(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "More queer things about Japan"

u,«...jy. 



(Sa3AINn-3ViV 



-< 




^^ojiivojo'^ ^oiimi^"^ 




o 
<ril30NVS01^ 



aOSANCflfj> 




-< 

^^a3AiNn]Wv 



^OFCALIfO% 




^OFCAllFOft^ 







^WEUNIVERS/A 







^lOSANI 

Qs 
O 

3 



ytllBRARYd?/:^ 




2/OJnVDJO'^ 



AWE1JNIVER5/A 




, ^ _ o 



^lOSANCElfj-^ 




%a3AIN(l-3\\V 



-.^t-LIBRARY^?^, 







C-3 
5 



OFCAIIFO/?^ 




&AavaaiH^ 



^WEUfJIVER% 




o 



^lOSANCElfj^ 
o 




^OF-CALIFO/?^ 




%a3AiNfl3WV^ ^<?Aaviiani^ 



4v> 



^. 



^lOSANCEier/ 




w^lllBRARYO^, v^iUBRARYQ-r 





'/^a3AiNn-3\^^ "^(i/odnvD-jo^ '^.i/ojiivd-jo^ 



AWEUNIVERiyA 




o 



^lOSANi 



^lOSANCElfj> 




^/Sa3AINfl3WV 



^OFCALIFO/?^ ^OFCAllFOff^ 





'^^Aavaaiii'^'^ ^<?Aavaan-#' 



A\^EUNIVER5/A 







^lOSAN 



^lllBRARYQ<r 




^^OJITVDJO^^ 



.\WEl'NIVER% 




o 
^J5130NVS01^ 



^lOSANCElfx^ 
o 




'%a3AINn3V\V^ 



^;;^l•LIBRARYQc 




^<!/OJnVDJO>^ 



jjOFCAllFOfl»/(>^ 



.MMmm/A vvlOSANCElfj> 
>- \ 



^ g 



^ 



^^,OFCA1IFO% 



^IIIBRARY(9/; 










,^.OFCALlF0/?4k, ^OfCAllFORijA, 










>- 




o 

^j:?i]onvsoi^ 



,^WEUNIVER5'//i 



"^a^AiNn-swv 



^lOSANCElfj-^ 
o 




^J513DNVS01^ %a3A!Nrt-3WV^ 



^ 



^WEUN1VER% 




, _ o 



.^WEUNIVERS/A 




'<rii30NVS01^'^ 



v;^lOSANCELfj^ 




t 




-^lllBRARYOc 



^1-IIBRARYQ<^ 



^ajAiNnaw'^ 




%5a3AINn]WV^ ^^OJ11V3-JO=^ ^OJITVDJO^ 



^OFCAIIFO% 

OS II / >.^ "^ o 







^OFCAl[F0/?/^ 










I 



^tllBRARYQ^;^ ^^lllBRARYQc 



AWEUNIVERS/^ ^lOSANCElfx^ 




^<!/0JllV3JO^ ^(tfOJIlVJ-JO"^ 



<ril33NVS01^ 



^QFCAUFO/?^ ^OFCAllFOff^ ^^WE UNIVERi"/^ 




"^aaAiNnmv^ 

o 




"^OAHvaaiH^ "^OAavaan^ 



^J^HONVSOl^ '^a3AiNn•3V^^ 



aMEUNIVER% 




. ^ o 



^lOSANCElfj-^ 
o ^^^ 



aWEUNIVERS/a ^lOSANCElfj^. 



^lUBRARY^^ 



^I-IIBRARYO^^ 




'^/ja3AiNa3WV^ \^myi^ %^\\mi^ 

^OFCAIIFO/?^ 



^OFCAIIFO%, 



ftV^\s 



lOSAi 
tllBR 

Hom 

3FCAL 
aOSAN 



^lOSAN 




^/saaMN 

^jOFCAll 



More Queer Things about 
Japan 

I. JAPAN FROM A WOMAN'S POINT OF 
VIEW, BY NORMA LORIMER. 
II. THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS FROM 
JAPAN, 1611-1617, REPRINTED BY 
SPECIAL PERMISSION FROM THE PAPERS 
OF THE HAKLUYT SOCIETY. 

III. A LIFE OF NAPOLEON, WRITTEN AND 
ILLUSTRATED BY JAPANESE IN THE 
FIRST HALF OF THE NINETEENTH 
CENTURY, SPECIALLY TRANSLATED FOR 
THIS BOOK. 

IV. JAPAN FROM A MAN's POINT OF VIEW, 
BY DOUGLAS SLADEN, M.J.S. 



The famous Letters of Will Adams, for 
many years out of print, give the earliest 
account of Japan written in English. They 
are reprinted by special permission fi-om 
the papers of the Hakluyt Society, whose 
Secretaiy, Mr Basil H. Soulsby, of the Map 
Department of the British Museum, has, 
with great kindness, identified the names of 
places left unidentified by Mr Rundle and 
Sir E. Maunde Thompson in the Hakluyt 
editions of Will Adams's Letters and the 
Diary of Richard Cock, Cape Merchant in 
the English Factory in Japan, 1 615-1 622 



More Queer Things 
about Japan 

By 

Douglas Sladen and Norma Lorimer 



To which are added 

" The Letters of Will Adams," written 
from Japan, 1 6 1 1 - 1 6 1 7, reprinted by- 
special permission from the papers of 
the Hakluyt Society; and "A Life of 
Napoleon," written and illustrated by 
Japanese in the first half of the Nine- 
teenth Century 



IVifk Frontispiece and Four Dojible-page Illustrations in Colour ; End 

Papers and Ten Double-page Illustrations by the Celebrated HOKUSAl 

and Fourteen other Double-page Illustrations by Japanese Artists 



London 
Anthony Treherne & Co., Ltd. 

3 Agar Street, Strand, W.C. 

1904 



Contents 






PART I. 

JAPAN FROM A WOMAN'S POINT OF VIEW 
By Norma Lorimer 

CHAP. PAGE 

1. HOW EUROPEANS LIVE IN JAPAN .... 3 

2. CHILDHOOD IN JAPAN . . . • • • I I 

3. MARRYING AND GIVING IN MARRIAGE . . . 19 

4. THE JAPANESE HUSBAND FROM A WOMAN's POINT OF 

VIEW ....•••• 28 

5. A JAPANESE woman's LIFE DAY BY DAY . . 3^ 

6. HOUSEKEEPING IN JAPAN ..... 42 

7. JAPANESE DOMESTICS ...••• 49 

8. DINNERS IN JAPAN 57 

9. CLOTHES IN JAPAN ...... 05 

10. SHOPPING IN JAPAN ....•• 74 

11. THE JAPANESE LABOURING CLASSES . . . 80 

1 2. LIE-EUROPEANS : WHAT THE JAPANESE MEAN BY 

HONOUR ........ 89 

13. THEATRE-GOING IN JAPAN ..... 97 

14. JAPAN FROM A RIKSHA ..... IO5 

15. TEMPLE-GOING IN JAPAN . . . . . II3 

16. KEEPING THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT IN JAPAN . 121 






CONTENTS 



PART II. 

A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON, WITH 
LIVES OF PETER THE GREAT, ALEXANDER 
THE GREAT, AND ARISTOTLE, AND NOTES 
ON FRANCE AND GREECE 

Written by a Japanese in the First Half of the 

Nineteenth Century, and Translated by 

YosHio Markeno 

CHAP. PAGE 

INTRODUCTION, WITH NOTES BY THE JAPANESE 

AUTHOR, BY YOSHIO MARKINO, AND BY DOUGLAS 

SLADEN . . . . . . . .135 

1. A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON . . . I43 

2. CONTINUATION OF THE SAME . . . . 1 52 

3. NOTES ON THE STATE OF FRANCE IN THE 

NAPOLEONIC EPOCH . . . . . . I76 

4. A JAPANESE HISTORY OF PETER THE GREAT . . 18O 

5. A JAPANESE HISTORY OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT, 

WITH NOTES ON ARISTOTLE . . . . I92 

6. NOTES ON GREECE IN THE NAPOLEONIC EPOCH . 200 



PART III. 

THE ORIGINAL LETTERS OF THE ENGLISH 
PILOT, WILLIAM ADAMS 

Written from Japan between A.D. 1611 and 1617: Reprinted by 
special permission from the papers of the Hakluyt Society 

PAGE 
INTRODUCTION ........ 2O9 

LETTER I. . . . . . . . . .213 

LETTER II. ........ 234 

LETTER III. ........ 245 

vi 



CONTENTS 



LETIER IV., WITH INTRODUCTION AND THE NARRATIVE 

OF CAPTAIN SARIS ...... 254 

APPENDIX TO LETTER IV. ..... . 294 

LETTER v., AND OBSERVATIONS ..... 298 

LETTER VI., AND CONCLUSION ..... 306 



PART IV. 
JAPAN FROM A MAN'S POINT OF VIEW 

By Douglas Sladen 

CHAP, PA6B 

1. the army and the family IN JAPAN . . 318 

2. JAPAN, THE ITALY OF THE EAST .... 34O 

3. TRAVELLING IN JAPAN . . . . . .354 

4. TOPSY-TURVY TOKYO ...... 368 

5. HOW THE JAPANESE SPENDS HIS HOLIDAYS . . 38 1 

6. SHOPS A JOB-LINE IN JAPAN. .... 395 

7. THE CHEERFUL LOT OF THE JAPANESE WOMEN . 4O8 

8. THE JAPANESE GIRL ...... 422 

9. JAPANESE DOMESTIC JOYS FOR ENGLAND . . 434 

10. A BIRdVeYE VIEW OF JAPAN .... 438 

11. THE DARLING OF THE GODS ..... 44/ 



APPENDIX 

THE YOSHIWAKA FROM WITHIN . 



457 



Vll 



List of Illustrations 



Coloured Pictures 
Frontispiece — a .tapankse palace of the olden tlme (for 

THE CONSIDERATION OF THOSE WHO SAW *' THE DARLING 
OF THE gods"). 



THE BOYS FESTIVAL ...... 

THE CASTLE OF TOKYO, FOUNDED IN THE TIME OF 
WILL ADAMS ...... 

KAMO RIVER ....... 

THE INTERIOR OF A THEATRE .... 



TO BACK OM 
PAGES 
18-19 



208-209 

340-341 
98-99 



Illustratio7is to the Jcqjanese Life of Ncvpoleoji 



THE CORONATION OF NAPOLEON AT PARIS 
DRILL ON THE RHINE .... 

THE MARRIAGE OF NAPOLEON AND JOSEPHINE 
NAPOLEON GOING TO BE KILLED BY ASSASSINS 
NAPOLEON BURNING THE BRITISH AMBASSADOR 
NAPOLEON''s ATl'ACK ON MOSCOW 

ENGLISH SOLDIERS GUARDING NAPOLEON AT ST 
HELENA ...... 

8. NAP0LE0N''s funeral at PARIS 



16O-161 

138-139 
148-149 

152-153 
158-159 
166-167 



I 70-1 7 I 
174-175 



Illustration to the Japanese Life of 
Peter the Great 



CHARLES XII. OF SWEDEN PURSUED BY PETER THE 
GREAT ....... 



I9O-I9I 

ix 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Illustration to the Japanese Life of 
Alexander the Great 



DIOGENES REBUKING ALEXANDER THE GREAT FOR 
GErriNG BETWEEN HIM AND THE SUN 



Hokusai Illustrations 



9- 

lO. 



JAPAN : VIEW OF FUJISAWA AND YOSHIWARA . 
THE MEETING OF TWO SERVANTS : VIEW OF ISHI 

GAKUCHI ....... 

KIKUSHI : A RIKSHA BOYs'' TEAHOUSE 

OISO AND HIRATSUKA ..... 

THE ENTRANCE TO A TEMPLE : VIEW OF YOKA- 

ICHI AND KUWANA ..... 

MISHIMA ....... 

TRAVELLING IN JAPAN IN WILL ADAMs's DAY : 

VIEWS OF TOTSUKA AND HOSOGAYO 
SAMURAI IN THE OLDEN TIME : VIEW OF 

TOYAMA ....... 

HOKUSAfs FUJI-SAN ..... 

YEDO ........ 



TO BACK ON 
PAGES 

194-195 



xl-i 

54-55 
58-59 

86-87 

114-115 
256-257 

280-281 

322-323 

364-365 
368-369 



Other Illustrations 

1. A JAPANESE HUSBAND OF THE GOOD OLD DAYS 34-35 

2. BEHIND THE SHOJI ..... 4O-4I 

3. A LOVER AND HIS LASS IN JAPAN . . . IO4-IO5 

4. A LADY OF THE YOSHIWARA .... 458-459 

THE END PAPERS, REPRESENTING MOUNT FUJIYAMA SEEN THROUGH 
A BAMBOO BRAKE, ARE BY HOKUSAI. 



MRS MULLER AND MRS KEEFER 

OF THE MILL HOUSE, COOKHAM, 

MUTUAL FRIENDS OF THE AUTHORS 

AND FELLOW-FARERS IN JAPAN 

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED 



Prefa 



ce 



"All the Athenians and strangers which were 
there, spent their time in nothing else but either 
to hear or to tell some new thing," says St Paul. 
The pubUc of to-day (and probably of every other 
day) shares their craving for something fresh ; and 
if, as the preacher said, there is nothing new under 
the sun, it must be given something which has 
passed out of memory. Mindful of this, when 
I was invited to follow up Queer Things about 
Japan with More Queer Things about Japan, I 
was afraid of wearying my public if I simply tried 
to give them more in the same vein. So I cast 
about for the something fresh, which is the chief 
element in human interest, and have four new 
dishes to offer for piquing jaded appetites. 

First I put the sixteen chapters written by Miss 
Norma Lorimer, the author of those admirable 
books. By the Waters of Sicily, Catherine Sterling, 
Josiah\s Wife, and Mirry Ann. She was our com- 
panion everywhere in our long sojourn in Japan, 



Xlll 



PREFACE 

and those who are famihar with her novels are 
aware how fresh is her standpoint of observation, 
how truly she hits the nail upon the head, how wise, 
witty, and tender she can be by turns. I naturally 
give her writing the pride of place in the book. 

My second fi-esh item is of a most unusual 
character— a History of the great Napoleon, written 
by a Japanese in the first half of the nineteenth 
century. It is the more astonishing when we 
reflect that at the time it was written Japan had 
been closed to all intercourse with Europeans for 
about a couple of centuries, and had not the slightest 
suspicion that, within another decade or two, it 
would be opened to the world by the guns of an 
irresistible fleet, and start into rivalry with the 
nations of the West, after shaking off" the dust 
of Middle Ages which extended past the memory 
of man. I came upon the Japanese original upon 
one rainy morning in Kyoto, when I was turning 
over the stock of a secondhand bookseller in search 
of old illustrated books. I recognised Napoleon's 
portrait in the picture of his coronation, bought 
the book, and got a Japanese friend, who spoke 
English, to write down the subjects of the various 
pictures, and the names of the personages depicted 
in them. There I let the matter rest until a 
few months ago, when I had the present transla- 
tion made by the well-known Yoshio Markino. 
Attached to the life of Napoleon are shorter lives 
xiv 



PREFACE 

of Alexander the Great and Peter the Great, and 
the whole are illustrated with pictures drawn for 
the original by a Japanese artist. It is easy to trace 
some of the likenesses. The book undoubtedly 
came from a Dutch source, because in it modern 
Holland is compared to ancient Greece. But it has 
been thoroughly metamorphosed by the Japanese 
who wrote and illustrated it. A glance at the 
pictures will show this, and in the very first line 
of the writing Napoleon is described as "the 
Pretender-Mikado of France in Europe." From 
this wonderful farrago we learn that on the first 
of the eighth month of the Sheep of Kwansei, 
Nelson of England came to Alexandria with many 
warships and fought the French fleet at Aboukir, 
and all men and boats were entirely destroyed ; 
that Napoleon besieged Jaffa in the twelfth year 
of the Monkey of Kwansei, and in the thirteenth 
year of the Tiger of Kwansei, which seems to be 
1799, Napoleon changed all the system of govern- 
ment ; that he held a council at Dijon in the fifth 
month of the first year of the Chicken of Kyowa, 
and in the third year of the Wild Boar of Kyowa 
went to Lyons and destroyed the Saint Alpin 
party ; that on the fifteenth of the third month 
of the Ox of Bunkwa he burnt the British 
ambassador, whom the Japanese historian identi- 
fied with the Due d'Enghien. Summing up the 
great Napoleon, the Japanese historian sententiously 

XV 



PREFACE 

observes, " Perhaps he was the greatest hero ever 
known in the Western countries ; but if you com- 
pare him to the heroes in our own (Japanese) history, 
their deeds and morals are as wide apart as the pig 
and the Hon. However, if you have time to idle 
by your fireside in winter evenings, it may be 
worth your while to read this history of Western 
heroes." 

My third fresh item is one of undying interest — 
a reprint of the famous letters written from Japan 
by Will Adams, the Kentish pilot cast away on 
the Japanese coast in the reign of Elizabeth. 
Allusions to and quotations from these letters 
abound in almost every book which has been 
written on Japan, since they were transcribed for 
publication in the papers of the Hakluyt Society, 
from the manuscript in the British Museum, by Mr 
Thomas Rundle, more than half a century ago, 
before, it should be noted, the reopening of Japan 
by Commodore Perry. The authorities of the 
Hakluyt Society have very generously given me 
permission to reprint verbatim their edition of the 
letters, which has been out of print for many years. 
This has been the sole version ever published in 
English, with the exception of a paper-bound 
reprint made in the Japan Gazette office, quarter 
of a century ago. Those who are interested in 
Japan, and forming libraries of the classical works 
upon Japan, will, I am sure, be grateful to know 
xvi 



PREFACE 

that by the Hberality of the Hakhiyt Society these 
letters are again purchasable by the public. 

They have an added feature of value which they 
never possessed before, Mr Basil H. Soulsby, 
the Secretary of the Society, having elucidated 
the misspelt Japanese names, which had hitherto 
defied identification. His notes are signed B. H. S. 
Many other names had been identified by Sir 
Edward Maunde Thompson, the Head of the 
British Museum, in another Hakluyt publication, 
The Diary of Captain Richard Cock, who was 
sometime Cape merchant in Japan ; and I have 
myself identified a few, such as Mcaco, which 
JNIaunde Thompson had queried to be Osaka, but 
which undoubtedly is the neighbouring city of 
Kyoto, formerly called JMiyako, a name familiar 
to foreigners in the ^liyako-Odori — the famous 
Cherry-Blossom Dance. I am under the greatest 
obligation to Mr Soulsby for the help he has 
given me in preparing this work. 

Similar thanks I have to give to Mr Albert 
Edward Brice, the Librarian and Assistant Secretary 
of the Japan Society, who has been most kind in 
placing his own information and the resources of 
the Society's library at my disposal. 

My fourth fresh item is of an altogether different 
character. Want of personal knowledge had pre- 
vented me writing, in my previous books about 
Japan, on the Yoshiwara of Tokyo, and similar 



PREFACE 

institutions in which prostitution is recognised by 
the state. But I have recently come into pos- 
session of a book translated into English by a 
Japanese, which throws a great deal of light upon 
the way in which the ordinary Japanese regard 
the subject, a point of view entirely differing from 
that accepted in England. I have reprinted his 
descriptions of " the Yoshiwara from within," and 
compared them with the observations of three of 
the ablest and most independent-minded of English 
writers upon Japan — Mr Basil Hall Chamberlain, 
Mr Osman Edwards, and Mr Delmar. This 
chapter has been printed in an Appendix on a 
separate sheet, so that those who wish can have it 
omitted from their copies. As there is nothing 
else of this nature in the book, I recognise that 
there are some people who would prefer to have 
it omitted from their copies. 

The end papers and ten of the illustrations are 
by the famous Hokusai. I cannot give the names 
of the other native artists who executed the 
illustrations in the book. 

Brandwood Cottage, 
Tenby, South WaleSj 
Sept. 24, 1904. 



XVlll 



Introduction 

PART I 

MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

The strangest thing of all is, that they have upset 
the course of history. 

It used to be said that history repeats itself, and 
one of the oftenest repeated lessons of history is the 
superiority of Europeans to Asiatics in the arts of 
war and peace. Not once or twice in our rough 
island story a few valiant Englishmen had routed 
ten times the number of Asiatics by military skill 
and discipline. Russia was rightly deemed one of 
the greatest military powers in Europe, but the 
Japanese have proved themselves superior to the 
Russians in every point — in courage, discipline, 
strategy, and the civilisation of their methods of 
warfare. In fact, they have conducted the whole 
war so grandly that even if they are beaten they 
will fill one of the most splendid pages in history, 
as having conducted a great war in the finest 



INTRODUCTION 

possible way. They have been so brave and mag- 
nanimous. They have played the game as finely as 
it was ever played in history. They have — as a 
Japanese writer observed the other day, when he 
was pointing out the true meaning of the Yellow 
Peril — white hearts under a yellow skin. 

I must confess that when I was in Japan I 
formed a completely erroneous estimate of the 
Japanese. I regarded them as a nation at play. 
I thought the contemptuous Chinese name for them 
— Lie-Europeans — appropriate. They struck me as 
a nation of imitators — of imitators in a superficial 
way. I noticed that while the Japanese dude 
went about dressed in feeble imitations of the 
European costume, the Japanese tailor could secure 
no more than a superficial resemblance to European 
models, and that his materials were invariably 
shoddy ; whereas the Chinese tailor, who dressed 
himself in apple-green and lavender satins, made 
something like pyjamas, and wore slippers of 
brocade with padded soles, bought his tweeds from 
the best Scotch houses, and imitated every garment 
that was submitted to him, down to the very 
patches. 

I saw, of course, that the Japanese had the Italian's 
facility for taking up engineering novelties, such as 
the electric light and telephones, and that they had 
the Italian's manual skill and industry in construct- 
ing great engineering works like viaducts and 

XX 



INTRODUCTION 

tunnels and canals, and perhaps I gav^e them due 
credit for that ; but when I saw Japanese in what 
looked like the uniform of the British Navy, puffing 
about in little white men-of-war built by Arm- 
strong, I regarded it as mere parade, and I suppose 
I attached even less importance to the Japanese 
Tommies, five feet high, who were marched and 
countermarched in Italian uniforms by German 
instructors up and down the dusty squares of 
Tokyo. I thought of the contemptuous criticism 
passed by a fat German on the Italian army — 
" civilians in cloaks ! " 

Japan was to me Sir Rutherford Alcock's " para- 
dise of children,*' and in no respects more so than 
in its army and navy. The British merchants of 
Yokohama were never tired of telling you how 
the Japanese had been dispersed at Shimonoseki by 
a taste of cold steel. This must be absolutely 
false : recent events have proved that in their 
contempt for death in charging the Japanese have 
no superiors in the world. I laugh now when I 
think of what a lot of venerable myths we hoarded 
up ; but I do not laugh, I almost shed tears of 
respect and sympathy, when I remember that ever 
since I have known the Japanese up to the begin- 
ning of the present war they have possessed their 
souls in patience, content to be branded as a toy 
nation — almost as a nation of cowards — until, as 
Minerva sprang fully armed out of the head of 

xxi 



INTRODUCTION 

Jupiter, they leapt upon the astonished Russians, a 
nation armed cap-a-pie, a type of martial wisdom. 

I observed just now that the Japanese had forced 
history to cease repeating itself. They have in- 
verted history. We have the struggle between the 
Greeks and Persians reversed. Once more a smaller 
nation is holding up the torch of civilisation against 
the forces of a huge barbarian empire of the 
Asiatic mainland — but this time the barbarians are 
of Europe ; civilisation is guarded by the hands of 
Asiatic islanders. The Japanese are fighting their 
Marathon, their Salamis, their day of Himera — the 
Russians are playing the role of Xerxes the Persian 
and the elder Hamilcar of Carthage. 

More queer things about Japan come to light 
every day. Though I am credibly informed that 
there are a large number of Christians fighting in 
the Mikado's army and navy, and that they make 
it a point of honour — of loyalty to their faith — not 
to be surpassed by their heathen brethren in energy 
and contempt of death, the war is carried on under 
the segis of the ancient gods who guided Japan to 
victory in the days when Kubla Khan had his 
vast invading armies swallowed up like the men of 
Pharaoh in the Red Sea. Japan has two religions, 
the Buddhist and the Shinto, and most Japanese 
belong to both. The state religion is Shinto, 
which is hardly a religion so much as a political 
and moral system. Japan is the real religion of the 
xxii 



INTRODUCTION 

Japanese. Loyalty to the Emperor, personifying 
Japan, is its first rule of life ; and its second is to 
preserve the family name from dishonour, which 
entails an obedience to one's parents only less 
absolute than the obedience to one's Emperor. 
Of rites, Shinto has hardly any beyond a daily 
offering of fresh food and flowers to one's house- 
hold gods ; but the Shinto funeral rites, which have 
been revived to do honour to the heroes of the 
war, are more impressive. They had well-nigh 
been forgotten. In a land where the poor are 
never warm beyond the tips of their fingers in 
winter, and have to live in houses draughty enough 
to carry off the fumes of charcoal ; in a land where 
wages are often under sixpence a day, the promise 
of a future hfe was almost a grim pleasantry. The 
Buddhist Nirvana came as a boon and a blessing to 
men : people who had lived good Shintoists died 
good Buddhists. Shinto gave the promise of a sort 
of immortality which might have been peculiarly 
unwelcome. The soul, though separated from its 
corruptible body, like John Brown's, went marching 
along in its accustomed groove. So convinced is 
the good Shintoist of the presence of spirits — kami 
— that the Japanese positively rejoiced in the death 
of the heroic Captain Hirose. The good Shintoist 
believes that a man can go on fighting for his 
country after he is dead. The Boers, who were 
regarded as the most up-to-date fighters till the 

xxiii 



INTRODUCTION 

present war began, were firm believers in the 
adage — 

"He who fights and runs away. 
Lives to fight another day." 

The thought of la gloire never entered into 
their heads. The moment that they could no longer 
fight at an advantage, they retreated. If one of 
their defeated generals had died to make a reputa- 
tion, they would have considered his behaviour 
unpatriotic — that his duty was to save himself 
for his country. And not being of the Shinto 
religion, they were right. But take the case of 
Captain Hirose of the Japanese Navy to see what 
the Japanese think about it. After their great 
admirals, Hirose was about the most useful man 
in their navy. He spoke Russian so fluently and 
knew Russia so well that he had no equal in getting 
information and anticipating Russian moves. If a 
spy was wanted, he would have been the ideal man. 
He was, besides, a most brilliant and heroic sailor. 
It was he who headed the forlorn hope which cut 
the booms at Wei-ha-wei to enable the Japanese 
to get at the Chinese fleet, and it was he who 
headed the most successful attempt to bottle up 
Port Arthur. When he had accomplished this, 
although the Russian fire was terrific, he refused to 
retreat because he could not find his blood-brother. 
His own and other valuable lives were sacrificed. 
To us the loss of such a man would seem as great 
xxiv 



INTRODUCTION 

as the loss of a battleship. He was simply 
irreplaceable. To us, the one thing useful about 
such a death was the glorious example of heroism 
he set to the Japanese Navy. To the Shintoist 
there was no loss about it. To him the kami or 
spirit of Captain Hirose is still fighting for Japan, 
able to divert a torpedo from a Japanese ship, or 
into a Russian ship. Yet though the Japanese 
were glad when he died, because they thought that 
his spirit could do more for them if it was freed 
from his body, they paid their homage to his 
heroism with the most splendid Shinto funeral 
ever celebrated in Japan. It was a strange 
spectacle — only a tiny bit of his body had been 
saved when a Russian shell blew him to pieces. 
The whole pageant, five miles long, was organised 
for the urn which contained this. The hero of one 
of the most brilliant episodes in modern warfare, 
as accomplished a naval officer as could have been 
found in the world, was burned with the rites of a 
heathen creed — rites which had been ordained 
before the Parthenon was built at Athens, and 
practised ever since. And one of the chief 
mourners at this heathen burial was the great 
Enghsh soldier who won two of the most important 
battles in the Boer War, who shook the Boers off 
Ladysmith in the final battle of Waggon Hill, and 
conquered Pretoria on the Diamond Hills. 

Just as the Pope canonises saints, the Mikado 

XXV 



INTRODUCTION 

deifies the kami of those who have deserved well 
of their country. There are not less than eight 
millions of these " gods " by royal warrant in the 
Shinto Pantheon, ranging from the inventor of an 
alphabet to a conquering general. The Shintoist 
believes that all the spirits of one's ancestors are 
still on the earth, that one is surrounded by them 
like the atmosphere, and that they take notice of 
everything one does, and can help or impede one. 
To the good kami he makes offerings of gratitude 
and respect, and the crooked gods he tries not 
to offend, in the modes universal with primi- 
tive man. 

The Japanese have broken all records for valour. 
We have history of a kind, some of it, it is true, 
written upon bricks, going back for thousands of 
years ; and in a good deal of it the fighting men 
were very careless about other people's lives ; but 
for carelessness about theu* own lives the soldiers 
of Japan have never had a parallel. The Japanese 
have a saying that you do not defeat an enemy 
by killing his soldiers, but by frightening them. 
So long as they go on being killed they are win- 
ning ; it is when they refuse to be killed any 
longer that they lose. And this never happens 
to the Japanese soldier, who regards dying for 
his country as a crown of martyrdom. 



XXVI 



INTRODUCTION 

PART II 

ON THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

In previous books on Japan I have perforce alluded 
much to Will Adams, one of those Elizabethan navi- 
gators who have stamped their name imperishably 
on the geographies of the world. 

The Age of Great Elizabeth was strangely like 
our own. Then, as now, there was a cautious 
Cecil at the wheel, Lord Burghley — a Lord Salisbury 
anticipated by three centuries. Then, as now, 
England was rich in gallant gentlemen to whom 
fighting, exploring, and sport were as the breath 
of their nostrils ; men who in their private life 
would sooner die than submit to an insult ; men 
whose word was their fist and their fist their word 
at school — the choice breed of the English school- 
boy code of honour which is famous the world over. 
These men waited for their Cecil to speak to Spain 
as we have waited in vain for our Cecils to speak 
to Russia. He did not speak, and Spain in the 
fulness of time launched her soi-disant Invincible 
Armada. England, which has only had five states- 
men since the Middle Ages — Cromwell, Chatham, 
Palmerston, Beaconsfield, and one happily still with 
us — survived the pusillanimity of Burghley, who 
wished for peace while he did not prepare for war. 
But there was no need for her to pass through 

xxvii 



INTRODUCTION 

any peril. This was thanks to the mighty men 
who, on the high seas and far seas, did all their 
Government dared to let them do — a Drake, a 
Raleigh, a Grenville, a Gilbert, a Frobisher, a 
Hudson, a Cavendish, and a Hawkins. 

Will Adams, the man of Kent, cast away on the 
coasts of Japan at the end of the Elizabethan 
century, had no chance of playing the great game 
like these, but for long years, Hke many a castaway 
Englishman after him, wrought and comported 
himself in such a way that in him all Englishmen 
were honoured by antipodean men. 

When Will fell on Japan, the country was ruled 
by one of the world's masters, the mighty lyeyasu, 
who founded the Tokugawa dynasty, which gave 
Japan a pax Romana after two thousand years of 
internecine war. It is lovely to read about the 
equity and generosity of the conqueror. He 
played the game as the rulers of Japan have 
played it in our own day. 

Mr Thomas Rundle, who enriched literature 
with the letters of Will Adams in a long out-of- 
print volume, which he transcribed from the British 
Museum for the Hakluyt Society, says in his 
admirable preface, written several years before 
Japan was reopened to the world: — 

" In the early intercourse which existed between 
the empire and the states of the West, the Govern- 
ment of Japan is exhibited in a most favourable 
xxviii 



INTRODUCTION 

*' light. It was distinguished at that period by 
high-bred courtesy, combined with refined hberality 
in principle and generous hospitality in practice. 
Without any reservation in regard to circumstances, 
rank or calling, or nation, the hand of good- 
fellowship was then cordially extended to the 
stranger. In the instance of a governor of the 
Philippines, although shipwrecked and destitute, 
the claims of rank were admitted. He was received 
with the honours due to a prince ; while he sojourned 
in the land similar honours were paid him, and to 
facilitate his departure he was furnished with all 
the means generosity could dictate. The lowly- 
born William Adams, when cast in wretchedness 
on the shores of Japan, was not, indeed, received 
as a prince ; yet this man, commencing life in the 
capacity of 'apprentice to Master Diggines, of 
Limehouse,' eventually attained rank and acquired 
possessions in the empire equal to those of a prince. 
With no claims to consideration but talent and 
good conduct, he became the esteemed councillor 
of the sagacious and powerful monarch by whom 
the land that had afforded him shelter was ruled. In 
the course of his career, this man of humble origin 
appears as the negotiator between the sovereign 
of his native country and the foreign sovereign by 
whom he was patronised, and in that capacity 
securing for his countrymen important advantages 
and privileges. Merchants, for a century, found 

xxix 



INTRODUCTION 

" a free and open market for their wares. They 
reaUsed enormous profits, if cent, per cent, may 
be so deemed ; and if rehance may be placed on 
the imperfect materials that exist for forming an 
estimate, they were enabled to enrich their native 
lands with stores of the precious metals to an 
incalculable amount of value. Missionaries, from 
their advent, were allowed to commence a career 
of proselytism, and they pursued it with zeal and 
success. Assuming their statements to be correct, 
they made nearly two millions of converts in little 
more than a quarter of a century. With the un- 
qualified concurrence of the authorities, they erected 
in several of the principal cities of the empire edifices 
for the celebration of divine worship, according to 
the ritual of the Romish Church ; while, with the 
sanction of the authorities also, numerous institu- 
tions for the instruction of their neophytes were 
established. But this spirit of toleration has not 
been confined to the Romish faith. Some centuries 
since, the doctrines of Boodh were introduced into 
Japan. From the date of their introduction to the 
present time they have been freely disseminated, 
so that now the votaries of the sect far out-number , 
the followers of the Sirito or national creed. Be- 
sides the Boodhists there are thirty-four sects, who, 
as regards the state, indulge their respective opinions 
without restraint, and who, in respect to each other, 
live in peace and love. William Adams, although 

XXX 



INTRODUCTION 

" a Christian, retained to the day of his death his 
influence with the Emperor. Saris, too, was well 
received. Neither of the members of the English 
or of the Dutch factory, nor the lay members of 
the Romish ecclesiastics and the native converts, 
were under the ban of the state. In regard to 
the people of difi^erent nations in Europe, the 
Government of Japan at that period exhibited 
more liberality than the nations of Europe ex- 
hibited towards each other. How the Spaniards 
and Portuguese conducted themselves in respect 
to William Adams and his unfortunate comrades 
is fully set forth in his correspondence, together 
with the remarkable contrast afforded by the pro- 
ceedings of the Emperor Ogosho Sama. In the 
first instance, they also vigorously opposed the 
settlement of the Dutch in Japan. When that 
could not be prevented, no means were left untried 
by them to effect the expulsion of the newcomers 
from the empire. The plea urged was, that the 
Dutch were refractory subjects of Spain, and that 
it ill-became the Emperor to treat with favour rebels 
to the authority of his Catholic majesty, with whom 
he professed to maintain relations of amity. These 
efforts invariably failed. The answer Ogosho Sama 
constantly gave was, that he denied the right of 
any power to dictate the policy he should pursue 
in regard to strangers visiting his dominions ; that 
he did not consider it was necessary to mix himself 

xxxi 



INTRODUCTION 

" up in any degree with feuds existing among the 
states of Europe ; that all he cared for was the 
tranquillity of the country and the welfare of his 
people ; and that so long as strangers paid obedience 
to the laws, and by their fair and honourable dealings 
promoted the convenience and enjoyment of his 
subjects, it mattered not to him to what nation 
they belonged, or to what power in the West they 
were nominally subject. On the last occasion, 
when a joint memorial was presented on the 
subject by the Spaniards and Portuguese, the 
monarch seems to have lost all patience, and he 
drove the remonstrants ignominiously from his 
presence ; vehemently declaring, that if ' devils 
from hell ' were to visit his realm, they should 
be treated like ' angels from heaven ' so long as 
they conducted themselves conformably with the 
principles he had laid down. This sovereign carried 
his sentiments, or rather his practice of justice, even 
further. The Spaniards, at one time requiring men 
for an expedition that was being fitted out in Nova 
Spania against the Dutch, preferred a request that 
the subjects of his Catholic majesty might be sent 
out of the empire forthwith, as they had not the per- 
mission of their liege to reside there. ' Nay,' said 
the Emperor, peremptorily, ' Japan is an asylum 
for people of all nations. No man who hath taken 
refuge in my dominions, and conducts himself 
peaceably, shall be compelled against his will 
xxxii 



INTRODUCTION 

"to abandon the empire; but if his will be to 
quit, he is welcome to depart.' " 

These often-mentioned but seldom-read letters, 
in their quaint old Elizabethan Enghsh, present the 
life led by the founder of the Japanese Navy which 
has done deeds at the beginning of the twentieth 
century which are to be compared with those done 
by the English Navy under Nelson at the beginning 
of the nineteenth century. Togo's grim watching 
off Port Arthur is like Nelson's watching off 
Toulon. The relations of the shipwrecked pilot 
who turned shipbuilder, and one of the mightiest 
conquerors of the East, form one of the most 
interesting bypaths of history. 

At any rate, here they are in this volume, for 
the first time easily accessible in England. 

These letters have only to be known to be loved, 
they are so pathetic as well as sincere. Take, for 
example : — 

" So, to passe my time to get my lining, it hath 
cost mee great labour and trouble at the first, but 
God hath blessed my labour. In the ende of fine 
yeeres I made supplication to the king to goe out 
of this land, desiring to see my poore wife and 
children, according to conscience and nature." 

This was the one great thing which the ' myghty ' 
lyeyasu would refuse him, so we find him writing 
to " my vnknowen friends and countrimen " : — 

" I think, no certain news is knowen, whether I 



XXXI 11 



INTRODUCTION 

be liuing or dead. Therefore I do pray and intreate 
you in the name of Jesus Christe to doe so much as 
to make my being here in lapon knowen to my 
poor wife ; in a manner a widdow, and my two 
children fatherlesse ; which thing only is my greatest 
griefe of heart and conscience. I am a man not 
vnknowen in RatclifFe and Limehouse by name to 
my good Master Nicholas Diggines, and M. Thomas 
Best, and M. Nicholas Isaac and William Isaac, 
brothers, with many others ; also to JM. ^^'^illiam 
lones and M. Beclet. Therefore may this letter 
come to any of their hands, or the copy : I doe 
know that compassion and mercy is so, that my 
friends and kindred shall haue newes, that I doe as 
yet hue in this vale of my sorrowfull pilgrimage : 
the which thing agein and agein I do desire for 
lesus Christ his sake." 

lyeyasu was generous to him. 

" Now for my seruice which I haue doen and daily 
doe, being employed in the Emperours seruice, he 
hath given me a liuing like vnto a lordship in 
England, with eightie or ninetie husbandmen, that 
be as my salues or seruents : which, or the like 
president, was neuer here before geven to any 
stranger." 

He gives a picture of the Japanese of his day. 

" The people of this Hand of lapon are good of 
nature, courteous aboue measure, and valiant in 
warre : their justice is seuerely executed without 
any partialitie vpon transgressors of the law. They 
are gouerned in great ciuilitie. I meane, not a land 
better gouerned in the world by ciuill policie. The 
people be verie superstitious in their religion, and 
are of diuers opinions." 
xxxiv 



INTRODUCTION 

Which might have been written to-day. He sent a 
dupKcate of this letter endorsed " WilHam Adams 
to his Wife," beginning with the words — 

" Louing wife, you shall vnderstand how all 
things haue passed with mee from the time of 
mine absence from you." 

They were almost starving in the Straits of 

Magellan till they — 

" landed on Penguin Island, where we ladded our 
boate ful of penguins, which are fowles greater 
than a ducke, wherewith we were greatly refreshed." 

He knew his Bible well, for we have him quoting 
in his own words Revelations xiv. 18. 

"Now my good frind : I thank you for your 
good writting and frindly token of a byble and 3 
other boukes. By your letter 1 vnderstand of ye 
death of many of my good frinds in the barbarous 
country of Barbary : for which death and los of 
goods I am heartilie sorry. Nevertheles it is ye 
lot of all flesh : in this lyf manny trobelles and 
afflixcions, and in the end death. Thearfor it is a 
blessed thing to dy in the Lord, with a faithfull 
trust in God : for theay rest from their labores," etc. 

Even at that day the Japanese were highly 

civilised. 

"In justis very seuer, hauing no respecte of 
persons. Theer cittis gouerned with greatt ciuility 
and in lou : for ye most part nonn going to lawe 
on with another; but yf questiones be bettween 
naybour and naybour, it is by justiss coummanded 
to be pressently taken vp, and frindship to be mad 



XXXV 



INTRODUCTION 

with out dellay. No theef for ye most part put in 
prisson, but pressently executed. No murther for 
ye most part can escap : for yf so bee yt yt 
murtherer cannot be found, ye Emperour coumands 
a proclimacion with a wryting, and by ye writting 
so mvch gold as is of vallew 300/. starUnge ; and 
yf anny do know whear ye murtherer is, he cooms 
and receueth the gold, and goeth his way with out 
anny further troubell. Thus for the lukar of so 
moch monny it coumes to light. And their citties 
you may go all ower in ye night with out any 
trobell or perrill, being a peepell (? well affected) to 
strangers: ye lawe much lyk the Jud. (. . . .) truth. 
Thus by the way, in hast I hau imboldned (? myself) 
to writ somewhat of ye coustome and manners," etc. 

We get more humour, more travel-gossip, from 
Captain John Saris, whose account of meeting Will 
Adams is quoted in Letter IV. 

Their method of salutation was almost the same 
as it is now. 

" Their manner and curtesie in saluting was after 
their manner, which is this. First in presence of 
him whom they are to salute, they put off their 
shooes (stockings they weare none) and tlien clap- 
ping their right hand within their left, they put 
them downe towards their knees, and so wagging 
or mouing of their hands a little to and fro, they 
stooping, steppe with small steps sideling from the 
partie saluted, and crie Augh, Augh." 

Here and there a gleam of humour strays into 
Captain Saris's account. 

" I eraue leue to diuers women of the better sort to 



XXX VI 



INTRODUCTION 

come into my cabbin, where the picture of Venus, 
with her sonne cupid, did hang somewhat wantonly 
set out in a large frame, 'i'hey thinking it to bee 
our ladie and her sonne, felle downe and worshipped 
it, with shewes of great deuotion, telling me in a 
whispering manner (that some of their own com- 
panions which were not so might not heare) that 
they were Christianos : whereby we perceiued 
them to be Christians, conuerted by the Portugall 
lesuits." 

The Japanese woman was much the same Eve 
then as she is now. 

" The king came aboord againe, and brought foure 
chiefe women with him. They were attired in 
gownes of silke, clapt the one skirt ouer the other, 
and so girt to them, barelegged, only a paire of halfe 
buskins bound with silke reband about their instep ; 
their hair very blacke, and very long, tyed vp in a 
knot vpon the crowne in a comely manner : their 
heads no where shauen as the mens were. They 
were well faced, handed, and footed : cleare skind 
and white, but wanting colour, which they amende 
by arte. Of stature low, but very fat ; very cur- 
teous in behauiour, not ignorant of the respect to 
be giuen vnto persons according to their fashion." 

"... The kings women seemed to be somewhat 
bashfull, but he willed them to bee frolicke. They 
sung diners songs, and played vpon certain instru- 
ments, whereof one did much resemble our lute, 
being bellyed like it, but longer in the necke, and 
fretted like ours, but had only foure gut strings. 
Their fingring with the left hand like ours, very 
nimbly, but the right hand striketh with an iuory 

xxxvii 



INTRODUCTION 

bone, as we vse to playe upon a citterne with a 
quill." 

The king, whose name has been corrupted into 
Foyne Sama, feasted Captain Saris and his whole 
company with — 

" diuers sorts of powdered wild fowles and fruits : 
and calling for a standing cup (which was one of 
the presents then deliuered him) he caused it to be 
filled with his country wine, which is distilled out 
of rice, and is as strong as our Aquauitae : and 
albeit the cuppe helf vpward of a pint and half, 
notwithstanding taking the cup in his hand, he 
told me hee would drinke it all off, for health to 
the king of England, and so did myself, and all his 
nobles doing the like." 

" The king and his nobles did sit at meat crosse- 
legged vpon mats after the Turkie fashion, the 
mats richly edged, some with cloath of gold, some 
with veluet, satten, and damask." 

— which is about our first mention of the Japanese 
banquet, and immediately below we get our first 
glimpses of the Japanese theatre, the actors 
apparently being all women : — 

" The one and twentieth, the old king came aboord 
againe, and brought with him diuers women to be 
frolicke. These women were actors of comedies, 
which passe there from iland to iland to play, as 
our players doe here from towne to towne, hauing 
seuerall shifts of apparrell for the better grace of 
the matter acted ; which for the most part are of 
Warre, Loue, and such like." 
xxxviii 



INTRODUCTION 

The fame of the great EUzabethan captain who 
routed the Spanish Armada did not take long in 
filtering through to Japan. 

"Our English nation hath been long known by 
report among them, but much scandal led by the 
Portugals lesuites, as pyrats and rovers upon the 
seas ; so that the naturals haue a song which they 
call the English Crofonia, shewing how the English 
doe take the Spanish ships, which they (singing) 
doe act likewise in gesture with their cattans by 
their sides, with which song and acting they 
terrific and skare their children, as the French 
sometimes did theirs with the name of the Lord 
Talbot." 

On their journey to the court of lyeyasu, in the 
places where foreigners were less known, — 

" Boyes, children, and worser sort of idle people 
would gather about and follow along after vs, 
crying Core Core, Cocojx, Wcwe, that is to say, 
you Coreans with false hearts : wondering, hooping, 
hollowing, and making such a noise about vs, that 
we could scarcely heare one another speake, some- 
times throwing stones at vs (but that not in many 
townes), yet the clamour and crying after vs was 
euerywhere alike, none reprouing them for it. The 
best aduice that I can giue those who hereafter 
shall irrue there is, that they passe on without 
regarding those idle rablements, and in so doing 
they shall find their eares only troubled with the 
noise." 

A greater marvel even than the diving-women 
who caught fish with their hands was the ironclad 

xxxix 



1 

INTRODUCTION 

which the Japanese possessed at the beginning of 
the seventeenth century : — 

"About eight or tenne leagues on this side the 
straights of Xemina-seque we found a great 
towne, where there lay in a docke a iuncke of 
eight hundred or a thousand tunnes of burthen, 
sheathed all with yron, a guard appointed to keep 
her from firing and treachery. She was built in a 
very homely fashion, much like that which de- 
scribeth Noah's arke vnto vs. The naturals told 
vs that she serued to transport souldiers into any 
of the Hands if rebllion or warre should happen." 

The last we see of Will Adams is in a letter 
from Captain Richard Cock to the Governor and 
Committees of the East India Company, dated 
the 13th of December 1620. It is to the following 
effect : — 

" Our good frend Captain AVm. Addames, whoe 
was soe long long before vs in Japon, departed 
out of this world the vj of May last, and made 
JNIr Wm. Eaton and my selfe his overseers : 
geuing the one halfe of his estate to his wife 
and childe in England, and the other halfe to a 
Sonne and doughter he hath in Japon." J 

It only remains to be observed, that the will 
of \A^illiam Adams in Japanese is preserved among 
the records of the Honourable the East India 
Company, and that a translation has not been 
traced. 



xl 



To back on p. xl. 




Fujisawa. 



2'o hack on p. 1. 



/7^ 



Ry ^ Xr^'-~ "" ill- ' 'J! *^/ ■'■" <- ^- ■ ^--^ '* 




Yoshiwara. 



PART I 



JAPAN FROM A WOMAN'S 
POINT OF VIEW 



By norma LORIMER 



AUTHOR'S NOTE 

The reader will find all the subjects on which 
I have hghtly touched in the following articles 
worked out in an adequate and scholarly manner 
in those mines of information upon Japanese sub- 
jects, Professor Basil Hall Chamberlain's Things 
Japanese ; Miss AHce Bacon's Japanese Girls and 
Women, and Japanese Interiors; Mr W. E. 
Griffis's Mikado's Empire; and the various works 
of the late Mr Lafcadio Hearn, to all of which 
I have frequently had recourse in refreshing the 
memories of my year in Japan. 



CHAPTER I 

HOW EUROPEANS LIVE IN JAPAN 

In Japan, Europeans do not live, as many people 
suppose, in paper houses, nor do they eat Japanese 
food, or make a dinner-table of their floor, or 
substitute a wooden neck-rest for a feather pillow. 

European residents in Japan live in solemn 
splendour in the foreign settlements of the large 
towns. In Yokohama they live on the Bluff, a 
flat-topped volcanic hill on the outskirts of the 
native town. It was against the etiquette of the 
European residents, when I was there, to take the 
slightest interest in Japan. If an enthusiastic 
or intelligent traveller brought introductions with 
him, he was looked upon as an objectionable globe- 
trotter and interloper. This little bit of prejudiced 
England perched up on the Bluff* liked to regulate 
its houses and habits on as strictly English principles 
as it was possible to maintain in houses where the 
housemaids and parlourmaids and cooks were all 
Japanese "boys." Anything duller and narrower 

5J 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

than these EngUsh communities in the East it is 
difficult to imagine. You never by any chance 
met any of these Pharisees indulging in any form 
of entertainment except a dinner or a tea-party 
at each other's houses. 

They did not know anything about Japan except 
the pony-racing, nor did they wish to, a fact they 
very soon let you know. If you wanted real 
information about the country, you had to go to 
a fellow-traveller who had gone through the land 
with his heart and his eyes open, or to consult 
the books written by people who cut themselves 
off from this anti-Japanese colony while they Hved 
in the country. These Europeans live in Japan 
as they would live in a suburb of an EngUsh 
town if we employed Japanese boys for domestic 
servants. Among the European residents the 
English and American professors in Japanese 
colleges and universities were honourable excep- 
tions. They adored the country, and showed the 
greatest delight in taking travellers behind the veil 
and showing them the real Japan. 

European travellers can live very comfortably 
in Japan, because there are excellent European 
hotels in almost every town which tourists frequent. 
These hotels are sometimes run by Japanese, as, for 
example, the famous Yaami's at Kyoto, and the 
Fujiya at Miyanoshita. 

Miyanoshita is the popular holiday resort of 
4 



HOW EUROPEANS LIVE IN JAPAN 

European residents in Japan. I never quite 
decided whether it was selected as such because 
of the famous sulphur baths, or because there is 
so little to do in the way of sight-seeing. 
Miyanoshita is the Taormina of Japan without 
the famous Greco-Roman theatre. Like Taormina, 
it is a dear little mountain village, with charming 
people for the visitors to spoil, and pretty cottages 
for them to kodak. 

In European hotels run by natives you seldom 
find women house-servants ; experience has taught 
the landlord that if he does not wish to shock 
Mrs Grundy, it is wiser to exclude the scuffing 
" Ne-san " or elder sister — this is the term used in 
addressing a maid-servant in an inn — from his 
establishment. 

From a woman's point of view, a Jap boy is a 
much better chamber-maid than an " elder sister " ; 
he is quicker, more thorough, and more intelligent ; 
but no doubt Ne-san has qualities to recommend 
her, which I did not discover. 

There is a delightful semi-Europeanness about 
these hotels, which affords the traveller much 
amusement. The boys are dressed in the kimono or 
coolies' native dress while they are doing woman's 
work about the house, and blue serge suits made 
in Germany when they are converted into waiters 
at table d'hote. It was quite a common occurrence 
to have these " boys," whose ages varied from 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

twenty to fifty, making lightning changes behind 
the paper screens in the dining-room from their 
kimonos into their blue serge suits. But, like their 
beloved Emperor, their European clothes never 
fitted them very well ; their clothes have no more 
chance than their beloved Emperor's. No tailor 
is permitted to fit or take measurements of the 
Son of Heaven, and the Jap waiter has to adapt 
his measurements to the size and stature of his 
predecessor. 

You very soon learn enough pidgin-English to 
converse with your bedroom boy, who has gone 
through a course of English at a missionary's school. 
The most tiresome feature about a Japanese 
servant is his thirst for European knowledge. 
Every other minute he produces a scrap of paper 
and writes down the sound which the new English 
word he has just learnt conveys to him, and he 
will leave you at the most awkward moment while 
he looks up in the dictionary some word which he 
wishes to use correctly. Etiquette forbids him to 
say " no " to his superior, so you must guess when he 
means yes and when he means no by the inflection 
of his voice when he says " yes." He always runs 
to your presence, for etiquette demands that he 
should hurry towards his employer, even if he is 
carrying two pails of boiling water slung across 
his shoulder on a bamboo pole. But he may stop 
to finish a game of go-bang in the corridor before 
6 



HOW EUROPEANS LIVE IN JAPAN 

he brings the towel for which you have clapped 
your hands in your bath. 

The time you meet with the greatest fun and 
novelty while you are staying in Japan is when you 
go off the beaten track and have to put up in little 
native inns. You tell the landlord of the hotel you 
have been staying in where you wish to go to, and 
how long you wish to stay. All that you have to 
do is to pack your hold-all and be ready to start 
when the likshas come to the door. The riksha 
with your hold-all and the basket of provisions and 
other necessaries goes ahead. 

When you pull up at the native inn at the end of 
a long day's riksha ride with a very tired back, you 
are only too glad to accept the offer of a hot bath 
which the landlady will at once make. You step 
into the funny little house and look curiously round. 
There is absolutely nothing to be seen but the floor 
and thin paper walls, for the front of a native house 
is almost always open to the street. I remember 
the first one I ever tried. After the preliminaries 
of a stage dialogue with the landlady, the whole 
staffs prostrating itself on the floor, and the distri- 
bution of a few halfpence as clia-dai (tea-money), 
Ne-san conducted me to the guest-chamber, which 
was on the ground floor. Japanese houses never 
have more than one storey above the ground floor. 
It was as empty as the inn-parlour. I thought 
with regret of the comfy arm-chair in the European 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

hotel I had left in the morning, but Ne-san scuffed 
off and returned with two flat cushions, which she 
placed on the floor for me to kneel on. This is a 
native woman's idea of comfort and luxury. I 
tried, but failed ignominiously to kneel as I ought, 
resting the weight of my body on my heels, so I 
ended by sitting with my back resting against the 
paper wall and my legs stretched straight out in 
front of me. I had submitted, of course, to having 
my boots drawn off* and taken away from me 
outside the front door. 

When Take came to ask what hour I should 
like my dinner, I admired the self-control which 
prevented him from smiling at my woe-begone 
appearance. He pushed the tahako-mono (the 
little pipe-stove) towards me as a hint that a pipe 
might relieve the situation. I shook my head 
sadly. He bowed very low, and apologised for 
having forgotten the habits of the honourable 
benefactor. In a few minutes he returned, carry- 
ing in triumph a bamboo folding-table and a camp- 
stool, which he had just unpacked from the ample 
provision riksha. He placed them in the centre 
of the room and rubbed his knees with delight. 
Their feet had shoes on — something like the shoes 
which are used by horses when they are mowing 
lawns. It was getting dark, so Ne-san brought in 
a tall paper lamp, which she placed on the floor 
beside me, but the chair and the table caused her 
8 



HOW EUROPEANS LIVE IN JAPAN 

so much astonishment that she hurried off to fetch 
the landlady to come and see them. 

Take was a genius. In less than an hour he had 
cooked an excellent beef-steak on the landlady's 
foolish little stove, which looked like a work-box 
full of hot ash, and some queer, rather tasteless 
fish, and excellent small birds — quail, I think. 
The provision riksha must have been a sort of 
Noah's ark, for it had also contained plates and 
knives and forks, and some wine, for sake, the 
native drink made from rice, and tasting like weak 
tepid Marsala and water, is not a refreshing 
beverage after a thirty miles' drive. In native 
inns tea is never charged for ; it is offered as a form 
of hospitality to all comers ; but I never met the 
globe-trotter yet who could drink the tea served to 
you in ordinary native inns or tea-houses. 

While I ate my dinner. Take stood behind my 
camp-stool in solemn silence. He had drawn me 
all day long, with his steaming body only 
hampered with a loin-cloth ; he had had his bath 
and unpacked my provisions and cooked my 
dinner, and now he was waiting upon me 
in a spotlessly clean native suit of dark-blue 
cotton. 

After dinner he, with the help of Ne-san, con- 
verted my sitting-room into a bedroom by laying 
down on the floor heavy blue padded quilts and 
the feather pillow, which had also been packed in 

9 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

the provision-basket riksha. In Japan it would 
not be difficult to take up your bed and walk. 

Living in a native inn is very much like camping 
out. You take your provisions with you if you do 
not care to starve, and lie between paper walls in- 
stead of canvas. In the quiet hours of the night 
you will hear the gentle pan-pan, pan-pan of the 
landlady's or her honourable housemaid's tiny pipe 
against the brasier. I have often wondered if the 
Japanese smoke in their sleep, or if they never sleep 
at all, for the pan-pan of the midnight pipe is as 
constant as the tap-tap of the kakemono against 
the wall during the day when the wind plays 
through the four posts of the platform with a cover 
over it, which is the Japanese idea of a " home." 
That comfy word has so little meaning to him that 
he has no equivalent for it in his language. He 
expresses his aspirations with omu, an unasperated 
reproduction of the English home. 



10 



CHAPTER II 

CHILDHOOD IN JAPAN 

No child in Japan can ever have wished to be 
grown up, and no Uttle discontented girl ever heard 
from her mother's lips the catch-phrase, " Your good 
time's coming, my child." For no grown-up 
woman in Japan ever does have a good time until 
she is too old to enjoy it. It was Sir Rutherford 
Alcock, I think, who first made the remark that 
Japan was the paradise of babies ; and from the 
first day you set foot on the original of the famous 
willow-pattern plate to the day you sigh your 
Sayonara to the sacred Fuji as you leave Yokohama 
Bay you realise the truth of his remark. 

In Japan all the world's a nursery, and all the 
streets and temples merely children's playgrounds. 
And until quite recently Japan was a nation at 
play, a nation where you could see grown-ups as 
well as children taking part in what we choose to 
call childish games. During this great Eastern 
war I wonder if Japanese men and women have put 

11 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

away their long-tailed kites and seven-tailed gold- 
fishes, and historical dolls, and have ceased to hunt 
lost souls in fii'eflies. I doubt it, for it has been 
the lifelong prayer and counselling of every Japanese 
parent for endless generations that their children, 
when they have reached the estate of men and 
women, should retain a child's heart. 

When you meet a grown-up person in England 
who has kept his or her child's heart, you cannot 
help loving them. That is why you cannot help 
loving Japan, for the whole nation has kept its 
child's heart. 

Childhood certainly is the Golden Age in Japan 
more than in any other country in the world, for 
that gentle land seems to have been created on 
purpose to amuse and spoil children. Not that 
any child ever is spoilt in that land of gentle 
mothers, for a child's moral training and almost 
supernatural power of self-control began hundreds 
of years before it was born. 

When I first drove through a native city in 
Japan, I thought that every other shop was a toy- 
shop, and I never could have believed that the 
world contained so many children, for nothing is 
too young to play on the ^likado's highway. Doll- 
like girls of a few years old, dressed exactly like 
their little mothers, except for their gayer clothes 
and fantastically-shaven heads, carry yellow-faced 
babies of a few months old tied on to their backs 
12 



CHILDHOOD IN JAPAN 

while they play ingenious games with gorgeous 
balls made of scarlet and gold silk, or dart about 
on their high wooden clogs after falling shuttle- 
cocks, which they will send bounding up again over 
the tops of their paper homes with a wooden 
battledore decorated on one side with the gaudily- 
painted head of some famous woman of ill-fame. 
But I soon learned that the streets were full of 
babies because the houses were all empty. No one 
in the real Japan ever saw a baby sleeping in a cot 
or being driven in a go-cart. While the mothers 
are working, the babies sleep, with their little heads 
wobbling about, on their mothers' or older sisters' 
backs, or learn to sit on their feet with their knees 
bent under them before they can stand. I soon 
began to distinguish the real toy-shops, which 
are more numerous than in any other country in 
the world, from the shops which sell the toy-like 
furniture and miniature household utensils for the 
grown-up dolls' houses. 

The shops of the household Gods, for instance, 
with their quaint white plaster foxes and images 
of goblin-like gods, seemed to me delightful toy- 
shops ; but when I grew more intimate with the 
domestic life of the country, I recognised the 
familiar faces of the God of Rice and the Seven 
fat Gods of Wealth. I also learnt that the tiny 
teapots and diminutive trays and dishes which I 
saw in the pottery shops were used in the real 

13 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

human dolls' houses, and were not toys for 
children. 

I have never seen a little girl nursing or playing 
with her doll in Japan, as one sees dolls played 
with in England. Dolls are kept as household 
treasures in iron safes, and are taken out for special 
festivals. They represent historical and mjrtho- 
logical characters, and are certainly not things to 
be hugged and loved. The reason for this may be 
that a tiny girl can seldom spare her back for 
her doll, as she has to carry about a baby 
brother or sister. Babies are carried on the back 
in Japan, and not in the arms, except by the 
very wealthy classes, so the little girls have no 
chance of imitating their mothers in their treat- 
ment of their dolls, for they never see her kiss her 
baby or hug it in her arms as English mothers 
do. The babies are fastened on their backs with 
shawls, in much the same way as they are shawl- 
bound to the women's sides in the streets of South 
Wales. 

There are hundreds of street professionals who 
make a good living in Japan by amusing children. 
There are street theatricals acted by children for 
children, realistic and wonderful story-tellers, 
acrobats and gaily-dressed tumblers, clever workers 
in black magic, such as fire-eaters and snake- 
charmers, and, perhaps best of all, toymakers who 
will, while you wait, blow out the Japanese cupid 
14 



CHILDHOOD IN JAPAN 

without a nose from a piece of wheat paste on the 
end of a pipe, and the ever popular peddHng cook, 
who allows children to cook for themselves, for the 
tenth part of a penny, some strange concoction in 
a dish of boiling sesame oil. There are endless 
others which I cannot remember. 

But to see child-life in its perfection in Japan 
you must go to the temples. In the courts of the 
house of Buddha holiday-attired children swarm like 
hiving bees, as gorgeous as cardinal butterflies in 
their rich brocade and scarlet obis. It is there that 
you see the best toy-shops both for girls and boys, 
and it is there, under the shade of the sacred temple 
trees, that their little parents can leave their small 
cares and responsibilities of life behind them in 
their paper homes and be children again, not only 
in heart but in deeds. But these endless temple- 
fairs and festivals, where the Western world has for 
many years learned strange lessons in the simple 
pleasures of life and in the peace which flows from 
gentle hearts, are, alas ! gradually growing fewer 
and fewer, for the Japanese thirst for a Western 
education will not permit of almost as many 
holidays in the year as there are saints' days in the 
Roman Catholic calendar. In the real Japan, 
children never went to school. They were taught 
at home. But it would be wrong to give the 
impression that though they lived in their streets, 
where they were protected from all dangers by 

15 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

dozens of strange little charms, that they received 
no proper home training. 

No other children in the world ever received 
such a strict home training or were educated so 
carefully as the children of vanishing Japan. For 
although the majority of girls knew only a few of 
the Chinese characters of their alphabet, every boy 
and girl knew the ancient as well as the modern 
history of their nation, and all its rich folk-lore. 
Children often accompanied their parents to the 
theatre, and there they had very vividly imprinted 
on their minds all the classical dramas and historical 
tragedies of their literature. History, before the 
days of schools, was also taught by card-playing, and 
the famous One Hundred Poems of the classics, 
known as the Hyaku-nin-isshu, which is the family 
bible of Japan, was learnt by games of proverbs. 
The courage of children, especially boys, was tested 
by the telling of thrilling ghost stories in eerie places, 
or in the half-lights round the hibachi on winter 
nights. Little girls had filial piety and obedience 
impressed on them by the story of some virtuous 
daughter who sold herself to a house of ill-fame to 
save her parents from starvation. But the most 
important part of a child's education was its instruc- 
tion in etiquette. Etiquette was so far-reaching 
that a little child had to begin its education in 
manners before it could walk. Very early had girls 
to learn the special teachings for women called 
16 



CHILDHOOD IN JAPAN 

JVashoka-Mebal-Bunho, which by their nature 
were qualified to rob a mother of her child's heart. 
Teachers of the various etiquettes visited the houses 
of the middle classes. The etiquette of the Solemn 
Tea-Ceremony, of flower-arranging, of domestic and 
social life, were among the most important. Only 
girls of the humbler classes learned music, singing, 
and dancing. The koto was the one instrument 
permitted in the houses of the upper classes. 

In Japan there is a very hard and fast line 
drawn between the moral training and education of 
boys and girls. You seldom see boys and girls 
playing in the streets together. If you do, you 
will notice that when a boy loses in a game his face 
receives a dab of paint. When a little girl loses, 
she sticks a straw in her hair. 

At the different festivals for boys and girls the 
mark of sex is easily distinguishable. On the days 
of the Boys' Festival the whole city lies under a 
heaven of floating carp made of gaily-painted 
paper. Every street is lined with bamboo poles, 
from which carp belly out on the breeze like flags 
to testify the fact that the Japanese man-child is 
capable of fighting its way up-stream against all 
the adverse currents of life. On the day of the 
Girls' Festival every stall and shop groans under 
its burden of solemn-faced dolls. 

If you were to ask a little boy in Japan what his 
highest ambition in life was, he would tell you to 

2 17 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

die for his Emperor. A little girl would say, to 
observe the teachings of the Seven Sages, so that 
she might be a submissive daughter to her father, 
a submissive wife to her husband, a submissive 
daughter-in-law to her husband's parents, and last 
of all, a submissive mother to her eldest son if she 
is left a widow. 



18 



CO 




CHAPTER III 

MARRYING AND GIVING IN MARRIAGE 

To the Western mind, love-making without kissing 
is hke the proverbial egg without salt. But then 
a Japanese courtship is rather like an egg without 
salt, for the Japanese lover does not make love, 
nor does he pretend to be in love with the girl 
whom he wishes to marry, though he sometimes 
ends by loving, in a mild fashion, the dainty, 
patient, self-sacrificing wife, who combines all the 
accomplishments of cook, housemaid, valet, pretty 
plaything, and wife in one. A Japanese woman 
never expects to love anyone but her own baby ; 
she must serve and obey everyone else. Much as 
she adores her baby, she never even makes love to 
it as an English mother does. She shows her love 
by her constant care and attention to its training. 
It is considered indelicate and wanting in self- 
control for a woman to show any signs of feeling, 
either of love or hate. As a moosme she has no 
girlish dreams of romance, no sentimental views 

19 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

upon marrying for love, for the simple reason that 
she has never heard of such a thing. She would 
in all probability prefer marrying an orphan, and so 
being released from the terrors of a mother-in-law, 
to marrying an Adonis who really loved her. Her 
future husband was probably chosen for her by her 
parents when she was too young even to toddle, 
but was tied on, not too securely, to her little sister's 
back, and allowed to develop a monkey-like instinct 
for self-preservation, by using her toes for fingers 
and her legs for arms. When she has reached 
marriageable years (fifteen), her future husband, 
whom she probably has never seen, sends an 
ambassador or "go-between" to discuss the sub- 
ject of marriage with her parents. Etiquette 
demands that this part of the courtship should 
be done by a third party. If the business arrange- 
ments suit both the high contracting parties, and 
the astronomer, who is always consulted, augurs 
well for the young couple, a " first-seeing " is 
arranged by the parents. A picnic to \4ew the 
famous cherry blossoms in Ueno Park, a visit to 
a chrysanthemum show, or perhaps a theatre party, 
is chosen for the occasion. At the "first-seeing" 
there is not one thought of sentiment in the pretty 
moosmes head ; she does not expect to form either 
a violent like or dislike to the appearance or per- 
sonality of her future "honourable master." The 
keenest emotion and hope she is conscious of is, 
20 



MARRYING AND GIVING IN MARRIAGE 

that she will find favour in his mother's eyes, and 
that her future mother-in-law will be a considerate 
mistress. 

I have seen these family picnics take place under 
a canopy of pink and white cherry-blossom, or in a 
tea-house, shaded and cool, with festoons of wistaria 
blossoms trailing their long tassels on the surface 
of some deep lake, as picturesque and mysterious 
as the people themselves. There is an intense 
aesthetic pleasure on the faces of the young people, 
and there is a general light-hearted merriness per- 
vading the whole affair, which springs from the 
natural gentleness and sweet content of the people 
themselves — for in Japan the world is what your 
own heart makes it. But if there is nothing deeper 
or more emotional for these young people than 
aesthetic pleasure in the " viewing " of the famous 
sakura (cherry-blossoms), at least there is no 
humbug ; this viariage de convenance is not spoken 
of as a pure love-match. If the moosme does not 
find complete favour in her master's eyes, and if 
the suitor himself does not care for her, the affair 
goes no further. But if she is weighed and not 
found wanting, especially by his relatives, her fate 
is sealed, for her tastes are not likely to be con- 
sulted. 

Poor little moosme, with her gentle heart and 
brave self - submission, this " first - seeing " is a 
momentous occasion for her. For in her father's 

21 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

house, although she has always had to remember 
that she was only a woman, undesired from birth, 
and although she has had to address her brothers as 
her superiors, she has been, in her gay babyhood at 
least, a pet and a plaything. But from the day of 
the " first-seeing," when she is given a little piece 
of obi-silk in place of an engagement ring by her 
future " honourable master," she must put aside 
all light - hearted irresponsible 7fioosme-hood and 
assume the grave and arduous responsibilities of 
womanhood. Wifehood in Japan is mere slavery 
and childbearing. Happy is the girl who marries 
an orphan ; but such things, alas ! are rare in Japan, 
where every woman is so desirous of possessing a 
son that she will adopt one, however poor she is, 
rather than have none, for without a son she can- 
not have a daughter-in-law, and it is only when a 
woman becomes a mother-in-law that she ceases to 
be a servant to her husband and his people, and 
becomes an individual. It is when she is a mother- 
in-law that she can go to theatres and temples and 
flower festivals, for she can leave her daughter-in- 
law to look after the house. When she is a 
mother-in-law she can lie in bed in the morning 
until after the servants are wakened, and have her 
hot water brought her by her daughter-in-law, for 
the young wife must wake first and open up the 
house, not the servants ; and she must think it an 
honour to be the first to attend to the wants of 
2J2 



J 



MARRYING AND GIVING IN MARRIAGE 

her husband's people at the commencement of 
each day. 

After the "first-seeing" has taken place, the 
young man visits the parents of his future wife at 
her home, and numerous presents are exchanged 
between the relatives. When the bride's trousseau is 
ready, the principal item of which is a bed, though 
it also includes a handsome supply of obis (sashes), 
a low writing-table, a work-box, and two of the 
low table-trays upon which meals are served, with 
the proper rice-bowls, ,ya/iY^-cups, and chopsticks, 
the wedding-day is fixed. The wedding ceremony 
is not made a public social function, as it is in 
England ; it is a grave private ceremony, which 
is usually performed at the beginning and at the 
close of a family banquet given in the bridegroom's 
home. 

The ceremony itself is curiously simple. It 
consists of the bride and the bridegroom drinking 
three times alternately from the same three sake 
cups, which have two spouts. It is called san- 
san-do (three - three - times), because each of the 
three cups was sipped three times by both parties, 
which makes nine times altogether. Drinking 
from the same cup is emblematical of the bearing 
each other's joys and sorrows throughout life. 
This solemn ^a^Y'-drinking between the bride and 
bridegroom is witnessed by no one but the bride's 
little serving-maid who fills the cups and the go- 

23 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

between. The changing of garments also forms 
an important item in the ceremony. The bride, 
who left her father's house in a white kimono, 
dressed as a corpse, to show that she was dead to 
her own family, changed it immediately on her 
arrival at her new home for a coloured one bought 
her by her husband, but after the first ceremonial 
^aA'^'-drinking she changes it again for one which 
she brought with her in her trousseau. At the 
end of the banquet the young couple are again 
led into another private room, and again the 
ceremonial drinking is gone through in exactly the 
same manner, except that this time the bridegroom 
drinks first, which is typical of the relative position 
of husband and wife throughout life. 

As soon as she has left her father's house fires of 
purification will have been lighted, as they would 
after a dead body has left the house. But the 
principal and most important feature about a 
marriage is the transference at the local police- 
office of the name of the wife from her father's 
family to that of her husband. The registration 
of the change of ownership is what constitutes a 
marriage in Japan, as if it was not patent enough 
already that the wife was only a chattel.^ 

^ Upon this subject Mr Ernest W. Clement, in his Handbook of 
Japan, one of the most recent and valuable works of reference 
about the country, says : — 

" But let us look a little more particularly into the provisions 
relating to marriage, divorce, etc. The marriageable age is 

24 



MARRYING AND GIVING IN MARRIAGE 

The right of marriage is not free, except to the 
head of the family.^ All other persons, whatever 
their ages, can marry only with the consent of the 
head of his or her family. Men under thirty and 
women under twenty-five cannot marry without the 
consent of the parents ; and minors in some cases 
must obtain the consent of the guardian, or even 
of a family council. 

No young couple ever take up housekeeping 
together by themselves; the bride, from the day 
of her marriage, becomes little better than an 
unpaid servant to her husband's family, and a slave 
to her mother-in-law, who seems to vent the 
spleen of her pent-up years on her young daughter- 
in-law. AAHien a itioosme prays before the great 
statue of the Goddess of Mercy with the thousand 
hands, which stands in the centre of the shaded 
temple grounds in the centre of the great capital 

seventeen full years for men, and fifteen full years for women. 
Marriage takes effect when notice of the fact is given to a 
registrar by both parties with two witnesses. From this it will 
appear that the ceremony is a ' purely social function, having no 
connection whatsoever with law beyond the somewhat remote 
contingency of its being adducible as evidence of a marriage 
having taken place.' And here is where some Japanese 
Christians make an unfortunate and sometimes serious mistake, 
in thinking that the ceremony by a minister of the gospel is 
sufficient, and registration is a matter of convenience. Without 
registration a marriage is not legal." 

1 The word 'family' is here and hereinafter used in a 
technical sense, peculiar to Japan, of a group of the same sur- 
name. In old Japan the family was the social unit. 

25 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

which is the centre of Japan, she must plead with 
all the fervour of her self-controlled little being 
that the great bestower of mercy will grant her a 
mother-in-law with a merciful heart, and that she 
herself may be granted that sweet submissiveness 
and patient cheerfulness which will make her a 
good wife. Yet, supposing the Mother of Mercy 
should hold in one of her innumerable hands one 
crumb of mercy for the poor little bride-elect, her 
life will not be a bed of roses. For the husband 
can divorce her for almost any whim, and it is 
entirely her fault if the whole household does not 
live in peace and unity together. A Japanese 
poet has called a Japanese wife " social glue," for 
she has to cement the happiness of every member 
of the household together. If she has no children, 
she must welcome and take to her heart the child 
of any of her husband's concubines whom he may 
choose to adopt, nor must she object to the 
presence of the child's mother in her household. 

Three days after the marriage ceremony has 
taken place, it is etiquette for the bride, bridegroom, 
and his parents to visit the bride's relatives. A 
banquet is given, with hired geisha to amuse the 
guests, who are mindful to bring a present to 
every member of the household, including the 
servants. The young bride helps her mother to 
entertain the guests, but she must be careful not 
to display any affection towards her own people, 
26 



MARRYING AND GIVING IN MARRIAGE 

for she now belongs entirely, heart and body, to 
her husband's family. Another dinner-party is 
given at the bridegroom's home, and again presents 
are distributed. On this occasion the newly- 
married couple do not count; it is the relatives 
who benefit by the presents. 

One of the queerest things about this queer 
land is the fact that the humbler the wife is 
socially, the more is she on a footing of equality 
with her husband. It is the well-born woman who 
is content to be treated as her husband's inferior 
in almost everything. She is not allowed to work 
outside her own garden, as her humbler sister may ; 
she may not mix with her husband's friends and 
enter into conversation with them when he invites 
them to his house, but must merely attend to their 
wants, and retire to some quiet corner, unless her 
husband chooses to call for her. 

In the marrying and giving in marriage Japan 

has not altered one iota. The man who wears a 

frock-coat and rides a bicycle to give his vote on 

polling-day is still married by drinking three tiny 

cups of sake; and he may still divorce his wife if 

his mother does not like her, or if she contracts a 

habit of visiting her neighbours too frequently. 

Will the women of Japan be content to remain 

their husbands' slaves, now that their nation has 

become one of the greatest powers on the earth ? 

— I wonder. 

27 



CHAPTER IV 

IHE JAPANESE HUSBAND FROM A WOMAN's 
POINT OF VIEW 

From the European woman's point of view, a 
Japanese husband is an Asiatic who lays aside his 
thin veneer of Western civihsation with his black 
coat, which he only wears in business hours. He 
returns to his wife and family in his Idmono. A 
Japanese husband is an Asiatic, and from an 
Asiatic point of view he is no doubt a very 
admirable one, for Japanese women are allowed 
more freedom and are treated with much more 
respect and intimacy generally than almost any 
other Asiatic woman except the Burmese. 

