ENGLISH “国际新东方彩票平台”A JAPANESE WRESTLER. A JAPANESE WRESTLER.
"I shall send you," Frank added, "several specimens of this kind of work, and I am sure that all of you will be delighted with them. In addition to the Japanese enamel, I have been able to pick up a few from China by the help of a gentleman who has been a long time in the country, and knows where to get the best things. And as I can't get all I want, I shall send you some pictures of very rare specimens, and you can judge by them of the quality of what you have. It is very difficult to find some of the varieties, as there have been a good many men out here making purchases for the New York and London markets, and they gather up everything that is curious. The demand is so great that the Japanese makers have all they can do to supply it; but I suppose that in a few years the taste of the public will change, and then you can buy all you want. But you can't get tired all at once of the pretty things that I have found; and I think that the more you look at the pictures on the bowls and plates, the more you will admire them. You are fond of birds and flowers, and you will find them on the porcelain; and there is one piece that has a river and some mountains on it, as well defined as if it were a painting on a sheet of paper. Look at the bridge over the river,[Pg 247] and the trees on the side of the mountain, and then say if you ever saw anything nicer. I am in love with the Japanese art work, and sorry I can't buy more of it. And I think that is the case with most people who come to Japan, and take the trouble to look at the nice things it contains." "If I should name half the temples and public places we have seen I should make you wish, perhaps, that I had not written at all, as the list alone would be tedious, and I could no more give you an idea of the peculiar beauty and attractions of each than I could describe the perfume of each flower in a bouquet from the hands of the florist. One temple had a large cemetery attached to it, and we walked around looking at the inscriptions in a language which we could not read, and studying symbols we could not understand. The temple stands in a grove, as do nearly all the temples of Kioto, and the place reminded us very much of some of our burial-places at home.
The evidences of a large population along the Yang-tse were easy to see; but, nevertheless, Frank and Fred were somewhat disappointed. They had read of the overcrowded condition of China, and they saw the great numbers of boats that navigated the river, and consequently they looked for a proportionately dense mass of people on shore. Sometimes, for two or three hours at a time, not a house could be seen; and at others the villages were strung along in a straggling sort of way, as though they were thinly inhabited, and wished to make as good a show as possible. There were many places where the land did not seem to be under cultivation at all, as it was covered with a dense growth of reeds and rushes. In some localities the country appeared so much like a wilderness that the boys half expected to see wild beasts running about undisturbed; they began to speculate as to the kind of beasts that were to be found there, and finally questioned Dr. Bronson on the subject.
"We shall have it very lively in a short time, and are not likely to reach Shanghai in a hurry.""The coins are stamped with the devices of the coiled dragons and the rising sun (both Japanese symbols), and not with the portrait of the Mikado. Japanese prejudice is opposed to the adoption of the picture of the imperial ruler on the coin of the country, but it will[Pg 283] probably be overcome in time. It is less severe than with the Moslems (among whom a true believer is forbidden to make a picture of anything that has life), and consequently will be more easy to do away with.Another ramble on shore the following morning, and they left the soil[Pg 311] of Japan for the deck of the steamer. At noon they were slowly moving down the bay; they passed the island of Pappenberg, and, as they did so, Frank read from a book he had picked up in the ship's cabin the following paragraph:
"What do they use for the burning?""Just as we were coming out of the prison-yard we saw a man standing in a cage with his head through a board in the top, while his toes just touched the bottom. Unless he stood on tiptoe, the weight of his body fell on his neck; and everybody knows how difficult it is to remain on[Pg 373] tiptoe for any length of time. Sometimes men are compelled to stand in this way till they die, but generally the punishment is confined to a few hours. It is the form most frequently employed for the sentence of criminals who have been robbing on the public highway, and are convicted of using violence at the time of committing their offences.
In 1874 a steamer was lost on the coast of Japan. She had as a part of her cargo the Japanese goods from the Vienna Exhibition, and none of them were recovered for nearly a year. There they lay under the[Pg 252] salt-water, and it was supposed that nearly everything would be ruined. But it was found that the lacquered ware had suffered very little, and some of these very articles were shown at Philadelphia in 1876. A few of the pieces required to be freshly polished, but there were many of them that did not need even this slight attention.
In due time the dinner or supper, whichever it was called, was brought to our travellers, and they lost no time in sitting down to eat it; or, rather, they squatted to it, as the hotel contained no chairs, or any substitute for them. The floor was covered with clean mats—in fact, it is very difficult to find dirty mats in Japan—and our travellers had followed the universal custom of removing their boots as they entered the front door. One of the complaints that the Japanese make against foreigners is that the latter often enter their houses without removing their boots, no matter if those boots are covered with mud and bring ruin to the neat mattings. It is always polite to offer to remove your foot-covering on going inside a Japanese dwelling, and a rudeness to neglect the offer. If the weather is dry and your shoes are clean, the host will tell you to remain as you are, and then you will be quite right to do so.The Doctor told them that an old story, which he had no doubt was[Pg 223] true, since it accorded with the Japanese ideas of honor, would be a very good illustration of the subject. It was concerning two high officers of the court who met one day on a staircase, and accidentally jostled each other. One was a very quick-tempered man, and demanded satisfaction; the other was of a more peaceable disposition, and said the circumstance was accidental, and could be amply covered by an apology, which he was ready to make. The other tried to provoke him to a conflict, and when he found he could not do so he drew his short-sword and slashed himself open according to the prescribed mode. The other was compelled, as a point of honor, to follow his example. It often happened that where one man had offended another the court required that they should both perform hari-kari, and they always did so without the least hesitation. And when a man went to another's house, sat down and disembowelled himself, the owner of the house was obliged by law to do the same thing. There was no escaping it, and it is but fair to the Japanese to say that they did not try to escape it.
"It's a very simple matter," said Captain B——, "when you know about it. The fact is, that we were once very near losing our lives by Chinese pirates, and we don't propose to have another risk like it.""Do you want to see him?" I gathered my horse.With weariness hardly can move;
Through the assistance of a gentleman to whom Doctor Bronson had a letter of introduction, our friends were enabled to pay a visit to the imperial mint at Osaka."We can see him yet if you--"详情
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