Russian Views of Japan, 1792–1913

Before Japan was ‘opened up’ in the 1850s, contact with Russia as with other western maritime nations, was extremely limited. Yet from the early eighteenth century onwards, as a result of their expanding commercial interests in East Asia and the North Pacific, Russians had begun to encounter Japanese and were increasingly eager to establish diplomatic and trading relations with Japan. This book presents rare narratives written by Russians – explorers, official envoys, scholars and, later, tourists – who visited Japan between 1792 and 1913. The introduction and notes set these narratives in the context of the history of Russo-Japanese relations and the genre of European travel writing, showing how the Russian writers combined ethnographic interests with the assertion of Russian and European values, simultaneously inscribing power relations and negotiating cultural difference. Students of Japanese history, nineteenth-century Russia, literature and cultural studies will find this book provides an invaluable insight into the contact between two civilisations at a time when they were particularly ignorant of each other. David N. Wells is a senior librarian at Curtin University Library in Perth, Western Australia. He has published widely on Russian literature, including two books on the poetry of Anna Akhmatova. He is joint editor (with Sandra Wilson) of The Russo-Japanese War in Cultural Perspective, 1904–5.

RoutledgeCurzon Studies in the Modern History of Asia

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11 Hong Kong in Transition One country, two systems Edited by Robert Ash, Peter Ferdinand, Brian Hook and Robin Porter 12 Japan’s Postwar Economic Recovery and Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1948–1962 Noriko Yokoi 13 Japanese Army Stragglers and Memories of the War in Japan, 1950–1975 Beatrice Trefalt 14 Ending the Vietnam War The Vietnamese communists’ perspective Ang Cheng Guan 15 The Development of the Japanese Nursing Profession Adopting and adapting Western influences Aya Takahashi 16 Women’s Suffrage in Asia Gender nationalism and democracy Louise Edwards and Mina Roces 17 The Anglo-Japanese Alliance, 1902–1922 Phillips Payson O’Brien 18 The United States and Cambodia, 1870–1969 From curiosity to confrontation Kenton Clymer 19 Capitalist Restructuring and the Pacific Rim Ravi Arvind Palat 20 The United States and Cambodia, 1969–2000 A troubled relationship Kenton Clymer 21 British Business in Post-Colonial Malaysia, 1957–70 ‘Neo-colonialism’ or ‘disengagement’? Nicholas J. White 22 The Rise and Decline of Thai Absolutism Kullada Kesboonchoo Mead 23 Russian Views of Japan, 1792–1913 An anthology of travel writing David N. Wells

Russian Views of Japan, 1792–1913
An anthology of travel writing

Edited and translated by David N. Wells

First published 2004 by RoutledgeCurzon 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by RoutledgeCurzon 29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001 This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2004. RoutledgeCurzon is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group Selection and editorial matter © 2004 David N. Wells Translation of chapters 1, 4–10 and 12 © 2004 David N. Wells All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A catalog record has been requested ISBN 0-203-64426-3 Master e-book ISBN

ISBN 0-203-67509-6 (Adobe eReader Format) ISBN 0–415–29730–3 (Print Edition)


List of illustrations Note on calendars, names and measures Preface Acknowledgements Introduction: Japan through Russian eyes – history and context 1 Adam Laxman: Journal of Laxman’s embassy to Japan (Ezo, 1792–3) 2 Ivan Krusenstern: Voyage round the world (Nagasaki, 1804–5) 3 Vasilii Golovnin: Narrative of my captivity in Japan (Ezo, 1811) 4 Ivan Goncharov: The frigate Pallada (Nagasaki, 1853) 5 A. Kornilov: News from Japan (Edo, 1859) 6 Sergei Maksimov: In the East (Hakodate, late 1850s) 7 Ivan Zarubin: Around Asia (Nagasaki, 1880) 8 A. Cherevkova: On the Japanese railways (Nagoya, 1890) 9 Andrei Krasnov: Around the islands of the Far East (Nagasaki, 1892) 10 Nikolai Garin-Mikhailovskii: Around Korea, Manchuria and the Liaodong Peninsula (Nagasaki, Yokohama, 1898) 11 Vladimir Semenov: The price of blood (Kyoto, 1905) 12 E. Kobiakova: My first day in Japan (Gifu, 1913) Index

ix xi xiii xv 1 32 60 81 103 118 125 148 162 170 176 187 204 210


according to Golovnin Ainu houses Japanese norimon The Rezanov embassy Officer on urgent duty Yeddo from the avenue A Japanese salutation A rickshaw Nagasaki harbour Fujisan How mothers dispose of their infants 4 35 55 65 105 121 134 151 172 181 205 .2 2.1 1.1 10.1 1.1 12.1 9.Illustrations I.1 6.1 4.1 7.1 5.1 The Kurile archipelago.


The Gregorian calendar was adopted in Japan on 1 January 1873 (new style). twelve days behind in the nineteenth century and thirteen days behind in the twentieth century. 36 pounds approx. with a thirteenth month intercalated in some years.13 metres 1.38 kilogrammes approx.Notes on calendars. Japanese dates may differ from the Gregorian calendar by up to fifty days.66 miles approx. Russian Sazhen Sazhen (nautical) Verst Pud Vedro 2. but standard forms have been included in square brackets when this has seemed useful and it has been possible to establish them. which are given in their original form. together with their metric and imperial equivalents. names and measures Calendars Dates are given according to the Julian calendar used by the Russians before 1917. Names Japanese names are normally given in traditional order with the surname first. Measures The following list contains Russian and Japanese traditional measures which appear in the text. This was eleven days behind the Gregorian (new style) calendar used elsewhere in Europe in the eighteenth century. 7 feet 6 feet 0. No attempt has been made to correct evident errors. Consequently.06 kilometres 16. Prior to this date the Japanese used a lunar calendar of twelve months. 12 litres approx. Note that the spelling of both personal and geographic names in the narratives is often erratic. except names of foreign origin.83 metres 1. 21 pints . Russian names are normally transliterated using the Library of Congress system. unless otherwise indicated.

. 10 12.. .5 50 15 18.5 86 . . names and measures Japanese Ri 3.. ......xii Calendars.25 77 30 37. 80 100 212 .75 59 20 25 68 25 31.. ..93 kilometres 2...44 miles Temperature scales Réaumur Centigrade Fahrenheit 0 0 32 .

While Tokugawa and Meiji Japan was often seen as lagging behind the West in its social. The twelve Russian accounts of Japan which are included in this volume range chronologically from Adam Laxman’s journal of the first Russian . The first Russian embassy to Japan in 1792 approached the country not through Nagasaki. They came. The southern Ainu at this time were coming increasingly under the influence of the Japanese expansion to the north. but can also be seen informing the admiration for Japanese industry and efficiency found in some Russian accounts. and their approach to Japan was distinctly shaped by this northern perspective. This point was brought home particularly clearly by Japan’s unexpected victory in the Russo-Japanese War. Japan became important as a source of convenient warm-water ports in the Pacific. They were not involved in the commercial and missionary activities which brought the Portuguese. and even after the ‘opening’ of Japan to Westerners in the mid-nineteenth century. which were also widely seen as inferior to those of Western Europe.Preface Russians came to know Japan later than other Europeans and by different paths. where Russian fleets could spend the winter months. but again from the north. from the north. from a Russian point of view the Meiji reforms in fact offered a model which could equally well be applied to the modernisation of Russia’s own outmoded political and economic structures. rather. the Spanish. The first real contacts between Russians and Japanese occurred at the margins of power towards the end of the seventeenth century as Russian fur-trappers and adventurers at the eastern limit of Russian expansion across eastern Siberia to Kamchatka came into contact with Japanese castaways and the Ainu people of the Kurile Islands and of Ezo (Hokkaido). In the broader context of Russian economic expansion in the Far East as a whole. the major centre of Russian influence remained Hakodate on the island of Hokkaido. Russians’ attitudes towards Japan also differed from those of other Europeans and the Americans because of their different position in regard to modernisation. the port traditionally designated for foreign contacts. and were thus a significant filter for information about Japan. the Dutch and the British to Japan from South-East Asia in the mid-sixteenth century. political and industrial development.

xiv Preface embassy to Japan in 1792–3. rather than on deeply considered academic or reflective opinion. editorial notes appear at the end of each chapter. on the negotiation of cultural difference at the point of initial contact with Japan and the Japanese. David N. but the emphasis is consistently on first impressions. in which the original orthography has been preserved. Accordingly. when retailing the myth of the massacre of Christians at Papenberg – always reliable on points of historical fact. Notes provided by the original authors of the texts are printed at the foot of the page to which they refer. for example. Golovnin and Semenov are presented in contemporary translations. on immediate and personal response. except for number eight. The extracts from memoirs by Krusenstern. nor – as. to E. The picture captions. All other translations are my own. They are intended to illustrate the major shifts in cultural perception which occurred in Russian views of Japan during the period. are taken from the original sources. Kobiakova’s description of an organised tour to various Japanese cities in 1913. Wells . the narratives themselves should be read with caution as historical sources: they are neither free of the racial or other prejudices common to the period of their composition.

Katalin Ferber. Karen Tang. Jeremy Green for his assistance with nautical matters. Radha Krishnan. botany and geography. insight. Wolfgang Michel. David Wylie for his reprographic skills. . and James Boyd. encouragement and patience. Takeshi Moriyama. Naoko Homma. Narrelle Morris and Nobuhiro Yamane for sharing their knowledge of particular aspects of Japanese history. Beatrice Trefalt for her help at a critical moment with one particular source.Acknowledgements I should like to thank especially Alexandra Smith and Kevin Windle for linguistic advice. As always my greatest debt is to Sandra Wilson for her unfailing advice.


It was not until the midsixteenth century.1 the country has exercised a powerful. if intermittent. Gradually the European powers withdrew: the British voluntarily in 1624. Even so their freedom of action was greatly restricted.2 As a result of the Tokugawa ‘seclusion policy’. Annual formalised visits to the shogun’s court in Edo (Tokyo) were the only opportunity the Dutch were given to form any more detailed impression of Japan. a series of anti-Christian and anti-European measures were introduced which severely curtailed Japanese contacts with the West. However. first the Portuguese. that Europeans gained any direct knowledge of Japan. fascination over European minds. established both trading and cultural relations with the Japanese. the Spanish and Portuguese under duress in 1636 and 1638 respectively. Japanese subjects were forbidden to travel abroad or to return when once they had left Japan. where they were confined to the tiny artificial island of Deshima. as the Tokugawa government strove to assert its authority over regional centres in the first decades of the seventeenth century. In Japan information about the outside world was confined largely to what could be learned through the Dutch and from Japan’s closest Asian . found fertile ground. whose protestant religion was considered less dangerous than the militant Catholicism of the Iberian powers. it came to see Christian influence as a threat to its own hegemony. however. Accordingly. for the next two hundred years contact between Japan and the countries of Europe was thus extremely limited. so that at the height of early European influence there were as many as 500.Introduction Japan through Russian eyes – history and context The Russian discovery of Japan Ever since Marco Polo reported on the ‘measureless quantities’ of gold which were supposedly to be found in Japan. indeed. were allowed to remain. then the Spanish and others. Christianity. and most especially Catholicism under the energetic leadership of Francis Xavier.000 Japanese Christians. Only the Dutch. The remaining Japanese Christians became the victims of persecution. They were permitted to engage in trade only through the single port of Nagasaki. Pursuing their commercial and missionary interests in the East Indies. After 1638 European ships approaching Japanese shores were turned back or destroyed and their crews risked execution.

2 Introduction neighbours. and confined for several years in a series of monasteries. Spanberg and Walton made a trip around the Kurile Islands in the summer of 1738 and the following year set out to look for Japan.4 More regular contacts between Russians and Japanese began only towards the end of the seventeenth century. as a consequence of Russian explorations in eastern Siberia and Kamchatka. the pair were arrested in Moscow on suspicion of espionage. while Bering himself explored the route to America. following pressure particularly by the United States in the 1850s. the Chinese. who had been held captive in Kamchatka by the local inhabitants. some by design. an American ship was used by the Dutch to transport goods from Batavia to Deshima. some by accident. from the eighteenth century onwards. Denbei was also able to provide the Russians with significant information about Japan. Nevertheless. the Koreans and the inhabitants of the Ryukyu Islands. however. Denbei. A Japanese language school was accordingly set up in St Petersburg in 1705. for example. began to explore the Kurile Islands and to become better aware of the geography of the region. Japan signed a series of treaties guaranteeing foreign access to certain ports for reprovisioning and trade. In 1808. who accompanied the Portuguese Augustinian priest Nicolaus de Melo on a journey from the Philippines at the very end of the sixteenth century. HMS Phaeton entered Nagasaki harbour in pursuit of Dutch shipping.6 Russian knowledge of Japan slowly increased through the first decades of the eighteenth century as Russian adventurers. In 1813–14 Stamford Raffles led an unsuccessful commercial expedition to Japan. Passing through Russia on their way to Rome and charged with a secret diplomatic mission to promote Catholic interests against Constantinople. seeking refuge from storms in the north Pacific. receiving . In subsequent years the expanding volume of whalers and other shipping in the north Pacific led to further and more determined approaches by Western powers until. the leaders of an offshoot of the government-sponsored Second Bering Expedition. ships of other nations did increasingly approach Japanese shores.5 In 1697 the explorer Vladimir Atlasov encountered a shipwrecked Japanese merchant. It was not until 1739. Spanberg cruised along the north-eastern coast of Honshu.3 The first Japanese to visit Russia appears to have been a Christian known as Nicolaus de St Augustino. where he was interviewed by Peter the Great in early 1702 and ordered to learn Russian so that he could in due course teach Japanese to Russian students. following the British occupation of the Dutch East Indies during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1797. In Europe knowledge about Japan was equally sketchy and limited to a handful of reports written by travellers in the employ of the Dutch and to encounters with small numbers of shipwrecked Japanese sailors. Denbei was conveyed to Moscow. They seem to have died in Russia some time between 1610 and 1616. Martin Spanberg and William Walton. often with the assistance of the native inhabitants or of other shipwrecked Japanese. were ordered to proceed to Japan. Starting from Bol’sheretsk in Kamchatka. that Russians finally set foot on Japanese soil.

the ever-scheming Benyovszky appears to have sought to bolster his own position by leading the Japanese to believe that the Russians were planning a military assault on Ezo. obtaining water at one further point and briefly landing again at another before returning home.9 In 1775 a concerted effort to establish commercial relations with Japan was initiated by the commander of Kamchatka.8 In 1771 Japan proper was briefly visited by a group of political exiles from Kamchatka in a stolen Russian ship under the leadership of the flamboyant Hungarian adventurer Count Mauritius Benyovszky. Unfortunately. where the Russians and Japanese exchanged hospitality. because of inconsistencies in Spanberg’s and Walton’s reports. though unfounded. As he was surrounded by numerous small vessels. Meanwhile. The suspicions thus aroused among the Japanese. calling briefly at Tanegashima off the southern coast of Kyushu and for rather longer at Amami Oshima in the Ryukyu Islands. Russian activity in the region for the next fifty years was largely confined to the Kurile Islands. but not himself sending anyone ashore. A few days later.Introduction 3 Japanese visitors on board at several points. The party was received politely on land by the Japanese and the Russians returned their hospitality on board ship. who had become separated from his commander during bad weather. Benyovszky continued his journey. they had only tangential relations with the Japanese. and continued south. Walton cautiously withdrew before nightfall. While the Russian adventurers sometimes came into open conflict with the Kurile Ainu. whose own commercial involvement was concentrated in the south.7 Though Spanberg made a second. The renegades eventually reached Macao some four months after their departure from Kamchatka. Private traders in search of valuable furs gradually became familiar with all the islands down to Ezo. where the Japanese were also trying to extend their economic and political control over the local Ainu. before returning to Kamchatka. whom they tried to exploit for their own benefit. An expedition under Ivan Antipin was sent to establish a base for further operations on Urup . While relations between Benyovszky and the Japanese remained amiable. led them to act rather more circumspectly with subsequent Russian visitors than might otherwise have been the case. it was not officially recognised until several years later that it was in fact Japan that they had visited. In his extraordinary improvised flight from the Russian authorities. unsuccessful attempt to reach Japan in 1742. the sixteenth Kurile island. Matvei Bem. both of which were then under control of the Japanese lord of Satsuma. Walton. He then sailed north to explore the southern Kurile Islands and the coast of Ezo (Hokkaido). the inaccuracy of the navigational methods available at the time and rivalries among the senior members of Bering’s expedition. Benyovszky succeeded in reaching Japan at a considerably more southerly point than any previous Russian expedition. Benyovszky reached land on the Japanese island of Shikoku in the province of Awa (now Tokushima Prefecture). arrived at the Japanese coast further south and sent men on shore to obtain fresh water. Proceeding south from Simusir (Shimushiru).

33. Source: George Alexander Lensen. Here the Russians entered into negotiations with a Japanese official from Matsumae. KETOI Diana Strait XVI. USHISIR (USHISHIRU) XV. SHIRINKI IV. SOUTHERN CHIRPOI (CHIRIHOI ISLANDS) XVIII. The Russian Push Toward Japan: Russo-Japanese Relations. Shabalin returned to Urup in October 1779 for the winter. CHIRINKOTAN X. and from there in 1778 the Irkutsk merchant Dmitrii Shabalin crossed over to Iturup (Etorofu) and Kunashir (Kunashiri). When the Russians eventually received a reply to their proposals from the lord of Matsumae. according to Golovnin. After this. they were told that they were not to be allowed to trade. ONEKOTAN VI. SIMUSIR (SHIMUSHIRU) Bussol Strait NORTHERN CHIRPOI XVII. . who stated that he had no authority to decide on matters of trade but would bring an answer on the matter to Iturup the following year. RAIKOKE Golovnin Strait XII. or indeed to Iturup or Kunashir. MAKANRUSHI RAFUTO) PEN RY TA TA 51 I.1 The Kurile archipelago. 1697–1875. EKARMA (EKARUMA) IX. and that they should not return to Ezo. URUP (URUPPU) 47 46 XIX. KHARAMKOTAN VII. KUNASHIR (KUNASHIRI) XX. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ITURUP (ETOROFU) 45 EZZO (EZO) MATSMAI (MATSUMAE) XXI. MATUA (MATSUWA) 48 Nadezhda Strait SAKHALIN or KARAFTU (KA SREDNII XIII. The Russians were left with the impression. 1959.10 KAMCHATKA INSULA Cape Lopatka ALAID (ARAIDO) II. MUSIR (MUSHIRU) XI. SHIIASHKOTAN (SHASUKOTAN) (HARUMUKOTAN) 49 VIII. that they might be able to trade through Nagasaki. RASSHUA (RASHUWA) BROTON (BUROTON) Aniwa Bay XIV.4 Introduction (Uruppu). SUMSHU (SHIMUSHU) 50 V. Russian involvement in the Kuriles was for a while severely curtailed. PARAMUSHIR (PARAMUSHIRU) III. finally arriving at the settlement of Notkome (Nokkamapu) to the east of Nemuro in Ezo. CHIKOTAN (SHIKOTAN) 44 43 ity C ) ai ae sm m Port of Hakodade (Hakodate) at atsu MM Tsyngara (Tsugaru) Strait ( 42 41 NIFON (NIHON) 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 40 157 Figure I. but further consolidation of the Russian position and renewed overtures to the Japanese were prevented by the devastating effects of an earthquake which struck the region early in 1780. p. however.

and the first official Russian embassy to Japan did not take place until 1792. After lengthy discussions about whether they should travel by land with the Japanese or by sea in their own vessel. On this. the officials took care to inform Laxman of the nature of Japanese laws forbidding the approach of foreign shipping. which. Navigation of his ship. who were at the same time seeking to strengthen their own authority over Ezo and the southern Kurile Islands. scientific specimens and samples of Japanese goods which he had received as presents. Instead. failed to exploit the impetus of Laxman’s visit. In 1795 a Russian settlement was founded on Urup with the intention of consolidating the Russian presence in the area and trading in Japanese goods from Ezo through the Ainu. The Russian government. Laxman eventually reached Hakodate. was entrusted to Vasilii Lovtsov. but that they were prepared to accept the returned castaways in Matsumae. . Edo. however. Anxious to contain the Russians in the north. Laxman’s instructions stated that he was to deliver the castaways to the Japanese capital. Laxman was given a permit for the admission of one Russian ship to the harbour at Nagasaki. and from there continued with the Japanese in a formal procession by land to Matsumae. and plans were made to resume formal negotiations in both 1785 and 1787. the Japanese acted to curb the growth of Russian influence in the southern Kuriles. They departed Japan in August 1793.12 Laxman brought back from Japan not just the Nagasaki permit. maps. he was informed. and refused to consider establishing any kind of formal relations with Russia. and a letter to that effect was delivered through the lord of Matsumae to the shogunal government. where the Russians had agreed to meet the Japanese officials. however. however. however. Laxman left Nemuro in the Ekaterina in June 1793 for Edomo (Muroran). distracted from Eastern affairs by the spread of revolutionary ideas in Europe and the death of Catherine the Great in 1796.Introduction 5 The government in St Petersburg had by no means lost interest in Japan. Moreover. where the local Japanese agreed that they could spend the winter. Landing first at the small trading outpost of Nishibetsu. they soon removed to the safer harbour at Nemuro. Meanwhile. discussions between Laxman and the Japanese were concluded. Here. when the 26–year-old Lieutenant Adam Laxman was commissioned to return a group of Japanese castaways and to attempt to open up commercial relations. Missing Edomo in the fog. and the Russians went back overland to Hakodate to rejoin the Ekaterina. was the only place where such negotiations might take place. pausing to survey the southern Kurile Islands before returning to Okhotsk.11 and the expedition included the merchant Shabalin who had been in Ezo in 1778. The Russians sailed directly from Okhotsk to Iturup and then continued south-west until they reached Ezo. the Ekaterina. Neither of these projects came to fruition. the Edo authorities sent a delegation to Nemuro and invited Laxman to a formal meeting in the town of Matsumae. Laxman was received by two envoys from the shogunal government who informed him that he would not be allowed to proceed to Edo. The Japanese. but also valuable detailed first-hand information.

it was several months before an envoy arrived from the capital to respond to the Russian request for trade. in the broader context of expanding Russian interests in East Asia. Nikolai Rezanov.16 It seems clear that the Russians had exaggerated the significance of the Laxman permit. however. and later a house at Megasaki. passing through the Tsushima and La Pérouse straits. The eventual result of Rezanov’s approaches was an outright refusal from the Japanese authorities. they rejected his overtures for trade. The Nadezhda bypassed the Kurile Islands and sailed down the Japanese east coast to Kyushu.14 a Russian expedition set out in 1803 to take advantage of the Laxman permit. Partly to revenge himself on the Japanese for what he saw as the insulting treatment he had received at Nagasaki. sailed to Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka. continued directly to America. moreover. Krusenstern returned to Europe. Although they accepted the castaways Rezanov had brought with him. however. insisting on Japan’s right to keep foreigners from its borders and requiring him to leave immediately.15 The reasons for Rezanov’s failure have been much debated. being allowed access neither to the town nor to the Dutch. Krusenstern took the opportunity. where she entered Nagasaki harbour. and by proclaiming Urup Japanese territory and establishing an outpost there. During this time Rezanov was at first not permitted to land. the hostility of the Japanese central government to the idea of foreign trade had noticeably increased. it was headed by the chairman of the company. and that. After crossing the Atlantic. by settling and fortifying Kunashir and Iturup themselves. who was given formal authority to negotiate on behalf of the Russian government. the Neva. When eventually. one ship. in the interval between 1792 and 1803. From Kamchatka. to survey the west coast of Japan. under the command of Ivan Krusenstern. not far from the Dutch factory at Deshima. in Alaska and elsewhere on the American continent. and from there in September 1804 to Japan. and partly hoping that a show of force would encourage the Japanese to reconsider their rejection of trade. The Russians. but similar approaches from the representatives of other countries were rejected at around the same time. and landing briefly on Sakhalin. Although Rezanov was received courteously. but he was eventually allocated a small palisaded area on which to exercise at Kibachi. while Rezanov on the Nadezhda. were kept virtual prisoners at Megasaki.13 In 1800 Tsar Paul had ruled that further approaches to the Japanese should be co-ordinated by the Russian–American Company. Two ships departed from Kronstadt in July 1803 with the intention of circumnavigating the globe and visiting the company’s American settlements as well as Japan. and rounding Cape Horn to Hawai’i. which he .6 Introduction blocked this initiative by forbidding the Ainu in their sphere of influence from travelling to Urup.17 It may well be that Rezanov’s mission was doomed from the outset. the organisation which had the charge of Russian commercial interests in the Aleutians. and the permit accepted by the Japanese. while Rezanov departed for America on another ship. believing it to be a guarantee of trade rather than merely an offer of the opportunity to discuss it. on the return voyage to Petropavlovsk.

On their return to Russia. they left a further written threat that continuing refusal to trade would be met with additional depredations. The Russians afterwards sailed as far south as Hakodate. but promised that he would be able to obtain fresh water and provisions further along the coast. seizing provisions and setting fire to buildings. four sailors and an Ainu interpreter. in which Golovnin was asked to explain the earlier Russian attacks.18 Rezanov enlisted the aid of two naval officers attached to the company. but Rezanov was no longer alive to defend them. capturing some Japanese guards. and landed with two other officers. where he began cautiously to negotiate for supplies. and the two officers escaped punishment only because of their exemplary participation in the 1808–9 war against Sweden. Golovnin unexpectedly encountered a group of Japanese soldiers. Here they were interrogated closely and at length about the Khvostov–Davydov raids and their own intentions. as consideration of their case dragged on. succeeding in routing the quite sizeable garrison at Shana. their material conditions improved greatly but. finally reaching the island of Kunashir. questioning Golovnin and his companions on all aspects of Russian life. Khvostov and Davydov together raided the Japanese colony on Iturup. who proceeded to appropriate the goods which they had plundered from the Japanese. Eventually he was persuaded to visit the commander of the local Japanese fortress on shore. In May 1807. and then continued with further raids on Sakhalin and on shipping off northern Ezo. Nikolai Khvostov and Gavriil Davydov. the Russians were overpowered and taken prisoner. the . Tightly bound. and persuading them to teach Russian to two interpreters. where they were brought before the governor and informed that they would be released if it could be satisfactorily established that the raids of 1806 and 1807 had not been sanctioned by the Russian government. Before departing the area for Okhotsk. Khvostov raided a Japanese settlement on Sakhalin. Landing on Iturup. Meanwhile. they were transported across to Ezo and then by land and boat to Hakodate.Introduction 7 believed was essential to the long-term interest of the Russian–American Company. where they attacked and looted a merchant vessel. He left a plaque threatening further attacks if trade continued to be denied. but avoided harming the local Ainu. Once the prisoners had laboriously prepared a document in their own defence to be sent to Edo. under the command of Vasilii Golovnin. After a period of discussion. following Rezanov’s instructions. After several weeks the Russians were transferred to Matsumae. however. This expedition had no intention of making contact with the Japanese. Golovnin continued his journey. who treated him with some suspicion. Khvostov and Davydov were arrested by the commandant of Okhotsk. In October 1806. but was sent by the Russian navy in the summer of 1811 to survey the southern Kurile Islands.19 The next Russian ship to approach Japan was the Diana. The Japanese made the most of the opportunity to obtain information about Russia. They eventually managed to put their case before the authorities in St Petersburg. Japanese suspicions of the motives of their northern neighbours had increased greatly.

Rikord was finally able to deliver to the Japanese authorities the certificates they had requested from the Russian government as proof that the raids of Khvostov and Davydov had not been officially sanctioned. who had remained on the Diana at the time of his captain’s arrest. A second ship sent in 1815 also failed to make contact with the Japanese. The ship that was sent in 1814. had been instructed to effect Golovnin’s rescue himself. whose ship Rikord intercepted off Ezo. and Golovnin and his companions were released. This he was fortuitously able to do after lengthy negotiations facilitated by an influential Japanese merchant. to protect Russian interests there and at the mouth of the River Amur in eastern Siberia opposite Sakhalin. Golovnin. In late April 1812. Also in the 1850s.23 Rikord had brought with him to Hakodate a letter from the governor of Irkutsk inviting the Japanese to discuss the determination of the frontiers between Russia and Japan. because of the war in Europe against Napoleon. failed to meet the Japanese and returned without landing.22 The memoirs he published after his return to Russia included a volume on Japanese customs and institutions with information gathered from Golovnin’s Japanese acquaintances. He had returned to Okhotsk for reinforcements but.8 Introduction Russians increasingly despaired of ever being released. This outpost continued for a while in uneasy co-existence with both the local Ainu and the Japanese settlements which had been established there. however. Over the next thirty-five years Russian interest in the north Pacific gradually declined as the government in St Petersburg concentrated on trade with China and the containment of revolution in Europe. Petr Rikord. The next Russians to visit Japan did not do so until 1852. but informed the Japanese that a ship would be sent to Iturup the following year for their response. and provided Russia with a valuable source of up-to-date information on Japan. Golovnin’s second in command. the Russians were treated reasonably well. The Russians withdrew from Sakhalin in 1853 when mounting Japanese opposition to their presence combined with the difficulty of defending their position after the outbreak of the Crimean War. and returned to Matsumae. Takadaya Kahei. In early October 1813. had been strenuous in his attempts to get his companions released. however. They were captured a week later. all but two of the Russian group escaped from their prison with the intention of stealing a boat in which to reach Russiancontrolled territory. when Lindenberg sailed to the port of Shimoda to return castaways and yet again broach the subject of trade. judged it inappropriate to pursue this issue at the time of the latter’s release. In spite of the frustrations of imprisonment. after nine months of detention. came to feel a genuine affection for some of his captors. for his part.24 .20 Meanwhile. however. the Russian government placed a military outpost on southern Sakhalin. He and Golovnin. and if the Japanese learned much about Russia from their persistent questioning. though its captain returned a group of Japanese castaways to Iturup.21 Paradoxically. by peaceful means. Golovnin’s captivity did much to cement mutual respect between Russians and Japanese.

As Russia was by this time at war in the Crimea with Britain and France. Putiatin sailed to Shanghai for supplies and news of the political situation in Europe.s.) and Britain (14 October 1854. and he then sailed to the Philippines.Introduction 9 In October 1852 Nicholas I dispatched a major embassy to Japan under the command of Admiral Efvimii Putiatin. Putiatin called again briefly at Nagasaki in April 1854. the Diana. received a reply to Nesselrode’s letter. But shortly after meetings had begun Shimoda was hit by a massive earthquake. but rejecting the idea of trade. when Putiatin arrived in Nagasaki on the Pallada with three other ships on 10 August 1853. where negotiations resumed in December 1854. was sent partly in response to increased European. The four ships under his command were reduced to one. n. where she could be repaired. n. he sailed to Hakodate and then to Osaka. On 31 December 1853. It was almost a month before he was granted an audience with the governor of Nagasaki. the circumstances of Putiatin’s mission now changed considerably. to the shogunal government requesting a conference on the border issue and the opening of Japanese ports to Russian shipping. Putiatin was sent back to Shimoda. did not run altogether smoothly. threatening to go to Edo himself if there were no answer by his return. particularly given clear evidence of Western military superiority. While waiting for a response from Edo. the American Commodore Matthew Perry had already been at Edo for several weeks. Most of the town was swept away in the attendant tidal-wave and the Diana was seriously damaged. accepting the need for clarification of the borders. but the Diana sank in a storm and the Russians were forced to take refuge on land.25 The course of the negotiations which Putiatin initiated with the Japanese. who accepted a letter from the Russian foreign minister.) and the Japanese had already decided to agree to a similar treaty with the Russians. Putiatin continued to negotiate until in late January 1854 the plenipotentiaries returned to Edo for further instructions. however. Instead of going to Sakhalin. Karl Nesselrode. although it had been planned for some time. The Pallada was replaced by a new and faster ship with the same name as Golovnin’s ship in 1811. The Russians attempted to sail the vessel round the Izu peninsula to Heda. This expedition.s. On this occasion the party in favour of engagement with the West eventually came into the ascendancy within the shogunal administration. which seemed likely to leave the Russians at a disadvantage in initiating commercial relations with Japan. Indeed. while still suggesting that this policy would soon be reviewed. and especially American. intending to resume discussions in the spring at Aniwa Bay on Sakhalin. . In Japan the question of interaction with the West had come to the fore because of the British defeat of China in the Opium Wars of 1840–2 and the general increase of foreign activity in the region. activity in China and the north Pacific. continuing to eastern Siberia. From Osaka. By this time treaties had been signed with the United States (31 March 1854. but Putiatin had to be careful to avoid interception by the British or French. after several days of courtesies. Putiatin met four plenipotentiaries sent from Edo and. back in Nagasaki.

and later visited Shimoda en route to Kanagawa. his purpose was to negotiate for Russian control of Sakhalin in order to secure increasingly important interests on the Amur River. was Hakodate. Putiatin himself. Konstantin Pos’et. but although his rather clumsy approach failed to resolve the border issue. was able to leave Japan on the Heda. the first Russian to do so. were opened to Russian ships. the frigate Askol’d returned for extensive repairs to Nagasaki. preparing the way for the later development of the Russian ‘village’ of Inosa. Iturup and islands to the south being given to the Japanese. where the crew remained for several months.30 While there was much good will from the Japanese towards the Russians and other foreigners in the early period of foreign settlement. Sakhalin was to be left in joint possession until the situation there could be considered more closely. together with a proportion of the crew. an officer who had sailed with Putiatin. The main centre of Russian activity in Japan. With no ship.26 The Kurile Islands were divided. travelled back to Shimoda in October 1856 to ratify the initial treaty. the nature of Russian visits gradually began to change.29 In the years immediately following the signing of the treaties. In 1858. it went beyond the treaties signed with the Americans and the British. but the majority of the Diana’s crew was intercepted by a British warship while making for Russia on a German merchant vessel. when the Treaty of Shimoda was eventually concluded between the two countries in January 1855. the following year. opening further ports and regulating Russian residence and trade. and to slip through the Anglo-French cordon to the Amur. where a consulate was established in 1858. a small ship built by the Russians and named after its place of construction. One group managed to reach Petropavlovsk on an American schooner. . and provision was made for the appointment of a consul at either Shimoda or Hakodate. Nikolai Murav’ev-Amurskii brought three Russian ships to Kanagawa. Hakodate and Nagasaki. where he negotiated a supplementary agreement in Nagasaki. however. Co-operating with the Russians on the building of the Heda. Three ports. for the completion of a more comprehensive agreement which was signed in August 1858. Shimoda. while Russia was to control Urup and the islands to the north. after conveying Putiatin to Shanghai. and. and taken to England as prisoners-of-war. many Russians on the expedition now had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with Japan’s capital. incidentally.10 Introduction The spirit of co-operation engendered by shared hardships in the aftermath of the earthquake flowed over into the official negotiations between the Russians and Japanese. however.27 Discussions on trade continued in the years immediately following the conclusion of Putiatin’s mission. increased contact was not without its difficulties. In 1857 Putiatin himself returned to Japan. had provided the Japanese with valuable experience in Western shipbuilding techniques. after the treaties had been signed. When.28 From here he travelled the short distance overland to Edo. Putiatin and his men faced considerable difficulty in returning to Russia.

partly because Russia was prohibited by the commercial treaty of 1858 from importing grain from Japan for its Siberian colonies.38 The first major crisis followed Japan’s victory over China in the Sino- . and one which has lasted to the present day. Russia remained aloof from both sides before and during the Restoration Wars of 1868–9. and it has been suggested that this policy generally enhanced their prestige. increased rapidly. particularly in the north. succeeded in building a strong following. the border question was finally brought to an amicable conclusion.37 After 1875.34 The warm water ports of Nagasaki and Hakodate became important wintering places for Russian naval and merchant shipping. Russia acquired sole rights over Sakhalin.32 Moreover. Russian influence. while Japan received control over the whole of the Kurile archipelago. During the 1890s.35 and communications between the two countries were enhanced by a telegraph cable between Nagasaki and Vladivostok which was laid in 1871. was a scholar rather than a merchant. The Russian Orthodox Church. diplomatic relations between Russia and Japan continued on a stable basis as Japan concentrated on nation-building and Russia’s attention was drawn away from the Far East by interests in the Balkans and Central Asia. Iosif Goshkevich. Russian trade did not in fact develop very quickly. when. and was perhaps therefore more socially acceptable to the ruling Japanese samurai class. as the relative value of gold and silver was quite different in Japan and the countries with which it was now trading. political and commercial interests on the East Asian mainland. Chapter 5). after several abortive attempts. both Russia and Japan were pursuing military. A permanent Russian government representative in Tokyo was appointed in 1872. Under the terms of the Sakhalin–Kurile Islands Exchange Treaty. however.33 Certainly.31 Unlike some of the other Western powers. and the two countries eventually began to clash openly. the first consul. under the energetic leadership of Father Nikolai (Ivan Kasatkin) first in Hakodate and later in Edo. or even the murder of Russian sailors in Yokohama (see Kornilov extract.36 A particular stage in Russo-Japanese relations was reached in 1875. in which political power in Japan passed from the shogun to a new elite acting in the name of the emperor. and partly because the distance from Russian centres of manufacture made Russian goods uncompetitively expensive in Japan until the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. with an extension to Tokyo completed in 1873. with the establishment of Russian schools and hospitals. with Korea and Manchuria as the points of contention. Even an attempt on the life of the future Tsar Nicholas II during a visit to Japan in 1891 failed to do any serious damage in the short term.Introduction 11 Western high-handedness and anti-Western feeling among some Japanese led to episodes such as the harassment of Russians in the streets of Edo. in the area of commerce itself there was at first much frustration on both sides over the rate of exchange. who had travelled with Putiatin. signed in St Petersburg. A Japanese trade office was set up in Vladivostok in 1876 and the Russian communities in Hakodate and Nagasaki continued to thrive. Moreover.

As a result. was outmanoeuvred and ignominiously sunk at the Battle of Tsushima when passing through the Korean Strait the following May. In February 1904 Japan attacked the Russian fleet at Port Arthur. acquiring thereby virtual monopoly rights in southern Manchuria. Japan eliminated China as a rival for power in Korea. and the Russian army. and the most critical episodes of the RussoJapanese War took place on land. the Japanese also obtained control over the southern half of Sakhalin. declaring war a few days later. The end of the war was greeted by civil unrest in both countries. though by the end of the conflict Japan’s resources were almost exhausted. although the Russians had much greater reserves to draw on.39 This first victory of an Asian over a European power bolstered Japanese prestige at home and throughout Asia and the world enormously. Port Arthur fell after a lengthy siege on 1 January 1905. However. but the more cautious figures in the Russian government were outmanoeuvred by the expansionist party and talks finally broke down at the end of 1903. backed by France and Germany. demoralised by poor leadership and the repercussions of the 1905 revolution. the military evacuation of Manchuria by both sides. In this war. The Russian ‘Second Pacific Squadron’. Russia acted to protect its own interests in Manchuria and. which began six weeks later. Negotiations on power-sharing in Manchuria and Korea continued over the next few years. forced Japan through the socalled Triple Intervention of 1895 to give back the Liaodong peninsula in exchange for an increased indemnity. and when Russian forces sent to Manchuria to quell the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 failed to withdraw. Resentment of the European powers and suspicion of Russian motives in Japan were only increased when in 1898 Russia demanded and received from the Chinese a twenty-five-year lease of the same territory. and by the diplomatic suggestion that Russian interests in Manchuria could be acknowledged in exchange for a free hand for Japan in Korea. and as well as a substantial indemnity gained control of two important Chinese territories: the island of Taiwan and the Liaodong peninsula in Manchuria. This was only the first of a series of encounters in which the Russians were forced to retreat. The Japanese landed in Korea and first engaged the Russians on 1 May 1904 on the Yalu River as they prepared to cross into Manchuria. their ability to exploit them had been undermined by domestic political disturbances. was fatally undermined in the massive Battle of Mukden. Strong feeling that . and proceeded to establish there a major commercial and naval presence. and control of Port Arthur and the Russian-built South Manchurian Railway. sent from Europe under Admiral Rozhestvenskii in October 1904 to relieve Port Arthur. Japan responded by a rapid expansion in military expenditure. The final large-scale encounter was at sea. This proposal was rejected by the Russian government. The surprise Japanese attack on Port Arthur effectively neutralised the Russian fleet in the Pacific.12 Introduction Japanese War of 1894–5. After some negotiation. Japan easily obtained Russian acknowledgment of Japanese rights and interests in Korea. Russia’s ability to continue the war was also in question since. the Japanese became increasingly concerned.

the early narratives cannot avoid incorporating. and . The Japanese whom Russians encountered were overwhelmingly government officials of one sort or another. They constitute attempts to break into a relatively unknown. while. and to describe this largely unfamiliar world for the instruction and. The Russo-Japanese War changed the balance of power in East Asia as Japan moved towards complete control over Korea (annexed in 1910) and consolidated its presence in southern Manchuria.43 This is true in a double sense: prior Russian knowledge of Japan at the time of the expeditions was extremely limited.41 The early period of Russian travel writing about Japan is represented here by Laxman’s journal of his 1792–3 expedition. Narratives of discovery The narratives chosen for inclusion in the present anthology fall into two unequal groups. highlighting ‘exotic’ cultural practices or habits of thought. but. both sides were anxious to stabilise relations. however. and Goncharov’s memoir of the initial stages of Putiatin’s expedition in 1853. is something that can never be ignored. and particularly a cash indemnity. largely withdrew from East Asia to concentrate its diplomatic activity on Europe. Russian accounts of Japan were very largely confined to descriptions of official meetings. and the two countries signed a series of agreements between 1907 and 1916 aiming to delineate clearly their respective spheres of influence.Introduction 13 Japan had been cheated of the full fruits of victory. However. but also focus on what is different about Japan. revolutionary strikes and demonstrations were accompanied by a mutiny in the Manchurian army as its disaffected troops returned to Europe. The Russian gaze on Tokugawa Japan was necessarily limited. Golovnin’s narrative of his captivity in Japan. a conscious or unconscious desire to appropriate Japan both economically and ideologically. Krusenstern’s account of Rezanov’s embassy of 1804–5.40 This newly negotiated relationship of mutual respect was reinforced by the alliance of the two countries in the First World War.42 Looking at these early Russian narratives it is immediately apparent that the ‘contact zone’ between the European subject and the Asian focus of observation is extremely narrow. The new rapprochement was terminated only by the collapse of the tsarist government in the revolutions of 1917. led to riots in Tokyo and elsewhere. They often contain detailed geographical and ethnographical descriptions intended to satisfy both scientific and commercial curiosity in Russia. Russia. relatively closed world. when Russia agreed to support further Japanese expansion into China in exchange for military supplies. Moreover. especially with the later accounts. alongside the negotiation of cultural difference. particularly with the Balkan crises of 1908–13. in Russia. because they were for the most part the records of official government expeditions aimed directly or indirectly at initiating trade relations. This factor varies in importance from one text to another. as will be shown below. 1811–13. Before the Treaty of Shimoda. the entertainment of a Russian audience.

When Rezanov and his companions called at northern Ezo on their return voyage to Russia.46 Golovnin took Krusenstern’s published account of his experiences with him on the Diana. The Russians noticed small model sailing boats on the water decorated with multicoloured pennants. which was not published until the twentieth century. proved enormously popular and exercised a very considerable influence over European writing on Japan for the next two hundred years.50 Japanese knowledge of the Russians.47 This might indeed have been of particular interest to him as it records Krusenstern’s encounters with Japanese and Ainu in Ezo on his return trip to Russia from Nagasaki. of course. based on his residence at Nagasaki between 1823 and 1830. head of the Dutch merchants from 1780 to 1794. but Kaempfer and Thunberg were easily the most authoritative and influential. published a description of Japan in 1832. posthumous. Russian knowledge of the country at the time of the Putiatin expedition was far from either comprehensive or up to date.48 Goncharov may also have been familiar with the memoir of Isaac Titsingh. superstitious customs. divination. including one by Benyovszky and compilations based on earlier Jesuit sources. At the time of Laxman’s voyage.51 As far as first-hand contact with Japanese people and customs was concerned. Kaempfer’s and Thunberg’s accounts were respectively over 110 and thirtytwo years out of date. Russian ignorance is illustrated by Goncharov even as Putiatin’s ships entered Nagasaki harbour. Goncharov reports that according to his companions the boats were associated variously with religious rites. Laxman’s own account.45 Kaempfer’s book in particular. does not appear to have been available to any of his immediate successors. the German Philip Franz von Siebold.44 A handful of other accounts did in fact exist.14 Introduction moreover the degree to which the members of the expeditions were able to form a coherent view of Japanese society was also very severely restricted. though he notes with some regret that at the time of his capture he had not read the second part of the work. Moreover. the Japanese they met there refused at first to believe that they were indeed Russians as their hair was not dressed in the queues that had been fashionable at the time of Laxman’s visit twenty years before. publication in 1727. a point which Krusenstern makes with some force. was no more advanced. another foreign scholar working with the Dutch. who visited in 1775. who had lived in Japan between 1690 and 1692. only two recent works on Japan existed in European languages. but were quite unable to determine their significance. Goncharov. noting the absence of any accounts of Japan by the Dutch themselves. the accounts by Krusenstern and Goncharov were confined almost . whose account of his experiences in Japan was published posthumously in English and French in the early 1820s. writing some forty years later. or simply children’s play. By the time of Rezanov’s embassy. both written by foreigners in service with the Dutch: Engelbert Kaempfer. and Carl Thunberg. had a slightly richer store of information to draw on in Golovnin’s narrative of his captivity and his volume of observations on the country and its people.49 Even with these expanded resources. however. following its first.

Krusenstern. but also interpreters and guards. were not even permitted to return the Russians’ shouted greetings. As it was forbidden for the Japanese to receive foreigners inside their houses. from one part of Ezo to another. as required by Japanese law. although Rezanov fifty years earlier had been given a house on land. Krusenstern notes that the sailors on the Dutch ships. indeed. For example. casual contact with Japanese citizens had been rendered impossible by his Japanese guards. but after this initial meeting all contacts were forbidden by the Japanese. and Golovnin in particular was able to meet a somewhat larger range of people. On Krusenstern’s first arrival he and Rezanov were visited by representatives of the Dutch settlement.53 No members of Putiatin’s expedition were allowed to stay overnight on land and. but Nemuro was a small trading outpost. An official fiction was maintained that they were forced to rest wherever they could because of fatigue from their journey. the Russians would be given refreshments by the inhabitants of the villages through which they passed and were thus allowed at least glimpses of Japanese domestic behaviour. explicitly states he is unable to give any satisfactory account of Japan at all after six months’ residence in Nagasaki harbour. as they left Nagasaki harbour for Batavia. and the circumstances of Laxman’s interaction with the Japanese there were confined.Introduction 15 entirely to official receptions and banquets and to communication on official matters and details concerning the reprovisioning or repair of their ships. but they generally found that lavish refreshments had been prepared in advance. while being transported. He was not allowed to walk through the town streets. After he left Nemuro. Laxman spent several months in close contact with the Japanese officials who came there to meet him and he was able to observe their life at close hand. and when the Russians passed through villages as they travelled overland to Matsumae.54 Laxman and Golovnin of course spent considerably longer in Japan than either Krusenstern or Goncharov. Even the collection of information from the Dutch at Nagasaki was prevented. He notes a high degree of interest in the Russians from the wider population and records many unexpected acts of hospitality. A further limitation to the ‘contact zone’ was produced in some cases by the . hardly providing typical illustrations of Japanese life.56 Golovnin several times notes a similar insistence on the letter of the law combined with a willingness to circumvent its harsher implications in practice. although they were formally greeted by the local elders. bound. not a town. they had no opportunity for real contact with the villagers. Laxman’s contacts with Japanese in Hakodate and Matsumae were even more closely controlled and still limited to officialdom.55 Golovnin perhaps managed to establish strong personal relationships with a wider range of the population – not just officials. At Nemuro. his most extensive observations were naturally of the different categories of prison in which he and his companions were held. Nevertheless. the Russians were accommodated on the verandahs. so little opportunity does he have to interact with the world around him.52 Goncharov makes the same point when he notes that his account reads like a prisoner’s diary.

Rezanov had brought with him a document addressed to the shogun. his skills in Japanese seem to have been broadly adequate to the task. Written communication was even more problematic. his knowledge was evidently insufficient for any sustained interaction.62 Preparing written documents was particularly onerous until the Russians managed to convince the Kurile– Japanese interpreter that word order need not be identical in Russian and Japanese.58 Although the Japanese at Nagasaki were known to have Dutch interpreters. and by the fact that foreigners were prohibited by law from learning the Japanese writing system. proved unintelligible to the Japanese officials and the Russians were obliged laboriously to produce a Dutch translation. the only way he could communicate with his captors was through two Kurile interpreters. Although the merchant Shabalin knew some Kurile. who had not expected to enter into any form of negotiation or explanation with the Japanese. and to learn a certain amount of Japanese himself. one of whom spoke broken Russian and the other broken Japanese. the difficulty of achieving identical word order should not be underestimated. When Rezanov . Egor Tugolukov. the Japanese military ruler. though the fact that Laxman sent him regularly to the Matsumae officials for language instruction suggests that communication was not always entirely smooth. this process proved extremely frustrating and time-consuming. As neither of the Kuriles was at all well educated and the Kurile language was both unwritten and apparently lacking in terms adequate to convey complex scientific or administrative matters (or at any rate the particular Kuriles on whom Golovnin was forced to rely did not know such terms). written in Russian and Japanese. for example. Krusenstern notes a similar concern among Japanese officials for formal precision in written communication. and Laxman gives this as a major reason for his inability to provide a detailed account of the Ainu. unlike in Russian. found himself in some embarrassment. Judging from Laxman’s journal. though some of the expeditions were better prepared than others in this respect. Additional complications were caused by the necessity of avoiding certain common words that the interpreters did not know.16 Introduction inadequacy of the available interpreters. which had been produced by a castaway fisherman in Irkutsk.60 Goncharov does not highlight any difficulty in interpretation. on the other hand. Laxman brought with him one of the students from the Japanese language school in Irkutsk. as Putiatin’s expedition of 1853 had taken the precaution of bringing a Dutch speaker in the person of Pos’et.63 As. however. Japanese verbs normally come at the end of the sentence and the equivalent of prepositions routinely follow the words they govern. Rezanov’s embassy apparently did not contain anyone who was fully conversant with Dutch. which stands as a metaphor for a more general failure of cultural communication.61 Golovnin. Eventually he was able to teach sufficient Russian to a Japanese volunteer. The Japanese text.59 The Russians were forced to rely on the Japanese castaways they had brought with them and on the Russian these castaways had learned in exile. In the early stages of his imprisonment.57 It was a different matter with the Kurile language.

which was read at the time as much for its plain accounts of everyday life in remote parts of the world as for either its sensationalism or its social analysis. In one instance.65 Russian visits to Japan in the first half of the nineteenth century were for the most part pacific. They were at the same time coercive in the sense that the visitors would simply not accept as legitimate the wish of the Japanese government to keep their country closed to Europeans. when he was allowed to take an armed guard with him on shore. complex divisions of responsibility and the necessity of referring decisions to the shogun at Edo are also routinely interpreted as deliberately obstructive.Introduction 17 wished to present a report to the shogun. as insults. but his practice is to note cultural phenomena which he evidently identifies as ‘other’ without comment. to the Japanese style of formal salutation (touching one’s head to the ground from a prone position) and especially to the compromise adopted by the Dutch. an implication that Golovnin was very anxious to dispel. such as impounding the Russians’ gunpowder and firearms. in the explanation of certain actions. the Nagasaki authorities required a copy of the Russian text ‘written with such accuracy that every line was to terminate with the same letter as the original’. Laxman’s. It was thus very difficult for the Russians to know at first whether their words were being deliberately distorted by the interpreter.68 Krusenstern reads Japanese security measures. as well as a translation into Dutch.64 A further difficulty with interpretation noted by Golovnin resulted from the fact that the political motivations of the Russians and the Kurile interpreters were not always identical. Yet rather than treat the Japanese on terms of equality. both in Nagasaki harbour and on land. He takes great exception. which he describes as degrading. his narrative persistently interprets Japanese difference as an assertion of hostility. However. consisting of a right-angled bow held until permission was given to straighten up. and severely restricting their movements. It is often possible to see this double-edged motivation embodied in the discourse of Russian exploration in narrative strategies that seek to construct a picture of the benignity of the European subject even as they strive to assert its authority and the superiority of European values. for example.67 In Laxman’s journal. While complaining of the mistrustfulness he sees in Japanese .69 Bureaucratic delays caused by procedural inflexibility. appropriative strategies are also clearly apparent. The Laxman permit carried by Rezanov certainly gave Krusenstern some expectation that his 1804 mission would be favourably received. Krusenstern’s and Golovnin’s narratives belong to an established category of travel writing by military or naval officers.66 On the one hand. there are certainly reflections of his repeated frustration at the obstacles put in his way by Japanese officialdom. as Krusenstern himself acknowledges. in the accounts of the two later diplomatic missions. one of the interpreters chose to exculpate himself in the eyes of the Japanese by falsely accusing the Russians of anti-Japanese intentions. which were attended by much greater expectations on the part of the Russian ambassadors. though in fact Rezanov had been afforded a favour unprecedented even among European nations.

however.74 Japan is called ‘a locked casket whose key is lost’. but such comments as the following.77 Goncharov treats Japanese behaviour with the devastating irony that he was accustomed to direct at other subjects in his fiction. each unable to function within the other’s terms of reference.70 Goncharov’s more literary treatment of Japan shows a more nuanced approach to the understanding of cultural difference. To Goncharov the Japanese are like children: pursuing their . True. or nearly so. there is a sense in which Goncharov treats Japan as not quite belonging to the real world.76 The Japanese officials are ‘porcelain dolls’ whose thinking cannot be penetrated. He recognises. On the other hand. for example. show that irony can easily be used as an instrument of political selfinterest. in which the Russians entertained themselves by making a paper hot air balloon.18 Introduction behaviour. a familiar type of an old man in the kindly and intelligent demeanour of one of the envoys from Edo and acknowledges a standard of civilisation in the Japanese.75 The Russians and the Japanese are the fox and the stork in Aesop’s fable. but one that is equally dependent on an ‘orientalist’ frame of reference. like the other travellers. his narrative omits events which indicate Japanese tolerance and good will: for example. Goncharov remains personally detached from any of these niceties and persistently asserts that beneath the surface effects of cultural difference the Japanese are identical to the Russians. the episode related by the naturalist G. as a ‘far-off land’ in the expression used in Russian folklore to indicate a magical kingdom. on the imminent breakdown of the seclusion policy. their behaviour is a ‘magical ballet’. ‘a scene taken from some fantastic ballet or opera’.73 At the same time.72 Elsewhere. which Goncharov is watching from the stalls of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and in the reality of which he is unable to believe. he is at pains to explain and justify certain Japanese cultural practices which may seem strange to the European eye – such as the custom of bowing from a kneeling position or removing one’s shoes on entering a building – in terms of the broader context of Japanese customs and social relations. apart from a few details of manners and dress. Europeans could take no exception.H. but then allowed it to drift dangerously over the town. He is an acute observer of the complex negotiations on matters of protocol designed to protect the dignity of both sides. who accompanied the Rezanov expedition. Where should meetings be held? What refreshments should be offered? Should chairs be provided for the Russians? If so who should provide them? Should the Russians remove their boots in Japanese interiors? But perhaps because he was not himself a diplomat. Langsdorff. to which. Krusenstern. is quick to point out Japanese generosity in providing both provisions and materials for necessary ship repairs. Almost his first mention of the country is as ‘tridesiatoe gosudarstvo’. Goncharov mocks Russian inability to cope with Japanese customs as well.71 In several lengthy digressions Goncharov shows himself quite sensitive to the political complexities underlying Japanese attitudes to the West. and in particular to the difficulty of achieving modernisation or change within the existing political and administrative framework.

80 The reasoning behind Goncharov’s thinking here can be understood more clearly by reference to Fregat Pallada as a complete work.82 On occasion he admits to a natural impatience with the intrusive and apparently gratuitous questioning to which he is subjected during his imprisonment. pavilions and statues. While in many ways they are ‘children’. the Japanese occupy an intermediate stage.78 A similar paternalism is indicated by Goncharov’s reaction to the scenery of Nagasaki harbour. and the inhabitants of the Ryukyu Islands are seen as subsisting in ‘childlike’ innocence. we are children’ and like children put themselves under the guidance of their elders. If it was taken away from them. I populated the shores with Europeans. they have got out of their depth through their inexperience and lack of wisdom. American and English factories.81 If Goncharov can be accused of presenting a superficial and often patronising account of the Japanese. and closer to the city I imagined Russian. There is nothing for them to do but break out in tears and say ‘we are guilty. Goncharov consistently views the different nations he encounters in terms of their ‘age’ on a scale of their development towards civilisation. nevertheless the openness of many individuals to learning from the West suggests that they may in time emerge from their mental ‘torpor’ and. [The Japanese] are alone. galloping horsewomen. and he objects.79 He is offended that the Japanese do not know how to use Nagasaki ‘properly’.83 He is at the same time deeply impressed by the politeness of . the city could become a great and bustling port in the European style. . he asserts. are indisputably ‘adult’.] in my thoughts I covered all these hillocks and groves with temples. and the waters of the harbour with steamships and thickets of masts. I already saw paths through a park. They must look now to European instructors to find a way out of their impasse: Like a playground intrigue. Golovnin’s work has been seen as a good deal more penetrating and serious. . without help. He feels uncomfortable with what he sees as the unmediated presence of nature and wants to tame it by introducing all the attributes of nineteenth-century European civilisation: [. with suitable guidance. achieve equal maturity with Western nations. In his travelogue as a whole Goncharov is ruled by a conception of progress and civilisation based firmly on European models and strongly linked with Christianity. for example. as a comparative interpretation of the peoples of the globe seen on a world tour. to the importunate requests made of the Russians for souvenir specimens of handwriting on fans. If the English. cottages. with their highly developed industrial society and commercial instincts.Introduction 19 seclusion policy. [the seclusion policy] has collapsed instantly with the appearance of the teacher.

84 Yet even Golovnin. The range and quantity of available writing on Japan grew quickly as visitors from many nations published their accounts. Golovnin notes that he deliberately concealed his true reason for being on Iturup (that is. Golovnin landed on Iturup. he was also attempting to increase the likelihood of an eventual trading relationship with the Japanese. he deliberately gave misleading answers on some topics and concealed the true content of a particular technical book in his possession to avoid possibly days of translation and explanation. and the ‘contact zone’ became ever larger as the nineteenth century progressed. even when these seem considerably at odds with European values and practices. disingenuously claiming that he expected to meet there only Kuriles. Their gaze was broader and better informed. Hakodate and Nagasaki remained the major focuses of Russian attention.87 He exaggerated the number of sailors under his command. Golovnin was concerned to dissociate himself and the Russian government from the attacks made by Khvostov and Davydov in 1807. Travellers and tourists After the Treaty of Shimoda.85 After an interview with the local Japanese commander.86 and instead of going to Urbich as instructed turned south with the intention of surveying Kunashir and the strait between that island and Ezo. even if there is some question of the extent to which it was officially sanctioned. as here. as can be seen from his actions before his capture. visitors came from a wider variety of backgrounds. the number of Russians visiting Japan increased rapidly. In particular. is not entirely immune to the ‘orientalism’ of his times. of his conscious deception of the Japanese on certain issues. though he must surely have realised that the islands were under Japanese control. Proceeding circumspectly about his task of charting the southern Kurile Islands. and on several occasions he deliberately provided mistranslations of documents which he thought might prove prejudicial to the Russians’ chance of release. One particular feature of Golovnin’s narrative is his exposure. would seem a natural consequence of his flouting of Japanese laws regarding foreign shipping. Knowing that the Japanese had a great thirst for knowledge about the West and that they were liable to ask innumerable supplementary questions if given any information at all. Golovnin’s arrest. the Japanese . and they were there for different purposes. While foreigners by no means became acquainted with the whole of Japanese society. Golovnin was given permission to proceed to the town of Urbich to replenish his supplies.20 Introduction his Japanese captors and strives hard to understand their motivations and laws. surveying) on the grounds that the Japanese would be certain to treat it with suspicion.88 The nature of the ‘other’ as reflected in travel narratives also changed. but Russians visited many other parts of Japan as well. they visited a wider range of places. for all his sympathy with the Japanese. In distorting the meaning of various papers Golovnin was of course acting in his own personal interests.

there is a new. Nothing in Japan ever turns out to be quite as simple or as straightforward as they would like or as they expect and. and dealt with them on a personal and everyday basis. show something of the diversity of the Russian experience of Japan after the middle of the nineteenth century. members of an isolated bureaucratic world which was often wary of foreigners and kept them at arm’s length. shopkeepers and other private individuals. like the botanist Andrei Krasnov. temporary ‘wives’. A. however. On the whole the writers are anxious to see whatever they can of Japan. Cherevkova describes a train journey which she made alone with a small child from Tokyo to Nagoya in 1890. but an economic and increasingly a cultural presence in Japan itself.89 The texts presented here. who also provides valuable insights into life in the Russian colony at Nagasaki in the 1890s. to confirm what they have learned from their reading. shopgirls and other ordinary women. as described by E. like Vladimir Semenov. for example. Sergei Maksimov. reflexive interest in some writers in the effect of travel on the travellers themselves. and Ivan Zarubin took a position as doctor on board a ship travelling to Nagasaki in 1880 in a similar spirit of adventure. a junior naval officer with the expedition of Nikolai Murav’ev-Amurskii. While travel writing continues to dwell on what is different from Russia or Europe in Japan. The Russians were no longer supplicants at Japan’s door. Garin-Mikhailovskii visited Nagasaki. waitresses. At the same time. a naval officer who was held as a prisoner-of-war in Sasebo and Kyoto following the Battle of Tsushima in 1905.92 The writer N. visited Hakodate as part of a lengthy voyage to the Amur region and China in the late 1850s. driven more by the imperatives of curiosity and the wish to write about their experiences than by the logic of government policy or trade.93 Some travelled more in a spirit of scientific enquiry. Yokohama and Tokyo in 1898. Russian visitors and residents came increasingly and unavoidably in contact with hotel managers.Introduction 21 people whom the Russians did meet were no longer chiefly officials and servants. The largely male world seen by the early visitors was now enlivened by female entertainers.95 The dominant tone of these post-treaty narratives is one of mingled expectancy and bewilderment. and to improve their knowledge. like visitors from .94 Others again found themselves in Japan against their will. Russians in short were now in a different sort of relationship with the Japanese. and by 1913 a group of Russians was already visiting Japan as part of an organised tour. as well as the determination of some of them to see as much of the country as possible. His account of Kanagawa and Edo in the late 1850s shows the hostility that foreigners met with at first in the treaty ports. Kornilov.90 At a very early stage Russians began to travel to Japan more or less as tourists. they are often puzzled by what they discover.91 By the 1890s the number of such travellers had increased considerably. and with the development of steamships and railways the conditions of travel had become much easier. finding it difficult to assimilate to their previous understanding. chosen from the many available from this later period. The immediate post-treaty period is represented by A. Kobiakova.

there is a consensus that Japan is ‘strange’. refers to the ‘singular beauty’ of the countryside through which he passes in the train taking him to Kyoto. scans the town in vain through his telescope looking for points of comparison with towns. for Kobiakova the night-time scenery of Gifu is ‘mysterious and enchanting’.96 One thing on which the Russians universally agree is the beauty of the countryside and gardens. While in 1860 Maksimov can admire the single-mindedness of labour directed to levelling a hill outside Hakodate in order to construct houses for the Russian and British consuls.98 The botanist Krasnov describes ‘spectacular panoramas’ from the Nagasaki cliffs and a ‘phosphorescent light’ giving a picturesque appearance to the harbour at night. even the normally enthusiastic Kobiakova finds Japanese sweets inedible and clearly treats her bento packed . not even any houses of a form he recognises. even before he has landed at Hakodate. in the Russian empire. All of these things are presented like wonders at a Russian fairground.100 Appreciation of Japanese scenery is often validated by favourable comparison with tourist destinations in Europe. especially Switzerland or Italy. Kornilov. who. The most extensive statement of this view comes from Maksimov.104 Other writers consistently express surprise and often disapproval at the circumstances of everyday Japanese life. Garin-Mikhailovskii. whose time in Japan was spent largely in confinement. Maksimov and his companions pass through Hakodate finding streets with no recognisable buildings.22 Introduction other European countries.97 Maksimov enthuses at the view across Hakodate Bay. Russians conceptualise Japan in ways which are often contradictory or inconsistent. limits himself to the unlikely combination of shrimps and water melon in preference to any other dishes. He finds no cathedrals. Food is a frequent stumbling block: Kornilov. and even Semenov. finds the ‘progress and imagination’ informing Japanese railway engineering greatly superior to the state of affairs prevailing in Russia in the 1890s. Semenov is particularly scathing about his captors’ attempts to feed their Russian prisoners in an acceptable style. no minarets. who is impressed by little else in Edo.99 Cherevkova refers to a ‘kaleidoscope full of enchanting pictures’ glimpsed from her train window. while Zarubin and Garin-Mikhailovskii similarly delight at the restful visual charms of Nagasaki. a dog that doesn’t bark at strangers. Led by an anonymous guide who is presumably an early Russian resident in the town.103 Equally. for example. either European or Asian. an apparent pantomime which is revealed to be a formal greeting between two officials.102 later writers are impressed by the introduction of Western scientific technology. and the cognitive disjunction which this represents forms a major structural principle of his narrative. notes particularly the city’s fine views and terraces. Cherevkova is astonished to discover electric light in Nagoya in 1890. and by implication inferior to a supposed standard of European normality. Zarubin in 1880 remarks on the newly constructed modern Nagasaki dockyard.101 Another point on which there is general agreement is the organisational ability of the Japanese and their rapid success in modernisation. a railway engineer himself by training.

