WITH THE CHILDREN
FRANK G. CARPENTER
S NEW YORK *: CINCINNATI *:* CHICAGO
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY
COPYRIGHT, 1897 AND 1898, BY
FRANK G. CARPENTER
INwriting this book, it has been the aim of the author to
give a simple description of the peoples and countries of Asia
as they exist to-day. To make this description interesting
to young readers, he has taken them on an imaginary tour
through the countries mentioned, and has presented to their
view just those things which would naturally claim the atten-
tion of intelligent children. Having in mind both the enter-
tainment and the instruction of his audience, he has antici-
pated their numerous questions concerning the strange
things which they would encounter in their travels, and has
endeavored to give them that sort of information which,
while affording them pleasure, will at the same time add to
their stock of useful knowledge.
Leaving America by the northern route across the Pacific,
the children are conducted to Japan, where they make their
first acquaintance with Asiatic life. Then they sail north-
ward, visiting Korea and eastern Siberia, and then back
around the Korean peninsula to the great Empire of China.
After noticing the strange features of life and work among
the Chinese, they sail southward from Hongkong to Siam,
and via the Straits of Malacca to Burma and India, making
short visits to Siam, Singapore, and Burma, and a longer
stay in the wonderful country of the Hindus. Tibet and the
Tibetans form the subject of the next chapter, and then,
after travels through Persia and Arabia, the children are
taken to Palestine and Turkey, and end their tour at the
western terminus of the Trans-Siberian railroad, in the Ural
The book, however, is more than an ordinary diary of
travel. It pictures the Asiatic peoples as they are found in
their homes, on their farms, and in their factories. It also
describes in simple language the civilization of the various
nations, telling how they are governed, and showing the
queer features of their educational systems. The changes
now going on in the various countries are pointed out, and
also the influence that these changes may have upon the
future of Asia in connection with us.
This book of travels is, to a large extent, the result of the
original researches of the author during a two years' stay
in different parts of Asia. Many of the descriptions were
written on the ground, amid the scenes described, and a
large part of the illustrations are from photographs taken
by the author. Used as a supplement to the lessons in the
text-book on geography, or for reading in connection with
them, this book has also a definite and important educational
purpose. By presenting to the mind's eye the various places
of importance as they actually appear to a traveler, a new
interest is imparted to geographical study, and what seemed
before to be little more than a mere skeleton of dry facts
becomes a living and potent reality.
To make the text easier to read, the pronunciation of the
more difficult geographical names and foreign words is
indicated, using Webster's diacritical marks.
I. From America to Japan on a Big Ocean Steamer 9
II. The Island Empire of Japan- Genetal View 15
III. The Wonderful City of Tokyo 24
IV. Home Life in Japan 33
V. The Emperor and his Palaces 43
VI. Japanese Children at School and at Play 50
VII. Japanese Farms and Farmers 59
VIII. Commercial and Industrial Japan 69
IX. The Hermit Nation 76
X. Travels among the Koreans 85
XI. Siberia and the Trans-Siberian Railroad 93
XII. China-A Trip to Peking .. 102
XIII. The Great Capital of China II
XIV. The Emperor, and how China is governed .120
XV. The Great Wall of China 128
XVI. Chinese Boats and the Boat People 134
XVII. Chinese Farms and Farming 143
XVIII. Curious Chinese Customs 154
XIX. Siam and the Siamese 162
XX. The King of Siam and his Royal White Elephants 170
XXI. Singapore and the Malays .179
XXII. Burma and the Burmese 185
XXIII. Burmese Farming and the Working Elephants 194
XXIV. General View of India 202
XXV. Indian Farms and Farmers 209
XXVI. The Stores and Trades of India 217
XXVII. The Wild Animals of India 225
XXVIII. Benares, the Holy City of the Hindus 234
XXIX. The Native States of India; or, a Visit to the Rajah
of Jaipur 241
XXX. Above the Clouds; or, Nature and Man in the Heart
of the Himalaya Mountains 249
XXXI. Tibet and the Tibetans 257
XXXII. Persia and the Persians 265
XXXIII. Arabia, or Life in the Desert 273
XXXIV. Palestine and its People 282
XXXV. Travels among the Turks 290
XXXVI. Russia in West Asia 297
LIST OF MAPS.
Japan and Korea .
Chinese Empire .
India and Indo-China .
Persia, Afghanistan, and Baluchistan
Arabia and Turkey in Asia .
Russia in Asia
I. FROM AMERICA TO JAPAN ON A BIG
ASIA is the largest grand division of the globe. It is
larger than North and South America, and both
Europe and Africa could be spread out upon it and leave
room enough around the edges for half the States of the
Union. This vast area contains more than half the world's
Let us stop for a moment and think what that means.
If all the men, women, and children on this big, round
earth could be gathered together in one field, more room
would be needed for the people from Asia than for all the
rest; and one third of the great crowd would be of the
Mongolian race, having yellow skins, and eyes which are
slanting, and which when open are of the shape of an
More than one fourth of the whole number would be
yellow-skinned, slant-eyed Chinese, the boys and men
having their heads shaved up to the crown, and long
braids of black hair hanging down from their scalp locks.
There would be millions of gayly dressed, almond-eyed
Chinese women, with small feet so tied up that they could
not move without pain. There would be millions of Jap-
anese mothers with little yellow babies tied to their backs,
and millions of dark-faced men and women from India
with features like ours. There would be yellow-skinned,
slant-eyed men from Siam and Japan, with short black
hair standing out over their heads like the bristles of a
shoe brush; and, moving in and out through the crowd,
we should see here and there a yellow-skinned Korean
with his long hair done up in a knot on the crown of his
head, and with a gown covering his body from his neck
to his feet. There would be beautiful maidens from
Burma with plugs in their ears as big round as your
thumb, and women from India with rings on their fingers
and bells on their toes. There would be Persians, Jews,
Syrians, Armenians, and Turks, each wearing a different
costume, but having many things in common with the re-
mainder of the curious people from this Asiatic continent.
If we watched these people from Asia we should find
that they do few things as we do. We should see that
the men of-some nations squat on their heels instead of
sitting upon chairs, and that millions upon millions use
wooden pillows and sleep on the floor.
If we followed them to their homes we should discover
mighty cities containing hundreds of thousands of people
engaged in all sorts of curious trades. We should find
farms by the million, and gardens which blossom like the
rose. We might visit temples and schools, and here and
there we should see structures that are still the wonder of
the world, such as the Great Wall of China, the gigantic
bronze Buddha (bood'da) of Japan, and the Taj Mahal
(tizh ma-hal') of India, the most beautiful building known
to man. We should find, in short, civilizations which
VOYAGE TO JAPAN.
have much good in themselves, though they are different
from ours, and we should be surprised at the wonderful
but comparatively unknown world on the opposite side of
It is among these people that we are now to travel
together. We shall wear for the time boots more wonder-
ful than those of Hop-o'-my-Thumb, which enabled the
little fellow to make seven leagues at a step; and we shall
cross oceans and rivers, mountains and plains, stopping
only to notice the most interesting sights by the way.
The author will be the guide. He has traveled tens of
thousands of miles through Asiatic lands, and has lived
for many months among these curious peoples.
Our first trip will be across the Pacific, and we shall
sail from America for the land of Japan. The Pacific is
the largest of the oceans. From north to south it is more
than three times as long as the distance between New
York and San Francisco; and between the Western Con-
tinent and Asia, as it goes toward the south, it spreads out
in the shape of a gigantic fan, forming, as it were, a great
liquid wedge between our world and that on the other side
of the globe. The edge of the wedge is driven in between
the two great bodies of land at Bering Strait, and at this
point it is only forty miles wide, a distance so short that
it is said on clear days you might sit in your reindeer
sledge in Alaska and see the cold hills of Siberian Russia.
The wedge widens rapidly as we go to the south, and if
we attempted to cross it from Quito (ke'to) along the line
of the equator, we should have to travel ten thousand
miles before we came to the Mo-luc'cas, a group of islands
on the other side of the Pacific.
If we sailed from Lower California along the tropic of
Cancer, we should have eighty-five hundred miles to go
before we reached the Empire of China; and from San
Francisco to Yokohd'ma, Japan, a little further north, the
distance is about forty-five hundred miles. This is one of
the great highroads of the Pacific, but a still shorter route
can be found by going to Vancouver and taking a Cana-
dian vessel, or by sailing on one of the American ships
from Puget Sound to Japan; and this will be the road
we shall travel.
3- --- -- '- _
"Our vessel is one of the palaces of the ocean."
Our vessel is one of the palaces of the ocean. It is
propelled by steam, and the distance is now a matter of
hours rather than space. It will take us from ten to
twelve days to go from one continent to the other, and
we feel almost as safe on the boundless Pacific as we did
in our own house at home.
Our ship itself is a wonder. It is made of steel. It is
nearly five hundred feet long, or long enough to stretch
the whole length of the average city block; and it is so
wide that it would fill a fifty-foot street. It is as high as
VOYAGE TO JAPAN.
a six-story house, and it has as many rooms as a hotel. It
has its parlors and kitchens, its sleeping rooms and bath-
rooms, and it contains a butcher's shop, a bakery, a car-
penter's shop, and all sorts of machinery. Its dining room
is as large as that of a hotel, and we have as good food as
on our tables at home.
Every bedroom has its electric bell, and the whole ship
is lighted by electricity. Its hundreds of rooms run from
story to story, from the hurricane deck, which forms its
roof, down to the basement just over the keel, where a
plate of steel no thicker than your finger is all that keeps
out the sea. It is in this great steel shell that we travel
over more than four thousand miles of water without com-
ing in sight of land.
When we go through the workshops of the basement,
the engineer shows us the great machines which, by means
of steam, noiselessly but steadily force the ship on over
one of the longest ocean routes in the world. He tells us
that his engines are as strong as ten thousand horses, and
by supposing a horse to be six feet in length from nose
to tail, we find that it would take a compact line of two-
horse teams more than five miles long, all pulling at once,
to represent the force.
The engineer shows us the enormous amount of fuel re-
quired to feed this power, when he tells us that almost two
thousand tons of coal are burned to make the steam for
the voyage. It is a large dwelling house that requires ten
tons of coal a year. Our- steamer, therefore, in a single
voyage burns enough coal to supply two hundred such
homes with fuel the year round; and a village of one
thousand people does not use more coal in twelve months
than we shall consume in two weeks.
We find that the coal is put into the great furnaces by
thirty-two Chinamen, who are divided into gangs of eight.
Each gang works for six hours at a stretch, and the
shoveling goes on while we sleep; it never stops from
the beginning to the end of the voyage.
We tremble when we think of the possibility of breaking
down in the watery waste of the Pacific, where we might
float for days and weeks without meeting another steamer.
"-- the shoveling goes on while we sleep;"
We feel a little safer when the captain tells us that we
are just off the Aleutian Islands, and that here the steamer
sometimes sails so near land that travelers can hear the
foxes bark as they go by. We feel safer still when we
near the Kurile (koo'ril) Islands, and can almost smell the
land of Japan. We steam on to the south, out of sight of,
but not far from, the island of Yes'so, into warmer seas,
and are awakened by our Chinese servant with the news
that Japan is in sight, and that we shall soon be on Asiatic
JAPAN-- GENERAL VIEW.
II. THE ISLAND EMPIRE OF JAPAN-
JAPAN! What a won-
Sderful country it is!
It is the Island Empire t- '
of the globe. Lying as ) .:'
it does, surrounded by e "
the deep waters of the .....
western Pacific, it winds) ,
in and out like a snake, "
from southwest to north- '
east a distance of more,
than two thousand miles. ) / d '
This Snake is made ".;
up of more than thirty- .,.
eight hundred moun-
tainous islands, and it _
drags its length through
almost every climate r
known to man. Its
tail, which is now the .. ... i ,
island of Formosa, lies
in the warm waters of _
the semitropics, flap- -
ping, as it were, upon ,
the tropic of Cancer. ( 1
Further north, the Snake
sinks the lower part of
its trunk beneath the 4
waters of the Japanese
ocean current, a green Japan and Korea.
island speck showing out here and there, and then rears
it up for eleven hundred miles in the islands of Kiushu
(kyoo-shoo'), Shikoku (she-ka'koo), and Hon'do, through
every gradation of the temperate zone.
