The Project Gutenberg EBook of Letters from China and Japan, by 
John Dewey and Alice Chipman Dewey

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Title: Letters from China and Japan

Author: John Dewey
        Alice Chipman Dewey

Editor: Evelyn Dewey

Release Date: January 22, 2010 [EBook #31043]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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Professor of Philosophy in Columbia University


Edited by

681 Fifth Avenue



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 States.

 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.

New York,
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, madame.”

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 here.

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 peddler.

 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 cathedral.

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 desirable.

 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 foreigner.

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 this.

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 wanted.”

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 there.

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 now.

 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 country.

 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 paintings.

 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 equality.

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 depicted.

 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 dress.

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 car.

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.”

 Shanghai, May 1.

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.

 Shanghai, May 2.

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.

 Shanghai, May 3.

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.

 Shanghai, May 4.

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 middle.

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 go.

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.

 Shanghai, May 13.

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 work.

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 officials.

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 time.

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 it.

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 previously.

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 University.

 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 import.

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 here.

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 sort.

 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 Virtues.

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 upheaval.

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 stands.

 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 situation.

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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