TUESDAY, December 3.

The turbulent China Sea has passed into a proverb. The Channel passage in a gale, I suppose, comes nearest to it. We started to cross this sea at daylight, and surely we have reason to be grateful. It is as smooth as a mirror, the winds are hushed, and as I write the shores of Japan fade peacefully from view. I cannot help thinking how improbable that I shall ever see them again; but, however that may be, farewell for the present to Japan. Take a stranger's best wishes for your future.

Our cargo shows something of the resources of the country. It amounts to eight hundred tons, comprising seaweed - a special kind of which the Chinese are fond - ginseng, camphor, timber, isinglass, Japan piece-goods, ingot copper, etc. Every week this line takes to China a similar cargo, and the trade is rapidly extending. This steamship company is worth noting as an evidence of what Japanese enterprise is doing. The principal owner, the Commodore Garrison of Japan, had a small beginning, but now runs some thirty-seven steamers between the various Japanese ports. Under the management of Mr. Krebs, a remarkable Dane, this company beat off the Pacific Mail Company from the China trade, and actually purchased their ships. There are many things found on these vessels which our Atlantic companies might imitate with advantage.

I believe I mentioned that Japan, not to be behind her Western neighbors, had created a public debt, which now amounts to about $300,000,000, but $250,000,000 of this was used in payment of the two hundred and sixty-six daimios and their numerous retainers, when government took over the land to itself. Each of these potentates had vested rights in a certain proportion of the yield of the soil of his district, and this was commuted by the government into so much in its bonds, a fixed land tax being substituted for the irregular exactions of former landlords. On every side I hear that this has greatly improved the condition of the population - made the people more contented, and at the same time vastly augmented the products of the soil. Not less than three millions of the population shared in this operation.

The nationalization of the land is under discussion in England, and it is conceded that some change has to be made. Here is Japan proving the results of nationalization, while Denmark shows what private ownership of small pieces of land can do under a system of cumulative taxation in proportion to the size of the estate held. One of these two systems is likely to prevail in England some day. Meanwhile, here is food for thought for the British tax-payer: out of seventy-five million yens (L15,000,000) of revenue raised by Japan, forty-three million comes from the land tax. The tax on alcoholic liquors yields about seventeen millions more.

Since my visit to Japan an imperial decree has been published, promising that a national assembly shall meet in 1890; so we have the foundations of representative government almost at hand. Surely no other nation ever abandoned its traditions and embraced so rapidly those of a civilization of an opposite character. This is not development under the law of slow evolution; it seems more like a case of spontaneous generation. Presto, change! and here before our very eyes is presented the strange spectacle of the most curious, backward, feudalistic Eastern nation turning into a Western one of the most advanced type.

That Japan will succeed in her effort to establish a central government, under something like our ideas of freedom and law, and that she has such resources as will enable her to maintain it and educate her people, I am glad to be able to say I believe; but much remains to be done requiring in the race the exercise of solid qualities, the possession of which I find some Europeans disposed to deny them. They have travelled, perhaps, quite fast enough, and I look for a temporary triumph of the more conservative party. But the seed is sown, and Japan will move, upon the whole, in the direction of progress. And so, once more, farewell, Japan; and China, now almost within sight, all hail!

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