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Title: Where Half The World Is Waking Up

Author: Clarence Poe

Release Date: July 30, 2009 [EBook #29546]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Don Kostuch

Transcriber's note:

Page numbers are enclosed in curly braces, e.g. {99}. They are located where page breaks occurred in the original book. Paragraphs are not broken.

When a paragraph flows around illustrations the "next" page immediately preceding or following the illustrations jumps to account for the pages occupied by the illustrations. The location of the paragraph following the illustration group is indicated as {52 continued}. The material following {10}, up to the next {}, is on page 10, even if the next page number is not 11.



(From a photograph and autograph given the author)

Count Okuma, one of the Genro or Elder Statesmen of Japan and ex-Premier of the Empire, is an opponent of his country's high protective tariff and an earnest advocate of international arbitration.





Author of "A Southerner in Europe," "Cotton: Its Cultivation

and Manufacture," Editor "The Progressive Farmer,"

Sec'y North Carolina Historical Association, etc., etc.

Garden City New York











"The human race, to which so many of my readers belong," as Mr. Gilbert Chesterton begins one of his books by saying, has half its members in Asia. That Americans should know something about so considerable a portion of our human race is manifestly worth while. And really to know them at all we must know them as they are to-day.

Vast changes are in progress, and even as I write this, the revolution in China, foreshadowed in the chapters written by me from that country, is remaking the political life of earth's oldest empire. From Japan to India there is industrial, educational, political ferment. The old order changes, yielding place to the new.

"Where Half the World is Waking Up" is not inappropriate therefore as the title of the book now offered to the public. The reader will kindly observe here that I have written of where half the world is waking up and not merely of the waking-up itself. My purpose has been to set forth the old and the new in due proportion; to present the play of new forces against and upon the ancient, the amazingly ancient, forces that have dominated whole races for centuries. In most places, in fact, the ancient force is still clearly the dominant one. Observe, too, therefore, that I have written not of where half the world has waked up, but only of where it is waking up. The significant thing is that the waking is really taking place at all, and of this there can be no doubt.

It was, in short, with the hope of securing for myself and presenting to others a photograph of the Orient as it is to-day that I made my long trip through Japan, Korea, Manchuria, {viii} China, the Philippines, and India during the past year. It was not a pleasure trip nor yet a hurried "seaport trip." I travelled either entirely across or well into the interior of each country visited, and all my time was given to study and research to fit me for the preparation of these articles.

That despite of the care exercised the book contains some errors, is doubtless true. The sources of information in the Orient are not always easy to find, nor always in accord after one finds them. Consider, for example, the population of Manchuria: it seems a simple enough matter, yet it required the help of consuls of two or three nations to enable me to sift out the truth from the conflicting representations of several writers and so-called authorities.

For my part I can only claim a laborious and painstaking effort to get the facts. Letters of introduction to eminent Englishmen kindly furnished me by Ambassador Bryce opened the doors of British officialdom for me, and the friendship of Mr. Roosevelt and letters from Mr. Bryan and our Department of State proved helpful in other ways. I thus had the good fortune not only to get the ready fraternal assistance of my brother newspaper men (of all races) everywhere, and the help of English, German, and American consuls, but I was aided by some of the most eminent authorities in each country visited--in China, by H. E. Tang Shao-yi, Wu Ting Fang, Sir Robert Bredon, Dr. C. D. Tenney, Dr. Timothy Richard; in Japan, by ex-Premier Okuma, Viscount Kaneko, Baron Shibusawa, Dr. Juichi Soyeda; in Hong Kong, by Governor-General Sir Frederick Lugard; in Manila by Governor-General Forbes, Vice-Governor Gilbert; in India, the members of the Viceroy's Cabinet, Hon. Krishnaswami Iyer, Dr. J. P. Jones, etc, etc. To all of these and to scores of others, my grateful acknowledgments are tendered. They helped me get information, but of course are in no case to be held responsible for any opinions that I have expressed.

To Mr. G. D. Adams, of Akron, Ohio, and Dr. Arthur {ix} Mez, of Mannheim, Germany, two generous fellow-travellers, my thanks are due for the use of many of their photographs, and I am also indebted to The World's Work and The Review of Reviews for permission to republish articles that have already appeared in these magazines. The larger number of chapters included in this volume, however, were originally prepared with a view to their use in my own paper, The Progressive Farmer. They are, therefore, often more elementary in character, let me say in the outset, than if they had been written exclusively for bookbuyers, but it is my hope that their journalistic flavor, even if it has this disadvantage, will also be found to have certain compensating qualities.

Perhaps just one other thing ought to be said: that practically every article about any country was written while I was still in the country described. In this way I hoped not only to write with greater freshness and vividness, but I was enabled to have my articles revised and criticised by friends well informed concerning the subjects discussed. The reader will please bear in mind, therefore, that a letter about Tokyo is also a letter from Tokyo, a letter about Korea is a letter from Korea, etc., and shift his viewpoint accordingly. I have also thought it best to be frank with the reader and let the chapters on China remain exactly as they were written--presenting a pen picture of the Dragon Empire as it appeared on the eve of the outbreak, while the revolution was indeed definitely in prospect but not yet a reality.

"Give us as many anecdotes as you can," was old Samuel Johnson's advice to Boswell, when that worthy proposed to write of Corsica; and this wise suggestion I have sought to keep in mind in all my travel. Moreover, another saying of the great lexicographer's comes quaintly into my memory as I conclude this Foreword: "There are two things which I am confident I could do very well," he once remarked to Sir Joshua Reynolds; "one is an introduction to any literary work stating {x} what it is to contain, and how it should be executed in the most perfect manner: the other is a conclusion, showing from various causes why the execution has not been equal to what the author promised to himself and to the publick!"

C. P.

Raleigh, N. C.

December 1, 1911.



I.Japan: The Land of Upside Down 3

A Land of Contradictions

Music as an Example

Marriage and the Home Life

Patriarchal Ideas Still Dominant.

II. Snapshots of Japanese Life and Philosophy 9

What a Japanese City Is Like

Strange Clothing of the Japanese

Who Ever Saw So Many Babies?

Alphonse and Gaston Outdone

The Grace of the Little Women

How the Old Japan and the Old South Were Alike

A "Moral Distinction" Between Producers and Non-Producers.

III.Japanese Farming and Farmer Folk 17

Japanese Farm Children Getting More Schooling than American Farm Children

No Illiteracy in the New Japan

Where Five Acres Is a Large Farm

How Iowa Might Feed the Whole United States

Farming Without Horses or Oxen

What the Japanese Farmers Raise

The Crime of Soil-waste

All Work Done by Hand

Cooperative Credit Societies a Success

Farm Houses Grouped in Villages

"A Seller of the Ancestral Land"

The Japanese Love of the Beautiful a Suggestion for America.

IV."Welfare Work" in Japanese Factories 29

Manufacturing Bound to Increase

Tariff Legislation Unfair to Agriculture

A Visit to a Progressive Japanese Factory

How the Factory Operatives Are Looked After

Stricter Factory Legislation Coming.

V. Does Japanese Competition Menace the White Man's Trade 34

A Study of Japanese Industrial Conditions

Japanese Labor Cheap but Inefficient

Actual Cost of Output Little Cheaper than in America

Laborers in a State {xii} of Deplorable Inexperience

Illustrations of Japanese Inefficiency

Some Current Misconceptions Corrected

Labor Wage Has Increased 40 Per Cent, in Eight Years

The Burden of Taxation

High Tariff Will Decrease Japan's Export Trade

Subsidy Policy Destroying Individual Initiative

Japanese Competition Not a Serious Menace to the White Man.

VI. Buddhism, Shintoism, and Christianity in Japan 48

The Artistic Touch of the Japanese

Religion Without Morals

Buddhism in Fact vs. Buddhism Idealized by Arnold

Official Notices Prohibiting Christianity

Christianity "Puts Too High an Estimate on Woman"

The Worth of the Individual Not Recognized

The Elemental Significance of Japan's Awakening

A New Type of Civilization.

VII.Korea: "The Land of the Morning Calm" 60

I Have Become a Contemporary of David

The Fascination of a Primitive City

Some Odd Korean Customs

A True Romance and an Odd One

Many Faces Marked by Smallpox

A Typical Monarchy of Ancient Asia-

The Honorable Mr. Yang-ban

Six Men to Carry Fifty Dollars' Worth of Money

Japanese Annexation

Splendid Work of Foreign Missionaries.

VIII. Manchuria: Fair and Fertile 70

Some First-hand Stories of the Russo-Japanese War

A Bit of History with a Lesson

The Site of the World's Next Great War

Manchuria: Fair and Fertile

Fat Harvests of Food, Feed, and Fuel

A Land Where Everybody "Knows Beans"

Golden Opportunities for Stock-raising

Better Plows and Level Culture

Graves as Thick as Corn Shocks

IX.Where Japan Is Absorbing an Empire 78

Manchuria the One Great Oriental Empire Not Yet Developed

Its Strategic Importance

Why the "Open Door" Concerns Us All

Japan's Shrewd Policies {xiii}

Contempt of Chinese Authority

Japan at Home vs. Japan in Manchuria

How the Open Door Policy Was Violated

Will Manchuria Go the Way of Korea?

A Bit of Chinese Wit and Wisdom

Truth Is in the Interest of Peace.

X.Light from China on Problems at Home 93

A Chinese Martyr-Hero

The Most Tremendous Moral Achievement of Recent Times

A Lesson for America

Putting Officials on Salaries

Money Changers and Title Changers

Making Education Practical

The Parcels Post and Tariff Reform.

XI. The New China: Awake and at Work 102

The Coming National Parliament

The Successful War Against Opium

China's Right-about-face in Education

Building Up an Army

Attacking the Graft System

Railroads, Posts, and Telegraphs

America's Relations with China.

XII.A Trip into Rural China 116

The Camels from Mongolia

Strange Traffic and Travel in Nankou Pass

The Great Wall of China

Surprisingly Progressive Farming Methods.

XIII.From Peking to the Yangtze-Kiang 123

Street Life in Peking

History That Is History

Martyrdoms That Have Enriched the World

Average Wages 15 to 18 Cents a Day

Homes Without Firesides

All China a Vast Cemetery

Keeping on Good Terms with Dragons

The Blessings of Our Alphabet

Confucius as a Moral Teacher

My Friendship with a Descendant of Confucius.

XIV. Sidelights on Chinese Character and Industry 132

Healthy Public Sentiment

Slavery and Foot-binding Still Practised

"Big Feet No B'long Pretty"

The Popularity of a No. 2 Wife

The Virtue That Is Next to Godliness Largely Disregarded

Some Discredited Americans Discovered Abroad

A 600-Mile Trip on the Yangtze {xiv} River

An Interview with Wu Ting Fang

Farming on the Yangtze

Shanghai Factory Laborers Paid 12 Cents a Day.

XV. Farewell to China 142

A City of 2,000,000 People Without a Vehicle

A Dead Chinaman More Important and Respected Than a Live One

Queer Features of Chinese Funerals

Cruelty of Chinese Punishments

A Sample of Chinese Humor: The Story of the Magic Jar

Amusing Trials of a Land Buyer

"Pidgin English"

Everything Is Saved

The Influence That Is Remaking China.

XVI.What I Saw in the Philippines 153

In Manila

A Trip Through Five Provinces

What the Philippine Country Looks Like

Every Filipino Has Cigarette and a Clean Suit

A Mania for Cock-fighting

Snapshots of Philippine Life

Labor the One Thing Lacking.

XVII.What the United States Is Doing in the Philippines 163

Thirty Thousand White People and 7,000,000 Filipinos

Rich Resources and Varied Products

Millions in Lumber

How the Islands Are Governed

Restricting the Suffrage

Education: Achievements of the American Government

Postal Savings Banks and the Torrens System

Public Health Work

Building Roads

And Then Keeping Them Up

"A George Junior Republic."

XVIII. Asia's Greatest Lesson foe America . 173

Where 10 Cents a Day Is a Laborer's Wage

The Savage Struggle for Existence in the East

Tasks Heart-sickening in Their Heaviness

Where Women Are Burden-bearers

$12 a Year for a Farm Hand

An Overcrowded Population Not the Chief Cause of Asia's Poverty

A Defective Organization of Industry Responsible

Foolish Opposition to Labor-saving Tools

Our Debt to Machinery

Knowledge Itself a Productive Agency

Ineffectiveness of Oriental Labor

Tools and Knowledge the Secret of Wealth

Importance of Our Racial Heritage

The Final Lesson.

XIX.The Straits Settlements and Burma 186

The Amazing Industry of the Chinese

Easy Money in Cocoanuts

How Germany Is Capturing Oriental Trade

Rangoon the City of Gorgeous Colors

Burma's Buddhist Temples

Rangoon's Beasts of Burden

Where the Elephants Do the Work

Some First-hand Jungle Stories

My Lord the Elephant

Good-by to Burma.

XX. Hinduism--and the Himalayas 198

Theoretical vs. Practical Hinduism

The Kalighat Temple, Calcutta

Human Sacrifices

Two Indian Places of Worship: A Contrast

A Visit to Benares

Burning the Bodies of the Dead

"Religion" as It Is in Benares

The Himalayas: A New and Happier Subject.

XXI. "The Poor Benighted Hindus" 210

India's Enormous Population

"The Wealth of the Indies" a Romance

A Typical Indian Village

No Chairs, Mattresses, Knives, or Forks Used

Where It Is 105 at Midnight

"Gunga Din" in Evidence

The Lady of Banbury Cross Outdone.

XXII.Hindu Farming and Farm Life 218

Primitive Tools Used by Farmers

What Crops Are Grown

Where Drought Means Death

Reducing the Ravages of Famine

Usury and a Remedy

Where America Is Behind

Landowner and Farm Laborer

Salaam, O Little Folk!

XXIII. The Caste System in India 226

No Man May Rise Higher, but May Fall Lower

How Fatalism Sustains Caste

Contamination by Touch

A Bone Collector's Pride of Rank

The "Thief Caste"

Caste and the Banyan Tree

A Maharaja's Defence of Caste

Some Forces That Are Battering Down the System

Foreign Travel Weakening Caste.

XXIVThe Plight of the Hindu Woman 236

"Woman Is Not to Be Trusted"

Twelve-year-old Brides and Bridegrooms

A Wedding Procession in Agra {xvi}

5000 Rupees for a Wedding Feast

The Plight of the Child-wives

Cruel Treatment of Widows

The Picture Not Wholly Dark

One Worthy Tribute to the Grace of Woman.

XXV.More Leaves from an India Notebook 246

Some Historic Indian Cities

India No More Homogeneous than Europe

English Rule: An Interview with Mr. Krishnaswami Iyer

Indian Wealth in a Few Hands

16 Cents a Day an Incredibly High Wage

No Horses on Indian Farms

Bombay a Great Cotton Market

The Story of a Man-eater

A Snake Story to End With.

XXVI.What the Orient May Teach Us 261

Conservation the Keynote

What Neglect of Her Forests Has Cost China

Forestry Lessons from Japan and Korea

Conserving Individual Wealth

The Essential Immorality of Waste

Avoiding the Wastes of War

Preserving Our Physical Stamina and Racial Strength

A Lesson from China

Patriotism as a Moral Force

The Coming "Conflict of Color"

Oriental vs. Occidental Ideals.



Count Shige-Nobu Okuma of Japan Frontispiece

The Giant Avenue of Cryptomerias at Nikko 13
Typical Japanese Costumes and Temple Architecture 14
Japanese Farming Scenes 19
Japanese School Children 20
The Great Buddha (Diabutsu) at Kamakura 53
The Degenerate Koreans at Rest and at Work 54
Like Scenes from Our Western Prairies 81
Manchurian Women (showing peculiar head-dress) 82
Chinese Waste-paper Collector 82
Pu Yi the Son of Heaven and Emperor of the Middle Kingdom 105
How China Is Dealing with Opium Intemperance 106
A Man-made Desert117
Pumping Water for Irrigation117
Transportation and Travel in China 118
Fashionable Chinese Dinner Party 137
How Lumber Is Sawed in the Orient 137
A Quotation from Confucius138
The Great Wall of China147
Chinese Woman's Ruined Feet147
Chinese School Children148
The American Consulate at Antung 148
A Filipino's Home157
The Carabao, the Work-stock of the Filipinos 158
An Old Spanish Cathedral158
Society Belles of Mindanao, Philippine Islands 181
A Street Scene in Manila181
Two Kinds of Workers in Burma182
Types at Darjeeling, Northern India, and at Delhi, Central India205
Two Rangoon Types206
A Hindu Faquir213
Some Fashionable Hindus213
Hindu Children214
The Taj Mahal from the Entrance Gate241
Gunga Din on Dress Parade242
Bathing in the Sacred Ganges at Benares249
The Battle-scarred and World-famous Residency at Lucknow250
Burning the Bodies of Dead Hindus255
An Indian Camel Cart255
Travel in India256






"I cannot help thinking," said one of my friends to me when I left home, "that when you get over on the other side of the world, in Japan and China, you will have to walk upside down like the flies on the ceiling!"

While I find that this is not true in a physical sense, it is true, as Mr. Percival Lowell has pointed out, that, with regard to the manners and customs of the people, everything is reversed, and the surest way to go right is to take pains to go dead wrong! "To speak backward, write backward, read backward, is but the A B C of Oriental contrariety."

Alice need not have gone to Wonderland; she should have come to Japan.

I cannot get used, for example, to seeing men start at what with us would be the back of a book or paper and read toward the front; and it is said that no European or American ever gets used to the construction of a Japanese sentence, considered merely from the standpoint of thought-arrangement. I had noticed that the Japanese usually ended their sentences with an emphatic upward spurt before I learned that with them the subject of a sentence usually comes last (if at all), as for example, "By a rough road yesterday came John," instead of, "John came by a rough road yesterday."

And this, of course, is but one illustration of thousands that might be given to justify my title, "The Land of Upside Down," the land of contradictions to all our Occidental ideas. That {4} Japan is a land "where the flowers have no odor and the birds no song" has passed into a proverb that is almost literally true; and similarly, the far-famed cherry blossoms bear no fruit. The typesetters I saw in the Kokumin Shimbum office were singing like birds, but the field-hands I saw at Komaba were as silent as church-worshippers. The women carry children on their backs and not in their arms. The girls dance with their hands, not with their feet, and alone, not with partners. An ox is worth more than a horse. The people bathe frequently, but in dirty water. The people are exceptionally artistic, yet the stone "lions" at Nikko Temple look as much like bulldogs as lions. A man's birthday is not celebrated, but the anniversary of his death is. The people are immeasurably polite, and yet often unendurably cocky and conceited. Kissing or waltzing, even for man and wife, would be improper in public, but the exposure of the human body excites no surprise. The national government is supposed to be modern, and yet only 2 per cent, of the people--the wealthiest--can vote. Famed for kindness though the people are, war correspondents declared the brutality of Japanese soldiers to the Chinese at Port Arthur such as "would damn the fairest nation on earth." Though the nation is equally noted for simplicity of living, it is a Japanese banker, coming to New York, who breaks even America's record for extravagance, by giving a banquet costing $40 a plate. The people are supposed to be singularly contented, and yet Socialism has had a rapid growth. The Emperor is regarded as sacred and almost infallible, and yet the Crown Prince is not a legitimate son. Although the government is one of the most autocratic on earth, it has nevertheless adopted many highly "paternalistic" schemes--government ownership of railways and telegraphs, for example. The people work all the time, but they refuse to work as strenuously as Americans. The temples attract thousands of people, but usually only in a spirit of frolic: in the first Shinto temple I visited the priests offered me sake (the national liquor) {5} to drink. Labor per day is amazingly cheap, but, in actual results, little cheaper than American labor.

It is amid such a maze of contradictions and surprises that one moves in Japan. When I go into a Japanese home, for example, it is a hundred times more important to take off my shoes than it is to take off my hat--even though, as happened this week when I called on a celebrated Japanese singer, there be holes in my left sock. (But I was comforted later when I learned that on President Taft's visit to a famous Tokyo teahouse his footwear was found to be in like plight.)

Speaking of music, we run squarely against another oddity, in that native Japanese (as well as Chinese) music usually consists merely of monotonous twanging on one or two strings--so that I can now understand the old story of Li Hung Chang's musical experiences in America. His friends took him to hear grand opera singers, to listen to famous violinists, but these moved him not; the most gifted pianists failed equally to interest him. But one night the great Chinaman went early to a theatre, and all at once his face beamed with delight, and he turned to his friends in enthusiastic gratitude: "We have found it at last!" he exclaimed. "That is genuine music!" . . . And it was only the orchestra "tuning up" their instruments!

I might as well say just here that this story, while good, always struck me as a humorous exaggeration till I came to Japan, but the music which I heard the other night in one of the most fashionable and expensive Japanese restaurants in Tokyo was of exactly the same character--like nothing else in all the world so much as an orchestra tuning up! And yet by way of modification (as usual) it must be said that appreciation of Western music is growing, and one seldom hears in classical selections a sweeter combination of voice and piano than Mrs. Tamaki Shibata's, while my Japanese student-friend has also surprised me by singing "Suwanee River" and other old-time American favorites like a genuine Southerner.

Take the social relations of the Japanese people as another {6} example of contrariety. Here the honorable sex is not the feminine but the masculine. There is even a proverb, I believe, "Honor men, despise women." Perhaps the translation "despise" is too strong, but certainly it would be regarded as nothing but contemptible weakness for young men to show any such regard for young women, or husbands for their wives, as is common in America. The wives exist solely for their husbands, nor must the wife object if the husband maintains other favorites, or even brings these favorites into the home with her. And although a man is with his wife a much greater part of his time than is the case in America, he may have little or no voice in selecting her; in fact, he may see her only once before marrying.

After having seen probably half a million or more Japanese, Sundays and week-days, I have not noticed a single young Japanese couple walking together, and in the one case where I saw a husband and a wife walking thus side by side I discovered on investigation that the man was blind!

"For a young couple to select each other as in America," said a young Japanese gentleman to me, "would be considered immoral, and as for a young man calling on a young woman, that never happens except clandestinely." And when I asked if it was true that when husband and wife go together the woman must follow the man instead of walking beside him as his equal, he answered: "But it is very, very seldom that the two go out together."

My Japanese friend also told me that the young man often has considerable influence in selecting his life-partner (in case it is for life: there is one divorce to every three to five marriages), but the young woman has no more voice in the matter than the commodity in any other bargain-and-sale. When a young man or young woman gets of marriageable age, which is rather early, the parents decide on some satisfactory prospective partner, and a "middleman" interviews the parents of the prospective partner aforesaid, and if they are willing, and {7} financial and other considerations are satisfactory, it doesn't matter what the girl thinks, nor does it matter much whether young Barkis himself is "willin'." The Sir Anthony Absolutes in Japan indeed brook no opposition. All of which, while not wholly commendable (my young Japanese friend himself dislikes the plan, at least in his own prospective case), has at least the advantage of leaving but remarkably few bachelors and old maids in Japan. Here every man's house may not be his castle, but it is certainly his nursery. Usually, too, in the towns at least, his home is his shop; the front part full of wares, with no hard and fast dividing line between merchandise rooms and the living rooms, children being equally conspicuous and numerous in both compartments.

Japan is still governed largely on patriarchal lines. The Emperors themselves depend largely on the patriarchal spirit for their power, claiming direct descent in unbroken line from the Sun-Goddess, while the people are supposed to be themselves descendants of Emperors or of minor gods. In family life the patriarchal idea is still more prominent, the father being the virtual ruler until he abdicates in favor of the eldest son.

Ancestor-worship is general, of course, and a typical case is that of my young Nikko friend, who tells me that in his home are memorial tablets to six of his most recently deceased ancestors, and that hot rice is placed before these tablets each morning. Now the teaching is that the spirits of the dead need the odor of the rice for nourishment, and also require worship of other kinds. Consequently the worst misfortune that can befall a man is to die without heirs to honor his memory (the mere dying itself is not so bad); and if an oldest son die unmarried such action amounts almost to treason to the family.

Moreover, if a man be without sons (daughters don't count), he may adopt a son; and the cases of adoption are surprisingly frequent. Count Okuma, ex-prime minister of the empire, whom I visited last Sunday, adopted his son-in-law as his {8} legal son. A distinguished banker I visited is also an adopted son; and in a comparatively brief list of eminent Japanese, a sort of abbreviated national "Who's Who," I find perhaps twenty cases in which these eminent officials and leaders have been adopted and bear other family names than those with which they were born.

The willingness to give up one's name in adoption, viewed in the light of the excessive devotion to one's own ancestors and family name, is only another illustration of Japanese contrariety. It is a land of surprises.

Miyanoshita, Japan.




"What is a Japanese city like?" Well, let us "suppose," as the children say. You know the American city nearest you, or the one you live in. Suppose then you should wake up in this city to-morrow morning and find in the first place that forty-nine people out of every fifty have put on such unheard-of clothing as to make you rub your eyes in wonder as to whether you are asleep or awake; next, that everybody has become six inches shorter, and that all these hundred-thousand five-foot men and four-foot women have unanimously developed most violent sunburn--have become bronzed almost beyond recognition.

Moreover, the high buildings you once knew have all disappeared, and a wilderness chiefly of tiny one and two story houses has taken their places, wherein the first story, even in two-story buildings, is so low that all your new brown friends warn you by a gesture to duck your head as you go through the doors, while the second story is usually little more than a garret.

Next, a wild jargon of unmeaning voices strikes your ear and you discover that ninety-nine people out of a hundred have forgotten how to speak English. More than this, the English signs are no more, and on the billboards and before the business offices are marks that look as if a thousand ostriches fresh from a thousand ink barrels had been set to scratching new signs to take the places of the old. You pick up a book {10} or the morning paper, and the same thing has happened--pig tracks, chicken tracks, and double bowknots fantastically tied instead of English type--and everybody begins at the back of the book and reads toward him instead of reading the way you have grown used to!

And the buggies, carriages, and automobiles: what on earth has become of them? There's hardly a horse in sight, but dozens or scores of men with bare legs and odd clothes, each flying around pulling a light two-wheeled jinrikisha, a man or a woman seated in each man-drawn "buggy"; and there are dozens of other bare-legged men laboriously pulling heavy loads of vegetables, freight, and even lumber and giant telegraph poles! You jump into one of the rickshaws and forget your strange little Puck-like steed in the marvel of your surroundings till a voice from the shafts makes you feel like Balaam when the ass spoke to him!

By this time you begin to get a hazy idea as to how the people are dressed, and as nearly as you can make out, it is something like this:

Evidently all the inhabitants of an ancient Roman city, a modern American town, a half-dozen Hindoo villages, and several thousand seashore bathers have all thrown their clothes--(or the lack of them!)--into one tremendous pile, and everybody has rushed in pell-mell and put on the first thing, or the first two or three things, that came to hand. There is every conceivable type of clothing, but perhaps the larger number have wound up with something like a light bathing suit and a sort of gingham dressing-gown belted over it; and if one has less than this, why, then, as the Japanese say, "Shikata na gai" (All right; it can't be helped). In the shops and stores one passes a few men clad only in their own integrity and a loin-cloth, and both children and grown people dress with a hundred times more disregard of convention than the negroes in America.

Of shoes, there is an equally great variety as of clothing, {11} but the majority of men, women, and children (in muddy weather at least) have compromised on the "getas," a sort of wooden sole strapped on the foot, with wooden pieces put fore and aft the instep, these pieces throwing the foot and sole about three inches above ground. It looks almost as difficult to walk in them as to walk on stilts, but away the people go, young and old, and the muddy places marked by the strange footwear look as if the corrugated wheels of a hundred mowing-machines had passed along! In most cases the clatter of the "get as" is the loudest noise on the streets, for the Japanese are remarkably quiet: in Tokyo to-day I saw a thousand of them waiting to see the Empress, and an American crowd would literally have made more noise in a minute than they made in an hour.

On entering their houses, as we have already noticed, the people take off their getas, sandals, shoes or whatever outer footwear is used--for the very good reason that the people sit on the floor (on mats or on the floor itself), eat on the floor (very daintily, however), and sleep on the floor, so that to walk over the floor here with muddy feet would be the same as if an American should walk roughshod over his chairs, table and bed. Even in the Japanese department store I visited this morning cloth covers were put on my shoes, and this afternoon at the Ni-no Go Reiya Shinto temple I had to go in my stocking feet.

Then the babies--who ever saw as many babies to the square inch? About 10 per cent of the male population seems to be hauling other men, but 50 per cent, of the female population seems hardly enough to carry the wise and happy-looking little Jap babies--not in go-carts (a go-cart or a hired nurse is almost never seen), but on the back. And these little women who when standing are only about as tall as you are when sitting--they seem hardly more than children themselves, so that you recall Kipling's saying of Japan: "A four-foot child walks with a three-foot child, who is holding the hand {12} of a two-foot child, who carries on her back a one-foot child."

Boys in their teens are also seen with babies strapped on their backs in the same loose-fitting, sack-like baby-holders, and after work-time the father takes a turn at the same business. You are reminded of the negro who said to another: "'Fo Gawd, Bill, you's got the mos' chillun any nigger I ever seed. Why, I passed yo' house yistiddy mornin' at nine erclock and throwed a brick on top and hollered 'Fiah!' an' at five erclock in the evenin' nigger chillun was still runnin' out!" It seems sometimes as if such an incident, with Jap children substituted for negroes (I doubt if there is a negro here), might actually happen in Japan.

And those two men bowing to each other as they meet--are they rehearsing as Alphonse and Gaston for the comedy show to-night, or are they serious? No, they are serious, for yonder is another pair meeting in the same way, and yonder another couple separating with even more violent "convulsions of politeness"--and nobody laughing but yourself. No wonder the Japanese are strong: they only need to meet a few friends a day to get exercise enough to keep them in trim! Look again: those women meeting at the depot, for example (for there are familiar-looking street cars and less familiar-looking passenger cars amid all these strange surroundings). There is the woman with her hair combed straight back, which, I am told, means that she is a widow; one with an odd Japanese topknot, which means that she is married, and a younger one whose hair is arranged in the style of unmarried girls; and though they are evidently bosom friends, they do not embrace and kiss at meeting--to kiss in public would be shocking to the Japanese--and you can only guess the depth of their affection by the greater warmth and emphasis of their bows to one another.



This magnificent avenue, twenty-five miles in length, consists of trees planted by daimyos, or small lords, as a memorial to the great Japanese warrior and statesman, Iyeyasu. A spirit of simplicity and love of nature has produced a nobler monument than extravagance could possibly have done.




In the temple picture notice also how the limbs of the trees have been trained. Many fantastic effects are often produced in this way.

{12 continued}

They are trained in politeness from their youth up, are these Japanese; and it is perhaps the greatest charm of both young and old. I must have seen a full hundred thousand Japanese {15} by this time, and I do not recall one in the attitude of scolding or abuse, while authorities tell me that the Japanese language simply has no words to enable one to swear or curse. I was also interested to have the American Ambassador here tell me that in all his three years' stay in Japan, and with all the freedom with which a million children run about the streets and stores, he has never seen a man impatient with a child. At the Imperial University yesterday morning I noticed two college boys part with the same deep courtesy used by the older men, and the little five-year-old girl near Chuzenji the other day thanked me for my gift with the most graceful of Eastern salaams.

I shall not say that the excessive ceremoniousness of the men does not at times seem ludicrous, but when you come to your hotel dining-room, and the inexpressibly dainty little Japanese girls, moving almost noiselessly on their sandaled feet (no getas indoors) welcome each guest with smiling bows, happy, refined and graceful, a very different impression of Japanese courtesy comes over you. In America, unfortunately, the like courteous attention under such circumstances might be misinterpreted, but here you are only reminded of how a thousand years of courtesy and gentle manners have given the women of Japan--pretty though they are not, judged by our Western standards--an unsurpassed grace of manner and happiness of disposition together with Shakespeare's well-praised "voice, soft and low, an excellent thing in woman."

And here and everywhere, as in the old fable of the man with the overcoat, must not such sun-like gentleness be more powerful in compelling deference than all the stormy strength of the "new woman"?

Which reminds me that however much the social, political, and economic revolution of the last forty years may have changed the national character (and upon this point I shall not speak till later), it is certain that Old Japan and the Old South were distinguished for not a few characteristics {16} in common. For example, we are reminded of the South's ante-bellum civilization when we learn that in old Japan "the business of money-making was held in contempt by the superior classes," and of all forms of business, agriculture was held in highest esteem. Next to the nobility stood the Samurai, or soldier class, the social rank of all other persons then being as follows: (1) farmers, (2) artisans, (3) merchants. And farming was thus not only regarded as the most honorable of all occupations, but farmers in the early ages were privileged to wear swords, the emblem of rank next to the nobility. Below the farmers ranked the mechanic element, while as Lafcadio Hearn tells us:

"The commercial class (A kindo), including bankers, merchants, shopkeepers, and traders of all kinds, was the lowest officially recognized. The business of money-making was held in contempt by the superior classes; and all methods of profiting by the purchase and resale of the produce of labor were regarded as dishonorable. . . . There is a generally, in militant society, small respect for the common forms of labor. But in old Japan the occupation of the farmer and artisan were not despised; trade alone appears to have been considered degrading, and the distinction may have been partly a moral one."

I wonder if there is not really a great deal more than we have realized in what Hearn here suggests as to the soundness and essential "morality" of the Japanese plan of ranking farming and manufacturing above trade as occupations? Morally and economically considered, it is the men who actually produce wealth rather than those men who trade or barter in the products of other men's labor who deserve most honor. They serve the world best: The barterers are, in limited numbers, necessary and useful servants of those who do produce, but the strength of a state manifestly lies in the classes who are really creators of values.

Tokyo, Japan.




I went yesterday to the Agricultural College of the Imperial University of Japan, situated at Komaba, near Tokyo, where I had an appointment with Director Matsui. My purpose was to get further information concerning the general condition of Japanese farmers and Japanese farming, but the biggest fact my researches brought out was not in regard to rice or barley or potatoes or taro, or any other field product of the Mikado's empire.

Rather it was a fact with regard to what is in every land the most important of all crops--the crop of boys and girls. And the big fact I discovered was simply this:

These brown Mongolian farm children, whose land we opened to civilization but fifty years ago, and whom we thought of but yesterday as backward "heathen"--they are getting, as a general proposition, just twice as much schooling as is furnished pupils in many of our American rural districts: their parents are providing, in their zeal for their children's welfare, just twice as good educational facilities as we are giving many of our white farm boys and girls--boys and girls who have in their veins the blood of a race which has carried the flag of human progress for a thousand years, and whom we are expecting to continue leaders in civilization and enlightenment.

In other words, so Doctor Matsui told me (and I went to-day to the Japanese National Department of Education to verify the fact), the Japanese farm boys and girls are getting ten months' schooling a year, while the farm boy or girl {18} in my own state is getting only five or six months--and when I was in a country school fifteen years ago, not nearly so much as that! Do you wonder that I avoided telling the Japanese educational officer just how our provision for farm boys and girls compared with Japan's? Also that I neglected to tell him how we compare in the matter of utilizing school advantages, when he showed me that of all the children between six and fourteen in all the empire of Japan the school attendance is 98 per cent.--98 out of every 100 children of "school age" attending school, and in several provinces 99 out of every 100! Thirty-five years ago the average school attendance in Japan was only 28, and in 1893 only 59, but by the time of the war with Russia it had passed 90, and since then has been climbing straight and steadily toward the amazing maximum itself, the official figures showing a gain of 1 per cent, a year--94 per cent., then 95, then 96, then 97, and now 98, and the leaders are now ambitious for 99 or 100, as they told me to-day.

When this officer of an "inferior race" showed me, furthermore, that Japan is so intent upon educating every boy and girl in her borders that she compels attendance on the public schools for eight years, I didn't tell him that in civilized America, in the great enlightened nation so long held up to him as a model, demagogues and others in many states on one pretext or another have defeated every effort for effective compulsory education laws, so that if a boy's parents are indifferent to his future, the state does not compel them to give him a fighting chance in life--for the state's own sake and for the boy's.



The upper picture shows a rice field in the foreground, tea alongside the buildings, and the graceful feathery bamboo in the background; also, an unusual sight on a Japanese farm, a group of cattle. The lower picture shows the work of transplanting rice.



Boys predominate in the upper picture, girls in the lower. A system of compulsory education is enforced in Japan, and 98 per cent, of the children of school age attend. Even the country schools run ten months in the year--longer than in a majority of our states.

{18 continued}

With these facts before me, as I have said, I did not make any vainglorious boasts of the great educational progress of our own states these last twenty years: However much progress we have made, these brown Japanese "heathen" have beaten us. While there is no official census on the question of illiteracy here, every Japanese man in his twenties must serve {21} two years in the army (unless he is in a normal school studying to be a teacher), and a record is made as to the literacy or illiteracy of each recruit. That is to say, there is a place where the fact of any recruit's inability to read would be recorded, but the Department of Education informed me to-day that the illiterate column is now absolutely blank.

There are no illiterates among Japan's rising generation.

More than this, we have to reflect that it is in their poverty that the Japanese are thus doing more than we are doing in our plenty. We waste more in a year than they make. Even with a hundred acres of land the American farmer is likely to consider himself poor, but when I asked my Japanese guide the other day if two cho (five acres) would be an average sized farm here he said: "No, not an average; such a man would be regarded as a middle-class farmer--a rather large farmer." And the figures which I have just obtained in a call on the national Department of Agriculture and Commerce more than justify the reply.

Forty-six farmers out of every 100 in Japan own less than one and one quarter acres of land; 26 more out of every 100 own less than two and one half acres, and only one man in a hundred owns as much as twenty-five acres. (In the matter of cultivation also I find that 70 per cent, cultivate less than two and one half acres, and nearly half are tenants.)

This year the situation is even worse than usual, for disastrous floods have reduced the rice crop, which represents one half Japan's crop values, 20 per cent, below last year's figures, and many people will suffer.

Ordinarily, however, these little handkerchief-sized farms yield amazingly. It has been shown by Prof. F. H. King that the fields of Japan are cultivated so intensively, fertilized so painstakingly, and kept so continuously producing some crop, that they feed 2277 people to the square mile--21,321 square miles of cultivated fields in the main islands supporting a population of 48,542,376. If the tilled fields of Iowa, for {22} example, supported an equal number of people per square mile, the population so supported would be over 100,000,000. That state alone could feed the entire population of the United States and then have an excess product left for export to other countries! If North Carolina did as well with her cultivated land she would support 30,000,000 people, and if Mississippi's 11,875 square miles of land under cultivation supported each 2277 persons, then 27,041,375 people, or thirteen times the present population of the state, could live off their produce!

And yet these Japanese lands have been in cultivation for unnumbered centuries. Some of them may have been cleared when King Herod trembled from his dream of a new-born rival in Judea, and certainly "the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome" had not faded from the earth when some of these fields began their age-long ministry to human need. And they have been kept fertile simply by each farmer putting back on the ground every ounce of fertility taken from it, for commercial fertilizers were absolutely unknown until our own generation.

Of course, with a population so dense and with each man cultivating an area no larger than a garden-patch in America, the people are poor, and the wonder is that they are able to produce food enough to keep the country from actual want. Practically no animal meat is eaten; if we except fish, the average American eats nearly twice as much meat in a week as the average Japanese does in a year: to be exact, 150 pounds of meat per capita is required per year for the average American against 1.7 pounds for the average Japanese! Many of the farmers here are too poor even to eat a good quality of rice. Consequently Japan presents the odd phenomenon of being at once an exporter and a large importer of rice. Poor farmers sell their good rice and buy a poorer quality brought in from the mainland of Asia and mix it with barley for grinding.

Only about one farmer in three has a horse or an ox; in most cases all the work must be done by hand and with crude tools. {23} It is pitiful--or rather I should say, it would be pitiful if they did not appear so contented--to see men breaking the ground not by plowing but by digging with kuwas: long-handled tools with blades perhaps six inches wide and two feet long. At the Agricultural College farm in Komaba I saw about thirty Japanese weeding rice with the kama--a tool much like an old-fashioned sickle except that the blade is straight: the right hand quickly cut the roots of the weed or grass plant and the left hand as quickly pulled it up. With the same sickle-like kamas about thirty other Japanese were cutting and shocking corn: they are at least too advanced to pull fodder, I was interested to notice!

With land so scarce, it is of course necessary to keep something on the ground every growing day from year's end to year's end. Truckers and gardeners raise three crops a year. Rice, as a rule, is not sown as with us, but the plants are transplanted as we transplant cabbage or tomato plants (but so close together, of course, that the ripening fields look as if they had been sown), in order that the farmer may save the time the rice plants are getting to the transplanting stage. That is to say, some other crop is maturing on the land while the rice plants are growing large enough to transplant. Riding through the country almost anywhere you will notice the tender young plants of some new crop showing between the rows of some earlier-planted crop now maturing or newly harvested.

The crops in Japan are not very varied. Rice represents half the agricultural values. Next to rice is the silkworm industry, and then barley, wheat, vegetables, soy beans, sweet potatoes, and fruits. There is especial interest in fruit growing just now. Sweet potatoes grow more luxuriantly than in any other country I have ever seen, and are much used for food. I have seen one or two little patches of cotton, but evidently only for home spinning, although I hear it said that in Korea, which has just been formally annexed as Japanese territory, cotton can be profitably grown. A much {24} cultivated plant, with leaves like those of the lotus or water-lily, is the taro, which I also saw growing in Hawaii; its roots are used for food as potatoes are.

Every particle of fertility of every kind, as I have said, is religiously saved, and in recent years a considerable demand for commercial fertilizers has sprung up, $8 to $10 worth per acre being a normal application.

So much for the farming country as it has impressed me around Tokyo. A few days ago I saw a somewhat different agricultural area--280 miles of great rice-farming land between Miyanoshita and Kyoto. This country is different from that around Yokahoma and north of Tokyo in that it is so much more rolling and mountainous (majestic Mount Fuji, supreme among peaks, was in sight several hours) and greater efforts are therefore necessary to take care of the soil.

But when such effort is necessary in Japan, it is sure to be made. The population is so dense that every one realizes the essential criminality of soil-waste, of the destruction of the one resource which must support human life as long as the race shall last.

Much of the land is in terraces, or, perhaps I should say, tiers. That is to say, here will be a half-acre or an acre from eighteen inches to six feet higher (all as level as a threshing-floor) than a similar level piece adjoining. While the levelling is helpful in any case for the preservation of fertility and the prevention of washing, the tier system is necessary in many cases on account of the irrigation methods used in rice growing. While the lower plot is flooded for rice, upland crops may be growing on the adjacent elevated acre or half-acre.

The hillside or mountain slopes are also cultivated to the last available foot, and in dry seasons you may even see the men and women carrying buckets uphill to water any suffering crop. In nearly all cases the rows are on a level. Where there was once a slanting hillside the Japanese here dig it down or grade it, and the mountainsides are often enormous steps or {25} stairs; one level terrace after another, each held in place by turf or rock wall.

Rice growing, as it is conducted in Japan, certainly calls for much bitter toil. The land must be broken by hand; into the muddy, miry, water-covered rice fields the farmer-folk must wade, to plant the rice laboriously, plant by plant; then the cultivation and harvesting is also done by hand, and even the threshing, I understand. When we recall that the net result of all this bitter toil is only a bare existence made increasingly hard by the steady rise in land-taxes, and that the Japanese people know practically none of the diversions which give joy and color to American and English country life, it is no wonder that thousands of farmers are leaving their two and three acre plots, too small to produce a decent living for a family, to try their fortunes in the factories and the towns. Specifically, it may be mentioned that the boys from the farms who go into the army for the compulsory two years' service are reported as seldom returning to the country.

True, the government is trying to help matters to some extent (though this is indeed but little) by lending money to banks at low rates of interest with the understanding that the farmers may then borrow from these banks at rates but little higher; and there are also in most communities, I learn, "cooperative credit societies" (corresponding somewhat to the mutual building and loan societies in American towns), by means of which the farmers escape the clutches of the Shylock money-lenders who have heretofore charged as high as 20 to 30 per cent, for advances. The Japanese farmers invest their surplus funds in these "cooperative credit societies," just as they would in savings banks, except that in their case their savings are used solely for helping their immediate neighbors and neighborhoods. A judicious committee passes upon each small loan, and while the interest rates might seem high to us, we have to remember that money everywhere here commands higher interest than in America.


I am the more interested in these "cooperative credit societies," because they seem to me to embrace features which our American farmers would do well to adopt.

It is said that the farmers live on better food than they had twenty years ago, but I should think that there has been little improvement in the little thatch-roofed houses in which they live. These houses are grouped into small villages, as are the farm houses in Europe, the farmer going out from the settlement to his fields each working day, much after the fashion of the workers on the largest American plantations. Buildings corresponding to our American two-story houses are almost never seen in towns here and absolutely never in farming sections, the farm home, like the town home, usually consisting of a story and a half, with sliding walls of paper-covered sash between the rooms, a sort of box for the fire on which the meals are cooked, and no chimney--little better, though much cleaner, than the negro cabins in the South. In winter the people nearly freeze, or would but for the fact that the men put on heavy woolens, and the women pile on cotton padding until they look almost like walking feather beds.

True as are the things that I have said in this article, I fear that my average reader would get a very gloomy and false conception of Japanese farm life if I should stop here. The truth is that, so far as my observation goes, I have seen nothing to indicate that the rural population of Japan is not now as happy as the rural population in America. If their possessions are few, so are their wants. In fact. Dr. Juichi Soyeda, one of the country's leading men, in talking to me, expressed a doubt as to whether the new civilization of Japan will really produce greater average happiness than the old rural seclusion and isolation (a doubt, however, which I do not share). "Our farm people," he said, "are hard-working, frugal, honest, cheerful, and while their possessions are small, there is little actual want among them. A greater {27} number than in most other countries are home-owners, and, altogether, they form the backbone of an empire."

Doctor Soyeda went on to give a noteworthy illustration of the affection of the people for their home farms. "The Japanese," he said, "have a term of contempt for the man who sells an old homestead." There is no English word equivalent to it, but it means "a seller of the ancestral land," and to say it of a man is almost equivalent to reflecting upon his character or honor! I wish that we might develop in America such a spirit of affection for our farm homes.

