Schulers Books Online
books - games - software - wallpaper - everything
- The Log of the Empire State - 3/9 -
Everyone started borrowing clothes from everyone else, right after breakfast, the day of the masquerade. P. J. Lyon made a very gay girl, C. R. Reed went as Woodrow Wilson, A. I. Esberg as a Chinese, C. B. Lastrete as a bandit, Margarete Rice as Cleopatra, Mrs. Bruce Foulkes as a beautiful Spanish senorita, Constant Meese, W. Levintritt, F. W. Boole and C. H. Matlage as "Four Dainty Kewpies," Edward C. Wagner as an oiler, and Carl Westerfeld was a regular devil.
Of course, Mrs. A. Gee, Mrs. A. B. Luther, Mrs. Washburn, Mrs. Wheeler, Mrs. Boole, Mrs. Wood, Mrs. Shannon and Mrs. Grady looked charming, as usual. The Misses Bridge, Miss Kinslow, Miss Neff and Miss Bell also looked attractive. Dr. Gates, Dr. Judell, Miss Simon, Mrs. Rothenberg, Mrs. Denson, Mrs. Dunn, Mrs. Yates, the Misses Hunter, Mrs. Barnard, Miss James, Mrs. Ross, A. W. Morton, Jr., and Mrs. Krull went to such a lot of trouble to get up their interesting costumes. Henry S. Bridge had, "a fine make-up" and looked like a real Southern Negro. Pretty Miss Howlett and Miss Wood always made one think of the posters of "Sweet Sixteen."
Warren Shannon's Entertainment committee, assisted by Miss Moore, Miss Craig, Mrs. Bercovich and Mrs. Panter, certainly discovered the talent on board and we will always be grateful for the sweet singing of charming Mrs. Gale, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Schwartz and Miss Reed and the playing of Miss Moore, Mrs. Alexander and of our talented "Mary."
If anyone felt a bit out of sorts all they had to do was to think of the courage and sweet, uncomplaining manner of Mrs. Morrison or what good sailors Mrs. Anna R. Luther and Miss Louise Elliott were trying to be.
Columbus never strained his eyes more eagerly to see land than the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce representatives did, when someone said that the dim outline of Fujiyama might be visible above the hazy shore that looked as much like clouds as land.
All the men of the party were so busy with their field glasses, admiring Yokohoma Harbor's wonderful fortifications, that they did not even hear the women question what sort of a dress would be suitable for the coming grand reception, and yet, at the same time withstand sight-seeing in the dust of the streets. Even Mary Garden on her opening night did not receive such rapt attention as did this harbor.
As we looked down over the huge side of the Empire State upon the turmoil of humanity, baggage and freight and the uneven street beyond, we gave thanks to the Baptist missionary, who is credited with making an old baby carriage into the first rickshaw, for the convenience of his sick wife. When we saw the little brown men actually run away with our most corpulent representatives, without any apparent effort, we forgot all about "Man's inhumanity to man" and no baby ever enjoyed its first perambulator outing more than our party.
First, we swooped down upon the banks to change our money, but the yen and sen counted out to us seemed as valueless as stage money. However, we grew to respect it, after visiting Benton Dori and departing with elaborate kimonos that the shrewd businessmen and women of the party would have passed by as being too expensive, at home.
It was great fun after being extravagant to figure out that a yen is only a little over half as much as one of our dollars and that one had only spent half as much as one thought.
Our party met the ladies (some of them American college graduates) and gentlemen of the Yokohama Chamber of Commerce at a big reception in a theatre. The governor, through his interpreter, said that our arrival was on the first sunny day they had had in some time, that the chrysanthemums were just blooming, and that this was a good omen, for the war clouds had vanished. Geisha girls danced while singing a specially composed chant of welcome, and an elaborate luncheon was served in an adjoining hall. A. I. Esberg and F. R. Eldridge answered the welcome saying, "That we hoped to establish much more friendly and permanent relationship with the people of Japan."
Most of the party had the inevitable tea in the foreign settlement, known as the Bluff. Most of these houses are of the vintage of fifty years ago and range in rental from $125 to $150, unfurnished, the tenant having to install his own plumbing if he wishes such a luxury. We wanted to know why some better arrangement was not made and were reminded of the law that does not permit of any foreign ownership of land.
Louis Mooser, former head of the San Francisco Real Estate Board, was much interested in the situation. It seems that about one-seventh of the small area available for foreigners was under perpetual lease to the Germans and we were told that when war broke out it was taken over by the Japanese, who only allowed their own race to buy, and all rents were immediately raised.
It was said that instead of complaining about how little land Japan was allowed in the United States, it would be fairer to give Americans in Japan the same privileges that she enjoys in some of our states.
