayed for a moment in silence. He had 
but just left some comrades, and the joy and glow of 
play were still upon his face; and his unconscious 
smile was so strangely like the smile of the child of 
stone that the boy seemed the twin brother of the 
god. And then I thought : " The smile of bronze or 
stone is not a copy only ; but that which the Bud- 
dhist sculptor symbolizes thereby must be the expla- 
nation of the smile of the race." 

That was long ago ; but the idea which then sug- 
gested itself still seems to me true. However for- 
eign to Japanese soil the origin of Buddhist art, yet 
the smile of the people signifies the same concep- 
tion as the smile of the Bosatsu, the happiness 
that is born of self-control and self-suppression* u If 
a man conquer in battle a thousand times a thousand, 


and another conquer himself, he who conquers him- 
self is the greatest of conquerors*" "Not even a 
god can change into defeat the victory of the man 
who has vanquished himself." * Such Buddhist texts 
as these and they are many assuredly express, 
though they cannot be assumed to have created, those 
moral tendencies which form the highest charm of 
the Japanese character. And the whole moral ideal- 
ism of the race seems to me to have been imaged in 
that marvelous Buddha of Kamakura, whose coun- 
tenance, " calm like a deep, still water," 2 expresses, 
as perhaps no other work of human hands can have 
expressed, the eternal truth : " There is no higher 
happiness than rest." 8 It is toward that infinite 
calm that the aspirations of the Orient have been 
turned ; and the ideal of the Supreme Self-Conquest 
it has made its own. Even now, though agitated at 
its surface by those new influences which must sooner 
or later move it even to its uttermost depths, the 
Japanese mind retains, as compared with the thought 
of the West, a wonderful placidity. It dwells but 
little, if at all, upon those ultimate abstract questions 
about which we most concern ourselves. Neither 
does it comprehend our interest in them as we de- 
sire to be comprehended. ** That you should not be 
indifferent to religious speculations," a Japanese 
scholar once observed to me, " is quite natural ; but 
it is equally natural that we should never trouble 
ourselves about them. The philosophy of Buddhism 
has a profundity far exceeding that of your Western 
theology, and we have studied it. We have sounded 
the depths of speculation only to find that there are 
depths unfathomable below those depths ; we have 

1 Dhammapada. 2 Dammikkasutta. 8 Dhammapada. 


voyaged to the farthest limit tbat thought may sail, 
only to find that the horizon forever recedes. And 
you, you have remained for many thousand years as 
children playing in a stream, but ignorant of the sea. 
Only now you have reached its shore by another path 
than ours, and the vastness is for you a new wonder ; 
and you would sail to Nowhere because yon have 
seen the infinite over the sands of life." 

Will Japan be able to assimilate Western civiliza- 
tion, as she did Chinese more than ten centuries ago, 
and nevertheless preserve her own peculiar modes of 
thought and feeling ? One striking fact is hopeful : 
that the Japanese admiration for Western material 
superiority is by no means extended to Western 
morals. Oriental thinkers do not commit the serious 
blunder of confounding mechanical with ethical pro- 
gress, nor have they failed to perceive the moral 
weaknesses of our boasted civilization. One Japa- 
nese writer has expressed his judgment of things 
Occidental after a fashion that deserves to be noticed 
by a larger circle of readers than that for which it 
was originally written : 

" Order or disorder in a nation does not depend 
upon something that falls from the sky or rises from 
the earth. It is determined by the disposition of the 
people. The pivot on which the public disposition 
turns towards order or disorder is the point where 
public and private motives separate. If the people 
be influenced chiefly by public considerations, order is 
assured ; if by private, disorder is inevitable. Public 
considerations are those that prompt the proper ob- 
servance of duties; their prevalence signifies peace 
and prosperity in the case alike of families, commu- 


nities, and nations. Private considerations are those 
suggested by selfish motives : when they prevail, dis- 
turbance and disorder are unavoidable. As members 
of a family, our duty is to look after the welfare of 
that family ; as units of a nation, our duty is to work 
for the good of the nation. To regard our family 
affairs with all the interest due to our family, and 
our national affairs with all the interest due to our 
nation, this is to fitly discharge our duty, and to 
be guided by public considerations. On the other 
hand, to regard the affairs of the nation as if they 
were our own family affairs, this is to be influenced 
by private motives and to stray from the path of 
duty. . . * 

" Selfishness is born in every man ; to indulge it 
freely is to become a beast. Therefore it is that 
sages preach the principles of duty and propriety, 
justice and morality, providing restraints for private 
aims and encouragements for public spirit. . . * 
What we know of Western civilization is that it 
struggled on through long centuries in a confused 
condition, and finally attained a state of some order; 
but that even this order, not being based upon such 
principles as those of the natural and immutable 
distinctions between sovereign and subject, parent 
and child, with all their corresponding rights and 
duties, is liable to constant change, according to the 
growth of human ambitions and human aims. Ad- 
mirably suited to persons whose actions are con- 
trolled by selfish ambition, the adoption of this sys- 
tem in Japan is naturally sought by a certain class 
of politicians. From a superficial point of view, the 
Occidental form of society is very attractive, inas- 
much as, being the outcome of a free development of 


human desires from ancient times, It represents the 
very extreme of luxury and extravagance. Briefly 
speaking, the state of things obtaining in the West 
is based upon the free play of human selfishness, 
and can only be reached by giving full sway to that 
quality. Social disturbances are little heeded in the 
Occident; yet they are at once the evidences and 
the factors of the present evil state of affairs. . . . 
Do Japanese enamored of Western ways propose to 
have their nation's history written in similar terms ? 
Do they seriously contemplate turning their country 
into a new field for experiments in Western civiliza- 
tion? . . . 

