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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 11, 1906)
The Omaha Illustrated Bee
Entered Second Class at Omaha Postoffice Published Weekly by The Bee Publishing Co. Subscription, $2.50 Per Year.
FEBRUARY 11, 1906.
AROUND THE WORLD WITH WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN
Agricultural, Horticultural, Mineral and Timber Resources of Japan' and the Industrial and Commercial Activities of the People at Present and Their Possible Development for the Future
TI1E basis of Japanese Industry Is agriculture, although each
year shows a decreasing proportion engaged In the tilling of
tlie roII. nice is the principal product, but owing to the large
, n mount consumed at home it in not the chief export. As this
crop needs an abundance of water, the rice fields occupy the
low lands or the mountain gorges. Sometimes the narrow valleys that
pierce the ranges are so terraced ns to look like steps, and at this time
of the year when the crops are being harvested, they resemble goldeu
Btiiirti. The men and women work together In the field, and In many
places we saw them, standing almost knee, deep In mud, cutting the
grain with an old-fashioned hand sickle. The rice is tied in bundles
somewhat smaller than our wheat sheaves and hung over poles or laid .
along the edge of a terrace to cure. If the threshing Is delayed the
train is stacked, not as we stack wheat and oats in the United States,
but in little columns with the heads fit the sheaves- tied to ftpole in the
center. Sometimes the stacks are built around a Hying tree. Tho
grain Is separated from tho straw by means of a long-toothed comb,
and at this season Innumerable groups of persons aro busily engaged
at this work. The yellow heaps of rice in the hull, looking from a
distance like wheat, con be seen from the train and from the country
roads. Straw mats are used to keep Uh grain oft the ground and, V
may udd, that the mat Is in evidence everywhere in Japan and Is used
for all sorts of purposes. ' .
Tea, Cotton and Silk Are Important
The cultivation of the tea plant Is an Industry of no small mag
nitude, although not so universal as the cultivation of. rice. The .
tea fields occupy the higher levels and add an interesting variety
to the landscape. At one point on the railroad between Yokohama
and Nagoya the hillsides are covered' with tea plantations, if such
tiny farms can be called plantations. The tea plant is something
like our gooseberry and currant bushes In size, but the foliage is
much thicker. The leaves vary widely In value from the cheaper
grades, which are exported to the UJI, which costs what Is equivalent
to $5 or more per pound.
Some cotton Is grown here, but the cotton plant, as we saw it, is
small compared with our plant and the tillable area Is too' limited to
admit of the growing of cotton on a large scale.
Tobacco is cultivated to some extent, but the sale of manufactured
tobacco is a government prerogative.
Haw silk is by far the most valuable export. $35,000,000 worth
having been sent ubroad last year. . Three-fifths of . the entire export
goes to' the United States, the remsftader to- Europe, with Trance as
the largest European purchaser. As $15,000,000 worth of silk fabrics
went abroad, also, as against $r,,000,000 worth of tea and $4,000,000
worth of rice, it will be seen that the cultivation of the silk worm nnd
the mulberry tree Is extensively carried on." The silk worms are kept
indoors and the leaves brought in to them. When put outdoors the
silk worms are devoured by birds. ,
Fruits in Abundance and of Great Variety
Fruits grow here In great variety. - We have found everywhere
apples of excellent quality, raised in the northern part of the, Islands,
while the southern Islands produce oranges, bananas and pineapples.
The apple itree was Imported from America thirty-five years ago; now
apples are exported to China and Siberia. The most popular orange
Is the tangerine, or kid glove orange, as it is sometimes called; many
of these n re imported. . . ' , ',1.
There is a kind of fruit called the ban-tan, grown on the Island
of Kyushu. It looks something like the grape fruit, but grows con
siderably larger and has a thicker- sktaT'thr meat Is -pint -in color,-
sweeter and less Juicy than the grape fruit' Pearf grow here; one
variety looks like a russet apple in shape and color. Peach trees are
sometimes trained as we train grape vines on an arbor, so that the
orchard seems to have a flat roof of foliage. .' i.
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They have here,. too, persimmons as large as. apples and as solid.
