WEDNESDAY, November 27.

We sail to-day for Shanghai, leaving Yokohama with sincere regret; nor shall we soon forget the good, kind faces of those who have done so much to make our visit to Japan an agreeable one. Had it been possible to remain until Saturday I should have been greatly tempted to do so to accept an invitation received to respond to a toast at St. Andrew's banquet. It would surely have stirred me to hold forth on Scotland's glory to my fellow-countrymen in Japan; but this had to be foregone. At Kiobe the steamer lay for twenty-four hours, and this enabled us to run up by rail to Kioto, the former residence of the Mikado, reputed to be the Paris of Japan. The city itself deserves this reputation about as well as Cincinnati does that of our American Paris, which I see some one has called it. Kioto is only a mass of poor one-story buildings, but its situation is beautiful, and cannot probably be equalled elsewhere in the Empire, and this one can justly say of Cincinnati as well, while the beauty of Paris is of the city and not at all rural. There are more pretty toy villas embowered in trees upon the little hills about Kioto than we saw in all other parts of Japan. The temples at Kioto are much inferior to those at Shibba. Our journey enabled us to see about seventy miles of the interior, and we were again impressed by the evidences on every hand of a teeming population. Gangs of men and women were everywhere at work upon small patches of ground, six or seven persons being busily engaged sometimes on less than one acre. It is not farming; there is in Japan scarcely such a thing as farming in our sense; it is a system of gardening such as we see in the neighborhood of large cities. Compared with that prevalent throughout the whole country, I have seen nothing equal to it in thoroughness, not even in Belgium.

We are upon the old steamer Costa Rica, now belonging to the Japanese Company, which recently purchased this and other boats from the Pacific Mail Company. Among our cargo is a large lot of live turkeys which some pushing Jap is taking over to Shanghai for Christmas; and listen, you favored souls who revel in the famous bird at a dollar a head, your fellow countrymen in China have to pay ten dollars for their Christmas turkey. It is said the Chinese climate is too damp for the noble bird; but it flourishes in Japan. I wish the exporter who thus develops the resources of his country much profit on his venture. But it strikes me that, instead of the eagle, the more useful gobbler has superior claims to be voted the national bird of America. "A turkey for a dollar!" repeated the shipper as I told him our price; "a turkey for a dollar - what a country!" The climate of Northern China is not favorable for Europeans, and many take a run over to Japan to recuperate, a fact which argues much for the future of Japan. Although our ship belongs to the Japanese, the servants are generally Chinamen, and the agent explains this by informing us that while the former do very well until they arrive at the age of manhood, they then begin to develop more ambitious ideas and cannot be managed, while with the Chinese a "boy" (a servant throughout the East is called "boy") is always a boy, and is constantly on the watch to serve his master. Again, the Japs are pugnacious, a race of little game-cocks, always in for a fight, especially with a Chinaman. The captain told us the other day a great big Chinaman had complained to him that one of the Japs had abused him. Upon calling up the belligerent, he proved to be such a small specimen that the captain asked the sufferer why he hadn't picked him up and thrown him overboard. The complaint was dismissed: served the big fellow right. But some missionary should expound the civilized doctrine to him, per revised edition, which reads: "When smitten on the one cheek, turn to the smiter the other also, but if he smites you on that, go for him." To-morrow is to be one of the great days of our trip, for we shall enter the famous inland sea of Japan at daybreak. Will it be fine to-morrow? is the question with all on board. The signs are earnestly discussed. The sun sets favorably, and I quote Shakespeare to them, which settles the question:

  "The weary sun hath made a golden set, 
   And by the bright track of his fiery car 
   Gives token of a goodly day to-morrow."

Let to-morrow be fair, whatever we may miss hereafter. This is the universal sentiment.

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SATURDAY, November 30.

What a day this has been! Many a rich experience which seemed grand enough never to fade from the memory may pass into oblivion, but no mortal can ever sail through the inland sea of Japan on a fine day and cease to remember it till the day he dies. It deserves its reputation as the most beautiful voyage in the world; at least I cannot conceive how, taking the elements of earth, water and sky, anything more exquisitely beautiful could be produced from them. Entering the narrow sea at sunrise, we sail for three hundred and fifty miles through three thousand pretty islands,

  "Which seem to stand 
   To sentinel enchanted land."

