1st to 3rd October 1871
Oct. 1st. Evening
Read and studied all the morning. After (Page 80) tiffin took a ride with Genl., Kuroda and the governor of Yesso. We rode many miles thro the loveliest shaded and hedged lanes, past forests of the lovely Cryptomeria and feathery bamboo, many of the latter 80 feet high. Stopped for a few minutes at a farm owned by Mr Kuroda and saw the various varieties of buckwheat etc. in cultivation. Went then to a tea house situated on a spur of high land running out into a broad valley. On this spur is a model of Fuji Yama about thirty feet high from the top of which the view extends up and down the valley for miles. It is in high cultivation and bordered by high steep hills covered by luxuriant vegetation. In the far distance are the mountains, purple and hazy. Altogether the scene is worth a trip to Japan to see. I have never enjoyed such delightful rides as here.
Kuroda proposed today to allow us for subsistence the amount that it cost to keep us last month, and that we should manage our own housekeeping, they funding an paying all servants. It cost just for board and washing last month for each of our party $106.50. I think (Page 81) that we can live handsomely on half the money by a little care. I know that I can cut off my wine and never miss it. We propose to try it but may be so swindled as to regret it. I shall endeavour to find a good steward who understands Japanese.
I have been treating Kuroda who reports himself much better.
The group of the Commission taken in San Francisco arrived today. I dont like my own picture at all, but think the others good. The artist placed me and jammed the forceps against my head so that I had to look up from under my eyebrows, and so established an expression which is, at least, novel (presumably S E is describing a photographic session - his head being mechanically held in position for the long exposure that would have been required. H T)
Oct. 2nd. Evening. 10 p.m.
The General went to Yokohama this morning and as Wasson had not got back I was all along. I worked all the morning hard at official papers, and after tiffin, about 3 p.m., started out for a ride. After going down the Yokohama road I met Mr Kuroda in a jinriksha. He insisted on my going to a tea house to take a little refreshment which I agreed to. Now a little refreshment in this country generally means an entertainment. (Page 82) So it was this afternoon: soup, fish, saki, tea etc., a long bill of fare, lasted from half past three till 5, including the inevitable dancing and singing girls.
At last we quit and I pursued my ride down the Tokaido toward Yokohama hoping to meet Wasson whom I expected by the evening stage. I had gone but a couple of miles when I saw him coming in a carriage with consul Shepard, Consular marshal Dennion (Mrs Sales friend) and another gentleman whom I found was a Mr Gower who is employed by the Japanese as a mining engineer. I have been anxious to meet the latter as he spent some time in Yesso. So when he invited the whole party to dinner at the hotel I accepted with pleasure. So sending one of my guards home to announce my absence, I kept on with the party to the hotel where we had a good and a jolly dinner and have just got home.
On my arrival I found a Conishá awaiting me from Mr Kuroda. Now a Conishá simply means a present, and as I have expressed much interest in Japanese paper manufacture (Page 83) my Conishá was a huge pile of choice Japanese papers. How sorry I am that I did not express my interest in silk instead of them, for then I might have had something to send home.
I learned today that we are to have ten million dollars during the next ten years for the development of Yesso, beginning with half a million the coming year. Of course we form only a portion of the establishment for the work, the "Kaktákushi of Hokaido" or "establishment for opening of Yesso". Still, it is evident that we shall not be hampered for means. The thing now is to divert more of this approportion into the pocket of the subscriber than now finds its way thither.
Please excuse the greasy state of this paper, but I have made some new transfer paper and it is rather new yet.
Wasson will probably go home the next steamer and I must endeavour to get him to carry something for you for he promises to hunt up (illegible words) in whatever portion of the U S he may be. I am in hope that you will be (Page 84) in Chicago.
October 3rd. Evening.
This morning worked and studied. After tiffin Wasson and I rode on horseback to Weno, a famous temple surrounded with splendid grounds much like Dzo Jorge. (Many of the buildings at Weno exhibit traces of bullets, there having been a battle fought here during the late war). Here we saw a colossal figure of Buddha. or Daibutz, as the Japanese call him. He is represented as seated in reverie or holy abstraction which is called the state of "Nirvana". The statue is of bronze and seated as it is, is twenty five feet high. It looks rather neglected, like most other Buddhist affairs, being covered with dust and scales. Then we adjourned to a little tea stand under an enormous tree, and had a cup of tea. While drinking this we were amused by two little tumblers (see sketch) who went through all manner of contortions for our benefit.
Riding home, as we passed through the crowded streets at a trot, an unfortunate foot passenger did not get quickly enough out of the way, was coolly upset by my Betto, his umbrella flying in the air as he came (Page 85) down. I would have thrashed my Betto had an interpreter been at hand to explain why I did it. Nobody seems to mind being knocked out of the way for such great people as we are, however. We noticed on our way home another instance of the inverted way in which things are done here: a fellow was carrying a couple of chickens tied by the wings instead of the legs, and consequently head up. Some day I must note the instances in which things are done in a manner opposite to ours.
Coming home we met near the gate to the inner wall of the Mikados palace a Japanese gentleman on horseback surrounded by four or five others, who kept close about his horse and seemed very fussy. I was positive that I recognised the horseman as the Tenno himself, although it seems almost impossible for the Mikado has always been confined in the strictest manner to his castle, or of late, when he did go out, was escorted by a small army.
Since writing the above, Wasson, Hariki and I have been off on a spree. about 7 oclock we took jinrikshas and went down to Sinagawa, a suburb of Yedo, where there are many tea houses and other places of resort. We were anxious to see one of the latter which corresponds to the Yoshivarra (of which I wrote you in connection with Yokohama and my first night on shore). We first went to a tea house known by foreigners as "The Old Womans", which is a regular stopping (Page 86) place for the Yokohama and Yedo stage. Here Hariki inquired what houses would admit foreigners, for the ladies of pleasure in Japan are rather disinclined to attention of whites. The old woman said she would send her daughters to show us and did so! Mind you, these girls are virtuous good girls and yet such are the peculiar notions of the people that without any apparent shame they piloted us around showing us through the disreputable houses and seemed to take the thing as a matter of course. After looking in to several houses, some of which were of immense size, and laughing to see the bedizened and painted inmates scuttle off on seeing our tall figures and pale faces, we returned to "The Old Womans", had a cup of tea and some fruit and then returned home. While at "The Old Womans" she learned that I was a doctor and insisted on my prescribing for one of her daughters who is suffering from dysentery. The pantomime by which she explained the matter, though intelligible, was more (illegible) than elegant.
(Page 87) On arriving at home it had begun to rain. I stepped from the verandah to a frame of timber about three feet from the ground to set the rain gauge, and in doing so my foot slipped and I fell, wrenching my left foot severely. For a few moments I thought something was broken, and the pain was so intense that I almost fainted. I am now sitting with my foot on a chair and a servant pouring cold water over it. I fear that a proposed fishing expedition will have to be postponed.
end of this section.
Part 13 4th to 6th October 1871
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