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Title: Letters from China and Japan
Author: Dewey, John, 1859-1952, Dewey, Alice Chipman
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Letters from China and Japan" ***

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Edited by



Copyright, 1920,


_All Rights Reserved_

_Printed in the United States of America_


John Dewey, Professor of Philosophy in Columbia University, and his
wife, Alice C. Dewey, who wrote the letters reproduced in this book,
left the United States early in 1919 for a trip to Japan. The trip was
eagerly embarked on, as they had desired for many years to see at
least something of the Eastern Hemisphere. The journey was to be
solely for pleasure, but just before their departure from San
Francisco, Professor Dewey was invited, by cable, to lecture at the
Imperial University at Tokyo, and later at a number of other points in
the Japanese Empire. They traveled and visited in Japan for some three
to four months and in May, after a most happy experience, made doubly
so by the unexpected courtesies extended them, they decided to go on
to China, at least for a few weeks, before returning to the United

The fascination of the struggle going on in China for a unified and
independent democracy caused them to alter their plan to return to the
United States in the summer of 1919. Professor Dewey applied to
Columbia University for a year's leave of absence, which was granted,
and with Mrs. Dewey, is still in China. Both are lecturing and
conferring, endeavoring to take some of the story of a Western
Democracy to an Ancient Empire, and in turn are enjoying an
experience, which, as the letters indicate, they value as a great
enrichment of their own lives. The letters were written to their
children in America, without thought of their ever appearing in print.

                                                     EVELYN DEWEY.

January 5th, 1920.


TOKYO, Monday, February.

Well, if you want to see one mammoth, muddy masquerade just see Tokyo
to-day. I am so amused all the time that if I were to do just as I
feel, I should sit down or stand up and call out, as it were, from the
housetops to every one in the world to come and see the show. If it
were not for the cut of them I should think that all the cast-off
clothing had been misdirected and had gone to Japan instead of
Belgium. But they are mostly as queer in cut as they are in material.
Imagine rummaging your attic for the colors and patterns of past days
and then gathering up kimonos of all the different colors and patterns
and sizes and with it all a lot of men's hats that are like nothing
you ever saw, and very muddy streets, and there you have it. The
'ricksha men have their legs fitted with tight trousers and puttees to
end them, and they are graceful. They run all day, through the mud and
snow and wet in these things made of cotton cloth that are neither
stockings nor shoes but both, and they stand about or sit on steps and
wait, and yet they get through the day alive. I am distracted between
the desire to ride in the baby cart and the fear of the language,
mixed with the greater fear of the pain of being drawn by a
fellow-being. They are a lithe set of little men and look as if they
had steel springs to make them go when you look at their course. Still
I have been only in autos, of which there are not many here. I get
tired with the excitement of the constant amusement. This morning a
man came out of a curio shop. Bow. "Exguse me, madame, is this not
Mrs. Daway? I knew you because I saw your picture in the paper. Will
you not come in and look at our many curios? I shall have the pleasure
of bringing them to your hotel. What is the number of your room,
madame?" Bow. "No, please do not bring them to my room, for I am
always out. I will come in and see them sometime." "Thank you, madame,
please do so, madame, we have many fine curios." Bow. "Good-morning,

The looks of the streets are like the clothes, just left over from the
past ages. Of course Tokyo is the modern city of Japan, and we shall
watch out for the ancient ones when it comes their turn. I wish I
could give you an idea of the looks of the poor. The children up to
the age of about thirteen appear never to wipe their noses. Combine
this effect (more effect than in Italy) with several kimonos, one on
top of the other, made of cotton and wool of bright colors and
flowered, with a queer brown checked one on top; this wadded and much
too big, therefore hitched up round the waist. Swung in this outside
one a baby is carried on the back, the little baby head with black
bangs or still fuzzy scalp sticking out, nose never yet touched by a
handkerchief, wearer of the baby with a nose in the same condition if
at a tender age--I scream inside of me as I go about, and it is more
exciting than any play ever. We are as much curiosities to them as
they are to us, though we live where the most foreigners go. Now on
top of it all we can no more make a car driver understand where we
want to go than if we were monkeys. We can't find any names on the
streets, we can't read a sign except the few that are in English; the
streets wind in any and every direction; they are long and short and
circular, while a big canal circles through the part of the city where
we are and we seem to cross it every few minutes; every time we cross
it we think we are going in the same direction as the last time we
crossed it. About this stage of our search your father goes up to a
young fellow with an ulster on, and capes, and a felt hat that is like
a fedora except for a few inches taken out of its height, and says to
him, Tei-ko-ku Hotel, which would mean the Imperial Hotel if he had
pronounced it right, and the boy turns around and says, "Do you want
ze Imperialee Hoter?" And we say, "Yes" (you bet), and the fellow
says, "Eet is ze beeg building down zere," so we wade along some more
with all the clog walkers looking at our feet till we come to this old
barn of a place where we are paying as much as at a Fifth Avenue
hotel, and get clear soup for dinner. Just like any one of those
old-fashioned French places where they measure out with care all they
give you, and where the head is a most distinguished and conspicuous
jack-in-the-box who jacks at you all the time, bows every time you go
down the hall and all and all and all. It is all so screamingly funny.
The shops are nearly as big as our bedrooms at home with enough space
to step in and leave your shoes before you mount the takenomo and walk
on the mats. We could not go into any shop, except the foreign book
stores, because we were too dirty and had no time to unlace our shoes
even if we wanted to wear out our silk stockings. We shall have some
nice striped socks before we begin to do shopping. I am possessed with
the notion of trying the clogs.

Tuesday, February 11 (TOKYO).

To-day is a holiday, so we cannot go to the bank, but we can go to a
meeting where they will discuss universal franchise and
democratization generally. The Emperor is said to be indisposed, so he
will not come to the celebration. His illnesses, like everything else
about him, are arranged by the ministers and mistresses, as near as we
can make out.

We are having so many interesting experiences and impressions that it
is already difficult to catch up in writing them down. Yesterday
morning we went to walk and in the afternoon we were taken out in a
car so that we have got over the first impression of the surface. We
saw the university and the park where the tombs of the shoguns are,
and those tombs are wonderful, just to look at from the car. About
to-morrow we may be able to go to the museum. The rows of stone
lanterns are impressive beyond anything I had imagined; hundreds of
them which must have given to the nights they illuminated a
wonderfully weird spectral look.

It is not fully true that the Japanese are not interested in their
history. At least the educated are, as in any other country. A friend
told us about the revival of interest in the tea ceremony. He is going
to arrange for us to go to one somewhere, he did not say where, but it
will be accompanied by a grand dinner and will express the
magnificence of the new rich as well as the taste of old Japan, to
judge from the impressions he gave us. He told us of an old Chinese
cup for the tea ceremony that a certain millionaire has recently paid
160,000 yen for. That means $80,000. He says the collectors have
various sets, and each set will often represent a million dollars.
This particular bowl is of black porcelain with decorations of bright
color. He told us also of a tea which is now produced in China by
grafting the tea branches on to lemon trees. He has some of this tea
which was given him by the Chinese ambassador and so I hope we may get
a taste of it.

Apropos of this hotel you will be interested to know the manager who
runs the house has just come home from the Waldorf and from London
where he has been learning how to do--people. The exchange rates they
offered Papa seem to be an index of their line of development and they
are going to build more. This is _the_ one first-class hotel in Japan.
At present they have only about sixty rooms or a little more.

In general, things are coming along promisingly. I should be through
lecturing by the first of April here, which is _just_ the time to
begin traveling. It turns out a good scheme to come in winter, for the
weather, while not cheerful, is far from really cold, though it is not
easy to see just how the palms thrive in the snow. Japan seems to have
developed a peculiar type of semi-tropical vegetation which endures
freezing and winter. I can foresee that we are going to be busy
enough, and for the next few weeks your mother is going to have more
time for miscellaneous sightseeing than I. It is indescribably
fascinating; in substance, of course, like the books and pictures, but
nothing really prepares you for the fact that it is not only real in
quality but on such a vast scale---not just specimens here and there.

TOKYO, Thursday, February 13.

We have done our first independent shopping to-day. I can't get over
my astonishment at the amount and quality of English spoken here; it
is about as easy shopping in this store, the big department store, as
it is at home--much easier as respects attention and comfort. They
give us little wrappers or feet gloves to put over our shoes. Think of
what an improvement that would be in muddy weather in Chicago.

This afternoon is sort of a lull after the storm of sociability and
hospitality which reached its temporary height yesterday. Let me give
the diary. Before we had finished breakfast--and we have eaten every
morning at eight until to-day--people began to call. Then two
gentlemen took us to the University in their car and we called on the
President again. He is a gentleman of the old school, Confucianist I
suppose, and your mother was much impressed at being taken in, instead
of staying in the car, but I think he was much more pleased and
complimented by her call than by mine. Then we were taken to the
department store to which I have already alluded. Many people do all
their buying there, because there are fixed prices with a reward for a
discovery of any place where the same goods are sold cheaper, and
absolute honesty as to quality. But they also said that was the easy
way to visit Japan and learn about the clothes, ornaments, toys, etc.,
and also to see the people, as the Japanese from all over the country
come there to see the sights. There were a group of country people in;
they are called red blankets, not greenhorns, because they wear in
winter a red bed blanket gathered with a string, instead of an
overcoat. Then at night it comes in handy.

The stores are already displaying the things for the girls' festival
though it doesn't come till early March--this is the peach fête, and
the display of festive dolls--king and queen, servants, ladies of the
court in their old costumes, is very interesting and artistic. They
have certainly put the doll to uses which we haven't approached. Then
we had lunch at the store, a regular Japanese lunch, which tasted very
good, and I ate mine with chop sticks. Then they brought us back to
the hotel, and at two a friend came and took me to call on Baron
Shibusawa--I suppose even benighted foreigners like yourself will know
who he is, but you may not know that he is 83, that he has a skin like
a baby's, and shows all the signs of the most acute mental vigor, or
that for the last two or three years he has given up all business and
devoted himself to philanthropic and humanitarian activities. He does
evidently what not many American millionaires do; he takes an
intellectual and moral interest, and doesn't merely give money. He
explained for about half an hour or more his theory of life (he is
purely a Confucianist and not a religionist of any kind), and what he
was trying to do, especially that it isn't merely relief. He is
desirous to preserve the old Confucian standards only adapted to
present economic conditions; it is essentially a morality of feudal
economic relationships, as perhaps you know, and he thinks the modern
factory employers can be brought to take the old paternal attitude to
the employees and thus forestall the class struggle here. The radicals
laugh at the notion here much as they would in the United States, but
for my part if he can get in a swipe at the Marxian theory of social
evolution and bring about another type still of social evolution, I
don't see why he should not have a run for his money. According to all
reports there is very little labor and capital problem here yet,
though the big fortunes made by the war and the increased prosperity
of the workingmen have begun to make a change, it is said. Up to the
present labor unions have not been permitted, but the government has
announced that while they are not encouraged they will not be any
longer forbidden.

But I must get back to the story. Another friend had asked us to go to
the theater with him, the Imperial Theater, which has European seats
and is a fine and large building, as fine as in any capital and not
overdecorated like a New York one. The theater began at four, and,
with about half an hour intermission for dinner, continued till ten at
night; the regular Japanese theaters begin at eleven in the morning
and continue till ten at night and you have your food brought to you;
also they have no seats and you sit on your legs. None of the plays
was strictly of the old historic type, but the most interesting one by
far was adapted from a classic--it centers to some extent about a
faithful horse, and the people are country farmers of several
centuries ago. The least interesting was a kind of problem
play--mostly philosophical discourse of the modern type--the right to
expression of self and an artistic career, aphorisms having no
dramatic appeal to even the Japanese audience. These people certainly
have an alert intelligence--almost as specialized as the Parisian, for
the audience was distinctly of the people, and no American audience
could be got to pay the close attention it gave to performances where
the merits, so far as they are not strictly artistic, in the technique
of acting which is very highly developed, depend upon catching the
play of moral emotions rather than upon anything very theatrical.
However, the classic drama which is based upon old stories and
traditions is more dramatic and melodramatic. The Japanese also say
the old theater has much better actors than the semi-Europeanized one
which is, I suppose, supported by the government. In the Imperial, the
orchestra seats are one dollar and a half; they are more--on the floor
at that--in the all-day theaters. Even in this one they have not
introduced applause, though there was slight handclapping once or
twice when the curtain went down. The Japanese have always had the
revolving theater as a means of scene shifting; it works like a
railway turntable apparently. Well, that ended the day yesterday.
Except we had invited two gentlemen to dinner, and when we told our
friends about it, they said, "Oh, just telephone them to come some
other day," which appears to be good Japanese etiquette, as it is also
to make calls at any time of the day, so we did. But unfortunately
they had to telephone to-day that they couldn't come to-night.

To-day has been comparatively calm; we have only had four Japanese
callers and two American ones. Of the two Japanese, one is a woman who
is the warden of the Girls' University, and the other is a teacher in
it, a young woman of a wealthy and aristocratic family who has become
too modern, I judge, for her family. I hope all you children will make
a bow to every Japanese you meet and ask him what you can do to be of
service to him. I shall have to spend the rest of my life trying to
make up for some of the kindnesses and courtesies which so abound

I am afraid much of this is more interesting to me to write about than
it is to you to read, to say nothing of being more interesting to go
through than to read about. But you can then save the letter for us to
re-read when we get old and return from our Odysseying, and wish to
recover the memories of the days when people were so kind that they
created in us the illusion of being somebody, and gave us the combined
enjoyments of home and being in a strange and semi-magic country;
semi-magic for us. For the mass of the people, one can only wonder at
their cheerfulness and realize what a really old and overcrowded
country is and how Buddhism and stoic fatalistic cheerfulness develop.
Don't ever fool yourself into thinking of Japan as a new country; I
don't any longer believe the people who tell you that you have to go
to China and India to see antiquity. Superficially it may be so, but
not fundamentally. Any country is old where birth and death are like
the coming and dropping of leaves on a tree, and where the individual
is of as much importance as the leaf. Old world and New world are not
mere relatives; they are as near absolutes as anything.

We heard a whistle making its cry outside and Mamma thought it was the
bank messenger, so I rang the bell for the boy to bring him in--but
alas, it was much less romantic; it was the call of the macaroni

TOKYO, February.

Here we are, one week after landing, on a hill in a beautiful garden of
trees on which the buds are already swelling. The plums will soon be in
bloom, and in March the camellias, which grow to fairly large trees. In
the distance we see the wonderful Fuji, nearby the other hills of this
district, and the further plains of the city. Just at the foot of our
hill is a canal, along which is an alley of cherry trees formerly
famous, but largely destroyed by a storm a few years ago.

We have a wonderful apartment to ourselves, mostly all windows, which in
this house are glass. A very large bedroom, a small dressing room, and a
study where I now sit with the sun coming in the windows which are all
its sides. We need this sun, though the hibashi, or boxes of charcoal,
do wonders in warming up your feet and drying hair, as I am now doing.
We are surrounded by all the books on Japan that modern learning has
produced, so we have never a waiting moment. The house is very large,
with one house after another covering the hilltop and connected by the
galleries that are cut off the sides of each room in succession. I shall
try to get a photo. At the extreme end of the house is Mr. X----'s
library of several rooms, and at the limit of that the tea room for the
tea ceremonies. Our host is not one of the new rich who buy sets at a
million dollars for performing this ceremony. He laughs at that. But
there is a gold lacquer table which is like transfixed sunshine, and
there are other pieces of old furniture, which are priceless now, and
which have come down in his family. You would be amused to see us at
breakfast, which O-Tei, the maid assigned to us, serves in our sun
parlor. First we have fruit. Two little lacquer tables to move wherever
we want to sit. The dishes and service are in our fashion in this house.
Nice old blue Canton plates and other things Japanese. After fruit she
makes toast over the charcoal in the hibashi, two little iron sticks
stuck in the bread to hold it. On these prongs she hands us the toast.
Meantime she teaches us Japanese and we teach her English which she
already knows, and she giggles every time we speak. Well, we put our
toast down on the plate and she disappears. The coffee pot is on a side
table and we desperately look for cups for ourselves, though with some
fear of disturbing the etiquette. No cups, she forgot them. After a
while she comes up again with the cups and we get coffee, then she goes
down again and brings scrambled eggs on the nice old blue plates. Then
she giggles a little more and talks in that soft voice that is like
nothing else we ever heard, as she hands us a nice hot piece of toast on
an iron spike; she is much pleased and giggles because I tell her the
toast is not harmed by dropping it on the clean floor, and she walks off
into the big bedroom to bring the coffee from the gas heater. It is all
like a pretty play unmarred by any remote ideas about efficiency, and
time and labor-saving devices. Then two maids make our beds; then they
dust the floor, one holding up the sofa on edge while the other whisks
underneath it, and they smile and bow and take an interest in every move
we make as if we were their dearest friends.

Enter now the housekeeper who, with many bows, announces v-e-r-y
s-l-o-w-l-y that she would like to accompany me to go about the city and
to explain things to me, as I would thus teach her English. I asked if
she were going to church and she said she wasn't a Christian. Think what
a funny sound that has. She is the secretary of Mr. X---- and a student
in the new Christian college of which he is the President. She comes in
now to wait on us at breakfast and she stays and repeats English after
us. She knows a lot of English, but it is so literary that it is quite
amusing to turn her into the ways of ordinary talk. To get her to open
her mouth and break the polite Japanese whisper, in which the Japanese
women speak, is what I work most on. Yesterday we visited the Women's
University which is within walking distance of this house. The
President, Mr. Naruse, is dying of cancer. He is in bed but is able to
talk quite naturally. He has made a farewell address to his students,
has said good-bye to his faculty in a speech, and has named the dean,
who is acting in his place now, as his successor. At this University
they teach flower arrangement, long sword, and Japanese etiquette, and
the chief warden is a fine woman. She says I may come in as much as I
like to see those different things.

In the afternoon we had callers again, among them two women. Women are
rare. One, a Dr. R----, is an osteopath who has practiced here for
fifteen years and is an old friend of our host's. The second, Miss
T----, has just returned from seven years in our country. I heard much
of her at Stanford and brought letters to her. She has a chair in the
Women's University. It is a chair of Sociology, but she says the
authorities are afraid the time has not yet come for her to start on
sociology, so she will begin with the teaching of English and work into
sociology by the process of ingratiating it into her classes. She is an
interesting personality. She was sent to me to say I might be lonely
because your father was away so she was to take me, with any other
friends I wanted, to the theater. As we had already been to the Imperial
Theater and sat in the Baron's box it was finally arranged to go to the
Kabuki, where we sit on the floor and see real old Japanese acting,
which I am very anxious to do. I understand it begins at 11 in the
morning and lasts until ten at night.

February 22.

Yesterday we went to the theater, beginning at one and ending about
nine; tea is constantly in the box, and little meals--and a big
one--between the acts. We liked the old Japanese theater better than the
more or less modernized one. Baron Shibusawa presented us with a box--or
rather two of them--and his niece and another relative and the two young
people from the house went. I won't try to describe the dramas, except
to say that the way to study Japanese history and tradition would be to
go to the theater with some one to interpret, and that while the theater
is as plain as a medieval European one, the dresses are even more
elaborate and costly. The stage is a beautiful spectacle when there are
forty old Samurai on it, as the garments are genuine, not tinsel. Mamma
went more than I, because I had to leave at half-past four to go to the
Concordia Society--in fact, I hadn't expected to go at all at first, as
the Baron said that he sent the offer of the box because he feared Mamma
might be lonely when I was away! There were about twenty-five Japanese
and Americans at the meeting and after I had spoken for half an hour we
had dinner in an adjoining restaurant, and then sat around and visited
for an hour or so.

The great event of the week, aside from the theater yesterday, was
visiting the Women's University--you mightn't think that a great treat,
but you don't know what we saw. We started early to walk, since it isn't
far and we had been shown the way once, but we were rubbering so busily
at the shops that we failed to notice where we were till we got to the
end of things and then had to turn around and walk back, so we got there
late. The forenoon we spent in the elementary classes and kindergarten,
which are their practice school. Those very bright kimonos for children
you see are real--all the children wear them, as bright as can be,
generally reds, and then some. So the rooms where the little children
were are like gardens of flowers with bright birds in them--gay as can
be. The work was all interesting, but the colored crayon drawings
particularly. They have a great deal of freedom there, and instead of
the children imitating and showing no individuality--which seems to be
the proper thing to say--I never saw so much variety and so little
similarity in drawings and other hand work, to say nothing of its
quality being much better than the average of ours. The children were
under no visible discipline, but were good as well as happy; they paid
no attention to visitors, which I think is ultramodern, as I expected to
see them all rise and bow. If you will think of doing all the regular
school work--including in this school a good deal of hand work, drawing,
etc.--and then learning by the end of the sixth grade a thousand or more
Chinese characters, to make as well as to read, you will have some idea
of how industrious the kids have to be, and of course they have to learn
Japanese characters, too. Then we had a luncheon, ten of us altogether,
cooked and served by the girls in the Domestic Department; some
luncheon!--and garnished in a way to beat the Ritz--European food and
service. Then the real show began. First we had flower arrangement,
ancient and modern styles, then examples of the ancient etiquette in
serving tea and cakes to guests, and then of inferiors calling on
superiors; then Koto playing--a thirteen-stringed harp that lies on the
floor--first two girls and the teacher, and then a solo by the teacher.
He is blind and said to be the best player in Japan; he gave "Cotton
Bleaching in the Brook," and said he rarely played it, only once a year.
Well, you could hear the water ripple and fall, and hit the stones, and
the women singing and beating the cotton. I could hear it better than I
can hear spring in our music, so I think perhaps my ears are made to fit
the Japanese scale, or lack of it. Then we were taken into the tea house
and shown the tea ceremony, being served with tea. Mamma sat tatami, on
her heels, but I basely took a chair. Then we went to the gymnasium and
saw the old Samurai women's sword and spear exercises, etc. The teacher
was an old woman of seventy-five and as lithe and nimble as a cat--more
graceful than any of the girls. I have an enormous respect now for the
old etiquette and ceremonies regarded as physical culture. Every
movement has to be made perfectly, and it cannot be done without
conscious control. The modernized gym exercises by the children were
simply pitiful compared with all these ceremonies. Then we were taken to
the dormitories, which are in a garden, simple wooden Japanese
buildings, like barns our girls would think, but everything so clean you
could eat on the floor anywhere, with the south side all glass and sun,
and the girls sitting on the floor to study on a table about a foot and
a half high; no beds or chairs to litter up the rooms. Then after we
were taken over some of the other rooms, we went back to the dining-room
and had a most exquisite Japanese vegetarian Buddhist lunch served--just
a sample, all on a little plate, but including the sweets for dessert,
five or six things all quite different and elegantly cooked. Also three
kinds of tea.

Politeness is so universal here that when we get back we shall either be
so civil that you won't know us, or else we shall be so irritated that
nobody is sufficiently civil that you won't know us either. Mr. X----
took me in his car and brought me back. When we got to the hall there
were five maids bowing and smiling to get our slippers and hang up our
coats and hats. Just going in or out is like going to a picnic; I think
the maids enjoy this change in their regular work, for they really
smile, as if they were having the time of their lives. If it is
perfunctory and put on, they have me fooled.

Well, I'll spare you all any philosophical reflections this trip.
Besides, I've been too busy having a good time to think of any. They
will probably grow spontaneously in China. I forgot whether I told you
in my last letter that the Minister of the Interior has given me a
monthly and renewable pass first class on the Japanese railways. A
friend here asked him for one for Mamma, too, but he said he was very
sorry, that privilege could not be extended to a woman. So I'm the only
grafter in the family. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but shall
make one at the first opportunity in order to get the sensation.

TOKYO, Friday, February 28.

I don't get much sightseeing done except in the way of seeing street
sights. I am generally accompanied when I take a walk for exercise and
always taken by some new way. The other evening we went out after dinner
and took a walk to a lively street not far off--booksellers with their
things spread out on the sidewalk or rather road, little lunch wagons,
crowded streets and shops--they have electricity everywhere, and some
geisha girls trotting along with maids to carry their samisens. We went
into a Japanese movie beside rubbering at everything and then went into
a Japanese restaurant. Their eating places here are specialized--this
was a noodle shop, and we tried three kinds, one wheat in a soup, one
buckwheat with fried shrimps, and another cold with seaweed. For the
entire lot for the two of us it cost 27 cents American money, and the
place, which was an ordinary one, was cleaner than any American one,
even the best. The movie story seemed more complicated than any of ours,
and was certainly slower, because there is a man and a woman in a little
coop near the curtain who say what the actors are saying whenever their
lips move, this gives a chance of course for more talk. There were a few
knockouts and a murder and a villain and a persecuted damsel, and an
attempted suicide to provide thrills, but I couldn't make out what it
was about even with the aid of the guide with me. Such are simple
pleasures here, save that when we walk in the daytime we generally go to
a temple where on the whole the people are more interesting than the
temples, though sometimes the layout of trees is beautiful and gives
much the same effect of religious calm as a cathedral. In general the
similarity between worship here and the country Italian Catholicism is
more striking than anything else. They are slightly more naïve here--to
see the dolls, woolly dogs, and pinwheels at the shrines of the
children's gods, besides their straw slippers, straw sandals and an
occasional child's kimono is quite touching, also sometimes a mother has
cut off her hair and pinned it up as an offering. Other things are as
humorous as these are pathetic, such as making spitballs of written
prayers and pasting the god with them. Some of the gods are now
protected by wire netting on this account. I have got fairly well used
to the street scenes now and can tell most of the kinds of shops, such
as an undertaker's from a cooper's. What makes the street so interesting
is that you can look in and see everything going on. I forgot to mention
the most interesting street thing I've seen, a bird catcher with a long
limed pole like a bamboo fishing rod, a basket with a valve door to put
them in and some other utensils. I didn't see him catch any, though.