Its gigantic head is the island of Yesso, which lies in the
cold waters of the northern Pacific, shrouded in snow dur-
ing the long winter months, and at times bedded in ice.
The main part of the trunk is warmed by the ocean
winds to such an extent that these thousands of islands
breathe an air full of moisture, and even in winter much
of the land is emerald green. Now and then the snow
falls on the northern part of the island of Hondo, but the
green grass shows out through the white, and in many
parts of Japan the plum trees are in blossom in the midst
of our winter.
Japan is a land of forests and flowers. The camellia
and magnolia grow wild upon its green hills, and its people
call their country the land of the chrysanthemum. They
cultivate the cherry tree for its blossoms, and during the
season of its bloom they have picnics, when young men
and maidens, old men and old women, wander about
through the trees, and, inspired by the sight, write verses
of poetry which they tie to the branches.
There is no land in the world which has a greater variety
of beautiful scenery. It is a country of mountains and
valleys, which are clothed with verdure to such an extent
that you can hardly believe that the whole of Japan was
once covered with volcanoes.
As we float toward the coast on our big ocean steamer,
the sight that first meets our eyes is a great white moun-
tain-cone hanging almost like a silver cloud in the west-
ern horizon. As we come nearer, this cone increases in
size. A long, hazy blue line of coast shows out below
it through a thin veil of fleecy clouds, and we* learn that
we are looking at Fusiyama (foo-zi-ai'm), the extinct vol-
cano and the famed sacred mountain of Japan. It is the
highest mountain of the empire, and its snowy cap kisses
the sky more than two miles above us.
"- its snowy cap kisses the sky -"
As we come nearer still, we see vapor rising from
another volcano on an island further off to the south;
and we shall travel in and out among volcanic islands, no
matter to what part of the empire we sail. Japan has
to-day more than fifty steaming volcanoes, and there are
hundreds of others which may at any time burst-into
eruption, though they now lie entirely quiet, like other
Japan is also a land of earthquakes, and its capital,
To'kyo, is said to feel at least one shock every day of the
year. In the past, the Japanese believed that earthquakes
were caused by a gigantic fish which lived in the sea off
Japan, and now and then bumped its nose or struck its tail
against the coast in its anger. This it was, they thought,
that shook the earth and made it crack and tremble.
"-- shook the earth and made it crack -"
To-day, the scientists of Japan make careful observations
of earthquakes. The government has an earthquake pro-
fessor in the Imperial University, and we can learn more
about them here, perhaps, than anywhere else in the world.
It will not be strange if we meet with an earthquake
during our tour. One happened nearly two centuries ago
which destroyed the capital (then called Yeddo), and in
which two hundred thousand people lost their lives. The
same city had another terrible earthquake in 1855, dur-
ing which sixteen thousand houses were thrown down and
many thousand persons were killed; and in 1894 the author
narrowly escaped death in a great earthquake there. At
this time the ground rose and fell like the waves of the
sea. Some of the buildings in the palace grounds were
thrown down. The home of the United States minister
was almost wrecked, and several foreign buildings were
The most of these volcanic islands 6f Japan are small,
some being no larger than a good-sized farm. Taken
together, though, they form enough territory for a mighty
nation, and some single islands are larger than many of
our American States. The total area of Japan is greater
than that of Italy, or of Great Britain and Ireland. Three
States as large as New York, if they could be cut into
patches like a quilt, would not be sufficient to cover it; and
if you could carry the islands to Prussia, they would hide
that great German kingdom from the light of the sun.
The five largest islands make up by far the most of
Japan. There is Formosa at the tail of the chain, at the
south, just about twice as big as New Jersey, and Yesso
at the head, at the north, which is about equal to South
Carolina in size. Just south of Yesso is the island of
Hondo, which is larger than Kansas, and which, with its
two smaller sisters, Kiushu and Shikoku, forms the most
important part of Japan, taking up two thirds of its area.
As to Formosa and Yesso, these are to the rest of the
empire as our unsettled territories are to the most popu-
lous States of the Union. Formosa, which was gained by
war from China, is peopled by savages, some of whom,
probably, are cannibals, and of whom little is known.
Yesso may be called the Alaska of Japan. It is rugged
and wild, and, though it contains about one fifth of all the
Japanese territory, its people are few and they are hardly
more advanced in civilization than the Eskimos. They
are known as the Ainos (i'nbz), and are supposed by
some to have been the first Japanese. They are short in
stature, like the men of the other parts of the empire, but
"The Ainos live in rude huts -"
their shoulders are broader. They are governed by the
Emperor of Japan, but they have little in common with
the people of the great islands to the southward.
The Ainos live in rude huts, and their bodies are so
covered with hair that the people of southern Japan have
nicknamed them the hairy men." They are intemperate
and as dirty as the people of the other Japanese islands
are clean, and their religion is made up partly of the
worship of bears.
. In Hondo live the great majority of the forty millions
who irake up Japan's population, and upon it have been
located all the great scenes of Japanese history. This is
the island of which Marco Polo wrote when he returned
from China, bringing his stories of Cipango, the land off
the coast of Asia which was loaded with gold; and it
was this island that Christopher Columbus hoped to reach
first when he started out on his new route to China and
discovered America. We shall look in vain for Japanese
gold, though Marco Polo said that the very dogs of the
country wore golden collars, and that the roofs and floors
of the ruler's palace were entirely of gold, the latter being
made in plates like slabs of stone, a good two-fingers thick."
Japan has not much gold, but there are vast deposits of
copper on the island of Hondo. There are iron mines
and silver mines, and vast quantities of coal. We shall
find coal mines in the west which run under the sea, and
on the island of Takashi'ma, near Nagasa'ki, we may visit
a coal mine which is now being worked, containing fifty
miles of tunnels, all under the ocean.
It is on this island of Hondo that we land at the close
of our voyage. We float through the picturesque Bay of
Yeddo, and on into the beautiful harbor of Yokohama,
where we cast our anchor amid boats from all parts of the
world. There are steamers from China, and great ships
which have made the voyage from London to Japan by
way of the Suez Canal. There are Russian and French
men-of-war, and queer-looking sailing vessels, called junks,
from different parts of Japan. There are curious small
boats called sampans darting out and in among the ships,
each sculled by means of a paddle at the stern by a half-
naked, brown-skinned, slant-eyed man who jabbers and
yells as he motions to us to jump in and ride to the shore.
CARP. ASIA-- 2
It is but a few minutes' trip from the ship to the
wharves, and we are soon at the customhouse, where
Japanese clerks in clothes like ours examine our baggage
for opium and goods to be taxed. The Japanese have
never allowed opium to come into their country. They
have seen how the habits of opium eating and opium smok-
ing, which are as bad in their effects as the drinking of
whisky, have fastened
themselves upon the
Chinese, and any one
who sells this drug in
Japan will be dragged
off to prison.
Our first sight after
leaving the custom-
house is a crowd of jin-
rik'isha men waiting to
be hired. Each wears a
stiff round hat covered
with blue or white cot-
ton, of the size and shape
of a butter bowl upside
down; and the remain-
der of his costume is a
other jinrikishas dart by us loose-fitting shirt and a
pair of tights. Each man stands by his jinrikisha and
motions to us to get in, pointing to his legs as he does
so, as much as to say that he can go very fast.
As we look, other jinrikishas dart by us, filled with Japa-
nese ladies and gentlemen, and we find that the jinrikisha
is the cab of Japan. It is like an old-fashioned baby car-
riage, with a pair of shafts just wide enough for a man to
stand between them, and with two wheels as large as those
at the front end of an American buggy. It is usually
pulled by one man, though sometimes by two. Some of the
best runners can drag the jinrikisha from five to eight miles
an hour, and many travel almost as fast as a horse. We
pay only ten cents an hour for our human steeds.
It is in jinrikishas that we explore Yokohama. This is
now a city of one hundred and fifty thousand people, and
is the chief seaport of Japan; but it was only a fishing
village when Commodore M. C. Perry landed here in 1854
and made the treaty between Japan and the United States
which opened this empire to the world. Before that time,
the Japanese would not have anything to do with foreign-
ers. They knew very little about us and our civilization,
and they were much surprised at the presents which Com-
modore Perry brought with him from America for the
Among these gifts were some telegraphic instruments and
a toy railroad train. The Japanese had never seen such
things, and when they learned that the telegraph wires
could carry messages in Japanese quite as readily as in
English, they were greatly surprised. The railroad train
had a little steam engine which hauled cars so small that
the Japanese could not get inside of them. They were
really hardly large enough to have held children of six
years. A circular track was put up at Yokohama, and the
little train was run around this, many of the dignified Japa-
nese crawling on the tops of the cars and holding on to the
roof as the engine carried them flying around the track.
In our ride through Yokohama we now see many
foreigners. There are telegraph wires running through
its main streets. There are both electric and steam rail-
roads connecting it with other parts of the country, and
we see that the business portions of the city have many
foreign stores containing goods much like those which are
sold in America. We are told, however, that Yokohama
is not altogether like the other towns of Japan, and we
leave at once for the city of Tokyo, the capital, which is
only fourteen miles off up the bay.
III. THE WONDERFUL CITY OF TOKYO.
T is less than an hour's ride by train from Yokohama to
Tokyo. The railroad skirts the beautiful Bay of Yeddo.
We are carried through green rice fields, past villages of
thatched houses, and are landed at last in one of the
busiest parts of the capital of the Japanese Empire. Out-
side the station there are jinrikishas by hundreds, with
their owners standing beside them. We pick out the
best-looking runners, and, after a few moments' bargaining
as to the price per hour we shall pay, we begin our ride
through the streets.
We direct our men to carry us all over the city, and ask
how long it will take to visit its principal parts. We learn
that such a ride would consume several days. Tokyo is
one of the largest cities of the world, for it contains a
million and a half of people. It is nine miles long and
eight miles in width, and its area is more than seventy
Here and there over the city are towers made of wood
which rise high above the other buildings, and upon which
watchmen stand day and night on the lookout for fires.
One of these is not far from the railroad station. We
climb to its top and take a look over the city.
Tokyo lies in a plain or wide valley which is backed by
Scene in Tokyo, Japan.
"- take a look over the city."
green hills, and cut up by canals. On the south side
is the beautiful Bay of Yeddo, upon which boats of all
kinds float to and fro. Running north from the bay
are thousands of one- and two-story houses roofed with
black tiles; and such buildings form the greater part of
the city. The houses are built along the edges of streets
that have no sidewalks. They are of unpainted wood
turned gray by the weather, and, with their roofs, they
wall the streets with long lines of black and gray. A
wide river flows through the city, and upon it float queer
Japanese boats. Here and there among the houses may
be seen parks and gardens, in which are massive wooden
buildings surrounded by trees. These are the temples
where the Japanese come to worship according to their
religion, of which we shall learn more farther on.
I- ~i:.'-- -i- --
In the center of the city there is a large open space
surrounded by three wide moats, or great ditches, walled
with stone. These moats are filled with water. They
run one inside of another, with wide spaces between them,
and inclose the great park in which are the palaces of the
emperor. In the grounds between the two outside moats
there are some fine modern structures of brick and stone,
not unlike the large public buildings of our American
"These moats are filled with water."
cities. These buildings are occupied by the great depart-
ments, through the officials of which the empire is gov-
Let us take our jinrikishas and ride through the streets.
How queer it all is! The buildings look more like the
bazaars of a fair than the substantial blocks of an Ameri-
can city. There are few large houses, and a building
rarely has more than two stories. The low, ridged roofs
extend about three feet beyond the walls of the houses.