At the same time, it is perhaps significant of 
Japanese married life that a Japanese bride goes 
to be married in a pure white mourning robe, 
which is intended to signify that henceforth she is 
dead to her old home and her parents, and that 
she must henceforth look upon her husband's 
people as her own. But to the bride I think it 
28 



THE JAPANESE HUSBAND 

must have a deeper significance. It must mean 
that she has said goodbye to all freedom and all 
ftimily devotion, and to most of the pleasures of 
hfe ; and that she has been disposed of to a man 
of whom she probably knows nothing, for him to 
use and abuse as the good or evil in him dictates. 
If ever the Japanese as a nation take to reading 
our Bible, the Japanese girl will make a god (not a 
goddess) of Jephthah's daughter. A Japanese is 
called upon to perform the sacrifice of Jephthah 
when his daughter is married. 

Incidentally, one may remark that the missionaries 
should not be too eager to press the acceptance of 
the Old Testament upon the Japanese, who would 
find its teachings so entirely after their own hearts 
that the Bible might become more dreaded than 
the Inquisition. The Japanese can be very literal 
when he pleases, as well as very allegorical. 

A Japanese husband is a despot, who has 
absolute power over his wife and children. He 
may, if he chooses, divorce her for the most trifling 
reasons, such as talking too much, or jealousy, or 
if she is not absolutely obedient to the wishes of 
his parents, and, as might be expected of an Eastern 
nation, if she has no children. The very humble 
classes do not even wait for one of the seven causes 
for divorce set down by the sages of old ; the man 
simply gets rid of a wife and takes another if she 
is not a good helpmeet to him in his daily work. 

29 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

A Japanese husband no longer requires his young 
wife to black her teeth if she is comely, although, 
when I was in Japan, it was quite a common sight 
to see a young woman's beauty completely marred 
by a mouthful of black teeth. It was the present 
Empress who set at defiance this most barbarous 
custom. But Asiatic women hold fast to their 
cords of bondage, as has been proved by all who do 
mission work in India for the raising of the position 
of native women, and the blacking of the teeth as 
a token of their absolute submission to their 
husbands, who considered it a safeguard from all 
other admiring eyes, is a custom which dates 
back to 920 a.d., and therefore not easily broken. 
And it is, I believe, the Japanese women, not the 
men, who are most shocked and astonished by the 
fact that the Crown Prince permits his wife to eat 
with him at meals, and to enter his carriage before 
him. 

I think it must be owing to their peculiarly 
national characteristics and to the tactfulness of 
the Japanese women that Japanese husbands are 
as good as they are, for absolute power has a 
brutalising effect on the best and strongest natures, 
and the Japanese husband is seldom brutal ; indeed, 
he is often a very good fellow, and when his 
mother allows him, a good husband, even from our 
point of view. 

The gentlest, most submissive little wife, who 
30 



THE JAPANESE HUSBAND 

would never dream of questioning the will or 
wishes of her august husband, becomes in time 
a tyrant mother-in-law, who may force her son 
to divorce his wife if she does not care for her ; 
and the husband, knowing that there are moosmes 
in the sea, no doubt of it, as good as ever came out 
of it, parts with the gentle, obedient, slavish little 
wife, whom he did not marry for love, but because 
his matrimonial agent had chosen her for him, 
without much heartache, and the poor little woman 
returns disgraced to her mother's home. As 
children belong absolutely to their fathers in 
Japan, ^ there is no question as to the custody of 
the child when the husband returns his wife to 
her people. 

Yet, even in Japan, where wifehood is little 
better than slavery, for a wife always lives with her 
parents-in-law, and acts as their unpaid servant, it 
is considered a disgrace to a woman to be un- 
married ; indeed, a bachelor or an old maid is 
seldom met with in that land of easily dissolved 
partnerships. 

Though a Japanese husband seldom marries his 
wife because he has fallen in love vdth her, he has 
a good deal more voice in the matter of choosing 
his bride than his wife has in choosing her husband. 
When the appointed day comes for their "first- 

1 There are exceptions to this rule under the most recent 
legislation. 

31 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

seeing," after the go-between has notified to the 
girl's parents that their daughter has been selected, 
the bridegroom-elect may withdraw his suit if he 
takes a dislike to the appearance or personality of 
the girl, or if his mother, who is generally much in 
evidence on those important occasions, disapproves 
of the go-between's choice. The girl, who goes 
like a lamb to the slaughter, never dreams of 
objecting to the honourable husband chosen for 
her. She has been too well versed in the special 
teaching for women, which demands absolute sub- 
mission from women to their fathers, brothers, and 
husbands, and husband's relatives, ever to think of 
herself as an individual with human emotions and 
desires. One of the most pathetic human docu- 
ments ever written is the simple little diary of a 
Japanese wife.^ She was twenty-seven years old 
before she was married ; her touching gratitude to 
the man who saved her from disgrace, her fear that 
he would regret his marriage and hate her because 
all her children died soon after they were born, is 
woefully pathetic. 

A Japanese husband eats alone or with his 
grown-up sons, and lets his wife wait upon him. 
If he gives a banquet to his friends his wife does 
not appear, except to pay some particular hospitality 
to his guests. In the families of the humbler 
classes the wife eats at the same time as her 

1 Translated by Mr Lafcadio Hearn in Kotto. 



THE JAPANESE HUSBAND 

husband, but takes care to kneel at a respectful 
distance behind his august person on the floor. It 
is not expected of the male guest or caller to pay 
any attention to his host's wife ; she is merely a 
person to administer to his wants. 

A Japanese husband does not take his wife to 
the theatre, or to wrestling-matches, or to popular 
tea-houses to see the famous geisha dancers when 
she is young and pretty : he takes his mother and 
children and sisters ; his wife is left at home to do 
her duties ; that is why, at picnics or fairs, and at 
all sorts of public fetes in Japan, one sees so 
many elderly women and quite young 7noosmes. 
Young wives and mothers stay at home in un- 
complaining submission. 

In their marriage ceremony, which consisted of 
no spoken vows, but in the drinking three times 
three from the same sake bowls as their husbands, 
they took upon themselves the unspoken vows of 
wifehood, which mean in Japan a smiling, gentle 
acceptance of a state of self-extinction, and of 
slavery and childbearing. To be the mother of a 
man-child is, after all, a Japanese woman's raison 
'.d'etr^e, for it is only through the male line that 
; heredity and ancestor- worship descend. No ofFer- 
!ings were ever laid on the shelf of the house- 
ihold gods in front of a woman ancestor. A 
Japanese husband, when he has on his business 
black coat and hat, two sizes too large for him, 

3 33 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

treats his wife to all outward appearances as his 
equal. In his heart, of course, he is the true 
Asiatic, and ever will be in his feeling of superiority 
over women ; but it is wise, from a business point 
of view, while he is mixing with the merchants of 
the Great Powers, to treat his wife as women of 
the Western world are treated. If he lets her sit 
by him in his carriage (when he has one), walk 
beside him in her hideous German-made clothes, 
and even condescends to open the door for her 
and let her pass in first when they enter a large 
European building, it is merely bewildering and 
unseemly to the obedient little wife, who knows 
that in the quiet of her home she will once more 
take her place, as a good wife should, behind her 
honourable lord, whose very fault-finding she must 
consider an honour, and answer with smiles. 

It cannot be expected that the modern Japanese 
girl who goes to a board school will remain in this 
state of matrimonial slavery, or that she will be 
contented to spend the best years of her life as an 
unpaid servant to her husband's family ; but, so far, 
Japan is Asiatic, and Western civilisation has not 
touched the foundations of home life ; it has only 
touched the business world, and the things which 
do not affect the ancient morals and institutions of 
this bizarre people. The smart naval officer who 
directs the most modern torpedo-boat in the whole 
flotilla of the Japanese Na\y was in all probability 
34 



To hack on p. 34, 




A Japanese husband ot 



I 



To hack on p. 35. 




the good old days. 



THE JAPANESE HUSBAND 

married to his wife by drinking three times three 
sake bowls with her, and if he has any rehgion at 
all, insists that she should be careful to offer up to 
his august ancestors on his family god-shelf ample 
offerings and prayers while he is fighting against 
the Russians for his beloved Emperor and country. 



35 



CHAPTER V 

A JAPANESE woman's LIFE DAY BY DAY 

In Japan the trivial round, the common task, 
furnishes all a woman ever asks. And although 
that round is to Western minds appallingly trivial, 
she is never bored. Indeed, from the moral stand- 
point of her own country, a Japanese woman is 
surely too good to be true. More than half her 
day is spent in a gentle idleness, an idleness which 
has no connection with laziness. Yet she does not 
know the meaning of ennui ; indeed, ennui seems 
to be the wages a Western woman pays for her 
mental independence. In the East and extreme 
South, where women's minds are still behind the 
shutters of the world, ennui is quite unknown ; and 
it is only when the Oriental or Southern races come 
into contact with the brooding Celt and bustling 
Anglo-Saxon that the meaning of the word is 
brought home to them. Idleness may be the 
mother of mischief, but it does not produce ennui 
unless the idler's brain is sufficiently enlightened to 
36 



A JAPANESE WOMAN'S LIFE 

feel its starved condition. The ordinary Japanese 
woman comes midway between the veiled and 
latticed woman of the East and the independent 
woman of the West ; for, with the exception of the 
Burmese, 1 suppose that there is no other Asiatic 
race which allows its women so much freedom, or 
treats them with so much respect. At the same 
time, if the Japanese women are to receive what we 
choose to call " the higher education of women " 
in exchange for the teachings of the sages {Onna 
Dai GaJai), the condition of their daily lives after 
they have left school must be altered to meet their 
new mental condition. 

The unspoiled native Japanese woman is 
cultured to her finger-tips, but totally uneducated. 
In this respect I think she would meet her exact 
antithesis in the assertive, uncultured, expensively- 
educated American woman. 

But even now there are signs of rebellion against 
the old regime amongst the daughters of the upper 
classes, girls who have been educated at public 
schools. The modern Japanese moosjiie dares to 
scorn the " Onna Dai Gaku " as a complete edu- 
cation for women, and she actually complains of 
the irksomeness of the ceremonial and etiquette 
which make up her daily home-life. She seems 
to forget that without etiquette her ancestors 
would never have achieved their position on the 
family god-shelf In entering into the competitive 

37 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

system of education, the modern moosme has 
learnt to hurry, and to think that time is of some 
importance ; while her gentle, contented mother, 
who sits at home in her paper house, knows that 
all eternity is before her, and that hurry and desire 
are the two evils which the teaching of " perfect 
submission " corrects in a woman's nature. To the 
true Japanese woman there is nothing in the world 
so important as etiquette and repose. Etiquette is 
practically her education, as it is also the root of 
her religion ; for, as Mr George Lynch has just 
remarked in one of his admirable letters from the 
seat of war, the Japanese religion consists of 
" being polite to future possibilities." 

A woman's daily life in Japan is made up of 
politenesses. Everything she touches belonging 
to anyone else is " O " — that is to say, " honour- 
able." She takes her honourable lord his honour- 
able tea while he is still in his honourable bed, and 
hopes that he will excuse her unworthy presence ; 
and while she is giving him the best she has, con- 
ventionality demands that she should call it vile. 
If she meets a next-door neighbour when she is 
going out to purchase the " honourable daiko?i " 
(immense radish) for her august mother-in-laws 
dinner, she will spend at least ten minutes in 
apologising for her rudeness at their last meeting, 
which, of course, was as polite as the present one. 

If there was not a lengthy etiquette attached to 
38 



A JAPANESE WOMAN'S LIFE 

the doing and the saying of the merest trifles, a 
woman's life would be absolutely empty ; for when 
you consider that her sphere in the world never 
extends beyond her own home, and that her own 
home has about as much in it as a paper lantern, 
what can she have to do ? 

Rice-boiling and serving are of course matters 
of great importance. Every girl receives as a part 
of her education a thorough training in the art of 
boiling rice in all its various forms — the red rice 
for visitors and for festal days, and the different 
varieties of rices required for special dishes. Her 
sewing is never elaborate, for her clothes are so 
simple that plain neat sewing is all that she need 
know. The splendidly-embroidered robes which 
were once worn by ladies at the various Dciimio 
courts were never, as it might be imagined, worked 
at home ; they were given to professionals, who 
were trained to the art from generation to genera- 
tion. The only sort of fancy-work Japanese ladies 
ever did, Miss Bacon says in her Japanese Girls 
and Women— and she had unusual advantages for 
knowing — was a curious sort of patchwork made of 
silk. Flower-arranging and flower-painting seemed 
to be the correct accomplishment of the educated 
classes, who, of course, were never allowed to learn 
singing or dancing ; the koto, a sort of flat instru- 
ment, which lies on the floor, is the only one ever 
recognised by the upper classes. 

39 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Of course, it must be borne in mind that a 
Japanese woman never expects her Hfe to be inter- 
esting, for she does not consider herself as an 
individual, but as a domestic complement to man. 
To admit that she was dull would be to sin against 
the teachings of " perfect submission." After her 
box of rice is boiled in the morning, and the little 
toy-like house has been aired and the god-shelf 
" honoured," her day's work is practically over. 

A great deal of ceremonious calling takes place, 
which helps to fill up her time. This visiting is, 
of course, only exchanged between the women, or 
between the men. Mixed parties are seldom per- 
mitted. Men-calls involve no end of trouble, and 
are conducted with great ceremony, e\'en amongst 
friends and gossips, for at whatever hour a call is 
paid a meal must always be placed in front of a 
guest, and a little gift has to be presented at part- 
ing, with as much ceremony and flattery as a hero 
receives when the freedom of a city is bestowed 
upon him on his return from victory. 

Naturally, a woman's daily life greatly depends 
on the nature of her mother-in-law ; or if she is 
fortunate enough to have none, upon her husband. 
If he is really fond of her, it may be made to 
include many simple ccsthetic pleasures, for her 
domestic duties are very light ; if he is broad-minded, 
he will allow her to accompany his relations to 
temple fairs, theatres, flower-picnics, and moon- 
40 



To back on p. 40. 




Behind 



To hack on p. 41. 




X 



the Shoji. 



A JAPANESE WOMAN'S LIFE 

light excursions to famous points of beauty. But 
if he is a narrow-minded, grudging Asiatic in his 
feelings towards woman, her amusements consist 
of sitting on her knees in front of a hibach'h and 
smoking as lightly and sparingly from a pen-like 
pipe as a bee sips honey from a flower. You can 
see, as you pass along some quiet street where 
the slioji of the houses are drawn to protect the 
dainty interiors from dust and publicity, the dark 
eyes of some submissive wife peering through the 
holes scratched in the white cartridge paper. In 
Japan every shoji has its eyes, especially if the hairy 
foreigner happens to be on the other side of the 
paper. I shall never forget the interest my clothes 
inspired in a party of merry servant-girls in a primi- 
tive native inn. So anxious were they to examine 
e\ ery article I wore thoroughly, that after I was in 
bed, or rather laid on the floor under a heavy quilt, 
they asked, with charming politeness, if they might 
show my honourable corsets to their neighbours. 

With few household duties to perform, no 
novels to read, and no hats to re-trim, a Japanese 
woman has plenty of idle time on her hands ; yet 
Satan never seems to find the proverbial mischief 
for her to do. Perhaps the ceremony and etiquette 
which would attend his reception keep him at bay, 
for he is believed to get through almost as much 
work in the day as the Emperor of Germany. 



41 



CHAPTER VI 

HOUSEKEEPING IN JAPAN 

Housekeeping in Japan consists of paying im- 
portant attention to unimportant things. The 
etiquette of trifles is the keynote of Japan. It is, 
for example, much more important for a Japanese 
woman to study the correct etiquette for pouring 
out tea for her friends, than to consider the flavour 
of the tea itself. O-cha (the honourable tea) is an 
item of so much importance in a Japanese house- 
hold that a special etiquette for " the Solemn Tea- 
Ceremony" is taught by a professor of the art. 
Household etiquette is the most indispensable item 
in the woman's education. As I have said else- 
where, etiquette is the Kaiser of Japan ; and there 
is this to be said in favour of it, that however much 
it may weary the Western mind, it gives a Japanese 
woman something to do. 

Although a Japanese housekeeper has no real 
housekeeping to do, she begins her day very early. 
Before the sun rises she lifts her slim neck from 
42 



HOUSEKEEPING IN JAPAN 

her little wooden pillow, slips out from between 
her two padded quilts, and rises fi'om her bed on 
the floor, taking care not to disturb the " honourable 
sleep " of her lord and master. 

She puts out the andon or standing paper lamp, 
which is always kept burning all night in a Japanese 
house, and pushing back the paper wall of her room, 
glides quietly out. After unlocking the amado 
(outer wooden shutters), and opening up the house 
to let in the new day, she wakes the servants. Her 
next household duty is to place the little lacquer 
table-trays, with their rice-bowls and chopsticks, in 
their correct place, according to the precedence of 
the household; after which she must wake her 
husband, and carry some hot water to her mother- 
in-law, both with the correct expressions of smiling 
respect. 

The etiquette of smiles is perhaps one of the 
severest of all etiquettes in Japan. When you 
have lived in that land of smiles you will learn in 
time that when you can understand a Japanese 
smile you may hope to understand the people. A 
daughter-in-law must always present a smiling face 
to her mother-in-law ; a servant must smile when 
his mistress dismisses him. But the news of a death 
must be told with laughter. Laughter is reserved 
for very special occasions, and has no relation to 
joy; smiles are used on every occasion to conceal real 
feehngs ; they are not always significant of pleasure. 

43 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

When her husband has finished his breakfast of 
rice and tea, his wife hurries to the godown to see 
that his wooden clogs and greased paper umbrella 
are ready for him, and that the smiling human 
horse is standing in the shafts of his carriage to 
take his master to business. With many sayonaras 
and respectful rubbings of her knees she speeds her 
parting husband, and then returns to her household 
duties. 

She must watch and direct the servants while 
they remove the sliding paper panels which make 
up the various rooms, roll up the beds and put 
them in wall-cupboards, and polish the beautiful 
woodwork. She has no furniture to mo\'e, or 
fires to light, or carpets to brush, and perhaps 
but one precious ornament in the whole house to 
dust, but there is an etiquette and superstition to 
be observ^ed in even the simplest operation. The 
beds, for instance, will have been so arranged the 
night before that no member of the household slept 
with his head to the north, for that is the position 
in which the dead are laid out. And if a fresh 
vase of flowers is required for the guest-chamber, 
the etiquette of arranging it takes no little skill in 
the philosophy of flowers. The proper and im- 
proper combinations of flowers have a significance 
far deeper than mere harmony of colour or gi-aceful 
effect of lines. 

When it is time to go to the market she will 
44 



HOUSEKEEPING IN JAPAN 

visit the fish stall, where no weed or ofFal of the 
sea is beneath her attention, and the vegetable 
shop, which is always conspicuous for its enormous 
white radishes {daiJxon), which are to the poor Japs 
what fennel is to the poor Sicilian — both the be- 
ginning and the end of a midday meal. She will 
next visit the rice merchant, where she can purchase 
all sorts and conditions of rices, and millet, and 
macaroni, which now forms an important item in 
Japanese food-fare. What copper cash she has 
left she takes to the pickle vendor, and in infini- 
tesimally small quantities samples out his strange 
compounds. 

With practically no cooking to do but the boil- 
ing of the daily supply of rice — for a rice-box and 
a pickle-jar are a woman's larder in Japan — and 
none of the ordinary household duties to perform, 
such as the darning of stockings and the mending 
of household linen ; with nothing, in fact, but a 
raised platform, with a canopy over her head, to 
call a home, what can a Japanese housekeeper 
have to do ? Absolutely nothing, from our point of 
view ; for who ever heard of a washing-day without 
soap and hot water ? But from her own she has 
very many important duties to perform, for she 
lives in a land where it is not the working of the 
elements of human nature which make up the 
vital things of life, but the observing of minute 
trifles. And, after all, the difference between the 

45 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

things that matter and the things that do not 
matter in life is largely a matter of hemispheres. 
In this land of Great Peace, the things that matter 
are the things of beauty, and of courtesy, and of 
repose. 

There are many important date^ to be observed 
in a housewife's calendar. She must be careful 
not to wash her hair on the day of the Horse, or 
it will turn red — and anything but crow-black is 
an abomination in Japan. She must see that the 
well of drinking-water is carefully covered when 
an ecHpse of the moon is foretold, or some poison 
will fall from the sky and defile it. And she must 
never forget that on the 1st and 28th of each 
month a light must be lit and kept burning on 
the god-shelf {kamidana), and many offerings 
made to the gods. On New Year's Day the 
gods demand a special double rice-cake. Their 
kamidana is the Shinto god-shelf; but as most 
Japanese are both Shinto and Buddhist in their 
god-worship, this shelf is common in all house- 
holds. But there is, besides, the " spirit-chamber," 
with its shelf of family gods, which also must be 
appeased with daily offerings, and devoutly wor- 
shipped by the women of the family, because they 
are all the spirits of male ancestors. On the 
seventh day of the seventh month there is a 
general present-giving between families and friends 
(the etiquette of present-giving is an education in 
46 



HOUSEKEEPING IN JAPAN 

itself), and it is a housewife's duty to see that there 
is a sufficient number of presents in the house to 
distribute amongst all her husband's friends and 
relations. I remember being very disappointed 
when I discovered that I was expected to return 
the best part of the first present I ever received in 
Japan — the beautiful lacquer box, which contained 
some mess of flour and fat beaten together, which 
the sender called a sweetmeat. 

A well-appointed house must also contain a 
plentiful supply of dolls in the storehouse or godoivn 
to present to every little child who is brought to 
the house ; in fact, almost every visitor, of whatever 
age, is presented with some gift, which is chosen 
with great care according to the rank of the 
recipients. No tradesman or even message-boy 
is ever allowed to go away from a house in Japan 
without being offered some sort of hospitality. 
This alone demands forethought on the house- 
keeper's part. 

On the fifth day of the fifth month there is the 
Boys' Festival, or the Feast of the Flags, when e\'ery 
house in which there is a boy displays a wonderful 
show of toys suitable for boys. This is again an 
occasion for great present-giving, and exchanging 
of ^^sits and hospitality. No present is e^'er 
received without one being sent in exchange. 
When a boy is born in a house, as many as a 
hundred presents are often received in a day, so 

47 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

the poor mother has her time cut out in acknow- 
ledging them, and sending one in exchange for 
each, and feeding the messengers who bring them. 

On the third day of the third month there is 
the Girls' Festival (liina Matsuri), when dolls are 
presented and each household exhibits its wonder- 
ful collections of historical dolls. 

But of household festivals alone there is no end. 
Everyone has heard of the famous Feast of the 
Dead on the 13th and 14th of July, when all 
housekeepers visit the markets for the Festival of 
the Dead, where the proper food is sold for the 
souls of the departed. A good housewife must 
be prepared to meet all the demands of the social 
festivities connected with these endless festivals, 
and her memory must never fail her over the 
minutest detail, for even the tying up of a parcel 
has its significance in Japan, where presents are 
done up with a special knot, and have a little gilt 
kite slipped under their paper string. 

If you ask a Japanese woman what her most 
arduous duty is, she will tell you that it lies in 
the acknowledging and returning in the prescribed 
fashion the various presents which arrive for her 
husband's family and for her own children through- 
out the year. 



48 



CHAPTER VII 

JAPANESE DOMESTICS 

A TOURIST in Japan naturally does not come 
much in contact with the upper-class Japanese 
servant, whose social position in his own country 
is considerably higher than that of a small trades- 
man. A Japanese housemaid, for instance, would 
not consider that she was bettering herself by 
marrying the son of a tradesman, or going into 
" business," as she would in England, for domestic 
service in Japan has always been ranked higher 
than trade, which until lately was considered by 
all Japanese a means of living with which no 
self-respecting man should soil his hands. But 
the tourist in Japan, unless he has introductions 
to English residents in the country, can only 
judge Japanese servants by the rather rough and 
ready class of men who have learned sufficient 
pidgin-English to understand the wishes and orders 
of their constantly changing masters in hotels. 
The traveller soon picks up enough pidgin-Japanese 

4 49 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

to make himself understood by his bedroom boy, 
whose pidgin-Enghsh is only skin-deep. Pidgin, 
Professor Chamberlain says, is merely a corrupt 
form of the word business. Hotel servants and 
boarding-house servants, be they Asiatics or 
Europeans, are pretty much the same all the 
world over. They are what their " tips " make 
them, whereas private servants in Japan are what 
their hearts and breeding make them. For even 
house-servants in this land of Great Peace have to 
go through a severe course of training in etiquette 
in their youth, a training quite apart from that of 
their profession. There is no hard or fast rule 
drawn between the duties of mistress and maid 
in a native household, or in the occupations of 
their daily life. But the maid's exquisite taste — 
a sixth sense — prevents her ever presuming to 
overstep the limits of familiarity prescribed. I 
remember once being very much at sea when 1 
was taken to pay a call on a Japanese lady of the 
well-to-do class. Not being able to speak a word 
of the language, I was unable to follow the 
conversation which took place between the 
charming little woman who greeted us at the 
inner shutters and my friend. She was dressed 
in the soft grey kimono and ohi of a middle-aged 
woman, and her exquisite manner and gentleness 
made me feel as heavy as my boots, which I had 
not been allowed to take off, sounded on the delicate 
50 



JAPANESE DOMESTICS 

floor-matting compared to her soft white foot-gloves. 
My friend addressed her as Sa?i, and seemed to 
speak to her just as a guest would to her hostess. 
We had tea on the floor, and my friend chatted 
pleasantly for some time with the little grey 
figure, when suddenly the sound of riks/ia-whee\s 
on the gravel outside caught my ears, and the 
next instant there was the scuffing of many tabi'd 
feet along the polished wooden passage which led 
to the front door, and the eager cry of " O kaeii ! 
O kaeri ! " (honourable return). Our hostess 
pro tern, rose from her knees, smiled, and begged 
us to excuse her honourable rudeness. When she 
had hurried off* to join in the welcome cry, my 
friend said, " Oh, 1 am glad she has come ! " 
" Who has come ? " I asked. " The lady we came 
to see," she said. " Then who was the charming 
little lady who poured out tea for us ? " I asked. 
My friend smiled. " Oh, that was only the house- 
maid." It is etiquette in Japan for the upper 
servants to entertain any visitor in their mistress's 
absence ; and although her mistress and master 
will address her by her Christian name, and speak 
to her in the correct inflection of voice for 
addressing an inferior, etiquette demands that 
visitors should call her San, and speak to her in 
tones of equality. The custom which compels 
a good Japanese wife of even the upper class to 
perform certain menial duties toward her husband 

51 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

and children herself, and always to act as personal 
maid and valet to her honourable parents-in-law, 
naturally has the effect of raising the profession 
of domestic service, and of making servants feel as 
though they were members of one family with 
their employers. Indeed, it always seemed to me 
in Japan that servants had a very much better 
time than their mistresses. They have plenty of 
freedom ; they can never be hard - worked, for 
there is never any hard work to do in a paper 
house which has no furniture, no coal-cellars, and 
no stairs. Besides, to the Western mind, a 
Japanese house always contains four times as 
many servants as are necessary to do the small 
amount of work. They spend their time in being 
polite to each other. Of course, they receive very 
small wages. The younger kitchen servants, for 
instance, often get nothing but their rice and 
clothes and the certainty of a happy, peaceful home, 
where they are well cared for and courteously 
treated. They have endless holidays, and often 
accompany their master and mistress to the theatre 
or to the temple fairs. It is a very familiar 
domestic sight in Japan to see a bevy of clean, 
gentle-voiced, well-behaved servants playing chess 
in some cool courtyard or servants' hall at the 
back of a house. In the front garden the family 
will doubtless be playing Go. There is, however, 
one very hard and fast line drawn, and that is 
52 



JAPANESE DOMESTICS 

between men and women quarters in the house, 
both of the servants and of the family. Men and 
women never eat together or sit together, or have 
their clothes kept in the same room, even if they 
are husband and wife. Each tiny child has an 
attendant of its own. This, of course, must give 
a certain amount of work. 

O-Ku is the name given to the part of the 
house where the lady of the house always resides 
during the early part of the day, that her 
servants^ may know where she is to be found ; but 
though etiquette demands that every morning she 
must give her orders and direct the household 
work, her servants will only carry out her wishes 
according to their own idea of what is best for 
her. No Japanese servant will ever condescend 
to be turned into a human machine. Even in the 
most perfectly appointed house he retains his 
individuality, although he will fall upon his hands 
and knees when he enters your presence. But 
he evidently believes in the Horatian maxim of 
his country, " Give genius a chance," for he 
persists in using his own brains instead of those 
of his master or mistress. 

If you cease worrying how a thing is done so 
long as it is well done, you will find a Japanese 
servant a treasure. But if you are jealous of your 
authority, and prejudiced in favour of your own 
methods of doing household things, you will tear 

53 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

your hair and gnash your teeth, and call him a lazy 
scoundrel. 

Very much the same spirit exists between 
mistress and maid in Japan as in Italy, and surely, 
from a human point of view, this is desirable. It 
is not offensive to the gentle heart of a Japanese 
mistress to let her servants enjoy or benefit by all 
the little pleasing incidents which make up every- 
day home-life in Japan. When the fairy stories or 
historical romances are being related at night by 
the head of the family round the bronze hibachi^ 
the servants may sit and listen at a discreet 
distance, laughing and commenting on the story 
as freely as their superiors. 

In the morning, when the master of the house 
goes off to business, it is etiquette for the servants 
as well as his Avife to hurry to the door to speed his 
departure. In the morning the servants gi-eet their 
master or mistress with the expression " O-Hayo ! " 
("It is honourably early"), in the afternoon with 
'' Kon?uchi-wa / " ("To-day"), and in the evening 
with '' Komba?i-wa f " ("This evening"). 

The meeting of two servants belonging to 
neighbours is to European eyes almost as formal 
a function as a presentation at Court. They will 
smile correctly at a correct distance from each 
other ; on drawing nearer they smile again ac- 
cording to the etiquette prescribed ; and then, 
after bows of the finest and most minute signifi- 
54 



To hack on p. 54. 




Ishi Gakuchi : The meeting of two servants. 



To back on p. 55. 




Ishi Gakuchi. 



JAPANESE DOMESTICS 

cance, the gardener of one house will address the 
betto (groom) of another with some such phrase 
as "It is long since I have hung upon your 
honourable eyelids ! " And the other will answer, 
"Please excuse my rudeness at last time we met." 

Europeans who reside in Japan usually pay their 
servants board-wages and allow them to feed them- 
selves, but this is not the custom in a native house 
of a well-to-do class, where a house-steward is 
always kept to do the shopping, look after the 
servants, guard his mistress's interests and his own, 
and generally run the establishment. He is a 
person of great importance, and of course of a 
much higher class than the kuramaya or the 
hetto, if one is kept ; for these two, like their 
Western brothers of the stables, generally drink 
and gamble away the greater part of their wages, 
and are regarded as not servants at all, but mere 
tradesmen. 

Personal cleanliness is a virtue which all Japan- 
ese servants possess. It is no unusual thing for a 
Japanese servant to apologise to a mistress for not 
having had time to bath more than three times 
that day. 

No Japanese servant is so wanting in good breed- 
ing as to give direct notice to her mistress. Noth- 
ing is direct in Japan, for their language does not 
contain the word ' no.' Nor does a mistress who 
is hiring a new servant tell a rejected applicant 

55 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

to her face that she will not suit her. A polite 
excuse has to be sent to her through a third party. 
When a servant wishes to leave, she asks to visit 
a sick relative. When the date for her returning 
arrives, a magnificently worded apology is sent 
saying that the relative is dead, and that she cannot 
be spared from her home, or something of the kind. 
When a servant is rebuked or scolded he must 
smile like a Chinese cat. This etiquette in smiles 
is very misleading at first. I often used to think 
that Take, my jiksha-hoy, meant to be impertinent 
when he insisted on smiling while I was angry with 
him ; but when he told me of the death of his little 
child with a burst of laughter, I knew that this was 
only one of the titbits of etiquette in this topsy- 
turvy land. 

Those who wish to go deeper into this fascinating 
subject should have recourse, as I do myself when- 
ever I am in doubt, to the illuminating pages of Miss 
A. M. Bacon's Japanese Interiors, and Japanese 
Girls and TVomen. 



56 



CHAPTER VIII 

DINNERS IN JAPAN 

The Japanese do not dine, but three times a day 
they eat sufficient rice and pickles, washed down 
with sake or tea, to fill the human vacuum and keep 
life and body together. In the ordinary Buddhist 
native households, where no meat is eaten, a 
woman's rice-box is her larder. It is only amongst 
the upper classes that the rice diet is varied with 
sauces, eggs, elaborate soups made of seaweeds 
and pounded beans and fungi. 

In the country rice is considered a luxury, and 
is replaced by millet, beans, and a sort of macaroni. 
A good housewife boils sufficient rice for her daily 
manna every morning, and packs it away in a 
lacquer box until it is required. At each meal a 
portion of it is moistened with tea or washed down 
with sake, according to taste. 

Even in well-off households, quiet dinners to 
which guests are asked seldom consist of more than 
two dishes, but they are served with so much 

57 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

ceremony and etiquette that the eating of rice, be it 
red or white, and the seaweed soup, will take as 
much time as a six-course dinner at the Carlton 
Hotel. Of these two dishes a Japanese guest eats 
a good deal. He shovels relay after relay of rice 
do^vn his throat by the aid of chopsticks and a 
small black bowl raised to his mouth, much in the 
same manner as a Neapolitan winds a plateful of 
macaroni round his fork and sucks it down his 
throat. When a guest has dined well he gratifies 
his host's ears (it is always a host, and not a hostess, 
in Japan) with prolonged belching, the art of which 
is quite a feature of after-dinner etiquette in Japan. 
A man who is fond of his cups drinks heavily before 
dinner, and not afterwards, as he does in England ; 
and when he is invited to dine with his friend, he 
takes his private chopsticks with him. And that 
reminds me that the first time I dined with 
European residents in Japan, I was amazed at the 
number of men-servants in the room, all in different 
uniforms. I was informed that it is customary for 
a man, when he is asked out to dinner, to take his 
" boy " with him. The plan is a good one, I think, 
for your own servant must know your tastes better 
than the servants of your friend. 

But to return to chopsticks. When you go to 
a native inn or tea-house and have not taken your 
ivory or silver chopsticks with you, be careful to 
notice that the ones laid in front of you are joined 
58 



To hack on p. 58. 




Kikushi — 



To hack vn p. 59. 






^'V'te;,,, .«f Mj 



A li 




A riksba boys' teahouse. 



DINNERS IN JAPAN 

together at one end, for if they are undivided they 
can never have been used or washed. 

AA^hen a Japanese gentleman gives a dinner to his 
friends at his own home, the food is not of so much 
importance as the entertainment which goes with it. 
If he is wealthy he does not take a box at the 
theatre, but he hires geisha to come and dance 
before his guests and brighten up the conversation. 
A man who has the reputation of dining his friends 
well knows what geisha to secure to ensure the 
success of the party by their wit, grace, and aesthetic 
beauty of costume. 

It is difficult for the Western mind to disassociate 
glass, flowers, silver and plates from dinner-parties. 
A .Japanese banquet is the hardest possible thing 
to imagine if you have never been to one. To me 
banquet-going in Japan was very like theatre-going 
— an interesting experience that I did not care to 
repeat very often. During my banquet at the 
Maple Club, which is the resort of the rich aesthetic 
set in Tokyo, I felt like Alice in Wonderland at 
her famous dinner-party with the mad hatter, only 
it was the solemnest madness imaginable. I was 
afraid to move or breathe in case I committed some 
breach of etiquette, for even breathing has its sig- 
nificance in Japan, and what seems to be the most 
unstudied movement may be an elaborate produc- 
tion of etiquette. 

But the whole thing, with its elaborate ceremony 

59 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

and subtle aestheticism, was in a manner wasted 
upon me, for of course I failed to distinguish a 
hundredth part of the etiquette, and its real poetic 
meaning. AVe were introduced to the Club by a 
very important member, and therefore treated with 
special courtesy. As he failed to make one of our 
party, he sent, along with his elaborate apology, two 
beautiful presents of Japanese books. Japan is 
certainly the land of presents. We were ushered 
upstairs by bowing, smiling, scuffing, hurrying girl 
attendants, who, on pushing back the beautiful card- 
board shqji, ushered us into a large room, carpeted 
with exquisitely fine straw mats. At the first 
glimpse of them I felt rewarded for having taken off 
my barbarous boots at the front door, and that is 
saying a good deal for a woman who is particular 
how her boots are laced. There was no approach 
to anything like furniture in the room except the 
large princess mats {futon), covered with grey silk, 
stamped with maple leaves in a darker shade, and 
numerous tobacco-boxes. My English friend, who 
had gone through the ceremony before, told us to 
kneel down on the cushions with our back to the 
parchment wall at one end of the room. After we 
had been kneeling a few moments, and had exa- 
mined the beautiful woodwork of the shoji, and 
the clever introduction of maple leaves in ever so 
many details of a room which seemed perfectly 
empty, a bevy of bowing moosmes hurried in, one 
60 



DINNERS IN JAPAN 

at a time (there was one for each of us), carrying 
Httle red lacquer table-trays, which they placed on 
the floor before each guest, with respectful indrawn 
breaths and low-bent heads. On these trays there 
was a blue and white china sake bottle and tiny 
drinking-bowl, and two or three little black lacquer 
bowls full of what I suppose were our equivalent 
to hors (Toeuvres, for I have a vivid recollection of 
trying to taste, just to please the anxious little face 
in front of me, such strange compounds as minced 
raw fish, boiled lotus roots, sea-slugs floating in 
vinegar, and pounded sesamum seeds. But each 
bite was worse than the last, and the lukewarm 
sake with which I tried to wash away the taste 
seemed to me the meanest sort of alcoholic drink 
any nation was ever blessed with. I tried to picture 
to myself a British Tommy satisfying his thirst 
after a big field-day by drinking from a tiny dish 
this tepid water diluted with beer. The man who 
can get blind drunk on sake must possess the soul of 
patience and the capacity of the German beer-king. 

The table-tray and everything that was on it 
was of course decorated in some aesthetic way with 
maple leaves, and towards the end of the banquet 
the curious sweetmeats were made to represent the 
fringed foliage of maple-trees. 

I am afraid our little kneeling attendants had a 
very disappointing time of it, for we all disliked 
everything there was to eat, and scarcely any of us 

61 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

knew how to eat it. Yet the food was, of course, 
the very best procurable, from the native point of 
view. Everything was served in tiny lacquer bowls 
(even willow-pattern plates are never seen in Japan), 
and inverted bowls served as lids to keep the various 
sauces and soups warm. When the watchful 
attendants thought we had been long enough over 
a course, they one by one rose from their knees in 
front of us and carried away the little tray-tables, 
only to return in a moment or two with others of 
exactly the same size, again covered with black 
lacquer bowls, and of course a sake bottle and a 
cup. To my untutored eyes the food in the bowls 
appeared much the same as what had been taken 
away, but I believe this new course had seaweed 
soup instead of sea-slugs, and the honourable daikon, 
the coarse, evil-smelling radish, so dear to the palate 
of the Japanese, was represented in various forms. 
There was also a dangerous-looking black sauce, 
into which I was supposed to dip a portion of my 
live fish. 

AVhen we had feasted our eyes on this course for 
the prescribed length of time, the tables were again 
removed and others brought in. The next course 
also began with soup, which was really quite good, 
for it was made of fish and flavoured with mush- 
rooms, and this time the solid fish was boiled, but, 
alas ! flavoured to suit the Asiatic palate, and I was 
told that there were potatoes — but I failed to recog- 
62 



DINNERS IN JAPAN 

iiise them ! At the end of that course we were told 
that the famous geisha had arrived, and would it 
honourably please us to have them dance in our 
august presence. As I knew there were still four 
courses of seaweed and mixed pickles to be laid 
before us, I hailed the dancers with joy. The 
musicians entered first, two elderly, dull, plain 
little figures, who knelt facing us at the far end 
of the room. The biwa and koto, the two largest 
musical instruments of Japan, were laid before 
them on the floor, just as our food was placed in 
front of us. After much horrible twanging, the 
shoji were pushed wide open, and the strange stiff 
white figures of the dancers slid into the room, with 
a wriggling movement not wholly inelegant. I 
am sure I ought to have felt like Herod when 
Herodias's daughter danced before him, but I did 
not. In half-an-hour's time I felt as bored as 
Piggy Hoggenheimer in The Gi?^/ from Kays. 
Half-hours and hours seemed to pass, and I was still 
kneeling, and the gentle, anxious moosmes were 
scuffing in and out of the room with small trays 
holding lacquer bowls and blue china sake cups. 
And in front of me, like a dream, were the stiff, 
sumptuously - brocaded, ostentatiously - trousered 
figures gliding about the room, or making dull thud- 
thuds with their white tabid feet on the precious 
matting. There was an interminable stately waving 
of arms, and shutting and unshutting of fans, and 

63 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

the expressive gleaming of oblique eyes from long- 
nosed, white-washed faces. But at last the end did 
come, and with it the terrible etiquette of paying 
the bill. I felt that whatever way I selected to do 
it was sure to be wrong, so I begged my friend, 
who knew about these things, to perform the 
delicate office for me. He did it with as much 
tact as a London hostess displays in paying her 
lady or gentleman entertainer at an evening party. 
All the food we had left uneaten was packed away 
in flat white wooden boxes and presented to us as 
we left the club. This is quite the correct thing 
at a banquet in Japan. On our arrival home, our 
hotel bedroom boy regaled himself with the fine 
crumbs which had fallen from his master's table. 
How he must have chortled over the pearls that 
had been cast before foreign swine ! 



64 



CHAPTER IX 

CI>OTHES IN JAPAN 

In Japan nothing is as simple as it looks, for every- 
thing has a double meaning, too subtle for the 
ordinary tourist to discover. 

Not knowing the language of clothes, they at 
first sight seemed to me delightfully simple, though 
from a feminine standpoint rather lacking in excite- 
ment. In a country where millinery is an un- 
known quantity, and the fashions and cut of your 
gowns never change, what can the ordinary woman 
have to think about? Imagine a land without 
fashion-papers, or advertisements of straight-fronted 
corsets. 

A woman's wardrobe appears to consist of outer 
and inner kimonos, a gorgeous obi or sash, some 
exquisite hair-combs and a fan, and instead of a 
watch she carries a valuable tobacco-pouch and 
pipe-case. 

There are, of course, a few more articles of seem- 
ingly less importance, such as the tabi or thick 

5 65 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

white foot-gloves which serve for both stockings and 
sHppers, and the high wooden clogs or geta, worn 
in place of boots, and always put on at the front 
door on going out, and knocked off there on enter- 
ing the house ; and last, but not least, the dress - 
improver, or obi-age, which supports the butterfly 
sash and gives it the correct hump. 

But if women in Japan do not tight-lace their 
straight-fronted corsets, they make up for this 
Western idiosyncrasy in dress by binding up their 
loins so closely that they cannot walk, and are 
compelled to shuffle along with that peculiar 
rhythm of movement quite their own. 

Although a Japanese woman seems to be much 
more simply dressed than her Western sister (and 
certainly she has reduced the number of her 
garments down to a very fine point), she is none 
the less a daughter of Eve in her love of personal 
adornment. For instance, every time her hair is 
taken down, two hours are spent in re-dressing it, 
and nothing would induce her to go a picnic or 
to the theatre without popping into the sleeve of 
her kimono her little dressing-case, made of scarlet 
brocade, which contains her steel mirror and dim- 
inutive boxes of lip-salve, face-powder, and eye- 
brow renovator, nor would she go to her temple to 
pray if her ohi did not sit just as an obi ought to 
sit, and has sat ever since it was adopted by the 
contemporaries of the Sun- Goddess. 
66 



CLOTHES IN JAPAN 

Undoubtedly, for a Japanese woman the richness 
of her hair ornaments and the splendour of her obi 
constitute the chief vanities and extravagances in 
dress ; and it is, after all, only in her short years of 
vioosme-\\ood that she has much opportunity for 
annoying other women or pleasing the opposite 
sex by the beauty and variety of these pomps of 
the flesh. The husband demands that the wearing 
of the young wife's fine trousseau shall be reserved 
for his own and his parents' eyes only. 

As a child, a woman is as resplendent as a butter- 
fly, but the older she grows the sadder and duller 
her clothes become, and the less ostentatious the 
fine chignon of glossy black hair which she piles 
on the top of her head to proclaim her wifehood in 
the eyes of the world ; and if she is left a widow, 
her whole head of hair is shaved off to show her 
desolation. 

In Japan it is not the wedding-ring which is the 
sign-manual of a married woman, but the dressing 
of her hair and the length of her kimono sleeves. 
A jnoosme must not have such long sleeves as a 
, matron, and her hair is less elaborately dressed. 
The tying of an obi in front of the waist instead of 
behind is a sign that a woman belongs to the 
"■ oldest profession in the world," but such a sight 
is seldom seen outside the limits of the Yoshiwara, 
or on the stage, where the heroines of the popular 
drama, as I have already mentioned, are mostly 

67 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

low women. Gay hairpins, of enormous length 
and variety, standing out from a woman's head like 
the pegs of a fiddle, are also the signs by which ye 
shall know the women who are compelled to live 
in the " city of no night." Women of the higher 
classes only adorn their heads with veritable works 
of art in dull-gold lacquer, carved tortoise-shell, and 
coral ; they are careful never to wear the skewer- 
like ornaments, with which all the world is familiar- 
ised in the paintings on battledores and fans, of 
their less fortunate sisters. 

The magnificence and richness of a girl's wedding 
trousseau does not so much denote the wealth of 
the parents as their devotion to her as a child, for 
her mother begins to save up and purchase bit by 
bit her daughter's wedding outfit from her very 
infancy, and her bridal dress, which is always white, 
does not signify her virginity, as it does with us, 
but her burial shroud (for white is the mourning 
colour in Japan, and therefore never worn by 
children). As I have said above, a bride goes to be 
married dressed like a corpse, to show that from 
henceforth she is dead to her own parents; and 
although her trousseau should be large enough to 
supply her with clothes for the rest of her life, she 
must pay her first visit to her own people after her 
marriage in a kimono bought by her husband, and 
stamped with his crest. 

A Japanese woman flirts (as far as she knows the 
68 



CLOTHES IN JAPAN 

meaning of the word) \Wth her sleeves and fan, and 
not with her eyes and smiles. By the different 
movements of the ends of her kimono sleeves she 
manages to convey to her admirers all sorts of 
unspoken messages, and by the opening and 
shutting of her fan to the right or to the left she 
can reject or accept the most weighty offers. Her 
code-signalling with her sleeves and fan is quite 
an item of her social education. When she 
becomes engaged, her future husband presents her 
with a scrap of ohi silk instead of a diamond ring. 
The Japanese woman has one weakness ; she is 
developing a penchant for actors — an act of 
poetical justice for the devotion of the Japanese 
male to the geisha. 

Between the sexes in Japan there is very little 
difference in the main features of dress, and little 
children are only beautiful little miniatures of their 
parents, more gaily and richly attired. A tiny girl 
may wear the richest embroideries and brocades 
of flaming scarlets and gold, made in exactly the 
same way as the soft grey or brown kimono of her 
mother. In tiny children the distinction of sex 
is shown by the colour of the clothes, not the style 
in which they are made. Boys wear yellow, girls 
red. 

Under his kimono a man of the upper class 
wears a sort of kilted divided skirt, something 
approaching the nature of trousers. This is called 

69 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

the hakama, and is always made of stiff silk. A 
woman wears instead an undex: -kimono. Both 
sexes wear two little aprons round the loins, called 
koshi-maki, and a sort of shirt, called the suso-yoke. 
Neither a man's obi nor his hair are, of course, his 
glory and pride, as they are with a woman. The 
male sash is not an item of great importance, for 
although it is always made of rich silk, it is worn 
not so much for show as for use, to keep his 
kimono in place, and to serve as a waist-belt, 
through which he can draw the rich chain and 
netsuke (button) of his tobacco and pipe case, and 
if he is a merchant, his long-handled ink-pot and 
penholder. 

In the severe weather both the sexes wear 
padded kimonos, and the men have a short haori 
or over-jacket, which only reaches to about their 
knees. A woman's complete outfit costs much 
more than a man's, although the actual number 
of the garments she wears at one time are fewer. 
Professor Chamberlain, in his Things Japanese, 
says :^" A Japanese lady's dress will often 
represent a value of two hundred dollars, without 
counting the ornaments for her hair. A woman 
of the smaller shopkeeping class may have on her, 
when she goes out holiday-making, some forty or 
fifty dollars' worth. A gentleman will rarely spend 
on his clothes as much as he lets his wife spend on 
hers. Perhaps he may not have on more than 
70 



CLOTHES IN JAPAN 

sixty dollars' worth. Thence, through a gradual 
decline in price, we come to the coolie's poor 
trappings, which may represent as little as five 
dollars, or even two dollars, as he stands." 

The coolie class in Japan are mostly distinguished 
by their want of clothes, or by the enormous crest 
of their employers, which is stamped on the back 
of their butcher-blue cotton coat [shirushi-banten). 
Under this coat they wear a pair of short white 
drawers, as close-fitting almost as tights. Jinriksha 
men do not wear the crested coat ; and indeed it is 
only by the strict eye of the progressive police laws 
that he can be induced to wear any clothes at 
all. In the old days his muslin loin-cloth was all- 
sufficient. Well do I remember how, on approach- 
ing a country police sentry-box or a village, the 
shafts of the hand -carriage very suddenly dropped, 
and the steaming steed would politely request me 
to rise from my seat and let him take from his 
trunk below the cushion his running-drawers. 
When the village was left behind, and the eye of 
the keeper of public decency nowhere in sight, the 
drawers were hurriedly pulled off, and once more 
returned to their place in the box-seat. 

Simple as it looks, with its straight lines and few 
seams, a Japanese woman finds it necessary to pick 
her kimono to pieces every time it is washed ; but 
I have no space here to elaborate on the subject of 
household washing in Japan, for I wish to quote 

71 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

from Miss Bacon's admirable Japanese Women 
and Gii^h her description of one of the most 
charming sights in all Japan, a sight I never fully 
understood until I read her book, though nothing 
remains more vividly in my memory than the sight 
of hundreds of gaily-dressed babies, as we should call 
them, being brought to the temples by their proud 
parents. " The day set for these ceremonies is the 
fifteenth of November, and there is no prettier 
sight in all Japan than a popular temple on that 
day. All the streets that converge on the shrine 
are crowded with gaily-dressed children hurrying 
along to make their offerings, accompanied by 
parents brimming with pride and pleasure. 

" Small feet are pattering, wooden shoes clattering, 
Little hands clapping, and little tongues chattering ; 

three-year-old tots of both sexes trudging sturdily 
along on their clogs ; square little red-cheeked boys, 
their black eyes shining with pride in their rustling 
new silk hakama, feeling that they are big boys, and 
no longer to be confused with the babies that they 
were yesterday ; here, too, are the graceful seven- 
year-old maidens, their many-coloured garments 
and their gorgeous new obi setting off to advantage 
their shining black hair and sparkling eyes. The 
children are so many, so happy, and so impressed 
with the fun that it is to be older than they were, 
that the grown folks who accompany them seem 
like shadows ; the only real thing is the children." 
72 



CLOTHES IN JAPAN 

These little maidens being presented to the 
temples in all their feminine splendour suggest very 
forcibly the pictures by the great Venetian 
masters, Titian and Tintoretto, of the Child INIary 
being presented to the high-priest. 

Of one of the children's ceremonies which relates 
in a curious and typically Japanese manner to 
clothes Miss Bacon says, *' Twice .... does our 
little maid repair to the temple to seek the blessing 
of her patron god upon a step forward in her short 
life : — once, when at the age of three the hair on 
her small head, which until then has been shaved 
in fancy patterns, is allowed to begin its growth 
towards the coiffure of womanhood: and once, 
when she has attained her seventh year, and ex- 
changes the soft narrow sash of infancy for the 
stiff wide obi which is the pride of every well- 
dressed Japanese woman. Her little brother, too, 
though now no longer destined to wear the 
hammer-shaped queue of the old-time Japanese 
warrior, and whose fuzzy black head is now usually 
left unshaven in his babyhood, still goes to the 
temple at the age of three to give thanks ; and 
when he comes to be five years old, again goes 
up to the temple, this time wearing for the first 
time the manly hakama, or kilt-pleated trousers, 
and makes offerings to the god who has protected 
him thus far." 



CHAPTER X 

SHOPPING IN JAPAN 

If Eve had only had some shopping to do in the 
garden of Eden, would the fruit of the Tree of 
Knowledge ever have been eaten? Qiiien sahe? 
But she had nothing to do but to talk to Adam, 
whom I have always imagined a very silent and 
morose person, so Satan quickly found some 
mischief for her idle mind to do. 

To the women of all lands, shopping is the 
feminine equivalent of gambling and horse-racing, 
for it is the only legitimate form of excitement 
in the life of the middle-class woman. The httle 
women of Dai Nippon (Great Japan) are every iota 
as feminine in their love of shopping as their big 
sisters in Great Britain, although etiquette, w^hich 
is a fetish in Japan, forbids them uttering any 
expression of pleasure or excitement. To the 
Asiatic, to understand a man is to know that he is 
a fool, too weak to have learnt self-control ; but 
after you have lived in the land of Great Peace, 
74 



SHOPPING IN JAPAN 

where smiles express anything rather than pleasure, 
and where laughter is reserved for rare occasions, 
you will come to know that shopping is one of the 
few real pleasures a Japanese woman is permitted 
to enjoy. 

Though fashion in dress never changes in Japan, 
and a woman's needs are very few, there are 
always obis (sashes) to tempt the weak, and coral 
and lacquer hair-combs and ornaments in her 
neighbour's hair to rival. 

You can count all the articles of a woman's 
apparel on the fingers of one hand. First comes 
the httle loin apron, next to that the shirt, and 
over that the inner and outer kimono, and last of 
all the obi, which is both her glory and her shame, 
for the law of the land demands that a Japanese 
woman who loses her virtue must tie her obi in 
front, to distinguish her from respectable sisters. 

If you follow a party of women along some 
good shopping street in Japan, their wooden 
clogs clattering louder than their gentle tongues, 
the soft greys and browns of their kimonos sway- 
ing with that rhythmic movement peculiar to Japan, 
you will presently see them stop in front of a low 
shop, its open front screened from the street by a 
blue cotton curtain hung from a bamboo pole. 
The curtain is lifted, and in another moment the 
symphony of greys and browns has disappeared. 

On the other side of the blue curtain the high 

75 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

wooden clogs are kicked off, and with graceful 
bows and many rubbings of the knees the little 
women return the respectful greetings of the flock 
of boys who spring to their feet and rush to the 
front of the shop to welcome their customers. 

On the floor of the shop — nothing more or less 
than a raised platform, with a canopy over it — there 
are numerous flat cushions for the customers to 
kneel on. The master of the shop invites the 
ladies to smoke, by pushing towards them a hibachi 
of hot charcoal. He then despatches clerk after 
clerk to fetch armfuls of tempting crepes and 
o6i-silks from the iron safe at the back of the plat- 
form. When the clerk comes hurrying back — it 
is etiquette for an inferior to hurry towards his 
master or patron — he deposits the precious bundles 
on the floor in front of the kneeling women. Tea 
in diminutive cups on a diminutive table-tray has 
been daintily served in the interval. 

The buying of a new obi or a crepe kimono — 
which will last not only the purchaser's lifetime 
but her daughter's as well — is an affair of much 
moment. The shopkeeper does not expect his 
visitor to spend in a few moments the money that 
has probably taken years to save, nor does he 
expect her to know in the space of two hours the 
design of an obi which will satisfy her aesthetic 
sense for the next decade at least. Hurry and 
impatience are unknown quantities in Japan. 
76 



SHOPPING IN JAPAN 

A woman is wanting in one of her souls who is 
wanting in patience, and the woman who hurries 
is wanting in self-control ; so the contented little 
party will spend their whole day kneeling on their 
knees before a mass of silks and crepes, choosing 
and bargaining, and exchanging polite compliments 
with each other. Fresh relays of tea are brought 
in, and plenty of local goings-on and news are 
exchanged between the customers and the shop- 
keeper. 

You may see just such another group of women 
accompanied by some pretty, less sombrely-clad 
moosme. Perhaps she is a bride-elect, going to 
choose some article of her trousseau. This time 
they are on their way to the vendor of lacquer 
or coral hair-combs and hair ornaments. The 
moosme' s hair is elegantly, and to our minds 
elaborately, dressed, but it has no valuable combs 
or pins in it. But wait till you see her as a young 
wife ! Her hair will then take two hours to dress, 
and in it she will wear one of the lovely combs she 
is now on her way to purchase. Hair-combs and 
hair ornaments generally are a Japanese woman's 
equivalents to jewellery ; and so beautiful are the 
designs and so exquisite the lacquer that they 
often cost fabulous prices. The best artists are 
engaged to execute the designs, and the most 
skilled workmen carry them out, so that they 
are really works of art. Hair ornaments, pocket 

77 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

dressing-cases, tobacco-cases, and fans are the ob- 
jects of feminine vanity which a Japanese lover 
or husband may bestow upon the woman he adores. 

Dancing-girls and yoro-women often ruin their 
lovers by their lavish expenditure on these costly 
but exquisite ornaments. These little combs, which 
are nearly all back, the teeth being very tiny, are 
sometimes made of scarlet lacquer, but they are 
oftenest of dark brown, with the exquisite httle 
landscape or conventional design of flowers or birds 
raised in heavy gold on them. They are incom- 
parably lovely, and prizes of all Japanese art- 
collectors. 

These are the principal articles of a woman's 
personal shopping, but of course there are the tabi 
or foot-gloves, and the get a or high clogs (a clog- 
shop is one of the most typical sights in Japan), 
and an occasional paper umbrella to purchase, and 
in the very cold weather she will require a padded 
ArmoTzo-jacket ; but as one will last her her life- 
time, the purchasing of them is as seldom seen as 
a dead donkey. 

But there is another class of shopping which she 
has to do besides her frugal housekeeping — which 
principally consists of rice and tea and pickles — and 
that is the present-buying. Japan is a land of 
present-giving. The money spent by a housekeeper 
in Japan on presents must be as much as the money 
spent on food. At the boys' festival, or the Feast 
78 



SHOPPING IN JAPAN 

of Flags, as it is called, the women flock in hundreds 
to the temple fairs to buy flags for the decoration 
of their houses, and toys of every description suit- 
able for boys. Every boy in every household is 
the recipient of at least half-a-dozen presents from 
his friends and relatives on that day. Even the 
poorest can afford to buy flags and toys for their 
boys, for in Japan the tenth part of a halfpenny 
v^dll purchase some ingenious paper toy. 

At the feast of the girls there are presents of 
dolls to be bought for every little girl. The O-Hina 
Matsuri, or Feast of Dolls, as it is called, is one 
of the prettiest sights in Japan. In the temple 
grounds where the fair takes place there are hundreds 
of stalls decked out with every sort and condition 
of Japanese doll, and there are thousands of little 
human dolls, decked in the gayest of brocades and 
the most elaborate ohis, toddling about with their 
gentle grey-clad doll-mammas, whose sleeves are 
heavy with the parcels of dolls that are stowed 
away in them. The O-Hhia Matsuri is a world 
of dolls — smiling, bowing, black-eyed dolls, who are 
never too grave and never too gay. 

A woman's shopping in Japan knows no such 
fierce excitements as after-season sales. 



79 



CHAPTER XI 

THE JAPANESE LABOURING CLASSES 

In Japan, fiksha-men are as plentiful as pigeons in 
St Mark's Piazza at Venice, and they remind you 
very much of those ever-eager pigeons in the way 
they flutter in clouds towards a stranger, dragging 
their rikshas like fantails behind them, the moment 
he sets foot on their land. Japan would not be 
half as much fun without its smiling riksha-men ; 
Japan would not be quite Japan without the 
riksha : yet rikshas are by no means indigenous to 
the country. They were imported from Ceylon 
not more than a generation ago. In the city of 
Tokyo alone, when I lived there, there were thirty- 
seven thousand i^iksha-mtn — not a bad contribution 
of army reserves for a nation to fall back upon 
in time of need. One wonders how many of the 
foot-cavalry who have paralysed the Cossacks in 
Manchuria got their stamina while they were 
dragging rikshas after them. 

Riksha-men are drawn from the coolie class, 
80 



THE JAPANESE LABOURING CLASSES 

which is the labouring class in Japan. The 
ordinary coolie is distinguished in the streets by 
his short Cambridge- blue cotton coat, of a typical 
pattern, stamped with a huge white crest on the 
back, and a bright blue cotton handkerchief tied 
round his head and knotted in front. It is the 
coolies who are one's daily and hourly companions 
in Japan, for they are really the only class, except 
the small curio dealers, with whom one comes very 
much in contact, and they are delightful people, 
so hard-working, so patient, so unfaiUngly polite, 
and so smiling, that one forgives them their little 
backslidings in points of honour. I^ike the poor 
Italian, the poor Japanese will always be found 
working where there is any work to be done, and 
for a pitifully small wage. He works early and 
late, ungrudgingly and intelligently. 

A coolie does both a horse's and a man's work in 
Japan, and if he is a gardener he is his own wheel- 
barrow also. He seems to unite the strength of an 
animal with the intelligence of a human being, 
and, unlike a horse, he is never sick or lame. I 
only once had a riksha-ina.n who was ill for two 
days and not fit for work. At the end of the 
second day he came rushing into my presence — it 
is etiquette for a servant always to hurry in Japan ; 
they remind you of the District Messenger boys 
in London (the kind you see on the hoardings) — 
and falling in front of me on his knees he said 

6 81 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

breathlessly : " Gracious lady, please to forgive ; 
I am unwholesome ! " I did forgive him ; and he 
rose, not a knight, but smihng. 

A riksha-man will smile to you, and interpret for 
you, and bargain for you, and run in his shafts for 
twenty miles a day, with nothing stronger to 
sustain him than tea and cold rice, with a dash 
of pickled radishes. 

The food of the labouring classes in Japan 
principally consists of rice, when they can get it, 
and millet, and all sorts of pickled radishes and 
vegetables, from land and sea. Seaweeds are quite 
as much an item of food to the Japanese as fish ; 
there are coolies so poor that they cannot afford 
fish, unless they are fishermen by profession. 

Except the pulling of tram-cars and the driving 
of the fine carriages of the most progressive of the 
aristocracy and European residents, almost all 
the labour we do by horse and steam was done by 
coohes when I was in Japan. They use what are 
called push-carts, something like a lorry, to carry 
their heaviest burdens ; two men pull in front and 
two push behind, with their heads bent low, and 
the enormous white crests, which cover almost the 
whole of their bent and sinuous backs, showing up 
with marked effect. They sing a curious chanty 
as they transport a cartload of enormous sake 
barrels, sewn up in straw matting, from a sake- 
distilling house to a native inn. On their way 
82 



THE JAPANESE LABOURING CLASSES 

perhaps they will pass some fellow-coolies dragging 
a similar load of cut bamboos, also chanting the 
same tune. 

The coolie is such an intelligent fellow that he is 
also a skilled artisan, and any day you can see him 
doing fine carpentry work with his feet and hands 
(a Jap has not ten fingers but twenty ; his foot 
fingers are almost as useful and highly trained as 
his hand fingers). Their stockings point out this 
fact, for they are foot-gloves, with different com- 
partments for the big foot-fingers and the others. 
From his earliest infancy a Japanese is taught to 
use his toes as fingers and his legs as arms. A 
little baby is tied not too securely on his little 
sister's back, and allowed to take his chance. The 
little girl plays at bouncing balls, or battledore 
and shuttlecock, but she is never warned to hold 
on the tiny scrap of humanity on her back — that 
would be to kill its powers of self-preservation. 
The result is that, like a monkey, it learns to cling 
on with toes and legs and arms and fingers in the 
most astonishing way. Coolies realise that life 
under any circumstances is a hard fight for exist- 
ence ; indeed, so hard is their lot that there is a 
Japanese proverb, " If you hate a man, let him 
live " ; and therefore, if you do not teach your child 
to use its feet as well as its hands, he will be but 
half a man in the battle of life. It is no wonder 
that, with their wonderful powers of endurance and 

83 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

their magnificent strength, sustained on almost 
nothing, this enormous coolie class of Japan has 
made such a splendid transport service for the 
army. 

In England we hear so much of the geisha 
and of the tea-houses in Japan, that the average 
person thinks of Japan as a land of pleasure, and 
of toy-women and pigmy men. But if I shut 
my eyes and let my thoughts go back to my 
life in Japan, what I see is not a land of tea- 
houses and gaily-dressed geisha girls, but a quiet, 
gentle land, with grave hard-working people, 
a land where very little laughter is heard, but 
where there is always a smile from a servant for 
his master. I can see a green, watery land, dotted 
here and there with the bowed backs of women 
and men standing up to their knees in the mud 
of the paddy fields, separating the rice ; they have 
been working since sunrise, and they will work till 
sundown, for a string of copper cash ; and they 
will go home to their queer little homes, half hidden 
under steep roofs of thatch, and eat their frugal 
fare. In their poor little home there will perhaps 
be a flat blue dish with some odd-shaped pieces 
of stone and rock to support lily bulbs, which 
are putting up eagerly-looked -for green shafts to 
delight the tired coolie's eyes. Or perhaps they 
have expended their savings on a tiny plum-tree 
in a tiny blue-and-white pot — a delicacy whose 
84. 



THE JAPANESE LABOURING CLASSES 

points of crossed rearing are as carefully noted by 
the coolie as the points in a prize terrier by a dog- 
breeder. When I shut my eyes again, I can see 
the coolie carpenter clinging on to a big sake 
barrel like a monkey, while he hammers into shape 
a wide copper hoop with the strength of a giant. 
The work is so arduous that even his short cotton 
coat is discarded, and he has nothing on between the 
wind and nature but a loin cloth. And again, I can 
see a flat boat being rowed across some river, whose 
banks are fired with flaming azaleas and camellias, 
as gay in colour as the blood-rayed Warflag of the 
Rising Sun. The coolie is moving the flat-bottomed 
boat, which is full of men and women and rikshas, 
with one dexterous movement of a bamboo pole. 
And again, I can see the storm which overtook us 
on our way to the Temple of the JNIoon, which is 
built at the top of a great flight of rock steps at 
the top of a fine mountain, near one of the most 
interesting towns in Japan — Kobe. In that storm 
I can see the coolies moving down the narrow foot- 
paths like small haycocks suddenly come to life. 
They have on their rain-cloaks, made of straw 
thatch, and queer wide mushroom-shaped hats, as 
large as umbrellas. Coolies occasionally wear these 
large hats as a protection from fierce sun as well 
as rain. These strange haycocks moving down 
the mountain-side remind one of an impromptu 
sketch of Hokusai. The women, poor little 

85 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

souls, have no such protection, but to save their 
hair from getting wet they put up their big 
umbrellas, made of greased paper, and tuck up 
their cotton kimonos through their obi. For the 
cold and rain the coolies have adopted the red 
blanket which is so popular with the American 
Indian. In the winter-time they sit wrapped up 
in these red rugs on the shafts of their carriages, 
chattering away like angry magpies. If a foreigner 
comes within a hundred yards, every man is up on 
his legs, his rug dropped on the seat, and there is 
a whirl of wheels and a scurrying of feet. When 
they reach the foreigner all the shafts are dropped 
and each human horse offers himself for hire. Of 
course, the one who speaks a little English has the 
best chance. When you jump into the riksha, the 
red rug which has been wrapped round the kuru- 
mayas shivering limbs a moment before he tucks 
round your feet, and glad you are of it to protect 
you from the wind if you are going to drive across 
the common of Tokyo, where there are always 
soldiers drilling in a biting north wind in winter. 
The Japanese coolie is everywhere. He is in 
your bedroom as a chambermaid, in the parlour as 
housemaid, and at your window imploring you to 
buy lovely flowering plants which he has been 
hawking about the streets when he spied you 
in your rikslia. He has followed you home and 
set down his two bamboo whatnots, which he 
86 



To Icu^k on p. 



X 




It ^ 




■xS^ 



Oiso. 



To hack on j). 87. 







Hiratsuka. 



THE JAPANESE LABOURING CLASSES 

carried laden with exquisite flowers slung on a 
bamboo pole across his shoulders; at the four 
corners of each there is fastened a cut bamboo 
pole, with holes in it for holding the cut flowers in 
water. You ask how much the whole thing costs 
— flowers, whatnots, and all. He looks at the 
arrangement ; it is his whole stock-in-trade, but he 
is willing to sell. When the transaction is finished 
he goes off smiling with about two dollars in his 
pocket, and you are the richer by the proud pos- 
session of two bamboo tables with three shelves 
each, packed with flower vases, and blue pots 
of the strangest shapes, containing plants like 
strange insects. Although the Japanese coolie 
is the common beast of burden, it is as a bed- 
room boy, or a kurumaya, that the foreigner knows 
him best. It is, of course, the desire and ambition 
of every better-class coolie to become a waiter or 
servant in a European hotel, for there he gets the 
lordly tip of the globe-trotter and learns to speak 
English. Your bedroom boy in Japan is a most 
valuable and amusing person ; he is so anxious to 
learn English that if he can read and write he will 
stop to put down the words he has just learnt from 
you before he carries out your order, but he will 
mind you and tidy you up, and brush you down like 
a valet or maid, and will accept with many smiles any 
sort of cast-off* you like to bestow upon him, from 
a billycock hat, with the crown smashed in, to an 

87 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

empty beer-bottle. The former he will ingeniously 
block back into shape and wear over his ears with 
his Sunday-best kimono, the latter he will sell to 
some simple curio-hawker, who will exhibit it on 
his stall of rubbish at the next fair. A Japanese 
coolie is like a Sicilian goat — it is all grist that 
comes to his mill. In many respects the Japanese 
house-servant is very like the Italian. He serves his 
master in the same cheerful, respectful, and at the 
same time intimate manner, and, like the Italian 
servant, he in time gets, or conspires to get, the 
greater portion of his family and a number of his 
relatives into his master's employ. Like the 
Italian, when he recommends a new groom {betto) 
or housemaid to his master, he speaks of the 
apphcant for the vacant post as a perfect stranger 
from a distant part, who bears a good character, 
but in time it always leaks out that the new 
member of the household is one of his family. 



88 



CHAPTER XII 

LIE-EUROPEANS. WHAT THE JAPANESE MEAN 
BY HONOUR. 

I THINK it was a Frenchman who first made the 
remark that to understand a nation you must 
understand its humour. If the observation had 
been made by an Enghshman, he would more Ukely 
have said that to understand a nation you must 
understand its honour. This being the case, one 
is compelled to admit that England does not 
understand her brave ally in the East. Japanese 
honour is a thing which no Englishman has ever 
yet fully understood. It is, if anything, more 
incomprehensible than their humour, which seems 
in their drama to be a mere play on words, as it 
so often is in Italy. Japan is a grave country ; 
the .Japanese are a grave people. The China- 
man, whose sense of honour, curiously enough, 
is much more like our own, calls the Japanese 
"Lie-Europeans," a term which only mildly 
expresses his contempt for his neighbours, who 

89 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

love to imitate the Western mode of civilisation. 
He despises them for their total want of honour in 
trade, a fact which cannot be overlooked in the 
East, where a Chinaman has always to act as a 
middleman between a Japanese merchant and a 
European, to see that the Japanese keeps to his 
bargain. He despises the Japanese dude for adopt- 
ing cheap English clothes made in Germany, in 
place of his own graceful kwiono. He despises 
the Japanese merchant for never keeping his 
word, unless it is to benefit himself Truth, for 
truth's sake, is unknown in Japanese commerce. 
If you transact business with a Japanese and trust 
implicitly to his honour, he will think you such a 
fool that you deserve to be robbed, and rob you he 
will. If you pay him a bill he will receipt it with 
a false seal, which he will carry in a seal-case of 
such exquisite workmanship and perfect design as 
to be an envy to the collector. If you by any 
chance detect the fraud, he will return the next day 
with at least half-a-dozen more false seals where- 
with to bamboozle and confound his customer. In 
the end, you will have to set a thief to catch a 
thief, and call in another Japanese to your rescue. 

In horse-racing it is just the same thing. The 
Japanese jockey who rides the China ponies in the 
Yokohama races is a byword for cheating and 
"jockeying." No Englishman has a chance of 
keeping him straight. 
90 



LIE-EUROPEANS 

If you order a silk dress from a Chinese dress- 
maker and he fixes his price, you are perfectly 
certain of his keeping his word, and that the silk 
will be exactly what you choose, or one which 
weighs even more, for silk is bought by the 
weight in native shops, both in China and Japan. 
But if you give the same order to a Japanese, he 
will exceed his price by as many dollars as he dares, 
the excuse being that he has provided you with 
better silk than you chose, whereas in reality it is 
much inferior in quality. 

There is, however, one very great excuse to be 
offered for the want of moral character in a 
Japanese merchant — that, like the ancient Greeks 
and Romans, who left trade to slaves, the Japanese 
have always considered that it is a thing with which 
no honourable man should soil his hands. Shop- 
keepers, up to a very few years ago, were drawn 
from the lowest class. By this it must not be 
imagined that the exquisite lacquers and paintings 
and objects of art of old Japan were made and sold 
by rogues and thieves. Far from it. In the days 
when the best work was done in Japan in every 
branch of art the objects were executed by artists 
who were the proteges of daimios, and who lived 
in the daimios' castles, and worked exclusively for 
their patrons. It was no uncommon thing for some 
particularly valuable object of art to have taken 
three generations to accomplish. The grandfather 

91 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

commenced it, the son carried it on, and the grand- 
son finished it. Tradesmen did not sell these rare 
and wonderful pieces of handicraft. It was only 
after the downfall of the great and small daimios' 
castles that they came into the open market. In 
the old days it was considered better to beg your 
bread than to work for money, or make anything 
for the sake of money alone. In China, where 
there is no hereditary aristocracy, an honourable 
merchant has always been a respected member of 
the community. Trade in China has never been 
despised. Therefore a Chinaman is proud of his 
honour in business, and proud of an EngUshman's 
perfect trust in his word, for it is a well-known say- 
ing in the East that a Chinaman's word is as good 
as his bond. I knew very intimately the head of 
a large tea firm in Canton, who told me that he 
only saw the samples of tea which were brought 
down to him from the interior to taste and select 
for exportation. He gave his enormous orders to 
a Chinaman who shipped the tea straight from the 
North ; and yet not once, in all the years he was 
in business, had he found the tea exported unequal 
to the sample. 

To give the same order to a Japanese would be 
madness, for his sense of honour is morally deficient 
about that sort of thing. It is the same with the 
large banks in the East. The manager of the 
Hong-Kong and Shang-Hai Banking Company 
92 



LIE-EUROPEANS 

told me that he wished he could trust all English- 
men with whom he had to do business as he could 
trust the Chinese. 

But it would be unjust if I were to infer that 
the Japanese have no sense of honour. I merely 
wish to point out that it is not the sort of honour 
an Englishman understands. The Japanese does 
not keep his word in business. Like the American 
horsedealer, his motto is, " Do unto others as they 
would like to do unto you, but be sure to do it 
fust." Besides, a polite lie is always easier to tell 
than an unpleasant truth, and he looks upon cheat- 
ing in trade as nothing more than diamond cutting 
diamond. 

But it is only in commerce that the term Lie- 
European can be applied to the Japanese. In their 
pubhc life there is but one respect in which they 
could be called Lie-Europeans, and that is in their 
Asiatic contempt for death. 

When the Japanese made up their minds to be a 
first-class Power, they not only hired the best naval 
and military instructors, and supplied themselves 
with the best material of war ; they not only 
established a Government and a Judicature of the 
European pattern, and Universities for the dissemi- 
nation of Western knowledge ; they studied inter- 
national law, international morality and international 
honour ; and they made up their minds that in 
their treatment of their neighbours and their 

93 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

enemies they would be magnanimous to the verge 
of quixotism, to show that Asiatics could be as 
civilised as the best of Europeans. In their own 
war with China, in their operations with the other 
allies in China, and in the present struggle with 
Russia, they have played the game in the finest 
possible way ; as preux chevalie?^s, they have 
rivalled King Arthur and his knights. 

There is also another way in which they have 
falsified the taunt of the Chinaman — Lie-Europeans. 
The jealous Chinaman no doubt wished to imply 
that their imitation of things European was feeble 
and spurious. The Japanese army has given the 
absolute lie to this. It is beyond doubt the most 
perfectly trained and equipped army which has ever 
taken the field ; the vaunted German army is nothing 
beside it. Nor are they Lie-Europeans in engin- 
eering and science. We have known for a long 
time that they could build superb roads, carried on 
viaducts and tunnelled through hills like railroads ; 
that electric trams and lighting and telephones 
presented no difficulty to them. But in the present 
war they have shown the highest scientific and 
engineering ability. They have carried wireless 
telegraphy in the sending and tapping of messages 
beyond anything we have achieved in Europe, 
and invented an explosive unequalled in destruc- 
tiveness. Their artillery is the envy of the 
nations. 
94 



LIE-EUROPEANS 

But they are Lie-Europeans in the matter of 
courage. For the first time in history, a civiHsed 
army has shown the dervishes' fanatical contempt 
for death. For disciphned courage the conduct of 
the Japanese through the present war has never 
been paralleled. In this or the other battle we have 
happily many instances of unsurpassable courage 
to quote from our own military history, and our 
privates might be capable of going to their death 
with the sangfroid of the Japanese Tommy, though 
life is so much more precious to them. But no 
British commanding officer could dare to take upon 
himself the responsibility of ordering such terrible 
sacrifices of his troops' lives in battle after battle ; 
and it must be remembered that if a Japanese does 
not value life like a European, neither is he bribed 
with promises of paradise like the JNIahommedan 
who is fighting against infidels. Nor would he, 
if he did value life, be any slower to yield it 
for his country, since to die for his country is to 
him like a martyr's death for his faith — a crown 
of life. 

