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and a large town covers a space which was formerly occupied by ricefields and vegetable gardens. The town is divided into its European and native portions. In the latter, the various productions of the country are exposed for sale. Bronzes, carvings in ivory, lacquer-ware, and porcelain, are all duly represented. All these objects exhibit the skill, in•dustry, patience, humour, and imitative genius of the Japanese in a very favourable light. The toys were equally ingenious and pretty:
There were glass balls, with numerous little tortoises inside them, whose heads, tails, and feet were in constant motion ; humming-tops, with a number of trays inside, which all came out and spun round on the table when the top was set in motion; and a number of funny things in boxes like little bits of wood shavings, which perform the most curious antics when thrown into a basin containing water. Dolls of the most fascinating kind, with large, shaved, bobbing heads, crying out most lustily when pressed upon the stomach, were also met with in cart-loads. One little article, so small one could scarcely see it, when put upon hot charcoal, gradually seemed to acquire life and animation, and moved about for all the world like a brilliant caterpillar. This large trade in toys shows us how fond the Japanese are of their children.
Books, maps, charts, drawings, and sketches are also to be obtained. The plan of Yedo—the same as is published in De Chassiron's “ Japan" -is sold surreptitiously. Animals and birds are also on sale. There is a place for amusement provided by the Japanese (who are as considerate in these matters as despots in all countries), and called the Gan-ke-ro. Here scenes of debauchery and drunkenness, we are told, are common, and even murder is not infrequent. Notwithstanding the obstinacy of the merchants, who would live in a marsh, the consuls, who have health as well as lucre to consider, all dwell at Kanagawa, on the north side of the same inlet of the bay of Yedo. This town is, as before observed, on the highway to Yedo, and in the midst of a most fertile and interesting country. Mr. Fortune had the good sense to remove there, and was received by the consul for Portugal and France. How rarely does the British official condescend to befriend the humble man of science ? At Kanagawa, there are temples and cemeteries, gardens, inps, and teahouses. The priests remove their gods, and make way for the consulsfor a consideration. The Tokaido, or highway, is thronged all day long with people going to or returning from the capital. The cortéges of the Daimios, or feudal lords, sometimes cover the road for miles, and occupy hours, nay, even days, in passing by. The people fall down on their kuees as the great man himself wends his way. The sketch given of this Tokaido, so much spoken of by travellers, does not give a very imposing idea of its magnificence. Something like a second-rate Turkish town, with a barrier across the street, and bare heads, mushroom hats, fans, and umbrellas, instead of turbans, fezzes, abbas, burnuses; while the dignified bearing of the Moslem is also wanting in the more lively and ingenious Japanese :
When the retinue of the great man has passed by, the stream of every-day life flows on along the great Tokaido as before. No carts are used on this part of the road. Everything is carried on pack-horses, and these are passing along the road in great numbers all day long. Each horse is loaded with a pile of boxes and packages-a formidable size oftentimes, surmounted by a man in a large broad-brimmed straw-hat, who, from his exalted position, is
guiding the movements of his horse. Generally, however, when passing through towns, the horses are led by the drivers. In addition to the huge pile of packages, it is not unusual for a little family, consisting of the mother and children, to be housed amongst them. On one occasion, as two foreigners of my acquaintance were out riding in the country, one of their horses shied, and, coming in contact with a loaded pack-horse, its burden came tumbling off, and was scattered over the road. On stopping to render the driver some assistance in re-loading his horse, my friends were horrified to find a whole family scrambling about amongst the packages, amongst which they had been snugly stowed away.
Besides the processions, pack-horses, and palanquins, the pedestrians on the Tokaido demand our attention. Some are crowned with queer-looking broad. brimmed straw-hats; others have napkins tied round their heads, and their hats slung behind their backs, only to be used when it rains or when the sun's rays are disagreeably powerful ; while others, again, have the head bare and shaven in front, with the little pigtail brought forward and tied down upon the crown. Mendicant priests are met with, chanting prayers at every door, jingling some rings on the top of a tall staff, and begging for alms for the support of themselves and their temples. These are most independent-looking fellows, and seem to think themselves conferring a favour rather than receiving one. I observed that they were rarely refused alms by the people, although the same priests came round almost daily. To me the prayer seemed to be always the same-namely, nam-nam-nam; sometimes sung in a low key, and sometimes in a high one. When the little copper cash-the coin of the country—was thrown into the tray of the priest, he gave one more prayer, apparently for the charity he had received, jingled his rings, and then went on to the next door. Blind men are also common, who give notice of their approach by making a peculiar sound upon a reed. These men generally get their living by shampooing their more fortunate brethren who can see. Every now and then a group of sturdy beggars, each having an old straw mat thrown across his shoulders, come into the stream which flows along this great highway. Then there is the flower-dealer, with his basket of pretty flowers, endeavouring to entice the ladies to purchase them for the decoration of their hair; or with his branches of "skimmi” (Illicium anisatum), and other evergreens, which are largely used to ornament the tombs of the dead.
