A FISHING PAUTY.
INNOVATIONS IN JAPAN. 195
himself in the character of a merchant in a foreign land. He became the
owner of nearly a dozen of the kindred of his first purchase, and would
have kept on longer had not his stock-in-trade given out. The guide
took the purchases in charge, and they followed the fate of the pioneer
in the business in finding their way to the cooking-pot. When the traffic
was ended, and the Japanese urchins found that the market was closed,
they pronounced their "sayonaras" and withdrew as quietly as they had
From Odiwara the roads were worse than they had found them thus far.
They had come by jin-riki-shas from Yokohama, and had had no trouble ;
but from this place onward they were told that the roads were not every-
where practicable for wheeled carriages. The Japanese are improving
their roads every year, and therefore a description for one season does not
exactly indicate the character of another. Anybody who reads this story
and then goes to Japan may find good routes where formerly there were
only impassable gorges, and hotels and comfortable lodging-houses where,
only a year before, there was nothing of the kind. In no country in the
world at the present time, with the possible exception of the "Western
States of North America, are the changes so rapid as in the land of the
Mikado. Wheeled carriages were practically unknown before Commodore
Perry landed on Japanese soil, and the railway was an innovation un-
dreamed of in the Japanese philosophy. Now wheeled vehicles are com-
mon, and the railway is a popular institution, that bids fair to extend its
benefits in many directions. Progress, progress, progress, is the motto of
the Japan of to-day.
Besides the natural desire to see Odiwara, the party had another reason
for their delay, which was to give the conductor time to engage cangos
for their transport in such localities as would not admit of the jin-riki-sha.
We will see by-and-by what the cango is.
The boys had been much amused at the appearance of a Japanese they
met on the road just before reaching Odiwara, and wondered if they
would be obliged to adopt that mode of riding before they finished their
journey. The man in question was seated on a horse, not in the way in
which we are accustomed to sit. but literally on the back of the animal.
His baggage was fastened around him behind and on each side, and he
was rather uncomfortably crouched (at least, so it seemed to Fred) on a
flat pad like the one used by a circus-rider. A servant led the horse, and
the pace was a walking one. Altogether, the appearance of the man was
decidedly ludicrous, and the boys were somewhat surprised to learn that
this was the ordinary way of travelling on horseback in the olden time.
THE BOY TRAVELLERS.
THE MAN TUKV MET.
Before the arrival of foreigners in Japan it was not the fashion for a
traveller to be in a hurry, and, even at the present time, it is not always
easy to make a native understand the value of a day or an hour. A man
setting out on a journey did not concern himself about the time he would
consume on the road ; if the weather was unfavorable, he was perfectly
willing to rest for an indefinite period, and it mattered little if he occu-
pied three weeks in making a journey that could be covered in one. In
matters of business the Japanese have not yet learned the importance of
time, and the foreign merchants complain greatly of the native dilatori-
ness. A Japanese will make a contract to deliver goods at a certain
date; on the day appointed, or perhaps a week or two later, he will in-
form the other party to the agreement that he will not be ready for a
month or two, and he is quite unable to comprehend the indignation of
the disappointed merchant. He demurely says, "I can't have the goods
ready," and does not realize that he has given any cause for anger. Time
is of no consequence to him, and he cannot understand that anybody else
should have any regard for it. The Japanese are every year becoming
more and more familiarized with the foreign ways of business, and will
doubtless learn, after a while, the advantages of punctuality.
TRAVELLING BY CANGO. 197
CHAPTER XIV. ,
THE ASCENT OF FUSIYAMA.
THEY did not get far from Odiwara before it was necessary to leave
the jin-riki-slias and take to the cangos. These were found waiting
for them where the road ended and the footpath began, and the boys
were delighted at the change from the one mode of conveyance to the
other. Doctor Bronson did not seem to share their enthusiasm, as he had
been in a cango before and did not care for additional experience. He
said that cango travelling was very much like eating crow a man might
do it if he tried, but he was not very likely to " hanker after it."
