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Inside Japan by W. E. Griffis

1873

A double pleasure rewards the pioneer who is the first to penetrate into the midst of a new people. Besides the rare exhilaration felt in treading soil virgin to alien feet, it acts like mental oxygen to look upon and breathe in a unique civilization like that of Japan. To feel that for ages millions of one's own race have lived and loved, enjoyed and suffered and died, living the fullness of life, yet without the religion, laws, customs, food, dress and culture which seem to us to be the vitals of our social existence, is like walking through a living Pompeii.

I confess to a chronic desire to explore the Island Empire in which I dwell. Having already, in the central provinces of Japan, trodden many a path never before touched by foreign foot, I yearned to explore the twin provinces of Kadzusa and Awa, which form the peninsula lying between the Gulf of Yeddo and the Pacific Ocean. A timely holiday and a passport from the Japanese foreign office enabled me to start toward the end of March, the time when all Japan is glorious with blossoming plum trees, and the camellia trees in forests of bloom are marshaled by thousands on the mountain-slopes.

I was glad to get away from Yeddo: I had a fit of anti-Caucasianism, and wished to dwell a while amidst things purely Japanese. There were too many foreigners in Yeddo. In that city of only eight hundred thousand Japanese there are now full two hundred foreigners of all nationalities; and of these, fifty or more are Americans. It was too much like home and too little like Japan. Should I go to Yokohama, the case was worse. Nearly twelve hundred of the sons of Japheth dwelt there, and to reach that upstart European city one must travel on a railway and see telegraph-poles all along the line. What was the use of living in Japan? Every young Japanese, too, in the capital is brainful of "civilization," "progress," "reform," etc. I half suspect a few cracks in the craniums belonging to some of the youths who wish to introduce law, religion, steam, language, frock-coats and tight boots by edict and ordinance. There was too much civilization. I yearned for something more primitive, something more purely Japanese; and tramping into the country I should find it. I should eat Japanese food—profanely dubbed "chow-chow;" sleep in Japanese beds—on the floor; talk Japanese—as musical as Italian; and live so much like an old-time native that I should feel as one born on the soil. By that time, returning to Yeddo as a Japanese of the period, I should of course burn to adopt railways, telegraphs and balloons, codify the laws, improve upon United States postage, coinage and dress-coats, and finish off by annexing the English language after I had cut out all irregularities and made all the crooked spelling straight.

So, resolving to be a heathen for a week at least, I left Yeddo one afternoon, though it took several hours to do so: the big city is one of distances more magnificent than those of Washington. I started in a jin-riki-sha, which baby-carriage on adult wheels has already been described, so as to be tolerably familiar to all American readers. The "team" of this "man-power carriage" consists of two men, pulling tandem—one in the shafts, the other running ahead with a rope over his shoulder, and, until the recent passage of a law commanding decency, attired only in his cuticle and a loin-cloth two inches wide. You take three coolies when you wish to be stylish, while four are not an unknown sensation in Yeddo. With these and fresh relays you can travel sixty, or even eighty, miles a day; and I have known one man to run thirty miles on the stretch.

