Charles Frederick Holder.

The Californian (Volume 4) online

. (page 87 of 120)
Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 87 of 120)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Mountains.

These extraordinary lakes, 11,500
feet above sea-level, deserve more
than a passing notice, on account of
the weird and lovely aspect of the
great mountain hollow in which they
are cradled. A mile higher up than
Colorado Springs a vast basin, be-
trayed by a break in the mountain's
front, lies hidden in its bosom, walled
in by mighty cliffs. The great ex-
panse of water that once filled this
immense rock-locked reservoir ages
ago burst through its confining dam,
found its way in beautiful rivulets to
the plains below, and shrank into a
chain of seven lakelets separated by
bands of meadow land, bright in the
spring and summer with green grasses
and brilliant flowers. The largest
and highest of these lakes is but
about eighty acres in extent, and lies
close up to the south wall of the ba-
sin ; the others are scattered in irreg-
ular groups on the floor of the hollow.
The loveliness, the Plutonian gloom,
and the almost ultra-mundane condi-
tion of this wild, secluded spot, par-
ticularly by night, are well described
by a writer in one of the New Eng-
land magazines:

" The peaks which make the south
wall of the basin are all between
thirteen and fourteen thousand feet
high. Over such a wall as this
moons and suns come late and
stealthily, as if they had no right in
the place. The slow approaches of
moonlight on a full-moon night are
wonderful to see. Its first radiance
begins on the northernmost peak
while yet all the lakes and the whole
basin are wrapped in darkness; it is
not a radiance, but a sort of shining
dusk, only one shade less than the



darkness. For hours this era
as a mist, inch by inch, frum peak to
peak, round by way of the west ; then
above the upper line of the south
wall comes a white glow; from this
gradually ditfus

over the upper half of the vail
Still no moon; still the larger M
at the base of the silver-. uth

wall, are black. Not until lull mid-
night or past does the first dt1
beam fall on the water; then
but a bar — one narrow, sharp-li:
straight bar of white — beneath w
the water seems to quiv»
through and through with si
sparkles; then, in a second more, the
moon, as if the bar of light had I
her silver wand, lifted just in adv.
of her, compelling surrender of the
spot.

" Dawn comes over in the
way. Long after day has begun the
lakes lie purple and black and dai
malachite greens, and the shadows
of the mountains do not seem to give
place. Not until ten o'clock of the
forenoon on the day we left did the
full sunlight get in. It came with a
rush at the last second. As it swept
over us, it seemed strange that it
should be soundless, for it passed
swift like a wind."

No sunbeam penetrates this deep
wound in the mountain's breast until
the day-god is within two bottt
his meridian. In truth, the visitor to
Colorado Springs can gain a glimpse
at Plutonian realms or gaze upon the
glories of an Olympus; he can find
his way into recesses wherein fairies
might love to dance by moonlight
and hold their "little rout"— spots
such as those to which

"Peri and Pixy, and quaint Puck the Antic.
Brought Robin Goodfellow, that merry

swain ;
And stealthy Mab, queen of all realms

romantic,
Came too, from distance in her tiny wain.
Fresh dripping from a cloud-some bloomy

rain,
Then circling the bright moon, had

washed her car.
And still bedewed it with a various stain ;



642



AROUND THE GARDEN OF THE GODS.



Lastly came Ariel, shooting from a star,
Who bears all fairy embassies afar. "

He can intrude into dells where the
wood-nymphs dwell ; he can linger at
the foot of falls in whose spray sports
the water-sprite, and he can tread on
mountain tops and have the whole
world beneath his feet.

Pike's Peak, the summit of which
the explorer whose name it bears
strove so hard to reach, is now ac-
cessible to children. A cog-wheel
railway has been constructed to the
mountain's top, and the round-trips
may be made in a few hours from
Manitou. There is, moreover, a car-
riage road, available during the sum-
mer months, leading from Cascade
Canyon to the same summit on which
stands, nearly 2^ miles (14,147 feet)
above the sea, a United States signal
station.

