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Yeddo lay their account that their dwellings will come tumbling about their heads once in every seven years. The official quarter, where are the residences of the great nobles, presents to the street a range of barrack-looking structures with narrow grated windows stretching for hundreds of yards from a central gateway. Within and behind this range of barracks are the low buildings which constitute the abode of the family, the precincts of which are ground sacred from all foreigners.
One of the first things which strikes us in our studies of street life in Yeddo is that there are two great classes wholly distinct in manners, habits, and character. The official class, consisting of the nobles, with their throngs of idle retainers, and the common people. The retainers of the nobles, known as Samourai or Yaconin, are entitled to wear two swords. They are perfect types of the Swashbucklers once so common in European cities; swaggering, blus
tering bullies, usually drunk, and always insostraggle through the valleys, or stretch over the lent, loitering about the drinking-houses, ready surrounding plain. One feature which we are to give a thrust or a blow to any one who comes wont to associate with a great capital is every in their way, and specially prone to insult for
eigners. They constitute the only dangerous class in Yeddo; to them is to be charged the long series of outrages and murders which have marked the history of the foreign missions to Japan.
The common people, on the other hand, are a remarkably good-tempered, quiet race; ingen
ious, industrious, and WE WON'T GO HOME TILL MORNING.
courteous always; a litwhere wanting. There are no imposing buildings. Nature has placed an effectual bar upon all attempts at architectural display. Japan is the land of earthquakes. One a week, great and small, appears to be the average at Yeddo. So houses are built with the intent of withstanding any ordinary shock. Lofty, solid structures are out of the question. Wealthy people build their dwellings only one story high. One floor and a garret above is the rule in cities where land is valuable; a warehouse of two stories now and then is to be seen; beyond that altitude there is nothing. The bells of the temples are hung in low belfries. The frame-work of the houses is of solid wooden work, filled in with mud and laths to keep out the cold and heat, covered with projecting roofs, slightly though rather pretentiously constructed. If there is a stone foundation it is laid without mortar, so as to have a kind of elasticity. Such houses are not easily shaken down; yet the inhabitants of
tle given to indulgence in saki, the national strong drink; rather prone to lying, and, especially in the case of shopkeepers, no mean proficients in the art of cheating. The Russian Mujick is the nearest European representative of the Japanese. Their invariable courtesy to each other and to strangers is something remark. able. It is worth while to see a couple of Japanese, in holiday costume, salute each otherbending forward, sliding their hands down to their knees, and uttering their greetings with a deep-drawn inspiration, as though the satisfaction of such a meeting could only be expressed by sounds coming from the very bottom of their hearts. The Japanese language seems framed for court-1“I," the Japanese will say Témaie, “ The person esy. It is as liquid and musical as the Italian. before your hand;" instead of “thou,” Anatta, Saionari, the national salutation, loses nothing “Your side.” If he speaks of the females of in softness by comparison with the French adieu his own family, a Japanese will call them onago
domo, “my poor women;" but he must designate his friend's family as Jochou gata, “Your noble ladies." The attitude of a servant or workman, when addressing his master or employer, is respectful but not slavish; but when one approaches liis official superior, he prostrates himself in a posture of the deepest humiliation.
The aspects of street life vary, of course, with the localities. In the official quarter every thing is quiet and still, unless we happen to encounter a Daimio, set
ting off on some business in or the Italian addio. It is full, too, of delicate his norimon, preceded and followed by a crowd euphemisms, which a foreigner can hardly hope of retainers carrying his baggage ; for it is a matto master in a lifetime, all designed to express ter of etiquette with these nobles not to make how much the speaker holds the hearer to be the shortest journey without a great display of his superior.