Of all the modes of traveling in Japan, the jin-riki-sha is the most pleasant. The kago is excruciating. It is a flat basket, swung on a pole and carried on the shoulders of two men. If your neck does not break, your feet go hopelessly to sleep. Headaches seem to lodge somewhere in the bamboos, to afflict every victim entrapped in it. To ride in a kago is as pleasant as riding in a washtub or a coffin slung on a pole. In some mountain-passes stout native porters carry you pickapack. Crossing the shallow rivers, you may sit upon a platform borne on men's shoulders as they wade. Saddle-horses are not to be publicly hired, but pack-horses are pleasant means of locomotion. These animals and their leaders deserve a whole chapter of description for themselves. Fancy a brass-bound peaked pack-saddle rising a foot above the animal's back, with a crupper-strap slanting down to clasp the tail. The oft-bandied slur, that in Japan everything goes by contraries, has a varnish of truth on it when we notice that the most gorgeous piece of Japanese saddlery is the crupper, which, even on a pack-horse, is painted crimson and gilded gloriously. The man who leads the horse is an animal that by long contact and companionship with the quadruped has grown to resemble him in disposition and ejaculation: at least, the equine and the human seem to harmonize well together. This man is called in Japanese "horse side." He is dressed in straw sandals and the universally worn kimono, or blue cotton wrapper-like dress, which is totally unfitted for work of any kind, and which makes the slovens of Japan—a rather numerous class—always look as if they had just got out of bed. At his waist is the usual girdle, from which hangs the inevitable bamboo-and-brass pipe, the bowl of which holds but a pellet of the mild fine-cut tobacco of the country. The pipe-case is connected with a tobacco-pouch, in which are also flint, steel and tinder. All these are suspended by a cord, fastened to a wooden or ivory button, which is tucked up through the belt. On his head, covering his shaven mid-scalp and right-angled top-knot, is a blue cotton rag—not handkerchief, since such an article in Japan is always made of paper. This head-gear is usually fastened over the head by twisting the ends under the nose. With a rope six feet long he leads his horse, which trusts so implicitly to its master's guidance that we suspect the prevalence of blindness among the Japanese pack-horses arises from sheer lack of the exercise of their eyesight. These unkempt brutes are strangers to curry-combs and brushes, though a semi-monthly scrubbing in hot water keeps them tolerably clean. Their shoes are a curiosity: the hoofs are not shod with iron, but with straw sandals, tied on thrice or oftener daily. Grass is scarce in Japan, and oats are unknown. The nags live on beans, barley, and the stalks, leaves and tops of succulent plants, with only an occasional wisp of hay or grass.

In certain districts horses of one or the other sex, as the law determines, are kept exclusively. Horses of the gentler sex in Japan are usually led by women. During part of my journey to the place which I am about to describe the leader of the mare I bestrode was a maiden of some forty summers—a neat, spare, vinegar-faced sylph, who had evidently long since left the matrimonial market, and had devoted herself to making one horse happy for the rest of her pilgrimage. That she was neither wife nor widow I discovered, not by asking questions, but by the manner in which her hair was dressed. Japanese virgins and wives have each distinct coiffures, by which, apart from the shaven eyebrows and the teeth dyed black of the married women, the musume or young maiden may be known. The widow who has resolved never to marry again (always too old or ugly) is distinguished by her smooth skull, every hair of which is shaved off. A lady of rank may also be known by her coiffure; and many other distinctions are thus noted.

I waited three-quarters of an hour for my horse and its leader to appear at the post-relay at which I sat down, and was stared at during that time by about three hundred pairs of eyes. The populace of each village turned out en masse to see the foreigner, and they diligently improved their time in examining him from crown to boot-sole. Like everything else in the rural districts of Japan, my guide was not in a hurry, and could not understand why a foreigner should be. But finally arriving, she bowed very low and invited me to climb up on the saddle, and off we started for a mountain ride of eight miles.

A Japanese pack-horse, at his best, seems always swaying between two opinions: his affection for the bestower of his beans and that for the repose of the stable mutually attract him. On this occasion the little woman gently led the horse over the rough places and down the steep paths with the ejaculation, Mite yo! Mite yo! but when the beast stopped too long to meditate or to chew the bit, as if vainly trying to pick its teeth, a lively jerk of the rope and a "You old beast! come on," started the animal on its travels. Finally, when the creature stopped to deliberate upon the propriety of going forward at all, the vials of the wrath of the Japanese spinster exploded, and I was tempted to believe her affections had been blighted. But when we met any of her friends on the road, or passed the wayside shops or farm-houses, the scolder of horses was the lady who wished all Ohaio ("Good-morning"), or remarked that the weather was very fine; and when joked for carrying a foreigner, replied, "Yes, it is the first time I have had the honor."

