XV. THE LAST YEAR OF FEUDALISM.
(LEAVES FROM MY JOURNAL.)
March 4th, 1871. - Arrived in Fukui.
March 11th. - Went by invitation to the Han stable, which contains fifty horses. I selected a fine coal-black horse, which is to be mine during my stay in Fakui. His name is Green Willow, from his, supple and graceful form. He is gentle, and a perfect beauty. Other names of horses were Black Dragon, Willow Swamp, Typhoon, Thunder-cloud, Arrow, Devil's Eye, Ink-stone, Earthquake Ghost, etc. I took a long ride through the villages lying to the eastward, along the Ashiwa (Winged-foot) River. Crowds of people were waiting in each place to see the white foreigner.
The dogs especially enjoy the excitement; my Mercury in bronze runs before my horse, clad in cuticle, socks, and waist-cloth, instead of winged cap and anklets. He is tattooed from neck to heels with red and blue dragons. Of his comrades, one has Yoshitsun`s face and bust punctured oil his skin. On the back of another, evidently in love, blushes and pouts a pretty maiden with blossom-garnished hair. The bett`s, like other working-classes, form an hereditary guild. They are of very low social grade. The children speak of me asd "t`-jin (Chinaman); the grown-up people, as "i-jin" (foreign man); the samurai, as "guai-koku-jin" (outside-country man), and a few who know exactly, "the America-jin," or "B`-koku-jin." March 18th. - Rode out to the gunpowder mills. We crossed a long bridge of about forty boats (funa-bashi), over a wide, swift river. The mills, in five buildings, with machinery, wholly of wood, and made by natives, are run by water-power. The establishment blew up only once, several years ago. Outside is an image of Buddha and a shrine in memory of the five men killed by the explosion. What a combination - gunpowder and Buddhism! The magazine stands among the hills near the city, defended by a lightning-rod. Echizen powder won a good reputation in Japan during the late civil war, especially at Wakamatsu and Hakodaté. I also visited a cotton-seed oil-press of simple construction, but very effective. The rifle factory is near the city, and has an American rifling and other machines, including one for weaving cloth. Most of them are Sasaki's purchases in New York.
March 21st. - A grand matsuri (festival) is being held at the temples, and the city is full of farmers and country folk. They have come to pray for good crops. I can usually distinguish a countryman from a citizen by the superior diameter of his eyes and mouth on beholding the white foreigner. Some of the old ladies look at me pitifully, so sorry that I am so bleached and pale, instead of the proper dark color of skin.
March 29th. - Some of the Buddhist sects bury, others cremate. In Fukui, cremation is the usual rule. The cremarium has four furnaces. Saw a funeral procession, and witnessed the ceremonies at the mortuary chapel by the priests of the Shin sect, in their canonical robes of gold, damask, and satin, with book, bell, and scores of candles. The corpse and cask, or colfin, were then set on the furnace. The flames under the corpse were lighted by a relative of the deceased. A sheet of flame instantly enveloped the body, making a shroud of fire, in which nothing revolting was visible. The reduction of the body of the deceased to ashes occupied nearly two hours. I witnessed most of it, at intervals. The soft parts were consumed and volatilized, and the skeleton left a glowing white mass of lime, and the skull a globe of live fire. I strolled off, toward the end of the process, over the mountain slopes, through the daimi`'s cemetery, where, in fine stone tombs, the fifteen princes of the house of Echizen are buried.
Returning on the other side of the cremarium, I saw a great heap of skulls, bones, clothes, bowls, utensils, and other relics of the dead. It was the monument of a famine which ravaged Echizen some forty years ago, during which time the poor and the beggars died in such numbers that they could not be consumed or inhumed in the usual manner singly, but were cremated by scores on heaps of brush-wood. Railroads and improved means of intercommunication in the future will make great desolation by famine impossible. Nearer the house was a mound containing many thousand cubic feet of ashes and calcined bones, the refuse incineration of the furnaces during many generations. It was "ashes to ashes," instead of "dust to dust."
Passing in front of the house, two relatives were engaged in picking out with a piece of bamboo, and another of wood, the clean, hot white pieces of bone. I now understood the squeamishness, and even superstition, of the people, who will on no account eat with a pair of chopsticks one of which is of wood and the other of bamboo. Packed in a jar, the bones were then deposited in the family vault - the hollow pedestal of a large tombstone. The monument, are chiefly upright square shafts. Some are egg-shaped. Others, with a top having wings or eaves, are formed like a castle tower, or pagoda roof. Nearly all of them are inscrbed with Buddhist texts and homiō, or posthumous names. Among many handsome ones are several made to represent a tub of sak`, evidently those of tapsters who once dispensed the popular drink, and wished, even after death, to advertise the business as still sold by the family at the old stand. Fresh flowers are placed in the sockets cut into the pedestals of many of the tombs. Women are present here and there, engaged in cleansing the monuments of moss, lichens, or dust, or inserting camellias in the bamboo tubes which serve as bouquet-holders. Some are of the were of Old Mortality himself, but some of the young mortality were in the shape of rather pretty maidens.
April 1st. - The prince gave a dinner at his "summer palace," which stands on the banks of the serpentine river. A glorious view of snowy Hakuzan, from breast to crown, is afforded on one side, and of the valley stretching to the sea on the other. The immense, swelling white sails of the junks appear as if in the fields, the course of the river being hidden by the vegetation. Through my interpreter, who was in his best mood, we had a long talk on politics native and foreign, religion, and the prince and his minister asked a great variety of questions about the government, people, laws, and customs of the United States, and invited unlimited expression of opinion. The prince informed me that the mikado had summoned a great council of the ex-daimi`s in T`ki` to discuss national affairs, and that he would set out for the capital on the second day hence.
April 12th. - By Dr. Hashimoto's invitation I attended the theatre.
The house was crowded. The acting was fair. The play was full of love and murder, with many amusing incidents. A pretty woman of gentle blood loves a poor itinerant pipe mender and cleaner. Her father wishes her to marry the son of a nobleman. He succeeds in his purpose by means of a "go-between," who pretends to carry messages from the true lover to the duped girl. At the marrige ceremony, which is represented in detail on the stage, she lifts her silken hood, expecting to see her true love, but beholds her father's choice, whom she hates. She has to submit, and goes to housekeeping. Clandestine meeting of wife and old lover. Jealous husband detects paramours. Murder of the guilty pair. The husband finds that the pipemender is his dear friend in humble disguise. Remorse. Commits hara-kiri. Finale.