It required some time for them to get properly stowed in their new
conveyances, as they needed considerable instruction to know how to
double their legs beneath them. And even when they knew how, it was
not easy to make their limbs curl into the proper positions and feel at
home. Frank thought it would be very nice if he could unscrew his legs
and put them on the top of the cango, where he was expected to place his
boots ; and Fred declared that if he could not do that, the next best thing
would be to have legs of India-rubber. The cango is a box of light
bamboo, with curtains that can be kept up or down, according to one's
pleasure. The seat is so small that you must curl up in a way very
uncomfortable for an American, but not at all inconvenient for a Jap-
anese. It has a cushion, on which the traveller sits, and the top is so low
that it is impossible to maintain an erect position. It has been in use for
hundreds of years in Japan, and is not a great remove from the palanquin
of India, though less comfortable. The body of the machine is slung
from a pole, and this pole is upheld by a couple of coolies. The men
move at a walk, and every few hundred feet they stop, rest the pole on
their staffs, and shift from one shoulder to the other. This resting is a
ticklish thing for the traveller, as the cango sways from side to side, and
gives an intimation that it is liable to fall to the ground. It does fall
sometimes, and the principal consolation in such an event is that it does
not have far to go.
THE BOY TRAVELLERS.
TRAVELLING IN A NOKIMON.
A more aristocratic vehicle of this kind is the norimon. The norimon
is larger than the cango, and is completely closed in at the sides, so that it
may be taken as a faint imitation of our covered carriages. The princes
of Japan used to travel in norimons ; and they are still employed in some
parts of the empire, though becoming less and less common every year.
The norimon has four bearers, instead of two, and, consequently, there is
much more dignity attached to its use. The rate of progress is about the
same as with the cango, and after several hours in one of them a foreigner
feels very much as if he were a sardine and had been packed away in a
can. It was always considered a high honor to be the bearer of a princely
personage ; and when the great man came out in state, with his army of
retainers to keep the road properly cleared, the procession was an impos-
ing one. The style and decorations of the norimon were made to corre-
spond with the rank of the owner, and his coat-of-arms was painted on the
outside, just as. one may see the coats-of-arms on private carriages in Lon-
don or Paris. When a prince or other great man expected a distinguished
visitor, he used to send his private norimon out a short distance on the
road to meet him.
The boys tried all possible positions in the cangos, in the hope of
finding some way that was comfortable. Frank finally settled down into
what he pronounced the least uncomfortable mode of riding, and Fred
soon followed his example. They had taken open cangos, so as to see as
much of the country as possible and have the advantage of whatever air
was in circulation; and but for the inconvenience to their lower limbs,
TI1K BOY TRAVELLERS.
FKAXK S POSITION.
they would have found it capital fun. Frank doubled himself so that his
feet were as high as his head ; he gave his hat into the care of the con-
ductor, and replaced it
with a cloth covering, so
that he looked not much
unlike a native. 1 15s bear-
ers found him rather un-
wieldy, as he frequently
moved about, and thus dis-
turbed the equilibrium of
the load. To ride prop-
erly in a can go or a nori-
mon, one should not move
a muscle from the time he
enters till, he leaves the
vehicle. This may do for the phlegmatic Oriental, but is torture for a
foreigner, and especially for an American.
Doctor Broiison was a tall man, and could not fold himself with as
much facility as could the more supple youths. lie rode a mile or so and
then got out and walked ; and he continued thus to alternate as long as
they were travelling in this way. lie was emphatic in declaring that the
way to ride in a cango and enjoy it thoroughly was to walk behind it, and
let somebody else take the inside of the vehicle.
Their journey brought them to Ilakone, which has long been a favor-
ite summer resort of the Japanese, and of late years is much patronized
by foreigners. Those who can afford the time go there from Yokohama,
Tokio, and other open ports of Japan ; and during July and August there
is quite a collection of English and Americans, and of other foreign nation-
alities. The missionaries, who have been worn down and broken in health
by their exhaustive labors in the seaports during the winter, find relief and
recuperation at Ilakone as the summer comes on. There they gather new
strength for their toils by breathing the pure air of the mountains and
climbing the rugged paths, and they have abundant opportunities for
doing good among the natives that reside there.
