Skip to main content

Full text of "The industries of Japan : together with an account of its agriculture, forestry, arts and commerce"

See other formats




' A-^S 


4>/r///<> r^ui/6yt^)/^M y^r/'/ZH 










Rein , . Jiipnit // 

riate VII 

Vid. r Mih Engebnami, Leipzig Lith.Anst v Wirmr ic Vuiter, Frank fiwt 'W 


Autumnal Landscape by Moonlight. 





Jrom Crakis mtb- %tumt\zs mtkrtalieit at l^e Cost of t^e Prussian (iototmcnt. 

.v.^^ x.^"^ 

J?^'jf REIN, 

Professor of Geography in the University of Bonn. 


S'oitbon : 




{All rights reserved.) 

Butler &= Tanner, 

The Selwood Printing Works, 

Frame, and London. 


In publishing these results of many years of study, I hope to 
afford welcome information and instruction to educated readers 
of all callings regarding many questions as to the state of civiliza- 
tion in Japan and the industrial activity of its inhabitants. The 
rich literature upon this land and people has either not touched 
at all upon many matters which are here thoroughly treated, or 
at least in such a way that the scientific and technical side has 
received scant justice. This circumstance, and various others, 
inclined me, during my stay in Japan, to extend my observations 
and studies to regions that did not come directly within the 
sphere of my undertakings. Still I do not fear that competent 
judges will find, on that account, any want of devotion and 
thoroughness in the sections on Japanese art-industry. 

It is very true, however, that with the wide range which I 
allowed myself, very considerable difficulties arose, especially when 
it came to working up and completing in Europe the impressions 
and results obtained in Japan. That this is so, and how it is so, 
will best be seen in the separate chapters themselves. 

In what has been said I have already indicated the chief reason 
why this work is so late in appearing. It is now more than five 
years since the publication of the first volume, and two and a half 
years since its English edition, although since my return from 
Japan I have dedicated to the task the greater part of the time and 
strength left me by the duties of my profession. 

With the satisfaction of having tilled for the first time a field 
that was yet for the most part uncultivated, I unite the less agree- 
able consciousness that all I can offer is only patchwork, notwith- 
standing all my care and labour. From the fulness and uncommon 
importance of the material, it was not possible to treat all subjects 


at equal length. It cannot but be that the reader, according to 
his standpoint and interest, will find one too briefly handled, and 
another perhaps too fully discussed. The numerous Japanese 
names, which may be valueless to many in Europe, or even in 
their way, will be a welcome means of guidance to foreigners 
and natives in Japan. 

In the introductory chapter on Japanese art-industry I have 
merely touched upon painting and the history of its development. 
I was aware that my judgment and my knowledge in this depart- 
ment were far inferior to those of a scholar who had devoted six 
years in Japan itself, and much more time since his return to Eng- 
land, to this subject and the preparation of a work upon it. The 
results of his studies are now appearing in a sumptuous volume 
under the title, "The Pictorial Arts of Japan," by William Anderson 
(Sampson Low & Co., London). This book not only fills the 
gap left by me, but offers to every friend of art the first thorough 
instruction in the character and development of Japanese painting. 

It remains for me to express my thanks to several friends for 
their kind assistance. Professor Dr. Justi, of Marburg, furnished, 
after originals, the excellent pen-and-ink drawings for the wood- 
cuts figs. I (12), 13, 16, 17, 18, and 19. To my talented scholar 
Herr C. Schultehs I owe the drawings for figs. 8, 9, 10, ii, and 
14, and for tables L, II., III., IV., and XV. Herr C. Reinhertz, 
another of my earnest scholars, drew the review-chart for mining- 
industry, after a large hand-chart which Engineer Kurimoto, of 
the " Upper Mining Office " in Tokio, had kindly sent me. I am 
indebted to the latter for various other points as well, and also 
to Dr. S. Nagai, who aided me by reading the proofs for errors 
in Japanese. 

All the illustrations are original, and I acknowledge gratefully 
the fact that the publisher has spared neither trouble nor expense 
to worthily adorn the book. 




Introduction i 


1. Japanese Agriculture in General 3 

Possession and Taxation, 5. Area and Division of Cultivated 
Lands, 18. Climate and Soil, 12. E (Torts of the Government 
to elevate Agriculture, 18. The Kaitakushi, or Colonial Office, 
18. Fertilization and Preparation of the Soil, 23. Terrace 
Culture, 23. Planting in Rows, 23. 

2. Food Plants 37 

{a) Grain, Stalk-plants or Cereals, Japanese Koku-motsu, 37. {b) 
Pulse, or Leguminous Plants, 55. {c) Starch-producing Bulbs, 
63. {d) Vegetables and Condiments, 69. {e) Fruits, Berries, 
and Nuts, 82. {J) Articles of Food and Luxury as Chemical 
Products of the Raw Materials mentioned under 2 {a)-{e), 94. 
Supplementary — {a) Chemical Composition of Sake, Mirin, 
and Shochu, according to Analyses by Atkinson, 102. {b) Sta- 
tistical Information in regard to these AlcohoHc Drinks, 103. 

3. Plants of Commerce no 

{a) Non- Alcoholic Stimulants : Tea and Tobacco, no. {b) Drugs, 
134. {c) Oil Plants and their Products, 150. (^j Textile Plants, 
165. {e) Dye Plants and Tannic Acids, and their Application, 

4. Cattle- Raising and Silk-Growing 183 

(The Breeding and Importance of the Yama Mayu, or Oak-spinner 
— Antheria (Bombyx) Yama-Mai Guer. Menev. in Japan, 205. 

5. Forestry ... 211 

Relation of Japanese Forests (Hayashi) to Cultivation in general 
and to Waste Land, 211. Distinction between Cultivated and 
Natural or Mountain Forests, 213. Character, Extent and 
Value of Both, 214. Influence upon Climate, 222. 

6. The Nature and Use of the more Important Forest Trees 

and other useful Japanese Woods 224 

Fam. Gramineae, Group Bambusaceas, 227. Palmese, 231. Coniferae, 
231. Salicine^, 239. Betulaceas, 239. Juglandaceas, 239. 
Corylaceae, 240. Cupuliferae, 240. Moreae, 242. Ulmaceae, 
242. Buxaceae, 244. Lauraceae, 244 Scrophularineas, 245. 
Bignoniaceas, 246. Oleaceae, 246. Styracace^, 246. Eben- 




aceae, 247. Ericacese, 247. Caprifoliaceae, 247. Corneae, 247. 
Araliaceae, 248. Lythrariere, 248. Hamamelideae, 249. Ro- 
sacece, 249. Leguminosai, 250. Anacardiace«,25i. Acerineae, 
251. Sapindacex, 252. Rhamnese, 252. Celastrineae, 253. 
Ilicinciv, 253. Meliacece, 253. Simarubeae, 254. Rutaceas, 
254. Tiliaceae, 255. Sterculiacea?, 256. Ternstroemiaceae, 
256. Magnoliacea?, 258. 

7. Gardening 261 

Size, Enclosure, and Character of the Japanese Garden, 261. 
Limited Expedients and Peculiarities of Gardening, 263. 
Dwarfing and Deforming, 265. Improvement of Species, 265. 
Variegation, 266. The Japanese Love of Nature and Flowers, 

267. Flowering Season and other Characteristics of the Flora, 

268. Shade Trees, 273. 

8. Acclimatization and Extension of Japanese Ornamental 

AND Useful Plants in Europe 274 


Incorrect Representations of the Mineral Wealth of Japan, 291. 
Old Method of Mining, and New Attempts to Elevate it, 292. 
Tabular View of the Productions according to Number, Value, 
and most Important Mines, 297. Further Particulars concern- 
ing the latter, and the Single Products, 302. Salt and Alum 
Production, 310. Products of Clay-pits and Stone-quarries, 


1. Japanese Art Industry in General 317 

Revival of European Art Industry. Growing Interest in the Pro- 
ductions of the Chinese and Japanese, 312. China the Master 
and Model of Japan, 319. Characteristic Features of Japanese 
Art-handicraft and its Products, 319. The Period of Highest 
Development and the means of its Advancement, 326. Its 
Influence upon that of the Christian Countries of the West, 329. 

2. Wood Industry 334 

Furniture making. Inlaid Work, 335. Peculiarities of Turnery in 
the Hakone Mountains and Nikko, 335. Comb-cutting. Straw 
Mosaics, 337. 

3. Lacquer Work 338 

Prefatory Observations, 338. Manner of Obtaining the Japanese 
Lacquer ; its Properties, 342. The Urushi-kabure or Lacquer 
Poisoning, 349. Preparation of Raw Lac for the Lacquerer, 
350. Prices of the Material, 351. Other Materials and Uten- 
sils needed in the Work, 353. Laying on of the Groundwork 
and Simple Lacquer Ornamentation, 357. Simple Lacquer 
Wares of One Colour, 360. Coloured Lacquer Wares, with 
Marbled Surface, 361. Coloured Lacquer obtained by Dust- 
ing with Glistening Powder, 364. The Work of the Lacquer 
Painter or Makiye-shi, 366. Plain and Relief Gold-lacquer 
Decorations, 367. Lacquer Carving, 371. Historical Items 
concerning Lacquer Work, 373. 


4. Textile Industry 378 

Hemp, Linen and Muslin, 378. Banana Fabrics, 378. Cotton 
Industry, 378. Principal Works, Places and Chief Notable 
Products of Silk Weaving, 379. Auxiliaries thereto, 383. 
Habutai, Crape ; Kanoko, Brocade, 383. Use of Gold and 
Silver Paper in Brocade, 386. Velvet Weaving. Embroidery, 

5. Paper Industry 389 

General Properties of Japanese Paper, 390. Materials for its Manu- 
facture, and how obtained, 393. Making and Employment of 
the Principal Kinds of Japanese Bast-Paper, 399. Couched 
Board : Ita-me-gami and Hari-nuki, 407. Paper hangings. 
Chirimen-gami, or Crape Paper, 408. Leather Paper, or Kami- 
kawa, 411. Shi-fu, or Paper Fabric, 412. Oil Paper, Water- 
proof Cloaks, Screens, Lanterns and Fans, 4.14. ; Appendix: 
Sumi-ire, the Japanese Writing Box and its contents : Brush, 
Indian Ink, and Ink Dish, 416. * 

6. Wood, Ivory and Bone Carving. Tortoise-shell, Horn and 

Mother-of-Pearl Work. Polishing of Stones . . . 419 

7. Metal Industry 426 

Prefatory Remarks, 426. The Working up of Iron into Swords, 
Armour, and Objects of Art, 430. Embossing of Cast Iron, 
434. The Use of Copper, 436. The most Important Alloys of 
Copper, 439. Japanese Bronze, 440. Patina, 441. The Use 
of Bronze in the Household and the Buddhist Religion, 443. 
Magic Mirrors, 447. Gold and Silver in Japanese Industrial 
Art, 449. Bronze Analysis, 449. 

8. Ceramics 452 

Prefatory Remarks, 452. Classification of Clay-wares with 
special regard to the Japanese, 453. Historical Survey. — 
Beginnings and Accomplishments of the Industry of Japan 
till the Introduction of the Potter's Wheel, 456. Progress, 457. 
Influence of Cha-no-yu, 458. The Invention and Manufacture 
of Porcelain in China, 460. Introduction of the Manufacture 
into Japan, 461. Its Centres also of the Stone-ware Industry : 
Arita, 469 ; Amakusa, 473^; Nayeshirogawa, Kagoshima, 474 ; 
Kioto, 476; Seto, 478; Ota, 480; Hongo, 481; Kaga, 481, 
Stone-ware : Banko-yaki and Imbe-yaki, 483. 

9. Enamel Industry 488 

The Nature and Varieties of Enamel, 488. Historical Glance at 
the Development of the Industry in different Countries, 490. 
Character of the Chinese and Japanese Cloisonne, 493. Method 
of Cellular Lacquer-work Manufacture in Japan on Copper, 
Porcelain, and Stone-ware, 493. Free Enamel, 497. Com- 
position and Preparation of Japanese Vitreous Colours, 498. 


1. Money, Measures and Weights 503 

{a) Money, Kane or Kinsu ; Paper Money, Kinsatsu ; Bank Notes, 
Satsu or Gin-ko-satsu, 503. {b) Measures and Weights, 507. 

2. Other Currency s*^^ 



3. The Foreign Trade of Japan since the Opening of the 

Country by Commodore Perry in 1854 514 

{a) From the Discovery of the Country by Mendez Pinto, 1542, to 

the year 1639, 514. {b) The Period of the Trade of the Dutch 

and Chinese in Nagasaki, from 1641-1854. 

4. Japan in Intercourse with the World 528 

Treaty of Kanagavva, 529. Trade of Yokohama, 530. Kobe- 
Osaka, 530. Articles of Export, 533. 


I. Value of the Exports and Imports of Japan from 1866-1885 at 

the Separate Treaty Ports 542, 543 

II. The Foreign Trade of Japan during the past Five Years . . 542, 543 

III. {A) Summary of the most Important Articles of Export since 

^ 1868 544, 545 

{B) Totals, Average Value and Percentages of Exports from 

1871-1885 544,545 

IV. Chief Articles of Export and their Valueduring years 1881-1885 546 

V. Summary of Exports for 1885 according to Goods, Countries, 

and Value in Yen 547 

VI. Comparative Table of the Import and Export of Gold and 

Silver in Coin and Bars ; . 548 

VII. Summary of the most Important Articles of Import since 1868 

and their Value in Yen 548 

VIII. Imports of the most Important Goods according to Countries 

and Value in Yen during the year 1885 .... 549 

English and Latin Index 551 

Japanese Index 561 



I. Tea-plant, Camellia theifera in 

II. Silkworms on Quercus serrata 209 

III. Tools used in the Lacquer Industry 356 

IV. „ „ „ 357 

V. Lacquer-pattern, a. Tsugaru-nuri, b, Wakasa-nuri . . . 362 

VI. „ „ a. Kin-ji, b. Nashi-ji, c. Moku-me . . . 364 

VII. „ „ Autumnal Landscape by Moonlight . . . 372 

VIII. Brocade Pattern from Kioto 386 

IX. Embroidery Pattern 388 

X. Broussonetia Papyritera, Vent. From a Japanese wood-cut . 394 
XI. „ „ Japanese wood-cut printed in 

Japan on bast-paper made from the same .... 396 
XII. Edgeworthia Papyrifera, S. and Z. Japanese wood-cut printed 

in Japan on bast-paper made from the same . . . 396 
XIII. Wickstroemia Canescens, Meisn. Japanese wood-cut printed in 

Japan on bast-paper made from the same .... 396 

XIV. Japanese Leather-paper 410 

XV. Apparatus for Casting Metal, a. Box-bellows, b. Cross-section 

of a Smelting-furnace, c. d. Gauges, e. Mould . . . 428 
XVI. Eagle made of wrought-iron by Miyochin Muneljaru. (Original 

in the Kensington Museum) 433 

XVII. Inlaid Vase of cast-iron. (Original in the Royal Museum of 

Art-industry in Berlin) 436 

XVI 1 1. Bronze Vase from Kioto 444 

XIX. Ancient Vase of Arita Porcelain 469 

XX. a. Box made of old Arita Porcelain, b. Bowl made of old Satsuma 

Stoneware 472 

XXI. Satsuma Stoneware Urn. (Original in the Royal Museum of 

Art-industry in Berlin) 474 

XXII. Sake-flask of Kaga Porcelain 474 

XXIII. Banko-yaki from Yokkaichi 474 

XXIV. Copper Mug with Enamel Cloisonne and Painting . . . 496 



Kiseru — the Japanese Pipe 

The Ginseng Plant in various stages 

Root of the Ginseng Plant 

Apparatus for producing Camphor, in Tosa, Japan 

Oil Press 

Female and Male of the Silk-spinners (Antherea 


Cover of a Box ornamented with Tsui-shiu . 
Apparatus for the preparation of Crape Paper 
Cast-iron Kettle, with Inlaid work. 

1 6. Copper Box, with Inlaid work .... 

17. Cover of Box, with Inlaid work and Chasing 

18. Shiro-kane Medallion 

19. Tea-pot of grey-brown Stoneware, from Kuwana, in Ise 

20. Muffle for burning in of Enamel Colours . . 



10, II. 





• 133 

1 37-141 






I. Map showing Distribution of Tea and Silk Culture. 
II' 5, „ Tallow and Lacquer Trees. 

III. „ Mining Districts. 



For three decades, Japan, more than any other Asiatic country, has 
been attracting, to an ever-increasing extent, the attention and the 
most widely varied interest of the Western world. Numberless 
newspaper articles, treatises, and books, as different in contents 
and value, as in the preparation, fitness, and inclination of their 
authors, bear witness to this fact. Merchants, artists, and scholars 
feel attracted in the highest degree by the fair Island-kingdom 
Nippon, the " Land of the Rising Sun," in the eastern part of the Old 
World, and by the civilization of its inhabitants and their many 
interesting productions, both natural and artificial. But even 
more effective in winning and keeping such sympathies, since the 
notable occurrences to which the Perry expedition, in 1854, gave 
the first impulse, has been and is the relation of the government 
and people of Japan to the advances of Christian civilization. 
In order to become acquainted with the results of this civilization, 
and to turn them to account, the Japanese Government invited into 
the country, from the greatest and foremost lands of Christian cul- 
ture, educated men as teachers and organizers ; while, on the other 
hand, it sent forth ambitious and talented young men into the 
West, to complete their education for the good of their fatherland. 

Ofiftcials in high positions, moreover, have repeatedly appeared 
among us, with the same intent, and have made it their business 
to master our principal systems of administration, popular edu- 
cation, and industrial activity. And we have further proofs of the 
talent and zeal of this surprisingly progressive nation, when we 
read how here a Japanese won with honour a university degree, 
and how there another succeeded in chaining the attention of our 
German savants by a scientific discourse; how Japan has distin- 
guished herself by noteworthy contributions to the different 
national exhibitions of modern times, while opening at home her 
first railway, in the planning and building of which no foreign 
engineer participated. But Government and people have won a 
still greater victory in matters of religion. They have at last 
exchanged their old prejudices and hatreds, and the severe ban 
against Christianity, for full religious liberty, which cannot fail 
to exert a favourable influence upon the spread of Christian 

With the restoration of the Mikado to power in 1868, the whole 
feudal system went to pieces. The Daimios, partly of their own 
accord, and partly because compelled by the new Government, 

II. ^ B 


deserted their strongholds, many of which, in this transition period, 
fell a prey to destruction, so that their ruins, like many with us, 
stand gazing out upon the world, the speechless memorials of 
a differently constituted age. A similar fate threatens the Bud- 
dhist temples and cloisters. For with the reorganized adminis- 
tration there entered a new spirit, a breath of that Christian 
civilization, whose results have already been briefly hinted at. 
The religious freedom recently proclaimed is one more natural 
stride in this direction in which that Asiatic land and people, 
farthest from us in space, have drawn nearer to us in spirit than any 
other has ever been. In view of all these phenomena, Schiller's 
words are here appropriate : — 

" Das Alte stiirzt, es andert sich die Zeit, 
Und neues Leben bliiht aus den Ruinen." 

Old Japan found its ideal in China, in Chinese contributions to 
political, industrial, and intellectual affairs ; new Japan seeks its 
ideal in the Christian countries of the West. It has been shown, 
or at least indicated, in the first volume of this work,^ that the 
Japanese are a peculiar branch of the great Mongolian family, in 
physical appearance, language, and characteristic traits of mind ; 
and that they belonged to the Chinese system of civilization, and 
received the impulses to all their social, agricultural, and industrial 
development from China, principally by way of Corea. 

The introduction of Buddhism and of Chinese philosophy, par- 
ticularly the teachings of Confucius, were therein also considered, 
as mediums of this peculiar civilization. While this philosophy 
fostered caste-spirit, feudalism, and ancestor-worship, Buddhism 
especially influenced the industrial population, exerted a softening 
effect upon manners, and trained up peaceable, quiet labourers in 
field and workshop. The noteworthy performances of the Japanese 
in these two departments of labour, and the increasing influence of 
their productions upon our own affairs, will be fully brought to 
view in the following chapters. For the history and ethnography 
of the Japanese people, as well as for the natural history of the 
land, and its geographical relations, the reader is again referred 
to the first volume of this work, which, at the time of its publi- 
cation, I designated as a preliminary study towards the better 
understanding of the various phenomena of industrial life. 

* Title of Vol. i., as published in English : " Rein's Japan : Travels and 
Researches." London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1884. 



' Nihil est agricultura melius, nihil uberius, nihil dulcius, nihil homine libero 
dignius." — Cic. de Off., lib. I. 


I. Japanese Agriculture in General. 

Possession and Taxation. — Area and Division of Ctdtivated Lands. 
— Climate and Soil. — Efforts of the Government to elevate 
Agriculture. — TJie Kaitakushi^ or Colonial- office. — Fertilization 
and Preparation of the Soil. — Terrace-culture. — Planting in 

In contrast with the nomadic races of Central Asia, the inhabit- 
ants of the monsoon region have for thousands of years been tied 
to the soil. They are intensely devoted to agriculture, especially in 
China and Japan. Little opportunity is left in these countries for 
cattle-raising ; and since meadows and pastures are wanting, milk, 
butter, and cheese — the principal food of the nomadic Mongolian 
peoples — were unknown to the Chinese and Japanese. Eggs, and 
the products of fishing and the chase, play a far more important 
role than the flesh of domestic animals, which is not eaten by many 
millions. Since sheep were but seldom found in China, and not at all 
in Corea or Japan, wool was formerly of small consideration in the 
matter of clothing. Hemp and cotton goods, and silk among the 
rich, especially in the winter, are the stuffs with which the popu- 
lation is clothed. 

In the countries of Chinese civilization, the dwelling is a more or 
less solid house, built of wood or bamboo-cane, and roofed with 
straw, shingles, or tiles. It is airy and pleasant in summer, but 
less comfortable in winter, when the occupants exercise their skill 
in protecting themselves against cold by the increased quantity and 
better selection of their clothing, rather than by solid walls and 
suitable heating apparatus. In internal arrangement, the dwellings 
of the Chinese, Japanese, and Coreans differ very considerably 
from one another. Common to them all, however, is the use of 
bark-paper for window-panes. From the reports of travellers in 
Central Asia, it appears that there too, as in the monsoon region, 
glass panes are not used, but that the paper pane over the window 



frame or swinging door has penetrated even into Zungaria, without 
having been adopted by other peoples. 

As Tpkugawa lyeyasu, the founder of the last Shogun dynasty, 
emphasizes in the twelfth of his "Eighteen Laws," the introduction 
of agriculture into Japan is to be ascribed to the sun-goddess 
Tenshd Daijin (Amaterasu). She was, to the old Japanese, Janus 
and Ceres in one. Her temple at Yamada, in Ise, was the great 
national sanctuary, which had to be cared for according to law, and 
built anew every twenty-one years out of consecrated Hinoki-wood 
{Chaincccyparis obtusa, S. and Z.), " in order that the land might 
have peace, and the Gokoku thrive." By Gokoku (five chief cereals) 
were meant rice, barley and wheat, Italian millet, other kinds 
of millet, and beans — in fact, the principal Kokiirui, that is, cereals 
and pulse. The term Go-koku, however, did not mean the same 
in all ages. Thus we find in Kaempfer, *' Amoen. exot." p. 834, 
Kome [Oryza], 0-mugi {Hordeiini), Ko-mugi {Triticum)^ Daidsu 
[Doiichos soja, L.) and Adzuki {P/iaseohis radiatics, L.) mentioned 
as Gokoku. Later, the idea was extended farther, and included 
all important food-plants belonging to the group of cereals and 

In this high estimate of the Go-koku they imitated the Chinese, 
as, in general, Chinese agriculture has been the starting-point and 
prototype of the Japanese.^ 

The Emperor Shinnung had introduced and spread the practice 
of agriculture in China, about the year 2700 B.C. For this he was 
deified after death, and a temple was dedicated to him in Peking. 
In the park-like surroundings of this temple, the emperor of China 
since then, at the time of the spring equinox, annually ploughs a 
piece of land and sows it with go-koku. 

The Mikado, it is true, was under no such obh'gation at the 
sanctuary of the mother of his race, in Ise ; but agriculture was 
none the less regarded in his realm on that account. The Japanese 
appreciates the fact that it is the first and best foundation of the 
prosperity of the population and of the State, being the most ne- 
cessary and the only sound basis ; and he expresses this idea in the 
saying, "No wa kuni no moto," "Agriculture is the prop of the 
country." According to the latest census of January i, 1883, it 
employed 18,160,213 persons, or about the half of a total popula- 
tion of 37,017,302. And these, moreover, are merely the Hiya- 
kusho, or actual peasants, to whom are to be added from the group 
of former Samurai, a portion, estimated at many thousands, who 
have, in recent times, likewise turned their attention to agriculture. 
Agriculture pays to the State 58 per cent, of its income ; or, with 
the addition of the agricultural industries, as Sake- manufacture, 
etc., and the tax upon them, as much as 80 per cent.^ 

1 See Bretschneider : " On the Study and Value of Chinese Botanical 
Works ;" and Williams : "The Middle Kingdom," i. 78. 
' At the close of the fiscal year which ended June 30, 1884, the total revenue 


Among the three classes of the Japanese people (Heimin), the 
farmer (Hiyakusho) stood higher in rank than the artisan (Sho- ; u 
kunin) and merchant (Ahindo). Among the Samurai the occu- " / V 
pations of the last two were deemed less honourable, but they did 
not find it beneath their dignity to till the field like common 
peasants. They made use of this social freedom, however, only in 
a few districts, as Satsuma and Tosa, that is, in just those regions 
which were celebrated for producing the bravest and most in- 
telligent warriors. Maron, in his report on Japanese agriculture,^ a 
work that is still worth reading, remarks that, owing to the long 
isolation of the land, the Government and the nation at large had 
to yield to the consciousness that bodily existence depended under 
all circumstances upon the productions of their own lands, and that 
nothing could make up a possible deficit in the harvest. From 
this we might argue to an improvement in agriculture at the be- ^ 
ginning of the Tokugawa rule ; which in fact is well known from 
the history of lyeyasu, especially in reference to the plain of 

The development of foreign commerce was in those days com- 
pletely crippled ; and the main working power of the nation was 
all the more turned to agriculture and kept in that channel. The 
long period of peace, however, which began with the year 1600 pro- 
bably had a more far-reaching effect than this fact in determining 
the character of Japanese agriculture ; for, although it had already 
attained a vigorous growth after the Chinese pattern, it had later 
retrogressed very considerably on account of the continual civil 

According to the old Japanese view, which is based on the 
tradition and representation of his heavenly descent, and the crea- 
tion of the Japanese islands by his divine ancestors, Isanagi and 
Isanami, the Mikado was and is the lord of the whole country, 
and the only landed proprietor in it. But in reality, the extended 
mountain forests, as well as all waste and barren land, belonged in 
later times principally to the feudal lords, and is now the property 
of the State, while the cultivated soil was owned by the peasant, 
as hereditary lessee. He was, and is still, what we should call a 
small farmer, who could inherit his property, let it out to others, 
increase it by purchase, or transfer it to other hands by sale ; but, 
in any case, he had to see to it that it remained under the traditional 
system of cultivation and that the taxes reckoned upon that basis 
were, at the right time, made over to the prescribed authority. By 
this the right of possession and disposition was, so far, restricted. 
The taxes upon cultivated soil were in general high, and had 
to be paid in kind. Apart from this, however, the Japanese 

of Japan was 73,943,258 yen. The ground tax paid 43,029,745 of this, and the 
tax on Sake and similar articles of luxury, 16,768,135 yen (i yen = 4*3 shillings, 

^ See Salviati : "Annalen der Landvvirthschaft," vol. xxxix., pp. 35-72. 


peasant occupied a much freer position than many of his class 
in Europe durinpj the Middle Ages, who were far more rigorously 
oppressed, as Thunberg^ emphasizes, with villainage and other 

From what has been said, we must infer a great difference in the 
extent of peasant proprietorship. But larger, and according to our 
conception, better rounded estates, the so-called latifundia, are now 
altogether wanting. There are no large landed proprietors in 
Japan, either peasants or nobles. In the most ancient times, as 
long as the Mikado was still the actual autocrat of land and war, 
and the various classes of society had not yet been rigidly and by 
birth separated from one another, the taxation of the peasants was 
h'ght, for Japanese conditions. Every eight families had to farm 
for the Mikado a ninth part of the arable land apportioned to, and 
divided equally among, them, and deliver to the officials its raw 
products. But as dualism in government and the feudal system 
under the Shogunat developed, the number of the unproductive 
classes of the Samurai, in the widest sense, increased, and with it 
the amount of taxation upon the peasants, which, particularly in 
time of war, reached, through arbitrary regulations, a weight that 
was often crushing. In place of the original feudal relation to the 
Mikado, sprang up that to the feudal lords. Through all the 
changes of mastership, the peasants remained bound to the soil, 
and they are, to this hour, in every respect the most conservative 
class in Japan. The chief support and power of the country rests 
in the hands of this industrious, sober, and frugal population, 
which still cultivates the soil in original simplicity, as it has been 
accustomed for centuries to do under all kinds of rulers. 

About the year 1595 A.D. Taiko-sama (Hideyoshi) reorganized 
their system of taxation, decreeing that the contribution of raw 
products should henceforth consist of a third part of the assessed 
produce of the fields, and should be paid in rice. lyeyasu made 
no alteration in this arrangement with reference to his great pos- 
sessions, but only declared, in the thirty-sixth of his Hundred Laws, 
that the produce of forests, groves, mountains, and rivers should 
also be taken into the reckoning.^ 

Thus matters stood until 17 16, when the taxation of the lands 
of the Shogun was increased to one-half of the assessed produce. 
In the estates of the Daimios, the revenues were by no means 
everywhere the same. While the peasants under one of these 
feudal lords were almost crushed by the high land-tax and lived 
in extreme poverty, the mild, provident rulership of a neighbour 
was indicated by greater prosperity, by the building of roads and 
bridges, and many other improvements. But the peasant went 
about his work in the old-fashioned way, and despite this great 

' In Akerbruket : "Resa," iv. pp. 76-92. 

2 Kempermann : « Die Gesetze des Izeyasu," in « Mitth. der deutschen Gesell- 
schaft," etc., 1. p. 12. 


difference in the burdens of landed property among the various 
estates, Hved quietly and in a docile manner, even when the harvest 
was short and he had to surrender almost the whole crop, so that 
he and his family were afterwards dependent upon the master's 
good-will and store-house. 

The arable land was divided into four classes, of which the rice- 
fields composed the first and most taxable. All returns and 
revenues were reckoned in koku of rice,^ and those of the other 
cereals were reduced to the equivalent in rice. A daimio of 
10,000 koku, accordingly, was a feudal lord whose estate was 
valued at a total of 10,000 koku of rice, even if a considerable part 
of this sum was only an equivalent term for other crops. The 
peasants had to surrender to him after harvest the high fixed per- 
centage (one-third, one-half, or more) ; the rest was their own. 
This rice-tax, however, went into the storehouse, from which not ^ 
only the Daimio and his family, but also the Shogun, the Samurai 
and priests received their allotted shares. Ten thousand koku, 
however, was the revenue of the smallest Daimio estates, whereas, 
the largest, for example, Kaga, with the most extended area (next 
to the Shogun) was estimated at 1,027,000 koku. 

One of the first efforts of the new Government, after the restora- 
tion of the Mikado to power, was to introduce a more just and 
even taxation of landed property, and to substitute money for 
taxes in kind as a medium of payment. This took place in 1872, 
by means of a proclamation, for which its originators anticipated 
great success. But it had the opposite effect upon the peasant 
class— general discontent and passive resistance against the great 
innovation, and in the following two years even excited public 
tumults in certain provinces. These were, however, soon put 
down ; and the great dislike to the changes also came gradually to 
an end among thoughtful people. Nevertheless it is an interesting 
question, What was the cause of such conduct on the part of a 
class usually so obedient and subservient ? The right answer to it 
was given in 1873 by Kido, one of the most prominent and acute 
of the Mikado's supporters and advisers at the time of the restor- 
ation. In a memorandum, in which he criticises sharply the revo- 
lution of all things by new laws and ordinances, he writes: ''Another 
evil is, that the laws are repealed without sufficient deliberation. 
That which was yesterday accounted just, is condemned to-day ; 
and even before a new statute comes into operation, another follows 
and partly supersedes it. It must naturally be hard for the people 
to reconcile all this." A number of regulations, some of them 
ridiculous in the extreme, had been, in single ken, added to the 
new and energetic laws, like the revenue reform and the new re- 
cruiting act (which made all classes of society liable to military 
service, hitherto the duty and privilege of the Samurai), and men's 

^ A koku holds 180-4 liters. The value of a koku of rice ranges from 2\ to 
5 dollars. 


heads were completely turned. It is no wonder then that the 
peasants looked upon the new revenue system as only increasing 
their burdens, and accepted it with distrust and ill-will. It was 
nevertheless carried out, and in the following way. 

On the basis of the old division of arable land into rice land (ta) 
and dry-farming land (hata), and of the supposition that the pro- 
duct of a cho of the former should be reckoned equal to that of 
2*6 cho of the latter, the Government, in 1873, taxed not only the 
value of the average harvest-returns, but also the land-value in the 
several ken, and determined then to raise 3 per cent, of this basal 
value as a yearly state tax. The proportion was, on January 4th, 
1877, reduced to 2 J per cent. To this general State tax one must 
now add, however, the district, or ken tax, which varies from \ to 
2\ per cent, of the land value, thus in general corresponding as 
to its objects to our district and communal tax, and to which 
also all institutions (theatres, etc.) and persons that serve for the 
entertainment and pleasure of the public had to contribute. 

Liebscher ^ says with reference to this land-tax, — which, while 
nominally 2\ per cent, is really from 3 to 5 per cent, of the value 
of the land, when the ken tax is counted in, — that it would be in 
other countries too high to collect ; but that the possession of land 
means to the Japanese farmer something quite different from what 
it does to us. " With us, a workman can afford to pay a far higher 
price or rent, than a rich farmer, for a piece of land, which he can 
cultivate in his leisure hours, and for whose manuring and working 
he need be at no care or expense. Thus, too, the soil has a much 
greater worth to the Japanese peasant than is expressed by the 
money value of the crops possible for him to get from it, being 
absolutely necessary for his existence." Nevertheless, the peasant 
insurrections in quite recent times, with their causes, show that the 
present method of taxation has its hard features ; that the tax 
cannot be gathered after bad harvests, and may rouse the people 
to desperation. 

According to those investigations and decrees of the Japanese 
mmistry of finance, in 1873, which had reference only to the old 
O-yashima, the area amounted to : — 

5*celand 2,539,090 cho = 2,5 18, 106 ha.^ 

Dry-farmland 1,732,449 „ =1,718,122 „ 

Total cultivated land . . 4,271,539 ch6 = 4,236,228 ha. 

The average value of rice land was : 

5 3 1-24 yen = 2 1 24-96 marks per cho (or hectare), and that of the hata, 
20672 „ = Zie^Z „ 

The gross product of the average harvest was reckoned at 1177 
per cent, of the selling piece of land = 62-53 yen per cho, for rice 

\ "Japans Landwirthschaftliche Verhaltnisse." Tena, 1882 
2 ha = hectare. 


land, and at ii'29 per cent. = 23*37 yen per cho, for dry-farm land. 
The harvest products of 1177 per cent, and 11*29 P^^ cent, respec- 
tively, of the value of the land were distributed as follows : 

Rice land. Dry-farmland. 

per cent. per cho. per cent. per cho. 

State tax .... 2*5 13*28 ... 2*5 5*17 

Ken tax .... 2*5 13-28 ... 2*5 5*17 

Costs of production 277 1472 ... 2*29 4*75 

Net earnings . . . 4*00 21*25 ••• 4'00 8*28 

11*77 62*53 ii'29 23*37 

On this basis, the ground tax for — 

2,539,090 cho of rice land 

comes to . . 33,719,1 15 yen, and for 
1,732,449 cho of dry-farm 

land comes to 8,956761 yen; and for both together, 
4*271,539 cho of cultivated 

land comes to 42,675,876 yen. 

And 43,029,745 yen was the actual revenue taken in the fiscal 
year which ended June 30, 1884. 

At present the area of Old Japan ^ (Hondo, Kiushiu, Shikoku, 
Awaji, Sado, Oki, Iki, and Tsushima), comprising 18,537 s*^- ^^ 
= 28,356,945 sq. cho, is divided as follows : — 

1. Uncultivated mountain forests and 

desert land 17,302,928 sq. cho. 

2. Cultivated and useful land, in the 

broadest sense 11,054,017 „ 

The latter embraces — 

a. ta, or rice land 2,642,251 sq. cho. 

b. hata, or dry fields 1,852,455 

c. hara in use (for grass, hay, and pasturage) 756,127 „ 

d. yashiki, or building ground 548,541 „ 

e. shio-hama (flat sea-shore for salt evapora- 

tion) 6,364 

f. cultivated forests 5,240,571 „ 

g. artificially made pleasure-grounds . . . 7,7o8 ,, 

11,054,017 sq. cho. 
The group b (hata) embraces also — 
the mulberry plantations for silk culture 1 10,174 sq. cho. 
tea-plantations 42,174 


^ According to information kindly given by the imperial Japanese embassy at 
BerHn, with reference to the levies of 1879, and also of Herr Regierungsratii 


Also the land devoted exclusively to the paper- mulberry, to the 
lacquer-tree and the tallow-tree, and to fruit-raising, all of which 
would come to 60,000 cho ; so that from the above 1,852,455 cho, 
212,000 cho in round numbers are to be subtracted, and there will 
remain for agriculture, under a and b, only about 4,282,000 cho in 
all, or 15 per cent, of the total area. 

If one takes into consideration, moreover, the other island groups, 
it becomes apparent that only the Riukiu islands, with their 156 sq. 
ri = 244,026 square cho, are under advanced cultivation ; while the 
great Yezo with the Kuriles = 6,093 square ri = 9,477,280 square 
cho, has a small amount of agriculture to show. We shall reckon 
it and the Riukiu high enough in taking the total area of the latter 
as cultivated land, and adding this to the above 4,282,000 square 
cho. So then, it turns out that the whole Japanese Empire, with 
24,799 square ri = 38,564,345 square cho, has at the most an area 
of 4,518,500 square cho for the cultivation of field products, that 
is to say, not quite 12 per cent, of the entire surface. And even 
in Old Japan, this small proportion sinks in some provinces, as 
Hida and Inaba, to as little as 5 per cent, and under. 

Of the Kuriles, only the most southerly are arable at all, even 
in streaks and patches ; of Yezo, only the alluvial plains of the 
Ishikari and other rivers in the west and south, not the north and 
east coasts, which are foggy, and cold even in summer. 

In Germany, 41 per cent, of the ground is devoted to agriculture, 
and II per cent, more is meadow-land, for which Japan has no 
equivalent, since the bottoms of the valleys — with us, especially 
among the mountains, used for raising grass — are in Japan put 
under cultivation for rice and similar products. The hara, too, 
cannot, in an economical sense, be compared with our pastures. 

Taking the population of Japan as 37,000,000, and that of the 
German Empire as 47,000,000, the cultivated arable land of the for- 
mer as 4,270,000 ha, and of the latter as 22,181,000 ha (41 per cent, 
of 541,000 square kilometres), we discover that there are in Japan 
11 '5 Are to the head, against 47*2 to the head in Germany. The 
cause of this remarkable fact lies partly in the climate and the 
nature of the soil, partly in the method of farming. 

Vegetation — and consequently agriculture also — depends above 
all upon climate, particularly upon temperature, light, and moisture, 
and is only secondarily conditioned and modified by the nature of the 
soil and other circumstances. Now, the climate of Japan, as was 
minutely explained in the first volume, pp. 120-153,^ is, in a reduced 
scale, the same as that of the neighbouring continent and that of 
the oceanic islands, to a certain extent uniting both. Japan lies 
under the influence of the monsoons and of the sea, which deflects 
them somewhat and weakens their effects. Atmospheric depressions, 

^ In addition to that work, the publications, subsequently issued, of E. Knip- 
ping, of Tokio, the highly deserving director of the meteorological observa-, 
tories in Japan, were made use of 


as a rule, follow the main directions of the islands, from S.W. to N.E. 
In winter they are frequent, and generally of short duration. 
The prevailing directions of storms at this season are from W., S., 
and E. In summer the depressions of the barometer occur more 
seldom, are slighter, and move more slowly from S. to N., or from 
S.E. to N.W. Soft winds are accordingly the rule, and storms 
seldom occur, and then chiefly from the S. and E. In late summer 
and autumn, the number and rapidity of depressions increase 
rapidly, their direction changes to S.W., the normal, and several 
typhoons are developed amid widespread heavy and lasting rains. 

These dreaded whirlwinds set in most frequently in September, 
when the sea-water has reached its highest temperature; and 
this was the case with both of last year's storms, of which the 
first was observed on September 15th, and the others on the 17th 
and iSth.i 

During the first, on September 15th, 1884, which travelled from 
S.W. to N.E. over the south-eastern part of Hondo, the barometer 
sank about 45 mm., down to 705 mm., within Ar\ hours, and rose 
again almost as fast. Apart from these isolated cases, the barometric 
changes in the course of a year are slight. 

In winter the high barometric state of the continent crosses to 
Japan, and brings heavy winds from the N. and .N.W., and a 
clouded sky with great fall of snow on the side next the Japan 
Sea, but a clear sky and little snow on the other, the lee side. 
The transition from the soft, warm, and damp south winds of 
summer to the rough and relatively dry north monsoon winds of 
winter is by no means sharp and immediate. Still less so is the 
reverse process in spring. This vernal and autumnal change in 
the direction of the winds marks the end and beginning respec- 
tively of the two chief divisions of the year, winter and summer. 
When the south monsoon enters upon its sway in spring (in March 
or April, according to the latitude), and Japan proper receives its 
first warm showers, then begins the sowing of summer grain, es- 
pecially of rice ; and when in September, after heavy rainfalls, the 
summer is ended, the harvest of most of the crops begins. A 
relatively high temperature, light winds, great dampness of the air, 
and frequent rains, which alternate, however, once or oftener with 
dry spells a week long, characterize the Japanese summer. 

October, the general harvest-month, is for the most part dry 
and clear. The water of the heavy September rains has gradually 
run off; but above the highest mountain-summits the precipita- 
tions of vapour have already acquired a sharp outline, and the white 
hoods, with many other natural appearances, announce that winter 
is near. Trees and shrubs in gardens, groves, and forests, display 
a large share of their autumn garments — a delightful diversity of 
colours, from the deepest, most brilliant dark green of the ever- 

^ See "Annalen der Hydrographie und Marit. Meteorologie," 1885, pp. 99 ff. 


green varieties through all the shades of dull-green, white, yellow, 
red, and brown of the deciduous sorts. The nights grow colder, 
till, towards the end of the month, the change of season is quickly 
concluded with the first frosts, and winter quiet prevails in wood and 
field. From this time on, most of the trees are bare of leaves, at 
least in Central and Northern Japan, and the turf appears much 
duller and more lifeless than with us. 

As in all Eastern Asia, so in Japan, winter is the dry season, in 
which there prevail mostly a clear sky, high pressure and low tem- 
perature — the last especially at night, and when the monsoon has 
been blowing for several days with unusual force. On such days, in 
January and February, there may appear in Japan, though quite 
exceptionally, those dust-storms which make winter so disagree- 
able in China. The light, porous soil is whirled about, the sun 
loses its lustre and the winter grain in the fields its firm hold. 
And the thermometer sinks during the night to —9° or — 10° Centi- 
grade in Tokio, and approaches the freezing-point even in the day- 
time. Night-frosts occur from November till March ; and the mean 
temperature for this winter of five months is only 5"5° C. This 
shows that the cold is far too great to admit of vegetable growth, 
although never very severe, and that therefore the fruits of the 
field have a long period of rest. The mean temperature from 
April to October is 20° C, and from June to September, the four 
hottest months, 23-5° C. The greatest heat, 34-35° C, comes to- 
wards the end of July or in the beginning of August, but does not 
last long. 

From the sea-level to the mountain-tops the elevation is more 
than 3,000 metres, and the country extends over twenty-seven 
degrees of latitude, so that there is great diversity of climate. 
The Bonin-islands and Riukiu (partly of coral structure) in the 
south approach the tropic of Cancer, while Yezo and the Kuriles 
are related to Siberia, in situation and climate ; and their coasts have 
cold ^o^^y summers and long winters, in consequence of the above- 
mentioned polar current. Thus the meteorological observations 
for 1883 gave a variation in mean temperature between 167° C. 
in Kagoshima (31° 30' N. lat.) and 6-5° C in Sapporo (43° 4 N. 
lat), over a stretch of country as wide as from Lyons to Memel. 
It is apparent from this, and from observations at the intervening 
stations, that the mean annual temperature in Japan falls on the 
average 0-9° C. for every degree of latitude going north — a re- 
latively rapid change. It is considerably lower than on the same 
parallels in the west of Europe. For example, the station Nobiru, 
in latitude 38° on the Pacific, has the same mean annual tempera- 
ture as Cork and Valentia in Ireland, in latitude 52°. The differ- 
ence is ascribable to the long winters of Japan, with their rela- 
tively low temperatures, on account of which the climate of Japan 
approaches that of the continent of Asia. Thus Nagasaki, in 
latitude 32° 44', has the same mean winter temperature as Mont- 


pellier, which lies 11° further north ; and Kagoshima, although in 
the same latitude as Damietta, has frequent night frosts in winter. 

January was the coldest month of 1883 in the greater part of 
Southern Japan (Kiushiu, Shikoku, and the parts of Hondo which 
border on the Inner Sea and the Owari Bay) ; but in the rest of 
Hondo and in Yezo it was February. August proved the hottest 
almost everywhere. The difference between the mean maximum 
and the mean minimum temperatures increases naturally with the 
latitude and with the distance of the station from the coast. It 
amounted in Miyasaki, for example, to 19° C, and in Sapporo to 
28° C. More important, for vegetation at least, are the greatest 
extremes of 36'6° C. in Wakayama and — 22'2°C. in Sapporo. In 
Kochi the difference between the highest and lowest temperature 
amounted to 36° C. ; in Sapporo, 56° C. Variations of 14 or 
15° C. on the same day and in the same place are not unusual 
in spring and autumn. 

With reference also to the amount and distribution of rainfall, 
the greatest differences were indicated. The stations in Yezo ex- 
cepted, Aomori, Nobiru, and those on the Inner Sea recorded the 
least rain-fall (under 1,000 mm.) ; Kanazawa, the highest (2,400 
mm.) ; and then followed Kiushiu and Shikoku. During the 
winter months, the greatest fall is on the north-west and west 
coasts. The largest amount, for Kiushiu and Shikoku, comes in 
April, May, and June, while in March, September, and October 
there is a more equal distribution over the whole country. 

In general, however, Japan is blessed with copious rains, 
especially in summer. These, together with the large amount 
of snow, which in winter lies everywhere upon the mountains, 
and, towards the north, on the plains, supply a number of springs. 
The water supply of the country is therefore copious and is of 
great aid to vegetation, partly directly and partly through irriga- 
tion. Quiet lakes, murmuring brooks, and rushing cascades 
heighten the charm of the landscape in mountains and forests ; 
but there is not room enough for the development of great river 
systems and a thorough utilization for commerce. 

The long extended row of the Japanese islands, with predomin- 
atingly mountainous character and great diversity in relief, is of 
varying geological structure. This subject has, since my departure 
from Japan, been thoroughly investigated, especially by Gottsche, 
Lyman Naumann, and others. The last, particularly, as director of 
the geological survey, in conjunction with T. Wada, the royal mini- 
sterial councillor and director of the Royal Geological Institute, 
has expended much industry and skill in this department.^ 

In the order of age, there follow upon the original gneiss, — 
which, however, has been found outcropping only in a few spots, — 
widespread and often extensive deposits of crystalline shales. Great 

^ See E. Naumann : " Ueber den Bau und die Entstehung der Japanischen 
Inseln." Berlin, 1885. 


masses of mica-,talc-, chlorite-schist, serpentine, and marble,~whose 
presence on both sides of the Bungo Nada I was the first to prove, 
and which can be followed through all Shikoku and the peninsula 
of Yamato,— have been since then found in all parts of the country ; 
but this formation appears to be most extensively developed in 
Shikoku, where, according to Naumann, it composes the highest 

Then follow, according to age, different strata of clay-shale, 
greywacke, quartzite and lime-stone, all of which, like the crys- 
talline shales, often exhibit marked faults — and until now, with 
the exception of the varieties of lime, have yielded no fossil 
contents, and therefore A> data for a nearer determination of their 
age ; so that they must for the present be grouped together as 
palaeozoic strata. The lime-formations exhibit in various localities 
rich enclosures of Fusulines and other characteristic petrifications, 
which establish beyond a doubt that they belong to the carbon- 
iferous formation/^ 

In 1874, through the discovery of petrifactions in the brown 
Jurassic formation of the province Kaga, I furnished the first 
proofs regarding the existence of mesozoic strata, an indication 
which has been followed by countless others, so that now there is 
no doubt as to the appearance also of trias and chalk. 

Miocene and pliocene conglomerates, sandstone, slate clays, 
peat, volcanic tufas, and sea-sand, with many fragments of marine 
shells or a rich land-flora, lie in many places among the older 
mountain ridges already mentioned, and especially in proximity 
to the sea, along the coasts and inlets, or in the plains which long 
ago arose from the ocean itself. Of eocene formations, however, 
as well as of the diluvian, there has not yet been any certain in- 

The oldest eruptions, — which have in many places broken through 
the metamorphic and palseontological strata, and overlie them, 
— were of granite, which is very widespread. For example, in 
central Hondo (or Honshiu), it forms a large part of the higher 
mountains ; the border range between Shinano and Hida, parti- 
cularly, being a case in point. In the Komagatake of Kai, the 
granite reaches a height of 3,000 metres. A great number of 
other mountains of respectable height are also composed of it, 
and it underlies many others. 

Later volcanic formations with almost greater frequency break 
through most varied complexes of strata, and in many cases over- 
lie them, as they do the granite. Thus they 'often compose the 
tops of peaks, or they appear along the mountain side as isolated 
advanced outposts, in the usual conical shape. Among these the 
most prominent is Fuji-san, or Fuji-no-yama. This *'mons ex- 
celsus et singularis" (Kaempfer) lifts its head (3,750 meters) far 

* See the first volume of this work, p. 38, and Naumann, pp. 12 ff. 


above all other peaks of the land, covered with snow for ten 
months of the year, and a weather-sign and prognostic for farmers 
and sailors. It is the most popular mountain in Japan, and the 
one most visited by pilgrims. It is found reproduced on many 
works of decorative art. 

Hot springs, especially neutral, and sulphur springs, are 
numerous ; and no province is wanting in them. Earthquakes 
and their accompanying floods, as well as mighty eruptions, 
with their showers of ashes and streams of lava, have from 
time to time thrown the country into terror and partly devas- 
tated it. 

The predominatingly mountainous character of Japan and the 
peculiar method of farming, with rice as the chief staple, confine 
agriculture more or less to the plains and the valley bottoms ; and 
this fact accounts for the low percentage of cultivated land. A 
larger part of the soil is indisputably fit for cultivation, so in Yezo 
and the north of Hondo and particularly of the Hara, and in many 
of the glades among the mountain forests ; but this amount is 
not as great as is often maintained. To bring this land under 
cultivation, however, an altogether different method must be 
employed, and must go hand-in-hand with the establishment of 
better means of communication, with the development of cattle- 
raising, — bringing about, as the latter would, a proper system 
of manuring, — and with the introduction of a more comprehen- 
sive method of management, involving more appropriate ap- 
pliances and machines, not to mention rotation of crops and 
many other improvements. All this would completely transform 
the domestic and business habits of the peasants, and for this 
reason alone cannot take place in a day, but must come about 
gradually and without arbitrary interference from the organs of 

Dr. Fesca proves convincingly, from several examples, that of 
the three deciding factors upon which agriculture depends, — " the 
general agricultural conditions, the soil, and climate," — the first is 
more influential than the second, and has indisputably hindered 
very much the development of Japanese agriculture. *'The cost 
of transporting rice, which is the highest priced product, — fifty 
kilogrammes being worth about five marks, — amounts to the market 
price of the rice itself by the time it has been carried only twenty 
geographical miles, on the best highways, while in Germany, 
according to Settegast, wheat and other grain, at only twice that 
market price, say ten marks per fifty kilo., can be transported on 
ordinary roads 66-6j miles, on turnpikes lOO miles, and by rail 
400 miles, before the cost of carriage reaches the market price. 
And on the poorer roads of Japan, rice does not bear a transport- 
ation of five miles. We find accordingly, that at some distance 
from the coast, even good soil has not been brought under cultiva- 
tion, where the margin of profit is too narrow for it, while near 

II. C 


the coast, even sandy dunes, certainly very poor soil, are success- 
fully cultivated." ^ 

The onward progress of agriculture was greatly obstructed, not 
only by insufficient means of internal communication, but also by 
the country's isolation from the rest of the world, during the long 
reign of the Tokugawa-Shoguns. There was no market for the 
surplus, and consequently no strong stimulus towards any con- 
siderable increase in production. Production was thus kept within 
the narrow bounds of the normal domestic demand. 

The endeavour of the farmer must everywhere be to make the 
best use of the &o\\ at his disposal, and consequently to increase the 
products derivable from it. And it is, no doubt, one of the first 
duties of the State to assist agriculture as much as possible in this 
endeavour, even to stimulate it ; for there is a certain vis inertice in 
the conservative character of agriculture and a population devoted 
to it, which is all too well disposed to keep everything in its old 
groove and to meet all innovations with distrust and opposition. 

From this point of view, the Japanese Government deserves full 
recognition for its efforts to promote agriculture. Neither can one 
withhold approval if in all this it did not disturb the organization 
of the industry as the peasants have been used to carry it on for 
many centuries, but turned its attention instead to regions, which 
had not been heretofore subject to this time-honoured method of 
farming — the island of Yezo,^ for instance, and the vast expanses of 
the neglected forest and mountain meadows, or Haras. Cattle- 
raising, first of all, and also agriculture, were recommended and 
tried, but both in a different way from that formerly pursued. 

A glance at the measures employed to attain these ends enables 
us to recognise the work of incompetent advisers, and a childish 
changeableness in the selection of means — a jumping about from 
one attempt to another. There was no well-considered plan laid 
down in the beginning, and no steady, business-like carrying out of 
any plan whatever. Naturally, therefore, the long history of these 
attempts shows an irresponsible waste of money on the one side, 
and for the most part a miserable result on the other. 

This is particularly true of the K aitahishi (ipronounctd kaitakshi, 
that is " development "), the Colonial-office, for the development of 
the resources of the island of Yezo, an institution established in 
1869, which came to an inglorious end a few years ago. At its 
head was placed Governor Kuroda, with the rank of a minister. 
Having heard of the rapid development in agriculture and mining 
in various parts of the United States, they took that country as a 
pattern, and invited thence their advisers and officials. General 

1 Dr. Fesca : " Die Aufgaben und die Thatigheit der Agronomischen Abthei- 
lung der Kaiserl. Japan, geol. Landesaufnahme." Yokohama, 1884. 

2 According to Lyman, this island has 7,000 sq. ri of land suitable for farming, 
6,000 sq. ri of pasturage, 5,000 sq. ri of forest, 9,000 sq. ri of mountains. The 
arable land, therefore, amounts to nearly 25 per cent, of the total area. 



Capron was installed as organizer, or ** commissioner." Under 
him were a number of his American countrymen, acting as geolo- 
gists, engineers, farmers, gardeners, etc., and in addition to them, 
a host of young Japanese, who were to serve their apprenticeship 
here. Some of these American officials were certainly capable 
men, who are not to blame because the success of the undertaking 
did not by any means meet people's expectations, and whose per- 
formances are not to be identified with those of General Capron. 

On his recommendation, the Kaitakushi established on the 
Yashiki-ground of several former Daimios, near Tokio, three so- 
called model farms, of altogether about ninety ha. These were to 
serve as experiment-stations and preparatory schools for Yezo — the 
first, for the reception of breeding cattle imported from North 
America and England, and the growing of fodder ; the second, for 
the cultivation of vegetables and grain ; the third, for the intro- ' 
duction of foreign fruit-trees, berry-bushes, and other useful plants. 
Of the cattle, brought at great cost from the countries named, a 
considerable number were carried off by disease ; the rest were 
partly lost through unsuitable fodder and insufficient attention. 
Other model farms were established on Yezo itself, at Hakodate 
and the new capital, Sapporo. There was opened, also, in 1876, 
an agricultural school here, called " The Agricultural Colle,q,"e of 
Sapporo," modelled after an institution in Massachusetts. There 
had already been a fiasco in Tokio with another college designed 
for the Ainos. The geological survey of Yezo, the building of a 
road from Hakodate to Sapporo, new saw-mills, and many other 
things consumed a great deal of money. If it cannot be said 
that every undertaking of the Kaitakushi was ill-conceived and 
neglected, and came to nothing, it is, however, true of many. The 
general opinion of foreigners in Japan was, that the results stood 
in shocking disproportion to the enormous outlay. Vast sums 
were placed by the central Government at the disposal of the 
Kaitakushi. Thus, for example, in 1877 an additional 1,905,666 
yen = about ;^38o,ooo. It was, indeed, long the goose from which 
many contrived to pluck a golden feather. 

In aiming to imitate America, they forgot that, in its case, the 
Government left everything to free competition and development, 
that the pioneers from Europe and the Atlantic seaboard, who 
pressed westward and spread their culture over deserts, were quite 
a different race from the Japanese and Ainos. In this, as in many 
other cases, the Government displayed lack of experience, blindness 
towards better advisers, and a desire to do everything through the 
State and as quickly as possible. And consequently the great 
hopes which it placed upon this new branch of its activity and 
development of power were followed only by disappointments, as 
was natural. An army of officials, divided responsibility, and want 
of earnest personal interest, crippling all strength and energy, will 
produce no better result anywhere. The mistakes of Governments 


have never been more prominent than in colonization affairs, as 
the latest European political history shows. Courage, intelligence, 
self-confidence, and perseverance in hard work, even in the face of 
misfortune — these are the qualities through which free, independent 
men have founded colonies and made them prosper. And if 
Governments have helped to this end, it was only by temporary, 
prudent backing, but never by taking matters into their own hands 
and thus crippling the individual forces at work. 

And just as the Kaitakushi was extravagant, planless, and incon- 
sistent in its operations, so many another bureau acted in its sphere. 
Thus, in 1874, American cows were brought to Kioto-fu and put 
up in buildings over a gravel soil, on the river-bank, in a place 
where there was no such thing as pasturage far and wide, and to 
which fodder had to be brought, with great labour, from a distance. 
The same administration had heard about the advantages of flax- 
culture, a thing unknown in Japan. The requisite flax-seed was 
immediately procured from a European and an attempt made 
with it. The flax grew finely on the piece of land chosen for it in 
Kioto, as I can testify. But when it had formed capsules and was 
ready for the harvest, there was no one who gave it the necessary 
attention and performed the labours that were now necessary. The 
flax ripened on its stalks and went to ruin with its bast. 

Many a reader of these lines will recall the notorious ''' model 
farm " in Shimosa ; but I do not care to refer here to all the 
examples of such perverted attempts to elevate agriculture. The 
right way for the Government, instead of taking everything into 
its own hands, would have been to encourage the inclination of 
foreigners to try farming in Japan, to turn over to them for a term 
of years State lands free of taxes, or for a moderate rent, and permit 
them to make their experiments. Had these succeeded, they could 
have served as patterns for the people, and have excited them to 
imitation ; had they failed, the country would not have had to pay 
the costs. 

But all such considerations were thrown into the background by 
a fear that concessions to foreigners for the pursuit of agriculture 
might injure the Japanese and lead to entanglements. 

In 1867, and therefore towards the end of the Shogun govern- 
ment, and at its behoof, a German farmer, named R. Gartner, had 
established a model farm on Yezo and, two years later, taken it up 
on his own account. " Augustenfelde," as he called the estate, 
soon developed, under Gartner's circumspect, capable oversight, 
into a really model establishment, perfectly adapted to farming 
under local conditions. But this did not last long. Scarcely was 
the new Government organized and established, before it bought in 
this estate, paying a good round sum for it, and that was the end 
of its prosperity. Yezo remained, to use Gartner's own words, " a 
large, rich house, whose owners, like swallows, live only on its out- 
side, in a state of extraordinary wretchedness." Its inhabitants 


are busied and even supported, though scantily enough, by catching 
the numerous fish and marine animals, and by gathering marine 
algae and exporting them under commission for enterprising 
merchants. Captain Gill ^ says of Chinese agriculture, that in his 
opinion it has been very much over-estimated. That is true, also, 
of the Japanese, so closely related to it. In one respect, however, 
they are peculiar, namely in the care which is taken with ground 
once under cultivation, to see that nothing is lost. 

Japanese farming is very much more careful, and more to be 
compared with the scientific horticulture and market gardening in 
the neighbourhood of our large cities. Japan possesses all the re- 
quisites for properly carrying out such methods, namely, division 
of the land among many small owners, plentiful watering, through 
rainfall and canals, and, above all, immense supplies of cheap and' 
willing labour, to which also women and children contribute. ^ 

With all these advantages of cheap labour, combined with great 
industry and skill, the Japanese peasant can always keep the 
soil of his small holding loose and free from weeds. He can 
employ manures wisely, so as to get the most out of them. Of 
course, this kind of farming does not bring wholesale results, like 
robbing the soil on a large scale. 

Kaempfer and Thunberg and other later travellers in Japan have 
spread the impression, — a false one, — that terracing has been more 
extensively employed than anywhere in Europe, and is customary 
high on the mountain-sides. The neighbourhood of Nagasaki and 
the Omura-bay could easily give rise to this mistake. The basalt 
and trachyte rocks of these regions, so much decomposed by the 
weather, and peeling off so easily, furnish such a fruitful soil that 
rich harvests reward the weary building and care of terraces. 
With the pumice-stone of volcanic districts, or in slate-hills, the 
case is quite different. Here the mountain-walls are scarcely ever 
terraced very high, because the harvests from such meagre soil 
would not justify their existence. And terraces become gradually 
fewer the farther north one goes. Nowhere do they exceed, or 
even reach, in extent, in systematic development, and in success as 
marks of labour and skill, those of our own vine-dressers on the 
Rhine and in some of its side-valleys, as, for example, along the 
Mosel, and in the valley of the Ahr above Walporzheim. 

Terracing in Japan, as elsewhere, is primarily for the purpose of 
protecting the soil of steep mountain declivities from being carried 
away by heavy rain-storms, and secondly to facilitate cultivation 
and irrigation. Now, since plenty of water is absolutely necessary 
for raising rice, and can only be had on a level field, the ground is 
terraced for rice, even where its natural slant is so slight that there 
would be nothing to hinder ploughing, after our fashion, and also 
no danger of the loams being washed off by rain. But to make 
these places perfectly suited for the purpose, it is sufificient to build 
1 "Journal Royal Geographical Society," 1878, p. 60. 


simple smoothed earth-walls, 25 to 40 centimeters in thickness and 
height ; though to support the terraces great works must be con- 
structed along the walls of the valleys. So then we find Cyclo- 
pean walls, not seldom built of boulders from the neighbouring 
river, or broader, grassy escarpments, upon which, in the south, 
tea-bushes, the wax-tree, or the paper-mulberry have here and there 
been planted. 

There is only an apparent, not a real, contradiction between this 
last-mentioned fact, that terraces are often used for raising rice, 
and my former assertion that, in many travellers' accounts the ex- 
tent of terrace-farming in Japan is much exaggerated. And this 
latter is easily seen from the low percentage of all cultivated land. 

There were formerly no enclosed estates in Japan, nor pasturing 
herds. It was the universal habit to respect the fields and what was 
growing there. Thus there w^as neither opportunity nor reason to 
fence them in at all by means of ditches, walls, hedges, etc.; and 
separate pieces of land lay side by side, and do so yet, although 
receiving different kinds of cultivation. And in the plains and 
valleys, in order to save as much land as possible for the ever- 
important rice, dwelling-houses were built shoulder to shoulder in 
villages, and in a line with the roads. On this account, villages 
and country towns often lie along the chief avenues of communi- 
cation, with no side streets to speak of, or are strung out on the 
borders of small plains. No vehicles of any description are used 
in Japanese agriculture, so that narrow lanes accommodate the 
general trade from place to place, and still narrower dams between 
fields serve frequently as footpaths. 

As we have seen, agriculture in Japan is confined to a little over 
one-tenth of the country's area. And yet, not only is a very large 
population fed, but in favourable years there is also a not incon- 
siderable exportation of rice. It would be natural to conclude 
from this that the farming-land of Japan is distinguished by great 
fertility ; and up to within very recent times this assertion has 
been often made. But it is by no means true. On the other 
hand, experience and even chemical analysis have shown that 
without most careful attention and manuring, the soil of Japan 
could in most cases produce no very favourable returns. Without 
properly understanding or applying the principle of rotation, the 
Japanese secures these results by subsoil working and loosening of 
the ground, by keeping it clear, or by repeated treatment with 
manure while the plants are growing, which last is possible with 
such crops only as are sown in rows and terraces. To this must be 
added plentiful watering, through rainfall or irrigation, and lastly 
the efifect of long, uninterrupted summer heat. 

Crops in Japan are seldom injured by untimely frosts or severe 
cold, and probably never, to any real extent, by mice or locusts. 
Among their living foes come, first, wild swine, which are very 
numerous, and then apes. On the edges of the forest and valley- 


steeps, these often are in advance of the peasant in the autumnal 
harvesting of his bulbs and grains, so laboriously grown. It is then 
a general practice to keep fires burning all night along the borders 
of the fields, and to fire off guns to frighten these importunate 
guests away. But the greatest damage comes from inundations. 
After many days of uninterrupted heavy downpour like a cloud- 
burst, or of gentler rain, the water comes dashing down the moun- 
tain-sides, sweeps away the terraces, and carries off their loamy 
soil ; or the rising streams in valley and plain overflow their banks, 
bearing dykes and dams before them, and covering the fields far 
and wide with mud and boulders. The fruits of long industry, the 
joys of a toilsome existence, often disappear in a night. Showers 
of volcanic ashes, too, and typhoons, leave here and there, at longer 
intervals, their devastating traces. 

The soil of Japan is largely the product of old shales, granite 
and trachytic eruptions decomposed by weather. It displays in ' 
most cases small natural fertility, so that newly-broken ground 
yields only scant harvests. The basic group of crystalline volcanic 
rock is poorly represented in Japan, especially basalt. Where it 
or basaltic lavas do occur, one observes in their concentric rings, 
which peel off under the action of the weather, that species of ferru- 
ginous loam, which, as in the basalt mountains of Germany, seems 
not to be wanting in the chief requisites of a fruitful soil. I found 
such soil on the road from Nagasaki to the Omura bay, as well as 
in Gumai-gori, on the Koshiu-kaido. Those rich deposits of loess 
which fringe so many of our valley-bottoms and are also widely 
spread in Northern China, do not seem to exist there ; ^ and marl- 
soil, too, which is so productive, is not so frequently found in their 
lowlands as one might expect. 

Analyses of the soil, in any degree of completeness, were only lately 
instituted, especially by Kinch,^ Korschelt,^ and Kellner.* With 
reference to the plain of Kuwanto, these corroborate fully certain 
old accounts of showers of ashes, which fell upon it, at different 
times, during eruptions of Fuji-san, Asama-yama, and other vol- 
canoes. And they also proved, as was formerly discovered through 
examination and microscopic investigation of the ground, that 
the topmost layer consists essentially of volcanic ashes and tufa. 
According to Korschelt, the soil about Tokio is, to a depth of 6 
meters, a cement-tufa, six parts of which, with an equal amount of 
sand and one part slacked lime, give a good mortar, sufficiently 
strong in all cases except where great hardness is required. This 
tufa-soil consists of 85 per cent, zeoliths and sesquioxides, ii per 
cent, mineral sand, 1*5 percent, clay, i'5 per cent, quartz sand, and 

^ At least I cannot remember ever having met with any in all my travels. 
^ "Transact. Ass. Soc. of Japan," vol. viii., pp. 369-416. 1880. 
^ " Mittheilungen der deutschen Gesellschaft Ostasiens," vol. iii., pp. 180-201. 
•* Nobbe: " Land wirthschaftliche Versuchs-stationen," vol. xxx., pp. 1-86. 1884. 



I per cent, organic matter. Kinch very properly points to the 
remarkably large proportion (40 per cent.) of easily broken 
silicates {i.e. the above-mentioned zeoliths), and the almost total 
absence of free silicic acid. Its richness in magnetic iron, to which, 
besides organic matter, this tufa-soil owes its dark-brown colour, 
was approximately calculated by Kinch with a magnet, and loam 
from Komaba gave 2*5 per cent, in one test, and some from Shi- 
mosa even 7 per cent, of the total weight. The soil of Japan has 
great capacity for absorption and for holding water ; but being deep 
and porous, it suffers little from sagginess, even after heavy rains. 

The predominance of acid silicates, including trachytic tufa and 
ashes, — of which the best loam in Japan is largely composed, — 
explains its extraordinary poverty in elements most necessary for 
plant-food : lime, potash, and phosphoric acid ; and this poverty 
increases from the surface downward, as manures tend to make the 
top-layers more fertile. Kinch determines as follows the average 
content, from six tests, after deduction of the hygroscopic water : 

Phosphoric acid, 0*185 per cent. ; potash, 0*363 per cent. ; lime, 
0*475 per cent. 

The results of his investigations, and those of Korschelt, were 
confirmed and considerably extended a year ago by the analyses 
of Kellner. Two of these follow here, taken from the work already 
cited, in Nobbe's " Landwirthschaftliche Versuchs-stationen," vol. 
XXX. The specimens of earth, like those which Kinch examined, 
were taken from the Kuwanto. 

The earth was dried at 100° C, and then, by means of cold 
muriatic acid of 1*15 specific weight, were extracted the following : 

Soil of the Hata. 

Soil of rice-land. 





Si O2 


Fe2 03 





P2 03 ; 

S O3 

1 1 73 








0-12 / 













Insoluble remnant . . . 
Humus and Water of com- 















This comparison shows that the soils, corresponding to their 
proportion of aqueous double-silicates, are rich in chemically com- 
bined water and easily separated bases. Upon digestion with 
muriatic acid, 38*9 per cent, of top-soil and 408 per cent, of under- 
soil were converted into bases and acids in solution ; of the rice-soil 
a little less, namely 33'6 per cent, of top-soil and 31-1 per cent, of 
under-soil. The amount of separated components equals about 50 
per cent, of the total mineral substance of the soil, a proportion so 
high that it is generally observed only in lime and serpentine for- 
mations. The soils are rich in clay and iron compounds, but 
noticeably poor in lime and chemically combined carbonic-acid. 
The differences between Hata and Ta, with respect to the com- 
position of their soils, is not very considerable. 

By treating the soil with hot, concentrated muriatic acid, the 
following substances were dissolved or separated : — 

Earth free from 

lygroscopic and 

Earth dried at 100' 


chemically combined water and j 


Dry Fields. 



Dry Fields. 

Rice Fields. 









Si Os^ . . . 
















21 -or 












5 -06 







FeO . 









CaO . . 


















K2O . 









Na 0. 









P2O5 . 









SO3 . 









CI . . 



























Humus and J 

water of( 
c m b i n a- ?" 





tion. . .) 











It^ is seen from this that the separating effect of boiling hot 
muriatic acid does not much exceed that of cold. 

The plain of the Kuwanto, to which the preceding analyses refer, 
although now-a-days cultivated like a garden, was first brought 
under cultivation in its present extent through the Tokugawa and 

^ Soluble in Na2 CO3 and taken up by H CI. 


in consequence of the development of their residence, Yedo. Its 
soil has the reputation, among the Japanese themselves, of being 
less fertile than that of many other parts of the country, especially 
of the richly watered plain of Mino, the plain of Hiroshima, 
the province of Higo. But of these we have no analysis. 

In the Japanese system of soil-improvement, stable manure and 
rotation of crops play only a subordinate role. The productive 
capacity of arable land is gained and maintained by sub-soil work- 
ing, appropriate use of the manure which is on hand, proper 
watering, and extraordinary care in working their fields and 
keeping them clear. 

The East Asiatic knows and has followed, from time immemorial, 
the important principle of rational farming, that the soil must receive 
back in manure what is withdrawn from it in crops, although his 
action is no more based on scientific knowledge than is that of an old- 
school German peasant. But, for all that, he must be acknowledged 
to have more circumspection and more intelligence in selecting and 
using manure. Much that the rational farmer in Europe had to 
learn through theory and experiment, was in part an old-estab- 
lished practice in the agriculture of countries of the Chinese civili- 
zation. And this circumstance, together with a favourable climate, 
is undoubtedly the reason why the soil in China and Japan has 
preserved its old productive power, notwithstanding that, in 
Japan at least, as we have seen, it is not at all fertile by nature. 

Nowhere else in the world is manure (Japanese, Koyashi or 
Koye) more carefully and industriously collected and drawn from 
various sources, or more rationally utilized, than in East-Asia. 
The droppings of beasts of burden along the roads is usually taken 
up on the cheapest conceivable shovel, a flat ear-shell (Haliotis) 
on the end of a stick, and carried to the fields in baskets. At no 
time of year, however, does the Japanese put manure on fallow- 
fields, there to dry up and be robbed by the wind of its most 
valuable element. And various as the materials may be which are 
thus turned to account, care is always taken to get them quickly into 
the ground, where they can begin to operate. The Japanese does 
not so much manure the soil as the plants themselves, knowing that 
only in this way a satisfactory result can be obtained. He pro- 
vides the places where seed is planted or sprouts are set, with 
manure. As they grow, he supplies the plants with new manure 
at regular intervals. And thus he follows the most direct and 
economical method conceivable, which we ^call " head-manuring " 

Stable manure, the chief fertilizer in our economy, is of minor 
importance in Japan, because stock is so scarce ; and only in moun- 
tainous districts, with their wide grassy stretches and greater need 
for beasts of burden, has it much significance. Here, one can 
sometimes see dung piled up in front of peasants' houses, as in 
many a German village. Cattle and horses, — the only domestic 


animals hitherto worth taking into account, — are fed in stalls the 
whole year round, with few exceptions, so that the traveller in 
Japan seldom if ever sees a pasturing herd. 

Long before our farmers had had their attention drawn 
by chemical investigations to the high proportion of nitrogen, 
phosphoric acid, and potash in cesspool manure, and learned to 
value and use it, this played a distinguished role in the empirical 
agriculture of China and Japan. Human excrements compose 
here the manure which is most employed and therefore of most 
account. Fish-guano and oil-cakes are the only things preferred 
to it. The chief growth-giving element of this cesspool manure, 
especially for grasses,^ and thus also for straw-plants, is, as is well 
known, nitrogen, which is mostly present in the shape of urea and 
carbonate of ammonia, but escapes if the manure is not soon 
applied, on account of the quickness with which these bodies are 
decomposed, forming free ammonia. 

How they gather these human excrements and turn them to 
account is a highly interesting question, since the problem of puri- 
fying our cities, and meeting the increased demands upon our 
agriculture, has been already so much discussed. The chief points 
regarding it will therefore be given here. 

The system is simple, but will hardly be imitated by us, for it 
has not that regard for eyes and noses which our civilization 
demands. The corresponding senses of the Japanese are probably 
no less acute than ours ; but the habit of seeing and smelling dung 
has evidently made them accustomed to it, in much the same way 
as practitioners in anatomical and chemical laboratories get used 
to sights and smells which nauseate the beginner. 

There are regions in Europe where the way to the closet is 
through the kitchen ; in Japan it is, as a rule, through the best 
room, or at any rate close by it. Japanese dwelling-houses are 
built lightly of wood, and only one or two storeys high, tending 
generally more to length and depth than to height. They never 
have cellars and chimneys, and generally no foundation-walls 
either. The lower floor rests on posts or stones two or three feet 
above the ground ; kitchen and ordinary living rooms almost 
always face the street, with the better rooms on the other side, 
fronting a garden, from which they are separated by a verandah 
about a meter broad. A step along this verandah takes one to the 
closet adjoining it at one end, called Chodzu-ba, Yoba, or (vulgarly) 
Setzu-in. On account of the light open framework of the house, it 
often happens that the odour from this place floats directly into its 
best rooms, as any one who travels in Japan can often enough 

The Chodzu-ba has a floor of deal, with a rectangular opening 
in the middle, and a tub or a large earthen jar as a receptacle 

• ^ See Lavves and Gilbert : " The Effect of Different Manures on the Mixed 
Herbage of Grass-land." Journ. Roy. Agric. Soc, vol. xxiv. Part I. 


beneath. There is no seat ; but the removable frame, which lies 
around the opening, has at its front end a small post to hold by. 
This provision distinguishes the Chodzu-ba favourably from similar 
conveniences among very different nations, the inhabitants of 
Morocco for instance, and the ancient Romans. 

For urination there is almost always some particular provision, 
except only at night. The vessel for receiving urine stands in a 
corner, and is usually sunk in the earth. In the better class of 
houses it is covered with a four-sided based pyramid, the interior of 
which is half filled with short evergreen twigs. In this way or 
otherwise the urinal is generally concealed from passers-by. But 
there are still cities that are far enough yet from such a refinement 
of manners, and where the old Chinese plan is still in vogue, which 
appears from old accounts, Thunberg's, for example, to have been 
formerly almost universal. 

Two particularly striking instances of this sort fell under my 
observation in 1874, while travelling. I suppose I may mention 
them here. In the town of Takaoka, in Echiu, noted for its bronze- 
foundries, I found two rows of such vessels, only quite without 
cover of any kind, set up in the principal street. And later, in the 
town of Sakata, north-east of Niigata, I came across this publicity 
in a still more striking form. Here every house had an arrange- 
ment of that sort right at the entrance, and my hotel (the Yadoya) 
had two of them, just about where the portiers office is with us. 
This may have been formerly the rule in all towns, now it has 
already become quite an exception. Indeed, there is really less 
offence against public propriety now in Japan, than in many places 
in Germany. 

In large towns the Koye-tori (literally bringer of manure) comes 
almost every day to get dung (Daiben) and urine (Shoben) and 
carry them out to the country. He mixes both, and thins the 
composition with water, when necessary, which is an easy matter, 
owing to the peculiarly light diet of the Japanese, consisting of 
strongly-salted soups and sauces and easily-digested rice. 

But there are others still, besides the regular Koye-tori, who are 
glad to take away the contents of these tubs. In Germany it is a 
common sight to see the farmer who has brought milk, butter, and 
other commodities to town, go back laden with refuse from his 
customers' kitchens, with which to feed his cattle. In Japan there 
is no vendor of butter and milk, and consequently no need of fodder ; 
and instead of kitchen stuff, the countr/man who comes in to 
market often takes back, for his fields, cesspool manure, in buckets 
slung on a yoke of bamboo-cane or evergreen oak. 

The Sumida-gawa is the principal depot of this refuse in Tokio, 
the capital. Flat boats laden with it are to be seen every day 
along its banks, either directly filled with the manure, or carrying it 
in tubs arranged in rows and one above another. These manure- 
boats float in the river and through the fields in side-canals. 


When such a boat reaches its destination, its contents, already 
thinned with water, are baled out with dippers by Hiakusho 
(peasants). Small tubs on long poles serve for dipping out and 
transferring the manure, and still smaller ones for distributing it to 
the plants. Thus the plants are manured and watered at the same 
time. All young winter produce and vegetables are treated in this 
way, but never rice. 

It is only in time of a great abundance that this manure is col- 
lected in little vats sunk in the fields, and in big buried casks and 
tubs, roofed over with straw, for later use. As a rule, it is applied 
direct and fresh, so that its strength, especially of ammonia, is kept 
from being dissipated. 

In many Japanese cities the carrying away of cesspool matter 
is provided for by companies under whose employ are the above- 
mentioned Koye-tori. These companies pay the householders for 
this privilege prices which rise and fall with the time of year, 
according to the demand. They are highest in spring, falling off 
in winter frequently by more than one-half Ten years ago the 
average price in Yokohama for a ka (a man's burden, here two 
bucketfuls) was from six to eight sen. Three years ago it rose to 
ten sen ; in April, to twelve and a half, and in this month the 
company sold the manure to farmers for fourteen and fifteen sen 
per ka. In Tokio, where the demand is less in proportion to the 
enormous amount exported, the prices arc relatively lower ; in 
many smaller places, higher. It is comparatively within recent 
times that cesspool manure has become of any value and an object 
of purchase with us, as in Stuttgart, where it is bought by the 
Suabian peasants. 

A great role is also played by compost (Koyc-tsuchi, manure- 
earth, or Koyashi-tsuchi). This is prepared from earth and every 
possible sort of vegetable and animal offal, and is often moistened 
with dung-water, or even with water merely, in order to hasten de- 
composition. Lime is never used for this purpose. On being applied, 
compost often receives an addition of dung or even of green manure. 

Fish-guano is the most expensive and highly-prized of animal 
manures. It is an important article of commerce, made up of the 
offal of various kinds of fish, but especially of several varieties of 
herring, for example the Nishin {Cliipea Jiarengiis), the Iwashi 
{Clupea inelanosticta and CI. gracilis), and the Isaza {Engratclis 
''aponicus). These fish appear in great shoals, in starch and 
April, and again in October and November, off certain parts of 
the Japanese coast, the eastern shore of Yezo, for instance, the 
coast of Hitachi, along the shores of the Japan Sea, etc. They 
are not smoked or salted, as in Europe, but chiefly caught for the 
sake of a kind of train-oil, while their ill-smelling remains, when 
dried, appear in commerce as manure. After the oil has been 
extracted by boiling the fish in water, the remains are spread out 
in the fields, dried in the sun, and then exported either loose or 


pressed. Thus, for example, a single place, named Tomacomi, on 
the coast of Yezo, furnishes yearly about 150 tubs of fish-oil and 
nearly 7,000 Koku of fish-manure. This vile-smelling but very 
effective fish-guano is used, among other things, for manuring tea- 
plants. The refuse of silk-worm culture is also made useful as a 

Another very valuable sort of manure consists in oil-cakes, or 
Abura-kasu, which, with fish-manure also, is employed in hastening 
the growth of young cotton and tobacco plants. They are obtained 
from the seeds of the different oil-bearing plants, as Brassica^ 
Sinapis, Perilla, Sesaimim and Gossypiuin, and have, naturally, very 
unequal values as fertilizers. Abura-kasu, in general, signifies the 
commonest and most valued, namely, the rape-seed cakes. 

Besides these oil-cakes, as further vegetable manures, boiled or 
pounded beans, rape-straw, barley-straw, wheat-straw, chaff, and 
other refuse, and especially green plants, are used. Green manure 
is not, like clover and other plants in China, obtained by special 
sowing, but is taken from uncultivated patches of ground. It is a 
mixture of grass, weeds, undershrubs, and young branches, as they 
grow on mountain-sides and in thin forests. Women and children 
gather this material and take it to the fields in baskets, though, 
where it grows higher and farther among the mountains, the work 
is done by men with pack-horses. Like rape-straw, it is chiefly 
used for manuring and strewing rice-fields, when the latter are 
made ready to receive the young seedlings in early summer; and 
it is totally decomposed in a few weeks by the action of water and 

On Amakusa and other southern islands, I observed coarse sea- 
weeds spread as manure, especially Sargassiim. 

Of mineral substances, wood and straw ashes, especially those of 
rice-straw (Wara) and rape-straw are used ; also the mud of the 
irrigating canals, with which the seed-beds for young rice are 
covered in spring. Ashes and mud are, in general, favourite fer- 
tilizers for hastening the growth of young crops. 

The extensive use of lime has a greater interest for us. As 
is well known, the French distinguish between amendenie^tt (soil- 
improvement) and engrais (manuring). Quick-lime serves both 
purposes. Chemistry teaches that, in close contact with clay, 
silicates, and water, it frees the silicic acid combinations and makes 
the silicic acids accessible to the plants, and that therefore a 
heavy clay soil becomes looser and more fruitful through the 
addition of slacked lime, quite apart from the direct worth of the 
lime as plant-food in soil hitherto devoid of lime. 

In Germany we see lime thus used, for example in the valley 
of the Sieg, in Saxony, and various other regions. But it is un- 
likely that any European farmer, by his own observation and 
experience, arrived so early at such practical results as the Japanese, 
or has so long been used for manuring heavy clay soil. 


I observed powdered quick-lime, called Ishi-bai (stone-ashes), 
employed in various parts of Japan, principally, however, in non- 
volcanic districts, where the soil is poorer, being the product 
of older weather-worn" shales and crystalline rocks. Its use, more- 
over, was confined, as a rule, to rice-fields. When these, at the 
beginning of summer, are prepared for the reception of young 
seedlings, and green manure, or rape-straw, is spread out over their 
muddy surface, lime is strewn over all. It quickly decomposes 
the fibres of the plants, thereby furthering the distribution and 
effect of such manure. On account of its caustic properties, it 
cannot be applied as a fertilizer to growing plants. 

Limestone appears only exceptionally as a pure carbonic salt. 
So it is plain that its effect as a soil-improver may often be height- 
ened through the admixture of phosphate of lime, magnesia, iron 
and other bodies. 

Other summer plants besides rice are manured generally with 
straw-ashes or wood-ashes at seeding-time, and with dung, thinned 
with water, during their growth. This fluid manure, with the 
frequent rains, renders artificial watering of the Hata unnecessary. 
The porosity of the soil and its sloping position make drainage 
likewise dispensable, except such drainage indeed as is provided 
through the division of fields into narrow beds with deep furrows 
between. This is especially the method of planting winter pro- 
ducts ; as is done also in the South of France, near Bordeaux, for 
instance. Improvement of the soil by mixture is not known, and 
neither is the so-called fire-culture (Brandcultur). 

But there is another fertilizing element in the rice-lands besides 
lime, green manure, and straw manure, and that is the flowing 
water with which they can be flooded. In this are contained not 
merely valuable mineral products of erosion, but also decomposed 
vegetable matter. The soil's power of absorbing these substances 
has been proved beyond all doubt. Kellner's chemical examination 
of water as it passed off, after trickling through the ground, showed 
fewer mineral constituents than were found in river water. 

Japanese agricultural implements are mostly simple and service- 
able. But the latter quality cannot be claimed for those used in 
raising and harvesting grain, resembling closely, as they do, those 
used in China and Corea, and having evidently been little changed 
in the course of many centuries. Manual skill, industry, and per- 
severance take the place, in Eastern Asia, of our better adapted 

The plough (Karasuki) resembles, in its commonest form, that of 
Egypt, which we know is made and used to-day just as in the 
time of the Pharaohs. At the front end of its beam, which is 
about two meters long, there is the simple arrangement of a yoke 
for attaching the horse or ox, while at its other end a crooked piece 
of wood is fastened, pointing out backwards, and forming at its 
lower extremity the breast, ending here in the iron-pointed 


ploughshare. A cross-bar through the thinner end of the ploughtail 
forms the handle. The Japanese plough is therefore without fore- 
plough, coulter, or loam-board, that is, without any arrangement for 
turning furrows or for ploughing deep or shallow at will. The 
peasant carries it afield on his shoulder, walking after his ox or 
horse. With such a plough there is no possibility of thoroughly 
working the soil by clean, regular, successive furrows, or of cutting 
roots and laying them bare. It is no wonder that it is not ex- 
tensively used, and that all deeper working and loosening of the 
soil is accomplished with the hoe (Kuwa) mostly, and the spade 
(Suki). The former especially is known in all forms and sizes, 
and is indisputably the most important tool of the Japanese 
gardener and farmer. It consists of an iron disk, which as a rule 
surrounds a wooden centre or hub, through which runs the handle, 
sixty centimeters long. A second form is the iron four-tined fork- 
hoe, and then comes the Kumade with four bamboo tines, and the 
Matsubagaki, with seven tines of the same material. These prongs 
radiate from one point, and form a right-angled triangle, at whose 
base they end, and are bent downwards, hook-fashion. These two 
implements form, to a certain extent, the transition to the simple 
rake (Sarai). I have seen ploughs used, chiefly in spring, for work- 
ing rice-fields, but even in this case only sparingly. Remembering 
that rice-land, after being provided with dykes and then flooded, 
is worked with the hoe and by hand to an even and uniform paste, 
one recognises that subsoil culture is employed here, ploughs or 
no ploughs. 

For a harrow (Maguwa, pronounced Magwa), they often use an 
implement which resembles more a large rake, its principal feature 
being a board with a row of wooden or iron nails. It is attached 
to the draught animal by two wooden shafts, and has a gallows- 
shaped arrangement on top which serves as a handle. But there 
are many modifications of this implement. 

Wagons (Kuruma) are not used at all in Japanese agriculture. 
They have not even the wheel-barrow (Ichirin-sha) so popular in 
China.^ Manure and seed are taken to the fields, and their pro- 
ducts in turn are carried home or to market, in vessels slung on 
both ends of poles laid across the shoulder, or on the backs of 
pack-horses or oxen. 

Especially simple, or rather primitive, is the grain-harvesting. 
Straw is used chiefly in plaits of many sorts, ropes, sandals (even 
for beasts of burden), and mats, but also for thatching, and some- 
what for manuring too. Grain is usually cut close to the ground 
with a sickle (Kama), as in Germany, and then bound in small 
sheaves. These are either stacked about the stems of alder or 
other trees along the edges of the fields, or piled in front of the 
houses, and when necessary, exposed to the sun for drying and 

Taking such a bundle by the stalks, and spreading it out in their 


hands, they draw it through the steel or bamboo nails of a kind of 
comb like a flax-rippler (Ine-kogi or Mugi-kogi) of from thirty to 
forty centimeters in diameter, thus separating the ears and panicles 
from the straw. Instead of a rippler of this sort, poorer people 
use a piece of bamboo-cane cut in the shape of a fork or a comb 
(Kushi) of the same material. The panicles of rice and millet, or 
rather the grains themselves, are also often separated from the 
straw by beating the stalks against the edge of a tub. It will be 
asked : Have the Japanese no flails t We do find them in use, 
under the name of Kara-sao and Kururi, but in an exceedingly 
clumsy, inadequate shape. They consist of cylindrical pieces of 
wood, tied by ropes to poles, so that it is impossible to strike out 
well, or to beat hard with them. And the ears of grain are only 
threshed after being broken from their stalks by the above-men- 
tioned processes. The threshers stand in two rows opposite each 
other, and each row strikes in unison, so that there is no such 
pleasant triple and quadruple beating of flails as salutes the ear 
from the threshing-floors in the German peasant villages in autumn. 

Another method of separating the grains from the ears or 
panicles is by means of a stamping trough (Usu). When they 
are, in one way or another, separated from the chaff, the cleaning 
is not done on the threshing-floor with pitchforks, but, as in 
almost all warm countries, with the help of the wind, the mixture 
being held out at arm's length, in a sieve, where there is a draught, 
and then let fall to the ground. The light chaff, of course, flies 
away from the grain, the reverse of what happens on the threshing- 
floor by using the fan. 

With leguminous plants, the pods are generally opened and de- 
prived of their contents by hand, and less often with mortar and 
pestle. But for rape-seed, the pods are opened by beating the 
stalks against the edge of a tub or a basket. 

Seed is said to be sown broadcast, or in rows. In sowing broad- 
cast, the sower strides up and down his field in lines and with 
measured paces, and scatters the seed in regular movement, with a 
wide sweeping motion of his right arm, trying to cover it afterwards 
with harrow or rake, as the piece of ground is large or small. But 
this never succeeds perfectly, for the seeds are not all buried to 
the same depth, and some always remain on the surface, and go 
to waste. And then, too, the distribution is often very unequal, 
being dependent on the sower's skill, the lay of the land, the 
weather (for example, the presence or absence of wind), and other 
matters. In row-planting, the seeds are put into the ground at 
a more equal depth and distance, and into open holes, from two 
to ten centimeters deep, and then covered to an even height with 
loose earth. 

Drilling 1 is essentially the same thing, except that it is done with 
machines constructed especially for the purpose, whereas ordinary 
1 See C. J. Eisbein : "Die Drill-cultur." Bonn, 1880. 

II. D 


row-planting is done with the hand merely, or perhaps with a stick 
to drill holes. The former is, accordingly, employed in farming on 
a large scale, while the latter is more in use among small farmers 
and gardeners. Although row-planting, of which planting in hills 
is only a special form {e.g. beans), has long been customary, broad- 
cast sowing has been and is yet always the rule in Germany, where 
only of late and on large estates it has been laid aside. In the 
South of P'rance, around Bordeaux for instance, sowing in rows has 
long been thoroughly carried out, and the fields for winter crops have 
in consequence been divided into long narrow strips, as in Japan. 

The Chinese and Japanese farmer, who works only with simple 
tools, avails himself almost exclusively of row and terrace-planting, 
except in the case of the little seed-beds in which he cultivates 
the seedlings of rice and other growths. It is intimately bound 
up with the entire agricultural system of Eastern Asia, and possesses 
a number of advantages — economy of seed, and simultaneous and 
equal sprouting, rooting, and development, in consequence of the 
seeds having been placed at an even depth and an equal dis- 
tance apart ; but above all, greater possibility of loosening the soil 
often and keeping it clear, and a better opportunity of watering 
and manuring the plants while growing. Finally, too, it permits 
of sowing for a second crop weeks before the first is ripe for 
harvesting. Thus, in the province of Higo, wheat is sown in rows 
in autumn, beside the maturing rice ; and near Sakai, in the plain 
of Ozaka, cotton is sown in spring beside winter barley. I have 
often observed tobacco and rape to be nurtured in the seedbed, and 
then transplanted to the fields when the latter had become free. 

With their loose soil, unencumbered with stones and weeds, the 
Japanese are not acquainted with the obstacles which oppose 
drilling in other countries, and make it necessary to sow by hand. 
And it is a fact, that, when skilfully done and on fertile soil, 
broadcast scattering, as experience teaches, brings richer harvests, 
because the stalks grow closer together. 

The greater part of the Japanese rice-lands lie fallow all the 
winter, for either the soil is not strong enough, or the winter is too 
long for the succession of a winter crop and a second harvest. 
Soaked with water, and in part covered over, it becomes, with its 
neighbouring ditches and their dead rushes, the gathering-place 
of rnany water-fowl, in the inclement season. Only in milder 
districts and on particularly fertile land, are the fields turned into 
a dry Jiata after the rice-harvest ; and then comes the planting 
of barley, wheat, peas, broad-beans, rape, mustard, or radishes, 
with which the other kind of ground is also covered, that which 
serves for all kinds of dry-crops in summer. 

When rice harvest is over, about the end of October, the ground, 
already dried, is subjected to a thorough turning-over with the hoe, 
and the field is divided into long, narrow, high beds, in which the 
seed is planted in from two to four rows, from twelve to eighteen 



centimeters apart. In many cases, however, this takes place early 
in October, before the rice harvest, or the rape, — which has been 
started in seed-beds, like cabbage-plants with us, — is set out in 
furrows beside the rice, so that it is only necessary to dig over 
and heap up the earth when the latter has been removed. In either 
case the winter crop is richly manured again in March, and the 
earth is loosened and piled up around its stalks, as we do with 
potatoes and other vegetables. This custom originated, perhaps, 
in consequence of the fierce storms of dust in February and March, 
which, occurring after long dry spells, blow away the light, finely 
powdered loam, and lay bare many a root. 

As in Andalusia and other districts of the Mediterranean basin, 
so in Japan, rape-seed, peas, and broad-beans blossom in April ; 
barley and wheat put forth their stalks and ears; and then, to- 
wards the end of May, or in June, follows the harvest of all these 

Where there is rice-culture in addition, the field must, of course, 
be first turned into a swamp, and thus suffer a total change. But if 
the land is to bear other summer growths, their seeds, — as of beans, 
maize, and millet of various kinds, — are sown three or four weeks 
previously, in rows beside the ripening stalks of rape, barley, and 
wheat ; or the little tobacco and cotton plants, ^gg plants, and other 
products which have been raised in the seed-bed are transplanted, 
generally weeks before the winter crop is ready for harvesting. It 
does not always happen that a great part of the plain is given over 
exclusively to rice culture in summer. Here and there, singly and 
scattered, dry fields appear, lying from one-third to one-half a 
meter higher, and planted with millet, cotton, beans, various roots, 
and other growths. They stand out above the bright green rice- 
plain as the isolated flower-beds in our gardens rise above the well- 
kept turf. 

In the classification and consideration of Japanese field products 
to which we now proceed, I have, in general, followed the natural 
division of plant-culture in the majority of our agricultural text- 
books. The first and chief object of agriculture is to furnish food 
for man. This is obtained principally through cereals, pulse, and 
root crops. These groups therefore naturally precede all other 
products of the field, and their cultivation has the oldest history. 
After these come vegetables and other similar growths, which 
in some cases, as melons and the garlic family, have also been 
cultivated for thousands of years. Next come, — with respect to 
their use, at least, — eagle-fern, mushrooms, sea-weeds and prepara- 
tions of sea-weed, and also the edible fruits furnished by the fruit- 
tree and the forest. Then follow the articles of food and luxury, 
which, like Sake, Shoyu, Tofu, and others, are manufactured from 
grain and pulse. And the division which then follows of plants of 
commerce, embraces stimulants and drugs, and also oil, textile, and 


Some important representatives of this last group, as oil-seeds, 
flax, hemp, and tobacco, flourish in Japan, and even in Yezo, most 
excellently. It will therefore be necessary, in the extension and 
rational pursuit of agriculture, to pay particular attention to their 
cultivation. In grain-culture the introduction of better seed in 
place of the ordinary sort is demanded for wheat and barley, since 
these have decidedly degenerated in the course of time, bearing 
lighter kernels and producing smaller crops than with us. They 
are of less importance in Japanese household economy than rice, 
and hence the same attention has not been paid to them. 

Rice, leguminous plants, fish, and eggs have always played the 
chief part in the food of Japan, in which combination the rice, so 
rich in starch, is sufficiently complemented by the amount of 
protein in the others. But in mountainous regions it has been 
largely replaced by the various sorts of millet. In this relationship 
modern times have brought about no appreciable change. 

The Japanese, like his neighbour to the westward, first became 
acquainted with bread and similar baked foods through the Portu- 
guese. From them too he adopted the names Pan and Kasutera 
(pronounced Kastera, that is, Castilla), by which is designated a 
spongy, safl*ron-yellow cake. He remained, however, true to his 
old way of living, and did not imitate the bread at all, and the cake 
only in rare cases, so that even now a foreigner travelling in the 
interior of the country must provide himself with bread or some 
substitute for it, unless he can and will accommodate himself to the 
Japanese fashion, and be satisfied with rice and grits. 

Of the various more or less extensive catalogues of cultivated 
and useful Japanese plants, the following are known to me and 
were made use of in preparing the divisions of my subject which 
come next : — 

1. Kaempfer: "Amoen. exot," pp. 766-912. Lemgo, 1712. 

2. Thunberg : " Flora Japonica.'\ Leipzig, 1784. 

3. Thunberg : " Resa 4. delen. Akerbruket," pp. 76-92. Up- 
sala, 1793. 

4. Von. Siebold : " Synopsis Plantarum CEconomicarum Universi 
Regni Japonici," in " Verhandelingen van het Bataviasch Genoot- 
schap," XII. deel. Bat, 1830. 

5. Scherzer : " Fachmannische Berichte liber die osterr.-ungar. 
Expedition nach Siam, China und Japan." Stuttgart, 1872. pp. 

6. Kinch : " List of Plants used for Food, etc., in Japan. Trans- 
act. Asiat. Soc. Japan." Vol. xi., pp. 1-3 1. Yokohama, 1883. 

7. Dupont: " Essences Forestieres du Japan." Paris, 1880. 

8. Reports on various Universal Exhibitions. 

In order to make the subject clear, and to accompany the 
several names of plants with such remarks as suit the measure 
of their importance, I have decided to adopt a plan of my own in 


grouping and handling the subject, relying chiefly on my own 
studies and observations, and this, not so much on account of the 
greater or less completeness and correctness of these Hsts, as be- 
cause, with the exception of those mentioned under 5, 7, and 8, 
they fail entirely to indicate the relative importance of the plants 
which they record. 

2. Food-Plants. 

(a) Grahty Stalk-plants or Cereals, Japanese Kokn-mots2t. 

(Some of these names of millet have been translated literally ; the translator 
not being able to find English equivalents.) 

Of this group, the following are cultivated in Japan as winter 
crops : barley (0-mugi), naked barley (Hadaka-mugi), and wheat ^ 
(Ko-mugi) ; and as summer crops, rice (Kome or Ine), common 
millet (Kibi), Italian-millet (Awa), crowfoot-millet (Hiye), finger- 
millet (Kamomata-kibi), Guinea-corn (Morokoshi), maize (T6- 
morokoshi), and Job's tears (Dzudzu-dama). It follows from this 
list that two of our cereals, rye and oats, are wanting. If they are 
nevertheless found here and there referred to among the cultivated 
plants of the country, such reference is to recent attempts at their 
introduction, or other kinds of grain have been mistaken for them. 
I have never seen them growing there, and the witness of Ito 
Keiske, and others acquainted with the flora of Japan, shows that 
they are not known in that country. And the fact that v. Siebold's 
list^ of Japanese friimenta does not include rye and oats, agrees 
with this. On the other hand, buckwheat (Soba),. although be- 
longing to an entirely different family, must be mentioned next 
in order, for the nutritive quality of its seeds and their use. 

As already mentioned, the land which supports these various 
varieties of grain is of two kinds, namely ta, rice-land, and hata, 
dry-land ; the difference being merely that the former is flooded 
and turned into a sort of marsh. It is the larger in extent, cor- 
responding to the preponderance of rice in amount and importance 
over the total products of all other grain. Having regard to the 
immense predominance of rice, I shall begin now with a descrip- 
tion of it and its cultivation, and then add shorter notices of the 
other stalk-plants. 

I. Rice (Japanese Ine, Urushine, or Kome — Oryza sativa, L.). 
Upon a hollow stalk, not very strong, and from 50 to 120 cm. high, 
the rice-plant (Ine, or Urushine) develops a narrow, overhanging 
panicle, with single-blossoming ears, and from thirty to sixty — 
even occasionally one hundred — grains of seed. There are over 
two hundred sub-species of this ancient plant, with or without 
awns, varieties with white, yellow, brown, and black chaff and 

^ " Verhandl. van het Batav. Genotscbap," XII. deel. Batav. 1830. "Synopsis 
Plant. Oec. Univ. Regni Jap." 


beards, some that ripen early and some late. There is also a 
variety, mountain-rice {O. vwntana, Lour.), Japanese Okabo, which 
does not require so great an amount of water as the others, being 
satisfied, like other cereals, with the ordinary moistening of its 
roots by rain. Hence it grows in higher places and on sloping 
ground, and has also a shorter term of vegetation (four months, 
instead of five or six), flourishing therefore in climates which are 
too severe for common rice. But the stalks of this mountain-rice 
are shorter, its grains smaller, its crops less than those of the other 
kind. We therefore find it grown only to a very subordinate ex- 
tent in the chief rice-countries of the world. 

The grains of rice grow in close union with the awns, and are 
therefore angular, so that in this, as in their general shape and size, 
and in colour, they bear most resemblance to barley, without how- 
ever being so well filled out in the middle. Unhulled rice goes, 
in India and in the trade, by the name of Paddy. It is often 
brought to Europe now-a-days in this condition, is hulled here, and 
in this way comes into the inland trade in fuller, handsomer form 
than that which was imported ready for the kitchen. To this ad- 
vantage it adds also greater durability. 

In other than tropical countries rice is one of the summer 
crops, and in its term of development, — usually six months (from 
May to October), — it requires an average temperature of at least 
20° C, and a soil saturated with water, at least in the early half 
of its period of vegetation. Its need of a warm climate is greater 
than that of most other kinds of grain ; and it demands a larger 
amount of moisture than almost all other cultivated plants of any 
importance, not excepting the date-palm. In consequence of these 
requirements we find rice culture only in the tropical and warmer 
parts of the temperate zone, especially in depressions where it is 
possible to water the level plain, or where this is rendered unneces- 
sary by frequent copious rains. In all Eastern and South-eastern 
Asia, as Grisebach rightly remarks in his " Vegetation der Erde," 
the first natural principle of rice-culture in its earliest stage is the 
utilization of the rainy season, which follows the change of monsoon 
in spring. 

But the advent of these monsoon rains does not take place 
always and everywhere with its usual regularity and strength. 
Wherever, as in most parts of Hindostan and Further India, irriga- 
tion is not extensively carried out, a delay of these monsoon rains 
causes a general protraction of planting ; and a short supply 
of rain brings failure of the crops, and famine. Japan is to a 
certain extent independent of these monsoon rains, thanks to its 
mountains, rich in snow and water, and to its systems of irrigation, 
which, like those of China, are in part several thousand years old. 
It has therefore a fixed time for sowing and harvest, which we 
must consider quite necessary, owing to its long, cold winter. The 
climate in India, on the contrary, being warmer, the time for rice 


and other crops can be made to correspond with the rainy season ; 
on the coast of Coromandel, for instance, it occurs on this account 
in winter. 

The northern limit of rice-culture reaches lat. 45° at certain 
points in the Old World — for example, in the valley of the Po ; in 
America, it remains ten degrees further south. In the southern 
hemisphere it goes only a little over the tropical line — in Madagas- 
car, for instance. For Japan, the Tsugaru-strait, in lat. 41^° N., 
forms the northern barrier. 

Wherever its main conditions are perfectly carried out, rice re- 
wards the farmer's labour better than any other cereal, and bears 
from 30 to 40 bushels (at from 20 to 25 kg.^) per acre, or 40*5 per 
are. In Japan one Tan (300 Tsubo, or 10 are) of the best rice- 
land brings a return of 2-4 koku (4'36 hi.) of hulled rice, corre- 
sponding to 58 hi. of paddy, or 58 hi. to the ha, while the average 
yield per ha. is equal to 27*5 hi. of hulled rice, or 36-6 hi. of paddy. 
In Northern Italy, where rotation is the rule, and uninterruped 
rice-culture a rare exception, fresh land bears in the former case, 
when circumstances are favourable, 70 hi. per ha., and in the latter, 
40 hi. The greater bearing-capacity is here to be ascribed to 
rotation and broad-cast sowing, and in part also to the greater 
fertility of soil. 

Rice was cultivated in the monsoon region of Asia far back in 
antiquity ; and although all certain traces of its origin are lost, 
the Buddhist peasantry of China and Japan regard it as a direct 
gift of the gods. But this much is certain — that, like so many 
other useful plants, it was disseminated abroad from India. The 
history of ancient China points to this in unmistakable manner, and 
not less so the circumstance that from the Sanskrit name vnhi como. 
the Iranic brisi and the Graeco-Latin oryza, from which last word, 
again, all Romanic, Germanic, and Slavic names for it are easily 
derived.- The Russian calls it either riss or saratschmskoe pscheno 
— that is, " Saracen millet." 

At present rice is grown throughout nearly the whole monsoon- 
region, — all over Japan, except in Yezo and the Kuriles ; in Corea, 
China, all the Malay islands, in Hindostan, Farther India, in the 
Tarim-basin (for example, at Yarkand, and at Kabul nearly 2,000 
meters above sea-level), in Persia, Armenia, and Mesopotamia, and 
(so far as is possible with their neglected systems of irrigation) in 
Arabia. Madagascar, probably in consequence of Malay immigra- 
tion, was early acquainted with this plant, which furnishes there, to 
this day, enough for the chief article of food and to spare for the 
Mascarenes besides. Until after contact with Europeans, bread 
was as unknown here as in Eastern Asia. Arabs first brought rice- 
culture to the eastern coast of Africa and into the region of the 

^ Kg. = kilogram ; gr. = gramme, 

2 See de CandoUe : " L'origine des Plantes Cultivdes," p. 310; and Hehn : 
" Culturpflanzen und Hausthiere." 


Mediterranean— to the Nile Delta, Sicily, and Spain. Even now 
the rice-trade of Eastern Africa and the Mascarenes lies entirely in 
their hands. Through the same agency, rice culture penetrated 
through inner Africa to the tropical West Coast, where it is, how- 
ever, carried on only in certain localities, as in Ashantee on the 
Volta, and in Liberia, whose coloured colonists introduced it from 

In Egypt rice-culture is confined to the Delta region, being 
especially important at Rosetta and Damietta. 

On the Balkan peninsula, land and climate occasionally are 
favourable to rice-culture, but the lazy Turks never. Where it used 
to flourish, as on the Maritza, the great negligence of the Govern- 
ment has caused it to disappear. The same is true in part also 
of Portugal and Spain. Rice is still grown in the latter country, 
in so far as the old aqueducts in the huertas of Valencia permit it. 

Among European States, Italy alone plays an important part as 
a rice producer. In Lombardy, especially about Vercelli, in Pied- 
mont, Venetia, and the ^Emilia (but little in Sicily and Tuscany), 
there is raised yearly about 70,000,000 lire worth of rice, on an area 
of about 230,000 ha., so that rice-culture is an important factor 
of the national prosperity. 

Let us now cast a glance at the New World, to complete this short 
survey. The first attempts to introduce rice in the Carolines date 
from 1647. In 1694 some more seed rice came to Charleston in 
a Dutch ship (from Madagascar), and was divided among the 
colonists by the governor, Smith. This was the basis of the rice- 
culture, which developed rapidly from that time. It is spread 
to-day over South Carolina and Georgia, and extends also some 
distance into neighbouring States. The total production, in the 
United States, of this most valuable of all sorts of rice is reckoned 
at 4,000,000 kg. 

Rice-culture has never attained much importance in the Spanish- 
American republics, though it has in Brazil, where it is carried on 
in the coast provinces between the Amazon and San Francisco rivers. 

The majority of the world's inhabitants eat rice ; and for at least 
one-third of them it is the chief daily food. It is estimated that 
a Malay labourer of Farther India consumes monthly twenty- 
eight kg. of rice, and a Siamese as much as thirty-two kg., while 
the Chinaman and Japanese requires also not less than one kg. 
daily, if his food consists principally of rice. In Europe the Turks 
and the English are the greatest rice consumers ; the former be- 
cause the chief ingredient of their national dish, the Pilau, is rice 
boiled in water, and the latter using large quantities in making 

The chief sources of supply are the Indian ports of Calcutta, 
Akyab, Malmein, Bassein, and Rangoon, also Bangkok and Batavia, 
Egypt, Northern Italy, South Carolina, and Brazil. 

