The morning after their return from Enoshima was mostly spent at the hotel, as all three of the excursionists were somewhat fatigued with their journey. The boys embraced the opportunity to ask the Doctor the meaning of certain things they had observed in Japan, and which had not been brought up in conversation.
Grooms in Full Dress

"For one thing," said Frank, "why is it that so many of the people, the indentured servants especially, have large scars on their skins, as if they had been burned. There is hardly an indentured servant I have seen that is without them, and one of the men that drew my jinriksha to Enoshima had his legs covered with scars, and also a fresh sore on each leg."

"Those scars," the Doctor answered, "are from the moxa, which is used to some extent in medical practice in Europe and America. Don't you remember that when your uncle Charles had a disease of the spine the doctors applied a hot iron to his back, along each side of the backbone?"

"Certainly, I remember that," Frank replied, "and it cured him, too."

"Well, that was the moxa. It is not very often used in our country, nor in Europe, but it is very common in Japan."

"I should think it would be a very painful remedy," Fred remarked, "and that a man would be quite unwilling to have it applied."

"That is the case," answered the Doctor, "with us, but it is not so here. The Japanese take the moxa as calmly as we would swallow a pill, and with far less opposition than some of us make to a common blister.

"They take the moxa for nearly everything, real or imaginary. Sometimes they have the advice of a doctor, but oftener they go to a priest, who makes a mark on them where the burn is to be applied. Then they go to a man who sells the burning material, and he puts it on as a druggist with us would fill up a prescription."

"What do they use for the burning?"

"They have a little cone the size of the intended blister. It is made of the pith of a certain tree, and burns exactly like the punk with which all boys in the country are familiar. It is placed over the spot to be cauterized, and is then lighted from a red-hot coal. It burns slowly and steadily down, and in a few minutes the patient begins to squirm, and perhaps wish he had tried some milder mode of cure. Sometimes he has half a dozen of these things burning at once, and I have seen them fully an inch in diameter.

"Nearly every native has himself cauterized as often as once a year by way of precaution, and if he does not feel well some morning, he is very likely to go to the temple and have an application of the moxa. It is even applied to very young children. I have seen an infant not a month old lying across its mother's knee while another woman was amusing herself by burning a couple of these pith cones on the abdomen of the child. He objected to the operation by screaming and kicking with all his might, but it was of no use. The moxa was considered good for him, and he was obliged to submit."

"Another thing," said Fred, "why is it that the grooms are covered with tattoo marks, and wear so little clothing?"

"I cannot say exactly why it is," the Doctor replied, "further than that such is the custom. If you ask a Japanese for the reason, he will answer that it is the old custom, and I can hardly say more than he would.

"But the grooms, or 'bettos,' as the Japanese call them, are not the only ones who indulge in tattooing. You will see many of the 'sendos,' or boat-servants, thus marked, but in a less degree than the bettos. Perhaps it is because the grooms are obliged to run so much, and consequently wish to lay aside all garments. As they must wear something, they have their skins decorated in this way, and thus have a suit of clothing always about them.

"And, speaking of these grooms, it is astonishing at what a pace they can run, and how long they will keep it up. You may go out with your carriage or on horseback, and, no matter how rapidly you go, the groom will be always at your side, and ready to take the bridle of your horse the moment you halt. They are powerful fellows, but their reputation for honesty is not first-class."

Conversation ran on various topics for an hour or more, and then Doctor Bronson announced that he would go out for a while, and hoped to give them some interesting information on his return. The boys busied themselves with their journals, and in this way a couple of hours slipped along without their suspecting how rapidly the time was flying. They were still occupied when the Doctor returned.

"Well, my boys," he said, "you must be ready for another journey tomorrow. And it will be much longer and more fatiguing than the one we have just made."

"Where are we going, please?" said Frank.

"I have arranged to go to Hakone and Mount Fuji," the Doctor replied, "and if we get favorable weather, and are not too tired when we arrive, we will go to the summit of the mountain."