Before reaching Ilakone it was necessary to traverse a mountain pass,
by ascending a very steep road to the summit and then descending an-
other. In the wildest part of the mountains they came to a little village,
which has a considerable fame for its hot springs. The boys had a fancy
to bathe in these springs, and, as the coolies needed a little rest after their
toilsome walk, it was agreed to halt awhile. There were several of the
A JAPANESE HOT SPRING.
THE BOY TRAVELLERS.
springs, and the water was gathered in pools, which had a very inviting
appearance and increased the desire of our friends to try them. They
went into one of the small rooms provided for the purpose, removed their
clothing, and then plunged in simultaneously. They came out instantly,
and without any request to do so by the Doctor, who stood laughing at
the edge of the pool. For their skins the water was almost scalding-hot,
though it was far otherwise to the Japanese. The Japanese are very fond
of hot baths, and will bathe in water of a temperature so high that a for-
eigner cannot endure it except after long practice. The baths here in the
mountains were just suited to the native taste ; and Frank said they would
be suited to his taste as well if they could have a few blocks of ice thrown
A JAPANESE BATH.
Public and private baths are probably more numerous in Japan than
in any other country. The qualities of most of the natural sources are
well known, and thousands flock to them every year to be cured of real
or imaginary maladies. The country contains a great number of these
springs ; and, since the arrival of foreigners, and a careful analysis of the
waters, certain properties have been discovered that were not known be-
fore. In some cases the curative powers of the Japanese springs are re-
markable, and it has been predicted that patients will one day come to
Japan from distant lands to be healed.
The Lake of Ilakone is a beautiful sheet of water, not unlike Lake
FUSIYAMA FROM THE LAKE.
204 THE BOY TRAVELLERS.
Tahoe in California an aquatic gem in a setting of nigged mountains.
These are not lofty, like the mountains of the Golden State, so far as their
elevation above the lake is concerned ; but they rise directly from the
water, and present nearly everywhere a bold frontage. The surface of
the lake is said to be more than six thousand feet above the level of the
sea; and the water is clear arid cold. Our young friends tried a bath in
the lake, and found it as inconveniently cold as the springs had been in-
conveniently warm. " Some people are never satisfied," said Fred, when
Frank was complaining about the temperature of the water in the lake.
"You wouldn't be contented with the springs because they boiled yon,
and now you say the lake freezes you. Perhaps we'll find something by-
and-by that will come to the point."
The boys had observed that the farther they penetrated from Yoko-
hama and Tokio, the less did they find the people affected in their dress
and manners by the presence of the foreigners. Particularly was this the
case with the women. They had seen in the open ports a good many
women with blackened teeth ; and the farther they went inland, the
greater did they find the proportion of the fair sex who had thus dis-
figured themselves. So at the first opportunity they asked the Doctor
about the custom.
" I know," said Frank, " that it is the married women that blacken
their teeth ; but how does it happen that there are so many more married
ones here than on the shores of Yeddo Bay ?"
" You are wrong there," answered the Doctor ; " there is probably as
large a proportion of married women in the one region as in the other.
The difference is that the custom is rapidly falling off."
" Is there any law about it ?" Fred inquired.
"Not in the least," Doctor Bronson explained. "It is an old custom
for married women to blacken their teeth, and formerly it was most rig-
idly observed ; but of late years, since the foreigners came to Japan, it has
not been adhered to. The Japanese see that a married woman can get
along without having her teeth discolored, and as they are inclined to fall
into the customs of Europe, the most progressive of them not only permit,
but require, their wives to keep their teeth white."
" That is one point," said Frank, " in which I think the Japanese have
gained by adopting the European custom. I don't think it improves their
appearance to put on European clothes instead of their o\vn ; but when it
comes to this habit of blackening the teeth, it is absolutely hideous."
