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CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN,
AND

JAPANESE CHILD-STORIES.

a

~

r

E3?.?

G1843S7

KANGURA.

_"

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN,
AND

JAPANESE CHILD-STORIES.
BY

M.

CHAPLIN AYRTON,
),

Bachelier-es-Lettres, et Bachelier-es- Sciences (rest.
Cii'is

Paris,

Academic Edinensis,
et

Elci't de la Faculte de Jfedt'dne de Paris.

WITH MANY ILLUSTRATIONS, INCLUDING SEVEN FULL-PAGE PICTURES DRAWN AND ENGRAVED BY JAPANESE ARTISTS.

.

, .

-

-

-

.

j

i

11

i

j >

GRIFFITH
WEST CORNER
ST.

AN1>.
1879.

PARIAN,

PAUL'S CHURCHYARD, LONDON.

LONDON
R.

:

CLAY, SONS,

AND TAYLOR, PRINTERS,
E.G.

BREAD STREET HILL,

THE NEW
PUB LI
ASTOI

TILDEN

O

C

I

'

are Reserved.] \Th( Rights of Translation and of Reproduction

DEDICATION.

TO OJOSAMA.
A WAI
wo

ko

ni

mo

tabi

sassero (send the

child

you love on a
as
saith

journey),

great
verb,

Nipon's

pro-

and

whither

do you soon journey,

beloved?"
showing
stained

says,
black-

her
teeth

and

rubbing the head of the young.
nurse.
lisps
"

x?hild.

she tends; an old Japanese
of
i

To my honoured grandmother
*

*

*

my
j
->

noble

country,"

the

little

ladyship

whose
to

*

features, though, neither
^
-i

whose

*

dress nor talk,

show her

be a European.

viii

DEDICATION.
"

And what

shall
?

I,

your

grandame

here,

do when you

forsake and forget her
"

"

She

will
little

weep greatly

for

her Ojosama," and at this sad

thought a

dimpled hand caresses consolingly the brown

much-loved cheek.
"

This kindly
its

folk, this
its

sunny country,
rice-fields,

its

tea-gardens,
toys,
all

its

temples,

pine-groves,

even

its

these
all

on which alone her wondering baby-stare has ever hung,
these will

be forgotten,"
its

a listener

says,

"for as

the

lotus

in

the moat yonder casts

rosy petals, so will these early memories

fade

;

but as

nourishing O

mud

to

the

edible

lotus-root

so will

your love and that of your gentle nation have caused the very
roots of this
itself

young

life

to

germinate a loving nature that
in others."

will

endure and nourish love

INTRODUCTION.

IN almost
fens, in

every English

home

are

Japanese

our shops

Japanese
on

dolls

and

balls

and

other

nicknacks,
or the

our

writing-tables

bronze
lined

crabs

lacquered pen-tray
extinct

with outis

on

it

volcano

that

the

most striking mountain seen from the
of

capital

Japan

;

and

at

European places of amusereal

ment Japanese houses of
exhibited,
'

size

have been
for ''Japears.
lifeless

and the jargon of fashion

anese Art

even reaches our children's
these things

Yet

all

seem

dull

and

when

thus severed
true

from the quaint cheeriness

of their

home.

To

those

familiar

with

INTRODUCTION.

Japan,
graceful

that

bamboo
tree,

fan-handle
the

recalls

its

grassy

thousand

and

one

daily purposes for

which bamboo wood

serves,

-the open shop where squat
artisans

the brown-faced

cleverly

dividing

into

those

slender
en-

divisions
graver's

the

fan-handle,- -the wood-block
sit

where some dozen men
at

patiently

chipping
printer's

their

cherry-wood
colouring
those

blocks, --the

where
simple

the
to

arrangements
to

seem so

used
colours

Western
so
rich

machinery, but where the

are

and

true.

We

see

the picture stuck

on
in

the the

fan frame with starch paste,
brilliant
recall

and drying and
the

summer

sunlight
life

;

designs
life

vividly the
stage,

around, whether that

be

the

the

home,
of

insects,

birds,

or

flowers.

We

think

halts
girls

at
at

wayside inns
once
proffer

when bowing

tea-house

these fans to hot

and

tired guests.

INTR OD UCTION.

xi

The
on

tonsured

oblique-eyed

doll

suggests
little

the festival of similarly oblique-eyed

girls

the

3rd

of

March,

when

dolls

of

every
for

degree
in

obtain

for

a day "Dolls' Rights;'

every Japanese
present
festival

household
previous

all

the

dolls

of

the
that

and
set

generations

are

on

out

to

best

advantage, with,
rice-cake,
utensils.

beside

them, sweets, green speckled

and

daintily gilt

and lacquered
previous, to

dolls'

For some time
demand, the
sitting

meet the increased
busy,

doll

shopman has been very

before a straw-holder into which he can
dry,

readily stick, to

the

wooden supports
is

of

the

plaster
first

dolls'

heads he

painting,

as he

takes

one and then another
to

to give artistic

touches
tongue.
to

their

glowing

cheeks
'

or

little
'

That
or
its

dolly that

seems but
there

so odd

Polly

Maggie
little

is

the

cherished
its

darling of

owner, passing half

day

x'.i

INTRODUCTION.

tied
its

on

to

her

back,

peeping

companionably
at night
it

head over her shoulder, whilst

is

lovingly sheltered under the green mosquito

curtains
pillow.

and

provided

with

a

toy

wooden

The
but

expression
created
of
it

'Japanese
expressing
artificial

Art'

seems
the

a

word
or

either

imitations

the
to

transplanting
for
is

of Japanese

things

a

European house,
is,

the whole glory of art in Japan,

that

it

not

Art, but Nat^lre simply rendered,
with
in

by a
quite

people
Irish

a

fancy

and
as

love of

fun

character.

Just
in

Greek sculptures
days
artists

were

good
the

because

those
life

modelled
the

corsetless
artist

around

them, so
well
his

Japanese

does

not

draw
and

lightly-draped

figures,

cranes,

insects

be-

cause these things strike him

as beautiful, but

because he

is

familiar with their every action.

1NTR OD UCTION.

xiii

The
the

Japanese house
dull

brought

to

seems but a
idle,

and
life

listless

affair,

Europe we miss
the
tea,

easy-going

and

chatter,

the sweetmeats, the pipes and charcoal brazier,
the clogs awaiting
flat

their wearers

on

the

large

stone at the entry, the
the
glass
balls

grotesquely-trained

ferns,

and ornaments tinkling
as
lanterns,

in

the breeze, that

hang, as well

from the eaves, the garden with tiny pond and
goldfish, bridge

and miniature
the

hill,

the bright

sunshine

beyond

sharp

shadow

of

the

upward curving angles of the tiled roof, the ray o J scarlet folds of the women's under-dress
peeping
or
out,

their

little

litter

of

embroidery
half

mending, and

the

babies,

brown and
;

naked, scrambling
has
a

about so happily
miserable about
ever
is

for
in

what

baby
it

to

be

a land
its

where

is

scarcely
loose,

slapped,
yet

where
in

clothing, always

warm

winter,

x iv

INTR OD UCTION.

where

it

basks freely in

air

and sunshine, and
thick grass mats,
therefore

lives in
its

a house, that from
of
'

its

absence

furniture,
to

and
is

of

commands
ideal of

not

touch,"

the

very beau-

an

infant's

playground.

The
were

object with which the following pages

written,

was
and

that

young
so

folks

who

in

England
objects,

see

handle

often

Japanese

but

who

find

books of

travels thither

too long and dull for their reading, might catch

a glimpse of the spirit that pervades
"

life

in the

Land
is

of the rising Sun."

A

portion of the

book
ese

derived from translations from
kindly given
to the

Japan-

tales,

author by Mr.
the
rest

Basil

H.

Chamberlain,

whilst

was

written at idle

moments during graver

studies.

M.

CHAPLIN AYRTON,
Ecole de M/decine, Paris.

CONTENTS.

PAGE

SEVEN SCENES OF CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN

I

THE SCRAP-BOOK
O'SHOGWATS (NEW YEAR)

15

...

23

THE CHRYSANTHEMUM SHOW THE BABES ON THE SEA
FISHSAVE

41

49

55
61

THE

FILIAL GIRL OF ECHIGO

THE PARSLEY QUEEN
A WRESTLER AND A SNAKE A FIRE-CARRIAGE FROM HELL

65

69

75

THE TWO DAUGHTERS OF OKADA
URANAI (SECOND-SIGHT)

.

.

.

79

87

GAMES
APPENDIX -THE GAMES AND SPORTS OF JAPANESE CHILDREN

93
IOI

LIST OF FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS.

KANGURA

....

Frontispiece.

SNOW-BALLING

Facing p.

4

MUSICAL BOYS

TOP SPINNING

PLAYING WITH PUPPIES

BOY ON STILTS

,,

IO

THE TURTLE

,,

12

LIST OF

SMALLER PICTURES.

GIRLS PLAYING BALL

Title-page.
vii

LOTUS FLOWERS IN THE CASTLE MOAT AT YEDO

HOI KANGO, JAPANESE GAME, DESCRIBED ON

P.

96

3
II

WRESTLING DARUMA, THE SNOW-MAN
O'SHU

13
17

ACROBATS

22

BRONZE FISH FROM A GATEWAY
JINGO KOGO

25

...

28 33

THE SEVEN GODS OF WEALTH
FIREMEN
BOY PLAYING WITH A KANGURA MASK

39 40
43 47
51

STREET STALL

A TOY FESTIVAL CAR

THE BABES ON THE SEA DRIFTING AWAY
FISHSAVE JOURNEYING TO HIS FATHER

59 63
67
81

THE GIRL OF ECHIGO HONOURING HER MOTHER'S MIRROR
PLAYING AT CARRYING SPIRIT TUBS

SANGIASH
STORKS

85
p.

NEW

YEAR'S DECORATIONS, DESCRIBED ON

26

92 95
.

BLINDMAN'S BUFF
KITE FLYING

...

...

99

NOTE.
The dance on
string, called

the cover, representing

a red and gold paper
piece of

MIDZUHIKI, and a paper bag with a

seaweed inside, called NOSHI,
the book is

are the Japanese symbols

that

a present.

SEVEN SCENES OF CHILD-LIFE
IN JAPAN.

SEVEN SCENES OF CHILD-LIFE
IN JAPAN.

HESE
a

little

boys

all

live

long

way
in

from
islands
If

England
called

"Japan."
invited

they

you

to
it

come and
would
sand
take
five

see

them

cost

two thou-

shillings,

and
fifty-

you about

days to travel

in

ships

and

railway

trains before

you

ar-

rived

at

their

home.
too

But as you

are
to
to

I young

yet

earn

money, and have only enough pennies given you

buy

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

this

book

and

sugar-plums,
little

you
boys

must
are

fancy
like.

from

these

pictures
all

what

Jap

They
are

have

rather

brown

chubby

faces,

and

they

very merry.

Unless
they

they give
get

themselves
or
cry.

a

really

hard

knock
In
the

seldom
large

cross

second

picture

two

of
it

the
is

little

boys are playing at
in

snowball.

Although
it

hotter

the

summer
is

in

their country than

is

in

England,

the winter

as cold as
fall

you

feel

it;

like

English boys,
better

these lads

enjoy a

of snow, and

still

than

snowballing they like making a snow-man with a charcoal ball
for each eye

and a streak of charcoal

for his

mouth.

The shoes which they

usually wear out of doors
boots, for their feet
deep,.

are better for a

snowy day than your
it is

do not sink into the snow, unless
are of wood,

These shoes

and make a boy seem
is.

to

be about three

inches taller than he really

The

shoe,

you

see,

has not

laces or buttons, but is kept

on the

foot

by that thong
toe.

which passes between the
thong
is

first

and second

The

made

of grass, and covered with strong paper

or with white or coloured calico.
dress wears
his

The boy

in the

check

shoes without socks, but you see the

o

SNOWBALLING.

To face tage

~

SEVEN SCENES OF CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.
other boy has socks on.

5

His socks are made of dark

blue calico, with a thickly

woven

sole,

and a
If

place, like to

one finger of a glove,

for his big toe.

you were

wear Japanese shoes, you would think the thong between your toes very uncomfortable, but from the habit
of wearing this sort of shoe, their big toe grows

more

separate from the other toes, and the skin between this

and the next

toe

becomes as hard as the skin of a

dog's or a cat's paw.

The boys

are not cold, for their cotton clothes being

wadded, are warm and snug.

One boy has
;

a rounded
prettily

pouch

fastened

to

his

sash

it

is

red,

and
is

embroidered
in

with

flowers

or birds, and

his

purse,

which he keeps some little toys and some money. His pence are as big as farthings and halfpennies, but
five

he would want
value of an

of

his farthings

to

make up
of

the

English

farthing.
its

Each
so that

piece
if,

money

has a square hole in

centre,

for instance,

he

is

a rich
bit

little

boy possessing perhaps threepence,

he puts a
it

of straw through these holes and knots

at

each end to

make

all

safe,

and keep his sixty

coins together.