It is not, then, to be wondered at,
that, with such attractions as this,
tourists, as soon as the new settle-
ments became known, flocked to this
Rocky Mountain resort, while owing
to the pure atmosphere of the region,
invigorating climate, and the medic-



inal waters, invalids visited it as a
sanitarium and, restored to health,
made Colorado Springs their perma-
nent home. How great was the in-
flux to this whilom mountain wilder-
ness within a few years after the
town site had been surveyed may be
gathered from the fact that in 1878
over 13,000 visitors registered at the
hotels that had been erected, and
nearly an equal number found accom-
modation in private boarding-houses.
Since that time Colorado Springs and
her twin-sister Manitou have con-
tinued to prosper. They are reached
from north, south, east, and west by
railways that have been built at Colo-
rado Springs as a focal point, since
Palmer energetically pushed his line
southward from Denver. Young as
is the community, it has marched on-
ward with the progress of the age,
and on ground which Pike with his
ill-clad, starved, and frost-bitten men
looked down upon, if they trod not
on it, public schools and institutions,
churches and noble buildings rise in
assertion of civilization's inroad into
nature's wilderness and her potent in-
fluence over savageism.





THE PROFESSIONAL BEAUTIES OF JAPAN.



BY HELEN GREGORY-FLESHER.




HERE is so wide
a discrepancy be-
tween Sir Edwin
Arnold's fascinat-
ing descriptions of
Japanese women
and Mr. Clement
Scott's estimate of
them, that people who have not vis-
ited Japan do not know whether to
believe that all Japanese women are
the charming creatures Sir Edwin
says they are, or the soulless, simper-
ing dolls Mr. Scott declares he found
them.

Of course every nation has its own
standard of feminine loveliness and
finds it difficult to understand and
appreciate any ideal of personal
beauty that does not conform to that
particular standard.

The most peerless of our American
beauties would probabl}* fail to excite
the admiration of an African sav-
age, while the Hottentot belle would
scarcely reign as such in a New York
drawing-room.

The Japanese ideal is strikingly
different from ours. To the native
eye, women of the Western world
are very far from handsome. That
golden-haired blonde loveliness that
to us is the highest type of female
beauty is not pleasing to the Japanese.



They call those sunny locks red!
Indeed, all hair save ebony bl
they so designate, and when we recall
the fact that their artists always
pict the devil with fair or red hair,
we realize in what estimation they
hold it!

The rosy complexion of our blonde
to them is florid and unhealthy look-
ing, and the small waist, large bust
and hips are positive deformit

The Japanese ideal of beauty was
thus publicly described by a native
gentleman at the Paris Exposition:
"The head should be neither
large nor too small. The large black
eyes should be surmounted by per*
fectly arched eyebrows and frin.
with black lashes. The face should
be oval, white, and but slightly rose-
tinted in each cheek, the nose straight
and high. The mouth small, regular,
and fresh, the thin lips parting to
show the white teeth behind them
The forehead should be narrow and
bordered with long black hair grow-
ing round the face in a perfect arch.
This head should be joined by a round
neck to a large but not fat body.
The loins should be slender, and the
hands and feet small but not thin,
the swell of the breast modest and
unexaggerated." Mere physical
beauty has never been regarded by



643



644



THE PROFESSIONAL BEAUTIES OF JAPAN.




the Japanese as the sole criterion;
fascinating - manners, a ready but
modest wit, and a gift for writing
poetry and understanding poetical
allusions weigh heavily in the bal-
ance, and some of their famous
called " beauties" owe their reputa-
tions as such more to fascination of
manner and a witty tongue than phy-
sical charms.

Really beautiful women arc not
common in any country, but Japan
has her fair share of them, though
the ordinary traveller has not many
opportunities of meeting them.

The beautiful women of the aris-
tocracy, with two or three notable
exceptions, are not often seen by
any one save a few intimate Japanese
friends. If they are court ladies,
very occasionally some high court
ceremony may bring them into
slightly more general view.

This is not because there is any
Oriental system of seclusion, but be-
cause there is absolutely nothing to
take them outside the house or castle
grounds. There are no balls, no
parties, no social functions at which
women of this class are present at the
same time as the men of the family.

Exceptionally beautiful women in
the lower walks of life who are not



married to merchants or men of sim-
ilar standing, whose wives are almost
as seldom seen by the general public
as the aristocracy, become first-class
geisha, or 'professional beauties.'

The first-class or " number one"
geisha, as they are called in the ver-
nacular, are only a little less seldom
seen by the " globe-trotting" foreigner
than the lady of aristocratic lineage,
for the charges for their services are
very high, and they do not care to
lower their standing by being hired
in a chance way by ordinary for-
eigners or common Japanese. Their
services are frequently arranged for
weeks in advance, so that money
alone cannot always command their
presence.

