Friday, August 29, 2008

Farmers of Forty Centuries Return To Japan


We had returned to Japan in the midst of the first rainy season, and all the day through, June 25th, and two nights, a gentle rain fell at Nagasaki, almost without interruption. Across the narrow street from Hotel Japan were two of its guest houses, standing near the front of a wall-faced terrace rising twenty-eight feet above the street and facing the beautiful harbor. They were accessible only by winding stone steps shifting on paved landings to continue the ascent between retaining walls overhung with a wealth of shrubbery clothed in the densest foliage, so green and liquid in the drip of the rain, that one almost felt like walking edgewise amid stairs lest the drip should leave a stain. Over such another series of steps, but longer and more winding, we found our way to the American Consulate where in the beautifully secluded quarters Consul-General Scidmore escaped many annoyances of settling the imagined petty grievances arising between American tourists and the ricksha boys.
Through the kind offices of the Imperial University of Sapporo and of the National Department of Agriculture and Commerce, Professor Tokito met us at Nagasaki, to act as escort through most of the journey in Japan. Our first visit was to the prefectural Agricultural Experiment Station at Nagasaki. There are four others in the four main islands, one to an average area of 4280 square miles, and to each 1,200,000 people. The island of Kyushu, whose latitude is that of middle Mississippi and north Louisiana, has two rice harvests, and gardeners at Nagasaki grow three crops, each year. The gardener and his family work about five tan, or a little less than one and one-quarter acres, realizing an annual return of some $250 per acre. To maintain these earnings fertilizers are applied rated worth $60 per acre, divided between the three crops, the materials used being largely the wastes of the city, animal manure, mud from the drains, fuel ashes and sod, all composted together. If this expenditure for fertilizers appears high it must be remembered that nearly the whole product is sold and that there are three crops each year. Such intense culture requires a heavy return if large yields are maintained. Good agricultural lands were here valued at 300 yen per tan, approximately $600 per acre.
When returning toward Moji to visit the Agricultural Experiment Station of Fukuoka prefecture, the rice along the first portion of the route was standing about eight inches above the water. Large lotus ponds along the way occupied areas not readily drained, and the fringing fields between the rice paddies and the untilled hill lands were bearing squash, maize, beans and Irish potatoes. Many small areas had been set to sweet potatoes on close narrow ridges, the tops of which were thinly strewn with green grass, or sometimes with straw or other litter, for shade and to prevent the soil from washing and baking in the hot sun after rains. At Kitsu we passed near Government salt works, for the manufacture of salt by the evaporation of sea water, this industry in Japan, as in China, being a Government monopoly.
Many bundles of grass and other green herbage were collected along the way, gathered for use in the rice fields. In other cases the green manure had already been spread over the flooded paddies and was being worked beneath the surface, as seen in Fig. 216. At this time the hill lands were clothed in the richest, deepest green but the tree growth was nowhere large except immediately about temples, and was usually in distinct small areas with sharp boundaries occasioned by differences in age. Some tracts had been very recently cut; others were in their second, third or fourth years; while others still carried a growth of perhaps seven to ten years. At one village many bundles of the brush fuel had been gathered from an adjacent area, recently cleared.
A few fields were still bearing their crop of soy beans planted in February between rows of grain, and the green herbage was being worked into the flooded soil, for the crop of rice. Much compost, brought to the fields, was stacked with layers of straw between, laid straight, the alternate courses at right angles, holding the piles in rectangular form with vertical sides, some of which were four to six feet high and the layers of compost about six inches thick.
Just before reaching Tanjiro, a region is passed where orchards of the candleberry tree occupy high leveled areas between rice paddies, after the manner described for the mulberry orchards in Chekiang, China. These trees, when seen from a distance, have quite the appearance of our apple orchards.