I need not trouble the reader with many details of geography. My trip lasted eight days, during which I passed over two hundred miles, two-thirds of the way on foot. I made the entire circuit of the lower half of the peninsula, but shall dwell only on my visit to Kanozan (Deer Mountain), famous for its lovely scenery, temple and Booddhist monastery. From the top of the mountain there are visible innumerable valleys, nearly the whole of the Gulf of Yeddo, and the white-throned Foosiyama, called the highest mountain in Japan and the most beautiful in the world. We spent the night previous in Kisaradzu, the capital of the now united provinces, and a neat little city, just beginning to introduce foreign civilization. Its streets were lighted with Yankee lamps and Pennsylvania petroleum. Postal boxes after the Yankee custom were erected and in use. Gingham umbrellas were replacing those made of oiled paper. Barbers' poles, painted white with the spiral red band, were set up, and within the shops Young Japan had his queue cut off and his hair dressed in foreign style. Ignorant of the significance of the symbolic relic of the old days, when the barber was doctor and dentist also, and made his pole represent a bandage wound around a broken limb, the Japanese barber has, in many cases, added a green or blue band. Not being an adept in the use of that refractory language which Young Japan would so like to flatten out and plane down for vernacular use, the Japanese barber is not always happy in executing the English legend for his sign-board. The following are specimens:

"A HAIR-DRESSING SALOON FOR
JAPANES AND FOREIGNER."

"SHOP OF HAIR."

"HAIRS CUT IN THE ENGLISH
AND FRENCH FASHION."

Passing out of Kisaradzu, and winding up to Kanozan over the narrow bridle-path, we pass the usual terraced rice-fields watered by descending rivulets, and the usual thatched and mud-walled cottages, which characterize every landscape in Japan, besides long rows of tall tsubaki (camellia) trees, forty feet high and laden with their crimson and white splendors. Along the road are the little wayside shrines and sacred portals of red wood which tell where the worshipers of the Shintoo faith adore their gods and offer their prayers without image, idol or picture. The far more numerous images and shrines of Booddha the sage, Amida the queen of heaven, and hundred-armed Kuannon, tell of the popular faith of the masses of Japan in the gentle doctrines of the Indian sage. The student of comparative religions is interested in noticing how a code of morals founded upon atheistic humanitarianism, in its origin utterly destitute of theology, has developed into a colossal system of demonology, dogmatics, eschatology, myths and legends, with a pantheon more populous than that of old Rome. Many of the images by the wayside are headless, cloven by frost, overturned by earthquakes, and so pitted by time as to resemble petrified smallpox patients rather than divinities. Nature neither respects dogma nor worships the gods made by men, and the moss and the lichens have muffled up the idols and eaten the substance of the sacred stone. Here Booddha wears a robe of choicest green, and there the little saxafrage waves its white blossoms from the shoulder of Amida, rending asunder her stone body. Even the little stone columns which contain a guiding hand pointing out the road to Kanozan are dedicated to Great Shaka (Booddha). Passing one of the larger temples, we meet a company of pilgrims. Actual sight and reasoning from experience in other lands agree in telling me that they are women, and most of them old women. They return my salute, politely striving to conceal their wonder at the first to-jin they have ever looked upon.

I would wager that these people, like most of the rustics in Japan, have always believed the foreigners from Europe and America to be certainly ruffians, and most probably beasts. Many of them, without having heard; of Darwin or Monboddo, believe all the "hairy foreigners" to be descendants of dogs. Their first meeting with a foreigner sweeps away the cobwebs of prejudice, and they are ashamed of their former ignorance. In extorting from Japanese friends their first ideas about foreigners, I have been forcibly reminded of some popular ideas concerning the people of China and Japan which are still entertained at home, especially by the queens of the kitchen and the lords of the hod.

