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mountain system (her backbone), and “the variegated configurations of her surface,” he thinks that “national unity with local independence” may easily be developed. Likewise, because more indentations are found on the eastern than on the western sides of the Japanese islands, except in the southwestern island of Kyūshiu, where the opposite is true; because the ports of California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia are open toward Japan; because the HoangHo, the Yangtze Kiang, and the Canton rivers all flow and empty toward Japan; because the latter thus “turns her back on Siberia, but extends one arm toward America and the other toward China and India”; because “winds and currents seem to imply the same thing [by] making a call at Yokohama almost a necessity to a vessel that plies between the two continents,” -- he conceives of his native country as a nakodo (middleman, or arbiter) "between the democratic West and the Imperial East, between the Christian America and the Buddhist Asia.”
But since these comparisons were made, the geography of Eastern Asia and the Pacific Ocean has been somewhat altered. Japan has acquired Formosa; the United States has assumed the responsibility of the Philippines; and China is threatened with partition through “spheres of influence.” Japan, therefore, seems now to be lying off the eastern coast of Asia, with her back turned on Russia with Siberian breezes and Arctic currents, her face turned toward America, with one hand
stretched out toward the Aleutian Islands and Alaska and the other toward the Philippines, for the hearty grasp of friendship.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. For more detailed information concerning the topics treated in this chapter, the reader is referred to “ The Story of Japan” (Murray), in the “Story of the Nations " series ; “ The Gist of Japan” (Peery); and “ Advance Japan” (Morris).
For pleasant descriptions of various portions of Japan, “ Jinrikisha Days in Japan " (Miss Scidmore); “ Lotos-Time in Japan” (Finck); “ Japan and her People” (Miss Hartshorne); and“Unbeaten Tracks in Japan" (Miss Bird, now Mrs. Bishop) are recommended.
The most complete popular work on the country is the “Hand-Book for Japan” (Chamberlain and Mason), 7th edition ; and the most thorough scientific treatment is to be found in Rein's “ Japan.”
OUTLINE OF Topics: Agriculture; petty farming ; small capital and income; character of farmer; decrease of farmers ; principal products; rice; tea; tobacco; silk; cotton; camphor; bamboo; marine products and industries. — Mining. — Engineering. — Shipbuilding, — Miscellaneous industries. — Mechanical industries. Shopping in Japan. — Wages and incomes. — Guilds, labor unions, strikes, etc. — Mr. Katayama. - Socialism. — Bibliography.
THE chief occupation of the Japanese is agri
culture, in which the great mass of the
people are employed. On account of the volcanic nature and the mountainous condition of the country, there are large portions not tillable; 1 and for the same reason, perhaps, the soil in general is not naturally very fertile. It must be, and can be, made so by artificial means; but as yet not half of what is fairly fertile soil is under cultivation. Large portions of arable land, particularly in Yezo and Formosa, can be made to return rich harvests, and are gradually being brought under man's dominion. But it can be readily understood that if for any reason the crops fail, severe suffering will ensue, and perhaps become widespread.' The prosperity of the country depends largely upon the prosperity of its farmers.
1 See Appendix.