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Sketches of Japanese Manners and Customs   By:

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SKETCHES OF JAPANESE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS

by

J. M. W. SILVER Lieutenant Royal Marines, Light Infantry (Late of the Royal Marine Battalion for Service in Japan)

Illustrated by Native Drawings, Reproduced in Fac Simile by Means of Chromo Lithography.

LONDON

1867

[Illustration: Sketches of Japanese Manners and Customs]

TO

COLONEL SIR EDMUND SAUNDERSON PRIDEAUX, BART.

DEAR SIR EDMUND,

These few 'Sketches of Japanese Manners and Customs' were collected during the years 1864 5, at which time I was attached to the Battalion of Royal Marines for service in Japan, and it is now very pleasing to have the privilege of dedicating them to one who was the friend and companion in arms of my late Father.

In memory of this bond of friendship, and in grateful acknowledgment of the many kindnesses you have shown me, this Dedication of my humble efforts to assist in the elucidation of the social condition of a distant and comparatively unknown race, affords me deep gratification.

With much respect and esteem, I am, Dear Sir Edmund, Very faithfully yours, J. M. W. SILVER.

Royal Marine Barracks, Forton, January 29th, 1867.

CONTENTS.

I. FESTIVALS AND HOLIDAYS

II. FIRES AND FIRE BRIGADES

III. DOMESTIC LIFE

IV. THE TYCOON, DAIMIOS, AND ARISTOCRACY

V. THE COURT OF THE MIKADO

VI. THE 'HARA KIRU'

VII. NATIONAL GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS

VIII. CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS

IX. SUPERSTITIONS AND RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES

X. ON THE TOKAIDO AND IN THE TEA HOUSES

XI. THE SPY SYSTEM THE BATH HOUSE

XII. LOVE OF FLOWERS

LIST OF PLATES.

TITLE.

FESTIVAL IN HONOUR OF THE BIRTH OF CHILDREN.

MERCHANTS' GREAT FESTIVAL.

OTINTA LAMA.

A FIRE BRIGADE ON ITS WAY TO A FIRE.

A JAPANESE WEDDING.

A DAIMIO PAYING A STATE VISIT.

A DAIMIO AND FAMILY WITNESSING FIREWORKS.

A MINISTER OF THE MIKADO ON A RELIGIOUS EXPEDITION.

THEATRICAL PERFORMANCE IN FRONT OF THE MIKADO'S PALACE.

LADIES OF THE MIKADO'S COURT PERFORMING THE BUTTERFLY DANCE.

THE TYCOON'S MESSENGERS READING THE SENTENCE.

THE SACRIFICE.

A DAIMIO'S FUNERAL.

CREMATION OF THE BODY.

RELATIVES COLLECTING ASHES.

PUBLIC WRESTLING IN THE GREAT AMPHITHEATRE AT VEDDO.

INTERIOR OF A THEATRE.

MODE OF CONDUCTING A CRIMINAL TO EXECUTION.

LONINS, OR OUTLAWS, ROBBING A RICH MERCHANT'S HOUSE.

EXPOSURE FOR INFIDELITY.

SELLING INDULGENCES BY PUBLIC AUCTION.

PRAYING A SOUL OUT OF PURGATORY.

SUDANGEE, OR LAST OFFICES.

A BAKER'S SHOP.

A TEA HOUSE MERRY MAKING.

UYA, OR BATH HOUSE.

A FLOWER SHOW.

[Illustration: FESTIVAL IN HONOUR OF THE BIRTH OF CHILDREN.]

[Illustration: MERCHANTS' GREAT FESTIVAL.]

CHAPTER I.

FESTIVALS AND HOLIDAYS.

The first feature of Japanese life that prominently presents itself to the notice of the stranger, is the number of festivals and holidays held in honour of the various deities, warriors, and sages, or in accordance with some ancient custom of the county, which is as paramount an authority as the most stringent of its laws. Of these festivals, the 'Oki don tako,' or 'Great Holiday,' which takes place about Christmas, and lasts a fortnight, is the most important. Previous to its celebration, it is customary with the people to settle accounts, and amicably adjust any quarrels or estrangements that may happen to exist; and they evince the same spirit that actuates Christian nations at this season, by a general interchange of presents and complimentary visits with their friends and acquaintance. So anxious are the merchants to take this opportunity of settling with their creditors, that, when the dealers have deficiencies to make up, articles are frequently pressed on foreign residents at the Treaty Ports at prices previously refused.

The 'Gogata Seku,' the emblems of which form the first subject of illustration, is also a festival of great importance: it takes place about the middle of June, which is the fifth month of the Japanese calendar, from which it derives its designation, and is kept up with more than ordinary spirit during the three days of its continuance... Continue reading book >>




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