The

other boy very likely has not a

CHILD- LIFE

IN JAPAN.

pouch, but he has
all

two famous big pockets,

for,

like

Japanese, he uses the part of his large sleeve which

hangs
little little

down
children

as

his

pocket.

Thus when
at

a

group of
see

are

disturbed

play

you

each
its

hand
like

seize

a treasured toy and disappear into

sleeve,

mice running into their holes with bits of

cheese.

In the next large picture

are

two

boys

who
is

are

fond
of as

of

music.

One has a
These

flute,

which

made
make,

bamboo wood.

flutes

are

easy to

bamboo wood grows hollow with
so
that
if

cross divisions at

intervals,

you cut a piece with a division

forming one end you need only make the outside holes
in

order

to

finish

your

flute.

The

child

sitting

down has

a drum.

His drum
on

and the paper lanterns hanging up have painted

them an ornament which
of "Arima."
If these

is

also the crest of the house

boys belong to this family they

wear the same

crest

embroidered on the centre of the

backs of their coats.

The
sents a

picture

which
"

forms

the

frontispiece,
in

repre-

game

called

Kangura," that children

Japan

MUSICAL

BOYS.

To face page

6.

SEVEN SCENES OF CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.
are very fond of playing
to

7

at.

They
as
in

are probably trying

act

as well

as the

maskers did
just

whom

they saw
try

on

New

Year's

Day,

English
a

children

and

imitate

things

they
to

see

pantomime.

The

masker goes from house
or two

house accompanied by one
cymbals,
flute,

men who

play on

and

drum.

He
and

steps
their

into a shop

where the people of the house
drinking
tea,

friends

sit

and

passers-by

pause in front of the open shop to sec the fun.
takes a mask,
like the

He
back
is

one

in the

picture, off his

and puts
painted
cloth

it

over his head.

This boar's-head mask

scarlet

and

black,

and
in

gilt,

and has a green

hanging down behind,

order that you

may

not

perceive
begins.

where the mask

ends

and

the

man's

body
goes

Then

the masker imitates an animal.

He

up
"

to

a young

lady and

lays

down
'

his

ugly head

" beside her to be patted, as Beast
'

may have coaxed

Beauty
rolls,

in

our English fairy

tale.

He

grunts, and

and scratches himself, so that
is

-the

children almost

forget he

a man, and roar with laughter at the funny
they begin
to
tire

animal.

When
this

of
the

this

fun
or

he

exchanges

mask

for

some of

two

three

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

others

he
of
of

carries

with

him,

such
his

as

putting

on
at

a
the

mask
back
cloth

an
his

old

woman
a

over

face,

and

head

very
centre

different

second

mask,

a
the

tied

over
yet

the

of

the

head
each
of

making
other.

two
has
look

faces

more

distinct

from
back

He
to
first

quickly
like

arranged

the

his

dress
acts,

the front of a person,
to

and as he
spectators,

presenting the one person
other,

his

then the

he
so

makes
cleverly

you
can

even
he
is

imagine
twist
in

he

has
his

four

arms,

round
the

arm
of

and

gracefully

fan

what

reality

back

his head.

The
are

tops the lads are playing with in picture No.
the

4,

not quite

same shape as our
are

tops,

but they

spin

very well.

Some men
along

so

clever at

making
up

spinning-tops
into

run

strings,

throwing them

the

air

and catching them with a tobacco-pipe, by exhibiting
their skill.

that they earn a living

Some

of the

tops are

formed of short pieces of

bamboo with a wooden peg put through them, and the hole cut in the side makes them have a fine hum as
the air rushes in whilst they spin.

TOP SPINNING.

7Vi

facf faff

R.

PLAYING WITH PUPPIES.

To face page

g.

SEVEN SCENES OF CHILD- LIFE IN JAPAN.
The boys
in

the next large picture,

No.

5,

must

be playing with the puppies of a large dog, to judge

by
in
let

their big paws.

There are a great many large dogs

the streets of

Yedo

;

some
hair

are

very tame, and will

children

comb

their

and ornament them and
collars, as

pull

them about.

These dogs do not wear

do

our pet dogs, but a wooden label bearing the

owner's

name

is

hung round

their necks.

Other big dogs are

almost wild.
Half-a-dozen of
stretched drowsily on
trees,

these

dogs

will
city

lie

in

one

place,

the grassy

walls under the

during the day-time.

Towards evening they rouse
rubbish-heaps to
fish,

themselves and run off to yards and
pick
three

up what they can
dogs soon get
live,

;

they will eat

but two or
meat-eating

to

know' where

the

Englishmen
business-like

and come trotting
to

in regularly

with a

air

search

among

the day's refuse for

bones

;

should any interloping dog try to establish a
feast

right to share the

he can only gain his footing
All these dogs are very wolfish-

after a victorious battle.

looking, with straight
tan-coloured.

hair,

which

is

usually white
in

or
;

There are other pet dogs kept

houses
c

io

CHILD- LIFE IN JAPAN.

these look something like spaniels
their black
if,

;

they are small, with
that
it

noses so

much turned up
puppies, they

seems as

when they were

had

tumbled

down

and broken the bridge of the
ornamented
like

nose.
"

dog Toby

in

They are often Punch and Judy,"

with a ruff made of some scarlet stuff round their necks.
After the heavy

autumn
is

rains have filled the roads
fun, this

with big puddles,

it

great

boy thinks,
plate

to
6.

walk about on

stilts.

You

see

him

in

No.

His

stilts

are

of

bamboo wood, and
the

he

calls

them
that

"Sangiash,"

after

long-legged
rice-fields.

snowy herons

strut about in the

wet

When

he struts about

on them, he wedges the upright between his big and
second toe as
if

the

stilt

was

like his shoes.

He

has

a good view of his two friends

who

are wrestling, and

probably making hideous noises like
they try to throw one
public wrestlers
ring, stoop,

wild

animals as

another, for they have seen fat

stand

on opposite sides of a sanded
thighs,

rubbing

their

and

in

a crouching

attitude

and growling, slowly advance upon one another,
to

then

when near

one another, the spring
If after

is

made
is

and the men

close.

some time

the round

not

BOYS ON STILTS.

70

/iitv

page

10-

SEVEN SCENES OF CHfLD-TJFR IN JAPAN.
decided
like

1

1

by

a

throw,

the

umpire,

who

struts

about

a

turkey-cock,
the girdle

fanning

himself,

approaches,

and

plucks

of the weaker

combatant, when the

wrestlers at once retire to the side of the arena to rest,

and

to

sprinkle a

little

water over themselves.

In the neighbourhood in which the children shown
in
"

the

picture
in

overleaf

live,

there

is

a temple,
is

called

Compira,"

honour of which a feast-day

held on

the tenth of every month, and the tenth day of the tenth

month

is

a yet

greater feast-day.

On

these days they

T2

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

go the

first

thing in

the

morning

to

the

barber's

to

have their heads shaved and dressed, and their faces

powdered with white, and
pink.

their lips

and cheeks painted
and smartest sashes,

They wear

their best clothes

and then they

clatter off
little

on

their

wooden

clogs

to

the

temple and buy two

rice-cakes at the gates.

Next

bronze dogs sitting on they come to two large comical
stands one on each side of the path.

They
rub

reach up

and

gently

rub

the

dog's

nose,

then

their

own

noses, rub the dog's eyes,

and then

their

own, and so

on
all

till

they have touched the dog's and their

own body
health.

over.

This

is

their

way
to

of praying for the

good

They
that

also

add another

number

of

little

rags

have been hung by each visitor about the dog's

neck.
to

Then they go
boy belonging

to to

the altar and give their cakes the

a

temple,
rice-cake

who

in

exchange
has

presents
blessed
;

them

with

one

which
call

been

they ring a round brass bell to

their god's

attention,

and throw him

some money

into

a grated

box as big as a and pray
to

child's crib,
little

and then they squat down
boys.

be good

Now
all

they go out
the
stalls

and amuse

themselves by looking at

of

THE TURTLE.

To /nff

/>-ij;e

1-2.

SEVEN SCENES OF CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.
and cakes, and
the gold
fish,

toys,
sells

flowers,

and

fish.

The man who
as long as
at
last

with fan-like

tails

their
settle

bodies,

has also

turtles,

and these boys

that of all the pretty things they have seen

they would
turtle.

best like to spend their
their

money on

a

young

For

pet

rabbits

and mice
fans

died, but

turtles,

they say,

are

painted
live

on
for

and

screens

and boxes
whereas

because

turtles

ten-thousand years,
is

even
than

the

noble white

crane

said
this

to

live

no

more

a

thousand

years.
turtle

In

picture

they have
at

carried

home
way
its
it

the

and are
its

much amused
head
in

the

funny

walks and peeps

and out from under

shell.

THE SCRAP-BOOK.

THE SCRAP-BOOK.

vHO
I

does

not

know

the
?

charm of a scrap-book

considered myself as a
privileged

child

by

the

possession of but a third

a

share in one

owned with
mother's big

two elder brothers.

As

a treat there was

scrap-book to pore over,

helping us
of
"

to

picture

those
little,

sweet

cloudland

days

when

you

were

mother."
boys,

Herein were short-waisted damsels,
of

befrilled
cari-

episodes
of

coaching

days,

and

political

catures

Bony' and Lord Brougham. My next experience was when seized in maturer years by
"old
the

ambitious

scheme

of

making a genuine
gradually accumulated

scrap-

book,

wherein should be

odds

D

1

8

CHILD- LIFE IN JAPAN.

and ends, without recourse
symmetrically arranged
afternoon
the

to

those
that

bought sheets of

pictures

now form
I

in

an

misnamed

scrap-book..

was

assisted

by the wise counsel of a pair of youngsters who had
opinions so revolutionary as to persist that pigs would
look nice next to
before
horses,
fairies,

and that
it

carts

must come
to

and
paste

whose delight

was

dab

fat

fingers in

the

and then suck them.
the

Separated
laid

from

these
;

comrades
years

scrap-book
;

was

aside

unheeded

passed away

the neglected book
to

was
its

tumbled into a box that was sent
loose

Japan.

Here

and

half-filled

leaves

were stitched together and
itself;

the

scrap-book

re-asserted
its

indeed as

I

write

I

look lovingly at
leaves

now

well-filled

and well-thumbed
calico,

and nice curling corners of pink and blue

innocently gaudy and free from

modern high
little

art

tints

and bilious
graphs
of

greens,
prettily

bright
affected

with

Parisian

litho-

juveniles,

here
of

a

peacock

butterfly,

and

there

a

soberer

woodcut

romping
and gay

English

children

and

spreading

landscape,

withal with
last is

brightest
tale.

of Japanese prints, and of these

my

THE SCRAP-BOOK.

ig

An
would
and

old

woman

called

"

the

august Grandmother
she
loved,

'

set

out with the child
to

pick-a-back,

walk

the

neighbouring
to

print-shop.

Here
a
of

arrived,

she bowed lowly then
seated

the

shopman
raised

saying
floor

greeting,

herself

on the

the

shop,

loosened with a grunt the string that tied
(little

her Ojo-sama
freed

ladyship)

on her back, when

the

child

would

at

once make a dash at the nearest
the
pictures
are

pictures.

Most of
inches,

about

one

foot

three

by nine

and are ranged on strings across
curious
actors,
fierce

the

shop-front.

Those
are
sets

fellows

with
other
in

slanting
pictures,

eyebrows
often
in

while

amongst
are

of

threes,

warriors

lacquered

armour,

firemen

with

paper

standard

and

wadded garments, paunchy
dancers

wrestlers,

quaintly-dressed
in
life

and

red-kerchiefed

acrobats,

fact
is

almost
;

every

scene
the

or

story

of

Japanese
specially

pictured
to
for

but
the
are

literary
flies

treacle

spread
floor,

catch
there

little

lies

upon

the

shop

piles of

prints

containing smaller prints, often inif

geniously arranged, so that,
or figure can

cut out, a box, or house,
;

be constructed

coloured

paper

masks,

20

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

tiny

folding

theatres,

and

little

penny picture-books.
this
is

The

child selects her

penny book, and

the tale

she chose.

In the olden days, in the province of Shin, there
lived with
his

step-mother a

little

boy

called
little

O'Shu.
O'Shu.

Now
If

this step- mother

was very

cruel to poor

he complained of a pain she, more often than other
set

parents,

light

to

some

leaves
in

of a

plant

put on

O'Shu's

back

to

burn him
little

many
eat,

places,

and she

gave
even

him
rice
;

very

fish

to

and

grudged
to

him
get

neither

would she give him pence

a bath

nor have his hair dressed.
bright

But O'Shu was

always

and merry, because he bethought him
the
priest,

how
shady
told

his

uncle

as

they walked
lacquered
great

in

the

pine-groves

of

Shiba's
the

shrines,

had had

him

that
filial

Confucius

and

wise

spoken of

piety as the noblest virtue, and taught

him
by
not

that
their

even unkind parents were to be reverenced
offspring.

Now

it

happened
Fusi

one

day

when

only the
all

big

mountain

was

snow-capped

but

the

rice-fields

were- snow-wreathed,

when

the

early white plum-blossoms could only be distinguished

THE SCRAP-BOOK.

