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OBSERVATIONS on the MANNERS, CUSTOMS, DRESS, AGRICULTURE, &c.

of the JAPANESE. [By C, P, THUNBERG, formerly PHYSICIAN to the Dutch Factory in Japan *.]

, , very eastern extremity of Asia, entirely and of an oily smoothness; the nose, though cut off from our quarter of the world, and not fat, yet somewhat thick and fort. consists of a great multitude of isands of va- The national character consists in intelli. rious magnitude. It lies between the 30th gence and prudence, frankness, obedience and 40th degrees of north latitude ; and so and politeness, good-nature and civility, cufar to the east, that when we in Stockholm riosity, industry and dexterity, economy and reckon four o'clock in the afternoon, the in- sobriety, hardiness, cleanliness, justice and habitants are immersed in the deep Deep of uprightness, honesty, and fidelity; in being midnight, and consequently have fun fet and miftruftful, superstitious, haughty, relentful, sun rise eight hours earlier.

brave, and invincible. The Portuguese, who, about two centu- In all its transactions, the nation Thews ries and a half ago, first discovered it, were great intelligence, and can by no means be accidentally thrown by a storm on the coast, numbered among the savage and uncivilized, which is in general bordered with hills and but rather is to be placed among the polished. cliffs, together with a multitude of unsafe and The present mode of government, admirable formy ports, whence navigation is always skill in agriculture, sparing mode of life, dangerous, and sometimes impossible. way of trading with foreigners, manufactures,

The whole inland part of the country &c. afford convincing proofs of their cunning, consists of mountains, hills and dales ; so that firmness, and intrepid courage. Here there it is rare to meet with any extensive plain. are no appearances of that vanity, so cominon The mountains are of various altitude, more among the Asiatics and Africans, of adorning or less continued, more or less covered with themselves with thells, glass beads, and polithwond, sometimes volcanic, but most fre. ed metal plates : neither are they fond of the quently cultivated quite up to the summit. useless European ornaments of gold and filIt may in general be justly faid of Japan, that ver lace, jewels, &c. but are careful to prode loil is of itself unfruitful, but in consequence vide themselves, from the productions of of sufficient warmth of climate, plentiful their own country, with neat clothes, wellrains, continual manuring, and industry, it tasted food, and good weapons. is forced into a considerable degree of fertili- Neatness and cleanliness is observed, as ty, and maintains a number of inhabitants, well with respect to their persons, as clothes, not exceeded by those of any other country. houses, furniture, meat and drink. They

The natives are well grown, agile, and bathe and wash themselves, not barely once active; and at the same time stout limbed, a week, like our ancestors, but every day, though they do not equal in strength the and that in a warm bath, which is prepared in northern inhabitants of Europe. The men every house, and for travellers in all the inns. are of moderate ftature, seldom tall, and in In politeness, obedience, and fubmission, general thin; though I have seen some that the Japanese have few equals; submission to were sufficiently tall. The colour of the face the magiftrate, and obedience to parents, is is commonly yellow, which fometimes va. implanted in children from their earliest nies to brown, and sometimes to white. years; and in all ranks they are instructed in The inferior fort, who, during their work ihis by examples. Inferiors make to their in summer, have often the upper parts of superiors deep and respectful, and thew them the body naked, are sun-burnt and browners blind and reverential, obeisance ; to their women of distinction, who never go unco- equals they make the politest conipliments vered in the open air, are perfectly while. and salutations. They generally bow the The eyes of this people as well as of the Chinese back with the head downwards, and the are well known; they have not the round hands towards the knees, or below them Mape of those of other nations, but are oblong, along the legs as low as the foot, to thew imall

, more funk, and appear more smiling. greater reverence: the deeper this must be, They are moreover of a dark bruwn, or ra- the nearer to the ground do they bow their ther black colour; and the eyelids form at head. When they speak to a superior, or the larger angle a deep surrow, which gives are spoken to by him, or when they have any them their peculiar keen look, and distin- thing to deliver to him, they never omit thele guithes them so Atrikingly from other na. bows. When an inferior meets a superior, lions. The eyebrows are also fituated some be always continues in this posture till the what higher. The head is in general latter has palied by. Wheu equals me:

* In justice to its proprietor, Mr. MURRAY, we think it our duty w observe, that we are indebted to the English Review for the following article, which is a translation of "s A