The floors are well up off the ground. The outer walls
are made in sections which slide in grooves back and
forth; and during the day the front of each lower story is
pushed aside so that the passer-by can see all that goes on
within. We look in vain for windows and doors. The
rooms are separated from one another by walls of lattice-
work backed with white paper, through which the light
A Japanese Store.
comes. These walls are also in sections which move aside
in grooves, one inside the other; and in going from one
room to another you push aside a section of the wall in-
stead of opening a door.
The Japanese are naturally modest, but their customs
are different from ours, and we see much of their family
life as we ride through the streets. Here is a slant-eyed
maiden making her toilet. She sits on her heels on the
floor before a little round mirror, and primps, and powders,
and paints her lips red, while the people go by without
noticing anything strange in the scene. Next door there
is a family eating their dinner. They sit or kneel on
the floor, and each has his own table, of the size and
height of a shoeblack's box.
Further on is a store. The merchant sits flat on the
floor with his goods piled around him, and the floor is his
counter. His customers sit on the floor as they shop, and he
takes down piece by piece while they wait. As we look,
the sections of the wall at the back are pushed wide
,4 apart, and the merchant's
S whole family come in to
a watch the sale. The little
Sboys have almond eyes
and short hair, and the
little girls slant eyes and
long hair done up just
like their mother's. Dur-
ing the shopping, the mer-
chant's bookkeeper sits
on his heels at one side,
and figures up the profit
and loss with a box of
wooden buttons strung
"- figures up the profit -"
upon wires. By moving
these up and down, he adds and subtracts quite as quickly
as we do with pencil and paper, and his figures rarely go
But let us turn from the shops to the people. The
streets of Tokyo are not narrow, and we are not jostled
as we move through the crowd. The hundreds of queer-
looking men and women who pass us are all good-natured,
and they treat us as brothers. They smile and bend low
as they meet one another, and when we stop at their
stores or enter their houses, they bow again and again
until we think they will break in two. We try to be polite
in return, but the Japanese back is more elastic than ours.
We soon grow stiff with the unusual motion, and we feel
that even the India-rubber man of the circus would wear
himself out with bowing in a tour through Japan.
Clatter, clatter, clatter! What a noise the people make
as they go along the street! They wear curious sandals
of wood or straw, and their stockings are a kind of foot-
mittens, in which the big toe has a separate place. Dur-
ing wet weather they wear sandals with blocks or legs on
the bottom about three inches long, and the whole Japa-
nese nation becomes just three inches taller whenever it
rains. At such times the women pull their gowns up to
their knees, and the men tuck theirs up under their belts,
to keep them from being spattered with mud. They all
carry. paper umbrellas, which cover the upper parts of
their bodies, and the street seems to be filled with bare
yellow legs which are walking off with the people.
The Japanese dress is peculiar. Both men and women
wear long, flowing gowns extending from their necks to
their feet. These are folded across the body in front, and
are fastened at the waist with a sash. The chief difference
in the dress of women and men is in the sash, which, for
the women, is usually a strip of fine silk more than half a
yard wide, and so long that it can be tied in a great bow at
the back. The gowns of both sexes are open at the neck.
Girls are taught in walk-
ing to take short steps
and to turn their toes
inward, thus becoming
pigeon-toed, as it were,
in order that they may
not pull their dresses
apart. The sleeves form
the pockets, being made
long and full and sewed
up at the wrists. The
colors of the clothes are
modest in the extreme,
and in our ride through
the city we see silks
and cottons of dark
blue and gray, rather
than the bright, gaudy
Girls in Summer Dress.
hues which many peo-
ple suppose to be most liked in Japan.
How busy every one is! As we go through the prin-
cipal streets we find the stores and houses filled with
workers. There are crowds at the'shops buying goods,
and peddlers by hundreds carrying their wares through
the streets. There are porters by scores with great loads
Japanese Vegetable Peddlers.
on their backs, and servants carrying heavy bas-
kets fastened by strings or ropes to the ends of /
poles which rest on their shoulders.
Children in groups play about everywhere.
There are whole families on their way to
the theaters, which here give their per-
formances during the day; and other fam-
ilies are starting out to worship at the
Japanese temples, carrying a lunch in
order that they may picnic in the groves Porter with Lumber.
after their prayers. There are Japanese
students walking along arm in arm, discussing their les-
sons. Jinrikishas pass by us, carrying Japanese statesmen
to the Houses of Parliament, and other jinrikishas are seen
here and there, in which are bareheaded ladies who are
going out calling, or taking the air.
There are hardly any horses, and very few carriages
other than jinrikishas, and as we look we are impressed
with the fact that man power still runs the land of Japan.
Here comes a little post-office wagon carrying the mail.
It is pulled by a man who wears a blue jacket and tights.
Behind is a dray of one of the big wholesale establish-
ments, with a load of goods for the train. Its motive
power consists of those two almond-eyed men who are
harnessed in front, and the two others who shove hard
behind with both head and hands. Their muscles stand
out like thick cords as they work, and the sweat rolls
down their brown skins in diamond-white streams.
We notice that most of the streets are still watered by
hand, but everywhere amid these old Japanese methods
of work we see that our civilization is pushing its way.
Along some of the main streets there are now street cars.
There are telegraph lines running through all parts of the
city, and our guide points out a building which he says is
the central telephone station. We find that some parts of
Tokyo are lighted at night by electricity. We are told
that the city has excellent public schools and a great
university. We meet newsboys on every street corner,
and we wonder at the changes which have taken place in
Japan since the days of Commodore Perry.
"- with a load of goods for the train."
Then Tokyo was known to the world as Yeddo. It was
the place where the sho'gun or tycoon' had his head-
quarters, and it was rather a great military camp than
a city. The shogun was the commander in chief of the
army. The country was then divided up into large es-
tates owned by daimios (di'mi-oz), who had many soldiers.
These soldiers were called samurai, and each of them
carried two swords. They despised the tradesmen, me-
chanics, and farmers who made up the rest of the people,
and they forced everybody to pay taxes to the daimios.
Each daimio spent a part of the year at Yeddo, living
there with his soldiers, ready to march forth to war at the
command of the shogun. At this time, the emperor was
kept by the shogun and the daimios in the palaces at his
capital, which was then the city of Kio'to, in central Japan.
They pretended that he was too holy to rule, and so the
shogun, daimios, and samurai governed Japan, oppressing
the other classes of the people.
In 1868, however, a number of the great men of Japan
decided that this must be changed. They resolved to over-
throw the shogun, and to make the emperor the real ruler
of the Japanese people. They began a great revolution,
defeated the shogun, and brought the emperor from Kioto
to Tokyo, which they made the capital of the empire.
Shortly after this, Western methods of government began
to be brought in. The daimios gave up their estates, re-
ceiving pay for them from the emperor, and the lands
were divided among the people. All men now have equal
rights, and we find that Tokyo has all the modern improve-
ments of a city like New York or London. It has doubled
in size since 1868, having since then increased in popula-
tion from 700,000 to about 1,5oo,ooo.
IV. HOME LIFE IN JAPAN.
THE best place to study a people is in their own homes,
and we can learn much by spending a night in a
Japanese house. The Japanese live very simply, and,
- a type of the homes of Japan."
though there is some difference between the rich and the
poor, the mode of living is everywhere of the same general
character, and the home of the well-to-do family which we
shall visit to-day will serve as a type of the homes of
Japan. We take our jinrikishas and soon reach our
friend's dwelling. It is an unpainted frame building of
two stories, with a heavy roof of black earthenware tiles
supported by gray wooden posts which rest upon stones.
We can see clear through the house and get a glimpse of
a beautiful garden lying behind. The outer walls have
been pushed back for the day, for the sun is warm; and
the air rushes through on all sides.
We see almost the whole house before we leave our
jinrikishas, and as we look we wonder at first if the family
has not moved away. The rooms are all here, but there
"The rooms are all here -
is nothing like our American furniture in sight. Where
are the tables ? There are none, for the Japanese do not
use such tables as ours. Where are the chairs? Those
cushions which lie on the mats take their places, for these
people prefer to sit on the floor.
How clean everything is! The road in front of the
house is well swept. You can see yourself in the strip
of bare floor which runs round the house about two feet
above the ground, like a porch; and the rooms just back
of this are covered with matting of the cleanest white
straw. This matting forms the carpet of Japan. It is
not made like that which is sent to America. It is woven
iri mats three feet wide, six feet long, and about twice as
thick as this book. These are bound at the edges with
black cloth, and they are fitted together closely, so that
the floor is covered with panels of white bordered with
black. The mats are of the same size all over Japan, and
the size of a room is known, not as so many feet wide and
so many feet long, but by the number of mats required to
cover the floor.
How is the house heated ? There are no stoves in sight,
and there is no cellar or basement in which a furnace
might be hidden. The house has no chimney, and there
are no signs of stovepipes. The heating is done by little
brass-lined boxes filled with ashes, in the center of which
a handful of charcoal is burning. These boxes are known
as hibachis (hi-ba -chez).
They are common all
over Japan. They form
a poor means of heat-
ing during cold weather,
and, as winter comes on,
the people keep warm
by putting on more
underclothing, so that the nation appears to be growing
fatter and fatter as the weather grows colder. But how
can they cook without stoves ? They have little clay ovens
in which they put charcoal, and boil and fry over the
Let us go into the house. As we approach, a little
maidservant comes to the front. She gets down on her
knees, spreads out her hands on the floor, and bumps her
little head on the mats in order to show us respect. She
asks us to take off our shoes and come in. The Japanese
never wear shoes in the house, and we have already
learned that it would be far more polite to keep our hats
on than our shoes. So in our stocking feet we step up
into the house, and take our seats on the cushions.
Very soon some of the family come in. They bow low,
getting down on their knees and bending again and again
to the floor. As they rise, they suck in their breath with
a loud, half-whistling sigh, as though they were overcome
by the honor which we are conferring upon them by call-
ing. We do the same as we bow in return. Then the
maidservant brings in a little box of charcoal for lighting
our pipes, for in Japan every one is expected to smoke.
She next fetches a little tray which she places before us
on the floor. It contains a porcelain teapot and some little
cups, each about the size of half an eggshell. The little
servant gets down on her knees and offers them to us,
with a bow. We drink from them in Japanese style, suck-
ing the tea in with a loud sipping
noise to show that we like it.
Here come the children who have
been playing in the garden back of
the house. They are dressed like
their parents, and they bow to us in -
the same way. They are very re-
spectful, for to have a bad child in
"-a porcelain teapot -"
Japan is disgraceful, and all Japa-
nese children honor their parents. The mother takes one
of the little boys in her arms, and rubs her cheeks against
his. It is in this way that the Japanese show their affec-
tion. They do not kiss, nor do they shake hands, though
boy friends and girl friends often go about with their
arms around one another's shoulders or waist, and the mem-
bers of a family show that they are fond of each other.
What is that on this little one's back ?
That is a doll, and the little girl is carrying her baby.
The mothers here often go about with their babies tied
to their backs, and the children sometimes do the same
CARP. ASIA- 3
with their dolls. As soon as a girl is old enough, she is
taught to take care of her little sister in this way, and
as we ride through the streets we shall see children with
live babies hung to their shoulders. A girl of eight or
nine years sometimes has a little baby tied to her back,
and carries it about as she plays. The baby blinks out
of its queer eyes at the great world around it, and when
it grows tired it drops its head on its shoulder and sleeps
away while the little girl nurse goes on
making mud pies, or playing with a ball,
or at other games.
Our Japanese friends invite us to take
Supper with them and to stay over night.
They entertain us in the parlors, which,
as is often the case in Japan, are at the
back of the house. Soon they tell us
that the bath is prepared, and as the
The Japanese are exceedingly cleanly,
and every well-to-do home has its own
bathroom. It is a sign of good breeding
to ask a guest to have his bath first.
when it grows The custom is such that all the fam-
tired -" ily, no matter how many the children,
bathe in the same water and in the same tub, and the
servants get in at the last. No soap is used until after
getting out of the tub, and the body is finally washed off
by pouring water over it with a basin after the soaping.