As the performances last all day, people bring their tea-pots and lunch-baskets. The interest centres in the bloody scene, when heads, trunks, blood, and limbs lie around the stage promiscuously. The deliberate whetting of the sword with hone, dipper, bucket, and water in sight of the frantic guilty pair, the prolongation of the sharpening and the bloody scene to its possible limit of time - twenty minutes by the watch - make it seem very ludicrous to me, though the audience look on breathless. During this time all talking, eating, and attention to infants cease. The repeated attempts of the husband to screw his courage to the sticking-point, and thrust the dirk in his abdomen, excite the loud laughter of the audience. The theatre is large, but of a rather primitive order of architecture, yet probably as good as some that Shakspeare played in. After the play, I went behind the scenes, and was politely shown the actors' wardrobe and dressing-rooms, and the assortment of wigs, heads, limbs, etc. Rice-chaff replaces sawdust in the shams used on the stage.
As a rule, the better class of Japanese people do not attend the theatres for moral reasons, and as examples to their children. The influences of the stage are thought to be detrimental to virtue. It is certain that the young girls become too much interested in the actors, and hence fathers do not allow their daughters to see the plays. The actors, however, are the idols of the lower classes. Women do not play on the stage, their parts being taken by men or boys.
April 15th. - All through the city, the rapid mountain streams, from three to eight feet wide, are led between stone banks in the centre of the streets. At certain hours of the day, the people wash their pots, pans, and dishes, and at others their clothes. The rising genera tion enjoy the constant treat of wading, splashing, sailing boats, or making dams, water-falls, and miniature mills. The kennel also affords a theatre for many a domestic drama, in which the chief actors are a soused baby and a frightened mother. While walking out to-day, one of the little girls who knew me, and had long ceased to feel afraid of me, came running along the edge of the water, crying, "Tō jin san! Tō jin san!" (Mr. Foreigner! Mr. Foreigner!) Not noticing the familiar cry, I suddenly heard a splash behind me, and, turning round, the child had disappeared. The water was rather deep at the point of immersion, and I managed, after much difficulty, to fish up the struggling child, and hand the dripping darling to her mother, who immediately ejaculated an "Aru béki" (Served you right) to her offspring, and, with a profound bow, an Arigatō (Thank you) to the rescuer.
May 1st. - During the past month I have made many excursions on horseback through the country round, staying overnight at the village inns. Sasaki and Iwabuchi have been my companions. I have seen the paper manufactories, oil-presses, the saké breweries, soy-vats, iron-foundries, and smelting-furnaces. I have entered the copper mines of Onō, and "prospected" the coal region, from which the coal I burn in my Peekskill stove comes.
While on one trip, as I was leading my horse, Green Willow, down a steep slope, being, close behind. Sasaki's horse, well-named Devil's Eye, the vicious brute, after squinting sideways at me, and seeing his opportunity, threw out his left, hind hoof and kicked me. The soft part between the fetlock and hoof struck just above my knee, giving me a shock, but doing no serious injury. His hoof would have broken my leg. The incident has served to warp and prejudice my judgment of Japanese horses in general. I can not praise them highly; but Green Willow is my ideal of a noble animal.
The pack-horses, which I see daily, amuse me. They are ungainly, unkempt brutes, fed on the cheapest food. They carry about eight hundred pounds at a load. Of their moral character I can not speak in high terms. When led or driven tandem, or following each other in Indian file, these equine cannibals indulge in the vicious habit of pasturing on the haunches of the animal in front of them. This grazing process usually results in lively kicks, to the detriment of the teeth or chest of the offender, and the denioralization of the whole line.
May 2d. - The farmers are busy making seed-beds for the rice, and in hoeing up their fields. The valleys are full of flowers. The snow has melted from all the mountains except Hakuzan.
May 3d. - The presents I daily receive from my students and the officials are very varied. My table is not left unadorned for a single day. A leg of venison or wild-boar meat, a duck netted, or a goose shot in hunting; a fine fish, a box of eggs, a hamper full of pears or oranges, a bouquet of flowers, a piece of porcelain or lacquered work, a small carved ivory nitsuki or bronze piece, a book, pictures, specimens of paper, a box of sponge-cake, sugar-jelly, or sweet-potato custard, a tray of persimmons, candies, silk in napkins, rolls of various sizes, curiosities of all sorts, come to me. Every thing is daintily wrapped in red and white cord, with the nosŭ, or ceremonial folded paper, symbolizing friendship. The exquisite jointure and delicate grain of the wood of the boxes in which the cake, etc., are cased cause almost a pain when I throw them away. "Chenkey" and Obun get the candy and sweetmeats. The gifts are not generally of much value, but they show the sympathy and kindly nature of the people.
Many of these offerings of friendship come from strangers. Many of the mothers and fathers of my students have called in person to thank me. After profound bows, head and knee on the floor, they offer the present, usually carried by their servant, saying, "This is a very mean thing to offer you, but I trust you will accept it for friendship's sake." The ladies, especially the old ones, are very talkative and friendly. I never fall on all fours before a man, but I frequently polish my forehead on the floor when a lady does the same for me. A photograph album interests them exceedingly, and gives occasion for many questions.
I find my students surprisingly eager and earnest in school. They learn fast, and study hard. When important or striking chemical experiments are made, the large lecture-room is crowded by officials as well as students. I spend six hours daily in the school. In the evening, at my house, I have special classes of young men, doctors, teachers, and a circle of citizens, who listen to talks or lectures on various subjects. My plan is to take a good text-book and explain, by talking, the use of maps, charts, diagrams, and the blackboard, allowing the auditors to ask questions freely at intervals. Physical and descriptive geography, geology, chemistry, physiology, microscopy, moral science, the science of government, the history of European countries, the various arts and manufactures, our social system, and, for those who wish it, a minority, the Bible and religion of Jesus Christ, are thus treated of - superficially, indeed, but, to a sufficiently encouraging extent, effectively, as is proved by the eager attention, note-taking, and intelligent questionings. I find many of them well versed in those questions for time and eternity which have been the conflict of ages. Many of my nocturnal auditors are middle-aged, and a few old men. My interpreter is usually able to second me, though I have often to prime him in the afternoon for the discharges of the evening.
