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Events are now in progress which clearly indicate that 
the energetic, intelligent, and in many respects interesting 
nation which people the islands of Japan — the Englishmen 
of Asia, as they have not inaptly been termed — will not be 
allowed to remain much longer in the isolated position 
which they have preserved for the last two centuries. The 
rapid settling of the northwestern portion of the American 
continent by the enterprising inhabitants of this country, 
must lead in the natural course of events to a speedy ex- 
tension of the intercourse of Europeans and their descend- 
ants with the countries of Eastern Asia, among which 
Japan, in consequence of its prominent insular position, the 
abundance, variety, and desirableness of its natural produc- 
tions, and the industry and ingenuity of its inhabitants, 
holds a most important rank. To the gradual but sure 
operations of this cause are to be added the efforts which 
are continually repeated from time to time by various 
nations to open an intercourse with the Japanese, dictated 
chiefly by commercial rivalry, and partly by scientific curi- 
osity and missionary zeal. 

The efforts of Americans in this behalf, in which we are 
most interested, have already assumed, during the last few 
years, a considerable degree of prominence; but before 
giving an account of them, it may be well to sketch very 
briefly, by way of introduction, the principal events attend- 
ing the connexion of Europeans with Japan. 

In the year 1542, the accidental discovery of Mendez 
Pinto laid Japan open to the Portuguese, who immediately 
began a commercial intercourse with that country. This 
led to the speedy introduction of the Jesuits, headed by the 
enthusiastic Xavier, who had great success in the so-called 
work of conversion. 


In 1580, Spain and Portugal were united under one 
crown, which resulted in the introdiiction of Spanish mer- 
chants and missionaries into Japan, along with the Por- 
tuguese. Mutual jealousies, intrigues, and accusations were 
the consequence ; which, with the insolent conduct of the 
new comers, and above all the interference of the priests in 
the political convulsions which agitated the country at the 
close of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the 
eighteenth, produced a gradual mistrust and dislike of the 
Eoman Catholics, and of the Spaniards in particular, in the 
minds of the ruling powers. These feelings were heighten- 
ed by the representations of the Dutch, who, having escaped 
from the bloody domination of Spain, extended their com- 
mercial speculations to Japan, and established a factory on 
the island of Firando in 1609 ; in which representations it 
is supposed they were joined by their fellow-protestants the 
English, who established themselves at the same place in 
1613. After partial persecutions, an edict was issued in 
January, 1614, for the demolition of the Catholic churches, 
and the banishment of the priests. 

In 1623, the English East India Company, finding their 
establishment at Firando a losing concern, abandoned it; 
and all subsequent attempts on their part to reopen the trade 
proved unavailing. In 1624, the Spaniards were banished 
forever, and the ports of Japan were closed against Europe- 
ans, with the exception of Nagasaki for the Portuguese, and 
Firando for the Dutch. Severer restrictions were also laid 
upon the Chinese and Corean traders. 

In 1635, the Portuguese were confined to the artificial 
islet of Desima, constructed in front of the town of Naga- 
saki, to the great joy of their rivals, the Dutch. The arma- 
ments of their ships were now taken away while they were 
in port, and no one was allowed to speak to a native on 
religion, or to walk into the city without a guard. The fol- 
lowing year was marked by the introduction of the famous 
ceremony of trampling on the cross. In 1637, the Portu- 
guese with their priests were banished forever and forbidden 
to return ; and after a series of bloody persecutions, and a 
battle in which the Dutch lent their aid to the government, 
Christianity, such as it was, was completely extinguished 
in Japan, — another proof added to those already on record 
that persecution, to effect its object, need only be sufficiently 


In 1640, the suspicions of the Japanese against all for- 
eigners, and especially all Christians, to which their recent 
experience had given birth, caused them to consign the 
Dutch to the prison of Desima, just emptied by the expul- 
sion of the Portuguese. To this the Dutch submitted with 
a good grace, as they were now left in sole possession of the 
European traffic with Japan ; and since that time, as is well 
known, their monopoly has never been disturbed. It is to 
the superintendants and physicians of the Dutch factory at 
Desima, to Kaempfer, Thunberg, Titsingh, Meylan, Fischer, 
Doeff, and Yon Siebold, that we owe nearly all our reliable 
knowledge of Japan for the past two hundred years. The 
annals of this factory, and the accounts of the host of hard- 
ships and annoyances to which its members are fain to sub- 
mit for the sake of commercial advantages, at one time of 
great magnitude, though now insignificant, form a most 
curious chapter of history, which cannot be dwelt upon 

The English have continued at intervals, down to the 
present day, their attempts to regain the footing in Japan 
which they soon saw they had too hastily relinquished. 
Their ships have been treated with varying degrees of hos- 
tility or kindness, at different times ; but the result has uni- 
formly been failure, hitherto. The attempts of the Eussians 
and Americans to open a communication date only from 
the close of the last century, and they have not as yet been 
more fortunate. The promised account of the most recent 
and important visits made by American vessels will now 
be given. 

In July, 1837, the ship Morrison, Capt. D. Ingersoll, was 
despatched by Messrs. Olyphant & Co., an American mer- 
cantile house at Macao, to return seven shipwrecked Japanese 
who had been residing there several months, and to make use 
of the opportunity, which it was hoped might thus be afforded, 
of producing upon the Japanese government a more favora- 
ble impression of the character of foreigners, and perhaps of 
inducing them to relax their anti-social policy. " In order to 
take advantage of any opening, a small assortment of cloths 
was put on board, and a great variety of patterns of different 
cotton and woollen fabrics, which, from their adaptation to 
a temperate climate, were calculated to attract the attention 
of the Japanese, and induce them to trade. A list of pre- 


sents was added, consisting of a pair of globes, a telescope, 
a barometer, a collection of American coins, ' some books, 
and a few paintings, among which was a portrait of "Wash- 
ington. Documents explanatory of our object were drawn 
up in Chinese ; one of which stated the names and residence 
of the seven men, and a few notices of their adventures ; 
and another gave a short account of America, its commercial 
policy, that it possessed no colonies, and that the men were 
returned in a vessel of the country where they were wreck- 
ed ; and a third gave a list of the presents, together with 
the proposition, that, if it met the approbation of the court, 
one of the party would remain in the country, to teach the 
meaning of the books. Dr. Parker accompanied the expe- 
dition, provided with a stock of medicines and instruments, 
and a number of anatomical plates and paintings, which he 
thought would attract the notice of a people who hold the 
healing art in high estimation. He was also furnished with 
a paper stating his profession, and his willingness to practice 
gratuitously on all who had diseases."* Mr. S. Wells Wil- 
liams and the Eev. Charles Gutzlaff were also on board. 
After an interesting visit to the islands of Lew-Chew, they 
anchored, on the 30th of July, in the Bay of Yedo. No in- 
tercourse however was permitted. On the following day, a 
brisk fire was opened upon the ship from the shore, and they 
were obliged to leave in haste. Another attempt made in 
the Bay of Kagosima met with a similar repulse : so that the 
vessel was compelled to return, bringing back the ship- 
wrecked men with her ; for after the attention these latter 
had excited, they dared not land in a secret manner, for 
fear of condign punishment by the authorities. f 