Sunday Morning, March 2.

I am writing early because we are going to-day to Kamakura. You have
probably heard of the big bronze Buddha--fifty feet high--well, that is
there. A friend has arranged an interview for us with the most
distinguished or most learned of the Buddhist priests in Japan--who
belongs to the most philosophical of all the sects, the Zen, which
believes in the simple life and is more or less Stoical; this is the
sect that had the greatest influence on the warrior class in the good
old days. Kamakura is on the other side of Yokohama, an old Shogun
capital; has lots of historic shrines, etc.

Yesterday I made my first speech with an interpreter to a teachers'
association, some five hundred in all, mostly elementary school teachers
conspicuous for the fact that only about twenty-five were women. In the
evening we went to a supper and reception of the English-Speaking
Society, Americans and Japanese, mostly the latter; both men and women
and the most generally sociable thing we have seen yet. We have heard
said it was the only place in Tokyo where Japanese men and women really
met in a free sociable way, and the president said that when Japanese
met for sociable purposes they were reserved and stiff--at least till
the wine went round--as long as they spoke Japanese, but speaking
English brought back the habits they got in America and thawed them
out--an interesting psychological observation on the effect of language.

TOKYO, Tuesday, March 4.

You would be surprised to see how free from all affectations this
country has remained, at least so far as we see it. There is a social
democracy here that we do not know. All Japan is talking democracy now,
which is to be taken in the sense of representative government rather
than in the sense of tearing down the present form of government. The
representation in elections here now does not seem to extend much
further, if any, than to include those large taxpayers who would under
any system be a force in forming policy. The extension of the suffrage
is the great question under discussion at present. That and the
expansion of special education for men are the turning points for the
coming legislators. Japan has acquired many new millionaires during the
war and those men are already founding new schools for vocational
purposes for men. Four hundred and forty students are to be sent abroad
with a very generous allowance for living in the different foreign
countries, none of them women, and no women are mentioned in any of the
new appropriation bills. Not even a mention of the needs for women.

Yesterday, to begin, was spent thus: It was the famous festival of
dolls. In the morning I made a dress for a poor sort of foreign doll I
had hunted out for a little girl. It was all American. Another
ridiculous imitation of American baby, looking half caste Japanese, has
still to be dressed when I can find the material for long clothes, but I
presented it as is. They invited me in to see their exhibition. Some of
their dolls are two hundred years old from their mothers' family. I
shall try to find some literature on this festival as it is too long to
write about. But it is true that one begins immediately to get the
passion for dolls; they are not dead things like ours, but works of art
symbolic of all the different phases of national life. The little girls
were delighted with their possessions. If I had only known about this I
should have known what to bring to Japan for gifts, instead of feeling
as helpless as I did. If you come, bring dolls.

In the afternoon I was invited to go to the best or one of the best
collections in the country and that was a great experience. It began
very painfully for me because I got lost and was three-quarters of an
hour late at the Imperial Hotel from which we started. The family that
owns this famous collection is very old and the wife is the daughter of
a Daimyo, hence the dolls are very old. And they are wonderful, and more
wonderful still their housekeeping equipment of old lacquer and
porcelain and glass. The doll refreshments are served in tiny dishes on
tiny tables while the guests sit on the floor, the hostess and her
family doing all the serving. We had the thick white wine made from rice
poured out of wonderful little decanters into tiny glasses. We drank to
the health of the family and the stuff is delicious, with an aroma such
as no honey can excel. After these refreshments we were shown the room
for the tea ceremony and then taken back into the foreign part of the
house for real refreshments, which consisted of many and wonderful
varieties of cakes. The tea was served in cups with saucers decorated
with plum blossoms, this being the time of plum blossoms. Then tea cups
taken away and cups of rich chocolate placed on the tables. These tables
were high enough for the ordinary chairs. All the foreign houses are
very ugly in style but very comfortable and mid-Victorian. The Baroness
urged us to eat special cakes and we left stuffed. One kind is in the
form of a beautiful pink leaf wrapped in a cherry leaf which has been
preserved from last year. The leaf gives the cake a delicious flavor and
also a cover to protect the fingers from its stickiness. Then three
little round brown cakes looking some like chocolate--on a skewer. You
bite off the first one whole, then slip the other two as you eat them.
Those alone are enough for a meal and very nourishing. All cakes are
made from bean paste or like our richest pastries. When that second meal
was finished, we said good-bye. The Baroness and her three pretty
daughters and her sister all followed us to the outer door and when our
auto drove off the last thing we saw were the bows of the butlers and
these pretty ladies, all saying one more harmonious good-bye. The young
girls dress in kimonos of wool muslin of the brightest colors and
designs which are conceivable even to the Japanese imagination. They
look like a very profusely blooming garden of old fashioned perennials.

The garden is indescribable. I had some fancy of what a Japanese garden
would look like, but find it is nothing at all beside the reality. This
place is big and the grass is now brown. Most of the grass is covered
with a thick carpet of pine needles and at the edge of the pine needle
carpet a rope of twisted straw outlines graceful curves. The use of the
big stones is the most surprising part of the whole. They are very old
and weather-stained, of many shades of gray and blue-gray, with the
short shrubs for a background, and the severity and simplicity of the
result has a classic beauty which we may attain in centuries, and only
after we have consumed our abundance of things material.

Then we went to dinner at the house of Professor M----. There are six
children in his family, the oldest a man of about twenty-five, a
graduate of the Imperial University, now a factory inspector for the
government; he speaks eight languages. One of these is Esperanto, which
is his hobby. The French Professors were there also, two of them, a
clever and amusing pair, who did their duty in talking, and the young
man spoke better than any of us and with an excellent pronunciation. He
has never been out of Japan. Two little girls and a young boy appeared
after dinner and made their pretty bows to the floor, and then went to a
low table and squatted and played Go the rest of the evening. Go is the
famous shell game. Go means five and it is a game of fives, but ask me
no more, except that the men are 364 in number and you play it on an
expanded checker board. There was an endless succession of food and
drinks and we did not leave till nearly eleven. Japanese families have
many nice drinks which we do not. Theirs are perhaps no better than our
best ones, but they add to the pleasant variety of non-alcoholic drinks.
Besides those we had two wines.

This was the dinner as near as I can remember. A menu card was at each
plate and I fancy they were intended as souvenirs for the foreign
guests, but I forgot to take mine, if that was their purpose. We had
soup, bread of two kinds, and butter. Then fish patties, then little
birds, boned, on toast with a vegetable, then ramekins of Japanese
macaroni, which is not like ours. Next roast beef, very tender fillet,
with potato balls, peas, gravy, another vegetable forgot, and salad,
white and red wine, coming after the orange cider. Then a delicious
pudding, then cake and strawberries. Those berries are raised out of
doors. They are planted between rows of stones which are heated
artificially, I did not quite understand how, the vines being kept from
touching the stones by low bamboo trellises. Whipped cream served with
the berries. Then delicious coffee in foreign style.

After dinner we leave the reception room in foreign style and go
upstairs to the big Japanese room, sit by the hibashi or the grate, and
here the children come. At once tea is served. Then just as we were
starting for home we were urged to stay for a drink, which was more
orange cider, very sweet, and bottled waters, which are so good and come
from the many natural springs. One of the amusements of the Japanese is
seeing the foreign visitors try to sit, and you can't wonder they are
amused. I can manage it, in awkward fashion, but your father can't even
bend for the pose. On Sunday we sat for two hours in the presence of the
greatest Buddhist priest in Japan, and you can guess whether we wriggled
and if my feet were asleep if you try the pose for a few minutes
yourself, even on a nice soft cushion as we were. Getting up properly is
the hardest part of it.

TOKYO, Tuesday, March 4.

Our friends took us to Kamakura; it isn't interesting reading these
things in advance in guide books, so I don't think a description will be
interesting, but something over seven hundred years ago, the first
Shogun rulers settled there and made it their capital, of which nothing
is now left save the Buddhist temples. We met on the train going down
the professor of Japanese literature in the University, who was going
there because it was the seventh hundred anniversary of a Shogun who
wrote poetry, and the professor was going over to lecture on his poems.
Also we ran across several hundred school children, boys and girls with
their teachers, who were spending Sunday seeing the historic sights. One
of the big temples to the god of war was a kind of museum, with old
swords and masks and things in it. They took us to call on the Reverend
Shaku, who is the head of the Zen sect of Buddhists in Japan, and who
talked--including the interpreter--about two hours, in answer to
questions about Buddhism, especially his variety. It was very
interesting. We were ushered into a Japanese room, beautiful
proportions, a lovely kakemono in the alcove--it's a scroll, not a
kimono--and a five-legged little table made of metal with
mother-of-pearl inlay. Otherwise nothing but the room with gorgeous blue
and gold chrysanthemums alternating on the paneled ceiling and five silk
cushions scattered around for us to sit on, and a single one at the end
of the room for him. In about five minutes another screen door opened
and he appeared in a gorgeous but simple flowing robe, copper colored.
Then tea and sponge cake--meantime the talk fest had begun. Incidentally
I should remark that the bowing and kneeling of the servants looks much
more natural and less servile when you see people seated on the floor,
and the servants have to kneel to hand them anything. His personality is
that of a scholarly type, rather ascetic, not over refined, but not in
the least sleek like some of our Hindu swamis, and very charming. When
we left he thanked us for coming and expressed his great satisfaction
that he had made some friends. His talk was largely moral but with a
high metaphysical flavor, somewhat elusive, and reminding one of Royce.
Well it was an experience worth having, as he is reputed the most
learned and representative Buddhist in Japan, and as I have remarked
before, seeing is quite different from reading. He was more modern than
Royce in one respect; he said God is the moral ideal in man and as man
develops the divine principle does also. We saw the big fifty-foot
bronze statue of Buddha, in some respects the most celebrated single
thing in Japan and again one you have to see. It is as impressive as a

We have been to a dinner party since I began this. Our host seems to be
a universal genius--a member of the house of peers, an authority on
education, an orchid fancier, a painter and I don't know what. There
were over twenty at table, and our health was drunk in champagne with a
little speech, and two members of the cabinet were there. The Countess
is the mother of eight children, and looks about thirty and very pretty
for thirty. Three or four of the little girls were about before and
after dinner, and, like several of the little girls of the new
generation, are as spontaneous and natural as you would wish. Acquired
characteristics are certainly hereditary in Japan, for even the most
lively and spontaneous children are civilized. Whatever else you think
about the Japanese they are about the most highly civilized people on
earth, perhaps overcultivated. I asked Mamma when these girls would
undergo the clammifying process and have all their life taken out of
them, and she said never for these girls.

President Naruse died this morning; as he had cancer, it was fortunate
he did not linger longer. He was one of the most remarkable men in
Japan. Two days before he died the Empress sent him a present of five
thousand dollars for his school--a very great tribute and one which will
help the cause of woman's education. Speaking of this family where we
dined, you can judge of the high aristocracy of our hosts of the evening
by the fact that when they showed us the dolls' festival, there were
some fine ones which had been sent the Countess by the Imperial
Princesses. The dolls by the way are never played with--they are works
of art and history to look at. These children got out their American
dolls, of which they had ten, to show Mamma.

March 5.

I have now given three lectures. They are a patient race; there is still
a good-sized audience, probably five hundred. We are gradually getting a
superficial acquaintance with a good many people, and if I could get two
or three weeks free from lectures to prepare I could make a business of
finding things out, but as it is I only accumulate certain impressions.
There is no doubt a great change is going on; how permanent it will be
depends a good deal upon how the rest of the world behaves. If it
doesn't live up to its peaceful and democratic professions, the
conservative bureaucrats and militarists, who of course are still very
strong, will say we told you so and there will be a backset. But if
other countries, and especially our own, behave decently, the
democratizing here will go on as steadily and as rapidly as is

TOKYO, Monday, March 10.

Yesterday we had our first taste of the Noh drama. We got there before
nine in the morning, and I left before two to go to Mr. Naruse's
funeral, but Mamma stayed till nearly three when she had to go to speak
at a school. Mamma can give you a much more intelligent idea of it than
I can, but the building is a kind of barnlike structure--the Elizabethan
theater with a vengeance, and no stage properties except some little
live pines and a big painted one, and except costumes which are rich and
expensive and the masks which are likewise. It is an acquired taste, but
one which can be acquired very rapidly. If they weren't done with such
extraordinary art and technique they would probably be stupid, to a
foreigner anyway, but as it is they are fascinating, though it is hard
to say what the source of the fascination is aside from the perfection
of technique. Conscious control was certainly born and bred in Japan.

Mr. Naruse had a very strong hold on people, and his funeral was an
event--all the autos and most of the 'rickshas in Tokyo must have been
there, and some eight or ten speakers, and even to me who could
understand nothing it was very impressive. One of the civilized things
is that before the speaker bowed to the audience--and they all bowed
back--he bowed to the remains, Which were in a coffin on the platform
with flowers, and more flowers than at an American funeral.

We were to have gone to Baron Shibusawa's for tea and dinner this
afternoon, but his influenza has gone into pneumonia.

To go back to Saturday. The reception was pleasant. We met the Americans
who are educators and in the missionary schools and colleges;
intelligent and well disposed, so far as I have seen. The criticism of
the missionaries seems to be rather cooked up. Just now there is a fuss
over them in Korea, because there is some agitation going on there for
independence, and it seems to have started with Koreans who had been in
missionary schools. The missionaries here seem much divided, some of
them blaming the missionaries over there, saying they will bring
Christianity into disrepute everywhere in Japan, and some saying that it
proves Christian teaching amounts to something and that it will have a
good effect in improving conditions, leading to foreign criticism and
publicity, and causing the Japanese to modify their colonial policy,
which seems to be under military rather than civil control. There is a
rumor that the ex-Emperor of Korea didn't die a natural death, but
committed suicide, with the hope of putting off or preventing the
marriage of his oldest son to a Japanese princess--they were to have
been married very soon. No one seems to know whether the story was
invented to encourage the revolutionaries in Korea or has truth in it.
Meanwhile they say the wedding is going to take place, and the Japanese
are sorry for their poor princess, who is sacrificed to marry a

Thursday evening Mamma invited the X----'s and some others, eight
including ourselves, to supper in a Japanese restaurant, a beef
restaurant--they are all specialized--where we not only sat on the floor
and ate with chop sticks, but where the little slices of thin beefsteak
were brought in raw with vegetables to flavor, and cooked over a little
pan on a charcoal hibashi, one fire to each two persons. Naturally it
was lots of fun, a kind of inside picnic.

Oh, yes, something happened Friday. We went to the Imperial Museum in
the morning and the curator showed us about--I won't describe a
museum--but on the way home we were taken into a pipe store and Mamma
purchased three little Japanese pipes, ladies' pipes, to take home.
Quite cunning, and the dealer said this was the first time he had ever
sold anything to a foreigner, so he presented her with a little ladies'
pouch and a pipe holder, both made from Holland cloth, not anything very
precious, but probably worth as much as her entire purchase, certainly
more than the profit on his sales. These things are quite touching and
an offset to the stories about their bad business methods, because it is
really a matter of hospitable courtesy to the foreigner, though he said
himself they generally put the price up for the foreigner on antiques.

TOKYO, Thursday, March 14.

We have just had a mild picnic. Mamma has a slight cold, so the maids
brought her supper up to her and for sociability brought mine up too.
Mamma got out a Japanese phrase book and pronounced various phrases to
them; to see them giggle and bend double, no theater was ever so funny.
When I got to my last bite, I inquired the name of the food, and said it
and "Sayonara"--good night. This old gag was a triumph of humor. They
are certainly a good-natured people. I have watched the children come
out from a public school near here, and never yet have I seen a case of
bullying or even of teasing, except of a very good-natured kind, no
quarreling and next to no disputing. Yet they are sturdy little things
and no mollycoddles. To see a boy of ten or twelve playing tag and
jumping ditches with a boy strapped to his back is a sight. There are no
public rebukes or scoldings of the children or even cross words, to say
nothing of slappings, no nagging, at least not in public. Some would say
that the children are not scolded because they are good, but it is a
fair guess that it is the other way. But it must be admitted that so far
as amiable exterior and cheerfulness and courtesy is concerned, they
have no bad examples set them. Some foreigners say all this is only skin
deep, but the manners of the foreigners who say these things aren't any
too good even from our standards. Anyway, skin deep is better than
nothing and good as far as it goes. However, the Japanese say that their
courtesy is reserved for their friends and people they know, not that
they have bad manners to strangers, but that they pay no attention to
them, and won't go out of their way to do anything for them.

I told about the man who made Mamma a present when she bought the pipes.
Yesterday we were in that region and Mamma went in again and bought
another, and paid him a compliment on what people said about the
present. Whereupon he gets up and fishes out another more valuable
pouch, somewhat ragged and old, the kind the actors now use on the
stage, and offers it. Mamma naturally tries to avoid it, but can't. He
informs her through the friend with us that he likes Americans very
much. An international matter having been made of it, the pouch is
accepted, and now we have to think up some present to give him. However,
we have told this story to several Americans here, and they say they
have never heard anything like it.

We were to have gone to the Peeress's School this morning, an
appointment having been made to show us about. Mamma's cold preventing
her going, we had somebody 'phone to see if the time could be changed.
And this afternoon appear for her some lovely lilies and
amaryllis--these being from people we had never seen. A Freudian would
readily infer how bad my own manners are from the amount I talk about

We went to a Japanese restaurant for supper. This was a fish restaurant,
and we cooked the fish and vegetables ourselves, but over gas, not
charcoal this time. Then we had side dishes, fish, lobster, etc.,
innumerable. Instead of bringing you in a bill of fare to order from,
the coolie brings a big tray with samples of everything on it, and you
help yourself. One thing was abalones on the half shell, these being
babies, about like our clams, but not so tough, to say nothing of as
tough as the big ones. I didn't try the fried devil fish and other
luxuries, but wandered pretty far afield. When you have leisure, try
eating lobster in the shell with chop sticks. You will resort to
something more ancient than chop sticks, as I did. This restaurant is
quite plebeian, though it has a great reputation for its secret recipe
for the sauce the fish is cooked in, but it was considerably more
expensive than the other--probably because we sampled so many side
dishes; the other one cost less than five dollars for eight people--good
food and all anybody could eat.

TOKYO, March 14th.

The ceremony of breakfast is over, and I am sorry again you cannot all
share in these daily festivals which add so much to the dignity of
living. We are now studying Japanese with the aid of the maids. I missed
going to the Dolls' Festival at a private kindergarten and the
result--this morning by mail a postcard from the children with numerous
presents made by them, all dolls, and those I will send home, as they
are interesting. With the presents they say: "We made cakes and prepared
for your coming and we were in the depths of despair when you did not
come. Please come another time." I am sure there is no other country in
the world like this. The language is an impossible one. The way given in
the phrases of the guide book is the way the man speaks. So when I
stammer off those phrases the girls are literally tickled to death. When
they tell me what I ought to say in the more elaborated polite way of
the women, then I am floored. It is all an amusing game and relieves the
watch they keep on each bite we take so as to be ready to supply more.
Everything they do is marked with the kindliest attitude and every act
or move is one of friendship.

This is the program for to-day: Go to lunch at the house of some
missionaries, then to father's lecture at 3:30, then to dinner for
University of Chicago students. To-morrow will be an open day for me and
the little secretary will take me shopping. The big department store is
the fashionable place where all the noble and rich buy their kimonos,
and I may supplement my secondhand attempts with a new one. When I get
to Kyoto I hope to find a real old one, as the new style of weave are
infected with foreign influence. The other evening with Y---- we found a
little shop for antiques which is a gem to look at. An old man and his
wife, Y---- says he bets they are Samurai, with the politeness of real
nobles, and their little place as carefully arranged for beauty as if it
were their home--which it is. I broke an old Kutani plate and I inquired
for one there. They had none, but we looked at their things, they with
many bows, and when we left said we were sorry to have troubled them for
nothing. They replied, "Please excuse us for not having the thing you

To-morrow we go to lunch here in the neighborhood with a very clever and
interesting family (of a professor). None of the women call, at least
none of the married ones, all being afraid of their English for one
reason, but I am learning to just take things as they come and not to
bother over formalities, never knowing whether that is the best way or
not. The wedding of last Tuesday was the most interesting function I
have seen. The marriage ceremony was the Christian one. The company
represented the rich and fashionable of the city. The ladies all wear
black crepe kimonos, that splendid crepe which is so heavy, next under
the black is an all white of soft china silk, then the third of bright
color. K----'s was that bright vermilion red. Her sleeves were not very
long, as she is a mother, but the young girls wear bright colored
kimonos and long sleeves that almost touch the floor. The bride wears
black, too. All these dress-up kimonos have decorations in color,
sometimes embroidered and sometimes dyed on the lower points of the
front. The bride's was spread out on the floor around her just like the
old pictures, embroidered in heavy rose peonies, her undergarment and
the lining of the black, in rose color. Her hair was done in the old
conventional way shown in the prints with the long pins of light
tortoise shell with bouquets of tiny flowers carved at the ends, which
stuck out about three inches, making a crown over her head. The
receiving party is as follows: First, father of groom; second, mother of
bride; third, groom; fourth, bride; fifth, father of bride; sixth,
mother of groom. The line is straight and the bride is perfectly
arranged like an old print, she and the groom with their eyes cast down.
As each person passes, they make bows all along the line at once, but
they do not move hand or eyes or a fold of these perfect clothes. I
forgot to say the men, unfortunately, wear European dress. Then we moved
on to two large rooms, the men all seated and smoking in one, and the
women in the other. Those who knew me were very kind. Countess H----
introduced me to the bridesmaids; at least they would be the maids at
home. They were the sisters and young relatives all dressed in the most
brilliant kimonos and embroidered and decorated to the limit; they
looked like all the parrots and peacocks and paradise and blue birds and
every lovely color imaginable, while the uniform black of the guests,
decorated with the pure white of their crests which stand out in such a
group, formed the perfect background, free from all the messiness which
is so apparent in a diversified gathering of all sorts of color and
shape and materials in our land. At tea, which was very elaborate and
taken sitting at the tables, the family of the two filled one table, a
long one at the end of the room. The bride now wore a green kimono,
equally brilliant; about two feet away from her sat the groom, both in
the middle of the long table.

TOKYO, Thursday, March 20.

We have had a number of social events this week. Tuesday evening General
H----, who speaks no English but who came over on the _Shinyo_ with us,
gave a party for us in the gardens of the Arsenal Grounds. We could not
have entered the Arsenal Grounds in any other way. There were about
twenty-five people there, mostly Christian Association people, and the
clergyman of the Japanese church where I had spoken the night before. He
is keen about introducing more democracy in Japan, and I spoke on the
moral meaning of democracy. Well, the garden isn't a garden at all in
our sense, but a park, and the finest in Tokyo outside of the Imperial
ones. It is quite different from the miniature ones we know as Japanese
gardens, being of fair size, with none of those cunning little
imitations in it; big imitations there are in plenty, as it was a fad of
the old landscapists, as you might know, to reproduce on a small scale
celebrated scenes elsewhere. The old Daimyo, who built this one two
hundred years ago, was a great admirer of the Chinese and reproduced
several famous Chinese landscapes as well as one from Kyoto. The
extraordinary thing is the amount of variety they get in a small space;
they could reproduce the earth, including the Alps and a storm in the
Irish Channel, if they had Central Park. Every detail counts; it is all
so artistically figured out and every little rock has a meaning of its
own so that a barbarian can only get a surface view. It would have to be
studied like an artist's masterpiece to take it all in. The arsenal
factory fumes have killed many of the old trees and much of the glory
has departed.

Probably Mamma has written you that she has one young woman, Japanese,
coming on the ship with us under her care, to New York to study; and
to-day another young lady called, and said she wanted to go back to
America. About the young women going home with us, Y---- said we would
have to be careful, as one time his mother was offered seventeen damsels
to escort when she was going over, of whom she took three. You may not
appreciate the fact that going to America to study means practically
giving up marriage; they will be old maids and out of it by the time
they return--also those who have been in America do not take kindly to
having a marriage arranged for them. At a lecture I listened to
yesterday, a Japanese woman, close to thirty, was pointed out to me as
about to get married to an American architect here. There are
exceptions, but this case is evidently a famous romance. The lecture was
on Social Aspects of Shinto; Shinto is the official cult though not the
established religion of Japan. Although nothing is said that wasn't
scientifically a matter of course to be said--I mean supposing it was
scientifically correct--one of the most interesting things was the
caution that was taken to avoid publication of anything said. On one
side the Imperial Government is theocratic, and this is the most
sensitive side, so that historical criticism or analysis of old
documents is not indulged in, the Ancestors being Gods or the Gods being
Ancestors. One bureaucratic gentleman felt sure that the divine
ancestors must have left traces of their own language somewhere, so he
investigated the old shrines, and sure enough he found on some of the
beams characters different from Chinese or Japanese. These he copied and
showed for the original language--till some carpenters saw them and
explained that they were the regular guild marks.