May 3d. - I have been to see, the fan-makers to-day. Kiōto, Nagoya, and Tōkiō are the places most noted for the quality and quantity manufactured, but Fukui has a few shops where ogi (folding fans) and uchiwa (flat fans) are made. Again, I find that we foreigners do things upside down. With us, the large flat fans are for gentlemen's use, the folding fans for ladies'. In Japan, the gentleman carries at all times, except in winter, the ogi in his girdle, bosom, under his collar, or, in his merry mood, under his cue. It is a dire breach of etiquette to appear in the street with a flat fan, which is almost exclusively used by the Japanese women. Millions of these fans are being made for the foreign market, and sold in Europe and America. They are cheap editions of art in the land of the gods, for all the world to look at. They will probably do more to advertise Japan abroad than any other means.
As the principles of centralized capital, immense manufactories, and division of labor are as yet scarcely known in Japan, these fans, like other articles of art and handiwork, will be made by tens of thou sands of independent workers all over the country. The Fukuians make fans of all sorts, and for all purposes: of water-proof paper for dipping in water - a sort of vaporizer for making extra coolness on the face by evaporation; of stout paper for grain-winnows, charcoal fire-blowers, or for dust-pans; double-winged fans, for the judges at wrestling-matches; gorgeous colored and gilt fans for the dancinggirl, who makes one a part of herself in her graceful motion and classic pose; for the juggler, who will make a butterfly of paper flutter up the edge of a sword. The splitting of the bamboo, the folding or pasting of the paper by the girls, the artist's work, the finishing and packing, are all done before my eyes. The manifold uses and etiquette of the fan I am gradually learning.
I find a rack of silver hooks or a tubular fan-holder in every house, in which are several of these implements of refreshment, which are at once offered to the visitor on his arrival. I have received a stack of fans inscribed with poetry, congratulations, or with maps, statistical tables, pictures of famous places, classic quotations, or useful information of varied nature. Many depict life, manners, architecture, etc., in Yokohama and in Europe. They are thus the educators of the public. Many of the Fukui gentlemen have collections of fans with famous inscriptions or autographs, or pictures from noted artists. A scholar or author, in giving a party to his literary friends, has a num ber of ogi ready for adornment; and people often exchange fans as we do photographs. When I go into a strange house, especially in my trips to villages where the foreigner creates a sensation, I spend the whole evening writing in English on fans for my host, his wife, daughters, and friends. How far the excerpts from Shakspeare, Milton, or Longfellow may be appreciated or understood, I can not say.
To make the pictures for common flat fans, the design is drawn by the artist on thin paper. This is pasted on a slab of cherry-wood and engraved. The pictures are printed by laying the fan-paper flat on the block and pressing it smooth. In the same manner, the Japanese have printed books for centuries. The various colors are put on, with sometimes as many as twenty blocks. This art is chromo-xylography, instead of chromo-lithography. The picture papers, sometimes with musk or other perfumes laid between them, are then pasted on the frame. The costly gold-lacquered, ivory-handled, and inlaid fans are made in Tōkiō and Kiōto.
May 4th. - The national festival in honor of the soldiers slain during the civil war of 1868-'70 was celebrated. This is "Decoration Day." The whole city kept holiday. In the morning a regiment of soldiers paraded in nondescript dress, a hybrid of native costume and foreign clothes, civil, military, and neither. Straw sandals and high boots, tight trowsers and the hakama petticoats, caps, wide-brimmed hats, chapeaux, and bare heads, top-knots with shaven scalps, and hair cut in foreign. fashion, alternated confusedly. The variety made a burlesque that caused the only American spectator to almost crush his teeth in trying to choke down a laugh. Falstaff's regiment and the "Mulligan Guards" of popular song were utterly eclipsed.
Tens of thousands of people visited the cemetery called Shō Kon Sha (Soul-beckoning Rest), on the top of Atago yama. Many brought flowers to deck the tombs. In the afternoon, while I was there, the ladies of the prince's household were present, in their gorgeously embroidered silk gowns and girdles. Their hair was dressed in the fanlike coiffure characteristic of the maids of honor in the households of the Kiōto court nobles. One of them afterward sent me as presents, through the prince's physician, some very pretty specimens of needlework from her own tapering fingers. They consisted of a lady's white satin letter-case, with a billet-doux folded up in it - only it was blank, though the, day was not the 1st of April. The other gifts were a "currency-holder," or small paper-money wallet, in orange-yellow satin, bound in green and gold thread damask; a green silk book mark, with autumn leaves painted on it; a case for holding chopsticks of many-shaded purple silk crapo, and one or two other pretty conceits in silk, each a poem to the eye. These I put with the other mementoes of the handiwork of the sisters of students, or the daughters of the officials, which I have received.
In the afternoon, thousands of peoplo in their gala dress, and with substantial refreshments and drinkables, gathered to witness the display of fire-works sent up front the parade-ground. The pyrotechnic pieces, in shape like a small paint-keg, were put in an immense upright cannon or mortar made of a stout wooden tube like a tree-trunk, bound with strong bamboo hoops. Exploding far up in air, the colors being white, black, red, and yellow, the resulting. "fire-flowers" were interestintr, or comical. An old woman hobbled on a cane; an old nian smoked a pipe whence issued a fox; a tea-kettle evolved a badger; a cuttle - fish sailed, with outspread suckers, in mid - air; a cat ran after mice; a peach blossomed into a baby; Pussy, with a mouse ("rat's baby") in her mouth, seemed to tread the air; a hideous dragon spouted fire; serpents ran after each other; a monkey blew soap-bubbles. These and other mid-air conceits amused both the little children and those of larger growth. The exhibition closed at dark. Every one was happy. A few were tipsy; but I saw no disorder. I had a seat in the family party of Mr. Nagasaki, whose chubby children and wife were present, making a lively circle around the picnic-box and tiny dishes.
May 13th. - Engaged a river-boat, with four stout rowers and polemen, and made a trip down the river to, the sea. Spent from Saturday till Monday at Mikuni, the sea-port of Fukui, as the guest of the chief tea-merchant of the place, whose plantations extend over the hills for many acres. He sends seventy-five thousand dollars' worth of tea to Yokohama annually. The ocean scenery here is magnificent beyond description. A splendid natural sea-wall of columnar trap reminded me of the "Giant's Causeway." A lacquer-artist in Fukui has made sketches of the rock and shore scenery here, and is now making me a handsome stand for my glass-sponges (Hyalonema mirabilis). It will have a scene from Mikuni on it. Fleets of fishing-boats were out on the blue waters. The diving-girls like memaids, exhibited their pluck and skill by diving many fathoms down in the deep water of the rocky recesses; or, strapping a basket on their backs, they swam far out, knife in hand, to reap a submarine harvest from the rocks. They returned in a half-hour, heavily laden with awabi (sea-ears) and spiral univalves. These the afterward roasted in their own shells, and offered us. At the merchant's home, decked in their best robes and coifs, they danced and sung their wild fisher's songs for us. In the village I saw a famous sculptor in wood, who was carving a horse in life size for a Shintō shrine. Though faulty in some details of anatomy, the fire and grace of motion were wonderfully life-like. In Fukui, the week before, I had seen an artist dip his long, little fingernail in ink and draw figures on a fan, and with astonishing rapidity furnished a very spirited design of a hore in motion, after Hokusai's style, with but seven strokes, and a few sweeps of a wide brush for the mane and tail.