The visit of the whaler Manhattan of Sag Harbor, Capt. 
M. Cooper, in 1845, was on a similar errand. In the month 
of April, as Captain Cooper was proceeding towards the 
whaling regions of the Northern Ocean, he touched at the 
barren island of St. Peters, a few degrees to the South-East of 

* Chinese Repository, vol. vi. p. 210. 

f A full account of the voyage of the Morrison, in addition to that in the 
Repository, is given in The Claims of Japan and Malaysia upon Christendom 
exhibited in Voyages made in 1837, etc. By C. W. King and G. T. Lay. 2 vols. 
Few York. 1839. The reader who wishes for a fuller narrative of the inter- 
course of Europeans with Japan than that given above, will find one well 
drawn up in the first volume of this work. 


Niphon to look for turtle. He found on it eleven Japanese, 
who had been shipwrecked there some months before. 
Captain Cooper immediately formed the humane and patri- 
otic design of proceeding at once to Yedo, in order to re- 
store the shipwrecked men to their homes, and to make a 
strong and favorable impression on the government as to the 
civilization of the United States, and its friendly disposition 
towards the emperor and people of Japan ; and while on his 
way he picked up eleven more men from a junk in a sinking 
condition. Captain Cooper was treated more civilly than his 
predecessor had been. Instead of being kept in the lower 
bay, and fired upon to make him hasten his departure, his 
vessel was towed up within a furlong of the capital, and the 
shipwrecked men were allowed to land. But neither the 
captain nor the crew of the Manhattan were allowed to go 
over the ship's sides. A triple cordon of boats kept the 
strictest watch over her, day and night. They were recruit- 
ed with every thing of which they stood in need, and all re- 
muneration was refused ; but they were told in the most ex- 
plicit terms never to come again, on any pretence, to Japan.* 
The next visit was that of the Columbus and Vincennes, 
under Commodore James Biddle, in 1846, made conform- 
ably to instructions received from Secretary Bancroft. The 
Commodore judged it most advisable to proceed at once to 
the Bay of Yedo, where the vessels arrived on the 20th of 
July. Before anchoring, they were boarded by an officer 
with a Dutch interpreter, to whom the Commodore stated 
that the object of his visit was "to ascertain whether Japan 
had, like China, opened her ports to foreign trade, and if she 
had, to fix by treaty the conditions on which American 
vessels should trade with Japan." Copies in Chinese of the 
French, English, and American treaties with China, were 
produced for the officer's acceptance ; but he declined receiv- 
ing them. The usual cordon of boats was established 
about the ships, and no one on board of them was allowed 
to go on shore. It was not till the 27th that an officer with 
a suite of eight persons came on board with the emperor's 
answer. It was to the effect that, according to the laws of 
the country, the Japanese were not allowed to trade with 
any but the Dutch and Chinese ; and that consequently no 

* See Chinese Repository, vol. xv. pp. 172-199. 

VOL. II. 5 


treaty could be made with Americans. Every thing con- 
cerning foreign countries, they were told, was arranged at 
Nagasaki, and not there in the Bay. And, finally, they 
must depart as quickly as possible, and not come any more 
to Japan. 

"I stated to the officer, (says Commodore Biddle in his 
despatch,) that the United States wished to make a treaty of 
commerce with Japan, but not unless Japan also wished a 
treaty ; that I came there for information on this subject ; 
and having now ascertained that Japan is not yet prepared 
to open her ports to foreign trade, I should sail the next 
day, if weather permitted." The ships accordingly took 
their departure on the 29th.* 

In June, 1848, fifteen men deserted in three boats from 
the whale-ship Ladoga, on account of bad usage. These 
men were taken into custody by the Japanese authorities, 
and were treated in very much the same manner as Go- 
lownin and his companions were. About a month after 
this event, a solitary individual threw himself on the coast of 
Japan, for the express purpose of obtaining a knowledge of 
the country and its language by a residence there. The 
young man who ventured on this hazardous enterprise was 
the son of Archibald McDonald, Esq., formerly in the em- 
ploy of the Hudson Bay Company, at Port Colville, Colum- 
bia. He made an agreement with Captain Edwards, of the 
whaleship Plymouth, of Sag Harbor, to be left in a boat off 
the coast ; and he effected the landing in safety on the 2d of 
July. He likewise was placed under surveillance ; although 
his treatment, in consequence no doubt of his more prudent 
conduct, was better than that experienced by the men from 
the Ladoga. 

On the 12th of February, 1849, the United States sloop 
of war Preble, Commander James Glynn, left Hong Kong 
for Nagasaki, for the purpose of rescuing these men, and 
returned on the 20th of May, with the thirteen survivors of 
the Ladoga's crew, and Mr. McDonald, f By a letter from 
Mr. S. W. Williams to John P. Bartlett, Esq., published in 
the Providence Journal, in September, 1849, we are informed 
that Commander Glynrr intends to recommend to the Presi- 

* Giles's National Register for March 20, 1847. 
f See Ghinese Repository, vol. xviii. No. 7. 


dent to make a naval station at Lew-Chew. It is considered 
that the presence of a ship of war at Napa would necessarily 
impel the Japanese government to notice such an infringe- 
ment of their territory. This would lead to a request on the 
part of the Captain at the station to know the exact author- 
ity which that government held over Lew-Chew, and what 
right they had to order him off; since the Chinese claim 
equal power over it, and Lew-Chew could not well belong to 
both. It is easy to imagine how these negotiations would 
open opportunities for future intercourse. 