" In the Orient, from ancient times, national gov- 
ernment has been based on benevolence, and directed 
to securing the welfare and happiness of the people. 
No political creed has ever held that intellectual 
strength should be cultivated for the purpose of ex- 
ploiting inferiority and ignorance. . . . The inhab- 
itants of this empire live, for the most part, by 
manual labor. Let them be never so industrious, 
they hardly earn enough to supply their daily wants. 
They earn on the average about twenty sen daily* 
There is, no question with them of aspiring to wear 
fine clothes or to inhabit handsome houses. Neither 
can they hope to reach positions of fame and honor. 
What offense have these poor people committed that 
they, too, should not share the benefits of Western 
civilization ? . . , By some, indeed, their condition 
is explained on the hypothesis that their desires do 
not prompt them to better themselves. There is no 
truth in such a supposition. They have desires, but 
nature has limited their capacity to satisfy them; 
their duty as, men limits it, and the amount of labor 


physically possible to a human being limits it. They 
achieve as much as their opportunities permit. The 
best and finest products of their labor they reserve 
for the wealthy ; the worst and roughest they keep 
for their own use. Yet there is nothing in human 
society that does not owe its existence to labor* 
Now, to satisfy the desires of one luxurious man, 
the toil of a thousand is needed. Surely it is mon- 
strous that those who owe to labor the pleasures 
suggested by their civilization should forget what 
they owe to the laborer, and treat him as if he were 
not a fellow-being. But civilization, according to the 
interpretation of the Occident, serves only to satisfy 
men of large desires. It is of no benefit to the 
masses, but is simply a system under which ambi- 
tions compete to accomplish their aims. . . . That 
the Occidental system is gravely disturbing to the 
order and peace of a country is seen by men who have 
eyes, and heard by men who have ears. The future 
of Japan under such a system fills us with anxiety. 
A system based on the principle that ethics and re- 
ligion are made to serve human ambition naturally 
accords with the wishes of selfish individuals ; and 
such theories as those embodied in the modern for- 
mula of liberty and equality annihilate the estab- 
lished relations of society, and outrage decorum and 
propriety. . . . Absolute equality and absolute lib- 
erty being unattainable, the limits prescribed by right 
and duty are supposed to be set. But as each person 
seeks to have as much right and to be burdened 
with as little duty as possible, the results are endless 
disputes and legal contentions. The principles of 
liberty arid equality may succeed in changing the 
organization of nations, in overthrowing the lawful 



distinctions of social rank, In reducing all men to one 
nominal level; but they can never accomplish the 
equal distribution of wealth and property. Consider 
America. . . . It is plain that if the mutual rights 
of men and their status are made to depend on de- 
grees of wealth, the majority of the people, being 
without wealth, must fail to establish their rights ; 
whereas the minority who are wealthy will assert 
their rights, and, under society's sanction, will exact 
oppressive duties from the poor, neglecting the dic- 
tates of humanity and benevolence. The adoption 
of these principles of liberty and equality In Japan 
would vitiate the good and peaceful customs of our 
country, render the general disposition of the people 
harsh and unfeeling, and prove finally a source of 
calamity to the masses. * . * 

" Though at first sight Occidental civilization pre- 
sents an attractive appearance, adapted as It is to 
the gratification of selfish desires, yet, since its basis 
is the hypothesis that men's wishes constitute natural 
laws, it must ultimately end in disappointment and 
demoralization. . * Occidental nations have become 
what they are after passing through conflicts and 
vicissitudes of the most serious kind ; and it is their 
fate to continue the struggle. Just now their motive 
elements are in partial equilibrium, and their social 
condition Is more or less ordered. But if this slight 
equilibrium happens to be disturbed, they will be 
thrown once more into confusion and change, until, 
after a period of renewed struggle and suffering, 
temporary stability is once more attained. The poor 
and powerless of the present may become the wealthy 
and strong of the future, and vice 'versa. Perpetual 
disturbance is their doom. Peaceful equality can 


never be attained until built up among the rains of 
annihilated Western states and the ashes of extinct 
Western peoples." l 

Surely, with perceptions like these, Japan may 
hope to avert some of the social perils which menace 
her. Yet it appears inevitable that her approaching 
transformation must be coincident with a moral de- 
cline. Forced into the vast industrial competition 
of nations whose civilizations were never based on 
altruism, she must eventually develop those qualities 
of which the comparative absence made all the won- 
derful charm of her life. The national character 
must continue to harden, as it has begun to harden 
already. But it should never be forgotten that old 
Japan was quite as much in advance of the nine- 
teenth century morally as she was behind it materi- 
ally. She had made morality instinctive, after hav- 
ing made it rational. She had realized, though 
within restricted limits, several among those social 
conditions which our ablest thinkers regard as the 
happiest and the highest. Throughout all the grades 
of her complex society she had cultivated both the 

1 These extracts from a translation in tbe Japan Daily Mail, No- 
vember 19, 20, 1890, of Viscount Torio's famous conservative essay 
do not give a fair idea of the force and logic of the whole. The 
essay is too long to quote entire ; and any extracts from the Mail's 
admirable translation suffer by their isolation from the singular 
chains of ethical, religious, and philosophical reasoning which bind 
the various parts of the composition together. The essay was fur- 
thermore remarkable as the productiom of a native scholar, totally 
uninfluenced by Western thought. He correctly predicted those social 
and political disturbances which have occurred in Japan since th 
opening of the new parliament. Viscount Torio is also well known 
as a master of Buddhist philosophy. He holds a high rank in the 
Japanese army* 


comprehension and the practice of public and private 
duties after a manner for which It were vain to seek 
any Western parallel. Even her moral weakness 
was the result of an excess of that which all civilized 
religions have united in proclaiming virtue, the self- 
sacrifice of the individual for the sake of the family, 
of the community, and of the nation. It was the 
weakness indicated by Percival Lowell in his " Soul 
of the Far East," a book of which the consummate 
genius cannot be justly estimated without some per- 
sonal knowledge of the Far East. 1 The progress 

