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Kaempfer's Japan

Kaempfer's Japan: Tokugawa Culture Observed

Engelbert Kaempfer
Edited, Translated, and Annotated by Beatrice M. Bodart-Bailey
Copyright Date: 1999
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  • Book Info
    Kaempfer's Japan
    Book Description:

    Engelbert Kaempfer's History of Japan was a best-seller from the moment it was published in London in 1727. Born in Westphalia in 1651, Kaempfer traveled throughout the Near and Far East before settling in Japan as physician to the trading settlement of the Dutch East India Company at Nagasaki. During his two years residence, he made two extensive trips around Japan in 1691 and 1692, collecting, according to the British historian Boxer, "an astonishing amount of valuable and accurate information." He also learned all he could from the few Japanese who came to Deshima for instruction in the European sciences. To these observations, Kaempfer added details he had gathered from a wide reading of travelers' accounts and the reports of previous trading delegations. The result was the first scholarly study of Tokugawa Japan in the West, a work that greatly influenced the European view of Japan throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, serving as a reference for a variety of works ranging from encyclopedias to the libretto of "The Mikado."

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-6322-7
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  4. Translator’s Introduction
    (pp. 1-21)

    “What is Dr. Kaempfer up to? Will he not publish anything about his travels?” wrote Leibniz, Newton’s famous rival, to a friend in 1711.¹ Merchants and missionaries had traveled to Japan for a century and a half, and scholars in Europe had collated and published their reports. Some of these reports, especially those of the Jesuits, had been learned and detailed.² Engelbert Kaempfer (1651–1716), however, was the first scholar to travel to Japan with the purpose of reporting about the country, to study the available material before his arrival, to make copious field notes and sketches, and to turn...

  5. Notes on the Translation
    (pp. 22-26)
  6. Prologue
    (pp. 27-30)

    Germany was still troubled by its most Christian and most un-Christian enemies¹ when the Swedish delegation, of which I was a member, received its leave from the Persian court. I decided that the lesser evil would be to embark on even more distant travels and individually and voluntarily endure the resulting inconveniences rather than return to my native country and submit to the generally prevailing bad conditions and involuntary state of war it was in. I therefore said farewell to the delegation (which paid me the honor of accompanying me for one mile beyond the city) with the intention of...

  7. Book 1

    • Chapter 1 Journey from Siam to Japan and the Present State of the Siamese Court, Including a Description of the Royal Residence or Capital of Ayutthaya
      (pp. 33-34)

      After I had looked around at the Siamese court for some time, I had the opportunity to travel to the empire of Japan in a vessel called theWaelstrom,lying (loaded with local merchandise) in the harbor ready to sail, in which country I was offered the position of physician in a Dutch delegation traveling to the Japanese court. At present there is no other way of entering this empire, which has been closed for nearly a century, and to appear before its exalted majesty than to join this Dutch nation resident in the Indies. The Japanese consider them as...

    • Chapter 2 Departure from the Siamese Capital Ayutthaya Down the River Meinam to the Harbor, and from There across the Sea to Japan
      (pp. 35-39)

      13 September, early in the morning. When the wooden walls of the ship were sealed with tar, it was discovered that the stanchions,¹ which are like the ribs and props of the body of the ship, had become loose and slack during the onslaught of 6 September. This made both officers and common sailors unwilling to continue tacking against the wind. It was considered advisable to look for a Chinese harbor to take on water (which would not last another month) and then start the return journey to Batavia. Passengers, and those whose opinion counted with the ship’s commission, attempted...

    • Chapter 3 The Size and Situation of the Islands and Provinces of Japan
      (pp. 40-47)

      This nation is called Japan by the Europeans, and by its inhabitants by various other names and characters. Among those, Nipon is used most commonly in speech and writing.¹ To give it a more melodious sound, they frequently pronounce it Nifon according to their dialect, while the Chinese from Nanking and other southern Chinese pronounce it Sjippon. According to the characters, it means “the bastion of the sun,” becausenimeans “fire,” in more elevated language, “the sun,” andpon,a “fortification.”

      The most important among the names used mainly in writing, rather than orally, is Tenka, that is, “under...

