SATURDAY, November 23.

Vandy and I walked to-day through the principal street of Tokio from end to end, a distance of three miles. It is a fine, broad avenue, crowded with people and vehicles drawn or pushed by men. There is also a line of small one-horse wagons running as omnibuses on the street - novel feature, unknown anywhere else in the Empire. Our appearance attracted such crowds whenever we stopped at a shop, that the police had to drive the gazers away. The city is built upon a plain, and supplied with water by wells only. Fires are of frequent occurrence. Japanese cities are such piles of combustible material that I wonder they exist at all. But fires are little used - only a brazier of charcoal now and then for cooking purposes; and as most of the people eat at cook-shops, there is never any fire at all in many of the houses. Long ladders are erected as fire-towers, and upon these watchmen sit through the night to give the alarm. It is only by tearing down or blowing up surrounding houses that the progress of a fire can generally be stayed. There is no such thing as insurance in Japan, the risks being much too great.

The Japanese go to the theatre early in the morning and remain until five o'clock in the evening. Doors open at five A.M., but the rich classes do not appear before six or seven o'clock, at which hour the performance begins. Breakfast is served in the theatre about noon. The audience smoke, eat, sip tea, and enjoy themselves as they choose. No seats are provided, but a small mat is put down for each person as he enters, and beside it a box filled with sand, in the middle of which are two pieces of glowing charcoal, at which pipes are lighted. Ladies, as well as gentlemen, be it remembered, invariably smoke in Japan. Every one carries a small pipe with a long stem, and a tobacco-pouch attached to it. At short intervals a little tobacco is put into the pipe - just enough to give two whirls of smoke - after which the tobacco is knocked out and the pipe again replenished. In no case have I ever seen more than two very small whiffs taken at one time. Even young ladies smoke in this manner, and to one who detests tobacco, as I instinctively do, it may be imagined this habit did not add to their attractiveness. A sweetheart who defiled her lips with tobacco! "Phew!" Neither is it considered disrespectful in any degree to begin smoking in the presence of others. Deferential as the singing girls were, when at leisure they lighted their pipes as a matter of course, wholly unconscious that they were taking a liberty.

The marriage ceremony differs greatly from ours. The priests have nothing to do with it, nor is there any religious ceremony. The parents of a young man select a proper wife for him when he is about twenty years of age, and manage the whole affair. They consult the young lady's parents, and if the match is a satisfactory one to them, writings are exchanged between the parents of the young couple, the day is appointed, and the bride and groom drink saki from the same cup; feasting and rejoicings follow, sometimes continued for several days if the parents are wealthy, and the marriage is consummated. In all cases the bride goes to reside with the husband's parents, to whom, much more than to the husband, it is necessary she should continue to be satisfactory. Very often three generations live together, and an amount of deference is paid to the oldest such as we have no conception of.

The custom of blacking the teeth by married women, is the most revolting practice I have yet seen. I have been in the houses of fine people of Japan, and seen women, otherwise good-looking, who had only to open their lips to convert themselves into objects of disgust. I rejoice, therefore, to hear that fashion is setting in against this abomination, and that some of the more recent brides have refused to conform to the custom.

One readily gets used to anything, earthquakes included, and Japan has many of these unruly visitors. One night we had three shocks at Tokio, one sufficiently strong to wake me from sleep. My bed shook violently, and the house threatened to fall upon us. The same night we had a large fire in the city, and a hundred shrill, tinkling bells, like so many cows in the woods, were rung to give the alarm. The clapping of the night watchmen about our street assured me, however, that it was all right with us, and I lay still. The night watchmen here use two small square pieces of hard wood which they strike frequently against each other as they go the rounds as their "All's well" signal; but I think strangers, as a rule, fail to appreciate the point in being awakened every now and then simply to be assured that there is not the slightest occasion for their being awake at all.

       * * * * *