SIGHTS IN THE EASTERN CAPITAL OF JAPAN. 因此 The boys were desirous of seeing how the Chinese catch fish with the aid of cormorants, and were somewhat disappointed when told that these birds were rarely used on the Yang-tse, but must be looked for on some of the lakes and ponds away from the great stream, and particularly in the southern part of the empire. The Doctor thus described this novel mode of catching fish: There is a story current in Japan of a gentleman from Cincinnati who arrived one evening in Yokohama, and the following morning went into the country for a stroll. Everywhere the men, women, and children greeted him with the customary salutation, "Ohio, ohio," and the word rang in his ears till he returned to his hotel.
"The birds dive off from the raft, and can swim under water with great rapidity. Sometimes they are not inclined to fish, and require to be pushed off, and, perhaps, beaten a little by their master. If they have been well trained, they swim directly towards the raft, when they rise to the surface; but sometimes a cormorant will go off the other way, in the hope of being able to swallow the fish he holds in his mouth. In such case the fisherman[Pg 348] follows and captures the runaway, punishing him soundly for his misconduct. Whenever a bird catches a fish and brings it to the raft, he is rewarded with a mouthful of food. In this way he soon learns to associate his success with something to eat; and a cormorant that has been well trained has a good deal of fidelity in his composition. I am uncertain which to admire most, the dexterity of the fisherman in handling his raft, or the perseverance and celerity of the cormorants." 他感 "It would amuse you if you could see the interest that the Japanese take in flying kites. And the funny part of it is that it is the men who do the most of the kite-flying, while the children look on, which is the exact reverse of what we do in our country. They have the funniest kinds of kites, and show a great deal of ingenuity in getting them up. Everybody has them, and they are so cheap that even the beggars can have kites to fly. They are of all sizes and shapes; you can buy a plain kite a few inches square, or you can get one as large as the side of a house, and covered all over with dragons and other things that sometimes cost a neat little sum for the painting alone. The Japanese understand the trick of flying a kite without a tail, and they do it by the arrangement of the strings, which is quite different from ours. On the other hand, some of their kites will have a whole line of strings hanging down as ornaments, and sometimes it looks as if the kite were anchored by means of these extra cords. They make their kites so large that three or four men are needed to hold some of them; and there is a story that a man who one day tied the cord of a kite to his waist was taken up in the air and never heard of[Pg 264] again. And there is another story of a man in the country who had a kite that he harnessed to a plough, and when the wind was good he used to plough his fields by means of it. But the story does not explain how he turned the furrow when he reached the end of the field. Perhaps he had an accommodating wind that shifted at the right time. "We'll stop now and say good-bye. We have seen China and Japan, and had a splendid time. We think we have learned a great deal about the two countries, and hope that what we have written about them has been interesting to those for whom it was intended. We have tried to see things, and think of them without partiality or prejudice. We believe that the people of the East have the same claims to respect that ours have, and that it is only a narrow mind that sneers at the ways of others because[Pg 421] they are not like its own. We know that there are many things in which we are superior to the Orientals, but we also know that we have our weak points, and might be profitably instructed by those whom some of us affect to despise. And the more we know these patient and industrious people, the more we shall be likely to respect them. We are soon to leave China, perhaps never to see it again; but both China and Japan will always be pleasant recollections to both From their own observations and the notes and accounts of travellers who had preceded them, the boys made the following description of Pekin:
秘商 Lookee sharp—so fashion—my: "The population of Japan was formerly divided into four great classes. The first was the military and official class, and these are what were called Samurai; the second was the farmer class that rented the lands from the government, and engaged in agriculture; the third was the artisan class, and included all the trades and occupations of an industrial character; and the fourth was the merchant class, including all kinds of traders from the wholesale merchant to the petty peddler. Of course there were subdivisions[Pg 216] of these classes, and sometimes several of them in a single class, but the general outline of the system is as I have stated it. Below these classes, and outside the ordinary scale of humanity, were the Eta and Hinin castes, who comprised beggars, tanners, grave-diggers, and, in fact, all persons who had anything to do with the handling of a dead body, whether human or of the lower animals. It was pollution to associate with a person of the Eta caste, and these people were compelled to dwell in villages by themselves. As they were not respected by others, they had no great respect for themselves, and lived in the most filthy condition. They could not enter a house where other people lived, and were not permitted to sit, eat, or drink with others, and they could not cook their food at the same fire.
CANAL SCENE SOUTH OF SHANGHAI. CANAL SCENE SOUTH OF SHANGHAI. 小白 The dinner consisted of stewed fish for the first course, and it was so thoroughly stewed that it resembled a thick soup. Then they had cold fish with grated radishes, and, finally, a composite dish of hard-boiled eggs, cut in two, and mixed with shrimps and seaweed. The table was cleared after each course before the next was brought, and the food was served in shallow bowls, which were covered to retain the heat. At the side of each person at table there were two cups. One of these contained soy, a sort of vinegar flavored with spices of different kinds, and in which each mouthful of food was dipped before it was swallowed. It is said that our word "sauce" comes from the Japanese (or Chinese) word which has just been quoted. The other cup was for sa-kee, a beverage which has been already mentioned in the pages of this book. They were not inclined to sa-kee; but the soy was to their taste, and Frank was especially warm in its praise. "'The report soon spread that Bumbuku Chagama had learned to dance, and the merchant was invited to go to all the great and small provinces, where he was summoned to exhibit the teapot before the great daimios, who loaded him down with gifts of gold and silver. In course of time he[Pg 238] reflected that it was only through the teapot, which he had bought so cheap, that he became so prosperous, and felt it his duty to return it again, with some compensation, to the temple. He therefore carried it to the temple, and, telling the chief priest of his good fortune, offered to restore it, together with half the money he had gained.”
The road wound among the fields where the rice was growing luxuriantly, and where now and then they found beans and millet, and other[Pg 165] products of Japanese agriculture. The cultivation was evidently of the most careful character, as the fields were cut here and there with little channels for irrigation; and there were frequent deposits of fertilizing materials, whose character was apparent to the nose before it was to the eye. In some places, where the laborers were stooping to weed the plants, there was little more of them visible than their broad sun-hats; and it did not require a great stretch of the imagination to believe they were a new kind of mushroom from Brobdingnagian gardens. Hills like sharply rounded cones rose from each side of the narrow valley they were descending; and the dense growth of wood with which the most of them were covered made a marked contrast to the thoroughly cleared fields. The boys saw over, and over, and over again the pictures they had often seen on Japanese fans and boxes and wondered if they were realities. They had already learned that the apparently impossible pictures we find in Japanese art are not only possible, but actual; but they had not yet seen so thorough a confirmation of it as on this day's ride. 在的 No chairs, no sofas, no benches—nothing but the rush matting to sit upon. "Why so?" the Doctor asked. TEA-MERCHANTS IN THE INTERIOR. TEA-MERCHANTS IN THE INTERIOR.”