As Mr Diosy said, his country is the religion of 
a Japanese. His honour is the old national honour 
of the samurai, the spirit of knight-errantry which 
has never died out. The Japanese will die for his 
country by battle, or murder, or sudden death, by 
plague, pestilence and famine ; he is willing to slave 
for her honour individually or nationally ; and his 

95 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

country is his mistress as well as his god. In fiction 
he does not care to read a romantic love-story ; he 
prefers to have his blood fired with stirring deeds 
of old-time patriots. The keynote of the Japanese 
drama is self-sacrifice. 



96 



CHAPTER XIII 

THEATliE-GOIXG IX JAPAN 

To the uninitiated traveller, theatre-going in Japan 
is the dullest thing in the world. But I was a 
good sight-seer, and did my duty by taking an 
eight-shilling box to see the famous Danjuro, 
whose real name was Mr Horikoshi Shu, in one of 
his most characteristic dramas ; and by paying 
very heavily to witness the sacred " A^b " dance 
at the Maple Club in Tokyo. This dance, which, 
as the American said, is in the visitors' eyes no 
dance at all, is the most ancient and classical of all 
Japanese plays, and until lately the only theatrical 
performance ever acted at the Emperor's court, or 
performed in the pal?ces of the nobility and great 
houses. I also enjoyed many of the most popular 
flower ballets, such as the Miyako-Odori (the 
famous cherry-feast at Tokyo), and other geisha 
dances, which, however, belong to quite another 
story, and must not be confounded with the serious 
national drama. If I had had the good fortune^to 

7 97 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Tiave read Mr Osman Edwards's marvellously lucid 
and interesting account of the Japanese drama in 
his book called Japanese Plays and Playfellows 
before I visited the theatre, I might probably have 
found the acting of the world-famous Danjuro 
most entertaining ; but as I knew nothing at all 
about the subject, the Henry Irving of Japan was 
to me distinctly heavy. 

The theatre in Japan is like a serial by Mr 
Henry James, or as Sundays were in Scotland in 
the days of my youth, when we took our lunch 
with us to church and ate it in the kirkyard, so as 
to be ready for the ser\dce in the afternoon. 

In present-day Japan the law forbids theatrical 
performances to begin before 10 a.m. People used 
to be in their seats by dawn, although the first 
chapter of the serial never finished until 10 or 
11 at night. 

I went to see Danjuro at about 8.30, and 
imagined that the performance had just com- 
menced. At the door I was permitted to pass 
into my box without taking off my boots. The 
eager natives were excitedly kicking off their high 
clogs, for which they received a little wooden ticket. 
A smiling attendant scuttled on in front of my 
party and bowed us into our impromptu-looking 
box, where four chairs had been arranged for the 
august strangers, instead of the customary flat 
cushions on the floor. But the tobacco-box and 
98 



^ 




THEATRE-GOING IN JAPAN 

the cups of O-cha (honourable tea) were not want- 
ing, and the programme which we could not read 
was as charming as a hundredth-night souvenir at 
His JNIajesty's Theatre. 

Our unsubstantial little box was raised up on 
bamboo supports, which made a sort of gallery, 
divided into boxes by matting, all round the 
auditorium. I must confess that watching the 
funny little famihes down below, who had mostly 
either brought their day's provisions, along with 
their house-servants and babies, or were being 
served to tea and sake and strange-looking foods 
by waiters from the tea-houses near the theatre (a 
Japanese theatre, like a temple, is always sur- 
rounded by tea-houses and fairs), gave me more 
pleasure than following the acting and marvellous 
facial expressions of the greatest of Japanese 
tragedians. 

The house was full of gaily-dressed inoosmes 
and scarlet-o^iW babies, for the play was one of 
the historical dramas from which youthful Japan 
imbibes the ancient heroic spirit of the samurai age. 
But although there was plenty of bloodshed and 
realistic horrors in the piece, 1 did not notice many 
of the moosmes retiring to the " tear-room " which is 
provided for the use of emotional ladies. It was, of 
course, a typical middle-class audience, for theatre- 
going in Japan has always been the favourite 
amusement of the people : the great nobles and 

99 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

families of the upper classes had classical dramas 
performed in their own palaces or houses. Indeed, 
until lately actors were looked upon as social out- 
casts, and were compelled to wear a distinctive 
costume in public places. It is entirely owing to 
the present Emperor, who has done so much to 
raise their position, that to-day the best actors 
are invited to the houses of the broader-minded 
people. 

Why the drama in Japan ever became so popular 
with the people it is not difficult to understand, for 
duty and passionate loyalty are the keynotes of 
the Japanese plays in Japan. Their popularity 
cannot be denied, for Mr Osman Edwards says 
that an actor like Danjuro can earn an income of 
£5000 a year. There are two sorts of dramas — 
the historical play, jidai-mono, and the comedy 
of manners, sewa-mono. 

in the "gods" or " driven-in-places," as the 
gallery is called, the poor people who cannot afford 
to pay for the whole performance are allowed to 
see one act for one penny ; a very good plan, I 
think, in a country where most of the plays are 
known so well that often a critical playgoer is only 
anxious to see how a new actor will interpret some 
special part of the play. 

But the thing which amused me most was the 
way that the stage upon which one set of 
actors were standing, at the end of some scene 
100 



THEATRE-GOING IN JAPAN 

suddenly revolved and a new set of actors came 
before the audience, with a fresh background of 
scenery, which looked as if it had been cut out of 
cardboard with scissors. 

Another amusing thing was the prompter, whom 
etiquette demands that you should not notice, in 
Japan. He followed the chief actor about, enveloped 
in black like a photographer when he puts his head 
under the black cloth of his camera. The falsetto 
voice of the actor, which also belongs to the 
prescribed etiquette of the drama when he has 
any large part to recite, is always accompanied by 
the hideous twanging of the samisen, and, as was 
customary with the ancient Greeks, a chorus is 
chanted in monotone, to interpret to the audience 
the portions of the plot omitted from the play, or 
merely suggested by the actors. 

All this was terribly confusing to a mere out- 
sider, so I was delighted when the monotony of 
the proceedings was broken by Danjuro suddenly 
walking off the stage and crossing the body of the 
theatre on two planks raised over the heads of the 
squatting audience. I had no idea that at this 
point an act was finished, or that the " flower- 
walk," as it is called, was the actor's only means 
of exit. I imagined it was an idea of his own to 
allow the people to see him more closely, and to 
give them a better chance of pelting him with their 
offerings of tobacco-pouches, pipes, poems, and even 

101 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

flowers and hairpins from the dainty heads of 
enraptured moosmes. 

During the short interval between the acts, the 
little children in the audience got up on the 
" flower- walk " and toddled on to the stage, where 
they were greeted with welcome by any of the 
actors who were hanging about. 

As most people know, INIadame Sada Yacco was 
the first woman actress who ever acted with men 
in Japan. In taking this brave step she had to 
face the scorn and disapproval of the women of her 
own country, who had been taught to look upon 
acting as a profession for men only, religious 
dances and flower-ballets being reserved for women. 
Yet, strangely enough, two women were the 
founders of the new Japanese drama — compara- 
tively new, that is to say ; for the ancient drama 
was entirely devoted to mythological and religious 
plays, which must, with their masked actors, and 
choruses, and falsetto voices, have borne a marked 
resemblance to the plays of the ancient Greeks. 
Mr Edwards says that the new national drama 
began its career in Japan about the same time as 
the national drama did in England, in the year 
1575. And there has long been at Kyoto a theatre 
where the whole cast are women instead of men. 
Actors who intend to take women's parts frequently 
dress like women in ordinary life, to give them 
greater ease and naturalness. 
102 



THEATRE-GOING IN JAPAN 

To the average man a theatre without actresses, 
does not sound very exciting, but I must confess 
that had I not known that women never acted 
in Japan, I should not have dreamt that JMr 
Danjuro, in his magnificent traihng kimonos of the 
richest brocades and colours, was not an extremely 
elegant and feminine woman. His facial expression 
was certainly wonderful ; and as there is very little 
difference in the everyday dress worn by men and 
women in Japan, there was none of the awkward- 
ness of movement which one so often sees when a 
man is acting a woman's part in England. Since 
the Revolution it is only on the stage in Japan that 
one has any chance of seeing the rich brocades and 
embroideries which used to be the envy and pride 
of the women at the old daiviio courts ; and it is 
only on the stage that one can learn anything of 
the customs of feudal Japan, the Japan of the 
heroes of the Two Swords, whose children were 
taught to make their obeisance before the family 
sword-rack every night and morning. In Japan 
there is no such thing as the modern problem-play ; 
and so incomprehensible is our drama to them, 
that on the first occasion when a French company 
played Hamlet in Tokyo, the audience, mistak- 
ing it for a farce, went into uncontrollable fits of 
laughter. The author plays no important part 
on the first night, which comes but rarely in Japan, 
for the old dramas are much more popular than the 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

new ones. His name is never called at the end of 
a performance, and he makes but a small income. 
Nor are any of the strange hats of antediluvian 
German make, which are flung on the stage in 
token of admiration, ever intended to do him 
honour. 

As this chapter is devoted to theatre-going, I 
have not touched upon the fascinating subject of 
geisha-girh, or of temple-dancers, for geishas have 
nothing whatever to do with the theatre, although 
the pretty geisha-girl is the equivalent in the hearts 
of the people to our ballet-girl. 



104 



To lack on p. 104. 




A lover and 



To hack on p. 105. 




his lass in Japan. 



CHAPTER XIV 

JAPAN FROM A RIKSHA 

In one day the things you can observe from a riksha 
would fill a volume, because there is much more 
than meets the eye in everything you see in Japan. 
You may, for instance, have caught a glimpse of 
an old woman standing in her open-fronted paper 
house, holding her little grandchild by a strap 
passed over its chest and under its arms, while it 
bends its little body back and forwards. She is 
not doing this for the child's amusement or physical 
exercise. She is giving it its daily lesson in the 
etiquette of bowing. This tiny tot has already 
had a long and difficult lesson on the etiquette of 
smiles. The different degrees of smiles and bows 
which a child has to learn are legion. While the 
grandmother— who looks about a hundred, but 
who is in all probability not much over forty, 
for women are old at thirty-six in Japan — is 
teaching her grandchild, the mother is busy doing 
the family washing without soap. Against almost 

105 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

every house in the street in Japan you can see 
the family washing-boards, with the different pieces 
of cotton kimonos stuck on them to dry. A 
Japanese does not make her home smell of soap- 
suds on a washing-day, or spend her husband's 
wages on coal to heat the irons ; she first unpicks 
the cotton kimonos, and then washes them in cold 
water. While they are still wet she spreads them 
on wooden boards, which irons and dries them at 
the same time. In the next house you may see 
the hairdresser's assistant washing some moosiiies 
hair in a little flat brass dish, not much larger than 
a salad-bowl. If you are observant, you will notice 
that when the hair is clean it is sometimes almost 
auburn in colour, much to the poor little moosvies 
distress, for nothing but raven-black hair will find 
favour in her lover's eyes. Further up the street 
you will see the all-important person, the hair- 
dresser himself, arranging the wonderful coiffure 
of a young wife, who cannot have her hair too 
elaborately dressed. She has been sitting for two 
hours before her steel hand-mirror, stuck up like 
a picture on an easel, watching the professor fix 
her hair with little steel springs and fine pieces of 
silk crepe, and other mysterious contrivances 
belonging to his trade. When the shining hair 
is at last finished, he will go on his round to the 
little moosme, whose hair by this time will be 
jet black. 
106 



JAPAN FROM A RIKSHA 

As your riksha bowls along, your human horse 
suddenly almost falls over a group of gaily-dressed 
children, with oddly shaven heads, with smaller 
and still odder-looking babies tied on their backs, 
playing hopscotch or ball. The heads of the 
pick-a-back babies wobble about so much that 
you feel certain that they will drop off, but they 
never do. Nor do they utter a sound ; for a 
Japanese baby would never do anything so rude 
or ill-bred as to cry. Its lessons in self-control 
began twenty years before it was born. As the 
kuTumaya pulls himself suddenly up to save the 
young mothers and babies, and almost throws 
you out backwards by doing so, an empty riksha 
passes, and your man greets his fellow with a 
polite apology for being so rude as to have a fare 
when he has none. Etiquette in Japan aiFords 
a world of amusement to a traveller. For who 
can refrain from smiHng at the meeting of two 
tattered beggars, with their prescribed etiquette of 
bows and smiles, and deferential indrawings of 
breath ? Although they have no clothes and no 
home, and no food and no money, there is no 
reason why they should be without the graces 
which come from within. Even a beggar can 
afford the etiquette of a gentle heart and the 
language of honorifics. 

When the beggars have passed and the street 
is silent again, your ear will suddenly catch the 

107 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

sound of the begging priests' bells. You will 
know them as they pass by their clean-shaven 
heads and mushroom-shaped hats. They wear 
praying priests' clothes, and carry a pilgrim's staff. 
These holy men travel all over the land, begging 
for money to offer to the gods for the souls of 
the departed. The clear ringing of their bells 
heralds their coming from a long way off". 

In sharp contrast to their humility of dress and 
mien is the gorgeous attire of the geisha-givl as 
her rilisha whirls past. Her rich brocade and 
gaily-dressed head proclaims her profession, for 
no other woman is so gaily dressed except her still 
gayer sister, the poor yoro, who never leaves the 
precincts of that " city of no night." Behind the 
dancing-girl you will meet her sombrely-clad 
duenna, who has to chaperon her when she goes 
to dance before her lord. 

In any of these streets you will meet men and 
women carrying beasts' burdens ; for horses in a 
purely native city are almost as rare as in Venice, 
and these self-respecting Japanese coolies look 
upon themselves as equal to a horse and man in 
one, for they will draw a strong horse's burden and 
exercise an intelligent man's brains at the same 
time. Yet these same strenuous-limbed intelligent 
men and women will find their next hohday's 
pleasure in flying kites from their low windows if 
the wind is not too strong, or in hunting fireflies 
108 



JAPAN FROM A RIKSHA 

if the night is favourable. Or you may see one, 
when his work of dragging carts piled high with 
huge sake barrels full of new wine is over, sitting 
on the floor of his little house, arranging a 
miniature garden. His whole family is there, 
helping and advising in the arrangement of this 
little world in a flat dish. For this tiny garden 
must contain an ideal landscape. Their beloved 
Fuji must be there, and of course a piece cVeau, 
which is as dear to the heart of a Japanese land- 
scape gardener as it is to a Frenchman or Italian. 
It must be symbolical of a deeply mysterious lake, 
and there must be tiny bridges and pagodas, and 
strange-shaped rocks, and dwarf pine-trees. Stop 
your ?'iksha, and let your smiling steed eat some 
rice with tea poured over it, which he is certain to 
have stowed away below the seat you are sitting 
upon, and watch this gentle family party — it is so 
typical of true Japan : the poverty and simplicity 
of the home, with no visible furniture but a dark 
wood box, which holds the hot charcoal and has 
the family pipes in a drawer beneath, and a small 
table-tray with diminutive cups and a taepot. 
But the happy family sitting on their platform 
home, which only has the semblance of a house at 
night when the wooden shutters are put up, are 
more than contented, for their clean little home 
will soon be graced with a perfect landscape garden. 
But you must not linger too long, for your 

109 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

attention is demanded by a party of strolling 
players and acrobats, who really look the craziest 
thing in this crazy land. The children, in their 
bright baggy trousers, tumble about and tie them- 
selves up into knots, until you cannot distinguish 
the one from the other ; and the drummer, who is 
dressed to look like a strange animal, with a 
gigantic mask on its head, makes a tattoo like the 
Punch and Judy man when he is beating up an 
audience for his performance. The other members 
of the company personate popular Japanese 
characters in history or fiction, and if you wait 
long enough they will act a blood-curdling drama 
for your benefit. But they must not make too 
much disturbance, or a policeman of five feet 
nothing will come along ; and so great is their fear 
of the law, that this httle man has only to address 
them with the prescribed formula for them 
instantly to disperse. 

Twang, twang ! Your ear catches the sound of a 
samisen, and you see, creeping close to the houses, 
so as not to come in the way of the rikshas, the 
blind musician. In Japan there are certain pro- 
fessions reserved for the blind. Music is one, and 
shampooing, or what we call massage, is another. 
You cannot mistake the note of the bhnd 
masseuse's flute ; it is like the call of some bird. 
After working-hours are over you can see her 
wandering about the street, offering her bhnd 
110 



JAPAN FROM A RIKSHA 

services to the weary and tired of limb. Even 
the poorest in Japan have long appreciated the 
curative powers of massage. 

If you keep your eyes open as you hurry past 
one of the enormous public baths, where every man 
or woman can enjoy a hot plunge and a cold 
douche for the tenth part of a penny, you may 
catch a glimpse, through the oft-opened door, of a 
mass of naked humanity, swimming and plunging 
and leaping and splashing like the salmon in the 
Eraser river in Canada when they have come up 
from the sea to spawn. You need not be afraid 
that your English sense of modesty will be out- 
raged ; these happy tadpoles are a piece of Nature, 
and Nature is never shocking in Japan. 

The next street you pass through may be the 
street of lanterns, and there you will see shops full 
01 Japanese lanterns of every size and shape and 
colour. It gave me quite a thrill of pleasure to 
find out that they really do use Japanese lanterns 
in Japan. There were hundreds which I wanted 
to buy and pack away in my liksha. They do not 
cost much, for little children paint them and boy- 
apprentices make them. These tiny artists lie flat 
on their " little ^larys " on the side path, painting 
wonderful designs with wonderful dexterity. Near 
by, in the street of the umbrellas, you will see 
women and girls of all ages gumming paper on to 
the fine ribs of the familiar Japanese sunshade. 

Ill 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

But I have not yet mentioned the broom and 
basket maker, staggering under his wares, which 
he carries ingeniously piled up on a long bamboo 
slung across his back ; or the very old woman with 
the cooking-stall, who is sure to be surrounded by 
dear little children, who may cook for themselves 
on her hot stove the tenth part of a penny 's-worth 
of some strange article of food ; or the clog-shop, 
which is the most typical shop of all in Japan. 
Here you will see two grey Mvionod clerks, sitting 
on the floor in front of a mountain of wooden 
clogs. They are playing a game of dominoes 
while they wait for a customer. By their side is 
a little scarlet lacquer table with tall spindle legs, 
and on the table there is a beautiful blue-and- 
white pot hodling a dwarf plum-tree. The wooden 
clogs are behind these young aesthetes, their plum- 
tree and dominoes are in front. 

But the strangest sight of all, perhaps, is the 
man and woman who are carrying their home and 
all their worldly goods on their backs. They are 
changing their place of residence to be nearer their 
day's work, and so, like the snail, the man carries 
his house on his back, and his wife takes the fur- 
niture and the kitchen utensils under her protection. 
If they had a garden, they would take that too. 

But these are only a few of the many bizarre 
bits of true Japan which you see from the deck 
of a riksha. 
112 



CHAPTER XV 

TEMPLE-GOING IN JAPAN 

In Japan you go to the temple to play as well 
as to pray, so that temple-going to the pagan mind 
does not mean as much as church-going does to 
the earnest Christian. 

In The Greater Learning for Women, written 
by the sages, it is ordered that '' a woman should 
go but sparingly to temples and other high places 
where there is a great concourse of people until 
she has reached the age of forty." 

After you have visited the famous Temple of 
Kwannon in Asukusa, Tokyo, you will agree with 
the sages if you are a father or a husband, for 
temple-going in Japan means perpetual holiday- 
making, much spending of money, gossiping, and 
wasting of time. 

The Temple of Kwannon Sama, the Goddess of 
Mercy at Tokyo, is by far the most popular in 
Japan. It is within the sacred grounds of her 
temple, which extend for many acres, that the 

8 113 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

matsuri or religious festivals are held ; and it is 
within her temple grounds that the stranger can 
see the Real Japan — Japan robbed of her lacquer 
of European civilisation ; for it is there, chiefly 
in Tokyo, that you can feel the heart-beat of 
the people. There the man who wears a black 
coat in his business house in the Ginza goes to 
play or to pray in his native kimono. It is at 
playing and at praying that one nation least 
understands another ; therefore, if you wish to 
study Japan, go to her temples. 

You can see some of the most typical sights of 
Japan back to back. Here is a group of holiday- 
attired women, each choosing trashy hairpins to 
adorn her finely-coifFured head at some stall in the 
temple fair, and right behind it may be a sorrow- 
ing mother, hanging up toys and sweets at a 
quaint shrine for the soul of her dead child. 

Under the shadow of the great goddess's house 
of prayer you can always see a motley, merry 
crowd, wholly typical of Japan at play ; and in 
the midst of it all, before the images of Kwannon 
and other popular idols, you can see pagan Japan 
at prayer. There is no hard and fast line drawn 
between religion and recreation. Side by side with 
beloved gods and shrines you will find questionable 
peep-shows, booths where contortionists make your 
hair stand on end by the length of their tongues 
or the telescoping of their necks ; fine archery 
114 



To back on p. 114. 



1 9 j 







Ji Jit ^^ 





Yokaiclii : The eiitran<^e to a temple. 



'To ba<:k on p. 115, 








lliil 









Kuwaiia. 



TEMPLE-GOING IN JAPAN 

galleries, where you can fire off twenty arrows for 
a penny ; and tea-houses with pretty dancing-girls, 
or snake-charmers with hypnotised snakes. 

There is alway a matsuri of some sort going on 
in the Asakusa temple, whatever day or hour you 
go. I have sat long hours on its wide steps 
watching strange pagan prayers and the picturesque 
merrymaking of the holiday crowd. The " scuff- 
scuffing " of the wooden clogs on the stone-paved 
courts never ceases, nor the whirling and clicking 
and swooping in the air overhead of the temple 
pigeons as they fly from the great wooden roof 
(which is the most majestic thing about a temple) 
to surround the slim figure of a Jtioosnie, clad in 
soft grey, who has brought some pious beans for 
their consumption. 

When you enter the temple grounds you can 
see the sacred white pony with the mad blue eyes, 
which is looked after by two young girls, and feed 
it with sacred beans, which you can buy from 
an old witch who has a stall of holy beans, 
pious peas, and sanctified rice. Buddhism teaches 
great kindness to animals ; the fear that the soul 
of one of your ancestors may be temporarily 
inhabiting your horse or cow is an excellent pre- 
ventive of cruelty to animals. Ancestor- worship 
is the essence of the Shinto religion, and all 
Japanese are Shintoists or Buddhists, and the 
majority of them are both. 

115 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

While you are sitting on the temple steps you 
can hear the muttered prayers of the licensed 
beggars, who pray for those who give them cash. 
Just inside the temple there is always a washing- 
place, where the people purify before praying. 
After this ablution the worshipper strikes a big 
bell with a bamboo pole to call the attention of the 
particular god he requires, throws a cash in a wooden 
trunk covered with a gi-ating, claps his hands, and 
then prays on devoutly-bended knees, rubbing his 
head and drawing in his breath with a hissing sound. 
When the prayer is finished, he rings the gong again 
to announce the fact, casts another cash in the trunk, 
and goes on his way rejoicing. Sometimes you see 
worshippers pulhng a string of beads through their 
fingers, just as the Roman Catholic uses his rosary. 
There are many things in this pagan temple which 
remind one strongly of a popular church in Italy. 

Round the walls are the various altars, with 
strange gods and images, with lights burning and 
clouds of incense ascending ; and in front of a 
miracle-working image you can see long plaits of 
black hair, or plaster casts of limbs, or glass eyes, 
offerings from the devout who have been cured of 
some illness. The beautiful statue of the Goddess 
of Mercy, who is as nearly as possible to the poor 
of Japan what " Our Lady of Pity " is to the poor 
Italian, is carried in procession through the city 
to stay epidemics or plagues. 
116 



TEMPLE-GOING IN JAPAN 

But the spectacle which causes the stranger the 

most amazement is to see men and women and 

children chewing up the little paper prayers which 

they have just bought from some shaven-headed 

priest, and spitting them out of their mouths at 

the ugly gods known as the Honourable Two — 

Nl-O — behind their grating. If the little pill of 

paper sticks to the idol the prayer has been heard, 

and the worshipper departs with hope in his heart. 

At another shrine there are little paper prayers tied 

on to the bars of the idol's cage. I have seen as 

many as ten thousand prayers attached to one cage. 

There are endless ways of exacting money from 

; the people in a pagan temple. Besides the prices 

paid for the prayers, and the cash offered before 

and after praying, there is always something to be 

given to the old woman who keeps the sacred fuel 

burning ; and if you wish to enter the sanctuary 

and make any special petition, or read some pages 

from a holy book, you must pay the old priest who 

dwells inside the enclosure. Here, for instance, 

come a young husband and wife carrying their 

baby, who have just paid the priest a sum for 

I giving their child its " soul name." But in spite 

j of the " chaos of votive tablets, huge lanterns, 

I shrines, idols, spit-balls, dust, dirt, nastiness, and 

hohness " — for this is how Griffiths, in his famous 

J book. The Mikado's Empire, describes the interior 

\ of a Buddhist temple — I love the exquisite quiet 

117 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

and the sense of peace you always find there — a 
pagan peace which passes all Christian under- 
standing. 

In the great space, with its black lacquered floors 
and low reading-stools, which are just like the book- 
rests for the Koran in mosques, the white-robed 
priests, with their shaven heads, glide about like 
mysterious beings from another world. In this 
pagan place of prayer you seem far removed from 
the noise and merrymaking in the courts. In spite 
of the strange idols, foxes, and hideous demons, the 
hollow beating of Oriental temple drums, and the 
unceasing clapping of pious hands, you feel the 
mystery of holiness and the spirit of devotion. 

I have never seen anything in the nature of a 
service or of a united congregation praying in a 
Japanese temple, nor do I know if Buddhist priests 
ever preach sermons ; but I have never been in a 
Shinto or Buddhist temple where there was not a 
perpetual coming and going of devout worshippers. 
And devout they are, though as soon as their pagan 
prayers are said they will hurry from the temple, 
slip their tabid feet into their wooden clogs at the 
wide-open front, and scurry down the great flight 
of steps, sideways like crabs, to join in the fun of 
the fair. 

But perhaps you are on your way to v^isit the 
famous temple gardens, where the dwarf trees are 
only a few inches high and many centuries old, and 
118 



TEMPLE-GOING IN JAPAN 

where the big shrubs and firs are trained and cut 
to represent junks in full sail, or missionaries with 
Bibles in their hands and high silk hats on their 
heads. If it is February, plum blossoms will be 
out in the temple orchard ; for in February there 
is the feast of the plum blossom, in April the cherry 
blossom, and in July the iris petals are as purple as 
the sky overhead is blue. Before July the azaleas are 
a riot of colour. In October the chrysanthemums 
bring the whole world to see them, and in March 
the camellias begin to patter to the ground from 
the tall dark trees. At each of these popular feasts 
you can see delightful family parties eating their 
scant meals below the trees in quiet aesthetic 
content. The Japanese goes to a picnic to feast 
his eyes on the beauty of nature, not to gorge his 
stomach on some special delicacy of the place. 

After you have enjoyed this quiet pleasure there 
are the sacred waxworks of the temple to be seen, 
and they are really wonderful and very ancient, 
and in some cases painfully realistic. They repre- 
sent the miracles and cures wrought by the goddess 
and her disciples. I do not wonder that they are 
popular with the people, for they are even more 
thrilling than our waxworks at Madame Tussaud's. 
I once saw an image of Buddha being made out of 
metal mirrors melted down in little saucepans on 
a charcoal fire. The image was so large that two 
workmen were sitting on its nose. One was pouring 

119 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

some of the melted metal mirrors out of a spoon 
on to the Buddha's ear, while the other man was 
sculpturing it into form. There must have been 
thousands of mirrors lying round the unfinished 
image, which was half-buried in clay. While I 
looked on I saw at least fifty women come 
and deposit a mirror as an offering to the un- 
finished god. 



120 



CHAPTER XVI 

KEEPING THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT IN JAPAN 

Strange as it may sound to Western ears, it is 
absolute obedience to parents and unquestioning 
filial piety which have produced the most dis- 
tressing and depraved circumstances in the social 
ethics of Japan. 

Filial piety in Japan is the most important of all 
virtues. No child has a right to question or even 
doubt for one moment the right or wrong of the 
most humihating sacrifices demanded by its parents. 
And filial piety is very far-reaching ; it embraces 
a loyalty which is a religion in itself to Emperor 
and Country, as the Mikado is both the "father 
and mother of his country." For to Shintoism, 
which is the ancient and state reUgion in Japan, 
a religion which is really ancestor- worship, is added 
the unquestioning submission to rulers and parents, 
which is the principal doctrine of Confucianism, 
introduced into Japan from China in about the 

seventeenth century. 

121 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Although fihal piety is demanded of both sexes 
in Japan, it is difficult to discover in what a man's 
precise duties towards his parents really consist ; 
on the other hand, endless books could be written 
without exhausting the subject of a woman's duties 
to both her own and her husband's parents. Of 
course, a man must reverence his parents, and treat 
every old man in spirit as if he was his own father ; 
but, on the other hand, a mother, if she is a widow, 
must reverence and obey the will of her elder son, 
as though he were her father or her husband. A 
man must not disgrace the name of his ancestors, 
whose honour is daily commemorated on his 
" household god-shelf," but of the nature of his 
obediences and duties to his parents in practice I 
can find but little recorded, even in the most 
exhaustive books on the subject. In the old tales 
of the Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Virtue 
(which are to a Japanese household what Foxe's 
BooJx' of Martyrs was twenty years ago in a 
Scotch home), we read of absurd examples of filial 
piety enacted by quite old men. 

" One of the paragons," says Mr Chamberlain, 
" had a cruel stepmother who was very fond of fish. 
Never repining at her harsh treatment of him, he 
lay down naked on the frozen surface of the lake. 
The warmth of his body melted a hole in the ice, 
at which two carp came up to breathe. These 
he caught and set before his stepmother. Another 
122 



KEEPING THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT 

paragon, though of tender years and having a 
dehcate skin, insisted on sleeping uncovered at 
night, in order that the mosquitoes should fasten 
on him alone, and allow his parents to slumber 
undisturbed. A third, who was very poor, deter- 
mined to bury his own child alive in order to have 
more food wherewith to support his aged mother, 
but was rewarded by heaven with the discovery of 
a vessel filled with gold, off which the whole family 
Hved happily ever after. . . . But the drollest of 
all is the story of Roraishi. This paragon, though 
seventy years old, used to dress in baby's clothes 
and sprawl about upon the tioor. His object was 
piously to delude his parents, who were really 
over ninety years of age, into the idea that they 
could not be so very old after all, seeing that they 
had still such a puerile son." 

The Japanese have established a set of " Four- 
and-twenty Paragons" (Honcho Ni-ju-shi Ko) of 
their own, but these are less popular. 

Although Professor Chamberlain in his Things 
Japanese gives various male instances from the 
Tvoenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety, he tells us 
absolutely nothing of the particular duties of the 
modern man towards his parents, but only the 
general and seldom-abused duty of obedience. A 
man has only one set of parents to obey and rever- 
ence, while a woman has two — her own while she 
is a girl, and her husband's after she is a wife. 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

There is no text in the Christian teachings so 
difficult for a Japanese man to accept and under- 
stand as the one which says a man shall leave his 
family and cleave to his wife. But the Japanese 
woman is in this matter an a priori Christian. 

In Japan a man never leaves his family, and his 
ancestors he has always with him on his god-shelf. 
It is a woman who goes to be married in the 
mourning garb of a corpse, pure white, to signify 
the fact that she is dead to her old home, and that 
henceforth she belongs to her husband's family, and 
that from that date her filial piety is to be observed 
towards her new parents. It is rather sad, I think, 
that a Japanese mother should only rear up her dear 
little girl and educate her so that she may become 
the submissive and loving daughter, both in spirit 
and in deed, of another woman ; for as soon as a 
girl has reached the age of sixteen, she marries and 
becomes the daughter of her parents-in-law ; and 
as she is only a woman, she cannot raise up offspring 
to her own parents, but to her husband's, for 
nothing descends through a woman in Japan. 
Indeed, Buddhism teaches us that a woman cannot 
hope for immortality unless she is re-born a man. 
Poor, brave-hearted, patient, gentle, loving, sub- 
missive little creatures ! it must be hard for them 
to believe that these are the teachings of the 
Buddha who extolled mercy as the highest virtue ; 
that a woman is but a temptation, a snare, an 
124 



KEEPING THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT 

unclean thing, a scapegoat, an obstacle to peace 
and holiness ! Shinto religion accords her a higher 
place while she is on earth amongst men, but it 
does not give her a niche on the family god-shelf 
after death. It is small wonder that the Japanese 
woman is disappointed when the baby in her arms 
turns out to be a girl. 

Undoubtedly the military spirit of the people, 
of which we see such marked evidence to-day, has 
been kept alive by ancestor- worship ; and although 
the Japanese themselves do not consider that a 
woman is capable of transmitting to her offspring 
hereditary characteristics, one cannot doubt for 
an instant but that the spirit of endurance and 
courage and self-sacrifice in the Japanese soldier 
are gifts which he inherits from his mother, 
rather than from his indulgent, egotistical father. 
For all that is best in a Japanese man, be he 
soldier or politician, must come from his long line 
of nobly-lived female ancestors ; women who have 
never shirked or repined at fulfilling their hard 
lot, or in obeying to the last letter the peculiar 
moral teachings of their religious dogma. In the 
intentions of the heart the Japanese woman is a 
touching example of filial devotion and self- 
extinction ; for, to keep the fifth commandment 
according to her highest ideal, she will sell herself 
joyfully as a beautiful young girl to a house of ill- 
fame so as to gain money for her parents ; and as a 

125 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

mother she will sacrifice her children's happiness, 
and even their lives if circumstances demand it, to 
her parents' welfare. Indeed, a woman will violate 
her finest feelings to obey her parents' wishes ; and 
it is quite possible for even gentle-hearted, devoted 
parents to desire their daughters to sacrifice them- 
selves to the most degrading of all professions for 
their sakes. 

The position of women and the subject of filial 
submission is one of the points upon which the 
most earnest Buddhists, who are really desirous 
for the welfare of their fellow-creatures, are now 
agreeing that in the Christian teachings there are 
some morals worthy of their close attention and 
consideration, for it is only in Christian countries 
that they can find a high standard of respect and 
veneration for women. In Japan it is perhaps a 
woman's humility of spirit and her entire disbelief 
in her own self-worthiness which has made her an 
object of much higher veneration in the eyes of the 
Western world than that of her mankind. For 
what we may choose to call the sins and 
immoralities of a woman's life in Japan she 
commits from the highest purpose. They are 
actions of absolute filial devotion. Her very faults 
in our eyes are her highest virtues in the eyes of 
her parents, whereas a man's sins and shortcomings 
in Japan are but the ordinary self-indulgences and 
vices of his spoilt and egotistically - reared sex, 
126 



KEEPING THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT 

who are taught that a wife should look upon a 
husband as if he were heaven itself, and upon his 
relatives as celestial relations. 

The most common plot for a romance or a 
popular drama in Japan is that of filial piety. 
The struggle between maternal and filial love is a 
topic upon which no woman is ever weary of read- 
ing or of hearing. Take, for instance, the case 
where some powerful enemy will only spare the 
parents of the beautiful heroine if she consents to 
become his concubine. At first her purity shrinks 
from it, and she refuses. But her mother entreats 
her to remember her duty towards her parents ; 
and so, to save her mother and father, not her 
own little children be it noted, she gives herself 
up to the enemy. The moral, of course, is her 
future higher state for this act of filial devotion. 

In Japan the keeping of the fifth commandment, 
like the keeping of all the others, seems to be left 
chiefly to the women. 

The Japanese man is not called upon for quite 
such sensational sacrifices as the Japanese woman, 
but they would be galling enough if it were not 
that loyalty to his Emperor, his country and his 
ancestors is the breath of his nostrils to a Japanese. 
The tribal system, which makes the eldest male 
of a family the chief of all the descendants of one 
man, is almost as strong in Japan as it is among 
the aborigines of Australia. They may even live 

127 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

under the same roof; for not only do the sons 
continue part of the paternal household after they 
are married, but, not content wdth this, it is usual 
for them, after their father's death, to continue 
members of their eldest brother's household, until 
the progress of events forces them to set up 
establishments for themselves. And they are 
prepared to carry their observance of the fifth 
commandment to obeying the elder brother as a 
parent, in the same way as a man's wife always has 
to obey not only her father-in-law and mother-in- 
law, but any elder brothers that he may have, and 
any wives they may have. 

The fact that Japanese gentlemen never went 
into business is to some extent answerable for this, 
just as we see in England three or four old-maid 
sisters with small annuities, who would be in poverty 
if they lived separately, get along comfortably by 
living together. So in Japan, which is a land of 
poor people, it was easier for a family of brothers 
to maintain their dignity by leaving the property 
undivided and sharing a home. If a brother wished 
very much to start on his own account, he had to 
be allowed to do so, but it was a breach of the 
Japanese fifth commandment. 

As the upper classes gradually take to commerce, 
this will be altered automatically ; but it will take a 
long time before the Japanese withdraws the un- 
questioning obedience which he yields to his father, 
128 



KEEPING THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT 

although a person notoriously inferior to himself in 
capacity and position. 

Springing from and modifying this extraordinary 
devotion to the fifth commandment is the Japanese 
habit of retiring from business or the control of 
property at an age which we should consider the 
prime of life. The old-fashioned Japanese, in fact, 
retired as soon as his son or his children were old 
enough to keep him. In those days he made over 
his property as he now makes over his business if 
he is in trade. His children in reality only assume 
the responsibilities ; the best of everything goes to 
the honourable parents, who spend the afternoon 
and evening of their life in contemplation and 
writing poetry. Everybody in Japan is a poet ; and 
as the Japanese have no rhymes, and hardly any 
rules for poetry except the commendable habit of 
considering five or seven lines of a few syllables each 
the correct length for a poem, it is not surprising to 
learn that beauty of handwriting is the most valued 
feature in verse-writing. Even being a bad poet 
does not rob a father of his semi-divine position in 
his children's eyes ; so long as his father is alive the 
Japanese looks upon himself as a boy, though he 
may be sixty. His father's most unreasonable 
wish is law so long as it does not conflict with the 
authority of the police. The only recognised mode 
of getting out of it is the family council, which 
suggests that what the father asks would be dis- 

9 129 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

agreeable to the ancestors, who stand in the same 
heavenly relation to him in which he stands to his 
children. But in practice Japanese parents are 
fairly level-headed, except when it is a question of 
sacrificing the comfort or the prospects of the son's 
wife or children to the selfishness of his parents. 
As I have said above, a Japanese parent will accept 
the greatest sacrifices from his children in the same 
matter-of-course way as a lady lets you give up 
your seat or open the door for her in Europe. 

It is the woman upon whom the fifth command- 
ment weighs most severely in Japan, and the hardest 
part of it is that her sacrifices are not made for the 
parents to whom she was born, but the parents 
selected for her by the matrimonial agent who 
engaged her for her husband. It is her father-in- 
law and her mother-in-law and her sisters-in-law 
that she has to love, honour, and obey, till it is her 
turn to be a mother-in-law. No wonder that the 
Japanese mother-in-law is so often soured. From 
the time that, at the marrying age of sixteen, she be- 
comes their child, she makes and mends and brushes 
their clothes, gets up in the small hours of the 
morning to give them the first dose of the honour- 
able tea, and waits on them and entertains them 
the whole day long, except when she is required 
for doing the marketing, looking after the servants, 
and the things that are absolutely necessary for her 
children. 
130 



KEEPING THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT 

Let no one imagine, after contemplating this 
terrible picture, that the lot of the Japanese wife is 
worse than the lot of the Christian slaves of the 
Mahdi. There are stepmothers in Japan who are 
monsters compared to the stepmothers of European 
fiction, but, as a whole, the system of wife-slavery 
works out pretty well in practice, like other 
monstrous regulations in Japan, the fact being 
that Japan is an Oriental country, and that in 
Oriental countries constitutional government is 
not a feature of family life. But Japan is also the 
country in which the gentle rule of Buddhism has 
produced its finest flowers. 



131 



PART II 

A JAPANESE HISTORY OF 
NAPOLEON 

WITH IJVES OF PETER THE GREAT, ALEXANDER 
THE GREAT, AND ARISTOTLE 

Written by a Japanese In the first half of the Nineteenth Century, 

With illustrations by a native artist, and a fetu corrections 

of proper names by S. H. 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

WITH LIVES OF PETER THE GREAT, ALEXANDER 
THE GREAT, AND ARISTOTLE 

Note by the Edito7\ 

This history was written in the first half of the 
nineteenth century. It has the highest extrinsic 
interest, as having been written while Japan was 
entirely cut off from the Western world, long 
before Commander Perry's famous expedition 
which reopened it. One would not have expected 
the renown even of Napoleon to have pierced the 
impenetrable veil which had hung over Japan for 
a couple of centuries. 

It was originally my intention to give an explana- 
tion of all the personages, places, and events men- 
tioned in the following history of Napoleon, which 
was written apparently soon after the transference 
of his body from St Helena to its present resting- 
place in the Invalides. But I saw that the attempt 
to supply a sufficient commentary would overburden 
the book, so I have contented myself with giving a 
few verbal corrections, chiefly of names. 

135 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

For although the history sets down the main 
events of Napoleon's life in a rough and ready way, 
it is likewise a tissue of almost unemendable 
mistakes. The King of Baylen and the King of 
Bautzen are European monarchs, of the same 
importance as the Emperor of Austria and the 
King of Prussia. There is a country called Bey, 
which shares a Duke with Clives. The Battle of 
Trafalgar is considered unworthy of attention, and 
the English do not appear to have taken any con- 
siderable part in the fighting at Waterloo. The 
history reads as if it had been derived from very 
incorrect and partial Dutch sources, but it is suffi- 
ciently wonderful that a Japanese history of 
Napoleon should have been written at all before 
Commodore Perry had reopened the relations 
between Japan and the civilised world in 1854. 
The allusions to Holland verge on the comical : 
they compare it to ancient Greece. 

The first illustration gives a picture of Napoleon 
seated in his royal robes on a throne, both being 
freely Japanised. On his right is seated the Pope ; 
Napoleon's sister, called here the Empress Eliza of 
Piombino, and Peter HI., presumably of Russia ; the 
Emperor Francis of Austria ; the King of Holland, 
and Napoleon's brother Joseph (whom he made King 
of Spain). I do not know the exact subject ; but as 
Pope Pius VII. went to Paris to crown Napoleon, 
it is presumably the Emperor'js coronation. 
136 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

In illustration ii., which is entitled " Drill on the 
Rhine," the scenery is entirely Japanese, and the 
men are being drilled in the Japanese exercise 
of quarterstafF. The umpire may be observed 
directing them with his fan, as he does in a modern 
wrestling-match. Napoleon and his staff wear 
seventeenth century costumes. 

Illustration number iii. is extremely funny. It 
represents the marriage ceremony between 
Napoleon and the Empress Josephine, but every- 
thing is done in the typical Japanese style. The 
gigantic iron candlesticks, with rush candles impaled 
on their spikes, stand upon the floor. The table is 
only about a foot high, and is laden with Japanese 
delicacies. Napoleon and Josephine are ac- 
companied only by Josephine's maid and the two 
elderly persons who have arranged the wedding. 
Napoleon is engaged in drinking one of the three- 
times-three cups of sake which are drunk by bride- 
groom and bride from the same cup, first at the 
banquet and afterwards in their bedroom, which 
gives the religious sanction to a Japanese marriage, 
though the only binding part about it is the change 
in the registration of the bride, from her father's 
possessions to her husband's, at the local police- 
court. The sake is being poured from a most 
peculiar kettle, highly ornamented, with a cock 
standing upon the lid. The windows are paper, 
divided into tiny squares like Japanese windows. 

137 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

The non- Japanese features in this picture are the 
arches of the room and the chairs. 

Illustration iv. gives a picture of an assassin in 
Japanese armour, firing a Japanese blunderbuss at 
a carriage on a causeway crossing a marsh, like the 
causeways you get between Kyoto and Lake Biwa. 

This picture refers to the attempt at assassination 
mentioned at the beginning of chapter ii. in the 
Life of Napoleon. It is a ludicrous misrepresenta- 
tion, because the attempt was made with a bomb, 
and not with a musket. INIr J. H. Rose says in his 
Life of Napoleon : — 

" On the third day of Nivose (December 24th, 1 800), as the 
First Consul was driving to the opei-a to hear Haydn's oratorio, 
The Creation, his carriage was shaken by a terrible explosion. 
A bomb had burst between his carriage and that of Josephine, 
which was following. Neither was injured, though many spec- 
tators were killed or wounded. ' Josephine,' he calmly said, as 
she entered the box, ' those rascals wanted to blow me up : send 
for a copy of the music' But under this cool demeanour he 
nursed a determination of vengeance against his political foes, 
the Jacobins.'' 

Illustration v. represents Napoleon burning the 
British ambassador, an event alluded to in the 
text, where he is preposterously called the Due 
d'Enghien. The ambassador, stark naked and 
yelling, is tied to four posts over a pit of flames, 
fed apparently with charcoal piled up in Japanese 
baskets. The guards are armed with battleaxes. 

Illustration vi. is very amusing. It represents 
the French attack on Moscow. Moscow is a lofty 
138 



To back on p. 138 







Drill on 



To back on p. 139. 




the Rhine. 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

mediteval fortress. Guns of an antique Asiatic 
pattern are standing in the open, firing at it. The 
Russian general with his staff is depicted standing 
outside the walls, because he could not be seen if he 
were inside. The sea, with the French fleet on 
it, washes Moscow on the left, where a swarm of 
French spearmen crowd the shore. 

Illustration vii. represents Napoleon as a 
prisoner at St Helena, in rags, with bare arms and 
feet, sitting on an anvil under a bamboo shed, 
dressed like John Bunyan in the preface to the 
Pilgrims Prog?^ess. He is guarded by four 
English pikemen in armour, one of whom is 
pointing in scorn and another gigghng at him. 
In the distance are mountains and the sea and 
British men-of-war — rather well done. 

Illustration viii. represents Napoleon's funeral 
at Paris. Most of the picture is taken up with a 
gigantic car, with wheels nine feet high, drawn by 
ten horses, and adorned with a great " N " and a 
quantity of fleur-de-lis. The latter ornamenta- 
tion does not seem very probable, but it is entirely 
thrown into the shade by the rest of the Japanese 
artist's conception, for he makes the car like the 
sacred palanquin or mekosJii used at a Japanese 
temple when the god is taken out for a procession 
or to visit another deity. The mekoshi are 
enormously high and large, and are carried on the 
shoulders of a swarm of coolies. Napoleon's 

139 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

funeral car has a little image of the Virgin dangling 
from each corner of its top under a Japanese lamp 
ornament, and is adorned with Shogun knots and 
the gilt tassels used for the mekoshi. I have 
only reproduced these pictures, but there are others, 
including quite a good picture of the city of Paris in 
the eighteenth century, a very comical picture of the 
manufacture of firearms, and others of the founding 
of cannon, the building of a frigate, and the 
building of a steamer, which is a little previous, and 
can only have been reproduced as the latest novelty 
at the time that the book was written. 

Uniform with the Napoleon book are brief lives, 
also illustrated, of Peter the Great, Alexander the 
Great, and Aristotle. 



In the Life of Peter the Great, the fii'st picture 
represents Peter himself, an absurd person ^^^th a 
wig, sitting in front of a building like the orangery 
in Kensington Gardens, talking to a masculine- 
looking woman, described as Sophia Strelitz. 

The second, the only one that I have the space 
to reproduce, represents Peter the Great in full 
armour on a richly caparisoned horse, chasing 
Charles XII. of Sweden, who is also in full armour 
and flying at full gallop. Peter has Pultowa for 
his background ; Charles, not very appropriately, a 
group of cocoanut palms. 
140 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

The other picture in this volume represents the 
castle of Azov and Russian frigates sent to Turkey. 
Peter the Great, it will be remembered, fell into 
the power of the Turks, and had practically to be 
ransomed in the middle of his victorious contest 
with Sweden. 

The Life of Alexander the Great has only one 
illustration — Alexander in a seventeenth century 
costume, standing under the inevitable cocoanut 
palms, between the sun and Diogenes. The sun is 
shooting palpable rays direct at Diogenes, a very 
elegant young man, dressed in a costume which 
would have been more appropriate to Pico della 
Mirandola, and is keeping his back religiously 
turned to Alexander, who looks like Louis XI. at 
the St James's Theatre. 

Aristotle is not thought worthy of illustration, 
though one would have given much for a Japanese 
version of Raphael's Vatican fresco of Aristotle and 
Plato, the latter destined without doubt to become 
one of the most popular authors with the Japanese. 

To English Readers — a Note by the 
Japanese Translator. 

You people who read this book will laugh at 
my translation. I am content, for the tragedian 

141 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

may play a comic part. In this book I am a 
buffoon, for I have translated word for word, 
without thinking of your English idioms. So the 
more you laugh the more I shall be pleased. 

Y. M. 



Preface by the Japanese Author. 

Nowadays all the Western countries fight 
against each other for their own interest. France 
is the most distinguished, through the greatest 
hero, whose name is " Napoleon." He was born 
in the island of Corsica. Even in his childhood 
he was entirely different to other children. When 
he came of age he showed great wisdom and 
abihty. Napoleon had at different times ruled all 
the European countries except England, created 
new laws, encouraged all branches of science, and 
was very good to the poor, but at the same time 
he had done most cruel deeds. Perhaps he was 
the greatest hero ever known in the Western 
countries ; but if you compare him to the heroes 
in our own (Japanese) history, their deeds and 
morals are as wide apart as the pig and the lion. 
However, if you have time to idle by your fireside 
in winter evenings, it may be worth your while 
to read this history of Western heroes. 



142 



CHAPTER 1 

The Pretender Mikado of France in Europe, 
whose surname is Bonaparte and Christian name 
Napoleon, was born in Ajaccio in Corsica island, 
5th of the second month (the fifth year at Meiwa) 
1765. Once Ajaccio was not a French dominion, 
but about this time it belonged to France, and 
Napoleon claimed to be French by birth, and 
wished to be popular among the French, and 
therefore deceived them, saying he had been born 
5th of eighth month 1769. Even this one thing 
proves his deceitful nature, also his ability to rule, 
not only France, but all Europe. 

His father was called Charles Bonaparte ; he 
was of noble Corsican blood ; his mother was 
named Maria Laetitia Ramolina, younger sister 
of Cardinal Fels. Hearing of her beauty, Charles 
married her, and they had five sons and three 
daughters, Napoleon being the second son — 
surnamed Napoleoni. 

When quite young he was very thoughtful and 
studious, and did not like the buoyant manner of 

143 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

the Corsicans. When about eight or nine years 
of age, Maraiibeau Calab, of Corsica island, intro- 
duced him to the mihtary college at Brienne. 
When iNIaraubeau was General in Corsica, he was 
indebted to Napoleon's mother; therefore he did 
all that he could for Napoleon. When the latter 
entered the military college he did not care to 
play with his schoolfellows, but was always think- 
ing of history and surveying, and had a keen 
admiration for all historical heroes. He used to 
like talking of war, and studied all the tactics of 
war. At that time few people in France cared to 
study the war, so his ideas were far above those 
of his friends, and he often made detachments of 
his schoolfellows and fought with them. Though 
he was youngest of them, he was a wonderful 
organiser and very strict, and always won with a 
smaller detachment. 

It was our fifth year of the Serpent of Tenmei 
(1784) when he was raised to the rank of an 
officer. The military authorities, seeing his ability, 
greatly respected him. 

After a while he left Brienne and entered the 
military college at Paris, where he stayed for 
several years. When seventeen years of age he was 
raised to Second Lieutenant of the Artillery. 

At this time civil war broke out in France, 
and from the first Napoleon had great sympathy 
with the revolutionists. He therefore gave up 
144 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

his duty and returned to Corsica, with Patriot 
Paoli, who promised him to protect his family ; 
but when they returned to Corsica, Napoleon was 
too strong-minded to agree with Paoli, so the 
latter drove away all Napoleon's family and allies. 
When they arrived at Marseilles the citizens 
opposed Napoleon and his party, consequently 
they had great difficulty and hardships. His 
younger sister did all his housekeeping, and went 
to the city each day to buy provisions, which 
gave him his democratic ideas, and he volunteered 
for the Jacobin party. 

There was a man named Barras who had great 
influence, and made Napoleon head of the National 
Frugnardelind, also Second Lieutenant of the 
Artillery. Then each time Napoleon went to 
war he was so brave and conquered his opponents ; 
finally Toulon was surrendered to him. At this 
time Napoleon was only twenty-six years of age ; 
he was then raised to the rank of Battalion Chef; 
after one year he was again raised to Brigadier 
General, to fight against Italy. Then the armies 
who fought against Italy were badly organised ; in 
consequence of which they were defeated, and 
Napoleon was appointed to take over the leader- 
ship. This was the first time Napoleon had had 
the opportunity of planning it as he thought best ; 
but unfortunately he had to share Robespierre's 
fate (the latter was found guilty and sentenced). 

10 145 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Robespierre was very cruel to his men, so the 
Jacobin party held a council of war and sent 
pamphlets to all the states to disarm and imprison 
Robespierre the terrorist. Napoleon escaped to 
Nice, where he was also imprisoned. After some 
time he was released, but his military title wrh 
taken from him. He fled to Paris to plead his own 
cause, but the Government rejected his petition ; 
consequently he was left solitary and without 
sympathy, which made him flee from France and 
go to Turkey, where he hoped to obtain a 
prosperous life, but was unsuccessful ; so returned 
to France and became Commander of the Artillery, 
to fight against Holland. 

Just as he had prepared to start, some priest 
in Paris raised a rebellion. General Barras had to 
quiet them, and made Napoleon commander of a 
battaUon. He defeated them. In 1795, eighth 
year of the Dragon of Kwansei, the royal party of 
France wanted to fight the democratic party. The 
Jacobins, remembering Napoleon's great ability, 
appointed him Deficit - General. After three 
months, in the year 1794, General Barras made 
Napoleon Director, to fight against Italy. General 
Barras was very friendly with the widow of the 
late General Beauharnais, who wanted to imprison 
Napoleon, and made the latter marry her. She was 
very rich, which was of great help to Napoleon. 

He got all the power over the French army 
146 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

and invaded Italy, but his soldiers were very weak, 
and their armaments were deficient in many ways. 
At that time Austria had 60,000 men, under the 
command of General Beaulieu ; but Napoleon 
was very skilled in the art of war, so he easily 
defeated the enemy at Monte Notate on the 13th 
of fourth month. The next day he defeated them 
at Millesimo and Dego. The armies of Piedmont 
were scattered by Napoleon, who charged their 
headquarters. On the 14th of fourth month 
(eleventh year of the Horse of Kwansei, 1797) 
he fought Duke Charles of Leoben's party and 
defeated them; the enemy surrendered, and sent 
an envoy of peace to Campo Formio. A long 
time before this Napoleon took the \^enetian 
Republic, and gave part of this country to Austria, 
and in return Austria gave him Holland. Soon 
after, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief and 
defeated the English in Egypt on the 19th of the 
fifth month — eleventh year of Sheep of Kwansei 
(1798). He got together all his warships; they 
were armed with 30,000 well-discipHned soldiers, 
and started from Toulon, and on his way he besieged 
and took Malta and landed at Alexandria, and left 
his warships behind and invaded England, also 
besieged Cairo. On the 1st of the eighth month 
Nelson of England came to Alexandria with many 
warships and fought the French fleet at Aboukir, 
and all men and boats were entirely destroyed, 

147 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

except two small ones which escaped to Malta. 
This was Napoleon's first failure. 

In the ninth month Turkey declared war 
against Napoleon. He had enemies on both sides 
—Turkish before him and the English at the back 
of him — but this did not daunt him, and he was 
busy fighting Egypt, but was not altogether 
successful. 

One of Napoleon's staff, Desaix, defeated the 
Turkish Marshal Mouratby at Sedoman on the 
21st of tenth month. Cairo rebelled against 
Napoleon again; he sent an army and conquered 
them. Soon after, another rebellion broke out 
in Syria ; on the 22nd of the twelfth month he and 
the army of 12,000 men went to the front, and 
sent another army to the Isthmus of Suez to find 
out whether it was between the Mediterranean and 
Red Sea, as the people said. He besieged Jaffa 
(then called Joppa) in the twelfth year of the 
ISIonkey of Kwansei. He entered Acre, where he 
stopped his army. He left many invalid soldiers 
there, and returned to Cairo on the 14th of the 
sixth month. 

The French army was much discouraged. He 
was busy making fresh preparations. Some Turkish 
warships came to Aboukir and took the castle, 
and on the 26th of the same month Napoleon 
fought the Turks and regained his castle. This 
is the end of the Egyptian fight. 
148 



To hack on i\ 148. 



Josephine. 



^^ ^^^ %: % ^ fti 



^M. 




Maniage of Josephine 



To hack on p. 149. 




and Napoleon. 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

At this time Napoleon got an urgent message 
from his own country, which said that an Enghsh 
army had invaded France and was very strong 
and dangerous. Sieyes held a council meeting, 
and appointed Napoleon commander to rescue 
the French army, which was in a distressing con- 
dition. So the latter left one of his staff named 
Kleber to take his place in Egypt, and himself 
left Egypt, with I^annes, Murat, Belthail, Marmont, 
and others, on the 23rd of the eighth month ; 
they arrived at Frejus the 9th of the tenth month, 
where he left all his boats and marched inland 
to Paris with great triumph. As he had had 
great victories, many Parisians were glad to see 
him back home, but there were not a few who 
disliked him, and were afraid of his cunning and 
deceit, and feared that he might one day give 
trouble to his own country. 

Some old diplomatists appointed him head of 
the army and state, and they expected to found 
a democratic party. On the 9th of the eleventh 
month (the thirteenth year of the Tiger of Kwan- 
sei — 1799) Napoleon changed all the system of 
government. Several old diplomatists and five 
hundred officers held a council meeting at St Cloud. 
Napoleon himself attended the meeting with the 
Guard. Some diplomatists complained because 
Napoleon was made dictator, as it was very in- 
convenient to them ; several shouted " Napoleon," 

149 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

from all sides applauded him. One of them 
caught Napoleon's clothes and drew a dagger. 
Marshal Lefevre, with some of his guard, rescued 
Napoleon. By that time Murat had come to the 
rescue with some of his soldiers, and drew away 
the line with their bayonets. 

The next day a few people who knew the 
secrecy of the meeting discussed the matter, and 
stopped the dictator ; also made them new officers 
instead ; they were called Professional Council, 
and let Napoleon be one of them ; the others 
were called Sieyes and Ducos. On the 17th of the 
eleventh month these three started their duties; 
they settled everything quickly, and on the 16th 
of the twelfth month they announced a fresh 
government. This was the end of the fourth 
revolution of the French Republic, and the term of 
Napoleon as First Consul was ten years. He 
picked up two of his favourites to assist him, 
one named Consul Cambaceres and one Consul 
Lebrun. 

At this time Italy was taken by his enemy, 
and Germany, Russia, Naples, and Turkey had 
studied to rebel against Napoleon. England also 
broke its oath of allegiance. Napoleon, seeing his 
country in great danger, held a council meeting at 
Dijon, the fifth month first year of the Chicken 
of KyoAva (1800). He sent his army to Italy, 
crossing Mount St Bernard. Before this, he 
150 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

ordered Marshal Massena to fight against Italy ; 
but the latter, seeing the superiority of the Italian 
army, fled. Then Napoleon himself went to 
command the forces. 

On the 4th of the sixth month of the same year 
he made his army's headquarters at Milan, and 
rescued the Republican party at St Alpin ; at 
the same time General Moreau invaded Germany, 
and met the Austrian army, which was on its way 
back after a victory at Novi. General Moreau 
surrounded them ; on the 14th and 15th they 
fought severely at Marengo, between Alexandria 
and Tentoura. Both armies were so brave and 
fought so well that it was one of the worst battles 
in history. After the French army was victorious, 
on the 16th a treaty of peace was drawn up and 
signed, and Austria agreed to give up the northern 
part of Italy to France. 



15] 



CHAPTER II 

Napoleon left Marshal JNIassena in Italy and 
returned to Paris. It was the 1st day of the 
seventh month of the first year of the Chicken 
of Kyowa (1800). Some Parisians were pleased 
to see him back, but others hated him, for they 
thought in time he would turn traitor to his 
country. 

In the tenth month he imprisoned several people 
who plotted against him. In the twelfth month 
one of them threw a bomb at him, but missed 
his aim. The assassinator was put to death. 

The first month and the second year of the 
Dog of Kyowa (1801), Napoleon ordered some 
spies to find out who was plotting against him, 
regardless as to their rank, and imprisoned a 
hundred and thirty members of the Jacobin party, 
and banished seventy of them. He also killed 
Alma, Selaschi, at the guillotine. Detectives were 
sent to each house in Paris, and if anyone was 
found hiding implements of war it was taken and 
locked in the go\'ernment magazine. 
152 



To hack on p. 152. 



1 *T *^ ?'^^t 







Napoleon going to be 



To hack on p. 153. 




killed by assassios. 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

Some time before this (on the 3rd of the ninth 
month of the previous year) he made a com- 
mercial treaty with North America, also with 
Austria, as the latter made proposals of peace 
with France, giving France all the land between 
the Rhine and Holland. It was the 9th of the 
second month of the second year of the Dog of 
Kyowa (1801), but England would not join the 
alliance, and on the 28th day of the third month 
he made a treaty with two Sicilian kings. On 
the 1.5th day of the seventh month he made a 
concordat with the greatest sacred priest (the 
Pope). 

On the 24th of the eighth month he allied with 
Haranzu Bey (in Japanese version), and on the 
28th of the same month he made peace with the 
late Batavian party. On the 29th of the ninth 
month he had a treaty of peace in Madrid with 
Portugal, and on the 1st of the tenth month 
with England, and on the 8th of the same month 
treaty of peace with Russia and Turkey. On 
the 9th of the eleventh month he made a declara- 
tion of peace, to which the envoys of the different 
countries were invited, and Napoleon was heartily 
congratulated on his success as First Consul. 
Before this, in June, the French army was defeated 
in Egypt, and had to return the foreign possessions 
to Egypt, and the few survivors managed to escape 
to France. All the people looked upon it as a 

153 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

great disgrace ; but the nation being so taken up 
with the peace declarations, forgot their own 
grievance. 

Napoleon wanted to improve all sciences and 
treaties, also to enlarge the navy, and encourage 
colonisation, by which you will see Napoleon was 
not only a great soldier but a clever statesman 
as well. 

In the first month of the third year of the Wild 
Boar of Kyowa (1802) he commanded his own 
guard as First Consul and went to Lyons, where 
he restored the St Alpin party. All the governors 
in France appointed Napoleon to superintend that 
party. At that time he had a treaty of peace 
with Great Britain at Amiens. At this time he 
had also been very successful with colonisation, 
and already saw the fruit of his labour ; then 
started improving the national laws ; and he 
acquainted the Pope with the result of the temple, 
and restored many schools which had before been 
destroyed. Napoleon also created some new laws 
for the benefit of the emigrants, which policy the 
French people were very pleased with, and he 
became very popular among the folk. 

On the 8th of the fifth month, at the council 
meeting, they reappointed Napoleon as First 
Consul for another ten years, which office he 
wiUingly accepted, and undertook all duties con- 
nected with it without any help. More than half 
154 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

the populace wanted him to hold this position for 
the remainder of his life ; they praised the deeds 
of his early life, and offered him a larger body- 
guard, by which he obtained great power, and 
used it to overthrow the oppressors of the people. 
He made himself so popular that the nation got 
up a petition and sent to the council meeting to 
have him appointed Consul for ever. 

On the 2nd of the eighth month the meeting 
granted this petition, by which Napoleon held the 
reins of government firmly in his hands, and 
nothing could be done without his approval. The 
governors were so loyal that they took an oath 
of allegiance to him. Napoleon, seeing everything 
was going smoothly in his country, became 
ambitious to invade other countries ; on the 26th 
of the eighth month he annexed the island of 
Elba to the French RepubHc, also Piedmont and 
the Duchy of Parma; the latter was an inde- 
pendent country previous to this, and used to be 
disturbed by anarchist parties, but now enjoyed 
peace under the French RepubHc. Napoleon 
made fresh laws for this new territory, established 
many schools, and regulated the roads and houses, 
and also made canals. This gave employment to 
the populace, and the people enjoyed their welfare. 

While Napoleon established this charitable policy, 
England became very jealous. He got one of 
the Enghsh daily papers which said, "France 

155 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

had a treaty of peace with us only to escape 
danger. Now France is building warships ; when 
her naval power equals ours she will break her 
oath and fight against us." Napoleon said, " If this 
is the opinion of the English people, England will 
never be satisfied with the treaty she has made 
with us, therefore it is better for us to make hostile 
advances." For this reason he made all prepara- 
tions for war. Before war had been declared, letters 
passed between them, each country accusing the 
other of breaking its oath of allegiance. 

It was the first year of the Rat of Bunkwa 
(1803) war was declared between England and 
France. 

Hanover, which lies between these two countries, 
and belonged to England, and at this time Napoleon 
sent Marshal Mortier to besiege this country. On 
the 3rd of the sixth month they took an oath at 
Scheveningen, in spite of which they ransacked all 
the castles. Though England and Hanover had 
allied, the former did not come to help the lat- 
ter, for which reason France besieged Hanover. 
Germany also wanted to ally with France and 
fight against England. The whole European con- 
tinent deserted the latter, and made a new law 
forbidding English ships to land at any of their 
ports. 

On the 20th of the sixth month of the same 
year he prohibited all commercial transactions with 
156 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

England, and gathered the whole French fleet 
together between Havre and Ostend, but they 
did not yet commence fighting operations, though 
England had already sent ships to many German 
and French ports, and invaded the land between 
the Elba and Weser. On the 15th of the second 
month of the second year of the Ox of Bunkwa 
(1804) the anarchists attempted to assassinate 
Napoleon, but were unsuccessful, and forty-three 
of them were imprisoned, including Moreau, 
Pichegru, and Georges. At the same time he 
found out that this anarchist party held secret 
communications with the English ambassador 
(Duke d'Enghien). Several French people who 
had emigrated to different parts also had secret 
communications with these conspirators, so Napoleon 
commanded General Colli to lead two battalions, 
and on the 15th of the third month they crossed 
the river Rhine and secretly landed at Kiel and 
Dettingen, and captured English and other 
ambassadors ; after sending them to be court- 
martialled in Paris, burnt them at the stake. 
Russia hearing this, complained to France that 
it was against the international law to kill 
ambassadors belonging to other countries. 
Napoleon sent reply that he could not alter this 
manner of punishing traitors. Someone told 
Napoleon that the English minister (Francis 
Tallyrand) at Munich and Spencer Smith at 

157 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Stuttgart intended raising another rebellion in 
France ; these two returned to England and 
pleaded their innocence, so that the English 
government explained to Napoleon for them, but 
as a matter of fact they were really guilty. All 
the officers in France held a meeting, and came 
to the conclusion that all the trouble was the 
result of having a republic instead of an empire, 
and therefore decided to elect an Emperor. On 
the 30th of the third month of the second year 
of the Ox of Bunkwa (1804) the tribunal made the 
following proclamation : — " Because our country 
was a republican one and had no royal family to 
look up to, it caused great trouble to the govern- 
ment, for which reason it is necessary to have an 
Emperor elected, and give him the entire power ; 
also that the Bonaparte family should succeed to 
the throne." 

The President of the French Republic agreed to 
this proclamation, and all said that this had long 
been their desire. On the 18th of the fifth month 
of the same year the senate held a council meet- 
ing ; and on the 20th day of the same month they 
put on the throne the first Bonaparte, whose 
Christian name was Napoleon. At the same time 
several generals, who had been head of their 
barracks, thought it might be dangerous for the 
future to crown Napoleon, therefore it was a 
great grief to them when he was elected as 
158 



I 



fc-. 



To hack on p, 158. 



•^lil P^ 







Napoleon buniinj 



To back OH p. 159. 




the British Auibassador. 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

Emperor. But it was of infinite advantage to 
Napoleon to be able to use his own influence, and 
he wished his subjects to be very loyal to him. He 
sentenced many disobedient subjects, among whom 
were Pichegru, who was put into prison and died 
there ; also Moreau, who knew all the traitors, but 
was not concerned in this conspiracy, on which 
account he was released from prison and banished 
to America. On the 25th of the sixth month 
Georges and nine of his confederates were put to 
death, several of them were released, and others had 
to take holy orders. So in this way Napoleon got 
rid of all who opposed him. Since he came to the 
throne his ambition to rule all Europe had become 
stronger still, and at this time the French army 
was better trained than that of any other country, 
besides all of which, other nations were afraid of 
Napoleon's strength and determination. On the 
other hand, all the neighbouring countries were 
very weak and indolent ; also they had no one ready 
to take up the lead for them, which made it easy 
for Napoleon to annex these countries to his own. 

On the 2nd of the twelfth month of the same 
year the Pope came to Paris to crown Napoleon, 
who had for some time past wanted to invade 
Italy, but thought it wiser to wait until after his 
coronation, and started the invasion immediately 
after this had taken place, and destroyed all the 
republican parties which he had formerly assisted. 

159 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

On the 15th of the third month of the third 
year of the Tiger of Bunkwa (1805), Prince Eugene 
de Beauharnais was elected King of Italy, and his 
younger sister Eliza as Princess de Piombine, and 
her husband as Prince of Legs. He also annexed 
Piacenza and all states of Piedmont to France. 
He then went to Paris from Italy with his whole 
army, and found that Austria had allied with 
England and Russia. He at once invaded 
Germany, and on the 25th of the ninth month 
crossed the river Rhine and made a treaty of peace 
with Bauzen Wurtemburg. At this time Baden 
betrayed Germany and sided with Napoleon, and 
wherever he went was victorious. 

On the 13th of the eleventh month in the second 
year of the Tiger (1805), Marshal Murat occupied 
Vienna, and at the same time Napoleon took 
possession of Schoenbrunn. 

On the 2nd of the twelfth month of the same 
year he defeated the Russians at Austerhtz. The 
German Emperor made proposals of peace. On 
the 26th of the same month Napoleon and the 
German Emperor met and took oath at Freyburg. 
Germany had to cede its most fertile land to 
France. Bauzen, Wurtemburg, and Baylen became 
empires, giving each their own emperor. Prussia 
gave Hanover over to France and proposed peace 
with that country, but as Hanover is related to 
England, the latter was at enmity with Prussia 
160 



To lack on p. 160. 



The Empress Eliza 
Piombino. 



The Bishop of Rome, 
i.e., the Pope Pius VII. 



x ±1 m 




The Coronation of 



Napoleon, 
iperor of France. 



To hack on p. 161. 



Francis, The 

Emperor of Austria. King of Holland. 




Napoleou at Paris. 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

for giving Hanover up to France without their 
consent, and proclaimed war. In the fourth year 
of the Rabbit of Bunkwa (1806), the cabinet 
ministers presented Napoleon with the title of 
Daimio (which means the Great). Through all 
this he became very haughty ; he made his son 
(a King of Italy) marry the daughter of the King 
of Baylen, also made Josephine (his niece) marry 
the Crown Prince of Bauzen. In the third month 
of the same year Napoleon made Murat Grand 
Duke of Clives and Bey, and made his brother 
Joseph King of Syria and Napoli. At this time 
Venetia became a French territory, and Napoleon 
gave his sister Pauline the title of Duchess of 
Gat soli ; he gave the Minister of War, Marshal 
Belthail, the castle of Neufchatel. Napoleon 
raised Tallyrand to Duke of Brie vents, and 
Bernadotti to Prince of Pante Corva, and all the 
other officers and soldiers received some reward, 
according to their merit during the war. 

On the 11th of the seventh month in the fourth 
year of the Rabbit of Bunkwa (1806) he made his 
headquarters on the Rhine. In the 8th month of 
the same year the Emperor of Germany resigned, 
and the whole government was destroyed. 

Although Russia had proposed peace to France, 
the nation did not like the tyranny of the French 
government, and rebelled against Napoleon. They 
had a severe fight at Jena and Auerstadt, and were 

11 161 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

completely defeated. All other strong fortresses 
had surrendered to France, and Saxony was also 
cut off from Prussia. 

The Prince of Hesse fled from his castle, and on 
the 27th of the tenth month he entered Berlin. 
On the 1st of the eleventh month he commanded 
his whole army to fight against England, and pro- 
hibited his subjects to communicate with that 
country. 

Napoleon wanted to rescue Poland, which was 
fairly defeated by Russia and Prussia. These two 
countries helped each other to oppose France. On 
the 'iGth of the twelfth month of the same year 
they fought against France at Bobrinsk, and 
the Russians were defeated. On the 7th of the 
second month of the following year the 
Russians were defeated at Eylau, and at the same 
time Turkey invaded Russia and lessened the 
latter's forces, besides which, Russia was defeated at 
Friedland, and finally Russia and Prussia proposed 
peace with France. On the 7th day of the seventh 
month they took an oath at Tilsit, and in this war 
Prussia lost about four million men, and had to pay 
an enormous sum of money to France, and give up 
all important fortresses to that country till the 
money was paid. Napoleon gave part of Warsaw 
to the King of Saxony, and Westphalia toi 
Heronemus (Napoleon's brother), who married the 
Princess of Wurtemburg. Napoleon then re- 
162 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

turned to Paris after a great victory. On the 27th 
of the tenth month of the fifth year of the Dragon 
of Bunkwa (1807), for pohtical reasons he aUied 
with Spain, and made war between that country 
and Portugal, after which he fought with Spain 
and captured several Spanish dominions. Napoleon 
again issued a new law prohibiting his people to 
communicate with England. He had already 
several times made this law, but it was violated by 
the people. He thought that if all intercourse and 
trade with England was stopped, the latter would 
suffer without war being made. 

On New Year's Day in the sixth year of the 
Serpent of Bunkwa (1808), Napoleon annexed Kiel, 
Cassel, Wessel, and Flushing. At this time they 
had riots in Spain, of which Napoleon took ad- 
vantage, and took possession of the whole country ; 
also made his brother Joseph (King of Napoli) 
King of Spain, and his brother-in-law (IVIurat) 
King of Napoli ; he also gave Berg to the youngest 
son of the King of Holland. 

The Emperor of Russia met Napoleon at Erfurt 
to renew the formal oath of peace. England, 
seeing France take possession of Spain, attacked 
the latter, and on the 29th of the tenth month he 
defeated the English. The Emperor of Germany, 
being so often beaten by France, wished to avenge 
himself, and on the 9th of the fourth month of 
the seventh year of the Horse of Bunkwa (1809) 

163 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

he proposed making war with Napoleon, who 
accepted this proposal and defeated the German 
army. On the 12th of the month Germany sent 
messages of peace and gave Vienna over to France, 
and on the 12th of the seventh month they ceased 
fighting, whilst the treaty of peace was being 
drawn up. On the 14th of the tenth month they 
took an oath of peace in Vienna, Germany having 
to give France several states, as well as an amount 
of gold and silver. 

The first Empress, Josephine, having no children, 
on the 16th of the twelfth month of the 7th year 
of the Horse of Bunkwa (1809) Napoleon divorced 
her, and married Marie Louise of Austria, and 
made her second Empress. At this time he raised 
the King of Italy's son from first primate to Prince 
of Frankfort. He then made Hanover and West- 
phalia into one state. On the first of the 7th month 
Napoleon dethroned the King of Holland, and 
annexed this country to France ; also Walcheren, 
which is near the three rivers Elbe, Weser, and 
Meuse, as well as Wurtemburg, and part of Bey 
and Westphalia. He became very influential and 
luxurious. Although now more than half the 
continent belonged to Napoleon, he had not yet 
settled with Spain, and England was quite inde- 
pendent, and also Russia, whose politics were 
impenetrable. 

In the 9th year of the Monkey of Bunkwa 
164 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

(1811), Russia and Silesia raised an army against 
France ; the latter also prepared for war, but the 
Silesian army besieged Dantzig and other fortresses 
which belonged to France. At this time the armies 
from all the different coimtries were gathered 
together in Germany, and were under the 
command of Napoleon, awaiting his orders to 
fight against Russia. 

On the 9th of the fifth month in the tenth year 
of the Chicken of Bunkwa (1812) he started for 
St Cloud, and on the 26th of the sixth month he 
crossed the river Niomen, and on the 15th of the 
sixth month he entered Moscow (the old capital of 
Russia) ; then the Russians inade about five hundred 
fires in different parts of the city, and burnt out the 
whole of it ; the wind blew strongly, and the fire, 
which blazed rapidly, continued for seven days. 
After this Napoleon's army was defeated ; he 
wanted to rest his army till the following spring, 
but the city was entirely burnt out, and conse- 
quently there was nowhere for them to shelter, so on 
the 17th of the tenth month he had to retreat ; his 
army met with great snowstorms, and most of his 
men were frozen to death, only two or three thousand 
survived ; thus he lost most of his army, besides 
which he received reports from his own country 
that General Mallet was plotting against him, so 
he left the King of Napoli to command those of 
the army who survived at Smolensk. On the 18th 

165 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

of the twelfth month Napoleon returned to Paris. 
At this time there were many riots in Spain, which 
was a great disadvantage to France. 

