When O-Toyo's husband - a distant cousin, adopted into her family for love's sake - had been summoned by his lord to the capital, she did not feel anxious about the future. She felt sad only. It was the firs time since their bridal that they had ever been separated. But she had her father and mother to keep her company, and, dearer than either, - though she would never have confessed it even to herself, - her little son. Besides, she always had plenty to do. There were many household duties to perform, and there was much clothing to be woven - both silk and cotton.

Once daily at a fixed hour, she would set for the absent husband, in his favorite room, little repasts faultlessly served on dainty lacquered trays,-miniature meals such as are offered to the ghosts of the ancestors, and to the gods(1). These repasts were served at the east side of the room, and his kneeling-cushion placed before them. The reason they were served at the east side, was because he had gone east. Before removing the food, she always lifted the cover of the little soup-bowl to see if there was vapor upon its lacquered inside surface. For it is said that if there be vapor on the inside of the lid covering food so offered, the absent beloved is well. But if there be none, he is dead, - because that is a sign that his soul has returned by itself to seek nourishment. O-Toyo found the lacquer thickly beaded with vapor day by day.

The child was her constant delight. He was three years old, and fond of asking questions to which none but the gods know the real answers. When he wanted to play, she laid aside her work to play with him. When he wanted to rest, she told him wonderful stories, or gave pretty pious answers to his questions about those things which no man can ever understand. At evening, when the little lamps had been lighted before the holy tablets and the images, she taught his lips to shape the words of filial prayer. When he had been laid to sleep, she brought her work near him, and watched the still sweetness of his face. Sometimes he would smile in his dreams; and she knew that Kwannon the divine was playing shadowy play with him, and she would murmur the Buddhist invocation to that Maid "who looketh forever down above the sound of prayer."

Sometimes, in the season of very clear days, she would climb the mountain of Dakeyama, carrying her little boy on her back. Such a trip delighted him much, not only because of what his mother taught him to see, but also of what she taught him to hear. The sloping way was through groves and woods, and over grassed slopes, and around queer rocks; and there were flowers with stories in their hearts, and trees holding tree-spirits. Pigeons cried korup-korup; and doves sobbed owao, owao and cicada wheezed and fluted and tinkled.

All those who wait for absent dear ones make, if they can, a pilgrimage to the peak called Dakeyama. It is visible from any part of the city; and from its summit several provinces can be seen. At the very top is a stone of almost human height and shape, perpendicularly set up; and little pebbles are heaped before it and upon it. And near by there is a small Shinto shrine erected to the spirit of a princess of other days. For she mourned the absence of one she loved, and used to watch from this mountain for his coming until she pined away and was changed into a stone. The people therefore built the shrine; and lovers of the absent still pray there for the return of those dear to them; and each, after so praying, takes home one of the little pebbles heaped there. And when the beloved one returns, the pebble must be taken back to the pebble-pile upon the mountain-top, and other pebbles with it, for a thank-offering and commemoration.

Always ere O-Toyo and her son could reach their home after such a day, the dusk would fall softly about them; for the way was long, and they had to both go and return by boat through the wilderness of rice-fields round the town, - which is a slow manner of journeying. Sometimes stars and fireflies lighted them; sometimes also the moon, - and O-Toyo would softly sing to her boy the Izumo child-song to the moon: -

Nono-San, Little Lady Moon, How old are you? "Thirteen days, - Thirteen and nine." That is still young, And the reason must be For that bright red obi, So nicely tied(2), And that nice white girdle About your hips. Will you give it to the horse? "Oh, no, no!" Will you give it to the cow? "Oh, no, no!(3)"

And up to the blue night would rise from all those wet leagues of labored field that great soft bubbling chorus which seems the very voice of the soil itself, - the chant of the frogs. And O-Toyo would interpret its syllables to the child: Me kayui! me kayui! "Mine eyes tickle; I want to sleep."

All those were happy hours.

