English as she is Japped
English "as she is spoke and wrote" in Japan forms quite an enticing study. It meets one on landing, in such signboard inscriptions as
TAILOR NATiVE GOUNTRY.
DRAPER, MILLINER AND LADIES OUTFATTER.
The Ribbons, the laces, the veils, the feelings.
HAND PANTING POST CARDS
MANUFACTURED. BY CAKE & A. PIECE. OF. BREAD.
EXTRACT OF FOWL (over an egg-shop.)
HEAD CUTTER. (over a barber's shop.)
The European monkey jacket make for the Japanese.
WRITING FOR ANOTHER.
Specialist for the Decease of Children.
BEST PERFUMING WATER ANTI-FLEA.
and a hundred more. The thirsty soul, in particular, can make himself merry, while he drinks, with such droll legends on bottles as
FOGREN COUNTY WINES LITTLE SEAL.
ST. JUILEN Bottled by BORDEAUX.
Good wine, they say, needs no bush. Apparently, it is equally independent of such aid as orthography can lend.
Many strange notices are stuck up, and advertisements circulated. The following is the manner in which "Fragrant Közan Wine" is recommended to public attention:-
If health be not steady, heart is not active. Were heart active, the deeds may be done. Among the means to preserve health, the best way is to take in Kozan wine which is sold by us, because it is to assist digestion and increase blood. Those who want the steady health should drink Kozan wine. This wine is agreeable even to the females and children who can not drink any spirit because it is sweet. On other words, this pleases mouth and therefore, it is very convenient medicine for nourishing.
JAPAN INSTED OF COFFEE.
More men is not got dropsg of the legs who us this coffee, which is contain nourish.
The following is the label usually to be found pasted on the handles of cheap Japanese fire-shovels:-
The following notice was stuck up a few years ago in one of the hotels at Kyöto:
The reader may be curious to know who "the sold one" here referred to is. Might it not perhaps be the purchaser? No; at least that is not what the hotel-keeper wished to suggest. By translating back literally into Japanese idiom, we reach his meaning, which is that the merchant who sells the things must undertake furthermore to pack them securely.NOTICE TO THE DEALERS.
On the dinning-time nobody shall be enter to the dinning-room, and drowing-room without the guests' allow. Any dealer shall be honestly his trade, of course the sold one shall be prepare to make up the safe package.
Our tooth is a very important organ for human life and conntenance as you know; therefore when it is attack by disease or injury, artificial tooth is also very useful.
I am engage to the Dentistry and I will make for your purpose.
A lawyer desirous of attracting foreign clients ends up his business card by the cryptic announcement: "I can manage the affairs without any affliction of an English."
A "Guide for Visitors to Atami" informs us that the geyser there was discovered by a priest named Man-gwan who made many improvements on the springs. Before that day, the springs boiled out in the sea, and was a suffering to aquatic families . . . . If a people can not come to Atami is better to bathe in that water once or twice a day, and take good exercise in clean airs. By "aquatic families," let it be noted, the writer means, not-as might perhaps be supposed-the fishermen, but the fishes. This Atami Guide-book is, however, quite eclipsed by "A Guide on Hakone,"-a perfect jewel, which sells on the spot for "30 zonts." Here is part of its description of the locality in question:-Whenever we visit the place, the first pleasure to be longed, is the view of Fuji Mountain and its summit is covered with permanent undissolving snow, and its regular configuration hanging down the sky like an opened white fan, may be looked long at equal shape from several regions surrounding it. Every one who saw it ever has nothing but applause. It casts the shadow in a contrary direction on still glassy face of lake as I have just described. Buildings of Imperial Solitary Palace, scenery of Gongen, all are spontaneous pictures. Wind proper in quantity, suits to our boat to slip by sail, and moon-light shining on the sky shivers quartzy lustre over ripples of the lake. That cuckoo singing near by our hotel, plays on a harp, and the gulls flying about to and fro seek their food in the waves. All these panorama may be gathered only in this place.-Nor are mere creature comforts less well-provided for in this paradise than esthetic pleasures. Forty-five houses, we read, among whole machi are the hotels for cessation of travellers. Each of them has an untiring view of garden and an elegant prospect of landscape; hence many visitors are assembled at the summer days to attend their own health. Breads, fleshes of fowls and animals, and fresh fishes transporting on from Yoshihama and Fukuura satisfy the relish of people. The milk is distributed to the hopers by the branch store in Hakone of Köbokusha, the pasturage at Sengoku-hara. Streams of water issuing forth in the south-eastern valley of Hakone-machi, are used by whole inhabitants. Transparent and delicate liquid is constantly overflowing from the vat and its purity free from deflement so fully values on the applause of visitors as it is with the air.-This little work of thirtythree tiny pages has an "Analysis" in four Parts and thirty-two Sections, and the first edition had the Preface at the end.