2T

from the snow-flakes on the sloping branches by their position on the upright twigs, when scarce dusk the
outer shutters were slid forth from their case and closed

round the deep-eaved house, when the charcoal braziers
were heaped
greeted with
I

high
"

with
it

glowing
is

embers
"

and

friends

Cold

truly,"

Toast your hands,

pray you,"
Verily,
I

that the step-mother of
for

O'Shu exclaimed
' !

"

wish

a dish of fresh fish

Well, she
fish

knew
not

that

such a thing as a dish of fresh
all

could
ice-

be got when

the ponds and
left

rivers

were

bound.

O'Shu, unnoticed,
clogs,

the

room and,

slipping

on his wooden

his

yellow paper rain-coat, and

carrying his varnished paper umbrella, he hurried
to the river.

down
ice,

Not a

single

rift

could he find in the
off

so the

unselfish

boy stripped
ice

his

clothes

and lay
in
it

himself on the

to

try

and

melt

a hole

by

means of

his bodily heat.
lad's
filial

The heavens were touched
piety

by the ignorant
ice to melt,

and caused the thick

when O'Shu beheld swimming towards him

two noble

carp,

who

allowed themselves to be grasped
delighted
boy.

by

the

shivering

but

O'Shu

then

dressed and hurried home, set his fish on a lacquered

22

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

tray,

and,

to

betoken that they were an offering, he
the
'

tied

round
"

them

red

and

white
in

paper
folded

string

called

midzuhiki

and
its

slipped

the

paper

"noshi'
tiny

containing
of

quaint symbolic offering of

a

piece

seaweed.

Next O'Shu

slid

aside

the

paper
tray to

screen
his

and was before his parents holding the
forehead,

and

then,
till

in

further

token of

respect prostrating himself
soft

his forehead touched the

grass-woven mat, he respectfully presented to his

unamiable step-mother the desired delicacy.

O'SHOGWATS.

O'SHOGWATS.
(NEW
YEAR.)

ITTLE

Yoshsan had just
eating
the
last

finished

of five

rice-cakes

called

"dango," that had been
strung on
a

skewer

of

bamboo and dipped in Soy sauce, when he said
to his little sister, called
"

Chrysanthemum,
Kiku,
it

O'

is

soon the great

festival

of the
little

New

Year."

"What
clearly

shall

we do then?" asked
festival

O'Kiku, not

remembering the
questioned,

of the
his

previous year.

Thus
hold
"

Yoshsan had
coming

desired

opening to
he
replied,
feast-

forth
will

on

the

delights,

and
the

Men

come

the

evening before

great

E

26

CHILD- LIFE

IN JAPAN,

day and help

'

Plumblossom,' our

maid,

to

clean

all

the house with brush and broom.

Others will set up
;

the decoration in front of our honoured gateway
will dig

they

two small holes and plant a gnarled, black-barked
left,

father-pine branch on the

and the
they

slighter reddish
will

mother-pine

branch
tall

on the

right,

then put
its

with these the

knotted stem of a bamboo, with

smooth, hard green leaves that chatter when the wind

blows
as a
the
'

;

next they will

take a grass rope about as long

tall

man, fringed with grass, and decorated with
zigzags
are

Gohei,'

of

white

paper,

that

our

noble

father says

meant

for

rude images of

men

offering

themselves in homage to the august gods."

"Oh, yes!
santhemum,

I

have not forgotten," interrupts Chryis

"this cord
'

stretched from
'

bamboo
is

to

bamboo

;

and

Plumblossom

says the rope

to bar

out the nasty two-toed, red, grey, and black demons, the
badgers, the foxes, and other evil
spirits

from crossing
part

our threshold.
arch which
is

But / think
the
prettiest,

it

is

the next

of the

the whole

bunch of things
is

they

tie in

the middle of the rope,

there

the crooked-

backed

lobster, like a

bowed

old man, with

all

around the

O'SHOGWATS.

27

melia branches, whose young leaves bud before the old
leaves
fall.

There are pretty fern-leaves shooting forth
little
'

in pairs,
fern-leaf
;

and deep down between them the
there
is

baby
'

the bitter yellow orange, the

daidai

whose

name,

you

know,

means

many

parents

and
is

children,

and a black piece of charcoal, whose name

a pun on our homestead."
"
'

But best of

all,"
it

says Yoshsan,

"/

like the

seaweed

Hontawara,' for

tells

me

of our brave

Queen Jingo
discouraged,

Kogo,

who,

lest

the

troops

should

be

concealed

from the army that her husband the

king

had

died, put

on armour, and

led

the

great
at

campaign
margin

against

Corea.*

Her

troops,

stationed

the

of the sea, were in danger of defeat on account of the
lack

of fodder
to

for their horses

;

when
the

she ordered this
shore,

hontawara
horses,

be

plucked

from meal
the
is,

and

the

freshened
to

by

their

of

seaweed,
clasp

rushed
of

victoriously

battle.

On

bronzed

our

worthy
Jingo
prince,

father's

tobacco-pouch
her

our noble father says,
little

Kogo with

sword and the dear
after

baby-

Hachiman, who was born
* A.D. 2OO.

the campaign,

CHILD- LIFE IN JAPAN.

and who
to

is

now our Warrior God, guiding our
and
that
spirit

troops

victory,

on whose head squats
the
deep,
to

a

dragon

has

risen

partly

from

present

an offering to the Queen and the Prince."

"Then
pun on
'

there

is

another seaweed, whose

name
I

is

a

rejoicing.'

There

is

the lucky bag that

made,

for last year,

of a square piece of paper into which

we

put

chestnuts

and

the

roe

of

a

herring and

dried

persimmon
and white

fruit,

and then

tied

up the paper with red
sainted

paper-string,

that

the

gods

might

know

it

was an

offering."
little

Yoshsan and
great

his

sister

had now reached the

gate ornamented with huge bronze fishes sitting
throats and
their

on

their

twisting aloft

their

forked
sister

tails,

that

was near

home.

So

telling

his

she

O'SHOGWATS.

29

must wait
the
till

to

know more about

the great

festival

till

time

arrived,

they shuffled off their shoes, bowed,

their foreheads touched the ground, to their parents,

ate their evening

bowl of

rice

and
to

saltfish, said

a prayer

and burnt a
at

stick of
altar,

incense

many-armed Buddha
cotton-wadded
quilts,
circlet

the

family

spread

their

rested their dear

little

shaved heads, with quaint

of hair, on the

roll

of cotton covered with white paper

that formed the cushion of their hard

wooden

pillows,

and

fell

asleep to their mother's monotonously-chaunted
"

lullaby of

Nen

ne ko."

Sleep,

my
is

child, sleep

my

child,
?

Where
She
is

thy nurse gone
to the

gone

mountains

To buy thee sweetmeats. What shall she buy thee ?
The
The
thundering drum, the bamboo pipe,
trundling man, or the paper kite.

The
delight
graceful

great festival drew
as

still

nearer to the children's

they

watched

the

previously

described

bamboo

arch rise before their gateposts.
three

Then

came a party of

men

with an oven, a bottomless

30

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

tub,

and some matting
that

to

replace

the

bottom.

They
their

shifted the pole

carried
to

these

utensils

from

shoulders,
that

and commenced

make

the Japanese cake

may

be viewed as the equivalent of a Christmas

pudding.

They mixed a

paste

of

rice

and

put

the
in

sticky mass, to prevent rebounding,

on the

soft

mat

the tub.
rice

The

third

man

then beat for a long time the

cake with a heavy mallet.

Yoshsan

liked to watch

the strong

ing
into

man swing down his mallet with dull resoundThe well-beaten dough was then made up thuds.
flattish

rounds of varying

size

on a pastry board

one of the men had brought.
size

Three cakes of graduated

formed a

pyramid

that

was placed conspicuously
to be

on a lacquered stand, and the cakes were only
eaten on the

nth
told

of
"

January.

The mother

Plumblossom
overcoats,

'

and the children
hoods, for she

to get their clogs,

and
the

and

was going
shuffled
off

to

get

Daikoku-jime,
stall

and

the

party

till

they came to a
fringes

where were big
filled

grass ropes and

and quaint grass boats

with supposed bales of merchandise in straw coverings,
a sun in red paper, and at

bow and

stern sprigs of

fir,

O'SHOGWATS.

31

the whole brightened
that quivered here

by

bits of gold leaf, lightly stuck on,
there.

and

When

the

children

had

chosen the harvest ship that seemed most besprinkled with gold,
"

Plumblossom

'

bargained about the

price,

and the mother, who, as a matter of form and rank,
had pretended
to

take
of

no
her
it,

interest

in

the

purchase,
it

took her purse out
servant,

sash,

handed
the

to

her

who

opened

paid

shopman,

and

then returned
civility

the purse to her mistress with the usual
raising
it

of

first

to

her
in

forehead.

This

Daikoku-jime

they

hung

up
such

their

sitting-room.

Then they
tea,

sent
shoes,

presents,
kerchiefs,

as

large

dried

carp,

eggs,

fruits,

sweets,

or

toys

to

various friends and dependants.

On
the
dress, as

the

ist

of

January

all

were

early

astir,

for

father,
is

dressed at

dawn

in full

European evening-

customary on such occasions, had to pay
of

his respects at the levee

the Emperor.

When
in

this

duty was over he returned home and received visitors
of

rank

inferior

to

himself,

and
he

later

the

day

and on the

following
to
all

days
his

paid

visits

of

New

Year greeting

friends,

taking a present to

32

CPIILD-LIFE

IN JAPAN.
no

those to

whom
his

he had

sent

gift,

and

sometimes
visits

taking

little

boy
of

with
his

him.

For

these
silken
little

Yoshsan, in place
loose
trousers,
suit,

usual

flowing

robe,

and

sash,

wore a funny
boots
felt
;

knicker-

bocker

felt

hat and

these

latter,

though

he thought them grand,
his

very uncomfortable after
to take

straw sandals,

and were more troublesome
on the straw mats,
as
carpets,
it

off before stepping

that,

being used
rudeness

as
to

chairs as
soil.

well

would

be a

The maids, always

kneeling,

presented

them

with tiny cups of tea on oval saucers, which, remaining
in the maid's hand, served rather as waiters.
too, usually of

Sweetmeats

a soft sticky nature, but sometimes hard
"

like

sugar-plums, and called
lotus-leaf,

fire-sweets,"

were offered

on carved

or

lacquered trays.

For the 2nd of January "Plumblossom" bought some
pictures

of

the

"

Takara-bune,"
the

or

ship of

riches

in

which

were

seated

seven
in

Gods
his

of
;

Wealth.

There was Lord

Bishamon

armour

Fukuro-

kujin with his long head and big-lobed ears,
the

who tamed
goddesses
Hotei,
;

cranes

;

the
;

Lady

Benten,

fairest

of

Lord

Jirojin

fat,

pleasure-seeking

Lord

and

O'SHOGWATS.

33

Lord Ebes with

his

fish.

It

has

been

sung

thus

about this Ship of
Nagaki yo
no,

Luck

:

It is

a long night,
of luck sleep.
their eyes.

To

no nemuri no.

The gods
They
all

Mina me same.

open

Nami

nori fune no.

Oto no yoki kana.

They ride in a boat on The sound is pleasing

the waves.

!

These pictures they each
bring lucky dreams,

tied

on

their

pillow

to
in

and

great

was

the

laughter

F

34

CHILD- LIFE IN JAPAN.

the
said
full

morning when they

related their dreams.

Yoshsan

he had dreamt he had
of
nice

a

beautiful

portmanteau

foreign

things,

such as comforters, note-

books,

pencils,

india-rubber,

condensed

milk,

lama,

wide-awakes,

boots,

and brass jewelry, and just as he
he

opened

it

everything vanished and

found

only

a

torn fan, an

odd chopstick, a

horse's cast

straw shoe,

and a

live

crow.
children for the
first

of

When at home the the New Year dressed

few days
in

in their best crape,

made up

three silken-wadded layers, with their crest embroidered

on the centre of the back and on the sleeves of the
quaintly flowered long upper skirt, beneath whose

wadded
their

hem

peeped

the

scarlet

rolls

of

the

hems

of

under-dresses, and then the white-stockinged feet with,

passing

between

the
clog.

toes,

the

scarlet
girl's

thong
sash

of

the

black-lacquered

The
with

little

was of
pouch
to

many-flowered

brocade

scarlet

broidered

hanging at her right

side,

and a
its

scarlet

over-sash

keep the large sash-knot in with knot of
scarlet

place.

Her

hair

gay

crinkled

crape,

lacquered
with,

comb,
resting

and hairpin

of

tiny

golden

battledoor,

O'SIIOGWATS.

35

thereon, a shuttlecock

of coral, another pin of a tiny

red lobster and green pine-sprig
belt

made
the

of

silk.

In her

was

coquettishly

stuck

butterfly-broidered

case

that held her quire of paper pocket-handkerchiefs.