These divide the water, making, not one but a dozen pretty lakes in view at once. It is the Lakes of Killarney, or the English or Scotch lakes, multiplied a hundred-fold; but instead of the islands and mountains being in pasture, they are cultivated to their very tops, terraced in every form, in order to utilize every rod of ground. On the shores cluster villages, nestling in sheltered nooks, while the water swarms with the sails of tiny fishing boats, giving a sense of warm, happy life throughout. These sail-boats add greatly to the beauty of the scene. I counted at one time from the bow of our steamer, without looking back, ninety-seven sails glistening in the sun, while on the hills were seen everywhere gangs of people at work upon their little farm-gardens. It is a panorama of busy, crowded life, but life under most beautiful surroundings, from beginning to end, and we all vote that never before have we, in a like space of time, seen so much of fairy-land as upon this ever-memorable day. We begin to understand how the thirty odd millions of the Japanese exist upon so small an area. The rivers and seas abound in fish; the hills and valleys under irrigation and constant labor grow their rice, millet, and vegetables. A few dollars per year supply all the clothing needed, and a few dollars build their light wooden houses. Thus they have everything they need, or consider necessary, and are happy as the day is long, certain of one established fact in nature, to wit, that there is no place like Japan; and no doubt they daily and hourly thank their stars that their lines have fallen in pleasant places, and pity us - slaves to imaginary wants - who deny ourselves the present happiness they consider it wisdom to enjoy, in vain hopes of banquetting to surfeit at some future time, which always comes too late.

On emerging from this fairy scene, we encountered a gale upon the China Sea, which lasted for the few hours we were upon it before reaching Nagasaki, the last port of Japan. Here, two hundred years ago, the Dutch secured a small island, from which they traded with Japan long before any other nation was permitted to do so. The Catholics also had their headquarters here. They were so successful in converting the natives that the government became alarmed, and several thousand Christians were driven to the island and all massacred. This was in the sixteenth century; but it is only a few years ago that seven thousand native Catholics were banished from this region. To-day all is changed. These fugitives have been permitted to return, and there is entire freedom of religious worship. Last month a return was made of professing Christians (Catholics) in this district, and thirty-five thousand were reported. Protestants are very few indeed.

As far as I saw in the East, here is the only real and considerable advance made toward christianizing a people. At other stations throughout my journey I saw only a few ignorant natives who professed Christianity - sometimes a dozen or two, rarely more. European residents invariably told me that these were the dependants or servants of foreigners who held their places mainly because of their conversion to the new faith. If dismissed, they relapsed. One can readily see that the lowest and most unscrupulous would be the first to fall before the almost irresistible temptation, for a means of comfortable livelihood seems the one serious concern of life in all the East to a degree difficult for us in America, at least, to imagine.

I remember the dear, kind Catholic Bishop of Canton telling me with such delicious simplicity that every workman engaged in building the Cathedral - a work of many years and yet unfinished - had by the grace of God been converted to Holy Mother Church. The hotel-keeper told me afterward this so-called conversion was a source of much amusement among the natives. Well, be it so. I believe, myself, that the holy father is the victim of misplaced confidence. But here in Nagasaki nothing like this can be said. Thirty-five thousand professing Christians in a district where there are not a hundred foreign Christian families, if half so many, and where to be a Christian is to declare one's self of the minority and so out of fashion, surely this does prove that the Church has succeeded, and justifies it in hoping that ere long this part of Japan at least will one day enter the fold.

One great reason for this undoubted success is probably that neither the Government nor the people have the slightest objection to missionaries, for their own religion sets but lightly on the Japanese. With the Chinaman it is totally different. His own religion is sacred to him, a vital force, and his gods must not be defamed. He stands by his faith like a Covenanter. It touches the most sacred feelings of his nature, and is everything to him. Mrs. D. O. Hill's celebrated statue of Livingstone in Prince's Gardens, Edinburgh, therefore, represents too truly the attitude of our missionaries in the flowery land as well as in other so-called heathen lands: the Bible in one hand and the pistol in the other. In Japan the pistol is wholly unnecessary. The man of Japan regards missionaries as harmless curiosities, and if not disposed to trouble himself about their new ideas, he has not the least objection to their being expounded.

There is now no established religion in Japan, Buddhism having been abolished in 1874. The temples and priesthood are maintained by voluntary contributions. The poor laws are simple: government gives nine bushels of rice to every person over seventy or under fifteen years of age, who cannot work, and the same to foundlings under thirteen. Out of the total population of thirty-six millions, there are only ten thousand and fifty paupers, and of these more than a thousand are at Tokio in the workhouse.

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