I wish, too, that we might develop the Japanese love of the beautiful in nature. No matter how small and cramped the yard about the tiny home here, you are almost sure to find the beauty of shrub and tree and neatly trimmed hedge, and in Tokyo the whole population looks forward with connoisseur-like enthusiasm to the season for wistaria blooms in earliest spring, to the cherry blossom season in April, to lotus-time in mid-summer, and to the chrysanthemum shows in the fall. The fame of Tokyo's cherry blossoms has already gone around the world, and thus they not only add to the pleasure of its citizens, but give the city a distinction of no small financial advantage as well.

Why may not our civic improvement associations, women's clubs, etc., get an idea here for our American towns? A long avenue of beautiful trees along a road or street, even if trees without blossoms, would give distinction to any small village or to any farm. Every one who has been to Europe will recall the long lines of Lombardy poplars that make the fair vision of many French roads linger long in the memory, and I can never forget the magnificent avenue of cryptomerias--gigantic in size, straight as ship masts, fair as the cedars of Lebanon--that line the road leading to the great Shogun Iyeyasu's tomb in Nikko.

Lastly, these people are fired by the thought that a better day is coming. Their children are going to school, as the {28} older folk could not, and as a Japanese editor said to me this week:

"Every boy in the empire believes he may some day become Premier!"

What is the lesson of it all? Is it not just this: That we in America should feel highly favored in that we have such magnificent resources, and yet as sharply rebuked in that we are doing so little with them.

And most of all, is there not need for us to emulate the broad patriotism and the heroic spirit of self-sacrifice in which the Land of the Rising Sun, in spite of dire poverty, is providing ten-months schools for every boy and girl in all its borders? And, indeed, how otherwise can we make sure, before it is too late, that our American farm boys and girls will not be outdistanced in twentieth-century achievement by the children of a people our fathers regarded only as hopeless "heathen?"

Tokyo, Japan.




The obvious truth is that the agricultural population of Japan is too congested. It is a physical impossibility for a people to live in genuine comfort on such small pocket-handkerchief pieces of land, even though their standards do not call for shoes or tables, beds or chairs, Western houses or Western clothing. The almost exclusive use of hand labor, too, is uneconomic, seen from a large standpoint, and it would seem that in future farmers must combine, as they are already beginning to do, in order to purchase horses and horse-power tools to be used in common by a number of farmers. In the Tokyo Seed, Plant & Implement Company store the other day I saw a number of widely advertised American tools, and the manager told me the demand for them is increasing.

Thus with a smaller number of men required to produce the nation's food, a larger number may engage in manufacturing, and gradually the same principle of division of labor which has brought Western people to high standards of living, comfort, and earning power will produce much the same result in Japan. Already wages, astonishingly low as they are to-day to an ordinary American, have increased 40 per cent, in the last eight or ten years, this increase being partly due to the general cheapening of money the world over, and partly also to the increased efficiency of the average laborer.

Unfortunately, however, Japan is not content to rely upon natural law for the development of its manufactures. Adam {30} Smith said in his "Wealth of Nations" (published the year of our American Declaration of Independence), that the policy of all European nations since the downfall of the Roman Empire had been to help manufacturing, the industry of the towns, rather than agriculture, the industry of the country--a policy in which America later imitated Europe. Japan now follows suit. For a long time the government has paid enormous subsidies to shipbuilding and manufacturing corporations, and now a high tariff has been enacted, which will still further increase the cost of living for the agricultural classes, comprising, as they do, two thirds of the country's population.

"'With your cheap labor and all the colossal Oriental market right at your door," I said to Editor Shihotsu of the Kokumin Shimbun a day or two ago, "what excuse is there for further dependence on the government? What can be the effect of your new tariff except to increase the burdens of the farmer for the benefit of the manufacturer?" And while defending the policy, he admitted that I had stated the practical effect of the policy. "They are domestic consumption duties," was his phrase; and Count Okuma, one of the empire's ablest men, once Minister of Agriculture, has also pointed out how injuriously the new law will affect the masses of the people.

"Some would argue," he said in a speech at Osaka, "that the duties are paid by the country from which the goods are imported. That this is not the case is at once seen by the fact that an increase in duty means a rise in the price of an article in the country imposing the duty, and this to the actual consumer often amounts to more than the rise in the duty. In these cases consumers pay the duty themselves; and the customs revenues, so far from being a national asset, are merely another form of taxation paid by the people." And the masses in Japan, already staggering under the enormous burden of an average tax amounting to 32 per cent, of their earnings (on account of their wars with China and Russia and their enormous army and navy expenditure), are ill-prepared to stand further {31} taxation for the benefit of special interests. On the whole, there seems to have been much truth in what a recent authority said on this subject:

"The Japanese manufacturers are concerned only to make monopoly profits out of the consumer. If they can do that, they will not worry about foreign markets, from which, in fact, their policy is bound more and more to exclude them."

In any case, manufacturing in Japan is bound to increase, but it ought not to increase through unjust oppression of agriculture or at the expense of the physical stamina of the race. This fact is now winning recognition not only from the nation at large, but from public-spirited manufacturers as well.

Some very notable evidence upon this point came to me Wednesday when influential friends secured special permission, not often granted to strangers, for me to visit the great Kanegafuchi Cotton Spinning Company's plant near Tokyo--the great surprise being not that I succeeded in getting permission to visit this famous factory, though that was partly surprising, but in what I saw on the visit.

Much has been said and written as to the utterly deplorable condition of Japanese factory workers, and I was quite prepared for sights that would outrage my feelings of humanity. Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I found the manager making a hobby of "welfare work" for his operatives and with a system of such work modelled after the Krupp system in Germany, the best in the world! And as the Kanegafuchi Company has seventeen factories in all, representing several cities and aggregating over 300,000 spindles, being one of the most famous industries of Japan, it will be seen that its example is by no means without significance.

The Kanegafuchi's Tokyo factories alone employ 3500 operatives, and they are cleaner, I should say, than most of our stores and offices. The same thing is true of their great hospital and boarding-house, and the dining-room is also {32} surprisingly clean and well kept. Of the welfare work proper a whole article could be written. Each operative pays 3 per cent, of his or her wages (most operatives are women) into a common insurance and pension fund, and the company, out of its earnings, pays into the fund an equal amount. From this a pension is given the family of any employee who dies, while if an operative gets sick or is injured, a committee, assisted by Director Fuji, allows a suitable pension until recovery. In the case, however, of long-standing disease or disability, help is given, after ten years, from still another fund. This employees' pension fund now amounts to $143,000, while other funds given partly or wholly by the company include $30,000 for operatives' sanitary fund, $112,000 in a fund "for promoting operatives' welfare," and $15,000 for erecting an operatives' sanatorium. The company also has a savings department, paying 10 per cent, on long-time deposits made by employees. There is an excellent theatre and dance hall at the Tokyo plant, and I suppose at the other branches also, and five physicians are regularly employed to look after the health of operatives.

While the hours of labor in Japan generally are inexcusably long and, as a rule, only two rest days a month are allowed, the Kanegafuchi Company observes the Biblical seventh-day rest with profitable results. The work hours are long yet, it is true, ten hours having been the rule up to October 1, and now nine and one half hours. The ten hours this summer embraced the time from 6 to 6, with a half hour's rest from 9 to 9:30, one hour from 11:30 to 12:30, and another half hour from 3 to 3:30; a system of halfway rests not common in America, I believe.

Conditions at Kanegafuchi, of course, are not ideal, nor would I hold them up as a general model for American mills. Rather should America ask: "If Japan in a primitive stage of industrial evolution is doing so much, how much more ought we to do?" More noteworthy still is the fact that the sentiment of the country is loudly and insistently demanding a law {33} to stop the evils of child labor and night work for women, which, on the whole, are undoubtedly bad--very bad. The Kanegafuchi welfare work is exceptional, but it is in line with the new spirit of the people.

That Japan with its factory system not yet extensive, its people used to a struggle for existence tenfold harder than ours, and with a population comprising only the wealthy or capitalist class--that under such conditions, these Buddhist Japanese should still make effective demand for adequate factory labor legislation is enough to put to shame many a Christian state in which our voters still permit conditions that reproach our boasted chivalry and humanity. Perhaps all the changes needed cannot be made at once without injury to manufacturing interests, but in that case the law should at least require a gradual and steady approach to model conditions--a distinct step forward each six months until at the end of three years, or five years at longest, every state should have a law as good as that of Massachusetts.

Tokyo, Japan.





With all the markets of the Orient right at Japan's doors and labor to be had for a mere song--four fifths of her cotton-factory workers, girls and women averaging 13-1/2 cents a day, and the male labor averaging only 22 cents--it is simply useless for Europe and America to attempt to compete with her in any line she chooses to monopolize. Now that she has recovered from her wars, she will doubtless forge to the front as dramatically as an industrial power as she has already done as a military and maritime power, while other nations, helpless in competition, must simply surrender to the Mikado-land the lion's share of Asiatic trade--the richest prize of twentieth-century commerce.

In some such strain as this prophets of evil among English and American manufacturers have talked for several years. For the last few months, professing to see in Japan's adoption of a high protective tariff partial confirmation of their predictions, they have assumed added authority. Their arguments, too, are so plausible and the facts as to Japan's low wage scale so patent that the world has become acutely interested in the matter. I account myself especially fortunate, therefore, in having been able to spend several weeks under peculiarly favorable circumstances in a first-hand study of Japanese industrial {35} conditions. I have been in great factories and business offices; I have talked with both Japanese and foreign manufacturers who employ laborers by the thousand; I have had the views of the most distinguished financial leaders of the empire as well as of the great captains of industry; I have talked with several men who have served in the Emperor's cabinet, including one who has stood next to the Mikado himself in power; and at the same time I have taken pains to get the views of English and American consular officials, commercial attaches and travelers, and of newspaper men both foreign and native.

And yet after having seen the big factories and the little factory-workers in Tokyo and Osaka, after having listened to the most ambitious of Japan's industrial leaders, I shall leave the country convinced of the folly of the talk that white labor cannot compete with Japanese labor. I believe indeed that the outlook is encouraging for manufacturing in the Mikado's empire, but I do not believe that this development is to be regarded as a menace to English or American industry. Any view to the contrary, it seems to me, must be based upon a radical misconception of conditions as they are.

In the very outset, the assumed parallel between Japan's rise as a military power and her predicted rise as an industrial power should be branded as the groundless non sequitur that it is. "All our present has its roots in the past," as my first Japanese acquaintance said to me, and we ignore fundamental facts when we forget that for centuries unnumbered Japan existed for the soldier, as the rosebush for the blossom. The man of martial courage was the goal of all her striving, the end of all her travail. Society was a military aristocracy, the Samurai the privileged class. And at the same time commerce was despised as dishonorable and industry merely tolerated as a necessary evil. In the Japan of Yalu, Liao-yang, and Mukden we have no modern Minerva springing full-armed from the head of Jove, but rather an unrecognized Ulysses {36} of ancient skill surprising onlookers merely ignorant of the long record of his prowess. Viewed from the same historical standpoint, however, industrial Japan is a mere learner, unskilled, with the long and weary price of victory yet to pay.

In the race she has to run, moreover, the Mikado-land has no such advantages as many of our people have been led to believe. In America it has long been my conviction that cheap labor is never cheap; that so-called "cheap labor" is a curse to any community--not because it is cheap but because it is inefficient. The so-called cheap negro labor in the South, for example, I have come to regard as perhaps the dearest on the continent. Here in Japan, however, I was quite prepared to find that this theory would not hold good. By reason of conditions in a primitive stage of industrial organization, I thought that I might find cheap labor with all the advantages, in so far as there are any, and few of the disadvantages, encountered elsewhere. But it is not so. An American factory owner in Osaka, summing up his Job's trials with raw Japanese labor, used exactly my own phrase in a newspaper article a few days ago, "Cheap labor is never cheap." And all my investigations have convinced me that the remark is as applicable in Japan as it is in America or England.

The per capita wages of Japanese laborers here are, of course, amazingly low. The latest 1910 statistics, as furnished by the Department of Finance, indicate a daily wage (American money) of 40 cents for carpenters, 31-1/2 cents for shoemakers, 34 cents for blacksmiths, 25-1/2 cents for compositors, 19-1/2 cents for male farm laborers, and 22 cents for male weavers, and 12 cents for female. In the cotton factories I visited, those of the better sort, the wages run from 5 cents a day for the youngest children to 25 cents a day for good women workers. In a mousselaine mill I was told that the average wages were 22-1/2 cents, ranging from 10 cents to a maximum of 50 cents for the most skilled employees. And this, be it remembered, was {37} for eleven hours' work and in a factory requiring a higher grade of efficiency than the average.

But in spite of the fact that such figures as these were well known to him, it was my host in the first Japanese house to which I was invited --one of the Emperor's privy councillors, and a man of much travel and culture who had studied commercial conditions at home and abroad rather profoundly--who expressed the conclusion that Japanese factory labor when reduced to terms of efficiency is not greatly cheaper than European, an opinion which has since grown rather trite in view of the number of times that I have heard it. "In the old handicrafts and family industries to which our people have been accustomed," my host declared, "we can beat the world, but the moment we turn to modern industrial machinery on a large scale the newness of our endeavor tells against us in a hundred hindering ways. Numbers of times I have sought to work out some industrial policy which had succeeded, and could not but have succeeded, in England, Germany, or America, only to meet general failure here because of the unconsidered elements of a different environment, a totally different stage of industrial evolution. Warriors from the beginning and with a record for continuous government unsurpassed by any European country, our political and military achievements are but the fruitage of our long history, but in industry we must simply wait through patient generations to reach the stage represented by the Englishman, Irishman, or German, who takes to machinery as if by instinct."

All my investigations since have confirmed the philosophy of this distinguished Japanese whose name, if I should mention it, would be familiar to many in America and England. In the Tokyo branch of the Kanegafuchi Spinning Company (a company which controls 300,000 spindles) the director, speaking from the experience of one of the greatest and best conducted industries in Japan, declared: "Your skilled factory laborers in America or England will work four sides of a ring frame; our unskilled laborer may work only one." A young Englishman in another factory declared: "It takes five men here to do work that I and my mate would take care of at home." An American vice-consul told me that it takes three or four times as much Japanese as foreign labor to look after an equal number of looms. A Japanese expert just back from Europe declared recently that "Lancashire labor is more expensive than ours, but really cheaper." Similarly the Tokyo correspondent of the London Times summing up an eight-column review of Japanese industry, observed: "If we go to the bottom of the question and consider what is being paid as wages and what is being obtained as the product of labor in Japan, we may find that Japanese labor is not cheaper than in other countries."



My own conviction is that in actual output the Japanese labor is somewhat cheaper than American or European labor, but not greatly so, and that even this margin of excess in comparative cheapness represents mainly a blood-tax on the lives and energies of the Japanese people, the result of having no legislation to restrain the ruinous overwork of women and little children--a grievous debt which the nation must pay at the expense of its own stamina and which the manufacturers must also pay in part through the failure to develop experienced and able-bodied laborers. The latest "Japan Year Book" expresses the view that "in per capita output two or three skilled Japanese workers correspond to one foreign," but under present conditions the difficulty here is to find the skilled workers at all. When Mr. Oka, of the Department of Commerce and Agriculture, told me that the average Japanese factory hand remains in the business less than two years, I was astonished, but inquiry from original sources confirmed the view. With the best system of welfare work in the empire, the Kanegafuchi Company keeps its laborers two and a half {39} to three years, but in a mill in Osaka of the better sort, employing 2500 hands, I was told that only 20 per cent, had been at work as long as three years. Under such conditions, the majority of the operatives at any time must be in a stage of deplorable inexperience, and it is no wonder that the "Year Book" just quoted goes on to confess that "one serious defect of the production is lack of uniformity in quality--attributed to unskilled labor and overwork of machinery."

The explanation of this situation, of course, is largely to be found in the fact that Japanese industries are women's industries--there being seven times as large a proportion of women to men, the Department of Commerce informs me, as in European and American manufacturing. These women workers are mostly from the country. Their purpose is only to work two or three years before getting married, and thousands of them, called home to marry the husbands their parents have selected, or else giving way physically under strain, quit work before their contracts expire. "We have almost no factory laborers who look on the work as a life business," was an expression often repeated to me.

Not only in the mills, but in numerous other lines of work, have I seen illustrations of the primitive stage of Japan's industrial efficiency. As a concrete illustration I wish I might pass to each reader the box of Kobe-made matches on the table before me (for match-making of this sort is an important industry here, as well as the sort conducted through matrimonial middlemen without waiting for the aid or consent of either of the parties involved). I have never in my life seen such a box of matches in America. Not in a hundred boxes at home would you find so many splinters without heads, so many defective matches. And in turning out the boxes themselves, I am told that it takes five or six hands to equal the product of one skilled foreign laborer. "It takes two or three Japanese servants to do the work of one white servant" is the general verdict of housekeepers, while it has also been brought to my {40} attention that in shops two or three clerks are required to do the work of one at home. A Japanese newspaper man (his paper is printed in English) tells me that linotype compositors set only half as many ems per hour as in America. In short, the general verdict as I have found it is indicated by what I have written, and the most enthusiastic advocate of Japanese cheap labor, the captain of the steamer on which I came from America, rather spoiled his enthusiasm for getting his ship coaled at Nagasaki for 7-1/2 cents a ton, by acknowledging that if it rained he should have to keep his ship waiting a day to get sufficient hands.

Moreover, while the Japanese factory workers are forced into longer hours than labor anywhere else--eleven hours at night this week, eleven hours in the day next week--I am convinced that the people as a whole are more than ordinarily averse to steady, hard, uninterrupted toil. "We have a streak of the Malay in us," as a Japanese professor said to me, "and we like to idle now and then. The truth is our people are not workers; they are artists, and artists must not be hurried." Certainly in the hurried production of the factory the Japanese artistic taste seems to break down almost beyond redemption, and the people seem unable to carry their habits of neatness and carefulness into the new environment of European machinery. "Take the Tokyo street cars," said an ex-cabinet officer to me; "the wheels are seldom or never cleaned or oiled, and are half eaten by rust." The railroads are but poorly kept up; the telephones exhaust your patience; while in the case of telegraphing, your exasperation is likely to lose itself in amazed amusement. A few days ago, for example, I sent a telegram from Osaka to Kobe, took my rickshaw across town, waited for a slow train to start, and then reached Kobe and the street destination of my message before it did.

In considering the failure of Japanese labor to bring forth a satisfactory output, however, one thing more should be said, and that is that we should not put the blame wholly on the {41} wage-earner. Not a small proportion of the responsibility lies at the door of inexpert managers. The family system of production has not only been the rule for generations with that minority of the people not engaged in farming, but it is still the dominant type of Japanese industry, and it will take time even to provide opportunities for training a sufficient corps of superintendents in the larger lines of production.

In further illustration of my argument that cheap labor is not proving so abnormally profitable, I may question whether Japanese factories have paid as good dividends, in proportion to prevailing rates of interest on money, as factories in England and America. Baron Shibusawa, the dean of Japanese financiers and one of the pioneers in cotton manufacturing, is my authority for the statement that 12 per cent, would be a rather high estimate of the average rate of dividend, while figures furnished by the Department of Finance show that for ten years the average rate of interest on loans has been 11.25 per cent.

The fact that Western ideas as to Japan's recent industrial advance have been greatly exaggerated may also be demonstrated just here. While the latest government figures show that in twelve years the number of female factory operatives increased from 261,218 to 400,925 and male factory operatives from 173,614 to 248,251, it is plain that a manufacturing population of 649,000 in a country of 50,000,000 souls is small, and the actual progress has not been so great as the relative figures would indicate. Moreover, many so-called "factories" employ less than ten persons and would not be called factories at all in England or America. The absence of iron deposits is a great handicap, the one steel foundry being operated by the government at a heavy loss, and in cotton manufacturing, where "cheap labor" is supposed to be most advantageous, no very remarkable advance has been made in the last decade. From 1899 to 1909 English manufacturers so increased their trade that in the latter year they imported $222 worth of raw {42} cotton for every $100 worth imported ten years before, while Japan in 1909 imported only $177 worth for each $100 worth a decade previous--though of course she made this cotton into higher grade products.


It must also be remembered that the wages of labor in Japan are steadily increasing and will continue to increase. More significant than the fact of the low cost per day, to which I have already given attention, is the fact that these wages represent an average increase per trade of 40 per cent, above the wages eight years previous. The new 1910 "Financial and Economic Annual" shows the rate of wages of forty-six classes of labor for a period of eight years. For not one line of labor is a decrease of wages shown, and for only two an increase of less than 30 per cent.; sixteen show increases between 30 and 40 per cent., seventeen between 40 and 50 per cent., eight from 50 to 60 per cent., three from 60 to 70 per cent., while significantly enough the greatest increase, 81 per cent., is for female servants, a fact largely due to factory competition. In Osaka the British vice-consul gave me the figures for the latest three-year period for which figures have been published, indicating in these thirty-six months a 30 per cent, gain in the wages of men in the factories and a 25 per cent, gain in the wages of women.

Of no small significance in any study of Japanese industry must also be the fact that there are in Japan proper a full half million fewer women than men (1910 figures: men, 25,639,581; women, 25,112,338)--a condition the reverse of that obtaining in almost every other country. Now the young Japanese are a very home-loving folk, and even if they were not, almost all Shinto parents, realizing the paramount importance of having descendants to worship their spirits, favor and arrange early marriages for their sons. And what with this competition for {43} wives, the undiminished demand for female servants, and a half million fewer women than men to draw from, the outlook for any great expansion of manufacturing based on woman labor is not very bright. Moreover, with Mrs. Housekeeper increasing her frantic bids for servants 81 per cent, in eight years, and still mourning that they are not to be had, it is plain that the manufacturer has serious competition from this quarter, to say nothing of the further fact that the Japanese girls are for the first time becoming well educated and are therefore likely to be in steadily increasing demand as office-workers. Upon this general subject the head of one of Osaka's leading factories said to me: "I am now employing 2500 women, but if I wished to enlarge my mill at once and employ 5000, it would be impossible for me to get the labor, though I might increase to this figure by adding a few hundred each year for several years."

Unquestionably, too, shorter hours, less night work, weekly holidays, and better sanitary conditions must be adopted by most manufacturers if they are to continue to get labor. The Kobe Chronicle quotes Mr. Kudota, of the Sanitary Bureau, as saying that "most of the women workers are compelled to leave the factories on account of their constitutions being wrecked" after two or three years of night work, consumption numbering its victims among them by the thousands. Either the mills must give better food and lodging than they now provide or else they must pay higher wages directly which will enable the laborers to make better provision for themselves.

Yet another reason why wages must continue to advance is the steady increase in cost of living, due partly to the higher standard developed through education and contact with Western civilization, but perhaps even more largely to the fearful burden of taxation under which the people are staggering. A usual estimate of the tax rate is 30 per cent, of one's income, while Mr. Wakatsuki, late Japanese Financial Commissioner to London, is quoted as authority for the statement {44} that the people now pay in direct and indirect taxes, 35 per cent, of their incomes. And I doubt whether even this estimate includes the increased amounts that citizens are forced to pay for salt and tobacco as a result of the government monopoly in these products, or the greatly increased prices of sugar resulting from the government's paternalistic efforts to guarantee prosperity to sugar manufacturers in Formosa.


Higher still, and higher far than anything the nation has ever yet known, must go the cost of living under the new tariff law. From a British textile representative I learned the other day that a grade of English woollens largely used by the Japanese for underwear will cost over one third more under the new tariff, while the increased duty on certain other lines of goods is indicated by the table herewith:


Old TariffNew Tariff
Printed goods 3 22
White lawns 10 47
Shirtings 10 39
Cotton Italians 3 35
Poplins 8 19
Brocades 10 22

Neither a nation nor an individual can lift itself by its bootstraps. The majority of the thoughtful people in the empire seem to me to realize even now that through the new tariff Japanese industry, as a whole, is likely to lose much more by lessened ability to compete in foreign markets than it will gain by shackled competition in the home markets. Farseeing old Count Okuma, once Premier, and one of the empire's Elder Statesmen, seemed to realize this more fully than any other man I have seen. "Within two or three years from the time the new law goes into force," he declared, "I am {45} confident that its injurious effects will be so apparent that the people will force its repeal. With our heavy taxes the margin of wages left for comfort is already small, and with the cost of living further increased by the new tariff, wages must inevitably advance. This will increase the cost of our manufactured products, now exported mostly to China, India, and other countries requiring cheap or low-grade goods, and where we must face the competition of the foremost industrial nations of the world. As our cost of production increases, our competition with Europe will become steadily more difficult and a decrease in our exports will surely follow. It is folly for one small island to try to produce everything it needs. The tariff on iron, for example, can only hamper every new industry by increasing the cost of machinery, and must especially hinder navigation and shipbuilding, in which we have made such progress." Not a few of the country's foremost vernacular dailies are as outspoken as Count Okuma on this point, and the Kobe Chronicle declares that, with diminished exports to Japan, "British manufacturers will find compensation in the lessened ability of the Japanese to compete in China; and Japan will find that she has raised prices against herself and damaged her own efficiency."

That such will be the net result of Japan's new policy seems to me to admit of no question. Unfortunately, certain special lines of British and American manufacture may suffer, but, on the whole, what the white man's trade loses in Japan will be recompensed for in China and India. Even after Japan's adoption of the moderately protective tariff of 1899 her export of yarns to China--in the much discussed "market right at her doors"--dropped from a product of 340,000 bales to a recent average of 250,000 bales. From 1899 to 1908, according to the latest published government figures, the number of employees in Japanese cotton factories increased only 240--one third of 1 per cent.--or from 73,985 to 74,225, to be exact, while I have already alluded to the figures showing the {46} comparative English and Japanese imports of raw cotton from 1890 to 1909 as furnished me by Mr. Robert Young, of Kobe, Japan in this period going from $30,000,000 to $54,000,000, or 77 per cent., while England's advance was from $135,000,000 to $300,000,000, or 122 per cent. The increase in England's case, of course, was largely, and in Japan's case almost wholly, due to the increased price of the cotton itself, but the figures are none the less useful for the purposes of comparison.

In the frequent attempts of the Japanese Government to stimulate special industries by subsidies and special privileges there is, it seems to me, equally as little danger to the trade of Europe and America in general (though here, too, special industries may suffer now and then), because Japan is in this way simply handicapping herself for effective industrial growth. Just at this writing we have an illustration in the case of the Formosan sugar subsidy which seems to have developed into a veritable Frankenstein; or, to use a homelier figure, the government seems to be in the position of the man who had the bear by the tail, with equal danger in holding on or letting go. Already, as a result of the system of subsidies, bounties and special privileges, individual initiative has been discouraged, a dangerous and corrupting alliance of government with business developed, public morals debased (as was strikingly brought out in the Dai Nippon sugar scandal), and the people, as Mr. Sasano, of the Foreign Department, complains, now "rely on the help of the government on all occasions." On the same point the Tokyo Keizai declares that "the habit of looking to the government for assistance in all and everything, oblivious of independent enterprise . . . has now grown to the chronic stage, and unless it is cured the health and vitality of the nation will ultimately be sapped and undermined."

As for increasing complaints of "low commercial morality" brought against Japanese merchants, that is not a matter of concern in this discussion, except in so far as it may prove a form of Japanese commercial suicide. But to one who holds {47} the view, as I do, that the community of nations is enriched by every worthy industrial and moral advance on the part of any nation, it is gratifying to find the general alarm over the present undoubtedly serious conditions, and it is to be hoped that the efforts of the authorities will result in an early change to better methods.


Such is a brief review of the salient features of present-day Japanese industry, and in no point do I find any material menace to the general well-being of American and European trade. It is my opinion that the Japanese will steadily develop industrial efficiency, but that in the future no more than in the present will Japan menace European and American industry (unless she is permitted to take unfair advantages in Manchuria, Korea, etc.), for just in proportion as efficiency increases, just in the same proportion, broadly speaking, wages and standards of living will advance. The three--efficiency, wages, cost of living--seem destined to go hand in hand, and this has certainly been the experience thus far. And whatever loss we may suffer by reason of Japan gradually supplanting us in certain cruder forms of production should be abundantly compensated for in the better market for our own higher-grade goods that we shall find among a people of increasing wealth and steadily advancing standards of living.

In any fair contest for the world's trade there seems little reason to fear any disastrous competition from Japan. Perhaps she has been allowed to make the contest unfair in Manchuria or elsewhere, but that, as Mr. Kipling would say, is another story.

Kobe, Japan.




One of the most fascinating places in all Japan is Kyoto, the old capital of the empire, and one of its most picturesque and historic cities. Without great factories such as Osaka boasts of, without the political importance of Tokyo, and without shipping advantages such as have made Kobe and Yokahoma famous, Kyoto is noted rather for conserving the life of old Japan. Here are the family industries, the handicrafts, and a hundred little arts in which the Land of the Rising Sun excels.

Little themselves in stature, the people of Japan are best in dealing with little things requiring daintiness, finish, and artistic taste. Some one has said that their art is "great in little things and little in great things," and unlike many epigrams, it is as true as it is terse.

A traveler gets the impression that most of their shops, or "stores," as we say in America, are for selling bric-a-brac, toys, lacquer ware, bronzes, or ornamental things of one kind or another; but perhaps this is largely because they give an artistic or ornamental appearance to a thousand utensils and household articles which in America would be raw and plain in their obvious practicality. The room in which I write is a fine illustration of this: finished in natural, unpainted woods, entirely without "fussiness" or show, and yet with certain touches and bits of wood carving that make it a work of art. Upon this point I must again quote Lafcadio Hearn, whose {49} books, although often more poetic and laudatory than accurate, are nevertheless too valuable to be neglected by any student of Japan:

"It has been said that in a Greek city of the fourth century before Christ every household utensil, even the most trifling object, was in respect of design an object of art; and the same fact is true, though in another and stranger way, of all things in a Japanese home; even such articles of common use as a bronze candlestick, a brass lamp, an iron kettle, a paper lantern, a bamboo curtain, a wooden tray, will reveal to educated eyes a sense of beauty and fitness entirely unknown to Western cheap production."

Like most old Japanese cities, Kyoto is proud of its temples, Buddhist and Shinto. And perhaps I should explain just here the difference between these two faiths that were long merged into one, but have been dissociated since the restoration of the Emperor to his old-time powers forty years ago. Shinto is the ancient Japanese system of ancestor-worship, with its doctrine of the divine descent of the Mikado from the Sun-goddess and its requirement that every faithful adherent make daily offerings to the spirits of the family's ancestors. With the future life or with moral precepts for this life it does not concern itself. "Obey the Emperor and follow your own instincts," is the gist of the Shinto religion, in so far as it may be called a religion at all: the tendency is to consider it only a form of patriotism and not a religion.

Buddhism, on the other hand, is an elaborate system of theology comprising a great variety of creeds, and insisting upon much ecclesiastical form and ceremony, however little it may have to do with practical morals. "The fact is, we Japanese have never gotten our morals from our religion," said one quasi-Buddhist newspaper man to me in Tokyo. "What moral ideas we have came neither from Shintoism nor Buddhism, but largely from Confucius and the Chinese classics."

Buddhism as it left India may have been a rather exalted religious theory, but if so, then in Japan it has certainly {50} degenerated into a shameless mockery of its former self. To read Sir Edwin Arnold's glorification of theoretical Buddhism in his "Light of Asia," and then see practical Buddhism in Japan with all its superstitions and idolatries, is very much like hearing bewitched Titania's praise of her lover's beauty and then turning to see the long ears and hairy features of the ass that he has become.

Nor is it without significance that Sir Edwin Arnold himself coming to Buddhist Japan dropped into open and flagrant immoralities such as a Christian community would never have tolerated, while the foremost American-bred apologists for Buddhism here have been but little better. One of the greatest and wealthiest temples in Kyoto is more notorious right now for the vices of its sacred (?) officials than for any virtues in its creed, and one of the high priests, like the Emperor himself, has a dozen or more women in his household. Some Buddhists are making an earnest effort to bring about at least an outward reformation of their organization, but the difficulties are such as to make the success of the undertaking very improbable. With the usual Japanese quality of imitativeness they have started "Young Men's Buddhist Associations," "Sunday schools," etc., and are also beginning to follow the example set by the Christians of participating in philanthropic and charitable work. In the Buddhist service I attended last Sunday the gorgeously robed priest sat on a raised altar in the centre of the room, with other priests ranged about him, and the general service, as usual, was much as if they had copied the Catholic ritual.

After the Buddhist ceremonies, I went to the Christian service at the Congregational School, or Doshisha, where the sound of the American-born minister's voice was punctuated by the street sounds of whirring rickshaw wheels and the noisy getas of passing Buddhists, while outside the window I could see the bamboo trees and the now familiar red disk and white border of the Mikado's flag. Prayer was offered for {51} "the President of the United States, the King of Great Britain, the Emperor of Germany, and the Emperor of Japan."

At night I was even more interested, even though I could not understand a word, in a native Japanese service I attended for half an hour. Although there was a downpour of rain the chapel was comfortably filled and the faces of the worshippers, I thought, were of more than ordinary intelligence and promise, while their sincerity is illustrated by the fact that numbers of the women Christians are actually depriving themselves of suitable food in order to give money for erecting a larger church building.

The next evening I took tea with a missionary who has in his home one of the public notices (dated March, 1868,) and common throughout the empire forty odd years ago, prohibiting Christianity, the ancient penalty being nothing less than death itself. The explanation of this notice is found in a bit of history. Three hundred and sixty years ago the Catholics came here, started missions, and made many converts among the lords or daimyios, who ordered their followers also to become Catholics, with the result that by the time of the first English settlement at Jamestown, in 1607, there were from 600,000 to 1,000,000 Christians, nominal and actual, away over here in Japan. Seven years later, however, government persecution began, Christianity was put under the ban, and so remained until eight years after our Civil War ended. Many Christians suffered martyrdom for their faith in this long period; and a few who escaped detection even secretly handed their faith down from father to son through all the long generations until tolerance came again.

Dr. A. D. Hail, of Osaka, tells me that even as late as 1885 an old man from the "backwoods," as we should say, came to a village where Dr. Hail's brother was a missionary, discovered for the first time that a man might be a Christian without being punished, and then confessed that each day he had worshipped secretly at a little Catholic shrine hidden in {52} his wall, as his father and his father's father had done before him.

As another illustration of the changed attitude toward Christianity, I may mention that a Japanese Buddhist once came to Doctor Hail's services armed with a dagger to kill the preacher, but had his attention caught by the sermon while waiting his chance and is now a missionary himself!

Perhaps in no other respect is Christianity working a greater change than in the general estimate of woman, although this is an objection the natives openly urge against Christianity. Just as in any conflict of interest the family in Japan has been everything and the individual nothing, so in every disagreement between husband and wife his opinions count for everything, hers for nothing. The orthodox and traditional Japanese view as to a woman's place has been very accurately and none too strongly set forth by the celebrated Japanese moralist, Kaibarra, writing on "The Whole Duty of Woman":

"The great lifelong duty of a woman is obedience. . . . Should her husband be roused at any time to anger, she must obey him with fear and trembling, and never set herself up against him in anger and forwardness. A woman should look on her husband as if he were Heaven itself and never weary of thinking how she may yield to her husband, and thus escape celestial castigation."

Similarly, in the "Greater Learning for Women" it is declared:

"The five worst maladies that afflict the female mind are indocility, discontent, slander, jealousy and silliness. These five maladies infest seven or eight out of every ten women, and it is from these that arises the inferiority of women to men."



This gigantic figure of Buddha (a man's head would barely reach the statue's feet) singularly expresses the spirit of serene contemplation for which the Buddhist religion stands; is indeed, hauntingly suggestive of that dreamy Nirvana which it teaches is the goal of existence. There is perhaps no finer piece of statuary in the East than this.



The favorite occupation is smoking, but in the lower picture three men together are managing to operate one spade. One man rams it into the ground, and the other two (by means of ropes attached) jerk out the shovelful of earth!

{52 continued}

The wife of the missionary I visited in Osaka told me one or two amusing incidents--amusing in one aspect and pathetic in another--that are of interest in this connection. A Japanese member of her church declared: "No, no, Mrs. {55} Hail, you can't ever make me believe that my wife is as good as I am!" On another occasion she was teaching a Sunday-school class concerning the woman of Samaria, and asked: "Why did Jesus ask the woman to call her husband?" And the Japanese answer was: "Because he was going to talk on intellectual things and she needed some man to help her understand!"

Dr. Sidney Gulick, with whom I had tea in Kyoto, tells of tying his wife's shoes on the street, on one occasion, only to find the Japanese amazed that a man should so humble himself. His wife's taking his arm in walking was also regarded as the height of impropriety!

No religion of the Far East has ever recognized the dignity of woman, probably because no religion has ever recognized the worth of the individual. Just as I have said, that in the old days, and almost as largely to-day, in the relations of the home, it was the family that counted and not the individual, so in his relations to the larger world beyond the individual formerly counted for nothing when weighed against the wishes of the superior classes. In the earliest days, when the lord died, a number of his subjects were buried with him to wait upon his spirit in the Beyond. Later, with the same object in view, wives and servants committed suicide on the death of the master. Even now it is regarded as honorable for a girl to sell herself into shame to save the family from want.

The same antipodal difference between East and West--here "the family is the social unit" and with us the individual himself--explains the system of adoption: a younger son not being essential to the maintenance of the family cult may be adopted into another family, while the eldest son may not. On the same principle the father rules, not because of what he represents as an Individual, but because he represents the Family. Whenever he chooses, he abdicates, and must then join his other children in obeying the eldest son.

In the relations of citizenship the same disregard of {56} individual rights was the ancient rule, not merely in the fact that for centuries the smallest details of everyday life were regulated by law, but more seriously in that the Samurai, or privileged class, might "cut down in cold blood a beggar, a merchant, or a farmer on the slightest provocation, or simply for the purpose of testing his sword," while in case of the ruin of their cause it was the honorable and natural thing for soldiers to commit "hari-kiri"--that is to say, commit suicide by disemboweling themselves. A Japanese writer recently declared that "the value of the individual life is an illustration of the Christian spirit" that is profoundly influencing Japan, and he mentioned as an example that formerly suicide, in such circumstances as I have mentioned, "was regarded as an honorable act; now it is regarded as a sin."

Without professing the religion of fatalism which so influences the peoples of the Nearer East, the Japanese soldiers behave like fatalists because the fundamental basis of the social order for centuries has been the necessity of the Individual to sacrifice pleasure, comfort, or life itself when required either by the Family or by the Social Order. And this partially explains why it is said in sober earnest that the highest ambition of most Japanese schoolboys to-day is to die for their Emperor.

This is my last letter from Japan, and my next letter will be from Korea--if the cholera doesn't get me. It has been raging in Osaka and in Kobe, both of which cities I have thought it necessary to visit in order to get first-hand information about industrial conditions. Ordinarily, the cholera victim lives only a few hours. The first day's record here in Kobe, I believe, showed six cases and five deaths. Gradually, however, cholera is being stamped out, just as we have eradicated yellow fever in Cuba and the South, and just as we shall eventually come to recognize the prevalence of typhoid in any town as a disgrace--an evidence of primitive and uncivilized {57} sanitary conditions. A friend of mine who came to Osaka in 1879 tells me that there were 10,000 cholera victims in that one city that year--the yellow flag on almost every street, and all through the night the sound of men hurrying past with new victims for the hospitals or with new corpses for the burning. In the thirteen years 1878-91 more than 313,000 Japanese died of the scourge.

I regret to say good-by to Japan. It is a tremendously interesting country. For just as America represents the ultimate type of Occidental civilization, so does Japan represent the ultimate type of Oriental civilization.

More than this, it is here that the full tides of Oriental and Occidental life are now meeting for the first time in human history. For centuries uncounted the yellow man advanced across the plains and peaks of Asia, finding at last in these outlying islands his farthermost outpost, and so tarried here in the Farthest East, "the Land of the Rising Sun." He hardly thought of the existence of a West, but if his Buddha-like composure had been ruffled by such a thought, he might have droned monotonously:

"Oh, East is East, and West is West,
and never the twain shall meet."

But while the yellow man had thus moved steadily eastward, the white man, starting from the land of the Euphrates, had pitched his camp, with each succeeding generation, nearer and nearer the setting sun. Greece--Rome--Spain--France--England--then four hundred years ago, more restless than the Mongolian, the white man dared the seas that hemmed him in and found a new continent to people. Westward still the course of empire then continued until in our time the white man planted his civilization on the Pacific Coast.

There was no more West.

Then it was, as if in obedience to a cosmic, racial instinct deeper than reason, the white man sent his messengers across the new-found ocean and awakened the Sleepy World {58} of the Yellow Man by the booming of Perry's guns off Yokahoma.

The Kingdom of Heaven, we are told, cometh not with observation, and the deeper meaning of the greatest events in human history may often escape the attention of contemporaries. My father and yours, perhaps, heard little and thought less of Perry's exploit, and yet it marked not merely a new historical epoch, but a new act in the long drama of human evolution itself. Curious, too, it is to observe how the strange world-destiny that shapes our ends gave to it a stage-setting in keeping with its dramatic significance. Not to England, nor to any other great naval and commercial Power of the time, but to the young United States--the nation that had found the ultimate West--came the unlikely but strangely fitting task of opening the Farthest East to Western trade and thought.

When at last the world has grown old and nations and empires not yet formed shall themselves have gone the mortal way common alike to human creatures and human creations, I think the far historian will record few events either more dramatic or more pregnant with undreamed-of meaning than Perry's entrance into Japanese waters just five years after the discovery of gold in California had ended the world-old drama of our westward march.

So to-day, as I have said, the full tides of Orient and Occident have rushed together in Japan, and it is not merely a land of curious customs and strange phenomena, but a land in which the contrasts exist side by side, and most interesting of all, a land of strangely mingling social and industrial currents. East and West have met, and we wait to see what forces in each shall prevail when the shock of their fierce encounter shall have passed. For it is not merely Japan, but all Asia, whose future may be affected by the outcome of the new, tense struggle here between the ideals of West and East.

As on the streets of Tokyo and Yokahoma the Japanese {59} in European dress jostles his brother in native garb, as streams of men in coats and trousers and shoes mingle with men wearing kimonas, hikamas, and getas, so in the minds of the people the teachings of modern science and Confucian classic meet; the faith of the Christian grapples with the faith of the Buddhist; the masterful aspirations of Western civilization surge against the old placidity of the East.

What shall be the outcome? Upon nothing else, it seems to me, depends so much as upon the religious foundation upon which Japan seeks to build the structure of her newer and richer life. Many of her people, if I may change the figure, are seeking to put the new wine of Christian civilization into the old bottles of Shinto and Buddhist ritualism. That this must fail is, I think, self-evident. Many others, like the iconoclasts of the French Revolution, would sweep away all religion, but they will find that they are fighting against an ineradicable instinct of human nature, the innate craving of the divine in man.

In my own brief stay in Japan I have seen enough to convince me of the truth of both the foregoing observations. I confess that I came to the country with a distinct doubt as to the wisdom of stressing mission work here--came thinking the field less promising then elsewhere. But I go away with no such feeling. What I have seen and heard has dispelled my doubts. Speaking simply as a journalist and a student of social and industrial conditions, I believe that to-day Japan needs nothing more than Christian missionaries--men who are willing to forget dogma and tradition and creedal differences in emphasizing the fundamental teachings of and who have education, sympathy, and vision to fit them for the stupendous task of helping mold a new and composite type of human civilization, a type which may ultimately make conquest of the whole Oriental half of our human race.

Kobe, Japan.




I have become a contemporary of David and the patriarchs of Israel. In the civilization into which I have come science and invention are in swaddling clothes, the Pyramids are yet young, the great nations of Western Europe still in the womb of Time.

This at least is how I have felt now that, having left Japan, I am travelling through Korea, "the Land of the Morning Calm"--or "Chosen," as the Japanese will call it hereafter--whose authentic recorded history runs back into the twelfth century before the Christian era, and whose general features must have changed but little in all this time. A typical Korean view of the present year might well be photographed to illustrate a Sunday-school lesson from the Old Testament.

The men in the fields I have seen plow with bullocks harnessed in the primitive fashion of the earliest civilization. Their plow stocks are of wood rough-hewn from their native forest trees, the plowman here never standing between the "plow-handles," as we say, because there is only one handle and that little better than a stick of firewood. With sickles equally primitive I have seen men cutting the ripe rice in the fields; with flails, beating out their grain. Their houses, hardly high enough to stand up in, are little more than four square rock walls with roofs of straw, over which pumpkin vines clamber or on which immense quantities of red pepper are drying in the autumn sun. Nor would the dress of the people--everybody {61} in white (or what was once white) garments--have seemed strange in ancient Judea.

There is also the same mixture of plains and peaks as Bible pictures of the Holy Land have made familiar, and at night, as October's hunters' moon glorifies all the landscape, a faint light gleaming here and there from an opening in the rock huts, and with Arcturus and the Pleiades of Job in the sky, it has seemed almost sacrilege to mar the ancient environment by such an anachronism as a modern railway locomotive. Rather, in looking out over the picturesque mountains and valleys and sniffing the cool, dry air, you feel "the call of the wild" in your blood. Across long centuries the life of your far-gone nomadic ancestors calls to you. Almost irresistibly you are moved to take a human friend and a friendly horse or pony and pitch your camp out under the great stars--larger and brighter indeed do they seem to burn here in the Orient--and feel the dew on your face as you awaken in the "morning calm" of the ancient Hermit Kingdom, whose feeble life was snuffed out, like the flame of a burnt-down candle, but a few short months ago.

As I came into Seoul three nights ago I found it hardly less fascinating than the country through which I had travelled during the day. Through ancient streets, unlit by any electric glare, strangely robed, almost spirit-like white figures were gliding here and there in the moonlight, singly or in groups, and but a few minutes' ride in our rickshaws brought us to the old South Gate. Great monument of a dead era is it, relic of the days when Seoul trusted to its ten miles of massive stone walls (already a century old when Columbus set sail from Palos) to keep out the war-like Mongol and Tartar.

