National Geographic : 1911 Nov
VOL. XXII, No. 11 WASHINGTON NOVEMBER, 1911 DG - H1IGHL Lii _ o GLIMPSES OF JAPAN By WILLIAM W. CHAPIN AUTHOR OF "GLIMPSES OF KOREA AND CHINA," WITH 39 PHOTOGRAPHS IN COLORS, IN THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE FOR NOVEMBER, 1910 W HEN we recall the scenes of our delightful days in Japan, our minds are filled with the wonderful harmony of it all. The peo ple, their dress, the flowers, the temples, the homes and gardens-in fact, every thing seemed to fit in place like the in struments of a great orchestra. The months of our sojourn resembled a delightful picnic, so much of our time was spent in the open, carried in the comfortable "rikishas," or the more dig nified "kagos" (native basket chairs), accompanied by the ingenious native lunch-baskets. The Japanese are remark able for their out-of-door life. Proba bly no people have more fete days or enter more heartily into the observance of them. In these festivals the flowers are the most important feature. It matters little what kind is in season-the flowering plum, cherry, wisteria, azalia, peony, iris, lotus, chrysanthemum, or maple where the flowers are, there are the peo ple, and the evidence of their enjoyment is unmistakable. The Emperor's cherry blossom and chrysanthemum garden parties are an nual affairs, as well as that of Count Okuma, Japan's grand old man. One of the Count's hobbies is propagating and collecting dwarf maples and chrys anthemums. His collection of the former numbers 500 and of the latter 900. This national prominence given to flowers is a powerful incentive to flori culturists to attain the best possible re sults. A visit to the Maple Club, in the sub urbs of Tokio, was one of our pleasant experiences. Here dinners are served in the highest style of the Japanese art, and if one discovers native cooking is not to his liking, he can forget his hunger for the time being in watching the "merry whirl" of the dancing girls (see page 985), accompanied by the more sedate and less attractive geishas, whose music is as devoid of tune or harmony as the so-called dance is of dancing, according to Western ideas. The grounds connected with the club house are very attractive and formed an appropriate setting for the pretty little women, who were induced to pose before the kodak by a promise of a picture for each. Later, on delivering the prints, we were informed that we had broken the record, for this was the only time they had received the reward which many, many times had been promised.