Letters from China and Japan
by John Dewey
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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 sake 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 sake, 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 sake. 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 sake, 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 sake 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 elite 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."


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

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


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

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


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


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


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. Cloissonne 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.

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