    • Chapter 4 The Division of the Japanese Empire into Large and Small Domains, and Especially General Information about Their Revenue and Government
      (pp. 48-49)

      We do not want to leave the description of the country until we have discussed separately the division of the Japanese land into seven large regions or roads, and these into sixty-eight large domains or provinces of the empire, and these provinces into 604 smaller areas or districts, as well as the size, location, produce, and annual income of each province. All this information has been taken from a Japanese description calledSetsuyōshū

      Translator’s note: As Kaempfer states, the text that follows has been taken from a Japanese work. Setsuyōshū is a Japanese dictionary of unknown authorship that appeared in...

    • Chapter 5 The Origin of the Inhabitants
      (pp. 50-50)

      Summarizing, we may say that in the first age of plurality after the Babylonian discord of minds and languages, at a time when the Greeks, Goths, Slaves, and Celts left for Europe, when others scattered and spread in Asia, while still others even entered America, the Japanese set out on their journey. Perhaps wandering for many years and suffering great deprivation, they finally reached this furthest corner of the earth. Here they grew into a large nation with the occasional addition of strangers from foreign lands. They spent many centuries under tribal government in the rough fashion of the Tartars,...

    • Chapter 6 The Origin of the Japanese According to Their Own Fanciful Opinion
      (pp. 51-54)

      The Japanese are very indignant when one wants to trace their origin back to the empire and blood of the Chinese, or other foreign people, for they want to have their origin in their own small world. Yet they do not wish to have come into being like mice and earthworms appearing out of the soil—as Diogenes the Cynic accused the haughty people of Athens who did not want to owe their origin to any other place or nation—but in a far loftier and nobler fashion. Thus they trace their origins back to the race of the gods...

    • Chapter 7 The Climate of Japan and Its Mineral Resources
      (pp. 55-63)

      This country boasts of a healthy climate. The wind, however, is very strong and always cold and carries a lot of snow in winter, but in the dog days it is unbearably hot. Throughout the year the heavens are generous in their supply of water, especially during the months of June and July, which they therefore callsatsuki,¹ meaning “water months.” But the rain falls neither so continuously nor at such exact times as to permit comparison with a season in the Indies. Moreover, the heavens frequently resound with thunder.

      The surrounding seas are frequently whipped up by storms, have...

    • Chapter 8 The Fertility of Plants in This Country
      (pp. 64-69)

      Because of its gentle climate and the inhabitants’ unremitting industry, the country produces many wild and fertile plants. In earlier times bare necessity taught them how to use these without differentiation simply as food to sustain the necessities of life; but later their genius inspired them to use them also for pleasure and decoration. In this chapter I would like to discuss the most useful and most common plants; to those interested in rare and unknown plants, I recommend myAmoenitates Exoticae,¹ where we have made a beginning in describing the same.

      The mulberry tree deserves to be mentioned as...

    • Chapter 9 The Country’s Abundance of Quadrupeds, Birds, Crawling and Flying Insects
      (pp. 70-76)

      Among the native animals are a number of chimera introduced from China which exist only in the minds and writings of the Japanese, but not in nature. We will discuss and deal with them first.

      Kirin,people say, is a fast-moving, winged quadruped, with soft, backward-pointing horns attached to the chest. Its body is that of a horse, its feet and claws those of a deer, and its head is not unlike that of a dragon.¹ It is so saintly that it tries not to injure a single worm or little weed when it walks. It is brought forth by...

    • Chapter 10 Fish and Shellfish
      (pp. 77-84)

      With the exception of rice, the water provides as much, or much more, for the sustenance of the Japanese as the land: the sea abounds with seaweed, fish, and shellfish. Among them there is nothing, or very little, that in ancient times poverty did not cause them to turn into food, and in later times, cultural development did not induce them to exploit as a delicacy and luxury item. Fish and shellfish are known in Japan asgyo kai,or, in more common language,uokai. We would like to introduce all those that we have encountered here with their local...

