« السابقةمتابعة »
ment on which it stands to the crown of the head, while the circumference of the folded legs is no less than ninetyeight feet. The face alone is eight-and-a-half feet, and the ears six-and-a-half feet, in length, while each thumb is more than three feet in circumference. The statue is of bronze, and is, of course, hollow, the plates which compose it being about an inch in thickness. It is a work
. of considerable merit, apart from its great dimensions ; for the face expresses excellently well that contemplative ecstacy which is always represented as the true condition of Buddha.
Four miles from the statue of Dai-butz is the seaside village of Katase, where we spend the second night of our excursion. Not that we would now recommend anyone else to do the same, for the Katase tea-house is one of those which has deteriorated in more ways than one from its proximity to a foreign port, and also contains—whether imported or not, who can say ?numbers of those cosmopolitan insect pests which are apt, in other countries than Japan, to feed hungrily on the passing traveller, and render the sleepless hours of night more itching than witching.
Within half a mile of Katase, separated from the mainland by a narrow strip of sandy beach, is the little island of Inosima--the . Picture Island,' as its name imports—in position and appearance reminding one much of the Cornish St. Michael's Mount. As one of the many sacred islets on the Japanese coast, it is studded with miniature temples, and at certain seasons of the year is visited by many pilgrims. A pleasant afternoon can be spent on it, in enjoying the view from its projecting points; in examining the many beautiful and curious shells and shell-pictures arranged in its village-shops, or exploring a cave, and watching an expert native diver
shells from its submarine depths; or in sitting in a native boat, fishing for whiting, rock-cod, or a curious kind of fish with two large fins as brilliant in colouring as the wings of a butterfly. It is from one of the banks lying off this island that are fished up the specimens of Hyalonema mirabilis,' well known to conchologists for their extraordinary structure, their rarity, and the recent date of their discovery.
From Katase to Fuji-sawa, on the Tocaido (of which more anon), is a pleasant ride of five miles : thence to Yokohama, along the Tocaido, is a distance of thirteen miles.
If a resident at Yokohama desire change and recreation other than country air and fine scenery can offer, let him at once hire a horse or a carriage and ride or drive up to Yedo. He will find enough on the road thither to attract his attention and rouse his interest for as long a time as he cares to tarry on the way, and in Yedo itself is a fund of attraction and interest (especially to one skilled in the native tongue), which will last as long as his own desire for it.
The road between Yokohama and Yedo is, with the exception of the first two miles of it, part of the Tocaidothe Grand Trunk Road of Japan.
After traversing the western suburb of Yokohama, we ascend a steep piece of road leading over the part of the bluff that pushes itself forward at this point as far as the coast-line, and just after surmounting the ridge we pass on the left hand the execution-ground.
If one or more criminals have been recently decapitated here, perhaps for some crime no more heinous than theft or assault, we may see their heads exposed on a beam not far from the roadside. A revolting sight this; yet it is not so very long ago that the same might have been seen on our own Temple Bar; and as to the severity of the punishment, a detected forger would have fared no better in England forty years ago than he would now in Japan.
We soon find ourselves passing along the Tocaido, the great high road which, under different names, runs almost from one end of the kingdom to the other. Its route is from Nagasaki to the Straits of Simono-saki, where a ferry crosses to the town of that name: thence to Osaka : then on to Yedo; and thence afterwards to Ni-i-gata on the west coast; in all a distance of between 600 and 700 miles.
The road is said to have been made by the Shogun Tycosama in the sixteenth century, in order to facilitate the journeys of his vassal nobles from their own territories to the capital. It is broad and well laid; in some parts, as we shall hereafter see on the Hakoni Pass, it is paved with large boulder-stones, firmly set, but of course rough to travel on; through most of its extent it is much softer, indeed, in many parts it is laid with sand or gravel. Between Kanagawa, the neighbouring village to Yokohama, and Yedo, it has more the appearance of a street than of a road, for out of the seventeen miles there are scarcely more than three where houses do not line it on either side. The road is always well filled with passengers, and considering that there is nothing in Japan in the form of a road between the Tocaido and the many bridle-paths which traverse the country, it is no wonder that so much of the life and traffic of the empire should be drawn into this one channel. As we pass along we note many curious costumes and methods of travelling.
No wheeled vehicle, unless it be one belonging to a foreigner, or a two-wheeled hand-cart used by the natives for transporting bulky articles, passes or meets us.
But we cannot go far along the road without seeing the Japanese versions of a hackney-carriage and a barouche. The former is represented by the 'cango,' a mere bamboo platform, thirty inches square, suspended by its four corners from a stout bamboo pole, and borne
by means of the pole on the shoulders of two coolies. The latter finds its parallel in the more aristocratic ‘norimon,' which, in shape, but in shape only, is very like a large-sized dog-kennel. It is constructed of wood and bamboo, very neatly fitted and painted; the entrance to it is by a square aperture on either side, provided with a venetian blind of bamboo : a long and stout pole or beam-the shape of which, according to an established rule, corresponds to the rank of the owner of the norimon-runs through the roof, and, projecting at each end for six or eight feet, is supported by two or more pairs of coolies.
A 'spic and span' norimon, with its attendant bearers, all dressed in uniform, their loose jackets marked with their master's crest, and their dish-cover' hats all plaited after one fashion, followed perhaps at a short distance by another set of bearers carrying their master's luggage packed in enormous oblong bamboo boxes, is a very picturesque feature of the Tocaido, and forms a far more handsome, and less gaudy, turn-out' than the party-coloured sedan-chair and bearers of a Chinese mandarin.
But the majority of the passers-by on the Tocaido are on foot. The greater number seem to be tradespeople, walking steadily and leisurely along, as if bent on business. Now and then we meet a ‘Yakonin,'a man who corresponds in many points to a police constable, but may also be a government official engaged on any subordinate work connected with the custom-houses or other public offices. He is mounted on a rough-looking pony, heavily saddled and bridled; he wears a loose, wide-sleeved cape, very wide petticoat-trousers, and a wooden hat lacquered in black and gilt ; his dress looks by no means a convenient one for equestrian purposes, and his stirrups are heavy