1st January to 12th January 1872
Jan. 1st 1872
Wrote all morning. In the afternoon went with Jondon to make a few calls. We called first at Bachelders, where we found a regular new year spread with egg nogg etc. From there we went to Heerens who insisted on our remaining to dinner, which we did, and then all went over to Bachelders again where we spent the time till now (2 p.m.)
I am 29 years old today. Today Major Constable, for some years editor of Harpers Periodicals, made his appearance at the house with two friends and a letter of introduction to me. As rooms could not be had at the hotel, I took em in and spent the afternoon in showing them the temples near. Constable seems a fine fellow as well as his companions Howe and Van Rensular (of the great N.Y. family)
Jan. 3rd. Evening
Spent the day quietly at work after starting off our visitors to see the sights under the guidance of Hariki. I have discharged our cook and engaged a much better one. The discharged has presented a bill for 127 extra meals furnished to guests during Dec! Thus endeavours to squeeze (Page 163) us out of about $60.00 as a compensation for his discharge. As in Dec. we had less company than usual, I shall cut the scamp down severely.
Jan. 4th. Evening
Another quiet day of work and study. As my journal is getting rather dry of items I shall fill in by giving what I have hitherto omitted - a plan and description of our house.....
...... the above is a rough plan of our house, at least of the portion occupied by the Genl., Antisell and myself. At the lower end of (Page 164) the plan you can suppose it connected with several acres of buildings, and Warfields room is in one of these. Entering our place you pass first through a large gate with a porters lodge just inside it, then across a wide yard paved with rather small stones to a high porch. The whole front of the house is of sash which, when we came, was covered by paper, which has since been replaced to a great extent by glass. All these sash slide easily in grooves, and opening one of them, the visitor finds himself in a passage ten feet wide, running around two sides of the main building, and separated from the parlor and dining room by sliding screens of semitransparent paper which admit light from the passage. The dining room is, however, lit also from the back, as is Antisells room. As for doors, as all the partitions are sliding screens either of rich paper or elegantly painted wood panels, it is easy to open a door anywhere it is wanted. The ceilings are high, of unpainted but most beautifully finished wood, which has a lustre like satin. The floors are covered with thick soft Japanese mats over which are spread carpets, so that a foot fall is perfectly inaudible, especially if (Page 165) the foot is a Japanese one with nothing on it but a short cotton sock. We are a queer lot. We meet at meals, and occasionally two of us will take a walk together, but at all other times may be found alone in our own rooms, reading or writing. Speaking of meals reminds me that I havent told you that our kitchen lies some distance from the rooms we occupy, out of all reach of smells, but even were it closer there would be little trouble, for the Japs are neat as wax. Of my own room I shall tell you nothing. You will see it.
A quite day of work and study. Wrote some suggestions as to establishment of a hospital in Sappro etc.
Another humdrum day, but dined with Jondon and talked of home with him till midnight. Had an earthquake last evening, the most severe we have yet had. I was sitting in an easy chair when we heard a loud rumbling sound, and then it seemed as though some immensely heavy body was suddenly raised forcibly against the floors, jarring everything. The noise seemed to approach from the west, and after the shock, to pass away to the east. I think there was less undulation of the earth than we have before (Page 166) experienced, and much more of a direct lift as the timbers of the house creaked much less than in many milder shocks before. In Yesso earthquakes are very rare. Here and in Yokohama more frequent than in any other part of the earth except perhaps in Java, which is on a line of volcanic disturbance extending s.w. from Kamtchakta and including the Kuriles, Japan, Lew Chewi, the Phillipines, Java and Borneo, in all of which groups there are more or less volcanoes in action and frequent earthquakes. Fujiyama the beautiful is simply a quiescent volcanic cone and is much larger and more regular than either Vesuvius or Etna (both of which we will see on our way back from Japan)
Jan. 7th. Evening
A quiet, rainy Sunday, spent at home in reading and writing, and in dreaming of the future. Jondon came up to dinner.
Jan. 8th. Evening
Another quiet day. Learned that all the grand Buddhist temples in Yedo, including Weno and Shiba, have been sold by the Govt. and that they are all to be broken up and carried off, while the timber will be cut on the grounds. This is shameful. The temples should be preserved as works of art, and the grounds converted to public parks. But this Govt. is utilitarian and devoid of any respect for antiquity, though reverence for the old has heretofore been a marked characteristic of the Japanese character.
(Page 167)Jan. 9th. Evening
Jan. 10th. Evening.
Spent the day as usual in work and study, but with the Genl. and Professor Antisell dined at Heerens. There was quite a party, mainly Germans. After dinner were entertained by dancing girls. I am getting rather tired of the Jap dances and music. I suppose that if I spoke the language I should care more for the girls, for they seem both intelligent and witty. The Genl.s report was finished entirely today. He recommends the (Page 168) establishment of a college both here and in Sappro. I think, however, that but one will be established, and that at Yedo, in which case I will be almost certain to stay here, which I much prefer, for my familys sake, to do.
Jan. 11th. Evening
Dr Hayes, brother in law of Mrs DeLong, came up yesterday, so this morning, at his desire, we started out to find some surgical instruments. We found them, of Japanese manufacture after English models, and apparently fully as well made as the patterns are much cheaper than either in England or America. Give the Japanese an idea of what is wanted and he will work it out beautifully. Had a talk with Antisell tonight about the proposed college. He agrees with me as to the effect of the Genls recommendation.
Jan. 12th. Evening
We had a little snow last night, but it was all gone by 10 oclock a.m. The following was handed to me by one of my hopeful pupils this morning. I quote it verbatim. You will notice that he treats getting tight as a perfectly (Page 169) indifferent matter: "I beg your pardon for bringing no exercise this morning. I met my dear friend on the way. Therefore we took a long walk and we drank much till about midnight. Thus I failed to consider my narrative. I tell you, yesterday there was some news which is that some old woman jumped in ditch about nine oclock in morning, at Hafibashi, but as it was day time she could not die, because boat approached her and picked her up in board, happily. I dare say perhaps she is a cunning poor woman".
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