Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/674

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656
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

shutter when it is desired to separate the house into two portions temporarily. At the end of the veranda, to the left of the sketch, is the latrine. The house is quite open beneath, and the air has free circulation. The country house of an independent samurai, or rich farmer, is large, roomy, and thoroughly comfortable. I recall with the keenest pleasure the delightful days enjoyed under the roof of one of these typical mansions in Kabutoyama, in the western part of the province of Musashi. The residence consisted of a group of buildings shut in from the road by a high wall. Passing through a ponderous gateway, one enters a spacious court-yard, flanked on either side by long, low buildings, used as store-houses and servants' quarters. At the farther end of the yard, and facing the entrance, was a comfortable old farm-house, having a projecting gable-wing to its right (Fig. 12). The roof was a thatched one of unusual thickness. At the end of the wing was a triangular latticed opening, from which thin blue wreaths of smoke were curling. This building contained a few rooms, including an unusually spacious kitchen. The kitchen opened directly into a larger and unfinished portion of the house, having the earth for its floor, and used as a wood-shed. The owner informed me that the farm-house was nearly three hundred years old. To the left of the building was a high wooden fence, and, passing through a gateway, one came into a smaller yard and garden. In this area was another house quite independent of the farm-house; this was the house for guests. Its conspicuous feature consisted of a newly-thatched roof, surmounted by an elaborate and picturesque ridge—its design derived from temple architecture. Within were two large rooms opening upon a narrow veranda. These rooms were unusually high in stud, and the mats and all the appointments were most scrupulously clean. Communication with the old house was by means of a covered passage. Back of this dwelling, and some distance from it, was still another house, two stories in height, and built in the most perfect taste; and here lived the grandfather of the family — a fine old gentleman, dignified and courtly in his manners.


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THE INFLUENCE OF INVENTIONS UPON CIVILIZATION.

By CHAUNCEY SMITH.

[Concluded.]

THE relation between astronomical and mathematical investigations and navigation has been long recognized, but this relation is dependent upon the observation of the apparent position of heavenly bodies at given times, and these observations are in turn dependent upon telescopes and upon clocks and chronometers, both modem inventions.