1 In expressing my earnest admiration of this wonderful book, I 
must, however, declare that several of its conclusions, and especially 
the final ones, represent the extreme reverse of my own beliefs on the 
subject. I do not think the Japanese without individuality ; but their 
individuality is less superficially apparent, and reveals itself much 
less quickly, than that of Western people, I am also convinced that 
much of what we call "personality" and "force of character" in, 
the West represents only the survival and recognition of primitive 
aggressive tendencies, more or less disguised by culture. What Mr. 
Spencer calls the highest individuation surely does not include extraor- 
dinary development of powers adapted to merely aggressive ends; 
and yet it is rather through these than through any others that West- 
ern individuality most commonly and readily manifests itself. Now 
there is, as yet, a remarkable scarcity in Japan, of domineering brutal, 
aggressive, or morbid individuality. What does impress one as an 
apparent weakness in Japanese intellectual circles is the comparative 
absence of spontaneity, creative thought, original perceptivity of the 
highest order. Perhaps this seeming deficiency is racial ; the peoples 
of the Far East seem to have been throughout their history receptive 
rather than creative. At all events I cannot believe Buddhism* 
originally the faith of an Aryan race can be proven responsible. 
The total exclusion of Buddhist influence from public education would 
not seem to have been stimulating ; for the masters of the old Bud- 
dhist philosophy still show a far higher capacity for thinking in rela- 
tions than that of the average graduate of the Imperial University. 
Indeed, I am inclined to believe that an intellectual revival of Bud- 
dhism a harmonizing of its loftier truths with the best and broadest 
teachings of modern science would have the most important results 
for Japan. A native scholar, Mr. Inouye Enryo, has actually founded 


made by Japan In social morality, although greater 
than our own, was chiefly in the direction of mutual 
dependence. And it will be her coming duty to 
keep in view the teaching of that mighty thinker 
whose philosophy she has wisely accepted, 1 the 
teaching that "the highest individuation must be 
joined with the greatest mutual dependence," and 
that, however seemingly paradoxical the statement, 
u the law of progress is at once toward complete sep- 
arateness and complete union*" 

Yet to that past which her younger generation 
now affect to despise Japan will certainly one day 
look back, even as we ourselves look back to the old 
Greek civilization. She will learn to regret the for- 
gotten capacity for simple pleasures, the lost sense of 
the pure joy of life, the old loving divine intimacy 
vith nature, the marvelous dead art which reflected 
it She will remember how much more luminous 
and beautiful the world then seemed. She will 
mourn for many things, the old-fashioned patience 
and self-sacrifice, the ancient courtesy, the deep 
human poetry of the ancient faith. She will wonder 
at many things ; but she will regret. Perhaps she 
will wonder most of all at the faces of the ancient 
gods, because their smile was once the likeness of her 

at Tokyo with this noble object In view, a college of philosophy which 
seems likely, at the present writing, to become an influential institu- 
1 Herbert Spencer* 



I AM going away, very far away. I have already 
resigned my post as teacher, and am waiting only for 
my passport. 

So many familiar faces have vanished that I feel 
now less regret at leaving than I should have felt six 
months ago. And nevertheless, the quaint old city 
has become so endeared to me hy habit and associ- 
ation that the thought of never seeing it again is ona 
I do not venture to dwell upon. I have been trying 
to persuade myself that some day I may return to 
this charming old house, in shadowy Kitaborimachi, 
though all the while painfully aware that in past 
experience such imaginations invariably preceded 
perpetual separation. 

The facts are that all things are impermanent in 
the Province of the Gods ; that the winters are very 
severe; and that I have received a call from the 
great Government college in Kyushu, far south, where 
snow rarely falls. Also I have been very sick ; and 
the prospect of a milder climate had much influence 
in shaping my decision. 

But these few days of farewells have been full of 
charming surprises. To have the revelation of grati- 
tude where you had no right to expect more than 
plain satisfaction with your performance of duty; 


to find affection where you supposed only good-will 
to exist: these are assuredly delicious experiences. 

The teachers of both schools have sent me a fare- 
well gift,, a superb pair of vases nearly three feet 
high, covered with designs representing birds, and 
flowering-trees overhanging a slope of beach, where 
funny pink crabs are running about, vases made in 
the old feudal days at Rakusan, rare souvenirs of 
Izumo. With the wonderful vases came a scroll 
bearing in Chinese text the names of the thirty-two 
donors ; and three of these are names of ladies, the 
three lady-teachers of the Normal School 

The students of the Jinjo-Chugakko have also sent 
me a present, the last contribution of two hundred 
and fifty -one pupils to my happiest memories of 
Matsue : a Japanese sword of the time of the dai- 
myo. Silver karashishi with eyes of gold in Izumo, 
the Lions of Shinto swarm over the crimson lacquer 
of the sheath, and sprawl about the exquisite hilt. 
And the committee who brought the beautiful thing 
to my house requested me to accompany them forth- 
with to the college assembly-room, where the students 
were all waiting to bid me good-by, after the old- 
time custom. 

So I went there. And the things which we said to 
each other are hereafter set down. 


DEAB TEACHER : You have been one of the best and 
most benevolent teachers we ever had. We thank you with 
all our heart for the knowledge we obtained through your 
kindest instruction. Every student in our school hoped you 
would stay with us at least three years. When we learned 
you had resolved to go to Kyushu, we all felt our hearts 


sink with sorrow. We entreated our Director to find some 
way to keep you, but we discovered tliat could not be done. 
We liave no words to express our feeling at this moment of 
farewell. We sent you a Japanese sword as a memory of 
us. It was only a poor ugly thing ; we merely thought you 
would care for it as a mark of our gratitude. We will never 
forget your kindest instruction ; and we all wish that you 
may ever be healthy and happy. 


Representing all the Students of the Middle Sc/wol 
of Shimane^Ken, 

MY BEAK BOYS : I cannot tell you with what feelings 
I received your present ; that beautiful sword with the silver 
karashishi ramping upon its sheath, or crawling through the 
silken cording of its wonderful hilt. At least I cannot tell 
you alii But there flashed to me, as I looked at your gift, 
the remembrance of your ancient proverb : " TJie Sword is 
the Soul of the Samurai. 9 ' And then it seemed to me that 
In the very choice of that exquisite souvenir you had sym- 
bolised something of your own souls. For we English also 
have some famous sayings and proverbs about swords. Our 
poets call a good blade " trusty " and " true " ; and of our best 
friend we say, " He is true as steel," signifying in the an- 
cient sense the steel of a perfect sword, the steel to whose 
temper a warrior could trust his honor and his life. And 
so in your rare gift, which I shall keep and prize while I 
live, I find an emblem of your true-heartedness and affection* 
May you always keep fresh within your hearts those im- 
pulses of generosity and kindliness and loyalty which I have 
learned to know so well, and of which your gift will ever 
remain for me the graceful symbol ! 