English as she is Japped has even crossed the seas. The following notice adorns a laundry in Thursday Island:
We most cleanly and carefully wash our customers with cheap prices as under; Ladies-eight shillings per hundred; gentlemen seven shillings per hundred.Letters offer some choice specimens. We select two epistolary gems, only changing the proper names. The first is from a young man, who entered into friendly relations with the family of a certain consul, in order to perfect his English.
Saga, August 18th.The following is a letter sent in reply to one addressed by a foreign resident to the district office in Tökyö, notifying the birth of a daughter:-
Robert Fanshaw Esq. G. B. Consul.
I am very glad to hear that you and your family are very well and I am also quite well as usual, but my grandfather's disease is very severe without changing as customary. I fear that it is a long time since I have pay a visit to you. I wish your pardon to get away my remote crime. We have only a few hot in Saga as well as summer is over, and we feel to be very cool in morning and evening. Sometimes we have an earthquake here at now, but the mens was afright to more.
I grieves that a terrible accident took place in the school of military Saga. The story of it, a scholar had put to death some colleague with a greate stick on the floor and a doctor of anatomy dissected immediately with dead disciple, then all pupils of school were now to question its matter in the judgement seat; but do not it decide yet.
Unequivocal matter would speak you of kind letter.
I am, &c., K. TANAKA.
Mr. R. H. Saunders." China" having been set as a theme in a Tökyöschool, one student disposed summarily of the hereditary rivals of his race by remarking that
I am reiceved your letter of your beautiful baby birth, well; I understand the letter fact, but you must write with Japanese words, by Law calls. therefore I have translated Japanese for you. I hope you will write your name, age, yourself, with native words. the mark ö) . . . . . . . . t s able to write.
Truly yours M. Suzuki.
Chinese gentlemen adjourn their tales and clutches so long as they are able. The people are all liars.Another young essayist was more diffuse, and let us hope got better marks:-
Here is an old man whose body is very large; he is about four thousand years of age and China is his name. His autobiography tells me that he was born in early times in Eastern Asia. He was a simple baby smiling with amiable face in the primitive cradle; and as a young man, he progressed hopefully. When he was full grown he accomplished many bright acts; he married a sweet lady who conceived the beautiful children of the arts and sciences. But by and bye he became old, lame, blind and decrepit.
I must feel sorry for the sad fate of an old teacher or neighbour of mine.
Why his gleamy grew gloomy? What compassion I feel for him! There are many smokes of the opium but not holy blood of the cross.
THE CHARACTER OF THE ENGLISHMAN.
The England which occupied of the largest and greatest dominion which rarely can be. The Englishman works with a very powerful hands and the long legs and even the eminenced mind, his chin is so strong as decerved iron. He are not allowed it to escape if he did siezed something. Being spread his dominion is dreadfully extensive so that his countryman boastally
say "the sun are never sets on our dominions." The Testamony of English said that he that lost the common sense, he never any benefit though he had gained the complete world. The English are cunning institutioned to establish a great empire of the Paradise. The Englishman always said to the another nation "give me your land and I will give you my Testimony." So it is not a robbed but exchanged as the Englishman always confide the object to be pure and the order to be holy and they reproach him if any them are killed to death with the contention of other man. (I shall continue the other time.)The young essayist hits us rather hard-doesn't he?-when he drags into the garish light of day our little foible for giving a "Testimony" in exchange for "the another nation's land."
A writer, who prefixes an English preface to an interesting "Collection of Registered Trade Marks," observes that The society in ninteenth century is always going to be civiliged, and so all things are also improved. The muse of course ranking among "civiliging" influences, a little volume has been published at Tökyö with the object of inducting the Far-Eastern mind into the mysteries of English verse. It is entitled New of Pom and Song the English and Japanese. Occasionally Japanese youths themselves, like Silas Wegg, "drop into poetry."
THE MIDNIGHT WINDS.The latter part of this poem is somewhat discursive; but the radiant rose polishing her thorns against a full stop is a genuine touch of genius. The following-as we apprehend obscurities through the mist of poetic license-would appear to be a dithyramb in praise of woman, who is apostrophised as the cement of society, or, to use the youthful bard's own realistic expression, "social glue."