The best and most unanswerable argument in favor of 
using every righteous means for opening a regular inter- 
course between this country and Japan, as speedily as pos- 
sible, is drawn from the fact that the vessels of the two 
nations frequent the same seas, and tr±at consequently the 
accidents of navigation will often call for the exercise of 
benevolence on the part of both. The Japanese junks, owing 
to their imperfect construction, are often wrecked; and 
scarcely a year passes in which we do not read accounts of 
the rescuing of their crews, and their restoration to their 
native land, through the intervention of Americans. Such 
conduct deserves a better return than has been experienced 
by those Americans who have been cast upon the hospital- 
ity of the Japanese. Food and shelter, it is true, have been 
given them, and they have at last been allowed to depart ; 
but the long and rigid confinement, the ceaseless question- 
ing and watching, and the thousand other humiliations, 
annoyances, and privations, occasioned by the suspicions of 
their hosts as to the objects which may have brought the 
foreigners into their country, conspire to produce the at- 
tempt to escape, which is sure to end in recapture and addi- 
tional severity. It has been conjectured, and not without 
considerable probability, that this harshness may be in part 
a retaliation for offences committed by American whalers. 
It is difficult otherwise to account for the barbarous treat- 
ment experienced by the Lawrence, Capt. Baker, of Pough* 
keepsie, which was wrecked near the Kurile islands, in 
May, 1846, only a year after Captain Cooper restored the 
twenty-two Japanese to their homes.* 

* See Memoir Geographical, Political, and Commercial, addressed to J. K, 
Polk, President of the United States. By A. H. Palmer, 


The interests of humanity, then, demand that no efforts 
be spared to open and sustain a friendly communication 
between the governments of the United States and Japan, 
in order that improper conduct on the part of the seamen 
of one country, or the officials of the other, may be promptly 
made known and punished; and when this object shall 
have been secured, many solid advantages to both nations 
will necessarily ensue.* 

A very different, but not less important, means of becom- 
ing acquainted with this singular nation, are the attempts 
now making to obtain an accurate knowledge of their lan- 
guage, which, ever since the expulsion of the Portuguese, 
has been monopolized, like the trade, by the Dutch employes 
at Desima. One of the most successful of the few scholars 
who have as yet devoted themselves to this branch of study, 
is our distinguished fellow- member, Mr. S. Wells Williams, 
of Canton. Another is the celebrated missionary and lin- 
guist, the Eev. Charles Gutzlaff, They both accompanied 
the Morrison in her expedition to Japan; and both have 
made diligent use of the shipwrecked seamen, and such 
other means as they could command, to acquire a practical 
knowledge of this difficult tongue. The deep interest which 
Mr. Williams feels in every thing that can throw light on 
the condition of Japan, and the best mode of obtaining 
access to it, is shown by the number of articles on the sub- 
ject inserted in the Chinese Repository, with which he has 
been connected for many years, and which, consequently, 
is the most complete and authentic source of information 
respecting that country, especially as regards recent events, 
that exists in our language. The ninth volume contains a 
translation by Mr. Williams of a curious Japanese treatise 
on the smelting of copper ; and in the tenth volume he has 
inserted some valuable notes on Japanese orthoepy and 
orthography. He also had a fount of types cut in the sim- 
plest or katakana character, in the city of New York, when 
he revisited his native country in 1847. 

Another scholar who has devoted himself with wonder- 
ful perseverance and success to the study of the Japanese, 

* These are well stated in a Letter to the Hon. John M. Clayton, Secretary 
of State, enclosing a Paper geographical, political, and commercial, on the In- 
dependent Oriental Nations ; and containing a Plan for opening, extending, 
and protecting American Commerce in the East. By Aaron H. Palmer. 
Washington, 1849. 


Is Dr. August Pfizmaiee, of Vienna ; of whom I wish to 
speak more particularly. An interesting sketch of the career 
of this persevering genius is given in the Athenaeum for 
April 25, 1846, from which I will extract a few particulars. 
Dr. Pflzmaier is the son of an innkeper of Carlsbad, in 
which city he was born in 1808. At the age of nineteen, 
his passion for linguistic study had enabled him to master 
the principal languages of Europe, and then he set about 
acquiring those of the East. He began with the Turkish, 
from which he proceeded to the Arabic and Coptic. In 
1839, he published a translation of the Turkish poems of 
Lamy; and in 1847, a Turkish Grammar, written in French. 
But for some years past, his attention appears to have been 
mainly devoted to the languages of Eastern Asia, the Chi- 
nese, Manchoo, and Japanese. The following letter, address- 
ed by Pflzmaier to the writer of the article in the Athenaeum, 
shows what had been the result of his Japanese studies, up 
to the time when it was written, and also the proficiency at 
which he had arrived in English composition. 

" Vienna, 1845. 
" I have much pleasure in answering" your letter addressed to me ; and 
though .my labors hitherto are not important enough to attract general 
notice, I hesitate not to give you the desired explanations. As to the 
Chinese, it is true that I formerly translated two longer [longish] pieces 
of poetry, but they are scarcely intelligible without the commentary ; 
and their subject, etc., will prevent their ever being published without 
the original, and for the use of the scholars in Chinese, as the translation 
is in German. I will, if you wish, transmit you a specimen, (if you will 
pardon the venture,) translated into English verse, submitting it, as a first 
attempt, to your kind judgment. In the mean time, I have obtained 
from Paris a very rare work, known by the name of ' Tso Chuen,' which 
contains memoirs of the principal feudal states of China, that would 
serve as a most interesting addition to the history of that empire, from 
1722, B. C, to Confucius's time. As the Austrian Government has now 
taken care to get a complete set of Chinese types, there will be every hope 
of having this work printed, with a European translation, the first pub- 
lished out of China. You are somewhat in error when speaking of 
Japanese and Chinese as having a similarity. Many Chinese words 
have been, it is true, introduced into the former language ; but by far 
the greater number of works are written in the pure and native idiom, 


which has not the least resemblance to the Chinese, having its own 
alphabet, composed of a very large, almost unlimited, number of figures. 
Hitherto, only the works written in Chinese could be understood by 
European scholars, and even these, as translated by Dutch authors, could 
only be done through the medium of the interpreters of Nagasaki. All 
the lighter reading, such as novels, plays, poems, etc., have been quite 
inaccessible to the researches of the scholar; and one of the most emi- 
nent, Abel Remusat, endeavored in vain to get a knowledge, deeming it 
almost impossible to even compass the alphabet. Since Japan has at- 
tained so high a state of civilization, and the literature of the country 
might vie with any other in fertility, and, as I supposed, in originality, it 
struck and grieved me, not to have any approachable access to its treas- 
ures ; and on investigation, I soon found that this was caused by the 
total want of any work deserving the name of a dictionary of the lan- 
guage. I therefore commenced to excerpt, for my own use, all the orig- 
inal lexicographical works of the Japanese within my reach, and by 
arranging alphabetically the words they contained, distributed according 
to subjects, I succeeded in setting down almost a complete dictionary; 
and with its help, I am now enabled to read Japanese books, though as 
yet with some trouble ; exercise will, I hope, soon make my task an easier 
one. As to the characters, I can not only very pleasantly read them, but 
I have also engaged the Government printing-office to let cut the letters 
of the Firakana alphabets that are generally in use, so that Japanese 
works can now be printed at Vienna with moveable types. A specimen, 
consisting of a fragment of a Japanese romance, will, in a few weeks, 
leave the press ; and I could now undertake the publication of whole 
texts, if the Government does not fear the expense. As to my diction- 
ary, I need but translate the explanations into any European language, 
(the Japanese authors themselves render them in Chinese,) to have it ready 
for publication. I am still making additions, chiefly of words which I 
find in authors I am reading, so that it may be rendered as complete as 
possible. It contains, however, as it is, about 40,000 words, a number 
quite extraordinary; since the Vocabulary Japanese and English, by 
Medhurst, published at Batavia, 1830, only numbers 7,000, and that by 
Siebold, 1840, Leyden, (with an arrangement according to subjects, 
which makes it almost useless, and explanations chiefly in Chinese,) 
contains little more than 20,000 words. I intend to publish mine as 
soon as any Government grants me favorable terms. I trust, sir, to have 
given you the chief matter capable of interesting you as regards my 
Oriental studies, and am," etc. 