Rice contains less nourishment than most of the other kinds of 


grain, but is the most digestible of all. It is on this account 
peculiarly suited to children and old people, and is given to such 
and to sick persons in China and Japan, even in regions where it 
is regarded as a luxury which the healthy peasant and artisan may 
only exceptionally enjoy, as, for example, in the Chinese provinces 
of Honan, Shensi, and Shansi, and in the mountain districts of 

The attention which the farmer of Eastern Asia, especially of 
Japan, bestows upon his rice-field is worthy of the highest recog- 
nition. At the season of tilling he adds to his bee-like industry 
that cheerfulness of disposition which enables him to perform this 
severe and dirty labour with ease and rapidity. The work begins 
in April with the laying out of one corner of the rice-field as a 
seed-bed. To this end the ground is first dug over with a long- 
handled hoe, then levelled and surrounded with a little smoothed 
and hardened wall of earth, from 25 to 40 cm. in height and thick- 
ness. A small gutter or irrigation-channel is brought into connec- 
tion, when possible, so that the bed can be flooded when necessary. 
A favourite manure is the slime dug up from a neighbouring 
canal, if one is near. The seed-bed is covered with this to a depth 
of about 20 cm. In default of such slime, ashes must serve, and 
other quick-working fertilizers, such as stamped beans, compost, 
and faecal matter. Next, the dam is broken at some point and 
water admitted, until the bed is covered to a depth of about 6 cm., 
when the seed, borne in a flat winnowing basket, is scattered over 
its surface with the hand. This seed is most carefully selected. 
In many cases it is kept under water several days beforehand. 
The grains of rice sink quickly and lie pretty close together on 
and in the mud at the bottom. In four or five days they sprout. 
Among other uses, the water serves to protect the fresh seed from 
birds. It soon evaporates or sinks into the ground and must be 
replaced, in case no rain falls, with a new supply from the ditch. 
As a rule, however, the seed-bed is flooded only at night and left 
dry by day. Thus it is protected against cold, while enjoying the 
warming influence of the sun. 

In most parts of Japan the sowing of rice takes place towards 
the end of April or in the beginning of May, and the time for 
transplanting is from about thirty to forty-five days later. In 
certain districts, — for example, in the provinces of Mino and 
Shinano (south-west of Tokio, in the interior of Hondo), — it is 
customary to begin cultivation from two to four weeks later,^ in 
others, as at Kochi, in Tosa (on the island of Shikoku), as much 
earlier. This depends partly on climatic causes, according as the 
temperature of earth and water requisite for the development of 
rice is attained late or early in spring. But a more important 
reason for this variation in time is, that in fertile depressions, like 

^ In Shinano the thirty-third day before Range (July 2) is sowing-time. 


the rich low-lands in Mino, the rice-land did not lie fallow, and its 
winter crops, especially barley and rape-seed, are not harvested 
till June, so that the field cannot be got ready for young rice-plants 
before the middle or end of this month. 

By far the greater part of the rice-land of Japan lies fallow all 
winter and, covered in part with water, forms a kind of swamp, the 
rendezvous of wild ducks, geese, and snipe. This is especially the 
case where the ground is not adapted to producing two crops a 
year, either because the winter is too long and the season of 
vegetation limited to a few months, or because the soil is com- 
posed mostly of the less fertile products of disintegration, — old 
schists and crystalline rocks, — and therefore requires an occasional 
rest. But this is the only sort of rotation thought of in the rice- 
land of Eastern Asia. It has served the same purposes every 
summer for many centuries. 

In other countries rice-fields are worked with the plough, drawn 
by buffaloes or oxen. In Japan and China this work is generally 
done by hand. The labourer goes about it barefoot and clothed 
only in coarse, hemp-linen drawers, reaching to the loins. His 
usual implement is a long-handled, three-pronged hoe, or a small 
spade. Thus one seldom observes draught animals used in rice 
farming — in the neighbourhood of Tokio and Nagasaki, for in- 
stance. In certain other districts, however, as at Ozaka and in the 
province of Mino, the land is ploughed. 

The dams about old rice-fields and canals are covered here and 
there, in early May, with the beautiful blossoms of a kind of creep- 
ing papilionaceae {Astragalus lotoides) as with a red carpet. At 
this time the preparation of the fields for the young plants is 
begun. To improve the ground, rape-straw, lime, and above all, 
green manure are strewn over it, as in China. But green manure 
is not produced here, as in China, by raising clover and other 
plants for this purpose. It is rather a mixture of grass, weeds, 
and underbrush, as they grow in abundance on the mountain- 
slopes and in the clearings of forests. As noted on p. 30, women 
and children gather this manure and carry it in bundles to the 
field, for which work the women a^^e clad like the men, in home- 
made light-blue coarse hemp-linen drawers and blouse. When, 
however, this green manure has to be got higher and farther back 
in the mountains, it is carried on pack-horses. This vegetable 
manure is either thrown into the furrows in ploughing or hoeing 
the ground, or is scattered over its level surface, like powdered 
quicklime. Being covered with mud and water, it decomposes 
quickly, so that every trace of it disappears from the surface in 
a few weeks. I have seen quicklime and hydrate of lime used 
as manure for rice-land in the most widely different parts of the 
country, though never for other crops, and generally where the soil 
consisted of the products of crumbled schist and granite formation, 
not yet containing much decayed vegetable matter, and seldom in 


volcanic regions. Faecal matter is less used in rice-farming than 
in other crops. One is thus not so much offended by the smell 
of it as might be imagined, on going through the flooded rice in 

When a rice-field has been dug, levelled, manured, and flooded 
with water, — which must be preceded by the construction of dams, 
— it is fully prepared to receive the young plants. 

The system of irrigation is particularly important. Every par- 
tition-wall of the rice-field has one or more small apertures, here 
for the admission of water, there to let it out. When it comes 
from a mountain-slope, it is conducted first to that field of the 
valley-bottom or terrace which lies highest. 

The little stream, — a stronger one would be too dangerous, — 
floods the field to a certain depth and then flows over into the 
next piece of ground, does the same thing here, and then goes on 
to the next level, and so forth, from terrace to terrace, till the entire 
system is watered. Natural river-beds, or canals with beds sunk 
lower than the fields, intersect the whole, so as to receive and drain 
away the water when it has served its purpose. Thus it always 
remains under perfect control, except only in case of long-continued, 
heavy rains. 

In insufficiently watered districts, those that depend more on 
rain than on a supply brought in streams from higher, wooded 
hill-country, there have been ponds made, to help out, with their 
stored-up contents, the dry summers when natural resources fail. 
Many of these ponds are of a great age. Works of this sort 
are mentioned in the oldest history of the country as laid out 
by this or that Mikado. In flat neighbourhoods and after long 
droughts water-wheels are employed, as in China, India, and else- 
where, to raise the indispensable water from the deeper ditches 
and conduct it to the rice-fields. This is often done, too, with 
bare hands and with shovels. A favourite plan, which I saw used 
also in Japan, is as follows : two men, on opposite banks of a 
stream, suspend a closely-plaited winnowing-basket on a rope 
between them, and swing it backwards and forwards in such a way 
that it dips into the water at every downward movement of the 
arms, and empties, at the upward swing, into a conduit leading to 
the field. In autumn, when the ripening crop needs no more 
water, or at any time when there is rain enough to supply every 
need, the places of influx are stopped up and the spring-water is 
left in its natural channels. 

Japanese rice-culture contrasts favourably, through this artificial 
watering, with that in the southern monsoon-region — in Siam, for 
instance ; but it by no means comes up to that of the North- 
Italian plain, either in rational management or results. 

There is probably nowhere in the world a system of watering 
carried out on a large scale so methodically and effectively as 
that by which the " Societa d' Irrigazione dell' Ovest della Sesia " 


conducts the water of the Sesia to the rice-fields of Vercelli and 
its neighbourhood. Every liter of it must be paid for ; but its 
rational use richly rewards this expense, and many others, with 
high profits. 

In June, — seldom earlier or later, and about 30 to 45 days after 
sowing-time, — in Japan the young rice-plants are transplanted 
from the seed-bed to the ground prepared for them, which has 
been flooded to a depth of 6 to 10 cm. These shoots (nae) have 
then a height of 18 to 24 cm. After being pulled up, they are tied 
into small bunches, not too large round to be spanned with the 
hand. One man takes a number of such bunches under his arm, 
and wading through the field, throws them singly right and left 
over the water, wherever they are needed. Others, both men and 
women, pick them up, and the planting begins. They set out the 
little bunches in rows, 4 to 6 plants in a bunch, calculating the 
intervals of 20 to 25 cm. skilfully with the eye, so that between 
1,200 and 3,000 bunches go to an are. Silver-herons and cranes 
follow the busy planters, as starlings and wagtails fly after the 
plough with us, picking up slugs and snails. 

Let one instance here show with what astounding rapidity all 
the above-mentioned proceedings take place : 

In the spring of 1875 I had occasion to traverse, at different 
times, the plain of Ozaka, which is watered by the Yodogawa, the 
outlet of the Biwa Lake. On April i, the first rape-blossoms were 
visible. Barley and wheat had not yet put forth their stalks. There 
were but few fallow rice-fields to be seen. On June 3, scarcely nine 
weeks later, as I again travelled the same road, rape and barley 
harvest had commenced, and wheat was quickly nearing maturity. 
Once more, on June 26, three weeks later, I had an opportunity, of 
seeing this fruitful plain and rejoicing in its fine cultivation. What 
a change had taken place in that short time ! Of the winter crops 
— rape-seed, barley, wheat, peas, broad beans — of the high beds 
and deep furrows in the dry fields, of the countless happy mortals 
who were busy with the harvest on June 3 — of all these there is 
now nothing to be seen. The whole wide plain appears as if 
transformed by magic. Great reaches of it have been levelled, 
girt about with dikes and ditches, and changed to a marsh. The 
muddy ground is covered everywhere with rice-plants of a lovely 
green, out of which, here and there, dry patches with other crops 
project singly. Now and again one sees a solitary farmer stalking 
through this field of rice, here regulating the ingress of water with 
his hoe, there pressing in a plant more firmly with his hands or 
replacing those that have not sprouted. Silver-herons fish in this 
artificial swamp between the green rows of rice-bunches, and men 
fish in the intersecting ditches. Yet a {q\^ weeks, and one looks 
out over a continuous carpet of the loveliest emerald-green, like a 
cultivated lawn, in which, also, there is no lack of flower-beds, in the 
form of small dry patches bearing cotton, millet, and vegetables. 


When the rice has been transplanted, the earth-dykes are put 
to a further use. Small circular depressions are made upon them. 
In each of these are placed 3 to 6 dwarf beans, which are covered 
over with earth and rice-chaff. Then the chief labour is at an end. 
It only remains to go every fourteen days or so, when the rice- 
plants have commenced to grow again in their new soil, and set 
them in more firmly, and to crush and level any clods that still He 
in the mud and water — operations which are performed solely with 
the arms and hands. 

Now it is only necessary to attend to vi'atering, and later on 
to u^eeding and a second hoeing along the rows. 

Part of the farmer's time and energy can now be devoted to 
other employments, such as silk-culture, and gathering and pre- 
paring dyer's knot-grass {Polygomim tinctormui), which serves as a 
blue dye, like indigo. And there is leisure, besides, for taking a 
day's pleasure on some festival of the gods, or going on a pilgrim- 
age to some celebrated mountain or temple, if a good harvest last 
year furnished the needful money. 

The rice blossoms in early September. Harvest takes place 
from the end of September to the end of October, and even as 
late as November. It is the season when, in the temple-groves, 
the sere leaves of the Icho or Ginko {Salisbiiria adianthifolia, 
Smith) fall to the ground, broken off by the morning-dew, and the 
Momiji {Acer polymorpJium, S. and Z.) become a splendid red. 

" Behold the full panicles in the autumnal rice-field, every one 
a witness of the summer's heat and labour !" as is beautifully and 
appropriately said, in a recent collection of Buddhist sermons. 
And well may the sight of these " golden crops in the valleys " 
make glad both eye and heart. A whole bundle of straw, with 
heavy panicles, which has grown from every little group of shoots, 
richly rewards the industry spent upon them. 

As in China, the ripe rice is cut off with short sickles close above 
the ground, for the straw too is a valuable and much-used material. 
The grain when reaped is hung up on poles in small armfuls, 
rather bundles than sheaves, or it is arranged about alder-stalks 
along the rows, or brought directly home. For threshing .they do 
not use the flail, as with us, nor cattle (oxen and mules), as in the 
Mediterranean countries, but arrangements peculiar to themselves, 
which remind one of our flax-ripplers, used for separating the cap- 
sules from the stems. Another method, mentioned by Thunberg, 
is simply to strike the panicles against the edge of a barrel or a 
tub, whereby the grains fall from the stalks. 

The grains of rice are, as a rule, not husked until needed. A 
simple and very widespread arrangement for this purpose consists 
of a round trough^ hollowed out of a block of wood or a stone, 
into vi^hich the paddy is poured, to be pounded with a wooden 

^ The island of Lugon (Lozon), or Isla de los Losones, gets its name form 
these stamping-troughs (lusong). 


pestle until hulls and kernels are separated. Water-power and 
similar arrangements are also in use as with us the stamping- 
apparatus in oil-mills. 

The simplest, most primitive husking- machine is often found 
in Japanese mountain-valleys, and is used also for pulverizing 
materials in the pottery industry. A hewn beam plays the part 
of a two-armed lever. The heavier arm bears at its extremity a 
rectangular bolt shod with iron. This end is kept under cover in a 
frame building with the rice trough. The other end projects out- 
side. It is generally the longer, and its extremity is hollowed 
out in the shape of a scoop. Upon this scoop there flows a stream 
of water, which fills it, and causes it to sink ; whereupon the scoop 
empties itself, and the other end falls like a raised hammer, and 
so on. The work advances slowly, but here, in reality, "time is 
not money." 

Rice is as closely bound up with the life of the Japanese as with 
the Malay and Hindu. This is shown, among other things, by 
the fact that his language has a different word for almost every 
particular form of it. Thus the young rice-slip in the seed-bed 
before being transplanted, is called Naye (pronounced nae) ; when 
more developed, in the field, Ine. Kome (or Kuromai) is the 
name for the grains (Paddy) after being cleaned from chaff. By 
Momi or Mominai they designate the unhulled, and Hakumai 
and Tsukigome the hulled rice. When the latter is boiled and 
warm, it is called Meshi, Gozen, or O-mamma (children's name for 
it), but Hiya-meshi when it is cold. According to the time of 
ripening, they distinguish Wase, Nakade, and Oku, that is, early, 
middle, and late rice. The first is harvested in the middle of 
September, the late rice, on the other hand, not till the end of 
October. ^ The latter is by far the most important, and constitutes 
the principal crop. 

As before mentioned, Okabo is the name for mountain rice, 
Uruchi for common rice, Mochi-gome (Chinese 7io, MdiXdiy pulut, 
Javanese kattan, French, riz gluante) for glutinous rice {Oryza glu- 
tinosa, Rumph.), a special sort, often with black hulls, of which it 
was formerly thought that a part of its starch had been resolved 
into dextrin.i When hulled, the grains of this glutinous variety 
can be recognised instantly from their light colour and lack of 
lustre, as well as from their resemblance to stearine when fractured. 
Its meal affords a tough, highly elastic dough, like the most 
glutinous kind of wheat-flour. It is particularly used for making 
little round cakes, which, filled with bean-meal and sugar, are eaten 
without being baked and are very much relished. It is also used for 
paste. This glutinous rice is cultivated throughout the monsoon 
region ; and in its properties, though not in appearance, is the most 
noteworthy of all the many varieties of rice. 

Since rice, boiled in water or steam, is the foremost dish in each 
^ For more exact information, see the analyses infra. 


of the three meals amon^ the Japanese, these are called simply 
Gozen, and are spoken of as Asa-gozen, Hiru-gozen, and Yu-gozen 
(h'terally, morning, noon, and evening rice), just as the Germans say 
Moi'gen-, Mittag'^ and Abendbrod} 

The chief rice-harvest, that of the Oku, occurs towards the end 
of October, but the sowing in the latter half of April or the early 
part of May ; so that this, the most important variety of Japanese 
rice, requires half a year to develop. Rice has an almost equally 
long term of vegetation in the Batta Lands of Sumatra and in 
various other tropical monsoon regions. Comparing in this respect 
the rice of the plain of the Po, about Vercelli, e.g., with Japanese, 
it appears that the former begins to grow and stops growing a 
month earlier. Ostiglia and Japanese late rice are here sown about 
the end of March and harvested towards the end of September. 
After the first week in October, very little rice is to be seen in the 
fields of Northern Italy. 

It has been already stated that the revenues of the Daimios 
and Samurai used to be reckoned in kokii of rice ^ and were paid in 
kind, and also that the receipts from rice-land form the staple of 
modern taxation. Even the censuses were formerly made, — incom- 
pletely enough to be sure, — according to the production and con- 
sumption of rice. Nevertheless, there are hundreds of thousands 
of poor mountaineers who are glad if their small fields bear barley 
and millet. With them rice is a luxury, which at the most is given 
to the sick and to delicate children, but seldom to healthy adults. 

Three principal rice districts are to be distinguished in Japan. 
The northern one of these sends its surplus chiefly to Tokio. From 
the middle and southern, the greater part still goes to 6zaka, which 
was always the great market for the rice and silk trade while the 
country was closed. The foremost rice-growing neighbourhoods 
of Honshiu or Hondo are as follows : the larger plains along the 
lower courses of the three leading rivers (San-dai-ka), the Tone-, 
Kiso-, and Shinano-gawa, the plain of the Kuwanto, the plain of the 
provinces of Mino, Ovvari, and Ise, and also that of Echigo. Be- 
sides these are also to be noted the plain of Ozaka on the lower 
Yodo-gawa, the Sendai plain, the plain of Akita on the Sea of 
Japan and of Mongami in the interior, the Aidzu-taira and Iwaki- 
taira, and several others. On Shikoku the following places are 
noted for extensive rice-culture : Awa, parts of Sanuki, and the 
neighbourhood of Kochi ; on Kiushiu, Higo, especially near the 
capital, Kumamoto, besides Bungo, Chikiigo, and Eastern Hiiiga, 
on the Pacific. 

Japanese rice is esteemed the best in all Eastern Asia, and is 
valued higher than that of Java or India. When hulled, it shows 

^ In China a meal-time is similarly termed ischi fa?!., " to eat rice." 
Williams : "The Middle Kingdom," vol. i. p. 772. 

2 A koku of rice (182*5 liters weighs on an average 145 kg. and costs in Japan 
3 to 4^ dollars (12 to 18 shillings). 



a medium-sized handsome grain, with a dull silky lustre and glassy- 
fracture. It is very palatable. This especially holds good of the 
valuable sorts from the provinces of Higo and Mino. It was from 
the latter that the household of the Tokugawa Sh6gun in Yedo 
always drew its supply. A part of the rice of Japan is used in 
making Sake, or rice-beer. (See the chapter on this subject.) 
Rice-straw is not much used for foddering or bedding cattle, nor for 
thatching roofs, but it is chiefly employed in an industry of no little 
importance ; sandals (for men and beasts of burden), rope, and other 
packing materials are prepared from it. 

Of the various analyses of important Japanese food-stuffs which 
have recently been published, the following, with reference to rice, 
may conclude this subject : — 

Table I. 





Common Rice. 

Mountain Rice. 

Glutinous Rice. 

Glutinous Rice. 

Per Cent. 

Per Cent. 

Per Cent. 

Per Cent. 

Raw protein . . . 





Raw fat ... . 





Raw fibre .... 





Starch ) 


Dextrin > . . . . 





Sugar ) 








1 00 '02 



In these analyses, A, B, and C, refer to unhulled, and D, to hulled 
rice. The first, with Table II., was published by Kellner in Nobbe's 
*• Landwirthschaftliche Versuchsstationen," vol. xxx., 1884; the 
last, by Kreusler and Dafert, in the " Landwirthschaftliche Jahr- 
bucher," vol. xiii., p. 767. Kellner found no difference worthy of 
remark in the chemical composition of swamp rice, mountain rice 
and glutinous rice. On the other hand, the other two chemists 
state most emphatically that the starch of the glutinous rice gave 
a brown iodine reaction, instead of the dark blue of ordinary rice- 
starch. This difference was, moreover, already mentioned by 
Atkinson, on p. 2 of his treatise on " The Chemistry of Sake-brew- 
ing," (Tokio, 1 881). But this by no means settles the question 
as to the cause of the unusual glutinosity of the meal of Oryza 
gijitinosa, Rumph. 

I received samples of the three chief kinds of rice from last 
year's harvest in Japan, all three of them being yellow-awned rice 
and scarcely distinguishable when unhulled. The weight of one 
hundred grains of paddy was 2,672 gr. for glutinous rice, 2,560 gr. 
for swamp rice (Oku), 2,209 gr. for mountain rice, and of hulled 



2, 1 88 gr., 2,189 gr., and 1,908 gr. respectively, so that 37*4 corns of 
unhulled glutinous rice, 39 corns of swamp rice, and 45*2 corns of 
mountain rice go to a grain. Of these weights, 81-9%, 85-5 %, and 
S6"3 % respectively are due to the kernels and the rest to the husks. 

Table II. 








a . 

•3 . 






Water .... 








In the dry sub- 


Raw protein . . 
















Raw fibre . . . 

I '45 







Ashes (without C 

and CO2) . . . 

I -02 







Starch .... 








Raw sugar and\ 

dextrin . . 


Glucose ... 
Other extractive- 





• 2-31 


stuffs, free from 

Nitrogen . . >' 


Total Nitrogen 








Albuminous Nitro- 

gen . . . . . 








Non - Albuminous 


(though Cu OH) 








Ditto (through 


tic acid) . . . 






Analysis of Ashes. 

In 100 parts of 

pure ashes : 










4 94 




























I -80 



P. 0, 










2 -08 






















Total .... 








Deduct for CI 

















I and 2 are hulled rice ; 3 is maize, small yellow grains ; 4, Pani- 
cum italiann ; 5, Sorghum saccharatum ; 6, Ph. radiatus, much 
cultivated, of the bean order ; 7, Canavallia incurva, forms vines, 
little cultivated, husks about 20 cm. long, 6 to 8 reddish seeds, each 
weighing about 2*5 gr. 

2. Wheat, Ko-mugi {Triticum vulgare, L.) Mugi is a collective 
name for wheat and barley, which are distinguished, from the 
size of their respective grains, as little (ko) and big (o) mugi. I 
have only met with this one kind of wheat in Japan (finding 
neither spelt, English wheat, nor any other).^ And it has always 
been as a winter crop that 1 have found it, — generally bearded, 
though sometimes, too, without beard, both forms frequently 
being mixed in the same field. Sowing, as a rule, takes place 
in November, the development of blossoms and ears in May, and 
harvest in June. In northern parts, however, and in high-lying 
neighbourhoods, like Shinano, harvest does not begin till towards 
the end of July or the beginning of August. 

It has been remarked in a former passage, and Maron noted it 
also, that wheat does not play a prominent part in Japan, and 
gives an impression of having degenerated, probably in conse- 
quence of insufficient seed-interchange. Its flour is mostly made 
into small cakes (Mochi), with a diameter of scarcely 5 or 6 cm. 
and eaten, like those made from glutinous rice (Mochi-gome), either 
by themselves, or in the form of dough, strewn with black bean- 
meal and brown sugar. 

3. Barley, 0-mugi {Hordeum vulgare.'L.). The four-lined sub- 
species, H. tetrastichum, and the six-lined, H. hexastichum, L., a 
short-awned variety, are both cultivated, though as winter crops 
only. Sowing takes place mostly in October or November, bloom in 
early May, and harvest in July. Like buckwheat and the different 
kinds of millet, its grain is used chiefly in porridge, though as 
horse-feed and chicken-feed also. Two-lined barley, which Maron 
mentions also, I have never found, nor do I find it copied in any 
Japanese book. On the other hand, naked barley, Japanese Ha- 
daka-mugi {Hordeum vnlgare, /3, nudum s. cceleste, L.), occurs fre- 
quently ; it is easily distinguished^ from the common four-lined 
form by the mere outward appearance of its ears. Kinch mis- 
takenly designates Hadaka-mugi as rye {Secale cereale, L.). It has 
also been confounded with spelt, eg., by Scherzer), an error that is 
hardly possible in the field, though perhaps easy enough when the 
grains alone are compared, they having more resemblance to hulled 
spelt than to rye. Japan possesses neither rye nor oats, as has 
been already stated. Kaempfer, certainly, brings in Avena sativa, 
L., under the name of Karasu-mugi (raven barley.?), "Amoen. 
exot.," 834 ff., as also Thunberg after him. " Flora jap.," p. 34. 
But ic is found neither in Siebold nor in Kinch, and I do not know 
any Japanese representation of it. 

^ Thunberg, Siebold, and Kinch also mention only Triticum vulgare, L. 



From April to June inclusive, the various kinds of millet are 
sown in small furrows — less frequently in beds for subsequent 
transplanting. They are harvested in September and October. 
There come now for our consideration : — 

4. The common, or panicle millet, Japanese KibI {Panimui 
iniliaceuni^ L.), which is grown much less extensively than the two 

5. Club, or Italian millet, Japanese Awa [Panicuin iialicuiUy L. ; 
vcrticillatinn^ Th. ; Setaria italica^ Kunth), a grain which, with the 
sort that follows, is oftenest grown on dry, light soil, especially 
in mountain regions. It is instantly recognisable by its thick 
cylindrical hanging panicles. There are a good many varieties, 
among which those predominate which, from their prominent, 
unfruitful, bristle-shaped, blossom-pedicles, appear as short- awned. 
The sweet yellow meal of its small seeds is of great importance as 
food, both in Japan and China. 

6. Crow-foot millet, Hiye, Ko-kibi (little millet), in Thunberg 
[Panicuin criis-galli, L. ; P. corvi, Thunb. ; Oplismemis cnis-galli, 
Kunth). P aniciun frunientaceiLin^ Roxb. {Op/isvie/iiis, Kunth), is also 
grown under this name, Hiye, but not as often as the former sort. 

7. Finger millet, Japanese Kamomata-kibi, or Shishi-hiye and 
Nora-hiye {Eleiisine coracana, Gaertn. ; Cynosnrus coracantis, L.). In 
certain parts of India, as Mysore and the Punjab, this smallish un- 
pretentious grain is much cultivated under the name Raggi, and fur- 
nishes the poor people a valuable food-supply. In Japan it is quite 
subordinate to the two already mentioned (Awa and Hiye), so that 
you might wander through the country for days together without 
meeting it. I found it in Echigo, after harvest, where its short stalks 
had been left standing and only the tops, with their three to five 
ears standing together finger-fashion, cut off. I discovered it also in 
Kaga, where the peasants called it Kamoashi and Kamo-mata-kibi. 
They preferred its meal to Ko-mugi-no-ko (wheat-flour) for small 
dough-cakes. In other places I heard the name Sankaku-hiye, 
three-cornered (three-edged) hiye, which refers no doubt to its 
three-edged stalk. In Thunberg and Kaempfer are to be found 
the Japanese terms, Kokusa and Nanban-kibi, e.g.^ Barbarian 

8. Guinea corn or Durrah, Japanese Morokoshi [Sorghum vul- 
gare, Perse ; Holms sorghum, L.); called also Taka-kibi (high millet), 
is of only small importance for Japan. This grain is seldom found 
except along the borders of fields, encircling them in a furrow ; and 
even this but rarely. It is raised in April, in a seed-bed. Later, 
having attained a height of about 15 cm., it is transplanted at 
intervals of from 25 to 30 cm. It is harvested in September. The 
same holds good for the long-panicled form, the broom-corn, so 
often grown in Northern Italy, and of whose panicles brooms are 
also made in Eastern Asia. 

9. Job's tears, Japanese Dzudzu-dama and Yokui-nin [Coix 


lacryma Jobi, L.). This grain, which is dioecious and related to 
maize, is found almost always near houses, in small moist beds. 
Its white seeds, which are nearly globular and hard, are used, not 
so much for food, as for making Buddhist rosaries, and even these 
only exceptionally. I do not know whether the tear-grass is used 
in Japan to make mats, as in Canton. (See Scherzer.) 

lo. Maize {Zea Mais, L.) is called T6-moro-koshi, T6-kibi, 
Satsuma-kibi, and Nanban-kibi by the Japanese. Of the three 
great gifts which the Kew World offered the Old in the sixteenth 
century, tobacco was most joyfully received, and found the quickest 
entrance and dissemination among the nations of the earth. Maize 
followed it, and then the potato. This last did not begin its eastern 
journey till late, and advanced slowly, only winning warm friends, 
outside of Europe, among the Maoris of New Zealand. Maize, in its 
half-ripe condition, on the cob, offered a ready food, quickly and 
easily prepared by boiling or roasting, with a sweet taste, which is 
more pleasing to the people of Africa and Asia than the stronger 
flavour of our common potato. This explains its more rapid spread 
in favourable climates. 

An additional reason is, that, with its various sub-species, it 
accommodates itself within a wide zone to manifold conditions 
of climate and soil, from the equator to latitude 50° in North 
America, as in Europe, and to the fortieth parallel in the southern 
hemisphere, — from the hot, damp shores of Eastern Mexico to the 
plateau of Anahuac and the plain of Utah, where its cultivation is 
only rendered possible by irrigation. 

Like rice, maize is a summer growth — more modest, it is true, 
than the latter in its demands for warmth and moisture, but yet 
more dependent upon them than are our European cereals. To 
develop and ripen its grains, it requires a mean summer warmth 
of at least 15° C. But to flourish, it must have also a bountiful 
supply of water, natural or artificial, for its deep-growing roots. 
Hence its cultivation is restricted — in the Mediterranean basin, 
for example, almost entirely to its northern side, where, as in 
the valley of the Po, there is no lack of rain in summer. On the 
other hand, some of its sub-species, :with a short period of vegeta- 
tion (three months, instead of five or six), reach in America quite 
to the Red River of the North, the southern tributary of Lake 
Winnipeg. The climate there is, I suppose, harder than that of 
Northern Germany ; but with a greater rain-fall in the short, warm 
summer, and an extremely fertile virgin soil, the development and 
ripening of maize is sufficiently fostered, as is not the case in 
Thuringia, say, under almost the same parallel. 

On the discovery of America, Columbus found maize, among 
other things, cultivated in Hispaniola, and later by the Indians at 
the various points on the mainland where he touched. The Carib 
term Mahis was adopted and changed to maize. To this day 
maize flourishes best in American soil, where, according to Alex- 



ander von Humboldt, it returns in some places harvests of three- 
hundred fold. Moreover, the greatest number of sub-varieties are 
found in America (over sixty) ; a point of no little significance 
in answering the question as to its origin. Many of these, too, 
lose their character when transplanted to other countries. In the 
fertile Central States of the Union — Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, 
Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri, its strong roots find abundant 
nourishment in their deep alluvial soil and copious summer rains. 
Maize-culture has therefore acquired an extent and significance 
unequalled anywhere else in the world. 

As the various Teutonic nations bestow the word corn upon 
their principal grain, — the German on rye, the Swede on barley, 
the Englishman on wheat, — so the North American calls maize 
**corn," or " Indian corn," in proper recognition of its value. 

Its cultivation, as already remarked, spread rapidly over the 
Old World, and first to the three great peninsulas of Southern 
Europe, from west to east successively, but gained no real foot- 
hold except in the countries adjoining on the north, particularly 
in the valley of the Po and the lands of the Lower Danube. In 
the ioxvci^x, polenta, prepared from Indian meal, became a national 
dish ; in the latter, among the Roumanians, mamaliga, a cake 
made from the meal of Kukuruz (maize). 

From the lands of the Lower Danube, maize-culture spread to 
the fertile Ukraine, and has since then been a competitor there 
with wheat. The Portuguese spread it, as well as tobacco, with 
their naval supremacy, along the coasts of Africa ^ and Southern 
and Eastern Asia. Its introduction followed their first landing, in 
China in 15 17, on the Philippine Islands 1520, in Japan 1542, 
though perhaps not immediately. 

Different authors have disputed whether this was really the course 
of the advance of maize in Eastern Asia. Von Siebold believed 
he had discovered maize-cobs on an old Japanese coat-of-arms, 
and had found other proofs of a very ancient cultivation of Zea 
maize in China and Japan. ^ The French agronoin Bonafous, also, 
to whom we owe the most complete work on maize,^ doubts whether 
Eastern Asia became acquainted with maize until after the dis- 
covery of America. The same was the case again in more recent 

^ In Dapper : " Beschreibung von Africa," published by Jacob von Meurs, 1670, 
we find, p. 457 : " Erstlich hat man den Reis, als auch den Tiirkischen 
Weitzen, den die Indier Mays nennen, und die Portugallier am allerersten 
aus Westindien, da er iiberfliissig wachset, auf der Ins el des heiligen 
Thomas, und von da auf den Goldstrand gebracht, und den Schvvartzen 
m itgeteilet. Dan vor der Portugallier Zeit war ihnen dieses Gewachse unbekant : 
aber itzund wachset es bey ihnen iiberall in grosser menge. Auch backen sie 
Broht darvon, darunter sie zuweilen Hiirse, zuweilen keine menge." 

^ " Ex antiquis temporibus in insulis Japanicis cultum frumentum." See 
" Synopsis Plantarum CEconomicarum Universi Regni Japanici," in " Verhand- 
lingen van het Batavisch Genootschap," XII. Bat, 1830. 

2 " Histoire nat., agric. et dconomique du Mais." Paris, 1836. 


times with the interpreter of the EngHsh embassy in Pekin, W. F. 
Mayers. Both base their view, that maize was known in China 
before the discovery of America, chiefly on the Chinese work 
"Pen-tsao-kang-mu," the well-known Materia Medica of the 
Chinese, which contains an undeniable representation of our plant. 
But Li Shi chen (Tung pi), the celebrated author of that work, 
compiled it in the twenty-six years from 1552 to 1578.^ This 
then does not at all contradict the view that maize did not come 
to Eastern Asia till after America was discovered. This view has 
been repeated and most convincingly established by the famous 
Genevan botanical geographer, A de Candolle,^ so that to take up 
the subject again would seem almost unnecessary. There are, 
however, other proofs, to my mind more direct, of my statement 
that maize was introduced into Eastern Asia by the Portuguese — 
proofs which De Candolle did not use, though among other things, 
he correctly stated that maize has no Sanscrit name, and is 
mentioned neither by Marco Polo nor Mendez Pinto. 

Then too, as Von Siebold also mentions, it is a significant 
fact in this connection, that Japan raises only two sorts of maize. 
Now, it is highly probable that a larger number of sub-species 
would have been developed in the case of such an old culture, 
as of almost all other fruits of the field. Further, it must be 
emphasized that now-a-days this corn plays only a very subordinate 
role among the other nutritious plants of the country, its culti- 
vation being restricted to the borders of fields and to solitary beds, 
and never extended over wide stretches. Also its grain is used 
only for a few weeks in summer, when the green ears are roasted 
over burning coals and then eaten. But this is a street custom 
in various parts of the East. Considering the conservatism of 
Japanese agriculture and its adherence to fixed methods, we may 
take for granted that there has been little change in the use of this 
grain since its introduction, and that it never was an important 
part of the country's agricultural products. But a weightier and 
more convincing reason for thinking that the culture of maize 
in Japan is not old, but was introduced by the Portuguese, is the 
fact that Indian corn has no proper Japanese name. All other 
plants, — those brought over from China no less than most of the 
indigenous ones, — have such names. But all the designations for 
maize already mentioned are borrowed names, which clearly 
indicate a foreign origin for this grain. Thus the term " T6- 
morokoshi " means Chinese sorghum ; T6-kibi," Chinese millet, 
and " Nanban-kibi," millet of the southern barbarians. Moreover, 
the Chinese in Formosa call maize " Fan-meh," that is, foreign 
grain — an expression they certainly would not have employed \i 
the thing itself had been known to them in their mother-country 

* Bretschneider : "Botanicum Sinicum," p. 55. 

2 A. de Candolle: a. '* Biblioth^que universelle de Geneve," aout, 1836. b. 
" raisonnee,'' p. 942, c. "L'origine des plantes cultivees," pp. 31 1-3 19. 



The words "Fan," foreign, and " Nanban " (pronounced Namban), 
that is, southern barbarians, point to Europeans coming from the 
South, especially the Portuguese ; for they, above all, were called 
foreigners and "Nanban." The expressions " T6-morokoshi " and 
" T6-kibi " are no less easily understood, however, than " Welsch- 
korn " (Italian Corn), and *' Tiirkischer VVeizen " (Turkish wheat) 
to-day. The Germans became acquainted with maize through Italy 
and Turkey, and therefore call it after these countries. The 
same is true of the Japanese with regard to maize, as coming from 
China. The grain came from that country, and was also, in part, 
like tobacco, brought directly by the Portuguese, in the period 
of Tensho (i 573-1 592 A.D.), at the time of Hideyoshi. 

II. Buckwheat {Fagopyrum esciilentinn^ Moench ; Polygonum 
Fagopyrtim^ L.), Japanese Soba. The home of this plant, which is 
spread throughout the northern temperate zone, seems to be 
Mantchooria and the neighbouring regions of Central Asia, where, 
according to Maximovicz, it grows wild.^ PVom here it was early 
carried over the north-eastern monsoon region, and in the middle 
ages across Western Asia to Europe by Mongolian and Turkish- 
Tartar peoples. As to its cultivation and use, buckwheat is related 
most to the millet varieties. Like them, it is principally a summer 
growth ; like them, it is satisfied with light, sandy soil, and fur- 
nishes in its seeds a meal which is made, in a similar fashion, into 
soup and broth. This meal, however, is also used to make little 
cakes, though not in the form of the " Blinies " so much relished 
by Russians, and the buckwheat cakes of North America. These 
are unknown in Japanese kitchens, in which another method of 
preparation prevails.^ As with us, buckwheat in Japan blossoms 
in late summer and autumn. Its harvest is in October. It is also 
raised as a winter crop, though rarely. 

(b) Pulse, or Leguminous Plants. 

The agricultural products included under this general name 
come undoubtedly next to grain in range and importance. In 
their high proportion of protein, and in nutritious value, they far 
exceed all other sources of vegetable food, and resemble eggs. 
Alone, or with eggs and fish, they take the place of meat for many 
millions of the earth's inhabitants, especially in Eastern Asia. 
They are called by the Japanese, Mame, a name which is applied 
especially to various kinds of beans, the most important and wide- 
spread representatives of the family in Japan. Their use is more 
diverse than in most other countries. When boiled, they furnish 

^ Maximowicz : " Primitiae floras Amurensis." St. Petersburg, 1859. 

2 " E farina hujus placentas rotundse, saspe coloratae, coctae in usum pere- 

grinantium, in omnibus tabernis venales extant." — Thunberg, 
p. 169. 

Flora Japonica," 


a favourite relish to the rather insipid water-cooked rice and 
millet, and other starchy grains. Some of them also serve in 
preparing sauce, vegetable jelly, and other things known under 
the names Shoyu, Tofu, and Miso, and much used in Japanese 
housekeeping. With the exception of peas and broad beans, all 
the plants in this group are raised only in summer, because the 
winter of Japan is too severe for them. In the case of the latter, 
terrace-cultivation is general ; of the former, cultivation in rows. 
There are grown in Japan : 

1. The ground-nut, Japanese Rakkuwash6 (pronounced Rak- 
kasho), and T6-jin-mame, that is, Chinese bean {Arachis hypogcea, 
L.) It is planted only in the warmer southern parts of the country, 
and over a small territory. Sometimes it is roasted and eaten, at 
others, made into oil. (See further under oil-plants.) 

2. The soy-bean, Japanese Daidzu and 0-mame {Glycine hispida, 
Moench. ; Soja hispida, Miq. ; Dolichos sofa, L.), was introduced 
into our botanical gardens nearly a century ago.^ But it did not 
receive much attention from us till after the Vienna Exhibition. 
There is now scarcely a European country in which attempts to 
raise it have not been made ; within the last ten years, scarcely a 
journal of horticulture or agriculture which has not pictured or 
described it.^ In France and Austro-Hungary especially, much 
attention has been paid to the soy-bean during this period ; and 
its cultivation has been attempted in many places, with greater 
or less success.^ The results of these studies and experiments in 
Austria have been recorded in an interesting work by Prof. Haber- 
landt, through whom principally they were undertaken, in and 
on behalf of the imperial high-school of agriculture, with seeds 
from China, Japan, and Mongolia.* These results seem to estab- 
lish the fact that the soy-bean can be raised in a temperate 
cliniate, and to bear witness to its great productiveness, its extra- 
ordinary nutritiousness, and the various other qualities for which 
it is celebrated. They thus possess a manifold interest. Among 
the pulse of Japan (and not less of China), the soy-bean ranks 
first in extent, variety of use, and value; and chemical analyses 
prove the empirical judgment to be well founded. 

In point of nutriment, the soy-bean is of all vegetables the 
nearest to meat. It contains nearly two-fifths of its weight in 
legumin rich in nitrogen, and nearly one-sixth in fat. The soy-bean 
is to the inhabitants of Japan what their garba7tzos (chick-peas) are 
to the Spanish, and their/^y<id7/r^/^ (black beans) to the Brazilians. 
But chick-peas are only served as relish and garnishing to meat, 

* In the " Hortus Kewensis " of Ait. the year 1790 is given as the date of its 
introduction into England. 

2 See also Ue Candolle : " L'Origine des Plantes cultive'es," p. 265. 

3 As good representations of the soy-bean, I may mention that of E. 
Kaempfer, 1880, pp. 154 and 185. 

* " Die Sojabohne." Vienna, 1878. 



while Daidzu serves as a substitute, being, indeed, in a certain 
sense, oil and spice to the insipid, starchy rice and the barley or 
millet porridge with which it is eaten. 

The numerous varieties of the soy-bean grow on fine, leafy 
bushes from 0*50 to 100 metre high, with many and regular twigs. 
The number and extent of its branches correspond to strength of 
trunk and root. Among further distinctive features of the plant 
is its abundant foliage of large triplet leaves, which appear at the 
numerous internodes. But still more distinctive is the thick 
reddish brown hair with which pods, leaf-stalks, the upper surfaces 
of leaves, and even twigs are covered. 

The axes both of trunk and branches in the black-seeded species 
have a marked tendency to wind, but do not require props. This 
winding is much less noticeable with the stiffer stems of the pale 
yellow and reddish brown varieties. At every higher whorl of 
leaves there is developed a little cluster of blossoms. The blossoms 
themselves are plain-looking, like those of lentils, in colour a white 
lilac or pale violet. They are followed by rich growths of fruit, 
which, with the development of blossoms, continue from the middle 
of summer till late autumn, when night-frosts usually bring them 
to a sudden end. 

The pods, roughly haired and hanging, appear mostly in pairs, 
though often in threes and fours on a common stem. They have 
short stems and are short and cylindrical themselves. They end 
in a beak and have as a rule two seeds, with a strongly-marked 
division between them, as Kaempfer's picture shows. However, 
among some species there are many pods of three and four beans 
and sometimes these outnumber the others. Its great need of 
light and warmth being supplied, a single soy-plant in proper soil, 
will, according to Haberlandt, put forth two hundred pods, on an 
average. In regular field cultivation, the crop is, of course, much 
smaller. Attempts at cultivation in Austria up to 1878 gave 
widely divergent results, from 680-fold down to a total failure 
of the crop in consequence of long-continued wet, cold weather. 
Haberlandt put down at 73-fold the average produce of 1877, 
after a summer of rain and low temperature. But the crop-returns 
of China and Japan by no means agree with this. In the latter, 
for example, according to Scherzer, six Sho of seed-beans of the 
early-ripening Shiro-mame are credited with a crop of 120 Sho on 
300 Tsubo of land. This means a harvest of only 20-fold, or, taking 
account of seed lost in sprouting, about twelve pods of two beans 
each to every plant. 

In Japan the varieties of soy-bean are distinguished — according 
to colour, as white (more properly yellowish), black, brownish red, 
green, and spotted ; according to duration of growth, as early- 
ripening, middle-ripening, and late-ripening; according to form, 
as spherical, ellipsoidal, kidney-shaped, and compressed laterally ; 
according to use, as those which serve principally in making Shoyu 


(soy), Tofu (bean-cheese), and Miso (a sort of sauce), and those 
eaten in any plain shape.^ 

(a) White (pea-yellow) soy-beans, Japanese Shiro-mame or 
Haku-daidzu. To this division belongs an early-ripening sort 
with very small seeds, called Goguwatsu-mame, or " five-months- 
kind," because it ripens in the fifth month of the old Japanese 
calendar, our July ; also another small-seeded, early-ripening 
variety, the Wase-mame or Natsu-mame, that is, early and 
summer-bean. These two are also called Tofu-mame, because 
they are used chiefly in making Tofu. Another sort serves to 
produce Miso. It is called Nakate-mame, "middle-late bean," its 
time of maturity occurring half-way between that of the early and 
late kinds. Its seeds are round and somewhat larger. The late- 
ripening varieties, Okute-mame (late-bean), Maru-mame (bullet- 
bean), and Teppo-mame (gun-bean), or Aki-mame (autumn-bean) 
have, as their names indicate, mostly bullet-shaped seeds, which 
become harder and larger than the early ones. The variety last 
named is used in making Shoyu, while Maru-mame is valuable as 

(/3) Black soy-beans, Japanese Kuro-mame or Koku-daidzu. 
These are eaten boiled, with sugar, as an entree or as a relish to 
rice. There is a middle-late sub-species with round, elliptical 
seeds, Kuro-mame, in short, and another like it, with big, bullet- 
shaped beans, called Kuro-teppo-mame. And again there is a 
late-ripening sort with flat, elliptical seeds under several names. 

(7) Brown soy-beans, Japanese Katsu-daidzu (thirsty soy-bean) 
are much less grown than the white and black sub-species, and 
are used like the latter. They are distinguished as Aka-mame, 
red soy-beans, round, of red-brown colour, in difl'erent varieties, and 
Cha-mame, tea-beans, three light-brown sorts of small extent and 

(S) Greenish or bluish green soy-beans, Japanese Ao-mame or 
Sei-daidzu, are eaten mostly boiled and with sugar, like the black 
and brown-red varieties. And, with the brownish sorts, they are 
much less widely grown than the black and yellowish. The 
Japanese distinguish the following sub-species of Ao-mame : — 

a. Sei-hito, — epidermis green, inside a whitish yellow. 

b. Nikuri-sei, — greenish throughout. Both sub-varieties run 
from roundish-ellipsoidal to a bullet roundness, are of medium size, 
and remind one of green peas. 

c. Kage-mame, with pale green, round beans. 

(e) Speckled soy-beans, Japanese Fuiri-mame or Han-daidzu. 
This group is not important. Its cultivation is confined to a 
small area, in a few provinces. Its sub-varieties are known as : — 

a. Kuro-kura-kake-mame, with a black spot on the saddle (eye), 
otherwise greenish ; flat and with the outline of an ^gg. 

^ I doubt the spontaneous appearance of the soy-bean in Japan, although it 
is asserted in several works on the flora of that country. 


b. Aka-kura-kake-mame, with a brown spot on the saddle (eye), 
otherwise yellowish-green, flat and drawn out long. 

c. Fuiri-mame or Udzura-mame, speckled or spotted soy-bean, 
yellowish-green with many dark flecks. A rare variety, grown 
only in a few places, especially in Harima. 

Early-ripening soy-beans are sown as early as April in Southern 
Japan, in Central Japan during May. Those that ripen in autumn 
need much more warmth, and are sown, as a rule, one month later. 
In mountain-districts, land is often chosen which has lain fallow 
all winter, or wheat and barley-fields are taken. The soy-beans are 
here planted in terraces, being put into holes beside the stalks of 
ripening winter grain. Hence, when this is harvested, the pulse 
needs only to be hoed and manured. Late-ripening Daidzu is also 
a favourite for planting along the edge of fields and on the new- 
built dykes of rice-fields. 

With its thick foliage, the soy-bean needs more light and warmth 
than our pulse. If air and light are denied it, the blossoms 
and fruit are scanty, and without the required warmth, the latter 
does not ripen. The shade of tea-bushes in Eastern Asia, and of 
grape-vines with us, is sufficient to diminish considerably its fruc- 
tification. It is therefore not profitable to plant it in tea-gardens 
and vineyards. For the same reason its seeds should be planted 
far apart, from four to fifteen in a square meter. 

It has been found that the early ripening sorts require an aver- 
age warmth of from 20° to 30° C, according as they are sown at 
the beginning or in the middle of May. This varies not merely 
with the sub-species, but also according to the time of sowing, 
inasmuch as a delay in the latter until the middle or end of May 
brings about a quicker development and a shortening of the period 
of vegetation, in the higher temperature of air and soil that then 
prevails. These early-ripening sorts flourish farther north even 
than the limit of successful maize-culture. The others are pre- 
vented by the first frosts from reaching the natural conclusion of 
their growth, for their blossoms and unripe pods die when the 
temperature falls below — 2° C. 

At the end of his above-mentioned treatise, Haberlandt summed 
up in five noteworthy propositions, the results of his experiments 
with the soy-bean and of its chemical analysis. His conclusions 
are as follows : — 

{a) The acclimatization of the early-ripening sorts, particularly 
those with yellow and reddish brown seeds, appeared to have fully 
succeeded in Central Europe. 

ib) The seeds obtained were larger, heavier, and handsomer 
than those from Eastern Asia, the chemical composition, however, 
remaining unchanged. 

(r) The soy-plant resists light spring frosts better than our 
young beans, and endures greater dryness in summer than most 
leguminous plants, though otherwise much like other kinds of beans. 


(d) It is distinguished by heavy crops, besides furnishing, in its 
stems and leaves, either green or dried, a nourishing feed, of which 
cattle are very fond. 

(e) In their high percentage of protein and fat, they far excel 
all other pulse in nutritive quality ; and when properly prepared 
are second to none in flavour. 

After such favourable judgments, it might have been expected 
that the soy-bean, at least in the warmer regions of Austro- 
Hungary, would soon become popular and generally cultivated. 
The result, however, was quite otherwise. The hopes which he 
had aroused in behalf of this plant seem to have disappeared with 
Haberlandt, who died in 1878. 

As I know from a reliable source,^ people soon became con- 
vinced that it was possible to cultivate with certainty the early- 
ripening yellow sorts. The crops from these, however, are un- 
satisfactory. It is so difficult to boil them soft that they have no 
sale and cannot be turned to due account. 

In view of the interest attaching for all these reasons to the 
cultivation and use of Glycme hispida in Japan and neighbouring 
countries, I introduce two tables at the close of this section, the 
first giving several analyses of it and of its straw, the second a 
view of its chemical composition as compared with other leguminous 

3. Ray-fruited dwarf-bean, Jap. Adzuki [Phaseolus radiatus, 
L.). Kaempfer gives an excellent description of this, a variety that 
is always provided with hairs on stalk and leaf Its short petioles, 
springing from the base of the leaf, form a cluster of yellow 
blossoms, followed in turn by from four to six hanging pods, either 
spread out in wheel-shape or drawn together to a head. These 
pods are cylindrical. The beans are no larger than small peas, 
but shaped like a blunt ellipsoid, smooth and shining, and greatly 
differentiated according to colour and size. Since the Adzuki have 
a better taste than most other leguminous plants, their cultivation 
and consumption have always been more extensive throughout 
the whole monsoon region — in fact, second only to the soy-bean. 
The numerous sub-species are grouped by Salvatier ^ as follows : — 

(a) Typicus, Umbellated pods, horizontally flattened, and 
covered with red or black hairs. To this division belongs Adzuki 
or Oku-adzuki (large adzukij with relatively large, brownish red 

{b) Penditlus. Pods smooth or set with short hairs, and hanging 
in sets of four, two opposite two. The following varieties are 
worthy of notice here. 

a. Kuro-adzuki, black-fruited adzuki. 

y8. Shiro-adzuki, white-fruited adzuki. The colour is no more 

^ According to written information, kindly furnished by Prof, von Liebenberg, 
of Vienna. 
^ " Enumeratio Plantarum," etc. 


white than in the case of the DoHchos. They are yellow, hke 
many peas, which at first glance they appear more to resemble 
than beans, though smaller and of attenuated shape. 

7. Tsuru-adzuki, twining Adzuki. 

\c) StLbtrilobatus, Jap. Bundo and Yayenari, each having from 
four to six cylindrical, hanging pods. 

4. The Japanese sword-bean, "le haricot du Japon," Jap. 
Nata-mame {Canavalia inciirva, D. C. ; DoHchos inairvus, Thunb.), 
a kind of climbing bean with somewhat large, pink blossoms in 
simple clusters. Leaves three-cleft, as with all species of beans ; 
the leaf-divisions oval, pointed, smooth. Pods hanging, curved 
somewhat like a sword, thick, broad, and often 20 cm. long, with 
large beans. In the case of one variety, they are pink (Aka-nata- 
mame) ; of another, white (Shiro-nata-mame). The young pods 
are cooked with the beans or eaten pickled. 

5. Coast sword-bean, Jap. Hama-nata-mame {Canavalia lineata, 
D. C. ; DoHchos Hneatus, Thunb.), growing wild in several reaches of 
the southern coast ; seeds little used. 

6. The common bean, Jap. Ingen-mame {Phaseoius vulgaris^ 
L.), is also cultivated in the climbing form, though mostly as a 
dwarf-bean. But it is evident from its small number of sub- 
species (not more than twelve or fifteen) that its cultivation has 
not the antiquity, and certainly not the importance, which it has in 
many other countries. The seeds are generally eaten when ripe, 
though sometimes with the young pods. 

7. Phaseoius uiuitiflorus, L. The scarlet-runner is mentioned 
by Kinch, but without native names. It appears to have been 
only lately introduced, as no older botanist refers to it, and I have 
never come across it. 

8. Phaseoius Mungo, L. I noticed beans of this kind, probably 
the smallest of all, in the Kew collection from the Japanese division 
of the Vienna Exhibition, with the note, " Used for food in Japan." 
How far this is the case, I cannot say, nor do I find them else- 
where mentioned as Japanese. 

9. Vigna Catjang Walpers {DoHchos Catjang, L.). 

10. Pachyrhizus angulatus, Rich. {DoHchos bulbosus, L.). Of 
both these kinds, which I also saw in Kew as from Japan, the 
same thing is true as of No. 8. 

1 1. Umbellate-blossomed dolichos-bean, Jap. Sasage or Sasagi 
{DoHchos imibellatus, Thunb.). The stalk, which is sometimes a 
climber, puts forth from the bases of its leaves long blossoms. 
These umbels are followed by as many long, slender, cylindrical 
pods with small seeds. The latter are eaten sometimes ripe, some- 
times with the green pods. There are also a number of sub-species 
belonging to this species, which are distinguished and named partly 
after the colour of their beans, and partly after other features ; 
Midori-sasagi, Haku-furo-sasagi, Hata-sasagi, Adzuki-sasagi 
Yekko-sasagi, etc. 


12. Megane-sasagi {Dolichos bicontoriuSy Durieu), lately intro- 
duced from France. 

13. Kidney-bean {Lablab ailtratiis, D. C. ; Dolichos cultratus, 
Thunb. ; and D. ejisiforiniSy Thunb.). The different forms of this 
bean, which has sometimes white blossoms, sometimes red, are 
named in Japan Sengoku-mame, Fuji-mame or Azi-mame, Shiro- 
hana-azi-mame, and Hira-mame. They are distinguished from 
dolichos-beans proper by the fact that the blossoms grow like ears 
of corn, and also by their pods, which are short, like those of peas. 

The seeds of certain wild kinds of beans also serve for food. 
They are : Tankiri-mame {Rhyitchosia volubiliSy Lour. ; Glycine 
villosa, Thunb.), No-adzuki {Atylosia subrJiombea, Miq.), Tsuru- 
mame or No-mame {Glycine soja, S. and Z.), No-sasage or Karasu- 
mame {Dnmasia tnincata^ S. and Z.). 

14. Peas, Jap. Yendo (pronounced Endo), Endo-mame and 
Nora-mame {Pisimt sativum, L.). Three chief varieties of this 
species are cultivated, viz., first, the typical, white-fruited, which, as 
a rule, is eaten with the pods (Saya) while still unripe, Saya-endo, 
and secondly, the sub-species, P. s. thebaicum, Alefeld (Konigsberg 
dice-pea) with grey-green seeds (Midori-endo) or with brownish 
red (Aka-endo). The latter predominates. They are all, more- 
over, cultivated pretty frequently ; are sown in November, and 
harvested in May. 

15. Broad-bean, Jap. Sora-mame ( F/<:/(^ /^<^^, L.). This also is 
a winter crop, being sown in October and harvested in June. 

As in the Mediterranean region, the ripe beans are usually 
shred and used as horse-feed ; but they serve also as food for men. 
They are not so extensively cultivated as in many other countries. 

Analyses of Soy-beans (Glycine bispida, Moench). 





















from Vi 




Water . . . 











Protein . . 











Fat ... . 











Extractive mat- 

ter free from N. 











Raw fibre 











Ashes . . . 











1 0000 




IOC -04 






Remarks : 

Of these analyses, I., IV., V., VI., VII., VIII., IX., and X. were 



taken from Haberlandt's " Die Sojabohne." The last four origin- 
ated with Mach ; IV., V., and VI., with Caplan ; I., with Senff. 

Analysis 11. was made by Levallois of the Inst. Agronomique in 
Paris, and is taken from the "Revue horticole " ; III. is traceable 
to Kinch, and is found in the " Transact. Asiat. Soc. of Japan," 
viii., p. 398. 

Comparative Table of Analyses of Various Pulse. 














c3 'oT 
rt & rt 

-mame) . 





;2 J 

a i 

.2 K = 





•t t 


4= M 3 

u ^ 


1 % 

Water .... 










Raw Protein 




















Extractive mat- 

ter free from N. 










Raw Fibre . . 










Ashes .... 















100 00 




Of these analyses, I., IV., V., VI., VII., and VIII. are taken from 
Haberlandt's ''Die Sojabohne ;" II., from Dwars in "Transactions 
Ass. Soc. of Japan," vol. vi. ; III. was calculated after an analysis 
of Kellner in Nobbe's '* Landwirthschaftliche Versuchsstationen," 
vol. XXX., 1884; IX. is traceable to Wolff, and is taken from 
Ollech's : " Die Riickstande der Oel-fabrikation," because it turns 
out, through comparison with the soy-bean and the other starchy 
leguminous plants, that fat represents, to a certain degree the 
hydrates of carbon. 

(c) Starch-produci7ig Bulbs. 

Under this head we shall consider all of the so-called " Root- 
crops " (yHackfriicJite) which are raised for the sake of their starchy 
bulbs or roots, and also all uncultivated plants which in similar 
manner are useful as food in Japan on account of their containing 
starch ; hence all kinds of potatoes and their substitutes, called • 
collectively Imo. The number of species in this group, and the 
variety of its forms which are rich in meal and grow underground, 
are greater than in most other countries. Undoubtedly the oldest 
inhabitants of Japan derived an important food-supply from wild, 
though often valuable, species ; but in the course of time there 
was added to these a number of others, some from China, some 


from the Malay archipelago. The growth and consumption of 
these foreign species were peculiarly favoured by circumstances of 
climate, or else were developed as the results of particular tastes. 

The Japanese prefer above all the sweet bulbs of several Araceae, 
especially the Taro, and also the Batate. They are therefore more 
largely cultivated than all the others. To follow, however, the 
natural order, let us here consider : 

I. The lotus-plant, Jap. Hasu and Renge [Nelumbo micifera, 
Gaertn. ; Nehnubiinn speciosiim, Wild.; Nyniphcea nucifera, L.). Its 
home is the Indian monsoon-region, where it was first sacred to 
Siva, then to Buddha. It is difficult to determine whether Buddhist 
priests transplanted it thence to the countries of Chinese civiliza- 
tion, or whether it was already indigenous there. As far as Japan is 
concerned, I incline to the former supposition. It is certainly never 
found growing wild, either in China or Japan. On the contrary, it 
is often planted in ponds, partly for the sake of its magnificent 
blossoms, partly to obtain its edible rhizome, called Renkon in 
Japan, or on account of its oily nuts. 

Its cylindrical white rhizomes attain a considerable length, and 
a thickness of from 8 to 12 cm. They lie far down in the mud. 
They are divided by constricting fibres into long fingers, which 
when cut across disclose a very porous substance permeated by 
numerous concentric canals.^ These rhizomes contain a tolerable 
amount of starch, and are boiled and eaten in considerable quan- 
tities. To Europeans their insipid mealy taste is not agreeable ; 
but the Japanese and Chinese think a great deal of them, chiefly 
because they consider them very healthy, being easily digested by 
children and old men. (For Nitphar japoniciun and Nyiriphcea 
tetragona, see the chapter following.) 

2. Arrow-head, Jap. Kuwai {Sagittaria sagittce folia, L.). This 
plant does not follow in the botanical system, but by the nature of its 
cultivation and use it does. In China, too, the arrow-head is grown in 
ponds as a food. Its rhizomes form white, spherical protuberances, 
which, when boiled, taste like chestnuts (water-chestnuts). The 
starch prepared from them is said t,o be used in China like arrow-root. 

3. 6gi {Hedysarum esculentuin, Led.). Like the two kinds 
that follow, this papilionacea is not cultivated, and is of no great 
consequence in Japan as a source of food. The tubercle produced 
by it (I had an opportunity of seeing it only once) outwardly re- 
sembles truffles. As noted by Gmelin in his " Flora Sibirica," the 
plant prefers stony places, as, for example, in Japan, the slopes 
of Fuji-san. Its proper home is Siberia,* where it is much eaten by 
the Samoyedes. 

4. Hodo, or Hodo-imo {Apios Fortunei, Maxim.). Found in con- 

1 According to Herodotus, II. 92, the edible root of the Egyptian lotus was 
round, and about the size of an apple. If his statement is correct, the plant 
must have been some other Nymphasacea, but was certainly not the same as 
the lotus of the monsoon-region, with which we are concerned here. 


siderable quantities in bushy or wooded regions, and on mountains; 
forms a tuber more spherical than pear-shaped, which is mealy 
when boiled and is good for food. 

5. Kudzu {Pueraria Thiinbergiana, Benth. ; PachyrJiizus Thiin- 
bergianuSy S. and Z.). This plant is of frequent occurrence, es- 
pecially on the edges of forests and among bushes, through which 
its long tendrils twine. Its thick roots furnish a starch meal, which 
is used for food. 

6. The batata, or sweet-potato, Jap. : Satsuma-imo or Riukiu- 
imo {Batatas edulis, Choisy ; Convolvulus Batatas^ L. ; C. edulis, 
Thunb.). The cultivation of this important vegetable has spread 
over the greater part of the tropical and sub-tropical regions of 
the earth. In Europe and North America its territory adjoins that 
of our common potato on the south, for example in Andalusia 
and the Gulf States, whose long-continued high temperature in 
summer is quite sufficient for it. As to its origin, opinions still 
differ, but there are strong arguments in favour of South America. 
It was undoubtedly not brought to the eastern monsoon-region till 
after the discovery of the New World, a fact that is proved not 
only by the names here applied to it, but also by historical dates. 
In the Malaccas it is called batata, as in Portugal, though on the 
Philippines it is named Castillian. 

About the year 1,610 the cultivation of the batata reached China 
from Luzon ; from here the Riukiu Islands,^ where it is called 
Kara-imo (Chinese potato) and is the principal food of the inhabit- 
ants. They took up with it at once, and have cultivated it ever 
since. They were proud of possessing a precious vegetable that 
was unknown to their northern neighbours. In 1698 their king 
presented the Daimio of Satsuma with a basketful of batatas, 
which the latter planted on Tanega-shima. From this point their 
cultivation spread over the whole lordship of Satsuma, and then 
further over all the warm parts of Southern and Middle Japan. 
Thus it has come to pass that the batata is called Riukiu-imo in 
Satsuma, and Satsuma-imo in all the rest of the kingdom of 
Nippon. Only a hundred years ago, however, the cultivation of 
this vegetable, even in southern parts of the country, was so 
limited that its bulbs seemed rare dainties to children, Their 
sweetish fiavour reminds one of edible chestnuts. They contain 
only 16 per cent, of starch. The credit for its propagation belongs 
chiefly to a certain Aoki Kongo, to whom the batata-dealers of 
Tokio, about fifteen years ago, erected a monument in the neigh- 
bouring Meguro. 

The smaller bulbs of the Satsuma-imo, which are used in Japan 
for propagation, are planted, in spring, in loose, well-manured ground. 
They are arranged in rows and at intervals of from 50 to 60 cm. 
During the first two months, their young sprouts are watered several 

^ I am chiefly indebted for the remarks here following to my old friend, Ito 
Keiske, of Tokio. 

II. F 


times with fluid cesspool manure. In some neighbourhoods, in 
June, the trailing tendrils, now from 2 to 2\ m. long, are trimmed, and 
the cuttings are transplanted for further increase into a freshly- 
prepared field from which wheat has just been reaped. Each 
plant produces five or six bulbs, differing greatly in size and shape. 

The commonest and most popular sub-species is a red-skinned 
variety (Aka-imo) in the form of an ellipsoid. There is one variety 
of this again which is more in the shape of a club, and so on to 
spherical. This sort grows to the size of Kohl-rabi root. 

Like most climbers, the batata prefers a light, warm soil. Its 
shoots sprawl out in all directions to a length of two to four meters, 
with many long-stemmed leaves. The latter somewhat resemble 
those of the ivy, though larger and with greater variety of form, 
being found sometimes heart-shaped, and again indented, but 
generally with three or five lobes. 

One of the peculiarities of batata bulbs, is the fact that they are 
fleshy swellings of side-roots, and not underground tubers in the 
ordinary sense, like potatoes proper and Taro, nor yet rhizomes, 
like the well-known purgative products of other convolvulacecs} 
Where the ground is not sufficiently heated through, as in Ger- 
many, the batata does not develop these root-swellings at all, or 
at most deposits only a little starch in them. This was proved, 
also, in attempts at cultivation which I made with several West 
Indian sub-species, eighteen years ago in the Botanical Garden at 
Frankfort-on-the-Main. The parts above the surface developed 
splendidly, and covered the ground with a thick carpet of creepers 
and leaves. But in autumn, when we sought for bulbs, we dis- 
covered that the greatest root-swellings had only reached the 
thickness of one's thumb. 

7. The common or Irish potato, Jap. Jagatara-imo {Solanum 
tuberosum^ L.). The Japanese name, Jagatara, is a somewhat un- 
couth form for Jacatra, the earlier designation for Batavia, and 
points to the introduction of the potato through the Dutch Com- 
pany. I could learn no particulars as to when this happened. In 
the plains and valleys of Japan, vyhere batata or Taro can be raised, 
we very seldom meet our potato, though we find it in the mountain- 
districts of Kiushiu as far as Yezo, and pretty frequently too ; but 
even here not in large fields. Theydo not understand howto manage 
the plant, not giving it proper manure, nor digging ridges about it, 
and consequently get but scanty crops — about five-fold. In fact, 
the Japanese has acquired neither the knowledge of how to cultivate 
it, nor a taste for it. And, indeed, it is a favourite with very few 
nations as with us. The potato fills nowhere so prominent a place 
as in the domestic economy of Teutonic and Slavic peoples. After 
crossing the northern boundary of the Mediterranean region, we 

^ See also Turpin : " Memoires du Musdum," vol. xix., pp. t, ff,, and A. de 
Candolle : " Archives des Sciences phys. et nat., Troisieme Periode." vol. vii., 


perceive a rapid diminution in its cultivation, and one that is caused 
much less by difference of climate than by a change of taste and 
the prevalence of substitutes, such as chestnuts and sweet-potatoes. 
Thus, in Northern Italy it occupies 0'33 per cent, of the area; in 
Central Italy, 0*24 per cent, but in Southern Italy, only o-03 per cent. 
A similar diminution is seen on the Iberian Peninsula. This, too, 
explains why the potato was not long ago carried to Japan by the 
Portuguese. They found it desirable to introduce tobacco, grape- 
vines, and quinces (from which a favourite sweetmeat is made in 
Spain and Portugal), but not Solanum tuberosum. 

Aracece, so much cultivated on account of their bulbs, do not 
bloom in the fields any more in Japan than elsewhere, since they 
can only go through one period of vegetation there, and that does 
not suffice for them to put forth stalks. So they remain in the low 
herbal or monopodal form. This renders it rather hard to dis- 
tinguish them. The most prized and most widespread kind not 
merely in Japan, indeed, but throughout the whole monsoon- 
region and Polynesia, is : — 

8. Colocasia mitiquomm, Schott [Arum esciilciitum, L.), which 
the Japanese call usually simply Imo, or Sato-imo (village-potato). 
But the South-Sea Islander calls it Taro. Other Japanese 
names distinguish different sub-species. At the ends of short 
sprouts (stoles), the axillary buds develop in several directions 
from the mother-bulb (Oya-imo), which resembles a rhizome. 
These buds become fleshy white tubers (Ko-imo), in the shape of 
an ellipsoid or ovate, about the size of a hen's ^%g and weighing 
from 60 to 80 grs. Of carbon-hydrates, they show more glucose 
and dextrine than starch, — hence their peculiar sweetish flavour. 
Propagation takes place by means of bulbs, as in our potatoes. 
The petioles of the Sato-imo are green and longer than in most 
other kinds of the imo belonging to this division ; the shield or heart- 
shaped leaves themselves larger. On the upper side they are a 
polished green, on the under side, a greyish white. 

9. Leucocasia gigantea, Schott {Caladium esculentum, Sieb.), Jap. 
Hasu-imo, resembles the foregoing closely, but is nevertheless not 
so much prized and planted. 

10. Alocasia macrorrJiiza, Schott {Arum macrorrJiisum^ L. ; 
Colocasia esculentum^ var. C. and Z.), Jap. Manshiu-imo. This 
kind, likewise widely grown in the South Sea under the name of 
Taro, and elsewhere too, forms only one large bulbous rhizome. 

11. Couophallus konjak, Schott {Arum Dracunculus, Th.), Jap. 
Konniyaku (pronounced Konjak), produces a single bulb, like the 
foregoing kind, only much smaller. It serves in the preparation 
of a gelatinous, tough food, which bears the name Konniyaku. 

Of yams, or dioscorece, the Japanese use the following : — 

12. Dioscorea japonica, Thunb. {D. oppositifolia, Thunb.), Jap. 
Yama-imo, that is, wild potato, or Jinen-j6. It is wide-spread in hill 
and mountain-forests, up to a height of about 600 m. It twines 


about through the bushes here, two or three meters high, and 
around tree-trunks, putting forth in June numberless deHcate green- 
ish yellow blossom clusters from the bases of its leaves. Because 
of its long cylindrical root, it is also called Naga-imo (long potato, 
a name which, however, is applied chiefly to the cultivated form). 
Jinen-j6 is the favourite of all the varieties of Imo. It roots come 
to market from 25 to 50 cm. long and weighing 150 to 200 grammes. 
They bring the highest prices. Under these circumstances, it is 
remarkable that, like all yams in Japan, it is relatively so little 
grown. This is the case, too, in China, where it is called Ta-shu 
(big root). The little plantations found here and there are easily 
recognised by the short sticks about which the tendrils twine. One 
variety of Naga-imo, namely Dioscorea japonica, var. bulbifera, bears 
the name Kashiu-imo, and also Tsuku-imo, It has round roots 
resembling potatoes. 

13. With regard to this second kind (Z>. sativa, L.), Jap. Tokoro 
or Naga-dokoro, it seems to me that Savatier is mistaken when 
he says, " Hab. in Japonia saepissime culta ; " for it is grown but 
sparsely, as far as I could observe it in various parts of the country. 

14. D. qumqiieloba, Thunb. ; Jap., Kikubaba-dokoro, is men- 
tioned by Savatier as growing wild. I know neither this variety 
nor its use. In the Kew collection there is some starch made 
from it. 

The bulbs of lilies (Yuri), many species of which grow on the 
Hara (forest-glades) and in wooded districts, are also much sought 
after for food, like the roots of the wild yams, and particularly by 
the poorer people and the Ainos of Yezo. The three following 
are, I think, especially worthy of notice in this connection. 

15. Lilinni miratnm, Lindl. ; Jap., Horaiji-yuri, which is found in 
vast numbers on grassy mountain-sides. 

16. L. TJiimbergianiun, Roem. and Schult. [L. nodosum^ Thunb.), 
Jap. Hirata-yuri and Natsu-sukushi-yuri. Thunberg expressly 
mentions its edible bulbs. For their sake, this variety is also much 
grown, according to L. Boehmer, in the vicinity of Hako-date.^ 

17. Liliuni cordifolium, ThunK ; Jap. Uba-yure and Kawa-yuri. 
According to Steube, the Ainos make a sort of starch from its 
bulbs, which is boiled with millet or other grain.^ 

18. Common brake {Pteris aquilina, L.), Jap. Warabi. This 
plant, perhaps the most widespread in the world, is also found in the 
Japanese islands throughout their whole extent, from Formosa to 
Kamtschatka. But it is not so little esteemed there, and so useless 
to man and beast, as it is with us.^ People begin to gather its 
young and not yet unrolled tips in April and May, and eat them 

1 " Report to the Kaitakushi," 1875, P- 202. 

2 " Mittheilungen der deutschen Gesellschaft Ostasiens." III. Bd. Yokohama, 
1880-84, p. 223. 

3 In Shikoku I saw in 1875 whole stretches of mountain forests burned up in 
order that Warabi might grow better. (See Rein, "Japan," i. p. 81.) 


fresh, in soup or as vegetables, or preserve them dried for the same 
uses. But in autumn, when the parts above ground die off, the 
horizontally branching rhizomes are dug up and used for making 
fern-starch, Warabi-no-ko, i.e. brake-fern meal. The mode of pro- 
cedure is simple, being like that employed in obtaining other sorts 
of starch. The rhizome or root-stalk is dried, broken, and pulverized, 
mixed with water, squeezed through coarse hemp-linen bags, to 
separate the starch from the fibres, and then clarified further, till 
the meal has reached the requisite purity. In this state it is light- 
grey in colour, and can be bought anywhere. Mixed with millet, 
wheat-flour, or rice-flour, it is extensively used in cooking, especially 
by the poor, in Northern Honshiu, for example, and in Yezo, where 
millet and brake-fern are the principal food-plants. Warabi-no-ko 
serves yet another purpose. A glue is made from it, which, mixed 
with Shibu, the sour juice of unripe Kaki-fruit, withstands rain, and 
is used for pasting paper together, which is oiled and then used for 
making waterproof-cloaks and umbrellas, and for defence against 
rain in other ways. 

The brake serves for food, not only in Japan, but also in Corea 
and other parts of the continent of Asia. And A. von Humboldt 
asserts of the Canary Islands Palma and Gomera, that their in- 
habitants pulverize its root-stalks, mixing them with barley-meal, 
and use it thus for food. It is well known that Australia, at 
the time of its discovery, possessed only one edible root, the Pteris 
esciilenta, a near relative of our common brake. 

(d) Vegetables and Condiments. 

In this group we meet with a great number of most dissimilar 
plants, partly truly cosmopolitan in household economy, partly 
peculiarities which have been developed by the land and the 
special tastes of its inhabitants. This division does not furnish 
such important articles of food as the farinaceous ** cereals, pulse 
and root crops ; " yet not a few of its members play an important 
part as a daily spice of material life, in so far as it is affected by 
the enjoyment of a well-flavoured soup, or of rice and its substi- 
tutes. One acquainted with Japanese cooking will recall first in 
this connection the Daikon (giant radish), Nasu (fruits of the egg- 
plant), Negi-rui (onion family), Uri-rui, (cucumber tribe), Take 
(mushrooms), and other kitchen-plants, which in this respect seem 
quite indispensable. Table vegetables among the Japanese are 
eaten generally in much smaller quantities than with us, and a 
large number of those most widely scattered and most popular 
among us are missing altogether, e.g., most of the cabbage-varieties, 
rape-cole, scorzonera, asparagus, and many salad-plants. 

The Japanese distinguish between Yasai-mono or Yasai, vege- 
tables, Tsuke-mono, fruits preserved in salt water or vinegar. 


so-called pickles, and Yakumi, or relishes proper, — a division 
which can hardly be sharply carried out, since the same product, 
according to its preparation and application, appears as a vege- 
table dish or a relish, as, for example, the onion. I shall not, 
therefore, enumerate and descant upon these plants in any such 
grouping, but rather recommend their introduction in a systematic 
order, as follows. 

1. Brasenia peltata^ Pursch. {Menyafithes nymphoides, Thunb.), 
Jap. Junsai, and 

2. Ntiphar japonimm, D. C. {Nymphcea hiteay Thunb.), Jap. 
Kawa-hone and Ko-hone. The rhizomes and young leaves of 
these two NyinpJiceacece are eaten, and for this purpose are culti- 
vated here and there in small ponds. The leaf-buds of NympJicEa 
tetragona, Georgi, Jap. Hitsuji-gusa, eaten with vinegar, are a 
favourite dish, especially in Yezo. 

3. Papaver sonifiiferum, L., Jap. Keshi. Poppy is grown in 
Japan only to a very limited extent. Its seeds are used as a spice, 
but not for producing oil. 

4. Eutrema Wasabi, Maxim. {Cochlearia Wasabi, Sieb), Jap. 
Wasabi. the Jap. horse-radish, which grows wild on the coast, and 
is grown in small quantities, rasped up and eaten with fish. 

5. Brassica chinejisis, L. {B. orientalis, Thunb.), rape, Jap. Na. 
The young leaves are either eaten as a vegetable or a salad. 

6. B. oleracea, L., Jap. Botan-na, Kappa-na. Most plants of the 
cabbage-order have been only lately introduced, and are not yet 
widely spread. Longer known and more generally cultivated is 
a green variety of cabbage, not so sour as the corresponding kind 
in Europe, and very pleasant to the taste. 

7. B. rapa, L., turnip, Jap. Kabura and Kabu, are raised in many 
sub-species, and sometimes used as a vegetable, boiled, sometimes 
as salad. Both roots and leaves are turned to account. The 
ordinary, flat variety predominates ; but there are also long conical 
sorts,^ e.g. the Akanaga-kabura, i.e. red long-turnips. Omikabura 
and 6-kabura are among the thickest kinds. 

8. Siiiapis integrifolia, Wild., J^p. 0-garashi, Taka-na. 

9. vS. cernua, Thunb., Jap. Karashi-na. 

10. 5. chinensis, L. {S. japonica, Thunb.), Jap. Midzu-na, Ise-na. 
The leaves of these three mustards, like those of rape, are eaten 

either as salad or vegetables. The use of their seeds as a spice 
was known to the Dutch, though they were but little propagated. 
(See Oil-plants.) 

11. Raphaniis sativus, L., Jap. Daikon. Raw, boiled, dried, 
and, above all, cut up and pickled, the Japanese radish is un- 
doubtedly the most widely known and favoured vegetable with 
rice. It is relished equally well by the fisherman and hunter of 
the more distant islands and the polished inhabitants of the capital. 
Hence special attention is paid to its culture, which extends as far 
as the Japanese has permanently settled. In the central and 



southern parts of the country, it is raised in all seasons of the year, 
especially in winter, and sometimes yields enormously long, thick 
roots from 2 to 3 kg. in weight. The Daikon near the bay of Kago- 
shima are especially noted for their size and quality. 

Culture has in the course of time produced sub-species, chiefly 
with long, cylindrical roots, as Sakura-jima Daikon, Miyashige D., 
Karahashi D., Murasaki D., Natsu D., Sangatsu D., Hadano D. 
Some, however, are more like rape-cole or rape, short and thick- 
set, as Kudzu-hata D. and Karami D., and are even found with 
bundles of roots, like the bamboo-cane and the palm : the Tako 
{Poulpe) or Octopus D. Most sorts are white and resemble long 
turnips. The violet, red, and grey-black are known as Murasaki-, 
Aka-, and Kuro-Daikon. The European is at first agreeably 
astonished when he sees the big radishes, washed and tempting- 
looking, as they are brought to market, especially about spring- 
time ; but, as a rule, he finds their taste and smell when prepared 
for the table equally disagreeable. 

12. Portulacca okracea, L., Jap. Suberi-hiyu, planted in some 
places, but mostly wild, and little used. 

13. ZantJwxylon pipei'itum, D.C. {Fagaria piperita, Thunb.), Jap. 
Sansho. The young leaves, and still more the peppery seeds, 
of this widely extended shrub, serve as a condiment. For this 
purpose, it is often cultivated near peasants' houses. The other 
kinds of Zanthoxylon, which are wild, are used somewhat in a 
similar way, but less often. 

Passing over the Aurantiaceae and Pomaceae, which will be con- 
sidered under fruits, we come to the Cucurbitaceae, which are 
represented in many varieties and forms. These are planted : — 

{a) On account of their edible products : — 

14. CiLciirbita pepo, L., the pumpkin, in its typical flat, radiat- 
ing, ribbed forms. Its Japanese names are Tonasu, Bobura and 
Kabocha {i.e. Cambodia). The last indicates the source of one 
favourite species. Another Japanese sub-species has lately been ex- 
tensively tried in France, under the name of Ciicurbita melonceformis. 
They praise its productiveness, the thick, light-yellow flesh and 
the agreeable taste of its fruit when boiled. Its flavour is some- 
thing midway between that of the potato and maize. These 
pumpkins are deeply and regularly furrowed and attain a circum- 
ference of 55 cm. and a height of 13 to 16 cm. Their colour varies 
from copper-red to deep green. 

15. Benincasia certifera, Savi [Cticurbitacerifera, Fischer), the 
white gourd, Jap. Togan and Kamo-uri. 

16. Citrullus edulis, Spach {Qcciirbita citrulhcs, L. and Th.), Jap. 
Suikuwa (pronounced Suika), the water-melon. This fine fruit 
develops but little aroma in Japan, so that its taste is far inferior 
to that which it possesses in the Mediterranean region and other 
districts with hot, dry summers. I have no knowledge as to the 
antiquity of its culture in Eastern Asia. In Egypt, as is well known, 


the water-melon was grown more than 3,500 years ago, as was 
proved by the tomb-discoveries of Brugsch and Maspero in 1881. 

17. Cucumis conomoUy Thunb., Jap. Shiro-uri, white melon. One 
frequently meets with the rather large oval fruit of this species, 
greenish white in colour. It is commonly pickled and eaten as a 
vegetable with rice, instead of Daikon. 

18. C.flexuosus^ L., Jap. Awo-uri, green melon. 

19. C. melo, L., the melon, Jap. Makuwa-uri (Cucumis melo, L.). 
A large, strong-branched variety, some seeds of which were taken 
to France in 1877, where it has been grown since. Its large, 
cylindrical, thin-rinded fruit attains a length of 15 cm. and a thick- 
ness of 7*9 cm. Its greyish-green flesh is thick, fine, and of a sweet, 
agreeable flavour, though with little aroma. 

20. Cucumis sativus, L., the cucumber, Jap. Ki-uri, was, at some 
time or other, introduced from China. 

Besides these, the fruits of the wild-growing Momordica char" 
antia, L. are used, under the name of Tsuru-reishi and Niza-uri. 

(A) The following species are grown for the sake of the rind or 
the tissue of their fruits. 

21. Luffa petola, Ser., Jap. Hechima, T6-guwa. The long 
cylindric fruit resembles a long straight cucumber. When ripe, 
it is yellowish. In the green state it is eaten ; but when ripe the 
pulp disappears and is replaced by a web of fibres, furnishing the 
so-called Lufla-sponge. 

22. Lagenaria vulgaris^ Ser. [Cucurbita /argenaria, L.), Jap. 
Fukube and Higotan, furnishes in its many-shaped shells cheap, 
popular vessels for daily use, not only in Japan, but in the whole 
monsoon-region and in Africa. In other lands these are often called 
calabashes by Europeans, a name which is also applied to the fruit 
of the melon-tree {^Crescentia cujete), whose hard shells are converted 
into many sorts of vessels, such as buckets, bowls, spoons, etc., by 
the aborigines of tropical America. The pear-shaped outline of 
the flask-melon has served in Japan and China as a model, often 
used for Sake-bottles. So have those which appear to be made 
of two large balls set one on^ top of the other. Lagenaria 
dasystemon, Miq., Jap. Kamo-uri, is similarly utilized. 

{c) For making starch, the Japanese use, to a modest extent, 
the seeds of several wild-growing varieties of the species Trichos- 
anthes, — Karasu-uri (Z". cucumeroideSy Ser.) and Ki-karasu-uri (7". 
japonica, Kegel). 

23. Apium graveolens, L., celery. Its Jap. name Oranda-mitsuba, 
Dutch trefoil, indicates perhaps that it was first introduced into 
De-shima by the Dutch. 

24. Petroselium sativum, Hoffm. (Apium petroselium, L.), parsley, 
seems also to have been first introduced by the Dutch. 

25. Pimpinella anisum, L., Jap. Uikiyo, anise. 

26. Fceuiculum vulgare, Gaertn., Jap. Kurenomo and Uikiyo, 


27. Pastinaca sativa, L., Jap. Amerika bofu, parsnip. 

28. Coriandrum sativum, L., Jap. Koyendoro, coriander. All the 
above-mentioned umbelliferous plants are cultivated also as drugs, 
Their extent and significance for the Japanese kitchen are slight. 

29. Daucus carota, L., Jap. Ninjin (not to be confounded with 
the like-sounding word for ginseng). The carrot, too, is one of 
the commonest vegetables in Japan. But its cultivation and use 
are by no means as extensive as with us. 

30. Aralia cordata, Thunb. {A. ediilis, S. and Z.), Jap. Udo, a 
bush, about one meter high, which is found scattered over moun- 
tains, and particularly on grassy slopes (Hara), blossoming in July. 
It is also occasionally planted in the vicinity of dwellings. Its 
roots, and its young stalks too, are eaten as a vegetable dish and 
in soup, and people are very fond of them. 

31. Petasites japonicus, Miq. {Tnssilago Petasites,T\iMx\\i), Jap. 
Fuki, grows wild under hedges, along roads and forest borders, 
but is also cultivated. It blossoms in February and March. The 
stalks of its leaves are eaten with vegetables. 

32. Lappa major, Gaertn. {Airtmm lappa, Thunb.), Jap. Gobo. 
The common burdock exists in Japan just as with us, but has a 
use of which we know nothing. Its long, fleshy tap-roots, as thick 
as one's thumb, and with an average weight of 350 grs. are eaten 
by the common people. Like the roots and bulbs of some other 
composites, they contain inuline. 

33. Cichorium endivia, L., Jap. Kiku-jisa and Oranda-jisa. 

34. Lactiica sativa, L., Jap. Chisa, lettuce. Both of these are 
cultivated and made into salad and other articles of food, but to a 
much smaller extent than with us. Especially to the country 
population they are almost altogether unknown. It is evident, 
too, that they were first introduced by the Dutch. 

35. Solanum melongena, L. (5. esctilentiun, Dunal), Jap. Nasu 
or Nasubi, the egg-plant, I'Aubergine in French. From June or 
July, when its large violet blossoms appear, followed generally 
by a wealth of beautiful similarly coloured fruit, this plant is 
a real ornament of the dry Japanese fields. It is grown all 
over the country and extends from there over the warmer lands of 
Asia, quite to the Mediterranean-region.^ But the egg-plant is 
raised in several countries of Africa and also in America. The 
Japanese cut up the oval, club-shaped or pear-shaped fruit, boil 
the pieces in soup or put them in brine and eat them as a salad 
with rice, instead of radishes. In other countries, e.g. India, France, 
North America, the fruit is cut through lengthwise, fried in butter, 
and eaten, all but the outer rind, as a vegetable. An attenuated 
form appears in the markets of Paris under the name I'aubergine 

^ In " Frau Baron von Gerstorfs Reise in Syrien von Aleppo nach el Deir am 
Euphrat." Peterm. Mitth., 1865, p. 53, we read, for instance: "Wirkauften 
noch einige Wassermelonen und Patlitdschan {^Solanwn melo7igena, L.), denn 
hier waren ganze Felder damit bebaut." 


violette, which in shape resembles our kidney-potato. This sub- 
species is met with in Japan, too, but another, with large violet fruit, 
pear or club-shaped, is probably the most widespread. They are 
all on the same level as to percentage of water contained and value 
as food, resmbling watery pumpkins, but requiring great summer- 
heat, which the German climate cannot supply. 

36. Lycopersicmn esciilentum^ Mill, Jap. Aka-nasu, To-nasu, the 
tomato or love-apple, is also found in Japan, but has, compared with 
the egg-plant, only a slight importance in domestic economy there. 

37. Physalis Alkekengi^ L., Jap. Hodzuki, "bladder-cherry." 

38. P. angulatay L. (/*. ciliata^ S. and Z.), Jap. Sennari-hodzuki. 
This sort, as compared with the common winter-cherry, is of in- 
frequent occurrence. Siebold says of the latter : ** Fructus edulis 
ac pro nugis habetur venalis." The skin of the berry is a favourite 
and unique toy of Japanese girls, especially when carrying their 
younger brothers and sisters on their backs. They separate the 
red fruit, which is of the size of a small cherry, from the orange- 
coloured skin enclosing it, and preserve the berry in salt-water. 
By rolling and pressing, they free the skin from the flesh and seeds 
within, squeezing them out through a little hole opposite the stem- 
end. The skin of the berry has now two openings, like a lamp- 
globe. This they put in their mouths, blow it full of air, and 
then compress it between their gums, making a peculiar noise. 
Herein consists all the fun. 

39. Capsicum anmmm^ L., Jap. Togarashi, Chilies, Spanish or 
Cayenne pepper. Span, pimiento, Fr. piment. It is cultivated in 
many sub-species, which are distinguished principally in colour, 
form, and size of their fruit. Thus in Japan the Naga-togarashi is 
especially frequent, — long, pointed peppers {C. longum, D.C.) with 
glittering red or black berries ; also the Maru-togarashi, with heart- 
shaped berries {C. cordifoliiini. Mill.). The black varieties are 
called Murasaki-togarashi ; the red, Aka-togarashi. 

40. C. frutescens^ Willd., likewise called Togarashi, occurs much 
seldomer in Japan than the above-mentioned herb-shaped kind. 

According to De Candolle,^ the Spanish pepper originated pro- 
bably in tropical America, whence, at any rate, it rapidly spread, 
soon after Columbus's discovery, for it was known in England as 
early as 1 548. A warm climate is necessary to its proper develop- 
ment. In many lands it is the favourite spice, either fresh, pickled, 
or pulverized. Captain Hall remarks,^ " Chilies [i.e. Spanish 
pepper) form the chief condiment of Corean cooking," and notices 
further that they are missing in scarcely any dish, and are much 
grown in the vicinity of villages. 

The word Togarashi, pepper, is also used in Japan as a generic 
name for several different spices. Thus, every morning during 
my first stay of five months in the German legation at Tokio, I 

^ " L'origine des plantes cultivees." Paris, 1883. 

2 Captain Hall: "A visit to Korea." Proc. R. G. S., 1881. 



heard a woman, in passing my windows, cry : " Nana iro togarashi !" 
i.e. literally, "seven sorts of Cayenne pepper." She sold a pul- 
verized mixture of seven spices, Togarashi being the chief com- 
ponent. The other ingredients were : 2. Chimpi, dried orange peel, 
3. Goma, sesame-seed ; 4. Kosho, black pepper ; 5. Sansho, Zan- 
thoxylum piperitmny D. C. ; 6. Keshi, poppy-seed ; 7. Asa-no- mi, 

41. Perilla arguta, Benth. {Ocyimmi crispiim, Thunb.), Jap. Shiso. 
There is a distinction between Aka-shiso, with purple-red leaves, 
and Ao-shis6, with green. Shiso is a very general kitchen-plant. 
Its young leaves are eaten as a vegetable and in soup. By soak- 
ing the leaves of the red variety in plum-vinegar, their colouring 
matter is extracted, and the resulting red fluid is used in preserving 
and colouring lumps of ginger and various other roots and fruits. 

42. Beta vulgaris, L., Jap. Tensei, beet. Not general. 

43. Spinacea inermis, Moench. {S. oleracea /S, L.), Jap. Horenso. 
Spinach is eaten as a vegetable as with us, though not to so great 
an extent. 

44. Polygonum orientale, L., Jap. O-tade, the oriental knot- 
grass. This variety, which probably is traceable to India, and is 
known over a considerable part of the Old World, was, according 
to Thunberg, first introduced into Japan by the Portuguese. It is 
found planted here and there, as with us, though not as an orna- 
ment, but on account of its leaves. The same purpose is served 
by P. japonicum, Meissn. {P. barbatum, L.), the Tade or Bontoku- 

45. Rheum palmatum^ L., and Rh. nndulatum, L., Jap. Daio. 
Rhubarb is grown for medicinal purposes mostly ; but its stalks 
are now and then utilized in the kitchen, as with us. 

46. Cinnamomum zeylauicum, Breyn., and C. Loureirii, Nees, 
Nikkei, cinnamon or cassia-trees of Japan. The former is culti- 
vated only here and there ; the latter more frequently. The rind, 
of little value, obtained from the latter is exported via Nagaski, 
to a modest extent. 

47. Cannabis sativa, L., Jap. Asa, hemp. The utilization of its 
grated seeds as a condiment was mentioned above under Spanish 
pepper. In regard to the much more important question, as to 
its bast, particulars are given under textile-plants. 

48. Zingiber officinale, L., Jap. Shoga. Ginger has been culti- 
vated on account of the " claws " of its rhizomes, for home con- 
sumption, from time immemorial, and always on small damp bits of 
ground, near dwelling houses, as in China. One may, however, go 
through many a village without seeing any of it. Ginger was taken 
to Kew by Sir Joseph Banks, in 1796. Its rhizomes are usually 
preserved in reddened plum-vinegar, and make a much relished 
though not common flavouring with rice, instead of Daikon, The 
young shoots or roots of ginger often appear as a condiment with a 
certain dish of fish, called Ni-zakana (boiled fish). 


49. Z. Mioga^ Roscoe {Amomium Mioga^ Thunb.), Jap. Mioga. 
Less cultivated than the common ginger. Yields a condiment in 
its young shoots. 

47. Curcuma longa L., Jap. Ukon, is to a limited extent like- 
wise cultivated as a condiment, while the well-known yellow dye- 
stuff is imported from China and India. 

Condiments of the leek order, " Shin," ix. stinking herbs, as the 
Buddhist priest of East Asia calls them, have hitherto existed 
among all civilized nations, though they have not acquired the 
same importance everywhere. While, for example, the Spaniard 
scarcely eats meat of any kind without its being seasoned with 
garlic, and the Russian regards an onion together with its green 
top as a tit-bit, such a decided liking is only occasionally found 
among the Germanic peoples. The fondness of the Israelites for 
onions and garlic is well known, and is as old as their history. 
The onion is with many races not a mere relish only, but a real 
food. To comprehend this, one must remember that besides our 
common sorts — sharp and tear-compelling — there are others, like 
the red Portuguese, which often weigh a kilogramme, especially 
in warm, light soil, and have an agreeable sweetish taste, so that 
when cooked they can take the place of other vegetables. 

The Japanese call the cultivated varieties of leek after the onion 
— Negi-rui, Le. onion group. Five of them, the Go-shin, i.e., five 
pungent, stinking herbs, seem to have been especially popular 
within the range of Buddhism. The enjoyment of them was, and 
is, strictly forbidden to priests, with the exception of one sect. An 
inscription at the entrance to many of their temples and cloisters, 
usually carved on an obelisk of stone, reads, translated : " It is 
forbidden to carry stinking herbs and intoxicating drinks through 
this holy gate." 

Among the chief accusations brought by Nobunaga, against the 
monks of the Hiyei-san,^ is, that they ate fish and stinking herbs, 
therein despising the law. 

The following comprise the Go-shin : 

51. Allium sativum, L., Jap. Nfnniku, garlic, a plant long used 
by man, well known to the old Egyptians and Greeks, and grown 
in Japan since the beginning of its history. According to Kegel, 
garlic is indigenous on the Kirgis steppes and Tsungarei. 

52. Allium cepa, L., Jap. Negi, the onion. It is found wild in 
the outlying spurs of the Iranian plateau, and also southward from 
Kuldscha (Kegel). In Japan its planting occurs usually in Feb- 
ruary or March, its harvest in autumn. 

53. The winter-onion, Jap. Negi {Allium fistulosum, L,), which 
originated in the Altai Mountains, like the foregoing, is raised in 
several varieties. The Japanese eat onions either boiled or fresh, 
cut into pieces, as a condiment. 

* See Rein, "Japan," vol. i. 



54. Alliiim ascaloiiicinn, L., Jap. Wakegi, the shalot. This is 
not known in a wild state, and is considered by de CandoUe 
merely a sub-species of the onion. 

55. Allium schmioprasum, L., Jap. Azatuki, the chives, also 
much grown endemically, though not in Japan. 

56. Allium pornim, L., Jap. Nira, leek or porret, is, according 
to Gay/ a cultivated form of A. ampeloprasum, L. According to 
Kinch, A. senescens, L., is designated Nira. The onion and stalk 
of this especially pungent variety are eaten mostly boiled.^ 

Besides the above-mentioned kinds of leek, the following also 
are used in Japan : 

57. Allium splendens^ Willd. {A. arenarium, Thunb.), Jap. Rak'- 
kiyo and 

58. y4. japoiiicum, Regel, Jap. Yama-Rak'kiyo, two species, of 
which I do not know the cultivated forms. 

59. Bambusa puberula, Miq., and several other kinds of Take or 
bamboo-cane furnish the kitchen with Take-no-ko, young bamboo- 
sprouts, which break forth from the ground in spring like giant 
asparagus, and yield at this season a much relished, but insipid dish. 

60. Pteris aquilina, L., Jap. Warabi, brake-fern. The rhizome 
of this plant, as a yielder of starch, was noticed in a former section. 
But its young tops, too, as long as they are yet undeveloped and 
rolled together, are highly esteemed throughout the Japanese 
Empire, and much eaten in soup. 

In addition to the vascular plants mentioned in the foregoing 
list, and a large number of other, mostly endemic varieties, which 
are now and then utilized in Japanese kitchens as vegetables or 
relishes, we must here consider the fungi and marine algae. Num- 
bers of people are employed in gathering, preparing and disposing 
of these plants, which are useful not only for home consumption 
but also in commerce. Unfortunately the fungi, as well as the 
lichens of the land, have been hitherto very hardly treated by the 
botanists. Von Siebold certainly offers us a list of 32 Japanese 
names, " quae vero fungorum species, aut sponte crescentes, aut 
arte imo provocatae, crudae, salsae, siccataeque vix in ulla desunt 
coena"; but there is no closer description or discrimination of 
them. This gap exists still, nor will it be filled up by the following 
remarks. They may serve, however, at least to dispose of some 

^ "Ann. des sc. nat." 36 serie. Vol. 8. 

2 With the above mentioned chief Japanese varieties of leek, I was able to 
reconcile, only in part, an older list of the Go- shin, for which I am indebted 
to my learned friend, the priest Nanjio Bunyiu. It follows here with its 
Chinese-Japanese and Japanese names, the latter in parenthesis : Dai-san, 
(Chobiru), Shio-san (Ninniku), Kokyo (Aratsuki), Ji-s6 (Hitomoji or Negi), 
Kaku-s6 (Nobiru). The least is All. 7zipponicum F. and Sav., a variety which, 
so far as I know, is not cultivated at all. 


errors, and to establish scientifically several varieties with which 

I became more intimately acquainted. 

The Japanese designate by Kinoko and Kusabira, the larger fungi 
in general, and by Take, as aff.x to the proper name, in particular 
cases. Several varieties of Agaricus stand first in their estima- 
tion, namely Shii-take and Matzu-take. 

57. Agaricus Sp., Jap. Shii-take. This is an agaric, without ring 
and anil, the hood eccentrically placed and irregular, having a 
brown outer skin and white lamella. The stalk likewise is white, 
rather high and moderately thick. Shii-take has therefore only 
a slight resemblance to our common champignon [A. campestris^ 
Pers.), being closer in appearance to A.fusipes, Fr., A. contortus^ 
Berk, and A, attemiatus, D. C. It is the more incomprehensible 
how often they have been confused with it, from Kaempfer's and 
Thunberg's time down to the present day. Thus Kinch in his 
list adduces Shii-take as Agaricus campestris, and we find in the 
catalogue of the Japanese section of the International Health 
Exhibition, London, 1884,^ an analysis of it under this name. 
According to it, the mushroom when dried, contains 1 1 "847 per 
cent, of albumen, 1-685 P^^" cent of fat, 67-508 per cent of cellulous, 
and other nitrogenous components, 4'370 per cent. \ of ashes, and 

I I -490 per cent, of water. 

The Shii-take is easily dried and preserved. In this process 
there is developed and retained an excellent aroma, which makes 
it the most precious and valuable of all Japanese fungi. It derives 
its name from the Shii-tree, an evergreen oak {Querciis cuspidata, 
Thunb.) of Central and Southern Japan. But the quantity of it 
found on rotting roots and stumps is by no means equal to the 
demand. This is mostly met by artificial propagation, as in the 
case of truffles and champignons in Europe, which in my opinion 
it far excels in flavour. Truffles and champignons are used for 
sauce chiefly, and so Shii-take serves principally in making savoury 
soups. If the quantity used at home and exported (to China) does 
not represent such great sums as those, the plant is, neverthe- 
less a factor worth mentioning. 

Its artificial production, which is described more thoroughly in 
the English consular report from Kanagawa (Yokohama) for 1875,^ 
is subserved not only by Shii-noki {Queracs cuspidata, Thunb.), 
but also by other oaks, as Kashi [Querciis acuta, Thunb.), Kashiwa 
{Q. dentata, Thunb.). This takes place chiefly in the bark of felled 
trees, and is carried on in many provinces, namely in Yamato, 
Ise, Mikawa, Totomi, Suruga, Kai, Idzu, Mutzu, Dewa and else- 

58. Agaricus Sp., Matsu-dahi, i.e., pine-fungus, because growing 
mostly in pine-woods. When fresh, it tastes very good, and is 

* "Japan. Internat. Health Exhib., London, 1884. A Descriptive Catalogue 
of the Exhibits, etc., by K. Nagai and J. Murai." 
" The Revue Hortlcole, of the year 1879, also gives a description of it. 


a great favourite. It is eaten in great quantities, either boiled or 
roasted, and also pickled and dried ; but soon loses its savour and 
becomes insipid, 

59. CantJiarelhis cibariiis, Fries., Jap. Shiba-take. Under that 
name persons were offering for sale by the basketful our well-known 
egg-mushroom, in September, 1874, in the villages at the foot of 
Fuji-san. I saw it in other places, too, but cannot find it anywhere 
mentioned as growing in Japan. 

60. Clavaria flava, Pers., and CI. Botrytis, Pers., Jap. Nedzumi- 
take, occurs, like the preceding, in the forests of Fuji-san, and is 
sold in the neighbouring villages. 

61. Lycoperdon Tnbcr^ L. (Thunb., " Flor. jap." 349). Under the 
name Sho-ro (Sho for Matsu, pine ; and ro-tsuyu, ^(^w), there 
comes in spring a little mushroom similar to the bovista, growing 
chiefly in pine-woods. It is much eaten in soup and also as a 
vegetable dish, and although very tender, is almost flavourless. 
This also is preserved. 

The following edible fungi are also frequently mentioned : 
Shimeshi, Kikurage, Tsuga-take, Hatsu-take, Hira-take, and several 
others, with which, however, I am still unacquainted. 

In connection with the preceding, let me here mention two 
other dry fungi, which, though of no account as food, should not 
pass unnoticed, being widely spread and utilized in a remarkable 

In Thunberg's "Flora japonica," p. 347, a tree-fungus is spoken 
of under the name of Boletus versicolor, which we must add to the 
dry Polyporus varieties. It bears, as Thunbcrg too remarks, the 
name Saru-no-koshi-kake, i.e. ape-stool, and seems to be distributed 
all over the land. It clings to the trunks of old foliaceous trees in 
mountain-forests, often attaining great dimensions. I have in my 
possession one 40 cm. broad and about 20 cm. long. In Nikko 
people make plates out of them, the borders of which show two or 
three growth-rings of the mushroom with all the natural irregu- 
larities. Below they are sawed off and varnished in black ; their 
upper part is hollowed out and varnished red, and they thus make 
unique and very pretty vessels. 

The second kind of fungus, still more widely known, bears the 
name Reishi, and is a dry, hard, and really worthless sort of hood- 
mushroom, in appearance related to the Polyporus lucidus, Fries, 
or P. ainboinensis of Farther India and the Malay Archipelago. 
Reishi is the size of our champignon [A. campestris), and has a 
stalk which grows occasionally 15 cm. long, and is dark brown like 
the hood. If it perchance grows to be a curiosity on the stem of 
an old dwarf-tree in a gardener's pot or tub, the tree is straightway 
taxed from one to two yen (4 to 8 shillings) higher, and looked 
upon as a sign of luck, Medetai, and an occasion for congratula- 
tion. Reishi counts, too, as a good omen in general, and is used to 
decorate the Tokonoma or slightly raised projection of a room. 


The sea-weeds ^ are of far greater importance than the mush- 
rooms for Japan. Nowhere else do they form a part of the 
people's diet to such an extent as with the nations on the Pacific 
side of Asia. Not only the giants of the marine flora are taken 
up by the Chinese and Japanese and utilized in various ways 
as food, but also the more delicate red and green sorts, the use 
of which has been adopted by the Malays also. In Europe the 
consumption of a few varieties, as Alaria esculenta, Grev., Sphcero- 
coccus palmatiLs^ K., Porphyra lacmiata, Gracilaria lichenoides, A., 
and some others, is limited to the poor sea-coast population of the 
north, especially of Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, and Norway ; while 
the Frenchman, for example, generally not at all particular in the 
choice of marine animals for food, and able with his culinary art 
to make every sort appetizing, despises the algae. 

The marine flora is influenced most by light and temperature, and 
hence by the depth,situation and form of bays,and by ocean currents. 
Sea-water does not change its temperature as readily or as often 
as the air. It is the medium of distributing its own inhabitants, 
and touches all parts of the world. Moreover, the fish and turtles 
which feed on algae swim with its streams over vast areas, and 
carry seeds to distant shores. From all these causes, it is inevitable 
that many algse should be widely distributed, and that we should 
find many a variety in the waters of Japan which are known in 
other parts of the ocean, too. The circumpolar tangle {Laminarice) 
and seawracks [Fiicus species) prefer cold sea-water and a heavy 
surf, both of which are to be had in the vicinity of the island 
of Yezo and the Kuriles. Two other groups of the Melanosperms, 
the CystosiricB (bladder-string seaweed) and Sargassacice (berry- 
seaweed) join them in the south. The last-named family is repre- 
sented in especial profusion in several groups {Sargassum, Spofigo- 
carpus, HalocJiloa, Myagropsis, Coccophorci), I never saw them 
used in housekeeping, but only as manure, except HalocJdoa 
maci-antha, Kg., Jap. Houdawara, which is eaten with vinegar, and 
pickled. A considerable amount of light is the chief condition 
of life for the more delicate green sea-algae. Many of them do not 
require very salt water, and are found at the mouths of rivers 
and in pools where there is little salt, and also on the coast above 
the mean tide level. 

1 An exhaustive work on this subject does not yet exist. Thus far the following 
have noticed Japanese varieties : — 

1. Kiitzing, in his well-known work, "Species Algarum, 1849, collected by 
Tilesius, chiefly in Nagasaki." 

2. Harvey: "Characters of New Algae, chiefly of Japan, collected by Ch. 
Wright. Proc. Am. Ac. of Arts and Sc," Boston, 1857. Vol. iv. p. 327. 54 

3. G, von Martens: "Die Preuss. Exped. nach Ost-Asien. Botan. Theil. Die 
Tange.," 1866, iii varieties, collected by E. von Martens. 

4. Suringar : " Algse Japonicae Musei Botnnici Lugdano-Batavi." Haarlem, 
1874. 34 species, collected chiefly by Siebold in Nagasaki. 


The red algse (Fioridae or Rhodosperms), on the contrary, attain 
the maximum of their growth in deeper water and in places where 
they are not much influenced by direct sunlight. Those of their 
varieties which do not follow this rule, but grow near the rim^ of 
the sea's great mirror, or, it may be, lie at times partly dry, lose 
much of their wealth of colour, and incline toward violet, orange, 
or green. 

On the island of Yezo, sea-algae, particularly the big seaweeds, 
form, next to fish, the principal article of export, especially to 
China. The chief elements of this trade in algae are : — 

1. Kombu, the tangle or sea-girdle, Laminaria sachariita, La- 
mour {L.japonica^ Arech. ; Fuciis saccharinus, Thunb.). 

2. Arame, Capea elongata, Ag. 

3. Katsumi, Capea flab elliformis, Rich. 

4. Wakame, Badderlocks, Alaria esculenta, Grev. ; ^. pinnatifida, 

5. Haba-nori, Phylittis debilis Kg., varieties which in part are 
still gathered on the shores of Honshiu. 

Most of the edible green and red algae bear the generic name Norl, 
while the words Umi-kusa or Kai-s6 are used for algae in general, 
these words being simply translations of the English "sea-weed." 

Of green algae several varieties of Ulvacece, or green laver, are 
gathered and used on the Japanese coasts, sometimes fresh, in soup, 
sometimes dried or with vinegar or pickled in salt. These are not 
merely the cosmopolitan sea-lettuce, or lettuce laver, as U. Lactua, 
L., Ao-nori, and others, but also Phycoseris australis, Kg. (Ulva 
latissima^ Ag.), called Nori ; likewise EnieromorpJia compressa, Grev. 
[U. compressa, L.). The Japanese call them Ao-nori and eat them 
either fresh in soup, or dried, with vinegar and starch. They 
usually appear in commerce in the form of little packages with the 
thalli running parallel. 

Modzuku is the name of the Mesogloia decipiens, Sun, which 
comes especially from the peninsula Kadzusa-Awa, and is used 
like the above. The same is true of Somen-nori, i.e. the vermicelli- 
algae (A^^w^^//^'/^ vermicidare). Several varieties of Codiuin, Jap. Miru, 
distributed through nearly all the seas, are not lacking either; for 
instance, Codium tonientositm^ Ag., and C. elongatiun^ Ag. 

The cartilaginous Florideae, particularly species and varieties of the 
Gigartineae, Caulacantheae, Gelide, Sphaerococceae, and Tylocarpeae, 
are distinguished for their high proportion of pararabin, and furnish, 
with boiling water, algae -jelly. They are gathered in great quan- 
tities on all the coasts of the Malay Archipelago and the waters 
of China and Japan, and are utilized in part direct as food, partly 
in the preparation of algae-glue, Jap. Fu-nori, or algae -jelly, Jap. 
Kanten. In trade, these articles, both when raw and dried and 
when further prepared, are designated by the Malay word Agar- 
Agar, i.e. vegetable. This name was originally applied to Gigartina 
[Eucheuma) isifonnis, G. spinosa^ and G. tenax^ which is collected 

II. G 


near Singapore, for example, in great masses, and shipped to China. 
The Chinese use them not only for food, but make of them Hai- 
Thao, a transparent glue, with which they stiffen silk and other 
stuffs, and also fill up the interstices of coarse cloths for the manu- 
facture of lanterns. Of the Japanese algae in this group, the 
following deserve special mention : — 

1. Chondrus punctatus^ Sur. 

2. Gigartinia tenella, Harvey, Jap. Ogo. 

3. G. intermedia^ Sur. 

4. Gleopeltis tennx. Kg. {Sphcerococciis tenax, Ag.). 

5. Gl. capillaris, Sur., Jap. Shiraga-nori. 

6. GL coliformis, Harv., Jap. Kek'kai. 

7. GL intricata, Sur., Jap. Fu-nori. 

8. Gelidium corneum^ Lamouroux, Jap. Tokoroten-gusa. 

9. G. Amansii^ Lamour. 

10. G. cartilaginemn^ Gail. 

11. G. rigens, Grev., Jap. Tosaka-nori, i.e. cock's-comb algae. 

12. Sphcerococcus coftfervoides^ Ag., Jap. Shiramo. 

13. Gymnogongrous Jiabelliformis, Harv., Jap. Home-nori. 

14. G.japoiticus, Sur., Jap. Tsuno-mata. 

15. Kallymenia dentata, Jap. Tosaka-nori. 

16. Porphyra vulgaris ^ Ag., Jap. Asakusa-nori. 

(e) Fruits, Berries^ and Nuts. 