From this assertion there was no dissent. Then the question naturally
arose, " How is the operation performed 2"
FEMININE CUSTOMS IN JAPAN. 205
Doctor Bronson explained that it was done by means of a black paint
or varnish, peculiar to Japan. The paint was rubbed on the teeth with a
rag or stiff brush, and made the gums very sore at first. It remained
quite bright and distinct for the first few days, but in the course of a
week it faded, and by the end of ten or twelve days a renewal was neces-
sary. If left to itself, the coloring would disappear altogether within a
month from the time of its application.
Frank wished to know if the women were desirous of having the cus-
tom abolished, but on this point it was not easy for him to obtain precise
information. The Doctor thought it was a matter of individual rather
than of general preference, and that the views of the women were largely
influenced by those of their husbands. "The Japanese wives," said he,
"are like the wives of most other countries, and generally wish to do ac-
cording to the tastes and desires of their husbands. As you grow older
you will find that the women of all lands endeavor to suit their modes of
dressing and adornment to the wishes % of the men with whom they corne
mostly in contact; of course, there are individual exceptions, but they do
not weaken the force of the general rule. In America as in England, in
China as in Japan, in India as in Peru, it is the fancy of the men that
governs the dress and personal decoration of the other half of the race. As
long as it was the fashion to blacken the teeth in this country, the women
did it without a murmur; but as soon as the men showed a willingness
for them to discontinue the practice, and especially when that willingness
became a desire, they began to discontinue it. Twenty years from this
time, I imagine, the women with blackened teeth will be less numerous
than those at present with white ones.
" The abandonment of the custom began in the open ports, and is
spreading through the country. It will spread in exactly the same ratio
as Japan adopts other customs and ways of the rest of the world ; and as
fast as she takes on our Western civilization, just so fast will she drop
such of her forms as are antagonistic to it."
The party rested a portion of a day at Hakone, and then went on their
way. Travelling by cango had become so wearisome that they engaged a
horse-train for a part of the way, and had themselves and their baggage
carried on the backs of Japanese steeds. They found this an improvement
on the old plan, though the horses were rather more unruly than the cango
coolies, and frequently made a serious disturbance. Occasionally, when
the train was ready to start, the beasts would indulge in a general kicking-
match all around, to the great detriment of their burdens, whether ani-
mate or otherwise. The best and gentlest horses had been selected for
206 THE BOY TRAVELLERS.
ANTICS OF THE HOUSES.
riding, and consequently the greatest amount of circus performances was
with the baggage animals. The grooms had all they wished to attend to
to keep the beasts under subjection, and not infrequently they came out
of the contest with gashes and other blemishes on their variegated skins.
But they showed great courage in contending with the vicious brutes, and
it is said of a Japanese betto that he will fearlessly attack the most ill-tem-
pered horse in the country, and not be satisfied till he has conquered him.
There are several populous towns between Hakone and the base of
Fusiyama. Among them may be mentioned Missimi, Noomads, and
Harra, none of them containing any features of special importance after
the other places our friends had seen. Consequently our party did not
halt there any longer than was necessary for the ordinary demands of the
journe}', but pushed on to the foot of the Holy Peak. As they ap-
proached it they met many pilgrims returning from the ascent, and their
general appearance of fatigue did not hold out a cheering prospect to the
excursionists. But they had come with the determination to make the
journey to the summit of the mountain, and were not to be frightened at
trifles. They were full of enthusiasm, for the great mountain showed
more distinctly every hour as they approached it, and its enormous and
symmetrical cone was pushed far up into the sky, and literally pierced the
clouds. At times the clouds blew away ; the sunlight streamed full upon
the lofty mass of ever-during stone, and seemed to warm it into a tropical
heat. But the snow lying unmelted in the ravines dispelled the illusion,
and they knew that they must encounter chilling winds, and perhaps
biting frosts, as they ascended to the higher altitudes.
There lay the great Fusiyama, the holy mountain of Japan, which
AT THE MOUNTAIN'S BASE.