In Japan I found a different world from that which I had known, but a world in which East and West were strangely mingled: much of the familiar with the unfamiliar. Here in Korea, on the contrary, I have found the real East, the Asia of romance, of tradition and of fable, almost untouched by {62} Western influences--dirty, squalid, unprogressive, and yet with a fascination all its own. Great bare mountains look down on the capital city, the old city-wall climbing their steep sides, and the historic Han flows through an adjacent valley. The thatched or tiled roofs of the houses are but little higher than one's head, and I shall never forget what a towering skyscraper effect is produced by a photographer's little two-story studio building on the main street of the city. Practically every other building is but little higher and not greatly larger as a rule, than the pens in which our American farmers fatten hogs in the fall. Most American merchants would expect to make more in a day than the average white-robed, easy-going Seoul merchant has in stock, but he smokes his long-stemmed pipe in peaceful contemplation of the world and doesn't worry. There are no sidewalks in Seoul, of course, although it has been for five centuries (until now) the capital of a kingdom, and a quarter of a million people call the city their home; no carriages or buggies, no sewerage, and but few horses. There are miserable little overloaded ponies that the average farmer would feel that he could pitch single-handed into his barn-loft, but the burden-carriers are mostly bulls that are really magnificent in appearance, both oxen and ponies carrying loads on their backs that an American would expect to crush them.

The customs are odd indeed. Men wear enormous straw hats as a badge of mourning, but the usual style of head-dress is to shave the extreme summit of the head, while the rest of the hair grows long and is braided up in a sort of topknot with a little bird-cage hat above it. This hat is then tied under the chin as an American woman would tie hers.

Girls are but little seen on the streets, custom requiring them to stay indoors before marriage, and the married women, when on the street are likely to wear a sort of green wrap thrown over their heads and shoulders that leaves only their eyes and contiguous facial territory exposed. The tourist is at first {63} inclined to think that there are many young girls on the streets, but this is because the boys dress as we have grown used to seeing girls dress in America. Take the young boy who waits on my table: fair of feature in his neat white dress, and with a long glossy hair-plait hanging down his back, you would think him some fair Korean maiden. When he gets married a little later, probably at seventeen or eighteen, he will shave his head (not necessarily as a sign of mourning!) and wear his hair thereafter in the manner described in the preceding paragraph. An English missionary-doctor's pretty daughter here yesterday (and how pretty an English or American girl does look in this far land!) told me that a Korean girl of twenty or twenty-one is regarded as a rather desperate old maid, and the go-betweens, who arrange the marriages here as they do in Japan, are likely to charge a rather steep sum for getting a husband for one so far advanced in spinsterhood! The chances are that the groom doesn't see his bride until the ceremony, and she doesn't even see him then, for according to the curious custom here the bride's eyes are sealed up until late afternoon of her wedding day. More than this, custom requires that the bride must keep absolutely unbroken silence all the day long, and for a varying length of time thereafter. Mrs. Bishop in her book on Korea asserts that "it may be a week or several months before the husband knows the sound of his wife's voice,"--and the nature of the dear creatures in America will of course insure the ready acceptance of her statement!

The go-betweens are often not very scrupulous, and for good fees sometimes manage to palm off damsels of unsatisfactory features on unsuspecting swains, or match undesirable young fellows with girls vastly superior to them. A rather amusing instance was reported to me by the young lady from whom I have just quoted. One of the officials or noblemen in Seoul had a daughter whom the go-between was preparing to marry off into a family of rank in another city. A few days before the wedding-day-set-to-be, some one came to {64} the father of the bride and said: "Did you know that your prospective son-in-law has a hare-lip?" Now a hare-lip in Korea is not merely such an undesirable addition to one's countenance as to make a Mrs. Wiggs happy because of being without it, but under the old dispensation no one with a harelip, or other like facial blemish, could be presented at court and thereby introduced into the Four Hundred of this capital city. Therefore the father waxed thoughtful from his topknot to the end of his long-stem pipe. "I tell you what I'll do," he finally said to his wife. "We'll go ahead with the ceremony, but instead of my daughter I'll substitute my orphan niece." And he did, and the young fellow didn't know any better for a week. Fortunately, however, my story doesn't end here. I am extremely glad to add the usual "lived-happily-ever-after" peroration, for that was really what happened in this case. The father of my young lady informant, who is a doctor, sewed up the young fellow's lip, he was presented at court, and the real daughter who so narrowly escaped marrying may be an old maid, for all I know.

In such a high, dry climate as this one would expect to find little tuberculosis, but I am told that there is really a great deal of it, due to the carelessness of the families where there are victims, and to the generally unsanitary conditions. A daughter of one of the Southern missionaries here, having contracted the malady, has just gone to Arizona in search of cure. Everywhere on the streets I encounter faces marked by smallpox, and formerly to have had the disease was the rule rather than the exception. In fact, instead of alluding to a man's inexperience by saying "He hasn't cut his eye teeth," as we do, a Korean would say: "He hasn't had smallpox." Since vaccination became the rule, however, there are very few cases.

Infant mortality here, as in America, is one of the greatest factors in the high death-rate, but conditions are improving. {65} And so long as authorities declare that in America half the infant death-rate is due to ignorance or neglect, we haven't much right to point a scornful finger at Korea, anyhow.

I have already alluded to the fact that the old monarchial government of Korea ended its inglorious career but a few short months ago. While the records of the nation run back more than three thousand years--probably to a period when Job was so superbly reproaching his comforters in the Land of Uz--the late dynasty runs back only 500 years. We Americans, I may say in passing, are accustomed to think of men of five hundred years ago, or even of John Smith and Pocahontas, as very ancient, but a pedigree of only five hundred years wouldn't entitle a family to enter good society over here. But though only five hundred years in power, this recent dynasty succeeded in doing about as much devilment and as little good as many dynasties much older in years. One of the missionaries explained to me yesterday that it was only when the King got very mad that he would order heads cut off without reason--but then the Koreans are very lazy and his inactivity at other periods may have been due to sloth.

The truth is, that most of these Oriental monarchies have been corrupt beyond the belief of the average American. When I was a boy I used to hear the old men in country churches thank God for the blessings of orderly government and for the privilege of worshipping as they chose, "with no one to molest us or make us afraid." As a rule, we take such things as matters of course, but when one comes over here into Asia and into countries where the people have been cursed by corrupt governments, where innocent lives have been taken upon the mere whim of the government, where property has been confiscated with no better reason, and where men have had to die for their faiths:--when he, in short, comes into lands where the rights of neither life, property nor conscience have been respected, he is likely to prize his American privileges somewhat more highly.


The old Korean dynasty was not only corrupt, but unspeakably stupid. Like the people, the King relied on sorcerers or fortune-tellers to find a lucky day or a lucky time of the moon to do whatever he wished, and in case of sickness consulted the mutang, or conjurer, instead of a doctor. Thus when the prince had smallpox some years ago, the mutang declared that the Smallpox Spirit or devil (who must always be referred to with great respect as "His Excellency") would not leave unless allowed to ride horseback clear to the Korean boundary, three hundred miles away; and a gayly caparisoned horse was accordingly led the entire distance for His Excellency, the Smallpox Spirit, to ride away on!

The government was also unfeignedly corrupt. Offices were given, just as lives were taken merely at the whim of the Throne. Taxes were farmed out, the grafting collectors taking from the people probably five or six times as much as finally reached the public treasury. More than this, the nobility robbed the people at will, and there was no authority from whom they could get redress. Woe unto the man who became energetic and industrious under the old dispensation! First, the tax-gatherers would relieve him of the bulk of his swollen fortune, and what was left the noble or "Yang-ban," as a noble was called, would take the trouble to borrow but never take the trouble to repay. For the Yang-ban was a "gentleman," he was. It was beneath his dignity to work--even to guide the reins of the horse he rode--but it was not beneath his dignity to sponge on his friends (I think the verb "to sponge" is too expressive to remain slang) or to borrow without repaying. Moreover, in case of extremity, it is said that Mother Yang-ban and Sister Ann might take in washing, as is recorded in the classic lays of our own land, but Father never defiled himself by doing anything so dishonorable as an honest day's work.

But alas and alack! for the degeneracy of our times. The Yang-bans in Korea have been deprived of their ancient {67} privileges, and I fear that even their fellows in America are by no means treated with the ancient deference and respect due to persons of such exalted merit and blue-blood.

What with the arbitrary and oppressive system of tax-robbery and the extortions of the Yang-bans it is not surprising that the Koreans here became disinclined to labor, while those who went to Manchuria, where there has been "proper security for the gains of industry" are said to be quite a different folk--energetic because there has been encouragement to be energetic. The old Korean system of taxation being arbitrary, the only way to escape a raid by the tax-gatherer was to appear not to have anything worth raiding, and with the coinage confined usually to the copper "cash" (each "cash" worth a small fraction of a cent), it was difficult for a man to have much money without everybody knowing it. If a man had much he needed a warehouse to store it in. Mrs. Bishop in her book, already referred to, speaks of a time when it took 3200 "cash" to equal a dollar in our money, making each coin worth 1-32 of a cent, and it took six men or one pony to carry $50 worth of coin! Another instance is mentioned in the Japanese official Year Book on Korea. The Japanese army bought $5000 worth of timber in the interior, where the people were not used to any other currency, with the result that "the army had to charter a small steamer and fill her completely with this copper cash to finance the transaction!" I bought a few long, necklace-like strings of this old Korean money at ten cents a string, and even then probably paid too much.

When I bought my ticket for Korea it was nominally an independent monarchy under a Japanese "protectorate," but the day before I sailed from San Francisco, Japanese aggression took another step and the country was formally annexed as a part of the Japanese Empire. There is little doubt, I suppose, that the Japanese will give the Koreans better government than the old monarchy gave them, but one {68} cannot excuse all the methods by which Japan fastened her rule on the island. Yesterday morning I went out to the Old North Palace, a deserted and melancholy memorial of vanished power, stood on the throne where Korean kings once held audience, and saw the royal dwelling in which the Japanese and their aids killed the Queen in 1895, and also saw the place where they burned her body. The Japanese minister at that time was recalled and placed on trial for the offence, and, though he escaped conviction, the evidence of his guilt was undoubted. It has been estimated that in about eighteen months in 1907-'08, "12,916 Koreans, called 'insurgents' by the Japanese and patriots by their fellow countrymen, were killed by the Mikado's soldiers and gendarmes, only 160 of whom lost their lives." This looks more like butchery than war. Moreover, the Japanese themselves have to admit that there were inexcusable delays in paying for land seized from Koreans, and in view of all the circumstances it is questionable whether the Korean hatred or dislike of Japan will become very much less cordial than it is to-day.

Perhaps in no country in the world has missionary work been more successful than in Korea (there are probably 125,000 Protestants now, while there were only 777 thirteen years ago), and I have been interested to learn that there is absolutely no truth in the Japanese newspaper reports that immense numbers of native Christians are leaving the church since annexation. On the contrary, reports from all over the country are good, and Seoul itself is just now in the midst of a most thoroughgoing and successful Christian revival, with 1800 conversions reported during the first ten days. At a Methodist mission school I visited this morning I found that a hundred of the native pupils had been canvassing the town a part of three successive afternoons with the result that they had brought in the names of 697 Koreans expressing a desire to become Christians.

Here in Korea there is no waste of energy or money through {69} denominational divisions. Each denomination has its own sphere of activity, preventing duplication of effort, and my general observation has convinced me that the criticisms of foreign mission work sometimes heard in America are based on a radical misconception of conditions. Even the non-Christians, in the great majority of cases, speak in high praise of the splendid work of the missionaries. A typical expression is that found in the latest issue of the Shanghai National Review , now before me, which may be expected to speak impartially. Referring to an address by Doctor Morrison, the Peking correspondent of the London Times , it says:

"Doctor Morrison eulogized the work of the missionaries and we cannot conceive that anybody who really knows of their work at first hand, not as it is to be found in extreme cases, but as ordinarily carried on, should do otherwise than eulogize it."

Seoul, Korea.




"Uneasily sleeps Mukden to-night"--I remember yet how one of the dispatches began which brought so vividly to my mind the meaning of the great death-grapple here between the Japanese and Russian hosts in 1905.

[Footnote: "Uneasily sleeps Mukden to-night. In the main street lamps burn dimly. Along dark roads in heavy dust are marching columns. The cool night is full of the low rustle of movement. Near the station, in over-filled hospitals, are heard low groans. The wounded arrive in a never-ceasing stream of carts, and another stream of ambulances moves northward, for the place must be cleared for to-day's victims. The eternal pines whisper above the Tombs of Chinese Emperors. In the fields watch fires are burning stores and evacuated villages----" And the correspondent goes on to tell of the wearied forces gathering for further fighting with the coming of dawn--men footsore and weak for want of food and water and rest. For forty-eight hours the Japanese had not eaten.]

The story in a nutshell is this:

"After the capitulation of Port Arthur, Oyama pressed toward Mukden, where Kuropatkin had established his headquarters, and there from February 24 to March 12 occurred probably the most desperate battle in modern history, if not in all history. About eight hundred thousand men were engaged. Again Oyama won, and Kuropatkin retreated in fairly good order about a hundred miles north of Mukden."

So runs the historian's brief record of the titanic struggle five years ago in the ancient Manchurian city to which I have come. What Gettysburg was in our Civil War, that Mukden was in the first great contest between the white race and the Mongolian. Here covetous Death for once was satisfied, his gruesome garnering seen at each wintry nightfall in the {71} windrows of bloody and mangled bodies strewn along miles of snowy trenches.

I have heard all sorts of war traditions in Mukden: that at one time the Japanese thought themselves beaten in the battle and had ordered a retreat, when, a Russian force giving way, they turned quickly to press the advantage and snatched victory from what they had thought was ruin. There are many stories, too, of the inefficiency of the Russian officers, stories made all the more probable in the light of the Russian Commander Kuropatkin's memoirs to the same general effect. "Why, the English would put one of their admirals against the wall and shoot him like a common seaman for such gross neglect of duty as went entirely unpunished among Russian generals," was one man's comment as he talked with me. "The Rooshians were good fighters--fought 'and to 'and with the butt of their muskets--and if they 'ad 'ad good commanders the Japs would never have won," said an Englishman who had seen service in India. A railway man also told me of the debauchery and profligacy of the Russian officers, disreputable women travelling regularly with them to and fro, drunkenness being also common. About the same charges were reported to me by a Japanese officer. In fact, it is said that the Japanese contrived to get a very considerable quantity of champagne to the Russian headquarters one day, and the next day made a slaughter-pen of the Russian camp while the Cossack commanders were still hopelessly befuddled from too much drinking!

The truth is that the Japanese, from camp-followers to commander-in-chief, were prepared for war and the Russians were not. From the day that Russia, aided by France and Germany, forced Japan to cede back to China some of the fruits of her victory over the Chinese, from that hour Japan nursed and fed fat her rankling grudge and bided her time as deliberately as a tiger waiting to spring. While I was in Japan an Englishman told me that immediately after Russia forced Japan {72} to give up her spoils of victory he was amazed to see the tremendous interest in the military drills in all the Japanese schools. When he asked what it meant, there was one frank answer: "We are getting ready to lick Russia."

It should also be observed that when the war came on the Japanese were not only in a state of preparedness so far as battleships and army drill and munitions of war were concerned, but they were also prepared in the vital matter of proper medical attendance.

"When your American soldiers went with Shafter into Cuba the army was utterly without proper medical corps and equipment, and the death-rate was disgracefully high. But the first Japanese who fell in crossing the Yalu were taken at once to the best of Japanese surgeons and cared for in the most approved of modern military hospitals." So said a frank Scotchman to me yesterday, and in the light of the official statistics I could say nothing in palliation of the unpleasant allusion to America. When the war with Russia ended, Baron Takaki, Surgeon-General of the Japanese Army, boasted that whereas in the Spanish-America War "fourteen men died from preventable diseases to one man killed on the field of battle," the Japanese had lost only one man from disease to every four from bullets. Now the Japanese, as usual, had not worked out any of the principles of medical science, sanitation, and hygiene which enabled them to make this remarkable record, but they showed their characteristic facility in taking the white man's inventions and getting as much or more--more in this case--out of them than the white man himself.

The Japanese record, showing in such amazing fashion what a wisely directed health organization may accomplish, is worth remembering not only in connection with plans for military efficiency, but also in connection with plans for general public health activities at home. Every State should spend five times as much for this public health work as at present.

In 1910 the forgetful Manchurian earth bears but few traces {73} of the fierce contest that only five or six years ago scarred its bosom, and the serried shocks of newly harvested corn, kaoliang (sorghum) and millet--in some infrequent instances fertilized by the dead men's bones--are seen on fields where contending armies struggled. Let it be so for a little while; let the Manchurian peasant sow and garner in peace while he may; for still the war cloud hangs heavy above China's Three Eastern Provinces, and in the next struggle the peasant's blood may redden his own fields. For that the fighting has not ended is to me perfectly clear. By reason of the Japanese railroad monopoly through the very heart of Southern Manchuria, and her leased territory on the coast, Japan has obtained power bordering on control, and everything goes to show that she has fully made up her mind to complete and retain that control.

Moreover, when one has seen the great Manchurian empire, it is easy to understand how it has now roused the covetousness of Japan just as the temptation a few years ago proved too strong for Russia. Immense farming areas are only thinly settled; some of the richest of the world's mineral resources have only been touched.

A day or two ago I went out to see Mr. Edward C. Parker, in charge of the agricultural experiment farm here (he is a Minnesota man, I believe), and found him enthusiastic over his corn crop just harvested. "I have been so surprised by the growth of corn this year," he declared, "that I could hardly believe my own eyes. I have never seen finer seed ears anywhere." Among American states, only Iowa, he declares, is probably more fertile than Manchuria; with stock-raising to prevent land-deterioration, all the vast southern section could beat Illinois growing crops, and the same thing could be said of the northern country but for its colder climate. About Harbin, where the South Manchuria Railway joins the Trans-Siberian Line, one may see cuts thirty feet deep and the soil rich to the bottom. Most of Manchuria is level--strikingly like our Western Corn Belt and Wheat Belt--and the {74} soil is of wind-drift origin "like a great snow-blanket," very easily tilled. The plowing is done with a steel-tipped wooden beam such as I have already written of seeing in Korea, and only the favoring physical texture of the soil explains the fat harvests of food, feed, and fuel achieved under such methods.

It has been a positive joy to me in traveling through the country here in late October to see the great shocks of kaoliang, millet and corn (even with labor at 20 cents a day out here, the people don't pull fodder!), quaint-looking farmhouses almost surrounded by well-stuffed barns, and corn cribs packed until the overflowing yellow ears spill out the ampler cracks. The kaoliang is a sort of sorghum, the grain being used for food, while the stalks, which contain but little sugar, are used for fuel. Consequently the barnyards packed to the limit and running over with

"The garnered largess of the fruitful year"

not only mean feed for all the variegated animals that are used in Manchurian agriculture, but fuel for the long Manchurian winters as well. I even find the peasants digging up the roots and stubble to be dried and burned in the houses.

One sees but a small proportion of good horses here, and practically no four-wheeled farm wagons. Unlike Japan, however, Manchuria does have its farm vehicles: great heavy two-wheeled carts drawn by from two to eight horses, donkeys, and asses. Sometimes there is a big horse or two, then one or two donkeys half the size of the horses, and a couple of little asses or burros half the size of the donkeys--and maybe a bull thrown in for good measure. It looks as if the Whole Blamed Family of work-stock had been hitched to pull the cart. The Whole Blamed Family is often needed, too, for the roads in China are ample proof that we needn't expect ours in America or anywhere else to get any better by letting them alone three thousand years. The Chinese have tried it, and it doesn't work. The October roads are so bad in many places that if {75} the carts had four wheels instead of two not even the combined aggregation in the team could pull them out of the mud. A little later, however, the roads freeze over solidly and stay so for five or six months--and then the Manchurian farmers go on long, slow pilgrimages carrying their products to the larger markets--sometimes two or three hundred miles from home.

The pride and glory of Manchuria, the talk of its citizens, the foundation of its prosperity, the backbone of its commerce, the symbol of its wealth, is the bean--the common soja, or soy bean as we know it. What corn is to our Corn Belt and what cotton is to our Southern States, that the bean is to Manchuria: supreme among products. There is no class of people not affected by the prosperity or the adversity of his Majesty the Bean. Bankers, merchants, farmers, even the ladies one meets in the drawing-rooms in the foreign concessions, not only "know beans," but can talk beans too. If the present rate of progress is maintained, it will not be long until no one will enumerate the world's great crops--wheat, corn, oats, rice, rye, barley, cotton, etc.--without including beans. The first beans were shipped to Europe only about four years ago, and the London Times correspondent estimates that next year Europe will take $35,000,000 worth. In a very great measure the beans have the same properties as cottonseed, an oil being extracted that is used for much the same purposes as cottonseed oil, while the residue called "bean cake" is about the equivalent of cottonseed meal. It is somewhat superior, Mr. Parker says, to cottonseed meal or linseed meal as a stock feed, but is now chiefly used for fertilizing purposes. My first acquaintance with the bean cake was in Japan, where I found it enriching the earth for vegetable-growing, Japan importing an average of half a million tons a year to put under its crops. Manchuria also uses not a little for the same purpose. The more intelligent Manchurian farmers, however, are learning that it is a waste to rot one of the best cattle feeds in the {76} world and get its fertilizing value only--just as our American farmers, it is gratifying to see, are at last waking up to the disgraceful folly of using cottonseed meal as a crop-producer without first getting its other value as a meat-producer.

I find out, furthermore, that what old Maury's Geography led me to believe was a vast Desert of Gobi here in North China or Mongolia alongside Manchuria is not a genuine desert at all, but chiefly a great grass plain with golden possibilities as a cattle country. Mr. Parker declares that if cattle were grown on these immense ranges and brought to Manchuria in the fall to be fattened off on bean cake, millet, etc., Harbin, Chang-chun, Mukden, and other Manchurian cities might soon build packing plants that would rival Chicago's in bigness. This system of stock-raising would also solve the problem of maintaining soil fertility, just as it would bring relief to those sections of America where the policy of selling everything off the land and putting nothing back threatens disaster.

The old ridge system of growing crops, the rows thrown up as high as the little plows will permit and the crops planted on top, is the general practice here, and Mr. Parker is making an effort through the experiment farm to convince the people of the advantages of level cultivation. He also wishes to introduce better plows. "The truth is," he says, "that we never had any real plows until James Oliver and John Deere invented theirs. All the plowing before that was merely scratch-work, and here in Manchuria the plows are hardly better than those the Egyptians used. But for the extremely light, ash-like, wind-drift soil the people with such crude tools could hardly make enough to subsist on."

In Korea I noticed some moderately fair cotton fields, and in Manchuria I have also found a few patches, though the climate here is obviously too cold for its profitable production. I find that the Japanese have great faith in the future of the industry in Korea.

This notice of Manchurian farming would not be complete {77} without some mention of the queer aspect of many of the cultivated fields--thick-dotted with earth mounds, around which the rows are curved and twisted, these mounds resembling medium-sized potato hills. They contain not vegetables, however, but bones. Each cone-shaped mound is a Chinaman's grave. I first noticed this method of burying in Korea, but the mounds are quite low there--all that I saw, at least, except the Queen's Tomb at Seoul. Here in Manchuria they are about three or four feet high in most cases, and sometimes six. One of the famous sights of Mukden is the Peilang, or Northern Tomb, where old Taitsun, the first great Manchu Emperor of China, lies buried, and the grave proper (reached after a long approach of temple buildings, magnificent gates, images, and monuments) is a huge earth mound, probably an acre in extent. The base is thrown up twenty-five or thirty feet high and surrounded by a rock wall, while the cone-shaped summit runs up about twenty feet higher. The Chinese have a deep-rooted superstition as to the existence of a sort of devil or "fung-shui" in the ground, and to disturb this fung-shui may prove the direful spring of more "woes unnumbered" than the Iliad records. Such a fung-shui is supposed to exist under the surface of the earth about the Mukden royal tombs, and, accordingly, the railroad between Mukden and Peking had to run twenty-five miles out of its proper course in order not to disturb it.

Mukden, Manchuria.




"The Open Door in Manchuria--of what concern is it to me any more than the revolution in Portugal or the Young Turks movement in Constantinople?" With some such expression the average American is likely to dismiss the question--a question whose determination may prove the pivot on which will swing the greatest world-movements of our time as well as the prosperity of many European and American industries, and that of the labor dependent upon them.


Concerning Manchuria and all the issues involved in the present struggle for its possession, all kinds of misconceptions are rife. That it is a small country; that it is an infertile country; that it must be already well developed in point of population and consumption of goods: this is only the ABC of Manchurian misinformation.

In answer, it need only be said that Manchuria is larger than all our New England, Middle, and South Atlantic States from Maine to Georgia inclusive, and that into its borders all of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), together with all of the German Empire, could be crowded, and still leave a gap so big that Holland, Belgium, and Switzerland would lack thousands of square miles of filling it: while as to population Manchuria has only 18,000,000 people as compared with {79} 118,000,000 in the European countries just mentioned. And after having travelled in all of them as well as in Manchuria I should say that the Asiatic area is the more fertile.

The possibilities of such an empire situated in the fairest portion of Asia's temperate zone are simply illimitable. No one who has been through the fruitful lands of the American Corn Belt and Wheat Belt and goes later through Manchuria can fail to note the similarity between them in physical appearance and natural resources, and it may well be that what the settlement of the West has meant in America these last fifty years the development of Manchuria will mean in Asia these next fifty.

In itself the sheer creation of such a country--larger far than Great Britain and Germany, as rich as Illinois and Manitoba--would appeal at once to American commerce and industry, but you have only begun to grasp the significance of Manchuria when you compare it to the creation of such an empire in some favored portion of the sea.

Manchuria means all this, but it means more: Its possession would give such vastly increased influence to any Power possessing it as to make that Power a menace to the commercial rights of all other nations in Asia--rights of almost vital importance both to Europe and America. England and Germany, of course, are already dependent upon foreign trade for their prosperity, and President McKinley was never so seerlike as when, in his last speech at Buffalo, he reminded the American people that their own future greatness depends upon the development of trade beyond the seas. And it was to Asia, the greatest of continents, and especially to China, the greatest of countries on this greatest of continents, that he looked, as we must also look to-day. In Secretary Hay's memorial address on McKinley, which I had the good fortune to hear, the dead President's determined efforts to maintain the ancient integrity of the Dragon Empire were fittingly mentioned as one of his most distinguished services to his people and his time. {80} To keep the immense area of China from spoliation by other nations and to preserve to all peoples equal commercial rights within boundaries are absolutely essential to the proper future development of both European and American commerce and industry.


This is why the Open Door in Manchuria is a matter of very real concern to every Occidental citizen; this is why the other nations after the ending of the Russo-Japanese War were careful to see that these belligerents guaranteed a continuance of the Open Door policy; this is why it is of importance to us to know whether this pledge is being kept.

In centering my attention upon Japan in this article let me say in the outset, I am not to be understood as being one whit more tolerant of Russian than of Japanese aggression in Manchuria--I am not. In the Russo-Japanese War my sympathies were all with Japan, my present friendships with numbers of her sons I prize very highly, but I cannot blind myself to the fact that she is apparently "drunk with sight of power" in the Orient.

As conditions are to-day, the reason for giving primary attention to Japan's position in Manchuria rather than Russia's must be self-evident. In the first place, the territory embraced in her sphere of influence is more important and contains two thirds the population. Then again: Northern Manchuria being cold and inhospitable, Japan's sphere not only covers the fairer and more favored section agriculturally, but from the standpoint of military strategy (as a mighty war taught all the world) Japan is vastly better placed. With Port Arthur in her possession, and the new broad-gauge line from Antung and Mukden enabling her to rush troops across the Sea of Japan and through Korea to Manchuria without once getting into foreign waters or on foreign soil, she could ask nothing better. And finally and most significant of all, Russia has {83} suffered perhaps the greatest humiliation in her history by reason of Manchurian aggression; she has learned Japan's point of vantage; and whatever advance she makes in the near future will be only by Japanese sufferance and connivance.



Manchuria is a vast empire--one of the most fertile portions of the earth's surface. The great money crop is the soy bean, and the lower picture shows miles of beans and bean-cake awaiting shipment at Changchun.




Everything in China is scrupulously saved--except human labor. That is wasted on a colossal scale through the failure to use improved machinery or scientific knowledge.

{83 continued}

Whatever may be the meaning of the alleged secret treaty between Japan and Russia, the great truth which all nations need to remember is this: Whatever scotches Japanese aggression in Manchuria scotches Russian aggression at the same time--automatically and simultaneously. To the Open Door in Manchuria Japan carries the key.


Japan's primary commercial advantage over all other nations in South Manchuria, her railway monopoly, together with the use she is making of this monopoly and her plans to maintain it, we must now consider more in detail.

When the war with Russia ended, Japan succeeded Russia in the control of what is now the South Manchurian Railway, running from Dairen (formerly Dalny) to Chang-chun, 438 miles, through the very heart of the country, and she also obtained from China the right "to maintain and work the military line constructed between Antung and Mukden and" --as if of secondary importance--"to improve the said line so as to make it fit for the conveyance of commercial and industrial goods of all nations." The stipulation with regard to the South Manchurian Railway was that China should have the right to buy it back in 1938, and with regard to the Antung-Mukden line, in 1932, by paying the total cost--"all capital and all moneys owed on account of the line and interest." And just here Japan is playing a wily game.

Consider, for example, the Antung-Mukden line just referred to, now regarded as a part of the South Manchurian system. Although running through a very mountainous and sparsely settled area, it is of immense importance to Japan {84} from a strategic standpoint, connecting Mukden as it does with the Japanese railway in Korea leading directly to Fusan, and thus enabling Japan to transport troops across her own territory to Manchuria without taking any of the risks involved in getting out of her own waters and boundaries. The paramount military importance of the line is further indicated by the fact that no one had thought of a commercial line here at all. Simply as a matter of war-time necessity Japan stretched a 2-1/2-foot narrow-gauge line across these mountain barrens to transport her troops in 1905. It is interesting to see, therefore, how she has now interpreted her right to "work, maintain and improve"--especially "improve"--this line. In October I spent two days travelling over its entire length (188 miles), most of the time on the narrow-gauge part, and I was amazed to see on what a magnificent scale the new broad-gauge substitute line is now building. In striking contrast to the traditional Japanese tendency to impermanence in building, this line is constructed regardless of expense as if to last for a thousand years. Tunnel after tunnel through solid rock, the most superb masonry and bridges wherever streams intervene, the best of ballast to make an enduring roadbed--all these indicate the style of the new, not "improved" but utterly reconstructed, line which is building for Japan's benefit at China's expense--at China's expense directly if she buys it back in 1932, at China's expense indirectly if she doesn't.

It will be remembered, of course, that according to her agreement with China, Japan was to begin the work of "improving" the Antung-Mukden line within two years. Whether she was strangely unable to make any sort of beginning in the period, or whether she purposely delayed it in order to show her contempt for Chinese sovereignty in Manchuria, it is difficult to say; what is known is only that the Mikado's government let its treaty rights lapse, and then when China objected to a renewal, defied China, and proceeded with the work of "improvement" by what was euphemistically termed "independent action."


Incidentally, it may be recalled just here that in the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Japan and Russia jointly promised the rest of the world "to exploit their respective railways in Manchuria exclusively for commercial and industrial purposes and in no wise for strategic purpose."

That Japan (in the event no other method of getting control of Manchuria appears) hopes to make the railroads too expensive for the hard-pressed Peking government to buy back is self-evident. She is looking far ahead, as those interested in the continuance of the Open Door policy must also look far ahead. The real Open Door question is not a matter of the last four or five years or of the next four or five years, but whether after a comparatively short time the Door is to be permanently closed as in Korea. If it be said that Japan is only human in laying many plans to gain so rich an empire, let it also be said that other nations are only human if they wish to protect their own interests.


For one thing, as has been suggested, Japan has a perfectly obvious plan to make the railways too expensive for China to purchase when the lease expires, and just here some comparisons may be in order. In Japan proper the government-owned railway stations are severe and inexpensive structures in which not one yen is wasted for display and but little for convenience. When I was in Tokyo, for example, Ex-Premier Okuma, in a public interview, called attention to the disreputable condition and appearance of the leading station (Shimbashi) in the Japanese capital, declaring that foreign tourists must inevitably have their general impressions of the country unfavorably influenced by it, so primitive and uninviting is its appearance. But when it comes to the South Manchurian Railway, also under the control of the Japanese Government (five sixths of the investment held by the government and one {86} sixth by individual Japanese), one finds an entirely different policy in force. Handsome stations, built to accommodate traffic for fifty years to come, have been erected. In Dairen, "virtually the property of the railway company," the system has built a magnificent modern city--street railways, waterworks, electric light plants, macadamized roads, and beautiful public parks. More than this, the railway company, not content with the best of equipment for every phase of legitimate railway work, including handsome stations and railway offices, such as Japan proper never sees, has also erected hotels which, for the Orient, may well be styled sumptuous, in five leading cities of Manchuria. Comparatively few travellers go to Mukden, and yet the hotel which the South Manchurian Railway has erected there, for example, is perhaps not excelled in point of furnishing and equipment anywhere in the Far East.

In buying back the railroads, therefore, China will be expected not only to pay for the railways themselves but for all the irrelevant enterprises--hotels, parks, cities--in which the railway companies have embarked; for lines "improved" beyond recognition, and for lines built not even with a view to ultimate profit, but for their strategic importance to a rival and possibly antagonist nation! As an Englishman said to me: "It's much the same as if I, a poor man, should rent you a $1000 house, agreeing to stand the expense of some improvements when taking it back, and you should spend $10,000 in improving my $1000 house--and largely to suit your own peculiar business and purposes."

More than this, Japan, as I have said, is determined to keep her absolute monopoly on South Manchurian railway facilities. In Article IV of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Japan and Russia reciprocally engaged not to "obstruct any general measures, common to all countries, which China may take for the development of the commerce and industry of Manchuria," but in December of the same year Japan caused China to yield a secret agreement prohibiting any new line "in the {87} neighborhood of and parallel to" the South Manchurian Railway or any branch line that "might be prejudicial" to it. Japan, under threat of arms, forced China to abandon the plan for the Hsinmintun-Fakumen line after arrangements had been made with an English syndicate, and later Japan and Russia on the same pretext prevented the proposed Chinchow-Aigun line across Mongolia and Manchuria, although a hundred miles or more away from the South Manchurian line.


That Japan, then, holds the whip hand in Manchuria, and expects to continue to hold it, is very clear. With China as yet too weak to protect herself, Japan is virtually master of the situation. Let us ask then--since this is in an American book--whether the Open Door policy is being enforced even now; to ask it of any one in Manchuria is to be laughed at. I tried it once in a Standard Oil office and the man in front of me roared, and an unnoticed clerk at my back, overhearing so absurd a question, was also unable to contain his merriment. It is not a question of the fact of the shutting-up policy, Chinese and foreigners in Manchuria will tell you; it is only a question as to the extent of that condition.

The truth is that the ink was hardly dry on the early treaties before the discriminations began. The military railroads, which Japan was in honor bound to all the world to use only for war purposes, were used for transporting Japanese goods before the military restrictions with regard to the admission of other foreign goods were removed. The Chinese merchant and his patrons were famishing for cotton "piece goods" and other manufactured products, and the Japanese goods coming over were quickly taken up and a market for these particular "chops" or "trademarks" (the Chinaman relies largely on the chop) was established. By the time European and American goods came back their market in many cases {88} had already been taken away. In some cases, too, their trademark rights had been virtually ruined by the closeness of Japanese imitation. Even on my recent tour, among consuls of three nations, at Manchurian points, I did not find one who did not mention some recent case of trademark infringement.

Then came the period of freight discriminations and rebates, when the Japanese (principally the Mitsui Bussan Kaisha, the one great octopus of Japanese business and commerce) secured freight rates that practically stifled foreign business competitors. The railway company now asserts that rebates (formerly allowed, it alleges, because of heavy shipments) are no longer given; but in many cases the evil effects of the former rebating policy remain in that Japanese traders were thus allowed to rush in during a formative period and establish permanent trade connections.

Meanwhile, too, the relations between the Japanese Government and the Mitsui Bussan Kaisha are so close that competitors are virtually in the plight of having to ship goods over a line owned by a rival--without any higher tribunal to guarantee equality of treatment. As was recently declared:

"Two directors of the South Manchurian Railway are also directors of Mitsui Bussan Kaisha. The traffic manager of the railway is an ex-employee of Mitsui. The customs force at Dalny is not only entirely Japanese--no other foreigner in charge of a Chinese customs office employs exclusively assistants of his own nationality--but a number of the customs inspectors are ex-employees of Mitsui. The Mitsui company also maintains branches all through Manchuria in and out of treaty ports. In this way they escape the payment of Chinese likin, or toll taxes. The Chinese have agreed that these taxes--2 per cent, on the value of the goods each time they pass to a new inland town--shall not be paid so long as they remain in the hands of the foreigner. American piece goods often pay likin tax, two, three, or four times, while the Japanese--sometimes legitimately by reason of their branch houses, sometimes illegally by bluffing Chinese officials or smuggling through their military areas--manage to escape likin almost altogether."

It may not be true that the Japanese customs officials at Dairen (the treaty provides that China shall appoint a Japanese {89} collector at this port), ignorantly or knowingly, allow Japanese goods to be smuggled through to Manchuria--although consuls of three nations a few months ago thought the matter serious enough to suggest an investigation--but the evasion of likin taxes in the interior is an admitted fact.

More flagrant still is another violation of international treaty rights. Under Chinese regulations foreign merchants are not allowed to do business in the Manchurian interior away from the twenty-four open marts, but it has been shown that several thousand Japanese are now stationed within the prohibited area, and Japan's reply to the Chinese Viceroy's protest is that he should have objected sooner and that it is now too late. Meanwhile, many Chinese merchants both in the interior and along the South Manchurian Railway, themselves paying the regular likin and consumption taxes, are finding themselves unable to compete with the Japanese, who refuse to pay these taxes. Thus Japan is gradually rooting out the natives who stand in her way, and, day by day, tightening her grip on the country.

She is advancing step by step as she did in Korea.

On the whole, the Mikado's subjects seem already to count themselves virtual masters of the country. Inside their railway areas and concessions they have their own government; in the majority of cases while in Manchuria I found it more convenient to use the Japanese telegraph or the Japanese postal system than the Chinese; and where I stopped at the little towns along the line it was a Japanese officer who came to inquire my name and nationality. When I was in Mukden the German consul there had just had two Chinese meddlers arrested for spying on his movements, only to find that they were acting under the direction of Japanese officials who claimed immunity for them! The fact that they have their soldiers back of them, and that they can be tried only in their own courts, also gives the Japanese unlimited assurance in bullying the natives. At Mukden the Japanese bellboy struck my Chinese rickshaw {90} man to get his attention. At Taolu some weeks ago some Japanese merchants who were there doing business illegally (for it is not an open mart) were interfered with, with the result that the Japanese authorities when I was in Mukden were preparing a formal demand for satisfaction, including indemnity for any injury to an unlawful business!

Manifestly, the new masters of Manchuria propose to teach the natives their place. "If a Chinaman is killed by a Japanese bullet," as a Chinaman of rank said to me in Manchuria, "the fault is not that of the man who fired the bullet: the Chinaman is to blame for getting in the way of it!"


Those who apologize for Japanese aggressiveness in Manchuria, those who excuse or sympathize with her evident purpose to make Manchuria walk the way of Korea, have but one argument for their position--the pitiably abused and threadbare plea that the Japanese have won the country by the blood they shed in the war with Russia. The best answer to this is also a quotation from the distinguished and witty Chinaman just mentioned. "The Japanese," said he, "claimed they were fighting Russia because she was preparing to rob China of Manchuria; now they themselves out-Russia Russia. It is much as if I should knock a man down, saying, 'That man was about to take your watch,' and then take the watch myself!"

The aptness of the simile is evident. My sympathy, and the sympathy of every other American acquaintance of mine as far as I can now recall, was with Japan in her struggle because of our hot indignation over Russian aggressiveness. But if Japan had said, "I am fighting to put Russia out only that I may myself develop every identical policy of aggrandizement that she has inaugurated," it is very easy to see with what different feelings we should have regarded the conflict.


Moreover, Japan's legitimate fruits of victory do not extend to the control or possession of Manchuria. As one of the ablest Englishmen met on my tour in the Far East pointed out, Japan's purposes in inaugurating the war were four: (1) to get a preponderating influence in Korea; (2) to get the control of the Tsushima Straits, which a preponderating influence in Korea would give her; (3) to drive Russia from her ever-menacing position at Port Arthur; and (4) to arrest (as she alleged) the increasing influence and power of Russia in Manchuria.

All these things she has gained. Furthermore, she now has actual possession of Korea. The menace of a great Russian navy has been swept away. Again, she has become (with the consent of England) the commanding naval power in the eastern Pacific; and she has gained an influence in South Manchuria at least equal to that which Russia had previous to the war.

And yet one hears the plea that unless she gets Manchuria her blood will have been spilt without result! Unless she can do more in the way of robbing China than she went to war with Russia for doing, she will not be justified!

Among representatives of five nations with whom I discussed the matter in Manchuria I found no dissent from the opinion that Japan will never get out of Manchuria, unless forced to do so by a speedily awakened China or by the most emphatic and unmistakable attitude on the part of the Powers. Chinese, English, Americans, Germans--all nationalities--in Manchuria agree that thus far the way of Manchuria has been the way of Korea and that only favoring circumstances--a rebellion fomented in China or whatever excuse may serve--is needed for the same end to be reached.

Then with Japanese customs duties to complete the shutting out of foreign goods, now made only partially possible by the discrimination of a railway monopoly, and with the entire Chinese Empire and foreign trade rights within it menaced by the added preeminence of Japan, the people of Europe and America {92} may wake up too late to find out at last that the Open Door in Manchuria is a matter of somewhat more general importance than the disturbances in Turkey or the change of government in Portugal.

Be it said, in conclusion, however, that if the white nations take heed in time all this may be prevented. China's waking up may serve the same purpose, but it is doubtful whether she will develop sufficient military strength for this. In any case there need be and should be no war, and in describing conditions as I found them my purpose is to help the cause of peace and not that of bloodshed. For if the Powers realize the seriousness of the situation and give evidence of such feeling to Japan that she will realize the bounds of safety, there will be no trouble. But a continued policy of ignorance, indifference, or inactivity means that Japan will probably go so far that she cannot retreat without a struggle. Truth is in the interest of peace.

Mukden, Manchuria.




I am here in China's ancient capital at one of the most interesting periods in all the four thousand years that the Son of Heaven has ruled the Middle Kingdom. The old China is dying--fast dying; a new China is coming into being so rapidly as to amaze even those who were most expectant of rapid change. The dreams of twelve years ago, that have since seemed nothing but dreams, are coming into actual realization.

Great reforms were then proposed--twelve years ago--and the Emperor sanctioned edict after edict for their introduction. But their hour had not yet come.

I talked yesterday with one of the men whose voice was most potent at that time: a man whose heart was then aflame with the idea of remaking China. They dared much, did these men, and Tantsetung, a Chinaman of high rank and a Christian, consecrated himself on his knees to the great task, with all the devotion of a Hannibal swearing allegiance to Carthage. But reaction came. The Emperor was deposed and the Empress Dowager substituted, and Tantsetung and five other leaders were beheaded.

Now, however, dying Tantsetung's brave words have already been fulfilled: "You may put me to death, but a thousand others will rise up to preach the same doctrine." A new reign has come; the Empress Dowager, dying, has been succeeded by a mere boy, whose father, the Prince Regent, holds the imperial sceptre. But the sceptre is no longer all-powerful. {94} For the first time in all the cycles of Cathay the voice of the people is stronger than the voice of the Throne. Men do not hesitate any day to say things for which, ten years ago, they would have paid the penalty with their heads.

There are many things that give one faith in the future of China, but nothing else which begets such confidence as the success of the crusade against the opium habit. Four years ago, when the news went out that China had resolved to put an end to the opium habit within ten years--had started on a ten years' war against opium--there were many who scoffed at the whole project as too ridiculous and quixotic even for praise; there were more who regarded it as praiseworthy but as being as unpromising as a drunkard's swearing off at New Year's, while those who expected success to come even in twice ten years hardly dared express their confidence among well-informed people.

"If there is anything which all our contact with the Chinese has taught more unquestionably than anything else, it is that the Chinaman will always be a slave to the opium habit." So said a professedly authoritative American book on China, published only five years ago, and to hold any other opinion was usually regarded as contradictory to common sense. "We white Americans can't get rid of whiskey intemperance with all our moral courage and all our civilization and all our Christianity. How then can you expect the poor, ignorant Chinaman to shake off the clutches of opium?" So it was said, but to-day the most tremendous moral achievement of recent history--China's victory over opium-intemperance already assured and in great measure completed, not in ten years, but in four--stands out as a stinging rebuke to the slow progress our own people have made in their warfare against drink-intemperance.

To shake off the opium habit when once it has gripped a man is no easy task. Officials right here in Peking, for example, died as a result of stopping too suddenly after the {95} edict came out announcing that no opium victim could remain in the public service. But a member of the Emperor's cabinet, or Grand Council, tells me that 95 per cent, of the public officials who were formerly opium-smokers have given up the habit, or have been dismissed from office. Five per cent, may smoke in secret, but with the constant menace of dismissal hanging like a Damocles sword over their heads, it may be assumed that even these few are breaking themselves from the use of the drug.

Formerly it was the custom for the host to offer opium to his guests, but the Chinese have now quite a changed public sentiment. Because they recognize that opium is ruining the lives of many of their people, and lessening the efficiency of many others, because they regard it as a source of weakness to their country and danger to their sons, it has become a matter of shame for a man to be known as an opium-smoker, even "in moderation." To be free from such an enervating dissipation is regarded as the duty not only to one's self and one's family, but to the country as well: it is a patriotic duty. I saw a cartoon in a native Chinese paper the other day in which there were held up to especial scorn and humiliation the weakling officials who had lost their offices by reason of failure to shake off opium. In short, the opium-smoker, instead of being a sort of "good fellow with human weaknessess"--and with possibilities, of course, of going utterly to wreck--has become an object of contempt, a bad citizen.

The earnestness of the people has been strikingly illustrated in the great financial sacrifices made by farmers and landowners in sections where the opium poppy was formerly grown. The culture of the poppy in some sections was far more profitable than that of any other crop; it was, in fact, the "money crop" of the people. In fact, to stop growing the opium poppy has meant in some cases a decrease of 75 per cent, in the profit and value of the land. Farms mortgaged on the basis of old land values, therefore, had to be sold; peasants who had {96} been home-owners became homeless. And yet China has thought no price too great to pay in the effort to free herself from this form of intemperance. Well may her leading men proudly declare, as one did to me to-day: "While America dares not undertake the task of stopping the whiskey curse among less than a hundred million people, we are stopping the opium curse among over four hundred millions." It should also be observed that there is little drunkenness over here. At a dinner party Friday evening my hostess thought it worth while to mention as a matter of general interest to her guests (so rare is the occurrence) that she had seen a drunken Chinaman that day. I have not yet seen one.