May 16th. - By orders received to-day from the Central Government, of Tōkiō, two students are to be chosen fromt each han, and sent abroad to study. This will enable several hundred young men to see and live in Europe and America. It is also a political move to unite all parts of the empire together, and show even the people of the lately rebellious portions that they are to partake of the national benefits. In our han, one is to be, elected by the officers and one by myself.
The choice of the former is Yamaoka Jiro. I chose from a dozen or more, equally worthy, Kinaniéra Shirato. Over four hundred students will embark for America during this and the following month.
The rice-fields of the whole country are now lakes of rich mudpulp, the paradise of polliwigs. An expanse of an exquisite light green covers many parts of the valley. All the rice is transplanted. having been first sown broadcast in seed-beds, which are under water. The husbandman casts his bread upon the waters. He will find it, after many summer days, in November. Picnic parties make the woods on Atage yama lively with music, fun, feasting, and merry laughter. The powdered girls in the archery galleries and tea-houses are reaping a harvest of small change. Every one enjoys the fine weather.
May 20th. - Four students arrived from Higo to-day, having come here to study, on the recommendation of my former pupil in America, Numagawa, a young samurai of Kumamoto. One [ call "Bearded Higo," for he wears what is rare in Japan, a full beard. The Higo family is connected by marriage with the house of Echizen. My prince's beautiful wife is a Higo princess. Her face is of a perfect Yamato type.
July 4th. - Celebrated the "glorious Fourth" to-day by raising the American flag, and starting a new class in the school, composed of the brightest boys of the Shō Gakkō, or secondary school. Mail arrived from home, eight weeks from Philadelphia.
During the past month, a great many religious festivals and processions have been held. I attended a Buddhist sermon in the temple; a prayer-service in a private house; a grand concert of music by twentyfour bonzes in full sacerdotal costume, with wind and string instruments, in the monastery; and several private entertainments.
I find that both in houses and at picnics screens are an important article of furniture, and behnid these couples who have whispering to do may enjoy a tête-à-tête undisturbed. Besides ornament, they serve the purpose of alcoves or bay-windows for temporary privacy. In the cut, the words "saamé goto" (whispering) signify that something confidential is being told. Whether the pair are lovers is not certain, though. the expression on the face of the man is that of a love-lorn swain; and the young lady, whose coiffure. betokens that she is in the matrimo nial market, seems to be paying, very close attention, as her face, and hands drawn within her sleeve and to her neck, indicate.
July 5th. - At a religious service in the hall of the castle, a band of sacred Shintō musicians played the national hymn, many centuries old, the strangest and most weird system of sounds I ever heard. Twelve Shintō priests, in white robes, offered up the fruits of the season, and solemnly read prayers written for the occasion. Over one thousandd officials, in swords and ceremonial robes of hempen and silk cloth (kami - shimo), were present. Their salutations to each other, after the exercises, were fearful to behold. Much breath was sucked, exalted honorifies indulged in, congratlations spoken, and exeruciating politeness manifested.
To all these private or official entertainments I receive very politely worded written invitations. On the day set apart in honor of Jimmu Tennō, all the the officials, according to rank, assembled, in robes of ceremony, in the han-chnō, aud each, is his name was called, advanced to a stone lavatory, washed his hands, and offered a prayer to the gods for the prosperity of the empire. I was especially invited to attend, and given a seat of honor. Later, in answer to questions about great men, I took occasion to explain that the reverence of the American people for Washington was for his pure and high moral character as a man, and not as military hero. He was not as Jimmu (Spirit of War). Some Japanese imagine that the Americans worship Washington as a god. This, I showed, was a mistake. Several of the people here have his picture in their houses.
July 6th. - A typhoon (tai-fu) of frightful violence passed over the city last night. In the morning, the destruction of fences, roofs, and houses was awful to behold. My gardens of American flowers and vegetables are ruined by the sharp shingles, torn and hurled from the great roof by hundreds, as though by a tormentum or catapult. I learn that hundreds of junks have been wrecked, and lives lost along the coast.
July 11th. - The prince returned from Tōkiō to-day. Evidently, something more is in the political wind. The faces of the samurai and officials wear a solemn expression - "sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought." What can it be? Some coming event is casting its shadow before.
July 16th. - This morning I met a Buddhist priest carrying a Yankee lamp and a can of Pennsylvania petroleum to the monastery. It seemed a'symbol of more light. A man was drowned in the river to-day. The people say a kappa dragged him down.
To-day I saw a snake-charmer exhibit. A tortoise-tamer made his brood perform tricks: stand up on hind legs, march in various directions, advance, retreat, stop, and climb over each other, at the tap of a drum. A great many other tricks, such as breaking a cobble-stone with the fist, walking on the edge of a sword and then swallowing it, feats of strength, astonishing poises, jugglery, etc., were performed at the grand fair and show on the river flats. At night, the gayly illuminated refreshment booths and boats made the strand and river as lively as the imagination could well conceive. At the matsuri in honor of the patron deity of the city, the procession of people was proba bly four or five miles long. All the singing-girls, actors, guilds, trades monasteries, and many temples were represented. Few or no samurai were in the procession. Immense images of idols were dragged by the crowds; and the historic and legendary personages and tableaux were largely represented. It was a scene of wild mirth, drunkenness, and paganism.
July 18th. - The thunder-bolt has fallen! The political earthquake has shaken Japan to its centre. Its effects are very visible here in Fukui. Intense excitement reigns in the homes of the samurai of the city to-day. I hear that some of them are threatening to kill Mitsŭka, who receives income for meritorious services in 1868, and who has long been the exponent of reform and of national progress in Fukui.