His Japanese studies have since been prosecuted with such 
success as to enable him, in the year 1847, to publish a work, 
to introduce which to the notice of the English-reading pub- 
lic, is the immediate object of this paper. It is entitled: 

Seeks Wandschirme in Gestalten der verganglichen Welt, etc., 
i. e., Forms of the Passing World, in Six Folding-screens. 
A Japanese Eomance in the original text, containing fac- 
similes of 57 Japanese Wood-cuts. Translated and edited 
by Dr. August Pfizmaier. Vienna, 1847. 

The original work was printed at Yedo, from wooden 
blocks, in the year 1821. The author's name is Eiutei Tane- 
fiko, and that of the designer of the illustrative wood-cuts 
is Utakawa Toyokuni. The following explanation of the 
title is given in the preface. A Japanese proverb says, 
"Men and screens cannot stand straight," i. e., as the latter 
cannot be made to stand upright without being bent, so the 
former are unable to preserve perfect rectitude of character. 
The author has undertaken to prove that this proverb is 
erroneous, and his tale exhibits screens in forms of the 
passing world, i. e., human beings, of genuine uprightness. 
The expression, "six screens," refers to the six divisions of 
the book, each consisting of five double leaves, folded in 
the manner of a screen. The original work is printed in 
thirty double leaves, or, (as each leaf is printed only on one 
side,) sixty pages. Each of these pages, with the exception 
of two leaves, contains an illustrative wood-engraving, 
extending in most cases across two opposite pages. 

Dr. Pfizmaier's edition contains a reprint of the original^ 
and a German translation. It was his design to reproduce 
the former as exactly as possible, in form as well as in sub- 
stance. Thus, the engravings are exact copies of the origi- 
nals, the color of the ink is made to resemble that of India 
ink, and the paper and binding are imitations of the Japan- 
ese model. The title-page and the illustrations are executed 
in zinco-lithography, and the text is printed with moveable 
types, the first ever constructed in Europe for this lan- 
guage.* They were prepared under the direction of Herr 

* It is a singular circumstance that one fount should have been made in 
Europe and another in America, at the same time. By the kindness of John 
T. White, Esq., of this city, who cut the fount for Mr. Williams, I have been 


Aloys Auer, who has done so much to make the Imperial 
printing-office of Yienna the first in the world, as regards 
the number and variety of its alphabets ; and they accurately 
represent the characters of the original in every respect, 
with the exception of a few of the ligatures. The Japanese 
text begins at the right side of the book, and is arranged in 
perpendicular columns, which follow each other from right 
to left, in the Chinese manner; and the illustrations are 
inserted in the midst of the text, as wood-cuts are with us. 
As the shoulders of the types would not admit of the lines 
being placed as close together as in the original, the Japan- 
ese part extends to eighty-two pages ; one-fourth of which, 
in consequence, contain no illustrations. 

Let us now turn to the translation, which begins of course 
at the other end of the book, and with the preface, etc., makes 
fifty-four pages. In making this translation, Dr. Pfizmaier 
had difficulties of various kinds to contend with. In the 
first place, so little had been hitherto done in Europe for 
the study of the Japanese, that he was obliged to construct 
his own aids as he went along, that is, beside deciphering 
the text, he had to compose a dictionary, and to divine 
most of the rules of the grammar. The language of the 
original is that commonly understood throughout Japan, 
but winch for Europeans is the most difficult of all, since 
a knowledge of the Chinese is of very little assistance 
towards understanding it. The words from the latter lan- 
guage which frequently occur in it, are expressed in the 
syllabic character of the Japanese, and only by way of excep- 
tion, and for the sake of perspicuity, in the word- characters 
known to Sinologists. In consequence of the well known 
homophony of Chinese words, which is greatly enhanced 
by the dissimilar and varying pronunciation of the Japanese, 
those which have been introduced into their language, 
although they almost always form combinations, cannot in 
general be understood, unless they are to be found written 
phonetically in a dictionary, together with the correspond- 
ing word-characters. But even this is often insufficient, if 
the meaning is not also given ; as to which, as the Japanese 

allowed to consult his books, from which it appears that the set of seventy- 
punches was completed December 12, 1846, and the last of the charges for 
alterations, casting type, etc., was made May 5, 184Y. 


liave much that is peculiar in this respect, the greatest 
uncertainty may exist. To the difficulties presented by 
single expressions, are to be added those of grammar and 
style. A number of forms which essentially belong to the 
grammar of the language, are not laid down in any book of 
instruction ; and the syntax had to be constructed from the 
foundation. Yet a knowledge of this latter department of 
grammar is here absolutely indispensable ; for the Japanese 
language, notwithstanding its surprising richness in forms, 
has no distinction of number, gender, or person ; and as 
the subject of the proposition is much less frequently ex- 
pressed than in languages which, as the Latin for instance, 
accurately make these distinctions, nothing but a perfect 
knowledge of the niceties of syntax can lead one to a 
correct understanding of the sense. It also deserves to be 
mentioned, that the Japanese periods, as regards both the 
construction of the principal sentences and the parenthetical 
clauses they contain, are of excessive length, having in 
fact, as a general rule, no other limits than the termination 
of an event, or, in dialogues, the end of a speech. Hence, 
although Dr. Pfizmaier has endeavored to make his transla- 
tion perfectly faithful, it was impossible in most cases to 
follow the construction of the periods ; it was often necessary 
to break off on coming to a verb, and, in the case of paren- 
theses, to give them a different turn. Yet, notwithstanding 
these difficulties, he thinks that he has furnished a translation 
tolerably free from faults, there being only a few isolated 
expressions with respect to which he is still in doubt, as to 
whether he has hit the right meaning. 