China is waking up, and I am glad she is. She is going into industrial competition with all the world, and I am glad that she is. I believe that every strong and worthy nation is enriched by the proper development of every other nation. But in this coming struggle the people whom vice or dissipation has rendered weak sooner or later must go down before the men who, gaining the mastery over every vicious habit, keep their bodies strong and their minds clear. In thunder tones indeed does China's victory over opium speak to America. If we are to maintain our high place among the nations of the earth, if we are to keep our leadership in wealth and industry, we can do it only by freeing ourselves, as heroically as the yellow man of the Orient is doing in this respect, from every enervating influence that now weakens the physical stamina, blunts the moral sense, or befogs the brain.

The new China is devoting itself to a number of other reforms to which the people of America may well give attention. The curse of graft among her public officials ("squeeze" it is called over here) is one of the most deep-rooted cancers with which she has to contend. Officers have been paid small salaries and have been allowed to make up for the meagreness of their stipends by exacting all sorts of fees and tips. Before the coming parliament is very old, however, it will {97} doubtless undertake to do away with the fee and "squeeze" system, stop grafting, and put all the more important offices on a strict salary basis. Under the old fee system of paying county and city officials in the United States, as my readers know, we have often let enormous sums go into office-holders' pockets when they should have gone into improving our roads and schools. The Chinese system not only has this weakness, but by reason of the fact that the fees are not regularly fixed by law, as is the case with us, the way is opened for numberless other abuses.

Currency reform is in China a matter hardly second in importance to the abolition of "squeeze." There is no national currency here; each province (or state, as we would say) issues its own money when it pleases, just as the different American states did two generations ago. I remember hearing an old man tell of going from the Carolinas to Alabama about 1840 and having to pay heavy exchange to get his Carolina money changed into Alabama money. So it is in China to-day. You must get your bills of one bank or province changed whenever you go into another bank or province, paying an outrageous discount, and a banking corporation will even discount a bill issued by another branch of the same corporation. Thus a friend of mine with a five-dollar Russia-Asiatic banknote from the Peking branch on taking it to the Russia-Asiatic's branch at Hankow gets only $4.80 for it.

Nor is this all: All kinds of money are in circulation, the values constantly fluctuating, and hundreds and thousands of men make a living by "changing money," getting a percentage on each transfer. Take the so-called 20-cent pieces in circulation; they lack a little of weighing one fifth as much as the 100-cent dollar; consequently it takes sometimes 110 and again 112 cents "small coin" to equal one dollar! The whole system is absurd, of course, and yet when the government proposes to establish a uniform national currency it is {98} said that the influence of these money-changers is so great as to make any reform exceedingly slow and difficult.

And yet let not my readers at home with this statement before them proceed too hastily to laugh or sneer at China for unprogressiveness. For my part, as I have thought of this matter of money transfer over here, the whole question has seemed to me to be on all-fours with our question of land title transfers at home, and the more I have thought of it the firmer has the conviction become. In fact, China's failure to adopt a modern currency system is perhaps even less a sinning against light than our failure to adopt the Torrens system of registering land titles. The man who makes a living by changing money and investigating its value is no more a parasite than the man who makes a living changing titles or investigating their value; the hindrance of trade and easy transfer of property is no more excusable in one case than the other; and the 90 per cent, that China might save by a better system of money transfers is paralleled by the 90 per cent, that we might save by a better system of title transfers.

Mr. Money-Changing Banker, fattening needlessly at the expense of the people, prevents currency reform in China--yes, that is true. But before we assume superior airs let us see if Mr. Title-Changing Lawyer, also fattening needlessly at the expense of the people, does not go to our next legislature and stifle any measure for reforming land-title registration. And in saying this I am not to be understood as making any wholesale condemnation of either Chinese bankers or our American lawyers. The ablest advocates of the Torrens system I know are lawyers, men who say that lawyers ought to be content with the really useful ways of earning money and not insist on keeping up utterly useless and indefensible means of getting fees out of the people. Such lawyers, indeed, deserve honor; my criticism is aimed only at those who realize the wisdom of a changed system but are led by selfishness to oppose it.


After all, however, the most revolutionary and iconoclastic reform in the new China is the changed policy of the schools. For thousands of years the education has been exclusively literary. The aim has been to produce scholars. A thorough knowledge of the works of the sages and poets, and the ability to write learned essays or beautiful verses, this has been the test of merit. When Colonel Denby wrote his book on China five years ago he could say:

"The Chinese scholar knows nothing of ancient or modern history (outside of China), geography, astronomy, zoology or physics. He knows perfectly well the dynastic history of his own country and he composes beautiful poems, and these are his only accomplishments."

But now all this is changed. The ancient system of selecting public officials by examination as to classical scholarship was abolished the year after Colonel Denby's book was published, and the new ideal of the school is to train men and women for useful living, for practical things, and to combine culture with utility. Japanese education now has the same aim. There, in fact, even the study of the languages is made to subserve a practical end. Where the American boy studies Latin and soon forgets it, the Japanese boy studies English and continues to read English and speak it on occasion the rest of his life, increasing his efficiency and usefulness in no small measure as a result. In Japan, too, I found the keenest interest in the teaching of agriculture to boys and domestic science to girls; and in all these things China is also moving--blunderingly, perhaps, but yet making progress--toward the most modern educational ideas.

As a matter of fact, much as America has talked these last ten years of making the schools train for more useful living, China and Japan have actually moved relatively much farther away from old standards than we have done, and if they should continue the same rate of advance for the next thirty years we may find their schools doing more for the efficiency {100} of the people than our American schools are doing. And when I say this let not the cry go up that I am decrying culture. Already I anticipate the criticism from men who cling to old standards of education with even more tenacity than absurdly conservative China has done. I am not decrying culture, but I am among those who insist that culture may come from a study of useful things as well as from a study of useless things; that a knowledge of the chemistry of foods may develop a girl's mind as much as a knowledge of chemistry that is without practical use; and that a boy may get about as much cultural value from the knowledge of a language which does put him into touch with modern life as from the knowledge of a language which might put him into touch with ancient life but which he will probably forget as soon as he gets his diploma. Slow-moving and tradition-cursed China and Japan, as we thought them a generation ago, have already committed themselves to making education train for actual life. Has America given anything more than a half-hearted assent to the idea?

The practical value of this article, I am reminded just here, has to do almost entirely with legislation. You may wish to remind your member of the legislature of the parallel between the wasteful and antiquated money-transfer system in China and the equally wasteful and antiquated title-transfer system at home; you may wish to inform your member of the legislature and your school officials of the advance of practical education in the Orient; and you may wish to remind both your member of the legislature and your congressman of China's successful crusade against the opium evil as an incentive for more determined American effort against the drink evil. Let me conclude this letter, therefore, with two more facts with which you may prod your representatives in Washington. (Which reminds me to remark, parenthetically, that every reform the Chinese are getting to-day comes as a result of persistently bringing pressure on their officials; and this {101} parenthetical observation may be as full of suggestion as any idea I have elaborated at greater length.)

The two facts with which you may stir up your servants in Washington are just these:

First, in regard to the parcels post. Here in China the other day I mailed a package by parcels post to another country for about half what it would have cost me to mail it from one county-seat to another at home. How long are we going to be content to let so-called "heathen" countries like China have advantages which so-called enlightened, progressive America is too slow to adopt?

Secondly, the tariff. Here in the hotel where I write this article one of the foremost journalists in the Far East tells me that the average tariff-protected American industry sells goods to Asiatic buyers at 30 per cent. less than it will sell to the people at home. Thirty per cent., he says, is the usual discount for Oriental trade. An electric dynamo which is sold in America for $1000, for instance, is sold for Chinese trade at $550 or $600. Quite a number of times on this trip have men told me that they can get American goods cheaper over here, after paying the freight ten thousand miles, than we Americans can buy them at our own doors. For example, a man told me a few weeks ago of buying fleece-lined underwear at half what it costs at home; a missionary tells me that he saves 20 cents on each two-pound can of Royal baking powder as compared with American prices; Libby's meats are cheaper in London than in San Francisco; harvesting machinery made in Chicago is carried across land and sea, halfway around the world, and sold in far-away Siberia for less than the American farmer can buy it at the factory gates.

And these are only a few instances. Hundreds of others might be given. How long the American people are going to find it amusing to be held up in such fashion remains to be seen.

Peking, China.




Within eighteen months China will have a parliament or a revolution (she may have both). Such at least is the prediction I am willing to risk, and it is one which I believe most foreigners in Peking would indorse.

And the coming of a parliament, popular government, to guide the destinies of the vast empire over which the Son of Heaven has reigned supreme for more than four thousand years--this is only one chapter in the whole marvelous story, not of China Awakening, but of China Awake. For the breaking with tradition, the acceptance of modern ideas, which but yesterday was a matter of question, is now a matter of history. "China Breaking Up" was the keynote of everything written about the Middle Kingdom ten years ago; "China Waking Up" has been the keynote of everything treating of it these last five years.

Sir John Jordan, British Minister to China, does not exaggerate when he declares that in a European sense China has made greater progress these last ten years than in the preceding ten centuries. The criticism one hears most often now is, not that the popular leaders are too conservative, but that they are if, anything, too radical; are moving, not too slowly, but too rapidly.

Instead of the old charge that China is unwilling to learn what the West has to teach, I now hear foreigners complain that a little contact with Europe and America gives a leader {103} undue influence. "Let an official take a trip abroad and for six months after his return he is the most respected authority in the empire." Instead of English missionaries worrying over China's slavery to the opium habit, we now have English officials embarrassed because China's too rapid breaking loose from opium threatens heavy deficits in Indian revenues. Instead of the old extreme "states' rights" attitude on the part of the provinces, as illustrated by the refusal of the others to aid Manchuria and Chihli in the war with Japan, the beginnings of an intense nationalism are now very clearly in evidence. Even Confucius no longer looks backward. A young friend of mine who is a descendant of the Sage (of the seventy-fifth generation) speaks English fluently and is getting a thoroughly modern education, while Duke Kung, who inherits the title in the Confucian line, is patron of a government school which gives especial attention to English and other modern branches--by his direction. Significant, too, is the fact that the ancient examination halls in Peking to which students have come from all parts of the empire, the most learned classical scholars among them rewarded with the highest offices, have now been torn down, and where these buildings once stood Chinese masons and carpenters are fashioning the building that is to house China's first national parliament--unless the parliament comes before this building can be made ready.

And so it goes. When a man wakes up, he does not wake up in a part of his body only, he wakes up all over. So it seems with Cathay. The more serious problem now is not to get her moving, but to keep her from moving too rapidly. In his Civic Forum address in New York three years ago, Wu Ting Fang quoted Wen Hsiang's saying, "When China wakes up, she will move like an avalanche." A movement with the power of an avalanche needs very careful guidance.

The one question about which every Chinese reformer's heart is now aflame is that of an early parliament. By the imperial decree of 1908 a parliament and a constitution were {104} promised within nine years. At that time there was little demand for a parliament, but with the organization of the Provincial Assemblies in the fall of 1909 the people were given an opportunity to confer together and were also given a taste of power. For the first time, too, they seem to have realized suddenly the serious plight of the empire and the fact that since the deaths of the late Emperor and Empress Dowager, and the dismissal of Yuan Shih-Kai by the Prince Regent acting for the infant Emperor, the Peking government is without a strong leader. Consequently the demand for a hastened parliament has grown too powerful to be resisted. True, when the delegates from all the Provincial Assemblies voiced this demand to the Prince Regent last spring his reply was the Edict of May 29, declaring that the programme outlined by their late Majesties, like the laws of the Medes and Persians, could not be changed. Furthermore, the Throne remarked significantly: "Let no more petitions or memorials upon this subject be presented to Us; Our mind is made up."

Unfortunately for the peace of the Regent, however, John Chinaman is absurdly and obnoxiously persistent on occasion. If you will not heed other appeals, he may commit suicide on your doorstep, and then you are bewitched for the rest of your days, to say nothing of your nights. The talk of an earlier parliament would not down even at the bidding of the Dragon Throne. Quietly unmanageable delegations waited upon viceroys and compelled these high officials to petition for a reopening of the question. Down in Kiang Su a scholar cut off his left arm and with the red blood wrote his appeal. In Union Medical Hospital, here in Peking, as I write this, a group of students are recovering from self-inflicted wounds made in the same cause. Going to the Prince Regent's, they were told that the Prince could not see them. "Very well," they declared, "we shall sit here till he does." At length the Prince sent word that, though he could not receive them, he would consider their petition, and the students then sliced the {107} living flesh from their arms and thighs as evidence of their earnestness, coloring their petition with their blood.



The baby sovereign of one of the vastest and oldest of empires is shown here in the lap of his father. Prince Chun, the Regent.



Burning a pile of pipes of reformed smokers at Hankow. The amazing success of China's crusade to free her people from the opium curse may be justly reckoned one of the greatest moral achievements in history--a challenge to our Western world.

{107 continued}

At this period of our drama there came upon the stage a new actor, at first little heeded, but quickly becoming the dominating figure--the Tzucheng Yuan, or National Assembly. This body, consisting of 100 nobles and men of wealth or scholarship appointed by the Throne, and 100 selected members of Provincial Assemblies approved by the viceroys, was expected to prove a mere echo of the royal wishes. "It is evident that the government is to have a docile and submissive assembly. Mediocrity is the chief characteristic of the members chosen." So wrote one of the best informed Americans in China, some weeks before it assembled, October 3. Reuter's press agent in Peking predicted through his papers that a few pious resolutions would represent the sum total of the Assembly's labors.

And yet the first day that these two gentlemen went with me to look in on the Assembly we found it coolly demanding that the Grand Council, or imperial cabinet, be summoned before it to explain an alleged breach of the rights of Provincial Assemblies!

From the very beginning the course of this National Assembly in steadily gathering unexpected power to itself has reminded me of the old States-General in France in the days just before the Revolution, and I could not help looking for Danton and Robespierre among the fiery orators in gown and queue on this occasion. Significantly, too, I now hear on the authority of an eminent scholar that Carlyle's great masterpiece is the most popular work of historical literature ever translated into Chinese. May it teach them some lessons of restraint as well as of aggressiveness!

Be that as it may, the Assembly has proved untamable in its demands for an early parliament, not even the hundred government members standing up against the imperious pressure of public opinion. In late October the Assembly {108} unanimously petitioned the Throne to hasten the programme of constitutional government. The day this petition was presented it was currently rumored in Peking that unless the Prince Regent should yield the people would refuse to pay taxes. But he yielded. The trouble now is that he did not yield enough to satisfy the public, and there is every indication that he will have to yield again, in spite of the alleged unalterableness of the present plan, which allows a parliament in 1913 instead of in 1916, as originally promised. A parliament within eighteen months seems a safe prediction as I write this.

It also seems safe to prophesy that the powers of the parliament will be wisely used. In local affairs the Chinese practically established the rule of the people centuries before any European nation adopted the idea. Nominally, the local magistrate has had almost arbitrary power, but practically the control has been in the hands of the village elders. When they have met and decided on a policy, the magistrate has not dared run counter to it. In much the same fashion, governors and viceroys of provinces have been controlled and kept in check. Thus centuries of practical self-government in local affairs have given the Chinese excellent preparation for the new departure in national affairs. What is proposed is not a new power for the people but only an enlargement or extension of powers they already exercise.

Parliamentary government is the one great accomplishment the Chinese people are now interested in, because they propose to make it the tool with which to work out the other Herculean tasks that await them. Happy are they in that they may set about these tasks inspired by the self-confidence begotten of one of the greatest moral achievements of modern times. I refer, of course, to the almost marvellous success of their anti-opium crusade which I have already discussed.

Mr. Frederick Ward, who has just returned from a visit to many provinces, finding in all the same surprising success {109} in enforcing anti-opium regulations, declares: "It is the miracle of the Middle Kingdom and a lesson for the world."'

China's next great task is the education of her people, and the remedy for pessimism here is to compare her present condition, not with that of other nations, but with her own condition ten years ago. A reported school attendance of less than one million (780,325 to be exact) in a population of 400,000,000 does not look encouraging, but when we compare these figures with the statistics of attendance a few years ago there is unmistakable evidence of progress. In the metropolitan province of Chihli, for example, I find that there are now more teachers in government schools than there were pupils six years ago, and the total attendance has grown from 8000 to 214,637!

Even if China had not established a single additional school, however, or increased the school attendance by even a percentage fraction, her educational progress these last ten years would yet be monumental. For as different as the East is from the West, so different, in literal fact, are her educational ideals at the present time as compared with her educational ideals a decade ago. At one fell blow (by the Edict of 1905) the old exclusively classical and literary system of education was swept away, made sacred though it was by the traditions of unnumbered centuries. Unfortunately the work of putting the new policies into effect was entrusted to the slow and bungling hands of the old literati; but this was a necessary stroke of policy, for without their support the new movement would have been hopelessly balked.

The old education taught nothing of science, nothing of history or geography outside of China, nothing of mathematics in its higher branches. Its main object was to enable the scholar to write a learned essay or a faultless poem, its main use to enable him by these means to get office. Under the old system the Chinese boy learned a thousand characters before he learned their meaning; after this he took up a book {110} containing a list of all the surnames in the empire, and the "Trimetrical Classics," consisting of proverbs and historical statements with each sentence in three characters. Now he is taught in much the same way as the Western boy. The old training developed the powers of memory; the new training the powers of reasoning. The old education enabled the pupil to frame exquisite sentences; the new gives him a working knowledge of the world. The old looked inward to China and backward to her past; the new looks outward to other countries and forward to China's future. The old was meant to develop a few scholarly officials; the new, to develop many useful citizens. "Even our students who go abroad," as a Peking official said to me, "illustrate the new tendencies. Formerly they preferred to study law or politics; now they take up engineering or mining."

A consideration of Chinese education, however brief, would not be fair without mention of the crushing handicap under which her people labor and must always labor so long as the language remains as it is to-day--without an alphabet--separate and arbitrary characters to be learned for each and every word in the language. This means an absolute waste of at least five years in the pupil's school life, except in so far as memorizing the characters counts as memory-training, and five years make up the bulk of the average student's school days in any country. If it were not for this handicap and the serious difficulty of finding teachers enough for present needs, it would be impossible to set limits to the educational advance of the next twenty years.

The school and the teacher have always been held in the highest esteem in China. Her only aristocracy has been an aristocracy, not of wealth, but of scholarship; her romance has been, not that of the poor boy who became rich, but of the poor boy who found a way to get an education and became distinguished in public service. Under the old system, if the son of a hard-working family became noted for aptness in the {111} village school, if the schoolmaster marked him for a boy of unusual promise, the rest of the family, with a devotion beautiful to see, would sacrifice their own pleasure for his advancement. He would be put into long robes and allowed to give himself up wholly to learning, while parents, brothers, and sisters found inspiration for their own harder labors in the thought of the bright future that awaited him. The difficulty is that education has been regarded as the privilege of a gifted few, not as the right of all. In a land where scholarship has been held in such high favor, however, once let the school doors open to everybody and there is little doubt that China will eventually acquire the strength more essential than armies or battleships: the power which only an educated common people can give.

China's next great purpose is to develop an efficient army. "Might is right" is the English proverb that I have found more often on the tongues of the new school of Chinese than any other; and we must confess that other nations seem to have tried hard enough to make her accept the principle. In the old days there was a saying, "Better have no son than one who is a soldier." To-day its new foreign-drilled army of 150,000 to 200,000 men is the boast of the Middle Kingdom, and the army is said to be the most honestly administered department of the government. In sharp contrast to the old contempt for the soldier, I now find one of the ablest journals in the empire (the Shanghai National Review) protesting that interest in military training is now becoming too intense: "Scarce a school of any pretensions but has its military drill, extending in some instances as far as equipment with modern rifles and regular range practice, and we regret to notice that some of the mission schools have so far forgotten themselves as to pander to this militarist spirit."

It has often been said, of course, that the Chinese will not make good soldiers, but whether this has been proved is open to question. Certainly, in view of their wretchedly inferior {112} equipment, their failure to distinguish themselves in the war with Japan cannot be regarded as conclusive. Take, for example, this description by an eye-witness:

"Every tenth man [among the Chinese soldiers] had a great silk banner, but few were armed with modern weapons. Those who had rifles and modern weapons at all had them of all makes; so cartridges of twenty different sorts and sizes were huddled together without any attempt at classification, and in one open space all sorts were heaped on the ground, and the soldiers were fitting them to their arms, sometimes trying eight or ten before finding one to fit the weapon, throwing the rejected ones back into the heap."

No sort of efficiency on the part of the rank and file could have atoned for such criminal indifference to equipment on the part of the officers. It seems to be the opinion of the military authorities with whom I have talked that the Chinese army is now better manned than officered. "Wherever there has been a breach of discipline, I have found it the officers' fault," an American soldier told me.

The annexation of Korea, once China's vassal, by Japan, and that country's steadily tightening grip on Manchuria have doubtless quickened China's desire for military strength. Moreover, she wishes to grow strong enough to denounce the treaties by which opium is even now forced upon her against her will, and by which she is forced to keep her tariff duty on foreign goods averaging 5 per cent., alike on luxuries and necessities.

The fifth among China's Herculean labors is the cleansing of her Augean stables, and by this I can mean nothing else than the abolition of the system of "squeeze," or graft, on the part of her officials. In fact, no other reform can be complete until this is accomplished. The bulk of every officer's receipts comes not from his salary, which is as a rule absurdly small, but from "squeezes"--fees which every man who has dealings with him must pay. In most cases, of course, these fees have been determined in a general way by long usage, but their acceptance opens the way for innumerable abuses. High {113} offices are auctioned off. When I was in Manchuria it was currently reported that the Governor of Kirin had paid one hundred thousand taels for his office. When I was in New-chwang the Viceroy of Manchuria had just enriched himself to the extent of several thousand taels by a visit to that port. The men who had had favors from him or had favors to ask left "presents" of a rather substantial character when they called. I learn from an excellent authority that when an electric lighting contract was let for Hankow or its suburbs a short time ago the officials provided a squeeze for themselves of 10 per cent., but that the Nanking officials, in arranging for electric lights there, didn't even seem to care whether the plant worked at all or not: they were anxious only to make a contract which would net them 35 per cent, of the gross amount! Under such circumstances it is not surprising to learn that many an office involving the handling of government revenues has its price as definitely known as the price of stocks or bonds.

In private business the Chinese have a reputation for honesty which almost any other nation might envy. With their quickened spirit of patriotism they will doubtless see to it that their public business is relieved of the shameless disgrace that the "squeeze system" now attaches to it.

These are some of the big new tasks to which awakened China is addressing herself. Of course, the continued development of her railways is no less important than any other matter I have mentioned, but railway building cannot be regarded as one of China's really new tasks. For years she has been alive to the importance of uniting the people of the different provinces by means of more railways, more telegraph lines, and better postal service. The increase in number of pieces of mail handled from 20,000,000 pieces in 1902 to 306,000,000 in the last fiscal year bears eloquent testimony alike to the progress of the post office and to the growing intelligence of the people. By telegraph the people of remotest Cathay now make their wishes known to the Son of Heaven and the {114} Tzucheng Yuan; it was by telephone that this Tzucheng Yuan, or National Assembly, requested the Grand Council of the Dragon Empire to appear before it on the day of my first visit. The slow and stately camel caravans still come down from Mongolia to Peking--I have seen them wind their serpentine length through the gates of the Great Wall at Nankou as they have been doing for centuries past--but no longer do they bring the latest news from the tribes about Desert Gobi. Across 3500 miles of its barren wastes an undaunted telegraph line now "hums the songs of the glad parts of the earth."

It is no longer worth while to speculate upon the probability of a new China; the question now is as to how the new China is going to affect the United States and the rest of the world. From our Pacific Coast, China is our next-door neighbor, and vastly nearer in fact than any map has ever indicated. Even New York City is now nearer to Shanghai and Hong Kong, in point of ease of access, than she was to Chicago a century ago. How Japan's awakening has increased that country's foreign trade all the world knows--and China has eight times the population of Japan proper, and twenty-eight times the area, with almost fabulously valuable natural resources as yet untouched! Some one has said that to raise the Chinese standard of living to that of our own people would be (from the standpoint of markets) equivalent to the creation of four Americas. The importance of bringing about closer commercial relations between the United States and the Middle Kingdom can hardly be overestimated.

It is to be hoped, however, that in our desire to cultivate China's friendship we shall not go to the length of changing our policy of excluding Asiatic immigration. To the thoughtful student it must be plain that in the end such a change would lead only to disastrous reaction. At the same time we might well effect a change in our methods of enforcing that policy. There is nothing else on land or sea that the Celestial so much dreads as to "lose face," to be humiliated, and it {115} is the humiliation that attaches to the exclusion policy rather than the policy itself that is the great stumbling-block in the way of thorough cordial relations with America. You wouldn't so much object to having the servant at the door report his master not at home to visitors, but you would object to having the door slammed in your face; and John Chinaman is just about as human as the rest of us. Moreover, our own friendliness for John should lead us to adopt the more courteous of these two methods. Why should not our next exclusion law, therefore, be based upon the idea of reciprocity, and provide that there shall be admitted into America any year only so many Chinese laborers as there were American laborers admitted into China the preceding year?

Finally, it must always be remembered that the awakening of China is a matter far more profound than any statistics of exports or imports or railway lines or industrial development. The Dragon Empire cannot become (as she will) one of the mightiest Powers of the earth, her four hundred million people cannot be brought (as they will be brought) into the full current of the world's activities, without profoundly influencing all future civilization. For its own sake Christendom should seize quickly the opportunity offered by the present period of flux and change to help mold the new force that it must henceforth forever reckon with. "The remedy for the yellow peril, whatever that may be," as Mr. Roosevelt said while President, "is not the repression of life, but the cultivation and direction of life." The school, the mission, the newspaper--these are the agencies that should be used. Japan has thousands of teachers in China and scores of newspapers, but no other nation is adequately active. The present kindly feeling for America guarantees an especially cordial reception for American teachers, ministers, and writers, and those who feel the call to lands other than their own cannot find a more promising field than China.

Peking, China.




I can't get over (and I hope I never shall) my boyish interest in the great strange animals that walk along behind the steam piano in the circus parades. And the animals that I like to see most, I believe, are the elephants and the camels. The elephant has about him such quiet, titanic, unboasting strength, such ponderous and sleepy-eyed majesty, as to excite my admiration, but the camel has almost an equal place in my interest and esteem.

He is a funny-looking beast, is the camel, and he always reminds me of Henry Cates' story of the very little boy who started making a mud man in the spring branch, but before he got the second arm on, a storm came up, and when he came back his man had mysteriously disappeared. But when Johnny went to town next day and for the first time in his life saw a one-armed man, the whole mystery cleared, and rushing up, he demanded: "Why didn't you wait for me to finish you?" Somehow the camel, like Johnny's mud man, always looks to me as if he got away before he was finished. He is either a preliminary rough sketch accidentally turned loose on the world, or else he got warped somehow in the drying process--great, quiet, shaggy, awkward, serene, goose-necked, saddle-backed Old Slow and Steady!




The destruction of China's mountain forests has made deserts of vast areas that were once fair and fruitful. The lower picture, showing Chinese pumping water by human treadmill, furnishes another illustration of the Orient's waste of labor.



The camels that come down from Mongolia and wind their unhurried way from Chien Men Gate to the Gate of the Heavenly Peace form one of the most picturesque of the many picturesque sights in fascinating old Peking. The right-hand picture shows the author utilizing the most rapid means of transit in the mountains north of Peking.

{116 continued}

Let me confess, therefore, that hardly anything else on my entire tour has given me more pleasure than the sight of the camel trains about Peking and all the way to the end of the Nankou Pass in the mountains north of the ancient Chinese {119} capital. At the Pass this morning I saw three such camel trains coming down from Mongolia and the Desert of Gobi: long, slow-moving, romantic caravans that made me feel as if I had become a character in the Arabian Nights or a contemporary of Kublai-Khan. One of the trains was the longest I have yet seen--twenty-five or thirty camels, I should say, treading Indian-file with their usual unostentatious stateliness, a wooden pin through each camel's nostrils from which a cord bound him to the camel next ahead, a few strangely dressed drivers guiding the odd Oriental procession.

Nor were the camels the only strange travellers encountered by my party, a young Frenchman, the German, and myself, as we rode our little donkeys mile after mile of rocky way from Nankou village through the Pass. To begin with, we were ourselves funny-looking enough, for my donkey was so small that he could almost walk under the belly of my saddle-horse at home, and my feet almost touched the ground. The donkeys ridden by my friends were but little larger, and altogether we looked very much like three clowns riding trick mules--an effect somewhat heightened when the Frenchman's donkey dropped him twice in the mud! It was our clothing, however, our ordinary American and European trousers, coats, overcoats and hats, and the fact that we wore no queues down our backs, that made us objects of curiosity to the Mongolian and Manchurian camel-drivers, shepherds, horse-traders, and mule-pack drivers whom we met on the way, just as we were interested in the sheepskin overcoats, strange hats, etc., which we found them wearing along with the usual cotton-padded garments. These cotton-padded clothes are much like those heavily padded bed-quilts ineptly called "comforts," and as the poor Chinese in the colder sections of the empire cannot afford much fire in winter, they add one layer of cotton padding after another until it is difficult for them to waddle along.

On the whole, the life and travel we found on our donkey-ride over the rough roads of Nankou Pass were Biblical in their {120} very simplicity and primitiveness. Most of the men we meet come from away up in Mongolia, where no railroad has yet gone, and the camels and the donkeys (the donkeys in most cases larger than those we rode) bring down on their backs the Mongolian products--wool, hides, grain, etc.--and carry back coal, clothing, and the other simple supplies demanded by the rude peasantry of Mongolia. We met several pack trains of donkeys, sometimes twenty-five or forty, I suppose, each carrying a heavy load of sacks on his back, or perhaps big, well-packed baskets or goods-boxes carefully balanced. A horse over here will tote about as much as a horse at home would pull. Then there were several immense droves of sheep: in one drove two or three thousand, I estimated, and every sheep with a black face and a white body, so that the general effect was not unlike seeing a big bin of black-eyed peas. The Chinese raise immense numbers of long-eared black hogs, too, and drive them to market loose in the same way that they drive their sheep. We also met two or three droves of mountain horses, a hundred or more to the drove.

But it would have been well worth while to make the trip if we had gotten nothing else but the view of and from the Great Wall at the end of the journey. About two thousand miles of stone and brick, twenty-seven feet high, and wide enough on top for two carriages to drive abreast, this great structure, begun two thousand years ago to keep the wild barbarian Northern tribes out of China, is truly "the largest building on earth," and one of the world's greatest wonders. It would be amazing if it wound only over plains and lowlands, but where we saw it this morning it climbed one mountain height after another until the topmost point towered far above us, dizzy, stupendous, magnificent. By what means the thousands and thousands of tons of rock and brick were ever carried up the sheer steep mountainsides is a question that must excite every traveller's wonder. Certainly no one who has walked on top of the great wall, climbing among the clouds from one {121} misty eminence to another, as we did to-day, can ever forget the experience.

Perhaps it was well enough, too, that the weather was not clear. The mists that hung about the mountain-peaks below and around us; the roaring wind that shepherded the clouds, now driving them swiftly before it and leaving in clear view for a minute peak after peak and valley after valley, the next minute brushing great fog-masses over wall and landscape and concealing all from view--all this lent an element of mystery and majesty to the experience not out of keeping with our thought of the long centuries through which this strange guard has kept watch around earth's oldest empire. Dead, long dead and crumbled into dust, even when our Christian era began, were the hands that fashioned these earlier brick and laid them in the mortar, and for many generations thereafter watchmen armed with bows and arrows rode along the battlements and towers, straining their eyes for sight of whatever enemy might be bold enough to try to cross the mighty barrier.

However unwise the spirit in which the wall was built, we cannot but admire the almost matchless daring of the conception and the almost unparalleled industry of the execution. Beside it the digging of our Panama Canal with modern machinery, engines, steam power and electricity, considered simply as a feat of Herculean labor, is no longer a subject for boasting. To my mind, the very fact that the Chinese people had the courage to conceive and attempt so colossal an enterprise is proof enough of genuine greatness. No feeble folk could even have planned such an undertaking.

On this trip into the heart of China, however, I have noticed a number of things of decidedly practical value in addition to the merely curious things I have just reported. In the first place, I have been simply amazed to find that these Chinese farmers around Peking, Nankou, and Tien-tsin are far ahead of some of our farmers in the matter of horsepower help in plowing.


Coming up from Peking to Nankou, I found farmers in almost every field busy with their fall plowing or late grain sowing, and while there were dozens and dozens of three-horsepower plows, I saw only one or two one-horsepower plows on the whole trip. This is all the more surprising in view of the fact that labor is so cheap over here--15 cents a day American money would be a good wage for farm hands--but evidently the farmers realize that although plow hands are cheap, they must have two or three horses in order to get the best results from the soil itself. One-horse plows do not put the land in good condition. With two, three, or four horses or donkeys (they use large donkeys for plowing, even if small ones for riding) they get the land in good condition in spite of the fact that they cannot get the good plows that any American farmer may buy. I rode donkey-back through some farming country yesterday and watched the work rather closely. The plows, like those in Korea, have only one handle, but are much better in workmanship. Here they are made by the village carpenter-blacksmith, and have a large steel moldboard in front, and below it a long, sharp, broad, almost horizontal point.

The Chinese farmers, it should also be observed in passing, fully realize the importance of land rolling and harrowing. It is no uncommon sight to see a man driving a three-horse harrow. It is also said that for hundreds of years the Chinese have practised a suitable rotation of crops and have known the value of leguminous plants.

Nankou Pass, China.




I shall have to go back to Peking some time. You must hurry out of the city, men tell you there, or else ere you know it the siren-like Lure of the East will grip you irresistibly; and I felt in some measure the soundness of the counsel. The knowledge that each day the long trains of awkward-moving camels are winding their unhurried way from Chien-Men Gate to the Gate of the Heavenly Peace, the yellow-tiled roofs of the Forbidden City gleaming ahead of them, while to the left are the faint gray-blue outlines of the Western Hills--all this will be to me a silent but perpetual invitation to go back.

The very life in the streets presents a panorama of never-failing interest. One can never forget the throngs of Chinese men in gowns and queues (the wives wear the trousers over here!), the nobles and officers in gorgeous silks and velvets; the fantastic head-dress of the Manchu ladies, and the hobbling movements of the Chinese women hampered by ruined feet; the ever-hurrying rickshaws with perspiring, pig-tailed coolies in the shafts; the heavy two-wheeled Peking carts like half-sized covered wagons; the face of some fashionable foreign or native woman glimpsed through the glass windows of her sedan chair, eight runners bearing on their shoulders their human burden; the long lines of shop fronts with such a pleasing variety of decorative color as to make one wonder why artists have not made them famous; the uniformed soldiers from every nation on the earth to guard the various legations, and {124} Chinese soldiers with cropped hair and foreign clothing. The strange street noises, too, will linger in one's memory ever after: the clattering hoofs of fleet Mongolian ponies, the jingling bells of the thousands of sturdy little saddle donkeys, the rattling of the big cowbells on the dusty camels, the clanging gong of a mandarin's carriage, outriders scurrying before and behind to bear testimony to his rank, and the sharp cries of peddlers of many kinds, their wares balanced in baskets borne from their shoulders.

Or perhaps there is a blaze in the street ahead of you. Some man has died and his friends are burning a life-sized, paper-covered horse in the belief that it will be changed into a real horse to serve him in the Beyond; and imitations of other things that might be useful to him are burned in the same way.

Or perhaps a marriage procession may pass. A dozen servants carry placards with emblems of the rank of the family represented by the bride or groom, numerous other servants bear presents, and the bride herself passes by concealed in a gorgeous sedan chair borne on the shoulders of six or eight coolies.

Fascinating as it is for its present-day interest, however, Peking is even richer in historic interest. And by historic in China is not meant any matter of the last half-hour, such as Columbus's discovery of America or the landing at Plymouth Rock; these things to the Chinaman are so modern as to belong rather in the category of recent daily newspaper sensations along with the Pinchot-Ballinger controversy or the Thaw trial. If he wishes something genuinely historic, he goes back three or four thousand years. For example, a friend of mine, at a little social gathering in New England some time ago, heard a young Chinese student make a talk on his country. Incidentally he was asked about a certain Chinese custom. "Yes,"' he answered, "that is our custom now, since we changed. But it has not always been so. We did the other way up to four or five centuries before Christ." Whereupon the audience, amazed at the utterly casual mention of an event two thousand {125} years old as if it were a happening of yesterday, was convulsed in merriment, which the young Chinaman was entirely unable to understand.

When Christ was born Peking (or what is now Peking, then bearing another name), having centuries before grown into eminence, had been destroyed, rebuilt, and was then entering upon its second youth. About the time of the last Caesars it fell into the hands of the Tartars, who gave place to the Mongols after 1215. It was during the reign of the Mongol Emperor, Kublai Khan, that Marco Polo visited his capital, then called Cambulac. Seventy-three years before Columbus discovered America the Emperor Yung-loh, whose tomb I saw near Nankou, built the great wall that surrounds the Tartar City to this day--forty feet high, wide enough on top for four or five carriages to drive abreast, and thirteen miles around.

Yet the history which the foreigner in Peking is likely to have most often in mind is really very recent. For it has been only ten years and a few months since the famous Boxer outbreak. The widely current idea is that this Boxer movement originated in anti-missionary sentiment, but this is not borne out by the facts. The late Col. Charles Denby, long American Minister to China, pointed out very clearly that the main cause was opposition to the land-grabbing policies of European nations. Once started, however, it took the form of opposition to everything foreign--missionaries and non-missionaries alike. I passed the old Roman Catholic Cathedral the other day in company with a friend who gave me reminiscences of the siege that sounded like echoes of the days of the martyrs; stories of Chinese Christian converts butchered like sheep by their infuriated fellow countrymen. When the Pei-tang, in another part of the city, was finally rescued by foreign troops, the surviving Christians and missionaries were dying of starvation; they had become mere wan, half-crazed skeletons, subsisting on roots and bark.

The heroism shown by many of the Chinese Christian converts {126}during this Boxer uprising has enriched the history not only of the church, but of mankind; for what man of us is not inspired to worthier things by every high deed of martyrdom which a fellowman anywhere has suffered? Into the Pei-tang the Boxers hurled arrow after arrow with letters attached offering immunity to the Chinese converts if they would abandon their Christian leaders, but not even starvation led one to desert. Colonel Denby estimated that in the whole empire 15,000 Chinese Christians were butchered and that only 2 per cent of them abandoned their faith. A missionary told me the other day of one family who took refuge in a cave, but when finally smoked out by suffocating flames, refused life at the cost of denying their Master, and went to death singing a hymn in Chinese, "Jesus Is Leading Me." At Taiyan-fu an especially touching incident occurred: Five or six young girls, just in their teens, were about to be killed, when a leader intervened, declaring: "It is a pity to slaughter mere children," and urged them to recant. Their only answer was: "Kill us quickly, since that is your purpose; we shall not change." And they paid for their faith with their lives.

I am writing this down on the Yangtze-Kiang (Kiang means river in Chinese), having boarded a steamer at Hankow, the famous Chinese industrial centre, about 600 miles south of Peking. About Hankow I found farming much more primitive than that around Peking, Nankou, and Tientsin. Instead of the three and four horse plows I found in North China, the plowmen about Hankow seem to rely chiefly on a single ox. The farms, too, are much smaller. No one here speaks of buying a "farm"; he buys a "field." In Kwang-tung there is a saying that one sixth of an acre "will support one mouth." As nearly as I can find out, the average wages paid farm laborers is about 10 cents (gold) a day. The average for all kinds of labor, a member of the Emperor's Grand Council tells me, is about 35 to 38 cents Mexican, or 15 to 18 cents gold a day.

In forming a mental picture of a rural scene anywhere in {127} China or Japan there are three or four things that must always be kept in mind. One is that there are no fences between fields; I haven't seen a wooden or wire farm-fence since I left America. A high row or ridge separates one field from another, and nothing else. In the next place, there are no isolated farm-houses. The people live in villages, from ten to fifty farmhouses grouped together, and the laborers go out from their homes to the fields each morning and return at evening. The same system, it will be remembered, prevails in Europe; and as population becomes denser and farms grow smaller in America, we shall doubtless attempt to group our farm homes also. Even now, much more--vastly more--might be done in this respect if our farmers only had the plan in mind in building new homes. Where three or four farms come near together, why should not the dwellings be grouped near a common centre? It would mean much for convenience and for a better social life. Another notable difference from our own country is the absence of wooden buildings or of two-story buildings of any kind. In this part of China the farmhouse is made of mud bricks, or mud and reeds, or else of a mixture of mud and stone, and is usually surrounded by a high wall of the same material.

Again, there are no chimneys. While my readers are basking in the joyous warmth of an open fire these wintry nights they may reflect that the Chinaman on this side of the earth enjoys no such comfort. Enough fire to cook the scanty meals is all that he can afford. To protect themselves against cold, as I have already pointed out, the poor put on many thicknesses of cotton-padded cloth. The rich wear furs and woolens. When a coolie has donned the maximum quantity of cotton padding he is about as nearly bomb-proof as an armor-plated cruiser. Certainly no ordinary beating would disturb him.

At this time of the year (the late fall) farmers are busy plowing and harrowing. On my last Sunday in Peking I went out to the Temple of Agriculture, where each spring the Emperor or Prince Regent comes and plows sixteen rows, the purpose {128} being to bear testimony to the high honorableness of agriculture and its fundamental importance to the empire. This happens, as I have said, in early spring, but it is in late fall that Chinese do most plowing. They are also busy now flailing grain on ancient threshing-floors of hard-baked earth, or grinding it in mills operated by a single donkey.

In this part of China the mound-like graves of the millions--possibly billions--of the Chinese dead are even more in evidence than in the northern provinces. Let China last a few more thousand years with its present customs and the country will be one vast cemetery, and the people will have to move away to find land to cultivate. As not one grave in a thousand is marked by a stone of any kind, it would seem as if they would not be kept up, but the explanation is that each Chinaman lives and dies hard by the bones of his ancestors. The care of their graves is one of life's most serious duties. Even when John goes to America, half his fortune, if need be, will be used to bring his body back to the ancestral burying ground.

In a land so given over to superstition I have no doubt that the most horrible disasters would also be expected as the penalty for interfering with any grave. It seems odd that a people who had a literature centuries before our Anglo-Saxon ancestors emerged from barbarism should now be the victims of superstitions almost as gross as those prevailing in Africa; but such are the facts. Chang Chih-tung, who died a few months ago, was one of the most progressive and enlightened Chinese statesmen of the last hundred years, but not even a man of his type could free himself from the great body of superstition handed down from generation to generation.

In Wuchang I crossed an amazingly steep, high hill known as "Dragon Hill," because of the Chinese belief that a dragon inhabits it. This long hill divides the city into two parts; every day hundreds and sometimes possibly thousands of people must climb up one side and down the other in getting from one part of the town to another. Therefore, when Chang {129} Chih-tung was Viceroy in Hankow he decided that he would make a cut in this hill and save the people all this trouble. And he did. Very shortly thereafter, however, he sickened of a painful abscess in his ear, and the Chinese doctors whom he consulted were quick in pointing out the trouble. By making the cut in the hill, they told him, he had offended the earth dragon which inhabits it, and unless the cut were filled up Chang might die and disaster might come upon the city. Of course, there was nothing for him to do but to restore the ancient obstruction to travel, and so it remains to this day.

In sight from Dragon Hill is another hill known as Tortoise Hill, supposed to be inhabited by a tortoise spirit or devil, and at its foot are some lakes in which it has long been said that the tortoise washes its feet. Now these lakes are on property owned by the Hanyang Steel & Iron Works and they decided a few years ago that they would either drain off the water or else fill up the lakes so as to get more land. But before they got started the Chinese civil authorities heard of it and notified the Hanyang Company that such a proceeding could not be tolerated. The tortoise would have nowhere to wash his feet, and would straightway bring down the wrath of Heaven on all the community!

It is from superstitions such as these that the schools must free the Chinese before the way can be really cleared for the introduction of Christianity. The teacher is as necessary as the preacher. And the task of getting the masses even to the point where they can read and write is supremely difficult. The language, it must be remembered, has no alphabet. Each word is made not by joining several letters together, as with us, but by making a distinct character--each character an intricate and difficult combination of lines, marks, and dots. Or perhaps the word may be formed by joining two distinct characters together. For example, to write "obedience" in Chinese you write together the characters for "leaf" and "river," the significance being that true obedience is as trusting {130} and unresisting as the fallen leaf on the river's current. My point is, however, that for each word a distinct group of marks (like mixed-up chicken tracks) must be piled together, and the task of remembering how to recognize and write the five thousand or more characters in the language would make an average American boy turn gray at the very thought. My friend Doctor Tenney, of the American Legation in Peking, asserts that at least five years of the average Chinese pupil's school life might be saved if the language were based on an alphabet like ours instead of on such arbitrary word-signs.

There is one thing that must be said in favor of the Chinese system of education, however, and that is the emphasis it has always laid on moral or ethical training. The teaching, too, seems to have been remarkably effective. Take so basic a matter as paying one's debts, for example: it is a part of the Chinaman's religion to get even with the world on every Chinese New Year, which comes in February. If he fails to "square up" at this time he "loses face," as his expressive phrase has it. He is a bad citizen and unpopular. Consequently all sorts of things may be bought cheaper just before the New Year than any other time. Every man is willing to make any reasonable sacrifice, selling his possessions at a great discount if necessary, rather than have a debt against him run over into the new period--an excellent idea for America!