Japan, like China, possesses many kinds of fruit and other edible 
plants, not only peculiar sorts, but also those which have long 
been distributed over a great part of the temperate zone. But 
most of them lack flavour, being insipid and in our judgment 
not to be recommended. Almost all our favourite fruits, such as 
apples, pears, cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, soon lose their 
aroma, and degenerate somewhat \r\ form and size too, when trans- 
planted to Japan or China. Hence Californian apples, for example, 
win great favour and have a large sale among foreigners, during 
the winter months, in all the larger ports of Eastern Asia, from 
Yokohama to Singapore. The cause of this degeneracy of fruit in 
Japan and China, especially the loss of aroma, may possibly be the 
climate, particularly in the damp, rainy summers, but this has not 
yet been definitely ascertained And the land is ill provided with 
berries, too. Our black mulberries, currants, gooseberries, raspberries, 
bilberries, and other kinds do not exist there at all, and strawberries 
and grapes only scantily and in poor quality. The wild berries 
that are eaten are mostly unpleasant to our taste. Tropical berry- 
fruits do not enter into the question, as the most important and 
hardiest of them, the banana, does not come to maturity, even in 


It is worthy of note that dwarf training, so popular in 
Japan with decorative plants, is seldom applied to fruit-trees. 
The same is true of pyramidal, cordon, and wall-fruit training 
which are so much esteemed and so widely known in Europe. 
A few kinds of fruit do receive special attention, however, such 
as grapes, oranges, peaches, and pears, but even with these 
such care is not universal. It may be that this results from a 
national peculiarity of taste, for that of many races differs from 
ours even in respect to mere material things. For instance, a 
number of fruits, such as apples and pears, are eaten in Japan, as 
well as in Morocco and China, while still hard and green, or at least 
gathered thus and put away to ripen, as the Biwa {Eriobotjya 
japonicd). Quite in accordance with this liking, the Japanese value 
their handsome and juicy though hard and unaromatic pears, 
which De Candolle^ rightly calls ^' plus beau que bonl^ and which 
most foreigners cannot endure. 

Among the {q,\n well-flavoured fruits of Japan come first of all 
mandarin oranges, persimons and chestnuts, to which Eastern Asia 
is an ancient home. Mandarin oranges were long ago transplanted 
to Southern Europe and elsewhere from their oldest home in China, 
but Kaki has been only lately introduced. The chestnut is so 
widely distributed and so easily becomes wild, that it is very 
difficult, if not impossible, to determine its original starting-point. 
A fourth kind of fruit, however, from Eastern Asia, the Eriobotrya 
japonica, has attained with astonishing rapidity to successful culti- 
vation in almost all tropical and sub-tropical climates inhabited by 
Europeans. The explanation of this is easily to be found in the 
character of the plant. 

The following enumeration and description of edible Japanese 
fruits is based upon W. Lauche's practical classification in his 
" Handbuch des Obstbaues." Omitting the plants of agriculture 
proper, the Cucurbitaceas, for instance, which have been already 
considered, we divide them into kernel and stone fruit, berries, and 

{a) Kernel-fruit. 

I. Pyrus sinensis, Lindl. {P. iisuriensis, Maxim.), the pears, Jap. 
Nashi. This tree originated in Mantchooria and Mons^olia. It was 
evidently distributed early over China, Corea, and Japan, where, 
next to Kaki, it yields the commonest fruit."^ This variety is dis- 
tinguished from our common pear-tree chiefly by its leaves and 
fruit. The former are large and always sharply dentated. The 
Japanese pears, like our cherries and many apples, are spherical 
and somewhat flattened at both ends. They are all large, with 
thick, bronze-yellow skins, which are covered with little light-grey 

1 " L'origine des plantes cultivees." Paris, 1883, p. 136. 

2 Decaisne in his " Jardin fruitier du Museum Poitiers," pi. 5, gives a good 
illustration of it ; and the Revue Horticole^ a few years ago, furnished another 
equally good. 


spots. They do not differ so much among themselves as our pears 
in regard to season, size, shape, colour, or flavour. The early 
pears, vi-hich ripen in August, are, I think, smaller than those of the 
general crop, which follow one or two months later, but in other 
respects they do not differ essentially from them. The flesh is 
coarse, full of lumps, of a yellow colour, very juicy and tolerably 
sweet, but lacks the mellowness and aroma of our pears. The 
taste resembles that of ours when green. In addition to the 
judgment of De Candolle, cited above, there is another in the 
Revue Horticole, which deliberately says that Japanese pears are 
poor fruit. 

The plant is as a rule propagated through shoots, though some- 
times through seeds and subsequent grafting. Between the middle 
and the end of March, stout, healthy yearling shoots, 42 to 45 
cm. long, are whittled to a point, and the ends are then charred 
over a slow fire. The shoots thus prepared are set out one after 
another in furrows, in good soil, manured with compost, and then 
packed around with earth. Transplanting takes place a few years 

Pear-trees are most frequently met singly in Japan, as with us, 
growing high with natural development, and evidently without 
special attention. In northern Honshiu the mistletoe {Viscum 
albtmiy L.) often finds lodgment upon them, though more frequently 
still on Castanea vulgaris Lamk., and also on deciduous oaks. 
This mistletoe differs from ours in its wine-coloured berries. 

Quite another method of treatment and much greater care is 
employed with pear-trees here and there in the neighbourhood of 
large cities, e.g., at Kawasaki, between Tokio and Yokohama. The 
trees here are planted in rows at equal intervals of twelve Shaku 
(3"64 metres) in all directions. They are manured twice a year. 
For this purpose circular rings are dug about the trunks. These are 
closed again after being filled with manure. Then, too, the ground 
is kept clear of weeds and loosened from time to time. At a height 
of five or six Shaku (150 to 180 ^m.), the tree-tops are bent hori- 
zontally, after the manner of our arbours. Rows of posts, as well as 
cross-bars of bamboo cane, serve as supports to the branches. 

When I inspected these plantations more closely, about the end 
ef April, blossoming-time was over, and I found the owners busy 
cutting away the new shoots, 20 to 25 cm. long, lest they should 
withdraw nourishment from the abundant young fruit. I learned 
on this occasion that such an orchard has to be renewed every fifty 
or sixty years. The pears ripen here at the end of August, becom- 
ing very large and a beautiful yellow-brown, running into grey- 
brown. They appear to keep for a very long time, but are just as 
watery in flavour and deficient in aroma as the others. 

2. Pyrus inalus, L., the apple-tree. This tree and its insignificant 
fruit, Jap. Ringo, are so infrequent that many a foreigner dwells in 
the country for years without seeing them. 


3. Pyrus Cydonia, L. {Cydonia vulgaris, Pers.). The quince, 
Jap. Marumero, was introduced by the Portuguese, and is found 
scattered all over Japan, planted about houses, though not fre- 

4. Cydo7iia sinensis, Thouin {Pyi'us cJiinensis, Poir.). The Chinese 
quince, Jap. Kuwarin, is likewise grown here and there. Its fruit 
is smaller than that of the former variety, and is made into pre- 
serve. The product oi P. japonica, Thunb., a nearly related native 
sort, is scarcely used at all and cannot be looked upon as fruit. 

5. Eriobotiya japonica, Lindl. {Mespihis japonica, Thunb., PJio- 
tinia japonica, Fr. and Sav.). The Japanese name for the plant 
and its product is Biwa, Chin. Lu-kuh, Engl. Loquat, French 
Bibasier, Nefles du Japon, Span. Nispero de Japon. In Japan, 
China, and Corea, this peculiar, beautiful variety of fruit is esteemed 
as the first crop of the new year and has been cultivated from 
early times, though not extensively. I have, for example, only seen 
scattered trees near peasants' dwellings in Japan, and never large 
orchards.^ In the more central parts of Japan the fruit does not 
mature before June ; as a rule, however, it is plucked by the 
bushelful before that time and put away (with some of the leaves, 
to the detriment of its flavour), to get ripe afterwards. 

The fact that Kaempfer in his day mentions the presence of the 
Loquat in Java leads to the conclusion that long ago it was spread 
all over Eastern Asia. In ly^j Sir Joseph Banks brought it to 
England. Since then it has been introduced into almost all warm 
countries, e.g., most of the English colonies, the whole Mediter- 
ranean region, and the West Indies, for it recommends itself, 
equally for ornament and fruit, and also for its easy cultivation and 
quick growth. 

It is a tall bush or small tree, making a pleasing and stately 
appearance with its large leaved evergreen foliage and still more so 
when covered with white bunches of blossoms or a wealth of yellow 
fruit. It begins to bear in the third year, producing abundantly 
between the sixth and tenth ; flourishes in a light soil, and has 
withstood — 9° C. of cold on the Riviera and by the lakes of 
Northern Italy, when many native fruit-trees perished. It is easily 
propagated, by means of cuttings or seeds. In the Bermudas, 
whither the Biwa was brought from Malta forty-five years ago, 
I found ripe fruit on March 3rd, in Malaga on April 7th, in 
Gibraltar on April 14th. But May and the beginning of June are 
the proper season of maturity in most Mediterranean countries, as 
for example, in Seville, where long rows of large fine bushes can 
be seen in the garden of the Duke of Montpensier. Not only in 

^ It'also seems to me very doubtful whether Eriobotrya was derived from 
Japan and not rather transplanted thither from China in very early times, and 
then allowed to go wild in different localities, although the authors of works on 
Japanese flora, from Kaempfer and Thunberg on, call it indigenous. I myself 
have never found it except under cultivation. 


the Mediterranean region, but in the West Indies too, I have found 
that the Biwa becomes larger, handsomer, and better flavoured 
than in their Japanese home. The shape, too, has changed. In 
Japan the fruit is usually more or less spherical and as large as 
big heart-cherries, in the adopted countries mentioned it is often 
found in the form of a club or pear. The flesh, which is furnished 
with a yellow epidermis, lies loosely about i to 6 large kernels ; it 
is very juicy and of a tart, refreshing flavour, but without much 
aroma. When not fully ripe, however, it tastes sour, and when 
kept too long, insipid. The Biwa forms a transition to the group — 
lb) Stone-fruit. 

6. Amygdahis persica, L., Jap. Momo or To. Peaches are by far 
the most popular and widely-distributed stone-fruit of Japan. 
They are of Chinese origin, and indeed de Candolle considers 
China to have been in general the home of this plant. Several 
varieties are found. They are smaller than the Chinese peaches 
and most of ours, being, moreover, much inferior to the latter in 
taste. Many large orchards exist, where they are carefully culti- 
vated. Light sandy soil is chosen, as in the Mediterranean region 
and the United States. The trees are planted in rows and are 
trimmed to medium height. The ground is kept free from 

7. Pnnms armeniaca, L., Jap. Andzu, apricots of the small- 
fruit kind found in Southern P^urope, and seen often in Germany 
also, and called by Duhamel " abricot de Portugal." They are here 
and there ofl*ered for sale in July, but in general are rare. I found 
them to be not materially diflerent from ours in appearance and 
taste. ^ 

8. Prumis iiisititia, L., and P. domestica, L. Real damsons, as 
well as cherries, are not found in Japan. Of the many sub- 
species of plums one meets now and then a few the fruit of which 
looks good enough, but it tastes insipid and watery. They have 
evidently, like the apricots, found no great favour, and were pro- 
bably introduced some time ago by the Portuguese or Dutch. The 
name Hadankio is applied to a big yellow egg-plum, which recalls 
Dame-Aubert (Duhamel). Botankio is a red variety, possibly 
identical with Pnmus oxycarpa, (Bechstein). There is also a kind 
resembling the Victoria plum. 

9. But the common red plum of Japan, called Su-momo, is Prunus 
japoniciis^ Thunb. 

10. Prunus Mume^ S. and Z. {Amygdahis nana, Thunb.), Jap. 
Mume, Bai, Japanese apricot-tree (Lauche). This species, a 
favourite plant of the Japanese, and as such largely grown in 
gardens and temple-groves, is cultivated chiefly on account of its 
blossoms. Its round, pubescent fruit resembles apricots in form, or 
rather small, hard peaches. It is hard and sour, and as a rule is 
eaten salted or dried, under the name Ume (Mume)-boshi or Haku- 
bai. It is also made into vinegar. 


11. Primus /^;;/^;^/^i-^, Thunb., Jap. Isora mume. The felt-leaf 
apricot-tree, as Lauche calls it/ is only a shrub with red fruit, look- 
ing and tasting like cherries. I saw the fruit for sale in Waka- 
yama, and often observed the shrub which it adorns in the neigh- 
bourhood of dwellings in Kishiu. That the fruit of the Yama- 
sakura (/^r. pseiido-cerasus, LindL), too, is eaten, as Siebold affirms, 
and of the Man'-zaku {P. incisa^ Thunb.), as Kinch says, is un- 
known to me. 

12. Zizyphus vulgaris^ Lam., var. inermis^ Bunge, Jap. Natsume 
and Sanebuto-natsume. In the Kew collection, under the title Z. 
injuba, Lamk., there are specimens from China, Japan, India, etc., 
and seeds of this plant are said to have been found in an old 
Roman amphora, in London, in 1864. In ancient times it was 
widely grown in the civilized states of Asia. It is cultivated here 
and there in Japan, though not to the same extent as in Corea. 
Its trees grow unprotected to a height of 6 to 8 meters, blossoming 
in June, and bearing in autumn. Its oval or elliptical fruit is the 
size of olives, and has a yellow or reddish epidermis, which 
encloses a tart-tasting flesh, that is either eaten raw, or put to a 
medicinal use. In the northern provinces of China, where "jujubes " 
are extensively cultivated, they are preserved in honey, in which 
state they resemble dried dates in shape, colour, and taste, at least, 
if not in size. Hence one finds them often spoken of as *' dates," 
or '' Chinese dates," names which might easily occasion a mis- 

13. Hovenia dulcisy Thunb., Jap. Kempon-nashi. Kaempfer, who 
gives a picture of a branch with leaves and fruit, compares this 
tree, in passing, with a medium-sized pear-tree ("Am. Exot," 
p. 808). It belongs to the same family as the preceding, but bears 
a totally different fruit, in so far as its singularly fleshy, thickened 
stems are concerned, though not the fruit itself. The sweet taste 
of these stems reminds one somewhat of our pears, and is much 
liked, especially by children. The tree flourishes quite well in the 
warmer parts of Europe.^ 

14. Cormis officinalis, S. and Z. (C. sanguinea, Thunb., C. ignorata, 
K. Koch.), Jap. Sanshio-nayu, is cultivated here and there for the 
sake of its fruit. The big bushes, or little trees, which I found in 
the summer of 1875 growing near mandarin oranges in Yamato, 
reminded me forcibly of our common cornelian-cherry {C. mas, L.), 
which is closely allied to the scarlet, egg-shaped stone-fruit. 

15. Elceagnus iimbellata, Thunb. [E. parvifolia, Royle), Jap. 
Gumi. The umbelliferous olive, which is frequently found growing 
wild in Japan, though also cultivated for decorative purposes, bears 
a small, round, pink fruit, with a stone. Children especially are 
very fond of its flesh. The same holds true, though perhaps not 

^ Lauche : " Dendrologie." Berlin, 1880, p. 643. 

2 See Philippe : " Sur I'Eucalyptus globulus et THovenia dulcis. Bull. Soc. 
Accl ," ser. 2, i. p. 196 (1864). 


to the same extent, of the remaining species of Elaeagnus, for 
which Gumi is the generic term. 

if) Berries. 

1 6, Diospyros Kaki, L. fil., Jap. Kaki, Chinese Shi-tse, Fr. 
plaqueminier, Eng. persimon — the date-plum or lotus-plum tree. 
This Ebenacea, remarkable also on account of its wood, is un- 
deniably the most widely distributed, most important, and most 
beautiful fruit-tree in Japan, Corea, and Northern China.^ In Japan 
it endures night frosts, at a temperature of from — 12° C. to — 16° C. 
It can be cultivated high up in the valleys and far beyond the limit 
of the bamboo-cane. It is a stately tree, after the fashion of a 
pear-tree, with beautiful deciduous leaves, almost as large as those 
of some magnolias, but of bright-green colour and resembling those 
of the pear in shape only. The new leaves come in May, blossoms in 
June, the season of ripe fruit is late in autumn, from the middle of 
September to the end of November. Thunberg (" Flor. jap.," 
p. 158) strikingly describes this handsome berry (from the size of 
an Ggg to that of a man's fist), as follows : — 

" Pomum subglobosum, obsolete tetragonum, glabrum, imma- 
turum viride, maturum flavum, basi truncatum, calyce persistente 
ornatum, obtusum stigmate persistente, octovalve, octoloculare, 
magnitudine pomi mediocris, sapore fere pruni albi dulcis, 

There are many kinds of Kaki, ranging in size from a small 
hen's Qgg to a big apple. Some are nearly spherical, others 
oblong, others heart-shaped. In colour of the outer skin they 
run from light orange-yellow to deep orange-red. They are dis- 
tinguished also by their taste, which is pleasant in its way and 
reminds one of tomatoes, as does the colour also. They are eaten 
not only in a soft, doughy condition, in which those of the 
Migako-no-dj6, in the province Hiuga, are prized most highly, but 
the fruit is gathered while still hard, to ripen afterwards. The best 
in Japanese estimation are Tarugaki, i.e.y " tub persimons," which 
have been converted from astringent into sweet fruit by being kept 
in an old sake tub. The bitter, astringent taste of all green Kaki 
remains, even in the ripe fruit, in the case of most varieties, and it 
is from these that, during the summer, an astringent fluid, rich in 
tannin, is prepared (called Shibu), an acid of considerable importance 
in several industries. (See paragraph in the next section.) When 
over-ripe and dried in the sun, pressed somewhat flat, and then 
put away in boxes, the sweet Kaki get to look and taste in a {qvj 
months, when skinned, like dried figs, and are used like them. 
The white powder which covers these dried persimons in boxes is 
natural sugar that has exuded from the fruit. 

In September, the Kaki-tree, laden with large, orange-coloured 

^ Thus, for example, Markham, in his " Travels through the Province of 
Shantung,^' in X\iQ Jourtt. Roy. Geogr. Soc. (1870), says, "Persimmon-trees 


fruit, is a great ornament to the landscape. This beauty it pre- 
serves till it loses its leaves in October.^ 

The summer of Germany is not long enough or warm enough for 
Diospyros Kaki ; its winter, as a rule, too cold. The tree and its 
fruit, however, do well about the lakes of Northern Italy — at Intra, 
for example, and on the Riviera, and in the sub-tropical parts 
of the Iberian peninsula. In Southern California, too, at Santa 
Barbara, for instance, it has been raised successfully. 

17. Diospyros Lotus^ L. {D. I'Caki^ Thunb. van /3., D. japonica^ S. 
and Z.), Jap. Shinano-gaki, that is, Kaki of the province of Shinano, 
is frequently regarded as a wild form of the foregoing species. Its 
small and indifferent-tasting fruit does not get ripe before late 
autumn, after the tree has cast its leaves. It resembles wild apples 
and wild pears. 

The representatives of the Aitrantiacece come next to date-plums 
in importance as berries, although their cultivation is limited to 
the warmer parts of Japan, and their use is by no means as general 
and multifarious. 

First of all comes — 

18. Citrus nobilis, Lour., Jap. Mikan, the mandarin orange. Its 
home appears to be China and Cochin China. As late as the 
beginning of this century, it was a novel feature in gardens in the 
countries along the Mediterranean. It is as easily distinguishable 
by the smallness of its growth (being a bush, rather than a tree) as 
by its well-known fruit. It has been grown in Japan for many 
hundreds of years. The northern boundary of its successful culture 
in Hondo is near Atami, and next to it in the Peninsula of Yamato. 
The mountains here, with spurs running southward, shelter the 
valleys from rude winds, and the influence of warm southern 
currents is felt. Mikan, therefore, is produced chiefly in the valleys 
of Ise and Kishiu, especially in the district of Arita (Arita-gori) 
north-east of Wakayama. The blossoming time here is the end of 
May and the early part of June. (In Malaga I have seen bushes 
in full bloom as early as April 7.) This region supplies the demand 
of the three Fu, or capital cities, particularly of Tokio. Man- 
darin oranges come to Tokio for sale in large quantities all 
through winter, and are cheap. They grow in many places in 
Southern Japan ; but I never saw any large orchards. 

19. Citrus auraittium, L. 

(a) C. a. Bigaradia, Brandis and Hooker {C. vulgaris, Risso), 
Jap. Daidai, the bitter orange, called Seville orange by the 

(/3) C a. sinense, Galisco {C. aurantium, Risso), Jap. Kunembo, the 
orange, thick-skinned and not highly prized. 

^ In the spring of 1884 I was strikingly reminded of its appearance when leaf- 
less by seeing some orange-trees near Cordoba, which had lost their leaves in 
consequence of an unusual degree of cold at the beginning of the preceding 
winter, but were still laden with frozen fruit. 


20. Citrus dec7i7nana, L., Jap. Zabon, the shaddock. I found 
specimens of it from various parts of Bungo, in an exhibition at 
Funai. They differ considerably from those of Southern Europe 
in shape and size, and are especially inferior to the splendid shad- 
docks of the West Indian islands, where the family of the Auranti- 
aceae undoubtedly attain their highest point of productiveness. 
More frequent still are the smallest of this family in Japan — the 
Kinkan, or fruits of 

21. Citrus japonica^ Thunb., which may be regarded as a transi- 
tion to lemons and citrons. They become ripe in December and 
January, and are sent to market at Tokio in great quantities. 
From 12 to 15 are sold for five farthings. That they are "valde 
dulces, grati et edules," as Thunberg affirms, is more than I can 
admit. They are rich in citric acid and always reminded me of 
Citrus lima, Risso (Eng. lime). Two varieties are distinguished, 
as Siebold also states. 

{a) Kin-kan, with spherical fruit about the size of a large cherry. 

{b) T6-kinkan, i.e., Chinese Kin-kan, similar in size, but oval 
in shape. Kaempfer compares the Kinkan, in form and size, not 
inappropriately, with nutmegs. They present a handsome appear- 
ance. Their smooth, light orange-coloured skin is dotted with 
green dimples, and is very aromatic. The flesh, however, is used 
like that of lemons, on account of its acidity, 

C. aurajitium microcarpuin and C. a. minimum, Dierbach ^ seem 
to be identical with Kinkan [C j'aponica, Thunb.). A note on the 
" Limonier du Bresil " in the old botanical garden, under an article 
in the Revue Horticole of 1880, treating of remarkable orna- 
mental plants in Lisbon, probably refers to the same variety, for it 
says that the old tree bears small round lemons every year, as big 
as medium-sized plums. 

22. Citrus media, Risso, Jap. Tebushiu-kan, the citron, var. 
chirocarpus, L., Jap. Bushiu-kan, oval, with a thick, lumpy and very 
aromatic skin. It is not frequent. 

2^. Citrus medica Limonum, Brandis and Hooker, Jap. Yudzu, 
the lemon of the English. 

24. Pimica granatum, L., Jap. Zakuro. This low tree is found, 
though but singly, much farther north than the Aurantiacese. I 
saw it as far north as Kaga and Aidzu in gardens ; and in 
Yonezawa and Sendai I noticed the ripe fruit for sale, which 
was evidently grown in the vicinity. It was of medium size 
and did not taste as good as that raised in the Mediterranean 

25. Ficus carica, L., Jap. Ichijiku and T6-kaki, i.e., Chinese 
Kaki. According to Thunberg, the common fig-tree was introduced 
by the Portuguese. Its cultivation, however, remained only limited. 
In China, too (according to Williams), the Portuguese tried to 

^ Dierbach : " Grundiss der allgemeinen okon. techn. Botanik." Heidelberg, 


popularize fig-culture, but without success, as the fruit did not 
have a pleasant taste. 

26. Morus alba, L., Jap. Kuwa. The fruit of the different sub- 
species of this plant, the silk-worm mulberry, is seldom eaten. It 
is not always white. There are some varieties with black berries, 
as was noted by Kaempfer. Thunberg surely misunderstands him 
when he adduces Morns nigra, L., and refers it to Kaempfer. The 
edible black mulberry is not found in Japan. 

27. Vitis vinifera, L., Jap. Budo. Grapes are offered for sale, 
late in autumn, in almost all Japanese towns. There are two sorts, 
one white, and a red one resembling Muscatel. These grapes are 
thick-skinned, not so sweet as ours, and have a bitter, strange 
after-taste. Kaempfer was not unjust when he declared them un- 
fit to make wine of ^ There is a good deal of probability in favour of 
Thunberg's assumption that they were first introduced by Europeans 
(probably Portuguese). Like other fruit, they have degenerated, 
and this fact almost excludes any hope that Japan, or East Asia 
in general, will ever become a wine-growing country. 

The Koshiubudo, i.e., Koshiu-grapes, so highly prized in Tokio, 
come mostly from Katsunuma and several other places near Kofu. 
They are here grown on arbours, like the pears of Kawasaki, and do 
not get ripe till September, as I noted in the autumn of 1874. 

28. Vitis Labriisca, L., Jap. Yama-budo, i.e., wild grapes growing 
on the mountains. This species, with its little blue berries and its 
peculiar flavour, resembles the small early Burgundy, and is fre- 
quently on sale in the towns. Vitis Labrnsca, L. is distributed in 
Eastern Asia very much as it is in the Atlantic forest-lands of 
North America. 

After this berry comes a long list of others, which take the place 
of fruit with the Ainos, for example, and are also eaten in Japan 
Proper, and sometimes exhibited for sale. The following are those 
most worthy of notice : 

29. Akebia quinata, Decaisne [Rajania qttinata, Thunb.), Jap. 
Akebi, and 

30. A. lobata, Decaisne, Jap. Mitsuba-akebi, i.e., trefoliate Akebi. 
The fruit of the Akebie resembles small cucumbers, and usually 

are set in pairs facing each other on a long stem, thus recalling 
forcibly the product of Holbcellia latifolia, Wall., of Sikkim. It 
ripens in September, when it averages locm. in length, and 1 2 to 1 5 cm. 
in girth ; is white, grey or brown, and elliptical in shape. It springs 
up lengthwise. Its exterior fleshy coating, under the husk, is not 
good to eat. A white, transparent, mucilaginous mass with a sweet 
pleasant taste surrounds the countless little seeds, and is all that 
is edible. It is common in autumn to see the husks of Akebie 
lying along the path, and to meet women and children busy gather- 
ing this peculiar fruit. 

^ " Adeoque ad oenopasiam haud idonea." — Am. exot. p. 786. 


31. Actinidia arguta, Planchon {Trochostigma arguta, S. and Z.), 
Jap. Kokuwa, Shira-kuchi-katsura, and Saru-nashi (monkey pear), 
is like all Actinidise a deciduous climbing shrub, which is fond of 
insinuating itself into the crowns of low trees, whence it hangs down 
with its numerous branches and plentiful fruit. Its white blossoms 
resemble in shape those of the tea-plant, and appear in June. 
The berries ripen in autumn, and are like gooseberries in appear- 
ance and size. When over-ripe, they smell like pears. Bohmer 
found their taste pleasing, a combination of the flavour of figs and 
grapes. I have eaten them several times, even when over-ripe, 
finding them in this condition not so agreeable. 

32. Acthiidia polygama, Planchon, Jap. Matatabi, is a climbing 
shrub of frequent occurrence in thickets. Its soft, ripe berries, with 
five-fold green calyxes, are of elliptical form ; in this, as in size 
and the manner in which they taper off, bearing a resemblance to 
acorns. Its flesh is yellow and filled with small seeds, and is not 
eaten, as far as I know, although Kinch says this fruit is edible. 
The whole plant, however, has a remarkable property — like Valer- 
iana officinalis — it attracts cats ! This is referred to in a well- 
known Japanese saying : 

" Neko ni matatabi," which means as much as : " He can't let 
it alone, any more than a cat (neko) can matatabi." Both of these 
Actinidiae exist now among us as ornamental climbing shrubs. 

33. Rubiis, Jap. Ichigo. Among the twenty-two species repre- 
sented in Japan, belonging nearly all to the raspberry-group, there 
are only a few with edible fruit. Siebald enumerates six, Kinch 
eleven ; but several should certainly be struck out of their lists. 
The raspberry proper, Riibus Idmis, L., var. strigosa, seems to be 
restricted to a i&sN localities in the island of Yezo, and so, too, 
with the whortleberry or moss-berry R. cJiamcemoruSy L., which is 
so general on the moors of Northern Europe. In addition to them, 
Kinch mentions, R. triflorus, Richards, R. Bitei'geri, Miq., R. cor- 
chorifolius, L. fil., R. incisus, Thunb., R. cratcBgifoliiis, Bunge, R. 
trifidus, Thunb., R. TJiunbergii, S. and Z. R. parvifolius, L., R. 
tokkura, S. and Z. I have tasted the products of most of these 
varieties and found them insipid. 

34. Fragaria vesca, L., also called Ichigo in Japanese. I have 
only once found ripe, well-flavoured strawberries in Japan, and then 
it was on Fujisan. I have never seen either wild strawberries or 
those raised in gardens offered for sale, which is proof enough of 
their rarity. The name Oranda-ichigo for Fragaria chilensis, Ehrh., 
and F. grajtdiflora, Ehrh., the pine-apple strawberry, points to the 
introduction of these species by the Dutch. 

35. Rosa rzigosa, Thunb., Jap. Hama-nashi, i.e., coast-pear. The 
large onion-shaped heps or false fruit of this beautiful dune-plant 
are eaten, not only by Ainos, but also by Japanese. 

2)6. Vaccinitim, L. From this division the blackberry and the blue- 
berry ( V. Myi^tillis, L., and V. nliginosum, L.) are absent altogether, 


while among the sour red-berry species of any account, the cran- 
berry (F. Vitis Idcea, L.), Jap. Koke-momo and Iwa-momo, and 
the moss-berry ( F. oxycoccos, L.), Jap. Aka-momo and Iwa-haze 
appear only sporadically, and seem confined chiefly to Yezo, so 
that they do not attain to any great importance. 

37. EpigacB asiatica, Maxim. {Parapyrola tricJiocarpa, Miq.), 
Jap. Iwa-nashi, i.e.^ rock-pear. To what extent its berry, vvhicli 
reaches the thickness of a small cherry, is capable of being used 
for food, I cannot judge. The plant, however, which till now has 
been very little known, deserves closer attention, on account of its 
beautiful evergreen leaves and its blossoms, which come out in 
March and April. It is a small, evergreen, creeping shrub. I 
found it in the woods about Kioto, and according to Keiske it oc- 
curs also in Owari, and has been discovered, besides, in the north. 

{d) Nuts. 

38. Castanea vulgaris, Lamk. {Fagiis castanea, Thunb.), Jap. Kuri. 
When one considers how quickly the chestnut becomes wild, even 
in Germany, eg., in the Black Forest and along the Hardt in the 
Palatinate, it is possible to grasp the difficulties attending any 
attempt to determine the border-line between its range as a culti- 
vated tree and as a spontaneous growth. Is it, for example, native 
or gone wild in England, the Caucasus, Japan, and North America.? 
Various reasons are in favour of the former supposition. Basing 
his argument on them, de Candolle says in his book on " L'origine 
des plantes cultives," already so often cited : " Le Chataignier, de 
la famille des Cupuliferes, a une habitation naturelle assez etendue 
mais disjointe," and very properly regards the differences between 
the chestnut of the North American Atlantic forests, that native to 
Japan, and that found in the western part of the Old World, as too 
slight to justify a specific distinction. We therefore regard C. vesca, 
L. as only the cultivated form of C. vulgaris, Lamk., which has 
differentiated from it not only in Europe and Western Asia, but 
also in Japan, independently. 

What Radde says about the occurrence of the chestnut in the 
Caucasus, is of force also with regard to Japan. The tree seeks light 
and shuns hot plains. It seldom exists in solid, homogeneous 
masses, but appears in scattered groups, in sapling thickets and 
brushwood. In Japan it forms thin groves, especially on mountain 
slopes surrounding valleys, and adjacent to the higher-lying forest 
of various kinds of trees. It attains there an altitude of more than 
800 m. above sea-level. In June, when its whitish yellow catkins 
are developed, these thin chestnut groves stand out everywhere 
sharply from the surrounding woods, as one may see at Heidelberg 
Castle. Chestnuts are not used as food to such an extent in Japan 
as elsewhere, and are devoured mostly by wild swine. I found them 
cultivated here and there in northern Hondo (once even in a village 
as an umbrageous tree), but most frequently in Yonezawa, where, too, 
that variety has been evolved which we call Marrons. This, as is 


well known, is distinguished by the fact that each burr, instead of 
holding two or three nuts, contains only one, which is proportion- 
ally large. 

39. Jtiglans regia, L. {Pterocarpa japoriicd) and 

40. Juglaiis Sieboldiana, Maxim. (/. nigra, Thunb.,/. mandschiirica, 
Miq.). Both kinds of walnut are called Kurumi in Japan and 
are, perhaps, only found cultivated. They grow over a wide area, 
though nowhere plentifully. 

41. Corylus heierophylla, Fisch. {C. Avellana, Thunb.), Jap. Hashi- 
bami, mostly growing wild, but also cultivated. C. rostrata, Ait., is 
more rare. 

42. Quercus cuspidata, Thunb., Jap. Shii. The small acorns of 
this very frequent, evergreen species are sold under the name of 
Shii-no-mi (Shii-seeds) and eaten roasted. 

43. Pinus koraiensis, S. and Z. {P. Strobiis, Thunb.), Jap. Goyo- 
no-matsu. The seeds of this pine (probably only found cultivated) 
are eaten, like those of the sweet-pine. For this purpose the crop 
of cones is publicly sold by auction at the castle of Morioka in 

44. Torreya nucifera, S. and Z., Jap. Kaya. The edible nuts 
are used chiefly to make oil. (See Kaya-no-abura.) 

45. Ginkgo biloba, L. {Salisburia adiantifolia, Smith), Jap. Icho 
or Ginkiyo. Its fruit is called Ginnan (in China Pa-Kwa). It is 
really stone-fruit, of the same size, shape, and colour as large mira- 
belles, with thin, disagreeable flesh, and seed-kernels of which the 
taste is not unlike that of almonds. According to Fortune, Ginnan 
are bought and sold in all the markets in China, and they are no 
less highly esteemed in Japan, though in the latter country the tree 
is not grown for their sake as in China, but for ornamental pur- 
poses. (See ornamental plants.) 

46. Trapa bispinosa, Roxb., Jap. Hishi. The double-thorned 
water-nut or water-chestnut is found in stagnant water in Eastern 
Asia, from Cashmere to Japan, sometimes growing wild, sometimes 
cultivated for its fruit, especially in China. In Japan I often saw 
it in weirs, particularly those which are used in watering rice-fields. 
The variety Trapa incisa, S. and Z. (Z". natans^ Thunb.), Jap. Hime- 
bishi, is also of frequent occurrence. 

47. Neliiinbiuui speciosum, Willd. {Nelunibo nncifera, Gaertn.), 
Jap. Hasu. The elliptical nuts, Hasu-no-mi, as large as a small 
acorn, of a greyish brown externally but white within, and having 
an agreeable nut-like taste, have already been mentioned. 

(f) Articles of Food and Luxury as Chemical Products of the Raw 
Materials mentioned under 2 (a) — (e). 

Under the heading " Alimenta composita," Siebold, in his cata- 
logue of useful Japanese plants, which we cited above (p. 36), 
names a number of preparations which are in part peculiar to that 



country, and are of great interest from the way in which they are 
obtained and utilized. In the domestic economy of the Japanese 
— and of the Chinese, too, to some extent— several of these have 
played for centuries the indispensable ?'^/^ of condiment to their food, 
making even the most insipid agreeable to the taste. In this way 
they have excited attention and imitation, more or less, in Europe, 
and especially in England. Others find a place as valuable articles 
of diet, being qualified, by their large proportion of nitrogen, to take 
the place of meat. Others again contain sufficient alcohol and 
admixtures of it to produce exaltation and make the head heavy 
— a gratification which, it seems, many people even in Eastern 
Asia cannot deny themselves. And for these intoxicating drinks 
the Government shows an interest scarcely second to that taken by 
Christian States themselves, in that it has for a long period been 
drawing revenue from them. Thus there is no lack of the necessary 
statistics in regard to production and consumption. In this respect, 
at least, intoxicating drinks take precedence of all other of these 
products, so I set them at the head of the following list and now 
proceed to them. 

I. Sake or Seishu is the intoxicating beverage par excellence of 
Japan and both its western neighbours. It is prepared from rice, 
as is well known, but has little resemblance to the Indian arrack. 
And the terms "rice-beer" and "rice-brandy" so often applied to 
it do not properly characterize it, for Sake differs widely from beer 
and brandy, especially in the quantity of alcohol contained ; like 
wine, occupying in this respect a place mid-way between them. 
Foreigners seldom relish the peculiar taste of Sake. The Japanese, 
however, like it so very much that they in their temple-feasts do 
not fail to set some of it before the gods, with their favourite 
food, in ancient fashion. This dedicated Sake is called Miki ^ or 
6 Miki. The inhabitants of Japan are universally fond of hot 
drinks, be it even warm water, in default of tea or Sake, and so 
they prefer this liquor heated, and drink it from their small cups 
of porcelain or lacquered wood. 

In 1874 Chief StafT-surgeon Hoffmann gave the first short account 
of Sake manufacture, from personal observation.^ Four years later 
there followed a more comprehensive, scientific work on the subject 
by Korschelt,''^ and at last, in 188 r, a second, by Atkinson, a 
treatise of great merit,* which supplements that of Korschelt in 
many places, and has been made use of, with it, for what follows 

^ Mi is a prefix of honour, as in Mikado, Midera, and Ke or Ki is the oldest 
name for Sake. 

2 " Sake- und Myrin-Bereitung," von HofTfmann. " Mitth. der deutsch. 
Gesellschaft Ostasiens." 6. Heft, 1874. 

3 "Ueber Sake," von O. Korschelt. 16. Heft. 1878, von den "Mitth. der 
deutsch. Ges. Ostasiens." 

^ " The Chemistry of Sake-brewing," by R. W. Atkinson. " Memoirs of the 
Science Department, Tokio." Daigaku, 1881. 


It seems that the Japanese became closely acquainted with 
Sake at the beginning of the third century, during their first ex- 
pedition to Corea. At least, the introduction of its manufacture is 
assigned to that date. It was a Chinese process, and was, too, fur- 
ther perfected by the Chinese. For many centuries great difficulty 
was experienced from the summer heat, which quickly spoiled the 
liquor. Then, about 300 years ago, a means of preserving it was 
discovered in the very heating. In those days the Sake-distilleries 
at Itami and Nishinomiya on the road (now railway) from Hiogo 
to Ozaka, and from Ikeda, had already attained a great reputation, 
which they have kept up to the present time, despite all competition. 

However much the process may differ in a {^\n secondary respects, 
it is still to all intents and purposes, the same in all distilleries. 
Common rice (Uruchi) is everywhere employed, and always in its 
hulled shape, never the glutinous rice, though perhaps that is simply 
because it is considerably dearer. 

After the Japanese example, Korschelt notes four stages in the 
manufacture of Sake, namely i, the production of Koji ; 2, of Moto ; 
3, the main process ; and 4, pressing and clarifying. Atkinson en- 
tirely separates the preparation of Koji from the three other sub- 
jects, treating them together under the head of Sake-brewing 

a. Preparation of Koji or rice- ferment. The means by which in 
making Sake the farinaceous meal of the rice-grains is transformed 
and got ready for alcoholic fermentation is called Koji, being thus 
similar to diastase in the case of malt. It is, moreover, applied 
also in the manufacture of Shoyu, and in other cases likewise where 
we should use lees, and hence its production is a thing by itself, 
and not merely a part of Sake-distilling. 

Koji still has essentially the look of the hulled rice-grains from 
which it was made, except that most of these grains are now loosely 
united in lumps of greater or less size. This lumping takes place 
through the Mycelium fibres of a mould-fungus {Eiirotiuin Oryzce, 
Ahlburg), which pierce into the loosened cellular layer, while the 
walls in the thicker cells about the centre of the mass have acquired 
a horny character, so that the single starch-grains are no longer 
distinguishable. By prolonged contact with water a considerable 
number of these Koji-grains are dissolved, colouring the fluid 
yellow. This change is effected still more quickly and completely 
in warm water, so that often only the cell-walls and Mycelium fila- 
ments remain undissolved. In this way between 30 and 60 per cent. of 
the Koji passes into solution. As Atkinson has shown, this soluble 
part of the Koji consists principally of starch-sugar and dextrine, 
the mutual relation of which is, of course, subject to many varia- 
tions, depending upon the temperature and the duration of the 
influence of the fungus. By Tane-koji, i.e., Koji-seeds, is meant a 
fine yellow powder, the spores of the fungus, as revealed by the 


Sake is manufactured only in the coldest months, from Novem- 
ber to February, and Koji in the same season. But preparations 
are often made as early as October. The hulled rice is first of all 
washed with fresh water, the latter being renewed so long as it 
gets a milky colour from the rice. Then it lies one night in 
the last bath of water, thus becoming soft. Steam does the rest. 
This is made in an iron boiler and then let loose amid the rice, so 
that there is no possibility of sprouting and developing diastase, as 
in the preparation of malt with us. 

When the steamed rice has become so soft that it is easily 
kneaded into dough between the fingers, it is spread out on straw 
mats to cool. There, when reduced to blood-heat, it is treated 
with Fane-koji, a teaspoonful of the latter to 4 To {j^ liter) of rice. 
In making the mixture, the fungus-spores are first thoroughly 
mingled with a small portion of the rice-mass, after which the 
compounding of the whole body is undertaken. 

The rice thus spread out is now left for about three days on 
mats in warm rooms, for the development of the mould fungus. 
In factories built expressly for the manufacture of Koji, these 
apartments are subterranean chambers 8 to 10 m. long, 2\ m. 
broad, and \\ m. high, made in a clay soil 3 to 4 m. under ground. 
They communicate with the entrance to a square shaft 3 to 4 m. 
deep, and 2 m. wide, by means of low, narrow passages, whose 
openings are hung with straw mats. The purpose of this whole 
arrangement is evidently to preserve the high temperature in the 
chambers unchanged as long as possible. 

Along both of the side walls of every chamber a bank of earth 
is left, \ m. high, and near the entrance to the chamber there 
is a depression, in which the mats are laid with the rice wrapped 
up in them, and kept all night at a temperature of 25-26° C. 
Next morning the rice is manipulated to prevent its balling 
together. Towards afternoon it is found covered with the Myce- 
lium of the fungus as with a white blanket. It is now shaken out 
into baskets frequently sprinkled with cold water, while being 
tossed about. It is next laid out on boards and partitioned off 
with racks, the boards being put side by side on the banks in the 
chambers. During the day and a half in which the rice remains 
here, it is thoroughly mixed by hand several times, to separate 
the grains which have stuck together. Finally, on the morn- 
ing of the fifth day (counting from when the rice was washed), 
the boards with the finished Koji are taken out of the chambers 
and put away, one above the other, in a cool, airy place, to await 
sale or use. The Koji last in this way several months without 
being spoiled by the formation of spores, which announce their 
presence by yellow spots. When the chambers have a temperature 
of 20° C, that of the rice rises to 25-28° C. because of the de- 
velopment of fungus, and in the morning even higher, for then the 
fungus grows faster than in the afternoon. 

II. H 


In Sak6 distilleries Koji is prepared in precisely the same way, 
only that the chambers are smaller and not sunk so deep in the 
ground. Tane-koji is made only in spring. The spreading of 
fungus is allowed to go on one or two days longer than in the 
preparation of Koji, but it is finally covered over. The spores 
thus obtained are kept all the summer in a sealed, air-tight pot, in a 
dry, cool place, until needed in autumn. In winter the Koji itself 
is used instead of it. 

b. Preparation of the Moto, or mash. This is a turbid fluid, 
which Hoffmann has called Mutterwiirze, although neither this 
word nor " mash " is a proper translation of " Moto." It is a pro- 
duct of the fermentation caused in Koji by heat, — a fermentation 
whereby a considerable part of the rice-starch is converted into 
dextrine, starch-sugar, and finally alcohol. Its production takes 
about fourteen days and is accomplished when the development of 
carbonic acid in the ferment has grown considerably less and the 
liquid has lost its former sweet taste and become sour and bitter, 
with a pronounced flavour of alcohol. 

In Sake distilleries a fresh supply of rice is steamed on the third 
or fourth day, the preparation of Koji having begun at the com- 
mencement of November, and is spread out on mats till the follow- 
ing morning. Then it is made into a thick porridge, with Koji and 
water. The proportion of these ingredients, which does not vary 
much, is quantitatively: rice lo, Koji 36, water ii'i ; and, accord- 
ing to weight, rice 10, Koji 4, water 12. The rice thus steamed, 
as well as that used for making Koji, is dried and hulled. In the 
celebrated distilleries at Itami and Nishinomiya, 0'5 Koku of 
steamed rice are mixed with 02 Koku of Koji and 06 Koku of 
water, and this compound is called a Moto. This Moto is divided 
into six equal parts, and put into six flat, cylindrical wooden tubs, 
called Han-kiri, each holding 100 liters. The tubs are filled to only 
about one-fifth of their capacity. The mass is now kneaded and 
mixed by hand into a stiff, thick paste for two hours, after which 
it is left to itself twenty-fou-r hours, in which time it completely 
loses its stiffness, becoming thinner and more easily worked. Now 
a sort of oar or ladle called Kai (oar), is dipped in and for several 
days the mixture is frequently stirred thoroughly with it. The 
milky liquor which is increasingly produced indicates starch-sugar 
by its sweetness, for a large proportion of starch has been mean- 
while thus converted. But near the end of this process carbonic 
acid becomes more and more perceptible, indicating that alcoholic 
fermentation has already set in, despite the low temperature. For 
all this time the temperature has been that of the outer air, vary- 
ing from 0° to 10° C Korschelt calls attention to the fact that this 
coolness of the atmosphere is probably necessary and that, under 
the given conditions, Sake-making is for this reason confined to 
the coldest four months, since spores of the fungus {Eurotium 
Oryzce Ahlb.) would otherwise appear in the Koji. 


At the latest in six days, this process is completed. The con- 
tents of the Han-kiri, three at a time, are poured into a fermenting 
vat (Moto-yoshi-oke), holding about 6 hi., and here the stuff is left 
quiet for one day. Then comes the warming of the mash, to 
hasten alcoholic fermentation. Wooden vessels of a conical form, 
closely stopped, are filled with boiling water, dipped into the mass 
of grain, and moved about hither and thither. They measure 
30 cm. at the bottom, 23 cm. at the top, and are 50 cm. high, and 
every Daki has a handle fastened to two ears that project over its 
upper edge. 

After about twelve hours the vessel, having cooled, is replaced 
by another full of boiling water, and thus it goes on, at longer 
or shorter intervals, according to the heat required, till the 
fourteenth day, the last of the Moto-preparing. During this time 
the fermentation vats have been wrapped in straw mats, to diminish 
cooling from outside as much as possible. Within, the temperature 
gradually rises to about 25° C, for the most part through increasing 
fermentation — in other distilleries even to 30° C. When the pro- 
cess of fermentation is nearly finished, the contents of the vats are 
put back into the Han-kiri, and there left to cool off gradually. 

The composition of prepared Moto is, of course, very varied. 
The proportion of alcohol for example, ranges from 3 to 14 per 
cent. Atkinson found in Moto from Nishinomiya 10*5 per cent, 
of alcohol, 0'2 per cent, of starch-sugar, 0'56 per cent, of acid, i6'58 
per cent, of starch and cellulose, and 72'i6 per cent, of water. 

c. The main process. For this the plant and method are 
nearly the same everywhere. In practice three kinds of bucket- 
shaped vats are employed, one after the other. They widen out 
somewhat at the top, and their height is 15 to 25 cm. less than 
their diameter at the middle. According to their depth they are 
distinguished as San-shaku-oke, Shi-shaku-oke, and Roku-shaku- 
oke, i.e., three, four, and six-foot tubs. They hold about five, ten, 
and thirtj'-three Koku respectively, or twice that number of hecto- 
liters. When in use, however, they are never more than half filled, 
so as to leave room for fermentation. They are as a rule made 
of soft Sugi-wood (Cryptomeria). 

The process of fermentation is divided in the larger distilleries 
into three stages, called Soye, Naka, and Shimai (joining, middle, 
and end). Again steamed rice (Mushi-han), Koji, water, and 
this time Moto besides are used in Soye, in the following pre- 
paration : — 

at Itami. at Nishinomiya. 

Mushi-han . . 1-30 Koku 1*05 Koku 

Moto .... 1-30 „ 1-33 „ 

Koji .... 0-35 „ 0-35 „ 

Water. . . . 1*30 „ 1*15 „ 

4-25 Koku 3*88 Koku 


The mixture is transferred to a San-shaku-oke in the above 
proportion, and there for two or three days thoroughly stirred once 
every two hours. During this time of increasing fermentation, at 
a temperature of about 20° C. (when the air outside is at 10° C.)> 
there arises a pleasant, aromatic, pungent odour. The Soye is 
now completed. The mass is divided equally and put into two 
other three-foot tubs, where a fresh lot of steamed rice, Koji and 
water is added, according to the following proportions : — 

at Itami. 

at Nishinomiya. 

Soye . . . 

. 4-25 Koku 

3-88 Koku 

Mushi-han . 

. 2-00 „ 

i-8o „ 

Koji . . . 

. 065 „ 

o-6o „ 

Water . . . 

. 2-90 „ 

2-40 „ 

980 Koku ^'6^ Koku 

Thus in Itami 4-90 Koku, and in Nishinomiya 4*34 Koku, are put 
into each of the two tubs. This mixture also is vigorously stirred 
every other hour, though for one day only, and then the Naka is 
finished. Once again the fermented stuff contained in each tub 
is divided and put into two others and mixed anew with steamed 
rice, Koji and water. The proportions of the new mixture, for 
Shimai, the last stage of fermentation, is as follows : — 

at Itami. 
Naka .... 9*90 Koku 
Mushi-han . . 3-30 „ 
Koji . . . . roo „ 
Water .... 4*20 „ \ 

at Nishinomiya. 

Z'6Z Koku 

3'6o „ 

I -20 „ 

6-20 „ 

19-68 Koku 

18*40 Koku 

Half of this mass is therefore contained in each tub, and is 
there treated as in the former two cases. Three days afterwards 
the entire four tubfuls are put one by one into a big Roku-shaku- 
oke, where a much brisker fermentation sets in, gradually decreasing 
however in two or three days. The scum settles, the liquor is 
strongly alcoholic, and ready now for the last operation. 

d. Pressing and Clarifying. In squeezing the fluid body of 
mash, which still keeps on slowly fermenting, a machine is used 
similar to the lever press employed for the Shoyu (See No. 6 
of this section). It is poured into close woven bags of hemp-linen, 
strengthened with Shibu, * which are then laid side by side, and 

^ Shibu is the juice of unripe Diospyros Kaki fruit, rich in tannic acid. 


crosswise one above another in a strong square box, and covered 
with a plate, smaller than the bottom of the box, or with several 
one over another, decreasing successively in size. Upon this lid 
there presses a one-armed lever, in the shape of a long beam, one 
end of which is hinged in a stout post, while the other is weighted 
with a load of 600-900 kg. On the front side of the box, near the 
ground, is the spout arrangement, through which the turbid Sake is 
conducted into a vessel that stands below. For clarification it 
is put into a standing cask, having two bungholes close together 
and one above the other, near its lower head. The Sake stands 
here quiet for two weeks, in which time all solid impurities sink 
to the bottom. Then, when the upper stop-cock is opened, the 
Sake flows off clear from the underlying sediment. It is poured 
into barrels or closed tubs, and now only needs to be heated on the 
approach of warm weather, to become cured, as pointed out at 

2. Shochu (Shochiu). Sake contains, as the following 
Table of analyses shows, 11-14 per cent, of alcohol. By a simple 
arrangement, a liquor is distilled from the dregs in the press, con- 
sisting principally of starch and cellulose, and containing 6 per 
cent of alcohol. It bears the name of Shochu, and presents 20- 
50 per cent of alcohol, corresponding, therefore, more to gin than 
to spirits of wine, although the word is usually translated into 
"alcohol." Shochu is principally made into Mirin. One kind of 
Shochu, made in Kiushiu, and particularly in Satsuma, bears the 
name of Awamori. 

3. Shiro-Sake, white Sake, is a white, sweet drink, with the 
appearance of milk, which is manufactured by converting glutinous 
rice {Oryza gluthwsa) into meal, mixing this with water, and 
adding a little Sake. On Hina-matsuri or Sangatsu-no-sekku, 
the festival of dolls/ it is placed before the dolls and their 

4. Mirin is a sweet liqueur, ranging from yellow to brown in 
colour, and of the consistency of oil. It contains as much or more 
alcohol than Sake, and has an aroma peculiar to itself, though 
produced by the addition of foreign substances. It lasts for 
many years. When old it is called Komirin, old Mirin, and is 
then darker, sweet, and more highly prized. 

Great quantities of Mirin, under the name of Toso-shu, or Toso, 
are drunk in every house after the first congratulations at New 
Year, not only by every member of the family, from youngest 
to oldest, but also when the mutual New Year's calls are made. 

Its manufacture is usually connected with that of Sake. One 
large distillery, celebrated for its Mirin, is that at Nagare-yama, 
on the Yedo-gawa, about twenty-three English miles north of 
T6kio. Steamed Mochi-gome or glutinous rice, K6ji, and Shochu 

^ See Rein, "Japan," i. p. 439. 


are used in producing it, though never in the same proportion. 
At Itami, for example, 9 Koku of Mochi-gomi are mixed with 
3-3 of Koji and 14 of Shochu ; at Nagare-yama, on the other hand, 
13 parts of Mochi-gome with 4J parts of Koji and 10 of Shochil. 
The mixture is stirred once every two days in great vats, the rest 
of the time kept covered. It contains too much alcohol to reach 
fermentation, but merely converts a part of its starch into dextrine 
and sugar. 

In 20 to 40 days the process is brought to an end, and the stuff 
pressed. The Mirin is then clarified after the manner of Sake, 
and put away for any desired length of time, in closed vessels. 


(a) CJiemical Composition of Sake, Mirin, and ShocJm according to 
A nalyses by A tkinson. 






At Itami. 

At Nishinomya 

Specific gravity . . . 






Starch-sugar. . . . 


Glycerine, gum, ashes 
Free acid .... 
Volatile acid . . . 





0.0 1 











I. is the average of four analyses of Sake from Itami. 
II. is the average of five analyses of Sake from Nishinomiya. 

III. is the average of eight analyses of Mirin from various 

sources. Its proportion of alcohol varies from 10 per 
cent, to 18 J per cent, and of sugar from 17*8 per cent, 
to 30" I per cent. 

IV. is the average of five analyses of Sh6chu, in which the 

proportion of spirit ranges between 26 per cent, and 50*2 
per cent. 



b. Statistical Information in regard to these Alcoholic Drinks. 

In the year ending, September 30th, 1880, exclusive of foreign 
importations,^ 5,207,970 Koku (9,389,970 hectolitres) of alcoholic 
liquors were taxed in Japan. The state's total revenue from this 
source amounted to 6,459,570 yen (about i^i, 291,014). Counting 
the population as 34,000,000, there were to each person 27-6 
liters of spirituous liquors, and a tax of about ninepence. Since 
then the tax has been doubled, without decreasing the production 
and consumption. The foregoing quantity and taxation is divided 
as follows : 

Tax per 

Number of 


revenue in 

yen =4 shillings. 

Common Sake (Seishu) . . . 
Turbid Sake (Nigon-Sake) . . 
White Sake (Shiro-Sake) . . . 
Sweet Sake for drinking and 

cooking (Mirin) 

Meishu liqueur (a kind of Mirin) 
Brandy (Shochu) 

I yen 

0-3 » 
2-0 „ 

2-0 „ 
3-0 „ 
I '5 » 











From licences to breweries and 
retail shops 



6459570 yen 

5. Ame is an impure starch-sugar, mixed with dextrine and 
water, which comes to market in two forms, namely: first under 
the name of Midzu-ame (water- or fluid-Ame), with a large pro- 
portion of water, as a very thick, yellow syrup, and second, Ame 
proper, a doughy substance, very elastic. This latter, drawn 
out into round or prismatic sticks, making a favourite dainty, has 
a great attraction for children, especially when the man who 
sells it in the streets is at the same time an artist, and forms all 
sorts of figures from the white or coloured stuff heated till it is 
plastic. No sooner is heard the sound of the little bell, or 
the triangle which he holds in his hand, and the cry " Amai ! 
Amai ! " (Sweets ! Sweets !), or "Amai to karai " (Sweet and biting), 
or some other well-known shout, than he is sure of a respectable 

In house-keeping Midzu-ame often takes the place of sugar, and 

^ These go mostly to the account of Europeans and Americans. 


has various applications. It is of service in dyeing also, and in 
the manufacture of Mirin. The best sort is of a clear yellow 
colour. It is usually made from Italian millet, and therefore called 
Awa-no-midzu-ame. . 

Ame and Midzu-ame are manufactured from Italian millet 
(Awa), glutinous or cooking-rice (Mochi-gome), or common rice 
(Uruchi). Its production has been minutely described by R. W. 
Atkinson,! so that simply referring to his work, I here give only 
its essential features. 

First the grain is put into cold water, until it swells ; then it is 
cooked soft with steam, which is produced in an iron boiler ; then 
poured into flat wooden tubs and covered with mats, till a con- 
siderable quantity has been spread out in this way. Barley-malt, 
Jap. Moyashi, which is prepared similarly as with us, except that 
it is given more time to sprout and is soaked in water before use, 
is now mixed with soft grain and warm water, and the compound, 
at a temperature of about 60° C, is put into a wooden vat and 
left there at least six hours. The hulls and other insoluble sub- 
stances settle to the bottom, the clear fluid, Midzu-ame, collect- 
ing on top of it. It is carefully drawn off, but from the dregs a 
second, inferior quality is obtained, by squeezing them in hemp- 
linen bags. 

The proportion in which the component parts of this mixture 
are taken depends upon the nature of the farinaceous substances, 
and other considerations. But on an average, 5 To of steamed 
grain, 5 Sho (J To) of malt, and 8 To of warm water go together. 
If the rice has been previously bruised, or if the malt is composed 
of the fallings-ofl" in husking, the quantity of malt required will be 
less. On the other hand, however, it is apparent that a freer use 
of malt will effect the conversion of a larger amount of starch into 
dextrine and sugar, and thus produce a sweeter Ame. 

The fluid obtained by decanting is Midzu-ame, very much 
thinned. To concentrate it, it is quickly steamed to the required 
consistency. This is done in iron pans, and lasts three to six 
hours, though a somewhat longer period is necessary to obtain the 
firm, white Ame, which is always prepared from rice, especially 
glutinous rice. The stifi*ened mass is at first transparent. It is 
rolled on boards into stiff ropes, which are drawn out and worked 
until there appears an opaque white colour, and it no longer sticks 
to the fingers. By this method of manipulation its volume is so 
increased that finished Ame swims on water, while Midzu-ame 
sinks immediately. 

The following table has been calculated and constructed from 
Atkinson's analyses of the various sorts of Ame. I. is the average 
of six of them; II., III., and IV. of two each. The rest will 
explain itself at a glance. 

^ "Transactions As. Soc. Japan," vol. vii., pp. 313-322. 



I. Awa-no Midzu-ame 
II. Mochi-no „ „ 

III. Uruchi-no „ „ 

IV. Solid Ame .... 

Per Cent, 
(a) In the Natural State. 

Per Cent. 
[b) Dried at ioo° C. 



















6. Shoyu, the Japanese bean-sauce, also called Soja, English 
Soy, both being corruptions of the Japanese name, is a dark-brown 
fluid with a pleasant aromatic odour and a peculiar salty taste. It 
foams up yellow when shaken, and leaves behind on the side of the 
glass a clear shining line of a fatty appearance, so that the Japanese 
designation "soy-oil" (Sh6 = soy, yu = oil) is quite appropriate. Its 
specific gravity, which Kinch gives as riQQ, may vary not incon- 
siderably, according to the method of its production. The same 
author found in i liter, as the total weight of the solid remnant 
359-88 grammes, ashes (chiefly chlornatrium) 195*16 gr., sugar 
3103 gr., nitrogenous matter 41*00 gr., free acid (acetic acid.?) 
6-20 gr. 

For the manufacture of Shoyu, as I became acquainted with it 
in Kioto, they use wheat (Ko-mugi), light-yellow Soja-beans (Shiro- 
mame), common salt (Shio or Sho), and water (Midzu) ; the first 
two in equal parts, three parts of water, and five or six parts of 
salt. In other places they take equal volumes of all four com- 
ponents. A small portion of the wheat is brought to fermentation 
with Koji (rice-ferment) ; the rest is roasted to a delicate light- 
brown in iron pans over a fire of coals, and then ground in little 
hand-mills. The Soja-beans are boiled soft for about half a day 
with a little water, in iron kettles, and after that pounded to mush. 
Flour, bean-mush, and the fermenting wheat are now thoroughly 
mixed, poured into little wooden boxes, and exposed to fermenta- 
tion for three days in a suitable room, at as uniform a temperature 
as possible (25° C), whereby the mass becomes covered with 

It is then immediately put into vessels open at the top ; the 
required amount of salt and water is added and thoroughly mixed 
in, producing a paste. This is transferred to large open butts, 
like the mash-tubs of brewers. According to Hoffmann,^ each of 
these can contain 20-30,000 liters. I found them considerably 

^ According to Hoffmann, " Mittheilungen der Ges. Ostasiens" 6 Heft, p. 98, 
the grains of wheat are only coarsely ground, and the beans are not pounded 
down, so that the formation of diastase takes place, as in the production of 
malt with us. 

2 "Mitth. d. deutsch. Gesellschaft Ostasiens," Heft 6. 


smaller in Kioto, about 2 m. deep, and from i*2 m. to i'6 m. in 

All through winter, for several minutes every day, the paste or 
porridge in these vats is vigorously and thoroughly stirred. In 
the warm season, when the fermentation takes place more rapidly 
and the solid parts collect on the surface, it is only necessary to 
stir it from twice to four times daily. This is done with a sort of 
wooden shovel with a long handle, to work which the workman 
stands on the edge of the butt. 

A common proverb says, the more rats have found their death 
in the butts, the better the Shoyu. This, though not to be taken 
literally, expresses the long time required for making Shoyu, This 
period varies, in fact, from twenty months to five years, beginning 
in autumn as a rule, after the Soja-bean harvest. In this slow and 
peculiar fermentation process a considerable proportion of starch 
is converted into dextrine and sugar, besides which lactic acid and 
acetic acid are formed. The paste, at first thick, becomes thinner 
and more fluid, while its grey hue gradually changes to a muddy 
brown, and at last to a pure dark-brown. This last and the agree- 
able aroma accompanying it, together with a bitter taste, are de- 
veloped generally between the third and fifth year. The Shoyu 
which is most prized for its odour and taste is obtained only by 
mingling equal quantities of three-year and five-year product. The 
mixture is put into strong, coarse, close-woven bags of wool or 
hemp-linen, which have been rendered closer still by being dipped 
in Shibu (which see). These bags, 60 to 70 cm. long and 18 cm. 
wide, are filled loosely, and then laid lengthwise and crosswise on 
top of each other in a large square box. Then a heavy wooden 
cover is put on, and a simple lever-press applied, — one in which the 
long arm of 4 or 5 m. is weighted with stones. The expressed 
Shoyu flows through a hole in the bottom of the box into a bam- 
boo cane, and through this to a cask sunk in the ground, and 
is then ready for use. As in oil refining, the first stuif produced 
is the most valuable. By continued pressure with increased weight 
a second quality is obtained, and at last a third, clear-flowing and 
less aromatic, as the dregs are mixed with salt-water and then 
squeezed again. Shoyu reaches the market in wooden barrels con- 
taining one To (20 liters). According to Hoffmann, the price was 
1-5 yen (six shillings) for a To of the best sort, from three to four 
shillings for the second, and two shillings for the last. 

The delightful aroma and pleasing taste of Shoyu are quickly 
lost in a long sea-voyage, through the formation of mould. In good 
condition, however, Shoyu proves an excellent means of sharpening 
the appetite and assisting digestion. It is on this account, as Chief 
Staff-surgeon Hoffmann justly remarks, much preferable to Euro- 
pean preparations that are supposed to effect the same result, being 
perfectly harmless to the human system. In these appropriate 
words he notes the great part it plays in Japanese cooking : — 



" Bean-sauce — Shoju — is almost as indispensable to the Japanese 
as rice, and its use is as general as that of tea and tobacco. The 
rich man and the beggar use it in the same way, merely with ; 
difference in quality, as the chief relish to their meals, and it mus: 
be present in every house — indeed, at every meal." 

7. Miso is a thick fluid, white or red sauce, easily divisible ii 
water. Shiro-mame, or yellow-white Soja-beans, salt, and wato 
bear a part in its production, and besides them Koji, too, 01 
fermenting rice. The proportions in which these substances ari 
employed is not always the same, nor the means of applying them 
The beans are usually left to swell for half a day in water, thei 
boiled soft in a large kettle, and finally ground up to a paste 
This paste is then mixed with common salt, Koji, and water 
and the resulting combination set aside in a cool place for i; 
year or more. Miso does not spoil, and is said to be at its best 
when three years old. Its use is universal, especially in soup, but 
also in various other articles of food, in many respects resembling, 
that of Shoyu. An analysis of Komaba gave 50-40 per cent, oi 
water, 8*25 percent, of fibre, I2"50 percent, of ashes (salt), 061 pel 
cent, of sugar, 1080 per cent, of legumine, and i8*i6 per cent, oi 
soluble hydro-carbons. 

8. Tofu, called in English bean-curd, in German and French, 
less appropriately, BoJinenkdse and fromage de pois} is a valuabk 
article of food made in Japan and China from yellow Soja-beans. 
It consists of fresh coagulated legumine, so that the English term 
suits it better than the German. Its preparation is simple. 

The yellow Soja-beans are put to soak, in cold water for from 
twelve to twenty-four hours, or a shorter time in warm, and then 
ground between the stones of a hand-mill, water being added to 
assist maceration. It becomes thus a thin mass, in which the 
quantity of water exceeds that of the beans about ten times. This 
is next filtered or pressed through a fine sieve, and the remnant 
put through the mill a second time. Ten volumes of this filtered 
stuff are now diluted with three volumes of hot water, and heated 
to boiling-point. This is done in a kettle, which is only about 
half filled. When cool again, the mass is filtered through a 
woollen sack, and the process ends with pressing it under the lever. 

As in our soups from leguminous plants, the legumine is now 
found dissolved in the filtrate. To coagulate and separate it, there 
is added Shio-no-nigari (salt-bitter), i.e. brine from sea-salt, consist- 
ing principally of chloride of magnesium. Care is taken to have 
the precipitation take place slowly and quietly. (In China, accord- 
ing to St. Julien, burnt gypsum is also added.) When the liquor 
has cleared it is dipped out carefully, while the stuff precipitated 
is placed in four-cornered wooden forms with punctured, movable 
walls, which are lined with a cloth. This is folded together over 

\ See Ritter, " Mittheil. der deutsch. Ges. Ostasiens," 5 Heft, p. 4 ; and St. 
Julien, " Industries de I'Empire Chinois," Paris, 1869. 


the Tofu, a board is laid on top, and the Tofu pressed out with 
a moderate weight of stones. Finally, the soft greyish mass is 
cut into tablets with broad latten knives, and put away under 
water. In summer this suffices only for a short time. To be kept 
longer, it is put up in Shoyu, or pickled, etc. 

Kori-tofu, frozen or ice-Tofu, is the spongy, horn-like substance 
that remains when common Tofu is allowed to freeze and then 
thawed and dried in the sun, thus getting rid of most of its water. 
By Yuba is meant a third preparation, consisting of brownish, tough 
skins, made by boiling the dissolved legumine of the Tofu-process, 
with the addition of some wood-ashes, and then taking away in 
succession the scums that rise. 

9. Undon, maccaroni, and Somen, vermicelli. As with us, they 
are made of flour, but they do not form an important article of the 
people's diet. 

10. Fu is a remarkable product of the baker, which can hardly 
be called bread, being quite different in preparation and use. It is 
made from flour, which is treated much as in making vermicelli, 
though an inferior sort is used, a kind of wheat groats. Two parts 
of this are kneaded thoroughly with salt and water. The dough 
is then washed with water to cleanse it from bran and salt, and 
after the addition of two parts of Mochi-gome meal (cake-rice or 
glutinous rice), again kneaded vigorously. The result is an extra- 
ordinarily tough, elastic dough, which is repeatedly cut through and 
worked, so as to get rid of the water it contains. It is finally made 
into cylindrical forms two feet long, baked, and sold as Fu, cut up 
in small sheets. It is softened with warm water and cooked with 
other articles of food. 

11. Sembei (pronounced Sembe), an unleavened cake from the 
meal of glutinous rice or wheat, with the addition of sugar and 
other ingredients, and differing in- taste accordingly, often recalls 
the unleavened Passover bread of the Jews in flavour and appear- 
ance. It is offered for sale, as a rule, in thin cakes, baked to a 
light-brown, or in the form of small rings. Those who sell these — 
mostly boys — go through the streets with the cry, " Sembei 
kawa-naika .? " (" Won't you buy any Sembd } ") or " Sembei iri 
masenka } " (" Don't you want any Sembe ? ") 

12. Ame-no-mochi. According to an old well-known proverb, 
"there's no accounting for tastes." This is true also of the way 
in which the Japanese, to some extent, use the meal of wheat, 
buckwheat, and rice. While never exactly taking to our pastry, 
though given ample opportunity to become acquainted with it 
through the Portuguese and Dutch, they look upon certain un- 
leavened and unbaked preparations of dough quite as delicacies, 
especially when filled with a mixture of bean-meal (Adzuki) and 
sugar. At the head of the list stand cakes from the elastic dough 
of the glutinous rice (Mochi-gome), particularly those called Ame- 
no-mochi. The small dough-cakes with this name, about the 


shape and size of a fresh hand-cheese, merely from Mochi-gome 
meal or mixed with barley-meal or flour, and covered with honey 
(Hachi-midzu) or sugar, are offered for sale at different points along 
the old highways, the Tokaido, for example, and attention is 
especially called to them in the Japanese description of the road. 

13. Sato, sugar, is obtained in the warmer provinces of Japan 
(Satsuma, Hizen, Tosa, Sanuki, Awa, Aki, Kii, Ise, Owai, Mikawa, 
Totomi, and Suruga), but especially in the Riu-kiu islands, from 
sugar-cane, Japanese Sato-kibi, i.e. sugar-millet. It is the so-called 
Chinese sugar-cane {Saccharum sinense Roxb.), a variety native to 
China, small but hardy, and able to resist low temperatures. It 
is raised to a small extent in the above-named provinces. Its 
vitality, however, is not great enough to enable it to withstand the 
frosts which even in Satsuma are not infrequent all the winter. 
Therefore the cultivation of sugar-cane is confined in Japan to the 
summer months. It is planted in the third or fourth month, and 
harvested in the ninth, having thus a period of only six months. 
It cannot blossom in so short a time, nor develop sugar as abun- 
dantly as canes of a greater age in more suitable climates. The 
cane which is used for planting is buried all the winter under earth 
and sand in a dry place, secure against cold. In the spring it is 
cut into pieces, which are planted as scions in the usual way. The 
process of sugar-making offers nothing worthy of note. It is not 
sufficient for the demand. Considerable quantities of raw sugar 
(white, yellow, dark-brown) have to be imported from Southern 
China (Swatau, Amoi, and Canton), but principally from Formosa. 
There is no refining. 

14. Su, vinegar, is made chiefly from Sake. That from Mume- 
plums is more .highly prized, and that from oranges still more so. 

15. Kan ten, or Tokoroten, in French coile du Japon^ gelatine 
vegetale^ in English Japanese isinglass, is a preparation from 
various algae, which we may designate AlgcB jellies. It is largely 
exported from Japan to China, and of late to us also. It is used 
instead of gelatine, isinglass, and similar substances, both in house- 
keeping and in the trades, eg. as a finish for woven goods. Before 
use, the Kanten-s6 or Kanten-gusa [i.e. Kanten-plants) {Gelidiiim 
coreum Lamour.), and various other floridae) are soaked and 
cleansed in fresh water, in which they swell up quickly into a 
gelatinous mass. But previously they are dried in the air, and put 
away dry until needed. Then they are boiled in a kettle with 
water, in which they easily and completely break up and dissolve. 
The sticky fluid is now squeezed through a hemp bag into a vessel, 
in which it coagulates to jelly upon cooling. This substance is 
now cut up, and the pieces are perfectly dried in the air on plaited 
bamboo or mats. 

This algae -jelly, which appears in commerce with the unsuitable 
English name isinglass, and is generally sold with us as Agar-Agar, 
appears as a rule in the form of irregular prismatic sticks, 3 cm. 


in square cross measurement. Their length is 28 cm., their weight 
only II to 11*5 grm. It is a wrinkled, brittle substance, like a 
piece of membrane, without taste and smell, mostly of a light- 
yellow colour, in which case it is transparent, especially at its sharp 
edges ; or blood-red, when it is more flaky and brittle. In cold 
water these sticks swell considerably, becoming spongy, four- 
sided prisms with concave sides, but not going quite to pieces. 
But if, when in -this state, they are heated, even for a short time, 
they dissolve altogether. The solution coagulates anew when 
cooled, like glue, even when diluted. 

An analysis of Kanten 1 gave 1171 percent, of albumen Q), 62*05 
per cent, of non-nitrogenous matter (evidently glue, the pararabin 
of Reichardt), 3'44 per cent, of ashes, and 22*80 per cent of water. 

The Agar-Agar proper of the Malays, collected in large quantities 
at Singapore and in the whole Malay archipelago, and exported for 
the most part to China, consists of dried floridse, near relatives of 
the Gelidium corneuin, Lamx., and particularly of the varieties 
SpJioBrococcus spinosus, Ag., and 5. isiformis. 

3. Plants of Commerce. 

(a) Non-alcoholic Stimulants : Tea and Tobacco. 

The trees and bushes of the Ternstroemiaceae, belonging to the 
monsoon-region of South-Eastern Asia, are represented by two 
evergreens, the tea-plant and the camellia, which have won for this 
family distinction and significance all over the world. Both have 
been cultivated in China and Japan for many centuries on account 
of their leaves or blossoms. Tea-growing was till recently con- 
fined practically to these countries, and furnishes their second 
greatest article of commerce, its production keeping pace with a 
vastly increased consumption elsewhere ; but the cultivation of 
the camellia has extended over nearly all the lands of Christen- 
dom, though mostly as a hothouse plant and under the gardener's 
care. This universal estimation and wide distribution of the 
camellia, moreover, are as much things of our century as is tea- 
drinking itself. And although they appeal to altogether different 
senses and tastes, the two plants have in their home a common 
use. This is the utilization of their close-grained wood, and 
especially of their oily seeds. 

The relationship between these two plants, from an economic 
point of view, is seen in a still greater degree by observing more 
closely the entire structure of both, especially with regard to blos- 

' In the Descriptive Catalogue of the International Health Exhibition, 
London, 1884. 


[Fage 129. 


soms and fruit, and is, in fact, so great, that the tea-plant has come 
lately to be looked upon by many as only a particular species of 
the genus camellia, since there are no generic differences {e.g. in 
Bentham and Hooper's "Genera Plantarum"). 

The history of the spread of tea-culture points, like the name 
itself in various languages, all back to China as the starting-point 
of the plant. In the greater part of the Chinese Empire, and 
particularly in Peking and Canton, the name of the leaves as pre- 
pared for the trade, and especially of the extract drawn from them 
by boiling water, is cha (tscha) ; and this is the name, too, in 
Japanese, Portuguese, and Russian (tschai). The words thea, 
Thee, the, te, te, tea, etc., seem traceable to the province of Fukien, 
for, according to Williams (" The Middle Kingdom "), the plant is 
called tai in Amoy and ta in Futschau. But it is still doubtful 
whether China, the land where it has been longest cultivated, is 
its original home, and if so, which part of China. In 1826, as is 
well known, the tea-plant was found, growing wild apparently, 
in the jungle-forests of Assam ; but the fact was not thoroughly 
understood till eight years later. Thea Assainica, Masters, like the 
camellia in Southern Japan, here reaches the size of real trees, 
7 to 9 m. high, with light ash-coloured bark and large elliptical leaves, 
being widely differentiated through the latter from the bushy and 
small-leaved forms of the Chinese region of cultivation. 

According to personal information furnished by Sir David 
Brandis, the Assam valley was thickly populated and in excellent 
cultivation even in the last century. This cultivation, however, 
was in great part destroyed by the incursions of the Burmese. At 
the present day the forests which have grown up over the ancient 
seats of civilization, contain the tea-tree, and it is probable, there- 
fore, in spite of many peculiarities, that it has there only degenerated 
and become wild, and also possible that the tea-plant in a real state 
of nature is to be found in the primeval forests, still unexplored, 
of the neighbouring Indo-Chinese border-land. 

According to recent opinions, however, the tea-tree of the Assam 
valley, like the various forms, checked in their development, of the 
cultivated shrub in China and Japan, belongs to the same species, 
which is called Camellia the'ifera, Griffth., or Thea chinensis, Sims. 
According to this view^ a Thea viridis^ L., /3 Thea Bohea, L., 7 Thea 
assamica, Masters, are all varieties in different degrees of transition. 

Its general characteristics (see Table I.) are as follows : Bush or 
tree up to 9 m. high, with hard, light wood and many branches. 
Bark smooth, light ash-coloured, resembling that of beech, and 
brownish in young branches. Crown thick. Leaves persistent, 
short-stemmed, and from elliptical to narrow lanceolate ; sharply 
serrated, with a bright, lasting, dark-green polish, but much thinner 
and less stiff and leathery than in the case of Camellia japonica ; 
covered, when young, with a white down or silken hairs, which 
drop off in the course of development. Blossoms belonging, ac- 


cording to the Linnaean system, to CI. 13, Order I, almost odour- 
less, regular, growing singly or in groups of two or three at the 
base of leaves, short-stemmed. Calyx with five or six leaves, 
corona regular, circular, i to ij cm. in diameter, white or pink, 
with six petals, of which the outer two are somewhat smaller than 
the four others. Anthers numerous, spread out in wheel-shape ; 
style split in three ; germ with three embryos. The fruit a round, 
three-chambered, three-seeded capsule, looking as if it consisted of 
three balls partly pressed into one another, growing to one side. 
The oily seeds, enclosed by a hard shell, are spherical, as large as a 
cherry-stone and the colour of hazel-nuts {a). Blossom-time and 
harvest are from September to December, so that the seeds require 
nearly a whole year to develop, and frosts, as a rule, destroy the 
later blossoms in the colder tea-districts of Japan, China, and the 
regions of the Himalayas. 

Of the sub-species, TJiea viridis, L., produces a quick-growing 
bush, which is hardier than Th. Bohea, L. Its leaves are lanceolate, 
and often reach a length from 8 to 12 cm., with a breadth one-third 
as great. They have coarse, irregularly indented edges, often 
somewhat undulating, thin, and of a light-green colour in hot- 
houses. The blossoms, which are large, grow mostly singly. 

Thea Bohea remains much smaller. (Though there are very 
large specimens of it, too, in the hothouses of botanical gardens ; 
thus, for example, that of St Petersburg, until within a few years, 
could show trees of Thea viridis, and also of TJiea Bohea, which 
were about sixty years old and 5 m. high, with a stem-diameter of 
12 to 15 cm.) It is more sensitive to cold. Its branches and twigs 
are stiff, like its leaves, which are of an elongated elliptical shape, 
scarcely half as long as those of Thea viridis, usually 3 to 5 cm. 
long, and half as broad, Smooth, and regularly serrated. The 
bushes bloom luxuriantly, often having two or three blossoms at 
the base of each leaf. 

Thea assainica Masters is, when cultivated, a beautiful little tree, 
ij m. high. Compared with the Chinese varieties its leaves are 
very large, elliptically pointed, 10 to 15 cm. long and half as broad, 
smooth, and strongly veined. A hybrid between the Assam plant 
and the Chinese tea-plant, which is now much grown in India, 
combines the richness in leaf-production and the strength in in- 
fusion of the Indian type with the compactness, hardiness, and 
pleasant aroma of the Chinese. 

According to Fortune, Bohea is raised principally in the South 
of China, in the province of Kuang-tung, to make black tea ; while 
Thea viridis, furnishes the green tea of the country south of the 
Yang-tse-kiang, and is shipped chiefly by way of Shanghai and 
Ningpo. To his amazement he found, however, that the so-called 
" Bohea Hills " of the great tea province Fukien, which yields 
black tea almost exclusively, were planted all over with Thea 
viridis, and soon became convinced that the colour of the tea of 


commerce is only the result of different ways of preparing the 
leaves, so that it depends merely on the process whether tea 
appears on the market as black or green. Almost all Japanese 
tea is green, though coming from several varieties of low-trimmed 
Bohea bushes. I have scarcely anywhere ^qqw the form Thea 
viridis. Although Fortune, in his accounts of travel in China, 
broke down the erroneous but widespread idea that green and 
black tea were products of entirely distinct plants, Thea viridis and 
Thea Bohea respectively, he was by no means the first author to 
state the matter correctly. This had been done by Lettsom half a 
century before, on page 7 of his excellent work on the tea-plant,^ 
in plain words, as follows : 

•* There is only one species of this plant, for the difference be- 
tween green and Bohea tea depends on the nature of the soil, the 
cultivation, and the method of drying the leaves. It has even been 
observed that a green tea-tree, planted in the Bohea district, will 
yield Bohea tea, and likewise the contrary." 

The principal tea-districts of India, China, and Japan begin at 
the tropic of Cancer (in Japan at 33° N.) and reach to the thirty- 
fifth parallel. In Japan the fortieth degree is the extreme northern 
limit of tea-plantations ; in China, the thirty-sixth. In Java the 
tea-gardens have been laid out in the lower mountain zone, 1,000- 
1,200 m. above sea-level ; in India they are in general 800-1,200 m. 
high, but in Assam and Chittagong only 60-80 m. In the lower 
temperature-belt for tea-culture, not only in Northern China and 
Japan, but also in the Himalayas, the bushes are often exposed 
to frosts in winter, which may be as severe as —9° C, without killing 
them. Climate, soil, and method of preparation, together with 
differences of character in the bushes, have, of course, the greatest 
influence on the quality of tea produced. As to soil, a moist 
sandy loam, on the lower slopes of hills, is the best bottom for 
a tea-plantation. Atmospheric water flows off easily from gently 
inclined ground of this sort, without carrying away good earth. 
There are no tea-gardens on the sides of steep mountains, and 
only exceptionally do we find terrace-culture for gardens of 
this sort. On the other hand, there are in Japan plantations on 
level plains, e.g. in the celebrated tea-district of Uji, on the Yodo- 
gawa, between Osaka and the Biwa Lake. In such a case, how- 
ever, the ground must be well drained and the underground water 
kept away from the roots. Forest land, with damp, feitile soil on 
a bottom of sandy loam, has proved particularly favourable for 
raising the tea-plant in India and Java. Such soil is easily pene- 
trated by its tap-roots, which find in it support and moisture. In 
China and Japan, where this virgin forest soil is seldom to be found, 
the ground is all the more carefully and deeply worked, well kept 
and manured, and these are essential elements in planting and 
tending a tea-garden. 

^ Lettsom : "The Natural History of the Tea-Tree," London, 1799. 


The seed is sown either in autumn, immediately after harvest, 
or not until spring. In the latter case their reproductive power, 
which is easily lost, is best preserved by keeping them in a cool 
place, in a mixture of sand and other earth, as is done with cherry- 
stones and other seeds of stone-fruit. The garden. is partly planted 
by seeds, and part by seedlings from the nursery, as can often be 
observed in Japan, where the nursery serves, too, as a welcome 
reserve from which to replace trees that have died, or to substi- 
tute one individual for another. 

In direct sowing, rows i-i'S m. apart are dug in the ground, 
which has been well prepared and, in particular, manured and 
deeply worked. Through these rows, at equal distances, circles 
are drawn, 30-50 cm. in diameter. Each of these receives 20- 
30 seeds, distributed in such manner that in a few years, with 
proper pruning, there is formed from the plants a fine, dense bush, 
40-120 cm. high, and almost half-spherical in shape. Covered 
with about 5 cm. of earth, the seeds planted in spring sprout in 
about fifty days. In the first summer the young plants reach 
a length of only 6-10 cm. In the second, they show their first 
side-shoots, and become about 25 cm. high. In three years they 
attain a height of about 50 cm. The nursery-raised sprouts are 
now transplanted, unless this was done in the spring after the 
second period of vegetation. In this case, the mode of procedure 
is similar to that already described, except that, as a rule, only 
ten to twelve plants are united for one bush, and the quincunx 
order common with us is maintained, so that single bushes in 
neighbouring rows may stand apart at the greatest possible in- 

The distance between^ rows and between individual bushes in 
rows, which are by no means the same in all plantations, are 
usually in the following numerical proportions, the unit being a 
foot,— 3 : 3 ; 3i : 3 ; 4 : 3 ; 4 : 4 ; 5 : 4 ; 5 : 5- It has been dis- 
covered that production is greater when the plants are set close 
together, and certainly the ground is thus most easily kept clear 
of weeds ; but, on the other hand, it is in this case very difficult 
to work the soil and manure it, and to gather the leaves. All re- 
quirements, however, are met when they are planted in the 4 : 4 
or 4i : 4 order, especially where, as in Japan, the bushes are kept 
low. They have free play in all directions, and for the roots too, 
which is just as important as air and light are for the health of the 
parts above ground. 

Where the rows are set at a greater interval, leguminous plants, 
vegetables, tobacco, or even mulberry bushes are, in China and 
Japan, planted between them. On the way from Nara to Fushimi, 
in Japan, I observed rows of tea-trees at intervals of about 4 to 
5 m. interchanged with rows of fruit-trees {Diospyi'os Kaki). The 
plantation, at some distance, reminded me of those in my own 
German home, where rows of berry-bushes alternate with cherry- 


trees. Mixed gardens of this sort are, however, exceptions ; as 
a rule, the tea-garden, mostly lying free, serves no subordinate 

In Japan, particularly in Kiushiu, tea-shrubs are not unfrequently 
found singly on the borders of terraces, fields, and roads, and some- 
times even joined together as hedges. Such plants, however, yield 
only inferior products, and are not to be at all regarded as examples 
of a rational culture. 

It is plain that E. Kaempfer — who did not become acquainted 
with those districts where tea culture is more extensively and 
carefully carried on — had such methods in view in Kiushiu, when 
he wrote that Tsja (Tscha) no ki, or the tea-tree, is given no other 
place but the borders of fields and similar spots inconvenient for 
use otherwise.^ In like manner, and led astray in the same fashion, 
Maron remarks : " The tea-shrub is but little grown, and only in 
hedges and the borders of gardens, and I think it is scarcely any- 
where cultivated in the open fields." ^ 

In China the tea-gardens are mostly little spots of land, such as 
the peasant with his own family can work, though Fortune mentions 
some that embraced four or five acres. Plantations of this sort are 
not at all infrequent in Japan. It often happens that many of 
them lie contiguous, like the vineyards of different owners in Ger- 
many. Over softly swelling land, with a gentle rise, frequently by 
the side of yellow-green rice-fields, these tea-gardens present in 
summer an exceedingly pleasant aspect, with their foliage of dark 
green, especially if the picture is still further enlivened by women 
and children in their gay, clean clothes, busily picking the leaves. 

The proper method of trimming the tea-shrub is one of the 
most important operations in tea-gardening, and calls for great 
skill and intelligence. For a pleasing appearance of the plan- 
tation is not the only object, but rather an increase in the 
amount and quality of crops. Like planting and manuring, this 
trimming must be done in the colder time of the year, just as in 
the cases of trees with us — a time when there is a cessation of 
growth, and the production of sap is at its least. 

The tea-plantations are well manured, often four times a year, 
the strongest supply being given in spring, when the new epoch 
of vegetation begins. Oil-cakes and fish-guano are held parti- 
cularly effective, and their use is preferred, especially for young 
plants. Where they cannot be had, and for older plants, recourse 
is had to human faeces. Since a year's crop of 1,600 lbs. of tea 
leaves per hectare deprives the soil of 100 kg. of nitrogen and 
24 kg. of potash, etc., it is above all things necessary to replace 
this with an appropriate fertilizer. For this purpose wood-ashes 
and sea-algae are the best, where they are to be obtained. 

^ E. Kaempfer: " Geschicbte und Beschreibung von Japan," p. 131 ; and E. 
Kaempfer : " Amoen exot.," p. 612. 
2 Salviati : " Annalen der Landwirthschaft," 1869, p. 71- 


The picking of the leaves begins in the third or fourth year of the 
plant's age, according as a garden is planted with seeds or with 
nursery-shoots. The crop increases up to the tenth or twelfth year 
if the trees are carefully tended and the weather is normal. Then 
there follows a gradual diminution, till, somewhere between the 
fifteenth and eighteenth years, a new laying out is necessary. But it 
often happens that a plantation is dead and the soil exhausted in 
ten or twelve years. On the other hand, one finds some which 
are at least twenty-five or thirty years old, and still productive, 
as for example in the celebrated tea district Uji, to which 
Kaempfer, even in his day, referred. " Udsi tsjaa nominavi ; de 
qua ne quid in historia omittatur, pauca addimus Udsi oppidulum 
est ad limites maris situm (it is five miles north from the sea at 
Osaka), non procol a metropoli et Pontificali sede Miaco. . . . 
Ejus clima mira benignitate favet culturae fruticus." The produce 
of this town of 2,400 inhabitants, however, owes its ancient repu- 
tation, less to an unusually favourable climate than to the peculiar 
handling and care of the tea-bushes at the time of the first growth 
of leaves, a fact I learned in Uji itself, and to which no one, to my 
knowledge, has yet called attention. 

It is really two places, on each side of the Yodogawa, three- 
fourths of a mile above the town of Fushimi. That on the right 
bank belongs to Uji-gori, that on the left to Kuse-gori, both of them 
districts in the province of Yamashiro, of which the old capital, 
Kioto (Miaco or Myako), is somewhat over one geographical mile 

The river emerges here from its narrow bed among the moun- 
tains and spreads over the plain which now begins. On the low 
hills of this transition-zone, and likewise in the plain itself, is raised 
the most valued tea of Uji, the choicest of which, to this day, costs 
ten yen — forty shillings — per kilo, as compared with two or three 
yen for the common sort. 

About thirty days before the first harvest, which begins in the 
middle of May (the second commencing at the close of the rainy 
season, about two months later), the tea-gardens of Uji are roofed 
over. The roof rests on stakes and poles, and is composed of mats 
made from reeds laid closely side by side. It stands from one and 
a half to two meters above the ground — the bushes are from a 
half to one meter high — so that the people at work can walk about 
under it comfortably, and attend to the first crop of leaves. When 
this is over, the roof is taken down and put away in houses or 
sheds set apart for it, till the next year. It is said that it was 
in use more than two hundred years ago. Its object is to protect 
the bushes from the cold dew, which reddens the young leaves 
and gives them a bitter taste. It evidently diminishes the radiation 
of heat from ground and leaves, and thus the nocturnal cooling ; 
the softened light, at the same time, lengthens the internodes of 
the young shoots and makes the leaves more tender. Both in 


China and Japan, the leaves are plucked twice, as a rule. The 
first plucking, being the chief harvest, commences at the beginning 
or in the middle of May, according to the situation and advance- 
ment of the plantation (in Southern China it is earlier still), and 
lasts from ten to twenty days. The second is after the great 
summer rain, that is, from four to six weeks later. In many places 
in China the chief harvest is preceded by one in April, when unde- 
veloped leaves are plucked, from which the white down has not yet 
departed, This yields the dearest sorts of tea — the finest Pekoe, 
Pekoe tips, incorrectly called Pekoe blossoms, and Young Hyson — 
and naturally demands especial care, so that neither the bushes 
may be injured, nor the chief harvest prejudiced. For the latter, 
full-grown, but still young, leaves are taken, fifteen pounds being 
plucked, on an average, by women and children ; elsewhere, and 
even in Assam, three times that quantity is reckoned as the daily 
produce of an industrious man. Four pounds of fresh leaves are 
reckoned to one pound of prepared tea. The peasant who raised 
them either cures them himself, or sells them to a middle man. 
The second, or, as the case may be, third plucking of leaves, yields 
only older, coarser leaves, for home consumption or the production 
of brick tea. It is important that the fresh leaves should be worked 
up as quickly as possible, in order to obtain therefrom, according 
to the process, the green or black tea of commerce. The Chinese, 
according to the colour of the infusion, name the one sort Luh-cha, 
i.e. green tea, and the black, Hungcha, i.e. red tea. It has been 
discovered that when the leaves have withered for a long time they 
are easier to roll and otherwise manipulate, but that the extract 
suffers in colour and flavour. This is especially the case with 
green tea, whose quality is considerably advanced by rapid, skilful 
drying. Let us, then, first consider the preparation of green tea. 

Japan, as already remarked, yields almost only green tea. The 
different processes through which the leaf passes, after being 
plucked, may be divided into those at the place of cultivation, and 
those at the wholesale merchant's before shipment. 

a. The steaming of the leaves. A series of immured iron kettles 
(or pans) are half filled with water, which is brought to boiling by 
fires of charcoal beneath them. The mouth of each kettle is closed 
by a sieve, that fits tight into it. This is about 45 cm. in dia- 
meter, and on its bottom several handfuls (about a half-pound) 
of fresh tea-leaves are spread out. The sieve is closed above with 
a cover. For a short time, generally about half a minute, the 
steam is permitted to act upon the leaves, long enough to produce 
the characteristic odour of tea. The sieve with its contents is then 
taken off from the pans. The leaves are shaken together and then 
spread out over straw mats or tables. The damp leaves, of course, 
have lost their stiffness. They are soft and easily bent in all 
directions, showing everywhere traces of the oil which comes from 
them. Being spread out and fanned, they are quickly cooled, 


and then subjected to another operation, of especial importance, 

b. Firing. A frame of wood or bamboo-cane is coated with 
cement, and serves as an oven or hearth. This frame is shaped 
Hke one of our country kneading-troughs, and is usually 120 cm. 
long by 75 cm. broad. On the floor of this hearth, surrounded with 
ashes, a gentle charcoal fire is kept up. A second frame — a hollow 
cover — shuts down over this vessel, like the tray of a trunk. The 
walls of this light tray are covered with heavy bast-paper ; likewise 
its bottom, which only reaches to within 40-50 cm. of the glowing 
coals below, and is therefore not singed, the heat being not more 
than 50-60° C. Large producers have a number of these arrange- 
ments (3 to 8) in an airy apartment ; for small producers a single one 
is often sufficient. Each is served by a strong man, almost naked. 
He pours into the tray about 800 me (nearly 3 kg.) of tea-leaves pre- 
pared as described in paragraph a, spreads them out over its paper 
bottom, and then stirs and works them continually with his hands. 
Next he lifts up the soft, moist leaves, and lets them fall again, till 
by-and-by they acquire a darker green colour. He now sets to 
work to rub and roll them between his palms into balls, which he 
again breaks up, and, by rolling up and down on the paper side- 
walls of the inner trough, forms anew and rotates with heavy pres- 
sure on the paper walls. Thus he keeps up the weary labour, with 
more or less variation, busily for several hours, until the entire 
mass has taken on a dark olive-green colour, and the separate 
leaves are curled and twisted and rolled. They are called squills 
by English tea-dealers. They are now spread out to dry on paper 
frames similarly warmed. Here they remain some time (4 to 12 
hours) until quite brittle. The tea is now ready for home con- 
sumption, and only requires to be sorted and packed. In vessels 
of clay or porcelain, with close-fitting covers, it will keep at least 
a year. 

c. Sorti?ig the tea. Not a few young seed-capsules, besides leaves 
that were neither equal nor healthy, were plucked in harvesting. 
The capsules, on their short stems, look not unlike ordinary capers. 
In sorting, these, as well as stems and injurious leaves, are cast 
out. Further, the tea-dust which has been formed is separated 
from the leaves, which in turn are divided, the smaller from the 
larger, the object being to get a uniform, fine-looking article. To 
this end the dry tea is next winnowed with a light hand-sieve of 
bamboo, and the coarse stuff remaining, such as leaf-stems and 
seed-capsules, taken away. Hereupon follows the sifting of the 
tea. The sieve is suspended breast-high by a rope from the ceil- 
ing, so that it can be moved with ease in every direction, as well as 
in a circle. The finer stuff falls through on a pile, and there remain 
the more equally rolled and twisted leaves. Lastly, this tea, de- 
signed for exportation, is spread out on a table and carefully gone 
over again by girls, who pick out all remaining impurities — fruit- 



capsules, bits of stems, etc. All these processes being at length 
over, the product is packed in new wooden chests, each of which 
holds a half picul (30 kilo), and is sent to one of the treaty-ports 
for sale. Native middle-men attend to its transference from the 
producer's hands to those of the foreign merchant and exporter. 

To render the tea fit for the sea-voyage and marketable, the 
exporter subjects it for one or two hours to another drying, and 
finally to colouring. With reference to the former, two methods 
are employed — pan firing and basket firing. Iron pans, more or 
less hemispherical, each 40 to 50 cm. across, and a little more than 
half as deep, are set in a row in low brick walls, in large, airy 
halls (tea-firing godovvns). Each pan has its own little charcoal 
fire underneath. Many merchants have 500 persons, mostly wo- 
men and girls, to serve the same number of pans, in one room. 
When the fresh tea is brought in from the country, it is lively 
enough here, from early morning till sunset, and the joking and 
nasal singing can be heard from afar. Upon a given signal from 
the Chinaman in charge, each pan, previously warmed, receives the 
contents of the basket which stands ready — about five pounds of 
tea. This is now, for the last time, industriously worked between 
the hands and kept in continual motion, till the overseer deems it 
perfectly dry. Colouring, in so far as it is still practised, comes 
next (of which more in detail belowj, and then the tea that is ready 
to be shipped is taken into the pack-room. Here it is packed while 
yet warm in so-called half-chests, each containing forty English 
pounds, and lined with sheets of lead. In this shape it reaches the 
dealers in the United States and the Dominion of Canada, these 
being the almost exclusive customers. 

In basket-firing woven baskets of split bamboo are used, open 
at both ends. They are shaped like dice-boxes. The basket is 
tilted with one end over a pan in which are glowing coals sur- 
rounded by ashes. Into the other end is fitted a thick-meshed 
bamboo basket, round and fiat, in which is strewn the tea which is 
to be heated. This method has only a limited application as com- 
pared with the other. These tea-drying establishments, and the 
processes gone through in them, certainly increase very consider- 
ably the price of export tea, but no plan has yet been discovered 
whereby the work could be done better and more cheaply. 

The Ten-cha or Hiki-cha, or powder- tea, was named even by 
Kaempfer as the prime sort of Japanese tea. It is prepared from the 
most delicate leaves of older and very carefully tended bushes, in 
the same way as green tea, then put away with care, and ground 
before use with a hand-mill. It is the costliest sort, is not ex- 
ported, and as a rule is served only on great occasions, e.g. the Cha- 
no-yu^ or tea-parties. 

Next in price to Hiki-cha comes Giyokuro or pearl tea, of which 
likewise little is exported. 

Of the great mass of Japanese tea that finds its way out of the 


country, the better variety is called Sen-cha and the poorer Ban- 
cha. The latter is mostly the product of the second harvest. 
Of each of these two sorts of Japanese tea the annual product is 
now about fifteen million Japanese pounds, or nine million kilo- 
grammes. According to the descriptions of Fortune, Williams, 
and others, the production of green tea in China differs in several 
respects from the Japanese method. The fresh leaves are not 
steamed, but heated for four or five minutes in flat iron pans over 
coal fires, with constant turning. The oil and water thus brought 
out make them soft and flexible. In this condition they are 
spread out on so-called rolling-tables. Each workman takes up 
as many as he can comfortably hold and manipulate. By pressing 
and rolling he forms a ball of them, which he works over and over, 
somewhat as a baker does his dough. Frequently, in this process, 
the ball goes from the hands of the first workman into those of a 
second and third. These open it, form it anew, press and roll 
it, and so it goes on till it reaches the head workman, who tests it 
and decides whether its leaves have been rolled enough. Although 
these operations last but a short time, they injure the hands of 
even the most skilful workmen severely, chiefly in consequence of 
the warmth of the tea-leaves and their juice. They diminish the 
volume of the leaves considerably — to about one-fourth of the 
original, and change yet more their shape and colour. These 
are thereupon spread out thinly in sieves of bamboo sticks, and 
slowly dried in the air. When the sky is overcast this takes several 
days. A second heating and manipulation of the air-dried leaves 
in the pans comes next, lasting about an hour. The leaves are 
constantly tossed about, first by hand, and then, when the heat 
increases, by a brush made from bamboo cane. In slipping down 
on the hot sloping back^wall of the pan, the leaves dry and roll up 
tight. Except sorting, the tea is now ready for home consumption. 
For the foreign market it is further manipulated, as described 
above, in the case of Japanese tea. 

China exports most of its green tea from the northern tea-ports, 
Ningpo and Shanghai. It comes chiefly from the provinces di- 
rectly south of the Yang-tse-kiang and west of Ningpo, from the 
liill-country of the provinces Chekiang, Ngan-hui, Kiangsi, and 
Hunan. It is customary to distinguish the sorts with the English 
terms, as Imperial, Gimpowder, Young Hyson, Hyson, and Twankay. 
The first two sorts also bear the name pearl tea. They are pre- 
pared from young, undeveloped leaves, and rolled in pellets, like 
the corresponding caper, which is included among the black sorts. 
According to Fortune, the caper is thus produced in Canton : " A 
parcel (20 to 30 pounds) of the tea as brought in from the country, 
and not yet fully prepared, was thrown into a heated drying-pan, 
then sprinkled with a bucketful of water, and quickly turned over. 
The leaves, of course, absorbed the water at once, and became 
thereby soft and pliable. They were now put in a strong canvas 


sack, which was twisted tight into a ball. This was thrown upon 
a mat, over which stretched a horizontal pole. A workman, hold- 
ing fast to the pole with his hands, stepped on the mat in his 
bare feet, and turned the ball continually with his heels and toes 
and the soles of his feet. To preserve the spherical shape of the 
sack, with its diminishing volume, the man sprang aside every 
now and then, and twisted it tighter. In this way there came 
to be at last a much smaller but hard ball, and one no longer 
changing. This sack, with its contents, was thrown to one side, 
and left lying there several hours. When it was opened, and 
the leaves were taken out, they were found mostly rolled together 
in pellets. Quick drying in heated pans and sieves did the rest." 
(See representation on title-page of Fortune's "A Residence," 

Twankay is the ordinary green tea that comes to Europe; Hyson 
the better sort. The word is said to be derived from Hi-chun, 
blossoming spring. 

The production of black tea, or Hung-cha {i.e. red tea), as the 
Chinese call it, differs from the methods employed for green tea 
chiefly in the fact that the fresh-gathered leaves go through a kind 
of fermentation, to develop aroma and colour, before reaching the 
hot drying-pans. The character and quality of black tea depends 
in great measure upon this process of fermentation. Hence it is 
a matter of the greatest importance that it should be properly 
conducted. The fresh leaves are generally left over-night, or for 
several hours, on bamboo frames. They are then tossed up and 
gently beaten, till they are soft and pliable. These withered 
leaves are then piled up in a heap for several hours, where they 
become warm, moist, and dark. In this they may be compared 
with plants that are to be dried for a herbarium, which the botanist 
puts for some length of time in damp paper, and which become 
black, instead of green, as by the usual process. They remain 
wet in the air for some time — often two or three days, according 
to Fortune — and are then subjected to a strong heat in the pans. 
Thus their peculiar aroma and black — really brown — colour are 
developed, and also the reddish brown coloration of the infusion 
of the dry tea with boiling water. As to the remaining processes 
in the roasting-pan and elsewhere, there is no difference between 
the method for black tea and that for green already described. 

Pekoe, Souchong, Congo, are the most noteworthy black teas of 
China, in the order of quality. To these must be added Caper and 
Oolong. I suppose the saying is in general correct, that, beginning 
with the tip of the young shoots. Pekoe is made from the end-buds 
and the first (youngest) leaf, Souchong from the two following, and 
Congo from the fourth, fifth, and sixth, that is, from the older 
leaves. Caper, as has already been remarked, is a fine black tea, 
of which the leaves are rolled into tight pellets by a particular 
method of handling, similar to that of green pearl-tea. Oolong is 


made in the province of Fukien, and used principally in India and 
Australia. It is a black variety, with the taste of green tea. The 
Congo, — that is, " well-worked," — is also called Bohea, after a 
district in Fukien. It constitutes the great mass of cheaper black 
tea, and its poorest sort has been sold in London at threepence per 
pound. The common black tea of better quality is Souchong {i.e. 
small, rare sort), to which the Caravan-tea largely belongs. The 
Pekoe (Pek-ho, i.e. white down) is the finest and dearest black tea. 
The English expression Pekoe tips better characterizes the un- 
developed leaflets of the buds, still covered with white down, than 
the term Pekoe-blossoms used by German merchants — a term 
against which Kaempfer, even in his day, argued in vain ; for the 
tea-plant blossoms in autunm, and therefore long after the harvest, 
hence there cannot be blossoms in any variety of tea, least of all 
in Pekoe, which is picked first. 

Souchong and Congo are blacker than Pekoe, and yield a darker 
liquid. It is, moreover, an established fact that the aroma is 
developed along with the leaves and does not appear until after 
their preparation. Very young leaves do not contain it. Hence 
the best Pekoe, despite its high price, cannot satisfy our taste, and 
must be mixed with Souchong. The better sorts of black tea, 
especially Souchong, were formerly the only kind exported as 
Caravan-tea. Being transported by land over cold, dry countries, 
they could dispense with the final thorough heating in the drying- 
establishments of the ports, and thus the aroma was better pre- 
served ; so that they were deservedly celebrated. But since more 
time has been devoted to preparing and packing tea for shipping, 
and this is so much more quickly accomplished, the difference in 
quality has largely disappeared, and there remains only the great 
difference in price, to the disadvantage of the Caravan-tea. As a 
consequence, the importation of cheap tea by ship into Russia is 
increasing steadily, while a falling off in that of Caravan-tea, 
across Siberia, has long been observed. A Zuibik, i.e. a cubical 
box, lined with lead, and painted on the outside and marked 
with Chinese characters, contains usually sixty pounds of Caravan- 

Black tea is produced chiefly in the provinces of Fukien, Kuang- 
tung, Hupeh, Hunan, and Sz'chuan, the last province also yielding 
a great deal of green tea and brick tea, for Tibet. Futscheufu 
and Canton are the principal ports for black tea, though Shanghai 
and Ningpo export great quantities of it too, besides green tea. 

The preference of the Mongolians for green tea is shared only 
by North Americans and the upper classes in Morocco. By far the 
greater number of tea-drinkers in Europe prefer the black, and the 
foreign resident in Japan (even the tea-exporter) has it sent for his 
own use from China. The Japanese are well aware that they 
depend on the American taste for the sale of tea, their most im- 
portant article of commerce, save one. For this reason their efforts 


to produce black tea, especially Congo (Kocha) and Oolong (Uriyo) 
have been multiplied in the last fifteen years, up to the present 
time, however, without satisfactory result. The black tea prepared 
in Japan, lacking the characteristic good taste and aroma and the 
strength, does not furnish an agreeable beverage. For reasons not 
yet fully learned, the Japanese tea-leaf cannot stand the process of 
fermentation so important in the production of the black sorts of 
Chinese tea. It becomes easily damp and limp after this process, 
yielding an unpleasant smell instead of the prized aroma. 

When the chief harvest in Japan is past, the older leaves are 
gathered for home consumption, and preparations are made from 
them. These vary according to the method of drying, and are 
known as Hiboshi, Kamairi, and Kuroguchi. The infusion they 
yield is of a dark colour, as with Congo, and has a taste that is not 
agreeable to us. 

Colouring and Scenting the Tea. 

Two more processes are here to be considered, which are 
designed to satisfy singular preferences of Western consumers, 
preferences that are incomprehensible to the Mongolian. These 
processes are colouring and scenting. 

Colouring is applied to green tea only. The exporter in Japan 
and China adds to every pan of tea, especially such as is designed 
for the North American market, towards the close of the last firing, 
a little bit of powder — as much as will lie on a knife's point. This 
powder is a mixture of Prussian blue and Chinese soap-stone, or 
gypsum, — in Japan nearly always the latter, — generally in the 
proportion of four to one. This blue powder is readily absorbed 
by the moist, warm tea. It increases its weight only about \\ per 
cent., and is not at all injurious to the consumer's health. But it 
serves no rational end, since its only result is to change and 
heighten somewhat the natural,- though less pronounced green of 
the leaves, to meet what has been hitherto the taste in North 

Scenting of tea is done only in China, and chiefly in the case of 
the better black sorts. Like colouring, it seems to be on the 
decline. They use the odorous blossoms, separated from their 
stems and calyxes, oi Jasminuni Sambac, Ait, Jasm. panicnlatum, 
Lour., Citrus Bigaradia, Duham., Rosa centifolia, L., Primus Mume, 
S. and* Z., Oka fragrans, Thunb., Aglaia odorata, Lour., Gardenia 
Jlorida, L., and Daphne odora, Thunb. When the tea is otherwise 
ready, it is mixed with these blossoms {eg., one hundred pounds 
of tea with forty pounds of orange-blossoms, or blossoms of the 
Jasmin, with one hundred pounds of blossoms of the Aglaia 
odorata). They are allowed to remain in contact for twenty-four 
hours. Then the blossoms and fragments of blossoms are separated 
out by sifting, fanning, and picking. The tea has taken from them 


moisture and aroma, both of which are got rid of again by a quick 
heating. The odour, " the bouquet," of the tea remains, however, 
from one to six years, according to quality and strength, if it is 
carefully packed. Scented tea was formerly prepared only in Can- 
ton, but now also in the northern ports, as Shanghai and Ningpo. 
The traveller who sails towards these cities in early summer in 
a coaster from the south finds himself sometimes accompanied by 
hundreds of pots filled with blooming bushes of several of the 
above-named species, which are sent north for this purpose from 
Canton, Macao, and Hong-kong. 

Under the names " Orange Pekoe," " Scented Caper," etc., this 
perfumed tea comes, carefully packed, to London, Rotterdam, and 
other ports, and is here further mingled with tea that has not such 
"bouquet." (For further details see Fortune's "A Residence 
among the Chinese," p. 199 ff. London, 1857.) Good tea must, 
however, have its own aroma. The addition of a foreign one is, in 
my opinion, altogether to be condemned. The volatile oil which 
the tea receives in being scented is just as likely to have an in- 
jurious effect upon delicate nerves, and produce headache, as in 
wine and punch essences. 