At ten o'clock this morning, a messenger from Tōkiō arrived at the han-chō. Suddenly there was a commotion in the school. All the native teachers and officials were summoned to the directors' room. I saw them a few minutes afterward. Pale faces and excited nerves were in the majority. The manner in which some of them strode to the door, thrust their swords into their belts, stepped into their clogs, and set off with flowing garments and silk coat-tails flapping to the leeward, was quite theatrical, and just like the pictures in Japanese books.
An imperial proclamation just received orders that the hereditary incomes of the samurai be reduced, all sinecure offices abolished, and the salaries thereto attached turned over to the imperial treasury. The number of officials is to be reduced to the lowest minimum. The property of the han is to become that of the Imperial Government. The Fukuihan is to be converted into a ken, or prefecture, of the Central Government. All official are to be appointed direct from Tōkiō.
The change affects me for the better. Hitherto the school directorate consisted of fourteen officers. "With too many sailors, the boat runs up a hill." There are now only four. An official from the han-chō waited upon me to announce that my four guards and eight gate-keepers are dismissed from office. I shall henceforth have but two gate-keepers. The local officials of Fukui are to be reduced from five hundred to seventy. The incubus of yakeininerie is being thrown off. Japan's greatest curse for ages has been an excess of officials and lazy rice-caters who do not work. Sindbad has shaken off the Old Man of the Sea. Hurra for the Now Japan!
July 19th. - In the school to-day, the absence of officials, and con sequently of fuss and interruption, in my department is remarkable. The directors' room is vacant. It is like the "banquet-hall deserted." In the ken-chō, the quorum is but a skeleton, compared with the fat body of the day before. The students tell me that some of the old men in the city are nearly crazy with anxiety: a few violent fellows still wish to assassinate Mitsŭöka and the other imperialists, who have been working to bring this state of things about. The respectable samurai, however, and the men of weight and influence, almost unanimously approve of the mikado's order. They say it is a necessity, not for Fukui, but for the nation, and that the altered national condition and the times require it. Some of them talk exultingly about the future of Japan. They say, "Now Japan will take a position among the nations like your country and England."
July 25th. - This afternoon, one of the ken officials, Mr. Tsutsumi, who had just come from Tōkiō, called to see me. He spoke so clearly and distinctly that I understood his Japanese without calling in my interpreter. He bore a message from Mr. Katsŭ Awa. An American teacher is desired for the school at Shidzŭöka, in Suruga. In his letter, Mr. Katsŭ said, "I desire a professional gentleman, regularly educated, not a mechanic or clerk who has taken to teaching to pick up a living; and, if possible, a graduate of' the same school as yourself." Evidently, Mr. Katsŭ understands the difference between a teacher and a "teacher."
I immediately wrote to my former classmate and fellow-traveler in Europe, Edward Warren Clark, A.M., offering him the position.
August 10th. - The prince (having returned from Tōkiō), his chamberlain, and one karō dined with me to-day. In the morning, two of his pages, accompanied by servants, came to my house, bringing presents. They consisted of the products of Echizen, rolls of fine paper, muslin, and silk, a box of eggs and one of sponge-cake, an inlaid cake-box lacquered in several colors, a case of three rare painted fans, all tied in silk napkins with red-and-white cord. The prince had also brought for me from Iwakura Tomomi, now U Dai Jin (junior prime minister), an exquisitely beautiful gold-lacquered cabinet, adorned with sparrows and bamboo, cherry-blossoms, and variegated feathers. In one of the drawers were a number of perfumed fans of elegant manufacture. A letter from Mr. Iwakura accompanied the gift, begging my acceptance as a token of his regard for my care and instruction of his sons while in the United States.
The prince laid aside his icy dignity as the dinner proceeded, after which conversation was prolonged for an hour or two, the guests producing their pipes, filling and emptying a great many of the tiny silver bowls. On the prince rising to depart, his ministers fell down on hands and knees until Matsudaira had reached the door, where his sandal and lantern bearers were awaiting his appearance. Then the officers rose and accompanied him to his norimono. One of the fortyfive million princes of the United States, standing erect, shook hands with the nobleman, bid him good-bye, and invited him to come again. In accordance with native etiquette, the guests send some trifling token of acknowledgment the day after an entertainment - eggs, sponge-cake, a fish, or other gift - as a sort of "return call." On meeting, the favored one salutes his late host, saying, "Sendatté arigatō" ("Thank you for your kindness received a few days ago").
August 15th. - The thermometer has ranged from 95° to 99° at 3 P.M. during several days of last week. All Fukui goes to sleep in the middle of the day. I occasionally walk out in the early afternoon, seeing scores of houses and shops open, but perfectly quiet, their inmates, often rotund sylphs, as in Hokusai's sketch, being stretched on the floor asleep, not, always in the most graceful position. There are, very few flies to trouble them. Japan seems to be singularly free from these pests. At night, mosquitoes are numerous, hungry, and of good size. The people are well provided with mosquitonets, which are large, like the room itself, and made to fit it. I find that the leap-year hint of a Japanese widow to a favored suitor which makes him happy is, that "her mosquito-net is too large." The poor folks smoke the posts out. It is curious that the Japanese word for mosquito (ka) and an interrogation-point (ka) is the same.
At night the common people assemble in rings of from a score to a hundred, and dance in slow measure, clapping hands and singing. The young folks especially, of both sexes, like this fun.
A Japanese city during hot weather affords excellent opportunities for the study of breathing statuary. The laborers often strip to the loin-cloth, the women to the waist. Even the young girls and maidens just rounding into perfection of form often sit half nude; thinking it no desecration to expose the body front the waist, up. They seem to be utterly unaware of my impropriety. Certainly they are innocent in their own eyes. Is the Japanese virgin "an Eve before the fall?"
Among the games played in public is dakiu (polo), which is very ancient in Japan. An immense crowd of spectators, prince, princess, lords and ladies, gentlemen, people, priests and students, gathered inside the riding course to see the game of "dakiu" played. I had one of the best seats given me in the pavilion occupied by the daimiō and his gentlemen in waiting. Every body was dressed handsomely, the weather perfect, the scene animating. Judges and scorers were in ceremonial dress.
At the signal, given by a tap of a bell, twelve players mounted. At the next, they rode into the lists, saluted the prince and judges, and proceeded to the end of the course, ranging themselves in Indian file, with their horses' heads to the wickets, which were two bamboo holes with a cord across them, about ten feet from the ground.