The Pope wished to make peace between France 
and Spain, but the Pope's opinions were un- 
profitable to Napoleon, so the latter did not obey 
him, which displeased the Pope, and he tried to 
cut all religious ties between himself and Napoleon, 
who got angry and captured the Pope, and 
imprisoned him in Paris. He then wanted to 
suppress the riots in Spain. 

On the 28th of the first month of the Dog of 
Bunkwa (1813), Napoleon released the Pope and 
renewed the former oath with him at Fontainebleau, 
and called it the completed concordat, with which 
Napoleon threatened the rioters. On the 27th of 
the third month Russia declared war against 
Napoleon, who invaded Germany, and on the 2nd of 
the fifth month he defeated the Russians at Ludzen. 
On the 20th and 21st of the same month he 
defeated the Prussians at Bauzen, also invaded 
Silesia. At the same time INIarshal Davoust 
regained Hamburg, and on the 4th of the sixth 
month of the same year they agreed to call a 
halt, and Austria wanted to make peace between 
France and Russia, for which purpose they held a 
council of peace at the Hague, but it was un- 
successful. On the 10th of the eighth month 
Austria declared war against France, and a severe 
166 



To back on p. 166. 




Napoleon's attack on Moscow— 



To hack on p. 167. 




the artist has put the French inside and the Russians outside. 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

battle took place at Dresden, Austria being defeated. 
General Moreau was seriously wounded. This was 
Napoleon's last victory. On the 26th of the eighth 
month Blucher fought gallantly against the French 
at Konisberg, who were completely defeated and 
had to retreat. On the 29th of the same month 
General Blucher's army rebelled against Napoleon, 
and the Prince of Silesia entered Germany with 
his entire army. On the 6th of the ninth month 
Napoleon retreated from Dresden to Leipsig, being 
afraid the enemy might cut off his access to France. 
Each battle he fought he was defeated, and on the 
19th of the same month more than half of his army 
retreated to the other side of the Rhine. After 
his great loss at Hanau, Napoleon returned to St 
Cloud. 

On the 1st day of the twelfth month of the 
eleventh year of the Dog of Bunkwa (1813) all the 
countries sent representatives, who held a meeting 
at Frankfort, where they took an oath of allegiance 
and decided to punish Napoleon. They sent a letter 
to him ; the latter saw their letter, but ignored it 
The allied armies had already crossed the Rhine and 
were daily approaching. Duke AVellington of Eng- 
land crossed the E mountains and quartered off 

the field of Galornnia. At the same time he drove 
Napoleon to Valencia. Had Napoleon renewed 
the friendly relations with Ferdinand, King of 
Spain, with whom he proposed peace with the 

167 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

allies, the latter would have agreed, and Napoleon 
would not have lost his dignity, as he was much 
feared by all the nations, but unfortunately he took 
the opposite step, which was fatal to him. 

On the 25th of the first month of the twelfth 
year of the Wild Boar of Bunkwa (1814) he left 
Paris, and the wheel of fortune turned against him, 
entirely wrecking his life, since when he had 
occasionally won battles, but nothing worthy of 
mention. On the 1st day of the second month of 
the same year. Napoleon was defeated by Marshal 
Blucher at Brienne. Had he proposed peace to 
the latter, he might still have held his position 
there, but the former was too proud, and wished to 
regain his fame, without considering the strength 
of his enemy. On the 30th day of the third month 
all the allies attacked Napoleon, who made his whole 
army surrender. Marshal Blucher captured Mont- 
marte, and the Kings of Russia and Prussia, with 
the first division of the allied armies, surrounded 
the palace. 

On the 1st day of the fourth month, after severe 
fighting, the palace was surrendered, Napoleon him- 
self escaping to Fontainebleau. On the 2nd day 
of the same month all the allies sent representa- 
tives, also the French diplomatic party held a 
council, at which they decided to dethrone 
Napoleon, to put the Bourbon family on the throne 
instead of him. On the 11th of the fifth month 
168 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

they forced Napoleon to sign the deed of abdica- 
tion ; they at the same time gave him the island of 
Elba to rule. On the 28th of the same month the 
latter embarked, and soon after reached the island 
of Elba. This island is near Frejus. 

About fifteen years ago, when Napoleon came 
back fi'om Egypt victorious, he landed at this 
port, where he was warmly received by the people. 
Now that he landed at the same place as an exile, 
everybody in the island pities him in his mis- 
fortune. He learned that the French people did 
not like the new government, and thought more 
and more of Napoleon every day. On the other 
hand, all the allies began to enjoy the peace, at 
the same time neglecting the army. In his own 
heart Napoleon was pleased at this, and hoped 
to regain his former position. 

On the 26th of the second month in the 
thirteenth year of the Rat of Bunkwa (1815) the 
latter left Elba with 1100 men, and on the 1st 
day of the third month of the same year landed 
at Cannes, near Frejus, which faces the Mediter- 
ranean, and at once invaded the land. While on 
his way to Grenoble he met Latroux and his army, 
who at first pretended to fight against Napoleon, 
afterwards joining his forces. They then entered. 
The new Emperor, Louis XVIII., hearing the 
news of Napoleon's second abdication, fled, so 
that he entered Paris without even the sound of 

169 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

a gunshot. The kings, emperors, and representa- 
tives of the different alUes who had met at Vienna 
were surprised at the news of Napoleon's re-entry 
into Paris. They at once proceeded to make 
preparations for war, and at the end of the fifth 
month they started their campaign. At this time 
Napoleon's army increased, and of the 13th of 
the sixth month he crossed the river Somme 
to attack Wellington and Blucher, who com- 
manded the whole armies of England, Belgium, 
and Prussia. On the 16th they had a severe 
battle at Frejus. Napoleon had little advantage. 
General Ney commanded the left division, and 
went to Quatre Bras. The latter wanted to cut 
off the enemy's way from Brussels. The Russian 
army had retreated, and the English and Dutch 
army temporarily retreated to an adjoining wood. 
It was Marshal Blucher's plan to gather together 
the armies of the different countries and to attack 
Napoleon after a pretence of being defeated. At 
that time the latter himself marched to the hill 
of Waterloo and attacked the strongest army, 
which was under the command of Wellington. 
The rest of the English and Dutch army were 
under the command of William I. (then Crown 
Prince of Holland), who took part in this battle. 
Awaiting the sunset, Blucher returned with all 
his men and attacked Napoleon's right division. 
This was the severest war the world had ever 
170 



To hack on p. 170. 




English soldiers guarding 



To hack on p. 171. 




Napoleon at St Helena. 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

witnessed. The Crown Prince of Holland was 
most distinguished for his bravery. Napoleon, 
after being completely defeated, fled to Paris. 
On the 21st all the Prussians held a meeting and 
advised Napoleon to resign in favour of his own 
son. He agreed to do this, but it was in vain, 
as the Bonaparte family would no longer be 
allowed to keep the throne. He fled to Malmaison, 
then reached Rochefort, whence he intended to 
cross the ocean to America, but the English fleet 
cut off his way. On the 14th of the seventh 
month he had to surrender to Captain Maitland, 
who was in command of the English fleet ; the 
next day he was removed to the English ship 
called Bellej^ophon, and was sent to St Helena, 
where he was imprisoned at Langwood, and was 
guarded by an English army. Napoleon was in 
very good health during the six years that he was 
imprisoned, and on the 5th day of the fifth month 
and the sixth year of the Horse of Bunslei (1821) 
he died, in his fifty-first year. According to his 
will, he was buried in the valley ; and on his 
tombstone was engraved, "In memory of a brave 
General." 

Twenty years after his death, and the twelfth 
year of the Ox of Tempo (1840), he was re-interred 
at Paris as the Emperor of France. There had been 
rumours in France, saying that Napoleon was still 
alive at St Helena, and he would return to 

171 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

France in 184-0 to fight against the new govern- 
ment, consequently the people became very excited, 
and many people loved Napoleon, therefore in their 
own hearts they did not like the present govern- 
ment, in consequence of which ministers and senators 
wanted to have Napoleon's coffin transferred from 
St Helena to Paris, and give him a royal funeral 
to please the public ; they asked England's con- 
sent to do this. The King of France appointed 
Prince Louis Philippe to be commander of the 
ship Bellerophon. On the 7th day of the 
seventh month this ship left Toulon, and on the 
8th day of the tenth month it arrived at St 
Helena. On to the night of the 15th they dug 
up Napoleon's remains, the officers of England and 
France being witnesses, and the next morning 
they opened the coffin, and found that Napoleon 
looked just the same as when alive, even after 
having been buried for twenty years. On the 
afternoon of the 16th the gun carriage left the 
grave in the valley, one gun being fired as a signal 
that the coffin was on board ship. During the 
night all the priests read the prayers for the dead 
before the coffin containing Napoleon's remains, 
and on the 17th the Bellerophon set sail, on the 
30th day of the eleventh month they reached the 
coast of France, on the 15th of the twelfth month 
the remains were interred at Paris. The officers 
who guarded the coffin were very sincere and 
172 



1 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

dignified. There were over 125,000 military 
people present. The whole funeral route was 
covered with sand. The spectators numbered over 
100,000, many of whom paid huge sums to stand 
on the tops of houses. The funeral ceremony was 
not impressive, as all the old army officers who 
had fought under Napoleon marched in front of 
the gun-carriage bearing his remains. King Louis 
Philippe followed the gun-carriage with all his 
equerries and attendants, the 45th division of the 
infantry, among them being representatives from 
cavalry and Ajaccio (Napoleon's birthplace). Two 
hundred bands played the funeral march as they 
entered the churchyard, three archbishops and twelve 
bishops, dressed in their purple vestments, said the 
service of the dead. Five hundred bands and a choir 
of 150 sung the funeral hymn. The pall was very 
elaborate, the length was 3 jo 2 shaku 9 sung 
(about 33 feet), breadth 6 shaku 4 sung 6 bu (about 
17 feet), heighth 3 jo 6 shaku 2 sung (about 36 J 
feet). The coffin was placed on a four-wheeled 
gun-carriage, the four wheels being gilded. The 
front of the carriage was carved in a half-moon 
design. A group of Guards held the crown of an 
ancient emperor over Napoleon's coffin. Several 
stood at the four corners, holding trumpets in their 
hands. On the front of the pall they engraved 
Napoleon's last words. One of the officers followed 
the procession, holding Napoleon's sceptre. Inside 

173 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

the pall was wrapped the coffin, the length of 
which was 1 jo 6 shaku 4 sung 6 bu (about 17 
feet), height 9 shaku 5 sung and 8 bu (about 7 
feet) ; it was covered with purple velvet, the letter 
" N " being embroidered on the top of it, on top 
of which they laid his sword. Six goddesses with 
golden helmets decorated the upper part of the 
carriage. All the figures were life-size, each one 
holding a shield. All the sticks, armours, hats, and 
crowns which he had used during his lifetime 
were put on the top of the coffin, outside the pall, 
from a height of 4 jo 9 shaku 3 sung 8 bu, 
decorated with gold and velvet, this drawn by 
16 horses, each group of 4 horses being in 
one line, each horse being covered with a gold- 
embroidered cloth, and on their heads they had 
white plumes, the reins being made of ropes of 
gold. The coachman's livery was the same as 
that of the royal family. All around the gun- 
carriage were stationed 500 sailors who were on 
board the IBellerophon. Fifteen hundred of the 
Emperor's Guard, in the uniforms which they had 
worn on the battlefield, followed the procession. 
AVhen the gun-carriage entered the church all 
soldiers presented arms. This ceremony is only 
practised when people of high rank are buried. 
All the soldiers inside the church put their swords 
on their shoulders and knelt down. After the 
bishop had finished reading the creed, the 36th 
174 



b 



To hack on p. 174. 







Napoleon's funeral 



To hack on p. 175. 




at Paris. 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

Volunteers carried the coffin and proceeded to 
the altar. Napoleon's sword, covered with velvet, 
was put on the top of the coffin. General 

A took the sword and handed it to Marshal 

Soult, who presented it to the King of France, 
who commanded General Bertrand to put the 
sword on the coffin. After this ceremony, the 
coffin was carried to the sacred place in the church. 
The height of this place is 4 jo 9 shaku 3 sung 
8 bu (about 50 feet), covered with pure gold, and 
decorated with several colours in velvet. The 
ministers, city mayors, etc. sat on the chairs, 
which were most elaborately decorated. The 
grave was covered with a sacred eagle, modelled 
in bronze, spreading out its wings, its wings 
measuring 9 shaku 7 sung 8 bu (about 10 feet). 
Inside the sacred place they lit many candles, 
which lit up with blue flame, and reflected them- 
selves on the golden walls, besides which they had 
60 silver lanterns, the brightness of which dazzled 
the spectators, and all the armour which Napoleon 
had captured from his enemies decorated the 
inside. They had, as well, a list of all the names 
of those who had fought for Napoleon. After all 
this ceremony the royal carriage went back to 
Paris, followed by numerous officers. 



175 



CHAPTER HI 

Let us again explain about France, that during 
the last fifty years war, in which France greatly 
distinguished itself, and became known as one of 
the great countries. At first the Bourbon family 
were the reigning family. In the fourth year of 
Kwanseim the whole royal family became extinct, 
consequently France was made a republic. In 
the first year of Bunkwa it was made into an 
empire, and Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned, 
calling himself Napoleon I. 

In the eleventh year of Bunkwa all the allies 
destroyed the Bonaparte family, allowing the 
previous royal family to reign again, the King 
being called Louis Philippe XVIII. 

In the second year of Kwansei this country had 
eighty-three states. In Napoleon's time he en- 
larged it to one hundred and thirty states. It had 
a population of 42,000,000 people. On the 30th 
day of the fifth month and the eleventh year of 
Bunkwa a meeting of representatives was held 
in Paris, in consequence of which France gave up 
176 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

the land of which Napoleon had formerly taken 
possession. 

On New Year's Day of the fourth year of 

Kwansei, France regained all she had lost, which 

made in all eighty-six states and a population of 

33,000,000. In olden times the states varied in 

size, but at this time they were all of the same 

size, and named after the river or mountain. On 

I the south it was bounded by the Mediterranean 

and Spain, and on the west by the Atlantic 

Ocean, on the north by Belgium and Holland, 

and on the east by Prussia and Italy. Its capital 

was Paris on the Seine. Besides this mainland they 

had the island of Corsica, this being counted as 

one of the eighty-six states. In the Bay of France 

there were two or three small islands, and in East 

India they had many other islands. In South 

America they had part of Guiana ; in Africa, 

Gambia, etc., belonged to France. Their system of 

government was to have a king, who would obey 

the constitutions. At that time women were not 

allowed to reign in France. 

Generally the French inherit their titles, there- 
fore could not marry anyone below their own rank. 
They all had to pay a certain tax, which varied 
according to their rank. If they did not pay this, 
their title was taken from them. 

The King himself had the privilege of making 
new laws, but could not bring them into force 

12 177 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

without the consent of Parhament. Every year 
he appointed two fresh private secretaries for 
himself. The French officers are very impulsive 
and courteous, but shallow and insincere. They 
planned to make canals right through the country, 
seven-tenths of which was done. They had much 
trade with Russia, Italy, Holland, and Spain. 
Before the war they had about 7,000,000 interest 
in trade, but after the war the West Indian 
Islands, which belonged to France, had great dis- 
advantage in trade, so that the interest was lowered, 
though after peace had been made they somewhat 
regained their former commerce. They had 
65,000 in Napoleon's time, but in the twelfth year 
of Bunkwa they were reduced to 250,000. In the 
third year of Kwansei their navy amounted to 
seventy-four ligny boats, sixty -two frigates, twenty- 
nine corvets, and twenty-two brigs ; among these, 
twenty-six ligny, twenty-eight frigates, eight 
corvets, twenty-six brigs were prepared for actual 
service, and so that they should be ready in case 
war broke out. They had 25,193 officers and 
sailors, 2870 guns. In the naval dock they were 
always building from six to ten warships; in 
the second year of Bunkwa, fifty-five ligny, forty- 
three frigates, without counting all the small boats. 
At present (when this book was written) they had 
sixty ligny in construction, thirty-one frigates, and 
more than a hundred and seventy smaller boats. 
178 



A JAPANESE HISTORY OF NAPOLEON 

Their education was much neglected during the 
long civil war, but when Napoleon was appointed 
Consul he encouraged education; now they had 
primary schools for the infants, secondary schools 
for languages and science, and besides these they 
had also Universities for advanced agriculture, 
engineering, and commerce. 

The latest information about the annual taxation 
is that it amounts to 839,595,661 francs, that is our 
1,983,544 rivan 749 monme 1 bu 1 rin 25'. The 
annual expenditure 548,252,520 francs, besides 
the temporary expenditure of 290,000,000. The 
national debt amounted to 150,000,000 francs. 
After the war, France promised the allies to pay 
700,000,000 francs, under terms to pay ofF 
40,000,000 in a year. Till the end of the first 
year of Bunsei 150,000 soldiers of the allies were in 
the country and had occupied seventeen fortresses in 
France, all the expense of which France had to pay, 
this amounting to about 13,000,000 francs in one 
year. The depth of this country from north to 
south is about 150 ri, from east to west also about 
150 ri. They have colonies in Asia, Africa, and 
America. 



179 



CHAPTER IV 

A JAPANESE HISTORY OF PETER THE GREAT 

Peter 1., named AlexiefF, was celebrated for his 
ability and virtues, and was called "the Great." 
He was made Czar, which is the Russian for 
Mikado. It was through this Mikado that Russia 
became such a large country. He was born in 
Moscow in the first year of the Ox of Myempo 
(1672) ; his father's name was AlexiefF Mikainaif, 
and his mother, who was called NataUe, was the 
daughter of a noble lord (Narisku). Peter's home 
education when a child was incomplete, but being 
very clever he taught himself ; people said that he 
would become " Peter the Great," consequently 
when his father died he stated in his will that he 
should become the Czar instead of the elder son. 
This was in the thirtieth year of the Wild Boar of 
Temwa (1682) ; and as at this time Peter was only 
eleven years of age, Sophie AlexiefFana (his elder 
sister) wanted to rule. To gain her end she raised 
a mock riot, and said the disturbance was caused 
180 



OF PETER THE GREAT 

through having such a young Czar, and that she 
should therefore be elected regent till he grew 
up. 

When Peter was fifteen years of age he was very 
ambitious to regain peace in the country ; and 
having studied all military tactics, he knew how to 
command his soldiers, and attacked Strelitz. After 
several narrow escapes he conquered and made 
them surrender ; his whole army was surprised at 
his bravery, especially on account of his extreme 
youth. 

After three years had elapsed, Peter then being 
just eighteen years of age, he was clever enough to 
find out Sophie's secret plots, in consequence of 
which he put her and all her partisans into a 
temple. Previous to this Sophie wished to de- 
throne Peter because he was not the eldest son, 
saying therefore he was not entitled to be the Czar, 
appointing Ian (Peter's elder brother) as Czar; so 
they had two Czars. But Peter forced his elder 
brother to resign, and entirely governed Russia 
himself, since which time he was anxious to enlarge 
the navy. 

In the royal museum there were several old 
English boats. Peter, seeing these boats, became 
ambitious to build some more ships, but Russia 
having very little sea, few people understood 
anything about ships ; they had no shipbuilding 
yards in their own country, for which reason all 

181 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

his subjects abandoned the task of promoting the 
Czar's ambition to build more ships. 

However, Peter had made up his mind to enlarge 
his navy, in spite of not receiving any encourage- 
ment from his subjects, and said to himself, " If we 
had more ships we could go straight across the 
water to other countries, thus avoiding delay, and 
communicate with civilised countries to get the 
latest inventions." Peter therefore tried to 
introduce English ships into Russia. At this time 
they had no frigates in that country. He elected 
one of his subjects as admiral. 

When Peter's father (AlexiefF) reigned in Russia 
he ordered Dutch shipbuilders to build one warship, 
which was christened ArderaL They wanted to 
sail to Astrakhan, but were attacked by the 
Cossacks, who burnt their ships, all the sailors 
taking to flight ; among these latter w^ere two 
Dutch engineers, who both returned to Moscow. 
Peter appointed them to be constructor-generals, 
and started shipbuilding. 

In the seventh year of the Dog of Gonrokan 
(1693) they completed this warship, which had on 
board the two Dutch engineers, and at once sailed 
to Arkengel to import cloth to Russia for the 
soldiers' and sailors' uniforms. 

Peter the Great was very anxious because his 
subjects were so idle and uncivilised ; though his 
country was in a European continent, it was 
182 



OF PETER THE GREAT 

entirely different to other countries. This state 
of affairs was brought about by their lack of 
education. The Czar thought the best remedy 
for this would be to invite professors from every 
coimtry, and let them educate the people. Among 
those whom he invited was the distinguished 
Leholt, a native of Geneva, who was quite young, 
and when he became the Emperor's favourite 
companion and adviser, in which position he helped 
the Czar to carry out his great deeds. Firstly, he 
helped him to organise his army in the European 
way. Previous to this, the Hugenots rebelled 
against the French government. This was caused 
by the government issuing some stringent laws 
to which the Hugenots were opposed. Most of 
them fled to Russia. The Czar made more than 
30,000 of these become soldiers. The Czar ap- 
pointed Leholt and Gordon to command this army, 
which in a short time became well disciplined, and 
proved very useful to the country. 

Peter thought the best way to civilise the 
country would be to open commerce with all other 
civilised countries. All Russia's principal rivers 
flow into the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. He 
therefore intended to put many ships into these 
rivers. In later days, when he fought against 
Turkey, he himself went to the river Dnieper 
and wanted to take possession of Azov, to make 
it a commercial city, and enlarge the export and 

183 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

import trade which was carried on through the 
Black Sea, but the enemy held out so strongly 
that he could not take the castle. So he withdrew 
his army and returned to Moscow. At this time 
there was a great famine in Russia ; the only parts 
of this country which had no famine were Lega 
and Dantzig. Peter took some provisions from 
these places by boat to other parts of the country 
and divided them up. He invited engineers from 
Holland and Brandenburg to establish ordnance 
in Russia, after which the system of fighting 
became more regulated. 

In the tenth year of the Ox of Genroku (1696), 
Peter established a shipbuilding yard on the bank 
of the river Dnieper, where he built twenty-nine 
ships. When these were completed, he fought 
the Turks at Azov and took possession of their 
fort, this being a very useful fortress. Peter 
wanted to make it a Russian stronghold. He 
also built fifty-five warships, which he stationed 
there. Peter commanded an engineer named 
Brackell to cut a canal between the Dnieper and 
Volga. He also sent many young noblemen* to 
Holland and Italy to learn shipbuilding, others 
to Germany to learn military discipline. 

In the eleventh year of the Tiger (1697) several 
soldiers in Strelitz and a few of the ministers 
plotted to assassinate the Czar, but Peter quelled 
the rebellion, after which he went abroad to see 
184 



OF PEtER THE GREAT 

the customs of the different countries, leaving 
behind three cabinet ministers to attend to the 
affairs of the state. Peter disguised himself as 
the Russian envoy, and tra^'elled through Branden- 
burg, Hanover, A^^estphalia, and from there went 
to Amsterdam and Zaandam, where he dressed 
in the Dutch peasants' costume, and changed his 
name to Petromikaeloff. He was employed at 
the ships, and under this name lived in a little 
cottage, doing all his own work : whilst there 
Peter held secret communication with his ministers, 
and later on returned to Amsterdam, where he 
ordered warships which were equipped with sixty 
guns, himself superintending the shipyard. ^Vhen 
this ship was finished Peter sent it to Arkengel. 
The latter was also much interested in all other 
branches of science, and had learned everything 
himself down to the most minute details. The 
Czar was very ambitious to study the art of 
navigation. To do this William the Third of 
Holland sent him to London, where he went 
disguised as an English sailor, staying at one of 
the shipyards in I^ondon. He would often say, 
" If I were not the Czar of Russia, I would be an 
English sailor." While in London more than six 
hundred men waited upon him, all of whom were 
military or naval officers, engineers or gunners. 
Everyone who knew the Czar, who had gained 
his university degree, was admired by everyone 

185 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

for his great ability. After being in England for 
three months, Peter sailed for Holland, visiting 
Dresden and Vienna. He also wanted to visit 
Italy, but at Strelitz the people again rebelled 
against him. 

In the ninth month of the twelfth year of the 
Rabbit of Genroku (1698), Peter returned to 
Moscow. Here he found that Gordon had already 
quelled the rebellion ; however, Peter was very 
angry, and wanted to punish every individual who 
had been concerned in this plot ; every day he put 
to death some of these offenders. Thinking that 
the leader of this plot was Sophie (his sister), he 
erected a guillotine in the churchyard of the 
temple in which she was confined and put to 
death 30,000 people, three of whom persuaded 
Sophie to raise a fresh rebellion against the Czar. 
These plotters signed a petition and handed it to 
Sophie through her bedroom window, but the con- 
spiracy was discovered by the officers, by whom the 
rebels were instantly put to death. Besides those, 
500 others were banished ; Peter afterwards sent 
his soldiers to put these to death. 

In the third year of the Dog of Hagli (1705) 
the Czar assembled a regiment ; this was the 27th 
regiment of infantry ; and two other regiments, 
which numbered over 30,000 men, who became well 
disciplined after three months' training. At this 
time the Czarina treated Peter with great contempt ; 
186 



OF PETER THE GREAT 

the latter, suspecting her of being one of the traitors, 
confined her in one of the temples, and changed her 
name to Helena, and deprived her of the title of 
" Czarina," making her of ordinary rank. In this 
year the Czar's two great friends, Leholt and 
Gordon, died. There was a man named Menschi- 
koff, who was of quite humble birth, but having 
great ability, the Czar raised him to the post of 
cabinet minister. 

The Czar, having already had several civil wars, 
thought the best thing would be to please the 
populace ; he therefore reduced the taxes and went 
to other countries to get useful books, founded 
colleges in the large towns, made new laws to 
protect the Church, and invited all professors of 
science from the other European countries, promis- 
ing his people to make them civilised and wealthier 
if they would keep peace in the country and stop 
all rebellions. 

Peter kept his word to the people in every 
respect ; he opened the gold mines, encouraged 
agriculture, sent out surveyors to make maps 
of the different countries, and established many 
factories. 

The Czar had had war with Ostenlake, and signed 
a treaty of peace at Kerlowitz. In the fifth year 
of the Rat of Hayei (1707) they made the terms 
of the treaty of peace extend over thirty years ; 
however, this was not kept. Charles XII. (King 

187 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

of Silesia) with his entire army attacked and con- 
quered Russia. The Czar, who was undaunted and 
despised the enemy, said to his subjects, " We have 
been defeated, but have learnt the art of war." 
Hearing that King Charles was away at Bologna, 
the Russians attacked Silesia and captured Leus- 
land. In the seventh year of the Tiger of Hazei 
(1709) the Czar entirely defeated King Charles's 
army. The chief of the Cossacks, who was called 
IMaseppe, had once been in King Charles's army, 
but now turned traitor, and went over to the 
Russians, to whom he showed his great loyalty to 
the Czar, and greatly strengthened the latter's army. 

In the first year of the Rabbit of Shoku (1710) 
the Czar attacked Silesia, and captured several 
castles. 

Charles XII., recognising his enemy's strength, 
asked assistance of the Turks, who sent an army 
to attack Russia. The Turks, who had four times 
as many men as the Russians, thought they could 
at once defeat the enemy. At this time the 
Russians had not yet made any preparations for 
war, but the Czar crossed the river Pruth and 
fought against the Turkish field-marshal ; the 
former was surrounded by the Turks and was in a 
desperate condition. The second Czarina made 
proposals of peace to the Turkish field-marshal. In 
the second year of the Dragon of Shotoku (1711) 
the treaty of peace was drawn up ; the Czar was 
188 



OF PETER THE GREAT 

released and returned to Moscow, but had to give 
Aza up to Turkey, and other fortresses which he 
had captured several years previous to this. Since 
his return he fought against Silesia, capturing the 
whole of Finland. In the seventh year of the 
Tiger of Kyoho (1721) Silesia could no longer hold 
out, made Russia proposals of peace, which they 

accepted, and took their oath at N . More than 

half Silesia was annexed to Russia. During this 
war Charles XII. and the Czar commanded their 
armies on the field of battle, and fought several 
duels, and once Charles retreated. In the evening 
the Czar, seeing the general of Silesia, said to him, 
" Tell your king 1 thank him, for he has taught me 
to fight." 

For twenty-one years the northern part of 
Russia had had many wars, but did not suffer 
through this financially, on account of the Czar's 
great diligence and economy. 

After this long war the Czar worshipped Heaven 
and made good laws, only punishing murderers and 
robbers who did not repent, and released all other 
prisoners. 

In the third year of the Dog of Kyoho (1717) the 
people of the surrounding districts praised him as 
if he had been their own father, and called " the 
Great." On the 22nd of the tenth month of the 
seventh year of the Tiger of Kyoho (1721) a great 
declaration of peace was made ; all the ambassa- 

189 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

dors from Russia, Holland, and Silesia attended 
this ceremony ; several other countries also sent 
representatives. By this time the country was so 
far civilised ; however, the Czar thought that after 
his death it would not be safe to leave the govern- 
ment of the country in the hands of his subjects ; 
he therefore made a law that the Czar should 
appoint his own successor to the crown, and also 
made the cabinet ministers take an oath before 
him. 

The Czar had for a long time been very anxious 
to invade Persia, and on the 23rd of the ninth 
month of the ninth year of the Dragon of Kyoho 
(1723) he defeated the Persians, taking possession 
of the northern part of Persia ; he severely 
punished the wicked officers of the Persian govern- 
ment ; among these was Aikafstolo, who was 
sentenced to death, but just as he was to be guillo- 
tined Peter ordered him to be banished to the 
borderland of Persia. MenschikofF paid 200 
roubles to the Russian government, thus escaping 
death, but instead had his nose cut off. In the 
tenth year of the Serpent of Kyoho (1724) the Czar 
threatened to invade Denmark, making the Danish 
king pay 25,000 in silver ; he then sailed to Kron- 
stadt, and celebrated the completion of the twenty- 
one warships and 2166 guns. Peter afterwards 
fortified St Petersburg, and made a treaty of com- 
merce with Silesia. In the fifth month of the tenth 
190 



To lac'c on ^;. 190. 







Charles XII. of Sweden pursued by 



To back on p. 191. 



3£^^tr 




Peter the Great of Russia. 



1 



OF PETER THE GREAT 

year of the Serpent of Kyoho (1724) he recognised 
the Czarina's good deeds in the past, for which he 
crowned her, and in the eleventh month of the same 
year arranged a marriage between her fa\'ourite 
daughter (Anne) and the King of Silesia. 

In the same year the Czar caught a fever, through 
which he lost all energy. In the ninth month of the 
tenth year of the Serpent of Kyoho (1724) Peter 
went to S to inspect the ordnance ; after sun- 
set he went to Cakuta. Several soldiers were 
crossing the river in a small boat ; the wind was so 
high that the boat capsized ; the Czar himself 
jumped into the water, saving more than twenty 
men, which caused him to have a relapse, and in the 
eleventh year of the Horse of Kyoho (1725) Peter, 
in spite of his illness, went patiently through the 
religious ceremony, but on the 8th of the second 
month of the same year his condition became very 
serious. The Czarina, who attended at his bedside, 
released Menschikoff, and reinstated him in his 
former position. Soon after this Peter died, at the 
age of fifty-three. The Czarina succeeded to the 
throne by Peter's desire. The former had a son 
(AlexiefF Petrovitch) who was very light-hearted, 
and thoroughly incapable of taking the reins of 
government, and ran away while the Czar was ill. 
Menschikoff, who told the Czar this news, captured 
the Prince, and Peter himself beheaded him. 



191 



CHAPTER V 

A JAPANESE HISTORY OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT 

Alexander the Great of Greece (now belonging 
to Turkey) was famous for his virtues as well as 
his wisdom, and was for this reason surnamed " the 
Great." In Kan (one of the ancient dynasties of 
China) they translated his name to Lek-Yan. He 
was the son of Phillipus of INIacedonia ; in 356 B.C., 
which was the thirty-ninth year of the Rabbit in 
the reign of Emperor Koan, was born in Pekin. 
Alexander when quite a child was a man in mind, 
and different to other children. One day King 
Phillipus had won a great victory, and taken 
possession of the whole of the enemies' country. 
Hearing of this, Alexander said to his friend, 
" My father did everything himself and has left no 
work for me, therefore I weep." His father invited 

the great Aristotle of F , who undertook to 

educate Alexander, and did his best to do this. 
When Alexander was twenty years of age he 
was made King of Macedonia. While on a trip, 
192 



OF ALEXANDER THE GllEAT 

two states in Greece, knowing that he was away 
from his own country, raised a rebeUion against 
him. However, he at once returned home and 
conquered the rebels ; this was Alexander's first 
battle. The people of Athens also surrendered 
to him. Only Tibanels opposed him, the capital 
of which country he destroyed, and massacred all 
the people except those of the race of Pindariu, 
this race being in great favour with him. All 
the people of the Greek empire liked Alexander, 
and were very loyal to him. At this time Persia 
gathered together a large army and attacked 
Greece. All the Greek nations beseeched Alex- 
ander to protect them. Diogenes of Synoba was 
the only one who did not ask his help. He was 
the most learned man in this country, and lived 
quite apart from the world. The Emperor him- 
self called at the house of Diogenes, who looked 
veiy poor and starved. He was always dressed 
in rags, and used to warm himself in sunshine. 
The Emperor approaching asked him, " Is there 
anything 1 can give you? " Diogenes replied, " You 
stand before me and take away the sunshine, 
which is all that 1 require." The Emperor, hear- 
ing such philosophy, respected him greatly. 

Alexander invaded Asia with 30,000 infantry, 
5000 cavalry, and defeated Persia near the river 

G and E . All the other states 

also surrendered to Alexander, who wanted to 

13 193 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

have a long expedition ; but the soldiers were 
very homesick, for which reason he destroyed all 
the boats except two, which made the soldiers 
more willing to join the expedition. Alexander 

invaded H and attacked the capital. The 

enemy was very strong and fought bravely, but 
was finally defeated. The whole of Asia Minor 
now surrendered to Alexander ; the King of 
Honduras also surrendered to him, and accom- 
panied him in every campaign. They stopped at 
Phoenicia and sent his army to Syria, which he 
captured. Alexander then went to Candium, to 
the temple, where he worshipped the stars, and 
seeing some strange ropes tied in the temple, he 
drew his sword and cut them. At this time 

Alexander also conquered C near Persia, 

and then went to Teheran, where he had a bath 
and caught a fever, with which he became very 
seriously ill. The King of Persia, hearing this 
news, gave all the doctors a large sum of money 
and told them not to cure Alexander, so there was 
no doctor to attend him. However, one doctor 
came to him and wanted to give him some 
medicine. A friend of Alexander's wrote to him 
saying, "This doctor has a secret message from 
the King of Persia, who wants to poison you." 
Alexander, pretending not to know anything 
about it, took the doctor to his bedroom, holding 
the latter's medicine in one hand and his friend's 
194 



I 



4/) 



h 



To hack on -p. 1 94. 




Diogenes rebuking Alexander the Great 



To hack on p. 195. 




for getting between liim and the sun. 



OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT 

letter in the other, which he showed to the doctor, 
watching the latter's face ; and seeing he was 
honest, Alexander swallowed the medicine. The 
King of Persia, not knowing that Alexander had 
been cured, attacked him on the river Tigris. 
However, Alexander defeated the whole Persian 
army, and captured enormous sums of money 
and provisions. He at the same time captured 
some of the royal Persian families, whom he 
treated with great courtesy. Alexander then took 
Damascus (where the King of Persia kept all his 
grand heirlooms), and annexed the whole coast of 
the Mediterranean to his own property. Alex- 
ander then left Palestine and captured Egypt. 
Before this time that country complained about 
the cruelty of the Persian government. Alexander 
improved the laws, restored the ancient methods 
of worship, and made the people happy. He 
estabhshed his capital at Alexandria, since when 
this capital has flourished, even up to the present 
day. 

Alexander had several times fought the Persians 
and defeated them; during the next spring he 
invaded Persia and attacked the cavalry, who 
retreated ; the King of Persia himself was nearly 
captured by the enemy, but his horse being very 
fleet, he just escaped. Alexander captured all 
monies and instruments of war. After this, the 
whole of Western Asia belonged to him. Babylon 



195 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

and Susan also surrendered to him ; the latter 
was at that time the richest country. After 

this, Alexander entered P (then the capital 

of Persia). He had now achieved his ambition, his 
country being the largest and most opulent one 
ever known, on which account Alexander became 
very haughty ; he often became very angry, and 
would kill any of his soldiers who gave him any 
advice ; once, when he was intoxicated, he burnt 

down H (the capital of Persia), which was at 

that time the finest city in the world ; as soon as 
he came to himself again, he deeply repented his 
deeds, and at once sent the army to drive out 
Dalius (the former King of Persia). 

General B captured Dalius and killed him. 

Alexander, seeing the latter 's corpse, with so many 
horrible wounds on it, being laid on the waggon, 
he wept, and commanded his subjects to give 
Dalius a royal burial. 

Alexander then defeated H , M , B , 

and became King of Asia, after which he was 
more ambitious than ever to enlarge his territory. 
During the winter he invaded the northern coast 
of Asia ; this was the first time the Grecian people 
had ever been to the arctic regions. At this time 

S was an uncivilised country, but he made 

it into an empire, and taught the people to respect 

him as their king; he then returned to B . 

The following year Alexander defeated all the 
196 



OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT 

neighbouring countries which opposed him, also 

made S surrender. He imprisoned a whole 

tribe of O , and married one of their daughters 

who was named Lokiesone ; she was celebrated for 
her beauty ; her father and the whole tribe became 
very loyal to him. 

Alexander made all the nations swear fealty to 
him, after which he went to India, and crossed the 
river Ganges to make peace with the chieftain 
(Tapillius), and then crossed the river Heydaspus, 
where Polius attacked him. Alexander defeated 
Polius, who asked him how he would punish him 
should he surrender? Alexander replied, "I will 
make you a king." As Polius surrendered to him, 
Alexander gave him back his own country as well 
as other land ; he also gave him a title. Alexander 
then wanted to invade the territories further east, 
but all his subjects grumbled at the long expedition ; 
he therefore was obliged to abandon this project. 
On his way back he met with many perils. When 

he reached the river H he gathered together 

all his warships, putting half of his army on board, 
and made the other half walk along the bank till 
they reached the ocean. The Macedonians had 
never before seen the ocean, and were amazed at 
its grandeur. All his warships sailed across the 
Persian Gulf, landed at the other side of the shore. 
On their way back to Babylon they had to travel 
through the Great Desert of Arabia, most of his 

197 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

soldiers dying of hunger and thirst, and he returned 
to Persia with less than one quarter of his army. 

At Shiraz, Alexander married Atartilla, the eldest 
daughter of Dalius (the late King of Persia) ; the 
ceremony was the most impressive that had ever 
been witnessed. After his marriage he wanted to 
return to Babylon, being anxious to start a fresh 
expedition, but was suddenly taken ill, and had to 
remain in bed for three days ; he then took to drink, 
and died in his thirty-second year, leaving no heir. 
His subjects for several days discussed who should 
succeed ; they finally decided to put his younger 
brother (Aritius) on the throne. Alexander's 
corpse was put into a golden coffin and buried 
in the churchyard at Alexandria. 

Note on Aristotle, the Tutor of Alexander. 

Aristotle was a very wise man ; we are therefore 
giving you an outline of his history. He was born 
in 384 B.C. When seventeen years of age he went 
to Athens to study science from Plato. Aristotle 
was so clever that he always was far in advance 
of the other students ; the former told his friends, 
"Aristotle is the soul of our school." After 
Plato's death, his friend (Sophocles) was living in 
Arukane, where Aristotle went and lived with 
him, and married Sophocles's younger sister. 
After several years Aristotle was invited by 
198 



OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT 

Alexander (King of INIacedonia) to be his own 
tutor ; the King said " he loved his tutor more 
than his father," but later on his love became less. 
Aristotle educated the young King for a few years, 
and then returned to Athens and established a 
school at Lyceum ; he was the first professor of 
philosophy. After the death of King Alexander, 
one of the opposing countries sent a priest to 
make mischief betAveen tlie people and their king. 
Aristotle said, " Unhappily I have met with mis- 
fortune, but I must not allow the people of Athens 
to blame my philosophy ; so he left Athens and 
went to Carthage, where he died." 

Aristotle had written many books, some of 
which were not translated into Dutch ; he under- 
stood science in all its branches, was especially 
learned in universal philosophy, and was very 
famous for his poems. 



199 



CHAPTER VI 

A JAPANESE ACCOUNT OF GREECE 

Greece, which is now known as Turkey, is 
situated on the south of Turkey, and surrounded 
by the Adriatic, the Mediterranean Sea, and the 
Achipelago. 

In the third year of the Kyotoku (1454) the 
Turkish army captured Constantinople and made 
it their basis ; they invaded this country, threaten- 
ing to make the nation surrender. Since the last 
four hundred years, too, the whole nation suffered 
through the cruelty of the Turks ; the people 
resented being under Turkish rule, but were not 
strong enough to rebel. 

In the third year of Tempo (1832), a powerful 
patriot, seeing the nation's misery, raised a rebellion, 
at which they greatly rejoiced, and all loyally fol- 
lowed their leaders. Although the people met with 
many difficulties, their courage was undaunted ; 
they finally conquered, and freed themselves from 
the Turks. 
200 



A JAPANESE ACCOUNT OF GREECE 

In the eighth year of Bunsei, a Dutch dip- 
lomatist helped Greece to improve its commerce, 
and gathered together his partisans to discuss the 
interchange of commerce between Holland and 
Greece ; they eventually made a treaty between 
these two countries, which was as foUows : " Now- 
adays so many events take place in Europe, but 
one of the most important to record in history 
relates to Greece ; the people of this country 
greatly respect bravery and virtue ; the most gallant 
diplomatists sacrificed their own lives for their 
country, to free her from the barbarous govern- 
ment of the Turks." 

After being instructed for four hundred years, all 
the patriots gathered together by mutual agreement 
to fight against the barbarians, who could not claim 
European rights of parentage, their customs being 
quite different to ours ; they injured our education 
and manners, for they would not conform to the 
universal laws and rights, consequently the Greeks 
wanted to free themselves from these savages ; they 
fought for the freedom of their country, while 
the opponents merely fought for bloodshed. Both 
parties fought very severely ; it was hard to know 
who would win ; the other nations were anxiously 
awaiting the result. 

In the olden time the Greeks were very proud of 
their individual bravery, but now the whole nation 
united and became one body, and fought for their 

201 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

rights, for which all the European countries greatly- 
sympathised with them, and whenever they were 
defeated by the barbarians we grieved for them. . . 
Every country with any humanity, whether neutral 
or allied, could not help feeling sympathy for the 
Greeks, and everywhere throughout Europe the 
people greatly admired the noble way the Greeks 
fought for their freedom, so it is natural that we 
(Dutch) could not control our feelings, especially 
as our own country (Holland), seeing these noble 
actions, was reminded how some years ago we 
gallantly fought for our hberty. At that time 
we realised what difficulties we had to free 
ourselves from tyranny, and how overjoyed we 
were when success came ; it is therefore our desire 
to record these events in history for the guidance 
of future generations. . . . 

By this manuscript you will see how the Greeks 
endured the cruelty of the Turks, and under what 
difficulties they fought for their liberty, which they 
eventually gained. 

Greece had seven states, and in olden times, 
when it was a flourishing country, the population 
amounted to 300,000 ; they also had many islands 
around the coast ; the populations of these amounted 
to 198,000, besides which they had the JMorea states, 
which had a population of 500,000. By the hst 
which was made in the first year of Kokwa, Greece 
had a population of 1,000,000 people, but we are not 
202 



A JAPANESE ACCOUNT OF GREECE 

certain whether this list was correct or not ; this 
country has now been free from Turkey for more 
than ten years. All the people who fled from 
Greece during the war now returned to it, and 
commerce began to improve, and population 
increased. 



203 



A FEW CORRECTIONS OF THE 
MISTAKES IN PROPER NAMES. By S. H. 

IN THE JAPANESE LIFE OF NAPOLEON 

Page 14-3. The name of Napoleon's mother is generally spelt 

Ramolino. 
„ 143. The correct name of Napoleon's mother's brother is 

Cardinal Fesch. 
„ 146, Deficit-General. I can offer no explanation of this. 

The office to which Napoleon was appointed was 

Second in Command of the Axmy of the Interior. 
„ 149. Belthail should be Berthier. 
„ 151. St Alpin should be Cisalpine. 
„ 151. Alexandria should be Alessandria, Tintoura should 

be Tortona. 
„ 152. Alma and Selaschi should be Saint Rejant and 

Carbon. 
„ 153. The "two Sicilian kings" should be the King of 

the two Sicilies. 
„ 154. St Alpin should be Cisalpine. 
„ 156. Mortier should be Moreau. 
„ 157. Colli should be Caulincourt. 
„ l60. Eugene de Beauharnais was appointed Viceroy, not 

King of Italy. 
,, l60. Legs should be Lucca. 
„ l60. Bauzen should be Baden. 
„ l60. Baylen should be Bayern, i.e. Bavaria. 
„ l6l. It Avas Josephine's niece, whose name was not Jose- 
phine, but Stephanie de Beauharnais, who married 

the Crown Prince of Baden. 
204 



MISTAKES IN PROPER NAMES 

Page 161. Clives and Bey should read Cleves and Berg. 
„ 161. Napoleon's sister Pauline married Prince Borghese, 

and was created Duchess of G . 

„ 161. Belthail should be Berthier. 

„ 161. Talleyrand was made Duke of Benevento. 

„ 161. Bernadotte was Prince of Ponte Corvo. 

„ 162. Bobrinsk. I cannot identify this. Should it have been 

Pultusk or Borodino ? 
„ 162. Heronemus, i.e. Hieronymus, is Napoleon's brother 

Jerome. 
„ 164. Bey should be Berg. 
„ 165. Mallet should be Malet. 

„ 166. The twin victories should be Liitzen and Bautzen. 
„ 167. Hanau ought to be Hainan. 
„ 167. Valencia should be Valence. 

„ 167. E mountains should be Pyrenees. 

„ 168. Montmarte should be Montmartre. 

,, 169. Latroux should be Marchand. 

„ 170. Frejus should be Ligny. 

„ 171. Langwood should be Longwood. 

,, 178. "Ligny boats" should be "ships of the line." 



IN THE JAPANESE LIFE OF PETER THE GREAT 

Page 1 80. Alexieff Mikainaif (Czar Alexei). 
,, 180. Natalie — Natalia Nariskina. 
,, 181. Strelitz, not a town; the "streltzi" is the Russian 

term for the militia. 
„ 181. Ian should be Ivan. Alexieff should be Alexei. 
„ 182. Arkengel should be Archangel. 
„ 183. Leholt should be Lefort. 

,, 184-. Soldiers in Strelitz — the "streltzi" or militia. 
„ 186. "At Strelitz the people'' — the "streltzi" or militia. 
„ 187. Leholt should be Lefort. 
,, ] 88. Silesia should be Sweden. Leusland should be 

Finland. Second Czarina — Catharine. 
,, 189- Aza should be Azov. Silesia should be Sweden. 
„ 190. Silesia should be Sweden. 

205 



Page 


: 192. 




192. 




193. 




193. 




193. 




193. 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 



IN THE JAPANESE HISTORY OF ALEXANDER 

Alexander was not born at Pekin, but at Pella, 
Aristotle was born at Stagira. 
Tibanels should be the Thebans. 
Pindariu should be Pindar. 
Synoba should be Sinope. 

Rivers G and E should be Granicus and Issus. 

194. Honduras is, of course, nonsense. 
194. Candium should be Gordion. 

On the citadel of Gordion stood the remains of 
the royal palaces of Gordios and Midas, and Alex- 
ander went up the hill to see the chariot of Gordios 
and the famous knot which tied the yoke. Cord 
of the bark of a cornel tree was tied in a knot 
which artfully concealed the ends, and there was 
an oracle that he who should loose it would rule 
over Asia. Alexander vainly attempted to untie 
it, and then, drawing his sword, cut the knot, and 
so fulfilled the oracle. — J. B. Bury. 
194. The doctor's name was Philip of Acarnania. The 

wTiter of the letter was Parmenio. 
196. Susan should be Susa or Shushan. 

196. P the capital of Persia, and H the capital of 

Persia, both seem to stand for Persepolis. 
196. Dalius should be Darius. The Japanese frequently 
substitute '1' for 'r' and 'r' for '1.' 

196. General B is Bessus. 

] 96. B is Bactria. 

196. S is Sogdiana. 

197. O is Oxyartes, the chief of a Sogdian tribe, whose 

name has been transferred to his people. 
197. Lokiesone is Roxana. 
197. Heydaspus is Hydaspes. 

197. Polius is Porus. 

198. Dalius is Darius. 



8.06 



PART III 

THE ORIGINAL LETTERS OF THE 
ENGLISH PILOT 

WILLIAM ADAMS 

Written from Japan between A.D. l6ll and 1617. Reprinted 
by special permission from the papers of the Hakluyt Society 



TOKYO 











THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

There have been many allusions during the past 
few months to the letters of Will Adams, the 
English pilot cast away in Japan in 1598. But it 
has long been impossible to obtain a copy of 
them, unless one could, by the merest chance, pick 
up the volume of the Hakluyt Society's reports, 
published more than fifty years ago, in which they 
were printed with notes by Mr Thomas Rundle. 
Accordingly I have begged and received permis- 
sion to reprint here from the papers of the Society 
these famous letters, which, with the diary of 
Richard Cocks, published by the same learned 
body, give the best picture of seventeenth century 
Japan. The volume contains the six letters written 
by Will Adams to England from Japan between 
the years 1611 and 1617. It follows the text 
of the Hakluyt Society— to whose enterprise and 
liberality the public owes its acquaintance with 
these delightful letters — omitting certain notes, 
which did not elucidate the names of the towns 
and persons mentioned. I gave the story of Will 

14 209 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Adams in Queer Things about Japan, but I had 
not then the opportunity of giving the letters. 
Who Will Adams was is nowhere more succinctly 
explained than in the pages of the indispensable 
Chamberlain : — 

" Will Adams, the first EngUshman that ever 
resided in Japan, was a native of Gilhngham, near 
Chatham, in the county of Kent. Having followed 
the sea from his youth up, he took service, in the 
year 1598, as ' Pilot Maior of a fleete of five sayle,' 
which had been equipped by the Dutch East India 
Company for the purpose of trading to Spanish 
America. From ' Perow,' a portion of the storm- 
tossed fleet came on to ' lapon,' arriving at a port 
in the province of Bungo,^ not far from ' Langa- 
sacke' (Nagasaki), on the 19th April 1600. From 
that time until his death, in May 1620, Adams 
remained in an exile which, though gilded, was 
none the less bitterly deplored. The EngHsh pilot, 
brought first as a captive into the presence of 
lyeyasu, who was then practically what Adams 
calls hinx, ' Emperour ' of Japan, had immediately 
been recognized by that shrewd judge of character 
as an able and an honest man. That he and his 
nation were privately slandered to lyeyasu by 
'the lesuites and the Portingalls,' who were at 
that time the only other Europeans in the country, 
probably did him more good than harm in the 

1 A province in the island of Kiushiu, Japan. 
2i0 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

Japanese ruler's eyes. He was retained at the 
Japanese court, and employed as a shipbuilder, 
and also as a kind of diplomatic agent when other 
English and Dutch traders began to arrive. In 
fact, it was by his good offices that the foundations 
were laid both of English trade in Japan and also 
of the more permanent Dutch settlement. During 
his latter years he for a time exchanged the 
Japanese service for that of the English factory 
established by Captain John Saris at Firando^ 
(Hirado) near Nagasaki ; and he made two voyages, 
one to the Loochoo Islands and another to Siani. 
His constantly reiterated desire to see his native 
land again, and his wife and children, was to the 
last frustrated by adverse circumstances. So far as 
the wife was concerned, he partially comforted 
himself, sailor fashion, by taking another — a 
Japanese, with whom he lived at ease for many 
years on the estate granted him by lyeyasu at 
Hemi, near the modern town of Yokohama, 
where their two graves are shown to this day." 
"The first letter sent by Wilham Adams for 
England, he thus addresses :— ' To riy Vnkxowne 
Frinds and Countri-men : dessiring this letter by 
your good meanes, or the nerves or copie of this 

1 Hirado is an island separated from the large island of 
Kiushiu, Japan, by a channel a quai-ter of a mile wide. In the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was the emporium of trade 
between Japan and foreign countries. — Murray. 

211 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

letter, may come into the hands of one, or manny oj 
my acquayntance in Limehovse or eke wheare, or 
in Kent in Gii.lingham, by Rochester.' 

" Probably through the agency of their Factors 
recently settled at Bantam, two copies of the 
letter were transmitted to the ' Worshipfull Felow- 
ship of the Merchants of London trading into the 
East Indies ' ; and in the sequel it will be perceived 
the communication led to the opening of com- 
mercial intercourse between England and Japon. 

" Purchas has given a version of this letter 
{Pilgrims, vol. i., p. 125, etc.) ; but it is to be 
viewed as a loose paraphrase only. In the varia- 
tions he has adopted, erroneously or capriciously, 
the sense is not unfrequently destroyed ; and the 
unaffected earnestness which characterizes the 
original, is rarely preserved. The version now 
given is founded on two manuscript copies, pre- 
served among the records of the East India 
Company. Many of the variations between the 
printed and manuscript copies are noted ; but to 
exhibit the whole, it would be necessary to print 
the two versions in juxtaposition, which would 
occupy more space than seems advisable." 

The notes identifying the places mentioned which are signed 
B. H. S., were specially written for this book by Mr Basil 
H. Soulsby, of the Map Department of the British Museum, and 
Secretary of the Hakluji; Society. Those signed Maunde Thomp- 
son are taken from Sir E. Maunde Thompson's edition of the 
Diary of Mr Richard Cock. Those unsigned are my own, — D. S. 

212 



LETTER No. I 

Hauing so good occasion, by hearing that certaine 
English marchants lye in the island of laua, 
although by name vnknowen, I haue ymboldened 
myselfe to wryte these few lines, desiring the 
WorshipfuU Companie being vnknowen to me, 
to pardon my stowtnes. My reason that I doe 
wryte, is first as conscience doth binde me with 
loue to my countrymen, and country. Your 
Worships, to whom this present wryting shall 
come, is to geve you vnderstand that I am a 
Kentish man, borne in a towne called Gillingam, 
two Enghsh miles from Rochester, one mile from 
Chattavi, where the Kings ships doe lye: and 
that from the age of twelue years olde, I was 
brought vp in Limehouse neere London, being 
Apprentice twelue years to Master Nicholas- 
Diggines', and my selfe haue serued for Master 
and Pilott in her Maiesties ships; and about 
eleuen or twelue yeares haue serued the AYorshipfull 
Companie of the Barbaric Merchants, vntill the 
Indish traffick from Holland [began], in which 

21S 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Indish traffick I was desirous to make a lettel 
experience of the small knowledge which God had 
geven me. So, in the yeare of our Lord 1598, I 
was hired for Pilot Maior of a fleete of five sayle, 
which was made readie by the Indish Companie : 
Peeter Vandei' Hay and Hance Vander Veek. 
The Generall of this fleet, was a marchantt called 
laques Mailiore, in which ship, being Admirall, I 
was Pilott. So being the three and twentieth or 
foure and twentieth of lune ere we sett sayle, it 
was too late ere we came to the line, to passe it 
without contrarie windes. So it was about the 
middest of September, at which time we fownde 
much southerly windes, and our men were many 
sick, so that we were forsed to goe to the coast of 
Guinney^ to Cape Gonsalves, where wee set our 
sicke men a lande, of which many dyed : and of 
the sicknesse few bettered, hauing little or no 
refreshing, beinge an vnhealthful place. So that 
to fulfill our voyage, wee set our course for the 
coast of BrasilU beinge determined to passe the 
Streightes of Magilanus ; ^ and by the way cam 
to an Hand called Annahona,^ which island we 
landed at, and tooke the towne, in which was 
about eightie houses. In which Hand we refreshed 

1 Guinea. - Straits of Magellan. 

3 Annabona — Annobon, or Annabon, Spanish island. West 
Afi-ica, in the Gulf of Guinea, in about 1° 24' S. and 5° 38' E. ; 
4 miles long ; mountainous. Journal R.G.S., 1832, pp. 276-8. — 
B. H. S. 
214 



{ 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

ourselues, hauing oxen, oranges, and diuers fruites, 
etc. But the vnwholesomenesse of the an*e was 
very bad, that as one bettered, an other fell sicke : 
spending vpon the coast vp the cape Gonsalues, 
and vp Anjiabo?ia, a two moneths tyme, till 
the twelfth or thirteenth Nouember. At which 
time, wee set sayle from Annabona, finding the 
windes still at the south and south by east, and 
south-east, till wee got into foure degrees to the 
southwards of the line : at which time the winde 
did fauour vs comming to the south-east, and 
east south-east, and so that we were vp betweene 
the Hand of Annabona, and the Streightes of 
Magilano^ about a fine monethes. One of our 
fine sayle hir maine mast fell over bord, by which 
we were much hindred ; for in the sea with much 
troubell we set a new mast. So that the nine and 
twentieth of March, we saw the lande in lattetude 
of fiftie degrees, hauing the winde a two or three 
daies contrarie : so, in the ende, hauinge the windes 
good, came to the Streightes of Magilano^ the 
sixt of Aprill, 1599, at which time, the winter 
came, so that there was much snowe : and with 
colde on the one side, and hunger on the other, 
our men grew weake. Hauing at that time the 
wind at the north-east, six or seven dayes, in which 
time wee might haue past through the Streightes. 
But, for refreshing of our men we waited, watering 

^ Magellan. 

215 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

and taking in of wood, and setting vp of a pynnas 
of fifteene or twentie tonnes in burthen. So at 
length, wee would haue passed through, but could 
not by reason of the southerly windes : the weather 
being very cold, with aboundance of snowe and 
yce. Wherefore, we were forced to winter and to 
stay in the Streightes from the sixt of Aprill, till 
the foure and twentieth of September, in which 
time our victualles was for the most part of spent, 
and for lacke of the same, many of our men 
dyed of hunger. So hauinge passed through the 
Streightes, and comming in the South Sea, wee 
found many hard stormes, being driuen to the 
southward in fiflie foure degrees, being very cold. 
At length we found reasonable windes and weather, 
with which wee followed our pretended voyage to- 
wards the coast of Perow ^ : but in long traves" we 
lost our whole fleet, being separated the one from the 
other. Yet wee had appointed before the dispersing 
of our fleet by stormes and foule weather, that if 
wee lost one another, that in Chili in the lattetude 
of fortie sixe degrees, wee should stay the one for 
the other the space of thirtie dayes. In which 
height according to agreement, I went in sixe and 
fortie degrees, and stayed eight and twentie dayes 
where we refreshed our selues, findinge the people 
of the countrey of a good nature : but by reason 
of the Spaniardes the people would not trade with 

^ Peru. 2 Traverses. 

216 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

vs. At first, they brought vs sheepe and potatoes, 
for which we gaue them bills and kniues, whereof 
they were very glad: but in the end, the people 
went vp from their houses into the countrey, and 
came no more to vs. Wee stayed there eight and 
twentie dayes, and set vp a pynnas which we had 
in our ship in foure partes, and in the end departed 
and came to the mouth of Baldiuia,' yet by reason 
of the much wind it was at that present, we entred 
not, but directed our course out of the bay, for 
the iland of Much ' [Mocha], vnto the which the 
next day wee came ; and finding none of our fleet 
there, directed our course for *S'^. 3Iaria,^ and the 
next day came by the Cape, which is but a league 
and an halfe from the Iland, and seeing many people 
luffed about the cape, and finding good grownde, 
anchored in a faire sandy bay in fifteene fathom ; 
and went with our boats hard by the water side, 
to parle with the people of the lande, but they 
would not suffer vs to come a lande, shooting great 
store of arrowes at vs. Neuerthelesse, hauing no 
victualls in our ship, and hoping to find refreshmg 

1 Baldiuia— Valdivia, river, Chile, province Valdivia, enters the 
Pacific at the Puerto de Corral in 39° 55' S. Length, 84 miles.— 
B. H. S. 

2 Much (Mocha)— island, off coast of Chile, resorted to by 
whalers. Lat. 38° 24' S. ; long. 74 W. ; length, 8 miles.— 

B. H. S. 

3 Sta. Maria— island, Chile, province Ararco, 36° 59' S., has a 
lighthouse. Length, 7| x 4i miles; area, 12 square miles. - 
B. H. S. 

217 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

by force, wee landed some seuen and twentie or 
thirtie of our men, and droue the wilde people from 
the water side, most of our men being hurt with 
their arrowes. And being on land, we made signes 
of friendship, and in the end came to parle with 
signes and tokens of friendship, the which the 
people in the end did vnderstand. So wee made 
signes, that our desire was for victualls, showing 
them iron, siluer, and cloth, which we would give 
them in exchange for the same. Wherefore they 
gaue our folke wine, with potatoes to eate, and 
drinke with other fruits, bid our men by signes 
and tokens to goe aboord, and the next day to 
come again, and then they would bring us good 
store of refreshing : so, being late, our men came 
aboord, very glad that we had come to a parle 
with them, hoping that we should get refreshing. 
The next day, being the ninth of Nouember 1599, 
our capten, with all our officers, prepared to goe 
a lande, hauing taken counsell to goe to the water 
side, but not to lande more then two or three at 
the most ; for there were people in aboundance 
vnknowen to us : wilde, therefore not to be trusted ; 
which counsell being concluded vpon, the capten 
himselfe did goe in one of our boats, with all the 
force that we could make ; and being by the shore 
side, the people of the countrie made signes that 
they should come a lande ; but that did not 
well like our capten. In the end, the people not 
218 



THE LETTERS OF AVILL ADAMS 

comming neere vnto our boats, our capten, with 
the rest, resolved to land, contrary to that which 
was concluded abord or shipp, before their going 
a lande. At length, three and twentie men landed 
with muskets, and marched vpwardes towards 
foure or fine houses, and when they were about 
a musket shot from the boates more then a 
thousand Indians, which lay in ambush, immedi- 
ately fell vpon our men with such weapons as 
they had, and slewe them all to our knowledge. 
So our boats did long wait to see if any of them 
did come agen ; but being all slaine, our boates 
returned : which sorrowful newes of all our men's 
deaths was very much lamented of vs all ; for we 
had scarce so many men left as could winde vp 
our anker. The next day wee weighed, and went 
ouer to the Hand of St. Maria, where we found 
our Admiral, who had ariued there foure dales 
before vs, and departed from the Hand of Much 
the day before we came from thence, hauing the 
Generall, Master, and all his Officers, murthered 
a lande ; so that all our officers were slaine, the 
one bemoning the other : neuerthelesse, both glad 
to see the one the other, and that we were 
so well met together. My good friend Timothy 
Shotten was Pilott in that ship. 

Being at the island of St. Maiia, which lieth in 
the lattetude to the soward of the line of thirtie 
seuen degrees twelue minutes on the coast of Chili, 

219 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

wee tooke counsell to take all things out of one ship, 
and to burne the other ; but that the captens that 
were made newe, the one nor the other, would not, 
so that we could not agi'ee to leave the one or the 
other ; and having much cloth in our ships, it was 
agreed that wee should leaue the coast of Peroiv^ 
and direct our course for lapon,^ having under- 
stood that cloth was good merchandiz there ; and 
also how vpon that coast of Pe7^ow,^ the king's ships 
were out seeking vs, hauing knowledge of our 
being there, vnderstanding that wee were weake 
of men, which was certaine ; for one of our fleet, 
for hunger, was forced to seeke reliefe at the 
enemies hand in Saint Ago.^ For which reason, 
hauing refreshed ourselues in this Hand of St. 
Maria, more by poHcie then by force, we departed 
the twentie seuen of Nouember, from the Hand of 
St. 3Iaria, with our two ships ; and for the rest of 
our fleete we had no newes of them. So we stood 
away directly for lapan, and passed the equinoctiall 
line together, vntill we came in twentie-eight 
degrees to the northward of the line : in which 
lattetude we were about the twentie-third of 
February 1600. Wee had a wonderous storme 
of wind, as euer I was in, with much raine, in 
which storme wee lost our consort, whereof we 
were very sorry : nevertheless. Math hope that in 

^ Peru. 2 Japan. 

3 Saint Ago— Santiago, Chile.— B. H. S. 
220 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

lapon we should meet the one the other, we 
proceeded on our former intention for lapon, and 
in the height of thirtie degrees, sought the norther- 
most [?] Cape of the forenamed Hand ; but found 
it not, by reason that it heth faulce in all cardes, 
and maps, and globes ; for the Cape lieth in thirtie- 
fiue degi-ees J, which is a great difference. In the 
end, in thirtie-two degrees ^, wee cam in sight of 
the lande, being the nineteenth day of April. So 
that betweene the Cape of St. 3Iaria,^ and lapon^^ 
we were foure moneths and twentie-two daies ; at 
which time there were no more than sixe besides 
my selfe that could stand vpon his feet. So we in 
safetie let fall our anchor about a league from a 
place called Bungo? At which time cam to vs 
many boats, and we suffred them to come abord, 
being not able to resist them, which people did vs 
no harme ; neither of vs vnderstanding the one the 
other. Within a 2 or 3 daies after our arivall, ther 
cam a lesuit from a place called Langasacke,^ to 
which place the Carake of Amakau^ is yeerely 
wont to come, which with other laponers that 
were Christians, were our interpreters, which was 
not to our good, our mortal enemies being our 



^ Cape of Sta Maria — the cape on the island of Santa Maria, 
Chile.— B. H. S. 
^ Japan. 

2 Bungo — district, east side of island Kiushiu, Japan. — B. H. S. 
* Nagasaki. '•' Macao. 

221 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Truchmen/ Neuerthelesse, the King of Bungo, 
the place where we arriued, shewed vs great 
friendship. For he gaue vs an house a lande, 
where we landed our si eke men, and had all 
refreshing that was needfull. We had when we 
cam to anker in Bungo, sicke and whole, foure and 
twentie men, of which number the next day three 
dyed. The rest for the most part recouered, sauing 
three, which lay a long time sicke, and in the end 
also died. In the which time of our being here, 
the Emperour hearing of vs, sent presently fine 
gallies, or friggates, to vs, to bring mee to the 
Court, where his highnes was, which was distant 
from Bungo about an eightie English leagues. 
Soe that as soon as I came before him, he 
demanded of me, of what countrey we were; so 
I answered him in all points ; for there was nothing 
that he demanded not, both conserning warre and 
peace betweene countrey and countrey : so that 
the particulars here to wryte would be too tedious. 
And for that time I was commanded to prisson, 
being well vsed, with one of our mariners that cam 
with me to serue me. 

A two dayes after, the Emperour called me 
agein, demaunding the reason of our comming 
so farre. I aunswered : We were a people that 

^ Truchmen — obsolete English for Dragomen, or intei*preters. 
German trugman, French trucheman. — B. H. S. 
222 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

sought all friendship with all nations, and to haue 
trade in all countries, bringing such merchandiz as 
our countrey did afford into strange landes, in the 
way of traffick. He demaunded also as conserning 
the warres betweene the Spaniard or Portingall and 
our countrey, and the reasons ; the which I gaue 
him to vnderstand of all things, which he was glad 
to heare, as it seemed to me. In the end, I was 
commaunded to prisson agein, but my lodging was 
bettered in an other place. So that 39 dayes I 
was in prisson, hearing no more newes, neither of 
our ship, nor capten, whether he were recouered 
of his sickenesse or not, nor of the rest of the 
company ; in which time, looked euery day to die : 
to be crossed, as the custome of iustice is in lapon,^ 
as hanging is in our land. In which long time of 
imprissonment, the lesuites and the Portingalls ^ 
gaue many euidences against me and the rest to 
the Emperour, that wee were theeues and robbers 
of all nations, and were we suffered to line, it 
should be ageinst the profit of his Highnes, and 
the land : for no nation should come there without 
robbing: his Highnes iustice being executed, the 
rest of our nation without doubt should feare and 
not come here any more : thus dayly making 
axcess to the Emperour, and procuring friendes to 
hasten my death. But God that is always merci- 
ful at need, shewed mercy vnto vs, and would not 
^ Japan. 2 Portuguese. 

223 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

suffer them to haue their willes of vs. In the end, 
the Emperour gave them aunswer that we as yet 
had not doen to him nor to none of his lande any 
harme or dammage : therefore against Reason and 
lustice to put vs to death. If our countreys had 
warres the one with the other, that was no cause 
that he should put vs to death : with which they 
were out of hart, that their cruell pretence failed 
them. For which God be for evermore praised. 
Now in this time that I was in prisson, the ship 
was commaunded to be brought so neere to the 
citie where the Emperour was, as might be (for 
grownding hir) ; the which was done. 41 daies 
being expired, the Emperour caused me to be 
brought before him agein, demanding of mee many 
questions more, which were too long to write. 
In conclusion, he asked me whether I were desirous 
to goe to the ship to see my countreymen. I 
answered very gladly : the which he bade me doe. 
So I departed, and was freed from imprissonment. 
And this was the first newes that I had, that the 
ship and company were come to the citie. So 
that, with a reioicing hart I tooke a boat, and 
went to our ship, where I found the capten and 
the rest, recouered of their sickenesse ; and when 
I cam abord with weeping eyes was received : for 
it was given them to vnderstand that I was 
executed long since. Thus, God be praised, all 
we that were left aliue, came together againe. 
224 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

From the ship all things were taken out : so that 
the clothes wliich I took with me on my back 1 
only had. All my instruments and books were 
taken. Not only I lost what I liad in the ship, 
but from the capten and the company, generally, 
what was good or worth the taking, was carried 
away. All which was doen unknowen to the 
Emperour. So in processe of time hauing know- 
ledge of it, he commaunded that they which had 
taken our goods, should restore it to vs back again ; 
but it was here and there so taken, that we could 
not get it again : sauinge 50000 Rs in reddy money 
was commaunded to be geven vs ; and in his 
presence brought, and delivered in the hands of one 
that was made our gouernour, who kept them in his 
hands to distribute them vnto vs as wee had neede, 
for the buying of victualls for our men, with other 
particular charges. So in the end of thirtie dayes, 
our ship lying before the city called Sakay,^ two 
leagues J or three leagues, from Ozaca,'^ where 
the Emperour at that time did lye, commaunde- 
ment cam from the Emperour, that our ship should 
be carried to the estermost part of the land, called 
Qucmto, whither according to his commaundement 
we were carried, the distance being about an 
hundred and twenty leagues. Our passage thither 
was long, by reason of contrarie windes so that 
the Emperour was there long before vs. Comming 

1 Sakai. - Ozaka. 

15 225 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

to the land of Quanto,^ and neere to the citie 
Eddo,^ where the Emperour was : being arriued. 
I sought all meanes by supplications, to get our 
iship cleare, and to seeke our best meanes to come 
where the Hollanders had their trade : in which 
suit we spent much of the mony geven vs. Also, in 
this time, three or foure of our men rebelled against 
the capten, and my selfe, and made a mutinie with 
the rest of our men, so that we had much trouble 
with them. For they would not abide noe longer 
in the ship, euery one would be a commander : and 
perforce would haue euery one part of the money 
that was geven by the Emperour. It would bee 
too long to wryte the particulars. In the end, the 
money was devided according to euery man's place ; 
but this was about two yeeres that we had been in 
lapon ; and when we had a deniall that we should 
not haue our ship, but to abyde in lapon. So that 
the part of every one being devided, every one 
tooke his way where he thought best. In the end, 
the Emperour gaue euery man, to Hue \^on, two 
pounds of rice a day, daily, and yeerely so much 

1 Quanto — Hakone, village, Japan^ province of Sagami, island 
of Honshiu, 58 miles S.W. from Tokyo, 8 miles W.S.W. from 
Odawara. At a neighbouring pass, called the Hakone Pass, 
crossed by the coast road from Tokyo to Kyoto, there was 
formerly a bai'rier (Kwan or Kuvan), with reference to which the 
west part of Honshiu was spoken of as Kwansai (west of the 
barrier), the east as Kwanto (east of the barrier). — B. H. S. 

2 Yeddo, i.e. Tokyo. 

226 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

as was worth eleuen or twelue ducats a yeare, 
yearely : my selfe, the capten, and mariners all 
alike. 

So in processe of four or fiue yeeres the 
Emperour called me, as diuers times he had done 
before. So one time aboue the rest he would have 
me to make him a small ship. I answered that I 
was no carpenter, and had no knowledg thereof. 
Well, doe your endeavour, saith he : if it be not 
good, it is no matter. Wherefore at his com- 
maund I buylt him a ship of the burthen of eightie 
tunnes, or there about : which ship being made in 
all respects as our manner is, he comming aboord 
to see it, liked it very well ; by which meanes I 
came in more fauour with him, so that I came 
often in his presence, who from time to time gaue 
me presents, and at length a yearely stypend to 
hue vpon, much about seuentie ducats by the 
yeare, with two pounds of rice a day, daily. Now 
beeing in such grace and fauour, by reason I 
learned him some points of jeometry, and vnder- 
standing of the art of Jiiatheviatickes, with other 
things : I pleased him so, that what I said he 
would not contrarie. At which my former 
ennemies did wonder ; and at this time must 
intreat me to do them a friendship, which to both 
Spaniards and Portingals have I doen : recompenc- 
ing them good for euill. So, to passe my time to 
get my lining, it hath cost mee great labour and 

227 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

trouble at the first ; but God hath blessed my 
labour. 

In the ende of hue y teres, I made supplication 
to the king to goe out of this land, desiring to see 
my poore wife and children according to conscience 
and nature. With the which request, the emperour 
was not well pleased, and would not let me goe 
any more for my countrey ; but to byde in his 
land. Yet in processe of time, being in great 
fauour with the Emperour, I made supplication 
agein, by reason we had newes that the Hollanders 
were in Shian ^ and Patania ; ^ which reioyced vs 
much, with hope that God should bring us to our 
countrey againe, by one meanes or other. So I 
made supplication agein, and boldly spake my selfe 
with him, at which he gaue me no aunswer. I 
told him, if he would permit me to depart, I would 
bee a meanes, that both the English and Hollanders 
should come and traffick there but by no means he 
would let mee goe. I asked him leave for the capten, 
the w^hich he presently granted mee. So by that 
meanes my capten got leave ; and in a lapon iunk 
sailed to Pattern ; ^ and in a yeares space cam no 
Hollanders. In the end, he went from Patane^ 



1 Shian. More likely here to refer to Acheen (Achin or 
Atjeh), north of Sumatni. — B. H. S. 

2 Patani — town, Lower Siam, Malay Peninsula. Capital 
Patan State, east coast, about 6° 51' N. — B. H. S. 

3 Pattan or Patane = Patani. — B. H. S. 

228 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

to lor,^ where he found a fleet of nine saile: 
of which fleet Matlecf was General, and in this 
fleet he was made INIaster againe, which fleet 
sailed to Malacca, and fought with an armado 
of Portingalls : in which battel he was shot, and 
presently died : so that as yet, I think, no certain 
newes is knownen, whether I be liuing or dead. 
Therefore I do pray and intreate you in the name 
of Jesus Christ to doe so much as to make my 
being here in lapon, knowen to my poor wife : in 
a manner a widdow, and my two children father- 
lesse : which thing only is my greatest griefe of 
heart, and conscience. I am a man not vnknowen 
in Ratcliffe and Limehouse, by name to my good 
Master Nicholas Diggines, and M. Thomas Best, 
and M. Nicholas Isaac, and William Isaac, 
brothers, with many others; also to M. William 
lones, and M. Bccket. Therefore may this letter 
come to any of their hands, or the copy : I doe 
know that compassion and mercy is so, that my 
friends and kindred shall haue newes, that I doe as 
yet line in this vale of my sorrowfull pilgrimage : 
the which thing agein and agein I do desire for 
lesus Christ his sake. 

You shall vnderstand, that the first ship that I 

1 lor — Johor or Johor Barn, town, capital of the State of Johor 
or Johore, on the south coast, opposite the middle of the island 
of Singapore, a free port ; in 1866 a few huts, now (1894) 15,000 
inhabitants. — B. H. S. 

229 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

did make, I did make a voyage or two in, and then 
the King commaunded me to make an other, which 
1 did, being of the burthen of an hundred and 
twentie tunnes. In this ship I have made a 
voyage from Meako^ to Eddo,^ being as far as 
from London to the Lizarde or the Lands end of 
England: which in the yeere of our Lord 1609, 
the King lent -to the Gouernour of Manilla, to goe 
with eightie of his men, to saile to Acapulca.^ In 
the yeere 1609 was cast away a gi-eat ship called 
the S. Francisco, beeing about a thousand tunnes, 
vpon the coast of lapon, in the lattetude of thirty 
fiue degi-ees and fiftie minutes. By distresse of 
weather she cut ouer-boord her maine mast, and 
bore vp for lapon,^ and in the night vnawares, the 
ship ranne vpon the shore and was cast away : in 
the which thirtie and sixe men were drowned, and 
three hundred fortie, or three hundred fiftie saued : 
in which ship the Gouernour of 3Ianilla as a 
passenger, was to return to Nona Spania.^ But 
this Gouernour was sent in the bigger ship which 
I made, in ann. 1610, to Acapulca. And in ann. 