All day long, and during a great part of the night too, this continual living stream flows to and from the great capital of Japan along the imperial high. way. It forms a panorama of no common kind, and is certainly one of the great sights of the empire. The blind travellers, of whom there are a great number, are said to prefer travelling by night when the road is less crowded, as the light of day makes no difference to them.
Mr. Fortune directed his steps on his botanical pursuits, as in China, to the large Buddhist temples, for at such places the timber is preserved on the hill-sides, and many of the rare trees of the country are sure to be met with adorning some of the courts. Hence it was that at Bokengee, the first temple he visited in Japan, and that on "a glorious autumnal day,” cool and enjoyable, he found “the umbrella pine" a tree of great beauty and interest, growing to a height of a hundred feet. This beautiful new pine is figured in Mr. Fortune's book. The houses of the priests were situated in pretty gardens decorated with the ornamental flowers of the country, and it was the same with the little farm-houses, from one of which Mr. Fortune obtained a very fine collection of chrysanthemums. He put in his note-book that day, that the Japanese were very like their Chinese friends over the water, and that no difficulty was so great that it could not be overcome by a little liberality. A guide, named Tomi, was next obtained. He had been a pedlar, and everybody knew Tomi, and Tomi knew everybody. He got fuddled with saki every evening, but during the daytime he was to be depended upon. Japan has certainly a delightful climate. Day after day, Mr. Fortune says the sun was shining in a clear sky, and yet the air was cool, and he could walk all day long with the greatest comfort. Tomi soon became a botanist, and would inform his master of temples where there were fine trees of a rare description. Thus it was that he went to the isolated temple of To-rin-gee, where was a grove, or rather a cemetery, sheltered by the “asnero," a beautiful tree from eighty to one hundred feet in height. The roofs of the farm houses, which are thatched, like the temples, were observed on this occasion to have a species of iris growing thickly on the flattened ridge of the roof, thus giving it a rural and pleasing appearance, which is faithfully rendered in an accompanying sketch. The tea-plant was cultivated in the little gardens of the farmers and cottagers. The chief fruits were pears, plums, oranges, peaches, chesnuts, loquats, Salisburia nuts, and Diospyros kaki. The vine produces fruit of great excellence. The vegetables were carrots, onions, radishes, turnips, yams, lily roots, ginger, and others peculiar to the country.
Mr. Fortune paid his first visit to Yedo as a guest of Sir R. Alcock, and, on this occasion, he was attended by the turbulent native bodyguard, yclept Yakonins, now too sadly familiar to us. The people along the road are, however, described as being perfectly civil and respectful. Beggars were carefully kept out of the way; hence some travellers have declared there are no mendicants in Japan, as some have also said there were no drunkards. The fact is that the beggars in Japan are both numerous and importunate, and drunkenness and other vices are as common as in any country in the world. Few in the present day are more truculent in their cups than the overbearing Yakonins or Samurai. Tea-houses constitute the most remarkable feature on the Tokaido, or highway. At one of these some pretty young ladies met them in the middle of the road with a tray, on which were placed sundry cups of tea of very good quality. The invitation of the host of the “ Hotel of Ten Thousand Centuries” was in a similar manner seconded by three or four Japanese beauties, but the Englishmen were ungallant enough to decline the proffered hospitality, for these frequent stoppings were rather expensive. This forbearance did not, however, last long. “ Whether we really needed refreshment, or whether we could not resist the laughing-faced damsels above mentioned, is not of much moment to the general reader ; one thing is certain, that somehow or other we found ourselves within the · Mansion of Plum-trees,' surrounded by pretty, good-humoured girls, and sipping a cup of fragrant tea.” The Japanese “ ladies," Mr. Fortune remarks, in connexion with these pretty waiting-maids, “ differ much from those of China in their manners and customs. It is etiquette with the latter to run away the moment they see the face of a foreigner; but the Japanese, on the contrary, do not show the slightest diffidence or fear of us. In these tea-houses they come up with smiling faces, crowd around you, examine your clothes, and have even learned to shake hands. Although in manners they are much more free than the Chinese, I am not aware they are a whit less moral than their shy sisters on the other side of the water.” If we had not so amiable and innocent a person as a botanist to deal with, we should not know if the comparison was meant as favourable to the Japanese, or unfavourable to the Chinese.
The garden was ornamented with, besides its groups and avenues of plum-trees (whence the name of the place), little lakes or ponds, of irregular and pleasing forms, in which gold-fish and tortoises were swimming about in perfect harmony. These little lakes were spanned by rustic bridges, and surrounded with artificial rock-work, in which ferns and dwarf shrubs were planted. Such seems, indeed, to be the pretty and enjoyable nucleus of Chinese and Japanese garden scenery alike. The garden in the rear of the legation, although small in extent, Mr. Fortune describes as being one of the most charming little spots he ever beheld. The curved line, such as Hogarth delighted in, being the line of beauty, it is questionable if the Horticultural Gardens at Kensington would not have been much prettier if laid out in the Japanese style than in straight lines and parallelograms.