I will now give a sketch of the story, premising, that, in 
drawing it up, the object has been to furnish an accurate 
outline of the plot, and to preserve such of the details as 
are necessary to assist those who may have an opportunity 
of inspecting the book itself, to understand the illustrations. 

Pari First. 

Tamontara Kadzuyosi, governor of the district of Kuanto,* 
whose palace was situated in Kamakura, had a numerous 
band of retainers, and was a powerful nobleman. He was 
fond of hunting, and had country-seats at various places, for 

* Comprising eight provinces lying about Yedo. 


the purpose of putting up at them when on his excursions 
after game. Once, towards the end of the harvest, he went 
out on a hunting expedition to one of his chateaux, and, after 
wandering about all day, came towards dusk to a place 
called the Snipe Marsh. One of his attendants spied at 
some distance off what he took to be a snipe ; another said 
that it was more like a partridge, and that there were no 
snipes in that place ; whereupon a dispute arose. A lad of 
fourteen, named Simano Suke, now stepped forward, and told 
them to cease their quarrelling, for he would decide the 
matter. He let fly an arrow from his bow, and grazed the 
back of a bird on the wing. The governor was enraged at 
his impertinence in thus interfering where he was not call- 
ed upon, and wounding a bird ; but Simano told his servant 
to go and fetch the arrow. When it was brought, he laid it 
before the governor, and told him that all he wished to do 
was to put an end to the dispute : his object was accom- 
plished, for there was a snipe's feather sticking to the 
arrow; and he had taken particular care not to hurt the 
bird. The governor became still more furious at the cool- 
ness with which the youngster put himself in the right ; he 
ordered him to quit his presence, and at the same time dis- 
charged Simano' s father from his service. The young man, 
without again seeing his parent, on whom he had innocently 
brought this disgrace, immediately took himself off, no one 
knew whither. 

Eight years after this, the following events took place. 
An old rice-dealer, named Kadziyemon, in the province 
of Sessiu, having no children of his own, had adopted a 
youth named Sakitsi. In his eightieth year, the old man 
died; whereupon his wife turned nun, assumed the reli- 
gious name of Miosan, resigned the management of the 
business to young Sakitsi, and, retiring from intercourse 
with the world, spent her whole time in devotional exercises 
at the temple. Sakitsi, being a young man of very con- 
scientious character, devoted himself to the care of the busi- 
ness and household, with a diligence beyond his strength. 
The consequence was a severe attack of intermittent fever, 
which brought him very low. As he grew better, his 
adoptive mother, by the advice of the physician, engaged a 
merry- andrew and a young female singer to come and 
amuse him, with the hope of arousing his mind from its 


languid state. At first lie grew better ; but by the time the 
rivers began to thaw, and the cypress-hills to put on the 
appearance of spring, the state of seclusion in which he 
lived had aggravated his lowness of spirits and the other 
symptoms of his disorder. His mother thereupon exhorted 
him to travel, for the purpose of recruiting his health ; and 
as he had some business to transact in the province of 
Yamato, he determined to make a journey thither, and visit 
the localities in that part of the country which have been 
celebrated from ancient times. He gave the shop into the 
care of a trustworthy person, and with a few attendants set 
out on his tour. 

In the city of Nara, situated in this last mentioned 
province, there was a certain tea-house, where a beautiful 
and amiable young maiden, of the age of seventeen, came 
every day to sing and play upon the dulcimer, accompanied 
by a little girl only four years old, who went about among 
the company and gathered their contributions. The young 
artist's exquisite voice and skill in playing attracted a great 
deal of company to the place. Sakitsi, on coming to the 
city, happened to visit this house ; he heartily joined in the 
general feeling of admiration, and ordered his servants to 
find out who she was. They ascertained that she was a 
person of respectable birth, above the common order of 
those who exhibit their talents in such places. Her motive 
in coming there to earn money was to assist her aunt, a 
woman in poor circumstances, whose little daughter it was 
who came with her. The account of this excellent conduct 
inspired Sakitsi with a great liking for the beautiful girl, 
which gradually ripened into love. Antiquities had no 
longer any charms for him ; and he visited the tea-house 
daily. He took occasion to make several presents to the 
young lady, who was called Misawo ; and as Sakitsi was a 
good-looking young fellow, his attentions excited a corre- 
sponding sentiment in her breast. 

One evening, as the company were leaving the tea-house, 
a man named Saizo, a keeper of a house of entertainment 
in the seaport of Simano Utsi, a part of the town of Naniwa, 
called Misawo aside, and spoke with her privately. It ap» 
peared from their conversation, that she had agreed to bind 
herself to the service of Saizo, and was to receive, as the 


price of her freedom, a hundred taels.* Before parting, they 
settled that Saizo should call at her dwelling the next 
evening, receive from Misawo the written document he had 
drawn up and given her to sign, pay over to her the money, 
and take her with him. All this was to be managed with- 
out the knowledge of her family, for whom Misawo was 
now sacrificing herself. 

To explain the reasons for her conduct, it will be neces- 
sary to describe the situation of the family more fully. A 
man named Tofei, now a sedan-bearer in the city of Nara, 
the present scene of the story, had formerly been a foot- 
soldier in the service of Kadzumura Teidaifu, a military 
commander in Kuanto. He there fell in love with Fanayo, 
his commander's sister-in-law, and they ran away together 
to ISTara, where Fanayo soon presented him with a daughter, 
now four years old, and named Koyosi. Tofei had living 
with him his mother, named Kutsiwa, who, after suffering 
for many years from a disease of the eyes, was left totally 
blind. But this was not the only trouble of the worthy 
couple. After they had been for some time at their new 
place of abode, they learnt that Tofei' s old master, Teidaifu, 
had been deprived of his command, in consequence of 
having offended his superior in authority, and was reduced 
to poverty. Now Fanayo, ever since her running away, 
had kept up a correspondence by letter with her sister, and, 
to prevent any uneasiness respecting her fate, had assured 
her that she and her husband were doing well. When 
therefore Teidaifu lost his means of subsistence, and had no 
prospect of supporting his daughter Misawo comfortably, 
he suffered himself to be persuaded by his wife to commit 
her to the care of Fanayo and her husband. They both 
loved her very much, and Tofei felt an especial respect for 
her as the daughter of his old commander. He labored 
hard to maintain his family decently, but instead of being 
able to lay by any thing, his earnings were barely sufficient 
to support them from day to day ; and as his mother's long 
illness often prevented him from attending to his business, 
he was at length obliged to sell some of his furniture to keep 
them all from starving. Misawo could not bear to witness 
the distress of the household, without making an effort to 

Very nearly a hundred and forty dollars of our currency. 


relieve it ; which caused her to hit upon the plan of turning 
her accomplishments to account, by playing and singing 
in the tea-house. Her daily absences were accounted for 
by pretending that to procure from Heaven the restoration 
of the family to their former home and condition, and the 
recovery of the old lady's eyesight, she had made a vow 
to visit the temple of Eanyen (which stood near the tea- 
house) two days in succession, and there to read the Prayer 
Book of a Hundred Chapters. The small change collected 
by little Koyosi she converted into gold, which she gave to 
her aunt under the name of remittances received from home. 

