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The Real Japan
- Studies of Contemporary Japanese Manners,
Morals, Administration and Politics
by Henry Norman
1892
 
 
 
p. 24 - On having a bath
 
"The bath, again, is a new experience. Take an enormous oval bucket, holding perhaps fifty gallons, with a stove-pipe running up inside it. Fill the tub with water and the pipe with red-hot charcoal, and when the temperature is a little short of boiling point, get bodily in and sit down, and you have a Japanese bath. In most cases the next step is to get out again with amazing alacrity, but the Japanese sits calmly there and perspires till he is parboiled....This bath is, of course, merely to open the pores. One is not supposed to wash in it, but to sit quite still."
 
p. 103 - on Japanese education
 
"As regards the spirit of Japanese education that was summed up for me in three words by H.E. Count Mori, Minister of Education...`It is our aim,` he said, `to inculcate and develop three qualities in our people - obedience, sympathy and dignity.`....`Obedience because only through obedience come regularity and serenity of life... Sympathy because it is the crowning virtue of civilization,... dignity is the handles of all the blades of character..."
 
p. 203 - on Japanese Humour
 
"Japan has been well called the Third Kingdom of Merry Dreams. Amusement is universal here, and so far from it being true that `laughter is man`s property alone,` everybody laughs - excepting the solemn policeman - men, women and children, even the very dogs have a twinkle in their eyes as they stretch themselves out over the middle of the streets and seem to smile as the coolies pulling jinrikishas run round them.
I saw a schoolboy steal up behind another schoolboy and hit him with a tremendous thwack over the head with a heavy roll of paper he was carrying. Did the first one angrily threaten or attempt to `punch his head?` Not a bit, he turned around and they both laughed heartily. "
 
P277 - 306 On Yoshiwara
 
"There is a place in Japan which every male tourist visits to gaze on its outside...Yoshiwara has become the generic name for the quarter inhabited by the Japanese demi-monde in any town...In the first place, it seemed to the authorities that public morals would gain by the removal of the licensed houses or kashi-zashiki...
 
 
 
p. 343 - On pilgrims at Nikko
 
"Again, I once saw a crowd of Japanese pilgrims at Nikko eagerly buying charms at a halfpenny each from the temple priests...
 
p364 - On the future of Japan
 
"The first Englishman who visited Japan on April 19, 1600, old William Adams from Jellingham, wrote: `The people are good of nature, courteous out of measure, and valiant in war.` What could any nation desire further to be? ... For my part, I have been too happy in what remains of old Japan and too unhappy in what is growing out of `civilization`..