There are public baths in all the cities, and in Tokyo they
number eight hundred, in which three hundred thousand
people bathe daily at a cost of less than one cent for
each person, so that even the poorest can keep themselves
The little maidservant comes and leads us to the bath-
room. It is a clean little room with movable walls of white
pine. She pulls one section of the walls back, and we
enter. In one corner of the room a stream of cold water
flows through a wooden pipe into a barrel, from which a
trough carries it off into a little brook that flows through
the garden outside. From this barrel we shall get cold
water after we are through with our bath, and with that
shining brass basin which we see on the floor we can pour
cold or warm water over our bodies after using the soap.
The bath tub is of wood. It is much like a short, oval
barrel. It has a charcoal fire under it, with a stovepipe
running up through the water at the back of the tub, this
pipe being protected by a strip of white pine which keeps
one's body from touching it. As we look, the water
smokes slightly, but it seems no warmer than milk when
fresh from the cow; and, having undressed, we jump in.
Whew! How hot it is! The water is almost boiling, and
we gasp as we sink, half scalded, to the bottom. We
climb out very quickly, finding our skins now as red as
a beet, and the little servant, who stands outside the wall
and peeps in, giggles as she enters and hands us our
clothes. The Japanese are
fond of hot baths, and the
people of all ages, from
grandparents to babies, take
them every day.
By this time supper is
"-- not quite a foot high -"
ready, and we shall have a
Japanese meal. We all eat together, but each has his own
table. It is not quite a foot high, and we sit on the floor
as we eat. The first course is Japanese wine or s~-ke
with sweet cake and candy. This is brought in by our
Japanese Family at Dinner
little maidservant, who gets down on her knees and bows
low as" she hands it to us. Next comes a soup made of
beans, and with it raw fish
cut in slices and served with
a queer sauce called soy.
This is of a dark brown
.color, and is made of a mix-
ture of vinegar, salt, and fer-
mented wheat. Then there
are salads and pickles of
various kinds. There are
green pears as hard as
stones, so served because
"The ric.' gh the Japanese like this fruit
"The rice is brought in-"
The supper closes with rice and tea. The rice -is
brought in to us in a big, round, wooden box of the shape
and size of a peck measure. It is offered to us again and
again, for the theory is that no one need go away hungry
* if he has plenty of rice. The tea is served in little cups,
but we notice that our Japanese friends sometimes pour
their tea into their rice.
Throughout the meal we watch our friends eat, and as
far as possible act like them. The soup is offered to us
in bowls, the size of a large coffee cup. Each of us has
a bowl, and we drink the soup by raising it to our lips.
The fish, rice, and salads we try to eat with our chopsticks,
but this we find very hard to
do. If you will take two
slate pencils, balance them
between the two first fingers .
and the thumb of your right
hand, and try to pick up
grains of rice and bits of
Hand with Chopsticks.
hash with their ends, you can see
with what difficulty the first Jap- anese meal is eaten.
Even well-to-do people of Japan seldom have
more than two courses at a meal. They eat three meals
a day, a breakfast on rising, a dinner at noon, and
another meal at sunset. The eggs and fowl on
their tables are well prepared. The Japanese make deli-
cious fish soups, and they broil and fry fish, making dishes
fit for a king. They eat but little meat, and they do not
have butter or cheese. Rice forms the chief part of the
food eaten by most of the people, but some are so poor
that they cannot afford rice, and millet, a kind of grass
seed, and other grains are used in its stead.
The supper over, the family sit around on the floor and
chat. The neighbors come in, and all, both women and
men, smoke little pipes as they talk. The children play
games. Those who are in school perhaps study their
lessons for the morrow, and the little girls play with their
dolls. And so our evening passes until the time comes
for sleep. Then there is a commotion. The servants go
out to shut up for the night. They pull the sliding walls
to, until the whole house becomes a well-closed box, and
the only ventilation is through the cracks at the corners.
';lv l ii
We have been wondering all the time where we should
sleep. We have gone through the house, and so far have
seen no sign of a bed. Our little maidservant takes us
upstairs. She slides back a board which hides a recess
in the wall, and pulls out armful after armful of soft, thick
quilts or comforts. She lays these on the floor, one on top
of another, and turns down the last one for a cover. We
look for the sheets, and are told that the Japanese do not
THE EMPEROR AND HIS GOVERNMENT.
use them. Then, we ask for pillows, and the maid gives
each of us a block of wood about the size of a brick. This
stands on its side, and has a roll of
soft paper on top. We are expected
to put them under our necks, and let
our heads hang over the edges while
we sleep. We try it, but find that,
though they do for Japan, they will
not do for America; so we roll up
our coats and use them instead, and
"- the size of a brick."
are soon dreaming of
V. THE EMPEROR AND HIS PALACES.
W E shall visit to-day some of the high officials of
Japan, and shall learn something of how the
empire is governed. The emperor rules through his cab-
inet and parliament, and our first journey will be to his
majesty's palaces. He has a vast estate in the heart of
Tokyo, made up of hill and valley, and containing lakes
and woods and several acres of one-story palaces. The
grounds, as we have seen, are surrounded by wide moats,
and upon the water magnificent lotus flowers float on their
green leaves. We cross the moats on bridges of marble,
and, passing soldiers and servants in European clothes,
find ourselves in the home of the Japanese ruler.
The palaces are of wood, built much after the style of
the Japanese temples, of which we shall learn later on.
They have hundreds of rooms, and many of the walls
consist of sliding screens of plate glass, which move in
grooves and can be pushed back so that. many rooms can
be thrown into one. Some of the ceilings are decorated
with the finest embroideries, and one room is ceiled with
woven gold tapestry that cost ten thousand dollars. The
walls of the other rooms are covered with brocaded silks
as fine as that of a ball dress, and the inlaid floors have
matting almost as soft as a velvet carpet.
There are all sorts of flowers in the emperor's gardens,
and his lakes are filled with many kinds of fish. He has
large ponds, fed by canals, where he takes part with his
nobles in the netting of ducks. This is a favorite amuse-
ment of the rich Japanese. There are many wild ducks
about Tokyo, and, as they fly over the palace grounds,
they are enticed to alight by means of decoy-ducks which
float on the emperor's ponds. Other decoys are scattered
along the little canals which run out from the ponds, and
which are so lined with trees and bushes that a man can
easily hide on their banks. Grain is scattered about in the
canals as bait, and when the ducks swim after this, the
emperor and his nobles, concealed in the bushes, catch
Them by throwing nets over their heads. It requires great
skill to throw a net properly, and the princes are said to
delight in the sport.
You must not think, however, that duck netting is the
chief business of the Japanese ruler. He is a hard-working
monarch', and most of his time is occupied in managing the
government of his country. His cabinet ministers bring
him daily reports from all parts of his empire, and he has
the American newspapers translated, so that he can tell
what they are saying about Japan.
The emperor's quarters in the palace are entirely
separate and apart from those of the empress. Her
majesty has a complete court of her own, with her sec-
retaries and servants. She is at the head of all move-
ments for the advancement of Japanese women. Like
THE EMPEROR AND HIS GOVERNMENT.
his majesty, the empress now wears foreign clothes upon
state occasions. She has abandoned the old Japanese
custom whereby a wife shaved off her eyebrows and
blackened her teeth in order to show her devotion to her
husband by making herself so ugly that it would be impos-
sible for any one else to admire her. This horrible fashion,
however, has prevailed widely in Japan until lately, and,
as we shall see, it still exists in
some parts of the country.
We pass many policemen on
our way back from the palace,
and see that good order is every-
where kept. The police dress
in clothing much like that which
we wear, but they all carry
swords. They tie their prison-
ers with ropes, and drive or drag
them on the way to the jail.
Japan has now as good a police
system as ours, and there are
police stations scattered all over They tie their prisoners
"They tie their prisoners -"
the empire. There are many
detectives, and the spy system of the Emperor of Japan
is almost as efficient as that of the Czar of Russia.
In making our tour through the country, we learn that
we must have passports, or papers showing just who we
are and where we are going. Each passport must contain
the name of the owner and a full description of just how
he looks. It gives his age and height, and tells whether
his eyes are brown, blue, black, or gray. These papers
will be asked for at every city or village we visit, and the
hotel keepers must see them before they will give us our
rooms. Every foreigner in the Japanese Empire must
have a paper of this kind; and if he cannot show it upon
the demand of the police, he is regarded as a suspicious
character, and may be thrown into prison. In this way
the emperor knows just who are in his country, and what
they are doing, and he can tell almost to a man where
every stranger sleeps every night. His own people are
not allowed to leave the country without the permission
of the government, and those who break the laws are
almost sure to be punished.
Japan now has good courts. It has hundreds of
lawyers, and every man is allowed a fair trial. The
greatest penalty permitted is death by hanging, and for
small offenses the fines are sometimes as low as five
In the past, the laws were made by the shogun and
the emperor. Now the Japanese people make laws for
themselves through their Houses of Parliament. The
Upper House is composed of the nobles, and the most
of the members are clhosen by the nobility, though some
receive their appointment directly from the emperor. The
members of the House of Representatives are elected by
the people. Every Japanese man has to be twenty-five
years old before he can vote, and a voter must have
enough property so that his taxes amount to at least
fifteen dollars a year.
The Houses of Parliament have officers much like our
Houses of Congress. The members make speeches, and
they discuss all measures relating to public affairs. They
vote all the money that is to be used in carrying on the
government, with the exception of the emperor's house-
hold expenses, with which they have nothing to do. The
people of Japan formerly had but few rights. They were
forced to pay such taxes as were demanded by the nobles
THE EMPEROR AND HIS GOVERNMENT.
and the army. Now they fix their own taxes, and every-
thing is fair and just.
The parliament buildings are situated in Tokyo, not far
from the palace. There is a big wall around them which
is entered by gates, and when the houses are in session
you see on each side of these gates about five hundred
black jinrikishas, with barelegged men in butter-bowl hats,
Parliament House, Interior.
tights, and blue jackets, sitting in them, waiting for their
employers, the members of parliament, to come out.
Leaving the parliament buildings, it is but a short drive
to the Department of War, where the officers stay who
control all matters relating to the Japanese army. The
emperor has now one of the best armies of the world;
every Japanese boy of seventeen years is expected to
enter some branch of it, and after he becomes a man he
has seven years to serve as a soldier.
The rifle used by the army was invented by a Japanese,
and is one of the best in the world. The soldiers are
trained by officers, many of whom have
been educated in the German army,
and it was this training that enabled
the little Japanese nation to conquer
the great nation of China, which has
about ten times as many people. Japan
has a fine modern navy, and its war-
ships are equal to those of the great
nations of Europe.
We shall find that one of the most
important officers of the emperor's cabi-
net is the minister of communications.
His department has to do with the postal
Sand telegraph systems of the empire.
In the past, all letters in Japan were
carried by messengers, whose costume
consisted chiefly of a cloth about the
waist, and of a rich coat of tattooing.
The service was so expensive that only
'' the rich could afford to send letters.
Now Japan has a postal system like
ours, and letters are sent to all parts
of the country for two cents apiece.
An American from our Post Office
Department at Washington went to
Japan and showed the emperor how
we carried our letters, and he ordered
that his officers should introduce the
Japanese Postage Stamps.
same methods there. The Japanese
now make their own postage stamps. They have postal
cards, and if we call at the Post Office Department, we
THE EMPEROR AND HIS GOVERNMENT.
can learn that the postal service in one year carried over
three hundred million letters, and more than eighty mil-
lion newspapers and periodicals.
We shall meet Japanese post-
men on the streets of every city
we visit. They wear blue clothes,
and their blue-mittened feet rest
on straw sandals. They deliver
their letters at all the houses, and 4
collect from the street postal
boxes, just as our American post-
men do. The telegraph system
is equally good. All the lines be- I .
long to the government, and you -
can telegraph more cheaply in
Japan than in America.