1 Miyako, i.e. Kyoto. ^ Yeddo, i.e. Tokyo. 

3 Acapulca — Acapulco, seaport^ Mexico, Gueirero^ on the 
Pacific^ l6° 50' N. It has an excellent landlocked harbour, 
from which the Spanish galleons used to sail to Manilla. — 
B. H. S. 

* Japan. 

^ Nueva Espaiia — name given in 1518 by Juan de Grijalva 
to the peninsula of Yucatan, and extended two years later by 
Femand Cortez to all the Empire of Mexico. — B. H. S. 

mo 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

1611, this Gouernour returned another ship in her 
roome, with a great present, and with an Embas- 
sadour to the Emperour, giuing him thankes for 
his great friendship: and also sent the worth of 
the Emperours ship in goods and money : which 
shippe the Spaniards haue now in the Philippinas. 

Now for my seruice which I haue doen and daily 
doe, being employed in the Emperours seruice, he 
hath given me a liuing, like vnto a lordship in 
England, with eightie or ninetie husbandmen, that 
be as my slaues or seruents : which, or the Hke 
president, was neuer here before geven to any 
stranger. Thus God hath prouided for mee after 
my great miserie ; and to him only be all honnor 
and praise, power and glory, both now and for 
euer, worlde without ende. 

Now, whether I shall come out of this land, I 
know not. A^ntill this present there hath been 
no meanes ; but now, through the trade of the 
Hollanders, there is meanes. In the yeere of our 
Lord 1609, two Holland ships came to lapon. 
Their intention was to take the Caracke, that 
yeerly cam from Macao, being a fine or six dayes 
too late. Neuerthelesse, they cam to Firando,'- 
and cam to the Court to the Emperour, where 
they were in great friendship receiued, making 

1 Firando — Hirado, Hirato, Firato, or Firando, island, Japan, 
Strait of Korea, ofF extreme west coast of Kiushiu. The 
Dutch had a trading fort here, l609-l640.— B. H. S. 

231 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

condition with the Emperour yearely to send a 
ship or two ; and so with the Emperour's passe 
they departed. Now, this yeare 1611, there is a 
small ship arriued, with cloth, lead, elephants 
teeth, dammaske, and blacke taffities, raw silke, 
pepper, and other commodities ; and they haue 
shewed cause why they cam not in the former 
yeare 1610, according to promise yearely to come. 
This ship was wonderously well receiued. You 
vnderstand that the Hollanders haue here an 
Indies of money ; for out of Holland there is no 
need of sillier to come into the East Indies. For 
in lapon, there is much siluer and gold to serue for 
the Hollanders to handell wher they will in the 
Est Endies} But the merchandiz, which is here 
vendible for readie money, silke, damaske, blacke 
taffities, blacke and red cloth of the best, lead, and 
such like goods. So, now vnderstanding by this 
Holland ship lately arriued here, that there is a 
settled trade by my countrey-men in the Est 
Indies,^ I presume that amongst them some, either 
merchants, masters, or mariners, must needs know 
mee. Therefore I haue ymbolddened my selfe to 
write these few lines in breife ; being desirous not 
to be ouer tedious to the reader. 

This Hand of lapon ^ is a great land, and lyeth to 
the northwards, in the lattetude of eight and fortie 
degrees, and it lyeth east by north, and west by 

^ Eist Indies. - Japan. 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAISIS 

south or west south west, two hundred and twentie 
EngUsh leagues. The people of this Hand of lapon 
are good of nature, curteous aboue measure, and 
valiant in warre : their iustice is seuerely executed 
without any partialitie vpon transgressors of the 
law. They are gouerned in great ciuilitie. I 
meane, not a land better gouerned in the world by 
ciuill policie. The people be verie superstitious in 
their religion, and are of diuers opinions. There 
be many lesuites and Franciscan friars in this land, 
and they haue conuerted many to be Christians 
and haue many churches in the Hand. 

Thus, in breife, I am constrained to write, hop- 
ing that by one meanes or other, in processe of time, 
I shall heare of my wife and children : and so wdth 
pacience I wait the good will and pleasure of 
Allmity God. Therfore I do pray all them, or 
euery one of them, that if this my letter shall com 
to their hands to doe the best, that my wife and 
children, and my good acquaintance may heere of 
mee ; by whose good meanes I may in processe of 
time, before my death heare newes, or see som of 
my friendes agein. The which thinge God turn 
it to his glory. Amen. 

Dated in lapon the two and twentieth of 
October IGll. 

By your vnworthy friend and seruant, 
to command in what I can, 

WiiJJA:\r Adams. 

233 



LETTER No. II 

Concurrently with the preceding, Wilham 
Adams addressed a letter to his wife, of which a 
fragment has been preserved by Purchas. lb 
contains some interesting additional touches that 
contribute to the completion of the picture already 
given. 

WILLIAM ADAMS TO HIS WIFE. 

LouiNG wife, you shall vnderstand how all things 
haue passed with mee from the time of mine 
absence from you. We set saile with fiue ships 
from the Tejcel, in Holland, the foure and 
twentieth of lune 1598. And departed from the 
coast of England the fift of luly. And the one 
and twentieth of August, we came to one of the 
isles of Capo Verde, called Sanf lago, where we 
abode foure and twentie dayes. In which time 
many of our men fell sicke, through the vnwhol- 
somenesse of the aire, and our generall among the 
rest. Now the reason that we abode so long at 
these ilands was, that one of the captaines of our 
234 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

fleet made our generall beleeue that at these ilands 
we should find great store of refreshing, as goats 
and other things, which was vntrue. 

Here I and all the pilots of the fleet were called 
to a councell ; in which wee all shewed our iudg- 
ments of disliking the place; which were by all 
the captaines taken so ill, that afterward it was 
agreed by them all, that the pilots should be no 
more in the councell, the which was executed. 
The fifteenth day of September we departed from 
the isle of Sanf lago, and passed the equinoctiall 
fine. And in the latitude of three degrees to the 
south, our generall dyed : where, with many con- 
trarie windes and raine, the season of the yeare 
being very much past, wee were forced vpon the 
coast of Guiney,^ falhng vpon an head-land called 
Cabo de Spirito Sancto. The new generall com- 
manded to bear vp with Cape de Lojw Co7isaIues, 
there to seeke refreshing for our men, the which 
we did. In which place we landed all our sicke 
men, where they did not much better, for wee 
could find no store of victuals. The nine and 
twentieth of December, wee set saile to goe on 
our voyage, and in our way we fell with an island 
called Illha da Nobori, where we landed all our 
sicke men, taking the iland by force. Their towne 
contayned some eightie houses. Hauing refreshed 
our men, we set saile againe. At which time our 

1 Guinea. 

235 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

general! commanded, that a man foure dayes 
should haue but one pound of bread, that was a 
quarter of a pound a day ; with a Hke proportion 
of wine and water. Which scarcitie of victuals 
brought such feeblenesse, that our men fell into 
so great weaknesse and sicknesse for hunger, that 
they did eate the calves' skinnes wherewith our 
ropes were couered. The third of Aprill 1599, we 
fell in with the Port of Saint Inlian. And the 
sixt of Aprill we came into the Straight of 
Magellan to the first narrow. And the eighth 
day we passed the second narrow with a good 
wind, where we came to an anchor, and landed on 
Penguin Island, where we ladded our boate ful of 
penguins, which are fowles greater then a ducke, 
wherewith we were greatly refreshed. The tenth, 
we weighed anchor, hauing much wind, which was 
good for vs to goe thorow. But our generall 
would water, and take in prouision of wood for all 
our fleet. In which straight there is enounfh in 
euery place, with anchor ground in all places, three 
or foure leagues one from another. 

In tlie meane time, the wind changed, and came 
southerly, we sought a good so harbour for our ship 
on the north-side, foure leagues off Elizabeth's Bay. 
All Aprill being out, wee had wonderfuU much 
snow and ice, with great winds. For in April, 
May, lune, luly, and August, is the winter 
there, being in fiftie-two degrees ^ by south the 
236 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

equinoctiall. ^lany times in the winter we had 
the wind good to goe through the straights, but 
our generall would not. We abode in the straight 
till the foure and twentieth of August 1599. On 
the which day wee came into the South Sea; 
where sixe or seuen dayes after, in a greater storme, 
we lost the whole fleet one from another. The 
storme being long, we were driuen into the latitude 
of fiftie-foure degrees J, by south the equinoctiall. 
The weather breaking vp, and hauing good wind 
aaraine, the ninth of October we saw the admirall, 
of which we were glad ; eight or ten dayes after 
in the night, hauing very much wind, our fore- 
sayle flew away, and wee lost companie of the 
admirall. Then, according to wind and weather, 
we directed our course for the Coast of Chili, 
where the nine and twentieth of October we came 
to the place appointed of our generall in fortie-sixe 
degrees, where wee set vp a pinnesse, and stayed 
eight and twentie dayes : In this place we found 
people, with whom wee had friendship fine or sixe 
dayes, who brought vs sheep ; for which we gaue 
them bels [? bills] and kniues and it seemed to vs 
they were contented. But shortly after they went 
all away from the place where our ship was, and 
we saw them no more. Eight and twentie dayes 
being expired, we set sayle, minding to goe for 
Baldivia} So wee came to the mouth of the bay 

^ Valdivia River, Chile^ Province of Valdivia (see p. 217). 

237 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

of Baldivia. And being very much wind, our 
captaines minde changed, so that we directed our 
course for the isle of 3Iocha. 

The first of Nouember, we came to the ile 
3Iocha,^ lyJJ^g in the latitude of eight and thirtie 
degrees. Hauing much wind, we durst not aiuhor, 
but directed our course for Cape Sancta Maria^ 
two leagues by south the iland of Sancta Maria^ 
where hauing no knowledge of the people, the 
second of Nouember our went on land, and the 
people of the land fought with our men, and hurt 
eight or nine ; but in the end, they made a false 
composition of friendship, which our men did 
beleeue. 

The next day, our captaine, and three and 
twentie of our chiefe men, went on land, 
meaning for marchandize to get victualls, hauing 
wonderfull hunger. Two or three of the people 
came straight to our boat in friendly manner, with 
a kind of wine and rootes, with making tokens to 
come on land, making signes that there were sheep 
and oxen. Our captaine with our men, hauing 
great desire to get refreshing for our men, went 
on land. The people of the countrey lay intrenched 
a thousand and aboue, and straight- way fell \^on 
our men, and slew them all ; among which was 
my brother Thomas Adanis. By this losse, we had 
scarse so many men whole as could weigh our 

1 Off the coast of Chile {see p. 217). 2 !„ Chile {see p. 217). 
238 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

anchor. So the third day, in great distresse, we 
set our course for the Island of Santa Maria, 
where we found our admirall ; whom when we 
saw, our hearts were some what comforted : we 
went aboord them, and found them in as great 
distresse as we, hauing lost their Generall, with 
seuen and twentie of their men, slaine at the 
Island of 3Iocha, from whence they departed the 
day before we came by. Here we tooke counsell 
what we should doe to get victualls. To goe on 
land by force we had no men, for the most part 
were sicke. There came a Spaniard by composi- 
tion to see our shippe. And so the next day he 
came againe, and we let him depart quietly. 
The third day came two Spaniards aboords vs 
without pawne, to see if they could betray vs. 
When they had scene our shippe, they would 
haue gone on land againe, but we would not 
let them, shewing that they came without 
leaue, and we would not let them goe on land 
againe without our leaue ; where at they were 
greatly offended. We shewed them that we had 
extreame neede of victualls, and that if they would 
giue vs so many sheepe, and so many beeues, they 
should goe on land. So, against their wils, they 
made composition with vs, which, within the time 
appointed, they did accomplish. Hauing so much 
refreshing as we could get, we made all things well 
againe, our men beeing for the most part recouered 

239 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

of there sickenesse. There was a young man, one 
Hudcopee, which knew nothing, but had serued 
the admirall, who was made generall : and the 
master of our shippe was made vice -admirall, 
whose name was lacoh Quaterjuik of Roterdam. 
So the generall and vice-admirall called me and 
the other pilote, beeing an Englishman, called 
Timotluj Shotten (which had been with M. Thomas 
Candish, in his voyage about the world), to take 
counsell what we should doe to make our voyage 
for the best profit of our marchants. At last, it 
was resolued to goe for lapon. For by report of 
one Dirrick Gei^ritson, which had been there with 
the Portugals, woollen cloth was in great estimation 
in that Hand. And we gathered by reason, that 
the 3Ialucos,^ and the most part of the East Indies, 
were hot countreyes, where woolen cloth would 
not be much accepted ; wherefore, we all agreed 
to goe for lapon. So, leaning the coast of Chili 
from thirtie-sixe degrees of south -latitude, the 
seuen and twentieth of Nouember 1599, we tooke 
our course directly for lapon, and passed the line 
equinoctiall with a faire wind, which continued 
good for diuerse moneths. In our way, we fell 
with certain islands in sixeteene degrees of north 
latitude, the inhabitants whereof are meneaters. 
Comming neere these islands, and hauing a great 
pinnesse with vs, eight of our men beeing in the 

^ Moluccas. 
240 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

pinnesse, ranne from vs with the pinnesse, and (as 
we suppose) were eaten of the wild men, of which 
people we tooke one ; which afterward the generall 
sent for to come into his shippe. When wee came 
into the latitude of seuen and twentie and eight 
and twentie degrees, we found very variable winds 
and stormy weather. The foure and twentieth of 
February, we lost sight of our admirall, which 
afterward we saw no more: Neuerthelesse, we 
still did our best, directing our course for lapon} 
The foure and twentieth of March, we saw an 
island called Vna Colonna: at which time many 
of our men were sicke againe, and diners dead. 
Great was the miserie we were in, hauing no more 
but nine or tenne able men to goe or creepe vpon 
their knees : our captaine, and all the rest, looking, 
euery houre to die. The eleuenth of April 1600^ 
we saw the land of lapon, neere vnto Bungo : at 
which time there were no more but fine men of vs 
able to goe. The twelfth of Aprill, we came hard 
to Bungo, where many barkes came aboord vs, the 
people whereof wee willingly let come, hauing no 
force to resist them ; at which place we came to an 
anchor. The people offered vs no hurt, but stole 
all things they could steale ; for which some paid 
deare afterward. The next day, the king of that 
land sent souldiers aboord to see that none of the 
marchants goods were stolen. Two or three dayes 

^ Japan. 

16 241 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

after, our shippe was brought into a good harbour, 
there to abide till the principall king of the whole 
island had newes of vs, and vntill it was knowne 
what his will was to doe with vs. In the meane 
time we got fauour of the king of that place, to 
get our captaine and si eke men on land, which was 
granted. And wee had an house appointed vs, in 
which all our men were laid, and had refreshing 
giuen them. After wee had beene there fine or 
sixe dayes, came a Portugall lesuite, with other 
Portugals, who reported of vs, that we w^ere pirats, 
and were not in the way of marchandizing. Which 
report caused the gouernours and commonpeeple 
to thinke euill of vs : In such manner, that we 
looked alwayes when we should be set vpon crosses ; 
which is the execution in this land for theeuery and 
some other crimes. Thus daily more and more the 
Portugalls incensed the justices and people against 
vs. And two of our men, as traytors, gaue them- 
selues in seruice to the king, beeing all in all with 
the Portugals, hauing by them their lines warranted. 
The one was called Gilbei^t de Conning, whose 
mother dwelleth at 3Iiddlcborough, who gaue him- 
selfe out to be marchant of all the goods in the 
shippe. The other was called lohn Abehon Van 
Owater. These traitours sought all manner of 
wayes to get the goods into their hands, and made 
knowne vnto them all things that had passed in 
our voyage. Nine dayes after our arriuall, the 
242 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

great king of the land sent for me to come vnto 

him. So taking one man with me, I went to him, 

taking my leaue of our captaine, and all the others 

that were sieke, commending my selfe into His 

hands that had preserued me from so many perils 

on the sea. I was carried in one of the king's 

gallies to the court at Osaca,^ where the king lay, 

about eightie leagues from the place where the 

shippe was. The twelfth of May 1600, I came 

to the great king's citie, who caused me to be 

brought into the court, beeing a wonderfull costly 

house guilded with gold in abundance. Comming 

before the king, he viewed me well, and seemed to 

be wonderfull fauourable. He made many signes 

vnto me, some of which I vnderstood, and some I 

did not. In the end, there came one that could 

speake Portuges. By him, the king demanded of 

me of what land I was, and what mooued vs to 

come to his land, beeing so farre off. I shewed 

vnto him the name of our countrey, and that our 

land had long sought out the East Indies, and 

desired friendship with all kings and potentates 

in way of marchandize, hauing in our land diuerse 

commodities, which these lands had not ; and also 

to buy such marchandizes in this land, which our 

countrey had not. Then he asked whether our 

countrey had warres ? I answered him yea, with 

the Spaniards and Portugals,- being in peace with 

^ Ozaka. 2 Portuguese. 

243 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

all other nations. Further, he asked me, in what 
I did beleeue ? I said, in God, that made heauen 
and earth. He asked me diverse other questions 
of things of religions, and many other things : As 
what way we came to the country. Hauing a 
chart of the whole world, I shewed him, through 
the Straight of Magellan. At which he wondred, 
and thought me to he. Thus, from one thing to 
another, I abode with him till mid-night. And 
hauing asked mee, what marchandize we had in 
our shippe, I shewed him all. In the end, he 
beemg ready to depart, I desired that we might 
haue trade of marchandize, as the Portugals and 
Spanyards had. To which he made me an answer ; 
but what it was, I did not vnderstand. So he 
commanded me to be carried to prison. But two 
dayes after, he sent for me againe, and enquired of 
the qualities and conditions of our countreys, of 
warres and peace, of beasts and catell of all sorts ; 
and of the heauens. It seemed that he was well 
content with all mine answers vnto his demands. 
Neuerthelesse, I was commanded to prison againe : 
but my lodging was bettered in another place. . . . 



244 



LETTER No. Ill 

To my assured good frind Augustin Spalding, in 
Bantam, deliuer this, per a good frind Thomas 
Hill, whom God presserue. 

Lavs dei : written in Japan in ye Hand qj 
Ferrando,^ the 12 of Jeneuari 1613. 

My good and louing frind : I do imbolden my 
self to wrytt theess feaw Hnes vnto you in which 1 
do hartylly sallute me vnto you with all the rest 
of my good country men with you, with hope of 
your good health, which God long continew : as I 
prayss God I am at this present, etc. 

Your ffrindly and Christian letter I hau receued 
by the Hollanders which be heer arriued this yeer 
1612, by which I do vnder stand that you have 
receued my letter which I sent by Peetter Johnssoon, 
of which I am veri glad, hoping yt my poor wyf 
and frindes shall heer I am alyve. For vnto 
this present ther hath not coum to ye hands of 
my frinds anny letter of myne : being by the 

1 Hirado. 

245 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Hollanders intercepted alwayes ; for by the 
company of thees ship I haue sertain newes of 
trewth yt it is expressley forbid by the Winth- 
abers so called, or Indish Company, yt they shall 
carri nor bring anny letters in no maner of wayes : 
for by both thees shipes I have had diuers letteers 
sent me by my wyf and other good frinds out 
of Ingland and Holland, but feaw coum to my 
hand and thoo as yt I hau receued the most part 
were 2 lettrs which cam from London by the 
convayance of the Gloob of London, which arriued 

at Pattania [ ] which is heer arriued : 

which 2 lettrs, the on is from [? the honourable Sir'] 
Thomas Smith, and on from my good frind John 

Stokle, soum tym on of the [ ]. Thees 

2 lettrs hau not bin oppened, but a 40 or 50 dayes 
detayned from mee, etc. 

You shall [? understand] by the letter of Sr. 
Thomass Smith, he hath written that he will send 
a ship heer in Japan to establish a facktori, of 
which, yf yet may be profitt I shalbe most glad : 
of which newes I told the Emperour thearof, and 
told him yt in ye next yeer the kinges mati.^ of 
Ingland would send his imbashador with mony and 
marchandiz to trad in his country; and of the 
certenti theerof I had receued newes. At which 
hee wass veery glad, and rejoyced that strange 
nacions had such good oppinion : with many other 

^ Majesty. 

S46 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

good speeches. Now, my good frind, if it so fall 
out that on of our country shipes do coum heer to 

traffick thear [ ] not lee [ ] 

welcoum. And this I do inseur you of, for it is 
in my power to do it. I doo prayss God for it : 
who hath geuen me fauor with the Emperour, 
and good will to me, so farr as that I may 
boldly say our country men shalbe so welcoum 
and free in coumparisson as in the riuer of 
London. 

And now to the purposs. I feear yt theer wilbe 
no profitt, which is principal : for ye coumodeties 
of our countri are heer good cheep, yt is clloth ; 
for by reason of the ship that comes from Novo 
Spaynia of the on party and the Hollanders on the 
other party, hath made the priss of cloth so good 
chep as in Ingland. An 8 or 9 years ago cloth 
was very deer, but now verry chep. Now the 
coumodities yt ye bring from Holland are theess : 
cloth, leed, still \_steel], louking glasses, drinking 
glasses, dans-klass-glasses, amber, dieeper and 
hoUand, with other things of small importance. 

First of ther cloth no profitt ; leed at [ ] 

the 1., or lees, 3d the which is no profitt ; steel 
6d the 1. and other things of small profitt. By ye 

way [ ] them bring peper, the priss thearof 

40s. the lOOl. ; clouess 5\. starlinge the lOOl. and 

thees [ ] and the priss they sell them for. 

The ship that coums from Pattania [ ] of 

247 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

all prisses, damas, taffety, velvett, satten, Brassill 
to dye with. All other china coumodities yt 

[ ] is not sartain becass soum yeers good 

cheep, and soum yeer deer [ ] of chinas 

goods they mad great proffit at first. As the 
shipes coum lade, so thay go away much deeper 
lade, for heer [? they^ lad thear shipes with rise, 
fish, bisket, with diuers other prouisions, monicion 
[? mumtion\ marriners, sojoures, and svch lyk, so 
that in respeckt of the warres in Mollowcouss 
[Moluccas] Japan is verry profittable vnto them ; 
and yf the warres do continew in ye MoUucous 
with ye traffick they haue heer wilbe a great 
scourge vnto ye Spaynnards, etc. 

Now my good frind : can our Inglish marchants 
get the handelling or trad with the Chinas, then 
shall our countri mak great profitt, and the 
worshippful Indiss Coumpany of London shall not 
hau need to send monny out of Ingland, for in 
Japan is gold and siluer in aboundance, for with 
the traflick heer they shall hau monny to serue 
theer need ; I mean in the Indiss, etc. 

The HoUandes be now settled and I hau got 
them that priuilledg as the Spaynnards and 
Portingalles could neuer gett in this 50 or 60 
yeers in Japan, etc. 

This yeer 1612 the Spaynnards and Portingalles 
hau evssed me as an instrument to gett there 
liberty in the manner of the HoUandes, but vppon 
248 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

consideration of farther inconvenience I hau not 
sought it for them. 

It hath plessed God to bring things to pass, so 
as in ye eyes of ye world [? must seevi] strange : for 
the Spaynnard and Portingall ^ hath bin my bitter 
ennemis, to death ; and now theay must seek to 
me an vnworth wr[d?^]ch : fo the Spaynard as well 
as the Portingall must haue all their negosshes 
[? negociations] go thorough my hand. God hau 
ye prayse for it, etc. 

The charges in Japan are not great: onlly a 
pressent for ye Emperour and a pressent for ye 
Kinge, and 2 or 3 other pressents for the Secretaris. 
Other coustoumes here be nonn. Now, once, yf 
a ship do coum, lett her coum for the esterly part 
of Japan, lying in 35d. 10m. whear the Kinge and 
ye Emperour court is : for coum our ships to 
Ferando " whear the Hollanders bee, it is farr to ye 
court, about 230 L., a wery soum way and foul. 
The citti of Edo^ lyeth in 36, and about this 
esterly part of the land thear be the best harbors 
and a cost so cleer as theayr is no sholdes nor rokes 
^ a myll from the mayn land. It is good also 
for sale of marchandis and security for ships, forr 
which cass I haue sent a pattron [? pattern card, or 
chart] of Japan, for which my self I hau been all 
about the cost in the shipping that I have made 

1 Portuguese. ^ Hirado. 

3 Yeddo, i.e. Tokyo. 

249 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

for ye Emperour, that I hau experyence of all yt 
part of ye cost that lyeth in 36d,, etc. 

Now my good frind : I thank you for your good 
writting and frindly token of a byble and 3 other 
boukes. By your letter I vnderstand of ye death 
of many of my good frinds in the barbarous country 
of Barbary : for which death, and los of goods I 
am heartelie sorry. Nevertheles it is ye lot of all 
flesh : in this lyf manny trobelles and afflixcions, 
and in the end death. Thearfor it is a blessed 
thing to dy in the Lord, with a faithfull trust in 
God : for theay rest from theer labores, etc. 

In this land is no strange newes to sertify you 
of : the whool being in peace : the peopell veri 
subiect to thear gouvernours and superiores : also 
in thear relligion veri zellous, or svpersticious, 
hauing diners secttes, but praying all them secttes, 
or the most part, to one saynt which they call 
Ameeda ^ : which they esteem to bee their mediator 
between God and them : all thees sectes lining in 

frindship on with an other, not [ ] on an 

other, but everi on as his conscience teacheth. In 
this land are many Christians according to ye 
romishe order. In the yeer 1612 is put downe all 
the sects of the Franciscannes. The Jesouets hau 

what priuiledge [ ] theare beinge in 

Nangasaki,'^ in which place only may be so manny 
as will of all sectes : in other places not manny 

^ Amida — Buddha. 2 Nagasaki. 

250 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

permitted. In justis very seuer, hauing no respecte 
of persons. Theer cittis gouerned with greatt 
ciuility and in lou : for ye most part nonn going 
to lawe on with an other ; but yf questiones be 
bettween nay hour and naybour, it is by justiss 
coummanded to be pressently taken vp, and frind- 
ship to be mad with out dellay. No theef for ye 
most part put in prisson, but pressently executed. 
No murther for ye most part can escap : for yf so 
bee yt yt murtherer cannot be found, ye Emperour 
coumands a prochmacion with a wryting, and by 
ye writting so mvch gold as is of vallew 3001. 
starlinge ; and yf anny do know whear ye 
murtherer is, he cooms and receueth the gold, 
and goeth his way with out anny further troubell. 
Thus for the lukar of so moch monny it coumes 
to light. And their citties you may go all ower 
in ye night with out any trobell or perrill, being a 
peepell [? well affected] to strangers : ye lawe much 

lyk the Jud [ ] truth. Thus by the way, 

in hast I hau imboldned [? myself] to writ some- 
what of ye coustome and manners, etc. 

If it bee yt thear coum a ship neer vnto the 
estermost part, let them inquir for me. I am 
called in the Japann tonge Augiu Samma.^ By 
that nam am I knowen all the sea cost allonge, and 
feear not to coom neer the mayn, for you shall hau 
barkes with pillotts yt shall carry you will ; and 

1 Anjin Sama, i.e. Mr. Pilot. 

251 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

coumes thear a ship heer, I hop the wourshippfull 
coumpanie shall find me to bee a saruant or yr 
saruants to seru them in such a maner as they 
shalbe satisfied of my serues. Thus yf occasion 
semeth, I pray wrjrt my hombell sallutacion to ye 
wourshippfull Sr. Thomass Symth ; and conssern- 
ing his Christian charity and greate lou in lending 
my wyfe 20l. starlling, God I hop will reward 
him ; and I am, and shalbe allwayes reddy to make 
paiment to whoum he shall apoynt me. I pray yt 

capptain Stippon, capptain of the Gllobe [ ] 

I pray him to mak known in Ingland to my frinds, 
that I am in good health, and I trust in God errlong 
to gett leeaue from the Emperour to get out of this 
country to my frinds agayne. Thus with this my 
poor request do I imbold my seelf to troubell you. 
Had I known our Inglish shipes hade trade with 
the Indiss, I had long a[^o] troubled you with 
wrytting ; but the Hollanders hau kept it most 
seccreet from me tell the yeere 1611, which wass 
the first newes yt I heerd of the trading of our 
shipes in the Indiss. I would gladdly a sent soum 
small token in signe of good will vnto you, but at 
this pressent no conuenient messadg [? message, or 
opportunity of sending]. For thes ships ass theay 
saye go no far[M6'r] as the Mollocouss in his coum- 
mand. Thus with my coummendacion only, and 
to all my countrimen, I beque[rtM] you and your 
afFares to the tuicion of God, who blless and keep 
252 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

you in body and soull from alkyour ennemys for 
euer and euer. 

Your vnwourthe frind yet assured to coumand, 

William Addames. 

I hau writt 2 letters all in one maner, so yt yf on 
coumes to your hand I shall be glad. 



25a 



LETTER No. IV 

INTRODUCTION 

In conformity with the intimation communicated 
by Sir Thomas Smith to WilHam Adams, of the 
intention of the East India Fellowship to seek 
trade with Japan, Captain John Saris, in com- 
mand of the Clove, was despatched on a mission 
to the Emperor : being accredited with a letter, 
and charged with presents, from the Sovereign of 
England, James the First. 

The Clove came to anchor in the vicinity of 
Firando^ one of the Japanese Islands, on the 
11th of June, 1613. The arrival of the vessel was 
marked by many circumstances of highly interesting 
character ; and the commander was greeted with no 
less cordiality than courtesy. These matters are 
fully set forth in his narrative, which is as follows : 

captain saris : his arrival at firando, and 
his intertaynment. 

The ninth [of June, 1613] in the morning wee 
had sight of land, bearing north north-east, and 

^ Hirado. 
254 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

sixe great islands on a ranke. From the island we 
descried yesternight north-east and south-west, and 
at the northermost end of them all, many small 
rockes and hummockes, and in the bay to the east- 
ward of the hummockes we saw an high land 
bearing east, east by south, and east south-east, 
which is the island called Xima ^ in the Plats,^ but 
called by the naturals Mashma^ and the island 
aforesaid, north north-east, is called Segue or 
A7naxay'. it lyeth east by north, and west by 
south, with many small islands and rockes on the 
southerne side of them, and is distant from the 
island with the steepe point, (which wee did see 
the eight day) south-south-west twelue leagues, 
the winde calme all night, yet we got to the 
northward, as wee supposed, by the helpe of a 
current or tide. 

The tenth, by breake of day the outward most 
land to the westward did beare north by east ten 
leagues off, the wind at north-east by north : at 
nine, a gale at south, wee steered north by west, 
and had sight of two hummockes without the 
point. Then wee steered north north-west, and 
soone after came foure great fisher-boats aboord, 
about fine tunnes apeece in burthen, they sailed 

^ Shima is the Japanese for an island. 
^ Plates or maps. 

3 Mishima, which gives its name to the Mishima Nada, in the 
inland sea. 

255 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

with one saile, which stood Uke a skifFe saile, and 
skuld with foure oares on a side, their oares resting 
vpon a pinne fastned on the toppe of the boats 
side, the head of which pinne was so let into the 
middle part of the oare that the oare did hang in 
his iust poize, so that the labour of the rower is 
much lesse, then otherwise it must be ; yet doe 
they make farre greater speed then our people with 
rowing, and performe their worke standing as ours 
doe sitting, so that they take the lesse roome. 
They told vs that we were before the entrance of 
Nangasaque,^ bearing north north-east, and the 
straights of Arima, north-east by north, and the 
high hill, which we did see yesterday, is vpon the 
island called Vszideke,^ which maketh the straights 
of Arima,^ where at the norther-most end is good 
riding, and at the south end is the going into 
Cachinoch. To this noone we haue made a north- 
way sixe leagues. Wee agreed with two of the 
masters of the fisher-boats (for thirtie rialls of eight 
a piece in money, and rice for their food) to pilot 
vs into Firando ; which agreement made, their 
people entred our shippe, and performed voluntarily 
their labour, as readily as any of our mariners. 
We steered north by west, the pilots making 

1 Nagasaki. 

2 Uzendake. — Maunde Thompson. 

3 Arima — I find Harima Nada in Japan (Stanford's London 
Atlas, 1904). — B. H. S. (This means the same. — Ed.) 

256 



H' 



M^^ 



-«?e£? 



To bcick on p. 256. 











r 




■:^w mKWg : &mw^ ? r *" M!MM1 i 



Misliima. 



To hack on p. 257. 




Mishima. 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

account to be thirtie leagues off Firando} One of 
the foure boats which came aboord vs, did belong 
to the Portugah, living at Langasaque,^ and were 
new Chris'tiam, and thought that our ship had been 
the Macau '^ ship ; but finding the contrary, would 
vpon no intreatie stay, but made hast backe againe 
to aduise them. 

The eleuenth, about three of the clocke in the 
afternoone, we cam to an anchor halfe a league 
short of Firando, the tide so spent that we could 
not get further in : soone after I was visited by the 
old king Foyne Sama, and his nephew Tone Saiiia,* 
gouernour then of the iland vnder the old king. 
They were attended with fortie boats or gallyes, 
rowed some with ten, some with fifteene oares on 
a side: when they drew neare to the ship, the 
king commanded all, but the two wherein himselfe 
and his nephew were, to fall a sterne, and they 
only entred the ship, both of them in silk gownes, 
girt to them with a shirt, and a paire of breeches 
of flaxen cloath next their bodies. Either of them 
had two cattans ^ or swords of that countrey by his 
side, the one of halfe a yard long, the other about 
a quarter. They wore no bands, the fore-parts of 
their heads were shauen to the crowne, and the rest 

1 Hirado. 2 Nagasaki. ^ Macao. 

^ Another name of Figen a Sama, King of Firando. — Maunde 
Thompson. 

^ The Japanese sword is called "catana." 

17 257 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

of their haire, which was very long, was gathered 
together and bound Mp on a knot behind, wearing 
neither hat nor turbant, but bare-headed. The king 
was aged about seuentie two yeeres, his nephew or 
grand-child, that gouerned under him, was about 
tw^o and twentie yeeres old, and either of them had 
his gouernour with him, who had command ouer 
their slaues, as they appointed him. 

Their manner and curtesie in saluting was after 

their manner, which is this. First, in presence of 

him whom they are to salute, they put off their 

shooes (stockings they weare none) and then 

clapping their right hand within their left, they 

put them downe towards their knees, and so 

wagging or mouing of their hands a little to and 

fro, they stooping, steppe with small steps sideUng 

from the partie saluted, and crie Augh, Augh. I 

led them into my cabbin, where I had prepared a 

banquet for them, and a good consort of musicke, 

which much delighted them. They bade me 

welcome, and promised me kind entertainment. I 

deliuered our kings letters to the king of Firando, 

which he receiued with great ioy, saying bee w^ould 

not open it till Auge came, who could interpret 

the same vnto him ; this Auge is, in their language, 

a pilot, being one William Adams, an English man, 

who, passing with a Flemming through the South 

Sea, by mutiny and disorder of the marriners shee 

remained in that countrey, and was seised vpon by 

<^58 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

the emperour about twelue years before. The 

king hauing stayed aboord about an houre and a 

halfe, tooke his leaue : he was no sooner ashoare, 

but all his nobilitie, attended with a multitude of 

souldiers, entered the ship, euery man of worth 

brought his present with him, some venison, some 

wild-fowle, some wild-boare, the largest and fattest 

that euer any of vs had seene, some fruits, fish, etc. 

They did much admire our shippe, and made as if 

they had neuer seene it sufficiently. AVe being 

pestered with the number of these visiters, I sent 

to the king, requesting him that order might bee 

taken to remoue them, and to preuent all incon- 

ueniences that might happen. Whereupon hee 

sent a guardian, (being a principall man of his owne 

guard) with charge to remain and lye aboord, that 

no injury might be offered vnto vs ; and caused a 

proclamation to be made in the towne to the same 

effect. The same night Henrick Brower, captain 

of the Butch factory there, came aboord to visite 

me, or rather to see what passed betwixt the king 

and vs. I did write the same day to master Adams 

(being then at Edoo, which is very neare three 

hundred leagues from Firando) to let him vnder- 

stand of our arriual. King Foijne sent it away the 

next day by his Admirail to Osackay,^ the fu-st 

port of note vpon the chiefe island, and then by 

post vp into the land to Edoo :^ giuing the 

1 Ozaka. "^ i.e., Yeddo, now Tokyo. 

259 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

emperour likewise to vnderstand of our being 
there, and cause thereof. 

The twelfth in the morning, there was brought 
aboord such abundance of fish, and so cheape as 
we could desire. We weighed and set sail for 
the road. The king sent at the least threscore 
great boats or gallyes very well mand, to bring 
vs into the harbor. I doubted what the cause of 
their coming might be, and was sending off the 
skiffe to comand them not to come neare the ship, 
but the king being the head-most, weaued with 
his handkercher, and willed the rest to attend, and 
himselfe comming aboord, told me that he had 
commanded them to come to tow our ship in about 
a point, somewhat dangerous, by reason of the 
force of the tide, which was such, that hauing a 
stifFe gale of wind, yet we could not stemme it, 
and comming into the eddie, we should haue been 
set vpon the rockes. So we sent hawsers aboord 
them, and they fell to worke. In the meane 
while the king did breake his fast with me. Being 
at an anchor, I would haue requited the people for 
their paines, but the king would not suffer them to 
take any thing. Wee anchored before the towne 
in fiue fathome, so near the shoare, that we might 
talke to the people in their houses. We saluted 
the towne with nine peeces of ordnance, but were 
not answered, for they haue no ordnance heere, nor 
any fort, but barricados only for small shot. Our 
260 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

ground heere wes ozie. Diuers noblemen came to 
bid me welcome, whereof two were of extroardinary 
account, called Nobusane'^ and Shimmadone, who 
were very well entertained, and at parting held 
very great state, one staying aboord whilest the 
other was landed ; their children and chiefe followers 
in the like manner. There came continually such 
a world of people aboord, both men and women, 
as that we were not able to go vpon the decks : 
round about the ship was furnished with boats full 
of people, admiring much the head and sterne of 
the ship. I gaue leaue to diuers women of the 
better sort to come into my Cabbin, where the 
picture of Venus, with her sonne Cupid, did hang 
somewhat wantonly set out in a large frame. They 
thinking it to bee our ladie and her sonne, fell 
downe and worshipped it, with shewes of great 
deuotion, telling me in a whispering manner (that 
some of their own companions which were not so, 
might not heare) that they were Christianos : 
whereby we perceiued them to be Christians, 
conuerted by the Portugall lesuits. 

The king came aboord againe, and brought foure 
chiefe women with him. They were attired in 
gownes of silke, clapt the one skirt ouer the other, 
and so girt to them, barelegged, only a paire of 
halfe buskins bound with silke reband about their 

1 Bongo Sama, the King of Firando's great-uncle. — Maunde 
Thompson. 

261 



xMORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

instep ; their haii-e very blacke, and very long, tyed 
vp in a knot vpon the crowne in a comely manner : 
their heads no where shauen as the mens were. 
They were well faced, handed, and footed ; cleare 
skind and white, but wanting colour, which they 
amend by arte. Of stature low, but veiy fat ; 
very curteous in behauiour, not ignorant of the 
respect to be giuen vnto persons according to their 
fashion. The king requested that none might stay 
in the cabbin, saue myself and my Linguist, who 
was borne in lapan, and was brought from Bantam 
in our ship thither, being well skild in the Mallayan 
tongue, wherein he deliuered to mee what the king 
spoke vnto him in the lapan language. The 
kings women seemed to be somewhat bashfuU, but 
he willed them to bee frolicke. They sung diuers 
songs, and played vpon certain instruments (where- 
of one did much resemble our lute) being bellyed 
like it, but longer in the necke, and fretted like 
ours, but had only foure gut strings. Their fingr- 
ing with the left hand like ours, very nimbly, but 
the right hand striketh with an iuory bone, as we 
vse to playe upon a citterne with a quill. They 
delighted themselues much with their musicke, 
keeping time with their hands and playing and sing- 
ing by booke, pricked on line and space, resembling 
much ours heere. I feasted them, and presented 
them with diuers English comodities : and after 
some two houres stay they returned. I moued the 
262 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

king for a house, which hee readily granted, and tooke 
two of the merchants along with him, and shewed 
them three or foure houses, willing them to take 
their choice, paying the owners as they could agree. 
The thirteenth, I went ashoare, attended vpon 
by the merchants and principal officers, and de- 
liuered the presents to the king, amounting to the 
value of one hundred and fortie pounds, or there- 
abouts, which he receiued with very great kind- 
nesse, feasting me and my whole companie with 
diuers sorts of powdered wild fowles and fruits : 
and calling for a standing cup (which was one of 
the presents then deliuered him) he caused it to 
be filled with his country wine, which is distilled 
out of rice, and is as strong as our Aquauitce : 
and albeit the cuppe held vpward of a pint and 
half, notwithstanding taking the cup in his hand, 
he told me hee would drinke it all off, for health to 
the king of England and so did myself, and all 
his nobles doing the like. And whereas in the 
roome where the king was, there was onely my self 
and the cape merchant, (the rest of our company 
being in an other roome) the king commanded his 
secretarie to goe out vnto them, and see that euerie 
one of them did pledge the health. The king and 
his nobles did sit at meat crosse-legged vpon mats 
after the Turkie fashion, the mats richly edged, 
some with cloath of gold, some with veluet, satten, 
and damask. 

263 



JMORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

The fourteenth and fifteenth, we spent with 
giuing of presents. The sixteenth, I concluded 
with captain Andassee, captain of the China 
quarter here, for his house, to pay ninetie fiue 
ryals of eight for the monson of six moneths, he to 
repair it at present, and wee to repair it hereafter, 
and alter what we pleased : he to furnish all con- 
uenient roomes with mats according to the fashion 
of the Countrey. 

This day our ship was so pestered with people, 
as that I was enforced to send to the king for a 
guardian to clear them out, many things been 
stolne, but I more doubted our owne people, than 
the naturals. There came in a Flemming in one 
of the Countrey boates, which had been at the 
Island 3Iashma, where he had sold good store of 
Pepper, broad Cloth, and Elephants teeth, but 
would not be aknowne vnto vs to haue sold any 
thing, yet brought nothing backe in the boat with 
him. But the lapons his waterman told vs the 
truth, viz. that he had sold good quantitie of goods 
at a Mart there, and returned with barres of siluer, 
which they kept very secret. 

The one and twentieth, the old King came 
aboord againe, and brought with him diuers women 
to be frolicke. These women were actors of 
comedies, which passe there from iland to iland to 
play, as our players doe here from towne to towne, 
hauing seuerall shifts of apparrell for the better 
264 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

grace of the matter acted ; which for the most part 
are of Warre, Loue, and such like. 



The twentie ninth, a Soma or lunke of the 
Flemmings arriued at Langasaque,^ from Syam,^ 
laden with Brasill wood and skins of all sorts, 
wherein it was said that there were EngUshmeJi, 
but proued to be Flevimiiigs. For that before our 
comming, the passed generally by the name of 
Englishmen; for our English Nation hath been 
long known by report among them, but much 
scandalled by the Po7^tugals lesuites, as pyrats and 
rovers upon the seas ; so that the naturals haue a 
song which they call the English Crofonia, shewing 
how the English doe take the Spanish ships, which 
they (singing) doe act likewise in gesture with their 
Cattans by their sides, with which song and acting, 
they terrific and skare their children, as the French 
sometimes did theirs with the name of the I^ord 
Talbot 

The first of July, two of our Company happened 
to quarrell the one with the other, and were very 
likely to haue gone into the field, to the endangering 
of vs all. For it is a custome here, that whosoeuer 
drawes a weapon in anger, although he doe no 
harme therewith, hee is presently cut in peeces : 
and doing but small hurt, not only themselues are 
so executed, but their whole generation. 

1 Nagasaki. ^ Siam. 

265 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

The seuenth, the King of the Hand Goto, not 
farre from Firando'^ came to visit King Foyne, 
saying that he had heard of an excellent English 
ship arriiied in his dominions, which he greatly 
desired to see, and goe aboord of. King Foyne 
intreated me that he might be permitted, for that 
hee was an especial friend of his. So he was well 
entertained aboord, banqueted, and had diuers 
peeces shot off at his departure, which he very 
kindly accepted, and told me, that hee should bee 
right glad to line to see some of our nation to 
come to his Hand, whither they should be heartily 
welcome. 

The eighth, three laponiaiis were executed, viz. 
two men and one women : the cause this ; the 
woman none of the honest est (her husband being 
trauelled from home) had appointed these two their 
seuerall houres to repair vnto her. The latter man 
not knowing of the former, and thinking the time 
too long, comming in before the houre appointed, 
found the first man with her already and enraged 
thereat, he whipt out his cattan, and wounded 
both of them very sorely, hauing very neere 
hewne the chine of the mans back in two. But 
as well as he might hee cleared himselfe of 
the woman and recouering his cattan," wounded 
the other. The street taking notice of the fray, 
forthwith seased vpon them, led them aside, and 

^ Hirado. ^ A sword. 

266 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

acquainted King Foyne therewith, and sent to 
know his pleasure, (for according to his will, the 
partie is executed) who presently gaue order that 
they should cut off their heads : which done, euery 
man that listed (as very many did) came to trie the 
sharpenesse of their cattans ^ vpon the corps, so that 
before they left off, they had hewne them all three 
into peeces as small as a mans hand and yet not- 
withstanding did not then giue ouer, but placing 
the peeces one vpon another, would try how many 
of them they could strike through at a blow ; and 
the peeces are left to the fowles to deuoure. 

The tenth, three more were executed as the 
former, for stealing of a woman from Firando,^ and 
selling her at Langasacque^ long since, two of them 
were brethren, and the other a sharer with them. 
When any are to be executed, they are led out of 
the towne in this manner : there goeth first one 
with a pick-axe, next followeth an other with a 
shouell for to make his graue (if that bee permitted 
him), the third man beareth a small table whereon 
is written the parties offence, which table is after- 
wards set vp vpon a post on the graue where he is 
buried. The fourth is the partie to be executed, 
his hands bound behind him with a silken cord, hau- 
ing a litle banner of paper (much resembling our 
wind- vanes) whereon is likewise written his offence. 

1 Swords. '^ Hirado. 

3 Nagasaki. 

267 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

The executioner followeth next, with his cattan^ 
by his side, holding in his hand the cord where- 
with the offender is bound. On either side of the 
executioner goeth a souldiour with his pike, the 
head thereof resting on the shoulder of the partie 
appointed to suffer, to skare him from attempting 
to escape. In this very manner I saw one led to 
execution, who went so resolutely and without all 
appearance of feare of death, that I could not but 
much admire him, neuer hauing scene the like in 
Christen-dome. The offence for which he suffered 
was for stealing of a sacke of rice (of the value of 
two shillings sixe pence) from his neighbour, whose 
house was then on fire. 

The nineteenth, the old King Foyne entreated 
me for a peece of Poldauis,^ which I sent him ; hee 
caused it presently to be made into coates, which 
he (notwithstanding that hee was a King, and of 
that great age, and famed to be the worthiest 
soldiour of all lapan, for his valour and seruice in 
the Corea7i warres) did wear next his skinne, and 
some part thereof was made into handker chiefes, 
which he daily vsed. 

The nine and twentieth, M. Adams arriued at 
Fh^ando,^ hauing been seuenteene dayes on the 
way comming from Sorongo, we hauing staied here 
for his comming fortie eight dayes. After I had 

1 Sword. 2 Canvas, see page 292. 

^ Hirado. 
268 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

friendly entertained him, I conferred with him in 
the presence of the merchants, touching the in- 
couragement hee could giue of trade in these parts. 
He answered, that it was not alwaies alike, but 
sometime better, somethnes worse, yet doubted 
not but we should doe as well as others ; giuing 
admirable commendations of the Countrey, as 
much affected thereunto. 

The third of August 1613, king Foync sent to 
know of what bulk our kings present to the Em- 
perour was, also what number of people I would 
take with me, for that he would prouide accordingly 
for my going vp in good fashion both for barke, 
horses, and pallanchins. 

This day, I caused the presents to be sorted that 
were to be giuen to the emperour, and to those of 
office and esteeme about him, viz. 

£ s. d. 

To Ogoshosama,^ the emperour^ to the value of 87 7 6 

To Shongosama,^ the emperours sonne . . 43 15 

To Corf*Aerfow«,3 the emperours secretarie . 15 17 6 

To Saddadona,^ the emperours sonnes secretarie 14 03 4 

To Icocora Inga,^ ludge of Meaco . . . 04 10 6 

To Fongo dona,*^ admiraW of Orango . . 03 10 

To Goto Shozauero, the mintmaster . . 1 1 00 

Totall . . .180 03 10 



1 lyeyasu. ^ Hidetada. 

3 Codskin dono, secretary to lyeyasu. 

■* Father of Codskin dono. 

^ Chief Justice of Japan. 

^' "■ The ould admirall " of Richard Cock. 

269 



WILLIAM ADAMS: HIS LETTER— IV 

[Endorsed : " A vearey Larg Letter wrot from Japan by 
William Adams, and sent home in the Cloue, l6l4, touching 
of his assistance rendered vnto ye Generall and of enter- 
tanemt into the Companies Seruice, Decern. l6l3."] 

The Allmightye God by whoum all enterprisses 
and purpoosses hau thear full effect be bllessed for 
euer. Amen. 

Right Woorshipfulls, hauing ssoo just occacion, 
I haue imboldned my self allthough unwourth to 
writt thees feau vnwourthy lines vnto you : in 
which first of all I crau your woorships pardon in 
whatt I shall fayll in. 

Hauing thorough the prouidenc of God ariued 
on of your shipes called the Cloue, being Gennerall 
or Captain John Sarris, who at his first ariuall in 
the Hand of Ferando ^ sent a letter vnto me, in all 
hast to haue me coum to him ; vntill svch tym he 
would tarri for me. Ye which so sooun as I had 
receued his letter, I made no dellai, being at that 
tym at the courte, being distant from the place of 

^ Hirado. 
270 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

the ships arriuall 250 llegs. So coomming to the 
place of the ships ariual, I wass gladly receued of 
the Gennerall and Master and all the wholl covm- 
pani. At which tym we did enter in to consultacon 
what courss was to be taken : the Gennerall making 
knowen vnto me that he had brought his Majesti 
[«] letter with a preessent for him. Vppon which 
for the honner of his Mti.^ and our covntri, both, I 
with him thought it good to mak all speed and to 
go to the courte for the delliueranc thearof, etc. 

I allso entred into speech with him what covmo- 
dites he had brought with him : of which he made 
all thinges to mee known. So finding that svch 
thinges as he had brought wass not veri vendibel ; 
I told him, for his arivall I was veri glad theerof, 
but in respecte of the ventm- by the wourshipfull 
covmpani being so great, I did not see anny wayss 
in this land to requit the great charges therof. 
My reesson wass, for theer cloth at this pressent 
was very cheep, becass both from Nova Spania, 
Manilla, and ovt of Holland, which in thees 4 yeers 
there caem very mvch : soum sold and verry mvch 
vnsold. For oUiphant teeth the Hollanders had 
brought aboundanc, that the priss therofF was fallen 
very mvch : vppon which occassion the Hollanders 
hau transported manny theroff to Siam. Stylle 
[steel] in long barres still holding his old prise at 
20 crownes the picoll, which is 125/. Inglish wayt, 

1 Majesty. 

271 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

and sovmtymes being coum worth 3l. 15s. starling. 
Leed [lead] holding his priss a llittell mor or less at 
25s. and sovmtymes 30s. the picoU. Tin so good 
cheep heer as in Ingland, and ordinance not in any 
great request : not the picoll abou 30s. and sovm- 
tym vnder. For callecovs ^ and fine Cambaya goods ; 
not in any request, becass this countri hath abovn- 
danc of cotton. Thus for thoos thinges. Now 
for peeper and clones. This covntri doth not evs 
[use'] verri mvch therof, nor of any other spice : 
for which case senc [sincel the trad of the Hollan- 
ders which hau brought mvch peper and clones, 
that peper the pownd is no more worth then 5d. a 
pownd, and sovmtymes less and at the deerest 6d. 
and clones at 12d., which is of no proffit to bring 
hether. AfFoor tym, when the Spaynard had the 
trad with the Jappanners, onlly the peper was at 
12d. the L. and clones at 2s. 6d. and 3s. the L. : 
now being ouerlayd is verry chep, etc. 

Thus hauing confferred heer vppon, the gennerall 
mad him self redy to go with me to the court : of 
which with all hast prosseeded theerof, etc. 

The journey vp to the courte.'^ 
The seuenth of August, King Foyne furnished 
me with a proper galley of his owne rowed with 
twentie fine oares on a side, and sixtie men, which 

1 Calicoes. 

- The following account of the journey is given by Captain 
Saris, Adams having omitted the particulars. 

272 



THE LETTERS OF AVILL ADAMS 

I did fit vp in a verie comely manner, with waste 
cloathes, ensignes, and all other necessaries, and 
hailing taken my leaue of the King, I went and 
remained aboord the ship, to set all things in order 
before my departure. — Which done, and remem- 
brances left with the master and Cape merchant, 
for the well gouerning of the ship and house 
ashoare during my absence, taking with mee tenne 
English, and nine others, besides the former sixtie, 
which were only to attend the gallie, I departed 
from Firando^ towards the Emperours court. 
We were rowed through, and amongst diners 
Hands, all of which, or the most part of them, 
were well inhabited, and diuers proper townes 
builded vpon them ; whereof one called Faccate, 
hath a very strong castle, built of free-stone, but 
no ordnance nor souldiers therein. It hath a 
ditch about hue fathome deepe, and twice as 
broad round about it, with a draw bridge, kept 
all in very good repaire. I did land and dine 
there in the towne, the tyde and wind so strong 
against vs, as that we could not passe. The 
towne seemed to be as great as London is within 
the wals, very wel built, and euen, so as you may 
see from the one end of the street to the other. 
The place exceedingly peopled, very ciuil and 
curteous, only that at our landing, and being 
here in Faccate, and so through the whole country, 

1 Hirado. 

18 273 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

withersoeuer we came the boyes, children, and 
worser sort of idle people, would gather about 
and follow along after vs, crying Coi^e Core, 
Cocore, Wai^e, that is to say, Yo7i Coreans with 
false hearts: wondering, hooping, hollowing, and 
making such a noise about vs, that we could 
scarcel heare one an other speake, sometimes 
throwing stones at vs (but that not in many 
townes) yet the clamour and crying after vs was 
euery where alike, none reprouing them for it. 
The best aduice that I can giue those who here- 
after shall arriue there, is that they passe on with- 
out regarding those idle rahlements, and in so doing, 
they shall find their eares only troubled vnth the 
noise. All alongst this coast, and so vp to 
Ozaca^ we found women diuers, that liued with 
their household and family in boats vpon the 
water, as in Holland they do the like. These 
women would catch fish by diuing, which by net 
and lines they missed, and that in eight fat home 
depth : their eyes by continuall diuing doe grow 
as red as blood, whereby you may know a diuing 
woman from all other women. 

We were two dales rowing from Firando'^ to 
Faccate. About eight or tenne leagues on this 
side the straights of Xemina-seque^ we found a 
great towne, where there lay in a docke, a iuncke 
of eight hundred or a thousand tunnes of burthen, 

' Ozaka. 2 Hirado. ^ Shimonoseki. 

274 



1 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

sheathed all with yron, a guard appointed to keep 
her from firing and treachery. She was built in 
a very homely fashion, much like that which 
describeth Noahs arke vnto vs. The naturals 
told vs, that she serued to transport souldiers into 
any of the Hands, if rebellion or warre should 
happen. 

We found nothing extraordinary after we had 
passed the straights of Xemina-seque, vntill we 
came vnto Ozaca, where we arriued the twenty 
seuenth day of August ; our galley could not 
come neere the towTie by sixe miles, where 
another smaller \'essell met vs, wherein came the 
good man or host of the house where we lay in 
Ozaca, and brought a banquet with him of wine 
and salt fruits to intertaine me. The boat having 
a fast made to the mast-head, was drawn by men, 
as our barkes are from London westward. We 
found Ozaca^ to be a very great towne, as great 
as London within the walls, with many faire 
timber bridges of a great height, seruing to passe 
ouer a riuer there as wide as the Thames at London. 
Some faire houses we found there, but not many. 
It is one of the chiefe sea-ports of all Japan ; hauing 
a castle in it, maruellous large and strong, with 
very deepe trenches about it, and many draw 
bridges with gates plated with yron. The castle 
is built all of free-stone, with bulwarks and 

^ Ozaka. 

275 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

battlements, with loope holes for smal shot and 
arrowes, and diners passages for to cast stones 
vpon the assaylants. The walls are at the least 
sixe or seuen yards thicke, all (as I said) of free- 
stone, without any filling in the inward part with 
trumpery, as they reported vnto me. The stones 
are great, of an excellent quarry, and are cut so 
exactly to fit the place where they are laid, that 
no morter is used, but onely earth cast betweene 
to fill vp voyd creuises if any be. In this castle 
did dwell at our beeing there, the sonne of 
Tiquascnmna,^ who being an infant at the time 
of his fathers decease, was left to the gouernement 
and education of foure, whereof Ogoshosamma,^ the 
now Emperour, was one and chiefe. The other 
three desirous of soveraigntie each for his particular, 
and repulsed by Ogoshosamma, were for their owne 
safetie forced to take vp armes, wherein fortune 
fauouring Ogoshosamma at the triall in field, two 
of them beeing slaine, the third was glad to saue him- 
selfe by flight. He beeing conquerour, attempted 
that which formerly (as it is thought) hee neuer 
dream'd of, and proclaimed himselfe Emperour, 
and seazing vpon the true heire, married him vnto 
his daughter, as the onely meanes to worke a 
perfect reconcilement, confining the young married 
couple to line within this castle of Ozaca, attended 
onely with such as had been brought vp from their 

1 Hideyoshi. ^ lyeyasu. 

276 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

cradles by Ogoshosamma, not knowing any other 
father (as it were) then him: so that by their 
inteUigence he could at all times vnderstand what 
passed there, and accordingly rule him. 

Riorht ouer against Ozaca,^ on the other side of 
the riuer, lyeth another great Towne called Sacay,^ 
but not so bigge as Ozaca, yet is it a towne of 
great trade for all the Hands thereabout. 

The eight and twentieth day at night, hauing 
left musters and prices of our commodities with 
our host, we departed from Ozaca by barke towards 
FusJdmi,^ where we ariued. 

The nine and twentieth at night we found here 
a garrison of three thousand souldiers maintayned 
by the emperour, to keepe Miaco* and Ozaca in 
subiection. The garrison is shifted euery three 
yeares, which change happened to be at our being 
there, so that we saw the old bands march away, 
and the new enter, in most souldier-hke manner, 
marching five a brest, and to euerie ten files an 
officer which is called a captain of fiftie, who kept 
them continually in verie good order. First, their 
shot, viz. calieurs, (for muskets they haue none, 
neyther will they vse any), then followed pikes, 
next swords or cattans, and targets, then bowes and 
arrowes : next those, weapons resembling a Welch- 

1 Ozaka. - Nagasakai. 

3 A city between Ozaka and Kyoto. 
* Miyako, i.e. Kyoto. 

277 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

hooke called waggadashes ; then calieuers again, 
and so as formerly, without any ensigne or colours : 
neyther had they any drummes or other musical 
instruments for warre. The first file of the cattans 
and targ-ets had siluer scabberds to there cattans, 
and the last file which was next to the captain had 
their scabberds of gold. The companies consists 
of divers numbers, some fine hundred, some three 
hundred, some one hundred and fiftie men. In 
the midst of euery companie were three horses 
very richly trapped, and furnished with sadles, well 
set out, some couered with costly furres, some 
with veluet, some with stammet broad-cloth, 
euery horse had three slaues to attend him, ledde 
with silken halters, their eyes couered with leather 
couerys. After every troope followed the captaine 
on horse backe, his bed and other necessaries were 
laid vpon his owne horse, equally peased [poiaed] on 
either side. Ouer the same was spread a couering 
of redde felt of China, whereupon the captaine did 
sit crosse-legged, as if hee had sate betwixt a couple 
of panniers : and for those that were ancient or 
otherwise weake-backt, they had a staff artificially 
fixed unto the pannell, that the rider rest himselfe, 
and leane backward against it, as if he were sitting 
in a chaire. The captaine generall of this garrison 
wee met two dayes after we had met his first 
troope, (hauing still in the mean-time met with 
some of these companies as we passed along, some- 
278 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

times one league, sometimes two leagues distant 
one from another.) Hee marched in very great 
state, beyond that the others did, (for the second 
troope was more richly set out in their armes then 
the first : and the third then the second, and so 
still euery one better then other, vntill it came 
vnto this the last and best of all.) He hunted and 
hawked all the way, hauing his owne hounds and 
hawkes along with him, the hawkes being hooded 
and lured as ours are. His horses for his owne 
saddle being sixe in number, richly trapped. Their 
horses are not tall, but of the size of our midling 
nags, short and well trust, small headed and very full 
of mettle, in my opinion farre excelling the Spanish 
iennet in pride and stomacke. He had his pallankin 
carryed before him, the inside crimson veluet, and 
six men appointed to carrie it, two at a time. 

Such good order was taken for the passing and 
prouiding for, of these three thousand souldiers, 
that no man either trauelling or inhabiting vpon 
the way where they lodged was any way iniured by 
them, but chiefly entertayned them as other their 
guests, because they paid for what they tooke, as all 
other men did. Euery towne and village vpon the 
way being well fitted with cookes and victualling 
houses, where they might at an instant haue what 
they needed, and dyet themselues from a pennie 
Knglisli a meale, to two shillings a meal. 

The thirtieth, we were furnished with ninetene 

279 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

horse at the emperours charge, to carrie vp our Kings 
presents, and those that attended me to Surunga} 

I had a pallankin appointed for me, and a spare 
horse led by, to ride when I pleased, very well set 
out. Sixe men appointed to carrie my pallankin 
in plaine and euen ground. But where the 
countrey grew hilly, ten men were allowed me 
thereto. The guardian whom king Foyne sent 
along with vs, did from time to time and place by 
warrant, take vp these men and horses to serue 
our turnes, as the postmasters doe here in 
England: as also lodging at night. According to 
the custome of the countrey, I had a slaue 
appointed to runne with a pike before mee. 

Thus we trauelled vntill the sixth of September, 
before we got to Surunga, each day fifteene or 
sixteene leagues, of three miles to a league as we 
ghessed it. The way for the most part is wonder- 
full euen, and where it meeteth with mountaines, 
passage is cut through. This way is the mayne 
reade of all this countrey, and is for the most part 
sandie and grauell ; it is diuided into leagues, and 
at euery leagues end are two small hills, viz. of 
either side of the way one, and vpon euery one 
of them a faire pine tree, trimmed round in fashion 
of an arbor. These markes are placed vpon the 
way to the end, that the hacknie men, and those 

1 I.e., Tsuruga — probably Kamakura (Tsuru-ga-oka) — capital 
of Japan 12th-15th cent, then of immense extent. 
280 



To hack on p. 280. 




Totsuka. 
Travelliug in Japan in 



To hack on p. 281. 




r Wir 



ftijgf^ 



/^\ 





Hosogayo. 
"Will Adams's day. 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

which let out horses for hire, should not make 
men pay more than their dues, which is about 
three pence a league. The roade is exceedingly 
trauelled, full of people, euer and anon you meet 
with farmes and countrey houses, with villages, 
and often with great townes, with ferries ouer 
fresh riuers, and many Futtakeasse or Fotoquis,^ 
which are their temples, scituate in groues and 
most pleasantest places for delight of the whole 
countrey. The priests that tend thereupon 
dwelling about the same, as our friers in old time 
planted themselues here in England. When wee 
approached any towne, we saw crosses with the 
dead bodies of those who had been crucified 
thereupon. For crucifying is heere an ordinarie 
punishment for most malefactors. Comming neere 
Surunga, where the Emperours court is, wee saw 
a scaffold with the heads of diners (which had 
beene executed) placed thereupon, and by it were 
diuers crosses with the dead corpses of those which 
had been executed, remayning still vpon them, 
and the pieces of others, which after their exe- 
cutioners had beene hewen againe and againe by 
the triall of others cattans} All which caused a 
most vnsauourie passage to vs, that to enter into 
Surunga, must needs passe by them. 

This citie of Surunga is full as big as London, 
with all the suburbs. The handi-crafts men wee 

1 Temples, from Hotoke, an idol. '^ Swords. 

281 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

found dwelling in the outward parts and skirts of 
the towne ; because those that are of the better 
sort, dwell in the inward part of the citie, and 
will not be annoyed with the rapping, knocking, 
and other disturbance that artificers cannot be 
without. 

WILLIAM ADAMS I HIS LETTER CONTINEWED. 

Comming to Meaco ^ [? Osaccd] had the kinge 
free hoorsses according to need to goo to the 
courte wher the emperour wass : at which plac 
of the genneralls arriuall, I made his comming 
knowen. So the first day after, being sovmwhat 
weery, rested and sovmwhat in fitting of the kinges 
pressents. So the next daye following being redy, 
the gennerall went to his [the ejnperour's] palles 
[palace] : being courteouly receued and bid wel- 
coum by the tresvrer and others. So being in the 
palles set downe, the gennerall called me and byd 
me tell the ssecretari, that the king mati.^ letter he 
would delliuer it with his own handes. Vppon 
which I went and told ye secretari thearof: at 
which he awnsswered, that it was not the covstoum 
of the land to delliuer anny letter with the hand 
of anny stranger, but that he should keep the 
letter in his hand till he cam into the pressence 
of the emperor ; and then he would tak it from 
him ovt of his handes and delliuer it to the 

^ Miyako, i.e. Kyoto. '^ Majesty's. 

282 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

emperour. A¥hich awnsser I told the generall 
theearof ; at which awnsswer not being contented 
cassed me to tell the secretari that yf he myght 
not delliuer it himself he would retourn agayne to 
his loging. Which second awnsswer I told the 
secretari ; the which, not thinking well therof, 
was disconted with me in that 1 had nott instruckted 
him in the manners and coustoum of all strangers 
which had bein yeerly in their covntri ; and made 
me again to go to the gennerall : the which I did ; 
but the gennerall being verry mvch discontented, it 
so rested. At which tym, pressently, the emperour 
came fourth, and the gennerall wass brought befoor 
him : to whoum the emperour bid him wellcovm 
of so weery journy, receuing his mati.^ letter from 
the gennerall by the handes of the secritary, etc. 

So the generall departed his way, and I was 
called in : to whoum the emperor inquired of me 
of the kinges mati.^ of Ingland : consserning his 
greatnes and poovr [poive?-], with diuers other 
questiones which wear to longe to wright. Onlly 
at ye last he byd me tell the gennerall, yt what 
request he had, yt he should mak it knowen to 
me, or to go to his ssecretary ; he should be 
a^vnssered : which awnsser I returned to the 
gennerall. So the next day folowing the gennerall 
went with me to the ssecrettaris hovss, with whoum 
he mad known his demandes. The which being 

^ Majesty's. ^ Majesty. 

28S 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

written wear caried befor the emperor. The which 
the emperor reead all his demandes, and hauing 
reed them told me that he should hau them. 
Hauing much talk with me of his covming, I 
told him to settell a factory in his land. He asked 
me in what plac. I told him, hereon, 1 did 
think not far from his court, or the kinges courtt : 
att which he seemed verry glad. And hauing had 
mvch speech heer and thear, he asked me if part 
of his covming was not for discouer [«'] to farther 
partes to the northwestward, or, northwards. I 
told him our countri still douth not cees to spend 
mvch monny in discoueri thearof. He asked me 
whether thear ear nott a way, and whear [? whether'] 
it wass not verry short, or, neer. I told him we 
douted nott but thear is a way, and that veery 
neeir ; at which tym called for a mappe of the 
wholl world, and so sawe that it wass very neer. 
Hauing speechis with me, whether we had no 
knolledg of a land lying hard by his countri, on 
the north part of his land, called Yedzoo^ and 
Mattesmay.' I told him I did neuer see it p\i: 
into anny mappe nor gllobe. I told him it myght 
bee that the wourshipfull coumpany woould send 
soum ship, or other, to discouer. He told me that 

^ Yezo, the large northern island of Japan. 

2 Matesmaye — Tukuyama, Matsmai, or Matsumai, is a sea- 
port, Japan, Yezo, on Tsugaru Strait, S5 miles S.W. by W. of 
Hakodate. Population, 1 1,400.— B. H. S. 
284 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

in the yeer of our Lord 1611, a ship was seen of 
theis cost, on the est syde, in latitude of 38 d., 
or thearabout, whether that wear anny of our 
countri ship ? I told him I thought not. He told 
me agayn it could be no ship of ye Spaynnards 
going for Novo Spania : ^ for this ship was seen in 
Apprill, which tym no ship goeth not from the 
Manillieus [3Ianillas]. He asked me yf I did 
deesir to go that waye. I told hym, yf the 
wourshippful coumpanie should dessir svch a thing, 
I would willingly ymploy my self in svch an 
honorabell accion. He told me yf I did go, he 
would geue [^vel me his letter of frind ship to 
the land of Yedzoo, whear his subiects haue 
frindship, hauing a stronge towne and a castell : 
thorough which menes haue 30 dayes joourney 
frindship with thoos pepell ; which peopell be, 
as I do gather, Tartares joyning to the Cam,^ or 
borders of Cattay.^ Now in my sympel iudgment, 
yf the northwest passag be euer discouered, it 
wilbe discouered, by this way of Japan ; and so 
thuss, with diuers other speechis most frindli 
evsed [used], I toouk [took] my leaue of him. 

So the next day folowing, the gennerall mad 
him self reddy to go for Quanto,* a province so 
called, whear the kinge, the emperors eldest sonn, 
is ressident, being distant from the emperours 

^ See above, page 230. ^ Tartary. 

3 China (Cathay). ^ Hakone^ see above, page 226. 

28.5 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

court soum 42 Ueagues. To which place we went, 
hauing in 4 or 5 dayes finnissed according to ye 
coustoum of the land, the gennerall being verri 
well entertayned. So returned to the emperors 
courte agayne. At which place receuing the 
emperours commission and priuileges, mad our 
retourn for Ferrando/ 

Now consserning my self. Hauing dispached 
the gennerall bysiness, I did seek vnto the counsell 
to speak in my behalf, to get leeau [leave] to go 
hoom for my covntri ; but the ssecretari, with no 
other, would not speak for my liberty to goo for 
my country, knowing that I have diuers tymes 
mad [7^equest] and he would not let me goo. So 
I neuertheless mad my selfe soumwhat bold. 
Finding the emperour in a good moud [i?iood], I 
took out of my boussom his broode seeall, cons- 
serning certtain lands, and layed it doum beefore 
him, geuing his mati." most hvmbell thankes for 
his great fauor vnto mee, dessiring leaue to go for 
my countri. At which request he looked ernestli 
\^pon mee, and asked me yf I wass dessirrovs to 
go for my country ? I awnssered, most dessirovs. 
He awnssered, yf he should dettain me, he should 
do me wrong ; in so mvch, that in his seruis I had 
behaued my self well, with manny other woourds 
of coummendacions, the which I leaue. So I thank 
God got my lyberty ovt of my long and evill sarues 

1 Hirado. ^ Majesty. 

286 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

[sej^vice]. With his toouk my leau of him, bidding 
me yf I did not think well of going this yeear, I 
should tarry tell other shipping came, and go as 
I wovld : telling me yt. yf I came vp into the 
countri to bring sertain goodes which he named. 
So thuss, I thank God, being not littell joyfFul 
retvrned with the gennerall to Ferrando,^ whear 
the shipp wasse, etc. 

So about a 15 dayes of my abod in Ferrando, 
it was the gennerall plleasur to call for mee, the 
cape marchant with others bein in pressenc, hauing 
wrytten cartain lynes vppon a sid of paper, calling 
me to [? an ac] count, and to know of mee what 
my intent wass, whether I would go hom with him, 
or tarry heer in this countri. I awnsswered him 
my desir wass to go houm to my countri. He 
asked me, now with him or no ; I awnssered him, 
I had spent in this countri mani yeares, thorov 
which I wass poour : for which cass I wass dessir- 
rouss to get soumthing befor my retourn. The 
reason I would not go with him wass for dyuers 
injerues [? injurious things'] doun against me veri 
Strang and vnloked for, which thinges were wrytt 
I ceass, leuing it to others to mak rellacion thereof. 
He asked me yf I would serue the coumpani. I 
awnssered, yees, veri willing. He asked me on 
what condisscion, whether I would tak the 20/. of 
grattis which the wourshipfuU coumpany had lent 

^ Hirado. 

287 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

my wyfe, and stand to their courtessi. First, I 
do most hvmbly thank the wourshipfull company 
for this deed of Christian charrit in the lending of 
my poour wyff the 20/. If euer I be abell I will 
mak sattisfaxcion for the proffit therof, and for the 
principall hau heer mad sattisfaxcion to gennerall 
John Sarris, taking the byll of exchang, which 
diuers of my good frinds had giuen their wourds 
for payment therof hauing theear hands firmed, 
and I thank all myghti God, that hath geuen me 
abilliti to mak payment therof. The tym wass 
manny yeares in this covntri, I hau not bin mr.^ 
of 20^. I awnswered, yf I weer in pressenc of the 
wourship. coumpani, I would stand to anny thing 
they should think good of; bvt in this plac, was 
willing to haue soum sartanty. He still vrged mee 
with the 20/. lent to my wyfF of grattis, and stand 
to the coumpanis good will. I awnssered as at the 
first, again. Theay asked me what I would for a 
yeare. I told him, I hau neuer bin hired by the 
yeear, but by the month. He told me the coumpani 
did not hire anny man by the monneth, but by the 
yeear. I told him, I wass not willing to go by the 
yeer, but by the monnth. He asked me what I 
would ask a moneth. I told him of strangers by 
whoum I hau bin imployed did geu mee 15/. the 
monnth, but I demanded 12/. the month. Vppon 
demand, he bade mee go ovt of the chamber a littell 

1 Master. 
288 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

whill, and he would call me again. So I went away, 
and a littell whill afterward he called me again, and 
asked me yf I wass ressolued. I told him as at 
the first. So he bad mee the yeer 80/. I told 
him again, I would not. So in the end I told 
him not vnder 10/. the monnth, I would not serue, 
alledging I wass vnwilling to pvt the coumpany to 
svch a great charge, becass I did not see in Japan 
anny proffit to be mad to quit svch great wages, 
but rather to be free, for in respect of bennifit I 
had diuers mens [inecms] ofered me, to be mor to 
my proffit, which the gennerall knew of : dessiring 
ye gennerall to let me be free, and to tak other 
orders, which weear for my furtheranc ; and not 
to be heer imployed, whear I saw no proffit coum 
in. Thus in the end, he proffited [? p?^qffhrd~\ me 
80/. and the 20/. geuen mee free which wass lent my 
wyfF. I awnser him, no. So lett me dept. till the 
next day, at which tym I promissed to geu him a 
ressolut awnsser. So the next day, in the morning, 
sent for me again, [asking] whether I was ressolued. 
I sayd ass afFor. So he awnssered me, I did exact 
vppon them to hau them to geu mee what I list. 
I told him again my mening was not so for I could 
better my selfe a great dell more, onlly I wass not 
willing to searue, where, by my sarues I could not 
win so mvch for my masters, for which cass onlly 
and nothing ells. So demanding me still ernestly, 
proffered me 100/. the yeer; the which, in cons- 

19 289 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

sideracion I would not geu discontentment, but 
granted vnto it. So vppon this he did aske me 
how I would be paid it. I told him, heer in Japan. 
He said, none in his ship did receue not aboue a 
3 pt befFor he cam hom : at which I awnssered, it 
might be so, bvt my cass was otherwyss, for I haue 
promyssed my sserues [service] no longer but svch 
tym as God shall send the Clone in to Ingland, or 
awnsser of her ariual, and return of the wourshipfull 
companis awnsser, whether they will discouer to 
the norwest, or not. Thear for, for me tarry so 
longe, and not to receu [receive'] no wages heir, I 
would not mayntain my self with aparill and ex- 
pences, with ovt receuing soom monny to mayntain 
my self in credit and clothes. So I agreed : which 
God grant his blessing vppon my labors, that I 
may be a proffitabell saruant Mito your wourship : 
which I hop in all myghti God I shalbe, etc. 

Now consserning this discouerie to the norward. 
Yf it stand with your wourshipps liking, in my 
judgment neuer hath bin better menes to discouer. 
My ressons : First, this Kingdoum of Japan, with 
whom we hav frindship : the emperador hath pro- 
myssed his assistance to you, his letter of frindship 
to the countri of Yedzoo ^ and Matesmaye,^ whear 
his subiects are ressident. Secondly, langwiges, 
that can speak the Corea and Tartar langwage, 
for Japan langedge not to be reckined. For 

^ Yezo. 2 S(;g note, page 284. 

