Some Observations Concerning Japan, Made by an Ingenious Person, That Hath Many Years Resided in That Country; as they Were Communicated in French by M. I; Whence they are Thus English'd by the Publisher; Who Some Months Agoe Accasion'd This Accompt by Some Queries, Sent to That Traveller
1. The Japanese doubt not at all of their Contry’s being an Island; though it be separated from the Continent by such narrow Channels that no vessel of any considerable burthen can pass them.
2. The Air is there very salubrious, but of another temper on this, than on that side of the Mountains, which divide Japan. The Plague hath never been heard of there, but the small Pox and Fluxes are very frequent.
3. Their Mountains are fertile almost to the very top.
4. There are found almost all European sorts of Fruit, Peaches, Apricoks, Cherries, Prunes, Apples, Pears, and particularly Pipins, Bon Chretien-Pears. Besides these, there is an infinity of other fruit; but almost none, but what is found in some part or other of India.
5. Silver is there in its highest perfection, but not used in Trade; in which is seen nothing but Gold, and some small coyn of brass; which latter they spoile by refining it too much. Steell also is there very good.
6. The temper of their Metals was formerly better than ‘tis now; but yet they make Courtelas’s or short swords exceeding good.
7. The great Mountain of Japan is higher than the Pico in Teneriff, since being above 18. Leagues distant from the Sea-side, it may be seen above 40. Leagues off at Sea. There are 8. Vulcans or Fire-spitting mountains in Japan; and you cannot goe into the Campagne, but you discover one or another of them.
8. There are many Medicinal waters, and Hott-Springs there, which the inhabitants use in their distempers. They have particular Medicines; but they let no Blood. They make much use of Causticks, by applying upon some nerve or other the powder of Artemisia or Mugwort, and Cotton, which they set on fire. They always drink their liquors warme.
9. There is so great a store of Venaison in Japan, that they care little for Cattle, though there be no want of them. They employ most Oxen for Ploughing; And they make no butter nor Cheese, nor are there lovers of milk. They have great plenty of Corn and Rice.
10. The Japanese are proper enough of stature, and not uncomely in features; they have somewhat prominent belly’s. They are exceeding active, and want no Judgement; they are also military and valiant.
11. No Arts are to be met with amongst them, that are not known in Europe, except that of making Lacca, of which there is some so fine and curious, that whereas in this Country one may buy an ordinary small boxe for 3. or 4. Crowns, one of the same size, when made in Japan of exquisite Lacca, will sell for more than 80. Crowns. The Author of this Accompt hath 4. Cabinets of this workmanship, which he affirmes to have cost him above 40000 crowns, which he will not sell under 80000. crowns.
12. The Colours, with which they dye there stuffs, never fade. I have seen one of them, which our Vermillon and Couleur de feu come not near to. It is extracted out of a Flower, like to Saffron, and one Pound of it costs an incredible price. To try, whether the Colour will not change by Lixivium or Lye, they apply hot Iron to it; and if there it holds, they aslure themselves of the durableness of the Colour.
13. They have Mathematicians amongst them, and believe Judiciary Astrology, insomuch that the Grandees undertake nothing without pre-consulting those, that make profession of the same.
14. Japan yields divers sorts of good merchantable Commodities; but chiefly all sorts of silken Stuffs, unwrought Silk, Amber, Precious Stones, Musk, Copper, Steel, Lack-work.
15. The Country is very well peopled and exceeding rich, being exceedingly stored with Gold-mines; and I have seen some of the Gold-ore, which of 10. ounces yielded 8. of the highest fineness, and pieces of the weight of 120. marks.
16. Their Buildings are very good and commodious. The Appartments are all below on the ground, separated from one another by partitions of Cartons painted and guilt, which may be foulded and removed like Skreens. Their floors are covered with mattes, and sometimes with silken stuff embroidered velvet, and cloth of gold. All their buildings are but one story high.
17. They have no other conveniences to defend themselves from Heat and Cold, but such as are usual in Italy and Spaine.
18. They use the divertissements of Comedies, which are more brave then those of Europe. The Spectators are about 200, paces distant from the Theater, which being covered with a vault, makes the voice of the Actors to be understood to the very end of the Theater. They love Hunting, and Gaming, as Dice, Cards, Chess, etc. At all times of the day, and in all their visits they take Thea and Tobacco.
19. There Language is altogether different from the Chinese; but their Preists, and Courtisans, that is, the Learn’d among them, which bear the Offices of the Court, understand the tongue of Chochin-China, and by this means that of Tunquin, China, Corea, etc. They write neither from the right to the left, nor from the left to the right, but downward.
20. Their Government is Despotique; the Religion Pagan; the Cheiftan hated upon no other accompt, but that some of those that there professed it, would perswade the Japonese to acknowledge a Superiority above the dignity Royall, disposing of Crowns and Scepters. Their Morals are very good, their faults being punish’t as their Crimes, even Lying and Detraction. Their left hand is the more honourable, and they take horse on that side.
Переписал ребенок Марк-Мордехай с сохранением орфографии оригинала (я бы наделал ошибок).