But notwithstanding these exertions and sacrifices, in 
consequence of the continued illness of the old lady, the 
house remained nearly destitute of furniture and comforts ; 
and when Saizo proposed to her to sell herself into his ser- 
vice, she consented, thinking that she would thus relieve 
her relatives from the burden of maintaining her, and that 
the price of her liberty would furnish the means of restoring 
the old grandmother to health. She accordingly made all 
the necessary arrangements for putting her generous design 
into execution, concealing her own agony of mind at the 
prospect of parting with her kindred and at the fate which 
awaited her, under her usual gay and pleasing exterior. 

On the morning when Saizo was expected, which was the 
day of the peach-festival, Koyosi was playing with several 
dolls which she had arranged on her mother's dressing table ; 
and as she had only one peach for herself, and none to give 
to her mute little ones, she undertook to entertain them by 
telling some stories out of her picture-book, called The 
Parents of the Flowery Field. Tofei, after paying his usual 
morning-respects to his mother, took the sedan on his shoul- 
der, and went forth to his work. It now remained to get 
Fanayo out of the way. Misawo accordingly feigned indis- 
position, and begged her aunt to visit the temple in her 
stead. She consented and went, telling Misawo to take 
good care of herself and give the old lady her medicine, 
and bidding Koyosi be a good girl. 

Saizo soon arrived, and brought with him the hundred 
taels, which Misawo put, together with a letter to her rela- 
tives, into the drawer of a small chest, on the lid of which 
was the figure of a dog reclining. They had some difficulty 
in quieting the suspicions of old dame Kutsiwa, who came 


out of lier bed, groping about, and wanting to know what 
was going on. Saizo said lie had come with a magnificent 
sedan to take Misawo to a lady of rank, the wife of a high 
judicial functionary, who desired to engage her as one of 
her attendants. He blundered several times in his story, 
as he attempted to answer the questions which the old lady 
put to him, but was helped through by the ready wit of 
Misawo. This was not all; for Kutsiwa, supposing that 
Misawo must have on a very grand dress for such an occa- 
sion, took it into her head to examine the quality of the stuff. 
But Misawo escaped this danger, by snatching the covering 
from the domestic altar of Buddha, and placing it on her 
knee ; and the old lady, on feeling it, was quite delighted 
to find her so comfortably and handsomely clad. Misawo, 
suppressing all outward marks of grief as well as she was 
able, beckoned little Koyosi out into the hall, and said to 
her, " When your father and mother come home and want 
to know where I am, repeat to them the explanation of this 
page in the Picture-book of the Flowery Dwelling, from 
which I have been accustomed to give you instruction every 

Scarcely were they gone, when Tofei returned in search 
of his pipe, which he had forgotten. On hearing from his 
mother of Misawo^s departure, it occurred to him that near 
the house he had passed a large sedan, the occupant of which 
suddenly drew down the blind at his approach. He was 
hastening out of the house to go in search of it, when Koyosi 
ran to him, and said she could tell him where Misawo was 
gone. Her father bade her do so immediately ; whereupon 
she took up her picture-book, and began to repeat with in- 
fantile simplicity, " Once upon a time." Her father's impa- 
tience could not brook this. He bade her never mind the 
story, but tell him, like a good child, where her cousin was. 
She replied that Misawo had told her to repeat this story, 
which would show whither she was gone. As her father 
saw no remedy but submission, he let her go on, which she 
did as follows : " Once upon a time, there was a man named 
Sioziki Dzitsi-i ; who saved the life of a little puppy, and 
took him home and reared him. When he had grown up 
to be a big dog, he one day said to Dzitsi-i, ' If you will go 
out with me to-morrow, and dig at the place where I throw 
myself down, and follow the directions I give you' — Here 


he awoke from his dream, and as soon as it began to grow 
light, he went out with his dog, and dug at the place where 
the latter lay down. After digging a while, he came to a 
great quantity of gold pieces, and so was made rich all at 
once." After impatiently hearing the child to an end, Tofei, 
who could make nothing of it, was rushing towards the door, 
to set out on his search for the fugitive, when he stumbled 
over the dog-chest, and the money fell out, thus explaining 
the meaning of the story. He sat down, and was weeping 
over the letter in which Misawo related the real state of the 
case, and her motives for the step she had taken, when his 
wife returned home. Tofei was for taking the money with 
him and starting off to Utsimo Sima, for the purpose of 
refunding the money and annulling the contract. But his 
wife convinced him that this could not be done ; that the 
contract having been formally made, not twice the money 
would suffice to cancel it ; and that their only course was 
to set themselves up in business with the means thus placed 
at their disposal, as Misawo had recommended in her letter, 
and when they had acquired enough, to leave no effort un- 
made to recover the generous girl's freedom. He perceived 
the correctness of his wife's advice, and acted accordingly. 
They immediately set off, and paid a visit to Misawo ; who 
silenced their expressions of concern at the sacrifice she had 
made, by telling them she regarded what she had done 
simply as an act of filial duty towards her absent mother. 
With the money thus obtained, the old lady after a while 
was cured of her blindness ; and then Tofei and his wife 
removed, and set up a house of entertainment in the harbor 
of Naniwa, for the double purpose of being near their 
niece and of earning the wherewithal to purchase back her 

Misawo, when the time arrived for changing her name, 
[as is customary with every one in Japan, at the age of 
twenty,] took that of Komatsu. Her lover, Sakitsi, who 
had long sought her in vain after her mysterious disappear- 
ance, had now returned home to Simano Utsi, and conse- 
quently was again in her vicinity ; but he was not aware of 
it, and as his business often called him to other parts of the 
country, he was thus prevented from meeting her. 


Part Second. 