Of course, foreigners who remain
any length of time in the country
and who mix with the higher-class
Japanese usually receive invitations
to fine entertainments and dinners,
and thus have opportunities to see
some of the famous geisha, and as a
consequence we find Sir Edwin Ar-
nold and those travellers who have
seen both these women and those of
the aristocracy, that is, who have
seen all classes, assert that there are




KATSLMA.



THE PROFESSIONAL BEAUTIES OF JAPAN.



beautiful, very beautiful women in
Japan, and this not because their
eyes have grown accustomed to the
native style, but because they have
had a much larger field of observa-
tion than is usually accorded the
casual and transient visitor, or, in
vulgar parlance, the "globe-trotter."
The geisha are frequently spoken of
as " singing" or " dancing" girls, but
"professional beauty" is really a



645

age in all the acquirements in

to the position, and she holds no

social rank.

The geisha are nut m ; n the

ordinary acceptation , i the word.
They never appear in the theatre
on a public stage.

Their dancing is in reality postur-
ing, or pantomime, rapp
resent some scene from
ancient classical dramas.




A TYPICAL BEAUTY.



more correct term. The word "geisha"
itself literally means "artiste."

With us the professional beauty at-
tains that ephemeral distinction not
alone by reason ot her personal at-
tractions, but through some combi-
nation of fortuitous circumstances,
and she has a certain social status
during the brief period of her reign,
if not before. But the Japanese girl
who aims to become a professional
beauty is trained from a very tender



Besides the <?</ori t or posturing, they
learn to play one of the native in-
struments, the samisen, the k
etc., and to sing according to
Japanese method, which is exceed-
ingly difficult and which most for-
eigners wish were impossible.

But these are not the principal
points in the training of laful

geisha. Soft looks, fascinating man-
ners, sweet smiles, witty are
part of her stock in trade. Her edu-



646



THE PROFESSIONAL BEAUTIES OF JAPAN.



cation begins at seven years of age,
or just as soon as she can be taught
the figures of the dances.

A "number one" geisha must be
cultivated and well read besides being
able to dance and sing. Gentlemen
who are giving dinner-parties or en-
tertaining guests engage two or three
or more geisha to come and amuse the
company. They sing, dance, and
talk, play various little games with
their hands and ringers, and tell sto-
ries — anything, in fact, which seems
to interest and amuse their patrons.

From time to time, some geisha be-
comes famous all over Japan for her
beauty and brilliancy, and she is as
much talked about as a celebrated
actress is with us. Young men rave
about her and commit all sorts of
extravagances for her sake.

The morals of the geisha are of all
shades, good, bad and indifferent,
varying with the individual, but the
geisha are quite distinct from theyugo.
Though the geisha are not, correctly
speaking, actresses, they hold a some-
what similar position in the Japanese



social scale to that which actresses do
with us ; and there is as wide a bridge
between the first-class geisha and the
lowest as there is between the famous
actress whose name is above reproach,
and the " song and dance" artiste of the
dives.

In the same way as some very con-
scientious but rather narrow-minded
people regard every woman con-
nected with a theatre as morally de-
praved, so some people in Japan con-
sider every geisha a woman of bad
character.

Of course this is very far from the
truth in either case. There are wo-
men as good and as pure on the stage
as off. It can scarcely be denied,
however, that both the actresses of the
European theatres and the geisha of
Japan live in a more relaxed moral
atmosphere than most other women,
though how much they are affected
by it depends upon themselves.

There are two cities in Japan which
are celebrated for the surpassing
beauty of their geisha. These are the
two capitals, Tokyo and Kyoto. See-




BEAUTIES AT HOME.






THE PROFESSIONAL BEAUTIES OF JAPAN.



647



ing that foreigners took a keen in-
terest in the question of their beauty,
or lack of it, an enterprising native
got up a sort of beauty show in Tokyo
in which one hundred geisha partici-
pated. The six photographs with
the names appended were especially
chosen for this ar-
ticle. The native
gentlemen who se-
lected them consid-
ered them among
the most famous in
Tokyo.

A glance will
show that their
decision was not
based on physical
beauty alone, and
that other consider-
ations must have
entered consider-
ably into their
judgment.

The first two
whose portraits are
given, Yamato and
Kameko, would, I
think, be consid-
ered pretty by al-
most any one. Like
the great majority
of Japanese wom-
en, both these girls
are small — under
five feet. Yamato
is the taller of the
two and approaches
more nearly the
ideal Japanese
type. Kameko is
perhaps a more
general favorite,
being wittier and
more vivacious
than Yamato.