We found these on the table In all parts of the Island and there are -'
several varieties. The grape '-fa' cultivated in Japan, but" we did not
see grape vines in such profusion as they are seen in southern Europe,
along the lakes in western New York or in California. And, In this
connection, I may add that wine is not used here to tb extent that It
Is In some other countries, the national drink, sake, 'ii made from
fermented rice. Ordinarily this beverage contains from 11 to 14 per
cent of alcohol, but there Is a stronger kind called shochu, which con
tains as much ns 50 per cent of alcahol. It is evident, however, that
liquor by any other name can be as intoxicating as our whisky, and
we found at Toklo a national temperance society, with branches
tbroughout-the empire. Mr. Ando, the president of this society, la a
Japanese gentleman of great, earnestness and Intelligence, who wae
converted to Christianity a few years ago when he was representing
Ms country In Honolulu. While, as I have stated In another article,
T have seen no evidences of drunkenness, Mr. Ando Informs me that
his society has ample work to do. I carry back with me a badge which,
the society bestowed on learning of my total abstinence habits.
I have only mentioned the leading products of the field, but Z
cannot leave the cultivators of the soil without a word concerning the
gardens. They are so Cute, occupying as they do the little nooks and
corners that cannot be utilized for the larger crops. There does not
seem to Iks a square Inch of ground wasted. The vegetables are planted
In rows which are cither straight or curved, never crooked, and we have
scarcely seen a weed. Fertilizer Is extensively used, being kept in
stone or cement vats protected from the weather by a straw covered
shed. Near the cities the soil Is enriched by the refuse from the closets,
which Is collected and carried away during the night The Introduction
of sewage systems has been somewhat Impeded in some cities by the
fact that sewage would be an expense while closets are now a source
of profit. It must be confessed, however, that the present system tenda
to make fresh vegetables unpopular with the tourist
Panorama Enroute is Always Interesting
Most travelers land at Yokohama, and depart at Kobe, or land at
Kobe and depart at Yokohama, these being the two principal ports.
As these are about 300 mjjes apart, one has a chance to see much of
the farming land from the railroad. 'The side trips from Toklo to
Nlkko, from Yokohama to Mlyanoeblta and from Kyoto to Nara, give
additional opportunities for seeing the farmer at work, but the ride
from Kobe west to Shimonoseki surpasses any of these in interest and
iu beauty of scenery. As this route leads along the seacoast as well
ns through densely populated valleys, there Is greater variety. Now
one skirts the inland sea, with its numerous Islands, Its transparent
waters. Its little harbors and its fleets of fishing boats; now he winds
his way along a stream with falls and rapids spanned by frail foot
bridges, or by stone wagou bridges. On the one side be sees a bamboo
grove and on the other a tiny graveyard or a little hill dedicated to a
' ShTuto shrine stone steps ascending along a shaded path from the
sacred gate,' which invariably marks the entrance' to holy ground. In
passing over this railroad route one gathers a large amount of in
formation concerning the industries of the seacoast as well as those
of the Inland, and besides can visit the Shimonoseki strait, which is
of historic interest to Americans. The Sanyo railroad, which connects
Kolte end Shimonoseki, Is well equipped and well managed, and has
built an excellent hotel, the Sanyo, at Shimonoseki for the accommoda
tion of its patrons. From this point a steamer runs to Fusan, the
nearest Corean port, where direct connection is made for Seoul, the
Corean capital. From Mojl, Just a causa the strait from Shimonoseki,
one cau'tuke a train to Nagasaki, the western seaport ofVlnpan. At
Shlinouosekl one is shown the house In which Marquis I to and Li Hung
Chang drafted the Japanese-Chinese treaty In 1894.
Mineral Resources and Timber Interests
Mining Is an Industry of considerable Importance here. Gold, sil
ver and copper are found in paying quantities. More than $fl,000,0O
worth of copper was exported Jast year.,. One; of the gold fields on the
island of Kyushu, near Kogoshtnia, gives promise of considerable rich
neb. Coal is found in aucn abundance that the exports of this com-
Fifth of This Notable Series of Letters Sixth
Letter Will Appear in The Bee Next Sunday
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VIEW-. OF, A SHADED AVENUE TWENTT-FrVB MnXS'LONO APPROACHINO THE BUDDHIST TEMPLE AT NIKKO.
modity have amounted to nearly $10,000,000 In a single year. A hard
quality of smokeless coul has recently been discovered In western
The islands also produce a number of varieties of valuable woods.