For Maksimov.’114 Writing seventeen years later. Maksimov.105 Cherevkova is appalled at the idea of staying in a Japanese-style hotel. a feudal society that recalled the twelfth century in Europe. impractical.109 When considering Japan’s rapid modernisation in the second half of the nineteenth century. He sees similarities between the ungainly. the Russians. he argues. in 1898. a time of major reform under Alexander II which included the emancipation of the serfs. gaudily decorated junks in Hakodate harbour and the traditional river barges on the Volga. gleaned from visits to Singapore. for example. inwardly attractive but with an ugly exterior. claiming that ‘the Japanese see this prince [Peter] as the ideal statesman for all ages and for all people. when he visited Japan in 1889) reminds Maksimov of both ancient Russia and present-day practice in the more remote of Russian country towns. He sees the narrow. in Japan the spirit of reform has been internalised at all levels of society. likens the structure of the Tokugawa state to that of medieval Russia. for example. and indeed came up to the present day. the British consul Rutherford Alcock found pre-Restoration Japan to be ‘the living embodiment of a state of society which existed many centuries ago in the West.107 Japan not only defeats Russian travellers’ expectations in comparison with Russia and Europe.112 Similarly. often make comparisons between Japan and the earlier history of their own countries. but also fails to tally with their broader conceptions of East Asia. but has long passed away utterly’.108 Several writers compare the Japanese favourably with the Chinese and Koreans. while in his view China is outwardly beautiful but conceals an inner corruption. rather than the ‘half-European’ one where she eventually obtains a room.115 Notwithstanding Japan’s ‘otherness’ in relation to Europe. Garin-Mikhailovskii is reminded of Russia in the 1860s. he also sees parallels between Japan’s ‘backwardness’ and the vestigial ‘backwardness’ of contemporary Russia vis-à-vis Western Europe and America. comparing it with a scene in a madhouse. Shanghai and other ports. was limited by a complex network of feudal alliances with other princes. where the power of the grand prince. like that of the shogun.110 for the Russians the points of reference in their own past were much more recent. like other Europeans.113 Zarubin also sees events in Japan as paralleling the transformation of Russia under Peter the Great.111 However. the modernisation .106 Garin-Mikhailovskii finds the eclectic mix of Japanese and Western dress he sees in a Japanese crowd disturbing. Kornilov compares the hostility to strangers that he sees in Japan with the situation in Russia just two hundred years ago. and likens those Japanese princes who oppose change to the noble Miloslavskii and Lopukhin families who tried to block the reforms of Peter the Great in the early eighteenth century. it is true. The practice of mixed bathing in Japan (which scandalised Kipling. But while. Whereas change in Russia was embraced only by a small proportion of the Russian population.Introduction 23 lunch with suspicion. Japan is a sort of inverted Asia. inconvenient streets of Hakodate as ‘identical’ to those of existing parts of Moscow that date back to the time of the Mongol occupation.

the visit to a shrine or temple. in 1913. Unlike the other writers. Yet at the same time as she claims ‘it would be better to sit on the floor and feel definitively Japanese’. That Japan is never quite ‘real’ for Russian observers is suggested by their self-conscious reference to what could be called the ‘tourist experience’ from a surprisingly early date. and in his complaint that the Japanese have begun making everyday objects to Western taste: ‘it has become very difficult to find anything original.117 Another aspect of the search for authentic experience can be seen in the interest of some writers in Japanese antiquities. A nostalgia for ‘old Japan’ is clearly seen. porcelain or silks. Again the quality of experience has been vitiated by modernity. are supposed not to apply.’118 A related yearning for the past is found in Krasnov’s discussion in the 1890s of the well-established practice among a certain class of Japanese women at Inosa of hiring themselves out as temporary wives to visiting Russian sailors. even looking forward to the unaccustomed experience of sleeping on the floor. from the native way of life.116 This is meant as a joke. for example. part of the Russian construction of Japan as different operates on a moral plane: Western notions of morality. Any English lord would pay a lot of money for the right to be in our place. like Western ideas of comfort and style. . Kobiakova embraces everything Japanese with enthusiasm. in Zarubin’s account of his tour of Nagasaki antique sellers looking for genuine ‘old lacquer’. in preference to using the European table and chairs provided. It is also apparent in the comment of Kornilov’s companion as his party is pursued by a mob through the streets of Edo: Gentlemen [. he reflects: with the coming of the age of steam the ships remain in harbour for much shorter periods and the ‘marriages’ have become a matter more of calculation than affection. a popular idea taken up by Russian religious philosophers . the traditional entertainment provided in a tea-house or private dwelling. On the one hand.119 As can be seen here. and their ‘considered “tourist” opinion’ of what they have eaten. . as if the past were somehow more valid than the modernising present. certainly. the Japanese meal. purely Japanese. Japan was seen as ‘yellow peril’. but it underlines a clear feeling of difference. prefiguring the gushing account of Kobiakova some sixty years later. but you’re getting the experience for free and still complaining.] console yourselves like real tourists with the thought that this is a situation you will not often manage to find yourselves in. The quest for an authentic Japanese experience is perhaps implicit in the invariant motifs of Russian and other European travel writing from the mid-nineteenth century onwards: shopping for traditional Japanese goods such as lacquerware. she shows an awareness that all this is play-acting when she talks of the ‘“tourist” zeal’ with which her group approaches a Japanese meal.24 Introduction of Japan in the Meiji period was often also seen as a model for social and economic development in Russia.

125 In this vision everything about Japan is small. In particular. who described Japan as a ‘delicate little wonder-world of sylphs and fairies’. However. is perhaps foreshadowed in Goncharov’s use of the term ‘ballet’ to describe the elaborate ceremonial of Japanese diplomatic hospitality. echoes this line of thought when he complains. of the apparently studied boorishness of Major-General Okama. Thus. is offended by what he sees as Japanese callousness and indifference to human life at a public execution. There is great emphasis on Japanese neatness. although he acknowledges the impeccable European-style manners of some of the Japanese officers he encounters.120 On the other hand. for example. forty years after Putiatin and Perry. he also questions the received wisdom regarding Japanese immorality. altogether missing from the earliest travel narratives. femininity becomes the prime focus of the exotic gaze. should someone like the bookshop assistant he meets sell her body when she is perfectly well able to earn her living from her profession? Yet at the same time he detects an air of frightening and impenetrable calculation in many Japanese faces.123 Semenov. This perspective. 1887). In her . and Japanese men are often described as effeminate.124 On the other hand. propriety and shame are understood in Japan quite differently from the way they are understood in Europe. for example. and for that reason were not to be taken seriously. as portrayed in Pierre Loti’s novel Madame Chrysanthème (Paris. and fears that in spite of Japanese fervour for the benefits of European civilisation a strong hostility to the West remains. and particularly by the 1890s.128 Kobiakova remarks on the extraordinary tidiness of Japanese farms and comments on the clumsiness and crudeness of European furniture in a Japanese room. the Japanese were seen as morally and intellectually inferior to Europeans.’ He coyly declines to elaborate. Maksimov indeed asserts that it is impossible to tell men from women. which he finds at odds with his observation of the people around him: why.121 Writing specifically of relations between the sexes.126 It was popularised particularly in Europe by Loti and by English-language writers such as Lafcadio Hearn and Basil Hall Chamberlain. referring the knowing reader merely to the names of some apparently dubious dances with which he was entertained. he asks. but similar lines of argument are discernible in several of the texts.Introduction 25 from the 1890s onwards and refashioned into a perceived threat to Russia and to Christianity as a whole. Zarubin notes that ‘morality. which the crowd watches with a ‘lifelessly insulting lack of emotion’ as pedlars hawk snacks and cups of tea. without admitting to being present himself. Maksimov.122 Garin-Mikhailovskii alludes to similar spectacles in the 1890s. reflecting on the received wisdom that all Japanese women are venal. and in his characterisation of the Japanese as ‘children’. doll-like and above all again not to be taken seriously. a work widely known in Russia. for example.127 The Russians in this volume do not indulge in quite such flights of fancy. the Russian texts are also influenced by an aestheticised view of Japan. fed in part by the European vogue beginning in the 1860s for Japonisme in art. The two perspectives are found intertwined in Russian travel narratives. delicate and elegant. too.

61–5. and K. 1549–1650. pp. 14–21. Harmondsworth: Penguin. the image of that sugary pink-tinted reality so often found in elegant albums of Japanese colour photography’. which gives Russian travel writing of the period so distinctive a voice when compared to the narratives of other Europeans. W.: Tuttle. R. and makes it so compelling. the physical size of Russian people is seen as incompatible with life in Japan: their weight causes overheating in the axles of their railway carriage. but figures. but also as a literary phenomenon. p. 1977. Sansom. trans. partly because the changes that were taking place in Japan at that time were themselves complex and difficult to assimilate. Venice: Università Ca’ Foscari. see G. Moscow: Izd-vo vostochnoi lit-ry. 31–56. Berkeley: University of California Press. and introd. 259–307. 1951. Peter Kornicki. pp. Russko-iaponskie otnosheniia v 1697–1875 gg. Beasley. See also G. . however. Cherevko. Sakhalin: a History. The Western World and Japan: a Study in the Interaction of European and Asiatic Cultures. 1958. Notes 1 The Travels of Marco Polo. On early contact in the Kurile Islands and Sakhalin. refers to ‘toy houses’ in the landscape and explicitly notes that his first views of Japan were filtered through the lens of Loti’s Madame Chrysanthème: ‘these are not people. Zarozhdenie russko-iaponskikh otnoshenii XVII–XIX veka. Moscow: Nauka. 4 K.26 Introduction account.: University of Florida Press. Boxer. John J.130 Russian attitudes towards Japan in the late nineteenth century are inconsistent and contradictory. pp. 73–80. 1955. The Kurile Islands: Russo-Japanese Frontier in the Pacific. in Marius B. G. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Rutland. Vt. Esfir Fainberg. A. 5 The following account of the early history of relations between Russia and Japan is drawn largely from George Alexander Lensen. Oxford: Clarendon Press. see John J. models of people and their houses.. 1959 (hereafter RP). 5. too. 2004. although in fact he eventually comes to a more complex position as suggested above. The Cambridge History of Japan. Stephan. ‘Early Russian Travel Writing on Japan’. and partly because the rapidity of Japanese modernisation reinforced an underlying insecurity in Russian writers about Russia’s own place in the world and its social and economic backwardness vis-à-vis the West. 1974. forthcoming. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2001. ‘The Foreign Threat and the Opening of Japan’. 1971. partly because of the difficulty of reconciling the peculiarities of Japanese culture and civilisation to a European mindset. It is this combination of tensions. E. New Zealand Slavonic Journal. Parts of this introduction are due to appear in rather different form as David Wells. Cherevko. figurines of yellow ivory borrowed from the shelves of art galleries. Ronald Latham.).129 Garin-Mikhailovskii. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lensen. Gainesville. Vol. Zarozhdenie russko-iaponskikh otnoshenii XVII–XIX veka (hereafter ZRO). Castaways and Orientalists: the Russian Route to Japan in the Early Nineteenth Century. Russia’s Japan Expedition of 1852– 1855. 3 For general surveys of Japanese relations with European countries. 1989. E. Fla. not only as a historical record. Jansen (ed. The Christian Century in Japan. Stephan. The Nineteenth Century. 1999. The Russian Push Toward Japan: Russo-Japanese Relations. 1960 (hereafter RO). 36–50. 2 See C. 1697–1875. B. 244.

pp. ZRO. 109–12. RO. RO. 111–34. 67–78. on the internal debates in Japan about contact with Russia at this time. 280–5. RP.Introduction 27 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 RP. 747–82. see RP. See RP. RO. See Kornicki. 451–2. 174–8. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press. 170–1. pp. 84–95. Vol. see RP. St Petersburg: V Morskoi tipografii. 106–9. ZRO. 145–60. 344–54. RP. ZRO. 478–93. See RP. 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 . 273–8. RP. 69–82. 111–95. 193–4. Kutakov. see Sandra Wilson and David Wells. Moscow: Nauka. pp. RP. RO. ZRO. ZRO. Toward the Rising Sun: Russian Ideologies of Empire and the Path to War with Japan. ZRO. 199. See also Akira Iriye. Ivanova. On the context of Russian expansion in the Amur region. ‘Introduction’. ZRO. 161–70. RP. Imperial Views: Nationalist Imagination and Geographical Expansion in the Russian Far East. 96–120. pp. Wilson (eds). 96–103. In some sources Lovtsov’s name is given as Grigorii. RO. 1999. RP. 160. 1993. pp. For a summary of Russo-Japanese competition in Manchuria and Korea. ZRO. Wells and S. see G. RO. Golovnin. 36–40. 1816. L. ZRO. For the text of the Treaty of Shimoda. On Goshkevich and the early years of the Hakodate consulate. Kutakov. 26–31. 46–60. 100–2. See ZRO. 201. 108–10. 196–222. 19–22. 21–32. ‘Pressa Rossii o Russkoi dukhovnoi missii v Iaponii (period Meidzi. ZRO. RO. RP. 2001. 32–6. 68–70. see RP. However. 60–71. 475–7. 171–2. 388. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 24–44. RP. 180–5. RP. pp. See ZRO. RO. RP. See Ivanova. 5. 83–99. RP. pp. Rossiia i Iaponiia. 1999. 247. in The Cambridge History of Japan. Castaways and Orientalists. RP. 1812 i 1813 godakh. RP. David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye.. 243. the naval fleet was withdrawn from Japanese waters in 1865. 158–76. Russkie v Iaponii. 501–4. 124–58. ZRO. V. 487.)’. 425–6. RP. 112–13. RO. RO. 308–18. ZRO. RO. 3 vols. Basingstoke: Macmillan. Moscow: Nauka. 121–2. pp. ‘Japan’s Drive to Great Power Status’. 1867–1912 gg. The Russo-Japanese War in Cultural Perspective. 1904–05. 200–1. 484–94. RO. see especially Mark Bassin. M. see RP. 217–31. 38–66. M. 52–64. 355–424. Russkie v Iaponii XIX-nachala XX v. 1998. in Iz istorii religioznykh. ZRO. St Petersburg: Fond po izucheniiu istorii Pravoslavnoi tserkvi. RP. On Russian activity in Japan in the immediate post-treaty period. 186–92. ZRO. 261–307. RP. 1840–1865. 177–96. 4–9. RP. D. pp. Rossiia i Iaponiia. For the text of the Treaty of Nagasaki. A. 71–84. 223–46. See RP. 400–16. Bogoliubov. For the text of the Treaty of Edo. N. RO. in D. s priobshcheniem Zamechanii ego o iaponskom gosudarstve i narode. 71–86. ZRO. 421–4. 143–74. ZRO. 103–8. 199. 308–44. Zapiski flota kapitana Golovnina o prikliucheniiakh ego v plenu u iapontsev v 1811. 45–55. 95. 201–3. RP. 389–90. 1988. 207–11. RO. see RP. For the text of the treaty. kul’turnykh i politicheskikh vzaimootnoshenii Rossii i Iaponii v XIX– XX vekakh: sbornik nauchnykh trudov.

251–87. 1959. 41 See Mary Louise Pratt. ed. in 1727 (E. J. 1999. 40 On rapprochement after the Russo-Japanese War. 1813. G. and later included in his fuller memoir of his voyage.. Fregat Pallada: ocherki puteshestviia. pp. and annot. Paris: B. Moscow: Nauka. 1811–1813. Asia. 47 Golovnin. the availability of works by Pierre-François-Xavier de Charlevoix. M. The War of the Rising Sun and the Tumbling Bear: a Military History of the Russo-Japanese War. Kaempfer’s Japan: Tokugawa Culture Observed. J. 1988. 46 Kaempfer’s work on Japan did not appear in his lifetime. H. 203. des progrès et la décadence du Christianisme dans l’Empire du Japon. see J. evidently his Histoire de l’établissement. 1992. Versions in other European languages appeared not long afterwards. For a brief account of the book’s publication history and for notes on its reliability as a historical source and on ideological accretions in the first English translation. Colburn. 1805 & 1806. ‘Pervoe russkoe posol’stvo v Iaponiiu’. Tours: Ad. 2 vols. 1736. An adaptation of this was still current in the 1840s: Histoire et description du Japon. Africa. 4 vols. Edman. Langsdorff also bemoans the paucity of up-to-date material on Japan: see G. R. 251–3. trans. vol. usually involving conditions of coercion. Voyage Round the World in the Years 1803. Memoirs. He notes. Krusenstern. 3 vols. 117–46 of this article). Scheuchzer. 1974. Preobrazhenskii. 20–1. in English translation. 7–73. 1806. 3. It is likely that Krusenstern used the following French edition: Voyages de C. 1855. J. Imperial Eyes. Istoricheskii arkhiv.28 Introduction 39 On the course of the Russo-Japanese War. i 1806 godakh. Basingstoke: Macmillan. 43 ‘Contact zone’ is Pratt’s term. Thunberg au Japon par le Cap de Bonne-Esperance. Journal) is included as pp. radical inequality and intractable conflict’ (Pratt. Le Boullenger. 113–48 (Laxman’s journal (hereafter Laxman. Goncharov’s memoir was originally published as Russkie v Iaponii v kontse 1853 i v nachale 1854 godov (iz putevykh zametok). A. Langsdorff. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. Moscow: Gos. Westwood. A. Connaughton. Voyage. 4. Sobranie sochinenii v shesti tomakh. 1904–5. 1986. the naturalist G. N. and 1807. vol. Goncharov. 1844. A. 7–11. St Petersburg: V Morskoi tipografii. Rossiia i Iaponiia pered mirovoi voiny (1905–14): ocherki istorii otnoshenii. 1858. however. trans. 1961. London: Routledge. 3 vols + atlas. p. London: Routledge. M. etc. 45 In his memoir of the Rezanov expedition. defined as ‘the space in which peoples geographically and historically separated come into contact with each other and establish ongoing relations. I. 3 vols. Kaempfer. 44 Krusenstern. London: H. 1715. St Petersburg: A. Upsala: J. Voyages and Travels in Various Parts of the World during the Years 1803. Golovnin. 115–55. 1. but was first published. 1813–14. Mame. 2 vols. Russia against Japan: a New Look at the Russo-Japanese War. izd-vo khudozh. 3 of Resa uti Europa. Gandouin. vol. see E. P. p. no. 1727). 1. H. Paris: J. 2 vols. 42 The texts are cited here from the following editions: A. The History of Japan. Kaempfer. 5. 3 vols. Beatrice M. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. London: John Murray. Charlevoix. London: The Translator. 1973. d’après le P. M. 1788–93). Memoirs of a Captivity in Japan. and Histoire et description générale du Japon. pp. Marinov. Rouen: J. I. V. pp. see V. 6). Bodart-Bailey. Glazunov. förrättad åren 1770–1779. 1796. 1804. St Petersburg: V Tipografii Imperatorskoi Akademii Nauk. The second volume of Krusenstern’s memoir was . p. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press. 4. Dandre. and it seems that the Russian travellers consulted them. pp. les Isles de la Sonde. 10. 1. lit-ry. 1804. Earlier accounts by the Jesuit missionaries existed.. A. but these contained no information dating to later than 1638. Krusenstern’s account was first published as Puteshestvie vokrug sveta v 1803. 1805. vol. pp. 4th edn. 1809–13. Thunberg was published first in Swedish as Resan til och uti kejsaredömet Japan (vol.

1. Memoirs. p. Voyages. pp. 234. B. Goodman. 153–67. 3. 308–9. 1. 147. 8–9. Sobranie sochinenii. See also Grant K. Manchester: Manchester University Press. 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 . in 1812 and 1813 respectively. 397. Journal. Golovnin. 1. ‘Putevye pis’ma I. The Ethics of Travel: from Marco Polo to Kafka.. 256. 227. Cf. pp. vol. 230. pp. p. Golovnin. Philip Franz von Siebold. p. Krusenstern. 1935. Authenticity and Fiction in the Russian Literary Journey. p. p. 1996. 1820. the narrative produced is to a greater or lesser extent ‘sedentary’ travel writing in which the establishment of ‘a vantage point from which to carry out a representation of difference’ is of crucial importance. 43n. 1790– 1840. This is Pratt’s trope of ‘anti-conquest’: see Pratt. 7. 38–43. Oblomov and his Creator: the Life and Art of Ivan Goncharov.). Ibid. vol. vol. Nippon: Archiv zur Beschreibung von Japan. 19. 1. Leyden: The Author. Voyage. Voyages. Andreas Schönle. Voyage. 3. 1. 30. pp. 123. 3. Sobranie sochinenii. contains a parody of the ‘sentimental’ style of travel writing pioneered by Goethe and espoused particularly in Russia by Nikolai Karamzin: Milton Ehre. 51. the third and atlas only after Golovnin’s departure. Richmond. 232. p. which states that Tugolukov could not be understood by the Japanese. Voyages. 261–2. 126. It has been suggested that Fregat Pallada. vol. 1. 142–53. Krusenstern. 22–4. pp. p. See also Golovnin. Goncharova iz krugosvetnogo plavaniia’. Paris.. 30. pp. p. 136. 293. p. 1822. See also vol. See Goncharov. 2 vols. 2. Ibid. notwithstanding the difficulties of achieving such a result while remaining intelligible. 240. p. Krusenstern. London: R. 44. 184–9. 256. Memoirs. 254–9. Journal. vol. 3. vol. souverains du Japon. vol. vol. Surrey: Curzon. Voyage. 1. pp. 46. Laksman. see Langsdorff. 7.: Harvard University Press. 176–7. pp. Ackermann. vol. Isaac Titsingh. 56. 1. p. in the terms proposed by Syed Manzurul Islam. pp. 80. See also Krasnoshchekova. Memoirs. pp. St Petersburg: Pushkinskii fond.Introduction 29 published in 1810. pp. 30. Langsdorff. pp. Voyages. Sobranie sochinenii. pp. pp. pp. p. The Japanese authorities seem to have preferred as close a correspondence as possible between original and translated texts. Japan and the Dutch: 1600–1853. 1. p. vol. Engel’gardt (ed. 8. 112. To put the matter slightly differently. vol. vol. p. vol. 6–7. Literaturnoe nasledstvo. vol. Laksman. pp. Mass. Ibid. p. pp. Goncharov. vol. and Illustrations of Japan. Krusenstern. Cambridge. Ibid. 1. 1973. 116–17. Goncharov. See Syed Manzurul Islam. see also p. pp. Ivan Aleksandrovich Goncharov: mir tvorchestva. 2. see Langsdorff.. Voyage. pp. with its constant denial of the exotic. 2. Krusenstern. Voyage. viii. 227–31. vol. Ibid. 142. Mémoires et anecdotes sur la dynastie régnante des Djogouns. 137. Goncharov. Goncharov.. Sobranie sochinenii.A. vol. Imperial Eyes. 253. Voyages. 1832. p. 1. Ibid. vol. 3. RP. vol. Golovnin. 49–50. 2000. 118.. 127. Princeton: Princeton University Press. vol. 231–2. 1997. Krusenstern. 2000. Sobranie sochinenii. Laksman.. RP. Journal. Langsdorff. Memoirs. pp. p. 1.

5. Na vostoke.. Russkie uchitelia za granitsei. see Toshio Yokoyama. 2002. 383–429. 62. A. 1965. Zvonarev. 1884). For a detailed exegesis of this aspect of Fregat Pallada. 4. 1860. Zarubin. See P. This focus on the interplay between self and the described world was indeed a general characteristic of European and American travel writing from the middle of the nineteenth century. pp. 310–27. 245–69. 124. A. Moscow: Obshchestvo rasprostraneniia tekhnicheskikh znanii. 1900.. 1850– 1905. 134–220. Basil Hall Chamberlain. Maksimov. pp. London: John Murray. See Casey Blanton. ‘Izvestiia iz Iaponii’. 186. 343–4. 228–34. 2 vols. izd-vo Khudozh. E.g. Memoirs. pp. ibid. 1. Garin-Mikhailovskii. Ibid. 118. vol. 19. vol. E. 2. Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan. pp. St Petersburg: Nedelia. Krasnov. 1. Hawes. 242–3.. 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 . Rutherford Alcock. 1987. Roberts & Green. 5. 18–26. ‘Pervyi den’ v Iaponii’. See ibid. ‘Po zheleznym dorogam Iaponii’. p. Ibid.30 Introduction 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 Goncharov. see also pp.. S. Krasnoshchekova. pp. London: Paul. 1. izdannaia v Rossii s 1734 po 1917 g. London: John Murray. S. 165–6. V. Trench. 1895. Semenov [Semenoff]. A. 2 vols. no. p. p. pp. 3. Kruber et al. 22. vol. Moscow: Gos. Yokohama: Kelly & Co. Moscow: Knizhnoe delo. 1. vol. Moscow: Nauka. see E. Cherevkova. Man’chzhurii i liaodan’skomu poluostrovu. Na vostoke: poezdka na Amur: dorozhnye zametki. ‘Izvestiia iz Iaponii’.. 156. For a detailed discussion of British and French (and to a lesser extent American and German) writing on Japan. Morskoi sbornik. Russkii vestnik. For works published in Russian during this period see Bibliografiia Iaponii: literatura. 417. 1999. vol. Being Notes on Various Subjects Connected with Japan. 343–4. p. Leonard Lewery and F. p. p. Kornilov. 1894. I. p. 153. in Aziia: illiustrirovannyi geograficheskii sbornik.. A. Trench. 1958. London: Allen & Unwin. pp. 2nd edn.. 1881. ‘On the Edge of the Orient: English Representations of Japan. 1880. 3. Trübner. 213–14. 310–11.g. 377–90. See also RP. Travel Writing: the Self and the World. RP. 1. Trübner & Co. N. ‘Vokrug Azii: putevye zametki [pt 3]’. vol. 1881 (2nd rev. 1890. 1910. Kornilov. vol. V. 36. A. in English.. Po Koree. 117–18. Unbeaten Tracks in Japan: an Account of Travels in the Interior Including Visits to the Aborigines of Yezo and the Shrine of Nikko. 147–9. pp. vol. 19. 140. Isabella Bird. N. pp. L. lit-ry.. G.. A Handbook for Travellers in Central and Northern Japan. 169. Ivan Aleksandrovich Goncharov. in his Sobranie sochinenii v piati tomakh. Godfrey. pp. god piatyi. London: Kegan Paul. Po ostrovam dalekogo vostoka: putevye ocherki. R. Golovnin. GarinMikhailovskii. G. edn.. 377–8. 46. no. Lafcadio Hearn. Sobranie sochinenii. Goncharov. Kobiakova. see JeanPierre Lehmann. Sobranie sochinenii. Pham. pp. Longman. vol. vol. E. The Price of Blood. The Image of Japan: from Feudal Isolation to World Power. 1978. St Petersburg: S. 41. circa 1895–1910’. London: John Murray. Po Koree. 39–124. Zarubin. 99–122. pp. 1863. 1871. The Capital of the Tycoon: a Narrative of a Three Years’ Residence in Japan. Japan in the Victorian Mind: a Study of Stereotyped Images of a Nation 1850–80. pp. vol. no. Basingstoke: Macmillan. London: Longman. pp. 18–20. Ibid. ed. Things Japanese. 221. Maksimov. pp. New York: Routledge. ‘Vokrug Azii’. Ernest Mason Satow and A. trans. 1914. Man’chzhurii i liaodan’skomu poluostrovu. Japanese Studies. Green. on writing in Britain.

pp. 123 Garin-Mikhailovskii. 72. Man’chzhurii i liaodan’skomu poluostrovu. Kipling’s Japan: Collected Writings. Obraz Iaponii v Evrope i Rossii vtoroi poloviny XIX– nachala XX veka. Man’chzhurii i liaodan’skomu poluostrovu. 122 Zarubin. 383. 399. Garin-Mikhailovskii. 68. Chamberlain’s discussion of Japan’s ‘topsy-turvydom’: Chamberlain. p. Things Japanese. Man’chzhurii i liaodan’skomu poluostrovu. Po Koree. pp. 95–7. Moscow: Inst. pp. 117. Na vostoke. 394. 379. Po Koree. pp. p. ‘Po zheleznym dorogam Iaponii’. p. 378. 1. 113 Kornilov. Garin-Mikhailovskii. Po Koree. 126 See note 77 above. Kobiakova. p. ‘Po zheleznym dorogam Iaponii’. 69–70. ‘Vokrug Azii’. pp. 104 Cf. 1996. p. 311. 315. 415. Pham. pp. p. 233. 102 Maksimov. ‘Pervyi den’ v Iaponii’. vol. ‘Pervyi den’ v Iaponii’. 127 Chamberlain. ‘Po zheleznym dorogam Iaponii’. ‘Izvestiia iz Iaponii’. 389. Japonisme: the Japanese Influence on Western Art since 1858. Man’chzhurii i liaodan’skomu poluostrovu. pp. Kobiakova. cf. Obraz Iaponii. 386–9. pp. 114 Zarubin. cf. 103 Zarubin. p. Man’chzhurii i liaodan’skomu poluostrovu. Price of Blood. Na vostoke. London: Athlone. p. Po Koree. 229. Po Koree. 379. p. Price of Blood. Semenov. Na vostoke. 4. ‘Izvestiia iz Iaponii’. 230. 108–56. p. 130 Garin-Mikhailovskii. 111 Maksimov. 117 Kobiakova. 107 Garin-Mikhailovskii. 386–7. ‘Vokrug Azii’. 393. 232. 106 Cherevkova. 1981. ‘Vokrug Azii’. 391. 386–7. see: Molodiakov. 108. Man’chzhurii i liaodan’skomu poluostrovu.. 232. ‘Vokrug Azii’. 108 Maksimov. 19. ‘Izvestiia iz Iaponii’. ‘Pervyi den’ v Iaponii’. p. 389–90. . on Japonisme in Russian literature. 21. Krasnov. Po ostrovam dalekogo vostoka. 317. p. 93–107. Cherevkova. 105. pp. 320. London: Thames & Hudson. Garin-Mikhailovskii. 120 See Vasilii Molodiakov. 118 Zarubin. pp. 105 Kornilov. p. Po ostrovam dalekogo vostoka. p. 405. 377. p. p. Po Koree. 129 Kobiakova. pp. 318–19. 115. Cf. 175–7. 114. p. ed. 23. Hugh Cortazii and George Webb. 19. p. 1988. p. 388–9. Na vostoke. p. 116 Kornilov. pp. 406. pp. 112 Ibid. Po Koree. Capital of the Tycoon. pp. Vostokovedeniia RAN. 314. Man’chzhurii i liaodan’skomu poluostrovu. Things Japanese. Po ostrovam dalekogo vostoka. 119 Krasnov. 16. 110 Alcock. 325. ‘On the Edge of the Orient’. 230. 71. p.Introduction 31 99 Krasnov. p. pp. pp. p. Price of Blood.. 125 See Siegfried Wichmann. 109 Ibid. 115 Garin-Mikhailovskii. p. ‘Po zheleznym dorogam Iaponii’. p. 121 Maksimov. ‘Vokrug Azii’. 231. 354–5. Na vostoke. 101 Cherevkova. 128 Maksimov. Zarubin. Semenov. p. p. 124 Semenov. ‘Pervyi den’ v Iaponii’. 100 Cherevkova. 109.

was narrow in places. resembled a sugar-loaf. and in the evening cast anchor off this island without reaching the harbour situated at its southern tip. we crossed the strait. According to Shabalin. with Vasilii Lovtsov in charge of the navigation of the vessel. and proposed to pass through the strait between the twentieth and twenty-second islands. which stretch in a chain south-west from the Kamchatka peninsula. and that it had never before been passed by ships. the 26-year-old son of the academician Professor Erik Laxman. and after sailing a further 1150 versts. Continuing further. However. and his journey from the north of Ezo to the provincial capital. turned about and tacked along the strait between the nineteenth and twentieth islands until 6th October. 1792–3) The first official Russian embassy to Japan was led by Lieutenant Adam Laxman (1766–1803?). and suspecting. a distance of about 40 versts. Itarop [Iturup]. reaching the end of this strait. including the merchant Daikokuya Kodayu.]2 we continued our voyage. we abandoned this intention. covered in snow. The following extract from Laxman’s journal describes his initial contact with the Japanese in the Kurile Islands and in Ezo. and had some knowledge of them. this was identified as the nineteenth island. at dawn on 26th September we again saw land in the distance to the south-east and the south-west. Laxman set out from Okhotsk on the Ekaterina in midSeptember 1792. Matsumae. who were to be returned to their homeland. as we had heard. who had persuaded Catherine the Great of the scientific and economic importance of such an expedition. the first phase of his negotiations with Japanese officials. as the . that the strait was winding. we sailed westwards along the coast of the twentieth island. From the calculations made on board ship and from inspection of the horizon by the civilian merchant Shabalin. who had previously visited the Kurile Islands. when.1 [Leaving the island of St Iona. following the coast of this island to the south-west.1 Adam Laxman Journal of Laxman’s embassy to Japan (Ezo. on 28th September we saw a hill whose surface. Kunashir.4 But as the wind was unfavourable. this was the northern extremity of the twentieth island. and accompanied by three Japanese castaways.3 Then.

where one or two of their ships often wintered. as well as on the twenty-second. bringing as a sign of welcome a present of 1 pud of rice and some tobacco. In return we gave them a sugar-loaf. when we approached them. but that at present it was very dangerous to proceed there because of the narrow passage between the submerged rocks around the eastern cape of the island. we saw three Kuriles fleeing from us. who had the lease from the government of several landing places on the twentieth and twenty-first islands. we removed from that place and tacked south the next day for a distance of about 7 versts. we gave them each several leaves of Cherkassian tobacco. On the morning of 8th October. lowering them along their beards. After our people had been entertained to dinner according to local custom. which they would show us. the second of the Japanese agreed to come to our ship in their wooden boat together with three servants and the Kuriles. These latter invited them into their houses. They answered that on the southern side there was a harbour called Atkis [Akkeshi]. Advising us not to proceed there. In all there were twenty-three servants living in various places nearby in the camps of the hairy Kuriles. On landing. Seeing here the summer camps of the hairy Kuriles. from them I received fresh fish. Shabalin.6 The other four were their servants. But since evening was approaching and it was beginning to get dark. we lowered a boat. made various gestures. and meanwhile the sailors filled a barrel with water. on landing. with which the Kuriles helped them. But. they returned to shore and left with us two old men from the hairy Kuriles to show us to the bay . they found that everyone had fled from the yurts. stopped them. they were met by a large number of Kuriles and the Japanese. they kneeled and put their hands together above their heads as a sign of welcome and gratitude and. casting anchor opposite the northern shore of the twenty-second island. who knows some Kurile. and therefore they returned. Looking along the coast. the second the agent of a Matmai merchant. and their overseer is changed every year. Afterwards we talked to them about the bay and whether there was a safer harbour. and when everything was completely ready I set off back to the ship. Six of them lived here: the first was an official of the Matmai [Matsumae] authorities overseeing the collection of taxes and various duties on goods sold by the Kuriles to Japanese merchants. and. explaining that their elders and chiefs lived there.Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan 33 seabed was unsure and the ship began to drift. and to discover whether any Japanese were living in the vicinity. We asked them whether there was a suitable harbour in the vicinity for the laying up of our ship. After half an hour their number had grown to fifteen and they invited us to another settlement nearby. in which we dispatched thirteen armed men to the shore to ascertain if there was a suitable harbour in which to winter. They informed us that there was not far off a suitable bay. we sent the boat again with the Japanese interpreter Tugolukov5 and the navigator Olesov to the second camp indicated the day before by the Kuriles and which was named after the river Nipshets [Nishibetsu].

I also asked the name of the governor. although this was not to be expected. <> and moreover some places were very mountainous or boggy. called in their language tsireli. and leaving only a few of the servants to watch over the buildings and things left at the wharf. dragging them onto the shore. and. so far as trouble from the hairy Kuriles was concerned. where the hairy Kuriles live. which they agreed to do in two days’ time. returning with the first ships in May. and completed the manoeuvre successfully. The settlement of Nipshets. * The Japanese call the hairy Kuriles ezzo jilito. Towards evening of the same day. On the shore the Kuriles erected huts. . being 300 Japanese ri from here. and their land. was at a distance of 24 versts. Ezzo. and at other points a sea passage was required along the coast in Kurile boats. . They answered that their governor’s name was Shimano Kamisama. After this I took leave of them and returned to the ship. was sent with the Japanese messenger. that we could build near them. where I was received politely. transfer everything to the house. since we would not sit on the floor as is their custom. how many days their messenger would take to reach Matmai and how far it was from our present location. although they normally left at the present time for Matmai. I told them and asked if they would be sending to Matmai soon. I then went on shore and entered their house. requesting that they should convey a letter from me to the governor of Matmai. and asked whether we could expect any trouble from the hairy Kuriles. written by me and translated by the interpreter and the former Japanese who accompanied us. they provided benches covered with tsireli for us to sit on. . After this they asked us how many people we had on our ship so that they could make a detailed report to the authorities. and to ensure that they were not burned or stolen by the Kuriles. which they covered with mats of straw and fine reeds. the Japanese overseer and his servants came in Kurile boats to the landing-place. On 12th October the following letter. <. for greater security they would winter in the same place. then the other. The hairy Kuriles call themselves Ainu. Afterwards we discussed our intention of wintering in that place and of building on the shore a cabin and a barracks. where they have similar buildings. which I at first refused.34 Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan of Nimuro [Nemuro]. the greater part of the road from here had Kurile settlements every 20 or 40 versts. or their conical summer yurts. or its northern part. From the ship I watched them unload the boats and. gave us tea and cooked supper.* We were assured that their ships remained there safely. and that.> On the following day we entered this bay with the aid of a tug and at 9 o’clock on the morning of 9th October we cast one anchor. where there was a house. a barn and a thatch storage shed. that the messenger would take at least thirty days as the land route was very long. They also place these inside the yurts around a central fireplace.

London: John Murray. Her Imperial Majesty the Serene Russian Sovereign. Bird. Source: Isabella L. and sympathising deeply with their unlucky fate. and conveyed them to the provincial capital Irkutsk. Through their natural and innate love of their fellow men. ordered Lieutenant-General of Her Imperial Majesty’s Forces of the Great . 234. 1911. I beg by this letter to inform the Commander in Chief of the Matzumai Government of our journey to the chief authorities of the Japanese state with the merchant Kodayu and his companions. Unbeaten Tracks in Japan. used all their powers to remove as far as possible from their memory the fear and need which they had suffered. as executors of the philanthropic laws of the Great Empress of All the Russias. To the Commander in Chief of the Matmai Government of the Great State of Nipon [Nippon]. and took them to the nearest Russian town. where a group of Russian hunters had suffered a similar misfortune two years earlier.7 rescued from shipwreck on the Aleutian Islands.8 which require that all travellers be given every possible protection and assistance. 2nd edn. through her high-motherly and exclusively humanitarian protection. and were awaiting other ships which were accustomed to visit these islands for hunting. on first hearing of their misfortune. p. Shimano Kamisama. subjects of His TenjinKubo Majesty.1 Ainu houses. they constructed by their efforts from the wrecks of their own and His TenjinKubo Majesty’s ships one vessel fit to sail. from whence. The officials of that town.Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan 35 Figure 1. in Kamchatka.

36 Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan Russian State, Governor of the Provinces of Irkutsk and Kolyvan’, Knight of Many Orders, Ivan Alfer’evich Pil’, to return the said subjects of the Great State of Nipon to their own country, so that they could see their relatives and homes. In consequence of this lofty command of Her Imperial Majesty, His Excellency sent us both to return the subjects of the Great State of Nipon to their homeland with a detailed account of their adventures, through neighbourly feeling and as an embassy to the central government of that state. But since, on reaching this shore inhabited by Kuriles, we have met servants of your government and have considered it best, as late autumn has already come on, to winter here, we have decided, for your information, and for our own advantage in continuing our voyage safely in the coming spring, to beg you, as the chief authority of Matmai, to accept this letter, in which we request that you should inform the central government of the Great State of Nipon of our journey to them, so that, in the event of us approaching the shores of that state before reaching the principal harbour, finding ourselves in urgent need of shelter either because of the weather or other circumstances, the central government should instruct its subjects to allow us free and unhindered access as neighbouring allies, not considering us antagonistic and impious enemies. Informing you by this letter of these matters, we also request that when you receive advice from the central government in response to this our letter concerning the continuation of our voyage, you notify us with all haste of the central government’s instructions, so that we do not let pass the suitable time for sailing. On 14th October we went ashore to inspect the site for the construction of a winter cabin and barracks which had been allocated together with the Japanese at a distance of 60 sazhens from their own buildings. On the 17th the overseer of Atkis harbour came on board the ship with a Kurile who spoke some Japanese and told us that at a certain spot three years before he had seen on this island three men just like us, with blond hair and the same dress. But how they got there, and whence they came, and where they were headed, this Kurile could not explain, only that they were presented with rice and clothes by the Matmai governor. <. . .> On the 26th a Japanese official of the same rank as the others came on board with three men and announced that on the orders of the governor he had brought a patrol for the taking of an inventory and the collection of various taxes on the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first islands.9 On the 27th we went ashore and visited the Japanese, including our visitor from the patrol, who showed us some bundles of beaver and otter collected from the Kuriles. We were also shown some brown and red fox furs. Afterwards

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we inspected our building, which we were able to visit from the ship at any time. This was proceeding very slowly because the servants responsible were all this time suffering from various illnesses: headaches, asthma, coughs and bloody flux. On 2nd November we called expressly on the Japanese overseer and the agent living with him to buy some rice for the sick servants, but they refused, saying that they would not dare make such a transaction for money or exchange of any sort of goods, but that they would provide for our needs without taking anything from us. They only had husked rice, as it is mostly sold throughout Japan unpolished, and each household polishes its own in special wooden mortars, and would send some after it had been processed. We declined to take it from them for nothing, but on the 6th they respectfully send us 2 puds, which we accepted and thanked them for. On the 17th, on the completion of our buildings on shore, we transferred to the cabin and the men to the barracks, leaving a guard on the ship, which we changed every month. On 12th December there arrived from Matmai a senior official, by name Sujigi Kumazo Shigeiloshi, together with a physician named Katoo Kengo Kiotoshi. The rank of the senior official was mitsute [metsuke].10 On the 13th this official and the physician visited us in our cabin, and taking the first leaf of a written paper read out as follows: ‘The letter sent by you has been received by our governor, and transmitted to the capital, Edo, with his own report. Therefore I have been sent to inform you of this and to remain here both to protect you from any trouble which you may meet from the Kuriles and to provide any other assistance which you may require.’ After this he bowed to everyone after his custom, and asked about the number of our people and wrote down their names and also their total number and some Russian words. Then he took from his pocket book a folded sheet on which were depicted the two hemispheres of the globe, and pointed out the four continents, Europe, Asia, Africa and America. But as this was evidently a very old work and many times recopied, not corresponding in the least with present-day depictions, we showed him a large recently printed globe and maps of the four continents. When he saw these he put down his own map and took a great interest in them and was very pleased both with the areas they depicted and with the division into continents and countries, as also with the coats of arms that were printed on the maps. When this was over, extremely pleased, he asked that since we were all going to winter together we should make equally friendly visits to him, and after we had exchanged greetings and shared refreshments he took his leave and returned home. On the 14th, for better acquaintance, we decided by common consent to send in the name of His Excellency11 a present consisting of several arshins of cloth, some velvet and two of Morocco, which was delivered through the interpreter. However, the official would not accept this present, explaining that their law and custom would not allow him to do so until the report on our

38 Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan arrival had been presented to their emperor by the central government, and permission had been received from His Majesty for us to proceed wherever the government should direct us, and therefore the interpreter brought it back again. The interpreter also stated that Kumazo† had asked if we would lend him the globe and atlas for a short time for curiosity’s sake, and said that with our permission he intended to copy them. We sent these things to him. The next day I visited him and saw his method of copying. He placed over the map a sheet of fine oil-paper, though which even the smallest writing could be read very clearly, and skilfully traced around it with a brush, not making the least mistake. While I was there I also saw a Japanese map of the island of Matmai or Ezzo [Ezo], including the island of Karap [Karafuto],12 which lies opposite this island to the north-west and south-west side, and was given it on my request for copying. After this had been copied and annotated in Japanese by the physician Kengo, it was given to the navigator Mr Lovtsov for better information when sailing. On the 22nd there arrived from Matmai another official of the same rank as the first to assist him. He visited us and spoke the same words as the first official, and likewise after refreshments and an exchange of greetings returned home. <. . .> On the 29th there arrived at the Nimuro landing-place two officials from the capital who had been posted to Matmai on special business. The first had the rank of gofushin yagu [gofushin yaku] and was called Tanabi Assuzo; the second had the rank of ogobito metsuke [okobito metsuke] and was called Takusakowa Renjiro;13 with them was a physician named Gen-Nanyu GenNan. On the 30th these officials and the physician visited us and, paying their respects, announced that, hearing in Matmai of our arrival, they had undertaken to come here entirely out of curiosity to see us. Then they asked about the distance to our country, its size and extent, about various customs and, seeing various objects, about factories, workshops and manufactures. They inspected our gold, silver and bronze coins, and also our map showing the two hemispheres of the globe, which they too asked for copying. I tried to satisfy all their curiosity through the interpreter with the most detailed explanations, but as they lived completely at the expense of the Matmai governor, and as the local officials, on hearing the news of their arrival, had to build another thatch barracks and, moving into this, vacate their own house, it was very evident that under the guise of their own personal curiosity they had been sent ahead on purpose for a thorough investigation of our true intentions, as we evidently appeared suspicious. As time went on we became better acquainted and visited each other often.

Throughout the whole country the Japanese call each other by a single name, and although a surname is also placed in front, this is used only in writing.

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For our part we also visited the Matmai officials, but after the arrival of the officials from Edo they no longer dared come to us. As for the interpreter, I ordered him to visit them every day to learn their language, and they also asked for him, since they needed a translation of the captions on the maps, and each of them was eager to have a copy. In our dealings with the Japanese we were able to note that they were very diligent and hard-working; they did not leave our ship without making a model of it and asking for a man to advise them on the rigging, and so the quartermaster was sent. They made a sketch of the octant and even of the lathe which I had with me, and made wooden templates of our instruments. <. . .> On February 10th, as I was always seeking through the interpreter to find out the disposition and thoughts of the Japanese regarding the Russian people, he reported the following conversation which among other discussions he had overheard between the Edo officials Yassuzo,‡ Renjiro and the physician Gen-Nan: We in Japan have long been assured by the Dutchmen who trade with us that the Russian state deals harshly and barbarically with anyone of whatever country or law who finds himself in Russia. Therefore the senior Matmai and Edo officials, relying on information received, although they accepted the letter sent through Matmai stating that your embassy from Russia was prompted by humanity and neighbourliness for the return of our subjects and the conclusion of an entirely friendly union for the future, were unable altogether to believe it, and we even came to the Nimuro landing-place expecting great danger.§ For that reason we also believe that in light of the intelligence received from the Dutch, even after receiving the news of your arrival, our emperor will continue to doubt that your enterprise is directed at friendly relations and the conclusion of a treaty until he receives the letter we have sent from here, in which we have only spoken of your intention to establish friendship and of your friendly behaviour known to us. In particular, we were convinced by the story of our compatriots whom you have returned to this place. By fate they had landed on the most remote islands, which were under Russian control, and were rescued by Russians who happened to be there, first from hunger and secondly from attack by the inhabitants of the island, and without the Russians’ help and concern they would have been killed. Moreover, by the innate kindness of


Tanabi Yassuzo said that he had served with the Dutch for nine years in Nagasaki and understood some words of their language, and had their alphabet and a word list written out by the Dutch and transcribed into Japanese letters with a description of the pronunciation of terms. Kumazo, the first of the Matmai officials, sent from Matmai with the news that our letter had been received, also confessed to the interpreter that when he set off for this place, on what was considered a desperate venture, he was seen off by everyone with tears, and he himself wept.

consisting of rice. tobacco. and four juniors: 1) Takahashi Feizo. who had been here on a previous occasion. named Matsumae Feigaku. wine. had been sent from Edo to Matmai for our expedition. the Dutch will not be wholly pleased. and with it they also received a private letter in which they were informed that two senior officials. 4) Tamura Tamuimlon. 2) Meya Yassujiro.40 Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan the Russian people they were taken into the interior parts of your country. and with them sixty attendants. considering that. On the 29th the two Edo officials and the doctor Gen-Nan departed for Matmai. On the morning of the 11th a sailor died of scurvy. without considering the expense and not stopping at the danger to her people of the sea voyage. and with them are two of the most senior Matmai officials: 1) Kondo Kijizaemon. arrived from Matmai. around 7000 puds of cargo. if our Emperor allows his subjects to undertake trade with the subjects of your kingdom. travelling in a large suite comprising five hundred attendants of lower rank. cast iron pots. 2) Kudo Feyemon. as we can see. to be accompanied to their homeland. ** Matsumae is the family name of the Matmai governor. which was fairly large and carried. according to the Japanese. peas. The new arrival was a close relative of the governor. As many as fifteen people were suffering from this disease during the whole spring period so that it was impossible to make a reconnaissance by boat to survey the surrounding area. On 6th April another official. and the Great Russian Empress deigned to order these little travelling people. . that they should hasten to return to Matmai. you will bring the same things as they.’ On the 9th at 3 o’clock in the morning. 3) Otai Hikobe. This senior official has with him two juniors: their names are 1) Murata Hiozaemon. of the same rank as those who were sent previously. Once a true and correct account from us concerning your activities and character has been received and examined. Yassuzo further said: ‘I believe that. we hope that an instruction in your favour will result. Also on the 11th from curiosity we visited the Japanese ship. only with the difference that the Russian kingdom is evidently much closer to us than distant Holland. other metal objects. a Japanese ship arrived and rode at anchor. <. 3) Oda Shenshiro. who were not of noble status.> . as was their wish. . 2) Inoue Tatsunosuke.** The next day he visited us and announced the following: ‘I have been sent by the Matmai governor to work with the officials here and to inform you that for precise information in answer to the letter sent by you.’ On 20th March an order was sent to the Edo officials. an envoy sent by one of the two officials of the fifth class who have been posted to Matmai by order of our Emperor is travelling to this place.

which are opened up for loading and unloading and cannot be allowed to get wet. Pacific and hunchback salmon. beaver. and this is also used when necessary to lower the mast and later to raise it again just like the winch on any harbour. in order to hunt and purchase these things to exchange for Japanese goods. The deck also seemed unsuitable for a long voyage as it is made up of small detachable boards. All outer edges and the keel under the bows are tightly bound with copper.> The Japanese take the following goods from the hairy Kuriles: all kinds of dried and salted fish. in whose presence the Kuriles. and then travel together with the inhabitants of that island in five hundred boats to the nineteenth. the local pale sables and foxes. . but when they returned they were always supervised by the Japanese. the keel is curved like a bow. When it rains. and bear and goat skins. not only did not dare to speak. simple lacquered wooden bowls. and there is not time to lower the sail. . but chiefly red fish that is caught around the Sea of Penzhinsk. because the ties are very loose. which was distributed through the Japanese. there was also a cupboard where their nautical idols were kept. gathering together from here and the twenty-first island. or especially in a squall. cotton fabric.> On the morning of 22nd April we were informed by a specially sent messenger that the Japanese official Kumazo had died. eighteenth. It has a single mast and a single large sail in two sheets fastened together in such a way that when travelling in bad weather.15 At the end of May they return to the fishing grounds with their load of dried mushrooms of various kinds. otter. They have seven anchors with four flukes like grapnels. it fills out and. seventeenth and sixteenth islands. Feeling sad at his .Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan 41 tobacco pipes. . and various other small things for the hairy Kuriles. it was quite impossible to produce one. from servility to the Japanese. each of the sheets moves separately and the wind can pass freely between them. leave for the twentieth island every year in mid-March. bear fat and much valued bear bile. they did all this. since the Japanese employed all their efforts to keep them from us so that we could not learn anything from them. The cabin was very tidy and everything was covered with lacquer. . needles. The sail is raised using a windlass inside the cabin. The Kuriles. they weave a flimsy roof of rushes and cover the deck with ricestraw matting. Secondly we had no interpreter who knew their language. but would not themselves accept the tobacco we gave them for their labours. sea-lions and seals. the ship narrows from midships towards the prow. also furs brought from the other islands. brass. <. and herring. The stern of their ship is open so that it is dangerous to go far out into the open sea. <. Siberian. In the first place we were unable to gain their confidence and converse with them.14 for example. As for a detailed description of the hairy Kuriles. A yawl is lowered to the water. So that when we asked them to send the Kuriles for firewood or to collect wild garlic for the sick. or even to see them except rarely. fish oil and oil from whales.

All Japanese officials down to the very least of them wear two swords. where a second formal ceremony will be held over them as if over the body itself. while the other officials went back to the dead man’s house and held a wake. meaning ‘Go away directly and do not return!’ They carried the coffin in this manner: one man walked in front with a lantern. and because there were no priests here. made their farewells. and behind him another carried the small round loaves placed on their little table. I sent him to watch the order of ceremony used at the burial.‡‡ A coffin was prepared. Then after a while they lit their ordinary candles. Then. when he was born and when he died. while others beat on the coffin. and they placed him inside. he could not be buried entirely – his hair and tobacco pipe will be sent to Matmai. to which I received the reply that there was no reason to look at a dead body and that we should not go. lifted it with two men at either end and bore it off. each throwing in a handful of earth. his hands placed together in the position normally adopted for prayer. Two lacquer cups were also placed on it – one with water and one with steamed rice. After this they shaved the dead man’s head and put the hair aside. I asked if we could see him. as the interpreter had been very close to him. In the evening a lantern was placed on the grave. . they installed it in the place of honour and in front of it on a small table they placed white buns of rice paste decorated with cut paper instead of flowers. ran it on to a long four-sided carrying beam. they lowered the coffin into it.42 Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan death as we had lived together for over four months on very friendly terms. On the 30th after 2 o’clock in the afternoon one of the Japanese we had †† ‡‡ As he was of good birth and a rich man. The other officials and servants came behind. and after erecting at a sazhen’s distance from the grave a four-sided post with an inscription stating his name. one long and one short. They bound up the coffin with white cotton material. Meanwhile everyone cried out the following words. and here the ceremony finished. with a father and many relatives in Matmai. immediately after his death. 2 feet wide and 2½ high. and with prayers on the other sides. and the next day a three-legged trivet was placed there with a hook on which they hung a teapot.†† Then they washed him and dressed him in his best clothes and thrust his two swords into his sash. smoking candles were set before the idols and a prayer was recited according to their law. However. Arriving at the grave. which was 2 square arshins in size. covering the coffin with black silk material. On April 29th in the evening the Edo and Matmai officials arrived with sixty Japanese and accompanied by a hundred and fifty hairy Kuriles. with his head bent slightly forwards and a rosary in his right hand. behind him followed two rows of officials and then the dead man. Merchants have the right to wear only a single sword. at which they ate steamed rice and fried beans. The servants stayed to fill in the grave. 3 English feet in length. ‘Maku – guni ikashari’. <> then recited a prayer and closed and nailed down the lid. When he returned in the evening after the funeral he reported as follows: First.

if they declined. In the morning of 1st May. When we came into the room we were received a second time by the two junior Edo officials with a greeting and seated on chairs made especially for us. the Edo and Matmai officials who had arrived on 29th April visited us in our cabin to notify us of their arrival and to state that they had been sent in response to our letter of 12th October the previous year by the officials of the fifth grade sent by their emperor to Matmai. but. I wanted to consider the matter. instead of walls. once the dead man had been handed over to his own people he had. said that he would not agree. and to inform you. however. put him in the coffin that had been brought like the official mentioned above. then recited a prayer. called sakke [sake] in their language and brewed from rice. These arrived there on 26th February. they served us tea and snacks. Inside. and on 18th March sent three of their own officials and four Matmai officials to this landing-place to meet you. but as the navigator Mr Lovtsov. Koichi.Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan 43 brought with us. there are sliding paper screens so that in case of need a large hall for receptions can be made from many rooms. But the Japanese came the same hour to certify the death and ordered a coffin to be made and a grave dug. . and for the Japanese servants to take him to a tent where they washed the dead man and dressed him in a sackcloth shirt. Of these matters we hereby inform you. trusting to a Japanese doctor. and whomever necessary.§§ I sent to inform the Japanese and especially the doctor who treated him. that. who was with me. Then at the bidding of the senior Edo official the senior of the Matmai officials took out a sheet of paper and read the following words: ‘In respect of your letter sent to the Governor of Matmai on 12th December last year and presented by him.’ Hearing this order that was so inconsistent with our intentions. At the gates were posted two men with spears. that you should go with them by land to the town of Matmai. and to request them to bury him according to their customs. we would bury him ourselves. nailed it down and bound it up as before. the commanding Russian officer. In order to explain the matter which had brought them they asked that we visit them in the afternoon. <. . saying. His Majesty our Emperor had the kindness to send two officials of the fifth grade to Matmai on 4th January of this year for assessment and resolution of this matter. In the afternoon we went to them and were met in the street by two Matmai officials. for inspection to determine what action should be taken. I answered in these words: ‘I am unable to carry out §§ Scurvy is unknown to the Japanese.> . closed the lid. died of scurvy. The room had been arranged in this way. neglected it and attempted to cure himself by various medicines and acupuncture. which we promised to do. although on leaving the Aleutian Islands for Kamchatka he had been in the grip of this disease and had received some relief by the use of wild garlic. When we had sat down and they had taken their places with the other seated officials. and before 7 o’clock took it to the grave and buried it. after transmission to the capital. and brought us small lacquer cups of wine.

to lend them one for this purpose until we got to Matmai. had perhaps issued directions on this basis for our protection. Moreover. saying they had no cannons.’ To this the senior official replied: ‘Since I was sent to return by land and make the necessary preparations along the road and provide for your provisioning to the best of my ability. we would not put in but would continue at sea. for whenever there is a contrary wind or fog in open places. and said that they would consult among themselves on the matter and let us know their conclusions through the interpreter.44 Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan the order of the officials sent from the capital to Matmai that I should proceed there by land. however. with the return trip. by the time we had travelled there and back. will not permit us to agree to a journey of this sort or to dividing our expedition.16 knowing how dangerous the sea voyage was. Therefore I cannot agree to this. they would need first to report to their superiors and await permission. and the unfamiliar climate. Alternatively. and said as follows: ‘We have been informed by the interpreter that you agree for us to travel together by ship only once you have received permission. They further asked: could our ship travel together with theirs. This. and ride at anchor while awaiting a favourable wind.’ Then they said that their emperor or Kubo-Sama. the known length and difficulty of the journey. they approach the shore. and by then. with a good wind. the season would have reached late autumn and the winds would have begun which generally come from the north. which they refused. if they liked. At these words we made various explanations to prove that they should not be concerned. would involve considerable delay and lead to a second wintering at this landing-place. on the contrary. but I know that a reply to your submission cannot be obtained in less than two months. But they refused. go far out to sea and therefore could become separated. whereas we. Therefore I assure you that we can receive permission by 20th June or in about forty days’ time. even if we were allowed to travel by ship. we could establish day and night signals using lanterns and cannon shots. which is dangerous for our ship. and when a change came would soon be back in the same place. because I have from my superiors an order to deliver your subjects who are in our charge and a letter directly to whatever place may be appointed only by ship. at which we proposed. even in a contrary wind. and this would force us to winter here a second time. for my part I am unable to agree to any proposal other than the one I have put forward. On the 3rd I went again for discussions with the Japanese officials. which they at no time lose sight of. whereas by ship. and that using calculations. but that. the officials asked that discussion of this matter should be postponed to the following day. they themselves knew that by land it would take at least a month. On the 2nd they summoned our interpreter and told him to inform us that they agreed to travel together with our ship in their own.’ Hearing this. and therefore asked us to agree to wait until that time. which was at Atkis harbour. saying that the local inhabitants . as they had been ordered to bring us by land and not by ship. it could be done in three days.