Frank and Fred clapped their hands with delight, and thought of nothing else for some minutes than the journey to Mount Fuji. It was an excursion they had wanted very much to make, and which very few visitors to Japan think of attempting. And now Doctor Bronson had arranged it for them, and they were to be off the next morning. Could anything be more fortunate?

The arrangement for the journey was somewhat more serious than the one for Enoshima. It would take several days, and for a considerable part of the way the accommodations were entirely Japanese. This might do for a trip of a day or two where no unusual fatigue was to be expected, but in a tour of considerable length, where there was likely to be much hard work, and consequently much exhaustion, it was necessary to make the most complete preparations. The Doctor foresaw this, and arranged his plans accordingly.

A Japanese who had been with parties to the holy mountain, and understood the ways and wants of the foreigners, had made a contract to accompany our friends to Mount Fuji. He was to supply them with the necessary means of conveyance, servants, provisions, and whatever else they wanted. The contract was carefully drawn, and it was agreed that any points in dispute should be decided by a gentleman in Yokohama on their return.

They were off at an early hour, and, as before, their route was along the Tōkaidō. The provisions and other things had been sent on ahead during the night, and they did not see them until they came to the place where they were to sleep. They took a light meal before starting from Yokohama, and found a substantial breakfast waiting for them at Totsuka. Their host was a famous character in the East, an English actor who had drifted through China and Japan, and finally settled down here as a hotelkeeper.

"I met George Pauncefort in China years ago," said the Doctor, as they entered the hotel. "I wonder if he will recognize me."

George greeted the travelers with all the dignity of an emperor saluting an embassy from a brother emperor, and wished them welcome to his roof and all beneath it. Then he straightened up to the very highest line of erectness, and rested his gaze upon Doctor Bronson.

For fully a minute he stood without moving a muscle, and then struck an attitude of astonishment.

"Can it be? Yes! No! Impossible!" he exclaimed. "Do my eyes deceive me? No, they do not. It is. It must be he! It must! It must!"
A Japanese Loom

Then he shook hands with the Doctor, struck another attitude of astonishment, and with the same Macbethian air turned to a servant and told him to put the steaks and the chicken on the table.

It is said by the residents of Yokohama, with whom the hotel at Totsuka is a favorite resort, that George Pauncefort stirs an omelet as though he were playing Hamlet, and his conception of Sir Peter Teazle is manifested when he prepares a glass of stimulating fluid for a thirsty patron.

Various industrial processes were visible as our party rode along. Some women were weaving cotton at a native loom, and they halted the jinrikshas a few moments to look at the process. The loom was a very traditional affair, and the operator sat on the floor in front of it. A man who appeared to be the chief of the establishment was calmly smoking a pipe close by, and on the other side of the weaver a woman was winding some cotton thread on a spool by means of a simple reel. After looking a few moments at the loom, and the mode of weaving in Japan, the party moved on. The boys had learned to say "Sayonara" on bidding farewell to the Japanese, and they pronounced it on this occasion in the most approved style. The Japanese salutation on meeting is "Ohio," and it is pronounced exactly like the name of our Western state of which Columbus is the capital. Everywhere the Japanese greet you with "Ohio," and a stranger does not need to be long in the country to know how the people are exceedingly polite.

There is a story current in Japan of a gentleman from Cincinnati who arrived one evening in Yokohama, and the following morning went into the country for a stroll. Everywhere the men, women, and children greeted him with the customary salutation, "Ohio, Ohio," and the word rang in his ears until he returned to his hotel.

He immediately sought the landlord and said, "I wish to ask if there is anything in my personal appearance that indicates what part of the States I am from."

The landlord assured him that there was no peculiarity of his costume that he could point out as any such indication.

"And yet," answered the stranger, "all the Japanese have discovered it. They knew me at a glance as a native of Ohio, as every one of them invariably said 'Ohio' when I met them. And I must give them the credit to say that they always did it very politely."

