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swallowing separately needles and a thread, and then reproducing the latter with the former strung upon it.

In a little enclosure leading out of another street, we find a wrestling-match going on, wrestling being a very ancient sport in Japan, dating indeed from a period before our Christian era, and having once, it is said, decided the succession to the Imperial throne,

We may turn aside out of another street, and enter a Japanese version of a “Madame Tussaud's’-an exhibition of life-size figures, made of wood, representing various scenes in ordinary Japanese life-wood-works' in fact, instead of 'wax-works.' The figures are admirably modelled, the faces true to life, the postures natural, and the costumes equally so; and the tendency of all Japanese art to take a grotesque line, and excel in it too, is visible in the treatment of almost all the subjects. A barber at his work; a stage actor; a group of beggars; a pilgrimage to Fusi-yama : such are some of the subjects chosen, and nearly all are extremely well represented.

And if Madame Tussaud' can no longer claim absolute originality, no more can ‘Swan and Edgar' or “ Marshall and Snellgrove.' Turning up one of the broader streets in the city, we come to a shop that takes up as much street frontage as at least six ordinary shops. There is indeed no rich display of colours to catch the eye of the passer-by; ; merely a large expanse of floor, covered with the fine mats which form the invariable carpets in Japan, and backed by tiers upon tiers of shelves. But the attendants who are sitting on their heels on the aforesaid mats will soon, if we like, cover half the floor with a profusion of silks and crapes, plain and patterned, simple and embroidered; the pieces are all ticketed with fixed prices, and we can invest in some of the crapes for which Osaca is famous without ny trouble of ‘haggling.' We hardly need the evidence

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of a shop such as this to conclude that there is a fair amount of dressing and style' among the aristocracy of Japan.

But if we want further evidence of the luxurious surroundings of a Japanese in high life, let us take a boat in one of the canals and go out to the southern side of the city, where we shall find, under two or three sheds built by a creek, several pleasure-barges which belonged to the late Shogun. These barges, since their master fell from his more than Wolseyan pinnacle of power, have fallen somewhat to decay, but they still bear traces of having once been most royal vessels. They are each about 50 ft. in length, and about 12 ft. in beam ; their miniature saloons have had both walls and ceilings panelled and richly painted in gold and gorgeous colours; and all but the lower part of the hulls of the vessels have been beautifully lacquered in gold and black.

We can return in our boat and make our way through the canals to one of the best tea-houses in the city, where a resident acquaintance has offered us an entertainment. Our boat is, like all the good ferry-boats in the city, so clean that we cannot creep into its little mat-carpeted cabin without first taking off our boots.

As we thread our way through the merchant-junks lying at anchor, and under the numerous bridges which span

the river-channels, we pass and are passed by numbers of other boats, and among them by several large passenger-boats, crowded with natives, on their way up the Yodo-gawa to the city of Kioto. Kioto is but thirty miles up the river, yet no foreigner is allowed—except officially, and even so only on extremely rare occasions—to make his way there. The city has acquired a kind of sanctity from its having been the residence of the Mikados during the several centuries through which the Shoguns acted as so many ‘maires du palais,' and kept the hereditary Emperors in a real, though not acknowledged, imprisonment. Though this state of things came to an end two years ago, when the Shogun was overthrown, and the Mikado, issuing from Kioto, made a triumphal procession to the true capital, Yedo, the former city has not yet been included in the 'treaty limits' for foreigners.

But we have reached the little landing-place for the teahouse, and after walking through a passage and across a street, are ushered into a room of scrupulous neatness and cleanliness, and sit down on four small flat cushions set ready for us. Presently two of the ladies of the house glide in, and, kneeling down, offer us refreshments consisting of eggs, sausages, broth, and 'saki.'

Then come in by twos and threes a dozen singing-girls, guitars in hand, dressed, with the utmost regard to taste and picturesqueness, in short gowns and sashes of manycoloured silks. Their hair is arranged with an amount of skill, pomade, and hair-pins, that might have been gathered in New Bond Street; some of their faces and figures are really pretty, the only drawback to the former being that they have adopted the universal fashion of their country, and covered their teeth with black lacquer. Yes; the fair sex in Japan, though they neither cramp their feet like their neighbours the Chinese, nor pinch in their waists like some of their Western rivals, adopt another phase of deformity, and as soon as they are married, or when they appear in public as musicians, blacken their teeth and shave off their eyebrows.

Owad some power the giftie gie us,
To see oursels as others see us!'

Then would deformity be no longer considered an excellence, and the fair fakirs of fashion' in the West would

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breathe more freely, those in the Flowery Kingdom walk more easily, and those in the Land of the Sunrise smile more pleasingly.

But, ebony or ivory, their teeth have probably little influence on their singing, which must be judged on its own merits. It is rather of a monotonous and shrill character, but to European ears a decided improvement, in harmony and softness, on Chinese or Hindu strains ; and the same may be said of the music which they elicit from their sam-sins,' or guitars.

After their music, they go through one or two dances, which are rather a succession of slow and graceful motions than the rapid movements usually associated in the West with the idea of dancing. During the dancing the head and arms are moved in unison with the steps, the wrists and hands are brought largely into play, and there is a constant opening, shutting, and waving to and fro of fans, which are wielded with much dexterity. The entertainment lasts altogether about two hours.

Before returning to Kobé we must ride out to Mino, fifteen miles from Osaca, among the hills--a favourite resort, when business can be laid aside for a day or two, with the Europeans stationed in the city. Four miles of riding bring us to the outskirts of the city; another four takes us across a fertile plain, traversed by two or three rivers, or branches of the same river, which we cross in flat-bottomed ferry-boats. Then we reach a low wooded spur of the hills; and, crossing this, traverse another four miles of plain before reaching the foot of the main

range of hills.

The whole extent of this plain is evidently very productive, and it is cultivated with a care and neatness which would do credit to a Mid-Lothian farmer. Bearded wheat, now nearly ripe, is the predominant crop, and the furrows between its golden rows are as straight and even as the best English ploughman could have made them.

Next to the wheat, rice is the most frequent crop; millet, barley, and several vegetable crops, lend other colours to the rich scene, and every here and there the apparently level surface is broken by a tea-plantation, with its dark green shrubs of from five to eight feet in height. But though the eye finds unmingled pleasure in passing over this many-coloured carpet, the nose does not meet with the same pure delight. The Japanese have added agricultural economy to the long list of subjects in which they have taken lessons from their Chinese neighbours, and the same process which renders one of these highly cultivated landscapes so rich to the eye renders it rather too rich' for the other organ of sense.

It is dark before we reach our destination—a very small village situated a mile or more up a winding gorge among the hills. None of us can speak half-a-dozen words of Japanese, and we have some difficulty in making known our wants, and in finding quarters; but after one of our horse-boys has had a long palaver with a two-sworded gentleman in a neighbouring country-house, the said gentleman comes down, keys in hand, and opens a small unoccupied house for us, in the upper floor of which we take up our abode for the night.

Next morning we wake to find that our room looks out on a beautifully-wooded hill which forms the opposite side of the gorge. An early walk of a couple of miles takes us through the fine scenery and rich vegetation of the upper part of the gorge, and brings us finally to a pretty waterfall, some seventy feet in height, which tumbles down over a wall of rock and spreads out its white sheet of foam in striking contrast to the varied colours of the

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