And a symbol not only of your affection and loyalty as 
students to teachers, but of that other beautiful sense of 
duty you expressed, when so many of you wrote down for 
me, as your dearest wish, the desire to die for His Imperial 
Majesty, your Emperor^ That wish is holy : it means per- 


haps even more than yon know, or can know, until yon shall 
have become much older and wiser. This is an era o gpreat 
and rapid change ; and it is probable that many of you, as 
you grow up, wiH not be able to believe everything that your 
fathers believed before you ; though I sincerely trust you 
will at least continue always to respect the faith, even as 
you still respect the memory, of your ancestors. But how- 
ever much the life of New Japan may change about you, 
however much your own thoughts may change with the 
times, never suffer that noble wish you expressed to me to 
pass away from your souls. Keep it burning there, clear 
and pure as the flame of the little lamp that glows before 
your household shrine. 

Perhaps some of you may have that wish. Many of 
you must become soldiers. Some will become officers. 
Some will enter the Naval Academy to prepare for the 
grand service of protecting the empire by sea; and your 
Emperor and your country may even require your blood. 
But the greater number among you are destined to other 
careers, and may have no such chances of bodily self-sacri- 
ce? except perhaps in the hour of some great national 
danger, which I trust Japan will never know. And there 
is another desire, not less noble, which may be your compass 
in civil life : to live for your country though you cannot die 
for it. Like the kindest and wisest of fathers, your Gov- 
ernment has provided for you these splendid schools, with 
all opportunities for the best instruction this scientific cen- 
tury can give, at a far less cost than any other civilized 
country can offer the same advantages. And all this in order 
that each of you may help to make your country wiser 
and richer and stronger than it has ever been in the past. 
And whoever does his best, in any calling or profession, to 
ennoble and develop that calling or profession, gives his 
life to his Emperor and to his country no less truly than 
the soldier or the seaman who dies for duty. 

I am not less sorry to leave you, I think, than you are 
to see me go. The more I have learned to know the hearts 


of Japanese students, the more I Iiave learned to love their 
country. I think, however, that I shall see many of you 
again, though I never return to Matsue : some I am almost 
sure I shall meet elsewhere in future summers ; some I 
may even hope to teach once more, in the Government 
college to which I am going. But whether we meet again 
or not, be sure that my life has been made happier by know- 
ing you, and that I shall always love you. And, now, with 
renewed thanks for your beautiful gift, good-by 1 


The students of the Normal School gave me a 
farewell banquet in their hall, I had been with them 
so little during the year less even than the stipu- 
lated six hours a week that I could not have sup- 
posed they would feel much attachment for their for- 
eign teacher. But I have still much to learn about 
my Japanese students. The banquet was delight- 
ful. The captain of each class in turn read in English 
a brief farewell address which he had prepared ; and 
more than one of those charming compositions, made 
beautiful with similes and sentiments drawn from, 
the old Chinese and Japanese poets, will always re- 
main in my memory. Then the students sang their 
college songs for me, and chanted the Japanese ver- 
sion of a Auld Lang Syne " at the close of the ban- 
quet. And then all, in military procession, escorted 
me home, and cheered me farewell at my gate, with 
shouts of " Manzai ! " " Good-by ! " u We will march 
with you to the steamer when you go." 


But I shall not have the pleasure of seeing them 
again. They are all gone far away some ta 


another world. Yet It Is only four days since I at* 
tended that farewell banquet at the Normal School ! 
A cruel visitation has closed its gates and scattered 
its students through the province. 

Two nights ago, the Asiatic cholera, supposed to 
have been brought to Japan by Chinese vessels, 
broke out in different parts of the city, and, among 
other places, in the Normal School. Several stu- 
dents and teachers expired within a short while after 
having been attacked ; others are even now lingering 
between life and death. The rest marched to the 
little healthy village of Tamatsukuri, famed for its 
hot springs. But there the cholera again broke out 
among them, and it was decided to dismiss the sur- 
vivors at once to their several homes. There was no 
panic. The military discipline remained unbroken. 
Students and teachers fell at their posts. The great 
college building was taken charge of by the medical 
authorities, and the work of disinfection and sani- 
tation is still going on. Only the convalescents and 
the fearless samurai president, Saito Kumataro, re- 
main in it. Like the captain who scorns to leave 
Ms sinking ship till all souls are safe, the president 
stays in the centre of danger, nursing the sick boys, 
overlooking the work of sanitation, transacting all 
the business usually intrusted to several subordinates* 
whom he promptly sent away in the first hour of 
peril. He has had the joy of seeing two of his boys 

Of another, who was buried last night, I hear this : 
Only a little while before his death, and in spite of 
kindliest protest, he found strength, on seeing his 
president approaching his bedside, to rise on his 
elbow and give the military salute. And with that 


brave greeting to a brave man, he passed into the 
Great Silence. 


At last my passport has come. I must go- 
The Middle School and the adjacent elementary 
schools have been closed on account of the appear- 
ance of cholera, and I protested against any gath- 
ering of the pupils to bid me good-by, fearing for 
them the risk of exposure to the chilly morning air 
by the shore of the infected river. But my protest 
was received only with a merry laugh. Last night 
the Director sent word to all the captains of classes. 
Wherefore, an hour after sunrise, some two hundred 
students, with their teachers, assemble before my gate 
to escort me to the wharf, near the long white bridge, 
where the little steamer is waiting. And we go. 

Other students are already assembled at the wharf. 
And with them wait a multitude of people known to 
me : friends or friendly acquaintances, parents and rel- 
atives of students, every one to whom I can remember 
having ever done the slightest favor, and many more 
from whom I have received favors which I never 
had the chance to return, persons who worked for 
me, merchants from whom I purchased little things, 
a host of kind faces, smiling salutation. The Gov- 
ernor sends his secretary with a courteous message ; 
the President of the Normal School hurries down for 
a moment to shake hands. The Normal students 
have been sent to their homes, but not a few of their 
teachers are present. I most miss friend Nishida. 
He has been very sick for two long months, bleeding 
at the lungs, but his father brings me the gentlest 
of farewell letters from him, penned in bed, and some 
pretty souvenirs. 