THK BOY TRAVEL I. KKS.
tliey had come so many thousand miles to see. In the afternoon the
clouds rolled at its base, but the cone, barren as a hill in the great desert,
was uncovered, and all the huge furrows of its sloping sides were dis-
tinctly to be seen. Close at hand were forests of the beautiful cedar of
Japan, fields of waving corn, and other products of agriculture. Not far
off were the w r aters of the bay that sweeps in from the ocean to near the
base of the famous landmark for the mariners who approach this part of
the coast. Now and then the wind brought to their ears the roar of the
breakers, as they crashed upon the rocks, or rolled along the open stretches
of sandy beach.
Hitherto they had been favored by the weather, but now a rain came on
that threatened to detain them for an indefinite period. It blew in sharp
gusts that sometimes seemed ready to lift the roof from the house where
IN A STORM NEAR FCSIYAMA.
they were lodged. The conductor explained that these storms were fre-
quent at the base of the mountain, and were supposed by the ignorant and
superstitious inhabitants of the region to be the exhibition of the displeas-
ure of the deities of Fusiyarna in consequence of something that had
been done by those who professed to worship them. "When the gods are
angry," said he, " we have storms, and when they are in good-humor we
have fair weather. If it is very fine, we know they are happy ; and when
the clouds begin to gather, we know something is wrong, and it depends
upon the amount of sacrifices and prayers that we offer whether the
clouds clear away without a storm or not."
BEGINNING THE ASCENT. 209
Near the foot of the mountain there are several monasteries, where
the pilgrims are lodged and cared for when making their religious visits
to the God of Fusiyama. Some of these are of considerable importance,
and are far from uncomfortable as places of residence. Our party spent
the night at one of these monastic settlements, which was called Muri-
yama, and was the last inhabited spot on the road. And as they were
considerably fatigued by the ride, and a day more or less in their journey
would not make any material difference, they wisely concluded to halt
until the second morning, so as to have all their forces fully restored.
Frank said, "This day doesn't count, as we are to do nothing but rest;
and if w r e want to rest, we must not see anything." So they did not try
to see anything ; but the Doctor was careful to make sure that their con-
ductor made all the necessary preparations for the ascent.
Early on the second morning after their arrival, they started for the
final effort. They rode their horses as far as the way was practicable, and
then proceeded on foot. Their baggage was mostly left in charge of the
grooms to await their return, and such provisions and articles as they
needed were carried by " yamabooshees," or " men of the mountain," whose
special business it is to accompany travellers to the summit, and to aid
them where the way is bad, or in case they become weary. If a person
chooses, he may be carried all the way to the top of the mountain and back
again ; but such an arrangement was not to the taste of our robust advent-
urers. They were determined to walk, and walk they did, in spite of the
entreaties of the coolies who wanted to earn something by transporting
them. In addition to the yamabooshees, they had an escort of two "yoboos,"
or priests, from one of the temples. These men were not expected to carry
burdens, but simply to serve as guides, as they were thoroughly familiar
with the road and knew all its peculiarities.
The first part of their way was through a forest, but, as they ascended,
the trees became smaller and fewer, and their character changed. At the
base there were pines and oaks, but they gradually made way for beeches
and birches, the latter being the last because the hardiest. From the for-
est they emerged upon the region of barren rock and earth and the frag-
ments left by the eruptions of the volcano. The last eruption took place
in 1707, and there have been few signs of any intention of returning
activity since that date. But all around there are abundant traces of
what the mountain was when it poured out its floods of lava and cover-
ed large areas with desolation. In some places the heaps of scoriae appear
as though the eruption, whence they came, had been but a week ago, as
they are above the line of vegetation, and their character is such that
210 THE BOY TRAVELLERS.
they undergo hardly any change from the elements from one century to
Tliis part of Japan, and, in fact, the whole of Japan, has a good deal
of volcanic iirc pent up beneath it. -Earthquakes are of frequent occur-
rence, and sometimes they are very destructive ; whole towns have been
destroyed by them, and as for the little ones that do no material damage,
but simply give things a general shaking-up, they are so frequent as to be
hardly noticeable. That there is an underground relation between the
disturbances in different parts of the country is evident, and the tradition
is that at the time of the last eruption of Fusiyama the ground rose con-