The

brother's

dress
;

was

of

a

simpler

style

and

soberer colouring

his

pouch of purple with a dragon

worked on
simply
paper
tied

it,

and the hair of his partly shaven head
into

a

little

gummed

tail

with

white

string.

with
plain

their

They spent most of the day playing its pretty new battledoors, striking with
little

side

the airy

shuttlecock

whose
while
a

head

is

made

of

a black

seed,
to

singing
ten
:-

the

rhyme

on the numbers up

Hitogo

ni futa-go

mi-watashi yo m6-go,

Itsu yoni

musashi nan no yakushi,
ja
to yo.

Kokono-ya

When
ball

tired

of

this

fun

they would play with a

made

of paper and
silk of

wadding evenly wound about
sincrinsr to o o

with thread or throws
a

various colours,

the

song

which

seems

abrupt

because

some

36

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

portions

have

probably

fallen

into

disuse

;

it

runs

thus

:

"

See opposite,
is

see

Shin-kawa

!

A

very beautiful

lady

who

one of the daughters of a chief magistrate

of Odawara-cho.

She was married

to a salt-merchant.

He was
"

a

man

fond of display, and he thought
this
year.

how

he
:

would dress her
Please

He
and
or

said

to

the

dyer

dye
dress

this

brocade
seven"
I

the

brocade

for

the
"
;

middle

into
said,

eight-fold

dresses

and
fore

the
I

dyer
will

am
stretch

a
it.

dyer,

and

there-

dye

and

What
"The
and
to

pattern

do you wish?"
of falling
the

The merchant

replied,

pattern

snow and broken
bridge
the of

twigs,

in the centre
fill

curved

Gojo."

Then
"
:

up the
kokin

rhyme
kokera," the girl

come

words
tale

"Chokin,

chokera,

and the

goes on
here

Crossing this bridge

was struck
laughed
she
;

and
out
herself
floated.

there

and

the

tea-

house
this

girls

put

of
in

countenance
the
river
full

by

ridicule

drowned

Karas,
grief

the

body sunk, the hair
husband's
heart,
-

How
ball

of

the

now

the

counts

a

hundred!"

O'SHOGWATS.

37

This they varied with another song
One, two, three,
four,
kiri
is

:

Grate hard charcoal, shave

wood
wet.

;

Put

in the pocket, the

pocket

Kiyomadzu, on three yenoki

trees

Were three sparrows, chased by a The sparrows said, " Chiu, chiu,"
The
pigeon said, "Po, po,"

pigeon.

now

the

Ball counts a hundred.

The pocket

referred
is

to

means
trail

the

bottom of the

long sleeve, which
child stoops at play,

apt to

and get wet when a

and Kiyomadzu may mean a famous

temple that bears that name.

Sometimes they would

simply count the turns and make a sort of
forfeiting

game

of

and returning the number of rebounds kept Yoshsan had begun to think battledoor up by each. and
balls

too

girlish

an

amusement

and

preferred

flying his eagle
verses, or

or mask-like kite, or playing at cards,

lotteries.

Sometimes he played

"Jiu-roku
is

musashi

'

with his father, in which the board

divided

into squares

and diagonals, on which move sixteen men

held

by one player

and one large piece held by the
point of the

second player.

The

game

is

either that the

38

CHILD- LIFE IN JAPAN.

holder of
that
it

the sixteen pieces hedges the large piece

so

can

make no move,
;

or that

the big piece takes

all its

adversaries

a take
finds a

can only be
piece

made by

the

large piece side of
it

when

it

immediately on each

and a blank point beyond.

Or he watched a
sheet of the

party of several, with the pictured
"
'

game

Sugo-roku

before them, write their

names on
;

slips of

paper or wood, and throw in turn a die
placed on the pictures whose
the throw.

the slips are

numbers correspond with
if

At

the next round,
is

the

number thrown by
his slip

the particular player
directions as to

written on the picture, he finds
to

which picture

move

backward

or forward

to.

He

may, however, find his throw a blank
at his place.

and have

to

remain

The winning

consists in

reaching a certain picture.

When

tired of these quieter

games

the "Tori

wo

oita,"

a strolling

woman

player on a

guitar-like instrument,

would be

called in, or a party of

Kangura performers afforded pastime by the quaint animallike movements of the draped figure who wears a huge grotesque scarlet mask on his head, and at times makes
this

monster appear

to stretch out
in

and draw

in its

neck
the

by an unseen change

position of the

mask from

O'SHOGWATS.

39

head to the gradually extended

and draped hand of the actor. The beat of a drum and the
\

whistle

of

a

bamboo

flute

formed the accompaniment to
the

dumb-show

acting.

Yoshsan thought the 4th
and 5th days of January great
fun

because they heard
;

loud
in the

shoutings
direction

and running
of

the

sound

they

CHILD- LIFE IN JAPAN.

would

find the

men

of a fire-brigade

who had formed
standard,

a

procession to carry their

new paper

bamboo
at

ladders, paper lanterns, etc.
intervals,

This procession paused

when

the

men

steadied the ladder with their
agile

long fire-hooks, whilst an

member

of

the

band

mounted the
the top
the
;

erect

ladder and performed gymnastics at

his performance concluded, he dismounted,

and

march continued, the men as before yelling joypitch

ously at the highest
After about
or
villa,

of

their
life

voices.

a week of

fun,
its

at

the

Yashiki,

gradually resumed
to

usual course, the father

returned

his

office,

the

mother

to
to

her domestic
school,
last
all

employments
having
said

and
for

the
that

children

new

year

their

joy-

wishing greeting

OMEDETTO.

THE CHRYSANTHEMUM SHOW.

THE CHRYSANTHEMUM SHOW.
YOSHSAN and
temple
arrive
at at

his

Grandmother go
they walk

to

visit

the great
stairs,

Shiba,
the

up

its

steep

and
place

lacquered

threshold.

Here

they

aside

their

wooden

clogs,

throw a few
floor

coins

into

a

huge box

standing on
so

the

and covered with a

wooden grating

constructed as to prevent pilfering
coin.

hands afterwards removing the
a
thick

Then they
bell

pull

rope

attached

to

a

big

brass

like

an
but

exaggerated

sheep-bell,

hanging from the
a
feeble

ceiling,

which gives

forth

but

tinkling

sound.

To

44

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN

insure

the

god's attention

this

is

supplemented

with

three distinct claps of the hands, which are

afterwards

clasped in prayer for a short interval

;

two more claps
their
clogs, they

mark
clatter

the

conclusion

;

and, resuming

down

the steep copper-bound

temple-steps

into

the grounds.

Here are

stalls

innumerable of

toys, fruit,
rice,

fish-cakes, birds, tobacco-pipes, ironmongery,

and

and

scattered

amidst the

stalls

are

tea-houses, peep-shows,

and other places of amusement.
attraction
is

Of

these the greatest

a newly-opened

Chrysanthemum show.
are

The
figures.

Chrysanthemums Here a celebrated
lived

trained

to

represent

warrior,

Kato
1600,

Kirjomasa

by name, who
eminent

about

the

year

when
Near
to

the

Hashiba

Hideyoshi

ruled

Japan.

the

end of his reign Hashiba Hideyoshi, wishing
China,

invade
the

but

being
intrusted

himself
the

unable

to

command
the
fleet

expedition,

leadership

of

and

army

to

Kirjomasa.
fierce

They embarked, reached

Corea,

where a

battle

was fought and victory gained by
returned
the
to

Kirjomasa.

When, however, he
had
died,

Japan, he

found

Hideyoshi

and

expedition

was

therefore recalled.

Tales of the liberality and generosity

THE CHRYSANTHEMUM SHOW.
of
the

45

Chief,

and how he single-handed had

slain

a

large

and wild

tiger with the spear that he is represented

as

holding, led to his being at

length addressed as a

god.

His

face is

modelled

in plaster

and painted, and

the yellow

Chrysanthemum blossoms may be supposed
on the verdant armour.
at

to be gold bosses

Next

they

looked

eccentric

varieties

of

this

autumn

flower, such as

those having the petals
;

longer

and more curly than usual
every branch was tied to a
to think the

but to show off the flowers
stick,

which caused Yoshsan

bushes looked a

little stiff

and ugly.
lady,

Near

the warrior

was a Chrysanthemum-robed

Benten,
is

or

Benzaiten, standing in a flowery sailing-boat that

supposed to contain a cargo of jewels.
further on

Three rabbits
Perhaps

appeared to be chatting together.
all

the best group of

was old Fukurokujin, with white

beard and bald head,

who

conversed with two of the

graceful waterfowl so constantly seen in Japanese decorations.
for

He

is

the

god of
as

luck,

and has a reputation

liking

good

cheer,

suggested
that
is

by a

gourd,
to

a

usual

form

of wine-bottle,

suspended

his

cane, whilst another

gourd contains homilies.

He was

46

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

said

to be so tender-hearted that

even timid wild fowl

were not afraid of him.

Not
figure
"

the least

amusing part of
Yosh's
is

the

show was

the

before
truly,

which
that

Grandmother
!

exclaimed,

Why,

clever

Behold,
' !

I

pray thee, a
it

barbarian lady, and even her child

In truth

was an

unconscious caricature of Europeans, although the lady's
face

had not escaped being slightly Japish.

The

child

held a toy, and had a regular shock head of hair.
frizzed

The

many foreign children appear very odd to Yoshsan, who thought their mothers must be very unkind not to take the little " western men more often
hair of
'

to

the

barber's,

neatness

of

his

when he complacently considered the own shaven crown and tidily-clipped
Grandmother

and

gummed
Being

side-locks.

tired of standing,

the old

told

her grandson they would go and listen to a recital at
the
story-teller's
;

so

leaving their

wooden shoes

in

a

pigeon-hole for that

purpose, they joined
seated

an attentive
in

throng of some twenty listeners
dimly-lighted
tale-teller

on mats
all

a

room.

Yosh could

not

make out

the

said,

but he liked to watch him toy with his

THE CHRYSANTHEMUM SHOW.

47

fan
his

as

he introduced
;

his

listeners to

the characters of

story

then the story-teller would hold his fan like
whilst he kept his audience in rapt

a rod of

command

attention, then

sometimes, amidst the laughter of those
raise his voice to a shrill whine,

present, he

would

and
table
tale

would emphasise a joke by a sharp tap on the with his fan. After they had listened to one

Yoshsan was sleepy

;

so they went and bargained with a

man

outside

who had
a.

a carriage like a small gig with

shafts called

ginrickisha,

and who ran

after

them

to say

he consented to wheel them
miles for two-pence farthing.

home

the two and

a half

A TOY FESTIVAL CAR.

THE BABES ON THE

SEA.

H

THE BABES ON THE

SEA.

HERE
who
of of
in

was a
lived

certain peasant
in

the the

district

Hata
Tosa,
the

in

province

and

who
of

was

habit

growing
from
the

the

young
in

rice

seed

his

own

district,

and
it,

then

transplanting
planting-out
to

when

the

season
province.
in

came,

another

For

this

purpose

he

kept a junk

moored

a sheltered

creek.

Planting-out time

having come,
girl

the peasant said that

now

that his
in

little

and boy
big

had grown

quite

helpful

the

farm they were

52

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

enough

to

go

this

little

sea journey.

The
all

delighted

children helped to furnish the junk with

necessaries,

such as
hoes,

rice

and dry

fish,

and pots and pans, spades, and
straw
shoes
for

and grass rain
Senzaburo

coats,

the

workmen.

aged

eleven,

and

Yone aged

twelve^ were then told to take care of
their

the junk whilst
to
dis-

parents

walked some miles into the country

hire labourers.

The junk was hauled up
folks,
it

a

little

tance
its

on the beach, and the good
left
it

not doubting
in

safety,
!

there without fastening
fell

any way.
in

Well
hold,

the

children

fast
slept,

asleep the

and snored
rose

the

and,

while
floated

they
it,

tide

round the
be-

junk and

after

which, as the tide was

ginning to ebb again a land breeze sprang up, and what

between the tide and

the

breeze the
i

little

craft

was

borne away to a great distance, which was ever increased

by the growing violence of the
that
sail

wind,
as

so

much
as
if

so,

the

junk

moved almost

rapidly

her

had been

set.

The

children awoke, and

saw around

them a

stretch

of sea

from which arose none of the
they were
grief,

points of land with which

familiar,

so that

they wept and were wild with

and yet could do

THE BABES ON THE

SEA.

53

nothing to help themselves.

On

they went, blown by
tell.

the wind, whither they could not

In the meantime, the father and mother had got
together their
hired

labourers

and came down

to

the
lo,

beach with the intention of getting on board, when,

and behold, the junk had disappeared
first

!

Thinking
it

at

that

the

children

might have taken
of reach
" "
!

round

to

some

sheltered

cove

out

of the wind,
!

they

shouted loudly, "Senzaburo
silent

Yone
of

Yone
busy
all

' !

All was
life.

except
filled

the

burring

hum

insect

Then,

with

alarm, they explored

the

neightill

bouring creeks and beach, but without success,
last

at

they

left

off disheartened.
last

Well, the junk went on, and was at
to

blown on
of
the

the

beach

of

an

island

far
Still

to

the

south

children's

original
fast,

home.

bitterly

crying,

they

made

the boat

and then looked around them, and

found that the island was uninhabited.