Americans in Yokohoma say that the Japanese law drafted to relieve this situation and often proudly referred to by Japanese diplomats, has never really been passed and therefore has no value. They add that if old Marquis Okuma had more peace-craving followers and the lawmakers were responsible to the people instead of the Emperor, for whom they are said to act, differences between the United States and Japan could be more quickly and completely settled.
To board a train after our long sea-trip was a delightful change. After passing through quaint villages, rice fields, and interesting garden patches we arrived at Tokyo in time for the ambassador's reception. The moment one talks to Charles Warren, in charge of our American Embassy in Japan, one feels that our Japanese problems are in very conservative and capable hands.
Between receptions, we visited many quaint and beautiful temples. At one we were so hospitably received, served with tea and dainty rice cakes made with a special emblem upon them for the occasion that we forgot to grumble about being made to remove our shoes. Only a few of the party remembered the Japanese custom of removing the outer foot-gear, when entering their temples, and came prepared with easily removed pumps. They had a good laugh at the row of dignified, badge-bedecked representatives, solemnly lacing up their shoes, while sitting on the stoop about a foot from the ground, with the blazing sun upon them.
When we talked to some of the American residents in Japan, they all got on the old familiar subject, the high cost of living, but they seem to agree that it cost just twice as much to live in Japan as any other place in the world. It seems that without considering the high rent, an amah (a sort of maid who will do only certain duties), a house boy (who is anywhere from twelve to sixty years old), and a cook (who gets a commission on everything you buy) must be kept, even in the simplest of homes. Those accustomed to one servant in America usually find it necessary to have from three to six in Japan. Of course their wages are less than in the United States, but food is very high. Rice, for instance, was twenty percent higher than in America. Inferior coal was twenty-two fifty a ton, and the high ceilinged, furnace less houses require a great deal of coal and wood in winter. Very few Americans use the jammed street cars. Automobiles are very expensive to maintain, not only on account of the rough streets, but the licenses are very high. One of our party hired a rick-shaw for twenty minutes and paid a yen (about fifty cents), so residents usually find it more economical to keep their own rick-shaws and coolies.
Certainly the Japanese are past masters in entertaining. No wonder it is said that some of our former diplomats were so much influenced by their lavish entertainment's that they lost their heads. The Chamber of Commerce of Tokyo greeted our Chamber of Commerce representatives at an elaborate theatre party. An especially staged Japanese drama, followed by a comedy, with a sumptuous dinner between the acts, was only a part of the entertainment. A. I. Esberg and Byron Mauzy answered the banzis, of the oldest merchant in Japan, Baron Okura, with three rousing cheers for the Japanese, after the formal addresses had been made.
Everywhere we were met with politeness and courtesy. To the casual observer the military element is not noticeable in the home life of the common people, as they are rapt in their work, very industrious and get their pleasure talking to their ever present babies, or tending some little plants, even if squalor surrounds them. But the word of the ones higher up is absolute law to them. Discipline is supreme from the time the small boy is taught the "Goose Step," preparatory to his military training, until he obediently marries the girl his parents have selected for him. He does what he is told without a murmur, as does his wife who is his absolute slave.
One understands why some call Japan the Germany of the East, which country, some of our delegates were told by foreign residents, Japan greatly admires. It is said that her people were more than surprised and disappointed when the armistice was signed; as the Japanese press was so well censored it gave no indication that Germany could be defeated.
After a day of sight-seeing, and investigating various trade conditions, our party found the rickshaw ride back to the hotel, at dusk, most interesting and quite exciting, if one has not become accustomed to the rule of turning to the left instead of the right, as we do at home. Packed street cars, automobiles, carts piled high with incredible loads pulled by coolies, a girder being dragged by a scrawny horse led by a seemingly tireless, whip-equipped native, all apparently were about to collide with our rick-shaw party. We seemed to be always in the way and always on the wrong side of the street. We remembered with a shudder, that the Japanese believe it noble to die, and seemingly, they were going to drag us to destruction with them. We tried to get them to go slower but could not think of the Japanese words, so we might just as well have tried to stop the North wind, as to have changed the orders given by our interpreter to the coolies.
We did not know that when we boarded the special train chartered by the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce to take the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce representatives to inspect the silk filatures, that a delightful luncheon, or as it is called there, "Tiffin," was awaiting us under the trees.
Although the heat was oppressive, it was surprising to see how ceaselessly, and apparently without pain, little girls from twelve years up, kept five cocoons unrolling at once, in boiling water, in order to make a single thread of silk. We were told that these girls worked from twelve to fourteen hours a day, for which they receive forty cents a day
Previous Page Next Page
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Schulers Books Online
books - games - software - wallpaper - everything