On a certain day, five years after the occurrences just 
mentioned, Komatsu, on returning home from a visit to a 
temple, met her aunt Wofana ;* and the latter asked her to 
accompany her home, where Woyosif was alone, practising 
her singing-lesson. Just as they arrived there, they perceived 
Tofei, and three persons with him, getting out of a boat at 
the landing-place in front of the house. These were no 
other than Sakitsi and two of his friends. As they drew 
near the house to take some refreshment, Komatsu recog- 
nised her lover; the ladies retired within doors, and Ko- 
matsu gave her aunt an account of Sakitsi, and of his former 
attentions to her. As the gentlemen sat talking over their 
wine, without observing the presence of the ladies in a dis- 
tant part of the room, the conversation turned on the songs 
of a favorite Japanese poet, and on a certain female singer 
of repute, named Komatsu. Sakitsi said he had not seen 
her, and was making some not very respectful remarks on 
persons of her profession in general, when suddenly his eye 
alighted on our heroine, in whom he immediately recognised 
the long-lost mistress of his affections. 

As may be supposed, he lost no time in seeking an inter- 
view with Komatsu, and making a formal declaration of his 
passion. He had also the happiness of learning from her, 
after some bantering on the subject of his recent remarks, 
that his love was returned ; in proof of which she showed 
him a paper, containing questions about her loyer, with 
which she had been a hundred times to the temple of Aizen, 
and the responses she had received. The consequence was 
that Sakitsi neglected every thing else, to enjoy the pleasure 
of her society, and lavished his money in taking her about 
from place to place. When his mother Miosan heard of 
this, she determined to trust him no longer out of her sight ; 
and accordingly she shut him up in his chamber, where his 
only consolation consisted in the many beautiful letters which 
his friend the physician secretly brought him from Komatsu. 

* This is made by contracting her former name Fanayo, and prefixing the 
particle wo, which is placed, for the sake of distinction, before female names. 

f This name is made from Koyosi, by substituting the prefix wo for ko, 
which latter means " little." 


One day, as Miosan was remonstrating with him on the im- 
prudence and want of moderation of his conduct, a woman 
disguised as a fortune-teller came to the door, saying that 
she had been sent for by Sakitsi to perform a conjuration, 
for the purpose of ascertaining the cause of his illness. It 
was Wofana in disguise, who came to bring him tidings 
of importance from his mistress. "When the old lady had 
been with difficulty got out of the way, Wofana told him 
that Komatsu's father had been taken into favor again by 
his superior, and restored to his former position ; and that 
a young man named Yukimuro Eiusuke, the foster-brother 
of Komatsu, had come to take her back to her father, who 
had affianced her to the son of a wealthy neighbor. She 
told him also that Eiusuke, as soon as he was informed of 
the present servile condition of Komatsu, had taken steps 
to procure the money for her freedom : thus the long cher- 
ished design of Wofana and her husband, of freeing her 
themselves, would be frustrated ; in which case, they would 
never dare to show themselves before the face of the old 
officer. Moreover, Komatsu had declared that she would 
die rather than break her plighted faith to Sakitsi. The 
object of Wofana, in coming to him, was to inform Sakitsi 
of these facts, and to let him know that Komatsu would be 
that evening at a neighboring house, where the pressing 
nature of the circumstances made it necessary that he should 
meet her. 

In the evening, Sakitsi, having obtained Miosan's permis- 
sion, and being furnished by her liberality with the sum of 
one hundred taels, sallied forth to the neighbor's house, 
where Komatsu was already seated at the window, anxiously 
awaiting his arrival. As he drew near and spoke to her, a 
dog sprang forth and barked furiously. Sakitsi threw a 
stone at him, and in so doing the packet of gold fell from 
his bosom to the ground. Not perceiving the accident in 
the dark, he caught up the packet also, thinking it was a 
stone, and threw it at the dog. As he did so, he heard a 
sleepy voice exclaim, from a boat lying at the shore near 
by, "Hola, woman! what are you throwing out here?" 
He made no reply, but slipped into the house, where he 
found Komatsu in a state of great agitation. She confirmed 
the account of Wofana ; and expressed her determination, 
much as she loved and revered her parents and longed to 


see them again, to die rather than return home and wed 
another. Sakitsi bade her be of good cheer. He told her 
that the money he had brought with him would enable her 
aunt to purchase back her freedom, in which case she would 
be under no necessity of going home against her will. But 
when he was about to produce the gold, he discovered to 
his horror that it was gone. This last blow of misfortune 
drove the lovers to despair, and they resolved to put an end 
to their lives together. 

At this juncture, they heard the voice of persons ap- 
proaching the house. Komatsu hastily concealed her lover 
under a dresser, and endeavored to remove the traces of her 
recent agitation. The new comers proved to be Wofana 
and Yukimuro Eiusuke. The latter announced that he 
had just obtained and paid over the money for Komatsu' s 
release, so that from that evening forth she was free. The 
joy this news was calculated to excite, was more than coun- 
terbalanced by the obligation it imposed on Komatsu of 
going home with Eiusuke. Both she and her aunt besought 
him to return to her parents, and tell them that Misawo 
was already engaged to be married, that she was sick, dead, 
any thing, rather than force her to accompany him back. 
Eiusuke, however, was firm in urging the superior claims of 
filial duty over love. He depicted the ardent longing with 
which her parents counted the days till her return, and the 
despair into which her undutiful conduct would throw them. 
Komatsu feigned to be convinced by his arguments, and 
promised to set out with him for Kamakura the following 
morning. Satisfied with this assurance, Eiusuke took leave 
of her along with Wofana, whom he was to accompany to 
her own home. 

Sakitsi then came forth from his hiding-place, and the 
two lovers, hand in hand, fled from the house along the 
shore. As they wandered along, they perceived people 
with lanterns, belonging to the house they had left, who 
were evidently in search of them. The fugitives were then 
near Tofei's house ; and as all was silent about it, they pro- 
posed to take refuge there. Sakitsi told his companion to 
conceal herself, while he went forward and reconnoitred. 
He found no one at home but Woyosi ; who informed him 
that her father and mother, learning that Komatsu had run 
away, were gone in search of her. Woyosi was longing to 


go out and listen to the singers on a neighbor's balcony, it 
being the night of a festival ; but was obliged to stay in 
doors, as there was no one but herself to mind the house. 
Sakitsi told her she might go, and he would take charge of 
it in her absence,' — -a permission of which she gladly availed 