And now, as 1 look at all these pleasant faces 
about me, I cannot but ask myself the question: 
" Could I have lived in the exercise of the same pro- 
fession for the same length of time in any other 
country, and have enjoyed a similar unbroken expe- 
rience of human goodness ? " From each and all of 
these I have received only kindness and courtesy. 
Not one has ever, even through inadvertence, ad- 
dressed to me a single ungenerous word. As a 
teacher of more than five hundred boys and men, I 
have never even had my patience tried. I wonder 
if such an experience is possible only in Japan. 

But the little steamer shrieks for her passengers. 
I shake many hands most heartily, perhaps, that 
of the brave, kind President of the Normal School 
and climb on board. The Director of the Jinjo 
Chfigakko, a few teachers of both schools, and one 
of my favorite pupils, follow; they are going to 
accompany me as far as the next port, whence my 
way will be over the mountains to Hiroshima. 

It is a lovely vapory morning, sharp with the first 
chill of winter. From the tiny deck I take my last 
look at the quaint vista of the Ohashigawa, with its 
long white bridge, at the peaked host of queer dear 
old houses, crowding close to dip their feet in its 
glassy flood, at the sails of the junks, gold-colored 
by the early sun, at the beautiful fantastic shapes 
of the ancient hills. 

Magical indeed the charm of this land, as of a land 
veritably haunted by gods: so lovely the spectral 
delicacy of its colors, so lovely the forms of its hills 
blending with the forms of its clouds, so lovely, 
above all, those long tailings and bandings of mista 


which make its altitudes appear to hang in air. A 
land where sky and earth so strangely intermingle 
that what is reality may not be distinguished from 
what is illusion, that all seems a mirage, about to 
vanish. For me, alas ! it is about to vanish forever. 

The little steamer shrieks again, puffs, backs into 
midstream, turns from the long white bridge. And 
as the gray wharves recede, a long Aaaaaaaaaa rises 
from the uniformed ranks, and all the caps wave, 
flashing their Chinese ideographs of brass. I clam- 
ber to the roof of the tiny deck cabin, wave my hat, 
and shout in English : " Good-by, good-by ! " And 
there floats back to me the cry : a Manzai^ manzai ! n 
{Ten thousand years to you ! ten thousand years !] 
But already it comes faintly from far away. The 
packet glides out of the river-mouth, shoots into the 
blue lake, turns a pine * shadowed point ; and the 
faces, and the voices, and the wharves, and the long 
white bridge have become memories. 

Still for a little while looking back, as we pass into 
the silence of the great water, I can see, receding on 
the left, the crest of the ancient castle, over grand 
shaggy altitudes of pine, and the place of my home, 
with its delicious garden, and the long blue roofs 
of the schools. These, too, swiftly pass out of vision. 
Then only faint blue water, faint blue mists, faint 
blues and greens and grays of peaks looming through 
varying distance, and beyond all, towering ghost- 
white into the east, the glorious spectre of Daisen. 

And my heart sinks a moment under the rash of 
those vivid memories which always crowd upon one 
the instant after parting, memories of all that 
make attachment to places and to things. Remem- 
bered smiles j the morning gathering at the threshold 


of the old yasHkl to wish the departing teacher a 
happy day ; the evening gathering to welcome his 
return ; the dog waiting by the gate at the accus- 
tomed hour; the garden with its lotus-flowers and 
its cooing of doves ; the musical boom of the temple 
bell from the cedar groves; songs of children at 
play ; afternoon shadows upon many-tinted streets ; 
the long lines of lantern-fires upon festal nights ; the 
dancing of the moon upon the lake; the clapping of 
hands by the river shore in salutation to the Izumo 
sun ; the endless merry pattering of geta over the 
windy bridge : all these and a hundred other happy 
memories revive for me with almost painful vivid- 
ness, while the far peaks, whose names are holy, 
slowly turn away their blue shoulders, and the little 
steamer bears me, more and more swiftly, ever farther 
and farther from the Province of the Gods. 


[Volume I. includes pages 1-342; Volume XL, page* &43-C93.3 

Amanjako, 100. 



247 et pas- 

I pas- 

Animals, prayers for the souls of do- 

mestic, 124, 125, and note. 
Anthem, the Japanese National, 450. 
Apes, the Three Mystic. 46, 127. 
Arakawa Junosuke, artist, 4G5. 

Bamboo, symbolism of the, 494. 
* Bateiseki," a, black atone, 591 et 


Bato-Kwannoia, 124. 
Bekkwa, ancient title of a Shinto hioro- 

phant, 253. 

Bells, famous Buddhist, 66, 67, note ; 68. 
Beaten, the Goddess, 61. 
Bimbogami, the God of Poverty, 177 el 

seg., 602. 
BlmbomuaM, the " Poverty ~ Insect," 

Birthday of Buddha (Susskoe), 36. 

Bommatsuri, or Bonku, Festival of the 

Bead, 106, 130. See, also, chapter 

"By the Japanese Sea." 
Bon-ichi, 105 et sea. 
Bon-Odori, 129-138. 
Bridget, curious customs relating to, 

Bronze Horse at KitzukL story about 

the, 254. 
" Buddha's-Fingers," a pretty shrub, 


Buddhas, number of the, 175. 
Butsudan, or Butsuma, the Buddhist 

household-shrine, 111, 404 et seq. 

Calligraphy, 4* *<?#,, 256, 266. See, 

also, chapter " The Writing of KSbo"- 


Candles, votive, 315, and note. 
Cats, superstitions about, 369; kept as 

a safeguard against goblins, 508, 609. 
Cave of the Children's Ghosts, In the. 


Cemeteries, Buddhist, 40. 
Chamberlain, Professor Basil Hall, 20, 

note ; 44, 50, note ; 204, 296. not ; 30T t 
note ; 318, 355, 367, note ; 386, 419, 432, 
498, 676, 604, 630. 

Charcoal, a symbol, 496, 

Charms, curious: arrow-shaped, 126, 
151, 235 ; of Yaegaki, 303-306 j against 
devils, 499 ; against burglars, 603. 