After the fashion in Japan, I inquire of the pilgrims whence they came and whither they are going. Leaning upon their staves and unslinging their huge round, conical hats, they give me to know that they have come on foot from Muja, nearly one hundred and fifty miles distant, and that they will finish their pilgrimage at Kominato—where the great founder of the Nichiren sect (one of the last developments of Booddhism in Japan) was born—twenty-seven miles beyond the point at which we met. I inform them that I have come over seven thousand miles, and will also visit Nichiren's birthplace. "Sayo de gozarimos! Naru hodo?" ("Indeed, is it possible?")

I have reached their hearts through the gates of surprise. A foreigner visiting Nichiren's birthplace! And coming seven thousand miles too! The old ladies become loquacious. They pour out their questions by dozens. Do you have Booddhist temples in America? Of course the Nichiren sect flourishes there? When I politely answer No to both questions, a look of disappointed surprise and pity steals over both the ruddy and the wrinkled faces. "Then he is a heathen!" says the expression on their faces. How strange that no Booddhist temples exist in the foreigner's country! Ah, perhaps, then, the Shintoo religion is the religion of the foreigner's country? "No? Naru hodo! Then what do you believe in?"

It did not take long to answer that question. There is no country in the world in which Christianity has been more publicly and universally advertised. For three centuries, in every city, village and hamlet and on every highway, the names of Christianity and its Founder have been proclaimed on the edict-boards and in the public law-books of the empire as belonging to a corrupt and hateful doctrine; which should a man believe, he would be punished on earth by fines, imprisonment, perhaps death, and in jigoku (hell) by torments eternal. "Whosoever believeth in Christ shall be damned—whosoever believeth not shall be saved," was the formula taught by the priests for centuries. I pointed to the board on which hung the edicts prohibiting Christianity, and told them I believed in that doctrine, and that Christ was the One adored and loved by us. A volley of naru hodos, spoken with bated breath, greeted this announcement, and I could only understand the whispered "Why, that is the sect whose followers will go to hell!" The old ladies could not walk fast, and we soon parted, after many a strange question concerning morals, customs and the details of civilization in the land of the foreigner. Be it said, in passing, that the present liberal and enlightened government of Japan, in spite of priestly intolerance and the bigotry of ignorance, resisting even to blood, has decided upon the recission of the slanderous falsehoods against the faith of Christendom; and Japan, though an Asiatic nation, will soon grant toleration to all creeds.

The path wound up through higher valleys, revealing bolder scenery. Afar off, in the sheen of glorified distance, the water slanted to the sky. The white bosoms of the square-sailed junks heaved with breezy pulses, the mountains were thrones of stainless blue, the floods of sunny splendor and the intense fullness of light, for which the cloudless sky of Japan is remarkable, told the reason for the naming of Niphon, of which "Japan" is but the foreigner's corruption, "Great Land of the Fountain of Light." Anon we entered the groves of mountain-pines anchored in the rocks, and with girths upon which succeeding centuries had clasped their zones. They seemed like Nature's senators in council as they whispered together and murmured in the breeze that reached us laden with music and freighted with resinous aroma. Reaching a hamlet called Mute ("six hands"), I sit outside an inn on one of the benches which are ever ready for the traveler, and shaded overhead by a screen of boughs. A young girl brings me water, the ever-ready cup of tea, and fire for the pipe which I am supposed to smoke. A short rest, another hour's climb and walk, and we are in the village of Kanozan, which is scarcely more than a street of hotels. Situated on the ridge of the mountain, it rises like an island in a sea of pines.

