National Geographic : 1938 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Mary A. Nourse BUS GIRLS PERFORM EVERY DUTY FROM "REDCAP" TO "BARKER" While the crowd of sight-seers is visiting the Diet Building in Tokyo, these two young women enjoy a period of leisure from their duties of baggage shifting or giving travelogues. They are smiling and alert, proffering many services that make travel pleasant in Japan (page 116). leather styles), caps and hats, candy, sta tionery, notions, or what not (page 112). One day while shopping we went to a counter where they were displaying fancy brocade bags. The clerk stood smilingly by as we looked over her stock in the case. When we indicated we should like to see more, she was still pleasant but seemed not to understand that we wanted to see other stock than that already on display. Finally my friend went behind the counter and began pulling down other bags. When in the end she bought a dozen, all the neighboring clerks crowded around in great excitement. Time and again we noticed this strange touching but not mingling of East and West. The department stores have modern equip ment like those in New York or Chicago, but the reluctance to show goods follows the old Oriental habit. Often I have en- countered in both China and Japan this dis inclination to show goods from the shelves. I enjoyed an interesting evening visiting some night classes at the Tokyo Y. W. C. A., which is under the management of an American woman. The classes were varied: traditional tea ceremony and flower arrangement; cooking, both Japanese and foreign; English; typewriting, and sewing. STUDYING ENGLISH FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES IN 1940 The Japanese secretary took me to visit an English class composed of department store clerks. When I asked them why they studied English, one replied that she must know English for the Olympics which will be held at Tokyo in 1940. Another ex plained that when foreign women came to the store she was sent to different depart ments with them as interpreter.