We visit also the Treasury De- "They have postal cards -"
apartment, one division of which
makes the money of Japan. The
Japanese use gold, silver, copper,
and paper as money. They have
a banking system much like that
of the United States, and in the
Bureau of Engraving they make
their own bank notes. The unit
is the yen, which is a silver coin
of the size and shape of our silver
dollar. Each yen contains one
hundred sen, or cents, and each
"We shall meet Japanese post- sen contains ten rin. There are
men-" fifty-sen, twenty-sen, ten-sen, and
five-sen pieces of silver. There are nickel coins worth five
sen, and copper pieces of two sen, one sen, one half sen,
and one rin, or one tenth of a sen. The paper money is
in bills of one yen, five yen, ten yen, and upwards, the bills
being wider than, but not so long as, our national bank
VI. JAPANESE CHILDREN AT SCHOOL AND
APAN now has public schools, and the little yellow-
skinned, slant-eyed Japanese can have an education
almost equal to that of children in the United States. In
the Japanese cities there are more than one hundred kin-
dergartens, where little girls and boys of from three to six
years begin their school life. All children are compelled
by law to attend school from their sixth to their tenth
year, and there are advanced grades for those who wish to
Many Japanese families are so poor that they need the
help of their children who are more than ten years old;
and such children are then put to work in the fields, in
stores, at trades, or in the factories. Thousands of boys,
however, are kept at school until they are grown up, hav-
ing most of the studies taught in our country. Hundreds
attend the colleges which are to be found in the different
Japanese cities, and many graduate yearly at the Imperial
University at Tokyo.
The empress has established a girls' school at the capi-
tal, where the daughters of princes and nobles are edu-
cated. Here they study French, German, and English,
and learn everything fitted to make them good wives for
the men who are to govern Japan when they are grown up.
The studies of Japanese children are more difficult than
CHILDREN AT SCHOOL AND AT PLAY.
ours. We have only twenty-six letters in our alphabet.
The Japanese have forty-seven in theirs, and there are so
many word signs in addition that an educated man must
know thousands of characters. Many of the signs mean
whole words or short sentences, and there are curious
endings and crooks which have to be learned.
Let us visit a primary school, not one of the new city
schools, some of which now have desks like our own, but
one of the common primary schools, such as we shall find
all over the country. It is early in the morning, and the
children, dressed in gowns, stand about with their books
in little satchels hung from their backs.
Here comes the teacher. We can hear him afar off, as
he clatters along on his wooden sandals. He wears a
gown of dark gray, and has spectacles covering his eyes.
As he approaches, the children bow down almost to their
knees, and as they rise they suck in their breath as a
polite mark of respect. The teacher does likewise, and
he smiles upon them as he comes up to the house, and,
placing his sandals on the ground, walks over the white
mats on the floor of the schoolroom and takes his seat
under the blackboard. He may have a chair, or he may
sit on the floor with a low desk before him.
The scholars as they come in leave their sandals in
order outside. They squat in their stocking feet on the
floor mats, and study with their books on their knees.
How queer the books are! They begin at the back
instead of the front, and the lines run up and down the
page instead of across it. What curious letters! They
remind us of the Chinese characters which we see on the
tea boxes, and they seem almost alike.
Here is a class of five boys learning their letters. The
teacher makes the characters on the blackboard, and the
boys copy them on sheets of paper, singing out their
names as they do so. Do they write with pencils or
pens ? No, they have brushes much like those we use for
water colors, and they paint the
S' letters with black India ink.
.: Notice how they hold the brush
Sas they write. Their hands do
S' not touch the paper, the brush
f" ''. is almost vertical, and instead
;. of writing, as we do, across the
page from left to right, they
S begin on the right hand of the
i sheet, and paint their lines from
the top to the bottom. Each
,_-- child has an ink stone beside
him. Upon this he puts a few
A Writing Lesson. drops of water, and then rubs
the stone with a little black cake of India ink, thus making
his own ink as he writes. No blotters are needed. The
paper is soft and porous, and sucks in the ink as it comes
from the brush.
There is a little boy learning to count with the soroban,
an aid to calculation by
which the Japanese, to
a large extent, dispense
with mental arithmetic.
It is a box of wooden but-
tons strung upon wires,
as wide as this book and
about a foot long, like
the one we saw the bookkeeper use in the store. The
buttons represent units, tens, hundreds, thousands, etc.,
and by moving them up and down, the Japanese boy is
CHILDREN AT SCHOOL AND AT PLAY.
able to do sums of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and
division; and it is said that any sum in arithmetic can be
done in this way upon the soroban, even to extracting
square and cube root.
In some of the schools we shall find translations of
American text-books, and many of the scholars will tell
us that they think their hardest study is English, because
everything connected with it seems to go wrong end fore-
most. They must begin at what seems to them the wrong
end of the book. They write from the other side of the
page, and the sentences seem to go across the page the
wrong way. They also find the pen very awkward to
handle, but they feel that they must learn to write English,
for the government officials and the best business men of
Japan now understand this language and use it.
In the past, the boys of the upper classes looked for-
ward to the day when they could go about wearing two
swords, and when their chief business would be fighting.
Now "the pen is mightier than the sword," for Japan has
become a land of books and newspapers. It has large
bookstores and great printing establishments. There are
now published thirty-five Japanese magazines devoted to
law. There are scores of different papers treating of
farming. There are all kinds of scientific journals, and
daily newspapers are sold in all the cities. We meet
many Japanese newsboys, who go about the streets, each
ringing a bell as the sign that he has papers for sale.
The Japanese newspapers, like the books, begin at the
back. Their columns are wider than those of our papers,
and run horizontally across the page instead of up and
down it. The lines run up and down the columns instead
of across them, and you begin to read at the top of a line
instead of at the side. You read to the bottom of the
r .I r F.
Japanese Newspaper, One Page.
CHILDREN AT SCHOOL AND AT PLAY.
first line, and then go to the top of the one next to the
left, and so on until you come to the end of the sentence.
This is marked by a Japanese period, which is a little
circle, instead of the dot we use. The newspapers con-
tain advertisements, editorials, and all kinds of telegraphic
It takes a vast number of characters to form the type
for one issue of a Japanese paper, and sometimes a thou-
sand different letters may be used on the same page.. The
characters are so many that in a Japanese printing office
a number of boys are employed to run about through the
cases and collect the type for the compositors, who call
out the names of the letters they want.
How about play? Are the lives of Japanese children
made up of nothing but school and hard work? No, in-
deed; they play fully as hard as they study, and they
have as much fun as any boys and girls in the world.
They have all sorts of playthings, and there are toy stores
in all the cities. There are peddlers who wander about
through the country selling nothing but toys, and there
are men who carry little ovens or stoves with real fire in
them about the streets, and who have sweet dough for
sale. A boy or girl can rent a stove for an hour for less
than five cents, and the stove man will furnish the dough,
and look on while the child makes up cakes and bakes
them. Sometimes the man cuts out Japanese letters, and
the child cooks them and learns their names as it plays.
There are men who sit in the streets and mold animals,
jinrikishas, and other things of rice paste for children,
according to their orders, for a very small sum.
The dressing of dolls is a great pastime for girls. There
are three days of every year during which all the peo-
ple celebrate what is called the Feast of Dolls. At this
time all the dolls which have been kept in the family for
generations are brought forth, set upon shelves covered
with red cloth, and admired. Some of them represent
the emperor and the empress, and are treated with great
honor, receiving the best food of the play feasts, to which
the dolls are treated three times a day. After the three
days are ended, these dolls are put away, but the little
"- selling nothing but toys -"
Japanese girl has other dolls with which she plays the
There is also a day devoted to the boys. We shall
know it by seeing great balloonlike paper fishes floating
in the air from sticks fastened to the roof of each house
in which a boy baby has been born during the year, and
also from other houses where the parents are glad they
have boys. The Japanese boys have kites of all kinds
and shapes. Some are singing kites, which make a music
CHILDREN AT SCHOOL AND AT PLAY.
like that of an NEolian harp as they float in the air, kept
steady by two long tails, one tied to each lower corner.
Others are made in the shapes of dragons and babies,
eagles and butterflies, and all sorts of animals.
Some kites have their strings soaked with glue into
which powdered glass is dusted, for a length of thirty feet
from the kite. When the glue hardens, this part of the
string becomes as sharp as a file. These are called fight-
ing kites. The boys try to get the strings of two of
them crossed while in the air, and each pulls his kite this
way and that until one of the glass-powdered strings
saws the other in two. In such cases the owner of the
victorious kite is entitled to the one which has been cut
Japanese children have games of instruction, as well as
games of pure play. They have block maps made of
pieces, and by putting these together they learn the shape
of Japan and of the world. They have a game much like
our "Authors," called One Hundred Verses of One Hun-
dred Poets," which teaches them the names and-best say-
ings of the great Japanese scholars. Many of the games
they play teach them lessons in morals. For instance, one
of their games is like our Pussy wants a corner;" but
in Japan the "pussy" is known by a name which repre-
sents a Japanese devil, and the corners of the room are
called the Harbors of Truth, in which places only can
safety be found.
The Japanese have two great religions. One is called
Shin'to-ism. It is the oldest religion of Japan, and con-
sists largely of the worship of the heroes of Japanese his-
tory. The other is Buddhism, which was introduced into
Japan about 600 A.D., and of which we shall learn more
in Siam and India. Connected with these religions there
are gods of all kinds, and many persons have their favorite
gods. Every Japanese house has a little shrine in it, before
which the people place offerings and pray; and there are
public shrines and temples devoted to religion in all parts
of Japan. Some of these are considered especially holy,
and pilgrims by the thousands, with staves in their hands
and with baggage tied to their backs, walk from one holy
place to another to offer their prayers.
We meet Buddhist priests, who go about with shaved
heads, and we spend hours in admiring the beautiful
temples which have been
erected to Buddha. They
Share one-story structures of
wood, with heavy roofs of
S black tiles. Many of them
are of vast extent, and the
interiors of some are gor-
geous with carvings. Some
temples have rooms papered
with gold leaf and walled
with paintings by the Japa-
nese masters, and many of
them contain images plated
Japanese Priest. Japan has one statue of
Buddha which is among the
great art works of the world. This we visit at Kamaku'ra,
a small town on the seacoast not far from Yokohama.
The statue is made of bronze plates so fitted together
that the joints cannot be seen. It is known as the Dai
Butzu (di boot'soo). It is an immense sitting figure as
tall as a four-story house. We get some idea of its size
when we find that its bronze thumbs are so large that
FARMS AND FARMING.
"- as tall as a four-story house."
two men can sit on one of them and have room to spare,
and that its eyes, which are of gold, are each three feet
VII. JAPANESE FARMS AND FARMERS.
THE country scenes are among the most interesting
sights of Japan. Let us leave Tokyo and make a
tour overland to the cities in the central part of the
empire. How shall we travel? We might go by railroad,
and, in cars much like ours, could ride from one town to
another almost as fast as on our trains at home. We
should find the cars filled with Japanese people, and might
note that many of the girls and boys, not used to foreign
benches and chairs, squat on the cushions, with their feet
tucked beneath them.
Japan is fast building
railroads. Great trunk
lines now connect all
the main centers, and
the rates of fare are ex-
The railroad, how-
ever, is too quick for
our journey. We want
to see something of
Japanese farms, and to
learn how the people
Sliver in the country. So
Sle we will take jinrikishas,
with two men to each
cars filled with Japanese people caiage, and wil ride
carriage, and will ride
almost as fast as though we had horses. One man will
pull in the shafts, and the other will push hard behind
when we go up the hills, or by a rope will harness himself
to the front and run on ahead. We soon get over our
shame at driving our almond-eyed brothers, and we poke
our human steeds in the back and urge them to hurry.
We find the roads very good. There are villages every
few miles, and we stay at night in country hotels, where
we must sleep on the floor. The landlord's children watch
us with wonder as we come in. When we have gone to
our rooms, they may poke their fingers through the paper
walls, and, gluing their eyes to the holes, see how the
FARMS AND FARMING.
strange foreigners look as they take off their clothes and
prepare to go to sleep. Some of them have never before
seen an American, and our straight eyes and fair faces
seem to them very queer.