In imagining a Japanese hotel, good reader, please dismiss all architectural ideas derived from the Continental or the Fifth Avenue. Our hotels in Japan, outwardly at least, are wooden structures, two stories high, often but one. Their roofs are usually thatched, though the city caravansaries are tiled. They are entirely open on the front ground floor, and about six feet from the sill or threshold rises a platform about a foot and a half high, upon which the proprietor may be seen seated on his heels behind a tiny railing ten inches high, busy with his account-books. If it is winter he is engaged in the absorbing occupation of all Japanese tradesmen at that time of year—warming his hands over a charcoal fire in a low brazier. The kitchen is usually just next to this front room, often separated from the street only by a latticed partition. In evolving a Japanese kitchen out of his or her imagination, the reader must cast away the rising conception of Bridget's realm. Blissful, indeed, is the thought as I enter the Japanese hotel that neither the typical servant-girl nor the American hotel-clerk is to be found here. The landlord comes to meet me, and, falling on his hands and knees, bows his head to the floor. One or two of the pretty girls out of the bevy usually seen in Japanese hotels comes to assist me and take my traps. Welcomes, invitations and plenty of fun greet me as I sit down to take off my shoes, as all good Japanese do, and as those filthy foreigners don't who tramp on the clean mats with muddy boots. I stand up unshod, and am led by the laughing girls along the smooth corridors, across an arched bridge which spans an open space in which is a rookery, garden, and pond stocked with goldfish, turtles and marine plants. The room which my fair guides choose for me is at the rear end of the house, overlooking the grand scenery for which Kanozan is justly famous all over the empire. Ninety-nine valleys are said to be visible from the mountain-top on which the hotel is situated, and I suspect that multiplication by ten would scarcely be an exaggeration. A world of blue water and pines, and the detailed loveliness of the rolling land, form a picture which I lack power to paint with words. The water seemed the type of repose, the earth of motion.

Enjoying to the full that rapture of first vision which one never feels twice, I turned and entered the room, which made up in neatness what it lacked in luxury. Furniture in a Japanese house there is none. Like all the others, the floor of my room was covered with soft matting two inches thick, made into sections six feet long and three feet wide, and bound with a black border. The dimensions of a room may always be expressed by the number of mats. The inside of the mats is of rice straw, the outside is of the finest and smoothest matting. There are no chairs, stools, sofas or anything to sit down upon, though, having long since forgotten the fact, we find a ready seat on the floor. On one side of the room, occupying one-half of its space, is the tokonoma, a little platform anciently used for the bed, two feet wide and five or six inches high. In one corner is a large vase containing four or five boughs broken from a plum tree crowded with blossoms, and a large bunch of white, crimson and dappled camellias, both single and double. In the centre is the sword-rack, found in every samurai's house, yet now obsolete, since Japan's chivalry have laid aside their two swords. On the other half of the room, occupying the same side as the tokonoma, is a series of peculiar shelves like those of an open Japanese cabinet, though larger; and at the top of these is a little closet closed by sliding doors. The other three sides of the room are of sliding partitions six feet high, made of fine white wood, latticed in small squares and covered with paper, through which mellow, softened light fills the room. On the plastered wall above the latticed sliding doors hangs a framed tablet on which are written Chinese characters, which, having the Japanese letters at the side, tell in terse and poetical phrase that "This room is the chamber of peaceful meditation, into which the moonlight streams." Some of the lattice and other work is handsomely carved and wrought, and a paper screen along the wall which separates this room from the next is covered with verses of Japanese poetry. Were it cold weather, a brazier, with some live coals in it, would be brought for us to toast our hands and feet and to shiver over, as stoves and hard coal are not Japanese institutions. First of all, however, at present, one of the musumes brings me a tobacco-bon or tray, in which is fire to light my pipe, the Japanese scarcely having a conception of a man who does not smoke.