Cherry-trees, extraordinary beauty of 
Japanese, 19, 20, 355 et passim, 

Chickens, not allowed to exist in Mio- 
noseki, 231. 

Chief City of the Province of the Gkds. 
The, 139-171. 

Chinese architecture, 63, G4. 

Cicadaa, wonderful sounds made by Jap- 
anese, 370 et seq. 

Colds, god of coughs and, 313, 639. 

Color, in, Japanese streets, 2, 3 et seq, ; 
in Japanese landscapes, 574-576. 

Conder, Josiah, 345, note ; 349, and note. 

Curiosity excited by foreigners. 213, 
225, 226, 616. 

Cuttle-fish, 276, 589, 590. 

Daibutsu of Kamakura, 78, 674. 
Daiseu, Mount, 153 et passim,. 
Dancing-Girl, Of a, 525-552. 
Dancing-girls, names of, 307 ; life of. 

Dead, prayers to the, 409, 410, 412, 413- 

Death, touching custom relating to, 


De Coulanges. Fustel, 394. 
Deities, evil, 147. 
Devils, casting out of, 498. 
Diary of an English Teacher, From the. 


Divining-papers, 171. 
Divining-sticks, 37. 
Doll, a philosophical. 465. 
Dolls, 266-267. 

Dragons, remarkable carvings of, 66. 
Drawing, high capacity of Japanese 

students in, 436. 
Dreams, lucky and unlucky, 353, fuxl 


Education, the Imperial Words on, 441 



Eggs, hen's, not allowed to be sold in 
Mionoseki, 230. 

Elements, Chinese ideas about the influ- 
ence of the, 030, note. 

Emma-Do, remarkable temple at 
Kamakura, 74-76. 

Emma-<5, Lord of Hell, the Sanscrit 
Yama-rajah, 50, 75, 76, 

Endo Morito, 577. 

English compositions by Japanese stu- 
dents, 457 et seq. 

En-musubi-no-Kami, 302, 

Enoahima, 85, 

Enoahima, a pilgrimage to, 62-104. 

Eyes of gods and dragons, GOG. 

Fern-leaves, symbolism of, 495. 

Festivals, Two Strange, 491-503. 

Fever, ghostly explanation of intermit- 
tent, 604. 

Fire-drill, sacred, 109. 

Flower-shows, 167. 

Flowers, the Japanese art of arranging, 
344 et seq. 

Fortune-telling, 37. 

Fox, superstitions about the. See chap- 
ter " Kitsune." 

Fox-belief, affecting the value of real 
estate, 330, 

Foxes, the various kinds of ghostly, 

"Fox'-fires " (ffltmne-U\ 323. 
Fox-gifts, illusive character of, 232. 
Fox-holes in temples of Inari, 316. 
Fox-owners (Kitsune-mochi), 326 et 

seq., 607, and note. 
Fox-possession (Kttsune-tsuM), 322, 
Fudo-Sama, 46. 
Funeral customs, 52. and notes : in 

Izumo, 482-485. 
Funeral processions, weirdness of, 290, 

" Euku-ishi," a sacred stone, 89, 
*' Futon of Tottori," ghost-story called 
the, 515. 

Geisha. See Dancing-girls. 

Gengebana, the flower, 308, and note. 

Gentleness, 6, 123, 239, 438, 618, 691 et 

Ghosts, naked footprints of, 221 ; a 
congregation of, 612 ? origin of Jap- 
anese pictures of, 427; playing at, 

Ghosts and Goblins, of, 637-655. See 
chapter "Of Ghosts and Goblins ;" 
also 219 et passim. 

Goblin-spiders, 376. 

Go-Daigo, legends of the exiled Em- 
peror, 593, 599. 

Gohei, origin of, 495. 

Gokuraku, the Buddhist paradise, 67. i 

Go-Toba, the exiled Emperor, 614. 

Gwan-hodoki, votive offerings, 301, 

* Hadaka-JizB," a statue, 78. 

Hair, colors of Japanese, 418, note. 
Hell, the Buddhist, 5*4-56, 644 ** *eq. 
Hideyoshi and the Fox-God, 319. 
Hif ukidake, magical use of, 502. 
Hr}5, things without desire, 351. 
Hinomisaki, At, 274-285. 
Hinomisaki-jinja, a remarkable tempi,, 

277 et seq. 
Hitc-koto-Kwannon, the Goddess who 

must not be prayed to twice, 651, and 


" Hiza-Kuruge,** a famous comedy, 335. 
Horn, exerciser, 325. 
H3ki to Oki, From, 553-G25. 
Holiday decorations, 491 t,t passim, 
H5nen-odori, the harvest dance, 269 el 

Hotoke, various strange meaninra ol 

the word, 605. 
Hotoke-umi, the Sea of the Dead, 504 

et ptusim. 
Hototogisu, ghostly belief about the 

bird called, 376. 

Household Shrine, the, 385, 416. 
Hyakuaho", 125, note. 

Ihai, or mortuary tablet, Buddhist, See 
chapter "The Household Shrine;" 
beautiful legend of an, 051 ; th 
ShintS, 409. 

Ikigami, " living deity," 189. 

Iki-ningyo", 641, 

Inada-hinie, 294. 

Inari, popular ideas of, 312 et ?eg 

Inasa, at Kitzuki, 204. 

" Infinite Vision," 328, and note. 

Innen, or Karma, 287. 

Inouye Enryo", Buddhist scholar, 682, 

James, J. M., 328, note. 

James, Mrs. T, EL, 426, note. 

"Japan Bally Mail," the, 681, note. 

Japanese Garden, In a, 343-384. 

Jewel, the Mystic 43. 

" Jin-Q," the "Ten Kings," 75. 

JizS, 34 0t passim* **Agonash!-J./* 

594 ; " The "Six J.," 127, 128, and note ; 


Kadomatsu, " Gate Hne-tree, n 493, jand 


Karuhana, 54, 55, 
"laimyd:, posthumous ntwnes conferred 

by Buddhism, 132. See, also, chapte? 