I do not know whether Confucianism is responsible for this particular policy, but at any rate the fact remains that outside the Bible the world has never known a more sublime moral philosophy than that of Confucius. It means much, therefore, that every Chinese pupil must know the maxims and principles of the great sage by heart. Moreover, as Confucius did not profess to teach spiritual truth, the missionaries in China are fast coming to realize that it is both unnecessary and foolish to urge the people to abandon Confucianism. The proper policy is to tell the Chinese, "Hold on to all that is good and true in Confucius. There is very little in his teachings that is {131} in conflict with religion, and Christian leaders now recognize him as one of the greatest moral forces the world has known. But to the high moral teaching of the Chinese master you must add now the moral teachings of Christianity and, more essential still, the great body of spiritual truth which Confucianism lacks." The grand old man among Chinese missionaries, Dr. W. A. P. Martin, who has been in the work since 1850, said to me in Peking, "Some of the best Christians are now the best Confucianists."

Confucianism, as any one can see by reading the books, is no more a substitute for Christianity than Proverbs is for St. John's Gospel. As Doctor Brewster, another missionary, says, "We do not ask an American scholar to renounce Plato to become a Christian; why should we ask a Chinaman to renounce Confucius?"

Confucius lived five centuries before Christ, and at his old home in Shantung are the graves alike of his descendants and his ancestors--the oldest family burying ground in the world. "No monarch on earth can trace back his lineage by an unbroken chain through so many centuries." In Peking I was so fortunate as to form a friendship with a descendant of Confucius of the seventy-fifth generation--Mr. Kung Hsiang Koh--a promising and gifted senior in the Imperial College of Languages. At my request he inscribed a scroll for me in beautiful Chinese characters, representing one of my favorite quotations from his world-famous ancestor. I give an English translation herewith:

"Szema-New asked about the Superior Man. The Master said, 'The superior man is without anxiety or fear.'

"'Being without anxiety or fear,' said New, 'does this constitute what we should call the superior man?'

"The Master replied, 'When a man looks inward and finds no guilt there, why should he grieve? or what should he fear?'"

On board S. S. Kutwo,
Yangtze River, China.




Having mentioned some of the good points of John Chinaman (and he has many excellent points), it is also necessary to point out some of his shortcomings. The trouble with John is that he had some tiptop ancestors, but he fell into the habit of looking backward at them so continuously that he has failed, in recent centuries, to make any further progress. He had a civilization and a literature when our white ancestors were wearing skins; but there he stopped, so that we have not only caught up with him, but have passed him almost immeasurably. The result is that now China is waking up to find that a great number of ancient abuses, both in public and private life, must be sloughed off if she is to become a genuinely healthy modern nation.

Of what has been accomplished with reference to opium I have already written at length. But this is only a beginning.

With the opium evil under foot, China will still have other dragons to slay--if I may use the term dragon in an evil sense in a country whose national emblem is the dragon. For one thing, slavery still exists in China. A friend of mine in Peking told me of an acquaintance, an educated Chinaman, who bought a young girl two years ago for two hundred taels (about $120 gold), and says now he would not take one thousand two hundred (about $720 gold). Already, however, a vigorous sentiment for the complete abolition of slavery has {133} developed over the empire. About six months ago an imperial edict was issued prohibiting slave trading, decreeing that child-slaves should become free on reaching the age of twenty-five, and opening ways for older slaves to buy their freedom. The peons or slaves of the Manchu princes were, however, excepted from the terms of this edict.

Foot-binding also continues a grievous and widespread evil. Formerly every respectable Chinese father bound the feet of all his girls. Fathers who did not were either degraded men, reckless of public opinion, or so bitterly poor as to require the services of their daughters in unremitting manual labor. Consequently, a natural foot on a woman became a badge of social inferiority: a Chinaman of prominence wouldn't marry her. Now, however, many of the wealthier upper-class Chinamen in the cities are letting their girls grow up with unbound feet, and this custom will gradually spread until the middle and lower classes generally, seeing that fashion no longer decrees such a barbaric practice, will also abandon it.

The progress of the reform, however, is by no means so rapid as could be wished. A father with wealth may risk getting a husband for his daughter even though she has natural feet, but ambitious fathers among the common people fear to take such risks. An American lady whose home I visited has a servant who asked for two or three weeks' leave of absence last summer, explaining that he wished to bind the feet of his baby daughter. My friend, knowing all the cruelty of the practice, and having a heart touched by memories of the heart-rending cries with which the poor little creatures protest for weeks against their suffering, pleaded with the servant to let the child's feet alone. But to no effect. "Big feet no b'long pretty," he said, and went home unconvinced.

"The feet," according to the brief statement of ex-Minister Charles Denby, "are bandaged at an age varying from three to five years. The toes are bent back until they penetrate the sole of the foot, and are tightly bound in that position. The parts {134} fester and the toes grow into the foot." The result is that women grow up with feet the same size as when they were children, and the flesh withers away on the feet and below the knees. Throughout life the fashion-cursed girl and woman must hobble around on mere stumps. When you first see a Chinese woman with bound feet you are reminded of the old pictures of Pan, the imaginary Greek god with the body of a man and the feet of a goat. The resemblance to goat's feet is remarkably striking. As the women are unable to take proper exercise--except with great pain--there is little doubt that their physical strength has been seriously impaired by this custom, and that the stamina of the whole race as well has suffered in consequence.

Whenever a foreigner--it is the white man who is "the foreigner" over here--begins a comparison or contrast between the Chinese and the Japanese, he is sure to mention among the first two or three things the vast difference in moral standards with regard to family life. The cleanness of the family life in China, he will tell you, is one of the great moral assets of the race, while the contrary conditions largely prevailing in Japan would seem to threaten ultimate disaster to the people.

As in most Asiatic countries, however, there is in China no very definite moral sentiment against a man's marrying more than one wife. In fact, it is regarded not as a question of morals but of expense. It is one of the privileges of the Chinaman who can afford it, and the No. 1 wife is often glad for her husband to take a No. 2 and a No. 3 wife, because the secondary wives are somewhat under her authority and relieve her of much work and worry. A few months ago a Chinaman in Hankow had a very capable No. 2 wife who was about to quit him to work for some missionaries, whereupon Wife No. 1, Wife No. 3, and the much-worried husband all joined in a protest against the household's losing so capable a woman.

All these three wives were in subjection to the husband's mother, however, until the old lady took cholera last year, and {135} in a day or so was dead. The prevalence of awful scourges, such as cholera and bubonic plague, is another evil which the new China must conquer. These diseases are due mainly, of course, to unsanitary ways of living, and when you have been through a typical Chinese city you wonder that anybody escapes. The streets are so narrow that with outstretched arms you can almost reach from side to side, and the unmentionable foulness of them often smells to heaven.

Moreover, if you have the idea that the typical Chinaman is content to live only on rice, prepare to abandon it. Hogs are more common in a village of Chinamen than dogs in a village of negroes; and, in some cases, almost equally at home in the houses. I saw a Chinese woman in Kiukiang feeding a fat porker in the front room, while, in the narrow streets around, hogs and dogs were wandering together or lying contentedly asleep in the sunshine by the canal bank. In fact, the ancient Chinese character for "home" is composed of two characters--"pig" and "shelter"--a home being thus represented as a pig under a shelter!

Small wonder that cholera is frequent, smallpox a scourge, and leprosy in evidence here and there. Quite recently a couple of mission teachers of my denomination have died of smallpox: they "didn't believe in vaccination." Shanghai, as I write this, is just recovering from a bubonic plague scare. There were one or two deaths from the plague among the Chinese, whereupon the foreigners put into force such drastic quarantine regulations that the Chinese rebelled with riots. The whites then put their cannon into position, the volunteer soldiers were called out, and it looked at one time as if I should find the city in a state of bloody civil war, but fortunately the trouble seems now to have blown over.

Unfortunately the ignorant Chinese put a great deal more faith in patent medicines and patent medicine fakirs than they do in approved sanitary measures. It is interesting to find that American patent medicines discredited at home by {136} the growing intelligence of our people have now taken refuge in the Orient, and are coining the poor Chinaman's ignorance into substantial shekels. Worst of all, some of the religious papers over here are helping them to delude the unintelligent, just as too many of our church papers at home are doing.

In Shanghai I picked up a weekly publication printed in Chinese and issued by the Christian Literature Society, and asked what was the advertisement on the back. "Dr. Williams's Pink Pills for Pale People," was the answer.

One of the most peculiar things about China is the existence of almost unlimited official corruption side by side with high standards of honesty and morality in ordinary business or private life. I have already referred to the system of "squeeze" or graft by which almost every official gets the bulk of his earnings. In Shanghai it is said that the Taotai, or chief official there, paid $50,000 (gold) for an office for which the salary is only $1500 (gold) a year.

Against this concrete evidence of official corruption place this evidence of a high sense of honor in private life. A young Chinaman, employed in a position of trust in Hankow, embezzled some money. The company, knowing that his family was one of some standing, notified the father. He and his sons, brothers of the thief, went after the young fellow and killed him with an ax. The community as a whole approved the action, because in no other way could the father free his family from the disgrace and ostracism it would have incurred by having an embezzler in it.






This is the upper part of a scroll kindly written for the author by Mr. Kung Hsiang Koh (or Alfred E. Kung as he signs himself in English). Mr. Kung is a descendant of Confucius (Kung Fut-zu) of the seventy-fifth generation, and the complete quotation of which the scroll is a reproduction in Chinese characters reads as follows:

"Ssu-ma Niu asked for a definition of the princely man."

"The Master said: 'The princely man is one who knows neither grief nor fear.' 'Absence of grief and fear?' said Niu, 'Is this the mark of a princely man?' The Master said, 'If a man look into his heart and find no guilt there, why should he grieve? Or of what should he be afraid?'"

{136 continued}

The Yangtze River trip from Hankow to Shanghai, mentioned in my last letter, I found very interesting. We were three days going the 600 miles. The Yangtze is the third largest river in the world and navigable 400 miles beyond Hankow, or 1000 miles in all. It would be navigable much farther but for a series of waterfalls. Nearly thirty miles wide toward the mouth, its muddy current discolors the ocean's blue forty miles out in the Pacific, I am told. In fact, I think {139} it must have been that distance that I last saw the great turgid stream off the Shanghai harbor. Even as far up as Hankow the river becomes very rough on windy days. Consequently, when I wished to go across to Wuchang, I found that the motor boat couldn't go, so tempestuous were the waves, but a rather rickety looking little native canoe called a "sampan," with tattered sails, bobbing up and down like a cork, finally landed me safely across the three or four miles of sea-like waves. All the way from Hankow to Peking one encounters all sorts of Chinese junks and other odd river-craft. In many cases they look like the primitive Greek and Roman boats of which one sees pictures in the ancient histories. The Chinese are excellent sailors and manage their boats very skilfully. The greatest canal that the world knows was begun by them in the time of Nebuchadnezzar and finished thirteen centuries ago.

Until very recently, however, the Chinese have not wanted railways. Coming from Hankow to Shanghai I passed in sight of the site of the old Woosung-Shanghai Railway, the first one built in China; but before it got well started the people tore it up and threw it into the river.

In Shanghai I met his Excellency Wu Ting Fang, formerly Minister to the United States, and he told me of his troubles in building, under Li Hung Chang's directions, what turned out to be the first permanent railway in China. This was less than twenty-five years ago. Li Hung Chang said to Mr. Wu: "If we ask the authorities to let us build a railway, they'll refuse, so I am going to take the responsibility myself. The only way to overcome the prejudice against railways is to let the people see that a railroad isn't the evil they think it is." Accordingly, Mr. Wu set to work on the Tongshan Railway. He built first ten miles, then twenty more. Then as the road was working well, and its usefulness demonstrated, he and Li Hung Chang thought they might get permission from the Throne to construct a line from Tientsin to Peking. Successful in this effort, they went ahead with the survey and {140} imported from America the materials for building the line--and then came a new edict forbidding them to proceed! The matter had been taken up by the viceroys and governors, and 80 per cent, of them had opposed building the line!

Now, less than twenty-five years later, John Chinaman is calling for railroads in almost every non-railroad section, and the railroads already built are paying handsome dividends. Everybody seems to travel. Besides the first-class and second-class coaches, most trains carry box-cars, very much like cattle-cars and without seats of any kind, for third-class passengers. And I don't recall having seen one yet that wasn't chock full of Chinamen, happy as a similar group of Americans would be in new automobiles. A missionary along the line between Hankow and Peking says that he now makes a 200-mile trip in five hours which formerly took him nineteen days. Before the railway came he had to go by wheelbarrow, ten miles a day, his luggage on one side the wheel, and himself on the other. Thousands of these wheelbarrows, doing freight and passenger business, are in use in Shanghai and the regions roundabout. A frame about three feet wide and four feet long is built over and around the wheel, and a coolie will carry as much as half a ton on one of them.

Along the Yangtze a considerable quantity of cotton is grown, and I went out into some of the fields in the neighborhood of Shanghai. The stalks were dead, of course, and in some cases women were pulling them up for fuel, but I could see that the Chinese is a poorer variety than our American cotton, and is cultivated more poorly. Instead of planting in rows as we do, the peasants about Shanghai broadcast in "lands" eight or ten feet wide, as we sow wheat and oats. About Shanghai they do not use the heavier two and three horse plows I found about Peking; consequently the land is poorly broken to begin with, and the cultivation while the crop is growing amounts to very little. No sort of seed selection or variety breeding has ever been attempted. No wonder that {141} the stalks are small, the bolls small and few in number, and the staple also very short.

From my observation I should say that with better varieties and better cultivation China could easily double her yields without increasing her acreage. There is likely to be some increase in acreage, too, however, because farmers who have had to give up poppy culture are in search of a new money crop, and in most cases will take up cotton.

As I have said before, the coolie class wear padded clothes all winter, and as they have no fire in their houses, they naturally have to wear several suits even of the padded sort. I remember a speech Congressman Richmond P. Hobson made several years ago in which he spoke of having seen Chinamen with clothes piled on, one suit on top of another, until they looked like walking cotton bales. Some of his hearers may have thought this an exaggeration, but if so, I wish to give him the support of my own observation and that of a preacher. As a Chinaman came in the street-car in Shanghai Friday my missionary host remarked: "That fellow has on four or five suits already, and he'll put on more as the weather gets colder."

Mr. Currie, the English superintendent of the International Cotton Mills at Shanghai, told me as I went through his factory that the Chinese men and women he employs average about 12 cents a day (American money), but that from his experience in England he would say that English labor at 80 cents or a dollar a day is cheaper. "You'd have more for your money at the week's end. One white girl will look after four sides of a ring spinning frame; it takes six Chinese, as you see. Then, again, the one white girl would oil her own machine; the Chinese will not. In the third place, in England two overseers would be enough for this room, while here we must have seven."

Hong Kong.




With this letter we bid farewell to China. When I see it again it will doubtless be greatly changed. Already I have come too late to see poppy fields or opium dens; too late to see the old-time cells in which candidates for office were kept during their examination periods; too late, I am told, to find the flesh of cats or dogs for sale in the markets. If I had waited five years longer, it is likely that I should not have found the men wearing their picturesque queues and half-shaven heads; before five years, too, a parliament and a cabinet will have a voice in the government in which until now the one potent voice has been that of the Emperor, the "Son of Heaven" divinely appointed to rule over the Middle Kingdom. All over the country the people are athrill with a new life. Unless present signs fail, the century will not be old before the Dragon Empire, instead of being a country hardly consulted by the Powers about matters affecting its own interests, will itself become one of the Powers and will have to be consulted about affairs in other nations.

Be it said, to begin with, that I am just back from Canton, the most populous city in China and supposedly one of the half dozen most populous in the whole world. As no census has ever been taken, it is impossible to say how many people it really does contain. The estimates vary all the way from a million and a half to three millions. Half a million people, it is said, live on boats in the river. Some of them are born, marry, grow old, and die without ever having known a home {143} on land. And these boats, it should be remembered, are no larger than a small bedroom at home. I saw many of them yesterday afternoon, and I also saw many of the women managing them. The women boatmen--or boat-women--of Canton are famous.

Think of a city of two or three million people without a vehicle of any kind--wagon, buggy, carriage, street-car, automobile, or even a rickshaw! And yet this is what Canton appears to be. I didn't see even a wheelbarrow. The streets are too narrow for any travel except that of pedestrians, and the only men not walking are those borne on the shoulders of men who are walking. My guide (who rejoices in the name of Ah Cum John) and I went through in sedan chairs--a sort of chair with light, narrow shafts before and behind. These shafts fit over the heads and bare shoulders of three coolies, or Chinese laborers, and it is these human burden-bearers who showed us the sights of Canton.

To get an idea of what the city is like, fancy an area of about thirty square miles crowded with houses as thick as they can stand, every house jam up against its neighbors, with only walls between--no room for yards or parks or driveways--and these houses dense with people! Then punch into these square miles of houses a thousand winding alleys, no one wide enough to be called a street, and fill up these alleys also with hurrying, perspiring, pig-tailed Chinamen. There are no stores, shops or offices such as would look familiar to an American, but countless thousands of Chinese shops wide open to the streets, with practically no doors in evidence.

Such is Canton: a human hive of industry: a maze of labyrinthine alleys crowded with people, the alleys or streets too narrow to get the full light of day!

Outside this crowded city of Canton's living masses is the even larger and more crowded city of Canton's dead. From the highest point on the city wall my guide pointed out an unbroken cemetery extending for ten miles: the hills dotted {144} with mounds until they have the appearance of faces pitted by smallpox.

For the Chinaman, however unimportant in actual life, becomes a man of importance as soon as he dies, and his grave must be carefully looked after. The finest place I saw in Canton was the mortuary where the dead bodies of wealthy Chinamen are kept until burial. The handsome coffins I saw ranged in value from $1400 to $2700 Mexican, or half these amounts American money. The lacquered surfacing accounts for the high cost.

Nor are these departed Celestials kept here for a few days only. Sometimes it is a matter of several years, my guide told me, the geomancers or fortune-tellers being employed all this time in finding a suitable site for a grave. These miserable scoundrels pretend that the soul of the dead man will not rest unless he is buried in just the right spot and in just the right kind of soil. Perhaps no professional man in China earns as much as these fakirs. Sometimes it happens that after a man has been dead two or three years his family suffers a series of misfortunes. A frequent explanation in such cases is that the wrong site has been chosen for the dead man's burial place. Another geomancer is then hired and told to find a new grave where the soul will rest in peace. Of course, he charges a heavy fee.

In one $1400 coffin I saw was the body of a wealthy young Chinaman who died last spring. Three times a day a new cup of tea is placed on the table for his spirit, and on the walls of the room were scores of silk scrolls, fifteen feet long, expressing the sympathy of friends and relatives. Around the coffin, too, were almost life-size images of servants, and above it a heap of gilded paper to represent gold. When the geomancers finally find a suitable grave for the poor fellow he will be buried, and these paper servants and this paper gold will be burned, in the belief that they will be converted into real servants and real gold for his use in the spirit world.


A friend of mine in Peking who saw the funeral of the late Emperor and Empress Dowager told me some interesting stories of the truly Oriental ceremonies then celebrated. Tons of clothes and furs were burned, and vast quantities of imitation money. A gorgeous imitation boat, natural size and complete in every detail from cabins to anchors, steamer chairs, and ample decks, was fitted up at a cost of $36,000 American money, and burned. Furthermore, as my friend was coming home one evening, he was surprised to see in an unexpected place, some distance ahead, a full regiment of soldiers, gorgeous in new uniforms, and hundreds of handsome cavalry horses. Getting closer, what was his amazement to find that these natural-size soldiers and steeds were only make-believe affairs to be burned for the dead monarchs! To maintain their rank in the Beyond they must have at least one full regiment at their command!

Since we are on such gruesome subjects we might as well finish with them now by considering the punishments in China. I went out to the execution grounds in Canton, but it happened to be an off-day when nobody was due to suffer the death sentence. I did see the cross, though, on which the worst criminals are stretched and strangled before they are beheaded. The bodies of these malefactors are not allowed ordinary burial, but quick-limed, I believe. There were human bones beside the old stone wall where I walked, and when a Chinese brat lifted for a moment a sort of jute-bagging cover from a barrel the topmost skull of the heap grinned ghastly in the sunlight.

The cruelty of Chinese punishments is a blot upon her civilization. When I was in Shanghai a friend of mine told me of having been to a little town where two men had just been executed for salt-smuggling. Salt is a government monopoly in China, or at least is subject to a special revenue duty, so that salt smuggling is about equivalent to blockading whiskey in America.


Recognized forms of punishment are death by starvation and "death by the seventy-two cuts"--gradually chopping a man to pieces as if he were a piece of wood. This latter punishment is for treason. To let a bad criminal be hanged instead of beheaded is regarded as a favor, the explanation being that the man who has his head cut off is supposed to be without a head in the hereafter.

The worst feature of the whole system is the treatment of prisoners to make them confess. The Chinese theory is that no one should be punished unless he confesses with his own mouth. Consequently the most brutal, sickening tortures are practised to extort confession, and, in the end, thousands and thousands of innocent men, no doubt, rather than live longer in miseries far worse than death, have professed crimes of which they were innocent.

But let us turn now to happier topics--say to an illustration of Chinese humor. Very well; here is the sort of story that tickles a Chinaman: it is one they tell themselves:

A Chinaman had a magic jar. And when you think of a jar here don't think of one of the tiny affairs such as Americans use for preserves and jams. The jar here means a big affair about half the size of a hogshead: I bathed in one this morning. It was in such jars that Ali Baba's Forty Thieves concealed themselves. Well, this magic jar had the power of multiplying whatever was put into it. If you put in a suit of clothes, behold, you could pull out perhaps two or three dozen suits! If you put in a silver dollar, you might get out a hundred silver dollars. There doesn't seem to have been any regularity about the jar's multiplying properties. Sometimes it might multiply by two, while again it might multiply by a hundred.

At any rate, the owner of the magic receptacle was getting rich fairly fast, when a greedy judge got word of the strange affair somehow. Accordingly he made some kind of false charge against the man and made him bring the jar into court. {149} Then the judge pretended that he couldn't decide about the case, or else pretended that the man needed punishment for something, and so wrongly refused to give the citizen's property back. Instead the magistrate took the jar into his own home and himself began to get rich on its labors.



The building of the Great Wail, considered simply as a feat of Herculean labor, leaves us no room to boast over the Panama Canal.


The lower picture shows the terrible deformity produced by foot-binding.



The upper picture suggests a word about the amazing fertility of the Oriental races--the Japanese, for example, increasing from their birth-rate alone as fast as the United States from its birth-rate plus its enormous immigration.


A great need of America in the East is better consular buildings. Witness this one at Antung.

{149 continued}

Now, when this happened, the friends of the mistreated man began to murmur. Failing to do anything with the magistrate, they appealed to the magistrate's father--for though you may be fifty or seventy years old in China, if your father is living you are as much subject to his orders as if you were only ten; this is the case just as long as you both live. But when the father spoke about the complaints of the people the magistrate lied about the jar somehow, but not in a way entirely to deceive the old fellow. He decided to do some investigating, and went blundering around into a dark room in search of the jar, and before he saw what he was doing came upon it and fell into it. Whereupon he cried to his son to pull him out.

The son did come, but when he pulled out one father, behold there was another still in the jar--and then another and another and another. He pulled out one father after another till the whole room was full of fathers, and then he filled up the yard with fathers, and had six or eight standing like chickens on the stone wall before the accursed old jar would quit! And to have left one father in there would naturally have been equivalent to murder.

So this was the punishment of the unjust magistrate. He had, of course, to support all the dozens of aged fathers he pulled out of the jar (a Chinaman must support his father though he starve himself), and it is to be supposed that he used up all the wealth he had unjustly piled up, and had to work night and day as well all the rest of his life. Of course the jar, too, had to be returned to its owner, and in this way the whole community learned of the magistrate's unfairly withholding it.

This story is interesting not only for its own sake, but for {150} the light it sheds on Chinese life--the relations of father and son; the unjust oppression of the people by the officials in a land where the citizen is without the legal rights fundamental in American government; and, lastly, the "Arabian Nights" like flavor of this typically Chinese piece of fiction.

One of the funny things among the many funny things I have encountered in China is the peculiar way of buying or selling land, as reported to me by Rev. Dr. R. T. Bryan. If you buy land from a Chinaman, about Shanghai at least, without knowing the custom of the country, you may have to make him three additional payments before you get through with him. For, according to the custom, after the first payment he will give you a deed, but after a little while will come around sighing, regretting that he sold the land and complaining that you didn't pay enough. Accordingly, you will pay him a little more, and he will give you what is called a "sighing paper," certifying that the "sighing money" has been paid. A few days or weeks pass and he turns up again. You didn't pay him quite enough before. Therefore, you make another small payment and he gives you the "add-a-little-more" paper showing that the "add-a-little-more" money has been paid. Last of all, you make what is called the "pull-up-root" payment, and the land is safely yours.

Of course, the impatient foreigner hasn't time for this sort of thing, consequently he pays enough more in the beginning to cancel these various dramatic performances. Doctor Bryan's deed certifies that the "sighing money," "add-a-little-more money," and "pull-up-root money" have all been settled to start with.

"Pidgin English," or the corruptions of English words and phrases by means of which foreigners and Chinese exchange ideas, is also very amusing. "Pidgin English" means "business English," "pidgin" representing the Chinaman's attempt to say "business." Some of the Chinese phrases are very useful, such as "maskee" for our "never mind." Other good phrases {151} are "chop-chop" for "hurry up," "chin-chin" for "greeting," and "chow-chow" for "food."

"Have you had plenty chow-chow?" my good-natured Chinese elevator-boy in Shanghai used to say to me after dinner; and the bright-eyed little brats at the temples in Peking used to explain their failure to do anything forbidden by saying they should get "plenty bamboo chow-chow"! Bamboos are used for switches (as well as for ten thousand other things), and "bamboo chow-chow" means the same thing to the Chinese boy as "hickory tea" to an American boy!

A Scotch fellow-passenger was telling me the other day of the saying that "The Scotchman keeps the Sabbath day, and every other good thing he can lay his hands on." Now, the Chinaman, unlike the Scotchman, doesn't keep the Sabbath, but he does live up to all the requirements of the second clause of the proverb. Nothing goes to waste in China except human labor, of which enough is wasted every year to make a whole nation rich, simply because it is not aided by effective implements and machinery. The bottles, the tin cans, the wooden boxes, the rags, the orange peels--everything we throw away--is saved. And the coolies work from early morn till late at night and every day in the week. Their own religion does not teach them to observe the seventh day, and this requirement of Christianity, in China as well as in Japan, is regarded as a great hardship upon its converts.

Buddhism in China, as in Japan, it may also be observed just here, is now only a hideous mixture of superstition and fraud. As I found believers in the Japanese temples rubbing images of men and bulls to cure their own pains, so in the great Buddhist temple at Canton I found the fat Buddha's body rubbed slick in order to bring flesh to thin supplicants, while one of the chief treasures of the temple is a pair of "fortune sticks." If the Chinese Buddhist wishes to undertake any new task or project, he first comes to the priest and tries out its advisability with these "fortune sticks." If, when dropped to the {152} floor, they lie in such a position as to indicate good luck, he goes ahead; otherwise he is likely to abandon the project.

Let me close this chapter by noting a remark made to me by Dr. Timothy Richard, one of the most eminent religious and educational workers in the empire.

"Do you know what has brought about the change in China?" he asked me one day in Peking. "Well, I'll tell you: it is a comparative view of the world. Twenty years ago the Chinese did not know how their country ranked with other countries in the elements of national greatness. They had been told that they were the greatest, wisest, and most powerful people on earth, and they didn't care to know what other countries were doing. Since then, however, they have studied books, have sent their sons to foreign colleges and universities, and they have found out in what particulars China has fallen behind other nations. Now they have set out to remedy these defects. The comparative view of the world is what is bringing about the remaking of China."

In China, no doubt, the men who have brought the people this "comparative view of the word" were criticised sometimes for presuming to suggest that any other way might be better than China's way; but they kept to their work--and have won. Doctor Richard himself did much effective service by publishing a series of articles and diagrams showing how China compared with other countries in area, population, education, wealth, revenue, military strength, etc. Such comparisons are useful for America as a country, and for individual states and sections as well.

Hong Kong, China.




Of the cruelty of Chinese punishments I have already had something to say, but there is at least one thing that should be said for the Chinese officials in this connection: No matter how heinous his crime, they have never sent a criminal from Hong Kong to Manila in an Indo-China boat in the monsoon and typhoon season.

Dante could have found new horrors for the "Inferno" in the voyage as I made it. From Saturday morning till Sunday night, while the storm was at its height, the waves beat clean over the top of our vessel. A thousand times it rolled almost completely to one side, shivered, trembled, and recovered itself, only to yield again to the wrath and fury of mountain-like waves hurled thundering against it and over it. The crack where the door fitted over the sill furnished opening enough to flood my cabin. In spite of the heat not even a crack could be opened at the top of the window until Monday morning. A bigger ship a few hours ahead of us found the sea in an even more furious mood. The captain stayed on the bridge practically without sleep three days and nights, going to bed, spent with fatigue and watching, as soon as he came at last into sight of Manila. Two weeks ago the captain of another ship came into port so much used up that he resigned and gave his first mate command of the vessel, while still another vessel has just limped into Manila disabled after buffeting the storm for a brief period.


At any rate, the trip is over now, and I write this in Manila, with its tropical heat and vegetation, its historic associations, its strange mixture of savage, Spanish, and American influences. The Pasig River, made famous in the war days of '98, flows past my hotel, and beautiful Manila Bay, glittering in the fierce December sunlight, recalls memories of Dewey and our navy. But the moss-green walls about the old Spanish city remind us of days of romance and tragedy more fascinating than any of the events of our own generation. In the days when Spain made conquest of the world these streets were laid out, and the statues of her sovereigns, imperious and imperial, still stand here to remind us that nations, like men, are mortal, and that for follies or mistakes a people no less surely than an individual must pay the price.

Nor let our own proud America, boasting of her greater area and richer resources, think she may ignore the lessons the history of her predecessors here may teach. The statue of Bourbon Don Carlos in his royal robe that stands amid the perennial green of the Cathedral Park--it may well bring our American officers who look out daily upon it, and the other Americans who come here, a feeling not of pride but of profound and reverent humility:

"God of Our Fathers, known of old.
Lord of our far-flung battle-line.
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine.
Judge of the nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget!"

In order to see what the Philippine country looks like, I left Manila Thursday and made the long, hot trip to Daguban, travelling through the provinces of Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Pangasinan. The first four of these are known as Tagalog provinces; the fifth is inhabited by Ilocanos and Pampangans. Three dialects or languages are spoken by the {155} tribes in the territory covered. Not far beyond Daguban are savage dog-eating, head-hunting tribes; taos, or peasants, buy dogs around Daguban and sell to these savages at good profits.

The provinces I travelled through are typical of Filipinoland generally. Rather sparsely settled, only the smaller part of the land is under cultivation, the rest grown up in horse-high tigbao or Tampa grass, or covered with small forest trees. Among trees the feathery, fern-like foliage of the bamboo is most in evidence; but the broad-leaved banana ranks easily next. The high topknot growth of the cocoanut palm and the similar foliage of the tall-shanked papaya afford a spectacle unlike anything we see at home. About Daguban especially many cocoanuts are grown, and the clumps of trees by the Agno River reminded me of the old Bible pictures of the River Nile in the time of Pharaoh--especially when I looked at the plowing going on around them. For the Filipino's plow is modelled closely on the old Egyptian implement, and hasn't been much changed. A properly crooked small tree or limb serves for a handle, another crooked bough makes the beam, and while there is in most cases a steel-tipped point, some of the poorer farmers have plows made entirely of wood. A piece of wood bent like the letter U forms the hames; another piece like U with the prongs pulled wide apart serves as a singletree. Then, with two pieces of rope connecting primitive hame and single-tree, the Filipino's harness is complete.

Before going into any further description of the plows, however, let us get our picture of the typical country on the Island of Luzon as I saw it on this hot December day. Great fields of rice here and there, ripe for the harvest, and busy, perspiring little brown men and women cutting the crop with old-fashioned knives and sickles; the general appearance not unlike an American wheat or oat harvest in early summer. Bigger fields of head-high sugarcane at intervals, the upper two feet green, the blades below yellow and dry. Some young corn, some of it tasselling, some that will not be in tassel before the last of {156} January. Some fields of peanuts. Here and there a damp low-ground and a sluggish river. Boats on the rivers: small freight boats of a primitive type and long canoes hewed out of single logs.

Most striking of all are the houses in which the people live, clustered in villages, as are farmhouses in almost every part of the world except in America. Surrounded in most cases by the massive luxuriance of a banana grove, the Filipino's hut stands on stilts as high as his head, and often higher. One always enters by a ladder. In most instances there are two rooms, the larger one perhaps 10 x 12 feet, and a sort of lean-to adjoining, through which the ladder comes. A one-horse farmer's corn crib is about the size of the larger Filipino home. And it is made, of course, not of ordinary lumber, but of bamboo--the ever-serviceable bamboo--which, as my readers probably know, strongly resembles the fishing-pole reeds that grow on our river banks. The sills, sleepers, and scaffolding of the house are made of larger bamboo trunks, six inches or less in diameter; the split trunks form the floor; the sides are of split bamboo material somewhat like that of which we make our hamper baskets and split-bottom chairs; the roofing is of nipal, which looks much like very long corn shucks.

In short, imagine an enormous hamper basket, big enough to hold six or eight hogsheads, put on stilts, and covered with shucks: such in appearance is the Filipino's house. Around it are banana trees bent well toward the ground by the weight of the one great bunch at the top, and possibly a few bamboo and cocoanut trees. For human ornaments there are rather small and spare black-haired, black-eyed, brown-skinned men, women, and children in clothing rather gayly colored--as far as it goes: in some cases it doesn't go very far. The favorite color with the women-folk is a sort of peach-blossom mixture of pink and white or a bandanna-handkerchief combination of red and white. Bare feet are most common, {159} but many wear slippers, and not a few are now slaves enough to fashion to wear American shoes. The men, except the very poorest, wear white, nor is it a white worn dark by dirt such as Koreans wear, but a spotless, newly washed white. Nearly every Filipino seems to have on clothes that were laundered the day before. A sort of colored gauze is frequently the only outer garment worn by either men or women on the upper part of the body.



Nearly all the native houses I saw in the rural Philippines were of this type--about this size, set on stilts, and constructed of similar material. The scene is not quite natural-looking, however, without a banana grove and a fighting cock or two.




Of all the native Oriental peoples, the Filipinos alone have become thoroughly Christianized. The great majority are Catholics.

{159 continued}

The beast of burden in the Philippines, the ungainly, slow-moving animal that pulls the one-handled plows and the two-wheeled carts, is the carabao. The carabao, or water buffalo, is about the size of an ordinary American ox, and much like the ox, but his hide is black, thick, and looks almost as tough as an alligator's; his horns are enormous, and he has very little hair. Perhaps his having lived in the water so much accounts for the absence of the hair. Even now he must every day submerge himself contentedly in deep water, must cover his body like a pig in a wallow: this is what makes life worth living for him. Furthermore, when he gives word that he is thirsty Mr. Tao (the peasant) must not delay watering him; in this hot climate thirst may drive him furiously, savagely mad, and the plowman may not be able to climb a cocoanut tree quick enough to escape hurt.

I saw quite a few goats, some cattle, a few hogs, and, of course, some dogs. Much as the Filipino may care for his dog, however, he always reserves the warmest place in his heart for nothing else but his gamecock, his fighting rooster. Cock-fighting, and the gambling inseparably connected with it, are his delight, and no Southern planter ever regarded a favorite fox-hound with more pride and affection than the Filipino bestows on his favorite chicken. In grassy yards you will see the rooster tied by one leg and turned out to exercise, as we would stake a cow to graze, while his owner watches and fondles him. I shall never forget a gray-headed, bright-eyed, barefooted old codger I saw near Tarlac stroking the feathers of his bird, while in his eyes was the pride as of a woman over {160} her first-born. A man often carries his gamecock with him as a negro would carry a dog, and he is as ready to back his judgment with his last centavo as was the owner of Mark Twain's "Jumping Frog" before that ill-fated creature dined too heartily on buckshot. Sundays and saints' days are the days for cock-fighting--and both come pretty often.

I wish I could give my readers a glimpse of the passengers who got on and off my train between Manila and Daguban: Filipino women carrying baskets on their heads, smoking cigarettes, and looking after babies--in some cases doing all three at once; Filipino men, likewise smoking, and with various kinds of luggage, including occasional gamecocks; Filipino children in most cases "undressed exceedingly," as Mr. Kipling would say; and American soldiers in khaki uniforms and helmets. At one place a pretty little twelve-year-old girl gets aboard, delighted that she is soon to see America for the first time in six years. For a while I travel with an American surveyor whose work is away out where he must swim unbridged streams, guard against poisonous snakes, and sleep where he can. An army surgeon tells me as we pass the site of a battle between the Americans and the Filipino insurgents eleven years ago: the Filipinos would not respect the Red Cross, and the doctors and hospital corps had to work all night with their guns beside them, alternately bandaging wounds and firing on savages. In telling me good-bye a young Westerner sends regards to all America. "Even a piece of Arizona desert would look good to me," he declares; "anything that's U.S.A." A young veterinarian describes the government's efforts to exterminate rinderpest, a disease which in some sections has killed nine tenths of the carabao. A campaign as thorough and far-reaching as that which the Agricultural Department at home is waging against cattle ticks is in progress, but the ignorant farmers cannot understand the regulations, and are greatly hindering a work which means so much of good to them.

Such are a few snapshots of Philippine life.


Of the vast natural resources of the Philippines there can be no question. With a fertile soil, varied products, immense forest wealth, and possibly extensive mineral wealth; with developing railway and steamship lines; with the markets of the Orient right at her doors and special trade advantages with the United States--with all these advantages, the islands might soon become rich, if there were only an industrious population.

Unfortunately, the Filipino, however, doesn't like work. Whether or not this dislike is incurable remains to be seen. Perhaps as he comes into contact with civilization he may conceive a liking for other things than rice, fish, a loin-cloth, and shade--plenty of shade--and proceed to put forth the effort necessary to get these other things. Already there seems to have been a definite rise in the standards of living since the American occupation. "When I came here in '98," Mr. William Crozier said to me, "not one native in a hundred wore shoes, and hats were also the exception; you can see for yourself how great is the change since then."

Moreover, in not a few cases Americans who have complained of difficulty in getting labor have been themselves to blame: they tried to hire and manage labor the American way instead of in the Filipino way. The custombre, as the Spanish call it--that is to say, the custom of the country--is a factor which no man can ignore without paying the penalty.

I am having to prepare this article very hurriedly, and I must postpone my comment on the work of the American Government until later. In closing, however, I am reminded that just as the old proverb says, "It takes all sorts of people to make a world," so I am seeing all sorts. A week ago yesterday the Hong Kong papers announced that Mr. Clarence Poe would be the guest at luncheon of his Excellency the Governor-General, Sir Frederick Lugard, K. C. M. G., C. B., D. S. O., etc., and Lady Lugard, in the executive mansion; yesterday {162} I had "chow" (food) in a Filipino's place, "The Oriental Hotel, Bar, and Grocery," away up in the Province of Pangasinan, and climbed to my room and cot on a sort of ladder or open work stairs such as one might expect to find in an ordinary barn! It was the best place I could find in town.

Nor do the incongruities end here. After getting my evening meal I walked out in the warm December moonlight, past the shadows of the strange buildings and tropical trees--and all at once there burst out the full chorus of one of the world's great operas, the magnificent voice of a Campanini or Caruso dominating all!

Great is the graphophone, advance agent of civilization!

Manila, P. I.




There are so many islands in the Philippine group, which I have just left behind me (I write in a steamer off Manila), that if a man were to visit one a day, without stopping for Sundays, it would take him eight years to get around. Most of these islands though, of course, are little more than splotches on the water's surface and do not appear on the map. The two big ones, Mindanao and Luzon, contain three fourths of the total land surface of 127,000 square miles, leaving the other one fourth to be divided among the other 3138 islets.

The land area statistics just given indicate that the Philippines are about the size of three average American states and the population (7,000,000) is about three times that of an average American commonwealth. There are only about 30,000 white people in the islands, and 50,000 Chinese. Chinese immigration is now prohibited.

The 7,000,000 native Filipinos who make up practically the entire population represent all stages of human progress. The lowest of them are head-hunters and hang the skulls of their human enemies outside their huts, as an American hunter would mount the head of an elk or bear. The great majority, however, have long been Christians and have attained a fair degree of civilization. Even among the savage tribes a high moral code is often enforced. The Igorrotes, for example, though some of their number make it a condition of marriage {164} that the young brave shall have taken a head, shall have killed his man, have remarkable standards of honor and virtue in some respects, and formally visit the death penalty as the punishment for adultery. Because roads or means of communication have been poor the people have mingled but little, and there are three dozen different dialects. In the course of a half day's journey by rail I found three different languages spoken by the people along the route. The original inhabitants were Negritos, a race of pigmy blacks, of whom only a remnant remains, but the Filipino proper is a Malayan.

Filipinos are unique in that they alone among all the native peoples of Asia have accepted Christianity. Fortunate in being without the gold of Mexico or Peru, the Philippines did not attract the more brutal Spanish adventurers who, about the time of Magellan's discovery, were harrying wealthier peoples with fire and sword. Instead of the soldier or the adventurer, it was the priest, his soul aflame with love for his church, who came to the Philippines, and the impression made by his virtues was not negatived by the bloody crimes of fellow Spaniards mad with lust of treasure. The result is that to this day probably 90 per cent, of the Filipinos are Catholics. Before the priests came, the people worshipped their ancestors, as do other peoples in the Far East.

The only Asiatics who have accepted Christianity, the Filipinos are also the only Asiatics among whom women are not regarded as degraded and inferior beings. "If the Spaniards had done nothing else here," as a high American official in Manila said to me, "though, as a matter of fact, we are beginning to recognize that they did a great deal, they would deserve well of history for what they have accomplished for the elevation of woman through the introduction of Christianity. No other religion regards woman as man's equal."

The testimony I heard in the Philippines indicated that the female partner in the household is, if anything, superior in authority to the man. She is active in all the little business {165} affairs of the family, and white people sometimes arrange with Filipino wives for the employment of husbands!

The resources of the islands, as I have already said, are magnificent and alluring. In the provinces through which I travelled, less than 10 per cent. of the land seemed to be under cultivation, and statistics show that this is the general condition. A small area has sufficed to produce a living for the tao, or peasant, and he has not cultivated more--a fact due in part to laziness and in part to poor means of transportation. What need to produce what cannot be taken to market? This fact, in my opinion, goes far to account for Filipino unaggressiveness.

According to the latest figures, the average size of the farms in the Philippines, including the large plantations, is less than eight acres, and the principal products are hemp, sugarcane, tobacco, cocoanuts, and rice. The Manila hemp plant looks for all the world like the banana plant (both belong to the same family), and the newcomer cannot tell them apart. The fibre is in the trunk or bark. Sisal hemp, which I found much like our yucca or "bear grass," is but little grown. Sugarcane is usually cultivated in large plantations, as in Louisiana, these plantations themselves called haciendas, and their owners hacienderos. The tobacco industry is an important one, and would be even if the export averaging half a million cigars for every day in the year were stopped, for the Filipinos themselves are inveterate smokers. The men smoke, the women smoke, the children smoke--usually cigarettes, but sometimes cigars of enormous proportions. "When I first came here," Prof. C. M. Conner said to me, "it amused me to ask a Filipino how far it was to a certain place, and have him answer, 'Oh, two or three cigarettes,' meaning the distance a man should walk in smoking two or three cigarettes!" Cocoanut-raising is a very profitable industry--all along the Pasig River in Manila you can see the native boats high-packed with the green, unhusked product, and two towns in Batanzas shipped 1500 carloads last year. It is also believed that {166} the rubber industry would pay handsomely. The rubber-producing trees I saw about Manila were very promising.

Coffee plantations brought their owners handsome incomes until about twenty years ago, when the blight, more devastating than the cotton boll weevil, came with destruction as swift as that which befell Sennacherib. I heard the story of an old plantation near Lipa, whose high-bred Castilian owner once lived in splendor, his imported horses gay in harness made of the finest silver, but the blight which ruined his coffee plants was equally a blight to his fortunes and his home and it is now given over to weeds and melancholy ruins. In some sections, however, coffee is still grown successfully, and I was much interested in seeing the shrubs in bearing.

The Philippines are about the only place I have found since leaving home where the people are not trying to grow cotton. In California, in the Hawaiian Islands, in Japan, in Korea, and even in Manchuria as far north as Philadelphia, I have found the plants, and of course in China proper. But I should add just here, that in Southern China, about Canton, I did not find cotton. As for the industry in the Philippines, a Southern man, now connected with the Agricultural Department in Manila, said to me: "Cotton acts funny here. It runs to weed. I planted some and it opened five or six bolls a stalk and then quit: died down." He showed me some "tree cotton," about twenty feet high, and also some of the Caravonica cotton from Australia, which is itself much like a small tree.

When it comes to the lumber industry, not even Col. Mulberry Sellers would be likely to overestimate the possibilities the Philippines offer. There are literally millions in it. The government is leasing immense areas on a stumpage royalty of about 1 per cent., and as railways are built the industry will expand. Fortunately, there are strict regulations to prevent the destruction of the forests. They must be used, not wasted. The authorities realize that while timber is a crop like other crops, it differs from the other crops in that the harvesting must {167} never be complete. The cutting of trees below a certain minimum size is forbidden.

And now a word as to the activities of the American Government in the islands and the agencies through which these activities are conducted. The supreme governing body is known as the Philippine Commission, consisting of the Governor-General, who is ex-officio president, and seven other members (four Americans, three Filipinos) appointed by the President of the United States. Four of these commissioners (three of these are Americans) are heads of departments, having duties somewhat like those of Cabinet officers in America. This commission is not only charged with the executive duties, but it acts as the Upper House or Senate of the Philippine Congress. That is to say, the voters elect an Assembly corresponding to our House of Representatives, but no legislation can become effective unless approved by the Philippine Commission acting as the Upper House. In the first two elections, those of 1907 and 1909, the advocates of early independence, opponents of continued American supremacy, have predominated. The result has been that the American members of the commission have had to kill numberless bills passed by the Assembly. On the other hand, some very necessary and important measures advocated by the commission, measures which would be very helpful to the Filipinos, are opposed by the Assembly either through ignorance or stubbornness. Most of the Assembly members are of the politician type, mestizos or half-breeds (partly Spanish or Chinese), and very young. "In fact," a Manila man said to me, "when adjournment is taken, it is hard for a passerby to tell whether it is the Assembly that has let out or the High School!" The people in the provinces elect their own governors and city officials.