My description of a Japanese room will answer, in the main, for any in Japan as it was—from the artisan's to the emperor's. Even the palaces of the mikado in Kioto never contained tables, chairs, bedsteads or any such inconvenient and space-robbing thing. The tables upon which they ate, played chess or wrote were six inches or a foot high. A Japanese of the old style thinks the cumbrous furniture in our Western dwellings impertinent and unnecessary. In the eye of aesthetic Japanese a room crowded with luxurious upholstery is a specimen of barbaric pomp, delighting the savage and unrefined eye of the hairy foreigners, but shocking to the purged vision and the refined taste of one born in great Niphon. No such tradesman as an upholsterer or furniture-dealer exists in Japan. The country is a paradise for young betrothed couples who would wed with light purses. One sees love in a cottage on a national scale here. That terrible lion of expense, the furnishing of a house, that stands ever in the way of so many loving pairs desirous of marriage and a home of their own, is a bugbear not known in Japan. A chest of drawers for clothing, a few mats, two or three quilts for a bed on the floor, some simple kitchen utensils, and the house is furnished. Why should we litter these neatly matted rooms, why cover with paint and gilding virgin wood of faultless grain, or mar the sweet simplicity and airy roominess of our (Japanese) chambers by loading them with all kinds of unnecessary luxuries?

These reflections are broken in upon by Miss Cherry-blossom, one of the maids, who glides in, kneels upon the floor, and sets down a tiny round tray with a baby tea-pot and a cup the size of an egg. Pouring out some tea, enough to half fill one of these porcelain thimbles, she sets it in the socket of another yet tinier tray, and bowing her head coquettishly, begs me to drink. Having long since learned to quaff Japan's fragrant beverage guiltless of milk or sugar, I drain the cup. Miss Cherry-blossom, sitting upright upon her heels, folds her dress neatly under her knees, gives her loose robe a twitch, revealing to advantage her white-powdered neck, the prized point of beauty in a Japanese maiden, and then asks the usual questions as to whence I came, whither I am going, and to what country I belong. These, according to the Japanese code of etiquette, are all polite questions; and in return, violating no dictum which the purists of Kioto or Yeddo have laid down, I inquire her age ("Your honorable years, how many?"). The answer, "Ju-hachi," makes known that she is eighteen years of age. Chatting further, I learn what things there are to be seen in the neighborhood, whether foreigners have been there before, the distance to the next village, the history of the old temple near by, etc. All this is told with many a laugh and a little pantomime—she naturally committing the mistake of speaking louder and faster to the foreigner who cannot fully understand her dialect or allusions—when a new character appears upon the scene.

A very jolly, matronly-looking woman, evidently the landlady, pulls aside one of the sliding paper doors, and bowing low on her hands and knees, smiles cavernously with her jet-black teeth, which, like all correct and cleanly women in Japan, she dyes on alternate days. She asks concerning dinner, and whether it is the honorable wish of the visitor to eat Japanese food. The answer being affirmative, both matron and maiden disappear to prepare the meal, evidently thinking it a fine joke. No such thing as a common dining-room exists in Japanese hotels. Caste has hitherto been too strictly observed to allow of such an idea. Every guest eats in his own room, sitting on his calves and heels. The preparations are simple, though of course I speak now of every-day life.

Miss Peach-blossom appears, bearing in her hand a table four inches high, one foot square, and handsomely lacquered red and black. Behind her comes a young girl carrying a rice-box and plate of fish. Most gracefully she sets it down with the apology, "I have kept you long waiting," and the invitation, "Please take up."