4? The Household Shrine," 
Kaka-ura, village of, 224 et seg, 
Kakemono, a remarkable Buddhigfe, 


Kamakura, 62-84. 
Kame-da-yu, 200. 
Kami, number of the, 176* 
Kappa, 505, 506, and note. 
Karashishi, 338 et passim. 
Katayama ShSkei, teacher, 4S8, 
Kembutsu, 589. 
Ken, the game of, 527. 



Kengyo", Shinto title, 282. 

Ken-ro-ji-jin, the Earth-God, 100. 

Kichinyado, 159. 

Kfehibojin, 96. 

Kitoja-no-mono, 511. 

Kitten, the Beckoning, 530. 

Kitzuki: the Most Ancient Shrine of 
Japan, 172-210. 

Kitsuki, Notes on, 244-273. 

Kitaune, 310-342. 

K5b5daishi, The Writing of, 29-33. 

Kodomo-noInari, the Children's Fox- 
God, 337. 

"Ko-Ji-ki," Professor B. H. Chamber- 
lain's translation of the, 20, 172, 186, 
193. 204, 208, note ; 231, 294, 312, note ; 
348, note ; 390, 419, note ; 432, 495. 

Kojin, worn-out dolls olfered to the 
god, 268. 

KokuzS, 197, note; 205, note ; 20G, 207. 

KokuzS-are". 201. 

KSshiu, God of Roads, 98 ei passim. 

Koteda-Yasusada, Governor of Shimane 
Ken, 143, 431, 444, 450, 456, 476. 

Koto~ita, a kind of sacred musical in- 
strument, 199. 

Koto-shiro-nushi-no-Kami, 186, note, et 

Kubi-oke, or " head-box," 284. 

Kudan, a fabulous animal, 567, and 

Kwannon, the Buddhist divinity : Kwan* 
non-of-the-Thousand-Hands, 46 ; other 
forms of the goddess, 69, 70, note ; 
Kwannon- of - the - Eleven - Faces, 82 ; 
Horse-headed Kwannon, 124 ; votive 
offerings to Kwannon, 256 ; Hito- 
koto-Kwaimon at Nara, 551. 

"Lady Moon," 171, note. 

"Lady Sun." See 0-Hi-San. 

Lake of Blood, the, 56. 

Lamps of the Gods, rules for lighting 
the, 410 et seq. 

Left side, lucky, 495. 

Legends and stories, 29-33, 68, 72-74, 
76, 82-84, 97, 108, 109, note ; 127, note ; 
148-150, 152, 161-165, 177, 178, 180, 
185, 190-197, 200, 204, 207, 217, note ; 
229, 231, 253-255, 283-285. 294, 297, 
333, 348, 359, 303, 365, 369, 373, and 
notes: 425, 42G, and note; 506, note; 
515, 521, 529, note ; 566, 577, 591, 593, 
694, 600, 648, 651. 

Lobster, emblem of longevity, 497. 

Lotus-flowers, 14 et pasnm. For arti- 
ficial, see chapter " At the Market of 
the Dead." Souls born from lotus- 
flowers, 57. See, also, chapter "In 
a Japanese Garden." 

"Lotus of the Good Law," the, 39, 

Lowell, Percival, 259, 682. 

Lullaby, Japanese, 609. 

Magic, 603, 632. 
Magic-lantern show, 646. 

Market of the Dead, At the, 105-119. 
Match-boxes, curious inscription upon 

Matches, should not be used to light 

the lamps of the Shinto gods, 410 S 


Medusa-legends, 425. 
Meibutsu, 589. 
Meido, the World of the Dead, 53, 54 

et passim. 

Melodies of peasant-songs, 137. 
Miko, Virgin priestess, 201, 202, 246 el 


Mikuji, 37. 

Minige, a strange festival called, 253. 
Miojinja, the famous temple of Mio- 

noseki, 235 et passim. 
Minoseki, At, 230-243. 
" Mirror of Souls," the, 57. 
Mirrors of jealous women, 426, and 

Mirume and Kaguhana, "the Wit* 

nesses," 54, 55. 
Mitsu-ura, village of, 213. 
Miya, SliiutS household shrine, 39 1 


Miyuki, ancient ceremony called, 622. 
Mokenren, Dai, 108. 

Mokugyo, 47 et passim. 
Mongaku S 

ShSnin, 577-579. 
Monjin-Bosatsu, 31. 
Morse, E. 8., 349. 
Mouths of Sacred Images, why open o* 

shut, 338, and note. 
Moxa, 604, and note. 

Nagoya Sanza, 248. 

Nakainura MongorS of Kitzuki, 248- 

If anten, curious belief about the plant 


Navel-string, preservation of the, 508. 
Nehan-gyo", Nirvana-Sutra, 490, 
Ni-0, 25, 26, and note. 
Nishlda SentarS, teacher, 173, 430, 433, 

439, 440, 690. 

Nobori, little paper flags, 301, 302. 
Nominosukune, patron deity of wrest- 

lers, 195. 
Normal Schools, discipline of students 

in, 434 et seq. See, also, chapter 

'* Sayonara." 
"Nuko-kubi," weird superstition, 423 

et seq. 

Oba, Fox-God of, 313. 

(Merings to the dead, explanation of 

popular idea about, 409. 
Offerings to the gods, curious, 613. 
O-Hime-San, title of a ShintS Pontiff's 

daughters, 282. 
O-Hi-Bau, 223, and note. 
Oho-kuni-nushi-no-Kaml, the great god 

of Izumo, 186, 275. 
OM, extraordinary kindness and hon 

oaty of the people of, 580, 686, 603, 




O-Kunt, the Miko, tradition of, 248. 

Oni-yarai, 498. 

Otafuku, mask representing. 111, 247, 


Orient, My First Bay in the, 1-61. 
0-Tsuki-San, 171, and note. 

Peas, devils hate dried, 498. 
"People-shapes" (httogata), 503." 
Phantom-ships, 569. 
Phantom-temple, 611. 
Pilgrimage to Enosbima, a. 62-104. 
Pilgrimages, enormous, 159. 
Pillow-lore, 517. 
Pine, a phallic, 611. 
Police, Japanese, 620, note. 
Privacy, absence of, CIS, 619, 
Proverbs, curious, 76, note. 