KAMAKURA, Thursday, March 27.

This weather beats Chicago for changeableness. Monday, at midnight, it
was storming rain; when we got up the next day it was the brightest,
warmest day we have had. We spent it sightseeing and went out without an
overcoat. The magnolia trees are in full bloom. Yesterday and to-day are
as raw March days as I ever saw anywhere; there would have been frost
last night but for the wind. Tuberculosis is rife here and no wonder.

Three of the University professors have called on me this morning. They
wish to arrange in every detail for our movements when we leave here. I
suppose I was asked twenty times how long we are to stay in Kamakura.
When I said I didn't know, it depended on weather and other things, they
said, "Oh, yes," and in five minutes asked the same question again.
Whether they arrange everything in minute detail for themselves in
advance or whether they think we are helpless foreigners I can't make
out; some of both, I think. But they can't understand that we can't give
an exact date for everything we are going to do till we go to China. At
the same time I never knew anybody to change their own plans, especially
socially, as much as they do.

There is a great anti-American drive on now; seems to be largely
confined to newspapers, but also stimulated artificially somewhat,
presumably by the militaristic faction, which has lost more prestige in
the last few months than in years, with a corresponding gain in liberal
sentiment. They have consequently found it necessary to do something to
come back. Criticism of the United States is the easiest way to arrest
the spread of liberal sentiments and strengthen the arguments for a big
militaristic party, like twisting the lion's tail with us. Discussion
about race discrimination is very active and largely directed against
the United States in spite of Australia and Canada, and also in spite of
the fact that Chinese and Korean immigration here is practically
forbidden, and they discriminate more against the Chinese than we do
against them. But consistency is not the strong point of politics in any
country. Excepting on the subject of race discrimination, foreigners in
contact with Japanese do not find the anti-American feeling which is
expressed in papers. If the Anglo-Japanese treaty of alliance should
lapse because of the League of Nations or anything else, America will be
held responsible, even if the British are the cause. Two years ago there
was a similar anti-British drive here, and pretty hard bargains were
driven with the British ally in all war matters. Now that Germany and
Russia are out of it, England has no apparent reason for snuggling up
much and the shoe is on the other foot. Which makes the attack on the
U.S. all the more stupid, as they are internationally quite lonely, even
if they tie up with France on account of similar Russian interests,
financial and otherwise.

TOKYO, Wednesday, March 28.

To-morrow we are going to Kamakura again; it is only an hour and a half
from here. We are going to take a little trip into the mountain and
hot-spring district also, but the cherry blossom season is much
advanced, ten days earlier than usual, and we are afraid it will spring
itself in our absence if we go far, so probably we shall be back here in
a few days for about a week. Then we shall take a five-day trip on our
way to Kyoto, going to the shrine at Ise. This is the oldest and most
sacred Shinto shrine in Japan, which means that it is the central spot
for imperial ancestor worship. Speaking of ancestors, you remember our
references to the Count. The father of his first wife has recently been
made a Baron. Parliament being over, the Count has left for the southern
Island to inform the ancestors of his first wife, who are buried there,
of the important item of family gossip. The oldest liberal statesman of
aristocratic descent, who was quite intimate with the late Emperor,
won't go to the annual meeting to celebrate the granting of the
Constitution by the late Emperor because he is so disgusted that no more
progress has been made in constitutionalism, and says he cannot meet his
late master until he can report progress to him. Otherwise he would be
ashamed to meet him as he feels responsible to the Emperor. This would
not be any place for a spiritualist to earn his living. They are clear
past mediums.

We have chiefly been eating lately. I had two Japanese meals, a la chop
sticks, yesterday and one to-day. Luncheon yesterday at a restaurant,
where we had lots of things you never heard of, to say nothing of eating
them, and a dinner at a friend's. There were twelve courses at table and
two or three afterwards--not counting tea, and much the same at another
dinner to-night. We have a bill of fare written on fans, only in
Japanese, and little silver salt cellars as souvenirs besides. One
feature of both dinners was soup three times, at the beginning, about
the middle and again at closing, at these functions rice is not served
till near the last course. Then there were one or two semi-soupy courses
thrown in. I can eat raw fish and ask no questions; and in a bird
restaurant, Sunday for luncheon, I ate raw chicken wrapped in seaweed;
abalone is my middle name, and some of the shell fish we eat is probably
devil fish.

We have been here over six weeks now, and in taking an inventory it can
be said that while we have not done as much sightseeing as some six-day
tourists, I think we have seen more Japanese under normal home
conditions than most Americans in six months, and have seen an unusually
large number of people to talk to, not the official crowd but the
representative intellectual liberals. I have seen less but found out
more than I ever expected about Japanese conditions, which is quite the
opposite of European experience in traveling. When I come back I shall
try to see a few of the official people, since I now know enough to
judge what they may say. On the whole, America ought to feel sorry for
Japan, or at least sympathetic with it, and not afraid. When we have so
many problems it seems absurd to say they have more, but they certainly
have fewer resources, material and human, in dealing with theirs than we
have, and they have still to take almost the first step in dealing with
many of them. It is very unfortunate for them that they have become a
first-class power so rapidly and with so little preparation in many
ways; it is a terrible task for them to live up to their position and
reputation and they may crack under the strain.

TOKYO, Tuesday, April 1.

The Japanese do one thing that we should do well to imitate. They teach
the children in school a very nice lesson about the beauty and the
responsibility of being polite and kind to the foreigner, like being so
to the guests of your own house. This adds to the national dignity.

Yesterday the Emperor got out and I caught him at it. Quite an amazing
and lucky experience for me and no harm to him, as I had not known he
ever went out before I picked him up in the street. I went down our hill
as usual with a friend to take the car. At this side of the street where
the car passes, we walk across the bridge on the canal and then turn and
walk one block to the car stop. When we got to the other side of the
bridge all the people on both sides of the street were massed in a nice
little quiet line and three policemen were carefully and gently placing
each one according to his height so he could see as well as possible. So
we lined in with the rest while the policeman looked on in an
encouraging fashion. Nobody spoke out loud, and after I had noticed the
friend with me having a conversation with the officer, I ventured to ask
why we were left standing there. With the same quiet, she said: "The
Emperor is passing on his way to the commencement exercises of Waseda
University." Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I
don't suppose I should have known what was happening at all unless I
could have figured it out from the Chrysanthemums on the carriage doors.
I said to her: "How is he coming, in an automobile? How long are we to
stand here?" I had visions of the stories about the streets being
cleared, and the doors shut for some hours while white sand was
sprinkled over the car tracks, and all the rest. "No," she said, "just a
little time." I saw by now that I was not likely to have much gossip
poured out to me about the Emperor, so I just fixed a nice little thing
about three years old in front of me and then we waited with the rest of
the school children. Soon the procession came, first a body of horse in
plain khaki uniforms, then one very Japanese-looking man alone on the
back seat in one of the light victorias, very clean and shiny, with the
Chrysanthemums on the door. He was dressed in a khaki wool uniform just
like the rest of the army with a cap on his head. Then came some other
shiny, light little victorias with two horses, all just alike. I
rubbered my best and I had a very good look at the one little man alone
in the middle of the seat, and sitting up and looking straight ahead of
him pleasantly. In the midst of the passing I asked the companion with
me, "Which is the Emperor?" and she answered "The one in the first
carriage," and still there was that quiet of perfect breeding; and by
and by all the nice little soldiers on horseback passed, and after I had
stood a little longer on the edge of my bridge I started our little
procession moving towards the car. The Emperor had gone the opposite
way. After a little I said: "I did not know the Emperor went to
commencements and things like that," and I chattered on, and then my
companion said in her slow, proper, calm tone: "That is my first
experience to see the Emperor, too." And I said "Is that so?" and asked
some more questions, still wondering that no one had called out a Banzai
nor made a sound, and it is not till to-day that I learned that all the
people were standing with their eyes cast down to the ground, and that I
was the only one who looked at the Emperor, and their reverence was so
great that that was the reason I had not heard them breathe. For another
thing, Waseda is the liberal university and private, so I wondered still
till I learned then that the Emperor was going to the Peers' School
commencement, and that is the one commencement he goes to every year. So
you see I had luck, and my conscience was clear for having rubbered, and
I have seen the Emperor.

The Imperial Garden party comes off the week after we leave Tokyo. To
this party all the nobles of the third rank and above, and all the
professors in the Imperial University, and all the foreigners of latest
arrival, are asked. So a foreigner can go just once and no more unless a
Professor. We put our names down in the Ambassador's book for an
invitation before we knew all the niceties of the case. So now that we
have learned that we can go once and no more, and that we are expected
to go if we are invited, we will take back our request for an invitation
as the party is on the 17th of April, and we are to be in Kyoto on the
15th. So in our good luck, a daughter of a Baron, who is a member of the
Imperial household, has asked us to go with her to-morrow to see the
Imperial Garden where the party is to be and we may see the gardens all
the better. This Imperial Garden is one of the prince's gardens and not
the one behind the moat where the Emperor lives. It seems the fall
chrysanthemum party is in that garden, though never inside the inner
moat where no one goes unless he has an audience. The moat and the
surroundings of the palace are lovely, but as you can read the guide
book if you want a description, I will not bore you with an attempt. The
walls of the moat were built by labor of the feudal dependencies, and
like all such labor it spared no pains to be splendid. Some of the moats
have been filled up long ago, but there are still three around the
palace. Inside the outer one you may walk part of the time and see the
grand gates with their solemn guards. In these gardens the air is fresh
and the birds sing in the trees, and the dust of the city never gets

To-night I am wearing tabi, those nice little toe socks which will not
fit my feet, but which are so much nicer than the felt toe slippers that
fall off your feet every time you go upstairs. As a matter of fact, I
wear ordinary house slippers in this house, but it is nicer not to and
we always take them off when we come in from outdoors. Truly, the
Japanese are a cleaner people than we are. Have I told you we bathe in a
Japanese tub? Every night a hot, very hot wooden box over three feet
deep is filled for us. This one has water turned in from a faucet, but
in Kamakura the little charcoal stove is in the end of the tub and the
water is carried in by buckets, and is reheated each night. It seems all
right and I regret all the years our country went without bath tubs, and
all the fuss we made to get them when this little, simple device was all
there and as old as the hills. But we can catch up with the heating and
cooking with charcoal hibashi.

We have learned to eat with chop sticks very well, and it is not a bad
way. The main objection I see to it is that one eats too fast, and
Fletcherizing is not known in this country. The nice little way of doing
your own cooking is something to introduce for cuteness in New York.
These last few days we have just been sightseeing in the real European
sense, running about town and buying small things all day and then
having the wonderful advantage of coming back to this delightful home of
perfect comfort at night, which is quite unlike Europe, and spoils us
for the common lot of knocking about.

The greatest actor of the country is here. He belongs in Osaka, his name
is Ganjiro, and we have a box for Thursday. The play is the one that was
given in New York called "Bushido." It is much longer than as given
there. It is called by another name and is acted quite differently. On
Sunday we are going again to the Noh Dance, or if no good tickets are to
be had for that, we are going to a theater where women act all the parts
to offset the usual way here of having only men in the company. The men
who act women's parts here do make up very well. They live and dress and
act as women all the time so as not to lose the art. Only when they
stand in pose they cannot conceal the fact that they are men. The play
begins at one in the afternoon and lasts until ten at night. Tea and
dinner is brought into your box in those nice little lacquer lunch
boxes. Ganjiro is on the stage in every scene for eight hours, so you
can see the actors work for their art here. The costumes are superb, but
the actors do not simply strut to show off. Their speech being very
affected in manner they have had to depend upon expression to get
results, and as a consequence their acting is done with their entire
body more than any other school in the world. The best ones, like the
ones we are to see, can express any emotion, so 'tis said, with their
backs and the calves of their legs when you can't see their faces.

TOKYO, April 1.

Our activities of late have been miscellaneous; we spent three days,
counting coming and going four days, at Kamakura last week. It is on the
seaside and is a great resort, summer and winter, for the Japanese, and
at the hotel for Europeans over weekends. For summers the foreigners go
to the mountains, while the Japanese take to the seaside, largely
because there is more for the children to do on the seashore, but partly
because mountains seem to be an acquired taste. Kamakura is about ten
degrees warmer than Tokyo, as it is sheltered by the hills. Peas were in
blossom and the cherry trees all out. It was cold and rainy while we
were there, however, except one day, when we crowded in so much
sightseeing we got rather tired. Mamma and I are now catching up on
calls, prior to leaving and doing some sightseeing. To-day we went to a
shop where they publish very fine reproductions of the old art of Japan,
including Chinese paintings owned in Japan, much better worth buying
than the color print reproductions to my mind, though we have laid in
some reproductions of the latter. There are so many millionaires made by
the war in Japan, that lots of the old lords are selling out part of
their treasures now; prices I think are too high even for Americans. The
old Daimyo families evidently have enough business sense to take
advantage of the market, though some are hard up and sell more for that
reason. A week ago we went to an auction room where there was a big
collection of genuine old stuff, much finer than appears in the curio
shops, and this weekend there is another big sale by a Marquis. However,
it is said they keep the best things and unload on the nouveau riche;
not but what a lot of it is mighty good as it is.

My other experience that I have not written about is seeing Judo. The
great Judo expert is president of a normal school, and he arranged a
special exhibition by experts for my benefit, he explaining the theory
of each part of it in advance. It took place Sunday morning in a big
Judo hall, and there were lots of couples doing "free" work, too; they
are too quick for my eye in that to see anything but persons suddenly
thrown over somebody's back and flopped down on the ground. It is really
an art. The Professor took the old practices and studied them, worked
out their mechanical principles, and then devised a graded scientific
set of exercises. The system is really not a lot of tricks, but is based
on the elementary laws of mechanics, a study of the equilibrium of the
human body, the ways in which it is disturbed, how to recover your own
and take advantage of the shiftings of the center of gravity of the
other person. The first thing that is taught is how to fall down without
being hurt, that alone is worth the price of admission and ought to be
taught in all our gyms. It isn't a good substitute for out-of-door
games, but I think it is much better than most of our inside formal
gymnastics. The mental element is much stronger. In short, I think a
study ought to be made here from the standpoint of conscious control.
Tell Mr. Alexander to get a book by Harrison--a compatriot of his--out
of the library, called "The Fighting Spirit of Japan." It is a
journalist's book, not meant to be deep, but is interesting and said to
be reliable as far as it goes. I noticed at the Judo the small waists of
all these people; they breathe always from the abdomen. Their biceps are
not specially large, but their forearms are larger than any I have ever
seen. I have yet to see a Japanese throw his head back when he rises. In
the army they have an indirect method of getting deep breathing which
really goes back to the Buddhist Zen teaching of the old Samurai.
However, they have adopted a lot of the modern physical exercises from
other armies.

The gardens round here are full of cherry trees in blossom--and the
streets are full of people too full of saké. The Japanese take their
drunkenness apparently seasonly, as we hadn't seen drunken people till

TOKYO, April 2.

We have had another great day to-day. This morning rose early and wrote
letters, which were not sent in spite of the haste, as we decided the
slow boat was slower than waiting for a later and faster one. So you
ought to get many letters at once. The day has been sunshiny and bright,
but not at all sultry, so perfect for getting about. We went to the art
store to get some prints which we had selected the day before and then
on to call on a Professor of Political Economy, who is also a member of
Parliament, radical and very wide awake and interesting, quite like an
American in his energy and curiosity and interest. We visited and
learned a lot about things here and there and then he took us to lunch
at his mother-in-law's house. They have a beautiful house in Japanese
style, with a foreign style addition, like most of the houses of the
rich, the Japanese part having no resemblance whatever to the foreign,
which is so much less beautiful. In carpets and table covers and
tapestries imitated from the German, the Japanese have no taste, while
in their own line they remain exquisite. This house is one of the most
absolute cleanliness. No floor in it but shines like a mirror and has
not a fleck of dust, never had one. Let me see if I can describe
accurately this entertainment. We took three 'rickshas and rode through
the cherry lined narrow streets over hills where are the lovely gardens
of the rich showing through the gateways and showing over the top of the
bamboo walls, which are built of poles about six feet long upright and
tied together with cords. They are very pretty with the green. When we
reached the house Mr. U---- took us in to the foreign drawing room,
which is very mid-Victorian and German in its general effect. This one
has in it a beautiful lacquer cabinet, very large and quite overpowering
every other thing in the room. There the ladies of the house came in and
made their bows, very amiable and smiling at our thanks for their
hospitality. The sister-in-law, a young girl of sixteen, who wants to go
to America, and afterwards the grandmother, very much the commanding
character that a grandmother ought to be. The children hovered round
them all much like our children. The ladies brought us tea with their
own hands in lovely blue and white cups with little lacquer stands and
covers. Candy with the tea, which was green. I forgot to say that we had
already, during the hour with Mr. U---- had tea three different times
and of three different kinds, besides little refreshments therewith.
After a little we were summoned to lunch. Three places set on a low
table and a beautiful blue brocade cushion to sit upon. The two younger
ladies on their knees ready to serve us. They poured out wine for us, or
Vermouth, and we took the latter. We had before us, each, one lacquer
bowl, covered, that contained the usual fish soup with little pieces of
fish and green things cut up in it. This we drink, putting the solid
bits into our mouths with the chop sticks. The grandmother thought she
ought to have prepared foreign food, but the clever girl of sixteen had
spoken for home food, and so we thanked them for giving that to us, as
we seldom get a real genuine Japanese meal. And this is the first we
have had where we were served by the ladies of the house, except the
dolls' food at the festival. It seems this is the highest compliment
that we have had, as the real Japanese home is open to the foreigner
only when the foreigner is asked to sit on the floor and is served by
the ladies of the household. They kneel near the table and the maid
brings the dishes and hands them to the ladies, who in turn serve the
dishes to the guests. It is very pretty. I have reached the stage where
I can sit on my heels for the length of a meal, but I rise very
awkwardly, as my feet are asleep clear up to my knees at the end. We ate
soup, cold fried lobster and shrimps, which are dipped in sauce besides;
and cold vegetables in another bowl, and then hot fried fish; then some
little pickles, then rice, of which the Japanese eat several bowls, then
the dessert, which has been beside you all the time, and is a cold
omelette, which tastes very good, and then they give you tea, Formosa
oolong. We had toast, too, but that is foreign. Then we left the table
and were shown the rooms upstairs, which contain many pieces of lacquer
and bronze and woodwork, and then we went down and there was tea and a
dish of fruit ready for us. We had not much time for this, as they were
going to send us in a motor to the Imperial Gardens. But as the last
kind of tea had to be brought we were at the door putting on our shoes
when it arrived. This tea is strong oolong and has milk in it, with two
lumps of sugar for you to put in yourself. Thus we had been served with
tea six times within three hours.

It is hard to describe the Imperial Gardens. Read the guide book and you
will see that it is. Ten thousand orchid plants were the beginning of
the sight. We saw the lettuce and the string beans and the tomatoes and
potatoes and eggplant and melons, and all growing under glass, for the
Emperor to eat. Never saw such perfect lettuce, all the heads in one
frame of exactly the same size and arrangement, as if they were
artificial, and all the others just right. Why potatoes under glass?
Don't ask me. Grapes in pots looked as if the raising of grapes under
glass was in its beginning, but maybe not, as I was not familiar enough
with those little vines to know whether they would bear or not. The
flowers in the frames were perfection. Masses of Mignonette daisies, and
some other bright flowers I did not know were ready to put out in the
beds which were prepared for the garden party. We cannot go on the 17th.
A very large pavilion with shingle roof under which the Emperor and
Empress are to sit at the party is being built and will be taken down
the next day, or rather week, as it will take more than one day. Then if
it rains there will be no party. To-night it looks as if rain might
spoil the blossoms. But to-day was perfect. It is a little surprising
when one sees this famous garden after reading about Japanese gardens
for all one's life. There is such a large expanse of grass with no
flowers and the grass does not get green here so soon as with us, and it
is now all brown, though big masses of daffodils are superb. These under
the cherry trees with the sunshine shining through slantways made one of
the brilliant sights of a lifetime. The artificial lakes and rivers and
waterfall and the bridges and islands and hills with big birds walking
and swimming make enough to have come for to Japan. The groups of trees
are as fine as anything can be and across the long expanses the view of
them is like a succession of pictures. There are a hundred and
sixty-five acres in the park, no buildings. In the beginning it was
pretty well to one side of the city, but now it is on a car track of
much travel, though still on the outskirts on its outer edge.

On Monday we have arranged to go to the theater again at the Imperial.
To-day it is the great actor Ganjiro at a small theater. It is said the
jealousy of the Tokyo actors and managers keeps Ganjiro from getting a
fair chance when he comes here. Mr. T----, formerly of Chicago, has just
been here to try to arrange a dinner for us before we leave, the dinner
to be at a restaurant with all the old students present. The restaurants
are always amusing and we agreed, of course. This may keep us in Tokyo
one day longer, though that is not decided yet. For the rest of the time
we are to make up on calls as far as we can and ride about to see the
cherry blossoms, and I hope we may see some of the famous tea houses.
Thus far we have seen no tea house at all, and there is not one
afternoon tea house where ladies go in this city excepting the
new-fashioned department stores, and they do not stand for anything
different than they do with us. This shows how little the real ladies of
Tokyo go out of their houses.

The Sumida river is a big river gathering up all the small streams from
one side of the mountains. It is full of junks and other craft and is
the center of much history, both for Tokyo as a city and for the whole

TOKYO, April 4.

Ganjiro, the greatest actor from Osaka, is acting here now, and the show
was great. He did the scene among other things they did in New York
under the name of "Bushido." A dance by a fox who had taken the form of
a man was a wonderful thing. There is no use in trying to describe it.
It was not just slow posturings, like the other Japanese dances we have
seen, nor was it as wild as the Russian dancers; he did it alone, no
companion, male or female. But it was as free as the Russian and much
more classic at the same time. You will never realize what the human
hand and arm can do until you see this. He put on a number of masks and
then acted or danced according to the type of mask he had on. He can do
an animal's motions without any clawing--as graceful and lithe as a cat.
He is a son of an old man Ganjiro.

Our last days here are rather crowded and we aren't going to get the
things done that should be done. Cherry blossoms are at their
height--another thing indescribable, but if dogwood trees were bigger
and the blossoms were tinged with pink without being pink it would give
the effect more than anything else I know. The indescribable part is the
tree full of blossoms without leaves; of course you get that in the
magnolias, but they are coarse where the cherry is delicate. We went to
a museum to-day, which is finer in some respects than the Imperial; gods
till you can't rest, and wonderful Chinese things, everything except

TOKYO, April 8.

We are actually packing up and get away to-morrow morning at 8:30--we
travel all day, the first part till four o'clock on the fastest train in
Japan. The ordinary trains make about fifteen miles an hour, Japan
having unfortunately adopted narrow gauge in early days and going on the
well-known principle of safety first. We have had various and sundry
experiences since writing, the most interesting being on Sunday, when we
were taken into the country both to see the cherry blossoms and the
merry-makers; the time is a kind of a carnival and mild saturnalia based
on bright clothes, and wigs, and saké, about ninety per cent saké.
There were a few besides ourselves not intoxicated, but not many.
Everybody practiced whatever English he knew on us, one dressed-up
fellow informing us "I Chrallie Chaplin," and he was as good an
imitation as most. Aside from one fight we saw no rudeness and not much
boisterousness, the mental effect being apparently to make them
confidential and demonstrative. Usually they are very reserved with one
another, but Sunday it looked as if they were telling each other all
their deepest secrets and life ambitions. Our host of the day laughed
most benevolently all the time, not excluding when a fellow dressed in
bright red woman's clothes insisted on riding on the running board. They
get drunk so seldom that it didn't appeal to him so much as a drunk as
it did as a popular festival; the people really were happy.

There were miles of trees planted each side of a canal that supplies
Tokyo with water, all kinds of trees and in all stages of development,
from no blossoms to full, no leaf and beautiful little pink leaves. The
blossoms are dropping, it is almost a mild snowfall, and yet the trees
seem full.

Yesterday we went to the theater again, the Imperial, a party of ten
filling two boxes. We were taken behind the scenes and shown the green
rooms, etc., and introduced to an actor and to his son, about eleven,
who appeared on the stage later and did a very pretty dance. He had a
teacher in the room and was doing his Chinese writing lesson, never
looked up till he was spoken to, about the handsomest and most
intelligent looking lad I have seen in Japan. Acting is practically an
hereditary profession here. I doubt if an outsider not trained from
early childhood could possibly do the acting anyway, and I don't think
the guild would let him break in if he could, though one man of British
extraction has been quite successful on the Japanese stage. We saw some
very interesting things yesterday, including dances, and learned that
they are very anxious to come to America, but they want a patron. If the
scenes were selected with great care to take those that have lots of
action and not so much talking, and the libretto was carefully
explained, they could make a hit in New York at least.

Our other blowout was the other evening at a Japanese classic tea house,
a part of a Noh dance for entertainment and a twelve-course meal or so.
The most interesting thing though is talking to people. On the whole I
think we have a chance to see people who know Japan much better than
most. We haven't been officialized and putting the different things
together I think we have as good an acquaintance with the social
conditions as anybody would be likely to get in eight weeks. An
experienced journalist could get it, so far as information is concerned,
in a few days, but I think things have to be soaked in by cumulative
impressions to get the feel of the thing and the background. When they
told me first that this was a great psychological moment, that
everything was critical and crucial, I didn't know what they meant, and
I could hardly put it in words now, any more than they did, but I know
inside of me. There are few external signs of a change, but Japan is
nearly in the condition she was in during the first years of contact and
opening up of things fifty or so years ago, so far as the mental
readiness for change is concerned, and the next few years may see rapid
social changes.