As

there

was

no

possibility of returning

home, they went on shore

for good,

and Senzaburo

said,

"Here we
ourselves
shall

are, helpless;
die.
last,

yet

it

would be

foolish to let

as the provisions

we have with us

So long we have

54

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

food enough,
little

and we can eke

it

out by taking but a
is

at a

time.

When
left

our food

at

an end, there
"

will

be nothing

for us
"

but to die."

No, rather,"
wither

exclaimed his
away,
let

sister,

before these

rice sprouts

us plant them out."
idea,

They decided
for

that this

was a good

and looked about

a place with

a running stream, that, by being banked up, could be

turned

into

a

rice-field.
it

Having found such a spot
with their spades and hoes,
of which
the junk

they turned to work on

and with the other
cut

tools
built

was
It

full

down

trees

and

themselves a hut.
like
little

was

the season of berries,

and,
the

birds, they lived

on

fruits

plucked from

bushes

till

autumn, when
bestowed

their rice-field,

owing probably

to the pains they

on

it,

brought forth

most abundantly, and they gar-

nered in a fine harvest year after year until when, long
after,
offer,

discovered by a passing junk, they were able to
to their

honoured parents now hoary with years and bowed with toil, " Imose-jima, the brother and
sister island.'

FISHSAVE.

FISHSAVE.
THERE was
once upon a time a
little

baby whose father

was Japanese ambassador

to the

Court of China, and

whose mother was a Chinese

lady.

While

this

child

was
to

still

in
;

its

infancy the ambassador had
I

to

return

Japan

so he said to his wife, "
to

swear to remember

you and

send you

letters

by the ambassador that
our baby,
it

shall succeed me,

and as
it

for

I

will despatch

some one

to fetch

as

soon as

is

weaned."

Thus

saying he departed.

Well, embassy after embassy came

(and there was generally at least a year between each),

but never a

letter

from the Japanese husband
at
last,

to

the

Chinese
grieving,

wife,

who
her

tired

of

waiting

and

of

took
to

boy by the hand, and

sorrowfully
his

leading

him

the sea-shore, fastened round

neck

a label bearing the words, "
child,"

The Japanese Ambassador's
in

and flung him into the sea

the direction the

of

the

Japanese Archipelago, confident

that

paternal

58

CHILD LIFE IN JAPAN.

tie

was one which
therefore

it

was not possible
and
child

to

break,
to

and
meet

that
again.

father

were

sure

One

day,

when

the former ambassador, the father,

was walking by the beach of Naniwa (where afterwards was built the city of Osaka), he saw something white
floating

out at

sea,

looking

like

a small

island.

It

floated nearer,

and he looked more
its

attentively.

There

was no doubt about
he
stopped
his

being a

child.

Quite astonished,
;

horse

and gazed again
still,

the
at

floating

object

drew nearer and nearer

and

last

with

perfect distinctness could be perceived to be a fair pretty

boy of about four years old impelled onwards by the waves. Still closer inspection showed that the boy
little

rode bravely on the back of an enormous
the

fish.

When
the
little

strange

rider

had

dismounted

on

the

strand

ambassador ordered
fellow in their

his attendants to take the

manly
there
"

arms,

when

lo

and behold

!

was

a label

round his neck, on which was written,
"

The

Japanese Ambassador's child."
"
it

Oh, yes," he exclaimed,

must be
at

my

child,

and no
no

other,

whom

its

mother,

angry

having

received

letters

from me, must

FISHSA VE.

59

have thrown
indissoluble

into

the

sea,

but

who, owing

to

the

bond tying together parents and

children,

has reached

me

safely riding

upon a

fish's

back."

The

air of the little creature

went

to his heart,

and he took
care

and tended him most lovingly.

To

the

of

the

next embassy that went to the court of China he intrusted a letter for his wife, in which

he informed her
quite

of

all

the particulars

;

and

she,

who had
its

believed

the child to be dead, rejoiced at

marvellous escape.

The
was

child

grew up
"

to be a

man, whose handwriting
fish,

beautiful.

Having been saved by a
of

he was

given the

name

Fishsave."

THE

FILIAL GIRL OF ECHIGO.

THE FILIAL GIRL OF ECHIGO.

GIRL
the

once lived in
province
of

Echigo, daughter

Matsuyama, and who from her
earliest years

of

tended her parents with
illness,

all filial piety.

Her

mother, when, after a long
of
death,

she lay at the point she had
it

took out a mirror that
concealed,

for

many

years

kept

and giving
I

to

her daughter,
exist, take

spoke thus:

"When
'tis

have ceased to

this

mirror in thy hand night and morning, and, looking at
it,

fancy that

I

thou seest."
girl,

With

these last

words
to

she expired, and the

full

of grief, and

faithful

her mother's commands, used to take out the mirror night

64

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

and morning, and gazing
to

in

it,

saw therein a

face

like

the face of her mother.

Delighted thereat

(for the

village

was

situated in a remote country district

among
had
face,

the

mountains, and a mirror was a thing the
of),

girl

never heard

she daily worshipped her reflected

bowing before it till her forehead touched the mat as if this image had been in very truth her mother's own self.

Her

father one day, astonished to see her thus occupied,

inquired

the

reason,

which she

directly told

him.
'tis

But
only

he burst out laughing, and exclaimed,
thine
It is

"Why!

own

face,

so like to thy mother's, that
"

is reflected.

not thy mother's at
girl.

all

!

This revelation distressed

the

Yet she
it

" replied,

Even

if

the

face

be not
to

my

mother's,

is

the face of one

who belonged
it

my

mother, and therefore
every day
self."
is

my

respectfully saluting

twice

the

same as
she

respectfully saluting her very
to

And

so

continued

worship

the

mirror
all
filial

more and more while tending her
piety
at
least

father with
for

so

the

story goes,

even to-day, as

great

poverty and

ignorance prevail in

some

parts

of

Echigo, the peasantry
this little girl.

know

as

little

of mirrors as did

THE PARSLEY QUEEN.

K

THE PARSLEY QUEEN.

OW curious that the daughter
of a peasant dwelling in

an obscure country village
near Aska, in the province
of Yamato, should

become

a Queen.
the case.

Yet such was

Her

father died

while she was yet in her
infancy,

and the

girl
all

applied herself to the
filial

tending of
she

her mother with

piety.

One day when
chanced
to

had gone out into the

fields to

gather some parsley, of
fond,
it

which

her

mother was

very

that
his

Prince Shotoku Taishi was
palace at Ikaruka, and
side
all

making a progress

the inhabitants of the country-

flocked

to

the

road along which

the

procession

68

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

was passing, in order to behold the gorgeous spectacle, and to show their respect for the Mikado's son. The
filial

girl,

alone,
her,

paying

no heed

to

what was going

on around

continued

picking her parsley, and was

observed from his carriage by the Prince, who, astonished
at the circumstance, sent

one of his retainers to inquire
"
replied,

into its cause.

The
I

girl

My

mother bade

me
that

pick parsley, and
is

am
I

following her instructions

the reason

why

have not turned round to pay

my

respects to the

Prince."
filled

The

latter

being informed of

her answer, was
of her
filial

with admiration at the strictness
at her mother's cottage

piety,

and alighting

on the way back, told her of the occurrence, and placing
the girl in the next carriage to his own, took her

home

with him to the Imperial Palace, and ended by making her his wife, upon which the people, her

knowing

story,

" gave her the name of the Parsley Queen."

A WRESTLER AND A SNAKE.

A WRESTLER AND A SNAKE.
IN the days of yore there was a grand old river flowing

by the house of a wrestler
spot
it

called Tsuneyori,

and

at that

was

particularly

deep,

calm,

and

shaded

by

many trees. One summer day Tsuneyori
dressed
in

set

out

for

exercise

the thin

flax-spun

gown
of
in

katabira,

with his

sash about his waist, and his ashida, or clogs,

made
of

of

a wooden

plank with
feet,

a

pair

thin

teeth

hard

wood, on his

his

stick

his

hand, and a boy

attending him by his side.
of the trees by the
river's

Pausing under the shadow
margin, to cool himself, he
past with

saw weed

that

the

river

flowed

not a pebble or

to be seen, only a blue, bottomless

depth bordered

by rank grasses.
the
river,

He was musing
the water began to

on the breadth of

when

move

as

if

some-

72

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

thing was coming to his side.

While trying
the

to

make

out

what

it

could

possibly

be,
its

wave approached

him, and a snake popped up

head from the water,

seemingly a very large snake.
at
it,

Tsuneyori stood gazing
land, while

wondering where

it

would

the

snake

looked intently at him, as he stood about a foot from

Then Tsuneyori wondered what the snake was thinking about. The snake after looking at
the water's
edge.

him

for

surface,
side,

some time dropped its head down below the when the disturbed water surged to the opposite
after a

and
the
this

moment rushed back
its
tail

again.

But
its

this

time

snake showed
tail

instead
to

of

head.

Now

came nearer and nearer
quite
still,

the wrestler,

who remained

thinking the snake had a plan,

and that he would not
tail

interfere with its intentions.

The

of the

snake drew nearer and nearer to Tsuneyori,
itself

and
legs.

at last coiled

three or four times round his

While he was wondering what the snake would
it

do

next,

tightened

its

grip and began to pull.

He
into

now understood
the water;

that the snake
to

wanted

to pull

him

but, objecting

that

part of the plan, he

stood

firmly,

the

snake pulling him more

and

more

A WRESTLER

AND A SNAKE.

73

teeth of his ashida broke, strongly, so that the

and the

situation
force
its

grew dangerous.

Then he

exerted additional

and stood

firmly, whilst the

snake meantime pulled

utmost.
half

By

so exerting himself, the legs of Tsuneyori

sank

a foot into the

ground,

and

became
in

imhis

movable.
heart

Then

whilst

the

fighting-man was
of
the

praising
like

the

strength

snake,

the

brute

broke

an over-strained rope into two

pieces.

The

water of the river crimsoned, and Tsuneyori, perceiving
the accident, withdrew his legs, the
tail

following them.

Untying
the rings

this
left

tail,

he washed his

feet

with water, but
reptile did

on his legs by the grip of the

not disappear.
bruises fade
to his house,

He, remembering having been told that
spirit,

away when washed with

went back
or-

and while occupied with his washing,
tail

dered his servants to fetch the
the river.

of the snake out of

This they found so extremely large that the
foot.

diameter of the broken part was about a

Tsuneyori

also sent his servants to seek for the head part of the

snake

;

and they found

this other half,

on the opposite
times round a
the snake

side of

the river, encircling itself
tree.

many

trunk of a large

By

this

means had

L

74

CHILD- LIFE IN JAPAN.

pulled

so

strongly,

not

knowing, poor thing, that
asunder.

its

own body was going
the snake

to burst

Tsuneyori afterwards wanted to know the force of

compared with that of men.
it

So he prepared

a large strong rope, and tied

to

one of his legs and
it

ordered at

first

ten

men

to

draw

at

the other end,

but he increased the number of
"

men

very much, saying
is

continually,
still

Yet more are wanted"; "The traction
"
;

unequal to the snake's"
sixty

More, yet more."
in

When
rope,

about

men were engaged
that

pulling

the

Tsuneyori
pulled

said

he

felt

about the same as when
this
it

by

the

snake.

From

appears

that
in

Tsuneyori was equal to one hundred ordinary men
strength.

A FIRE-CARRIAGE FROM HELL.

A FIRE-CARRIAGE FROM HELL.
MANY
years ago there lived a

monk
the

in a temple, called

Yakushu.
temple,
selfishly,

Although
never

he was
the

chief priest

of this

he
as

used

funds

of

the

institution

he desired after death to enter Paradise.
old,

When
his

he got

and suffered from his
;

last illness,

he

prayed very
last

much

one day he seemed
little,

to be

drawing

breath, but recovering a

he asked his
to

pupils to

come near him, and spoke thus

them

:

"You

have seen

me

ever

praying, desiring
I

earnestly
to see

to be called to Paradise, but

was surprised

a

carriage of
angel.
I

fire

leaping towards
red,

me

instead of a gentle

asked the

the black, the grey three-toed
I

devil drivers for
hell.

what

guilt

was compelled

to

go

to

Bringing the carriage close to me, they replied
I

that

had borrowed a bushel of

rice that

belonged to

7

8

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

this

temple some years ago, and neglecting to return

it,

the
that

messengers were sent
I

for

that

offence.

I

replied

would return

my

loan,

adding that they might

make what use they
the
devils

pleased of

my

ten bushels.

Then

drove
"

off."
is

After a
the

little

while the priest

exclaimed,

Now

messenger

from

Paradise

advancing," and showing his joy by rubbing his hands
together,
this

he died.
the

The house
north
side

of this priest stands to of
the

day on
a

temple.

If

ever
to

such

small quantity of property which

belongs

others be used selfishly, the fire-carriage comes to take

such
those
the

an one to

hell

;

what then
as

will

be the fate of
they please

monks who spend
their

luxuriously as

revenues of

temples?

THE TWO DAUGHTERS OF OKADA.