Several murders had already occurred at this epoch, but Mr. Fortune is inclined to think that the murdered men were "probably” not altogether blameless, and had brought such punishment upon themselves. But how does this apply to Mr. Heuskin's case, or to the wholesale onslaughts on the British legation ? Besides, it is assuming a case. Be this as it may, however, our botanist persists in looking upon the Yakonins more as a body-guard than as spies; and he says he always found them to be perfectly civil. It is well to hear two sides of the question, and ignorance with regard to matters of distrust and spies is essentially blissful.
The temple, the arbours, and even “the blooming damsels” of “the Hill of the god Atango,” were disregarded for the sake of the comprehensive panorama which it afforded of the vast and beautiful city at their feet. Would that the shade of Burford could bring that view over to us! “ Until now," Mr. Fortune himself admits, “ I had formed no adequate idea of the size of the capital of Japan. Before leaving China I had heard stories of its great size, and of its population of two millions; but I confess I had great doubts as to the truth of these reports, and thought it not improbable that, both as to size and population, the accounts of Yedo might be much exaggerated. But now I looked upon the city with my own eyes, and they confirmed all that I had been previously told.”
Looking back to the south-west over the wooded suburb of Sinagawa from which we had just come, and gradually and slowly carrying our eyes to the south and on to the east, we saw the fair city of Yedo extending for many miles along the shores of the bay, in the form of a crescent or half-moon. It was a beautiful autumnal afternoon, and very pretty this queen of cities looked as she lay basking in the sun. The waters of the bay were smooth as glass, and were studded here and there with the white sails of fishing-boats and other native craft; a few island batteries formed a breastwork for the protection of the town; and far away in the distance some hills were dimly seen on the opposite shores. Turning from the east towards the north, we looked over an immense valley covered with houses, temples, and gardens, and extending far away almost to the horizon. A wide river, spanned by four or five wooden bridges, ran through this part of the town and emptied itself into the bay.
On the opposite side of a valley, some two miles wide and densely covered with houses, we saw the palace of the Tycoon and the “official quarter” of the city, encircled with massive stone walls and deep moats. Outside of this there are miles of wide straight streets and long substantial barn-looking
buildings, which are town residences of the feudal princes and their numerous retainers.
To the westward our view ranged over a vast extent of city, having in the background a chain of wooded hills, whose sloping sides were covered with houses, temples, and trees. A large and populous portion of Yedo lies beyond these hills, but that was now hidden from our view.
This hill now bears the modern title of “Grande Vue,” and well, we are told, it deserves the name. There is another eminence called “ Belle Vue,” to the east of the citadel, from whence an equally splendid view of the city gardens and bay is obtained.
While at Yedo, Mr. Fortune was enabled to make excursions into the surrounding country, as well as into the city, only that he was always accompanied by his guard of Yakonins. He agrees with previous travellers in declaring that it would be difficult in all the world to meet with scenes of greater natural beauty than are presented in Japan. All the suburban residences, farm-houses, and cottages, have little gardens in front, containing a few of the favourite flowering-plants of the country. A remarkable feature in the Japanese character is that, even to the lowest classes, all have an inherent love for flowers, and find in the cultivation of a few pet plants an endless source of recreation and unalloyed pleasure. If, Mr. Fortune remarks, this be one of the tests of a high state of civilisation amongst a people, the lower orders amongst the Japanese come out in a most favourable light when contrasted with the same classes amongst ourselves. It is quite certain that all cannot be bad where such tastes are indulged in. The vegetables of Japan do not, however, possess so much favour as with us. Mr. Fortune is tempted to trace this to the peaty nature of the soil ; but is this sufficiently general ?
“Never in my wanderings in any other country," says Mr. Fortune, “ did I meet with such charming lanes. Nothing in England could be compared to them. Large avenues and groves of pines, particularly of cryptomeria—the Japanese cedar, and one of the most characteristic trees of the country— were frequently met with, fringing the roads, and affording most delicious shade from the rays of the sun. Now and then magnificent hedges were observed, carefully clipped and trained to a great height. Everywhere the cottages and farm-houses had also a neat and clean appearance, such as is not to be observed in any other part of the East.” The scene was always changing and always beautiful-hill and valley, broad roads and shaded lanes, houses and gardens, with a people industrious, but unoppressed with toil, and apparently happy and contented.
The people in the villages, it is to be remarked, were quiet and civil, and did not annoy our explorer in any way. Yet, however civil and kind the natives might be, it is his belief that nine-tenths of them hate and despise all foreigners. It is probable that this is a kind of instinct nurtured by isolation and prejudice, and, indeed, as we too often see, only partially removed by intercommunication. We need not go so far from home as to Japan to meet with instances of international hatred. Mr. Fortune's experience leads him to believe that the only motives that keep Orientals on their good behaviour, and lead them to allow us to live and travel and trade among them, is because one class makes money out of us, and another and a larger one is afraid of our power. But might not this apply to many Occidentals too? Happily there are no rules without