The property of the green or brownish red extract, which is 
produced by pouring boiling water on the tea of commerce, to 
warm, refresh, and invigorate the body, has been highly valued 
for many centuries by the Mongolian races. Among the civilized 
nations of the West tea only found entrance two hundred years 
ago, and very slowly at first. But in this century its introduction 
and distribution have been all the quicker. In many households it 
has already completely driven its competitors, coffee and cocoa, 
from the field. In the Orient it meets with no competition at all, 
being equally popular with high and low. 

The Japanese, like the Chinese, seldom drinks cold water. Tea 
is his favourite beverage at every meal and between meals — green 
tea, from little pots on little saucers to correspond. He drinks 
it plain, and when it is not to be had does not despise mere warm 
water from the iron kettle, which always serves otherwise to fill 
up the tea-pot. No sooner has the traveller in Japan sat down 
in an inn, than, without delay, a basin with some glowing coals is 
set before him to light his pipe with, and tea to refresh him. This 
attention he rewards with the Cha-dai {i.e. tea-table), or tip, which 
he lays on the salver. When a customer enters one of the larger 
shops, it is a point of etiquette in the house that a cup of green 
tea be set before him at once, before proceeding to business. 

In the poor mountain country, however, the quality of the drink 
offered under the name of Tscha is not always so inviting — an 
infusion or decoction from the cheapest waste matter of the tea- 
districts, looking like dish-water and just as little appetizing. 



Brick-tea {Chin, Twig-kau^ Russ. Kirpitschwi-tschai). 

As has been remarked, black and green tea furnish the healthiest 
and most important stimulant for a large part of the human race. 
Apart from this chief use of the leaves of the tea-tree, however, we 
have now to consider another, no less significant for a further 
portion of human society, namely, as an actual means of nourish- 
ment, for as such we must regard the so-called brick-tea. Its 
preparation, in Sz'chuan, Hupeh, and neighbouring Chinese pro- 
vinces, takes place after harvest and the operations thereupon 
following in preparing common tea. For this purpose the rem- 
nants and the older leaves are exposed for some considerable time 
to steam, to be softened. Then they are pressed in tablets, in the 
form of thin bricks, namely, 8-12 inches (20-30 cm.) long and 
broad, and one inch (2 J cm.) thick, and kept under pressure till 
dry and hard. Mongolians and the inhabitants of Tibet are the 
principal consumers, to whom must be added several Russian 
races. For use, a piece is knocked off, boiled with milk or water, 
seasoned with butter, a little vinegar, pepper, and salt, and eaten 
as soup. This is said not to be a very inviting dish in appearance, 
but refreshing and nourishing, as may be supposed, since it con- 
tains not only the essences of tea, but also the coagulating albumen 
and the cellular substance. 

We cannot tell exactly when the cultivation of tea began in 
China. According to W. Williams, the oldest Chinese records of 
tea go back only to the year 350 A.u. An Arabian merchant, 
named Soliman, who published, about 850 A.D., an account of hi.^ 
travels in Eastern Asia, remarks that tea was the common drink of 
the Chinese. Strange to say, Marco Polo makes no mention of it. 
This may perhaps be explained by supposing that up to the end 
of the 13th century the knowledge of its use had not travelled from 
the Chinese of the South northward to the Mongolian-Tartar 
peoples among whom the celebrated Venetian lived. Certain it is 
that Europe received its first knowledge of tea through Jesuit 
missionaries in the second half of the sixteenth century. At that 
time the Jesuits in great numbers lived and laboured successfully 
among the people in China and Japan. ^ But the first specimens 
of the article did not come to Europe till much later (1610 A.D.), 
and then not through the Jesuits, as might be supposed, but 
through the Dutch East India Company, and probably from Japan. 
In 1664 the English East India Company brought two pounds and 
two ounces of black tea from the province of Fukien, as a present 
to King Charles II. ; but not until fourteen years later (1678) did 
it deem it advisable to admit tea into its list as a new article of 
commerce. In that year it began exporting it to England, with 
4)713 pounds as a beginning. It held a monopoly of the English 
trade up to 1834, when the importation into Great Britain and 
Ireland had increased to 30J million pounds. 

^ See J. P. Maffeus : " Rerum Indicarum," libro ii. p. 108 ff. 


When the tea-trade was thrown open in England, with the re- 
duction in cost of transportation and of entrance duty, and with the 
addition of new producers (India and Java), the prices of tea sank 
more and more,^ and its consumption increased accordingly. Tea 
ceased to be a mere luxury on the tables of the well-to-do. 
Millions of poor people in Europe and in all English-speaking 
countries have become accustomed to its enjoyment, and found 
that it furnishes them the cheapest and healthiest warm drink. 
The way its use is distributed over the different countries, is seen 
in one of the following summary tables. 

According to Junker von Langegg,^ tea has been known in 
Japan for more than a thousand years, but has become the national 
beverage only since the fourteenth century. In the eighth century 
of our era the imperial court (Shomu Tenno, Kwammu Tenno) 
first became acquainted with it. Towards the end of the latter 
emperor's reign, the priest Saito (Denkio Daishi) introduced tea- 
seeds from China and planted them at Uji (805 A.D.). According 
to another authority, tea-seeds and the art of preparing tea were, 
previous to this, brought from China, by the abbot Yei-shu, to his 
monastery in Omi, and cultivated there. In agreement with this 
we have the further statement that Saga Tenno, the fifty-second 
emperor, visiting this monastery in 815, was regaled with tea, and 
that the drink having met his approbation, he issued a mandate for 
the establishment of tea-gardens in the neighbouring provinces of 
the Gokinai, and also in Omi, Tamba, and Harima. 

At that time, and even centuries later, tea was very dear, a 
luxury of which only the nobility and the Bonzes partook. The 
cultivation of the tea-plant seems to have gradually fallen into 
neglect, for only on this supposition is there significance in another 
story, — that the Bonze Yei-sei, about the year 1200, introduced the 
plant into the province of Chikuzen, on the island of Kiushiu, by 
means of seeds from China, and that anyhow it was not until this 
time, under the patronage of the eighty-third emperor (Tsuchi 
Mikado Tenno) that tea-growing secured a firm hold in Japan. 
Miyo-ye (Meiki), abbot of the monastery Togano, near Kioto, re- 
ceived tea-seeds from Yei-sei, with directions for training the shrub 
and treating the leaves. He is considered the founder of tea-culture 
in Yamashiro and Yamato, and particularly at Uji^ the celebrated 
place for tea. To this day in a chapel there the first tea is offered 
to him every year. Further advancement of tea-growing around 
Uji was caused by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu after his abdi- 
cation, about the year 1400. We have already cited some of 
Kaempfer's remarks about the tea of Uji, and seen therefrom that 
its fame was already great throughout Japan two hundred years 

' For a long time a pound had cost from ;^io to ^5 in London, and even in 
1780 it was sold at £,Z' 
2 *'Japanische Theegeschichten." Vienna, 1884, C. Ceroid. 



ago. In another passage of the " Amoenitates exotica^ " the author 
states that the best Uji tea was reserved for the court, and that he 
had been told that a Httle dish of it, set before him, was worth one 
Bu (about a shiUing). I bought a pound of tea in Uji, which I had 
followed in the making, and it cost me three yen. I heard, how- 
ever, that the finest is sold for five yen, — twenty shillings. 

The court had its special official in Uji, who had to superintend 
most carefully the ceremonial and the regulations for the prepar- 
ation of its tea as well as its transportation. 

So long as the Portuguese had the Japanese trade in their hands, 
tea was scarcely thought of, and even in the long period when 
Holland alone enjoyed commercial relations with Japan, tea did 
not figure among that country's exports. It did not begin to do 
so until the ports were opened in consequence of the Perry ex- 
pedition. The appended table shows to what extent the expor- 
tation of tea from Japan has grown since then. As exportation 
increased, the plant was more extensively grown, so that on my 
journeys I could see new gardens laid out in hundreds of places 
where tea had never been before cultivated. In Tokio itself, as 
is well known to any one who has lived there any time, many a 
piece of ground has been transformed, even from the former parks 
of Daimio residences, into tea-gardens. The Japanese government 
has reckoned that in this way altogether 4,600 cho of land have in 
recent times been withdrawn from cultivation for other crops and 
devoted to raising tea. 

According to H. Gribble, whose statistical statements I here 
follow, Japan possessed 42,224 cho = 41,874 ha, in tea-plantations, 
in the year 1881. Thus they at present embrace at least 42,000 
ha, or about 2^ per cent, of all the cultivated land. Tea is grown 
in nearly all the provinces of Japan south of the Tsugaru Strait, 
though in widely varying quantities. North of the thirty-seventh 
parallel and in the high-lying provinces of the interior, as Shinano 
and Hida, it is confined to a {qw favourable spots. In other parts 
it is the chief source of wealth. In both the quality and the 
quantity of their product the provinces of central Hondo take the 
lead. Two mighty wings have grown from the old centre of tea- 
culture, at the southern end of Biwa Lake, between the bays 
of Idzumi, Owari, and Wakasa, to which are to be reckoned 
the provinces of Yamashiro, Yamato, Ise, Iga, Omi, Mino, and 
Tamba. One of these, beginning with Ise, embraces the pro- 
vinces of the Tokaido, particularly Mikawa, Totomi, Suruga, 
Musashi, Shimosa, and Hitachi. The other reaches over those of 
the Hokurokudo, among which Kaga and Echigo deserve especial 
attention. It is precisely in the region of these two highway- 
districts (the Tokaido and Hokurokudo) that tea-culture has been 
greatly extended during the last twenty years. It would un- 
doubtedly have spread still further in the provinces of the Sea of 
Japan, especially in Echizen and Wakasa, if market facilities were 


more favourable here and the product could be shipped directly 
from the port of Tsuruga. 

From the above we perceive that the chief tea-district of Japan 
lies in the island of Hondo, between 34° and 16° N. Lat. Tea 
raised at a distance from these boundaries is of poorer quality and 
of a lower price. 

This is particularly true of all tea shipped from Nagasaki, and 
Niigata to Yokohama. In the former case the cause is the care- 
less treatment of the tea-plant, in the latter it is climatic. The tea 
sent from Niigata comes from the districts of Murakami, Mura- 
machi, Kurokawa, and Niidzu, that is to say from the northernmost 
parts of the province of Echigo. The tea-plant is kept trimmed 
very low there and carefully cultivated, yet it is impossible to give 
it adequate protection against the effects of a long winter and the 
night frosts in April, despite the covering of straw and snow during 
the former. Its leaf is consequently tough and bitter. 

The above mentioned regions are, at any rate, the most northerly 
in which tea-bushes can be profitably and largely planted. In 
Akita-ken, under the fortieth parallel, where I saw the last tea- 
gardens, they can be maintained only by special protection in 
winter. My observations led me to believe that successful tea- 
culture ends with the wild-growing camellia, in 38 i° N. Lat, in 
northern Echigo. 

Much can be learned from the table in the appendix. First we 
observe that the provinces of Suruga, Mino, Totomi, Ise, Musashi, 
Shimosa, Yamashiro, Omi, Hitachi, and Yamato stand in advance 
of all the others in the area devoted to tea-culture, and Suruga 
alone has more than one-eighth of all tea-gardens in Japan. In 
these ten provinces tea-gardens take up 07 per cent, of the area, 
in Suruga 1-5 per cent. There is no doubt that the extensive tea- 
culture of Suruga is due in part to the great protection afforded 
by Fuji-san and other high mountains against the rude north 

Of the total area in 1881 given up to tea-culture, 42,224 cho or 
41,874 ha, the proportion was as follows : 


Tencha or Hikicha, i.e. pulverized tea . . i6,()6% 

Giyoku-ro or dewdrops 167,728 

Sencha or common tea ..... 14,797,945 

Bancha or ordinary tea 14,294,895 

Hiboshi or tea dried in the sun \ 

Kamairi or tea heated in the pan I . . 4,940,277 

Kuroguchi or badly heated tea j 

Kocha or Congo 450,124 

Uriyo or Oolong 319,604 

Total kin 35,007,241 
or 21,040,724 kilo. This makes 480 kilo per ha. 


In general four pounds of fresh tea-leaves yield one pound of 
the finished article of commerce. The leaf-crop of a Japanese tea- 
garden of one ha would therefore amount to 1,920 kg. 

Tea culture in India has been developed since the year 1835, at 
first but slowly, but afterwards the more rapidly during the last 
twenty years. After the first experiments, the Assam Tea Com- 
pany was founded, in 1839. From 1864 to 1876 the crop increased 
from 2\ million pounds to 28 million pounds of prepared tea. In 
the last-named year the average price in London for one pound 
of Indian tea was \s. \id. as against \s. 3</. for one pound of 
Chinese tea. In the year 1879 the area devoted to tea-plants 
in India was reckoned at 206,874 acres, which yielded a total of 
44,771,632 pounds of tea. Of this 41 1 million pounds were shipped 
to Europe. It is evident from these data that an acre yields on 
an average 216 pounds of tea, which is 245 kg. to a hectare. This 
amount is so far behind that ascribed to Japan (480 kg. per ha) 
that one cannot help doubting the correctness of one or other of 
the reports upon which the calculation is based. The Indian tea- 
industry has spread from the Assam valley over Chittagong and 
Arracan, Darjeeling, Nagpore, Kangra, and other regions, and 
gains ground every year. 

Tea culture in Java, although beginning in 1828, seven years 
before that of India, has had no such rapid growth. Java tea has, 
certainly, a good appearance and is nicely rolled, but its decoction 
is weak and tastes bitter. Its price is therefore far less than that 
of the Indian and even of the Chinese, and indeed to this circum- 
stance is attributable the fact that the industry has not become as 
widespread in Java as was expected. The exportation of tea from 
Java was 3,104,000 kg. in 1872. 

During the last fifty years, as has been shown, the cultivation of 
the tea-plant has extended over two new countries (India and Java), 
while ever spreading, with increasing exportation, in its old homes, 
China and Japan. But it remained, for all that, till lately confined 
to the monsoon-region. Now, the Colony of Natal must be added 
as another part of the globe in which tea has been successfully 
tried and forms already an article of export. 

However, we find, in the monsoon-region as nowhere else, the 
two fundamental conditions of its success, — a proper climate and 
plenty of cheap labour. Machines can never quite take the place 
of hand labour in picking, preparing, and sorting tea. Throughout 
the monsoon-region the cost of hand labour is so low, and that of 
tea in proportion, that it would be hard for other civilized countries 
to compete with it. 

The climatic requirements of tea-growing, too, can only here and 
there be met elsewhere. The tea-plant flourishes best and yields 
the most valuable leaves where the temperature ranges between 
0° and 35° C, where the humidity of the atmosphere during the 
period of vegetation is considerable, and rainfalls rather frequent. 

II. K 



Its needs in this respect are quite different from those of the grape- 
vine, to which dry heat is especially advantageous, so that a suc- 
cessful cultivation of the one excludes the other, so to speak. 

A. — Table of the areas devoted to tea-growing 
IN Japan, in i88i. 


























































The rest of the 









or 41 

174 Ha. 

B. — Analyses of Tea. 
By A. W. Blythe : • 

Water. Theine. Extract. 

Hyson 6-61 r6o 36-95 
Japan 4-69 1-38 39-41 



A^^es. ^^^l Potash.^^^^- 






Green Chinese Tea according to Hassall : 

Water. Theine. ^^J^Tpaf ^^^^^ tannin. 

24-39 9-37 2-79 1-83 5-89 18-69 




Stonehouse according to the "Annalcn der Chemie u. Pharmacie, 
vol. 45, p. 336, found the proportion of the"ine as follows : 

Huasan. Congo. Black Assam. Green Twankay. 

1-09 1-02 1-37 0-98 


2. Tobacco, Nicotiana Tabaciirn, L., and N. rustica, L. 

The foreign origin of this world-wide narcotic article of luxury- 
is indicated not merely by the name Tabako, — the Japanese have 
no name of their own for it, — but also by authentic historical 
accounts of its introduction. Like Christianity, gunpowder, and 
fire-arms, tobacco first reached Japan through the " Nanban " 
(pronounced Namban) or *' southern barbarians." By " Namban," 
however, were meant distinctively the Portuguese, and then later 
the Spaniards who came from Manila. One may say that smoking 
was introduced in the last decades of the sixteenth century. The 
planting of tobacco, however, began about the year 1605. A 
physician named Saka, of Nagasaki, made some interesting and 
characteristic observations about it in a family chronicle of that 
period.^ In 1607 he writes: "Of late a thing has come into 
fashion, called tobacco. It is said to have originated in Nanban, 
and consists of large leaves, which are cut up, and of which one 
drinks the smoke." Two years later the same observer remarks : 
" For the last two or three years an article called Tabako has been 
coming from Nanban, with which all classes of Japanese regale 
themselves. It is said to be a cure for all diseases. On the other 
hand, however, there have been cases where people got sick after 
they had drunk tobacco-smoke. Now since no medicinal work 
contains directions for the treatment of such patients, no medicine 
could be offered them." In another record, of the year 1605, 
according to Satow, there is found the following note : *' In this 
year tobacco was brought in ships of the Nanban-people, and sown 
near Nagasaki. The inhabitants of the capital (Kioto) contend 
with one another in smoking, and the habit is rapidly spreading 
over the country." ^ We may be sure that the innovation, before 
it got to Nagasaki, was known in Bungo, the chief foothold of the 
Portuguese from the beginning, and in Satsuma, which to this day 
has a great reputation throughout Japan for its tobacco, and had 
been visited by Pinto and likewise by Xavier. And there can be 
scarcely any doubt that smoking came to the Coreans and the 
neighbouring Mandschu from Japan, at the time of Hideyoshi, 
through the expedition and subsequent efforts between the years 
1592 and 1597. On the other hand, China proper was blessed with 
tobacco vid Luzon, as can be proved from several sources, among 
them Satow. 

In China, as in Japan, smoking spread among all classes of the 
people and in both sexes, with incredible rapidity. As vain as 
the efforts of Pope Urban VII. and James I., to check the habit in 

^ See Satow: "The Introduction of Tobacco into Japan," /^J^^^ Weekly Mail ^ 
Nov. 17, 1877. Kein : " Zur Geschichte der Verbreitung des Tabaks und Mais 
in Ostasien." Peterm., Mitth., 1878. 

2 We here expressly remark that other narcotic luxuries, such as smoking 
opium or hemp and chewing betel, are unknown. 


Europe, were the decrees of their mighty contemporaries, of the 
Ming-dynasty in China and lyeyasu in Japan. Indeed, of all the 
laws of the founder of the Tokugawa rule, probably none has 
proved so ineffectual as the edict of 1612 against smoking and 
planting tobacco. 

The KiserUy the Japanese pipe, with its shining metal mouthpiece 
and the elegant little bowl of brass or silver at its other end — 
the stem is of thin bamboo — is quite a different apparatus from our 
smoking implement, and demands a different kind of treatment. The 
little ball of fine-cut tobacco with which its possessor fills the bowl, 
which in shape and size resembles the cup of a large acorn, suffices 
for only two or three whiffs. Then the bowl must be knocked 
against the edge of an ash-basin and filled anew. The case and 
tobacco-pouch, of stamped leather-paper, are as delicately made 
as the little pipe itself, and often artistically decorated with lacquer 
or silver-work, as shown in the illustration. Both are hung to the 
girdle-cloth by means of a netzuke (of which an account is given 
under art-industries), a sort of carved button. The form of such a 
pipe, which, with tobacco, every one carries in Japan, does not 
permit of smoking on the road nor at work. On the other hand 
no opportunity before or after is wasted ; out comes the pipe and 
at least a couple of whiffs are taken, a good deal of time being often 
spent with it. When any one enters a house, the first attention 
shown him by the female servants, after the customary greeting, 
is to set the tobacco-tray (Tabako-bon) before him, even before 
offering him tea. Upon this tray stands, however, the Hi-ire or 
fire-pot, with giowing coals, and a big ash-basin (Hai-fuki) of 
bamboo-cane, which serves also as a spittoon. 

The Japanese tobacco-pipe resembles the shell of a snail of 
the genus Clausilia, which is represented by many forms in that 
country. This has not escaped the attention of the Japanese, 
who call them kiseru-gai, pipe-snails. In his book, ** Himalayan 
Journals," Table III. fig. 7, Hooker gives an illustration of a 
Thibetan tobacco pipe, very similar to the Japanese Kiseru. 

Tobacco-smoking is much more common in Japan than with us, 
and I always caused astonishment by the phrase I used so much, 
"Arigato, tobako-o nomimasen," ("Thank you, I don't drink 
tobacco "), for they can hardly imagine a foreigner who does not 
like tobacco. The Japanese says, not incorrectly, "Tabako-o 
nomimas," " I drink tobacco," since he sips in the smoke and expels 
it through his nose. In Germany too it was called at first "drinking 
tobacco," instead of smoking, as, among others, Freytag teaches us 
in his " Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangenheit." 

On the paper-lined screen that divides a Japanese tobacco shop 
from the street, a tobacco-leaf is painted instead of a sign, and 
beside this stand two Chinese hieroglyphics which in other cases 
might perhaps be translated " chief town of the country," but which 
mean in this case Kokubu, a district of Osumi in southern Kiushiu, 


celebrated for its tobacco. Its name has been everywhere applied 
to the tobacco business. 

I visited the district of Kokubu in the spring of 1875. It com- 
prises a small plain on the north-eastern shore of the Kagoshima 


Bay. Its light soil, mixed with much pumiceous sand, yields fairly 
good harvests only when very carefully manured and worked. 
The seed-bed of the tobacco is protected against too great cooling 
from radiation on spring nights by straw roofs about a meter high. 


Towards the end of April the shoots are strong enough to be trans- 
planted into rows, as elsewhere. They are set out beside rows of 
barley, which has by this time passed its bloom. Elsewhere, for 
instance in Higo, tobacco-sowing does not take place till April, 
but transplanting is in June, to barley or wheat fields which are not 
intended to receive rice. 

Tobacco-growing is widely, though very unequally, spread 
throughout the Japanese islands. The first picking takes place in 
August, with a second and third in September. The leaves are 
then hung about the houses to dry, as with us. I saw the following 
arrangement employed for this purpose in Aidzu : one person was 
twisting two thin straw ropes into a thicker one, another mean- 
while inserting tobacco leaves in pairs, with their stems all turned 
up at intervals of about lO cm. When fixed in this way the rope 
was hung up on the walls of the building or on poles, with 
numerous leaves pointing downward. 

Of all the varieties of Japanese tobacco that from the former 
dominion of Satsuma, to which Kokubu also belongs, as we 
have said already, has the greatest reputation among the natives. 
Its flavour is too sweet for Europeans, however, and it is therefore 
but little exported. The kind most valued for export, though it 
too is far inferior to American tobacco, comes from Higo and 
other provinces of the south. It is sent to Nagasaki packed in 
straw mats. Here it is stemmed and repacked in bales. These 
go exclusively to England. The leaf has a spongy character ; it 
is therefore mixed with stronger sorts, with the result that it ab- 
sorbs a considerable amount of the sharpness. As an article of 
exportation, tobacco ranks far behind many other products, and is 
in general not much in demand. 

b. Drugs. 

In the diary of my first journey in Japan, in the summer of 
1874, there is this entry, at the town of Sunjo, at the foot of 
Ibukiyama (See Rein, "Japan," vol. i. p. ']']) : — " My host told me 
that Ibukiyama abounded in herbs, yielding 130 different medicines, 
mostly vegetable. From his little collection he presented me with 
two included in that number, the one a piece of stalactite, the other 
a piece of fibrous woUastonite." The Chinese science of pharmacy, 
which the Japanese followed blindly till thirty years ago, like our 
own in the Middle Ages and even later, up to the development 
of chemistry, enumerates a very large number of drugs, some of 
which are exceedingly rare. Thunberg brought a small list of 
Japanese plants used for pharmaceutical purposes, and v. Siebold 
in the work already cited, " Verhandl. van het Batav. Genootschap, 
xii. deel. Bat. 1830," furnished a long, but by no means exhaustive, 
catalogue. Oyaku-yen (the Garden of Physic), which was estab- 


lished by the Tokugawa in Yedo, two hundred years ago, the 
Botanical Garden of the Tokio of to-day, contains the most im- 
portant of them.^ It is not within the scope and purpose of this 
work to repeat or enlarge it. I shall confine myself rather to the 
relatively few plants which I found cultivated for medicinal pur- 
poses, and in regard to which I know, from my own observation, 
that they are still of more or less importance in husbandry, 
(i) Pceonia Motttan, Sims, Jap. Botan. 

(2) PcBonia albiflora^ Pall, Jap. Shakuyaku. 

The ancients more than two thousand years ago, celebrated the 
healing ^o\wqx: o{ PcEonia officinalis, L., which is indigenous in the 
mountains of Greece and other Mediterranean countries, and 
named it after Paeon, the chief physician of the gods. Both of 
those kinds of shrub-shaped peonies enjoy an equally long standing 
renown among the Chinese and Japanese. They are often raised, 
not only for their handsome flowers, but for their medicinal roots. 
(See also decoration, in "Art Industry.") One sometimes finds a 
third and larger shrub set beside them in a garden plot, which, too, 
serves medicinal purposes, namely : — 

(3) Evodia riitcEcarpa, Benth., Jap. Goshiu-yu or Kawa-haji-kami. 
It resembles sumach, with its pinnate leaves, and is valued chiefly 

for its aromatic berries, — like its relatives, Evodia glauca and 
Xanthoxylum pipei'ituin. 

(4) Ricijtus comimniis, L., Jap. Himashi. This is also called 
T6jin-mame (Chinese bean) and T6-goma (Chinese sesame), names 
which speak for its introduction from China. Often enough one 
meets with little plantations of various medicinal herbs side by 
side. In this wise I have found growing in the open field : — 

(5) Fceniadum vtdgare, Gaertn., the fennel, Jap. Uikiyo. 

(6) Angelica refracta, Fr. Schmidt, Jap. Senkiyu. 

(7) Angelica anomala, LalL, Jap. Biyakushi. 

(8) Scutellaria macrantha, Fisch., Jap. Ogon. 

(9) Mentha piperita, Thunb., peppermint, Jap. Hak'ka. 

(10) Rheum palmatum, L., Jap. Daio. 

(11) Rheum undidatum, L., Jap. Daio. We know now the real 
home of this rhubarb through Przewalski's account of his journey 
to the Kuku-noor and the head-waters of the Hoang-ho. Accord- 
ing to him the centre of its natural distribution is the mountain 
country between the sources of the Hoang-ho, Yalung, and Min- 
kiang, in China. 

In connection with the foregoing drugs, I would mention, on 
account of their peculiar and well-known use, three, that grow wild 
in Japan : — 

(12) Aconitum Fischeri, Reichb., Jap. Tori-kabuto. 

(13) Artemisia vulgaris, L., Jap. Yomogi (Mogusa). 

(14) Illicium, S. and Z., Jap. Sikimi (pronounced Skimi.) 

^ In the tenth volume of the Pharmaceutical Journal, Holmes has recently 
annotated a large number of them. 


The first of these three plants, the Hght-blue monk's-hood, which 
is found in mountain forests all over Japan, furnishes in its bulbs, 
called Udzu (Shurku by the Ainos), the familiar poison with 
which the Ainos arm their hunting-arrows. It is the same Coniin 
Cg Hi7 N, which is found in the bulbs of other aconites also, and 
has lately been artificially reproduced.^ It produces convulsive 
movements and paralysis in animal organisms. 

The fruits of the Skimi, which is consecrated to Buddha and 
therefore much grown about Buddhist temples and cloisters, made 
a great stir some time ago. They came to market as a spice, 
instead of the Staranis, which they closely resemble, and turned 
out to be poisonous. Quite a different role is played by its bark, 
which is pulverized and then, with the help of a little resin, formed 
into small brown sticks, of the thickness of quills. In this shape 
they are the " smoke-candles " with which incense is made before 
the idols. These glimmering candles are also used with the 
Mogusa (pronounced Moxa). This is a peculiar sort of plaster, 
used to avert diseases. The Moxa or pieces of blossom of the 
Artemisia vulgaris are dried with the felt that surrounds them. A 
piece of this is laid on the naked body and then burnt by contact 
with the glimmering candle. This gives rise to wounds and later 
to scars as big as a shilling, such as one can frequently see, 
especially on the backs and posteriors of labourers. 

The above-mentioned plants hold no position whatever in the com- 
merce of Japan. They supply a home demand only, and have no 
place at all, in comparison with ginseng and camphor, two oriental 
drugs which deserve a more thorough consideration, not merely 
because of the strange mode of their acquisition and use, but also 
as being noteworthy articles of export from Japan. 

(15) Panax ginseng, C. A. Meyer {Aralia ginseng, Jap. Nin-jin, 
Chinese Jin-san). Kaempfer says of ginseng, that next to tea it is 
the most celebrated plant in the whole Orient, on account of its 
root. It is closely related to the umbelliferous plants, and is a 
perennial growth, of the family of the Araliacece. Its cylindrical, 
carrot-like root yields the medicine so highly prized by the Chinese, 
Japanese, and Coreans. In fact this ginseng-root, or all-heal, as it 
is also called with us, the cinchona and the musk of these races, is 
a cure for fevers and weaknesses of all sorts — the chief and most 
costly medicine. Recourse is still had to it in cases of deadly 
illness, when nothing else will work. As characterizing both its 
costliness and the belief in its power to cure, we may repeat the 
Japanese proverb : " Ninjin kute kubi kukuru," i.e., literally, " After 
ginseng death by hanging," meaning " You will probably get well 
if you eat ginseng, but will die of hunger afterward, for it will 
make you poor." 

From what has been said it is plain enough that Linnaeus could 

^ See the recent experiments of A. W. Hofmann in the " Berichten der d. 
chem. Gesellschaft," 17. Jahrg,, pp. 825-833. 



hardly have found a more fitting name for the panacea of the 
eastern monsoon-region than the word Panax,^ with which the 
ancients probably designated certain species of Ferula in Asia 
Minor and Pontus. He had heard of it through Kaempfer and 

The ginseng-plant grows wild in the mountain forests of Eastern 
Asia, from Nepal to Manchooria. But 
in Japan it has only been found as yet 
in cultivation. In the deep woods of 
Chinese Manchooria, between 39° and 
47° N. Lat., it was first observed by 
Pater Jartoux. But the roots gathered 
here with so much care, a prerogative 
of the Chinese imperial household, do 
not suffice for the large demand in that 
country. The supply has to be made 
up in part by a considerable cultivation 
of the plant in Northern China, in Corea, 
and Japan, and by a rather large import- 
ation from Philadelphia and Baltimore. 
These cities furnish China the roots of 
the less valuable Panax quinqiiefolitis 
which grows in the Alleghany Moun- 

In Japan, black, loamy soil, in dry 
situations, is chosen for raising ginseng. 
Only in such earth does its tap-root 
grow sturdy enough, and of a white 
colour. In ferruginous soil it takes a 
reddish tinge, which lessens its value. 
The field is well manured, thoroughly 
dug up and prepared. Then it is 
divided into beds, which are, as a rule, 
27 Japanese feet (8*13 meters) long, 2 J 
feet broad, and 2 feet apart. They 
always lie from east to west. To shield 
the plants from direct sunshine and 
heavy rains, each bed is covered with a 
thatched roof, running lengthwise f to 
I meter above the ground and sup- 
ported on posts and poles. These roofs 
incline slightly to the south. Ginseng plantations are thus easily 
recognisable at a distance by an observant traveller, e.g. in the 
province of Shinano, by the side of the Nakasendo, in Aidzu, and 
elsewhere. While it is growing, it is only necessary to keep the 
ground clear and loosen the soil occasionally, besides manuring it 
several times with straw ashes. 

Fig. 2. 

From jravaKrjs, all-healing. 



In Southern Japan {e.g. in the provinces of Idzumi and Hoki), 
sowing takes place in November ; further north, however, not till 

Fig. 3. 

April. The seeds lose their germinating power easily, so they 
have to be kept mixed with earth for the spring planting. They 



are set in deeply-delved, thoroughly- pulverized soil, at intervals of 
6 to 9 cm. and at that same depth. Each bed holds two rows about 
30 cm. apart. Ginseng grows slowly, requiring 3 J years to develop. 
There are therefore to be seen fields with plants of the first year 

Fig. 4. 

(ichi nen sho), of two years (ni nen sho), of three years (san nen 
sho), and of the fourth year (yo nen sho). Plants of the Ichinensho 
(see fig. 2, page 137) have, up to autumn, put forth only one or 
two leaves and no stalk. A leaf of this sort, exclusive of its long 



stem, is 8-10 cm. high, and triple, Hke clover. The oval, pointed 
leaves have sharply dentated edges. The cylindrical, sturdy root 
appears more strongly developed. In the second summer it puts 
forth a simple, smooth stalk, which forks above into two or three 
petioles (see fig. 3, page 138). The individual leaves are now 
developed symmetrically into five leaflets, finger-shape, the middle 
one of these latter being strongest. In form and in character of 
their edges they are the same as in the first year. The root is 
about 12 cm. long, just about equalling the length of the part above 
ground. In the third summer (fig. 4, page 139) the upper part 
becomes 30-40 cm. high, sending out, half-way up, a crown of 3-4 
leaves, in each of which the five leaflets are formed the same, but 
larger than in the second year. The smooth petioles have, like 
the round under-stalk, a red-brown colour. From the base of the 
leaves the plant's axis continues 10-20 cm. more, as a bare, 
greenish stalk, ending in a simple umbel, beneath and somewhat 
to one side of which there is sometimes a second, smaller umbel. 

It is only when seed is wanted 
that the plant is allowed to blos- 
som in the third or fourth summer. 
Otherwise the blossoms are cut 
off. Above a crown of 5-7 
lanceolate sheath-leaflets is arched 
the small umbel, radiating in 10-20 
directions, and reminding one of 
the Allium species. The umbel 
has light-green, polygamous blos- 
1 soms, which are composed of un- 

i assuming, superior, five-toothed 

FijT. 5. calyx, five petals, five stamens, and 

two or three styles. The inferior 
fruit-capsule develops into a bright scarlet berry as big as a pea, 
and flattened, which encloses two grey, furrowed grains the size 
of hemp-seeds (fig. 6, page 141). After these have been gathered 
they are buried 30-50 cm. deep in the ground till November or 
the next spring, so as to retain their germinating power until 
planting time. Ginseng roots are harvested in the Doyo (July 
and August) of the fourth summer. They are cylindrical, never 
thicker than a man's finger, and often divided towards the bottom 
like a fork (fig. 7, page 142). They are white, and smell and 
taste something like carrots {DaiLctis carota). The ordinary 
weight of a fresh ginseng-root is 20 to 25 grammes. They 
seldom weigh twice that much, and the product of a sq. meter 
of land amounts to I to i J kg. of fresh roots. After being dug 
up they are freed from fibres and other attached substances, and 
carefully washed. Then they are scalded with boiling water or 
steam, until, on being cut across, they have a brownish yellow 
and jelly-like appearance. Then they are set out in kilns, each 



containing about twelve drawers, one above another, their bottoms 
being made of stout paper. Here they stay for two or three days, 
according to their size, enduring a temperature of ioo° to 120° C, 
which renders them perfectly dry and ready for market. But 
sometimes this drying is done in the sun, in which case it lasts 
correspondingly longer. 

These prepared and dried ginseng roots have only about one- 
fourth of their original weight ; 160-200 of them go to one kilo- 
gramme. In colour they range from yellowish to brown. They 

Fig. 6. 

are semi-diaphanous, somewhat brittle, and have a bitter-sweet 
taste, which excites mucus. They have to be carefully protected 
from dampness and small beetles {RhynchopJwriis), and are used 
in the form of decoctions and extracts. The stalks and leaves 
of the plant are utiHzed also, being boiled to a black, sticky paste, 
which, in consequence of its sugar having gone over into caramel, 
looks and tastes like liquorice, though with a bitter twang. This 
preparation is not exported. 

There are many buyers of the prepared ginseng-root, who pay 



5-7 yen for a kin (600 grammes). In China it is worth 10 yen, 
or 40 shillings. The ginseng of Manchooria fetches a much higher 
price, especially the sort most in demand, which looks like amber, 
and which is often paid for in five to eight times its weight of sil- 
ver. Equally esteemed is the 
ginseng of Corea, which is 
still an important item in 
exportations. In the Toku- 
gawa period the Daimi6 of 
Tsushima was exempt from 
taxation, but had to furnish 
instead a certain quantity of 
ginseng yearly to the court 
of the Shogun, from the 
neighbouring Corea. 

Now that the younger 
Japanese physicians have 
begun to get more and more 
acquainted with the Euro- 
pean methods and means of 
treating diseases, the gin- 
seng-root has fallen very 
much in public esteem in 
Japan ; although its culti- 
vation is about as great as 
ever, and in some places 
greater, since it is shipped 
more and more every year 
to China, where it always 
finds ready purchasers. Its 
exportation used to be in 
the hands of the Dutch, 
at Nagasaki ; now it takes 
jDlace directly, mostly via 
Osaka, through Japanese 
and Chinese. In 1879 it 
reached the high figure of 
507,494 yen ; since then, 
however, it has fallen off a 

Ginseng is cultivated in 
several hilly districts, at a 
height of 300-800 meters, 
principally in Hondo. The chief of these are : 

1. In the province of Idzumo, south of the capital Matsuye, 
on the mountain slopes of I-wu (I-wu-gori), and on the little Radish- 
island (Daikon-jima) in the Nakano-umi. 

2. In the province of Hoki, on the northern side of the Daisen. 

Fig. 7. 


3. In Shinano along the Nakasendo, between the post-stations 
Iwamurata and Wada, and also near the city of Takeda, on the 
border of Hida. 

4. In Aidzu, about 140 miles north of Tokio, in several places, 
especially near Terayama and Matsukawa, and also near Kuradani 
and Uchi, on the road from Sanno-toge to Wakamatsu. 

Besides these parts of the country, where ginseng cultivation 
was observed by Kempermann or myself, it is also found, according 
to Maximowicz, near Hakodate, and in various other parts of the 
Japanese empire, as can be seen in the Catalogue of the Exhibition 
of Agricultural Products held in Tokio in 1877. 

For a number of years the immense demand for ginseng in China 
has been supplied in part, too, by the United States. The roots of 
a species {Panax quinqtiefoliiis, L.) indigenous in the Appalachian 
range, have been prepared and put upon the Chinese market. 
According to the reports of the commissioner of agriculture, nearly 
$700,000 worth were exported in 1877. 

(16) Cmnavioviiim camphora, Nees and Eberm. {Laiirus cam- 
pJiora^ L.), the camphor-tree or camphor-laurel, Jap. Kusu-no-ki 
(pronounced Ksunoki). This is the giant among foliaceous trees 
in Japan, exceeding all others, not only in girth, but in height 
also, not excepting Pla?iera acuminata} Its weak representatives 
in our green-houses, with their yellowish-green leaves and sickly 
look, give scarcely an idea of the grand form with its dark-green 
foliage which the producer of camphor (Jap. Shono) attains in its 
home. But beyond the Alps, on the beautiful shores of the 
Northern Italian lakes, in the Riviera, and further south, where the 
tree flourishes and is distinguished for its rapid growth, we get 
a more adequate conception of it. One specimen, for instance, in 
the park of the well-known Villa Pallavicini near Pegli has grown 
a stem of one meter in circumference, in 25 years. Even more 
astounding is the growth of a camphor-tree in Cannes, which has 
been raised from seed sown in 1871, and had in the autumn of 
1878 a girth of 98 cm. at the base, and a height of 30 meters. 
Much older and still more stately is the camphor-laurel in the bo- 
tanical garden at Pisa, perhaps the largest specimen in Europe. 

The quick growth of the tree in the Mediterranean region, how- 
ever, is not the only remarkable thing about it. It accommodates 
itself easily to the hottest and driest climate in that region, not- 
withstanding the rainy character of its home in East Asia. It is 
one of the few Japanese plants which thrive in the Canary Islands, 
for example, and has even grown sturdily at Schubrah, near Cairo. 
The Laurus Camphora flourishes also in various other tropical 
and sub-tropical parts of the world, e.g.^ at Buenos Ayres and in 
Mauritius. Under these circumstances it is surprising that plan- 
tations to obtain camphor have not been established anywhere. 

The camphor-tree is the principal and most widespread Japanese 
^ Kaempfer compares it with a linden. 


representative of the evergreen genus Cmnamomiun of the laurel 
family. All species of Cmnainomiun are marked by their odour of 
volatile oils, which are developed in various parts of the tree, and 
also by their leaves, which are long-stemmed, quickly warping, 
even-edged, leathery, and of a bright dark-green colour. In most 
cases they are placed alternately, and are further distinguished by 
a characteristic three-branched veining. The change of leaf takes 
place, as with most evergreens, in April, when the young, delicate, 
yellowish-green foliage displaces the dark-green leaves after the 
latter have lost their brightness. The young branches of the 
Kusunoki break off easily, and after every heavy wind a large 
number of them are found on the ground. Hence the camphor- 
tree rarely develops a symmetrically full crown. But what it thus 
loses in beauty is made up by its mighty form. Apart from 
the difference of foliage, and in the production of blossom and 
fruit, an old camphor-tree resembles nothing so much as a stately 
oak, in its thickness of trunk, the want of symmetry in its crown, 
its mighty gnarled and twisted boughs, and its rough, torn bark. 
This is especially true of the specimens, sometimes very old, found 
near the temples and in the old parks of the southern castle-cities. 
Fortune says that he never saw such large old camphor-trees in 
China as at the old temples in Nagasaki.^ But surprisingly large 
specimens occur also in other and more northerly parts of Japan. 
Thus in the spring of 1875, in the province of Kii, on the road 
from Wakayama to the celebrated cloister-town Koyasan (about 
344° N. lat. and 135° 20' E. long. Gr.), I saw such a tree at Kaseda- 
mura, with a trunk circumference of 11*5 m. At a height of i4 m. 
the giant divided into a number of mighty, wide-branching boughs. 
In the northern part of Tokio, in the park of Uyeno, there is a tree 
near the temple of Gongen-sama, the lofty trunk of which at breast 
high had in 1874 a circumference of 5*88 m., and at a height of 
40 to 50 m. still partially overshadowed with its thick boughs the 
slender coniferous trees around it (Cryptomeria and firs). Another 
large specimen is to be seen in Hon-j6, on the left side of the 
Sumida-gawa. Here, in the capital, these trees have to endure a 
winter of seventy to eighty nights of frost, in which the tempera- 
ture sometimes sinks to —7° C, and in exceptional cases even to 

In Northern Italy, too, e.g., on Lake Maggiore, the camphor- 
laurel endured, in December, 1879, a cold of —9° C. But it seems 
to have reached at this point the lower temperature-limit within 
which it occurs in the open air, for I did not find it north of the 
thirty-sixth parallel, even on the flat, mild coast of the Pacific. In 
the rough highlands of the interior it nowhere occurs, even more to 
the southward. 

^ ^ Kaempfer saw in Kiushiu, in 1691, a camphor-tree which was noted for its 
size. In 1826 von Siebold found it stiil growing and thickly leaved. Its hollow 
trunk was then i6"884 m. in girth. 


From those occurring near temples and human habitations, we 
must, however, distinguish well others in a wild condition. In this 
state it nowhere crosses the thirty-fourth parallel, confining itself 
to the mild hill-country near the sea, in Southern Japan. These 
are parts of Osumi and Satsuma on the Bay of Kagoshima, of 
Hiuga on the island of Kiushiu, and above all the province of 
Tosa on the island of Shikoku. Kaempfer and Thunberg say 
that the tree is frequently to be found, too, on the Goto {Gotho oar, 
Thunb.). In the regions named it forms a constituent of the ever- 
green forests, mixed with several other species of the genus Cinna- 
momum, with laurel-leaved oaks {Qiiercus cuspidata, Qti. acuta, Qu, 
glauca). Camellia japonica, and other more shrub-like growths. 
But such stout, old, thick-barked specimens as those in the temple- 
courts, do not occur anywhere here. 

As to the general geographical distribution of Cinnamomuin 
Camphoray it only extends over parts of the eastern monsoon 
region, embracing the coast-countries of East Asia, with many 
interruptions, from Cochin-China to about the mouth of the Yang- 
tse-kiang, including the islands of Heinan and Chusan, the island 
of Formosa, the Riukiu Islands, and the parts of Kiushiu and 
Shikoku already mentioned ; thus comprising a region between 
10° and 34° N. Lat., which belongs, therefore, partly to the tropics, 
partly to the sub-tropical zone. This region is marked by plentiful 
rainfalls, especially in summer. Hence its climate is especially 
favourable to a luxuriant development of vegetation. According 
to all reports, the camphor-tree is found most frequently on the 
island of Formosa, and most chiefly in the hilly and mountain- 
ous districts in its north-western portion. Formosa has for a long 
time furnished the largest amount of camphor, its only other im- 
portant articles of export being rice and sugar. It used to be 
brought in junks to Hong-kong, Amoy, or Futschau first, and from 
there to Europe ; but now it is sent directly from Tamsui. 

In China Proper, Fukien is the province that is richest in camphor- 
trees. It is to this province and its product that Marco Polo refers 
(Yule: " Marco Polo," ii. 217), as well as many another later traveller 
in its forests. These latter still yield annually about 2,500 piculs 
(150,000 kg.); and the production has been known to reach 4,000 
piculs (240,000 kg.) in one year. 

Adjoining the area of the Laurinean camphor is that of bor- 
neol — Baros or Sumatra camphor.^ This species of camphor is 
found stored in hollows and fissures in the wood of Dryobalanops 
Camphora, Colebr., a tree of the Dipterocarp family, but seldom 
in quantities of more than a quarter to one pound to a tree. This 
camphor-tree grows in Sumatra and West Borneo. Junghuhn speaks 
of it thus: " Among the forest-trees of Tapanuli (on the west coast 

^ Fluckiger, in his very readable article " Camphora" (Pharmakognosie des 
Pflanzenreichs, 2. Aufl , p. 148), makes mention also of the Blumea-camphor, 
which, however, has no connection with Japan. 

11. L 


of Sumatra, north-east of Nias, and south-east of the city of Baros) 
the traveller's attention is attracted above all by the camphor-tree 
{Dryobalanops Camphora), distinguished for its colossal, straight, 
columnar trunk and its crown of leaves, which rises high above the 
forest carpet. It exceeds in dimensions the Rasamala {Liqjiidain- 
ber Altingiaiid), the highest tree of Java." ^ 

Both kinds of camphor were undoubtedly known and valued 
throughout South and East Asia as early as the beginning of the 
Christian era, as shown by the fact that it was brought into Europe 
by Arabs in the first century. All through the Middle Ages, and 
down to quite recent times, Borneo camphor especially was held to 
be a medicine of the utmost importance, even by the Chinese and 
Japanese, who greatly preferred it to their native sort. Its proper 
Malay name is Kapur Baros or Bariis, i.e.^ camphor from Baros, 
the chief place of export on the north-west coast of the island of 
Sumatra, in distinction from Kapur China or Kapur Japun, Laurel 
camphor. Sumatra camphor came from Baros, but also from the 
other parts of the north-west coast between i° and 2\'' N. lat., viz., 
Tapanuli, Natal, and Ajer Bangngies, via Padang to Batavia, and 
via Atschin to Penang and Singapore. The Arabs, among others, 
adopted the name Kapur, applying it also to the camphor-tree, 
as may still be observed in Egypt. Marco Polo was the first 
European to mention Sumatra camphor. He calls it Camfora 
Fansuri, and says it is so fine that it is bought in China for its 
weight in gold.^ 

Kaempfer states'^ that a Catti (605 grammes) of imported Borneo 
camphor is exchanged for 80-100 Catti of Japanese camphor, and 
de Vriese writes' as follows, in his previously mentioned article 
on Sumatra camphor : " Une caisse de camphre, qui contenait en 
tout 125 Hvres de camphre en trois diffentes qualites rendait au 
Japon un prix de 2,500-3,000 rijksdaalders, c'est-a-dire d'environ 
12,500-15,000 francs." He further remarks: " Pendant les annees 
de 1750-1760, le commerce de cet article avec la Chine a rendu a 
la Compagnie le provenu considerable de 153,490 florins." This 
high estimation of the Ping-pien (ice-flakes) or Lung-nan (dragon's- 
brains), as the Chinese call Sumatra camphor, appears still to exist, 
for, according to the same authority, the total amount of this article 
exported from Baros (less than 400 kg. annually) goes to China, 
where its price exceeds that of the native product a hundredfold. 
In the year 1760 it cost 44 Dutch florins per picul in Padang, and 
about 60 florins in i860, against 114 florins in Canton and Shang- 
hai. It has been valued not only as an internal medicine and a 
cure for eye-diseases ; it used to be employed for another quite 

^ W. H. de Vriese, in 1856, gave a detailed description of the tree, with an 
illustration, under the title : " Memoire sur le Camphrier de Sumatra et de 

2 Yule : " Marco Polo," ii. 282. 

3 E. Kaempfer : " Geschichte und Beschreibung von Japan," 1777, p. 131. 


different purpose in Sumatra. When a rajah of the Battas died, 
his corpse was laid in a coffin made from the wood of the Durio 
zibethinus^ and there embalmed in camphor and kept enclosed till 
the rice sown on the day of his death could be harv^ested — five or 
six months later. By this time the body had become a mummy. 
It was then buried, together with this new rice. It has been calcu- 
lated that this custom, every time it was honoured, cost 50-100 
pounds of camphor, worth 2,000-5,000 florins. 

In the early half of the eighteenth century there was a lively 
trade with Japan in this Sumatra camphor. But, according to 
de Vriese, the books of the Dutch Company make no further men- 
tion of it after 1768, so that it probably ceased then. 

When the Portuguese first went to India, both kinds of camphor 
were known there and used in medicine. A picul (60 kg.) of first- 
class Sumatra camphor brought 1,360 dollars. The same weight 
of Chinese camphor cost 42-45 dollars, the relative values being, 
therefore, from i : 34 up to i : 30. The fame of the Borneo 
camphor was known to Camocns, who dedicated a verse to it 
in his "Lusiad," canto 10, line 133. 

Laurel camphor (Japanese Shono) is obtained from the chips of 
the freshly felled timber, by distillation with water, at all seasons, 
but usually in summer. A very sharp, concave adze, with a short 
handle, is used, with which trunks, branches, and the thicker 
roots are laboriously hewn into chips, such as fly off in felling 
a tree. The apparatus used in obtaining camphor, and especially 
the arrangement for receiving and condensing the fumes, are not 
everywhere the same. The one which I saw in operation in the 
woods not far from Kochi, the capital of Tosa, was constructed 
as follows : On a crown-shaped foundation of primitive masonry 
(see fig. 8) § m. high, which encircled the fire-place (F), there 
rested an iron pan (p), and on this a wooden tub (k) i m. in height. 
The bottom of this, which was perforated, measured 50 cm. in dia- 
meter, while its upper opening was 37 cm. wide. This vat was 
surrounded by a layer of mud (w) from 12 to 15 cm. thick, which 
also rested on the wall below. Before putting this apparatus in 
operation, the iron pan was filled with water from above, and the 
vat almost up to its brim with fresh chips. Then a cover (d) was 
set on top, and plastered steam-tight to the edge of the vat with 
mud. Then the fuel in the fire-place (f) was kindled. Steam is 
soon generated. It rises from the pan through the perforated 
bottom into the vat, where it settles on the chips of camphor- wood, 
and heats them through. Then, carrying with it the camphor-fumes, 
it passes off into the cooling apparatus (c) through a piece of 
bamboo cane (B) which fits in tightly near the upper edge of the 
vat. This cooling-apparatus lies on a contiguous hill-side, and con- 
sists of two water-tight troughs or boxes, of different sizes. The 
larger of them stands on the ground, open side up, and is divided 
by parallel boards into several communicating compartments, like 



a pneumatic separator. The smaller lies in the other, bottom-side 
up, being the receptacle for the steam. A piece of bamboo cane 
(b^) pours a steady stream of water over its bottom and down over 
its walls to the separator below. Through a hole half-way up the 
side of this the overflow runs off. In about twelve hours the chips 
are exhausted. A valve (v) near th6 bottom of the vat (the joint 
having been hitherto closely sealed), is now opened, and the wood 
withdrawn. It is dried before the fire, so as to serve for fuel in the 
next filling. 

Camphor and camphor-oil are now found collected on the water 
in the cooling-apparatus. They are skimmed off and separated 
from each other by filtration through straw or by pressure. 


The description of camphor manufacture given by Thunberg 
differs from this. He says that on an iron kettle there rests a 
wooden cover, terminating in a long point, in which straw was 
fastened ; that the camphor-chips are boiled with water in the 
kettle ; that the steam, rising, collected and condensed in the straw 
of the point of the cover, from which it was then separated as a 
granular, greyish white mass, to be packed in wooden tubs, and 
sold by weight to the Dutch Company in De-shima. 

There can be no doubt that the process I witnessed marks a 
notable advance over that just described. In Japan it is not 
customary to soak the chips several days in water before begin- 
ning distillation, as is said to be the method in China. Scherzer 
describes the manufacture of camphor in Formosa. It agrees in its 


main features with that given for Tosa, but the contrivance is 
decidedly more primitive than here. 

As might be expected from the more careful manner of its 
manufacture, Japanese camphor is much purer and more valuable, 
and therefore commands a higher price than Chinese. It is a 
granular, greyish white substance, not unlike the lumpy Firn 
(coarse glacial snow) of our high mountains, or white, unrefined 
sugar. It is obtained chiefly in Tosa. Since Kochi, the capital 
of this province of the island of Shikoku, is in direct steamship 
connection with Osaka, it reaches European hands mostly via this 
city, and is shipped from the neighbouring town of Kobe (Hiogo). 
The exportation of camphor from Nagasaki is scarcely one-third 
as large as that from Hiogo. Still less is that from Yokohama. 
Tamsui in the northern part of Formosa and Hiogo, are at present 
the chief places for obtaining this drug, though the annual expor- 
tation from them and other places varies exceedingly, having in 
recent years ranged between 18,000 and 24.000 piculs — 1,080,000 
kg. and 1,440,000 kg. — at an average price of ;^I2 per picul, or 4^-. 
per kg. Before Formosa appeared in the market as the principal 
producer of this article, a picul of Japanese camphor was worth 
from ii"20 to i^24, while the present price is £\^ to £1^. In 
the year 1876, Osaka-Hiogo exported 8,393 piculs of camphor, at 
a value of ;^ 12 1,846; in the previous year, however, only half as 
much. The total value of the Japanese shipments of this drug 
amounted, in 1872, to ;^ 15 2,879 ; ^" the following year to only 
£j 1,026. Since then the exportation of camphor from Japan has 
increased considerably, amounting in 1882 to more than 5,000,000 

The properties and uses of camphor can be found in any text- 
book of chemistry and pharmacy, and are so well known that it 
would be superfluous to enumerate them here. But an application 
peculiar to Japan and China seems to me worth mentioning, 
namely, its general use for thinning lacquer. It is thoroughly 
mixed with lacquer, while itself hard, by means of a spatula, 
until it becomes fluid, and thins the lacquer also. And there can 
be no doubt, either, that the brownish camphor-oil {01. campJiorcE 
japonicuni), which appears as a subsidiary product of camphor 
manufacture, is the primary product, from which camphor (Cio Hjg O) 
is formed by oxidation. It is a substance that bleaches gradually 
in the light, and resembles turpentine-oil, not only in odour, but 
also in chemical composition (Cjo Hj^). Bornein, or Borneo cam- 
phor-oil, agrees with it in this. The close relationship of borneol 
(Cjo Hjg O) with Japanese camphor, and the easy convertibility of 
the one into the other, have been shown long ago.^ Camphor-oil 
is an excellent solvent for the solid camphor, but is not used for 
this purpose in any other technical or pharmaceutical way, but 

^ Of recent treatises on this subject, see Kachler and Spitzer in the "Sitz- 
berichte der Wiener /\kademie," Band 80, pp. 197-216. 


only burnt in lamps, an application for which it is very poorly 
fitted, on account of its sooty flame. 

The wood of the camphor-tree is much employed in Eastern 
Asia for the manufacture of cabinets, chests of drawers, small 
chests, etc. This is especially the case at Otami, and in the 
Hakone Mountains, a day's journey to the west of Yokohama. It 
has a fine grain, a clear, yellow-brown colour, a silky sheen, and a 
beautiful appearance, so that it is well adapted to veneering. Not 
being subject to the attacks of insects, it might be recommended 
on this account as a material for cupboards and chests of drawers, 
especially in countries where termites and small red ants are a real 
plague, as in the West Indies and West Africa. 

if) Oil-plants and their products, 

Japan possesses a considerable number of plants, some wild, 
others cultivated, from the seeds of which fatty oils (Abura) or 
tallowy and waxy fats (R6) are manufactured. Only a few of 
them are of much industrial importance — particularly the oils of 
rape, sesame, the Perille, the Camellia, and the vegetable tallow or 
Japanese wax of several kinds of sumach. This last is also an 
export of consequence, holding sixth place in the lists given in 
the English consular reports. 

The foUovving serve as food-oils : Goma-no-abura, sesame-oil 
(from Sesamiim oriejitale)^ Kaya-no-abura, Kaya-oil (from Torreya 
nncifera\ Buna-no-abura, be.ech-oil (from Fagtis Sieboldi), Rak- 
kasho-no-abura, groundnut-oil (from Arachis hypogcea), Karashi- 
abura, mustard-oil (from Sinapis cerniia and 6". integrifolia), Tane- 
abura, rape-oil (from Brassica chinensis^, and some others. For 
burning in lamps (Andon) Tane-abura, rape-oil, Dokuye-no-abura 
(from ElcBococca cordata)^ Hyobu-no-abura (from CepJialotaxus 
drupeacea\ sometimes also Gioto, or fish-oil (from different mem- 
bers of the herring family) are chiefly used. Gas and especially 
petroleum, have, however, considerably diminished the use of the 
fats as agents- for lighting in Japan. The principal articles used 
for hair-oil are Tsubaki-no-abura, camellia-oil (from Camellia 
japonica, C. Sasanqua^ and C. tJieifera, the last called also Cha-no- 
abura, tea-oil). And finally, for technical purposes, the kinds most 
used are Ye- (pronounced A) no-abura, the oil of Perilla ocymoides^ 
T6-goma, hempseed-oil (from Cannabis sativa), Zokudzui-shi, 
spurgeworts-oil (from Euphorbia Lathyris), and Shira-shibori, 
cold-pressed rape-oil, as well as the R6 from the sumachs. 

In manufacturing these various vegetable-fats, the Japanese, as 
well as the Chinese, employ wooden wedge-presses of various con- 
structions. A reproduction of one of these is given by Stanislas 
Julien, in his well-known book, " Industrie de I'Empire Chinois," 
p. 119. Another kind is that which I frequently saw used in 



Japan, not only for oils, but also for vegetable tallow, and of which 
a sketch is given here. Its arrangement and mode of operation 
need no further explanation. Of course the fatty substance, after 
being chopped up in a simple stock, is generally heated before it 
is put under pressure in the hollowed stone, or block, or box, as 
the case may be. As with us, the seed-meal is wrapped in bags or 
cloths. It often happens that the arrangement for receiving the 
liquid oil does not simply stand on the ground, but is sunk into it. 

Fig. 9. 

The extraction of oils by chemical process has never been in opera- 
tion in East Asia, for almost all the solvents of oil in use among us 
are lacking. 

As to the several fats mentioned above, and their products, the 
following statements may be here made : 

I. Tane abura, the oil of rape-seed (Na-tane) is mostly burned 
in lamps. Because of the harsh taste it imparts to food, its use in 
the kitchen is confined to the place where it is produced. This 


rape {Brassica chinensis, L.), called Na, Abura-na, or T6-na, is more 
largely cultivated in Japan than all the other oil plants — so too in 
China, I suppose — and, to the best of my observation, always as a 
winter crop. Seed time is in September or October ; flowering in 
April, and harvest in July. It is often planted side by side with 
rice. In this case it is frequently raised in seed-beds, and trans- 
planted in rows beside the rice. When Tane-na is heated before 
pressing, you get the common Tane-abura ; with cold pressing, 
however, the clearer and better Shira-shime or Shira-shibori, which 
is used principally for oiling tools and machines. 

2. Karashi-no-abura, fat mustard-oil. This is manufactured 
from the seeds of St7iapis cernua^ Thunb. (Karashi or Karashi-na), 
and also from 5. integrifolia, Wild., the 0-garashi (big mustard), and 
Taka-na (high rape) of the Japanese. It is clearer and softer than 
rape-oil, and is therefore preferred to this for food. I found both 
kinds very frequent in Kiushiu, e.g., in the province of Higo, and 
was impressed by the appropriateness of the term Taka-na (high 
rape) for th« one. Its stalks reach a height of about 2 m., and 
hence stand high above those of rape, which it resembles. They 
are raised at intervals of 15 to 20 cm. in rows that are about 85 cm. 
apart. By the middle of April the mustard fields around Kuma- 
moto were in full bloom, but the rape beside it had already 
advanced beyond that stage. Mustard is used in Japan as with us, 
for a sort of condiment, and its volatile oil is developed in the same 
way ; but for the most part it is grown for similar purposes as rape. 

3. Tsubaki-n9-abura, Sasank'wa-no-abura, Cha-no-abura. Under 
these names the thick oils from the nut-like seeds of the following 
plants are known in Japan, where they are used principally for 
the hair : Camellia japonica, L., Jap. Tsubaki, C. Sasanqiia, Thunb., 
Jap. Sasank'wa, and C. ihetfera, Griffith, Jap. Cha. These con- 
tain 30-35 per cent, of oil.^ 

Only those tea-nuts which are not needed for planting are used 
for making tea-seed-oil. But the two other kinds of camellia are 
grown specially for their oily seeds. Thus, for instance, in the 
coast-country of Sendai and Nambu on the Pacific Ocean, between 
latitude 38 and 40, camellias are planted either singly or in rows 
along the edge of many a field or roadside. They are regular trees, 
some of them having straight boles 4 to 6 m. high and 30 cm. in 
diameter. Their shapely dark green crowns stand out sharp 
against the fading foliage of most of the other growths, especially 
in autumn. The fruit, which is round and the size of a pigeon's 
Gggy becomes red-brown under the sun's direct rays. When over- 
ripe it becomes dark and even black — inside as well as out — and 
then bursts out in three spots, letting fall three long, angular, 
dark grey nuts. 

The Tsubaki-no-abura that is got from them is the highest- 

^ With regard to the first two, see the chapter on ornamental plants. De- 
tails as to C theifera {Thea chinesiSy Sims.) are to be found under '^a Tea. 


priced of all Japanese oils (75 sen per sho, or 3 shillings for 175 
liter). Its colour ranges from amber to straw colour. Its 
specific gravity is 0*927 at 14° C. It congeals at between —4° and 
— 6° C. Its weight consists of oleic-acid and stearic-acid glycerides, 
in proportion as f to \. In China it is said to be utilized, like 
tea-oil, which resembles it closely, for food, light, and the manu- 
facture of soap. The oil of the Sasanqua is clearer, though in 
other respects not differing greatly from the foregoing. 

This plant is cultivated in Suruga, in Kiushiu, e.g. in Hizen, in 
Amakusa, and in several other districts, just like the tea plant. It 
grows in the shape of spreading bushes from 2 to 4 m. high, never 
as trees, and is in general more like the tea-shrub than the common 
camellia, in regard to its season of blossoming for example, this 
being in November and December. 

4. Wata-no-abura, cottonseed-oil. Cotton seeds (Wata-no-mi) 
have only lately been utilized in Japan, as elsewhere, to produce a 
heavy (specific gravity 0'926), thick, brown oil. This is made e.g. 
in Awa, on the Island of Shikoku, from seeds of Gossypimn her- 
baceum, and is used for lamps, though, like hempseed-oil, which it 
recalls in smell and taste, it creates a sooty flame. When refined, 
it is straw-coloured and has a nutty taste. In this state it is used 
in Europe as a food-oil — olive-oil, which is double the price, being 
frequently adulterated with it. 

5. Rakkuwasho- (pronounced Rakkasho) no-abura, groundnut- 
oil. It is yielded by Arachis Jiypogcea^ L., Jap. Rakkasho, or 
Tojin-mame, the ground-nut (pea-nut, pistache de terre, and 
arachide). It is used for food, and is produced only in small 
quantities, in Southern Japan. A very considerable botanico- 
geographical interest attaches to this remarkable leguminous herb. 
Numerous leaves appear on its low-lying, branching stalk. These 
are elliptical or oval, inverted, and at their axils grow short- 
stemmed, yellow blossoms. When these have disappeared their 
stems lengthen out, the joints sink into the loose sandy soil, where, 
at a depth of 5-8 cm. below the surface, they develop into little 
pods, 15-30 mm. long, and TO-15 mm. thick. As a rule they 
have a constriction in the middle, deep and gradual, reminding one 
in this respect of the male cocoons of many breeds of the common 
silk-worm, which they resemble also in their entire shape, and in 
size and their reticulate surface, though less in their grey-white 
earthy colour. These shells contain a seed on each side of the 
constriction. Shorter ones, without constriction, hold only one. 
These seeds may be compared to the kernels of long, medium- 
sized hazel nuts. Externally, they are a brownish red ; inside, 
white. They yield 40-60 per cent, of a fatty oil, which serves almost 
all the purposes of olive-oil. The taste of the seeds when raw 
resembles that of all leguminous plants ; when roasted, that of 
almonds, pistachios, and other nuts, as the various names indicate. 

Brazil was formerly considered to be the original home of the 


ground-nut ; but now that it has become known how widely dis- 
tributed it is in Africa, this opinion has been relinquished, and 
it is held more probable that it was introduced into the New 
World, by Portuguese slave-ships, from Africa. In the Old World 
it is found cultivated in many tropical and sub-tropical countries, 
though never to the same extent as on the West Coast of Africa, 
from Senegambia and the regions adjacent down to the Gold 
Coast, where it is a prominent article of export. Marseilles is the 
chief market for ground-nuts and the oil they yield, as well as for 
oil-seeds in general. In Japan and China, as well as in North 
America, ground-nuts are usually eaten roasted, and their cultiva- 
tion is very limited. 

6. Goma-no-abura, sesame oil. Sesaimim iiidicum^ D. C, Jap. 
Goma, the plant that yields this food-oil, so highly prized by many 
peoples, has long been widely distributed over most of the warmer 
countries of the earth, from the East Coast of Asia to the shores of 
the Mediterranean, on the East and West Coasts of Africa, and 
also in the New World. It grows, too, in the interior of Africa, 
where, e.g.y E. Vogel found the islands of Lake Tchad planted 
with it. De CandoUe, from good grounds, regarded India as its 
original home, and both forms — with black seeds {Sesamuni orien- 
taie, L., Jap. Kuro-goma) and with white (5. indiciim, L., Jap. 
Shiro-goma) — as mere varieties of the same thing. 

In India, sesame goes by the names Til and Gingeli. In China 
it is called, according to Bretschneider, Chi-ma ; and on the West 
Coast of Africa, /Benni-seed. Marseilles is the great market for 
sesame, as for ground-nuts. Vast quantities of both the white and 
the black grain are imported thither from India, Siam, Formosa, 
the Levant, the East and West Coasts of Africa, and other sources. 
As a rule the white and black grain bear to each other, in price, 
the relation of lo to 9; so in Japan, too, where the oil of the former, 
or Shiro-goma, sells at 30 sen per sho, when that of Kuro-goma 
stands at 27 sen per sho. 

The sesame plant is a herb-like Bignoniaceae. Its stiff stalk, 
furrowed on four sides, attains a height of i m., and bears, at its 
axils, the short-stemmed white blossoms, which have some re- 
semblance in size and shape to those of our Digitalis species, — a 
fact that was hinted at in the names formerly in frequent use, 
" white or oriental fox-glove," The fruit is a four-chambered cap- 
sule about 3 cm. long, with four rounded edges. Its countless seeds 
are found in four rows about a central strip. In size and shape 
they remind one somewhat of linseed (being a flattened oval and 
pointed), but differ from them in colour, and in having no lustre. 
According to Fliickiger's careful experiments,^ their proportion of 
oil is 56*33 per cent, of which 48 to 50 per cent, can be obtained by 
pressure, and the whole amount by extraction. Sesame-oil, especi- 
ally when cold-pressed, has a beautiful clear colour, and a specific 
^ " Schweizerische Wochenschrift fiir Pharmacie," 1868, p. 282 ff. 


gravity of 0-9235, becoming congealed at — 5° C. Its flavour is 
agreeable, though not so mild as that of olive-oil, which is much 
dearer, so that it is often adulterated with it. Sesame-oil is readily- 
recognised by the red colour which it assumes when equal quantities 
of sugar and hydrochloric acid, with a specific gravity of ri8 are 
sprinkled into it. Groundnut-oil is third in the Marseilles oil-trade. 
It is recognisable and distinguishable from olive-oil by the Arachic 
acid, which proceeds with a mother-of-pearl appearance from the 
hot alcoholic solution of the precipated fatty acids in cooling.^ 

The sesame-plant is, however, not extensively cultivated in Japan. 
One often sees a bed of it here and there, or more frequently a 
border of it encircling beds of other herbs or whole fields. Hence 
the demand for food-oil is only partly met by this article, and 
recourse must be had to various others as substitutes. 

7. Ye- (pronounced A) no-abura,more properly Yegoma-no-abura, 
oil from seeds of the Yegoma-plant {Perilla ocynioides^ L.). It has 
served from time immemorial in Japan and China as a drying- 
oil, instead of linseed-oil. Like flax-growing in general, this oil 
was unknown to the East Asiatics until recent times. Perilla 
ocymoideSy L., a Labiate characterized in all its parts by a strong, 
peculiar odour, is of slow growth. Its seed-time is in April, but the 
plants do not attain their full size till about the end of September 
or the beginning of October. Their many-branched stalks have by 
that time reached a height of i-i'SO m. Then little white 
blossoms begin to appear in axillary ears, but soon drop off and 
cover the ground in the early half of October. Only a fortnight 
later the seeds are ripe — a quick development characteristic of 
most labiate plants. These seeds are of a greyish brown colour. 
They are much smaller than rape-seeds, and very friable. They 
fall readily out of their capsules, so that harvest must take place 
before they are fully ripe, otherwise there is danger that a stronger 
wind than usual may shake a large part of the crop to the ground. 

According to the experiments of the chemist Cloez, in Paris, 
Perilla seeds grown in the South of France yielded, by pressure, 
30 per cent, of thin, colourless drying-oil ; 34*5 per cent, by extrac- 
tion with bisulphide of carbon ; while Japanese seeds gave 39-2 per 
cent. This, like linseed-oil, is useful in painting, and in Japan 
possesses great importance for several technical purposes. It is 
used especially : — 

(i) In the manufacture of oiled papers (Abura-kami) for lanterns, 
umbrellas, and waterproof cloaks. 

(2) In the manufacture of the so-called leather-paper (Kami-kawa). 

(3) As an ingredient of several kinds 'of lacquer. 

(4) As an addition to the fruit-meal of the lacquer and tallow- 
tree, to obtain Japanese plant-wax more easily and perfectly.^ 

• Dingler's Polyt. Journ.^ 1882, p. 324. 

2 For details in regard to the uses of Perilla-oil here mentioned, see the 
corresponding sections. 


Oil-cakes, rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, are used to fertilize 
the soil. They would make just as good fodder as linseed-cakes. 

To meet the above-mentioned uses, and others besides, we find 
that, next to rape-seed, the yegoma is grown more extensively than 
all other oil-producing plants in Japan. In England it has been 
known, from its Indian home, since 1770. Attempts to cultivate it 
have in recent times been made in the South of France. Thus 
Leon de Lunaret, of Montpellier, in 1878, sowed a piece of land 
measuring 50 square m. with 500 grammes of seed, harvesting 7 kg. 
of seed in return.^ One ha will accordingly yield at least 500 kg. 
A further result of these attempts has shown that Perilla ocymoides^ 
L., only finds in the Mediterranean regions a sufficiently long 
summer heat for its development, and its cultivation is impossible 
in higher latitudes in Europe. 

8. Dokuye-no-abura is the name for oil from the nuts of the 
ElcEococca cordata^ Bl. {E. verrucosa, S. and Z., Aleiirites cordata^ 
Mull.), a medium-sized tree with wide-spreading crown, of the 
Euphorbiacea family — a tree cultivated in many parts of Japan, and 
also in China.^ Of its four Japanese names, Dokuye, Abura-no-ki, 
Abura-giri, and Yama-giri, the second means " oil-tree," the third 

, " oil-kiri," the fourth " wild-kiri." Kiri (giri) is, however, the name 
for Patdozvnia imperialism which Elceococca cordata resembles — 
chiefly in its large, heart-shaped leaves, and partly too in the 
appearance of its stem. Its large white bunches of blossoms appear 
late in May and early in June ; the capsules (for three and four 
seeds) get ripe /in autumn, and remind one, as do also their con- 
tents, of Ricinus. The oil obtained from these seeds has only 
recently been closely examined by Cloez.^ It is numbered among 
the drying-oils, and serves in Japan for illuminating purposes chiefly. 
In China, where it bears the name T'ung-tsze-yu, i.e., wood-oil, it 
is used also as a medicine, for greasing wood on ships, and other 
purposes. This is referred to in the v\2,m^ Elceococca vernicea, Spreng.^ 
The tree is known all over Japan. It is usually planted in soil 
that is unfitted for farming, as in Suruga, Echizen, and Kaga. 

The seeds of three other Euphorbiacese and the oils obtained 
from them, because of their use in medicine, are better known in 
Europe than the species of which we have just spoken. These are 
Croton Trigliuni, 'h.yRicinus communis, L.,and Euphorbia Lat/iyris, L. 

9. Himashi-no-abura is the Japanese name for Ricinus-oil. 
Ricinus (Himashi or T6-goma, ie., Chinese sesame) is raised here 

^ Revue Horticole. 

2 The tree described by Kaempfer in " Amoen. exot.," pp. 789 and 790, under 
the name oi Abrasin {Ricinus arboreus, fol. Alceas), and by Thunberg in " Flor. 
jap." as Dryandra cordata, is undoubtedly the same. Both authors mention, 
besides, the oil for illumination, made from its seeds. 

3 See also Fliickiger: " Archiv d. Pharmacie," 1876, pp. 208 and 422. 

^ From a statement in the Augsburg A. Zeitung, of June 6th, 1876, I learn 
that termites are expelled by means of this oil in China, and that the French 
consul in Canton recommended it to his government for the phylloxera vastatrix. 



and there in small patches beside other medicinal herbs, never 
losing its herb-like character. Its oil, apart from purposes already 
mentioned, is used to produce red or black colour for seals. 

10. Zokudzu-shi is the oil of the Zokudzui or Horutoso {Eiiphor- 
bia LatJiyi'is, L.). Only a small quantity of this is made, and it 
is used to protect iron weapons against rust. The swords of the 
Samurai especially, their favourite weapons, were kept bright by 
this means. 

11. Asa-no-abura, hemp-seed oil, made from Asa-mi, hemp-seed 
{Cannabis sativa^ L.), whose properties are sufficiently well-known, 
is also used for obtaining the red and black colours for seals and 

12. Kaya-no-abura, Kaya-oil, is manufactured by the Japanese 
from the seeds of Torreya nucifera, S. and Z., the Kaya, which are 
like hazel-nuts or acorns. It is used mostly in the kitchen. The 
Kaya resembles our yew. It is found in most cases as of under- 
wood, scattered like brush in mountain forests ; seldom as a tree. 
In autumn the plant is laden with nuts, which are good to eat, 
although having a resinous after-taste. 

13. Inu-gaya-no-abura is obtained from the nuts of the Inu-kaya, 
i.e.y Dog-Kaya or bad Kaya {CepJialotaxus drupeacea, S. and Z.). It 
is a resiny oil of small value, used only in lamps. The fruit hangs 
plentifully on its bushes, which are distributed through the upland 
woods. It is of the thickness of a small cherry, and rather long, 
and brown. The flesh surrounding its nuts has a sweetish, resinous 
flavour, and is not good eating. 

14. Buna-no-abura, oil extracted from the beech-nut, beech 
being Buna {Fagus Sieboldi, Endl., and /^ sylvatica, L.). It is used 
as with us, though not frequently. 

Average Composition of various Japanese Oil-seeds, 
according to E. Wolff and others. 

per cent. 

per cent. 


per cent. 

Raw fibre 
per cent. 

genous ex- 

per cent. 

Raw fat 
per cent. 

Rape-seed .... 
Ground-nut . . . 
Cotton-seed . . . 

Sesame (brown) . . 
Sesame (white) . . 
Hemp-seed . . . 

Shelled beech-nuts . 
Soy-beans .... 



5 '9 




















12-1 1 21-3 

4-8 1 29-2 

Taken from Ollich's " Die Riickstande der Oelfabrikation," Leipzig, 1884. 


15. The solid Japanese plant-fats, especially the most important 
ones, which are obtained from the fruit of several sorts of sumach, 
bear the name R6. In foreign trade it is called Japanese wax {Cet'a 
Japonicci)y vegetable wax, and Japanese plant-wax ; but its resem- 
blance to beeswax (Jap. Mitsu-ro) is merely external, and not of 
chemical foundation. It is similar to beeswax in appearance, con- 
sistency and the uses to which it is applied, but in its composition, 
like all other fats, it is a mixture of several fatty-acid glycerides.^ 

Among the six species of the genus sumach (fam. Anacardiacece) 
known in Japan, there are two of foreign importation, which are 
cultivated in different parts of the country and have acquired great 
importance, viz., Rhus vernicifera, D. C, and Rh. siucedanea, L. 
The latter species probably originated in the Riu-kiu Islands, but 
it cannot be proved to a certainty that either is indigenous. The 
latter kind requires a milder climate than the former, and hence 
flourishes only in the warmer parts of the country, 35° N. lat., and 
135° E. long, being, roughly, the northern and eastern limits of its 
cultivation. The object of cultivating it is to obtain plant-tallow 
from its fruit. Rhus vernicifera is grown for similar purposes in 
the colder parts of the island of Honshiu almost to the Tsugaru- 
strait, but more on account of the lacquer obtained from its sap.^ 

The fruits of the wild species of Japanese sumach, viz., Yama- 
urushi {Rh. sylvestris, S. and Z.), Nurude or Fushi-no-ki {Rh. senii- 
alata^ Murr.), Tsuta-uruslii (77/. Toxicodendron, L.), and Rh. tricho- 
carpa, Miq., also contain solid fat, but in a less degree; but, with the 
exception of the^ first named, are never employed. 

Rhus vernicifera, D. C. {R. vernix, Thunb.), the lacquer-tree, Jap. 
Urushi-no-ki, attains a height of 8-10 m., and with an age of forty 
and more years, frequently a girth of I m. During the first six 
years its growth is pretty quick, in favourable soil amounting to 
50-80 cm. annually ; then, however, it diminishes to an average of 
25-50 cm. a year. The greenish yellow wood at its heart, which 
looks like Morus, Madura, and other related genera, has therefore 
a relatively great weight. The younger, lighter wood is white, the 
bark is of a light grey, cracking with increasing age. 

Lacquer-trees grow up straight and have fairly symmetrical 
crowns. But when old their branches are too few and their foliage 
too light and thin for beauty. On the other hand, young specimens, 
under fifteen years old, can be grown to advantage as foliage-trees 

^ An excellent treatise on this subject was published by A. Meyer of the 
Pharmaceutical Institute of the University of Strassburg, in Reichardt's " Archiv 
der Pharmacie," Bd. XII., Heft 2, 1879, under the title " Ueber den Japantalg." 
I made several contributions to this myself, e.g., the drawing of the press, as 
the author conscientiously acknowledges. From the same institution, under the 
further encouragement of its deserving head, Prof Fliickiger, there has appeared 
a smaller essay by Dr. Buri, as more or less a supplement to that treatise, and 
with the same title, in the same journal. Band XII., Heft 5. 

2 Details as to the manufacture of this pecuhar, costly material, will be found 
in the section devoted to the lacquer industry. 


in landscape gardening, for the sake of their fine large pinnate 
leaves, which in good soil often grow to be more than a meter long, 
and far exceed all other species of Rhus in size and beauty. These 
leaves are unequally pinnate, and have long stems. Before falling 
off in October they become yellow or brownish red. Fresh leaves 
appear in May. There are from nine to fifteen leaflets, large, 
oval, pointed and unindented, and have fine short hairs on the 
under side. 

In June appear loose, greenish yellow branches of blossoms, 
growing from numerous axils near the end of the thick twigs. 
The fruit is ripe in the second half of October — dry, yellowish 
green stone-fruit, which remain hanging all winter, though usually 
gathered in November. 

In the case of the lacquer-tree, the two sexes are separate. 
Therefore when the chief object of its cultivation is the manufacture 
of fat from its seeds, male trees should be avoided, reproduction 
being obtained, not by seed, but by root-sprouts from female 
specimens. On the other hand, if the object is to get lacquer, 
propagation is brought about with seeds, because they furnish 
hardier, better-rooted trees. 

Lacquer-trees bear fruit from the eighth year onwards. When 
eighteen or twenty years old, they are at their best for yielding 
lacquer, furnishing at that age the greatest quantity'; and then 
they are sacrificed and replaced by others. On the other hand, 
lacquer-trees that are looked to only or chiefly for seeds and 
wax, as in Aidzu and South-eastern Echigo, reach a great age, 
increasing in productiveness up to their thirtieth, or even fortieth 

The lacquer-tree flourishes, it is true, all over Japan, from the 
Riukiu Islands to Yezo. But in southern sections of the country 
it is only occasionally found cultivated, and nowhere extensively, 
despite the fact that its near relative, the tallow-tree, occurs there. 
The principal region of its cultivation is, however. Northern Hondo, 
between latitudes 37° and 39°. Large plantations are especially 
met with in the valley of the Tadami-gawa with the central 
Hibara in Western Aidzu, and also at Yonegawa and Mogami in 
Uzen, as well as in Northern Echigo. Many a village here lies, as 
it were, in a grove of lacquer-trees. Along the borders of valley- 
bottoms and in mountain-hollows, where rice and sometimes even 
other crops cannot be raised, lacquer-plantations are very often 
seen ; less frequently, trees planted in rows and at regular intervals 
in cultivated fields, are found, like fruit-trees with us. But in no 
case are they manured like ordinary plants, for it is understood 
that their roots draw enough nourishment from the fields of them- 
selves. As a rule, old and young trees grow promiscuously to- 
gether — at least wherever reproduction is obtained through root- 

In South-western Aidzu the lacquer-tree is the chief of all the 


products of the field, shading the roads in some places, and is 
cultivated with great care. Under Daimio-rule there were exact 
regulations, even as to the minimum number of trees to be planted 
annually in each place. The punishment for injuring them was 
most severe. Female trees (me-gi) were allowed to be tapped 
only once in four years, in autumn, and at a few points only. It 
was believed that they were benefited by this, as by a sort of 
blood-letting, and accordingly it was called Yojo-gaki (Yojo = 
health-culture, gaki = kaki = scratching). By this means hardy fruit 
was obtained and a little lacquer, but that excellent. The pro- 
duction of wax was regarded as the principal thing. But with 
male trees (0-gi) every one could take what course he chose. 

Aidzu-ro and Aidzu-ro-soku, i.e., plant-tallow, and candles made 
therefrom, came from Aidzu, and had always a great reputation in 
Yedo. They are still much in use, notwithstanding the serious com- 
petition of petroleum. Their manufacture and peculiar properties 
are the same as those of the fruits of species next to be men- 
tioned, and will be treated more particularly at the close. Yone- 
zawa, north of Aidzu, yields in many years more than 30,000 
kg. of R6-soku from the R6 of the tallow-tree. 

For many years an Indian shrub-like species of sumach has been 
cultivated in various botanical gardens under the wrong name of 
Rhus vernicifera. It, however, bears only a slight resemblance to 
our plant.^ The real plant was actually unknown until I intro- 
duced it in 1875 and 1876. Lacquer-trees grown from seeds have 
developed especially well in the botanical gardens at Frankfort on 
the Main and Strasburg, so much so, indeed, that in one or two 
years it will be possible in the former to proceed to attempts at 

They stood splendidly the hard winter of 1879-80, when the 
thermometer stood at — 27°C., thereby proving themselves quite 
proof against the winter climate of Germany. This fact is the 
more surprising when one considers that lacquer-trees in the snowy 
winters of Northern Honshiu are exposed to a temperature of 
— I2°C. at the lowest. It proves that the possibility of acclimatizing 
a plant cannot be decided upon a priori, according to the actual 
conditions of its life as already known, but a certain capacity 
of accommodation must be taken into account, which varies 
greatly, and can be definitely determined only by experiments. 

Rhus succedanea, L., Jap. Haze-no-ki or R6-no-ki, i.e., wax-tree or 
tallow-tree. The range of its cultivation, as has been said already, 
is in the south. The plantations of it I found farthest north in 
Kii, on the Linschoten Strait, where it develops more slowly and 
its fruit does not reach the normal size. The fruit falls still farther 
short of this in the botanical garden at Tokio, so that there is no 
possibility of the plant succeeding in Germany. 

1 Ailanthiis glandidosa, Desf., occurs frequently in France under the wrong 
name, " Vernis de Japon." 


In lyo and other parts of Shikoku, and also here and there in 
the district of San-yo-do, on the Inland Sea, but above all in 
Kiushiu, the tallow-tree is largely cultivated. It often forms an 
important factor in the landscape here, covering the hillsides, the 
borders of fields and roads, and the dykes of rivers and canals. 
It has the habit of apple trees, though by no means reaching an 
equal strength. As it branches out earlier than the lacquer- 
tree, it spreads forth a wider crown and does not grow so high, 
being, as a rule, only 4 to 6m. high. Its primate-leaves are much 
smaller, but its fruit is larger, heavier, and richer in fat than that 
of the lacquer-tree. It bears a closer resemblance to the fruit of 
Rhus sylvestris. 

Production of Sumach- tallow, and its Properties, 

The dry stone-fruit of both the above-mentioned species of 
sumach is more or less kidney-shaped and, when ripe, of a bright 
yellowish green colour. In size they resemble small dwarf beans, 
as the Adzuki {Phaseolus radiatus). Its semi-transparent epi- 
dermis loosens and falls off easily, as is the case with all Japanese 
sumachs, especially Rhus vernicifera and R. sylvestris, so that in 
the case of the latter, for example, the greyish white fat of the 
mesocarp is visible soon after maturity all over the fruit-clusters. 
The fat belongs entirely to this middle layer, where it fills out the 
cells lying here loosely side by side. Between them are hard 
fibres (intercellular milk-juice passages), which intersect the meso- 
carp as in the nuts of oil and coco-palms. 

In the case of Rhus vernicifera this middle layer lies loose 
above the stone or kernel, from which it is easy to separate it. 
But in the case of the real tallow-tree it adheres tight in spots. 
This may be the reason why these kernels are first separated 
in making R6 from the fruit of the lacquer-tree, while with the 
other sort they are left united with the crushed hull. In the 
former case separation is effected by stamping in round rice-troughs 
(Usu), after the stems have been removed. Then the mass is 
made to fall gradually on mats of rush, by means of a draught of 
air blown through an elevated sifter. The heavy kernels fall down 
first and are thrown aside as worthless. The meal from the 
epidermis and mesocarp is gathered up and heated with steam in 
hempen sacks, and then quickly subjected to pressure in the wedge- 
press. This process is repeated with the refuse. 

This is substantially the method which I saw pursued at Mura- 
kami in Northern Echigo for obtaining tallow from the fruit of the 
lacquer-tree. I found it precisely analogous in lyo, on Shikoku, 
where it was applied to the somewhat larger fruit of Rhus succe- 
danea. The wedge-presses employed here were of the same con- 
struction, but more carefully worked. In driving in the wedge, 
the wooden rams were not swung free in men's hands, but were 

II. M 

1 62 


hung on ropes, and thus swung horizontally, a saving of the force 
which would have been otherwise expended in merely holding 
them. An iron kettle was employed here, as elsewhere, to warm 
the mass, which still included many kernel-stones. It was half- 
filled with boiling water ; in its upper part rested a bamboo 
basket, lined with cloth, in which the fatty meal was steamed. 

A wax-press shown me in Nagasaki had an entirely different 
shape and arrangement. It was the trunk of a tree, Keaki {Planera 
Keaki), hollowed out in the form of a flask, and bound with iron 
rings at both ends. The stuff was heated in hempen bags, then 
packed between stout round wicker mats, and pushed into the neck 
of the flask, which was turned upside down. To fill the remaining 
hollow space, thick, circular pieces of board were driven in from 
above by means of wedges. The vessel for receiving the fat, 
which flowed down through a tube, stood on a chafing-dish. 

However the process of obtaining vegetable tallow may differ 
as to particulars in various parts of the country, it is in general 
still the same, and is insufficient to extract all the fat from the 
vegetable mass. This might be better done by adding some 
Perilla-oil, as has been mentioned by some, though I never ob- 
served it myself 

I made a comparative estimate of the weight of the several 
parts of the sumach fruits used for making tallow in Japan, and of 
the amount of fat extracted by means of ether. The results given 
by A. Meyer do not agree with mine, so I give them both. Meyer 
took, as he says, ten pieces of the fruit of Rhus succedanea, (from 
whence is not stated), and found that they weighed 1*51 gr. and 
consisted of 46'45 per cent, mesocarp. 42'36 per cent, epidermis 
and putamen (shell of the kernel), and 885 per cent, embryo, with 
a loss of 2"35 per cent, accounted for by dust. Grating the 
mesocarp, he extracted from it with ether 209 per cent, of the 
entire fruit, in tallow. The cotyledons yielded him in oil 2*65 per 
cent, of the entire weight, and 36 per cent, of their own weight. 
In my experiments I took considerable quantities of fresh, air- 
dried fruit of the lacquer-tree, from Murakami ; of the tallow- 
tree, from Nagasaki, with a result as shown in the following 
table : 

R. vernicifera. R. succedanea. 

103 pieces of normally formed fruit weighed 
Ot" which the epidermis gave .... 

„ the mesocarp 

„ epidermis and mesocarp. . . 

„ endocarp (putamen and embryo) 
The fat extracted with ether weighed . . 
Leaving for the stone-shells (putamen) . 

875 gnn. 

57 per cent. 

45-0 „ 
55'o „ 
20-8 „ 

1 2 "So grm. 
47 per cent. 
42-4 „ 
74-1 „ 
52-9 ,. 
27-0 „ 



The vegetable tallow that flows from the press into the recep- 
tacle soon congeals there into a solid mass. To rid this of im- 
purities it is melted in iron kettles, and the clear wax skimmed off 
into small earthen saucers, from which it can easily be lifted out 
when cool.^ It is always in this shape that it appears in com- 
merce. It is used in many ways, but especially and extensively 
for making candles or R6-soku. The R6 of Rhus stcccedanea, 
from the southern ports, is almost all that is exported — partly in 
its ordinary condition, partly bleached. 

The bleaching process, which I saw in operation in Uchinoko, 
in Southern lyo, was as follows : The raw wax was melted, and 
allowed to drop through woollen bags into cold water, so as to 
sub-divide it. Then it was exposed to the sun in little boxes, 
2 J feet long by i foot wide, on frames. The pieces of tallow need 
to be sprinkled with water and turned frequently, as in bleach, 
ing linen on a lawn. In one of the bleacheries I saw altogether 
14 rows of these flat bleaching boxes, on trestles 3 feet above 
the ground, and in every row 82 pieces. In about 30 days the 
R6 is white, like bleached beeswax, and almost odourless.. 
Common sumach-tallow bleaches, however, even in closed places, 
e.g.^ a bureau drawer, turning white gradually on the surface. 
But the white rime with which it becomes covered is not very 

There is no difference, either external or in composition, between 
the fat of the lacquer-tree and that of the tallow-tree. Both pre- 
sent solid, brittle masses when cold, with a muscular fibre or grain ; 
both give off a peculiar odour (like wax and grain-soap mixed) ; 
both are of a clear yellow-green colour when unbleached. They 
are harder than wax, but much softer than Carnauba-wax. The 
specific gravity is 0*9 16; that of bleached tallow ranging from 
0-97 to 1-14.2 Melting-point is S2°C., but if the stuff is melted 
again when scarcely yet set, it is 42°C. In 700 parts of alcohol of 
97 per cent, and at 30^0. it becomes entirely dissolved. 

Chemical investigations have shown that this sumach tallow 
consists of a mixture of several glycerides, that of palmitic acid 
predominating. The Japanese use it not only for candles, but in 
many other ways besides, instead of beeswax — for instance, to 
produce polish in cabinet-work. With us it is added to beeswax, 
so as to impart more solidity to the candles, and cause them to 
come more easily from the mould. It is used instead of beeswax 
for a similar purpose in some rubber factories. 

The exportation of vegetable tallow from Japan began when the 
country was opened. Its value has been subject to many fluctu- 

* These cakes of tallow look like lumps of North American maple sugar. 
They are of different sizes (8 to 16 cm. in diameter, 3 to 6 cm. thick) and weigh 
from ^ kg. to i kg. 

^ Among several pieces in my possession there is one of 075 kg. from Aidzu, 
which sinks immediately in spring-water, at I5°C. 


ations since then, from 106,000 yen in the year 1878 to 377,000 in 
1873. England and the United States are the chief purchasers. 

The amount exported and its value depend in this case, too, 
upon the demand. If the demand were to increase, Japan would 
soon be in a condition to meet it, by limiting the use of candles 
on the one hand, and also by gathering and utilizing the very 
considerable quantity of lacquer-tree fruit which now often goes 
to waste. Besides, the country still has at its disposal great areas 
in which the cultivation of both species of sumach might be ex- 
tended, in case it should be advantageous. 

16. Ibota-ro, Ibota-wax, from Ligtistrum Ibota, Sieb. (Z. vulgare, 
Thunb.) This is very solid, of a beautiful white colour, fibrous, 
and with a silky sheen, like the fibres of asbestos. It resembles 
Chinese Pelah-wax, which is produced by the Coccus Pelah (a kind 
of cochineal) on the young shoots of Fraximis cliiriensis^ Roxb., as 
is well known. Ibota-wax is said to result from the secretions of 
a similar insect. I do not know how it is produced or used, nor 
have I observed that cochineal insect on the Ibota-privet, which 
is very widely distributed.^ 


Thunberg, in his "Flora Japonica," p. 180, remarks, under Melia 
Azedarach, that a fatty oil of the consistency of wax is made 
from the fruit, which is ripe in December, and that this is used for 
making candles. This note has found its way into several later 

In reference to this, however, I agree with Siebold's remark : 
"E fructibus exprimitur oleum (Thunb.), id quod ignoro," and am 
ready to believe that this is a case of confusion with RJms succedanea 
or R. vernicifera, to whose fruit that of Melia Azedarach bears 
some resemblance, though it is much larger. 

Siebold says oil is obtained also from the fruit of Litscea glaiica, 
L., and L. Thunbergii^ Sieb. {Tomex japonica, Thunb.), but I could 
learn nothing further as to that. 

Kujira-abura, whale or train-oil, and Gioto, or fish-oil, are ob- 
tained from the animal kingdom. The large number of herring- 
species {Clupeacei) caught, especially on the coasts of Hondo and 
Yezo, are utilized for the most part in the manufacture of fish-oil 

^ I take opportunity, though late, to thank Prof. Fesca of Tokio for the follow- 
ing observations on this subject, collected by his Japanese assistant : 

" Ibota-wax is obtained principally in the provinces of Chikuzen, Chikugo, and 
Buzen, on the island of Kiushiu, and is brought to market via Osaka. The 
total amount from these three provinces is only 2,000 kin (1,202 kg.) a year. 
The price ranges from 50 to 70 yen for 100 kin. The Japanese use this fat as 
varnish (.?) for their furniture." A small specimen of the raw material, sent me 
by Prof. Fesca, consists of light, loose lumps of a grey- white colour, which 
feel like flour. 


and fish-guano. To these belong especially the Iwashi, or Japan- 
ese sardines {Clnpea melanosticta and CI. gracilis), and the Nishin 
CI. harengus). Of the former sorts one can buy 24 to 40 for three 
half-pence, at Choshi, for example, at the mouth of the Tone-gawa 
(see Rein's "Japan," vol. i. p. 189). The fish, as soon as caught, 
are put into large iron kettles filled with water, and made to boil. 
The fat floats on the surface of the water, and is skimmed off. 
Then the residue is spread out on mats in the sun to dry. It 
creates an abominable smell in the neighbourhood of fishing- 
villages, but furnishes later a valuable fertilizer, which is carried 
away by merchants from the larger towns, and retailed to gardeners 
and farmers in the tea-districts. 

(d) Textile Plants. 

We include under this head all the plants of Japan which contri- 
bute in any sense to textile industries, hence not only textile 
plants proper, but also those which are used in different kinds of 
wicker-work, as rushes and willows, or in the manufacture of ropes 
and paper, as many species of bast. 

I. Cannabis sativa, L., Jap. Asa. This figures as the oldest 
textile plant of the Mongolian-Tartar races, as far back as the 
history of hemp can be followed.^ It has been spread with them 
far from their old home in Central Asia, eastward across China, 
Corea, and Japan, and westward, chiefly by the Scythians, across 
anterior Asia and Sclavic countries. By the Sclavs it was made 
known to the Germanic peoples, and by them to the Romans, in 
so far as these had not already made its acquaintance by way of 
Asia Minor directly. Hemp-smoking, or Hashish, was known even 
then to the Scythians, as we learn from Herodotus, and is still wide- 
spread in the Mohammedan countries of Asia and Africa ; but was 
never taken up by the Buddhistic East Asiatics. 

Hemp was grown in Japan several thousand years ago, like flax 
in ancient Egypt. Before silk and wool were introduced, it was the 
most important for all classes, and for most the exclusive clothing 
material. An old legend ascribes its introduction to the sublime 
creative divinity Taka-mi-musubi, who commanded two subject 
gods to plant Kodzu [Broussonetia) and Asa {Cannabis), in order 
to obtain and utilize the bark of the one and the bast of the 
other.^ To this day coarse hemp-yarn is the material of which 
a considerable part of the country population make their trousers 
and blouses ; and fish-nets and mosquito-nets are made of it. 
But fine white textures, not much inferior to good European 

' See on this subject, among others, Hunfalvy: "Die Ungarn oder Mag- 
yaren." Vienna, 1881. 

2 See Satow : "The Shinto Temples of Ise." "Transactions As. Soc. of 
Japan," vol. ii. p. 129. 


linen, are also extensively made from hemp, and are called Nuno 
or Jofu. 

Hemp is cultivated all over Japan, being most frequently found, 
however, in the mountain valleys and the northern plains, where 
the cotton-plant does not thrive. Like flax in many parts of Ger- 
many, hemp is here raised on small patches of ground, and mostly 
for home use. Climate and soil are everywhere favourable. It 
flourishes well even on Yezo, as we learn from Gartner's reliable 
accounts, and is without doubt one of the plants most to be re- 
commended to Japanese agriculture in its further extension and 

When harvested, the hemp-stalks are separated from their leaves 
and roots, and then soaked in water 4 to 6 days. The loosened bast 
is then stripped off by hand and dried, as are also the stalks, which 
look like bare willow rods. They are used for thatching roofs, 
composing the first layer above the rafters, and are covered in turn 
by a layer of straw. The Japanese hemp-bast is i to i J m. long, and 
of excellent quality, being soft and firm, and having a silky sheen. 
It might become a prominent article of export if its cultivation were 
more extensive. 

2. GossypiiLin herbaceuniy L. This, the most important of all 
cotton-plants, and the only kind they cultivate, is called by the 
Japanese Wata-no-ki or Ki-wata, and its product they call Wata. 
This word recalls the German Watte, the French ouate, and similar 
Romanic terms, as well as badard, the Sanskrit name for cotton. 
Its derivation from the latter seems more natural than that given 
by Diez, of ovuiUy especially as the plant has been longest culti- 
vated in India. 

According to the oldest Japanese authorities, the first attempts 
to raise cotton in Dai Nippon were made about the year 799, with 
seeds brought by accident in a boat from India. But at that time 
its cultivation did not secure a firm footing, and seems not to have 
been tried again till 1570. And it only gained a wide extension 
after the establishment of the Tokugawa regime, in the next cen- 

The production seems never to have equalled the demand, and 
China appears to have furnished supplies of raw cotton for home 
consumption then as in more recent times. With the present free- 
dom of commerce, and the low prices of English and Indian cotton 
goods, circumstances hardly favour a further extension of Japanese 

The northern limit of its cultivation is somewhere about the 
thirty-eighth parallel. The Japanese probably became acquainted 
with it through the Portuguese, and from them learned the name 
Wata, for they have no word of their own for cotton, nor yet a 
Chinese term, and the plant itself is thought not to have found 
entry into Southern China till the eleventh century. 

There are three varieties of the cotton-plant in Japan, with 


yellow, white, and red blossoms. The yellow-blossoming kind 
much preponderates. Early in May the seeds are planted 3 to 4 
cm. apart, in rows that are separated about 40 cm. from each 
other. The ground is prepared beforehand, and afterwards the 
seeds are covered with rice-straw ashes. As a rule, however, 
cotton is planted alongside of and after a winter crop, especially 
of barley and wheat, a row of cotton-seed being put into the ground 
— which has been loosened a little for it — close beside each row 
of ripening stalks. Having been previously softened in water a 
whole day, they soon sprout. As soon as the first true leaves 
appear, some strong manure, such as oil-cakes or fish-guano, is 
added — the latter, however, only in a circular furrow running 
around the sprout at a distance of 6 to 9 cm., lest the sharpness of 
the fertilizer destroy the plant. But usually a kind of compost is 
used, which has been prepared long beforehand, consisting of a 
mixture of mud, straw-ashes, chopped weeds, oil-cakes, and fish- 
guano, in equal parts. As soon as the grain-crop has been har- 
vested, the ground is worked over and loosened with great care, 
and a fresh supply of manure put on, being this time probably 
made up partly of cesspool stuff. About June 20 the superfluous 
plants are hoed out, and only 27 or 28 left standing to the ken 
(rSom.). Two weeks later there is another clearing out. During 
the hottest days (July 20 to Aug. 7) buds come out on the branching 
stalks. August is the month of blossoms, and harvest is in Sep- 
tember. It is considered a good harvest if 300 tsubo (9*92 are) 
yield 253 kin of cotton (150-261 kg.). 

3. Boehmeria nivea, Hooker and Arn. {Urtica nivea^ L.), Jap. Mao, 
Kusa-mao, and Kara-mushi, Chin. Tschou-ma. This plant is dis- 
tinguished from all related species of nettle by the fact that its 
leaves are white on their under side. It grows wild in Cochin 
China, China, and Japan, but is also cultivated in these countries, 
and in the southern monsoon region. In its bast it furnishes the 
celebrated China-grass of the English, from which the Chinese 
make their fine nettle-cloth. A related species, with higher stalks 
and leaves green on both sides, is Boehmeria tenacissimay Gaud. 
{B. titilis, BL), whose bast is called Ramee or Rheea-fibre. It be- 
longs to the tropical monsoon region, and does not occur in Japan. 
However the bast of China-grass is often called Ramee, as are 
also the fibres of other Boehmeria species and of the Japanese 
Urtica Thunbergiana, S. and Z., or Shi-kusa. 

Boehmeria nivea requires a moist, fruitful soil, and strong 
manure. Our summer warmth is sufficient for it, as numerous 
experiments in botanical gardens have long since proved.^ 

^ Its stalks grew to be i'3i m. high in the botanical garden at Marburg, in 
1877, while stalks of B. iitilis^ Bl. close beside them had grown in the same time 
i'9om. high and proportionately thicker. The former species was introduced 
into England as early as 1739, under the name of Chinese or White-leaved 


Like its relatives, it puts forth its stiff stalks from ij to 2 m. 
high, every summer, from perennial roots. These are cut off close 
to the ground towards the end of August or in September, and 
subjected to a short soaking in water to get the bast.^ 

There are several special obstacles in the way of a technical 
utilization of Boehmeria nivea^ as of certain other nettle species. 
There has not yet been nearly as much success as might be ex- 
pected from the great efforts and encouragements to its use, not to 
mention the exaggerated hopes which many set on such utili- 
zation. The first thing necessary is to invent a machine for sepa- 
rating and preparing the bast. The Indian government, in 1878, 
offered a grand prize of ;^5,ooo for this object, and declared its 
willingness to furnish Boehmaria stalks from the botanical garden 
of Calcutta for the experiments, which were to be undertaken in 
Sahdranpur, India, from the middle of August to the middle of 
September, 1879. Yet it failed to accomplish its purpose, and the 
matter fell through. 

The epidermis of this plant, however, adheres so fast to the 
bast-tissue beneath it, that it is extremely difficult to thoroughly 
separate them. There are a large number of other difiiculties 
besides this, rendering it hard to get the bast clear. Wiesner, in 
his book on plant-stuffs, pp. 387-393, has dealt with these in part. 

Marco Polo makes mention of this white-leaved nettle, remark- 
ing that the province of Kweichau is especially distinguished for 
textures from its bast. This so-called grass-linen is fine, smooth, 
and shiny, like cambric, besides being very cool, and therefore 
peculiarly adapted for summer wear. I never observed any culti- 
vation of the Mao-plant in Japan. It is said to be cultivated, 
particularly in Uzen, Kaga, Echigo, and Idzumo, as was shown at 
the National Exhibition at Tokio, in 1877, the official catalogue of 
which recorded no less than thirteen exhibitors of fibres, ropes, and 
textures from Yamagata-ken (Uzen), and seventeen from Chimane- 
ken (Idzumo). This industry is, however, by no means in an ad- 
vanced and influential stage. The bast ordinarily used is perhaps 
tough and durable enough, but it lacks fineness. The so-called 
"cottonized China-grass," on the other hand, consists of white 
fibres, which compare favourably with flax in fineness and strength, 
and with silk in lustre. 

4. Miisa basjoo, Sieb. [M . paradisiaca, Thunb., M. textilis, Nees), 
Jap. Basho. The banana is no longer found in Japan proper, 
though it is extensively grown on the Riukiu Islands, chiefly for 
its bast, from which the natives make a light, loosely woven brown 
cloth, called Bashofu. Of this plant Doederlein speaks as follows : — 

" Bananas (on Amami-Oshima) grow almost as high as Cycas, 
though keeping close to the water-courses, along which they grow 

^ St. Julien's statement in "Industries de I'Empire Chinois," etc., p. 166, 
"Chaque ann^e on peut faire trois recoltes," is mistaken. 


densely. It is as textile-plants that they are cultivated (Manila 
hemp). Their fibres furnish not only a superior material for ropes 
and mats, but are universally esteemed for the excellent clothing- 
stuff that can be manufactured from them. In summer such 
garments are much preferred to woollen. It is one of the chief 
exports of the Liu-kiu Islands, and large quantities are sent to 
Satsuma, whence it may make its way further through Japan." ^ 
This last is true only to a very limited extent. These textures 
do not leave Southern Japan, being used in ^scarcely any other 
part of the country. 

5. Co7xhorus capsularis, L., Jap. Ichibi, Tsunaso, and Kanabi-kiyo. 
This plant yields jute-fibre, which has become of such great im- 
portance. It is found in several parts of Japan. But I doubt 
whether the plant has been cultivated and its bast made into ropes 
and coarse textures, as has been stated by one authority.^ The 
following four bast-plants are not cultivated. As a source of 
clothing material it is likely that they played a much more im- 
portant part in old times than at present. 

6. Wistaria chine?isis, S. and Z., Jap. Fuji (see Ornamental 
Plants). At the Exhibition of 1877 in Tokio, there was an exhibit 
of prepared bast of this plant, as well as textures therefrom, called 
Fuji-nuno, or Wistaria-linen, from Iwate-ken, Fukushima-ken, 
Shimane-ken, and Hiroshima-ken, hence both from the North and 
South-west of the island of Honshiu. 

7. Pueraria Thimbergiana, Benth., Jap. Kudzu. Young shoots 
from this abundant plant (see bulbous plants) are boiled in an iron 
kettle in pieces i m. long, and then submitted to longer soaking in 
running water, till their bast becomes loose, when it is stripped off 
by hand. To bleach, soften, and divide its fibres, it is pounded and 
treated with water, and otherwise manipulated. When finished, 
the fibres are tolerably firm and white, like hemp-bast. They are 
used for the woof of several kinds of cloth, but only to a very 
limited extent. The Aino women make threads of them, with 
which to sew their clothes. 

8. Ulmtis montana, Sm., is, according to the testimony of Boh- 
mer^ and Scheube,* the tree which the Ainos call At and the Japan- 
ese Ohio-no-ki. The former manufacture from its bast that brownish 
yellow stuff of which their clothes, as a rule, are made. It is 
distinguished more by durability than fineness, and is much worn 
also by the Japanese of Yezo. The bark of the tree is peeled off 
in spring, and left to soak a half to one month in water, till its 
bast is loose enough to come off in long strips. The Aino women 
twist these into threads, and use them on their looms, whose con- 

^ "Die Liu-kiu Island Amami Oshima." Zeiischrift der deutschen Gesell- 
schaft Ostasiens. Band 3, p. 141. 

2 "Le Japon k I'Exposition Universelle de 1878," p. 152. Paris. 

3 "Reports to the Kaitakushi," 1875. 

4 "Die Ainos." " Mitth. d. deutsch. Ges. Ostasiens." Heft 26. 1882. 


struction Scheube has described somewhat more fully in the above- 
mentioned work. 

9. Tilia cordata, Mill., Jap. Shina-no-ki, called Nibeshi by the 
Ainos, who make ropes from its bast. I saw it worked into mats 
in Aidzu. It is loosened from the bark by long soaking in run- 
ning water, and made pliable by pounding. The bast of Tilia 
mmidschurica serves the same purposes. 

10. To the plants already mentioned must be added those whose 
bast is used chiefly in the manufacture of paper, though occasionally 
also for making coarse garments, a much more general appli- 
cation, however, in ancient times. The chief of these are the 
various species of paper-mulberry [Biviissonetia papyrifera, Vent, 
B. Kasinoki, Sieb., and B. Kaempferi, Sieb.) ; also the white mul- 
berry {Moms alba, L.), the Edgeworthia papyrifera, S. and Z., and 
the W ickstrcemia canescens, Meisn., all of which, except the last, 
are extensively grown. Further details regarding the nature of 
their cultivation and the way their bast is obtained come later, in 
the chapter on the paper-industry. 

11. 67^^;;/(^r^/j ^;r<:^/i-rt;, Thunb., Jap. Shuro, or Shuro-no-ki. This 
beautiful fan-palm usually attains a height of 5 to 6 m. in Japan 
and a girth of about 080 m. It is not indigenous, but is culti- 
vated much as in the warmer parts of China, that is, wherever 
the evergreen oaks and camphor-laurel grow. Solitary specimens 
are found on the eastern side of Hondo, near Sendai Bay, in lati- 
tude 38 J° N. On the eastern side it does not reach so far north, 
and in the interior, which lies higher, it does not occur at all. Its 
real home has not yet been fully decided upon, but must be some- 
where in the tropical monsoon region. 