(1) Such a repast, offered to the spirit of the absent one loved, is called a Kage-zen; lit., "Shadow-tray." The word zen is also use to signify the meal served on the lacquered tray, - which has feet, like miniature table. So that time term "Shadow-feast" would be a better translation of Kage-zen.

(2) Because an obi or girdle of very bright color can be worn only by children.

(3) Nono-San, or O-Tsuki-san Ikutsu? "Jiu-san, - Kokonotsu."

Sore wa mada Wakai yo, Wakai ye mo Dori Akai iro no Obi to, Shire iro no Obi to Koshi ni shanto Musun de. Uma ni yaru? "Iyaiya!" Ushi ni yaru? "Iyaiya!"


Then twice, within the time of three days, those masters of life and death whose ways belong to the eternal mysteries struck at her heart. First she was taught that the gentle busband for whom she had so often prayed never could return to her, - having been returned unto that dust out of which all forms are borrowed. And in another little while she knew her boy slept so deep a sleep that the Chinese physician could not waken him. These things she learned only as shapes are learned in lightning flashes. Between and beyond the flashes was that absolute darkness which is the pity of the gods.

It passed; and she rose to meet a foe whose name is Memory. Before all others she could keep her face, as in other days, sweet and smiling. But when alone with this visitant, she found herself less strong. She would arrange little toys and spread out little dresses on the matting, and look at them, and talk to them in whispers, and smile silently. But the smile would ever end in a burst of wild, loud weeping; and she would beat her head upon the floor, and ask foolish questions of the gods.

One day she thought of a weird consolation, - that rite the people name Toritsu-banashi, - the evocation of the dead. Could she not call back her boy for one brief minute only? It would trouble the little soul; but would he not gladly bear a moment's pain for her dear sake? Surely!

[To have the dead called back one must go to some priest - Buddhist or Shinto - who knows the rite of incantation. And the mortuary tablet, or ihai, of the dead must be brought to that priest.

Then ceremonies of purification are performed; candles are lighted and incense is kindled before the ihai; and prayers or parts of sutras are recited; and offerings of flowers and of rice are made. But, in this case, the rice must not be cooked. And when everything has been made ready, the priest, taking in his left hand an instrument shaped like a bow, and striking it rapidly with his right, calls upon the name of the dead, and cries out the words, Kitazo yo! kitazo yo! kitazo yo! meaning, "I have come(1)." And, as he cries, the tone of his voice gradually changes until it becomes the very voice of the dead person, - for the ghost enters into him.

Then the dead will answer questions quickly asked, but will cry continually: "Hasten, hasten! for this my coming back is painful, and I have but a little time to stay!" And having answered, the ghost passes; and the priest falls senseless upon his face.

Now to call back the dead is not good. For by calling them back their condition is made worse. Returning to the underworld, they must take a place lower than that which they held before.

To-day these rites are not allowed by law. They once consoled; but the law is a good law, and just, - since there exist men willing to mock the divine which is in human hearts.]

So it came to pass that O-Toyo found herself one night in a lonely little temple at the verge of the city, - kneeling before the ihai of her boy, and hearing the rite of incantation. And presently, out of the lips of the officiant there came a voice she thought she knew, - a voice loved above all others, - but faint and very thin, like a sobbing of wind.

And the thin voice cried to her: -

"Ask quickly, quickly, mother! Dark is the way and long; and I may not linger."

Then tremblingly she questioned: -

"Why must I sorrow for my child? What is the justice of the gods?"

And there was answer given: -

"O mother, do not mourn me thus! That I died was only that you might not die. For the year was a year of sickness and of sorrow, - and it was given me to know that you were to die; and I obtained by prayer that I should take your place(2).

"O mother, never weep for me! it is not kindness to mourn for the dead. Over the River of Tears(3) their silent road is; and when mothers weep, the flood of that river rises, and the soul cannot pass, but must wander to and fro.

"Therefore, I pray you, do not grieve, O mother mine! Only give me a little water sometimes."

(1) Whence the Izumo saying about one who too often announces his coming: "Thy talk is like the talk of necromancy!" - Toritsubanashi no yona.

