SEVEN SCENES OF CHILD–LIFE IN JAPAN
 THESE little boys all live a long way off in islands called "Japan." They have all rather brown chubby
faces, and they are very merry. Unless they give themselves a really hard knock they seldom get
cross or cry.
A GAME OF SNOWBALL
In this picture two of the little boys are playing at snowball. Although it may be hotter in the
summer in their country than it is here, the winter is as cold as you feel it. Like our own boys,
these lads enjoy a fall of snow, and still better than snowballing they like making a snowman with a
charcoal ball for each eye and a streak of charcoal for his mouth. The shoes which they usually wear
out of doors are better for a snowy day than your boots, for their feet do not sink into the snow,
 unless it is deep. These shoes are of wood, and make a boy seem to be about three inches taller than
he really is. The shoe, you see, has not laces or buttons, but is kept on the foot by that thong
which passes between the first and second toe. The thong is made of grass, and covered with strong
paper, or with white or colored calico. The boy in the check dress wears his shoes without socks,
but you see the other boy has socks on. His socks are made of dark blue calico, with a thickly woven
sole, and a place, like one finger of a glove, for his big toe. If you were to wear Japanese shoes,
you would think the thong between your toes very uncomfortable. Yet from their habit of wearing this
sort of shoe, the big toe grows more separate from the other toes, and the skin between this and the
next toe becomes as hard as the skin of a dog's or a cat's paw.
The boys are not cold, for their cotton clothes, being wadded, are warm and snug. One boy has a
rounded pouch fastened to his sash. It is red and prettily embroidered with flowers or birds, and is
his purse, in which he keeps some little toys and some money. The other boy very likely has not a
pouch, but he has two famous big pockets. Like all Japanese, he uses the part of his large sleeve
which hangs down as his pocket. Thus when a group of little children are disturbed at play you see
each little hand seize a treasured
 toy and disappear into its sleeve, like mice running into their holes with bits of cheese.
BOY'S CONCERT—FLUTE, DRUM, AND SONG.
In the next large picture are two boys who are fond of music. One has a flute, which is made of
bamboo wood. These flutes are easy to make, as bamboo wood grows hollow, with cross divisions at
intervals. If you cut a piece with a division forming one end you need only make the outside holes
in order to finish your flute.
The child sitting down has a drum. His drum and the paper lanterns hanging up have painted on them
an ornament which is also the crest of the house of "Arima."
If these boys belong to this family they wear the same crest embroidered on the centre of the backs
of their coats.
THE LION OF KOREA.
Korean Lion is the title of the picture which forms the frontispiece; it represents a game that
children in Japan are very fond of playing. They are probably trying to act as well as the maskers
did whom they saw on New
 Year's Day, just as our children try and imitate things they see in a pantomime. The masker goes
from house to house accompanied by one or two men who play on cymbals, flute, and drum. He steps
into a shop where the people of the house and their friends sit drinking tea, and passers-by pause
in front of the open shop to see the fun. He takes a mask, like the one in the picture, off his back
and puts it over his head. This boar's head mask is painted scarlet and black, and gilt. It has a
green cloth hanging down behind, in order that you may not perceive where the mask ends and the
man's body begins. Then the masker imitates an animal. He goes up to a young lady and lays down his
ugly head beside
her to be patted, as "Beast" may have coaxed "Beauty" in the fairy tale. He grunts, and rolls, and
scratches himself. The children almost forget he is a man, and roar with laughter at the funny
animal. When they begin to tire of this fun he exchanges this mask for some of the two or three
others he carries with him. He puts on a mask of an old woman over his face, and at the back of his
head a very different second mask, a cloth tied over the centre of the
 head, making the two faces yet more distinct from each other. He has quickly arranged the back of
his dress to look like the front of a person, and he acts, first presenting the one person to his
spectators, then the other. He makes you even imagine he has four arms, so cleverly can he twist
round his arm and gracefully fan what is in reality the back of his head.
IRONCLAD TOP GAME.