On the afternoon of the 4th we were visited by the Edo leaders and the Matmai officials. so that we should know which voyage to prepare for. To the question. they said that this was a difficult question for them and that they intended to consult on the matter with the Matmai officials and to visit us with an answer on the following day. they could quickly obtain wheat flour. Then I interrupted them and said if this arrangement was dangerous then we could omit it except for the lanterns. and therefore we needed a direct answer from them. they found no alternative but to wait for definite orders on this matter. and otherwise. we would also hope to pass without harm. they had brought with them as proof a paper on which these obstacles were roughly indicated together with the route taken by their ships. I asked them: had not the chief officials sent by the Kubo-Sama to Matmai foreseen in their orders or instructions that. but finding the route around the cape of this island to be dangerous because of the number of small islands and also submerged rocks. if that was the reason we would not agree to proceed by land. but if they could pass safely. so. trusting in God. Otherwise. as the closest person across the sea to the chief rulers of their land. then they would not be able to resolve our case. Finally. then. Further. the Matmai leaders summoned our interpreter to them and told him that the Edo officials had commanded them to ask whether we were concerned about a lack of food supplies for our servants. surprised at their objections and stubborn insistence. and said that. After we had left their house. we could bypass all the small islands and rocks by . which made for a very narrow and winding passage. there was nothing further we could do other than proceed according to our orders and prepare either to go onwards or back. if not. On hearing this speech and thinking on it. the most senior of them began to speak as follows: that they had consulted among themselves. they had ordered us to be told that they would impose on those in command here the duty to supply us as long as necessary. Thus they tried to dissuade us from the sea voyage by listing its various dangers. they answered that it was not more than 50 sazhens and that we should send men to inspect it to make sure. to which we replied that of course we would do this in advance. if we would not agree to divide our expedition and did not wish to proceed by land. and to whom? I explained that it was written by the governor-general of the two provinces of Irkutsk and Kolyvan’ at the personal wish of the Great Russian Empress. then from whom was it. in which case they would answer for any obstacle we encountered. if first-hand examination suggested the passage would be dangerous for us.Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan 45 were not used to hearing the sound of cannon for no reason and might be brought to confusion. repeatedly advising us to agree to travel by land. from curiosity they asked me was the letter I had with me from our empress herself to be delivered to their Kubo-Sama. how wide was the narrowest place. If our people were not accustomed to rice for everyday use. and that if they were sent here only on that basis. since we could not allow the delay that would be needed for the correspondence. After the usual greetings and refreshments.

where their ship lay. requesting. and that only simple people dared to travel on them? We. and asking. but we ask you first to await the arrival of our ship and not to go to Atkis without it. We showed them our maps and globes. but only to make things easier for them and for their earliest return. asking how they could propose to voyage with us. seeing that they themselves considered their ships to be very poor. and having made a tolerable number of voyages. however. could we expect their ship to be here in about ten days. After this they renewed their arguments. would fear nothing on such a journey. etc. however. It is vain to trust in God when you despise all advice and rush headlong into danger with no care for your own safety. The senior Edo official replied: ‘We are agreed that we will travel together in both ships. After this they were about to leave. which was in no way out of the ordinary.’ This was because. I told them that we did not wish anyone to suffer such consequences. when should anything happen they would be held to answer. we agreed. However. then the authorities would conclude that they had given us permission to travel by sea. and they – they said pointing to their necks – would be punished. but I detained them and said that they had told us nothing definite and asked how long and on what basis our negotiations would continue. but it would depend on the winds: if they were favourable they would not delay and would arrive soon. could rather take them on board at their convenience. not considering our ship so dangerous. or when did they anticipate it would arrive? They replied that they could not say with certainty. that they should hasten to send the necessary order. Interrupting these words. reach Atkis harbour. On this they took their leave and departed. if they could not act otherwise. Shikotu [Shikotan]. and the voyage was also protracted. as we knew that their ships delay passage through this place for a very long time waiting for the quietest favourable weather. asked you to travel by land. and also agreed that you could travel in our ship.46 Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan going further out to sea. would we not agree to leave our ship on arrival in Atkis and travel with them in their ship? We refused. in thirty-two years of experience of naval duties in Okhotsk port. and told them about our various sea voyages before our journey to the present place. or to persuade you to our proposal. At this they laughed. The senior of the Matmai officials continued: ‘We regret that although we have tried to discourage you from a dangerous sea voyage. having no order to this effect. On 14th May the navigator Olesov returned from Atkis harbour. together with the navigator from the Japanese ship which stood .’ To this point Mr Lovtsov answered that he. at their request. going through the wide strait. even past the twenty-first island. if they went from here to Atkis by land rather than by ship. and also about straits and reefs and promontories which commonly reach out into the sea. and. they suggested. we have nevertheless not been able to discourage you from your own proposed course of action. If they could find no way to sway us. where he had been sent. and since when in danger we always relied with hope on God. saying that they could not do this.

in order to inspect among other things the narrow passage around the eastern end of the cape of this island. and our calculations may be correct. But his delay results only from a lack of polished rice. Therefore. told them that evidently their captain paid very little attention to their orders. Because of our insecure mooring. and on my way back also called on them. and today. with the assurance that. who had been spending the recent time on mending a mast and salting fish. and if it has not arrived by then your intention is to put out to sea. and the delay has resulted from various failures on your part. On the 18th.’ The interpreter asked them what date it was today. and finally. On the 19th I went especially to the Edo officials with the following statement: ‘Although it was our agreement to go together.Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan 47 there. and as our ship is fully laden and ready to depart.’ They replied . who said to him: ‘We have heard from the Matmai official Feihagu that according to your captain you will only wait for our ship until the 20th. according to your promise. I had been across to the sea on the southern side of the cape. it is dangerous for us to stand here in shallow water any longer. that fish has not yet been salted. fifteen days have already passed in which your ship could have come and gone three times. for we could call back there for it. when their captain received the order to depart from the special messenger. would proceed to this landing-place on the 20th. Therefore I went to the Edo officials to report what their navigator had said and. They answered: ‘If he is neglecting our orders not only he but also the officials sent here by the Matmai governor will suffer very bad consequences. while the interpreter was with the Japanese officials news was received from Atkis from their captain. you would designate for our voyage one person who knows the lie of the coast to Matmai. As it is high time for us to depart. We request that you clarify this and keep us fully informed. where the above conversation was repeated to me. to which I replied that indeed we would wait no longer. to which he replied: ‘By our reckoning it is the 16th May.’17 Meanwhile. On 16th May the interpreter was summoned to the Edo officials. lest some harm befall us. we should be grateful if.’ They assured us that the following day they would send a special messenger with the strictest reminder that he hasten his arrival as much as possible.’ At this I said to them: ‘If that is so. and evidently as time goes on you will invent new excuses for delay. in doing so. and I was asked to delay until the arrival of their ship. repair of a mast. which is being got ready there for the proposed journey. They answered that it was 18th April. You have presented excuses about a lack of prepared rice for the journey. there would be no further delay. it seems your navigator is wasting time. as could clearly be seen from his tardiness. as four days still remain until the arrival of your ship. after the repairs. They also asked me whether we would really put out to sea on the 20th without waiting for their ship. I must hereby state that we have resolved to leave this place in two days’ time. He reported that the Japanese navigator wanted to leave Atkis no earlier than in five days’ time.

we could send a boat to pick them up as we passed Atkis. I replied that each of us had his own duties. what things may happen and how they should be resolved.’ On this I wished to leave. and even if it had been necessary for us to come in greater numbers. being certain that our journey is known about generally. but what if on their arrival here they then continued to delay? They answered that their complement was not large. we were still sent by order of our Kubo-Sama both to meet you and to establish the best order from our side. on the contrary. ‘On your statement that no treaty of friendship has yet been drawn up between our countries.’ I said: ‘There is no need to trouble yourselves about that. or all other things necessary to your own advantage. since we are only here for that purpose. and hence we beg you to wait for our ship and.’ I asked. if they agreed. but you speak without knowing our laws.48 Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan that they would gladly give us two men. Mr Lovtsov. and do not consider it a burden. I could not agree to this delay on my own account without agreement among ourselves and putting their request to Mr Lovtsov. For this reason we have sent an order to our captain this morning that he should not fail to take advantage of a favourable wind and should hasten to arrive here as quickly as possible. because we were sent to fetch you by land. but. I told them. We.’ They answered: ‘Of course what you say is true. but that we would instead travel together by ship. we could get by without them. if you appear alone the local authorities will not be able to make you a suitable greeting when they meet you. but they further asked why as commander I could not decide alone on the proposed delay. and if you had not come. therefore he had the right to insist on an early departure in order . They answered: ‘It is not known that you will travel by ship alone. if you delay then perhaps by the time you arrive we will be ready for the return journey. They replied that they could give no such order. notwithstanding this assurance. we are able to speak and can explain ourselves. not seeing us. they could be ready in half a day. when it arrived they would choose the best. travel together with us. as envoys. and said that they could hear what we had decided if they would call on us in the afternoon. only as their ship had not arrived they had none here. I said that. I also regret that you have had so many unnecessary difficulties during the winter in your continual journeys to this place. and although we have sent a special messenger with the news that you did not agree. I said that was too long to wait. In any case I think that you will hasten to join us. In that case. Your arrival here is the first such arrival. this is not the place to pursue discussions. and we assure you that he will be here in four days’ time without fail. without knowing either the lie of the land. we would have been able to complete the journey entrusted to us long ago. There is still no treaty of friendship between our two countries. are required on handing over your subjects to deliver a letter with an explanation of everything intended. as captain. In our letter we certainly did not ask for this. was entrusted with the disposition of the ship and its crew. Now you do not wish to wait for us. they will fall into doubt and dismay. proceeding on our journey as instructed.

they replied: ‘The letter we sent to Matmai has not yet arrived.’ To this he replied: ‘We are tired of waiting for you again and again at your advice and request. a navigator and his assistant. Then they asked us again to consider their proposal. or completely smashed to pieces from its pitching and rolling. to show us the passage through the narrow places and the anchoring points as far as Matmai. I will be held responsible if any discrepancy. then to come together by ship without loss of time. for the danger of this landing-place during winter bad weather. any extended bad weather should ensue. our chief officers can intercede with your government’. is discovered. who in his presence had received a letter containing instructions about our journey: if you did not agree to proceed by land. since the bay is not very deep and has a ground of rocks and loose stones. On the 28th. and since by our regulations I am required without fail to note in my log everything that we have done each day. while they delayed. or in wooden Kurile boats and there transfer it to their ship. who on his arrival said: ‘We have heard from the interpreter that you are transferring to your ship and intend to proceed to Matmai without waiting for our ship. but if. and on our return this will bear witness. On 21st May the interpreter announced to me that he had been to the Edo officials. who no doubt reported on this matter. On the 27th the Edo officials sent two men. they wanted to visit us for discussions. but this instruction was issued on the return from here of the officials Yassuzo and Renjiro. greater than those that had been frequently felt through the whole winter. promising to come in the afternoon with the Matmai officials to hear our joint opinion. On hearing this. particularly with a falling tide. we were completely ready to depart. which threw everyone on the ship into dismay. . and therefore I could not make a delay without his agreement. suggesting that perhaps this had set out on today’s favourable wind. and asked him to wait for their ship. between 2 and 3 o’clock in the afternoon. To the question: ‘How have you now been able to receive a reply to your letter so quickly’. Then after a while Mr Lovtsov was summoned to the Matmai officials.’ They told him not to worry on this score: ‘If you wish it. He would have to answer for this consequence to the ship.Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan 49 to protect the ship.’ On the 26th I sent the interpreter to the Japanese officials to inform them of our removal to the ship to await a favourable wind for a safe departure. Today. the ship could be damaged. but since we were moving to the ship we put them off. The same day at 6 o’clock in the afternoon we completed the transfer to our ship. was quite well known. especially regarding time. even for a ship which had been unloaded and had its rigging put away so that it would stand up better to the winds. having agreed to travel together. Then he advised them that they could load all their equipment into our ship and themselves travel to Atkis by land. there was a strong earthquake. They answered that his proposal was reasonable and they would not fail to communicate it to the Edo officials and consult with them.

and were informed by a Japanese who came out to our ship that the leading Japanese officials had arrived at Nimuro the previous day from their ships and ordered him. On the 17th between 2 and 3 o’clock in the afternoon the Edo and Matmai officials who had come from Nimuro on the ship came to us and asked us to send them one of our under-officers for the journey. Among these ships was the one belonging personally to the Matmai governor. where we rode on two anchors until midday. On the 14th we weighed anchor and tacked until the 16th. and cast anchor. the others on 1st June – the second at 7 o’clock in the morning. as we had agreed the previous day. nineteenth and twenty-second islands. where the Japanese ship stood waiting. But since we could not reach it and the wind turned contrary. . it was favourable. At 6 o’clock we weighed anchor. and on the 11th found ourselves 3 versts off the Nimuro landing-place. We asked the messenger to send us a few boats to assist with our passage. the fifth at 6 o’clock in the afternoon – and the sixth on 2nd June at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.50 Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan On 31st May after midday we saw a fleet of Matmai ships approaching. We moved off again when the wind changed. The first anchored at 7 o’clock. and with the aid of these we passed through that often-mentioned dangerous place. and should rest at anchor as they would. At 6 o’clock in the morning we reached the Eruri Islands. Between 10 and 11 o’clock in the morning we passed by the Japanese buildings and the Kurile settlement of Notka at a distance of 13 versts <. we should make for the island of Suisho. were standing on the southern side of the Eruri islets and. At 11 o’clock a Japanese came from the landing-place and informed us that the Japanese officials. But I replied that such an . Therefore.> Towards 12 o’clock the Japanese ship with the officials overhauled us and returned in a circle around us just to shout to us from the ship that the wind was not suitable for traversing the narrow passage. unfurled our sails and departed. which had come from Atkis to convey the Japanese officials. although the wind was weak. when he saw us. On the morning of the 4th. . which lay opposite. and we were faced with a very dangerous journey in a square around the twentieth. when in the morning we again came up to Notka. We decided to advise the Japanese of our departure by cannon shot. to request that we went to them for discussions. being worried about us. had sent Kuriles to all the landing-places and other possible spots to try and obtain news of us. we did not drop anchor where we were because Mr Lovtsov thought to get closer by tacking. But the wind grew stronger. But we did not agree because it became calm and we proposed to cross the narrow passage with the aid of tugs. dropping anchor several times when we were close to the shore. On 3rd June both the Edo and Matmai officials came on board our ship to arrange for the departure which they proposed for the following day if there was a favourable wind. twenty-first. who had long since passed through the narrow passage. the third and fourth at 8 o’clock.

18 On that they ceased to pursue the matter. the Japanese weighed anchor and passed around us with five ships. <. which they bought very cheaply for small silver coins. around the harbour there were numerous Kurile huts. At 11 o’clock the fog lifted and we could see on the shore a Japanese village surrounded by ploughed fields. with whose sort one can take hostages for security. the red fish had appeared: Siberian. . but not with enlightened officials sent from the Great Russian Empire as ambassadors. I asked him where he had got them. where there was a sandy bay with a steep bank of earth. Pacific and hunchback salmon. . However. On the 28th we left the ship for a Japanese building inside the harbour where the overseer and several of his servants lived. At that time. and as we were no more than 400 sazhens from the shore we dropped both anchors and . as for example between them and the hairy Kuriles. and on his return said that if we sailed north we would find ourselves on the southern side of Edomo harbour. On 1st July at 5 o’clock in the morning we cast anchor because of the strong current we had observed. The harbour is fairly large and very convenient both for ships and large boats. During the sale one of the Kuriles changed a silver rouble for smaller coins. On the 3rd just after 5 o’clock in the morning we weighed anchor and tacked. On the 18th. On the 24th at 6 o’clock in the evening we reached Atkis harbour and at 9 o’clock cast anchor in a depth of 10 sazhens.> On the 19th I landed on Matmai Island. It has a clay bottom and is protected from the winds by a circle of medium-sized mountains covered in mixed forest. . At 8 o’clock in the evening we reached a small island called Kidab. On the 23rd after midnight.> While we were in the overseer’s house at 9 o’clock in the morning there was an earthquake. we went on to the above mentioned islands where we were anchored. who were engaged in fishing. leaving behind two Japanese ships which stood awaiting a southerly wind to take them through the narrow passage back to Nimuro. On the 21st at 5 o’clock in the morning a Matmai ship passed us going to the Nimuro landing-place. off which there is also a suitable place for ships to wait during stormy weather. and on the morning of the following day the Japanese navigator went on shore in our leather boat on reconnaissance.Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan 51 arrangement is only made through mistrust with unenlightened and wild peoples. . <. taking advantage of a light wind. covered with spruce. firs and birches. They worried in vain that we would go past the agreed harbour of Edomo. cod and turbot. because there was no wind. On the 29th at 9 o’clock in the morning we weighed anchor and left the roads of Atkis harbour. In the evening we suddenly heard the sound of breakers. and disappeared from sight in front of us. He replied that he had received them from other Kuriles on Karap Island. Right on the shore was a settlement of hairy Kuriles. When I learned of this. They had plenty for provisioning and our servants laid in a special stock. after the herring.

They even threw bars at the people and. with two officials in two large boats. In the evening he sent for the ship’s company a three-vedro barrel of wine or sakke. Not long after 3 o’clock the daigwan [daikan]. but actually in the Tsungara [Tsugaru] Strait. he departed to make the necessary arrangements. for which. where we cast anchor. Two hours later a merchant and master of a house famous throughout the island was sent to the ship. Also on the 4th. chasing them further off. we arrived in the roads of Hakodade [Hakodate] harbour. as for their help in bringing the ship into harbour. At midday the Edo official came and. On his return to land. we thanked them. which in the morning we used as a tug in order to avoid the dangerous place. Then the Japanese navigator confessed that on the 2nd we had not been on the southern side of Edomo harbour. who stood in . They dropped anchor to allow the men to rest. coming down from the ship in the guard yawl. the guards pushed them all away with iron rods. ordering through his men that our ship be brought closer to the shore. On the morning of the 6th a similar barrel was sent by the mayor. but after 6 o’clock they were again sent out by the mayor with their grapnels and cables and continued dragging us until dusk. or mayor of the town. who like the mayor was followed as a mark of distinction by a lance-bearer. as the wind was against us and we were also moving against the swelling current of the outgoing tide. invited us into the town. He greeted us politely and said that he had been ordered to assist us in any way we required. So that we should not be troubled by the large mass of people who had surrounded the ship in boats and whose curiosity often led them to come alongside and ask permission to climb up. At dawn on the 5th they came again and towed us with the grapnel. then when we had got into the harbour we came to our anchoring place with the assistance of a tug. came on board the ship. we progressed very slowly. and on this he departed. offering us the use of his baths: did we not wish to wash after our journey? And when we agreed. However. beat them without mercy. between 2 and 3 o’clock in the afternoon. he accordingly sent out from the town as many as thirty large boats to act as tugs and guide our ship into the harbour. After lunch the mayor came on board with three officials in full dress and brought us a present of twenty turbot. They then told us that the Edo official who had been sent to Matmai from the Nimuro landing-place by land on the news of arrival had arrived in Hakodade from Matmai. There we were formally met by the mayor and six officials. On the ship he left a guard of four men and one official. and that we should meanwhile decide the number of people who would continue to Matmai and determine the weight of all our luggage so that they would know how many horses and guides would need to be appointed. to take us on shore. This official himself arrived half an hour afterwards and when the first delegation had left said: that his companions whom we had left behind would arrive tomorrow.52 Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan lowered a boat on a chain.19 near the main island of Nipon.

and various sorts of peas.’ Then they asked the number of people who intended to go to Matmai. beans. There were peach trees. we saw no cattle. the strong currents took us past the appointed harbour. beans and tobacco. Here we were met a second time by the Edo official and taken into rooms that opened to the west on to a small garden presenting an allegorical view of a cliff made of large stones skilfully piled together and ornamented with various sorts of moss and shrubs. We were taken a short distance along a street lined with a multitude of both sexes sitting on the ground. and when the Japanese navigator recognised the land the wind was blowing away from Edomo. In the evening. Meanwhile we asked them to assign us a place where we could dry and keep our supplies until our return. On the 8th they came on board the ship and announced that they had been sent to ask why we had not gone to the appointed harbour of Edomo. radishes. we found three officials. which they promised to do.Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan 53 ornate dress in a row to the left. we saw no fowls except chickens. After washing in two specially prepared baths. who asked us how many carts we would need. carrots. At midday they assigned a warehouse for the storage and drying of our supplies. The officials remained all this time in their ornate clothes and after the meal took us back to the coast and to our ship with the same ceremony. On the 7th the Matmai and Edo officials who had been with us in Nimuro arrived in the town. Instead of bread they use only boiled rice. they declared that at least sixty horses and a hundred and fifty mats would be needed. However. together with four Edo officials newly arrived from Matmai. We told them twelve men. The mats were immediately brought on board the ship for packing. pulses. In the afternoon they allowed us to go out with one of the Matmai officials to the coast on the north side of the city. we were obliged to use the prevailing wind to proceed here. We replied: ‘Land was not visible after we left Atkis harbour because of fog. Consequently. but only horses. consisting largely of various sorts of salted and boiled seaweed and shellfish. walnuts. we were offered food at two small tables that were brought in. and we were most of the time becalmed. which they transferred there. where we walked to a village called Hameda. hemp. As the Japanese do not use four-legged animals for food. and saw on both sides of the road fields sown with rice. On the morning of the 9th the Edo officials sent carpenters to make boxes. beetroot. each house keeps dogs and especially cats. exactly how much luggage we had. Since it was very dangerous to lay over on that spot. flax. to a house over whose door was affixed a board with the inscription ‘Russian House’. on returning to the ship. and so we showed them our luggage. And after calculating all the weights. There were vegetables growing in the kitchen gardens: turnips. On the 10th we decided to find out if they would let us go for a walk through . and whether we would need mats to cover the luggage and protect it against rain. how much it weighed. excluding the Japanese in our care. cucumbers similar to Turkish cucumbers. but had come here. cherries and apples.

but our ships are rigged quite differently from yours. and they said that 2 versts outside the town there was a settlement where we could make our preparations. Every time we breakfasted. However. To this I replied: ‘As it is completely out of the question for me to entrust the ship to the hands of others. On 13th July in the morning they announced that we should breakfast before our departure and when everyone had been served also brought a small table with little bowls in which was placed a small portion of each dish of the food prepared for us. for their law forbids it. The conversation moved on to the ceremony on arrival at Matmai. as their law was inflexible. each was also equipped. where their superiors could decide the matter. On the 11th in the morning I sent the interpreter to ask permission for our servants to go on shore to wash our clothes. but that we should be patient until we arrived at Matmai. and that we should not expect here the same latitude as in the Kurile lands at the Nimuro landing-place. lunched or dined. and for me a silver set of excellent workmanship. rather than for us to travel from harbour to harbour and risk dangers at their whim. where we would be met ceremonially. coming together. where their superiors had more power to make a decision of this sort. one of the . and therefore require an expertise in handling which is unknown to your sailors. tobacco and spit. special bunks had been made and covered with animal skins. in reply to their report concerning our reasons for arriving in the present harbour. and for this reason alone it is dangerous to entrust them with this task. For sleeping. we cannot agree to this proposal. I said that we would not omit to do this. they had received the order that everyone I had designated for the journey to Matmai could proceed. I answered: ‘Everyone knows that in all countries subjects must obey the laws. They allocated a special building for the washing of our laundry. They further requested the interpreter to ask me in what order we would proceed on arrival in Matmai. while the ship with the others should be taken with their assistance to the agreed harbour of Edomo.’ However. with a lacquer smoking set with small bronze bowls for the ashes. At this all the officials. On the 12th from early morning we dispatched through the Japanese officials and servants all the goods and supplies that were to accompany us to Matmai to a building on shore appointed for our lodging. in the end they decided that the ship would remain here until we arrived in Matmai. but the Edo officials themselves came on to our ship and said firstly that.54 Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan the city streets. and we ourselves went there at 5 o’clock and were received as before with ceremony and presented with dinner on a separate table for each person. told the interpreter to convey to us that we should not distress ourselves that they could not allow this. as is their custom. would it not be better for their rulers to come here and decide on the spot everything that had been submitted to their judgment?’ They said that they could not decide otherwise.

vol. surveyor-sergeant Ivan Trapeznikov. Roberts & Green. were drawn up. who walked on either side in attendance.2 Japanese norimon. Collegiate Assessor Kokh. and only then invited us to eat. two more led a saddled horse in case I should wish to ride. both from Edo and Matmai. At 7 o’clock in the morning. Further back Mr Lovtsov was carried and behind him the volunteer. 1863. 96. The total number of officials. We were entertained with wine in the same manner. Green. <. Behind each of them was a lance-bearer as a sign of distinction and authority. and where we would spend the night. which was borne by four men while four more walked alongside to relieve them. 1. . Besides these. The Capital of the Tycoon.21 Also the others – the interpreter. where norimons. two officials set off ahead so that they would be able to meet and receive us in the villages along the road where lunch and later dinner would be prepared. Longman. Source: Rutherford Alcock. Tugolukov. And behind. London: Longman. which were led by the reins.20 like European Sedan chairs. two low-ranking overseers walked on each side in attendance. Figure 1. and they changed over every half hour on the move without stopping. who gave us assistance and hospitality was sixteen. the son of the commandant of Okhotsk. .Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan 55 officials came and ate from each bowl in our sight. the merchants Vlas Bobikov and Ivan Polnomoshnii and five servants rode on horses. and also had two Japanese overseers as servants.> At 8 o’clock the officials came and said that everything was ready for departure and escorted us to the front gate. I sat down in a norimon. so that we should not suspect that anyone proposed us harm. . p.

These were the village overseers and elders. and pack-horses with the luggage. Moreover. following which we arrived before 3 o’clock at a village called Figushima. The road everywhere. which was appointed for us to pass the night at a distance of 20 versts and 310 sazhens from Izumizawa. we went through villages and across rivers on bridges similar to those in China. reaching the village of Yoshoga. And behind these followed the other officials. . at a distance of 26 versts and 300 sazhens from Shiriuji. And after crossing the mountain we climbed another very high one. as at our first stop. The distance of this place from Hakodade was 34 versts and 30 sazhens. with bells hanging in a specially built raised structure over the entrance or porch. where. preparations had been made. and had evidently cost a great deal of work. Continuing in this order. and men on foot with the lighter burdens. Similarly. Other officials. Here. and with benches around all the walls. stood a temple. as a mark of distinction. these houses not only had painted screens along the inside walls. on our arrival we were met at the door by the officials who had gone ahead and led to rooms where everything had already been prepared after their custom. followed by their lance-bearers.56 Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan In front were the two Matmai officials. <. We went along the top ridge and descended very sharply to a stream. or depending on the size of the village ten people who had come out and were sitting with their heads bowed and in ornate clothes to greet us. Altogether with the servants and officials there were four hundred and fifty people. On the 16th in the morning we set off and. . but were covered on the outside with six strips of white cotton sewn together and stamped with the crest of the Governor of Matmai. at 11 o’clock arrived at two specially constructed thatch barns of which the one appointed for our use was covered inside and out with neatly edged white cotton with various printed designs. crossing a mountainous region. Our servants were attended in the same way behind. replacing the first.> On the approach to each village I saw two. As well as a temple this village had small shops. After lunch we continued to the village where we were to spend the night. winding descents. As we progressed I noticed that the sea shore was marked . After lunching here we set off further. set off again in advance and thus exchanged places for the whole journey. there were people on the way out of the village to a distance of about 150 sazhens. with an inscription as in Hakodade. three. stopped for lunch. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon we reached a village called Moheji. by name Izumizawa. was cut into the hillside. On the 15th at 6 o’clock in the morning we left here and. and the first of them by six and the second by three men. as in each of the villages we passed through. and especially on steep. On the 14th. In them. before 10 o’clock in the morning. we came to a village called Kilona. from whence. after lunching we continued further and came to a large village called Shiriuji. where a house was appointed for lunch. and there spent the night. as was provided in all the places we stopped in up to Matmai.

two men carried the lancers’ banner on a long staff with three gilt poppy-heads. one bearing a spear and the other with a large sunflower on a long staff. we were told that each man. also on a long staff. Two men led his horse by the bridle. then followed two more norimons. In front rode an Edo official in a white dress. measures out a part of the coastline to collect seaweed thrown up on the shore. and behind them lance-bearers.Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan 57 every 100 sazhens or more by ridges of large pebbles. We descended from this mountain and. and then a Matmai official on horseback like the Edo official. stopped there by a tent. where the Matmai people asked us whether we would like to drink tea or spring water. all in ornate dress of different kinds depending on their rank and duties. Behind these. After them came four men carrying lacquered boxes in cases of green waxed cloth. going 3 versts along the coast. and behind this eight men in two rows with lances. Behind this came eight men with bows and a second Matmai official on horseback. . behind whom came two lancebearers and four overseers. the officials occupied themselves with arrangements for the procession. three times the number of officials and servants had been sent from Matmai. Once the preparations had been made. led by the bridle by two men and with two more at either side. While we changed our clothes. and in the second a Matmai official. while two servants walked at either side. and their people obtain relief from various diseases by using them. and after climbing to the peak. half a verst away across a narrow valley. Behind him were two lance-bearers and the archers’ banner. we continued in the following order. In the first was the Japanese Kodai [Kodayu]. followed by Mr Lovtsov on horseback. with three curved iron badges shaped like crescents. After this I was carried in the governor’s norimon by a detail of eight men in ornate clothes. according to his family. under the largest of which the staff was bound round with scarlet cloth with ribbons an arshin long hanging down. From here we went 8 versts along the coast to the village of Reyerige and from here began to climb a mountain. and that each one of them may only harvest his prescribed area and the sea adjoining it. Then came two men abreast. other plants and shellfish. to relieve those who had come with us. From this summit. behind him were two lancebearers and two men bearing black lacquer boxes and then twelve men in two rows in black lacquer hats and with lances. passed through two villages and arrived at a third called Osamasura. The Matmai people told us that the hot springs on the side of this volcano are very beneficial to the health. because. Then in the same style came the interpreter Tugolukov. under which the staff was wrapped with scarlet cloth with white ribbons an arshin long hanging down. from among those whom I was escorting. the surveyor Trapeznikov. Then came twelve men with bows and quivers. where we stopped and were taken to a house. which according to the Japanese was the highest on the island of Matmai. and to the question what these were for. we could see one of the island’s three active volcanoes and thick smoke rising from it.

8 Catherine the Great. . the Governor of Irkutsk and Kolyvan’. 10 Metsuke: inspector. 9 Seventeenth island: North and South Chirpoi.. 16 The shogun was often referred to as ‘emperor’ in early foreign accounts of Japan. ‘Pervoe russkoe posol’stvo v Iaponiiu’. in which there was also a guard. Going inside. of which one was allocated to each of us. who had been at the Nimuro landing-place. 7 I. 4. the shogun.e. 1961. where along all the streets through which we passed the houses were open and filled with spectators of both sexes. . 14 Sea of Penzhinsk: name given to the north-east corner of the Sea of Okhotsk. pp. and all the other Japanese officials in similar ceremony.58 Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan the volunteer Kokh. 4 Twenty-second island: Ezo. In the rear rode an Edo official equal in rank to the one at the front of the procession. They outranked the Matsumae domain officials mentioned earlier. omitted footnotes as <>. eighteenth island: Urup. Before 3 o’clock in the afternoon we entered the town of Matmai. we noticed no one on the street apart from the street wardens and overseers who stood at each crossroads in ornate dress with lances. behind them came all the luggage on pack-horses. 11 I. they proceeded to the gates of the house designated for our use. Stopping here we were met by the Matmai officials and crossed the courtyard. Notes 1 Source: A. A. 13 These two officials were sent by the shogunal government in Edo to investigate Laxman’s appearance. 5 Egor Tugolukov had learned Japanese from the Japanese castaways at the school in Irkutsk. Preobrazhenskii. the two merchants. Ivan Alfer’evich Pil’. at which stood a guard of sixty men on either side. the Japanese Isokich [Isokichi] from our party.>. spherical in shape. with three Matmai crests depicted on it. we were met by the Edo officials and taken to various chambers. before which seven lances were posted. 15 Sixteenth island: Simusir. and installed ourselves. 3 Dmitrii Shabalin had participated in previous Russian expeditions to the Kurile Islands and the northern part of Ezo in 1778–9 and 1783–5. Coming up to a house. those on the left had bows and quivers. 118–39.e. reigned 1762–96. we were met by another procession with a gilded musketeers’ banner. though the larger part of it was carried by Japanese on foot. Joining up at the front with the others. no. 2 St Iona: island in the Sea of Okhotsk. . Passages omitted in the translation are indicated as <. and which was again held on a long staff. Hiozaemon. and five servants. Those on the righthand side had muskets sloped across their right shoulders and lighted fuses in their left hands. Between each of them walked two Matmai officials followed by lance-bearers.. 6 Twenty-first island: Chikotan. In this case apparently an official of the Matsumae government rather than the shogunate. 12 Sakhalin. Istoricheskii arkhiv. However.

at his own expense.Laxman: Journal of embassy to Japan 59 17 The discrepancy in dates is due to the fact that the Japanese were using a lunar and the Russians a solar calendar. 18 Edomo: now Muroran. xi. 19 Tsugara Strait separates the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu. 21 The fifteen-year-old son of Commandant Kokh had joined the expedition as a volunteer. here palanquin. . See p. 20 Norimono: carriage.

we hoped not to be received unfavorably. Orthography and punctuation in this chapter follow those of the original English publication. as we had an ambassador on board. and render less irksome our long inactivity. arriving at Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka in July 1804. two travellers have published their remarks upon Japan. We expected that many liberties would be allowed us. however. upon which the only Europeans competent to impart any knowledge concerning it. by the monarch of a powerful empire. comparatively speaking. being the only ones since the extirpation of the Christians. After resupplying and repairing the ship the Russians continued to Japan.2 Ivan Krusenstern Voyage round the world (Nagasaki. which would in some degree alleviate our stay here. if it were known that this government had disapproved of the writings of . which he reached in August 1805. from which period the accounts of the Jesuits cease. (for we calculated upon spending at least six months here.2 They were. Does this proceed from fear that such a liberty would be severely reprehended by the government of Japan? or does it originate in indolence or policy? The first reason alone could exculpate them. Following the failure of the Rezanov embassy Krusenstern continued to explore Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands before finally departing the region to return to Kronstadt. reaching Nagasaki on 26 September.1 Every one knows the insulting jealousy which is observed towards strangers in Japan. and although both of them. so that Europe owes nothing to this nation. 1804–5) Ivan Fedorovich Krusenstern (1770–1846) was an officer in the employ of the Russian-American Company and captain of the Nadezhda. during the last two hundred years. bordering upon these people so suspicious in their politics. indeed. neither of them Dutch. have. Within this period. who was sent merely with assurances of friendship. the ship on which ambassador Nikolai Rezanov travelled to Japan to take advantage of the Laxman permit. were but a short time in this country. The expedition left Kronstadt in the summer of 1803 and sailed across the Atlantic and round Cape Horn. yet. their accounts are undoubtedly important. with respect to a knowledge of the Japanese empire. we had no right to expect a more favorable treatment than other nations.) by the opportunity we should have of acquiring some information on this little known country. made a rule not to publish any thing.

that they should make known correctly the situation of these places. not daring to approach the ship during the ambassador’s stay on shore. even this little was entirely denied us. Has the trade of England suffered at all by the liberality of her government. the spies of the Japanese government. and at all events a very useless policy. and unbecoming a republican government. but I do not think it right to omit them. which can only be called so when compared with our confined state on board the ship.3 Kämpfer’s copy of a bad Japanese plan being the only one that is known. without omitting such trifling favours as were shown to our ambassador. but as some general inferences may be drawn from a true. This trifling freedom. which are well known to the Dutch interpreters. But this is not the case. The Japanese could not possibly consider it as a crime. A short account of our confinement. how impossible it was for those who continued on board. * Only some of the lowest of the class of interpreters came on board to remove the presents. It will therefore easily be seen. the only sources from whence this was to be derived. mean. and the time of our stay here was literally a confinement. though dry and unentertaining narrative of facts. and which were entirely unprecedented in Japan. . the Dutch interpreters. The reader will pardon me this involuntary digression. we found ourselves greatly mistaken. and which appeared to us at first so despicable. much less of those between this place and Formosa. as I can only relate. and unload the ship’s provisions. although we continued above six months there. that we should have rejected it with scorn. They have never even published a decent map of the situation of Firando [Hirado] and Nangasaky [Nagasaki]. and I cannot help attributing this reserve of the Dutch to a ridiculous. those circumstances which in some measure tended to break the monotony of our situation. must possess a certain degree of interest. or has that of the Dutch gained any thing by their disgusting secrecy? The state of English and Dutch commerce is too well known to every one to render it necessary that I should carry the comparison farther. from which the ambassador was no more exempted.Krusenstern: Voyage round the world 61 Kämpfer and Thunberg. and of the mistrustful conduct in general of the Japanese.* The reader must not therefore expect any satisfactory account of Japan from me. not only because every thing relating to a country so little known as this is. I now return to our reception at Nangasaky. The greater part of these are indeed of no importance. to obtain even the slightest information. in the order in which they occurred. nor have we learnt from them the situation of the islands in the vicinity of Nangasaky. than the meanest sailor in the ship. and that they had expressly forbidden the Dutch to write any thing upon this government. if it had been offered to us on condition that we should demand no more. may therefore not be superfluous. Although we certainly expected to be allowed more liberty than the Dutch enjoy here. contrary to the spirit of a philosophical age. parts which are yearly visited by two Dutch ships.

they strove to prevail on him to take only half the number on shore. but it was of great advantage for our astronomical observations which the Japanese did not in any way attempt to disturb. a favour which was never shown to the Dutch. but that these were even permitted to retain their fire-arms. and it was not until after four months’ constant entreaties and representations that these latter were returned to them in order to be cleaned. As soon as any boat put off from the ship. for even in the most enlightened countries of Europe this practice is unknown. at a trifling distance. This place of course could not answer its intended purpose. The case was however too important for the governor to decide upon. but when they found that these reasons could not induce the ambassador to forego his guard. that the ambassador was not only allowed to carry his guard on shore with him. to prevail on him to yield up this point. The officers were indeed allowed to retain their swords. and this only in consideration of the pretended illness of the ambassador. among which were some of considerable value. This favour was indeed granted to him with great reluctance. during several days. for so this promenade was called. One single tree. nor was it used as such. it is most probable that a courier was sent on this account to Jeddo [Edo] or Miaco [Miako] for instructions.4 After this small triumph over the Japanese. there were two watch-houses erected in its immediate vicinity. and the soldiers were permitted to keep their musquets and bayonets. but that it would shock the people to see armed soldiers of another nation in their country. I must return to the insults they obliged us to submit to in the full extent of the word. They represented to him that it was not only against the laws of the country. and that it would be dangerous to comply with the demand. and no ambassador has hitherto considered it as an affront to enter a foreign country without soldiers. as a walk. but not a blade of grass. adorned this promenade. since they have always had the precaution not to show themselves here with a similar military attendance. that such a case had hitherto never occurred. but what really astonished me was. a fleet of ten or fifteen vessels immediately put . and its width at the most was forty. This place was close to the shore in a confined bay and was shut in on the land side by a high wall of bamboos. which was entirely upon a rocky ground. This last the Dutch have never been in a condition to demand. but in this too he would not give way. even to the fowling pieces belonging to the officers. but not even allowed to row about within a short distance of the ship.62 Krusenstern: Voyage round the world The first great proof of their jealousy was evinced in their taking from us all our powder and fire-arms. We were not only forbidden to go on shore. for Kibatsch [Kibachi]. and although its whole length did not exceed an hundred paces. nor was it until after a six weeks’ negotiation that a place was granted us. though many of them were entirely destroyed by the time they were restored. That they should not allow the armed soldiers of a foreign nation to land in their country was perhaps the most pardonable of their pretensions. and as a whole month was spent in negotiating it before the ambassador was allowed to land. and the interpreters endeavoured.

and inquired after their health. written with such accuracy that every line was to terminate with the same letter as the original. and to acquaint his Majesty with the welfare of all persons on board his ship. for this word can scarcely apply to a square space about a foot wide. saying that the captains had been most positively forbidden to utter the least sound in answer to our questions. to Nangasaky. the mark of respect which is paid to him. and in this same manner it was conducted back again. as to forbid our forwarding letters by the ships going to Batavia. provided with a double lattice work. to see brave men for several minutes in the most abject position before a banjos. thus depriving us of the pleasure of sending to our families an account of our welfare. owing its political existence to a love of freedom. should so far debase itself from a desire of gain as to attend with submission and devotion to the hateful commands of a set of slaves. and who does not return. It is impossible to find words capable of expressing how shameful and barbarous such a conduct appears. and which therefore admitted † Dezima is the name of the small island upon which the Dutch factory is situated. When the ambassador at length received permission to land. The barbarous intolerance of the Japanese government even went so far. for this was the name of the Russian Dezima [Deshima]. The acquaintance which I had formed on the first day of our arrival with the captains of the Dutch ships.5 who frequently belongs to the lowest of the people. surrounding the boat on all sides. the only answer I received was a sign with their speaking trumpet. after they had been compared together. When the Dutch ships sailed we were ordered upon no account to send a boat off to them: and when I wished Captains Musquetier and Belmark a happy voyage. in whose presence it was sealed.Krusenstern: Voyage round the world 63 themselves in motion. but I was never allowed to visit them. . The ambassador alone was allowed to transmit a report to the emperor. beyond description. When I say windows. for which the chief of the Dutch factory apologized in a letter to the ambassador. This copy was delivered to the governor.† The house was situated upon a neck of land so near the sea. and a copy of the original left with the governors. a considerable building was appointed for his residence: but the seven towers of Constantinople are hardly so well guarded as our Megasaky. I make use of an improper expression. as they passed by me. nor was any Dutchman permitted to come on board our ship. and which has acquired celebrity by great actions. indeed. and how much it is to be regretted that an enlightened European nation. even with a nod. that on the south and east sides the water at high tide came close under the windows. This letter to the emperor was to be translated by the interpreters into Dutch. It is shocking. made a continuation of our intercourse very desirable. was sent on board by two of his secretaries. and the original. but he was obliged to content himself with merely giving a short account of our passage from Kamtschatka [Kamchatka].

64 Krusenstern: Voyage round the world but very little light into the room. and the boat was never allowed to return without a similar number. and in like manner. An officer. Besides this precaution the gates were never left open upwards of five minutes. and another. the protection of which the Japanese did not seem to consider sufficient. when any one on shore was desirous of going to the ship. but the guards never quitted them for a moment. Besides these there were two rows of bamboo canes carried from the door down to the sea. A high bamboo fence surrounded the whole building. when the vessel on board of which was the keeper of the outer keys. who lived in Megasaky. the watchmen found the locking and opening too tiresome. During the latter part of our stay the two first were indeed left open. in order. had the keys of the outer locks. and though they sometimes knew that the persons would return immediately. which were not only locked. a precaution which scarcely could answer any one purpose. to serve as the residence of other officers. Twelve officers and their men relieved each other daily in this duty. the porter of Megasaky opened the inside. Such a place was certainly granted to us. not only towards the land. As we had warehouses appropriated to us on the other side of this gate. that when the boats came from the ships they might only land between these canes. At short intervals. and I wished to put a deck upon the long boat and to copper her bottom. but only to their numbers. when any officer belonging to the ambassador’s suite was desirous of sleeping on board. whose only employment must have been to keep a watchful look out upon us and upon their own people. the porter would rather take the trouble of locking and unlocking the gates again. and it was at last left entirely open. Nobody was allowed to take the least walk. I requested to be allowed a place where we might haul them up on shore. as far as the tide ebbed. had to repair to the house to perform the same duty. some sailor had to fill his place on shore: for the appointed number of persons residing there was neither to be increased nor diminished. whose station was near the ship. and if any officer of the ship wished to pass the night in Megasaky. one of the persons residing on shore was obliged to go back in his stead. and two boats kept guard constantly while the carpenters were at work. those of the inside. but even on the sea-face in spite of the waves. on the way to the town. but so narrow and confined. than leave them open during this length of time. They counted always the number of persons who came on shore. that it was impossible to work at high water. and as they refused us a place to erect our . nor was any attention paid to their quality in this respect. The land-side was guarded with a similar attention: – a strong locked gate being the boundary of a very small yard attached to the ambassador’s house. were gates. and when any boat went on shore it was necessary that the keeper of the outward keys should accompany it to open his side. and it was entirely surrounded with bamboos like Kibatsch. but guarded. As all the ship’s boats stood in need of repairs. but the second yard in front of these warehouses was surrounded by a row of guardhouses. after which the inside was unlocked and in like manner. A large gate with double locks formed the entrance from the water-side. and three other entirely new buildings were run up.

towards ‡ Even the mountains near Megasaky were surrounded with bamboos. but we were never allowed to purchase any thing for money. on the other hand. that all my requests for such materials as were wanted for the repairs of the ship were most punctually acceded to.Krusenstern: Voyage round the world 65 KAMCHATKA Am SAKHALIN R ur ive r SEA OF Petropavlovsk OKHOTSK ONEKOTAN HAKUMUKOTAN La Pero u se Strait KK AID L RI KU S D AN ISL HO O Nemuro Akkeshi Matsumae SEA OF JAPAN Peking YELLOW U HO Hakodate Ts ug ar uS tra Aji-shima it SEA KOREA Ko re im St a ra N it a ait Str Kyoto SH PACIFIC OCEAN Amatsu Edo sh Canton FORMOSA Figure 2. Ts u Nagasaki .6 If I here adduce a number of complaints of the mistrustful conduct of the Japanese. so that no instrument could be erected there. Besides this. p. independent of the presents from the emperor to the crew. in company with a Japanese boat. and in the quantity that I demanded. the only object which their bamboos could not conceal from us. the men were not only regularly provided with provisions. but always with the best which could be procured in Nangasaky. Before our departure they furnished us with 8000 pounds of biscuit. by means of Hadley’s sextants to ascertain the time. observatory.‡ We were not allowed to pass the night in Kibatsch. as well as every other kind of provision for two months. I now proceed to relate the circumstances which occurred from the time of our arrival to that of our departure. At the end of the foregoing chapter I mentioned that we steered about four o’clock in the afternoon. I cannot deny. Russian Push.1 The Rezanov embassy. we could not avail ourselves of the sight of the heavens. 137. of which I shall speak hereafter. and all our observations were reduced to lunar ones with corresponding altitudes. Source: Lensen.

Their servants placed a lanthorn in front of each of them. compliment voor de Opper Banjos!” This submissive. which last consist in throwing yourself flat on the ground. a very necessary article. who questioned us very minutely upon the route we had taken since leaving Cronstadt. and a Baron Pabst. struck them very much. The Dutch would find great difficulty in casting themselves on the ground. as they are called. that our passage from Kamtschatka did not occupy more than a month.66 Krusenstern: Voyage round the world Nangasaky. The same evening about ten o’clock we received the visit of several magistrates. walked at once into the cabin. which they were called upon to do. were extremely ignorant of the geography of their own islands. was not answered even by a nod. He had scarcely entered the cabin with his suite. by a most insolent order from the interpreter: “Myn Heer Opperhoofd. or along the east coast of Japan. in consequence of the small size of the latter. Catharine’s to Brazil. There must likewise be a difference in the compliments which the Dutch pay in Jeddo from those which we saw here. from Nangasaky. of the Dutch. and crouching backwards and forwards according as you may be spoken to by your superior. however. he must remain in this position with his arms extended until he receives permission to stand again in his natural posture. when they were all obliged to remain during several minutes in an inclined posture. and anchored about half past five at the entrance of the harbour. and a vessel with coals to light their pipes. and what is much more difficult. among whom were several tolks. He knew that Teneriffe belonged to the Canary islands. the Dutchman must incline his body until it forms nearly the figure of a right angle. that he. was also brought along with the banjos. which are emptied in four or five whiffs. and St. or banjos. They appeared pleased to learn that we had taken the latter course: and upon our departure from Japan we found that they were very jealous of the passage between Corea and the Japanese coast. consisting of his secretary. Myn Heer van Doeff. which is not until after a lapse of some minutes. or Japanese interpreters of the Dutch language. are something between the bows of the Europeans and Japanese. but particularly whether we had come through the straits of Corea. who. was. and at the same time degrading attention. The chief interpreter (whose name was Skiseyma) evinced some geographical knowledge. The Opperhoofd. as they are called in Japan. or director of the Dutch factory. yet I afterwards discovered. What. The attendants of these great men consisted of about twenty persons. but in order to imitate the Japanese customs as much as possible. or at all events pretended to be so. and seated themselves on the carpet. without waiting for an invitation. the two captains of the Dutch ships that were here. owing to their clothes. The compliments. and the pliability of the body required in these prostrations cannot be expected in people who are not brought up to it. as well as all the rest of his colleagues. and they would scarcely give credit to. for we were told that previous to going there all persons belonging to the . but it was upwards of an hour before he was permitted to come on board. more at least than I expected to have met with from him. with a little box containing their smoking apparatus. touching the earth with your head.

made by drawing in the breath suddenly between the teeth. The extraordinary respect with which the interpreters spoke to the banjos gave us at first a very high idea of the character of these magistrates. About twelve o’clock they all retired. as the Dutch interpreters have not the same custom. and mixed with repeated sighings. and the surrounding country. promising to return the next day and carry the ship higher up the harbour: about twenty vessels kept guard around her: their flags. whose rank we afterwards learnt was very inconsiderable. as if he were inhaling the air that surrounded his master. The Prince of Omura must also have a share in the city. who relieved each other during our stay. he made a hissing noise two or three times with his mouth. who. As they seemed to me in other respects to possess some manners. shewing that they belonged to that prince. The clothing of the banjos. and very similar to the female dress in Europe. repeating constantly the monosyllable Eh! eh! intended to signify. so as to render it extremely difficult for them to walk. I was very much struck by an indecent practice common to them. bowed his head to the ground. and in which they never checked themselves. and fastened round the neck.” The banjos always conducted themselves with great dignity. he cast himself on his hands and knees before the banjos. and that nothing but a commission from the governor imparts to them a temporary elevation. the conversation which in Dutch had lasted several minutes. is a general compliment among the nobility. Whenever an interpreter had any thing to translate. The Japanese never ventured to propose this submission to us: upon their second visit. nor did they ever renew the attempt. This is the usual dress of all the Japanese. and the only difference between the clothes of the rich and of the poor is. that those of the former are made of silk. . even if their own feelings did not tell them so. but when this occasioned me to look earnestly at him. he withdrew. has an equal title with Prince Tschingodzin to the city of Nangasaky. we saw neither the flag of the Prince of Fisen. they never laughed. although they must have been well aware of its impropriety. his officers being frequently on guard at the ambassador’s. but in the harbour. and under this a complete gown reaching quite down to their feet. indeed they never walk but when they are absolutely compelled to do so. upon which were painted the arms of the Prince of Fisen [Hizen]. and it was only the guards of these two princes. in a tone of voice scarcely audible. broken sentences. one of the interpreters. nor of Tschingodzin. as we were informed. as well as of the interpreters. indeed. with his head hanging down. consisted of a short upper garment with very wide sleeves.§ He then reported to the banjos. in short. “I understand. If a Japanese was addressed by a banjos he crouched to him. except in being much narrower from the hips downwards. applied his hand gently to my back. but occasionally shewed their satisfaction by a smile.Krusenstern: Voyage round the world 67 embassies receive instructions in bowing. just after I had been addressed by the banjos. while the § This hissing noise. and in this attitude.

The Japanese exposes his head in a similar manner. must suffer very much from it during the winter months. The arms were generally worked into clothes made of Japanese stuffs. A young lady wears her father’s arms until after her marriage. The greatest mark of honour which a prince or a governor can confer upon any one. which cover only half of their legs. and is tied together on the top of the head. who constitute perhaps nine-tenths of the whole population. was brought on board from the governor. as their floors are always covered with wadded mats. which. which they fasten to the great toe by a kind of loop. a present. but there are some of different colours. The boat announced to us the visit of several principal characters. and these and a metal looking-glass occupy the chief place in the pocket-book of every Japanese. although the weather is very raw in the months of January and February. when she assumes those of her husband. their stockings. It is singular that they have no notion of clothing their feet. About four o’clock the next afternoon. The upper classes are scarcely sensible of the want of better shoes. rice. but they were sewed upon those made of Chinese stuffs. was towed towards the ship amidst the continual sound of kettle drums. or in any kind of furs. and the most piercing north winds which prevail during the winter. that it may not grow again. The hair is rubbed over with a very strong pomatum. and fowls. and instead of shoes they merely wear soles made of straw. and sit throughout the day with their feet bent under them. without which we have no notion of such a quality. and in this manner any person may be recognized. but this. and we shortly after perceived a large vessel adorned with flags. but shave their heads daily. and the lower dress is mostly of mixed colours. by which it obtains a great polish. According to the . accompanied by several others. although he is half shorn he never strives to protect it by a parasol against the heat of twenty-five degrees. as far as we saw. if the emperor was to present him with a garment bearing the imperial arms. The toilet of a Japanese must occupy a very considerable time. and he is equally regardless of one or two degrees of cold. but the poorer sort. but I have never seen any of them in a cloth dress. about the size of a half dollar.68 Krusenstern: Voyage round the world latter are clad in coarse woollen stuffs: the upper garment is generally black. they take off the moment they enter a room. the person having such a one wearing his own arms upon his under dress. consisting of fish. forming a crooked line in front quite close to the forehead. a practice usual to both sexes. They cannot be denied a great cleanliness of person. as they seldom walk. although they make no use of linen. and which. this latter operation they never perform on their beards. In the winter the Japanese wear five or six dresses one over the other. is to give him a cloak with his arms upon it. appears to be the ruling passion of the Japanese of every rank. but pluck out the hair with small pincers. and the ambassador was frequently told how supreme a happiness would be conferred upon him. and made to terminate in a very small knot. and the family to which he belongs easily ascertained. are made of woollen stuffs sewed together. nor do they ever use an umbrella in rainy weather. Every one has his family arms worked into his clothes in different places. as they not only anoint and comb their hair.

made of mats. and it was with the greatest regret that I found myself prevented from keeping up an acquaintance with him. whenever the wind freshened. and they succeeded in getting to sea. occupied the whole road. Besides these thirty-two boats. that the five Chinese junks which lay there. . white. and needs no description here.. hoisting. which had a flush deck. which was nearly two miles and a half off.7 They refused to carry her to the east side under the pretext. Some of these vessels carried the imperial flag. and the ottona or burgomaster of the city. the aftermost one being the mark of an officer. About four in the morning we anchored in twenty-five fathoms water. they were frequently compelled. to quit their post. as is well known. and were towed by about sixty boats to our new anchorage. apparently consisting of a hundred men. The whole crew of the ship. the latter on a chair on the right hand. As soon as they got out of the bay.Krusenstern: Voyage round the world 69 report of the interpreters. About noon the wind veered from N. they were obliged to return to their former anchorage. which kept their places so regularly. was extremely interesting to us. they were the principal secretary to the governor.W. that they were not once broken. however. and were instantly surrounded by thirty-two guard boats. with the most horrible noise. and notwithstanding the foul wind we advanced at the rate of two miles an hour.N. or the Prince of Fisen. white. which formed a circle round the ship. to N. were distinguished by two peaks. the conversation in particular of Captain Musquetier. the Chinese fleet got under sail. who spoke English.E. which. which are of sailcloth. This happened to them a second time. and as the west side of Papenberg lies very much exposed. the treasurer. and were covered with blue cloth. to receive our orders. On the 12th October at four in the morning. The object of this visit of the banjos was to carry away the powder and arms belonging to the ship. and we were witnesses to the unskilfulness and difficulty with which they hoisted their sails. and German. blue. but the greater part of them bore that of Fisino Kama-sama. With this miserable apparatus. and although this was still fair for them. they set their topsails. French. were to us the most agreeable part of the company. they can only sail during the most favorable monsoons. the three lower sails being. We could not but admire the order with which this was effected: the flotilla divided itself into five lines of twelve or eighteen boats each. and appeared a very well informed officer. were at work for upwards of two hours. exposing them to the greatest danger. At midnight we weighed anchor. The construction of these junks is well known. The first seated themselves on the carpet. owing to the jealousy and suspicion of the Japanese. but the third time the wind continued in the north-east. there were three others which remained in the vicinity of the ship. and to remove her to the west side of Papenberg. an operation which they performed by means of a windlass. the large boats. but the Dutchmen who accompanied them. that no vessel was allowed to break through. they hastened to resume the moment the weather was again a little fair: and this has been the case two or three times a day. a single sail. the most trifling storm that springs up against them.

Our course was N. where we anchored at one o’clock in eighteen fathoms water. with short intervals. requires at least as many. a banjos arrived with nearly an hundred tow-boats. The Japanese have no Sundays. and perhaps more. and we had not an ounce on board. (which is one day later. even before that. that a ship of war. but that we could not be admitted in the inner harbour. not as a compliment to us. By these means they are not much interrupted.9 It certainly is a very wise regulation of these people. according to our reckoning. send a boat on board of them – at the same time he warned us not to return the Dutch salute. . and only very few holidays. and on the 9th two banjos with their tow-boats came to us. and. and no work is discontinued. during six hours. are the principal ones.E. and 15th October.. on the part of the governor. which the Dutch interpreters called Kermes. viz. and about six in the evening we anchored between the imperial batteries. such as were those of the Dutch. but that so soon as the latter should sail. 13th.)8 the Japanese celebrated a feast. because no order to that effect had as yet been received from Jeddo. in thirteen fathoms water. that as soon as the Dutch ships should put to sea he would allow us to occupy their place. at about eleven o’clock. This caution was the more absurd as the governor had before ordered all our powder to be taken from us. could not lie in the same road with merchant-ships. in order to repair the ship which had suffered during the typhon [typhoon]. not to continue their religious and national feasts on many successive days. and another most absurd reason was assigned. had sprung a leak. upon any account. Besides it would have been utterly impossible for us to have returned the salute even if we had had the vanity to assume it to ourselves. for it consisted of at least 400 shots. The two ships anchored about a mile to the north-east of us. and the governor now sent us word. by E. A small anchor was carried out to the south-east. to restore that repose and tranquillity requisite in works that demand a clear and unembarrassed genius. which was in honour of the imperial flag. according to the Japanese. but to have always a working day between them. that side being. This was refused because no permission had hitherto been received from Jeddo. ¼ E. having so great a man as an ambassador on board. and are besides attended with a great loss of time. and which really seemed intended to ridicule us. This promise he kept very punctually: the Dutch ships sailed on the 8th November.70 Krusenstern: Voyage round the world On the 11th. are equally injurious to the health and morals of the people. to tow the ship to the east side of Papenberg. we should not. of which these kermes and the feasts of the new year. and lasted.E. safer than the north-west. On the 21st October an interpreter informed us. that as the two Dutch ships would proceed the next morning to Papenberg. over a ground of thin clay. over a bottom of green ooze. Our distance from the town was two miles. We requested in vain to be towed into the inner harbour. and a life of debauchery continued for three or four days. Feasts that last for several days. it was intended that we should occupy their places. which are on the south-east and north-west side of the entrance. On the 16th October. the depth decreasing from eighteen to thirteen fathoms: a second anchor was carried out to the S.

although the house in Megasaky. that on the arrival of the courier from Jeddo. however. who relieve each other every six months. the ambassador should. As the Chinese make use of wooden anchors we gave him one of ours for the greater security. but the cabin of the junk was so extremely bad that the ambassador would not consent to remove on board of her. on board of which he might remove with the presents. but asserted that even when the roads were good. and that there have been examples of the journey there and back again to Nangasaky having been performed in twenty-one days. and I am ** Nangasaky has two governors. to send us invariably false information. for the court not to be informed of the most trifling circumstances concerning us.** in whose conduct there was always an appearance of dignity and consequence. that an answer may be received from Jeddo in thirty days. The Chinese ship was therefore conveyed back to Nangasaky. without fail. the governor. the governor sent us a Chinese junk. as soon as possible. and we learnt afterwards. declaring moreover that he must remain with the presents.Krusenstern: Voyage round the world 71 I was extremely anxious to repair the injury the ship had received. . and large warehouses for the presents. They also told us that all the governor had acceded to was at his own risk: it was not. concerning his residence on shore. but the other was obliged to remain there. should be received. and every thing remained as at first: we had however an opportunity of taking a nearer survey of this monster of naval architecture. and who latterly gave us several proofs of their good disposition. I now had the ship completely unrigged and sent the masts and yards to Kibatsch. and that at this time of the year a much longer period was necessary. of which the interpreters brought a plan. This the interpreters would never allow. The promises. and his anxious behaviour when he took upon himself to offer us a place in Kibatsch for a walk. and the ship consequently could not be unloaded. have a larger building appropriated to him. until the order from Jeddo. three months were requisite to go and return. at the same time. The second arrived a few days after we had reached Nangasaky. appeared to be very roomy. what indeed we might have found in Kämpfer and Thunberg. but as permission had not yet arrived for the ambassador to land with the presents. sufficiently demonstrated his confined authority. which place we had not lost. Our arrival at Nangasaky was too important an event in Japan. although the courier had not yet arrived from Jeddo. for instance. without an express order to do so. On the 24th November the ambassador was informed that. because we had come during the time of his authority. were so many empty words. promised. that the soldiers should be left behind. however. the governor was disposed to give him a house on shore at his own risk. That he did not consent to this I have already mentioned. It is extremely difficult to say what could induce the governors. very probable that he should give up a house in the city to the ambassador. which they made us on our arrival. though we had shifted our berth. demanding.

two banjos came on board with a vast number of boats to receive the presents. in which time an answer might have been received from Jeddo.10 and that he had even sent an embassy concerning us. as the mirror was by no means better placed on account of it. could determine nothing on this momentous occasion without consulting the Dairy. was first agitated. We afterwards learned that the Cubo. and the stairs. a courier was dispatched with an account of every word and gesture. attending his entrance. and his guard. a red cloth. the Russian imperial standard was hoisted and waved together with the flag of the Prince of Fisen. and manned by a number of Japanese troops in their best clothes: an innumerable fleet of boats surrounding the vessel and accompanying the ambassador to the city. with regard to them. A guard of soldiers got instantly into the boat. than the doors were locked on both sides. and I am persuaded that the disputed point. which were of red wood. the residence of the Dairy. but in vain. or western Emperor. which frequently were of a nature to increase the suspicion and injure the pride of this jealous and haughty people. and the whole boat was hung with double rows of silks of different colours.72 Krusenstern: Voyage round the world convinced that after each visit of the interpreters to the ship. hold in the greatest veneration on account of his religious character. The following anecdotes serve to characterize this nation. So far the ceremony. As the ambassador stepped on board. which accompanied him on board the vessel. whom the Japanese. was worthy the representative of a powerful monarch. at sunset. in order to disembark the large mirror. and the keys sent. upon the top of which was spread. took their place on the upper deck close to the standard. for which purpose the Prince of Fisen sent his own boat. but the respect in which every thing that has the least connection with the Emperor. and entered his dwelling. certainly very unnecessarily. although he has no executive authority. could not be settled by the governor alone. The day after the ambassador’s departure. On the 17th December the ambassador was conveyed on shore. until the entrance of the ambassador into Megasaky. was too great to admit of any economical considerations. having a platform of strong planks laid across them covered with mats. but he had no sooner landed. A period of twenty-one days elapsed from the time that the question. were polished so highly as to have the appearance of lacker [lacquer]. to ascertain the wishes of this important personage. a vessel exceeding in size (being 120 feet long) and magnificence every thing that I had hitherto seen. The imperial fortresses were ornamented with new flags and curtains. I endeavoured to persuade them. Two boats were lashed together. to the governor. with regard to the soldiers. and consequently much sooner from Miaco. The decks were covered with mats and the most costly carpets. is held in Japan. to take this valuable covering away. the curtains to the doors were of rich stuffs. ranging themselves by the side of the mirror. The walls and ceilings of the numerous cabins were all varnished over in the handsomest manner. and not from Jeddo. It is therefore very probable that the governor of Nangasaky received his instructions from Miaco. or rather the .

as the distance was so great. which I have been able to collect with regard to the Chinese trade. that nothing was impossible to the Emperor of Japan. two banjos came with their flotilla and towed the ship to the bay. the Emperor of China had presented the Emperor of Japan with a live elephant. one hundred boats. From the bay of Osacca the navigation was indeed not so dangerous. And about ten o’clock the next morning. according to an ancient regulation. which lasted fourteen months.E. in the bay of Owary. and as a proof of his assertion he related to me. on which occasion she lost her masts and rudder. and cast anchor in five fathoms water. but between the islands of Nipon [Honshu] and Sikoku [Shikoku] and Kiusiu [Kyushu]. was ordered to be carried round. that on the first high wind. This towing voyage. or to have burnt and paid for her. upon the east coast of Japan. I inquired of one of the interpreters in what manner it was proposed to convey this large mirror to Jeddo. as well as least expensive method would have been to have broken up the ship. As. both ship and boats would go to the bottom. either accidentally. where we brought-to about a quarter of a mile from the land between the Dutch Dezima and Megasaky. and which he did not mention to me in proof of the power of his sovereign.Krusenstern: Voyage round the world 73 spirit of the Japanese government. must immediately be brought to Nangasaky. but this was contrary to the laws of the land. but the crew was all saved. who told me that it would be carried there. and four others some days after. although the wind blew pretty strong from the N. In Japan such a thing cannot be effected except by means of towing boats. The following example. with a second anchor carried out to the N. but merely as a fact which had recently occurred. that about two years before. and every mirror would require at least sixty men to relieve one another every half mile. as the passage was not in the open sea. and several hundreds of these were immediately sent to tow the ship from the bay of Owary to that of Osacca [Osaka]: a voyage during which it was not unlikely. or from being driven upon it in a gale. A Chinese junk was driven on shore in a gale of wind. and consequently six hundred men being kept in continual employment. The following is the intelligence. must have been very expensive. every foreign ship which may touch upon the coast of Japan. A seventh had been stranded during the gales on the Gotto islands. though indeed very incomplete. without any consideration to even apparently the most insuperable obstacles. His answer was. and after a few weeks arrived in Japanese boats at Nangasaky. On this same day two Chinese junks arrived. On the 22d December the ambassador was informed that a courier had arrived from Jeddo with the order for the Nadeshda [Nadezhda] to be carried into the inner harbour that she might be repaired. which I learnt upon another occasion from one of the interpreters.E. and it rained very hard. which had been carried from Nangasaky to Jeddo. upon which I replied that this did not appear practicable. sending the cargo to the Chinese at Nangasaky. . The natural. will sufficiently demonstrate with what punctuality the emperor’s orders are executed. which are very frequent upon this coast. this ship also. although in a very bad condition.

but particularly the dye-fish. were very inferior to the better kinds of Chinese tea. camphor. Another cause of this uncommon negligence in unloading them is.12 We ourselves thought them no bad food. there are two others left constantly in pledge. tin plates. Simfo. and large dried muscles. are among their provisions. Besides these twelve ships which arrive here annually. and the easy manner in which they disposed of one of them for our use shews how much the Japanese consider them as their own property. Their cargo consists chiefly of sugar. that the Chinese themselves are not present. As soon as the ship is unloaded. A small box full.74 Krusenstern: Voyage round the world Twelve ships are permitted to come to Nangasaky annually from Ningpo [Ningbo]. besides these are a kind of sea plant. the Chinese on the contrary always black tea. as they will keep during several years. We chose Japanese. for on the day after their arrival the captain and the whole crew are carried to the factory. silk stuffs and tea. but upon our departure they gave us the choice between Chinese and Japanese tea. but this is done with a total want of order. they take the opportunity of the first new or full moon. for as the warehouses which surrounded the governor’s house were †† The Japanese only drink green. to drag it on shore where it remains high and dry during the ebb. and are considered in China as a great delicacy. yet I believe that two ships of five hundred tons would be able to stow away easily what is conveyed in all the twelve. which is used as a medicine in China. a junk not yielding much in size to a ship of four hundred tons. Their construction is of such a nature as to receive but little injury from this treatment. That this last article is among the imports from China I did not indeed learn from the interpreters. Although from the number of Chinese junks it should appear that their cargoes are very considerable. the other seven in December. ivory. and I believe that what is said of the excellence of the Japanese tea is very much exaggerated. which the governor presented to the ambassador shortly after our arrival. (or. nor are they allowed to return to it until a few days before their departure. The rigging of one of these junks consists of little else than a few shrouds nor have they the means of lowering or hoisting into the vessel. when the tides are lofty. lacquered wares. as the Japanese pronounce it. and found it much worse than the other. and their unfriendly hosts would probably not give themselves much concern about any accidents they might sustain. which last. and some that the officers of the embassy drank at an audience in the governor’s house.†† The Chinese exports from Japan consist of copper. lead. the cargo consisting of small bags and boxes being thrown out of the ship without any regard either for the goods themselves or the boats destined to receive them. known in Japan by the name of Awaby. A junk is unloaded in the course of twelve hours. and return in March or April. We had another proof of the little consideration shown to the Chinese. and they may very well form a part of a ship’s provision. . and the Japanese take immediate possession of the vessel. any articles of weight. umbrellas. with the necessary precaution.)11 five of which arrive in June and sail in October.

and by the eclipse of one or two stars. It would be very advantageous to any European nation that might he allowed to enjoy the carrying trade between Ningpo and Nangasaky. and all intercourse between these countries and Japan is said to have ceased for some time past. and it is very improbable that any great progress should be made in a science that requires some exertion of the mind. as I expected it. The distance is not above ten degrees in longitude. the Japanese immediately made room for us in two warehouses belonging to the former in the neighbourhood of Megasaky. we never witnessed the arrival of a single ship. of which we had about two hundred ship tons on board. To my great satisfaction. would be utterly impossible. even to the ballast. Dr. and cannot exceed at the most four days. were not a little rejoiced to find themselves relieved of this trouble. a circumstance that was mentioned in the letters which were delivered to the ambassador upon his departure. for that which is to be had in Nangasaky is very thin. and I had one of Ramsden’s terrestrial ones of about three feet in length. the arrival of a nobleman at Nangasaky having been announced. We now began to repair her.13 This eclipse could not influence our determination of the geographical longitude of Nangasaky. As the governor had received orders from Jeddo to furnish every thing that was required towards the repairs of the ship. already at that time. which had been much more correctly ascertained by a number of lunar observations. which the . than it could be done with our imperfect means of observing it. I took pains to collect some accounts of the knowledge the Japanese possess of astronomy. however. Of this latter. however. On the 14th January. I perceived that the remaining planks were all in a most admirable condition. the voyage is practicable in either monsoon. On the 25th December the ship was quite unloaded.Krusenstern: Voyage round the world 75 not sufficient to contain all the empty water casks belonging to the ship. Horner made use of one of Dolland’s astronomical telescopes. The Japanese knew that such an eclipse would occur on this day. he offered to send to Miaco for sheets of copper for me. distinguished the darkening of several spots. and the leak was found. notwithstanding their vicinity. there was a total eclipse of the moon. either from Corea or the Likeo [Ryukyu] islands. but they are too unsatisfactory to be mentioned here. The ambassador took upon himself to order this copper upon his journey to Jeddo: and the Japanese who knew. however. The copper throughout was very bad. we obtained five hundred pieces for the use of our barges and long boat. and by no means proper to cover a ship’s bottom. of which we were prevented by a dark cloud from witnessing the commencement. as well as the re-appearance of the moon out of the shade. we. that the embassy would not proceed there. and as the latter place is well to the eastward of the former. During the whole time of our stay here. owing to the muddy shore here. 1805. and I should have been glad to have availed myself of the opportunity of sheathing her with Japanese copper as low as it could be done without keelhauling her. in a country where the best informed. which. though the time of its commencement was not stated in their Almanack. towards the head of the ship.