At the Fukuoka Experiment Station we learned that the usual depth of plowing for the rice fields is three and a half to four and a half inches, but that deeper plowing gives somewhat larger yields. As an average of five years trials, a depth of seven to eight inches increased the yield from seven to ten per cent over that of the usual depth. In this prefecture grass from the bordering hill lands is applied to the rice fields at rates ranging from 3300 to 16,520 pounds green weight per acre, and, according to analyses given, these amounts would carry to, the fields from 18 to 90 pounds of nitrogen; 12.4 to 63.2 pounds of potassium, and 2.1 to 10.6 pounds of phosphorus per acre.
Where bean cake is used as a fertilizer the applications may be at the rate of 496 pounds per acre, carrying 33.7 pounds of nitrogen, nearly 5 pounds of phosphorus and 7.4 pounds of potassium. The earth composts are chiefly applied to the dry land fields and then only after they are well rotted, the fermentation being carried through at least sixty days, during which the material is turned three times for aeration, the work being done at the home. When used on the rice fields where water is abundant the composts are applied in a less fermented condition.
The best yields of rice in this prefecture are some eighty bushels per acre, and crops of barley may even exceed this, the two crops being grown the same year, the rice following the barley. In most parts of Japan the grain food of the laboring people is about 70 per cent naked barley mixed with 30 per cent of rice, both cooked and used in the same manner. The barley has a lower market value and its use permits a larger share of the rice to be sold as a money crop.
The soils are fertilized for each crop every year and the prescription for barley and rice recommended by the Experiment Station, for growers in this prefecture, is indicated by the following table:
FERTILIZATION FOR NAKED BARLEY. Pounds per acre. Fertilizers. N P K Manure compost 6,613 33.0 7.4 33.8 Rape seed cake 330 16.7 2.8 3.5 Night soil 4,630 26.4 2.6 10.2 Superphosphate 132 9.9 ---------------------- Sum 11,705 76.1 22.7 47.5
Manure compost 5,291 26.4 5.9 27.1 Green manure, soy beans 3,306 19.2 1.1 19.6 Soy bean cake 397 27.8 1.7 6.4 Superphosphate 198 12.8 ---------------------- Sum 9,192 73.4 21.5 53.1

= Total for year 20,897 149.5 44.2 100.6
Where these recommendations are followed there is an annual application of fertilizer material which aggregates some ten tons per acre, carrying about 150 pounds of nitrogen, 44 pounds of phosphorus and 100 pounds of potassium. The crop yields which have been associated with these applications on the Station fields are about forty-nine bushels of barley and fifty bushels of rice per acre.
The general rotation recommended for this portion of Japan covers five years and consists of a crop of wheat or naked barley the first two years with rice as the summer crop; in the third year genge, "pink clover" or some other legume for green manure is the winter crop, rice following in the summer; the fourth year rape is the winter crop, from which the seed is saved and the ash of the stems returned to the soil, or rarely the stems themselves may be turned under; on the fifth and last year of the rotation the broad kidney or windsor bean is the winter crop, preceding the summer crop of rice. This rotation is not general yet in the practice of the farmers of the section, they choosing rape or barley and in February plant windsor or soy beans between the rows for green manure to use when the rice comes on.
It was evident from our observations that the use of composts in fertilizing was very much more general and extensive in China than it was in either Korea or Japan, but, to encourage the production and use of compost fertilizers, this and other prefectures have provided subsidies which permit the payment of $2.50 annually to those farmers who prepare and use on their land a compost heap covering twenty to forty square yards, in accordance with specified directions given.
The agricultural college at Fukuoka was not in session the day of our visit, it being a holiday usually following the close of the last transplanting season. One of the main buildings of the station and college is seen in Fig. 217, and Figs. 218, 219 and 220, placed together from left to right in the order of their numbers, form a panoramic view of the station grounds and buildings with something of the beautiful landscape setting. There is nowhere in Japan the lavish expenditure of money on elaborate and imposing architecture which characterizes American colleges and stations, but in equipment for research work, both as to professional staff and appliances, they compare favorably with similar institutions in America. The dormitory system was in vogue in the college, providing room and board at eight yen per month or four dollars of our currency. Eight students were assigned to one commodious room, each provided with a study table, but beds were mattresses spread upon the matting floor at night and compactly stored on closet shelves during the day.