290 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

shipping: yf your wourship send not, yet you 
may hau bylded, or cass to be bylded svch shipes 
or pinnces necessary for svch discoueri with lesse 
charges. Things ar heer good cheep, as tymber, 
plank, irroun, hemp, and carpenteres : only tarre 
heer is none ; rosen annouf, but verry deer. Thees 
thinges I hau experienc of, becass I hau byllt 2 
shipes in this country for the emperor : the on of 
them sold to the Spaynnard vppon occacion, and 
the other I sayld in my selfF vppon dyuers voyages 
uppon this cost. Now, the on of them that wass 
sold to the Spaynnards, wass vppon this occassion : 
that a great ship of 1000 tovnes, which cam from 
ye Manilia, which was cast away vppon this cost, 
whear in was the gouernor of Manilia, to whoum 
the emperor lent hir to carry him to Akapulca,^ a 
place in Nova Spaynia ; '^ which ship theay found so 
good as theay neuer returned agayn, butt sent so 
mvch monny ass shee was wourth, and afterwards 
wass imployed in the vyages from Nova Spaynia'^ 
to the Phillipines. Sso that neuertheless by my 
profession I am no shippwright, yet I hop to make 
svch shipping as shalbe necessary for army svch 
discouery. Now men to sayll with only excepted, 
the peopell are not acquaynted with our manner. 
Therfor, yf your wourshipps hau anny svch pvrposs, 
send me good marriners l7iavigators'] to sayll with ; 
and yf you send but 15 or 20, or leess, it is no 

1 Acapulco, in Mexico. ^ See page 230. 

291 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

matter, for the peopell of this land are verri stoutt 
seea men, and in what way I shall go in, I can hau 
so manny as I will. Now for vytelling. Heir is 
in this land annouf and svch plenty, and so good 
cheep, as is in Ingland, as thoss who haue bin heer 
can satisfi your wourshipp therin. So that I say 
agayn, the wantes be coordish [cordagey pouldaues 
[canvas~\, and tarr, pich, or rossen, and coumpasses, 
rounning [hou?^'] glasses, a payr of gllobes for de- 
monstracion, and soum cardes [charts'] or mapes 
contayning the whoU world. Thees thinges yf 
your wourship do furnish me with, you shall find 
me not neglegent in svch an honorabell surues 
[service^ : by God's grace. Thus mvch I had 
thought good to wrytt to your wourshipp, being 
soumwhat longe in making the particuUers apparent 
of this discource ; which discource, I do trust in all 
myghti God, should be on of the most famost that 
euer hath bin, etc. 

Now conserning the great kindnes which your 
wourshipps hath shewed to me, in lending my wyf 
monny. I do stiU crau your wourship coumpassion. 
What monny your wourship shall lend, by God's 
grace I will mak svch sattisfaccion as shalbe to 
your dessir. Thearfor, I do again intreat your 
wourshipes to lend my wyf 30/. or 40/., tell it 
be the will of God I coum hoom ; and eyther 

^ Poledavy — Pol-da-vi ; also polidavie, polldavy, pouldavies^ 
poldway, etc. Origin obscure = a coarse linen. — B. H. S. 
292 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

heer to pay it, or els wher, as you command 
me, etc. 

I do embolden my self to coummend me vnto 
your wourshipes : praying God all myghty to bless 
your wourship with continewance of his grace, in 
health and prosperitie ; and in the lyf to coum 
euerlasting feliciti. Amen. 

By your vnwourth saruant and vnknown fFrind, 
yeat faythfvU to command tell death. 

William Addames. 



293 



APPENDIX TO LETTER No. IV 

THE CONTRACT MADE WITH CAPT. WILLIAM 
ADAMS, AT FIRANDO, IN JAPON, THE 24TH 
OF NOVEMBER, 1613. 

WHEREAS ye. R. honourable compayne, ye. 
marchants of London trading [into] ye. East 
Indyes, of there greate lone and affection to you 
Capt. Addams haue appointed and set out this 
shipp called ye. Clone pr. Japan ; bilding there 
hoopes vppone ye. foundation of your long 
experyence in these partes, for the settling of a 
benyficiall fFactorye. And hauing since my 
arriuall not onlye obteyned ye. emperor's grant 
with large priualiges for ye. same, but also 
procured your freedome, which, till this present, 
could not be obteyned. IT now resteth what 
course you will take ; wheather to retorne for 
your countery or remaine heare ye. companyes 
servant, in what manner you hould your selfe best 
able to doe them seruice : what sallory you will 
haue ; and in what manner to be paid. Viz. to 
294 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

haue the 20/. pr. exchange imprested vnto you, 
and to stand to ye. curtesie of ye. companye for 
further guirdon, or to com to a sertaine agreement 
pr. such a some as my selfe and ye. fFactors 
appointed to staye heare shall thinke fitting, till 
advize out of England. And hearin I intreate you 
chearfullye to diliuere your resolution to each 
pointe : for yt. the tyme of yeare inforseth my 
departure. And I should be heartalye sorrye yf 
in what I may giue you content, there should 
happen the leaste defect. 

WHERVNTO he made answer, that his desyre 
is to goe home for his native contrey of England, 
but not in this shipp : only his stayinge is for a 
certen tyme to get somthing, hauing hetherto 
spent his tyme soe many yeares in vayne, and wold 
not now goe home with an emptie purse. And 
that he is willinge to do the companye the best 
service he can in any thinge he may serue them in, 
eather pr. sea or land, to the benyfit of the English 
fFactory in Japon, or else wheare, as shall be 
thought fyting by the Counsell of the English 
fFactors their [there] resident, vntill the retorne of 
the next shipp, or ships after the certen news of 
the Clones arivall in England. Yet is not willinge 
to take the 20/. empresse before mentioned, and to 
stand to the wourshipfuU companeyes courtsie for 
the rest ; but rather to com to agreement now, 
that he should hau to stand vpon a certentie. 

295 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

And demanded twelue pownds str. per moneth : 
sayinge, the Fflemynge did geue hym fyfteene 
pownd, when they first emploid hym into these 
ptes ; and herevpon went forth ; wilhng the 
Generall and rest, that they should bethinke them 
selues : for yf they wolde not geue him soe much, 
theare were others that wold ; and therefore wished 
them not to be his hindrance. And soon after 
retorninge, our Generall ofFred hym fFowre-skore 
pownd a yeare. But he answered, that vnder one 
hvndred and twenty pownds per anno, he wold not. 
Then he was offred to haue the 20/. lent to his 
wife geuen gratis, besids the 80/. per anno. But 
he stood still to his formeir offer of 120/. per anno. ; 
and soe departed, wishing vs to bethink our selves 
better, till the morrow morning. At which tyme 
the Cownsell afForsaid beinge assembled againe, 
Capt. Adams, beinge present, was of his owne good 
will, contented to be entertayned into the wourship- 
full companyes service for the stipend, or salleiy, 
of one hvndred pownds str. pr. yeare, to be paid at 
the end of two yeares, or, at such tyme as news 
shall com out of England of the arivall of the 
Clone pr. any one ship ; Only in the meane tyme 
his desire was, that yf he stood in neede of twentie 
pownd str. to lay out in aparell, or any other 
necessaries, that he might be furnished therewith. 

AND SOE IX IVirXESSE of the truth, he 
hath herevnto put his hand and scale, promesinge 
296 



\ 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

not to vse any trade for his owne private benefytt 
per sea or land, to be preiudtiall to the benefytt of 
the Company. Dated at Firmido in Japon, the 
2Uh day of November, 1613. 

By me W. A. ADDAM. [l.s.] 

Sealed and dd. in the putes [?] of us 

RICH COCK. 
TEMPEST PEA COCK. 
RICHARDE WICKHAM. 

This agreement with Mr. Addams, was made with 
the consent of vs. Richard Cock, Tempest Peacock, 
and Rich. Wickham, whose names are aboue written 
for witnesses. 



297 



LETTER No. V 

There is a second letter from William Adams, 
dated in December 1613, but to whom addressed 
is not apparent. It is a faithfril epitome of the 
" vearey larg " letter before given : and there are 
only three portions that need be cited : viz. i. As 
to the vessel first lent to, and eventually purchased 
by, the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands : 
II. As to Adams continuing i?i Japon: iii. The 
conclusion. 

I. 

I my seelf hau bylt 2 shipes in Jappan, the on [e], 
by occassion sold to the Spajninards, went for 
Nova Spania. Which ship, on [e] viage vppon 
this cost I mad with her : being of burden 170 
tovnes. 

II. 
Your woourship shall vnderstand I had thought 
to a coum hom in the Clone, but by som 
discovrtissis ofFred me by the generall, changed 
my mind : which injuries to wryt of them I lean ; 
298 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

leauing to others, God sending the ship horn, to 
mak rellacion. 

III. 

Senc the tym I saw your wourship, I hau passed 
great misseries and trowbells. God hau the prayss 
to whoum it douth belonge, that hath dehuered 
me ovt of them all. To writt of the partieullers, 
it wear for me very longe, thearfor, in short, I leau 
the rehearsall tell further tym. Thus, with my 
most harty and humbell sallutacions, to you and 
to your good wyf, I seeas [cease~\ ; dessiring your 
wourship to sallut me to Sr. Thomass Smyth, and 
tell him on my behalf, he shall find me in his servis, 
so trusti as euer faithfull Inglish man, that euer 
hath serued the coumpany. And as consserning 
the afFares in Jappan, let him tak no cair [ca?-e'\. 
His factory is so saf ; and so sver [sure] his goods, 
as in his own houss. This I dare insver so long as 
I do lyue. And whatsoeuer the wourshipfull 
company shall have need in Japan, it shalbe 
accompHshed. This I dare insver: for the 
emperour and the kinge hath mad me such 
promis, which I do know shalbe accovmplished. 
I pray you sallut me vnto my good frind Mr. 
William Bourrall, shipwryt, who I heer is on of 
the company : whous good kindnes hath bynn to 
my pour wyf, in speking to lend her the forsayd 
20/. [? o/] which, I thank God [? /], hau heer 

299 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

mad payment : and I pray him in my behalf still 
to continew his Christian loue and pitty, which 
without dowt God will reward. I pray remember 
my humbell dvtty to my good Mr. Nicholass 
Diggens, and thank him for his great former loue 
to me, etc. 

Thuss hauing no tym, I cess, covmmend ing you 
with yours to the protexion of God : who bless 
your wourship in this lyf; and in the world to 
covm euerlasting lyfe. Amen. 

By your unwourthy frind and seruant 
to coMnmand, 

Wm. Addames. 



Yf you send for Japan anny shipping: that 
present that shalbe sent to the emperour in it, 
lette them send soom Rousse [Hussianl glass of 
the gretest sort : so mvch as may glasse him a 
rowm of 2 fadoom 4 squar, and what fine lames 
[lambs'] skenes [skins'], [? you will], and 2 or 3 peces 
of fyne hoUand, yf it be more I leau it to your 
discression : with 3 or 4 payr of spaktakle glasses. 
And for marchandis, he deessired to haue soum 
1000 barres of steill 4 squar, in length sovm 8 or 
9 foout ; which goods the Hollanders haue brought 
and sold to the emperour at 51. starling the picoU, 
which is Inglish waight 125 powndes. 

Wm. Addames. 
300 



THE I.ETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

Observations 
Probably under the impression that he had been 
overreached by Adams in regard to the terms of 
his engagement with the Company, Captain Saris 
may have exhibited some discourtesies: since in 
the document, designated a " Rememhrancer which 
he left for the guidance of Captain Cock in the 
management of the factory, the following dis- 
paraging remarks occur, viz., " And for Mr. Adams 
he is onlye fittinge to be mr.^ of the junke, and 
to be vsed as linguist at corte, when you have 
no imployment pr. hym at sea. It is necessarye 
you stirr hym, his condition being well knowne 
vnto you as to my selfe : otherwayes you shall hau 
littell seruice of hym, the countrye ofFording great 
libertye, wheare vnto he is mvch affected. The 
forsed agi'eement I haue made with hym as you 
know could not be eschudd, ye. Flemmings and 
Spaniards making false proffers of great intertayne- 
ment, and hym selfe more affected to them then 
his owne natyon, we holye destitute of language. 
.... You shall not need to sende for anye 
farther order to ye Emperour for the setting out 
of the junke [iritended to proceed to Siam], it being 
an article granted in the charter, as by the coppie 
thereof in English left with you will appeare. Yet 
will Mr. Adams tell you that he cannot departe 
without a Hcence, which will not be granted except 

1 Master. 

301 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

he go vp. Beleue him not ; neither neglect that 
busines : for his wish is but to haue the coumpanye 
bear his charges to his wife [meaning his native 
wife, who i^esided on the property granted to him by 
the Emperor, on the way to the court]. Yet rather 
then that he shall leaue you, and bitake himself to 
the Spaniards, or Fflemmings, you must make a 
vertue of necessitye, and let hym go."^ 

In all this, Captain Saris was wrong and unjust. 
I. William Adams did not need stirring. After an 
experience of twelve months, Captain Cock states : 

^ Captain Cock to the Gour, etc. of the E. I. Co, 25 Novr, l6l4. 
The Cape Merchant, on a subsequent occasion, bears testimony 
to the tractability of William Adams in the following words : 
" Mr. Wickham, I praye you haue a good care to geve Captain 
Adams content, which you may easilye doe yf you vse hym with 
kynde speeches, and fall not into termes with hjTU vpon any 
argvment. I am perswaded I could lyve with hym 7 yeares 
before any extraordenary speeches should happen betwixt vs." 
Cock to Wickham, proceeding to his station at Soronogo ^ and Edo, 
Jan. 161 3-] 4 E. I. Mss.). Some months afterwards, the Cape 
Merchant recurs to the subject, and concludes his admonition to 
Mr. Wickham, with the following sensible remark : '' Fap-e 
words are as soon spoaken as fowle, and cause a man to pass 
thorow the world as well amongst fowes as frinds." {From the 
same to the same, proceeding with Adams to Siam, 25 Nov. l6l4. 
E. I. Mss.). From various passages in Captain Cock's Diary, Mr. 
Wickham appears to have been somewhat " humoursome," and 
apt to "fall into termes" with his associates, especially when he 
had "pottle in pate." 

1 Sorongo — Suruga, gulf, Japan, Honshiu, east coast, in 34' 
40'-35° 10' N. ; also Suruga, a kuni or old province, now in 
Shizuoka ken, Japan. — B. H. S. But see note on page 208 in 
favour of Kamakura. — D. S. 

302 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

" I finde the man very tractable, and willinge to do 
your wourship the best seruis he can, and hath taken 
great paine about repairing our juncke, the Sea 
Adventure, otherwayes she would not haue byn 
ready to haue made the Syam voyage this yeare." 
II. It is not to be assumed that any offers made by 
the Flemmings and Spaniai^ds to Williavi Adams 
were not bond fide. The Flemings had had too 
much experience of the value of his good offices, 
not to be solicitous to secure the continuance of 
his services.^ The Spaniards had had too much 
experience of the effects of his opposition to their 
views, not to be desirous of cultivating his good- 
will.^ Both parties were perfectly aware of his 
ready access to the presence,^ and of the influence 
he exercised over the Emperor : which was fully de- 
monstrated by the extensive privileges he obtained 

1 The good offices rendered by Adams to the Flemings, which 
were the chief means of their becoming estaWished in the 
Empire, are detailed at length by Charlevoix (t. iv, p. 125, and 
pp. 258 and 264), who prefaces his narrative with the following 
remark : " Le Pilote Anglois, Guillaume Adains, qui etoit homme de 
merite, s'introduisit a la cour de Surunga si bien, qu'il y devint en 
quelque sort le favori du souverain." 

2 Charlevoix (t. iv, p. 292) observes : " Ce Pilote disservit 
d'une maniere cruelle les Espagnols, et tous les Chretiens " ; i.e. 
in the phraseology of Captain Cock, the Romish Christians ; and 
cites instances. This is also the case with Ca/;<. Cock. 

3 " The truth is, the emperour esteemeth hym mvch, and he 
may goe and speake with hym at all tymes, when kynges and 
princes are kept ovt." {Cock to the Gouernour, etc. of the Company, 
25 Feb. 1615-14, EI. Mss.) 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

for the English : " such as the Portuguese, even at 
the time of their highest interest with the Japonese, 
were unable to procure on any terms whatever."^ 
III. Adams did not pi'ove himself more affected to 
the Flemings and Spaniards than to his own nation. 
There is not an instance to be found in Captain 
Cock's Diary of Adams having afforded any 
assistance to the Flemings, except when their 
interests and those of his own nation were identical. 
Of his disposition towards the Spaniards, enough 
has been said. In fact, Adams nobly redeemed 
the pledge he gave to Sir Thomas Smith, that he 
should find him " so trusti as ever faithful Inglish- 
man, that euer hath serued the coumpany." He 
was staunch to his countrymen, resisting alike 
the overtures of the Flemings, the Spaniards and 
the Japonese.'^ ia. Adams did not pretend it was 

1 Scheuchzer. Introduction to Kcempfers Hist, of Japan, page 
xlix. Also Charlevoix, t. iv, p. 291, 

2 " Thus much Captain Adams tould me. Also that the 
emperour gaue hym councell not to seale \sair\ in Japan jonks 
in noe voyage, but rather stay in Japan ; that yf the stipend he 
had geuen hym were not svffitient, he would geve him more. 
But he answered, his word was passed, and therefore yf he 
performed not his word, yt would be a dishonour vnto hym." 
Captain Cock tested the sincerity of Captain Adams' professions. 
The Cape Merchant proceeds to say : " Yet, truly, at his 
retorne to Firando, I offered to hau quit hym of his promis, and 
to hau sent hym to Edo, to be neare the emperour vpon all 
occations. Yet would he not be perswaded therevnto." {Cock 
to the Gouernour, etc., dated 25th of Febraury, l6f|. E. I. Mss.) 
On another occasion it is reported : " And being at court, the 

304 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

necessary to go up to the Court to obtain a license 
for the junk to proceed to Syam ; and he did not go 
up to the Court before the junk sailed, either that the 
Company might bear the expenses of a visit from 
him to his wife, or for any other purpose. As 
before stated, he was usefully and zealously engaged 
in fitting up the junk ; and when the vessel was 
ready for sea, he sailed in her forthwith. 

The generall was also wrong in another particu- 
lar : the extent of the privileges conferred on the 
Enghsh by the " charter." Captain Cock corrects 
the error into which he had fallen in the following 
terms : " Neither can we set out any junke, with- 
out procuring the yearely license of the Emperour : 
otherwise no Japon mariner dare go out of Japon 
vpon paine of death, only our owne shippes from 
England may come in and goe out again when they 
will, and no man gain-say it." 

admerall of the sea was very ernest with Mr. Wm. Adams, to 
haue hym pilot of a voyage they pretended to the northward, 
to haue made conquest of certen islands (as they said) rich in 
gould ; but Captain Adams exkewsed hym selfe, in that he was 
in your worship's seruice, and so put hym ofe." {Cock to the 
Gouernour, etc. of the Company, dated 1st of January, l6^f. E. 
I. Mss.) 



20 305 



LETTER No. VI 

To the hounarabell Sir Thomas Smyth, knight, 
gouernour of the Est Indes Coumpani^ in 
Loundoun. Per JMr. [....], whoum God 
presserue. 

Wi^itten in Firando in the kingdom of Japon, the 
14 ofJeniievari [1616-17]. 

Right wourshipfull Sir, finding my self altogether 
imwourthy to writt vnto your wourship, yeet lest 
you should condemn mee of ingratitude, I have 
imboldened my self to writt theis few lines to gev 
your wourship to \Tiderstand how for the space of 
three yeeares I hau byn ymploied by your woorship 
Cape Marchant, Mr. Richard Cock, 2 viages for 
Siam, etc. In the yeare of our Lord 1615, 2 dayes 
after my departure from Firando a most grieuous 
storme took me, called a horicane, of violent wdnd, 
by which I was in great danger to looss both hues, 
ship and goods for the space of three daies, baylling 
in 4 rooumes,^ hauing with mee at that tyme of 

^ East India Company. ^ Compartments. 

306 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

officers, marriners, merchants and passingers [ ? 
some'] 40 sooiiles ; the which being wearied with a 
long storm, could not longer enduer it ; but the 
principall of them cam to mee and held vp ther 
handes praying mee to do my best to saue ther liues. 
Now at this pressent I had 2 of your woorship 
saruants, the one called INIr. Richard Wickham, 
who for the pressent viage wass Cape Marchant, 
the other called Edmon Sarris, his assistant : to 
which twoo I made the complaynt of our men 
knowen, whoo allso seeinge the great extremiti wee 
were in, dessired mee the like. The which thing 
greved me not a littell (being not aboue 20 lleags 
from the cost of China) to go for China, beinge 
most bitter ennemys to the Japanners (thear wee 
could not trym our ship) : that I wass fayne to take 
an other cours, and derectted my courss for sartayne 
Hands called the Leques,^ which through the bless- 
ing of God 3 dayes aftere arriued in safFetie, to all 
our great reioycing : for which God be praysed for 
euer. Now in theese ilands, wee found maruelous 
great frindship : for both generous [ ? people of rank] 
and ordenari peopell frindly. But in conclusion, 
beefor wee could vnlade our ship, tak out our mast, 
and trym her agayn, the monsson was past, that 
wee could not prossed of our voyage : but in the 
end returned for Japan agayne. 

Now in the yeere of our Lord 1617 [ ? 1616], 

1 Loo Choo or Riu Kiu Islands. 

307 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

hauing tiymed our ship, agayne prosseeded for 
Siam, and thorough the fauour of God mad a 
prosperoose vyage ; and at my returne to Japan 
I found 2 ships arriued abought 15 days bifFor mee, 
the on called the Thomas, the other the Advice : of 
which I wass most joyfull to see. 

So pressently of my arriuall, the Cape Marchant 
was reddie to go to the court, hauing way ted sartain 
dayes in hoop of my couming. So within 5 daies 
of my arriuall, according to wind and wether 
departed, and went with the Cape Marchant befFor 
the Emperour, with which in 5 daies deUiuered his 
pressent. So hauing delliuerd his pressent, 2 
dayes after sent me to the country to procure those 
things which he required, which was the renewall of 
the old Emperour's priuliges [^privileges] with a 
gowshon [license] for his juncke for Siam: which 
things were granted with all kinde speeches, but 
in conclusion were not performed ; as afterwards 
appeared. For hauing taken his leaue of the court, 
and being bovnd to INIeaco, by the way coummeth 
an express with letters from Mr. Richard Wickham 
from Meaco,^ with letters how that all strangers 
good was forbiden to make sale of any, and that 
covmmandment was geuen to all marchants that 
were strangers, should go for Firando ' and Langa- 
sacki.^ Vppon which strange newes, the Cape 
Marchant, Mr. Cock, thought it is necessary to go 

1 Miyako, i.e. Kyoto. ^ Hirado. ^ Nagasaki. 

308 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

to the court agayne, to know the oceasione, and to 
see yf he could remedy it. So returned to the 
court agayne, and evsed me as his messenger therein. 
And returning examined agayne his coummission, 
or priulleges ; and indeed found an artikell altered : 
which wass, that in the old Emperour, his priulleges, 
thorough his whool domynions, our Inglish factori 
might trad \_trade~\, by [^niy] or sell, wher they 
thought good, in thease new priulleges weare 
granted but in two pllaces, which m eare nomynated, 
that was in Firando ^ and Langasachi.^ So about 
this byssiness, Mr. Cock hath taken no small care 
to a reformed it. So I beinge daylie ymploied 
in his byssiness, could not get it reiFormed ; 
but in fyne this generall awnsswer, that wass : 
that this wass the first yeare of the Emperour's 
raign, and as his eddict wass gone all ouere 
Japan, it was not a thing pressently to be called 
back agayne ; that wee should be content till 
next yeear, at which tyme request being mad by 
those that shall coum vp to geue the pressent, 
doutted not but it should be geuen. So with his 
absolut awnsser, the Cape Marchant returned to 
Meaco.^ Ther dispaching svch bissiness as he had 
to do, returned to the shipping in Firando, with 
svch factoris as weear aboue. 

Now your woorship shall v^nderstand the casse 

^ Hirado. 2 Nagasaki. 

^ Miyako, i.e. Kyoto. 

309 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

[cause] of thees things as followeth. In the yeear 
of our Lord 1615 heer was great warres : for 
Qiiambaccodono [i.e. Faociha, or, Taico Sama'^] a 
two yeears before his deth had a ssoone, which vntill 
this [....] beeing the 24 yeare of his age, and 
hauing aboundance of riches, thought him selfe 
strong with [••.•] diuers nobles to a rooss [?] 
with him, which was great Ukly. Hee mad warres 
with the Emperour [..••], allso by the Jessvits 
and Ffriers, which mad his man Fiddayat Samma^ 
belleeue be should be fauord with mirrackles and 
wounders ; but in fyne it proued to the contrari. 
For the old Emperour [••..], against him 
pressentUy, maketh his forces reddy by sea and land, 
and compasseth his castell that he was in ; although 
with loss of multitudes on both sides, yet in the 
end rasseth the castell walles, setteth it on fyre, and 
burnetii hym in it. Thus ended the warres. Now 
the Emperour heering of thees jess vets and friers 
being in the kastell with his ennemis, and still froin 
tym to tym against hym, coummandeth all 
romische sorte of men to depart ovt of his countri, 
thear churches puUd dooum, and burned. This 
folowed in the old Emperour's dales. Now this 
yeear, 1616, the old Emperour he did [died]. His 
son raigneth in his place, and hee is more hot 

1 Hideyoshi. 

2 Fidaia Sanaa, i.e. Hideyori, the son of Hideyoshi. — Maunde 
Thompson. 

310 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAJNIS 

agaynste the romish relligion then his ffather wass : 
for he hath forbidden thorough all his domynions, 
on paine of deth, none of his subiects to be romish 
christiane; which romish seckt to prevent eueri 
wayes that he maye, he hath forbidden that no 
stranger merchant shall abid in any of the great 
citties. On svch pretence many jessvets and fFriers 
might seket [? in secret] teach the romissh relligion. 
Thees are the casses of our Inghsh ffactori, and 
all other strangers are not suffred abou in the 
countri. 

Now consserning my owne part, your wourshipp 
shall vnderstand I am this yeear bound to Coche 
China: yf my God will permitt me. Thees 
ressones hath mad mee tak it in hand. 3 yeers past 
your Cape merchant, Mr. Richard Cock, sent a 
ffactori thether, but men nor good returned not; 
as the report on of them killed thear, and the other 
couming from Japan cast awaye. Now my selfe 
being no waye abell to mak that my hart dessu-eth, 
of anny satisfticion for your wourshipps great 
kindnes to my poor wyf hi my absenc, and allsso, 
heer in Japan, your woorship ffiictor JNlr. Richard 
Cock, his lou and most frindly afFaction ; I say 
hath mad mee tak this joorney in hand, to see yf 
by my menes I can get thooss priuelleges wherby 
your woorship may get a free trad or ffactori 
agayne; and alsso to know by what menes Mr. 
Pecock lost hys lyf IMr. Cock had thought to a 

311 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

sent Mr. Wm. Nellson with mee, but hauing svch 
need of his pressence, that indeed hee could not 
miss bym. A'^ppon which occacion I go my selfe 
alloun, desiring the protexion and favor of all 
mightie God heer in. 

Thus being vnwoorthy, I hau imboldened my 
selfe to wryt thees feaw lines to let your woorship 
to vnderstand of the trowbelles of thees parts in 
brif : only knowing assvredly Mr. Cock hath moost 
largly wrott your woorship of all matters. Therfor, 
this pressent my hvmbell devtye remembred, I 
ceess : praying God for your woorship longe lyf 
and moost happi daies ; and in the lyf to covm 
euerlasting felliciti for euer. Amen. 

Your woorship vnwoorthy saruant to comand in 
all dutifull sarvis that I cann, 

Wm. Addams. 



Conclusion 

The foregoing is the last communication from 
William Adams that has been preserved, if any 
other were sent. The two following extracts 
have each an interest, but of a totally dissimilar 
character. One represents Adams in his prosperity, 
an object of honour and esteem : the other an- 
nounces the occurrence of " the last scene of all " ; 
the termination of the singular career of this 
312 



THE LETTERS OF WILL ADAMS 

*' homme de meritcj^ as justice forced an antagonist 
to term him. 

In 1616, Captain Cock went up to Edo^ about 
the "Privileges." In his Diary, under date the 
26th of September, narrating the circumstances con- 
nected with his return, he states : " We departed 
towards Orengava this morning abt. 10 a clock, 
and arived at Phebe ^ some 2 houres before night, 
where we staid all that night: for that Captain 
Adames wife and his two children met vs theare. 
This Phebe is a Lordshipp geuen to Capt. Adames 
pr. the ould Emperour, to hym and his for eaver, 
and confermed to his sonne, called Joseph. There 
is above 100 farms, or howsholds, vppon it, besides 
others vnder them, all which are his vassalls, and 
he hath power of lyfe and death ouer them : they 
being his slaues ; and he hauing as absolute 
authoretie over them as any tono (or king) in 
Japon^ hath over his vassales. Divers of his 
tenants brought me presents of frute : as oringes, 
figges, peares, chistnutts, and grapes, whereof there 
is aboundance in that place." Continuing his 
Diary, the next day, the 27th of September, 
Captain Cock remarks : " AVe gaue the tenants 
of Phebe * a bar of coban to make a banket after 
our departure from thence, with 500 gins to the 
servants of bowses, the cheefe of the towne accom- 

1 Yeddo, i.e. Tokyo. 2 Hemi, near Yokosuka. 

3 Japan. * Hemi, near Yokosuka. 

313 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

panying vs out of their precincts, and sent many- 
servants to accompany vs to Oringava (which is 
about 8 or 9 Enghsh miles) ; all rvning before vs 
on foote as honeyer [hoiiow'] to Captain Adames. 
After our arivall at Oringava, most of the neigh- 
bours came to vizett mee, and brought frutes 
and fysh, and reioiced (as it should seeme) of 
Captain Adames retorne." 

The next extract is from a letter addressed by 
Captain Cock to the Governor and Committees 
of the East India Company, dated the 13th of 
December 1620. It is to the following effect: 
"Our good frend Captain Wm. Addames, whoe 
was soe long before vs in Japon, departed out of 
this world the vj of JNIay last ; and made Mr. Wm. 
Eaton and my selfe his overseers : geuing the cue 
halfe of his estate to his wife and childe in Eng- 
land ; and the other halfe to a sonne and doughter 
he hath in Japon. The coppie of his wdll, with an 
other of his inventory (or account of his estate) I 
send to his wife and doughter, per Captain ^lartin 
Pring, their good frend, well knowne to them long 
tyme past. And I haue delivered one hvndred 
pounds starling to diuers of the James Royall 
Company, entred into the pursers book to pay two 
for one in England, is two hvndred pounds starling 
to Mrs. Addames and her doughter, for it was not 
his mind his wife should haue all, in regard she 
might marry an other hvsband, and carry all from 



THE LETTERS OF AVILI. ADAMS 

his childe; but rather that it should be equally 
parted between them: of which I thought good 
to adviz your wourship. And the rest of his debts 
and estates being gotten in, I will either bring, 
or send it per first occasion offred, and that may 
be most for their profitt : according as the deceased 
put his trust in me and his other frend ^Ir. Eaton." 

It only remains to be observed, that the A^^iix 
OF William Adams, in Japonese, is preserved 
among the records of the Honourable the East 
India Company; and that a translation has not 
been traced. The Inventory is also extant. 
The title runs thus : 

''IN THE NAME OF GOD, A3IEN. 

1620, May the 22d day. 

THE INVENTORY OF THE ESTATE 
OF THE DECEASED, CAPT. WILLIAM 
A DAMES, taken at Firando, in Japan, after his 
death, pr. me Richd. Cock, and 3Ir. Wm. Eaton, 
factors, in the English Factory at Firando,^ in 
Japan, left by testament his ove?^sea7^s, viz., of all 
the monies, debts, merchandiz, and moveabls, being 
as herecfter followethy 

The succeeding extract shows that William 

1 Hirado. 

S15 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Adams had accumulated about £ stg. 500 at the 

period of his death, viz. 

1 

'•' The totall is : ^. 



In ready money 

In bills of debt 

In merchandiz, rated at 

In moveables, sould for 


ma. 

2 


CO. 

4" 


ta. 
0365 

0890 

0638 

0078 


m. 




7 
4 


CO. 

9 


5 




1972 


2 


4 


ta. 

1972 









s. d. 



10 Condrins= 1 Mas =^0 6 
1 Mas = 1 Taie = 5 



Q \ English. 



316 



PART IV 

JAPAN FROM A MAN'S POINT 
OF VIEW 

By DOUGLAS SLADEN 



CHAPTER I 

THE ARMY AND THE FAMILY IN JAPAN 

The redoubtable Japanese soldier is a dwarf beside 
the British grenadier, for the Japanese male is no 
larger than the EngHsh female of the days before 
lawn-tennis. It has been said that there are a 
million and a half people in Tokyo under five feet 
high. This may be an exaggeration. But there 
must be quite a million. In what do the fighting 
qualities of the Japanese soldier, then, consist ? In 
his courage and his endurance, and his marvellous 
faculty of going without. To take the last first : 
as Saint-Saens said, it is our wants that make us 
poor. The Japanese has no wants. He can sleep 
in his clothes without a tent ; he can live on rice 
or the ofFal of the sea ; and he is so accustomed to 
carrying heavy weights and running long distances 
that he can be his own commissariat, and even his 
own horse. As we turned our foot-soldiers into 
mounted infantry, so the Japanese can turn their 
riksha-hoys, of whom there are fifty thousand in 

319 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Tokyo alone, into unmounted cavalry. A riksha- 
boy without a riksha could run forty miles in a day, 
and be ready to do it again or to fight on the next 
day. The endurance of the Japanese is wonderful. 
I have seen four little Japs carrying a grand piano 
slung between them from bamboos on their 
shoulders. They do not feel the cold, because 
their fire-boxes are too small to warm them beyond 
their finger-tips. They cannot feel the heat 
because in summer whenever it is hot the riksha- 
boy takes off his hat for fear of spoiling it with 
sweat. They cannot, it is true, do much on an 
empty stomach. Your riksha-hoy stops whenever 
he feels hungry or he would break down, but they 
live on low-grade foods, which are light to carry. 
Their courage is wonderful. The Japanese does 
not fear death in any form. Many Orientals, even 
the more unwarlike races of India, will face a bullet 
with placid resignation, while nothing will induce 
them to face cold steel, no matter what the dis- 
parity of numbers. But the Japanese has always 
dealt in cold steel. It was his aim to get near 
enough for his terrible two-sworded samurai, with 
their razor blades, to reach the enemy. His wars, 
it is true, have mostly been civil wars, but they 
have been decided by one party being hacked to 
pieces. No one nowadays is allowed to carry two 
swords in Japan ; and the samurai, the men-at-arms 
of the feudal princes, no longer exist as a body, but 
320 



THE ARMY k THE FAMILY IN JAPAN 

the Japanese army is thronged with them (ninety 
per cent, of its officers are samurai), for the only 
professions open to gentlemen of their rank were 
the army, the police, literature, printing, and 
domestic service. In the old feudal days it was a 
degradation for the samurai to do anything but 
serve, and fight, and write poetry. It was so far 
from being a degradation for him to be his lord's 
servant that it was no degradation for the son of 
one noble to be the servant of another, any more 
than it was a degradation for an English duchess 
to be Queen Victoria's governess. And in Japan 
the service was actual, and not titular. Ich dien, I 
serve, was the motto of everyone in feudal Japan 
except the Emperor, and to the Japanese mind the 
revolution has made no difference in the honour of 
being a good and faithful servant, though the 
samui'ai may now be in the service of a strange 
Japanese, or even a hotel or a foreigner, instead of 
the nobleman's family with whom his own family 
have been connected from time immemorial. 

Literature was the amusement and the accom- 
plishment of the samurai ; therefore, as journalism 
is a branch of writing, and printing is one of the 
practical phases of literature, it is no disgrace for a 
samurai to be a reporter or a compositor. 

Fighting was, however, his occupation par 
excdlence, and therefore it is natural for him to 
wish above all things to be in the army, and next 

21 321 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

to that, in the police. There are said to be two 
millions of the samurai class, but I do not know if 
this number refers to men of the military age, or 
includes men, women, and children. As Chamber- 
lain says: from 1200 to 1867, soldier and gentle- 
man were convertible terms. To fight was not 
only a duty but a pleasure, in a state of society 
where the security of feudal possessions depended 
on the strong arm of the baron himself and of his 
trusted lieges. That was in the good old days 
when men's incomes were reckoned in rice, and 
one nobleman was so grand that he had two 
million koku of rice a year. The Japanese say 
that this would have been the equivalent of four 
million English pounds a year, but then the 
Japanese regard for statistical truth is not strict, 
and it is quite certain that, now, Japanese with 
ten thousand a year are rarer than Anglo-Saxons 
with a hundred thousand a year. In any case, he 
had to keep a whole tribe out of it, just as the 
Highland chief in the old days had often to keep 
his whole clan out of the income which English 
misapprehensions allowed him to make his own. 
Japanese self-renunciation has no parallel in the 
history of the world. The feudal princes thirty 
years ago gave up the enormous incomes which 
maintained themselves, their armies, and their 
samurai. The myriads of samurai, without a word, 
gave up the wearing of the formidable swords 
322 



To hack on p. 322. 







Toyania, 



To back on ;;. 323, 




Samurai in the olden time. 



THE ARMY & THE FAMH.Y IN JAPAN 

which put the government at their mercy. The 
samurai received notliing in return except the 
empty honour of not being able to earn their own 
hving outside of the few professions open to gentle- 
men. The nobles received new titles and small 
pensions. 

In the first days after the Revolution the 
Japanese army consisted of only fifty thousand 
men, and there is no doubt that many of the 
samurai came to the verge of starvation. Nowa- 
days, when every available man is wanted, comes 
their opportunity ; for above all people in the world 
the Japanese samuj'ai has what Chamberlain calls 
" that military spirit which is the sine qua non of 
all military excellence." One used to see this in 
watching the Japanese police in the old days when 
the policemen's lot was a happy one (to reverse the 
Gilbert and Sullivan phrase), on which the Japanese 
samurai cast longing eyes. In the centre of a 
crowded thoroughfare stood the miniature police- 
man ; height, from four feet ten to five feet 
nothing, dressed in a blue serge suit and a cap with 
a patent-leather peak, which made him look like a 
messenger-boy, and with his hands in large white 
cotton gloves, which made any idea of using force 
ridiculous. Before him the population kowtowed, 
literally touching the ground with their foreheads 
if he spoke to them sternly, though he seldom 
produced any more formidable weapon than a 

323 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

notebook. If he was really displeased he boxed 
the ears of the subject of his displeasure, who 
submitted grovellingly. If he had to make an 
arrest he did not employ handcuffs ; he produced 
a hank of yellow cord, and the victim felt honoured 
in holding his hands behind him in the position 
most convenient for the policemen to bind them 
together. If the disturbance was created by big 
drunken foreign sailors, he did not even trouble 
to bind them. With them he put forth the secret 
powers which made him an object of intelligible 
terror to the native population — he used his know- 
ledge of jujitsu and judo. These are the sciences 
only taught to gentlemen for self-defence against 
violence. All London has heard about jujitsu 
now from the marvellous expositions of it at the 
music-halls by Mr Tano, who has in vain challenged 
the wrestling champions to face him in a wrestle- 
as-you-please. It is based on a knowledge of 
anatomy. There are certain grips which mean a 
broken limb if the person gripped resists, and 
certain others which enable a small man to sling 
a heavy man head over heels a dozen feet away. 
The Japanese policeman is drilled into this, and is 
therefore irresistible to those who do not know the 
art, unless they can use weapons. By jujitsu the 
most violent man can be led away without a 
struggle if he is ignorant of the scientific way to 
resist it. But it is not only this tremendous 
324 



THE ARMY & THE FAMH^Y IN JAPAN 

physical power in the poHceman which the 
Japanese coohe dreads. He remembers the days 
when he had not the right to Uve if the samurai, 
now changed into a pohceman, considered him 
guilty of disrespect to the samurais lord. Even 
foreigners were occasionally cut down by the 
samurai for not making obeisance as a daimio 
passed, until the tremendous indemnities extorted 
by foreign Powers made the Japanese government 
of those days prevent it. The poor Japanese obeys 
the police, not the law. The law means nothing 
to him. He has very likely never heard of it. 

The Japanese soldier is the outcome of Japanese 
family life. The greatest obstacle to the spread 
of Christianity in Japan has been that the Christian 
teaching is to forsake all things and follow Christ, 
whereas the essence of religion to a Japanese is 
the immorality and impossibility of ever forgetting 
his duty to his parents and his duty to his Emperor. 
It is wrong for him to love his wife except in so 
far as it does not conflict with his duty to his 
parents. When a woman marries a Japanese she 
is cut off from her own family, even technically, on 
the registers of the pohce. The change of regis- 
tration in the ownership of this human chattel is 
in fact the only binding element in a Japanese 
marriage. It is true that when proper ceremonies 
are observed she is dressed in white like a corpse 
to leave her father's house, where purifying fires 

325 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

are lighted, as they would be after the removal of 
a dead body. It is true that in her bridegroom's 
house she puts on a change of raiment, typifying 
the purification after touching a corpse ; takes sip 
and sip about with him in three-times-three cups 
of sake at a ceremonial family banquet ; changes 
her dress again ; is conducted by her maid to his 
bedroom, where she takes sip and sip about in three- 
times-three cups of sake once again ; and, a day 
or two afterwards, pays a visit of ceremony with 
her husband to her former parents. That is the 
outward and visible sign of a Japanese marriage. 
The inwardness of it is, that she becomes an unpaid 
servant to her husband, and his father and mother, 
and any grandparents he may have, and any 
elder brothers that he may have, and any wives 
that they may have. It is wrong for a Japanese 
woman to love her children, or at any rate to show 
any love for them. A Japanese woman's life is 
not worth living till she is old enough for her 
husband's relations to have been dead and her 
sons to be married. A Japanese woman does not 
wish to become a mother, she wishes to become 
a mother-in-law ; and the mother-in-law of the 
English stage is as mild as JVIellins' food compared 
to her in making other people's lives burdens. But 
there is one peculiarity about her — she cannot 
make her son-in-law's life a burden, because she 
hardly ever has one. A woman whose daughter 
326 



THE ARMY & THE FAMH^Y IN JAPAN 

is married does not attain to the distinguished 
position of being a mother-in-law in Japan. The 
daughter who went out of her house in the garb 
of a corpse has nothing more to do with her — she 
practically has been sold as a slave into her 
husband's family. 

There is an exception, however ; when a Japanese 
family cannot scrape up a son, born or adopted, 
and has any property to leave to a daughter, the 
situation is changed. The son-in-law becomes the 
slave, and has to take his wife's name and wait on 
her parents, and possibly on any elder sisters she 
may have, and any husbands they may have, and 
is liable to be discharged, like a cab, the moment 
he is not wanted any longer, just as the ordinary 
Japanese wife is. 

So eminent an authority as Mr Basil Hall 
Chamberlain, in his Things Japanese, says that one 
marriage out of three in Japan ends in divorce. 
As the woman has no dowry, and the husband 
makes no provision for the divorcee, and parents 
will seldom take such an undesirable woman back, 
in theory there would seem nothing for her to 
do but to take poison. In practice, however, she 
nearly always marries again, presumably because 
some friend of the husband's has noticed that she 
was not so black as her mother-in-law painted her. 
Divorces in Japan are quite as often owing to 
the husband's parents' dissatisfaction with the wife 

327 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

as a servant, as they are to his dissatisfaction with 
her as a wife, which means that, as far as the law 
is concerned, a man can practically divorce his 
wife when he likes in Japan. ^ 

"A Japanese judge has ruled in a certain case 
that the wife is not obliged ' to obey the unreason- 
able demands of her husband.' In this particular 
instance the man of the house had told the wife 
to perform some disagreeable manual labour for 
him ; she refused, and he promptly divorced her. 
The wife appealed, and her plea was upheld by 

^ This is a good deal altered by recent legislation. Even the 
custody of the children is, under circumstances, given to the 
mother nowadays. One of the most recent authorities, Mr 
Ernest W. Clement, in his Haiidbook to Japan, gives the follow- 
ing infoniiation bearing on the subject : — 

" There are two ways of effecting a divorce : either by arrange- 
ment, which is effected in a similar Avay to marriage — that is, 
by simply having the registration of marriage cancelled — or by 
judicial divorce, which may be granted on several grounds 
specified in the code. But divorce by arrangement cannot be 
effected by persons under twenty-five years of age, without con- 
sent of the person or persons by whose consent the marriage was 
effected. And if the persons who effect this kind of divorce 
fail to determine who is to have the custody of the children, 
they belong to the father ; but ' in cases where the father leaves 
the family owing to divorce, the custody of the children belongs 
to the mother,' evidently because she remains in the family. 
In other words, children are the chattels of the family. 

"The grounds on which judicial divorce is gi-anted include 
bigamy, adultery on the part of the wife, the husband's receiving 
a criminal sentence for an offence against morality, cruel treat- 
ment or grave insult, such as to render living together unbearable, 
desertion with evil intent, cruel treatment or gross insult of or 
by lineal descendants." 
3^8 



THE ARMY & THE FAMILY IN JAPAN 

the court. A very important precedent has been 
established, and this decision may lead to a 
revolution in Japanese domestic life, in which, 
thanks to the courage of one woman and the 
enlightening effect of American ideals, the Japanese 
wife need no longer be her husband's slave." — 
( Congi'egatwnal JVoi^k. ) 

Mr Gubbins, in the introduction to Part ii. of 
his translation of the Civil Code, writes as follows : 
— " The legal position of women in Japan before 
the commencement of modern legislative reform is 
well illustrated by the fact that offences came under 
different categories according to their commission 
by the wife against the husband, or by the husband 
against the wife, and by the curious anomaly that, 
while the husband stood in the first degree of 
relationship to his wife, the latter stood to him 
only in the second.^ The disabilities under which 
a woman formerly laboured shut her out from the 
exercise of almost all rights. She could not inherit 
her own property in her own name ; she could not 
become head of a family ; she could not adopt, 
and she could not be the guardian of her own 
child. The maxim, muUer est finis familice, was 
as true in Japan as in Rome, though its observance 
may have been less strict, owing to the greater 
frequency of adoption. 

"In no respect has modern progress in Japan 

^ Since 1882 they have been upon the same basis. 

329 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

made greater strides than in the improvement of 
the position of woman. Though she still labours 
under certain disabilities, a woman can now become 
the head of a family, and exercise authority as 
such ; she can inherit and own property, and 
manage it herself; she can exercise parental 
authority ; if single, or a widow, she can adopt ; 
she is one of the parties to adoption effected by 
her husband, and her consent, in addition to that 
of her husband, is necessary to the adoption of her 
child by another person ; she can act as guardian or 
curator, and she has a voice in family councils." 

Filial piety, says Chamberlain, is the virtue par 
excellence of China and Japan. This is the source 
of the devotion which shows itself in such extra- 
ordinary loyalty to the Emperor, such marvellous 
disregard of death in the soldier. The Japanese 
parent, he has told us, thinks no more of filial 
piety than an English lady thinks of accepting his 
seat from a gentleman in a crowded train. He 
accepts it as a matter of course, and had no idea 
that he was stony-hearted till the missionaries told 
him so. The attitude of the missionaries upon this 
question has been one of the great stumbling-blocks 
to the introduction of Christianity into Japan. To 
the Japanese, the fifth commandment, "Honour 
thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be 
long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth 
thee," is the greatest of all the commandments; 
330 



THE ARMY k THE FAMILY IN JAPAN 

in fact, it is the only one of the ten upon which 
his system of ethics was at all strict till he adopted 
trousers, and other Western ideas for external 
application only. But to the ten he added another 
— Thou shalt not survive disgrace. Mr Chamberlain 
says that the four-and-twenty paragons of fiUal 
piety introduced in the dark ages from China to 
Japan are still the ideas of the Japanese people. 

As pointed out more than once elsewhere in this 
book, the most marked instance of the lengths 
to which the Japanese carry filial self-sacrifice is 
that of pure young girls selling themselves into 
houses of ill-fame for a term of years in order to 
relieve the necessities of parents in poverty. The 
daughters of the daimio, the old nobles, if they 
could not get married, sometimes adopted such a 
course to reheve their parents of the necessity of 
supporting them. The daughters of one of the 
early Mikadoes did so in order to make it an 
honourable profession for other women. Half the 
Japanese plays you see have a heroine who has 
sold herself in this way, and emerges from it 
untainted (at least in her heart, as B. H. C. says, 
quoting, with a smile up his sleeve, the Japanese 
proverb, that a truthful courtesan is as great a 
miracle as a square egg). 

The Japanese do not spare the rod and spoil the 
child, neither do they use it, for the Japanese child 
is born without original sin, which means, as Miss 



331 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Lorimer said, that its sins are original. But though 
it never cries and you never hear it being scolded, 
the cat sometimes peeps out of the bag, for gempu, 
the word which the Japanese child uses for its 
male parent, means literally " strict father," and 
"yz^o" means literally " benevolent mother"; and 
Mr Daigoro Goh, our chief authority on the family 
relation in Japan, as I quoted in Queer Things 
about Japan, tells us about a Japanese boy who 
classified the Japanese father as one of the 
" four fearful things of the world "— " earthquake, 
thunder, conflagration, and father " ! But there 
were four controlling powers, according to Mr 
Goh, on the brutalities of a Japanese father. The 
first was that of his ancestors, which seems a little 
shadowy to Europeans ; the second, that of his 
relatives ; the third, that of society ; and the fourth, 
that of the law. 

Some of Mr Goh's obite7' dicta which I gave are 
very amusing : — " When a Japanese father is cruel 
to his children, his neighbours do not sympathise 
with his children, but with his ancestors. It is 
considered a disgrace to them if the children are 
ill-treated or neglected, because this is not keeping 
the ancestral name in honour. The social control 
seems to lie in the fact that the father is afraid of 
being called 'a fiend-like parent,' which is worse 
than our word ' bully.' In cases of trouble between 
parents and children, it is quite usual for relatives 
332 



THE ARMY & THE FAMH.Y IN JAPAN 

to hold a family council and interfere ; and finally, 
there are certain ancient Roman privileges which 
the Japanese house-father does not enjoy, such 
as physical cruelty, infanticide, and manslaughter 
generally. But the Japanese father and the 
European son and daughter have different ideas 
about the worst form of cruelty. In Japan it is 
horribly cruel not to send a child to school, and 
you are very neglectful if you do not settle for 
your children whom they are to marry. ' They 
might not get married at all,' says the Japanese 
sage, — a disgrace too awful to contemplate." 

The Japanese are martyrs to etiquette. That 
they should have begun so important a thing as 
a war in which they were making their debut as 
a first-class power, without the proper etiquette, is 
the last straw for the camel's hump on the back of 
the German Press. 

It is to be hoped that the honest members of the 
German Press have by this time corrected their views 
by the light of what Mr Arthur Diosy, Chairman 
of the Committee of the Japan Society — the only 
European publicist who foresaw the power of Japan 
before her war with China — had to say about the 
Japanese army at his lecture to raise funds for the 
Japanese wounded and widows. The Japanese, 
said INIr Diosy, was willing to have two or more 
religions at the same time, because his real religion 
was his country. Religion, he explained, is that 

333 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

which makes us triumph over our instincts — 
even over the instinct of self-preservation. Every 
Japanese prays that he may do something before 
he leaves the earth to increase the glory of Japan, 
and spread it over the land and across the sea. 
The Japanese's feeling for his country is more than 
patriotism : it gives him the ambition of the martyr, 
not only to live for it, but to die for it. His desire 
to die for his country is not induced by the promise 
of any great happiness in the future state, like that 
dangled before the eyes of the Turk. As to what 
his life in the future existence will be, he does not 
make bold to say. He considers that his hfe belongs 
to his country, and for it he is quite willing to take 
the risks of the other world, setting a noble example 
to politicians in our own country who sacrifice the 
interests of England to their miserable consciences, 
asserting that what they do not wish to do is wrong. 
The Japanese do not accept claptrap as an excuse 
for breaches of patriotism. It is the Japanese, not 
the German, to whom ' Fatherland ' means most. 
The Japanese is the model soldier ; no one can say 
to him, " This also oughtest thou to have done, and 
not to have left the other undone." The Japanese 
is equally particular and enthusiastic about musketry 
and drill and the proper presenting of arms and 
cleaning of buttons. He thinks there is no such 
thing as an unimportant detail in naval and military 
matters. What he is told to do he does with all 
334 



THE ARMY & THE FAMILY IN JAPAN 

his might. He questions no orders, although his 
officers may be sending him, as they did in the 
battle of Kinchau, to certain death. The word 
' decimate,' meaning to put every tenth man liors 
de combat., shows what Europeans consider an 
appalling loss, but a Japanese regiment will stand 
losing, not one-tenth of its men, but nine-tenths, 
if the other tenth can get through and do what 
is required. In feudal times men's training was 
all in this direction ; but, as Mr Diosy said very 
pointedly, one does not expect to find it in this 
age of switchbacks and wild-cat companies. 

Consummate wisdom was shown by the men 
who directed the counsels of Japan in the transi- 
tion period from 1859 to 1889. They decided that 
the first thing to do was to make Japan safe from 
foreign foes. No Japanese doubts that it is the 
first duty of every able-bodied male to submit to 
severe training for the defence of his country. As 
Mr Diosy pointed out, there is only one country 
which disputes this in theory, which has refused to 
place that sacred duty of a citizen on its statute 
books. These wise men were in favour, not of 
conscription, but of universal service. Conscrip- 
tion only satisfies two countries at the present 
moment — Spain and the Netherlands. Japan is 
a nation in arms on sea and land. Twenty is 
the regular age for the Japanese to begin his 
training, but if he is sufficiently forward physi- 

335 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

cally he is allowed to begin at seventeen. From 
that time till he is forty he belongs to the nation, 
if physically and mentally fit. As the Japanese 
can only afford to pay for a certain number of 
soldiers and sailors on a peace footing, they only 
allow the best and the strongest and the weU- 
educated to serve in the first line of their army 
and navy. The others who do not come up to the 
standard are relegated to the reserve. The ordinary 
Japanese serves three years with the colours, but 
those who have certain particular educational 
qualifications need serve only one year, and are 
known as volunteers, which is an odd name for 
those who wish to get off serving. 

The Japanese army and navy are a sort of 
continuation of school. In Japan education is a 
government affair, and free. The average Japanese 
leaves school at thirteen or fourteen, so that the 
army and navy form one of the greatest elements 
in education. Fourteen years ago the government 
issued a rescript to the army and navy officers as 
to the proper training of the minds of the men 
under them. This is given to every regiment by 
its colonel and to every ship by its captain once a 
week. The army and navy form one of the greatest 
schools of ethics, for the first thing taught is the 
beauty of honour and patriotism. Instructed in 
this way, every private regards himself, like the 
general, as a pivot in the operations which are 
336 



THE ARMY & THE FAMILY IN JAPAN 

being undertaken. The emblem of duty, the 
symbol of honour, is the Rising Sun war-flag, 
with its crimson rays. 

The highest of all things is the Emperor. He 
is not worshipped, but reverenced, more than Queen 
Victoria. It may have been noticed that Japanese 
commanders, from Admiral Togo downwards, are 
in the habit of ascribing their victories to the 
excellent virtues of the Emperor. This, of course, 
is the Emperor as an embodiment, and not as an 
individual. His name never passes their lips. He 
is always spoken of as Tenno-San, not as Mutsu- 
Hito, and not as the Mikado. In their conception 
of the Emperor they reverence, almost adore, all 
that is excellent in themselves. 

The present Emperor stands above his people as 
Saul, the son of Kish, stood above the Israelites. 
He is Ave feet eight inches high — which is immensely 
tall for a Japanese, whose average is only five feet 
— broad-shouldered, deep-chested. He has noble 
features, serious and dignified, and a low, serious 
voice. 

The Japanese have realised from the beginning 
that soldiers, to be of any use, must be good shots. 
The Japanese infantry are excellent shots, and 
Japanese artillerymen are worth their weight in 
radium. At the beginning of the war it was 
expected that the fewness of the Japanese cavalry 
and their bad mounting would place them at the 

22 337 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

mercy of the Cossacks, but they are so strong in 
foot cavahy that these predictions have been 
falsified. The Japanese have a large number of 
men who, from tlieir training as riksha-hoys and 
bettos, or running grooms, and so on, are capable 
of running forty miles or more in a day without 
exhaustion. These infantry, who are capable of 
going immense distances at the double, have proved 
themselves more than a match for the Cossacks, 
which is only natural when one comes to think 
of it, because they are fine shots and can take 
cover, where the cavalryman cannot help exposing 
himself. 

The Japanese catch their officers young, generally 
at about thirteen, and ninety per cent, of them are 
samurai, hereditary fighters. The Japanese military 
stores are always full and always sound in condition, 
which is the first step towards success by land or sea. 

It has been said that the Japanese rank and file, 
like most of the great men of history, inherit their 
splendid qualities from their mothers, the noble, 
sweet women of Japan, the best of all wives, whose 
whole life is made up of devotion and obedience. 
The Japanese woman, the gentlest of her sex, has 
shown Spartan courage during the war. There 
have been instances of women who have had all 
their children killed in battle, mourning not for 
their children's deaths, but because they were too 
old to bear any more sons to fight for their country. 
338 



THE ARMY & THE FAMILY IN JAPAN 

Other mothers have wept when their wounded sons 
have been sent home to recover, because their off- 
spring had not had the honour of dying for their 
country. But Mr Diosy points out that although 
they may have wept bitter tears of mortification 
before their neighbours, in the secrecy of their 
chambers they would have comforted themselves 
with having their dear ones back to recover and 
fight again, just as the parent who is proudest and 
happiest in public at his son having died for his 
country, will, when he is no longer buoyed up by 
pride, weep like any other human being behind the 
paper shutters of his home. 

We, their allies, are willing to honour them 
equally for their human feelings or their stoicism. 
We do not feel called upon to analyse their feelings : 
it is sufficient for us that they show a devotion to 
their country, a courage in the face of their enemies 
unequalled in the annals of the civilised world. ^ 

1 There is one point in which the Enghsh have been mis- 
understood. It has been thought that because the French have 
subscribed more Hberally for the Russian wounded than we for 
the Japanese wounded, that they have more sympathy for their 
alhes than we have. This is not the case. The fact is that the 
French are better allies than we are. We are so painfully anxious 
to be fair and correct in our neutrality, that it is only bodies 
of private individuals, like the Japan Society, who declare their 
feelings and come forward with their purses. The Russians do 
not respect us for our fairness ; they do not even believe in it : 
they would respect us a great deal more if we answered them 
back in their own coin, and helped our allies, as the French 
and Germans help them. 

339 



CHAPTER II 

"JAPAN, THE ITALY OF THE EAST " 

Those who have Hved much in both can hardly 
think of Japan and Italy together without being 
struck with the fact that Japan is the Italy of the 
East, and the Italians are the Japs of Europe. The 
same clear blue sky shines over the Italics east 
and west, and the climate has permeated the speech, 
for the same clear liquid sounds salute your ears. 
SpeU sayonara, the most eloquent word of fareweU 
in all the languages, with a ' /,' and Juliet might 
have used it to Romeo. As Italian are the 
Japanese thank-you, afigato, and the Japanese 
all-right, yoroshi ; while some of the best- 
known town names, like Nagasaki and Kyoto, only 
need expressing in Italian consonants instead of 
English — Nagasachi, Chioto — to be as Italian as 
Siracusa — Syracuse. 

The resemblance goes far deeper than the 
atmosphere of the climate or the language. Except 
340 



I 



THE KAMO RIVER. 



I 




v^r ^ >*** 




-JAPAN, THE ITALY OF THE EAST" 

for certain orientalities of dress, the poor Japanese 
and the poor Itahans are as Hke as brothers. 

It was this which gave Mrs Hugh Eraser, the 
wife of a former British INIinister in Japan, well 
known for her books on the subject, a better 
understanding of the Japanese than Captain 
Brinkley, who has spent the best part of his man- 
hood in Japan, and is an unrehable judge at the 
end of it. It will be my aim in this chapter to 
point out some of the thousand parallels between 
the poor Japanese and the poor Italian. For it is 
the poor Japanese whom the traveller, however 
long in the country, sees almost exclusively. But 
first I must point out the union between Arms and 
the Arts — that the patronage of poets and painters 
and porcelain-makers was as honourably character- 
istic of the princes and nobles of Japan as of the 
dynasties of Florence and Ferrara, the magnificoes 
of Venice. Only, Japan went further. In the old 
daimio days, if a man excelled in an art, he entered 
the household of a noble, and was provided for for 
life. All he had to do was to produce the best 
article in his power, without regard to time or 
expense of material. There are some precious 
objects of art on which a man, and his father and 
his grandfather before him, have spent their lives. 
The artist's connection with the daimio was here- 
ditary. He trained his son to follow him, secure 
of his place in the household. And just as the 

S41 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Italian nobles and knights of the Middle Ages 
were apt to be poets, so the samurai — the gentlemen 
entitled to bear arms in Japan — were also the 
literary class. 

The importance of Japan in the world of art 
is more and more recognised every day. The 
Japanese played the same part in Asia as Italians 
have played in Europe. The chief difference is 
that their moyen age, whenever it began, came to 
an end four centuries later. For as the Middle 
Ages had the doors of time closed upon them in 
Italy when the great awakening took place, of 
which the discovery of America was the most 
significant phase, so the doors began to close on 
the Middle Ages in Japan in the Revolution, which 
was the outcome of the American squadron's 
practical discovery of Japan in 1854, the year of 
the Crimean war. It would not be an exaggeration 
to say that, after that of Italy, the influence of 
Japan has been the most profound upon the art 
of the modern world. The curious thing is that 
Japanese art permeated the world before her great 
military successes had turned the eyes of all nations 
upon her. 

There is one fundamental resemblance between 
the poor of Japan and the poor of Italy. Both 
have the reputation of being idle, but are absolutely 
industrious. Both work whenever they can get 
wages, and both, when there is no work for them 
342 



"JAPAN, THE ITALY OF THE EAST" 

to do, take a holiday, instead of bemoaning their 
fate. The SiciHan, when there is not enough work 
to go all round, stands at the Quattro Canti of 
Palermo or in the Piazza Archimede at Syracuse, 
and smokes his cigarette and sees life like any 
other gentleman. The Japanese takes his moosvie 
or his children to some temple where there is a 
festa or a perpetual fair. 

The man who has his patch of land in either 
country is never idle. Early and late he does not 
stoop to fate, but goes on terracing and planting, 
bringing earth or bringing water, treating his plants 
as if they were animals, if not human beings. The 
terraces of Italy are built on to the stony mountain- 
side, and need earth for the corn and wine and 
oil which grow simultaneously from the same 
few rods of land. The terraces of Japan are 
scooped out of the deep earth of volcanic hills to 
receive the rice which is both corn and wine to 
the Japanese, when water has been spread over 
them, by patient irrigation. All day long you can 
see the Sicilian stooping in his fields, and the 
Japanese knee-deep in mud and water, separating 
the roots of the rice for transplantation. A vine- 
yard grown as they grow them at Syracuse, in 
low bushes, is mighty like the tea-gardens round 
Kyoto, and the little women Avho troop out from 
Kyoto to Uji, with pale-blue coolie head-towels 
twisted into sun-bonnet shapes, and the bright- 

34^ 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

blue working cottons of Japan would, but for one 
thing, almost pass for photographs of the women 
gathering lemons on the slopes of Etna with their 
kerchiefed heads. When they are standing under 
the trees for the moment, resting and talking, a 
photograph of the one would almost do for the 
photograph of the other, were it not that the little 
Japanese woman's figure is as different as anything 
could be in the world from the perfect upright 
figure of the Sicilienne, accustomed to carry bur- 
thens on her head. 

The likeness between the South Italian at work 
in the fields and the Japanese coolie is extraordinary 
when they tie up their heads in kerchiefs, and only 
show their cheerful but dogged weather-browned 
faces ; and when the weather is cold enough to 
make the old Japanese wear their big leather cloaks 
they look more Italian than ever, if they have not 
some wonderful design painted on the back like 
the big wheel at Earl's Court. 

The two countries remind you of each other at 
every turn. The Italians are the navvies of the 
West. Most great enterprises, from the St Gothard 
tunnel to harbours in the United States, have been 
the work of the Italian labourer. The Japanese 
has his St Gothard. He has pierced a hill near 
Kyoto for a canal instead of a railway to connect 
Lake Biwa with the sea, and he often tunnels the 
hill for his magnificent roads. Likewise, the 
34-4 



-JAPAN, THE ITALY OF THE EAST" 

Japanese is the handy-man of the East, as the 
Italian is the handy-man of the West. When I 
asked my cabman at Syracuse where I should send 
some boots to be soled, he said that he could do it 
himself. When I apologised to my little bedroom- 
boy at Tokyo — he was a boy of about forty-five — 
for giving him a bowler hat that was too large for 
him, he said that it did not signify, because he 
could take it in to make it fit. No kind of job 
seemed to come amiss to him. When a cork 
slipped down into a medicine-bottle he coaxed it 
out ; and when one of the flat-headed Japanese 
canaries, which my wife kept, got out of its cage 
and went and hid under the bed, he coaxed it into 
its cage again. Any kind of damaged curio which 
we bought cheap because it was in pieces, whether 
it was a rare vase or a rare book, he pieced to- 
gether so neatly that you could not see the mends. 
He sewed on buttons, and I am quite sure that 
he could have darned stockings. He was excellent 
at mounting kodaks, and he was a positive genius 
at making the chimney of the American stove 
red-hot just before he went to bed on the very 
cold winter nights of Tokyo. 

The primitive Japanese shop is very nearly re- 
lated to the primitive Italian shop. The essential 
feature of each is that it has no front. (I began 
to write 'guiding principle,' but they neither of 
them have any principles.) The basso of Naples 

345 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

is a sort of ground-floor cellar with coach-house 
doors, which are kept open or taken off during 
the day. The Tokyo shop is a one-storied 
doll's house, with its front shutters taken down. 
In hot weather Naples has its awning ; Tokyo, 
its chocolate-coloured curtain, with the owner's 
monogram in white as large as himself Both 
of them use the floor as a counter, and neither 
of them has anything much to sell, though the 
Japanese is more apt to start an al fresco shop 
with the articles he has used for his domestic 
establishment, till he needed money and had to 
sell them. Both ask three times as much as they 
intend to take, in the hopes of getting half as much 
again as they ought, and neither of them will 
refuse any offer that yields them a fraction of 
profit. In one respect the Itahan shows more 
imagination. Instead of keeping a stock of char- 
coal, oil, and potatoes, he hangs a stick of charcoal, 
a broken bottle with a little oil in it, and a half 
potato on a string across his shop front, I do not 
know if the Japanese has yet reached the Italian 
condition of selling nothing but postcards, whatever 
kind of business the shop pretends to shelter, but 
I am sure that postcards will soon take the place of 
small change in Italy. The one touch of nature — 
ill-nature — which makes Italy and Japan more akin 
than anything else, is making shift with charcoal 
for cooking and heating. In winter, out of the 
346 



"JAPAN, THE ITALY OF THE EAST" 

sun no Italian or Japanese is ever warm beyond the 
tips of his fingers. The Japanese hibachi is exactly 
the Italian scaldino, a hoop-handled saucepan for 
holding charcoal embers. The Japanese have a 
similar article, but smaller, for lighting the pipe. 
That is the tabako-viono. And there is a larger 
article like a carpenter's chest with the lid off, full 
of white charcoal-ash, with a few embers in the 
middle, over which they cook the eternal tea and 
the eternal rice, and the sea-offal and sea-weeds, 
which they use for entrees and vegetables. The 
Itahan, too, inclines to sea-offal such as the octopus 
and the sea-urchin. But here the likeness in food 
ends. The Japanese has his tea, like the poor, with 
him always, and he is never too poor to have it. 
The Itahan belongs to the coffee half of humanity, 
when he is well enough off to get it, and contrives 
to have more plentiful and more appetising food. 
The Italian uses a great deal of rice for his risotto. 
Milan is surrounded with paddy-fields, and macaroni 
is one of the staple foods of the poor Japanese as it 
is of the poor Italian. But bread, which is sold in 
long sticks, is literally the staff of life in Italy in 
more senses than one, whereas rice is the bread of 
the Japanese. The Itahans, too, do their cooking 
over charcoal, but in long tiled stoves with birds' 
nests of charcoal, and not in a mere fire-box. 
Probably, if they had anything to cook, the 
Japanese would rival the Italians as a nation 

347 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

of cooks. They do rival them as a nation of 
waiters. 

Except that he does not act as his own horse, 
and is a much greater rogue, the Naples cabby is a 
riksha-man. Their vehicles are about the same 
size. The cabby has some of the riksha-msins 
aptitude as a guide, and prefers doing your 
shopping or anything else to doing his own 
business. Rikshas are just what you want in the 
small Sicilian towns, and would lessen that serious 
army of the unemployed. The poor Japs, like the 
poor Italians, live in the street. They do not have 
cafes. This may be because they do not have 
tables or chairs ; and the least that even an Italian 
can run a cafe on is a drinks' table and a couple of 
chairs. The children play in the street all day. 
Their elders sit outside their houses in the evening, 
when labourers, like warriors, put off their harness. 

It is Sicily which is most like Japan. Etna and 
Fujiyama seem to have impressed themselves on 
the individuality of the people. Seen from the 
south, the truncated cone of Etna is almost the 
twin of Fujiyama in immortal majesty and beauty, 
and it rises from the blue African sea as Fujiyama 
rises from the blue Hakone Lake. The tremendous 
mountain influence seems to have implanted fatalism 
in both races, but that of the Japanese results in 
a devotion of which the Sicilian is incapable. It 
has made them both too chummy with Heaven. 
348 



"JAPAN, THE ITALY OF THE EAST" 

They are very familiar in tlieir religion. The 
streets of Japan, like the streets of Italy, are full 
of monks and priests. But the Japanese monks 
have the whole of their heads shaved, and do not 
go about unshaven ; in their religious observances 
one notices very much in common. Although 
Japanese towns do not have shrines in their streets, 
hke the pictures of the Madonna at street corners 
in Italy, the country is as thickly dotted with little 
shrines as the country in Italy. Specially numerous 
are the little red shrines of the rice-goddess, Inari, 
guarded by her faithful stone foxes. JNIost farms 
have a shrine in honour of this Japanese Ceres, who 
usurps the functions of Bacchus also m ith the sake 
or rice beer which replaces wine in Japan. Wine 
is grown a little, and no doubt wiU be grown largely 
in a country so suited for grapes and so well off 
for gardeners. The exterior of Shinto temples 
perpetuates in the East the primitive wooden 
building which in the West also must have been 
the forerunner of the Greek temple, and conse- 
quently of the Christian church. In simplicity 
and majesty, especially in its treatment of the roof, 
it is not unworthy of the comparison, and the 
bareness of the interior suggests a parallel. On 
the other hand, the interior of a great Buddhist 
temple like that of Asakusa when a service is going 
on reminds one very mucli of a church service in 
Italy, with its white-robed priests, and its incense, 

349 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

and certain features of ritual ; and Japanese temples 
often have images of saintly men, like the five 
hundred disciples of Buddha (among whom they 
are apt to include Marco Polo). The Shinto 
religion has quantities of saints called Jcami, but 
the Buddhist religion naturally presents more 
points of resemblance to Italian Christianity. 

I have left to the end the more solid points of 
resemblance between the two countries — their 
history, their national and political adaptability, 
their tremendous naval power. No one can fail 
to be struck with the resemblance between the 
rise of the Japanese nation since the Revolution in 
1868, which left the Mikado the sole monarch of 
Japan, and the almost simultaneous rise of the 
Italian nation, unified under the sole monarchy of 
the house of the Savoy. Both were as helpless as 
children then ; both are Great Powers to-day. Each 
had before it the task of constructing the army and 
na^y necessary for the maintenance of such a 
position. Both have attached prime importance 
to their navy. The one possesses the finest battle- 
ships of the East, the other the largest battleships 
of the West, though it is doubtful if the Italian 
navy is ever kept on such a war-footing as the 
Japanese. Each subjects its hardy population to 
very severe tests and military training. The 
Italian cavalry is considered to have no equal in 
Alpine work, such as riding up and down almost 
350 



''JAPAN, THE ITALY OF THE EAST" 

precipitous hills ; and the marvellous Japanese 
infantry combines the steadiness of Europeans 
with the fanatical courage and contempt of death 
of the African dervish, and the Asiatic's ability 
for going on short food and comforts. 

Both, in the short time that they have been 
reckoned Great Powers, have evolved constitutions 

something on the model of England's 

Neither has achieved conspicuous success in 
commercial tribunals. The law is venal in Italy 
and elastic in Japan, where civil tribunals belong 
to the ken or prefecture, and not to the whole 
country, so that the law can be evaded by a change 
of residence. Neither country enjoys a high 
reputation for commercial infallibility. The shop- 
keeper of Japan and the shopkeeper of Italy has 
not good credit. The reason is the same in both 
instances. Both countries look down on trade, 
though the lower classes are so ingenious, so 
artistic, so industrious, and so worthy, if they 
only had better lights. In Japan, the tradesman 
is still lower in the social scale than the mechanic 
or the farm labourer or the servant theoretically, 
though in practice what he has achieved is gradually 
placing him above them. But no decently born 
person would soil his hands with trade, though 
the samurai, the squires of old Japan, see nothing 
degrading in becoming policemen or compositors 
in a printer's office, the one falling into their 

351 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

ancient profession of arms, and the other their 
ancient profession of letters — most Hterally. The 
ItaUans go further. In most ItaHan cities it is not 
respectable for a nobleman to go in for any kind of 
profession except the army, navy, and the church ; 
and even in the army he must be particular about 
his regiment. 

Another great point of resemblance between the 
two nations is their love of inventions, especially 
those which have to do with science or engineering. 

I have found the acetylene gas used by large 
hotels and small shops in an out-of-the-way 
Sicilian ^ illage. Kobe had the electric light long 
before London. Both nations make magnificent 
roads, involving tremendous feats of engineering. 
Marconi, an Italian, brought wireless telegraphy 
into practical use, though the Japanese claim that 
it had already been discovered by one of their 
countrymen. In any case they have achieved 
wonderful results in the practice of it, for the great 
Russian disaster at Port Arthur was due largely 
to the Japanese tapping the wireless telegraphy 
messages of the Russians. 

And lastly, Italy and Japan are the world's two 
favourite holiday-grounds, they have such great 
and similar claims upon travellers. Both have 
exquisite scenery and some of the noblest 
monuments of architecture, though the world- 
old Shinto temples at Ise, which are of the most 
852 



"JAPAN, THE ITALY OF THE EAST" 

primitive simplicity, and the Buddhist shrines of 
the dead Shoguns in the sacred groves of Nikko, 
which are riots of quaintness and carving and 
colour, lined with gold lacquer, to which even 
Solomon's temple in all its glory could not com- 
pare, seem such a very far cry from Greek and 
Roman temples and cathedrals like St Peter's and 
St Mark's and IMonreale. Both have reached the 
zenith of landscape gardening, with their dark 
groves of evergreens, and glory of ancient mossy 
stone in terrace and stairway. In both countries 
the traveller's stay is made delightful by the cheer- 
fulness and obligingness of the lower orders, and 
both are a kodaker's paradise, by reason of the 
beauty of their atmosphere and the incomparable 
quaintness and variety of the subjects which come 
before the camera. 

We are all grown-up children ; and as we once 
delighted in reading about topsy-turvydom in the 
pages of Hans Andersen, so in our maturer years 
we find nothing more delightful than seeking the 
topsy-turvy in the living pictures of Italy and 
Japan. 



353 



CHAPTER 111 



TRAVELLING IN JAPAN 



"Travelling in Japan, except perhaps in time of 
war, is one of the easiest and most inspiring things 
possible. It is safe, it is comfortable, and it is 
mightily amusing from morn till night. The 
hotels are good, the servants are obliging, the 
police are effective. 

We are not likely to forget our landing. It was 
Asia before we dropped anchor. The lighters and 
fishing-boats all round us were full of frankly nude 
Japanese, looking like bronze statues, and no sooner 
had we dropped anchor than every white slave 
of the American democracy (we had crossed the 
Pacific) was surrounded by ko widowing natives, who 
touched the decks with their foreheads, and gave 
upside-down views of the preposterous designs Hke 
Waterbury watches on the backs of their dark blue 
medieeval doublets. All of these cheery stage 
supers wished to sampan us and our baggage 
ashore, a sampan being a Japanese gondola, but 
354 



TRAVELLING IN JAPAN 

the hotel porter had a launch alongside, and an 
understanding with the Customs. The Customs 
give you your first initiation into Japanese pohte- 
ness, the rikshas outside the Customs' station your 
first taste of the comedy of everyday life in Japan, 
more tragedy than comedy; but the Japanese 
smile on good and evil fortune with the fine im- 
partiality of the sun. There are few things more 
inspiriting than that first innings in a riksha along 
the Bund of Yokohama on a Japanese winter 
morning, dazzhng as crystal in the purity of its 
atmosphere. Your kodak goes off at half-cock, 
the population is so funny and the light so 
appetising. Some thin fir-trees and a sea-wall, 
nothing else, separates you from the Gulf of Tokyo. 
Soon you are at the Club, and the Club hotel, and 
if it is the middle of the day you have the rus-in- 
urhe delight of summer in winter. You see your 
feUow-country people in immaculate flannels and 
light smart frocks, with the beatific smile of people 
who have just come out of church, and have their 
hunger and thirst after righteousness slaked. 