THE TWO DAUGHTERS OF OKADA.
T
Akita,
Inaba,
in

the

province
rdnin

of

lived

a

called

Okada, who had two daughters,

by

whom
to with

he
all

was
filial

ministered
piety.

He was
a

fond of shoot-

ing with

gun,

and

thus

very often committed the sin
(according
of
life,

to

the

teaching

holy

Buddha) of taking

nor

would

he

ever

hearken to the admonitions
of his daughters, who, mindI

ful

of the future, and aghast
in

at

the prospect in store for

him

the world to come,

M

82

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

frequently

endeavoured

to

convert

him.

Many were
they had

the tears they shed.

At

last

one day
still

after

pleaded with him more earnestly
father,

than before, the

touched by their supplications, promised to shoot
But, after a while,
to

no more.

some him

of
to

his

neighbours

having come round

request

shoot for them

two

storks, he

was

easily led to consent

by the strength
he would not

of his natural liking for the sport.

Still

allow

a

word

to

be

breathed

to

his

daughters, and
as

slipped but at night,

gun

in

hand, after they were,

he imagined,
everything,
"

fast

asleep.

They, however,
sister

had heard
younger:

and the elder

said

to

the

Do what we

may, our father will not condescend to

follow our

words of counsel, and nothing now remains

but to bring him to a knowledge of the truth by the
sacrifice of

one of our own

lives.

To-night

is

fortunately

moonless;

and

if

I

and go to put on white garments
he will take

the neighbourhood of the bay,

me

for

a

stork

and shoot me dead.
tend

Do you
all

continue to live
services

and

our

father

with

the

of

filial

piety."

Thus she

spake,

her eyes

dimmed with
with

the
sobs,

rolling tears.

But the younger

sister,

many

THE TWO DAUGHTERS OF OKADA.
"
:

83

exclaimed
the

For you,
of

my

sister, for
;

you

is

it

to receive

inheritance

this
live,

house

so

do you condescend
filial

to be the

one to

and

to practice

devotion to

our
each

father,

while / will
for

offer

up

my

life."

Thus

did

strive

death

;

and as the elder one, without
out
of

more words, seizing a white garment rushed
the

house,

the

younger one, unwilling

to

cede to her
also, followed

the place of

honour put on a white gown

in her track to the shore of the bay,

and there making

her
as

way
to

to her

among

the rushes continued the dispute

which of the two should
the
father,

be

the

one

to
in
for

die.

Meanwhile
darkness,
storks,

peering

around

him
it

the the

saw something white, and taking
at

aimed

the
it

spot with
pierced

his

gun, and did not

miss his shot, for
elder
grief,

through the ribs of the
helpless
in

of the

two

girls.

The younger,

her

bent over her
ol

sister's

body, while the father, not
to find

dreaming
that
his

what he was about, and astonished

having shot one of the storks did not make
fly

the

other

away,

discharged

another

shot
to
first
;

at

the

remaining
hit

white

figure,

and

lamentable

relate,-

his

second daughter as he had the

she

fell

84

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

pierced

through the

chest,
sister.

and was

laid

on the same
pleased with

grassy pillow as her
his
success,

The

father,

came up
what
!

to

the

rushes to look for his
alas
!

game.
his

But

no
!

storks,

alas

!

no,

only

two

daughters
it

Filled

with

consternation,
girls,

he

asked what
with
to

all

meant

;

and

the

breathing

difficulty,

told

him
crime

that

their

resolve
life,

had

been
thus

show

him
to

the

of
to

taking
desist
to

and

respectfully

cause him

therefrom.

expired
father,

before

they

had

time

say

more.

They The

then

filled

with sorrow and remorse, took the

two corpses home on his back, and, as there was now
no help
for

what was done, he placed them reverently
stack,

on a wood
to

and there they burnt, making smoke
wind.

the

blowing
man.
trees,

Frorn^ that
built

hour
a

he

was a
cell

converted

He

himself

small

of

branches of
therein

near the village bridge, and, placing
tablets

the

memorial
before

of

his

two

daughters,
rites,

performed

them the

due

religious

and
!

became the most pious follower of Buddha.

Ah
that

that

was
girls

filial

piety

in

very truth

!

a

marvel,
lives,

these

should

throw away their own

so

that,

by

THE TWO DAUGHTERS OF OKADA.

exterminating the evil
in this world, they

seed

in

their

father's
its

conduct
fruit

might guard him from
!

awful

in

the world to

come

URANAI.
(SECOND-SIGHT.)

URANAI.
(SECOND-SIGHT.)

A

TRAVELLER

arrived

at

a village, and
that,

looking about

for

an inn, he found one

although rather shabby,

would, he thought, suit him.

So he asked whether he

could pass the night there, and the mistress said certainly.

No

one lived

at the inn except the mistress, so that the

traveller

was quite undisturbed.
next morning, after he had finished breakfast,

The

the traveller went out of the house to
for

make arrangements
surprise,

continuing his journey, when, to his

his

hostess asking

him

to stop a

moment,

said that he

owed

her a thousand pounds, solemnly declaring that he had

borrowed that sum from her inn long years ago.

The

N

9o

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

traveller

was astonished greatly

at this, as

it

seemed

to

him a preposterous demand,

so

fetching

his

trunk he

soon hid himself by drawing a curtain
After thus
the

all

round him.

secluding himself for some time, he called
asked,
"

woman and

Was

your father an adept
replied,

in

the art of Uranai?"

The woman

"Yes;

my
I

father

secluded
traveller,

himself just as you
"

have done."
say

Said

the

Explain

fully to

me why you

owe you

so large a sum."

The

mistress then related that
die,

when
his

her father was going to

he bequeathed her

all

possessions except his money, saying, that on a certain
day, ten years later, a traveller

would lodge

at her house,

and

that,

as

the

said

traveller

owed him a thousand

pounds, she could reclaim at that time this
his debtor, subsisting in
sale of her father's goods.

sum from

the meanwhile by the gradual

Hitherto,
as she spent,
valuables, but

being

unable to earn

as

much money
of them.
arrived,

she had been disposing of the inherited

had now exhausted nearly
the

all

In

the

meantime,
traveller

predicted
at

date

had

and

a

had

lodged
so

her

house,

just

as

her father had

foretold,

she concluded he was the

URANAI.

91

man from whom
pounds.

she

should

recover

the

thousand

On
the

hearing this

the

traveller

said

that

all

that

woman had

related \vas

perfectly true,

and taking
tap gently
pillar.

her to one side of the room, told

her

to

with

her
part,

knuckles
the
said
pillar

all

over

a

wooden

At

one

gave forth a hollow sound.
the

The

traveller

that

money spoken
in

about

by the
and

poor

woman

lay hidden

this part of the pillar,
it

advising her only to
his way.

spend

gradually

he went on

The

father of this

woman had
its

been extremely

skilful

in the art of Uranai,

and by

means he had discovered
through
ten

that

his

daughter would
poverty,

pass

years

of

extreme

and

that

on a certain future day a
in the house.

diviner would

come and lodge
if

The

father

was

also aware that
at

he bequeathed his daughter his

money

once

she

would
therefore

spend
he

it

extravagantly.
the

Upon
the

consideration

hid

money
related.

in

pillar

and instructed his daughter as
the
the
father's

In

accordance with

prophecy, the
the

man came
day,

and lodged

in

house on

predicted

and

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

by the

art of divination discovered the

thousand pounds.

Thus

Uranai, is the art of foreseeing future events very

clearly.

NEW

YEAR'S DECORATION (page

26).

GAMES.

GAMES.
SOME
of
the

games we
and

are

daily playing
for

at

in

our

nurseries

have been also
boys
girls,

played at

centuries

by
buff,

Japanese

such

as

blindman's

called Mekakushi (eye-hiding), puss in the corner, catching,

racing,

scrambling, a variety of here

we go round

the
five

mulberry bush, knuckle-bones, played however with

96

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

little

stuffed

bags instead of
get,

sheep bones,
are

which

the

children

cannot

as

sheep

not

used

by the

Japanese.
in

Also performances such as honey-pots, heads
back to back, or hand to

chancery, turning round

hand, are popular
small
to
fry.

among

that long-sleeved, shaven-pated

Still

better than

snowballing, the lads like
charcoal
ball

make a snow-man, with a round
"

for

each eye, and a streak of charcoal for his mouth. they
legs
call

This

Buddha's
off

squat
his

follower
stillness

Daruma," whose
over his lengthy

rotted

through

prayers.

As might be
differ

expected,

some of the Japanese games
else

slightly

from ours, or

are altogether peculiar

to

that

country.

The

facility
off,

with which a Japanese

child slips its shoes

on and

and the absence on the

part of the parents of

conventional or health scruples

regarding bare

feet,

lead to a sort of

game
and

of ball in
to hiding

which the shoes take the part of the
pranks with
slipper

ball,

the

sandal,
seek.

something

like

our hunt the

and hide and
3,
is

On

the other hand, Hoi kang-0j
:

seen on page

entirely Japanese

in

this

game, two

children carry a

bamboo

pole on their shoulders, on to

GAMES.

97

which clings a third

child, in imitation of a usual
is

mode
seated

of travelling in Japan, in which the passenger
in a light

A

bamboo palanquin borne on men's shoulders. miniature festival is thought great fun when a few
of rough
cut

bits

wood mounted on wheels
and
evergreens,

are

decorated

with

paper

and

drawn

slowly

along amidst the shouts of the exultant contrivers, in

mimicry of the

real

festival

cars,

as seen on page 47.
;

Games

of soldiers are of two types
fights,

when

copied from

the historical

one boy, with his kerchief bound

round his temples, makes a supposed marvellous and
heroic defence, slashing his

bamboo sword,

as harlequin

waves

his baton, to deal magical destruction all
;

around

on the attacking party

or,

\vhen the late insurrection

commenced

in

Satsuma, the Tokio boys, hearing of the
tactics,
little

campaign on modern
defence parties, and a
breech-loaders

would

form attack and

would

company armed with bamboo march to the assault of the

roguish battalion lurking round the corner.

Wrestling, again,

is

popular with children, not so
actual

much on account

of

the

throwing, as from the

love of imitating the curious growling

and animal-like
o

98

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

springing

with

which

the

professional

wrestlers

en-

counter one another.

Swimming,

fishing,

and general

puddling about are congenial occupation for hot days
;

summer
like

whilst

some with a toy bamboo pump,

a

Japanese feeble fire-engine, manage to send a squirt of
water at a friend, as the firemen souse their comrades
standing
sellers

on

the

burning

housetops.

Itinerant

street
little is

have, on stalls of a height suited to their

customers, an array of what looks like pickles, but
really

bright

sea-weed pods that the children
'

buy

to

make
so

a

"

clup

!

sort of

noise with between their
all

lips,

that

they go about apparently hiccoughing
leaves
in

day
as

long.

The smooth glossy
as

of

the

camellia,

common
fair
little

hedge roses are

England, make

very

trumpets when blown, after having been exspring their fallen blossoms are

pertly rolled up, or in

strung into gay chains.

On
the
tiny

a border land between games and sweets are
of the
itinerant
batter-sellers,

stalls

whereat

the

purchaser enjoys the
of
himself

evidently
his

much
little

appreciated

privilege

arranging

measure

of

batter in fantastic forms,

and frying them upon a hot

GA MES.

99

metal
first

plate.

A

turtle

is

a
its

favourite

design,

as

the

blotch of batter

makes

body, and six judiciously
its

arranged
feet.

smaller dabs soon suggest

head,

tail

and

The games and
however,
that

sports of

Japanese children

have,
Griffis,

been so well described
give
as

by Professor
his

we

an Appendix

account

of

their

doings.

(APPENDIX.)
THE GAMES AND SPORTS OF JAPANESE
CHILDREN.

(APPENDIX.)
THE GAMES AND SPORTS OF JAPANESE
CHILDREN,
IN

Japan

one

sees

that

the
zest

children

of

a

larger

growth
same,

enjoy with
or nearly
years.

equal

games which
those
that

are

the
size

the

same,
it

as
is

of
the

lesser

and
all

fewer
in

Certain
to

adults

do

their

power
of

provide for

the

children

their
fre-

full

quota
see
in

play

and

harmless

sports.

We
natives
the

quently

full-grown

and

able-bodied
the

in-

dulging

amusements which
their pinafores,
in

men

of

west

lay aside with
cut.

or

when

their

curls are

If

we,

the

conceited

pride
this

of
as

our

superior

civilisation,

look

down
that

upon

childish,

we

must
of

remember
lofty,

the
to

Celestial,

from the pinnacle
elevated,

his

and

him

immeasurably

104

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

civilisation,

looks

down upon our manly
it

sports

with
notice

contempt,

thinking

a condescension

even to

them.

A
in

very

noticeable

change

has

passed

over

the

Japanese people since the modern advent of foreigners
respect to their love of

amusements.

Their sports

by no means as numerous or elaborate as formerly, and they do not enter into them with the enthusiasm
are
that
tivals

formerly characterised

them.

The

children's

fes-

and sports are rapidly losing
seen.

their

importance,

and some now are rarely
were
almost
as

Formerly the holidays
saints'

numerous

as

days

in

the

calendar.