  8. Book 2

    • Chapter 1 Names of the Gods, Divine Humans, and Emperors Who Are Named in the Japanese Chronicles As the First Rulers of This Empire
      (pp. 87-87)
    • Chapter 2 General Information about the Spiritual and True Hereditary Emperors of This Empire and the Periodization of Their Succession
      (pp. 88-96)

      The third and latest period of theirŌ dai shin ō,or spiritual hereditary emperors of human birth, begins with the year 600 before the birth of Christ, in the seventeenth year of the Chinese emperor Keiō(in Chinese, Hui Wang) from the above-mentioned family of Chou. There are 114 Japanese emperors,¹ who, until the present year of A.D. 1693, have succeeded in an unbroken line. They consider themselves descendants of the firstborn of the most sacred ancestral father, Tenshō daijin.² As they are of sacred birth, their subjects and countrymen look upon them with greater respect than ordinary...

    • Chapter 3 The Spiritual Hereditary Emperors, and Especially and First of All Those Who Have Ruled the Japanese Empire from the Beginning of the Monarchy until the Birth of Christ
      (pp. 97-97)
    • Chapter 4 The Spiritual Hereditary Emperors Who Lived between the Birth of Christ and the Birth of Yoritomo, the First Secular Ruler, and Ruled with Unlimited Authority
      (pp. 98-98)
    • Chapter 5 The Spiritual Hereditary Emperors Who Lived after the Birth of Yoritomo to the Present Day
      (pp. 99-99)
    • Chapter 6 The Military Commanders and Secular Rulers from Yoritomo to the Present Ruler Tsunayoshi
      (pp. 100-100)
  9. Book 3

    • Chapter 1 Concerning the Religions of This Empire and Especially That of Shinto
      (pp. 103-105)

      As among all other Asian nations and pagans, in this country also freedom of worship has always been permitted, as long as it does not obstruct secular government. Therefore in addition to the local religion, which originated in this country, a number of other religions have vied to establish themselves. In this century there have been four religions, which at different times have had a roughly equal number of followers. These are:

      Shinto,the way of the native gods.

      Butsu dō,the way or belief in foreign idols from Siam and China.

      Judō,the way of the moralists or philosophers....

    • Chapter 2 The Temples, Beliefs, and Worship of the Shinto Sect
      (pp. 106-110)

      Theshinshūcall the temples of their godsmiya,which means as much as “houses of remembrance,” or thefana¹ of the Romans. They also use the wordsyashiroandsha,orjinja,which, however, properly speaking means the whole surroundings of themiyawith all its appendages. They call their godsshinandkami,which, properly speaking means as much as a soul or spirit. To show greater reverence, they add the wordsmyōshin,meaning “august and holy,” orgongen,meaning “just,” “stern.” But their fellow clerics in other religions call their monasteries prayer houses and temples of their...

    • Chapter 3 Shinto Reibi, That Is to Say, Lucky and Sacred Days and Their Celebration
      (pp. 111-116)

      The celebration of sacred days consists ofmairu, that is to say, visiting themiyaand temples of the gods and the dead. This can be done on any day but must take place on the so-called lucky, that is, temple, days and holy days, unless this is prevented by the abovementioned pollution, which the gods detest. Punctilious worshippers add to this pollution further events that carry even a hint of misfortune or those that make people sad. For these gods live in a state of happiness and joy, and they gain little pleasure from visits by people whose hearts...

    • Chapter 4 The Sangū, or Pilgrimage to Ise
      (pp. 117-121)

      A variety of pilgrimages are conducted by this nation. The first, and most important, is to Ise; the second, a visit to the thirty-three most important Kannon temples of this empire; the third is made to some of the most importantshin (kami)orhotoke (butsu)temples throughout the country which have performed miracles and given help to their worshippers. The most famous of these are: Nikkōdera, which means “sunlight temple,” in the province of Ōshū,¹ Hachiman, and so forth, the temples of the teacher Yakushi, or other ancient and important temples esteemed as places of worship and penance,...

    • Chapter 5 Yamabushi, or Mountain Priests, and Other Religions
      (pp. 122-126)

      In this religion vows are made to pass quickly and without hindrance into the other world, or to attain a place of particular eminence in the heavenly plains, but also simply to resolve a special matter of concern to one’s satisfaction. The former is done by entering an order of hermits, whose religious are calledyamabushi; the latter is achieved by a vow to the gods to perform some act of penance of one’s own choosing and visit certain temples for a set period of time.Yamabushimeans (but the character does not clearly indicate this meaning) a mountain soldier,¹...