The rival parties, six players in each, called themselves the Genji and the Heiké. The Genji wore white, the Heiké red hats, according to the colors of the ancient flags. Each player had a long bamboo stick ("spoon") like a shepherd's crook, with net-work of cord. On the ground, in two rows at the side and extending in front of the riders, were seventy-two red and white balls. The whites were to throw the red balls over and through the wicket, the reds to throw the whites. Balls going over the lists outside the wickets were tossed back again. Each party was to oppose the other. The red flag waved on the right wicket-pole, the white on the left.
At the signal, given by a wave of the judge's fan, both parties rode nimbly up the lists, picking up the balls, and flinging them over the wickets, if they could. The leaders having reached the wickets, and a number of balls having been thrown over, and others scattered over the field, turned back to oppose each other, and then the game grew intensely exciting. It was shinny on horseback. Skillful handling of the horse, as well as of the crook, was necessary. Three riders were dismounted. Occasionally a man was hurt. The collision of excited animals against each other was frequent. The balls flew backward and forward, up and down. Finally, there was but one ball left. Twelve men and horses contested for it. The Heiké won the first game, having thrown all the thirty-six white balls over their wicket, while the Genji had three red balls left on the ground. Three games were played, the Genji winning two. The prizes, awarded by the prince, were a roll of silk, a helmet, a porcelain vase, and autograph scrolls. August 28th. - I have returned from a trip to Hakuzan (Shiro yama, White Mountain) and Kaga. Emori and Iwabuchi accompanied me. I spent eight days among the mountains, being the first foreigner who has ever ascended Hakuzan. It is nine thousand three hundred and twenty feet high by imperfect method of measurement, with only a thermometer. At any rate, the surmise of Humboldt, and even the Japanese of this coast, that Hakuzan is higher than Fuji, is disposed of. At the top was a Buddhist shrine, strongly built and handsomely furnished.
I spent the night in a hut near the summit, in which some forty pilgrims slept besides my two servants. The scenery from the edge of the extinct crater, which was fall of snow and water, was grand; but the mountain torrents, water-falls, and vistas lower down afforded the greatest pleasure. I passed village full of girls reeling silk. The crops of tobacco, indigo, hemp, rice, etc., promise to be luxuriant. In the towns dense crowds lined the streets to see the foreigner. At the hotels the dainty Emori, in settling bills, never handles money, but folds the sum neatly in white paper, and ties it with the ceremonial red-and-white cord, and lays it on a tray, departing with many bows. I noticed many ja-kago ("snake-baskets"), or ropes of stones, used as piers and jetties to preserve river-banks from being washed away by flood or current. They are of split bamboo, plaited in cylindrical nets, from ten to one hundred feet long, the meshes being just the size to retain large pebbles. They are cheap, durable, and efficient. In some parts of Japan, notably along the Tōkaidō, there are miles of embankments formed by them.
At Daishōji a number of exiled "Christians" from Urakami, near Nagasaki, are confined. I was not allowed to see them. At the sulphur baths of Yamanaka, a noted watering-place, were a number of noblemen with their families. I also visited Sabaë, Katsuyama, Ōno, Marŭka, all large towns, in Echizen. At Sabaë we were entertained in splendid style at the temple hostelry. The entire country is very rich in historical, legendary, mythic, and holy associations, and my enjoy ment was intense, throughout. The Daimiō of Marŭōka is a descendant of the Daimiō of Hizen, friend of the Jesuits in the sixteenth century.
September 30th. - My new "foreign" house was finished some days ago. It was first visited by the prince and his officers, who enjoyed a lunchen, a social smoke, and a view of the mountains from the veranda. They wished to study a foreign house at leisure. The scenery of the river, up the valley - the mountains to the west and south, snowclad Hakuzan to the north, the city and castle, towers, moats, and walls - is very fine. Then, for three days, by official permission, the house was thrown open to public inspection. People from the city and country folks from afar flocked in crowds to see how mankind in "civilized countries" live. The refreshment-venders, the men who checked clogs, sandals, and umbrellas, did a thriving business. Probably twenty thousand people have inspected my new house.
After the last naruhodo (Well, I never! Is it possible!) was ejaculated, I took possession. The materials of seasoned wood, stone chimneys, tiled roof, wall-paper, etc., are of the best. American hardware, grates, mantel-pieces, glass windows, wardrobes, etc., make a cozy and comfortable dwelling for the intimate, as well as a standing educator of the native public. Extension-table, chairs, book-cases, and other furniture were constructed by cabinet-makers in Fukui, of sound old wood, chiefly keyaki. An exact reproduction of the writing-desk of Charles Dickens left with "the empty chair" at Gadshill, made after a picture in The London Illustrated News, came from the same skillful hands, and now adorns my study.
To-morrow Fukui bids farewell to feudalism. On the next day we shall be in a province without a prince. The era of loyalty is passed. The era of patriotism has come. To-day the prince sent me a note of farewell, accompanied by a present of choice viands in a picnic box, gold-lacquered in shell-fish designs, which he begged me to accept as a parting token of regard. He also requested my presence in the main hall of the castle, at the valedictory ceremonies prior to his departure to Tōkiō, where he is to retire to private life. This evening his six ministers dined with me, the prince being, absent on account of a death in his household.
October 1st. - From an early hour this morning, the samurai in kami shimo (ceremonial dress) have been preparing for the farewell, and have been assembling in the castle. I went over to the main hall at nine o'clock. I shall never forget the impressive scene. All the sliding paper partitions separating the rooms were removed, making one vast area of matting. Arranged in the order of their rank, each in his starched robes of ceremony, with shaven-crown, and gun-hammer top-knot, with hands clasped on the hilt of his sword resting upright before him as he sat on his knees, were the three thousand samurai of the Fukui clan. Those bowed heads were busy with the thought born of the significance of the scene. It was more than a farewell to their feudal lord. It was the solemn burial of the institutions under which their fathers had lived for seven hundred years. Each face seemed to wear a far-away expression, as if their eyes were looking into the past, or striving to probe an uncertain future.
I fancied I read their thoughts. The sword is the soul of the samurai, the samurai the soul of Japan. Is the one to be ungirt from its place of honor, to be thrown aside as a useless tool, to make way for the ink-pot and the ledger of the merchant? Is the samurai to become less than the trader? Is honor to be reckoned less than money? Is the spirit of Japan to be abased to the level of the sordid foreigners who are draining the wealth of Japan? Our children, too, what is to become of them? Must they labor and toil, and earn their own bread? What are we to do when our hereditary pensions are stopped, or cut down to a beggar's pittance? Must, we, whose fathers were glorious knights and warriors, and whose blood and spirit we inherit, be mingled hopelessly in the common herd? Must we, who would starve in honorable poverty rather than marry one of our daughters to a trader, now defile our family line to save our lives and fill our stomachs? What is the future to bring us?