(2) Migawari, "substitute," is the religious term.

(3) "Namida-no-Kawa."


From that hour she was not seen to weep. She performed, lightly and silently, as in former days, the gentle duties of a daughter.

Seasons passed; and her father thought to find another husband for her. To the mother, he said: -

"If our daughter again have a son, it will be great joy for her, and for all of us."

But the wiser mother made answer: -

"Unhappy she is not. It is impossible that she marry again. She has become as a little child, knowing nothing of trouble or sin."

It was true that she had ceased to know real pain. She had begun to show a strange fondness for very small things. At first she had found her bed too large - perhaps through the sense of emptiness left by the loss of her child; then, day by day, other things seemed to grow too large, - the dwelling itself, the familiar rooms, the alcove and its great flower-vases, - even the household utensils. She wished to eat her rice with miniature chop-sticks out of a very small bowl such as children use.

In these things she was lovingly humored; and in other matters she was not fantastic. The old people consulted together about her constantly. At last the father said: -

"For our daughter to live with strangers might be painful. But as we are aged, we may soon have to leave her. Perhaps we could provide for her by making her a nun. We might build a little temple for her."

Next day the mother asked O-Toyo: -

"Would you not like to become a holy nun, and to live in a very, very small temple, with a very small altar, and little images of the Buddhas? We should be always near you. If you wish this, we shall get a priest to teach you the sutras."

O-Toyo wished it, and asked that an extremely small nun's dress be got for her. But the mother said: -

"Everything except the dress a good nun may have made small. But she must wear a large dress - that is the law of Buddha."

So she was persuaded to wear the same dress as other nuns.


They built for her a small An-dera, or Nun's-Temple, in an empty court where another and larger temple, called Amida-ji, had once stood. The An-dera was also called Amida-ji, and was dedicated to Amida-Nyorai and to other Buddhas. It was fitted up with a very small altar and with miniature altar furniture. There was a tiny copy of the sutras on a tiny reading-desk, and tiny screens and bells and kakemono. And she dwelt there long after her parents had passed away. People called her the Amida-ji no Bikuni, - which means The Nun of the Temple of Amida.

A little outside the gate there was a statue of Jizo. This Jizo was a special Jizo - the friend of sick children. There were nearly always offerings of small rice-cakes to be seen before him. These signified that some sick child was being prayed for; and the number of the rice-cakes signified the number of the years of the child. Most often there were but two or three cakes; rarely there were seven or ten. The Amida-ji no Bikuni took care of the statue, and supplied it with incense-offerings, and flowers from the temple garden; for there was a small garden behind the An-dera.

After making her morning round with her alms-bowl, she would usually seat herself before a very small loom, to weave cloth much too narrow for serious use. But her webs were bought always by certain shopkeepers who knew her story; and they made her presents of very small cups, tiny flower-vases, and queer dwarf-trees for her garden.

Her greatest pleasure was the companionship of children; and this she never lacked. Japanese child-life, is mostly passed in temple courts; and many happy childhoods were spent in the court of the Amida-ji. All the mothers in that street liked to have their little ones play there, but cautioned them never to laugh at the Bikuni-San. "Sometimes her ways are strange," they would say; "but that is because she once had a little son, who died, and the pain became too great for her mother's heart. So you must be very good and respectful to her."

Good they were, but not quite respectful in the reverential sense. They knew better than to be that. They called her "Bikuni-San" always, and saluted her nicely; but otherwise they treated her like one of themselves. They played games with her; and she gave them tea in extremely small cups, and made for them heaps of rice-cakes not much bigger than peas, and wove upon her loom cloth of cotton and cloth of silk for the robes of their dolls. So she became to them as a blood-sister.

They played with her daily till they grew too big to play, and left the court of the temple of Amida to begin the bitter work of life, and to become the fathers and mothers of children whom they sent to play in their stead. These learned to love the Bikuni-San like their parents had done. And the Bikuni-San lived to play with the children of the children of the children of those who remembered when her temple was built.