    • Chapter 6 Butsu dō, or Foreign Paganism, and in General about Its Founder
      (pp. 127-131)

      Butsu or hotokeis the pronunciation of the character used to designate a foreign god (which is totally different fromkamiorshin), and butsumeans literally “the Way of the Idol,” that is to say, the worship of the idol. The origin of this religion can be traced back to the Indian Brahmins. Like the oriental fig tree, it continually dropped new roots from its widespread branches and propagated itself until it had reached and pervaded the furthest corner of the East. The founder of these pagans, after whom they and their religion apparently were initially named, is,...

    • Chapter 7 Judō, the Teaching or the Ways of the Moralists or Philosophers
      (pp. 132-134)

      Judōliterally means the way or method of wise men.Judōsha, orjudōshūin the plural, are their philosophers. They do not actually practice a religion but seek perfection and the greatest good in the contentment of the mind resulting from a virtuous and unblemished life and conduct. They believe in only secular punishment and reward, the consequence of virtue and vice. Thus one ought by necessity practice virtue as nature has given birth to us to lead the just life of people, as opposed to dumb animals.

      Their founder, the first whose teaching was made public, was the famous...

  10. Book 4

    • Chapter 1 The Situation of the City of Nagasaki
      (pp. 137-147)

      Thegokasho, the five most important ports and commercial cities of this empire, are part of the shogunal domains. They consist of Miyako in the province of Yamashiro, Edo in Musashi, Osaka in Settsu, Sakai in Izumi, and Nagasaki in Hizen. Four of them are situated on the large island of Nippon, enjoy fertile soil, domestic maritime commerce, and local manufacture and are blessed with some rich citizens. Moreover, the crowds of aristocratic retinues and common people, constantly passing through their streets, permit them to provide a livelihood also for many other towns.

      However, the last-mentioned of these cities lies...

    • Chapter 2 The Government of Nagasaki
      (pp. 148-157)

      All shogunal cities have two governors or magistrates each, addressed by their subjects by the more common name oftono sama, “highest lord” or “prince,” who annually take it in turn to administer the city while the other resides at Edo, the residence of the ruler. This city, however, was given a third magistrate in 1688 as a precautionary measure, considered necessary to permit closer attention to the arrival of foreigners and to ensure the safety of this world-renowned port. Consequently there are always two attending to the administration in monthly rotation, while a third is relieved after two years...

    • Chapter 3 The Government of Individual Streets and Their Inhabitants, as well as the Administration of the Surrounding Districts and Farmers by a Shogunal Official
      (pp. 158-167)

      Here follows a description of the particular administration of each street. This has been organized to curb the liberties of the citizens to an extraordinary degree, greatly facilitating the duties of the government’s administrators. The following officials are employed by each street.

      Anotona, or ward headman, functions as the head or mayor of his street. He takes care of fires and guards and is responsible for the execution of orders from above. He keeps books and registers of all births, deaths, marriages, departures, removals, and arrivals, in addition to recording people’s names, date of birth, religion, and livelihood. He...

    • Chapter 4 The Temples of the City and the Activities and the Administration of the Clergy
      (pp. 168-178)

      To complete our description of the city, we still have to discuss the temples and their clergy. They belong to different religions and sects and therefore submit to different chief superiors, who are located and hold their religious council in Miyako,¹ the city of sanctity and prayer. The clergy, monasteries, and temple wardens of each sect are governed by their own subordinate heads, superiors, and priors of their order. Although there are various temples and monasteries of the same sect in this city, they do not have a common bishop in Nagasaki and recognize only their above-mentioned chiefs in Miyako....

    • Chapter 5 The Arrival, Reception, and Extermination of the Portuguese and Spaniards
      (pp. 179-186)

      The Portuguese were the first Europeans courageous enough to venture into the Indian Ocean. In 1497 they sailed with four ships and landed at Calicut to befriend the zamorin, the ruler of these coastal lands. With the annexation of Goa in 1510 they gained their first firm foothold in Asia, and continuing the subjugation of the helpless Indians, they extended their trade through the whole of the East to the furthest and great empire of China. On the journey to the latter country it happened in 1542 that one of their ships drifted to the still unknown country of Japan...