When the leaves of this palm are over two years old they are 
turned to account. The whole leaf is divided into narrow strips, 
from which several articles are plaited, hats and ropes in particular. 
But the dark brown fibres are principally used. These, as in 
the case of Chamcerops hurnilis in the Mediterranean-region, come 
out like long lashes on the edges of the leaf-sheaths, and surround 
the base of the leaves and blossom-cups. These hairy fibres (Jap. 
Shuro-no-ki), a sort of Crin vegetal, much longer and softer than 
the so-called Coir of coco-nuts, are manufactured into ropes, mats, 
dust-brooms, and brushes, in Japan as well as in China. In Tokio 
there are, for example, whole families that support themselves by 
making Shuro-saiku, i.e. fine, small (sai) work (ku) made of the 
palm (Shuro), which they sell in small shops. 

12. Juncus effusus, Z., Jap. I or I-gusa. This is a rush which is 
widely distributed in the northern hemisphere, and is gathered and 
made into mats in several other countries as well though it has 
nowhere become as important as in Japan. Many a custom and 
household usage here is intimately associated with the foot-mats, 
and other textures made from it. To meet the great demand for 
this rush, it is regularly cultivated in some parts of the country, 


often to a large extent. Its mode of cultivation resembles that of 
rice, and it is raised in swampy fields, where rice is sometimes 
alternated with it. It is propagated by means of rhizoma-cuttings. 
New plantations are set out in early spring. The plants are grown 
in rows. Harvest takes place in August. By that time the rushes 
are about one meter high. They are also called Goza-gusa (mat- 
herb). They are cut off close above the ground, dried, and put 
under cover till used, when they are moistened and the epidermis 
is rubbed off with ashes. 

On page 415 of vol. i. of this work mention is made of the fact 
that the size of Japanese rooms, and indeed the whole ground- 
plan of the houses, is determined by the Tatami, or foot-mats. 
These are rectangles of invariable dimensions, being 6 shaku, or 
Japanese feet long (at 30"33 cm. per shaku), 3 shaku wide, and 
-i Shaku thick. Rooms are built and distinguished as containing 
4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and more mats. These Tatami are made of Wara, 
or rice-straw, closely bound and braided together, constituting 
their Toko, or bed ; they are fastened at the borders with strips 
of cloth, and covered and held fast by beautifully-woven rush- 
mats on the upper side (Omote). The Riu-kiu Islands, Bungo and 
other provinces of Kiushiu, and above all Bingo, in the Sanyodo, 
and the neighbouring provinces are celebrated for their rushes and 
mats. Bingo-omote are valued most. They are more beautiful 
and dearer than those of Bungo, but not as strong. The rush 
from which they are made is here called Toso, but in Kiushiu 
it is called Riu-kiu-I. The cultivation and ultization of the rush, 
meanwhile, are also carried on in more northern parts of the 
country, as, for example, in Kaga, where the town of Komatzu 
and several neighbouring villages are much occupied with this 
work ; and also in Aidzu-taira, and elsewhere. Besides the above- 
mentioned Omote, there are made of these rushes the simple Goza, 
(** august seat ") a word used for matting which serves either as a 
seat, or as a cover from rain and sunshine ; and also the Seki, or 
sitting- mats. From these uses the reed is sometimes called Goza- 
gusa and Seki-gusa. 

13. "VVe have already seen that rice-straw is much used in many 
kinds of coarse fabrics, such as ropes and mats. The mats on which 
peasants spread their grain and other crops to dry, and dwellers 
by the sea the various products which they get from the ocean, 
are made of this material, and called Mushiro. Another kind of 
twisted straw, called Komo, is made mostly into sacks for carrying 
rice, and other purposes. Barley-straw is employed in art-industry, 
to make fine mosaic-clothing. 

Besides rushes and rice-straw, many kinds of reeds are similarly 
employed, though no doubt far less extensively than in ancient 
times. Chief among these are the following : — 

14. Typha Japonica, Miq., Jap. Gama. Of this, soft mats are 
made, called Gama-mushiro. 


15. Scirpiis maritimus, L., Jap. Suge. Hats and waterproof- 
cloaks have been manufactured from this from the remotest times, 
as well as ropes for fastening rafters together in hut-building. 
The former use was known also to Kaempfer, for he writes in 
" Amoen. exot," p. 900 : " Setz, vulgo Suge. Herba palustris, foliis 
arundinaceis brevioribus tensis, ex quibus ad albedinem redactis 
construuntur elegantissimi pilei, quibus teguntur deambulantes 

16. The leaves of Zoysia pimgeris, Willd., Jap. Shiba and Iwa- 
shiba, used to be employed in making the Mino, or old grass- 
mantles. The long root-leaves of this grass were gathered in the 
mountain-forests, taken home and steeped in boiling water, then 
bleached and dried and beaten with mallets, and finally strung 
close together with threads. Lying one above another like shingles 
on a roof, these strings of leaves remind one of the way the Maoris 
of New Zealand prepared their clothes from the much broader 
leaves of the Phormmm tenax. These Mino were made from 
various kinds of reed-grass, too, and from hemp-bast. They are 
still met with, occasionally, in mountain districts. Waterproof 
cloaks of oiled bast-paper, and more especially, in recent times, 
umbrellas, have supplanted them. 

17. Imperata arundinacea, Cyrill. {Sacchanim spicatum, Thunb.), 
Jap. Chi-kaya or Kaya, now utilized similarly, serving also in olden 
times as a thatch, a use still found in mountainous districts. 

18. Phragrnites comiminis, Trim. {Aru7ido phraginites, L.). This 
is a species of sedge-grass, which, together with the related species 
P. Roxburgii, Kunth., the Japanese call Yoshi. It grows in abun- 
dance on uncultivated, swampy spots, especially along the canals 
that irrigate the rice-fields. It is used chiefly for thatching, though 
also for making Yoshi-dzu, or sedge-mats. Like the species next 
enumerated, it is planted here and there, in wet soil, for these 

19. Eiilalia japonica^ Trim. {Eriant/ms japoniais, Beau v., Sac- 
charum polydactylon^ Thunb.), Jap. Susuki. Many a lover of the 
creations of Japanese art has noticed copies of this beautiful 
grass, with its digitate panicle. But in recent times we have often 
seen living specimens of it, for it has proved to be less se^isitive 
than South American pampas-grass, though producing a precisely 
similar effect when planted here and there on a fine, closely 
shaven lawn. Besides the simple normal form, it appears also 
with gaily coloured leaves, sometimes striped diagonally {Eidalia 
jap. zebrind). In its habitat it is widely distributed. It grows 
principally on the Hara, those extensive grassy mountain-slopes, 
but in uncultivated spots in swampy lowlands too. Here, and in 
the fields regularly planted with it, pheasants and snipe love to 
hide in the thicket made by its dead blades and leaves in autumn 
and winter, just as they do in common sedge. 

20. Wicker-work of more solid wooden material is made of 


bamboo-cane (Take), willows^ (Yanagi), and rattan (To). The 
first two of these are yielded by the land itself, but rattan, from 
which the finest wicker-ware is made, and which even plays its 
part in artistic handiwork, has to be brought from the south, the 
tropical monsoon region. Of course, like bamboo-cane, it must 
first be split and cut into smooth strips of a greater or less thick- 
ness, before being thus used. To-mushiro (rattan-mats) are made 
and used much less in Japan than in China. On the other hand, 
To, Yanagi, and Take, serve in the construction of a number of 
-other wicker wares, — among which we may only note Kori or 
basket-boxes, which are useful in many ways. For example, the 
Yanagi-gori {i.e., willow-bandbox) is an excellent substitute for a 
trunk, especially in travelling, — like our willow baskets with lids. 
The sides of its lid overlap and reach to the ground outside of the 
lower part of the basket, which is smaller. Great numbers of 
smaller Kori are made of rattan. They possess the advantage 
over our wooden trunks of being more elastic, adaptable, and 
durable. Those stiff broad-brimmed hats, called Kasa, which pro- 
tect the head from sunshine and rain, but are far from being com- 
fortable, are sometimes woven of peeled willow-wands and some- 
times of rattan or bamboo. And finally there are whole hosts of 
variously shaped baskets constructed of these two last-named 
materials. Baskets from the province of Tajima are especially 
beautiful. They are sent to the baths at Arima, and further still 
to Kobe, and also exported. 

(e) Dye-plants and Tannic-acids^ and their Application. 

Japan has not remained unaffected by the great advance in the 
chemical production of organic dyes. Since the introduction of 
artificial madder and aniline-dyes, some of the native dye-plants 
formerly held in great estimation, both cultivated and wild, have 
lost much of their importance. But their interest for science is 
not therefore lost. We wish still to know their manner of growth 
and how they were utilized. The information that follows here, 
though by no means exhaustive, is designed to supply this want 
and perhaps furnish something new. 

I. Polygonum tinctorium, Lour., Jap. Ai, the dyer's knotweed. 
This plant is cultivated in Eastern Asia. It was first described in 
1790, by Loureiro, in his "Flora Cochinchinensis." It has since 
early times furnished indigo to a vast region in Eastern Asia, 
comprising especially China, Corea, and Japan, and belongs to the 
genus Persicaria, like our commonest kinds of knotweed. From a 
stout fibre-root, it puts forth many round, leafy stalks, 30 to 50 cm. 
high, at whose joints or nodes the oval, pointed leaves, and after- 

1 Besides Salix japonica, Thunb., there are several other species included 
under this head, which have not yet been thoroughly investigated. 


wards, the blossom-spikes are developed. Its blossoms are odour- 
less, of a red colour, and very similar to several other kinds of 
Polygonum in their appearance and structure. They come- forth 
in August and September, and the harvest generally takes place 
before they are fully developed. Chemical investigation has shown 
that the Indigochromogen, Indican, is confined to the leaf-paren- 
chym, in cells, and that the stems and blossoms are devoid of it.^ 
The method of cultivating and handling the plant is in accord- 
ance with" this fact. 

The dyer's knotweed is by far the most important Japanese dye- 
plant. It is from it that the indigo is obtained which is so generally 
used for colouring cotton and hempen garments. It is cultivated, 
therefore, over a wide stretch of territory, being found in the plains 
and valleys of nearly all districts south of Yezo. In planting it, 
the seed is seldom sown directly in the fields, but mostly in beds, 
from which shoots are taken and set out in rows. These young 
plants are 12 to 15 cm. high. If the seed is sown in early spring, 
and strong fertilizers, such as fish-guano and oil-cakes, are re- 
peatedly applied, they attain this height within two months, and 
are then ready to be transplanted. In 60 to 70 days more — about 
the end of July or the beginning of August — the chief harvest 
commences, to be followed by a second crop, as in the case of 
clover. And an Ai-plantation, seen from a distance, looks like a 
clover-field before its heads have burst. When the stalks are about 
30 cm. high they are cut off with the sickle, close above the ground. 
Their upper parts, which have the most leaves, are justly considered 
of the greatest value ; and these, with the leaves, are cut off from 
the lower stalks, which are dried and then burned for the sake of 
a highly-prized kind of ashes (Ai-no-hai) thus obtained. The 
leaves, however, are spread in the sun to dry before the house, 
frequently on the bare ground, so that the dust of the streets is 
not excluded. They become thus a dull, dark green, and in this 
condition are put away in straw-rope sacks for further treatment. 
This takes 70 to 80 days, differing very considerably in this 
and other respects from the short soaking-processes by which 
indigo is obtained elsewhere from other plants. It is a sort of 
fermentation, and has to be conducted with great attention and 
skill. The leaves, after being sprinkled with a certain quantity 
of water, and thoroughly mixed with it, are spread out and left 
3 to 5 days, under a cover of mats. The process is repeated 19 to 
20 times altogether, and finally the leaves are put into a wooden 
mortar. Here in two day's time they are worked into a doughy 
mass of a dark blue colour. From this balls are made, from the 

^ Schunk: " On Indian Blue from Polygonum tinctorium and other Plants." 
"Memoirs of the Lit. and Phil. Soc, Manchester." Vol. vi. (3 Series), pp. 218- 

See also Fliickiger's Report in the " Botanisches Jahresbericht of Just," VII. 
2, p. 343. 1879. 


size of billiard balls upwards, and in this shape the article appears 
in domestic trade. This is indigo, with many impurities, as it is 
universally used for blue dye. Ruri-kon, a dark indigo-brown, 
inclining to violet or brown, is prepared from Ai with the addition 
of lime and Aku, the ashes of indigo-refuse. Ten years ago, with 
the aid of the government, attempts were made by means of sul- 
phuric acid to separate indigo-blue from these Ai-tame (indigo- 
balls), and to produce an exportable article. But they failed 
because of the expense of the process. The most valuable Japanese 
indigo is yielded by the province of Awa, in the island of Shikoku, 
on the Linschoten Strait. 

In the year 1776 knotweed-indigo was introduced from China 
into England, where dyers learned to use it under the name of 
Persicaria. But its importation ceased later on when, owing to the 
increasing cultivation of Indigofera Anil and other species, a better 
article was furnished at reasonable prices from Bengal and Java. 

In 1826 Saint Hilaire, in France, directed attention to the 
dyer's knotweed. Ten years later great numbers of these plants 
were grown in the botanical gardens at Montpellier and Paris, 
from which fresh material was obtained for the numerous experi- 
ments undertaken between 1838 and 1840. Botanists, chemists, 
agriculturists, and manufacturers emulated one another in study- 
ing its properties.^ Their object was to test the plant and its 
product for agriculture and dyeing. They hoped to introduce 
into the country a new useful plant, through which its demand 
for indigo might be supplied. This hope has not been fulfilled. 
Of the prominent savans who took part at that time in this 
indigo question, may be mentioned Saint Hilaire, Vilmorin, Delile, 
Chevreul, Turpin, Joly, Baudrimont, Pelletier, and Robiquet. 

From the thorough treatise of our countryman. Dr. E. Schunk 
of Manchester, already cited, I take finally the following memo- 
randa on this subject : 

Schunk received from Paris some seeds of Polygomtm tinctorium, 
which he sowed in a hot-bed, transplanting afterwards into soil in 
the open air. Towards the end of summer he got beautiful pink 
blossom-spikes, but no ripe seeds. When injured by insects or 
otherwise, the pretty, bright, oval leaves did show blue spots, it is 
true, but otherwise, even under the microscope, only chlorophyll, 
and no other colour, was to be seen. 

A handful of leaves being chopped up and rubbed fine in a 
mortar with a little water, and then pressed out, a green, slimy 
fluid is produced, from which a green, flaky precipitate is separated 
by a solution of acetate of lead. This precipitate consists of chlo- 
rophyll, albumin, and other substances. The fluid thus filtered is 
clear and yellow. On being mixed with hydrochloric or sulphuric 

^ See, among others, Turpin : " Etudes microscopiques sur le gisement de 
la matiere bleue dans les feuilles du Polygonum tinctorium," etc. Comptes 
Rendus VI L, pp. 806-S24 (1838). 


acid, it gives a rich deposit of almost pure indigo-blue. More 
colouring-matter is obtained by this method than with an equal 
amount of woad- leaves, or pastil-leaves (from I satis tinctoria). 

Indican, Indigo-chromogen, was produced by Schunk as follows: 
The alcoholic extract from dried and pulverized Polygonum-leaves 
was allowed to evaporate till only a brown fluid remained. This 
he poured off from its sediment and mixed with a solution of sugar 
of lead. This gave him a muddy yellow precipitate of chlorophyll, 
and other impurities, and after filtration a clear yellow fluid, to 
which he added basic acetate of lead — lead-vinegar. The pale 
yellow deposit thus produced was separated by filtration from the 
fluid, edulcorated with water and spirits, and dissolved in an- 
hydrous alcohol, and then a stream of carbonic acid directed 
through it. The fluid after a short time became yellow, and 
white-lead was separated from it. Then followed filtration and 
the addition of sulphide of hydrogen, to cause a further precipi- 
tation of lead. After another filtration Schunk allowed it to 
evaporate, and there remained a syrup, which, when treated with 
ether, yielded indigo. 

The qualitative reactions of this indigo-producing stuff are 
exactly the same as those of Indican from leaves of Isatis tinctoria. 
It is a yellow, transparent syrup, which displays little inclination 
toward crystallization, and is soluble in water, alcohol, and ether. 
Its aqueous solution has a more or less acid reaction, takes on a 
deep yellow colour with caustic alkali, and gives a light yellow 
precipitate with basic acetate of lead. When the aqueous solution 
is mixed with a little sulphuric or hydrochloric acid and allowed 
to stand quiet, indigo after a time separates, sinking to the bottom 
and forming a scum on the surface, as is also the case with Indican 
from Isatis tinctoria. 

Schunk proved by these investigations that neither free indigo 
nor its hydrate (reduced indigo, indigo-white), but only indican are 
present in dyer's knotweed, thus disposing of Joly's assumption of 
the contrary. 

2. Carthamus tinctorius, L., Jap. Beni, Beni-no-hana, common 
saw-wort, or the safflower. This is an annual. In its stiff stalk, 
branching upwards, and its big, round, yellow blossoms, it resembles 
Inula ; in its stemless prickly leaves it resembles thistles, belong- 
ing, like both of them, to the great family of the composites, and 
following Centaurea in system. The plant attains a height of 50 to 
100 cm. and yields in its blossoms (separated from the calyx) the 
well-known safflower, or Spanish red, besides a yellow dye-stuff. 
India (which is thought to be its original home) and Persia and 
Egypt have been distinguished in its cultivation from of old, and 
to this day they supply the world with the greater portion of its 
safflower. We know now for certain that the saw-wort was raised 
in Egypt more than 3,500 years ago, since Schweinfurth recognised 
it in the garland which Brugsch and Maspero, in 1881, found in 


the newly-discovered graves of the Pharaohs at Thebes, on the 
breast of Ahmes II., the conqueror of Hycsos. 

From these three countries its cultivation spread over many 
others, both tropical and temperate climates, even to Germany ; 
but in this century it has declined almost everywhere, and in many 
parts has vanished altogether. The safflower has been supplanted 
by cochineal and lac-dye especially, and recently, to a much 
greater extent, by the aniline dyes. 

Japan received it from China. But Southern China and India 
began to put on the market, and at low prices, a better article 
than that produced at home, and since then the plant has been 
cultivated less and less, until now it is hardly worth mentioning. 
In all my journeyings in Japan in every direction, I only met 
with it two or three times. It grew in small beds. The object 
of raising it was to obtain Beni, the favourite cosmetic of the 
Japanese girls. This is pure Carthamin (C14 Hig O7), and a com- 
parison of its mode of preparation with our method may be made 
from my remarks at the end of this chapter, on dyeing with saf- 
flower. It has a metallic, gold-green lustre, reminding one of 
certain aniline dyes and the sheath-wings of several species of 
Cetonia and other beetles. The Japanese girls dissolve it in water 
for reddening their lips. In Kioto they often put it on so strong 
and concentrated that the green metallic lustre appears instead of 
the red colour. 

3. Riibia cordifoliay L. (/^. cordata, Thunb., R. viimjista, Roxb.), 
Jap. Akane or Beni-kadzura. This is the old Indian madder, which 
seems to be widely distributed in the eastern monsoon-region, as 
well as in the Himalayan valleys. I have found it repeatedly in 
Japan, and always wild, like the following species. 

4. Riibia cJiinensis^ Reg-> J^P- 0-kinuta-s6. 

5. Lithospennum erytJirorhizon, S. and Z. {L. officinale^ var. ja- 
ponica, Miq., L. officinale /3 erythrorhizon, Maxim.), Jap. Murasaki 
and Murasaki-kusa. The roots, called Shikon, of this stone-crop, 
w^hich grows all over Japan, used to serve for violet and red pig- 
ments, as in China. 

6. Myrica rubra^ S. and Z., Jap. Yama-momo. Its bark, which is 
called Shibuki, contains an astringent pigment, which is used to 
colour and make durable fish-hooks and nets. 

7. Perilla arguta, Benth., Jap. Aka-shiso. We have already 
noticed the application of the red pigment of this plant in house- 

8. CcBsalpinia Sappan^ L., Jap. Suwo. Sapan-wood is not found 
in Japan, but was formerly largely imported by Chinese as a red dye. 

Cochineal, lac-dye, fuchsine, and similar dyes have diminished 
the value and use of the above-mentioned red pigments in Japan. 
In like manner auramin and flavaniline, with their excellent 
qualities and cheap prices, have begun to supplant the remaining 
yellow pigments. 

II. N 


9. Gardenia florida, L. The name Kuchi-nashi is applied both 
to the plant and to its fruits. The plant is a small evergreen shrub 
grown here and there for decorative purposes ; but it is no doubt 
indigenous to Southern and Central Japan, and not merely run 
wild.^ The prismatic six-edged and six-pointed green calyx grows 
in together with the germ. Its large white corona stands up like 
a salver. Six stamens grow on the lower edge of the corona cor- 
responding to its six tips. When ripe, the berry is of an orange- 
yellow colour, and as large as our common long acorns. It is 
surrounded by the close-fitting, wrinkled, yellowish calyx, which 
dries upon it and accompanies it to market. The yellow pigment 
which the berry contains is said to be identical with the crocin 
(C33 H36 O12) of the saffron." 

10. Evodia glanca Miq., Jap, Kivvada and Obaku, a tall tree of the 
Rutaceae family (Xanthoxylacese group), with a smooth bark, and 
resembling an ash, in its feathered leaves and its whole aspect. 
It still occurs pretty often in the remoter mountain-forests of Cen- 
tral and Northern Hondo, in spite of the fact that it is much sought 
after in summer. Its bark is torn off in great strips and sent to 
the dying establishments in the great cities. In travelling through 
mountainous regions, e.g. through the peninsula of Yamato and the 
district of Aidzu, about the Inawashiro Lake, one often meets 
carriers or pack-horses with loads of this bark, air-dried, and in 
pieces as long as one's arm. With the exception of its thin epi- 
dermis, which is of a brownish colour with light grey spots, it is all 
yellow, like grated gamboge. The Ki-iroy or yellow of silk-stuffs, 
used to be obtained from this bark. At my instance, Herr Dr. 
F. Noll junior, while a student at Marburg, made a number of 
experiments with it, of which I give here the chief results. 

a. Of the various solvents that were used, water took up the pig- 
ment immediately in great quantity, becoming a deep yellow. With 
alcohol, the solution was much weaker. With ether it was weakest. 
The ether remained clear a long time, showing a yellow tinge but 
slowly. From this it follows that the pigment is not of a resinous 

b. The solution in cold water is much purer and a more beauti- 
ful yellow than in boiling water, which receives a brownish tinge 
from foreign substances, such as mucilage, etc., that are also 

c. The extract obtained through cold water, and also the hot 
extract, have a neutral reaction. 

d. The strong solution of the yellow pigment which is brought 
about by pouring on water at normal temperature, shows no 

^ For example, I found it in abundance on gravelly soil, in a thin, shrubby 
forest in Mino, and that too on the road leading from Gifu to Atami via Hino 
(2 ri) and Kuchinashi, and on hills ; so there can be no doubt as to its being 
met with in a wild state. 

* Fliickiger, " Pharmakognosie." Aufl. 2, p. 735. 



change in the amount of its yellow on the addition of caustic 
hydrate of soda, chloride of lime, or sulphurous acid. 

e. Silk and wool, after their degraissage, take up the yellow pig- 
ment easily, becoming a beautiful yellow, and the dye holds fast in 
them when they are washed with soap and cold water. It holds, 
too, against cold diluted lye, solution of chloride of lime, and 
sulphurous acid, while hot soda-lye or solution of soap deprives 
these textures of this colour immediately. Vegetable fibre is not 
so receptive of the pigment, which is partly washed out at once 
with water. 

Considering the great quantity of beautiful pigment contained 
in Kiwada bark, it would be well worth while to perform some 
more thorough experiments with it. These should be directed 
to ascertaining its nature, and to answering the question, whether 
the staying power of the beautiful yellow colour might not be 
increased by using more suitable mordants. 

11. Pynts } Jap. Dzumi. The bark of this tree, with which 

I am not well acquainted, is also said to yield a beautiful yellow. 

12. Curcuma longa, L., Jap. Ukon. The rhizomas of this plant, 
or rather the yellow dye prepared from them, are imported from 
India and China. 

13. Prunus Mume, S. and Z. The bark, called Ume-kawa, yields 
a light brown colour, the Shira-cha. 

14. Amygdalus Persica, L., Jap. Momo-kawa, the bark of the 
peach-tree, serves in cloth-dyeing to produce the Cha-iro, the tea- 

15. To produce Kuro-iro, black colours, ferrous acetate and 
ferrous sulphate are employed in connection with one of the many 
bodies containing tannic acid. Among these must be enumerated 
the galls, or Fushi, of Rhus seinialata, Murr. the fruits of species of 
alder, Han-no-ki or Hari-no-ki {Alnus maritima, Nutt, A. incana, 
Willd., A.firina, S. and Z.), the green fruit-hulls of the Kuri {Cas- 
tanea vulgaris, Lamk.) and Tochi {Aiscidus turbinatay Blume), Shibu, 
the juice of Diospyros kaki (L. and D., Lotos, L.), Kawa, the bark 
of several different trees, particularly the Kashiwa {Quercus dentata, 
Thunb.), Kunugi {L. serrata, Th.). The Budo-nedzumi, a dark 
violet colour, is obtained by means of Fushi and 0-haguro (ferrous 
acetate). If the latter is concentrated, the result is a black. Kobi- 
cha, a grey-brown cloth-dye, is obtained from 0-haguro and 
Momo-kawa ; Hiwa, grass-green, from indigo and Kiwada-bark. 
A decoction of Kariyasu {Calaniagrostis Hakoneiisis, Fr. and Sav.) 
yields a yellow-green colour. 

Tannic Acids. 

Leather {Kaiua) was formerly little used in Japan, so-called 
leather-paper taking its place in most cases. Its manufacture and 
manipulation, moreover, belonging to the unclean despised occupa- 


tions which fell to the lot of the Etas, were accordingly not 
characterized by great results, and tannic acids had less con- 
sideration as such than as agents for producing black in dyeing. 
Of recent years, European habits of dress and systems of arma- 
ment, in military and official circles and elsewhere, have brought 
about a change in this respect. Both tanning and shoemaking 
developed rapidly, and gained an honourable position in public 
opinion. Side by side with this arose a demand for tanning 
materials, in which the country abounds. This is now met in 
great part by oak-bark, particularly that of the Kashiwa {Quercus 
dentata, Thunb.), though that of the Yama-momo {Myrica rubra, 
S. and Z.) is also highly prized. 

Two other Japanese tanning principles, however, are of much 
greater interest and very peculiar. These are universally known 
by the names Fushi and Shibu, and are much used. 

By Fushi or Gobaishi are meant the peculiar galls, rich in 
tannin, of Rhus semi-alata Murr. {^R. Osbeckiiy D. C, R. javanica, 
L.). This beautifully-leafed sumach is called Narude, Fushi-no-ki, 
Kachi-ki, or Yenbuju. It forms a good-sized shrub or small tree 
3 to 8 m. high, which is widely spread in the mountain-forests of 
Japan, as of East Asia in general. The galls are produced in the 
form of large blisters, of many shapes and sizes, averaging 4 to 5 gr. 
in weight, 4 to 6 cm. in length, and 2 to 4 cm. in circumference at 
the thickest part. They are very irregularly shaped, possess knobs 
and horns, and as a rule hang close to the leaf-stems (seldom to 
young twigs) with a horn that runs to a point, like the hanging 
chrysalis of many diurnal butterflies. The ground-colour is brown, 
though it is visible only in the protuberances, while the rest is 
covered with a short, dense, felt-like hairs. Stripes are plainly 
visible about the narrowing basis, gradually fading away towards 
the thicker parts, especially on the convex side of these singular, 
many-shaped galls. Their walls are generally about 0*5 mm. thick, 
though in exceptional cases 3 to 4 times thicker. They are very 
brittle, translucent, and horny. 

These peculiar formations are said to be occasioned by the sting 
of a leaf-louse {Aphis chinensis), like Chinese gall-nuts. They are 
indisputably of all galls the richest in tannic acid and the most 
valuable, containing as they do 65 to "jZ per cent, of tannin.^ 

The Fushi-no-ki (gall-apple tree) I hav^e seen very often in 
Japan, but only occasionally its galls. The best come from Shi- 
nano. Nasu in Shimotsuke, Chichibu in Musashi, and the provinces 
of Bingo, lyo, Idzu, and Kii were mentioned as further sources 
of supply. The amount sent to market, however, does not greatly 

^ For a more detailed account see under Gallae chinensis, pp. 246-249 in 
Fliickiger's " Pharmakognosie des Pflanzenreichs," Aufl. 2. A good picture of 
the plant with a gall is given in part 2 of the eight-volume Japanese work, " K6 
yeki koku san ko^" (Thoughts concerning the distribution of useful products of 
the country), by Okura (Nagatsune), Osaka, 1844. 


exceed the home demand, while no less than 20,409 piculs, or 
about 1,234,000 kg. were exported from China in the year 1878. 

A former national custom in Japan — which of late has been 
rapidly dying out — required married women, and maidens who 
had got past a certain age and with it the hope of finding a 
husband, and besides these the Kuge (the court-nobility in Kioto), 
to blacken their teeth. This was done with a sort of ink, made on 
the teeth themselves, and called Ohaguro,^ Haguro, or Kane. For 
this purpose they used pulverized galls (Fushi-no-ko) and ferrous 
acetate, made by pouring diluted Sake boiling-hot over ingots or 
nails of iron. They brushed their teeth with this solution of iron, 
and then rubbed them with some of the white gall-apple powder, 
thus really making ink, which, of course, had to be renewed from 
time to time. 

Shibu or Kaki-no-shibu. This is the astringent juice of unripe 
Kaki — that is, of certain sorts, called Shibu-gaki. In the "Trans- 
actions of the Asiatic Society," vol. ix. p. 36, Ishikawa gives the 
following description of it : 

The fruits of Shibu-gaki — that is to say, Kaki species — preserve 
their astringent character even till the time of ripeness. Early in 
summer they are stamped in iron mortars ; then the pasty mass is 
transferred to wooden tubs, covered with water, and allowed to 
stand half a day. Then it is all put into bags woven out of straw- 
rope ; and a milky juice is pressed out under a simple angle-press. 
This juice yields the best Shibu, especially if the small fruit of the 
Shinano-gaki [Diospyros Lotus, L.) is used. 

By soaking what remains and pressing it again, a second quality 
is obtained. The milky juice soon takes on a darker colour through 
exposure to the air, and its surface quickly becomes covered with 
a thin scum. Shibu as known to commerce is a light or dark 
grey fluid, in which numerous fine hard particles are suspended. 
It exhibits an acid reaction on litmus paper, and in a solution of 
gelatine gives off a great quantity of the usual flaky precipitate 
of tannic acid. Its odour is singularly disagreeable. 

This fluid is used in many ways. It gives toughness to wood, 
paper, fish-nets, and other objects, increasing their resisting power 
against many injurious influences. In some Shibu tested by 
Ishikawa there were 64*4 grammes per liter of solid matter, more 
than half of which was tannin. 

Paper soaked in Shibu receives from it qualities different 
from those imparted by other tannic acids. The effect (greater 
firmness, dark colour) is therefore not attributable to the presence 
of albumin and the formation of a sort of leather. But during 
the experiments the following facts were brought to light, which 
indicate an explanation : 

(i) Shibu turns black only when it comes in contact with the air, 
being like Japanese lacquer in this respect. 

O, a prefix of respect ; ha, teeth ; guro = kuro, black. 


(2) When exposed to the air in flat vessels a tough skin is formed 
over it, almost insoluble in water and alcohol. 

(3) The first skin being taken off, a new one comes, but much 
more slowly and weaker, and so on. 

(4) Of the substances in suspension, the coarser portion sinks 
to the bottom, the rest remains diffused in the solution. They 
appear to be, therefore, a sort of Gummi resinae ; and to this are 
attributable the formation of a skin and the dark brown colour 
which articles treated with Shibu always take on, and which seems 
to come from the oxidation of the gum. The disagreeable odour 
of Shibu probably proceeds, on the other hand, from butyric acid. 

In conclusion we will add to the foregoing remarks on Japanese 
dye-stuffs a few words on the application of the Safflower, and on 
certain additional contrivances used in dyeing. 

Of the two colours which the petals of safflower blossoms con- 
tain when dried and pressed into little cakes, the yellow is not 
used, but the red is highly prized on account of its beauty and the 
numerous shades that can be produced by it, especially in the 
Japanese silk-dyeing establishments. In Europe safflower is every- 
where considered a fugitive colour ; so I was astonished to hear 
the Japanese boasting not only of its beauty, but of its dura- 
bility as well. But I soon found abundant opportunities for con- 
vincing myself of the latter too, and of learning the process 
employed in one of the largest dyeing establishments of Kioto. 
Apart from mere external arrangements, it was as follows : 

The small, thin saffiower-cakes of commerce, were covered at 
evening with as much water as they could take up, and left stand- 
ing for a night. Next morning the mass thus soaked was poured 
into a tub and some rice-chaff was added to prevent its sticking 
together. Then it was trampled upon until kneaded into a stiff 
paste. This was put into bags made of palm-rope (from Chamae- 
rops excelsa), and subjected to the pressure of a heavy angle-press. 
There flowed off a yellowish, muddy fluid, which contained the 
saffiower-yellow — which was not used. 

The residuum was now poured into a tub, mixed with wood-ash 
lye and water, and once more left standing for a night. Next 
morning this mixture was again put into sacks, and a brown-red 
fluid was squeezed out under the same angle-press. This contained 
the safilower-red, or Carthamin (C14H16O7). It was precipitated 
by means of Ume-dzu (plum-vinegar, see p. %6), and the muddy 
fluid above was decanted off. Then the Carthamin was dissolved 
in hot water and vinegar, and the solution applied directly in 
making a beautiful Momo-iro (peach-blossom red) in silk. By 
the addition of Ukon (Curcuma) powder to the solution, the 
gorgeous Aka is produced — Turkish-red in various shades — which 
has so often excited the admiration of critics, in Japanese and 
Chinese silks. The aqueous solution of Kiwada bark is also used, 
instead of the Curcuma, to get certain beautiful tones, and stuff 


that has been dyed red in the Aka-solution is drawn through this, 
while still wet. 

From these remarks it will be seen that the method of obtaining 
and applying safflower-red agrees in the main with our own ; and 
it is to slight variations, at any rate, that the better result is to be 

The Katas, or matrices for impressing the stuffs with figures, are 
cut in relief out of Honoki or Sakura (see Woods). In order to keep 
certain parts white — such as the letters of a name, etc.^ — various 
plans are resorted to in dyeing. The most common is to cover 
with Nori (starch-paste) the spots which are not to be coloured, this 
Nori having been mixed with Niika (rice-bran), and then dry the 
piece in the air before dipping it into the dye. According to an- 
other plan, thin pieces of wood, such as shavings, are coated on their 
under-side with Funori (sea-weed glue, of Gleopeltis cotifonnis, 
Harv., and other species), and on their upper-side with paper, and 
then sewed fast to the spots that are to be left uncoloured. 

And in the art, much practised in Kioto, of painting flowers and 
other objects on prepared silk fabrics, the plain part is covered with 
Nori, after the picture has been outlined, to prevent the dyes from 
overflowing in consequence of hygroscopic or capillary attraction. 

4. Cattle-raising and Silk-growing, 

(a) Cattle-raising. 

It will suffice if we here add a few supplementary remarks to the 
scattered opinions already given in preceding sections, as to the 
slight importance in Japanese agriculture of cattle-raising on a 
large scale. 

The Japanese horse, or Uma (pronouticed M'ma), belongs to the 
Mongolian breed, is of small stature, with thick head and belly, 
trots loosely, and gets m a sweat quickly, but shows considerable 
endurance otherwise. It seldom receives careful attention. It 
stands in its stall with its head toward the entrance, and is tied with 
cords to the corner posts right and left, so close that it can scarcely 
move, and, above all, cannot lie down. There are no mangers 
or other fixed arrangements for feeding. On the other hand, its 
quarters are kept very clean. Its feed consists, as a rule, of coarse 
hay, damped, and mixed with a little bran or groats, and given 
it in a feed-box, which is usually tied to it while it eats. Besides 
this it gets barley, and, as a tit-bit, perhaps a handful of beans. 

The hay here spoken of is Ma-gusa, i.e., horse-plant dried. It is 
made from the grass of the Hara ; preferably, however, from two 
papilionaceous shrubs that grow there — the Hagi {Lespedeza cyrto- 

^ The peasant, for instance, wears his name in white on a blue blouse ; and 
the Samurai, his name or coat of arms on the back and sleeves of his garment. 


botrya, Miq., and other species) and the Kudzu {Piieraria Thun- 
bergiaiia^ Benth.). It is mown with the sickle — enough for the 
sHght demand — and brought home on the backs of men and 
horses, and then spread out before the house to dry in the sun. 
It is turned with sickles or poles, but never with rakes. 

The horse has hitherto been used mostly as a beast of burden, 
and only secondarily for riding. As a draught-animal it has had 
no place at all, except in ploughing ; for the few heavy Kuruma, or 
wagons that existed, e.g., in Kioto, for the Mikado and the Kuge, 
or for the goods-traffic between Kioto and Otzu, have been drawn 
by oxen since far-distant times. 

Marion in his day remarked that he saw only stallions in Yedo, 
Yokohama, and Nagasaki. If he had penetrated farther into the 
country, he would have found districts where only mares were used 
as beasts of burden. This was because there was no castration, 
and stallions are so liable to become unmanageable in the presence 
of mares ; so the old regulations arose, separating pack-horses and 
riding-horses according to sexes and by districts. 

Asses and mules were unknown. 

Cattle, Jap. Ushi (0-ushi or Kotoi, the bull ; Me-ushi, the cow ; 
Ko-ushi, the calf), were formerly kept only for carrying burdens, 
drawing the plough and the few wagons in use, but never for their 
milk and flesh. The breed is large, well-built, and capable of being 
fattened, with high withers, tapering back, and predominant black 
colour, with a shimmer of brown — a colour like that of the Hun- 
garian and Podolian cattle of the Steppes. The cows, as with that 
race too, have small udders, and resemble it also in that their milk 
belongs exclusively to the sucking calf, and dries up as soon as the 
calf is weaned. 

Goats (Hitsuji in the Chinese zodiac) and sheep (Rashamen and 
Menyo) were formerly quite unknown. They are said to have 
been brought into the country at different times and mostly by 
the Portuguese and Dutch, but have not spread. I do not know 
whether the attempt on the part of the government, in the last ten 
years, to introduce sheep-raising, has met with much better success. 
However, I must not fail to mention that Gaertner expressed the 
opinion that the soil and climate of Japan were ill-adapted to sheep- 
raising, because the fodder they produce is too long and juicy, and 
that all attempts hitherto made to domesticate sheep have failed 
for this reason. As to the unfitness of the soil, I have my doubts. 
But in view of the fact that sheep-raising succeeds best in countries 
with a dry climate, the chief obstacle to it in Japan is more likely 
to be in the damp atmosphere and frequent summer rains. 

Swine (Buta), so highly esteemed by the Chinese, and brought 
by them to Japan, were not bred much here before the opening up 
of the country and the increased demand for their flesh on the part 
of foreigners ; and even still they are found only in the vicinity of 
the larger towns. Formerly the inhabitant of the country districts 


got a roast now and then by the chase, and in that way alone, — 
except when he caught wild birds, such as ducks and pheasants, 
or even jays and ravens — the game being mostly wild swine, which 
were plenty {Siis leticornystox^ Tem., Jap. I), stags {Cervus Sika, 
Tem., Jap. Shika), bears {Urstis jaJ>o?iiacs, Schl, Jap. Kuma), apes 
{hums speciosus, Jap. Saru), and several other animals. Apart 
from this his animal food was limited to the products of domestic 
fishery, and a few eggs.^ 

The domestic fowl (Tori, i.e., bird ; On-dori, the cock ; Men-dori, 
the hen) is the only poultry to whose breeding the Japanese are 
universally devoted, and of this they raise various breeds. The 
tame duck (Ahiru), on the other hand, is as scarce as in Germany, 
and the goose is unknown. 

Dogs, cats, rabbits, white and coloured mice (and also rats), which 
must be counted among the domestic animals of Japan, are kept 
almost exclusively as pets. The cultivation of honey-bees (mitzu- 
bachi) is very limited and conducted with little care. A substitute 
for their wax, as we have already seen, is the vegetable tallow from 
the fruits of two species of sumach. 

I turn finally to that one of the domestic animals of the Japanese 
which although more helpless and insignificant than all the others, 
is yet more important and valuable than these all put together — 
the silkworm. For, farming excepted, it is of the very greatest 
importance for the prosperity of many millions of the land's in- 
habitants. Hence, in the following pages, we give it and its 
product the more detailed consideration which their importance 

(b) Silk-groiving. 

Of all the articles which China and Japan export to other 
countries, raw silk and silken fabrics are in many respects of first 
importance. Not only do they represent the highest money value, 
and contribute most toward increasing the prosperity of these two 
nations, but the trade in them dates farthest back, and has steadily 
increased in extent, despite many changes, ever since Roman mer- 
chants- opened it overland, and Portuguese 1,500 years later by sea. 
And to all appearances this great eminence will be maintained by 
silk in the future also, against all the competition of wool on the 
one hand and cotton on the other. The production of raw silk and 
of silken yarns and fabrics forms one of the corner-stones of the 
national well-being of great empires and of existence itself for 

^ Details on this subject, as well as concerning the Japanese fauna in general, 
are to be found in the first volume of this work, pp. 175-210. 

^ Silk undoubtedly found its way into West Asia many centuries earlier, for 
it was the material of the Persian and Median garments, so often celebrated by 
Greek authors. Yet Roman merchants were the first Europeans that penetrated 
into Central Asia on the so-called silk- roads, at the time of the Empire, to make 
better roads for this much-prized article. 


millions of their inhabitants, not only in East Asia, but in Europe 

If strength and fineness combined are desired in a thread, we re- 
sort to silk, and if warmth is desired for any part of the body, silken 
cloth comes into play, since it does not offend through coarseness 
nor become a burden by its thickness. Yarns and cloths made ot 
silk are at once glossy and smooth, fine, firm and lasting, healthy, 
warm and light. Because of these numerous advantages the use 
of them has spread more and more in all classes of society, as their 
price has fallen and general prosperity increased. The yearning 
for a silk dress has become a common desire of the female sex, 
and whoever cannot satisfy it, rejoices at least in a silk ribbon, 
to which, as to the dress, an added brilliancy is given by the 
aniline dyes of modern times. 

History tells us that at the time of the Emperor Aurelian {ijo 
A.D.) silk was worth its weight in gold, and that James I. of Scot- 
land, in 1406, borrowed a pair of stockings, so as to receive the 
English ambassador with proper dignity. This shows, on the one 
hand, that this noble stuff was held in due honour many centuries 
ago and at different periods, long before there was any thought in 
Europe of raising its old Asiatic companion, cotton, to such an 
influential position. On the other hand, however, we may conclude 
that the carriage of silk from East Asia was very expensive, and 
that its culture in Europe, for a long period, made but slow progress. 
For it had to contend with difficulties of a peculiar nature. The 
other textile fabrics — wool, cotton, flax, hemp, etc. — are products of 
larger animals, or of plants whose character is easily studied, which 
do not demand very laborious attention, and from which one is 
sure of a crop in a few months. For silk, however, we are indebted 
to a little insect, which depends for its life upon a definite genus of 
plant. Two organisms must here be brought into harmony, one of 
which, the plant, requires a development of several years, at least, 
before the other, the silkworm, can begin its life-work; therein 
differing widely from our other domesticated creatures. The 
silkworm is exceedingly choice in its diet, and yet has not the 
means, while in captivity, of making its own selection. It pos- 
sesses no voice to tell when it is hungry, or cold, or otherwise 
in need, and yet it succumbs very quickly to deleterious influences, 
for its life is short and therefore delicate. To learn what is advan- 
tageous for it, and to shun all injurious influences, demands close 
observation, and much circumspection, care, industry, and experience. 
A single oversight in its cultivation, neglect of the task for but a 
few hours, sometimes robs the silk grower of the reward of all his 
previous trouble and labour. 

Not only the silkworm {Bonibyx mori)^ but also its food-plant, 
the white mulberry {Mortis alba, L.), had to be brought from East 
Asia. Under such circumstances it is easy to understand why 
silk-culture advanced but slowly in Europe, from east to west, and 


northward from the Mediterranean — the more so as every innova- 
tion has to contend against prejudices, especially on the *part of 
a conservative peasantry. Even such a clear-sighted man as the 
minister Sully, for example, could not comprehend how such 
an insignificant insect as the silkworm could reall}^ be of any use 
to France, and it was not without reluctance, therefore, that he 
carried out the commands of Henry IV. to provide for the estab- 
lishment of silk-culture. 

The cultivation of silk, as of tea, had its rise in China, and 
spread from thence to Japan. But it has undoubtedly a far greater 
antiquity, for it is referred to in ancient Chinese records, as well as 
in the Old Testament and in the Greek classics,^ from Herodotus. 
W. Williams " states that according to the oldest mythological 
accounts silk-culture began about 2600 B.C. At that time, they 
say, the Empress Lui Tsu, in Shan-tung, began to raise silkworms 
and make fabrics out of their webs. She was afterwards wor- 
shipped as the goddess of silk, under the name of Yuenfi, and in 
the palace at Pekin a temple was dedicated to her, in which to this 
day the Empress of China, as protectress of silk-culture, annually 
offers homage to her, and brings certain sacrifices in April, at the 
beginning of the year's breeding. 

" The word by which the Chinese designated silk, migrated with 
the article, and we find it mentioned at a very early date by this 
name or others derived from it " (Von Richthofen). The Corean 
si7% the Greek 0-77^, and our various expressions, are derived from 
sz' (also ss2i^ see, and sse), the Chinese term for silk, and the affix 
orr (V). The Sedan (?) stuffs come from the Serians, in the land 
of Sera, from which also originated the word Serica, as a name for 
China. According to Von Richthofen, the present city of Khotan 
represents the Issedon Serica of Ptolemaeus. Thither in former 
times silk culture had been transplanted from the Chinese Orient. 
And by Sera metropolis he meant the Chinese city of Hsi-ngan-fu. 
Tshang-ye, the present Kan-tshdu was the great silk emporium of 
more recent times, when, according to Procopius, two monks 
(Nestorians) brought silkworm eggs to the Greek emperor Justinian 
from the land of " Serida." From time immemorial the minister 
Yu (later Emperor Yan) is mentioned as the most prominent 
promoter of silk-culture. He planted the hill-country of Shansi 
with mulberries. 

Silk is now produced in every province in China, particularly in 
Che-kiang, Kwang-tung, Sz'tshwan, Honan, Kiang-su, and Kwei- 
tshou. The best silk comes from the province of Che-kiang, 
especially its north-west corner, though even this does not equal 
Italian or Cevennes silk. It appears from the statistical table that 
China still stands first amongst the silk-producing countries of the 

^ See in particular the interesting remarks on this subject in v. Richthofen's 
" China," i. 443, and Yule's " Cathay," 159. 
2 " The Middle Kingdom," ii. p. 39. 


earth, and the amount exported annually from it to Europe, North 
America, and Bombay is between 52,000 and 85,000 bales (of 100 


The introduction of silk-culture into Japan is recorded as taking 

place in the second half of the third century (289), and is attributed 
to Corean and Chinese immigrants. It found a footing and ex- 
tended contemporaneously with Buddhism. Several legends, how- 
ever, assign quite another origin, giving a much earlier date. The 
best known of these informs us that an Indian Princess was com- 
mitted to the waves of the ocean in the hollowed trunk of a mul- 
berry tree by her cruel step-mother, who had already made several 
attempts to get rid of her ; and the waves washed her to Toyoura 
on the coast of Hitachi. Here she was kindly treated by the in- 
habitants, and in gratitude for their treatment was transformed 
into a silkworm after her death. 

For the planting of mulberry-trees and silk-culture generally, 
the Japanese are especially indebted to the twenty-first Mikado, 
Yuriaku Tenno (457-479 A.D.), and also to his Empress, who gave 
in this respect a good example to court and people. And from 
that time, too, foreign immigrants had to pay their duties in silk. 
But it was not until the second half of the sixth century and 
thereafter that silk-culture became fairly established and extended 
as a national branch of industry. 

It has retained the attention and interest of the rulers of Japan, 
even in the altered circumstances of modern times. The reigning 
Mikado on more than one occasion has attested his fondness for 
silk-culture and the products of silk-weaving ; and this explains 
the fact that the Japanese court chooses for presents chiefly home- 
made silk stuffs. 

Silk-culture, like tea-growing, has experienced a revival in the 
last thirty years. The chief cause of this was the high prices 
which were paid for raw silk and silkworm eggs, m consequence of 
the silkworm disease raging in Europe. Though these prices have 
sunk again, the increased exportation of the former still continues. 
Silk will probably remain in future the principal article of com- 
merce of Japan, and more than any other afford support and labour 
to many a poor valley. 

As compared with China and Japan, the other Asiatic silk-raising 
countries play no great part. In India the production of silk, if it 
has not fallen off, has at any rate remained stationary ; and the 
general decay in Persian and Turkish countries has already, to a 
great extent, embraced also the principal industry of many districts, 
silk-culture. Nowhere in the silk-producing countries of Europe 
did it receive from the above mentioned state of affairs that new 
impulse which was so effective in Japan. 

In Europe, the Greeks first became closely acquainted with silk 
through the expedition of Alexander the Great throuc^h Persia to 
India. His general Nearchos, according to Arrian, clothed him- 


self in this costly material, and Alexander sent silk-worms to his 
teacher, Aristotle, who is the first to describe them. But the 
introduction of silk-culture was reserved for a much later time. 
Every school-boy knows the story. Two Nestorian monks, as Pro- 
copius relates, brought some eggs of the silk-spinner from Khotan 
to the court of Justinian (550 A.D.) in their hollow staves; the 
caterpillars produced from these were then fed with leaves of the 
black mulberry tree {Moms nigra^ L.), which, though unknown in 
East Asia, had long been grown in Western Asia, its probable 
home, on account of its fruit. 

Italy, for a long time the foremost silk-producing country of 
Europe, was comparatively late in learning to cultivate the silk- 
worm. It was introduced in 11 30 A.D. through King Roger II. 
of Sicily. He brought it from Greece after a glorious campaign 
against the Byzantine emperor Emanuel, and with it Greek silk- 
worm breeders, spinners and weavers, whom he compelled to settle 
in Palermo and benefit his subjects by teaching them their art. 
From Sicily silk-culture spread to Calabria and northward over 
all Italy, but so slowly that it was not introduced into Milan till 
the middle of the sixteenth century. Lombardy is now the chief 
seat of the Italian silk-culture. Of the 40,000,000 kg. of cocoons 
(equal to 100,000 cwt. of raw silk), valued at 170,000,000 lire, which 
Italy produced in 1857, Lombardy alone yielded 15,000,000 kg. 
equal to 37,500 cwt of raw silk. 

The Iberian peninsula became acquainted with silk-culture long 
before Italy, in the eighth century, through the Arabs. 

Its introduction here and from Greece into Italy is attributable 
to wars of conquest, and in like manner France owes to a war 
her first mulberry-trees and silk-worms. After the conquest of 
Naples by Charles VIII. in the year 1440, some French noblemen 
brought them home with them. But in France, too, silk-culture 
developed so slowly that the Lombard weavers, whom Louis IX. 
and Francis I. imported for the establishment of the silk industry 
in France, had to obtain their raw material from Italy and Spain. 
Under Charles IX. the mulberry plantations became more and 
more extensive ; but the silk industry and silkworm breeding did 
not find a really firm footing till Henri IV. took a lively personal 
interest in them, giving his subjects a notable example of cir- 
cumspection and perseverance in this matter. The luxury dis- 
played by the court of Louis XIV. together with the high honours 
which were held out to successful silk manufactures, on Colbert's 
suggestion, were powerful means for the stimulation of the 
silk industry ; and yet at that very time silk-culture suffered a 
visible decline and was only able to furnish a fifth part of the 6,000 
cwt. of raw silk which the French industry then consumed. It 
experienced a revival under Louis XVI. ; before the Great Re- 
volution the annual crop was 6,500,000 kg. of cocoons (about 
ij5oo,ooo kg. of silk). The Revolution reduced this to 3,600,000 


kg. of cocoons, but after that the amount rose and the cultivation 
spread pretty steadily till the year 1853, when it reached the 
maximum yield of 26,000,000 kg. of cocoons. In the period be- 
tween 1840 and i860 the annual production of raw silk in twenty- 
eight departments of Southern and Central France is estimated to 
have been on an average, 40,000 cwt., worth 100,000,000 francs. 
Then came the devastating silk-worm disease, and reduced the 
yield in the year 1865, to 34,000,000 francs, and in the Cevennes 
even to one-twentieth of former harvests. The effect of this dis- 
ease on the prosperity of the people and the value of land was 
especially marked here, where, for example in the Departement du 
Gard, the best raw silk is made, for the strongest links of fine 
textures, and a Hectare planted with mulberry trees was worth 
20,000 francs, with a yearly yield of 1,200 francs. 

We must regard the Alps as the northern boundary of successful 
and important silk culture in Europe. All attempts and efforts on 
the part of princes, private persons, and associations to extend it 
over the countries of central Europe have not yet sufficed, in spite 
of small successes, to secure for it a footing there. There are plenty 
of old, moss-covered mulberry trees here and there throughout 
Germany, and mulberry hedges along railway embankments and 
elsewhere — the marks of these vain endeavours. These experi- 
ments began in Brandenburg, when the Huguenot immigrants 
introduced silk-weaving. Frederick the Great encouraged it, and 
sought to promote silk culture by setting out millions of mulberry 
trees. In the year 1784 there were 14,000 pounds of raw silk 
produced in his land — an amount, which has never been reached 
again in all Germany. Although Germany now possesses a 
flourishing silk industry, all the raw material, as in the case of 
Switzerland, England, and North America, is obtained directly or 
indirectly from abroad, from Italy and the Orient. 

Having taken this short historical and geographical glance at 
the extension of silk culture, let us return to Japan, to the land 
whose industry and commercial conditions it is the object of this 
excursus to illustrate from every point of view, and which, as a 
silk producer stands second only to China and Italy in importance 
for our European industry. But before taking up its silk culture 
in detail, we must, of course, first consider briefly its fundamental 
elements — the mulberry tree and the silkworm. 

The white mulberry tree {Morns alba, L.) Japan. Kuwa, like the 
silk-spinner {Boinbyx mori, L.) which feeds upon its leaves, has 
been divided by a high cultivation into many sub-species. But 
notwithstanding many assertions to the contrary, it has never yet 
been discovered in a state of primitive wildness.^ It may be taken 

^ Even good botanists sometimes are in doubt, when they find cultivated 
plants that have run wild, whether they have not discovered an original home 
and the pure, natural form of the plant. How much more liable to err, then, is 
the tyro. Therefore, although Oppert, in his book on Corea, states that the" 


for granted that its general botanical character is already known. 
But in refutation of one widespread error, it is well to remark 
here that some varieties of this " white mulberry " bear black fruit, 
but are always to be distinguished from Moms nigra, L., by their 
leaves, which are a lighter green, and thinner and more delicate. 

The tree accommodates itself to different climates and soils, and 
on this account, and for its importance in silk-culture, is widely 
distributed. Thus we meet with it in Europe, from the shores of 
the North Sea and the Baltic to those of the Mediterranean, some- 
times only singly, and again in greater numbers, the last more 
frequently in proportion as the use of its foliage has become im- 

Reproduction can take place by means of seeds, cuttings, and 
shoots, though one of the last-named methods is chosen as a rule. 
Melioration by grafting, or budding, does not take place. The 
plant has a rapid growth, and if it is headed after the manner of 
willows, puts forth every year thickly foliaged stout shoots more 
than a meter long. In any one of its usual forms it attains an 
age of 40 to 60 years, but is generally renewed in 30 to 40 years. 
In sub-tropical countries, as in Syria and Andalusia, the new 
leaves come out in March ; in Provence and Northern Italy, and 
also in Japan, in April ; in Germany, not till May. Of the various 
sub-species I found in Japan : 

{a) M. alba laciniata, Hort, with which must be placed a vulgaris 
indica, D.C. (Prodromus XVII. p. 238, ff). It has deep-lobed 
leaves, is called T6-kuwa, and found principally in the higher 

{b) M. alba viacrophylla, Hort. 

(^) M. alba Morettiajia, Hort. with large, bright, smooth leaves, 
which are heart-shaped, pointed, and sharply dentated, and less 
frequently lobed. This, as is well known, is the principal species 
in Southern Europe. 

(d) M. multicatdis, Perr. {M. Constantinopolitana, Lam.) with 
large heart-shaped leaves, somewhat hairy on their under-side ; is 
planted principally in the plain and hilly country of Japan, and 
treated mostly as a bush. 

As regards treatment, three kinds of cultivated mulberry-trees 
are found in Japan : 

I. The shrubby (Hiku-kabu, i.e. low stump). This is the kind 
most carefully and extensively cultivated, and predominates in the 
more level parts of the great silk districts. The mulberry shoots 
are set out in soil that has been thoroughly and deeply worked, 
two-thirds of a meter apart, in rows i meter apart. Every year 
they are cut down nearly to the ground, like osiers. The head 
or stump thus formed puts forth annually a great number of shoots 

mulberry tree and the tea-shrub also, grow wild in that country, the statement 
still needs to be verified by some one qualified to speak on the matter. 


(whence, probably, the name M. multicaulis, Perr.) with large, 
strong leaves, which are stripped from the switches either on the 
spot or at home. The latter is usually the case. At a little 
distance these plantations do not look unlike a vineyard in level 
country, especially in the Mediterranean region, without supports 
for the vines. 

2. The limited tree-shaped (Taka-kabu, i.e. high stump). In this 
branch of the industry actual stems are obtained, as in raising 
willows for barrel hoops ; but these trunks are headed at a height 
of I to 2 meters. This is mulberry-culture as practised, for 
example, in Northern Italy and Spain particularly (with Morus 
alba, L., a, vulgaris Morettiana, J acq.). In Japan it is especially 
common in hilly regions, but does not afford so fine an appearance 
as in Northern Italy, where it is carried out with more regularity 
and attention. As we see here, it admits of other plants being 
raised alongside of it, and this is also the case in Japan if the 
trees, as is commonly the case, are placed wide apart, or on the 
borders of the fields. 

3. The free tree-shaped (Taka-gi, i.e. high tree). As already 
remarked, this is most frequently M. alba, L., indica, and is most 
frequent in valleys, or rather on their slopes. Owing partly to 
their situation, and the poverty of their owners, these trees look 
somewhat neglected. They seldom become more than 30 to 40 
years old, and rarely exhibit a finely shaped crown. Manure, of 
which they require more than the better situated trees and shrubs 
in the plain, is seldom applied to them. 

All silk, Jap. Kinu, originates in the cocoons or pupa coverings 
of a group of moths which are designated by the name of Bomby- 
cides, or spinners. Of these, the Bombyx mori, L., the mulberry- 
spinner, is the best known and by far the most important. To it 
all the foregoing observations directly apply, and, as a rule, this 
is true of all remarks on silk and silk-culture. As in the case of 
our other domestic animals, and many cultivated plants, their 
culture, lasting for thousands of years, has gradually resulted in 
the production of a large number of species. These differ from one 
another in all their stages of development, as eggs, caterpillars, 
cocoons (pupse), and butterflies, but especially as to the length of 
life, size, and form of the caterpillars, and also the size, form, and 
colour of the cocoons. Almost all of them are characterized, in 
the caterpillar stage, by a lazy, sociable life, four castings, and the 
fact that they feed on fresh leaves of Morus alba, L. They are 
thus grouped : — 

(a) Season-spinner breed, Ital. Annuali, Jap. Haru-ko, i.e. spring- 
children. They breed only once, in spring and early summer, and 
produce by far the greatest quantity and best silk. 

{b) Breeds that fly repeatedly, Zwei und Dreispinner, Ital. Bivol- 
tini and Trivoltini, Jap. Natsu-go, i.e., summer-children, with several 
changes of breeding in one summer. They are not much valued, 
and but seldom cultivated. 


In both of these chief breeds there are, again, a number of sub- 
divisions, distinguished, according to the colour of the cocoons, as 
white-spinners (Jap. Shiro-ko, white children), green-spinners (of a 
yellow- green colour, Jap. Kin-ko, i.e. gold-children), and yellow- 
spinners. White and green spinners are the favourite Japanese 
breeds, one being preferred in one part of the country, the other in 
another. Their cocoons, Jap. Mayu, are smaller than the European 
and Levantine. There are 850 of the white Japanese in a kilo- 
gram, and 550 of those raised in Asia Minor ; while of the beau- 
tiful yellow cocoons of the North Italian Brianza breed it takes 
only 500 to a kilogram. 

In their other stages of development as well, the Japanese white 
and green-spinners are distinguished by several features from our 
European breeds. The eggs, Jap. Tane, seeds, French graines, have 
for example, very fragile shells. For this reason the butterflies are 
made to deposit them on boards (tane-gami) made of bast paper. 
These are usually 35 cm. long and 22 cm. broad, and are covered 
with about 25 grammes i.e. 45,000 separate eggs. These stick 
fast, and from them the young grubs creep out on the cardboard. 
The peculiar character of these grubs is not shown till after the 
third casting : yellow eyes, with black arches, and plain distinct, 
dark sickles or half-moons on the back. After the fourth casting 
they grow very fast, acquiring at this point the appearance of our 
old breeds, though they remain one-fourth smaller than our yellow- 
spinners. And the Kaiko or Japanese silk-worms are less active, 
and have a strong inclination to spin themselves in on the spot 
where they lie. Until the second or third casting, they must be 
fed on chopped leaves, which are given them, as a rule, four times 
a day. In fewer cases it is customary to feed them five or six 
times, especially in the first two of the five periods into which the 
caterpillar's life falls, on account of its four changes of skin. 

The silkworm, to develop well and strong, needs a clean, dry 
room, free from draughts, and with fresh, healthy air, — not much 
exceeding the limits of 10-30° C, — besides protection from direct 
sunlight, and clean, fresh food, free from dust, yet dry. The 
skilled breeder must industriously study all these life-conditions 
in connection with a number of other smaller, but no less import- 
ant, circumstances — among them the cleanliness of the attendant 
— and, through no lack of attention or care, fail to fulfil them. In 
Japan most of the work falls to the women. The breeding (of 
Haru-ko, or spring-children) depends, of course, upon the appear- 
ance of new foliage on the fo d-plant, and commences, in the 
plain and the warmer hill-country, at the beginning of May, but in 
the valleys not till the middle or end of the month. It lasts, on 
an average, 34 days, with natural warmth, i.e. a temperature vary- 
ing between 8^ and 28° in the shade. In the breeding room, how- 
ever, an average of 10-20° C. is maintained. 

The artificial temperature of 20-25° C. maintained at most 



breeding places in Europe shortens the time of the Japanese 
breeds to 32 days, and that of the Brianza to even 25 days. 

Silk-culture in Japan is confined to Hondo, the largest of the 
islands. It constitutes here the most widespread and important 
home industry, in most cases being carried on in connection with 
other agricultural employments ; but as a rule it is the inhabitants' 
chief source of income. Where it is carried out to a large extent, 
one perceives from the large, clean houses, and their beautiful mats, 
how it has improved the condition of the people. No other branch 
of agricultural industry gives evidence of an equally beneficial 
influence. In such districts there are, as might be supposed, 
particular places in which the caterpillars are raised in larger 
quantities. In some narrow valleys people even give up the 
ordinary one-storied style of house, and added another storey 
to the dwelling below, so as to have plenty of dry, airy rooms 
for the silk-culture. I have noticed this, among other places, in 
the province of Kaga, near Ushikubi. Wherever, on the other 
hand, the breeder, through poverty or neglect, does not give his 
silk-worms a room by themselves, — wherever at my entrance I 
met an offensive odour and a swarm of flies, as in many of our 
cattle stalls, there I also observed signs of ruinous disease (the 
Pebrine not excepted). Thus, at a single change of bed, hun- 
dreds of dead silk-worms had to be cast into the water that ran 
past — as, for example, in the northern part of Mino. Like the 
hatching rooms, also the storage arrangements are varied and 
suited to the means at command — from the simple frame or sieve, 
to the solid structure of a high stand with compartments. This 
may be compared, as a rule, to two ladders standing vertically 
opposite each other, across the rounds of which, at intervals of 
25 to 40 cm., are placed the horizontal hurdles or beds, consisting 
either of parallel laths or bamboo sticks, laid from i to 3 cm. 
apart, and covered with thin straw mats. 

When the time of hatching draws near, the paper boards are 
brought into the hatching room, or to a shady spot in the open air, 
with the eggs, which have been kept up to this time in a dry place, 
wrapped in paper and protected from mice. Here the silkworm is 
developed in the ^gg gradually, as the warmth increases, Exact 
observations in Europe have shown that this development begins at 
a temperature of 10° C, requiring from that point onwards a total 
heat of about 400° C, which is divided over 24 to 30 days of 
April and early May, according to their temperature. It is mani- 
fest, therefore, that hatching is hastened by artificial heat, increased 
gradually, but not above 25° C. When the worms appear, they 
are from time to time and in various ways, transferred to the beds, 
which have been covered with delicate chopped leaves. This 
removal is performed either by gently striking the under-side of 
the cards, or stroking with a feather, or by laying over the eggs 
a sheet of paper, punctured here and there, and bestrewn on the 


top side with tender mulberry leaves. The worms that have 
crawled out, get to the food through the holes in the paper, and 
can easily be carried off with it the hurdles. 

If the breeding is carefully conducted, the bed must be cleaned 
daily, except during the times of casting, The cleaning is done 
before a fresh supply of food is given, and, as a rule, in the following 
way. Above the bed is stretched a thin net (Ami) of hemp-yarn. 
On this fresh leaves are laid, to which the worms crawl over. 
Then the straw mat beneath, with its remnants of food, droppings, 
and possibly dead worms, is withdrawn and cleaned, or replaced 
directly by another with fresh food. I also saw people carry with 
their fingers to the new bed the inert worms which had remained 
behind ; but it is better to place them on special hurdles and tend 
them there, for their languor is often only the first sign of sickness, 
and it is therefore important that they should be separated from 
the healthy worms as soon as possible. And it is a point in careful 
breeding to keep together worms of the same age and condition, 
which go through their castings simultaneously, and finally spin 
themselves in and go into the chrysalis stage at pretty much the 
same time. On this account worms that are hatched a day earlier 
or later than the great majority, are separated from these and 
tended on special beds. 

On the other hand, it often happens that a breeder begins with a 
second or even third series of worms a week or two after the breed- 
ing has begun, if he still has seed and plenty of food at hand. 
After the third, and especially after the fourth casting, the worms 
grow rapidly, and must be separated and put on more beds, so as 
not to lie too close together, or perhaps even on top of one another. 
This is best done at the last bed-cleaning before the castings, so that 
after the third casting there shall be 80 to 100 worms to a square 
foot of bed. When the change of skin (Jap. Neoki-tsuru ; French 
mue) is drawing near, the worm stops feeding, and becomes some- 
what brighter and smoother, and translucent ; its head swells ; it 
raises itself up with its head on high like a sphinx, in this position 
falling into a sick lethargic state, a sleep in which it must not be 
disturbed till the casting is over. When its development is healthy 
and normal, this lasts one day. Then the worm turns to its food 
with new and strengthened appetite, its capacity being much in- 
creased. With the Japanese breeds the first and fifth period of age 
are the longest, each of them lasting eight days, and each of the 
others averaging six days. Of 300 kg. of food, which 20,000 worms 
require for their development, more than three-fourths is devoured 
between the fourth casting and going into the chrysalis state. 
Their growth and increase in weight correspond to this astonishing 
requirement of food. Nitrogen alone has formed 14 per cent, of 
a worm's weight. 

The following table will give some informativon as to the relative 
weight of the worm at the end of its separate periods of existence, 
and also of its transformations. 



The quantitative changes of the live and dry zueight of the silk- 
worm during its development} 

1000 specimens of the Japanese white-spinner g 

ave : — 

Just hatched .... 
I. Period, after 175 hours 
159 » 

2. Period 

3. Period, „ 

4. Period, „ 

5. period, „ 
Empty cocoon 
Pupa alone . . . 
Cocoon with pupa 
Butterfly. . . . 



Live weight 





1 14-05 







Dry weight 



Relation of 
the Live 

Relation of 
the Dry 

The weight of the worm 
when just hatched = i. 


1 1-4 







1,4507 (?) 

The increase in the weight of the silkworms is thus quite enor- 
mous, especially after the fourth casting. When ready to spin, they 
have increased their live weight nearly 5,400-fold, and that too 
within 34 days 10 hours, the total period of development. Whereas 
it takes 2,415 of the newly hatched grubs to make a gramme, a 
single one ready to spin weighs 222 gr. 

Before it begins to spin, the silkworm loses its appetite, crawls 
about restlessly, often raising its body like a sphinx, empties itself 
of excrements, and becomes noticeably translucent. The greatest 
change, however, is internal. The two spinning-glands — long, 
coiled conduits, lying on either side of the alimentary canal — 
have become gradually filled with transparent, thick, fluid silk- 
stufif, which comes forth from them, when the silkworm begins 
to spin, through the so-called spinning-teats in its head, stiffening 
in two separate threads. These threads, however, become instantly 
cemented together in a double thread in the short duct common 
to both, in consequence of their coating of glue. The length of 
this double thread varies between 350 and 650 meters in different 
breeds and cocoons, according to their abundance of silk.^ 

^ After Kellner, in " Landvvirthschafd. Versuchsstationen von Nobbe." Bd. 
XXX., p. 75, 1884. 

2 Strong silk-threads with the appearance of violin-strings are known in 
commerce by the Japanese name Tengiisuj EngHsh, silkworm-gut ; French, yf/*-/^ 
Flore?ice. In China they are made directly from the spinning-glands of full- 
grown silkworms, and have for some time been used with us for surgical 
sewing-thread, and also in large quantity for fishing-lines. (See also Caligula 
iaponica^ Butl.) 


When it begins to spin, the silkworm chooses a corner, the fork 
of a twig, or some such retaining-point for its first thread. The 
breeder assists it in this incUnation, employing various measures to 
promote the formation of cocoons. One of the simplest and most 
practical, is to spread rape-stalks over the bed of the caterpillars 
about to spin, the numerous light branches of which offer them 
facilities for fastening their first thread. In other places in Japan, 
small loose fagots of thickly branching brush, as long as the bed is 
wide, are bound up and laid across it. I observed still another 
method, quite different from these, at Nagahama, on the Biwa Lake. 
Little cornets of straw were spread over the bed, which the cater- 
pillars easily reached and used quite readily for going into the 
chrysalis state. 

It takes the caterpillar three or four days to change into a chry- 
salis. Fu'st it makes a loose, ellipsoidal case, and then, supported 
by this, — meanwhile twisting and bending its body, which is all the 
time getting shorter, it forms the cocoon. This consists of a single 
thread, averaging 400 to 500 meters long, and becoming thinner 
and weaker towards the centre (in the proportion of 3 to 4). The 
external, loose web, the floss-silk, German FLockseide, Japanese 
Noshi and Mazuata, French bourre, consists of many thin, and on 
that account alone much less valuable, threads. A cross-section of 
a cocoon wall shows, when magnified, from 5 to la layers of silk, 
adhering tightly or loosely. The thread which forms them was 
deposited by the caterpillar in continuous backward turns one on 
another and sticks fast to the one adjoining. If the layers of thread 
lie close together, the cocoon-wall has the appearance of parchment, 
with a thickness of scarcely 0*3 mm. Otherwise, the structure is 
leafy, and rough, like felt, and the wall is i mm. thick. The weights 
in grammes of floss-silk, firm silk-web, and pupa, bear to each other 
the following relation, according to Haberland, taking 100 Japanese 
cocoons of Italian breeding : — 

Floss-silk. Firm silk. Pupa. Together. 

Green-spinners 0*52 i6*oo io8*io I24'52 

White-spinners 0*48 i5"34 io6*20 122*02 

from which it appears that green-spinners have [3*26 per cent, and 
white spinners 12-69 per cent, of silk in the total weight of the 

From seven to nine days after the caterpillars have spun, the 
cocoons are taken from their resting-places and separated from the 
floss-silk that surrounds them. The best are chosen for breeding, 
and the pupae of the remainder are killed by being exposed to the 
sun, or by steam or heated air. The cocoons are then dried and 
put away to be wound off, or sold to large factories or reeling-estab- 
lishments — filandas. A cocoon is well-shaped or normal when it 
has full walls and a sharply accentuated form, a fine, close web, 
and firmness, especially at the ends. As a rule they are ellipsoidal, 


though the male cocoons almost always have a saddle-shaped de- 
pression in the middle, and are smaller, but harder than the female. 
The so-called double-cocoons, Jap. Tama-ito, French dotippions, are 
suited neither for reeling-off nor for breeding. They originate from 
two or even, possibly, three caterpillars choosing the same nook 
and crossing and tangling their threads when spinning. They are 
much larger and generally somewhat otherwise formed than the 
simple normal ones. But their quantity of silk is less than it would 
be if the caterpillars had spun themselves in separately. As a rule, 
none of the enclosed pupae develops into a butterfly. They die 
soon after their work in common. An attentive silk-raiser will 
for these reasons seek to prevent the formation of double-cocoons 
wherever he sees they are imminent, by inserting a splinter of 
wood or a stiff piece of paper between the caterpillars. In Europe, 
special apparatus have been devised for this purpose, " Appareil 
cellulaire isolateur," etc., which were to be seen at the great in- 
dustrial exhibitions in Paris. The pointed cocoons also {cocons 
pomtiis) are hard to reel-off, and so are the very large loose ones 
{cocalojis). Chaqtieites and cocons calcines also are of little value, 
especially those in which the insect died before completing the 
thread. Finally there are the cocons perces or pierced cocoons. To 
this class belong first of all those from which the butterflies have 
escaped. They dissolve the thread at one end of the cocoon's 
long axis by means of a caustic liquid, and then make a hole 
through. But we must add to these the cocoons which are pierced 
by parasites — as in Japan by the larvae of the Uchi-fly ; for such 
cocoons likewise cannot be wound off. They can only be worked 
into floret-silk, like double-cocoons and the bourre. 

Seventeen or eighteen days after the caterpillars began to 
spin, the butterflies (Jap. Chocho) creep out of their cocoons, at 
about 8 a.m. They have broken through at one end of the long 
axis by means of a corrosive liquid, and now sit just outside, with 
their heads turned upward. The unmistakable marks of the females, 
are greater size, a thicker body behind, plain antennae, and ex- 
treme inertness, while the males or cocks are characterized by the 
vigorous flapping of their wings. Pairing begins immediately, and 
is over in 6 to 8 hours, whereupon the males are thrown away, and 
the females set for laying their 250-400 eggs on the cards arranged 
for that purpose. Within 24 hours they have performed this task, 
and are now also cast aside as of no further use. 

The round eggs or graines, which at first are straw-colour, be- 
come a slaty-grey within a fortnight, their fructification being 
indicated by the change As already mentioned, they are wrapped 
in paper and put into a dry, cool room, to be kept till the 
next breeding-time in the following spring ; or they are sold to 
Italian and French dealers for breeding in Europe, of which details 
are given further on. In view of the small part played by the 
Bivoltini (Natsu-go, or summer children) in Japanese silk-cul- 



ture/ a very few observations in connection with the foregoing will 
suffice. We learn from the well-known and already quoted work 
of Richthofen, that in China in olden times it was strictly forbidden 
to gather two silk-harvests in one year, or as we should say, rather, 
to cultivate Bivoltini. In other silk-raising countries this species 
was held in those days in the same small esteem. It would 
seem that their cocoons are light and the thread weak. According 
to Haberland, the Japanese Bivoltini (white and green-spinner) 
contain only 9*18 grammes, or 1 1 per cent, of the weight of silk 
of the cocoon. The worms form their cocoons thirty days after 
hatching ; fifteen days later the butterfly appears. Their eggs are 
smaller than those of other species, are red in colour and oblang 
in shape. Ten days after they are laid, the worm is hatched, and 
begins a second breeding on the same plan as the first. The 
cocoons are usually of a long ^gg shape, pointed at one end. 

Besides the various diseases common to silkworms, Japanese silk- 
culture suffers most from a parasitical insect, the larva of the 
Udschi fly {Udschiuiya sericariciy Rond). According to C. Sasaki,- 
this fly lays its small oval eggs about the beginning of May 
along the ribs of the under-side of the young mulberry leaves. The 
silkworm feeding on these leaves, many of the eggs are conveyed 
to the alimentary canal, where a thin white worm is hatched,, which 
• by means of its sharp mandibles, furnished with small bristles, 
bores through the walls of the canal and reaches the ganglia, where 
it feeds upon nerve cells. Later it enters the trachea and fleshy 
substance, and here it attains its maturity, coming finally forth 
upon the outside surface a full-grown insect. Very often it begins 
its course later on in the life of the worm, and continues its develop- 
ment in the chrysalis. The light-weight cocoon which results from 
its depredation is at last made quite useless by the piercing through 
of the full-grown fly. Killing the cocoon as soon as quite formed 
hinders the complete destruction of such as still conceal the living 
parasite within. 

Greeven,^ some ten ye'ars since, called attention to these insects 
and their great depredations. He states that sometimes 80 per cent, 
of the cocoons reserved for breeding have been found to be infested 
by them, Bavier also, in his book upon the silk industry of Japan, 
devotes some space to the subject, and notes that an average of 
forty per cent, of the worms in Sinshiu (Shinano), and in Musashi 
and Joshiu (Kotsuke) 50 per cent, are injured by these parasites. 

In view of this pest, the various diseases which have up to 
this time interfered with the silk culture in Japan have seemed 

^ Until now the white Bivoltini have been cultivated only in the neighbour- 
hood of Miharu, Province Iwaki. 

2 Udschimya sericaria, Rond. "A Fly Parasite on the Silkworm." Nature, 
Sept. 4, 1884. 

^ " Mittheilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft Ostasiens." Heft. 7, pp. 20 and 


comparatively insignificant, and received but little attention. As 
far as has been discoverable, however, in late years, the Japan 
silk-raiser has to meet all the diseases common to the silkworm 
in European countries. His foe, Hoshii, is our Muscardine, his 
Fushi-kaiko appears to be what is known among us as Schlaffsucht 
and in his Koshari may be recognised the somewhat less frequent 
but equally feared Pebrine, or Corpuscula disease. As the course 
of this fatal Pebrine epidemic in Europe has had a most power- 
ful reaction upon silk culture in Japan, a few more particular 
details may be given here. In the years 1845-6 there appeared 
in three of our most important industries — the culture of the 
potato, grape, and silkworm — diseases which were so peculiar in 
their character, and so widely extending, that they exercised a 
powerful and lasting influence upon our social life, particularly upon 
trade and manufactures. Chemistry speedily furnished successful 
remedies for the grape disease, and the potato disease after a long 
period disappeared as gradually as it came. But the mortality 
among silkworms reached at this time, viz., between 1 860-1 870, its 
highest point, and continued with greater persistence and severity. 
Its nature difi"ered essentially from all the diseases hitherto known 
to silk culture. It was known as Pebrine, Spot or Corpuscula 

It appeared first in the French districts along the Mediterranean, 
spreading from the banks of the Herault, like the grape disease, 
along the waterways, over the valleys of the Clain, the Boivre, the 
Durance and Rhone with still greater rapidity, till in 1851 all the 
silk- raising Departments of France were infected. In the year 1854 
it was first noticed in Italy, and its worst ravages occurred in 1856, 
when in many places the silk harvest fell off 25 per cent. A 
calamity which bore so heavily on the national welfare of France, 
Italy, and other countries, naturally excited the attention of 
governments and scientists. Numerous remedies were proposed 
and tried, but none succeeded. Silk-raisers betook themselves to 
the East, the lower Danube, to Greece and Asia Minor, in order 
to check the evil by the introduction of other and apparently 
healthier species. But it seemed as if they carried the disease east- 
ward with thtm, for it spread more and more widely, till it showed 
itself in the Crimea, in Trans-Caucasus and Persia, and at last even 
in India and China. Only one country, and that Japan, remained 
unvisited by the pestilence, and towards Japan all eyes were turned 
for the longed-for deliverance. A new industry, the export of silk- 
worm eggs, was thus developed in this country; one which soon 
assumed significant size, and had a powerful effect upon Japanese 
silk-culture at home. Before following this further, a few observa- 
tions on the disease itself are in place. The existence of the Cor- 
puscula disease shows itself at the outset in a noticeable dwarfing 
of the growth of some of the worms. These diminutive worms 
manifest little appetite, and crawl lazily and slowly about. The 


casting comes on later than with the healthy specimens, in the fourth 
making- a difference of from eight to fourteen days, and the larger 
proportion of the worms die before reaching the spinning age. The 
body becomes soft, assumes a dirty yellow colour, with peculiar 
spots appearing first on the hairy parts. These seem at first scarcely 
darker than the skin, but grow gradually larger and more noticeable 
in shade, run together in irregular shapes, and are finally pitch- 
black and shining. The excretions are more liquid than in a 
healthy state, and covered with yellow slime, which hardens on 
exposure to air, flows of itself, becomes black, and often obstructs 
the passage. When dead the worm soons dissolves into a sickening 
black slime. The disease often appears first toward the end of the 
development of the silkworm, but carries on its work in the chry- 
salis, so that the ravages of the plague are plainly to be observed in 
the forthcoming butterfly. Much more important than these out- 
ward indications and symptoms are the workings of the disease in 
the body of the insect. After a most careful study of these, it has 
been found that the surest sign of the Pebrine is the presence of cer- 
tain small egg-shaped, ellipsoidal or cylindrical bodies, 0'005-0"002 
mm. in length, rounded at both ends, which look like oil drops when 
brought to the light. These "Corpusculs vibrants" were first in- 
vestigated and described by Prof Cornalia of Milan, and are known 
in consequence as the Cornalian corpuscles. The nature of these 
organisms, Nosenia bombycis, Naegl., was stated much later. They 
are found in all parts of the diseased worm, in the excretions also, 
and propagate themselves from generation to generation. The 
healthy butterfly has none of them, but they reappear in its eggs. 
Upon this fact, following the teaching of the celebrated physiolo- 
gist, Pasteur, has been founded the only successful remedy, or, 
rather, the means of controlling and removing the disease, which, 
consistently employed, has wrought the best results. It consists 
in a careful microscopic test of those butterflies reserved for breed- 
ing, and of their eggs, and the separation of every suspicious insect 
and particle, the special directions and prescriptions for which 
would take up too much time and space. It must be mentioned 
in this connection that the notion of Liebig and others of his time, 
that mulberry culture works a gradual weakening and chemical 
change of food through exhaustion of the soil, and thus largely 
causes the disease, was entirely erroneous, as I showed some 
eighteen years since.^ 

The summers of 1856, 1862 and 1865 were the worst seasons 
known to silk-culture in modern times. They were all marked in 
Southern Europe by sultry temperatures and long continuing rains 
throughout the breeding period. This abnormal and unfavourable 
weather, without doubt, largely increased the ravages of the disease. 
In Italy the cocoon harvest, which yielded in 1857 forty million kg. 

1 Rein: " Dergegenwartige Stand des Seidenbaues." Frankfurt a/M . 1868 
pp. 22-24. 


in all, was reduced in 1865 to less than half this amount. The 
same year in France, the harvest fell from one hundred million to 
thirty-four million francs, and from this sum a deduction of ten 
million francs should be made for the cost of foreign eggs or 
graines. Where the French graines had cost from four to six 
francs the ounce, the imported article cost from fifteen to twenty. 
Under such circumstances the welfare of the silk districts sank 
rapidly. Large mulberry plantations which before yielded large 
income, could not find purchasers, as was stated in the French 
Senate in 1865, by the late celebrated chemist Dumas. Since then 
the conditions have improved gradually, but to the present time no 
European country has reached its former grade of silk production. 
France furnishes now perhaps one-half, and Italy two-thirds of its 
former yield of the raw material. The country which had the 
advantage over all others was as has been said before, Japan. 
To its export of raw silk, which greatly increased in amount and 
price, was now added the exportation of silkworm-eggs, and their 
production for foreign markets became an important element in 
the silk-culture of the land. Every summer a num.ber of strangers, 
principally Italians, appeared to execute commissions for foreign 
companies, merchants mainly, who travelled by permission of the 
Japanese authorities into the silk districts of the interior, purchased 
what they required of the graines, and returned to Europe, where 
their speculating principals speedily found a market for them. 
These '* Bivoltini," as they were humorously named, thus made 
for themselves a regular business, to the no small vexation of the 
Italian embassy and the Japanese government, both of which 
considered their burdensome agency as entirely superfluous, since 
the purchasing and exporting of eggs might have been carried on 
quite as well by the regular foreign merchants of Japan. 

The export of silk seeds, ox graines, in boxes, began in i860, but 
must have been conducted somewhat secretly until 1865, as up to 
that time an old law existed, forbidding the same under penalty of 
death. The experiments made in Italy in i860 and 1861 with the 
Japanese white and green-spinners proved very successful in those 
years and still later ; nevertheless, a noticeable weakening of the 
species became evident in the second and third generation. Mean- 
while the Japanese exports oi graines increased rapidly, amounting 
in 1863 to 30,000 boxes, in 1864 to 300,000, and in 1865 to 
2,500,000. This immense sale and enormous profit, which chiefly 
enriched Japanese merchants, led to cheats and counterfeits of 
various kinds, not only by the admixture of eggs of an inferior 
breed, but also of Bivoltini, so that complaints increased. On the 
other hand, the enlarged exportation was not without disadvan- 
tage to silk-culture at home, and the government was obliged to 
seek a remedy. This was found in the control and regulation of 
production by the government, leaving the export of silk seeds free 
as before. It was discovered after a while that the eggs of high 


altitudes hatched a better species of worm than those of the lower 
countries, where the breeding was more active ; consequently the 
breeders of the province of Joshiu, where the silk industry specially 
flourished, brought their eggs from Shinano. The government 
now permitted only those breeders living in high localities to pro- 
duce eggs for seed, controlled the breeding, and stamped the boxes 
with the official seal before they were forwarded to treaty-ports. This 
regulation had little effect for good upon either the home industry 
or the export, which underwent many vicissitudes of quantity and 
price, and which in modern times has greatly decreased. The price 
reached the highest limit in 1873, when the average worth of a box 
was 2"i5 yen, or about eight shillings and sixpence, while in 1877 
it had fallen to 0*29 yen, or one shilling and twopence the box. In 
1868 there were exported 1,886,325 boxes, worth 3,782,351 yen, or 
about ^^727,9 1 2 ; in 1877, 1,167,502 boxes, worth 341,467 yen, or a 
little more than ^66,954. 

The silk-culture of Japan is, as has been before remarked, 
limited to the principal island of Hondo. Of the various silk pro- 
ducts of this island (Japanese Kinu or Ito in the most general sig- 
nificance) which are sent to Europe and the United States from 
Yokohama, the most important is reel-silk (Japanese, Sage Ito ; 
French, ^;V;^^/ English, hanks), which is only excelled in quality 
by the French and Italian. Besides this, there is the silk waste of 
all kinds (French, dechets), which serves for spun silk or flurt, and 
which includes especially the refuse that occurs in the course of 
cultivation. This consists of flock silk (French, blaze), or the loose 
web of the silkworm, inside of which it forms its cocoon, the 
Tama-mayti, or double cocoons (French, douppions), the Degara 
(French, cocons perch), i.e. cocoons from which the butterflies have 
crawled out, and also imperfect cocoons. The Japanese uses all 
those varieties of cocoons which are unsuitable for the manufac- 
ture of grege for his Ma-wata, or silk fleece, after they have been 
softened in a weak lye of wood or straw ashes, then cut up and the 
dead chrysalis thrown away. The silk is then picked off from the 
cocoon with the fingers, and fastened to the ends of small sticks 
in order to keep it straight, the fleece from twenty to sixty cocoons 
lying piled in this way together. When dry, this is used as lining 
for clothes and bed quilts, or is spun as wool is with us, or is 
shipped and sold with other silk waste. Another kind of refuse 
comes from the unwinding of the cocoons. This takes in especi- 
ally the outermost web of the cocoon, which, after soaking in warm 
water, is beaten by a small hand-broom. Some silk necessarily 
clings to the broom before the proper thread is found, and these 
ragged bits are called in Japanese, Kawa-muki (bark silk), Noshi-ito, 
and Shike-ito, in French, frisons. To these are added the threads 
broken in reeling, as well as the imperfect cocoons. 

The silkworm eggs (Jap., Tane ; French, graines), form another 
article of export, the importance of which has been already noted ; 


and lastly we have the woven fabrics brought to the foreign 

The three geographical silk zones of Hondo are distinguished 
by the dealers in Yokohama according to the quality of the reel or 
raw silks and their '' make-up," i.e. the manner in which the skeins 
are laid together in packing. 

a. The northern district yields the O^-^hiu silk, so called from the 
province Oshiu, which furnishes about 20 per cent, of the entire 
production, and exports 25 per cent, of the seed or graines. The 
city of Fukushima, on the Abukuma-gawa, is the centre of the 
most active silk culture in Oshiu. The district embraces that sec- 
tion of country lying between 37° and 38j° N. lat. and 140° and 
141° E. long. To it belongs — 

(a) The province Iwashiro, watered chiefly by the Abukuma- 
gawa, with its cities Fukushima, Yanagawa, Nihonmatsu, Moto- 
miya, Moriyama, and Sukagawa, as well as other well-known silk- 
raising localities. 

(/3) The province Uzen, north-west from Iwashiro, and north of 
the Aidzu-taira, with the cities of Yamagata, Kaminoyama, and 
Yonezawa. The neighbourhood of this last named city, with the 
localities Koide and Narita, furnishes a large quantity of specially 
prized Tane to commerce. 

(7) Iwaki, whose largest silk market is the city of Miharu. The 
more northerly provinces, from Sendai to Echigo, lying in the 
western part along the Japan Sea, are far behind these three in 
the worth and quantity of their Oshiu silk. 

b. The central district joins the foregoing on the north, stretch- 
ing toward the south-west from about 37° to 35^° N. lat., and be- 
tween 137° and 139^° E. long., westerly and north-westerly from 
Tokio. This district embraces the provinces of Kodzuke (Joshiu), 
Shinano (Sinshiu), and Kai (Koshiu), besides joining Sinshiu, the 
provinces of Hida, Kaga and Echiu, in which silk-culture falls far 
behind the first-named three ; and finally east of Koshiu and 
Joshiu the western and hilly Musashi, as well as Shimodzuke and 
Hitachi, which furnish only a small amount of silk. 

This central zone of Japanese silk-culture takes prominent place 
inasmuch as it produces 65 per cent, of all the Japanese silk in the 
market, and 70 per cent, of the seeds or graines. From Joshiu 
comes 30 per cent, of silk and 15 per cent, of the graines. From 
Sinshiu, 27 per cent, silk and 60 per cent, graines, and from Mu- 
sashi about 15 per cent, of silk only. It appears, therefore, that 
Joshiu is the most productive of all the silk fields of Japan. The 
country surrounding, Mayebashi, Takasaki, and Numata, is speci- 
ally noted for silk production ; and Mayebashi hanks, or Maye- 
bashi grappes, lead the price all the Japanese reel silk. In the 
high-lying province of Shinano also, there is great activity in silk- 
culture, which excels all other occupations as a source of livelihood 
and gain. Its production also is highly prized in the market, and is 


confined largely to the environs of Uyeda on the Chikuma-gawa, 
of Nagato and Ida. 

c. The southern silk district joins the central towards the south- 
west, and comprises the provinces Mino, Omi, Echizen, as well as 
Tamba, Tango, Tajima. Besides these, the remainder of south- 
western Hondo has little to boast in the way of silk-culture. This 
is also true of the provinces of Tokaido, with the exception of 
Koshiu and Musashi, already mentioned, and in Gokinai, Sanyodo 
and San-in-do in the west. It is furthest developed in Mino, prin- 
cipally about Hachiman, and in Goshiu or Omi, east of the Biwa 
Lake, where Nagahama is especially distinguished for the amount 
of territory devoted to the industry. This third silk zone supplies 
to the remainder of the Japanese silk product 15 per cent, of raw 
silk, and 5 per cent, of seed cartons, and falls far behind the middle 
and northern sections in importance. 

The export of Japanese raw silk began in 1859. The high price 
received in consequence of the diseases prevalent among the silk- 
worms in Europe proved a great stimulus to wider culture and 
production. The falling ofif in consequence of the growing trade 
in graines was found to be but temporary. A noticeable improve- 
ment in the exported gnge took place, as in 1872 the government 
built at Tomioka, in Musashi, a great reeling establishment, or 
Filmida, in which the cocoons were unwound in a fine even thread 
under Brunat's skilful direction. The high price of this raw silk 
from Tomioka has caused a great deal of emulation, and a large 
number of Filandas have sprung up in silk-raising centres and 
silk-markets, generally at the suggestion and expense of the 
government In this way the quantity, relative value, and total 
amount of the exported silk products of Japan have greatly in- 
creased, notwithstanding many disturbances and fluctuations. In 
1883 it reached the highest figures yet known, viz., 56,432 Piculs 
at 60,128 kg.; but the value fell some 350,000 yen behind that 
of the previous year, when for 52,021 Piculs the sum of 18,638,984 
yen (nearly ^^3,654,703) was realized. 

TJie Breeding arid Importance of the Yama-Mayii, or Oak spinner — 
Antheria {Bonibyx) Yania-mai Gner.-Menev. in Japan. 

The effort to find some substitute for European silkworms de- 
cimated by the Pebrine {Noserna bonibycis^ Naeg.) has led not only 
to the introduction of Japanese white and green spinners, but has 
attracted attention to other Bombycides, and caused numerous ex- 
periments. The most encouraging attempts at new breeds have 
been made with Japanese and Chinese Oak spinners {Antheria 
Yama-mai and AritJi. Pernyi), the former from Japan, and the 
latter from the Chinese provinces Shantung and Sze Chuen, chiefly ; 
also with the Ailanthus spinner {Saturina Cynthia) which is much 


cultivated in Shantung, and which furnishes the so-called Pongee 
silk of China ; with the East Indian Ricinus spinner [Satiirnia 
Armdici) and the Indian Oak spinner {^Saturnia Mylitta) from which 
is made the Tussah silk of Assam and Bengal. But the results 
have not justified the hopes built upon the efforts. The evidence 
has been convincing that no other can take the place of the Mul- 
berry spinner, and that in future it will be the most important 
silk producer. 

The attempts made with the Japanese Oak spinner (^Antheria 
Yama-ina'i^ G. M.) aroused the liveliest interest of all. In its 
various developments of ^g%, worm, chrysalis and butterfly, it 
furnished very much that was instructive, besides surprising size 
and beauty. The strong, shiny silk thread of its yellowish green 
cocoons reels off like that of the Mulberry spinners, and furnishes 
a durable web.' As the Oak spinner feeds on the green summer 
foliage of the oak, and also likes the leaves of our common oak- 
trees, and was reported as being much cultivated in Japan and its 
silk highly prized there, the great expectations aroused by the 
experiments are easy to understand. 

Several governments interested themselves in the attempt and 
encouraged it, as Switzerland, which in 1865 ordered through her 
consul in Yokohama, 6 kg. of eggs, and three years later a larger 
amount. Samples were sent me from both packages, for testing, 
and I made breeding experiments with both, as well as with the 
eggs which Herr Baumann, Postmaster of Bamberg, had obtained. 
The reports published regarding the results of the experiments on 
the part of others were very unfavourable and agreed entirely with 
my own experiences. The great activity of the young worms, 
their lack of quiet association with each other at all ages, great 
mortality even after the fourth casting, and the length of time 
necessary for their development, were the principal objections which 
the investigation brought to light. 

At the time of the Paris Exhibition of 1867, it was evident that 
the hopes built upon Yama-mai were vain. In the Jardin de 
I'Acclimatation, where in 1861 the first worms of this species were 
cultivated, and their peculiarities studied by Guerin-Meneville, the 
effort was abandoned. The favourable results obtained by Camille 
Personnat in Laval, and his endeavours during the Exhibition to 
awaken interest for the new breed, had no more effect to stimulate 
the waning hope than had other single and individual efforts in 
Germany and Austria. During my stay in Japan I tried to 
become accurately acquainted with the preparation and uses of 
Yama-mai" silk. I was moderately successful on the remote moun- 
tain slopes where the cultivation is most thorough, and among the 
weavers and dyers in several cities in the interior of Hondo where 
this silk is manufactured, and where I could, by personal observation, 
arrive at some certain opinion on the subject. In this way, I came 
to the conviction that the importance of Yama-mai silk has been 


greatly over-estimated, both in Japanese writings, some of which 
have reached us in translations, and in the Consul's reports, which 
have been made from oral testimony of not very reliable character. 
Von Scherzer, ^ too, must have been falsely informed when he 
wrote, " In Japan itself, this product, mixed sometimes with cotton 
and at others with common silk, is much used in the manufacture 
of clothing material." 

The Japanese designation Yama-maT, better Yama-mayu, signifies 
mountain (yama) or wild cocoon (mayu) ; the worm is called 
correspondingly Yama-ko. According to old statements, at the 
time of the conquest of Hachijo-shima (pronounced Hatchijo- 
shima)^ by the Japanese in 1487, this species of silkworm became 
widely diffused over the island, and its silk product greatly prized. 
Its introduction into the chief island, where it was probably never 
native, and certainly is nowhere found wild, took place consider- 
ably later.^ 

The localities which seem most favourable to the Oak spinners 
in Japan lie, as a rule, in the usual silk districts and generally on 
the mountain slopes. This is specially true in the province of 
Shinano, which furnishes the largest quantity of Yama-maT silk. 
I know of four districts in this province where the Oak spinner is 
bred more extensively than elsewhere, viz. : the country about 
Uyeda on the Chikuma-gawa, lida on the Tenriu-gawa, Ikada, 
and Matsumoto in the valley of the Sai-gawa. 

The Matsumoto district spreads ten or fifteen miles westward to 
the spurs of the Shinano-Hida Snowy Mountains and some thirty 
miles in the same direction from Yokohama. The Matsumoto- 
Gumi is a company (Gumi) which works in fifteen communities 
of the district, and has for its object the production and manu- 
facture of the Yama-mai silk. There are, however, small establish 
ments in and near Matsumoto itself. 

The worms are chiefly raised in the open air, the leaves of Quercus 
serrata, Thunb. (Jap. Kunu-gi or Kunugi-nara) * serving as food. 
This tree grows to a considerable height, even in dense groves, and 
is common in the north of Hondo. Its leaves remind one of those 
of the edible chestnut, and like them, appear late in spring. 
The young seedlings after one year's growth are planted in rows in 
a sheltered place, and after three or four years and frequent cutting 
back, grow to bushes two meters high, with plenty of room between 
them for passage and free circulation of air. When the plantation 

^ K. von Scherzer : " Die Oesterreichisch-Ungarische Expedition nach 
Ostasien." Stuttgart, 1872. 

^ Hachijo-shima Hes south of Shichi-to, 33" 8' N. Lat. and 139° 50' E, Long. 
On the map it is often put down under the old orthography Fatsicio and Fatsi- 

^ I saw in the British Museum Aiitheria Hazina^ Buth, and Aiitheria Morosa, 
But)., from Japan, which I took for varieties of this species. 

•* Ihe leaves of Quercus de?itata^ Qu. acuta and Qii. glauca are also some- 
times used. 


is thus prepared, the eggs are deposited on the branches about the 
beginning of May, when the young leaves are making their appear- 
ance. About 20 to 30 eggs are pasted on strips of paper which 
are bound to the branches, so that the young worms when hatched 
may find food and protection from the sun. Against rain they 
protect themselves by creeping with wonderful quickness to the 
ur»der-side of the leaves, whereas the old and heavy worms often 
sufifer in violent storms. Their numerous enemies in the open air 
are, besides insects (particularly ants), tree toads, rats and birds, 
chiefly ravens. These are kept off, partly by painting the lower 
parts of the trunk with a sticky substance, such as the root-slime 
of Hibiscus Manihot — partly by scarecrows and rattles which hang 
on a rope extending across the whole plantation, and are kept in 
motion by a person who sits on a high roofed seat in the middle, 
and watches over all. 

The development of the worm up to time of spinning takes about 
sixty-four days. It is divided into five periods, the first two of ten 
days each, the third and fourth of thirteen days, and the fifth and 
last eighteen days. This time however is subject to modifications 
of many kinds. With a high even temperature and rich food, it 
can be reduced to fifty days, and contrariwise lengthened to eighty. 
Each casting is preceded by a two or three days' sleep, during 
which the worm sits motionless, holding fast by its hind feet and 
raising its fore parts after the manner of the sphinx. 

The young worms, at hatching 7 mm. long, with reddish brown 
feet, but otherwise yellowish green in colour with two long black 
stripes, after the fourth casting have a length of 7 cm., and are 2 cm. 
in circumference. They are then of a fine green colour, well 
ringed, and on the back have two rows of warts, each of which 
is furnished with blackish brown hairs. Gold-yellow stripes on 
each side, on each of which are five silvery spots, breathing places, 
separate the back from the belly. 

When the worm is ready to spin, a light brown liquid exudes, 
and it becomes restless, does not raise itself up however, but draws 
one or more oak leaves about it, spins them together over its head, 
and fastens its cocoon to them. In making the cocoon, it first 
weaves about itself a transparent net of fine yellow-green silk, 
through wiiich it can be seen industriously spinning. After about 
six hours the net is no longer transparent, and after six or eight 
days the cocoon is completed. Meanwhile the green of the inner 
web has lost its intensity and become only a greenish }'ellow on the 
outside. The cocoons are firm and of a beautiful ellipsoidal form, 
without shrinkage in the middle, and about three cm. long, and of 
7 grammes weight. Without the chrysalis its weight is from 70 to 
80 eg., while an empty cocoon of the Bombyx Mori is not half so 
heavy. Ten pounds of cocoons yield about i kg. of reeled silk. 
The top layer has a coarse thread of greenish yellow, but the 
underneath has a fine greenish white silk which, after soaking in 


[Pa£-e 246. 



hot water, is reeled off almost as easily as from the B. Mori. 
About fifteen days after the metamorphosis has taken place, the 
cocoons are taken from the leaves and tested. Those which are 
to be reeled, are placed in the warm sun or the regulated heat of 
an oven, to kill the chrysalis. The best are set aside for breeding, 
and after from 20 to 25 days the butterflies come forth. In order 
to prevent them from flying away before propagation, they are kept 
in pairs in bell-shaped baskets, woven from bamboo and suspended 



on poles. After the female has laid her eggs on the inner wall of 
the basket, they are carefully collected in bags and placed in a dry, 
cool and airy place till the time for the new breeding. 

The eggs of the Yama-mai are nine times as heavy as those of 
the Bombyx Mori, although it takes from 130 to 140 of them 
to a gramme. They are spheroidal, i.e. depressed at the ends 
after the manner of a Mandarin orange. Their dark brown colour, 
with black spots and stripes, is due to a sticky coating, which dis- 
appears when they are washed in water or a solution of soda, show- 

II. P 


ing the egg white, as with some is really the case from the first. On 
breaking the Qgg one is surprised to find no yolk, but instead a 
well developed little worm lying curled up till awakened by a certain 
degree of warmth. Then they break the parchment-like shell at 
the point where the head lies, generally during the morning hours, 
and creep out, already so rapidly grown that they measure some 
seven or eight millimeters, or about four times as long as the 
diameter of the tgg. 

Yama-maY silk is more expensive than other varieties. In 1875 
at Matsumoto 25 momme (c. 9375 grammes) of reel silk of this 
kind cost one yen, while for the same price could be purchased 35 
momme of ordinary silk. The relative price of the two is about as 
7 : 5, which is due as much to the difficulty of raising the Oak 
spinners as to the quality of the product. From these statements 
a Picul of Yama-mai silk may be reckoned as costing 640 dollars ; 
this agrees with the testimony of Bavier,^ according to whom a 
Picul varies in price according to quality, from four to eight 
hundred dollars, or from 27 to 54 shillings the kilogramme. He 
also states that the total Japanese production of Yama-mai" silk 
amounts to about 100 bales, each 75 lbs. English in weight, and 
amounting to about 3,400 kg. It was not possible for me to prove 
the correctness of this statement for which Bavier does not make 
himself responsible ; but it seemed to me that the estimate was 
over rather than under the real yield of the harvest, since the 
Yama-mai silk is kept in the home market and can only be used 
there in a limited quantity. (See Art Industry : Textile Industry.) 

The Chestnut spinner {Caligula japonica, Butl.) is the only one 
of the wild Bombycides in Japan whose cocoons or worms are 
sometimes gathered and used. It is called Sukari, the worms 
Genziki-mushi (camphor-spinners) and also Shiraga-mushi (grey- 
haired worms)."^ Hilgendorf in an article entitled, " The Camphor 
Spinner (Genziki-mushi),"^ first called attention to this insect and 
its most important features, which he had learned mainly from 
Japanese sources. 

This species of worm feeds upon the leaves of the chestnut, 
walnut, different varieties of oak and sumach trees, and in Southern 
Japan upon the camphor-laurel also. I found it often in my 
travels in Japan, and became convinced that its favourite food is 
the Kuri {Castanea vulgaris, Lamk.). The large worms feed upon 
chestnut trees standing alone, till they are often quite bare, and 
strip even whole groves of these trees, while they generally avoid 
other kinds of trees standing near. Moreover, as the worm and the 
tree seem scattered together alike over the whole country, I prefer 
to call it the Chestnut spinner, as that is the only really fitting 
designation. The belly of this great worm is light green, the back 

1 "Japan's Seidensucht,'* by E. von Bavier, p. 99. 

2 " Official Catalogue, Japan section." Philadelphia, 1876, p. 120. 

3 " Mitth. d. deutscher Ges." etc. 9 Heft. Yokahama, 1876. 



a greyish white. A row of beautiful blue spots on each side marks 
its breathing places or tracheae. Silky grey-white hairs a centi- 
meter long cover its surface, and in connection with the light 
colour of the insect itself, make it resemble the catkins of the tree 
which furnishes its food. 

The Chestnut spinner does not weave a perfectly closed cocoon, 
but a rather coarse net-like web of brown colour, whose thread is 
hard to unwind and can only be used as woof in coarse fabrics. It 
seems that in earlier times the worms, when ready to spin, were 
used more often than nowadays for the so-called Tengusu (Silk- 
worm guts) ; it was laid in vinegar, the spinning-glands opened care- 
fully, and the silk drawn out in threads several feet long. But now as 
a finer and much cheaper material for this purpose comes from China, 
even Japanese anglers give it the preference. (See note, p. 196). 

5. Forestry. 

Relation of Japanese Forests {Hayashi) to Cultivation in general and 
to Waste Land. — Distinction between Cultivated and Natural or 
Mountain Forests. — Character ^ Extent and Value of both. — In- 
fluence upon Climate, 

According to a previous summary of the land economy and 
classification of Old Japan (pp. 11 and 12), which was founded upon 
official statistics of the year 1879, of the entire area, amounting to 
28,356,945 cho, 17,356,945 cho consisted of mountain forests and 
desert land without cultivation, and 5,240,570 cho of cultivated 
forests. Recently, however, the section now under consideration, 
between Tsugaru and Colnet Straits, has been reckoned as much 
larger, viz., at 28,842,011 cho, as is given in the report of the 
Japanese section of the Forestry Exhibition in Edinburgh, 1884. 
The entire amount of woodland is estimated in this publication ^t 
1 1,866,625 cho, of which 5,259,182 cho is government, and 6,607,443 
cho private, property. 

The distribution of both classes of forest in the three principal 
islands and their smaller dependencies is shown in the following 
table : 






Honshiu . . . 
Shikoku .... 
Kiushiu .... 








Old Japan . . . 




6,6 36,442 


It follows from this that the forests of Japan Proper form 41 per 
cent, of its entire area ; in Honshiu, 44 per cent. ; in Shikoku, 64 
per cent. ; and in Kiushiu, 17 per cent. The relative proportion is 
still further reckoned, in the work cited, per capita, e.g. to every 
inhabitant of Japan, 3-25 tan of woodland ; in Honshiu, 3*529 tan 
to each person ; in Shikoku, 4*4 tan ; and in Kiushiu, 1*32 tan. 
As a tan may be estimated at about 10 Ares, the proportions may 
be carried out at 32-5, 35-25, 44, and 13-2 Ares respectively. In 
Honshiu, the principal island, the south-western portion, or Chiu- 
goku (Sanyodo and Sanindo), is the least wooded. There are no 
high mountains in this part of the island, and mining has in many 
places, especially in the country surrounding Ikuno in Mimasaka, 
wrought such desolation of the timber lands as to cause a dearth 
of wood. 

The following more exact classification of the acreage of Japan 
is made up from facts given in the before-mentioned report, pp. 
II, 12. 

p, A Per cent of 

^^°' total area. 

id) Desert land 10,730,890 or 37 

ip) Mountain forests 6,626,050 „ 23 

\c) Cultivated forests 5,240,570 „ 18 

(^) Farming land (Ta and Hata) . . 4,280,000 „ 15 
\e) Other Cultivation, including im- 
proved Hara, about .... 1,364,900 „ 5 
(/) Building ground and roads . . 600,000 „ 2 

In all . . . 28,842,410 100 

Of these figures only those under {e) and (/) rest upon taxation 
and are uncertain, but these, as well as those under (c/), regarding 
agricultural lands, do not concern the present topic. 

The desert lands consist for the most part of the almost worth- 
less Hara, grassy surfaces which spread around the base of high 
volcanoes, and, as a rule, surround the mountain timber lands. I 
have treated of the particular character of these forms of vegeta- 
tion in vol. i. of this work. It is almost beyond doubt that the 
Hara would be for the most part gradually transformed into forest, 
if it were not for the devastating autumn fires, which not only 
eat up dried and dead vegetation, but the self-sown seedlings of 
wood-growth as well. It is only in ravines and other protected 
places where it is possible for such plantations to grow and 

A larger portion of desert land consists of bare ridges of hill 
country and mountain sides which often alternate with the wooded 
slopes, and justify the opinion that they, too, were once covered 
with forests. After they were denuded of these, — whether to satisfy 
the demands of mining carried on in the neighbourhood, or to 


allow the brake-fern to spring up better after a bush fire, or for 
whatever purpose it may have been, — the heavy rains had free 
course, robbed them of their compost matter, and made it difficult 
for natural or cultivated forests to re-appear upon these slopes. 

A third portion of the woodless and cultureless surface is to be 
found on the peaks of the higher mountains beyond the forest 
limits, where either the violence of the wind and roughness of 
climate in general, or a lack of proper qualities in the soil, 
account for the barrenness. It is well known that volcanic erup- 
tions, even if they are but the after-fumes of violent outbreaks in 
the form of Solfatara, destroy vegetation in a wide extent of 
country. The Solfataras operate in the same manner here as 
sulphuric acid in the reduction of sulphuretted ores. And, finally, 
we must reckon with the desert country the sand-hills of the coast, 
which may yet become partly amenable to arboriculture, but of 
which survey has yet to be made. 

