Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/174

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whole story is most interesting, but there is place for only a few extracts here. Their junk hove to first at the southern end of the island and was then conducted by native boats to "a great town, named Miaygimaa"[1] where the chief nobleman of the island soon came on board. The account reads:[2]

He no sooner perceived us three Portugals, but he demanded what people we were, saying, that by our beards and faces we could not be Chineses.. . . Thereupon having called a woman of Lequia[3] whom he had brought to serve as an interpreter between him and the Chinese, captain[4] of the junck; "Ask the Necoda, said he unto her, where he met with these men, and upon what occasion he had brought them hither with him into our country of Jappan?" The captain thereunto replied, that we were honest men and merchants. . . . After he had seen all the commodities in the junck, he sate him down in a chair upon the deck, and began to question us about certain things which he desired to know, to the which we answered him in such sort, as we thought would be most agreeable to his humour, so that he seemed exceedingly satisfied therewith; in this manner he entertained us a good while together, making it apparent by his demands that he was a man very curious, and much inclined to hear novelties and rare things.

On leaving the vessel the lord of the island asked the strangers to come ashore and visit him, and they did so, being royally entertained and answering many questions regarding the world from which they had come, which was entirely unknown to the Japanese. Within three days all the goods on the ship were disposed of at great profit, but Pinto and his companions remained on the island after that more than five months. Again the narrative reads:

Now as for us three Portugals, having nothing to sell, we imployed our time either in fishing, hunting or seeing the temples of these Gentiles, which were very sumptuous and rich, whereinto the Bonzes, who are their priests, received us very courteously, for indeed it is the custom of those of Jappan to be exceedingly kind and courteous. . . . Diego Zeimoto went many times a shooting for his pleasure in an harquebuse that he had, wherein he was very expert, so that going one day by chance to a certain marsh, where there was a great store of fowl, he killed at that time about six and twenty wild ducks. In the mean time these people beholding this manner of shooting, which they had never seen before, were much amazed at it. . . . The lord of the island sent presently for Zeimoto, just as he was shooting in the marsh, but when he saw him come with his harquebuse on his shoulder, and two Chineses with him carrying the fowl, he was so mightily taken with the matter, as he could

    and the last name for Zeimoto, especially as the Japanese account says distinctly that there were three men.

  1. The name of the chief town which was then as now the chief one of the island, and to which Pinto came according to the Japanese account, is Akaogi or Nishi-no-omote. He evidently confused with it the name of the small island Mage-shima that lies a few miles out to sea in front of the town.
  2. From the translation by H. C. Gent published in London in 1663.
  3. Pinto's version of Liu Kiu, the name of the island chain to the south.
  4. The three Portuguese were then traveling in the vessel of a Chinese pirate.