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each other, they pay one another the same (Economy has its peculiar abode in Japzo. compliment, and pass ea. b other in a posture. It is a virtue admired as well in the empesomewhat bent. Upon enteriog a house, ror's palace, as in the meanest cottage. It they fall down on their knees, and bow the makes those of smail, potleflions content with head; and when they rise to depart, the t'ieir little, and it prevents the abundance of same ceremony is repeated. Superstition is the rich from overflowing in excess and voperhaps more general and extravagant here, luptuousness. Hence it happens that what than any where else; wbich arises from the in other countries is called scarcity and famine, Titule kiiowledge they have in most sciences, is unknown here, and that, in so very popuand the absurd principles which their priests lous a state, scarce a person in neceflity, or a implant in them. This imperfection appears beggar, should be found. The people in gee in their worship, festivals, vows, use of cer- neral are neither greedy, nor esger after rich. lain medicines, &c.

es, while at the same time they seem to Their curiosity is excessive ; nothing im. avoid gluttony and drunkennels. ported by the Europeans escapes it. They Haughtiness is among the chief failings of alk for information concerning every article, the nation. They believe themselves to be and their questions continue till they become the facred offspring of the gods, heaven, Tun wearilou e. It is the physician, among the and moon; an origin which many of the traders, that is alone regarded as learned, and Afiatic nations, with equal confidence, arroparticularly during the journey to court, and gate to themselves. They also believe them. the refidence at Jeddo, the capital of the em- selves to be superior to other men, If a sapire, that he is regarded as the oracle, which panele Tould bear with patience all other they trust can give responses in all things, injuries, the pride of other men would be whether in mathematics, geography, physics, totally insupportable to him. The haughtichemistry, pharmacy, zovlogy, botany, me. ness of the Portuguese drove them from this dicine, &c. When the Dutch have their au

country, and this alone would be sufficient to dience of the emperor, council, or gover- ruin the trade of the Dutch. nors, they consider, from head to foot, their

Justice is much regarded by them; the mobats, swords, clothes, buttons, trimming, narch never exceeds his bounds; nor is there, watches, sticks, rings, moes, buckies, &c. either in ancient or molern biftory, any proof nay, they mult frequently write on paper, or that he has extended his ambition or his dethe peculiar fans of the Japanese, in order to mands to the territories of other people, thew them their manner of writing and their Their history abounds with heroic achieve letters.

ments exerted in defending iheir country It is highly probable that this people were againít external violence and internal led's not always to suspicious. Disturbances or war tion ; but not a single invasion of other courperhaps introduced them, but the deceits tries, or other men's property, occurs, practised by the Europeaus still more excited Voltaire fays, that whoever shall defire and increased this vice; which at present, in that his country shall be neither greater nor their trade, at least with the Dutch and Chi- less, neither richer nor paorer, may be justly nese, exceeds all bounds.

called a citizen of the world. Such are the I have often been a witness of the good Japanese : they with nut to acquire tie ler disposition of the Japanese, even at a time ritories of others, oor will they suffer any when they have every reason to entertain all diminution of their own. poilible contempt and hatred, and to use eve. usages of their forefathers, ard never adopt ry precaution, on account of the bad condue the manners of other countries. Juftice is and cunning artifices of the Europeans who always seen in their courts; their suits are altrade thither. The nation is indeed haughty, ways finished speedily, and without intrigue ; but till gentle. By mild measures and civic equity is oblerved even cowards the Eurolity it may be led and affected, but by menaces peans; so that the contract entered into is it is altogether immoveable.

neither annulled, nor is i misinterpreted or Honesty and fidelity is observed in all the altered in a single letter, provided the Eurocountry ; in few other countries perhaps is peans themselves do no: give occasion to such theft so rare. Robbery is totally unknown, practices. Theft is feldom heard of : and Europeans, Liberty is the life of the Japanese ; not inzduring their journey to court, are so tafe, that deed such a kiod of liberty as often degene'they take little care of the goods they carry rates into violence and licentiousnets, but a along with them; though it is otherwise not liberty secured and limited by law. I cannot considered as a crime, at leait at the Dutch compreliend how it has happened, that some factory, and by the lower people, to steal biftorians have considered the common people from the Dutch some of their wares, such as in Japan as Naves. A servant who hire sugar or corper, as they are carried to or himself for a year, is not on that account a from the quay,