Langsdorff were even then allowed to assist him.76 Krusenstern: Voyage round the world interpreters undoubtedly are. for the poorer classes. and another. According to their report. might certainly have been able to procure some important information upon the subject in the neighbourhood of this temple of Urania. the few possessors of astronomical knowledge among so many millions of people. where I found two banjos with several interpreters and assistants. Some time after the ‡‡ In Japan a doctor is distinguished from a surgeon. or whether they have made even the same little progress as their neighbours the Chinese. The predictions of the eclipses of the sun and moon by the Issis. and to have taken an astronomical apparatus with him. Espenberg nor Dr. who resided in the ambassador’s house. to put an end to his existence. immediately proceeded to stanch the blood. and who possess the art of foretelling eclipses of the sun and moon. whose intention it was to have accompanied him. for the rich. A few weeks later this request was repeated on the part of the governor. but he was delivered over to a Japanese surgeon and a doctor:‡‡ fortunately the wound was not found dangerous. an abbreviation. among whose monarchs there have been some who possessed a taste for this science and cultivated it. but was prevented by the Japanese guard. the man having cut his throat with a razor. one very complete. The Japanese generally have their heads half shaved. which. the governor not having been informed of it. as it is so much beyond their ability to have invented such a story.) there are in the north of Japan. on account of an attempt by one of the Japanese whom we had brought with us from Europe. intending to present them himself to the emperor. Dr. this was altogether impracticable from an ignorant interpreter. The governor immediately upon our arrival had requested the ambassador to give him up the four Japanese. have no notion of the geographical latitude and longitude of any place. (and we may perhaps believe them in this instance. had been perceived soon enough to prevent the execution of his purpose. in a town at no great distance from Jeddo. published annually in Jeddo. which he declined. Interesting as it would have been to have acquired some information concerning these Issis. and he must certainly have met with some among them capable of giving information on this head. of which there are two kinds. Had the ambassador obtained permission to travel to Jeddo. and the other entirely covered with hair. Langsdorff. and the patient was obliged to lie bleeding until the arrival of the banjos who were sent for. people who inhabit temples and are called Issis. Horner. are inserted in the calendars. the first having his head entirely shaved. Neither Dr. . On the 16th January I was sent for in a great hurry to the ambassador’s. From Thunberg’s statement. Dr. and met with the same reception. there are among the physicians of Jeddo persons who have a taste for scientific acquirements. There are no written accounts of the astronomical knowledge of the Japanese. however.

in which he not only complained of the cruel treatment his countrymen experienced in Russia. No answer came from thence. Nothing but the greatest wickedness could have excited this man to so infamous an action. that as he would not give them up on the two applications that had been made for them. he was frequently heard to say that the Russians were very good people. and it was only on the day of our departure that they quitted the ambassador’s house. no effect. or a report might have reached him that the fate of those. for he. however. after which it was even doubtful whether they would be permitted to return to their families. It might have been despair at having returned to his country without being able to join his family. and. whom Laxmann in 1792 had brought back to Japan.Krusenstern: Voyage round the world 77 ambassador applied to the governor to take these Japanese off his hands. as he could not be led to it from a spirit of revenge. After his wound had healed. which. as well as all his countrymen. The person whom the emperor had sent was of the highest rank. though never to exalt his looks higher. might perhaps have induced him to make an attempt on his life. but himself a very bad man. adding that several of them had been forced to embrace that religion. he might now keep them himself. This paper had. partly a consciousness of his diabolical conduct. to Nangasaky. though a Japanese can never want one to wish himself well out of the world. and that he wished his life might soon have an end. (an honour which even the governor of Nangasaky could not boast. A visit of the interpreters had sufficiently apprised us of . The precise reason for this poor creature’s making an attempt on his life is not easy to determine. yet this was easily to be inferred. and partly despair of having failed in his purpose. according to the expression made use of by the interpreters. On the 19th February the ambassador received an official notice that the emperor had sent a person. if it be true. and were treated on board the ship with every attention. There was still another motive adduced. were received in Russia with a most exemplary kindness. but he promised to send a courier to Jeddo for instructions how to act. attended by eight nobles. The interpreters did not exactly tell him that he would not now have any occasion to travel to Jeddo. was permitted to see the emperor’s feet. but the answer he received was.) and it was not to be supposed that so great a character would be sent merely to accompany the ambassador to Jeddo. may justify the harsh opinion which I expressed of the Japanese character in the fifth chapter. though this had been the only motive that induced them to quit the careless independent life they passed in Russia. but were then obliged to pass seven months in a state of confinement. obtained presents from the emperor upon their departure. with full powers to treat with him. These unfortunate wretches saw their country after a tedious voyage of fourteen months once more. without the smallest intercourse with their families. It was said that shortly after our arrival in Nangasaky he had delivered a written paper to the banjos. and that the object of this voyage was chiefly to make an attempt to introduce it into Japan. but described the Russians as the most bigotted of Christians. had been eternal confinement.

This latter. which the interpreters called Mussel Trapp. The second audience was conducted with the same ceremonies. it must nevertheless be of great consequence in Japan. and from the questions they put to me. and he landed at a place to the north of Dezima. the chief interpreter. Captain Feodoroff. acquainted the ambassador that he would not be permitted to travel to Jeddo. On the 30th March. and a few insignificant questions were put to him. The interpreter farther informed us. according to our reckoning. nor would they allow him a chair. present their children with dolls. after which the ship must return to Kamtschatka. Major Frederici. when it was concluded that the ambassador should pay the representative of the Japanese emperor. an attitude by no means the most convenient. the chief character of which is that parents. is of so debasing a nature. He was allowed for his own use a norimon or sedan chair. commenced on the 3d April. and that the Japanese plenipotentiary would arrive in ten or fifteen days in Nangasaky. The negociations with respect to the ceremonies of the audience. the plenipotentiary arrived from Jeddo. Langsdorff. On this occasion. and which I heard with great pleasure. called Mussume Matzury. however. to which he was conveyed in a large boat adorned with flags and curtains. to inquire in the name of the governor after our health. as soon as she could possibly be fitted for sea. Dr. Lieutenant Koscheleff. On the 4th April he had his first audience. or 1st April. which were conducted with great warmth on both sides. that even the very lowest of Europeans could not submit to it. and here the negociation terminated. and Counsellor Fossé. on this occasion. it was easy to perceive that their chief object was to know in how short a time the ship would be made ready for sea. His suit consisted of five persons.14 Unimportant as the object of this holiday appeared. . Such a hint was not to be neglected. that we should not be allowed to purchase the least thing in Japan. but reduced him to the necessity of sitting in front of the governor and the plenipotentiary. on the floor. to work during its celebration.78 Krusenstern: Voyage round the world the earnest wish of the Japanese government for our departure in the beginning of April. a feast was celebrated in Nangasaky. but the officers who attended him were obliged to proceed on foot. at about eleven in the forenoon. It was only. and I therefore began to get her in readiness. merely an exchange of compliments took place. on the 12th March that Skeyseima. indeed. employed upon the boats on shore. besides a serjeant who carried the standard. two days being devoted to these childish entertainments. but he was obliged to appear without his sword or shoes. and had no cause to complain of any delay on the part of the Japanese in providing us immediately with all that we stood in need of. but that the emperor had given orders to supply the ship with all that was necessary. On the 31st March. an European and not a Japanese compliment. and we were requested not to suffer the carpenters. as well as with provisions for two months. or any kind of European seat. On the 27th February they came on board. free of any charge to us. with his feet tucked under him.

Should any Japanese hereafter be cast upon the coast of Russia. and a marble ewer. was evinced in their activity. which contained an order that no Russian ship should again come to Japan. The reasons assigned by the plenipotentiary for rejecting the presents were. These were a mirror.*** but I am pretty well convinced that the Russian trade will not suffer much in consequence of it. that the repairs of the ship and the supply of provisions. and the latter for the officers. and that it was contrary to the laws of the empire for any Japanese to quit his country. to get the ship in readiness. and the presents. immediately after which. All communication is now at an end between Japan and Russia. and 100 sacks of rice. namely. and send an ambassador for this purpose to St. *** By what Lieut. anchors.§§ or purchasing any thing for money. or indeed in the government itself. . they began to bring the cannon. but even lost those we had possessed. Petersburgh.Krusenstern: Voyage round the world 79 the necessary documents being delivered into his hands. We gained no new advantages. Chwostoff [Khvostov]. or receiving the visit of the Dutch factor. we were forbidden from making any presents. were taken into the imperial account. but particularly in the cities of Miaco and Nangasaky. and even the letter from the Emperor of Russia were all refused. for which the reason assigned was the dismissal of the Russian embassy. the written permission which Laxmann had procured for us to visit Nangasaky. the ambassador had his last audience of the plenipotentiary. on board. it would have been impossible for us to have been ready to sail by the 16th April. §§ After many repeated intreaties and representations. they were to be delivered over to the Dutch. which had raised such great expectations. the former as a present for the crew. as well as from visiting. each of 150 pounds weight. a pair of girandoles. The satisfaction which the prospect of soon quitting Japan occasioned to the ship’s company. cables. a glass lantern. each weighing 30 pounds. besides 2000 pieces of capock or silk wadding. and this is perhaps not to be expected. although the interpreters flattered the ambassador with assurances that this refusal had created a great sensation throughout Japan. and provisions. learned from the Japanese. that she should be provided with every thing for two months. On the 16th April. This then was the result of an embassy. unless some great change should take place in the ministry of Jeddo. who would send them by the way of Batavia to Nangasaky. and that the emperor had sent 2000 sacks of salt. and the working sixteen hours a-day. a pair of marble tables. a piece of cloth. a revolution actually did take place in Jeddo. that the Emperor of Japan would be obliged to make a present in return to the Emperor of Russia. but without the assistance of the Japanese and their boats. On the other hand it was declared. the ambassador was at length allowed to give seven different articles to seven interpreters. Farther. who visited the northern coast of Jesso [Ezo] in the years 1806 and 1807.

12 Awaby [awabi]: abalone. Jesse Ramsden (1735–1800): British designer of precision instruments. the imperial capital. 1805. vol. later until the early seventeenth century. . xi. Voyage Round the World in the Years 1803. & 1806. The term is used to designate a variety of Japanese officials. von Krusenstern. 2 vols. see introduction p. is a rendering of the Japanese bugyo (‘magistrate’). 14.80 Krusenstern: Voyage round the world Notes 1 Source: A. The Dutch trade mission on Hirado. 11 The Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese characters for Ningbo is in fact Neiha. known for the invention of an achromatic (non-colour distorting) refracting telescope. 3 Hirado: island off the north-west coast of Kyushu which served as a port for foreign trade with China and. from the original German by Richard Belgrave Hoppner. moved to Deshima in 1641. elected to the Royal Society in 1786. 14 The Dolls’ or Girls’ Festival is now celebrated on 3 March. 10 Cubo [Kubo]: shogun. with European nations. 9 Kermes: Dutch word meaning ‘fair’. variously spelt in different travellers’ accounts. Dairy [Dairi]: imperial court. 4 Miako: old name for Kyoto. 1813. 7 The island of Takabokojima in Nagasaki harbour. 8 See note on calendars. p. 1804. London: John Murray. 5 Banjos: this word. pp. 251–87. 2 The reference is to Thunberg and Kaempfer. 6 John Hadley (1682–1744): British mathematician and inventor. 1. 13 John Dollond (1706–61): British optical and astronomical instrument maker. the last to remain. trans. J.

Orthography and punctuation in this chapter follow those of the original English publication. without any aperture whatever. as to leave a passage between each. The prison* was large. We three officers were put into the former. Uehara Kumajiro. to which no friendly ray seemed to penetrate. the sailors and Alexei. however. fifteen broad. there was a gate. Alexei Maksimovich. four sailors. and twelve feet high. and ten feet high. built of fine wood and must have occasioned the Japanese * It was a quadrangular wooden building. who had agreed to act as a guide. was not secured until October 1813. that we were obliged to creep into it. both of which were. A small water closet was constructed in the further end of each cage. the conditions of Golovnin’s imprisonment improved. They were so placed. but the south side was formed of strong spars. The door was formed of massy spars. we thought we should never again enjoy the light of the sun. His release. 1811) The following extract from the memoir of Vasilii Mikhailovich Golovnin (1776–1831) describes the period of his captivity after he and his companions were taken to Matsumae at the end of September 1811. and also passages between them and the walls of the prison. Above the door was a small hole. Fedor Mur and Andrei Khlebnikov. In the middle were two cages. and two servants. that the workmen had not had time to remove their chips. and placed at the distance of four inches. from each other. twenty-five paces long. As their interrogation proceeded and the Japanese gradually became convinced that the Russians had not approached Japan with hostile intentions. however. and was fastened by a strong iron bolt. the fence which surrounded the yard. four inches square.3 Vasilii Golovnin Narrative of my captivity in Japan (Ezo. were all so recently finished. The Russians were also attended by a Japanese–Ainu interpreter. With Golovnin were imprisoned two other officers from the Diana. and the sentry boxes. also. kept fast locked. the other was of an equal breadth and height. and a little door. Three sides were complete wall. The sides of the cage next each other were .1 On the first view of our prison. were confined in the latter. but was eight paces long. for though the weather was fine and the sky bright when we entered. On the side which consisted of these spars. The place of our confinement. through which our food was handed to us. similar to those on the south side of the prison. The entrance to the cage was so low. formed of spars. One cage was six paces square. and an Ainu from the Kurile Islands. we found darkness had already commenced in this dismal abode.

and did not allow us to enjoy a moment’s repose. but the feeble glimmering light which it shed between the spars. We had frequently told him that we knew of no Japanese having been at Kamtschatka. and. On the 1st of October it was notified to us that. of the great wall. and which was occupied by two soldiers in the service of the Imperial Government. looked at each other and regarded ourselves as finally lost. within which were. and in which there was a door exactly opposite that of the prison. Mr. at the distance or from six to eight paces. At night this prison was most horribly dismal. nor even to pass within the first fence. and. This circumstance gave us much uneasiness. We could not suppose that the Japanese would have thrown away time. a night lamp supplied with fish oil. except the seven who had been saved from shipwreck. through which a stream flowed and the rampart of the castle. He was overjoyed to hear this and repeated what he supposed Mr. Around the first wall was a second but less high fence. a piece of fish and a handful of beans with syrup. A guard-room was placed against the spars. On our endeavouring to make the interpreter comprehend the mistake of the servant.2 or Viceroy. where the third was. but whom we had not seen. Mr. for the purpose of obstructing the view from the one to the other. They were not allowed to come near us. A servant at length brought in our supper. they could see us all. the cooking-room and an apartment for the workmen. if they intended to set us soon at liberty. with sharp pointed wooden stakes. including a considerable space. The clanking noise made every half hour by the moving of the locks and bolts when the soldiers inspected us. which formed the entrance side of the prison. as it was calculated to make the Japanese suspect that there was something in the affair which we wished to conceal from them. that we could see the sailors. They might easily have found a suitable house for confining us two or three years: but the strength and the plan of this prison appeared to denote that it was intended to be our dwelling place during the remainder of our existence. labour. and expence. The whole building was surrounded. Moor had said to the Interpreter. Moor [Mur] immediately asked him where he had learned Russian. we had no fire. and seldom turned their eyes away from us. but patrolled the rounds every half hour. was kept burning in the guard-room. but they could not perceive us. The whole structure was situated between an abrupt and deep hollow.82 Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan Government no inconsiderable expence. a skreen was also placed between the closets. The outer guard consisted of soldiers belonging to the Prince of Tzyngar [Tsugaru?]. He reached it through the spars. . asked in broken Russian. on the following day. was scarcely capable of rendering any object visible to us. to which he replied “in Kamtschatka” [Kamchatka]. we should be carried before the Bunyo [bugyo]. he exclaimed: “How artful! how artful!” and went away. During the night they had fire and struck the hours with two boards: the imperial soldiers on the contrary visited us every half hour. and placed in a paper lantern. from which it was separated by a road of no great breadth. Moor told him that he had also been in Kamtschatka. This idea distressed us not a little. not observing me as I lay in a corner. who were constantly on guard. the Japanese however understood him to say that he had seen him there. on one side of the gate. walked round our cages and looked through the spars. We sat long in profound silence. on the other side. which was bounded in such a manner. which consisted of boiled rice. by a high wall or fence. a guardhouse. rendered this gloomy place still more disagreeable. and who were in Nischny-Kamtschatsk [Nizhnii-Kamchatsk].

some of which were of paper. our sailors were behind us. After we had waited about a quarter of an hour. This servant had told us that he was to be our Interpreter in our conference with the Bunyosso [bugyo-san?]. Mr. Proceeding forward. Here we were placed in the front of a spacious saloon. a kind of sandals. On entering the castle. and the various kinds of fine wood of which the doors and frames were formed. Chlebnikoff [Khlebnikov] and myself were placed on an elevated spot. were all gilded and adorned with Japanese paintings of landscapes. in like manner we were obliged to deposit our boots. . The curious carved work. The name of this man was Heinste [Heisuke?]. to which we were conducted. we soon found ourselves in a sort of court or yard of considerable size. We waited here about an hour. at the door. in the ordinary dress. On each side of the saloon were five officers with daggers in their girdles. we came to the door of a third court. and Alexei sat on their left. the other was called Fok-Masse [Fukumasa?]. sitting cross-legged.Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan 83 accordingly done in the morning. Our servant. but we did not believe that he would venture to undertake a task he was so incapable of executing. according to the Japanese custom. and were put into a low long shaped building and placed all in a row upon one bench. lay between the rampart and the hollow. Moor. but somewhat lower. added greatly to the splendour of this extraordinary edifice. on approaching which. lying beside them on the left hand. and held umbrellas over us to protect us from the rain. they were in their usual dress. A Japanese. during which the Japanese laughed and amused themselves in conversation with each other. for the Japanese wear neither boots nor shoes. the skreens which formed its sides. straw sandals. who understood some Russian words. at last a door was opened and we were conveyed into a second court. This door being opened.‡ took his station on our right (this was the place of the Interpreter) and Kumaddschero [Kumajiro] on our left. and three of whom had large sabres. the ends of the ropes were held by imperial soldiers. There were two of our attendants who. according to the Japanese mode of building. were thrown open on the side next the court. we walked on very fine straw mats towards a large wooden building. pulled off their shoes† and laid them down. with their swords and daggers. strewed with small stones or gravel. in which the skreens. came † ‡ Or more properly. understood Russian. As the road was dirty the Japanese had laid down planks for us to walk on. others of wood. The saloon was very extensive. One of the officers called out – Schee! and a deep silence immediately followed. as the Japanese supposed. quadrupeds and birds. The road to the southern gate of the Castle. Mr. on this occasion. but make with plaited straw or grass. we suddenly heard a rustling behind a skreen. were formed. or fortress. of which the walls. We were conducted in the same manner as in Chakodade [Hakodate] except that. and extended to the distance of about a quarter of a werst [verst] from our prison. The floor was covered with finely worked tapestry. the soldiers who escorted us.

he faced us. We saluted him after the European manner. in doing which he resumed his former position. by laying the palms of their hands on the floor. and proceeded to interpret it. It is probable that he asked the names of our fathers: Heinste pulled a paper. with the handle upward. . and seemed desirous of shewing that he was favourably disposed towards us. This was no sooner done. but our answers were noted down by two officers.84 Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan forward. and looked like a president sitting at the head of his council. we answered with a bow. as. to preserve his naked hand from coming in contact with it. who were five in number. and he bowed in return. This he. in doing which he laid the palms of his hands upon his knees. His suite sat down behind him. however. and when the Bunyo ceased to speak. who took a note of his supposed interpretation. Meanwhile the Bunyo conversed with Heinste. placed the palms of his hands on the floor. but. his armorial bearings were embroidered: he had a dagger at his girdle. The Japanese wrote down what he said. however. and we heard him pronounce the Japanese word for father. and requested that they would explain the matter to the Bunyo. stood up. The sabre-bearer held that weapon near the extremity. that we declared we would answer no more questions. and his sabre was carried by one of his suite. He drew from his bosom a paper. he did not well understand what we said. who was not in the least ruffled by this declaration. and called each of us by our names. with Russian § There was here no particular secretary. kneeled on his entrance. did so imperfectly. and bowed his head. repeatedly smiled. than the Japanese all testified their respect. lest harm should befall him in consequence of his persisting. He listened with the greatest attention to what we said. on the sleeves of which. and bending their bodies so low. on which he nodded his head. that he was incapable of performing the task he had undertaken. as at Chakodade. made some reply to the Japanese. Heinste. The Bunyo took his place without delay. in order that this impostor might not injure us by his erroneous interpretations. The shameful assurance of this man roused our indignation so far. one of whom sat on the right. who listened with his forehead touching the ground. he who carried the sabre. The Bunyo returned the compliment with a pretty deep bow. at the distance of three paces. but they did not dare to speak. The following was the purport of his version: – “Thou art a man – I am a man – such another is a man – say what sort of a man?” We advised him not to deceive his superiors. as is the custom with all the Japanese. in order to interpret what had been said. laid it down on the left of the Bunyo. He then addressed himself to Heinste.§ and then a second question was put. into which he looked. after which a new question was asked. but a cloth was wrapped round the part which he grasped. We turned to Alexei and Kumaddschero. which we knew. In this position they remained for some seconds. that we could not comprehend him. that their foreheads almost touched the ground. he who had previously entered included. in fact. The Bunyo now appeared: he was in a common black dress. to confess frankly. the other on the left.

the capital. – the first was. he asked some questions which had no relation to these subjects. and have hearts as well as other people.Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan 85 words. After examining us on the subject of Resanoff’s [Rezanov’s] return from Japan. and will supply us with rice. or in any other part of Japan. they laughed. and observed that he had heard so many consolatory assurances. We replied that we had only two things to ask. at last acknowledged that he did not know the word. They will investigate our affair. At last he asked whether there was any request that we wished to address to him. and appeared to arise from mere curiosity. with inquiries respecting our names. what sort of monuments they erected over their graves. sagi [sake]and other ** So Alexei styled the Bunyo. Of these I recollect the following: – He wished to know how the Russians buried their dead. and an expression of commiseration was visible in the countenances of all. “The General”. because the Governor of Kamtschatka was called General at that time. and after stammering for a considerable time. any difference was made between the rich and the poor? When. “says that the Japanese are men. the Bunyo remarked that the same practice prevailed among the Japanese. in case the first was not possible. whether we would rather return to Russia. and even still unjustly detained in prison. that he despaired of being able to repeat them all. at which we should doubtless find some cause to rejoice. families and relations. in the course of our answers. the second. namely. and again appointed Kumaddschero and Alexei our interpreters.** continued Alexei. In these particulars the interrogatories were even more minute than any we had answered before. and they were all put by the Bunyo himself. in Yeddo [Edo]. and that we are not implicated in the proceedings of Chwostoff [Khvostov]. and whether. whether in Matsmai [Matsumae]. made a long speech. . dismissed him. which all present listened to with the utmost attention. From 1799 to 1812 that office was filled by major-generals in the army. Alexei then turned to explain to us what had been said. rank. When the Bunyo and his officers found that he was ignorant of so common a word. in that respect. or finally stating. He then observed that we might address a petition to him with regard to the place in which we wished to reside. and that we have therefore no reason either to fear or despair. and could not find it in his list. out of his breast. The Bunyo now. and if they find that we are not deceiving them. however. (but he probably committed some blunders in his interpretation). as we supposed the Bunyo himself must be aware of the only request we had to make – seeing that we had been treacherously seized. he would. we mentioned that the funerals of the rich were attended by a number of priests. to die – these were the only favours we had to request of the Japanese. endeavour to convey to us the substance of the speech. with evident emotion. and the cause of our arrival among them. to be permitted to return to our country. We answered that we did not rightly know what was intended by that question.3 they will send us back to Russia. The questions commenced in the same manner as at Chakodade.

and see that we wanted for nothing. bitter experience had confirmed all that we had before heard or read concerning the oriental nations. who.†† having directed our attendants to conduct us back to prison. served us with tea and sugar. or any particular kind of food. We thought that no men. and in particular the Japanese. could have so well assumed the mask of dissimulation. and thus rob them of the advantages they might otherwise derive from our experience and knowledge of the arts of Europe.” We thanked the Bunyo for this consolatory speech. he added. namely: that the meanest beggars with them excel our most crafty European courtiers in the practice of falsehood and deceit. It was not allowable to smoke tobacco in the court-yard of the Bunyo’s castle. at Nyphon [Nippon]4 they are both more violent and frequent than here. If we stood in need of clothes. “was not one of our very severe storms. and for his promise that we should have justice done us. came to us. in order that we might partake of some refreshment.” said he. the weather was much more stormy than in Matsmai. by order of the Governor. holding the hilt upwards. He devoted but little attention to the main subject of investigation. accompanied by a civil officer and a tailor. perhaps. On the other hand. upon which he withdrew. When he rose his sword-bearer immediately took his sabre up with the cloth. . and took our seats in a summer-house.” He endeavoured to give to this examination the appearance of a friendly conversation. he inquired whether we ever witnessed such a storm in Russia as had taken place on the preceding night in Japan? In some places. the 3d of October. as on his entrance. we were again conducted to the castle. consoled us only with empty hopes. Kumaddschero. lest we should pine our lives away in despair. but questioned us for a long time concerning the various customs and manners of the Europeans. and put on such an appearance of sympathy if they really did not feel for us. and presents. “This. where the Japanese. In the meanwhile they advised us to console ourselves. when we should become reconciled to our fate of remaining for ever in Japan. he said. and followed him. who were not possessed by evil spirits. and in about two hours time dismissed us. Among other things. they desired that we would not hesitate to make our request known.86 Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan provisions. our guards therefore went by turns into the kitchen and guard-room to smoke their pipes. We entered a spacious court-yard. We were frequently distressed by the reflection that this subtle and cunning people were doubtless aware of the use to which they might turn us. On the following day. the assurance of the Governor tended greatly to ease our minds. In the meantime the interpreter. Notwithstanding the singularly unfortunate combination of circumstances which was calculated to fill the minds of the Japanese with distrust and hatred towards us. had been ordered by †† Before he retired he bowed to the officers and they to him. and placed in the presence of the Bunyo with all the formalities which had been observed on the former occasion. as they would look after our health. and that they.

as we ourselves might think fit. and that we must not reject it. some of whom had been in Russia.” We thanked him for his kindness. Moor. Our food in Matsmai was incomparably better than it had been in Chakodade. either after the Japanese or the Russian form. upon which the Japanese replied that that was of no importance. the coat was shewn to him. The Japanese consider the flesh of whales. who examined us for several hours. being neither cloaks. made with white fish and muscle [mussel] broth.‡‡ we were again summoned to appear before the Bunyo. and will see that every thing is terminated to your advantage. that the Governor wished to make us a present. and were seasoned with grated radish and soy. transmit it to the government. The tailor was then conducted to the store-house. They were all. though they bore some resemblance to garments of each of these denominations. All contradiction was therefore useless: we told him that we wished to have some warm clothes made after the pattern of a coat which had been sent from the sloop to Mr. Our attendants. When the snow began to fall. were ordered to cook our victuals in the way we liked best. however. soups in which were various wild herbs or macaroni. to be the most delicate of all food. When he had measured us all. Alexei had a night-dress made after the Japanese form. somewhat resembling frieze. but to offer up prayers to God. We did not again appear before the Bunyo until the 6th of October. which the Japanese call mompa. “Be assured. and of the same form as ours. According to the Japanese custom. great-coats. very singularly shaped. we must furnish the tailor with a pattern. and with the help of the interpreters get it translated into Japanese. You may also draw up a petition to be presented to me. Mr. they shot for us sea dogs. Those for Mr. and returned to our melancholy prison. I will examine it. We observed that we had clothes enough. stewed rice and pickled radishes served us instead of bread and seasoning. Chlebnikoff and myself were made of a cherry-coloured cotton stuff. and they sometimes prepared for us a kind of Russian soup or sauce. The sailors’ clothes were of common cotton stuff. nor nightgowns. “that I will use all my influence with the Emperor to obtain his consent that you may return to your native country. not knowing whether these consolations of the Japanese were sincere or feigned. The fish were fried in oil of poppies. where our things were kept. and wait with patience for the issue of the investigation. wadded and lined. and felt no wish to have more. and were wadded and fined with cotton. boiled or fried. bears. . We were besides frequently furnished with good fresh and salt fish. if we wished to have them after the Russian fashion.Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan 87 the Governor to make some clothes for us. We were accordingly sometimes ‡‡ In the course of a few days our new clothes were brought to us. and noted every thing down in writing. and frequently hares. I will provide you with paper and ink in order that you may draw up an account of your case in the Russian language. Chlebnikoff. and at length dismissed us with an exhortation not to abandon ourselves to despair. and he proceeded to take our measures: – he made use of a measure which was divided into ten parts. but that.” said he. and sea lions.

as they had heard that the Russians did not like to lie on the ground. and. who came to us by turns during the day. this they never failed to do when the weather was colder than usual. Who would not have lost patience on being asked such questions as the following? When I was taken. They. besides. and one bear-skin. and which was likewise hung round with instruments of punishment. that we sometimes made very insolent replies. These were the only imitations of Russian dishes they knew how to prepare. and feared lest the bleak north-winds might give us cold. than torture us in the way they did. he asked fifty. but examined the wall. corresponded very ill with our rigorous confinement. If he put one interrogatory concerning any circumstance connected our case. This so puzzled and tormented us. on the night of the 14th of October. Our drink consisted either of luke-warm or hot tea.§§ when the frost began. and placed benches for us to sleep upon. Besides the orderly officers. that the Japanese were careful of our health. as through the palisades we could discover nothing but the sky and the tops of a few trees. We were consequently compelled to give up all thoughts of the window! From the 6th of October to the end of the month. We were living almost in the open air. or every other day. These attentions. We once stated plainly. which were pretty savoury. a few days afterwards. and the winter then set in. the Japanese gave to each of our sailors a large night-dress. with two bear-skins each. which were unimportant. The kind manners of the Japanese emboldened us to ask one of the officers. I had ten or twelve keys of my bureau and drawers. the Bunyo left off receiving us in the saloon. and therefore appeared to us very singular. as the weather was extremely cold. He did not oppose our request. we were conducted regularly every day. to the Bunyo. Our meals were usually served to us thrice every day. a particular officer was appointed to look after our provisions. gave the sailors a bench to sit upon. About the middle of October. that we had rather they would put an end to our existence at once. whether we could not have a window made in the back wall of the prison. and myself. and they also gave us a kind of dark-coloured grits boiled. but we were deceived. and when we returned from the castle. similar to that at Chakodade. Towards the middle of November the snow fell very thick. and of the astronomical instruments belonging to the §§ The first snow fell in Matsmai. but it was melted by a thaw a few days afterwards. who usually detained us the greater part of the day. so that our attendants were obliged to carry our meals to the castle.88 Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan regaled with small patties of barley-meal with fish. On the renewal of our solicitation. however. and asked us where we thought it would be best to make the window. The number of questions which the Bunyo asked was incalculable. and our examinations afterwards took place in a chamber of justice. they furnished the officers. . the officer replied. We felt reason to hope that our request would be complied with. our attendants usually presented each of us with two tea-cups full of warm sagi. and many which were ludicrous.

like so many horses. The Japanese interrogated us without any kind of regularity. that he did not intend to force any answers from us. In order to enable the reader to form some notion of the questions which the Japanese put to us. On our mentioning sheep. however. The Bunyo wished to be informed of the contents of every drawer. Fortunately. Upon this he immediately inquired how many servants I had. When I pointed to my shirt. They always made their requests with the utmost politeness. The Bunyo then asked a few questions relative to our business. What kind of dress does the Emperor of Russia wear? – What does he wear on his head?*** What kind of birds are found in the neighbourhood of St. and adjusted our disputes three or four times in the course of a day. however. and often jumped from one subject to another. and that it was my servant’s business to keep that reckoning. they requested him to draw the figure of our emperor’s hat upon a piece of paper. the hundredth part of the useless inquiries which they were accustomed to make in the course of one day. moreover. but soon resumed his old system of examination. This kindness immediately calmed our irritation. and therefore he could not possibly refuse them.Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan 89 ship. he sketched with astonishing rapidity. Petersburgh? – What would be the price in Russia of the clothes which we were then wearing? – What number of cannon was planted round the imperial palace?††† – What wool is made use of in Europe for manufacturing cloth?‡‡‡ – What quadrupeds. . It must. since neither my servants nor property were near me? The Governor then. coaches. scarcely. observed that he hoped we were not offended by his curiosity. be considered that we had to make ourselves understood to them by means of a halfbarbarous Kurile. and at length dismissed us. they requested Mr. On our informing them that the sovereigns of Europe did not fortify their palaces. They. The following is a specimen of one of our examinations. birds and fish are eaten in Russia? – In what manner do the Russians eat their food? – What dress do the ladies wear? – What kind of *** ††† ‡‡‡ When they heard that Mr. Moor to draw them the figures or a sheep. they at first seemed to doubt the truth of what we said. asses. and who knew of no words in the Kurile language to express many of the terms which we made use of. At length they asked him for horses. but merely questioned us like a friend. and we reproached ourselves for the rude answers we had given. in a word they wished to have every thing represented on paper which they could not see in Japan. with great mildness. I subjoin a few of their interrogatories. sledges. &c. and what were their names and ages? I lost all patience. however. and the trouble it cost us to explain the various things which excited their curiosity. that I did not know. and told him that my drawers contained such things as these. although he found it a very tedious and troublesome task to satisfy all their demands. and what use such information could be to them. and every box. harnessed as usual. and a goat. he asked me how many I had? I told him. In this manner we frequently quarrelled. who knew scarcely any thing of the subjects on which we conversed. afterwards expressed their astonishment at what they termed so singular an instance of imprudence. Moor was a good draughtsman. with some degree of ill-humour. and asked the Japanese why they teazed us with such questions.

&c. but we found it necessary to be upon our guard as they frequently questioned us on the same subject at different times. At length they wished to know how large our houses were. in which ships are built? and how many ships of war and merchantmen are there in all Europe? We might indeed have invented an answer of some kind or other. and requested us to point out the spot on the sketch which Mr.90 Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan horse does the Emperor usually ride? – Who accompanies him. But this was not all. how far they were from the palace. such for instance as: how many harbours are there in Europe. they requested that we would inform them according to supposition. I have already observed that in Chakodade they insisted on knowing how many men were under our command according to our rank. and of all the branches of the imperial family. in what part of the town they were situated. and how many servants we kept. This question was again repeated. and further into how many stories they were divided. They frequently put us out of humour by making inquiries respective things of which we could not possibly possess any knowledge. I frequently thought that the Japanese took a pleasure thus to torment us. Moor had drawn. than they made inquiries respecting the length. a plan of Petersburgh. and Kamtschatka. and in different ways. the names of the governors-general of Siberia and Irkutzk. in what part of the building the sailors lived. and of the commandants of Okotzk. The Bunyo would then endeavour to reconcile us by expressions of regard and inquiries §§§ When we replied that we did not know. when he goes abroad? – Are the Russians partial to the Dutch? – How many foreigners are there in Russia? – What are the chief articles of trade in Petersburgh? – What are the dimensions in the length. asked how many buildings of that kind there were in Petersburgh. But the Japanese vexed us most of all by their inquiries respecting barracks. They then requested Mr. when we were ashore. &c. from the best of his recollection. and to point out in what part of the town the sailors’ barracks were. together with a request to know where the sailors lived in Petersburgh? In barracks we replied. but this did not induce the Japanese to discontinue their trifling. breadth and height of the imperial palace?§§§ – How many windows does it contain? – How many times do the Russians go to church in one day? – How many festivals do the Russians observe in the course of the year? – Do the Russians wear silk clothes? – At what time of life do the Russian women begin. windows and doors they contained. They inquired in what part of the city our dwellings were situated. breadth and height of the barracks. This they never failed to do whenever we sought to evade their questions. the number of gates. Moor to sketch. and cease to bear children? – They besides inquired the names of the Emperor. was a real martyrdom. . This demand was no sooner complied with. and told them that they might if they pleased put us to death. and what number of men they contained? We thought it best to plead ignorance of most of these matters. for to reply to all the questions which their insatiable curiosity induced them to put to us. how many men were appointed to guard the barracks. they questioned us about the military barracks. &c. how they employed their time. We sometimes absolutely refused to answer them.

I told them in my father’s house. The Japanese took up the books one by one. we could not possibly make them understand the meaning of the plates. They declared themselves overjoyed that such a book should have fallen into their hands. and asked where he had been educated. and whether it did not relate to the distance between the sun and the earth? I thought it would not be difficult to make Alexei comprehend this figure. With regard to some of the books. and naturally concluded that there would be an end of the matter. They took down all our answers in writing and placed a label with a superscription on each of the articles. where he resided. they entreated that we would give them some notion of what kind of book it was. they inquired their names. One day. and whether he had himself been Moor’s instructor? &c. Moor: they looked upon him to be an exceeding learned man. They pointed to one of the plates explanatory of the refraction of rays. I was obliged to inform them when and how I had acquired my education. and asked him whether he had not observed that when the end of an oar was in the water. he merely said that he had received his education in his uncle’s house. which powerfully excited the curiosity of the Japanese. In vain did we tell them that with such an interpreter as Alexei. it had the appearance of being broken. They admired the fine hand writing and drawing of Mr. they replied that such things had long since been well known to them. their uses. But this did not satisfy them.Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan 91 respecting matters relative to our imprisonment. but he would soon resume his childishness. where they had been educated. and asked us what it meant. where they had been manufactured. “Oh yes!” he said. Then followed a string of questions concerning his uncle: who he was. Among the latter was the Physics of Libes.5 in three volumes. and with what sciences he was acquainted. we experienced no small difficulty. When they asked me where I was brought up. “I have . showed them to us and inquired respecting their contents. giving them any opportunity for unnecessary questions. whether my father was a man of property. this explanation was easy enough. The Japanese at last produced all the things which they had taken from us. inquired their names. and how much they cost. Moor took care not to tell them that he had been brought up in the Naval Cadet-College: to avoid the thousand questions which would infallibly have ensued respecting that institution. but. This work contains numerous plans of various instruments and machines. and requested an explanation of all the figures which most pleased them. we replied in a short manner. with others. and sometimes gave them only half an answer. We avoided. a box full of my English and French books was brought into the presence of the Bunyo. &c. He immediately understood us and translated what we said to the Japanese. We told Alexei that the book treated of the means of raising heavy weights. but I was under a mistake. and shewed him one of the plates representing a crane and block. in the French language. On his informing them that he had had tutors. whether he was rich. though we had not been previously informed of their being sent from the sloop. But every word carried with it a train of interrogatories. Mr. Every thing they saw filled them with amazement. by every possible manoeuvre.

A wish was. Among a number of insignificant questions. as well as other nations. one day or other. be able to make them understand the contents of these books. They now took the books from us. whilst that in the Russian language was. and all else as mere accessary matters. another time. because my name was written in all the books. It seemed to them impossible that we should make use of bombs weighing nine pounds. &c.92 Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan observed that. though I do not know how it happens. We readily replied to these questions. “Oh. and they laughed when we said that we preferred firing muskets with flints. on the contrary. 1786. though he himself was fully of opinion that we were talking nonsense. occasionally printed their books either on fine or coarse paper. arising from mere curiosity. They then asked how it happened that my foreign books were so handsomely bound. we were constantly prepared with a corresponding answer. always bearing in mind that which we had before said. He repeated them once. “what man can break a ray?” We were likewise unable to repress our laughter. It appeared they took us all for extremely learned men. he asked us what a ray was? No sooner had we made him understand the meaning of the word than he burst into a loud fit of laughter. because they happen to have sent from the sloop. I. which.” When we tried to explain to him the refraction of rays. the number of garrisons. They questioned me concerning that circumstance. Tatishchev. as they make use of matches for that purpose. St Petersburg: Imprimerie impériale. that we would. and sometimes twice during the day.] . Dictionnaire complet françois et russe. entertained that opinion of me. that’s impossible!” said he. printed on coarse paper? I replied that the Russians. in two vols. I replied. but he always seemed to consider the satisfaction of his own curiosity as the most important object. at present. the Bunyo asked all the questions which we had previously answered in Chakodade. They asked me why I had so many foreign books. and though each interrogatory was repeated ten times over. This increased our vexation. saying “another time. however. [I. and the riches and strength of the Russian empire. They seemed at last convinced that Alexei was not a fit interpreter for such matters. the Japanese wished to know the military and naval force. and printed on fine paper. and the Japanese joined us without knowing why. With regard to the circumstances relative to our imprisonment.**** and whether they did not know how to print books in Russia? It is. From what fell from them they seemed to expect. but in particular. only the chest containing the foreign books.” and began to pack them carefully up in the box. and only one in the Russian language. I subjoin two observations which the Japanese made concerning these books. and expressed their astonishment at my having so many books in my possession. the Russian volumes are in another box. appeared perfectly enigmatical to them. shewn to **** Tatischtschew’s French Dictionary.

and that. and were always present during the examinations or rather conversations. that the expressions had perhaps been made use of by one of the officers of the garrison. talk nonsense as well as other people. to any question relative to our own case. if he pleased. made windows at the top. who had been taken before the chief-commandant of Kamtschatka. adding. and that. but to offer up prayers to Heaven. He accordingly dismissed us. as we have already proved to them. and might. he requested us immediately to inform him. and to place confidence therein. What had been his object in doing this. but in our sad condition we derived some consolation even from this prospect.Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan 93 have clear and decided answers. and the Japanese would soon have experienced the difference between a predatory attack made by a private individual. and a regular war declared by the Emperor. and at our earnest entreaty. Those attendants constantly accompanied us to the castle. entertained no such intentions. had heard him declare that he would overrun Japan with a numerous army. otherwise its hostilities would not have been confined to empty threats. The Bunyo once asked a question concerning Chwostoff. . The latter answered (for we understood the purport of what he said perfectly well) that Chwostoff wore a uniform ornamented with gold lace. he would burn and destroy every thing he could find. Our government. From these windows we could indeed discover nothing but the sky and the tops of a few trees. with the assistance of the interpreter Kumaddschero. with an exhortation not to yield to despair. the commandant of Kamtschatka was a person of no importance in Russia. which opened and shut by means of a rope. At the close of this examination the Bunyo informed us that we should not be conveyed to the castle for some time again. that in case we stood in need of any thing. instead of merely blustering there as Chwostoff had done. They besides dug large holes for hearths. I must not omit to mention several marks of attention which the Japanese shewed to us during the month of October. and then sent back to Japan. since we should experience every indulgence which he could give consistently with the laws of his country. and continued his questions with his usual civility. The Bunyo then said that the two attendants Heinste and Fok-Masse. and immediately spoke to one of the attendants. We learned that our two attendants were the same Japanese who had been carried off from the Island of Sagaleen [Sakhalin] by Chwostoff. and who were detained by him for a whole winter at Kamtschatka. We replied that it appeared to us improbable that the commandant of Kamtschatka should have made any such declaration. The Bunyo was not in the least degree offended by this answer. they stopped up the spaces between the spars with paper. we knew not. but as the cold continued to increase. The Japanese looked at us and smiled. to whom he had given every necessary instruction. the same as mine and Mr. even allowing it to be true. Moor’s. in order to afford us time to draw up a written statement of our case. I have already observed that they provided us with warm clothing and bear-skins.

that with them. the highest mark of favour they could shew us. and upwards of an hour was spent in deliberation. They told us that we were only permitted to smoke tobacco through the particular favour of the Governor. our condition could only be gradually improved. they had granted us some indulgences. than to draw down upon themselves the anger of a warlike and powerful neighbour. to debate concerning the precise spots where these holes should be dug. of so large a size that it would not pass between the palisades. We felt irritated at this singular instance of distrust. If (thought we. and an elegant case of flasks. laughed and referred to their laws. and reproached the Japanese in pretty plain terms. which warmed us when we seated ourselves on the ground near the spars. At first we naturally supposed that some affair of mighty importance was in agitation. which obliged them to remove from the reach of their prisoners any thing by which they might commit violence. they burnt charcoal from morning to night. The ground was examined and measured. we were glad to find that the Japanese did not adhere strictly to the letter of their law. and very long pipes. The Japanese asked us whether we had ever †††† Several officers.94 Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan at about one and a half or two paces from each cage. either on themselves or others. which was the property of the Bunyo. They observed that the Japanese never did any thing rashly. In these fire-places.†††† which they built round with thick free-stone and filled with sand. it was accordingly natural enough that they should rather chuse not to be over punctual in expounding their statutes. and that without violating their laws. and an architect. how long will it be ere they bring the investigation of our case to an issue? . consequently. In the present case. the physician. for the barbarous opinion they entertained of the Europeans. moreover.) they deliberate for an hour about matters of this nature. but we soon learnt what it all tended to. This dilatory and trifling turn of the Japanese caused us much vexation. and that they often made evasions in our favour. to the middle of which a wooden ball was affixed. This we well knew from experience. for we had never yet received two civilities or favours in the course of the same day. the Japanese had to take care to avoid a war with Russia. every measure was executed slowly and deliberately. They wished the fires to be kindled at such a distance that we could not reach the coals with our hands. they supplied us with tobacco for smoking. and that. one in particular deserves to be noticed. several models of boats and ships. though we could smoke our pipes by means of the long tubes they supplied us with. a Japanese bag containing about two pounds of rice. and had kindled fires for us: they therefore observed that we ought not murmur at any trifling restriction. They. This explanation consoled us. a silver ruble bearing the head of Catherine II. assembled like the members of a council. partly lacquered and partly gilt. In course of a few days. the interpreter. Among the many marks of kindness with which the Bunyo honoured us. would be to send us back to our native country. which appeared to us to be Chinese. There were one day shewn to us. and that at length. They. however. assured us that our condition would be bettered in course of time. and which was intended to hinder us from drawing the burning pipes into our prisons.

he brought another physician along with him. sometime hence perhaps. but he insisted that we should accept of them. no. One day he brought to us three portraits of Japanese ladies. went to so great a length. We asked him what use they could be to us? and he replied that we might amuse ourselves by looking at them when the time hung heavily on our hands. according to their laws. what was the name and value of the coin. and if we felt the slightest indisposition. and afterwards made the interpreter Kumaddschero a present of them. when he desired us to keep them. Their attention to us. replied Kumaddschero. and we were about to return them to him. granted to the Dutch who visit Japan. insisted on our accepting of his portraits. Mr. In cases of fire. Moor jokingly told him that we did not wish to keep the portraits. that one night. Indulgences of this kind are. Kumaddschero. according to Russian weight? Their questions were short and unaccompanied by the usual digressions. lest we might be induced to request his countrymen to send the fair originals to amuse us. Our physician visited us daily. We then asked whether we were in a situation to be amused by the sight of such beauties? Indeed the figures were so wretchedly designed. I must not omit mentioning one very laughable circumstance. that they were calculated only to excite aversion and ridicule. and desired us not to trouble ourselves about it. I must likewise observe that the Japanese did every thing which they thought would contribute to our comfort. the real cause of which we were unable to devine. Our meals were superintended by an old officer sixty years of age. He behaved very civilly to us. and asked him whether he thought the Governor would accede to such a demand? No. The interpreter. during the first few days of our imprisonment at Matsmai. however. and beat drums through the streets. which was lying on the shore underneath a shed. however. We supposed that he meant merely to shew them to us. they were far from paying such particular regard to us. repeated his visits twice or three times in course of the day. the Japanese sound an alarm. could not entertain us in his own house. and what quantity of rice the bag would contain. we complied with his wish. However. when a fire broke out in the city. gave us to understand that this was done by order of the Bunyo. They then poured from the flasks some excellent sagi and cordials. not now. At first we ‡‡‡‡ §§§§ The fire broke out owing to the carelessness of the guards on board of a vessel. very richly dressed. and in cases which appeared in any degree dangerous. which they presented to us. and Kumaddschero directed us how to prepare our memorial.‡‡‡‡ our guards came into our cage and explained to us the cause of the alarm. laughing. . and frequently consoled us with the assurance that we should be sent back to Russia. The old man.§§§§ During the last fortnight of the month of October. we were occupied in drawing up a statement of our case.Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan 95 seen any thing in Europe like the models and the case of flasks? and further. We refused. and were particularly watchful of our health. We were furnished with paper and ink. who.

setting forth where we were born. He requested that we would write the copy which was to be translated. with every particular of which they desired to be made acquainted. declaring that a whole life would be insufficient to note down on paper all our answers to the silly questions which had been put to us. lest the sheets might have been counted. excepting what related to our communications with the Japanese. we were obliged to proceed with the greatest caution. and told Kumaddschero that we would. write out our case. For this reason the Kuriles had made for us.††††† and placed his ink. however. what were the names of our fathers and mothers. This we immediately did. during his absence. and he next wished us to state on the same sheets of paper. and that the Bunyo had merely required a statement of our case to be translated into Japanese. we first of all wrote it out in a rough style: but in doing this we experienced considerable difficulty. with the assistance of Alexei. &c. turning his back towards the Japanese: he wrote with a straw.***** who would have taken the papers from us. The Japanese were at first displeased at our refusal. and in order that we might reserve a copy of the statement for ourselves. during our journey. and when he should be present. we therefore wrote ***** ††††† ‡‡‡‡‡ They scarcely ever turned their eyes away from us. Food of a fluid nature they sip out of the dish as we do tea. so as to be able to observe what he was doing. how long we had been in the naval service? &c. We accordingly set to work. Chlebnikoff could not have used pencils without the knowledge of the Japanese. and refused to write any thing at all. adding. we would have it translated into Japanese.‡‡‡‡‡ before him. wrapped in a large night-gown. that they wished every thing to be made as short as possible. and winked to him whenever any of the guards changed their position. . Kumaddschero required that we should write on separate sheets of paper for ourselves and the sailors. some small wooden spoons. Chlebnikoff usually sat near the spars. The Japanese write with hair-pencils instead of pens. and Mr. a kind of affidavit. that they erected crucifixes and other monuments over their tombs. Mr. in a small wooden spoon. in such a way as to leave room between every two lines for one or two more. We. but eat their victuals with two slender reeds. We were afraid to use for this purpose the paper with which Kumaddschero had provided us. one of which we now converted into an ink-stand. and they then requested that we would write down all the circumstances that had occurred to us since our departure from Petersburgh. and endeavoured to persuade us to do what they declared would be to our own advantage.96 Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan entered into a serious dispute with the Japanese on this subject. The Japanese neither make use of spoons nor forks. This we agreed to do. We were obliged therefore to have recourse to the straws which lay on the floor of our prison. obstinately persisted in our determination. I walked up and down. lest we should be observed by our guards. But this we refused to do. that the Russians buried their dead in church-yards on the outside of the city. all the absurd things respecting which we had been questioned: for instance.

He first asked us how the Russians sounded particular words. that he was old. and was totally ignorant of grammar. which. Prepositions and conjunctions could find no access to his stupid head. either through Alexei’s interpretation. or by gesticulations and examples. we were frequently unable to make Alexei comprehend us. Moor. we were obliged to make use of the word violent. If we explained to him the meaning of a word. I understand. &c. instead of peaceable intentions.Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan 97 on the coarse paper which had been given to us for pocket-handkerchiefs. laugh and mutter out his O-o-sso! but scarcely had we finished speaking. It was quite inconceivable to him. Kumaddschero would listen attentively to all we said. Our style of writing would therefore have appeared singular enough to any body but our interpreters. He maintained that the Russian words ought to follow each . in the meanwhile wrote out a fair copy of our statement. for example. he would listen attentively to every thing we said. who understood the word perfectly well. but imperial. whilst they were making the translation. that we should place them before the noun substantives to which they referred. This. is equivalent to “Yes. Here new difficulties arose.” We sometimes spent half an hour in explaining a word to him. trying to explain it to him by every example we could think of. he would again ask us what it meant. he began to labour at the construction of the sentences. above the word itself. he could sometimes find no corresponding words and expressions to convey what we intended to the Japanese interpreter. Notwithstanding all this. and he would not believe that any thing could be well expressed in so barbarous and imperfect a language as he regarded the Russian to be. and Alexei. good meaning. and when we thought we had made him fully understand it. when he would say. whilst. We endeavoured by all possible means to avoid such words and phrases as Alexei could not understand. and then described the pronunciation in Japanese characters. did all in his power to render it intelligible to him. instead of very or much. When he had once comprehended the meaning of the words. blows. declaring that he could form no idea of its signification. but he would excuse himself by saying. We occupied two hours at a time. and would write it down in Japanese above the pronunciation. instead of hostilities. and reproached him for his stupidity. and then exclaim O-o-o. I cannot comprehend that at all. When he had completed a sheet in this way. He spent two whole days in endeavouring to comprehend the word imperial. yes. gave us no little trouble. He was a man of about fifty years of age. is inconceivable. which we dictated under pretence of conversing with him. he would ask us the signification of each of the words. in the Japanese language. in the Japanese language. Mr. and even when he did understand our meaning. imperial. Kumaddschero adopted the following plan. naturally stupid. I understand emperor quite well. We frequently lost all patience. This particularly excited his astonishment. and found the acquirement of the Russian language extremely difficult. he had no notion whatever of any European language. The trouble which our interpreters Alexei and Kumaddschero gave us. they are always placed after them. however.

and served the same Emperor. when they happened accidentally to follow each other in the same order. &c. and even foreign words. As we entertained some doubts about his attachment to us. and told us. When we had finished our translation. but yet conveyed a very different sense. and was sure to commit blunders. At length. The translation of this petition cost us no less trouble than our memorial.” replied he. and to be convinced of its accurate translation. how much he regretted that we should withhold our confidence from him. This appeared to satisfy him. which was not until the middle of November. to make use of uncommon.” We laughed heartily at this observation. and wished us to arrange them so. we thought it prudent. and entreated that he would take into consideration every circumstance tending to our justification. in which we addressed him by the title of Excellency. we drew up a petition to be presented to the Bunyo. and Kumaddschero. He then hurried on. “but the Kuriles are an uncultivated people. who wished to question us personally concerning our statement. with great sensibility. Alexei observed this. and always shewed himself reluctant to make any alterations when we told him he had misunderstood our meaning. however. remarks. explanations. which he did not understand. books are printed in the Russian.6 and that . for. and that this was the case with regard to the Japanese and Russian languages. and send us back to Russia. if we placed at the end of a sentence. joined us.98 Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan other in the same order as those in the Japanese translation. that though the different European languages contained phrases bearing a resemblance to each other. without perceiving that it made absolute nonsense. with his accustomed good-humour. he endeavoured to construe it by corresponding expressions in Japanese. we desired him to think on some Japanese and Kurile phrases. on the contrary. and asked him whether he could arrange them word for word in both languages? “I know that is impossible. we were informed that we should shortly be required to appear before the Bunyo. while. additions. We pledged our word of honour. as he was as good a Russian as ourselves. whose language has no manuscript character. after numerous questions. He seemed highly pleased. in cases where the Japanese words followed each other as in the Russian. and no longer troubled himself about the order of the words. who examined the translations. Alexei had obtained permission to remain alone with us in the absence of Kumaddschero. When he understood the meaning of any sentence in Russian. and request the Japanese Government to set us at liberty. At length. We assured him that this was impossible. Whilst we were occupied in this way. during our conversation. which were made in conformity to the wish of the Japanese officer. it was impossible to arrange the vocables in the same manner in every one. after long debates and disputes. a word which ought to stand at the beginning. he wrote them down with great satisfaction. but he declared that our translation would be considered incorrect. He now informed us that the Japanese had sent to Kunashier [Kunashir] part of the Kuriles whom they had seized on the Island of Eetooroop [Iturup].

the rest continued to deny it until the Japanese threatened to put them to the torture. They did not.” answered Alexei. entreated that we would insert in our statement all that he had related to us. we were again conveyed to the castle. “whether they believe me or not is a matter of indifference to me. and am as good as any Russian. as the Japanese might. insisted that he had spoken nothing but the truth. On his return from the castle. so as I do but justify myself in the face of Heaven. but that they had visited Japan of their own free will. and sensibility. perhaps. or at least as soon as we were made prisoners? “That will not cost me a thought. and called Alexei a fool and a madman. and promised. The firmness with which he persisted in the truth of his story. and to confirm what he had first of all stated. he said. that the Bunyo himself. however. We knew not whether Kumaddschero immediately communicated this declaration to his superiors. in case they would avow all. and for the purposes of carrying on trade. though we feared the Japanese would not credit what he said.” To shorten his life by ten or twenty years. called him a blockhead. and would suspect that we had persuaded him to contradict his former declarations. We feared that he might be led to deny his last declaration. He seized the first opportunity of disclosing the whole to Kumaddschero. Kumaddschero was struck with amazement at this declaration. by which Alexei might not be a sufferer. however. We were so moved. and apparently believed that we had persuaded him to make this confession. therefore. We praised him for his good intention. we therefore endeavoured to read in his countenance what was passing in his mind. for which he was at any time ready to lay down his life. that we could not doubt the truth of what he said. if by that means he could save his soul from eternal damnation. I wish only to confess the truth: the Japanese may kill me if they will. I shall think it a happiness to die in such a cause.Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan 99 the tale of their having been sent by the Russians. might examine our translation. confirm the falsehoods which the others had asserted. Alexei spoke with the same firmness and presence of mind on mention being made of the affair of the Kuriles. ask why he had not confessed the truth on board the ship. but this seemed impossible.” At these words the tears started from his eyes. was invented by the party who remained at Eetooroop. He spoke with much firmness. We told him it would be better to reflect on the best mode of explaining the affair. however. He. or some of his superior officers. and assured him that he would not be punished in Russia for a falsehood into which his companions had ensnared him. to liberate and reward them. and told him that the Kuriles had not been sent by the Russians. “to make known the conduct of the Kuriles. We were frequently permitted to . Alexei. which they regarded as a fabrication. that we ardently wished for some means of discovering the affair to the Japanese. The Japanese were astonished at his accusing himself. “I am now resolved.” continued Alexei. and with a degree of eloquence so unusual to him. and to suffer torture or even death to prove that I know God. When. induced the Japanese to examine him several times alone. was a trifling sacrifice.

On the 19th of September. and death appeared a thousand times preferable to the situation we were then in. an untruth. In support of this opinion they told us that he had been endeavouring to learn from them the object of our visit to the Kurile Islands. we directed them to cough several times. The Japanese observed our despondency. and to go to warm ourselves at the fire in the lobby. after the departure of the Diana. we were again conducted to the castle. and informed us that the Governor had an agreeable piece of news to communicate to us. attendants. but the Japanese seemed to suspect that Alexei had been fabricating. Heaven alone was witness to our innocence. and firmly believed that he was deceiving us. however. if his answers were satisfactory. We knew not what passed between them. we found opportunities of discoursing with them in private. he adhered to his assertion. Alexei had not exactly understood the agreement made between us. for the Japanese. they expressed the greatest suspicion of Alexei. we heard a loud coughing in the evening. We were unable to divine what they alluded to. they had suffered the Kuriles to leave Eetooroop. before we were conducted to the Hall of Justice. and when Alexei had first disclosed to us that the Kuriles had deceived the Japanese? Here our answers did not fully correspond with each other. We retired very sorrowfully to our prison. and under the plea of taking care of our health. To our great consolation. and requested to be confronted with his countrymen. however. in concert with us. they were to remain silent. provided us with new wadded nightdresses. We were convinced that they regarded us as spies and impostors. looked upon Alexei’s declaration as a falsehood of our invention. Our guards. and the interpreter. and had advised them to declare to the Japanese all they knew respecting our intentions. at a distance from our dear native country. we were again conducted into the presence of the Bunyo. The Bunyo at . We remained for a considerable time in the antichamber. and others that they were still at Eetooroop. convinced that Alexei was sincere. if we questioned our guards on this subject. in which all the officers of the city were assembled. The idea of enduring everlasting imprisonment. overwhelmed us with despair. and that he had resolved to bring the truth to light. as if the sailors had been labouring under a severe cold. which finally proved to be the case.100 Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan leave our cages. for the purpose of invalidating the declaration which had been first of all made by the Kuriles. some declared that the Kuriles had been sent home. We were. and consequently did not answer in the way we wished. When the Japanese had questioned Alexei on every necessary particular. His first question was. were exceedingly cheerful. Alexei’s presence of mind did not. and if not. that they knew nothing of the matter. and did all they could to console us: they supplied us with better food than usual. we were persuaded. however. whether the Russians had really sent the Kuriles to the coast of Japan. by telling the Japanese a very different story. whether. forsake him. When. we accordingly found an opportunity of desiring the sailors to question Alexei concerning his examination. The Japanese laughed outright. The Japanese would never inform us. some replied.

as well as a number of persons both of high and low rank whom curiosity had attracted to the spot. our ropes were immediately taken off. For this reason. as usual. The Governor then retired. a circumstance with which we were particularly pleased. entertained a just idea of the Supreme Being. and the Japanese perceived that we understood him. and to facilitate our return to Russia. at first. If it depended on him to grant us our freedom and send us back to Russia. With this view he had sent one of the principal officers of Matsmai to Yeddo. however. as the Japanese had uniformly entertained friendly dispositions towards them.§§§§§ and whether we were ready to confirm all we had said respecting Chwostoff. he would use all his influence with the Government in our favour. When Alexei had finished his explanation. Whenever he said any thing to console us. but that Japan was ruled by an Emperor and a superior Government. to endeavour to bring our affair to the wishedfor issue. and we were conducted from the Hall of Justice. supposed. It was to the following effect: – The Japanese. Two of them. and. and our interpreter. he would do so without hesitation. of which Alexei. It was satisfactory to reflect. having taken his seat.Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan 101 length entered.****** and patiently await the decision of the Emperor of Japan. he reminded us to rely on God. and would do all that lay in his power to better our condition. asked us whether we were well. gave credit to our explanation of the affair. however. whose commands he was bound to obey in all cases of importance. Kumaddschero. they had enticed us into their garrison. He frequently asked us whether we were comfortable.†††††† in particular. On his part. but to offer up prayers to Heaven. that they shed tears. could interpret only the principal points. and they all sincerely congratulated us. whether our food was as good as we wished. Our guards and attendants now wished us joy. before whom all must sooner or later render an account of their actions. and whether our attendants treated us with civility. and founded their opinion on Chwostoff’s conduct. that the people into whose power fate had delivered us. were so moved by this scene. and he then delivered a speech of considerable length. The officer next in command to the Governor. he had accordingly given orders for removing the ropes with which we were bound. and without whose consent he could not grant us our freedom. §§§§§ ****** †††††† He never failed to welcome us with an inquiry respecting our health. named Sootzykee Dzeenn-Nne [Suzuki Jinne?]. and placed faith in the Almighty Ruler of all nations. In the meanwhile he entreated us not to give way to despair. and our not having visited their coasts with any evil intention? We re-asserted all that we had before stated. in order to ascertain what had induced the Russians to commence hostilities. but we must be informed that the Obunyo of Matsmai was not the chief individual of the state. that we intended to plunder and burn their villages. and other circumstances already known to us. the capital. . We returned thanks to the Governor and Officers for their kind wishes. and regarded us as innocent. The Bunyo. and had detained us by force. and the sympathy they had testified for our misfortunes.