The tops the lads are playing with in this picture are not quite the same shape as our tops, but
they spin very well. Some men are so clever at making spinning-tops run along strings, throwing them
up into the air and catching them with a tobacco-pipe, that they earn a living by exhibiting their
Some of the tops are formed of short pieces of bamboo with a wooden peg put through them, and the
hole cut in the side makes them have a fine hum as the air rushes in whilst they spin.
PLAYING WITH DOGGY.
The boys in the next large picture must be playing with the puppies of a large dog, to judge from
their big paws. There are a great many large dogs in the streets of Tokio; some are very tame, and
will let children comb their hair and ornament them and pull them about. These dogs do not wear
collars, as do our pet dogs, but a wooden label bearing the owner's
 name is hung round their necks. Other big dogs are almost wild.
Half-a-dozen of these dogs will lie in one place, stretched drowsily on the grassy city walls under
the trees, during the daytime. Towards evening they rouse themselves and run off to yards and
rubbish-heaps to pick up what they can. They will eat fish, but two or three dogs soon get to know
where the meat-eating Englishmen live. They come trotting in regularly with a business-like air to
search among the day's refuse for bones. Should any interloping dog try to establish a right to
share the feast he can only gain his footing after a victorious battle. All these dogs are very
wolfish-looking, with straight hair, which is usually white or tan-colored. There are other pet dogs
kept in houses. These look something like spaniels. They are small, with their black noses so much
turned up that it seems as if, when they were puppies, they had tumbled down and broken the bridge
of their nose. They are often ornamented like dog Toby in "Punch and Judy," with a ruff made of some
scarlet stuff round their necks.
HERON-LEGS, OR STILTS.
After the heavy autumn rains have filled the
 roads with big puddles, it is great fun, this boy thinks, to walk about on stilts. His stilts are of
bamboo wood, and he calls them "Heron-legs," after the long-legged snowy herons that strut about in
the wet rice-fields. When he struts about on them, he wedges the upright between his big and second
toe as if the stilt was like his shoes.
THE YOUNG WRESTLERS
He has a good view of his two friends who are wrestling, and probably making hideous noises like
wild animals as they try to throw one another. They have seen fat public wrestlers stand on opposite
sides of a sanded ring, stoop, rubbing their thighs, and in a crouching attitude and growling,
slowly advance upon one another. Then when near to one another, the spring is made and the men
close. If after some time the round is not decided by a throw, the umpire, who struts about like a
turkey-cock, fanning himself, approaches. He plucks the girdle of the weaker combatant, when the
wrestlers at once retire to the sides of the arena to rest, and to sprinkle a little water over
In the neighborhood in which the children shown in the picture live, there is a temple. In honor of
the god a feast-day is held on the tenth of every month. The tenth day of the tenth month is a yet
greater feast-day. On these days they go the first thing in
 the morning to the barber's, have their heads shaved and dressed, and their faces powdered with
white, and their lips and cheeks painted pink. They wear their best clothes and smartest sashes.
Then they clatter off on their wooden clogs to the temple and buy two little rice-cakes at the
gates. Next they come to two large, comical bronze dogs sitting on stands, one on each side of the
path. They reach up and gently rub the dog's nose, then rub their own noses, rub the dog's eyes, and
then their own, and so on, until they have touched the dog's and their own body all over. This is
their way of praying for good health. They also add another to the
 number of little rags that have been hung by each visitor about the dog's neck. Then they go to the
altar and give their cakes to a boy belonging to the temple. In exchange he presents them with one
rice-cake which has been blessed. They ring a round brass bell to call their god's attention, and
throw him some money into a grated box as big as a child's crib. Then they squat down and pray to be
good little boys. Now they go out and amuse themselves by looking at all the stalls of toys and
cakes, and flowers and fish.
PLAYING WITH THE TURTLE.
The man who sells the gold-fish, with fan-like tails as long as their bodies, has also turtles.
These boys at last settle that of all the pretty things they have seen they would best like to spend
their money on a young turtle. For their pet rabbits and mice died, but turtles, they say, are
painted on fans and screens and boxes because turtles live for ten thousand years. Even the noble
white crane is said to live no more than a thousand years. In this picture they have carried home
the turtle and are much amused at the funny way it walks and peeps its head in and out from under