NARA, April 12.

Well, we have started on our journey and have seen Japan for the first
time, scenically speaking, that is to say. The first day's ride from
Tokyo to Nagoya was interesting, but not particularly so except for
Fuji, which we saw off and on for several hours, and on three sides. As
sometimes it isn't visible, and we had a fine warm day, we had good
luck. Nagoya is where the best old castle in Japan is, you may even in
your benighted country and estate have heard of the two golden dolphins
on top. The castle is an imperial palace and it turned out that you have
to have a permit from Tokyo, but we set out to try to get in, and as we
had met a nice young man at the X----'s in Tokyo who came from Nara, we
telephoned him, and while we didn't get in through him (he said he could
never get in himself under any circumstances) he promptly asked us to
dinner. Then we were taken to the swellest tea house in Nara and had
another of those elaborate dinners, on what he called the tea-istic
plan. We began with the tea ceremony without the ceremony but with the
powdered tea, the bowl being prepared for each one separately in
succession. The Nara cooking is better, we all thought, than the Tokyo,
the food being more savory and the variety of flavors greater, an
opinion which pleased our host. Expressing some curiosity about some
four-inch trout which seemed to have a sugar caramel coating, we found
that they were cooked in a kind of liquor which deposited the sweetness,
and then we were presented with a bottle of the drink known as Mirin, so
now we are lugging glassware. Then after the dinner he said that he
hoped that we would not think him guilty of improper action, but that he
had invited the best samisen player and singer in Nagoya, and also some
dancers. In other words, some geishas were introduced and sang, played
and danced before King David. There are all grades from those comparable
to chorus girls at Jack's to high grade actresses, and these were of the
upper kind. He said he wished us to see something of true Japan which
few foreigners saw, this referring to the restaurant as well as the
dancing. They won't receive anybody who isn't an old client or friend of
one of these high toned places. But the ladies of the party thought he
was especially interested in one of the girls. Personally I think the
dancing and music are much more interesting than they are reported to be
in the guide books.

The next day we went to the primitive Ise shrines, arriving cross and
hungry at about two, but bound to get the pilgrimage over, especially as
it wasn't good weather. Yamada, where the sacred shrines are, is a very
beautiful place, with wooded hills and little streams. The trees are
largely cryptomerias, which are evidently some relative of the
California redwoods, and while not nearly as tall, make much the same
effect. It is a darling spot, filled with the usual thousands of carpet
bagger (literally the old Brussel carpet bags) pilgrims. As previously
reported I toted a borrowed frock coat and stovepipe hat. Our guide said
special clothing was not needed for the ladies. I put on my war paint,
and the chief priest having been written from Tokyo of our impending
arrival, an hour had been set. At the outermost gate, the Torii, the
ceremony of purification, took place. We had water poured out on our
hands out of a little ceremonial cup and basin and then the priest
sprinkled salt on us; nobody else had this but us. Then when we got to
the fence gate, we were told that the ladies not having "visiting
dresses," whatever they are, couldn't go inside, but that I should be
treated as of the same rank as an Imperial professor and allowed to go.
I forgot to say that we had a gendarme in front of us to shoo the vulgar
herd out of our way. Then we marched slowly in behind the priest, on
stones brought from the seaside, through a picket fence to designated
spots near the next fence, I being allowed nearer to the gate than our
Japanese guide; and we worshiped, that is bowed. I got my bow over
disgracefully quick, but I think our Japanese conductor stood at least
fifteen minutes.

KYOTO, April 15.

Here we are in the Florence of Japan, and even more to see if possible
than in Italy. We have had a rainy day to-day, which is perhaps a good
beginning for a week of constant sightseeing. This morning we spent in
Yamanaka's--the most beautiful shop I ever saw, composed of the finest
Japanese rooms of the finest proportions and filled with the most
beautiful art specimens of all kinds. But the kinds are properly
assorted in true Japanese fashion. I bought a red brocade. It is a
panel, old red with figures of gold and some dark blue, peonies and
birds. It is what the Buddhist priests wear over the left arm in
procession. We have the certificate that it is over a hundred years old.
The panel is about five feet long and one wide, the strips which compose
it are four in number, sewed in seams, which turn the corners in mortise
fashion, and yet they all match perfectly. Most of these strips are
woven in these ribbons and sewed together. I got a second one which is
purple with splendid big birds and peonies again. I like the peony in
brocade much better than the chrysanthemum or the smaller flowers. Some
fine ones with pomegranates are tempting, but I did not buy the most
beautiful on account of the prospects of spending money better in China.
I also bought a pretty tea set which I have here in my room--it cost 30
sen, which means fifteen cents for teapot and five cups, gray pottery
with blue decorations. There are many cheaper ones that are pretty too.
Tomorrow we go to the original temple where the tea ceremony originated
and are to participate in the tea ceremony, which the high priest will
perform for us. You better get a guide book and read about the temples
of Kyoto, as they are too numerous to tell about in letters. We have the
municipal car for all these occasions. Good thing we do, for Kyoto has
shrunk like a nut in its shell since the days of its ancient capital
size and the distances between temples are enormous. Next day we go to
the Imperial Palaces, and so go on and on getting fatter and fatter.

The weather and the spring time are superb. Cherry blossoms were gone
when we got here, but the young leaves of the maples are lovely green or
red and the whole earth is paradise now. The hills are nearer than in
Florence, the mountains higher, so that Kyoto has every natural beauty.
We shall only have a week here and then go to Osaka, where the puppet
theater is and where there is a school of drama, of which Ganjiro is the
leader. It is the doll theater we want to see, because that is the
origin of all acting in Japan. Many of the conventions of the theater
are based on the movements of the puppets.

Kyoto in many respects is the most lovely thing the world has to show,
such a combination of nature and art as one dreams of. These wonderful
temples of enormous size, of natural wood filled with paintings and
sculpture of an ancient and unknown kind, fascinate one to the point of
feeling there must be many more worlds when such multiplicity of ideas
and feelings can exist on a single planet, and we live unconscious of
the whole of it or even of any part of its extent. The gardens we have
seen to-day are the old Japan unchanged since they were made a thousand
years ago, when they took the ancient ideas of China and India for
models. The temples of Tokyo seem like shabby relics of a worn-out era,
but here the perfection of their art remains and is kept intact. The
landscape of the first Buddhist monastery, where the tea ceremony
originated, has the same rivers and islands and little piles of sand
which were placed in the beginning, all in miniature, and planted with
miniature trees, all imitations of real scenes in China when China was
the land of culture. Now they say even the originals are destroyed in
China, which is so out of repair that it depresses every one who sees
it. Fifty years ago they advertised for sale here in Nara, a lovely
pagoda five stories high for fifty yen. It is obviously necessary for
some American millionaire to buy up the massive gates and pagodas and
temples of China in order to redeem them from complete ruin. The
Japanese are the one people who have waked up in time to the value of
these historic things, and several of the temples have been rebuilt
before the old material was so rotted as to make them hopeless. Wood is
a magnificent material when it is used in such massive structures as it
is here. The biggest bell in the world, twelve feet high, is hung on a
great tree trunk in a belfry with a curled-up roof of flower-like
proportions, first having been hauled to the top of the high hill. We
shall hear it boom next Saturday. We heard the one in Nara, the deepest
thing I ever thought to hear, nine feet high. They are beautiful bronze
and they are very mellow and melodious and reach to the center of
whatever the center of your being may be and leave you to hope the
greater unknown of the judgment day may be a call like that sound.

We had lunch with Miss D----. She tells stories about the efforts of the
Japanese girls to get an education that make you want to sell your
earrings, even if you have none, in order to give the money to these
idealists. They are as much pioneers as our forebears who chopped down
the trees, but they can't get at a tree to chop. She says she wants me
to go back to America and to go to every Congregational church there and
tell them they must send money here to give education to the people.

One day we have the mayor's car to go about in and the next day the
University hires a car for us and we indulge ourselves in all kinds of
doings we do not deserve and sometimes wonder if we shall have to commit
suicide after it ends in order to condone the point of honor. Certainly
these people have a nobility of character which entitles them to race

I want to find a nice quiet place to stay and come back and see the
sights at greater length. The paintings on the walls are mostly ruined,
but the kakemonas and the screens and the makemonas, those are wonderful
and I am glad to say that we have got over seeing them as grotesque, and
we feel their beauty. When once you see that the trees in the ground are
real and that they look just as the trees in the pictures have always
looked, then you begin to appreciate both nature and human nature as

KYOTO, April 15.

To-day is rainy and we haven't done much. We got here yesterday noon.
The hotel is on the side of a hill with wonderful views, and is pretty
good, though the one at Nara which is run by the Imperial Railway System
is the only first-class one we have seen so far. In the afternoon the
University sent a car and we took an auto ride into the suburbs to a
famous cherry place--it was too late for blossoms, but the river and
hills and woods were beautiful, and we saw the usual large crowd
enjoying life. It is really wonderful the way the people go out, all
classes, and the amount of pleasure they get out of doors and in the tea
houses. I have never been anywhere where every day seemed so much of a
holiday as in Japan--there is still saké in evidence but not so much.

This month a special geisha dance is given here at a theater connected
with a training school; the dance lasts an hour and is repeated four or
five consecutive hours. We went last night; the dancing is much more
mechanical posturing than the theater dancing, or than the little geisha
dance we saw at Nara, but the color combinations and the way they
handled the scenery were wonderful. There were eight very different
scenes and it didn't take more than a minute to make any change. Once a
curtain was simply drawn down through a trap door, another time what had
looked like a canvas mat in front of the curtain was pulled up and it
turned out to be painted on one side. But they had a different method
every time.

The mayor has invited me to speak to the teachers Saturday afternoon,
and afterwards we are invited by the municipality to a Japanese dinner.
They are also putting the city auto--the only one apparently--at our
disposal, when they aren't using it, and have arranged to take us to a
porcelain and a weaving factory next Monday. This town is the
headquarters of Japan for artistic production, ancient and modern. The
University authorities also telephoned to Tokyo and got permission for
us to visit the palaces here, but they are said not to be equal to the
Nagoya ones which we missed. While at Nara we spent most of our time at
the Horiuji temples, some miles out. I won't do the encyclopedia act
except to say that they are the headquarters of the introduction of
Buddhism into Japan thirteen hundred years ago, which meant
civilization, especially art, and have the wall frescoes, unfortunately
faint, of that period, and lots of sculpture; this means wood carving,
as of course there is no marble here. Well, it happened that it was the
birthday of Prince Shotoku, who was the gentleman responsible for the
aforesaid introduction, and of whom there are many statues, age of two,
twelve and sixteen being favorites; his piety was precocious.
Consequently, everything was wide open. Every kind of peep show and
stall, and more than the usual hundreds of pilgrims who combine pleasure
with piety in a way that beats even the Italian peasants; when they have
money here they spend it; tightwadism is not a Japanese vice. Well, we
were taken into the garden of the chief priest to eat our luncheon; of
course, he was very busy, but greeted us in gorgeous robes and then sent
out tea and rice cakes. The contrast between this lovely little garden
and the drums and barkers just beyond the walls and the wonderful old
artistic shrines beyond the barkers and ham and egg row was as
interesting as anything in Japan.

You may remember Miss E---- is rather tall for an American woman, even.
Mamma is something of an object to the country people, but Miss E---- is
a spectacle. Curiosity is the only emotion the Japanese are not taught
to conceal apparently. They gather around in scores, literally. I don't
know how many times I have seen parents make sure the children didn't
miss the show. Several times I have seen people walk slowly and solemnly
all the way around us to make sure they missed nothing. No rudeness
ever, just plain curiosity. As we were going to the museum after
breakfast, a few of those children, girls, appeared and bowed. First I
knew one of them had hold of each of my hands, and went with us as far
as the museum--girls of nine or ten. It was touching to see their
friendliness, especially one evidently rather poor, who would look up at
me and laugh, and then squeeze my hand and press it against herself, and
then laugh with delight again. I haven't been able to discover when it
ceases to be proper for children to be natural. Sunday morning some
soldiers were going off to Manchuria--or Korea--and before eight we
heard the patter of the clogs down the street and some hundred of boys
and girls were marching down to the station with their teachers; the
same thing next morning, for the soldiers.

KYOTO, April 19.

We have just come from another Geisha party, given by the mayor and
about fifteen of the other officers of the city. Papa is quite stuck up
because they say it is the first time the city of Kyoto ever entertained
a scholar in that fashion. But if he is stuck up what should I be when a
woman appears for the first time in history at a men's carouse in Japan?
The Geisha girls are all the way from eleven years old to something like
fifty. One of the older ones is the best dancer in the city, and she
gave us one of the wonderful pantomime dances that so fascinate one
here. She has been in jail for her political activities, said activities
consisting in the active distribution of funds in order to elect someone
she favored. It is against the law for a woman to take any part in
politics here. Like all the older women of that class that I have seen
she has a sad look when her face is at rest. But they all talk and
entertain so busily that the sadness is not seen by the men. They are a
very cultivated lot of women so far as we have seen them; of course we
see only the best. They talk with the composure of a duchess and the
good nature of a child. It is a rare combination. They are very curious
about us and ask all sorts of questions. One girl of seventeen said she
loved babies and how many did I have? When I told her five she was
delighted. She had a rosebud mouth just like the old prints and danced
with the old print postures. The girls pass the drinks and the rice
which always comes at the end of such feasts. The little eleven-year-old
gave a dance called "Climbing Fuji." Wonderful flat-footed movements
that make you feel exactly as if you were climbing with her. In the
middle part she puts on a mask which is puffy in the cheeks, and then
she wipes the perspiration and washes her little face and fans herself
and goes on again, flatfooted. All the motions are most elegant and
graceful and subtle and serpentine, never an abrupt or sudden gesture,
and never quite literal in any sense. After the dance was finished she
came and sat by me and her skin was hot as if she had a fever. All the
men were older and I must say they treated her very nicely.

This is the way those feasts go. We enter the restaurant in stocking
feet, and are usually shown to a small room where we kneel on the
cushions and take tea while waiting for all the guests to assemble.
About six this time, we were shown to the large room, which is always
surrounded by gold screens and shoji, which slide back before the
windows. Cushions are placed about three feet apart on three sides of
the long and beautifully shaped room. In the middle of one side they are
piled up so the foreign guests of honor may sit instead of kneeling
Japanese fashion. We place ourselves after having all the guests one
after another brought up. We shake hands because their bows are rather
impossible and they have adapted themselves to our way. Then we all
squat again. Then the pretty waitresses come slithering across the
floor, each with a tiny table in her hands. The first is for Papa, the
second for me, then the mayor, and so on. The mayor is down at the end
of the line. After each one has his table before him the mayor comes to
the center of the hollow square and makes a little speech of welcome. He
always tells you how sorry he is he has such a poor entertainment and
that he could not do better for these distinguished guests who do him so
much honor by coming, and how this is the first time the city has ever
honored a foreign scholar by this kind of entertainment. Then Papa does
his best to make a reply, and after he sits down we lift the cover of a
lovely lacquer soup bowl and lift the chop sticks. You take a drink of
soup, lift a thin slippery slice of raw fish from its little dish, dip
it in the sauce and put it in your mouth. To-night this first soup is a
rich and rare green turtle, delicious. So you drink it all and take a
little fish, but our guide warns us not to take too much raw fish as we
are not accustomed it. By this time another tray of pretty lacquer is
put beside you on the floor and on it is a tiny tray or platter of
lacquer on which are placed two little fish browned to perfection, and
trimmed with two little cakes of egg and powdered fish, very nicely
rolled in cherry leaves. Every dish is a work of art in its arrangement.
These two fish are the favorite of the last emperor, and you do not
blame him. They are cooked in mirin, a kind of sweet liquor made from
saké, and you eat all you can pick off the bones with your hashi. As
soon as this tray is in place you see a lovely little girl with her
long, bright-colored kimona on the floor around her, and she has in her
hand a blue and white china bottle placed in a tiny lacquer coaster, and
you know the feast is really under way. She is followed by the older
girls, and little by little one at a time and quite gradually the
dancing girls come in and bow to the floor while they pour out the
saké. They laugh at the ways of the foreigners who always forget it is
the part of the guest to hold out his tiny cup for the poison. Everybody
drinks to the health of everybody else and there stops my saké, but the
Japanese drink on and on, one cup at a sip and the hand reaching out for
more. Talk gets livelier, the girls take more part in it. They are said
by some to be the only interesting women in Japan. At any rate, no wives
are ever there but me, and the girls are beautifully cultured, moving at
the slightest suggestion of voice or gesture and always seeing quickly
and very pleasantly what each one wants. As soon as they see we do not
drink saké they bring many bottles of mineral water for us. Then they
do their beautiful dances. Two, about seventeen years old, did one
called "Twilight on the east hill of Kyoto." In Nagoya, in Tokyo, or
wherever you are, the theme is always some natural event connected with
the nature near by. Always simple and classic. Then the famous old
dancer did a subtle thing called "The nurse putting the child to sleep."
That is another favorite theme. This was lovely, but sometimes too
subtle for us to grasp all the movements. These girls all dress in dark
colors like the ladies, only with the difference prescribed by the
profession, such as the low neck in the back and the full length of the
kimona on the floor like a wave around her. With the young ones the obi
is different, being tied to drop down on the floor in a long bow. The
young ones also have the bright hair ornaments and the very long
sleeves. But so do other young girls wear the long sleeves for company

There are other courses of fish; one of four strawberries, two slices of
orange, some mint jelly cut in cubes, and sweetened bamboo slices in the
middle of the list. Then more fish courses, many of them bright-colored
shell fish which are always rather tough. Then a very nice mixture of
sour cucumber salad and little pieces of lobster or crab, very nice and
any sour thing is good with these many courses of fish. At the end bowls
of rice, which is brought in in a big lacquer dish with a cover looking
some like a small barrel. This is put into bowls by one of the older
dancers and handed about by the younger ones who get up and down from
their kneeling posture by just lifting themselves as if they had no
weight, on their toes. Many of the Japanese take the regulation three
bowls full of rice, and eat it very fast. I must say their rice is
delicious, but I cannot get away with more than one bowl, partly because
I cannot gobble. Then, for the last, your bowl is filled with tea.

All this time the gentlemen from the other parts of the room are
kneeling one at a time before you asking you if you like the cherry
dance and what your first impressions of Japan were, and all such talk,
and you have become intimate friends with the dancers as well, maybe
with no common language except "thank you" and "very nice" and
"good-bye," and constant smiles and interpretations now and then from
others who know a very little English. One thing no one expects is for a
foreigner to know a word of Japanese. Therefore, when you pop out an
awkward word or two, you are applauded by laughter and compliments on
your good pronunciation. To-night we had the very tiniest of green
peppers cooked as a vegetable with one of the dishes. That was good as
it had flavor; three of them about as big as a hairpin were served in
the dish. You always get tiny portions and are usually warned not to eat
too much at the first part of the meal. In the tea-dinner the rice comes
along at the beginning so it can be eaten with the fish, and that is an
agreeable variety though you are told not to eat too much of it as there
are other courses to follow. I forgot to say there is always a course in
the middle which is a hot custard made with broth instead of milk and
seasoned with vegetables. That is good, too. In fact, I have become
quite fond of this fish food.

When we got in the motor car at the gate of the restaurant, all the gay
little dancers were standing there in the rain waving their hands in
American fashion till we went out of sight. Then I suppose the tired
little things went back and danced for more men. We were home at 8:30.
All the dinners seem to be early here in Japan, except what are called
the foreign ones and they follow our hours as well as our style.

I must tell you the best tea in Japan grows here at a place nearby
called Uji. We had that tea after a lecture in the city hall. It is
strong to the danger point, and has a flavor unlike anything else. An
acid like lemon and no bitter at all; leaves a smooth pleasant taste
something like dry sherry, and is generally delicious. It costs at least
ten yen a pound here, but I shall get some to take home. Very good
ordinary tea here costs fifteen sen a pound, seven and a half cents.

KYOTO, April 22.

To-day we were taken visiting schools--first a Boys' High school, then
an elementary school which had an American flag along with the Japanese
over the door in our honor, and which was awfully nice. The children did
lots of cunning stunts for us, one little kid beating the Japanese drum
for their rhythmic marching, which they are good at. Then a textile
school for textile design, weaving and dyeing, which for some
unexplained reason was bad and poorly attended. The machines were old,
German and out of date. In fact, it all looked as if it had been worked
off on them second hand by some Germans who didn't want them ever to
amount to anything. All of the best work here is still done by hand,
although they have good electric power developed from the water they
have. Then we went to a Girls' High School, combined with a college for
girls, preparing teachers for the regular high schools. The élite of
Kyoto go there, and it, like the other schools, was very nice and good.
They specialize in domestic science and we ate a fine Japanese lunch
they had prepared. All this, like most our other trips, in the mayor's

This is really a country where the scholar is looked up to and not down
upon. In virtue of having lectured at the Imperial University I am "Your
Excellency" officially. Osaka city does not wish to be outdone by Kyoto,
so I am to lecture to the teachers there, and the city is to provide for
us at the hotel, and the mayor to give us a banquet there. Of course,
Mamma is the only woman present, as it would not occur to them to invite
their own wives. Foreign women are expected, however, to do strange
things, and they are very polite to them. The geisha women seem to be
about the only ones who have an all-around education--not of the book
type, but in the sense of knowing about things and being able and
willing to talk--and I think the men go to these banquets and talk to
them because they are tired of their too obeyful wives and their
overdocility. One woman at the banquet we went to was known as the
Singing Butterfly, and has the name Constitution as a nickname, because
of her supposed interest in politics, especially on the liberal side.
When we heard that she had been in prison because of her interest in
politics, we sat up and took notice, but it turned out that it was for
bribing voters to vote for a man she was interested in. But she is a
local celebrity all right, and her stay in prison had evidently added to
her interest and prestige.

April 28, on the _Kumano Maru_.

En Route to China.

The lecture yesterday was a success, going off rather better than the
others. It was in a school hall and they are always beautiful rooms. I
was entertained during its two hours of duration by watching a splendid
pink azalea and a pine on either side of the desk. They are each about
five feet high and of the most lovely shape, and there were about a
thousand blossoms on this azalea. We know but very little about dwarfed
trees and shrubs in our country as the specimens we see are very small
ones and inferior in shape and interest to those we see here. They are
everywhere, each little shop has in the midst of its mess of second hand
or cheap new things a charming little peach or plum, pine, azalea, or
redberry. In a hot house we saw a tree that had two plums on it, and we
frequently see tiny orange trees covered with fruit. The white peach is
one of the loveliest things in the world, double blossoms like roses,
and is entirely artificially produced.

The smoke has lifted and we are seeing the hills of the shore very well.
On the other side of the ship we see the Island of Awaji, so we are now
between the two islands and it is much like the Thousand Islands in the
St. Lawrence River. I suppose this is the entrance to the Inland Sea. It
is partly clear and the land is so close it is easy to see. There are
many Japanese ladies on board with their husbands and they seem to enjoy
it. With their faces white with rice powder and their purple color in
their haoris they are pretty, and especially here where they do not feel
the necessity of covering the obi with haori so they look less
humpbacked than in fashionable Tokyo. Their footwear I love, only, of
course, it holds them still more to the conventional position as it
leaves the legs bare above the ankle, and they must walk so as not to
show that as well as not to disturb the lap of the kimona down the
front. But the tabi feel like bare feet on account of the division of
the big toe from the other toes, and as soon as you put them on you feel
as if the toes were really made to use, and the foot clings as you walk.
I am taking a set of cotton kimonas to China so as to have them to wear
in my room with the tabi on hot days. Without the obi the dress becomes
quite cool if made of thin material. The thin silk, which is practically
transparent, is one of the most beautiful things in Japanese weaving, as
it is still firm enough to keep its shape and wear for years.

The dress of the geisha is very like the ceremonial dress of the lady,
especially when black with decorations at the bottom. The little girls
are very touching, many of them are not over eight or nine, and they
wear the elaborate dress and coiffure which is theirs for the part. In
cherry season it is bright peacock blue. In Osaka the decorations were
butterflies in colors and gold. The samisen players are older and they
dress more plainly in black or plain blue, the drum players are young
and gay colored. The teeth of the little girls are so bad that I asked
if they blackened them. The dances are lovely poetical things with
themes of the most delicate subjects. There is never anything coarse
either in the thought or the execution. They say the geisha is the most
unselfish person in the world. Perhaps that might be said for all the
women. They do their hard work and keep themselves out of sight to a
degree that shows the pain there must be in it. When I was asked what I
thought of them I answered that I thought Japanese women were not
appreciated for what they did. They said, "No, that is not so, we do not
show it but we appreciate them in our hearts."


We have slept one night in China, but we haven't any first impressions,
because China hasn't revealed itself to our eyes as yet. We compared
Shanghai to Detroit, Michigan, and except that there is less coal smoke,
the description hits it off. This is said to be literally an
international city, but I haven't learned yet just what the technique
is; every country seems to have its own post office though, and its own
front-door yard, and when we were given a little auto ride yesterday, we
found that the car couldn't go into Chinatown because it had no license
for that district.