The Japanese plow, which is very similar to the Korean type, may be seen in Fig. 221, the one on the right costing 2.5 yen and the other 2 yen. With the aid of the single handle and the sliding rod held in the right hand, the course of the plow is directed and the plow tilted in either direction, throwing the soil to the right or the left.
The nursery beds for rice breeding experiments and variety tests by this station are shown in Fig. 222. Although these plots are flooded the marginal plants, adjacent to the free water paths, were materially larger than those within and had a much deeper green color, showing better feeding, but what seemed most strange was the fact that these stronger plants are never used in transplanting, as they do not thrive as well as those less vigorous.
We left the island of Kyushu in the evening of June 29th, crossing to the main island of Honshu, waiting in Shimonoseki for the morning train. The rice-planted valleys near Shimonoseki were relatively broad and the paddies had all been recently set in close rows about a foot apart and in hills in the rows. Mountain and hill lands were closely wooded, largely with coniferous trees about the base but toward and at the summits, especially on the South slopes, they were green only with herbage cut for fertilizing and feeding stock. Many very small trees, often not more than one foot high, were growing on the recently cut-over areas; tall slender graceful bamboos clustered along the way and everywhere threw wonderful beauty into the landscape. Cartloads of their slender stems, two to four inches in diameter at the base and twenty or more feet long, were moving along the generally excellent, narrow, seldom fenced roads, such as seen in Fig. 223. On the borders and pathways between rice paddies many small stacks of straw were in waiting to be laid between the rows of transplanted rice, tramped beneath the water and overspread with mud to enrich the soil. The farmers here, as elsewhere, must contend against the scouring rush, varieties of grass and our common pigweeds, even in the rice fields. The large area of mountain and hill land compared with that which could be tilled, and the relatively small area of cultivated land not at this time under water and planted to rice persisted throughout the journey.
If there could be any monotony for the traveller new to this land of beauty it must result from the quick shifting of scenes and in the way the landscapes are pieced together, out-doing the craziest patchwork woman ever attempted; the bits are almost never large; they are of every shape, even puckered and crumpled and tilted at all angles. Here is a bit of the journey: Beyond Habu the foothills are thickly wooded, largely with conifers. The valley is extremely narrow with only small areas for rice. Bamboo are growing in congenial places and we pass bundles of wood cut to stove length, as seen in Fig. 224. Then we cross a long narrow valley practically all in rice, and then another not half a mile wide, just before reaching Asa. Beyond here the fields become limited in area with the bordering low hills recently cut over and a new growth springing up over them in the form of small shrubs among which are many pine. Now we are in a narrow valley between small rice fields or with none at all, but dash into one more nearly level with wide areas in rice chiefly on one side of the track just before reaching Onoda at 10:30 A. M. and continuing three minutes ride beyond, when we are again between hills without fields and where the trees are pine with clumps of bamboo. In four minutes more we are among small rice paddies and at 10:35 have passed another gap and are crossing another valley checkered with rice fields and lotus ponds, but in one minute more the hills have closed in, leaving only room for the track. At 10:37 we are running along a narrow valley with its terraced rice paddies where many of the hills show naked soil among the bamboo, scattering pine and other small trees; then we are out among garden patches thickly mulched with straw. At 10:38 we are between higher hills with but narrow areas for rice stretching close along the track, but in two minutes these are passed and we are among low hills with terraced dry fields. At 10:42 we are spinning along the level valley with its rice, but are quickly out again among hills with naked soil where erosion was marked. This is just before passing Funkai where we are following the course of a stream some sixty feet wide with but little cultivated land in small areas. At 10:47 we are again passing narrow rice fields near the track where the people are busy weeding with their hands, half knee-deep in water. At 10:53 we enter a broader valley stretching far to the south and seaward, but we had crossed it in one minute, shot through another gap, and at 10:55 are traversing a much broader valley largely given over to rice, but where some of the paddies were bearing matting rush set in rows and in hills after the manner of rice. It is here we pass Oyou and just beyond cross a stream confined between levees built some distance back from either bank. At 11:17 this plain is left and we enter a narrow valley without fields. Thus do most of the agricultural lands of Japan lie in the narrowest valleys, often steeply sloping, and into which jutting spurs create the greatest irregularity of boundary and slope.
