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- UNBEATEN TRACKS IN JAPAN - 58/58 -


{19} I went over them with the Ainos of a remote village on Volcano Bay, and found the differences in pronunciation very slight, except that the definiteness of the sound which I have represented by Tsch was more strongly marked. I afterwards went over them with Mr. Dening, and with Mr. Von Siebold at Tokiyo, who have made a larger collection of words than I have, and it is satisfactory to find that we have represented the words in the main by the same letters, with the single exception that usually the sound represented by them by the letters ch I have given as Tsch, and I venture to think that is the most correct rendering.

{20} I have not been able to obtain from any botanist the name of the tree from the bark of which the thread is made, but suppose it to be a species of Tiliaceae.

{21} Yoshitsune is the most popular hero of Japanese history, and the special favourite of boys. He was the brother of Yoritomo, who was appointed by the Mikado in 1192 Sei-i Tai Shogun (barbarian- subjugating great general) for his victories, and was the first of that series of great Shoguns whom our European notions distorted into "Temporal Emperors" of Japan. Yoshitsune, to whom the real honour of these victories belonged, became the object of the jealousy and hatred of his brother, and was hunted from province to province, till, according to popular belief, he committed hara- kiri, after killing his wife and children, and his head, preserved in sake, was sent to his brother at Kamakura. Scholars, however, are not agreed as to the manner, period, or scene of his death. Many believe that he escaped to Yezo and lived among the Ainos for many years, dying among them at the close of the twelfth century. None believe this more firmly than the Ainos themselves, who assert that he taught their fathers the arts of civilisation, with letters and numbers, and gave them righteous laws, and he is worshipped by many of them under a name which signifies Master of the Law. I have been told by old men in Biratori, Usu, and Lebunge, that a later Japanese conqueror carried away the books in which the arts were written, and that since his time the arts themselves have been lost, and the Ainos have fallen into their present condition! On asking why the Ainos do not make vessels of iron and clay as well as knives and spears, the invariable answer is, "The Japanese took away the books."

{22} The duty paid by junks is 4s. for each twenty-five tons, by foreign ships of foreign shape and rig 2 pounds for each 100 tons, and by steamers 3 pounds for each 100 tons.

{23} The following very inaccurate but entertaining account of this expedition was given by the Yomi-uri-Shimbun, a daily newspaper with the largest, though not the most aristocratic, circulation in Tokiyo, being taken in by the servants and tradespeople. It is a literal translation made by Mr. Chamberlain. "The person mentioned in our yesterday's issue as 'an English subject of the name of Bird' is a lady from Scotland, a part of England. This lady spends her time in travelling, leaving this year the two American continents for a passing visit to the Sandwich Islands, and landing in Japan early in the month of May. She has toured all over the country, and even made a five months' stay in the Hokkaido, investigating the local customs and productions. Her inspection yesterday of the cremation ground at Kirigaya is believed to have been prompted by a knowledge of the advantages of this method of disposing of the dead, and a desire to introduce the same into England(!) On account of this lady's being so learned as to have published a quantity of books, His Excellency the Governor was pleased to see her yesterday, and to show her great civility, sending her to Kirigaya in his own carriage, a mark of attention which is said to have pleased the lady much(!)"


UNBEATEN TRACKS IN JAPAN - 58/58

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