Through China with a camera
WITH A CAMERA
JOHN THOMSON, F.R.G.S.
"THE ANTIQUITIES OF CAMBODIA"
"ILLUSTRATIONS OF CHINA AND ITS PEOPLE" ETC.
WITH NEARLY 100 ILLUSTRATIONS
WESTMINSTER A. CONSTABLE & Co.
Had the great Venetian traveller, Marco Polo, been able to confirm by a series of photographs his story of the wonders of Cathay, his fair fame would have escaped the discredit cast upon it for centuries, and indeed until comparatively recent investigation confirmed his story.
Since the time when I made my first journey into Cambodia to examine its ancient cities, it has been my constant endeavour to show how the explorer may add not only to the interest, but to the permanent value of his work by the use of photography.
The camera has always been the companion of my travels, and has supplied the only accurate means of portraying objects of interest along my route, and the races with which I came in contact. Thus it came about that I have always been able to furnish readers of my books with incontestable pictorial evidence of my "bona fides", and to share with them the pleasure experienced in coming face to face for the first time with the scenes and the people of far-off lands.
Some parts of this volume have been published in a more costly form. In the present instance the photographs have been reproduced and transformed into printing books by a most effective half-tone process, so that nothing in the original plates is last. The letter-press has been carefully revised and brought up to date and in part re-written. I have kept myself "au courant" with the course of events in "Further Asia," But in China and in Chinese institutions there is no well-defined change to place on record. Western civilisation with its aggressive activities appears to be opposed to the genius of the people, who fain would be left alone to follow their time-worn methods social and political.
To those of my readers interested in photography I may add a note on my method of working.
All my negatives were by the wet collodion process, a process most exacting in its chemistry, especially in a land where the science is practically unknown.
Some of my troubles are recounted in these pages, and may prove interesting to the amateur who works along the line of rapid plates and films, and who after making his exposure, may retain the plate with its latent image for an indefinite period before development. With such plates and ﬁlms ready to his hand the explorer ought to be in a position to produce work of the highest artistic and scientific value.
I must here thank my former publishers, Messrs. Sampson Low and Marston, for their courtesy in allowing me to make use of such matter as I required for the present volume.
Chinese Guilds—Hongkong—Native Boats—Shopkeepers—Artists—Music Halls.
Gambling—Typhoons—The Floating Population of Hongkong—North Branch of the Pearl River.
Tea—Foreign Hongs and Houses-Schroffing.
Its general Appearance—Its Population—Streets—Mode of Transacting Business—Signboards—Work and Wages —The Willow-pattern Bridge—Juilin, Governor-General of the Two Kwang—Clan Fights—Hak-kas—The mystic Pills—Dwellings of the Poor—The Lohang-tang—Buddhist Monastic Life—On Board a junk.
The charitable institutions of China—Macao—Description of the town—Its inhabitants—Swatow—Foreign settlement—Chao-chow-fu—Swatow fan-painters—Modellers —Chinese art—Village warfare—Amoy—The native quarter—Abodes of the poor—Infanticide—Manure-pits —Human remains in jars—Lekin—Romantic scenery— Ku-lang-su—The foreign settlement.
Takow harbour. Formosa—La-mah-kai—Difficulties of navigation—Tai-wan-fu—The Taotai—His yamen— How to cancel a state debt—The Dutch in 1661— Sylvan lanes—Medical missions—A journey to the interior—Old watercourses—Broken land—Hak-ka Settlers—Poahbc—Pepohoan village—Baksa valley— The name 'Isla Formosa'—A long march—The central mountains—Bamboo bridges—'Pau-ah-liau' Village—The physician at work—Ka-san-po village— A wine-feast—Interior of a hut—Pepohan dwellings— A savage dance—Savage hunting-grounds—La-lung village—Return journey.
The Japanese in formosa—Cause of the invasion—The River Min—Foochow Arsenal—Chinese gunboats— Foochow city and great bridge—A city of the dead— Its inhabitants—Beggars—Thieves—Lepers—Ku-shan monastery—A hermit—Tea plantation on Paeling hills —Voyage up the Min—Shui-kow—An Up-country Farm—Captain Sheng and his spouse—Yen-ping city— Sacrificing to the dead—Shooting the Yen-ping rapids —A native passenger-boat.
Steam traffic in the China Sea—In the wake of a typhoon—Shanghai—Notes of its early history— Japanese raids—Shanghai foreign settlement—Paul Sü, or 'Su-kwang-ki'—Shanghai city—Ningpo— Native soldiers—Snowy valley—The Mountains— Azaleas—The monastery of the snowy crevice—The thousand-fathom precipice—Buddhist monks—The Yangtsze Kiang—Hankow—The Upper Yangtsze, Ichang—The Gorges—The Great Tsing-tan Rapid—Mystic mountain lights—A dangerous disaster—Kwei-fu— Our return—Kiukiang—Nanking: Its Arsenal—The Death of Tsing-kwo-fan—Chinese Superstition.