He was somewhat astonished, and also a trifle disappointed, when he learned the exact state of affairs.
Artists at Work

They passed a house where some artists were at work with the tools of their trade on the floor before them, forming a neat and curious collection. There were little saucers filled with paints of various colors, and the ever-present teapot with its refreshing contents. There were three persons in the group, and they kept steadily at their occupation without regarding the visitors who were looking at them. They were engaged upon pictures on thin paper, intended for the ornamentation of boxes for packing small articles of merchandise. Larger pictures are placed on an easel, as with us, but the small ones are invariably held in the hand.

In front of a house by the roadside some coopers were hooping a vat, and Frank instantly recognized the fidelity of a picture he had seen by a native artist showing how the Japanese coopers performed their work. They make excellent articles in their line, and sell them for an astonishingly low price, when we compare them with similar things from an American maker. The fidelity of the work is to be commended, and the pails and tubs from their hands will last a long time without the least necessity of repairs.

Near the end of the first day's journey the party stopped at a Japanese inn that had been previously selected by their conductor, and there they found their baggage, and, what was quite as welcome, a substantial dinner from the hands of the cook that had been sent on ahead of them. They had sharp appetites, and the dinner was very much to their liking. It was more foreign than Japanese, as it consisted largely of articles from America, but there was a liberal supply of boiled rice, and the savory stew of fish was not wanting.

The boys were rather surprised when they sat down to a dinner at which stewed oysters, green corn, and other things with which they were familiar at home were smoking before them, and Fred remarked that the Japanese cooking was not so unlike that of America, after all. Doctor Bronson smiled and said the cooking was done in America, and all that the Japanese cook had to do with the articles was to warm them up after opening the cans.

"And so these things come here in cans, do they?" Frank inquired.

"Certainly," the Doctor responded, "these things come here in cans, and a great many other things as well. They serve to make life endurable to an American in a distant land like Japan, and they also serve to keep him patriotic by constantly reminding him of home.

"No one," he continued, "who has not been in foreign lands, or has no direct connection with the business of canning our fruits, meats, and vegetables, can have an idea of the extent of our trade in these things. The invention of the process of preserving in a fresh state these products which are ordinarily considered perishable has enabled us to sell of our abundance, and supply the whole world with what the whole world could not otherwise obtain. You may sit down to a dinner in Tokyo or Cairo, Calcutta or Melbourne, Singapore or Rome, and the entire meal may consist of canned fish, canned meats, canned fruits, or canned vegetables from the United States. A year or two ago the American consul at Bangkok, Thailand, gave a Christmas dinner at which everything on the table was of home production, and a very substantial dinner it was."

"I wonder what they had for dinner that day," said Fred, with a laugh.

"As near as I can remember," the Doctor replied, "they began with oyster and clam soup. Then they had boiled codfish and fresh salmon, and, as if there were not fish enough, they had stewed eels. For meats they had turkey, chicken, ham, a goose that had been put up whole, stewed beef, roast beef, tongue, sausages, prairie chickens, ducks, and a few other things, and as for vegetables and fruits, you can hardly name any product of our gardens and orchards that they did not have before them. For drinks they had American wines, American beer, American cider, and, besides, they had honey just out of the comb that astonished everybody with its freshness. All who were present pronounced the dinner as good as any they had ever eaten, and it made them feel very patriotic to think that everything came from home.

"You can hardly go anywhere in the world where there is an approach to civilization without finding our canned goods, as the merchants call them. They are widely known and appreciated, and well deserve the reputation they bear."

This conversation went on while the party were engaged in the consumption of the dinner, and the presence of many of the things named gave it an additional point. When they were through dinner, they took a short period of lounging on the veranda, and soon retired to rest. We can be sure they slept well, for they had had a long and weary ride.
Crossing the River

They were off again early in the morning, and in a little while came to the banks of a river which they were to cross. Frank looked for a bridge, and saw none. Then he looked for a ferryboat, but none was visible.