The journey of this day covered 350 miles in fourteen hours, all of the way through a country of remarkable and peculiar beauty which can be duplicated nowhere outside the mountainous, rice-growing Orient and there only during fifteen days closing the transplanting season. There were neither high mountains nor broad valleys, no great rivers and but few lakes; neither rugged naked rocks, tall forest trees nor wide level fields reaching away to unbroken horizons. But the low, rounded, soil-mantled mountain tops clothed in herbaceous and young forest growth fell everywhere into lower hills and these into narrow steep valleys which dropped by a series of water-level benches, as seen in Fig. 225, to the main river courses. Each one of these millions of terraces, set about by its raised rim, was a silvery sheet of water dotted in the daintiest manner with bunches of rice just transplanted, but not so close nor yet so high and over-spreading as to obscure the water, yet quite enough to impart to the surface a most delicate sheen of green; and the grass-grown narrow rims retaining the water in the basins, cemented them into series of the most superb mosaics, shaped into the valley bottoms by artizan artists perhaps two thousand years before and maintained by their descendants through all the years since, that on them the rains and fertility from the mountains and the sunshine from heaven might be transformed by the rice plant into food for the families and support for the nation. Two weeks earlier the aspect of these landscapes was very different, and two weeks later the reflecting water would lie hidden beneath the growing and rapidly developing mantle of green, to go on changing until autumn, when all would be overspread with the ripened harvest of grain. And what intensified the beauty of it all was the fact that only along the widest valley bottoms were the mosaics level, except the water surface of each individual unit and these were always small. At one time we were riding along a descending series of steps and then along another rising through a winding valley to disappear around a projecting spur, and anywhere in the midst of it all might be standing Japanese cottages or villas with the water and the growing rice literally almost against the walls, as seen in Fig. 226, while a near-by high terrace might hold its water on a level with the chimney-tops. Can one wonder that the Japanese loves his country or that they are born and bred landscape artists?
Just before reaching Hongo there were considerable areas thrown into long narrow, much-raised, east and west beds under covers of straw matting inclined at a slight angle toward the south, some two feet above the ground but open toward the north. What crop may have been grown here we did not learn but the matting was apparently intended for shade, as it was hot midsummer weather, and we suspect it may have been ginseng. It was here, too, that we came into the region of the culture of matting rush, extensively grown in Hiroshima and Okayama prefectures, but less extensively all over the empire. As with rice, the rush is first grown in nursery beds from which it is transplanted to the paddies, one acre of nursery supplying sufficient stock for ten acres of field. The plants are set twenty to thirty stalks in a hill in rows seven inches apart with the hills six inches from center to center in the row. Very high fertilization is practiced, costing from 120 to 240 yen per acre, or $60 to $120 annually, the fertilizer consisting of bean cake and plant ashes, or in recent years, sometimes of sulphate of ammonia for nitrogen, and superphosphate of lime. About ten per cent of the amount of fertilizer required for the crop is applied at the time of fitting the ground, the balance being administered from time to time as the season advances. Two crops of the rush may be taken from the same ground each year or it is grown in rotation with rice, but most extensively on the lands less readily drained and not so well suited for other crops. Fields of the rush, growing in alternation with rice, are seen in Fig. 45, and in Fig. 227, with the Government salt fields lying along the seashore beyond.
With the most vigorous growth the rush attain a height exceeding three feet and the market price varies materially with the length of the stems. Good yields, under the best culture, may be as high as 6.5 tons per acre of the dry stems but the average yield is less, that of 1905 being 8531 pounds, for 9655 acres, The value of the product ranges from $120 to $200 per acre.