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discipline, enlifted for a certain, often for a The Asiatic, on his return, complained to the conuderable term of years, is not on this ac. enipe or of his ill treatment, as well as of e unt a Nave, though he is contenteil to obey the 'affront which was offered to the fove. the strictest commands of his officer. The reign. His anger being the more roused, as Japanese speak with borror of the Dutch the insult proceeded from despised foreigners, Nave.trade. The liberty, both of high and and as he was incapable of avenging it, his low, is protected by laws; and the uncom- life-guard addrelled him in the following mon severity of those laws, together with

“ We will no longer guard yone their certain execution, keeps every one with- “ perfon, if we are not able to protect your in his proper limits. With respect to foreig honour: nothing but the blood of the ofnations, there is no peopie, in all the extent “ fender can wath away this stan: comof India, lo vigilant over their freecom, and " mand, and we will either cut ofi' bis beal, none more exempt from foreign invasion, or bring him hither alive, that you may oppreiliou or fraud. The precautions used " inflict punishment according to your good for this purpose are without parallel through- " pleasure, and his deserts : feven of us are out the whole globe ; for, fince all the na- “ enongh ; neither the danger of navigation, tives u ho were abroad were recalled, none “ the strength of the fort, nor the number can leave the coasts of the empire, under the of his guars, thail free him from our vengepenalty of death ; and no foreigner approach ance.” After receiving orders, and tathem, except a few Dutch and Chinese, who, king prudent measures, they arrive at Forduring the whole time of their stay, are mra. Being admitted to an audience by the watched like prisoners of state. ,

Governor, they draw their sabres, take him Almost every person in Japan has a fer- prisoner, and carry him off to their veffel. varit, who waits upon him in the house ; This audacious deed was atchieved at mid day, and, when he goes out, carries after bim a in the presence of the guard anu domeftics, none cap, shoes, umbrella, a light, or any thing of whom, astonished and dismayed as they of this kind which he needs.

were, durft move a step to the atlistance of This nation has never been subdued by any their matter, whose head was cleft in the fame foreign power, not even in the most remote inftant by the adventurers. (Kämpfer,p. 479.) periods; their chronicles contain such ac- He who mall consider their bauglitiness, counts of their valour, as one would rather spirit, equity, and courage, will not be sur. incline to consider as fabulous inventions, prised at finding them implacable towards than actual occurrences, if later ages had not their enemies, They are not less relentful furnithed equal striking proofs of it. When and inexorable than intrepid and high-minded. the Tartars, for the first time, in -99, had Their hatred never appears in acts of viooverrun part of Japan, and when, after a lence, but is concealed under the utmost cool. considerable time had elapsed, their fleet was ness, till an occasion of vengeance offers itdestroyed by a violent storm, in the course of felf. I have seen 'no people fo little fubject a single night, the Japanese general attacked, to vehement emotions. You may abuse and and io totally defeated, his numerous and infult them as much as you please, thcy brave enemies, that not a single person sur: make no reply, but merely thew their survired to return and carry the tidings of such prise, by coolly exclaiming, ha! ha! They an unparalleled defeat. In like manner, conceive, however, in filence, the most when the Japanese were again, in 1281, in: deadly hatred, which neither satisfaction of vaded by the warlike Tartars, to the num- any kind, length of time, nor change of cirber of 240,000 fighting men, they gained a cumstances, can appease. They omit no victory equally complete. The extirpation mark of politeness, either in adureiling, of the Portuguese, and, with them, of the or on meeting their adverfary, but they coun. Carittian religion, towards the beginning of terfeit as great regard for him as for others, the 19th century, was so complete, that till an opportunity of doing him fome effential scarce a reftige can now bę discerned of its damage occurs. ever laving existed there. Many thousands The names of families, and of single per. of men were facrificed; and at the last siege fons, are under very different regulations alone, not less than 37,000. Nor are there from ours. The family name is never changvietones, however figoal, the only ones ed, but is never used in ordinary conversation, which display the courage of the Japanese. and only when they sign some writing; tó Aluther initance, which cceurred in 1630, is which they also, for the most part, aftix their a further proof of it. The Governor of For- feal. There is also this peculiarity, that the taula, which then belonged to the Dutch surname is always placed first; juit as in botanicompany, thought fit to treat with ill-advised cal books the generic vame is always placed beinfolence and injustice the master of a small fore the specific name. The prænomen is alJapanese reffel who came thither to traffic. ways used in addresling a person ; and it is

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