"Well," he said, half to himself, "I wonder how we are to get over to the other bank."

"There are the boatmen, but no boats," said Fred, as he pointed to some stalwart men who were sitting on the bank, and evidently waiting for something to turn up.

The mystery was soon solved. The river was neither wide nor deep, and the men they saw waiting by the bank were porters who carried people across, and also carried merchandise. The stream was said to rise very rapidly, and owing to the nature of the bottom it was difficult to maintain a bridge there for any length of time. The porters took the party across very speedily. They carried the servants by what the boys called "pick-a-back," while Doctor Bronson and the boys were borne on chairs resting on poles, with six men to each chair. Some horses belonging to another party were led through the river at the same time, and evidently were not pleased with the bath they were receiving.

Frank wondered if accidents did not happen sometimes, and asked their conductor about it. The latter told him that the Japanese law protected the traveler by requiring the head of the porter in case a person should be drowned in his charge. He said the law allowed no excuse, and the porter must pay with his life for any accident.
Mother and Son

Frank thought it would be a good thing to have the same system in the management of railways in America, but then he remembered that Miss Effie's uncle, who lived in New York, was a director in a railway, and perhaps it would be just as well to say nothing about his new discovery. It might bring trouble into the family and lead to unpleasant remarks.

Since the party made their excursion to Mount Fuji a bridge has been built over the river, and the occupation of the porters is gone. Some of them cling to the hope that the river will one day rise in its might, and protest against this invasion of its rights by sweeping away the structure that spans it, thus compelling travelers to return to the methods of the olden time.

From the river they proceeded to Odawara, where they had a rest of several hours, as the town contained certain things that they wished to see. They found that foreigners were not very numerous at Odawara, and there was considerable curiosity to see them. Whenever they halted in front of a shop, or to look at anything, of interest, a crowd was speedily collected, and the longer they stood, the greater it became. But there was no impertinence, and not the least insult was offered to them. There was a manifestation of good-natured curiosity, and nothing more. Men, women, and children were equally respectful, and whenever they pressed too closely it was only necessary for the guide to say that the strangers were being inconvenienced, when the crowd immediately fell back. Every day and hour of their stay in Japan confirmed our friends more and more in the belief that there are no more polite people in the world than the Japanese.

Fred tried to open a conversation with a boy who was evidently out for a walk with his mother. The little fellow was somewhat shy at first, but very soon he became entirely confident that the stranger would not harm him, and he did his best to talk. They did not succeed very well in their interchange of ideas, as neither could speak the language of the other, and so they attempted an exchange of presents. Fred gave the young native an American lead pencil that opened and closed with a screw, and received in return the fan which the youth carried in his hand. Both appeared well pleased with the transaction, and after several bows and "sayonaras" they separated.
A Fishing Party

Frank had several fish hooks in his pockets, and was determined not to be behind Fred in making a trade. His eye rested on a family group that was evidently returning from a fishing excursion. The man was carrying some fishing-tackle and a small bag, while the woman bore a basket of fish on her head and held a child to her breast. A boy six or eight years old was dragging a live tortoise by a string, and it occurred to Frank to free the tortoise from captivity.

So he produced one of his fish hooks, and intimated that he would give it for the captive. There was a brief conversation between father and son, which resulted in the desired exchange. Frank handed the tortoise over to the guide, with instructions to set it free at a favorable time and place. The latter complied by delivering the prize to the cook as an agreeable addition to the bill of fare for the next meal. So the freedom of the tortoise was not exactly the kind that his liberator had intended.