Thus, instead of the pronoun attendants and impedimenta. The norimon is
the only genteel mode of convevance. It is very like a large baby house, suspended from a pole, carried by four men, in which the rider sits half doubled up in a posture easy perhaps to a supple-jointed Oriental, but wearying to a European. A great poble will sometimes have two or three led horses in his suite, but he never rides them. Equestrianism is at a low ebb in Japan. Few people ride except they are officials on urgent duty. Even the middle classes have an | phemistically as the “social evil," on her way imitation of the norimon called a cango, which to a temple or a tea-house, a servant bearing is simply a wicker-work frame, shaped like our her instrument; a group of itinerant musicians, letter U, in which the rider coils himself up, making what to our ears is a hideous discord,
but which the Japanese find melodious, and so reward with a few "cash ;" a gang of jolly beggars, who enjoy themselves hugely; a party of jugglers, some of whom perform feats of skill which put to shame those of our most accomplished performers; and over and above and around these the hum and bustle of a thousand industries. One sight, common here, is unknown out of Japan. Long rows of Coolies, each with a couple of conical buckets slung over his shoulders, or a file of pack-horses similarly equipped. These are, however, so closely covered that
the foreigner is under no absolute disposing of his legs in a way which we could nasal necessity of knowing that they contain the not maintain for half an hour; but a Japanese contents of the privies of the great metropolis. will keep this position for a whole day's journey Nothing of this sort is wasted in Japan; and so with apparent comfort. Indeed the legs of an the great cities, instead of impoverishing, actuOriental seem to be constructed on a different principle from ours. When a Japanese wishes to rest, instead of throwing himself into a chair, he squats down, and sits on his heels in a position which would be torture to us.
The business streets present an aspect of stirring life, some of the features of which are represented in the il. lustrations. There are shop-keepers carrying their wares to the residences of their customers—for here goods go in quest of buyers quite as often as buyers come in quest of goods; stout porters, four of them, pushing and hauling a clumsy cart piled up with merchandise, for horses are unknown as draught ani. mals; a music-girl, most likely belonging in the class which we designate eu
YAOONIN ON SERVICE.
ally fertilize the surrounding country. The Japanese have learned that every thing taken from the soil in the way of food must be returned to it, or sterility will ensue sooner or later. Another odd feature which one meets continually is a man with his head and face completely covered by a huge basket-shaped hat. Not unfrequently the masked person is so busily engaged in reading as to be apparently quite unconscious of all that is passing around. These men are selves when wishing to escape observation or presumed to be penitents, expiating some offense planning new villainies. against conscience, or disgraced officers sen- The domestic life of the Japanese is almost tenced to this half-public penance. But it is as open to inspection as that of the streets. A more than whispered that it is often a disguise house in the capital, “ with all the modern imunder which outcasts and criminals shelter them- provements,” consists of a single room, open in
front, and looking out in the rear upon a little garden. This room may be divided at pleasure into three or four by movable paper screens. The floor is covered with soft mats. These are of uniform size—about six feet by three, with a gay silken border. This matted floor serves the purpose of sofas, tables, and bed. steads. A Japanese can not conceive why one should have ugly fourlegged wooden things to sit on when one's heels are always at hand; or why a room should be cumbered up with a huge platform good for nothing except to sleep upon, while the soft mat. ting answers every purpose. All that is required for a bed is a wooden rest just big enough to hold up the head, and a wadded quilt to wrap around one in winter. The upholster
CARRYING HOME GOODS.
for a visit of ceremony. An old gentleman is enjoying the luxury, after being shampooed and shaved, of hav. ing his hair twisted into a stiff queue, preparatory to being turned over the top of his bare crown. A clothes merchant is chaffering with a customer, evidently puzzled by the vehemency with which the intending purchaser is crying down the merits of the coveted article. The dress of the women affords full scope for the pencil of the satirist in Japan as elsewhere; they delight in exaggerating the scrimpiness of the skirt, as much as our caricaturists do in enlarging the voluminousness of the crinoline of our belles.
Conjugal quarrels, of course, occur even in Japan, and afford abundant material for the artist. One sketch, which we reproduce, represents an irate dame who has discovered her husband in possession of a love-letter of portentous size. She is taking the law into her own hands with a vigor which shows that the doctrine of woman's rights has practical believers in Yeddo. In another the husband, aggravated beyond endur
ance, has seized ink-block and tablet er's and furnisher's bill offers no impediment to in readiness for writing a bill of divorce. The a young couple's going at once to housekeeping. broken dishes scattered in the fore-ground evince The little house provided, each brings a cotton- | that the conjugal discussion has not stopped at stuffed quilt and a box for wearing apparel for personal use. A pan to cook rice, half a dozen cups and trays to eat from, a large tub for washing and bathing, and a lacker cabinet for miscellaneous purposes are added on common account, and the house is amply furnished.
Here, open to public view, all household and domestic affairs are carried on. The print shops are full of illustrations depicting the phases of everyday life. Some of these we reproduce : Paterfamilias, in his little garden, is blowing soap-bubbles to the infinite delight of his progeny. A mother is giving her son lessons in the art of playing the shuttlecock. The mistress of the house is scolding her servant. Ladies and gentlemen are making their toilets, preparatory