1. . 3 See Introduction. Narrative of My Captivity in Japan during the Years 1811.. pp.102 Golovnin: Narrative of captivity in Japan Notes 1 Source: V. 1818. London: Henry Colburn. 2 See Chapter 2 (Krusenstern). 1812 & 1813. M. 80. the main island of Japan. Honshu. 5 Antoine Libes (1752–1832): French physicist. 6–7.e. 4 I. p. 185–230. vol. pp. Golovnin. 6 This refers to the group of Kuriles (Ainu) whom Golovnin had encountered on Iturup in June 1811. note 5.

which will please the traveller more. He left the expedition in July 1854. bluer than the other. Nagasaki.2 Pulling it on two chains we could see our companions there. . however. The sky and the sea compete over which is better. 1853) The writer Ivan Aleksandrovich Goncharov (1812-91). just a short step. Iwoshima. the best time of year in this region. In five days we covered 850 miles. then Yakunoshima. as the senior. Kossaki. sometimes we were even able to converse with them by writing in big letters on a large board.1 Nagasaki Roads. travelled to Japan as secretary to Admiral Efvimii Putiatin on his first expedition. and of the early stages of Putiatin’s negotiations.4 Ivan Goncharov The frigate Pallada (Nagasaki. I can’t remember which. Shima means island and saki means cape. made signals to the other three and took one of them in tow.3 Here at last was the goal of our ten-month voyage and labours. especially in August. On 9 August. as of the other peoples he encountered on his voyage. in short. the country whose acquaintance had so far been sought in vain with gold and arms and diplomatic wiles. then came the sakis: Tagasaki. Here was a large part of the human family who had skilfully escaped the trammels of civilisation. 10 August 1853 onwards From the Bonin Islands to Japan is no journey at all. we saw the magical kingdom for the first time. later famous for the novel Oblomov (1859). calmer. There were Julia and Clara. he sailed round the Cape of Good Hope to Nagasaki. or the other way round. when Putiatin transferred to the Diana and the personnel was reorganised. Goncharov was an acute observer of the Japanese. in the same bright but excessively warm weather. These were the southernmost islands. with European and Japanese names. Here was the locked casket without a key. Leaving Kronstadt with the admiral in October 1852 on the Pallada. where he arrived in August the following year. Goncharov’s vivid and witty account of his time spent in Japan assured his work an early and lasting popularity among the Russian reading public. Nomoshima. small rocks and islands on the outer edges of the Japanese archipelago. Our ship.

launched by little boys’. We had all gathered on the quarter-deck to admire the green coastline bathed in sunlight. But what is this drifting past us in the water: a little toy boat decorated with varicoloured pennants? ‘It’s a religious ritual’. it’s fortune-telling. We waved our arms and handkerchiefs to encourage them to come up. This strange land. at least I did. religion and commerce of foreigners. look. If only the Japanese would let us study their country and learn about its natural riches. ‘look. mutters Grandad under his breath. silver. remarked a third. which marks the entrance to the Nagasaki roadstead. two clothed and two naked. patting our sixty-pounders. peaches and cranberries. monkeys and parrots. they’re checking their luck. ‘No’.’ ‘No. What we do not yet know is if they also have the best diamonds. finally. ‘it’s just a superstitious custom. shells. laughed at our attempts to enlighten them. for there is really only one spot with a settled population left in the world unknown to geographers and statisticians. ‘Japanese. They had stubbornly rejected the friendship. and in it were three or four Japanese. the best coal. said someone else. They looked around timidly. Suddenly a boat appeared. with an oppressive feeling as if going into prison. and. I expect’. even though the prison was planted with trees.’ ‘They’re just toys. he answered. stretches from the 32nd to past the 40th parallel and so at one end is further south than Madeira. and with their hands on . topazes and. and against all deceit.104 Goncharov: The frigate Pallada presuming to live by their own wits and according to their own rules. I had only just woken up when Fadeev informed me that some naked men had arrived and handed up a paper on a stick. Finally they made up their minds and we crowded around them: these were our first guests in Japan. The latter were sunburned a light reddish colour and had thin white bands round their heads to keep their hair from blowing about and similar bands around their waists. there’s another one. these were not the first Japanese our sailors had seen that morning. popular and any other customs of Europe.4 And his opinion was just as likely to be true as any of these learned comments. ‘Will this situation last for long?’ we asked.5 ‘What men?’ I asked. which still intrigues us because it is unknown. what is more valuable than gold. . and especially the invitation to come ashore. excuse me’. gold. (However. and that was all. But here no one met us several miles off shore like they did in Java and Singapore in boats carrying fruit. and that is Japan.) The Japanese stopped about 3 fathoms from the frigate and spoke to us. There are mountains equal to our highest.’ ‘Fortune-telling’. But here any trifle seemed worthy of note. . but would not come any closer – they jibbed at the cannon sticking out of the portholes. On the contrary! We sailed on with heavy hearts. We saw Cape Nomo. ‘Kaempfer says . interrupted another. said one of us. It has both intense heat and frost. not a toy one this time. and set the arbitrary laws of their ants’ nest up against the natural. smouldering peaks. palms and pines. that most precious mineral of the nineteenth century. in the mountains is found the best copper in the world. as we know already.

not to offend the Japanese. nothing . they said. . These robes were fastened with broad belts. They had short blue over-jackets with wide sleeves. Even from the boat they kept pointing to our fore topmast where a piece of white canvas was flying with the words in Japanese ‘Vessel of the Russian Empire’. the most senior. On their feet they wore short blue stockings fastened at the top with a button. One of them. . Rich and poor were shod alike. Figure 4.1 Officer on urgent duty. of course. under instructions. Two of them were dressed poorly. though I am sure these didn’t get a sniff of it. for the boatmen. 133. Capital of the Tycoon. p. better dressed Japanese appeared. Their heads and faces were shaved clean. We showed our guests into the captain’s cabin and served them fruit liqueur.Goncharov: The frigate Pallada 105 their knees squatted down and bowed almost to the ground. And what else? Nothing else. had two swords stuck into his belt. to take the copy to the authorities in the town. What a lot of fuss over such a contrived and ugly hairstyle. We asked him to show them to us and found they had first-class blades. only the hair at the back was brought forward and combed into a short chopped-off looking pigtail sitting firmly on top of the head. Half an hour later some other. one shorter than the other. Straw sandals were attached to their feet by tapes passing between the big toe and the next. They liked the liqueur so much that they asked to be given what was left in the bottle. tea and sweets. and so on. Source: Alcock. no trousers. . They brought a document setting out the usual warnings: not to go on shore. and robes fitting closely round their waists and legs. They asked if they might copy it.

foreign ships may only proceed to the second and third roadsteads with the permission of the governor. but he would still have had to try. or at least it was in earlier times. The jackets of our guests. requires that its orders should be carried out unconditionally. But not everyone has the right to wear two swords at his belt. so they wouldn’t have anything to attach a sword to. as we knew from books and afterwards confirmed from our own experience both on this and later occasions. For example. Slitting open one’s belly is the most common form of enforced death here. that is. apart from the shame of a public execution. without explanation of what this meant or whom it would affect. We did not ask for permission. The governor had been ordered to deliver the presents. opper-tolks and onder-tolks. I will tell you what I know about this on a later occasion. and if they are not. Soldiers bear one and the simple people do not carry swords at all. and anyway they go around naked. but in that case. We had to suppose that they meant trouble to the governor’s belly. But some people are granted the right to wear the crest of their superiors or other notables. All these visits came quickly one after another. and higher officials are awarded the shogun’s crest like our orders of chivalry. appeared and gave us ‘permission’ to enter the second roadstead. to destroy us. and to slit open his belly when he failed. If he had been ordered. One traveller relates that the education of young people here includes among other things the technique of deftly slitting one’s belly in a single stroke. whether it is actually his fault or not. They announced that they were interpreters. or hosts if you prefer. senior and junior. the person carrying them out is held responsible. The governor had hastened to send us permission without knowing whether or not we intended to obey the original instructions and stay in the place indicated. This honour is accorded only to the upper classes and to officers. The third group of Japanese were better dressed. If someone insists. Their jackets were of a fine translucent black material. in French. to remain at the so-called Koval’skii Gates in the first roadstead. and added that by going no further we would avoid great trouble. I say this remembering that a few years ago one of the Nagasaki governors slit his belly because the captain of an English ship wouldn’t accept some presents from the Japanese court which had been sent through him. English and Dutch. and some of them had white symbols woven into the back and sleeves – these are crests. the government will take on the job itself. but a third party of Japanese. for example. the captain would not take them. They had been appointed for work with the Dutch . the condemned man is deprived of his possessions and this affects his family. I haven’t time at present. Even peasants here have a crest and the right to wear it on their jackets. were tied up with long silk laces. except in winter. he would not of course have been able to do so. The Japanese government. consisting of about eight people besides the boatmen.106 Goncharov: The frigate Pallada In the document the government also asked us. and the governor was guilty of failing to deliver them.

how many sailors and officers there were in each ship. They asked where we had come from. put it into his pipe and after two or three puffs knocked out the ash and put the pipe away in his breast pocket. their pigtails and their squatting. these clever and crafty physiognomies. and looks like thick red hair. We had been warned that we would be met with questions. They write in both Japanese and Chinese. not far off the mystical number of seventy. We offered them cigars. They got to know us and cheered up at our hospitality. How they pricked up their ears when they heard a noise on the deck. One of them took ill from the fug in the cabin and perhaps from the rolling of the ship. fruit liqueurs and wine. but at the same time we could not help smiling as we watched these soft. culture and education have all come to them from the Chinese. how long since we had left and on what date. after we had stated that we had a letter for the governor. Each Japanese took a pinch of tobacco.Goncharov: The frigate Pallada 107 factory. dress. puffing and fanning themselves. only they pronounce the Chinese characters in their own way. Interpreters here are a whole class of their own. Around thirty of them visited us during our short stay. We sat them down in the captain’s cabin and they brought out a document containing a multitude of questions. They are in general very delicate. effeminate faces. who since they are here for years on end could equally well learn Japanese. From the front of their clothing they took out their tobacco and palm-wood pipes with silver mouthpieces and bowls half the size of the smallest women’s thimble. The tobacco was in a cotton pouch no bigger than a purse. This ironic question revealed a childish mistrust of our arrival and a suspicion that we had hostile intentions of some kind. The Japanese all know Chinese. clean-shaven. They didn’t get on with the cigars: too strong for them. The tobacco is very fine and stringy like flax. It is a reddish yellow colour. All this was done with amazing speed. or the Swedes German. and so on. just as we know French. they asked why we had brought four ships to deliver a letter. though it is very mild. or scholars Latin. which they use in dealings with the Dutch. They took fright when our men started to run up the shrouds or to pull on a rope and . white. customs. another bit off the wrong end. It tastes rather like Turkish tobacco. One of them began to smoke his without biting off the end. and were constantly wiping the sweat from their heads and faces. and so had prepared ourselves to answer properly and quite openly. We gave them sweet cakes. but they didn’t know what to do with them. For example they were unable to sit still in the cabin. In general their language. like cotton wool or hemp that you stick in your ear. By the way. They looked with curiosity at everything.6 They know only the Dutch language. and there are about sixty altogether. rolled it into a ball. examined the whole cabin and opened their mouths in amazement when someone touched the keys of the piano. But who would teach them? It is forbidden on pain of death. We hastened to reassure them and answered everything frankly and openly. how many cannon we had. though the water was calm and the movement of the frigate barely noticeable. their faith.

like other letters in some other words. and all our telescopes were directed at the locality in which we found ourselves. we said. Beyond the hills no doubt there are smiling valleys and fields . At last we entered the first roadstead and found ourselves surrounded by islands and hills. though one might add that others have entered without permission for a long while. not understanding tacking. there it is.’ Finally we got to our appointed spot in the second roadstead. There is nothing frightening here: only smiling nature. How frightening! Our gunners suspect that these batteries may also contain wooden guns. was heard on every side as we stood at anchor in the second roadstead and in sight of the third. ‘You need to go over there. in many respects the Dutch are not especially privileged. just the outskirts. a gun battery is being built. And where is Nagasaki? The town cannot yet be seen. All the mountains are cut up by furrows and cultivated from top to bottom. which blocks the view on to Nagasaki. If you . is not all visible. huts are scattered here and about. Ah. One of them is very open to the sea and protected on two sides. covered in cedars and many other trees which one couldn’t make out. according to our gunners. on a levelled hillside to the left. But what views there are all around! What distant perspectives! If you stand here at the entrance to the second roadstead by Mt Pappenberg. . . one with no carriage at all. it says in the geography books. But of course the town. one above the other. Where are the buildings. There. to the left. all with broken gun-carriages. this must only be a part of it and the poorest part.108 Goncharov: The frigate Pallada stamp about. said our guests.7 ‘Nagasaki is the single port which only the Dutch are permitted to enter’. But do the people smile? Judging from the naked. Nagasaki has three roadsteads. three of whom are sitting together in the boat over there wrapped in a sort of colourful blanket against the sun. You can also see the whole of the narrow bay of Kibachi. Over there villages huddle together in the gorges.8 you can see the ocean and just the profile of the cape. crowded around us in an amphitheatre. palaces and temples that Kaempfer and others write about. especially Kaempfer. We had to tack. Here the wind dropped and then started to blow against us. The crests of the feudal princes of Hizen and Satsuma. around the cape. you can’t imagine that the people have smiled very much among these hills. A breeze began to blow and the curtains fluttered open revealing cannon: in one place three. ‘Where are you going?’ asked the Japanese. quite a respectable one. in another. But what is this? Curtains of a sort with black and white circles on them. who mentions an unbelievable number of them? They must be further along. They sailed with us while we towed their boat and oarsmen behind. What is this? Is it stage scenery or reality? What a place! Hills near and far. There are nothing but little houses and huts. ‘So this is Nagasaki’. Consequently. And why isn’t it Nangasaki? Because its real name is Nagasaki and the letter n is only added to be clever. sunburned boatmen.

wide. which in turn is separated by another sound from the island of Iwoshima. a picture. two toy mountains covered in bristling forest like two heads with rumpled hair. The scenery of the bay. regardless of Japanese prohibition. just as if it had been designed by the whim of an artist. There is a small bay lined with trees. while the coastline to the right reveals its cultivated terraces like a gigantic green staircase leading all the way up the mountain. We had a magnificent spot. which seems to entice you to climb up the green steps of its terraces and garden beds. In the background Cape Nomo shows blue. dark as a corridor. twisty cove of variable depth. This is the town standing on the edge of the semi-circular bay. On the left is a long. scattered rocks darken its bright surface. that it does not seem real. all this is so harmonious. Just look at the little coves and nooks and cool resting places that adorn the shores of the sound. the strange town with all its grey houses. They have tiny straits all around them and in the distance a sheer cliff and the sea. from the waves to the clouds. Katakashima and Kamenoshima. Farther off the sound merges with the sea. A broad sound extends out from this bay.Goncharov: The frigate Pallada 109 move into the middle of the roadstead. Behind stretches a row of low. but the whole bay opens up to the left with the islands of Kagena. villages. The sound separates the shore on which Nagasaki stands from the island of Kagena. People appear rarely. and you suspect that it is a painted scene. Beyond that is the open sea.9 with green hills on either side dotted with huts. so picturesque. no animals are to be seen. On the right is a tall hill sloping down to the shore. But I look with a strange feeling on these playfully constructed laughing shores. the sound with its hills. cedar groves and rice fields. In places plants and trees cling to the edges of the cliffs like giant bouquets of flowers. In the middle of it are Pappenberg and Kamenoshima. Imagine a huge stage at the back of which about 3 versts away could be seen high hills. gun batteries. and nothing more. wooded and so narrow that you expect the little village hidden inside it to be crushed at any moment. Apart from those on watch . almost like the Neva. few signs of life. only once did I hear a dog bark. almost mountains. where even the strongest wind scarcely ruffles the water. capriciously strewn hills and then some fairly high mountains standing seriously and morosely at a slight distance like grown-ups behind their children. taken entire from some enchanted ballet. Everything is a view. a sleepy backwater where it is always cool and dark. the ocean disappears. Over there is a ravine that goes deep into the hillside. There is no human bustle. the roadstead with its many boats. the bright green of the hills nearby and the paler green of those farther off. little promontories or detached lumps of earth in the water covered with trees and greenery. and at their feet houses with whitewashed walls and tiled or wooden roofs. There a boat rests in safety simply pulled up on to the shore with one end in the water and the other in the sand. This somnolence and this absence of movement are not comfortable. and you see the cape head on. Everywhere there are spurs.

no doubt about it. the son of heaven. in the words of the poet. A useful invention. and although he kept grumbling that the chart was inaccurate and that nothing was known about the place. among them Grandad. Talking of tinned food. for anywhere at all in fact. tightly closed and sealed with lead. meat. no noise or uproar. almost all of us had telescopes in our hands. nevertheless at the same time I had a feeling. vegetables. This. soups.11 unable to tell if he will be able to provision us: will the Japanese give us supplies? will they bring us fresh water. and so on. Is it not disturbing to see so many pledges of the power and riches of nature. tied in unnecessary bonds? And am I the only one to be uncomfortable? There is Petr Aleksandrovich sighing in distress. I say. I would gladly have exchanged Japan for Manila or Brazil or the Sandwich Islands. Others.110 Goncharov: The frigate Pallada duty. including me. The town of Nagasaki belongs to him. but around it are the properties of the princes. no shouts or singing. others were carefully studying the chart. The vendors abuse the trust of the purchasers. all these gifts placed in unskilled hands. but only a big. Surely these shores must be populated. and there is no way of checking: you can’t open each tin. And when you get to sea you discover that the . he says. pay him tribute and maintain troops. he was nevertheless happy that his work was finishing. so much so that you don’t even want to go out of your cabin? Will they soon be full of people and life?’ We ask the Japanese on board about this – that’s what we had come for – but we can’t get an answer from them. Where are the inhabitants living? Why aren’t they teeming on the shore? Why is there no work or commotion. you will be told. of boredom. slow. ‘Why’. or rather hands that are unfree. which are all dependent on the shogun.10 Why are there no steamers dashing to and fro on these wide waters. Although I was taken by the novelty of the place and impressed by the charming picture of nature which surrounded us. The governor will then send to the shogun in Edo and the shogun will send to Miako to the mikado. The officials say we should ask the governor. is the princes of Hizen or Satsuma making the tour of their properties. in short none of the boiling pot of life or its ‘scurrying of mice’. Some were storing away the sails. were just looking around and thinking about what they had seen. who was running backwards and forwards from the chart to the quarter-deck. all the boats scuttle along rapidly and timidly close to the shore with two or three naked oarsmen and a dribbling little boy or a sharp-eyed little girl. But the fact is these provisions are sometimes inedible. hermetically sealed in tin cans. and if they do what will it cost? Many people are turning up their noses at tinned food. boom. white and red banners? From this boat you can hear the monotonous boom. This is readycooked food of all kinds. boom of a Japanese drum. ‘are these beautiful shores so empty and lifeless? Why is it so tedious to look at them. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before. You know that Japan is divided into domains. and more than this a presentiment. Judge for yourself when we can expect an answer! We were all standing on deck engaged in our different tasks. clumsy boat hung with blue.

The Japanese have left. Fadeev is standing next to me with my tea. ‘Have you been there long?’ ‘Just after six bells. the fish like hare. or trying to guess the character of the Japanese. lights twinkled like stars. In short you couldn’t have got up more magnificent illuminations in honour of a guest than the Japanese lit now out of fear that their guests might suddenly attack them. then a low whisper and from time to time a raised voice on some word or other. the stars have begun to shine. the illuminations and the boats. rising and falling with the contours of the hills. They say the French make better tinned foods. just managing to pick it out on the horizon.’ ‘And what is it now?’ ‘There. And often it all looks and tastes the same. listen. I stayed listening to the chirp of the crickets carrying from the shore and to the quiet lapping of the waves. These were brightly lit with multicoloured light from big.12 He has been staring at all the Japanese boats and looking among the naked bodies of the oarsmen for anyone less red and tough. squatting Japanese remained before my eyes with their pigtails and short jackets. Finally. but just went on watching the shore and its reflection in the water. The baron is frowning. Surrounding us at about 100 sazhens from the frigate and at some distance from each other was a ring of guard boats. the boats sailed to and fro. so early does it set. and the cry ‘Ossilyan. and what’s more a comet has appeared among them. and everything together like I don’t know what. I watched the play of phosphorescent sparks in the water and the distant reflections of the lights from the shore in the mirror of the bay. played ‘How great is our Lord in Sion’. chatting and predicting the success or failure of our mission. ossilyan’ drifted into my dreams. With the last rays of the sun. Here there were none of the big waves which had brought sadness to the soul at Bonin-shima. the veal like fish. sir. I too went to bed.Goncharov: The frigate Pallada 111 beef tastes like veal. . The others are also uneasy. ‘Hee! Hee! Hee!’ I hear from the cabin next door as I wake up one morning a few days after our arrival. round. I don’t know. We bought ours in England. . only the summer lightning. that thousands of eyes were watching us and noting our every movement. The pigtails and short jackets of the men have sometimes led him sadly astray . Savich doesn’t know if there’ll be any coal or if we will be allowed to cut wood. ossilyan’ so as to keep in time. Many of us didn’t even have tea or supper. The boatmen rowed standing up. On some of the boats there were even barrels of pitch. This is the third night we have seen it. . The guards shouted to each other everywhere. They beat the drum. dyed lanterns covered with fish skin.’ At that moment a drum began to beat and music started to play. lamps began to glow on the heights: they girdled the hill tops with threads of fire and studded the shore. It was evident that people were posted everywhere. or if the men will be let on shore to get some exercise. Then one after another we dispersed. playing bright on the hills. In the mountains and the forest. and the sailors went to bed. Evening has fallen. and shouting ‘Ossilyan. wondering if he will manage even to see any women. but for a long time the effeminate. Little by little our ships quietened down.

Each oar is attached to the boat and the oarsman stands and turns it backwards and forwards. biscuits and sweet pastries. crests. They are built entirely of light-coloured timber. something like the low wide winter sledges of our peasants. Soon after. as usual. they said in a respectful whisper. They use this to write on. a protruding upper jaw and the tusk-like teeth shared by many Japanese. with a pleasant face. though they were manned by the same naked boatmen and had not a single soldier on board. The interpreters greeted them. The boats were first rate.’ ‘Me talking to him would be like a pig talking to a chicken . they . took the sweets and wrapped them up one at a time to take away. a sweat-cloth and a wad of very strong thin glazed paper. pointing respectfully to their superiors. They squatted down with their hands on their knees: that is. and finally to wrap things up in. opper-tolks. onder-tolks. of course’. They drank the tea. One or perhaps two days after the interpreters’ visit. This is a long established procedure with all foreign ships. decorated with flags. On the guard boats officials take it in turn to observe our movements. three or four boats arrived. The gokeins sat down.’ There is no getting rid of the Japanese: they are here every day from morning to evening. They were taken to the quarter-deck. a pocket-book. broad. and stood in a row. The first to come on board were the interpreters. he replied. In Japanese they are called ‘gokeins’ [gokenin]. ‘A Japanese. flat-bottomed and open at the stern. There are all sorts: opper-banioses. ‘What is going on next door?’ I asked. with an intelligent face and a jaw like the first. Each boat is a floating house and is fully equipped with a small fireplace for cooking and every sort of household utensil. The other was pock-marked. came into sight and climbed up the ladder on to the deck. two Japanese.112 Goncharov: The frigate Pallada meaning it was eight o’clock. and we waited impatiently to see what it meant. One of the opper-banioses was thin. ‘The opper-banioses’. or sometimes as many as twelve. pointing to the boats. After them came about twenty attendants. to blow their noses. but the others declined to sit. several times a day. placing their hands on their knees and bowing almost to the ground. . where chairs had been brought. was a whole shopful of stuff: a pipe. rather better looking and more finely dressed than the others. badges and pikes: all the marks of military vessels. Everything was still new to us.14 They are the most senior officials in the town after the governor and his secretaries. they each wore a coloured silk skirt. smoked.13 and then all the riff-raff that makes up their suite. together with sweets. In their breast pockets. onder-banioses. tearing off one sheet at a time. Depending on the size of the boat there are between four and eight oarsmen. ‘What has he come for?’ ‘Who knows?’ ‘You might have asked him. slit at the sides and with silk tassels. . The boatmen have long oars which consist of two parts joined together in the middle. they bowed to us. with a penthouse of matting. But I had better tell you everything of note in proper order. Tea was served. pennants. Besides a short black linen jacket and a long silk robe.

bowed low and remaining in that position. drawing in his breath. He was embarrassed and began to laugh at himself. They drank the fruit liqueur with pleasure. Their rule is that. each of the same sort. ‘We must send the answers to Edo’. When he saw how small Japan was they laughed good-naturedly. the next in line keeps silent. hee!’ said the interpreter abruptly from time to time while the gokein was answering him. Then came a second and a third question. taking out a paper covered with Japanese letters. but now and again suddenly raised it to a shout on some word or other.Goncharov: The frigate Pallada 113 even each tucked away a piece of bread and a piece of biscuit in their breast pockets. and when Lyoda wasn’t there Sadagora spoke and Narabayoshi kept silent.’ In order to explain this discrepancy. the other gokein and some of the retinue also bowed and listened.’ We showed him a map and explained that it took a week or two to get here from Kamchatka. In this way they keep a check on one another. a fat and pock-marked man by the name of Lyoda. but Pos’et thought something up to give them as an explanation. hee. One of the gokeins began to speak quickly and very. The other interpreters were silent. ‘Hee. ‘that on the frigate we were told that the corvette left Kamchatka in May. we suddenly heard the voice of that ship’s captain. almost in a whisper. He spoke in an ordinary voice. ‘I skipped two months so as to avoid carping and questioning about where we were during that time and what we were doing. He had returned the interpreter’s bow and all the other interpreters. nodded his head and smiled.16 ‘It will be better if you each say it took you three months to get here. Then when the gokein had finished Lyoda drew in his breath.’ We all laughed. Lyoda suddenly suggested that the corvette had left Kamchatka at the same time we left Petersburg. but had called in at the Sandwich Islands.15 The corvette had indeed left Kamchatka in May. ‘Well. Thus the interpreter Sadagora – who looked remarkably like an old maid with his grey pigtail. We remarked that there was no point burdening themselves and others with these questions. they asked. ‘Why is it’. ‘And you have to send all our answers to Edo?’ ‘Indeed!’ said Lyoda. one of the interpreters. and so on. but on the corvette they said July?’ ‘Because’. We then took the opportunity to show them Russia and Japan. relayed our question. We asked the Japanese why this mattered to them: ‘What business is it of yours where we were? Surely the important thing for you is that we have arrived here. It is used only by subordinates listening to their superiors. This system of spying is rather like that of the Jesuits. stood in front of the gokeins. they replied. but six months from Petersburg. but listens without fail. who happened to be at the back. very quietly. he needed only glasses and a stocking in his hand – kept silent while Lyoda was speaking. your . when the senior is present. When it came to the question of why they had come. ‘Hee’ is a particle of confirmation like ‘yes’ or ‘very good’. straightened himself up before us and rapidly translated that they had come to ask us some questions.

and covered myself with shame. and wrote it down. which resembled our old-fashioned candle-snuffers. In the past. asked what everything that fell before his eyes was. ‘so go wherever you like. reflections of the hills in the water. They handle the brush with great skill. But remembering the sort of questions the Japanese had showered on our famous prisoner Golovnin from morning to night. they replied. These are the only reasons the Japanese considered legitimate for foreigners to appear among them. the phosphorescent gleam of the sea. He had already got to know us and made himself at home on the frigate. but said they dared not give us a place on shore without permission from Edo. and so the quarter-deck was empty the moment the stewards. We had informed the banioses as they left that we had two letters. One of them was our friend BabaGorozaemon. Jantsen and Vitul. with the invitation to ‘take tea’. They sent us a small amount of provisions as a present. During this time the Japanese were informed that we required a place on shore and provisions. they said. But time has passed and the Japanese are no longer what they were forty. They treated us very courteously. they asked whether we had brought any shipwrecked Japanese sailors. I found that these questions were not so stupid after all. ossilyan!’ But we didn’t pay much attention to this now: we had got used to it and become familiar with the place.’ Foreigners were treated even more harshly: they were thrown in prison.114 Goncharov: The frigate Pallada people must be busy in Edo!’ someone next to me thought out loud. and these have been accepted only recently. I tried to write my name with a brush for one of the opper-banioses next to where he had written it in Japanese. ‘We will tell the governor’. These contained ink and a brush. ‘You left Nipon [Nippon]’. one to the governor and one higher up. fifty or more years ago. who had come on the previous occasion. Three days after this two banioses came. He seemed very kind. They departed late at night. called us by name. asked the names. the chirp of the crickets and the oarsmen crying ‘Ossilyan. as is well known. The other was called Sambro. ranks and duties of each of us and noted everything down. smiling. they would not let their own shipwrecked sailors back into Japan. Wishing to discover the reason behind our arrival. began to rattle the glasses and the orderlies came cap in hand. Two days went by. lively and communicative. He joked. first to one of us. then if we needed provisions or water. Meanwhile evening had fallen again with threads of light in the hills. squatting and bowing. then to another. He was requested to send an official for the first and to come himself for the second. There is truly nothing odd . The Latin letters were unrecognisable. taking from their breast pockets folding metal inkstands. You mustn’t think that in their ideas or speech or manners there was anything about the Japanese that would strike a European as uncivilised or odd (except for blowing their noses into paper and tucking away sweets – but remember how two-thirds of the Russian people blow their noses and how recently our ladies abandoned the reticules which they used to fill with sweets when they were invited to other people’s dinners and parties).

Lyoda straightened himself up. and had therefore sent to the capital for a decision. Then he tied up the bundle with a cord. but that he.Goncharov: The frigate Pallada 115 at all. The admiral placed himself opposite them on the sofa. and the four of us sat on a long divan under the window. bowing slightly to Lyoda and drawing in his breath.18 We mentioned this too. When we handed over the letter to Baba-Gorozaimon. The banioses were seated in massive armchairs. put it on the table. wine. turned to Pos’et. ‘Hee. We sat at the large table. They were received first by Pos’et. raised it to his forehead as a sign of respect. Baba-Gorozaemon. apart from their dress and their really absurd pigtails. and turning to us translated that the letter would be delivered faithfully that day. even two. began to speak rapidly and at length in a whisper. while his shoulders twitched and sweat poured down his temples. took a small seal from his breast-pocket. took the letter in his hands. for which the Japanese have a great liking. As for the other letter. however. Baba replied. hee’. They are extremely interesting because of their distinctive education. the governor. fruit liqueur and sweets. tried a little of everything and wrapped up now a sweet. but the admiral insisted that it should be sent more quickly. Lyoda also . The admiral invited them to lunch in his cabin. these people are at quite a high level. Then Sadagora replied that the messenger would fly like a bird. was not in a position to say what form this ceremony should take. and his quiet friendly voice softened even his refusals and contradictions. and only their swords stuck up in the air. In everything else. placed it in the box and tied it up again in its cloth. He had a most attractive and feminine manner of speaking. gave the box to one of the officials. which was to be sent to the higher authorities in Edo. fixed it to the cord and. unaffected and pleasant in their manner. The banioses brought the interpreters Lyoda and Sadagora with them. repeated the latter. then by the admiral in his cabin. he unbound a lacquered wooden box. as the English traveller Belcher claims. All this time one of the attendants had been fussing over a box of some kind tied up in a cloth. and stated that the governor had asked for the letter addressed to him personally to be sent to him.17 At the end of his speech. hee. He apologised by saying that the answer would need to be discussed in Edo. pastries and I don’t remember what else. It was stuffy in the cabin and hot outside. while some of their attendants sat behind them on ordinary chairs. though we knew that the journey could be completed in about three weeks or. I will say more on this later. that it would probably take about thirty days to receive an answer. after saying something to the interpreter. which was decorated with the governor’s crest. if they are not the equals of Europeans. who was sitting next to the banioses. ‘And how long will it take to go there and back?’ we asked. hee’. he had ordered the officials to say that it must be accepted with proper ceremony. The Japanese examined everything closely. ‘Hee. Tea was served as usual and then only sweet things. Lyoda and Sadagora stood bent double so that their faces were invisible. repeated Lyoda earnestly from time to time. 20 degrees. leaving us to act as hosts while he himself remained in the sitting-room. hee. now a piece of tart in their paper.

. It’s . Baba drank no wine at all. Among them. and fanned themselves. in China. muted sound of ‘Grâce. ‘Soldiers’. He said he suffered from constant headaches. I won’t even mention headgear. incidentally. but here you don’t see a single Japanese with a covered head. . landscapes and so on in Siebold’s book. They inspected the cannon and hand-guns and listened carefully to our explanation of the guns with the latest sights that we had bought in England. came the reply. and their eyesight was poor. but he thanked us and refused. which they put away in their sleeves. especially the second banios. In the corner a second table had been set for some of the members of the suite. The suite of attendants wandered around the deck looking at everything with half-open mouths. though there were many that looked intelligent or wily. he told us. energetic face among them. Soldiers! You couldn’t imagine anything less like our conception of soldiers. Some of their physiognomies were extremely silly looking. Our guests found it warm in the cabin. because this form of clothing does not exist here. Baba said that he had two musical snuff-boxes which had been brought by the Dutch. Others. ‘And that is why’. grâce’ from Robert le diable. though the Japanese tried not to give themselves away too much. They were so old they could barely stand on their feet.116 Goncharov: The frigate Pallada wrapped up some jam and tucked it all away in the capacious larder of his breast-pocket. ‘as you can see. half-naked and raggedly dressed oarsmen climbed up the ladder and across the chain-wale from the boats. A. so that you expected at any moment to see something familiar . We hardly saw a single manly. ‘For my children’.’ We suggested he should consult our doctor. while their bald patches shone like copper. no jacket. We did our best to be friendly to our guests and after lunch showed them pictures. All over the frigate was heard the clopping of straw sandals and the constant rustle of silk skirts. A whole crowd of naked. They asked if they could show the frigate to the banios who had come for the first time. They stayed till almost evening. But you would look up and be disappointed. that is to say the upper part of their legs was covered with blue cloth while their feet were in stockings like the others and then sandals. blew their noses into these papers. there were two or three old men in trousers. I saw people wearing little winter caps and in the summer some people had pointed Malay straw hats that look like the lids of soup tureens. They were interested in everything and there was much that was naïve or childish in their curiosity. Their grey pigtails of three hairs wouldn’t lie flat on their heads but stuck up in the air. Their short cloaks were also blue. They took out small paper handkerchiefs to wipe away the sweat. he added. including the views of Japanese people. ‘What are those people?’ we asked. O. Some of them wore just a long blue robe and nothing else – no trousers. We took them around the decks. my head isn’t quite properly shaved.19 But this had little effect. Goshkevich wound up a musical box and suddenly we heard the quiet. But in any case the pigtails combed forwards on their heads and their smoothly shaved faces make them look quite unlike men. In the south. no sandals. buildings.

see Chapter 2 (Krusenstern). 3 Goncharov is correct: shima does mean island. pp. 4 Grandad: nickname given to Senior Navigation Officer A. Sometimes a boat goes past with several people on board. 17 I. 1959. The sun burning straight on to their heads is an attractive picture as the sun’s rays play on their smooth shaved brows just like they do on the gilded cupolas of a tower. They come about twice a day with provisions or a question or an answer. and the transport ship Kniaz’ Menshikov. 19 Iosif (Osip) Antonovich Goshkevich. 15 Konstantin Nikolaevich Pos’et served as Dutch interpreter to the Putiatin expedition. and a fiery spot gleams on every head. ‘Banios’ is a corruption of Japanese bugyo. Moscow: Gos. 13 ‘Opper’ and ‘onder’ are Dutch prefixes meaning ‘senior’ and ‘junior’ respectively. note 5. 6 Perhaps a reference to the seventy disciples of Luke. Khalezov. Baba. 12 The baron: Lieutenant Baron Kriedner. was very popular in Russia.Goncharov: The frigate Pallada 117 even rare for them to shade their heads with a fan like the Chinese. A. lit-ry. 10: 1–24. 8 Pappenberg: the island of Takabokoshima. ‘tolk’ is Dutch for ‘interpreter’. You would think they would die or at least go mad after a trip like this. Giacomo Meyerbeer’s opera Robert le diable. 11 Petr Aleksandrovich Tikhmenev was the officer in charge of provisioning the Pallada. 18 Sir Edward Belcher (1799–1877): British admiral and explorer. 14 Gokenin: personal retainer of the shogun. Sobranie sochinenii v shesti tomakh. at the time of the Putiatin expedition already a veteran of three round-the-world voyages. vol. ‘Ah. 20 degrees Réaumur. The days have flashed by. and saki does mean cape. vo vremia bessonnitsy’ [‘Verses Written at Night during Insomnia’] (1830).e. . goodbye!’ ‘Goodbye’. The Japanese have got the better of us. first performed in Paris in 1831. equivalent to 25 degrees Centigrade. 16 The Pallada and Vostok met the Olivutsa and Kniaz’ Menshikov at the Bonin Islands before proceeding to Nagasaki. 383–417. he said in turn.. the corvette Olivutsa. 2 The frigate Pallada was accompanied by the schooner Vostok. A. Notes 1 Source: I. Baba promised to obtain a great service for us – the washing of our laundry in the Dutch factory. 3. was later the first Russian consul at Hakodate. but it doesn’t bother them at all. 5 Fadeev: Goncharov’s servant. though not of the first rank. Chinese-language specialist on Putiatin’s expedition. Finally the Japanese departed. portrayed consistently by Goncharov as a pleasure-seeker. 7 Nagasaki is often spelled ‘Nangasaki’ in early foreign works on Japan. izdvo khudozh. One of them called out to me and grasped my hand. even though in this climate the sun’s rays pierce your head like needles. reflecting an informal pronunciation of the town’s name. It is now already the second half of August. Goncharov. 10 See Aleksandr Pushkin’s ‘Stikhi sochinennye noch’iu. 9 Neva: the principal river of St Petersburg. So this is the Extreme Orient – so far nothing but extreme boredom.

In each of the ports which are open to foreigners. or as cosmopolitan beggars sent to Yedo as an act of charity. the princes and perhaps the government itself. the lower classes receive nothing but material benefit from the new state of affairs. Good news travels fast. 1859) Midshipman A. His account of sight-seeing in Edo presented here shows that even the physical safety of foreign visitors could not always be guaranteed at this time. that the lower classes must recognise us not only as men of peace. But the government seems to have understood that the die is cast and that it cannot return to the old order.2 It is understandable that the lower classes of a half-savage people should wish to insult a defenceless foreigner who has had the impertinence to put himself in their hands. Kornilov was an officer on one of the ships under the command of Count Nikolai Murav’ev-Amurskii when he visited Edo in 1859 in an attempt to negotiate for Russian control over Sakhalin. but also as very much more powerful than them. and it is impossible that the people of Yedo [Edo] cannot have heard about this. The commander-in-chief has established himself so trustingly in the middle of the town.5 A. these could only be made at great inconvenience: either we had to go accompanied by Japanese officials. . or else we risked the sort of unpleasantness and insults that strangers met with in Russia two hundred years ago. at a time when there was still much resentment of foreigners in Japan. Kornilov was able to explore the newly opened treaty port of Kanagawa. Who then has the influence to incite the common people against us? Those who do not need intercourse with foreigners and who fear them: the officials. and of course hardly want to return to the previous state of seclusion.3 and the government so often agrees to foreigners’ demands. or as Jews prepared to put up with anything for the sake of material gain.1 As for excursions around the town. Kornilov News from Japan (Edo. What is harder to understand is the cause of this mistrust. or in the villages most threatened during the first cholera epidemic. particularly if you consider the people’s mistrust of foreigners. probably even in Japan. And the Japanese certainly could not imagine we had come with unfriendly intentions. as well as Yokohama and Edo.

but we only had to appear again in a commercial street for the crowd. Time and a closer acquaintance with Japan will show how far these assumptions and tales of the officials can be believed. of course. Three of us decided we would start at dawn and spend the whole day looking around the town. but treated it as a joke and only afterwards remembered the warning. and its own impotence. We were forced to turn off again into the nearest lane and as a result we got lost. At first this did not greatly bother us and we continued our walk. in spite of our very fast. in the streets closest to the harbour. The officials are entirely dependent on the government. We . These princes – like the Miloslavskiis and Lopukhins of Peter the Great’s time4 – have. However. trying as far as possible to keep to quiet and empty lanes and the avenues lined by princely houses. though unobtrusive. The officials insist that even the princes are not all against relations with foreigners. or because of the turn of his character. That leaves only the feudal princes. we did not notice that our appearance produced too great an impression on the common people. their influence over the people and their independent position. we could very easily count them all and exchange comments on their size and the force of their impact. As we got into the launch we were warned that the day before stones had been thrown there at Russians. they constitute a very powerful opposition. now finds itself in front of the pack. they have several aims: to rouse the people. The stones were very small. Eventually. which now hides in a thicket. They are already used to Europeans here and in the shops were even glad to show and sell us their goods. in the face of which it would be difficult to preserve our unruffled composure. and naturally tries to avoid any conflict. At first. through their wealth. persuaded and bribed the people and even the street urchins to make all sorts of trouble for foreigners. in one street they started to throw occasional small stones at us from behind. which grew in size at an incredible rate. But as soon as we entered the labyrinths of narrow streets. daring neither to go back nor to stay where we were. was not much worried about our position. but they might easily become bigger ones. we began to regret it.Kornilov: News from Japan 119 It has also seen the resources at the disposal of the foreigners. but that some of them persistently oppose the government in this matter. Moreover. to surround us and follow us with shouts and laughter. either because he had a huge umbrella which deflected many of the blows. and. In doing this. indeed. but joked and tried to persuade us that it would all stop as soon as we got to the next street. in our haste and impatience we didn’t pay any attention to this. One of us. according to the officials. which has found its scent again. who prefer of necessity not to notice the offence rather than to start an untimely escalation of events. we were constantly accompanied by crowds of half-naked people. but the fact nevertheless remains that street incidents in Yedo occur even with representatives of the other powerful seafaring nations. We were very much in the position of a hare pursued by the hounds. though at the moment we could not feel the stones at all. In the most populous of them. the insistence of their demands. stop us from appearing in the towns. pace. taut smiles and straight backs. and show the government the impossibility of relations with foreigners.

the respectful demeanour of the servants. they handed us over to their colleagues. but sometimes. he replied. and secondly they would rapidly get used to our glares. The landlord at first motioned ‘no’ with his hands. Fortunately the frantic landlord finally thought to send for the police. and knowing our liberality they surrounded us with all possible attentiveness and comfort. once he’d been hit on the back by a fairly large stone. but then. where there were no shops and so no crowd. The clanking or chinking of the rings on their iron staves. escorting us from their district. and these were our only weapon. but in the first place the stones were mostly being thrown from a distance. and set to a meal of shrimps and water melon.’ Perhaps this thought would indeed have been some comfort to a tourist. Our position really was becoming unpleasant. This was not the first time they had entertained foreigners. we went into a restaurant with the air of dandies on Nevskii Prospekt. rather attracted the curious than frightened them away. How bitterly we complained at the absence of solidity and strength in Japanese buildings! The crowd continued to shout through the paper walls and was already starting to tear through them.120 Kornilov: News from Japan went from one street to another. and even our tourist. ‘console yourselves like real tourists with the thought that this is a situation you will not often manage to find yourselves in. Really not knowing how to get rid of the crowd. we went into the first small hotel we came to. and they certainly fell back and quietened down for a short while. we continued to reproach our unruffled companion. fell quiet and stopped consoling himself with the novelty of his position. At last we came through to the tycoon’s [shogun’s] palace. ‘you brought us into this den of thieves to look at God knows what. I really don’t remember if the tea was good or if it was hot. I only know that when three policemen arrived and we got up to go out into the street with them the landlord suddenly cheered up and refused to take any money. and above all the fifteen-year-old beauty who brought us sweet saki [sake] on her knees. and now you’re taking us further and further away from the harbour. which are their badge of office as policemen. the shouting and the stones followed us. The cool room. were so different from what we had suffered . ‘It’s all your fault. We continued to be bothered by shouts and stones. doctor’. they very coolly left us on our own. but it had no effect on us. Any English lord would pay a lot of money for the right to be in our place. preferring these to all the other concoctions of the Japanese Dussaud. alas. sat down without ceremony on the floor and demanded tea.5 stretched out on the mats. probably taking fright at the responsibility. when the latter were not at the gate. served us tea and locked the door to stop any Japanese coming in. the limit of which was usually marked by a gate. Reaching a street we knew. We breathed more freely and even decided that after three hours of pursuit it would do no harm to rest and have some lunch. But. but you’re getting the experience for free and still complaining. the discrete curiosity of the other guests. Occasionally one of us would try turning round and fixing the nearest Japanese with a ferocious glare. the Eastern arm of the law did not help much. These moments of solitude were the most critical of our entire expedition. but the crowd. Furthermore.’ ‘Gentlemen’.

The officials did not dare leave us and came after us willy-nilly. but at the same time placed limits on our freedom. In spite of trying to persuade myself that this was Yedo. We saw the finest temple. Of course. that these were remarkable things I was looking at. p. but all the same I wouldn’t recommend anyone to purchase it at the price of an excursion like ours. Their presence prevented any clashes with the people. even gentlemen liberally endowed with the qualities that make up the true tourist. then twisting streets of shops with crowds of people.Kornilov: News from Japan 121 that morning that we couldn’t help succumbing to languor and remaining there for a couple of hours. They received any new thought or wish which we mentioned after we had set off very coldly. Capital of the Tycoon. . The saddle-horses we had ordered the day before and two officials awaited us early in the morning. these events did not dispose us to make further excursions on our own. none of this Figure 5. About ten of us formed a group.6 the botanical garden with its remarkable shrimps and quite unremarkable menagerie. 104.1 Yeddo from the avenue. and finally straight streets along the blind walls of princely palaces where there were no people at all. During the course of the day we managed to visit two or three different parts of the city. We started going on shore in large groups and looking around the town accompanied by officials. and really a very pleasant reward. Source: Alcock. This rest was our reward for the morning’s exploit. and the only way of making these gentlemen go anywhere was to turn off to wherever we wanted to go without paying any attention to them. which I have already mentioned.

In order to make us go faster they from time to time informed us with a secretive air that we were drawing close to the palace of a conservative prince . We drank tea in one of them. twisting avenues lined with uninterrupted gardens and groves containing houses which peered gracefully through the greenery. at least its uniformity was soothing to the eye. The officials refused absolutely. I would have said that Yedo was not worth seeing. saying that the police there had not been warned and that therefore if we went there that day we could very easily experience trouble from the people. This was surrounded by trees and covered with a light roof. Others followed and the officials were left alone. if it had not been for the gardens and terraces. which according to the officials was the appointed goal of our expedition. thinking that the officials simply did not want to trail around with us for the entire day. On this occasion we decided to go to that part of the city which had the most green patches on the map. When we set off they led the caravan straight to the centre of town. It was already evening when we returned to the harbour. On the return journey the officials were in great haste to pass through the centre of the town. but seeing that we were apparently paying no attention to them finally caught us up and took us through a series of narrow. trees and roofs. After riding for an hour we climbed a small mountain and came to a hotel. Opening the paper screens to make the room a terrace was the work of a moment. which threw the officials into complete confusion. But the gardens and especially the terraces are very fine. but at the first street to the right some of us turned off. and again the view down on to the city forced us to acknowledge that this was an excellent spot. bathed in bright sunlight. the junks and our menacing squadron. and insisted that we would go where we wanted even if they would not come with us. You see roofs and trees. The pure air. It was difficult to follow our route through the twisting avenues on the map. as they kept trying to offer us hospitality at the government’s expense. the more so as everyone was very hot and tired and was glad to stretch out on the mats and wait for lunch. even though much spoiled by Sino-Japanese art. The love of space so characteristic of the expansive Russian temperament caused us to spread out across all the sections. or an awning as we might call it. but the truth is. or if I am not capable of being impressed. did not feel inclined to end our excursion so quickly. the blue sea far off in the distance and. Each of these sections was occupied by a different family of tea sellers. At each of these halts we would unroll Japanese maps of the town and show the officials the places we wanted to visit. a roast and several bottles of wine. and divided into several sections by narrow poles. they then chose the safest route to get there. so we had to believe them. as if through a mist. but we. Consider too that we had brought with us an excellent pie. We did not believe them.122 Kornilov: News from Japan made any particular impression on me. The view from the terrace on to the huge city spread out at our feet was very fine. the greenery. I don’t know if I was just bored with Japan. They shouted and waved their arms for some time. and you will understand that we were very happy with our excursion. as if on purpose.

We did in fact sometimes meet quite large crowds of people who looked at us in the same way Russian peasants look at a chained bear. who had been waiting for him at the launch. Mofet’s life were in vain. in order to set off back to Yedo. one of whom was carrying a box with the silver money left over after his shopping. to shout a warning to the third man.Kornilov: News from Japan 123 and. This man received a glancing sabre blow on his cap and ran into the nearest shop. Because of the difficulty of obtaining provisions through the officials. but thanks to the speed with which he flung himself into the shop. however. had already completed his commission and after making his final purchases was returning from the shops to his boat one evening as it was getting dark. I might conclude by acknowledging that. Midshipman Roman Samoilovich Mofet. but in this shouting and laughter there was much more amazement and curiosity than hostility and ridicule. . . even if our stay in this port did not leave us with pleasant impressions. and giving up trying to persuade us by words went on ahead with one half of the caravan. They were buried in the presence of the officers and crew of two of our vessels sent . especially as there were a lot of people about. On one occasion they even resorted to quite frenzied gesticulation. The countless diabolical blows of the Japanese sabres did not allow any hope. But unfortunately my memory of it was darkened by a sad event of a sort that necessarily wiped out any good impressions. who had been walking some way in front. not before he had managed. A moment later the sailor who was carrying the money-box lay dead. threatening us with the mob. He was walking with two other men. Wanting to honour the memory of their comrade and as far as possible to express their sympathy for his unhappy fate. R. he finally fell to the ground. started to run off but. I do not wish to enter into debate about what happened. all attempts to save R. Roman Samoilovich died two hours after receiving his wounds . wounded. We took exception to this. that is. only to return to the others a few minutes later and once more urge them on. The officials did not believe us this time. S. Having related to the best of my ability what I saw in Yedo. and shouted and gesticulated in reply until the officials finally calmed down and stopped driving us on. In spite of the immediate aid given by a Japanese doctor and later an American one. as he had received several sabre blows. it was at least to some degree useful. When the second officer. he was already surrounded by Americans. S. Mofet. he was saved from further wounds and probably from death. when suddenly several men leapt out of an alley and attacked the completely unarmed Russians with bared sabres. S. the officers and cadets of the whole squadron took up a subscription and entrusted one of the consuls to erect a monument on the graves of R. but will try to relate it as faithfully as possible. But not all of us were good riders. Mofet and seaman Sokolov. As he slid open the door he could not avoid another hard blow to the arm. the ships were obliged to send officers and boats for them into Yokohama. they mostly greeted us with shouting and laughter. tried to make us pass through the quarter as quickly as possible. found Mr Mofet. who was sent out in this way in a longboat. and so we were obliged in any case to go at a walk.

This murder naturally frightened all foreigners. 1860. no. where it halted. The second. ‘Izvestiia iz Iaponii’. 3 Murav’ev-Amurskii and his suite were accommodated in a temple on shore. Kornilov. Morskoi sbornik. 2 The first cholera pandemic. 46. 6 Kornilov refers to this temple earlier in his article (p.124 Kornilov: News from Japan immediately from Yedo . 5 The fashionable main street of St Petersburg. 99–122 (extract taken from pp. spread further up the River Volga. 4 The Miloslavskiis and Lopukhins were princely families in early eighteenth-century Russia who were opposed to the reform programme of Peter the Great. Not a single officer or sailor was sent on shore from our ships without a revolver and in general we stopped showing the Japanese the trust which they had previously enjoyed. the criminals were not found before the squadron’s departure from Yedo. which began in 1826. Notes 1 Source: A. reaching Orenburg in 1829 and Moscow in 1830. vol. though without mentioning its name. which began in India in 1817. as ‘remarkable for its massive carved roof and tall bell tower’. . reached Astrakhan in 1823. or a fanatical hatred of foreigners. . . pp. 109). 4. 113–21). In spite of all investigations. and so it is impossible to confirm what the motive for this appalling crime was: the simple theft of the money-box.

Our impatience grows almost unbearable when we are informed by our flag-officer that we will have only four days at our disposal for looking over the town. however. particularly after our monotonous and dreary stops in the ports of the Eastern Ocean. but such are custom and the provisions of the Putiatin treaty. whether he is relating personal experience or retelling the stories of the Russian residents of Hakodate. and so on). There is nothing that reminds us of Russian towns (even the European . Until the officials arrive we must content ourselves with observations from afar.6 Sergei Maksimov In the East (Hakodate. is a sense of surprise at the differences between Japan and the other countries which he had visited. Maksimov’s narrative clearly shows the tensions between Japanese and foreigners and the difficulties of cultural negotiation in the first years of Western contact following the opening of the treaty ports. (We neither needed them nor found them useful. However. and are gripped by a strong impatience to see it as soon as possible. and we make them eagerly because it is a really remarkable town that stretches out before us on the slopes of the tall coastal mountain. extra people. lively and distinctive town. extra cannon. he was already a seasoned traveller. One of the salient features of his account. late 1850s) When Sergei Vasil’evich Maksimov (1831–1901) left St Petersburg in May 1855 on a trip across Siberia to the Amur region.)2 We feel restless in our new position within sight of a large. to get to know it better and more closely. we cannot leave for the shore immediately because we have not been assigned launches and because the steamer is waiting for the usual appearance of the Japanese customs officers with their expressions of welcome (or more likely with their suspicions that we are carrying armed soldiers. Japan and China.1 IN JAPAN We are riding at anchor before Hakodate. Its external appearance is like nothing we have known or seen before. It is now several hours since the anchor chains clanked and the Japanese pilots who brought us into the roadstead left the steamer.

We cannot form an opinion in the usual tested manner. with their long nail-studded fences. stern and prow. we get muddled and can’t see the signs that we need in order to build ourselves working hypotheses and reach conclusions. with its huge bell. We dimly remember the drawings in an old account of a round-theworld voyage. no conspicuous and splendid mansion. I must admit it. which dominates the entire town. The distance separating us from the town is so small that we ought to be able to make out a great deal. more – to fall into an unfamiliar. which is covered all over with strange-looking ships. We positively miss them and become flustered. In bygone days these houses preened themselves. is the same as here in Japan. our eyes are bewildered by mass upon mass of something strange and wonderful shading off into a mysterious area in which we understand and recognise nothing even through a telescope.126 Maksimov: In the East ones). These good. kind. largest and easily most ancient church in the whole town. and whose booming drowns out all the bells in the parishes which surround it. old friends are not here – and we find ourselves out of sorts. We start to feel awkward – no. dreams? Nor do we see those pretentious upper-class houses with entrances and exits guarded by wild lions. and their excellent drapes and door curtains. usually illomened. We positively lose our heads when we turn our eyes from the mountain and the town to the bay. implacable dogs and other ferocious and merciless beasts. We look at this unknown town and think: where is the familiar and inescapable cathedral. were covered with unwashed calico. The consul’s house suggests familiar sights. and whose windows. just as the voice of the cathedral’s archdeacon swallows up even the loudest basses of the parish deacons? Where are the Russian merchants’ houses. with carved decorations on the sides. our consul’s house. There are so many of them that it looks like you could use them as a bridge to walk across to the town from our Amerika without getting your feet wet. a somehow strange and unprecedented state of mind. We see no minarets or churches. unknown and. We look for the tall buildings with cupolas and spires which adorn all towns both in Europe and Asia – until now we could not conceive of any town in the world without such buildings – and we rejoice in this new acquaintance which fate has placed outside the routine order of things. Below it we can make out nothing at all. whose clapper takes two men to swing. and slowly realise that these are the celebrated junks found in China – at least the basic shape. and their two storeys of which one is a formal upper floor and is always left empty. faded by time and sun. who were unwilling to clean out their household scum and mildew. before their merchant neighbours. while the householders crowd together downstairs in one or two rooms lit by a single lamp. but we can see only a single house of European architecture. standing higher than everything else and looking more attractive and comfortable than any of the other buildings. The shape of these ships is odder than anything we have dreamed. Much time is spent on the carving and extravagant. with their outward sheen of good quality glass and bronze. and can be heard snoring through the open windows as they mutter in their sleep and dream prophetic. detailed decoration of all these imaginary birds and fantastic .

but has met its match. we don’t dare. which. Many of them even today. where ships from all along the Volga have gathered. strike up not the resonant song of the Volga boatmen. plague the inhabitants of towns situated on steep mountains with their clumsy barges for whole days on end. painter. and show us similar or identical pictures. straining at the end of a kedge-anchor. They take back other goods at uncertain risk. What is the purpose of the unnecessary richness of the carving. We listen carefully – and still do not understand. wild cries reach us from the shore. How much competitive energy.3 Even today. the thread of our memories is suddenly broken. It has found competition only here in the far-off Japanese sea. but whole paintings hanging unnecessarily from their masts. if you look to the right of the fairground bridge. and must be ready to unfurl their sails in a crisis: simplicity and lack of complexity would serve much better. pulled on straps by barge haulers with crippled feet and unfortunate in all respects. the prow and even the upper deck house. and how much time is wasted on anxious striving for more outward glitter and show. you will see that many of them have not only painted sterns. These colourful vessels move at a tortoise pace. and has no rivals anywhere in Russia or on any rivers except mother Volga. now they quieten down. We think it strange to see such beautiful drapery on board ships which are heading out for heavy service at sea. We only understand when an oar-propelled boat appears from behind a junk. striking the eye with their colour and the intricacy of the carved figures on the stern. Their outward display is valued for itself. and struck all of us with the exceptional comfort and elegant cleanliness of the living quarters of the ship’s master and his family. They have brought goods ordered downstream and supplied from stock laid in by doubledyed scoundrels of salesmen not the previous winter. For it is not long ago that the Volga and its tributaries teamed with different sorts of sailing barges and all manner of vessels. These were executed with particular care on those gay ships intended to moor on the Oka during the Nizhnii Novgorod fair. but we hesitate. which seem so very difficult to manage. which undermines the proper functions of the ships. A far cry from our Russian cabins! But we are unable to make further comparisons. or even a Chinese. we can’t bring ourselves to do it. On it are a crowd of oarsmen. a practice which this year has caused such an ominous and deep crisis not only for grain. the beautiful sails. are gathered up in many complex but beautiful hanging folds. who to encourage their labours. and which would not answer so well in a crisis as European sails? We are ready to condemn the Japanese junks. One of the junks has gone past us almost broadside.Maksimov: In the East 127 animals with which the junks are adorned. but also for all other trade which has trusted its produce to these antediluvian suppliers and intermediaries. but the one before. like the rich curtains of a wealthy home. and there are no plain flags flying: they all have designs that would be the envy of a Japanese. now they start up again with renewed frenzy. because our memories of our own dear distant homeland arrest our imagination even here. painted. covered in drawings. it requires much skill and agility to manage their sails. Sharp. how much effort and trouble is spent on this. but a disorderly mixture .

were as far as we were concerned simple. like the hands of our celebrated Russian belles. their heads shaved at the front and graced at the back with a tuft of hair brought splendidly forwards from the back to the crown and tied in a knot. We saw this both from their lips. routine questions. disjointed sounds on only two tones. Their lips. gripping the pommel of one of their two swords in their hands. cried the Japanese boatmen. Their appearance was so attractive that two of them by Russian standards were positive beauties: such pink cheeks and fresh faces. and would reach the ears of the shogun (or taikun as he is called now) in a completely new form. none of them seemed over twenty. Three small. notwithstanding the holy significance given them by the interpreter. transformed. and from their clean neat little hands. while their companion. and sucked in his breath in a servile manner as if he was anxious to draw even the most empty speeches deep into his soul if they emanated from the lips of higher-ranking people. as we jokingly decided to call it. Overall this Japanese queue looked not so much like a topknot as a topiary. of course. We knew that our equally empty and simple answers would be reported to the authorities. from which the original meaning had disappeared without trace. who were able the whole time to preserve a solemn air of concentration. remained standing in spite of our most earnest and persistent invitations to sit. He served as interpreter to the officials and knew his way around both Russian proverbs and Japanese customs. This enchanted us by its unusual consistency and perfection: not one angular movement. trying to please them and to fit in with their well-known taste for sweet things. not one superfluous word. which they smacked loudly and earnestly. he bowed deeply. commonplace. for all their emptiness and triviality. without variation. This boat brought to us the Japanese officials. All this we knew from earlier accounts and were sorry for the interpreter. Two of them proved to be government employees. whose outward appearance and costume differed nothing from theirs. chins and cheeks were smoothly shaved. And our guests took a great deal of pleasure in our American gingerbread and Shanghai orange preserve. To look at.128 Maksimov: In the East of monotonous. by the remarks and explanations of the Japanese. which constantly . We also marvelled at the officials. coming into the wardroom. and their whole song and all its meaning resided in this. From this knot a short tress hung foppishly (in a Japanese sense) down over the forehead. both repeated endlessly. and therefore. Their words. the last hair plucked from their ears and nostrils.4 We entertained these turkey-cocks less with our conversation than with various sweetmeats. lively eyes and the soft and satisfied expressions of aristocrats of prosperous stock. Whenever he was addressed by one of the officials. where it was lavishly stuck down with oil and bent back to the rear of the head to be tied up with a ribbon. The officials themselves looked like they had been carved by an expert Japanese sculptor and were both unusually correct and distinctly foppish. lean and unusually tidy men came up the main ladder with a bold tread. they installed themselves immediately and with unembarrassed eagerness on the sofa. ‘I-yosso! yosso! yosso!’.

In Hakodate. which would baffle the inexperienced and unforthcoming. The one is fashioned with an axe. and before which we stand ourselves. and only now call it to mind three years later because we have learned that the cause of the insult still persists. only two.Maksimov: In the East 129 darted from under the table to take just the most tasty and sweetest pretzels. the other treads like a nimble antelope both round the furniture which crowds our wardroom. an indentation at the bows for a sort of cross-beam. let alone a close similarity. painted and striking. Their general form recalls perhaps Noah’s ark before the flood. we had to speak to the customs officers in English!! Moreover. and where we had a consul who knew the language well. Let us make our way there. but there is nothing . barely brushing against anything. inspecting everything thoroughly with a dull unintelligent stare. an ugly thick mast. rolls and candies from the plate. Our delight was so strong and powerful that at the time we overlooked the deep insult to our national pride that was being perpetrated by the Japanese officials. Our launch is rowed to the shore by the strong arms of the healthy and thickset Siberians who make up over half of our crew. The one blunders around everywhere like a bear. treading heavily and awkwardly. of these fine specimens were in there: big clumsy types. No doubt they would have quarrelled with us if they had known our complex language’s rich vocabulary of abuse. The one would be selected out of a Moscow crowd for service in the police. what an immense gulf there was between these visitors from a Japanese town and the Manchus (Chinese) who imposed themselves on us in Pos’et Bay. still fascinated by the Japanese town before which we have left the reader. We were all enchanted by our visitors. On that occasion the air was filled with the smell of burnt garlic. yet it is well known that the English consul and the English merchant established themselves in the town two or nearly three years after the Russians! We will have occasion to explain this complex and intricate phenomenon later. And what a huge difference. the other has been made by a carver of intricate work and one with a masterly and skilful hand. a town where a whole colony of Russians had been living for four years before we came. the other would not disgrace himself in the most refined and exacting of salons. railings. the bow and stern both sharply raised: tattered cloth. and moreover with coarse and rude workmanship. acting crudely towards everything. where Russian naval ships had wintered more than once. and around our continuous questions. grabbing at everything with their hands. let us hasten past it now. who straight away knew how to dispose us in their favour and who so adroitly guided our first steps towards an acquaintance with this unknown but enticing country. They stand to right and left. manoeuvring between hundreds of remarkable junks. If we had been told at the moment of our first meeting with the Japanese that they were descended from the Chinese we would have had no grounds to believe it – we would not have been able to find even the remotest resemblance. the interpreter expressed himself in English scarcely less fluently than in his native tongue. It was unpleasant to breathe the air in the cabin when two.

the oarsmen have hard work and the boat crawls along very slowly. They evidently believe they have a lifetime to achieve what others approach with feverish haste and crave so strongly. And. Although the boat travels slowly. But here too everything is remarkable. When? We have no time to investigate that: we have come to Japan for only four days and thanks are due to our launch and the Siberians: they have delivered us quickly to the shore. Yet we look in through an opening in the side and see beautiful mats and polished wood throughout even when it is not necessary. With the junks it seems as if everything has been calculated to make the vessel as clumsy and uncomfortable as possible. and put to the sort of work which . We see bright colours. They say it is already half-past one. front and back. here in Japan. Here these men are not held in honour. and. We look at our watches. not like our oarsmen. they exploit the workers for an extra hour and a quarter at noon. but somehow altered. turned upside down. but being inwardly foul and ugly. Japan has truly posed a new puzzle for the world. What is it? ‘The Japanese noon’. The Japanese cry out ‘yosso.’ We do not see what comes of this. This is the quintessence of Asia in her foremost and favourite manifestation and she seems immutable. to our great regret. nothing of what our eyes have become used to seeing on naval vessels. The Japanese worker is the sort of handsome man who is particularly attractive to lady devotees of our capital’s circuses. Asia is outwardly ugly. she is the same here. And the Japanese know no tasks so important that they need to approach them with particular earnestness or impatient desire. but kept in poverty. We look longer and deeper and really convince ourselves in these first moments that everything here is wrong – upside down in a now familiar way.130 Maksimov: In the East seagoing about them. The oars are big and clumsy. As on the boat that brought the customs officers. and at the same time we are struck by an overpowering smell of putrefaction which assaults our noses from right and left. What is the reason? ‘The Japanese government is swindling the workers (who team in their hundreds even here on the Hakodate coast). we see only naked workers – a good half of them completely so – with broad backs and strong muscles rippling under the skin. but inside is painted and polished. we are told. so loudly and energetically and also endlessly. the same here as the Asia which now lies far behind us on the other side of the Eastern Ocean. clean and tidy Japanese with shaved heads and chins. the oarsmen push the oars away from them. strange to say. does not display the characteristics or offer the points of comparison that we expect. yosso’. Instead of appearing outwardly clean and beautiful (according to Asiatic laws and customs). A boat comes to meet us from the shore. Precious time – that the English call money – is clearly not precious to these people. Wishing to gain as much benefit as possible. in the Japanese junks. it will nonetheless certainly arrive. and demand as much again at night. which have been checked using the sextant. We hear strange dull sounds like someone beating a drum.