When you get to Japan every feature of life is 
invested with a new excitement. Whether you 
wish for a bath, or a box of matches, or another 
piece of bread at meals, there is a roaring farce 
over it. The waiters are dressed in skintight 
indigo garments from neck to toe. They don't 
even wear boots to break the monotony, and they 

355 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

carry everything, including plates of soup, at a run. 
Whatever their age, they are called 'boys.' Perhaps 
that is because they look like boys till decay sets 
in. The colour of their hair changes very late, 
and it refuses to grow on their faces till the 
bitter end. ' Bread ' is a word they know, but if 
you want beef or potatoes it is safer to give a 
number. "Boy! No. 9." "Boy! No. 16." The 
dishes on a Japanese menu down to the humble 
potato are numbered, and the servants know the 
numbers in English. It comes in handy for houses 
as well as cauliflowers. The houses frequented by 
Europeans in Japan are not numbered by streets, 
but like the Tommies in a regiment. When we 
were there the Club hotel was No. 5, and the 
Canadian Pacific offices No. 200, and there was 
one number which is never mentioned by the 
initiated in polite society, but is the same in all 
Japanese towns. Japanese servants, though good, 
are embarrassing, they have so little confidence 
in the virtue of the European man, and so little 
reserve in entering the bedroom of the European 
woman. The distinction between the sexes is little 
observed in Japan, except to keep woman in her 
proper place (from the Asiatic point of view). But 
the Japanese have sense, and saw at a glance that 
the discretion of the European lady is much more 
marked than the discretion of the European gentle- 
man. Likewise, that the European lady is never 
856 



TRAVELLING IN JAPAN 

smitten with the charms of the Asiatic man, 
though the converse does not hold good. In the 
large cities, therefore, the hotels go in for men- 
servants, and only ladies feel the awkwardness 
about the bathing arrangements. In country inns 
the servants are mostly girls, and a bashful 
European of the genus homo is quite overcome 
by their perfectly innocent attentions. A Japanese 
maid-servant would wash him from head to foot 
without any rnal y pense, and therefore without 
any honi soil. 

The wise man who travels in Japan treads 
in beaten tracks. Even the back streets of 
Yokohama are so desperately funny and oriental 
that he could write a book about them. And if 
he spends a month in Tokyo, and passes his days 
at Shiba and Asakusa, he could re-write the 
Arabian Nights at the end of it. It is the greatest 
mistake to think that you see most of a country by 
going to unfrequented villages, where there isn't 
enough of anything for you to see much. Scenery 
is not Japanese or Scotch. Scenery is hot or cold, 
or otherwise ; it is man who makes the difference, 
not scenery ; and villages don't contain many men, 
and those they do contain have not enough money 
to produce anything except the fruits of the earth 
in their due season. 

I don't mean to say by this that you will not 
see very amusing, very pretty, even very poetical 

357 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

effects if you take a jinriksha and drive to the back 
of beyond, or, to be more moderate, go by road 
from Tokyo to Kyoto on the grand paved cause- j 
way used by the Tokugawa Shoguns when they 
rode down to the nominal capital once a year to 
pay crocodile's homage to their poor httle puppet 
Emperor. What I mean to say is, that you will 
see ten times as much if you divide your time 
between Tokyo and its port of Yokohama, and 
Kyoto and its port of Kobe. You can only 
generalise about a nation when you see it in 
hundreds of thousands. 

Concerning cities, I have not space to speak in 
detail. But I must say something about certain 
country places in Japan, which, on account of 
special scenic and climatic advantages, or specially 
splendid monuments, are worth a visit from the 
traveller. 

When you are at Yokohama, for instance, it is 
wrong not to go to Kamakura, and Enoshima, and 
Yokosuka. The last is specially interesting just 
now, for it is the principal arsenal of Japan, founded 
under the shadow of the grave of the Englishman 
who taught the Japanese to build ships of wood to 
match the navies of the time, as other Enghshmen, 
less than a generation ago, taught the Japanese how 
to build and how to handle the ironclad navy 
which is the present wonder of the world. The 
Japanese are not fond of showing the Yokosuka to 
358 



TRAVELLING IN JAPAN 

foreigners, and, except to the expert, all arsenals- 
are equally uninteresting or interesting. But the 
climb up to the village of Hemimura, on the 
green hill which overlooks the birth of Japanese 
greatness, is worth doing, for there is the tomb,, 
in the style befitting the nobility conferred upon 
him by the mighty Shogun lyeyasu, of poor Will 
Adams, the Kentish pilot, who had greatness with 
the attendant condition of exile thrust upon him. 
lyeyasu having a naval architect, such as Asia had 
never known, shipwrecked by a kind Providence 
upon his shores, was understandably loth to let him 
go back to his family on the Medway. He gave 
him a new family as well as a well-endowed title, 
and when Will died he loyally divided his fortune 
between the wife in the East and the wife in East. 
Kent. Even in our day, if one visited Will's tomb,^ 
one was apt to find fresh cakes and flowers offered 
to his godship, for he has long since been admitted 
into the silent and permanent majority of the 
Japanese Pantheon. He is a Shinto god, and has his- 
feast-day, and a street named after him on the busy 
Shinagawa side of Tokyo. 

It is a charming riksJia drive from Yokosuka to* 
Yokohama in the spring. It takes you througli 
woods where tiger lilies grow like poppies in a 
cornfield, and hurl their fragrant breath a stone's, 
throw with every breeze ; and it takes you past 
delightful scenery, where the fishermen are draw- 

359' 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

ing in their nets with long files of half-naked 
bodies, like the fishers of Naples ; and between 
paddy-fields, flooded like oyster-beds, guarded 
with the stone foxes and little red shrines of 
the God of Rice ; and past dear restful villages, 
so brown in hue and mellow in outline, with their 
tall, thatched roofs, that they seem to have grown 
like the woods. As typical a piece of Japanese 
scenery as you could desire lies under the bluff on 
the far side from Yokohama. 

Kamakura might well complain. It is regarded 
by the foreigners as a place where you have picnics, 
and scramble up into the nose of the Dai Butsu. 
To the globe-trotter the great Buddha is a 
humorous object, with interesting statistics. The 
length of its thumb or the dimensions of the 
temple in its head are quoted like ' titbits.' It is 
really the most magnificent idol in the world ; 
wonderfully majestic, heavenly beautiful, with the 
peace of God which passeth all understanding 
shining from its calm countenance. It is fifty 
feet high, and makes you feel a pigmy in many 
essentials besides stature. 

The priests are partly to blame for the impression. 
They make a beer-shop of it, and very glad you 
are on a hot day in that sandy place to buy the 
excellent lager beer of Japan, which has made iis 
trade-mark, the Kirin dragon, more familiar to for- 
eigners than all the voluminous mythology of Japan. 
360 



TRAVELLING IN JAPAN 

There is no reason why the Dai Butsu should 
monopohse Kamakura, which after Tokyo and 
Kyoto is the most famous historical city in Japan. 
Civil wars have been a Japanese speciality, and the 
greatest of them was fought round Kamakura. 
Every foot of that beautiful district has been 
drenched in valiant blood. To this day the ruins, 
especially the monastic ruins, of Kamakura might 
be regarded as a Japanese Babylon, if foreigners 
ever regarded the wooden Japanese ruins at all. 
The rise and fall of the Kamakura dynasty is one 
of the most brilliant and bloodstained pages in 
Japanese history. And to this day the principal 
temple of the God of War, Hachiman Sama, rises 
above Kamakura. One hopes that his believers, 
who have acquitted themselves so mightily by sea 
and land, have their gratitude rising to Heaven 
from his temple-precincts in these piping days. 

A mere walk from Kamakura is Enoshima, one 
of the most delightful spots in Japan. Here you 
are in the house of oddness and mystery. The 
island of Enoshima is a green volcanic hill rising 
out of the sea, connected with the shore by a sandy 
spit famous for its terrific crabs, with bodies as large 
as saddles, and claws fifteen feet long from tip to 
tip. In legends these crabs attack bathers, but 
they have proved unequal to the attacks of curio- 
dealers, and they are seldom seen now except on 
the walls of tea-houses. They are natural history 

S61 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

facts, though they read Hke the wildest fiction. 
On the island of Enoshima is the temple of Benten, 
the Japanese Venus, a literal parallel to the Venus 
Anadyomene, who inspired sculptors and painters, 
from the unknown creator of the Venus of Syracuse 
to Sandro Botticelli. The Greeks and the Romans 
pictured their Venus being born of the snow-white 
foam of the sea. The Japanese locate theirs in a 
cave flooded with the ocean. One is apt to forget 
the sea-born Venus and the monster crabs while at 
Enoshima, in the vision of peaceful beauty formed 
by the green hill rising from the sea in alternate 
terraces of grove and glade, united by stairways of 
mossy stone, which are the keynote of landscape 
gardening in Japan, and graced at every salient 
point with temple or torii. The island of Enoshima 
and Lake Biwa are the absolute perfection of art 
landscape. To the business man and the globe- 
trotter off shipboard at Yokohama, Kamakura is 
the Rosherville of Japan — the place to spend a 
happy day. The week-end place, the Brighton 
of Japan, is Miyanoshita. It is also much more I 
Nature has been prodigal, for the last stage before 
you reach the village is a five-mile climb along the 
sides of the gorge which mounts to JNIiyanoshita. 
The gorge is thickly wooded, and in spring every 
tree seems to flower, from the thicketing azalea 
to the tall, lean cameUia. The wild camelha is 
much later than the garden camellia, like the wild 
362 



TRAVELLING IN JAPAN 

primrose in England. At Miyanoshita we found a 
delicious native hotel, where the imps who waited 
on us in Tokyo and Yokohama were replaced by 
butterfly moosmes, with scarlet kirtles and obis, 
and red geraniums in their hair. They take an 
innocent but inconvenient interest in your being 
well waited on in your bath — and there are such 
wonderful baths here. The Duke of Connaught, 
protected from such embarrassments by his suite, 
pronounced the baths of Miyanoshita the best 
thing in Japan. The steaming sulphur water in 
them, which has to be cooled with water from the 
mountain river below, is brought down from the 
heart of the mountain called Big Hell, a mile and 
a half above, and it makes the whole trip in jointed 
bamboo pipes, which leak on a large scale. The 
leaks are the likska-mens shower-bath. Woe 
betide Mrs Grundy if she goes out after six at 
Miyanoshita towards the mountain ; at every leak 
she will find a naked riksha-hoy. The country 
riksha-hoy is as impervious to considerations of 
decency as he is to scalds. There never was such 
a picnic place as IMiyanoshita. Everyone who 
goes there is, like John Gilpin, on pleasure bent, 
and he can have it to suit all grades of exertion. 
If he is idle he can stroll down the shady zigzags 
which lead to the waterfalls and Kiga, and that 
perfect river of green moss and brown boulders in 
translucent waters. This is the lovers' walk. The 

363 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

energetic and the sight-seer go the grand Hakone 
Lake tour. There is no need to take any exercise 
unless you desire it, for you can hire a kago 
or a Hong-Kong chair and be carried all the way, 
which is much better for seeing the marvels 
thickly strewn by the wayside. You go through 
bamboo brakes to Ojigoku, the Mountain of Big 
Hell, a playful volcano, whose crust is so thin that 
you sink through and burn your boots off if your 
feet stray from the straight and narrow path. 
Small eruptions and boiling-mud fountains may 
be had for the seeking, but most people prefer 
to hurry on to the top of the pass, where they 
are met by the finest view in the world — Fuji- 
yama reflected in the blue Hakone Lake. No 
mountain rivals Fujiyama, a pure pyramid, with 
curving sides, and a snowy mantle hanging from 
its graceful shoulders. You cross the divide and 
choose some perfect spot in the wood below, where 
you can see the monarch of mountains and the 
nymph of lakes, to devour the sumptuous lunch 
sent from the hotel, packed in tiny white wooden 
boxes, with a liberal supply of knives and forks and 
napkins. Japanese guides are as strong as donkeys ; 
they will carry anything you ask them — an arm- 
chair if you like. It is the most luxurious country 
in the world for servants. They may or may not 
be good, but they make you "jolly comfortable." 

All the way down to the lake is through de- 
364 



To hack on p. 364. 



.'mmm^atSie 




. «^«»/«*'A3'ss*-wp;<' -*«" w?afcftiaihftjfcws»^ 




Fuji-San. 



To back on p. 365. 








Fuji-San, 



TRAVELLING IN JAPAN 

licious woods and bamboo brakes. Where the 
wood meets the water there are spacious sampans, 
made, hke the Rapid-boats, to transport travellers 
and their conveyances to the fairy village of 
Hakone, with its quaint thatched houses built over 
the lake and its glorious mossy temple. Then you 
take the backward path of intensified beauty to 
Miyanoshita, past the beautiful image, of super- 
human stature, of Jizo-Sama, carved on the living 
rock, and past the ancient tombs of hoary stone 
built to the Kill-Dragon Men, who freed the valley 
from the monster, and past the healing springs of 
Ashinoyu, all veiled in groves. This is the most 
wonderful walk I ever went. 

The life at Miyanoshita is charming, apart from 
what there is to see. Pleasure and picnics are in 
the air, the hotel is full of pretty people, and when 
you come in from your excursions you go down 
into the village to bargain for the inlaid-wood 
Miyanoshita ware, which salutes you in London in 
its vulgarer forms. Miyanoshita is the lovers' 
j)lace — the place where you go to pursue pleasant 
friendships formed on board ship. Miyanoshita is 
like liqueurs, it makes you so unreserved. 

But it is not really a patch upon Nikko, to which 
you go a little later. Nikko reminds you of the 
Sleeping Beauty in the Wood. In the middle of 
dark cryptomeria groves you come upon temples 
of unearthly richness and beauty. There are no 

365 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

such woods in the world as Nikko's. They are 
the perfection of forestry, and divulge in every 
glade some gem of Buddhist art. The greatest 
and most powerful of all the dynasties which have 
ever ruled Japan, that of the Tokugawas, resolved 
to have the noblest burial-place on earth, and the 
first and third of the house, who were buried here, 
have it. The perfection of outward form, the 
perfection of gold lacquering, the perfect air of 
peace divine, we have here. The mingling of the 
mountains reared by God and the woods grown 
by God and man is here. 

The mountain of the sacred groves and temples 
stands above a sky-blue river, bordered with the 
avenue of the hundred Buddhas, and fringed with 
acres of scarlet azaleas, and spanned till the other 
day by the sacred bridge of red lacquer, which 
embodied in art the arc of the rainbow. 

Nikko is good for picnics. The ride or walk 
past the Seven Waterfalls to the mountain lake of 
Chiusenji, with tall old tea-houses overhanging it, 
is dehghtful ; it takes you past azalea thickets and 
cryptomeria and camellia groves. There you may 
meet the patient countryman, carrying on his back, 
on a frame such as we use for carrying glass, a 
cartload of faggots, or, if the woods are weeping 
with the summer rains, clad in the cloak made of 
thatch, which makes him look like a flooded hay- 
stack. You may well run into rain at Nikko, 
366 



I 



TRAVELLING IN JAPAN 

because its day of all the year, the festival of the 
deified lyeyasu, is on the edge of the summer wet. 
This is the most medieeval and richly costumed 
of the processions of Japan. It is the day of the 
Buddhist hierarchy, whose power fell with that of 
lyeyasu's discrowned descendant, and its most 
notable feature is the closed triumphal car carried 
on many shoulders, occupied only by the spirit of 
the god. 

But at Nikko you do not see Japanese country 
Hfe as truly as you do round Kyoto. Sacred Nikko 
is all mountain and forest ; you do not pass paddy- 
fields, with their patient women knee-deep in shme 
and water, and bent double to separate the rice 
roots — muddy animals. You do not pass dear 
little moosmes, the picture of cleanliness in their 
hght blue country cottons and sun-bonnets, picking 
tea. You do not see the rice being thrashed in 
front of cottages with sugar-loaf thatched roofs, 
and dried on trays or mats. If money makes a 
country's sinews, the sinews of Japan are in the 
great plains round Tokyo and Kyoto. They are 
the legitimate capitals of the country, since most 
of its population and industries could be reached 
in a day by riksha from one or the other, just 
as, in the words of John Hill Burton, nearly all the 
history of Scotland happened within a day's march 
of Edinburgh or Stirling. 



367 



CHAPTER IV 



TOPSY-TURVY TOKYO 



Tokyo is a typical Japanese city. It has a million 
and a half inhabitants and only a few hundred 
houses — that is to say, houses which would be 
recognised as such in the capital of a first-class 
Power. The rest would do better for bathing- 
machines. They are one-storied, very small, and 
made of wood, and are taken to pieces, all except 
their roofs, every day. The roof is the most solid 
part of a Japanese house, and is the first part to 
be built. It is made of purple tiles, channelled 
like corrugated iron, and so heavy that it would only 
take about four of them to weigh as much as their 
master. This is the patent earthquake-and-typhoon 
house. The roof is warranted not to blow off, and 
not to fall on its owner. i 

The position of Tokyo is not a promising one. 
To have made one of the ten principal cities of the 
world in less than three centuries on such a spot 
would all by itself show the greatness of the 
368 



i 



To hack on p. 368. 




Yedo— 



To hack on p. 369. 




now called Tokyo. 



TOPSY-TURVY TOKYO 

Japanese. It was built out of a swamp in the 
delta of an unnavigable river, at the head of an 
unnavigable bay, on ground visited pretty regularly 
by earthquakes and typhoons. The inhabitant of 
Tokyo has to make his choice between having his 
house blown away by the typhoon or brought down 
on the top of him by an earthquake. On the whole, 
he puts his money on the typhoon, though he 
hedges a bit. So he builds his roof first and 
makes it typhoon-proof, and then raises it on four 
posts and fills in the sides with light woodwork. 
The sides are so light that it does not signify if 
they do fall on the inhabitants. They do for both 
earthquake and typhoon. If the roof were light, 
the commonest typhoon would play kites with it. 
But it can be made heavy enough to stand any 
ordinary typhoon. But, I asked of Man Sunday, 
what happens in an earthquake ? What's the 
good of having your walls so light, with a roof that 
would squash the whole family as flat as a dried 
salmon ? He answered, with the wisdom of the 
wise, that in earthquakes the roof does not kill 
the people in the house, but the people in the 
street. Judged from this standpoint, the Tokyo 
house is a good one. It looks like a cross between a 
cupboard and a plate-rack, or an imitation of itself 
made to hold chocolates. 

Tokyo is really an astonishing city. Except the 
castle, which covers nine square miles, and a few 

24 369 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

temples, there is hardly an3'i:hing in it which could 
not be put up as easily as pitching tents. It is a 
mere cantonment of little wooden huts, like those 
they put up for the rifle meeting at Bisley. The 
poor Japanese, like the snail, can move his house on 
his back ; and the thing which surprised me most 
was, that he did not build it a little smaller, and 
carry it to ^vork with him like an umbrella. Not 
that they are not, some of them, extremely artistic. 
I have not forgotten the yashiJd of the daimios, 
which are not yashiki any longer, but barracks or 
tenement houses, instead of palaces. They are part 
of the castle, and the part of them which you see 
is a wooden enclosure about ten feet high. The 
dawiws house stood in the centre, and was of 
course a treasure-house of art, and looked something 
like a temple. It was built on the principle which 
has made the temples of this earthquake-whisked 
land last for so many centuries. It had no 
foundations, but stood on a stone platform, with a 
sort of ball-bearings, like a bicycle. Even lofty 
pagodas will stand earthquakes if they are treated 
like this. You can see how the principle acts if 
you watch a woman with a cup of boiling tea in 
an express train. She lets the cup follow the 
swaying of the carriage, and the Japanese style of 
building lets the house follow the swaying of the 
earthquake. It must be very unpleasant to be in 
one in a good earthquake. Old residents do not caU 
370 



TOPSY-TURVY TOKYO 

it a good earthquake unless it brings down all the 
chimney-pots in Yokohama. Tokyo has none of 
those seismometers (earthquake-gauges), and it has 
no mantelpieces to shed their clocks and crockery. 
The late Sir Edward Arnold, who lived in a native 
house, used to make shift with some of the flat, 
stuffed-silk Japanese figures which British drapers 
stock, though nobody has ever found any use for 
them. He used to balance these on the rafters in 
which the shoji worked, and when they came down 
he looked out for quakes. Miss Arnold's Japanese 
maid, whom we christened Otori-san, used to forget 
her manners and her sex when those images fell on 
their faces, and scream. She was very apologetic as 
soon as it was over ; but " the more you live with 
earthquakes," she said, " the less you like them." 

Now I must explain shoji. For simpHcity, the 
Japanese house is hard to beat. The essential 
feature is, as I have explained, the roof ; and if it 
were possible to five in a roof which had no under- 
standings the Japanese would do it, because no 
earthquake could make it fall down, and no typhoon 
could blow it away. But this has not been found 
practicable, so they raise a roof a few feet from the 
ground, stick a post under each corner, and connect 
them with a framework, which serves the double 
purpose of holding up the roof and being hung 
round with shutters. Except the roof, a Japanese 
house is all shutters. There are wooden ones 

371 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

which go all round the outside at night and in bad 
weather. These are called amado. Shoji would 
not keep the rain out, and even the amado would 
be insufficient for the more highly strung European 
female in the land where burglaries are fashionable 
and the burglars go about armed with the razor- 
edged Japanese sword. The shoji are not made of 
matchwood Uke the amado, but of paper stretched 
on light wooden frames like an artist's canvas ; and 
as they are constantly painted, they are, to all in- 
tents and purposes, so many artists' panels. They 
are of two kinds — the one covered with cartridge 
paper for decoration and making bedrooms, the 
other made of Japanese tissue-paper, and covered 
with a sort of wooden trellis to act as A^dndows. 
The only trouble is that they let in so much more 
air than they do light. The Japanese are quite 
aware of the fact, for they will go to sleep with a 
charcoal fire-box alight in a native room. Perhaps 
paper windows would be a cure for consumption. I 
At all events, the Japanese did not know what con- I 
sumption was until they learned the meaning of the 
word draught. Draught is a white man's iden. 
The consideration of draughts is one of the fruits 
of the Tree of Knowledge which has proved most 
fatal to the coloured races. 

But to get back to the Japanese house. It 
consists of the aforesaid roof, mth wooden shutters 
all round it, and a platform, raised a Httle from the 
372 



TOPSY-TURVY TOKYO 

ground, generally covered with mats. These mats 
are not like anything except the Japanese hampers, 
consisting of two lids folding into each other, which 
are now used all over the world. The mats are 
made of the same chain-stitch pattern, and are an 
inch or more thick, so soft that they are the best 
things for a man to fall on when he is learning 
wresthng from a Japanese. In a private house 
they are ideal. In a common lodging-house they 
are an Alsatia for fleas. To a flea, a Japanese mat 
is a fortress with thousands of doors. He burrows 
in it like a rabbit. The mats have the further dis- 
advantage that the house is theirs and not yours. 
As your heels would be bad for it, you have to 
leave your boots on the doorstep of your own 
house. Sir Edwin Arnold, who wore rose-coloured 
spectacles in Japan, just as Mr Delmar, the 
author of Aroinid the World through Japan, saw 
everything through a glass, darkly, used to say 
sententiously, "The Japanese does not make a 
street of his home." It is not surprising that the 
natives reckon the dimensions of a house by saying 
that it is of so many mats. A Japanese mat is 
two yards long and a yard wide. 

A small Japanese house is no larger than a single 
room, and by day it is often only a single room. 
But as a whole Japanese family, father and 
mother, and unmarried children and married sons, 
are apt to live under one roof, at night they turn 

373 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

it into a honeycomb by sliding the paper shutters 
called shoji in between the rafters of the ceiling 
and grooved laths in the floor. You can have as 
many rooms as you hke to put up grooves for ; but 
as the Japs never put a groove across a mat, the 
smallest room must be six feet by three, and of course 
never is so small as that. The space between the 
rafters and the ceiling is filled up with plaster. In 
the old days, when Sir Edwin Arnold had that 
house, no foreigner was allowed to live in Japan 
outside of the Settlements unless he was in govern- 
ment employ or a teacher. Sir Edwin got over 
this difficulty by nominally paying double the rent, 
and getting half of it back again as tutor to his 
landlord's daughters, desperate-looking Christians, 
who wore sham European boots and stockings with 
Japanese dress, and did their hair like female mis- 
sionaries. This was very hard on Sir Edwin, who 
was trying to be a Buddhist. 

The Japanese have no bedrooms. At night the 
sitting-rooms are divided up for sleeping accom- 
modation and beds, such as they are. A padded 
quilt to sleep on, and a padded quilt to sleep 
under, and a wooden door-scraper for a pillow, are 
brought from cupboards and laid on the floor. It 
is no wonder, under the circumstances, that the 
Japanese is a light sleeper. Whenever he wakes 
he smokes. His pipe only holds about three whiffs, 
and then he knocks the ashes out. " Oft in the 
374 



TOPSY-TURVY TOKYO 

stilly night, ere slumber's chains have bound me," 
has a new meaning in Japan. 

They do not have to remove the furniture to put 
up the bedrooms. In theory, the furniture is put 
away in the go-down until it is wanted. But there 
is generally very little to put away. They do not 
have chairs, and the tables are only tea-trays, with 
legs like dachshunds'. The food is very often 
carried in on the table, and just as often as not 
eaten on the floor. Instead of sitting on chairs 
they kneel on flat princess cushions, and the 
cushions are not to save the knees but to save the 
mats. A flower-pot or a flower- vase and a screen, 
which you could walk over, constitute the whole 
furniture which is left in a Japanese room. When 
a visitor arrives, the servants come in at a run — it 
is disrespectful to v/alk when you are w^aiting on a 
superior — and bring in a cushion and a fireplace for 
each guest. Most soup-tureens are bigger than 
Japanese fireplaces, and the fire is a shovelful of 
charcoal ash, with a smouldering ember in the 
middle like a cuckoo's e^o;. Fino-er-stoves would 
be the proper name for them. Tea may be carried 
in on a table or only on a tray. The number 
of guests does not signify ; they bring in five cups 
at a time. To make up for this they go on bringing 
it all the time you are there, whether you want it 
or not, with oranges or bean-flour-swccts to eat. 

The streets are just as ridiculous as the houses. 

375 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

The back streets are cantonments of bathing- 
machines. The Ginza is even more Asiatic. It 
is what the contemptuous Chinaman would call 
a " lie-European " street, for it has shops with 
glass windows filled with lie-European goods and 
lie-American signboards, intended to rival Broad- 
way in New York, which, in its turn, resembles 
nothing but an advertisement page in a halfpenny- 
newspaper. Of lie-European goods Mr W, Petrie 
Watson, in his Japan : Aspects and Destinies, one 
of the best books published on the subject, gives 
some admirable instances. A bottle of Parisian 
scent guaranteed genuine bore the following label : 

Superior 
Lavende 
RWater 
Preparedwitagr 
eatcare erom 
selected F 
reshliver 
Manufactured 
and Bottled by 

Gustav 
Boehm 
Paris 
Sole Agents 

Another firm announces the newest insect- 
powder: "For Sale or Hire, Jumping Bug." A 
Tokyo hairdresser proclaims himself "A Head 
Cutter or Berbar." An umbrella-maker describes 
his establishment as " anumbrellaseller." A 
S76 



TOPSY-TURVY TOKYO 

hatter puts up " General Sort of Straw Hat 
Dealer. New and Stylish Straw Hat will make 
to order." A cobbler advertises — 

Boota and shoes made to order 

and 

Repairing neatly done 

wite 

First class workmen ship 

and a chemist — 

" The most efficacious mabicine for wring the 
Political stomach, bowels scik and meny 
biscasas coming from vomiting anb sun- 
strkoe, etc." 

When we were in Japan I went to a shop in 
Tokyo to buy a bottle of whisky, and the pro- 
prietor was quite hurt because I would not believe 
that a bottle labelled "Fine Blended Glasgow 
Wine " was genuine. Imitating labels has always 
appealed to the Japanese, and they say that now 
they do it in some instances in a way that defies 
detection. But this is difficult to beheve. In all 
the forged Japanese labels I ever saw there were 
ridiculous spelling mistakes like those on Mr Petrie 
Watson's bottle of scent, and Allsopp would not 
know his own outstretched hand in the Japanese 
counterfeit. The fact is that the Japanese does not 
contemplate selling these lie-European goods to 
Europeans, and everything that looks like English 
takes in the native customer. In the old days it 
did not signify in the least whether the label 

377 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

belonged to the article which was being sold. The 
instance always quoted is that of a firm of silk- 
handkerchief-makers who labelled their goods 
Crosse and Blackwell. 

The most interesting things in Tokyo are the 
temples. You are in the heart of the Orient when 
you go to Shiba. Once in the Court of the 
Lanterns you forget the existence of Admiral 
Togo, the great little Japanese who was called No 
Go by his shipmates on the Worcester when he 
was learning sailoring in England, and has since 
" gone better " than any admiral alive. It is not 
the Japan of ironclads and wireless telegraphy that 
is with you in these shrines of the dead Shoguns, 
but the Japan which passed away with the fall of 
the last Shogun who is still alive, and, according to 
]Mr Petrie Watson, spends his old age in learning 
to ride the latest new American bicycles. 

But I must not talk about temples and tea- 
houses, the two most popular forms of amusement 
in Japan, here, for I want to finish up now with a 
picture of Tokyo hotels as they were before the 
" Imperial " was started. 

We spent many many months at the old Tokyo 
hotel, built out of a daimio yashiki in the castle. 
Everything about it was Japanese except the food 
and the furniture, especially the servants, who put 
on blue serge yachting jackets and trousers over 
their native dress for meals, and pulled them off 
378 



TOrSY-TURVY TOKYO 

quite openly in the dining-room as soon as the 
meal was over. The funniest thing about that 
hotel was the way they enlarged it to take in more 
visitors. A lady who was staying with us was 
horrified on going to bed in a room quite high up 
from the ground, to find that one of its sides had 
gone, and that only a piece of blue paper stretched 
on bamboo poles separated her from the blue of the 
sky. Her notice was drawm to it by seeing the stars 
shining an inch above the floor, and in a gap which 
the paper curtain did not cover. She thought an 
earthquake had happened, and was terrified out of 
her life. Seizing her dressing-case and dressing- 
gown, she prepared to fly into the street, having 
heard that the great thing in an earthquake was to 
be in the open. In the passage she met her bed- 
room-boy, whose name was Tiger, but who was 
always caUed Cauliflower, because his hair was so 
curly. He waved her back respectfully. With 
Oriental intuitiveness he had taken in the whole situ- 
ation. " OH right to-morrow ! " he said— although 
this was rather poor consolation at 11 p.m. on a 
freezing night. He explained, with the use of 
sundry expeditions to consult the dictionary in the 
manager s office, that they had taken off" that end 
of the hotel to add some new rooms, and that they 
would only take one day doing it. The job was 
almost more gruesome when it was done. You 
could not always remember that one wall of your 

379 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

bedroom had been put up by a carpenter in less 
time than it takes to perform a Japanese play. 

If the servants liked you they stole the furniture 
from the rooms of the people they did not like 
to bring your room up to war strength. If they 
disliked you they hid when you rang your bell in 
your bedroom, or looked the other way in the dining- 
room. A rich Australian who had kicked one of 
them had to leave the hotel because he never 
could get a servant to do anything. When he 
went to the manager's office to complain, the 
manager got under the table till he left again. 
The war did not last long. It was too serious 
for a man who wanted a whisky-and-soda every 
half-hour. 

The servants were so anxious to learn the 
English language and customs that they asked all 
sorts of embarrassing questions, though none of 
them quite came up to the question asked by a 
Japanese who was lunching with us. Among 
other guests was the most famous Englishman 
who has ever visited Japan, who was justly proud 
of his slim figure. In the middle of lunch the 
Japanese asked if it would be very rude to inquire 
if his thinness was due to his leading an unusually 
immoral life. The Japanese admire stoutness. 
They were always complimenting me on my 
figure. 



380 



CHAPTER V 

HOW THE JAPANESE SPENDS HIS HOLIDAYS 

At the New Year is the time to see Japan. Topsy- 
turvydom is then at its height, for the New Year, 
as they keep it, does not represent an}i:hing at all 
except the national intention to finish a year by 
paying off all debts, and begin a new one by tak- 
ing a holiday, the only real holiday the industrious 
Japanese ever takes for more than the time between 
getting up and going to bed. The Japanese, by a 
special arrangement with Heaven, had a New Year's 
Day of their own, which was the most important 
day in the year. But they found it more con- 
venient to take the Englishman's New Year's Day, 
and invest it with all the properties of their own. 
Some of them go farther in treaty ports, and put 
up their decorations in time to include the English- 
man's Christmas. 

The fun of the New Year for foreigners begins 
the night before, when the Japanese are consumed 
with a wild desire to pay their debts — but only to 

S81 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

each other. Obligations to foreigners do not count, 
and the foreigner retaliates by regarding this painful 
process as a huge joke. The English merchants in 
Yokohama make a very wry face when they tell 
you that any Japanese who does not settle his 
debts by New Year's Day is a dishonoured man. 
At Tokyo, where there are a million and a half of 
inhabitants, there are many debtors. Their one 
idea of paying their debts is to carry everything 
they have in the house to the Ginza in Tokyo, on 
the off- chance of being able to sell enough of it to 
satisfy their creditors. They make a little stall of 
their wares (lit with some feeble sort of light), very 
like the rag-fair stalls you see in the Campo dei 
Fiori at Rome. The row of debtors, four deep, 
extends for two or three miles. This fair in the 
Ginza has humours of its own, which I described 
in the chapter on Fairing in Japan in my Queer 
Things about Japan. 

The charm of the Japanese New Year is that 
the natives shed their trousers and other Western 
ideas, and are for something less than a week pure 
Orientals. Politeness is the order of the day. 
Sir Edwin Arnold, who lived in a Japanese house, 
and was so desperately Japanese that he kept his 
boots on the doorstep and went about the house 
in grey worsted socks, had Japanese servants who 
maintained the national tradition by boarding all 
their relations in his house. One of them had a 
382 



THE JAPANESE AND HIS HOLIDAYS 

baby who was only three years old, but came in 
before breakfast on New Year s morning and made 
a grand salaam, touching the ground with its fore- 
head, and said, " At the beginning of the year on 
the first day I wish you great prosperity ! " On 
New Year's Day two scavengers who have each 
other's honourable acquaintance cannot meet with- 
out elaborate bows and compliments laid down 
with rigid minuteness in the unwritten laws of 
Japan. Each person has a separate lot of bows 
for superiors, equals and inferiors. They have even 
a separate language for them. One of the greatest 
social revolutions of Japan took place a few years 
ago, when the Emperor decided that actors need 
no longer be described with the numbers used for 
beasts, but might be reckoned as human beings in 
the future. The Japanese have several sets of 
numerals.^ 

New Year's Day is the great visiting day in 
Japan. Leaving a name-paper, which is Jap- 
English for a visiting card, on their friends is a 
mania of the Japanese. The cards are really 
autographs on fine rice paper. On New Year's 
Day you cannot leave such an empty compliment 

^ Though the A"o-actors (wlio, as the late Colonel Beaumont 
remarked^ are no actors at all, but only dancers who are No- 
dancers) were honoured, the Kabuld or real acting actors 
were despised, and counted with the numerals properly used 
for animals, ippiki, iii-hiki, instead of hitori-futan. This, says 
Chamberlain, was a terrible insult among the Japanese. 

383 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

as name-paper. You take some present, and the 
Japanese idea of a present is not something to 
keep, but something that you can eat or use up, 
or give away to somebody else. As the Japanese 
do not keep anything in their houses, they cannot 
keep presents. A squashed salmon, with a paper 
string tied round its waist to hold the little gold 
kite which shows that it is a present, is a very 
popular offering. The very poor give each other 
towels made of blue cotton, and worth about 
three halfpence. As they tie these round their 
foreheads to prevent the sweat rolling from their 
hair into their eyes, they can absorb a good many. 
The Japanese takes his hat off when he is hot. 
He thinks no more of sunstroke than he does of 
loving his wife, which is a most uncontemplated 
proceeding, and would be thought wrong. If you 
love your wife you spoil your mother's servant ; it 
is almost as bad as flirting with your housemaid in 
England. Poems are the only present it is polite 
to keep in Japan — for an obvious reason ; and the 
poem itself does not signify so much as the beauty 
of the handwriting in which it is transcribed. 
Judged by this standard, as an incentive in im- 
proving the handwriting, poetry has its use, though 
it would not do to apply the test to Shakespeare 
in the only pieces of his handwriting which we 
have left — his signatures to documents. His 
spelling was, I beheve, no better than his writing. 
384 



THE JAPANESE AND HIS HOLIDAYS 

I have always been told that all three of his sur- 
viving signatures are spelt differently. 

We had an ideal New Year's Day in Japan. 
AVlien I came down in a new suit of flannels, the 
hotel manager, a Japanese who could speak a few 
words of English, asked me if it would be very rude 
to inquire if my suit was fashionable. I explained 
that I had done my best to secure desirable 
garments. He smiled pleasantly, and said that if 
I felt quite sure of them he would like to order a 
suit of the same style. He decided for us that we 
ought to spend the day at the Asakusa temple, 
where there was a great fair going on, and the 
neighbouring Ekkoin temple, where the wrestling 
championship was in progress. All Tokyo was 
of the same mind. As we drove through miles 
of streets with wooden houses about the size of 
bathing-machines, from which the smell of sesame 
oil went up to heaven, everyone who was not 
playing battledore and shuttlecock or flying kites 
was tramping or douhle-7iksha-mg towards that 
quarter of Tokyo whose consumption by one of 
the first-class fires which they have in Japan would 
do so much for the moralisation of the city. The 
Japanese ride two in a riksha, and pay about half 
the fares of foreigners. Even then a ?iksha-hoy is 
a rough person who can know nothing of manners 
and is unworthy to be called a servant — he is only 
a tradesman, which is justly a term of contempt in 

25 385 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Japan. He is sure to be in the wrong. The 
poUce always take part against him, unless he has 
a foreigner on board to plead for him, which makes 
it a question of politeness. 

At the corner of the street we were stopped. 
A policeman about four feet nothing, dressed in 
a blue serge suit, and a cap with a patent-leather 
peak, which made him look like a messenger-boy, 
was giving a piece of his tongue to a liksha-hoy. 
The embodiment of the majesty of the law stood 
at ease, with his hands folded in white cotton gloves, 
and an expression of icy disdain shot from his eyes 
to the point of his nose. The riksha-hoy, who held 
a white sun-helmet upside down in both hands, 
like a steward on a rough passage across the 
Channel, curtsied between every sentence. I dare- 
say he had done nothing very heinous, but, true 
to the topsy-turvy traditions of the land, a Japanese 
crowd always sympathises with the police. 

We went to the wrestling match first. People 
went there very early, said Taro, the riksha-hoy, 
who could speak Enghsh. Pressed as to what 
* early ' meant, he admitted that the rush began at 
daylight. 

There is nothing so Japanese as a wrestling 
match at Ekkoin. The building is nominally a 
temple erected in memory of the great fire of 
Tokyo, in which all this district and a hundred 
thousand people were burnt. 
386 



THE JAPANESE AND HIS HOLIDAYS 

It is now, as I have said, time for another fire, 
to clear the atmosphere in the Asakusa quarter. 
But the destruction of all these people at once 
created a difficulty. There is nothing in religion 
to which the orthodox Japanese attaches more 
importance than prayers for the dead. The priests 
see to that, as it is their most obvious means 
of obtaining a living, and here were a hundred 
thousand new candidates requiring prayers, and no 
one to pay for them, because their whole famihes 
had perished in the conflagration. The priests 
were equal to the occasion. They got up a 
pilgrimage. The special feature of Japanese 
pilgrimages is that the gods take a hand in them. 
Some of the most celebrated immortals, like Inari, 
the Rice Goddess, are taken on a pilgrimage every 
year, as the old-fashioned bee-farmers used to take 
their hives in some parts of England. Inari is 
taken down to visit the divinity at Ise, the most 
sacred spot in Japan. Over the pit where most 
of the victims were buried a temple was built, 
called the Temple of the Helpless, because these 
poor people had nobody to pay for their prayers. 
Every year some important deities paid a pilgrimage 
to the temple, carried in mekoshi, their state palan- 
quins, with high pomp, and a vast concourse of 
worshippers was attracted, whose offerings paid the 
priests to pray for the dead. 

The Japanese are a very practical people, even 

387 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

in their relations with Heaven, and likewise in sport. 
A good gate was essential to the success of the 
wresthng championships ; and as this was the 
biggest crowd of the year, the wrestlers brought 
their championship to Ekkoin at the pilgrimage 
time. Now there is nothing left but the wrest- 
ling. Nobody thinks of the gods or the fire. 

A Japanese wrestling match is about the oddest 
thing you can go to. In the foundations of the 
wrestling-booth, a superannuated wrestler, who 
could only be described as a fat bull of Bashan, 
sold us wooden tickets the size of hymn-books. 
Armed with these, we crawled through a kind of 
man-hole, and found ourselves in a crowd to which 
even a popular football match affords no parallel. 
Every inch of that vast building was filled with 
Asiatics, squatting on their hams as close as mustard 
and cress, and round the man-hole those who had 
no kneeling-room were sandwiched. We prepared 
to turn back, but Japanese politeness forbade it. 
An enormous wrestler named Arakato told the 
crowd to make room for us to accommodate our- 
selves comfortably. The crowd at once shrank 
right and left, hke the Red Sea for the Israelites, 
and left us high and dry. We looked at our Hfe- 
preserver. No wonder the crowd obeyed him. 
He was four times the size of any of them — a 
man six feet I don't know how much in height, 
and immensely broad and fat. His hair was as 
388 



THE JAPANESE AND HIS HOLIDAYS 

long as a woman's, and arranged in a feudal 
chignon. He had a different sort of face, too, 
but we did not trouble about that. Unfortunately 
he could speak no English, and we did not then 
know about the locks and grips with which a 
course of Jujitsu and Judo at London music-halls 
has made every metropolitan bank-clerk familiar. 
Wrestling had therefore its tediums, though the 
novelty of the whole scene kept us amused. In 
the middle of thousands of spectators, kneeling 
like spitted larks, was a stage eight or ten yards 
square, with a grand silk canopy over it, supported 
by a post at each corner. There was a rope round 
it, to prevent the combatants descending upon the 
crowd a couple of feet below them. The ring 
was covered with stuff that looked like the tan 
of Rotten Row. It was occupied by an umpire 
dressed in the feudal style, with a chignon and 
shoulder-pieces like elephant's ears, and carrying 
a black wedge-shaped lacquer fan ; the wrestlers 
were dressed in very little but a chignon, except 
the strip of dark blue harness round their loins. 
They were pot-bellied monsters, with arms and 
legs like Michael Angelo's statues. At the first 
signal they sat up like frogs in front of the umpire, 
waiting to spring. At the second they sprang, 
and tried to get a good grip or a killing lock. If 
their guards were successful, as often happened, 
they returned to their haunches and started again. 

389 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

When they got a good start, sometimes a man 
was defeated without a struggle, bemg caught in 
one of the fatal locks. He knew that if he moved 
a limb would go. At other times they hugged, 
and tried to trip and throw for the best part of 
half-an-hour, hke dalesmen in Cumberland. One 
thing was as dull to watch as the other. The 
really interesting part of the performance to 
Europeans lay in the way they wiped the sweat 
off their huge bodies with little bits of tissue- 
paper, such as ladies use when they think their 
faces look shiny, and the washing out of their 
cavernous mouths with salt and water. 

At the Ekkoin wrestling championship there is 
not room for the teapots and chow-boxes and wives 
and babies that the Japanese takes to the theatre 
with him, though the Japs are wonders at making 
room when they are already packed like sardines. 
As we saw when a dark horse threw the favourite 
out, and the whole audience rose and threw their 
hats at the victor. We were not so ignorant as to 
mistake the meaning of this demonstration. It 
was not like Passive Resistance with bad eggs. 
It was more like a pawn-shop. The attendant 
collects the hats and puts them away till the 
owners come to redeem them with presents. It 
might be a good way of getting a new hat, if any 
Japanese ever had a new hat. One wonders if 
they keep special hats for wrestling matches, like 
390 



THE JAPANESE AND HIS HOLIDAYS 

we keep for evening church. This hurricane of 
hats is magnificent. How much more sensible 
than forty-shilHng bouquets, which get broken in 
throwing them. The same hat will do duty again 
and again if you know how to mend a broken 
bowler as a Japanese does. Decidedly there is 
something quite original about Japanese wrestling, 
even down to the building, which has an awning of 
matting hung over the top to keep out the sun, 
and other awnings hung round the sides of the 
building to prevent people seeing the show without 
paying for it. Japanese wrestlers' championship 
belts would set the London Police Gazette wild 
with envy. They can only be compared to red 
silk crinolines, with a fringe of bullion a foot deep. 
They would make even the German Emperor's 
epaulettes look mean. 

From Ekkoin we rikshad to Asakusa, where the 
Japanese are chummiest with Heaven. It is the 
East with a vengeance. You go through a huge 
scarlet temple gateway to a huge scarlet temple, 
with a large gilt image of the Goddess of Mercy. 
The priests, with gong and incense, pursue a stately 
service, quite undisturbed by the fact that the 
worshippers are ringing bells, just as we ring up the 
Central Office on the telephone, to inform their 
gods that there are prayers for them to listen to ; 
or by the sacred cocks and hens which Hy up and 
down and feed and cluck ; or by otlier and more 

391 



MOKE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

acceptable ^\'orshippers, who prefer to deposit paper 
prayers, which the priests get paid for, in boxes 
suggestive of the beetle-traps used to take the 
tickets at the Twopenny Tube. But the temple 
is only a side-show at a big festival. Holiday- 
makers stream up the avenues made by tea-houses 
decorated with cut bamboo for the day, and huge 
round white paper lanterns, with red suns on them, 
for the night ; and stalls where they sell tobacco- 
purses, and ornamental hairpins, and sham soap, 
and other rubbish that you could have sworn no 
sensible Japanese would look at. But no Japanese 
goes to a fair without his moosme or his children, 
and a fevv coppers to spend on them, and this 
rubbish is handsome to their unspoiled souls. This 
is the part of the grounds which they like. The 
foreigner prefers the lake, with its swing bamboo 
bridge, far more exciting than any switchback, 
and its imitation Fujiyama made of plaster, and 
its row of booths with raree-shows. The day we 
first went to Asakusa they were wonderfully good 
and bad. In one booth there was a living picture 
of some historical scene in the life of the old 
daimios, made with growing chrysanthemums. In 
the next, which was much more popular, there was 
a primitive electrical machine for giving shocks at 
a fraction of a halfpenny each. Then came a sea- 
serpent, which was really some sort of seal, and 
only emitted fire from its nostrils on the advertise- 
S92 



THE JAPANESE AND HIS HOLIDAYS 

ment. The woman who took hold of her chin and 
stretched her neck the length of her right arm was 
peerless. If we had only had the proper connec- 
tions, what a fortune we could have made by 
brinofinof her to do turns at British music-halls. 
Less effective for a large theatre, but equally 
wonderful in a small booth, was the woman who 
swallowed her nose and eyes by stretching her 
lower lip up to meet her eyebrows. We got tired 
of one man holding up dozens of his descendants 
and swallowing swords in the juggling theatre. 
There was a quack dentist, and a man who offered 
to cut your head off and put it on again, with a 
two-handled Japanese sword. But there was no 
Red Indian corn-doctor. Shoes were then such a 
novelty in Japan that corns were in their infancy. 

What a scene it was ! The vast red gateway 
and the temple, with its bell-tower and drum-tower, 
and all the usual accessories, and with the cock- 
tower, which is Asakusa's own, were standing up 
from a seething mass of booths and stalls and a 
Japanese holiday crowd. A Japanese holiday 
crowd is delightful. The man who pays for all 
ambles along in his best kimo?io, with a grey 
bowler hat resting on his ears, and his beautiful 
split-toed tabi and clogs very likely exchanged for 
nauseous red socks and German shoes the shape of 
walnut shells. But he has more sense about his 
children and moosmcs. They, at any rate, are 

393 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

bright and beautiful in native dress, the children 
with scarlet sashes and under-skirts ; the moosmes 
with flowers in the butterfly wings of their glossy 
black hair. There is nothing much prettier than 
to see three little moosmes with their sunburnt 
cheeks as rosy as ripe peaches, and their laughing 
white teeth and eyes, hohdaying at a temple. 
They invite attention and run away from it, taking 
care to be caught up again. Of the foreigner, at 
any rate, they are not in the least afraid. 

Then came night, with its thousands of lanterns, 
and its tea-house revelries, and its little troops of 
dragon-dancers, with bands of flute and drum, and 
its twanging of samisen-players. 

But at night the centre of gravity, or its opposite, 
shifted to Shiba, whose innkeepers have cornered 
the best geisha in Tokyo. There we found our- 
selves in an atmosphere of banquets w^hich lasted 
far into the night, with the most beautiful women 
in Japan to sing and dance and make love to those 
who engaged them. The Japanese find them very 
enchanting, and will spend a month's income on an 
entertainment ; but I would rather go without the 
geisha than go through a Japanese banquet. 



394 



CHAPTER VI 

SHOPS A JOB-LINE IN JAPAN 

There is no civilized country where shops are 
such a job-hne as they are in Japan. In the Ginza 
at Tokyo, and a few streets of the foreign settle- 
ments in Yokohama and Kobe, there are a certain 
number of shops with windows and counters, and 
even doors. But, as a rule, the Japanese shop is 
the Japanese house with the front taken off, because 
the owner has something to raise the wind on. 
There is no need to confine the remark to the 
ground floor, because few Japanese houses have 
anything else. Even out in the country almost 
every house you pass sells the rope sandals worn 
by 7ikska-men, at three halfpence the pair. 

Japanese shops do not have counters, but the 
floor makes a natural counter, on which the pro- 
prietor spreads his goods, and squats. What you 
do depends on how much you want to buy. If 
it is only a small purchase, you sit on the edge of 
the floor with your legs hanging down. If it is a 

395 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

purchase which will take time — and there are very 
few in Japan which do not — you, too, squat on the 
floor, and a servant brings you a knee-cushion and 
a finger-stove and five cups of tea before you are 
asked what you honourably want. 

There are shops and shops in Japan. Most 
foreigners prefer to deal with shops which have 
windows and doors, and chairs and counters. This 
is a mistake. A foreigner who goes to Japan to 
make his pile, or a Japanese so acquainted with 
Western ideas as to countenance such innovations, 
expects his cent, per cent. And the other kind of 
shop is much more amusing. It is not like a shop 
at all. It is a home, exposed to the public gaze, 
in which you can buy anything which takes your 
fancy. In our shops we arrange the articles for 
sale round the walls. The Japanese uses the floor 
and the ceiling, because he has no walls to speak 
of, but only paper shutters, which fit into grooves 
like lantern slides, and are all of them used as doors, 
and opened without any warning, like the European 
knock at the door. 

Most Japanese shops are second-hand, because 
the stock consists of the owner's worldly possessions. 
You take your choice and pay your money. In 
the central streets of the large cities the shops are 
more normal. They have regular stocks of china, 
hardware, hosiery, cheap knickknacks, basket-ware, 
or greengrocery. More than half of them seem 
396 



SHOPS A JOB-LINE IN JAPAN 

to belong to greengrocers, says Miss Campbell- 
Davidson, the most recent observer on the subject. 
This is only v^^hat you would expect. The Japanese 
shopkeeper has the greatest possible objection to 
paying for the articles he sells, and the only things 
which you get for nothing in the long-run are what 
the bountiful earth gives you. Therefore at every 
turn you are confronted by radishes as large as 
conger-eels and as rank as sour turnips ; enormous 
pumpkins, whose quantity tells in a country which 
does not demand quality in its food ; oranges which 
have no pips, and the gorgeous but unsatisfactory 
persimmon. In some of the cities the china-shops 
are quite imposing, with their shelves rising in tiers 
from the floor hke potato exhibits at a flower-show. 
At others, where the pieces are better instead of 
worse, they are few in number, and arranged in 
rows on the floor. In some shops you may see 
the work of manufacture. In the back streets of 
Yokohama the Satsuma porcelain of modern com- 
merce is manufactured by boys who look about 
four years old. In a china-shop the most tempting 
things to buy are queer teapots, delightful little 
sets of cups without handles, and saucers without 
sockets, always sold and served in fives ; the covered 
soup-cups, which are a feature of every Japanese 
banquet; flower-pots, lakes, and gardens. The 
flower-pots of blue and white porcelain are some- 
times half a yard high, and as lean as rats. They 

397 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

are used for the little plum-trees, trained like 
rambler-roses, and taught to blossom in time for 
the New Year, at which every self-respecting 
Japanese household must have one. The lakes, 
also of blue and white porcelain, are about eight 
inches across and two inches deep, and are designed 
to hold the quaint pebbles in which the Japanese 
lily is taught to grow with water instead of earth. 
The gardens, mostly of earthenware, are about two 
feet long and a foot and a half wide, and contain a 
whole landscape, with trees which may be centuries 
old, though they are no longer than a Jew's cigar. 

Among the most interesting shops are those 
of the lantern-sellers and umbrella-makers and 
stationers, for they deal in paper, and the Japanese 
makes everything of paper, even his premises, just 
as the Mexican made his house and his clothes 
and his equivalent for whisky, and very likely his 
equivalent for soda, from the American aloe, which 
we only use for dosing children. The Japanese 
nearly succeeds in making rice go all round, for he 
makes his best paper, and his best paste, and his 
food and drink, and the thatched cloak of straw 
which he wears when it is wet, and his roof-thatch, 
from it. 

A native stationer's is a most fascinating place. 
The common account-books are made of so many 
sheets of paper folded inside a sheet of card, and 
threaded on a piece of rope, which is tied into an 
398 



SHOPS A JOB-LINE IN JAPAN 

ornamental knot for hanging up. The bookbind- 
ing is done by tiny boys, who ought to be still in 
their cradles, and the rice-paste which they use, 
which looks much more appetising than most 
blancmange, is kept rolled up in bamboo leaves. 
Japanese books are bound in the maddest way. 
They are folded like maps, and the loose ends are 
sewn together half an inch from the edge. It 
follows that only one side of the page can be used, 
and when the paper is very thick the book has 
only about as many pages as an exercise-book. 
The favourite thing to bind them in is paper crepe, 
though some books attain to the dignity of a hemp 
binding, or even silk, and wood is rather popular. 

There are two kinds of Japanese note-paper. 
The first consists of square sheets of beautiful rice- 
paper printed in colours, or water-marked with 
designs of temples and gardens and bridges and 
flying storks, or even popular courtesans. This is 
for the childish foreigner. For himself the Japanese 
uses a roll of curl-paper about six inches wide and 
forty yards long, on which he writes with a paint- 
brush, beginning at the right hand instead of the 
left, and writing down the page instead of across it. 
When he has painted a yard or two of the letter 
he tears it off and folds it up very narrow, because 
his envelope, though it may be a foot long, is never 
more than two inches wide. The envelope is some- 
times plain, but very often has a fancy border in 

399 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

pale green or blue, even when it is not prepared 
to allure the childish foreigner. 

The bookbinders do their work on the floor, 
kneeling at tables a yard long, half a yard wide, 
and a foot high, which form the Japanese dining- 
tables on the rare occasions when the Jap does 
not dine off the floor. The lantern-painter lies on 
his stomach while he is decorating the lantern's 
oleaginous belly. The umbrella-maker does a 
fiTood deal of standino^, because he has to run round \ 
the umbrella-frame, pasting on a separate strip 
between each pair of ribs. Fan-making is also 
combined with umbrellas. Ribs and paste are the 
essence of both. 

The ironmonger is a disappointing person, his 
only native line being tea-kettles, which are often 
very fanciful and beautiful, but are shamed out of 
countenance by swarms of kerosene lamps that 
might have originated the expression " cheap and 
nasty." The most demoralising thing in Japan is 
the kerosene lamp. The Jap burns the vilest and 
most ardent kerosene in a tinkering twopenny-half- 
penny lamp which would hardly hold water. For 
this he has discarded the beautiful old square paper 
lantern with a scarlet-lacquer frame, which sat on 
a stool, though he had none to sit on himself, and 
gave so little light that the servants were allowed 
to squat about, talking, since they could not see to 
do anything else. The aesthetic spirit is amply 
400 



SHOPS A JOB-LINE IN JxVPAN 

avenged, for a Japanese house is hardly better 
suited than a powder-magazine for a lamp explosion. 
Its deep straw mats and paper walls go off like 
fireworks. The other kind of shop m which the 
Japanese do themselves least justice is what 
they call a kwankoba, or bazaar. The kucanhoba 
is ineffable. Its lacquer can only be compared 
with our paper-leather photo frames ; and its other 
temptations consist of combs, with a tendency 
towards scarlet ; pads and other forms of false hair ; 
hairpins with any kind of extravagance down to 
Chinese prisoners dangling by their pigtails ; 
note-purses ; tobacco-purses ; the ridiculous little 
Japanese pipes ; and soaps with misspelt names of 
famous brands but no other washing properties. 
The kwankoba is the German fair, the sixpence-half- 
penny shop of Japan, and the funny thing is that 
the Japanese themselves patronise it more than 
foreigners. 

The Japanese foot-tailor who has no foreign 
cUentele does not, except in rare instances, make 
boots and shoes ; he makes clogs and sandals. The 
sandals vary from the rope soles popular with riksha- 
boys to the fine straw, disc-like, glorified Turkish 
bath slippers worn by gentlefolks. In practice, 
what the Japanese uses most are clogs a few 
inches high, beautifully made out of the light 
kiri wood. These account for the state of Japanese 
roads, for it takes a mighty big puddle to flow 

26 401 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

over a clog. The scuffing of clogs is the sound 
which goes up to heaven from Japan with the 
incense of sesame oil. 

The fish-shops of Japan bring out the likeness 
between Japan and Italy, for in Japan also the 
tunny and the octopus are frequent dishes. But 
the Japanese are even more inclined to devour the 
offal of the sea, from sea-urchins to sea- weeds, which 
they regard as sea-vegetables. 

A good silk-shop is one of the most typical shops 
in Japan, for here they maintain the ancient 
etiquette. Take Nosawaya's, at Yokohama, for 
instance. It has a floor of spotless matting, raised 
a foot from the ground, and a curtain of dark blue 
cotton, veiling its contents from the merely roving 
eye. In the middle of the curtain is Nosawaya's 
monogram as big as himself, and his name is 
printed on a board fixed over his shop like the 
boards on our butchers' carts, which are lifted off 
on Sundays to let them be dogcarts for butchers' 
honeymoons. We went beneath the veil to buy 
Nosawaya's silks. I had my suspicions at first, 
because Nosawaya invited me to stand on his 
matting with my boots on. I thought he must 
expect to cheat me handsomely, so I took off" my 
overcoat and stood on that. But I fQund that his 
suggestion only emanated from good feeling. He 
was too great a swell to leave his goods in his shop, 
which contained nothing except himself and his 
402 



SHOPS A JOB-LINE IN JAPAN 

assistants, who seemed to be taking diving lessons 
on the floor, till they were despatched to the go-down 
to bring pieces for our honourable inspection. The 
striped silks and figured crepes they brought were 
extremely beautiful. Each piece was a Japanese 
foot (which is a very large foot) wide, and a good 
many yards long. We bought several pieces. 

The only kind of shopping which is really very 
interesting to foreigners is curio-shopping, and that 
is no fun if you go to the large European or 
Europeanised curio-shops. The bargains are to 
be picked up at the lower order, which are curio- 
shops to us, and general dealers, if not monti di 
pietd, to the natives. The first thing I looked for 
in those shops was to see if they had any old 
bottles or second-hand boots for sale. If they had, 
I knew it was one of the genuine jumble-sales of 
which I was in search, which have made my 
Japanese room the despair of collectors in London, 
who entirely overlook the little domestic articles, 
wonderfully curious and beautiful, which I made 
my speciality. In these shops one used to pick 
up all kinds of magnificent works of art in the 
form of netsukes, inros (medicine carriers), ink- 
stands, tobacco-boxes, shrines, gods, native clocks, 
magic mirrors, and so on, many of them of great 
value before they received the fatal crack or chip 
which deprived them of their rank of being perfect 

pieces. This applies especially to lacquer. 

403 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Bargaining is a great trouble in Japan. The 
Japanese always asks twice or three times as much 
as he intends to take, and I never was clever 
enough to acquire the short cut to discomfit 
him— that of being able to follow his reckoning 
on the soj'oban or abacus, or being able to read 
the numerals on the little paper ticket usually 
attached to an article in a second-hand shop. 
The shopkeepers invariably began by registering 
on the soroban the price they had paid, and 
then calculated the profit. 

Knowing the price they had paid, the offer of a 
very small percentage on it would always secure 
an article. The Japanese are really very tiresome 
in their slavish adherence to the soroban. As 
Miss Campbell-Davidson puts it, if you take a 
two-dollar railway ticket and give the booking- 
clerk a five-dollar note, he works out the change 
on the soroban before he gives it to you. Failing 
these expedients, I had to invent one of my own, 
which was to decide how much I should like to 
give for a thing, the price at which I thought it 
a bargain, and yet sufficiently acceptable to the 
vendor. I remember, for instance, seeing an old 
schoolgirl's satchel of green silk, with a few 
bamboos worked on it in silver thread. It was 
lined with an old brocade of Chinese figures. At 
half-a-crown it would have been dear, at eighteen- 
pence reasonable, at a shilling cheap. I did not 
404 



SHOPS A JOB-LINE IN JAPAN 

particularly want it, but decided that at threepence 
it would be irresistible. Threepence I offered its 
proprietor on the Avay out to a long day at Shiba. 
He appeared to take no notice, but as we were 
returning in the shades of the evening his small 
boy ran out after me, calling out " Yorosld ! " 
(all right). That was the royal road for curio- 
shops, and we were very fond of going to spend 
long days in that wonderful part of the temples. 
As we drove out I used to put my price on any 
article that took my fancy. On my return I 
nearly always found it accepted ; and if it was 
not accepted, it was because the man had given 
more for it. He generally told me the truth about 
that; and if I was tempted, 1 gave him a trifle 
beyond it to make his profit. 

The Chinese shopkeeper in Japan is the anti- 
podes of the Japanese. When you ask him the 
price, he names the lowest possible, in the hopes of 
cUnching the bargain. In choosing materials, such 
as tweed for clothes, the Japanese has no eye for a 
good thing or for the taste of the foreigners. He 
has a natural inclination towards shoddy. The 
limit of his ambition is to have a thing that will pass 
muster. The Chinaman tries to get the best thing 
in the market. There is the same difference in the 
matter of bargains. The Chinaman's word is as 
good as a cheque. The Japanese's word is a mere 
compliment. He is not so bad in retail transac- 

405 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

tions, unless it is a matter like a lady's silk dress, in 
which it is difficult to compute quantities, and he 
is apt to use a material inferior to the sample. It 
is in buying, not selling, that the Japanese shop- 
keeper sacrifices the national good name. He 
trades without capital, and cannot stand a sub- 
stantial loss. This does not deter him from giving 
a large order. But if, when the goods arrive, they 
have gone down in value, or the market is bad for 
trade, he repudiates the order, sometimes admitting, 
with tolerable frankness, that he cannot afford to 
buy the article, now that the market is against him. 
If, as is often the case, the European importer 
sells the repudiated goods by auction, an agreement 
with his fellow-shopkeepers that they will not bid 
against the man for whom the goods were ordered 
enables him to buy them at a tremendous sacrifice, 
unless a Chinaman wants the goods. Their poverty 
is the excuse the Japanese shopkeepers make for 
themselves. Their low caste is the excuse made 
for them by their apologists. In the Japanese 
social scale the merchant is the lowest, except the 
outcast or scavenger class, called eta. In the old 
feudal days the nobles and their establishments of 
samurai did not buy things at shops. Manufac- 
turers and artificers of all sorts formed part of the 
establishment. Tradesmen had no customers worth 
having, and therefore only a very low class cared 
to go into trade. 
406 



SHOPS A JOB-LINE IN JAPAN 

The Elder Statesmen, whom we know in these 
last few months to be the real rulers of Japan, who 
have been pulling the wires in secret ever since the 
Revolution, are much disturbed at the debacle of 
Japanese trade reputation in the eyes of the world, 
and there are signs that when the war is over they 
will take the matter in hand. For the present we 
are confronted with the spectacle that though the 
Japanese Government is the most correct of any 
of the Great Powers in observing international 
obligations, the Japanese individual is at the other 
end of the scale. 



407 



CHAPTER VII 

THE CHEERFUL LOT OF THE JAPANESE WOMEN 

The Japanese woman is among the most interest- 
ing specimens of the eternal feminine, as capable 
of the sternest self-sacrifice as the angular strong- 
minded mothers of Sparta and Republican Rome. 
She is also the gentlest and most faultless of her 
sex. She asks nothing, she expects nothing ; 
she is the incarnation of the spirit of loyalty 
which makes the Japanese soldier the bravest of 
the brave. Her duties begin early, though she 
is the latest weaned of the human race. Hardly 
has she left her mother's breast before she may 
be called to carry the next baby like a knapsack 
on her back. This does not prevent her skipping 
and playing baU and battledore or shuttlecock. 
A Japanese baby can hang on like a fly, and 
seems to enjoy trying to shake its head off. She 
has a happy childhood, though before it is over 
she has been taught more etiquette than most 
Lord Chamberlains, and though her life grows 
408 



CHEERFUL LOT OF JAPANESE WOMEN 

increasingly solemn from the day of her birth. 
Nothing is too bright for a Japanese baby, which 
has a scarlet petticoat and dabs of scarlet over 
the rest of its person. The moosme, unless she 
is a waitress — a profession which runs to scarlet 
petticoats — has to content herself with a scarlet 
obi and throat lining, and something scarlet in 
her hair. The married woman grows sadder and 
sadder in her costume, and the widow is expected 
to look like a crow on a barn door. 

It is surprising how women put up with the 
hardness of their lot in Japan, where they never 
have a word at all, let alone the last word, and 
where the fashions have not changed since the 
time of Queen Elizabeth, except in the simple 
direction of ladies of rank having given up wear- 
ing coloured dresses, because they are no longer 
allowed castles to wear them in. 

Formerly the wives of the great nobles, the 
daimio, wore marvellously worked and coloured 
garments of silk, embroidered to copy the flowers 
of the season. When wistaria came in they were 
dressed in wistaria patterns ; in the month of 
peonies they rivalled the gorgeous tree-peony of 
Japan. At present these dresses are only to be 
seen on the stage, but the women of the new class 
of rich merchants are thinking of reviving them, 
to mark the creation of a plutocracy. 

The ambition of a Japanese woman is not to 

409 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

be a mother, but a mother-in-law. As a mother 
she enjoys no consideration till she is too old to 
have any of her husband's female relations older 
than herself, so a Japanese woman does not try 
and look younger than she is, but older ; and it 
must be admitted that she succeeds, though she 
no longer blacks her teeth at marriage to make 
herself hideous in the eyes of men. Until she 
is the viaterfamilias she is the slave of any woman 
in the household who ranks as older than herself, 
and she has not even the consolations of religion, 
for it is considered improper to go to temples 
much until she is so hideous that no one will look 
at her. Being fond of religion is a fault coupled 
in the same breath with talking too much, and 
both of them, like leprosy, are among the principal 
reasons for divorce. 

In a land where suicide has been so common 
and so honourable, you wonder why the whole 
female population of Japan has not committed 
haraJdri, the formal form of suicide. 

The Japanese are very kind to their children 
and their moosmes, the young unmarried girls ; 
they take them to festivities at temples so often 
that it must be doubly hard for the Japanese 
woman when she is married at the great age of 
fifteen to give up going to tlie temples, which she 
associates with earthly pleasures so much more 
than divine. Every Tokyo moosnie has a father or 
410 



CHEERFUL LOT OF JAPANESE WOMEN 

someone who takes her to a big fair in the Temple 
of Mercy at Asakusa, and treats her to paper 
flowers and sham soap, and anything that can be 
bought with coppers. He is hberal also in treating 
her to side-shows at a fiirthing or a halfpenny each ; 
and no restrictions are placed on her going to 
simple fairs, with one or two other little girls of 
the same age, to have a lark. It must try even 
the stoicism of the Japanese women to abandon 
all this at fifteen, to be maid-of-all-work to her 
husband, and any parents and grandparents, and 
elder brothers and elder brothers' wives he may 
have, all packed into the beehive accommodation 
of the Japanese house. 

But she submits as a matter of course. For a 
woman to refuse to marry in Japan would open 
an alarming new phase of the servant question, 
since the wife does the lion's share of the house- 
work. Besides, she would be costing her father 
money for her keep; and in Japanese ideas it is 
much more respectable for a woman to sell herself 
to a house of ill-fame, and give the money to her 
parents, than to go on costing them money by her 
failure to marry. Since men do not, as a rule, 
choose their wives, or girls their husbands, looks 
do not signify so much in escaping old-maidenhood 
in Japan as they do elsewhere. 

A Japanese marriage is a novelty in mariage^f 

de convenance, for the male of Dai Nippon em- 

411 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

ploys a go-between, like the impecunious Count 
of Paris, but does not expect to marry a dot. 
He expects to marry a servant good enough to 
keep her mother-in-law's tongue quiet ; for when 
the Japanese woman becomes a mother-in-law, 
she vents all the pent-up ill-humour of her life- 
time upon her unhappy daughter-in-law. If his 
mother is not satisfied, he knows that he will 
have to divorce his wife, if she is the loveliest and 
sweetest woman in the land. In fact, if they really 
are fond of each other, their affection is likely to 
bring about a catastrophe, for the mother-in-law 
dislikes her servant's time being preoccupied. 

The Japanese have handed down from the 
Middle Ages a wonderful code of morals called 
the Onna - JDai - Gaku, or greater learning for 
women, which tells them what is expected of 
them, and is a marvellous illustration of how far 
the vanity and selfishness of a Japanese man and 
the self-sacrificingness of a Japanese woman can 
take them in the direction of antediluvian 
absurdities. 

A woman's lot is summed up in the three 
obediences : obedience, while unmarried, to her 
father ; obedience, when married, to her husband 
and the elders of his family ; and obedience, when 
widowed, to her son. "Whilst thou honourest 
thine own parents," says the Greater Learning for 
Women, " think not lightly of thy father-in-law. 
41:2 



CHEERFUL LOT OF JAPANESE WOMEN 

Never should a woman fail night and morning 
to pay her respects to her father and mother in 
law. With special warmth of affection must she 
reverence her husband's elder brother and elder 
sister. Let her never even dream of jealousy. 
If her husband be dissolute, she must expostulate 
with him, but never either nurse or vent her 
anger. If her jealousy be active, it will render 
her countenance frightful and her accents repul- 
sive A woman should be circumspect 

and sparing of her use of words, and never, even 
for a passing moment, should she slander others 

or be guilty of untruthfulness Of tea 

and wine she must drink but sparingly, nor must 
she feed her ears and eyes with theatrical per- 
formances, ditties and ballads. To temples she 
should go but sparingly until she has reached the 
age of forty. She must not let herself be led 
astray by mediums and divineresses, and enter 
into an irreverent familiarity with the gods, neither 
must she be constantly occupied in praying. If 
only she satisfactorily performs her duties, she 
may leave prayers alone, without seeking to enjoy 
the divine protection. She must never give way 
to luxury and pride .... and on no account 
whatever must she enter into correspondence 
with young men. ... It is wrong in her, by 
an access of care, to obtrude herself upon other 
people's notice. . . . Again, she must not be 

413 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

filled with pride at the recollection of the 
splendour of her parental house, and must not 
make it a subject of her conversation. Her treat- 
ment of her handmaidens will require circum- 
spection. These low and aggravating girls have 
had no proper education ; they are stupid, obstinate, 
and vulgar in their speech. When anything in 
the conduct of their mistress' husband or parents- 
in-law crosses their wishes, they fill her ears with 
their invectives, thinking thereby to render her 
a service. But any woman who would listen to 
this gossip must beware of the heartburnings it 
will be sure to breed. Easy is it by reproaches 
and disobedience to lose the love of those who, 
like a woman's marriage connections, were all 
originally strangers ; and it were surely folly, by 
believing the prattle of a servant- girl, to diminish 
the affection of a precious father-in-law and mother- 
in-law. If a servant-girl be altogether too loquacious 
and bad, she should speedily be dismissed ; for it 
is by the gossip of such persons that occasion is 
given for the troubling of the harmony of kinsmen 
and the disordering of a household. Again, in 
her dealings with these low people, a woman will 
find many things to disapprove of. But if she be 
for ever reproving and scolding, and spend her time 
in bustle and anger, her household will be in a 
continual state of disturbance." 

But the climax of the gospel of male swollen- 
414 



CHEERFUL LOT OF JAPANESE WOMEN 

headedness is yet to come. " The five worst mal- 
adies to conflict the female mind are indocility, 
discontent, slander, jealousy, and selfishness. With- 
out any doubt these five maladies afflict seven or 
eight out of every ten women, and it is from these 
that arises the inferiority of women to men. A 
woman should cure them by self-inspection and 
self-reproach. The worst of them all, and the 
parent of all the other four, is silliness." And, 
climax of climax, such is the character of her 
character that it is incumbent on her in every 
particular to distrust herself and obey her hus- 
band. 

After all this, it is not surprising to hear that the 
Japanese compare men to heaven, and women to 
earth. 

A Japanese woman is, if she is the greatest lady 
in the land, in theory expected to be her husband's 
valet and her husband's tailor. Any service which 
touches his person or the articles he wears it is 
her privilege to keep to herself, and she is only 
supposed to delegate such duties as she has not 
the physical strength to perform. In practice this 
is, of course, modified. When Miss Bacon, whose 
books are the principal source of information on 
Japanese women, visited the daughter of the last 
of the Shogun rulers of Japan, who was the wife 
of a great noble, she found her, a beautiful young 
creature, completely absorbed in playing with her 

415 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

baby, and otherwise amusing herself and making 
herself look pretty to flirt with her husband, which 
would have given the old-fashioned Japanese the 
horrors. And since most Japanese men of position 
are accustomed to wear European dress in public, 
the idea of having their wives for their tailors and 
of wearing home-made clothes is no longer sublime. 
In France they say the tailor makes the man : in 
Japan the dressmaker certainly makes the woman. 
For, provided that her garments are in European 
style, a Japanese lady is treated as a lady instead 
of a servant. While she is in native dress a 
Japanese woman is simply her husband's faithful 
body-servant. Not only is she valet, but she waits 
upon him at meals, instead of taking them with 
him. It is she who pushes back the shutters, the 
Japanese equivalent of opening and shutting a door, 
for him, and she would hand him a chair if he ever 
used one. When they go out, she walks a dog's 
pace behind him — a relic of the good old days when 
it was the fashion for your enemies to stab you 
in the back. But it is the unwritten law in Japan 
that a lady in European dress must be treated like 
a European lady, and it is faithfully observed, at 
all events in public. 

As a Japanese woman averages about four feet 
eight inches in height, she can fairly claim to be 
the best for her inches in the whole human race. 
There is very little she cannot, will not, and does 
416 



CHEERFUL LOT OF JAPANESE WOMEN 

not do. Japanese women coaled the big man-of- 
war which brought Pierre Loti to Nagasaki, as 
well as supplied him with the model for his Madame 
Chrysantheme. They tuck up their skirts between 
their legs and do the mud-gardening in the 
malarious rice-fields ; they carry the American 
ladies' Saratogas up the hill to ^liyanoshita on their 
backs. 

A woman may teach the ins and outs of the 
Solemn Tea Ceremony, the bows and expressions of 
etiquette, music, painting, and flower-arrangement, 
but all these avocations are open to men also, and 
in fortune-telling men have the preference. The 
Japanese are a fortune to fortune-tellers. They 
will not marry or change their houses or go on a long- 
journey, they will hardly have a tooth out, without 
consulting a fortune-teller as to the day on which 
the conflicting omens offer least resistance ; and if it 
seems impossible to reconcile the omens, they just 
make up their minds to cheat the gods. Miss 
Bacon mentions a case in which a man was to 
marry a girl much above him in station and in 
wealth. When he went to the fortune-teller to be 
told a propitious wedding-day, he discovered that 
the lady lived in a quarter of the city from which 
it was absolutely fatal for him to take a bride. 
He was equally afraid of defying the omen and of 
offending such a powerful family by backing out 
of the marriage. They got over the difficulty by 

27 417 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

making the girl go and stay with an uncle on the 
opposite side of Tokyo, from whose house she 
issued as a corpse on the following day. 

There is one occupation which is very lucrative, 
•and of which women have the monopoly in Japan, 
though it is almost the monopoly of men in Europe, 
and that is hairdressing. The Japanese have a 
motto that the hairdresser's husband never need 
work. To have her hair well done takes a woman 
at least two hours, and it has to last about two 
days, and sometimes lasts a week. A Japanese 
woman does not lay her head on a pillow, she lays 
her neck on a little wooden door-scraper, which 
used to remind me of Mary Queen of Scots being 
executed wrong side upwards, and taking her 
execution lying down, to use a phrase made 
classical by Mr Chamberlain. 

The Japanese woman has only one vice : she is 
fond of flirtations with popular actors, unless one 
calls it a vice to be a light sleeper, and smoke 
whenever she wakes. For there is not much 
repose about Japanese smoking, as the pipe only 
contains tobacco enough for three whiiFs, and is 
then tapped to knock the ashes out. 