The beauty of these two geisha is of
a certain dainty, refined kind, and
though their social status is not very
exalted, there is obviously a strain
of aristocratic blood in their veins.
They have the fair, pale, rose-tinted
skin and slender, aquiline nose of the
Japanese aristocrat.




COSTUME OF A BEAUTY



Tamagiko and Katsuma are of the
same type as their predecessors, but
they are intensified examples of it.
They are taller and even mure slen-
der, and by native lodges would
probably be considered prettier than
Yamato and Kameko. When I

slender I do not
mean thin, fur they
are not that, but
their frames are
small and del

Katsuma is more
stately in manner
and of graver de-
meanor than most
of the others, and
by older men and
elassieal scholars
she is held in the
highest n
she is more deeply

versed in the poets
than almost any of
her SJ //</.

Hanakiehi's par-
ticular fascination
lies in the 1
girlish cxpri
of her face and that
undefined c h a r m
that youth lends to
even plain women,
a more than usually
evanescent attrac-
tion i n J a pan ,
where women are
old at twenty-five.
Kamkiehi, t<><\ has
youth in her I
and all the pretty
curves and plump-
that a<
panv it.

Of the nine geisha
Specially men-
tioned, Hanakichi and Kamkiehi are
the most attractive to Western people.
Their gestures and expression are
almost appealing. They have an air
of childish confidence, that whether
real or assumed is very bewitching—
the sort of nameless attraction some-
times possessed by our own women.



648



THE PROFESSIONAL BEAUTIES OF JAPAN.




JAPANESE GIRLS l'< SING.



Hanakichi has a browner skin and
slightly heavier features than Kam-
kichi, and of the two the latter is
more universally admired by both
natives and foreigners (Americans
and Europeans) than Hanakichi, but
the latter has a more captivating
smile.

Katsuma, Ochiyo, and Koriki are
geisha so famous for wit and accom-
plishments that the question of per-
sonal beauty is thrown into the back-
ground.

The geisha generally retire early
in life and either marry or become
teachers of music or dancing. Ochiyo
and Koriki have already retired, and
Katsuma will probably do so .soon.
Teachers who have themselves been
famous geisha are always in demand,
for, as I have before remarked, the
Japanese "professional beauty" is
trained for her calling, and from a
celebrated geisha her pupils hope to
acquire some of the graceful manners
and dainty ways that made her so
irresistible.

Wives and mothers look askance



upon the fascinating geisha, in the
light of whose seductive smiles the
purse-strings of the husband or
father are apt to relax too easily.

Into the slender little hands of
these girls more than one foreign
resident has fallen, and the geisha of
Tokyo can boast the conquest of
many a noted traveller who came,
saw, and (was) conquered. Ameri-
cans and Britons alike have been
subjugated by their charms.

Manner and bearing are more
highly regarded by the Japanese
than beauty, and the same Japanese
gentleman who described the native
ideal of female loveliness added as
necessary accompaniments to physi-
cal beauty "a gentle manner, a voice
like a nightingale which makes one
divine its artlessness, a look at once
lively, sweet, gracious, and always
charming; witty words pronounced
distinctly, accompanied by charming
smiles ; a look sometimes calm, some-
times gay or thoughtful, and always
dignified. Manners noble, simple,
and a little proud, but without in-



THE PROFESSIONAL BEAUTIES OF JAPAN.



649



o

i

2!



currmg the suspicion of undue as-
sumption."

Not only in these modern days has
Japan her noted beauties, but all
through her history we find the names
of women who were renowned the
length and breadth of the land, either
for the beauty of their faces, the
brilliancy of their
wit, or the vigor
of their intellect.
In the Middle
Ages, the Mika-
dos were sur-
rounded by courts
not unlike those
of the French
ings, and though
here was openly
o Madame de
Pompadour or
Madame de Main-
tenon, many a no-
ble's court, and
often that of the
Mikado himself,
was ruled in spirit
by some woman
who secretly
pulled the string
that made the
puppets dance.

The first pass-
port to favor was
a ready wit, a tal-
ent for mechani-
cal verse-making,
and quick com-
prehension of po-
etical allusions
taken from the
classical poets.