These seemed to be the thoughts that shadowed that sea of dark faces of waiting vassals. One could have heard a pin drop after the hush that announced the coming of the daimiō.
Matsudaira Mochiaké, late Lord of Echizen, and feudal head of the Fukui clan, who was to-morrow to be a private nobleman, now advanced down the wide corridor to the main hall. He was a sternvisaged man of perhaps thirty-five years of age. He was dressed in purple satin hakama, with inner robe of white satin, and outer coat of silk crape of a dark slate hue, embroidered on sleeve, back, and breast with the Tokugawa crest. In his girdle was thrust the usual sidearm, a wakizashi, or dirk, the hilt of which was a carved and frosted mass of solid gold. His feet, eased in white socks, moved noiselessly over the matting. As he passed, every head was bowed, every sword laid prone to the right, and Matsudaira, with deep but unexpressed emotion, advanced amidst the ranks of his followers to the centre of the main hall. There, in a brief and noble address, read by his chief minister, the history of the clan and of their relations as lord and vassals, the causes which had led to the revolution of 1868, the results of which had restored the imperial house to power, and the mikado's reasons for ordering the territorial princes to restore their fiefs, were tersely and eloquently recounted. In conclusion, he adjured all his followers to transfer their allegiance wholly to the mikado and the imperial house. Then, wishing them all success and prosperity in their new relations, and in their persons, their families, and their estates, in chaste and fitting language he bid his followers solemn farewell.
On behalf of the samurai, one of their number then read an address, expressive of their feelings, containing kindly references to the prince as their former lord, and declaring their purpose henceforth to be faithful subjects of the mikado and the imperial house.
This terminated the ceremony. The ex-daimiō and his ministers then left the castle hall, and he proceeded to the residence of the American instructor. I met and welcomed him, and he sat down for a few minutes. He thanked me cordially for my efforts to instruct the young men of Fukui, and invited invited me to visit him in Tōkiō. In return, I expressed my indebtedness for his many kindnesses to me, and then, after the manner of American politeness and Japanese courtesy, we exchanged farewells.
October 2d. - The whole city seems to be astir to-day. The streets are crowded with citizens in their best clothes, and thousands are in from the country. They have come to see their prince for the last time. It is a farewell gathering. Many hundreds of old men, women, and children are weeping. A regiment of one thousand men escort him to Takéfu, twelve miles off. A few faithful retainers, his physician Hashimoto, and his body-servants accompany him to Tōkiō. A similar scene to that of to-day has probably been witnessed in many castled cities in Japan during this month.
December 1st. - Great changes have taken place in the city since the, departure of the prince, and the change of the han (feudal tenure) into ken (prefecture of the Imperial (Govermnent). Most of the high officers have been called by the, Imperial Government to Tōkiō Mitsŭöka is now mayor of Tōkiō. Ogasawara, Tsutsumi, and several others have been made officials of other ken. It is the policy of the government to send the men of one ken to act as officers in another, and thus break up local prejudices. It is a grand idea. Sasaki Gonroku has been called to a position in the Department of Public Works. Many of the best teachers in the school have been given official' places in the capital. My best friends and helpers have left Fukui; and now my advanced students, their support at home being no longer sufficient, are leaving, to seek their fortune in Yokohama or Tōkiō, My classes are being depleted. Fukui is no longrer the capital of a prince. It is simply an inland city. I can not blame the young men for wishing to see the new life and civilization of the nation at the ports and capital, but my loneliness and sense of exile increase daily. Since the summer - so I am told - over seven hundred families have left Fukui. Tōkiō is making up in population the loss of Yedo in 1862, when the daimiōs withdrew. I have not over half of my best students left. The military school has been disbanded, and the gunpowder works and the rifle factory removed. Three companies of imperial troops, in uniform of French style, with the mikado's crest on their caps, and the national flag (a red sun in a white field) as their standard, now occupy the city barracks. The old local and feudal privileges are being abolished. Taxes are being made uniform all over the country. The Buddhist theological school has, been broken up by orders from Tōkiō. Shintō lecturers are endeavoring to convert the people to the old faith. All the Shintō temples which have been in any way influenced by Buddhism are being; more vigorously purgred and restored in pure Shintō style. The outer wall of the castle has been leveled, and the moat filled up. The gates have been sold for their stone, wood, and copper. Many old yashikis of ancient and once wealthy families have been torn down and converted into shops. The towns-people and shop-keepers are jubilant at getting a foot-hold on the sites hitherto reserved to samurai. Old armor, arrows, spears, flags, saddlery, dress, norimonos, and all the paraphernalia of the old feudal days, can now be bought dirt cheap. The prince's mansion has been demolished, and every thing left in it sold. I got from it a pair of bronze stirrups and a marble model of Fuji. All the horses in the stables of the clan have been disposed of at auction. Every thing pertaining to feudal Fukui is passing away. Japan is becoming unified. Nevertheless, it causes some local suffering, and the poverty of many families, once in comfort, is increasing.
December 15th. - The wild ducks and geese have come back from Yezo, and are thick in the fields. Great numbers of them are captured by the samurai, who go out at early morning and at sunset, on the hills around the city, armed with a huge triangular net, set in a bamboo frame and pole. A dexterous hunter can throw this up twenty feet in the air. Thus outspread, the flying birds are entangled. This is called sakadōri (hunting on the heights). Some men can take two ducks at once, or snare a fat goose at a throw, but many fail or wait in vain. The eligible places of vantage are bought for a trifling tax from the ken. To ward off the damp, the fowlers dress in grass coat and wide rush hat. Every morning I see them coming over the bridge. With pole, tunic, and hat slung on back like shields, they appear as old warriors in battle array. It is said that on certain nights the headless ghosts of Shibata and his warriors ride on horseback over this bridge into his old castle grounds. The country people imagine they can hear the clatter of hoofs, and see this troop of headless horsemen, on certain still nights; but, although I have lived seven months on the site of his old castle in which he died, I never beheld the old hero's shade; nor have I been tempted to scare any native Ichabod Crane by playing Brom Bones, though pumpkins are plentiful here.
December 25th. - Yesterday a party of students cut down young pines, hemlock boughs, cryptomeria, arbor-vitæ, and other greenery, and decked my house, in and out, in Christmas garb. The large steel plate of "American Authors" received especial honor. My cook and his family and the students last night hung up their tabi (mittensocks, or "foot-gloves"), in lieu of stockings. This morning they found them overflowing with American good things, both sweet to the palate and useful to the hand. Santa Claus did not even forget the tiny white socks of little Chenkey, who is alternately dumfounded and uproariously merry.