It is from this material that mats are woven in standard sizes, to be laid over padding, upholstering the floors which are the seats of all classes in Japan, used in the manner seen in Fig. 228 and in Fig. 229, which is a completely furnished guest room in a first class Japanese inn, finished in natural unvarnished wood, with walls of sliding panels of translucent paper, which may open upon a porch, into a hallway or into another apartment; and with its bouquet, which may consist of a single large shapely branch of the purple leaved maple, having the cut end charred to preserve it fresh for a longer time, standing in water in the vase.
"Two little maids I've heard of, each with a pretty taste, Who had two little rooms to fix and not an hour to waste. Eight thousand miles apart they lived, yet on the selfsame day The one in Nikko's narrow streets, the other on Broadway, They started out, each happy maid her heart's desire to find, And her own dear room to furnish just according to her mind.
When Alice went a-shopping, she bought a bed of brass, A bureau and some chairs and things and such a lovely glass To reflect her little figure--with two candle brackets near-- And a little dressing table that she said was simply dear! A book shelf low to hold her books, a little china rack, And then, of course, a bureau set and lots of bric-a-brac; A dainty little escritoire, with fixings all her own And just for her convenience, too, a little telephone. Some oriental rugs she got, and curtains of madras, With 'cunning' ones of lace inside, to go against the glass; And then a couch, a lovely one, with cushions soft to crush, And forty pillows, more or less, of linen, silk and plush; Of all the ornaments besides I couldn't tell the half, But wherever there was nothing else, she stuck a photograph. And then, when all was finished, she sighed a little sigh, And looked about with just a shade of sadness in her eye: 'For it needs a statuette or so--a fern--a silver stork Oh, something, just to fill it up!' said Alice of New York.
When little Oumi of Japan went shopping, pitapat, She bought a fan of paper and a little sleeping mat; She set beside the window a lily in a vase, And looked about with more than doubt upon her pretty face: 'For, really--don't you think so?--with the lily and the fan. It's a little overcrowded!' said Oumi of Japan."

In the rural homes of Japan during 1906 there were woven 14,497,058 sheets of these floor mats and 6,628,772 sheets of other matting, having a combined value of $2,815,040, and in addition, from the best quality of rush grown upon the same ground, aggregating 7657 acres that year, there were manufactured for the export trade, fancy mattings, having the value of $2,274,131. Here is a total value, for the product of the soil and for the labor put into the manufacture, amounting to $664 per acre for the area named.
At the Akashi agricultural experiment station, under the Directorship of Professor Ono, we saw some of the methods of fruit culture as practiced in Japan. He was conducting experiments with the object of improving methods of heading and training pear trees, to which reference was made on page 22. A study was also being made of the advantages and disadvantages associated with covering the fruit with paper bags, examples of which are seen in Figs. 6 and 7. The bags were being made at the time of our visit, from old newspapers cut, folded and pasted by women. Naked cultivation was practiced in the orchard, and fertilizers consisting of fish guano and superphosphate of lime were being applied twice each year in amounts aggregating a cost of twenty-four dollars per acre.
Pear orchards of native varieties, in good bearing, yield returns of 150 yen per tan, and those of European varieties, 200 yen per tan, which is at the rate of $300 and $400 per acre. The bibo, so extensively grown in China was being cultivated here also and was yielding about $320 per acre.
It was here that we first met the cultivation of a variety of burdock grown from the seed, three crops being taken each season where the climate is favorable, or as one of three in the multiple crop system. It is grown for the root, yielding a crop valued at $40 to $50 per acre. One crop, planted, in March, was being harvested July 1st.
During our ride to Akashi on the early morning train we passed long processions of carts drawn by cattle, horses or by men, moving along the country road which paralleled the railway, all loaded with the waste of the city of Kobe, going to its destination in the fields, some of it a distance of twelve miles, where it was sold at from 54 cents to $1.63 per ton.
At several places along our route from Shimonoseki to Osaka we had observed the application of slacked lime to the water of the rice fields, but in this prefecture, Hyogo, where the station is located, its use was prohibited in 1901, except under the direction of the station authorities, where the soil was acid or where it was needed on account of insect troubles. Up to this time it had been the custom of farmers to apply slacked lime at the rate of three to five tons per acre, paying for it $4.84 per ton. The first restrictive legislation permitted the use of 82 pounds of lime with each 827 pounds of organic manure, but as the farmers persisted in using much larger quantities, complete prohibition was resorted to.