We have some rainy days on our journey, during which
we pass many travelers wearing the waterproof cloak of
Japan. This is a sort of shawl of rice straw which hangs
from the shoulders, and which, with the big straw hat
above it, makes the wearer look like a gigantic yellow
bird trotting along through the fields. We cross now and
then over mountains so steep that we must leave our jin-
rikishas and be carried by men in conveyances known
as ka-gas. The kago is a
basket-work chair hung to
a long pole, which is car-
ried on the shoulders of
men. You squat in the
chair crosslegged, and hold
on for dear life as your men
carry you along precipices,
over the stones of rushing
mountain streams, going up
hill and down.
We pass through much
beautiful scenery. Japan
is made up of mountains
and valleys, and the moist
air keeps nature refresh-
ingly grr keepsn. The remoun- the waterproof cloak of Japan."
ingly green. The moun-
tains feed many short rivers, and brooks by the hundreds
gurgle down the green hills. The Japanese understand
the science of irrigation, and some of these streams are
dammed up in the mountains, and the water is carried
from one place to another through winding ditches, so
that one stream feeds many farms. The hills are often
cut into different levels or terraces, over which the streams
flow successively on their way to the valleys.
The mountainous nature of Japan is such that less than
one tenth of the empire is under cultivation; but that tenth
gives more than half of the people constant employment,
and it produces enough to feed Japan's entire population.
The soil for farming is not richer than ours, but the
Japanese so increase its fertility by good cultivation that
one acre often produces from three to five times as much
as the same space does in America; and it is said that
there are farms in Japan which for centuries have pro-
duced two crops every year.
FARMS AND FARMING.
How queer the farms are! The whole country looks
like a vast garden, with ponds of silvery-white water
showing out through the green. There are no very large
fields, the average farm being less than two acres in size.
The crops are of all shades and colors, from the gold of
ripe wheat to the green of sprouting rice. We look over
the fields in vain for fences, houses, and barns. The
A Farmer's House.
Japanese have no fences. They do not live on their
farms, but in villages of thatched wooden houses strung
along the main roads. There is no need of barns, as the
crops are sold almost as soon as they are harvested.
There are very few horses, cows, or sheep. In some
parts of the empire the people would look upon sheep as
wild animals, and a cow would be as great a curiosity as the
elephant is to us. The horses we see are not bigger than
good-sized ponies. They are used chiefly as pack horses,
though now and then we pass one hitched to a cart and
led by a big-hatted peasant.
We notice that the horses are shod with straw shoes.
The straw is so braided that it forms a round mat about
half an inch thick, which is fastened to the animal's foot
by straw strings running around the leg just above the
hoof. Each pack horse has a stock of fresh shoes tied to
his saddle, and the farmer who leads him looks now and
then at his feet, and changes his shoes as soon as they
become worn. Such shoes cost less than one cent a set.
The distances through the country districts are often meas-
ured by the number of shoes which the horses wear out
while traveling them, and it is said that the average horse-
shoe will last for a walk of eight miles.
We find that the farmers of Japan have not been greatly
affected by our civilization. They think, act, and live much
as they did in the past, and we observe everywhere the
customs of the old Japan. We see Japanese women whose
heads are shaved close to the scalp, and who have no sign
of eyebrows. They seem homely indeed, and upon inquiry
we learn that they are widows who keep their heads shaved
in order to show their grief for the loss of their husbands.
We see many women who look very pretty until they open
their mouths; but then we notice that their teeth are as
black as a pair of new rubber shoes. They are farm wives
who are destroying their beauty to show their husbands
that they do not care for the attentions of others. The
men in some cases have their heads shaved on the top,
with the long locks at the side and the back fastened
up on the crown of the head in a stiff queue like a door
knocker. This is the old style of wearing the hair, and
was the usual fashion some years ago.
FARMS AND FARMING.
The men at work in the fields wear hardly any clothes,
and we see some who have on nothing except a flat hat of
white straw, as big as a parasol, and a cloth tied around
the waist. We see children with tools on their shoulders,
on their way to the fields. We see barefooted women
clad in big hats and blue cotton gowns, and notice that
there are as many women as men at work out of
doors. The women and men work side by side, and
the children have their share in the toil. How hard
Plowing Rice Ground.
they all work! They dig up the ground with mattock
and spade. There are but few plows or other modern
implements, and all sorts of seeds are planted by hand.
The harvesting is likewise done by hand, and we see
that it is human muscle which makes Japan's bread.
The crops are of all kinds, for nearly everything can be
raised in Japan. We see patches of wheat and barley, of
tobacco and cotton, and of other plants which are strange
to our eyes. We go through thousands of rice fields. Rice
is the most important crop of the country, for it forms the
chief food of the people. The majority of the world's
inhabitants eat rice, and for at least one third of them it
is the principal food.
There are almost as many different kinds of rice as
there are different kinds of apples, and the Japanese rice
is among the best. It requires great care in its cultiva-
tion. The grains must first be sowed in soil which is well
soaked with water. They sprout iir four or five days, and
within a month or six weeks they are ready to be trans-
planted. The rice fields have in the mean time been
flooded. The farmers now take the young sprouts, and
--_*-- --- -," ,
and set them out in the mud."
in their bare feet wade through the water and set them
out in the mud. They flood the fields again and again
during the summer. They keep the rice free from weeds,
and by the latter part of September the crop is ready for
The rice plants grow much like our wheat or oats. At
first they are a beautiful green, but as they ripen they
become a bright yellow. The straw is cut close to the
FARMS AND FARMING.
ground with a sickle, and is tied up in little sheaves which
are hung over a pole resting on legs, so that the heads of rice
are off the ground. The grains are pulled from the stem
by drawing the straw through a rack which has teeth like a
saw. The grains fall off and are laid away to be husked
when required. We find rice fields in all the lowlands of
the island of Hondo, and in many other parts of Japan.
i :-"..:, wi-- ".- 71, ^,
We stop now and then at the tea fields or tea gardens,
which are to be found throughout the greater part of the
empire; and, as we get nearer Kioto, in central Japan, we
spend a few days in the region of Uji (oo'je), where the
tea grown is especially fine. One kind is known by a
Japanese word meaning "jeweled dew," and is worth from
five to eight dollars a pound. It is in Uji that the tea for
the emperor and empress has been grown for years.
The tea plant of Japan is a kind of camellia. It grows
much like the American box, and it is carefully cultivated
"- the hedges run in parallel rows -"
in hedges which rise to a height of from three to five feet,
and which are usually about two feet in width. In a tea
garden the hedges run in parallel rows from one side to
the other, the rows being about as far apart as those of a
potato field. The leaves, which form the tea of com-
merce, look somewhat like those of a rosebush, their color
being a very bright green.
The plants produce their best tea from the fifth to the
tenth year, but some plants are said to live longer than
the life of a man. They are picked several times during
the season, the first tea crop of each year being the best.
The work is done almost entirely by girls, who walk
through the bushes and pick out the bright, new, green
leaves from the old, dark ones. They put the leaves in
great baskets and carry them off on their backs.
Weighing Tea, Japan.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY.
The leaves are dried in the sun, then steamed, and dried
again. That part of the crop intended for export is then
shipped to the tea factories at the ports, where all the
moisture is taken out of the leaves by rubbing them about
in great iron bowls set in ovens. This rubbing is done by
the hands of women and men, and under it the leaves
change their shape until they become the little, hard,
twisted things that we buy as tea in America. After they
are thoroughly dried, they are sorted by Japanese girls,
and then packed in boxes for shipment. The work is all
done by hand, and every cup of tea that we drink is made
from leaves, each of which has been handled again and
again by Japanese (or other Asiatic) men, women, and
VIII. COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL
RIDING through tea gardens, passing by great fields
of cotton, and finding at every few miles villages
busy with the making of porcelain, cotton, and silk goods,
we at last come to Kioto. The region about the cities of
Kioto and O'saka is one of the busiest parts of the world.
We find in Kioto men and women weaving beautiful silks
on the rudest of looms, not far from modern silk mills;
and in Osaka we may see large cotton mills, in which the
long-stapled raw cotton, shipped by the thousands of bales
from our Southern States, is mixed with the shorter Japa-
nese cotton, and, with modern machinery, is woven into all
sorts of cloths for'the people.
We find many factories devoted to the manufacture of
the jute rugs which are shipped to America from Japan;
CARP. ASIA -5
and we are surprised to see that these beautiful rugs are
woven in most cases by children of ten years and upwards,
who receive for a day's work from five to ten cents. The
women and men also get low wages; and when we enter
the workingmen's homes, and note how cheap everything
is, we see that the Japanese could easily live upon what
we of the United States waste. We notice the introduc-
Cobbler, using Feet.
tion of our labor-saving inventions, and wonder if the time
will not soon come when these people, with their great
skill and low wages, will be competing with our workmen
in all kinds of goods and in all the world's markets.
At present the greater part of the work is done by
hand. Nearly all the native manufactures are produced
in this way. In the villages given up to the making of
porcelain we see numerous small factories where the clay
is modeled by hand, and where the artists squat on the
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY.
floor and paint the vases and dishes with the beautiful and
curious designs found on Japanese china.
There are artists who carve rats and monkeys and many
other figures out of ivory tusks, to be shipped as curios
all over the world. There are shops in which Japanese
lanterns are being made, where dozens of boys and girls
squat together, bending bamboo hoops into the proper
shapes and pasting the paper upon them. There are um-
brella makers and fan makers sitting in their shops by the
roadside and drying their goods in the sun.
As we look, we see that the Japanese artisan has what is
equal to four hands and twelve fingers. He is usually bare-
footed, and he uses his feet almost as much as his hands.
He holds all sorts of articles steady by pressing them be-
tween the soles of his feet. His two great toes are equal
to two extra fingers, and he can pick up a nail with his toes.
As we go on, we notice that some Japanese methods
of work seem to be the direct opposites of ours. There
is a carpenter planing a board. He pulls the plane toward
him, instead of pushing it from him as our carpenters do;
and when he uses the drawing knife he pushes it instead
of pulling it, as would seem to us to be the natural way.
The American builder begins his house with the founda-
tion. The Japanese builder makes the roof first. He puts
it together in pieces
upon a scaffolding of
poles, and then fills in
7 the framework beneath.
The logs are often
brought to the building,
and the boards sawed
S\ out by hand as they are
needed. In the lumber
S'yards of Japan the saw-
: mill is an almond-eyed,
? barelegged man, who
stands on top of a log,
or beneath it, and pulls
or pushes away with
the saw until he has cut the log into boards.
We find that Osaka has a vast trade. It may be called
the New York of Japan, for it is the commercial capital of
the empire. The city itself has a population of about five
hundred thousand, and with the manufacturing villages
which make up its suburbs, it contains more than a million
people. It has many great wholesale establishments and
hundreds of large retail stores.
In its stock exchanges we learn something of Japanese
trade, and we find that Japan sells to other nations every
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY.
year one hundred million dollars' worth of goods. We of
the United States buy of Japan several times as much
goods as she buys of us, and her trade with us is increas-
ing. The chief things that we export to Japan are kero-
sene oil, different kinds of machinery, and raw cotton.
More than half the homes of the Japanese people are now
"" Z1TF -- -T W W
lighted by American oil; many of the modern mills of the
empire have machinery from America; and millions of
the Japanese working people are kept warm by cotton
from our Southern States. On the other hand, our ladies
use Japanese silks by the millions of yards; many of our
houses are furnished with Japanese rugs made of cotton
and jute; and the most beautiful matting sold in our stores
now comes from Japan.