The people took good heed that she should not know want. There was always given to her more than she needed for herself. So she was able to be nearly as kind to the children as she wished, and to feed extravagantly certain small animals. Birds nested in her temple, and ate from her hand, and learned not to perch upon the heads of the Buddhas.

Some days after her funeral, a crowd of children visited my house. A little girl of nine years spoke for them all: -

"Sir, we are asking for the sake of the Bikuni-San who is dead. A very large haka(1) has been set up for her. It is a nice haka. But we want to give her also a very, very small haka because in the time she was with us she often said that she would like a very little haka. And the stone-cutter has promised to cut it for us, and to make it very pretty, if we can bring the money. Therefore perhaps you will honorably give something."

"Assuredly," I said. "But now you will have nowhere to play."

She answered, smiling: - "We shall still play in the court of the temple of Amida. She is buried there. She will hear our playing, and be glad."

(1) Tombstone.




Hyogo, May 5, 1895.

Hyogo, this morning, lies bathed in a limpid magnificence of light indescribable, - spring light, which is vapory, and lends a sort of apparitional charm to far things seen through it. Forms remain sharply outlined, but are almost idealized by faint colors not belonging to them; and the great hills behind the town aspire into a cloudless splendor of tint that seems the ghost of azure rather than azure itself.

Over the blue-gray slope of tiled roofs there is a vast quivering and fluttering of extraordinary shapes, - a spectacle not indeed new to me, but always delicious Everywhere are floating - tied to very tall bamboo poles - immense brightly colored paper fish, which look and move as if alive. The greater number vary from five to fifteen feet in length; but here and there I see a baby scarcely a foot long, hooked to the tail of a larger one. Some poles have four or five fish attached to them at heights proportioned to the dimensions of the fish, the largest always at the top. So cunningly shaped and colored these things are that the first sight of them is always startling to a stranger. The lines holding them are fastened within the head; and the wind, entering the open mouth, not only inflates the body to perfect form, but keeps it undulating, - rising and descending, turning and twisting, precisely like a real fish, while the tail plays and the fins wave irreproachably. In the garden of my next-door neighbor there are two very fine specimens. One has an orange belly and a bluish-gray back; the other is all a silvery tint; and both have big weird eyes. The rustling of their motion as they swim against the sky is like the sound of wind in a cane-field. A little farther off I see another very big fish, with a little red boy clinging to its back. That red boy represents Kintoki, strongest of all children ever born in Japan, who, while still a baby, wrestled with bears and set traps for goblin-birds.

Everybody knows that these paper carp, or koi, are hoisted only during the period of the great birth festival of boys, in the fifth month; that their presence above a house signifies the birth of a son; and that they symbolize the hope of the parents that their lad will be able to win his way through the world against all obstacles, - even as the real koi, the great Japanese carp, ascends swift rivers against the stream. In many parts of southern and western Japan you rarely see these koi. You see, instead, very long narrow flags of cotton cloth, called nobori, which are fastened perpendicularly, like sails, with little spars and rings to poles of bamboo, and bear designs in various colors of the koi in an eddy, - or of Shoki, conqueror of demons, - or of pines, - or of tortoises, - or other fortunate symbols.


But in this radiant spring of the Japanese year 2555, the koi might be taken to symbolize something larger than parental hope, - the great trust of a nation regenerated through war. The military revival of the Empire - the real birthday of New Japan - began with the conquest of China. The war is ended; the future, though clouded, seems big with promise; and, however grim the obstacles to loftier and more enduring achievements, Japan has neither fears nor doubts.