    • Chapter 6 The Situation of the Dutch
      (pp. 187-200)

      At the beginning of the present seventeenth century, very soon after their ships began to travel to Asia and the establishment of their East India Company, the Dutch, enticed by the fertile trade of the Portuguese, began making annual visits to this, the furthest empire of the world. They arrived at the city and island of Hirado and set up their warehouse and living quarters on a spit of land linked to the city by a bridge. Their admission to Japan was all the quicker and easier, the greater their enmity was toward those whom the ruler felt compelled to...

    • Chapter 7 The Dutch Trade in This Country: Firstly, the Guilds Employed for This Purpose
      (pp. 201-206)

      The guild of thetsūji, or interpreters, mentioned in the previous chapter, by whose crooked and false mouth our substantial trade must be pursued and annually be conducted, is made up of an excessive number of people: 150 when complete. I will discuss this fraternity in detail, despite its unworthiness, so that it may, at the same time, serve as an example and shed light on the organization of all other guilds and the exact structure of their administration.

      Tsūjiortsūji shūmeans literally “by mouth” or “by mouth people” because it is an abbreviation for “people whose mouth...

    • Chapter 8 The Dutch Trade: Details of the Procedure
      (pp. 207-223)

      The annual procedure of the trade is as follows: As soon as the watch has confirmed the arrival of a Dutch ship, which one expects in September at the end of the season of favorable southwesterlies, three people from the post, together with the usual entourage, are sent to meet the vessel roughly two miles outside the harbor. The party carries sealed instructions from the Dutch resident to the captain on how to behave on arrival according to the customs of the country. The interpreter and the Japanese deputy collect the bill of lading and roll of men, as well...

    • Chapter 9 The Treatment and Trade of the Chinese
      (pp. 224-228)

      Since ancient times the Chinese have traded the goods of their provinces, especially raw silk (Greek and Latin speakers therefore gave them the name of Seres¹) in oriental islands and kingdoms, mainly east of Sumatra and Malacca, and in their last war with the Tartars² they settled there in great numbers (to escape the obligatory shaving of the head). They have also always taken their goods to Japan, but only sparingly and in small vessels. For when the policy of the Chinese empire did not permit its subjects to visit foreign countries and foreign nations, only the inhabitants of the...

    • Chapter 10 Some Posters, Passes, and Letters That Have Been Mentioned Above
      (pp. 229-236)

      Translator’s note: Kaempfer acquired copies of the original orders by Tokugawa Ieyasu and Hidetada permitting the Dutch access to Japan. The copies are carefully executed down to the reproduction of the shogun’s red seal. He also obtained a document that appears to be an official Dutch translation of Ieyasu’s order. But this Dutch version is a much embroidered translation, and to demonstrate what potential this provided for diplomatic misunderstandings, both versions are translated. The document, apparently in the hand of a Dutch scribe, states—

      Translation of the pass concerning the General United Dutch East India Company, with an office established...

  11. Book 5

    • Chapter 1 Preparations for Our Journey to Court and a Description of the Local Way of Traveling
      (pp. 239-246)

      Since the time of the shogun Yoritomo, the founder of the present form of government,¹ it has been the custom that not only the stewards of the shogunal domains and cities but all daimyo andshomyoō, that is, all greater and lesser territorial lords, appear annually at the shogun’s court. They pay homage by offering their respects and presenting gifts; while the greatest of them—one could call them princes or petty kings—call on the shogun personally, the lesser are received by an assembly of councilors. This custom is also enforced upon the servants of our illustrious Dutch company...

    • Chapter 2 A General Description of the Condition and Location of the Route by Water and on Land from Nagasaki to the Residence at Edo
      (pp. 247-252)

      Traditionally Japan has been divided into seven districts, and each is crossed by a trunk road or highway, depending on the location. Because all bordering provinces have built special roads to link up with these highways, like small streams running into a big river, one can travel throughout the country on these roads and reach every locality. The highways carry the name of the area, but more about this elsewhere.