In some respects the legislation for the Philippines adopted by the American officials at Washington and Manila has been quite progressive. To begin with, our Republican National {168} Administration frankly recognized the blunders made in the South during Reconstruction days, and has practically endorsed the general policy of suffrage restriction which the South has since adopted. When the question came up as to who should be allowed to vote, even for the limited number of elective offices, no American Congressman was heard to propose that there should be unrestricted manhood suffrage. Instead, the law as passed provides that in order to vote in the Philippines one must be 23 years of age, a subject of no foreign power, and must either (1) have held some responsible office before August 13, 1898, or (2) own $250 worth of property or pay $15 annually in established taxes, or (3) be able to speak, read, and write English or Spanish. Of course, the Filipinos, with a few exceptions, do not "speak, read, or write" English or Spanish; they have been taught only their own dialect. I understand that only 2 per cent, of the people can vote under these provisions.

It should be said just here, however, that the government is now making a magnificent effort to educate all the Filipinos, and the schools are taught in English. The fact that half a million boys and girls had been put into public schools was the first boasted achievement of the American administration of the islands. It was, indeed, a great change from Spanish methods, but in the last three or four years the officials have been rapidly waking up to the fact that while they have been getting the Filipinos into the schools, they have not been getting them into the right sort of schools.

With the realization of this fact, a change has been made in the kind of instruction given. More and more the schools have been given an industrial turn. When I visited the Department of Education in Manila I found that old textbooks had been discarded and new text-books prepared--books especially suited to Philippine conditions and directed to practical ends. Instead of a general physiology describing bones, arteries, and nerve centres, I found a little book on {169} "Sanitation and Hygiene in the Tropics," written in simple language, profusely illustrated, and with information which the pupil can use in bettering the health of himself, his family, and his neighborhood. Instead of a general book on agriculture, I found a book written so as to fit the special needs, crops, and conditions in the Philippines. Moreover, I found the officials exhibiting as their chief treasures the specimens of work turned out by the pupils as a result of the practical instruction given them.

"I really think," said one of the officers, "that we have carried the idea of industrial education, of making the schools train for practical life, much farther in the Philippines than it has been carried in the United States. The trouble at home is that our teachers don't introduce industrial education early enough. They wait until the boy enters the upper grades--if he doesn't leave school before entering them at all, as he probably does. In any case, they reach only a few pupils. Our success, on the other hand, is due to the fact that we begin with industrial education in the earlier grades and get everybody."

And right here is a valuable lesson for those of us who are interested in getting practical training for white boys and girls in America as well as for brown boys and girls in the Philippines.

Another progressive step was the introduction of postal savings banks for the Filipinos before any law was passed giving similar advantage to the white people of the United States. The law has worked well. In fact, the increase in number of depositors last year, from 8782 to 13,102--nearly 50 per cent, in a single twelve-month--would indicate that the people are getting enthusiastic about it and that it is achieving magnificent results in stimulating thrift and the saving habit.

The government has also introduced the Torrens System of Registering Land Titles, as it has done in Hawaii. Formerly {170} the farmer or the peasant paid 20 per cent, or more for advances or loans. With his land registered under the Torrens system the bank will lend him money at a normal rate of interest, with nothing wasted in lawyers' fees for expensive investigations of all previous changes in title since the beginning of time. Judge Charles B. Elliott, now Secretary of Commerce and Police for the islands, was on the Minnesota Supreme Bench when the Torrens plan was put into force there, and he is enthusiastic about its workings both in his home state in America and in the Philippines.

For the public health an especially fruitful work has been done by the Americans, albeit the Filipino has often had much to say in criticism of the methods of saving life, and but little in praise of the work itself. "The hate of those ye better, the curse of those ye bless" may usually be confidently counted on by those who bear the White Man's Burden, and this seems to have been especially true with regard to health work in the East. In the Philippines the farmers object to the quarantine restrictions that would save their carabao from rinderpest; they object to the regulations that look to stamping out cholera, and I suppose the isolation and colonization of lepers, who formerly ran at large, has also been unpopular. In spite of opposition, vaccination is now general; pock-marked Filipinos will not be so common in future.

Nor is it likely that there will be many reports of cholera outbreaks such as an ex-army nurse described to me a few days ago: "When I was in Iloilo in 1902," she said, "it was impossible to dig graves for the poor natives as fast as they died. The men were kept digging, at the point of the bayonet, all night long--pits 100 feet long, 7 feet wide and 7 feet deep, in which the bodies of the dead were thrown and quick-limed--and yet I remember that on one occasion 235 corpses lay for forty-eight hours before we could find graves for them."

In Manila statistics show that 44 per cent. of the deaths are {171} of babies under one year old, and the ignorance of the mothers as to proper methods of feeding and nursing has resulted in a shockingly high death rate of little ones all over the Philippines. I noticed that the new school text-book on sanitation and hygiene gives especial attention to the care of infants, and it is said that already the school boys and girls are often able to give their mothers helpful counsel. In this fact we have another good suggestion for the school authorities at home, where it is said that proper knowledge and care would save the lives of a million infants a year.

Hardly less important than the school work has been the road-building undertaken by the American officials. And in Philippine road work a most excellent example has been set for the states at home, in that the authorities have given attention not only to building roads but to maintaining them after they are built. Too many American communities vote a heavy bond issue for roads and think that ends the matter. In the Philippines no such mistake has been made. "With the heavy rains here," the Governor-General said to me, "our entire investment in a piece of good road would be lost in four years' time if repair work were not carefully looked after."

The system adopted for keeping up the roads is very interesting. Everywhere along the fine highways I travelled over there were at intervals piles or pens of crushed stone and other material for filling up any hole or break. For each mile or so a Filipino is employed--he is called a caminero--and his whole duty is to take a wheelbarrow and a few tools and keep that piece of road in shape.

Prizes of $5000 each are also offered to the province that maintains the best system of first-class roads, to the province that spends the largest proportion of its funds on roads and bridges, and to the province that shows the best and most complete system of second-class roads.

That the Filipinos are unfit to face the world alone there can be little doubt. As to whether it is our business in that {172} case to manage for them is another question. The Filipinos are, like our negroes, a child-race in habits of thought, whatever they may be from the standpoint of the evolutionist. "I never get angry with them, however much they may obstruct my plans," an American of rank said to me, "for I look on them as children. We are running a George Junior Republic; that's what it amounts to." Another American, who has had some experience with the Assembly, said to me: "When you have explained and reiterated some apparently simple proposition, they will come to you a day or so later with some elementary question amazing for its childishness." A large number of excellent measures for which the Assembly has received the credit were really instigated by the commission--"personally conducted legislation," it is called.

The Filipinos come of a race which has achieved more than the negro race, but on the whole they are probably hardly better fitted for self-government than the negroes of the South would be to-day if all the whites should move away. As a Republican of some prominence at home said to me in Manila: "A crowd of ten-year-old schoolboys in Chicago would know better how to run a government."

The mere fact that the Filipinos are not capable of managing wisely for themselves, of course, is not enough to justify a colonial or imperialistic policy on the part of the United States. It is not our business to go up and down the earth taking charge of everybody who is not managing his affairs as well as we think we could manage for him. But, in any case, there is no use to delude ourselves as to what are the real qualifications of Mr. Filipino.

I believe that the United States should eventually withdraw from the islands, but when it does so there should be an understanding with the Powers that will prevent the natives from being exploited by some other nation.

China Sea, off Manila Harbor.




The prosperity of every man depends upon the prosperity (and therefore upon the efficiency) of the Average Man.

So I have argued for years, in season and out of season, in newspaper articles and in public addresses; and the most impressive fact I have discovered in all my travel through the Orient is the fundamental, world-wide importance of this too little accepted economic doctrine. It is the biggest lesson the Old World has for the New--the biggest and the most important.

In America, education, democratic institutions, a proper organization of industry: these have given the average man a high degree of efficiency and therefore a high degree of prosperity as compared with the lot of the average man in Asia or Europe--a prosperity heightened and enhanced, it is true, by the exploitation of a new continent's virgin resources, but, after all, due mainly, primarily, as we have said, to the high degree of efficiency with which the average man does his work.

And while there may be "too much Ego in our Cosmos," as Kipling's German said about the monkey, for us to like to admit it, the plain truth is that, no matter what our business, we chiefly owe our prosperity not to our own efforts, but to the high standards of intelligence, efficiency, and prosperity on the part of our people as a whole. We live in better homes, eat more wholesome food, wear better clothing, have more leisure {174} and more recreation, endure less bitter toil; in short, we find human life fairer and sweeter than our fellow man in Asia, not because you or I as individuals deserve so much better than he, but because of our richer racial heritage. We have been born into a society where a higher level of prosperity obtains, where a man's labor and effort count for more.

In China a member of the Emperor's Grand Council told me that the average rate of wages throughout the empire for all classes of labor is probably 18 cents a day. In Japan it is probably not more, and in India much less. The best mill workers I saw in Osaka average 22 cents a day; the laborers at work on the new telephone line in Peking get 10 cents; wheelbarrow coolies in Shanghai $4 a month; linotype operators in Tokyo 45 cents a day, and pressmen 50; policemen 40; the ironworkers in Hankow average about 10 cents; street-car conductors in Seoul make 35 cents; farm laborers about Nankou 10 cents; the highest wages are paid in the Philippines, where the ordinary laborer gets from 20 to 50 cents.

Since writing the foregoing I have looked up the latest official statistics for Japan in the "Financial and Economic Annual for 1910," the latest figures compiled to date being for 1908. In 1908 wages had increased on the whole 40 per cent, above 1900 figures, and I give herewith averages for certain classes of workmen for 1899 and 1908:

Daily Wages in Cents

Farm laborer, male$0.13 $0.19
Farm laborer, female.08-1/2 .11-1/2
Weaver, male.15.22
Weaver, female.09.12
Day laborer.17.26-1/2

When I asked Director Matsui what he paid the hands I saw at work on the Agricultural College farm, he answered, "Well, being so near Tokyo, we have to pay 30 to 40 sen (15 to 20 cents) a day, but in the country, generally, I should say 20 to 35 sen" (10 to 13-1/2 cents a day).


Moreover, there is a savage struggle for employment even at these low figures; men work longer hours than in America, and their tasks are often heart-sickening in their heaviness: tasks such as an American laborer would regard as inhuman.

Take, for example, the poor fellow who pulls the jinrikisha. He is doing the work that horses and mules do at home, and for wages such as our Southern negroes would refuse for ordinary labor. More than this, in most cases he is selling you not only his time but his life-blood. Run he must with his human burden, and faster than Americans would care to run without a burden; and the constant strain overtaxes his heart and shortens his days. More than this, he must go in all kinds of weather, and having become thoroughly heated, must shiver in the winter wind or driving rain during waits. The exposure and the overtaxing of the heart are alike ruinous. The rickshaw man's life, I was told in Japan, is several years shorter than that of the average man.

And yet so many men are driven by the general poverty into the rickshaw business that I have hardly found a city in which it is not overcrowded. In Peking on one occasion I almost thought my life endangered by the mob who jostled, tugged, and fought for the privilege of earning the 15 or 20 cents fare my patronage involved. In Hong Kong two runners, wild-eyed with the keenness of the savage struggle for existence, menaced the smaller, younger man I had hired as if they would take me by force from his vehicle to their own--and this for a climb so steep that I soon got out and walked rather than feel myself guilty of "man's inhumanity to man" by making a fellow being pull me. Fiercer yet was the competition in Hankow, where not even the brutal clubbing of the policeman was enough to keep the men in order. In wintry Newchwang I think I suffered almost as much as my rickshaw man did merely to see him wading through mud and foulness such as I should not wish my horse to go through at home--though if he had {176} not waded I should have had to, and he was the more used to it!

I mention the hard life of the Oriental laborer who pulls the jinrikisha because it is typical. The business would not be crowded if it were not that the men find life in other lines no better. Consider the men who carried me in my sedan chair in Canton. As each man fitted the wooden shafts over his shoulders I could see that they were welted with corns like a mule's shoulders chafed by the hames through many a summer's plowing.

Consider, too, the thousands of Chinese and Japanese who do the work not of carriage horses, but of draft horses. From the time you land in Yokahoma your heart is made sick by the sight of half-naked human-beings harnessed like oxen to heavily laden carts and drays. Bent, tense, and perspiring like slaves at the oar, they draw their heavy burdens through the streets. One or two men wearily pull an immense telegraph pole balanced on a two-wheeled truck. Eight or ten men are harnessed together dragging some merchant's heavy freight. Four to a dozen other men carry some heavy building-stone or piece of machinery by running bamboo supports from the shoulders of the men behind to the shoulders of the men in front: you can see the constant, tortuous play of the muscles around each man's rigid backbone while the strained, monotonous, half-weird chorus, "Hy-ah! Hullah! Hee-ah! Hey!" measures their tread and shifts the strain from man to man, step by step, with the precision of clock work. On the rivers in China, too, one sees boats run by human treadmill power: a harder task than that of Sisyphus is that of the men who sweat all day long at the wheel, forever climbing and never advancing.

Nor do the women and children of the Orient escape burdens such as only men's strong shoulders should bear. Children who should have the freedom that even the young colt gets--how my heart has gone out to them cheated out of the joys {177} of childhood! And the women with children strapped on their backs while they steer boats and handle passengers and traffic about Hong Kong! Or leave, if you will, the water-front at Hong Kong and make the hard climb up the steep, bluff-like, 1800-foot mountainside, dotted with the handsome residences of wealthy Englishmen: you can hardly believe that every massive timber, every ton of brick, every great foundation-stone was carried up, up from the town below, by the tug and strain of human muscle--and not merely human muscle, but in most cases the muscles of women! Probably no governor in any state in America lives in a residence so splendid as that of the governor-general of Hong Kong--certainly no governor's residence is so beautifully situated, halfway up a sheer mountain-slope--and yet the wife of the governor-general told me that the material used in the building was brought up the mountainside by women!

Hardly better fare the women in the factories. I mentioned in a former letter the mills in Shanghai where women work 13-1/4 hours for 12 cents a day; and in most cases the women in Eastern factories are herded together in crowded compounds little better than the workhouses for American criminals!

Or consider the rice farmers who wade through mud knee-deep to plant the rice by hand, cultivate it with primitive tools, and harvest it with sickles. And after all this, they must often sell the rice they grow, and themselves buy cheaper millet or poorer rice for their own food. The situation has probably improved somewhat since Col. Charles Denby published his book five years ago, but in its general outlines the plight of the typical Chinese farmer as described by him then is true to-day:

"The average wage of an able-bodied young man is $12 per annum, with food and lodging, straw shoes, and free shaving--an important item in a country where heads must be shaved three or four times a month. His clothing costs about $4 per annum. In ten years he may buy one third of an acre of land ($150 per acre) and necessary implements. In ten years more he may {178} double his holdings and become part-owner in a water buffalo. In six years more he can procure a wife and live comfortably on his estate. Thus in twenty-six years he has gained a competence."

So much by way of a faint picture of existing industrial conditions in the Orient. Let us now see what there is for us to learn from these facts.

First of all, we may inquire why such conditions obtain. Why is it that the Oriental gets such low wages, and has such low earning power? "An overcrowded population," somebody answers, "in China, for example, four hundred million people--one fourth the human race--crowded within the limits of one empire. This is the cause."

I don't believe it.

There is a limit no doubt beyond which increase of population, even with the most highly developed system of industry, might lead to such a result, but I do not believe that this limit has been reached even in China. The people in England live a great deal better to-day than they did when England had only one tenth its present population. The average man in your county has more conveniences, comforts, and a better income than he had in your grandfather's day when the population was not nearly so dense. The United States with a population of ninety odd million pays its laborers vastly better than it did when its population was only thirty million.

The truth is that every man should be able to earn a little more than he consumes; there should be a margin, an excess which should constitute his contribution to the "commonwealth," to the race. Our buildings, roads, railroads, churches, cathedrals, works of art--everything which makes the modern world a better place to live in than the primitive world was: these represent the combined contributions of all previous men and races. And if society is so able to handle men that they produce any fraction more than they consume, the more men the better the world.


My conviction is that the Oriental nations are poor, not because of their dense populations, but because of their defective industrial organizations, because they do not provide men Tools and Knowledge to work with.

Ignorance and lack of machinery--these have kept Asia poor; knowledge and modern tools--these have made America rich.

If Asia had a Panama Canal to dig, she would dig it with picks, hoes, and spades and tote out the earth in buckets. Nothing but human bone and sinew would be employed, and the men would be paid little, because without tools and knowledge they must always earn little. But America puts brains, science, steam, electricity, machinery into the Big Ditch--Tools and Knowledge, in other words--and she pays good wages because a man thus equipped does the work of ten men whose only force is the force of muscle.

But Asia--deluded, foolish Asia--has scorned machinery. "The more work machinery does, the less there will be for human beings to do. Men will be without work, and men without work will starve." With this folly on her lips she has rejected the agencies that would have rescued her from her never-ending struggle with starvation.

Oftentimes, we know, the same cry has been heard in England--and alas! even in America; our labor unions even now sometimes lend a willing ear to such nonsense. There were riots in England when manufacturers sought to introduce labor-saving methods in cotton-spinning; and when railroads were introduced among us there were doubtless thousands of draymen, stage-drivers, and boatmen who, if they had dared, would have torn up the rails and thrown them into the rivers, as the Chinese did along the Yangtze-Kiang. With much the same feeling the old-time hand compositors looked upon the coming of the typesetting machine.

And yet with all our engines doing the work of millions of draymen and cabmen, with all our factory-machines doing the {180} work of hundreds of thousands of weavers and spinners, with all our telegraphs and telephones taking the place of numberless messengers, runners, and errand boys, and with a population, too, vastly in excess of the population when old-fashioned methods prevailed, the fact stands out that labor has never been in greater demand and has never commanded higher wages than to-day.

With a proper organization of industry it seems to me that it must ever be so--certainly as far ahead as we can look into the future. When a machine is invented which enables one man to do the work it formerly required two men to do in producing some sheer necessity for mankind, an extra man is released or freed to serve mankind by the production of some comfort or luxury, or by ministering to the things of the mind and the spirit.

And it is the duty of society and government, it may be said just here, to facilitate this result, to provide education and equality of opportunity so that each man will work where his effort will mean most in human service. Knowledge or education not only cuts the shackles which chain a man down to a few occupations, not only sets him free to labor where he can work best, but is also itself a productive agency--a tool with which a man may work better.

Take the simple fact that cowpeas gather nitrogen from the air: a man may harness this scientific truth, use it and set it to work, and get results, profits, power, from it, as surely as from a harnessed horse or steam engine. And so with every other useful bit of knowledge under heaven. Knowledge is power.






One of the pleasures of being "on the road to Mandalay" was to see the--

"Elephints a-pilin' teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek"

The elephants of Rangoon are as fascinating as the camels of Peking. But one never gets hardened to the every-day Oriental spectacle of human beings harnessed like oxen to weary burdens, many of which make those in the lower picture look light by comparison.

All this doctrine Asia has rejected, or has never even got to the point of considering. In America a motorman or conductor by means of tools and knowledge--a street-car for a tool and the science of electricity for knowledge--transports forty people from one place to another. These men are high-priced laborers considered from an Oriental standpoint and yet {183} it costs you only five cents for your ride, and five minutes' time. In Peking, on the other hand, it takes forty men pulling rickshaws to transport the forty passengers; and though the pullers are "cheap laborers," it costs you more money and an hour's time to get to your destination--even if you are so lucky as not to be taken to the wrong place.

Forty men to do the work that two would do at home! Men and women weavers doing work that machines would do at home. Grain reaped with sickles instead of with horses and reapers as in America. Sixteen men at Hankow to carry baggage that one man and a one-horse dray would carry in New York. Women carrying brick, stone, and timber up the mountainside at Hong Kong--and the Chinese threatened a general riot when the English built a cable-car system up the incline; they compelled the owners to sign an agreement to transport passengers only--never freight! No sawmills in the Orient, but thousands of men laboriously converting logs into lumber by means of whipsaws. No pumps, even at the most used watering places, but buckets and ropes: often no windlass. No power grain-mills, but men and women, and, in some cases, asses and oxen, doing the work that the idle water-powers are given no chance to do.

These are but specimen illustrations. In the few industries where machinery and knowledge are brought into play ordinary labor is as yet but little better paid than in other lines because such industries are not numerous enough to affect the general level of wages. The net result of her policy of refusing the help of machinery is that Asia has not doubled a man's chances for work, but she has more than halved the pay he gets for that work. And why? Because she has reduced his efficiency. A man must get his proportion of the common wealth, and where the masses are shackled, hampered by ignorance and poor tools, they produce little, and each man's share is little.

Suppose you are a merchant: what sort of trade could you hope for among a people who earn 10 cents a day--the head {184} of a family getting half enough to buy a single meal in a second-rate restaurant? Or if you are a banker, what sort of deposits could you get among such a people? Or if a railroad man, how much traffic? Or if a manufacturer, how much business? Or if a newspaper man, how much circulation? Or if a doctor, lawyer, teacher, or preacher, how much income?

Very plain on the whole must be my two propositions:

(1) That the Asiatic laborer is poor, the American laborer well-to-do, because the Asiatic earns little, the American much--a condition due to the fact that the American doubles, trebles, or quadruples his productive capacity, his earning power, by the use of tools and knowledge, machinery and education. The Oriental does not.

(2) Your prosperity, in whatever measure you have it; the fact that your labor earns two, three, or ten times what you would get for it if you had been born in Asia; this is due in the main, not to your personal merit, but to your racial inheritance, to the fact that you were born among a people who have developed an industrial order, have provided education and machinery, tools and knowledge, in such manner that your services to society are worth several times as much as would be the case if you were in the Orient, where education has never reached the common people.

Pity--may God pity!--the man who fancies he owes nothing to the school, who pays his tax for education grudgingly as if it were a charity--as if he had only himself to thank for the property on which the government levies a pitiable mill or so for the advancement and diffusion of knowledge among mankind. Pity him if he has not considered; pity him the more if, having considered, he is small enough of soul to repudiate the debt he owes the race. But for what education has brought us from all its past, but for what it has wrought through the invention of better tools and the better management (through increased knowledge) of all the powers with which men labor, our close-fisted, short-sighted {185} taxpayer would himself be living in a shelter of brush, shooting game with a bow and arrow, cultivating corn with a crooked stick! Most of what he has he owes to his racial heritage; it is only because other men prosper that he prospers. And yet owing so much to the Past, he would do nothing for the Future; owing so much to the progress the race has made, he would do nothing to insure a continuance of that progress.

"Line upon line; precept upon precept." At the risk of possible redundancy, therefore, let me conclude by repeating: Whatever prosperity you enjoy is largely due to what previous generations have done for increasing man's efficiency by means of knowledge and tools; your first duty to your fellows is to help forward the same agencies for human uplift in the future. And while this is the first duty of the individual, it is even more emphatically the first duty of a community or a commonwealth.

This is Asia's most important lesson for America.

Singapore, Straits Settlements.




The Straits Settlements and Burma I have seen in the dead of winter, and yet with no suggestion of snow, bare fields, or leafless trees. The luxuriant green of the foliage is never touched by frost, and in Singapore, only seventy-seven miles from the equator, summer and winter are practically alike.

"But you must remember that we are here in the wintertime," a fellow-traveller remarked when another had expressed his surprise at not finding it hotter than it really was--the speaker evidently forgetting that at the equator December is as much a summer month as July, and immediately south of it what are the hot months with us become the winter months there. And Singapore is so close to the equator that for it "all seasons are summer," and the punkah wallas (the coolies who swing the big fans by which the rooms are made tolerable) must work as hard on Christmas Day as on the Fourth of July.

The vegetation in the Straits Settlements is such as writers on the tropics have made familiar to us. The graceful cocoanut palms are silhouetted against the sky in all directions; the dense, heavy foliage of the banana trees is seen on almost every street; the sprawling, drunken banyan tree, a confusion of roots and branches, casts its dense shadows on the grateful earth; and all around the city are rubber plantations, immense pineapple fields, and uncleared jungle-land in which wild beasts and poisonous serpents carry on the unending {187} life-and-death struggle between the strong and the weak. Singapore, in fact, is said to have been called "the Lion City" for a long while because of the great number of lions found in the neighborhood. I saw the skins of elephants and tigers killed nearby, and also the skin of a Singapore alligator fifteen feet long.

There is probably no place on earth in which there have been brought together greater varieties of the human species than in Singapore. I was told that sixty languages are spoken in the city, and if diversity of color may be taken as an indication of diversity of language, I am prepared to believe it. There are many Indians or Hindus, most of them about as black as our negroes, but with the features of the Caucasian in the main--sharp noses, thin lips, and straight glossy black hair; but 72 per cent, of the population of Singapore is Chinese.

It is interesting to observe that John Chinaman seems to flourish equally in the Tropics and in the Temperate Zone. Here in Singapore under an equatorial sun, or in Canton on the edge of the Tropics, he seems as energetic, as unfailing in industry, as he is in wintry Mukden or northern Mongolia. For hours after sunset many of the Chinese shops in Singapore present as busy an appearance as at mid-day, and the pigtailed rickshaw men, with only a loin-cloth about their bare bodies, seem to run as fast and as far as they would if they were in Peking.

The Chinese are a wonderful people, and I am more and more impressed with the thought of what a hand they are to have in the world's affairs a hundred years hence when they get thoroughly "waked up." They were first brought to Singapore, I understand, as common laborers, but now their descendants are among the wealthiest men and women in the place and ride around in automobiles, while descendants of their one-time employers walk humbly on the adjacent sidewalks. It is a tribute to the untiring industry, shrewdness, and business skill of the Chinaman that nowadays when people {188} anywhere speak of desiring Celestials as laborers, they add, "Provided they are under contract to return to China when the work is finished, and do not remain to absorb the trade and wealth of the country."

From Singapore we made a very interesting trip to Johore, a little kingdom about the size of ten ordinary counties, and with a population of about 350,000. The soil and climate along the route are well suited to the cultivation of rubber trees, and considerable areas have recently been cleared of the dense jungle growth and set to young rubber plants. One of my friends who has a rubber plantation north of Singapore says that while rubber is selling now at only $1.50 a pound as compared with $3 a pound a few months ago, there are still enormous profits in the business, as the rubber should not cost over 25 cents a pound to produce. Some of the older plantations paid dividends of 150 per cent, last year, and probably set aside something for a rainy day in addition.

Yet not even these facts would have justified the wild speculation in rubber, the unreasoning inflation in values, which proved a veritable "Mississippi Bubble" for so many investors in Europe and Asia last year. Shares worth $5 or $10 were grabbed by eager buyers at $100 each. I know of a specific instance where a plantation bought for $16,000 was capitalized at $230,000, or 20 for 1, and the stock floated. When the madness had finally spent itself and people began to see things as they were, not only individuals, but whole communities, found themselves prostrated. Shanghai will not recover for years, and some of its citizens--the young fellow with a $1500 income who incurred a $30,000 debt in the scramble, for example--are left in practical bondage for life as a result. The men who have gone into the rubber-growing industry on a strictly business basis, however, are likely to find it profitable for a long time to come.

The cocoanut industry is also a profitable one, although the modest average of 10 per cent., year in and year out, has {189} not appealed to those who have been indulging in pipe dreams about rubber. Where transportation facilities are good, the profits from cocoanuts probably average considerably in excess of 10 per cent., for the trees require little care, and it is easy for the owners to sell the product without going to any trouble themselves. In one section of the Philippines, I know, the Chinese pay one peso (50 cents gold) a tree for the nuts and pick them themselves. And when we consider the great number of the slim-bodied trees that may grow upon an acre, it is not surprising to hear that many owners of cocoanut groves or plantations live in Europe on the income from the groves, going to no trouble whatever except to have the trees counted once a year.

Penang, where we spent only a day, is almost literally in the midst of an immense cocoanut plantation, and I was much interested in seeing the half-naked Hindus gathering the unhusked fruit for shipment. The tall, limbless trunks of the trees, surmounted only by a top-knot of fruit and foliage, are in nearly every case gapped and notched at intervals of about three feet to furnish toe-hold for the natives in climbing.

After tiffin on this winter day, instead of putting on gloves and overcoats, we went out on a grassy lawn, clad in linen and pongee as we were, and luxuriated in the cool shade of the palm trees. The dense foliage of the tropical jungle was in sight from our place by the seaside, and in the garden not far away were cinnamon trees, cloves, orchids, rubber trees, the poisonous upas, and palms of all varieties known.

Penang is a rather important commercial centre, and exports more tin than any other place on earth. The metal is shipped in molten bars like lead or pig iron, and to one who has associated tin only with light buckets, cups, and dippers, it is surprising how much strength it takes to move a bar of the solid metal the size of a small watermelon.

The imports of Penang are also not inconsiderable, and in walking through the warehouses along the wharves I was {190} struck by the number of boxes, crates, bales, and bundles bearing the legend, "Made in Germany." The Germans are today the most aggressive commercial nation on earth, and I find that their government and their business houses are searching every nook and corner of the globe for trade openings. Unlike our American manufacturers, it may be observed just here, they are quick to change the style of their goods to meet even what they may regard as the whims of their customers, and this is an advantage of no small importance. If a manufacturer wishes to sell plows in the Philippines, for example, it would not be worth while for him to try to sell the thoroughly modern two-handled American kind to begin with. He should manufacture an improved one-handled sort at first and try gradually to make the natives see the advantages of using two handles. At present, as an American said to me in Manila, if you should seek to sell a Filipino a two-handled plow he would probably say that two handles may be all right for Americans who are not expert at plowing, but that the Filipino has passed that stage!

I mention this only by way of illustrating the necessity of respecting the custombre, or custom, of the country. The Germans realize this, and we do not.

One day by steamer from Penang brought us to Rangoon, the capital and most important city in Burma, and (next to Bombay and Calcutta) the most important in British India. We had heard much of the place, situated thirty miles up the river "on the road to Mandalay," but found that even then the half had not been told. If there were nothing else to see but the people on the streets, a visit to Rangoon would be memorable, for nowhere else on earth perhaps is there such butterfly-like gorgeousness and gaudiness of raiment. At a little distance you might mistake a crowd for an enormous flower-bed. All around you are men and women wearing robes that rival in brilliancy Joseph's coat of many colors.

The varieties in form of clothing are as great as the varieties {191} in hue. The Burmese babies toddle about in beauty unadorned, and for the grown-ups there is every conceivable sort of apparel--or the lack of it. Most of the laborers on the streets wear only a loin-cloth and a turban (with the addition of a caste-mark on the forehead in case they are Hindus), but others have loose-fitting red, green, yellow, blue, striped, ring-streaked or rainbow-hued wraps, robes, shirts or trousers: and the women, of course, affect an equal variety of colors.

"The whackin' white cheroot" that the girl smoked in Kipling's "Road to Mandalay" is also much in evidence here; or perhaps instead of the white cheroot it is an enormous black cigar. In either case it is as large as a medium-sized corncob, that the newly landed tourist is moved to stare thereat in open-eyed amazement. How do Kipling's verses go?

"'Er petticoat was yaller, an' 'er little cap was green.
An' 'er name was Supi-yaw-lat--jes' the same as Theebaw's Queen,
An' I seed her first a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot.
An' a-wastin' Christian kisses on a 'eathen idol's foot."

They are all there in Rangoon yet--the gorgeous coloring of the lady's raiment, her cheroots, and the heathen idols--

"Bloomin' idol made o' mud.
Wot they called the Great Gawd Bud."

How many images of Buddha there are in the city it would be impossible to estimate--I saw them not only in the pagodas, but newly carved in the shops which supply the Buddhist temples in the interior--and the gilded dome of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, "the most celebrated shrine of the entire Buddhist world," glitters like a beacon for miles before you reach the city. Nearly two thirds the height of the Washington Monument, it is gilded from top to bottom--with actual gold leaf, Rangoon citizens claim--and around it are innumerable smaller pagodas and shrines glittering with mosaics of colored glass in imitation of all the gems known to mortals. {192} Studied closely, they appear unduly gaudy, of course, but your first impression is that you have found a real Aladdin's palace, a dazzling, glittering dream of Oriental splendor and magnificence. To these shrines there come to-day, as there have been coming for more than twenty centuries, pilgrims from all lands where Buddha's memory is worshipped, pilgrims not only from Burma, but from Siam, Ceylon, China, and Korea. I shall not soon forget the feeble looks of the old white-haired pilgrim whom two women were helping up the steep ascent as I left the Pagoda after my second visit there. I am glad for his sake, and for the sake of all the millions to whom Buddha's doctrine is "the Light of Asia," that it is a religion at least without the degrading, blighting tendencies of Hinduism, and that the smiling faces of the images about the Shwe Dagon present at least some faint idea of a God who tempers justice with mercy and made human life good rather than a God of cruelty who made life a curse and a mockery. Every traveller who sees Buddhist Burma after having seen Hindu India comments on the greater cheerfulness and hopefulness of the Burman people, and especially the happier lives of the women--all a result, in the main, of the difference in religion.

And yet Burman Buddhism, in all conscience, is pitiable enough--its temples infested by fortune-tellers, witches, and fakirs, its faith mingled with gross superstitions and charms to propitiate the "nats" or spirits which are supposed to inhabit streams, forests, villages, houses, etc., and to have infinite power over the lives and fortunes of the people. A common sight on the morning streets is a group of yellow-robed priests with their begging bowls, into which pious Buddhists put food and other offerings; without these voluntary offerings the priest must go hungry. A curious custom in Burma, as in Siam, requires every youth to don the priestly robe for a few days and get his living in this way.

The ordinary beast of burden in Rangoon is the Indian {193} bullock. Often pure white, usually with a well-kept appearance and with a clean, glossy coat of short hair, he looks as if he should be on the way to a Roman sacrifice with garlands about his head. Teams of black Hindus, three quarters naked, are also seen pulling heavy carts and drays; and it may be that the small boys utilize the long-eared goats (they have heavy, drooping ears like a foxhound's) to pull their small carts, but this I do not know. The work-beast of the city that interested me most was the elephant, and henceforth the elephants of Rangoon shall have a place alongside the camels of Peking in my memory and affection. Of course, the elephants of Rangoon are not so numerous as are the camels in China's capital, but those that one sees display an intelligence and certain human-like qualities that make them fascinating.

One morning I got up early and went to McGregor & Co.'s lumber yard at Ahloon on the Irrawaddy to see the trained elephants there handle the heavy saw-logs which it is necessary to move from place to place. It was better than a circus.

"Elephants a-pilin' teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek."

It is very clear that my lord the Elephant, like most other beings in the Tropics, doesn't entirely approve of work. What he did at Ahloon on the morning of my visit he did with infinite deliberation, and he stopped much to rest between tugs. Also when some enormous log, thirty or forty feet long and two or three feet thick, was given him to pull through the mire, he would roar mightily at each hard place, getting down on his knees sometimes to use his strength to better advantage, and one could hardly escape the conclusion that at times he "cussed" in violent Elephantese. The king of the group, a magnificent tusker, pushed the logs with his snout and tusks, while the others pulled them with chains. But the most marvellous thing is how the barefooted, half-naked driver, or mahout, astride the great giant's shoulders, makes him {194} understand what to do in each case by merely kicking his neck or prodding his ears.

At one time while I watched, a tuskless elephant or mutna got his log stuck in the mud and was tugging and roaring profanely about his trials, when the tusker's mahout bid that royal beast go help his troubled brother. Straightway, therefore, went the tusker, leaving great holes in the mud at each footprint as if a tree had been uprooted there, gave a mighty shove to the recalcitrant log, and there was peace again in the camp.

For stacking lumber the elephant is especially useful. Any ordinary sized log, tree or piece of lumber he will pick up as if it were a piece of stovewood and tote with his snout, and in piling heavy plank he is remarkably careful about matching. Eying the pile at a distance, he looks to see if it is uneven or any single piece out of place, in which case he is quick to make it right. The young lady in our party was also much amused when the mahout called out, "Salaam to memsahib" ("Salute the lady"), and his lordship bowed and made his salutation as gracefully as his enormous head and forelegs would permit.

One of my fellow-passengers, a rubber planter from the Straits Settlements, has worked elephants, has used them on the plantation and as help in building bridges, and has told me some interesting stories concerning them. He had two--one a tusker worth 2500 rupees, or $833-1/3, and the other a mutna (without tusks) worth 2250 rupees, or $750. On one occasion the mutna heard "the call of the wild," and went back to the jungle. Evidently, though, his wild brethren didn't like the civilized ways he brought back with him, for when he returned home later two thirds of his tail had been pulled off, and he bore other marks of struggle on his body. The tusker on one occasion ran mad (as they will do now and then) and killed one of his keepers.

I was also interested to hear how a wild elephant is caught. Driven into a stockade, the tamed elephants close in {195} on him, and the mahouts get him well chained before he knows what has happened. For a day or two he remains in enforced bondage, then two or three of the great tamed creatures take him out for a walk or down to the river where he may drink and bathe himself. Moreover, the other mahouts set about taming him--talk to him in the affectionate, soothing, half hypnotizing way which Kipling has made famous in his stories, and stroke his trunk from discreet but gradually lessening distances. In a couple of months "my lord the Elephant" is fully civilized, responds promptly to the suggestions of his mahout, and a little later adopts some useful occupation.

In Siam the elephants are much used in managing the immense rafts of teak trees that are floated down the rivers for export. My friend the rubber planter has also had one or two good travelling elephants on which he used to travel through the jungle from one plantation to the other, a distance of twenty-five miles. On more than one occasion he has run into a herd of wild elephants in making this trip. On good roads, elephants kept only for riding purposes will easily make seven miles an hour, moving with a long, easy stride, which, however, they are likely to lose if set to heavy work.

Perhaps the greatest difficulty about the elephant is the great quantity of food required to keep him going. Eight hundred pounds a day will barely "jestify his stummuck," as Uncle Remus would say, and when he gets hungry "he wants what he wants when he wants it," and trumpets thunderously till he gets it. The skipper on a Singapore-Rangoon steamer told of having had a dozen or more on board a few months ago, and their feed supply becoming exhausted, they waxed mutinous and wrathy, evincing a disposition to tear the whole vessel to pieces, when the ship fortunately came near enough to land to enable the officers to signal for a few tons of feed to be brought aboard for the elephants' breakfast.

I haven't seen a white elephant yet, but in the Shwe Dagon {196} Temple I found a lively eight-months-old youngster, an orphan from Mandalay, that could eat bananas twice as fast as my Burmese boy-guide and I could peel them, and the boy-guide in question assured me that he will turn white by the time he is two or three years old. Which would be very interesting if true, but I fear it isn't.

I am now hurrying on to India proper and must conclude my impression of Burma with this letter. In Rangoon the lighter-skinned and lighter-hearted Burmese contrast rather notably with the dark and serious Hindus. Many of the Hindus are in Burma only temporarily. One ship that I saw coming into Rangoon from the Coromandel Coast, India, was literally spilling over with 3000 brown Hindu coolies. They will work through the Burman rice harvest--rice is the one great crop of the country--at eight to twelve annas (16 to 24 cents) a day, and after three or four months of this will return home. Because they are so poor at home the steamship charges only ten rupees ($3) for bringing them to Rangoon, but requires fifteen rupees for carrying them back.

Nor should I fail to mention another thing that impressed me very much in Rangoon: the graves of the English officers who were killed in the war with the Burmans many years ago, and are now buried within the walls of the picturesque old Buddhist Temple. True it is that the sun never sets on the English flag; and one finds much to remind him, too, that the sun never sets on the graves of that flag's defenders. Scattered through every zone and clime are they: countless thousands of them far, far from the land that gave them birth. Nearby the place where those of the Shwe Dagon sleep I stood on the temple walls and looked out on the fading beauty of the tropic sunset, the silvery outline of the Irrawaddy River breaking into the darkening green of the jungle growth. And then came up the cool night breeze of the Torrid Zone--more refreshing and delightful than our Temperate climate ever knows. As gentle and caressing as a mother's lullaby, how {197} it crooned among the foliage of the cocoanut palms, whispered among the papaya leaves, and how joyously the great blades of the bananas welcomed it!

With that fair view before our eyes, with the breezes as if of Araby the Blest making mere existence a joy, we take our leave of Burma.

Rangoon, Bunna.




If it were any other country but India, I might write last of the religion the people profess, but, since it is India, it is the first thing to be considered. Religion is the supreme fact of Indian life-- if we may call religion what has been more properly defined as "a sacred disease."

Certainly nowhere else on earth is there a country where the entire life of the people is so molded by their spiritual beliefs. Two children are born the same day. The one, of high-caste parentage, Brahminism has irrevocably decreed shall be all his life, no matter how stupid or vicious, a privileged and "superior" being, to whom all lower orders must make obeisance. The other, born of a Dom father and mother, Brahminism has decreed shall be all his life, no matter how great his virtue or brilliant his mind, an outcast whose mere touch works pollution worse than crime. And through the lifetime of each, Brahminism, or Hinduism, as the supreme religion of India is called, will exercise over him an influence more potent and incessant than any civil government has ever exercised over its subjects.

About theoretical or philosophical Hinduism there is admittedly a certain measure of moral beauty, but to get even this from Hindu literature one must wade through cesspools of filth and obscenity and must shut his eyes to pitiably low ideals of Deity, while in its practical manifestations modern Hinduism is the most sickening combination of superstition, idolatry, and {199} vice that now disgraces the name of religion in any considerable portion of the earth. The idea of the transmigration of souls, "Samsara," the belief that you have had millions of births (as men and animals) and may have millions more (unless you earlier merit the favor of the gods and win release from life), and that what you are in your present life is the result of actions in previous existence, and what you do in this present existence will influence all your future rebirths--this is a doctrine that might be a tremendous moral force if it were linked with such ideals as distinguish the Christian religion. In practical Hinduism, however, the emphasis is not on worthy living, not on exalted moral conduct, as the thing essential to divine favor, but on rites and ceremonies, regard for the priests, rigid observance of caste, sacred bathing, and the offering of proper sacrifices to fickle or bloodthirsty gods and goddesses. In their religion no Isaiah makes terrible and effective protest against the uselessness of form; no Christ teaches that God can be worshipped only in spirit.

Another doctrine, that Self, that a man's own soul is an Emanation of God, a part of the Divine Essence, and the purpose of man's existence to hasten a final absorption into God--this also (although destructive of the idea of individuality, the sacredness of personality, so fundamental in Christian thought) would seem to be a tremendous moral force, but it is vitiated in much the same way as is the idea of Samsara, while it is further weakened by the fact that the Hindu gods themselves are often represented as immoral, bloodthirsty, obscene and criminal.

Enmeshed in vicious traditions and false doctrine, its philosophy and purer teachings known only to a cultured few, the Higher Hinduism "powerless to be born," is only the illusion which it would teach that all else is, while practical Hinduism hangs like a blight over a land whose people are as the sands of the sea for multitude. If all the human race alive to-day were to pass in review before you, every eighth person in the {200} ranks would be a Hindu. And to realize in what manner Hinduism guides its 200,000,000 followers it is only necessary to visit some of their most celebrated temples.

It is an extreme illustration, no doubt, but since it was the first Hindu shrine I visited, we may begin with the Kalighat in Calcutta. This temple is dedicated to Kali, or "Mother Kali," as the English-speaking temple priest who conducted me always said, the bloody goddess of destruction. That terrible society of criminals and assassins, the Thugs (its founder is worshipped as a saint), had Kali as their patron goddess and whetted their knives and planned their murderous crimes before her image: all this in a "temple" of "religion."

The representations of Kali befit her character. Fury is in her countenance and in her three red eyes. Her tongue lolls from her mouth. In one of her four hands is the dripping, bloody head of a slaughtered enemy. Her necklace is of the heads of her slain. Her girdle is the severed hands of the dead men. Tradition says that she constantly drinks blood; and each man who comes to worship her brings a little wet, trembling kid: the warm blood that flows after the priestly ax has done its work is supposed to please the terrible goddess. The morning of my visit there were sacrifices every few minutes, and on the great day of Kali-worship, in October, the place runs ankle-deep in blood.

In the old days--and not so long ago at that--there were human sacrifices at Kalighat, and when I asked the priest concerning them, his significant answer was that the British Government would no longer allow them. He made no claim that Hinduism itself has changed! Their Kaliki Purana says that one human sacrifice delights Kali for a thousand years, and in spite of British alertness a bloody human head bedecked with flowers was found in a Kali temple near Calcutta not many years ago, and at Akrha, also near Calcutta, human sacrifice has been attempted within a decade.

From the Kalighat temple the priest of Mother Kali took me {201} to the edge of the dirty, murky Hoogli (sacred as a part of the Ganges system), where in its consecrated filth scores of miserable pilgrims were washing away their sins or "acquiring merit" with the gods. On the way we passed the image of Juggernaut, the miserable stable-like shelters in which the pilgrims are lodged, and the image of Setola, "the Mother of the Smallpox," as the priest called her, to which smallpox victims come for cure. Back again to the temple, the priest assured me that if I would give the other priests a few annas (an anna is worth 2 cents of our money) they would drive back the shrieking, bloodstained, garlanded crowds of half-naked "worshippers" and give me a view of the Kali idol. The money forthcoming--and the high priest, in expectation of a tip, coming out to lend his assistance--there ensued such a Kilkenny fight between the priests and the dense mob of "worshippers," such knocking, kicking, scrouging, as never any man got for the same amount of money in any prize-fight, until finally I got a swift glimpse of the idol's hideous head.

Then having paid the greedy priest and the high priest (like the daughters of the horseleech they always cry for "more") I went back to my hotel, properly edified, let us believe, by this spectacle of Hindu "religion."

It was Sunday morning.

Could I have been otherwise than impressed when I went that afternoon to another Indian religious service--this time of Christians--and compared it with what I had seen in the morning? Instead of a money-hunting priest sitting beside a butcher's block and exacting a prescribed fee from each pushing, jabbering, suppliant of a bloodthirsty goddess, herself only one of the many jealous gods and goddesses to be favored and propitiated--instead of this there was a converted Indian minister who told his fellows of one God whose characteristic is love, and whose worship is of the spirit. And instead of the piteous bleating of slaughtered beasts there was the fine rhythm of hymns whose English names one could easily {202} recognize from their tunes in spite of the translation of the words into the strange tongue of the Bengali.