At the same time they demonstrate the extent and irrepressibility of the Eastern imagination. They had a magnificent cypress grove on a hill outside the town. and. where the seabed already has a good and stable foundation with no need for moles or embankments. quickly began to advance and grow after becoming a port open to trade and contact with foreigners. bring them to such perfection that Europeans are left in amazement. the Japanese heap up wide. they are piling mountains of stones along the shore. for example. The same demand came from the English consul. stopping in the face of no natural or other obstacles whatever. Our consul assured us that he only had to build a single fountain to see no more than one or two months later dozens of similar fountains in the house and grounds of the governor. This place complied perfectly with the instructions from Yeddo [Edo] and the views of the central government. The Hakodate authorities did not hesitate. high walls along the whole coast. and they bear witness on the one hand to the Japanese people’s capacity for imitation and the rapid adaptation of good models even when they come from abroad. giving both houses an elegant appearance and a picturesque setting. this poor and most miserable of Japanese towns. They say that the Japanese know no limits at all in these structures but.Maksimov: In the East 131 strengthens their muscles. They say that they hope these structures will at the same time defend them against European Armstrong guns and protect them from artful European-trained soldiers. What was to be done? The governor of Hakodate called up a huge mass of workers and in the short space of a few months these ants tirelessly cut an immense slice out of the mountain (several tens of sazhens in length and breadth). in order to bring it to the sea several versts from the original place. from which the Japanese later constructed tall steep terraces nearby. The Russian consul needed a place for a house. and we are struck by the impracticality and immensity of the tasks they perform. and a second massive trapezium was cut out of the mountain. Before our eyes. The part removed constituted a small mountain in itself. Such are the facts. When this town. it attracted masses of population from the surrounding area (even from the neighbouring fine large town of Matsumae). even including a church and houses for the secretary and doctor. in order to build a simple convenient jetty in one particular spot. contrary to government plans. who for some reason had been exiled here to Hakodate. Before our eyes the Japanese workers were excavating another hill and filling in the deep ravine in front of it for a third huge house belonging to a Japanese prince. sufficient to create an enormous paradeground to accommodate the consular house and outbuildings. The Japanese government did not hesitate to use that mass of cheap and pliable workers to divert the river and cut an artificial channel through the whole town. relying . but there was a decree from the shogun that foreigners should not be allowed to settle freely in the town and should not be given allocations of land in centres of population. but presented great inconvenience and difficulty in that the mountain was far too steep to allow a Russian building of the usual large dimensions to be built on it. so that the river supplying Hakodate with water no longer satisfied the needs of the town.

stops here. which even today carefully preserves the flavour of Asiatic antiquity and firmly holds on to its simple ways. very long and so narrow that it is only suitable for pedestrians and certainly not intended for riders in carriages (only riders on horseback and then with difficulty). and by the fifth and sixth see that behind the paper frames are hidden shops. strange to say. scarcely suitable for two or three people to walk abreast. And it is only at these corners that the buildings stand out in clearer relief and openings can be seen in them (extending from the roof down to the ground). point for point identical to some of the far-off streets of white-walled Moscow. stands naked before us. And because there are no walls between them. we see no houses. After lengthy efforts we distinguish what must be roofs lowering over the dark structures. but also because another new and marvellous scene is taking place before our eyes. then another. inconvenient for traffic. dark mass of buildings. We see a street. revealing all its intimate domestic details and secrets. which must serve as doorways. We don’t recognise as houses this strange. these Japanese houses do not resemble one iota the houses whose appearance and shape we know. and these too are all occupied. We see this street. which line both sides of a corridor crowned with a sky of unusual blue or turquoise. We are less surprised at the great abundance of merchants (at least on the main street) after we have seen an unbroken mass of working people stretched out for about 2 versts along the shore. so needlessly ugly do they make the streets. narrow. which are already ugly enough from the dirt and the constant bends and twists and corners. In no shop do we see a merchant without three or four assistants. The resemblance. These frames are window frames – the paper is used instead of glass. and. however. To the right of these doorways are two or three frames. We do not stop now with the traders. busy over something. We continue on our way to the sound of a bell. and a third: the streets are dirty. We look expectantly into one then another. as we look deeper we find more things to wonder at. equally tall. and our impression is confirmed when we learn that this bell also calls people here to prayer. They deal chiefly in fabrics. intending to call in at the shops and make our acquaintance with the shopkeepers later. but twice as wide. scrutinise the interior of a third and a fourth. so low are these overhangs. finding itself thus with no front wall. To complete the lack of resemblance. exceeds all probability (but on this in its place). We gave ourselves up completely to familiar impressions as we passed through first one street. . and covered with thin oil-paper. This. with overhanging eaves which are easy to walk into and hit your head on – indeed it wouldn’t be hard to poke your eye out. It is a rare merchant who sits idle: all are busy with their affairs. in almost all the houses on the main street the frames have been moved aside and the house. whose booming reminds us of our Russian bell-ringing.132 Maksimov: In the East on the talent of the people and what can be achieved with the aid of cheap labour and wages. that almost all the houses of the main street of Hakodate are used for trade. to our understanding.

He has nothing on his head except the inevitable stiffly pomaded topknot of his own hair. a cheap and commonplace performance by a pair of imbeciles or eccentrics? We look to the side. he has two swords on his hip. which is worn universally in warm Japan instead of a head covering. What is this? A game like a cock-fight in which these officials will bash their foreheads together until someone pulls them apart? Or will they watch and wait for the right moment to grab each other by the shoulders. Their faces are fairly flushed with blood. and very well dressed. I sometimes watch these rigmaroles of officialdom with particular attention and almost always reach an accurate understanding of which has the higher rank. around the neck or in whatever other Japanese manner. in the same manner as the customs officials. a game for the amusement of the passing public. breathes heavily and laughs. although to us so puzzling. but squats back down again. we see another man squatting in front of him also with his head bowed and carefully holding his larger sword against his side. which younger. now the other sits up and then both of them together draw in a deep breath and snort. but see only the one thing: now one of them. So what is it? ‘A meeting of two officials’. he squats down and bows his head. the other shorter. One of them starts to get up and has made a movement in the direction he needs to go. We still don’t understand any of it. even which is the more influential in the service. Before we have recovered from the surprise. it is explained to us.Maksimov: In the East 133 We see a Japanese who differs from all the others in the street in that he is fully dressed. but squats down again and goes through the same rigmarole in his turn. If you see one of them take umbrage you can be sure he is the more fashionable. the officials do not separate. The other will not be outdone and if he squats down more often it is certainly because. and squatting down there without ceremony in the street (everything is so peculiar in Japan) they will deal once or twice and then depart? However. until the stronger or more skilful beats down his opponent? Or perhaps they have decided on a game of cards or dice. we watch them for a good five minutes. one long. paying so little attention that we couldn’t be sure they had even noticed it. We see passers-by reacting to the scene with indifference. The other repeats the same movement. by the thighs. although he is of equal rank. Time is cheap in Japan generally. their cheeks all puffed out and even the coat of one of them is stuck up like a crest as if to make this amusing scene look all the more like an interesting English cock-fight. the longer the squatting goes on for – it sometimes lasts up to half an hour. which weaker in . The closer they are in rank and privilege. for no reason. grasps his knees with his hands. The scene is normal for them. What is all this? What are these gentlemen taking so much trouble about? We wait another five minutes: but we see exactly the same thing. while his companion sits quite still. ‘And they mark time for so long because to terminate this tiresome process quickly would be seen as impolite and extremely disrespectful. he is the junior. and particularly so among Japanese officials. What is this. suddenly. We watch this official (banios) walk very modestly along the street towards us and. A short light coat with wide sleeves is thrown over his shoulders.

Elsewhere.) The Russians also understand it. here they are considered a delight because they consume a great deal of time – time which torments the Japanese and is hateful to him in its tiresome duration. We who have lived here and studied native affairs call them more simply fresh. character. than Japanese who seek rapprochement with Europeans and because of this have been called progressive. and. such meetings between officials on the high road or in the street might be considered a misfortune – a trial or a torment. what ridiculous extremes. There are more of these. Of course if at a meeting of two officials both squat down and one of them jumps to his feet sooner and more quickly than the other.1 A Japanese salutation. at exactly the same moment! This perfect cock-fight serves as an excellent example of what heights of absurdity. (Their consul is also a trader with his own capital. but for some reason do not trade. Among equals separating is a delicate matter of judgement since each will rise only just exactly the same distance as the other (and not a fraction less). The first and last purchasers here are still the officers and sailors of . the passion for outward forms of respect can lead to. p. The Japanese have everything in plenty. you can be certain that he has squatted solely for form and got up again so quickly because he is of higher rank. So far only the Americans have understood this. and they dance backwards and forwards only to separate and finish with the matter when they can do so together. and recently the English have begun to realise it. Capital of the Tycoon. 80. young people. they have a lot of everything and everything is cheap – trading with them is both advantageous and pleasant. if truth be told.134 Maksimov: In the East Figure 6. Japanese officials of the old school enjoy this opportunity to squat and breathe in the same air as their colleagues and inhale the smell of their formal clothes with a particular passion. Source: Alcock. we find them very practical. strangely enough.

Yokohama. The officers choose silk fabrics. which are also unusually cheap. hired murderers to kill the English merchants at Kanagawa and our midshipman and sailors at Nagasaki.6 In recent times a new enemy of the Europeans has * The names of the five Japanese ports open to European ships are: Nagasaki (also Yeddo). unexpected questions which were not foreseen by laws or customs. in the second. is weak in relation to matters of internal politics. and Japan owes it to the intrigues of these two that foreigners are unable to gain a firm foothold on Japanese soil and suffer constraints everywhere. is the richest of these princes. or saki [sake]. Hence a feudal alliance is always able to keep the shogun subordinated and clearly dependent. and lacquer goods such as cases and boxes. but strong in respect of external affairs. a zealous fanatic for his cause.Maksimov: In the East 135 naval ships. bribery of the banioses and the goodwill of the shogun five ports were opened to European ships. Here the shogun is not independent and even though he should wish for contact and see benefits in it for his people. But of course little hope can be placed on these (even though they say Hakodate is being improved with Russian money). and not trading centres. the secular emperor living in Yeddo. the intrigues of the two princes hostile to foreigners suggested towns most of which had few amenities for trade – they were the poorest of towns. When through diplomatic intrigue. our Hakodate. the princes’ intrigues managed to allocate for European dwellings the most unhealthy and inconvenient place on a small offshore island. when one of the princes. and discovered semi-silk material for trousers. The shogun. The sailors have grown fond of cheap rice vodka. and particularly matters which raise new. with the smallest populations. Genuine comprehensive commerce would find other objects here which could be obtained at advantage (there are very many of them) and of course would succeed since the people are very glad to make new acquaintances. which was opened a year later. which all the same did not prevent him equipping a new band of murderers while under arrest and sending them to Hakodate to murder the English consul there. . that is if any (not necessarily all) of them are against it. limited in some measure by laws. he has no power to act if the princes do not wish it. Kanagawa. the shogun was only able to punish him (and this only after repeated and insistent demands by the Europeans) by house arrest in his own palace. for their own reasons. such as for example the question of contact with foreigners. This dependence. Shimoda and Hakodate. is positively the most miserable of Japanese towns. As far as we able to understand. are the government officers. Among them the first to be opened. ‘The structure of the Japanese state is like that of medieval Russia. The only ones who are not glad. The state is split up into a multitude of separate principalities. Two of them are known for their particular hatred of the newcomers. important. but several of the other princes together would be richer and more powerful than he. and so on.*5 Then. matters stand as follows. as does the present shogun.

and gladly yield them the road. In Japan. immortal. to put on the same dress twice. This is a sweet-tooth who has lost all real influence. They were provided with all possible blessings of life. never clearly shown them any ill-will. and the people have themselves concluded that they are not capable of doing so. but a year later. given several dozen wives to console them. This numberless mass. an unexpected one. the enemy of the people must be sought in another government combination. Alongside there grew up all sorts of other institutions catering for the requirements of luxury. is liberally scattered over the whole face of the country and sits like a hungry parasite on the people. and indeed it is hardly capable of inspiring and acting upon the hearts of the nation. including the lacquer furniture factories of which Japan is justly proud. but what is important is that Buddhism. both for him and for all the multitude of wives. weakened by one of the shoguns of the very distant past and kept away from state affairs. which has deprived the people of the right to bear weapons and is at the same time most cowardly and unproductive. the privileged class of officials.136 Maksimov: In the East appeared. but who lives in particular comfort and is strong only through the power of tradition. between the shogun and the banioses. as a result Miako developed as a centre for silk production. at least in this one particular direction. Their mechanics had only been a few times on board a Dutch schooner of a type they had never seen before. as opposed to the shoguns. even though the missionaries of toothless Buddhism have begun to stir up a deadly religious fanaticism and wish to place at its head the invisible. making way for them to approach.’ . using their own observations and plans they constructed an identical ship and sailed in her from the island of Nipon to the island of Yezo [Ezo]. who resides in a magnificent palace in Miako.8 There have been numerous similar occurrences. whom not so long ago everyone considered harmless. music and all fine arts clung to the palace and the mikados became the patrons and guardians of the entire intellectual life of the Japanese people. but by that practical sense of life which has enabled them to develop their unusual talent (a remarkable receptivity and gift of imitation).7 Up to now we knew that the ancestors of the mikado. divine mikado himself. They have never offended the Europeans. now as in the past. Until now the Japanese have been indifferent to their faith. Literature. surrounded with all possible luxury. whose outward respect conceals a deep contempt. smile in a friendly manner on all newcomers. in which many not without reason find the evidence of a cold and indifferent atheism. who became the leaders of its administrative and political life. has not hindered the Japanese people’s development. or mikado (dairi). The Japanese people. the spiritual emperor. for example. And because this practice required an infinite quantity of silk fabric. for example. being forbidden. without guidance or instructions. and it has not applied the sort of brakes on progress which have been imposed in so many other countries by established religion – by the Catholic Church. They have not led their people far in moral development. It seems the Japanese are not moved by religion. were shut up in their palace.

always resold them to us at a price we as foreigners could never have got by our own efforts. officialdom has taken the system of constraint of the people to extreme and disgraceful limits. While we were inspecting some silks in his shop. and to entertain a hope so bold. After this self-abasement and this servile. marking him. Ryugoni in general said little to us about officials. When we needed some silk material he immediately named a price which the other shopkeepers would come to only after hard and insistent bargaining. We noted as an example one case which took place before our eyes and had little need for others. we followed him to the custom house. simply because he had dared the previous day to make such a scandalously liberal request. He performed many services for us. And he could not afford to be other than close-lipped since in his shop. frequented more than the others by Russians. There we saw him fall prostrate before one of the officials and speak to him. barely raising his head from the ground and scarcely moving his lips. had been unable to discover its cause. place). Seeing in this desire his simple politeness. When we wanted some goods that he didn’t have in his shop he sent to a neighbour for them. simply because we were unable to ask. He would have to ask permission. But Ryugoni was close-lipped and no doubt timid for simple reasons of selfpreservation. Now in exchange for these favours we wished to entertain him in Russian style on board the corvette. but he did them willingly and always at our first request. Now that the shaved Japanese appeared in front of us – this one was a bonze. informed us with the simplicity and composure of a child. but round a distant corner in a most secluded. Ryugoni informed us that that morning he had been obliged to pay a not inconsiderable sum of money to the official. where we had sweets (even if these were of North American manufacture) and some of the fizzy champagne that the Japanese are so fond of. a good man. humiliating speech. but willingly made us witnesses of the following scene. so offensive to the honour of the whole Japanese nation. a concession merely to established formality. as either a doctor or a bonze (clergy). as could easily be guessed from his distinctive shoulder strap made . Rizo Ryugoni (our friend) readily agreed and was clearly very pleased and happy. he said. Among the Hakodate shopkeepers we took a particular liking to one excellent fellow. and presumably from his point of view safe. admittedly small and insignificant ones. was installed a very experienced and malicious spy in the shape of a fat. from the officials at the custom house.Maksimov: In the East 137 Whenever the opportunity presents itself. the gentlest and kindest-hearted of Japanese. pock-marked Japanese man. but then he hesitated. that the official had forbidden him to visit us. We proposed this excursion to him. the success of his request seemed to us certain. among the other Japanese who were watching us idly or from simple curiosity appeared a man with a completely shaved head. and so on and so forth. The next day. Before this we had heard an incomprehensible wild roar in the street and. and after buying them himself. as is well known. You can imagine our extreme anger and barely tolerable sense of injury when Ryugoni came out and informed us (and he told us not in the customs building.

This roar brought a smile to the faces of all the Japanese around us. Those who go there are too lazy to work. Even their dress was the same: a wide robe wrapped so tightly round the waist that the legs were not free and the Japanese could only walk slowly with small steps. The faces were equally coarse. the shopkeepers. and it is thus . explained Ryugoni. and run away from them without barking? No wonder you and I seem strange in our turn. with the exception that the lower part of the sleeve is firmly sewed up to half its width. Not everybody cares to listen to him. until we couldn’t stand it any longer. ‘The answer is simple. The women are the ones in the robes with a wide belt of black material. would you find strange dogs like this one who are afraid of passers-by. and from us the question: ‘What does all this mean?’ ‘The bonze is praying for you and your dear ones and praising our gods’. Go and look for yourselves. for example. he continued. These two sleeves are the only pockets the Japanese have and in them they put their soft paper (like fine cotton).138 Maksimov: In the East from a material like our brocade. ‘Now the bonze will be happy all day. as if it had been scalded with hot water or stunned by being beaten with a stick.’ ‘Tell me. this robe forms the basis of their dress. And after it had hidden round a distant corner it was still too frightened to bark. this time right in our ears. We asked Ryugoni the magic word and were indescribably happy when we had spoken it and we no longer saw the bonze in the shop in front of us. There are many wonders here. Above it they wear a short coat with very wide sleeves like the sleeves of our priests. with two long ends hanging down over his chest – Ryugoni suggested that we pronounce to this bonze a certain long word. let alone in Russia. and often nobody makes a request except for fun or else he foists himself on someone and starts up anyway’. as we headed towards the consul’s house. You have given him as much as he usually gets from a dozen shops. seeing us. and kept darting away and rushing headlong back.’ ‘But that’s enough talk from me. ‘Here’s a first wonder for you’. equally ugly.’ And indeed the bonze began to roar even more determinedly and discordantly. They use this for writing down things they need to remember. ‘Give him two iron coins and he will chant again. A huge yellow dog bounded out from around a corner and. They wear no other dress. prompted our talkative cicerone. answered Ryugoni in broken words to this effect. He finds it dull in the monastery. suddenly took off. At first we couldn’t tell men from women and frankly needed a key to understand the difference. is that a man or a woman selling pears over there?’ We couldn’t tell. They wear nothing else on the lower part of the body. We got out the word with difficulty and heard the same wild roar. With the men. for blowing their noses and for wiping their hands before meals. ‘Where in any other country. ‘And what will he do with our money?’ ‘He will put half away and buy saki with the other half and start drinking. almost at every step’.

the more exclusive the punishment should be in case of an offence. The women have their hair piled up and no razor dares touch their empty heads. but had a temperature the same as outside. a short sword. as they used to do in ancient Russia. are the exclusive mark of unmarried girls. and himself stepped forwards decisively.† But the most important and obvious difference between the officials and the simple mortals they so deeply despise is the right to wear trousers. warmed by the hot sun of a Japanese July.‡ In ancient Russia even monks and nuns washed and steamed themselves together in a common bathhouse. This bathhouse differed from our usual bathhouses.’ . The appearance of a group of strangely behaved and strangely dressed people was met by the bathing Japanese with the same cool indifference that we encountered on other safer. White teeth. We found ourselves in a bathhouse.’ ‘And here is something else which is.’ Our guide opened the door of one of the houses we were passing and invited us in. Men always have at their side a tobacco pouch and a pipe. This is the main difference from the men. not in European cut. and met each other stark naked. ‘Both men and women [writes N. On that day there was a festival at the temple. They pay a great deal of money for this. the second. These trousers. and with a panel at the back. unspoiled as we would say. The first is used by the executioner to cut off the official’s head. Among these we include our visit to the first Buddhist temple that we came to on our route.9 The men always have a topknot. Kostamarov] entered and exited the baths through a single door. beloved of all the Russian people. yet they are sewn in a very distinctive and clumsy way. Officials always have two swords. and the front part of their heads shaved. replacing the merchant’s robe. Such an order is usually given as a favour to the most faithful and zealous for an offence which would require the head of a person of low rank to be placed on the block by the shameful hand of the despised executioner. Merchants sometimes have a single sword in their belts. the other short like a dagger or chef’s knife. Men and women washed together. only in that it was not so excessively heated.Maksimov: In the East 139 handkerchief. as they still do in the commercial baths of very many of our remote and unsophisticated towns. less risqué excursions. and a copper inkpot with brush and prepared Indian ink (the Japanese are all literate). K. napkin and notebook. short sword he uses himself to open up his belly if he receives an order to do so. together with blackened teeth – a sign of married women. but only if out of vanity they have bought the right to wear it. with a bold and confident tread. Japanese trousers are very strong. exclusively Japanese and also amazing. may be worn only by officials and by their children – they are a class privileged from birth. covering themselves with switches [the Japanese men and women use wooden tubs] and talking among themselves with no particular restraint. From the † ‡ The Japanese have developed the conviction (and sanctioned it by laws and customs) that the higher and more senior the authority. one long like our sabre. I think. comprising the only clothing worn on the lower part of the body. just as our merchants pay for a medal.

They sang their raucous. on request. bad people. But we went into the temple and even at the entrance were struck by the unusual cleanliness and beautiful design of the Japanese straw mats spread on the floor. Only the subtle Japanese could walk so tidily and keep their stockings and shoes so charmingly clean. incidentally. would make various figures from sweet dough: of these some could only be shown on the sly to jovial amateurs. smiling archly. But I know that you will not glorify his severity through prayer. And here as on previous occasions in mosques we were invited to wipe our feet and were not prevented from going right inside the temple. there are many sins. and the chief of them is lust. but as soon as we went in these worshippers in robes and with huge heads turned round to stare at us and followed us intently with their eyes as we moved behind the pillars. who fortunately understood Japanese well. The temple was almost empty. This disproportionately fat caricature was intended to depict the god in whose honour the festivities were being celebrated and for whose sake the whole temple courtyard and the street leading up to it were hung with different-sized multi-coloured lanterns on poles and strings. or of Petersburg in the spring or autumn. said the bonze. The sage moved further off. Even then they didn’t turn away their black eyes. The lanterns were lit in the evening and all through the town the Japanese began to wander through the streets like shades. keep their stockings so clean that not a single speck of dirt touches them. in drunkenness. ‘we are celebrating the feast of a strict and capricious god who loves peace and quiet on earth. gracefully fanned his face and continued: ‘In drunkenness. We could understand the portion of the sermon that we happened to catch from the translation made for us by our guide. Here we saw women kneeling on the clean mats. opened again with a pleasant rustle and refreshed the shaven head of the Japanese sage. guttural songs in a choked voice. ‘Here today’. raised his voice to a shout and listed the sins arising from drunkenness in endless and . We also saw a travelling picture stall selling colour prints of an unusually fat man without trousers or robe but wearing a sort of huge belt. which he had deftly folded in one hand with a single movement. but will start drinking saki and go on drinking until you are drunk. These. Yet the Hakodate dirt compares easily with that of any Russian provincial town.140 Maksimov: In the East entrance gates across the courtyard to the doors of the shrine sat two rows of traders of both sexes with a multitude of strange things to eat in various shapes and sizes. I tell you.’ And at these words the shaven bonze deftly opened a very pretty fan in his right hand and. damp from the unbearable heat and the labours of his erudition. making a clapping sound with their straw sandals. Some of the traders. though a shaven bonze was loudly delivering a sermon from a raised pulpit facing the people. only women and only a very small number of those. mostly sweet. The wooden overshoes of the worshippers were left at the entrance as in Moslem mosques.’ And again the arch smile. and the fan.

One even patted us on the back as we went past him on our way to the cells belonging to the monks of this monastery. covered with paint. There was nothing else for us to see in the temple shrine. sweet and plain buns. The Japanese will even be glad and take your courtesy at face value. We went out into the courtyard and on a special mound in the left corner saw a huge bell with a huge wooden clapper beside it. They are simple people and firmly convinced of all their virtues. ‘there is nothing to stop you. explained our guide. probably because only the highest-ranking. an ardent devotee of . as our expert on Japan explained. as in front of the idols in the main shrine. didn’t shout. where our acquaintance. These inscriptions represented the names of the dead.Maksimov: In the East 141 fantastic detail. spicecakes. In the centre was the main shrine. was sitting. We went into the one on the right and then back to the one on the left. but not frightening to us strangers. In front of the shingles were small bowls of rice and sugar. a language that was not melodious. we wanted to look over the inside of the temple. The Japanese who filled the courtyard didn’t rush out at us. were burning thick. most senior bonze had the right to speak from it. human-like and ugly. perhaps over the whole town. but also because he spoke a sort of language that we were not used to and which was not aimed at us. To the right and left of the main shrine are two side chapels. still smiling his charming smile and expertly folding and unfolding his paper fan. of a sort which is not found in domestic use by private individuals. There we found comparatively poor and wretched apartments. Those who were nearby grinned with real pleasure and affection. In both we found little shelves against the back wall containing a countless number of small shingles with inscriptions on them.§ shelves in the corners. In front again was a second pulpit. ‘If you want to. chanting in the particular recitative style and with the intonation used only by the Japanese and by their coreligionists in China. but guttural. ring it’. as our expert on Japan and its complicated customs also explained. He spoke with passion. This was an offering in honour and remembrance of the dead. lacquered cabinets decorated in the brightest of Japanese colours. Our consul.’ We rang the bell. The § We will say once and for all that the method of applying lacquer (impervious to boiling water and notable for its strength and lustre) is kept secret. probably a lower-ranking bonze. We could not listen to the preacher for long. In front of the idols was the raised platform of a pulpit. partly because although he spoke logically and connectedly he spoke chiefly in commonplaces. It had a pleasant ring and carried a long way. beautifully designed and lustrously woven mats on the floor. against the back wall of which stood the idols. now unoccupied. In front of the shingles. brightly coloured candles. It seemed to us impossibly plain and as commonplace as the sermon we had just overheard as we went by. Besides. but the same meticulous cleanliness that is found everywhere in Japanese houses.

bowing low and earnestly from the waist. He laughingly wheedled the fan out of us. and grasping his knees with his hands. he came out to us and made signs asking for it as a present. noticing that we had a fan in our hands. and send those condemned to death into exile on Sakhalin. Later on. by the way. This lacquer. as is well known. In one of the rooms we would have found a bonze who for some reason had not gone to the temple. as the bonze himself asked me to tell you. or where the people are so carefree and idle away their lives so merrily.10 Over many years (the Japanese do not even know exactly how many). but has now been planted over most of the island of Yezo. Only here there is no theft or burglary because if someone steals even a few kopecks the law says his head must be cut off. is prepared from a special lacquer tree. After finishing the work he advised that the window be kept open for a few days. which originally grew only on the southern islands of Japan. Fewer heads are chopped off nowadays and fewer people burned alive at the stake. but the consul absent-mindedly pushed it almost shut (and this was about three days after the lacquer work had been completed). . poisoned by the fumes from the still fresh lacquer. After half an hour with his butterflies he ended up falling to the ground. And to express his great happiness and his gratitude. ‘and your fan will confer on him unexpected honour and the most respectful treatment. explained our guide. Kyu-shu and Sankoku. The Ainu who lived in the south have been pushed out to the north and centre of the island by the newcomers from the southern islands of Yezo. In the past a day did not go by without an execution. Nipon. each of whom has two swords for every head and every belly. as you have already become fully aware. wide door which moved on the same transparent paper frames that we saw in the shops of Hakodate’s main street. that is. Not for any money would he agree to reveal the secret to a foreigner. even though these lives are subject to the arbitrary will of others and the power of the officials. because the Japanese government has finally had the sense to send the living to a more respectable destination. There is far more of this here even than in Catholic Rome and Naples. Here no holiday lasts less than three days. opening the fan with no less skill and dash than the bonze we had seen in the temple. but. The Japanese master would not agree to lacquer them except in a closed room and with no witnesses. to moderate the severity of their law.142 Maksimov: In the East first room led to another through a tall. decided to have cabinets made for his insects. No one pities the people here and this is also a frequent occurrence. he’ll be completely drunk. and I know of no other country apart from Rome and Spain where there are more holidays.’ ‘Let us continue! You can hear drums – that is beggars asking for alms. being a little drunk at the moment. the population on these islands has grown so dense and crowded that the government has come to the disgraceful and criminal conviction that the entomology. he immediately put on a serious expression and roared at the top of his voice. unable to speak or move. The Japanese government has only recently deemed this island to be Japanese and is quickly settling it to the very top with their criminals. ‘That is how he will charm the ladies tomorrow when it is his turn’.

The Japanese gild this quarter square a little and pass it off to foreigners as a half-itsebu. The burial itself. domestic theatre of those officials who open their bellies by grace of the shogun. If he fails to cut off the head in a single blow. cruel people. it is by no means necessary to witness the private. In this respect the Japanese seem to us a very bestial. but without witnesses. In Japan. cutting themselves with established movements and according to long established models. Here diseased parts of the body are not treated by therapeutic methods but by means of the knife or the sabre (which are the same thing). probably for what we would call a burial service. Of the six executioners the best and most skilful must remove the prisoner’s head with a single blow on the command of his five colleagues. lamellate gold coin. In this respect Japan is like everywhere else! ‘In order to form an opinion of the Japanese indifference to life. the itsebu. The Japanese have reasoned that. and because of this well-developed custom of considering their own lives as naught they have come also to view the lives of others with indifference. They are prepared to use them for their own advantage if they are vigorous and healthy and happily kill them or cast them away if they are even in the slightest degree touched by disease or decay. From this we can understand the easy and cheap recourse to hired assassins at all times and in all places – convenient not only for powerful and influential princes. which the Japanese government holds so very dear. is worth 43 kopecks of silver in our money. takes place with ceremony. rare in Japan and equivalent in value to six of our silver roubles (and a few odd kopecks). think the Japanese. A square silver coin. and would raise up putrid and harmful miasmas which would be destructive to the living population. that dull indifference bred into the people by the government itself. The ash from the body and the charred bones are put in a small vessel designed to take up a minute space in the ground. however. but also for simple people who can afford one or two gold kobans. there will certainly somewhere be some sort of execution. The itsebu is . The rotting bodies would poison the air. Inside the prisons. even those who enjoy the enviable happiness of dying of natural causes. even though Japan has plenty of wind and is very well ventilated. which has established unmerciful laws and sentenced so many to death. and the dead are usually placed squatting in a barrel and burned. however. This vessel is placed in the expensive and valuable ground after being kept for three days in the temple. if the whole mass of the dying and executed were to be buried in the space of the three islands. and they also erect pretentious and showy monuments in the general cemetery. he is ordered to open his own belly. Then both the part and the whole are usually burned. oval.Maksimov: In the East 143 people’s lives can be considered almost worthless.11 the cemetery would be the size of a whole separate country. everyone is cremated. Ash is so much preferable. If you go to a wide square on the outskirts of the town. This is divided into half and quarter pieces. also square. who cough up the single word ‘hhha’. which are naturally not valued by the ** A thin.**12 We therefore imagine that the lives of Europeans. heads are cut off almost every day. if not today then tomorrow.

In spite of the extraordinary small monetary subdivisions. On inspection of the body all but two of the bullets were found to be in his back. The official was released. The governor demanded his release and was refused. The kashi is a round iron coin with a square hole in the centre. he tied him up and dragged him to the governor. drunk himself. around corners. so that the ill-omened and unclean gaze of the criminal could not in the same way defile the goods. Porter. who went. It was only the men. The English consul himself went for a drive and. also drunk. Our consul intervened. Here for example is a recent incident in Hakodate. and. ran over a drunk he met in the road. The Japanese drew his sword. On another occasion the same man struck an official who was in his way with his whip. The Europeans must also take some of the blame. The prisoner himself went to the pyre so boldly and bravely. the dog grabbed him by the leg and drew blood. out of sight.†† And we do not doubt the suggestion that. saw this action. a trader in this town (actually trading in porter and various comestibles and also proprietor of a sort of inn for our officers). has a dog. so that he could not defile them with his glance. for example. thrashed him again and dragged him to his consul. Both old and recent facts of this nature confirm our view on this matter. Porter. and those of them who were caught in the street at the time the criminal was being led through it rushed headlong into enclosed spaces. that is to say. We went along too. . He bound his hands and feet. he †† further divided into seven hundred kashi. rushed out into the street with his companions and thrashed the official. each kashi has a clear practical use. a barber will oil the topknot on your head and shave all necessary places on your face. We reconciled ourselves to the criminal only when. after lying in wait for a burglar and rushing him. he was punished in a way which no Japanese official could possibly tolerate. however. emptied his revolver at him. besides being indifferent to the blood of others (and especially the blood of foreigners). the people even rejoice when they are invited to witness an out of town execution. At this hour all the shops along the route were closed and locked. Porter again. Through this hole a straw twist is threaded and these coins are carried in this manner like bread rolls in Russia. The whole population of Hakodate rushed out of the town to the execution of a criminal who had attempted to burn down the local admiralty building. standing on the pyre and waiting for it to be lit. as if to convince ourselves just what level of indifference or even stupefied insensitivity and unbounded apathy a people can reach when watching executions and corrupted by them. when the latter drew his sword. For a single kashi. but with such a lifeless and dull expression on his face that we took fright and became indignant at him on behalf of man in general – so strong was our hatred at that moment of a law which allowed and justified such spectacles. The consul put him in shackles and kept him under arrest. In Hakodate the English consul is mocked by small boys.144 Maksimov: In the East people and are considered an irritant by the government. has no rivals anywhere on earth. But it is not possible to relate all such incidents. but was deprived of his two swords. The women hid themselves in their back rooms. In Yeddo and Kanagawa Englishmen are killed. And this shaving is essential even for the very poor. A drunk Japanese official walked past this Englishman’s apartment. as Europeans have long known. will always be in danger and will always be at risk from sharp Japanese sabres – whose steel. damage trade or reduce profit.

‘everything that came into our minds on this occasion. like an ordinary. In all probability he soon suffocated in this smoke. crowds of spectators would have gathered on the fourth day too. in Hakodate. cooked rice. What do you see? This is another of my tricks. honest town. There were plenty of visitors. a good trick but the last. He asked. our guide concluded his speech. again we can see nothing of the sort. even bound to the post. for the execution to be hurried up. however cheaply the Japanese hold life in general. at least his smoke-blackened (not burned) body was kept intact for three days at the place of execution for the benefit of those who did not come on the main day. sometimes placed in symmetrical rows. They were selling spice-cakes. pears. We have never seen anything more so either before or since.Maksimov: In the East 145 suddenly spoke. and in the foreground. But that is enough adventures and stories for today. It was as if the cliff had broken off the neighbouring mountain and split into large and small lumps. To finish with. even in poor mountain villages. but you would not imagine that there was a large Japanese town underneath this pile of rubble and stones. not of buildings. if the executioners had not gathered up the body and burned it to ashes. as we stand on the terrace of the consul’s house. in front of everything. undifferentiated mass. put up . sometimes heaped up in tall mounds. The hawkers cried out as if they were in the street. where this phenomenon is not uncommon. munching and buzzing with conversations conducted just as calmly as if they were taking place at home or in the shops or at the market. Tomorrow I will invite you to make sure of this yourselves. I will say further that. but there the houses. as they say in Russian fairgrounds. The desolate view reminded us of the deserted granite shores of the White Sea. lifelessly insulting lack of emotion. and the view of the town from above defied all probability. as in Manchuria and China. Hawkers were going round among this crowd carrying yokes with the traditional hot Japanese green tea of native production. are invariably also built of stone. Here in the farthest Asiatic east. he looked calmly and apathetically at the crowd which swarmed at his feet in remarkable numbers and striking uniformity. the houses are always made of wooden boards. beneath which the town of Hakodate ought to lie.’ ‘And so as to tell you everything’. according to those standing closest to him. Until that point. The Japanese people (according to the testimony of witnesses) met the execution in Yeddo of a murderer who had attempted the life of a brother of the shogun (regent) with the same dull. All truly Asiatic and most Moslem towns consist of stones piled up in untidy disorder. He was boiled alive in a cauldron. look down at the town from here (the consul’s house).’ And indeed. And the reason is that Japanese houses of wooden boards. The lively speech and deep hum did not stop even when the criminal was engulfed in smoke (not in flames). but of boards. It was extremely strange and unexpected. the means of procuring life in Japan are held just as cheap. the crowd was chewing. We see a black. scattering over the entire surface of the town and burying it without trace. gaps between them indicating streets. piles of huge stones.

and in the distance the charming blue and turquoise (in one place framed by the steep coastal mountains) merged with the horizon and the surface of the wide and free ocean. These hurricanes are of a particularly desperate ferocity in Japan. two years later. which is built entirely from cypress wood. on our right and left flanks. and which even now.146 Maksimov: In the East flimsily and in haste. The whole of the Hakodate gulf came to life with its multitude of ships. beginning with our Amerika and a Dutch corvette a little way off. if not a town. It is not so long ago that a coneshaped mountain close to the town breathed out smoke and fire and poured out lava that took two long weeks to cool down. rushing down the mountain gorges. remains in a semi-molten state. In the course of this nothing was damaged. just past the consul’s house.‡‡ Only at the outer edges. . including Yezo. have numerous huge stones placed on their roofs against the violent hurricanes. and are experienced most fiercely and most frequently of all in this unfortunate town of Hakodate. we saw the huge gardens engulfing the governor’s house and the prince’s palace. temples distinguished by their tiled roofs and their towers. even the candles remained undisturbed in their places. ‡‡ The hurricane which raged in Hakodate a few weeks before our arrival was so strong that its gusts blew huge beams and even stones across the town. on the most active and vigorous volcanic crater. We can understand these stones and other weights and buttresses when we remember that nature has situated the Japanese islands. ruffled and foaming from big and angry waves. did the Japanese town resemble. And when we raised our eyes from the town and looked straight ahead. The wooden church built next to our consul’s house was picked up from its place by one gust and put down in another some 40 sazhens away. The picture was truly unique and charming. then at least an inhabited and settled place: there we saw painted pavilions on the Chinese pattern. before us sparkled the turquoise of the delightful sea to the south. and a tall straight cypress grove stretching up the mountain.

Stanford: Stanford University Press. The attack on Russian sailors to which Maksimov refers appears to be the murder of R. 8 I. which was available to the samurai class until its abolition in 1873 (see John M. pp. 1972. Mofet in Yokohama in 1859 (described by Kornilov in Chapter 5. Honshu. V. 1871. 12 Maksimov may be referring to a form of legalised vendetta (kataki-uchi). G.e. Kyushu and Shikoku. the three main islands of Japan: Honshu. from the Japanese main island. 383–417.e.V. 6 On the violence offered to foreigners in the treaty ports at this time by certain groups of samurai opposed to the treaty settlements. Na vostoke: poezdka na Amur: dorozhnye zametki i vospominaniia. see W. 3 The town of Nizhnii Novgorod. Miako: Kyoto. 11 I. Rogers. . 4 The Russian contains an untranslatable pun on ‘oseledets’. Beasley. and ‘seledka’. at the confluence of the rivers Oka and Volga. 419–20). St Petersburg: S. and allowed for the opening of an as yet undetermined port on the west coast of Honshu (Niigata was later opened in fulfilment of this clause). opened the port of Hyogo. ‘Divine Destruction: the Shimpuren Rebellion of 1876’. 123–4). to Hokkaido. 9 Literacy in Japan at the end of the Tokugawa period is generally estimated at about 50 per cent. The Treaty of Edo (1858) replaced Shimoda with a port for Edo (Kanagawa and in practice also the neighbouring town of Yokohama). 1997.Maksimov: In the East 147 Notes 1 Source: S. 10 Presumably a mistake for Shikoku. The Meiji Restoration. S. 7 Mikado: emperor. Nagasaki (1857) and Edo (1858) in fact contain no such provision. 2 The treaties of Shimoda (1855). 2nd edn. pp. ‘herring’. 172–96. Leiden: Brill. in Helen Hardacre (ed. New Directions in the Study of Meiji Japan. Zvonarev.. pp.). dairi: imperial court. was the site of the largest annual agricultural and industrial fair in Russia. pp. This compares favourably with a figure of under 30 per cent for Russia in 1897. Maksimov. 5 The Treaty of Shimoda (1855) opened the ports of Shimoda. a long forelock worn in Ukraine on a shaven head. Hakodate and Nagasaki to the Russians.

Sakhalin and Nikolaevsk. On the soft. Although he had travelled extensively in Turkestan. Here and there houses showed white against the dark slopes and ravines. There are no sharp contours. whose native country this is. Beyond the numerous little coves more hills . the ‘land of the rising sun’. I looked among them for the marvellous Cryptomeria japonica. stand palm-like trees. The panorama changed. The shore showed itself in all its beauty as we approached. lit up by the sun. Finding that shipboard life did not agree with him. which I knew so well by repute and which has so delighted travellers. this was Zarubin’s first long voyage by sea. passing through the Suez Canal and calling at Singapore before arriving at Nagasaki. A light breeze moderated the intense heat. wild craggy heights.1 Here it is.7 Ivan Zarubin Around Asia (Nagasaki. rounded summits. He sailed from Odessa on 5 April 1880. behind these further heights came into view. The sea was calm. In Japan there is little land and not an inch of it is wasted. the Crimea and the Caucasus. and was expected to travel backwards and forwards between Vladivostok. along the slopes of the hills. My companions. he decided to return home to Moscow by the overland route across Siberia. Only at the foot of the distant hills the breaking waves dissolved into white foam. Every free space is taken up by cleared rectangles of green – rice fields. From there the ship continued to the Russian Far East. Everything here caresses the eye. we are entering the long and narrow Nagasaki roadstead. greet Nagasaki like their home town. ragged cliffs. They point out the landmarks for me and tell me their names. 1880) Ivan Zarubin travelled to Japan as a doctor on board the Vladivostok with a cargo of agricultural produce and machinery destined for Sakhalin. The nearest mountains gave way to others. Everyone on the steamer who is not working is up on the deck. so marvellously lit up by the dawn of civilisation which now shines upon it! Before us is the island of Kyushu. many of whom have been here over twenty times. Here on our right appeared a series of peninsulas or excisions in the bay. towards a tall white building. Everything is covered with vegetation. perhaps of camellias. Further on. stretched a whole forest.

and many of them spoke Russian well. In the roads there are masses of ships. and from here. or rather prison. In the distance and along the whole of the right-hand side of the roadstead appear the town buildings of Nagasaki. Straight in front of us there rises from the water a lonely pointed cliff bristling with trees.2 The far side of the island is sloping and covered with rare tall trees right up to the summit. The Japanese arrived. well known of course to all Russian sailors in Japan. effeminate figures of these children of the East. with his kind. alas. near the town embankment. A mass of other Japanese brought us fish and fruit. Then there is a string of others doing I don’t know what – a certain Yamamoto. None of them are averse to selling whatever it may be. and others. more than two hundred years ago. Who made him a commission-agent is unknown. but nowhere near as nice as them. it was not the same as in Singapore. well known to our ships. The majority of them were known to our officers. Then there is Shiga-san. a few hundred yards from the town. This is the usual berth of Russian warships and the favourite abode of our sailors. both shores are hilly and richly cultivated. but got drunk over lunch and only laughed and talked nonsense. The fruit they brought us was something called piwa. were the most frequent visitors to our steamer: the portly Kihe. and soon the whole deck was filled with the soft. has been located for a long time. where the Dutch factory. on the right. We invited them to lunch. Endless questioning began: Where have you been? What have you been doing? The following persons. This protects the entrance to Nagasaki harbour from the ocean and resembles a triangular stone pyramid. Beyond the island the Nagasaki roadstead twists on for 5 versts. He has even been to St Petersburg and refers to this constantly. whom we called ‘Sanitary’. dockyard. On the left is the splendid new. streamed up to the ladder. who modestly calls himself a commission-agent of the Imperial Russian Fleet. since their move from Hirando [Hirado]. is the artificial island of Deshima. Bengoro brought a small bundle of wooden items and tortoise-shell wares. only recently constructed. with cabins in the middle like little houses. Our Vladivostok sailed almost the entire length of the harbour and cast anchor at the very bottom of the bay. Some of them gave us invitations. among them are two Russian vessels – the gunboat Morzh and the steamer Konstantin. and then huge . Further along. built by the Japanese. with thick golden-yellow skin.4 like our apricots. but that is what it says on his cards. This is the island of Papenberg. and Tsenitar.Zarubin: Around Asia 149 were visible – the coal mines of Tokashima. but. Its front face is a sheer drop. a civilised Japanese dressed in European style. Their small light boats. There is a boat tied up at the bottom and a narrow path winds through the trees. fat face and large spectacles on his forehead – he is a general purveyor of provisions and distributor of news – and Bengoro. Japanese villages are hidden between the hills on both sides.3 Diagonally opposite is the ‘Russian colony’ of Inosa. the enraged natives threw the Catholic monks into the sea. dear Inosa! This is a Japanese village or suburb where the inhabitants almost all speak Russian. They lead off into the distance between two hills and lose themselves there.

but we soon became accustomed to it. The Japanese moves this boat forwards with a single oar attached to the stern. but unfortunately they were not really raspberries at all. The cleanliness and finish of the boards is astounding. which had left Odessa with prisoners for Sakhalin five days before us (1 April). In place of our visitors appeared Japanese officials with unavoidable questions. The oar constantly slipped from its socket. all the other ships also lowered their flags. and our ferryman soon made fast at the quay in the European part of town. . although it looks very much like a raspberry. has quite a different taste. except that it has a roof in case of rain. but when I tried it nothing happened. There are few horses in Japan. We got ready to go into the town. the rickshaws. At first we felt embarrassed or uncomfortable being drawn by other people. the boat moves very slowly propelled in this way. One of the numerous little Japanese boats surrounding our steamer undertook to convey us. Our guests departed. The Japanese takes the shafts in his hands and pulls. as each of us freely bought whatever we wanted and brought it on board the steamer without paying the least attention to the presence of the inspector. In the middle is a superstructure like a dog kennel. A passenger appears and sits down. This looks very easy. and the spectacle of this mass of ships all with their flags at half-mast was particularly moving. Finally a Japanese with a sword and blue jacket and wide trousers was brought on board. were waiting for us. which is a good indication of the speed of the Vladivostok. Following international convention. and they are not used for transporting people – at least we did not see a single horse – humans are used instead. There is no harness and no equipment. and there is a further disadvantage: it rolls from side to side. On the last day of our stop in Nagasaki we were struck by another piece of news. had been here only two days ago. but the fruit of the mulberry tree (Morus nigra). sad for the whole of Russia: the telegraph brought the announcement of the empress’s death. This is a cabin big enough for two or three men. Pulling is easy because the roads of Nagasaki are kept in excellent condition and the central part of the carriageway is almost always paved. Among other news we learned from our guests that the steamer Nizhnii Novgorod from the Volunteer Fleet. The Japanese fune boats are small and flat-bottomed.150 Zarubin: Around Asia but woody and completely tasteless pears. which.5 We had thus completed the same journey three days more quickly. and his duty consisted in preventing us from exporting something from his country – but what it was I still don’t know. so that on a journey of any length a nervous man especially gets more seasick than he would in the ocean. and finally raspberries. moving it from side to side like the tail-fin of a fish. However.6 We lowered our flag to half-mast and dipped our yards. the Japanese explained that the real fruit season had not yet arrived. He was something between a soldier and a policeman or excise officer. We hadn’t very far to go. We were very pleased to see these familiar berries. However. The rickshaw is a sort of small two-wheeled cabriolet very like our children’s carriages or hand-carts. When there is no passenger the shafts rest on the ground and the driver is free. Here the Japanese cabs.

The stamina of the rickshaws (the carriage and the driver are called by the same name) is astounding. it is difficult to imagine the concept of a Japanese house. The road twisted up the mountain. From our multi-storey stone buildings. as the whole town is located on hills. but the others look very much as if you would only need to knock them with your shoulder for them to fall down on you. Moreover. The usual light roof pinned together from thin boards is held up by four pillars. p. We asked to be taken to the Russian consul as we needed to enquire about our letters. there are wide stone passages from the lower streets to the higher. Miniature and flimsy. They can run for several hours at a stretch and they run indeed more smartly than the horses of our Moscow cab-drivers. these looked as if they were made of air. One only needs to think of the eruption at Shimabara and the earthquake at Shimoda. each board is planed marvellously and .7 Anyone who built a stone house would risk being buried under its ruins. Unbeaten Tracks. Source: Bird. On the other hand. 35.1 A rickshaw. Japanese houses stood on both sides. built of narrow laths. Sometimes you do see a massive tiled roof giving a house stability. Around the outside is a latticed balcony. Everything is wood and of the lightest possible kind. It couldn’t be otherwise: Japan is situated on a chain of still active volcanoes. These pillars are joined crossways by similar thin planks or by sliding screens pasted over with paper – these are the walls.Zarubin: Around Asia 151 Figure 7. There is not the slightest trace of stone.

for example. Many of these ‘establishments’ are supported by the government. as they say. On their feet are sandals made of straw or a special sort of paper. I think. But this makes them very ugly. In Kijematsu there are several hundred of these beauties. even deliberately pluck out their eyebrows and blacken their teeth in order. The town is very large – it has as many as 100. propriety and shame are understood in Japan quite differently from the way they are understood in Europe. several rivers flow down from the hills and stone bridges have been built across them. The houses are like cages. In Yokohama. Nowhere. perhaps partly because they shave their beards so painstakingly. on the other hand. so as not to waste space. we set off for the town. Japanese men dress in wide trousers and robes. and. In general. but each corner serves its purpose. but they are straight and intersect at right angles. morality. built under each step there are drawers which take the place of tallboys and cupboards. It is excellently laid out: the streets may be a little narrow. With the small land area and density of population the economy of space here is astounding. the Japanese government organised a huge tea-house quarter with a thousand inhabitants and sent out to each consul and to foreigners in general a teacup and a fan with a plan of the quarter depicted on it and the message ‘This place is designated for the pleasure of foreigners’. litter of any kind are unthinkable in Japan. We hastened to disabuse our driver and ordered him to take us to a shop selling wooden articles. The houses are mostly two storeys. The Japanese girl from the yoshiwaras is the same as the Indian bayadère or the Egyptian almeh. This was rather difficult for him to understand as the whole town is in fact one big bazaar. underneath there is a shop and above are the living quarters. One of our rickshaw drivers spoke a little Russian and we asked to be taken to the bazaar. Japanese women do . There is much greenery and water. Sometimes they wear something like a jacket over the top. These sandals are always taken off on entering a house. dirtiness. and unfortunately in this state they often do not please their husbands either – at least these are not embarrassed to bring other women into the house. Untidiness. do the girls use so many lotions or so much rouge on their faces as in Japan. though the men are very effeminate in appearance. After receiving our letters from the consul and enjoying the beautiful garden that surrounds his house. and it afterwards appeared that he wanted to take us to the quarter designated for tea-houses. We travelled for a long time along the Nagasaki streets.000 people. Both Japanese men and women are short. apparently a result of early marriage. and on the thick mats which cover the floor the Japanese always go barefoot. He kept repeating ‘Kijematsu’. Everywhere there are swarms of people. They are slim and well built. The Japanese girl or musume is a terrible coquette. and it is better not to dwell on this delicate subject. that they should please no one except their husbands. The two floors are connected by a staircase.152 Zarubin: Around Asia shines as if it were polished. The Japanese ‘teahouses’ or yoshiwaras are of course well known to all foreigners. Married women.

wide silk robe or kerimon. but didn’t want to take them off either. The floors are covered with several layers of thick white mats. Shops selling lacquered wooden objects are scattered throughout the town. In general the population of Nagasaki. threw us a huge lily flower as we went past. Almost half the day is spent in producing it.Zarubin: Around Asia 153 not wear linen. book-shelves. And we treat them immeasurably better than the English. is attached to a small wooden box used to store a comb or rouge or soap. toilet cases. Unfortunately the Japanese have latterly begun to make them to European taste. In Yokohama we are not liked as much as we might be because of our supposed aggressive intentions.8 This is secured with a very wide sash in a bow behind. At the door there is a row of straw sandals belonging to the people of the house. who with their British arrogance do not consider the Japanese to be human beings. and they themselves sit cross-legged on the mats. I will not even attempt to describe the Japanese woman’s hairstyle. although I studied it carefully on several occasions. We visited several shops and bought piles of things. which do not exist in Japan. installed on the balcony of one house. and to tell the truth knows and loves the Russians better than any other foreigners. which has for a long time been accustomed to the presence of numerous travellers. Japan was famous for these products in the past and nowhere makes such good lacquer ware even now. but that we are not in fact pursuing any policies at all. who have put out this rumour. Two pretty young girls. Dark colours – blue or brown – predominate everywhere in her dress. as the Japanese often hear Russian spoken. But in Nagasaki. Nagasaki has many shops. In order not to spoil it the Japanese woman does not sleep on pillows. A semi-circular rest. The shops are very small. bending almost to the ground. and then a long. where because of the closeness of the Maritime Province there are many Russian ships every year. but on a special kind of support. though the quality of the lacquer is now far from what it was. pandering to the demands of their foreign customers. though it is made to last several days. so we stopped on the threshold and asked for this or that object to be brought for us to look at. Almost all the houses in the streets we passed through had two storeys. with a shop on the lower floor. We were positively too ashamed to step into the shop in our shoes. In this dress the Japanese woman looks rather like a doll. Little chests have appeared. but it has become very difficult to find . but they are always astoundingly clean. turning the book’s pages every day so that her head is always lying on a clean page. For this we must thank our eternal good friends the English. like that used in photography. tables. Over their naked bodies they put on a shirt. often embroidered. On her head is a whole construction of luxuriant black hair. tea caddies and writing cases. they easily picked our nationality. and. These are things of amazing workmanship. A special book is placed on this rest and the Japanese woman lays her head on this book. We were talking loudly among ourselves. the people have learned not only that we are not pursuing aggressive policies. just a single small room. Many of them bowed politely. is more free and easy than that of other Japanese towns.

You take some coins. that is 4 roubles. place them on your palm and let the Japanese choose from them. a tree going off into space with neither beginning nor end. Besides these there is paper money. Therefore either you need an interpreter. He makes a smacking noise with his lips. as in Singapore. – in general all in terrible bad taste. There are no sharp cries or sudden movements. still exists and is divided into kashi. he will take. take off their sandals and sit down. The yen is equal to the Mexican dollar and is thus equivalent in our money to 2 silver roubles. nods his head. and bow and bow again . a woman crossing a bridge hanging in the air. the only sounds that can be heard are the soft rustling of silk robes and the patter of sandals on the mats. purely Japanese. This means that you should give him no more than half a dollar. Everything is painted in the brightest colours and without shadow or perspective. gracefully. and for our half-imperial I received only 2 dollars. but these are far from being on par with the silver. For this reason many of us regretted not having changed all our gold at Singapore. Gold is not readily accepted in Japan. . but I never saw these. and in it a fantastic bird. admires it and shows it to all his family. banknotes or kinsatsu. takes the object. Or finally. They are just like children. etc. They very much enjoy the process of bargaining itself. with broad grins and a certain feline grace.154 Zarubin: Around Asia anything original. hopelessly mangling both English and Russian words and at the same time liberally adding Japanese ones. and everyone in the shop participates in this. calls the rickshaw man and shows it to him. The Japanese exaggerates the price and then comes down a bit at a time. from the native way of life – any food bowl or Japanese dressing-table. or you do what we did. There are small silver and copper coins each worth a few cents. 2 yen. and varies from a few cents to 10 dollars depending on size and quality. Inspecting the coins from all sides. pack your purchases into the rickshaw. it is invariably placed in another box of simple but very beautiful and finely polished wood. so that the object seems to be made of ivory or papier-mâché. and all this without fuss. . the itsebu. he drops all the English and Russian words from his speech and suddenly begins to talk entirely in Japanese. and then they come out to see you off. The old Japanese coin. 50 kopecks. Mexican dollars circulate in Japan. squats down. A fabulous dragon. for example. In the first place they talk in such a way that you can’t understand a thing. Bargaining with the Japanese is a great torment. and again bows and squats down. At the same time it is covered with excellent thick black lacquer. and also the so-called Japanese yen. however small and cheap the thing which you have purchased. but unfortunately to us completely incomprehensible. whereas at that time it was worth 7 roubles. The colour and decoration of objects is similar to the Chinese. and also take part in the bargaining. . The price of lacquer goods is generally not high. since their initial prices are terribly inflated. Gradually the Japanese public gathers from the street. At last the bargain is made and. no doubt saying something persuasive. Your purchase is packed up and the box nailed down as if you were taking it to the ends of the earth. when in his opinion you have offered too little or are preparing to leave the shop.

you can put out a cigarette or a cigar on them and the lacquer will not be marked A genuine old lacquer article can be thrown into a fire: the wood will smoulder and char. It is a pity the decoration is good for nothing. On the other hand. and so forth. In general amateurs prefer Japanese porcelain to the Chinese. and they pass from generation to generation as family heirlooms. everything was antique: medicine containers. The prices really were horrific. tortoise-shell articles. weapons. Later. rather for its quality than its decoration. porcelain.Zarubin: Around Asia 155 As well as these ordinary lacquered wooden articles. Not only can you leave these objects in hot water for a month. Only I had to drink it standing up as there was no furniture at all. I too was brought a small porcelain cup containing a dull greenish liquid which was very aromatic. for two little wooden boxes with trays (Japanese crockery) I paid 8 dollars. but had an unpleasant taste. for example. when our first thirst of acquisition had been quenched and we looked carefully at our purchases. There are huge porcelain vases. who spoke good Russian. I found the whole family quietly drinking tea. again only the best sorts. struck by the excessive prices. My Japanese host would usually show me all these things one after the other with pleasure. The ordinary porcelain is poor. porcelain flowers or reliefs showing various landscapes. various other sorts of cases and boxes for I don’t know what purposes. there are also delicate. cigar-cases. even in Japan. if you like. I very much wanted to acquire at least one such item. even in Nagasaki. I went away without buying anything. The tortoise-shell articles are not bad. but expensive (the price of some of the larger and more original objects is 100 dollars or more) and – what is more important – all in European taste: studs. and we set off. but there are certain amateurs who collect all kinds of local curios and of course are not averse to selling them for a good price when the opportunity offers. . especially with the best sorts. and bore me no malice when. ivory. there are objects made from what is called old lacquer. the centre of this type of art. the secret of which has now been lost even in Japan. however. we came to the general conclusion that only the lacquer wares were really worth buying and everything else could have been acquired in Europe better and cheaper. elegant objects. over 6 feet tall. whereas if they had been new lacquer the top price would have been half a dollar. something like our commission-agents. There was nothing here in the modern taste. There were also other objects not made of wood: ancient Japanese armour. and so on. But few of these objects remain. He took me on a lengthy trip through the streets of Nagasaki since objects of this kind are not sold in shops. We spent a long time travelling further around the town on this first day and visited shops selling silk goods. For example. antique swords. combs. when I followed my guide up to the first floor. For this. but the lacquer will remain intact. the next day I engaged a Japanese guide. albums. This. the saucers are as thin as sheets of writing paper and completely transparent. is an ideal form of lacquer. We visited at least half a dozen houses before I managed to acquire something. wooden bowls. In this house. which is coarse and tasteless. Porcelain is also good in Japan. tobacco cases. picture-frames.

The consequence of the Catholic missionaries’ avidity. No country ever stepped so quickly on to the path of reform. The first foreigners. can travel alone in peace through Nagasaki harbour. only by declaring that they were not Christians. The water too glistened differently from the way it glistens at the equator. Catholic propaganda began to spread. The town slept. The night air was warm. The soft contours of the hills could be seen dimly in the dark night sky behind the muddle of houses. but with an envigorating warmth of the sort that we had long left behind. Soon after sunset all is quiet and deserted. There life was still bubbling and the numerous lights of the ships blinked all around. for example. How many fruitless attempts were made by our country alone to open up relations with the Japanese? I recall Golovnin’s captivity. The Japanese Exhibition closed only just before our arrival and the exhibits had only just been taken away. It would have been interesting to examine the best examples of this country’s products. the Portuguese and the Dutch. the half-success of Putiatin’s expedition. Lulled by the monotonous rocking of our fune and the regular noise produced by the boatman’s single oar furrowing through the mirror-like surface of the water. Our rickshaws were also equipped with large lanterns of decorated oil-paper. Street life is little developed in this town.156 Zarubin: Around Asia It is a pity we didn’t arrive in Nagasaki a few days earlier. returning from a town I have viewed almost the whole of. lust for power and pride was that their presence became hateful to the Japanese. The Dutch saved themselves. But as well as trading they began to interfere in the political life of the country. The empty streets are only rarely traversed by a belated Japanese with a paper lantern in his hand – for there is no municipal lighting in Nagasaki. Was this a long time ago? Although the history of Japan begins many years before Christ. Music could be heard from the harbour. and we sped along the paved streets quickly and silently. A people incapable of half-measures gave short shrift to their oppressors: most of the Portuguese were sent back to their colony (Macao). and it is not for nothing that the Japanese see this prince as the ideal of the statesman for all ages and for all people. when it was cut off from the whole of the civilised world as if by an impenetrable wall. so skilfully described by Goncharov. They were . Rezanov’s unsuccessful mission. But this helped them little. but only twenty-five or thirty years ago this would have been unthinkable for any European. no state ever made such a frighteningly sharp turn away from its old forms of society to a new and completely different system of life. the others were slaughtered and their bodies thrown into the sea. as they say. my mind couldn’t help focussing on the recent past when this beautiful country barely existed for foreigners. were welcomed cordially and for almost half a century remained the most welcome guests. not with debilitating heat. I. without restraint in those severe times. There is some resemblance with Russia under Peter the Great. this country became known to Europeans only in the middle of the sixteenth century. In Nagasaki there are several hotels. the best of which are run by Frenchmen.

At around the same time. ready to break in by force if the door was not opened voluntarily. and in the end the naïve. the Russians entered into normal relations with the Japanese. The state went into debt and has been issuing paper money. the Russians stand aside from this type of politics and hence they are loved in Japan. with the undertaking to open three more. The American squadron of Commodore Perry appeared in 1853 near to the country’s capital.Zarubin: Around Asia 157 transferred to the little island of Deshima at Nagasaki. There are many grounds for supposing this. enterprising. her fields were fully sown with rice and her inhabitants prospered. And meanwhile the unscrupulousness and exploitative behaviour of the foreigners have done their work. The breach was opened and a new life poured irrepressibly into the expectant country. a thing previously unknown. demanding the conclusion of treaties on trading rights. Of course. builds machine and powder factories. she publishes newspapers. the telegraph. In the middle of the nineteenth century foreigners again knocked on the closed door of this mysterious world. dockyards and arsenals. but this time they knocked with an armed fist. Yeddo [Edo]. This is still the state of affairs today. contempt from one side and hatred from the other often finish in bloody reprisals. physics. There is nothing greater than the trust displayed by the Japanese towards their teachers. firmly united forty-million strong nation will throw off its involuntary economic dependence and free itself from any kind of outside influence.9 So two centuries of complete estrangement passed and in the words of her historians Japan flourished during this time. and their presence there was tolerated only under the severest of conditions. Her scholars acquaint society with the best works of the great writers of Europe. A feverish activity began. The shoguns have fallen and all power is now concentrated in the hands of the mikado alone. The majority of French and English come here only for profit and stick at nothing in pursuing it. translate treatises on astronomy. However. and is introducing rifled weapons. You need only recall the sale of rotten English steamers at fabulous prices and the remarkable deal of its kind that was the sale of horse harness by the French. timid natives with their wooden cannon were unable to oppose the stern demands of the newcomers. steamers. But such a large untouched market could not remain closed forever. the famous edict was announced prohibiting foreigners from approaching Japan forever. Only twenty-five years have passed since the opening of the country. then the French and the English. a whole navy. Two ports were opened initially. Almost simultaneously with the Americans. and Japan already has railways. to copy from their teachers those things that struck them most sharply as constituting the latter’s power. Even the political structure has changed. the Japanese first of all sought to imitate the outward trappings of European civilisation. The Japanese also . Blinded by the material power of the foreigners. with time this talented. But vast amounts of money were required for such reforms. mechanics and mathematics.10 In many parts of the empire there are complaints about economic disorder.