Officers, citizens, and students visited me during the day, in accordance with my invitation. I kept open house for all, and told them of Christ's birth, life, work, and death. Many had never heard of Christ except as part of the Jashumon (corrupt sect), on the kosatsu, which hang near the main gate of the city. One bright boy, after peering around the house, vainly seeking something, finally whispered in my ear, "Where is your god-houuse?"
January 7th, 1872. - The city to-day swarms with country people. An immense festival in honor of Shinran is being held. The streets are crowded, and the shops in full blast. The Shin temples are pack- ed with people. Even the porch and steps and temple yards are full of pious folk. In the large, kitchens attached to the temple are a number of iron boilers, each containing several bushels of rice. Vege- tables are being cooked in other pots, and many hundreds of hungry folks are, eating in the refectory, some bringing their own food. The priests very politely took me through the rear part of the temple, be- yond the splendid altar, where I could see the vast crowd, and through the quarters occupied by the resident bonzes. The sight of so many thousand faces of people with hands clasped in prayer, with their rosaries, murmuring their petitions ("Namu Amida Butsŭ") in the great hall; then of the hundreds of hungry people feeding; children and families resting - many of them had walked from ten to twenty miles; the cooks in the fire-light, begrimed with the smoke and sweat of the kitchen; the waiters hurrying to and fro; the receiving and counting of money, made a picture of Buddhism in its popular phases I can never forget.
January 10th. - Some months ago I addressed a communication to the Minister of Public Instruction in Tōkiō, urging the establishment of a polytechnic school, giving plans and a few details. Evidently such an enterprise has already been determined upon. To-day I received a letter from the Mayor of Tōkiō, intimating that I was to be invited to the capital to fill a position in such a school. Another letter, by the same mail, from the Minister of Education, through the foreign superintendent of the Imperial College, invited me to fill one of the professorships in the polytechnic school (Shem Mon Gakkō) about to be formed. An immediate answer is expected.
January 11th. - I was called to the ken-chō to-day, the sanji expressing their urgent wish that I should remain in Fukui, stating also that the citizens of Fukui, anticipating the invitation from Tōkiō, had petitioned the ken-chō officials to keep the American teacher in Fukui, if possible. Having, however, lost most of my best friends and advanced students from the city, and the loneliness having become almost intolerable, I have resolved to go to Tōkiō. For over six months I have not seen one of my own race. The tax on the nervous system of being isolated, looked at as a stranger and a curiosity, made the target of so many eyes, and the constant friction and chafing of one Caucasian against a multitude of sharp angles of an Asiatic civilization, as represented by servants, petty officials, and ignorant people; and the more delicate work of polite fencing with intellectual rapiers against cultured men educated under other systems of morals and ideas; the ruin of temper and principle which such a lonely life threatens, are more than I wish to attempt to bear, when duty as well as pleasure seems to invite me to the capital.
From the people, officers, and students I have received kindness and attentions both unexpected and undeserved. I find in them most of the tenderest feelings that soften and adorn human nature. Confidence, sympathy, respect, even affection from my students, have been lavishly bestowed. I have never had a quarrel with any one, nor have I been injured or insulted in any way.
January 21st. - From morning till night my house was thronged with people in the city - students, officials, mothers, fathers, and children, relatives of the students - who came to bid me good-bye. Every one of them, according to custom, brought a present, sometimes handsome and costly. In return, each received a trifle or refreshments, of which the solid remnants were wrapped in white paper, put into the sleeve, and carried away, as is the habit. "Leavings are lucky," saith the Japanese proverb.
During my life in a feudal city in Japan far away from foreigners, I have seen the Japanese at home. It has sometimes seemed to me, in my walks through the old castle, or along the moats, or upon the ramparts, in the cemeteries, in the houses of the people, on the mountains, in my rides through the villages, that, I was in fairy-land or in a dream. Yet these people are just like ourselves, their hearts the same as ours. Their emotions and traits, both noble and despicable, are twin to those which belong to mankind between the Alleghanies and the Atlantic. This is a trite truism. Yet in its truth consists its novelty. When men of differing climes and nations see behind each other's mail of codes, manners, education, and systems their common humanity, the hope of their dwelling in peace as children of one Father is no longer a chimera.
Fukui and Echizen must decrease that Dai Nippon may increase. People complain that the empire is becoming too much centralized. The capital and ports are absorbing the strength of the whole country. It is best. Only by centralization at this time can true nationbe attained. Make the heart strong, and the blood will flow to all the extremities.
Japan's record of progress for 1871 is noble. The mikado's government is no longer an uncertainty. A national army has been formed; plots and insurrections have been crushed; the press has become one of the motors of civilization; already several newspapers are established in the capital. The old local forms of authority are merged into the national, and taxes and government are equalized throughout the country. Feudalism is dead. An embassy has been sent to Europe, not composed of catspaw officials of low rank to represent the "tycoon," but nobles and cabinet ministers of the mikado's empire, to plead for Japan and the true sovereign. The mikado, casting away old tradition, now appears among his people, requiring no humiliating obeisance. Marriage among all classes is now permitted, and caste is to disappear. The eta and hinin are now citizens, protected by law. The swords of the samurai are laid aside. The peace and order throughout the country appeal wonderful. Progress is everywhere the watchword. Is not this the finger of God?
Midnight. - It has been snowing steadily for seven days. All the objects five or six feet feet are covered up. The landscape is a sea of white. A great many students wish to go with me to Tōkiō, but the sanji have laid an interdict on all for one month. The three students from Higo will, however, accompany me. I rely much on the fertile mind, calm skill, and enthusiastic regard of "Bearded Higo." Sahei, my servant, will attend me, and Inouyé will be my escort. All my baggage is now packed up. It will be carried on men's shoulders over mountain and valley for three hundred and thirty miles to Tōkiō.
In vain croakers and sincere friends have endeavored to dissuade me from this severe winter journey, or frighten me with stories of wolves, robbers, or the dangers of mountain passes, avalanches, or of being lost in the snow. I wish to see a Japanese winter in the highlands, and to tramp over the Tōkaidō, and visit Shidzŭöka. God willing, I shall be in Tōkiō by February 4th. Farewell, Fukui, thou hast been a well of blessing; for in thee I have found some truth.