At home, I may say just here, I am not accused of being flagrantly and outrageously pious; but no open-minded, observant man, even if he were an infidel, could make a trip through Asia without seeing what a tremendously uplifting influence is the religion to which the majority of Americans adhere as compared with the other faiths, and how tremendously in Christian lands it has bettered and enriched the lives even of those of

"Deaf ear and soul uncaring"

who ignore it or deride it. In no spirit of cant and with no desire to preach, I set down these things, simply because they are as obvious as temples or scenery to any Oriental traveller who travels with open eyes and open mind.

But let us now go to Benares, the fountain-head of the Hindu faith, the city which is to it what Mecca is to Mohammedanism and more than Jerusalem is to Christianity. And Benares is so important that I must give more than a paragraph to my impressions of it.

The view of the river-front from the sacred Ganges I found surprisingly majestic and impressive. The magnificent, many-storied pilgrim-houses, built long ago by wealthy princes anxious to win the favor of the gods, tower like mountains from the river bank. A strange mingling of many styles and epochs of Oriental architecture are they, and yet mainly suggestive of the palaces and temples that lined the ancient Nile. An earthquake, too, has heightened the effect by leaving massive ruins, the broken bases of gigantic columns, that seem to whisper tales even older than any building now standing in Benares. For Benares, although its present structures are modern, was old when the walls of Rome were built; it was historic when David sat on the throne of Israel.

But while one may find elsewhere structures not greatly {203} unlike these beside the Sacred River, nowhere else on earth may one see crowds like these--crowds that overflow the acres and acres of stone steps leading up from the river's edge through the maze of buildings and spill off into the water. There are indeed all sorts and conditions of men and women. Princes come from afar with their gorgeous retinues and stately equipages, and go down into the bathing-places calling on the names of their gods as trustingly as the poor doomed leper who thinks that the waters of Mother Gunga may bring the hoped-for healing of his body. Wealthy, high-caste women whose faces no man ever sees except those that be of their own households-- they too must not miss the blessing for soul and body to be gained in no other way, and so they are brought in curtained, man-borne palki and are taken within boats with closed sides, where they bathe apart from the common herd. Men and women, old and young, high and low (except the outcasts)--all come. There are once-brown Hindus with their skins turned to snowy whiteness by leprosy, men with limbs swollen to four or five times natural size by elephantiasis, palsied men and women broken with age, who hope to win Heaven (or that impersonal absorption into the Divine Essence which is the nearest Hindu approach to our idea of Heaven) by dying in the sacred place.

A great many pilgrims--may God have pity, as He will, on their poor untutored souls--die in despair, worn out by weakness and disease, ere they reach Benares with its Balm of Gilead which they seek; but many other aged or afflicted ones die happier for the knowledge that they have reached their Holy City, and that their ashes, after the quick work of the morrow's funeral pyre, will be thrown on the waters of the Ganges. "Rama, nama, satya hai" (The name of Rama is true): so I heard the weird chant as four men bore past me the rigid red-clad figure of a corpse for the burning. No coffins are used. The body is wrapped in white if a man's, in red if a woman's, strapped on light bamboo poles, and before {204} breakfast-time the burning wood above and beneath the body has converted into a handful of ashes that which was a breathing human being when the sun set the day before.

Other writers have commented on the few evidences of grief that accompany these Hindu funerals. In Calcutta mourners are sometimes hired--for one anna a Hindu can get a professional mourner to wail heart-breakingly at the funeral of his least-loved mother-in-law--but somehow the relatives of the dead themselves seem to show little evidence of grief. "But where are the bereaved families?" I asked a Hindu priest as we looked at a few groups of men and woman sitting and talking around the fires from whence came the gruesome odor of burning human flesh. "Oh, those are the families you see there," he replied. And sure enough they were--I suppose--although I had thought them only the persons hired to help in the cremation. One ghastly feature of the funerals occurs when the corpse is that of a father. Just before the cremation is concluded it is the son's duty--in some places I visited, at least--to take a big stick and crack the skull in order to release his father's spirit!

But, after all, reverting to the question of mourning, why should the Hindu mourn for his dead? Human life, in his theology, is itself a curse, and after infinite rebirths, the soul running its course through the bodies of beasts and men, the ultimate good, the greatest boon to be won from the propitiated gods, is "remerging in the general soul," the Escape from Being, Escape from the Illusions of Sense and Self; not Annihilation itself but the Annihilation of Personality, of that sense of separateness from the Divine which our encasement in human bodies gives us. Where Christianity teaches that you are a son of God and that you will maintain a separate, conscious, responsible identity throughout eternity, Hinduism teaches that your spirit is a part of the Divine and will ultimately be reabsorbed into it. Its doctrine in this respect is much like that of Buddhism. Inevitably neither religion {207} lays that emphasis on personality, the sacredness of the individual life, which is inherent in Christianity and Christian civilization, just as the absence of this principle is characteristic of the social and political institutions of the Orient.



India has not a homogeneous population. There are almost as many races, types, and languages as in the continent of Europe. The right-hand figure in the upper picture bears a striking resemblance to a North American Indian. The instrument in his hands is a praying-wheel.


Supi-yaw-lat and her "whackin' white cheroot." A Hindu girl.


Rangoon is a city of gorgeous colors and varied human types. But one need not go far to find the Burmese girl Kipling has immortalized:

"'Er petticoat was yaller and 'er little cap was green,
An er name was Supi-yaw-lat--jes' the same as Theebaw's Queen
An' I seed her first a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot.
An' a wastin' Christian kisses on a 'eathen idol's foot'"

{207 continued}

But let us get back to Benares and its pilgrims. They do not all die, nor do they spend all their time bathing in the sacred waters of "Mother Gunga," as the Ganges is called. Naturally there are many temples in which they must worship, many priests whom they must support. There are said to be 2000 temples in Benares and the high priest of one of them--while sparring for a bigger tip for his services--told me that he was at the head of 400 priests supported by his establishment alone (the Golden Temple).

And such temples as they are! I have seen the seamy side of some great cities, but for crass and raw vulgarity and obsceneness there are "temples" in Benares--so-called "temples" that should minister to man's holier nature, with so-called "priests" to act as guides to their foulness--that could give lessons to a third-rate Bowery den. No wonder that the Government of India, when it made a law against indecent pictures and carvings, had to make a special exception for Hindu "religious"(!) pictures. There is a limit, however, even to the endurance of the British Government, and at the Nepalese Temple I was told that the authorities do not allow such structures to be built now. Moreover, it is not only admitted that the temples in many parts of India are the resort of the lowest class of women, "temple girls" dedicated to gods and goddesses, but their presence is openly defended as proper.

Most of the temples in Benares, too, are as far from cleanliness as they are from godliness. The Golden Temple with its sacred cows penned up in dirty stalls, its ragged half-naked worshippers, its holy cesspool known as "The Well of Knowledge," its hideous, leprosy-smitten beggars, its numerous emblems of its lustful god Krishna, and its mercenary priests, {208} is a good illustration. And the famous Monkey Temple (dedicated like the Kalighat to Mother Kali) I found no more attractive. This temple is open to the sky and the most loathsome collection of dirty monkeys that I have ever had the misfortune to see were scrambling all around the place, while the monkey-mad, bloodstained, goat-killing priests, preying on the ignorance of the poor, and itching for a few annas in tips, won a place in my disgust second only to that occupied by their monkey companions. I left and went out to the gate where the snake-charmers were juggling with a dozen hissing cobras. It was pleasanter to look at them.

That night an eminent English artist, temporarily in Benares, discoursed to me at length though vaguely on the beauties of Hindu religious theory, but what I had seen during the day did not help his argument. Emerson's phrase may well be applied to Hinduism, "What you are speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say."

Not that it has anything to do with Hinduism but simply to get a better taste in the mouth at the end, let us turn in conclusion to a happier subject. Some days ago I went to Darjeeling on the boundary of northern India and on the edge of the great Himalaya mountain range. In sight from its streets and from nearby peaks are the highest mountains formed by the Almighty's hand, the sublimest scenery on which the eye of mortal man may ever rest.

Long before daylight one morning I bestrode a sure-footed horse and wound my way, with two friends of a day, as friends on a foreign tour are likely to prove, to the top of Tiger Hill, from which point we looked across the boundaries of Tibet and saw the sun rise upon a view whose majesty defied description. In the distance on our left there glittered in its mantle of everlasting snow, and with its twin attendants, the summit of Mt. Everest, 29,002 feet high, the highest mountain on the surface of the earth. Even grander was the view directly in front of us, for there only one third as far away as Everest, royal {209} Kinchinjunga shouldered out the sky, its colossal, granite masses, snow-covered and wind-swept, towering in dread majesty toward the very zenith. Monarch of a white-clad semicircle of kingly peaks it stood, while the sun, not yet risen to our view, colored the pure-white of its crest with a blush of rose-tint, and in a minute or two had set the whole vast amphitheatre a-glitter with the warm hues of its earliest rays. Across forty-five miles of massive chasms and rugged foothills (these "foothills" themselves perhaps as high as the highest Alps or Rockies) we looked to where, thousands of feet higher yet, there began the eternal snow-line of Kinchinjunga, above which its further bulk of 11,000 additional feet formed a dazzling silhouette against the northern sky. Stand at the foot of Pike's Peak and imagine another Pike's Peak piled on top; stand at the foot of Mount Mitchell and imagine four other Mount Mitchells on top of one another above its highest point--the massive bulk in either case stretching thousands and thousands of feet above the line of everlasting snow. Such is Kinchinjunga.

Spellbound we watched as if forbidden intruders upon a view it was not meet for any but the high gods themselves to see. About it all was a suggestion of illimitableness, of more than earthly majesty, of infinite serenity and measureless calm, which sat upon our spirits with a certain eerie unworldliness.

It only confirmed an almost inevitable conjecture when I learned later that it was in sight of the Himalayas that Gautama Buddha dreamed his dream of the Nirvana and of its brooding and endless peace in which man's fretful spirit--

"From too much love of living
From hope and fear set free"--

may find at last the rest that it has sought in vain through all our human realm of Time and Place.

Lucknow, India.




Great indeed are the uses of Poetry. Consider by way of illustration how accurately and comprehensively some forgotten bard in four short lines has pictured for us the true condition of the inhabitants of England's great Indian Empire:

"The poor, benighted Hindu,
He does the best he kin do
He sticks to his caste from first to last.
And for pants he makes his skin do."

A Mr. Micawber might dilate at length upon how this achievement in verse informs us (1) as to the financial condition of the people, to wit, they are "poor," the average annual income having been estimated at only $10, and the average wages for day labor in the capital city of India only 6 to 20 cents per diem; (2) as to their intellectual condition, "benighted," ninety men in each hundred being unable to read or write any language, while of every thousand Indian women 993 are totally illiterate; (3) as to the social system, each man living and dying within the limits of the caste into which he is born; and (4) as to the clothing, garb or dress of the inhabitants (or the absence thereof), the children of both sexes being frequently attired after the manner of our revered First Parents before they made the acquaintance of the fig tree, while the adults also dispense generally with trousers, shoes, and stockings, and other impedimenta of our over-developed civilization.


Great indeed are the uses of poetry. In all my letters from India I shall hardly be able to do more than expand and enlarge upon the great fundamental truths so eloquently set forth in our four-line poetry piece.

If it be sound logic to say that "God must have loved the common people because he made so many of them," then the Creator must also have a special fondness for these "poor benighted Hindus," for within an area less than half the size of the United States more than 300,000,000 of them live and move and have their being. That is to say, if the United States were as thickly populated as India, it would contain 600,000,000 people. It is also said that when the far-flung battle-line of Imperial Rome had reached its uttermost expansion that great empire had within its borders only half as many people as there are in India to-day. India and its next-door neighbor, China, contain half the population of the whole earth. In other words, if the Chinese and East Indians were the equals of the other races in military prowess the combined armies of all other nations on the globe, of every nation in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Australia, the Isles of the Sea, and of the rest of Asia, would be required to defeat them.

Obviously, such a considerable portion of the human family calls for special study. And if we would study them we must not confine ourselves to a tour of a few cities in North India, interesting as these cities are.

The significant man in India (where about eight tenths of the people live on the soil) is not the trader, a city-dweller in these few large centres of population, but the ryot or farmer, in the thousands and thousands of little mud-house villages between the Himalaya slopes and Cape Comorin. The significant economic fact in India is not the millions of dollars once spent on royal palaces but the $7 to $30 spent in building this average peasant's home or hut. The significant social fact is not the income of some ancient Mogul or some modern Rajah {212} estimated in lakhs of rupees, but the five or six cents a day which is a laborer's wage for millions and millions of the people.

For these reasons I have been no more interested in the famous cities I have seen than in the little rural villages whose names may have never found place in an English book. Let us get, if we can, a pen picture of one of these villages in north central India.

As I approached it from a distance it looked like an enormous mass of ant-hills, for the low windowless one-story huts, as has been suggested, are made of yellowish sun-dried clay, and are often roofed with clay also--made flat on top with a little trench or gutter for drainage. Perhaps the majority, however, have thick sloping roofs of straw, the eaves being hardly as high as a man's head. Very thick are the mud walls of the houses, eighteen inches or more in most cases, and as the floor is also the bare earth, there is no woodwork about such a dwelling except the doors and a few poles to hold up the roof. In one or two small rooms of this kind without a window or chimney (oftener perhaps in one room than in two) a whole family lives, cooks, and sleeps.



The faquirs do not like to be photographed, and this follow in the upper picture was snapped just in the act of rising from his bed of spikes. This is only one of many methods of self-torture practised in the hope of winning the favor of the gods.




{212 continued}

The streets, if such they may be called, are often little more than crooked water-rutted paths, so narrow that one may reach from the mud walls of the houses on one side to the mud walls on the other, and so crooked that you are likely to meet yourself coming back before you get to the end. Or perhaps you wind up unexpectedly in some mahullah--a group of huts representing several families of kinsfolk. Enclosed by a mud wall, the little brown bright-eyed, black-haired, half-naked children are playing together in the little opening around which the houses are bunched, and the barefooted mothers are cooking chapatis, spinning cotton on knee-high spinning wheels, weaving in some wonderfully primitive way, gathering fuel, or are engaged in other household tasks. The equipment of one of these human ant-hills, called a home, is about as primitive as the building itself. There is, of course, a bed or cot: it is about {215} half knee-high, and the heavy twine or light rope knitted together after the fashion of a very coarse fish-net is the only mattress. The coarse grain which serves for food is stored in jars; the meagre supply of clothing hangs in one corner of the room; there are no chairs, knives or forks. The stove or fireplace is a sort of small clay box for the fire, with an opening on top for the kettle or oven. In one corner of the room is the fuel: a few small sticks and dried refuse from cow stalls that Americans use for fertilizing their fields. "We have found rather bad results," a missionary told me, "from providing Indian girls with mattresses, chairs, knives, forks, etc., at our mission schools. Later, when they marry our native workers, the $5-a-month income of the family (which is about all they can expect) is insufficient to provide these luxuries, and the girl's recollections of former comforts are likely to prove a source of dissatisfaction to her."

At first you ask, "But why are there no windows in the houses? Surely the people could leave openings in the clay walls that would give light and ventilation?" The answer is that most of the year the weather is so hot that the hope of the owner is to get as nearly cave-like conditions as possible; to find, as it were, a cool place in the earth, untouched by the fiery glare of the burning sun outside. Even in north central India in the houses of the white men, where everything has been done to reduce the temperature and with every punkah-fan swinging the room's length to make a breeze, the temperature in May and June is 106 or higher, and at midnight in the open air the thermometer may reach 105. "It is then no uncommon thing," a friend in Agra told me, "to find even natives struck down dead by the roadside; and the railways have men designated to take and burn the bodies of those who succumb to the heat in travel by the cars."

In such a warm climate the dress of the people, as has already been suggested, is not very elaborate. In fact, the garb of the adult man is likely to be somewhat like the uniform of the {216} Gunga Din (the Indian bhisti or water-carrier for the British regiment):

"The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind--
For a twisty piece o' rag
And a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field equipment 'e could find."

In cold weather, however, the majority of the men are rather fully covered, and in any case they add a turban or cap of some gaudy hue to the uniform just suggested.

As for the dress of the women, a typical woman's outfit will consist of, say, a crimson skirt with a green border, a navy-blue piece of cloth as large as a sheet draped loosely (and quite incompletely) around the head and upper part of the body, and a breast-cloth or possibly a waist of brilliant yellow. This combination of hues, of course, is only a specimen. The actual colors are variable but the brilliancy is invariable.

Furthermore, the celebrated Old Lady of Banbury Cross, who boasted of rings, on her fingers and bells on her toes, would find her glory vanish in a twinkling should she visit India. Not content with these preliminary beginnings of adornment, the barefooted Hindu woman wears--if she can afford it--a band or two of anklets, bracelets halfway from wrist to elbow, armlets beyond the elbow, ear-rings of immense size, a necklace or two, toe-rings and a bejewelled nose-ring as big around as a turnip. Sometimes the jewelry on a woman's feet will rattle as she walks like the trace-chains on a plow-horse on the way to the barn.

This barbaric display of jewelry, it should be said, is not made solely for purposes of show. The truth is that the native has not grown used to the idea of savings banks (although the government is now gradually convincing him that the postal savings institutions are safe), and when he earns a spare rupee he puts it into jewelry to adorn the person of himself or {217} his wife. If all the idle treasures which the poor of India now carry on their legs, arms, ears, and noses were put into productive industry, a good deal might be done to alleviate the misery for which the agitators profess to blame the British Government.

Calcutta, India.




In the rural villages, of course, the majority of the inhabitants are farmers, who fare afield each morning with their so-called plows or other tools for aiding the growth of their crops. The Indian plow is, I believe, the crudest I have found in any part of the wide world. It consists of a simple handle with a knob at the top; a block of wood with an iron spike in it about an inch thick at one end and tapering to a point at the other; and a tongue to which the yoke of bullocks are attached. The pointed spike is, perhaps, sixteen inches long, but only a fraction of it projects from the wooden block into which it is fastened, and the ordinary plowing consists only of scratching the two or three inches of the soil's upper crust.

The Allabahad Exposition was designed mainly to interest the farmers in better implements, and its Official Handbook, in calling attention to the exhibit of improved plows, declared:

"The ordinary Indian plow is, for certain purposes, about as inefficient as it could be. Strictly speaking it is not a plow at all. It makes a tolerably efficient seed-drill, a somewhat inefficient cultivator, but it is quite incapable of breaking up land properly."

The other tools in use on the Indian farm are fit companions for the primitive plow. Some one has said that 75 cents would buy the complete cultivating outfit of the Hindu ryot! I saw men cutting up bullock-feed with a sort of hatchet; the threshing methods are centuries old; the little sugarcane mills {219} I found in operation here and there could have been put into bushel baskets. The big ox carts, which together with camel carts meet all the requirements of travel and transportation, are also heavy and clumsy, having wheels as big as we should use on eight-horse log-wagons at home. These wheels are without metal tires of any kind, and the average cost of one of the carts, a village carpenter told me, is $25.

As to the other crops grown by the Indian ryot, or farmer, I cannot perhaps give a better idea than by quoting the latest statistics as to the number of acres planted to each as I obtained them from the government authorities in Calcutta.

Rice 73,000,000
Wheat 21,000,000
Barley 8,000,000
Other grains 47,000,000
Fodder crops 5,000,000
Oilseeds: linseed, mustard, sesamum, etc.14,000,000
Sugarcane 2,250,000
Cotton 13,000,000
Opium (for China)416,000
Orchard and garden 5,000,000

It is somewhat surprising to learn that of the 246,000,000 acres under cultivation to supply 300,000,000 people (the United States last year cultivated 250,000,000 acres to supply 90,000,000) only 28,000,000 acres were cropped more than once during the year. With the warm climate of India it would seem that two or more crops might be easily grown, but the annual dry season makes this less feasible than it would appear to the traveller. Even in January much artificial crop-watering must be done, and no one can travel in India long without growing used to the sight of the irrigation wells. Around them the earth is piled high, and oxen hitched to the well ropes draw up the water in collapsible leather bags or buckets. A general system of elevated ditches then distributes the water where it is needed.

Concerning the drought, a resident of Muttra said to me that {220} there practically no rain falls from the middle of January to the middle of June. "In the latter part of the drought," he said, "the fields assume the appearance of deserts; only the dull green of the tree-leaves varies the vast, monotonous graybrown of the far-stretching plains. The streams are dried up; the cattle hunt the parched fields in vain for a bit of succulence to vary their diet of dry grass. But at last there comes the monsoon and the rains--and then the Resurrection Morning. The dead earth wakens to joyous fruitfulness, and what was but yesterday a desert has become a veritable Garden of Eden."

But, alas! sometimes the rains are delayed--long, tragically long delayed! The time for their annual return has come--has passed, and still the pitiless sun scorches the brown earth as if it would set afire the grass it has already burned to tinder-dryness. The ryot's scanty stock of grain is running low, the daily ration has been reduced until it no longer satisfies the pangs of hunger, and with each new sunrise gaunt Famine stalks nearer to the occupants of the mud-dried hut. The poor peasant lifts vain hands to gods who answer not; unavailingly he sacrifices to Shiva, to Kali, to all the heartless Hindu deities of destruction and to unnamed demons as well. The Ancient Terror of India approaches; from time immemorial the vengeful drought has slain her people in herds, like plague-stricken cattle, not by hundreds and thousands, but by tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands. In Calcutta I saw several young men whom the mission school rescued from starvation in the last great famine of 1901-02 and heard moving stories of that terrible time. Many readers will recall the aid that America then sent to the suffering, but in spite of the combined efforts of the British Government and philanthropic Christendom, 1,236,855 people lost their lives. To get a better grasp upon the significance of these figures it may be mentioned that if every man, woman, and child in eight American states and territories at that time (Delaware, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, and Nevada) had been {221} swallowed up in a night, the total loss of life would not have been so great as in this one Indian famine.

Appalling as these facts are, it must nevertheless be remembered that the loss would have been vastly greater but for the excellent system of famine relief which the British Government has now worked out. It has built railways all over India, so that no longer will it be possible for any great area to suffer while another district having abundance is unable to share its bounty because of absence of transportation. In the second place, the government has wisely arranged to give work at low wages to famine sufferers--road building, railroad building, or something of the kind--instead of dispensing a reckless charity which too often pauperizes those it is intended to help. Before the British occupation India was scourged both by famine and by frequent, if not almost constant, wars between neighboring states. The fighting it has stopped entirely, the loss by drought it has greatly reduced; and some authority has stated (I regret that I have not been able to get the exact figures myself) that for a century before the British assumed control, war and famine kept the population practically stationary, while since then the number of inhabitants has practically trebled.

Not unworthy of mention, even in connection with its work in relieving famine sufferers, is the excellent work the British Government is doing in enabling the farmers to free themselves from debt. The visitor to India comes to a keener appreciation of Rudyard Kipling's stories and poems of Indian life because of the accuracy with which they picture conditions; and the second "Maxim of Hafiz" is only one of many that have gained new meaning for me since my coming:

"Yes, though a Kafir die, to him is remitted Jehannum,
If he borrowed in life from a native at 60 per cent. per annum."'

When I first heard of "60 per cent, per annum," and even of 70 per cent, or 80 per cent., as the ordinary rate of interest paid {222} by the Indian ryot to the merchant or money-lender, I could not believe it, but further investigation proved the statement true. In the United Provinces I found that in some cases the ryot has been little better than a serf. The merchant has "furnished him supplies," adding interest at the rate of one anna on each rupee at the end of each month--6-1/4 per cent., not a year but a month, and that compounded every 30 days! In one case that came to my attention, two orphan boys twenty years ago, in arranging the marriage of their sister, borrowed 100 rupees at 50 per cent, interest. For seventeen years thereafter they paid 50 rupees each year as interest, until an American missionary took up the account at 5 per cent, instead of 50, and in two years they had paid it off with only 7 rupees more than they had formerly paid as annual tribute to the money-lender. In many such cases debts have been handed down from generation to generation, for the Hindu code of honor will not permit a son to repudiate the debts of his father; and son, grandson, and great-grandson have, staggered under burdens they were unable to get rid of.

In this situation the cooperative credit societies organized under government supervision have proved a godsend to the people, and thousands of ryots through their aid are now getting free of debt for the first time in their lives, and their families for perhaps the first time in generations. Each member of a cooperative credit society has some interest in it; the government will lend at 4 per cent, an amount not greater than the total amount deposited by all the members; stringent regulations as to loans and their security, deposit of surplus funds, accounting, etc., are in force, and altogether the plan is working remarkably well. The latest report I have shows that in a single twelvemonth the total working capital of these societies increased more than 300 per cent.

The United States seems to be about the only fairly civilized country in which some form of cooperative credit society, with government aid, has not been worked out.


Of great help to the small farmer also has been the action of the government in regulating land-rents in crowded districts. The courts see to it that no landlord raises rents unfairly. One Brahmin freeholder I met in a small village (he owned 250 acres, worth from $130 to $275 per acre) told me his rents were 32 to 40 rupees (or from $10 to $13) per acre. He grows wheat and cotton, and appeared to be quite intelligent as well as prosperous, although he wore nothing save a turban and an abbreviated lower garment not quite stretching from his loins to his knees, the rest of his body being entirely naked.

That the day laborer in India can have but small hope of buying land at $100 to $300 an acre (and I think these prices general) is indicated by the fact that when I asked, in the next village, the wage per month, I was told, "Four or five rupees ($1.28 to $1.60), the laborer boarding himself."

"And how much is paid per day when a single day's labor is wanted?" I asked.

"Two annas and bread," was the reply. (An anna is 2 cents.)

My informant was the schoolmaster of Khera Kalan village. At his school he told me that the children of farmers were allowed tuition free; the children of the village people pay 1 to 3 annas a month. But so hard is the struggle to get enough coarse grain to keep soul and body together (the peasant can seldom afford to eat rice or wheat) that few farm children are free from work long enough to learn to read and write.

It is heartbreaking to see the thousands and thousands of bright-eyed boys and girls growing up amid such hopeless surroundings. I shall not soon forget the picture of one little group whom I found squatted around a missionary's knees in a little mud-walled yard just before I left Khera Kalan that afternoon. Outside a score of camels were cropping the leaves from the banyan trees (the only regular communication with the outside world is by camel cart) and the men of the village {224} were grinding sugarcane on the edge of the far-reaching fields of green wheat and yellow-blossomed mustard. Not far away was a Hindu temple; not far away, too, the historic Grand Trunk Road which leads through Khyber Pass into the strange land of Afghanistan. It is the road, by the way, over which Alexander the Great marched his victorious legions into India, and over which centuries later Tamerlane came on his terror-spreading invasion. But this has nothing to do with the little half-naked boys and girls we are now concerned with. They had gathered around the Padre to recite the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer in Hindustani. I asked how many had been to school (only one responded), asked something about their games, told them something about America, and then their instructor inquired (interpreting all the time for me, of course):

"And what message would you like for the Sahib to give the boys and girls of America for you?"

"Tell them, Salaam," was the quick chorus in reply.

"And that is good enough, I guess," remarked the American who is now giving his life to the Indian people, "for Salaam means. Peace be to you."

So indeed I pass on the message to the fortunate boys and girls of the United States who read this article. "Salaam,"--Peace be to you. Little Ones. You will never even know how favored of Heaven you are in having been born in a land where famine never threatens death to you and your kindred, where the poor have homes that would seem almost palatial to the average Indian child; where educational opportunities are within the reach of all; where the religion of the people is an aid to moral living and high ideals instead of being a hindrance to them; where no caste system decrees that the poorest children shall not rise above the condition of their parents; where a wage-scale higher far than six cents a day enables the poorest to have comforts and cherish ambitions; and where the humblest "boy born in a log cabin" may dream of the Presidency instead {225} of being an outcast whose very touch the upper orders would account more polluting than the touch of a beast.

Ah, the little fate-cursed Indian brats, some of them wearing rings in their noses and not much else, who send the message through me to you--think of them to-night and be glad that to you the lines have fallen in pleasanter places.

Salaam, indeed, O happy little folk of my own homeland across the seas! Peace be to you!

Jeypore, India.




Of Hinduism as a religious or ecclesiastical institution we had something to say in another chapter; of Hinduism as Social Fact bare mention was made. And yet it is in its social aspects, in its enslavement of all the women and the majority of the men who come within its reach, that Hinduism presents its most terrible phases. For Hinduism is Caste and Caste is Hinduism. Upon the innate, Heaven-ordained superiority of the Brahmin and the other twice-born castes, and upon the consequent inferiority of the lower castes, the whole system of Brahminism rests.

Originally there were but four castes: The Brahmin or priest caste who were supposed to have sprung from the head of Brahma or God; the Kshatriya or warrior caste who sprang from his arms, the Vasiya or merchant and farmer class who sprang from his thigh, and the Sudra or servant and handicraftsmen class who came from his feet. The idea of superiority by birth having once been accepted as fundamental, however, these primary castes were themselves divided and subdivided along real or imaginary lines of superiority or inferiority until to-day the official government statistics show 2378 castes in India. You cannot marry into any one of the other 2377 classes of Hindus; you cannot eat with any of them, nor can you touch any of them.

Thus Caste is the Curse of India. It is the very antithesis of democracy--blighting, benumbing, paralyzing to all aspiration and all effort at change or improvement.


No man may rise to a higher caste than that into which he is born; but he may fall to a lower one.

There is no opportunity for progress; the only way to move is backward. Don't kick against the pricks therefore. You were born a Brahmin with wealth and power because you won the favor of the gods in some previous existence; or you were born a Sudra, predestined to a life of suffering and semi-starvation, because in your previous existence you failed to merit better treatment from the gods. If you are only a sweeper, be glad that you were not born a pig or a cobra. Kismet, Fate, has fixed at birth your changeless station in this life; and, more than this, it has written on your brow the things which must happen to you throughout your whole existence.

The Brahmin put himself into a position of superiority and then said to all the other classes: Rebel not at the inequalities of life. They are ordained of the gods. The good that the higher castes enjoy is the reward of their having conducted themselves properly in previous existences. Submit yourself to your lot in the hope that with obedience to what the Brahmins tell you, you may possibly likewise win birth into a higher caste next time. But strike a Brahmin even so much as with a blade of grass and your soul shall be reborn into twenty and one lives of impure animals before it assumes human shape again.

Never in human history has the ingenuity of a ruling class devised a cleverer or a crueller mode of perpetuating its supremacy. Never has there been a religion more depressing, more hopeless, more deadening to all initiative. "Jo hota so hota,"--"What is happening was to happen"--so said the wounded men who had gone to the Bombay hospital to have their limbs amputated a few days before I got there. "It is written on my forehead," a man will often say with stoical indifference when some calamity overtakes him, in allusion to the belief that on the sixth night after birth Vidhata writes on every man's forehead the main events of his life-to-be, and no act {228} of his can change them. "I was impelled of the gods to do the deed," a criminal will say in the courts. "And I am impelled of the gods to punish you for it," the judge will sometimes answer. If plague comes, the natives can only be brought by force to observe precautions against it. "If we are to die, we shall die; why offend the gods by attempting interference with their plans?" The fatalism of the East as expressed by Omar Khayyam is the daily creed of India's millions:

"We are no other than a Moving Row
Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go. . . .

"But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays
Upon this Checkerboard of Nights and Days."

It is in this fatalistic conception of life that caste is rooted; but for this belief that all things are predestined, no people would ever have been so spiritless as to submit to the tyranny of the caste system. Perhaps it should also be added that the belief in the transmigration of the soul has also had a not inconsiderable influence. Though you have fared ill in this life, a million rebirths may be yours ere you finally win absorption into Brahma, and in these million future lives the gods may deal more prodigally with you. Indeed, the things you most desire may be yours in your rebirth. "You are interested in India; therefore you may have your next life as an Indian," an eminent Hindu said to me. But Heaven forbid!

At any rate, with this double layer of nourishing earth--the belief, first, that what you are now is the result of your actions in previous lives, and, secondly, that there are plenty more rebirths in which any merit you possess may have its just recompense of reward, the caste system has flourished like the Psalmist's green bay tree, though its influence has been more like that of the deadly upas.

If you are a high-caste man you may not only refuse to eat with or touch a low-caste man, your equal perhaps in {229} intelligence and in morals, but in some cases you may even demand that the low-caste man shall not pollute you by coming too near you on the road. On page 540 of the 1901 "Census of India Report" will be found a table showing at what distances the presence of certain inferior classes become contaminating to a Brahmin! Moreover, the low-caste man, offensive to men, is taught that he is equally offensive to the gods. He must not worship in the temples; must not even approach them. Usually it is taken for granted that no Pariah will take such a liberty, but in some places I have seen signs in English posted on the temple gates warning tourists who have low-caste servants that these servants cannot enter the sacred buildings.

Not only are these creatures of inferior orders vile in themselves, but the work which they do has also come to be regarded as degrading. A high-caste man will not be caught doing any work which is "beneath him." The cook will not sweep; the messenger boy would not pick up a book from the floor. The liveried Brahmin who takes your card at the American Consulate in Calcutta once lost his place rather than pick up a slipper; rather than humiliate himself in such fashion he would walk half a mile to get some other servant for the duty. It is no uncommon thing to find that your servant will carry a package for you, but will hire another servant if a small package of his own is to be moved. "I had a boy for thirteen years, the best boy I ever had, till he died of the plague," a Bombay Englishman said to me, "and he shaved me regularly all the time. But when I gave him a razor with which to shave himself, I found it did no good. He would have 'lost caste' if he had done barber's work for anybody but a European!"

"I have a good sweeper servant," a Calcutta minister told me, "but if I should attempt to promote him beyond his caste and make a house-servant of him, every other servant I have would leave, including my cook, who has been a Christian twenty years!"

The absurdities into which the caste system runs are well {230} illustrated by some facts which came to my notice on a visit to a school for the Dom caste conducted by some English people in Benares. The Doms burn the bodies of the dead at the Ganges ghats, and do other "dirty work." Incidentally they form the "thief caste" in Benares, and whenever a robbery occurs, the instant presumption is that some Dom is guilty. For this reason a great number of Doms (they belong to the Gypsy class and have no houses anywhere) make it a practice to sleep on the ground just outside the police station nearly all the year round, reporting to the authorities so as to be able to prove an alibi in case of a robbery. So low are the Doms that to touch anything belonging to one works defilement; consequently they leave their most valuable possessions unguarded about their tents or shacks, knowing full well that not even a thief of a higher caste will touch them.

"We had a servant," a Benares lady said to me, "who lost his place rather than take up one end of a forty-foot carpet while a Dom had hold of the other end. The new bearer, his successor, did risk helping move a box with a Dom handling the other side of it, but he was outcasted for the action, and it cost him 25 rupees to be reinstated. And until reinstated, of course, he could not visit kinsmen or friends nor could friends or kinsmen have visited him even to help at a funeral; his priest, his barber, and his washerman would have shunned him. Again, our bearer, who is himself an outcast in the eyes of the Brahmins, will not take a letter from the hands of our Dom chiprassi or messenger boy. Instead, the messenger boy drops the letter on the floor, and the bearer picks it up and thus escapes the pollution that would come from actual contact with the chiprassi." Moreover, there are social gradations even among the Doms. One Dom proudly confided to this lady that he was a sort of superior being because the business of his family was to collect the bones of dead animals, a more respectable work than that in which some other Doms engaged!

Similarly, Mrs. Lee of the Memorial Mission in Calcutta {231} tells how one day when a dead cat had to be moved from her yard her sweeper proudly pulled himself up and assured her that, though the lowest among all servants, he was still too high to touch the body of a dead animal!

My mention of the Doms as the thief caste of Benares makes this a suitable place to say that I was surprised to find evidences of a well-recognized hereditary robber class in not a few places in India. The Thugs, or professional murderers, have at last been exterminated, but the English Government has not yet been able to end the activities of those who regard the plunder of the public as their immemorial right. In Delhi a friend of mine told me that the watchmen are known to be of the robber class. "You hire one of them to watch your house at night, and nothing happens to you. I noticed once or twice that mine was not at his post as he should have been, but had left his shoes and stick. He assured me that this was protection enough, as the robbers would see that I had paid the proper blackmail by hiring one of their number as chowkidar."

In Madura, in southern India, I found the robber element carrying things with a much higher hand. "There's where they live," Dr. J. P. Jones, the well-known writer on Indian affairs, said to me as we were coming home one nightfall, "and the people of Madura pay them a tribute amounting to thousands of rupees a year. They have a god of their own whom they always consult before making a raid. If he signifies his approval of a robbery, it is made; otherwise, not--though it is said that the men have a way of tampering with the verdict so as to make the god favor the enterprise in the great majority of cases."

India's most famous tree, the banyan, grows by dropping down roots from a score or a hundred limbs; these roots fasten themselves in the earth and later become parent trees for other multiplying limbs and roots, until the whole earth is covered. In much the same fashion the Indian caste system has {232} developed. Instead of the four original castes there are now more than five hundred times that number, and the system now decrees irrevocably before birth not only what social station the newborn infant shall occupy from the cradle to the grave (or from the time the conch shell announces the birth of a man-child till the funeral pyre consumes his body, to use Indian terminology), but also decrees almost as irrevocably what business he may or may not follow. A little American girl of my acquaintance once announced that she hadn't decided whether she would be a trained nurse, a chorus-girl, or a missionary; but Hinduism leaves no one in any such embarrassing quandary. Whether a man is to be a priest or a thief is largely decided for him before he knows his own name.

"But isn't the system weakening now?" the reader asks, as I have also asked in almost every quarter of India. The general testimony seems to be that it is weakening, and yet in no very rapid manner. Eventually, no doubt, it will die, but it will die hard. A few weeks ago, a Parliament of Religions was held in connection with the Allabahad Exposition, with his Highness the Maharaja of Darbhanga as the presiding officer. In the course of his "Presidential Address" the Maharaja delivered a lengthy eulogy of the caste system, resorting in part to so specious an argument as the following:

"If education means the drawing forth of the potentialities of a boy and fitting him for taking his ordained place as a member of society, then the caste system has hitherto done this work in a way which no other plan yet contrived has ever done. The mere teaching of a youth a smattering of the three R's and nothing else in a primary school is little else than a mere mockery. Under the caste system the boys are initiated and educated almost from infancy into the family industry, trade, profession, or handicraft, and become adepts in their various lines of life almost before they know it. This unique system of education is one of the blessings of our caste arrangement. We know that a horse commands a high price in the market if it has a long pedigree behind it. It is not unreasonable to presume that a carpenter whose forefathers have followed the same trade for centuries will be a better carpenter than one who is new to the trade--all other advantages being equal."


In the phrase, "his ordained place as a member of society," we have the keynote of the philosophy upon which the whole caste system rests. It suits the Maharaja of Darbhanga to have the people believe that his sons were "ordained" of Heaven to be rulers, even if "not fit to stop a gully with," and the Sudra's sons "ordained" to be servants, no matter what their qualities of mind and soul. But the caste system is rotting down in other places and some time or other this "ordained" theory will also give way and the whole vast fabric will totter to the ruin it has long and richly merited.

The introduction of railways has proved one of the great enemies of caste. Men of different rank who formerly would not have rubbed elbows under any considerations sit side by side in the railway cars--and they prefer to do it rather than travel a week by bullock-cart to reach a place which is but a few hours by train. Consequently the priests have had to wink at "breaking caste" in this way, just as they had to get around the use of waterworks in Calcutta. According to the strict letter of the law a Hindu may not drink water which has been handled by a man of lower caste (in Muttra I have seen Brahmins hired to give water to passersby), but the priests decided that the payment of water-rates might be regarded as atonement for the possible defilement, and consequently Hindus now have the advantages of the city water supply.

Foreign travel has also jarred the caste system rather severely. The Hindu statutes strictly forbid a man from leaving the boundaries of India, but the folk have progressed from technical evasion of the law to open violation of its provisions. In Jeypore I saw the half-acre of trunks and chests which the Maharaja of that province used for transporting his goods and chattels when he went to attend the coronation of the King of England. The Maharaja is a Hindu of the Hindus, claims descent from one of the high and mighty gods, and when he was named to go to London, straightway declared that the {234} caste law against leaving India stood hopelessly in the way. Finally, however, he was convinced that by taking all his household with him, his servants, his priests, material for setting up a Hindu temple, a six-months' supply of Ganges water, etc., he might take enough of India with him to make the trip in safety, and he went. Now many are going without any such precautions, and a moderate fee paid to the priests usually enables them to resume caste relations upon their return.

Sometimes, however, the penalties are heavier. A Hindu merchant of Amritsar, who grew very friendly with a Delhi friend of mine on a voyage from Europe, said just before reaching Bombay: "Well, I shall have to pay for all this when I get home, and I shall be lucky if I get off without making a pilgrimage to all the twelve sacred places of our religion. And in any case I shall never let my wife know that I have broken caste by eating with foreigners." My impression is, however, that only in a very few cases now is the crime of foreign travel punished so severely. In Madras I met one of the most eminent Hindu leaders, Mr. Krishnaswami Iyer. "Caste has kept me from going abroad until now," he told me, "but I have made up my mind to let it interfere no longer. Just as soon as business permits, I shall go to Europe and possibly to America."

Christianity is another mightily effective foe of Caste. As in the olden days, it exalts the lowly and humbles the proud. In Muttra I found a converted high-caste Brahmin acting as sexton of a Christian church whose members are sweepers--outcast folk whom as a Hindu he would have scorned to touch. On the other hand, the acceptance of Christianity frees a man from the restrictions imposed upon a low caste, even though it does not give him the privileges of a higher caste and thus often wins for the Christianized Hindu higher regard from all classes. Thus there was in Moradabadad some years ago the son of a poor sweeper who became a Christian, and was a youth of such fine promise that a way was {235} found for him to attend Oxford University. Returning, he became a teacher in Moradabadad Mission School and won such golden opinions from his townspeople that when he died the whole city--Hindus, Mohammedans and Christians alike--stopped for his funeral.

In its present elaborate form the caste system is undoubtedly doomed. It is too purely artificial to endure after the people acquire even a modicum of education. Perhaps it was planned originally as a means of preserving the racial integrity and political superiority of the Aryan invaders, but for unnumbered centuries it has been simply a gigantic engine of oppression and social injustice. At the present time no blood or social difference separates the great majority of castes from the others: each race is divided into hundreds of castes; and so high an authority as Mr. Krishnaswami Iyer assured me that even in the beginning all the castes save the Sudras were of the same race and blood.

If the purpose of caste, however, be in part to prevent the intermarriage of radically different races, this may be accomplished, as it is accomplished in our own Southern States, without restricting the right of the individual to engage in any line of work for which he is fitted or to go as high in that work as his ability warrants. Booker Washington, born in the South's lowest ranks, becomes a world-figure; had he been born in India's lowest caste, he would have remained a burner of dead bodies. To compare the South's effort to preserve race integrity with India's Juggernaut of caste is absurd.

Bombay, India.




In India marriage is as inevitable as death, as Herbert Compton remarks. There are no bachelors or old maids. Children in their cradles are not infrequently given in marriage by their parents; they are sometimes promised in marriage (contingent upon sex) before they are born.

"You are married, of course?" the zenana women will ask when an American Bible-woman calls on them; and, if the answer is in the negative, "Why not? Couldn't they get anybody to have you?"

"Every girl at fourteen must be either a wife or a widow," is an Indian saying almost unexceptionally true. And the lot of woman is hard if she be a wife; it is immeasurably harder if she be a widow. Hinduism enslaves a majority of the men within its reach; of the women within its reach it enslaves all.

I think it was George William Curtis who said, "The test of a civilization is its estimate of woman"; and if we are to accept this standard, Hindu civilization must take a place very near the bottom. In the great temple at Madura are statues of "The Jealous Husband" who always carried his wife with him on his shoulder wherever he went; and the attitude of the man in the case is the attitude of Hinduism as a system. It bases its whole code of social laws upon the idea that woman is not to be trusted. Their great teacher, Manu, in his "Dharma Sastra" sums up his opinion of woman in two phrases: "It is the nature of woman in this world to cause men to sin. A female is able to draw from the right path, not a fool {237} only, but even a sage." And the "Code of Hindu Laws," drawn up by order of the Indian Government for the guidance of judges, declares:

"A man both by day and by night must keep his wife so much in subjection that she by no means is the mistress of her own actions. If the wife have her own free will, notwithstanding she be sprung from a superior caste, she will behave amiss. A woman is not to be relied on."

"Confidence is not to be placed in a woman. If one trust a woman, without doubt he must wander about the streets as a beggar."

In accordance with these ideas the life of the Hindu woman has been divided into "the three subjections." In childhood she must be subject to her father; in marriage to her husband; in widowhood to her sons or--most miserable of all!--lacking a son, to her husband's kinsmen. Her husband is supposed to stand to her almost in the relation of a god. "No sacrifice is allowed to women apart from their husbands," says Manu, "no religious rite, no fasting. In so far only as a wife honors her husband so far is she exalted in Heaven." And a recent Hindu writer says, "To obey the husband is to obey the Vedas (the Hindu scriptures). To worship the husband is to worship the gods."

Hinduism and the caste system, hard on the men, are doubly hard on the women. The women may no more rise above their caste than the male members of the family; and they are predestined to take up life's most serious duties before their fleeting childhood has spent itself. No wonder they look old before they are thirty!

If any one doubts the prevalence of child-marriage in India, a trip through the country will very quickly dispel his doubts. A law enacted by the British Government a few years ago decrees that while the marriage ceremonies may be performed at any age, the girl shall not go to her husband as his wife until she is twelve years old; but it is doubtful if even this mild measure is strictly enforced. In Delhi I attended an elaborate {238} and costly Hindu wedding-feast and was told that the bride was "eleven or twelve" and would go to her husband's home (he lives with his father, of course) the following week. My travelling servant told me that he was married when he was sixteen and his wife ten, though she remained two years longer with her parents before coming to him. The first American lady I met in India was telling of a wedding she had recently attended, the bride being a girl of eleven and the groom a year or two older. In Secunderabad a friend of mine found a week-old Brahmin girl baby who had been given in marriage, and in the house where he visited was a ten-year-old girl who had been married two years before to a man of thirty.

In prescribing a marriageable age for high-caste Hindu girls Manu named eight as a minimum age and twelve as the maximum. The father who delays finding a husband for his daughter until after she is twelve is regarded as having committed a crime--though it must always be remembered that girls and boys in India mature a year or two younger than boys and girls in the United States.