At the midnight-my own darkness alone; none but God and myself! A conscious slumber muffled the universe, Palpitating on the lonely bed like a chilly sea in the misty dawn. Be hunting (Oh) by the black boneless winds. With the sewed eyes and the wild, weird, full-opened soul, I'm reviewing the sheeted memories of past under an inky light; Until-alas, the strange giant of winds inclosed about my breathless cabin:-
God made a night, a midnight for me alone! Oh, our matchless God! If the wizard rout Flit in through the broken window for a lady-moon welcomed! Ever a gentle violet upturns her eye: Ever a radiant rose polish her thorns against. I have such of none, but a withered, colorless soul!
HER GLEE.And now, Japanese readers, if haply any such favour this little book with their perusal, rise not in your wrath to indict us of treachery and unkindness. We mean nothing against the honour of Japan. But finding Tökyö life dull on the whole, we solace ourselves by a little innocent laughter at an innocent foible whenever we can find one to laugh at. You yourselves could doubtless make up, on the subject of Japanese is she is Englished, an article which should be no less comical,-an article which should transcribe the first lispings in "globe-trotterese," and the perhaps still funnier, because more pretentions, efforts of those of us who think themselves rather adepts in Japanese as spoken in the upper circles. For our own part, we can feel our heavy British accent dragging down to earth every light-winged syllable of Japanese as we pronounce it. We laugh at ourselves for this. Why should we not laugh at you, when occasion offers? There are only two styles of "English as she is Japped" which call, not for laughter, but for the severest blame. One of these occurs in books which are published under Japanese names as original matter, but are really made up of a cento of passages stolen from European writers. The alteration of a word here and there is naïvely supposed to effect concealment; but being almost always unskilfully done, it serves only to make the fraud more glaring. We ourselves have repeatedly been the corpus vile of such experiments. A second Japano-English style is exemplified in so-called educational works, such as Conversations in English and Japanese for Merchant who the English Language, - English Letter Writer, for the Gentlemen who regard on the Commercial and an Official, - Englishand. Japanies. Names on Letteps, and other productions whereby shameless scribblers make money out of unsophisticated students. And yet these curiosities of literature are too grotesque for at least the European reader to be long angry with them. One of the funniest is entitled The Practical use of Conversation for Police Authorities. After giving "Cordinal number," "Official Tittle," "Parts of the Body" such as "a gung," "a jow," "the mustacheo," diseases such as "a caucer," "blind," "a ginddness," "the megrim," "a throat wen," and other words useful to policemen, the compiler arrives at "Misseranious subjects," which take the form of conversations, some of them real masterpieces. Here is one between a representative of "the force" and an English blue-jacket:-
The purest flame, the hottest heat Is Woman's Power ever earth; Which mighty black and pale down beat, And made the Eden, place of birth.
Of what? of what? can thou tell me? A birth of Noble, High, value- The station He destined for thee- Of woman, Mother, Social Glue.
Let her be moved from earth, to try, What dark mist overhelms human Race! Let Lady claim with all the cry:- "Can you still hold and hold your peace?"
How sweet, how mirthful, gay is Name! What boon, thing, may exceed in kind? Would She be praised, entolled-not Shame: Tie Pale, of Both, to bound, to bind.
What countryman are you? I am a sailor belonged to the Golden-Eagle, the English man-of-war. Why do you strike this Jinrikisha-man? He told me impolitely. What does he told you impolitely? He insulted me saing loudly "the Sailor the Sailor" when I am passing here.
Do you striking this man for that? Yes. But do not strike him for it is forbided. I strike him no more.The author teaches his policemen, not only to converse, but to moralise. Thus:
Japanese Police Force consists of nice young men.A gleam of diffidence seems to cross the police mind when one policeman says to the other "You speak the English very well," and the other replies "You jest."
But I regret that their attires are not perfectly neat.
When a constable come in conduct with a people he shall be polite and tender in his manner of speaking and movement.
If he will terrify or scold the people with enormous voice, he will become himself an object of fear for the people.
Civilized people is meek, but barbarous peoples is vain and haugty.
A cloud-like writing of Chinese character, and performance of the Chinese poem, or cross hung on the breast, would no more worthy, to pretend others to avail himself to be a great man.
Those Japanese who aquired a little of foreign language, think that they have the knowledge of foreign countries, as Chinese, English or French, there is nothing hard to success what they attempt.
They would imitate themselves to Cæsar, the ablest hero of Rome, who has been raised the army against his own country, crossing the river Rabicon.
Book recommended - Miss Duncan's delightful book, A Social Departure, Chap. VII. gives a side-splitting specimen of the dialect under consideration, in the shape of an interview conducted in English by a young Japanese journalist.