On the table are four covered bowls, two very small dishes containing pickles and soy, and a little paper bag in which is a pair of chopsticks. The place of each article is foreordained by gastronomic etiquette, and rigidly observed. In the first bowl is soup, in the second a boiled mixture consisting of leeks, mushrooms, lotus-root and a kind of sea-weed. In a third are boiled buckwheat cakes or dumplings, and tofu or bean-curd. In the porcelain cup is rice. In an oblong dish, brought in during the meal, is a broiled fish in soy. Lifting off the covers and adjusting my chopsticks deftly, I begin. The bowl of rice is first attacked, and quickly finished. The attendant damsel proffers her lacquered waiter, and uncovering the steaming tub of rice paddles out another cupful. It is etiquette to dispose of unlimited cups of rice and soup, but a deadly breach of good manners to ask to have the other two bowls replenished. Of course at the hotels whatever the larder affords can be ordered. Boiled eggs, cracked and peeled before you by the tapering fingers of the damsels, are considered choice articles of food. Raw fish, thinly sliced and eaten with radish, sauce, ginger sprouts, etc., is highly enjoyed by the Japanese, who are surprised to find the dish disliked by their foreign guests. A member of one of the embassies sent to Europe confessed that amid the luxuries of continental tables, he longed for the raw fish and grated radish of his native land. Some articles of our own diet, especially cheese and butter, are as heartily detested by the Japanese as their raw fish is by us. The popular idea at home, that the Japanese live chiefly on mice and crawfish, and that the foreigners are in chronic danger of starvation, is matched by that of some Japanese, who, finding that the "hairy foreigners" do not eat the food of human beings—i.e. Japanese—wonder what they do eat. A member of the present embassy in Europe, when first leaving his native land, was thus addressed by his anxious mother: "Now, Yazirobe, you are going to those strange countries, where I am afraid you will get very little to eat: do take some rice with you." I confess that on first landing in Japan I could not relish Japanese diet and cookery. Barring eggs and rice, everything tasted like starch or sawdust. The flavors seemed raw and earthy, or suggested dishcloths not too well scalded. I suspect that a good deal of Philadelphia and Caucasian pride lined the alimentary canal of the writer. Now, after a ten-mile tramp, a Japanese meal tastes very much as it does to one native and to the diet born.

Besides the young damsel who presides, there is another, less neatly dressed. Her apron is suggestive of the kitchen, and altogether she seems a Cinderella by the fireplace. This damsel is evidently a supe or scullion. She is not so self-possessed as her superior companion, and while observing the foreigner with a mild stare, unskillfully concealing her mirth, she finally explodes when he makes a faux pas with the chopsticks and drops a bit of fish on the clean matting. Thereupon she is dispatched to the kitchen for a floor-cloth, and severely lectured for laughing aloud, and is told to stay among the pots and pans till she learns better manners.

Dinner over, a siesta on the soft mats is next in order. These mats seem made for sleep and indolence. No booted foot ever defiles them. Every one leaves his clogs on the ground outside, and glides about in his mitten-like socks, which have each a special compartment for the great toe. My waiting damsel having gone out, and there being no such things as bells, I do as the natives and clap my hands. A far-off answer of Hei—i—i is returned, and soon the shuffling of feet is heard again. The housewife appears with the usual low bow, and, smiling so as to again display what resembles a mouthful of coal, she listens to the request for a pillow. Opening the little closet before spoken of, she produces the desired article. It is not a ticking bag of baked feathers enclosed in a dainty, spotless case of white linen, but a little upright piece of wood, six inches high and long, and one wide, rounded at the bottom like the rockers of a cradle. On the top, lying in a groove, is a tiny rounded bag of calico filled with rice-chaff, about the size of a sausage. The pillow-case is a piece of white paper wrapped around the top, and renewed in good hotels daily for each guest. One can rest about four or six inches of the side of his os occipitis on a Japanese pillow, and if he wishes may rock himself to sleep, though the words suggest more than the facts warrant. By sleeping on civilized feathers one gets out of training, and the Japanese pillows feel very hard and very much in one place. The dreams which one has on these pillows are characteristic. In my first some imps were boring gimlet-holes in the side of my skull, until they had honeycombed it and removed so much brain that I felt too light-headed to preserve my equilibrium. On the present occasion, after falling asleep, I thought that the pillow on which I lay pressed its shape into my head, and the skull, to be repaired, was being trepanned. My head actually tumbling off the pillow was the cause of the fancied operation being suddenly arrested. A short experience in traveling among the Japanese has satisfied me that they are one of the most polite, good-natured and happy nations in the world. By introducing foreign civilization into their beautiful land they may become richer: they need not expect to be happier.