Bebirth, strange story of, 522 ; beliefs 

about, 610. 
"Kokud<5-kane," money buried with 

the dead, 52, note. 
Koku-Jizd", 127, 128, and note. 
Koofing, an extraordinary kind of, 280. 
BySbu-Shinto, 279. 

Ba-hime-yama, legend of, 180. 

Saibun, address to the soul of a dead 

person, 487 et seq. 
Saigo, chief city of Old, 583. 
Sai-no-ike", a sacred lake, 596. 
Saino-kawara. 44 et passim; pictures 

of, 55, 56. 

** Sai- no- Kawara-Kuchi-zu-sami- no- 
den," a curious book about the place 

of children's ghosts, 44, 55, 56. 
Saito-KumatarS, President of the Matsue 

Normal School, 689 et seq. 
Sambo", 497. 
Sanzu-no-Kawa, the Phantom-river over 

which the dead must pass, 52, 53. 
8aruda-hiko-no-mikoto, 127. 
Sasa, priest of Kitzuki, 188 et seq., 194, 

203, 204, 252. 
Satow, Brneat, 19, note ; 147, 312, note ; 

359, 386, 392, note ; 393-395. 
Sayouara, 684-693. 
Scarecrows, god of, 298. 
Sea, By the Japanese, 504-524. 
Sagaki, offerings to hungry spirits, 


SeMrei, wagtails, 298. 
Senke Takanori, Pontiff of Kitzuki, 173, 

note ; 187, 191 et seq., 245, 246. 
Serpent, the sacred, 184-186, and notes. 
Setsubun, the festival called, 498. 
Shaba-world, Buddhist name for this 

world, 53 et passim, 
Shachihoko, 350, and note. 
Shaka, " Sakya-Mum," 26-64. 
Shakujo", origin of the, 498, note. 
Shiinekazari, 496, note. 
Shimenawa, sacred straw rope, 20 ; rules 

for making, 495 et seq. 
Shinju, 286-293. 
Shinbotoke, or " new Buddhas," 412. 

Shinto*, exemplifies Herbert 8p*meor' 
law of religious evolution. 30i2395. 

Shiraboshi, 533. 

Shiyeki-jinja, curious liistory of the 
temple called, 285. 

Shoryobune, the straw ships of the 
dead. See chapter **At the Market 
of the Bead ; " aJao 509 et seq. 

Side-shows, queer exhibitions in Japa- 
nese, 425. 

Silk, forbidden by Buddhism, 72, 73. 

Small-pox god, 147. 

Smile, The Japanese, 656-683. 

Snakes, superstition about, 368. 

"Snow Woman," the, 637, 

Sotoba, in Buddhist cemeteries, Sanscrit 
stopa, 40. 

Sodzu-Baba, the Goblin-Hag of the 
Sanzu-no-Kawa, 52. 

Soul of the Far East," Ix>weH*, 259, 

682, and note. 
Souls, Of, 626-636. 

Souls, strange beliefs about, 359, note ; 
631, 632 ; souls of trees, 368 ; magical 
invocation of the souk of living per- 
sons, 632. 

Spencer, Herbert, 392, 394, 453, C82, 

683, and note. 

Spirit of Food, the August, 300, 312 ei 


Statues, animated, 255. 
Steed, a supernatural, 591. 
Stones, beauty of, 345; musical, 296; 

sacred, 89, 92 et passim, 348 ; used in 

praying 1 , 43, 44, and note. 
Straw, effigies made of, 252, 511. See, 

also, chapter "At the Market of tho 


Straw ships. See Sh&Yy&bune. 
Study, amazing earuestucss in, 666, 
Suicide, letter of a, 291. 
Suicides, extraordinary and heroic, 391. 
Svastika (manju), 600. 

Tabari-no-Kagami, the Magic Mirror of 

the Underworld, 54. 
Tablets, ancestral, 405 et teg. ; beautiful 

custom relating to mortuary, 406, 407. 

See, also, under Hud. 
Tamamonomae, The Fox-Woman, 335. 
Tatamd, or floor-mats, 281 c / paxsim* 
Tegashiwa, the Beekoniug Plant, 352, 
Tengu, 122, 340. 
Tenjin, festival of, 256. 
Tenuin, or Buddhist angels, 58 ft |w- 


Thousand Jizo*, the, 71. 
Tliousand Visits, the Vow of *, ^25. 
Thunder-Aniiioal, the, 500* 
Tobikawa, the wrestler, story of, 340. 
Tomoye, the symbol, 259. 
Torii, 19, note, et passim. 
Torio, remarkable essay by Yiaootmt, 


Tortoise, folklore about, 367. 
Toys, 258 et seq, 
Trees, goblin or ghostly, 303, 358 <* 



*w., 427 ; sacred, 251, 258, 302, 305, 
360, 600, 614. 
Stewito-kwai, form of service for the 

dead, 485 <$t g- 

TTguisu, the bird called, 143 el *<?., 381, 


Ujigami, 164, 304. 
Ujiko, 1&4, 

UjS, things having desire, 351. 
Utiko Sosei, Buddhist sculptor, 76. 
Uryo, 282. 

Wallace, A. B., 492, note. 

Waaan, or hymn of Jizd", 53. 

Woman, flowers compared with, 367. 

Woman's Hair, Of, 417-429. 

Woman's language, 291. 

** Words of Perfume'* a sacred acrostic, 


Wrestlers, foxes afraid of, 329. 
Writing, wholesome superstition about, 

503; beautiful, see raider Calligra 

Yaegaki-jinja, 294-309. 

Yaku-otoshi, the caster - out dt defil% 

Yakmhi-Hyorai, 175. 

Yakushi-Sarna, 47. 

Yanaalt>ato, or wild dove, 381. 

Yamabushi, an exerciser, 325. 

Yama-juo-inono, a pariah class, 288. 

Yanaazokura, humorous play on the 
name, 355, note. 

Yanagi, odd. beliefs relating to the wil- 
low-tree, 598. See, also, under Tree&p 

Yane-shdT>, the roof-plant, 62. 

Yasugi, village of, 231. 

Yuzuri, symbolism of plant called, 354. 

Zuijiu, the guardian figures at Shintd 
gateways^ 299.