I shall be interested to find out whether in this really old country
they talk about "ages eternal" as freely as they do in Japan; the
authentic history of the latter begins about 500 A.D., their mythical
history 500 B.C., but still it is a country which has endured during
myriads of ages. In spite of the fact that they kept the emperors shut
up for a thousand years, and killed them off and changed them about with
great ease and complacency, the children are all taught, and they repeat
in books for foreigners, that the rule of Japan has been absolutely
unbroken. Of course, they get to believing these things themselves, not
exactly intellectually but emotionally and practically, and it would be
worth any teacher's position for him to question any of their patriotic
legends in print. However, they say that in their oral lectures, the
professors of history of the universities criticise these legends. In
the higher elementary school we visited in Osaka, we saw five classes in
history and ethics, in each of which the Emperor was under
discussion--sometimes _the_ Emperor and what he had done for the
country, and sometimes _an_ Emperor in particular. Apparently this
religion has been somewhat of a necessity, as the country was so divided
and split up, they had practically nothing else to unite on--the Emperor
became a kind of symbol of united and modern Japan. But this worship is
going to be an Old Man of the Sea on their backs. They say the
elementary school teachers are about the most fanatical patriots of the
country. More than one has been burned or allowed the children to be
burned while he rescued the portrait of the Emperor when there was a
fire. They must take it out in patriotism in lieu of salary; they don't
get a living wage, now that the cost of living has gone up.


We have been taken in hand by a reception committee of several Chinese
gentlemen, mostly returned American students. The "returned student" is
a definite category here, and if and when China gets on its feet, the
American university will have a fair share of the glory to its credit.
They took us to see a Chinese cotton spinning and weaving factory. There
is not even the pretense at labor laws here that there is in Japan.
Children six years of age are employed, not many though, and the wages
of the operatives in the spinning department, mainly women, is thirty
cents a day, at the highest thirty-two cents Mex. In the weaving
department they have piece work and get up to forty cents.

I will tell you something of what we had to eat in one small afternoon.
First, lunch of all courses here at the hotel. Then we went to the
newspaper where we had tea and cake at about four. From there to the
house of the daughter of a leading statesman of the Manchus, she being a
lady of small feet and ten children, who has offered a prize for the
best essay on the ways to stop concubinage, which they call the whole
system of plural marriage. They say it is quite unchanged among the
rich. There we were given a tea of a rare sort, unknown in our
experience. Two kinds of meat pies which are made in the form of little
cakes and quite peculiar in taste, delicious; also cake. Then after we
went to the restaurant where we were to have dinner. First we got into
the wrong hotel and there, while we were waiting, they gave us tea. We
were struck by the fact that they asked for nothing when we left, and
thanked us for coming to the wrong place. Then we went to the right
hotel across the street from the first. They called it the corner of
Broadway and 42nd Street, and it is that. There is a big roof garden
besides the hotels, and they are both run by the Department stores which
have their places underneath. It may be a sad commentary on the human
character that one can eat more than one can remember, but that is what
we did last night. First of all we went into the room which was all
Chinese furniture; very small round table in the middle and the rows of
stools along one side for the singing girls, who do not dance here.
Those stools were not used, as all the young Chinese are ashamed of that
institution and want to get rid of it. On a side table were almonds
shelled, nice little ones, different from ours and very sweet. Beside
them were dried watermelon seeds which were hard to crack and so I did
not taste them. All the Chinese nibbled them with relish. Two ladies
came, both of them had been in New York to study. All these people speak
and understand English in earnest. On the table were little pieces of
sliced ham, the famous preserved eggs which taste like hard-boiled eggs
and look like dark-colored jelly, and little dishes of sweets, shrimps,
etc. To these we helped ourselves with the chop sticks, though they
insisted on giving us little plates on which they spooned out some of
each. Then followed such a feast as we had never experienced, the boys
taking off one dish after another and replacing them with others in the
center of the table, to which we helped ourselves. There was no special
attempt at display of fine dishes such as you might have expected with
such cooking and such expense, and such as would have happened in Japan.
We had chicken and duck and pigeon and veal and pigeon eggs and soup and
fish and little oysters that grow in the ground (very delicious and
delicate) and nice little vegetables and bamboo sprouts mixed in with
the others, and we had shrimps cooked, and shark's fin and bird's nest
(this has no taste at all and is a sort of very delicate soup, but costs
a fortune and that is its real reason for being). It is gelatine which
almost all dissolves in the cooking. We had many more things than these,
and the boy in a dirty white coat and an old cap on his head passing
round the hot perfumed wet towels every few courses, and for dessert we
had little cakes made of bean paste filled up with almond paste and
other sweets, all very elaborately made, and works of art to look at,
but with too little taste to appeal much to us; then we had fruits,
bananas and apples and pears, cut up in pieces, each with a toothpick in
it so it can be eaten easily. Then we had a soup made of fish's stomach,
or air sac. Then we had a pudding of the most delicious sort imaginable,
made of a mold of rice filled in with eight different symbolic things
that I don't know anything about, but they don't cut much part in the
taste. In serving this dish we were first given a little bowl half full
of a sauce thickened and looking like a milk sauce. It was really made
of powdered almonds. Into this you put the pudding, and it is so good
that I regretted all that had gone before, and I am going to learn how
to make it.


Some one told us when we were on the boat that the Japanese cared
everything for what people thought of them, and the Chinese cared
nothing. Making comparisons is a favorite, if dangerous, indoor sport.
The Chinese are noisy, not to say boisterous, easy-going and dirty--and
quite human in general effect. They are much bigger than the Japanese,
and frequently very handsome from any point of view. The most surprising
thing is the number of those who look not merely intelligent but
intellectual among the laborers, such as some of the hotel waiters and
attendants. Our waiter is a rather feminine, ultra refined type, and
might be a poet. I noticed quite a number of the same Latin quarter
Paris type of artists among the teachers whom I addressed to-day. The
Japanese impressions are gradually sinking into perspective with
distance, and it is easy to see that the same qualities that make them
admirable are also the ones that irritate you. That they should have
made what they have out of that little and mountainous island is one of
the wonders of the world, but everything in themselves is a little
overmade, there seems to be a rule for everything, and admiring their
artistic effects one also sees how near art and the artificial are
together. So it is something of a relaxation to get among the easy-going
once more. Their slouchiness, however, will in the end get on one's
nerves quite as much as the "eternal" attention of the Japanese. One
more generalization borrowed from one of our Chinese friends here, and
I'm done. "The East economizes space and the West time"--that also is
much truer than most epigrams.


I have seen a Chinese lady, small feet and all. We took dinner with her.
She did not come into the room until after dinner was over, having been
in the kitchen cooking it while the servant brought things in. She has
one of those placid faces which are round and plump and quite beautiful
in a way, a pretty complexion, and of course a slow, rocking, hobbling
way of walking. Yesterday after the lecture we went there again and she
showed us all over her flat. It is well kept, with not many conveniences
from our point of view, but I think it is regarded as quite modern here.
It has a staircase, and a little roof where they dry clothes or sit. The
bath is a tin tub, warmed by carrying water from the little stove like
our little laundry stoves. It has an outlet pipe to the ground, no
sewers as usual in the Orient. The kitchen has a little stove of iron
set up on boxes and they burn small pieces of wood. It has three
compartments, two big shallow iron pots for roasting and boiling and a
deep one in the middle for keeping the hot water for tea. Only two fires
are needed as the heat from the two end fires does for the water in the

There is no doubt that the Chinese are a sociable people if given a
chance. Of course, men like the husband of our hostess are the extreme
of ability and advanced ideas here. But it is remarkable that he shows
us things as they are. When we visited schools he did not arrange in
advance because he did not want us to see a fixed up program. When we
went out to lunch he took us to a Chinese place where no foreigners ever

Yesterday we went to a department store to buy some gloves and garters.
Gloves were Keyser's, imported, so were the stockings, so were the
garters and suspenders, etc. The gloves were from $1 to $1.60 and the
suspenders were a dollar. I bought some silk, sixteen inches wide, for
fifty cents a yard. The store was messy and the floors dirty, but it is
a popular place for the Chinese. We paid three dollars for a book marked
1sh. 6p. in England, and everything here is like that. Gloves and
stockings are made in Japan, and good and cheap there; fine silken
stockings $1.60 a pair. But still the Chinese do not buy of them, but
from America. We have visited a cotton mill. The Chinese cotton and silk
are now inferior, owing to lack of scientific production and of proper
care of seed. In weaving, they sometimes mix their cotton with ours.

SHANGHAI, Monday, May 12.

The Peking tempest seems to have subsided for the present, the
Chancellor still holding the fort, and the students being released. The
subsidized press said this was due in part to the request of the
Japanese that the school-boy pranks be looked upon indulgently.
According to the papers, the Japanese boycott is spreading, but the ones
we see doubt if the people will hold out long enough--meanwhile Japanese
money is refused here.

The East is an example of what masculine civilization can be and do. The
trouble I should say is that the discussions have been confined to the
subjection of the women as if that were a thing affecting the women
only. It is my conviction that not merely the domestic and educational
backwardness of China, but the increasing physical degeneration and the
universal political corruption and lack of public spirit, which make
China such an easy mark, is the result of the condition of women. There
is the same corruption in Japan only it is organized; there seems to be
an alliance between two groups of big capitalists and the two leading
political "parties." There the very great public spirit is nationalistic
rather than social, that is, it is patriotism rather than public spirit
as we understand it. So while Japan is strong where China is weak, there
are corresponding defects there because of the submission of women--and
the time will come when the hidden weakness will break Japan down. Here
are two items from the Chinese side. A missionary spoke to Christian
Chinese about spending the time Sunday, making chiefly the point that it
was a good time for family reunions and family readings, conversation
and the like. One of them said that they would be bored to death if they
had to spend the whole day with their wives. Then we are told that the
rich women--who have of course much less liberty in getting out than the
poorer class women--spend their time among themselves gambling. It is
universally believed that the attempt to support a number of wives
extravagantly is one of the chief sources of political corruption. On
the other hand, at one of the political protest meetings in Peking a
committee of twelve was appointed to go to the officials and four of
them were women. In Japan women are forbidden to attend any meetings
where politics are discussed, and the law is strictly enforced. There
are many more Chinese women studying in America than there are
Japanese--in part, perhaps, because of the lack of higher schools for
girls here, but also because they don't have to give up marriage here
when they get an education--in fact we are told they are in especial
demand not only among the men who have studied abroad, but among the
millionaires. Certainly the educated ones here are much more advanced on
the woman question than in Japan.

"You never can tell" is the coat of arms of China. The Chancellor of the
University was forced out on the evening of the eighth by the cabinet,
practically under threat of assassination; also soldiers (bandits) were
brought into the city and the University surrounded, so to save the
University rather than himself, he left--nobody knows where. The release
of the students was sent out by telegraph, but they refused to allow
this to become known. It seems this Chancellor was more the intellectual
leader of the liberals than I had realized, and the government had
become really afraid of him. He has only been there two years, and
before that the students had never demonstrated politically and now they
are the leaders of the new movement. So of course the government will
put in a reactionary, and the students will leave and all the honest
teachers resign. Perhaps the students will go on strike all over China.
But you never can tell.

Tuesday A.M.

Ex-President Sun Yat Sen is a philosopher, as I found out last night
during dinner with him. He has written a book, to be published soon,
saying that the weakness of the Chinese is due to their acceptance of
the statement of an old philosopher, "To know is easy, to act is
difficult." Consequently they did not like to act and thought it was
possible to get a complete theoretical understanding, while the strength
of the Japanese was that they acted even in ignorance and went ahead and
learned by their mistakes; the Chinese were paralyzed by fear of making
a mistake in action. So he has written a book to prove to his people
that action is really easier than knowledge.

The American sentiment here hopes that the Senate will reject the treaty
because it virtually completes the turning over of China to Japan. I
will only mention two things said in the conversation. Japan already has
more troops, namely twenty-three divisions, under arms in China than she
has in Japan, Japanese officered Chinese, and her possession of
Manchurian China is already complete. They have lent China two hundred
millions to be used in developing this army and extending it. They
offered China, according to the conversation at dinner, to lend her two
million a month for twenty years for military purposes. Japan figured
the war would last till '21 or '22, and had proposed an offensive and
defensive alliance to Germany, Japan to supply its trained Chinese army,
and Germany to turn over to Japan the Allies' concessions and colonies
in China. As an evidence of good faith, Germany had already offered to
Japan its own Chinese territory, and it was the communication of this
fact to Great Britain which induced the latter to sign the secret pact
agreeing to turn over German possessions to Japan, when the peace was
made. These men are not jingoists; they think they know what they are
talking about, and they have good sources of knowledge. Some of these
statements are known facts--like the size of the army and the two
hundred million loan--but of course I can't guarantee them. But I'm
coming to the opinion that it might be well worth while to reject the
treaty on the ground that it involved the recognition of secret treaties
and secret diplomacy. On the other hand, a genuine League of
Nations--one with some vigor--is the only salvation I can see of the
whole Eastern situation, and it is infinitely more serious than we
realize at home. If things drift on five or ten years more, the world
will have a China under Japanese military domination--barring two
things--Japan will collapse in the meantime under the strain, or Asia
will be completely Bolshevikized, which I think is about fifty-fifty
with a Japanized-Militarized China. European diplomacy here, which of
course dominates America, is completely futile. England does everything
with reference to India, and they all temporize and drift and take what
are called optimistic long-run views and quarrel among themselves, and
Japan alone knows what it wants and comes after it.

I still believe in the genuineness of the Japanese liberal movement
there, but they lack moral courage. They, the intellectual liberals, are
almost as ignorant of the true facts as we are, and enough aware of them
to wish to keep themselves in ignorance. Then there is the great
patriotism, which of course easily justifies, by the predatory example
of the Europeans, the idea that this is all in self-defense.


I closed up abruptly because there seemed a possibility of mail going
out and now it is a day after and more to tell, with a prospect of
little time to tell it. China is full of unused resources and there are
too many people. The factories begin to work at six or earlier in the
morning, with not enough for the poor to do, and they have the habit of
not wanting to work much. Two shifts work in factories for the
twenty-four hours. They get about twenty to thirty cents a day and the
little children get from nothing up to nine cents, or even eleven cents
after they get older. Iron mines are idle, coal and oil undeveloped, and
they cannot get railroads. They burn their wood everywhere and the
country is withering away because it is deforested. They made the
porcelain industry for the world and they buy their table dishes from
Japan. They raise a deteriorated cotton and buy cotton cloth from Japan.
They buy any quantity of small useful articles from Japan. Japanese are
in every town across China like a network closing in on fishes.

All the mineral resources of China are the prey of the Japanese, and
they have secured 80 per cent of them by bribery of the Peking
government. Talk to a Chinese and he will tell you that China cannot
develop because she has no transportation facilities. Talk to him about
building railroads and he tells you China ought to have railroads but
she cannot build them because she cannot get the material. Talk to him
about fuel when you see all the weeds being gathered from the roadsides
for burning in the cook stoves, and he tells you China cannot use her
mines because of the government's interference. There are large coal
mines within ten miles of this city with the coal lying near the surface
and only the Japanese are using them, though they are right on the bank
of the Yangste River. The iron mines referred to are near the river, a
whole mountain of iron being worked by the Japanese, who bring the ocean
ships up the river, load them directly from the mines, the ore being
carried down the hill, and take these ships directly to Japan, and they
pay four dollars a ton to the Chinese company which carries on all the

The last hope of China for an effective government passed away with the
closing of the Peace Conference, which has been working hard here for
weeks. It seems the delegates from the south could act with plenary
power. The delegates from the north had to refer everything to the
military ministers from Peking, and so at last they gave up. Despair is
deeper than ever, and they all say that nothing can be done. We have
gone round recommending many ways of getting at the wrong impressions
that prevail in our country about them, such as propaganda, an
insistence upon the explanation of the differences between the people
and the government. But the reply is, "We can do nothing, we have no
money." Certainly the Chinese pride has been grounded now. An American
official here says there is no hope for China except through the
protection of the great powers, in which Japan must join. Without that
she is the prey of Japan. Japanese are buying best bits of land in this
city for business, and in other cities. Japan borrows money from other
nations and then loans it to China on bleeding terms. The cession of
Shantung has, of course, precipitated the whole mess and some Chinese
think that is their last hope to so reduce them to the last extremity
that rage will bring them to act. The boycott of Japanese goods and
money has begun, but many say it will not be persistently carried out.
The need for food and clothes in China keeps everybody bound by the
struggle for a livelihood, and everything else has to be forgotten in
the long run.

The protests of the Faculty on behalf of the students seem to have been
received by the government in good part. Students here are in trouble
also to some extent and there is a probability of a strike of students
in all the colleges and middle schools of the country. The story at St.
John's here is very interesting. It is the Episcopalian mission school,
and one of the best. Students walked to Shanghai, ten miles, on the
hottest day to parade, then ten miles back. Some of them fell by the way
with sunstroke. On their return in the evening they found some of the
younger students going in to a concert. The day was a holiday, called
the Day of Humiliation. It is the anniversary of the date of the
twenty-one demands of Japan, and is observed by all the schools. It is a
day of general meetings and speechmaking for China. These students stood
outside of the door where the concert was to be held and their principal
came out and told them they must go to the concert. They replied that
they were praying there, as it was not a time for celebrating by a
concert on the Day of Humiliation. Then they were ordered to go in first
by this principal and afterwards by the President of the whole college.
Considerable excitement was the result. Students said they were watching
there for the sake of China as the apostles prayed at the death of
Christ and this anniversary was like the anniversary of the death of
Christ. The President told them if they did not go in then he would shut
them out of the college. This he did. They stood there till morning and
then one of them who lived nearby took them into his house. Therefore
St. John's College is closed and the President has not given in.

I fancy the Chinese would be almost ready to treat the Japanese as they
did the treacherous minister if it were not for the reaction it would
have on the world at large. They do hate them and the Americans we have
met all seem to feel with them. Certainly the apparent lie of the
Japanese when they made their splurge in promising before the sitting of
the Peace Conference to give back the German concessions to China is
something America ought not to forget. All these, and the extreme
poverty of China is what I had no idea of before coming here.

A wonderfully solemn and intent old pedlar has made his appearance most
every day, and much the same ceremonies are gone through. For instance,
there was a bead necklace--the light hollowed silver enamel--he wanted
fourteen dollars for; he seemed rather glad finally to sell it for four,
though you can't say he seemed glad; on the contrary, he seemed
preternaturally gloomy and remarked that he and not we would eat
bitterness because of this purchase. The funniest thing was once when,
after getting sick of bargaining, we put the whole thing down and
started to walk away. His movements and gestures would have made an
actor celebrated--they are indescribable, but they said in effect,
"Rather than have any misunderstanding come between me and my close
personal friends I would give you free anything in my possession." The
blood rushed to his face and a smile of heavenly benignity came over it
as he handed us the things at the price we had offered him.

The students' committees met yesterday and voted to inform the
government by telegraph that they would strike next Monday if their four
famous demands were not granted--or else five--including of course
refusal to sign the peace treaty, punishment of traitors who made the
secret treaties with Japan because they were bribed, etc. But the
committee seemed to me more conservative than the students, for the
rumor this A.M. is that they are going to strike to-day anyway. They are
especially angered because the police have forbidden them to hold
open-air meetings--that's now the subject of one of their demands--and
because the provincial legislature, after promising to help on
education, raised their own salaries and took the money to do it with
out of the small educational fund. In another district the students
rioted and rough-housed the legislative hall when this happened. Here
there was a protest committee, but the students are mad and want action.
Some of the teachers, so far as I can judge, quite sympathize with the
boys, not only in their ends but in their methods; some think it their
moral duty to urge deliberate action and try to make the students as
organized and systematic as possible, and some take the good old Chinese
ground that there is no certainty that any good will come of it. To the
outsider it looks as if the babes and sucklings who have no experience
and no precedents would have to save China--if. And it's an awful if.
It's not surprising that the Japanese with their energy and positiveness
feel that they are predestined to govern China.

I didn't ever expect to be a jingo, but either the United States ought
to wash its hands entirely of the Eastern question, and say "it's none
of our business, fix it up yourself any way you like," or else it ought
to be as positive and aggressive in calling Japan to account for every
aggressive move she makes, as Japan is in doing them. It is sickening
that we allow Japan to keep us on the defensive and the explanatory, and
talk about the open door, when Japan has locked most of the doors in
China already and got the keys in her pocket. I understand and believe
what all Americans say here--the military party that controls Japan's
foreign policy in China regards everything but positive action, prepared
to back itself by force, as fear and weakness, and is only emboldened to
go still further. Met by force, she would back down. I don't mean
military force, but definite positive statements about what she couldn't
do that she knew meant business. At the present time the Japanese are
trying to stir up anti-foreign feeling and make the Chinese believe the
Americans and English are responsible for China not getting Shantung
back, and also talking race discrimination for the same purpose. I don't
know what effect their emissaries are having among the ignorant, but the
merchant class has about got to the point of asking foreign intervention
to straighten things out--first to loosen the clutch of Japan, and then,
or at the same time, for it's the two sides of the same thing, overthrow
the corrupt military clique that now governs China and sells it out.
It's a wonderful job for a League of Nations--if only by any chance
there is a league, which looks most dubious at this distance.

The question which is asked oftenest by the students is in effect this:
"All of our hopes of permanent peace and internationalism having been
disappointed at Paris, which has shown that might still makes right, and
that the strong nations get what they want at the expense of the weak,
should not China adopt militarism as part of her educational system?"

NANKING, May 18.

There is no doubt we are in China. Hangchow, we are told, was one of the
most prosperous of the strictly Chinese cities, and after seeing this
town we can believe it. It has a big wall around it, said to be 21 miles
and also 33--my guess is the latter; nonetheless there are hundreds of
acres of farm within it. This afternoon we were taken up on the wall; it
varies from 15 to 79 feet in height, according to the lay of the ground,
and from 12 to 30 feet or so wide; hard baked brick, about as large as
three of ours. They always had a smaller walled city inside the big one,
variously called the Imperial and Manchu city. But since the revolution
they are tearing down these inner walls, partly I suppose to show their
contempt for the Manchus, and partly to use the brick. These are sold
for three or four cents apiece and carted all around on the big Chinese
wheelbarrow, by man power, of course. The compound wall of this house is
made of them, and they have several thousand of them stored at the
University grounds. They scrape them off by hand; you can get some idea
of the relative value of material and human beings. I started out to
speak of the view--typical China, deforested hills close by, all
pockmarked at the bottom with graves, like animal burrows and golf
bunkers; peasants' stone houses with thatched roofs, looking like
Ireland or France; orchards of pomegranates with lovely scarlet blossoms
and other fruits; some rice fields already growing, others being set
out, ten or a dozen people at work in one patch; garden patches, largely
melons; in the distance the wall stretching out for miles, a hill with a
pagoda, a lotus lake, and in the far distance the blue mountains--also
the city, not so much of which was visible, however.

One of the interesting things in moving about is the fact that only once
in a while do I see a face typically Chinese. I forget they are Chinese
a great deal of the time. They just seem like dirty, poor miserable
people anywhere. They are cheerful but not playful. I should like to
give a few millions for playgrounds and toys and play leaders. I can't
but think that a great deal of the lack of initiative and the
let-George-do-it, which is the curse of China, is connected with the
fact that the children are grown up so soon. There are less than a
hundred schools for children in this city of a third of a million, and
the schools only have a few hundred--two or three at most. The children
on the street are always just looking and watching, wise, human looking,
and reasonably cheerful, but old and serious beyond bearing. Of course
many are working at the loom, or when they are younger at reeling. This
is a good deal of a silk place, and we visited one government factory
with several hundred people at work; this one at least makes out to be
self-supporting. There isn't a power reeler or loom in the town, nor yet
a loom of the Jacquard type. Sometimes a boy sits up top and shifts
things, sometimes they have six or eight foot treadles. A lot of the
reeling isn't even foot power--just hand, though their hand reeler is
much more ingenious than the Japanese one. There seem so many places to
take hold and improve things and yet all of these are so tied together,
and change is so hard that it isn't much wonder everybody who stays here
gets more or less Chinafied and takes it out in liking the Chinese
personally for their amiable qualities.

Just now the students are forming a patriotic league because of the
present political situation, Japanese boycott, etc. But the teachers of
the Nanking University here say that instead of contenting themselves
with the two or three things they might well do, they are laying out an
ambitious scheme covering everything, and their energy will be exhausted
when they get their elaborate constitution formed, or they will meet so
many difficulties that they will get discouraged even with the things
they might do. I don't know whether I told you about the clerk in the
tailor shop in Shanghai; after taking the usual fatalistic attitude that
nothing could be done with the present situation, he said the boycott
was a good thing but "Chinaman he got weak mind; pretty soon he forget."

In various places there are lots of straw hats hung up painted in
Chinese characters where they have stopped passersby and taken their
hats away because they were Japanese made. It is all good natured and
nobody objects. There are policemen in front of Japanese stores, and
they allow no one to enter; they are "protecting" the Japanese. This is
characteristic of China. The policemen all carry guns with bayonets
attached; they are very numerous and slouch around looking bored to
death. The only other class as bored looking is the dogs, which are even
more numerous, and lie stretched out at full length, never curled up,
and never by any chance doing anything.