As the vShoguns
isurped more and

lore of the actual power and the
'ikados sank to the position of rois
faineants, the court ladies gained as-
cendancy and the court itself grew
luxury and elegance, and became
:he centre of refinement and culture,
md naturally the beautiful and tal-
ented women from all over the king-
lom drifted to this centre.
Of these famous beauties of old we




A BATTLE-DOOK M .11-



have no pictures except those drawn

by their own nam, . and in

these all the women seem to b

the same curious type. Tl

are unnaturally long," the eyes oblique

slits, and the e

that if continued they would me<

an angle— but further d<

useless; we all
know the J
ese lady
pictcd on
and

native land.
Thequestioj

pictures
entirely una]
ary, or are they
correct i

08 Of ty:
Japanese Women?
Most of us are
well aware that
the ordinary Ja-
panese girl does
not look like these
pictures, but the
question is. did
such a type ever
exist, and if so,
it still do so?
U n doubted ly
there was, and is
yet, such a I
though y
to be gradually
dying out. The
Tokugawas, the
late a of

the 1
of thl and

Of the lai
of the h

weirdly like the
remarkable women depicted by their
native artists. They ha\ i mc

fragile appearance, the oblique ey
elongated featu 1 slender,

dainty hands and feet of the picttti
aristocrat. Beauty of thi
cites more wonder than admiration
in the breast of QCT, but

the Japanese themselves it is re-
garded as the higi «cluded



THE PROFESSIONAL BEAUTIES OF JAPAN.



65 >






in the family castles, these women
live and die as their grandmothers
and great-grandmothers did before
them. An unvaried round of state-
ly wearisome etiquette, with a little
music, a little reading, and a little
arranging of flowers according to cer-
tain formal rules, makes up the sum
total of their lives.

Like Sleeping Beauty, they live in
a dense forest of exclusion unknow-
ing and unknown. Of the wonderful
changes that are taking place in Japan
all about them, only a dim rumor
comes to them occasionally. Dainty,
frail, and almost uncanny looking,
they seem like embodied spirits of
the feudal ages rather than ordinary
flesh -and-blood women.

They are born, married, have chil-
dren and depart this life without
knowing much more of the world and
its ways than when they first came
into it; a narrow, even existence is
theirs, with few very bright spots
and few heavy shadows. This aris-
tocratic type differs so essentially
from the more heavily built, darker
skinned, " pudding-faced" common
type, that the origin of the former
has excited investigation. It is now
pretty generally concluded that while
the present Japanese race were all
originally Korean, there were two
distinct tides of immigration. The
first who came over were probabl) r
hardy adventurers, who visited the
islands on fishing excursions, in-
termarried among the Aino, and
finally settled down and began to de-
velop the country. After a consider-
able number of these pioneers had
redeemed the land and civilized the
people to a certain extent, the way
being smoothed for them, a more
aristocratic class gradually followed
them. These latter, being of much
higher social status, never married
among the Aino, the traces of whose
coarser blood is seen yet in the so-
called " pudding-faced" type.

So there are to-day in Japan two
distinct types — the slender, willowy,
as shown in the aristocratic lady, and



the heavy plebeian of the 1.
woman.

When we compare the Caiu
and Mongolian faces, we find that one
of the principal differe: that

while the former lias a certain pr<
inence about the eves and tippet
the latter is almost fiat in t
regions. Another important di:
ence is in the setting of the 1
With us the orbit is well del;:
both above and below, but with a
Japanese woman, the exact Una w '
the forehead begins and the
end would scarcely be distingu:
ble, were it not for the eyebr-
The eyes of both the Japanese and
the Chinese are in reality the same
shape as our own, but the eycli<
these races are drawn down socio
at the inner corners as to all
form a fold when the eyes are open.
It is this peculiarity which giva that
curious oblique look which is char-
acteristic of the Mongolian face.
This and the great flatness of the jaw
lend the face a singularly meek and
guileless look. These differences are
also some of the reason8 why Western
people are not comely to the Japan-
ese eye. According to their stand-
ard, the sunken orbit gives to our
women even an appearance of gro-
tesque ferocity that is far from pleas-
ing.

In European dress the Jap
woman is, as a rule, far from pti
though whether she looks as bad",
us as our women in Japai ime

look to the Japanese 1 ted ques-

tion.

The reason for this lies not only in
the dissimilarity of figure, but also
the distinctly opposit the

body adopted 1>\ D and W

ern women. The bearing consid<
the most correct and aristocratic
a Japanese lady is the head I
slightly forward, the shoulders
rounded, and a slight stoop of the
upper part of the body; a submissive
deportment being regarded
eminently proper one for the inferior
sex. In' the loose, draped kimono



Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 87 of 120)