November 2nd to 9th, 1871

(Page 123) Nov. 2nd. Evening
On the evening of the 31st I went down to Yokohama by boat. Various causes delayed my arrival there till 8 o’clock - far too late to do any business. I took down three boxes: one for the Dept. Agriculture at Washington, one for the Surg. Genl. and one for the Smithsonian Institution. These I left on the boat till morning and went at once to Dr Dove’s where I rec’d a real welcome, and arriving while they were at dinner enjoyed a home like meal at a little round table with a pretty woman opposite me, as I always dined last winter. This morning, after seeing to the shipment of my boxes, I went with Mrs Dove to buy my present for home, and succeeded admirably. Strange to say, although it is the opposite with most things, silks are cheaper in Yokohama than in Yedo, at least to foreigners. I had several matters of business to attend to, and by the time that I was ready to pack the things for it was past the hour both of boat and stage. I did not like to stay in Yokohama till tomorrow morning for (Page 124) the General is horribly nervous at being left alone, and makes himself perfectly miserable. As I went down this time for private business and paid my own expenses, I did not feel like hiring a private conveyance from the livery stable, and so there was nothing left for it but the ever useful jinriksha. At ½ past 3 I bid Wasson and the Doves good bye, and taking boat across the cove just above Yokohama, by which I saved two miles, I started in jinriksha from Kanagawa for Yedo, driving tandem, that is, two men, one in the shafts and the other pulling a rope ahead. These men trotted the whole twenty miles, save when we stopped twice for a few minutes to get a cup of tea, and dropped me off at home at ¼ past seven. The charge was $1.50 but as the poor devils must have found my 195 pounds a pretty load, I gave them $2.00, much to their joy.

Nov. 3rd. Evening
Spent the morning in straightening up my papers, and the afternoon in a long ride out beyond the river, in a quarter occupied by some beautiful tea gardens. We met my friend of the jumping match at one of them. He seemed (Page 125) glad to see me, but did not propose any athletic exercises.

Tonight I began a systematic study of Japanese, under the tuition of Horé, Hariki and another student interpreter named Nomura, they to learn English and I acquire Japanese. It is no great fun as yet, but will, I think, become easier when I have once mastered the peculiar grammar.

Nov. 4th. Evening
Today was the Mikado’s birthday. He is 23 years old. It was celebrated by dinner at his expense in all Govt. departments. Ours was given in our quarters. The little governor of Yesso, Tigushi Kendze, presided. I believe I have several times mentioned him before but lest I have not I will say that he is a very odd little Jap. Always wears Jap costume and is very careless about it. Has a face that irresistibly reminds me of an old woman’s and that he is exceedingly fond of champagne, which sets him up in a hurry. He is of higher rank than our good solid friend Kuroda who is, I think, the brains of the government of Yesso. Kuroda could not be present yesterday, owing to the recent death of his brother. Besides Tigushi there (Page 126) were three other Japanese officials, and the Genl. and myself. The dinner was in our own style and good. We drank to the Mikado, to Tigushi, to the absent Kuroda and other officers. Then Tigushi, who was decorated with a cap like that the Mikado wore the day he rec’d us, except that the preposterous imitation feather curved down his back instead of standing straight up, rose with the aforesaid cap cocked on one side of his head and proposed "The President of the United States", which we drank standing. As we had drank the Mikado’s health by this time I thought we had better break up, and so made an excuse to leave the table, which soon started the rest. The dinner took place at tiffin time instead of our regular dinner hour, so feeling feverish and full, I jumped on my horse and took a fifteen mile trot before dark, returning home just in time for a cup of coffee at dinner. After dinner, I, as usual, took my Japanese lessons and gave my lessons in English. I am not expected to do anything after 3 p.m. but prefer the society of my Japanese friends to playing euchre or chess with the Genl.

(Page 127) Nov. 5th. Evening
Tiffined with Jondon and then rode down to the stage office to enquire for any packages from Yokohama. Stopped at the hotel and found that Mr DeLong, the American minister, had just arrived on his way back overland form Yesso, something that no foreigner has hitherto accomplished. With DeLong were two of the West Pointers who came over with us, and also the eldest son of the poet Longfellow. They were on the point of starting for Yokohama, so that I only had a moment to talk with them, but they will soon be up and we will learn much about our future field of labor.
Today is the day of the races here, so I rode from the hotel to the race ground and saw some wonderful racing. Wonderful is not in reference to speed, but remarkable in that for every sport run at least one man was carried off the ground ‘hors de combat’. The crowd pressed and urged so upon the track that with the half broken Japanese ponies at high speed a fall was almost inevitable. It was a burlesque upon a one horse county fair.

(Page 128) Nov. 6th. Evening.
Blue and half sick all day. Rode round to Jondon this evening to see if he had any novels that would help drive off the blue devils. Got some. Read all evening.

Nov. 7th.
Blue devils pretty well scattered. Today it was proposed that as none of the officers of the Kaitakushi are very busy at present I should give them lessons in English. I was very glad for I have felt the need of regular employment, so shall enter on my duties as an English master in a day or two. They requested me to do it as a favour, saying that they were aware that there was teaching below my grade but that they much desired to learn, and thought I could teach them as well. Of course I couldn’t resist that had I wished to. I have already been giving conversational lessons to those most advanced of my own choice.
Such weather as we are having now is like the lovely time in Wis. at the end of Sept. and beginning of October.

Nov. 8th. Evening.
A quiet day. Nothing happened except that we changed our cooks. Whether for better (Page 129) or worse remains to be seen.

Part 20

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