      These trunk roads are so wide and spacious that two processions can pass each other without hindrance. The one that goes up, as people say here, meaning going to Miyako,...

    • Chapter 3 A General Description of Civil and Religious Buildings and Also of Other Structures That We Saw along Public Routes
      (pp. 253-261)

      On our journey by sea we observed the ships, while traveling on land we saw secular and religious structures close to the road, such as castles, cities, towns, villages, post stations and inns, places of public proclamations and execution grounds, temples, monasteries, roadside gods, and other heathen places of worship. We would like to discuss these in this chapter, and what does not fit in here will be dealt with in the subsequent chapters.

      The ships or vessels which we see on the waterways and which are used throughout the empire are built of solid pine or local cedar wood...

    • Chapter 4 A Description of Post Stations, Inns, Roadside Food and Tea Stalls
      (pp. 262-270)

      The most important towns and villages along our highway all have a station, operating under the territorial lord, where one can always obtain at a fixed price many horses, porters, runners, and whatever else may be necessary for the journey. Incoming and tired horses and men, or those who have been hired only up to this point, can be replaced here. All necessities are available, and the inns are comfortable at these places of exchange or post stations, calledshukuin Japanese, and so traveling processions will stop only here. The stations are located at a distance of one and...

    • Chapter 5 The Crowds of People Traveling This Highway Daily and Gaining Their Livelihood Therefrom
      (pp. 271-279)

      An incredible number of people daily use the highways of Japan’s provinces, indeed, at certain times of the year they are as crowded as the streets of a populous European city. I have personally witnessed this on the Tōkaidō, described earlier, apparently the most important of the seven highways, having traveled this road four times. The reason for these crowds is partly the large population of the various provinces and partly that the Japanese travel more often than other people. Here I will introduce the most memorable groups of travelers one meets daily on these roads.

      Of greatest importance are...

    • Chapter 6 Our Journey, That Is to Say, the Journey of the Dutch, to the Shogunal Court and the Treatment We Receive
      (pp. 280-287)

      Just as the shogun gives every prince and vassal in the empire a day on which he has to set out and begin his annual journey to court, so the Dutch, too, are assigned a day for their departure. That is the fifteenth or sixteenth day of the Japanese first month, which corresponds to February in our calendar. When it comes to that time of the year, we begin preparations for our departure. We first load the vessels with the gifts that we present at Osaka, Miyako, and at court (after they have been allocated and carefully packed), as well...

    • Chapter 7 Overland Journey from Nagasaki to Kokura, Begun on February 13, 1691, Consisting of 51½ Japanese Miles
      (pp. 288-299)

      On February 10th the resident director, Mr. von Bütenheim, took his leave from both Nagasaki governors and commended the remaining Dutchmen to their protection. The next day the items that were to accompany us were packed and labeled with small boards by the scribes of the procession. On February 13th¹ of this year of 1691 both governors visited our residence with their complete retinue early in the morning, and after they had taken refreshments they accompanied us off our island between eight and nine o’clock. Here we bade farewell to those of our countrymen who were staying behind and set...

    • Chapter 8 Voyage from Kokura to Osaka, Begun on February 17, 1691, Amounting to 140 or 150 Miles
      (pp. 300-310)

      After we spent one and a half hours at the inn refreshing and repleting ourselves with Japanese food, we again left Kokura under the escort of the two above-mentioned nobles from the local court, who marched at the head of our procession. We arrived at the shore and came to twochabune,¹ or small freight vessels, to take us across to Shimonoseki. We discovered that both the large bridge and the wide square in front of our inn were filled with a swarm of spectators, more than a thousand commoners, who knelt down in complete silence on both sides of...

    • Chapter 9 Journey of Thirteen Miles from Osaka to Miyako, Begun on February 28th and Completed on the 29th, as well as a Description of Both Cities
      (pp. 311-324)

      Osaka is one of the shogunal capital cities¹ and is situated in the province of Settsu, at a latitude of 34.50 degrees North.² It has neither ramparts nor walls and is happily located in a fertile plain and on a navigable river. In the east the city is girdled by a massive fortress, in the west by two imposing guardhouses, which separate the city from the nearby suburbs. The city extends from east to west—that is, from the above-mentioned fortress to the suburbs—some three thousand to four thousand ordinary paces, but its width is less. The large Yodogawa...