The camphor tree grows to an enormous size, ;a gigantic statue of the
Goddess of Mercy In. one of the -temples at Kamakurn being carved
from a single camphor log.- The value of the camphor exported from
Japan last year exceeded $1,500,000. Among the hard woods suitable
for carving, cherry seems to be the most popular. ' ' , . '
, . . . . Most Useful of AU the Trees
Of all the trees; however, the bamboo is the 'most useful, v Just at
this time, when the returning soldiers are being welcomed it is present
everywhere In the form of flag poles and there Is nothing that equals'1
It for this purpose; long, slender, light and strong, It U Just the thins
for flags and banners, and when a little plume of leaves Is left at the
top, it is still more beautiful. The bnmboo Is used for wnter pipes and
for fences, for furniture and picture tubes, for dippers, baskets, fishing
, poles, flower vases, candlesticks, wicker work, etc. etc.
.Skilled in Wood Carving
In wood carving the Japanese have long been skilled. Specimens
of work' done hundreds of years ago and testifying to their taste no
less than to their deftness of hand may be seen in the ancient palaces
' Stone cmtlng is olso , an , ancient industry here. There Is an
abundance of stone and granite, and the lanterns, Corean lions and
Bacred gates have furnished subjects for many a chisel. Osaka seems
to be the center xt the stone cutting industry.
The Iron industry U represented by an increasing number of estab-
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IIIIB.I.11JUI 111 Mill ' - " : - , ...,1 . ... .r.ni . i .n .jJ
A PICTURESQUE RIVE It VIEW IN JAPAN.
A Cruise Through the Inland Sea
Nebraskan Supplements Mr. Bryan's Letter with an Interesting Account of the First Journay Made by American
Men-of-War Through the Forbidden Waters
ENDERSON, Neb., Feb. 7. To the Editor of The Bee: In
last letter I mentioned our trip through the Inland Sea
Japan, but did not go into details, so' as an explanation
of It will write a little more this time at your request. Would
say that we received orders when at Nagasaki to be at Yokohama
by a certain date, giving us very short notice, and in a time of year
when the typhoons were very dangerous outside, so we decided to go
by way of the Inland Sea, although forbidden to all foreign ships,
so when we entered the mouth of the stream a shot was fired across
our bow. We stopped and a boat crew came on board of us and
wanted to know what we meant by so doing. It was explained to
them through an interpreter, as I have before mentioned, but we
promised no harm, but wanted to go through. They forbid us, but
Admiral Perry said I must go this way, so with our three ships we
proceeded. Then they fired a signal, each gun going clear through
the line until the last gun sounded to us very dim. Doth sides
stood by their guns, as amentioned In last letter, so on arriving at
a place called, at that time Symongasakl, which was a large circular
bay, with a very narrow outlet, through which we had to pass.
What this place is now called I do not know, but in going through
there was an undercurrent so strong that we could not make it, so
we backed up and dropped anchor, which so frightened the people
that there was a great uproar among them, for the shore was cov
ered with men, women and children.- While hanging to the hammer
strings they sent off another boatload of people to Inquire -the cause.
They were told. Then Admiral Bell took oit his watch and said
"We wlir now get up more steam and go through at "just 11 o'clock;
ao, true to time, we started to go through.' .When on the .other side
five sampans, all Japanese boats, fell in behind us and followed
clear through, passing what was then called Hiago, a very pretty
little village situated in the trees, and a small btone fort near the
water line; thence to Osakl, where we all anchored, then a closed
port to all. I shall never forget how the people acted; no one dare
come near. There was some fishing boats that wanted to sell fish
that pulled around us several times; we tried to call them alongside
to make a purchase; they came a little closer and closer; finally one
ventured alongside. I went over the side to buy some; got a string
for a quarter bushel, or 8 1-3 cents, but had no change, so gave them
a Mexican dollar to change. He would not take it at any price, so
I went back, got the Jai anese money and took the f.sh.
