An English girl in Japan (Google eBook)

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W. Gardner, Darton, 1906 - History - 176 pages
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Page 81 - The five worst maladies that afflict the female mind are : indocility, discontent, slander, jealousy, and silliness. Without any doubt, 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. A woman should cure them by self-inspection and self-reproach. The worst of them all, and the parent of the other four, is silliness.
Page 80 - ... somewhat savour of barbarism. ' When a young man has fixed his affections upon a maiden of suitable standing, he declares his love by fastening a branch of a certain shrub to the house of the damsel's parents. If the branch be neglected, the suit is rejected ; if it be accepted, so is the suitor.' ' At the time of the marriage the bridegroom sends presents to his bride as costly as his means will allow ; which she immediately offers to her parents, in acknowledgment of their kindness in infancy,...
Page 86 - We are told that it was the custom of the ancients, on the birth of a female child, to let it lie on the floor for the space of three days. Even in this may be seen the likening of the man to Heaven and of the woman to Earth...
Page 80 - When no such obstacle prevents " the course of true love" from running "smooth," and a youth has fixed his affections upon a maiden of suitable condition, he declares his passion by affixing a branch of a certain shrub (the Celastrus alatus) to the house of the damsel's parents. If the branch be neglected, the suit is rejected ; if it be accepted, so is the lover; and if the young lady wishes to express reciprocal tenderness, she forthwith blackens her teeth ; but she must not pluck out her eye-brows...
Page 89 - CHILDREN. 119 in the house during the previous year, a pair of hina or images are purchased for the little girl, which she plays with until grown up. When she is married her hina are taken with her to her husband's house, and she gives them to her children, adding to the stock as her family increases.
Page 77 - With these words she flung herself head foremost from the housetop and broke her neck. The culprit was instantly pursued, but escaped, only, however, to commit ' hara-kiri ' the honourable despatch by the dead body of the unfortunate lady whom he had wronged, but did not desire to survive. From her youth a Japanese lady is taught to control her feelings, and the strange immobility that is so noticeable in the Empress is considered, from a Japanese point of view, the very highest mark of good...
Page 81 - Two tables are placed close by ; on the one is a kettle with two spoute, a bottle of sake", and cups ; on the other table a miniature fir-tree signifying the strength of the bridegroom ; a plum-tree signifying the beauty of the bride ; and lastly a stork standing on a tortoise representing long life and happiness, desired by them both. At the marriage feast each guest in turn drinks three cups of the sake ; and the two-spouted kettle, also containing sake, is put to the mouths of the...
Page 80 - Japanese courtship and wedding are both very curious ceremonies, and still somewhat savour of barbarism. ' When a young man has fixed his affections upon a maiden of suitable standing, he declares his love by fastening a branch of a certain shrub to the house of the damsel's parents. If the branch be neglected, the suit is rejected ; if it be accepted, so is the suitor
Page 81 - ... is put to the mouths of the bride and bridegroom alternately by two attendants, signifying that they are to share together joys and sorrows. The bride keeps her veil all her life, and at her death it is buried with her as her shroud. The chief duty of a Japanese woman all her life is obedience : whilst unmarried, to her parents ; when married, to her husband and his parents ; when widowed, to her son. In the Greater Learning of Women, we read : " A woman should look upon her husband as if he...
Page 67 - A Japanese lady reminds me of a delicate sea-anemone which, at the first approach of a rough hand, shrinks into itself, avoiding contact with the practical hardness of everyday life. She is almost morbidly sensitive, but her natural pride and politeness forbid her in any way to retaliate. How little we understand her feelings ! A Japanese never forgets. Sometimes revenge is impossible, but I have heard of more than one case when a foreigner's official position has been lost owing to his wife's indiscretion,...

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