Yokohama is industrial and dirty everywhere but on the drive beside the harbour, and on the Bluff, where the rich foreigners live. I visited one house on this pleasant eminence and there was nothing in it to suggest that it was in Japan any more than in, say, Cheltenham. The form was English, the furniture was English, the pictures and books were English; photographs of school and college cricket elevens gave it the final home touch. Only in the garden were there exotic indications. The English certainly have the knack of carrying their atmosphere with them. I had noticed that often in India; but this Yokohama villa was the completest exemplification.

Wandering about the city I came one morning on a funeral procession that ought to have pleased Henry Ward Beecher, who, on the only occasion on which I heard him, when he was very old and I was very young, urged upon his hearers the importance of bright colours and flowers instead of the ordinary habiliments and accoutrements of woe. For when a soul is on its way to paradise, he said, we should be glad. The Yokohama cortege was headed by men bearing banners; then came girls all in white, riding in rickshaws; then the gaudy hearse; then priests in rickshaws; and finally the relations and friends. The effect conveyed was not one of melancholy; but even if every one had been in black, impressiveness would have been wanting, for no one can look dignified in a rickshaw.

Compared, however, with a funeral which I saw in Hong-Kong, the Yokohama ceremony was solemnity in essence. The Hong-Kong obsequies were those of a tobacco-magnate's wife and the widower had determined to spare no expense on their thoroughness. He had even offered, but without success, to compensate the tramway company for a suspension of the service, the result of his failure being that every few minutes the procession was held up to permit the cars to go by; which meant that instead of taking only two hours to pass any given point, it took three. The estimated cost of the funeral was one hundred thousand dollars and all Hong-Kong was there to see.

To Chinese eyes it doubtless had a sombre religious character, but to us it was merely a diverting spectacle of incredible prolongation. We were not wholly to blame in missing its sanctity, for the participants, who were more like mummers than mourners, had all been hired and were enjoying the day off. For the most part they merely wore their fancy dress and walked and talked or played instruments, but now and then there was a dragon and a champion boxing it and these certainly earned their money. At intervals came bearers with trays on which were comforts for the next world or symbolical devices, while, to infinity both in front and behind, banners and streamers and lanterns danced and jogged above all. A miracle-show of the middle ages can have been not unlike it.