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stitution. I will not take it upon me to enumerate in what other things he tried his hand; I hasten on to inform my curious reader that he shaved his head again and joined the priesthood, perfectly content with his diverse worldly experiences. In spite of his fickleness he was an honest fellow and passed for a tolerable humorist among his friends.

There was another of the number, the keeper of the tavern at the foot of a bridge that spans the little stream running through Imabari town. His figure was tall, imposing, and his expression disposed one to suspect him of a malicious, bitter character. Nature is often capricious; she was certainly capricious in this instance, for into this mould of a man she had infused a nature the most complacent and the most obliging. His comrades assigned him the part of a villain or a cruel lord. To the eye familiar with his every-day life he figured helplessly as a villain with a good heart, and seemed to spare unnecessary stabs at his victim. Yet he was scrupulously conscientious in the execution of his rôle; not a word would he omit in his speech. Once in playing a wicked lord, in order to assist the memory he copied his entire part on the face of a flat, oblong piece of wood, which he had all the time to bear erect before him as an ensign of authority. At first on the stage he was wonderfully eloquent, not a flaw occurred in his long speech. But unfortunately in the midst of an invective the sceptre slipped off his hand. His lordship’s confusion was not to be described. He paused as if to give an effect of indignation, then tried to think of the rest of the harangue; it did

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not come. The pause was prolonged to his own
uneasiness as well as to his friends. He now cast
about for a decent means of taking himself off the
stage. Finally with a calm, venerable, haughty
air, amid giggles and suppressed laughter, my lord
stalked off behind the scene.

Through these people we became acquainted
with several professional players. Some people in
Japan become quite enthusiastic over their favor-
ite actors and wrestlers; they present them with
beautiful posters, on which are stated their gifts,
exaggerated above their actual value. These post-
ers are pasted on all sides of the theatre or the
arena for display. At the entrance to the house of
amusement stands a tower, where a small drum of
very high pitch is struck for some time previous
to the opening of the performance. The admission
to the theatre ranges from five to twenty-five sens
(cents). The stage and the inside as a whole are
much larger than any metropolitan or local play-
house that I have seen in America. I admit that
most of our theatres are neither carpeted nor fur-
nished with chairs, nor are they lighted with gas,
nor heated. The parquet is divided into pits by
bars, each admitting barely four persons in a squat-
ting position; the bars can be removed, uniting
the small pits into one large pit of any dimensions,
if a party so desire. There are also what will corre-
spond to the dress circle and the family circle.
They do not protrude over the parquet, but simply
line the walls like balconies. In the parquet the
floor is not raised at the end farther from the
stage; therefore, if Japanese ladies were to wear


tall hats it would be the doomsday for gentlemen; but luckily the fair members of our community take no pride in the towering head ornaments; really they wear none. I have been speaking as if the parquet were floored; in fact, you have to sit close to the ground, mats and quilts of your own providing alone protecting you from the damp earth.

The people bring lunch with them to eat between the acts. I have the fond remembrance of my family astir over the preparation of the lunch on the day we go to see a play. We must take things we shall not be ashamed of spreading before the public; and all the more must we be careful in selecting our dishes, for not infrequently we beckon to our acquaintances in the audience to pass away with us the usual long, wearisome intervals of the Japanese theatre, during which time no music is played as in the American theatre. Of course, we must take boiled rice; it is our bread. Nobody thinks of forgetting the bread. It is not, however, carried in its bare, glutinous form; it is made into triangular, round or square masses and rolled in burned bean powder. In the collation at the theatre we dispense with the bowls and chopsticks, and use fingers in picking up the mouthfuls of rice. Of various other dishes I give up the cataloguing in despair, for my ingenious countrywomen regale us with—the Lord knows how many kinds. The delicacies are packed in several lacquered boxes, and the boxes piled one over another and wrapped in a broad piece of cloth, whose four corners are then tied on the top. When the savory burden is being carried, there usually dangles by it a gourd full of saké. The Japanese world takes no note of drinking; the saké is, moreover, mild, and, although sipped on all occasions as freely as tea, is seldom drunk to excess.

Next to the refreshment preparation is the getting ready of the girls. They spend half their life in dressing. I never was very patient; in waiting for them I was exasperated. They would lean over against the glass (or in reality a metallic mirror) in the Yum-Yum fashion for an interminable period of time, tying the girdles over fifty times before deciding upon one style, touching and retouching the coiffures, and practicing the exercise of grace. “Oh, hurry up!" I cry repeatedly in infinite chagrin, and at last become irritated beyond decency, when my mother in her persuasive, firm manner desires me to know that there is time enough. I always acquiesced in mother's decisions, because I did not like to have her call in the assistance of father. I can tell you what he would do! He would not say a word; he would curtly command me to sit beside him in the store, where people could look at me-my tears, sobs, quivering lips and all the rest of the woe. Out of shame in the exposure I would gradually compose myself, and not till I had fully recovered my temper would my father release me. I think he never struck me or my brother anywhere; the only time I saw him use force was in holding fast my little brother, who once undertook some brave proceedings against him.

The theatre usually begins late in the afternoon or early in the evening, and lasts till past midnight. In front of the stage are two large basins of vegetable oil with huge bunches of rush-wicks. They are the main sources of light; the foot-lights are a row of innumerable wax-candles; and when an actor is on the stage, men in black veils attend him with lighted candles stuck on a contrivance like a long-handled contribution box. Wherever he goes, there go with him these walking candlesticks. When he exerts himself briskly, as in a combat, with what funny jerks and fanciful motions do these mysterious lights fly round, often flickering themselves out! In the era of gas and electric light what a bungling machinery all this is !

The orchestra does not sit at the foot of the stage; it occupies a box on one side. It consists of the samisen, a big heavy bell, a drum, a flute, a conch shell and occasional singing. Over the orchestrabox is a compartment hung with a curtain woven with fine split bamboos, wherein sit two men-one with a book on a stand, the other with a stout samisen. The former explains in a harsh-voiced recital the situation of the affairs now acted before the audience, the latter keeps time with the instrument.

The dramas are mostly historical; we have no opera. In Japanese plays the passion of love takes but a subordinate rank, the paramount importance being accorded to loyalty, the spirit of retaliation and devotion to parents. Harakiri, or the cutting open of one's own abdomen in way of manly death, so time-honored and deeply believed in among

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