We visited the old examination halls which are now being torn down.
These are the cells, about 25,000 in number, where the candidates for
degrees used to be shut up during the examination period. Said cells are
built in long rows, under a lean-to roof, mostly opening face to face on
an open corridor, which is uncovered. Some of them face against a wall
which is the back of the next row of cells. Cells are two and one-half
feet wide by four long. In them are two ridges along the wall on each
side, one at the height of a seat, the other at the height of a table.
On these they laid two boards, two and a half feet long, and this was
their furniture. They sat and wrote and cooked and ate and slept in
these cells. In case it did not rain, their feet could stick out into
the corridor so they might stretch out on the hard floor. The exams
lasted eight days, divided into three divisions. They went in on the
eighth day of the eighth moon in the evening. They wrote the first
subject until the afternoon of the tenth. Then they left for the night.
On the afternoon of the eleventh they came in for the second subject and
wrote till the afternoon of the thirteenth, when there was another day
off. On the evening of the fourteenth they re-entered the cell for the
third period and that ended on the evening of the sixteenth. They had
free communication with each other in the corridors, which were closed
and locked. No one could approach them from the outside for any reason.
Often they died. But if they could only get put into a corridor with a
friend who knew, the biggest fool in China could get his paper written
for him, and he could pass and become an M. A., or something
corresponding to that degree. Thus were the famous literati of China
produced. Preparation for the exam was not the affair of the government,
and might be acquired in any possible way. The houses of the examiners
are still in good condition and might be made into a school very easily.
But do you think they will do that? Not at all. The government has not
ordered a school there, and so they will be torn down or else used for
some official work. You can have no conception of how far the
officialism goes till you see it. We also visited a Confucian Temple,
big and used twice each year. It is like all temples in that it is
covered with the dust of many years' accumulation. If you were to be
dropped in any Chinese temple you would think you had landed in a
deserted and forgotten ruin out of reach of man. We went to the Temple
of Hell on Sunday, and the gentleman who accompanied us suggested to the
priest that the images ought to be dusted off. "Yes," said the priest,
"it would be better if they were."

NANKING, Thursday, May 22.

The returned students from Japan hate Japan, but they are all at loggers
with the returned students from America, and their separate
organizations cannot get together. Many returned students have no jobs,
apparently because they will not go into business or begin at the bottom
anywhere, and there is strong hostility against them on the part of the

As a sample of the way business is done here, we have just had an
express letter from Shanghai which took four days to arrive. It should
arrive in twelve hours. People use express letters rather than the
telegraph because they are quicker. You may spend as much time as you
like or don't like, wondering why your express letter did not reach you
on time; you do it at your own risk and expense. The Chinese do not
juggle with foreigners as the Japanese do, in the conscious sense, they
simply drift, they juggle with themselves and with each other all the

This house is four miles from the railroad station. There is no street
car here; there are many 'rickshas, a few carriages, still fewer autos.
There are no sedan chairs, at least I don't remember seeing any, but at
Chienkiang, where we went the other day, the streets are so narrow that
chairs are the main means of conveyance. The 'ricksha men here pay forty
cents a day to the city for their vehicles, which are all alike and very
poor ones. They make a little more than that sum for themselves. In
Shanghai they pay ninety cents a day for their right to work, and earn
from one dollar to a possible dollar and a half for themselves.

I said to a young professor, the other day, that China was still
supporting three idle classes of people. He looked surprised, though a
student and critic of social conditions, and asked me who they were.
When I asked him if that couldn't be said of the officials, the priests,
and the army, he said yes, it could. Thus far and no further, seems to
be their motto, both in thinking and acting, especially in acting.

NANKING, May 23.

I don't believe anybody knows what the political prospects are; this
students' movement has introduced a new and uncalculable factor--and all
in the three weeks we have been here. You heard nothing but gloom about
political China at first, corrupt and traitorous officials, soldiers
only paid banditti, the officers getting the money from Japan to pay
them with, no organizing power or cohesion among the Chinese; and then
the students take things into their hands, and there is animation and a
sudden buzz. There are a hundred students being coached here to go out
and make speeches, they will have a hundred different stations scattered
through the city. It is also said the soldiers are responding to the
patriotic propaganda; a man told us that the soldiers wept when some
students talked to them about the troubles of China, and the soldiers of
Shantung, the province turned over to Japan, have taken the lead in
telegraphing the soldiers in the other provinces to resist the corrupt
traitors. Of course, what they all are afraid of is that this is a flash
in the pan, but they are already planning to make the student movement
permanent and to find something for them to do after this is settled.
Their idea here is to reorganize them for popular propaganda for
education, more schools, teaching adults, social service, etc.

It is very interesting to compare the men who have been abroad with
those who haven't--I mean students and teachers. Those who haven't are
sort of helpless, practically; the height of literary and academic
minds. Those who have studied abroad, even in Japan, have much more go
to them. Certainly the classicists in education have a noble example
here in China of what their style of education can do if only kept up
long enough. On the other hand, there must be something esthetically
very fine in the old Chinese literature; even many of the modern young
men have a sentimental attachment to it, precisely like that which they
have to the fine writing of their characters. They talk about them with
all the art jargon: "Notice the strength of this down stroke, and the
spirituality of the cross stroke and elegant rhythm of the composition."
When we visited a temple the other day, one of the chief Buddhist
shrines in China, we were presented with a rubbing of the writing of the
man who is said to be the finest writer ever known in China--these
characters were engraved in the rock from his writing some centuries
ago--I don't know how many. It is very easy to see how cultivated people
take refuge in art and spirituality when politics are corrupt and the
general state of social life is discouraging; you see it here, and how
in the end it increases the decadence.

I think we wrote you from Shanghai that we had been introduced to all
the mysteries of China, ancient eggs, sharks' fins, birds' nests, pigeon
eggs, the eight precious treasures, rice pudding, and so on. We continue
to have Chinese meals; yesterday lunch in the home of an adviser to a
military official. He is very outspoken, doesn't trim in politics, and
gives you a more hopeful feeling about China. The most depressing thing
is hearing it said, "When we get a stable government, we can do so and
so, but there is no use at present." But this man's attitude is rather,
"Damn the government and go ahead and do something." He is very proud of
having a "happy, Christian home" and doesn't cover up his Christianity
as most of the official and wealthy class seem to do. He expects to have
his daughters educated in America, one in medicine and one in home
affairs, and to have help in a campaign for changing the character of
the Chinese home--from these big aggregates of fifty people or so living
together, married children, servants, etc., where he says the waste is
enormous, to say nothing of bickerings and jealousies. In the old type
of well-to-do home, breakfast would begin for someone about seven, and
someone would have cooking done for him to eat till noon; then about
two, visitors would come, and the servants would be ordered to cook
something for each caller--absolutely no organization or planning in
anything, according to him.

NANKING, Monday, May 26.

The trouble among the students is daily getting worse, and even the most
sympathetic among the faculties are getting more and more anxious. The
governor of this province, capital here, is thought most liberal, and he
has promised to support these advanced measures in education. Last
Friday the assembly passed a bill cutting down the educational
appropriation and raising their own salaries. Therefore the students
here are now all stirred up and the faculties are afraid they cannot be
kept in control until they are well enough organized to make a strike
effective. At the same time our friends are kept busy running up to the
assembly and the governor. The latter has promised to veto the bill when
it is sent to him from the senate. But the students are getting anxious
to go to the senate themselves. Our friends say it costs so much for
these men to get elected that they have to get it all back after they
get into office. A missionary says: "Let's go out and shoot them all,
they are just as bad as Peking, and if they had the same chance they
would sell out the whole country to Japan or to anyone else." Certainly
China needs education all along the line, but they never will get it as
long as they try in little bits. So maybe they will have to be pushed to
the very bottom before they will be ready to go the whole hog or none.

Yesterday a Chinese lady had a tea for me and asked the Taitai, as the
wives of the officials are called, corresponding to the court ladies of
previous times. As a function this was interesting, for every woman
brought her servant and most of her children. Some appeared to have two
servants, one big-footed maid for herself and one bound-footed as a
nurse for the children. Her own servant hands her the cup of tea. All
the children are fed at the same time as the grown-ups, and after their
superiors the servants get something in the kitchen. I don't know yet
what that something is, but probably an inferior tea. The tea we drank
is that famous jasmine tea from Hangchow. It costs something like
fifteen dollars a pound here. It is very good, with a peculiar spicy
flavor, almost musky and smoky, from the jasmine combined with the tea
flavor, which is strong. It is a delicious brown tea, but I do not like
to drink it so well as I like the best green tea.

Well, I wish you could see the Taitai. The wife of the governor is about
twenty-five, or may be a little more. She is a substantial young person,
with full-grown feet, a pale blue dress of skirt and coat scalloped on
the edges and bound with black satin, her nice hair parted to one side
on the right and pinned above her left ear with a white artificial rose.
Her maid had black coat and trousers. She had some bracelets on, but her
jewels were less beautiful than those of the other women. One very
pretty woman had buttons on her coat of emeralds surrounded with pearls,
and on her arm a lovely bracelet of pearls. After tea, the great ladies
went into an inner room, with the exception of two. One of these two had
a very sad face. I watched her and finally had a chance to ask her how
many children she had. She said she had none, but she would like to have
a daughter. I was told after that her husband was a Christian pastor and
she was trying to be Christian. The other one who stayed was the pretty
one with the emerald buttons. I finally decided the ladies had left us
to play their cards and asked if I might go and see them. They were not
playing cards, but had just gone off to gossip among themselves,
probably about the foreigners. One of the ladies said she would take me
some day to see their card games. It is said they play in the morning
and in the afternoon and all the night till the next morning when they
go to bed. It is commonly said this is all they do, and the losses are
very disastrous sometimes.

But they were not playing then and came back, some of them with their
children, and sat in the rows of chairs, sixteen of them, and some amahs
around the room, while I talked to them. I told stories about what the
American women did in the war and they stared with amazement. I had to
explain what a gas mask is, but they knew what killing is and what high
class is. Their giggles were quite encouraging to intercourse. A nice
young lady from the college interpreted, and when I stopped I asked them
to tell me something about their lives. So the governor's wife was at
last persuaded to give an account of how she brought up her children.
They are all free from self-consciousness, and though they have little
manners in our sense of the word, they have a self-possession and
gentleness combined which gives a very graceful appearance. The
governor's wife says she has two little boys, the eldest six years of
age. In the morning he has a Chinese tutor. After dinner, she teaches
him music, of which she is very fond. After that he plays till
five-thirty, has supper, plays again a little while before going to bed,
and then bed. At thirteen the boy will be sent away to school. I asked
her what about girls, and she said that her little niece was the first
one in her family to be sent to school, but this ten-year-old one is in
Tientsin at a boarding school.

PEKING, Sunday, June 1.

We met a young man here from an interior province who is trying to get
money for teachers who haven't received their pay for a long time.
Meantime over sixty per cent of the entire national expenses is going to
the military, and the army is worse than useless. In many provinces it
is composed of brigands and everywhere is practically under the control
of the tuchuns or military governors, who are corrupt and use the pay
roll to increase their graft and the army to increase their power of
local oppression, while the head military man is openly pro-Japanese.

There is a lull in our affairs just now. We agreed yesterday that never
in our lives had we begun to learn as much as in the last four months.
And the last month particularly, there has been almost too much food to
be digestible. Talk about the secretive and wily East. Compared, say,
with Europe, they hand information out to you here on a platter (though
it must be admitted the labels are sometimes mixed) and sandbag you with

Yesterday we went to the Western Hills where are the things you see in
the pictures, including the stone boat, the base of which is really
marble and as fine as the pictures. But all the rest of it is just
theatrical fake, more or less peeling off at that. However, it is as
wonderful as it is cracked up to be, and in some ways more systematic
than Versailles, which is what you naturally compare it to. The finest
thing architecturally is a Buddhist temple with big tiles, each of which
has a Buddha on--for further details see movie or something. We walked
somewhat higher than Russian Hill, including a journey through the caves
in an artificial mountain such as the Chinese delight in, clear up to
this temple. The Manchu family seems to own the thing yet, and charge a
big sum, or rather several sums, a la Niagara Falls, to get
about--another evidence that China needs another revolution, or rather
_a_ revolution, the first one having got rid of a dynasty and left, as
per my previous letters, a lot of corrupt governors in charge of chaos.
The only thing that I can see that keeps things together at all is that
while a lot of these generals and governors would like to grab more for
their individual selves, they are all afraid the whole thing would come
down round their ears if anyone made a definite move. Status quo is
China's middle name, mostly status and a little quo. I have one more
national motto to add to "You Never Can Tell" and "Let George Do It." It
is, "That is very bad." Instead of concealing things, they expose all
their weak and bad points very freely, and after setting them forth most
calmly and objectively, say "That is very bad." I don't know whether it
is possible for a people to be too reasonable, but it is certainly too
possible to take it out in being reasonable--and that's them. However,
it makes them wonderful companions. You can hardly blame the Japanese
for wanting to run them and supply the necessary pep when they decline
to run themselves. You certainly see the other side of the famous
one-track mind of Japan over here, as well as of other things. If you
keep doing something all the time, I don't know whether you need even a
single track mind. All you have to do is to keep going where you started
for, while others keep wobbling or never get started.

Well, this morning we went to the famous museum, and there is one thing
where China is still ahead. It is housed in some of the old palaces and
audience halls of the inner, or purple, forbidden City. With the yellow
porcelain roofs, and the blue and green and gold, and the red walls, it
is really the barbaric splendor you read about, and about the first
thing that comes up to the conventional idea of what is Oriental. The
Hindoo influence is much stronger here than anywhere else we have been,
or else really Thibetan, I suppose, and many things remind one of the
Moorish. The city of Peking was a thousand years building, and was laid
out on a plan when the capitals of Europe were purely haphazard, so
there is no doubt they have organizing power all right if they care to
use it. The museum is literally one of treasures, porcelains, bronzes,
jade, etc., not an historic or antiquated museum. It costs ten cents to
get into the park here and much more into the museum, a dollar or more,
I guess, and we got the impression that it was fear of the crowd and the
populace rather than the money which controls; the rate is too high for
revenue purposes.

PEKING, June 1.

We have just seen a few hundred girls march away from the American Board
Mission school to go to see the President to ask him to release the boy
students who are in prison for making speeches on the street. To say
that life in China is exciting is to put it fairly. We are witnessing
the birth of a nation, and birth always comes hard. I may as well begin
at the right end and tell you what has happened while things have been
moving so fast I could not get time to write. Yesterday we went to see
the temples of Western Hills, conducted by one of the members of the
Ministry of Education. As we were running along the big street that
passes the city wall we saw students speaking to groups of people. This
was the first time the students had appeared for several days. We asked
the official if they would not be arrested, and he said, "No, not if
they keep within the law and do not make any trouble among the people."
This morning when we got the paper it was full of nothing else. The
worst thing is that the University has been turned into a prison with
military tents all around it and a notice on the outside that this is a
prison for students who disturb the peace by making speeches. As this is
all illegal, it amounts to a military seizure of the University and
therefore all the faculty will have to resign. They are to have a
meeting this afternoon to discuss the matter. After that is over, we
will probably know what has happened again. The other thing we heard was
that in addition to the two hundred students locked up in the Law
Building, two students were taken to the Police rooms and flogged on the
back. Those two students were making a speech and were arrested and
taken before the officers of the gendarmerie. Instead of shutting up as
they were expected to do, the boys asked some questions of these
officers that were embarrassing to answer. The officers then had them
flogged on the back. Thus far no one has been able to see any of the
officers. If the officers denied the accusation then the reporters would
ask to see the two prisoners on the principle that the officers could
have no reason for refusing that request unless the story were true. We
saw students making speeches this morning about eleven, when we started
to look for houses, and heard later that they had been arrested, that
they carried tooth brushes and towels in their pockets. Some stories say
that not two hundred but a thousand have been arrested. There are about
ten thousand striking in Peking alone. The marching out of those girls
was evidently a shock to their teachers and many mothers were there to
see them off. The girls were going to walk to the palace of the
President, which is some long distance from the school. If he does not
see them, they will remain standing outside all night and they will stay
there till he does see them. I fancy people will take them food. We
heard the imprisoned students got bedding at four this morning but no
food till after that time. There is water in the building and there is
room for them to lie on the floor. They are cleaner than they would be
in jail, and of course much happier for being together.

PEKING, June 2.

Maybe you would like to know a little about how we look this morning and
how we are living. In the first place, this is a big hotel with a bath
in each room. On a big street opposite to us is the wall of the legation
quarter, which has trees in it and big roofs which represent all that
China ought to have and has not. The weather is like our hot July,
except that it is drier than the August drought on Long Island. The
streets of Peking are the widest in the world, I guess, and ours leads
by the red walls of the Chinese city with the wonderful gates of which
you see pictures. It is macadamized in the middle, but on each side of
it run wider roads, which are used for the traffic. Thank your stars
there are good horses in Peking; men do not pull all the heavy loads.
The two side roads are worn down in deep ruts and these ruts are filled
with dust like finest ashes, and all thrown up into the air whenever a
man steps on it or a cart moves through. Our room faces the south on
this road. All day long the sun pours through the bamboo shades and the
hot air brings in that gray dust, and everything you touch, including
your own skin, is gritty and has a queer dry feeling that makes you
think you ought to run for water. I am learning to shut the windows and
inner blinds afternoons. Isn't it strange that in the latitude of New
York this drought should be expected every spring? In spite of all this
the fields have crops growing, thinly, to be sure, on the hard gray
fields. There are very few trees, and they are not of the biggest. The
grain is already about fit to cut, and the onions are ripe. After a
while it will rain and rain much and then new crops will be put in. The
flowers are almost gone and I am sorry that we did not see the famous
peonies. You will be interested to know that they keep the peonies
small; even the tree kind are cut down till they are the size of those
little ones of mine. The tuber peonies are transplanted each year or in
some way kept small and the blossoms are lovely and little. I have seen
white rose peonies and at first thought they were roses. The buds look
almost like the buds of our big white roses and they are very fragrant.
The peony beds are laid out in terraces held in place by brick walls,
usually oblong or oval, something like a huge pudding mold on a table.
Other times they are planted on the flat and surrounded by bamboo fences
of fancy design and geometrical pattern, usually with a square form to
include each division. The inner city has many peony beds of that sort,
both the tree and tuber kind, but they have only leaves to show now.

Yesterday we went to the summer palace and to-day we are going to the
museum. That is really inside the Forbidden City, so at last we shall
set foot on the sacred ground. The summer palace is really wonderful,
but sad now, like all things made on too ambitious a scale to fit into
the uses of life. There is a mile of loggia ornamented with the green
and blue and red paintings which you see imitated. Through a window we
had a peek at the famous portrait of old Tsu Hsu and she looks just as
she did when I saw it exhibited in New York. The strange thing about it
is that it is still owned by the Hsu family. Huge rolls of costly rugs
and curtains lie in piles round the room and everything is covered with
this fine dust so thick that it is not possible to tell the color of a
table top. Cloissonné vases, or rather images of the famous blue ware
stand under the old lady's portrait, and everything is going to rack and
ruin. Meantime we wandered around, planning how it could be made over
into use when the revolution comes. Get rid of the idea that China has
had a revolution and is a republic; that point is just where we have
been deceived in the United States. China is at present the rotten
crumbling remnant of the old bureaucracy that surrounded the corruption
of the Manchus and that made them possible. The little Emperor is living
here in his palace surrounded by his eunuchs and his tutors and his two
mothers. He is fourteen and it is really funny to think that they have
just left him Emperor, but as he has not money except what the republic
votes him from year to year, nobody worries about him, unless it is the
Japanese, who want the imperial government restored until they get ready
to take it themselves. It looks as if they might be ready now except for
the nudge which has just been given to the peace conference. You had
better read a book about this situation, for it is the most surprising
affair in a lifetime.

Yesterday we went to see a friend's house. It is interesting and I
should like to live in one like it. There is no water except what the
water man brings every day. This little house has eighteen rooms around
a court. It means four separate roofs and going outdoors to get from one
to another. When the mercury is at twenty below zero it would mean that
just the same. All the ground floors have stone floors. We did not see
all the rooms; there are paper windows in some and glass windows in
some. In summer they put on a temporary roof of mats over the court. It
is higher than the roofs and so allows ventilation and gives good shade.

June 5.

This is Thursday morning, and last night we heard that about one
thousand students were arrested the day before. Yesterday afternoon a
friend got a pass which permitted him to enter the building where the
students were confined. They have filled up the building of Law, and
have begun on the Science building, in consequence of which the faculty
have to go to the Missionary buildings to-day to hold their faculty
meeting. At four yesterday afternoon, the prisoners who had been put in
that day at ten had had no food. One of our friends went out and got the
University to appropriate some money and they ordered a carload of bread
sent in. This bread means some little biscuit sometimes called raised
biscuit at home. I think carload means one of the carts in which they
are delivered. At any rate, the boys had some food, though not at the
expense of the police. On the whole, the checkmate of the police seems
surely impending. They will soon have the buildings full, as the
students are getting more and more in earnest, and the most incredible
part of it is that the police are surprised. They really thought the
arrests would frighten the others from going on. So everybody is getting
an education. This morning one of our friends here is going to take us
up to the University to see the military encampment, and I hope he will
take us inside also, though I hardly think he will do the latter.

As near as I can find out, the Chinese have reached that interesting
stage of development when they must do something for women and do as
little as they can, but in case they must have a girls' school they find
that a convenient place to unload an antiquated official who really
can't be endured any longer by real folks.

No one can tell to-day what the students' strike will bring next; it may
bring a revolution, it may do anything surprising to the police, who
seem to be as lacking in imagination as police are famous for being.
Everyone here is getting ready to flee for the summer, which is very hot
during July. On the whole, the heat is perhaps less hard to endure than
the heat of New York, as it is so dry. But the dryness has its own
effect and when those hard winds blow up the dust storms it gets on the
nerves. Dust heaps up inside the house, and cuts the skin both inside
and outside of the body. This is a lucky day, being cloudy and a little
damp as if it might rain.

The Western Hill was an experience to remember. Stepping from a Ford
limousine to a chair carried by four men and an outwalker alongside, we
were thus taken by fifteen men to the temples, your father, an officer
from the Department of Education, and I. The men walked over the paths
in the dust and on stones which no one thinks of picking up. It was so
astounding to call it a pleasure resort that we could only stare and
remain dumb. We saw three temples and one royal garden. Five hundred
Buddhas in one building, and all the buildings tumble-down and dirty. On
top of one hill is a huge building which cost a million or more to build
about four hundred years ago by someone for his tomb. Then he did
something wrong, probably stole from the wrong person, and was not
allowed to be buried there. Round the temple places the trees remain and
give a refreshing oasis, and there are some beautiful springs. All the
time we kept saying, "Trees ought to be planted." "Yes, but they take so
long to grow," or, "Yes, but they will not grow, it is so dry," etc.
Sometimes they would say, "Yes, we must plant some trees," or more
likely, "Yes, I think we may plant some trees sometime, but we have an
Arbor Day and the people cut down the trees or else they did." We would
show that the trees would grow because they were there round the
temples, and besides grass was growing and trees would grow where grass
would grow in such dry weather, and they would say the same things over.
It made the little forestry station in Nanking seem like a monumental
advance, while that fearful sun was beating up the dust under the stones
as the men gave us the Swedish massage in the motion of the chairs.
Fifty men and more stood around as we got in and out of the car and five
men apiece stood and waited for us as we walked round the temple and ate
our lunch and spent the time sipping tea, and yet they cannot plant
trees, and that is China.

The whole country is covered every inch with stones. Nature has supplied
them, and falling walls are everywhere. We saw one great thing, however.
They are building a new school house and orphanage for the children of
that village. Many of the children are naked everywhere hereabouts and
they stand with sunburned heads, their backs covered only with coats of
dirt, eating their bean food in the street. Everywhere the food is laid
out on tables by the roadside ready to eat. In one temple, a certain
official here has promised to rebuild a small shrine which houses the
laughing Buddha, who is made of bronze and was once covered with
lacquer, which is now mostly split off. At present the only shade the
god has is a roof of mats which they have braced up on the pile of ruins
that once made a roof. The President of the Republic has built a lovely
big gate like the old ones, because it is propitious and would bring him
good fortune. But he has decided it was not propitious, something went
wrong with the gods, I did not learn what it was; anyway, he is now
tearing down one of the big buttresses on one side of it to see if fate
will treat him more kindly then. Just what he wants of fate I did not
learn either, but perhaps it is that fate should make him Emperor, as
that seems to be their idea of curing poverty and political evils. I
forgot to say that they never remove ruins; everything is left to lie as
it falls or is falling, so one gets a good idea of how gods are
constructed. Most of them were of clay, a sort of concrete built up on a
wood frame, and badly as they need wood I have never seen a sign of
piling up the fallen beams of a temple. Instead of that, you risk your
life by walking under these falling roofs unless you have the sense to
look after your own safety. In most of these Peking temples they do
sweep the floors and even some of the statues look as if they had some
time been dusted, though this last I am not certain about.

PEKING, June 5.

