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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 147MB

    Lanuage:Englist

    Software instructions


      A STUDY OF JAPANESE ART."A good many of these punishments precede a much more merciful one, that of decapitation. The victim who is to suffer the loss of his head is carried to the place of execution in a small cage of bamboo, with his hands tied behind him, and the crime for which he is to suffer written on a piece of stiff paper and fastened to his hair. In one corner of the cage is a bucket, which is to hold his head after the executioner has cut it off; and frequently the pail with the head in it is hung near one of the gates of the city or in some other public place. When he reaches the execution-ground, he is required to kneel, and the executioner strikes his head off with a single blow of a heavy sword. The poor fellows who are to suffer death rarely make any opposition, and some of them seem quite willing to meet it. This is said to be due partly to the calmness of the Chinese, and partly to the fact that they have been so tortured and starved in their imprisonment that it is a relief to die. In most of the Chinese prisons the men condemned to death are usually kept until there are several on hand; then a general execution is ordered, and the whole lot of them are taken out to the place of decapitation. During the time of the rebellion they used to have executions by wholesale, and sometimes one or two hundred heads were taken off in a single morning.


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

      "No," replied Sergeant Jim, "I doubt if the most of 'em are." I turned to him and drew down my under eyelid. "Will you kindly tell me, sir, if you see any unnatural discoloration in there?"

      "Then there were carvings in tortoise-shell of a great many kinds, and all the forms you could think of, together with many you could not. The Chinese tortoise-shell work used to be the best in the world; but those who know about it say that it is now equalled by the productions of Naples and Florence, both in fineness and cheapness. Then they had some beautiful things in silver filigree and in bronzes, and we bought a few of each, so as to show what Canton can do in this line.


      "As to the manner of performing it, a few words will describe it. The ceremonies that precede it are somewhat elaborate, but the affair[Pg 221] itself is performed in the twinkling of an eye, or, rather, in the twinkling of a sword. It is a single flash, and all is over."The term cloisonn comes from the French word cloison, which means a field or enclosure, and you will see as you go on how appropriate it is to this kind of work. If you examine the bowl which you will find in the box, you[Pg 244] will see that it has a groundwork of light blue, and that on this groundwork there are fine threads of brass enclosing little squares and other figures in colors quite different from the body of the bowl. If you look at the cover, you will find that these squares and figures are repeated, and also that there are three circles, like plates with serrated edges, that seem to be lying on the top of the cover. These plates, or circles, have pictures of flowers on them, and the designs of the flowers on each one are different from those of the other two. Every leaf and petal is distinct from the others by means of the brass wires, and the colors do not at any time run together.

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      There was not a great deal to be seen in the town, and so the next morning the three travellers started for Canton. There is a boat each way daily, and the journey is made in seven or eight hours; the boys found that the boat in which they went was of American construction, and had an American captain, and so they felt at home, as they had felt on the Yang-tse under similar circumstances.

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      SOMETHING ABOUT JAPANESE WOMEN.

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      "Why," said Frank, "he spoke of this hotel as the best in the place; best implies goodness somewhere, and I don't find any goodness in it."


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