Collecting all my Japanese and English words together and adding some in Russian. However. explained to my guide that her master was not at home. built on a high hill. the second capital) as an instructor in the Russian faculty. Paris and New York. I did not want to go alone.. The next day I visited the surroundings of Nagasaki. He in turn spoke to me at length. Many higher institutions have already been established in Japan: foreigners teach in them. And. of course. all the houses here are built in this manner in case of earthquake. to enter institutions of higher education. Several streams flow down towards the town. That evening a Japanese of our acquaintance had invited us all to his house for dinner. I decided not to go alone. In the courtyard thronged the rickshaw men who had brought my companions. I spent quite a long time in the town and when I got back to the steamer I discovered that my companions had already left. there are also Russian faculties. I only regret that I wasn’t able to visit the most important sight of Nagasaki. What a marvellous view opens up from the nearby hills! The harbour looks like a wide. So I did not see this shrine with its remarkable granite staircase of 160 steps or the camellia groves which surround it. and I put it off till the next day. was in the Japanese service for several years at Torkeo12 (Yeddo. he understood me very well. but I am sure this staircase only needed one good shove to make it collapse on its own without waiting for an earthquake. the Suwa shrine. My host lived in the suburbs. or a ball – I am not sure how best to describe it. gardens and houses. An elderly. Although his house was right on the water. I quickly had to find a boatman who spoke at least a little Russian and set off.158 Zarubin: Around Asia strive to compare themselves with the Europeans in the intellectual sphere. more is known of Russia in Japan than of Japan in Russia. Every year. All the same. with grey hair and black lips. twisting river and the ships on it are small dark spots. these ordeals had lost me an hour and I arrived late for the festivities. but I. I explained to him whose house I needed. Of Japan’s forty million inhabitants not one is illiterate. in proof of which he nodded his head an innumerable number of times. wrinkled Japanese woman with a face like a dried apple. some distance away. I began to make my way up to the first floor by a such a delicate. everywhere there are the green squares of rice fields. hundreds of young people set off for London. but on the next day it rained right through till the evening. Then on the steamer I learned that our acquaintance had sent someone to meet me and that he was receiving us in his other house in the town itself. sometimes to St Petersburg. When I went in . decided to return home. The hills are entirely under cultivation. Incidentally. flimsy staircase that it moved under me as though it were alive. convinced that I had come on a wild goose chase. We arrived. or supper. As I have already noted. and one of the officers of the Vladivostok. but to take the boatman with me.11 although the Japanese alphabet and written language is copied from the Chinese and is ten times more difficult than ours. The whole house was lit up. At home their education system is enviable. the retired lieutenant D.

My lack of skill brought endless laughter from the musume appointed to serve food to the doctor-san. of course. in appreciation of his labours we too rewarded him with friendly applause. In the middle of the room were set out porcelain and lacquer trays filled with fruit. Stretching out was easier as. you should have seen the pleasure with which the Japanese women watched them. I cannot. as my host called me.13 This is a favourite amusement in Japan. and green vegetables and soups. but at the same time you still feel hungry. Although his tricks were very commonplace. musicians and dancers (geiki). Our host continually proposed toasts and my musume brought a cup of saki in her hands and bowed down to the ground as she gave it to me. pulled me like a good little horse. Tea was served. The musicians accompanied the singers on their samisens. and in general recalls the humming of bees. Japanese singing consists of a few basic tones followed by endless variations. I followed their example and then sat or stretched out on the soft mats. This vodka is drunk warm. so I drank off the liquid and then ate the pieces of fish and vegetables by spearing them with a chopstick. was a disappointment.Zarubin: Around Asia 159 the feast was in full swing. I have never learned to sit cross-legged. As I said earlier. A fine unpleasant drizzle fell from early morning. But at the same time their dances are expressive in the highest degree. so I will not dwell on it. on which we had placed great hopes. The Japanese meal has been described many times before. flowers. describe their content. However. On the way back my rickshaw man. in Japan the understanding of propriety and morality are quite different from our understanding of them. which according to Japanese custom were sent to us on board the steamer the following day. by the end you don’t feel like eating. The geiki danced not badly although after the Indian bayadères they are not worth watching. The . Naturally I couldn’t use the chopsticks and there were no spoons. The guests sat along the wall. . Finally everything was finished. In front of me soon appeared a whole lot of wooden stands containing small wooden bowls of food. Then followed dancing and pantomime. notwithstanding the year I spent in Turkestan. The last stand and the last rice bowl were cleared away. the fruit and sweets were removed. One had to drink it – such was the custom. All this was accompanied by rice and washed down with unpleasant Japanese rice vodka – saki [sake]. Four of my fellows were already there and their shoes stood in a row along the wall: they had been obliged to take them off as they had no sandals. together with the dried fish and rice-flour dragons. . For those who have visited Nagasaki I will say that among other pieces we saw the ‘Four Seasons’ and the ‘Confession of Three Girls’ . The singing began. endless soups. more fish. who thanks to the generosity of my host had drunk a double ration of saki. In attendance were musume (young girls) and later female artistes. The last day of our stay in Nagasaki. Then our Amphitryon began to show us conjuring tricks. I will only say that it is difficult to imagine a more extraordinary mish-mash. The general impression you receive is of something sickly-sweet. I ate everything – fish and meat of some kind (a rarity in Japan). sweets and various decorations.

160 Zarubin: Around Asia whole vicinity was shrouded in mist. there were few people about as it was already late. the clearing up which always precedes departure. On the steamer the last bustle was under way. and showed us the way. the sun came out and the wet greenery of the hills shone as if it had been polished. I hastened to make my last purchases. exposing only the end of his nose to the rain. Inosa is situated to the west of the town. falling from the roofs. on the other side of a small bay. knocked at the first house we came to. He knew the way as he had visited this Japanese several times before. After endless green tea and other refreshments. we had equipped ourselves with a large lantern. and as both a napkin and a handkerchief. It was already past eight o’clock and completely dark when we set off with the engineer K. at least they seemed so to me. In the evening three of us were invited to the house of a Japanese official living in Inosa. The usual musical instrument employed here is the samisen. we prepared to listen. This paper is made from the fibres of some plant. It is played by running over the strings with a tortoiseshell or ivory plectrum or with the fingers in little horn caps. I was relying on my friend and cheerfully following him. On this particular evening we were able to see a real musician. It was extremely quiet. dripped noisily on the granite street paving. So said the wife of the official who had invited us. From the light of our lantern the surrounding darkness seemed ever thicker. The pretty. Occasionally we met Japanese who called out ‘Sainara’ (hello)14 to us in a friendly manner and went on. She played not badly and evidently loved the music. It is thin and strong and is used by the Japanese for a variety of purposes: for wrapping up various items. Early the next morning we were leaving Nagasaki. like the majority of the inhabitants of Inosa. The art of the musician consisted of producing different variations. considered to be an artist in Nagasaki. ordering our boatman to wait for us. As it was some distance to the house and it was completely dark. This is like our guitar with several strings. But the rain finally drove me out of the town. expressive face of the girl became . By evening the weather cleared. speaking very good and fluent Russian. and among other things lay up a stock of fine Japanese paper. We arrived there safely and. consisting of a sort of honey cake. Japanese melodies are very monotonous. Inosa is built on the hillside and we often had to climb up stone steps. We walked for some time. but it appeared he had gone the wrong way. A Japanese came out who spoke some Russian. This was very like the fogs which persist in our country at higher latitudes during the summer. despairing of finding our way on our own. and the streets and alleys of Inosa resembled each other like peas in a pod. The town was hidden as if behind a curtain. We walked on a while and. Our hosts had invited her and also some girls of their acquaintance. an old acquaintance of one of our officers. However. My rickshaw man also covered himself with a sort of straw curtain and ran bravely. set off for the village. Only drops from the earlier rain. The road led up the mountain.

9 The edict forbidding foreigners to approach Japan was promulgated in 1639. which caused the deaths of some 15. note 9. Japan: an Economic and Financial Appraisal. 3 See Chapter 2 (Krusenstern). and perhaps she enjoyed this monotonous. which in fact means ‘goodbye’. Goodbye to another country. note 3.000 people. vol. 13 Amphitryon: host. another people. 6 The Empress Maria Alexandrovna. The steamer Vladivostok on which Zarubin sailed also belonged to the Volunteer Fleet. Kamchatka and the Sea of Okhotsk. 7 Zarubin refers to the volcanic eruption near Shimabara in 1792. ‘Vokrug Azii: putevye zapiski [pt 3]’.. Russkii vestnik. We departed for Vladivostok. melancholy music as much as we enjoy the compositions of Mozart or Beethoven. Farewell Japan! Notes 1 Source: I. Most likely it is an exaggeration of a relatively minor event. Tokyo. This led to relatively rapid inflation between 1874 and 1881 (see Harold G. and used in peacetime for civilian purposes around Vladivostok. The steam is up. and the earthquake at Shimoda in December 1854 which destroyed most of the town and interrupted Putiatin’s negotiations. 236–9). . 11 See Chapter 6 (Maksimov). 12 I. 1931. pp. Washington: Brookings Institution. 8 Apparently a mistake for kimono. the massacre at Papenberg (Takabokojima) which is referred to by several writers cannot be verified from the accounts of contemporary observers. 14 Presumably Japanese sayonara. no. 4 Japanese biwa: loquat. 5. died in St Petersburg on 22 May 1880. 2 Although there certainly were executions of Christians in Japan in the early seventeenth century. wife of Tsar Alexander II. pp. Sakhalin was used by the Russian government as a place of imprisonment and exile from 1869. Zarubin. The next day in the early morning. 310–27.e. the government began issuing domestic bonds in 1872 to finance industrialisation and later to defray the costs of quelling the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877. and on the route from Odessa to Vladivostok. 5 The Russian ‘Volunteer Fleet’ was founded in 1878 by public subscription as a naval reserve. 10 Although foreign debt in fact remained low until the late 1890s. 153. our steamer weighed anchor. 1881.Zarubin: Around Asia 161 animated. Moulton.

and moreover the development of rail transport during the 1870s and 1880s had made travel itself much easier. 1890) By the beginning of the 1890s the initial restrictions on the movement of foreigners beyond the treaty ports had been considerably relaxed. A. I presented my passport at the booking office and immediately received our tickets. but in first class I risked spending the whole of my journey entirely on my own. I said goodbye to my dear Yokohama hotel. A few Japanese with sleepy faces huddled in the corners or looked through the native newspapers which were piled up on the big table in the centre of the room.8 A. There were not many people at the station. My son and I were the only European passengers. Her account here of a railway journey from Yokohama to Kobe gives the relatively unusual perspective for the period of a woman travelling with a small child and coming to terms with the differences between daily life in Europe and Japan.and second-class waiting room. The buildings looked gloomy after the night’s downpour. Europeans here travel in the second class just as rarely as Japanese in the first.1 ON THE JAPANESE RAILWAYS Early in the morning of 12 December 1890. A. . Cherevkova On the Japanese railways (Nagoya. Geta (wooden sandals) clattered on the platform – several Japanese ladies came into my carriage and looked at me with some surprise. A welcoming fire crackled in the hearth of the first. while in second class I would at least have living people around me. At last the train came in. Cherevkova was a doctor who spent a lengthy period of time in Japan. There were still around twenty minutes till the departure of the train. The town wore a cheerless expression at six o’clock in the morning. and the quiet of the district was broken only by a few rickshaws hurrying to the station. life had not yet started up.2 The last bell rang out while my neighbours were settling down and the train slowly pulled out of the station. Not waiting for the bells. The difference between the classes is relatively trivial. I got into a secondclass carriage.

lies the old state highway. but on the far horizon they merge into the sea: you can’t tell where the sky ends and the water begins. Now we are at Shizuoka on the shore of Suruga Bay. but the courtyards and the houses themselves are completely invisible from outside. pine groves. Leaden clouds hang heavily over the town itself. only added to the wild beauty of Italian Switzerland there is a poetic softness from the light-green clearings of newly sown crops on the hillsides. wide-branched Japanese pine hanging over a precipice above a roaring stream. is marked by rows of tall old shady pines and cedars. This road. These features of the Japanese landscape are able to soften nature’s most gloomy prospect. sometimes further away from the railway. seethes and roars. Openings have been cut through these hedges like doors and windows. Shizuoka is the chief town of the province of the same name. fields. the Tokaido. A drizzle is falling. The village houses here are all surrounded by tall hedges. A strong wind has got up. Beyond Oyama the landscape is flat again. turbulent mountain rivers which twist like links of a gigantic snake. sometimes nearer. which we are following. miniature clearings of forest greenery sheltering on the hillsides. Again mountains. whose beautiful cone is now gleaming under its snowy white cap. the train now draws near to the sea. the biggest of which is 270 sazhens long. After Yamakita the scenery becomes unusually picturesque. and only the green of the gardens and the surrounding hills relieves the general gloom a little. On the right. The sea. tiny villages. rural landscapes and the sea once more. chiefly with pines. We arrive at Gotembo [Gotenba] at the foot of the sacred Fuji-yama. between the same two stations. On our right is the huge . now veers away from it. What a marvellous mountain indeed! From Gotembo we begin to descend to the sea. and all of them together come to over 2 versts. It reminds me of the St Gothard Pass. there are four iron bridges across the River Sakkawa and seven across the River Aizu. The leaden clouds have broken up into huge fragments and flown off in different directions. I learn that there are seven tunnels between the last two stations. parallel to the railway line. The country is wooded. isolated huts which seem to hang in the air on rocky ledges – all this flashes quickly before our eyes like a kaleidoscope full of enchanting pictures. Now it is the large Hamana Lagoon. comprising newly sown fields. famous for its tea.Cherevkova: On the Japanese railways 163 The air is warm and damp. I use the five-minute halt to look at the guide. Moreover. The route is very twisty. tunnels. But now we start to climb into the mountains. Cliffs. I pity anyone out at sea in this! We are travelling along a valley between two ranges of hills. The train has arrived at Oyama. It seems as if it is travelling directly over the surface of the sea. After Meizaki the train traverses a whole system of embankments and bridges following on one from the other without a break. a melancholy. a temple perched on a rock. I have already counted six tunnels. The grey tile roofs seem even darker from the rain. sending huge waves on to the shore.

The trays.3 The rain and high winds have started up again. stormy. what a hotel! An ordinary . and all these things are offered at very cheap prices. various Japanese sweets. and the rain has stopped. Swiss and Italian railways. This is not especially difficult. they quickly kick off their shoes and sit on the bench Japanese style. After Goyu we come down to the coast again. To heat the carriages they bring in long zinc trays full of hot water. Only one of my travelling companions remains. They remain in this position the whole time. The train comes to a stop.) But he doesn’t understand. since my present journey. and he commands only a very meagre supply of English words. have no need of these trays. There are quite a lot of people at the station. I ask him: is the Hotel Shinagu far from the station? (This is the only hotel run on half-European lines. He explains that a conveyance will be unnecessary as the hotel is only two steps away. however. The cold is perceptible and I am glad finally to see Atsudo [Atsuta] station. It is starting to get dark.164 Cherevkova: On the Japanese railways semi-circular Hamana Bay with its quiet. everyone is huddled up from the cold – not surprisingly given their light clothes. foaming inland sea. however. My neighbour brightens up and says it is very close. The same method of heating carriages is used in Western Europe. and as they are changed no more than four or five time a day you can easily imagine how much use they are. The lamps have been lit in the carriage. that he is going there himself. fly through a tunnel. my God. just in case. and offers to accompany me. I go out. My Japanese companion is waiting for me. for example. incidentally. and before us lies a marvellous view over the sea with its little green islands. I have no luggage apart from a light hand-bag since it was all sent by steamer from the hotel in Yokohama direct to Kobe. You do not need to be a specialist either to see what an excellent method this is besides for fostering rheumatism and diseases of the chest. lasts only some sixteen or seventeen hours. and they only work for the first half-hour – after that they get cold. sometimes tea (green. As soon as Japanese people get into the carriage. Hawkers bring oranges. transparent waters. on the French. One peculiarity of the Japanese railways. which is now only a few versts away. of course). is the absence of buffet cars. across to the opposite coastline with its high mountains and numberless fields flooded with water or sown with rice. after stowing away their things (and they always have very little). On the right is a wide open expanse – a rarity in this mountainous country. that is with their feet tucked underneath them. very efficiently making use of their own body heat. on the outskirts of Nagoya itself. which I’ve brought written out in Japanese. warm only the legs. The hotel was indeed very close. but I feel a fur coat would be more appropriate to the weather. On the left is a fierce. up to the train. I take out the address. So if you are intending to travel around Japan by rail you must stock up on everything you will need by way of food. I have a thick woollen overcoat. and the cold is becoming unbearable. the longest in Japan. My Japanese companions. of course. but. but the wind has got stronger. These are placed on the floor under the passengers’ feet.

unbearably cold. Honcho-dori. low. was no better than the lower. like a true gentleman. . and I was horrified to think that we would have to spend the whole night there. But where are the European or half-European rooms? Where is the fireplace. I realised that my acquaintance had simply wanted to do his friends a favour by bringing them an extra guest. a wide avenue planted with magnificent trees. We had arrived. but the Japanese. It is nine o’clock in the evening. Indeed. and I started to repeat once more the name of the hotel that was written down. (However. My imagination conjured up a blazing hearth. half-lit corridor. The wind is howling dolefully. The famous hotel to which my former travelling companion had taken me turned out to have been on the outskirts of the town. and it was cold. helped us into it and himself walked alongside. Finally I guess that they are proposing I should go upstairs. hot tea. The policeman immediately brightened up. with numerous shops and theatres. and we set off together. I pronounce the words ‘Shinagu Hotel’.Cherevkova: On the Japanese railways 165 middle-ranking Japanese tea-house with sliding walls opening on to the street and gloomily lit by a dim lamp. In front of us were dark Japanese structures and smoking kerosene lamps. Passing by the dimly lit backstreets of the district. My Japanese companion had disappeared. We stop in a narrow. so cold that we are completely numb. All these buildings were lit up with a thousand lights – kerosene lamps. Leaving Honcho. and from his decisive look I realised that salvation was near. sat unconcernedly round their hibachi [braziers] in their wide-open shops or lounged in half-open tea-houses and restaurants. that is ‘No’. The upper storey. we wandered through various alleys and finally stopped outside a building. but by his uncomprehending smile realised that in this backwater English had not yet acquired citizenship rights. all open to the street. The sky was completely clear of clouds and a full moon lit up the town. we found ourselves on the most attractive street of the town. Behind him followed another policeman. Outside the ground is wet and dirty. The owner nods his head affirmatively. I addressed him in English. A fair crowd of idlers has gathered. A piercing wind was howling. candles and lanterns. a rickshaw very quickly appeared from somewhere. My position was sad enough. We are surrounded by a crowd of musumes (Japanese maidservants) who say something I cannot understand. paying no attention to the cold. the warmth? Where can we get warm? Will there finally be someone who can . The landlady shakes her head and says ‘Arimasen’. A Japanese appears. Then a guardian angel unexpectedly appears in the shape of a policeman. A ray of hope strikes me – perhaps there I shall find a warm room and something to eat. and it is cold. . evidently the owner. Hunger is also making itself felt. I began to wonder where I had ended up. and as the crown of it all a good dinner and a warm bed . however. all the more since I am not alone and my seven-year-old son is even more in need of warmth and rest than I am. the policeman.) Then I brought out my talisman. We do not understand each other. On the way we found another conveyance which I offered to my saviour. the Japanese address of the hotel. even in the treaty ports there are few policemen who understand this universal language. The policeman takes me upstairs triumphantly.

in the understanding of the owner. The mountains are away in the distance and around the town there is a . do I speak German (‘because Russian ladies speak all languages’). Warmed up by our dinner. etc. but that I have been taken to the Japanese. it is quite all right here. and the local German-speaking study circle. In the dining room there was a real table. which has over thirty members and meets once a month to hear lectures on various topics in Japanese history. The professor was taking advantage of a two-week Christmas holiday to see the south of the island and its remarkable temples. a large dining room and a sitting room with a round table and illustrated books. had its effect. In the summer. more importantly. probably. At the end of all these adventures I am given a room with a huge bed and clean linen. of course. I had to be content with a hibachi. I ask that he be called. culture. English was immediately abandoned and the Japanese dining room lit by American lamps was filled with German speech. The next day I inspected the hotel. But the most interesting thing for me personally was that my companion spoke excellent Japanese and asked me to accompany him around the town and its sights. The dinner was tolerable and. Of course electric light is a marvellous thing. art. but now a horrific cold reigned throughout the building. It was no treat.166 Cherevkova: On the Japanese railways speak a European language? There is no one. turned out to be a professor of German literature at Tokyo University. But then the owner pronounces some words from which I understand that there is ‘one Europe gentleman’4 staying here who speaks Japanese. At the present time Nagoya is merely the chief town of Aichi province. but at that moment I would have preferred a blazing fire.000 inhabitants. Nagoya is situated on a level plain stretching around Owari Bay.5 Over the table hung three Edison bulbs in pretty shades throwing a soft light over us. The sliding screens were open and the outside cold entered freely through the corridor. a small table and a washstand. was answered in the affirmative. hot. In the past it was the seat of one of the three main noble families. with around 130. This chance acquaintance told me many interesting things about Tokyo and the New Japan. to the comfort of his European guests. etc. My dreams of a fireplace remained dreams. or better still a simple Russian stove. half of the establishment. Immediately after a light breakfast we set out to look around Nagoya. their particular circles. a clean tablecloth. chairs. relatives of the ruling dynasty. not the European. the life of Europeans in the capital. and the simplest ordinary lamp. The professor was very glad when his question. which was like similar institutions of its kind in other Japanese towns: a row of empty bedrooms quite tolerably furnished. to sleep in that cold room! But tiredness. Half an hour later I was called to dinner. My supply of Japanese words was at that time too small to help me in my distress. in a word everything necessary. the character of the country’s student youth. we talked for a long while about Japanese affairs. whom at first I thought a rather suspicious character. My new acquaintance. however. and when it is cold even the most comfortable surroundings lose their charm. The gentleman appears and explains that this really is the hotel where Europeans stay when in Nagoya. and – imagine my amazement – electric light. European place settings.

. so alive. The castle is a solid fortress built on the pattern of the Osaka and Tokyo strongholds. On the top of the tower are two golden dolphins under iron nets. Here is another room. all covered now in snow. They are supposed to have cost 180. the post and telegraph offices. but along the coast. we went to . The present mikado used to stop here when he was in Nagoya. At the foot of this mountain the decisive battle took place which marked the beginnings of the glory and power of the Tokugawa clan. but to get there we had to travel through a significant portion of the town. with dozens of extra gables beside the five main roofs. Also here are the governor’s residence. the work of the famous Hidari Jingoro. The main streets are wide and straight. In the distance mountains can be seen.Cherevkova: On the Japanese railways 167 vast open expanse. These were the princes’ reception rooms. etc. passes through these mountains. and divided up by hundreds of wooden pillars. the girls’ college. The most outstanding sight of Nagoya is its castle.7 The Nakasendo. but soon lost my bearings in this wooden labyrinth. and on the ceiling are life-sized peacocks painted in their natural colours. a five-storey pagoda-like citadel. It felt eerie somehow in these huge. empty. The trees are so pretty. From the top of the tower there is a panoramic view over the town. notably Ibuki-yama. and the white building of the soldiers’ barracks. cherries and plums. After the castle. covered with black tiles. I started to count the number of rooms on one floor. etc.000 yen. There is another series of empty halls on the ground floor. These are various local official institutions – the boys’ grammar school. the castle presents a series of empty halls. in the centre of all these moats and ramparts. offices. painted white. that it seems only their scent is missing for the achievement of total reality. Although by its population Nagoya belongs among the largest Japanese towns. half-lit halls. who became the ancestor of the Princes of Owari.) Inside. A whole picture gallery opens out before us. which are unusual in Japan because of their unexpected contrasts. How uncomfortable on a cold winter’s day like today! The castle is surrounded by some quite attractive buildings. the bay and innumerable neighbouring fields and villages. A whole army could be accommodated comfortably in these halls.9 The next hall has life-sized depictions of flowering apricots. The ceiling is carved. or mountain state highway from Tokyo to Kyoto. gigantic stone ramparts with white towers at the corners and.8 the walls are painted by the no less famous Kano with various winter landscapes. since the castle stands on the very edge of the northern part of Nagoya. (The Tokaido also goes between these two cities. half-dark because of the shuttered windows.6 Our rickshaws set off in the direction of the castle of their own accord without waiting for instructions. the streets are not very busy and in general it gives the impression of a quiet provincial backwater. Everything is astonishingly clean. and where now it seemed as if melancholy shades of the past peered from every corner. This has been preserved as it was built in 1610 by the Shogun Ieyasu for his son. The citadel is preserved in its original form: huge moats filled with water. But how empty and cold it is in this castle. where so recently life had bubbled. On the pale gold background of the walls is a series of landscapes.

In places the mountains are covered in snow. The region is monotonous. Woods give way to fields. This bridge is very beautiful.168 Cherevkova: On the Japanese railways look at the temples. cypresses and camellias. we were shown the memorial stone which marks the spot where 1000 Japanese Christians were executed during the persecutions of the seventeenth century. In places reservoirs can be seen with narrow canals fanning out from them like mirrored ribbons and losing themselves in the distance. mountains appear to the left of the track. At around eleven o’clock in the evening we arrived in Kobe. this temple is very beautiful. In front is a wide plain. There are tall mountains to right and left. We pass very close to Ibuki-yama. It is on this mountain. a now extinct volcano. and come down to Nagaoka. Its gates. The most remarkable of them is Higashi Honganji on the southern side of the town. Departing on excellent terms with my travelling companions I headed for my steamer. The land is high all the way to Otsu. We cross the Kizagawa River on a huge iron bridge. On all sides there are high mountains. After lunch I said goodbye to my chance companion and the same day set off further towards Kyoto. The train flies through rice and tea fields surrounded by rows of fruit trees. I can’t take my eyes away from the carriage window. boring. and from there climb smoothly up a narrow valley between two mountain ranges to Maibara. that the entrance to hell is situated. where a warm cabin and all the other delights of European comfort were awaiting me. although apart from its great size it has no specific attractions. In the same temple can be seen a stone with a huge imprint of the Buddha’s foot. We begin to descend. Eikokuji. This place is so marvellously pretty that it defies description. The mountain ridges that surround us now come close to the track and now keep their distance. Their slopes are covered with tea plantations. On both sides the mountains and hills are admirably cultivated with tea plantations and huge orchards. flat. of which Nagoya has a great many. situated next to Higashi Honganji. Nagoya remains visible for a long time: the high roofs of its temples. . mingling with them in picturesque disorder. How pleasant it must be here in summer! The forest continues all the way to Tarui. Snow-covered Ibuki-yama seems only a stone’s throw away. Ogaki station is an attractive white building with pretty wooden columns. Around it are flower beds and a thick pine forest. alternating with orchards. Near Jifu [Gifu]. under which can be seen the thick dark green of pines. In another temple. according to the Japanese. We travel through an expanse of water-covered fields. The train speeds across the plain through tea plantations and rice fields. are extremely majestic. the five-storey pagoda and white mass of the castle with its golden dolphins towering proudly over everything. covered in superb haut-relief carvings and decorations of bronze. And inside.

6 Nagoya Castle was the residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu’s ninth son. Aziia: illiustrirovannyi geograficheskii sbornik. as smoking is general. carpenter and sculptor. and the ways of the Japanese lower middle class with regard to clothing. but has since been reconstructed. Yoshinao.Cherevkova: On the Japanese railways 169 Notes 1 Source: A. A Handbook for Travellers in Japan. pp. Moscow: Knizhnoe delo. are not altogether as our ways’ (Basil Hall Chamberlain and W. and is credited with many famous works from early in the seventeenth century. 7 The Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. in which Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated forces under Ishida Mitsunari to achieve control over the whole of Japan. 8 Hidari Jingoro: pseudonym of Itami Toshihatsu (fl. 3rd edn. (eds). 5 Electric light was invented in the United States by Thomas Edison in 1879. whose descendants retained it until 1868. Cherevkova. 3 Cherevkova’s memory appears to be at fault: the water opposite Hamana Lagoon is open sea. 9 Kano Tan’yu (Morinobu) (1602–74): the most prominent of the Kano school painters. also responsible for large-scale commissions at Edo and Osaka castles and Nijo Castle in Kyoto. . the management of children. B. 2 The 1891 edition of Murray’s handbook to Japan confirms that second-class accommodation was more interesting than first. ‘Po zheleznym dorogam Iaponii’. 1900. but notes: ‘ladies are advised to travel 1st class. p. Mason. London: John Murray. who trained at the imperial court in Kyoto. 4 In English in the original. A. and other matters. 18–26. in A. Kruber et al. The main part of the castle was destroyed during the Second World War. 11). 1891. late 16th–early 17th century).

situated opposite the town on the other side of the bay. It is one of the few remote overseas ports where the Russian sailor feels at home. without saying a few brief words about the poor fishing village of Inosa. have appeared alongside offering their services in broken Russian. probably a few naval caps and the Russian interior you have not seen for a long time. Krasnov also later visited Kobe. Kyoto and Nara. the natural need to maintain Russian honour among the cold and stand-offish English. Osaka. 1892) Andrei Nikolaevich Krasnov (1862–1914). well known to those on board. The ship has not had time to cast anchor before boatmen christened Vaska and Vanka. On the wall hangs a picture of the tsarevich and under it in an elegant frame is a notice to the effect that His Royal Highness favoured this hotel with a visit during his journey around Japan. constrain him and render his stay in these places unpleasant. Krasnov’s keen observation of the plant life of Nagasaki is matched by his evocative description of the Russian ‘colony’ at Inosa. As well as a detailed scientific study of his visit. Arriving in Nagasaki on 11 May. he was able to travel extensively around Kyushu.1 Yet I cannot leave Nagasaki. travelled to Japan. where you see a long table. and without a word being spoken you are taken to Omatu-san’s or Omatse’s brightly lit glass verandah. It is not like this at Inosa. You go on shore. he prepared a volume of general impressions of his journey. When he stops over at different harbours on a long voyage he generally finds foreign and unsympathetic English customs.9 Andrei Krasnov Around the islands of the Far East (Nagasaki. and he cannot help feeling uncomfortable. from which the extract below is taken. China and Java in 1892 in order to study the natural history and botany of the region. although foreigners perhaps know little about it. smoked . a professor at Kharkov University. a cold English routine and unfamiliar interiors and cooking. Inosa is familiar to all Russian sailors without exception. The customs of a new country. partly on a British passport borrowed to evade Japanese restrictions on the movement of foreigners.2 The photographs of Russian ships and the rules of the Kronstadt Club in the billiards room testify that you are in a Russian institution. reader. and when you are served the long-missed Russian caviar.

A Russian Christian cemetery has been peacefully established in the midst of this Buddhist city of the dead. always animated. Here newly arrived officers find that their colleagues from ships which have been in Japan for some time are fully. fiery red pomegranate. are the waters of the bay. living in pretty little wooden houses in the neighbourhood. Although our cemetery is looked after by a Buddhist priest. never-fading greenery. Climbing up the hill. framed by the green mountains. aromatic white gardenias and magnolias flower in turn in front of the balcony of your house. The cemetery is very neatly kept and has rather an attractive appearance. camellias and other evergreen trees surround this small city of the dead with their dark. entwined all over with the shoots of climbing . Large sago-palms. Your eyes are caressed by the outlines of palms. corvettes and gun-boats. and from here there are marvellous views from all sides on to the town. and the cemetery is cleaner and tidier than many in Russia. Popov’s vodka and other things that go to make up Russian zakuski. frigates. or cabbage soup. are surrounded by a fence. you forget that you are on a voyage and start to think you have already returned to your homeland. stokers. and above it a small Buddhist temple. who will greet you in a kind and friendly manner. the bay and the surrounding hills and valleys. Rows of stone pillars. always scattered with numerous merchant steamers. You are in a RussoJapanese colony in a corner of the world whose manners and customs you will hardly meet with anywhere else. like ‘Hotel Inosa’ or ‘Kronstadt Tavern’ or ‘Inoye’s Store’. and when a Japanese woman speaking faultless Russian brings you excellent borshch. married men. But the views are even more striking. you will see a picturesquely laid-out cemetery under a canopy of whimsically spreading Chinese pines. bananas and other southern trees which evoke the tropics.Krasnov: Around the islands of the Far East 171 sturgeon. cheese. if you climb up the mountain past the cemetery. I must admit it is a very pretty spot. if temporarily. If you decide to leave your cottage and walk along the streets of the village. Omatu-san’s house is a meeting-place for the officers of ships cast up in Japan. you move into a cottage surrounded by the charms of southern nature. officers and other Russian sailors whom death has caught far away from home. Here you find a narrow path leading through almost impenetrable thickets. you will find Russian signs on the buildings. Climbing upwards and looking down a picturesque valley. even more charming. or other Russian dishes which are never found abroad. battles with storms and bad weather. you will meet everywhere the politely smiling faces of the Japanese. Tall pines. and the tedious monotony of the boundless ocean. those emblems of immortality whose fronds in Russia are an item of luxury and adorn only the graves of the rich. he fulfils his duties conscientiously. and in the background. covered with Chinese hieroglyphs. In front of each of them are stone vessels of water containing the evergreen branches of camellias and the massed purple flowers of the azalea. After a long voyage. here reach the height of a tree and give the shelter of their glossy dark-green plumes to the headstones of seamen. The luxuriant.

But whenever there is a rocky outcrop the rock is covered either with ivy or a mass of other ivy-like evergreen creeping plants. Capital of the Tycoon. Here and there at your feet Figure 9. the earth is bare. We are used to seeing these shrubs in orangeries or on summer balconies. Sometimes the path leads you into a forest of high-trunked evergreen trees. framed by the branches of the pines.172 Krasnov: Around the islands of the Far East plants and consisting of clumps of plants two or three times the height of a man and with glossy leathery leaves. the lower-lying valleys with their miniature huts and their tiny velvet-green fields or little streams twisting among the crags. 73. You cannot see the usual flowers. Source: Alcock.1 Nagasaki harbour. but never in the woods. . Darkness reigns in their shade. certainly not in scarcely penetrable thickets. Particularly fine are the outcrops a little further up in the shade of the pines. No fewer than seven or eight different sorts of fern jostle each other on these cliffs. spectacular panoramas open out on to the roadstead. and covered with lovely bushes. From these cliffs. and which rolls up into a small ball as soon as the air becomes drier. p. clinging to the rock face and turning it into a whole world of leaves. These are covered with a cushion of a variety of Saginella which in damp weather opens up into a rosette of tender moss-like green the size of a plate. adorning the dark surface of the rock with their different shaped delicate feathery leaves. It can be kept for weeks in this dried-out state and will flower again when thrown into a glass of water.

when our ships did not winter in Vladivostok. And in the dark of night when you are returning weary home [to your ship]. into a paradise on earth. generally speaking. a little taller than our rushes. however. have received an upbringing. at Inosa. you come to a summit covered in greensward. When a corvette or a frigate departed there were touching scenes of farewell. returning from a voyage. which at that time really had the character of marriages. Japanese women.Krasnov: Around the islands of the Far East 173 are bright azaleas covered with red flowers. and you cut across the quiet waters of the bay – even then. and the familiar figure of the boatman who has waited for you at the jetty sculls his boat rhythmically with the oar at the stern. even brighter than those in the windows of the European shops. and almost impenetrable. Quite often. Past a strip of wild chestnut forest you come to a jungle of small wild bamboo. who will to the best of her ability ask him in Russian where he has been and what he has seen. and they loved their husbands still more in return. but many of them had personalities which made their temporary husbands love them. on the left the long bay of Nagasaki stretching out like the palm of your hand. an enviable one. the Japanese people have a responsive and affectionate nature. where man is neither seen nor heard. Temporary marriages were contracted. a very large number of Russians spent many months. pour his tea. which enables them to understand the feelings and griefs of others. the abandoned wives would go out in boats to see off their husbands and would for a long time wave handkerchiefs after the departing ship. a sailor would seek out his wife – providing that in the meantime she had not . Not so long ago in the age of sail. characteristic of the peoples of Far East Asia. Generally the resident of Inosa does not return home to an empty room – which like a hotel would remind him of his loneliness and the fate which has cast him away at the edge of the world far from his friends and relations. here in their wild state they are even richer in flowers. Trips by boat along the coast are no less interesting and picturesque. but came instead to the Nagaski roadstead. in addition. Usually a ‘wife’ is waiting for him. you persist through this grove. the mountains of Inosa are bare. often received from her new companion far more attention and kindness than did her friends who married Japanese. I cannot say that from our point of view these little Japanese women are particularly beautiful. and to attach themselves spiritually to someone in whom they have seen goodness. which requires gentle and polite treatment. The Japanese woman. sometimes the entire year. Like the Russians. Higher up. every five or ten paces of your walk through this jungle and overgrown forest you are rewarded with a spectacular view or an unprecedented picture of nature. If. and on the right is the boundless smooth surface of the sea. In a word. and if he is hungry cook him one of his favourite Russian or native dishes on a small clay brazier conveniently placed on the table. whose position in the family is not. rays of phosphorescent light stretch out behind you from the oars and the prow of the boat and give your journey something of a fantastical character. Large tropical butterflies flit about them and only the song of birds would be needed to turn this wild place.

however short the honeymoon. But all these things are so large for these toy houses that the newlyweds’ apartment looks like a crowded Petersburg holiday cottage. and weeps tears at their final farewell. just cannot get on with having to sit on the soft mats on the floor.174 Krasnov: Around the islands of the Far East managed to contract a real marriage with a Japanese and become the mother of a family. But even now marriages are still found. taking their boots off before entering and drinking Japanese tea. In view of the degeneration of marriages with foreigners into a form of commonplace depravity. Is this a dream or reality? But an invitation to a cup of tea from your kinsmen convinces you it is the latter. and an hour later.3 They have been stopped now almost everywhere. The Russians alone are masters. and if by tradition they are still possible at Inosa. just as if they had walked in from those lively drawings we had seen earlier in Japanese albums. have no objection to these marriages with divorcees. tries to engage him in conversations. naturally not those of the higher classes. assures him that she is very bored during his absences. It is somehow strange to sit on a chair in a room whose oil-paper screens are open wide on to a little balcony and to contemplate palms and camellias in a European-style garden against the background of the sparkling waters of the bay. . she will. The stopovers have become shorter. plates. It is exceedingly strange to see in Inosa this combination of the life and customs of the Japanese and Russians. since the Japanese. including syphilis. knives and forks arrive. start to seek out a new bridegroom. and with them so have the marriages. the wife remains faithful to her husband while it lasts. Inosa has been and remains in a unique position. joking and laughing. and the greater sympathy in general of the Japanese towards the Russians. if another frigate comes in. And so for their use furniture appears: tables and chairs. Now that steamships have become more and more common. And in this Russian setting it is somehow strange to see gracious. the customs of Inosa are changing in many ways for the worse. elegantly dressed Japanese women with their elaborate hairstyles and silk bows at their backs. which are so different and even diametrically opposed to one another. the Empress of Japan is undertaking measures to eradicate them completely. lives with him in his house. although of course all this is puppet theatre. the mats on the floor get dirty. the little Japanese teapots are replaced. with its scurrying boats and its swarms of completely naked fishermen.* We will speak further of this below. and a European can only be admitted into the village of Inosa if he is accompanied by Russians. Feelings have been replaced by simple calculation and the Japanese marriage is becoming more and more like simple prostitution with all its consequences. Europeans. it is only because of the more humane attitude of the Russians to their wives. Foreigners are not allowed here. even now. * Now even the name of marriage has been abolished and generally the paper sent to the village chief certifies that such and such a new arrival has taken a room with servant. too big for these Japanese toy houses. a Russian samovar is brought in.

Krasnov. 64–71. 25–6. Notes 1 Source: A. see Introduction. 1887) was extremely influential in Russia as elsewhere in Europe. pp.4 There is much truth in this novel and I recommend it to the reader who wishes to become better acquainted with it. St Petersburg: Nedelia. 1895. Po ostrovam dalekogo vostoka: putevye ocherki. pp. N.Krasnov: Around the islands of the Far East 175 Pierre Loti has described this sort of European–Japanese family in some detail in his Madame de Chrysanthème. 3 The empress was patron of numerous social welfare organisations in the years following the Meiji Restoration. 2 The future Tsar Nicholas II made a tour of Japan in 1891. 4 Pierre Loti’s novel Madame Chrysanthème (Paris. .

There is Papenberg. a rocky mound at the entrance of the bay. a lazy breeze brushes our faces on its way to the tall hills along the shoreline. Many eye-witnesses are still alive today and are among the crowds standing and watching us from the shore. for its reflexivity and its sensitivity to the aspirations of ordinary Japanese. It is warm and quiet. enjoying the voluptuousness of the golden autumn sun of this southern land. which took him across Siberia and to Korea and Manchuria as part of an academic expedition. In July 1898 he began a journey around the world. either with shorn heads or with their intricate national hairstyles. some bare and grey. I .2 Here on the bay and on the slopes of the green hill and right at the top where a temple stands there are pretty little houses that look like toys. from which forty years ago the Japanese threw ten thousand Europeans and their baptised countrymen into the sea. His account of his short time in Japan is notable. In them the Japanese rowers are often naked. Yokohama.10 Nikolai Garin-Mikhailovskii Around Korea. before returning across Europe to St Petersburg. Naked as they approach. others green with vegetation. Garin-Mikhailovskii had originally trained as a railway engineer. in the context of its time. waving their hands energetically. and his appreciation of Japanese achievements in this area is also evident in the extract below. they quickly put on robes and call out in welcome to the passengers.1 11 November Today we arrive in Nagasaki Bay. 1898) The writer Nikolai Georg’evich Garin-Mikhailovskii (1852–1906) is best known for his literary treatment of controversial social issues and his championship of political reform. which are sleeping in the sun. The sea is deep blue and calm. Manchuria and the Liaodong Peninsula (Nagasaki. Garin-Mikhailovskii continued across the Pacific to Hawai’i and the United States. After briefly visiting Japan. and coming towards us across the emerald surface of the bay are boats with canopies against the rain. the sun welcomes us with its rays. Japanese houses with wide awnings – this is Nagasaki. Now we are on the shore and I greedily breathe in the soft warm air.

if he takes you in his hand carriage. others in bowler hats. who would have thought that so soon the Japanese people would experience a war with China that would straight away promote Japan into the ranks of the civilised nations? A war which showed everybody Japan’s real position in regard to technology and political development. this whole process. in the trifling period of thirty years. if possible. and I still think these are not people. but figures. was already fully under way .5 But our Goncharov felt it when the Japanese were harnessing all their energy to throw not just ten thousand. Their dark faces and slit eyes are welcoming. Some have sandals on their feet. but somehow inexpressive. 177 feel I have seen it all before – these mountains. But the French ‘Immortal’ noticed none of this. Be this as it may. has caught up with and overtaken so many nations whose civilisation has taken centuries to develop! Yet when Pierre Loti was writing his Chrysanthemum. the town among them. some with uncovered heads. While one thinks of the Koreans and the Chinese as existing in a state of rest. We climb up to the higher part of the town until we reach the very top: before us is a broad staircase of several flights leading to a temple. others are in boots. Pierre Loti! Chrysanthemum! That venerable little old Japanese man in his robe and topknot. All around are signs of a hot. but wearing robes over their bare bodies. others in European suits. . . Here is a Japanese street. the Japanese is always tensely mobile: if he goes somewhere. But reading Loti. This too is familiar. the image of that sugary. Manchuria. from the cliffs of Papenberg. models of people and their houses. figurines of yellow ivory borrowed from the shelves of art galleries. others with their hair dressed. The lights were reflected in the bay and shimmered there as a boat sailed past. dry and dusty summer just past. and the blue evening was filled with bright lights from the portico-like houses of this toy city. . . and I am much struck by the bustle and purpose of the Japanese crowd. or wooden pattens which clatter noisily on the pavements. unprecedented in world history.4 Reading Loti. who squats and bows and shows his teeth – surely that is Chrysanthemum’s respected parent. or rather didn’t allow himself to notice or acknowledge it. this clear sunny day with its autumn colours. I will try to avoid involuntary preconceptions and instead look for direct experience. I have also seen this crowd before: some in Japanese robes.3 And here she is herself. furrowing the surface of the water . but all the Europeans. . who would imagine the superhuman energy with which this nation. or in a mixture of the two. he goes in a convulsive haste. Familiar too are these female figures and hairstyles. etc. the yellow and red leaves shining transparently in the sun. But perhaps when I saw it before it was night.Garin-Mikhailovskii: Around Korea. And it is a long time before I can shake off the impressions produced in my mind by Loti. pink-tinted reality so often found in elegant albums of Japanese colour photography. some with shaved heads. the robes with wide belts and a huge bow behind. serving us coffee in the temple at the top of the mountain.6 he strains every nerve to get you to your destination as quickly as possible.

’ In front of us are two enamelled metal vases. for example. or a mob breaking out of a madhouse and robbing someone who falls in its path. however. There are beautiful art objects of tortoise-shell. excited faces. We are in an art shop. And of course it will be decades before even our educated people will request their descendants to cremate their bodies. but conscientious workmanship has disappeared. no one is inhibited – dressed. the rejection of all routine.’ I was impressed by this clear new proof of Japanese adaptability. Even in the mass the Japanese crowd preserves its individual peculiarities. You should look at these two cloisonné vases. stretching out his hand. Here are the signs of the robbery: someone has grabbed a hat. or as if these are people taken up by something so big that the question of dress is a triviality not worth talking about. what is biting them? It reminds me of the 1860s in Russia. over his spectacles.’ ‘Is it long since cremation was introduced?’ ‘Not more than five years. it is the whole people unconsciously rushing to throw off the routine which has bound it up to now. but it came to nothing. It could be done when the Japanese went around naked and ate food from the sea – then they needed nothing and no one gave them anything. How infinitely far away this is from the calm repose of that Orient which we have left behind! You want to ask. The old man has torn himself away from his book and is looking over the top of it. Take.7 We happen to have come up to a funeral. dry. where because of the marshy soil this question is much more pressing than in Japan. How much thought. there was a few years ago some discussion in the press about cremation.’ . and with a shiny patterned surface. almost as tall as a person. also a period of great enthusiasm and progress. but a special kind of work with wire. . but now you couldn’t get them for 2000. They are still cheap. but now they have different wages and different needs. half-dressed. But in Russia it was only the tiny educated part of the population that acted. No one could do the work now. You need to be a very great expert. but the police organise cremations for them. Then a kopeck a day was a fortune. This is not enamel. and our Japanese guide says to me: ‘The dead are cremated in Japan now. Its nervous trembling figures recall the cinematograph. He has a book on his knees.178 Garin-Mikhailovskii: Around Korea.’ ‘And everybody accepted it straight away?’ ‘Yes. completely naked with just a robe thrown on – what difference does it make? It’s as if they are insane . ‘These vases cost me 900 roubles. ivory and cloisonné. this old man in ivory. power and feeling there is in the superb execution of these figures! ‘No. Manchuria. another has pinched a jacket. at the child. Except those who haven’t got the 30 dollars. In St Petersburg. on one side there is a child as bald as the old man. to tell the difference. . That is why the quality of Japanese crafts has fallen. etc. But here in just five years the whole nation as one has been able to understand the advantages. Look into these tense. in this Japanese crowd. while here.

but this one was an exception. cheerful and even a playboy. for the latest technology. for electricity. He knows how to throw off the business manner and when he does he wants to look like someone who doesn’t give a damn. Manchuria. They will take endless amounts of money from the English without thinking about it: for a fleet. .’8 On the steamer we found several new passengers. ‘I have often heard from enemies of the Japanese nation that the Japanese have no creative strength. . ‘What a pity I had so little time in Nagasaki. sat down and opened his beautiful brown young eyes very wide. He has good manners and is sure of himself. he exclaimed: ‘And how the Japanese hate us Russians!’ He whistled. Hearing us speaking Russian he called out: ‘Ah. It starts with everybody having to follow the movements of the first dancer. One of them was Russian.Garin-Mikhailovskii: Around Korea. jon-kina!’ And the young commercial gentleman in his checked English suit and silk hat pushed back on his head enthusiastically dances the jon-kina on the deck. Russians!’ He came up to us. I managed to get to know a Japanese lady whose husband had gone away somewhere on business. He has a thin face with fine features and a close-cropped beard. and when . While he is doing this a lady who sits at our table happens to come round the corner. but your shop is full of excellent original Japanese work. They are talking of a pupil who began studying only yesterday. etc. You’ll have noticed that Japanese women are all very cold.’ Remembering something else. At this point he rushes off at top speed to the smoking room. We laughed and he went on: ‘Have you visited the tea houses? No? You haven’t seen the jon-kina? Oh. They take off a ribbon. . like monkeys. it is only England who profits by it. And they’re all so . bright. I say. ‘Do you know why the Japanese are so thin and nervous? They are very fond of hot baths – they sit in them for hours every day. . that they are only capable of imitation. further and further until they’ve taken off everything . danced by young Japanese women. When they borrow. their fate will be no better than that of Egypt. but when they are up to their necks in debt to the English. a bow. The great powers have already shared the world out among themselves like bandits. . In spite of his youth he already has a small bald patch and wears spectacles. Delightful . Thirty years – what is that in the life of a nation? No. ‘They speak out of envy. This person’s name is B. But still. He does not look Russian. The music gets faster and faster. and although Japan is now arming herself. 179 ‘Well’. and if anyone makes a mistake there’s a fine. the Japanese do not reflect for long. it’s a dance. the representative of a large trading house.’ ‘But what can you expect?’ says the shopkeeper. introduced himself and shook hands. . jon-kina.’ He kissed the ends of his fingers and then continued on a different topic. I fear something else for Japan. At first impression he was even vulgar. They drink coffee there and read the newspapers and receive visitors.

the sails on the boats and the distant houses on the shore. at an unattainable height. And anyone who has lived in the East loses his taste for all that. It reminds me a little of travelling in the Adriatic – the same airy blue sea. wife – if they still have any flavour for some people. and there. the lights of the city are burning like huge bright stars. tugging at his handsome soft moustache with both hands. It is as if our steamer has vanished and the only thing visible is the distant edge of a deep blue abyss.. Their bright. It’s all so simple here .’ He takes his money from his pocket and says: ‘I’ve got 200 dollars. what does one wear to dinner here. but there are no Italian songs. . tails or dinner jackets?’ The evening has taken possession of bay and shore. The sea stretches out before you like a blue sheet. I say.’ ‘Of course. The steamer emits a steady hum. ‘Young or old?’ ‘Not so young. I. the lady has gone past. The wedding is in a month. he says. The mountains of . colourful profusion lights up the toy town and casts the water of the bay into darkness. I’ll show you everything. Here women have no value and no interest. A week or two. ‘Here in the East it’s better not to use words like that – fiancée. and you feel you are asleep and seeing this beautiful idyll in a dream. no more.180 Garin-Mikhailovskii: Around Korea. let’s go. who was that lady? Is she travelling on our steamer? Damn it!’ And he twists his moustache. he returns and says cheerfully and excitedly: ‘Tell me. to show him all the interesting parts of Yokohama. ‘What about your fiancée?’ ‘What has his fiancée got to do with anything?’ says V. with the condescension of a Mephistopheles: ‘Come on. 12–14 November Today we are sailing along the Japanese archipelago.. . . ‘She has a husband’. gentlemen. I’m engaged. everything is locked in the drowsiness and languor of a beautiful day. . The night is warm and soft like somewhere in Italy. etc.’ But half an hour later he is arranging for V.’ ‘I’ll see him off!’ ‘He’s worth a hundred million’. no songs at all. I. stop me please. My position is a bit difficult.9 ‘A hundred million? Damn it! That’s not good. The mountains seem to have grown higher. Manchuria.’ ‘Gentlemen. tell me. ‘What more is to be said? But still. says V. The colours of the sea and the sky and the horizon are just as delicate. Here perhaps there is something even more delicate in the truly pinkish hue of the air.’ And turning to B. because I . I. let’s go’. replies eagerly. B. you see. young man. sleeping in just the same way in the clear gold air. Will that get me to San Francisco?’ ‘You’re already on the way. but everything else. the same craggy grey islands.

The mountains are off in the distance. is in a bad mood today. and says that even our companion has nothing really interesting about her. V. Perhaps he is a little cross that she did not nod to him at breakfast. etc. She nods to all the rest of us and we half rise and bow politely. p. He complains that there are no interesting women on board. Manchuria. is thoroughly offended.Garin-Mikhailovskii: Around Korea. silhouetted motionless in its white clothing against the light blue sky. A large bay with a horizon not blocked by mountains.’ But B. Source: Bird. and the highest of all is the volcano Fuji-yama. ‘Well.1 Fujisan. and again the sun floods the deck with its warm rays. and only after this nod from a lady does a gentleman have the right to take off his hat and greet her. she’ll nod to you too tomorrow. 181 Japan have risen to the sky and frozen there in motionless beauty. 2. Unbeaten Tracks. comforts B. A soft warm breeze caresses your face and touches your hair – and then it is still. never mind. Figure 10. . I. B. 14–18 November This morning we woke up in Yokohama. It is the custom both here and in America.

it is still calm and quiet. 18 November10 It is December by the new calendar and the most stormy time of year in the Pacific. of ivory statues. meeting numerous carriages equipped like those in Shanghai. comfortable room with fireplace for 2 dollars a day. There are English and American ships. which is not worked over. Because of the constant . An affable. protected by the barrier. just as toy-like (cheap. so are the town and the mountains. Only far in the distance. but more Japanese vessels. And all along the route. There is not a scrap of land. Because there is a customs house in Yokohama. lets us through. The clear morning is reflected in the surface of the water. We are happy. shares my room. as far as the eye can see. I have seen Japan. who has changed his mind about following V. narrow-gauge). And here is our hotel. Only the boats and launches disturb the peace of the bay as they ply incessantly between the steamers and the quay. and the Japanese official is also happy. Close up. installs himself completely apart. on his adventures. but Japanese. efficient Japanese servant quickly takes our things and as we go tells us the price of the rooms. but with which they achieve great things.182 Garin-Mikhailovskii: Around Korea. on the very horizon. The town stretches out along the valley and the first buildings hide those that are behind. embarrassed Japanese in European dress asks us some questions and. Manchuria. our rickshaw drivers are happy. apart from the mountain crags. the land of tortoise-shell work. the illusion is shattered.. little two-storey houses with fantastical Chinese roofs peak out coquettishly behind the palms and the lush green of the orange and lemon trees. I. without looking at our suitcases. The masts and funnels of our huge steamer still reach up motionlessly to the sky. and V. however. Our three days in Yokohama and Tokyo have flown past and I am sitting on the deck again sifting through my complex impressions. covered in milky snow. both warships and merchantmen. From the carriage window I saw their farms and toy-like fields. the land of chrysanthemums. tiny. when we reach the shore we and our luggage are taken to the attractive pointed customs building. a flimsy light-grey. I. cloisonné vases and colour photographs. We drive along a splendid embankment. I have travelled on their railways. you can just see the huge truncated cone of the volcano. A very polite. The many other steamers which fill the bay are just as motionless. the land of toy-like wooden houses. and here we are on the first floor in a pretty. Boats and launches already crowd around our steamer. and was impressed by the level of cultivation. still green even in December. We are moving for three days into the town. through the opaline mist. only here the drivers are not Chinese. B. etc. two-storey building with green blinds. but in the wide Yokohama Bay.

something mysterious and even frightening. The only difference is in the colours of their dress: in this cage the costumes are red. For whom are these bodies displayed in these cages from the age of Nero? Who are they all waiting for in the dead silence of this empty street? And you are possessed by an eerie feeling of melancholy as you hurry through this endless. They are as still as statues. It looks like the entrance to hell. hopelessly entangled by government surveillance and the burden of the past. in the next black. the rubbing together of his hands. of daring. Compared with the dark.Garin-Mikhailovskii: Around Korea. wrinkled forehead. Compared with the Koreans. There is no wrinkled . just like the street in Shanghai. there is something cold. The good-natured fat face of the Chinaman looks at you eagerly and carelessly. Look at the coloured photographs that they take at the moment the peach tree flowers. but there is an element of recklessness. icon-like figure of the Korean. energy and vision. the many factory chimneys standing out on the horizon. Moreover. striking knick-knacks: fans. in the next blue. motionless rows. In each of these cages white-faced Japanese women in national costume sit at tables in silent. In Shanghai the open cynicism is disgusting. still and silent. almost from orange boxes. the open mouth and projecting teeth. a degenerate among his brothers. the Japanese is a poor remnant. just the same night. etc. like a child who doesn’t understand what he is doing. emaciated. the same coarse. Or all those pretty. He would smile as he stuck a dagger into you. impressive for their determination. the smile. the Japanese are a force bursting out towards freedom. terrifying street. or with the rich and varied types of Chinese beauty. Electric lighting. thick hair flopping over the scalp.’ I close my eyes and I see a Yokohama street at night. excellent paved roads. But the Japanese street is calm. do not trust the deep bow. And to do justice to the Japanese. but which one has to get used to. blue and clear from the lamplight. tortoise-shell and ivory objects. The thin. Yes. the fine commercial and military port. and go on lisping and smiling just the same. You can believe it when they say: ‘Fear the Japanese. silks and silk embroidery. Rows of brightly lit wooden cages stretch along both sides. the lisping and sucking in of breath. the pulled-back skin of the face which raises the corners of the eyes and makes the cheek bones stand out prominently on the flat face – all this together makes the Japanese face strikingly similar to that fine specimen of an orang-utan which I saw in the zoological gardens in Tokyo – the same small. In Yokohama there is no life. they have a sense of style not inferior to that of the French. The very air looks pink. if not malevolent. dark-yellow appearance. in his unlovely face. 183 earthquakes the houses are built very flimsily. compared even with the vigorous but equally trammelled Chinese. this is hell and there is a cold Mephistophelian calculation about it. Manchuria. but from a distance they look attractive. At the same time there is something about them which is not exactly repellent. and above all life.

and even the strongest men of this trade die of consumption – this man’s face shows no anger. to check on these reports. And I can’t help remembering all the other unfavourable judgements that have been made about the Japanese: they are secretive. In excellent English this little insect-chrysanthemum. only glimpsing this country. when we arrived out of hours. no closely shaved old satyr. pulsating crowd. He has struggled to earn his daily piece of bread with pieces of his life and his face breathes the peace and nobility of the knowingly doomed. I was not even able to thank the messenger for this kindness as I was already back on board the steamer when I received it.184 Garin-Mikhailovskii: Around Korea. saying it is better to be safe. but tourists from Russia. a country towards which the Japanese cannot entertain any good feelings. at most ten years. grasping. indifferent. who thirty-six years ago threw the Europeans into the water from the Tarpeian cliff. Here is a crowd. Visiting a Japanese bookshop. corrects himself. is laughing at everything and everyone just as much now as he was before. and we only had to mention that we were tourists for one of the managers to take us around personally. both your present address and the address of your next stop. Japanese face in this street. I took an interest in some English works on distinctive Japanese paper with fine Japanese illustrations. The face of an old man. trading with his women. in . I wanted to find out their cost. self-satisfied face of a working man. whether it would be possible to publish Russian works in the same way. but you continue to look – and next to this face you see the calm. And thanks to this I receive a belated. And a terrible thought comes into my head: perhaps this orang-utan of an old man. where they were published. a hurried. The rickshaw puller who carried me with such zeal and is now wiping the sweat from his face – five. unpleasantlooking. makes a clear impression. in the way it is dressed a really strange crowd. etc. but he insists. I thank him and say there is no need for him to do this. Yet how difficult it is for me. but very important telegram. indifferent. He has set a trap. And we were not just tourists. Here is another fact. Would you be treated so efficiently and politely at a Russian telegraph office? Would a Russian telegraph agent take your interests closer to heart than you yourself? I remember the kindness of the administration of the zoological gardens. I was given an answer by one of the chrysanthemums. Here at the telegraph window a Japanese official peers out like a small insect and pedantically counts the words of my telegram. wearing a robe over his naked body and a bowler hat – perhaps actually this barbarian-satyr.11 and who now appears fully armed with technological progress. hypocritical. equally indifferent to the poisoned bait which he has set and to its victims. and himself gone away like Mephistopheles. wrinkled. notes down your address in case of a reply. carefully recounting each word several times. so at least she seemed from her outward appearance. Manchuria.

modest and cultured in the company of similar young men – just like students in Russia. with the offensive assurance of ignorance. etc.Garin-Mikhailovskii: Around Korea. But at the same time one small trivial torpedoboat is enough to destroy the monster. whose only vocation is to preserve themselves in a state of complacent vegetation by means of lawful marriage. and the more I listen to her and the more I look at her. the more I am impressed by her complete dignity of manner. . but all those cowardly and downtrodden students we still have who see their salvation only in sticking closely to the dross of routine. dynamite. I visited factories and railway workshops. God forbid either one thing or the other. Finally. But why. this further ennobles her and is far from giving her the impression of a chrysanthemum. and although I envy them from the bottom of my heart. I listened to her and thought: they say that Japanese women are mercenary. One such monster is enough to reduce this whole flourishing. haughtily disparage anyone who is alien to them. And it is not just our technicians. for example. gave me such intelligent and detailed answers. With no offence to our engineertechnicians. Now we are passing the giant four-funnel Russian battleship Rossiya. would a girl like this sell her body when she already has a trade that will feed her? And of course her profession keeps her more certainly from the flesh trade than any of those Russian young ladies. She is talking from pure patriotism. look down on them. Our giant. pointing with her tiny finger at the book. powder. yet I also acknowledge their full superiority over us. huddled at the rail. I can say with a clear conscience that compared with the Japanese we are poorly trained and lacking in imagination. while we passengers. 185 her national dress and hairstyle. Manchuria. as I would never have received in a Russian bookshop. remain for a moment alongside her and disappear again into the bay. I also saw young Japanese women in European dress. In this matter so close to my heart. slowly turns and makes for the heads. just like all the other horrors of destruction concealed in her mysterious depths: shells. and was convinced as a specialist of the striking dedication and original talent of Japanese technicians and workmen. the progress and imagination of the Japanese are particularly evident. How efficiently they have approached their whole railway industry and set it on a commercial footing. And as if in answer to my thought. four Japanese torpedo-boats head towards the Russian cruiser. which is always higher than a purely personal feeling. The girl in the bookshop talks. her enthusiasm for my project of publishing a book in Japan. The boats. peaceful corner of the earth to ruins. Her fearful guns are hidden. consoling myself with the thought that in this at least I do not wish to resemble those Russians who. and like any altruistic feeling. We are already weighing anchor. launches and well-wishers are already down below. which only complicates business and makes it more expensive. among so many other giants.

It will be a powerful newly acquired source of faith in the wonder of the world. Both of these loans were liquidated by 1897. Moscow: Gos. transferring from Port Arthur to Yokohama. We are already at full steam. 4 Many contemporary observers were surprised that Japan had succeeded in modernising so rapidly that it was able to defeat China in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–5. G. 5 ‘Immortal’: member of the Académie Française. Man’chzhurii i liaodan’skomu poluostrovu. 6 I. Manchuria. but your beautiful memory. note 2 and note 2 above). the memory of your mighty. The whole of the azure sea is filled with white sails. Garin-Mikhailovskii. These boats belong to the fishermen. Garin-Mikhailovskii’s assertion that the supposed massacre occurred in the mid-nineteenth century is clearly in error. from which in ancient times criminals were hurled to their deaths. Japan had raised £1 million in London in 1870 and a further £2. 9 V.. 1887). 377–90. I. 10 Apparently a mistake for 19 November (19 November old style was 1 December new style). of £10 million. note 2. 5. 7 The early 1860s in Russia under Alexander II were a period of major social and political change. the judiciary and the army. 3 The reference is to Pierre Loti’s influential novel Madame Chysanthème (Paris.186 Garin-Mikhailovskii: Around Korea. for me you will soon become again a distant and strange land. Notes 1 Source: N. fairy-tale awakening and rebirth. 370) as a director of the Russian-Chinese Bank. pp. All their lives they will work like this and when they die they will be cremated in this country of misty mountain panoramas and of blue unruffled sea with its sleepy white sails. Naked they catch their fish. 25–6. .4 million in 1873. You feel in fine spirits. etc.e. Everything here breathes languor. lit-ry. and to the legend of the massacre of Christians at Papenberg (see Chapter 7 (Zarubin). 8 Egypt had been occupied and governed by the British since 1882 to protect European interests in the Suez Canal. 2 See Chapter 7 (Zarubin). vol. A third loan. 1958. Po Koree. and this satisfies their simple needs. izd-vo khudozh. will be one of the best memories of my life. pp. is identified earlier in Garin-Mikhailovskii’s narrative (p. rickshaw. and from the bottom of your heart you send this industrious people and these marvellous shores a last farewell. Farewell Japan. in his Sobranie sochinenii v piati tomakh. see Introduction. seeing the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 and reforms to local government. on shore each of them has sown a strip of rice. was taken out in 1899. reverie and tenderness. 11 The allusion is to the Tarpeian Rock in Rome.