As has been remarked before, you never can tell. The students were
stirred up by orders dissolving their associations, and by the
"mandates" criticising the Japanese boycott and telling what valuable
services the two men whose dismissal was demanded had rendered the
country. So they got busy--the students. They were also angered because
the industrial departments of two schools were ordered closed by the
police. In these departments the students had set about seeing what
things of Japanese importation could be replaced by hand labor without
waiting for capital. After they worked it out in the school they went
out to the shops and taught the people how to make them, and then
peddled them about, making speeches at the same time. Well, yesterday
when we went about we noticed that the students were speaking more than
usual, and while the streets were full of soldiers the students were not
interfered with; in the afternoon a procession of about a thousand
students was even escorted by the police. Then in the evening a
telephone came from the University that the tents around the University
buildings where the students were imprisoned had been struck and the
soldiers were all leaving. Then the students inside held a meeting and
passed a resolution asking the government whether they were guaranteed
freedom of speech, because if they were not, they would not leave the
building merely to be arrested again, as they planned to go on speaking.
So they embarrassed the government by remaining in "jail" all night. We
haven't heard to-day what has happened, but the streets are free of
soldiers, and there were no students talking anywhere we went, so I
fancy a truce has been arranged while they try and fix things up. The
government's ignominious surrender was partly due to the fact that the
places of detention were getting full and about twice as many students
spoke yesterday as the day before, when they arrested a thousand, and
the government for the first time realized that they couldn't bulldoze
the students; it was also partly due to the fact that the merchants in
Shanghai struck the day before yesterday, and there is talk that the
Peking merchants are organizing for the same purpose. This is, once
more, a strange country; the so-called republic is a joke; all it has
meant so far is that instead of the Emperor having a steady job, the job
of ruling and looting is passed around to the clique that grabs power.
One of the leading militarist party generals invited his dearest enemy
to breakfast a while ago--within the last few months--in Peking, and
then lined his guest against the wall and had him shot. Did this affect
his status? He is still doing business at the old stand. But in some
ways there is more democracy than we have; leaving out the women, there
is complete social equality, and while the legislature is a perfect
farce, public opinion, when it does express itself, as at the present
time, has remarkable influence. Some think the worst officials will now
resign and get out, others that the militarists will attempt a coup
d'état and seize still more power rather than back down. Fortunately,
the latter seem to be divided at the present time. But all of the
student (and teacher) crowd are much afraid that even if the present
gang is thrown out, it will be only to replace them by another set just
as bad, so they are refraining from appealing to the army for help.

Later.--The students have now asked that the chief of police come
personally to escort them out and make an apology. In many ways, it
seems like an opéra bouffe, but there is no doubt that up to date they
have shown more shrewdness and policy than the government, and are
getting the latter where it is a laughing stock, which is fatal in
China. But the government isn't inactive; they have appointed a new
Minister of Education and a new Chancellor of the University, both
respectable men, with no records and colorless characters. It is likely
the Faculty will decline to receive the new Chancellor unless he makes a
satisfactory declaration--which he obviously can't, and thus the row
will begin all over again, with the Faculty involved. If the government
dared, it would dissolve the University, but the scholar has a sacred
reputation in China.

June 7.

The whole story of the students is funny and not the least funny part is
that last Friday the students were speaking and parading with banners
and cheers and the police standing near them like guardian angels, no
one being arrested or molested. We heard that one student pouring out
hot eloquence was respectfully requested to move his audience along a
little for the reason that they were so numerous in statu quo as to
impede traffic, and the policeman would not like to be held responsible
for interfering with the traffic. Meantime, Saturday the government sent
an apology to the students who were still in prison of their own free
will waiting for the government to apologize and to give them the
assurance of free speech, etc. The students are said to have left the
building yesterday morning, though we have no accurate information. The
Faculty of the University met and refused to recognize or accept the new
Chancellor. They sent a committee to the government to tell them that,
and one to the Chancellor to tell him also and to ask him to resign. It
seems the newly-appointed Chancellor used to be at the head of the
engineering school of the University, but he was kicked out in the
political struggle. He is an official of the Yuan Shi Kai school and has
become a rich rubber merchant in Malay, and anyway they do not want a
mere rubber merchant as President of the University, and they think they
may so explain that to the new Chancellor that he will not look upon the
office as so attractive as he thought it was.

There is complete segregation in this city in all public gatherings, the
women at the theaters are put off in one of those real galleries such as
we think used to be and are not now. The place for the women in the hall
of the Board of Education is good enough and on one side facing the hall
so that all the men can look at them freely and so protect that famous
modesty which I have heard more of in China than for many years

Gasoline is one dollar a gallon here and a Ford car costs $1900. Ivory
soap five for one dollar. Clean your dress for $2.50. Tooth paste one
dollar a tube, vaseline 50 cents a small bottle. Washing three cents
each, including dresses and men's coats and shirts; fine cook ten
dollars a month. They have a very good one here, and I am going right on
getting fat on delicious Chinese food. The new Rockefeller Institute,
called the Union Medical College, is very near here, and they are making
beautiful buildings in the old Chinese style, to say nothing of their
Hygiene. They have just decided to open it to women, but I am rather
suspicious the requirements will prevent the women's using it at first.

Peking is still much of a capital city and is divided into the diplomats
and the missionaries. It seems there is not much lacking except the old
Dowager Empress to make up the old Peking.

PEKING, June 10.

The students have taken the trick and won the game at the present
moment--I decline to predict the morrow when it comes to China. Sunday
morning I lectured at the auditorium of the Board of Education and at
that time the officials there didn't know what had happened. But the
government sent what is called a pacification delegate to the
self-imprisoned students to say that the government recognized that it
had made a mistake and apologized. Consequently the students marched
triumphantly out, and yesterday their street meetings were bigger and
more enthusiastic than ever. The day before they had hooted at four
unofficial delegates who had asked them to please come out of jail, but
who hadn't apologized. But the biggest victory is that it is now
reported that the government will to-day issue a mandate dismissing the
three men who are always called traitors--yesterday they had got to the
point of offering to dismiss one, the one whose house was attacked by
the students on the fourth of May, but they were told that that wouldn't
be enough, so now they have surrendered still more. Whether this will
satisfy the striking merchants or whether they will make further
demands, having won the first round, doesn't yet appear. There are lots
of rumors, of course. One is that the backdown is not only due to the
strike of merchants, but to a fear that the soldiers could no longer be
counted upon. There was even a rumor that a regiment at Western Hills
was going to start for Peking to side with the students. Rumors are one
of China's strong suits. When you realize that we have been here less
than six weeks, you will have to admit that we have been seeing life.
For a country that is regarded at home as stagnant and unchanging, there
is certainly something doing.

This is the world's greatest kaleidoscope.

Wilson's Decoration Day Address has just been published; perhaps it
sounds academic at home, but over here Chinese at least regard it as
very practical--as, in fact, a definite threat. On the other hand, we
continue to get tales of how the Washington State Department has
declined to take the reports sent from here as authentic. Lately they
have had a number of special agents over here, more or less secret, to
get independent information.

In talking about democratic developments in America, whenever I make a
remark such as the Americans do not depend upon the government to do
things for them, but go ahead and do things for themselves, the response
is immediate and emphatic. The Chinese are socially a very democratic
people and their centralized government bores them.

June 16.

Chinesewise speaking, we are now having another lull. The three
"traitors" have had their resignations accepted, the cabinet is
undergoing reconstruction, the strike has been called off, both of
students and merchants (the railwaymen striking was the last straw), and
the mystery is what will happen next. There are evidences that the
extreme militarists are spitting on their hands to take hold in spite of
their defeat, and also that the President, who is said to be a moderate
and skillful politician, is nursing things along to get matters more and
more into his own hands. Although he issued a mandate against the
students and commending the traitors, the students' victory seems to
have strengthened him. I can't figure it out, but it is part of the
general beginning to read at the back of the book. The idea seems to be
that he has demonstrated the weakness of the militarists in the country,
while in sticking in form by them he has given them no excuse for
attacking him. They are attacking most everybody else in anonymous
circulars. One was got out signed "Thirteen hundred and fifty-eight
students," but giving no names, saying that the sole object of the
strike was to regain Tsingtao, but that a few men had tried to turn the
movement to their own ends, one wishing to be Chancellor of the

PEKING, June 20.

Some time ago I had decided to tell you that here I had found the human
duplication of the bee colony in actual working order. China is it, and
in all particulars lives up to the perfect socialization of the race.
Nobody can do anything alone, nobody can do anything in a hurry. The
hunt of the bee for her cell goes on before one's eyes all the time.
When found, lo, the discovery that the cell was there all the time. Let
me give you an example.

We go to the art school for lectures, enter by a door at the end of a
long hall. Behind that hall is another large room and in back of the
second room somewhere is a place where the men make the tea. Near the
front door where we enter is the table where we are always asked to sit
down before and after the lecture, whereat we sit down to partake of tea
and other beverages, such as soda. Well, the teacups are kept in a
cabinet at the front end of the first room right near the entrance door.
Comes a grown man from the rear somewhere; silently and with stately
tread he walks across the long room to the cabinet, takes one teacup in
each hand and retreads the space towards the back. After sufficient time
he returns bearing in his two hands these cups filled with hot tea. He
puts these down on the table for us and then he takes two more cups from
the cabinet, and retires once more, returning later as before. When
bottles are opened they are brought near the table, because otherwise
the soda would be spoiled in carrying open, never to save steps.

The Chinese kitchen is always several feet from the dining room, under a
separate roof. Often you must cross a court in the open to get from one
to another. As it has not rained since we have been here, I do not know
what happens to the soup under the umbrella. But remember, the beehive
is the thing in China, and it is the old-fashioned beehive in the
barrel. When you look at the men who are doing it all they have the air
of strong, quiet beings who might do almost anything, but when you get
acquainted with them, how they do almost nothing is a marvelous
achievement. At Ching Hua College, said being the famous Boxer Indemnity
College, the houses are new and built by American initiative, and the
kitchen is forty feet from the dining room door in those. I will not
describe the kitchens, but when you see the clay stoves crumbling in
places, no sink, and one window on one side of the rather dark room, a
little room where the cook sleeps on a board and where both the men eat
their own frugal meals, it is all the Middle Ages undisturbed.

PEKING, June 20.

Last weekend we went out about ten miles to Ching Hua College; this is
the institution started with the returned Boxer Indemnity Fund; it's a
high school with about two years college work; they have just graduated
sixty or seventy who are going to America next year to finish up. They
go all around, largely to small colleges and the Middle West state
institutions, a good many to Tech and a number to Stevens, though none
go to Columbia, because it is in a big city; just what improvement
Hoboken is I don't know. China is full of Columbia men, but they went
there for graduate work. No doubt it is wise keeping them away from a
big city at first. Except for the instruction in Chinese, the teaching
is all done in English, and the boys seem to speak English quite well
already. It's a shame the way they will be treated, the insults they
will have to put up with in America before they get really adjusted. And
then when they get back here they have even a worse time getting
readjusted. They have been idealizing their native land at the same time
that they have got Americanized without knowing it, and they have a hard
time to get a job to make a living. They have been told that they are
the future saviors of their country and then their country doesn't want
them for anything at all--and they can't help making comparisons and
realizing the backwardness of China and its awful problems. At the same
time at the bottom of his heart probably every Chinese is convinced of
the superiority of Chinese civilization--and maybe they are right--three
thousand years is quite a spell to hold on.

You may come over here some time in your life, so it will do no harm to
learn about the money--_about_ it, nobody but the Chinese bankers ever
learn it. There are eleven dimes in a dollar and six twenty-cent pieces,
and while there are only eleven coppers in a dime, there are one hundred
and thirty-eight in a dollar. Consequently the thrifty always carry a
pound or two of big coppers with them to pay 'ricksha men with. Then
there are various kinds of paper money. We are going to Western Hills
tomorrow night, and under instructions I bought some dollars at
sixty-five cents apiece which are good for a whole dollar on this
railway and apparently nowhere else. On the contrary, the foreigners are
done all the time at the hotels; there they only give you five
twenty-cent pieces in change for a dollar, and so on--but they are run
by foreigners, and not by the wily Chinese. One thing you will be glad
to know is that Peking is Americanized to the extent that we have ice
cream at least once a day, two big helpings. This helps.

A word to the wise. Never ask a Chinese whether it is going to rain, or
any other question about the coming weather. The turtle is supposed to
be a weather prophet, and as the turtle is regarded as the vilest
creature on earth, you can see what an insult such a question is. One of
their subtle compliments to the Japanese during the late campaign was to
take a straw hat, of Japanese make, which they had removed from a
passerby's head, and cut it into the likeness of a turtle and then nail
it up on a telephone post.

I find, by the way, that I didn't do the students justice when I
compared their first demonstration here to a college boys' roughhouse;
the whole thing was planned carefully, it seems, and was even pulled off
earlier than would otherwise have been the case, because one of the
political parties was going to demonstrate soon, and they were afraid
their movement (coming at the same time) would make it look as if they
were an agency of the political faction, and they wanted to act
independently as students. To think of kids in our country from fourteen
on, taking the lead in starting a big cleanup reform politics movement
and shaming merchants and professional men into joining them. This is
sure some country.

PEKING, June 23.

Last night we had a lovely dinner at the house of a Chinese official.
All the guests were men except me and the fourteen-year-old daughter of
the house. She was educated in an English school here and speaks
beautiful English, besides being a talented and interesting girl.
Chinese girls at her age seem older than ours. The family consists of
five children and two wives. I found the reason the daughter was hostess
was that it was embarrassing to choose between the two wives for hostess
and they didn't want to give us a bad impression, so no wife appeared.
We were given to understand that the reason for the non-appearance was
that mother was sick. There is a new little baby six weeks old. The
father is a delicate, refined little man, very proud of his children and
fond of them, and they were all brought out to see us, even the six
weeks older, who was very hot in a little red dress. Our host is the
leader of a party of liberal progressives, and also an art collector. We
had hopes he would show us his collection of things. He did not, except
for the lovely porcelain that was on the table. The house is big and
behind the wall of the Purple City, as they call the old Forbidden City,
and it looks on the famous old pagoda, so it was interesting. We sat in
the court for coffee and there seemed to be many more courts leading on
one behind another as they do here, sometimes fourteen or more, with
chains of houses around each one.

As for the dinner, I forgot to say that the cook is a remarkable man,
Fukien, who gave us the most delicious Chinese cookery with French names
attached on the menu. Cooking is apt to be named geographically here.
Most everyone in Peking came from somewhere else, just as should be in a
capital city. But they seem to keep the cooks and cook in accordance
with the predilections of the old home province. They have adopted ice
cream, showing the natural sense of the race, but the daughter of our
host told me that they do not give it to the sick, as they still have
the idea that the sick should have nothing cold.

They are now thrashing the wheat in this locality. That consists of
cutting it with the sickle and having the women and children glean. The
main crop is scattered on the floor, as it is called, being a hard piece
of ground near the house, and then the wheat is treaded out by a pair of
donkeys attached to a roller about as big as our garden roller. After it
is out of the husk, it is winnowed by being tossed in the breeze, which
takes the time of a number of people and leaves in a share of the mother
earth. The crops are very thin round this region and they say that they
are thinner than usual, as this is a drier year than usual. Corn is
small, but there is some growing between here and the hills where we
went, always in the little pieces of ground, of course. Peanuts and
sweet potatoes are planted now, and they seem to be growing well in the
dust, which has been wet by the recent day of rain.

PEKING, June 25.

Simple facts for home consumption. All boards in China are sawed by
hand--two men and a saw, like a cross-cut buck-saw. At the new Hotel de
Peking, a big building, instead of carrying window casings ready to put
in, they are carrying big logs cut the proper length for a casing.
Spitting is a common accomplishment. When a school girl wants excuse to
leave her seat she walks across the room and spits vigorously in the
spittoon. Little melons are now ready to eat. They come like ripe
cucumbers, small, rather sweet. Coolies and boys eat them, skins and
all, on the street. Children eat small green apples. Peaches are
expensive, but those who can get the green hard ones eat them raw. The
potted pomegranates are now in bloom and also in fruit in the pots. The
color is a wonderful scarlet. The lotus ponds are in bloom--wonderful
color in a deep rose. When the buds are nearly ready to open they look
as if they were about to explode and fill the air with their intense
color. The huge leaves are brilliant and lovely--light green and
delicately veined. But the lotus was never made for art, and only
religion could have made it acceptable to art. The sacred ponds are well
kept and are in the old moats of the Purple City--Forbidden. There are
twice as many men in Peking as women.

Sunday we went to a Chinese wedding. It was at the Naval Club--no
difference in appearance from our ceremony. Bride and groom both in the
conventional foreign dress. They had a ring. At the supper there were
six tables full of men, and three partly full of women and children.
Women take their children and their amahs everywhere in China--I mean
wherever they go and provided they want to; it is the custom. None of
the men spoke to the women at the wedding--except rare returned
students. Eggs cost $1.00 for 120--we get all we want in our boarding
house. Men take birds out for walks--either in cages or with one leg
tied to a string attached to a stick on which the bird perches.

PEKING, June 27.

It's a wonder we were ever let out of Japan at all. It's fatal; I could
now tell after reading ten lines of the writings of any traveler whether
he ever journeyed beyond a certain point. You have to hand it to the
Japanese. Their country is beautiful, their treatment of visitors is
beautiful, and they have the most artistic knack of making the visible
side of everything beautiful, or at least attractive. Deliberate deceit
couldn't be one-tenth as effective; it's a real gift of art. They are
the greatest manipulators of the outside of things that ever lived. I
realized when I was there that they were a nation of specialists, but I
didn't realize that foreign affairs and diplomacy were also such a
specialized art.

The new acting Minister of Education has invited us to dinner soon. This
man doesn't appear to have any past educational record, but he has
pursued a conciliatory course; the other one resigned and disappeared
when he found he couldn't control things. The really liberal element
does not appear to be strong enough at present to influence politics
practically. The struggle is between the extreme militarists, who are
said to be under Japanese influence, and the group of somewhat colorless
moderates headed by the President. As he gets a chance he appears to be
putting his men in. The immediate gain seems to be negative in keeping
the other crowd out instead of positive, but they are at least honest
and will probably respond when there is enough organized liberal
pressure brought to bear upon them.

It cannot be denied that it is hot here. Yesterday we went out in
'rickshas about the middle of the day and I don't believe I ever felt
such heat. It is like the Yosemite, only considerably more intense as
well as for longer periods of time. The only consolation one gets from
noting that it isn't humid is that if it were, one couldn't live at all.
But the desert sands aren't moist either. Your mother asked the coolie
why he didn't wear a hat, and he said because it was too hot. Think of
pulling a person at the rate of five or six miles an hour in the sun of
a hundred and twenty or thirty with your head exposed. Most of the
coolies who work in the sun have nothing on their heads. It's either
survival of the fittest or inheritance of acquired characteristics.
Their adaptation to every kind of physical discomfort is certainly one
of the wonders of the world. You ought to see the places where they lie
down to go to sleep. They have it all over Napoleon. This is also the
country of itinerant domesticity. I doubt if lots of the 'ricksha men
have any places to sleep except in their carts. And a large part of the
population must buy their food of the street pedlars, who sell every
conceivable cooked thing; then there are lots of cooked food stores
besides the street men.

PEKING, July 2.

The rainy season has set in, and now we have floods and also coolness,
the temperature having fallen from the late nineties to the early
seventies, and life seems more worth living again.

This is a great country for pictures, and I am most anxious for one of a
middle-aged Chinese, inclining to be fat, with a broad-brimmed straw
hat, sitting on the back of a very small and placid cream colored
donkey. He is fanning himself as the donkey moves imperceptibly along
the highway, is satisfied with himself and at ease with the world, and
everything in the world, whatever happens. This would be a good
frontispiece for a book on China--and the joke wouldn't all be on the
Chinese either.

To-day the report is that the Chinese delegates refused to sign the
Paris treaty; the news seems too good to be true, but nobody can learn
the facts. There are also rumors that the governmental military party,
having got everything almost out of Japan that is coming to them and
finding themselves on the unpopular side, are about to forget that they
ever knew the Japanese and to come out very patriotic. This is also
unconfirmed, but I suppose the only reason they would stay bought in any
case is that there are no other bidders in the market.

PEKING, Wednesday, July 2.

The anxiety here is tense. The report is that the delegates did not
sign, but so vaguely worded as to leave conjectures and no confirmation.
Meanwhile the students' organizations, etc., have begun another attack
against the government by demanding the dissolution of Parliament.
Meantime there is no cabinet and the President can get no one to form
one, and half those inside seem to be also on the strike because the
other half are there.

PEKING, July 4.

We are going out to the Higher Normal this morning. The head of the
industrial department is going to take us. The students are erecting
three new school buildings this summer--they made the plans, designs,
details, and are supervising the erection as well as doing the routine
carpenter work. The head of the industrial department, who acted as our
guide and host, has been organizing the "national industry" activity in
connection with the students' agitation. He is now, among other things,
trying to organize apprentice schools under guild control. The idea is
to take the brightest apprentice available in each "factory"--really, of
course, just a household group--and give them two hours' schooling a day
with a view to introducing new methods and new products into the
industry. They are going to take metal working here. Then he hopes it
will spread all over China. You cannot imagine the industrial
backwardness here, not only as compared with us but with Japan.
Consequently their markets here are flooded with cheap flimsy Japan-made
stuff, which they buy because it's cheap, the line of least resistance.
But perhaps the Shantung business will be worth its cost. The cotton
guild is very anxious to co-operate and they will supply capital if the
schools can guarantee skilled workingmen, especially superintendents.
Now they sell four million worth of cotton to Japan, where it is spun,
and then buy back the same cotton in thread for fourteen million--which
they weave. This is beside the large amount of woven cotton goods they

I find in reading books that the Awakening of China has been announced a
dozen or more times by foreign travelers in the last ten years, so I
hesitate to announce it again, but I think this is the first time the
merchants and guilds have really been actively stirred to try to improve
industrial methods. And if so, it _is_ a real awakening--that and the
combination with the students. I read the translations from Japanese
every few days, and it would be very interesting to know whether their
ignorance is real or assumed. Probably some of both--it is inconceivable
that they should be as poor judges of Chinese psychology as the articles
indicate. But at the same time they have to keep up a certain tone of
belief among the people at home--namely, that the Chinese really prefer
the Japanese to all other foreigners; for they realize their dependence
upon them, and if they do not make common cause with them it is because
foreigners, chiefly Americans, instigate it all from mercenary and
political motives. As a matter of fact, I doubt if history knows of any
such complete case of national dislike and distrust; it sometimes seems
as if there hadn't been a single thing that the Japanese might have done
to alienate the Chinese that they haven't tried. The Chinese would feel
pretty sore at America for inviting them into the war and then leaving
them in the lurch, if the Japanese papers and politicians hadn't spent
all their time the last three months abusing America--then their sweet
speeches in America. It will be interesting to watch and see just what
particular string they trip on finally.

It's getting to the end of an Imperfect Day. We saw the school as per
program and I find I made a mistake. The boys made the plans of the
three buildings and are supervising their erection, but not doing the
building. They are staying in school all summer, however--those in the
woodworking class--and have taken a contract for making all the desks
for the new buildings--the school gives them room and board (food and
its preparation costs about five dollars per month), and they
practically give their time. All the metal-working boys are staying in
Peking and working in the shops to improve and diversify the products.
Remember these are boys, eighteen to twenty, and that they are carrying
on their propaganda for their country; that the summer averages one
hundred in the shade in Peking, and you'll admit there is some stuff

This P.M. we went to a piece of the celebration. The piece we saw wasn't
so very Fourth of Julyish, but it was interesting--Chinese sleight of
hand. Their long robe is an advantage, but none the less it can't be so
very easy to move about with a very large sized punch bowl filled to the
brim with water, or with five glass bowls each with a gold fish in it,
ready to bring out. It seems that sometimes the artist turns a
somersault just as he brings out the big bowl of water, but we didn't
get that. None of the tricks were complicated, but they were the neatest
I ever saw. There is a home-made minstrel show to-night, but it rained,
and as the show (and dance later) are in the open, we aren't going, as
we intended.

You can't imagine what it means here for China not to have signed. The
entire government has been for it--the President up to ten days before
the signing said it was necessary. It was a victory for public opinion,
and all set going by these little schoolboys and girls. Certainly the
United States ought to be ashamed when China can do a thing of this

Sunday, July 7.

We had quite another ride yesterday, sixty or seventy miles altogether.
The reason for the macadam road is worth telling. When Yuan Shi Kai was
planning to be Emperor his son broke his leg, and he heard the hot
springs would be good for him. So one of the officials made a road to
it. Some of the present day officials, including an ex-official who was
recently forced to resign after being beaten up, now own the springs and
hotel, so the road will continue to be taken care of. On the way we went
through the village of the White Snake and also of the One Hundred

Y. M. C. A.'s and Red Crossers are still coming from Siberia on their
way home. I don't know whether they will talk freely when they get home.
It is one mess, and the stories they will tell won't improve our foreign
relations any. The Bolsheviki aren't the only ones that shoot up
villages and take the loot--so far the Americans haven't done it.

PEKING, July 8.

This morning the papers here reported the denial of Japan that she had
made a secret treaty with Germany. The opinion here seems to be that
they did not, but merely that preliminaries had begun with reference to
such a treaty. We heard at dinner the other day from responsible
American officials here that, after America had completed the last of
the arrangements for China to go into the war, the Japanese arranged to
get a concession from Russia for the delivery on the part of the
Japanese of China into the war on the side of the Allies.