The desert and forest lands of Japan Proper together make up 
nearly four-fifths of its entire surface, as will be readily seen from 
the figures given above. Of this, more than half is forest land. It 
forms consequently the most extensive and marked feature of 
vegetation in the landscape. Its percentage {41) of the whole area 
is larger than in those European countries which are richest in 
timber land. It is also a highly important factor in the natural 
economy of Japan, even though but a small portion has as yet 
been properly subjected to cultivation. 

The attentive traveller easily recognises the great difference 
in the forests of Japan, according as they belong to the hardly 
accessible mountains or to their slopes, to the hilly, or the level 
country. In fact, it is according to the use which can be made 
of them that they are distinguished as cultivated and natural, or 
mountain forests ; and this also is largely dependent on their 
situation. The lack of good roads and other conditions of traffic 
have allowed the latter to preserve more or less of their original 
character, because of the difficulty of access. The need of wood, 
especially such as is available for building purposes, and such 
as the Coniferai best furnish, gave rise to the cultivated forests. 
These accordingly appear as dense and more or less monotonous 
pinewoods, while the mountain forests, as already remarked in the 
first volume of this work,^ are notable for the multiplicity of species 
mixed together. The largest part of the cultivated forest land is 
private property, while the mountain forests belong t-o the State. 

The cultivated woodland serves principally, as already indicated, 
to supply the necessary building material. For ages, dwelling 
houses have been made of wood, light and airy structures lack- 
ing solidity, for the Japanese carpenters have no idea of the use of 
retaining arches in any kind of framework, nor the necessity of 

1 Under " Forests (Hayashi)." 


support on any solid foundation. In this way the Japanese house 
affords, even during the hot summer months, a cool dwelling. In 
winter, however, when the rough winds blow, their cold blast 
rushes in at every joint. Warm clothing then furnishes the only 
piotection against cold, as the heating arrangements are by 
no means adequate. The houses are roofed with straw in the 
country, and in cities with shingles or tiles. The shingled roofs 
have bands of bamboo-cane crossing each other at right angles 
and fastened with wires, so as to hold the shingles in their places 
in case of violent winds. In high localities the roofs are still 
further protected by stones, as is done in European mountainous 

The light wood framework, the lack of chimneys and proper 
heating apparatus generally, as well as the custom of building the 
houses close together in cities and large towns, greatly increase the 
danger from fires. Fearful conflagrations are frequent, particularly 
in 1 okio, with its great sea of houses. These materially increase 
the need of arboriculture, and form the chief reason why for 
years a systematic laying out of forests has been carried on. For 
while the great superfluity of wood in the mountains has been 
unavoidable, because of the lack of proper roads and conveyance, 
and much timber must inevitably go to waste, the lack of wood in 
settled localities for centuries could only be met by forest cultiva- 
tion. Under such conditions it is quite probable that the Japanese 
tradition concerning the planting of forests 1,200 years ago in Dai- 
Nippon is well founded. This could not have been a systematic, 
well-aimed and State effort however, as its sole purpose was, as 
has been said, simply to supply the need for wood. It is only in 
later years that the Japanese have learned that the utterly neglected 
mountain forest is a main source of prosperity for the country, and 
that not only in its wood supply, but in its climatic influences. 
From this time we see the energy with which scientific forestry 
has been developed, as appeared in the Japanese section of the 
Edinburgh Exhibition in 1884. 

The best building timber, at the same time hard, tough, and 
durable, is the Keyaki {Zelkowa Keaki, Sieb.), but in consequence of 
the high price, it is used mostly for joiner-work. For the same 
reason the greatly prized pinewoods also, like Hinoki {ChamcB' 
cyparis obtusa, EndL), and its kindred, Tsuga {Abies Tsjiga, S. and 
Z.), Kara-matsu {Larix leptolepis, Gord.), Ichii (Taxus ctispidata, S. 
and Z.), are not used in house building, as their excellence would 
warrant, but serve the purposes of decoration in the more expensive 
dwellings. The usual building-wood for houses is furnished by the 
quick-growing Sugi {Cryptomeria japonica, Don.), also the Momi 
{Abies firma, S. and Z.), and a still cheaper and much prized wood 
having many varieties, the Matsu [Pinus densijiora, S. and Z., and 
P, Massonia, Lamb.), used also largely in bridge building, for which 
the more brittle Sugi wood is less adapted. 


It will be seen from the foregoing why so much attention is 
given to the culture of Sugi and Matsu. It is highly probable that 
all these pine forests and also those of the cypress family {Chamce- 
cyparis and TImjopsis) are of artificial cultivation, since experience 
has shown that their self-propagation, like most Coniferae, is diffi- 
cult, and wherever a pine forest disappears, its place is usually 
filled by blackberry bushes, wild roses, and other almost worthless 
deciduous growths. 

For fuel, in the dwelling houses, the charcoal of the various Cupu- 
lifera is used universally, especially that of the chestnut or Kuri 
{Castanea vjilgaids^ Lamk.) and of several deciduous oaks, such as 
Kashiwa, Kunugi, and Nara {jQueixiis dentata, Q. serrata, and Q. 
crispiild). As this wood is used for several other purposes also, it 
is very much cultivated, and found in plantations devoted entirely 
to it, although they are not to be confounded with the mountain 

The same is true of the evergreen Shii-no-ki {Quercus cuspidatd) 
which is confined to the warm south, and is also cultivated on ac- 
count of its valuable wood. 

All the above-mentioned forest trees, and some others less wide- 
spread — the Koya-maki or screen fir {Sciadopitys verticillata) 
among them — are raised from the seed in nurseries, as with us, and 
the seedlings transplanted after two years' growth. The cultivation 
of the plants during these two years, as well as the laying out of 
the plantation, is very carefully managed and based on all the 
teachings of past experience. There is also no lack of printed 
instructions with all necessary illustrations. 

The ground chosen for such a plantation is prepared as tho- 
roughly as for a fruit-tree nursery or a tea-garden, and is well en- 
closed with a light and pretty bamboo hedge, from one to two 
meters high, which does not hinder light and air. In snowy 
districts a further protection is provided in winter in the shape of a 
straw roof, known as the Yuki-6i ; and in case it becomes neces- 
sary to shelter the young plants from the cold, as e.g., with the 
Ko-kuri or young chestnut, straw fastened to a bamboo framework 
is spread over them. 

The greatest care is also observed in taking up the Naye or 
young seedlings, cutting back their perpendicular roots, making 
ready the plant holes with the hoe, and planting again in the 
ground laid out for the new forest. I did not find, however, that 
our system of planting in rows was very much adhered to ; much 
more regard was had to the nature of the ground, and to the pecu- 
liar taste which has a dislike for systematic regularity on a wide 
scale, except where it may be necessary, as in agriculture. 

The cultivated forests of Japan are seldom very large. Poor 
gravelly soil, fixed dunes and other sandy districts are, as a 
rule, devoted to the above mentioned pine trees, just as in the 
Departement des Landes, the Pinus Pinaster Solander (the pine of 


the country) is cultivated. The other species of cultivated conifers 
need a deeper and better soil, which is to be found only in the 

They are sometimes found however, as the Chamaecyparis and 
Thujopsis, on the lower gentle slopes of mountains. In case the 
soil here is too stony and unfruitful, the chestnut is planted, 
while the oak is better adapted to the saddles and hollows. It is 
seldom however that forest cultivation of any kind goes higher than 
1000 meters. In Yezo, according to Bohmer,^ the only forest tree 
that is cultivated by Japanese immigrants, on account of its wood, 
is the Cryptomeria. 

In comparison with the numerous forests and groves of Sugi and 
of pines {Ptnus densiflora, or Aka-matsu, and P. Masso7tiana, or 
Kuromatsu) distributed over all the provinces, the solitary groves 
of other cultivated coniferous trees sink into insignificance. Those 
of the Cypress family, viz., Hinoki, Sawara and Hiba {ChamcEcyparis 
obtiisa, Ch. pisifera, and Thujopsis dolabrata)^ are found more ex- 
tensive and in a finer development in the middle portion of Hondo 
on the peninsula of Yamato and in the district of the upper Kiso- 
gawa. Previous to the restoration of Mikado-rule they belonged 
mostly to the two powerful Daimios of Kishiu (Kii) and Bishiu 
(Owari). lyeyasu, by a special law, had made it the duty of the 
rulers of these provinces to provide the necessary Hi-no-ki wood 
for the building and renewing, every twenty-one years, of the 
national sanctuary in Ise (temple of the Sun-goddess Amaterasu), 
and to give their constant attention to the forests of this tree, 
releasing them at the same time from all other general tribute. 
In explanation of this it ought to be said that Hi-no-ki and 
Sakaki {Cleyera japonicd) were and still are the holy plants of the 
sun-goddess, and also of the Shinto or ancestry-worship. And all 
temples so dedicated, as well as the former residence of the Mikado 
in Kioto, were built of the wood of the Hi-no-ki.^ 

Of all the pine-woods of Japan which form a part of its arbori- 
culture the beautiful screen fir {Sciadopitys verticillata, S. and Z.) 
is certainly the least propagated. It is found in large planta- 
tions only on the mountain slopes around Koya-san in Kishiu 
(hence called Koya-maki). Dr. Yaroku Nakamuro gives also Podo- 
carpus Nageia, and P. macrophylla, as components of the cultivated 
pine forests,^ but I always met them only as ornamental trees, 
like the Ginko. 

The bamboo groves (Yabu, Take-yabu) may also be ranked as 
cultivated forests. They serve the most manifold purposes, making 
an agreeable diversion in the landscape, and are especially frequent 

1 " Reports to the Kaitakushi." Tokio, 1878. 

^ See also Rein, " Japan," vol. i. 

3 " Ueber den anatomischen Bau des Holzes der vvichtigsten japanischen 
Coniferae, Untersuchungen aus dem forstbotanischen Institute in Miinchen," 
iii. 1883. 


on the boundaries of the larger cities, where great use is made of 
the cane. 

The contrast between our glades with their many varieties of 
flowers, and the well kept but monotonous sward of our gardens 
and public grounds, is much the same as that between the Japanese 
natural mountain forest,^ with its variegated growths of many kinds, 
and the regularly formed pine or deciduous forests, which it has been 
found necessary to cultivate. Here in the mountain forest as in the 
Hara, nature, so rich in Japan in variety and shape, has preserved 
its original physiognomy. But richness of variety does not by any 
means betoken an abundance of valuable timber in such a forest 
any more than of fodder in the wild meadow-land, and an Eldorado 
to the lovers of nature and of plants is not always such when 
viewed from the point of national economy. 

In the wild and neglected forest — whether primeval or run wild 
is of no importance — life and death, sprouting and withering vege- 
tation are mixed together in a wonderful way. H. Cotta ^ says in 
reference to this, that forests grow and flourish best in places where 
men do not live, and consequently where no forestry is carried on. 
It is a wide-spread but none the less erroneous view that the prim- 
eval forest is particularly rich in wood. It includes giant trees 
interspersed with every grade of the most diverse wood-growths, 
down to the lowest bush, but produces by no means the total 
amount of timber yielded by a highly cultivated forest covering 
the same surface, where valueless kinds of wood are kept back 
in order to better provide the light and air necessary to a finely 
developed growth. And so the forester reduces the number of 
species in a natural forest by the axe and other means, just as the 
continued manuring and cultivation of a meadow works an im- 
poverishment of its Flora. With the numerous motley grasses and 
weeds the equipoise is disturbed, and an unequal development 
caused in which the weakest surrenders. 

As is more carefully noted in vol. i. p. 146, Asa-ki, the deciduous 
forest of Japan, in contrast to Kuro-ki, or the dark pine forests, and 
to our own woods with their few species, is made up of a great mix- 
ture of large numbers of trees and bushes in all stages of growth. 
It is exceptional and generally due to special cultivation when we 
find chestnuts and the varieties of oak forming separate plantations. 
Creepers and climbing plants, parasitic and rooted ferns are seen 
in greater variety and larger growth than with us. " To name all 
the constituents and inhabitants of a Japanese forest of deciduous 
growth would be to catalogue not less than half the Flora of the 
country. In the higher mountains and more to the north are only 
a {^yN evergreen bushes, and no trees, conifers of course excepted. 
The most common constituents of these forests are oaks, beeches, 
hornbeams, maples, birch, horse chestnuts, magnolias, aralias, wal- 

^ Yama, or mountain, is the commonest term for a natural forest. 
2 Preface to his " Anweisung zum Waldbau." 


nuts, elms, planes, various rosaceae and in moister places, ashes and 
alders also " (vol. i. p. 147). As the most important of these will 
be discussed in the next chapter, which deals with their timber, I 
need not here enumerate their botanical names. 

Among the larger and most important of the deciduous trees of 
the island of Yezo, may be mentioned the magnificent magnolias 
{Magnolia hypoleiica and Cercidiphyllum japonicum), chestnuts, 
horse chestnuts, walnuts, maples, alders, birch, ash, elm, linden and 
the deciduous oaks. 

The Japanese Asa-ki is not at all a primeval forest. It may here 
and there even be a plantation on what was once a field,^ but it has 
the stamp of a thoroughly natural growth, and is left to itself and 
renews itself. The woodman visits it with his axe, it is true, but 
only for the sake of the most valuable and scattered timber, such 
as H6-no-ki, Saru-suberi, Tsuta-no-ki, {Magnolia hypoleuca, Stnartia 
mojiadelpha, Actinidia volnbilis), and some others, but this does 
not in any wise affect the settled character of the forest. This is 
accomplished by means of thorough destruction by forest fires. As 
the Capoeira, in the forsaken plantations of Brazil, consist of plant- 
forms entirely different from the primeval growth, so is it here also. 
Its place is taken by a brushwood in which the narrow-leaved wild 
rose {Epilobriuni angustifolinm, L.) springs up here and there as 
in our burnt forest grounds, the stiff bamboo grass {Phyllostachys 
bambusoides, S. and Z.), and in high damp places also the Itadzuri 
{Polygonum cnspidatnin)y nearly three meters high. The forest 
generally takes on its original character by degrees and after a 
long time. 

In the deciduous forests of the mountains, the beech is among 
the most frequent of trees. It shows itself here, as with us, a 
tree which nourishes the ground in a high degree, as one may see 
from the luxuriant foliage^ and the brush of the Lomaria and 
other ferns which grow nearly to a height of one meter in the rich 
soil. It also forces the various other trees which are associated with 
it, — among them magnificent specimens of Magnolia hypoleuca, 
Calopanax ricinifolia and ^Esculos turbinata, notable for their large, 
strange leaves, — to produce long boles without many branches. 
This is also done by the Momitanne {Abies firma) which grows in 
wide-spread localities. 

It is clear that the composition of the natural deciduous forests 
of Japan varies with the elevation as well as with the latitude. 
Besides a large number of trees and bushes which are always 

^ According to a written communication kindly sent me, the famous acade- 
mician Maximovicz, in the year 1863, botanized for a time near Nagasaki in a 
forest so high that he took it for a primeval one, till he recognised in the terrac- 
ing of the ground that he was in an old field.- 

2 According to what was said earher regarding cattle-raising and manuring, 
there does not appear to be anything prejudicial to the self-preservation of the 
Japanese forests in pasturing or withdrawing the bed of leaves. 


found from Yezo to Southern Kiushiu, there appear constantly 
towards the south and lower altitudes, ' more evergreen trees. 
Among them evergreen oaks, camellias and other Ternstromiaceae, 
the camphor-laurel, and some varieties of cinnamon are the most 
noticeable. On Shikoku and the peninsula of Yamato the camellia 
is found with the beech, deciduous oak and some kinds of maple. 
In Hiuga I saw lUicium religiosum and evergreen Daphne shrubs 
in company with Quercus cuspidata. In still other parts of South- 
ern Kiushiu and reaching to 300 meters above the sea, we find, 
near this and other kinds of evergreen oaks, lofty trees of different 
species of cinnamon, and among others, Buxus japonica in the 

We must, however, classify all these forests under the head of 
wild or natural, for they are not the product oi any cultivation 
for a particular purpose, but grow independently. We can find also 
in all of them another and still more interesting feature, This is 
their marked relationship to the woods of the Atlantic States in 
North America, and to the forests of the tertiary period in middle 
Europe. It does not lie within the purpose of this work to con- 
sider more closely their kinships, and is the more unnecessary here, 
as those who are particularly interested in them will find a full 
account of them in vol. i. pp. 168-174. 

Hitherto I have treated only of the natural deciduous forests of 
the mountains. I must note here, however, a group of Coniferae 
which connects itself more or less with the deciduous forest and in 
general within the altitudes of from 1,500 to 2,000 meters. Where 
the last height is exceeded (up to 2,400 m., see vol. i. p. 157) 
the development of the trees is far behind the normal state, 
except where the ground of an old crater or a ridge gives protection 
from the violent winds, and affords a better soil. For example, 
Abies Tsuga and A. polita are found from 3 to 6 meters in height 
near the peak of Nantaisan, 2,500 meters high, in the Nikko Moun- 
tains while the same species, of no greater age, grow four or five 
times as high lower down. Of the six most common conifers in 
this region, Tsuga is without doubt the most frequent, and by itself 
often covers a wide extent of territory. With it one finds Abies 
finna and Larix leptolepis in the lower, A. polita, A. Alcockia7ia^ 
and A. VeitcJiii in the higher elevations. 

As a rule, only a i^w deciduous varieties of trees are found in 
these dark, high mountain forests (Kuro-ki, or Black Forests), and 
these are only exceptionally brought to a high state of develop- 
ment. They are birches, alders, and mountain ash (Betula alba, 
Alnus viridis, A. incanay Pyriis sambiicifolia), with different kinds 
of shrubs. 

Apart from Yezo, the relative proportions of the entire Japanese 
Coniferae, are given by Dupont ^ as follows : 

^ " Les Essences forestieres du Japon," p. 8. 


Resinous timber, and woods used in manufactures — (Bois de 
travail resineux) 35 per cent. 

Deciduous timber, and woods used in manufactures — (Bois de 
travail feuillus) 5 per cent. 

Deciduous woods for fuel — (Bois feuillus pour chauffage) 60 per 

This proportion, according to what has been said before, must 
be very nearly that of the pine forests to the deciduous forests, so 
that my conclusion as to the preponderance of the latter (vol. i. p. 
151) is confirmed by Duport. The designation "Bois feuillus 
pour chauffage " must be taken in connection with what I have 
said regarding mountain deciduous forests, that their greatest use 
consists in furnishing a supply of wood for charcoal. For it is evi- 
dent that the demand for fuel is not so great in Japan as to con- 
sume 60 per cent of its forests. On the other hand, Japanese 
wood-culture is not limited to forests, as we see in Kiri {Paulownia). 

No thorough investigation of the Phyto-geography of Yezo, com- 
prising also the high mountains, has hitherto been made ; but in 
comparison, we learn from F. Schmidt that on Sachalin, the 
Dwarf-fir region, the Pinus parviflora, which in Hondo is only 
found on the high mountain peaks, in some places grows as high 
up as 320 meters. 

My studies in the plant-geography of Japan led me to make 
a classification of forest trees, especially Coniferae, in Honshiu 
particularly, according to five zones of vegetation (vol. i. p. 157) ; 
two years later, in his " Ueber den anatomischen Bau des Holzes 
der wichtigsten japanischen Coniferen," ^ which I have already 
quoted, and under the heading, " Beschreibung der japanischen 
Waldflora," Dr. Yaroku Nakamura of Tokio, made a similar 
zone classification. As his differs somewhat from mine I give the 
two together in conclusion without further comment. 

"Rein, Japan, vol. i. p. 157. Nakamura writes: If we 

If we sum up in conclusion consider the vertical distribution 

what has been said as to the of forest trees in Japan, we are 

forms of vegetation in Japan, able to classify them in general 

and in particular as to the ver- in five zones. 

tical distribution of its conifers, 

we may distinguish five zones. 

\. Zone of Pine- Woods and i. Zone of the Pine Woods, 

fnniper to a height of 400 This reaches a height of 500 

meters. It embraces the region meters. The lower portion is 

of cultivation, the vegetation of inhabited by Pinus Massoniana, 

the sand-dunes, of stagnant and with the winter-green foliage 

slowly flowing water, of the trees such as Quercus acuta 

bushy hill-country and of the Q. glauca, Q. gilva, Q. phylly- 

1 " Untersuchungen aus dem forstbotanischen Institut zu Munchen." III. 
Berlin, 1883, pp. 17-45. 



evergreen forests in the south, 
which only in exceptional cases 
extends 200 meters higher. 

2 Zone of the Cryptomeria, 
Cypress and Vezu, 400-1,000 
meters high. This is at the 
same time the range of the 
lower summer-green forest, in 
which the vegetation develops 
its greatest strength in point of 
luxuriance and variety of kinds, 
the region of Chestnuts, Decidu- 
ous Laurenise, most of the Mag- 
noliaceae, Ternstromiaceae, 
Lardizabaleae, Hydrangeoe, 
Caprifoliace^E, and other abun- 
dantly represented tribes, as 
well as, finally, the district of 
the lower and most widely dis- 
tributed Hara. 

3. Zone of Abies fir ma and 
the middle broad-leaved forest, 
1,000-1,500 meters high. To this 
belongs the greater part of the 
deciduous forest consisting of 
oaks, beeches, maples, alders, 
ashes, horse chestnuts, aralias 
and the upper Hara. 

4. Zone of Firs and Larches. 
1,500-2,000 meters. It is also 
the district of the higher broad- 
leaved forest, composed of 
birches, alders, sub- Alpine plants 
and shrubs. 

rhoides, Q. glabra, Cinnamomum 
Camphora, Distylium race- 
mosum, Cinnamomum pedun- 
culata, Buxus sempervirens, etc. 
In the upper parts (300-500 m.) 
Pinus densiflora with deciduous 
trees like the Zelkowa Keaki, 
Ginko biloba, Quercus dentata, 
Q. serrata, Q. crispula, Cas- 
tanea vulgaris, Melia japonica, 
Sophora japonica, Aphanante 
aspera, Celtis sinensis, Populus 
Sieboldi, Ilex crenata, etc. 

2. Zone of the Cypress^ 500- 
1,000 meters high. The pre- 
dominating varieties of wood 
are: Chamaecyparis obtusa, 
Ch. pisifera, Podocarpus macro- 
phylla, Sciadopitys verticillata, 
Podocarpus Nageia, Torreya 
nucifera, etc. 

3. Zone of the stimmer- green 
foliaceo2is trees, 1,100-1,700 me- 
ters high. Here are to be found 
principally Magnolia hypoleuca, 
Cercidiphyllum japonicum, 
Evodia glauca, Ulmus Campes- 
tris, Alnus Maritima, Fagus 
sylvatica, Juglans Sieboldi, 
^sculus turbinata, Acer pal- 
matum, A. crataigifolium, etc. 

4. Zone of the Firs a7id 
Larches, 1,700-2,400 meters high. 
In the lower part of this zone 
are Abies firma, Larix leptolepis, 
and Abies Tsuga principally, 
and in the upper portion, are to 
be found Abies Veitchii, Picea 
Alcockiana, P. polita, etc. 


5. Zone of Dwai'f-pine, from 5. Zone of the mountain 

2,000 meters upward,* the region Divarfpine, 2,400 to 2,800 meters 
of creeping Ericineae and high high. Here the Pinus parviflora 
Alpine herbs. finds its home and the dwarfed 

Alnus viridis, Sorbus aucuparia, 
Betula alba, Alnus firma, etc. 
also appear. 

The great influence of forests upon climate has been repeatedly 
called in question, but still more often abundantly attested. A 
short, appropriate statement of the relation between them, based 
on reliable observations, and from so competent an authority as 
the Russian meteorologist A. Woeikof, in Petermann's Reports,^ was 
surely therefore welcome to many. The result of the investigation 
justifies the ruling, and among our foresters the unvarying opinion, 
that forests have really a strong climatic influence upon the 
country. The most eminent French savants have applied them- 
selves to the question of reclothing the mountains of southern 
France and Algiers with forests, and have come to the conclusion 
that the cultivation of forests and all forms of vegetation has a 
powerful effect upon climate. They purify the air, cool it in 
summer, moderate the cold in winter, in many cases condense the 
moisture of the atmosphere,^ and cause the greatest variety of 
rainfall. They suck up snow-water and rain ^ into their leaves, 
moss, and decaying matter, like the dry spongy turf They 
lessen the formation of clefts in the ground by erosion and floods. 
On the one hand, they hinder the flooding of valleys in the time of 
heavy rains and melting of the snow ; and on the other, the water 
they draw in and store away is given out gradually and feeds the 
springs in the dry season. Thus the forest becomes a water 
reservoir and an inexhaustible source of moisture, through which 
the depth of rivers is regulated and maintained. 

The consequences of forest destruction show themselves not 
only in the failure of wood for fuel, building, and manufacture, 
but in still greater degree in the very considerable climatic changes 
which the country undergoes. 

The destruction of forests causes an increase of the mean annual 
temperature, especially of summer heat, as well as a decrease of 
the annual rainfall. But to consider this as generally the cause 
of floods would be to judge too partially. Floods are known in the 
most densely wooded parts of the earth, especially in the heavily 
wooded districts of Japan. The terrible overflow of the Rhine in 
1882 occurred in one of the richest forest districts of the central 

1 Petermann's " Mitth." 31 Bd. 1885, pp. 81-87. 

' Every morsel of moss which we destroy, ana indeed all foliage, is a reservoir 
for water. 

^ Forests do not attract the clouds, as has been popularly supposed, owing to 
deceptive appearances, but produce them, by condensing the air which moves 
through and over them. 


mountains of Germany. The broad vestiges of the old river beds 
show too that our rivers of to-day have grown much tamer and 
better behaved, as well as that floods were much more common 
when Germany had still its primeval forests than now. But the 
correct explanation of this lies in quite another direction, and does 
not at all contradict the fact that the destruction of the mountain 
forests has materially increased the dryness of the atmosphere, the 
inequality in the distribution of the rainfall, and the danger of 
floods in the valleys. It is evident that it was not so much the 
quantity of the rainfall that formed one of the principal causes of 
these floods, as the forests in the plain, which later gave way to 
arable and meadow cultivation. The washing away of ground 
had not been so great nor the river beds so deepened as now, 
while numerous obstacles to a quick ebb of the waters presented 

The destruction of mountain forests is looked upon by all 
scientists in these days as a calamity to the future of a country. 
With the wood, the decayed soil, with its covering of moss and 
leaves, goes inevitably from the mountain sides. The rain torrents 
and the wind sweep them away and leave only the naked rock. 
The weather-beaten mass thus broken off is carried rapidly to the 
valley, where floods and boulder-deposits frequently take place on 
the formerly cultivated ground. Numerous examples of the con- 
sequences of forest destruction, reaching on to future generations, 
are to be seen in different countries. In the year 1879 a Russian 
newspaper contained the following : 

" One can wander for twenty or thirty hours on the coast of the 
Black Sea, which was in earlier time covered with oak woods, 
without finding a single tree. The once richly wooded environs 
of Tiflis are now entirely treeless. This is even more true of 
the mountain ridge of Daghestan, whose forests have been taken 
for the firewood of steamships in the Caspian Sea. The soil of 
Eriwan was once most productive ; rich cornfields alternated with 
meadows between forests. To-day all is a desert waste, and the 
inhabitants can scarcely secure the most necessary food." 

In the foregoing may be found much that is applicable to the 
situation in Japan. The weal and woe of the inhabitants in the 
valley depends to a certain degree upon the mountains and their 
forests and the improvement of rivers and making them navigable 
appears to be a problem which can only be solved satisfactorily in 
connection with a thorough system of mountain forestry. The 
preservation and scientific cultivation of mountain forests is one 
of the most important duties which the Japanese government has 
to perform for the good of the country. Their preservation serves 
to regulate the profuse rainfall, to protect the land from floods at 
the season of rain and thaw, and to provide the soil in the dry 
season with a rich water supply to fill the rivers. Their cultivation 
on the other hand aims to provide the needed wood supply, and to 


open to the country a source of income which till now has been 
very insufficiently valued and developed. 

As in every system of forestry, so in the Japanese, there must 
be the aim to strengthen the better growths and repress more 
worthless timber, as well as to secure a proper marketing by 
establishing roads and means of transportation. A wide field of 
labour, but one rich in results, especially in consideration of the 
lack of wood in China, opens here — a work that certainly cannot 
be accomplished off-hand, but which must be carefully and steadily 
prosecuted. In my travels through Japan, I was often asked by 
those in government circles, what I would especially recommend 
for the promotion of the national welfare. I said then, and 
repeat it now, as of first importance — "To protect and cultivate 
the forest." 

The Nature and Use of tJie more important Forest Trees and 
other useful fapanese Woods. 

There are only a few works of real value upon this subject at 
my command,^ with the exception of longer or shorter lists of 
Japanese designations with or without scientific names. I have 
therefore been thrown for the most part upon my own observa- 
tions, the collections made during my travels, and an exhibition 
of fifty different kinds of wood made by the Minister of the 
Interior (Naimushio) in Paris, 1878, and which later on were sent 
to me. 

The long duration of winter limits the period of most vegetation, 
in Yezo to five, in Middle Japan to six, and in the southern part to 
seven months of the year. It interrupts too the growth of all 
woods, even the evergreen. They show therefore distinct annual 
rings, as is the case in all countries where a low winter temperature 
and a regularly recurring standstill in growth takes place. For the 
same reason, there are scarcely any heavy woods such as abound 
in the tropics. In addition to all the other differences in the 
numerous woods of Japan, their specific gravity fluctuates between 
0'329 in Kiri {Patdownia imperialis) and 0*960 in Tsuge {Biixus 

1 Thunberg, in the preface to his " Flora japonica," 1784, gave the first 
catalogue of the useful woods of Japan. His classification is followed by von 
Siebold in the already often quoted work, " Synopsis Plantarum GEconomicarum 
Universi Regni Japonic!." Batavia, 1830. In this work he enumerates 39 
species as Ligna maxime quassita. The following works on this subject are 
of much more value : 

1. "Preliminary Catalogue of the Japanese Kinds of Woods," by Dr. Geerts. 
" Transactions As. Soc. of Japan," vol. iv. pp. 1-26. 

2. "Experiments on the Strength of Japanese Woods," by R. H. Smith. 
Ibid. pp. 27-28. 134 kinds. 

3. "Les Essences forestieres du Japon," par Dupont. Paris, 1879. 

4. "Nippon Juboku-shi. Treatises on 100 Japanese woods, with lengthwise 
and cross sections." Published by the Geographical Department. 


mponica, J. Muller).^ Besides box, the heavier and harder woods 
of Japan comprise Yusu {Distyliiun facemosum), the varied Tern- 
stromiaceae (CamelHa, Tea plant, Stuartia, and others), the Sara- 
suberi {^LagersU'Ojnia indicd)^ different kinds of plum, and the 
numerous oaks, which have a specific gravity generally from 0750 
to 0-850. 

Some of the most valuable trees of Japan attain an enormous 
growth. These giants are very rarely found in the forest, but 
generally in the neighbourhood of towns, in the courts and groves 
which surround old temples, and among the trees giving shade 
along the roads, especially those leading to celebrated temples. 
The Japanese admires and protects them and even transfers to 
them something of the reverence toward age which was instilled 
into him from his youth up. Among leaf-bearing trees, those most 
noted for size are the camphor-laurel and the Keaki ; among 
conifers, the Cryptomeria and Ginko. A short classification of 
those giant specimens that I have myself seen may be of interest, 
and not out of place here. 

1. Camphor-laurel {Laurus CampJwra, L.) or Kusu-no-ki. A 
specimen that I saw at Kaseda-mura in 1875, on the way from 
Wakayama in Kishiu to the monastery-town Koyasan, at breast- 
high was 11*5 meters in circumference. Like an old village 
linden, the trunk separated somewhat higher up into a number of 
mighty outspread branches. In the park at Uyeno in Tokio I 
measured, in 1874, another camphor tree which rivalled the sur- 
rounding conifers behind the temple of Gongesama, and at i meter 
high showed a circumference of 5*50 meters. In 1884 Lehmann^ 
found the circumference 5*55 meters, and the height of the tree he 
estimated at 31 meters. Large as these dimensions are, they are 
far behind those of the trees which one sees in Nagasaki and in 
other parts of Kiushiu. Kaempfer mentioned in 1691 a camphor 
tree which was celebrated for its enormous thickness. In 1826, 
135 years later, Siebold found it rich in foliage and apparently 
sound. The trunk, which measured i6'884 meters in circumference, 
however was hollow. 

2. Keyaki {Zelkowa acuminata^ Planchon). At Meguro in the 
neighbourhood of Tokio, in January, 1874, the "0 Keyaki" 
(Great Keaki) was felled, and showed a circumference of 117 meters 
at I meter high. 

3. Camellia {Camellia japonica, L.) or Tsubaki. In Southern 
Japan I saw many trees from 8 to 10 meters high, and i meter 

^ R. H. Smith gives the specific gravity of box as only 0-839 \ of Paulownia, 
as 0.329, and of Kashi {Querctis dentata^ Thunb.) I'oi/. There is no doubt an 
error in this, especially concerning the weight of Kashi, for the boxwood of 
Southern Japan is as marked above all others for its weight, as is Kiri for its 

2 R, Lehmann, engineer, of Tokio, in accordance with an expressed wish of 
mine in 1884, kindly subjected several other trees which I had indicated to 
him to a careful measurement. 

11. Q 


in circumference. The plants in their wild condition reach the same 
height but not the same thickness of trunk. A magnificent speci- 
men in the court of the temple at Yutenji near Tokio, with straight 
trunk and beautifully formed crown, I estimated in 1874, by its 
shadow, at 5 meters high. The trunk had a circumference of i'47 
meters. In 1844, Lehmann found the latter i'53 metres and the 
height 5'5 meters. The age of the tree was given him as 120 years. 

4. Shii-no-ki {Quercus ciispidata). A specimen behind the Sanno 
temple was, in 1874, 4*6 meters in circumference but scarcely 12 
meters high, although this species is reckoned among the tallest 
oaks of Japan. 

5. Fuji ( Wistaria Chiiiensis, S. and Z.). There was a giant tree 
at Nakanobu-mura near Tokio, which covered the spacious court- 
yard of a tea-house, and bore thousands of long soft clusters ot 
blossoms, but it has disappeared. Below its branching and at 
breast high it measured, in the spring of 1874, 2*45 meters around 
the trunk. 

6. Sugi {Cryptomeria japonica, Don.). On Sasa-no-yama-toge, on 
Koshiukaido (road from Tokio to Kofu), about 750 meters above 
sea level, I found in the autumn of 1874, on the right of the road, 
a Cryptomeria, which at i J meters high had a circumference of 
9'4i meters. Specimens of from 6 to 7 meters circumference are 
frequent in Nikko and other temple groves. They reach a height of 
30 to 45 meters. In 1 565 the missionary Almeyda visited the temple 
of Kasuga near Nara. The way led through an avenue of cedars 
(Sugi) and pines " qui faisoient une fort belle symetrie, et dont les 
tetes se joignoient tellement que le soleil n'y pouver percer." 
Single cedars measured "cinq brasses de circumference," or 8*12 
meters according to modern measurement. He found the roof of 
the temple resting on ninety columns of cedar (Cryptomeria) trunks, 
each of which measured 6 meters in circumference.' 

7. Ichio or Ginkiyo {Ginkgo biloba, L.). Among the trees of 
this kind in temple grounds in and around Tokio, the largest 
and most finely developed is the one at the temple Koyenji. Ten 
years ago, at 2 meters high, its circumference was 7-3 meters, and 
in 1884 nearly 7*55 meters. Lehmann estimated the height of the 
stoutest branches at 32 meters, and heard that the age of the tree 
was supposed to be 1,000 years. This must, however, be a great 
exaggeration in view of the origin and growth of the city Yedo 
under Tokugawa lyegasu, and the circumstance that the Salisburia 
only grows from planting. The tree has otherwise the appearance 

^ John Booth of Klein Flottbeck near Altona, mentions in his interesting 
report of the Forestry Exhibition in Edinburgh, 1884, that in the Japanese Re- 
ports concerning the province of Kiushia (where ?), it was stated that there 
were Cryptomeria groves in which single trees had a diameter of 27 feet. I 
should have at once substituted circumference for diameter had not the farther 
statement been made that they (Morimasa Takei and his companions), to the 
number of twelve, once passed the night in a hollow trunk. 


of an old linden with a symetrically developed crown. In the 
park at Shiba the largest Salisburia had in 1874 a circumference 
of 6*30 meters. 

8. Koya-maki {Sciadopitys verticillatd). The largest specimen 
which I know and which Japan can properly show, is found in a 
temple court in Nikko. Lehmann, who reckoned the height 24 
meters and the circumference at 4* 15 meters, was told that the tree 
was 250 years old, an estimate that agrees very well with the age 
of the park in which it was found. 

Further estimates also in respect to immense size will be found 
m the following pages, in which I have tried to collect briefly in 
systematic order the most remarkable of the useful woods of Japan. 

Fam. Gramine/E, Group Bambusace^e. 

The greater wood-forming varieties of bamboo cane, which alone 
are to be considered here, bear the collective name Take, in com 
binations often written "dake," for which also the Japanese-Chinese 
form chiku ^ is much used. 

r. BainbiLsa arundinacea, L. [Aricndo Bambos, L. and Thunb.), 
Japanese Ma-take or male bamboo. It is the most valuable and 
the most cultivated Japanese variety, with which B. vulgaris^Msf Qndl.y 
is often found in company."^ Its cylindrical stalks are long and 
straight, the wood is firm, capable of resistance in the highest de- 
gree, and well adapted to many uses. Ha-chiku seems to be a 
sub-species. Ma-take reaches in Japan a height of from 15 to 20 
meters and a trunk circumference of 40 to 50 cm., but only in 
favourable soil. In less favourable conditions and higher altitudes 
the dimensions will fall far short of the above figures. 

2. B. agrestis, Poir. {B. spinosa, Roxb.), Japanese Kan-chiku, 
grows 6 to 8 meters high and over a thumb's thickness. It is a 
strong, thick-walled cane, that is distinguished chiefly by its knotty 
joints. It is found generally as a live hedge, 

3. Bainbusa } Japanese Moso-chiku and Honan-chiku. The 

latter name comes from the Chinese province of Honan where, 

1 As most of the Japanese bamboos never produce seed nor even bloom, 
their classification and identification with Indian varieties is difficult. For this 
reason authors of works on the Japanese Flora, like Franchet and Savatier, 
have either omitted them, or contented themselves with simply giving the 
Japanese names. I have endeavoured to find in the well-known Treatise of 
Col. Munro, " A Monograph of the Bambusaceas," in the Transactions of the 
Linn. Soc. vol, xxvi. pp. 1-159, a definite classification, but I give here the result 
with all reserv^e, and commit it to a successor who may better discharge the 
difficult task, and shed more light on this interesting subject. 

- Of all the bamboos of Indian origin these two are found most widely spread. 
The former was in 1730 introduced into hot houses in England, and was till 
181 3 the only one of its kind there. In the West Indies, on the Mascarenes 
and elsewhere, both are now extensively cultivated. 


as at Hong-kong, it is much cultivated. Stouter, but not so tall 
as B. anuidinacea, it may be identified chiefly by the club-like 
swelling of the stalk at the base, and its frequent knobs. The 
wood is not so much prized, is porous and not so capable of resist- 
ance. It is used for flower vases and other vessels, but the prin- 
cipal object in its cultivation is to furnish bamboo sprouts in spring.^ 

4. PhyllostacJiys nigra, Munro {Bambusa piiberula, Miq.), Japa- 
nese Kuro-dake, black bamboo, and Goma-dake. This variety 
shows brown spots when young, and becomes later quite black. It 
is a beautiful cane, from 3 to 6 meters high and of a thumb's thick- 
ness, but is not extensively cultivated. A kindred or only sub- 
species is the so-called Han-chiku, or spotted Bamboo of the 
island of Yezo. This is found near the western coast of Shikotan 
in Shiribeshi, where it grows in great quantities on both banks of 
a brook, and on account of its beautiful marking (irregular brown 
spots and shading) is much gathered. The Japanese prize it 
highly and use it for walking sticks, whistles, brush handles, and 
other objects. 

5. Arundinaria japonica^ S. and Z., called Me-take {i.e. female 
bamboo). This is an indigenous variety which is found growing 
wild in the hilly country, and much prized for thick-growing 
hedges. It attains a height of 2 to 3*5 meters, and a finger's thick- 
ness, is firm and hardy, used for whistles and brush handles, and 
has found a wide field outside of Japan. 

Most of the other indigenous bamboos do not become woody, 
but remain small and grass-like. They bear the collective desig- 
nation Sasa, often form the underwood of forests, and are distin- 
guishable in part by the variegation of their leaves, and several 
varieties are found as decorative plants in Europe, for instance 
Bambusa nana, Roxb., B. Fortttnei, van Houtte, B. aiirea, Sieb., B. 
pyg7ncBa, Miq., PhyllostacJiys bambusoides, S. and Z., P. Ktimasasa, 

The monsoon district is the old home of many kinds of bamboo 
and the place where the largest and most beautiful varieties are 
cultivated most extensively, as is also the case with rice. A portion 
of these bamboos have spread far beyond the tropic of Cancer, 
especially in China and Japan. Notwithstanding this, I cannot 
agree with Wallace when he affirms^ that the immense grasses 
which we call bamboo cane can scarcely be regarded as tropical 
plants. The most numerous and especially the largest varieties 
belong to the tropical monsoon district, and those indigenous to 
South America and Africa seldom if ever cross the tropic line. No 
other food plant in monsoon lands is as important as rice, and 
no other wood growth equal to the bamboo (I consider here only 

* Bambusa quadranguJaris^ Fenzi., Japanese Kaku-dake (square, four-cornered 
bamboo cane), Ciko-chiku, and Ho-chiku. (See Th. Dyer. "The Square 
Bamboo," Nature, vol. xxxii. p. 391.) 

2 Wallace, "Tropical Nature," London, 1878, p. 52 ff. 


the large varieties) in respect to its varied use. None other graces 
the landscape with equal charm. 

In their early growth the bamboo varieties furnish a favourite 
food ; in fuller development their decorative groups are most 
effective in the landscape of the country, and finally when dead 
they yield a material which in the warm monsoon districts is so 
manifold in its uses that an intelligent companion of Col. Yule ^ 
could not conceive of the possibility of human existence in a 
country destitute of bamboo cane. 

As the houses in North Germany are decorated at Whitsuntide 
with the lovely green of young branches of birch, so in Japan the 
bamboo is used for the New Year's festival. Behind the fir tree on 
each side of the entrance door, is placed a tall slender stalk of Take- 
no-ki with its many knots and articulations, a symbol of man's 
strength, and its branches decked out with small mandarin 
oranges, according to old custom. 

These great bamboo canes have often been aptly compared with 
asparagus. As every spring a number of stalks are driven up 
from the asparagus root, and under normal conditions attain a 
regular growth each year, so it is with the well ordered cultiva- 
tion of the bamboo. Only here the circumstances are on a much 
grander scale. Out of a few clumps of bamboo roots on good soil 
is developed an entire grove. In early spring the fresh growth 
looks much like gigantic asparagus, and like it is used as a veget- 
able. By the ist of May the canes of Bainhisa aritndinacea have 
reached the height of a man, but it is not till Midsummer that 
nature shows her full power in the bamboo thicket, for the cane is 
indeed grass, which one can see grow, in the literal sense of the 
word, and under certain conditions, at the rate of ten or more 
meters a week. Without branches or leaves, it forces its way easily 
through the thickets of other canes, and after reaching almost its 
full height, -pushes out its thin branches through the nodes in all 
directions, forming of them and their light green foliage the web of 
its crowns which are already outlined. It is necessary of course 
to provide a bamboo plantation with plenty of light and air. The 
older canes which have been sawed off or hewn down are taken 
away and used, and young plants take their place. The larger 
cultivated varieties of bamboo in Japan, are not, as in India, set 
apart in forests by themselves, but, as has been previously intimated, 
are planted on the edges of forests, near large towns, and in temple 
groves. Experience has taught that most varieties, even in their 
Indian home, when they grow in groves of more or less density, 
sometimes from 20 to 30 m. high, only over-topped by the highest 
trees, or planted near villages, are very slow in reaching their 
blossoming and seed time, when they die. In Japan, the large 
cultivated kinds never blossom, nor do they here attain the same 
height and thickness as in their tropical home, 
i Yule, " Marco Polo," i. 298. 


In India, Bambusa Brandisii^ Munro, sometimes grows from 30 
to 36 m. high, and in warmer China, B. arimdinacece and B. 
"(Vulgaris reach a circumference of from 28 to 30 English inches 
(70 to 75 cm.), and a height of more than 20 m., dimensions which 
are considerably exceeded by the best canes of Japan. 

The tree-like bamboo finds a use in every size, at all ages, in great 
quantities and for manifold purposes. First of all, the full-grown 
stalks, gigantic wood stems, which nature has endowed with many 
valuable properties such as no other wood possesses in like measure, 
have a wide range of applications and in numberless directions. 
No other wood contains so much firmness, elasticity and strength. 
The large quantity of free silicic acid in the cane makes it hard 
and able to resist many influences which destroy other wood. In 
burning it crackles and fulminates, as was noted by Marco Polo, 
who also mentions that wild animals in this way are kept at night 
from the camp fires and the fruits of the field. Its slenderness 
and length, its pipe form, its nodal interruptions and its easy 
lengthwise cleavage, are among its most valuable properties. 
Every attempt to number the manifold uses based upon these 
properties seems vain, for, sleeping or waking, in every form of 
activity and at every age, man is surrounded by its forms and 
accustomed to its uses wherever the bamboo grows in Southern 
and Eastern Asia. 

In its natural condition, and stripped only of its crown, it is 
used for ladder beams, rafters, palings, posts, and stakes for pro- 
tection and support, for example, of young trees ; for scaffoldings ; 
for rudder-posts, masts, flag-staffs, fishing-rods, and measuring 
sticks ; for walking-sticks, handles and other parts of implements 
and weapons ; for hedges, fences and all sorts of framework. Its 
hollowness makes it applicable in many directions, e.g., as water 
pipes when the partitions at the joints have been pierced through, 
and for pumps, flutes, and whistles. 

Every section with these cross walls at the joints is a closed 
vessel. If cut crosswise it affords a piece of pipe which, with 
its closed end and open top, forms a cylindrical vessel that may 
serve under different circumstances as a pail or cup, flower vase 
or spittoon. 

Its easy cleavage allows of its use in small staves, splints and 
bands of various size, also chopsticks, spoons, spears, and other 
simple articles, as well as in many kinds of lattice work and 
plaiting, as hats, sieves, baskets, boxes and cages, chairs, litters 
and bedsteads, mats and covers, blinds for doors and windows, 
sails, picture-frames, screens and fans. 

In Tokio there are whole streets iv^here there is scarcely anything 
but bamboo sold. Here, exposed for sale in the courts of the 
larger shops are thousands of stalks of every length and thickness, 
from rafters and ladder beams to paint-brush handles, ready to 
make up into the before mentioned Take-mono (bamboo work). 


After what has been said of the various uses made of it by the 
inhabitants of the monsoon countries, and taking into account 
its ornamental features, it will not cause surprise to know that 
its praises are much sung by Chinese and Japanese poets. It is 
a favourite subject with the Japanese artist, which he imitates not 
only with his brush but the chisel also — and to be able to repre- 
sent its characteristic likeness with a io,'^ strokes of the India-ink 
pencil is considered in Japan an unmistakable sign of artistic 


6. ChamcErops excelsa, Thunb., Jap. Shuro or Shuro-no-ki, also 
called Shuro-gi. The wood of this palm is especially valuable on 
account of its durability and resistance to damp, and is prized 
above all others in boat and house building. It is also used like 
bamboo in making hollow ware. 

7. Cycas revoluta Thunb., Jap. Sotetsu. This beautifully spotted 
but very light and porous wood is distinguished for not splitting. 
It is used like Keyaki, for small boxes, plates, and other similar 
articles. (See Hakone-zaiku.) 

Fam. Conifer.^. 

a. Taxacece, Yew tribe. 

8. Taxus cuspidata, S. and Z., Jap. Araragi, Ichii and Suwo, 
called by the Ainos, Onko — a bush or low tree six meters high, 
found mostly in Hida and on Yezo, and used often as a decora- 
tive plant. Its highly valued wood is marked by a beautiful red 
colour (like our yew), fine grain and great toughness. On account 
of this last quality it is used by the Ainos for their bows. 

9. Torreya 7iitciferay S. and Z. (Taxus nucifera^ Thunb.), Jap. 
Kaya (see p. 157), is mostly found as a bush and underwood, and 
seldom as a small tree. The wood is uniformly firm and thick, 
light-coloured, yellowish, and serves as building material and for 
chests and boxes. 

10. Cephalutaxus drupeacea^ S. and Z. [Taxus baccata, Thunb.), 
Jap. Inu-gaya (see p. 157). The wood is used like the foregoing 
varieties, but is not so fine-grained and is less prized. 

11. Ginkgo biloba, L. {Salisburia adiantifolia, Smith), Jap. Ichio 
and Ginkiyo, must be considered a unique specimen among exist- 
ing conifers, on account of its leaf, blossom, and plum-like fruit 
forms. Kindred specimens have been found in the Dogger-form- 
ation and were widely scattered over the northern hemisphere 
in the tertiary period, but are now reduced to the single Gingko of 
Eastern Asia. It is now known only in a cultivated state. The 
Chinese and Japanese cultivate it partly on account of its edible 
fruits (p. 94), but principally for the adornment of their temple 


courts and cemeteries. It grows rapidly, reaches large dimensions 
and a great height. The wood shows many similarities to the 
maple, is of a bright yellowish colour, fine-grained, capable of 
polish, tender and easily broken, and therefore not so highly prized. 

12. Podocarpus macrophylla, Don. {Taxus 7nacrophylla, Thunb.), 
Jap. Maki, Kusa-Maki and Inu-maki, is limited to the warmer 
portions of Japan, and even here is not widely spread. Sometimes 
the plants are used for green hedges as here and there in Tokio. 
It is mostly, however, met with in temple-groves and courts. It is 
a tree with a straight grey-barked trunk, i to 2 m. in circumference 
and 15 to 20 m. high. The fibrous, reddish yellow wood is not so 
durable in the air as in water, and on account of its scarcity, is not 
very widely used. 

13. Podocarpus Nageia, R. Br., Jap. Nagai. As to its distribution, 
what was said of the preceding species is true also of this ; indeed 
it seems still doubtful if it belongs to the indigenous conifers of 
Japan at all. The trees in the neighbourhood of temples resemble 
juniper in colour of their wood and their brownish red bark. 

b. CupressinecB : Cypresses. 

14. Juniperiis cJdnensis, L. (/. Thunbergii, Hook), Jap. Ibuki and 
Beni-biyakushiu. This Japanese juniper is a mere shrub, like all 
others. The reddish brown, firm, heavy wood is characterized 
by a strong and agreeable smell and is excellent for inlaid work, 
but on account of its small size and the difficulty of working it up, 
is not much used. 

15. Biota orientalis^ Endl. {Thuya or ientalis, Thunb.), Jap. Konote, 
Wabyakudan. The fine-grained wood of this bush or low tree is 
but little used. It is like that of the Nagi, only lighter in colour 
and weight. 

16. ChamcBcyparis obtusa^ S. and Z. {Reti7iispora obtusa, S. and 
Z.), Jap. Hi-no-ki. 

17. Ch. pisifera, S. and Z. {Retinispora pisifera, S. and Z.), Jap. 

18. Thujopsis dolabrata, S. and Z. {TJivju dolabrata, Thunb.), 
Jap. Hiba. 

These three conifers form a small group not so much on account 
of their relationship to Arbor vitse as because of their conditions, 
common occurrence, the similarity of their woods and its uses. 
We find them chiefly on the mountain sides and in the low valleys 
of Honshiu in the Upper Kisogawa, and in Kishiu and Yamato, 
(see p. 219), upon a soil which having been made up by the de- 
composition of granite, of old slate, or volcanic rock, affords easy 
drainage and a deep rooting of the tree. In dense groves on a 
good soil, they form magnificent cultivated forests with straight up- 
right trunks, reaching a circumference of 3 to 4 m. and a height of 
30 to 35 m. When from 160 to 200 years old they look as sound 
as in their youth. Trunks 200 years old measure 2*5 to 3 m. 
around at the base; and 18 m. higher, where the crown com- 


mences, they are 18 to 2 m. in circumference. Hi-no-ki and 
Sawara are more often found than Hiba. When, as is generally 
the case, they are met with together, it is difficult at first glance 
to distinguish between them, while the third variety is very diver- 
gent in appearance. The fine yellow-green of the upper side of 
the leaves, the blue-green and peculiar marking of the under 
side in Thujopsis dolabrata, are so strikingly distinctive of this 
most beautiful of cypresses that we cannot easily confound it with 
other conifers. 

As has been previously said, the cypress forest is a cultivated 
one. The seeds germinate best in the shade, which fact must be 
duly considered in the cultivation. 

First of all in its value stands Hi-no-ki, which is particularly 
sacred to ancestry cultus (Shinto worship), and is cultivated on 
this account more than any other. The wood is white or pink, 
smooth, light and very tough, fine grained, poor in resin, and 
free from knots. It is preferred for lacquer ware, and used exclu- 
sively for building Shinto temples. The palaces of the Mikado 
and his family at Kioto were always built of Hi-no-ki wood, and 
roofed with the bark of the tree, which when very old can be easily 
cut into long strips. Criminals condemned to Harakiri (disem- 
bowelling) were formerly presented with a dagger upon a small 
white unlacquered table of Hi-no-ki wood, and on a similar one is 
offered the food and drink to the gods at festivals. 

Sawara is distinguished in appearance only by a rather light 
green crown, and on nearer observation by the different shape of 
its small scale-like leaves and its wood, strikingly different from 
that of Hi-no-ki, being of a reddish colour, rough, and not so 

The wood of the Hiba is yellow, is marked by its durability in 
water, and is therefore much used for stakes, as well as in ship 
and bridge building. It is also employed in the same way as the 
before-mentioned varieties for lacquer wares and window sashes or 
Shoji, for which use, however, Hi-no-ki is much preferred to both 
the other varieties. 

Various kinds of the previously mentioned cypresses have more 
interest for the gardener than the forester. The following are not- 
able only for their wood : 

19. Thujopsis IcBtevirens, Lindk, Jap. Nedjuko, which is often 
taken for a smaller form of the Dolabrata, from which it is dis- 
tinguished among other things by a bluish green colour. The 
wood is fine and straight-fibred, similar to the former varieties, 
and like them adapted to manifold uses, but does not rank in 
value with Hiba. In its white sap-wood it is very similar to 
Hiba, but in dark brown core it resembles more the Sugi. 

20. Cryptomeria japonica, Don., Jap. Sugi. While Hi-no-ki is 
indeed the most valuable, Sugi is without doubt the most widely 
employed of all the conifers of Japan. Young specimens are used 


for evergreen hedges, and its finely developed trees are to be admired 
in temple groves and avenues (see illustration in vol. i. p. 150). 
It is most frequently found forming larger or smaller cultivated 
forests throughout the entire empire, from the islands of Riukiu 
to Yezo, for it is a marvellous wood producer and serves for house- 
building as well as the manufacture of boxes of all sizes. 

The Cryptomeria are not so ornamental when young as many 
other pines. And the trees must be seen at their full growth 
in order to be able to appreciate their favour in temple groves 
and along the roads leading thereto — gigantic figures frequently 5 
to 6 m. in circumference and often tall, perpendicular shafts 20 to 
25 m. high which raise their dark green, regular, conical heads 
from 10 to 15 m. higher. 

From earliest years they blossom every spring and bear fruit 
abundantly, but an after-growth is seldom seen in the Sugi forest 
any more than in the Hi-no-ki wood, so that the variety would 
probably die out if it were not for human interference. It is akin 
in this to the giant Sequoia of California, to which it has, in habitat, 
also much similarity. It is cultivated from slips and seedlings, 
chiefly from the latter. The tree demands a deep soil and pro- 
tection against storms. We find its forests in the valleys and on 
mountain sides to about 1,000 m. high. In plantations on a light 
clay soil the ground must be carefully treated like arable land, 
deeply ploughed and freed from all weeds. The seeds sown in 
rows in the autumn sprout the next spring. At the end of the 
second year the seedlings reach a height of 0*50 to 0'6o m. and 
are transplanted in the following spring. Sugi grows rapidly. 
Four-year-old trees have an average height of i*8o m. and in a 
good soil their circumference will be 0*45 m. in ten years, and in 
fifty years 2 meters. 

The wood of the Cryptomeria is brownish red at the core, sap- 
wood white, easily split, of agreeable smell, easy to work, durable 
in water, but also very brittle. The colour changes very consider- 
ably with its growth and its condition, from bright red to a dark 
reddish brown, like the walnut. This colour also distinguishes the 
sub-species known by the name of Jindai-sugi, while Yaku-sugi 
shows a brownish red, fire-striped colour, and Kurobe a reddish 
brown. On account of its beautiful colour and ease of working it 
is preferred for most purposes to that of pine and fir, and is higher 
in price. It is not therefore used in bridge building nor in other 
places where elasticity and strength to bear heavy weight is ne- 
cessary. The English usually call the Cryptomeria Japanese cedar, 
and built great expectations on its cultivation forty years ago, when 
first introduced by Fortune. These expectations have been as 
little fulfilled, however, as in other places north of the Alps. The 
tree is very sensitive to severe cold and long summer coolness, 
while the dry, hot climate, e.g.^ of the Canaries suits it well. In 
Germany it grows in only a few protected places, like the Heidel- 


berg Castle park and in the neighbourhood of Bonn (Rosenburg), 
where one specimen has attained a height of 20 m. in twenty-four 
years and is 0*85 m. in circumference at the height of i meter. 

c. Abietinece : Firs, pines and larches. The Japanese collective 
name for the last two is Matsu, while several kinds of firs are called 
Momi. Of the nine varieties of Japanese firs and pines given by 
Franchet and Savatier in their " Enumeratio plantarum," only two 
have any wide distribution, or as wood producers any significant 
value, viz., Abies firma, S. and Z., and A. Tsiiga, S. and Z. 

21. Abies firma, S. and Z., Jap. Momi, is spread over the whole of 
Japan, more general however in Middle and Northern Hondo, 
and on the Southern Islands. It is found chiefly and in the high- 
est development in mixed forests, among the beautiful deciduous 
woods, at an elevation of between 1,000 and 1,500 m. seldom iso- 
lated. It develops the most magnificent trunk of all the Japanese 
firs, and grows in parks and temple groves to a height of 30 to 40 m. 
with a circumference of 4 to 5 m. In its entire bearing as well as 
in the character of its wood, this tree resembles our Abies pectinata, 
but has a much slower growth. Its wood is lighter, rougher, and 
less tough than that of the pine, hence cheaper and less valued. 
It is seldom used in housebuilding. 

22. Abies Veitchiiy Lindl. {A. nephrolepsis, Maxim.), Jap. Shirabe, 
a tree of the upper conifer region with a greyish red bark which 
is distinguished from kindred species chiefly by the brilliant, bluish 
white colour of two lines on the under side of its needles, thus 
giving its crown a peculiar appearance. It grows 20 to 30 m. 
hieh and measures about 2 m. around the trunk. The wood is 
moderately fibrous, splits easily, has broad shining rings of white 
and narrow reddish autumn zones, and is lighter and still less 
elastic and firm than that of the Momi, and consequently not so 
much prized. 

23. Abies bicolor^ Maxim. (A, Alcockiana, Lindl.), Jap. Tohi, 
belongs likewise to the high mountain conifers of Middle and 
Northern Hondo, but is often found on Yezo. This tree, which as 
a rule is found mixed with the following species, attains the same 
dimensions as Shirabe. Its wood is pale pink, white in the sap- 
wood, less shiny than Shirabe, and seamed with large distinctly 
recognisable channels of resin. On account of its easy cleavage it 
is frequently used for shingles. 

24. Abies polita, S. and Z. {Picea polita, Cam), Jap. Ira-momi 
and Tora-momi. This kind is very easily distinguished from 
others by its needles, which are four-edged, prismatic in shape, 
crooked toward the top, and ending in a sharp point. It makes a 
fine stately tree with the bearing of our Abies excelsa, belongs to 
the high mountain districts and northern parts of Japan, and, like its 
previously described companions, is little used. In modern times 
on the island of Yezo, however, it has been much employed in 


25. Abies JesoensiSy S. and Z. {Abies Menziesii, Louv.), Jap. 
Yezo-matsu. This second kind of Yezo fir does not attain the 
dimensions^ of the foregoing species, and is also less used. It is 
found on Yezo and Sachalin, as well as in the mountain pine-forests 
of Middle and Northern Hondo ; here and there also as an orna- 
mental plant in gardens and temple groves, where it reaches a 
height of 30 m., and a circumference of 2 to 3 m. 

26. Abies Tsuga, S. and Z. {Tsuga Sieboldi, Cam), Jap. Tsuga. 
The Tsuga fir is found on all the large Japanese islands, chiefly 
at an elevation of from 1,500 to 2,000 m. (region of firs and 
larches), and especially on the light soil of volcanic mountains. It 
grows usually in dense groves on a clear sod, with but few other 
trees in its company. It is seldom found so low as 700 m., but 
reaches there its best development, with a circumference of 3 to 4, 
sometimes even to 5 meters, and a height of 24 m. with a trunk 12 
to 14 m. The finest specimens I found in the forest of Kirishima- 
yama, in Southern Kiushiu, with trunks 4 to 5 m. thick, growing 
with Momi of equal size. In the mountain pine-forests, the height 
and thickness decrease toward the top, especially the former, so 
that in places over 2,000 m. in height, the trunk falls off in height 
to about 6 or 8 m., as may be easily observed on climbing Nantai- 
san in the mountains of Nikko. 

Wherever the Tsuga grows in forests by itself, it forms, like its 
North American relative, the hemlock tree {A. Canadensis, Michaux), 
a fine straight trunk, but when growing isolated it tends like this 
one to fork and become crooked. The wood has very fine qualities 
and is prized above that of all other firs in Japan. It has a reddish 
colour, is moderately fibrous, fine grained, resinous, firmer and 
tougher than the other pines and firs, and therefore more durable. 
It is also less influenced by changes in temperature and damp. On 
account of this property, and its resistance to moisture, it is used 
by the prosperous Japanese for the verandah floor of his house, and 
prized the more if it has a deep red colour. Its high price, how- 
ever, due to the difficulty of working up, and also on account of 
the inaccessibility of the forests, and the lack of proper transport- 
ation, prevents any extensive use of the wood in house and ship 
building, to which it is eminently adapted. 

2J, Pinus densijlora, S. and Z., Jap. Aka-matsu and Me-matsu. 

28. P. Massoniana, S. and Z. {P. Thunbergi, Pari), Jap. Kuro- 
matsu and 0-matsu. These two pines, belonging to the Pinaster 
Endl. group, are accounted among the most widely used and 
favourite trees of Japan. The first is very similar to P. sylvestris^ 
and the second like P. austriaca. With the latter, as with Kuro- 
matsu, or the black pine, the colour of the bark of trunk and 
branches is dark grey all the way through, while Aka-matsu, the 
red pine, is marked, like our common pine, by the pale red colour 
of the upper trunk and branches. 

^ "Reports to the Kaitakushi," 1875, P- 3o6. 



The Japanese, like the Chinese, to whom the monoecious charac- 
ter of this tree has long been known, describe the Kuro-matsu as 
male, and the Aka-matsu as female. Accordingly they call them 
0-matsu (male pines) and Me-matsu (female pines). At the New 
Year's festival it used to be the custom to place at the left of the 
wreathed doorways a black-trunked P. Massoniana, and at the 
right a red-trunked P, densiflora^ to represent a happy marriage. 

Piniis Massoniana makes the least requirements as to soil of any 
tree in Japan. If the sand dunes thrown up by the waves of the 
sea have attained some firmness through the settlement of deeply 
rooted strand plants, among which generally the creeping juniper, 
Jiiniperus littoralis^ Maxim., is often found, the Japanese turn them 
to good use by plantations of Kuro-matsu. This pine is therefore 
of very much the same importance here as Pinus Pinaster in the 
French Departement Des Landes, which has been previously men- 
tioned. From the coast to 300 meters above the sea, we find the 
Kuro-matsu on land that would afford no support to other conifers. 
It comes to its best as a shade-tree on the country roads and in 
temple court-yards. Trunks from 150 to 200 years old, with a 
circumference of 4 to 6 m., and 30 to 35 m. high, are here not un- 
frequently found. 

The appearance of Pinus densiflora resembles the foregoing 
species in many particulars. It grows in hilly and mountain dis- 
tricts 150 to 800 m. above the sea level, and in exceptional instances 
still higher, especially on the sunny slope of a mountain. Lower 
down, as on the roadways of the country, it is often found mingled 
with Pinus Massoniana, and like it, in scattered growth, so that there 
is plenty of light and air for many a shrub as underwood between 
the trees. It also inhabits the gravel soil formed from the slate of 
mountain sides, and granite splinters, old lava fields also, and does 
not attain the dimensions of the Massoniana. 

Among all the conifers of Japan, the wood of these two, next to 
that of some of the firs, is the cheapest. The two are very similar 
in colour and marking, as well as in their long straight fibres, in 
closeness and toughness. They are much employed therefore in 
house and bridge building, for numerous little implements, and as 
wood for burning porcelain, and many other purposes. But, in 
comparison with the wood of our pines, they have no remarkable 
superiority. They are just as resinous and knotty, and only 
exceptionally as straight in trunk, being much more bent than our 
Pinus sylvestris in thin and open groves. 

29, Pinus Kotaiensis, S. and Z. {P. Strobus, Thunb.), Jap. Chosen- 
matsu (Korea pine), and Goyo-no-matsu (five-needle pine). The 
name given by Thunberg to this variety indicates its simi- 
larity in appearance to the North American white pine, while 
its cones, with their edible nuts, remind us more of P, Ceinbra. 
The tree had its origin, as is indicated b}^ one of its Japanese 
names, in Corea, and is found in Japan only as an ornamental 


tree. I saw in Northern Hondo, a beautiful avenue lined with 
it near the castle of Morioka (p. 94). The dirty, yellowish red 
wood has broad year-rings, and is used in much the same way as 
the before-mentioned pines. 

30. Pinus paroiflore, S. and Z., Jap. Goyo-no-matsu and Hime-ko- 
matsu. This variety forms the underwood of the upper portion of 
the high mountains in Hondo and Yezo, and is occasionally an 
ornamental tree in gardens and parks. Its yellow wood is far 
behind all the other kinds in value. 

31. Larix leptolepis, Gord. (Pimcs Larix, Thunb.), Jap. Kara- 
matsu. The Japanese larch is found from the 34th parallel north- 
wards. In Middle Honshiu it belongs, as a rule, to the mountain 
region between the levels of 1,500 and 2,000 m., and forms few settle- 
ments by itself, but is more often mixed with Tsuga and other sorts 
of Abies. Farther north its growth is limited to lower elevations, 
more and more, and with this the frequency of its appearance 
and even its development increase. It is especially adapted to a 
soil of crumbled volcanic lava, and in high altitudes measures ij m. 
around the trunk, and 20 to 24 m. in height. In peculiarly 
favourable lower-lying points it reaches a diameter of 4 m. and a 
height of 30 m. Its reddish brown core shows small year-rings, is 
fine grained, tough and durable ; it withstands damp remarkably, 
and for these reasons is highly valued, though, on account of the 
difficulty of procuring it, is employed but little in building, but 
in preference in mining, as well as for small wares. 

32. Sciadopitys vei^ticillata, S. and Z., Jap. Koya-maki. The 
Japanese umbrella pine is a fine conifer, unique in its bearing, and 
without question one of the most beautiful species for which we 
are indebted to E^astern Asia. Its proper name is Kane-matsu, or 
gold pine. Its name Koya-maki, reminds us of Maki {Podocarpits 
macrophylld) which its leaves somewhat resemble, and of the 
monastery-town Koya in Kiushiu, where the umbrella trees form a 
magnificent grove, and in the neighbourhood are found in several 
dense woods, at an elevation of 400 to 800 m. Here the tree is 
in all cases only artificially propagated, as has been proved. It 
grows straight and tall, with thick branches, as is the case with 
Pinus Strobus, to a height of 20 to 24 m., and a circumference of 2 
to 4 m.^ The cones remind one of pines, as do the fissured bark of 
old trees, and the outspread branches. But the crown is regularly 
cone-shaped, like most kinds of Abies, and that which lends a 
particularly distinctive character is its leaves, which are verticillate 
like the branches and twigs of pines, and long, like their needles. 
They are broad, thick, shiny and green like those of Podocarpus. 
The yellowish white, hght, fine-grained and broad-ringed wood 

^ The incorrect statement of Siebold, that the umbrella tree grows in bushes 
only a few meters high, has been preserved and repeated in many of our books, 
although it was long since shown by Veitch that its development is that of a 
stately tree. 


most resembles that of the different Abies varieties, and is not 
distinguished by any particularly valuable properties. This may 
be the reason why the umbrella tree is cultivated only on the Koya- 
san, in forests, and but here and there as an ornamental tree. 

Fam. Salicine/E. 

33. Salix japotiica, Thunb., Jap. Yanagl. The white, tender 
wood of this and some other willows, among them the ornamental 
weeping willow {Salix Babylonica, L.), called Shidare-yanagi, is 
used for making Y6-ji, or tooth-brushes; children's playthings, little 
dishes, cups, etc., are also turned from it. Willow plaiting has 
already been noted on page 173. 

34. Popidus tremiila, L. {P. Sieboldi, Miq.), Jap. Yama-narashi, 
and Dorufu, if not so frequent as in Europe, is nevertheless to 
be found in the mountain woods of Japan, and especially in the 
clearings from the 34th parallel northwards. The wood is scarcely 

Fam. Betulacr/E. 

35. Betula alba, L., Jap. Shira-kaba or Shira-kamba, also called 
Kaba and Kamba, is found scattered in the high mountain forests 
of Middle and Northern Hondo, and upon the island of Yezo. 

36. B. idmifolia, S. and Z., Jap. Midzume, whose brownish red 
wood is like that of the alder. The wood of this and other kinds 
of birch is used sometimes for boxes and for lacquer-ware. 

-^j, Almis firma, S. and Z., Jap. Minebari, Yama-harinoki and 

38. Alniis Maritiina, Nutt. {A, Japonica, S. and Z.), Jap. Hari- 
no-ki and Han-no-ki. 

39. Alnus incana, Wild., Jap. Yama-hari-no-ki. The wood of 
this alder is used for boxes. In the Hakone mountains it has 
a peculiar kind of use and employment. (See Art Industry : 
Wood Turning.) 

Fam. Juglandace^. 

The trees belonging to this family have the collective name, 
Kurumi. Besides our common walnut. Juglaiis Sieboldiaiia is 
cultivated here and there on account of its fruit (p. 94), and the 
latter as well as other varieties is found also scattered in the 
mountain forests of Middle and Northern Hondo, as well as on 
Yezo. Their wood has varying character and value. It is used 
only moderately in joiner- work. The noteworthy varieties are : 

40. Jiiglans inandschiirica, Maxim., Jap. Kurumi, whose beau- 
tiful dark wood is very similar to that of our walnut, and the 
following : 

41. Juglans Sieboldiana, Maxim., called T6-gurumi and 


42. Pterocarya rhoifolia, S. and Z. {P. soj^bifolia, S. and Z.), Jap. 
Sawa-gurumi. Its wood is light in colour and weight, white, 
yellow-white, or bright pink. 

43. Platycarya StrobilacecB, S. and Z., Jap. No-gurumi and 

Fam. Corylace^. 

44. Corylus heterophylla^ Fisch., Jap. Hashibami. The white, 
soft wood is very little used. 

45. CarpiniLs japonica, Blume, C. laxiflora, Bl., and C. cordata, BL, 
all have the Japanese designation Soro. Their wood is white, 
shining, and like that of our common C. Betulus, little used. 

Fam. Cupulifer^. 

We have here to regard first of all, the numerous Japanese 
species of the oak tribe. They are classified, as is well-known, 
in two groups ; one, evergreen, with laurel-like leaves, smooth 
bark, found in the warm South and on the coast of Hondo north- 
wards to the 36th parallel ; the other in the North and mountain 
forests, deciduous, like our indigenous oak-group, having a thick 
rugged bark when old, and in general indented leaves. The 
former bear the collective name of Kaski, while the latter are 
called Nara. A great difference is seen in the two woods. That 
of the deciduous variety is like our oak wood, shows most distinctly 
pith-rays, year-rings and the characteristic concentric order of the 
large pores. In the laurel-leaved tribe these marks are less distinct; 
the numerous pores are smaller and more irregularly distributed. 
Its wood is correspondingly denser, firmer, tougher and heavier, and 
is therefore more valuable than that of the other. In comparison 
with most of the other kinds of wood which the country possesses, 
it is heavy, hard, tough and very strong, does not split easily, and 
resists the influence of moisture for a long time. The wood of the 
deciduous species is like that of the chestnut tree, mainly prepared 
as charcoal for fuel, and scarcely used at all in carpentry. That of 
the evergreen is prized above all where elasticity and toughness are 
especially in demand, and is used for handles, bearers' poles, oars, 
and in ship building. To the deciduous oaks of Japan belong : 

46. Quercus dentata, Thunb., Jap. Kashiwa. This species is 
distinguished chiefly by its very large indented and serrated leaves, 
and is often grown on this account as a small ornamental tree 
for gardens. It is especially numerous on the island of Yezo. I 
found it as a shrub very often in the Hara on the border of the 
volcanic mountain forests in Northern Hondo. Its large-pored 
wood is of small value. 

47. Q. crispida, Blume, Jap. Ko~nara or Nara, a small-leaved, 
deciduous oak, resembling our own in bearing and in wood, as 
do those immediately following. It is very widely spread, grows 


singly as far as Southern Kiushiu, is found in the middle and 
northern portions of Japan, often in groups, and with a circum- 
ference of 3 to 4 m. 

48. Q. glandulifera, Blume, Jap. Nara, 0-nara, Midzunara, is like 
the foregoing and often found in its company. The leaves how- 
ever are much larger, as is indicated by the name 0-nara, great 
oak. Both have a fine wood like ours, but do not reach the same 
imposing dimensions. 

49. Q. serrata, Thunb., Jap. Kunugi and Kunugi-nara, very 
widely distributed on Yezo and Hondo, also in Corea and China, 
as well as in the Indian slopes of the Himalayas to a height of 
1,500 m. (See Brandis, ** Forest Flora of India," p. 486). The leaves 
are very like those of the edible chestnut and are the food of the 
oak-spinner silkworms. (See Silk Culture, p. 210.) 

Among the many evergreen oaks, the following are most pro- 
minent ; 

50. Q. cuspidata^ Thunb., Jap. Shii-no-ki, of all the evergreen 
Japanese oaks, is the least susceptible to the cold of winter ; it is the 
most widely spread and most important, often forming dense 
forests, e.g.^ in the vicinity of Atami at the foot of the Hakone 
mountains. It furnishes a valuable wood. It is a great favourite 
as an ornamental tree, especially in Tokio. In spring, when the 
leaves change, the tips of its twigs are white and red with young 
leaves, which little by little become a deep green. In May it 
puts forth catkin blossoms, which in colour and position more re- 
semble those of our edible chestnut than of the deciduous oak. 
The edible acorns (Shii-no-mi) have been already mentioned on 
page 94. 

51. Q. acuta, Thunb., Jap. Aka-gashi, red oak. This tree de- 
rives its name from the redness of its wood, which deepens often to 
a reddish brown. It is rather more susceptible to cold than the 
foregoing, and sometimes has a trunk of considerable thickness. 

52. Q. glauca, Thunb., Jap,, Shira-kashi, i.e. white oak. This 
wood is the lightest in colour of all the Japanese varieties, grey- 
white, very dense, firm, tough, and therefore much prized. It is 
preferred for making lance handles, bearers' poles and rudder posts, 
as well as handles to various implements. The Shira-kashi loves 
a warm climate, and only in the mild South develops to a sightly 

53. Castanea vulgaris, Lamark, Jap. Kuri. ^ The light brown 
wood is used in the forests for making charcoal ; but is otherwise 
not much in demand. In its structure it is like the foregoing oak, 
but is more porous, lighter, and less durable. 

54. Fagus Sieboldi, Endl., resembles very much our ordinary 
beech, and is probably only a variety of the same. The Japanese 
call it Buna. Its distribution and importance in the Japanese 

^ For further particulars concerning this variety, and its distribution, see p. 
93, also p. 210. 

II. R 


mountain forests have been mentioned on page 218. The fresh 
wood is greyish white but grows darker and redder by degrees. Its 
numberless fine pores are evenly distributed. It is distinguished 
from the oak by its firmer structure and finer grain, but is not so 
heavy, nor so tough and durable. Easy cleavage, hardness and 
flexibility are its chief properties. It is used here and there for 
agricultural implements. Soup bowls are made from it and then 
lacquered, but it is seldom used for fuel. 

Fam. More^. 

35. Morns Alba, L., Jap. Kuwa. On page 190, this tree and its 
cultivation have already been considered in connection with silk 
culture. The wood may be called but a secondary product Its 
year-rings are outlined like those of the deciduous oak by a girdle 
of large spring spores. It has lengthwise fibres, generally of a 
yellow colour, sometimes reddish brown, and is in this latter case 
more highly valued. It is firm and durable, takes polish easily, 
and is, within a limited range, used in joiner's work. 


56. Zelkowa Keaki, S. and Z. {Planera acmninata, Lindl.), the 
Keyaki (pronounced Keaki) of the Japanese, is a stately and, be- 
cause of its wood, a useful tree, found in forests and temple groves 
as well as along the side walks of village streets, particularly in 
the neighbourhood of Tokio. It sometimes reaches prodigious 
size, from 30 to 40 m. height and 10 m. circumference. In ap- 
pearance it resembles very strongly Celtis australis of the Mediter- 
ranian regions, as for instance the fine specimens of this kind 
in the Botanical Garden at Madrid. But it is also similar to our 

Keaki is the favourite joiner's wood, and plays in Japan the 
part of oak wood with us, and is somewhat like it. Its most 
notable recommendations are, that it does not split nor warp easily, 
so that cross sections may be used, e.g. for trays and bowls, as is 
done in the Hakone mountains. It is also noted for its great tough- 
ness, elasticity and durability, as much in water as in dry air, if 
not felled when full of sap. The smooth grey-white bark resembles 
in colour and thickness that of our beeches ; the soft, light- 
coloured sap-wood is quickly transformed into grained wood, whose 
colour varies according to the situation and age of the tree, from 
light to dark brown. To make it more valuable, the colour is often 
deepened by a long submersion in water before working. Keaki 
is lighter than oak, having a specific gravity of only 0*682. When 
cut crosswise its small pith-rays are easily distinguished, as is the 
case with all elms, and the girdles of numberless larger pores on 
the inside of the year-rings is plainly marked. These pores and 


their walls show very distinctly even when cut lengthwise. This 
reveals also the parallel and straight-fibred character of the ordinary 
wood. The illustration of the Japanese tobacco pipe-case on page 
133 gives a good idea of the structure of keaki wood. It serves 
the Japanese for many purposes; in ship and house building, in 
furniture making, turnery ware, and for manufacturing many small 
articles. It takes different names according to its colouring, the 
highest estimate being placed on Tama-moku, or speckled wood, 
also called Tama-no-keaki. 

In all the qualities which have been mentioned, it excels the 
other Ulmaceae. On the other hand its branches are so fine and 
its foliage, like the Celtis, is so light, that it cannot be used like 
the elm as an ornamental or shade-giving tree. Its draft upon the 
soil is about the same as with its kindred. It is found in its best 
condition on light clay soil, in which it can spread and develop 
its roots symmetrically. It belongs to the lower region of the 
mountain deciduous forests, and in Hondo seldom grows beyond 
an elevation of 800 to 1,000 m. It is not widely distributed or 
frequent, and only attains on the plains, in temple groves and 
along the roads, those large dimensions which distinguish it be- 
yond all other deciduous trees, except the camphor-laurel. 

57. Celtis sinensis, Pers. {C. orientalis, Thunb.), Jap. Ye- (pro- 
nounced A)-no-ki. In its appearance this tree is like Keyaki, but 
does not reach such a growth, and has a light, greyish white, 
spongy wood, of little worth. The tree is seldom found in the 
forest, but is cultivated on the banks of streams and in villages. 

58. Hoinoie celtis aspera, Bl. {AphanantJie aspera, Planch.), Jap. 
Muku, Muku-no-ki. The wood is darker, denser and better than 
that of the foregoing variety, but still is not very valuable. The 
tree loves a warm climate, but does not grow very large, often re- 
maining only a bush. (For the uses of its inside bark, see Paper 

59. Ulnius campestris, Sm., Jap. Haru-nire, Kobu-nire, Ya-gire, 
The nature of this tree, so widely distributed in Europe, is well 
known. I have a wood specimen from the last Paris Exhibition, 
by the name Damo, its source, Shimotsuke-no-kuni, Hoso-Omura, 
in the province of Shimotsuke, which evidently belongs to this 
variety. It has greyish white sap-wood and reddish grained 
wood, and may be identical with the ** Aka-tamo," i.e. red Tamo, 
named by Dupont in his book, p. 50, and which is often mentioned 
by others as wood of the island of Yezo. The Tanichi-tamo of 
this island appears to be Ulmus montana, Sm., the Ohio-no-ki, 
already spoken of. 

60. U. parvifolia, Jacq. {Microptelia parvifolia, Spach.), Jap. Aki- 
nire, Nire, and Yu. This wood has finer pores and is denser than 
that of the others. The tree comes far short, however, of reaching 
their height. 


Fam. Buxace.^. 

6 1. Buxus japonica, J. Miill. {Bnxus virens, Thunb.), Jap. Tsuge. 
There appears to be no material difference between this plant and 
Bitxus sernpervirens, L. The yellow wood is finer grained, denser 
and more uniform in structure, as well as heavier than all the 
other woods of Japan. Under the microscope it shows fine year- 
rings and pith rays, but not to the naked eye. The pores seem 
evenly distributed and remarkably fine. There is no marked 
separation of grained and sap-w^ood. Out of a collection of fifty 
different kinds of Japanese woods, each piece 150x75 X 3 mm. in 
size, the tsuga warped the most. The box tree is confined to the 
warm South, and appears oftenest on the Riu-kiu islands. Its 
much prized wood is used chiefly in the manufacture of combs, 
as mentioned already by Kaempfer and Thunberg.i 

62. ElcBococca cordata, Bl. {Aleurites cordata, Miill), Jap. Dokuye, 
Abura-no-ki, Abura-giri, and Yama-giri (see pp. 156, 157). This 
plant shows great similarity to Kiri {Paulownia iinperialis) in 
habitat, figure and size of leaves, also in quality, colour and use 
of its wood. 

6^. Excoecaria japonica^ J. Miill. {Croton siraki, S. and Z.), Jap. 
Shira-ki and Haratoku. 

64. Sapium sebiferiim, Roxb. {Stillingia sebifera, S. and N.), Jap. 
T6-haze and Nanking-haze. 

Fam. Laurace^. 

The evergreen members of this interesting family are generally 
superb trees and belong to the warm south of Japan. The 
deciduous varieties (of the Lindera species) are found as bushes 
and low trees scattered everywhere in foliaceous forests. Plowever 
different the colour and value of the woods belonging to this class 
may be, they are all more or less alike in aromatic odour, dull 
or high silky lustre, indistinct pith-rays, and even distribution of 
pores. The woods of the cinnamon species belong to the most 
valuable of Japanese woods. Their weight is less than that of the 

65. Cinnamomiim camphora, Nees. {Laurus camphora, L.), Jap. 
Kusu, Kusu-no-ki. The most noteworthy qualities of this in- 
teresting and valuable tree have already been mentioned in the 
article " Camphor," pp. 143-1 50, and also on p. 225. When cut cross- 
wise, camphor wood shows numerous, evenly distributed, moderately 
large pores, whose size and figure differs according to the age and 
situation of the tree. The colour of the wood also varies between 
greyish white and dark reddish brown, but is most generally a 
light brownish red. The various sorts of camphor wood are dis- 

1 " Ligni pro pectinibus conficiendis, quos portaiit feminas crinibus infixes, 
rubro plerumque vernice obductos." — Flor. Jap. p. yj. 


tinguished according to colour, the dark-coloured varieties, reddish 
brown and speckled, being most highly prized. 

66. C. pedimciilattim, Nees {C. japoniciun^ S. and Z.), Jap. Yabu, 
Tabu, Tabu-no-ki and Tama-gusu, or speckled camphor wood. 
This wood resembles the foregoing in its variety of colour, but 
is denser and heavier. It is still more valuable, especially in 
furniture making, for small cabinets and other articles, and furnishes 
a specially fine veneer. 

6"]. MacJiihts Tkunbergii, S. and Z. {Laiirus indica, Thunb.), Jap. 
Nan, Inu-kusu, Ta-funo, growns not only in the southern islands, 
but also along the coast of Hondo as far as Tokio. 

6^. Litscea glauca, Sieb., Jap. Yabu-kusu, i.e. Camphor-bush, 
Shiro-tsudzu (Shiro-damo). 

69. Tetranthera Japonica, Spreng. {Toiriex japoiiica, Thunb.), Jap. 

70. ActmodapJine lancifolia, Meissn. {^Daphnidium lancifoliuin^ 
S. and Z.), Jap. Koga-no-ki, Koga-gashi. Eight species of the 
deciduous genus of Litsaea^ Thunb. {Benzohi Nees) are found in 
Japan. They are moderately sized bushes, which do not specially 
differ in foliage from many other members of the deciduous forest. 
Several take the name Kuro-moji, on account of their blackish 
bark ; others are called Shiro-moji because of a greyish white 
bark. The first are found very far spread, even on the island of 
Yezo. In all varieties there lies around the white pith a greyish 
white, silky, fragrant wood, that on the cross-cut shows fine pith- 
rays, distinct year-rings and very small pores. For several hundred 
years the various kinds of Kuso-moji have been used for the 
manufacture of toothpicks, Jap. Ko-yoji (yoji, tooth brush ; ko, 
small), especially the — 

71. Lindera sericea, Bl. {Benzoin sericeum, S. and Z.), Jap. Kuro- 
moji, and the — 

72. L. lunbellata, Thunb. (Benzoin Thunbergii, S. and Z.), Jap. 
Inu-kusu, Kuro-moji. 

Fam. Scrophularine^. 

73. Paidownia iinperialis, S. and Z. (Bignonia tomentosa, Thunb.), 
Jap. Kiri or Kiri-no-ki. This tree is not indigenous, but one of the 
plants cultivated in Japan for its light wood. It is never found in 
groves only of itself, or otherwise like a forest tree, but is more 
like our fruit trees. It grows rapidly, and in the course of nine to 
ten years develops a good-sized trunk. It may be propagated by 
roots or seeds. The wood is usually of a greyish white, but often 
light brown, very porous, especially at the year-rings. In its specific 
gravity of 0-329, it approaches cork, but in comparison with many 
other woods of light weight it is remarkably strong, and does not 
warp nor split easily. All these properties increase its value, and 
on account of its lightness and softness it is used in hundreds of 


ways ; for the manufacture of boxes for pills, tooth powder, paper, 
cloths, bric-a-brac, also for getas^ or wooden shoes, cabinet drawers, 
light and pleasing lacquer wares, playthings and many other 

Fam. Bignoniace^. 

74. Catalpa Kaempferiy S. and Z. {Bignonia catalpa, Thunb.), 
Jap. Raiden-giri, Shira-giri. The wood is like the Kiri though 
darker, and similarly employed. The name Shira-giri, " White 
Kiri," comes from the light colour of the blossoms. 

Fam. Oleace^. 

75. Fraxinus longicuspis, S. and Z., Jap. Toneriko, like our ash, 
loves the deep, damp soil of the hollows and ridges of the valley. 
It is found in the mountain foliaceous forests from Kiushiu to Yezo, 
but most frequently of all in the North. Its wood resembles our 
indigenous ash, is of a greyish white colour, fine grained, with 
numerous tiny pith-rays and distinct year-rings. Each of these 
rings is sharply separated, by one or two rows of somewhat darker 
pores, from a compact girdle that encloses them on the outer side. 
The wood is much used in joinery for boxes, like that of both the 
foregoing species. 

"j^. Olea fragrans, Thunb., Jap. Mokusei, an ornamental shrub 
in Southern Europe, and 

yy. O. aqidfolumi, S. and Z., Jap. Hira-gi, growing wild, and 
also an ornamental plant. It has a fine, whitish, and light brown 
marbled wood, which under the lens shows small pores, clear but 
close year-rings, and numerous small pith-rays. 

y^. Ligustrum japonicimi, Thunb., Jap. Nedzumi-mochi, like the 
foregoing, a large bush or small tree, an ornamental plant, and 
growing wild. The yellowish brown wood is also similar, and is 
used in the same way for making boxes and other small articles. 
The same is the case with Ibota, Sieb. (Z. vulgare^ Thunb.), Jap. 
Ibota (see also p. 164). 

Fam. Styracace^. 

There are many members of this family in the different low 
mountain foliaceous forests of Japan. They are good-sized de- 
ciduous shrubs or small trees which in early summer are covered 
with five-pointed, white, bell flowers. The wood is distinguished 
by its close grain, hardness, and durability. It is used moderately 
in joiner-work and turnery. The most remarkable of all is : 

80. Styrax japo7iicnm, S. and Z., Jap. Chisha-no-ki, Yego. It 
is found extensively on the edge of forests, also in moats, and re- 
sembles, in its general bearing and the colour of its bark, a finely 
branching beech from 4 to 6 m. high. Its beautiful white, long- 
stemmed flowers form a row of bells hanging along the lower side 
of the branches. 


81. Styrax Obassia, S. and Z., Jap. Oba-no-chisa. 

82. Symplocos laiicifolia, S. and Z., Jap. Ikono-shiba. 

^3- S. japo7iica^ D. C. {S. lucida, S. and Z.), Jap. Kuro-ki. 
'^^. S. cratcBgoides^ Don., Jap. Tubetagi. 

Fam. Ebenace^. 

85. Diospyros Kaki, L., Jap. Kaki. The distribution of this 
beautiful tree, and its greatly prized fruits, the so-called persimons, 
has been already considered, pp. S^, 89. There remains only to 
note the qualities and uses of its wood. This is light greyish brown 
when young, like the kindred Indian ebony woods {D. ebemim 
and D. nielanoxyloii), and becomes black at the core only when 
old. This black Kaki (Kuro-gaki) is generally included in the 
Shibu-gaki or astringent Kaki (see pp. i8r, 182). But, as with the 
Indian varieties, it is impossible to tell from the outside whether 
the black wood has formed, and this can only be determined by 
boring. When cut crosswise, Kaki wood shows small or moderately 
large, unevenly scattered pores, of a circular or elliptical form, and 
numerous very fine pith-rays. The specific gravity is less than 
that of the Indian ebony wood — only 0'6o6, according to Dupont; 
In this, as in firmness, it is far surpassed by oak. It is used in 
joiner-work, especially for veneer, small cabinets and boxes, glove 
boxes, etc, 

Z6. D. lotus, L. (^D. japonica, S. and Z.), Jap. Shinano-gaki and 
Mame-gaki. The wood of this wild variety resembles the fore- 
going, but has finer pores, and is closer. Its use is the same. 

The wood of Diospyros ebeniim, L., Jap. Koku-tan, was brought 
into Japan from South China and Further India, and is employed 
for similar purposes. 

Fam. Ericace^. 

Zj. Rhododendron Metternichii^ S. and Z., Jap. Shaku-nage. The 
light brown wood of this high mountain shrub is close-grained and 
hard. It is used in Nikko and elsewhere in wood-turning. 

Fam. Caprifoliace.e. 

ZZ. Viburnum opulus, L. The wood has distinct year-rings, 
very fine pith-rays and pores, which even under the glass are 
hard to find. It has a pale pink or reddish brown colour. 

Fam. Corne/E. 

89. Cornus officinalis, S. and Z., Jap. San-shiu, San-shiu-yu. 

90. C. brachypoda, May, Jap. Midzuki. 

91. Marlea platanifolia, S. and Z., Jap. Uri-no-ki. The fine- 
grained wood of these bushes or low trees is used here and there 
for small articles. 


Fam. Araliace^. 

92. Calopanax ricinifolia^ Miq. {Acanthopanax ricinifolia, S. and 
Z.), Jap. Se-no-ki, Shi-o-ji. This beautiful tree is distinguished 
by its great, lobate, shiny leaves, its white flower-umbels, and 
black fruit, of the size of pepper-corns, resembling, like its flowers, 
the Aralia and Ivy. Like Magnolia hypoleuca and ^sculos 
turbinata it is scattered in the high mountain forests of Japan 
from Kiushiu to Yezo,^ but is most numerous in the North. In 
Yezo, trunks of from 3 to 4 m. circumference and 30 m. height 
may be seen. I often found them in Hondo quite as high, but 
generally not so thick. In high forests the trunks are often some- 
what bent, and do not branch till they are 20 m. high. Their 
dark, thick, rugged bark makes them as noticeable as their beauti- 
ful foliage. The white wood shades often into brown, and is 
moderately light, rough-fibred, and more or less porous. Cross 
cut, it shows year-rings, but no pith-rays. The pores are of two 
kinds : one sort microscopic and scattered about in the thick 
summer-wood ; the other apparent to the naked eye, and denoting 
the spring girdles. According to Bohmer, the Ainos make their 
canoes out of the large trunks from 6 to 9 m. (20') long. They 
call the tree, he says further, Yoshini ; the Japanese, Se-no-ki and 

Fam. Lythrarie^. 

93. Lager sir dmia indicay L., Jap. Saru-suberi, is said by Brandis ^ 
to be of Chinese extraction, and according to Gamble,^ is often 
found as an ornamental plant in the gardens of India. In Japan, 
also, it is cultivated here and there, on account of its beautiful red 
flower-clusters. It is characterized not only by these, but by the 
fact that its brownish bark shells off" of itself. It is a slow-growing 
bush or low tree, with a firm, fine-grained wood of a light pink 
colour. Cut across, the wood shows small pores, year-rings close 
together, and numerous pith-rays. It is used in turning. 

^ According to Bohmer in his "Reports to the Kaitakushi," 1875, p. 312, this 
tree grows best in Yezo, and becomes a tree of almost tropical appearance. F. 
Schmidt found fine, lofty trees in Southern Sachalin also. 

2 In the previously mentioned collection of woods, which the Japanese Govern- 
ment sent to the Paris Exhibition, 1878, there is a tablet of Satsuporo (Sapporo) 
from Yezo, bearing both these names ; also a second marked Shi-oji, from the 
province of Musashi. They are both of a greyish white colour, but are not 
alike in structure nor in weight, as the Shi-oji is much the heavier. The 
Sapporo specimen has fine pores, and each year-ring shows only one row of 
distinct spring-pores, while the other has a whole girdle of irregularly arranged 

3 " Forest Flora of North-west and Central India," p. 240. London, 1874. 
-* "A Manual of Indian Timbers," p. 200. Calcutta, 1882. 


Fam. Hamamelide^. 

94. Distylijini racemositm, S. and Z., Jap. Isu, Isu-no-ki or 
Yusu, belongs to the warm southern parts of Japan, and is mostly 
found in the province of Hiuga. It is also seen in the forests of 
the district of Obi, and there, according to Dupont, the trunk 
attains a height of 12 m. before branching, and a circumference of 
3 m. I, myself, have often met the tree on Kiushiu and Shikoku, 
in gardens and temple-groves ; but I have never seen specimens 
of more than i m. circumference and 15 to 18 m. high. The 
branches spread far out in all directions, if air and light permit, 
and the insignificant flowers appear in the earliest days of spring. 
The leathery, short-stemmed and elliptical leaves are frequently 
covered with galls the summer through, like our ashes and beeches. 
The bark and wood of the tree are highly prized. The former is 
smooth, thin, and of a grey colour. When the trees are felled the 
bark is peeled off, dried, and burned to get the ashes called Isu-bai, 
which are sent to the porcelain manufactories in Arita, where they 
serve in the making of porcelain glaze. The wood is shipped 
mostly to Osaka. It is specially good for making combs, but serves 
a variety of other purposes also, as it has many excellent qualities. 
It is heavy, fine grained, compact, strong, tough, and extremely 
durable, even in water, so that Dupont said of it, " On pourrait 
I'appeler le bois de fer du Japon." Its colour varies from light to 
dark chocolate according to its age. The cross-cut section when 
placed under the microscope seems thickly sown with small pores, 
but the year-rings and pith-rays are very indistinct. 

Fam. RosACEi^i. 

Nearly all the many varieties of this family have a reddish, com- 
pact, fine and close-grained inner wood, that takes a very easy and 
often beautiful polish. It is moderately heavy, its specific gravity 
ranging between o*6 and 07. The most valuable wood of this 
family is obtained from 

95. Prumis pseiido-cerasiis, Lindl. {P. puddiim. Will.), the Sakura 
or Yama-sakura. This is a fine tree of moderate size, resembling 
our cherry. It grows wild in the forests all over Japan and also 
in South Sachalin. On the great southern islands it is found 
here and there at an elevation of 1,000 m. above the sea. Farther 
north the altitudes in which it is found grow lower and lower. It is 
a favourite ornamental tree for the garden and the temple grove, 
where it is chiefly prized for its large, full flowers. Its even, fine- 
grained reddish wood is employed principally for carvings, and for 
blocks in printing cloth and wall paper. 

96. Pnnius Mtnne, S. and Z. {P. armeniaca, Thunb.), the Mume, 
or Bai. Wood generally dark reddish brown, like the foregoing, but 
not so highly prized. It has many fine pith-rays and clear year- 


rings, each one separated from the other by a row of dark spots 
(pores). For further observations see p. Z6. The woods of all the 
other fruit trees belonging to Rosacese enumerated on pp. 83-87. 
No. II, are included in this variety. 

97. Amelanchier canadensis, Torn and Gray, Jap. Chide and 
Zaiburi, furnishes a wood similar to the Sakura, like it reddish in 
colour but much harder. 

98. Pyrus sambucifolia, Cham., Jap. Nana-Kamedo, and 

99. P. aucuparia, Gaertn., var. Japonica, Maxim., Jap. Yama- 
nashi, both belonging to the upper boundary of the mountain forests, 
furnish wood of similar character. 

Fam. Leguminos^. 

100. Sophora japonica, L., Jap. Yenju, is found scattered through 
the entire country, especially in the foliaceous forests of the north. 
It grows sometimes to a height of 18 to 20 m. and has a circum- 
ference of 2 m., for example, in Osaka where it is an ornamental 
tree, overshadowing an open space before a temple. It has long 
been cultivated in Europe also, and grows to a fine stature, resem- 
bling specimens of our Robinia. The wood is light, and varies in 
colour from light brown to a dark sepia. Its coarseness of grain 
and porosity make it less even and delicate, but it is very tough 
and durable. The year-rings show distinctly in the cross section, 
divided into light zones with very large pores, alternating with others 
darker, closer, and less porous. 

loi. Gleditschia japojiica, Miq.,Jap. Saikachi, a sightly tree found 
principally in Northern Japan. It grows wild along the rivers and 
in the hollows of the lower mountain forests, and is cultivated in 
the neighbourhood of the villages.^ Its long brown pods were 
formerly used throughout the entire north of Hondo, for soap. 
They are found still in many of the shops of Morioka, done up 
in small packages. The wood of Saikachi resembles that of the 

102. Albizzia Jidibrissin, Boiv. {Mimosa arborea, Thunb.), Jap. 
Nemu and Nemu-no-ki. The following description of this plant 
may be found on p. 139 of the first volume of this work. " In the 
island of Amakusa and the neighbouring Kiushiu, most of the 
deciduous trees were already covered with foliage in the second 
half of April, 1875 ; Rhus siiccedanea, L. and Castanea vulgaris, 
Lamk. had partly developed their young leaves, and only Albizzia 
Jidibrissin, Boiv. {Mimosa arborea, Thunb.) still displayed their 
winter aspect unaltered, and even a month later, in the middle of 
May, we found this little tree in the mountain forests of Shikoku, 
at a height of some 800 meters, quite leafless, so that its Japanese 

^ I found it specially frequent in Nambu (Iwate-ken) and counted one day on 
the road from Kamaishi to Morioka nearly 100 trees near the village of Yoko- 


name * Nemu, sleeper,' suits it for other reasons than merely the 
sensibility of its leaves, and its sleeping during the night." 

This little tree is spread abroad over the whole of Japan, and is 
also found in th.e Himalayas. The broad zone of its young wood 
is yellow, the core dark brown, hard and strong, also easy to polish. 
The cross-cut shows numerous firm red pith-rays and year-rings, 
with large pores and dark outlines. 

The dark red sandal-woods of the tropical monsoon district 
belong also to this family, particularly the Pterocarpus indicus, L. 
and Pterocarpus santalinus, L. These two, with perhaps a third 
variety, the Pterocarpus marsupium, Roxb., were a long time since 
introduced into Japan, under the Sinico-Japanese name of Shi-tan. 
They are used for making furniture, and still more for carvings. 

Fam. Anacardiace^. 

103. Rhus succedanea, L., Jap. Haze, Haji, Haze-no-ki and 
R6-no-ki (see p. 1 63). This wood is sharply divided by an irregular 
line and varying colour, into light greyish white sap-wood which 
resembles kiri-wood, and the moderately heavy core of a bright 
green colour. The latter has an extremely silky appearance when 
polished in longitudinal sections. Cut across the grain, distinct 
year-rings are seen, and a great many pith-rays and pores, which 
are larger and more numerous in the spring-zones than in the closer 
and darker summer-wood. 

104. R/ms verniciferay D. C. [R. vernix, Thunb.), Jap. Urushi or 
Urushi-no-ki (see pp. 158 to 163). The wood is similar in all respects 
to the foregoing variety, only considerably lighter and not so firm. 
It grows lighter in colour with age. Both kinds are used for 
making small chests, and the lining of cabinets and chests of drawers. 
But it has no great value. The rest of the Japanese sumachs 
remain much smaller, and their wood also is not remarkable and 
will not justify any special mention. 

Fam. ACERiNEyE. 

None of the twenty-two kinds of Japanese maple, distinguished 
mainly by their leaves and fruit, attain the size and height of our 
mountain maples {A. pseudo-platamts, L.), no matter whether they 
grow wild or as ornamental trees. The best known and most 
valued varieties are : 

105. Acer palmatam, Thunb. {A. polymorphum, S. and Z.), Jap. 
Momiji. The scientific names of this variety refer both to the 
division and multiformity of the leaves. This is seen in the 
many varieties which grow in gardens and temple groves, and are 
peculiarly prized because the foliage at its first development in 
spring and before falling in autumn is of a magnificent red colour. 
The tree in all its varieties is of low stature, often even dwarfed. 


The wild plant, which belongs to the lower mountain forests, grows 
about 12 m. high, and the trunk is from 1*5 to I'S m. in circum- 

The light greyish brown wood shows fairly distinct year-rings, 
very small pores and numerous weak pith-rays. It is extremely 
fine grained, even, close and heavy, therefore durable and tough, 
and on all these accounts belongs to the most valuable cabinet 
woods of the country. 

io6. Acer Japonicum, Thunb., Jap. Kayede or Kaide. The 
Japanese give this name to several other maples, such as Acer 
imcranthurn, S. and Z. The tree is found often in mountain forests 
as high as i,ooo m. above the sea, and grows as large as the fore- 
going variety. The light-coloured pink wood is fine grained, close, 
and when cut longitudinally shows a shiny spotted surface. A 
wood well known by the name Itaya, and found on Yezo, seems 
to be identical with A. japojiicum, Thunb., and Yama-shiba with 
Acer carpiiiifoliitm^ S. and Z. 

Fam. Sapindace/e. 

107. Sapindus Mukurosi^ Gaertn., Jap. Mukuroshi, a medium- 
sized tree of the lower foliaceous forest which, according to Gamble, 
is the same as the Indian 5. detergens^ Roxb. The wood of the 
Mukuroshi, like that of all the soap-nut trees, is of a light yellowish 
white colour, with fine pith-rays and a girdle of numberless 
moderately large pores. It is light, brittle, and not of much 

108. Koelreuteria paniculata^ Laxm. {Sapindus Chinensis, L.), 
Jap. Moku-kenjiu, Bodaijiu. This little tree is found in forests, 
but is often, as with us, an ornamental tree. Its wood is like that 
of the Mokurushi. 

109. ^scidtis tubinata, BL, Jap. Tochi, Tochi-no-ki, a beautiful 
tree of the deep mountain forests, from Kiushiu to Yezo. It has 
yellow flowers, and deserves the attention of our gardeners, on 
account of its fine foliage. The wood is extremely fine-pored, 
whitish, brittle, and perishable, therefore, like our horse-chestnut, 
is not much prized. 

Fam. Rhamne^. 

1 10. Hovenia dzilcis, Thunb., Jap. Kempon-nashi, has been already 
mentioned (p. ^y), as a fruit tree. The light wood has a colour 
varying from yellowish brown to brownish red. It is even in 
texture, finely porous, and shows in cross sections clearly marked 
year-rings, and numerous small but sharply distinct white and 
prominent pith-rays. It is found too seldom to have any great 

111. Zizyphus vulgaris, Lamk., Jap. Natsume and Sanebuto- 
natsume (see p. Sj). The wood of this fruit tree resembles, and is 


as scarce as, that of the foregoing. The very numerous small 
pith-rays are here widely separated and sharply defined. 

Fam. Celastrine^. 

The woods of this family are characterized in Japan by a white 
colour, an even, fine grain, and great density. The pores are 
extraordinarily small and fine, and the numberless pith-rays also. 
These valuable properties, which resemble those of the box, make 
it to be regretted that the bush-like, imperfect development of all 
the varieties prevent any extensive use of the wood. 

112. Evonynms Sieboldiamis, BL, Jap. Mayumi, is called Pai-oh- 
cha by the Chinese. It is said to be employed in wood-carving. 
(A very fine specimen of this variety, of even white colour, is shown 
in the collection at Kew Gardens.) 

113. Celastriis artiatlata^ Thunb., Jap. Tsuru-mume-modoki. 

Fam. Ilicine^e. 

Franchet and Savatier's " Enumeratio Plantarum " gives no fewer 
than thirteen species of this evergreen genus of shrubs and low 
trees. They are naturally, for the most part, confined to the South, 
and are favourite ornamental trees. They are known for their 
fine-grained, even, hard wood, of a light greyish white colour. The 
pith-rays are numerous and show a darker colour than the woody 
fibre. Longitudinal sections are sprinkled peculiarly with dark 
spots on a light ground. The wood is used for turning a variety of 
small articles, in making combs and chopsticks, and is very well 
adapted to these purposes. The noteworthy kinds are : 

114. Ilex crenata, Thunb., Jap. Inu-tsuge, the commonest holly 
of Japan. It is found from the Riukiu to Yezo, a bush sometimes 
6 m. high, but very often much less. Its small-leaved foliage 
resembles that of the box, whence it gets the name, Inu-tsuge, or 

115. /. latifolia^ Thunb., Jap. Torayo, is found along the coast 
northwards in the vicinity of Tokio. Here it is frequently found as 
a tree from 6 to 10 m. high, growing in gardens and temple groves. 
It is distinguished by its thick, leathery, large, smooth-edged leaves 
of shining green, and its thick ramification, which render it a highly 
ornamental shrub. 

116. /. integra, Thunb., Jap. Mochi-no-ki and Tori-mochi is closely 
related to the preceding in character and distribution. The cross 
section shows year-rings and dark pith-rays, and the wide length- 
wise section a dotting of distinct dark spots. 

Fam. Meliace^. 

Japan has four members of this family, viz : 

117. Melia japonica, Don., Jap. Sendan. 


1 1 8. M. Too-sendaii, S. and Z., Jap. T6-sendan, or Chinese 

119. M. Azedarach^ L., Jap. Ochi, Sendan. 

120. Cedrela cJiinensis^ A. Juss., Jap. Chian-chin. 

Among the many varieties of foreign plants which the botanist 
from the north meets in gardens and public parks of the Mediter- 
ranean region is a deciduous tree of considerable size of trunk, 
whose thick and rugged bark is like that of an old Robinia. 
Its light, irregularly branching crown and thick twigs, however, 
resemble the large sumachs. In May, there appear, before the large 
double-feathered leaves, a number of light blue flower-clusters, 
which in form, colour and smell resemble those of the Syringa. 
This is Melia Azedarach, which is extensively used as an orna- 
mental plant, and is known in the English West Indies with no 
little exaggeration by the dignified name — " The Pride of India." 
India is really its home, from which it has been imported to Japan, 
together with another variety whose name Too-sendan (Too = To) 
indicates Chinese origin. The third species mentioned above is 
considered indigenous, but like the others is not widely spread 
in Japan. The near kinship of the three plants is shown by their 
common name Sendan. 

They are trees of rapid growth, but are more remarkable for 
circumference than height. The wood, which ranges from a light 
brown to dark brick-red colour, is exceedingly soft. The cross 
section shows broad year-rings, whose almost purple girdles of 
closely crowded pores are sharply defined and intersected by 
numerous very fine pith-rays. It is used in joiner-work and for 
chests, although it is not very firm or durable when exposed to 
the air. Utensils of various sorts are also made from it. 

The Cedrela, as its popular name, Chian-chin, indicates, is a 
rare, ornamental tree from China. Its sweet smelling wood re- 
sembles that of the Sendan, but has a deeper brick-red colour. 
It does not warp or split easily, and is used for furniture-making. 
In comparison with its American relative, Swietonia Mahagojiij L. 
it has not much value. 

Fam. Simarube^. 

121. Picrasnia ailanthoides ^ Planch., the only Japanese specimen 
of this family, is found in the mountain forests of Hondo, and on 
the island of Yezo. The soft, white wood has not been used yet. 

The Chinese "tree of the gods," Ailanttis glandulifera, Desf., in 
spite of its French name — "Vernis du Japon " — is not found any- 
where in the kingdom of Nippon. 

Fam. Rutace^. 

Most of the woods belonging to this order are known by their 
close even grain and whitish colour. The pores are evenly dis- 


tributed, as are also the fine numberless pith-rays. The heaviest 
woods are those of the orange family, or Citrus varieties, men- 
tioned on p. 89, 90, to which belong 

122. Citrus trifoliata^ L.," Jap. Karatachi, a high, strong, thorny 
bush, used pretty much in live hedges. 

123. Phellodendron aimirense^ Rupr., the Amurian cork-tree, and 
P.japonicum^ Maxim., till lately found only in Northern Japan. I 
do not know their Japanese names and uses. The former has been 
cultivated with success as an umbrageous tree in the Royal Insti- 
tute for Gardening at Potsdam. 