Apprentice-boys
stipulated
in

had

a

liberal
;

quota
as

of
the

holidays
children

their

indentures
before

and
great

counted
fingers,

the

days

each
that

holiday

on

their

we may
was

believe

a great deal of
done.

digital

arithmetic

being

continually
in

We
for

do not know of any country
there
are
sale

the

world in which

so of

many
the

toy-shops,

or

so

many

fairs

the

things

which

delight

children.

Not

only are the streets with shops,
filled

of every city abundantly supplied
full

as

as a Christmas stocking with

THE GAMES AND SPORTS OF JAPANESE CHILDREN.
but
small

105

gaudy
more

toys,

in

towns and villages one or

children's

bazaars
all

may
things

be

found.

The

most

gorgeous display of
a

pleasing to
the

the eye of or
streets

Japanese

child

is

found

in

courts

leading to celebrated temples.
day, the toysellers
their

On

a matsuri, or festival

and

itinerant

showmen throng with
in in in

most

attractive

wares or sights
the walls

front

of

the

shrine or

temple.

On

and

conspicuous

places near the churches

and cathedrals

Europe and
the
sight

America, the visitor

is

usually regaled with

of undertakers' signs and gravediggers' advertisements.

How
of the

differently the Japanese act
see,

in

these

respects

let

any one

by

visiting Asakusa,
Inari shrines

Kanda, Miojin, or one
festival day,

numerous
have

on some great
this

We
are

not

space

in

paper

to

name

or

describe the

numerous
to

street

shows and showmen who
mainly
in

supposed
;

be

interested

entertaining

children

though
of
in

in reality adults

form a

part, often the

major
seeing

part,

their
full

audiences.

Any

one desirous of

these

glory must

ramble down Yanagi

Cho from
especially

Sujikai

in

Tokio,

on

some

fair

day,

and

on a general holiday,
p

106

CHILD- LIFE IN JAPAN.

Among
in

the

most common are the

street theatricals,

which two, three or four trained boys and
creditable
acting, chiefly in

girls

do

some very

comedy.

Raree

shows, in which the looker-on sees the inside splendours
of a

daimio's yashiki,
or

or

the

heroic acts

of

Japanese
are

warriors,

some

famous
as

natural

scenery,

very

common.

The showman,

he

pulls

the

wires that

change the scenes, entertains the spectators with songs.

The
of

outside of his box

is

usually adorned with pictures
foxes,

famous

actors,

nine-tailed

demons

of

all

colours, people

committing harakiri or stomach cutting,

bloody massacres, or some such staple horror in which
the normal Japanese so delights.
Story-tellers, posturers,

dancers, actors of charades, conjurers, flute-players, song-

singers o

are

found

on

these

streets,

but

those

who

are the specially delight the children

of fingers and breath
into
all

work a paste

men who, by dint made of wheat-gluten,
toys,

sorts

of curious

and gaily-smeared

such

as flowers, trees, noblemen, fair ladies, various utensils,

the

foreigner,
seller

the of

jin-riki-sha,

&c.

Nearly
sugared

every
peas,
lottery

itinerant

candy,

starch-cakes,

and sweetened

beans has several

methods of

THE GAMES AND SPORTS OF JAPANESE CHILDREN.
by which he adds
disk
the attractions

107

to

on his

stall.

A

having a revolving arrow, whirled round by the
child,

hand of a

or

a

number

of

strings

which are
or

connected with
heroes, lends

the faces of imps, goddesses, devils

the

excitement
occurs,

of

chance,

and,

when

a

lucky

pull

or

whirl

occasions
of

the

subsequent

addition to

the

small
or

fraction

a sens worth to be
carrying

bought.
charcoal

Men
brazier

women
*

itinerate,

a

small
batter,

under a

copper griddle,

with

spoons, cups and shoyu
of a jumon f each to

sauce to hire out for the price
little

the

urchins

who spend an

afternoon of
eating
devil,

bliss,

making

their

own

griddle-cakes and
exhibits

them.
taps

The

seller

of

sugar-jelly
for

a
his

a

drum and dances
The
of
seller

the benefit of

baby-customers.

of mochi

does

the

same,
tricks

with with

the
balls

addition
of
if

gymnastics
In

and

skilful
city,

dough.
not

every Japanese

there

are scores,

hundreds, of

men and women who
children.

obtain a livelihood by

amusing the
of

Some

of

the

games

Japanese
soy.

children

are

of

* The origin of the English
t

The

tenth part of a sen or halfpenny.

ic8

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

a

national

character,

and

are
local

indulged

in

by

all

classes.

Others are purely
are

or exclusive.

Among
special

the
days,

former

those

which
in

belong
old

to

the

or matsuri,

which

the

calendars
the

enjoyed
one. are

vastly

more

importance
the
first

than
of

under
the

new

Beginning

with

year,

there
to
this

a

number

of

games and
dressed
faces
in

sports
their

peculiar

time.

The
with
until

girls,

best

robes
their

and
lips

girdles,

their

powdered
the
their

and

painted,

they

resemble

peculiar hair

colours

seen
in

on

a

beetle's

wings,

and

arranged
the

the

most

attractive

coiffure,

are

out

upon

street

playing

battledore

and
threes,

shuttlecock.

twos and
is

but also in

They play not only in circles. The shuttlecock

a small seed, often gilded, stuck round with feathers

arranged like the petals of
is

a flower.
is

The

battledore

a

wooden

bat

;

one side of which

of bare wood,

while the other has the raised effigy of some popular
actor,

hero of

romance,
style

or

singing

girl

in

the

most

ultra-Japanese

of

beauty.

The
it

girls

evidently

highly

appreciate

this

game,

as

gives

abundant
figure

opportunity for the display of

personal

beauty,

THE GAMES AND SPORTS OF JAPANESE CHILDREN.
Those who marked with
the
often

109

and
their

dress.
faces

fail

in

game

have

ink, or

a circle drawn

round
will

their eyes.

The boys

sing a
it

song that the wind

blow, the girls sing that
shuttlecocks

may
of of

be calm so that their
little

may

fly

straight.

The

girls

at

this

time

play with

a ball

made
strands

cotton

cord,

covered

elaborately with
silk.

many

bright vari-coloured
suited

Inside
the

the

house

they have games
for

not

only for
foreigners
night,

daytime,

but

the the

evenings.

Many
do
at

have

wondered what
the

Japanese

and

how

long winter

evenings are spent.

On

fair,

and especially moonlight nights, most of the
are

people

out of

doors,

and
fairs

many
are

of

the

children
at

with them.

Markets and

held

regularly

night in Tokio, and in other large
living in a Japanese city, even
tell if

cities.

The

foreigner

he were blind, could

by stepping
clear

out
fine,

of

doors,

whether

the

weather

were

and

or

disagreeable.

On

dark

and

stormy nights, the
is

stillness

of a great
;

city like

Tokio
and

unbroken and very impressive

but on a
tell

fair

moonlight night the
people are

hum and

bustle

one that the
feel

out

in

throngs,

and make one

that

it

no

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

is

a city that he lives

in.

In most of the castle towns
people,

in

Japan,

it

was formerly the custom of the

especially of the younger, to assemble
in

on moonlight nights
castle

the

streets

or open

spaces

near the

gates,
in

and dance a
circles

sort of

subdued dance, moving round
their

and clapping

hands.
night,

These dances often
the

continued during the

entire
in

following
In
the

day

being

largely
in

consumed

sleep.

winter

evenings

Japanese households
their
sports, or

the
are

children

amuse
their

themselves with
elders,

amused by

who

tell

them entertaining
his

stories.

The

samurai
heroic

father
lore,

relates
fire

to

son

Japanese

history and

to

him with enthusiasm and a love of those

achievements which every samurai youth hopes at some

day

to

perform.

Then

there

are

numerous

social

entertainments, at which

the

children

above a certain
relied

age are allowed to be present.

But the games

on as standard means of amusement,
cially

and seen especards.
is

about

New
this

Year, are

those

of

In

one

of these, a large square sheet of paper
floor.

laid

on the
of

On

card

are

the

names

and

pictures

the

fifty-three

post-stations

between Yedo and

Kioto.

THE GAMES AND SPORTS OF JAPANESE CHILDREN.
At
the
place Kioto

IIT

are put
prizes,

a

few coins, or a
is

pile of

cakes, or

some such

and the game
the

played

with

dice.

Each throw advances
the

player

towards

the goal, and

one arriving
the

first

obtains the prize.

At

this

time

of

year

also,

the

games

of

cards

called respectively IroJia Garuta,

Hiyaku Nin

Isshiu Garuta,

Kokin Garuta, Genji and Shi Gariita are played a great
deal.

The

Iroha Garuta are small cards each containing

a

proverb. the

The proverb
illustrating

is
it

printed

on

one

card,

and

picture

upon

another.

Each

proverb begins with a certain one of the 50 Japanese
letters,
z,

ro,

ha,

&c.,

and so
themselves

through
in
is

the syllabary.
circle

The

children

range

a

and
to

the

cards are shuffled and dealt.
reader.

One
he

appointed
the

be

Looking

at

his

cards

reads

proverb.

The

player

who

has

the

picture corresponding to the

proverb

calls

out,

and

the

match
first,

is

made.

Those

who

are

rid

of their cards
the
last

win the game.
loser.

The

one holding
boy, he
girl,

card

is

the

If

he be a
If a

has his face marked curiously with ink.

she has a paper or wisp of straw stuck in her hair.

The Hiaku Nin

Isshiu

Garuta

game

consists of

two

ii2

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

hundred hundred
in

cards,

on
or

which

aie

inscribed

the

one

stanzas

poems so

celebrated

and known
poetry

every

household.
of

A

stanza

of
first

Japanese

usually consists

two

parts,

a

and second, or
of playing the
the stanza

upper and lower clause.

The manner

game

is

as follows.

The

reader reads half

on his card, and the player, having the card on which
the

other

half

is

written,

calls

out,

and

makes

a

match.

Some
that

children

become so
to

familiar

with these

poems

they do

not need

hear the entire half
first

of the stanza read, but frequently only the

word.
Odes,
Genji
Shi

The Kokin
the
Gcnji

Garuta,

or the

game
the

of Ancient
celebrated

Gantta,

named
the

after

(Minamoto) family of
Garuta are
all

middle

ages,

and

the

card-games of a similar nature, but can
only by

be thoroughly enjoyed
scholars,
in

w ell-educated Chinese
r

as

the

references

and quotations are written
a

Chinese

and

require

good

knowledge

of

the

Chinese- and Japanese classics to play them well.

To

boys
it

who

are

eager to become

proficient

in

Chinese,

often acts as an incentive to be told that

they will

enjoy these games after certain attainments in scholar-

THE GAMES AND SPORTS OF JAPANESE CHILDREN.
ship have been made.

113

Having made
frequently,

these attainments

they play the
cation,

game
The

especially

during

va-

to

impress

on

their

minds
benefit

what
to

they have

already

learned.

same

the

memory

accrues from the Iroha and Hiakunin Isshin

Garuta.

Two
to

other

games

are played

which may be said
are the Chiye no Ita the

have an educational value.
Chiye no

They

and the
"

Wa, or the

"Wisdom Boards" and
consists of a
in

Ring of Wisdom."
flat

The former
wood, cut

number

of

thin

pieces of

many

geometrical

shapes.

Certain

possible

figures are printed

on paper

as models, and the boy tries to form
pieces

them out of the

given

him.

In
to

some
form

cases
the

much time and
figure.

thinking are required
no

The

Chiye

Wa

is

a ring-puzzle,
bar.

made

of

rings of

bamboo

or

iron,

on a

Boys having a
a
natural

talent for mathematics,

or those
size

who have

capacity
at

to

distinguish

and form, succeed very well

these
is

games and
on a
height.

enjoy them.
raised

The game
or
table

of

Checkers
six

played
in

stand

about

inches

The number
white,
is

of go

or
the

checkers,
Sho-gi,

including

black and

360.

In

or

game

of Chess, the

Q

ii 4

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

pieces

number 40
play,

in

all.

Backgammon
are
several

is

also

a
it.

favourite

and

there

forms

of

About

the time of old style

New

Year's day,
are

when
to

the
the

winds of
sport,
in

February and
are
flown,

March
and

favourable
are

kites

there

few

games
on
the

which
to

Japanese
the

boys,

from

the
the

infant

back
take

full-grown
I

and

over-grown
observed,

boy,

more

delight.

have never
tell

however,

as foreign books so often

us, old

men

flying kites
kites

and boys merely looking on.

The Japanese
a frame of

are

made
sticks

of

tough paper pasted on

bamboo

and are usually of a rectangular shape.

Some

of

them,

however, are made to represent children or
kinds of
birds

men, several

and

animals,

fans,

&c.

On
or

the rectangular kites are pictures of ancient heroes
beautiful

women,
or

dragons,

horses,

monsters

of

various
the

kinds,

huge

Chinese
seen

characters.

Among
kites

faces

most

frequently

on

these

are

those

of

Yoshitsune,

Kintaro,

Yoritomo,

Benke,
the
kites

Daruma, Tomoye and Hangaku.
are six feet square.