But there was an unforeseen result to this transaction, for it was soon noised about among the small boys that the foreigners were giving fish hooks for tortoises, and as there was a good supply of the latter, and not a good one of the former, there was a public anxiety to benefit by the newly opened commerce. In less than half an hour there was a movement in the market that assumed serious importance, and Frank found himself in the character of a merchant in a foreign land. He became the owner of nearly a dozen of the kindred of his first purchase, and would have kept on longer had not his stock-in-trade given out. The guide took the purchases in charge, and they followed the fate of the pioneer in the business in finding their way to the cooking pot. When the traffic was ended, and the Japanese urchins found that the market was closed, they pronounced their "sayonaras" and withdrew as quietly as they had come.
The Man They Met

From Odawara the roads were worse than they had found them thus far. They had come by jinrikshas from Yokohama, and had had no trouble, but from this place onward they were told that the roads were not everywhere practicable for wheeled carriages. The Japanese are improving their roads every year, and therefore a description for one season does not exactly indicate the character of another. Anybody who reads this story and then goes to Japan may find good routes where formerly there were only impassable gorges, and hotels and comfortable lodging houses where, only a year before, there was nothing of the kind. In no country in the world at the present time, with the possible exception of the Western States of North America, are the changes so rapid as in the land of the Mikado. Wheeled carriages were practically unknown before Commodore Perry landed on Japanese soil, and the railway was an innovation undreamed of in the Japanese philosophy. Now wheeled vehicles are common, and the railway is a popular institution, that bids fair to extend its benefits in many directions. Progress, progress, progress, is the motto of the Japan of today.

Besides the natural desire to see Odawara, the party had another reason for their delay, which was to give the conductor time to engage cangos for their transport in such localities as would not admit of the jinriksha. We will see by-and-by what the cango is.

The boys had been much amused at the appearance of a Japanese man they met on the road just before reaching Odawara, and wondered if they would be obliged to adopt that mode of riding before they finished their journey. The man in question was seated on a horse, not in the way in which we are accustomed to sit, but literally on the back of the animal. His baggage was fastened around him behind and on each side, and he was rather uncomfortably crouched (at least, so it seemed to Fred) on a flat pad like the one used by a circus rider. A servant led the horse, and the pace was a walking one. Altogether, the appearance of the man seemed strange, and the boys were somewhat surprised to learn that this was the ordinary way of traveling on horseback in the olden time.

Before the arrival of foreigners in Japan it was not the fashion for a traveler to be in a hurry, and, even at the present time, it is not always easy to make a native understand the value of a day or an hour. A man setting out on a journey did not concern himself about the time he would consume on the road. If the weather was unfavorable, he was perfectly willing to rest for an indefinite period, and it mattered little if he occupied three weeks in making a journey that could be covered in one.


Study the chapter for one week.

Over the week:

  • Read and/or listen to the chapter.
  • Review the vocabulary terms.
  • Complete the enrichment activities.


Excursionist: A person who goes on a brief recreational trip.
Indentured Servant: A debt bondage worker who is under contract of an employer for a specified period of time, in exchange for transportation, food, drink, clothing, lodging and other necessities.
Moxa: Dried leaves of an Asian species of mugwort.
Moxibustion: The burning of moxa against the skin to treat pain or illness.
Tattoo: An image made in the skin with ink and a needle.
Loom: A frame or machine of wood or other material, in which a weaver forms cloth out of thread.
Ohio: A Japanese greeting upon meeting (said like the name of the American state).
Sayonara: An utterance of sayonara, the wishing of farewell to someone.
Oyster: Any of certain marine mollusks encased in bivalve shells.


Activity 1: Narrate the Chapter

  • Narrate the events aloud in your own words.

Activity 2: Study the Chapter Pictures

  • Study the chapter pictures and describe how each relates to the story.

Activity 3: Observe the Modern Equivalent

Examine the chapter settings in modern times:

  • A view of a castle in Odawara, Japan.
  • Mount Fuji in Japan.

Activity 4: Map the Chapter

  • Find the country of Japan on the map of the world.
  • Find Mount Fuji (small red triangle west of Yokohama) on the map of Japan.

Activity 5: Map the Chapter on a Globe

  • Repeat the mapwork from Activity 4 on a three-dimensional globe.

Activity 6: Practice Japanese Sayings

  • Practice saying 'Ohio' in greeting and 'Sayonara' upon parting.