Perhaps the future danger is just in this immense self-confidence. It is not a new feeling created by victory. it is a race feeling, which repeated triumphs have served only to strengthen. From the instant of the declaration of war there was never the least doubt of ultimate victory. There was universal and profound enthusiasm, but no outward signs of emotional excitement. Men at once set to writing histories of the triumphs of Japan, and these histories - issued to subscribers in weekly or monthly parts, and illustrated with photo- lithographs or drawings on wood - were selling all over the country long before any foreign observers could have ventured to predict the final results of the campaign. From first to last the nation felt sure of its own strength, and of the impotence of China. The toy- makers put suddenly into the market legions of ingenious mechanisms, representing Chinese soldiers in flight, or being cut down by Japanese troopers, or tied together as prisoners by their queues, or kowtowing for mercy to illustrious generals. The old-fashioned military playthings, representing samurai in armor, were superseded by figures - in clay, wood, paper, or silk - of Japanese cavalry, infantry, and artillery; by models of forts and batteries; and models of men-of-war. The storming of the defenses of Port Arthur by the Kumamoto Brigade was the subject of one ingenious mechanical toy; another, equally clever, repeated the fight of the Matsushima Kan with the Chinese iron-clads. There were sold likewise myriads of toy-guns discharging corks by compressed air with a loud pop, and myriads of toy-swords, and countless tiny bugles, the constant blowing of which recalled to me the tin-horn tumult of a certain New Year's Eve in New Orleans. The announcement of each victory resulted in an enormous manufacture and sale of colored prints, rudely and cheaply executed, and mostly depicting the fancy of the artist only, - but well fitted to stimulate the popular love of glory. Wonderful sets of chessmen also appeared, each piece representing a Chinese or Japanese officer or soldier.

Meanwhile, the theatres were celebrating the war after a much more complete fashion. It is no exaggeration to say that almost every episode of the campaign was repeated upon the stage. Actors even visited the battlefields to study scenes and backgrounds, and fit themselves to portray realistically, with the aid of artificial snowstorms, the hardships of the army in Manchuria. Every gallant deed was dramatized almost as soon as reported. The death of the bugler Shirakami Genjiro(1); the triumphant courage of Harada Jiukichi, who scaled a rampart and opened a fortress gate to his comrades; the heroism of the fourteen troopers who held their own against three hundred infantry; the successful charge of unarmed coolies upon a Chinese battalion, - all these and many other incidents were reproduced in a thousand theatres. Immense illuminations of paper lanterns, lettered with phrases of loyalty or patriotic cheer, celebrated the success of the imperial arms, or gladdened the eyes of soldiers going by train to the field. In Kobe, - constantly traversed by troop-trains, - such illuminations continued night after night for weeks together; and the residents of each street further subscribed for flags and triumphal arches.

But the glories of the war were celebrated also in ways more durable by the various great industries of the country. Victories and incidents of sacrificial heroism were commemorated in porcelain, in metal-work, and in costly textures, not less than in new designs for envelopes and note-paper. They were portrayed on the silk linings of haori(2), on women's kerchiefs of chirimen(3), in the embroidery of girdles, in the designs of silk shirts and of children's holiday robes, - not to speak of cheaper printed goods, such as calicoes and toweling. They were represented in lacquer-ware of many kinds, on the sides and covers of carven boxes, on tobacco-pouches, on sleeve-buttons, in designs for hairpins, on women's combs, even on chopsticks. Bundles of toothpicks in tiny cases were offered for sale, each toothpick having engraved upon it, in microscopic text, a different poem about the war. And up to the time of peace, or at least up to the time of the insane attempt by a soshi(4) to kill the Chinese plenipotentiary during negotiations, all things happened as the people had wished and expected.

But as soon as the terms of peace had been announced, Russia interfered, securing the help of France and Germany to bully Japan. The combination met with no opposition; the government played jiujutsu, and foiled expectations by unlooked-for yielding. Japan had long ceased to feel uneasy about her own military power. Her reserve strength is probably much greater than has ever been acknowledged, and her educational system, with its twenty-six thousand schools, is an enormous drilling- machine. On her own soil she could face any foreign power. Her navy was her weak point, and of this she was fully aware. It was a splendid fleet of small, light cruisers, and splendidly handled. Its admiral, without the loss of a single vessel, had annihilated the Chinese fleet in two engagements, but it was not yet sufficiently heavy to face the combined navies of three European powers; and the flower of the Japanese army was beyond the sea. The most opportune moment for interference had been cunningly chosen, and probably more than interference was intended. The heavy Russian battle-ships were stripped for fighting; and these alone could possibly have overpowered the Japanese fleet, though the victory would have been a costly one. But Russian action was suddenly checked by the sinister declaration of English sympathy for Japan. Within a few weeks England could bring into Asiatic waters a fleet capable of crushing, in one short battle, all the iron-clads assembled by the combination. And a single shot from a Russian cruiser might have plunged the whole world into war.