1 24. Orixajaponica, Thunb. ( Celastnis orixa, M iq.), J ap. Kokusa-gi. 
This large bush is found in the foliaceous forests of the lower moun- 
tain region, and in gardens, e.g. and around Tokio. Its wood is 
but little used. The strong aromatic odour of the leaves is dis- 
agreeable to Japanese olfactories, hence its name, which signifies 
" Little stink-tree." ^ 

125. ZantJioxyloii piperitiim^ D. C. {Fagaria piperita, Thunb.), 
Jap. Sansho,^ like Z. Clav a- Hercules, L., is furnished with thorns 
and spikes, as are many other kinds of this genus, which is known 
in the warmer parts of America also. Large numbers of blunt 
spikes and knobs of a grey colour show themselves on its usually 
not very thick bark. They appear in the cross-section brown 
in colour, and composed of concentric layers of a close cork-like 
mass. The yellowish white wood is very equal, fine grained, close 
and firm like box-wood. Cross-sections show clearly defined 
year-rings, extraordinarly fine pith-rays and very small, regularly 
distributed pores. It is worked on the turning-lathe in the Hakone 
Mountains, especially for making many small articles such as pretty 
cups for cigar ashes, which usually preserve the knobby cork-like 
bark, and which are imported into Germany. 

126. Evodia glauca, Miq., Jap. Kiwada or Obaku. As the bark 
and appearance of Kiwada has already been described on p. 176 a 
brief notice of its wood will suffice here. The wood is much lighter 
than that of the other varieties of the family. It is very soft, of 
a light grey or brown colour, lighter and almost sulphur-yellow in 
the sap-wood, like its inner bark, though much softer. The moder- 
ately sized pores are especially numerous on the inner edges of the 
clearly marked year-rings. 

Fam. Tiliace^. 

127. Tilia cordata, Mill, Jap. Shina-no-ki and Bodaijiu, called 
by the Ainos Shibeshi (p. 170). 

128. T. mandschurica, Rupr. and Maxim., Jap. Bodaijiu. 

^ From ko:=little, kusai=stinking, ki=tree. 

" Concerning the value of this bush for its spice, see p. 71. 


Fam. Sterculiace^. 

129. Sterailia platanifolia, L. {Firmiana platanifolia, R. Br.), Jap. 
Ao-giri, i.e. green Kiri. The light grey, spongy wood resembles 
Kiri and is similarly employed. Its cross sections show distinct 
year-rings, thinly sprinkled with pretty large pores, which increase 
in number toward the edges of the rings. The pith-rays are clearly 
marked by their white colour and are equi-distant from each other. 

Fam. Ternstroemiace.^. 

The evergreen bushes and trees of this family, Ternstroemia, 
Cleyera, Eurya and Camellia, also the deciduous variety Stuartia, 
furnish an extremely fine grained, finely porous, close, firm, hard, 
and correspondingly heavy wood which, in all these qualities, re- 
sembles the Yusu {pistyliiiin racemosicm). Like the latter, this 
wood is used for combs and various turnery articles, including 
seals and other things which demand firmness and a fine grain. 
The woods of greater circumference belonging to the larger 
species (Stuartia and Camellia) are used for bearer's poles, handles, 
cylinders, and in wood-carving. 

130. Ternstroemia japonica, Thunb., Jap. Moku-koku (pronounced 
Mokkoku). This is a good-sized bush found wild in Southern 
Japan, but much cultivated in gardens and temple groves. In the 
latter it plays the same part as the species which follows. Because 
of its sacred character and the similarity of its bright chocolate- 
coloured wood to that of the Yusu {Distylitim), the bush is also 
called Bukku-yusu, i.e. the Yusu dedicated to the gods. 

131. Cleyera japonica, Thunb., Jap. Saka-ki ; a fine, evergreen 
shrub growing wild, like the foregoing, in the warmer parts of 
Japan. It is a favourite ornamental bush for gardens and temple 
groves, and is a sacred plant in Shinto, the worship of ancestors, 
like the Lotus flower and lllicium religiosiim, S. and Z., in Buddhism. 
In certain celebrated temples, e.g., the Kompira near Kotohira in 
Sanuki, numerous articles made from the wood are offered for sale ; 
carvings and chop-sticks (Hashi), called Sakaki-no-hashi, as olive- 
wood trinkets are sold in the holy places of Palestine. 

132. Eurya japonica^Thnnh.j Jap. Shira-ki and Mi-sasa-gi. This 
bush, found widely scattered through the monsoon district of 
South-eastern Asia, grows only three or four meters high. Its 
leaves are very like those of the tea-plant. It is often found as 
under-brush in the woods of Southern Japan, but more often in 
the thickets of wooded mountain-slopes. 

133. Camellia japonica, Lin., Jap. Tsubaki (see also pp. 152, 
153). The CameUia is everywhere indigenous in Southern Japan. 
It grows to a good-sized tree in the mountain forests of Kiushiu 
and Shikoku, often at an elevation of 800 m. above the sea ; it ex- 
tends into the deciduous forests, where it is distinguished for .size 


above all the other evergreens except conifers. It is found with 
the winter-green oaks on the south-eastern coast of Hondo as far 
as the 36th parallel, and as a large bush on the Bay of Yedo. The 
northern limit of its natural growth on the coast of the Japan Sea 
is the hill-country of Northern Echigo, about 38° N. latitude. I 
found it there in the pine and bush forests as a bush i m. high. 
In Southern Kiushiu trees of 10 m. high and r4 m. circumference are 
frequently seen. I found this size, however, only among cultivated 
trees. I saw here often also the parasite, Viscum articiilatiint, Burm. 
on its branches. In its wild state the camellia blossom is a simple 
red flower which never opens to the full, but remains half closed, 
like a tulip. This variety is cultivated solely for the oil, and 
only as far as the Tsugaru Straits. Both the single and double 
camellias are found in gardens and temple groves, the latter, how- 
ever, in fewer varieties than with us. The blooming season begins 
according to the latitude, in January or February, and lasts until 
April. The colour of the wood changes gradually from a light 
grey or pink to darker shades. The bark resembles that of the 
beech tree. 

134. Camellia Sasanqiia^ Sieb., Jap. Sasan-kuwa, a large bush 
(see p. 152) whose leaves and flowers are very much like those of 
the tea-bush. The blossom time is late autumn and December, as 
in the case of the tea-shrub. 

135. Camellia tJieifera, Grifiith {Thea Chinensis, Sims.), Jap. Cha, 
Cha-no-ki (see p. iioff.). 

136. Stuartia monadelp/ia, S. and Z., Jap. Saru-name and Saru- 

137. Stuartia serrata^ Maxim., Jap. Saru-name and Saru-suberi, 
like the foregoing, which however is much more frequent. The home 
of this plant is in the mountain forests, 1,000 to 1,500 m. above the 
sea, e.g., in the mountains of Nikko, on Mi-kuni-toge, and elsewhere. 
It grows to a tree from 6 to 12 m. high, has a smooth bark, but sel- 
dom a straight trunk. Among the other members of the moun- 
tain forests it is distinguished by casting off its bark in small pieces, 
as the plane tree does with us. In this respect it resembles the 
Lagerstroemia indica of the gardens, whence comes the common 
name, Saru-suberi, or monkey-slider. 

Among the other deciduous Ternstroemiaceae, the well-known 
ornamental bush, StacJiyiirus prcecox, S. and Z., Jap. Mume-fuji, can 
scarcely be considered as a wood-furnishing tree, and there remains 
only the species Actinidia to be mentioned. Its character differs 
widely from that of the other members of this family. We have to 
do here with only a few simple-leaved, deciduous climbing plants, 
which belong for the most part to the mountain forests, and only 
resemble the evergreen Ternstroemiacese in their blossom. Their 
fruits are juicy and sometimes edible berries (p. 92). Their 
brownish wood, like that of most climbing and creeping shrubs,^ is 

^ Many of them bear the Japanese surname, Tsuru, Tsuta and Katsura, 
II. S 


light and very porous. Cross-sections of it are used for Dobin- 
shi, or mats for little tea cups, and it is further used for turning 
various small articles. The most notable of these varieties are : 

138. Actinidia arguta, Planch. {Trochostigma arguta, S. and Z.), 
Jap. Shira-kuchi, Shira-kuchi-katsura and Ko-kuwa. 

139. A. polygama, Planch., Jap. Matatabi (p. 92). 

140. A. voliibilis, Planch., Jap. Tsuta-no-ki. 

Fam. Magnoliace^. 

The wood of the varieties belonging to this family are moderately 
light, equal, fine grained, soft, somewhat elastic, but not very durable. 
In the cross section sharply defined year-rings are to be seen, 
very fine, extremely numerous and evenly distributed pores, and 
fine, prominent pith-rays, also very numerous. The following 
varieties deserve special mention : — 

141. Illicium religiosum, S. and Z., Jap. Shikimi (pronounced 
Skimmi). This small tree is found wild in Southern Japan, is cul- 
tivated in gardens, and especially in the neighbourhood of Buddhist 
temples. In April it displays its numerous sweet smelling yellow- 
ish white blossoms. The vases of Buddhist temples are adorned 
with its branches, as those of the Shinto sanctuaries with Sakaki. 
The bark of the Shikimi (Shikimi-no-kawa) is used as described 
on p. 136 to make the quill-like brown Makko, or incense candles. 
The wood is employed in making chopsticks, and in turning. 

142. Magnolia hypoleuca, S. and Z. {M. glauca, Thunb.), Jap. 
H6-no-ki. This fine, highly interesting tree appears in all the 
mountain foliaceous forests of Japan from Kiushiu to Yezo, not, 
however, collected together, but scattered about among other de- 
ciduous woods. Towards the north its frequency increases ; it 
attains here, also, its largest dimensions, trunks of more than 2 m. 
circumference and 20 to 25 m. high. It is found, also, in the high 
foliaceous forests of Middle and Northern Hondo, on the island of 
Yezo, and even in Southern Sachalin. It rivals in height and 
thickness the other deciduous forest trees in its company, and all 
the other varieties of its own race, even the North American M. 
grandiflora. Few of its kindred endure the rigours of winter so 
well also. 

H6-no-ki loves a good soil, and grows best in the shade of high 
trees, especially the beech forests. Oaks, maples, ashes, and 
especially yEsculus turbinata, and Calopanax ricinifolia are fre- 
quently its companions, as has been before stated.^ 

^ Dupont errs in his work, which has already been several times quoted, when 
he says (page 58) " On le trouve toujours associe au chataignier (Kuri)." On the 
contrary, I found the Ho but seldom in the company of the chestnut, which 
latter makes far less demand upon the soil, but much greater upon the light and 
heat. It loves sunny mountain slopes, but does not grow in the same high alti- 
tudes as the magnolia. 


The smooth greyish white bark of the straight trunk, which in 
thick high forests is branchless to a considerable height, reminds 
one of the beech. The crown is formed of thick, widely spread- 
ing, but not so numerous nor so ramified branches, and its leaves 
and flowers give the tree a peculiar beauty. The former strongly 
resemble the leaves of the American Magnolia tripetala, Mich., espe- 
cially in their prominence, but are much larger, viz., 15 to 20 cm. 
long, and 5 to 8 cm. broad. They are elliptical and smooth-edged ; 
on the upper side of a beautiful green colour, and underneath greyish 
white, as indicated by the name " hypoleuca." Every branch de- 
velops about ten leaves, which are crowded together in verticillate 
form near the end. In the midst of this beautiful wreath of 
leaves, there unfolds about the middle of May or beginning of 
June a splendid large white flower, with a pine-apple-like perfume. 
Even later in midsummer the H6-tree presents a surprisingly beau- 
tiful appearance. When the wind sways the foliage of the mag- 
nolia-lined mountain side, and the lower side of the leaf is turned 
upward, the tree looks to one at a little distance as if it were for a 
second time covered with blossoms. 

By October the trees are bare. The long ellipsoidal reddish 
brown fruit-capsules, with their pink seeds, soon follow the leaves. 
The seeds, like all of this species, soon lose their germinating 
power, which is probably the main reason why the H6-no-ki is still 
a stranger to our European gardens.^ 

The H6-no-ki in Japan surprises and delights every lover of 
plants, and it is easy to agree with Dupont when he calls it more 
ornamental than Magnolia grandiflor a. 

The light, greyish white wood changes gradually to a deeper 
shade. It is soft, easily bent, and elastic, and has a fine even grain, 
which makes it applicable to many uses. The wood engraver 
uses it in patterns for cloth printing, and the lacquerer finds 
it adapted to various small articles. The sides of the pretty, 
light and durable oval bread-baskets are generally made out of 
H6-no-ki. Two thin strips of the wood are bent around the 
elliptical pinewood bottom, their sharpened ends bent over each 
other and glued, and tacked to the bottom board. Sword sheaths 
(Katana-no-Saya) were also formerly made out of H6-no-ki. In 
ISliigata and Yonezawa it is used as the groundwork of nearly half 
of all the lacquer ware, and from it is prepared the soft, fine-grained 
charcoal which is used throughout the whole of Japan for rubbing 
the lacquer, and for polishing the enamel of cloisonne ware. 

^ I have made repeated unsuccessful attempts to propagate this plant from the 
seed in Europe. All magnolia seeds sprout on their way through the tropics, 
and reach us with dried-up germ fibres. Out of a collection of badly packed 
and half withered small trees which I received eight years since, about half a 
dozen were saved in the Botanical garden at Marburg. Of these six, one was 
sent to Garden-inspector Lauche, one to Prince Troubetzkoi at Intra, and a 
third was given to the Botanical Garden at Frankfort. 


143. Magnolia Kobus^ D. C, Jap. Kobushi. This wood stands 
next to H6-no-ki in abundance. It is found in Middle and Northern 
Hondo, also on the island of Yezo, generally in the plains, on river 
banks and edges of woods, and even in the lower mountain forests. 
It does not grow as high as the preceding, but broadens its crown 
still more, and forms a beautiful tree, which blossoms while it is 
putting forth leaves. 

There are six other magnolias which are known in Japan, though 
not in sufficient numbers to have a value as wood-producers ; Mag- 
nolia conspicua, Salisb. [M. Ynlan, Desf. .?), M. parviflora, S. and Z., 
M. obovata, Thunb., M. salicifolia, Maxim., M. stellata, Maxim., and 
M. compressa^ Maxim. 

144. Katsura japonica, L. {Uvaria japonica, Thunb.), Jap. Sane- 
katsura, Binan-katsura and Kuro-gane-modoshi, i.e.^ iron sumach, 
is a notable sumach variety of the foliaceous forest. In the autumn, 
before the leaves fall, it has a glowing brownish red colour. The 
long trunks, from a finger's to an arm's thickness, are distinguished 
by their cork-like bark and the flexibility of their wood, so great 
that it is often used instead of cables in small bridges, and in other 
cases where strong binding is required. 

145. Cercidiphylliini japonicum, S. and Z., Jap. Katsura. Mag- 
noliacese find their greatest representative in this beautiful tree of 
the mountain forests of Northern Japan. Its heart-shaped leaves re- 
semble those of the Cercis-tree, as the name of its species might 
indicate. It grows to a height of 30 m., and a circumference of 
4 to 5 m. in the warm part of Yezo, and is found also in Hondo 
of a similar size, but only exceptionally. It is marked by rapid 
growth, a layer of wood 4 to 5 cm. thick being the yearly addition 
to the trunk of old trees. A soil made up of crumbled clay- 
shale on a basis of volcanic material suits the Katsura best. Its 
light soft wood is darker than that of H6-no-ki, is of a light red 
varying to yellowish brown, is capable of high polish, and used in 
furniture making, and for the same purposes as H6-no-ki. 

146. Umure-gi (vulgo Omore-gi), i.e., fossilized wood, and Jin-dai- 
boku, or wood from the time of the gods, is a heavy, dark brown 
lignite. It is used for making numerous articles, such as plates 
and trays, adorned with mottoes, flowers, birds, and other decora- 
tions, which are sold in Nikko, Tokio, and elsewhere. The wood, 
which looks like dark walnut, but fails in resemblance on closer 
investigation, is said to come from Sendai (Natori-gawa), hence the 
designation of these articles in Tokio as Sendai-no-umure-gi-zaiku. 


7. Gardening. 

Size^ Enclosure^ and Character of the Japanese Garden. — Limited 
Expedients and PecnliaiHties of Gardening. — Dwarfing arid 
Deforming. — Improvement of Species. — Variegation. — The 
Japanese L ove of Nature and Flowers. — Flozvering Season arid 
other characteristics of the Flora. — Shade Trees, 

Enclosed fruit and vegetable gardens, such as are usually found 
with us around the dwelling, are unknown to the Japanese. He 
plants his Yasai-mono (see p. 69) on the Hatake, or Sai-yen, the 
vegetable ground in the open field. He calls the fenced tree- 
nursery Uye-gomi, and the little ornamental garden, commonly 
behind the house,^ Niwa (Sono is the poetical expression) or 
K6-yen. It is the Niwa which chiefly interests us. 

Siebold says^ that even in the large cities there is scarcely a 
house which has not its garden, or at least a court adorned with 
one or more evergreen trees. This idea has become very preva- 
lent, but it is nevertheless erroneous. Extensive journeys through 
different portions of the three principal islands of Old Japan, and 
numerous observations in cities and country, have convinced me 
that only a small proportion of dwellings have any ornamental or 
particularly cultivated piece of ground about them, and that these 
are only to be found in the homes of the cultured and wealthy 
classes. The following Japanese couplet, which Dr. R. Lange has 
well translated into German, agrees with this observation : 

" Ob auch des Lenzes Macht an alien Orten sich zeiget, 
Findest du Blumen doch nicht bliihend in jeglichem Dorf." ^ 

Even the already noted substitute for a garden — the court with its 
few evergreen trees (more properly bushes) — although frequently 
seen, is still only an exception. The two shrubs which are found 
most often in these narrow courtyards are the Toshuro {Raphis 
flabelliformis, Ait), a kind of fan palm, about 2 m. in height, and 
even more generally, the Nanten {Nandina domestica, Thunb.), a 
bush which seldom grows more than I to 2 m. high. Its trunk, 
when old, is covered with rugged bark. It bears red berry clusters 
in winter, and is a favourite house-decoration at the New Year. 
It often furnishes a pattern to the ornamental work of Art In- 
dustry, its leaves being wrought in silk, the berries in glass, painted 
with red cinnabar. The Nandina grows wild in Shikoku. 

The enclosures (Jap. Kaki) of gardens and parks differ greatly. 

^ K6-yen-chi (public garden ground) is a temple garden, a sort of open park ; 
as, for example, those of Uyeno and Shiba in Tokio. 

" " Sur I'etat de I'horticulture au Japon," p. 2. Leide, 1863. 

^ " Haru no iro-no itari itaranu sato wa araji | sakeru sakazaru hana no 
miyuramu." — Old Japanese spring-songs, translated and versified by Dr. R. 
Lange. Berlin: Weidmann'sche Buchhandlung, 1884. 


They are whitewashed mud and stone walls, paHngs generally of 
bamboo cane, and quickset hedges (Ike-gaki). There is abundance 
of fine material for the last-named, but it is in many places not 
used, and often only to a very limited extent. The different 
conifers, particularly the Cryptomeria and Podocarpus, and many 
varieties of bamboo-cane, serve well in evergreen hedges, but not 
the beautiful Evonymus or Liguster, which are used so successfully 
in the Mediterranean region. 

Quickset hedges are seen most often around the houses of 
the Samurai. They are generally very carefully cultivated and 
trimmed, and shut off a small garden from the street. Oftentimes 
a pretty bamboo paling takes their place, but in this case an ever- 
green thicket grows just behind it, so as to hide the modest dwell- 
ing as much as possible from the passers-by. In the spring of 
1875 I saw in the Samurai quarter of the little city of Nojiri 
(province of Hiuga, in Southern Kiushiu), for example, a row of 
stately camellia-trees behind such a fence, growing 9 to 10 m. high, 
and some of them still blooming. Close beside them the light 
beautiful crowns of the tall bamboo-canes rocked in the wind. The 
yellowish green of the young leaves of the camphor-trees and 
evergreen oaks contrasted finely against the shiny dark green of 
the last year's foliage and the red blossoms of the camellias and 
azaleas. In Akita, high in the north of Hondo, I saw at another 
time the little front garden of the Samurai dwellings mostly sur- 
rounded by Kome-no-ko, or Iwa-yanagi {Spircea Thiinbergi^ Sieb.). 
Karatachi {Citrus trifoliata, L.) and Mukuge {Hibisais syriacus, L.) 
are more often used for hedges. The violet-blue, rarely white, 
blossoms of the latter appear in late summer and autumn. Kara- 
tachi is used evidently because of its strong protection, for its 
hedges are neither close nor have they a very beautiful foliage, as 
the leaves are not as large and fine in appearance as those of the 
other Aurantiacese. 

As has been stated several times in the first volume of this work, 
Chinese civilization was introduced into Japan with Buddhism in 
the sixth century A.D., and found its principal support and foster- 
ing in the cloisters and temples of the land. It can hardly be 
doubted that flower cultivation and the art of gardening among 
the Japanese received their first impulse and encouragement from 
Buddhist priests. For many centuries the Chinese had cultivated 
the beautiful ornamental plants which were brought from thence 
to adorn altars and graves, temple courts and holy pools, gardens 
and parks ; also the plants which, like the peony and lotus, were 
at the same time producers of valuable medicines. In the enjoy- 
ment of the beautiful appearance and prosperity of the foreign 
plants, interest in the indigenous flora increased also, and its finest 
specimens were gradually brought into cultivation and carefully 
reared. These indigenous plants were found to be numerous and 
choice, for, as has been amply shown in vol. i. pp. 135-174, Japan 


is one of those countries where Nature wears her most variegated 
and attractive dress. Later on, son>e of those ornamental plants 
which Japan had got from China were introduced into our gardens 
and hothouses, and were taken for indigenous, just as certain Chinese 
ornamental plants brought to Calcutta, and afterward to Europe, 
were supposed to be of Indian origin, and were named accord- 
ingly ; e.g. Rosa indica, L., and CJirysantheimnn indiaim, L. 

As the feudal system developed in Japan and, under the rule 
of the Tokugawa, the privileged classes enjoyed their prerogatives 
in peace, the parks surrounding the fortresses of the Daimios and 
their Yashikis in Yeddo became the gathering place of various 
ornamental plants which had been introduced gradually from the 
neighbouring continent, and principally of those which had been 
borrowed from the splendid indigenous flora.^ Every Samurai 
cultivated as large a selection as space would permit in the little 
garden which was his pleasure-ground, but the nationality of the 
plants after so many digressions was unrecognisable. 

The Japanese ornamental garden is not intended to be an abode, 
but merely to please the eye. It is not a pleasure-garden ox Jar din 
d'agranent, in the German or French sense, but it has its own 
peculiar charm. The cosy arbour which is hardly ever wanting 
in the most modest German house garden, in whose shade from 
childhood we pass so many happy hours of recreation and 
agreeable work, is not to be found in the Niwa.^ There is also 
no fine, carefully kept sward, with flower-beds here and there, 
and broad gravel walks. But there is often a great deal of taste 
and refinement manifested in imitating nature and constructing a 
miniature landscape. If the limited space will not permit a little 
pond in which gold fish and turtles may comfortably play and 
lotus flowers unfold their lovely leaves and petals in midsummer, 
there is nevertheless room for a modest water-basin, with small 
red-bellied Imori {Triton subcristatiis) in its clear bottom, for a 
small arched bridge over the little stream flowing from it, and a 
pile of rocks. On a somewhat larger plan, this becomes a beautiful 
cool place where clear rippling water flows from a little mossy 
grotto, whose arches are built up in close imitation of mountain 
rocks. These are covered with ferns and little bushes of Tsutsuji 
{Azalea indica, L.), resembling our Alpine roses, being clothed in 
early summer with red blossoms ; and further, with the beautiful 
Daimiojiso {Saxifraga corticscefolia, S. and Z.), and other tastefully 

^ Most of these very interesting large parks, with their grand old tree-groups 
and tasteful landscapes of rock and water, avenues and lodges, their many sorts 
of fanciful gardening, pruning, dwarfing, and deforming, stone turrets and 
idols, were destroyed after the Restoration. The finest specimen of Japanese 
landscape gardening now to be seen is at Fuki-age, the Imperial Garden in 

2 The Glycine ( Wistaria chinensis) is cultivated here and there on trellises, 
but not in order to afford shade, only to better exhibit the hanging clusters of 
blossoms. (See Illustration in vol. i.) 


distributed favourites of the indigenous flora. A little cemented 
basin or trough is made just in front of this group of rocks, where 
the water is collected, and near by grows the Giboshi {Ftinkia 
ovata, Sprengel), its bluish green leaf-tufts covered in late summer 
with spikes of beautiful bluish white flowers. 

The narrow paths which wind through a Japanese garden of this 
kind are paved with one row of stone slabs, in which all regularity 
of form is avoided. There is no attempt to make the edges even. 
Potted plants of the popular dwarfed varieties take the place of 
borders on both sides. 

Japanese art-gardening is carried on with very few implements — 
and these few but poorly adapted to their purpose — but with great 
manual skill. It does not compare with European gardening 
in perfection of taste and execution, nor in the ways and means 
which are at the command of our gardeners. It must be re- 
garded, however, as a sample of Japanese taste, just like some 
specimens of their art industry. Our gardeners have learned with 
great care the requirements of all the plant-life in their domain, 
and seek by fulfilling these conditions to bring all to their highest 
natural perfection. On the other hand, the Japanese gardener 
tries to keep all bushes and trees constantly pruned and trimmed, 
and in many other ways to obstruct their natural development ; 
now to produce symmetrical forms, after the fashion of old French 
gardening, and again to prevent symmetry by fanciful creations, 
dwarfed and deformed figures, and to work in a way utterly incom- 
prehensible to us. There is now-a-days a tendency in Europe to 
imitate this sort of gardening in its quaint artificiality ; but it is 
not according to our taste, and only admissible in exce"ptional 
cases. Our gardeners help nature ; the Japanese do her violence. 
But Japanese gardening is praised in many books, just for this 
unnatural tendency, while to us it appears like incomprehensible 
trifling and waste of efl"ort. 

Dwarfing or enlarging one part at the expense of the other, 
variegation and cultivation of every accident or trick of nature, 
are, as has been intimated, the careful occupation of the Japanese 
gardener. He distinguishes himself in these eflbrts, and even be- 
comes, in one or the other, a specialist. He works with great 
enjoyment to himself, and knows also that he is pleasing the taste 
of his customers, among whom he counts not only the educated 
and the rich, but also the ordinary labourer. 

The Japanese not only take great pleasure in this artificial de- 
formation, but they admire and collect also natural malformations 
of every kind. They admire a stone, e.g., through which water has 
worn a hole, or an old decaying tree-trunk with one or more plants 
growing out of a knothole where seeds have been accidentally 
lodged. This is due to the same intellectual laziness, and is an 
example of the charm which striking phenomena have for many 
people with us also, and which the uneducated admire every- 


where, but with us the admiration is usually diverted from nature 
to other objects. 

Dwarfing or Nanisation is the name which we give to the 
various operations for producing dwarfed forms, an art in which the 
Chinese and Japanese are masters, and which they employ more 
with ornamental plants than with fruit trees. Chinese girls cripple 
and deform their feet in tiny shoes, and the art and trade gardeners 
of Eastern Asia frequently check the growth of plants by forcing 
them into small jars, by frequent transplanting, and by scanty 
nourishment and close pruning. Their exertions seem directed 
either to reduction of size, while retaining the form, or to the pro- 
duction of monstrosities of different kinds. 

To produce a slow growth they choose particularly small 
seeds from a poorly developed individual plant. Frequent cutting 
back has been found even more effective, also planting in pots 
of insufficient size. Twisting the twigs and stems in a horizontal 
spiral direction has the same effect, and the refrigeration of the 
ground and roots by evaporation, using porous pots. Grafting 
is often also a means to this end, i.e. it serves to check natural 
development. It is employed especially in the many varieties of 
Momiji {Acer poly morpJiimi), and is usually effected according to 
the oldest methods known to gardening — grafting by juxta- 
position, a sort of " greffe par approche " as it is called by the 
French. The cutting which is to be engrafted is sharpened on one 
side and laid in an incision cut diagonally in the wild tree, or 
attached to the wild stock by a sort of splicing, and then carefully 

Some of the results obtained in Chinese and Japanese gardening 
in dwarfing species are very surprising. Kaempfer relates that he 
once saw growing together in a small box, 4 inches long, i\ inches 
broad, and 6 inches high, a bamboo cane, a pine tree, and a bloom- 
ming Mume-plum tree. The price of this group of dwarfs was 
1,200 Dutch gulden, or nearly ;^ioo : an evidence of the difficulty 
and tediousness of the accomplishment, also a token of the high 
estimation of such abnormal forms ; for what nurseryman in 
Europe would think of asking one-tenth of this sum for this sort 
of production } 

The employment of this peculiar art of Nanisation on some of 
the coniferae is very popular, especially on the Matsu (Pmics 
Massoniana and P. densiflora), the Nagi [Podocarpiis Nageid) and 
Koyamaki {Sciadopitys verticillatd), also on Mume (Prunus Mume), 
Sakura [P. pseudoceraszis), Kaki {Diospyros kaki), Momo {Ainyg- 
dalus persicd), Masaki {Etionymtcs japo7iicus), and several other 
ornamental plants, among them the bamboo cane. Particularly 
scarce varieties of such dwarf plants are put up in finely decorated 
blue porcelain pots, and bring high prices. 

Whoever visits a Japanese art and trade-garden in spring will 
notice in company with these dwarf forms, yet another kind of popu- 


lar plant-maiming, which is usually practised on the Prunus Mume. 
Young and blooming shoots from stumps of 30 to 100 cm. height 
are wound about them, or bent over them umbrella fashion. Often 
the trunk is cut down even with the ground, so that the small, 
blooming offshoot looks like an independent tree. 

Variegation, — Many readers of these pages will remember the 
time when beside the common ribbon grass {Phalaris ariLiidinacea, 
L., var. picta) in our gardens and public parks only a few other 
plants were found in which the leaves departed from the normal 
green colour. But now-a-days there are numerous species which 
show the so-called variegation (appearing now in this way and now 
in that), in the form of white, yellow and brown spots or stripes 
on the green leaf-ground. No other land has furnished nearly so 
great a number of these varieties as Japan. This peculiar tendency 
of many of its ornamental plants continues even with us, and has 
enriched our gardens with many kinds of variegation. Siebold 
attributes it to the influence of the night frost, but without sub- 
stantiating the opinion.^ 

Out of the great number of such Japanese plants, with striking 
variegation, I will name only Pines, Juniper, Retinispora, Thujopsis, 
Podocarpus, Eurya, Laurus, Elseagnus, Aucuba,Pittosporum, Aralia, 
Salisburia, Euonymus, Sciadopitys, Eulalia, Weigelia. At the 
Paris Universal Exhibition in 1878, the Japanese surprised us still 
further with variegated Eriobotrya, and Andromeda japonica. 

Ornamental plants, like other fancies of amateurs, are subject to 
fashion. The group of variegated foliage plants unquestionably 
belongs to the fashionable articles of our present ornamental gar- 
dening. They should be used sparingly, however, and with taste, 
in landscape gardening, otherwise they become wearisome, for 
many of them are not at all beautiful, and cannot be considered a 
real addition. A few years ago, in the park at the Universal Ex- 
hibition in Antwerp, there was a bed composed entirely of bushes 
of the Euonymus japonicus, showing white and yellow-flecked 
leaves in proximity to many simple green leaves, the combined 
effect of which did not please people of educated taste nearly so 
well as a similar group having no such mottled appearance. 

The arrangment and colouring of bouquets is not understood by 
the Japanese. The separation of flowers from their stems and 
gathering them in bunches is not to their taste. They admire far 
more their individual beauty and enjoy their natural combinations, 
— the lovely blossoms (Hana) and leaves (Ha) on their stalks (Ko- 
yeda) or slender twigs, the iris and the lotus flower on its long stem 

^ " C'est surtoutl'influence du froid, qui a produitles varietes nombreuses des 
plantes panachees de blanc et de jaune. C'est la gelee, qui, n'etant pas assez 
torte pour detruire toute vegetation des plantes sus-tropicales, change le coloris 
de leur feuillage et meme de leurs tiges ; c'est done la gelee qui couvre les 
feuilles de flocons d'une neige perpetuelle — qui produit des plantes panachees." — 
Sur I'etat de rhorticulture au Japon, p. 2. Leide, 1863. 


(Kuki). One would scarcely suppose that under such circumstances 
there could be such a thing as ** the art of arranging flowers " in 
set pieces. Nevertheless Japanese literature possesses under this 
or similar titles a number of works full of illustrations in which, 
however, the many forms of Hana-ike or flower-vase play a con- 
spicuous part, and a labouring man, obliged to content himself with 
a cylinder vase of bamboo cane, or an earthen vessel, can learn 
but little to his advantage. 

The enjoyment of beautiful flowers is common to all the Japanese 
people. Even the humble labourer is a customer at the gardens 
where flowers are kept for sale. In view of this, Hana-ichi, or 
flower markets, are often held on summer evenings, lighted with 
torches of pitch and many-coloured lanterns. They attract the 
poorer classes especially, and afford them an opportunity to gain 
a flowering sprig of the most popular plants, which bloom at this 

There is perhaps no other nation of which all classes enjoy nature, 
and especially her flora gifts, to such a degree. This shows itself 
particularly at times when this or that favourite flower is blooming 
in the open fields. With us, in the outskirts of our cities, the 
difl'erent resorts attract great numbers of people on Sunday and 
other festivals. But in the Japanese cities it is a much more com- 
mon sight at times to see the streets full of merry men and women 
of all ages and ranks, dressed in holiday attire, seeking here the 
blooming cherry-trees on the hill, there the sword lily in the open 
field, and yonder a garden of chrysanthemums, or the beautiful 
autumn leaves of the maple and other plants. 

If we consider further that this love for flowers is no new thing 
with the Japanese, but existed long ago, when our whole civiliza- 
tion was in its swaddling clothes, we can easily estimate something 
of the influence it has exerted from the beginning. More than a 
thousand years ago, the poet Mitsune, whose verse on the fragrance 
of the Mume is quoted on the next page, wrote as follows con- 
cerning the Fuji, or Glycine {Wistaria chinensis) that was blos- 
soming on his dwelling. 

" So, wie die Woge zum Strand, so kehren die Leute stets wieder, 
Wandelnd am Hause vorbei, staunen den Fuji sie an." ^ 

The number of species and sub-species of the ornamental plants 
of Japan is very great, but only a small selection have become 
especially popular. The rose is not one of these, and even the 
camellia, notwithstanding it is so much cultivated, does not rank 
among the highest. Their favourites, which are associated with 
their civilization, their festival seasons, their entire life, and are 
constantly reappearing in their art-industry as patterns, were long 

1 " Waga yado ni | sakeru fuji nami | tachi kaeri | sugigate ni nomi | hito no 
miruramu."— R. Lange, Old Japanese Spring-ballads. Berlin, Weidmann, 1884. 


ago arranged, according to their flowering seasons, in a flower 
calendar, at a time when no one in our country would have thought 
of such a work. 

In the old reckoning of time by lunar years, borrowed from the 
Chinese, Guwan-jitsu, or New Year's Day, occurred in the middle 
or at the end of February, and with it began " the lovely month," 
Mutzuki. The festival of the New Year consequently became a 
time for rejoicing over the newly awakened forces of nature, and 
was celebrated in many ways both without and within doors. 
Flora brought to the merry making the first flowers of spring in all 
their beauty, and Uguisu, the nightingale, in the mild evenings, 
made glad the pleasure gardens or temple groves with her lovely 
song.^ Of plants, the white and red blossoms of the Mume (^Pi'unus 
Mume^ S. and Z.) contributed not a little to the festal mood, appear- 
ing as they do at this season, as heralds of spring in advance of 
the leaves. No Japanese house was without them. We greet our 
primrose {Pi'imula veris, L.) every year afresh, and rejoice in its 
appearance. The Mume is in much greater degree the favourite 
of the Japanese people and inspires them with longing and delight. 
Poets praise its blossoms more even for their lovely fragrance, ex- 
haling especially at night, than for their number and colour. 

" Schwer erkennst Du im Glanze des Mondes die Bliithe der Pflaume. 
Aber Du findest sie gleich, gehst Du dem Dufte nur nach." 


The Uguisu, or Japanese nightingale [Cettia canta7is, T. and 
Schl.), joins the poet in spring, and sings as if rejoicingly over 
the year's first-blown perfume, and mourning over the speedy 
withering. And the pictorial art of the country, more developed 
than its modest poetry, has bound the Mume and the nightingale, 
or Uguisu, together, and represented them in picture and in plastic 
form in the various creations of art-industry. The Mume thus 
devoid of leaves resembles the blooming branches of our black- 

Beside the Mume, the Japanese gardener at New Year's time 
bring also much to the market, the Rengyo {Forsythia suspensa, 
Vahl) with branches hanging full of yellow bells. This plant has 
been introduced into Europe from Japan, but is as little at home 
there as the Mume, and the following species which, like it, have 
their origin in China. 

The Dodan {Efikianthiis japoniciis, Hook.), which is cultivated in 
gardens on account of the beautiful red colour of its leaves in 
autumn, is also used for decorating the houses at the New Year's 
festival. It does not bloom in the open air till one or two months 

^ In accepting our calendar, and moving the New Year's festival into the 
rough weather of January, it has lost a great part of its earlier poetic charm. 

2 "Tsukiyo ni wa | sore tomo miye zu | mume no hana | ka wo tazunete zo | 
shiru bekari keru."— Lange, Old Japanese Spring Ballads, p. 30. 


later, and must be grown in the florist's hothouse for this purpose, 
as in China. 

In March, the second month of the old Japanese year, the 
flowers of the Momo, or peach tree {Amygdalits persica, L.) follow 
the Mume, and towards the end of the month those of the Higan- 
sakura {Pruniis siibhirtella, Miq.) are seen. Several Magnolias, 
too, unfold their blossoms at this time, before their leaves come 
forth. Prominent among them, Magnolia couspiam, Salisb. (^M. 
Yidan, Desf ), the Hakuren, or white lotus flower of Japan, and the 
Kobushi (M. Kobus, D.C.). 

April is the flowering time of the second great favourite of the 
year — the Sakura {Primus psetidocerasiis, Lindl.). This is called 
the Japanese cherry-tree, because its whole appearance and flower 
resemble the cherry ; but its fruit is not pleasant to the taste, and 
not larger than that of our Prunus Padus (see also p. 249). The 
wild original variety, which grows extensively in the mountain 
forests, is called Yama-sakura. A great number of varieties, 
with pink and white blossoms, have been developed from this tree, 
among which those with very full flowers are especially noticeable. 

The Sakura is sung by Japanese poets almost as much as the 
Mume, and copied likewise in art-industry. For this, the simple 
flower of the Yama-sakura is always chosen, and may be easily 
recognised in decorations by the accompanying leaves. 

The soft air of the south-western monsoon prevails at the flower- 
ing time of the Sakura. Nature is then at her best, and invit;es 
again into the open air. It is an old custom and pleasure of the 
most innocent sort, to wander forth at this time by families, and 
admire the Sakura — a pleasure in which everybody shares. It is 
a delight even for the stranger to see so many happy, gaily 
dressed people. He, too, follows with the crowd toward Muko- 
jima, Uyeno, Oji, and difl"erent other places in and around Tokio 
where the Sakura grows in greatest quantities. The Sakura of 
Yoshino in Yamato has also an old reputation. So by Tomonori 
more than a thousand years ago, of whom a couplet runs this way : 

" Wenn ich auf Yoshino's Berg die Bliithe der Kirsche erblicke, 
Tauscht mich ein liebiicher Trug, denn sie erscheinen wie Schnee." ^ 

A kindred species appears here and there in gardens about the 
end of May — the Niwa-sakura (Garden Sakura), or Ko-sakura 
(Little Sakura), also in full bloom. It is the Japanese dwarf cherry- 
tree {Primus japonicay Thunb.), resembling Amygdalus nana in its 
bushy appearance. 

The Yamabuki {Kerria japonica, D.C.) has earlier, and at the 
same time as the Sakura, unfolded its yellow blooms. The wild 
bush is very frequent in the mountain forests and on the river 

^ " Miyoshino no | yamabe ni sakeru sakurabana | yuki ka to nomi zo \ aya- 
metari keru." — Lange, Old Japanese Spring Ballads. Berlin, 1884. 


banks of Middle and Northern Japan, but much more rare in 
the South. The double variety was imported into Europe during 
the last century, while the single form has come to us only recently. 

In May, the magnificent blossoms of the Botan {Pceonia Moiitan, 
Sims.) appear ; also those of the Fuji ( Wistaria chinensis, S. and Z.), 
the Kiri {Pauloivftia imperialism S. and Z.) and the Tsutsuji {^Azalea 
indica^ L.). The last of these four ornamental plants is the most 
extensively cultivated and popular. The red-blossomed variety pre- 
dominates, especially in a wild state. In the spring, in company 
with Deutzia, it adorns not merely the uncultivated sunny slopes 
all through Japan, and likewise China, but is found in almost every 
garden. It blooms in April, on Kiushiu (and is used very much 
for decorating graves, its blossoming branches being placed in 
bamboo vases); in Middle Hondo, in May ; and still farther north, 
and higher up in the mountains, not till June. A large number of 
kindred species, among them some of great fragrance, must be 
reckoned with them, some of which have been transplanted into 
gardens. Among these are the Rhododendron (Azalea) macrO' 
stemon, Maxim., R. ledifoliiim, Don., R. sublanceolatnm, Miq., R. 
macrosepalum^ Maxim., R. sinense^ Sweet, and several others. 

The noble blossoms of several kinds of Iris delight the lovers of 
flowers in June — particularly the Hana-shobu (^Iris Icevigata, Fisch.) 
and Ayame {Iris setosa^ Pall, and /. sibricia, L.). A speciality is 
made of their cultivation in several places in the neighbourhood of 
Tokio. There are low-lying open fields, e.g.^ near Meguro, and 
especially on the left bank of the Sumida-gawa at Hori-kiri, 
which, toward the end of the month, are all a-bloom with them ; 
and many who delight in flowers, who wandered out to Mukojima, 
in April, to enjoy the blossoming Sakura, now pass on by the long 
avenue of these trees to Hori-kiri to admire the flowering Shobu 
(Hana-shobu). When this season is over, and the summer heat 
has reached its greatest height, in July, then comes another, and 
more esteemed favourite, the lotus-flower, Hasu-no-hana, or Renge 
{Nelumbo nucifera, Gaertn.).^ Mention has already been made of the 
edible, long-branched roots and nut-like seeds of this the most in- 
teresting and splendid of water plants. It only remains to note its 
significance in the worship of Buddha, and as an ornamental plant. 
Its original home was without doubt the Indian monsoon district, 
and its cultivation and estimation very ancient. It was formerly, 
together with the fishes and turtles in sacred tanks, dedicated to 
^'iva, who, according to an old Indian legend, sat upon its leaves 
looking on when the great flood swallowed up everything. Bud- 
dhism took it later as the symbol of its teachings. As it lifts up 
its buds out of the slimy ground to a greater or less height above 
the water, unfolding its beautiful leaves and flowers, on whose spot- 
less petals no traces are to be found of the mire from which it has 

* The plant is called Hasu ; its rhizoma, Renkon ; the seed, Hasu-no-mi ; the 
leaf, Hasu-no-ha ; and the swamp or pond in which it grows, Hasu-no-ike. 


sprung, so the souls of men, according to Buddhist faith, rise from 
the sUme of sin, by their own power and effort, to different heights, 
and reach the blessedness of Nirvana. Buddha is represented 
sitting on an open lotus flower, the emblem of purity, and his 
temples and altars are adorned with vases and imitations of blos- 
soming lotus plants in bronze, wood or clay. In view of these 
facts, we may accept the belief that the distribution of this honoured 
plant in the countries of Chinese culture in Eastern Asia also fol- 
lowed close upon the spread of Buddhism. 

I do not yet know for a certainty whether the Egyptian lotus, 
mentioned by several classic writers of ancient times, is the same 
as ours, or a nearly related plant. Its seeds, the Pythagoras or 
Egyptian beans {Fabce cegyptiacce, Plin.), were eaten, like those 
of the Indian lotus in monsoon lands. Theophrast compares its 
fruit (Torus) very aptly to a round wasp's-nest, and Herodotus to 
a large poppy head, but the description of its roots by the latter 
does not at all fit the rhizoma of the holy lotus of Asia. 

Sir Joseph Banks brought the first seeds of the latter from India 
into England in 1787. They were called " Sacred Indian Beans." 
Since then the plant has been cultivated in warm aquariums in 
nearly all European countries and in their Botanical Gardens, 
occasionally in open ponds in Mediterranean regions, and at mid- 
summer reaches its highest perfection. In Eastern Asia the pre- 
dominating most widely cultivated species has pink blossoms, but 
in Japan and China there is another variety, whose flowers of purest 
white are no less beautiful.^ 

According to Fortune, a great number of these water-lilies grow 
on the banks of the river above and below Canton, which are kept 
in dams like the rice-fields. He writes : " This plant is cultivated 
partly for decorative purposes, partly for its roots, which are 
brought to market in great numbers and are much liked by the 
Chinese." It is the same in Japan, as before noted. 

In midsummer the water-surfaces of old moats and ponds in 
Tokio are adorned with numberless leaves and flowers of the lotus 
plant. While nearly all the other Nymphaeacese spread out their 
dull green leaves flat on the surface of the water, the lotus lifts 
hers, as she does her flowers, on long stems high above it. A 
beautiful green colour, fine veining and shell-like arching and 
cavity distinguishes the leaves also, and they are scarcely less 
beautiful when the dewdrops lie upon them in the morning like 
thousands of pearls^ than when these are chased away by the 
beams of the rising sun. But now the countless buds and tulip-like 
flowers unfold. Unfortunately, the plant is an ornament of standing 
waters only during the summer and autumn months, and not 

^ Haku-ren, — " white lotus flower," — as remarked above, is also the designa- 
tion of the blossom of the Magnolia Yula7t, Desf., and there is indeed great 
similarity between the two. 


through the long winter, when their dead withered leaves offend the 

In August and September, the flowering season of the lotus is 
followed by that of the so-called " Seven Autumn-plants " (Aki- 
nona-na-kusa). These are Hagi (varieties of Lespedeza and Des- 
modium), Fuyo {Hibiscus mutabilis, L.), Omina-meshi {Patrinia 
scahioscBfolia, Link.), Fuji-bakama {Eupatoritmi chinense, L., and E. 
japoniaim, Thunb.), Kikiyo {Platycodon grandiflorum, D. C), the two 
grasses Susuki {Eidaliajaponica, Trim.) and ¥^2.x2.-Vci.y'd.{Anthistiria 
arguens, Wild.). All, except the Hibiscus, adorn the flower-meadows, 
or Kusa-wara, in midsummer and autumn. Hagi, particularly 
Lespedeza cyrtobotrya and Desmodizim penduliflorum, Oud., with their 
leaves resembling Citysus, and their violet blossoms, also Fuyo, 
Ominameshi and Susuki are very popular as decorative designs in 
art-industry. The Tamano-o {Sedum Sieboldi^ Sweet) blossoms as 
a pot plant in Japan, as with us, in September and October. 

While the blooming Mume beautifies the New Year's spring 
festival, the first of the five great feasts of the year, the Kiku-no- 
hana, or chrysanthemum flower, is dedicated to the last of these 
secular festivals, which occurs on the 9th day of the 9th month 
old reckoning, or toward the end of October, in the new. This 
Kiku-no-sekku, or Chrysanthemum festival, draws the joyous, happy 
crowds to the flower- markets and into the large gardens which 
are celebrated for the cultivation of Chrysanthe7mtm (Pyrethrum) 
indicum, L., Ch. sinense^ Sabin, and kindred species. Kil<u (Chrys- 
anthemum) rich in variety and colour, the favourite of all the 
autumn Flora of Japan and China, is hardy and easy to cultivate. 
The flowers of the different varieties are eis numerous and mani- 
fold in colour, size and form, as are asters with us, and are of 
very ancient cultivation. Many gardeners make a specialty of 
them and become widely known thereby. The Kiku beds of 
Sugamo on the Nakasendo, for instance, attract many admirers 
in the early part of November. Kiku-no-hana is as much liked 
in art as in nature, and has no rival as a pattern in the decoration 
of pottery. 

The arms of the kingdom, called Kiku-no-hana-mon (see vol. i.) 
consist of an outspread, wheel-like chrysanthemum of 16 petals 
radiating from a small central circle, and at the outer edge are 
bound together by 16 little arches. It is an emblem of the sun 
and is the imperial insignia on cockades, banners, documents and 
coins. In 1784 a number of varieties of the Kiku were brought to 
Europe from India and China, but they have not yet driven the 
asters and other popular autumn flowers from the field. 

Toward the end of October and beginning of November, when 
the rough monsoon of winter blows from the north and the land- 
scape has taken on quite another character in the field and wood, 
the Japanese lover of nature makes his last holiday excursion, to 
see the Momiji {Acer polyinorphum, S. and Z.). The maples most 



extolled and sung are those of the Tatsuta-gawa, the Tatsuta- 
momiji at Tatsuta in Yamato. The Momiji in their motley or 
simple red autumn colours are also favourite subjects for re- 
presentation with Japanese artists. Besides them, the Dodan 
{Enkianthus japonicus, Hooker), the Azaleas and other garden 
plants are noted for the beautiful colouring of their leaves before 
they fall. The autumn dress of the foliaceous forest is much more 
varied and rich in colour than even that of the Atlantic forests of 
North America, so much praised (see vol. i. p. 137). When this 
has disappeared and the winter rest has begun, the Japanese flower- 
calendar still points to a limited number of fine ornamental plants 
which for the most part have been domesticated in Europe also, 
and are much more valued here than in their East-Asiatic home. 
These are chiefly Yatsu-de {Aralia japonica, Thunb.), Hiragi {Olea 
aqiiifolmm, Thunb.), and Sasan-kuwa {Camellia sasanqua, Thunb.) 
which like the tea bush bloom in November and December, and 
Tsubaki {Camellia japonica, L.) which, as an out-of-door plant, 
shows 'its first flowers in January. 

Foliaceous trees are only exceptionally found as umbrageous trees 
in the Japanese cities, as at Niigata, and never on the country 
roads. In many places these roads are beautified with evergreen 
Coniferae which are often several centuries old and make a grand 
impression. Euonymus radicans or some wild vine, or more rarely 
the ivy, climbs up and covers their powerful trunks. The finest of 
these trees is the Sugi or Cryptomeria, which appears here and 
there, principally around Nikko. The great Sugi-avenue, of which 
a phototype is given vol. i. p. 150, is the most celebrated and 
unique of kind. Retinispora too, especially Hi~no-ki trees, are in 
some places put to this use. 

The Matsu, or pine, {Pinus Massoniaita and P, densiflord), is the 
most frequent and most popular umbrageous tree on the Japanese 
roads. The hand of the gardener in this case has not changed 
its figure. This great tree, the favourite of the Japanese people, 
appears here in its most picturesque forms, primitive and bizarre ; 
with trunks straight and bent ; with branches often twisted in 
every direction, knotty and extended, and covered with a close 
mass of dark green needles. There is no symmetry, but the eye is 
pleased, and rests with satisfaction upon these primeval, powerful 
and picturesque figures — these silent witnesses of a long past time. 
How many storms they have defied — how many designs for the 
beautifying of nunberless specimens of art industry they have 
furnished — how many eyes and hearts they have rejoiced ! This 
is the tree which, bold and strong, speaks most surely of the 
preference of the people for odd, irregular form ; but on the other 
hand, when it appears singly in the garden and temple grove, it is 
more than all others the subject of the gardener's moods and' 
tricks. Here it has been forced into all possible dwarfed and 
abnormal shapes, which excite not a little astonishment at what 

II. T 


seems to us, the incomprehensible taste which finds pleasure in 
such unnatural forms. 

8. Acclimatization and Extension of Japanese Orna- 
mental AND Useful Plants in Europe. 

The acclimatization of a plant is its adaptation to the climate 
and soil of a strange locality. It is evident that its naturalization 
will be the easier the more closely the new dwelling-place conforms 
in both these particulars to the old ; and, on the other hand, that 
it must be difficult in most cases, if not impossible, wherever these 
are widely divergent. For the inner structure of the plant, and 
its whole development, depend most intimately on the conditions 
of its nourishment by climate and soil. 

Summer growths, and all perennial plants which are propagated 
from seeds, can never be naturalized where the seed-germ does not 
reach its full ripeness. Others are not acclimatisable where, from 
time to time during the winter they freeze, however favourable 
their summer development may be. The winter of 1879-80, for 
instance, in France and Germany, destroyed a great number of 
California Conifers, which for several decades had been growing 
most successfully, and showed plainly that their complete naturaliz- 
ation is impossible with us. Trees, however, which are propagated 
from their roots, will grow where they cannot ripen their seeds, and 
indeed where they partly freeze in severe winters. The upper 
perishable part of the common broom was killed by the cold in 
many parts of Germany in December, 1879, but in the following 
summer the sound roots made a complete reparation, and this has 
been true also with Kerria japonica. Another Japanese plant, 
Paulownia imperialis, thrives well in England, but rarely produces 
flowers, and never seeds capable of germinating. It is easily pro- 
pagated however from the roots, as is the case with the large 
bamboo cane of Japan, and may be naturalized to a limited extent. 

It is very important that the conditions under which a plant grows 
and thrives in its home be well understood before making attempts 
to cultivate it elsewhere. Often this rule is not observed, and one 
learns, by many useless efforts and dear experience, what might 
have been obtained by a much shorter and cheaper way. The story 
of the introduction of Aucuba, and many other popular Japanese 
ornamental plants, furnishes many instructive suggestions. 

On the other hand, experience shows too that many plants have 
a very extensible habitat, i.e, are less dainty in respect to their 
demands upon climate and soil, while others are very choice in 
these respects. Only a trial can decide how far a plant will ac- 
commodate itself to its environment. Of two, which have the 
same home, growing near each other on the same ground, and 
under the same climatic influences, one will easily domesticate 
itself on a foreign soil, the other not at all. As I have already 


remarked on page 160, in connection with the lacquer tree, this 
plant proved quite hardy enough to endure winters in Germany. 
But in Japan it is found in the neighbourhood of, and cultivated 
side by side with the camellia, Olea aquifolium, and other orna- 
mental plants which are there sometimes exposed to night frosts 
reaching — 12° C, but in Europe will not live out of doors north of 
the Alps. 

As the Camphor-laurel is indigenous to a country having much 
summer rain, and in winter undergoes night frosts in which the 
mercury in the thermometer occasionally sinks to — 9°C., its thriv- 
ing condition on the North Italian lakes and the Riviera is easily 
comprehended. That it does well also in the hot, dry, atmosphere 
of Egypt and the Canaries, shows its power of adaptation in a 
direction in which not many Japanese plants can follow it. 

The grape vine thrives to a certain extent in many different 
climates and soils, but how largely is the character of its fruit 
changed thereby ! To take still another example, the varied con- 
ditions of the poppy {papaver somniferum), whose capsules contain 
with us only traces of the well-known opium alkaloids, while in warm 
countries, like Asia Minor, Egypt, and India, it is cultivated solely 
for its opium, which varies significantly in its chemical composition 
according to the land which produces it. 

From these few examples, to which many more might be added, 
it is satisfactorily shown that the ability of a plant to adapt itself 
is much greater than its full acclimatization, if we understand by 
the former the thriving in changed climate and soil without de- 
generation, i.e., without essentially altering its original character. 

Annuals acclimatise themselves easier than perennial plants. 
This is an old experience and easy of comprehension. A number 
of well known weeds have become scattered over a large part of 
the earth with our garden and field fruits. They spread luxuriantly 
in climates vastly different from ours, as do many of our grains and 
vegetables, for the main thing with them is, next to a certain degree 
of moisture, the presence of sufficient warmth to ripen their seeds. 

With wood growths the matter is more complicated. Their 
perfect acclimatization depends on both of the principal seasons of 
the year, and much more on the extreme than the middle tem- 
peratures. They must at least prove themselves hardy against the 
winter's cold. Their power to withstand unusual cold is conditioned, 
partly on the full ripening of their wood in autumn, and that 
vegetation shall not at this season receive a fresh impulse from 
unusual heat. For when this happens, a new circulation of the sap 
begins, the preparation for winter is lost, and the plant consequently 
can endure but little. It finds itself then in the condition of a 
animal in northern regions without its winter coat. Therefore one 
cannot condemn a plant as not adapted to cultivation because it 
succumbs to unusual cold, coupled with other unfavourable pre- 
liminary conditions. No one will maintain that rape or clover are 


not suited to our climate, because they at times fail in the rigour of 
our winter, or that the olive tree is not really acclimatized in Spain, 
because some years ago an unusual November frost created con- 
siderable desolation in the olive groves of Andalusia. 

No other land, the United States of North America hardly 
excepted, has furnished us so large a number of fine ornamental 
plants as Japan. Our landscape gardening has gained much from 
their introduction, which has taken place mostly within a hundred, 
indeed during the last fifty, years. Blooming Camellias, Azaleas, 
Forsythia, Kerria, Spiraea, apple and plum varieties, belong to the 
first spring adornments of our flower stands and gardens. Beautiful 
foliage plants, like Azalea, Aucuba, and Sedum Sieboldi, and several 
Conifers decorate them the year through, and it is scarcely possible 
to specify the great number of Japanese plants which delight us 
during the summer by their lovely fliowers. I note only the Pseony, 
Wistaria, and Paulownia, the several species of Weigelia, Clematis, 
Hydrangea, Philadelphus, Deutzia, and Spiraea, the Lilies, Panther 
Lilies, and Funkia. What abundance and beauty of blossoms they 
develop — how many gardens and parks they adorn ! And when 
we cross the Alps and in the lovely gardens and parks of the 
Mediterranean review thdr chief ornaments, we find the very same, 
and among them a n umber of other J g-panese immigrants for whom 
our winter is too severe, while there they thrive at their best, and 
contribute materially to the peculiar and attractive plant cultiva- 

The evergreen trees and hushes from Japan — I refer now only to 
Eriobotrya,Cinnamomum camphora, Euonymus, Ligustrum, and the 
many Conifers — proved themselves better able to resist the severe 
winter of 1879-80 in Northern Italy and Southern France, than 
many of the oldest indigenous growths, e.g. ibex, olive, myrtle and 
orange. It is no wonder that their cultivation becomes constantly 
more extended. 

It is not possible sharply to distinguish the ornamental plants 
originating in Japan from those of China. This is not only be- 
cause the Flora of both countries show so many common varieties, 
and this near relationship of taste is seen more noticeably in culti- 
vated plants, but because the same variety is often introduced into 
gardening not only from Japan, but also from China. 

It is often difficult, and even impossible in many cases, to find out 
the time and manner of the importation of at least 300 varieties, 
still there are accounts enough (I refer only to those in " Ait. Hortus 
Kewensis") to make it certain that during the Portuguese trade 
with Eastern Asia, not one of the ornamental plants of that 
land was naturalized in Europe. Not a single specimen from 
China or Japan is known to have been cultivated in Europe before 
the eighteenth century, and of but very few — Camellia japonica, 
Cinnamomum camphora, Hibiscus manihot, Dianthus japonicus, 
and Elseagnus latifolia — that their culture began before 1750. 


From this time the importation of new varieties increased. For 
example, Chrysanthemum indicum and Gardenia florida were in- 
troduced into England in 1754, and during the same year the first 
two out-of-door trees were imported, which have found such a 
wide extension in Europe, viz., Sophora japonica, and Salisburia 

During the last two decades of the last century, Sir Joseph 
Banks, the friend of Solander, and with him the companion of 
Cook on his first voyage round the world, ranked next to Thunberg 
in his exertions for the introduction of Eastern Asiatic plants. He 
brought first into Europe, among others, A. Paeonia Moutan, Nelum- 
bium speciosum, Pyrus Japonica, Eriobotrya japonica, Hydrangea 
hortensis, Diospyros Kaki, and Rhus semialata. In this century, 
P. von Siebold, Fortune, and Veitch are prominent in the introduc- 
tion of Chinese and Japanese ornamental plants. They brought 
chiefly Japanese varieties of pot plants with variegated leaves to 
the Netherlands or to England. And Maximowicz, the thorough 
investigator and connoisseur of the rich plant-world of Japan and 
of Eastern Asia in general, successfully exerted himself to import 
several ornamental Japanese plants into Europe. I refer only to 
several fine Rhododendron (Azalea) varieties which were brought 
by him to St. Petersburg, and from there spread towards the 

Instead of enumerating the long list of Japanese ornamental 
plants, which would be without meaning to the novice, and super- 
fluous to connoisseurs, I will limit myself to a few widely spread and 
popular species, giving several facts concerning them which may be 
of interest to lovers of flowers. I begin the with plant which stands 
first, not only in the order of popularity, but also of the time of 
introduction.; viz. Camellia japonica, L., the Tsubaki of the Japanese. 
The considerable size which this shrub attains in Japan, the use 
and value of its wood, and the oil prepared from its nuts, have 
been previously mentioned. The wild variety belonging to the 
forest is called Yama-tsubaki. Its simple red flowers open only in 
a bell, and not a wheel, form. Kaempfer, Thunberg, and Siebold go 
too far, when they maintain that Yama-tsubaki is spread over the 
whole of Japan and forms dense forests. 

As mentioned in vol. i. p. 164, this camellia grows in southern 
Japan to a tree of considerable size, 10 m. high, and ij m. in 
circumference, and in the mountain forests of Kiushiu and Shikoku, 
under favourable circumstances, up to 1,000 m. above sea level, so 
that here it exceeds the lower limits of the beech. ' I found once 
in April, to my surprise, in the neighbourhood of Sasagami-toge 
in Shikoku a large camellia tree 900 m. above the sea level, whose 
blossoms had fallen and lay on the ground with beech leaves and 
blooming Asperula odorata. Farther north and more removed 
from the influences of the Kuro-shiwo, this high limit of the wild 
growing camellia falls rapidly, and its dimensions decrease also. 


It becomes a mere bush such as we find it in our plant-houses. 
Choshi-no-kuchi on the Pacific coast and at the mouth of the Tone- 
gawa, near the 36th parallel, is the northern limit of Yama-tsubaki. 
Still I have found it in Western Hondo near the Japan Sea, a 
little lower than the 38th parallel, and in the hill forests of 
Northern Echigo, where it forms an under-brush about a meter in 

The camellia, cultivated for its oil or for ornamental purposes, 
appears as an out-of-door plant around Hakodate, in Northern 
Hondo, generally in tree form with single red flowers like the wild 
varieties, or it is a bush in a number of species, part of which have 
single and part double flowers, but not in such a large number 
of varieties as our hothouses show. 

Since very ancient times the camellia has been prized and culti- 
vated in China as a decorative plant. It is not known when and 
from what point it was brought to the island of Luzon. The 
Moravian Jesuit, George J. Kamel (Camellus), who visited Manila 
in the 17th century, and later published a " Historia Stirpium 
Insulae Luzonis," first mentioned the plant in this book. It was in 
1737 named in his honour by Linnaeus in his work "Genera plan- 
tarum." The earliest picture of the camellia appeared in 1702 in 
Petiver's " Gasophylacium." ^ 

In 1739 the camellia was transplanted from Manila to the 
Jardin del Buen Retiro at Madrid. At that time, however, the 
single red-blossomed variety had already been introduced in Eng- 
land by Robert James Lord Petre, and was known as the Japanese 

Lagerstrom, director of the Swedish East India Company, brought 
the first two varieties to Upsala in 1745, but still Tsubaki was a 
rarity in Europe up to one hundred years ago. Most of the 
numerous varieties have been brought from China and Japan 
during this present century, or gradually formed by our nursery- 

In the cold houses and forcing houses of the temperate and 
colder countries of Europe, where the conditions of its growth 
are well understood and followed, the number of varieties of the 
camellia is much greater, as has been said before, than in Eastern 

^ It may perhaps interest some readers acquainted with Japan, to learn more 
about this growth. It is on the way from Gatsuke on the Japan Sea, to Naka- 
mura, lying inland 2 ri. 25 cho. The environs are distinguished by a large 
number of lacquer-tree plantations. The numerous camellia bushes, many of 
which had beautifully formed buds in the early part of November, with their 
dark-green leaves, contrast well against the bare trees and bushes which are 
scattered among them. 

2 See Seemann ; " Synopsis of the Genera Camellia and Thea." Transact. 
Linn. Society, xxii. p. 342. 

^ Such camellia bloom as the Palm garden at Frankfort, for instance, offers 
its visitors in spring, cannot be found in Japan. 


The peculiar climate of the Mediterranean district, with its long, 
dry summer heat, is not favourable to the camellia. It is really 
easier and cheaper to bring their flowers to perfection in St. Peters- 
burg or Berlin, than in Seville, for instance, in whose hot and dry 
summer it never develops into a tree, but grows only 2 to 3 m. 
high. It does not thrive in Lisbon either, but grows well in the 
moister air of Cintra. Here, low camellia bushes in full bloom 
may be seen in March and April by some cool brook-side in the 
beautiful parks of Montserrat and of Penha, also in Malaga. But 
the bushes must be shaded during the summer and kept as cool 
as possible. 

In Florence, the camellia needs a certain protection from the 
cold, as roses with us. But in and around Constantinople, where 
fifteen years ago it was planted in open spaces, it proved itself quite 
capable of resisting the severe winter of 1879-80. At the same time 
in Naples, outdoor plants such as the Pelargonium, Myrtle, Oleander 
and many other indigenous or long ago naturalized species, perished, 
but not the camellia. 

The Riviera, and the shores of the Northern Italian Lakes offer 
unquestionably more favourable conditions to the camellia and a 
large number of other Japanese plants, e.g. the Camphor-laurel 
and most Japanese Conifers, than any other part of Europe. The 
Tsubaki thrives here without protection almost as well as in its 
Japanese home. At the Villa Charlotte for instance, there are trees 
of 8 m. height and 18 cm. circumference. It blossoms here, as at 
home, sometimes in mid-winter, but in greatest abundance during 
the spring months, and here too, later on, its fruits ripen in per- 

Pyriis japonica^ Thunb., Jap. Boke and Yama-boke. This 
genuine Japanese quince-bush grows 2 to 3 m. high and is one ot 
the first and greatest ornaments of our gardens. In its wealth 
of blossoms it is more beautiful and lasting than Forsythia, as well 
as much more hardy and wide-spread. The large fire-red blossoms 
appear before or with the leaves, and cover the naked branches. 
Besides this original kind which blossoms in the woods and parks 
of Japan, as well as here, in April, (a month earlier in the south, 
later in the mountains), we have several varieties with light-coloured 
flowers, which are not as beautiful, however, as the former. The 
bush is easily cultivated when its stands alone and can develop 
symmetrically. It was introduced into England by Sir Joseph 
Banks in 1796, and has thence extended very widely. It is not 
found so frequently on the other side of the Alps and Pyrenees, 
although it flourishes in the south. In some of the park-like 
gardens of Malaga it blossoms as abundantly and as beautifully as 
with us, toward the end of March, and around Tokio a month 

Wistaria chinensis, S. and Z. {Glycine chinensis, Sims), Jap. Fuji. 
The flowering of the fruit trees is scarcely over in spring before 


the beautiful blue clusters of the Glycine appear. They blossom 
about the middle of May, a^t the same time with the Syringa, 
horse-chestnut, and bush pseony. In the mild districts of Ger- 
many, near the Rhine and Main, the Wistaria endures the winter 
excellently in the open air. It is trained on houses and arbours 
and is noted everywhere for rapid growth and the strong inclina- 
tion to turn its slender branches from left to right. Several strong 
shoots are often wound together in a evenly twisted cable that 
becomes impossible to unloose as it grows larger. The Wistaria 
adapts itself well in Mediterranean countries, where it often creeps 
over the trunks of other ornamental plants, such as Shinus molle. 
And when its young bright-green leaves mingle with the dark- 
green foliage of its supports, and the abundant flower clusters 
hang from the crown of the latter in March and April, the sight is 
peculiar and often very beautiful. With us this plant blossoms 
often for the second time in late summer, but less abundantly than 
in spring. 

The Latin name indicates that the Glycine had its origin in 
China. It is an old and very popular plant in Japan, however, as 
has been said before, but grows wild also very extensively in the 
deciduous forests of the mountains. In order to display its long 
cylindrical flower clusters to better advantage in Japan, it is trained 
horizontally along arbours. As has been remarked on p. 226, 
some ten years since there was a specimen at Nakanobu in the 
vicinity of Tokio which was said to be 250 years old. Its low 
powerful and rugged trunk measured 2*45 m. in circumference 
before branching. The branches reached out 2\ m. over a large 
court, and when the many hundreds of long, drooping flower 
clusters appeared, it drew many spectators from the capital. 

A specimen of Wistaria planted in 1845 against a house- wall in 
Versailles, shows the rapid growth of the plant in Europe. Ac- 
cording to the Revue Horticole of 1878, it had then, after 33 years, 
reached a circumference of 1*20 m. and formed branches 75 m. 
long. Wittmack^ mentions another Glycine* at the Villa Giula on 
Lake Como, which had a trunk-diameter of 35 cm. (circumference 
i*io m.), and covered with its branches a wall-surface of 40 m. 
length to the top of the house. 

Paulownia imperialis, S. and Z. (/*. tome7ttosa, Ascherson), Jap. 
Kiri. This notable tree, which is cultivated so largely (see p. 245) 
and so greatly prized in Japan on account of its light wood, is also 
found very frequently in gardens and public parks in the warm 
parts of Europe. Its large fragrant blue flowers appear in May 
before the leaves, and resemble in form those of the " lion's mouth." 
One of its peculiarities is that toward the end of summer it forms 
the flower buds of the next season on the end of its branches. 
In England, these buds die during the winter, and the flowers are 

1 Wittmack; "Die Garten Oberitaliens." Berlin, 1883. 


therefore few in number. It is often the case in Germany also, as 
for example after the mild winter of 1883-84, scarcely any blossoms 
came to perfection. 

The large heart-shaped leaves resemble those of the kindred 
Catalpa varieties, are large and darker green, however, and appear 
earlier. When propagated by shoots from the root, the growth is 
surprising, and the leaves attain enormous size. In the summer of 
of 1885, such a shoot, near the railway station at Godesberg, near 
Bonn, measured 2'8 m. in height and 17-5 cm. in circumference. 
Single leaves on stems 42 cm. long and 8 cm. in circumference were 
80 to 90 cm. long and over 60 cm. broad. But, notwithstanding its 
surprising growth, the Paulownia has no great popularity with us. 
The tree is too bare at the flowering season, and it sheds its 
branches too easily to preserve a pleasing symmetrical form. It 
happens, therefore, that only the old specimens are generally found 
whose trunks have a circumference of about 2 m. After the tree 
was introduced into France, in 1834, many of them were soon 
taken thence into other countries. The Paulownia was formerly 
cultivated on some of the Paris boulevards, but has been removed. 
It is frequent as an umbrageous tree in Florence, e.g., on the road 
to Fiesole, where, toward the end of April, the air is filled with the 
fragrance of its blossoms. Large Paulownia and Eucalyptus trees 
are most prominent of all in the public park in the neighbourhood 
of the railway station at Cordova. But here, as elsewhere in Medi- 
terranean regions, one has the impression that the energy with 
which Kiri was cultivated 40 or 50 years ago is a thing of the 

PcBOJtia Motitan, Sims, Jap. Botan, is found in many varieties, 
most of them introduced by Fortune, P. albiflora, Pall., Jap. Shaku- 
yaku, less frequently. It is not the rose, but Botan, and the kindred 
Shakuyaku, which is praised by the poets in Chinese literature 
as the queen of flowers. It is spoken of also in the "Memoires 
des Chinois," Paris, 1877, as the pride and glory of China. And 
correspondingly it is one of the most popular modes for decoration 
in Chinese and Japanese art industry. The great healing power 
ascribed for ages to its roots (see p. 136), together with its beautiful 
leaves and flowers, may have contributed to its high esteem. Both 
varieties of pseony, known in our gardens by the common designa- 
tion, P. arborea, Don., are classed with the most beautiful spring 
flowers. Fragrance is denied them, however, as it is to all the other 
pseonies. Their first introduction from China into England was in 
1789, and is attributed, as I have already mentioned, to Sir Joseph 
Banks. He brought to Europe, the year before, also, — 

Hydrangea hortensis, Smith {Hortensia opuloideSy Lamk.), Jap. 
Ajisai. Few of the older importations from Eastern Asia have 
been more quickly and widely extended than this Hortensia. We 
have a great many varieties, whose original, simple forms are found 
in the forests of China, and more frequently in those of Japan. In 


Germany it is known as a pot-plant generally, as it needs protec- 
tion from our severe winter weather. It thrives well in the ground 
south of the Alps, and without any special cultivation. Besides its 
many varieties, we have also lately cultivated — 

Hydrangea paniculata, Sieb., a tall bush known among the 
Japanese by the names Shiro-utsugi and Nori-no-ki, which with us 
is quite proof against the winter. At home it grows in the moun- 
tain forests to an elevation of 1,500 m., and is gathered for its 
mucilaginous inner bark, which is used in making paper. Its 
flowering season is in midsummer, like that of Hortensia. 

Macleya cordata, R. Brown, Jap. Chanpagiku and Takeni-gusa. 
This perennial, herbaceous, ornamental plant from China and 
Japan, attracts attention by its figure and the form and colour of 
its leaves. It belongs to the Papaveracese family, is cultivated in 
gardens and parks from the Mediterranean to England, and lately 
often seen in Germany also. The perennial roots send out each 
year a stiff stalk, up to 2 m. in height, which, late in summer, bears 
on its very end a long flower-spike. The deeply indented leaves 
and the white down which covers the entire plant are its most 
noteworthy features. There are few herbaceous plants which are 
so majestic and ornamental in appearance. 

Polygonum cuspidatunty Sieb., Jap. Itadori. This species is noted, 
even more than the preceding, for its exceptionally rapid and 
fine development. Many dozens of strong stalks shoot up, like 
asparagus, 2 to 3 m. high, early in the spring, from a perennial root 
having a pad-like appearance and thick, branching rootlets. With 
their fine foliage they form a close, tall bush of fine effect, es- 
pecially when standing alone and developing freely on all sides. 

The plant in Japan belongs to the mountain forests and the far 
north, so that its easy cultivation with us is quite certain. 

Aiicuba japonica^^hwvih., Jap. Ao-ki.^ This well-known orna- 
mental bush fulfils nearly every condition of a good foliage plant. 
It is moderately hardy, and combines with this quality rapid 
growth, thick branches, and an abundance of large, shiny, evergreen 
leaves. The female tree, in summer, in addition to this beautiful 
and abundant foliage, bears fine scarlet berries which resemble the 
larger and kindred cornel cherries, but do not find a use, like 
them. The brownish dioecious blossoms, whose panicles appear in 
May on the ends of the twigs, are not at all conspicuous. 

Besides the camellia, there is scarcely another of the numerous 
Japanese ornamental plants so popular and so widely spread as the 
Aucuba. Nature, accident, and cultivation have given it in its 
own home, and even with us, a number of sub-species which are 

1 It takes its Japanese name, Ao-ki, " green tree," from the green colour of the 
branches. Aucuba may be a corruption of Ao-ba, or "green leaf," or Ao- 
ki-ba, ie. "green-tree leave," but is not used in Japan. The plant is always 
bush-like in its own home, so that Thunberg's designation of "Arbor magna" 
is decidedly erroneous. 


distinguished chiefly by the size, form, and variegation of their 

Japan and China are the home of the original single species. It 
is found in those countries with the variegated variety also as a 
bush I to 2 m. high, quite frequently, especially in the bushy forests 
of hilly parts of the country, also cultivated in temple groves and 
gardens. I'he story of its introduction into Western lands is 
not without interest. Thunberg's first description of the plant 
appeared in 1784. A year before, John Graeffer had brought 
to England! a female specimen with variegated leaves {Aticuba 
japonica, var. pimctata) (unequal yellowish white spots scattered 
over the yellowish green of the leaf's surface). From this plant 
have sprung nearly all the innumerable bushes which are now to 
be found in Europe and North America, either in the open air or 
as ornamental plants in the house. They are propagated every- 
where, and very easily by means of slips. At first the Aucuba was 
cared for very tenderly in hothouses, as in France ; but it was 
found that the plant was better adapted to the cold house, and 
finally it was ventured out of doors. The moist atmosphere of 
England, with its mild winters and cool, damp summers, is most 
favourable to its growth. It is more frequent in London than any 
other evergreen, even in the humblest gardens, and one may find finer 
specimens of it there than even in Japan. In the Netherlands, also, 
and France, and in the warmer portions of Germany, especially at 
Bonn and thereabouts, Aucuba plays an important part as an ever- 
green out-of-door plant, and is seen much oftener than the cherry 
laurel, the Ilex, and others. It freezes in other parts of Germany 
in winter, and although, as a rule, it starts up again from the roots, 
cannot be well cultivated out of doors. The dry, hot summers of 
Southern Europe are also unfavourable. In Northern Italy and 
the South of France it is seen extensively, but farther south it falls 
off rapidly, and is at last only found where it can be specially pro- 
tected, and in shady places. 

For more than a hundred years this female Aucuba has been 
cultivated in its many varieties with variegated leaves. But grown 
either in the changeable air of the house, or out of doors in the 
greatest variety of soil and treatment, it has not materially altered 
its original variegated form, nor in one leaf even, to say nothing 
of its entire individuality, returned to its former simple green 
colouring. Can this variegation, so constant in appearance, be 
simply a disease ? 

Up to 1862, only this female Aucuba (plant veuve, as it is 
called by Siebold) was known in Europe. At that tim.e Fortune 
found the male plant in China, also the single green-leaved original, 
and sent both to England. Siebold also, at that time, made 
the Dutch gardeners acquainted with the original plant from 

2 Alton : " Hortus Kewensis," V. p. 257. 


Japan. This is the reason why the number of single green-leaved 
and male specimens is so much smaller than those of the female, 
variegated plants. Later, a new species, Aiicuba himalaica, 
Hooker, has been introduced as a decorative plant, which, however, 
has not begun to contest the field with the older varieties. 

Fatsia japonica, Decn. and Planch. {Aralia japonica, Thunb., 
A, Sieboldi, Hort). The Japanese call this plant Yatsu-de, i.e., 
Eight Fingers — a name which comes from the eight lobes at the 
end of the great shiny green leaves. Many of them, especially 
with us, are only seven-lobed, though sometimes having nine lobes. 
The name Fatsia may perhaps be corrupted from the Japanese 
designation. This beautiful ornamental plant, of luxuriant tropical 
appearance, after its introduction into Europe, passed, like the 
Aucuba, from the hot-house to the cold-house and the flower-stand, 
and contests with it for the supremacy in popular taste and in ease 
of cultivation. It is found wild here and there in Southern and 
Middle Japan, but more often as a decorative plant in court-yards, 
gardens, and temple groves. There it blossoms, as with us, in 
November and December, and ripens its black berries in March. 

It is much cultivated in Mediterranean countries, though it is 
necessary there to shade it in the hot, dry summer. It has proved 
hardy in England also, but seldom blossoms. On our flower- 
stands it reaches a height of 2 to 3 m., and compares well in size 
and beautiful leaf-decoration with the finest specimens in Japan. 

Owing to the great popularity of conifers in our modern land- 
scape-gardening, and the peculiar beauty of many Japanese 
kinds, their introduction and distribution has been actively 
carried on in many places. The first one brought to Europe was 
Gingko biloba^ L., and it has shown itself exceedingly well adapted 
to cultivation here. It is the oldest known from the shores of the 
North and Baltic Seas to those of the Mediterranean, and with- 
stands the winter cold of Germany as well as the summer heat of 
the southern European peninsulas. The several varieties of Biota 
orientalis were some time ago introduced in our country by way of 
Hither Asia. 

During the devastating winter of 1879-80, most of the Japanese 
conifers in Europe proved themselves much better able to resist 
the cold than those which had been brought to us from the forests 
of the Pacific coast of North America. The hardiest of all, apart 
from the two already named, were Taxiis aispidata, S. and Z., 
CJiamcecyparis obtusa, S. and Z., Ch. pisifera^ S. and Z., Thujopsis 
dolabrata, S. and Z., Abies polita, S. and Z., A. tstiga, S. and Z., and 
Larix leptolepis^ Gord. The adaptation of these species to forestry 
can scarcely be doubted. Nevertheless Abies firma, like all the 
Japanese firs of the Picea tribe, shows little advantage over our 
" Edeltanne," and the same is true of Taxtts cuspidata in com- 
parison with our yew. The five other kinds mentioned, however, 
furnish very valuable woods, whose useful properties are greater 


than those of our well-known forest trees. They are well worth 
cultivating, and may be introduced to supply gaps in the qualities 
of our woods. (See also pp. 234-241.) 

Cryptomeria japonica, Don., and Sciadopitys verticillata, S. and Z., 
which thrive out of doors only in a specially favourable part of 
the Rhine district between Basel and Diisseldorf, are much more 
sensitive to our German winters. We could not expect to make 
their cultivation a source of wood supply, even if it were especi- 
ally desirable. In Marburg some attempts made with the two 
most common Japanese pines {Piniis Massoniana and P. dentiflora^ 
showed that their development here is very slow, and that they 
cannot endure more than 20° C. of cold. The idea of planting the 
exceedingly useful black pines {A. Massoniana) on the North 
German sand dunes seems to promise no very favourable results.^ 

Of the deciduous trees which recommend themselves partly on 
account of their valuable wood, and partly because of their beauti- 
ful foliage, the following seem best adapted to cultivation in 
Europe : — Zelkowa Keaki, S. and Z. (Keaki), Magnolia hypoleuca, 
S. and Z. (H6-no-ki), CercidipJiyllum japonicitm^ S. and Z. (Katsura), 
Acer cratcEgifolitun, S. and Z. (Hana-no-ki), jlisculos twbinata, 
Blume (Tochi), They grow in the rough atmosphere of the moun- 
tains and northern portions of Japan, and justify the belief that 
they may be, at least in part, acclimatized in Germany. 

There remain still to be noticed a number of Japanese plants in 
the gardens and public parks of the countries along the Mediterra- 
nean Sea. 

There is no lack of warmth and light in this region, but moisture, 
a third important element in prosperous plant-life, is often wanting. 
When this is the case, there can be no fine sward cultivation with 
our known grasses, and various halophytic succulent plants, like 
Mesembryanthemum, several foreign weeds like Commelina and 
others may be used to fill up the sod. Special success has been 
attained with a simple little Japanese XxXy, the Ja-no-hige, "serpent's 
beard" {Ophiopogon japoniciiSy Garv.), which has been often called 
by gardeners by the old name of Convallaria japonica (Japanese 
lily of the valley), given it by Thunberg. The kindred Yabu-ran 
{O. Jabiiran, Loddig) is also employed for this purpose. Even now 
a fine green turf made in this way can be seen on the Italian lakes, 
but still more often in Southern Italy, Spain and Portugal. I first 
found the modest little Yano-hige, with its bluish berries, in the 
shady places of the temple grove in Uyeno Tokio. The narrow, 
dark-green, grass-like leaves of the plant resemble those of the 
several lighter Gagea species. Its relationship to our lily of the 
valley is not very close. 

North of the Alps and the Pyrenees, the quickset hedges are 

^ I expressed myself in a similar manner in a report which I had to give 
regarding Japan Conifers, in June, 1884, to His Excellency, the Minister of 
Agriculture and Forestry. 


generally bare in winter, and their commonest material is the 
white-thorn. In Mediterranean countries, on the other hand, 
many evergreen bushes are used, as here and there the myrtle, 
laurel, Viburnum Tinus, Durantha Plumieri, Ligustrum japonica 
especially, and with even greater preference, Euonymus japonicus, 
the Japanese Masa-ki. In fact these Euonymus hedges excel all 
others in beauty because of their uniformity and closeness, as 
well as the abundance of their magnificent green leaves. Those 
hedges, which enclose all the roads in Las Delicias at Seville, the 
public parks of the Corso, and the left bank of the Guadalquivir, 
especially are surpassingly beautiful. They are kept well trimmed 
there as almost everywhere, and are about one meter high and 
broad. This plant is used also in preference for bordering, where 
we generally use the box. Of course these borders are kept low 
and narrow, and prettily cut. In other places on the Iberian 
peninsula also, e.g., Madrid and Lisbon, such hedges are very 

The hedges made of the Ligitstnun japoniciun, Thunb., the Ned- 
zumi-mochi of the Japanese — for example, those at the railway 
stations at Seville and Huelva, and also some in Southern France 
and Northern Italy — resemble in colour our common Liguster 
hedges, which, it is well known, retain their leaves longer than 
any other of our deciduous shrubs. The young leaves are at 
first reddish brown, and even later are not so bright and fine a 
green as those of the Euonymus. Their colour and shape is most 
like those of the nearly-related Syringa. But the most important 
use of both these evergreen bushes is not as close and well-trained 
hedges, but as ornamental plants for gardens and public parks. 
We find them in the quadrangular courtyard of the Andalusian 
hotels and dwellings, in the open squares of almost all Southern 
European cities, and in every public park. And in such conditions 
the Japanese Liguster very often passes from a bush to a tree, with 
a trunk 8-10 m. in height, and of 80-100 cm. circumference. I saw 
some such at San Jose near Malaga, in Lisbon also, and on the Plaza 
Mayor near the royal castle at Madrid. In Italy, where the plant 
is also very widely distributed, its dimensions are much smaller. 
Eiionynms japonicus is less sensitive to cold, and thrives in South- 
ern France and in the parks of Paris. One finds there not only 
the simple original variety, but the many variegated varieties also, 
in particular E. Jap. sulferea. 

I take this opportunity of mentioning several other evergreen 
Japanese ornamental bushes which are often found in company 
with the foregoing, and have also found a wide distribution in 
Southern Europe. These are Photinia serrulata, Lindl. {Cratcegiis 
glabra, Thunb,), Jap. Aka-megashi, Pittosporum Tobira, Ait., Jap. 
Tobira, and Olea fragrans, Thunb., Jap. Moku-sei and T6-sei. 
Fortune says of the Photinia that it is " a noble, ornamental ever- 
green," and is much cultivated in gardens and near the temples of 


Japan and China. This large, wide-spreading bush is found in many- 
places on the Iberian peninsula, and no open space, in Madrid, for 
example, is without it. Its large umbels of white flowers lend it 
a special charm in March and April. Its smooth, serrated and 
pointed leaves resemble those of the cherry-laurel in their form 
and size. One of its peculiarities is the appearance of older 
purple and brownish red leaves against the younger, which are a 
beautiful green. 

The Tobira was introduced into our hot houses in 1804 under 
the name Pittosporum sinense. It grows out of doors in Southern 
Europe, as in Southern Japan, to a bush of medium height, and 
during the past two decades has been more and more superseded 
by its more stately Australian relative, P. imdulatuni. The latter 
is specially frequent in the parks of Portugal, and particularly in 
the gardens of Lisbon. It grows as a beautifully formed tree, of 
70-80 cm. circumference and 8-10 m. in height. The yellowish 
white blossoms, which appear in spring, have a much stronger and 
more agreeable smell than the pure white flowers of the Tobira, 
which appear some four weeks later. The regular form and even 
distribution of its leaves also make it more ornamental than the 
Tobira, whose leaves are oval and crowded together at the end of 
the twigs. Olea fragrans, Thunb., although imported to Europe 
from Japan, is only an ornamental plant there, originating in 
China, as its name, T6-sei, indicates.^ What Pittosporum undu- 
latiim is in spring to the gardens of Lisbon, Malaga, and other 
Iberian cities, that and far more by Olea fragrans becomes in 
September and October to the gardens and parks of Northern and 
Middle Italy. Its simple white blossoms then shed their fragrance 
far and near in the gardens on Lakes Como and Maggiore, in 
Florence and the Riviera. In Genoa I remember it only in a 
little park near Acqua Sola. 

Besides these, there is a wild olive (Elcsagnus nmbellata, Thunb., 
E. reflexa^ Morr.) here and there in Northern Italy, e.g.^ near 
Pallanza, which is very popular. It is trained upon houses, and 
more still on the garden fences, clothing them with a beautiful 
green, as the long, winding shoots may be easily twined in and 
out through the iron palings. This plant grows as a medium- 
sized bush very extensively in the Himalayas, China and Japan, 
bearing the name of Gumi. It is cultivated also as an ornamental 

Eitonymiis radicans^ Sieb., Jap. Tsuru-masaki, serves similar 
purposes. Although quite hardy in the warmer parts of Ger- 
many, it has not yet received due consideration. It is very 
widely distributed in Japan as a bush. If it finds anything on 
which it can lean however, a tree, or rocky slope or a wall, its 
mode of life resembles that of the ivy. Providing itself quickly 

^ I refer to p. 123, and what is said there concerning the use of the flowers 
of the Kwei-hwa by ihe Chinese, in perfuming tea. 


with tendrils it lays tight hold of, and mounts up the tall pines to 
the very top, or often entirely covers the wall of rocks with ever- 
green. In the Mediterranean region it could perform the same 
service that Ficus repens does in hot-houses, clothing the naked 
masonry with foliage. 

Shizophragrna hydrangeoides, S. and Z., the Shiro-tsuta-no-ki, 
or "white climbing tree" of the Japanese, is known for similar 
peculiarities and still greater hardiness. It is one of the largest 
climbers of the mountain forests of Japan, with a mossy trunk 
attaining 40-60 cm. in circumference, and sometimes mounts up 
15-20 meters high on the rocks and old trees. 

There is in the Mediterranean countries a beautiful thornless 
climbing rose, Rosa BajiksicE, R.Br., the Mokoko of Japan and China, 
which is more of a favourite than the preceding climbers for cover- 
ing surfaces. Its has shiny, evergreen leaves, and double yellow 
or white flowers which blossom in spring and in small irregular 
clusters on the ends of the branches. The yellow variety is the 
most beautiful and most numerous, and is seen in greatest perfec- 
tion in the villa gardens on the North Italian lakes. In the snug 
patios of Cordova, Seville and other Spanish cities, it often covers 
entire walls, and is seen in gardens winding itself, like the Wistaria, 
through the crowns of the ornamental trees, and adorning them in 
a peculiar fashion with its abundance of blossoms. 

The traveller from Northern Europe, in visiting the beautiful 
gardens of Mediterranean countries is struck not only by the 
luxuriant abundance of plant-life, the motley forms and colours of 
the deciduous trees, with the evergreens from all sub-tropical lands, 
but more than all by the appearance of the palms and bamboos in 
their free and perfect development. If he seeks the homes of 
these exotic plants, he will find among the palms, in addition to 
the Japanese Shuro {Chaincerops excelsa, Thunb.), which is here 
perfectly acclimated, the representatives of nearly all species of 
the non-tropical regions of the earth, but among bamboos chiefly 
the Japanese kinds. These latter are the smaller species and 
sub-species which the gardeners generally call Bambusa nigra, B. 
mitis, B. aurea, B. viridis glaucescenSy B. viridis striata, B. Fortune'i, 
B. pygmcea, and B. Ktmiasasa. The Kuro-dake or black bamboo 
is unquestionably the most striking and beautiful of all (see p. 230). 
It grows in fine wide-spreading groups on Lake Maggiore, reaching 
its full development at 6 m. height and an average diameter of 3J 
cm. According to Tschihatchef,i in the Jardin d'Essai at Algiers, 
it sometimes grows 400 mm. in twenty-four hours. 

1 Tschihatchef : "Espagne, Algdrie et Tunisie," p. 164. 



2S9 u 



Incorrect Representations of the Mineral Wealth of Japan. Old 
Method of Mining, and Nezv Attempts to Elevate it. Tabular 
Viezv of the Productions according to Nicmber, Value, and most 
Important Mines. Ficrther Particulars concerning the latter, 
and the single Products. Salt and Alum Production. Pro- 
ducts of Clay-pits and Stone-quarries. [Herewith a Map.] 

The statistical reports of the products of Japanese mining since 
the Restoration seem strilcingly out of harmony with the traditions, 
extending back to the times of Marco Polo, regarding the rich 
mineral wealth of Japan, and especially the abundance of its 
precious metals. The land was long known among the Chinese 
and Arabs, and in Europe also, as the Eldorado of the far East — 
"das gUldene Ophir"as Kaempfer named it. According to Edrisi, 
the very dogs of the country wore golden collars, and according to 
Marco Polo the roofs, floors and window mouldings in the royal 
palace were of pure gold.- 

^ I have used the following works in treating this subject, as a supplement to 
my own observations and the friendly oral communications of the Engineers 
Bansa, Reh and Vogel. 

1. Brassert : "Das japanische Berggesetz von 1873." Zeitschrift fiir Berg- 
recht. Bd. xxv. (1884), p. i. 

2. Hagmaier : " Reise nach Kosaka and Aufenthalt daselbst." Mittheil. d. 
deutsch. Ges. Ostasiens. Bd. ii. p. 64. 

3. Netto : " Ueber japanisches Berg- und Hiittenwesen." Mitth. der deutsch. 
Ges. Ostasiens. Bd. ii. pp. 367-405. 

4. Rosing : " Das Silberbergwerk Innai in Japan." Zeitschr. fiir Berg- 
Hiitten- and Salinenwesen. Bd. xxxii. (1884), p. 126. 

5. Zappe : " Der Bergbau Japans und seine Haupterzeugnisse." Zeitschr. 
fiir Berg- Hiitten- und Salinenwesen. Bd. xxvii. (1879), PP- 204-220. 

6. " Geological Survey of Hokkaido." Reports by Lyman and by Munroe. 

7. Lyman: " Geological Surveys of Japan." Reports. 

^ " Chipangu is an island towards the east, in the high seas, 1,500 miles from 
the continent, and a very large island it is. . . . I will tell you a wonderful 
thing about the Palace of the Lord of that Island. He has a great palace which 
is entirely roofed with fine gold, just as churches are roofed with lead, insomuch 
that it would scarcely be possible to estimate its value. Moreover all the 
pavements of the palace and the floors of its chambers are entirely of gold, in 
plates like slabs of stone, a good two-fingers thick ; and the windows also are 
of gold, so that altogether the richness of the Palace is past all bounds and 
all belief." — Yule : Marco Polo, vol. ii. p. 235. 

It is known that Columbus, in his ever memorable western voyage, hoped to 
secure these wonderful treasures of Chipangu, described by his countryman. 



Even after Japan was really known and the ports of Macao, 
Manila and Batavia were successfully brought into commercial 
relations with it, the export of silver appeared to be a further and 
surer proof of the metallic wealth of the country. But this ceased 
entirely in 1642, and was replaced from that time by copper, to 
the great advantage of the Dutch. 

After the re-opening of Japan, now more than thirty years since, 
the inhabitants shared only too gladly the general belief of the 
foreigners. It was true that their old mines yielded little or no 
profit, but this was owing, so said many, to the fact that the means 
at hand and employed for taking out the supposed treasures were 
not adequate to the task. The thing needful, was to cast off the 
old system and to make use of the rich experiences and scientific 
appliances of mining in the Christian lands of the West. 

And so there came engineers from America, England, France 
and Germany successively to counsel and instruct, but after a few 
years and the expiration of contracts they were generally dismissed, 
for the conviction deepened that it was not in their power, with all 
their science and experience, to assure the State or private enterprise 
a new and large source of revenue. The best and most conscien- 
tious among them found themselves encompassed with difficulties 
and hindrances in adapting their studies and experience to the 
situation and in establishing a scientific industry. I mention only 
the serious difficulty involved in not understanding the language, 
and the impossibility of establishing immediate direct intercourse ; 
the crowd of useless officials that surrounded them ; the lack of 
proper means of transport,! added to the unsteadiness and con- 
stant desire for innovation on the part of the authorities, who could 
not patiently wait till the reforms begun should be carried through 
and tested. 

The Japanese had searched their country for valuable minerals, 
and had exhausted the existing mines, far more than was believed 
at the beginning of the new era, some thirty years ago. In fact I 
have not learned that one of the many foreign engineers was able 
anywhere to discover new openings or beds of mineral. The 
interest of the nation to find and dig up the treasures of the earth 
had been from early times a very lively one, as numerous traces 
of old prospecting and mining, and a fairly rich literature on the 
subject, plainly show. 

Most of the foreign mining engineers who were called to Japan 
after the Perry expedition, to assist as counsellors and enterprisers 

^ The absence of well adapted means of intercourse, and the great distance of 
most mines from the coal supply, made the smeking of their products more 
and more difficult and expensive. For reasons which have been mentioned, this 
process must take place in the neighbourhood, but since charcoal serves as the 
means of reduction, the forest not being replenished has gradually disappeared 
in a wide circle around the mines. This has necessitated the bringing of char- 
coal on beasts of burden from ever-increasing distances, as Hagmaier relates in 
the account of his travels mentioned above. 


of mining industry, returned home disappointed on the expiration 
of their contracts. A io-y^^ who understood the arts of flattery and 
thus how to make rich contracts with officials and tradesmen for 
the deUvery of machines and other needed articles, at the expense 
of the State, remained longer, but these people were least of all the 
ones to bring about a healthy state of the mining industry.^ When 
we look over the annual reports of the results of mining since 
1868, we recognise the fact in most cases the efforts made up to 
this time, have not been able to increase the products in any con- 
siderable degree. They only justify my opinion, previously given 
(vol. i.), that the distribution of metals, like gold, silver, tin, lead, 
zinc and mercury is very small, and not to be compared with 
that of other countries, that iron and antimony are to be found 
in greater quantities, but that Japan is only really rich in coal 
and copper. 

It is evident that the gold and silver mines were much richer in 
earlier times. They were gradually exhausted, however, under the 
Tokugawa regime, as far as w^as possible with their rude manner of 
working. For even if the estimates and reports of the former metal 
export (viz., that of gold and silver in the time of Portuguese com- 
merce with Japan) were exaggerated, and are not borne out by the 
sober judgment of to-day, still it is distinctly stated in the com- 
munications of E. Kaempfer,2 that the Dutch carried away from 
Hirado a yearly average of 1,200-1,400 chests of silver, 1,200,000- 
1,400,000 taels, or from £ 1^2 f)^\-£\\ 1,^6^ in value, during the 
period between the years 1600 and 1641 ; that for some time after 
this, they exchanged their wares for copper instead of silver, and 
brought away from 12-20,000 pikuls a year, or 720,000-1,200,000 
kilogrammes. Reckoned together, this yearly 45-52 tons of silver, 
and 720-1,200 tons of copper makes a very important amount for 
those times. 

According to government statistics, which however can make 
no claim to reliability in regard to private mining, the yearly aver- 
age yield of silver during the years 1877-1881 was 11-64 tons, and 
of copper 8,900 tons. Thus, in modern times, Japan has for its 
yearly silver production only the fourth part of what it formerly 
exported. The amount of copper seems exaggerated, for in 1874 
G. Hochstetter, the conductor and counsellor in the chief mining 
office at that time, estimated the copper production at 3,000 tons, 

' One of the most competent German engineers gave his experience in the 
following sharp, but I am told quite correct expressions. "The Japanese is 
vain, remarkably susceptible to flattery, unsteady and always seeking some new 
thing. The most unsuccessful attempts were made at mining. Some of the 
foreign advisers gave poor counsel because of their own lack of knowledge. 
Many others flattered the childish vanity of the Japanese, in order to fill their 
own pockets, and found ready accessories, since sharpers have the keen scent 
and eye which honest men often lack." 

2 E. Kaempfer's " Gesch. u. Bcschreib. von Japan." II. Bd. Lemgo, 1779, 
pp. 89-122. 

294 MINING. 

and three years later, Netto estimated it at 75,423 cwts., not quite 
4,000 tons. The production, however, has much increased since 
then. In 1855 the old copper works of Ashivvo alone yielded about 
3,000 tons. 

Before entering further into the present condition of Japanese 
mining, a short retrospective glance at the earlier methods of work- 
ing, and also the manner of preparing and smelting the ores may be 
in place. Here, as almost everywhere, the mining of metals and coal 
was conducted on the plundering principle, which was carried on as 
long as the water in the shafts permitted, and the ore yielded a small 
amount of gain. The development of the mine and the excavation 
of ore were accomplished solely by means of galleries or Ogiri, which 
went up or down, according to the direction of the lode, but were 
also run across the strata to effect an opening. The hauling out took 
place partly through these passages, and partly through the so-called 
chimneys or Kemuri-dashi, which, however, are not to be confounded 
with shafts, these being then unknown to them. These Kemuri- 
dashi are not simple, smooth holes, leading directly to the depths 
below, but a peculiar arrangement of galleries, which rise and fall, 
twist about, grow wide or narrow, according as they encounter hard 
rock or non-metallic soil, or productive lodes and deposits which 
may be excavated. In many respects this resembles the clumsy, 
unscientific method of mining among the Romans. But these em- 
ployed captives and slaves, whereas in Japan, even to the present 
day, one part of this difficult labour, the hauling out, is done by 
women and half-grown children. In the Roman and Carthaginian 
mines, windlasses at least lightened the labour ; but in Japan, all the 
material, ore or coal and waste earth, is carried to the surface in 
baskets or straw sacks on the back. The name, Kemuri-dashi 
(chimney) for these upper exit galleries, indicates also that they 
are used for ventilation. In like manner the lowest gallery serves 
principally to carry off the water of the mine, w^herefore it is 
commonly called Midzu-nuki, water drain. In these mining oper- 
ations no machines were employed, except very inadequate hand 
pumps ; and the tools and other appliances were i^^ in number. 
It is therefore surprising that they reached a depth of from 700- 
800 feet (2I2-3-242-6 m.), and that the galleries had a length of 
10,000 feet, or 3,033 m. 

In these operations, proper sledge hammers were altogether 
wanting. The work had to be done almost entirely with the help 
of the pick-axe, crowbar and steel wedge, and, in the absence of 
explosives, was necessarily carried on in a very limited space. Most 
of the galleries and short passages are therefore very narrow and 
low. In former times, when the vicinity of the mines furnished 
wood in abundance, the excavation was furthered by setting fire 
to piles of wood in the pits, as was still done twenty years ago 
in the Norwegian mines, e.g., in Kongsberg. According to Netto, 
gunpowder has now become general as an explosive in Japanese 


mines. Its introduction, however, dates only from the year 1872, 
when the American Pumpelly came to Japan as counsellor of the 
government of the Shogun, in the department of mines. 

The water control belongs indisputably to the most primitive 
and inadequate arrangements of Japanese mines, being effected by 
means of a poor kind of hand-suction pumps, which are often quite 
insufficient, so that a mine frequently has to be deserted because 
the water becomes unmanageable. With these defects was often 
associated a system of mining by contract, which increased the 
planless plundering of the mines. The owner provided the plant 
and looked after the water control, and maintained a weak over- 
sight. The contractor undertook the extraction, preparation and 

The preparation of the ores when brought to the surface is 
effected without machines, and falls into the hands of women and 
children exclusively, who are much employed in Europe also for 
such work. First of all the ordinary method, picking by hand, is 
employed to separate the richer ores from the poorer. Then the 
latter are further crushed with a hammer, or in the stamping trough 
(see p. 45) as employed for shelling rice. (There are, however, 
more perfect stamping arrangements, like ours, with water for a 
motive power, and an overshot wheel.) Next, the heavier, better 
kinds of ore are separated from the lighter ore yet to be stamped 
by a sort of jigging with the help of water, and thus prepared for 
roasting and smelting. Gold ores, on the contrary, are ground 
after the hand-picking in hand-mills under a stream of water ; and 
the ore still to be washed is allowed to pass off over inclined boards, 
grooved diagonally, so that the heavier gold-bearing lumps are 
caught in the grooves. 

The sulphate roasting or calcining of the prepared sulphurized 
ores takes place not in kilns or open stacks, but in Yaki-gama or 
roasting furnaces, built up with stones and mortar. These are con- 
structed as a rule on a circular foundation of from 4-6 feet in 
diameter (121- 182 cm.), and to a height of 4 feet (121-32 cm.), and 
have air holes on one side. 

For smelting all sorts of ores, the Japanese use a small, simple 
oven or smelting hearth, 0-doko, or Fuki-doko (big, or blast-bed), 
with a hand chest-bellows placed at its side. This is called 0-fuigo, 
and is worked by one man. One person is sufficient also for the 
smelting hearth. This hearth is a shallow pit, 12-15 cm. in depth, 
and 40-50 cm. in diameter. It has a floor 30 cm. thick, made of a 
cement of coal ashes and clay, stamped hard, resting in turn upon 
sand. The fire wall surrounding the pit is a basket work made of 
thin branches, and then covered close with mortar. Charcoal is the 
means of reduction in mixing the charge materials. For further 
details of smelting and of its results, and of mining in general, I beg 
to refer to the instructive and profitable works, above cited, of 
Rosing and Netto, which contain also observations on the Japanese 

296 MINING. 

mining law. We learn from the interesting book of Superin- 
tendent Brassert also quoted, which treats this subject more fully, 
that Japan, in 1873 (sixth year Meiji), received its first general 
mining law. It was modelled after the German law in essentials, 
although leaving great play for the discretion of the government. 
To the owner of the soil belong only building stone, sand, gravel, 
lime — in short, substances available for building and agricultural 
purposes. On the other hand, all metals and their ores, combus- 
tible fossils, rock salt, phosphorite, and precious stones are mining 
property, and subject to the State. The government has free right 
of disposal over this, which, however, is exercised only in behalf of 
subjects of the Japanese empire. The investment of foreign capital 
is forbidden now, as formerly, in mining and in agriculture. 

By far the most and often the very best mines are now owned 
and worked by private individuals. Of late, the government has 
however let out several of its best mines at comparatively low rates, 
after having organized their administration anew with the help of 
foreigners. It is manifest that it finds its method of administering 
and operating too costly, and the annual expenses too great to 
continue them. 

Mining is a separate department of the Kobusho or Bureau ot 
Public Works, under the name Kozan-kiyoku. This superior 
mining office represents the eight Bun-kiyoku (branch or mine 
offices) of the country. 

The following table A gives a summary of the yield of Japanese 
mines during the five years 1 877-1 881. I have used Momme for 
gold and silver, and Kuwan-me (pronounced Kamme), for the 
other products. Table B shows the more important mines of the 
country, arranged according to the value of their returns in the 
year 1882.1 It must be borne in mind that i Kuwan-me equals 
1,000 Momme (3756*5 gramme), and that i Yen equals i dollar. 

^ I am indebted for both these tables to my young friend, the competent and 
energetic mining engineer, Kurimoto, of the Superior Mining Office, who re- 
ceived part of his education at the School of Mines in Freiberg. 



Table A. 
a. — Production of Government Mines. 






Gold. . . 
Silver . . 
Copper . . 
Lead. . . 
Iron . . . 
Coal , . . 
Coke. . . 




























b, — Production of Private Mines. 






Gold . . . 






Silver . . 






Copper . . 






Lead . . . 






Iron . . . 











Sulphide of 







Coal . . . 






Graphite . 





Petroleum . 












Alum. . . 






Kaolin . . 








Table B. 

Value of the Production of the Principal Mines in 1882. 

(The asterisk denotes mines belonging to Individuals). 




in Yen. 




Coal (1884) 








* Chikugo 












Gold and silver 



* Rikuchiu 


Gold, silver, and 



* Nagato 







Gold, silver, lead, 
and copper 



* Echigo 





* Iwashiro 





* Yamato 





* Tajima 


Gold, silver, and 



* Harima 


Gold and silver 























* Shimotsuke 















* Rikuchiu 







Gold and silver 








* Rikuchiu 










* Echizen 


Silver and copper 



* Mimasaka 





* Izumo 












Silver and lead 



* Yamato 




















* Totomi 















* Bingo 

Yasuka Mine 










Abu rat 






Lead and copper 








1 According to E. Naumann (see "Verhandl. Gesellschaft fiir Erdkunde." 
Berlin, vol. xiv. p. 229) the amount of silver produced annually from the mines 
of Handa surpasses that of Kamioka by far. 






in Yen. 


















I waya 




* I warn i 




45 1 77 

* Hizen 






























* Tajima 





* Yamato 





* Yamato 





* Mino 


Silver, lead, and 



* Chikuzen 















* Rikuchiu 





* Kitami 





* Chishima 





* Mutsu 


Silver, lead, and 



* Bingo 





* Osumi 


Gold and silver 








* Wakasa 





* Rikuchiu 










* Mimasaka 





* Hiuga 





* Rikuchiu 





* Harima 





* Echizen 










* Rikuchiu 





* Echizen 




















* Mimasaki 

























* Bitchiu 












5 5 



* Satsuma 





300 MINING. 

Gold, Jap. Kin, Ko-gane and Ogon, according to Kaempfer came 
principally from Sado and Suruga. In its original deposits it is 
now only found in such very small quantities that the yield, even 
by the most practical methods of working, would not cover the 
cost. The gold also from the river-beds of Yezo, Suruga and Kai 
are said to be so insignificant in amount that it scarcely pays the 
humblest wages. 

The celebrated old gold and silver mines of the island of Sado 
were formerly in the possession of the Tokugawa-Shogun. They 
were worked by criminals, and yielded rich returns. These mines 
are situated in the western part of the island, not far from the 
capital Aikawa, in a narrow, steep-walled valley (see map) 220 
meters above the sea-level. The ore, says Reh, is found in 
quartz lodes which lie in quartzite rock and extend from west to 
east. Their thickness varies from 60 centimeters to 6 meters. They 
contain fine sprinklings of the sulphides of silver, copper and lead, 
and small quantities of native gold and silver. In 1874, when the 
Engineer Reh undertook the management of the mines, they were 
opened up, to a large extent, but yielded that year only about 
83,365 yen of gold and silver. 

In Kofu I was shown some beautiful specimens of gold-bearing 
quartz from the district of the Haya-gawa in Kai (tributary of 
the Fuji-kawa), but I do not know of any gold-mining in that 

I found in 1875, at Serigano, 2\ ri from Sendai in Satsuma, a 
similar appearance of gold and silver-bearing quartz, like that of 
Sado. The lodes contain also some quicksilver, but are very poor 
as a whole. It is said, however, that the Daimios of Satsuma 
drew a great deal of gold from them in earlier times. The gold 
and silver works of Yamagano in Osumi, whose product so far is 
very unimportant, were thought for a long time to be the richest 
gold mines in the country. 

