Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/171

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167
SOUTHERNMOST JAPAN

drink they use a large dish, not the cup.[1] When they eat they use their hands and not the hasu[2] They know only to do what their desire tells them, and have no knowledge of literature.[3] They are so-called merchants who travel to places and stay there. They only exchange what they have for what they want and are not men to be suspected."

Then Oribenosho wrote again: "Thirty miles from here there is a port called Akaogi[4] where the owner of the island always stays, where there are several thousand houses and every house is rich and the streets are crowded. If we lay anchor there, there will be no danger, for the harbor is deep and the water smooth." And he sent word to Etoki and Tokiaki.[5]

Now the ship was conveyed by several tens of small fishing boats, and it entered Akaogi on the 27th.

At that time there was a priest named Chushuza, who had come from the Riugen temple of Hiuga and was staying at the port to learn about the Hokke sect, and who finally changed over to be a priest of the Hokke sect from that of Zen, and was called Diuzoin. He knew the sacred books and could write skilfully, and he could speak with Goho. Thus Goho found a friend in this foreign country and felt, as it is said, that there was "one voice, one heart" between them.

There were three head merchants; one was Murashusha and another was Kirishita Demoto.

They had an article in their hands that was about two or three feet long. There was a hole inside of it, and outside it was straight. It was made of very heavy materials. Though there was an empty passage on the inside, this was tightly closed at the end. There was a hole in one side to pass fire through. We could find nothing to compare with its shape. When a man used it, he would put a wonderful medicine[6] into it, add a leaden ball and set up a white mark on the coast; and then he would hold it up, keeping one eye closed and the body straight, put fire through the hole and always hit. When it fires it looks like lightning and the sound is like the rolling of thunder. Every one who heard covered both ears. After marking a white spot on a rock a man could shoot at it very accurately. With the firing off of this thing silver mountains could be destroyed and iron walls dug through. Enemies who do harm to a man's country would be very much frightened on meeting this, and still better would it be for hunting the deer or boar that do injury to young plants. There were many ways of using this article. When Tokiaki saw

  1. To the oriental, drinking tea or liquor is a significant ceremony and the little porcelain cup is a part of the form. The departure from this way and the use of a large coarse bowl or mug, such as from their standpoint should be used only to eat from, doubtless seemed an indication of barbaric crudity.
  2. What we call, with insufficient reverence, chop-sticks.
  3. "Literature" here connotes learning, culture, ceremonial. These commentaries are interesting; they illustrate another point of view. The bases of judgment are exactly similar to those applied to-day by many Europeans and Americans in passing judgment on the orientals.
  4. This is the chief port and town of the island, now most frequently called Nishi-no-omote. It is the port to which we came, as before stated.
  5. Etoki and Tokiaki were father and son in the ruling house of Tanegashima. The latter was at about this time succeeding his father in the position of responsibility.
  6. The present word for powder in Japanese means "fire medicine."