But in the Japanese navy there was a furious desire to battle with the three hostile powers at once. It would have been a great fight, for no Japanese commander would have dreamed of yielding, no Japanese ship would have struck her colors. The army was equally desirous of war. It needed all the firmness of the government to hold the nation back. Free speech was gagged; the press was severely silenced; and by the return to China of the Liao-Tung peninsula, in exchange for a compensatory increase of the war indemnity previously exacted, peace was secured. The government really acted with faultless wisdom. At this period of Japanese development a costly war with Russia could not fail to have consequences the most disastrous to industry, commerce, and finance. But the national pride has been deeply wounded, and the country can still scarcely forgive its rulers.

(1) At the battle of Song-Hwan, a Japanese bugler named Shirakami Genjiro was ordered to sound the charge (suzume). He had sounded it once when a bullet passed through his lungs, throwing him down.. His comrades tried to take the bugle away, seeing the wound was fatal. He wrested it from them, lifted it again to his lips, sounded the charge once more with all his strength, and fell back dead. I venture to offer this rough translation of a song now sung about him by every soldier and schoolboy in Japan: -


(After the Japanese military ballad, Rappa-no-hibiki.) Easy in other times than this Were Anjo's stream to cross; But now, beneath the storm of shot, Its waters seethe and toss.

In other time to pass that stream Were sport for boys at play; But every man through blood must wade Who fords Anjo to-day.

The bugle sounds; - through flood and flame Charges the line of steel; - Above the crash of battle rings The bugle's stern appeal.

Why has that bugle ceased to call? Why does it call once more? Why sounds the stirring signal now More faintly than before?

What time the bugle ceased to sound, The breast was smitten through; - What time the blast rang faintly, blood Gushed from the lips that blew.

Death-stricken, still the bugler stands! He leans upon his gun, - Once more to sound the bugle-call Before his life be done.

What though the shattered body fall? The spirit rushes free Through Heaven and Earth to sound anew That call to Victory!

Far, far beyond our shore, the spot Now honored by his fall; - But forty million brethren Have heard that bugle-call.

Comrade! - beyond the peaks and seas Your bugle sounds to-day In forty million loyal hearts A thousand miles away!

(2) Haori, a sort of upper dress, worn by men as well as women. The linings are often of designs beautiful beyond praise.

(3) Chirimen is crape-silk, of which there are many qualities; some very costly and durable. (4) Soshi form one of the modern curses of Japan. They are mostly ex-students who earn a living by hiring themselves out as rowdy terrorists. Politicians employ them either against the soshi of opponents, or as bullies in election time. Private persons sometimes employ them as defenders. They have figured in most of the election rows which have taken place of late years in Japan, also in a number of assaults made on distinguished personages. The causes which produced nihilism in Russia have several points of resemblance with the causes which developed the modern soshi class in Japan.


Hyogo, May 15.

The Matsushima Kan, returned from China, is anchored before the Garden of the Pleasure of Peace. She is not a colossus, though she has done grand things; but she certainly looks quite formidable as she lies there in the clear light, - a stone-gray fortress of steel rising out of the smooth blue. Permission to visit her has been given to the delighted people, who don their best for the occasion, as for a temple festival, and I am suffered to accompany some of them. All the boats in the port would seem to have been hired for the visitors, so huge is the shoal hovering about the ironclad as we arrive. It is not possible for such a number of sightseers to go on board at once, and we have to wait while hundreds are being alternately admitted and dismissed. But the waiting in the cool sea air is not unpleasant; and the spectacle of the popular joy is worth watching. What eager rushing when the turn comes! what swarming and squeezing and clinging! Two women fall into the sea, and are pulled out by blue-jackets, and say they are not sorry to have fallen in, because they can now boast of owing their lives to the men of the Matsushima Kan! As a matter of fact, they could not very well have been drowned; there were legions of common boatmen to look after them.