The next day, as the officers had been on shore and made peace
with them, the'people began to come on board in groups. The first
group that came up the gangway stood and looked over, but dare
not step down the steps to the deck; when they did they seemed
to try every step for fear it was a trap. They finally came down
and stood in a bunch, looking at everything, but dare not separate.
They would come up to an officer, or man on deck, examine his
clothing and wanted the buttons and stripes as a relic; so we gave
them lots of trinkets. The next day they came up again, bringing
presents In return to each man who had favored them the day be
fore. "My present was three wooden eggs, in return for a small
We passed through several times after, but had no more
trouble in doing so. They then spread like a lot of Indians. We
finally reached Tokohoma in time, and afterward made the trip to
. Yeddo, or Toklo, finally accomplishing our mission. C. W. SMITH,
ltshments. In many Instances workmen have been brought from
abroad and employed until Japanese artisans were sufficiently trained
to take their place. Much of the Iron work Is still done In little shops
and by hand, although machinery Is Ik-lug Imported in large quantities.
I visited a tannery In Kogoshlma and found that the proprietor '
had spent seven years in America learning the business and that on
his return he had taught native help each branch of the business. lie
Is now turning out an excellent product
Cotton Spinning a Great Industry
One of the most promising industries In Japan is cotton spinning.
There are a number of factories already . In operation and new enes
are building. I visited one of the plants of the Osaka Nippon Itosekl
Knlsha Osakai This company has about 70,000 spindles and the
mills employ nothing but nntive labor. Foreign artisans were usod
In the beginning, but are no longer needed. A great many women
are employed and some children; for the latter a school is maintained
for two hours a day In the building. Cotton yarn is now selling for
about 40 cents a pound, and is becoming one of the leading articles
of export; China is the largest purchaser. Some idea of the growth of
this branch of Industry can 1k gathered from tlie fact that tho export
of cotton yarn amounted to less than $4,000 in 181 and 1892; In 1890
It had grown to over $2,000,000; In 1S98 to over $10,000,000, and during
the last two years It has averaged about $15,000,000.
At Osaka I also visited a brush Industry and found that from
bones Imported from the slaughter houses of America and from bristles
purchased in Russia and In China they made tooth, nail and hair
brushes for export to both Europe and America. Here, too, they have
dispensed with the foreign labor which they employed in the begin
ning. Porcelain, Earthenware and Lacquer Goods
Earthenware Is manufactured in abundance and of every variety.
The exports of porcelain and earthenware reached almost $2,000,000
last year. In Kyoto we ylslted a pottery and found two rooms, in
which the finished product was displayed. The first contained beauti
ful specimens of Japanese skill, graceful in shape and dainty in deco
ration; the second wus filled with big pieces In loud colors and of
inferior workmanship. These last articles, we were Informed, were
made especially for tlie Arr.erican trade.
Some beautiful porcelain work Is done In Kyoto, the decoration
representing a high degree of artistic skill.
One of the most famous kinds of china produced by Japan Is
known as Satsuma ware, the glazing of which is of a peculiar tint and
has a crackled appearance. The secret of the manufacture of this
ware was brought from Corea by the captives taken in war some 300
years ago, and the Industry still flourishes in Japan, although it has
perished in Corea. Kogoshlma is the center for Satsuma ware and a
colony of Coreans living near there, as well as Japanese manufacturers,
produce excellent specimens.
Lacquer work has been done In Japan from time immemorial, sam
ples of which, centuries old, can be seen in temples, palaces and mu
seums. When gold and silver are used in connection with this lacquer,
the product Is often very valuable.
The bronzes produced In the little shops scattered over Japan give
play to the artistic taste which one finds here. Osaka and Kyoto are
noted for their bronzes. Sometimes various metals are Inlaid in the
form of flowers, birds, animals and landscapes, producing a most pleas
ing effect Then there are damascine factories and places for em
broidery and for pictures made in cut velvet etc., etc.