One reason for arranging early marriages is that the cost increases with the age of the girl, and the wedding ceremonies in all cases are expensive enough. Weddings in India furnish about as much excitement as circuses at home. My first introduction to a Hindu wedding was in Agra one Sunday afternoon--though Sunday in the Orient, of course, is the same as any other day--and the shops were in full blast (if such a strenuous term may be used concerning the serene and listless Hindu merchant) and the craftsmen and potters were as busy as they ever are. From afar the sound of drums smote my ear, and as the deafening hullabaloo came nearer its volume and violence increased until it would have sufficed to bring down the walls of Jericho in half the time Joshua took for the job. Just behind the drummers came two gorgeously clad small boys astride an ass begarlanded with flowers; and when the musicians stopped for a minute to tighten their drums so as {239} to make confusion worse confounded, I made inquiry as to the meaning of the procession. Then it developed that the eight-year-old small boy in front, dressed in red and yellow silk and gauze and who ought to have been at home studying the Second Reader, was on his way to be married, and the little chap riding behind him was the brother of the bride. It was very hard to realize that such tots were not merely "playing wedding" instead of being principal participants in a serious ceremony!

The wedding-feast which I attended in Delhi was arranged for a couple who came from the higher ranks of Hindu society, and though no one could have asked for a more gracious welcome than my American friend and I received, I very much doubt if any one of the high-caste folk about us would have condescended to eat at the same table with us even to end a three-days' hunger. The groom, Harri Ram by name, was a nice-looking boy of fourteen, clad in a velvet suit and apparently pleased with the show of which he was It. There had already been a three or four days' wedding ceremony at the bride's house, we were told, and this was the fifth and last day of the ceremonies and feasts arranged by the groom's father. One thousand people had been invited and, judging from the richness of the food with which we were served, I should think that my friend's estimate of the total cost, 5000 rupees, or $1633, was none too high.

Not only are the wedding ceremonies expensive, but a poor father, or a father with several daughters to find husbands for, must often strain his credit to the utmost in providing dowries. It is said that among the humbler classes a father will sometimes mortgage his wages for life to secure money for this purpose. Then, too, the marriage-broker or middleman who has gone to the groom's father with the story that the bride is "as beautiful as the full moon, as graceful as a young elephant, and with a voice as sweet as a cuckoo's"--he must also be paid for his indispensable services.


Not to be envied is the little damsel of twelve who leaves her childhood home and goes out as the bride of a boy or man--whose face she may never have seen but once or twice--to take up the hard life of a Hindu wife in the home of her father-in-law and mother-in-law. Yet from her infancy she has been bred in an atmosphere full of suggestion of the inferiority of womankind, and to her it is probably not so galling as we fancy that she is never accounted worthy of eating at the same table with her husband, but must be content with what he leaves. Even Christianity can move but slowly in bringing the people to a higher appreciation of the dignity of womanhood. "Some of my girls are engaged to be married," Mrs. Lee, of the Lee Memorial Home in Calcutta, said to me, "and when their fiances come to call, after the Christian fashion, the girls must remain standing as inferiors while the boys are seated."

Once married, the Hindu wife has two things to dread: either that her husband may die or that he may supplant her by a second wife. If she lives seven years as a wife without giving birth to a son, the husband is authorized by law and religion to take a second spouse; and in nearly all such cases the lot of the first wife is a hard one. Rev. W. J. Wilkins says that a servant in his employ married a second wife and insisted that the first should not only support herself but contribute the bulk of her wages for the support of wife No. 2. The older wife is tantalized by the thought that she herself was selected by the parents of her husband, while the new wife is probably his own choice; and another cause of jealousy is found in the new wife's youth. For no matter how old the man himself may be--forty, fifty or sixty--his bride is always a girl of twelve or thereabouts--and for the very simple reason that practically no girls remain single longer, and widows are never allowed to remarry. A story was told me in Bombay of a Hindu in his fifties who was seeking a new wife and sent an agent to his native village and caste with power to negotiate.



The most beautiful building on earth with a story no less beautiful than the building itself.



Ordinarily the Indian water carrier, or bhisti, is attired more nearly after the manner described in Kipling's poem:

"The uniform 'e wore
Was nothing much before
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind.
For a twisty piece o' rag and a goatskin leather bag
Was all the field equipment 'e could find."


"My friends have persuaded me that I ought not to marry a very young girl," he said to the agent, "get an older one therefore--oh, it doesn't matter if she is twenty-four."

The agent left and two days thereafter the Hindu received this message: "Can't find one of twenty-four. How about two of twelve each?"

The sorrows of a superseded wife, however, are as nothing to the troubles of a Hindu widow. The teaching of Brahminism is that she is responsible through some evil committed either in this existence or a previous one, for the death of her husband, and the cruelest indignities of the Hindu social system are reserved for the bereaved and unfortunate woman. If a man or boy die, no matter if his wife is yet a prattling girl in her mother's home, she can never remarry, but is doomed to live forever as a despised slave in the home of his father and mother. Her jewels are torn from her; her head is shaved; and she is forced to wear clothing in keeping with the humiliation the gods are supposed to have justly inflicted upon her. In a school I visited in Calcutta I was told that there were two little widows, one five years old and one six.

Formerly and up to the time that the British Government stopped the practice less than a century ago, it was regarded as the widow's duty to burn herself alive on her husband's funeral pyre. "It is proper for a woman after her husband's death," said the old Code of Hindu Laws, "to burn herself in the fire with his corpse. Every woman who thus burns herself shall remain in Paradise with her husband 35,000,000 years by destiny. If she cannot burn, she must in that case preserve an inviolable chastity." This rite of self-immolation was known as suttee, and it is said that in Bengal alone a century ago the suttees numbered one hundred a month. It was an old custom to set up a stone with carved figures of a man and a woman to mark the spot where a widow had performed suttee, and travellers to-day still find these gruesome and barbaric memorials here and there along the Indian roadsides. {244} Moreover, the present general treatment of widows in India is so heartbreakingly cruel that many have been known to declare that they would prefer the suttee.

And yet we may be sure that the picture is not wholly dark; that a kind providence mingles some sunshine with the shadows which blacken the skies of Indian womanhood. Men are often better than their customs and sometimes better than their religions. The high-caste Hindu and Mohammedan women who are supposed to keep their faces veiled and (in the case of the Hindus at least) must not even look out of the windows of their zenanas, manage to get a little more freedom than the strict letter of the law allows; and the Hindu father and husband, doing good by stealth, sometimes pours out in secret an affection for his womenfolk which it would not be seemly for the world to know about. Standing with a friend of mine on a high flat housetop in Calcutta one day, I saw a Hindu father on the next-door housetop proudly and lovingly walking and talking with his daughter who was just budding into maidenhood. "His affection is quite unmistakable," my friend said to me, "and yet if in public, he would never give any sign of it."

Nor can the lot of the Indian woman ever be regarded as hopeless while the country holds the peerless Taj Mahal, the most beautiful monument ever erected in memory of a woman's love. True, Shah Jehan, the monarch who built it, was not a Hindu: he was a Mohammedan. And yet Mohammedanism, although its customs are less brutal, places woman in almost the same low position as Hinduism. In considering the status of woman in India, therefore, scorned alike by both the great religions of the country, it is gratifying to be able to make an end by referring to this loveliest of all memorial structures. Of all that I saw in India, excepting only the magnificent view of the Himalayas from Tiger Hill, I should least like to forget the view of the Taj Mahal in the full glory of the Indian full moon.

The inscription in Persian characters over the archway, "Only the Pure in Heart May Enter the Garden of God," {245} is enough to assure one that Arjmand Banu, "The Exalted One of the Palace," whose dust it was built to shelter, was a queen as beautiful in character as she was in form and feature. We know but little about her. There are pictures which are supposed to carry some suggestion of her charm; there are records to show that it was in 1615 that she became the bride of the prince who later began to rule as "His Imperial Highness, the second Alexander (Lord of the two Horns) King Shah Jehan," and we may see in Agra the rooms in the palace where she dwelt for a time in the Arabian Nights-like splendor characteristic of Oriental courts,

"Mumtaz-i-Mahal," they called her--"Pride of the Palace." And seven times Arjmand Banu walked the ancient way of motherhood--that way along which woman finds the testing of her soul, the mystic reach and infinite meaning of her existence, as man must find his in some bitter conflict that forever frees him from the bonds of selfishness. Seven times she walked the mother's ancient way down to the gates of Death and brought back a new life with her, but the eighth time she did not return. And grief-stricken Shah Jehan, carrying in his heart a sorrow which not all his pomp nor power could heal, declared that she should have the most beautiful tomb that the mind of man could plan. So the Taj was built--"in memory of a deathless love," and in a garden which is always sweet with the odor of flowers, at the end of an avenue of fountains and stately cypress trees, and guarded by four graceful, heaven-pointing minarets, "like four tall court-ladies tending their princess," there stands this dream in marble, "the most exquisite building on earth."

With the memory of its beautiful dome and sculptured detail in our thoughts, let us take leave of our subject; trusting that the Taj itself, like a morning star glittering from a single rift in a darkened sky, may form the prophecy of a fairer dawn for the womanhood of the country in which it is so incongruously placed.

Madras, India.




There are many show places and "points of interest" in India that have a hundred times more attention in the guide books, but there is a simple tomb in Lucknow--it cost no more than many a plain farmer's tombstone in our country burying-places--which impressed me more than anything else I saw excepting only the Himalayas, the Taj Mahal and the view of Benares from the river.

It is the tomb of the heroic Sir Henry Lawrence, who died so glorious a death in the great mutiny of 1857. No commander in all India has planned more wisely for the defence of the men and women under his care; and yet the siege had only begun when he was mortally wounded. He called his successor and his associates to him, and at last, having omitted no detail of counsel or information that might enable them to carry out his far-seeing plans, he roused himself to dictate his own immortal epitaph:

Here Lies


Who Tried to Do His Duty

May the Lord Have Mercy on his Soul.

And so to-day these lines, "in their simplicity sublime," mark his last resting place; and one feels somehow that not even the great Akbar in Secundra or Napoleon in Paris has a worthier monument.


There are many places in India to which I should like to give a paragraph. I should like to write much of Delhi and its palaces in which the Great Moguls once lived in a splendor worthy of the monarchs in the Arabian Nights--no wonder the stately Diwan-i-Khas, or Hall of Public Audience, bears the famous inscription in Persian:

"If there be Paradise on earth.
It is this, oh, it is this, oh, it is this!"

In the ruins of seven dead and deserted Delhis round about the present city and the monuments and memorials which commemorate "the old far-off unhappy things" of conquered dynasties and romantic epochs, there is also material for many a volume.

Then there is Cawnpore with its tragic and sickening memories of the English women and children (with the handful of men) who were butchered in cold blood by the treacherous Nana Dhundu Pant; and I was greatly interested in meeting in Muttra one of the few living men, a Christianized Brahmin, who as a small boy witnessed that terrible massacre which for cruelty and heartlessness is almost without a parallel in modern history.

In Agra is the Pearl Mosque, which is itself an architectural triumph splendid enough to make the city famous if the Taj had not already made it so; the Great Temple in Madura is one of the most impressive of the strictly Hindu structures in India; in Madras I found a curious reminder of early missionary activity in the shape of a cathedral which is supposed to shelter the remains of the Apostle Thomas; and the ruins of the once proud and imperial but now utterly deserted cities of Amber and Fatehpuhr-Sikri have a strange and melancholy interest. But all these have been often enough described, and there are things of greater pith and moment in present-day India to which we can better give attention.


One thing concerning India, which should perhaps have been said in the beginning, but which has not had attention until now, is the fact that it is no more a homogeneous country than Europe is--has perhaps, indeed, a greater variety of languages, peoples, and racial and traditional differences than the European continent. I have already called attention to the fact that there are 2378 castes. There are also 40 distinct nationalities or races and 180 languages. For an utterly alien race to govern peacefully such a heterogeneous conglomeration of peoples, representing all told nearly one fifth of the population of the whole earth, is naturally one of the most difficult administrative feats in history, and Mr. Roosevelt probably did not give the English too high praise when he declared: "In India we encounter the most colossal example history affords of the successful administration by men of European blood of a thickly populated region in another continent. It is the greatest feat of the kind that has been performed since the break-up of the Roman Empire. Indeed, it is a greater feat than was performed under the Roman Empire."

I was interested to find that the American-born residents of India give, if anything, even higher praise to British rule than the British themselves. "I regard the English official in India," one distinguished American in southern India went so far as to say to me, "as the very highest type of administrative official in the world. More than this, 90 per cent. of the common people would prefer to trust the justice of the British to that of the Brahmins." In Delhi an American missionary expressed the opinion that the American Government, if in control of India, would not be half so lenient with the breeders of sedition and anarchy as is the British Government.

It should be said, however, that there are now fewer of these malcontents, and these few are less influential than at any time for some years past. In Madras I was very glad to get an interview with Mr. Krishnaswami Iyer, one of the most distinguished of the Hindu leaders.





The writer was shown through the historic fortress by William Ireland, one of the few living survivors of the great siege. In Muttra the writer also met Isa Doss, a Hindu (now a Christian preacher) who saw the massacre of the English women and children by the treacherous Nana Dhundu Pant.


"Lord Morley's reforms," he declared, "have been so extensive and have satisfied such a large proportion of our people that the extremists no longer have any considerable following. We no longer feel that it is England's intention to keep us in the condition of hopeless helots. The highest organization for the government of the country is the British Secretary of State and his council; Lord Morley placed two Indians there. In India the supreme governmental organization is the Governor-General and his council; he put an Indian there. In three large provinces--Bombay, Madras, and Bengal--Indians have been added to the executive councils."

"For the first time, too, our people are really an influential factor in the provincial and imperial legislative councils. We have had representation in these councils, it is true, for fifty years; but it was not until 1892 that representation became considerable, and even then the right of the people to name members was not recognized. So-called constituencies were given authority to make nominations, but the government retained the right to reject or confirm these at pleasure."

"Now, however, through Lord Morley's and Lord Minto's reforms, the number of Indians on these councils has been more than doubled--in the case of the Imperial Council actually trebled--and the absolute right given the people to elect a large proportion, averaging about 40 per cent. of the total number, without reference to the wishes of the government. In fact, with two fifths of all the members chosen by the people and a considerable number of other members chosen from municipal boards, chambers of commerce, universities, etc., we now see the spectacle of Provincial Councils with non-official members in the majority. In Bombay the non-official element is two thirds of the whole; and in Madras also the non-official members could defeat the government if they chose to combine and do so. But of course the greater willingness of the government to cooperate with the people has brought {252} about a greater willingness on the part of the people to cooperate with the government."

"The appointment of Indians to the highest offices charged with the responsibility of government; the increased representation given the people on the legislative and executive councils; the recognition of the right of the people to elect instead of merely to nominate members; and the surrender of majority-control to the non-official element--all these are very substantial gains, but the spirit back of them is worth more than the reforms themselves. While there is a feeling in some quarters that the government has not gone far enough, the large majority of my educated countrymen regard the advance as sufficient for the present and look forward with hope to a further expansion of our powers and privileges."

If I may judge by what I gathered from conversation with Hindus, Mohammedans, Parsees, I should say that no one has given a more accurate and clear-cut statement of the feelings of the Indian people than has Mr. Krishnaswami Iyer in these few terse sentences.

"The wealth of the Indies" has been a favorite phrase with romantic writers from time immemorial; and a book now before me speaks in the most matter-of-course way of "the prosperous and peaceful empire." Yet the Indian is really one of the poorest men on earth. The wealth with which the Moguls and kings of former ages dazzled the world was wrung from the hard hands of peasants who were governed upon the theory that what the king wanted was his, and what he left was theirs. Even the splendid palaces and magnificent monuments, such as the Taj Mahal, were built largely by forced, unpaid labor. In some cases it is said that the monarch did not even deign to furnish food for the men whom he called away from the support of their families.

An ignorant people is always a poor people, and we have already seen that only 10 per cent. of the men in India can read or write, and of these 10 per cent. the majority are Brahmins. {253} Then, again, the people use only the crudest tools and machinery; and a third factor in keeping them poor is the system of early marriage. When it is a common thing for a boy of fifteen or sixteen to be the father of a growing family, it is easy to see that not much can be laid up for rainy days.

Owing to the absence of diversified industries, the crudeness of the tools, the ignorance of the men behind the tools, and the over-crowded population of folk hard-pressed by poverty, the wages are what an American would call shamefully low. An Englishman who had lived in an interior jungle-village, five days by bullock-cart from a railway, told me that twenty years ago laborers were paid 2 rupees (64 cents) a month, boarding themselves, or 4 rupees ($1.28) a year and grain. The wages have now advanced, however, to 5 rupees ($1.60) a month where the man boards himself; and for day labor the wages are now five annas (10 cents) instead of two annas (4 cents) twenty years ago.

In Madura a well-educated Hindu with whom I was talking rang the familiar changes on the "increasing cost of living," and pointed out that in four or five years the cost of unskilled labor has increased from eight to twelve cents. "And in some towns," he declared, looking at the same time as if he feared I should not believe his story, "they are demanding as much as 8 annas (16 cents) a day!" In Bombay I was told that coolies average 16 to 20 cents a day; spinners in jute factories, $1.16 a week, weavers, $1.82. In a great cotton factory I visited in Madras, employing about 4000 natives (all males) the average wages for eleven and a half hours' work is $3.84 to $4.85 a month. In Ahmedabad, another cotton manufacturing centre, about the same scale is in force. Miners get 16 to 28 cents a day. Servants, $3.20 to $3.84 a month.

The women in Calcutta (some of them with their babies tied out to stakes while they worked) whom I saw carrying brick and mortar on their heads to the tops of three and four story buildings, get 3 to 4 annas a day--6 to 8 cents. In {254} Darjeeling the bowed and toil-cursed women laden like donkeys, whom I found bringing stone on their backs from quarries two or three miles away managed to make 12 to 16 cents a day for their bitter toil up steep hills and down, for eight long hours. Women who carried lighter loads of mud, making 50 trips averaging 20 miles of travel, earned only 8 cents, as did also the women with babies strapped on their backs, who nevertheless toiled as steadily as the others.

"As for the men I pay these strong, brawny Bhutia fellows 8 annas (16 cents) a day," the contractor told me, "but those Nepalese who are not so strong get only 5 annas for shovelling earth."

Director of Agriculture Couchman of the Madras Presidency gave me the following as the usual scale of wages for farm work: men 6 to 8 cents; women 4 to 6; children 3 to 5, the laborers boarding themselves.

With this Mr. Couchman, whom I have just mentioned, I had a very interesting interview in Madras which should shed some light on Indian agriculture.

"In Madras Presidency," he told me, "we cultivate 10,000,000 acres of rice, which is the favorite food of the people. As it is expensive compared with some cheaper foods, however, the people put 4,500,000 acres to a sort of sorghum--not the sorghum cultivated for syrup or sugar but for the seed to be used as a grain food--and also grow 4,000,000 acres of millet the seed of which are used as a grain food.

"Then we grow 2,000,000 acres in cotton, but cotton in India is grown only on black soils. We want some for red soils, and we are also seeking to increase the yield and the length of staple in the indigenous varieties. In both these points the Indian cotton now compares very badly with the American. Our average yield is only about 50 to 100 pounds lint per acre, and the staple is only three quarters to five eights of an inch in length, and not suitable for spinning over 20s in warp.






How the author and his friends made the trip from Jeypore to Amber


"Of course, with our dense population, land is high and our system of farming expensive. Good irrigated wet land, used chiefly for rice, is worth from $166 to $500 per acre, renting for $20 to $25; dry land sells for $17 to $133 per acre and rents for from $3 to $5. It is commonly said that a man and his family should make a living on two acres, and the usual one-man farm consists of 5 to 10 acres of wet land or 30 to 50 of dry. The wet land farmers are generally renters, the others owners. Of course, you have noticed that no horses are used on the farms, nothing but bullocks; nor do I think that horses will be used for a long time to come. We are making some progress in introducing better methods of farming. Little, of course, can be done with bulletins where such a small percentage of the people can read, but demonstration farms have proved quite successful, and the government is much pleased with the results obtained from employing progressive native farmers to instruct their neighbors."

The advancing price of cotton has proved a matter of hardly less interest to India than to America, and for several years the crop has been steadily increasing. The 1910-11 crop (the picking ended in May) was almost 4,500,000 bales of 400 pounds each. The necessity for growing food crops, however, is so imperative that the cotton acreage cannot be greatly increased--at least not soon. During our Civil War, it will be remembered, India did her uttermost; and Bombay laid the foundations of her greatness in the high prices then paid for the fleecy staple. Hers is still a great cotton market and down one of her main streets from morning to night one sees an almost continuous line of cotton carts, drawn by bullocks and driven by men almost as black as our negroes in the South. I was very much interested in seeing how much better the lint is baled than in America. In the first place the bagging is better--less ragged than that we commonly use--and in the next place it is held in place by almost twice as many encircling bands or ties as our bales.


All in all, I regret to say good-by to India. Its people are poor; its industries primitive; its religion atrocious; its climate generally oppressive, and yet, after all, there is something fascinating about the country. For one thing, there is a large infusion of Aryan blood among the people, and after one has spent several months among the featureless faces of the Chinese and Japanese, these Aryan-type faces are strangely attractive. The speech of the people, too, is picturesque beyond that of almost any other folk, as readers of Kipling have come to know. It is very common for a beggar to call out, "Oh, Protector of the Poor, you are my father and mother, help me, help me."

"I salute you," said our old guide at the Kutab Minar, speaking in his native Hindustani, which my friend interpreted for me. "I know that you are the kings of the realm, but I have eaten your salt before, and I am willing to eat it again."

At the end, of course, he wished a tip. "But ask him why I should give him anything," I said to my friend.

Replying, he mentioned first the number of his children, the blindness of his wife, and then dropped into the picturesque native plea: "Besides, you are my father and mother, the king of the realm, and if I may not look to you, to whom shall I look?"

"Well, so much lying ought to be worth four annas," I said, and left him happier with the coin.

There is one thing, of course, that would never do: it would never do to write about India without saying something about lions, tigers, and snakes. Last of all, therefore, let me come to this topic.

I didn't see any tigers, let me say frankly, except those in cages--though there was one in Calcutta which had slain men and women before they caught him, and whose titanic fury as he lunged against his cage-bars, gnashing at the men before him, I shall never forget. A jackal howled at my room-door in Jeypore one night; between Jeypore and Bombay monkeys {259} were as thick as rabbits were in the old county where I was reared; in Delhi only lack of time prevented me from getting interested in a leopard hunt not many miles away; en route to Darjeeling I saw a wild elephant staked out in the woods near where he had evidently been caught; and near Khera Kalan I saw wild deer leaping with their matchless grace across the level plains.

"In my district," one missionary told me, "five or six people a month are killed by tigers and panthers and even more by snakes. One panther carried off a man from my kitchen. We found his body half-eaten in the jungle. It is customary when a body is found in this condition for hunters to gather around it and await the return of the tiger or panther. He will come back when hungry, and there is no other way so sure for getting a man-eater."

As for snakes, I may mention that when I spent the night with a friend in Madura I was shown a place near the house where a deadly cobra had been seen (his bite kills in twenty minutes), while upon retiring I was given the comforting assurance that it was not safe to put my foot on the floor at night without having a light in the room!

As I rode out with Dr. J. P. Jones, of Pasamaila, he pointed to a grassy mound near the roadside and said.

"See that grave over there? There's rather an interesting story connected with it which I'll tell you. One day about four years ago three snake-charmers came to my house, and as I had an American friend and his son with me, I decided for the boy's sake to have them try their art. Only two of the men had flutes, but one went into my garden and one took up his post on another side of the house, and began to play. It wasn't long before one called out, 'Cobra!' and sure enough there was the snake, which he captured; but on coming back he declared that he had been bitten. In fact, he showed a bruise, but I knew that snake-charmers counterfeit these bites, so I would not believe him. Then the other charmer also cried {260} 'Cobra!' and captured another snake. They showed me the fangs of each serpent, and I gave them four annas. 1 also offered them four annas more if they would kill the serpents; but of course they would not. 'Man kill cobra, cobra kill man,' is one of their sayings. And so they left, but the man who captured the first snake hadn't gone twenty steps before he fell in convulsions and died. He had really been bitten, and that is his grave which you see there."

Madura, India.




But, after all, what may the Orient teach us? The inquiry is a pertinent one. Perhaps it is all the more pertinent because, while acknowledging that the old East may learn much from the young West, we are ordinarily little inclined to look to the Orient for instruction for ourselves. In fact, we are not inclined to look anywhere.

That the germ and promise of all the new Japan was in the oath taken by the young Mikado in 1868, "to seek out knowledge in all the world," we are ready to admit, and we are also ready to admit the truth of what Dr. Timothy Richard said to me in Peking last November. "This revolutionary progress in China has come about," he remarked, "because for twenty years China has been measuring herself with other countries. It is a comparative view of the world that is remaking the empire."

In our own case unfortunately, certain natural conditions as well, perhaps, as the excessive "Ego in our Cosmos," conspire to keep us from this corrective "comparative view of the world." We are not hemmed about by rival world-powers, whose activities we are compelled to study, as is the case with almost every European nation. Barring the Philippines (and their uncertain value) we have no far-flung battle line to lure our vision beyond borders. And thus far our growing home markets have been so remunerative that not even commerce has induced as to look outward, with the incidental results of {262} bringing us to realize our defects and remedy them, our strong points and emphasize them.

For these reasons, I made my trip through the Orient with an increased desire to bring home the lessons its long experience should teach us. And now that I come to summarize these lessons I find a single note running through all--from beginning to end. And this keynote may be given in a single word. Conservation: the conservation not only of our natural resources, but of racial strength and power, of industrial productiveness, of commercial opportunities, and of finer things of the spirit.

Taking up first the matter of natural resources, I may mention that hardly anything that I saw on my entire trip burned itself more deeply into my memory than the heavy penalty that the Celestial Empire is now paying for the neglect of her forests in former years.

In the country north of Peking I found river valley after river valley once rich and productive but now become an abomination of desolation--covered with countless tons of sand and stone brought down from the treeless mountainsides. So long as these slopes were forest-clad, the decaying leaves and humus gave a sponge-like character to the soil upon them, and it gave out the water gradually to the streams below. Now, however, the peaks are in most cases only enormous rock-piles, the erosion having laid waste the country roundabout; or else they are mixtures of rock and earth rent by gorges through which furious torrents rush down immediately after each rainfall, submerging once fruitful plains with rock and infertile gully-dirt. Where the thrifty, pig-tailed Chinese peasant once cultivated broad and level fields in such river valleys, he is now able to rescue only a few half-hearted patches by piling the rock in heaps and saving a few intervening arable remnants from the general soil-wreck.

Especially memorable was the ruin--if one may call it such--of a once deep river, its bed now almost filled with {263} sand and rock, that I crossed on my little Chinese donkey not far from the Nankou Pass and the Great Wall. Even the splendid arches of a bridge, built to span its ancient flood, were almost submerged in sand. Instead of the constant stream of water that once gladdened the lowlands, there is in each rainy season a mad torrent that leaves a ruinous deposit behind, and, later, long weeks when the river-bed is as dry as a desert. So it was when I saw it last fall; and the old stone bridge, almost sand-covered like an Egyptian ruin, was at once a melancholy monument to the gladness and fertility of a vanished era, and an argument for forest-conservation that should carry conviction to all who see it.

The next day as I rode amid the strange traffic of Nankou Pass I found this argument translated into even more directly human terms. For of the scores of awkward-moving camels and quaint-looking Mongolian horses and donkeys that I saw homeward-bound after their southward trip, a great number were carrying little bags of coal--dearly bought fuel to be sparingly used through the long winter's cold in quantities just large enough to cook the meagre meals, or in extreme weather to keep the poor peasants from actually freezing. Only in the rarest cases are the Chinese able to use fuel for warming themselves; they can afford only enough for cooking purposes.

Yet in sight of the peasant's home, perhaps--in any case, not far away--are mountain peaks too steep for cultivation, but which with wise care of the tree-growth would have provided fuel for thousands and tens of thousands, and at a fraction of the price at which wood or coal must now be bought.

Japan, Korea, and India--the whole Orient in fact--bear witness to the importance of the forestry messages which Gifford Pinchot and Theodore Roosevelt have been drumming into our more or less uncaring ears for a decade past. When I reached Yokohama I found it impossible to get into the northern part of the island of Hondo because of the {264} flood damage to the railroads, and the lives of several friends of mine had been endangered in the same disaster. The dams of bamboo-bound rocks that I found men building near Nikko and Miyanoshita by way of remedy may not amount to much; but there is much hope in the general programme for reforesting the desolated areas, which I found the Japanese Department of Agriculture and Commerce actively prosecuting. Here is a good lesson for America. In Korea, however, the Japanese lumbermen, even in very recent years, have given little thought to the morrow and with such results as might be expected. The day I reached Seoul, one of its older citizens, standing on the banks of the Han just outside the ancient walls, remarked, "When I was young this was called the Bottomless River, because of its great depth. Now, as you can see, it is all changed. The bed is shallow, in some places nearly filled up, and it has been but a few weeks since great damage was done by overflows right here in Seoul."

Yet another kind of conservation to which our people in Occidental lands need to give more earnest heed is the conservation of the individual wealth of the people. The wastefulness of the average American is apparent enough from a comparison of conditions here with conditions in Europe--when I came back from my first European trip I remarked that "Europe would live on what America wastes"--but a comparison of conditions in America with those in the Orient is even more to our discredit. In Lafcadio Hearn's books on Japan we find a glorification of the Japanese character that is unquestionably overdone on the whole, but in his contrast between the wasteful display of fashion's fevered followers in America and the ideals of simple living that distinguished old Japan, there is a rebuke for us whose justice we cannot gainsay. Take an old Japanese sage like Baron Shibusawa, who, like Count Okuma, it seems might well have been one of Plutarch's men, and you are not surprised to hear him mention the extravagance of America as the thing that impressed him more {265} than anything else in traveling in our country. "To spend so much money in making a mere railroad station palatial as you have done in Washington, for example, seems to me uneconomic," he declared.

What most impressed him and other Oriental critics with whom I talked, be it remembered, was the wastefulness of expenditures not for genuine comforts but for fashion and display--the vagaries of idle rich women who pay high prices for half-green strawberries in January but are hunting some other exotic diet when the berries get deliciously ripe in May, and who rave over an American Beauty in December but have no eyes for the full-blown glory of the open-air roses in June. It is such unnatural display that most grates against the "moral duty of simplicity of life," as Eastern sages have taught it.

"When I was in the Imperial University here in Tokyo," a Japanese newspaper man said to me, "my father gave me six yen a month, $3 American money. I paid for room, light, and food $1.20 a month; for tuition, 50 cents; for paper, books, etc., 30 cents; and this left me $1 for pocket money expenditures, including the occasional treat of eating potatoes with sugar!" In such Spartan simplicity the victors of Mukden, Liao-yang and Port Arthur were bred.

The great founder of the Tokugawa dynasty, Iyeyasu, whose tomb at Nikko situated at the end of a twenty-five mile avenue of giant cryptomerias, is the Mecca of all tourists, has expressed in two memorable sayings the Japanese conception of the essential immorality of waste, of the regard that is due every product of human labor as being itself in some sense human or at least a throb with the blood of the toiler who has wrought it and moist with the sweat of his brow. When virtual dictator of Japan, Iyeyasu was seen smoothing out an old silk kakama. "I am doing this," he said, "not because of the worth of the garment in itself, but because of what it needed to produce it. It is the result of the toil of some poor woman, and that is why I value it. If we do not think while {266} using these things, of the toil and effort required to produce them, then our want of consideration puts us on a level with the beasts." Again, when opposing unnecessary purchases of costly royal garments, he declared. "When I think of the multitudes around me, and the generations to come after me, I feel it my duty to be very sparing, for their sake, of the goods in my possession."

No wonder Hearn declares of this "cosmic emotion of humanity" which we lack that "we shall certainly be obliged to acquire it at a later date simply to save ourselves from extermination."

The importance of saving the wealth of nations from the wastes of war and the wastes of excessive military expenditures is another lesson that one brings home from a study of conditions abroad. While our American jingoes are using Japan as a more or less effective bogy to work their purposes, peace advocates might perhaps even more legitimately hold it up as a "horrible example" to point their moral as to how war drains the national revenues and exhausts the national wealth. In the Mikado's empire the average citizen to-day must pay 30 per cent, of his total income in taxes, the great proportion of this enormous national expenditure growing out of past wars and preparations for future wars. No wonder venerable Count Okuma, once Premier of the Empire, said to me: "I look for international arbitration to come not as a matter of sentiment but as a matter of cold financial necessity. Nations have labored for centuries to build up the civilization of to-day: it is unthinkable that its advantages must be largely sacrificed for the support of enormous non-productive armies and navies. That would be simply the Suicide of Civilization."

For the lesson of all this I may quote the words of Dr. Timothy Richard, one of the most distinguished Englishmen in China, in the same conversation from which a fragment was quoted in the beginning of this article:


"The world is going to be one before you die, sir," he said as we talked together just outside the walls of the Forbidden City. "We are living in the days of anarchy. Unite the ten leading nations; let all their armaments be united into one to enforce the decrees of the Supreme Court of the World. And since it will then be the refusal of recalcitrant nations to accept arbitration that will make necessary the maintenance of any very large armaments by these united nations, let them protect themselves by levying discriminating tariff duties against the countries that would perpetuate present conditions."

All this I endorse. The necessity of preserving the national wealth from the wastes of war I regard as one of the most important lessons that we may get from the Orient. And yet I would not have the United States risk entering upon that military unpreparedness which must prove a fool's paradise until other great nations are brought to accept the principle of arbitration. The proper programme is to increase by tenfold--yes, a hundredfold--our personal and national efforts for arbitration, at the same time remembering that so long as the community of nations recognizes the Rule of Force we cannot secede and set up a reign of peace for ourselves. If it takes two to make a quarrel, it also takes two to keep a peace. We must be in terrible earnest about bringing in a new era, and yet we cannot commit the folly of trying to play the peace game by ourselves. It is not solitaire.

Even more important, whether we consider it from the standpoint of the general welfare or as a matter of national defence, is the conservation of our physical stamina and racial strength. Whether the wars of the future are commercial or military it doesn't matter. The prizes will go to the people who are strong of body and clear of mind. "The first requisite," said Herbert Spencer, "is a good animal," and not even the success of a Peace Court will ever prevent the good animal--the power of physical vigor and hardness with its {268} concomitant qualities of courage, discipline, and daring--from becoming a deciding factor in the struggle between nations and between races. It has been so from the dawn of history and it will ever be so.

And just here we may question whether the growth of wealth and luxury in the United States is not tending here, as it has tended in all other nations, toward physical softness and deterioration. It may be argued on the contrary that while a few Occidental children are luxury-weakened, a great body of Oriental children are drudgery-weakened. But is there not much more reason to fear that in our case there is really decay at both ends of our social system--with the pampered rich children who haven't work enough, and with the hard-driven poor who have too much? The overworking of the very young is certainly a serious evil in America as well as in Asia; and even in this matter the Eastern folk are perhaps doing as well, according to their lights, as we are. In China manufacturing is not yet extensive enough for the problem to be serious; but in both Japan and India I found the government councils thoroughly aroused to the importance of conserving child-life, and grappling with different measures for the protection of both child and women workers. My recollection is that the four thousand brown-bodied Hindu boys (there were no girls) that I found at work in a Madras cotton mill already have better legal protection than is afforded the child-workers in some of our American states.

For a long time, too, we have been accustomed to think of the Oriental as the victim of enervating habits and more or less vicious forms of self-indulgence. But while this may have been true in the past, the tide is now definitely turning. Fifty years of agitation in the United States have probably accomplished less to minimize intemperance among us than ten years of anti-opium agitation has accomplished in ridding China of her particular form of intemperance. I went to China too late to see the once famous opium dens of Canton and Peking; {269} too late to see the gorgeous poppy-fields that once lined the banks of the Yangtze; and on the billboards in Newchang I found such notices as the following concerning morphine, cocaine and similar drugs:

"In accordance with instructions received through the Inspector-General from the Shuiwu Ch'u the public is hereby notified that henceforth the importation into China of cocaine ... or instruments for its use, except by foreign medical practitioners and foreign druggists for medical purposes, is hereby prohibited."

And these foreign doctors handling cocaine are heavily bonded. The Chinaman of to-day is giving up opium, is little given to other forms of intemperance, is afire with new enthusiasm for athletics and for military training; and he is already so physically adaptable that I found him as hardy and untiringly energetic beneath an equatorial sun in Singapore as in the rigorous climate of north-central Manchuria. It made me wonder if the "meek who are to inherit the earth" in the end may not prove to be the Chinese!

Perhaps if the United States were a less powerful nation, or if we realized more fully the keenness of the coming world-struggle for industrial supremacy, we might find our patriotism a stronger force in warding off some of the evils that now threaten us. In his address to the German navy, Emperor William recently urged the importance of temperance because of the empire's need of strong, clear-headed men, unweakened by dissipation; and there can be little doubt that some such patriotic motive has had not a little to do with the anti-opium movement in awakening China. Certainly the Japanese with their almost fanatical love of country are easily influenced by such appeals, and keep such reasons in mind in the training of their young. "For the sake of the Emperor you must not drink the water from these condemned wells; for the sake of the Emperor you must observe these sanitary precautions--lest you start an epidemic and so weaken the {270} Emperor's fighting forces!" So said the Japanese sanitary officers in the war with Russia; and when the struggle ended Surgeon-General Takaki was able to boast in his official report:

"In the Spanish-American War fourteen men died from disease to one from bullets. We have established a record of four deaths from disease to one from bullets."

In studying these Eastern peoples one is also led inevitably to such reflections as Mr. Roosevelt gave utterance to in his Romanes lectures a few months ago. Not only are the Orientals schooled from their youth up to endure hardness like good soldiers, but their natural increase contrasts strikingly with the steadily decreasing birth-rate of our French and English stocks. In Japan I soon came to remark that it looked almost as unnatural to see a woman between twenty and forty without a baby on her back as it would to see a camel without a hump; and Kipling's saying about the Japanese "four-foot child who walks with a three-foot child who is holding the hand of a two-foot child who carries on her back a one-foot child" came promptly to mind. In view of these things it is not surprising to learn that in the last fifty years Japan has increased in population, through the birth rate alone, "as fast as the United States has gained from the birth rate plus her enormous immigration." The racial fertility of the Chinese is also well known; a Chinaman without sons to worship his spirit when he dies is not only temporarily discredited but eternally doomed. As for India, that every Hindu girl at fourteen must be either a wife or a widow is a common saying, and readers of "Kim" and "The Naulahka" will recall the ancient and persistent belief that the wife who is not also a mother of sons is a woman of ill-omen.

Mr. Putman Weale abundantly justifies the title of his new book, "The Conflict of Color"--the seeming foreordination of some readjustment of racial relations if present tendencies continue--when he asserts that while the white races double {271} in eighty years, the yellow or brown double in sixty, and the black in forty.

This last consideration, that of a possible readjustment of racial relations, leads us very naturally to inquire, What are the qualities that have given the white race the leadership thus far? And what may we do for the conservation of these qualities?

There are, of course, certain basic and fundamental reasons for white leadership that I need not elaborate. For one thing, there is the tonic air of democratic ideals in which long generations of white men have lived and developed as contrasted with the stifling absolutism of the East. There is also our emphasis upon the worth of the Individual, our conception of the sacredness of personality, as compared with the Oriental lack of concern for the individual in its supreme regard for the family and the State. And even more important perhaps is the fact that the white man has had a religion that has taught--even if somewhat confusedly at times--that "man is man and master of his fate," that he is not a plaything of destiny, but a responsible son of God with enormous possibilities for good or evil, whereas the Oriental has been the victim of benumbing fatalism that has made him indifferent in industry and achievement, though it has given him a greater recklessness in war. It would also be difficult to exaggerate the influence which our radically different estimate of woman has had upon Western civilization. And here we have to consider not only woman's own direct contributions to progress, but also the indirect influence of our regard for woman, not as an inferior and a plaything, but as a comrade and helpmeet. How frequently the ideal of English chivalry--

"To love one maiden only, cleave to her,
To worship her by years of noble deeds"--

has been the inspiration of the best that men of our race have wrought, it needs only a glance at our literature to {272} suggest. These things are indeed basic and fundamental and the question of their conservation, the preservation of the ideals of the Occident as compared with those of the Orient, is supremely important not only to us as a nation but to all our human race. But when one comes to consider only the sheer economic causes of the difference between Oriental poverty and Occidental plenty, it seems to me impossible to escape the conviction, already expressed and elaborated that it is mainly a matter of tools and knowledge, education and machinery.

In the Orient every man is producing as little as possible; in the Occident he is producing as much as possible. That is the case in a nutshell.

With better knowledge and better tools, half the people now engaged in food-production in Asia could produce all the food that the entire rural population now produces, and the other half could be released for manufacturing--thereby doubling the earning power and the spending power of the whole population.

It is universal education and modern machinery, far more than virgin resources, that have made America rich and powerful. Let her make haste then to learn this final lesson that the Orient teaches--the necessity of conserving in the fullest degree all the powers that have given us industrial supremacy: the power of the trained brain and the cunning hand reinforced by all the magic strength that we may get from our Briarean "Slave of the Lamp," modern machinery. We must thoroughly educate all our people. Was it not an Oriental prophet who wrote: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge?" In China only 1 per cent, of the people can now read and write, and the highest hope of the government is that 5 per cent, may be literate by 1917. In India only 5 per cent, can read and write. In Japan for centuries past, the education of the common man has also been neglected, but she is now compelling every child to go into the schools, {273} and her industrial system will doubtless be revolutionized at a result.

In no case must we forget that education, if it is to be effective, must train for efficiency, must link itself with life and work, must be practical. I had thought of the movement for relating the school to industry as being confined to America and Europe. But when I landed in Japan I found the educational authorities there as keenly alive to the importance of the movement as ours in America; in China I found that the old classical system of education has been utterly abandoned within a decade; in the Philippines it was the boast of the Commissioner of Education that the elementary schools in the islands give better training for agriculture and industry than those in the United States; and in India the school authorities are earnestly at work upon the same problem.

Knowledge and tools must go hand in hand. If this has been important heretofore it is doubly important now that we must face in an ever-increasing degree the rivalry of awakening peoples who are strong with the strength that comes from struggle with poverty and hardship, and who have set themselves to master and apply all our secrets in the coming world-struggle for industrial supremacy and racial readjustment.





American commerce abroad, 87-8, 91-2
American goods sold lower abroad, 101
Ancestor worship, Japan, 7-8
Area and population,
Artistic Japanese,40, 48-9

Beans in Manchuria, 75-6
Beasts, India's wild, 258-60
Benares, 202
Boxer troubles, 125-26

Camels in China, 116-17
Canton, 142
Caste system, 226-35;
effect on labor,
robber caste,
Child marriage in India, 237-8
Children, Hindu, 223-4
China, premonitions of revolution,93, 102-6.
China Sea, 153
Chinese hardiness, 187-8
Chinese immigration, 114-15
Christian vs. Hindu philosophy, 199, 204-5
Christian vs. Oriental philosophy, 271
Cocoanut planting, 189
Confucianism, 103
Conservation of forests, 262-4
Cooperative credit societies,
23, 76, 140, 168, 254-7;
India's crops,
Currency reform in China, 97-98

Diseases and sanitation, 56-64, 72, 135, 170-71

Education, 272;
99, 109-11;
Elephants, Stories about, 193-5
Extravagance, American, 264-6

Factory child labor, 268;
Family government, 7, 149
Famines in India, 218-20

Farm animals,
122, 126-8, 140-41, 177;
155-6, 165;
218-23, 255-7;
23, 190, 218;
26, 127, 156, 212
Fatalism, 227-8
Filipino character, 172
Filipino houses, 156
Foot binding. Chinese, 133-84
Funeral and burial customs,77, 124, 128, 144-5, 203-4. 243

Ganges, 203
German commercial activity, 190
Korea's corrupt,
Great Wall, 120-21

Himalayas, The, 208-9
Hindu gods and goddesses, 200
Hindu village described, 212

India, English rule in, 248-52
India's diversity of races, 248
Individual, repression of, 55-6
Industrial efficiency,37, 40, 141

Japan control in
Japanese city described, 9-11
Japanese-Russian War, 70-72; 90-91


Japanese spoken,
Lawrence, Sir Henry, 246
Love of nature, Japanese, 27

Machinery, Asia's refusal to use, 183
Manchuria's fertility, 73-4
Manila, 154
Manufacturing, Japan, 31, 34-47
Marriage customs,
5-7, 139;
Missionary work, 59, 69;
Moral standards, 134, 136
Music, 5

Odd customs,
3-6, 12;
Okuma, Count, interviewed, 44-5; 266
Open door in Manchuria, The, 78-92
Opium, China's crusade against, 94-6; 108

Parcels post, 101
Peking, Glimpses of, 123-25
Perry's Expedition, 58
Persecution of Christians,51-2, 125-6
Philippine government, 167-70
Philippine resources, 165-7
Philippine scenery, 155-6
"Pidgin English," 150-51
Politeness, Japanese,12, 13
Postal savings banks, 169
Poverty of Oriental people,175, 210, 252
Practical education, 99, 273
Punishments, Chinese, 145-6

Racial fertility, 7, 11, 270-71
Rangoon, 190-91
49-50, 151, 122-3;
198-208, 227
Roads, 74;
in Philippines,
Rubber speculation, 188

School term, Japan, 17-18
Size of farms,
Slavery in China, 132
Social gradations, Japanese, 16
"Squeeze" system in China, 96, 112
Story, A Chinese, 146-7
Superstitions, 77, 128-9

Taj Mahal described, 244-5
30, 44-6;
Taxes in Japan, 30
Torrens land titles,98, 169-70
Tropical vegetation, 186

29, 34, 36, 42, 174;
126, 141, 174, 177;
210, 223, 253-4
War spirit,267;
35, 72, 266;
Wedding, A Hindu, 239
Welfare work in Japanese factories 31-3
Woman's degraded position, 271;
6, 52-6;
Women laborers, 39, 43, 177, 253-4
Wu Ting Fang interviewed, 139

Yang-bans, The,66
Yangtze River,138-9

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