But something of larger importance to the nation than the lives of two young women is really owing to the men of the Matsushima Kan; and the people are rightly trying to pay them back with love, - for presents, such as thousands would like to make, are prohibited by disciplinary rule. Officers and crew must be weary; but the crowding and the questioning are borne with charming amiability. Everything is shown and explained in detail: the huge thirty-centimetre gun, with its loading apparatus and directing machinery; the quick-firing batteries; the torpedoes, with their impulse-tubes; the electric lantern, with its searching mechanism. I myself, though a foreigner, and therefore requiring a special permit, am guided all about, both below and above, and am even suffered to take a peep at the portraits of their Imperial Majesties, in the admiral's cabin; and I am told the stirring story of the great fight off the Yalu. Meanwhile, the old bald men and the women and the babies of the port hold for one golden day command of the Matsushima. Officers, cadets, blue-jackets, spare no effort to please. Some talk to the grandfathers; others let the children play with the hilts of their swords, or teach them how to throw up their little hands and shout "Teikoku Banzai!" And for tired mothers, matting has been spread, where they can squat down in the shade between decks.

Those decks, only a few months ago, were covered with the blood of brave men. Here and there dark stains, which still resist holy-stoning, are visible; and the people look at them with tender reverence. The flagship was twice struck by enormous shells, and her vulnerable parts were pierced by a storm of small projectiles. She bore the brunt of the engagement, losing nearly half her crew. Her tonnage is only four thousand two hundred and eighty; and her immediate antagonists were two Chinese ironclads of seven thousand four hundred tons each. Outside, her cuirass shows no deep scars, for the shattered plates have been replaced; - but my guide points proudly to the numerous patchings of the decks, the steel masting supporting the fighting-tops, the smoke-stack, - and to certain terrible dents, with small cracks radiating from them, in the foot-thick steel of the barbette. He traces for us, below, the course of the thirty-and-a-half centimetre shell that pierced the ship. "When it came," he tells us, "the shock threw men into the air that high" (holding his hand some two feet above the deck). "At the same moment all became dark; you could not see your hand. Then we found that one of the starboard forward guns had been smashed, and the crew all killed. We had forty men killed instantly, and many more wounded: no man escaped in that part of the ship. The deck was on fire, because a lot of ammunition brought up for the guns had exploded; so we had to fight and to work to put out the fire at the same time. Even badly wounded men, with the skin blown from their hands and faces, worked as if they felt no pain; and dying men helped to pass water. But we silenced the Ting-yuen with one more shot from our big gun. The Chinese had European gunners helping them. If we had not had to fight against Western gunners, our victory would have been too easy."

He gives the true note. Nothing, on this splendid spring day, could so delight the men of the Matsushima Kan as a command to clear for action, and attack the great belted Russian cruisers lying off the coast.


Kobe, June 9.

Last year, while traveling from Shimonoseki to the capital, I saw many regiments on their way to the seat of war, all uniformed in white, for the hot season was not yet over. Those soldiers looked so much like students whom I had taught (thousands, indeed, were really fresh from school) that I could not help feeling it was cruel to send such youths to battle. The boyish faces were so frank, so cheerful, so seemingly innocent of the greater sorrows of life! "Don't fear for them," said an English fellow-traveler, a man who had passed his life in camps; "they will give a splendid account of themselves." "I know it," was my answer; "but I am thinking of fever and frost and Manchurian winter: these are more to be feared than Chinese rifles(1)."