Silver, Jap. Gin or Shiro-gane (white metal), is much more 
frequent in appearance and in much larger quantity than its 
nobler associate. It is usually found in sulphides like argentite, 
stephanite, and red silver ore. It is worked off in different ways, 
as a rule however after an old fashion of melting up the roasted 
ore with lead (verbleiern) and fining off the raw lead. The best 
silver mines of Japan are thought to be those of Ikuno, Sado, 
Kosaka, Innai, Mandokoro, and Ani. In the following list, they 
are arranged according to their yield in 1882. 

a. Kamioka in Hida, bears copper also. The yield of the mine 
in 1882, of 351,701 yen, is higher than ten years before, when, 
according to another estimate, two mines of the province yielded 
29,760 ounces of silver, and three others 156 tons of copper. 

b. Sado, already mentioned under " gold." 

c. Kosaka, in the province of Ugo (Akita-ken), in the vicinity 
of the Upper Noshiro-gawa, and of the frontier of Rikuchiu and 


Mutsu, lying about 40° N. lat has an old mine in a very remote 
district. The silver is auriferous. 

d. Ani, also in Ugo, somewhat south of the preceding, 39° 55' 
N. lat. and 140° 30' East from Greenwich (according to C. von 
Weyhe, 39 Heft der Mittheil, der deutsch. Gesellsch. Ostasiens) 
yields more copper than silver. 

e. Handa in the north-eastern part of Iwashiro, north of the 
city Fukushima. 

f. Ikuno in the northern part of the province of Tajima, con- 
tains with its silver a considerable amount of gold and copper, and 
is situated on the water-shed between the Japan Sea and Seto-uchi. 
Nine years ago it was excellently managed by the Frenchman 
Coignet, so that it belonged to the few mines under governmental 
control which yielded a surplus. In I'^'jJ-'jZ its nett yield was 
70,000 yen, but none of the following years show a like favourable 
result. At that time there were a thousand men, a dozen French- 
men among them, employed in the works. The place, formerly 
a village with scarcely 1,000 inhabitants, had become a town of six 
times that population. According to Coignet, the mines are 360 
meters above the level of the sea, and the temperature occasionally 
sinks to —14° C. 

g. The mine of Kuratoko in the province of Harima yields some 
gold with the silver. 

h. Innai, in Ugo. According to the above-mentioned highly- 
interesting treatise of Rosing upon this mining district, the prin- 
cipal place Gin-san-machi (Silver-mine town) in the district Okatsu 
(Oka-tsu-gori) of the Akita-ken, is situated 38° 57' N. lat. and 
140° 36' East from Greenwich, northward from Yamagata, 235 
meters above sea level. Here for nearly 300 years (according to 
Rosing the mine was opened in 1599), silver, some gold, and lead 
have been mined. Argentite is the principal ore, then stephanite 
and dark red silver ore. They are found in lodes which appear in 
tufa as quartz lodes and calcareous spar, and in some places are 
several meters thick. The most common and often associated 
sulphides, pyrites, copper pyrites, sulphuret of zinc and galena are 
found here, but only in small quantities. The silver ores contain 
from o*i-io per cent. ; on the average, however, 2\ per cent, 
silver and 1 per cent. lead. The silver product contains i per cent, 
of gold.i 

i. Omodani. This silver and copper mine is situated in the 
province of Echizen, near the frontiers of Mimo and Kaga. The 
remaining silver mines yield a very insignificant amount. 

Copper, Do or Aka-gane (red metal) has formed a prominent 
article of export from Japan since 1642. It is especially valued 
for its purity. The amount of its annual yield is next to that 

^ The mines of Innai were sold by the government a few years since to a 
private individual in Tokio, for the low price of 75,000 yen, and the great copper 
mine at Ani, for a double amount. 

302 MINING. 

of coal. It is seldom found native, or in oxydized form. Copper 
pyrites is the chief of its sulphides, out of which at least nine- 
tenths of all the Japanese copper is extracted. 

It is customary to mix the roasted ores (copper pyrites, copper 
glance, and bornite) with ironstone and metallic iron, and to reduce 
them in little blast furnaces by means of charcoal.^ If the crude 
metal contains silver it is again melted together with lead, which 
takes up the silver and some copper, and then to set free the silver, 
passes through the well-known conversion in the refining furnace. 
I saw this process at Hachiman in Mino. The larger number 
and by far the best of the Japanese copper mines are in private 
hands.=^ Table B shows the copper mines of Beshi in lyo on the 
island of Shikoku to be the richest in yield of all the mines of the 
country. It is the well-known D6-san or copper mountain, cele- 
brated throughout the whole country, which has been worked for a 
long while. Close upon these mines follow those of Zomeki in 
Nagato, concerning which I know nothing further — nor of the others 
succeeding in the list, the mines of Kusakura in Echigo, Tatesato 
in Yamato, Arakawa in Ugo, Nakaso in Bitchiu, and Takidani in 
Echigo. The last-named directly precedes Ashio in Shimotsuke 
in the hst. This mining and smelting work is situated 6 ri from 
Nikko, has been for a long time (according to Lyman since 1610) 
in operation, and must be the copper-yielding mine spoken of by 
Kaempfer as Asingo. I saw in Nikko pink coloured rock crystals 
from there and heard that the smelting-house in 1873 yielded 
20,000 kilogrammes of blue vitriol besides 500 tons of copper, 
amounts which according to more recent reports have been greatly 
increased.^ The copper mine Osarusawa is situated in the same 
district (upper valley of the Noshiro-gawa) of Katsuno of the Akita- 
ken, to which the before-mentioned silver mines of Ani and Kosaka 
belong. Twelve years ago, this mine was accounted the richest in 
Japan. It lies 24 ri north-west of Morioka in Nambu whence the 
copper is brought by beasts of burden, in order to be shipped in 
flat boats down the Kitakami-gawa to Ishinomaki, and thence by 
sea to Tokio."* 

Our table shows many other copper mines in different parts of 
the country, and gives evidence that copper is, in fact, the most 
widely distributed of all the Japanese metals. 

Lead, Yen or Namari. The very meagre quantity of this metal 
is seen in the two lists. Japanese lead mining, consisting of a 

^ The extracting of lead from Galena ore takes place in similar manner by 
the help of iron and coal as reducing agents. See Pumpelly, " Across America 
and Asia," p. 147. 

2 The enormous increase in the price of copper during the last twelve months has 
had great influence on the production and rentability of Japanese copper mines. 

2 See Lyman : " Geological Survey of Japan." Reports, 1878-79. 

"* In the autumn of 1874, on the way from Morioka to the Ganju-san, I met 
a great many horses and oxen laden with such copper, and heard on the 
following day that 39 horse-loads of it had arrived to be shipped. 


poor galena, does not yield enough for the domestic need. Lead 
is extracted with silver and copper at Kamioka in Hida, Hatlasa in 
Mino, and Sunagose in Mutsu. Pumpelly mentions the lead mine 
of Ichinowatari in Oshima on the island of Yezo, which he saw in 
1863, and reports that at that time it yielded about 80 pounds of 
lead a day, but three years before 100 pounds daily. 

Tin, Jap. Shaku or Sudzu. What has been said of lead is also 
essentially true of this metal. It is scarcely found anywhere 
except on the island of Kiushiu, and only in insufficient quantities 
as shode. Our map notes Tani-yama in Satsuma, which furnished 
tin to the valve of ^3,922 in 1882, and Ohira-tetsu-san, in Bungo. 

Iron, Jap. Utsu and Kuro-gane, i.e., black metal. The pro- 
duction of iron in Japan is still small and not sufficient to meet 
the home demands. It is extracted chiefly from ferruginous sand, 
and also from magnetic iron ore. The first is a frequently occur- 
ring product of alluvium along the coasts, and also inland. It is 
found oftenest and in largest quantity in the provinces of Iwami, 
Izumo, and the bordering portions of Bingo and Mimasaka. 

The magnetic iron-ore deposits and iron mines of Kamaishi in 
the old district of Nambu (province of Rikuchiu), are the most 
considerable in the country. They are located in lat. 390° i8'N. 
approximately, 5 ri westward from the bay and town of Kamaishi 
on the Pacific ocean. They are connected with the harbour by a 
narrow track. The deposits occur chiefly in the water-shed be- 
tween Kitakami and the bay of Kamaishi within a circuit of 3 
ri in at least a dozen places, generally in diabase rock together 
with granite. Most of these deposits seem to dwindle toward the 
depth. Near the surface some of them show a thickness of 40-45 
meters. The magnetic iron ore is often mixed with iron and copper 
pyrites and a trace of malachite and lapis lazuli. It is then coarse- 
grained and crumbles easily on exposure to the air. The better 
sort is free from these admixtures, fine-grained and compact. By 
roasting, the greater part of the sulphur is expelled and a very good 
quality of iron obtained. This method has been used for 35-40 
years at Ohashi and Sahinai, where the ore is said to have been first 
discovered. I was told that a Japanese, twenty-five years ago, es- 
tablished blast furnaces here after Dutch drawings. I saw them in 
operation. The construction was old-fashioned, the top-gases not 
being made use of The casting is primitive in flat pigs on sand. 
Ohashi is on the east side, and Sahinai on the west side of the 
wooded heights which form that water-shed. Fifteen years ago the 
Japanese government was very hopeful and devised great projects 
in regard to these iron-ore beds. They wanted to make of 
Kamaishi another Essen, with or without the help of a Krupp; but 
nothing has come of it. In autumn, 1874, when I examined the 
condition of affairs, they were busy with a narrow track 5 ri long, 
from the mines at Ohashi to the harbour, and erecting two furnaces 
on the newest principles. These have been for some time in 

304 MINING. 

operation, also a puddling furnace ; but soon it was found that the 
quantity of ore remained far behind expectation. The works are 
now in private hands, the government having tried unsuccessfully 
to work them with the help of foreign engineers. The desire now 
is to supersede the constantly diminishing supply of charcoal by 
coke, and many attempts, for the most part unavailing, have been 
made to manufacture it from the domestic coal. 

A charcoal furnace was built by some English engineers at 
Nakakosaka in the province of Kotsuke, but it has returned little 
profit to its owners up to this time. 

The quartzite lodes of the older slate rocks, which are the 
beds of most Japanese ores, contain besides copper pyrites, the 
sulphides of iron also in large and available quantities. It is 
said too (on the oral testimony of the director of mines, 
Vogel, at Freiberg), that magnetic iron pyrites is much more 
universally abundant than white iron pyrites, as e.g., in the 
frontier districts of Bitchiu, Bizen and Mimasaka, where the 
copper mines of Ichigami, Nakaso, and others are situated. I did 
not know that these sulphides of iron had been used for the pro- 
duction of sulphuric acid, at all events, it did not occur in the 
Mint of Ozaka, when the manufacture of this important substance 
was first introduced into Japan some twenty years ago. On the 
other hand, the inhabitants have long understood the preparation 
of Beni-gara or red oxide (Colcothar), which they probably learned 
from the Chinese. They used for this purpose then as now, the 
abundant magnetic and iron pyrites, for Beni-gara plays a part 
not only in their medical science, but is used in many branches ot 
industry, especially in porcelain painting. In extracting it, the 
iron pyrites is first roasted, then the calcined ore is leached with 
water, the copperas crystallized and then heated to a glow. The 
colour of Beni-gara is more vivid and beautiful red according as 
the copperas used has been pure in quality, and as the trituration 
of the heated residuum has been thorough and careful. 

The Japanese have only recently become acquainted with the 
manganic oxides and their uses, and have accepted their European 
designations. The most important of these, pyrolusite or man- 
ganese ore, is found in many localities, chiefly however eastward 
from Utsunomiya on the borders of Shimotsuke and Iwaki. 

Zinc, Jap. Totan, is found as zinc-blende in small quantities. 
Nickel has not been discovered as yet, and cobalt only in a combin- 
ation of small value, earthy cobalt, which however, was, formerly 
of importance in Japan. The Japanese call it Guwa-sho-sei, or 
Goshu, and according to its different appearance^ Seto-konjo, or 
blue Seto, and its blue extract Yegusuri. Apropos of this, I take 
from my note-book the following, made during my visit to the 
porcelain district of Seto in Owari. 

" The blue cobalt glaze is interesting. The colour is extracted 
from a black, earthy mineral (evidently a kind of Asbolite) which 


serves as a medium of quartz conglomerate. It is found about 
6 cho (ten minutes' walk) from Seto, and in several other places 
in the neighbourhood, always in diluvial gravel. The people 
drive short adits in these gravel pits, without any timbers or 
other supports, till they come to the places where the mineral is 
found in pockets. They carry it out in baskets and pour it out 
on an inclined plane. The fine sand and gravel remain, but the 
breccia-balls, which are seldom as large as the fist, roll down, 
and are picked out and tested by women and children, then sold 
at the porcelain manufactory. The cobalt colour is extracted 
thus : the washed material is heated till the medium has become 
a peach-red colour, then pulverized and washed after separating 
the worthless stone. The portion which has been thus treated 
is then precipitated by salt water, the precipitate rinsed and then 
used." 1 

Antimony, or grey antimonite, Jap. Shirome-ko and lyo- 
shirome-ko, i.e., antimony from lyo. Its real nature and value 
has only recently become fully known to the Japanese. They did 
not formerly know how to use the deposits found chiefly in the 
old slate rocks of the larger southern islands — particularly from 
Amakusa through Kiushiu and Shikoku, — but now it is a constant 
and considerable article of export. The antimony mines of the 
country, those of Ojoin-mura in lyo on the island of Shikoku 
especially, have furnished our mineral collections for some years 
with the largest and most beautiful crystals of antimonite known. 

Table B gives the value of the yield of this and other neigh- 
bouring antimony mines, for the year 1882, as over ^22,385. The 
mine is situated south-east of the city Saijo, and not far from the 
copper mines of Besshi. But there are others also in various parts 
of lyo, especially in the south-western portion, as well as in the 
neighbouring province of Tosa. They are found on Kiushiu at 
Bungo, Hiuga, and Higo. The island of Amakusa, too, shows 
several antimony lodes.^ On the other hand, the find of anti- 
mony runs in the direction of the southern schist range (vol. i. 
p. 32), and in a north-westerly direction over a part of Kiushiu, 
and Yamato on the island of Hondo. 

Coal, Sekitan or Ishi-dzumi. No other article of Japanese 
mining industry, copper perhaps excepted, is found in so many 
localities, from the Riukiu islands to Yezo, and no other has 
engaged so much attention during the last twenty years, nor has 
any other increased so steadily in the amount and value of its 

^ It is interesting to note that the Chinese name Go-shu means, " Gravel-pit 
of Go," (the province Kiangsu, where Nanking is situated). We are indeed 
justified in concluding that Asbolan was found in China also as a cement of 
gravel, and yielded the blue cobalt for ceramics. At any rate, this popular 
colour is one of the oldest which was used in both countries for decorating 

2 I saw it at Takahama near the west coast in 1875. The lode had a thick- 
ness of 16-20 cm. 

II. X 

3o6 MINING. 

annual product. Japanese coal it is true, like all Eastern Asiatic 
coal, is not, so far as is known, as good in quality as the English 
and Rhine coal. In the judgment of those who understand its 
qualities, among whom we must class machinists and stokers of 
steam engines, it belongs to the family of fatty coals, which pro- 
duce a great deal of smoke, blacken boilers, form clinkers, thus 
hindering the draught, and cake very easily, without, however, 
forming a good kind of coke. Lieut. Roberts, of the Perry ex- 
pedition, for example, reports of them as follows : — 

" The coal which we got at Nagasaki was of fourth grade, and 
poorer than the Australian and American coal furnished us in 
Hongkong. It made a great deal of slag and dirty ashes, and 
the fire required to be often stirred. We used 23 tons a day in 
place of 18 tons of good English coal. The coal of Takashima 
requires to be kept dry, as when wet it often fires spontaneously." 

Japanese coal in most places, if not everywhere, is tertiary coal, 
and its origin of lacustrine formation. Its recent formation is 
proved by the many leaf impressions of deciduous plants in the 
shales accompanying it, but its properties and appearance are like 
hard coal, and only in exceptional cases resemble those of 
brown coal. 

This is true also of the coal from Diu, on Sachalin, which was 
examined by the academician, F. Schmidt, of St. Petersburg, and 
his companion von Glehn. A correspondent of " Export',' ^ after 
enumerating, with this same unfavourable criticism, the pro- 
perties of the fatty coal of Kelung on Formosa, writes : " As the 
Japanese coal shows the same defects, the coal of Kelung may 
compete with it in the markets of Eastern Asia. 

Together with such coal — for it is really bituminous coal, not- 
withstanding its lack of age — may be found also many seams of 
genuine brown coal in the neo-tertiary strata of Japan, although 
they are generally thin. Several dozens of such weak seams are 
often found one over another, separated by some intermediate 

The north-western part of Kiushiu, with the provinces of Hizen, 
Chikuzen, and Chikugo forms the richest coal district, although 
Yezo boasts of numerous occurrences of coal. Lyman writes: "One 
of the principal results of the geological survey of Yezo is the 
recognition of the fact that on this island there are perhaps i5o,(X»o 
million tons of workable coal, or two-thirds as much as the coal of 
the same thickness in the celebrated coal fields of Great Britain. 
The amount of coal on Yezo would put the island in position to 
furnish the present annual production of Great Britain for nearly 
1,000 years.^ 

The island of Yezo is not known to me by personal observation. 

^ Export^ VI. Jahrgang, No. 51, Berlin, 1885. 

2 Lyman : " Geological Survey of Hok-kai-do. General Report." Tokio, 1877, 
pp. 106-7. 

COAL. 307 

What I could learn from other sources however, and could gather 
also in part from the export statistics, does not agree very well 
with this enthusiastic description of its wealth of coal. From all 
investigations it seems to be evident that the coal of Yezo is no 
exception to the before-mentioned universal rule, either in age or 
character, and that in its value and use it will not compare at 
all favourably with the older English and German coal. 

Only a small portion of the coal of Yezo, and indeed of all Japan, 
is adapted to the production of good compact and pure coke, 
with a metallic lustre, such as has become so important in metal- 
lurgy and so necessary in the modern furnace processes. There 
are, however, a number of other important uses for their coal, and 
there is scarcely a doubt that its possession promises much for the 
future development of Japanese industry and national prosperity. 

The best of the already discovered coal strata of the island of 
Yezo are found in the provinces Shiribeshi and Ishikari. From 
the latter come the coal of Sorachi, and of Poronai, Horumui, and 
other places in the Ishikari valley. The shipping of a part of this 
coal has been rendered possible by a railway from Poronai, via 
Sapporo, to the roadstead of Otaru. In the province of Shiribeshi 
is the coal district of Kayanoma, to which the Honshiki coal be- 
longs also. The thickness of the workable coal strata of the island 
appears from the reports of Munroe and Lyman to vary from 
15 cm. to 2\ m. There are thicker seams in Japan proper also 
that have not yet been opened. Owing to the more recent geo- 
logical age of Japanese coal, deep mining, with its costly timber- 
ing and ventilation, is not necessary. All existing coal mines 
begin with coal lying near the surface, and proceed by means of 
galleries through the running and trending of the stratum. 

According to our tables, the coal mine at Aburato, in the province 
of Uzen, on the Japan Sea southward from Sakata, yields the largest 
amount of all the mines of Hondo, the chief island. Then follow 
those of Akadami, Ube and Takatomari in Nagato, lying east of 
Shimonoseki on the Seto-uchi, opposite the coal district of Chiku- 
zen. This latter embraces a considerable territory on the island of 
Kiushiu, not only Chikuzen, but Buzen bordering it on the east, 
and the northern part of the island. Table B places the produc- 
tion of one of its mines, that of Katsuki, after that of Miike. This 
last very notable mine is situated in the vicinity of the flat eastern 
coast of the bay of Shimabara, in the province of Chikugo, not far 
from the boundary towards Higo. When I visited it ten years 
ago it was still worked by the government. Below the red argil- 
laceous sand lies a thin layer of earthy coal, then follows a stratum 
of clay schist (slaty clay pebbles) of half a meter thickness. It is 
full of leaf impressions of dicotyledonous trees, but very much 
crumbled and broken. Now follows the coal stratum of 2 meters 
thickness in places, then again the mixed coal and clay schist, and 
then sandstone. These strata lean at an angle of 20-25° toward 

3o8 MINING. 

the south-east. The mine yields a very good gas coal, and has 
been known for some 400 years. It passed into private hands 
about ten years ago, and is now, with one much like it on the 
island of Sakashima, by far the most productive, especially for 
export to China. 

The Takashima coal is black, lustrous and firm, but light, like 
almost all Japanese coal when compared with older, qualities. It 
breaks in irregular, prismatic pieces, exhibits a black streak, and 
furnishes a brownish black powder. It is the best known of 
Japanese coal, as it supplies every ship bound for Nagasaki, and 
on account of the favourable location of the mine is most ex- 

Taka-shima, a little island of only 54 hectares extent and perhaps 
100 m. above the sea level, is situated at the entrance of the long 
narrow bay of Nagasaki, eight or nine nautical miles from the capital 
city of Hizen. Grey-white, micaceous, cross-grained sandstone, 
friable clay in thin layers, and coal strata lean toward the north 
at an angle of 20-25°. The inhabitants of the island, distributed 
among a few small villages, earn their livelihood principally in the 
mines which lie close to the sea on the side toward Nagasaki, and 
have been worked for about eighty years. In 1875, a private company 
purchased the mines of the government for the sum of ^^122,550 
In the spring of that year the longest shaft was only 50 meters, 
still the gallery slanted considerably from this point, following the 
principal stratum, which is on an average 2 m. in thickness. 

The larger coal basin of the province of Hizen, of which Taka- 
shima appears to be an outlying member, lies farther to the north, 
and embraces a number of mines, among which the best known is 
that of Karatsu, lying not far from the sea. 

The occurrence of coal on the island of Amakusa, in the 
southern part of Hizen, deserves mention also, and in Shiki-mura, 
near the little city of Tomioka on the northern side. The strata 
of Oniki, however, on a little bay at the south-west, are thicker and 
much more valuable. 

The foregoing statements regarding Japanese coal were written 
before the November number of the German " Handels-Archivs " 
for 1885, with its short statement of the "Import and Export 
of Coal, and the Coal Production of Japan,"^ came to hand. I 
extract very gladly some interesting facts which supplement and 
corroborate my own observations and opinions. According to 
this the coal export of Japan for the three years 1882-84 was 
as follows : — 

Production. Value in Yen. Export. Value in Yen. 

1882 327,240 tons 1,197,053 128,230 to China 455,146 

1883 39i>944 M 1,373,570 126,155 „ 407,185 

1884 522,211 „ 1,828,263 180,950 „ 604,676 

^ The statement is made probably by our Consul- General Zappe. 



Over against these amounts must be set the much smaller 
amount of Enghsh and Australian coal which was imported 
for the fuel of foreign vessels, because these vessels are not con- 
structed for burning Japanese coal, which ''makes so much ashes 
and dust." It is feared, too, that the export to China will decrease 
or cease entirely as soon as that country has somewhat more 
developed its own coal mines, and provided for the transportation 
of their products to the coast. 

Analyses of the Coal of Japan and Neighbouring 



Elementary Analysis. 















Water . . . 
Carbon . . 
Hydrogen . 
Oxygen and \ 
Nitrogen . J 
Sulphur . . 
Ash ... 
































3774 i 
73"oi3 ! 

6-313 \ 



1 00*000 100-000 


1 00 "ooo 100-000 





Fractional Analysis. 
















Water Evapo- ") 
ration, at > 
4o°C. . .) 

Combustible \ 
Gases . . J 

Carbon resi- \ 
duum . . J 

Ash residuum 






























Spec. Gravity 



I '349 






Of the coal classified above, I., II., and III. are from Kiushiu, 
and IV., v., VI., and VII. from Yezo. Their analysis is taken 
from the work " Yesso Coals, by H. Munroe, Tokei, 1874." 
Number VIII. is taken from F. Hawks' " Narrative, Perry Expedi- 
tion "; vol. ii. pp. 167, 168; and IX. from Pumpelly's "Across 
America and Asia," Appendix, p. 444, XIII. 

Petroleum, Jap. Sekitan-yu, Seki-yu, or Sekitan, is found princi- 


pally in the provinces of Echigo and Totomi, but is not sufficient 
in quantity to supply the constantly increasing home consumption. 
The chief petroleum district of both provinces lies on the west of a 
line drawn from the point of Omage-saki on the coast of Totomi 
to Niigata. The production of Totomi is concentrated around 
Sugegawa, but the little city of Sagara is the principal place of the 
district. Here in 1877 (according to Lyman) 50 wells yielded in 
all 1,200 barrels of oil, which is superior in lightness and in bright- 
ness of colour to that of Echigo. For Echigo, our map gives 
Fukawasa and Oarata, mentioned in Table B, as the central points 
of production. In 1876 there were not less that 522 oil wells 
in this district, the deepest measuring 732', or 222 meters. None 
of them, however, yielded particularly profitable quantities. The 
entire production was estimated by Lyman at 9,500 barrels, worth 
31,650 yen ; but this amount has increased considerably since then, 
as is seen by the figures given in Table B, pp. 298, 299, as the 
production of these places. 

Sulphur, Jap. Iwo or Yuwo. This is found as a glossy product 
of sublimation often covering the crater walls and crevices and 
clefts of active or extinct volcanoes ; but by far the greatest amount 
of sulphur is formed by decomposition of the sulphuretted hydrogen 
of the solfataras. As these volcanic manifestations are very wide- 
spread in Japan, the frequent occurrence of sulphur is not sur- 
prising. Sometimes the suffix " Iwo " in the name of a mountain 
or an island indicates its presence there. 

Satsuma was formerly, says Kaempfer, the principal sulphur 
producer. The little island Iwo-shima, to the south, also furnishes 
sulphur. It is obtained at Iwo-dake and Yadake in Hida, from 
Shirane-san on the boundary between Kotsuke and Shinano. 
When Pumpelly visited Yezo in 1864, he ascended Iwaounobori 
from Iwanai on the south-western coast. He saw several solfataras 
and their efi"ects, and states that the monthly production of sulphur 
of the mountain was 6,400 pounds, and the total for the year, 38,400 
kilogrammes, or 38*4 tons. Our table indicates two other places 
in Hokkaido, however, as the most important sulphur producers, 
viz., Tonebetsu in Kitami, and Tofutsu on the not far distant 
island of Kunashir. 

Salt, Jap. Shiwo or Shio, up to this time has not been found as 
rock-salt or in applicable salt springs,^ but is extracted exclusively 

^ When one considers the great number of hot springs scattered over the 
whole of Japan, the dearth of salt springs is particularly surprising. The only- 
exception worth noting appears to be Oshio in Aidzu (Iwashiro). This place 
which I passed on the 4th of October, 1874, on the way from Wakamatsu to 
Yonezawa, lies 6 ri from the former in the bason of an old volcanic mountain ring, 
whose principal rock seems to be grey Andesite. By crossing over a small stream 
was reached, on whose right bank, to the right of the road, are two wann springs 
close together. I tested the temperature at 39° and 38° C, and found that 
each one flowed at the rate of i sho (about 1*8 liter) every four or five seconds. 
The water is weak in salt and rich in iron. A great amount of carbonic acid 

SALT. 311 

from sea-water. The Japanese method of salt-producing is exactly 
the same as that employed in China, described, e.g., by Fortune.^ 
In the summary of Japanese agricultural product, given on page 1 1, 
one division of the soil is designated Shio-hama, or salt-coasts. 
These are flat sandy strips of coast, in all 6,364 cho or hectare, 
which are devoted to the extraction of salt from sea-water. 

The sandy flat coast, to make a salt garden, must lie out of 
reach of the tide. It is divided usually into fields of 2\ tan or 25 
are, each one worked by two men. They smooth it to a perfect 
level, and cover it with an even coat of well pounded clay. On 
this they spread a thick layer of coarse sand, carefuly raked over. 
This is then wet with sea-water, which is carried by little ditches 
through the garden, and repeated after each evaporation till a con- 
siderable amount of salt has been left in the sand. This is raked 
up together for leaching in a kind of filter, by the addition of sea- 
water whose amount of salt is thereby greatly increased. The sand 
is then spread out to dry, and again wetted with salt water, etc., as 
before. The brine is collected in ditches or tubs and poured into 
the boiling pans whose construction resembles the contrivances used 
for drying tea (see p. 118 b). These salt pans are usually 2-2 J 
meters long, i-| meters broad, and about half a meter in depth. 
The pans consist of a frame-work of woven bamboo, plastered in- 
side and out with clay cement, and supported by two beams with 
wooden cross pieces. Wood is used as fuel for the evaporating 
process, chiefly the branches (and needles also) of conifers. Coal 
is also used. There are besides large iron evaporating pans called 
Shio-gama, but they appear to be little in use compared with the 
arrangements described above. 

Japanese sea-salt is far less pure than that from the shores of the 
Mediterranean, has a grey-white colour, and with 8 to 12 per cent, 
of water, contains only 80 to 90 per cent, of chloride of sodium. 
Its preparation is not a government monopoly, as in China, and is 
carried on in many places along the coast, especially in the south, 
most of all along the Japanese Seto-uchi (Inland Sea), on the coast 
of lyo, Sanuki, Awa and the provinces of Sanyodo. The coast of 
Satsuma also has salt fields already mentioned, e.g., at Akune. At 
Kanazawa, in the vicinity of Yokohama, a considerable amount of 
salt is produced. 

According to Geerts,^ the yearly salt production of the Japanese 

escapes from it, and much ferric hydrate is precipitated. It is said to have 
been used many centuries for salt extraction, but for the last twenty years 
it has flowed unutihzed into the brook. Ascending still higher along the road, 
I found a third weaker salt spring with 20° temperature, this change proceeding 
from cold water flowing into it. 

^ " A Residence among the Chinese," pp. 305, 306. 

2 "Les produits de la nature japonaise etchinoise," Yokohama, 1883, p. 308. 
This book contains many valuable statements, which unfortunately, however, 
must be used with care, owing to the lack of judgment with which others of 
a different character are mingled with them. 


coast is estimated at 5,700,000 hectoliters, distributed as stated 
above, over 6,364 hectares of salt gardens, making an average pro- 
duction of 895 hectoliters to each hectare during the seventy or 
eighty dry summer days. This amount does not compare with the 
returns from the salt gardens of equal area on the Mediterranean 
coast. It must be especially borne in mind, however, that the 
climate of the latter, with its dry air and rainless summers, is in- 
comparably more favourable, and therefore the production can be 
carried on in an entirely different way from that of the eastern 
monsoon district with its numerous summer rains. 

Alum, Jap. Mio-ban (Miyo-ban) has been known for at least 
1,200 years in Japan, and is used there, as with us, as a mordant in 
dyeing. It is frequently found native in a white earthy decom- 
position of volcanic rock, which has taken place by the action of 
solfataras. This Ji-nen-han or natural alum is extracted, and the 
pure crystals are formed in the solution. It is generally called Ban- 
seki or Han-seki, alum stone, but is not to be confounded with it. 
I saw beautiful alum at an Exhibition in the spring of 1875 at 
Funai, the capital of the province of Bungo, which is considered 
the principal place for its production. Shinano, Kotsuke, and Hida 
are also mentioned for their alum. 

Porcelain stone. Kaolin, Potter's clay. A number of different 
products of the decomposition of felspathic rocks are used in the 
extended, and in some of its branches highly developed, pottery 
industry of Japan. They are called in Japanese, Ishi, stone, and 
Tsuchi, earth, according to their nature, while usually the different 
species are designated with the name of the place where they are 
found. We divide these ceramic materials into two classes accord- 
ing to the agencies which have wrought the decomposition of the 
felspathic matrix, viz. : 

I. Porcelain stones. Peculiar products of the decomposition of 
trachyte, euritic porphyry and other volcanic rock, rich in silicic 
acid, and appearing in unstratified masses. Their decomposition was 
probably brought about by the influence of the sulphides of hydrogen 
and aqueous vapour of the solfataras. To this class belong the 
most valuable materials of Japanese porcelain manufacture, the 
Arita-ishi of Hizen, the Amakusa-ishi of the island of Amakusa, 
the Kutani-ishi and Nabetani-ishi of Kaga, and others beside. 

The solfatara (Jap. Jigoku, hell) affects not merely the vegetation 
in its vicinity, but also the rock. It bleaches trachytic and doleritic 
lava, and works an entire transformation in them. The silicic acid, 
among other things, is often separated as stalactite, and then ap- 
pears as a medium of a new cementation, as is shown very distinctly 
in Amakusa-ishi. Pumpelly observed a similar transformation by 
the solfataras, at Yu-nonai — the solfataras of Iwanai on the island of 
Yezo — concerning which he remarks as follows : " The hot springs 
here are in close connection with snow-white quartz porphyry. 
This rock is impregnated with iron pyrites, which in many places 


is only indicated by cubic cavities containing sulphur." ^ The 
bleached Liparite of the Lipari Islands, and the grey-white 
Rhyolithe of Hungary are perhaps the results of similar changes 
under the influence of solfataras, at least they resemble strongly 
the Arita and Amakusa rock, concerning the chemical composition 
and employment of which more will be said in the section on 

2. Disintegration. Products of common felspar and kindred 
minerals and rock rich in argillaceous earth. Kaolin belongs to this 
class, and the plastic clays in their varied modifications, even to 
common loam. 

The principal sources of porcelain stone and Kaolin, the basic 
material of fine pottery, are indicated in the tables with the pro- 
ducts of mining industry proper, and will be further treated under 

Porcelain stone and Kaolin, are taken from the surface of the 
ground, and do not therefore belong properly to mining, but to 
the Gioku-seki-rui, the family of stones which are obtained from 
the quarry, Jap. Ishi-yama (stone mountain), or Ishi wo hori-dasu 
tokoro {i.e., place where stone is dug out). It has been shown in 
the first volume of this work, that freestone proper, and stone in 
general, has had but very subordinate use in building, e.g., for the 
massive walls of old fortresses, stairs leading to temples located on 
heights, stone turrets, monuments, bridges, pavements of temple 
courts and gardens, cooking hearths, wash-basins and rice troughs. 
For these purposes they used almost without exception granite, 
especially the Mikage-ishi from Settsu, and the Teshima-ishi from 
Bizen, besides trachytic and doleritic lava, as well as the older slate. 
Common limestone is burned and its powder (Ishi-bai, i.e., stone 
powder) is used as a manure, but seldom for building purposes. 
Marble, called R6-seki and Sarusa-ishi by the Japanese, is found 
in several parts of the country, in Bizen, Mino, and Hitachi. 
Some statues in and around temples, from the white marble 
of Hitachi — quarried near the coast north of Mito, the capital — 
show that it is spendidly qualified for the purposes of sculpture. 
From the variegated marble (Fusuline lime) of Akasaka in Mino, 
a variety of small articles are cut, among them saucers to rub 
India-ink in. 

Slabs of old slate, Seki-ban, or Date-ishi, are used for paving 
walls in gardens and courts, and large ones for small bridges over 
streams and irrigating ditches. 

The greyish blue slate which resembles our slate used for pencils 
in hardness, colour, and grain, is employed very extensively in 
the manufacture of India-ink saucers. The best known and most 
celebrated for this purpose is the Amabata-ishi from the province of 
Kai, whose quarrying and working, owing to the large demand, has 

^ Pumpelly : "Across America and Asia," p. 177. 

314 MINING. 

furnished employment a long time to a large number of labourers. 
The method of polishing is similar to that employed for rock- 
crystals, Jap., Suisho, agates (Meno-seki) and related semi-precious 
stones. The most celebrated source of rock-crystals is the Kimpu- 
zan in Kai, where the beautiful twins, in certain of our collections, 
were found. Agates, cornelians, and chalcedony, occur in Echiu 
and Idzumo, being also worked there. For polishing all these 
hard stones, garnet sand is used (Kongo-sha, i.e.^ sand from the 
Kongo-san, a long mountain ridge in Kawachi on the right of the 
Yoshino-gawa). But this kind of stone-work belongs properly to 
Art Industry, and will therefore be discussed more in detail in the 
next section. 




" Quam quisque norit artem in hac se exerceat." 

— Cic. Tusc.j'i. i8, 41. 

I. Japanese Art Industry in General. 

Revival of European Art Industry. — Growing Intei^est in the Pro- 
ductions of the Chinese and fapanese. — China the Master and 
Model of fapan. — Characteristic Features of fapanese Art- 
handicraft and its Products. — The Period of Highest Develop- 
ment and the Means of its Advancement. — Its Influence ttp07i 
that of the Christian Countries of the West. 

One of the most conspicuous and lasting effects which may bcy 
credited to the great International Art and Industrial Exhibition* 
of the last three decades, is undoubtedly their influence on th< 
revival of interest in art industry. The first conception of such a' 
great universal exhibition was formed in England, and from that 
country also the first intelligent impulse toward the important 
matters of art industry has spread rapidly abroad among the 
Christian civilised states of the West. 

Since then, by means of instruction and illustration in schools 
and museums, it has been sought to revive the much sunken and 
deteriorated art handicraft afresh, to awaken the feeling for the 
really beautiful in industrial products, or, as it has been expressed, 
to ennoble taste and thus to advance trade and industry. 

First of all, proportion and harmony were to be studied and 
fostered. These two conceptions, most important and far reaching 
in every art, are no less necessary in art industry. They embrace 
everything which form and decoration must offer in order to meet 
our ideal sense of beauty, which Plato ranks so high as to attribute 
it to a divine origin. 

These earnest and energetic efforts to elevate art industry by 
means of collections and instruction, and so to advance national 
labour and welfare, were not displayed in Germany till after several 
neighbouring countries had furnished us good and successful 
examples. We soon made up for our neglect however, and al- 
ready see the fruits of the greater energy which our Governments, 
together with many private interests, have shown. We can but 
observe what has been accomplished for example in textile pro- 


ducts, and especially in embroidery, or compare ihe artistic forms 
and decorations which to-day distinguish the work of our gold 
and silversmiths, with the many awkward and tasteless specimens 
of preceding periods. 

Bad models, abundantly set and followed, spoil the taste as 
inevitably as in morals bad examples corrupt good manners. Good 
designs of figure and decoration are thus necessary also in art 
industry, in order to refine the taste and to guide tastes already 
refined. To obtain them we went back to the operations of art 
industry in the Middle Ages, and even farther, to the antique. 
They were sought and found also in the far Orient, among Arabs, 
Persians and Indians, and even beyond the boundaries of Aryan 
nations, among the Mongolians of the Chinese system of civiliza- 
tion, especially in China and Japan. The manifold productions 
of Japanese art industry in particular, which are brought to Europe 
and North America by almost every ship, and reach even the 
smallest inland cities, have exercised a powerful influence on many 
branches of Western European art industry. This has been shown 
to a surprising degree in the Industrial Exhibitions of the last 
sixteen years, notably in the great Paris Exhibition of 1878. So 
much has been written concerning it, as well as of the history 
and peculiarity of Japanese art industry, that it may seem almost 
superfluous for me to attempt in the following treatises to discuss 
the subject in a comprehensive and perhaps a somewhat original 
way. I am moved to it by the consciousness that I had a better 
occasion and opportunity to make a thorough study of the art 
handicraft of the Japanese than has been the case with most of 
its reviewers hitherto. 

Architecture, which among Aryan nations has the most notable 
and powerful influence upon art industry, has not developed any 
such high significance in Chinese civilization. All its architectural 
creations are perishable wooden buildings, and only exceptionally 
make any monumental impression. The most important are 
Buddhist temples, which seem weighed down and burdened under 
their disproportionally heavy roofs. They exhibit a multiform 
wooden ornamentation which may indeed be the expression of a 
rich fancy, but seldom however, with the exception of the carving, 
is a sign of a particularly developed artistic sense. 

Art industry among those Eastern Asiatic people has its centre 
in the many little productions which they form out of plastic clay, 
metal, wood, and ivory. These are richly decorated partly with 
lacquer and enamel colours, partly with engraving, chasing, inlay- 
ing with metal, and an extremely tasteful use cf curves, and even 
more of straight and broken lines. So also is it in textile industry, 
from simple weaving to the most complicated silk or cotton fabrics. 
In Japan as in China, it is in the art of lacquering, fine ceramics 
enamel, chasing and inlaid work, especially bronze work and forg- 
ing of weapons, also wood, ivory, bone and stone cutting, and in 


the weaving and colouring, that the feehng for art and the artistic 
skill of the people show themselves. 

China is the original home of these branches of industry. Japan 
has received them thence as well as the most of its peculiar habits 
and decorations. Chinese state polity and jurisprudence, Chinese 
letters and literature, Chinese ethics and medicine, Chinese art and 
industry with all their peculiarities of operation and tendencies of 
taste, all reached Japan, and mostly by way of Corea, with Bud- 
dhism, the great base and supporter of the particular Eastern 
Asiatic civilization which includes China, Corea, Japan, and a part 
of Farther India. 

Japan has regarded China as her model in all these departments 
for many centuries, and has developed great aptness of imitation 
and skill in the use of its acquirements, but on the other hand 
very little independent creative power. The indisputable fact that 
it now far surpasses its old masters in the most extended branches 
of art handicraft, is to be attributed to this very gift of imitation, 
and inclination to appropriate what has been seen and to make it 
useful, and above all to its own developed sense of beauty in nature 
and art. 

The relics of Japanese industry before the time of the ascendancy 
of Chinese influence, which have become known chiefly from 
excavations, show that the country at that time occupied a very 
low plane of artistic ability and taste. There is a great resem- 
blance in the forms and decorations of these ceramic discoveries to 
the first phases of cultivation in many other and widely separated 
nations. The forms are awkward, inclining to spherical shapes, and 
the decorations simple. As in all young civilizations, the older 
people of Japan before their contact with Chinese and Coreans in 
the first centuries of our era, beside simple lines and dots, imitated 
animals instead of plants in their decorations. 

In Europe, from the Middle Ages onward, so-called free aca- 
demic art, i.e.^ painting and sculpture, forsook art industry 
altogether, went its own way, and soon was far in advance. In 
Eastern Asia it was entirely different. Here free art has remained 
far behind art industry, and has been only partially developed. 
The Eastern Asiatic has been for centuries especially hampered 
by conventional forms in the pictorial representation of the human 
body. He paints after an old traditional type, no matter how 
little it may be like nature. 

A dreary naturalism on the one side, and the free play of an 
exuberant fancy on the other, rule the art industry of Eastern Asia. 
But nowhere else have these traits been so thoroughly cultivated. 
We find together with a highly developed sense and comprehen- 
sion of the beautiful in nature and in art, an inclination toward 
the grotesque and unsymmetrical all the more striking with a 
surprising and fascinating truth in design and execution, a strongly 
marked fancy and tendency to irregularity and caricature ; with a 


high technical perfection, numerous failures in perspective and 
proportion. The frequent departure from Hne and symmetry in 
their decorations offends our eye and feehng something as in 
certain of Wagner's compositions, e.g., in Siegfried, the many 
dissonances which follow a passage of harmonious accord offend 
the ears of many a lover of music. 

This love of the Japanese for the bizan^e, the unsymmetrical, 
and in our eyes, the unlovely shows itself not only in art in- 
dustry, but in their gardening, for instance in the way in which 
they arrange their flowers, and especially in the frequent treatment 
of the pine or Matsu {Pimts Massoniana and P. densijlord), in their 
gardens. Their eyes delight in its deformed figure, in its unnatural 
and disproportionately long horizontal branches. Specimens which 
have been made particularly monstrous in this way, e.g., the old 
pine of Karasaki on Biwa Lake, are accounted among the most 
notable sights of the country and attract visitors from far. 

Many of the productions of art industry, as well as the examples 
of architecture, show that constructive art is far less advanced 
among the Japanese than decorative art. We seek in vain among 
their works of an industrial character for " the noble restful great- 
ness of the Greek masterpieces " (Winkelmann), which distinguish 
also Greek ceramics. Many of the Japanese models, like the 
temples and Daimio fortresses, which were formerly the chief 
repositories of art, are clumsy and dwarfed. But with these, how- 
ever, there are many which, for lightness and attractiveness of 
form, satisfy the most refined taste. Nevertheless their principal 
skill is unquestionably in the line of decoration. Their compo- 
sitions show well controlled exactness and strength, and charm by 
their life and truth to nature, their often masterly colouring and 
the high technical perfection of their embellishment. 

Most of the slender, airy, well-proportioned art forms of Aryan 
nations are either wanting or are so changed as to be beyond 
recognition. In their ceramics and metal industry we miss en- 
tirely the beautiful vase and jug-shaped Amphora, Hydria, 
Lekythos, and Oinochoe, while Krater and Kantharos appear in 
numerous modifications, especially among bronze vases, because 
they are so well adapted to hold loosely the blooming stalks placed 
in them. The beautiful shape of the Indian sarai, which is used so 
much of late for water and wine flagons made from crystal glass, 
has been much changed in the Chinese and Japanese imitations in 
porcelain and bronze. That which has been most retained is the 
spherical enlargement at the base, but in place of the narrow slender 
throat is one wider and far less pleasing, often with wing-like 
appendages, and even griffins at the mouth of the vase. The 
form of the Greek wine jar has never become domesticated, not- 
withstanding it has been so often introduced into the country 
among the presents of the Portuguese and Dutch. Cylindrical 
vase-forms, copied from the bamboo cane, as well as polygonal 



and prismatic shapes, seem peculiar to Chinese and Japanese art 
industry. In the ethnographical collections of Europe they are 
known only from these sources. The Romans, it is true, had pris- 
matic glass bottles on a quadrangular, hexagonal, or octagonal 
base, these angles disappearing rapidly toward the top in a short, 
wide cylindrical throat (the square prismatic being urns for holding 
the ashes of the dead), but in the ceramics of antiquity such forms 
it appears were not imitated. Whatever may resemble them in 
Indian and Persian art industry is most likely of Chinese origin. 

In the art industry of the Aryan nations — Indians, Persians, 
Arabs, Greeks and Romans, and in Christendom also — symmetry 
and proportion seem to be the first principles of ideal beauty. 
They form the ruling feature of true artistic execution in all these 
countries. In their patterns style rules, i.e., they show in both 
decoration and form an ideal stamp that may often diverge widely 
from the natural object which first suggested it. Especially is this 
true of decorations which the Aryan artist generally evolves from 
his own thoughts and mostly without paying any strict heed to 
nature. The contrast to this in the prevailing decoration of the 
Japanese and Chinese is very great, especially where the style of 
the Indians, Persians and Arabs is in question. The motifs of 
these Eastern Aryans are only exceptionally taken from nature, 
and even then are conventionalized beyond all recognition. The 
straight line plays with them only a subordinate part. Curves and 
flourishes of every sort, combined in every possible way, but still 
symmetrical and orderly, distinguish their work. Their principal 
charm is in this harmonious arrangement — the charm of all con- 
ventional decoration. This peculiar adaptation is not entirely 
wanting in Japanese art industry, but it falls into the background 
in comparison with the realistic side. It goes by the name of 
Kara-kusa, i.e. China weed, among them. 

In the realistic exact copying of natural forms, especially of 
plants, birds, insects and sea animals, also various quadrupeds, such 
as monkeys, rabbits, rats, and in the representation of clouds, rocks, 
and water scenes, the Japanese have great skill and remarkable 
execution. The drawing answers sharply and definitely to the 
pattern in expression and action, and fascinates the beholder with 
its exactness no less than by the ease and delicacy of the perfect 
execution. This is the principal charm of the productions of 
Japanese art industry. In all surface decoration, the use of 
arabesques and other ideal curved ornamentation falls far behind 
the conventionalizing of straight lines. The Vitruvian curve with 
the Gammadion and Hook-cross (Chin. Man-tse, Jap. Man-ji) 
and geometric figures play a conspicuous part. The first of these 
is never found in the subjects of Indian and Perso- Arabian art 
industry, and the last named only in exceptional cases. 

No symbolic design was so much used in ancient times as the 
Hook-cross. It is found on Scandinavian, Celtic and Gallic 
II. Y 


coins and ornaments, also on Etruscan terra cotta amphorae, and on 
old Egyptian monuments where it signifies immortality — an at- 
tribute of Osiris and Horus.^ It is also a design in many of the 
forms of Greek art. In India and Eastern Asia it is the symbol of 
wisdom and the thousandfold virtues of Buddha. The busts and 
statues of this divinity often display it worn on the breast, espe- 
cially in Farther India, as was shown on the two gilded statues of 
Buddha at the French-Indian Colonial Exhibition in Antwerp some 
years ago. The Hook-cross of western nations, including Egypt 
also, is distinguished from that of the Buddhistic East by a 
secondary claw on the arm of the cross. The arms of the Eastern 
cross also have often an opposite direction, as the accompanying 
sketches show. 






The Japanese call the Hook-cross Man-ji ; the Chinese, 
Man-tse, the word " Man " meaning " ten thousand." By another 
arrangement of the four Gamma of the Hook-cross, the Gam- 
madion is formed, which is not only nearly related to that of 
the old Greeks but is much used as a pattern in surface decoration 
in the art industry of Eastern Asia. The heliotype of the inlaid 
vase (see Metal Working) shows the connection of the Man-ji with 
the Gammadion on both sides of the vine-representation. 

The non-appearance among the Aryan Orientals of the Vitruvian 
curve which is so important an ornament in Grecian and Christian 
art, its frequent use again in Chinese and Japanese art industry, 
is certainly striking, although, so far as I can learn, it has never 
been noticed before. Is this beautiful design spontaneous among 
both Greeks and Chinese, or has one of these nations borrowed it 
from the other, or is its origin to be found farther back, among 
the Assyrians and Chaldeans t Such questions suggest them- 
selves, but are not so easy to answer as might appear at first glance. 
The separate zone of the Arabo-Persian-Indian district from which 
the Vitruvian curve is entirely absent, points towards spontaneous 
origin and use, as well as the circumstance that it is found on the 
cotton fabrics from the old tombs of Peru, though it is not so per- 
fect in them. 

The art industry of Eastern Asia employs the Vitruvian curve 
usually as a border decoration. The vine and other creeping 
plants serve the same purpose. 

^ According to P. Cassel : " Literatur und Symbolik." Leipsic, 1884. 


The Chinese origin of most of the forms and motifs of the pro- 
ductions of Japanese industrial art is easily recognised. Pseonies 
and chrysanthemums, the iris and the lotus flower, the slender, 
graceful bamboo, and deformed, bizarre pines, leafless and blooming 
branches of the mume plum and the magnolia, leafy branches of 
Kerria and the wild cherry, the creeping Glycine with its hanging 
clusters of blue flowers, the evergreen Nandine with its red berries, 
the so-called seven autumn weeds, especially the ornamental Eulalia, 
Lespedeza, Patrina and Hisbiscus mutabilis, the flag, rush and 
arrow-head ; rock and water scenes in gardens with fishes and 
turtles, cranes, herons, pheasants, the Japanese nightingale (Ugui- 
su) and other singing birds, insects in motion and at rest, then the 
animals of the Chinese zodiac,^ and several others like the elephant 
and the peacock, renowned in Buddhism and Chinese legends. 
These are the natural objects chosen by the Japanese as well as 
the Chinese. Four others are also associated with them, the 
Shi-rei or four animals of good fortune, fabulous animals, viz., the 
Howo or Phoenix, Riyo (Tatsu) or dragon, the Kirin or unicorn, 
and the Ki (Kame) or turtle.^ The dragon is pictured on the 
Japanese coat of arms. Curled up like a snake, scaly, with the most 
horrible expression of the head, a distorted animal figure, it is 
found not only on the imperial escutcheon and coins, but everywhere 
imitated, in bronze, in wood and even in woven fabrics. It is the 
emblem of vigilance and strength. An animal which appears more 
often than the unicorn, and as its substitute, is called the Kirin ; 
it has the head and breast of the dragon, the posterior portion of its 
body like a dog or cat, and the mane of a lion. It often forms the 
knob on the cover of urns and smoking utensils, and is as much of a 
favourite for this purpose as the lotus bud. The Howo is seldom 
represented in reliefs, much more frequently in fabrics. The turtle 
is very popular especially the Mino-game (mantle turtle) i.e. a turtle 
with long green confervae attached to its shell. It is the symbol 
of a peaceful old age, one of the seven felicities of human life. 

Another group of decoration-designs, employed extensively in 
bronze reliefs, is from the Buddhist mythology and the old 

^ The Chinese zodiac consists of the Rat, Bull, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, 
Serpent, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Cock, Dog and Wild Boar, answering to the 
Ram, Bull, Gemini, Cancer, etc. 

2 In the Rei-ki, or Relation of Ceremonies, one of the five classic works of 
the Chinese, they are classified briefly and in another order : Rin, Ho, Ki, Riyo. 
They are the kings among beasts and stand at the head of the five classes of 
the animal kingdom in the old Chinese natural history, as follows : — 

1. Man stands at the head of all naked animals. 

2. The Ki-lin (Jap. Ki-rin) or the Unicorn leads and protects all hairy 

3. The Howo (Fung-hwang) or Phoenix represents the feathered creation. 

4. The Riyo (Lung. Jap. Tatsu) or Dragon stands at the head of scaly 

5. The Ki (Kwei, Jap. Kame) or Turtle represents and protects all animals 
provided with a shell. 


Japanese sagas and heroic legends, which furnish abundant material. 
To this group belongs the representation of the Shichi Fuku-jin, 
or the seven gods of good fortune. 

Certain combinations exist as a rule in all the subjects borrowed 
from nature. The most general of them are : the bamboo cane 
and the tiger ; the mume plum and the nightingale (Uguisu) ; sun- 
rise with the pine and the crane ; the lion and the paeony ; the 
deer and the maple; the crane and the turtle (symbols of happiness 
and long life) ; the pine bamboo and mume ; the bulrush and the 
silver heron ; bamboo-cane and sparrow ; rain or willow and 
swallow ; lotus flower and silver heron. The homeward flight or 
alighting of wild geese, the awakening of nature in spring, the 
snowfall and other natural incidents furnish popular decorative 
themes. (Compare Table VII.) 

The Chinese representations of these and other objects are fre- 
quently clumsy and not very true to nature. Especially with 
tree-forms their wild fancy plays wayward tricks, putting leaves 
and flowers together which belong to very difi'erent species or are 
not to be found at all. Their work often shows glaring colours and 
tasteless combinations, particularly in the ordinary market wares. 
For example, at the great Paris Exhibition of 1878 there was to be 
seen a Chinese screen with paintings on silk which represented 
among other things, a blue convolvolus which twined itself around 
the blossoming branches of a pomegranate tree ; on the tree was a 
fanciful bird with a yellow breast, and on a rock at the foot stood 
a cock toward which a dragon fly was flying. No Japanese artist 
would choose such combinations, because they are unnatural, and 
his sense of colour would forbid him. China maintains its con- 
spicuous rank among the countries of Eastern Asia, because of its 
size and its commercial and political importance ; but in its bearing 
toward Christian civilization, in its government, institutions and its 
influence upon our industrial art, Japan is far in advance. 

Though the Japanese were for centuries blind admirers and 
imitators o f their Western neighbours and masters, they are so no 
longer. Itv the beautiful scenery of their own country they find 
the most of those decorative themes which have been introduced 
from the West in clumsy and distorted forms. Many of these objects, 
especially those which their own hills cannot furnish, they plant in 
their gardens and the parks of their temples, and what they admire 
and gaze upon with such pleasure here, the natural productions of 
their own land, become their subjects in art. To delight in nature, 
sitting quietly at her feet to watch her in her life and work, and to 
render back the fleeting and pleasing picture with warmth and 
truth as it was felt and seen, this is gradually becoming the found- 
ation principle of Japanese industrial art. 

The pictures with which the Japanese love to adorn their vases 
and trays, their screens and costly silk embroideries, are therefore 
the expression of a refined taste, of practised observation of nature. 


and a loving appreciation of all the beauty which mountain and 
valley, wood and field in all their manifold forms and phenomena 
can spread before him. 

" Natura artis magistra " — this motto of the Zoological Garden of 
Amsterdam suits no people better than the Japanese. It does not 
stand written on the products of their art industry, but the eye of 
the connoisseur recognises it and its full significance in them, and 
admires the freedom of treatment, the surprising force of expres- 
sion which the Japanese artist knows how to unite with great 
truth to nature, especially in the representation of birds and 
insects and many of the popular flowers. 

Who will dare to deny that this is the true, the fully justified 
Naturalism 1 The artist takes his subject from nature. He seeks 
to represent with devotion and truth the utmost beauty that she 
offers, uncor-rupted and unfalsified by any addition of his own fancy 
or of a low and obscene taste. Not that the latter is wanting 
in the Japanese art world. It was formerly very prevalent, but 
has been repressed by the better judgment and co-operation of 
foreigners and natives of higher aim and cultivation. 

That tendency of our realistic art toward the representation of 
dreadful scenes where blood and the odour of death prevail {e.g. 
those of the celebrated Brussels painter Wiertz, or Benvenuto 
Cellini's well-known bronze statue in the Loggia at Florence) has 
never found approval with the Japanese. And it betokens a better 
development of our own taste, when this bronze masterpiece, " Per- 
seus, standing on the body of Medusa," with the severed, blood- 
dripping head in one hand, and in the other the sword triumphing 
over its bloody work, is being regarded everywhere as an unworthy 
and cruel theme for art. The choice by many artists also of sub- 
jects from daily common life, in so far as they are immorally and 
unsesthetically handled, cannot stand before a strict artistic judg- 
ment, and is at any rate not Fine Art. In every art, realism has 
its justification and its limits. The latter cannot be embraced in 
one short rule, but are defined by a moral power which governs 
and translates the sense of what is beautiful. 

The question whether art must be moral, indeed, whether it 
always can be, is a very old one, and long ago occupied Grecian 
philosophers. Each individual answers it according to his own 
taste and inclination. Obscene representations, however artistically 
perfect they may be, are without question a misuse of art, which 
should educate and form a proper taste. For this reason, the 
Venus di Medici, which is quite in place in a museum, is surely 
not suited for a school. 

In the many decorative subjects which have been borrowed from 
Japanese history, and especially from the great Buddhist mytho- 
logy, the old warriors appear in clumsy armour checking all free 
movement, and the court people in stiff ceremonial dress, but 
generally in remarkably expressive positions. The men are always 


represented with full beards, as up to the time of Shogun-YoiTi.Qrito 
in Kama-kura (1185-1199 A.D.) it was the universal custom to wear 
this appendage. The representations of Buddha as a mild, bliss- 
ful divinity, of feminine appearance, in his several occupations of 
blessing, teaching, and meditating, as expressed by the position of 
the hands and fingers, show a great deal of artistic ability. 

Religion has been at all times and among all peoples the most 
potent stimulant and support of art and art industry. To represent 
deities, to beautify their worship and the temples dedicated to them, 
inspires not only artistic working of wood, stone, and metal,, but 
leads to progress also in textile industries. It may be generally 
accepted that the higher men rise in their conception of God, the 
more artistic and spiritual will be the representations of the em- 
bodied divinity. There is, however, no generic difference, but only 
one of degree, between the rough forms of wood and clay of 
uncivilised nations, and the perfected and beautiful Grecian and 
Christian art. The ideals and grade of civilization in any nation 
are seen more clearly in its art and industry than in its laws and 

With the introduction of Buddhism, as has already been said, 
the language, literature, and art industry of China was spread 
abroad throughout Japan. What had been accomplished in the 
latter up to this time was of no high grade, and in its forms and 
ornamentation was not unlike the productions of our own heathen 
ancestors. Buddhism was, till the middle of this century, the 
principal promoter and patron of art industry.^ In Buddhist 
temples and cloisters the best efforts found application and preser- 
vation, so that the inscription at the entrance to the South 
Kensington Museum — " Quam quisque norit artem in hac se 
exerceat " — was appropriate in these also. 

As feudalism developed under the Minamoto, and still more 
since the tranquillizing of the country under lyeyasu at the begin- 
ning of the seventeenth century, the feudal nobles (the court 
nobility was too poor) constituted themselves the patrons of art 
industry. The castles of the Daimios and the temples became 
from this time the places where its best productions were collected. 
The dynasty of the Tokugawa-Shoguns (or the Tycoon) in Yeddo, 
i,e. from the battle of Sekigahara in 1600 to the restoration 
of the Mikado government in 1868, is the golden age of Japanese 
art handicraft. The long peace and the equally long closure of 
the country served to bring its several branches to stronger and 
more individual development. The germs of this development 
were planted in Japan by the long intercourse with Corea and 
China — which latter country had served as a model for over 1,500 
years — and as the outcome of an expedition to Corea, organized in 
1586 by Hideyoshi, and on this new and fruitful soil had grown 

^ Siebold calls the Buddhist religion " Conductrice des sciences et des arts," 
in his "Sur I'etat de Thorticulture au Japon." Leide, 1863. 


and reached their best period during a long and undisturbed 
season of nufture. 

The condition and ability of Japanese art industry in the first 
half of the seventeenth century can be understood best by its 
various accomplishments in Nikko. After this beautiful site ^ at 
the foot of the wooded and well-watered mountains had been 
chosen for the resting-place of the great Shogun lyeyasu, by his 
own wish, and his body had been removed thither from Ku-no-zan 
in Suruga, the nobles and most faithful followers of their dead 
master and leader made great exertion to pay him all possible re- 
spect in death. The temples and pagodas which they founded, the 
granite columns and water basins, stone and bronze lanterns as 
well as many bells, the wood carving in relief and open v/ork, the 
priests' robes and utensils, lacquer work and many other articles 
preserved from that time, furnish indubitable evidence that art in- 
dustry had even then attained a high degree of perfection. Its 
further advancement is seen in many beautiful articles from the 
tombs of the Shoguns at Shiba and Uyeno in Tokio, and in many 
celebrated temples of the age following. Several art connois- 
seurs consider the reign of the eleventh Shogun, lyenari Bunkio 
(i 787-1 836 A.D.), as the real golden age of Old Japanese art in- 

Finally, after long practice, and after the opening of the country 
to foreign commerce, New Japan appeared in the markets of the 
West, with its manifold productions of lacquer art, with its 
ceramics, its enamelling of copper and earthen vessels, its bronze 
industry and its forged weapons, with its splendid silk fabrics and 
embroideries, and its bewildering variety of playthings and fancy 
articles by which it won very rapidly the admiration of nearly all 
patrons of art, and at the several international exhibitions com- 
peted successfully with the civilized nations of Christendom. 
Like the mountain streams which, after long obstruction, at last 
suddenly pour forth over the plain, flooding and enriching it, 
these products of Japanese industrial art surged into the markets 
of Western Europe and exercised more or less influence on the 
taste and efforts of many of our artisans and artists. 

The feudal system of Japan and its barriers had been overcome, 
the Daimio fortresses had fallen, the cloisters had been robbed of 
a large part of their support, and with this the former supports 
and patrons of its peculiar artistic handicraft had disappeared. 
Most of the art collections of the country went into foreign lands, 
to enrich public and private exhibitions ; many were squandered 
away at ridiculously low prices ; and the fear became widespread 
that the old skill would die out, and the art industry of Japan de- 
generate. This anxiety was well-founded, in so far as the foreign 
exporters of these articles now had them manufactured in quan- 

' See illustrations on pp. 302, 456, and 462, vol. i. 


tities in the treaty ports and in the interior, at the lowest prices, 
since their whole aim was to make as much money as possible. 
The artisans themselves forsook to a great degree the old patterns 
and the old methods of work, and sought eagerly for new forms 
and decorations to please European taste, which hitherto they had 
not known. The most tasteless things, considered so by the 
Japanese, thus reached their market and found their customers. 

But unexpectedly, with the revival of our own art handicraft, 
and the spreading of an educated taste abroad in Europe, there 
came a turning-point in this corrupting tendency in Japanese art 
industry. The number of connoisseurs and amateurs of the pure 
industrial art-productions of Japan increased, the demand for them 
grew, and a new impetus was given to industrial efforts, greater 
and more powerful than any previous influence. This turning- 
point is due not a little to the effect of the great industrial exhibi- 
tions upon all interested Japanese, the government as well as the 
artisans. The degeneration feared by so many, the ruin of 
Japanese industrial art, has not come to pass ; but, in many depart- 
ments, I mention only enamel and bronze work, there has been 
remarkable progress during the past fifteen years. 

The conviction has been reached that the future of Japanese art 
industry lies in the preservation of its individuality. Only while 
the Japanese people retain their childlike joy in the beautiful 
scenery of their country ; while they keep up the careful nurture of 
their favourites in wood and field, temple-grove and house-garden, 
continuing to draw from this living and ever fresh source their 
themes and artistic inspirations, and do not lose their satisfaction 
therein — the main ground of their happiness and of their cheap 
labour-power — only in such case will they keep their place at the 
head in their peculiar industrial and artistic productions. Only 
thus can they hope to preserve the market they have gained, and 
to adapt themselves to it anew. 

In the feudal days of Japan, as has been said, the finest products 
of art industry went to the adornment of temples and dwellings of 
the barons. They were generally made to order, and the princes 
vied with each other in developing and maintaining conspicuous 
talent. This gave the artist an undisturbed leisure and joy in 
his creations. When it is maintained however that in recent times 
many persons in the higher classes of Japan showed not only 
interest in art industry, but occupied themselves with it — that even 
princes and ministers modelled and painted lacquer ware, it must 
be owing to a great misunderstanding of existing circumstances. 
Dilettanti of this sort are much rarer there than with us. Verse- 
making or poetising was always fashionable even in the highest 
circles, and so was painting probably, but these circles have played 
no such noticeable part in the development of industrial art as 
has been sometimes reported. In Japan, art and art industry do 
not dwell in palaces, but in the modest little wooden dwellings of 


poor but contented and happy people, whose needs are few and easy 
to satisfy. Their products are called Te-zai-ku, i.e. " fine hand work." 

The apprentice advances through a long and, in our eyes, a hard 
schooling to the rank of journeyman, from journeyman to master, 
and it is only when talent, diligence, and perseverance are com- 
bined that the highest rank can be reached — the place of a leading, 
progressive artist. But the whole people, from the highest in posi- 
tion to the lowest, show interest and comprehension for the produc- 
tions of industrial art, and in this fact may be found undoubtedly 
a powerful means of its advancement. 

The eye and hand of the Japanese are on the average more 
practised than those of the European. Even the ordinary man can 
generally make a fairly clear sketch of an article or a route. Why 
is it .'' Is this keener artistic sense, this greater executive ability of 
the people, inborn or acquired ? I think the latter, and believe 
that the key to the problem is chiefly in the difficulty with which 
Chinese and Japanese letters and characters are learned. It takes 
years of practice and great diligence for the eye to distinguish them 
quickly, and for the hand to imitate them easily with the India-ink 
brush. But in this way the eye acquires great facility in recognis- 
ing and grasping form and proportion, and the hand the dexterity 
to reproduce them both with truth.^ 

The Japanese combine with their artistic skill not only a great 
imitative faculty, but also much inventive power where small art- 
conceptions and surprising effects are concerned. The inventive 
spirit of the American is a speculative one, directed to the devising 
of useful working-material and contrivances, some of which are 
known in England and America as "Yankee notions." The Japan- 
ese, however, invent little artistic trifles instead. In the one case 
the spur to invention is the lightening of hand labour by substitu- 
tion of other means. Here, it is the joy of artistic creation, with- 
out any reckoning of the material benefit to be gained. 

In speaking of Japanese influence on the art industry of the 
Christian West, it seems best to distinguish three periods of com- 
merce with this land of the sunrising, viz., the Portuguese, Dutch, 
and modern. The period of the almost exclusive commerce of 
Portugal with Japan covers the last half of the sixteenth cen- 
tury. After the discovery of the country by Mendez Pinto in 
1542, Portuguese Jesuits, led by Francis Xavier, introduced Christ- 
ianity into the southern and middle parts, with such success that 
many thousands were converted. The influence of these followers 
of Loyola grew noticeably, until in 1582 some Christian princes of 
the island of Kiushiu sent an embassy with rich presents to the 
Pope at Rome and the court at Madrid by way of Lisbon. 

^ If the comparison be allowed, I would remind the reader here of the Slavic 
nations and the well-known ease with which they acquire foreign languages. 
The difficulties of their mother tongue exercise ear and tongue in such a way 
as to fit them for a quick comprehension and use of foreign idioms. 


These gifts, as well as all the other industrial products of Japan 
which may have reached the Iberian and Italian peninsulas at this 
time, did not exercise any direct influence upon the art industry of 
those countries any more than did the Portuguese priests and mer- 
chants at that time trading there.^ As these latter were banished 
from the country during the first decades of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, Europe found she had gained little from her eighty years of 
intercourse with Japan save the increase in her historical and 
ethnographical knowledge. This interesting country remained a 
teri'a incognita for the naturalist particularly, and its investigation 
in this respect was only begun toward the end of the century by 
the German E. Kaempfer. 

During this long period (1624-1854), in which Holland alone 
maintained and only in Nagasaki the intercourse of Europe with 
Japan under very profitable but very humiliating conditions, many 
valuable industrial Japanese products were brought to the Nether- 
lands. For a long time after, these articles were, so to speak, foreign 
to the rest of Europe, as they only reached the private collections 
of individual princes. They were principally urn-shaped covered 
vases, of Hizen porcelain, and even in Holland only exercised a 
noticeable influence on ceramics. There flourished at that time 
(1639- 1 764) the celebrated Faience manufactory of Lambertus 
Cleffius in Delft. It followed the tendency of the time, and painted 
its pictures on hard, burned tin enamel, while in the preceding 
period the colours had been laid upon air-dried enamel sheaths, 
and burned with them, so that the decorations were much lighter 
and more delicate in form. 

The painters of the establishment were now greatly inspired 
by the new decorative designs of the Japanese models, as were also 
those of many other Dutch manufactories of the time, all of which 
called their wares porcelain, some of even receiving patents for 
their correct imitations of the Japanese, e.g.^ Pinaker. The Japan- 
ese patterns were not followed in material, but in their forms, and 
still more in their decorations. We find represented on the pro- 
ducts of this expanded Dutch Faience industry, for instance, the 
Botan [PcBonia Montan), the Mume [Primus Mume), the Matsu 
(Pinus de7tsiJlora)y and other specimens of Japanese flora, also 
cranes, silver herons, peacocks, etc, after their Japanese models. 

^ My hope to find these presents and other products of Japanese industrial 
art of that time in the collections at Lisbon, Madrid, or Rome, or in Portuguese 
cloisters, and so to have some firm basis for a judgment of the work of Japan 
in the sixteenth century, was not fulfilled, greatly to my regret. The investiga- 
tions which a well-informed friend made for me last year in Rome proved as 
fruitless as my own in Madrid, Lisbon, and the vicinity. Don Fernando, the late 
king and art patron, who was an excellent judge of industrial art-productions, 
and who had the kindness to take me himself through the Lisbon collection, 
was of the opinion that Portugal possessed nothing from that period. The 
same is even more true of Spain, whose capital does not yet possess any 
ethnographical or industrial art collection. 


As, however, in the eighteenth century, Faience with its opaque 
tin enamel was more and more displaced by the successful opera- 
tions of this porcelain manufacture, in Europe the Japanese pat- 
terns vanished also, and were superseded by Chinese, as we can 
discern especially in the older specimens of Meissen and Sevres 
ware. The earliest products of Bottger and Tschirnhaus, the so- 
called "red porcelain " — stone and earthenware of a reddish brown 
jasper colour, such as eighty years later was supplied by Wedgwood 
in England — consist mainly of tea-pots, a part of which, in colour- 
ing, form, and decoration might be confounded with many manu- 
factured in these days in China, V^., with those in the province of 
Shantung. In the same way the hard porcelain made in Meissen 
from 1709 resembles in every particular the Chinese models. 
In later times, the decorations of Meissen, as of other places, forsook 
more and more the East Asiatic patterns, and kept only a few 
conventional fragments, like the blossoms of the rose, pseony, and 
mume plum, which, deprived of their other constituent parts, they 
combined with arabesques and other ideal decoration, forming 
pictures which made up in symmetry and beauty of form what they 
lacked in truth to nature. 

In Sevres too, where in 1695 they had already begun to manu- 
facture a kind of porcelain, but did not understand before 1768 how 
to imitate the hard Chinese variety, the decorations were at first a 
simple copy of the Chinese, and only took on by degrees an inde- 
pendent character. 

And now comes the noticeable and widely extended movement 
of modern times, quite outside of all connection with these earliest 
influences of the ceramic art of Eastern Asia on the noble pottery 
of Europe, and far removed from them in point of time. This new 
movement toward the Japanese art of decoration, which does not 
aim to copy blindly the Japanese forms, has been observed only 
within the last fifteen years, or in exceptional cases ten years 
earlier, and first found expression at the Great Exhibition at 
Vienna. It was caused by the great popularity of this Japanese 
decorative art in fashionable circles, and of Japanese products, after 
the old barriers to their export had fallen. France and England, 
hitherto the countries which set fashions in industries of all sorts, 
have also gone the farthest in the new direction. Setting aside 
the evidence of the Vienna Exhibition, we see the Japanese 
influence on the industry of these countries, especially in ceramics, 
decoration of bronzes, gold and silver work (less in other branches 
of industry), and this was shown especially in the Paris Industrial 

Among the ceramics of the French Exhibition of 1878 there were 
imitations of Japanese patterns in porcelain and terra cotta, and many 
especially in Faience. The specimens of Faience from Gien (Loiret), 
and of Choisy le Roi (Seine), should be mentioned as remarkable 
productions of this kind. The great manufactory of Gien exhi- 


bited plates whose decorations were not distinguishable from Ku- 
tanityaka (Kaga porcelain), and the imitations of the censers of 
Satsuma were as surprisingly true. The porcelain painter, L. 
Celliere, of Paris, has developed great taste and skill in imitating 
Japanese masters ; also F. Gaidan, who copies Awata-yaki (Kioto 
Faience) remarkably well, and has distinguished himself particu- 
larly by his free use of Japanese manner. Majorelle, a manufac- 
turer from Nancy, produces good copies of the lacquered Imari 

If we turn our attention to the exhibitions of Paris bronze work, 
which was brilliantly represented at the Universal Exhibition 
of 1878, Barbedienne naturally first enlists our interest. Of all 
Frenchmen he has accomplished most in general bronze manufac- 
ture, and especially in the employment of imbedded enamel, and is 
almost the only one who has succeeded in imitating Japanese 
cloisonne enamel, and using it in surface decoration. This he has 
done with great success, though not indeed in a financial sense. 
Not content with mere imitation, he aims to use more familiar de- 
corative themes after the Japanese manner, which in our eyes is a 
much more valuable service. He exhibited a large plate with the 
central design of a pond with white water-lilies, while water 
lilies {Biitoimts) and yellow blooming iris surrounded one side, and a 
wild duck was just settling upon the water surface. Blackberry 
bushes, vines, twigs of oak, oats and reeds, as well as several other 
plants belonging to our domestic flora, were used on other bronze 
articles with a corresponding application. 

Over against these truly noteworthy accomplishments are others 
in which the Japanese have been copied in a most senseless and 
ridiculous way. Of this kind was a fire screen, from the firm of 
Bouhon & Co. Its bronze decoration, which rested on woven 
wire in a broad brass frame, was intended to represent the branch 
'of a pine whose needles had been transformed into shield-shaped 
leaves, the blooming twigs of the mume plum forming the ramifi- 
cation. To add to this unnatural combination, a silver heron was 
placed on the horizontal part of the branch. " Make what you will, 
somebody will praise it," wrote the "Wandsbecker Bote" (Claudius) 
once to his friend Andre. So here also ; the article, priced at 300 
francs, was five times ordered, as a placard stated, evidently just 
because of this artistic combination. 

What Barbedienne is to the manufacture of bronze ware, Chris- 
tofle is to gold and silversmith's work in France, and even more 
as a galvano-plastic plater and decorator of nickel-silver and 
bronze. His wares are chased partly before and partly after silver 
plating. Often after plating, the engraved ornamentation is gold 
plated or enamelled in black, with especially fine effect. Chris- 
tofle employs Japanese decorative themes very frequently ; an 
entire division of his large and rich exhibition was devoted to 
Japanese styles. 


If one wished to know the influence of Japan upon English art 
industry, he had only to look at the most brilliant part in the 
British section of the Exhibition, the productions of the five fol- 
lowing great houses, viz., Elkington, Minton, the Royal Porcelain 
Manufactory of Worcester, H. Doulton and Thos. Webb & Sons. 
The exhibition of Elkington, the most celebrated English silver- 
smith, included chiefly useful articles of gold and silver and electro- 
plated nickel wares. Japanese models played a large part in the 
varied ornamentation, and generally were employed with great 

In Minton's porcelain manufactory at Stoke-upon-Trent, which 
imitates the varied Faience of earlier times, and had an extraor- 
dinarily rich collection in Paris, there is scarcely one Japanese 
theme that has not been used. Especially noticeable were the 
cups in the colouring of the Awata-yaki, each with its mume 
plum and flying nightingale (Uguisu) charmingly painted on a 
shield of violet ground. But who will pay 105 francs for such a 
work when he can get the same cup from Japan for a few dollars ? 
The Royal Porcelain Works of Worcester, the second great manu- 
factory of English china, in its efforts to imitate Satsuma Faience, 
discovered " ivory porcelain," with a colour between that of Satsuma 
and Awata-yaki, resembling ivory more than either however, and 
well-suited to its name. It is a notable specialty of this factory, 
and not only the decorations but in part the Japanese forms also 
are imitated very successfully in its prismatic and bamboo-cane 
vases, basins, etc. 

There are many Japanese copies also in the work of the great 
London Faience factory of H. Doulton at Lambeth, and in many 
other of the English exhibits of fire-clay wares. The factory which 
shows the least Japanese influence among the five mentioned 
above is the glass works of Thomas Webb & Sons. 

The United States of America appeared also in the Champs de 
Mars. Among their exhibits, I note that of the firm of Tiffany 
& Co., New York, which received one of the three great prize- 
medals in the department of Orfevrerie. A large part of its heavy 
silver ware was decorated in Japanese designs with fishes, butter- 
flies, crabs, herons, iris, garlands, etc., partly engraved and partly 
in relief. The ceramic industry of America was but slightly 
represented ; but nevertheless the Japanese section of the " Cen- 
tennial Exposition" in Philadelphia, 1876, has had a surprising 
influence upon it. Where formerly it was the custom, even in the 
households of the rich, to use plain white plates and cups, from this 
time, wherever possible, everybody would have them decorated in 
Japanese style. 

Most of the other countries which were represented at the Paris 
Exhibition made but little display in this direction. Russian art 
industry for instance, has held itself entirely independent of Japa- 
nese influence, and preserves more than all others its own national 


character. But the porcelain works of Stockholm, which, as also 
some of our German factories, are furnished with a very fine raw 
material in the white-burning felspar (Mikroline) from the neigh- 
bouring islands of Ytterby, have evidently felt the impress of the 
new tendency and taste. The celebrated factories of Rorstrand 
and Gustavsberg, which are among the oldest in Europe, and have 
received high distinction in competition with other countries, 
seemed to have taken from the Japanese partly the form and 
decoration and partly only the ge7ire of the latter. Under the 
first class there were two four-cornered vases — not at all successful 
copies — painted with Japanese girls who showed the blonde hair of 
the Scandinavians. But wherever they had freely followed Jap- 
anese manner, only in fine antique forms, e.g.^ in two other vases 
ornamented with Swedish grasses and wild flowers, the truth, and 
free, easy and forcible treatment delighted every art lover. 

My consideration of Japanese art industry is almost ended. 
On page 4 of the beautiful work of C. von Liitzow, " Kunst und 
Kunstgewerbe auf der Wiener Weltaustellung," J. Falk says 
especially relative to Japan, " By means of Universal Exhibitions, 
the highly coloured and decorative art of the Orient has come 
forth from its isolation and retirement. It has become a great power 
in Europe, making itself forcibly felt in its industry, and threaten- 
ing in some departments to entirely revolutionize its taste." If 
this expression was justified by what followed the Vienna Exhibi- 
tion on the Prater in 1873, it is confirmed still more by the de- 
velopment in art industry shown in 1878 on the Champ de Mars 
in Paris. I do not consider an entire revolution in European taste 
through Japanese influence possible in any branch; but rather a 
continuance for some time yet of blind imitation of Japanese 
models. They have in my opinion no direct steady value, but 
serve indirectly, through refinement of taste and its wider spread 
among us, to work against a one-sided unnatural conventionalism, 
and to lead us more to nature as a teacher. It is not the blind 
imitation, but acceptance of the light, pleasing manner of their art, 
that will essentially aid our art industry and tend to the further 
development of that fine taste of which the French minister, in his 
speech at the distribution of the prizes in Paris, 1878, said so 
aptly : 

" Le o^out est la fecondit^ du travail." 


Furniture making. — Inlaid Work. — Peculiarities of Turnery in the 
Hakone Mountai?is and Nikko. — Comb-cutting. — Straw Mosaics. 

It has already been stated that Japanese architecture, like that 
of Eastern Asia generally, is not, as in the European civilization, 
the oldest and most eminent exponent of art, but that its wood 


structures lack much in solidity, adaptation and elegance, besides 
being an easy prey of fire. The Japanese show their inventive 
genius, skill and perseverance in woodwork of an entirely different 
character from building, viz., in the hundreds of little articles which 
they manufacture from this material. Therefore it is not as car- 
penters and architects that their peculiar talent and taste is dis- 
tinguished, but as joiners, turners, and wood-carvers. The frames 
of the Shoji or window panes, the wainscotting of the walls in 
many of their temples, and numerous other works, are samples of 
their fine and careful joinery. 

The very simple way of living and the household arrangements 
among all classes of Japanese people, excluding as it does the use 
of heavy furniture, does not tend to develop any individual style 
of cabinet-making. The principal work of manufacturing the 
few wooden household articles, such as chests, sword stands, eta- 
geres^ screens, dining-tables, trays, sedan chairs, etc., falls to the 
lacquerer, who paints the light and neatly made frames and ground- 
work of pine with the precious varnish, and decorates them with 
his skilled and artistic hand. Now, however, in modern times and 
with the necessity to furnish the houses of foreigners and natives 
after European style, artistic cabinet-making has been developed 
and attempted with growing success, not only in making common 
furniture, but above all in fine wood mosaic work called intarsia or 
7narquetrie. And in this line the most excellent results were very 
soon reached. A peculiar kind of wood-working is wrought in the 
Hakone Mountains, and at Shidzuoka, the capital of Suruga. The 
cabinets, commodes, and tables ornamented with wood inlaid-work, 
are very much prized and already many of them are exported. 
For inlaying, the yellow-brown wood of the camphor laurel with 
its silky lustre is chosen. Also the black pith-wood of kaki, or the 
persimon tree {Doispyros kaki). The wood most prized for all kinds 
of cabinet-work and for turnery also in part, is that of the keaki 
{Zelkoiva keaki), already mentioned in this connection on page 242. 
It is used by itself alone much as our oak, but serves also as a stout 
framework in the large amount of intarsia work, for tables and 
commodes, neither splitting nor warping, and showing off the light- 
coloured mosaic in its dark colour and fine flecking very advanta- 
geously, like a dark picture frame. It is also very useful in turning 
and carving, as for instance in the pipe-case in the illustration. Fig. 

I, P- 133- 

The wood-work of the Hakone mountains, — a day's journey 
from Yokohama, — which goes by the name of Hakone-zaiku, (Ha- 
kone-work) consists mainly of these mosaics, and a great variety of 
small articles turned by the lathe, very cheap, and extensively ex- 
ported. I need only mention the little ash cups standing on one 
foot, made from the wood of the Sansho {Xanthoxyhun piperiUim^ 
(p .255), the black-veined light plates and bottle stands of Sotetsu 
Cycas revohita) and the heavier ones of Hari-no-ki (a sort of alder) 


which have the same appearance, besides the different boxes, some 
of which, if opened, show that they are intended for candlesticks, 
and other things, as cigar cups, all made from this peculiar-looking 
alder wood. The busy people of the Hokone Mountains, who 
support themselves in this way, keep the preparation of Hari-no-ki 
{Alims incana and A.Jirnia) a secret, and pass off the articles made 
from it as the product of Tsuta-no-ki {Actmidia vohibilis. Planch.) 
whose extremely light, large-pored wood is not really very similar. 
It is not difficult however for the searching, practical glance to 
penetrate the secret in the Hakone villages, Hata, Kawabata, Miya- 
noshita, and several others where this work is extensively carried 
on, as well as in the little city of Hakone itself, and the bathing 
resort, Atami. This secret lies in the fact that the trees are felled 
in the neighbouring woods in spring, when the wood is full of sap. 
The branches and tops are cut off, and the trunks sawed into 
lengths of about two meters each, and then left to lie in their bark 
during the warm, rainy summers, being often turned. The wood 
in this way becomes mouldy, its red colouring matter undergoes a 
chemical change not yet investigated, becomes dark brown, and 
collects in particular places, so that the wood assumes a dark, 
spotted appearance. In turning on the lathe, both of these changes, 
the mouldy character and the peculiar marking, show distinctly 
through the colouring. After polishing with shave-grass, the 
articles are put back upon the lathe, pressed close to a piece of 
vegetable wax (R6, see p. 158 ff.) and turned, which gives them a 
smooth, shiny surface, at the same time filling the pores with R6. 

The turning-lathe just mentioned is a very simple apparatus. 
The turner has the main element, an iron axis, with one end, a four 
lined fork, turned towards himself. The other end of the axis rests 
and moves on a support in the middle of a pan. Between them is 
a twisted strap ending underneath in two treadles. The workman 
sits with the legs in a box-like recess, to which the straps with 
the treadles reach. When he moves the treadles up and down 
like the blower at the bellows of an organ, the horizontal axis is 
turned not in one direction, but now to the right and now to the 
left. The turner places the thick cross-section of wood on the 
before mentioned fork, and according to his wish turns a narrow or 
a wide cup-like hollow in it, and then forces in one end of the piece 
of wood out of which he wishes to form the article. 

Nikko-zaiku (Nikko work). In the celebrated temple and 
pilgrimage place, Nikko (Imaichi) there are a comparatively large 
number of shops which deal in simple lacquer wares for home con- 
sumption, and also with peculiar carved and turned woodwork. 
The former come from Wakamatsu in Aidzu, the others are manu- 
factured in Nikko itself, and it is these which are called by the 
above name. The articles are neither so various and beautiful nor 
so prized as those from Hakone, but are very peculiar. The woods 
of the camphor laurel, alder and other trees, so generally used there 


do not play any part in Nikko. What gives Nikko ware its charm 
is the individuality of its shapes, and the materials employed in 
making it. Roots and pieces of branches of the Shakunagi {Rhodo- 
dendron MetternicJiii) are stripped of their bark, and hollowed out 
for bowls, ash cups, water dippers, and other purposes, then lac- 
quered on the inside, and provided with a lacquered cover. Old 
cork-like Polyporus is treated in the same way, and furnishes a 
quantity of hollow vessels which attract by their want of symmetry 
as well as their originality. 

Comb-cutting. The Japanese till now have made by far the 
greatest part of their toilette and small-tooth combs of wood, and 
used for this purpose chiefly the heavy, thick wood of several ever- 
green trees of the southern part of the country. The following obser- 
vations and memoranda relative thereto were gathered atSawa-mura, 
in the province of Idzumi, on the way from Sakai to Wakayama. 
Comb-cutting is carried on here in many of the houses. The woods 
employed are chiefly the following, arranged in the order of their 
estimation ; i. Tsuge {Buxns japonica, p. 246), 2. Isu or Yusu 
{Distylium racemosum, p. 251), 3. Tsubaki (Camellia japonica, p. 
259). The relative price of the combs made from these woods is 
8 sen, 2 sen, and I sen each. Ginger, or Ukon, is often used to 
give camellia wood the yellow colour of box, but cannot impart to 
it the more important qualities, equal fineness of grain, hardness and 
toughness. The imitation is otherwise very deceptive. Yusu wood 
is easily recognised by its reddish brown colour. It comes, like 
box, from Kiushiu, by way of Osaka and Sakai. It is soaked in 
water for a longer or shorter time as necessity may require, in order 
to prevent splitting. As in the case with Tsubaki, the wood of 
kindred varieties is used also, e.g. of Mokkoku {Tenistroemia), but 
much less frequently. 

A sort of division of labour exists in this industry. One man 
saws the wood into plates, another with a circular saw cuts out, a 
third files, grinds, and polishes the prepared comb. When it is 
to hold up and adorn the hair of a girl or a woman, it is as a rule 
ornamented by the lacquerer. 

In Yabuhara on the Nakasendo also, the comb manufacture 
occupies many hands, but the softer deciduous woods of the neigh- 
bouring forests are used here, and the wares are cheap and inferior. 

Straw Mosaic, Jap. Wara-kise-zaiku. The most common way of 
ornamenting many small articles of Japanese woodwork, and at the 
same time protecting them against the effects of weather, is by 
lacquering, about which the following chapter will give more 
extended information. There is another decorative art by means 
of a sort of mosaic work. Intarsia, or the inlaying of difl'erent 
coloured woods, such as is carried on chiefly in the Hakone Moun- 
tains, has already been mentioned. A third method is the over- 
laying of wooden ware with plaited rattan or straw. The first is 
seen chiefly on the oval bread basket, the outside of which instead 

II. Z 


of being lacquered is often covered with fine rattan braiding, glued 
on, also in egg-shell porcelain. 

It is more often the case that straw mosaic is used for decora- 
ting small wooden ware. These are little cabinets, boxes, bowls, 
and other articles commonly made of Kiri-wood, which are very- 
popular because of their lightness. The most beautiful of them are 
sent from the province of Tajima to the treaty ports. These, as 
well as the favourite straw toys of children, made also at Omori, on 
the Tokaido, between Yokohama and Tokio. Barley straw split 
and coloured with aniline dyes is used for mosaic work. The 
ornaments are first placed together after a pattern on bast paper, 
and glued on with Fu-nori or some other paste, and then in the 
same way fastened to the wood. Even in this work, the common 
labourer manifests a cultivated taste in the arranging and contrast- 
ing of colours that is not to be found in any other nation. 

The manufacture of toys, or Omocha, belongs also to this small- 
wood industry (I recall only the koma or top) in which the Japanese 
show themselves very skilful and careful workmen. We turn now 
another branch of industry in which these qualities are manifested 
in a far higher degree. 

Lacquer Work. 

Prefatory Observatmis. — Mangier of Obtaining the fapaiiese Lacquer; 
its Properties. — The Urushi-kabiire or Lacqner Poisonifig. — Pre- 
paration of Raw Lac for the Lacqiierer. — Prices of the Material. 
— Other Materials and Utensils needed in the Work. — Laying on 
of the Gronndzuork and Simple Lacquer Ornamentation. — The 
Work of the Lacquer Painter or Makiye-shi. — Plain and Relief 
Gold-lacquer Decoratio7is. — Lacquer Carving. — Historical Items 
concerning Lacquer Work. 

Prefatory Remarks. 

Among the many well developed branches of Japanese art 
industry, lacquer work undoubtedly takes the first place. In no 
other have the feeling for art and artistic ability of the Japanese, 
their free play of fancy, and their admirable perseverance and skill 
in executing their richly figured pictures, developed earlier and 
more. In none have they so quickly disengaged themselves from 
their Chinese masters and patterns and stood more independently, 
and finally in no other have they so surely won eminence among 
all civilized people.^ Besides, in scarcely any other branch of their 
industry is the employment and use of the raw material so varied, 

^ Father d'Incarville, 128 years ago bore repeated testimony to the superiority 
of Japanese lacquer work over that of the Chinese, from which it sprang. The 
Enghsh designation " to Japan," is likewise intended to signify lacquering. 


the purposes and excellence of the articles it serves to adorn so 
manifold, as in the case of the Japanese lacquer-work, and the in- 
dustry which gives it value. 

The great superiority of the Japanese lacquer wares is not only 
the result of several excellent properties of the peculiar lacquer,^ 
but is also based on the careful manner in which that excellent 
material is used, Japanese articles of this kind are distinguished 
by greater lightness and elegance of appearance ; by their solidity, 
and the beauty and spirit of their decorations ; principally, however, 
by several very valuable elements in the material itself. To these 
belong : — 

1. Its great hardness, in which the Japanese lacquer varnish 
far excels all others, even the copal, tar, and asphaltum, without 
showing brittleness or becoming cracked. 

2. Its high lustre and the mirror-like surface of the carefully laid- 
on lacquer coating, especially the black, qualities which are pre- 
served under the most different atmospheric influences for decades, 
and even centuries. 

3. Its resistance to a number of agencies which attack and 
destroy our common resinous lacquer varnish. 

Thus the Japanese lacquer is not injured by boiling water, or 
hot cigar ashes ; it withstands even alcoholic liquids of all sorts, 
and acids, at least when cold. The hot, sharp, salty soup of the 
Japanese makes as little impression on the lacquered wooden dish 
from which they eat it, as does the heated sake. According to 
Professor H. W. Vogel, the simple black Japanese lacquered dish 
is proof against acid and alcohol, and serves an excellent purpose 
on this account in photo-chemistry. 

It is by these properties, quite apart from the artistic adornment, 
that Japanese and Chinese lacquer wares may be recognised and 
distinguished from their European imitations, which are brought 
into the market from Holland, from Spa, Forbach, and other 
localities ; for all these imitations are prepared from resinous var- 
nishes which do not share in the properties of the Japanese. 

All Japanese lacquer wares are called Nuri-mono, less frequently 
Uru-shi-saiku. Urushi signifies varnish — nuri, to spread over, es- 
pecially with varnish ; mono, the work ; saiku, the wares or the 
manufacture. The lacquerers are divided into two general classes, 
viz., Nuri-mono-shi or Nushi-ya, and Makiye-shi. The first sup- 
ply the groundwork and common lacquering. Those belonging 
to this class understand nothing of the business of the others, and 
only in exceptional cases employ precious metals for decoration. 
The Makiye-shi or lacquer painters stand higher. They understand 
also all the work of the Nuri-mono-shi, but are employed mostly 
with the decoration of the primed lacquer ware, especially with 

* "Japanese lacquer is not like our copal varnish, an artificial mixture of 
resin, fatty oils, and turpentine, but in reality a ready-made product of nature." 
— Wagoner. 


the representation of pictures and designs in gold and silver dust. 
They are real artists, who wield their small brush with great 
firmness and skill, and not only work according to patterns, but 
often develop admirable creative power in designing. 

Besides these two, there are or were still other classes of spe- 
cialists, e.g., Ao-gai-shi or mother-of-pearl inlayers, and the Saya- 
shi or sword-sheath lacquerers. 

There is no longer any secret in the Japanese art of lacquer- 
work, although even in modern times the contrary has been as- 
serted. Every one who will take the time, and bring to it the 
necessary previous knowledge, can study in Japan, as I myself did, 
the manner of obtaining and preparing the raw material. A real, 
expert study is indeed necessary, and as but few have hitherto had 
time and opportunity for this, and many have repeated without 
understanding what they have gained from incompetent Japanese 
sources, their reports are always full of erroneous assertions. 

For these reasons, and because this treatise is almost exclusively 
the outcome of personal studies made on the spot and continued 
later in Europe, a complete statement of the literature of the 
subject seems unnecessary here. I will indicate only the most 
valuable works bearing upon it, remarking upon a part of them 
in passing. 

1. " Memoire sur la vernis de la Chine." By Father d'Incarville, 
Jesuit and Correspondent of the Academic. This appeared in 
'' Memoirs de Mathematique et de Physique, presentes a I'Academie 
Royale des Sciences, par divers Savans, et lus dans ses Assemblees." 
Vol. iii. pp. 1 17-142. Paris, 1760. 

A free German translation of this may be found in the Supple- 
ment to Heidemann : " M. Watin's Kunst des Staffiermalers, Ver- 
i^olders, Lackierers, und Farbenfabrikanten (in ' Neuer Schauplatz 
der Kiinste und Handwerke '). Ilmenau, 1824." 

In the first sentence of this still readable article, the author 
states that the lacquer of China is not a composition, but a gum or 
resin that exudes from the lac tree. Much of what is said about 
the manner of obtaining the lac, and its use, applies to Japan also, 
and is as true to-day as then. It is not to be wondered that there 
are some errors also, as, e.g.^ when d'Incarville calls tea oil a drying 
substance, and gives it a place beside black Japanese lac, with 
burned hartshorn. Nevertheless, the article remains instructive and 
interesting, because in more than one place he gives expression 
to the superiority of the Japanese as perceived by the Chinese 

2. Wagener,Dr.G. : "Japanischer Lack. Dinglers Polytechnisches 
Journal." Band 218, p. 361. 1875. This small work is the result of 
thorough observation and sound judgment, as is everything which 
this scientific and cultivated author has written concerning Japan. 

3. Maeda : "Les Laques du Japon. Revue scientifique." 2'"*^ 
Serie. Vol. vii. pp. 1 17-128. Paris, 1878. 


4. Rein: "Das Japanlsche Kunstgewerbe. Oesterr. Monatsschrift 
fur den Orient." Vienna, 1882. Nos. 4 and 5.^ 

5. Quin, J. J. : " Report by Her Majesty's Acting Consulate at 
Hakodati, on the Lacquer Industry of Japan." London, 1882.^ 

6. H. Yoshida : " On Urushi Lacquer. Journal Chem. Soc." 
1883, p. 472 ff. 

7. O. Korschelt and H. Yoshida. "The Chemistry of Japanese 
Lacquer. Transact. As. Soc. Japan." XII. pp. 182-220. While 
my limited chemical aids in Japan made it possible for me to 
make only a qualitative investigation of the raw lac, the authors 
of this very interesting article have succeeded in throwing light 
upon the constitution of its several elements. Korschelt particu- 
larly has pointed out its most important constituent — lac-acid, and 
thoroughly investigated its properties, besides tracing several inter- 
esting phenomena in its relation to the lacquer process, and making 
corresponding statements. Wherein I differ from his conclusions, 
I have given my own views in the place where such difference 

* I spent the first five months of the year 1874, and of my stay in Japan, in 
Tokio, chiefly in the study of lacquer work. After I had set up a chemical 
laboratory in the German Legation, 1 engaged two experiencedand very competent 
lacquerers, one of whom, named Kisaburo, was. a thorough artist, and arranged 
a workshop under their directions. My principal purpose was to become ac- 
quainted with the art of lacquering, and all the utensils and materials used in 
the work. In order to accompHsh this, and at the same time to secure for the 
Royal Museum of Industrial Art in Berlin an instructive collection of samples, 
I ordered from a joiner one hundred tablets of Hi-no-ki wood {Retinispora 
obtKsa), each 20 centimeters long by 13 centimeters broad, I kept a journal 
giving account of all the work, which I myself also participated in, and I also 
investigated all materials employed. When the collection was finished I sent it 
with a report to His Excellency the Prussian Minister of Trade and Industry, 
in Berlin. That report forms the foundation of this treatise. In order to com- 
plete it, and to learn more of the cultivation and value of the lac tree in the 
interior of the country, and the other branches of industry, I started upon my 
travels. The result of this journey was a report concerning the cultivation of 
the tree, the extraction of the raw lac, and of the vegetable tallow, after I had 
visited all the great centres of this cultivation, as well as nearly every place 
where important lacquer work was carried on, and had obtained the most truly 
scientific information regarding all. The succeeding pages cover the ground of 
my investigations as briefly as practicable, and treat also of the collection in the 
Royal Industrial Art Museum in Berlin, which in the nature of its origin and 
its instructive value may be truly said to stand alone. 

2 In Balfour's Cyclopaedia of India, of 1873, there is this statement: "The 
manner of preparing the varnish, and the mode of applying it, is and is likely 
to remain a secret." Sir Joseph Hooker of Kew, in his report for 1882, quotes 
this, and concludes that Quin, consul in Hakodate, had learned the secret. 
Both these gentlemen appear to have as little knowledge of the above quoted 
works of Father d'lncarville and Dr. Wagener as of my own study of lacquer 
work in Japan. 


Method of Obtaining the Raw Varnish, and its 

The material of the industry now treated is an emulsion, the 
sap of the lac tree or Urushi-no-ki (Rhus vernicifera, D. C), culti- 
vated in China and Japan. The character of this species of 
sumach, its variety, and the distribution of its culture in Japan, 
also its introduction into Germany, have already been discussed on 
pp. 158-160. It has been especially noted also that the chief 
districts of lac cultivation He in Northern Hondo, between the 
37th and 39th parallels.^ 

About three-fourths of all raw lac is obtained north of the 36th 
parallel. The inland provinces and former Daimio territories of 
Aidzu, Yonezawa, Yamagata, and Nambu, and lying nearer the 
Japan Sea, parts of the provinces of Echizen [e.g., Ochiyama, not 
far from Fukui), Echigo (neighbourhood of Murakami, Nagaoka, 
and others), Ugo (Akita, in the district of the Tochima-gawa and 
Noshiro-gawa), and Mutzu {e.g.^ at Hirosaki), are distinguished 
above all others for their extensive plantations of the lacquer tree. 
The lac of the young trees in the vicinity of Yoshino in Yamato is 
particularly estimated. 

The extraction of the sumach lac has much similarity to the 
manner of obtaining manna from the trunks of Fraxinus Ornus 
in Sicily.^ It is done by making a horizontal slit upon the tree 
(girdle cutting), and can be undertaken the whole summer through, 
from April to the end of October. The lac taken in spring is the 
least valuable, because it is very watery. The autumn product is 
much thicker, but also granulous and slow in exudation. The best 
time for the lac harvest is midsummer, as then the quantity and 
quality of the material fulfil best the demands. The sap, however, 
never flows from the incision so easily and plentifully that it can 
be caught in vessels, as has been several times asserted. 

Lac extraction begins commonly when the tree is from nine to 
ten years old, and only in exceptional cases four to five years 

^ I add to the foregoing only this, that the tree in the Botanical Garden at 
Frankfort-on-the-Maine, nine years' old, at the end of its last vegetation-period, 
had reached a height of 6\ meters and a trunk-circumference of 48 cm., but as 
yet has never blossomed. On the other hand 19 smaller specimens, among 
which only one female tree was found, blossomed in June last year. Owing to 
the unfavourable weather of the autumn, their abundant fruits did not become 
fully ripe, but attained their full size and had deposited fat in the mesocarp. 

Professor Wallach did me the kindness to allow his pupil, W. Sundheim, in 
the chemical laboratory of the University of Bonn, to undertake the extraction 
and estimate of the gravity of the fruit. The result was as follows : From 
100 fruits dried in the open air, and 6*151 grammes in weight, there was ex- 
tracted of fat, o'6o625 grammes ; shell (epidermis and mesocarp), 2*36 grammes ; 
kernel (putamen and embryo), 4"i5 grammes. The fat formed 2937 per cent, 
of the weight of the shell, and 10*23 P^^ cent, of the weight of the entire fruit. 
The colouring matter extracted is not brought into the calculation. 

^ See Fliickiger, " Pharmakognosie," 2 Au^., p. 21. 


earlier, as in the district of Yoshino, province of Yamato. The 
two most important instruments used in obtaining it, are the 
Kaki-gama or scratching sickle (Plate III. fig. 10), a thin iron plate 
bent like a fish-hook, with its U-shaped end tempered and sharp- 
ened like a knife on the concave side, corresponding to the lancet 
of our foresters ; and the Natsu-bera or summer spatula (Plate III., 
fig. 11), a flat iron spoon with a short, bent-over point. The 
first is used to cut the tree, but the Natsu-bera for scraping out 
the channels when full of lac, and lifting it into the Go or small 
wooden or bamboo pail. In the case of old trees with a thick, 
rugged bark, this must first be cleared away and the trunk made 
smooth before the Kaki-gama can be used. This bark scraping 
is effected by the Kawa-muki or bark peeler, a long, somewhat 
sickle-shaped, bent knife. The straight knife or Hocho (Plate 
III., fig. i), and the Ye-guri, punch or gouge (Plate III., fig. 2), 
are also occasionally used by the lac-tapster. If he is sensitive 
to the poisonous vapour of the sap, he protects his hands by 
Te-bukuro or mittens. 

Almost all the workmen engaged in extracting the lac come 
from the vicinity of Fukui in the province of Echizen. They 
number some fifteen or sixteen hundred. They go out into the 
several lac-districts in spring, mostly toward the north, where they 
are employed by the lac-dealers, who buy the trees from the 
peasants and point them out to their workmen, usually 1,000 
young trees to each. Where the trees are older, from 600 to 800 
will keep a Shokunin busy for the entire summer. Ten years ago 
the average price of 100 trees was from 30 to 36 yen, but it is now 
almost doubled, owing to the greater demand for raw lac, and its 
increased price. 

When the lac-tapster has made all his preparations and cleared 
his trees of bark, he takes the Kaki-gama, and with a quick stroke 
in a horizontal direction makes an incision through the rind and 
bast about two millimeters broad, on the lower part of the trunk. 
He passes the hook of the knife through this girdle-cutting, in 
order to remove any bits of bark which may have fallen in, and 
then a span (15 to 20 cm.) higher, on the opposite side, makes a 
second and a third gash the same distance apart, then afresh on 
the other side in six to ten places, quickly following, as far as he 
can reach. I have seen a", practised Urushi-shokunin make an 
incision each second. Then he goes to another tree and does the 
same. When he has cut. ten or fifteen trees, he returns to the 
first and collects the raw lac or Ki-urushi in the same order. It 
is a greyish white thick emulsion, which becomes first yellowish 
brown and soon after black, on exposure to the air. It fills the 
gash but does not usually run over. It is taken out with the 
point of the Natsu-bera and then scraped off over the edge of the 
little pail (Go) which the workman carries in his left hand. 

When he has finished this work, he goes to another group of 


trees, and performs the same operation, and so on. After four days 
he returns to the first trees and makes this time new incisions 
parallel to the others, and about two millimeters lower, then to 
the others in the same way, scraping out the exudations from the 
new series as he did in the first instance. As this operation is 
repeated with the same interval some fifteen or twenty times, it 
will be seen that the work of the lac-tapster occupies not less than 
60 to 80, and often 100 days before it is finished. If the tree is 
to be sacrificed to the lac-extraction, then he makes incisions in 
all parts of the tree not yet cut, even the branches, but at greater 
distances. If, however, it is to be kept for further yield, and 
especially for wax-extraction, the treatment is more careful, and 
the incisions more sparing. In the first case, where the tree is 
made to yield its utmost, it is customary to cut down the branches 
after the leaves have fallen, and to bind the thicker parts together 
in fagots of one meter length, and to put them with the tops 
in warm water. The parts of the branches which protrude out 
of the water are then scratched, the lac extracted, the fagots are 
turned and the process repeated on the other side. The sap can 
be made to circulate anew, not only in water but by the heat of 
fire. But the lac so extracted, Se-shime, or Shime-urushi, is con- 
sidered the poorest of its kind, and is used only in groundwork. 
The best Ki-urushi comes from the lower part of the tree and 
flows best during the hottest part of the year. It is of an even, 
viscid constituency and a tan-brown colour. The poorer qualities 
are generally darker, and not homogeneous, somewhat granulated 
and almost jelly-like in thickness. These are obtained from the 
branches and higher parts of the trunk. 

One lac tree yields on the average under exhaustive treatment, 
to which the tree of course is sacrificed, only 1*5 to 3 go, or 53*50 
ccm. of raw lac, corresponding to about 27 to 54 grammes, as its 
specific gravity is a little above that of water.^ 

According to Dallas,^ in 1874 the lac yield of Okitama-ken 
(district of Yonezawa in Uzen), one of the principal districts of 
lac-culture, was 3,608 kin, or Japanese pounds (a 592*593 gr.) = 2,i65 
kilogrammes. Besides this there was manufactured from the fat 
of the fruit 62,598 kin = 37,559 kilogrammes of R6-soku or candles. 
If the average yield be 40 grammes raw lac per tree, 60,140 trees 
must be sacrificed to gain these 2,165 kilogrammes. 

Ki-urushi is always packed in Taru (tubs) of the size and form 
of our common wooden pails. They are made of Sugi (Cryp- 
tomeria japoncia)^ bound with bamboo hoops and covered with a 

^ W. Williams, in "The Middle Kingdom," says that in China, each 1,000 
trees are supposed to yield an average of only 20 lbs. of lac. This makes (one 
pound avoirdupois=453"6 grammes) in all 9,072 grammes, or only nine grammes 
per tree. 

2 "Notes collected in the Okitama-ken." Trans. As. Soc. of Japan, 1875, 
p. 118. 



round cover like the bottom of the tub. Before they are closed 
up, two sheets of strong, oiled bast paper are laid on the lac, 
large enough to overhang the rim, between it and the cover. As 
soon as the cover is fastened on, the paper is bound over the 
edge of the tub from 4 to 6 cm., and straw rope is then wound 
around tight from nine to twelve times. The sealing is thus so 
perfect that during transportation, even if upset or laid in a hori- 
zontal position, the tub is safe from leakage or overflow. 

I was told in Yonezawa that such a tub holds usually 8 J Kuwanme 
(1 Kauwnme=iooo Me=3'37i kg.) or 2<^'Z\% kilogrammes. Ouin, 
however, states in his above-mentioned work, that it contains about 
four English gallons, or a round 18 kilogrammes, which seems to 
me also more probable. From this it appears that the above- 
named product of Ki-urushi in Yonazawa-ken, 2,165 kilogrammes, 
could have been carried in 120 Taru. The quantity of Ki-urushi 
yielded by the whole country varies apparently between 60,000 
and 100,000 kin, corresponding to 35,556-59,259 kilogramms, or 
from 1,975-3,292 Taru or tubs at 18 kilogrammes each. 

In 1875, twenty Momme or 75 grammes of Ki-urushi were bought 
for 2 Shu (about sixpence) ; in 1882, however, only 875 Momme= 
32*8 gramms. The price also was advanced to about fifteen 
shillings the kilogramme, against seven shillings in 1875.1 

^ According to official statements, which however include very many un- 
doubtedly erroneous data, the raw lac production of Japan for the years 
1876-77-78, was 60,656 kin, 99,267 kin, and 66,639 kin, respectively, in value 
37,742 yen, 49,800 yen, and 49,179 yen. In 1878, the yield was estimated in 
Fu, and Ken, as follows : — 

Kioto-fu . 
Miye-ken . 
Kanagawa-ken . 
Gifu-ken . 
Nagano-ken . 

in all 65,735 kin. Apart from the fact that this sum does not agi 
total amount given above, many of the single items have such a mark 
ness, that it will not do to rely upon these statements. They make Kochi and 
Yehime-ken, for instance, or the island of Shikoku, a very large lac-producer, 
while the cultivation of the lac tree is hmited almost entirely to the eastern 
part, the province of Awa and the bordering Sanuki. I did not see lac trees 
anywhere in Tosa and lyo, nor hear of their culture anywhere in the districts I 
did not visit. The provinces of Owari, Mino and Shinano (Aichi-Gifu and 
Nagato-ken), appear here also as large producers, while I sought lac trees in 
vain in all three, and as in Tokio, was referred at every inquiry to the north, 
and particularly to Aidzu, which had long been celebrated for its wax, but as a 
lac-producer was far behind the provinces of Echigo and Uzen. 

According to the reports of Quin, the yearly extract of raw lac in Japan is 

756 kin. 

Yamagata-ken . 

2,210 „ 


53 5j 


429 „ 

Ishikawa-ken . 

1,309 » 


5»oi4 » 

Shimane-ken . 

8,656 „ 

Okayama-ken . 

458 » 


3,014 „ 


3,614 „ 


562 „ 


8,801 „ 

Fukuoka-ken . 















ree with 


of arbitrari- 


Ki-urushi or raw lac, like the varieties of lac prepared from it, 
is kept in wooden vessels (tubs or flat round boxes), and protected 
carefully from light and dust. It cannot be used by the lacquerer 
without further preparation, but must first go through various 
processes of purifying and transformation, the first of which con- 
sists in freeing it from the mechanically introduced bits of bark 
and wood. To effect this, it is pressed through cotton cloth, and 
then is called Ki-sho-mi, i.e.^ raw lac free from foreign substances. 

Before I go farther, I will give the results of my own, and par- 
ticularly of Korschelt's, investigation of this substance. Ki-sho-mi, 
or purified raw lac, is a grey to tan-brown, syrupy, very sticky 
liquid of varied consistency and a specific gravity but little greater 
than that of water. Korschelt estimated this at roo20-i'0379, 
with which my own observations agree very well. A peculiar, 
sweetish smell is especially noticeable in it, if it has been long in 
a closed vessel. Under a powerful microscope a brownish mass 
scattered with small globule