Some

of

Many
at

of

them have a
top
of
the

thin tense
kite

ribbon

of

whalebone

the

which

THE GAMES AND SPORTS OF JAPANESE CHILDREN.

115

vibrates

making a loud humming noise. The boys frequently name their kites Genji or Heiki, and each contestant endeavours to destroy that of his
in

the wind,

rival.

For

this

purpose the string for ten or twenty
is

feet

near the kite end

first

covered with glue, and then

becomes dipped into pounded glass, by which the string
covered with tiny blades, each able to cut quickly and
deeply.

By

getting the
the

kite

in

proper position and
his

suddenly

sawing
falls,

string

of

antagonist,
victor.

the

severed kite

to be reclaimed

by the

The Japanese tops are made of univalve shells,
intended
are
for

of several kinds,
filled

some

are

with
of

wax.

Those
and
as

contests

are

made

hard \vood,
ring round

iron-clad

by having a heavy iron

a sort of

The boys wind and throw them in a manner somewhat different from ours. The object of
tire.

the

player
it

is

to

damage

his

adversary's

top,

or
is

to

make

cease

spinning.

The whipping-top
the
athletic

also

known

and

used.

Besides

sports

of

leaping, running, wrestling, slinging, the Japanese boys

play at blind-man's buff, hiding-whoop, and with

stilts,

pop-guns, and blow-guns.

On

stilts

they play various

u6

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

games and

run

races.

In
the

the

northern and western
falls

coast provinces, where

snow

to

the

depth of
it

many
the

feet

and remains long on the ground,
of
the
children's
their
sports.

forms
the

material

playthings,

and

theatre

of

many

of

Besides sliding on

the

ice,

coasting

with
battles

sleds,

building snow-forts and
snow-balls,
imitations

fighting

mimic
of

with

they

make

many

kinds

see and know.

what they In America the boy's snow-man is a
of
hat,

images and

Paddy with a damaged
the shillelah in his hand.

clay pipe

in

mouth, and
is

In Japan the snow-man

an

image of Daruma.
of

Daruma was one
who,
lost

of the followers

Shaka

(Buddha)
position,

by

long

meditation
paralysis

in

a

squatting

his

legs

from

and

sheer decay.

The images
toy-shops,
of the as

of

Daruma

are found

by the

hundreds
the

in

tobacconists'

signs

and

as

snow-men

boys.

Occasionally the figure of
skull so high that

Geiho, the

sage with a forehead and

a ladder was required to reach his pate, or huge cats

and the peculiar-shaped dogs seen
take the place of of
the children

in

the
the

toy-shops,

Daruma.
indoors
are

Many
mere

of

amusements
of
the

imitations

THE GAMES AND SPORTS OF JAPANESE CHILDREN.
of adult

117

serious

affairs

life.

Boys who have been

to

the theatre

come home

to imitate the

celebrated actors,
for

and

to

extemporize mimic theatricals
"

themselves.
imitating

Feigned sickness and
with
ludicrous

playing the doctor,"
the

exactness

pomp and

solemnity of

the real the

man

of pills and powders, and the misery of
the diversions of very

patient, are

young

children.
funerals,

Dinners,
are

tea-parties,
in

and even weddings and

imitated

Japanese children's plays.
intended
to
test

Among
of,

the
or

ghostly

games
to

the

courage
plays

perhaps

frighten

children,

are

two

called

respectively,

Hiyaku Monogatari
Stories
"

and Kon-dameshi, or the
In

"One Hundred

and "Soul-examination."

the former play, a

company
while

of boys and girls assemble

round
person
tales

the or

hibachi,

they or

an

adult,

an

aged
or

a

servant,
to

usually

relate

ghost

stories,

calculated
crawl.

straighten

the

hair

and make the
lamp,
(the

blood

In
oil,)

a

distant

dark room, a

usual dish of
or piths,
is

with a wick of one hundred strands

set.

At

the

conclusion of each story, the
to the

children in turn

must go

dark room and remove

a strand of the wick.

As

the

lamp burns down low

n8

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

the
is

room becomes gloomy and

dark, and the last boy,
face,

it

said,

always sees a demon, a huge
In the Kon-damesJii, or
of
"

or something

terrible.

Soul-examination," a
flags
tree,

number

boys during
of

the

day plant some

in

different parts

a graveyard, under a lonely

or

by a haunted

hill-side.

At night they meet

together,

and
at
is

tell

stories

about ghosts, goblins, devils, &c., and
tale,

the

conclusion of each

when
a

the

imagination

wrought up, the boys one
the

at

time must go out
flags,

in

dark
in.

and

bring

back

the

until

all

are

brought

On

the third day of the third

month

is

held the
to

Hina Matsuri.
the girls,
year.
It

This
to

is

the
it

day especially devoted
is

and

them

the

greatest

day

in

the

has been called
"

in

some

foreign

works

on

Japan, the

Feast of Dolls."

Several days before the
for

Matsuri, the shops are
this occasion,

gay with the images bought

and which are on

sale only at this time

of

Every respectable family has a number of these splendidly-dressed images, which are from four
year.

inches to a foot in height, and which accumulate from

generation to

generation.

When

a daughter

is

born

THE GAMES AND SPORTS OF JAPANESE CHILDREN.
the house during the previous

119

in

year,
little

a pair of hina
girl,

or images are purchased for the

which she
is

plays

with

until

grown

up.

When

she

married
house,
to

her hina

are

taken with
to

her to
her

her husband's

and she gives them
stock
of

children,

adding

the

as

her family increases.
or enamelled clay.
;

The images

are

made

wood

They

represent the

mikado

and

his wife

the kuge or old Kioto nobles,

their wives

and daughters, the court minstrels and various personages
in

Japanese
toys,

mythology and
representing
all

history.

A
in

great

many
in a
table,

other

the

articles

use

Japanese lady's chamber, the service of the eating
the utensils of the
kitchen, travelling

apparatus,

&c.,

some

of

them very elaborate and
played

costly, are also

exhibited

and

with

on

this
rice,

day.

The

girls

make
of

offerings of sake

and dried

&c., to the effigies

the emperor and empress, and
toys,
life,

then spend the day

with
female

mimicking

the

whole

round

of

Japanese

as that of child, maiden, wife, mother, and

grandmother.
I

In some old Japanese families in which
the

have

visited,

display of

dolls

and images was

very large and extremely beautiful.

120

CHILD -LIFE IN JAPAN.

The
the
fifth

greatest

day

in

the year for

the boys

is

on
is

day of the

fifth

month.
the
"

On

this

day

celebrated

what has been

called

Feast of Flags."

Previous to the coming of the day the shops display
for

sale

the

toys
all

and
a

tokens proper to the

occasion.

These

are

of

kind

suited

to

young Japanese
of

masculinity.
warriors,

They

consist

of

effigies

heroes

and
foot

generals

and

commanders, soldiers

on

and horse, the genii of strength and valour,
&c.
of a

wrestlers,

The

toys

represent
procession,

the
all

equipments and

regalia
in

daimio's

kinds of things used

war, the contents of an arsenal, flags, streamers, banners,
c.

A
the

set of

these toys

is

bought
old

for every

son born
the

in

family.

Hence
fifth

in

Japanese
fifth

families
is

display on the

day of the

month

extensive

and
pole

brilliant.

Besides the display indoors, on a
outside
is

bamboo

erected

hung, by a string to the top

of the pole, a representation of a large fish in paper.

The paper being
body of the
manner.
fish,

hollow, the breeze easily
flaps its tail

fills

out the

which

and

fins in

a natural

One may count hundreds
city.

of these floating in

the air over the

THE GAMES AND SPORTS OF JAPANESE CHILDREN.

121

The
to at

nobori,

as the paper fish

'is

called,

is

intended

show
least

that a son has been born that
is

during the year, or
family.

there are

sons

in
is

the

The

fish

represented

the carp, which

able to

swim

swiftly

against the current and to

leap over waterfalls.

This

act of the carp is a favourite subject with native artists

and

is

also

typical of

the

young man,
all

especially
to

the

young

samurai,

mounting over

difficulties

success

and quiet prosperity.

One
fashion,

favourite game, which

has

now gone

out

of

was

that in

which the boys formed themselves
officers,

into a diamio's procession, having forerunners,

&c.,

and imitating as

far

as

possible
train.

the

pomp and
and
rival

circumstance of the old daimio's

Another game
the
Genji

which
Heiki.

was

very

popular

was

called

These are the names of the
or
families
district,

celebrated

clans

Mainamoto and

Taira.

The boys

of

a town,
parties,

or school, ranged themselves into two
flags.

each with

Those of the Heiki were white,
Sometimes every boy had a
contest,
to

those
flag,

of the

Genji

red.

and the object of the
of a

which was begun
the
flags of

at

the tap

drum, was

seize

the

R

122

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

enemy.
flags

The
the

party

securing

the

greatest

number
flags

of

won

victory.

In
of
for

other cases

the

were

fastened

on

the

back

each
a

contestant,

who was who had

armed with

a

bamboo

sword,
a
flat

and

fastened on a pad over his head

round piece of

earthenware, so that a party of them looked not unlike
the
faculty of

a college.

Often these parties of boys

numbered

several

hundred,

and

were

marshalled

in

squadrons as

in a battle.

At

a given signal the battle
to

commenced, the object being
on the head of the enemy.
very exciting.

break the earthen disc
contest

The

was usually

Whoever had
from the

his earthen disc demolished

had

to

retire

field.

The

party having
of

the

greatest
skulls,

number of broken

discs,

indicative

cloven

were declared the

losers.

This game has been
being
it.

forbidden

by

the

Government as

too

severe

and

cruel.

Boys were

often injured in

There are many other games which we simply mention without describing.

There are three games played
foreigner

by the hands,

which every observant

long

resident in Japan

must have seen

played, as

men and
One

women seem

to enjoy

them as much as

children.

THE GAMES AND SPORTS OF JAPANESE CHILDREN.
is

123

called Ishiken, in

which a stone, a pair of

scissors,

and

a wrapping-cloth are represented.
the

The
and

stone

signifies

clenched

fist,

the

parted

fore

middle fingers

the scissors, and the curved fore-finger and
cloth.

thumb

the

The

scissors can cut the cloth, but not the stone,

but the cloth can wrap the stone.

The two

players

sit

opposite each other at play, throwing out

their

hands

so as to represent either of the three things, and win,
lose,

or draw, as the case

may
fox, fox,

be.

In the Kitsuneken,
figures.

the the

man, and gun are the
but the fox deceives
In

The gun

kills

the man, and the the

gun
or

is

useless without the man.

Qsamaken five
of
rank,

six

boys

represent

the
to

various
great

grades

from

the

peasant

up

the

daimios or shogun.
the

By

superior address and skill in

game
of

the peasant rises to the highest rank, or the
is

man

highest rank

degraded.

From

the nature of the Japanese language, in which

a single word or sound
tions,
I

may have

a great

many

significa-

riddles

and puns are of extraordinary frequency.
collection

do not know of any published

of riddles,

but every Japanese boy has a good stock of them on

i2 4

CHILD-LIFE IN JAPAN.

hand.

There are few Japanese works of
of serious, literature,
recur. in

light,

and
not
are

perhaps

which

puns

do

continually

The popular songs and poems

largely plays on words.

There are also several puzzles

played with sticks, founded upon the shape of certain

Chinese characters.
books,
for

As

for the short

and simple storyand what

song-books, nursery-rhymes, lullabys,
better

want of a

name may be
as
plentiful

styled

Mother Goose
us,

Literature, they are

as with

but they
flavour

have

a

very strongly
style
is

characteristic

Japanese

both in
It

and matter.

curious that the

game

of Foot-ball seems to

have
court,

been confined to the courtiers of the Mikado's

where there were regular instructors of the game.

In the games of "Pussy wants a Corner" and " Prisoner's
Base," the Oni, or devil, takes the place of Puss or the
officer.
I

have

not

mentioned

all

the

games

and
said

sports
to to

of Japanese children, but
their general character.
sensible,

enough has been

show

In general they seem every sense beneficial.
next to
that

be natural,

and

in

Their

immediate

or

remote

effects,

of

THE GAMES AND SPORTS OF JAPANESE CHILDREN.
amusement, are
teach
history,

125

either educational,

or

hygienic. excellent

Some
senti-

some geography, some
language,
elder
inculcate

ments

or

good
to

reverence
to

and

obedience
or to
the

the

brother
stimulate
for

or
the

sister,

parents

emperor,

or

manly virtues of
of
the

courage
subject

and
leads

contempt

pain.

The study

one to respect more highly, rather than

otherwise, the Japanese people for being such affectionate
fathers
docile

and mothers, and
children.

for

having such natural and
of
the children's plays
I

The

character

and

their
to

encouragement by the parents has,

think,

much
on

do with that frankness,
side

affection,

and obedience

the

of
the

the

children,

and that kindness and
~

sympathy on
noticeable
in

side

of

the

parents,
is

which are so

Japan, and
life

which

one of the good

points of Japanese

and

character.

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