There is only one absolute essential about a 
Japanese wife, and that is that she should not be 
educated, for if she is educated she may be the 
wife on the European plan, as they say in American 
hotels, to a Japanese ; but she cannot be a Japanese 
418 



CHEERFUL LOT OF JAPANESE WOMEN 

wife, for the Japanese wife is not allowed to have a 
mind, or at least to exercise it, which comes to the 
same thing. If she has been educated, how can she 
put up with the life of making and mending and 
brushing her husband's clothes ; and getting his tea 
before he gets up ; keeping her temper while she 
keeps the servants in order ; washing the clothes 
without soap and ironing them without irons ; and 
keeping away from her church — temples — until she 
is forty or frightful ? 

Shopping may be some alleviation, as constituted 
in Japan, for the simplest thing takes time ; you 
can hardly buy a yard of silk in Japan without 
having a kneeling-cushion and a fireplace and five 
cups of tea brought in for your use before they 
inquire what you want. But aristocratic ladies have 
not even this relief: instead of their going to the 
shops, the shops are taken to them. 

Certainly the Japanese woman has a good deal 
to put up with : it is almost bad form of her to 
love her husband ; it is more moral of her to 
anticipate the wishes of her mother-in-law. It is 
considered mere self-indulgence for her to show any 
love to her children ; and, worse than that, if she 
has no children, she is expected to welcome the 
presence of another woman in the house who shows 
the ability to give her husband the desired heir. 
She can comfort herself with the idea that from 
the moment that the son of the mekake or 

419 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

mistress is accepted as the heir, he ceases to be 
his mother's child and becomes her child. The 
judgments of Japanese Solomons might be attended 
with peculiar difficulties. 

The Japanese idea of course is, that just as a 
mother-in-law cannot have sons-in-law, so a mother 
cannot have sons. So unworthy an object as a 
woman is not considered to have any part in bring- 
ing into the world the children she brings forth ; 
they belong entirely to her husband, and are con- 
sidered to derive all their qualities from him. Till 
recently, if the best and most charming of women 
divorced a drunken husband the children were his, 
unless the State liked to take them away from him, 
but in any case they could not be hers ; she had no 
dowry, so she could not demand that back ; her 
husband need make no provision for her ; her family, 
unless they were very much attached to her, would 
not take her back. There was nothing for the 
divorced wife to do except to marry again, which 
she usually did without any difficulty, though in 
theory she was a soiled and worthless object. Until 
quite recently one marriage out of every three 
ended in a divorce, which was perhaps, as the 
American woman said, one way of making enough 
husbands to go all round. 

The maddest thing of all about a Japanese 
marriage was the trousseau. A girl whose parents 
were only moderately well off, who was marrying a 
420 



CHEERFUL LOT OF JAPANESE WOMEN 

man no better off than herself, might have a trous- 
seau worth five hundred pounds, in which she was 
provided with everything she could want during 
the first few years of her married life, except the 
food which perishes. The theory was, that it 
might make her husband dissatisfied with her if she 
had to go on asking for things ; and a Japanese 
husband, fenced in by such highly accommodating 
laws, no doubt is more easily put out than most 
husbands. 

It sounds as if a Japanese woman's life was a hell 
upon earth, and so it might be if the Japanese were 
like ordinary human beings ; but they are so fenced 
in with natural politeness and unnatural etiquette, 
and the fear of disgracing their ancestors, that the 
system works fairly well if the woman is content to 
live the life of a popular house-dog, and does not 
wish to have ideas. 

From this it will be seen that Japan is not an 
ideal country for ventilating the subject of woman's 
rights. If the Japanese women knew anything of 
countries outside their own, even as near as India, 
they might be thankful that their lords and masters 
did not employ the rites of suttee, instead of the 
dreaded divorce, for reducing the number of women 
in need of a husband. 



421 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE JAPANESE GIRL 

Shakespeare's Seven Ages are not for the Japanese 
girl. She has only two, unmarried and married. 
The former is all sunshine, the latter at best cool 
retreat. The state of unmarried girlhood com- 
mences very early in Japan, where quite little chil- 
dren are set to take care of babies. The way they 
do it is typical of the seeming absurdities of the 
Japanese. The baby is tied on the back of a 
tiny tot in a haori, or shawl, preventing its small 
deputy mamma from taking a moment's rest, and 
the baby also ; for the small nurse skips or plays 
ball or shuttle-cock without a thought for her 
charge. Its head shakes till you expect it to drop 
off, but the baby only seems to regard it as a form 
of rocking. 

In time — a mighty short time, for a woman gets 
married at fifteen — the little nurse will grow into 
a moosme, the grisette of Japan, about whom so 
much has been written. She will then have grown 
422 



THE JAPANESE GIRL 

out of carrying babies, except when she has na 
younger sisters ; she can be put to better use in. 
other ways. It is the fact of their using very 
young children to do whatever is within their 
capacity which makes Japanese goods so cheap. 

A girl becomes a girl at live years old, when she 
puts on the sash called the obi, which is the 
distinguishing mark of her sex through life. To 
have to wear the ohi in front is the mark of the 
disgraceful profession. These obis are made of the 
most costly brocades, and are handed down in 
families, and constitute the handsomest presents, as 
they not infrequently form the most valuable part 
of a dowry. Till she assumes the obi on her fifth 
birthday the girl is only a child. On every subse- 
quent birthday, until she is married, she receives, 
another fine obi, which she hoards up as English 
girls hoard up their jewels, so that even if she is- 
married at fifteen she has quite a respectable stock 
of them, and these she takes with her to her new 
home. As her trousseau has to last her a lifetime, - 
it cannot be begun too early. The trousseau is one 
of the most extraordinary things about Japan ; it 
quite takes the place of a dowry, which was un- 
known in the old Japan. 

I have already alluded to the Japanese trousseau 
in my chapter on " The Cheerful Lot of the Japanese 
Woman." Girls will have trousseaux costing far 
more than their fathers' incomes. The child of 

423- 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

moderately well-off parents might take five 
thousand yen worth of goods with her to her 
bridegroom's house, but not a dollar of money. It 
was especially a point that she should have every 
conceivable article, even of a household nature, such 
as candles, which she could possibly require in the 
first year or two, so as not to have to ask her 
husband for money. 

The Japanese girl of the lower classes, when she 
is ripe for the mourning garments of marriage, is a 
most fascinating little creature. Her complexion 
is not yellow, but of a sunny brown, with rich red 
blood showing through it like the best Italian com- 
plexions. Her eyes are not obliquely placed or set 
in slits — she would only be too thankful if they 
were, for it is vulgar to have the eyes we admire. 
The paintings of Giotto would seem perfectly 
beautiful to a Japanese. The merry little maiden 
like Greuze's Gii'l at the Fountain, with her bright 
healthy cheeks, and lips like cherries, and innocent 
round eyes, which Europeans admire so much in 
Japan, only strikes the Japanese themselves as 
plebeian : they prefer tragic queens, with lantern 
jaws and long hooked noses, and pasty white faces, 
and eyes like cats. Natural colour is considered 
most unbecoming in Japan. If a girl has auburn 
hair she soaks it in Camellia oil till it looks black, 
and the fashionable woman carries down her sleeve 
a little ivory card-case for dyeing her lips magenta, 
424 



THE JAPANESE GIRL 

or even gilt. The geishas, who are the Japanese 
idea of beauties, chalk their faces. 

The Japanese girl has no jewellery, though she 
is gaiety itself in her costume compared to married 
women in these degenerate days, when the rich 
flowered robes of the feudal age are relegated 
to the stage. 

To take the place of jewellery she has nothing 
but the little articles of toilet which she carries in 
her sleeve or slung round her waist, and her hair- 
pins. Hairpins are the hatpins of Japan. To 
rival the fine diamonds and pearls with which 
girls in the suburbs pin on their home-made hats, 
she uses hairpins which have nothing to do 
with keeping her hair up. According to her 
wealth and refinement, her hairpin-heads vary 
from little bits of choice lacquer to gaudy imi- 
tation flowers and butterflies. In the Whitechapel 
Exhibition there were even hairpin-heads of 
Japanese soldiers dragging Chinese soldiers by 
their pigtails. But these were not good style, 
and the large tortoise-shell hairpins, which look 
like fiddle-pegs, are only worn by bad women in 
Japan, though Europeans delight in them for 
fancy balls. The moosmes who are engaged as 
waitresses in tea-rooms and similar positions often 
insert real flowers in their splendid hair with great 
effect. 

The saying that a woman's hair is her glory 

425 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

has a special significance in Japan, where no woman 
with any pretence to modishness can do her own 
hair ; and hair, hke Macbeth, has murdered sleep. 

The women of Japan and JNIashonaland have 
hit upon an almost identical contrivance to enable 
them to go without doing their hair for a week. 
It is made of wood, and looks like a door-scraper 
with a top taken from a cripple's crutch. When 
the woman sleeps she lays not her head but the 
nape of her neck upon this headsman's block of a 
pillow. Probably the grand ladies at the court 
of the Grand Monarque had some contrivance 
like those of the Japs and Mashonas. It takes a 
really smart woman about half a day to have 
her hair done, and to be a successful hairdresser 
is the most brilliant career to which any woman 
can look forward in Japan. She makes more than 
a prime minister, and something like the income 
of a first-rate actor. While the hairdresser is 
putting the finishing touches to her task, her 
victim kneels in front of one of the magic mirrors 
of Japan, propped up in its black lacquer case. 
These mirrors are fiat round disks of silver-coloured 
bronze, exactly similar in shape to those of the 
ancient Greeks and Etruscans, and, with the 
exception of the Chinese ideograms, which are 
often introduced, decorated in much the s;-me 
way. One wonders if the ancients in Europe 
knew the secret of the Japanese magic inirrors^ 
426 



THE JAPANESE GIRL 

which, although seemingly on their surfaces absol- 
utely level and blank, have the power of reflect- 
ing through theii' faces the designs on their backs. 
A^^hen she has had her hair done, a girl who is 
young and new to it is apt to feel rather hke an 
American in her first costume by Worth or 
Paquin; it is about the only time you see a 
Japanese ill at ease, they are such masters and 
mistresses of etiquette. 

Etiquette, of course, plays a supreme part in a 
Japanese girl's life. There is an etiquette, even a 
language, for addressing superiors, equals, and 
inferiors. Equal attention has to be paid to bows 
and kowtows. The tipping of Europe is a joke 
compared to the elaborate system of offering 
meals and bestowing presents which a woman has 
to see to in Japan. Etiquette culminates in the 
arrangement of flowers, though few Japanese 
rooms contain more than one or two vases, and 
these are apt to contain, not a bouquet, but a twig 
of fruit tree, with a blossom or two on one side 
of it, arranged at a particular angle. Though 
exquisite taste is shown, the flower arrangement of 
Japan seems an awful ado about nothing, unless 
it is regarded as affording another honourable 
profession to women, who make a good deal out 
of teaching flower-etiquette and the Solemn Tea 
Ceremony. 

The Solemn Tea Ceremony is carried out in a 

427 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

building made for the purpose, and has so little 
to do with ordinary domestic life that very few 
visitors to Japan ever see it, though it is part of the 
education of girls of the upper class. Tea goes on 
all day long in Japan : whenever anybody calls, 
a servant brings in a dining-table with five cups 
of tea on it as a matter of course. It is served 
without milk or sugar, but the queer Japanese 
sweetmeats made of bean-flour, and their Httle 
pipless oranges, are often served with it. 

In Japan the women smoke as universally as the 
men; they use the tiny brass-bowled pipes called 
kiseru ; and it is the custom to place beside every 
guest, male or female, the tabako-mono, or pipe- 
stove, consisting of a bowl of live charcoal, with 
a bamboo vase to knock the ashes into, and a 
drawerful of pipes. It is generally made of 
mahogany, and often carved very handsomely. 
Even the little geisha girl has her pipe and tobacco 
case in the pocket which she makes out of the end 
of the sleeve of the richly flowered silk robes 
which only geishas and actors use. Accomplish- 
ments, such as music, and dancing, and singing, 
and especially the art of conversation, are 
theoretically left entirely to geishas^ though the 
daughters of the nobles are now said to be learn- 
ing them, in order to prevent their husbands going 
in for geisha entertainments, by giving them similar 
attractions at home. Formerly the only kind of 
428 



THE JAPANESE GIRL 

dancing the Japanese had was not dancing from 
our point of view, but elegant and dramatic 
posturing, in which the hand and the sleeve and 
the fan played a great part. 

This kind of dancing was not taught to ordinary- 
girls, but confined to professionals. Now, however, 
the ladies connected with the Court are learning 
to dance in the European way. 

The moosmee is not to be confused with the 
geisha. They have nothing in common except a 
proneness to flirtations, not always of an innocent 
nature. Her costume is gay, because she has not 
lost all the freedom and colour of childhood. But 
her finery is cheap, whereas a geisha will often be 
carrying hundreds of dollars in the decorations of 
her person. You can tell them at a glance by 
their complexions. The geisha's will have the 
fashionable whitening on it, while the moosmee 
will have her own glorious damask complexion. 
To the foreign eye she is infinitely the prettier of 
the two. It is difficult not to pity the little painted, 
powdered geisha, in her robes, as stiff as boards, of 
heavy brocade. 

The moosmee leads a butterfly Hfe without 
losing the national industriousness ; she goes a good 
deal to the fairs and festivals in the temples, which 
are such a feature of Japanese life, either with her 
parents or girls of her own age. Little restriction 
is placed on her flirtations ; she is allowed to enjoy 

429 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

herself as she Ukes. Her ideas of enjoyment are 
simple — to sit in a beautiful tea-house hung with 
brilliant lanterns, enjoying a frugal repast ; to visit 
raree-shows at a fraction of a penny each ; to receive 
little presents of cheap soap and scent and hairpins. 
It is the outing that she likes. It is rather sad to 
contemplate the transformation of this gay kitten, 
any time after she is fifteen years old, into the 
drudging Japanese wife, who until she is old 
enough to have daughters-in-law does nothing 
but wait upon her husband and his belongings. 
But the clouds are breaking on the horizon. The 
author of the latest book on Japan says that the 
increasing demand for female hands in factories 
and cotton-mills (which may be a thing to be de- 
plored) is balanced by the demand for women in 
healthier employments, such as tobacco-shops, 
telephone exchanges, post-offices, railway -ticket 
offices and printing offices, where the girls win the 
same good opinion as they have won in England 
and America for deftness and industry. In hos- 
pitals and schools, too, the Japanese young woman 
is finding her sphere, as well as in artistic and 
literary employments. The naive confession of 
the Japanese, that all this is causing the servant 
question to be a trouble in Japan as elsewhere, 
shows what domestic servitude the Japanese wife 
must have endured. 

Even the Onna Dai Gakku is threatened, that 
430 



THE JAPANESE GIRL 

time - honoured code, whose translation by Mr 
Chamberlain has made so much merriment for 
English readers. " Onna Dai Gakku " means the 
Greater Learning for Women, and it began by 
setting forth the three obediences : that of the 
daughter to the father, that of the wife to her 
husband and the elders of his family, and that of 
the v/idow to her eldest son. There is now a Shin 
Onna Dai Gakku — ' SJiin ' means ' new ' — written 
by the great Fukuzawa, which strikes at the very 
root of Japanese morality, by not allowing the 
mother-in-law to live with the newly - married 
couple. Women are not to imitate men : they 
have their own proper spheres, and are to keep 
to them. They are to have a knowledge of 
cooking, and making the most of money, and of 
managing servants. They are to be instructed 
in the laws of health, and botany is recommended 
as specially suited to the female mind. A woman 
is to have a thoroughly enlightened mind, " instead 
of carrying a dagger in her girdle." 

All this is not law any more than the old Onna 
Dai Gakku was ; it is the opinion of the greatest 
authority. Mr Clement has much more that is 
interesting to say upon the subject ; but although 
he mentions the name of the Crown Princess Sada, 
he does not mention that it is to her and her 
husband that the Japanese wife owes so much. 
The Princess enters the carnage ahead of him when 

431 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

they drive together, and they habitually take their 
meals together — an astounding revolution in Japan. 
The Empress's work on behalf of the members 
of her sex is well known. She is the active 
patroness of the Peeresses' School and the Uni- 
versity for Women. She constantly visits them, and 
uses her enormous influence to enable them to get a 
Western education. This would be a curse instead 
of a blessing if it were not for the greater liberty 
which is accorded to woman under the civil code. 
She is no longer unable to inherit her own property 
in her own name, to be the head of a family, to 
adopt or to be the guardian of her child ; and she 
is no longer obliged to obey the unreasonable 
demands of her husband. 

I have kept to the end, as a kind of bonne 
bouche, the O-Hina, or Honourable Dolls. From 
time to time we have seen in England exquisite 
little dolls dressed up to represent personages of 
the Japanese Court, and exquisite models of 
every article of Japanese furniture used in noble 
Japanese households. Many people know that 
on the third day of the third month they are all 
set out with great pomp on shelves covered with 
scarlet cloth at the O-Hina Matsuri, or Feast 
of Dolls. But not many people know that a 
pair of these images is presented to every girl-child 
at her birth, and that when she is married she takes 
them away uninjured to her new home with her. 
432 



THE JAPANESE GIRL 

At the Feast of Dolls the little girls are allowed 
to prepare elaborate feasts of the real food which 
is represented, and to go through the proper 
ceremonies with their dolls' court; but they do 
not play with the O-Hina, and in fact never see 
them except on the day of the Matswi, and the 
day before and after, for they are put away in the 
godown or storehouse in which the old-fashioned 
Japanese keep their furniture. They keep nothing 
in the house except what is being used for the 
moment. The growing custom of making the 
house a storeroom, like a European house, is con- 
sidered by them to be responsible for the appearance 
of consumption in Japan. 



28 433 



CHAPTER IX 

JAPANESE DO:\IESTIC JOYS FOR ENGLAND 

The introduction of the Japanese moosme into 
the British domestic service might make hfe more 
picturesque, but it would not make it more peace- 
ful. Chief among its drawbacks would come the 
insurmountable objection to the introduction of 
the low-waged Italian maid-servant into England : 
in any household where there were young men 
as tempters the Japanese maiden would exhibit an 
alarming facihty. There have been consular 
reports upon the lack of the paramount virtue in 
Itahan female domestics ; and I have no doubt that 
our consuls in Japan, when upon the subject, could 
make ^Irs Grundy gasp. In European hotels in 
Japan they have men-housemaids ; and as far as 
I remember, in only one hotel for Europeans 
kept by natives were there any women-servants. 
This is most important, because it hmits the supply 
of Japanese girls, who have any notion of what the 
English expect of a housemaid, to a few dozen 
434 



DOMESTIC JOYS FOR ENGLAND 

young women. They have no carpets in Japan in 
native houses, and the Japanese always take off 
their boots before they enter the house, so the 
imported moosnie would not know how to sweep. 
They have no beds. The Japanese lie on a quilt, 
with another quilt over them, and a sort of door- 
scraper under their heads, so she would not know 
how to make a bed. The Japanese have no 
furniture, so the moosmc would be completely 
paralysed by the complexity of the duties of the 
life into \vhich it had pleased Providence to caliber. 
She would not know how to lay or light a fire ; 
the Japanese themselves have nothing but fire- 
boxes of charcoal, which they never allow to go 
quite out. They have no knives and forks in 
Japan ; and as they have no washing-up, and no 
glass, and their teacups have no handles and cost 
next to nothing, there is no saying what might not 
happen in the scullery. 

It may be urged that the Japanese are an adapt- 
able people ; that they can learn anything they set 
their minds to, down to wireless telegraphy and 
submarines. But they can only learn it in their 
own way. It is a cardinal principle of Japanese 
domestic servants that no one is fit to enter the 
honourable profession of being a servant until he or 
she knows what to do without being told. English 
people who have had native servants in Japan 
pronounce the same lot of servants angels or devils 

435 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

according to their ideas of managing a household. 
If they only express in a loose sort of way what 
they wish to be done, and leave the servants to their 
own devices, their wishes are carried out fairly 
well. But if they have an idea that household 
duties should be done in a particular way, they 
declare Japanese servants to be lazy, insubordinate 
fiends. The Japanese regard all foreigners as more 
or less mad. That they can possibly know how 
a thing ought to be done never occurs to the 
Japanese domestic. The Enghsh in Japan have no 
opinion of the Japanese as nurses ; they import their 
amahs from China. But a Japanese wife might 
be a success. Her business is to be the slave 
of her husband and his relations until she is old 
enough to be a mother-in-law. She stays at home 
and looks after the house while the others amuse 
themselves. She is one of those who are blessed 
because they expect nothing. But servants, who 
are higher in rank than shopkeepers, expect a good 
deal. If they go to the theatre or to a picnic with 
the family they expect to take part in the fun. 
They stay in the room while you have visitors or 
are enjoying the family circle, and put their spoke 
into the conversation ; and when they want to leave 
you they do not give notice, but say that their 
parents are dying, and as soon as they are out of 
the house send you a note saying that their health 
will not allow them to return. They are said to be 
436 



DOMESTIC JOYS FOR ENGLAND 

good for an emergency, but self-respecting British 
households do not deal in emergencies. Even the 
Pacific Coast American, desperate with servant- 
hunger, has never ventured on the introduction of 
the Japanese moosme as a partner of her joys and 
sorrows. But the men-housemaids of Japan might 
furnish better ' generals ' than we are accustomed 
to in England. Men-housemaids account for a 
good many of the eighty thousand Japanese who 
are settled in California, and extort such admiration 
by their neatness and handiness. 



437 



CHAPTER X 

A bird's-eye view of japan 

How is it that a small empire like Japan has been 
facing the conflict with gigantic Russia with an 
equanimity which no European nation would have 
shown ? Because she is so self-sacrificing, so self- 
reliant, so self-supporting. The Japanese is the 
most patriotic person in the world. He lives for 
his Emperor and his country. He considers it 
an honour to sacrifice his life, or his future, or his 
family to them. His greatness is shown most in 
defeat. He would starve to death before he gave 
in, and he is not an easy person to starve. For 
his power of doing-without is marvellous, and his 
rano-e of food incredible. The sea- weed to him is 
a sea-vegetable, and every kind of mollusc is a 
variety of oyster. The offal of the sea is like 
Bombay ducks to him. The most curious feature 
about him is, that he is not able to grow enough 
rice for his requirements. It is because Korea is 
his rice-granary that he was willing to fight to the 
438 



A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF JAPAN 

last gasp for Korea. This feature has its explana- 
tion in the geographical conditions of Japan. '^^ As 
I said in Queer Things about Japan, Japan con- 
sists of a large number of islands. There are over 
three thousand, if you count uninhabited rocks. 
The area of the empire, not including Formosa, 
is little less than 150,000 square miles, which 
support about 45,000,000 people, 12,000 towns, 
and nearly 60,000 villages. But these statistics 
mean nothing at all unless you notice how much 
of the population the plains in tlie main island 
absorb. That is practically Japan, and that is 
why she cannot grow her own rice. 

The bulk of the country, like the bulk of 
Sicily, is taken up with mountains, the beggars 
of geography. Japan was designed by nature to 
dominate Northern Asia ; for though her great 
bays on the eastern side, like that of Tokyo, are 
spoilt by shallowness, she has in her inland sea 
the most formidable naval harbour in the world, 
a little IMediterranean, with easily guarded entrances 
and an abundance of safe anchorages, from which 
she can leap out on a foe, choosing her own time. 

She can produce almost everything she wants 
except rice, and, I suppose, the steel of which she 
builds her fleets. Flour, and kerosene and other 
products, which she gets from America, she 
can do without, and would do without. And 
though she has none of the smokeless coal of 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

Cardiff — which we ought to confine to our own 
ships, as one of the most valuable assets in naval 
warfare — she is one of the world's great purveyors 
of coal from her Nagasaki mines. Kiushiu, the 
island on which Nagasaki is situated, the most 
southerly of the great islands, has in its south an 
almost semi-tropical climate. The Hondo or main 
island, which has no name, has a hot and wet 
summer, in which everything that can mildew 
suffers, but a cold winter, relieved by an atmos- 
phere as clear as crystal. Yezo, the large northern 
island, inhabited by the hairy Ainu, suffers a good 
deal from cold, and the Kuriles beyond are 
practically useless. 

The Japanese man is no bigger than the 
European woman, and the Japanese woman 
looks like a European child. But their strength 
and endurance are astonishing. Women coal the 
steamers at Nagasaki, and I have seen two httle 
Japs moving a whole house with rollers and levers. 
Riksha - boys can run thirty miles a day easily, 
and forty at a stretch, with their riksha behind 
them, and be ready to do it again the next day. 
If Japan were invaded they would be at a premium, 
for there are no roads but the main roads and 
r/A'5A«-tracks between the rice-fields. One wonders 
if these WA*,?/; a- tracks form part of the study of 
the ostrich-brain of the German officer. If the 
Japanese army took up its position in the back 
440 



A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF JAPAN 

country its transport could be done by rikslia-raen., 
and the invader could hardly move at all. Not 
that the Japanese transport need amount to much : 
beyond ammunition, their commissariat would be 
very modest. Foreigners know little of the back 
country. Until treaty revision they had some 
difficulty in getting leave to visit it, and it is 
really not worth visiting till you know the great 
cities well. The largest cities are the most typical 
things to visit in the country. You may miss 
certain primeval touches, but it is only where there 
are plenty of people that you can generalise. If 
you go to Japan for six months, you will know 
more about it if you divide your time between 
Tokyo, with occasional visits to Yokohama, and 
Kyoto, with occasional visits to Kobe, than if you 
visited every town and village in Japan. Even 
in Tokyo there are plenty of primitive touches, 
and Kyoto is the most Japanese thing in Japan. 
If you want to see Japan, go to one of the chief 
temples on its festa day. 

Tokyo is a city of contrasts. You have parlia- 
ment and government offices and military head- 
quarters, showing how Dai Nippon has approximated 
to the Great Powers of the West ; but visit the 
parade ground, on which a section of an army 
corps is practising German manoeuvres, and at its 
end you will very likely see a waggon laden with 
sake barrels in matting painted with devils, drawn 

441 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

by coolies in mediaeval hose and doublets, and 
decorated with paper toys fluttering from the 
branches of trees. The INIikado is one of the 
great monarchs of the world, who takes his part in 
the world's councils with a firmness and sagacity 
that would grace any European throne. His 
palace, it is true, is modern, but that is only 
because the palace of the Tokugawas was burnt ; 
it is situated in the castle of Tokyo, one of the 
most extraordinary sur\dvals of the Middle Ages. 
Its area may be measured in square miles. It has 
three moats and three gigantic walls. These walls 
slope outwards like the bows of an ironclad. 
This is to cheat the earthquakes. They are built 
of enormous polygonal pieces of black stone, and 
at intervals they have gates and towers which look 
like houses built on a telescope plan. The outer 
moat is taken into the service of navigation. The 
inner moats are filled with wild-fowl in the winter 
and blossoming lotus in the summer, and the great 
Japanese hawks and crows wheel over them all 
day long. Except round the Mikado's palace 
there is no particular system of guarding, and the 
gnarled Japanese fir-trees crawl over their tops. 
They are in reality a survi^'al of the JMiddle Ages 
— the husk of the marvellous fortress city which 
lyeyasu created with a magician's wand out of 
the marshes of the Sumida at the beginning of the 
seventeenth century. 
442 



A RTRD'S-EYE VIEW OF JAPAN 

But the castle of Tokyo is not its most typical 
part : the Ginza, the broad street which runs for 
miles from the railway station, with its would-be 
European shops ; the Nihombashi, or bridge of 
Japan, with its Venetian water-life Asiaticised ; 
the temple parks of Shiba and Ueno ; the pleasure- 
quarter of the Yoshiwara, and the holiday resorts 
round Asakusa are the most typical things at Tokyo. 
The Asakusa temple on New Year's Day, and 
Ekkoin at a wrestling championship, are wonderful 
studies of Asiatic hfe ; but at Shiba you can get 
something almost as good on any day of the year. 

Shiba is a simply wonderful place. You go 
through a huge scarlet temple-gate and find your- 
self in fairyland, for in the midst of cherry-orchards 
and cryptomerias you come upon temple after 
temple of fantastically carved woodwork, glittering 
with gilt and colour, and surrounded by courtyards 
of stone lanterns. Behind the temples are the 
gold-bronze tombs of the Shoguns ; beyond this 
are the pagoda and the terraced lake, and the 
booths of the Japanese fair. A large Japanese 
temple is almost like a city, so much goes on 
within its precincts, from huge bazaars to humble 
stalls, and juggling and horse-archery, and play big 
Aunt Sally with the Seven Gods of Wealth. The 
Japanese are the most industrious people in the 
world, but they always have time to go to their 
favourite temple on a feast-day ; and though so 

44S 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

poor, they always have money saved to spend on 
their moosmes and their children. 

The service in a Buddhist temple much resembles 
the Roman Catholic service. From a place like 
Shiba you carry away a vision of heavenly beauty, 
of white-robed priests gliding noiselessly over the 
lacquered floors of matchless temples, and fragrant 
incense. These are Buddhist temples, of course. 
Japan has two religions, and most Japanese belong 
to both. During their lives they practise Shinto- 
ism more than Buddhism. But there is little to 
note in the plain wooden temples of Shinto, 
except their faithful adherence to the oldest uncor- 
rupted building forms. The Shintoist has his 
household gods, or Kami, burns a little lamp before 
them, and offers them cakes and sprigs of flower- 
ing trees. Beyond that, if he is faithful to his 
Emperor and honours his ancestors by his mode of 
living, he has little religion, so when he is dying 
he leans more on the comforting creed of the 
liuddhists, and their priests head his solemn funeral 
cortege to the crematorium and the graveyard on 
the green hillside. 

The Japanese cHmate, so bitterly cold and 
draughty in winter, and so hot and steamy in 
summer, is a trying one ; but the Japanese did 
not feel it while they adhered to the native dress of 
layers of kimonos, and the old style of house 
so thoroughly ventilated that charcoal fire-boxes 
444 



A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF JAPAN 

could be used even in their bedrooms with im- 
punity. Coddhng in European clothes and build- 
ing draught-proof houses has greatly injured their 
physique. 

Kyoto is the best place for a bird's-eye view 
of the Jap enjoying himself. Its theatre street 
may not be so well stocked as Osaka's, but its 
temples, — the Gold and Silver Pavilions, with their 
incomparable gardens ; Nishi and Higashi Hong- 
wanji, which rise like hills against the horizon, and 
are cities within the city ; Inari-no-jinja, with its 
mountain of sacred foxes ; Kiyomidzudera, built 
out from the mountainside ; Sanjusanjendo, with 
its thirty-three thousand images ; and the favourite 
Gion temple, are collectively unrivalled in Japan. 
The last is a sort of perennial fair, always fuU of 
holiday-makers. Kyoto is the Paris of Japan. 
Rich Japanese go there to dissipate, and buy choice 
silks and pottery, especially in cherry-blossom time, 
when the Miyako-odori ballet is going on, and the 
sound of revelry never dies down on the hill of 
Maruyama. 

Kyoto is the centre of delightful excursions. 
Within a drive are the Phoenix temples of Biodoin 
and the tea-gardens of Uji the historical ; Nara, 
with its ancient temples and acres of wild azaleas, 
and its thousand-year-old treasury of the JNIikado ; 
the famous rapids of the Katsura-gawa, which both 
the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Connaught 

445 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

thought the best thing in Japan — to shoot; and 
Lake Biwa, which the Japanese have decorated 
Hke a pond in a park, till, in spite of its size, it is 
as perfect in art as it was by nature. 

Fujiyama, the sacred mountain, is the best 
mountain in the world to climb, because you can 
climb it in a chair carried by four stout cooHes, and 
have anything which you wish to use on the top, 
even a bath, carried up for a trifling cost. There is 
a sort of village at the top. 

And soaring Fujiyama, with its pure simple out- 
line, is the emblem of the simple devotion and lofty 
souls of the Japanese. 



446 



CHAPTER XI 

" THE DAllIJNG OF THE GODS " 

The Darling of the Gods fell into the cate- 
gory so neatly defined by the faded poet Cowper, 
" where every prospect pleases." In this play 
only man, with his better-half, woman, was vile. 
And he was by no means uniformly vile. There 
were some admirable performances in the play, in 
spite of the innate difference between East and 
West, which makes it so hard for English-born 
people to flatten their calves and their spirits in 
Japanese squatting and etiquette. 

The scenery for the most part was so Japanese 
that all who had spent long months in that de- 
lightful land, where the ancient world is still alive, 
suffered from heartache. You were in Japan 
from the moment the curtain rose and revealed 
towering over the stage a great Buddha, with the 
peace of God in his benign countenance and 
attitude. Beside him were the isJiidoro, the 
mysterious stone votive lanterns offered by princes 

447 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

to the memory of a greater prince, with no hght 
ever gleaming from their hollow sockets. 

But who has seen a court of lanterns leading 
to the shrines of dead Shoguns at Shiba or Nikko 
without feeling a sense of grace and majesty and 
mystery, indefinable but irresistible ? 

It was a stroke of genius to open under the 
shadow of the great Buddha, surrounded by these 
emblems of death and homage and fidelity. 

In fine contrast was the advent of the Princess 
and her moosmes, with the thin ice of gaiety over 
the black pool of tragedy, which is emblematic of 
woman's lot in Japan. With the exception of the 
dumb man-servant. Miss Lena Ashwell was the 
most Japanese personality in the piece. Gaiety, 
tragedy, and devotion were stamped on her life 
from the outset. But at the same time she was 
often not Japanese at all. One of the most 
repellent features about the Japanese is that they 
have no love-making to tone down the crudeness 
of the relation between the sexes ; and much of 
the charm in Miss Ashwell's acting consists in the 
beauty and good taste of her love-making. It was 
almost a misfortune to have been in Japan and 
know how utterly un-Japanese was that display of 
the sunny generosity of her nature which warmed 
the whole house as well as the heart of the out- 
lawed prince. 

But it had its redeeming features, for the distress 
448 



" THE DARLING OF THE GODS " 

of the dumb man-servant at the falling away of 
the Prince and Princess from the stern Japanese 
code was Japanese to the core, and the finest 
thing in the piece. That servant was admirable : 
he looked like a Japanese, moved like a Japanese, 
thought like a Japanese, and breathed like a 
Japanese, which means a great deal to those Avho 
have been to Japan and know how breathing ex- 
presses the grades of respect. Next best to him 
really came the Prince of Tosan, the daimio 
whose life had been saved by the outlaw. He, too, 
was admirable : his beard seemed to grow from a 
Japanese chin ; he was the hving image of one of 
the thirty-six poets, w^hose portrait I have carved 
upon the ivory netsuke of an old-world ladies' 
tobacco-pouch. His dignity, his patient courtesy, 
his clinging to the high quixotic code of Japanese 
honour and etiquette, were real art, truthful and 
unexacrgerated. He was an Asiatic. 

The fault of the piece, from the Japanese point 
of view, was the introduction of comedy. The 
situation was the very antipodes of comedy to the 
Japanese mind. They do not play with honour, 
do not jest over it. To them such a situation 
would be desperately tragic. Before this war is 
finished the people will understand that the days 
of knights are not over in Japan ; that there could 
very well be a King Arthur there to-day ; that 
knight-errantry actually exists now. The Japanese 

29 449 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

has his faults ; he is unsatisfactory in commerce, he 
is arrogant, he has been ruthless, but he is what 
Chaucer would call " a very perfect gentle knight," 
and the piece was founded upon incidents which 
belong properly to one of the old knightly plays 
of Japan. 

Japanese plays are divided into comedies and 
histories. They throw a new light upon the old 
saw, " Happy is the nation that has no history," for 
tradition forces tlie Japanese playwTight to make 
every history a tragedy. It is recorded of the 
younger Pitt, that when he was a boy of twelve, 
I think, he wrote a play in which the love interest 
was replaced by politics. In Japanese plays flirta- 
tion is replaced by imperialism or filial piety. 

This salient fact was altogether lost sight of in 
The T)arVmg of the Gods. But I do not say 
that its general charm as a play was diminished by 
the frank intention to write an English play with 
Japanese scenery. All the purely Japanese plays I 
have seen in Japan were immoderately dull. It 
was much better for Mr David Belasco and Mr 
John Luther Long to give a play prepared for 
Western consumption like Pierre Loti's novel 
Madame Chi'ysantheme, which the Japanese them- 
selves consider to give the atmosphere of Japan, 
although it is inaccurate in almost every detail. 

Jlie Darling of the Gods had much of the charm 
and the atmosphere of Madame Chrysanthevie. It 
450 



"THE DARLING OF THE GODS" 

carried you straight back to Japan. You forgot 
that the actors and actresses were cutting small 
jokes which no Japanese mind could ever have 
conceived. You forgot that INIiss Ashwell was 
making love with an audacious charm which no 
Japanese woman could ever have rivalled ; you 
forgot that INIr Tree, so typically Japanese in 
appearance and tricks, had the inind of a Borgia 
cardinal. He showed his finish as an actor by the 
accuracy with which he had acquired Japanese 
habits and gestures, but the part provided for him 
by the playwright was hopelessly un-Japanese. 

Mr Tree had taken the putting on of this play in 
the riglit spirit. He had provided scenery which 
in nearly every case was so Japanese that you 
thought yourself back in Japan, and he had taken 
extraordinary pains in salting the performance with 
the queer things about Japanese habits. It is a 
wonderful picture of Japan. It would have been 
still more wonderful if he could have knocked 
the conceit out of his minor actors and actresses, 
and made them try to reproduce Japanese effects 
faithfully and soberly. INIiss Ashwell did run like 
a Japanese and squat like a Japanese, but the 
supers went in for pantomime. They ran not 
because a Japanese ser^'ant runs, but to make the 
audience laugh. If they were not intended for 
servants, but for ladies-in-waiting, it was so much 
the worse. 

451 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

One cannot help feeling a little ungracious in 
picking faults, for the general effect was so very fine ; 
the view into the garden of the yashiki or palace 
of the Prince of Tozan was such as one might meet 
in driving down from Kyoto to the palace at Nara, 
which has been the treasure-house of the Mikado 
for a thousand years. The great state-hall of the 
Prince during the night of the Feast of a Thousand 
Welcomes was like standing in a temple at Nikko, 
looking out on the procession of the Toshogu, or 
at the revelry which fills the hill of IMaruyama in 
cherry-blossom time. The only thing you doubted 
^was if any daimio had ever so stately a pleasure- 
hall. Certainly there was none in the castle of Nijo, 
built by the mighty lyeyasu to hold himself and 
his train of daiviios when he rode down from 
Tokyo to Kyoto to visit his puppet master the 
Mikado. It was wonderfully done, this semblance 
of the pomp of lacquered woodwork, and the 
glimpses of the Feast of Lanterns had the en- 
chantment of the Arabian Nights. 

Only those who had been to Japan could grasp 
to the full the trouble Mr Tree had taken to make 
his actors act like Japanese. It is typical that there 
should be nothing for a visitor to squat down 
on till the futon were fetched from a storeroom. 
It was typical that a tobacco-tray (even if live 
charcoal was simulated with methylated spirit) 
should have been brought in with the cushions ; 
452 



"THE DARLING OF THE GODS" 

that the moosmes should have had pipes up their 
sleeves ; that the outlaw should have written a 
letter on a roll of whity-brown paper held in the 
hollow of his hand, while his servant handed him 
a full paint-brush as soon as he had emptied the 
other, as our King is automatically provided with 
loaded guns to hold his own against the big 
battalions of pheasants. The Japanese banquet 
was a masterpiece, and here, without doubt, JVIr 
Tree himself " took the cake." His imitation of a 
Japanese feeding was wonderful, and the whole 
thing was just what one remembered of banquets 
in the Maple Club at Tokyo. 

The smaller of the two geishas, with her stiff 
mediaeval whisk of hair, was Japanese to the hfe. 
She might have been stolen from a kakemor.o. 
The chief geisha, up to a certain point, was 
admirable ; though her face was not whitened 
enough, she had caught the puppet appearance of 
the geisha very accurately, except that she wore 
her obi in front and talked about herself as if she 
were a yoro, a professional woman of pleasure, 
not a geisha. The geisha, though often no better 
than they should be, are never professionally bad, 
and the wearing of the ohi in front is a professional 
badge. It was pleasant to turn from this libel 
on a witty, hard-working, and deservedly popular 
class, to the study of Kara the outlaw, by Mr 
Basil Gill. To please a Western audience, he had 

453 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

to make certain sacrifices, but his performance 
of a Japanese warrior was very fine. He showed 
the proper dignity and reserve ; and while he was 
resisting the advances of the princess, he was 
typically Japanese, as he was in his make-up. His 
ten swordsmen, too, were splendidly Japanese. 
One felt as if the present crisis had made them 
throw into their parts an inspiration of the old 
samurai spirit. Doubtless the Russians, long ere 
this, have learnt the extraordinary code of knight- 
errantry which inspires the humblest samurai. 
Tlie last scene would have been extremely affecting 
if the statue of Kwannon Sama, the Goddess of 
Mercy, had not been so hopelessly unsuitable. 
The. incongruity was even greater in the scene of 
the old sword-room in the palace of Sakuti, which 
was much more Chinese than Japanese in feeling, 
as also was the situation embraced. In marked 
contrast to that were the scenes giving the exterior 
and the interior of Yosan's apartments. In the 
former the creeper-covered trellis was almost the 
only discordant note which made the verandah 
un-Japanese. But the crawling of the spies and 
the dumb man-servant made one shudder with 
its suggestiveness of Oriental treachery and 
cunning ; and the swift stabbing of the spy, and 
the throwing of his body into the river, was the 
chef-cToeuvre of the piece. The interior of the 
princess's apartment in the next scene was as 
454 



"THE DARLING OF THE GODS" 

Japanese as stage requirements would permit, and 
the view when the shoji were pushed back very- 
natural. 

In Japaneseness the play was a great advance 
on anything we have yet had. It was a real 
attempt to portray Japanese habits, and some 
consideration was shown to Japanese modes of 
thought. Perhaps some day we shall have a 
Japanese play that really is Japanese in feeling; 
and if any actor-manager wishes to know where 
to find it, he has only to take the volume of 
Japanese stories published by his Excellency the 
Japanese Minister a few months ago. There is 
a story there which in the hands of a competent 
playwright would be pitiful enough to reduce an 
English audience to tears, and yet give only that 
side of love to which the Japanese restrict them- 
selves. 



455 



APPENDIX 
THE YOSHIAVARA FROM WITHIN 



30 



To hack on p. 458. 




A lady of the 



To hack on p. 459. 




Yoshiwara. 



THE YOSHIWARA FROM WITHIN 

In my other books on Japan I have desired to- 
describe the interesting phenomena incorrectly 
known by foreigners as Yoshiwara. Want of 
famiharity with the subject deterred me, but I 
have recently come across a Japanese book giving 
details of the Yoshiwara from within, and this I 
have supplemented by comparing it with the 
materials collected by Mr Chamberlain and Mr 
Osman Edwards, and by Mr Delmar's courage- 
ously frank disclosures on the subject. Mr Basil 
Hall Chamberlain, in his Things Japanese, the 
most useful book ever written about Japan, 
says : — 

"When the city of Yedo suddenly rose into 
splendour at the beginning of the seventeenth 
century, people of all classes and from all parts 
of the country flocked thither to try their fortune. 
The courtesans were not behindhand. From 
Kyoto, from Nara, from Fushimi they arrived — 
so the native authorities tell us — in little parties 

459 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

of three and four. But a band of some twenty 
or thirty from the toA\Ti of Moto-Yoshiwara, on 
the Tokaido, were either the most numerous or the 
most beautiful, and so the district of Yedo where 
they took up their abode came to be called the 
Yoshiwara.^ At first there was no official super- 
vision of these frail ladies. They were free to ply 
their trade wherever they chose. But in the year 
1617, on the representations of a reformer named 
Shoshi Jin-emon, the city in general was purified, 
and all the libertinism in it — permitted, but 
regulated — was banished to one special quarter 
near Nihon-bashi, to which the name of Yoshiwara 
attached itself. Later on, in a.d. 1656, when the 
city had grown larger, and Nihon-bashi had become 
its centre, the authorities caused the houses in 
question to be removed to their present site on 
the northern limit of Yedo, whence the name of 
Shin {i.e. New) Yoshiwara, by which the place 
is currently known. Foreigners often speak of 
'a Yoshiwara,' as if the word were a generic 
term. It is not so. The quarters of similar 
character in the other cities of Japan are never 

1 The weight of authority is in favour of this origin of the 
name. According to others, the etymology is yoshi, a reed, 
and hara, a moor, and the designation of "reedy moor" would 
have been given to the locality on account of its aspect before 
it was built over. There is another Chinese character, yoshi, 
meaning "good" or "lucky," and with this the first two syllables 
of the name are now usually written. 
460 



THE YOSHIWARA FROM WITHIN 

so called by the Japanese themselves. Such words 
as ijiijoba and huruwa are used to designate them. 
Japanese literature is full of romantic stories in 
which the Yoshiwara plays a part. Generally the 
heroine has found her way there in obedience to 
the dictates of filial piety, in order to support her 
aged parents, or else she is kidnapped by some 
ruffian, who basely sells her for his own profit. 
The story often ends by the girl emerging from a 
life of shame with at least her heart untainted, and 
by all the good people living happily ever after. 
It is to be feared that real Ufe witnesses but 
few such fortunate cases, though it is probably 
true that the fallen women of Japan are, as a class, 
less vicious than their representatives in Western 
lands— less drunken, less foul-mouthed. On the 
other hand, a Japanese proverb says that a truthful 
courtesan is as great a miracle as a square ^^^g. In 
former times girls could be, and were, regularly and 
legally sold into debauchery at the Yoshiwara in 
Yedo, and at its counterparts throughout the land 
—a state of things which the present enlightened 
government has hastened to reform. When we add 
that a weekly medical inspection of the inmates of 
all such places was introduced in 1874, in imitation 
of European ways, that each house and each 
separate inmate of each house is heavily taxed, 
that there is severe police control over all, and that, 
since 1888, the idea has been mooted of doing 

461 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

away with licensed prostitution altogether — a plan 
eagerly advocated by zealous Christian neophytes, 
but frowned on by the doctors — we have mentioned 
all that need here be said on a subject which could 
only be fully discussed in the pages of a medical 
work." 

To show the callous, matter-of-course way in 
which the Japanese themselves regard the question 
of harlots and harlot-quarters, I have only to quote 
from a curious book printed in English, Japanese, 
and Chinese, entitled Picto?ial Description of the 
Famous Places in Tokyo. Biographies "of some 
of the most eminent persons in Tokyo" are included, 
all of them without exception popular harlots. The 
English version by Mr G. Takahashi is naive in the 
extreme. He writes, for instance, of the Tori- 
No-Ichi (Cock Market) :— 

" The Tori-no-Matsuri, or Fete of the Cock, is 
celebrated on the cock days in November, some- 
times twice and sometimes thrice, according to the 
number of cock days happening to be in the same 

month As a rule, on those fete days all 

the prostitute-quarters open every gate and receive 
the visitors, who also seize the occasion to see their 
loving objects — beautifully dressed harlots." He 
describes the comic dance in the Yoshiwara known 
as the Niwaka, as if it were one of the great insti- 
tutions of Tokyo. 



462 



THE YOSHIWARA FROM WITHIN 



COMIC DANCE IN YOSHIWAllA. 

" In Yoshiwara there are three festivals, namely, 
the show cf cherry-blossoms in March, the Feast of 
Lanterns in July, and the comic dance called Ni- 
waka in September. This last-named farce was first 
performed at the Fete of the God Inari, in some 
years of Kyoho, so it is said. On the occasion, the 
professional buffoons belonging t(^ the infamous 
quarter, as well as the singing and dancing girls, all 
in disguise, perform the low comedy, usually men in 
women's and women in men's dress. Besides, some 
ten or twenty singing-girls, wearing men's clothes, 
draw a gigantic lion-head made of wood, unitedly 
singing barbarous songs, accompanied with strange 
music. These are old-standing odd customs. At 
this time they make their garments as beautiful 
and costly as possible, it being a matter of emula- 
tion among them. This picture will give you some 
idea of the above-described farce." And in his 
description of the Feast of Lanterns at the Yoshi- 
wara lie bears unconscious testimony to the strength 
of its position among the people. 

THE FEAST OF LANTERNS AT THE YOSHIWARA. 

" In Yoshiwara, in the first month of autumn, 
the Feast of Lanterns is celebrated yearly. The 
origin of the festival is ascribed to the untimely 

463 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

death of a flourishing harlot, by the name of Tama- 
giku, in a former time. As she died suddenly 
in the midst of her prosperity, the whole quarter 
wherein she dwelt while living lamented over the 
loss of her, and every house hanged out a lantern, 
upon which a kind of elegy was written for her, in 
order to console the dead spirit of her. This being 
the origin of the celebration, it has now lost the 
mournful nature entirely, and taken a licentious 
character, and is celebrated yearly to attract 
visitors." 

How popular the Yoshiwara is, and how ordinary 
a subject to contemplate in the minds of the 
Japanese, is shown also by — 

CHERRY-BLOSSOMS IN YOSHIWARA. 

" In Yoshiwara, cherry-trees loaded with blos- 
soms are planted in April every year, on both 
sides of the main street. This was first done 
in some year of Kyampo (1741-8). When they 
are in full bloom, all the houses there are adorned 
with curtains of brilliant colours in the day-time, 
and at night they are lighted by numerous bright 
lanterns, in order to add artificial to natural beauty. 
This is one of the four festivals in Yoshiwara, 
described in another place. 

"To say the truth, all this is done to attract 
visitors, as that Feast of Lanterns I have explained 
in another place." 
464 



THE YOSHIWARA FROM WITHIN 

Only once in the book does Mr Takahaslii's 
version express anything which could be construed 
into disapproval of the Yoshiwara and its works, 
and that is when he is describing the temple of 
Nazugongen in the Ueno Park at Tokyo. " But 
alas, after the Restoration, a prostitute -quarter 
arose near the temple, and the sounds of songs and 
music coming from these brothels echo in the still 
remaining trees of the temple groves." He is too 
obviously laughing up his sleeve in the concluding 
sentences of the Hare-Day- Worship : — " On the 
road to it there is a grand restaurant called 
Hashimoto-Ro, to which the rich worshippers, on 
their way back home, resort with their mistresses 
or intimate singing-girls, to drink and have sweet 
talks. Such is the condition of most of the wor- 
shippers of heathen gods." 

His description of the Shinagawa-Ro in the 
Yoshiwara is his ordinary vein: — 

SHINAGAWA-RO IN YOSHIWARA. 

" Among the prostitute-quarters in and near 
Tokyo, Yoshiwara is the most noted and prosper- 
ing. It contains about a hundred brothels, of 
several degrees, among which there are five grand 
brothels, one of which is called the Shinagawa-Ro. 
Those brothels have recently emulated with each 
other in building new houses ; and this Shmagawa- 
Ro is the first, both in the date of building and 

465 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

in beauty of its architecture. The house is three- 
storied, and excellently well furnished, many strange 
and precious woods being used in the fixings. It 
is said that this brothel differs from all others 
in the treatment of the visitors, and acts in a 
quite independent manner in some other respects 
also." 

His biographies of the popular Yoshiwara 
women bear out what has been said about their 
gentle manners and the praiseworthy motives 
which lead many of them to adopt the profession, 
which remind us of the proneness of the English 
unfortunate to assert that she is the daughter of 
a clergyman. 

SHIRATSUYU OF THE INAMOTO-KO. 

"Shiratsuyu {lit. White Dew) of the Inamoto-Ro, 
though not so beautiful, is very lovely. She was 
born in Saikyo ; her family name is Qamamoto, 
and her real name O-fusa. She lost her father 
while very young, and was brought up by a man 
who married her mother after her husband's death. 
This man was very cruel, and treated her and 
her mother with utmost severity. But she, 
serving him with patience, forbore all the bitter- 
ness, and comforted and encouraged her mother 
with hopeful words. For some reason or other, 
however, she and her mother removed to Tokyo 
afterward ; and as they had no resources, she 
466 



THE YOSHIWARA FROM WITHIN 

became a singing-girl to support her mother and 
herself. But soon her mother fell sick, and trouble 
upon trouble oppressed her ; so that the obedient 
and lovely girl at last sunk into the mud, and 
became a harlot in the Inamoto-Ro in Yoshiwara. 
This last blow was given her seven years ago. 
She was morally dead, much against her will. 
Since that time she was generally called Shiratsuyu. 
But as she was very clever and of kind disposition 
all her mates honoured her, and she was made chief 
harlot in that establishment ; for she was not only 
kind to her mates, but very sincere in the treat- 
ment of her visitors. This won her quite a name. 

" She was very modest in all her dealings, so 
that neither remarkable conducts nor ugly be- 
haviours were reported of her. Many, supposing 
that she would not remain long in the profession, 
interrogated her on this subject ; but she always 
answered in the same language, that as she had 
once become a harlot, she had no hope of be- 
coming the wife of a good or rich man ; and that, 
as it is very difficult to find a man of deep love, 
to whom she would be willing to entrust her 
person, she would rather await the coming of the 
true Saviour of her soul ; so saying, she wept 
deeply. Indeed the — by her so long waited for — 
Saviour came to her, and she was taken to the 
Western Paradise in the beginning of this year, 
regretted by all who knew her." 

467 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

SHIZUNAMI OF THE DAIMONJI YA. 

"Shizunami (Calm Sea) is a harlot in the 
Daimonji of the Yedo ward in Yoshiwara. Her 
father was a samurai, belonging to the Tokugawa 
Shogunate, and in the time of the Revolution 
fought the famous battle upon the Ueno hill for 
his lord. But as his party was defeated, he fled 
into Shizuoka, where the last Shogun is now 
residing ; and passing some time there, he returned 
to Tokyo after the Restoration. Then he became 
a merchant and opened a shop in Hongo, but 
his want of experience soon made him bankrupt. 
This sad event was followed by a severe disease. 
He was now unable to support his family. 

"At this time, seeing her family suffer from 
poverty, this poor Shizunami, his daughter — then 
still young — was greatly troubled, and determining 
to sacrifice herself for the good of her family, 
went to Yoshiwara, to do the profession of a harlot. 
How was it that such a woman of fihal piety as 
she should have been so unfortunate as to become 
a harlot? She is very beautiful; two crescent 
moons represent her eyebrows, while two bright 
stars shine under them. She is loved by all 
those who visit her on account of her tenderness 
and sincerity. She never forgets her parents, 
always doing them good." 



468 



THE YOSHIWARA FROM WITHIN 

MURASAKI OF THE KOZEN-RO. 

" Murasaki is a harlot in the Kozen-Ro, one of 
the five great brothels in Yoshiwara. She was 
born in Yokohama : her mother and brother 
treated her cruelly, though she was very obedient ; 
and pressed by poverty, they sold her to become a 
harlot. She does not learn to practise the harlotry 
of art ; her behaviour is simple, and like that of 
a daughter of a good family. The writer of the 
Azuma Shinshi (a periodical magazine) once wrote 
a brief sketch of her biography in his paper. 
After that, one of her visitors spoke to her of 
what was said in that magazine, and asked her 
whether she was really so unfortunate as that ; to 
which question she replied thus : — ' I do not say 
that it is all false, but I think it very deplorable 
that such a thing has ever been written, for it has 
brought the cruelty of my dear mother and brother 
into light.' 

" In fact, she defiled her body but not her heart ; 
so that it was with justice that she was once 
described by the same writer as a ' lotus in the 
mud,' which gives a pure and elegant flower, 
undefiled by the mud." 

Mr Takahashi seems to gauge the prosperity of 
a place by the number of its houses of ill-fame. 
He describes Shinagawa thus, for instance : — " The 
town of Shinagawa stands on the high shore of 

469 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

the Tokyo bay, almost adjoining the city of Tokyo. 
As the position is very high, it has a commanding 
view. Formerly the town was very prosperous, 
and brothels or prostitute-houses of all degrees, as 
well as various kinds of restaurants, stood in rows, 
every one of which was always full, both day and 
night. In prosperity it rivalled with Yoshiwara 
then. But after the recent Revolution it has 
undergone a total change — change, it might be 
said, for the better : still it possesses some sixty or 
seventy brothel-houses, and seven or eight hundred 
prostitutes. Thus in prosperity it stands below 
Yoshiwara and Nezu, but in scenery it surpasses 
these and any others, because nature does not 
change as the works of men do." 

" Yanagibashi has for a long time been the first 
geisha quarter (quarter where singing-girls keep 
their houses) in Yedo ; but after the Restoration 
a like quarter at Shinbashi got the ascendency, 
and the former is now almost unable to compete 
with the latter. But judging from the preservation 
of the true old characteristics of that profession, 
Yanagibashi stands several degrees above Shinbashi. 
Nor is this all. As to the restaurants, the former 
almost eclipses the latter by its grand and fine 
buildings standing on the edge of the beautiful 
stream of the Sumida, which gives to them in- 
comparable grace and elegance. As for the love- 
affairs so common there, there are among them 
470 



THE YOSHIWARA FROM WITHIN 

many worthy of relating ; but as they have already 
been described by several able pens, we will not 
mention any here." 

It must be remembered that these quotations 
did not come from a book written upon the 
Yoshiwara, but that they constitute about one-half 
of the letterpress of an illustrated guide-book to 
the most celebrated places and personages of Tokyo. 
Tokyo leaves Paris far behind. 

I must now quote the evidence of INIr Delmar, 
who has the very great merit of attempting to set 
forth absolutely what he saw in Japan, without 
fear or favour. He is, in my opinion, sometimes 
unnecessarily severe, and not infrequently mis- 
guided in the views he takes, being influenced in 
this direction by his view that most other travel- 
lers have seen everything through rose-coloured 
spectacles : — 

" The ' social evil ' does not force itself upon the 
notice of travellers in Japan as it does upon visitors 
to European cities, and it is not surprising that 
many ladies have formed the opinion that the 
immorality of the Japanese has been grossly 
exaggerated. Most European men who go to 
Tokyo are familiar with the Yoshiwara, and some 
European ladies have been to see it. An hour's 
drive from the hotel brings you to its gates, and 
a couple of hours' stroll through its crowded streets 
will suffice to gather a clear idea of the externals 

471 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

of this peculiar institution. With the exception 
of a few of the best joroya, where the pubHc 
exhibition of the inmates has been abandoned, 
each house has a show-window similar to those 
of the great shops in European cities. The side 
open to the street has perpendicular bars of iron 
or wood about six inches apart, and in a fevr the 
spaces between the bars are filled with panes 
of glass. At the back is a screen, varying in 
splendour according to the means of the house, 
but generally blazing with gilt, and sometimes 
made of valuable gold-lacquer. In front of the 
screen the inmates sit or kneel on little cushions, 
with tiny lacquer tables before them, engaged 
generally in smoking, but at times applying a 
finishing touch to the la^dsh make-up mth which 
their faces are covered. As far as can be seen 
through this mask of cosmetics, some few of these 
girls are rather pretty, but the majority are simply 
plain, if not ugly. In the better class of houses 
the costumes of the joi'O are of a richness and 
brilliancy seen nowhere else in Japan except at 
the theatres, and strongly contrasting with the 
dull neutral tints seen elsewhere. In this gorgeous 
array they sit absorbed in their trivial occupations, 
with apparent indifference to the inspections of 
the passers-by, or as to whether a favourable eye 
will rest on one of them, and lead to her being 
called from the show-window to the interior. In 
472 



i 



THE YOSHIWAKA FROM WITHIN 

the more democratic houses the girls will throng 
to the front, sohcit the promenaders, and indulge 
in coarse jests and ribald conversation with them. 
Although one sees children brought as visitors 
to the Yoshiwara, and it is said to be " a favourite 
promenade" for respectable women, I doubt if 
decent Japanese women come very often, as tlie 
joro suspect such as do come there to be looking 
for missing husbands or lovers ; and they are apt 
to show their resentment, for what they imagine 
may be unlicensed and unfair competition, oy 
shouting insulting remarks. Nor will these remarks 
necessarily be in Japanese, for some of the joro 
have a sufficient smattering of a European tongue, 
usually English, and those who have the greatest 
command of the language may astonish you w^ith 
the information that they acquired it at a mission- 
ary school. If some of the lady missionaries, 
whose efforts have been directed to teaching 
English to Japanese girls of the poorer classes, 
Avould interview the English-speaking inmates of 
the Yoshiwara of Tokyo and the cho of other big 
cities, they would either discover many scholars 
from the missionary schools, or would find out 
why the joro represent themselves as ha^'ing 
received instruction there. This is no reflection 
on the missionaries, as it is impossible for them 
to fathom the reasons which may induce the send- 
ing of a crirl to their schools; but similar results 

31 473 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

followed the founding of a girls' school in Siam, 
where, owing to the habits of cleanliness taught 
by Europeans, and the consequent freedom of 
the girls from certain diseases, they were eagerly 
sought for by rich men as mistresses. One joro, 
living in Yokohama under a three years' agree- 
ment, told me that she had learned, at the same 
school where she had acquired her English, of the 
better treatment of women in Europe, and the 
superior position they occupy in their relations 
with men, so that her ambition was not to marry 
a rich Japanese, but to become the mistress of a 
rich European." 

" The 707^0, who is no longer in law a slave, is 
the one whose earnings are a source of profit to 
the hcensing authorities. What these earnings 
are may be judged by the established tariff of the 
various houses {joroya) in the fashionable Shin- 
Yoshiwara of Tokyo. This ranges from thirty 
sen (seven and a half pence) in the poorer joroya 
to three yen (six shillings) in the best ones. Half 
of the joi'o's earnings go for board, fifteen per cent, 
toward paying off the loan to her father, husband, 
or guardian, for which she is the pledge ; seven 
per cent, is estimated for taxes ; and out of the 
remaining twenty-eight per cent, expensive clothes 
and various luxuries must be bought. In the old 
days the girls were sold outright at a tender age 
to be brought up to their 'profession.' In 1872 
474 



THE YOSHIWARA FROM WITHIN 

they were emancipated, and a system of mort- 
gaging them instituted, which accomphshes the 
same ends as the previous slavery. Until the 
debt is paid, they may never leave the prostitute- 
quarters. A death or other important family 
event may procure a few days' leave. An un- 
satisfactory report from the doctor by whom she 
is examined weekly at the police-station may 
lead to her seclusion in the Lock Hospital. 
Serious illness of any kind may cause her to be 
sent to the general hospital. But with these 
exceptions, nothing but money or death accom- 
phshes a release. Some few are freed by rich 
lovers, some manage to save enough from the 
rapacity of the brothel-keepers to free themselves, 
but more obtain release by suicide, which most 
frequently takes the form of joshi or shinju, the 
double suicide of the joro and the financially ruined 
lover. The keepers are bound by various stringent 
regulations, most of which they habitually trans- 
gress. They must not sohcit passers-by, but 
many of them do so nightly. They must not 
tip Ji7iriksha-men, but most of them do. They 
must not advertise, but their cards are to be found 
in the sitting-rooms of the leading hotels." 

The laws protecting the joro are equally violated 
or evaded, and they are cheated and swindled with- 
out end. The minimum age at which girls are 
Ucensed as joro is fixed at fifteen years, a limit 

475 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

which is certainly not strictly held to. The 
keeper's profits are enlarged in another direction, 
by the sale of food, drink, and tobacco to his 
clients ; and each client is expected to spend on 
these luxuries and on tips to the servants at least 
twice as much as goes to the joro. In the joroya 
frequented by Europeans an additional charge is 
exacted for a room furnished in European style, 
and the tariff for the same joro who may be visited 
in a Japanese room for three yen might be, if seen 
in the European room, as much as ten yen. In 
some cases young women let themselves out to 
joroya for a period, which, by law, is limited to 
three years. Starting without any debt to work 
off, such of these as remain out of debt occupy a 
better position than their more unfortunate sisters. 
Every city has its prostitute-quarter {cho), and what 
is called in Tokyo the Yoshiwara may be known 
in other towns as yujoba or kuruwa, or by some 
name indicative of its locality. The Joro is also 
called yujo or asobime, and is known by a score 
of euphemisms. The great objection to this system 
of state regulation of prostitution is that it does not 
seem in any way to diminish the number outside 
its scope, except in the street- walking class. It is 
true that there are laws against secret prostitution, 
and trivial penalties for their infringement ; but 
almost every district has its local name for secret 
prostitutes, ranging from goke (widow) and kusa- 
476 



THE YOSHIWARA FROM WITHIN 

mochi (rice-bread), to jigoku-onna (hell-woman) ; 
and almost every inn has its meshi-mori, who are 
prostitutes as well as servants. The secrecy only 
means that they are unlicensed, and so escape 
taxation. In other respects there is not only no 
secrecy but no concealment, and nothing surrepti- 
tious. The liberties you may be permitted to take 
with even a vieshi-mori are limited to the caresses 
which may be prompted by the half-disclosed 
bosom in the loosely-folded kimono, unless or 
until an arrangement has been come to with the 
proprietor of the inn, who is entitled to appropriate 
whatever remuneration is given for the services of 
his domestic. 

The statistics collected by Mr Osman Edwards 
in his admirable Japanese Plays and Playfellows 
(Heinemann) should be compared with those of 
Mr Delmar; and Mr Edwards' account of the 
subterfuges by which he obtained his information 
are as amusing as his speeches, wliich is saying a 
good deal, as he is one of the best speakers in 
London : — 

" To their credit or discredit, be it said, none of 
my Tokyo friends cared to visit the Shin-Yoshiwara 
ill the company of an alien. They were not 
exactly hindered by moral scruples, but rather by 
a disinclination to disclose the seamy side of their 
fellow-countrymen to censorious eyes. They 
professed ignorance, and changed the subject to 

477 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

railways or ironclads. However, one eAxning T 
met by chance the secretary of a famous lawyer 
politician, who was taking a country cousin to see 
the sights of the capital ; and as he obligingly 
invited me to join the party, we made our way 
together through the maze of variety-shows and 
toy-shops which surround the Temple of Kwannon 
at Asakusa, until we reached the high embank- 
ment of Nihontsutsumi. 

" We traversed Gojikken-machi, the street of 
fifty tea-houses, leading to the ponderous gate, 
where tv.^o dapper policemen, neatly gloved and 
sworded, kept watch and ward. Now we are 
between handsome edifices, four storeys high, 
adorned with balconies and electric light, in the 
broad central Naka-no-cho, which three narrow 
turnings intersect on either side, containing shops 
of less imposing dimensions. The upper storeys 
tell no tales, though their paper-panelled shutters 
give twinkling and tinkling signs of revelry. On 
the ground floor is an unbroken series of shop- 
windows, not fronted with plate-glass as in 
Piccadilly, nor open to the street as in the Ginza, 
but palisaded with wooden bars from three to 
seven inches wide. And behind the bars, on silk 
or velvet cushions, against a gaudy background of 
draped mirrors and ornamental woodwork, sit the 
wares — a row of powdered, painted, exquisitely 
upholstered victims. Most of them look happy 
478 



THE YOSHIWARA FROM WITHIN 

enough as they chatter or smoke, or run laughing 
to the barrier to greet a passing acquaintance, but 
I know what heroic endurance is masked by a 
Japanese smile, and the sight of caged women turns 
me sick. Then I reflect that Western sentiment, 
however justified by inherited ethics, is scarcely 
the best auxiliary of fair judgment ; so, striving to 
convert my conscience to a camera, I follow my 
companions through the strange avenue of animated 
dolls. It was easy to believe that the inmates of 
the best houses were socially superior to the rest, 
for those whom I saw had gentle, refined faces, and 
did not raise their eyes from book or embroidery. 

" The least expensive dolls' houses — they were of 
four grades — were decorated in execrable taste, and 
the Circes who cried or beckoned from their red- 
and-gilt dens had harsh voices and were of ungainly 
build. But between these extremes were some 
groups of prettily dressed exhibits, whose rich yet 
sober colouring harmonised admirably with the 
vision of whatever artist had been invited to 
decorate their showroom. There was the house of 
the Well of the Long Blooming Flowers, which 
should have been isolated, for sheer loveliness, from 
its flaunting neighbours. Behind the motionless 
houri, whose bright black tresses and mauve 
kimono were starred with white flowers, ran a riot 
of branch and blossom on wall and screen. Had 
Mohammed been Japanese, here was a tableau to 

479 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

win believers with the lure of a sensual paradise, 
but for the fact that, having realised so material a 
heaven on earth, the most inquisitive nation in the 
world would have demanded less familiar felicity. 

" We have been tramping and gazing for more 
than an hour at nearly two thousand replicas of 
the same figure, watching its movements and con- 
jecturing its feelings. The cages were beginning 
to empty, as the more attractive centrepieces 
found purchasers. I detected a certain impatience 
in my companions' bearing, and I was on the point 
of taking leave of them when the secretary sug- 
gested that if I would like to enter the Dragon- 
house and take notes of the interior, he would 
explain my mission to the proprietor. It was need- 
ful to release three damsels from the public gaze if 
we would enter, and this we cheerfully did, bidding 
Young Bamboo, Golden Harp, and River of Song 
escape to their chambers. Then, leaving our shoes 
in charge of bowing attendants, we climbed to the 
first floor and began the evening with a mild tea- 
party. The Skinzo, in black dresses, brought in 
lacquer trays, on which were scarlet bowls contain- 
ing eggs, fish, soup, and other delicacies. Sake 
flowed more copiously than tea. I was sorry to hear 
that the old-time processions were falling into dis- 
use, and, though not yet abandoned entirely, were 
losing their antique splendour. The tahju, too, was 
a thing of the past. The aureole of combs, the 
480 



THE YOSHIWARA FROM AVITIIIN 

manifold robe over robe, the child attendants, had 
all gone. Varying now only in costume and 
accomphshment, all the women alike were cage- 
dwellers, whereas in former days the superior 
classes of them were spared that indignity. So far 
from evading questions, the presiding representa- 
tive of Spear-hand, an elderly woman, with a not 
unkindly ftice, seemed amused by my interest, and 
answered readily. I began to think we had made 
a mistake. This decorous tea-party, removed from 
the glare and bustle of the street, bore small resem- 
blance to an orgy. 

'^ A sound of thrumming from the floor above 
hinted that the next item on the programme would 
be musical. We mounted, and found ourselves in 
presence of two geisha. Miss Wistaria and Miss 
Dolly, who had been summoned by my cicerone 
while I was interrogating the Shinzo. The status 
and performance of these geisha differ considerably 
from those of their more respectable sisters, and 
Europeans, by confusing the two, have no doubt 
helped to affix a stigma to the whole class. Miss 
Dolly was no more than a child, and Miss Wistaria 
looked about sixteen. Both songs and dances, 
without being vulgar, were decidedly lax ; and as 
the songs were topical, I followed them less easily 
than the dance, which might have been named, 
after a primitive Japanese goddess, ' The Female 
who Invites.' Yet I must confess that the indeh- 

32 481 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

cacy was not blatant, but redeemed by a coy con- 
scientiousness, as of one who, half laughing, half 
shrinking, complies with an inevitable command. 

" At this moment Young Bamboo, Golden Harp, 
and River of Song, whom I had completely for- 
gotten, reappeared on the scene. They had 
changed their scarlet robes for looser ones of white 
satin, and awaited our pleasure. I explained to 
River Song, whose intelligent expression had 
influenced my choice, that if she would tell me 
her story and describe her impressions of Yoshiwara 
life, her duties would be at an end and her fee 
doubled. Entering readily into the role of 
Scheherazade, she began by declaring that, though 
eagerly awaiting the day of liberation, which was 
yet two years off, she was not so unhappy as many 
of her companions. At first, when the bell rang 
before the shrine at evening for a signal to enter 
the cage {viise, " the shop," she called it), the ordeal 
was both long and painful. But time had assuaged 
this feeling, and she had made many friends. 
Moreover, the Spear-hand of Dragon Cape had 
taken a fancy to her, and made her life easier. 
Then she recalled her childhood. Her real name 
was JNIiss JNIushroom (INIatsutake), and her father 
had been a fisherman of Shinagawa. Ever since 
she could remember, it had been her habit to 
patter barefooted along the beach and gather 
shellfish at low tide. But bad times drove her 
482 



THE YOSHIWARA FROM WITHIN 

parents into Tokyo, where an uncle had a small 
shop in the main street of Asakusa. On him they 
built their hopes, but his business failed, her mother 
died, and at last the father, hoping to make a fresh 
start by capitalising his daughter, sold her to the 
house of the Dragon Cape. At this point I asked 
if I could see the nenki-shomon, or certificate of 
sale, which would probably be in the possession of 
Spear-hand. The River of Song hesitated, not 
liking to ask, but I volunteered to accompany her, 
and we finished the story in the actual sanctum 
of Spear-hand, whom I had propitiated with coins 
and cigarettes. The document (except in the 
matter of names) was thus worded : — 

Name of Girl — Ito Matsutake. 

Age — Eighteen years. 

DweU'mg-place. — Asakusa, Daimachi 18. 

Father s name — Ito Nobuta. 
You, Minami Kakichi, proprietor of the house of the Dragon 
Cape, agree to take into your employ for five years the above- 
named at a price of — 

300 yen (about £30). 

30 yen (about £3) you retain as mizukin (allowance for dress). 
270 yen (about £27), the balance, I have received. 
I guarantee that the girl will not cause you trouble while in 
your employ. 

She is of the Monto sect, her temple being the Higashi 
Hongwanji in Asakusa. 

Parent's name — Ito Nobuta. 
Witness's name — Kimoto Nagao. 
Landlord's name — Yamada Isoh. 
Proprietor s name — Minami Kakichi. 
Name of Kashi-cashiM— House of the Dragon Cape. 

483 



MORE QUEER THINGS ABOUT JAPAN 

" It seemed to me that this certificate was story 
enough, with its batch of red seals denoting the 
triple sanction of father, master, and gods. Yet 
was it not better so ? Hard as her fate might be, 
these were regular sponsors of a legal profession. 
She was not living in lonely defiance of public 
opinion and private remorse. She would still be 
gentle, submissive, modest, until the lapse of time 
should restore her liberty, unless the rascaldom 
that would beset her pathway for five long years 
should coarsen and undo her natural goodness." 

It seemed to me that by printing the opinions 
of three of the most honest and observant foreign 
critics of Japan, beside the naive confessions of 
the Japanese, Englished by Mr Takahashi, I might 
give some idea of the famous Yoshiwara of Tokyo. 



.,j-^ 
''C 



FEINTED BT NEILL AND CO., LTD., EDINBUEGn. 



t3 



<\itjmi\itDCjy 



incAurrirr 




^<!/OJIT. 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY 

Los Angeles 
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 






^oxm 






mm 



i2 



FEB 



6 1984 



fWl 



mm 



Il2 

2 L 






,^OFG 



Q^ 



FECD ID-URB 

JUL 1 2 1984 

MflYlslsBZ 

!12'90 



JKlOfI 

n'liRi 



*^2^7 1335 

• t-D LD-!fRL 

^'■TEB0 31993 

4wR^2 1996 
OEU 1 7 1986 

uAn20 2M 






I 

I ='3 

> 




"^^Aavaan-^ 



^\^EUNIVERJ/A 




^^Aavaan#' 



^lOSANCElfX^ 
o 






^TilJaHYSOV^ 




<^HIBRARYQ^^ ^ILIBRARYQ^. 





"^/^aaMNftjwv 



^«!/ojnv>jo^ %ojiivojo'^ 



,^WEUNIVERS/A A>:lOSANCElfj>, .^,OFCALIF0%. AOfCAllFORi^. 



UC SOUTHERN 



REGIONAUIBRARVFACILIJ 




Ka 000 828 415 _ 



FO/?^ ^OFCAllFOfi'^ 




^<?Abvaaiii^ 



AWEUNIVERVa 




, , ^ o 




%a3MNn3WV 



58 00837 671 

ITVDJO^ 




^lOSANCElfx^ 

o -«— » ■ 




^ajAINflJW"^ 



^OFCALIFOfti; 




^OAHvaaii-^'^ 



-Tl 

rS 



^>:lOSANCElfX;/ 




■^/ijiJAiNn-awv 



-^^nM-LIBRARYGt ^ILIBRARYQ/: 




'^.{/OJIIVD-JO'^ 



^.i/odnvD-do"^ 



.^WEl'NIVERS/y 




"<rii]ONVSoi^ 






I 



^lOSANCElfj> 




%a3AJNn-3WV 



^.OFCAIIFO/?^;, 



,^;OFCALIF0% 




vr 



^<?AbV}iaii-i^ >&Aavaaii-i^ 



^WEUNIVERy 




^Tii^DNVSOl^ 



^ 



>S^ 



-^ILIBRARYQ^ 




so 

^<!/ojnvjjo'^ 




11^ >&Aavaan-i^ 



AWEUNlVERi-//, 



vlOSANCElfj^ 




. , ^ ^ o 



,^.OFCAIIFO% .-W^EUNIVERS-//) 



%Ji]AIN(l ]\\V 



v^lOSANGflfj>. 
o 




^TilJONVSO!^ %a3AINn-3WV 



^IIIBRARYQ 




^OFCALIFOff. 




^<?AavaaiiiN 






I 



^lOSANCELfj-^ 




"^AaJAINHJWV 



^lOSANCElfj^ 



> ^Lujy. 



^^uiBRARYo^ ^\mmo^,^ 




^OFCALIFO/?^ ^OF-CAIIFO% 



^\^E UNIVERy/ 




<rii30NVSor 

.W^EUNIVERS"/