The greater part of the tea which flows down American
throats is made from leaves raised on Japanese soil, and
almost all the camphor used by the world comes from
Japan. The United States imports tons of this drug every
year, and in our tour we now and then pass great camphor
trees. There are camphor groves scattered throughout
the western part of the empire, the trees of which are
perhaps the most valuable known to the world. In the
village of Tosa, in western Japan, there is a group of thir-
teen trees about one hundred years old, which, it is believed,
will produce forty thousand pounds of crude camphor,
and which are worth, as they stand, four thousand silver
The camphor tree is an evergreen of the laurel family.
It has a trunk not unlike that of an oak, and this, in full-
grown trees, usually runs up from twenty to thirty feet
without limbs. Above this point branches extend out in
every direction, covered with an evergreen foliage, and
forming a well-proportioned and beautiful tree. Some of
the camphor trees of Japan are fully fifteen feet in diame-
ter, and some are more than three hundred years old.
The trees are destroyed in the production of camphor.
They are cut, roots and all, into chips, and these pieces
are boiled so that the camphor sap and oil are cooked out
of them. The sap and oil go up with the steam, which is
conducted into a vessel kept cool by running cold water
over it. This condenses the vapor into a deposit of oil and
camphor. The oil is pressed out, and that which remains
is the crude camphor of commerce.
From Osaka, a half hour by rail takes us to Ko'be, the
chief seaport of central Japan. It lies at the entrance
of the famed Inland Sea, through which we pass on our
way to Ko-re'a. We travel in a Japanese steamer, float-
i'I' I '
111111 110 11: 1 -
lLi :i, '' "i
o. .. ..k.e. ... Japan.
o e k
Folding Skeins of Silk, Japan.
l.'!,; '' dw .
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY.
ing in and out among mountainous islands, the hills of
which are terraced, and which have many black-roofed
villages dotting their shores. We pass through narrow
channels, moving in and out among Japanese craft. We
float for hours through the most beautiful scenery, and at
last find ourselves at anchor in the mountain-locked har-
bor of Nagasaki, the westernmost port of Kiushu. Here
we take coal, hundreds of half-naked little Japanese women
and men passing it in small baskets from one to another
from a barge on one side of the steamer, until the coal
is at last stored in the hold.
Our ship is called the Tokyo Maru (ma-roo). It is
lighted by electricity, and heated by steam. We travel
almost as comfortably as we did on the steamship in
which we crossed the Pacific. The sailors and officers
are all Japanese, and the Japanese passengers stand with
us at the stern of the boat, and with us look longingly
back as we steam out into the ocean, and say Sayonara"
(si-yon-a'ra), or "Farewell," to Japan.
IX. THE HERMIT NATION.
A SHORT sail from Japan brings us to the land of big
hats and long gowns, the land of the Koreans, the
curious people who have gained the title of "The Hermit
Nation." We knew nothing about them until a short
time ago, yet they existed as a nation two thousand years
before America was discovered, and their history records
their doings as far back as twelve hundred years before
The Koreans have always looked upon their country as
the most beautiful of the world, and have tried to keep
other nations from learning about it, for fear that they
might come and seize it. For this reason the Koreans
have until lately driven travelers away from their shores,
and when sailors were shipwrecked there, they were not
permitted to leave, lest they might carry the news of
Korea to their homes.
You have learned how the United States introduced our
civilization into Japan. It also opened Korea to the rest
of the world. In 1882 one of our naval officers, Com-
modore R. W. Shufeldt, was sent to this country. His
vessel entered the harbor of Chemul'pho, and he there
made a treaty by which the King of Korea consented to
open his land to all nations. Since then travelers have
been permitted to go where they please. The Koreans
are now exceedingly hospitable. We shall find ourselves
treated as guests, and we can learn much about this
Korea is a mountainous peninsula of about the same
shape as Florida, and not much greater than Kansas in
area. It is bounded on the northwest and northeast by
THE HERMIT NATION.
Manchuria and southeastern Siberia, and is separated on
each side from Japan and China by boisterous seas. Its
shores are rocky and peppered with islands. It contains
many fertile valleys covered with rice, and streams by the
hundred flow down its green hills. We shall find its soil
rich, but nowhere well farmed. The climate is much the
same as that of our North Central States, and we shall
notice that the trees are not very different from those we
have at home. In the mountains there are rich mines of
gold, and valuable coal fields which have not yet been
worked; and in a recent trip across the country the author
saw many signs of petroleum.
Korea has numerous birds and many wild animals. We
shall not dare to travel at night for fear of the tigers, and
we may shoot a leopard as we ride through the mountains.
The country contains about twelve million people, who
live in a few large cities and numerous villages. Both the
towns and their inhabitants are unlike those of any other
part of the world, and we rub our eyes again and again,
wondering whether we are really still on our own planet,
or whether by magic during the night we have not sailed
into one of the stars, or perhaps to the lands of the moon.
We sail around the foot of the peninsula and halfway up
the west coast until we come to the harbor Chemulpho.
This is the port for the capital, the city of Seoul (sa-ool'),
which is situated twenty-six miles back from the seacoast,
on the other side of a small mountain range. We see
white-gowned figures walking like ghosts over the hills as
we enter the harbor, and a crowd of Koreans surrounds us
as we land on the shore.
What curious people they are! Many of them dress
like women, but their faces are men's. They are not
Chinese, and still they are yellow. They are not Japanese,
though their eyes are like almonds in shape. They are
taller than the Chinese we have in America, and their
faces are kinder, though a little more stolid. They have
cheek bones as high as those of an Indian, and their
noses are almost as flat as a negro's. They are stronger
and heavier than the men of Japan, and some carry great
burdens of all kinds of wares.
Here "comes one trotting along with a cartload of pot-
tery tied to his back. During our journey over the moun-
tains to the city of Seoul, men of that
kind will carry our baggage, weighing
S hundreds of pounds, twenty-six miles
for a very few cents. They will fasten
i .'- our trunks to an easel-like framework
of forked sticks which hangs from
their shoulders, and they are so strong
that they will trot over the hills as
S though they were loaded with feathers.
Such men are Korean porters. They
S -- carry the most of the freight of the
"country, and they form but one class of
This curious people.
"-with a cartload of pot- At the top there is the king, who
tery tied to his back." governs the country, and who has vast
estates and acres of palaces. He lives in great state,
and his officials must all get down on their knees when
they meet him. There are nobles by hundreds, who strut
about in gorgeous silk dresses, who own the most of
the land, and who live by taxing the rest of the people.
They are the drones of the country. They spend their
days in smoking and chatting, and they fan themselves as
they ride through the streets in chairs carried by their big-
THE HERMIT NATION.
There are government clerks by the thousand, dressed
in white gowns, who earn their living as scribes for the
nobles. They act as policemen and taxgatherers, and
often oppress the people below them. There are farmers,
merchants, mechanics, and slaves; and the men of each
class have their own costume, by which, we may know
them. The gowns of the clerks have tight sleeves, while
those of the nobles are so big that they hang down from
their wrists like bags. No one can do hard work with his
arms enveloped in bags, and the sleeve of a Korean noble
could hold a baby.
We see servants and slaves dressed in jackets and full
pantaloons of white cotton. They have stockings so
padded that their feet seem to be swelled out or gouty,
and almost burst the low shoes which they wear. The
gowns are of all colors, from the brightest rose pink to
the most delicate sky blue, and the men who wear them
go about with a strut, and swing their arms to and fro, as
they walk up and look at us, the strange foreigners who
have come to their country.
But queerest of all, to our eyes, are the hats and head-
dresses. Some heads show out under great bowls of
white straw as big as an umbrella, and others are deco-
rated with little hats of black horsehair, which cover only
the crown of the head, and which are tied on with ribbons
under the chin. This is the high hat of Korea, which,
like our tall silk hat, is considered the mark of a gentle-
man; and as we go on we shall find that each hat has
its meaning. Here comes one of bright straw, as large
round as a parasol, which seems to be walking off with the
man whose shoulders show out beneath it. That man is a
mourner, for, according to the Korean belief, the gods are
angry with him and have caused the death of his father.
For three years after the death of a parent the Korean
wears a hat of that kind. He dresses in a long gown of
light gray, and holds up a screen in front of his face to show
his great grief. During this time he dare not go to parties,
and he should not do business, or marry.
If, at the end of his mourning, the other
parent should die, he must mourn three
years longer; and when the king or
q teen passes away, all the people put on
Mourning for a season.
-But here come two men with no hats
a:t all. They look very humble, and they
slink along through the crowd, half
ashamed. They part their hair in the
Middle, and wear it in long braids
down their backs. Those are Korean
bachelors, and until they are married
they will have no rights which any
one is bound to respect. Only mar-
"That man is a mourner-" tried men can wear hats in Korea, and
those without wives, whether they be fifteen, or fifty, are
boys, and are treated as such.
Married men wear their hair done up in a topknot of
about the size of a baby's fist. This is tied with a cord,
and it stands straight up on the crown of the head like a
handle. Unmarried men and boys are obliged to wear
their hair down their backs. They tie the long braids
with ribbons, and look more like girls than boys. The
Korean women, as we shall learn farther on, are seldom
seen on the streets, and we meet only men and boys at the
But let us travel over the mountains, and visit the great
city of Seoul. It is the largest city of Korea, and it is the
Main Gate to the Palace, Seoul.
THE HERMIT NATION.
home of the king and his court. It is only twenty-six
miles from Chemulpho, the chief seaport; but the roads
leading to it are rough, and there is little traffic upon
them. We ride in Korean chairs, each of the party sit-
ting crosslegged in a cloth-lined box swung between poles
and carried by four big-hatted coolies. As we go, we
tremble at the prospect of not reaching Seoul before dark,
for we know that we shall have to stay outside all night if
we get there after sunset.
The Korean capital is surrounded by a massive stone
wall as tall as a three-story house, and so broad at the top
that two carriages abreast could .easily be driven upon it.
This wall was built by an army of two hundred thousand
workmen five hundred years ago for the defense of the
city, but it is in good condition to-day, and it can be en-
tered only by the eight great gates which go through it.
These gates are closed every night just at dusk by heavy
doors plated with iron, which are not opened again until
about three o'clock in the morning. The signal for their
closing, as for their opening, is the ringing of a big bell
in the center of the city, after which those who are out-
side cannot get in, and those who are inside cannot get
We know but one word of Korean, which means "go
on," or "hurry." We cry out this word again and again,
until we are hoarse. Our coolies go on the trot, and we
reach Seoul in time to climb to the top of the walls and
take a view of the city before the gates close.
Seoul lies in a basin surrounded by mountains, which
in some places are as rugged and ragged as the wildest
peaks of the Rockies, and which in others are as beauti-
fully green as the Alleghanies or the Catskills. The tops
of these mountains rest in the clouds, and as we look we
see watch fires burning upon them, and learn that these
form the telegraph system of Korea. They are the last
of a series of fires which flash from hill to hill all over
the country and by their number and size tell the king
whether the people of his various provinces are at peace
or about to break out into war. The wall around the city
"-a view of the city -"
climbs upon these mountains. It bridges a stream at
the back. It runs up and down hill and valley, inclos-
ing a plain about three miles square, in which lies the city
What a curious city it is! Imagine three hundred
thousand people living in one-story houses. Picture sixty
thousand houses, ninety-nine out of every hundred of them
built of mud and thatched with straw. Think of a city
THE HERMIT NATION.
where the men are dressed in long gowns, where the ladies
are not seen on the streets, and where the chief business
of all seems to be to smoke, to squat, and to eat; and you
have some idea of Seoul.
It is altogether different from our cities of the same
size. Cut the houses of a great American city down to
the height of ten feet, and how would it look? Tear
away the walls of brick, stone, and wood, and in their
places build up structures of cobblestones put together
with unburnt mud. Slice the big buildings into little
ones, and move the mud walls out to the roadway. Next,
run dirty ditches along the edges of the now narrowed
streets. Cover the houses with straw roofs, and over the
whole tie a network of clotheslines; and you have a
general idea of the Korean capital.