Reference has been made to subsidies encouraging the use of composts, and in this prefecture prizes are awarded for the best compost heaps in each county, examinations being made by a committee. The composts receiving the four highest awards in each county are allowed to compete with those in other counties for a prefectural prize awarded by another committee.
The "pink clover" grown in Hyogo after rice, as a green manure crop, yields under favorable conditions twenty tons of the green product per acre, and is usually applied to about three times the area upon which it grew, at the rate of 6.6 tons per acre, the stubble and roots serving for the ground upon which the crop grew.
On July 3rd we left Osaka, going south through Sakai to Wakayama, thence east and north to the Nara Experiment Station. After passing the first two stations the route lay through a very flat, highly cultivated garden section with cucumbers trained on trellises, many squash in full bloom, with fields of taro, ginger and many other vegetables. Beyond Hamadera considerable areas of flat sandy land had been set close with pine, but with intervening areas in rice, where the growers were using the revolving weeder seen in Fig. 14. At Otsu broad areas are in rice but here worked with the short handled claw weeders, and stubble from a former crop had been drawn together into small piles, seen in Fig. 230, which later would be carefully distributed and worked beneath the mud.
Much of the mountain lands in this region, growing pine, is owned by private parties and the growth is cut at intervals of ten, twenty or twenty-five years, being sold on the ground to those who will come and cut it at a price of forty sen for a one-horse load, as already described, page 159.
The course from here was up the rather rapidly rising Kiigawa valley where much water was being applied to the rice fields by various methods of pumping, among them numerous current wheels; an occasional power-pump driven by cattle; and very commonly the foot-power wheel where the man walks on the circumference, steadying himself with a long pole, as seen in the field, Fig. 231. It was here that a considerable section of the hill slope had been very recently cut over, the area showing light in the engraving. It was in the vicinity of Hashimoto on this route, too, that the two beautiful views reproduced in Figs. 151 and 152 were taken.
At the experiment station it was learned that within the prefecture of Nara, having a population of 558,314, and 107,574 acres of cultivated land, two-thirds of this was in paddy rice. Within the province there are also about one thousand irrigation reservoirs with an average depth of eight feet. The rice fields receive 16.32 inches of irrigation water in addition to the rain.
Of the uncultivated hill lands, some 2500 acres contribute green manure for fertilization of fields. Reference has been made to the production of compost for fertilizers on page 211. The amount recommended in this prefecture as a yearly application for two crops grown is:
Organic matter 3,711 to 4,640 lbs. per acre Nitrogen 105 to 131 lbs. per acre Phosphorus 35 to 44 lbs. per acre Potassium 56 to 70 lbs. per acre
These amounts, on the basis of the table, p. 214, are nearly sufficient for a crop of thirty bushels of wheat, followed by one of thirty bushels of rice, the phosphorus being in excess and the potassium not quite enough, supposing none to be derived from other sources.
At the Nara hotel, one of the beautiful Japanese inns where we stopped, our room opened upon a second story veranda from which one looked down upon a beautiful, tiny lakelet, some twenty by eighty feet, within a diminutive park scarcely more than one hundred by two hundred feet, and the lakelet had its grassy, rocky banks over-hung with trees and shrubs planted in all the wild disorder and beauty of nature; bamboo, willow, fir, pine, cedar, red-leaved maple, catalpa, with other kinds, and through these, along the shore, wound a woodsy, well trodden, narrow footpath leading from the inn to a half hidden cottage apparently quarters for the maids, as they were frequently passing to and fro. A suggestion of how such wild beauty is brought right to the very doors in Japan may be gained from Fig. 232, which is an instance of parking effect on a still smaller scale than that described.