Nioue can pass through Japan without being Impressed with the
taste which seems to be national, and with the delicate skill which has
been handed down from generation to generation. And nothing. In
my judgment, more clearly exhibits this union of taste and skill than
the cloisonne work. Upon a metallic base, as a vase, plaque or box,
an artist draws a design; this design is then outlined with fine wires
of gold and silver, then enamels or various colors are filled in. When
the enamel's are hardened and the whole polished the product is a thing
of marvelous beauty.
Minor Industries and Merchant Princes .
I have not space to speak of some of tlie minor industries, such
as paper making, matches (in which Japan monopolizes tlie trade of
the east), fans, umbrellas, lanterns, napkins, etc. The Japanese lantern
which we use for ornamentation Is here a practical thing, in daily, or
rather nightly, use. These lanterns hang In front of the houses and
are carried on the streets. They are also used for illumination on fes
tive occasions; at the time of the naval review and on the reception to
Admiral Togo, Yokohama and Toklo were illumined by these lanterns
as I never saw an American city lighted.
When Japan Was opened to the commerce of the world, there were
few business houses or trading establishments of any size. Now there
are several department stores and large wholesale houses, besides man
ufactories and trading companies of importance. One business man In
Tcklo, Mr. K. Okura, has a private collection of curios valued at
$1,000,000, which he offered to sell to Europe or America, the proceeds
to be given to the government for carrying on the war against Russia.
Osaka has a successful business man who has earned the name of the
"Japanese Carnegie" by giving a fine library to that city.
As an evidence that the Japanese merchants are patterning after
their America'n brethren, I might mention that a number of stores
displayed notices offering especial discounts to "our gallant allies, the
blue Jackets"; that a brewing company began a large newspaper ad
vertisement with "Welcome to the British 8quadron"; and .that an
other merchant after extending congratulations on the "Anglo-Japanese
alliance," Invited the visitors to try his "plum puddings and
candies, and enjoy the sweetness of the alliance.'
Statistics of Japanese Commerce
Consul General Miller at Yokohama and Consul Sharp at Kobe
furnished a with interesting statistics regarding the commerce of
Japan. Exports have increased from about $80,000,000 in 1891 to
about $320,000,000 in 1904; during which period Imports Increased from
a little more than $03,000,000 to a little more than $371,000,000. While
our country sells less to Japan than Great Britain and British India,
It buys more than any other nation from Japan. Our chief exports to ,
Japan last year were electric motors, locomotive engines, steam boiler
and engines. Iron pipes, nails, lead, oil, parafflne wax. cotton drills.
cotton duck, raw cotton, tobacco, cool, cars, turning lathes, condensed
milk, flour and wheat Of these Items flour, raw cotton and oil were
by far the most valuable, each amounting to more than $4,500,000.
In the ocean carrying trade Japan is making rapid strides. In ten
years Its registered steamers have increased from 401 to 1,224 and 1U
sailing vessels from 196 to 3.523. There are now 200 private shipyards
In Japan, and In 1903 they built 279 vessels. The Japan Mall Steam
ship compuny has'n paid-up capital of $11,000,000, runs steamers bo
tween Japan, America, Europe nnd Asia and pays a 10 per cent divi
dend on Its capital. The OMUn Mercantile Steamship company (Osaka
Shosen Kalsha) has a paid-up enplt.il of nearly $3,500,000, owns about
100 vessels nnd pays a dividend of 10 per cent These are the largest
companies, but there are many smaller ones, some paying dividends
of 10 nnd 20 per cent. ,
I will close this article with the suggestion that the mercantile
marine .seems likely to show largo growth in the future, offering as It
does, a leEltlniate field for national expansion.
Japan's-fishing Industrie furnish a training for seamen and its
people seem at home upon tl.e water. It needs unrt territory for
Its expanding population and has olout reached the limit iu tlie cultiva
tion of its tillable land. Every additional ship manned by Its citizens
Is like a new Island, rising from the waves, upon which Its Increasing
population can be supported. If it seeks to acquire land in any direc
tion. It finds its efforts contested by the inhabitants already there; no
wonder It hails with delight these floating farms constructed by the
genius of iu own people new land, as It were, won and held without
the sacrifice of war. w. J. BRYAN.
(Copyright; WOO) ,,
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