Japan Day by Day, 1877, 1878-79, 1882-83, Volume 1

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Houghton Mifflin, 1917 - Japan

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Who should read this book:
Japanophiles, steampunks, history buffs, anthro-nerds, anyone who secretly wishes they could've been Charles Darwin or some other naturist/explorer-type, & those who have
never lost their childhood sense of wonder & curiosity & love of learning.
For sheer meticulousness & attention to detail, this book can't be beat, but it is Morse's personal charm that makes it an actual pleasure to read.
And it's free! Everybody wins!

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Page 160 - Of all people, girls and servants are the most difficult to behave to. If you are familiar with them, they lose their humility. If you maintain a reserve towards them, they are discontented.
Page 40 - One of the many delights in riding through the country are the beautiful hedges along the road, the clean-swept walks before the doors, and in the houses everything so neat and the various objects in perfect taste; the dainty teacups, teapots, bronze vessels for holding the burning charcoal, beautiful grained panels, odd knots from trees, and woody fungus hollowed out to hold flowers.
Page 150 - Open frOm eight o'clock in the morning until four o'clock in the afternoon...
Page 248 - America - modern schoolhouses in miniature, desks, pictures, maps, models, globes, slates, blackboards, inkstands, and the minutest details of school appliances abroad. . . . What a wise conception of the Japanese, entering as they were on our methods of education, that they should establish a museum to display the apparatus used in the work. Here was a nation spending nearly a third of its annual budget on education, and in contrast Russia spending a half of one percent on the same department.
Page 41 - The artistic character of the people is indicated in many ways — in trifling matters even. If a child accidentally punches a hole through the paper screen, instead of mending it with a square piece of paper, the paper is cut in the form of a cherry blossom. Seeing this pretty way of mending holes in screens I recalled the broken windows in our country mended with an old hat or a stuffed bag.
Page 103 - It is only within a short time that they have had an omnibus, which is simply an open covered wagon with a man always running ahead, to warn people of its approach. There is no reflex action manifested, and people move slowly aside in a dazed sort of way, when under like circumstances we instantly jump aside. These people are very slow in such matters and wonder at our quick motions.
Page 9 - But those diseases which at home are attributed to bad drainage, imperfect closets, and the like seem to be unknown or rare, and this freedom from such complaints is probably due to the fact that all excrementitious matter is carried out of "the city by men who utilize it for their farms and rice-fields. With us this sewage is allowed to flow into our coves and harbors, polluting the water and killing all aquatic life; and the stenches arising from the decomposition and filth are swept over the community...
Page 315 - At about five o'clock in the afternoon everybody seemed to be engaged in sweeping the road in front of his shop and house, in many cases sprinkling before sweeping; an excellent idea and a custom that would lead to a great improvement to some of our towns and cities if carried out.
Page 91 - Japan for centuries has not been looked upon as immodest, while we have been brought up to regard it as immodest. The exposure of the body in Japan is only when bathing and then everybody minds his own business.
Page 28 - I recall that in country village and city alike the houses of rich and poor are never rendered unsightly by garbage, ash piles, and rubbish; one never sees those large communal piles of ashes, clam shells, and the like that are often encountered in the outskirts of our quiet country villages. In refined Cambridge, a short cut between the houses of two scholars led through a deep depression of the land.

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