As you look,, you think of a vast harvest field filled with
big haycocks, interspersed here and there with tiled barns,
and with a great inclosure of more imposing barns under
the mountains at the back. The haycocks are the huts
of the poor, the tiled barns are the homes of the nobles,
and the great inclosure contains the palaces of the king.
The nobles live in large yards back from the street.
Their houses look much like those of Japan. They have
walls of paper between the rooms, and they are heated by
flues which run under the floor. The huts of the poor,
which make up the greater part of the city, are built each
in the shape of a horseshoe, with one heel of the shoe
resting on the street, and the other running back into
In the houses of both the rich and the poor the men
live in the front, and the women are shut off in the rear.
They have no views of the street except through little
pieces of glass about as big as a nickel, which they paste
over holes in the paper windows. The doors which lead
into these houses are of the rudest description. They are
so low that you cannot go in without stooping. At the
foot of each door a hole is cut for the dog, and every
Korean house has its own dog, which barks and snaps at
foreigners as they go through the streets.
But, as we are looking over Seoul, the sun drops down
back of the mountains. The great bell in the center of
the city peals out its knell, and the keepers close the gate
doors with a bang. Similar ceremonies are going on at
the other gates of the city, and that bell, like the curfew
of the Middle Ages, sounds the close of the day. We
climb down the steps on the inside of the wall, and take
our seats again in our chairs. We do not go to a hotel,
but our coolies take us to the home of the American minis-
ter, who is a friend of the author, and who entertains us
during our stay.
- a hole is cut for the dog -"
TRAVELS AMONG THE KOREANS.
X. TRAVELS AMONG THE KOREANS.
THIS morning we are to explore the strange city of
Seoul. A Korean who speaks English acts as our
guide, and we are escorted also by two of the native sol-
diers who are furnished to our legation by the king.
There is no danger, but appearances are everything in
Korea, and great people, among whom we are now
classed, since we are the guests of the minister from the
United States, never go out without soldiers and servants
We have to watch where we step. The streets in most
parts of the city are narrow and winding, and the sewage
flows through them in open drains which take up much of
the roadway. There are no waterworks in Seoul except
the Korean water carrier, who almost fills the street as he
goes from one part of the town to the other, carrying
his two buckets, hung one from each end of a pole across
his back. The clouds are left to do the work of sprinkling
the streets, except here and there, where the servants take
dippers and ladle the dirty water out of the sewers to settle
The smell is disgusting at times, and mixed with it just
now is smoke, for all Seoul is cooking its breakfast.
Each of the huts has a chimney which juts out into the
street at right angles with the wall, about two feet from
the ground. The people use straw for fuel, and this
produces the great smoke which the chimneys are pouring
out into the streets.
Our eyes smart as we walk on through the city. We
try to keep out of the way of the porters, the water
carriers, and the people who are going to the markets,
CARP. ASIA 6
which are situated at the foot of the chief business street,
and about the gate through which we entered the city.
We follow the crowd, and soon find ourselves in the
busiest place in Korea.
There are thousands of men in all sorts of costumes,
selling and buying. There are porters by scores who
have brought loads of fresh fish from the seashore on their
backs over the mountains, and there are butchers
by dozens who are selling beef, venison and other
kinds of game. There are booths devoted to
the selling of rice. White- gowned men squat
on the ground with bushels of red peppers before
them. There are boys ped- dling Korean matches,
which are shavings with their ends dipped in
sulphur, and which have ,/ to be touched with a
burning coal before they will light. There are hun-
dreds of men buying grain, and carrying on all
sorts of wholesale and retail business.
The sales are not large, and things are bought
by handfuls rather than bushels. Some articles
seem very curious. Eggs are sold by the stick,
ten being laid end to end and wrapped around
with long straw "Eggsare so tightly that they stand out
straight and stiff, soldbythe A stick of ten eggs brings about
three cents. Here is a man selling pipe stems.
The most of them are as long as himself, for the Korean
gentleman's pipe is so long that he has to have a servant
to light it, as he cannot reach out to its bowl when the
stem is in his mouth.
See that man in a black hat and white gown, with a
pile of clubs before him! They are not unlike baseball
bats, and we wonder if our American game has not been
brought out to Korea. We ask our guide, and he tells us
TRAVELS AMONG THE KOREANS.
that those are ironing clubs, and shows us how the women
use them for ironing. The clothes are first washed in cold
water and dried on the grass. They are then taken into
the house and wrapped around a stick, which is laid on
the floor. Now one or two women squat down before
the stick, and pound upon the cloth with these wooden
clubs until it becomes as smooth and as glossy as the
best work of an American laundry.
"- and pound upon the cloth -"
Our guide points to his own gown of snow white, and
tells us that it was ironed in this way, and as we go on.
through the city we hear the musical rat-tat-tat which
comes from the ironing. This noise is to be heard through-
out Seoul at every hour of the day, and during nearly
every hour of the night. The garments are such that
they must be ripped apart whenever they are washed. It
takes a long time to iron them, and when they are finished
they must be again sewed together, so that you see Ko-
rean girls have quite as much to do as our girls at home.
We learn that only the higher-class women receive any
education, and that very few know how to read. After
girls are seven years old they must stay in the women's
quarters in the backs of the houses, and must no longer
play with the boys. The noble women will not go out
on the street except in closed chairs, and the poorer
women whom we meet dur-
ing our tour have green
cloaks thrown over their
heads, which they hold tight
in front of their faces, with
just a crack for the eyes.
This is so that the men may
not see their beauty as they
ec go through the city.
s Leaving the markets, we
walk through the crowd up
the street till we come to the
little temple containing the
bell which sounds the open-
ing and closing of the gates.
A Korean Lady. This is in the business center
of the city, and the streets surrounding it are thronged with
merchants and peddlers, with dandies and loafers, from
sunrise to sunset. The ordinary Korean store is a little
booth or straw shed which juts out into the street, and
which contains, perhaps, a bushel-basketful of goods. The
merchants wear white gowns and black hats, and we see
them squatting outside their stores with their hats on,
smoking as they wait for their customers.
About the little temple there are large buildings or
TRAVELS AMONG THE KOREANS.
bazaars, each of which is devoted to the selling of one kind
of goods. These buildings have many little rooms, each
the size of a very small closet, and every little room is a
store. The merchants
sit in the halls outside
the closets, with their
hats on, and bring out
piece by piece as you
order. They are by
no means anxious to
sell, and the more
goods you want, the
higher the price they Korean Shoes.
will ask. You may get one pair of shoes, for instance, for
fifty cents, but if you want a hundred, the merchant will
be very sure to charge you at least a dollar a pair, on
the plea that if he sold all his goods he could not keep
his store open.
'A great deal of peddling is done
by boys, some of whom have fires on
the streets, on which they roast chest-
nuts to sell hot from the coals. We
meet little fellows everywhere ped-
dling candy. They have trays which
11 hang from their shoulders at right
angles with their waists, and their
money boxes consist of pieces of
twine, upon which they string the
peddling candy." Korean "cash" which serve as the
money of the country. These cash are about the size of
an old-fashioned red cent, with a square hole cut out of
the center. It takes more than two thousand cash to
equal the value of one of our dollars, and we find that in
taking a long journey we must have an extra bullock,
or a couple of porters, to carry the money we need to use
on the way.
What is the noise we hear coming from that little hut
just off the main street?
That is a Korean school. The teacher squats on the
floor in a gown of white or of some bright color. To-day
he wears rose pink, and he has a cap of black horsehair.
The glasses of his spectacles are as big as trade dollars,
I' '] I Ii I ,
PI 0 II', M l
_- -_-- -- -_----W
"-studying their lessons out loud."
and his appearance is very imposing. His scholars squat
about on straw mats studying their lessons out loud. They
sway themselves back and forth as they sing out again
and again the words they are trying to learn, all shouting
at once. If one stops, the teacher thinks he is not study-
ing, and calls him up for a whipping.
At our request, the teacher shows us how scholars are
punished. A little fellow, well knowing that he has done
nothing wrong and will not be hurt, stretches himself on
TRAVELS AMONG THE KOREANS.
his stomach flat on the floor, while the teacher takes a rod
and taps him a few blows on the thighs. We laugh. The
little Korean laughs, too, and when we have given him a
handful of coins worth about a cent of our money, he runs
back to his seat, the happiest, as well as the richest, boy in
The studies of Korean boys are made up chiefly of
learning by heart the sayings of great Chinese scholars.
They do not now have the advantages of our American
children, but important changes are going on in the coun-
try, and the little Koreans will probably soon have schools
like our own.
It is through public examinations in the grounds of the
palace, that the officials of the country are chosen. The
Koreans have great respect for good scholars. They are
lovers of poetry. Young men often have poetry parties,
where each guest shows his skill in writing verses upon a
subject given out at the time.
We find other curious customs, some good and some
bad, which have grown up during the ages the Koreans
have lived by themselves. The people have much natural
refinement. They are intelligent and kind, and, as we
travel among them, we feel that with a good government,
new laws, and equal rights for all men, such as they may
have in the future, they will make as respectable a little
nation as can be found anywhere.
We feel sorry to leave them, but we must go across the
peninsula to the east coast, in order to get a ship for
Siberia. We travel on ponies, riding for seven days up and
down the mountains, passing through thousands of rice
fields, and now and then skirting the wilds where we dare
not go after dark for fear of the tigers. We find numer-
ous villages of thatched huts, and notice that the farmers
live in villages and not on their farms. We stop some-
times at Korean inns, where we sleep on the brick floors,
half baked by the straw fires beneath us. Sometimes we
stay with the magistrates, who, on our departure, as a
mark of honor furnish us with trumpeters to toot us out
of the town.
At last we reach the fine harbor known as Gensan.
Here we board a Japanese steamer on its way from Na-
gasaki to Vladivostok (vla-de-vos-t6k'), and after a few
days' sail northward we find ourselves at anchor in the
Gulf of St. Peter the Great, with the largest seaport of
Siberia lying before us.
Plowing in Korea.
THE TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILROAD.
"There is a Russian church-"
XI. SIBERIA AND THE TRANS-SIBERIAN
VLADIVOSTOK is the key to eastern Siberia (see map
on p. 301). It is the great seaport of Russian Asia,
and is one of the most strongly fortified towns on the
globe. The Gulf of St. Peter the Great, in which we
come to anchor, is surrounded by mountains. At the
foot of these, running up the sides of the hills, stand hun-
dreds of wooden and brick houses. They look more like
those of an American town than the structures of paper
and frame in Japan, or the mud huts of Korea which we
have just left. There is a Russian church, and we see
many business places not unlike our stores at home.
The harbor is filled with steamers. Russian men-of-war
lie beside us, and the hills are covered with barracks, in
front of which Russian soldiers march up and down. Si-
beria is governed by Russia, and about three fourths of its
five million inhabitants are of Russian birth.
The czar is trying to people the country with Russians,
and among the ships which lie between us and the city we
see large emigrant steamers which have come from the
Black Sea, through the Straits of Bosporus, over the
Mediterranean Sea, through the Suez Canal, and around
southern Asia, bringing Russian farmers to Siberia. The
steamers will carry them from Vladivostok one thousand
miles further north, and land them at stations along the
great Amur (a-moor') River.
Siberia is a very rich country. It is of vast extent, and
it is said to have enough good soil to support a great
people. It is not all a snow-clad desert, as many suppose,
but it has plains and plateaus covered with grass, upon
which hundreds of thousands of horses and cattle feed
during the summer. It contains many coal mines, and the
iron of the Ural Mountains is of very fine quality. Large
deposits of gold are found in many parts of Siberia.
There are valuable gold fields in the Altai (al-ti') Moun-
tains, in the Urals, and in the mountain chains of eastern
and southern Siberia. There are now about forty thousand
miners at work, although in some places the gold-bearing
soil is so frozen that fires must be built upon it before it
can be dug up for washing. Nuggets of gold weighing a
quarter of a pound have been found, and the grains of
Siberian gold are said to be on the average larger than
those of any other part of the world.
The country of Siberia is so large, and it has so few
people, that we do not know just what it contains. The