    • Chapter 10 The Journey from Miyako to Hamamatsu of Sixty-three Japanese Miles, Being Half the Journey to Edo, Begun on March 2nd
      (pp. 325-335)

      On Friday, March 2nd, we left Miyako again, carried in ourkago. After nearly an hour we were led to an inn at a place called Awataguchi at the end of the streets of the suburbs. Here we were bade farewell by our innkeeper withsakeandsakana(cold snacks), and after an hour’s stay we paid him for this onekoban, half that amount for his son, and abufor his wife. Traveling along a narrow mountain road, we soon reached the long villages of Hino’oka and Yakkochaya, situated about a mile from Miyako, where we drank some...

    • Chapter 11 Continuation of Our Journey from Hamamatsu Sixty Japanese Miles and Thirty-eight Streets to the Shogunal Capital of Edo
      (pp. 336-350)

      On March 8th, Thursday, we set out later than usual owing to the weak condition of the senior interpreter and after two miles reached the rapid Tenryū River. This time the river was divided into two streams, and its banks were quarter of an hour apart. The first stream we crossed on horseback, the second inprauen.¹ Then we mounted our horses again and traveled as before through many villages, which are noted on my map, as well as through the cities of Mitsukedai, with two hundred fifty houses (where a handsometorii, or gate with crossbeams, indicated the way...

    • Chapter 12 Description of the City and the Castle of Edo, Some Events That Took Place There, Our Audience and Departure
      (pp. 351-368)

      Edo ranks highest among the shogun’s free merchant cities, is the residence of the shogun, and because of the grand court and presence of all the noble families of the country, is the largest and most important city of Japan. It is situated in a large, boundless plain in the province of Musashi at a northern latitude of 35°32′ (according to my measurements)¹ and is connected to a long bay, rich in fish and shellfish, which is bordered on the right by Kamakura and the province of Izu and on the left by Kazusa and Awa. The seabed is muddy...

    • Chapter 13 Return from Edo
      (pp. 369-397)

      On April 5th early in the morning at eight o’clock we finally left this very large and populous city after traveling for two hours. The city’s last three crossroads and the last river ran toward the sea, roughly four hundred paces away. Noteworthy in this city is the famous bridge Nihonbashi, which means Japanese bridge, forty-two mats long. In the countryside the farmers were hoeing the rice fields up to their knees in mud and water. In many villages tall bamboo signboards had been erected announcing that people were not permitted to use the inns because some territorial lords were...

    • Chapter 14 The Second Journey to the Shogun’s Court
      (pp. 398-416)

      On March 2nd, 1692, we left the island of Deshima early in the morning at eight o’clock. We were accompanied by theyorikiSasamori Hanzō, thedōshinShimada Sukeemon, as well as two city messengers of Nagasaki, the most senior interpreter Shōdayū, and the junior interpreter. We rode up to the eastern edge of the city to Sakurababa, where we drank to our departure with our interpreters and friends in the Tenjin temple,¹ which is administered byyamabushi. Thereupon at ten o’clock we left in ourkago, traveling on winding mountain roads up to Tōge, or the peak and top...

    • Chapter 15 Second Return Journey from Edo to Nagasaki
      (pp. 417-438)

      April 27th. This morning we departed in the name of God soon after daybreak at a quarter past seven and at nine o’clock reached the end of the city where the boards with edicts are located.

      From there we reached Shinagawa, which was divided by a large stream, and another smaller river could be seen at the end. There is a very tall, large temple and tower called Myōtsūji here.

      At an hour’s distance from there, immediately after the execution ground, lies a fishing village known as Suzu no mori, where shells are harvested and the shore is full of...

  12. Appendix 1 List of Persons
    (pp. 439-444)
  13. Appendix 2 Money and Measurements
    (pp. 445-448)
  14. Notes
    (pp. 449-508)
  15. Glossary of Japanese Terms
    (pp. 509-524)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 525-532)
  17. Index
    (pp. 533-545)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 546-546)