As soon as she was gone, he brought Komatsu into an 
inner apartment ; and as they sat there in silence, and listened 
to the chant of the choristers which described the vain and 
fleeting nature of earthly things, the gentle Komatsu melted 
into tears at the thought of the fate she was bringing on her 
beloved. This reminded Sakitsi of the unfortunate loss occa- 
sioned by the barking of the dog ; and seeing before him the 
little dog-chest, which had been preserved by Tofei and his 
wife in grateful remembrance of the self-sacrifice of Komatsu, 
he in his rage struck the mute image a violent blow. Great 
was his surprise when out rolled the identical packet of money 
which he had thrown away, and which he afterwards learnt 
had fallen into Tofei' s boat, as he lay there waiting for some 
passengers. He regarded this unlooked for piece of good 
fortune as a happy omen ; and he now besought Komatsu 
to read the letter brought by Riusuke from her mother, 
which she had not yet had courage to open. The account 
of the preparations making by Kutsiwa for her daughter's 
reception grieved the heart of Komatsu, as she thought 
of the terrible blow her death would give to her affection- 
ate parent. But as she read on, Sakitsi learned to his 
unbounded delight, that the bride-groom to whom she had 
been betrothed in her third year, was Simano Suke, the 
youth whose expertness in archery had brought him into 
disgrace with his lord. The latter, Kutsiwa proceeded to 
say, was now willing to forgive the youth; and as soon 
as he could be found, the wedding would be celebrated. 
Sakitsi informed the astonished Komatsu that he himself 
was the young man spoken of. As she had never disclosed 
to him her family name, he had been prevented from recog- 
nising, in the object of his affections, his long affianced 

Of course all their sorrow was now turned into joy; nor 
had they suffered in vain, since the trials they had under- 
gone had thoroughly tested the strength and constancy of 
their affections. Our friends immediately set off together 


for Kamakura ; there tlie meeting between the parents and 
their children was of a joyful and affecting nature, such as 
words are inadequate to describe. The old Commander was 
in ecstacies at the happy turn which affairs at length had 
taken, and he presided at the wedding with great glee. 
Tofei was also restored to favor, and he and Wofana were 
set up in the rice establishment formerly kept by Miosan. 
Being all distinguished for filial duty and affection, they 
were blessed with a numerous offspring, and led hencefor- 
ward peaceful and happy lives. 

The Japanese would seem to be very fond of seasoning 
their conversation with proverbs, from the number of these 
specimens of ancient wisdom which the book contains. 
The wit of the piece seems to consist in certain plays upon 
the meaning of proper names and other words, and in a 
variety of innocent deceptions practised by the characters 
upon each other, to free themselves from the dilemmas into 
which they are brought. Notwithstanding the pains be- 
stowed by Dr. Pfizmaier on his translation, it must be con- 
fessed that it is very obscure, and sometimes quite unintelli- 
gible ; which without doubt is owing to the meagre nature 
of the helps at his command. Indeed, to render all the allu- 
sions perfectly intelligible to an Occidental reader, would 
require a body of annotation at least as large as the book 
itself. But for this the materials do not yet exist ; even the 
names of the towns, rivers, etc., mentioned in the tale, are 
not all to be found on any European map. Yet, in spite of 
these difficulties and drawbacks incident to the incipient 
state of the study, an attentive perusal of the work as it is 
affords no little insight into the social condition of Japan, 
which, amidst all its peculiarities, bears a curious resemblance 
to that of Europe in the feudal ages. 

The wood-cuts, too, as respects the amount of information 
they convey, are nearly as valuable as the text ; they afford 
many interesting illustrations of the descriptions we possess 
of the dresses, furniture, and domestic manners of the peo- 
ple. A lithograph of one of these cuts is here given, as a 
specimen. In the original, it is cut into two, down the 
middle, the two halves being placed on two opposite pages ; 


and the Japanese text fills up all the space which in onr 
copy appears blank. It represents the household of Tofei 
on the morning when Saizo was to come. To the right, 
Misawo is handing a drink to old dame Kutsiwa. Koyosi 
is playing with her dolls ; and near her, on the floor, are 
the little dog-chest and her picture-book. In the centre, 
Fanayo, with a prayer-book in her hand, is preparing to go 
to the temple ; and on the left, are Tofei and his sedan. In 
the background, over the head of Misawo, is a recess form- 
ing a sort of domestic altar, where the follower of the Sintoo, 
or ancient national religion of the Japanese, pays his devo- 
tions. It is thus described by Dr. G. H. Burger : " In the 
worship of the kmi, (spirits or gods,) particular dwellings 
for them are erected on earth, which are called miya / these 
are temples of various sizes, and built of wood, — the smaller 
of lignum vitas, the larger of cypress. In the centre of 
them, slips of paper fastened to pieces of lignum vitas are 
deposited as emblems of the godhead, and called gohei. 
These gohei are to be found in every Japanese house, where 
they are preserved in small shrines, on an elevated spot. 
On both sides of the miya stand flower-pots with green 
boughs, generally of the myrtle or pine, then two lamps, a 
cup of tea, and several vessels filled with the liquor sake. 
Here every Japanese, morning and evening, " offers his 
prayers to the creator, Ten-syoo-dai-zui."* 

Among the things in this picture that most deserve no- 
tice, are the varieties of head-dress of the different charac- 
ters. Thus, the child Koyosi's head is shaved, with the 
exception of two or three little tufts. The old lady's scanty 
locks are simply secured with a riband. The head-dress of 
the younger adults is more elaborate, and is thus accurately 
described by Mr. Williams: "The Japanese shave the 
crown of the head, leaving the hair on the sides above the 
ears to grow long, and combing it back to the occiput, 
where the whole is gathered up into a cue, and brought up- 
wards and forwards to the crown, and tied with a cord ; 
when tied, the end is cut square off, leaving a little tuft on 
the top. The women are not shaved, but bind their long 
hair on their heads, with a profusion of combs, and orna- 

* Chinese Repository, vol. ii, p. 321. A fuller description will be found in 
Von Siebold's Archiv zur Beschreibung von Japan, Abth. v. p. 29. 


ments, making rather a fanciful head-dress."* It will be 
observed also, that Fanayo's eyebrows are shaved off, that 
being a mark of the married state. One of the peculiarities 
of the Japanese dress is the coat of arms worked upon it, 
which Mr. Williams thus describes: "The blazonry is a 
white circle about an inch in diameter, within which is the 
device. The ignobile vulgus are content to have their family 
coat of arms worked in the seam on the back, between the 
shoulders; but the officers bear their heraldry upon the 
seam of the dress in five places, — on the back between the 
shoulders, inside each elbow, and on each breast."f This 
custom has afforded the ingenious artist a ready mode of 
designating his characters, by marking them with their 
initials ; a device which it will be perceived he has availed 
himself of, and which, in consequence of the discrepancies 
that present themselves between the different portraits of 
the same individual, is, as Dr. Pfizmaier remarks, by no 
means superfluous. 

# Chinese Repository, vol. vi. p. 360. f Ibid., p. 367.