On the morning of July 6th, with two men for each of our rickshas, we left the Yaami hotel for the Kyoto Experiment station, some two miles to the southwest of the city limits. As soon as we had entered upon the country road we found ourselves in a procession of cart men each drawing a load of six large covered receptacles of about ten gallons capacity, and filled with the city's waste. Before reaching the station we had passed fifty-two of these loads, and on our return the procession was still moving in the same direction and we passed sixty-one others, so that during at least five hours there had moved over this section of road leading into the country, away from the city, not less than ninety tons of waste; along other roadways similar loads were moving. These freight carts and those drawn by horses and bullocks were all provided with long racks similar to that illustrated in Fig. 108, page 197, and when the load is not sufficient to cover the full length it is always divided equally and placed near each end, thus taking advantage of the elasticity of the body to give the effect of springs, lessening the draft and the wear and tear,
One of the most common commodities coming into the city along the country roads was fuel from the hill lands, in split sticks tied in bundles as represented in Fig. 224; as bundles of limbs twenty-four to thirty inches, and sometimes four to six feet, long; and in the form of charcoal made from trunks and stems one and a half inches to six inches long, and baled in straw matting. Most of the draft animals used in Japan are either cows, bulls or stallions; at least we saw very few oxen and few geldings.
As early as 1895 the Government began definite steps looking to the improvement of horse breeding, appointing at that time a commission to devise comprehensive plans. This led to progressive steps finally culminating in 1906 in the Horse Administration Bureau, whose duties were to extend over a period of thirty years, divided into two intervals, the first, eighteen and the second, twelve years. During the first interval it is contemplated that the Government shall acquire 1,500 stallions to be distributed throughout the country for the use of private individuals, and during the second period it is the expectation that the system will have completely renovated the stock and familiarized the people with proper methods of management so that matters may be left in their hands.
As our main purpose and limited time required undivided attention to agricultural matters, and of these to the long established practices of the people, we could give but little time to sight-seeing or even to a study of the efforts being made for the introduction of improved agricultural methods and practices. But in the very old city of Kyoto, which was the seat of the Mikado's court from before 800 A. D. until 1868, we did pay a short visit to the Kiyomizu temple, situated some three hundred yards south from the Yaami hotel, which faces the Maruyaami park with its centuries-old giant cherry tree, having a trunk of more than four feet through and wide spreading branches, now much propped up to guard against accident, as seen in Fig. 233. These cherry trees are very extensively used for ornamental purposes in Japan with striking effect. The tree does not produce an edible fruit, but is very beautiful when in full bloom, as may be seen from Fig. 234. It was these trees that were sent by the Japanese government to this country for use at Washington but the first lot were destroyed because they were found to be infested and threatened danger to native trees.
Kyoto stands amid surroundings of wonderful beauty, the site apparently having been selected with rare acumen for its possibilities in large landscape effects, and these have been developed with that fullness and richness which the greatest artists might be content to approach. We are thinking particularly of the Kiyomizu-dera, or rather of the marvelous beauty of tree and foliage which has overgrown it and swept far up and over the mountain summit, leaving the temple half hidden at the base. No words, no brush, no photographic art can transfer the effect. One must see to feel the influence for which it was created, and scores of people, very old and very young, nearly all Japanese, and more of them on that day from the poorer rather than from the well-to-do class, were there, all withdrawing reluctantly, like ourselves, looking backward, under the spell. So potent and impressive was that something from the great overshadowing beauty of the mountain, that all along up the narrow, shop-lined street leading to the gateway of the temple, seen in Fig. 235, the tiniest bits of park effect were flourishing in the most impossible situations; and as Professor Tokito and myself were coming away we chanced upon six little roughly dressed lads laying out in the sand an elaborate little park, quite nine by twelve feet. They must have been at it hours, for there were ponds, bridges, tiny hills and ravines and much planting in moss and other little greens. So intent on their task were they that we stood watching full two minutes before our presence attracted their attention, and yet the oldest of the group must have been under ten years of age.