Poor Kimura perspired freely in the effort. Orthography and punctuation in this chapter follow those of the original English publication. I will return to this subject in due course later on. We went ashore at 7 p. when the commandant of the island. It was with great difficulty that they persuaded him to give up his claim. we thanked heaven for having removed this cup from our lips. . and later with the admiral and other staff officers to Kyoto. He sailed with the Second Pacific Squadron on Rozhestvenskii’s flagship. just as if we had come fresh from the seat of war.1 Scarcely had we cast anchor. The extract below begins with his arrival at the quarantine station on Ninoshima Island off Shimonoseki en route to Kyoto.. Semenov was wounded in the legs. vaccination.11 Vladimir Semenov The price of blood (Kyoto. From what they told me. and after the Russian surrender was taken by the Japanese first to Sasebo for treatment and convalescence. Semenov’s three volumes of memoirs are an important historical source on the Russian naval campaign and its aftermath.m. came alongside. Suvorov. where we had spent three and a half months under constant medical supervision. it would appear that the colonel had demanded that we should undergo all the formalities of disinfection. Semenov eventually left Japan to return to Russia with Rozhestvenskii on 31 October 1905. Captain Kimura and Dr Tadzuki. to a village composed only of wooden shanties. from the prisoners who had to go through this process. and provides a vivid picture of the lives of the Russian prisoners of war. what it meant. as he would see nothing beyond his instructions. although we had come direct from Sassebo. of which the two nearest the entrance were set apart for the Admiral and the three officers of his staff. It was no easy task to persuade the colonel to change his mind. 1905) Vladimir Ivanovich Semenov (1867–1910) was a naval officer attached to the staff of Admiral Rozhestvenskii during the RussoJapanese War. with the medical officer of quarantine. They at once entered into a lively altercation with our escort. When we learned later at Kioto. and participated in the Battle of Tsushima (28 May 1905). etc.

” “Perhaps the Colonel has some. however. with a few crossbars and planks of timber which had scarcely been planed. which was only some 20 or 30 feet from the beach. have a pair of sheets for the Admiral. none of which was by any means fresh. Our shanty. but not so the plates on which our . and began to pour forth excuses. but it was sufficient in quantity. and as the wind shifted about midnight and blew off the sea. and the prongs of the forks were filled up with various kinds of leavings. ¯ that in Russia pigs were better treated than we had been in Japan. they hastened aboard again. which was relatively clean. When the Colonel and the interpreter came to pay their respects to the Admiral and to ask if he was satisfied. This was all the linen that Kimura and Tadzuki could find. had endeavoured to treat us in a European manner. Kimura. “I doubt if he even knows what they are. and there was no trace of any sheets. “Could we not. three stools. who was a thorough Japanese. using the slop-pail. and if it was not always well dished-up. however. Without uttering a word the Admiral gave one look of inspection.” said I. We preferred to go and wash by turns in the courtyard. sat down by the door. Neither the Admiral nor we could sleep a wink. there are none here. who had followed us. Three woollen coverlets completed the equipment. which were close alongside each other and under one mosquito net. The Colonel. which was so dirty that none of us would touch it. “Unfortunately. therefore. we were overwhelmed with foul smells in spite of closed windows. The furniture consisted of a small table. some bedsteads of rough woodwork. A bucket of water was brought us for our ablutions. with a wooden slop-pail and a small zinc basin. They know nothing of European customs. and sank into a deep reverie. blundering out excuses. At early dawn. Rojestvensky told them quite plainly. It is true that in hospital our food was not of an appetising kind. and having done this. as our basin. which they offered the Admiral as a sleeping bag.” Finally they unearthed an almost clean cover. in much confusion. but that ignorance of our customs had frustrated his efforts. was close to certain primitive structures which I need not define. appeared much put out. consoling us by assurances that this state of things would only last one night. I am afraid. I will go. after ironically wishing us a good night. Sacks of sand served as bolsters.” A faint smile appeared on Kimura’s face.188 Semenov: The price of blood The Admiral’s bed was separated by a curtain from ours. These. and see what I can do for you. There were no table-cloths or napkins. and we did not see him again till we were on the point of leaving. at any rate. could be cleaned at a pinch. it was at any rate eatable: here everything was different. and only the leavings of the army are here. All the bona-fide officers have gone to the front. The interpreter did his utmost to explain to us that the poor man. and were covered with thin and much-worn mattresses. we were all up. abruptly departed. the knives and spoons were dirty.

This was an earthquake. when the shanty began to move with a grating noise. and there was not time for him to go to the town and get a fresh supply for so large a body of customers as we were. and half-an-hour later we were at the little town of Odzena. during the last days in hospital. there was a rosy side to all these hardships. and we had moments of such despair. or had a collision – I would not have lifted a finger to save myself. and from him we were able to purchase some American canned food. At 4. we left the quarantine station in a harbour tug. However. In vain did we appeal to the refreshment seller. and forks.30 p. When we asked the interpreter why this meal was taking place so early. the rest of us walked. followed by a liquid in which small pieces of bacon and meat were floating. knives.m. Even the least fastidious among us turned away from this preparation with disgust. I must own that if anything had gone wrong – if we had struck a floating mine. When I look back on the state of my feelings on board that steamer. he told us that we were going away. There! they are calling us – we must be off. We realised that we had no choice but to be content with tea and dry bread. and even more on the steamer. so utter was my depression. These sordid cares left us no time to brood over our miserable reflections. and such-like. The bill of fare consisted of a sort of broth made of oats and sugar and flavoured with curry. we had time to reflect on the past and think about the future. At midday another meal was offered us. Now we had other distractions: we had to pull ourselves together to avoid dying of hunger – we had to make a pillow out of a tunic rolled up in a napkin. that there would be no means of getting dinner en route. and that we should have to wait till the following morning for our next feed. Then the misery of it all overwhelmed us. and I desired nothing more. his stock was sold out. and a dirty yellow omelette redolent of onions. Three-quarters of an hour later we were still seated at table. The Admiral and two of the midshipmen. At four o’clock the table was again laid – if I may use the expression – and the oat and sugar broth reappeared. when in familiar surroundings and good company. there were five junior officers. Besides the Admiral and three staff officers. consisting of greasy water claiming to be called broth. that a very little more would have made us throw ourselves into the sea. went to the station in jinrikishas [rickshaws]. no one took the least notice . Judging by the repulsive appearance of the edges of them. whose wounds were not yet ˘ healed. which lasted ten seconds. two petty officers. Although there were many people in the streets. When. as well as some Californian fruit: this was washed down with some café au lait. we had reasonable cause for serious misgivings as to the middle of them.Semenov: The price of blood 189 portions were served. Three minutes afterwards there was another and less severe shock. such as ham and bacon and a preparation called pâté de gibier. to clean our own plates. which lasted five seconds. when to our delight a refreshment seller appeared on the scene. Death would have been welcome. and one cadet. and all the plates and dishes were set dancing.

and had already received instructions accordingly. where we were to leave the branch line and join the main line. two running the length of the carriage. but as he did all this. In Japan the women’s patriotic associations have much influence. On his breast he wore the Order of the Rising Sun on the right side. who had no doubt reported to the authorities the snub he had received in the morning. or was due to familiarity with such a sight. In the first class were three cushioned seats divided into three places each. etc. when the Admiral was saluted by Lt. and that at Hiroshima. where the commanding officer. the interpreter. running the length of the carriage. or anger at the part which he was compelled to play. his face became purple with confusion. with his Chief Secretary. There was no escort: the interpreter marched at the head of the party with a very young official. In the second class there were only two seats with eight places in each. In Japan. Round his neck hung the Order of the Hawk (which is equivalent to our St George’s Cross). by telling us that there would be no change till we reached Kioto. who live in the hospital. and our . and never took his eye off him. He kept at a respectful distance from the Admiral. a first and second class. were the eight other members of the detachment and the civil interpreter. so anxious was he to anticipate his least wish. sodawater. Our carriage was not very comfortable. and kept asking him if he would like some tea. The Admiral. and the escort took possession of this. the French naval attaché. and all his staff. rushed forward with a chair if he saw him leaning on a railing on the platform. beer. our carriage was detached and joined on to the Kioto train. They were very closely packed. and with an intelligent and well-bred face.2 Accustomed as I was to Japanese customs. After an interminable amount of shunting.-General Manabe. in this. it consisted of two compartments. But the interpreter soon disposed of this hope. as generally is the case.15 we arrived in the station at Hiroshima. as more than ten thousand prisoners had already passed through Odzena. I was much puzzled to understand how it was that a general with all these decorations was not at the front. He lighted a match the instant he saw him take out his cigarette case. Lieutenant Martini. thick set. I do not know whether this was in obedience to orders. explained to me afterwards that there was a woman in the question. the three staff officers. They occupy a place something between the Soeurs de Charité. and we did not start till 5. he had more the appearance of a Provençal than of a Jap. met us in full uniform. a more comfortable carriage would be provided. He had a dignified air and the manners of a European. Of middle height. affairs of this sort are no joking matter. but consoled themselves with the belief that the journey would not last long. and of St Stanislas with crossed swords on the left. At 6.. The train was late. and the Deputy-Governor (the Governor himself was at Tokio). Commander-in-Chief at Hiroshima. with a lavatory between. and ladies of fashion are not above taking the lead in them. and one across.40.190 Semenov: The price of blood of us. then came the Admiral’s “rickshaw. his Aide-de-camp.” and the notorious Colonel.

and turning over everything in his house and garden. resolved to take a notable revenge. when the General was winning his laurels under the walls of Pekin. who was in charge of the Chinese Palace. his wife. covered with well-earned decorations. When General Manabe. had seized the opportunity of carrying off all the most valuable objects. to make occasional appearances there. who stood at attention. “What a clever liar he is. and streaming with perspiration. he found a party of officials examining. and hiding them in his house.”3 The Japanese women attend the sick themselves. The General had casually mentioned in his report that he had heard that General Manabe. like the sun. for they consider that the national honour is at stake. Before the Admiral had time to get out of the carriage – even before the train had stopped – the General jumped in. After the members of the two staffs had been introduced to each other. gave him his candid opinion. who happened to be the wife of the General in command. who had turned out the wounded with unaccountable haste. The General declared. It is a matter for real regret that all European nations do not share their point of view. and devote all their time to them. and tea was served in European fashion. we all sat down round a table. throwing all the blame on the hospital authorities at Sassebo. and a few civil commonplace expressions spoken concerning the uncertainties of war. the Star of the General waned from that day. who like a thorough Jap was mortally offended. who was an ordinary member of the staff. In a matter of this kind the Japanese will not stand any joking. whereupon the General. Martini did not know the actual result of their investigations. while engaged in her usual works of charity. During the Boxer War. won the hearts of the sick and wounded French committed to her care. he very quietly. as red as a lobster. hand to cap all the time. as sufficient to ensure the welfare of the “poor devils. he became profuse in his apologies. under a search warrant.Semenov: The price of blood 191 lady patronesses who condescend.” said I to myself when this incident was over. the walls. but also very definitely. and the victors of one day becoming the vanquished of the next. with an air of astonishment and vexation. and without giving any notice. severely blew up the Colonel. take an interest in them. But for this. In reply. that the Order of St Stanislas was . with much iteration. which had evidently been rehearsed. returned home. and now return to my journal. I beg the reader to excuse this short digression. Manabe asked the Admiral whether he had been comfortable at Hiroshima. and if he had any complaints to make. so the lady president. and nothing to the lady president. so that he was not even chosen to take part in the war against us. and was in consequence awarded a medal. Unfortunately the French representative was guilty of a serious blunder in giving a medal to Mme. began to be played. he would have considered it his duty to go in person to Hiroshima and place himself at the disposal of his honoured visitors. Manabe. The conversation was carried on for some minutes in a genial and informal manner. Be that as it may. At this juncture a little comedy. When this was over.

but without any fuss. being unable to bear it any longer. that he who sleeps dines. The Admiral urged us to be patient. to feel the acute pangs of hunger. but these were of another species. and half a pound of chocolate. When we examined our allowance of provisions. Only four of them had been awarded to Japanese after the war in China.4 After much saluting. After midnight reinforcements came. at 10 p. where we were due at 11 a. to visit all the carriages. There is a French proverb. The Colonel explained through the interpreter. but as we had not a wink of sleep. They were not above washing up the cups and saucers and running to fetch boiling water.m. etc. The Admiral was much annoyed. we stopped. trusting to getting some boiled rice when the time came to eat the chocolate. Two hours later we began to feel the pangs of hunger. about 4 a. Clouds of a peculiar kind of mosquito. and as the Marquis Yamada was dead. With much rustling of their silk kimonos and clattering of their “gata” [geta]. which flies close to the surface of the ground. quickly. we found it somewhat scanty. for we were travelling in a hospital train full of sick and wounded. but there was so little conviction in his tone. and hands. and called upon them to tell him at once when and where we could get breakfast.m. that we knew that he was as famished as we were. they would have seen and learned some very interesting things. or high wooden sandals. Even the Admiral. and there was not the slightest sign of a refreshment-room at any of the stations. neck. these ladies set to work. we each had one and a quarter. and to hand round cakes and tea. of whom he was the youngest. One of our party declared that he could hear them sucking and smacking their lips. six pieces of bread. We had to sit bolt upright all the night. but we most imprudently ate all our bread. and only went for the exposed parts of one’s face. we began. and to keep the rest to eat with the chocolate later on. we decided to eat half our bread and the ham.m.m. but nobody paid any attention to them. saluting and smiling all the time. As there were in the box five very minute slices of ham. . bit our ankles and stung us through our socks. In the evening we had implored the Admiral to occupy one of them for himself. It consisted of a tiny box of ham. At last. but he steadfastly refused.. and I saw for the first time some of the members of the local ladies’ patriotic society. there were only three holders left. as there was not room for us to lie down side by side on the seats. awakened our escort. The moonlight was magnificent.. and the country through which we passed was of singular beauty. I found it necessary to draw up my knees in to my stomach to suppress the pangs of famine. and to make the best of what we could get. It was like being tickled with stinging nettles. I wish that some of our Russian lady patronesses could have been there.192 Semenov: The price of blood the decoration which he prized most highly. that a European breakfast would be ready for us at Simedzi [Himeji]. and we knew him too well to imagine that he would ever go back on his word. the train started again at 7 p. they were very small.

for twelve persons. he slipped some money into the interpreter’s hand. The Admiral would not listen to him. in European cups. Their contents had been washed down by cups of tea. At 6 a. with saucers and even spoons. in spite of the early hour. The consequence was that when we arrived at Osaka well fortified with this extra meal. but they had had the consideration to prepare for us Chinese tea. and a still larger one of bread. as it turned out. and a tiny potato – all cold. where we were in expectation of the famous European breakfast which the Colonel had dinned into our ears. an elderly lady. however. did the honours to perfection. There seemed to be enough to victual a whole battalion. ordering them to have twelve good beefsteaks. When we caught sight of a large basket full of eggs. each of us curled himself up in his corner and went to sleep.” “Cannot! what do you mean?” and the banknotes.20 we found ourselves seated like true sybarites round a table covered with a spotless tablecloth. each. I tell you to send off a telegram before the train starts. he shouted: “Quick. telegraph at once to the next station to have five hard-boiled eggs ready. The interpreter hurried at top speed to pick them up.m. Hunger gave way to good humour and yawning. for I prefer to say nothing about the pig’s food provided at the quarantine station. When this so-called “square meal” was over. at Okayama. as though to say. three others of smoked tongue. “he can do nothing. but stuffing some Japanese banknotes into his hands. With much trepidation the interpreter referred the matter to the Colonel. an agreeable surprise awaited us. quick. but which.” pleaded the interpreter. rolled up in a bit of bread. please. ready for us on our arrival. which.Semenov: The price of blood 193 “Since we left the steamer you have given us nothing to eat. “so be it – I can only be hanged once for a double offence.” At 1.. and with napkins on our knees. We would have been content with green Japanese tea. and cannot accept the money without Government authority.” We thought the Colonel would have had a fit. with some bread and tea. rolled up into a ball. he could not make any change. and as the mosquitoes had disappeared in the daylight. all that the Admiral had ordered was there in readiness. with potatoes. He protested that the breakfast was to be a European one. The president. and told him to telegraph to Kobe.” This all occurred at a small side-station. the good ladies had brought us. “Your Excellency. and that as his superior officers had arranged the route and the hours of the meals. had nothing European about it save the knives and forks. The ladies (always these admirable ladies) poured out for us some sodawater and beer in addition to the tea. At 11 we reached Simedzi. You will. this. we . flew out of the window. who merely shrugged his shoulders. and without consulting the Colonel. did not prevent the baskets from being emptied as if by magic a few moments later. the Admiral took the matter into his own hands. At each place was a little box of white wood containing a minute slice of fried meat. jokes began to fly all round.

and the Admiral and the senior officers proceeded to the temple of Chidsiaken. it is no good its staying empty. “This room is yours. The Admiral at once sent a telegram of sympathy to Admiral Togo. as well as by an interpreter. This room constitutes the Admiral’s quarters. but. with some indifference. on to which two rooms destined for his suite. we learned that on the very night when we left Sassebo a fire broke out on the Mikasa. the others went to that of Honkokudsi [Honkokuji]. which under the guise of a “European meal” had been provided for us there. I slept like a log. which are easily folded to admit of their being taken away altogether if desired. Fortunately. The Admiral was given a plain iron bedstead with a mattress and two pillows. The remainder of the accommodation is separated from it by a broad corridor. another room for servants. took his leave. like those in the Ninoshima Quarantine Station. Several of our comrades who had gone ahead were also there. It is divided into two: in the first part. with the pleasing addition of a hard straw mattress and a bolster filled with sand! As I had not closed my eyes for two nights. I was told off to lodge in one of these rooms. So we sat down at table merely as a matter of politeness. open. which is fitted up altogether in Japanese style. The Colonel. and he did so with an air of delight which seemed genuine. who had accompanied us. and were met on the platform by the commanding officer.” All this happened yesterday evening. and whether you live in it or not. Major-General Okama. in which there were already two other men who had arrived before us. a major who is inspector of war prisoners. there are three rooms. however. I am not going to make any further use of it. I protested feebly. When I woke up in the morning. or rather one room which can be partitioned off into three by means of movable screens. to be more exact. is kept for travellers of distinction who visit the city. I had the greatest difficulty in the world to recollect what had . and that this fine cruiser had been blown up and sunk. or. *** September 1. while the rest of us were given wooden couches. this pavilion. – For the Admiral and his Staff there has been reserved a separate house. as I have related before of the incident of the sleeping accommodation in the railway carriage. at once noticed my annoyance and invited me to take up my quarters in his third room. We got into a carriage. and a storeroom. and for whose society I did not care particularly. to which it is connected by an arched wooden bridge built over the narrow branch of a pond. From a newspaper which we bought here. not a jinrik˘sha this time.194 Semenov: The price of blood treated the Japanese food. I knew that it was useless to argue with him. the Admiral whom nothing escaped. As a rule. whom I hardly knew. laid out in the shape of a U. and the lieutenant in charge of the temple set apart for the Admiral’s residence.40 without any fresh adventures.5 We reached the station at Kioto at 5. an annex of the temple.

address you. When all were assembled. . You have nobly fulfilled your duty to your country. Major-General Okama Masansero. for exemplary behaviour.Semenov: The price of blood 195 happened to me and where I was. For the present. were invited to make their way to a hall. as prisoners of war under guard of the garrison which has been placed under my command. appeared in the doorway.” Up to this point the speech was suitable enough and even courteous. I express my condolences and heartfelt sympathy with you in your misfortunes. I desire. caused you to be taken prisoners. by way of welcome. therefore.m. General Okama and his Chief-ofStaff arrived. it only remains for you to wait patiently for the signature of peace. the door opened. Right up to the time when unkindly Fate. in the centre of which was a table surrounded by chairs. to which I cannot but do homage. in raising the dignity of the soldier. Naval Officers recently arrived.” Then he took a paper which had been respectfully handed to him. Gentlemen. as coming from the supreme Japanese Authorities. “The orders of the Commandant. and began. to address us through his interpreter as follows:– “It is in my capacity of Military Commandant in charge of the prisoners of war that I am here to-day. falling upon you. and you are well aware that it is the same in all countries of the world. and under no circumstances must you deviate from or transgress them. 2. Commander of the Garrison of Fushimi. considering your present situation. were highly characteristic of the behaviour of the Jap when he tries to play the European! All the newcomers. The details of this visit. stopping from time to time and remaining quite still at the end. Gentlemen. “During the period of your captivity you must observe strictly all the regulations and conditions laid down by the Imperial Japanese Government. “I. you remained resolute and unmoved. That is why. we put it down to the desire of the interpreter to translate word for word. If certain phrases seemed to us a little odd and some of the expressions slightly awkward. transmitted through his officials. “During your stay here you must remain on the most friendly terms with each other. At 9 a. that you will attach special importance to keeping the laws of this discipline. Then we came to business – 1. while the interpreter translated it into Russian for us. 3. The maintenance of military discipline and good order is absolutely indispensable for soldiers and sailors. causes him to deserve well of his country. must be carried out to the letter. and began to read us a lecture in Japanese. You left your country last year and accomplished a long voyage in the face of countless storms: you have endured privations and misfortunes and have undergone trials of all kinds. and above all you must abstain from all intemperance. from the Admiral down to the most junior midshipman. and Okama. and fought with patriotic energy and courage. which I noted down on the spot. still followed by his aides-de-camp.

still by means of the interpreter. then. The interpreter having finished the lecture. and so he is delighted to see you here at last. because. – “He instructs me to ask whether you are tired after your voyage. especially as the climate here is better than at Sassebo. owing to sheer artlessness or because they did not really know the rules of politeness and decorum commonly used in Europe.D. – “He regrets being unable to offer you here the comforts which are customary in Europe. and above all an A. He was standing with his hands behind his back and his eyes cast down as if listening attentively. might not have been altogether misplaced. He hopes that the doctors here will prove to be not inferior to those at Sassebo. When we were seated. that is to say. the admonitions of a Major-General who was recommending them to abstain from all intemperance! I should have liked to believe that the Japanese only countenanced such ceremonies as these.” The Admiral.” The Admiral.” The Interpreter.” . with hair already turning grey. I feel myself obliged to speak these words of admonition. – “Thank you. the outward forms of the relations. side by side with midshipmen. which should be kept even among members of the same family. of all countries in the world. above all people.” The Interpreter. Okama. – “Tell the General that I thank him. these “words of admonition” on good behaviour. one with another. with a solemn inclination of his head. If addressed to young middies. it is in theirs that the spirit of etiquette has been best kept. he embarked on the following conversation: – The Interpreter. But senior officers. but I found it very hard to be convinced that it was so.196 Semenov: The price of blood 4. which betrayed his inner feelings.” The Interpreter.” During this lecture I looked at the Admiral furtively. but he will be glad to do anything he can to make up for the deficiency. To the Japanese. and that the serious wound on your head will soon be completely healed up. close to the ear. invited us to sit down. standing. this part of European civilisation ought to be most intelligible and most congenial. – “Thank you.C.” The Admiral. – “The General is much troubled about the condition of your wounds. was postponed day after day. especially as your arrival. and how you are feeling to-day. so well known to us. he took his place in his chair. did not feel altogether at their ease when thus receiving. of which he had been notified long before. at our first interview. It was obvious to us that Okama was delighting in the task with which he was charged. – “The General wishes to express once more the deep respect he holds for your great services and your personal courage. to the Emperor and Vice-Admiral Commander-in-Chief. and it was only his habitual nervous twitching of the jaw. “It is in my official capacity as your Commandant that.

and then only on official business.Semenov: The price of blood 197 The Admiral. to May 27. Therefore. etc. nor to enter into communication with other prisoners confined in the neighbourhood. representatives from the Vladimir Monomach. . till 6 p. for my part. it would be equally stupid and useless to try and escape. . There is in the temple a small cook-shop. with an appearance of great candour. “Quite unnecessary. I declared to the Major that I had not given my word of honour. speaks Russian pretty fluently.m. he (the Admiral) merely answered. etc. and. The Admiral and his Staff (eight persons) are not the only inhabitants of the temple. nor to pass the prescribed limits. and so I was cherishing the firm hope of escaping on the first possible occasion. but he feels obliged to depart. it caused me but little privation.m. a Jap. the Sissoïet and the Ural.” Soon after the departure of Okama. whose owner. each individually. The Admiral’s Flag-Captain and A. so that not to go outside them is a matter of entire indifference to me. and finally twenty-three or twenty-four of those who surrendered with Nebogatoff’s division. followed my example. 1904. came to offer us for signature. September 2. nor to send off letters or telegrams. nor to make his way into private houses.D. During all my time on board the Suvoroff – that is from October 14. that I pledge myself before Almighty God .8 and who make a clique apart and refuse to keep not only the military discipline which . This curious document began thus: “I give my word of honour as a sailor and a Russian officer. the temple and its magnificent garden are far more spacious than a man-of-war. and twice at Nossi Bé. – “Very well. and for an hour at most. after deducting a very large commission as his share in the transaction. and wishes you good-day. an officer of the Osslyabia.” which was as brief as it was to the point. Considering that the plenipotentiaries signed a treaty of peace a fortnight ago.. considering that thus I owe neither thanks nor gratitude to our conquerors. the Major who was accompanying him.” The Admiral. there are. together with me.” When the Major presented his paper to the Admiral. to pay them out. refused to sign.6 and it only needs formal ratification. who had come with him from Sassebo. As a matter of fact. but as the Japanese found this time appropriate for playing this farce with us. and turned his back and walked out of the room.7 Here.” The Interpreter. but had been taken prisoner at a time when I was very seriously wounded. – “He regrets that his military occupations do not permit him to continue this pleasant conversation. – “Good-bye.C. a declaration form to give us the right of moving about freely outside the temple from 8 a. The signer pledged himself not to try to escape. 1905 – I only set foot ¯ on land on three occasions: once at Vigo. besides us. – All the rest of yesterday was spent in household cares and purchase of things which were absolutely necessary. and is willing to undertake to see that the things which we order are sent us from the town – of course. I determined.

198 Semenov: The price of blood Okama preached to us with such fervour. the whole crowd was sent into an adjoining hall to be vaccinated.” and then he grew pale and blushed alternately at the remembrance of what he had undergone. September 3. with no distinction of age or rank. blended together in a wonderfully attractive picture. Whereupon. The others were treated as follows. The serious-minded and well-bred among us. while the attendants watched to see that each man put his head well under the water. take good care not to brawl on all occasions. then everyone had to strip entirely and put all his clothes into a canvas bag marked with a number which tallied with that on a copper ring which each man had to put on his finger. where were large wooden tubs of water treated with antiseptic. which caused an extraordinary increase of courage and energy to spring up within me. Directly they arrived. and had to wait patiently until the lymph dried. There they were immersed. I suppose that all who are recovering from serious illness experience this. arched bridges. but they might have enforced their sanitary measures in a more agreeable way. had every right to try and prevent infectious diseases being brought into their country. are certainly the most conspicuous. variegated foliage of the trees. before 6 o’clock. We have learned to-day what annoyances we were saved at Ninoshima by the energetic declarations of Dr Tadzuki. with the result that there was no pretext of keeping us in quarantine. although they certainly do not form the majority. who. the members of each detachment were gathered together in a shed promiscuously. with their quaint roofs. It is only fair to admit that the Japanese. held himself guarantee for our not carrying with us the germs of any infectious disease. who had no information as to the sanitary condition of their prisoners. for it was obvious to him that the conquerors could not resist the paltry satisfaction of treating Europeans in the same way as a native crowd just arrived from a country ravaged by plague. – I awoke this morning at daybreak. From all around floated up sweet smells and freshness. several at a time in the same bath. When the bath was over. after which they were allowed to exchange the ring for their clothes. and. and deluged with buckets all those who resisted. this troop of naked men was conducted to a neighbouring shed. ponds. “They pushed us about and herded us like cattle. The temple buildings. To finish up. huddled round a . gardens. and. do not put themselves to the front. who take account of past events and appreciate our present position in a more rational manner. and ornamental and artistically trimmed shrubs. as Director of Sassebo Hospital. they had to endure a fortnight’s confinement in the quarantine barracks. trellised galleries. I began to wander about the corridors. but even the most elementary rules of good behaviour. Sub-lieutenants of the Reserve and some young men who favour the modern “smartness” cultivated of late years in the Naval Training School. set the tone. which had in the meantime been disinfected. and saw there sights singularly out of keeping with these beautiful surroundings – groups of men. above all. My informant laid special stress on the words.

Semenov: The price of blood 199 table, who had evidently passed the night in playing cards; their faces were flushed, their eyes bloodshot, their voices hoarse – and I felt a wave of immense pity for them sweep over me, and passed on. What wonderful masters of the art of miniature these Japanese are! The more I walk about, and the more I explore the recesses of our enclosure, the more I admire the artist (for he is no mere gardener) who, in so small a space, has been able to create the impression of a large and ancient natural park, by making use of every knoll and every small fold of the ground. Here is a craggy slope, and reaching down from it what to all appearances are not steps built by the hand of man, but merely a passage hewn out of the piled-up rocks. Here is a path barely visible in the bushy grass; yet I only have to push aside a few branches to find myself on a trim lawn, in the middle of which stands a tiny moss-grown temple dedicated to some god or other. Here is a long, flat stone, which seems to have rolled down from the rock, and to have come to rest right across the stream, which connects the two branches of the pond, so as to make a bridge. Instinctively I cast my eye round to look for the place from which it has broken off. To think that all this is not the result of the caprice of nature, but of the well-planned work of human artists! September 4. – It is obvious that our refusal to pledge ourselves in any way, has caused the Japanese astonishment as well as some anxiety. The Major came to find the Admiral this morning, while a lieutenant came in to us to persuade us that, after so long a period in hospital, some distractions and walks were essential to us. This manoeuvre having failed, the lieutenant, who was not easily discouraged, came back in the evening to beg us to persuade the Admiral to sign the document, which, he said, was really nothing more than a mere formality. We only laughed. September 5. – Yesterday evening while we were having tea with the Admiral, the conversation turned on the difference which exists between real active service and the “red tape” conditions and regulations in vogue at our Naval School – conditions which are absolutely contrary to those presented by practical service. The Admiral grew hot over it, and told us that it is absolutely necessary to reform the service education of our officers and men from the very bottom, together with the organisation of our arsenals and the Admiralty. He added that we had always followed the wrong track, and had finished by falling asleep lulled by the song of “All Goes Well.” Our ignorance might perhaps serve us for an excuse for the past: if we had been culpable, we had at least been sincere, and people might forgive us at a pinch; but for the present, when the war has opened our eyes, if we persist in following the old road and not profiting by our bitter experience, we shall be committing an absolutely deliberate and wilful crime which will debar us from pleading any attenuating circumstances. I do not pledge myself that those were the exact words which the Admiral made use of, but I do declare that what I have just written contains the essence of his opinions. September 6. – The General Commanding the Division, Lieutenant-General

200 Semenov: The price of blood Ibaraki, has arrived at Osaka; he is coming to inspect, even more solemnly than Okama on the first day, the newly arrived prisoners. Everyone, from the Admiral down, was ordered to attend in the dining hall. At the last moment, however, there was a counter order, as the authorities were afraid lest the Admiral might refuse to leave his room. In any case, Ibaraki knows how to behave himself better than Okama. Directly he arrived at the temple he sent his A.D.C. to ask whether the Admiral would be willing to receive him, and on receiving an answer in the affirmative, he came hat in hand, as for a visit of courtesy. Moreover, his good manners won him a welcome during an audience which lasted for a quarter of an hour. When he left, the Admiral accompanied him as far as the door, and took leave of him in a most cordial way, whereas he had taken no more notice of Okama than if he had not existed. All the officers, gathered in the dining-room, were formally presented to the General, who did not make any tactless speech, but confined himself to expressing in a few simple words his deep sympathy and hope to see them soon at liberty. September 7. – For three days now we have had bad weather. Every morning our linen and our clothes are wet through and through. The food is more abominable than ever, but that is not the fault of the superintendent or of the cook, but of the system. I ask you – How, with a grant of only ls. 3d. a day per officer, could it be possible to give us three good meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner, especially with the price of meat at 11d. per lb.? Each officer receives, besides his food, 6 roubles (12s.) a month, to keep his clothes and boots in repair, buy tobacco and soap, and meet various other trifling expenses. The upkeep of the rankand-file prisoners is estimated at 6d. a day, all told. Taking these statistics and the numbers of prisoners of war (admirals, senior and other officers, sailors and marines) published in the Japanese newspapers, it is not difficult for the numerous unemployed mathematicians whom we number among our ranks, to calculate what entertaining the prisoners of war will cost the Japanese, supposing our release to be complete in November. The results only differ because we cannot all agree as to the exact date of departure and the numbers of the detachments; but all the statistics approximate to £500,000 or £600,000, to which something might be added for transport, erection and upkeep of the huts, medical expenses, etc. Reckoning 100 roubles (£10) per head (an excessive estimate) for these supplementary expenses, we must add £700,000, and thus, after great thought, we arrive at a total, in round numbers, of £1,500,000, allowing, in addition to the above details, a good sum for unexpected expenditure. I wonder, therefore, why the Japanese exacted £20,000,000 on the above count, and I am absolutely convinced that their demand was only agreed to in order to mask a war indemnity, and it was that which humiliated me more than anything else.9 We cannot even make a pretence of appeasing our hunger with such meagre rations. Those who have availed themselves of the permission to go outside

Semenov: The price of blood 201 the temple grounds, go and have lunch every day at the Miako Hotel and take there one square meal, sufficient to last the whole day. Our position is less advantageous because only the Admiral, after much difficulty, has obtained permission to have his meals brought in from outside. The rule on this point is rigid, as the authorities are afraid lest we might manage to have secret communications from outside brought in to us in our provision baskets. We are able, however, to make some arrangement with our cook who, for a very moderate remuneration, is willing to eke out our daily fare a little; but he, unfortunately, very soon reaches the limit of his accomplishments, and can hardly get beyond beef-steaks and omelettes. Occasionally the canteen man gives us a ham or a case of preserves, and we have provided ourselves well with all the necessaries for making tea, coffee, or chocolate. I have been able to get hold of the Nippon Kai-tai-Kai-sen, the description of the battle of Tsushima, compiled from the reports of Togo, his subordinate admirals, officers in command of ships, and various other people who took part in the fight, and even of mere spectators. It makes two big volumes in Japanese, and I have begun to translate them to-day, which will help me to kill time. At the same time, I am giving a rub up to my Chinese characters; formerly I used to know 2500 of them, but want of practice has made me forget many of them; but now as I study them, they almost all come back to my memory quite easily. I must confess that there are but few students among those lodged in the temple; two or three officers, it is true, like playing the naval war game, but it is always the battle of Tsushima which provides the subject. They have tried every kind of combination, but the result is always the same – it is invariably the Russians who are beaten. On the other hand, the majority do absolutely nothing except loaf about the town all the day, or rather, bury themselves in refreshment bars, restaurants, and tea-houses. In the evening and at night they play cards, and it is very seldom that these parties end without scenes of drunkenness and quarrelling. September 8. – The rain has stopped, but the cold has come: in the mornings it is only 55° Fahr. and everything is drenched, because the mist is just as thick inside the room as outside. That is not astonishing, for, of the three partitions which separate me from the open air, one is of cardboard, and the other two of very thin and transparent oil-paper. September 9. – I got chilled in bed last night and have got a cold – also I am coughing like the d—, and have a sick headache into the bargain. September 10. – The French Vice-Consul at Kobe has been to see us. Why? We are lost in conjecture. Probably it is to discharge an unpleasant, but necessary duty, for he has been appointed intermediary between us and the Japanese authorities. After this he will able to say: “I have been to see them and get personal knowledge of their wants.” I tried to speak to him of the food which they are giving us, but he merely shrugged his shoulders and said: “That all comes of their being unable to understand your European tastes.”

202 Semenov: The price of blood Tanaka, who has just been appointed captain of a cruiser, came in this morning to enquire after the health of the Admiral, on behalf of the Minister of Marine and the Chief of the Naval Staff, and to bring him, in the name of the International Committee of “Red Cross” ladies, five boxes of Egyptian cigarettes and five cases of champagne, which the Admiral sent at once to our mess. I am very much taken with this Tanaka; he reminds me of my old friend Nomoto. September 11. – It is almost as if summer had returned, so beautiful and warm is the evening. September 12. – Nebogatoff had already paid two pretty long calls on the Admiral before to-day, but I had not met him. The Japanese Government, having been notified officially that he and the commanding officers of his division have had their commissions suspended, and are therefore no longer on the active list, has made haste to set them free, and they leave to-morrow. Nebogatoff came this morning to say good-bye, and by chance we met in the verandah, and he stopped me, and we talked for a while. I confess that my first opinion of him is a bit shaken, in spite of its having been so firmly rooted. I did not wish to speak to him of the surrender of the officers who had been placed under his command – it was too much of a burning question. What good would it do to open up old wounds? His position is not so very agreeable even without that. The circumstances certainly were desperate: the Japanese, who were masterly in their choice of range, kept about 6 ¼ to 6 ¾ miles away from him, and shot at his ships from this safe distance without running the slightest risk, owing to their superiority in speed and the longer range of their guns, just as if they were at target practice – and it is of this that we ought to be most ashamed of all. Nebogatoff assured me that he was making haste to get to Russia in order to demand to be put on trial. He wants all the world to know wherein his guilt really lies. As he was incapable of inflicting any injury whatever on the enemy, he might at least, some critics have said, have sunk his ships and tried to save the men in the boats; but as he was certain that 75 out of every 100 would certainly perish, he could not make up his mind to hoist a signal condemning to death 1500 of the young sailors who had been entrusted to his charge. “Yes, I had not the courage to do it, and to this alone I plead guilty. I am sure you will believe that it was not to save my own skin that I acted thus: I was the Admiral, and means would always have been found of saving me. Even if I had wanted to drown myself, they would have taken good care to fish me out by force; the Japs first of all, as I represented a trophy of war to them. Oh no! it was not for my sake, but for the men’s. My heart failed me – well, let them put me on trial!” That was, indeed, the only argument which could have justified him. It is quite clear that he had nothing to fear for his own life, and that it was not to save himself that he surrendered his ships.10 September 13. – Warm and wet.

London: John Murray. R. September 17. As always. Leonard Lewery and F. Armand invited us to dinner this evening at the Miako Hotel. though this sentence was commuted and in the end he spent only a short period in prison. arrived with Okama and the Major. 3 The Women’s Patriotic Associations (Aikoku Fujinkai) were established in 1901 to provide assistance to wounded and invalided soldiers. St George’s Cross: a Russian military decoration awarded for outstanding bravery. there was a slight earthquake shock. – Nothing new. She sank in early September 1905 (n. – This morning Monsieur Armand. Its membership largely comprised upper-class women.Semenov: The price of blood 203 September 14. I. and to the families of soldiers killed in action. . trans. – Same as yesterday. 10 On his return to Russia Nebogatov was court-martialled and sentenced to death. 4 Russia and Japan had both collaborated in the multinational force sent to put down the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900. awarded to both military personnel and civilians. 9 Article XIII of the Treaty of Portsmouth provided for reimbursement of expenses incurred for the maintenance of prisoners-of-war. and explained the reason of his conduct to the Minister.s. Notes 1 Source: Vladimir Semenoff. The Price of Blood. Nebogatov was the commander of a reinforcement squadron which caught up with Rozhestvenskii’s fleet at Camranh Bay in Indochina. he had also invited some Japs. the French Minister. 5 The Mikasa was Admiral Togo’s flagship at the Battle of Tsushima. September 18.s. 7 En route to the Far East the Second Pacific Squadron had called briefly at the Spanish port of Vigo. Order of St Stanislas: a Russian civil decoration. – At 10 o’clock this morning. 1910. 8 Rear-Admiral N. September 15. the Admiral ignored the existence of Okama. Nebogatov assumed overall command when Rozhestvenskii was wounded at Tsushima and was the officer who ordered the Russian surrender. 6 The Treaty of Portsmouth which concluded the Russo-Japanese War was signed in New Hampshire on 23 August 1905 (5 September 1905 n. and his naval attaché.) following a magazine explosion on board. September 16. pp. He could not permit a mere major-general to preach him a sermon in public on military discipline and good behaviour. 2 Order of the Hawk (Order of the Golden Kite): a Japanese military decoration awarded for conspicuous service against a foreign country. Order of the Rising Sun: a Japanese decoration for meritorious service. Martini.). 92–133. – Cold and gloomy weather. and for a longer period at the French island of Nossi-Bé off the north-west coast of Madagascar. No! he could not forgive him for that. Godfrey.

Lake Baikal. though primary school teachers and paramedical personnel received a discount on the tour price. The group of forty-nine Russians. the Caucasus – we have been drawn by distance. Kamakura. Kobiakova. Samara. by a thirst to see the unknown and to live. including E.12 E.2 We have made our first acquaintance. And what a long way we have come. principally within Europe. . spent twenty-three days in Japan. Nikko. We try to start a conversation and venture ‘konnichi-wa’ (hello). We can see her shores and in half an hour we will. mountains again and steppe – all this seemed to drag on interminably. The Japanese look at us with curiosity. Kobiakova My first day in Japan (Gifu. . whose first impressions are given below. Our steamer has stopped in the Tsuruga roadstead and Japan lies before us. in a way we have never lived before. the Moscow-based Society for the Propagation of Technical Knowledge began to organise educational tours. A whole deputation sent by the Russia–Japan Society to meet us. In the first three years the society ran eighty-eight separate excursions for a total of 4029 people from all over the Russian empire. Kobiakova’s account is notable for the extent to which she creates for herself a specifically ‘tourist’ experience. so to speak. Kyoto. and from what different places! Petersburg. For the 1913 season the society offered a trip to Japan for the first time. and finally departed from Nagasaki. taiga. Nara and Osaka. if only for a few weeks. After landing at Tsuruga. Tokyo. take possession of her with our senses. and we at them. and then sailed down the Inland Sea to Moji. ‘ohayo’ (good morning) and ‘arigato’ (thank you) – words we had learned in Vladivostok. yet at the same time to flash by at great speed . Anyone was eligible to participate.1 1 Arrival The journey is over! The great endless journey across Siberia – steppe. they travelled by train to Gifu. Yakutsk. 1913) In 1909. A group of Japanese has appeared on the steamer. The Japanese are .

Capital of the Tycoon. and smile. the Japanese shore! There is a mass of people.Kobiakova: My first day in Japan 205 amazed (or perhaps only pretend to be amazed) at our knowledge. but with slits on both sides. slightly puffy faces. but just now and again make a practised shrug of the back and shoulders to hitch them up a bit higher. . the women’s feet look so funny with their toes turned inwards. . revealing teeth with numerous gold fillings. like a European skirt. and bowing and more bowing . Straw sandals shuffle around on the deck. We are on the shore. Narrow eyes. The Kodaks click. p. A crowd of children. The children even contrive to sleep in this position. . And the latter obviously don’t even notice the weight of their burdens. Figure 12. The speech all around sounds strange to our ears. or else their brothers’ or sisters’. Some Japanese women also come on board. round. They look so comfortable sitting there they seem to have grown on the backs of their nurses. . Funny little faces with slits instead of eyes. On the wharf we found dozens of photographic cameras pointing at us. 121. with a sort of skirt over the top. Open fans flash about .1 How mothers dispose of their infants. small mouths fixed in eternal smiles flashing gold. All in kimono. hoping to capture the unprecedented spectacle. Source: Alcock. . Odd figures in long dresses with their hair done up or with half-shaved little heads. Smaller children peek out over their mothers’ or fathers’ shoulders.

fork and spoon all at the same time. this is true!) and pieces of some meat we could not identify. Look how many there are! Real lotuses. . the bento boxes are very soon flying out of the carriage windows. . big white boards on posts with names in English and Japanese. bamboo groves. and we earnestly press them on each other.’ And indeed. Everything is unusual. cryptomerias . A great deal of pleasure lies in prospect: to try all these delights and pronounce our considered ‘tourist’ opinion. or fruit jelly – are such that with our spoiled European palates we really don’t know what to do with them (you can taste them. There are tiny fish and beans and green seaweed. and in the other the most varied mixture of eatables. The trains going the other way are crowded and the people stare across at us. more pine trees. Pines with a particular pattern of branches. Delights without number. the rice fields. saida (lemonade). The rice clumps are planted in rows with mathematical precision. One of our party set himself the task of counting the horses we saw from our carriage window. We decide to investigate the bento in our carriage. carefully arranged. arousing in us a feeling close to tenderness. Everything brings out ohs and ahs and cries of delight: ‘Look. bent over to work on something in their tiny fields. but I’m afraid it may have lived a quiet and modest life as some sort of worm . To all this abundance was attached a pair of chopsticks. cultivated with such care and neatness as I have not seen even in meticulous Germany. I will not offer a judgement. and slices of marinated or pickled bamboo (yes. We look out of the window and are struck by one thing after another. a whole patch of lotuses flashes by in the middle of the rice fields. Two wooden boxes: in one boiled rice instead of bread. As for the taste of the eatables. various sweets. But the sweets – a sort of cake filled with bean paste. It is not hard to imagine the ‘tourist’ zeal with which we fall on all these wonders. At last a stop of about fifteen minutes. God knows what it was when it was alive. . bento (lunch). First. But the exercise turned out to be futile. Stations also flash by: a gravel platform. However. The stops are brief – only a few seconds. Fine if it croaked like a frog. . Fields give way to mountains. But now there are mountains again. And everywhere it is only people who do the work. Only people. this time cultivated in terraces. Many of us bravely take on this difficult task and to the general amazement manage tolerably well with the chopsticks. like giant mushrooms in their big flat hats. smelling of mud. . . which had to serve us for knife. grow on their slopes and are silhouetted against the sky. Others will perhaps relish things that I do not like . standing up to their knees in water. Nowhere is there a weed or a wild flower. really. or a sweet pastry. Bento means lunch.206 Kobiakova: My first day in Japan From our railway carriage we see the real Japanese landscape in all its beauty. low and toylike. but there is no way you can eat a whole one!). known to us from Japanese drawings. bamboo!’ ‘Never mind the bamboo! The pine trees are so pretty!’ ‘And those are lotuses. . Various strange Japanese refreshments are on sale on the platform: o-cha (tea).

We sit down on the floor. . but we have seen so many new things! And we can’t help wondering: how many wonders still await us? What will Gifu have to offer us this evening? 2 Gifu We arrive in our first Japanese town! Our first Japanese hotel! How new everything is to us. take off our shoes. moving so easily in their grooves. but without complaint – even those of our ladies who are wearing high laced boots. Especially at the stops. but we ourselves. principally the Muscovites. brought in specially for us – tables and chairs with padded seats. our carriage continues on into the depths of Japan. . how steep they are!). It wouldn’t be worth mentioning this insignificant circumstance. But we Russians are large people. It would be better to sit on the floor and feel definitively Japanese! However. and if you lean against the wall for any reason you must be careful to choose a place where there is a support. Only a few hours have passed since our arrival. in spite of being overloaded. We are puzzled where it is coming from. if it wasn’t that the same thing happened on every long trip we made. of course. And. how their incongruity offends the eye. overloaded! However.Kobiakova: My first day in Japan 207 But what is this? For some time we have been aware of a smell as if we were going past a smithy. You may not enter a Japanese house with shoes on so as not to carry the dust and dirt of the street on to the clean soft mats which are used for sitting. We suppose the Japanese are no less amazed by the staggering number of cups of tea drunk by some of us. how crude and clumsy they seem in these surroundings. grunting and groaning. how pleased we are with everything. . There is no help for it – you cannot come in otherwise. And it turns out that it wasn’t the Japanese railways who were to blame. sleeping and even eating. with latticed screens instead of windows. there is European furniture. sweet little rooms – all this has us in raptures. light-weight building. ask for shio (salt) and amaze the Japanese by the quantity of salt we can eat at a single meal. impeccably clean staircases (but oh. Lord. sliding walls with elegant drawings on them. and in our group there were so many particularly distinguished by their size and portliness that the carriage was . which is used very little in Japan. When the Japanese travel there is no problem. But we soon discover that the axle under our carriage is overheating and that they have started to souse it thoroughly with water at every station. In one of the rooms. impeccably clean floors in the corridors. It is true that in order to change our clothes or get something out of our suitcases we have to bend down constantly. An elegant. we prefer to remain Europeans. or otherwise you will smash the wall – but these circumstances make our stay in a Japanese house all the more interesting. when at table there is no salt. which serves us as a dining room. kneel or even sit on the floor. how we are amused by some of the details of Japanese life! We join in first of all by taking off our footwear.

the dark water. and around the boats hundreds of birds are flying. pushing off from the bottom with bamboo poles. Even the children are still up. It is only after a few minutes that I come to myself and am able to understand what is going on. But where is the fishing? Or have we made a mistake. And a magical spectacle begins for us. We get into elegant flat-bottomed boats fitted out with mats (shoes again!) and lit up by delightful lanterns. On each of them one of the crew is holding a whole bunch of strings. the sound of what is to our ears strange speech – all this mingles into a single whole. We go downstairs. But soon dinner is over. then another. reflecting fiery arrows in the water. and disappear around a distant bend in the river. . and we hear shouting. And around us everything is so mysterious and enchanting. In front of us is a multitude of flat-bottomed boats. We float along. . because we are going out into the street to go to the night fishing which the town of Gifu has organised today especially for us. bowing and smiling. It is simply overwhelming! It is such a bacchanalia of noise. . Now and then we come across a sandbank and the bottom of the boat scrapes on the coarse gravel. The Japanese row us. We row for a long time. this time large and bright ones. A whole flotilla of boats is approaching us . shouting with peculiar wild guttural voices. the light of the moon through the clouds is so limpid. dazzled by the lights. We board a tram and travel down to the river. The Nagara-gawa River is famous for a fish called the ayu. People are clapping their hands. watching and greeting us with a particular characteristic Japanese gesture. then we move off into deeper water. shallow cups without handles. light and the special excitement of the chase . There are fires burning on the boats. and almost drowning out the human voices with their loud squawking. unforgettable and beautiful as a fairy-tale. Suddenly a pair of lights appears around a promontory. Again the streets are crowded with people come to see the unprecedented spectacle in Gifu of fifty Russians together. the shops are brilliantly illuminated. The town has arranged a distinctive and deeply poetic illumination for us. and they fish for it here in a special unique way using cormorants. and on these the cormorants are . Again the fuss with our shoes – now we must put them on. Seven or eight nee-san (maids) fuss over us. lights in the distance. the sparks fly in all directions and are extinguished with a hiss in the water. . Lamps have been lit everywhere. diving and snatching something from the water.208 Kobiakova: My first day in Japan We have Japanese crockery on the table in front of us: wooden plates and trays. creates a beautiful and so novel impression. It is already dark. On and on they come. And suddenly we are surrounded. and there is to be no fishing and it is already time to go home? But there in the distance we see more lights. The dark outlines of the shore with the silhouettes of the pine trees against the sky just lit up by the moon. whole bonfires of resinous wood. noise and life of this tableau. a third – and lights sail past us in an endless procession.

I am just repeating what I heard. This is how the fishing is done. then puts it back on and hands him one of the fish from the catch. One of the boats comes up close to us and a fisherman takes the ring of soft string off a cormorant’s neck to show us. but now he is turned upside down by his master and forced to give them all back. The poor cormorant starts to grab one fish after another greedily and swallows them up until his throat is twice its normal size. Kobiakova. And we ourselves feel extremely tired after all the things that we have seen and heard today . Moscow: Obshchestvo rasprostraneniia tekhnicheskikh znanii. They say that. 2 The Russia–Japan Society was established in 1902 under the chairmanship of Enomoto Takeaki to promote good relations between Japan and Russia at a nongovernment level. where no doubt Japanese beds have been laid out for us with muslin curtains to protect us from the Japanese mosquitoes . ‘Pervyi den’ v Iaponii’. the noise quietens down. 228–34. the cormorants have spread out around the boat in a particular order. And we start to wonder about the last new experience that still awaits us today – sleeping on the floor in a Japanese room. pp. Notes 1 Source: E. . The fires go out. . god piatyi.Kobiakova: My first day in Japan 209 attached by the neck. How true this is I don’t know. Enomoto was a naval officer and diplomat who played a leading role in the Meiji government and had been responsible for negotiating the 1875 Treaty of St Peterburg on border issues from the Japanese side. A bird who challenges this distinctive ‘order of precedence’ is beaten mercilessly by his stronger companions. The best fisherman takes the place of honour and the others place themselves according to their skill as hunters. like true hunters. Russkie uchitelia za granitsei. . But gradually the hunt comes to an end. just like a pack of hunting dogs. But then the fish sticks in their gullet because the string constricts their throat and prevents them swallowing their prey entirely. the boats of fisherman retreat into the distance. and then they dive and catch and swallow a fish. 1914. . They swim around the boats screeching. The fisherman pulls the cormorants into the boat by their strings and makes them give up the fish. .

116. 60–3. 105–6. harvesting seaweed 57. 179. 149. see also Papenberg cleanliness and neatness 25–6. 33–4. 96–101 Alexander II 23 Americans 2. 60. 3. 83. 28n cormorant fishing 208–9 Crimean War 8–10 Daikokuya Kodayu see Kodayu dance and music 159–61. shops 132. 208–9.Index Topical terms refer to Japan and the Japanese unless otherwise indicated. 151–2. 149. 115–17. persecution of Christians xiv. bureaucratic delays 17. 170. Matvei 3 Benyovszky. 149. toys 104. Gavriil 7–8. 108. 9–10 Antipin. 20 debt 157. seized by Russians 98–100. 182. 205. 1. 1–2. 16. 91–2. 156. 156. 69. 186n deceitfulness 86. Dutch ‘compliment’ 66–7. 25. 206 Ainu (Kuriles) xiii. Rutherford 23 Aleksei Maksimovich (Ainu interpreter) 81. 152–3. 185 Dutch xiii. 77. 164–6. prisons 81–2. 182–3. 140–1. A. 15–16. 5–8. 120. 6. trade at Nagasaki 73–5 Christianity 1. 139. 116. 99. Catholic Church 136. Vladimir 2 bathing 23. 152. 153. 122. 35. Russian Christian cemetery at Nagasaki 171. 161n. Mauritius 3. interior design 43. 14. Ivan 3 astronomy 75–6 Atlasov. 171. houses 132. 69–70. 78 Boxer Rebellion 12. 191. tea houses 122. 183–4. 156. trade with Russians 5. 144n. trade with Japanese 40–1. 206 ‘contact zone’ 13. 41. rice fields 109. 63. 21–2. 2. 19. 142. 176. 20–1. 112. 52–3. 205. 6. 207. Basil Hall 25 Cherevkova. 14 boats 72. anti-Russian activities 39–40 . 174. Japanese in European dress 23. 107–8. 169n. clothes made by Japanese for Russians 86–8. 127. 78. at quarantine station 198 Bem. 183–4 Deshima 1–2. 46–8. 184. 138–9. 53 Alcock. 71. 9–10. 152–3. 112. 111–12. Japanese seen as children 18–19. 87n. 205. 73. 168. 61. 73. 183. 113–15 castaways see shipwrecked sailors Catherine the Great 5. 14–15. 133–4. 145–6. 83–5. 58n cemeteries see funeral customs Chamberlain. 179 Davydov. Aesop 18 agriculture 53. 62. junks 69. 148. 177–8. 179. 164. compared with Japanese 177–8. 158–9. 158. The letter ‘n’ following a page number indicates a note. 44. 51 Akkeshi (Atkis) 33. see also temples bureaucracy 106. 176–8. 186. 157 dress 67–8. Russianised interiors 170. 32. 203n British xiii. see also junks bowing 84. 149–50. 162. 154 Chinese 2. 179 buildings: hotels 23. 162–9 children 169n. 173.

147n. Russia 23. 183–5 Inosa 10. 93. food tasters 54–5. 189 Edo (Tokyo) 1. 35. 177. 41. A. 153. Iosif 11. tinned food 110–11. 154 interrogations 85–95. 32. 151. 96–9. 127. 170. 43. 21–2. 173. 2–6. 204–9 Kodayu (Daikokuya Kodayu) 32. 32–58 passim fans 19. Russian superiority 104. Ainu hospitality 34. to Russians 62. 10–11. Urup Kuriles (people) see Ainu Kyoto (Miyako) 21–2. 183–4. 95. 139. 87. 13–17. 14–15. 21–2. 170–5 Krusenstern. 54. xiv. 24. Singapore 23. 184 illnesses: among Russians 37. 169n Karafuto see Sakhalin Karap see Sakhalin Khlebnikov. 82. 24. 120. compared with barges on Volga 23. 165 Etorofu see Iturup European writing on Japan 14. Nikolai 21–3. 147n Kano Tan’yu 167. 112–13. 160. 122. 13–15. 61. 168 Kobiakova. 25. 118–24. 20. 164. 21–4. Italy 22. 139. 79n. 135. 189. 161n. Kunashir. 192–4. 204–9 Golovnin. 41 gardens 53. 129. 149–50. 18–19. 180. 7–8. Vasilii xiv. 163. 7. 86. 81–102. Armstrong guns 131. 103–17. 128–9. 96 Khvostov. 158. Russian cemetery at Nagasaki 171 furs 36. 135. 101n Kunashir (Kunashiri) 6. 17. 24. 139–40 firearms 17. 149. Ivan 13–16. 101 Kipling. 57 Koreans 2. 174. 157. Ivan xiv. Switzerland 22. 20. 125–47 passim Japanese compared with: Chinese 177–8. 28n. 93. 123. 158. communication with 71–2. Russians 114. 71. 83. 141–2. 113. 122. Koreans 177–8. 9–11. 60–80 Kumajiro (Uehara Kumajiro: Ainu interpreter) 81. 130. 116. 187–203. formal banquets 15. 98 Kurile Islands xii. 21. 6. 163 Japan perceived as ‘strange’ 22. 183. 53–5. 185 Japanese language schools: Irkutsk 16. 156. 104. Nikolai 7–8. 92. French 183. 20. 105. 119–21. 129–30. 18. see also ships (Russian): provisioning Fuji (Mountain) 163. 107. compared with Japanese 177–8. 169n Hokkaido see Ezo hostility: to foreigners 6. silk production 136 . Rudyard 23 Kobe 162. 177 Hakodate xiii. 178. 52. 156. 85. scurvy 40. Germany 206. 58. 21. orang-utans 183. 32. shipwrecked 73 Kaempfer. 9–10. 10–11. 206–7. 117n hair 68. 56. 20. 158–60. 113–15 Edomo 5. 15. 199 Garin-Mikhailovskii. 115–16. 158. E. 106–7. 5. 156 Goncharov. 10. 126–7. 83–5. 125–47 Hearn. 137. 107. 128–9. hawkers 145. 118. 205 festivals 70. 60. 66–7. 100. see also Iturup. 43 industriousness 131–2. 91–3. 25–6. 83. 3. 87. 200–1. 59n English language 129. 183 Kornilov. Russian food in Japan 87–8. Lafcadio 25 Hidari Jingoro 167. cemeteries 171. 170–1. 114 Iturup (Etorofu) 4–7. 78. Russian hospitality 105. 96–8. medieval Europe 23. gun battery at Nagasaki 108. 53. Japanese hospitality 15. 176–86 geography: knowledge of 66. 62. cremation 143. 5. Engelbert 14. 181 funeral customs 42–3. 115–16. 128. 20. 177 Goshkevich. China 23. 98–9 Japan compared with: Asia 23. 149. 173–5 interpretation and translation 15–17. 32. A. 39. 118–24 Krasnov. 128. 118–19. 87–8.Index 211 earthquakes 4. 188–9. 185 food and drink 22–4. 49. Andrei 81. 21–2. 76 Gifu 22. monkeys 179. St Petersburg 2 Japonisme 25 junks 69. 24. 21. 89. 11. 24. 60–1 executions 142–5 Ezo (Hokkaido) xiii. 71 Kanagawa 10. 19–20.

174 Mur. 173–5 Matsumae 4. 32–59. Nicolaus de 2 Sakhalin (Karafuto. 149. 114. 75. 209n Russian–American Company 6–7. Nikolai 10. 143 Rozhestvenskii. Father (Nikolai Kasatkin) 11 Nizhnii Novgorod: fair 127. prisoners of war 187–203 St Augustino. 161n. 58. 149. 24. 81. Nagasaki 14. 114. 76. 90–1. 14–15. 108–9. 151. 61. 122. 136 modernisation (Russia) xiii. absence of movement 109–10. 103–4. 5–6. 142. Russian settlement 8 Sakhalin–Kurile Islands Exchange Treaty see Treaty of St Petersburg seclusion policy 1. 25. 18. 206. 58n Shimoda 9–10. 86–7. 71–3 Melo. 119. 89n. 32. 206. 65. 26. 50. 52. 203n Nemuro 4–5. 103–17. 169n natural beauty 22. 175. 161n. 23–4. 147n. 85–6. 21–2. 147n nostalgia: Russian. 118. Karap) 9–12. 164–8. 170. Petr 8 ritual suicide 106. 18. 171. 147n. 186n Lovtsov. Russian presents to castaways 77 priests 137–8. 187–203 Russia: knowledge of 39–40 Russia–Japan Society 204. 123–4. 187–203 Shabalin. 37–8. 156 Pos’et. 186. 45. 23. Nikolai 197. 32–3. 34. 91. indemnity 200. 15. 104. Zinovii 12. 182. G. 124n mistrust of Russians 3. non-existence of 61 Marco Polo 1 marriages. 1–2. 183–4 Putiatin. 156 Raffles. Nicolaus de 2 Miako see Kyoto Miloslavskii family 23. 168. 13.212 Index Papenberg xiv. 85 Megasaki 6. 7. 192. 117n. Russian raid on 93. 54. 158 Lopukhin family 23. 16. 65. 60–80. 185. 93. 186n Paul (Russian emperor) 6 Perry. 108–9. Stamford 2 railways 21–2. Konstantin. 156 Portuguese xiii. 118–19 modernisation (Japan) xiii. 72–3. 85. Fedor 81–3. 189–90 Rikord. 9–11. 110. 117n presents 5. Sergei 21–3. 77 Laxman. 119. 21. 13–14. 184. 63–4. 162–4. 5. 64. 157 Peter the Great 2. temporary 24. 113. 60. 13–17. 115. 5. 167. 103. 161n ships (Russian): provisioning 7. Matthew 9. 148. 69–70. 18. 177. 140–2 processions 55–6 prostitution 145. 106. 78. 10. 38. inferior to Japanese 185 Mofet. 115. 170–80 Nagoya 21–2. 68. 119. 124n murder of Russian sailors 11. 171–3. 78 Laxman. Evfimii 9–10. Karl 9 Nicholas I 9 Nicholas II 11. 1–2. 110. 22–4. 123. 157. 146. 148–61. 168. 135 Nagasaki xiii. 148. axles overheating from weight of Russians 207 Red Cross 202 religion 136 Restoration Wars (1868–9) 11 Rezanov. 16. 152. for ‘old Japan’ 24 . 108 Nebogatov. 124n Loti. 158. Dmitrii 4–5. 25. 180–2. 87n. repairs 18. 48–50. 12–13. 20. 157. food and drink rickshaws 150–1. 60 Lindenberg 8 literacy 139. Vladimir xiv. 95 Murav’ev-Amurskii. 25. 161n Semenov. 17–18. 38. 156 rice see agriculture. Roman 123–4 morality 24. 16–17. 51. Nikolai 6–7. 159. 79 labour: cheapness 130–2 Langsdorff. 165. Erik 32 Laxman permit 6. 57 Maksimov. Vasilii. Pierre: Madame Chrysanthème 25–6. 21–2. 150. 163–4. 55. anxiousness to modernise 39. 60 Russian travel writing 17 Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) xiii. 122. 125. 17. 58 Nesselrode. 125–47 maps 37–8. 147n. 176–7. 176 natural resources 104 navigation 44–6. Adam xiii–xiv. 202. 19. Japanese settlement 7. 156–7. 175n Nikolai. 174. 79. 116. 60. H.

153–5. 162. 86. 116 Sino-Japanese War (1894–5) 11–12. 166 tourist experience (Russian) 21. 147n. Francis 1 Yellow Peril 24–5 Yokohama 21. 94. 168. 61. 147n Treaty of Nagasaki 10 Treaty of St Petersburg (Sakhalin– Kurile Islands Exchange Treaty) 11. 206 trade with Europeans 11. 147n Tsushima. 16. Ivan 21–5. 187. 169n Society for the Propagation of Technical Knowledge (Russia) 204 Spanberg. 183 suicide see ritual suicide swords: social significance 106. 6. 152–3. 171. 114. 203n Xavier. Battle of 12. 76 time: attitude to 130. 139–42. 201. 8. 20. 146 streets 119–20. 35. 186n smoking 54. 180. 71. portraits 95. 198. 209n Treaty of Shimoda 10. 5. 10 volcanic activity 57. 134–5. 153. 205.Index 213 shipwrecked sailors xiii. 148–61 . 144. 156. role of Admiral Nebogatov 202 Uehara Kumajiro see Kumajiro Urup (Uruppu) 3–4. 1 storms 86. prostitutes 183 Women’s Patriotic Association 190–3. 28n. 140. Carl 14. 132. 77. 146. 178 Siebold. 118. 127 Walton. Isaac 14 Tokugawa Ieyasu 167 Tokyo University: foreign instructors 158. Martin 2–3 Spanish xiii. 2. 138. 179. 137. 132. economic tensions 11 translation see interpretation and translation Trans-Siberian Railway 11 Treaty of Edo 10. 24. 120–1. 107. 32. Philip von 14. 151. performers 159. 139 temples 24. Suwa Shrine (Nagasaki) 158 Thunberg. residence for prisoners of war 194–203. 121. 184–5. attempted suicide 76 shopping 24. 82. 123–4. 177. 181–6 Zarubin. 134 Titsingh. William 2–3 women 25. 21. 173–5. 111. 161n Volga river barges 23. 124n. 13. 66.

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