The calling of the bugles, gathering the men together after dark, or signaling the hour of rest, had for years been one of the pleasures of my summer evenings in a Japanese garrison town. But during the months of war, those long, plaintive notes of the last call touched me in another way. I do not know that the melody is peculiar; but it was sometimes played, I used to think, with peculiar feeling; and when uttered to the starlight by all the bugles of a division at once, the multitudinously blending tones had a melancholy sweetness never to be forgotten. And I would dream of phantom buglers, summoning the youth and strength of hosts to the shadowy silence of perpetual rest.

Well, to-day I went to see some of the regiments return. Arches of greenery had been erected over the street they were to pass through, leading from Kobe station to Nanko-San, - the great temple dedicated to the hero spirit of Kusunoki Masashige. The citizens had subscribed six thousand yen far the honor of serving the soldiers with the first meal after their return; and many battalions had already received such kindly welcome. The sheds under which they ate in the court of the temple had been decorated with flags and festoons; and there were gifts for all the troops, - sweetmeats, and packages of cigarettes, and little towels printed with poems in praise of valor. Before the gate of the temple a really handsome triumphal arch had been erected, bearing on each of its facades a phrase of welcome in Chinese text of gold, and on its summit a terrestrial globe surmounted by a hawk with outspread pinions(2).

I waited first, with Manyemon, before the station, which is very near the temple. The train arrived; a military sentry ordered all spectators to quit the platform, and outside, in the street, police kept back the crowd, and stopped all traffic. After a few minutes, the battalions came, marching in regular column through the brick archway, - headed by a gray officer, who limped slightly as he walked, smoking a cigarette. The crowd thickened about us, but there was no cheering, not even speaking, - a hush broken only by the measured tramp of the passing troops. I could scarcely believe those were the same men I had seen going to the war; only the numbers on the shoulder-straps assured me of the fact. Sunburnt and grim the faces were; many had heavy beards. The dark blue winter uniforms were frayed and torn, the shoes worn into shapelessness; but the strong, swinging stride was the stride of the hardened soldier. Lads no longer these, but toughened men, able to face any troops in the world; men who had slaughtered and stormed; men who had also suffered many things which never will be written. The features showed neither joy nor pride; the quick-searching eyes hardly glanced at the welcoming flags, the decorations, the arch with its globe-shadowing hawk of battle, - perhaps because those eyes had seen too often the things which make men serious. (Only one man smiled as he passed; and I thought of a smile seen on the face of a Zouave when I was a boy, watching the return of a regiment from Africa, - a mocking smile, that stabbed.) Many of the spectators were visibly affected, feeling the reason of the change. But, for that, the soldiers were better soldiers now; and they were going to find welcome, and comforts, and gifts, and the great warm love of the people, - and repose thereafter, in their old familiar camps.

I said to Manyemon: "This evening they will be in Osaka and Nagoya. They will hear the bugles calling; and they will think of comrades who never can return."

The old man answered, with simple earnestness: "Perhaps by Western people it is thought that the dead never return. But we cannot so think. There are no Japanese dead who do not return. There are none who do not know the way. From China and from Chosen, and out of the bitter sea, all our dead have come back, - all! They are with us now. In every dusk they gather to hear the bugles that called them home. And they will hear them also in that day when the armies of the Son of Heaven shall be summoned against Russia."

(1) The total number of Japanese actually killed in battle, from the fight at A-san to the capture of the Pescadores, was only 739. But the deaths resulting from other causes, up to as late a date as the 8th of June, during the occupation of Formosa, were 3,148. Of these, 1,602 were due to cholera alone. Such, at least, were the official figures as published in the Kobe Chronicle.

(2) At the close of the great naval engagement of the 17th of September, 1894, a hawk alighted on the fighting-mast of the Japanese cruiser Takachiho, and suffered itself to be taken and fed. After much petting, this bird of good omen was presented to the Emperor. Falconry was a great feudal sport in Japan, and hawks were finely trained. The hawk is now likely to become, more than ever before in Japan, a symbol of victory.