Well, the Japanese are still at it with the cat out of the bag. It looks
now as if they are getting ready to break up the present government in
Japan. This is interpreted to mean that that breakup will be made to
look as if it were in disapproval of the present mistakes in diplomacy
and of the price of rice; and then they can put in a worse one there and
the world will not know the difference, but will be made to think that
Japan is reforming. Speaking of constitutionality in Japan, I ceased to
worry about that as soon as I learned the older statesmen never troubled
at all about who was elected, but just let the elections go through, as
their business was so assured in other ways that the elections made no
difference anyway, and that the same principle worked equally well in
the matter of passing bills. No bill can ever come up without the
approval of the powers that be and they know how it is coming out in
spite of all discussions. No wonder change comes slowly and maybe it
will have to come all at once in the form of a revolution if it comes in
reality. It is now reported that Tsai, the Chancellor of the University
here, has said he will come back on condition that the students do not
move in future in any political matter without his consent, and I am not
able to guess whether that is a concession or a clever way of seeming to
agree with both sides at once. The announcement of Tsai's return means
that things will soon be back in normal shape and ready for another

We seem to be utterly stumped by the house situation. All the members of
the Rockefeller Foundation get nice new houses built for them, and the
houses are nice new Chinese ones but free from the poor qualities of
those to be rented here. All the houses in Peking are built like our
woodsheds, directly on the ground, raised a few inches from actual
contact with the earth by a stone floor. The courts fill with water when
the rains are hard and then they are moist for days, maybe weeks, and
about two feet of wet seeps up the side of the walls. Yesterday we
called on one of our Chinese friends here, and the whole place was in
that state, but he did not seem to notice it. If he wants baths in the
house it doubles the cost he pays the water wagon, and then after all
the trouble of heating and carrying the water there is no way to dispose
of the waste, except to get a man to come and carry it away in buckets.
You would have endless occupation here just looking on to see how this
bee colony can find so many ways of making life hard for itself. A
gentleman at the Foundation has just been telling us how the coolies
steal every little piece of metal, leftovers or screwed on, that they
can get at. The privation of life sets up an entirely new set of
standards for morals. No one, it appears, can be convicted for stealing
food in China.

PEKING, July 8.

The Rockefeller buildings are lovely samples of what money can do. In
the midst of this worn and weak city they stand out like illuminating
monuments of the splendor of the past in proper combination with the
modern idea. They are in the finest old style of Chinese architecture;
green roofs instead of yellow, with three stories instead of one. One
wonders how long it will take China to catch up and know what they are
doing. It is said the Chinese are not at all inclined to go to their
hospital for fear of the ultra foreign methods which they do not yet
understand. On the other hand, there is no disposition on the part of
the Institution to meet them half way as the missionaries have always
done. There are a number of Chinese among the doctors and they have now
opened all the work to the women. There is a great need for women
doctors now in China, but evidently it will take a generation yet before
this work will begin to be understood and will take its natural place in
Chinese affairs. It is rather amusing that this splendid set of
buildings quite surrounds and overshadows the biggest Japanese hospital
and school that is in Peking, and they say the fact has quite humiliated
the Japanese. At present the buildings are nearing completion, but all
the old rubbishy structures of former times will have to be pulled down
before these new ones can be seen in all their beauty. Among other
things, they have built thirty-five houses also in Chinese style but
with all the modern comforts, in which to house their faculty, and in
addition to those there are a good many buildings which were taken over
from the old medical missionary College, besides, perhaps, some that
will be left from the palace of the Prince whose property they bought.
Two fine old lions are an addition from the Prince, but no foreign
family would stand the inconveniences and discomforts of the ancient
Prince, in spite of all his wives.

PEKING, July 11.

They have the best melons here you ever saw. Their watermelons, which
are sold on the street in such quantities as to put even the southern
negroes to shame, are just like yellow ice cream in color, but they
aren't as juicy as ours. Their musk melons aren't spicy like the ones at
home at all, but are shaped like pears, only bigger and have an acid
taste; in fact they are more like a cucumber with a little acid pep in
them, only the seeds are all in the center like our melons. When you get
macaroons and little cakes here in straight Chinese houses you realize
that neither we nor the Europeans were the first to begin eating. They
either boil or steam their bread--they eat wheat instead of rice in this
part of the country--or fry it, and I have no doubt that doughnuts were
brought home to grandma by some old seafaring captain. These things are
all the stranger because, except for sponge cake, no such things are
indigenous to Japan. So when you first get here you can hardly resist
the impression that these things have been brought to China from America
or Europe. Read a book called "Two Heroes of Cathay," by Luella Miner,
and see how our country has treated some of these people in the past,
and then you see them so fond of America and of Americans and you
realize that in some ways they are ahead of us in what used to be known
as Christianity before the war. I guess we wrote you from Hangchow about
seeing the monument and shrine to two Chinese officials who were torn in
pieces at the time of the Boxer rebellion because they changed a
telegram to the provincial officers "Kill all foreigners" to read
"Protect all foreigners." The shrine is kept up, of course, by the
Chinese, and very few foreigners in China even know of the incident.

Their art is really childlike and all the new kinds of artists in
America who think being queer is being primitive ought to come over here
and study the Chinese in their native abodes. A great love of bright
colors and a wonderful knowledge of how to combine them, a comparatively
few patterns used over and over in all kinds of ways, and a preference
for designs that illustrate some story or idea or that appeal to their
sense of the funny--it's a good deal more childlike than what passes in
Greenwich Village for the childlike in art.

Y.M.C.A., PEKING, July 17.

A young Korean arrived here in the evening and he was met here on our
porch by a Chinese citizen who is also Korean. The newly arrived could
speak very little English and by means of a triangle we were able to
arrive at his story. It seems there is quite a leakage of Korean
students over the Chinese border all the time. To become a Chinese
student requires six years of residence, or else it was three; anyway
enough to postpone the idea of going to America to study till rather
late in case one wants to resort to that way of escape from Japanese
oppression. The elder and the one who has become a Chinese citizen
seemed a good deal excited; I fancy they are dramatic by nature, and
made many gestures. He urged on me the importance of our going to Korea
and he is going to bring us some pictures to look at. Well, it all set
me thinking, and so I have been reading the Korean guide book and
reflecting on the wonderful climate there and wondering if we can get a
reasonable place to stay. My first discovery of the real seriousness of
the Korean situation came across me in Japan early in March, when we had
a holiday on account of the funeral of the Korean prince, for the reason
that after the funeral and gradually in connection with it the _Japanese
Advertiser_ said it was rumored that the old Korean prince had committed
suicide. Doubtless you may know the story there, and then again you may
not. However, the facts have leaked one way and another and now it is
known that the old man did commit suicide in order to prevent the
marriage of the young prince, who has been brought up in Japan, to the
Japanese princess. By etiquette his death, taking place three days or so
before the date set for the wedding, prevented the marriage from taking
place for two years, and it is hoped by the Koreans that before two
years they could weaken the Japanese grip on Korea. We all know they
have made a beginning since last March and the suicide did something to
help that along. Now that Japan is advertising political reforms in
Korea she would probably count on that reputation again to cover her
real activities and intentions with the world at large for some time to
come. The Japanese are like the Italian Padrones or other skillful newly
rich; they have learned the western efficiency and in that they are at
least a generation ahead of their neighbors. New knowledge to take
advantage of the old experience which she has moved away from and
understands so well, to make that experience contribute all it has
towards building up and strengthening the new riches of herself. The
excuse is the one of the short and easy road to success though in the
long run it is destructive in its bearings. But a certain physical
efficiency is what Japan surely has and she has made that go a little
further than it really can go. It is just one more evidence of the
failure of the Peace Conference to comprehend the excuses that Wilson is
making for the concessions he has granted to the practical needs, as he
calls them. We are now getting the first echoes from his speeches here.

When I reflect on the changed aspect of our minds and on the facts that
we have become accustomed to gradually since coming here I realize we
have much to explain to you which now seems a matter of course over
here. We discovered from reading an old back number somewhere that an
American traveler had been given the order of the Royal Treasure in
Japan when he was there. This order is said to be bestowed on the
Japanese alone. Before he received it he had made a public speech to the
effect that as China was down and out and needed some protector it was
natural that Japan should be that, as by all historical reasons she was
fitted to be. It appears to be true that the Militarists here who are
causing the trouble for China and who are able to hold the government on
account of foreign support have that idea so far as the "natural" goes.
The great man of China to-day is Hsu, commonly known as Little Hsu,
which is a good nickname in English, Little Shoe. He has never been in
the western hemisphere and he thinks it is better for China to give a
part of her territory to the Japanese who will help them, than to hope
for anything from the other foreigners, who only want to exploit them,
and if once China can get a stable government with the aid of the
Japanese militarists, then after that she can build herself into a
nation. Meantime Little Shoe has gained by a sad fluke in the
legislature the appointment of Military Dictator of Mongolia, and this
means he is given full power to use his army for agricultural and any
other enterprises he may choose. It means, in short, that he is absolute
dictator of all Mongolia which is retained by China and which is
bordered by Eastern Inner Mongolia which Japan controls under the
twenty-one Demands by a ninety-nine-year lease under the same absolute
conditions. These last few days since that act was consummated, nothing
is happening so far as the public knows, and according to friends the
government can go on indefinitely here with no cabinet and no
responsibility to react to the public demands. The bulk of the nation is
against this state of affairs, but with the support of foreigners and
the lack of organization there is nothing to do but stand it and see the
nation sold out to Japan and other grabbers. If you can get at
_Millard's Review_, look at it and read especially the recent act of the
Foreign Council which licensed the press--I mean they passed an Act to
do so. Fortunately the Act is not legal and will not be ratified by the
Chinese Council at Shanghai.

To this house come the officers of the Y. M.C.A. who are on the way home
from Siberia and other places. The stories one hears here are full of
horror and always the same. Our men are too few to accomplish anything
and the whole affair is not any of our business anyway. Anyway the
Canadians have a sense of virtue in getting out of it and going home,
and well they may, say I. The Japanese have had 70,000 there at least
and they may have shipped many more than that, for they have such a
command of the railroads that there is no way of keeping track of them.
I believe the conviction is they are taking in men according to their
own judgment of the case all the time. Everybody agrees that the
Japanese soldiers are hated by all the others and have generally proved
themselves disagreeable, the Chinese being thoroughly liked.

Meantime the dissatisfaction in Japan over rice in particular and food
in general is quite evidently becoming more and more acute. And it is
interesting to read the interviews with Count Ishii which all end up in
the same way, that the fear of bomb-throwers in the United States is
becoming a very serious alarm among all. The Anti-American agitation was
hard for us to understand while we were there, but its meaning is less
obscure now. Will it be effective? Is another world war already
preparing? It is said here that the students were very successful during
the strike in converting soldiers to their ideas. The boys at the High
Normal said they were disappointed when they were let out of jail at the
University because they had not converted more than half the soldiers.
The guards around those boys were changed every four hours.

It is raining most of the time and it is typical of the Chinese
character that my teacher did not come because of the rain. You have to
remember he never takes a 'ricksha, though he might have looked at it
that it was better to pay a man than to lose the lesson. The mud in the
roads here is much like the old days on Long Island before the gravel
was put there, only it is softer and more slippery here, and the water

PEKING, July 17.

We are pleased to learn that the Japanese censor hasn't detained all our
letters, though since you call them incoherent there must be some gaps.
I'm sure we never write anything incoherent if you get it all. The
course of events has been a trifle incoherent if you don't sit up and
hold its hands all the time. Since China didn't sign the peace treaty
things have quite settled down here, however, and the lack of excitement
after living on aerated news for a couple of months is quite a letdown.
However, we live in hopes of revolution or a coup d'état or some other
little incident to liven up the dog days.

You will be pleased to know that the University Chancellor--see letters
of early May--has finally announced that he will return to the
University. It is supposed that the Government has assented to his
conditions, among which is that the police won't interfere with the
students, but will leave discipline to the University authorities. To
resign and run away in order to be coaxed back is an art. It's too bad
Wilson never studied it. The Chinese peace delegates reported back here
that Lloyd George inquired what the twenty-one Demands were, as he had
never heard of them. However, the Chinese hold Balfour as most
responsible. In order to avoid any incoherence I will add that a Chinese
servant informed a small boy in the household of one of our friends here
that the Chinese are much more cleanly than the foreigners, for they
have people come to them to clean their ears and said cleaners go way
down in. This is an unanswerable argument.

I hear your mother downstairs engaged on the fascinating task of trying
to make Chinese tones. I may tell you that there are only four hundred
spoken words in Chinese, all monosyllables. But each one of these is
spoken in a different tone, there being four tones in this part of the
country and increasing as you go south till in Canton there are twelve
or more. In writing there are only 214 radicals, which are then combined
and mixed up in all sorts of ways. My last name here is Du, my given
name is Wei. The Du is made up of two characters, one of which means
tree and the other earth. They are written separately. Then Wei is made
up of some more characters mixed up together, one character for woman
and one for dart, and I don't know what else. Don't ask me how they
decided that earth and tree put together made Du, for I can't tell.

PEKING, July 19.

I met the tutor, the English tutor, of the young Manchu Emperor, the
other day--he has three Chinese tutors besides. He teaches him Math.,
Sciences, etc., besides English, which he has been doing for three
months. It is characteristic of the Chinese that they not only didn't
kill any of the royal family, but they left them one of the palaces in
the Imperial City and an income of four million dollars Mex. a year, and
within this palace the kid who is now thirteen is still Emperor, is
called that, and is waited upon by the eunuch attendants who crawl
before him on their hands and knees. At the same time he is, of course,
practically a prisoner, being allowed to see his father and his younger
brother once a month. Otherwise he has no children to play with at all.
There is some romance left in China after all if you want to let your
imagination play about this scene. The tutors don't kneel, although they
address him as Your Majesty, or whatever it is in Chinese, and they walk
in and he remains standing until the tutor is seated. This is the old
custom, which shows the reverence in which even the old Tartars must
have held education and learning. He has a Chinese garden in which to
walk, but no place to ride or for sports. The tutor is trying to get the
authorities to send him to the country, let him have playmates and
sports, and also abolish the eunuch--but he seems to think they will
more likely abolish him. The kid is quite bright, reads all the
newspapers and is much interested in politics, keeps track of the Paris
Conference, knows about the politicians in all the countries, and in
short knows a good deal more about world politics than most boys of his
age; also he is a good classical Chinese scholar. The Chinese don't seem
to worry at all about the boy's becoming the center of intrigue and
plots, but I imagine they sort of keep him in reserve with the idea that
unless the people want monarchy back he never can do anything, while if
they do let him back it will be the will of heaven.

I am afraid I haven't sufficiently impressed it upon you that this is
the rainy season. It was impressed upon us yesterday afternoon, when the
side street upon which we live was a flowing river a foot and a half
deep. The main street on which the Y. M. C. A. building is situated was
a solid lake from housewall to housewall, though not more than six
inches or so. But the street is considerably wider than Broadway, so it
was something of a sight. Peking has for many hundred years had sewers
big enough for a man to stand up in, but they don't carry fast enough.
Probably about this time you will be reading cables from some part of
China about floods and the number of homeless. The Yellow River is known
as the curse of China, so much damage is done. We were told that when
the missionaries went down to do flood relief work a year or so ago,
they were so busy that they didn't have time to preach, and they did so
much good that when they were through they had to put up the bars to
keep the Chinese from joining the churches en masse. We haven't heard,
however, that they took the hint as to the best way of doing business.
These floods go back largely if not wholly to the policy of the Chinese
in stripping the forests. If you were to see the big coffins they are
buried in and realize the large part of China's scant forests that must
go into coffins you would favor a law that no man could die until he had
planted a tree for his coffin and one extra.

One of our new friends here is quite an important politician, though
quite out of it just now. He told a story last night which tickled the
Chinese greatly. The Japanese minister here haunted the President and
Prime Minister while the peace negotiations were on, and every day on
the strength of what they told him cabled the Tokyo government that the
Chinese delegates were surely going to sign. Now he is in a somewhat
uncomfortable position making explanations to the home government. He
sent a representative after they didn't sign to the above-mentioned
friend to ask him whether the government had been fooling him all the
time. He replied No, but that the Japanese should remember that there
was one power greater than the government, namely, the people, and that
the delegates had obeyed the people. The Japanese will never be able to
make up their minds though whether they were being deliberately deceived
or not. The worst of the whole thing, however, is that even intelligent
Chinese are relying upon war between the United States and Japan, and
when they find out that the United States won't go to war just on
China's account, there will be some kind of a revulsion. But if the
United States had used its power when the war closed to compel
disarmament and get some kind of a just settlement, there would be no
limit to its influence over here. As it is, they infer that the moral is
that Might Controls, and that adds enormously to the moral power of
Japan as against the United States. It is even plainer here than at home
that if the United States wasn't going to see its "ideals" through, it
shouldn't have professed any, but if it did profess them it ought to
have made good on 'em even if we had to fight the whole world. However,
our financial pressure, and the threat of withholding food and raw
materials would have enabled Wilson to put anything over.

Another little incident is connected with the Chancellor of the
University. Although he is not a politician at all, the Militarist party
holds him responsible for their recent trials and the student outbreaks.
So, although it announced that the Chancellor is coming back, the Anfu
Club, the parliamentary organization of the militarists, is still trying
to keep him out. The other night they gave a banquet to some University
students and bribed them to start something. At the end they gave each
one dollar extra for 'ricksha hire the next day, so there would be no
excuse for not going to the meeting at the University. Fifteen turned
up, but the spies on the other side heard something was going on and
they rang the bell, collected about a hundred and locked the bribees in.
Then they kept them in till they confessed the whole story (and put
their names to a written confession) and turned over their resolutions
and mimeographed papers which had been prepared for them in which they
said they were really the majority of the students and did not want the
Chancellor back, and that a noisy minority had imposed on the public,
etc. The next day the Anfu papers told about an awful riot at the
University, and how a certain person had instigated and led it, although
he hadn't been at the University at all that day.

PEKING, July 24.

We expect to go to Manchuria, probably in September, and in October to
Shansi, which is quite celebrated now because they have a civil governor
who properly devotes himself to his job, and they are said to have sixty
per cent or more of the children in school and to be prepared for
compulsory education in 1920. It is the ease with which the Chinese do
these things without any foreign assistance which makes you feel so
hopeful for China on the one hand, and so disgusted on the other that
they put up so patiently with inefficiency and graft most of the time.
There seems to be a general impression that the present situation cannot
continue indefinitely, but must take a turn one way or another. The
student agitation has died down as an active political thing but
continues intellectually. In Tientsin, for example, they publish several
daily newspapers which sell for a copper apiece. A number of students
have been arrested in Shantung lately by the Japanese, so I suppose the
students are actively busy there. I fancy that when vacation began there
was quite an exodus in that direction.

I am told that X----, our Japanese friend, is much disgusted with the
Chinese about the Shantung business--that Japan has promised to return
Shantung, etc., and that Japan can't do it until China gets a stable
government to take care of things, because their present governments are
so weak that China would simply give away her territory to some other
power, and that the Chinese instead of attacking the Japanese ought to
mind their own business and set their own house in order. There is
enough truth in this so that it isn't surprising that so intelligent and
liberal a person as X---- is taken in by it. But what such Japanese as
he cannot realize, because the truth is never told to them, is how
responsible the Japanese government is for fostering a weak and
unrepresentative government here, and what a temptation to it a weak and
divided China will continue to be, for it will serve indefinitely as an
excuse for postponing the return of Shantung--as well as for interfering
elsewhere. Anyone who knows the least thing about not only general
disturbances in China but special causes of friction between China and
Japan, can foresee that there will continue to be a series of plausible
excuses for postponing the return promised--and anyway, as a matter of
fact, what she has actually promised to return compared with the rights
she would keep in her possession amount to little or nothing. Just this
last week there was a clash in Manchuria and fifteen or twenty Japanese
soldiers are reported killed by Chinese--there will always be incidents
of that kind which will have to be settled first. If the other countries
would only surrender their special concessions to the keeping of an
international guarantee, they could force the hand of Japan, but I can't
see Great Britain giving up Hong Kong. On the whole, however, Great
Britain, next to us, and barring the opium business, has been the most
decent of all the great powers in dealing with China. I started out with
a prejudice to the contrary, and have been surprised to learn how little
grabbing England has actually done here. Of course, India is the only
thing she really cares about and her whole policy here is controlled by
that consideration, with such incidental trade advantages as she can
pick up.

(Later) July 27.

I think I wrote a while back about a little kid five years old or so who
walked up the middle aisle at one of my lectures and stood for about
fifteen minutes quite close to me, gazing at me most seriously and also
wholly unembarrassed. Night before last we went to a Chinese restaurant
for dinner, under the guardianship of a friend here. A little boy came
into our coop and began most earnestly addressing me in Chinese. Out
friend found out that he was asking me if I knew his third uncle. He was
the kid of the lecture who had recognized me as the lecturer, and whose
third uncle is now studying at Columbia. If you meet Mr. T----
congratulate him for me on his third nephew. The boy made us several
calls during the evening, all equally serious and unconstrained. At one
he asked me for my card, which he carefully wrapped up in ceremonial
paper. The restaurant is near a lotus pond and they are now in their
fullest bloom. I won't describe them beyond saying that the lotus is the
lotus and advising you to come out next summer and see them.

PEKING, August 4.

I went to Tientsin to an educational conference for two days last week.
It was called by the Commissioner of this Province for all the
principals of the higher schools to discuss the questions connected with
the opening of the schools in the fall. Most of the heads of schools are
very conservative and were much opposed to the students' strikes, and
also to the students' participation in politics. They are very nervous
and timorous about the opening of the schools, for they think that the
students after engaging in politics all summer won't lend themselves
readily to school discipline--their high schools, etc., are all boarding
schools--and will want to run the schools after having run the
government for several months. The liberal minority, while they want the
students to settle down to school work, think that the students'
experiences will have been of great educational value and that they will
come back with a new social viewpoint, and the teaching ought to be
changed--and also the methods of school discipline--to meet the new

I had a wonderful Chinese lunch at a private high school one day there.
The school was started about fifteen years ago in a private house with
six pupils; now they have twenty acres of land, eleven hundred pupils,
and are putting up a first college building to open a freshman class of
a hundred this fall--it's of high school grade now, all Chinese support
and management, and non-missionary or Christian, although the principal
is an active Christian and thinks Christ's teachings the only salvation
for China. The chief patron is a non-English speaking, non-Christian
scholar of the old type--but with modern ideas. The principal said that
when three of them two years ago went around the world on an educational
trip, this old scholar among them, the United States Government gave
them a special secret service detective from New York to San Francisco,
and this man was so impressed with the old Chinese gentleman that he
said: "What kind of education can produce such a man as that, the finest
gentleman I ever saw. You western educated gentlemen are spoiled in
comparison with him." They certainly have the world beat in courtesy of
manners--as much politeness as the Japanese but with much less manner,
so it seems more natural. However, this type is not very common. I asked
the principal what the effect of the missionary teaching was on the
Chinese passivity and non-resistance. He said it differed very much as
between Americans and English and among Americans between the older and
the younger lot. The latter, especially the Y. M. C. A., have given up
the non-interventionalist point of view and take the ground that
Christianity ought to change social conditions. The Y. M. C. A. is, he
says, a group of social workers rather than of missionaries in the
old-fashioned sense--all of which is quite encouraging. Perhaps the
Chinese will be the ones to rejuvenate Christianity by dropping its rot,
wet and dry, and changing it into a social religion. The principal is a
Teachers College man and one of the most influential educators in China.
He speaks largely in picturesque metaphor, and I'm sorry I can't
remember what he said. Among other things, in speaking of the energy of
the Japanese and the inertia of the Chinese, he said the former were
mercury, affected by every change about them, and the latter cotton wool
that the heat didn't warm and cold didn't freeze. He confirmed my
growing idea, however, that the conservatism of the Chinese was much
more intellectual and deliberate, and less mere routine clinging to
custom, than I used to suppose. Consequently, when their ideas do
change, the people will change more thoroughly, more all the way
through, than the Japanese.

It seems that the present acting Minister of Education was allowed to
take office under three conditions--that he should dissolve the
University, prevent the Chancellor from returning, and dismiss all the
present heads of the higher schools here. He hasn't been able, of
course, to accomplish one, and the Anfu Club is correspondingly sore. He
is said to be a slick politician, and when he has been at dinner with
our liberal friends he tells them how even he is calumniated--people say
that he is a member of the Anfu Club.

I struck another side of China on my way home from Tientsin. I was
introduced to an ex-Minister of Finance as my traveling companion. He is
a Ph.D. in higher math. from America, and is a most intelligent man. But
his theme of conversation was the need of a scientific investigation of
spirits and spirit possession and divination, etc., in order to decide
scientifically the existence of the soul and an overruling mind.
Incidentally he told a fine lot of Chinese ghost stories. Aside from the
coloring of the tales I don't know that there was anything especially
Chinese about them. He certainly is much more intelligent about it than
some of our American spiritualists. But the ghosts were certainly
Chinese all right--spirit possession mostly. I suppose you know that the
walls that stand in front of the better-to-do Chinese houses are there
to keep spirits out--the spirits can't turn a corner, so when the wall
is squarely in front of the location of the front door the house is
safe. Otherwise they come in and take possession of somebody--if they
aren't comfortable as they are. It seems there is quite a group of
ex-politicians in Tientsin who are much interested in psychical
research. Considering that China is the aboriginal home of ghosts, I
can't see why the western investigators don't start their research here.
These educated Chinese aren't credulous, so there is nothing crude about
their ghost stories.

Transcriber's Note

Typographical errors in English were corrected. Spellings of
non-English words were left as found.

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