The foreign settlement—The Yellow River—Silk— Its production—Taku forts—The Peiho River—Chinese progress—Floods in Pei-chil-li—Their effects—Tientsin —The Sisters' chapel—Condition of the people—A midnight Storm—Tung-Chow—Peking—The Tartar and Chinese divisions of the metropolis—Its roads, shops, and people—The foreign hotel—Temple and domestic architecture—The Tsungli Yamen—Prince Kung and the high officers of the empire—Literary Championship—The Confucian Temple—The Observatory— Ancient Chinese instruments—Yang's house—Habits of the ladies—Peking enamelling—Yuen-Ming-Yuen— Remarkable cenotaph—A Chinese army—Li-Hung-Chang—The Inn of 'Patriotic Perfection'—The Great Wall—The Ming tombs.
Frontispiece. The Kwo-tze-keen or National University.
Facing page 2. Civil Mandarin in Official Chair.
4. Military Mandarin.
16. Kowloon City, Mainland, opposite Hongkong.
24. The Kwang-tung Slipper-Boat.
26. Canton Boat-Girl and Chao-chow-fu Female.
28. Chinese Curio Shop, Hongkong.
30. A venerable Student and Chinese Artist.
32. Chinese Houses, Hongkong.
34. Street Gambling.
36. Cantonese Girl and Pepohoan Woman, Formosa.
38. Group of Chinese Labourers, Hongkong,
40. Chinese Sawyers and Chinese Pedlar.
42. Chinese Bridge, Kwang-tung Province, China.
48. Buddhist Monks.
52. Distant View of Foreign Settlement, Canton.
54. In a Chinese Tea-Hong, Canton.
56. Chinese Tea Dealers.
58. Suburban Residents, Canton.
60. Schroffing Dollars.
62. Female Coiffure, Canton.
64. Garden, British Consular Yamen, Canton.
66. Physic Street, Canton.
58. Opium Smoking.
73. Reeling Silk.
74. a. Pun-shi-Cheng's Garden, Canton. b. Pavilion in Pun-shi-Cheng's Garden, Canton.
76. Buddhist Monk. 80. Buddhist Monks at Chess.
82. Chinese Pagoda, Kwang-tung Province.
88. Approach to Buddhist Temple, Macao.
90. Bridge at Chao-chow-fu.
96. Buddhist Temple, Amoy,
98. Amoy Natives and Primitive Soldier.
104. Mountain Gorge, Island of Formosa.
112. Chinese Garden-gateway.
116. Chinese Street Industries.
134. Right bank of Lakoli river, Formosa.
144. Native Herbalist and Natives, Fukien Province.
146. Foochow Female and Chinese Seamstress.
148. Chinese Tomb.
150. Open Altar of Heaven, Foochow.
152. Szechuan Hermit and Lepers.
156. Yuen-fu Monastery, Fukien Province.
158. The Morning Bell — Yuen-fu Monastery, and OpiumSmoking.
162. Up-country Farm, Fukien Province.
164. Rapids near Yen-Ping City, River Min.
168. Fishing with Cormorants, and Knife Grinder.
172. Art Dealers and Chinese Coster.
182. Wayside Gambling.
192. Our Native House Boat, Upper Yangtsze.
202, My native Boat, Upper Yangtsze.
204. Mountain Scene, Province of Hupeh.
206. Near the Mitan Gorge, Upper Yangtsze.
308. Mountain Scene, Szechuan.
231. Night Watchman, Peking and Chinese Archer.
232. Street Scene in Peking, after rain.
234, Chinese Coolies and Collector of Printed Scraps.
236. The Great Bell, Peking, and Native Plough.
238. Gateway in Imperial Palace Wall, Peking. 242. Travelling Cook and Chiropodist Peking.
244. a. Chinese Coster and Manchu Tartar Lady.
b. Peking Peep-Show
c. Marble Bridge Peking.
246. Pialo or Memorial Arch Peking.
250. Military Mandarin.
252. Members of the Tsungh Yamen Peking.
354. Great Gateway Temple of Confucius Peking.
256. Ancient Astronomical Instruments on the Wall of Peking.
258 a. Manchu Tartar Lady and Manchu Lady and Maid.
b. Tartar Lady and Maid.
260. a. Native Actors. Bride and Bridegroom.
b. Manchu Tartar Bride and Maid.
262. a. Marble Bridge Yuen-Ming- Yuen.
b. Bronze Temple Yuen-Ming-Yuen.
264. a. Female compressed foot and natural foot and Sculptured Panel on Buddhist Cenotaph Peking.
b. Wo-foh-sze Monastery Yuen-Ming- Yuen.
266. Buddhist Temple Yuen-Ming- Yuen.
268. a. Sculptured Terrace Yuen-Ming- Yuen.
b. Mongols and Native Litter Nankow Pass.
270. Chinese Bronze Lion Yuen-Ming- Yuen and Funeral Bannermen.
272. a. Avenue leading to the Ming Tombs North of Peking.
b. Temple of Ching-tsoo Ming Tombs.