One partly hidden view of the temple is seen in Fig. 236, the dense mountain verdure rising above and beyond it. And then too, within the temple, as the peasant men and women came before the shrine and grasped the long depending rope knocker, with the heavy knot in front of the great gong, swinging it to strike three rings, announcing their presence before their God, then kneeling to offer prayers, one could not fail to realize the deep sincerity and faith expressed in face and manner, while they were oblivious to all else. No Christian was ever more devout and one may well doubt if any ever arose from prayer more uplifted than these. Who need believe they did not look beyond the imagery and commune with the Eternal Spirit?
A third view of the same temple, showing resting places beneath the shade, which serve the purpose of lawn seats in our parks, is seen in Fig. 237.
That a high order of the esthetic sense is born to the Japanese people; that they are masters of the science of the beautiful; and that there are artists among them capable of effective and impressive results, is revealed in a hundred ways, and one of these is the iris garden of Fig. 238. One sees it here in the bulrushes which make the iris feel at home; in the unobtrusive semblance of a log that seems to have fallen across the run; in the hard beaten narrow path and the sore toes of the old pine tree, telling of the hundreds that come and go; it is seen in the dress and pose of the ladies, and one may be sure the photographer felt all that he saw and fixed so well.
The vender of Oumi's lily that Margaret Johnson saw, is in Fig. 239. There another is bartering for a spray of flowers, and thus one sold the branch of red maple leaves in our room at the Nara inn. His floral stands are borne along the streets pendant from the usual carrying pole.
When returning to the city from the Kyoto Experiment Station several fields of Japanese indigo were passed, growing in water under the conditions of ordinary rice culture, Fig. 240 being a view of one of these. The plant is Poligonum tinctoria, a close relative of the smartweed. Before the importation of aniline and alizarin dyes, which amounted in 1907 to 160,558 pounds and 7,170,320 pounds respectively, the cultivation of indigo was much more extensive than at present, amounting in 1897 to 160,460,000 pounds of the dried leaves; but in 1906 the production had fallen to 58,696,000 pounds, forty-five per cent of which was grown in the prefecture of Tokushima in the eastern part of the island of Shikoku. The population of this prefecture is 707,565, or 4.4 people to each of the 159,450 acres of cultivated field, and yet 19,969 of these acres bore the indigo crop, leaving more than five people to each food-producing acre.
The plants for this crop are started in nursery beds in February and transplanted in May, the first crop being cut the last of June or first of July, when the fields are again fertilized, the stubble throwing out new shoots and yielding a second cutting the last of August or early September. A crop of barley may have preceded one of indigo, or the indigo may be set following a crop of rice. Such practice, with the high fertilization for every crop, goes a long way toward supplying the necessary food. The dense population, too, has permitted the manufacture of the indigo as a home industry among the farmers, enabling them to exchange the spare labor of the family for cash. The manufactured product from the reduced planting in 1907 was worth $1,304,610, forty-five per cent of which was the output of the rural population of the prefecture of Tokushima, which they could exchange for rice and other necessaries. The land in rice in this prefecture in 1907 was 73,816 acres, yielding 114,380,000 pounds, or more than 161 pounds to each man, woman and child, and there were 65,665 acres bearing other crops. Besides this there are 874,208 acres of mountain and hill land in the prefecture which supply fuel, fuel ashes and green manure for fertilizer; run-off water for irrigation; lumber and remunerative employment for service not needed in the fields.
The journey was continued from Kyoto July 7th, taking the route leading northeastward, skirting lake Biwa which we came upon suddenly on emerging from a tunnel as the train left Otani. At many places we passed waterwheels such as that seen in Fig. 241, all similarly set, busily turning, and usually twelve to sixteen feet in diameter but oftenest only as many inches thick. Until we had reached Lake Biwa the valleys were narrow with only small areas in rice. Tea plantations were common on the higher cultivated slopes, and gardens on the terraced hillsides growing vegetables of many kinds were common, often with the ground heavily mulched with straw, while the wooded or grass-covered slopes still further up showed the usual systematic periodic cutting. After passing the west end of the lake, rice fields were nearly continuous and extensive. Before reaching Hachiman we crossed a stream leading into the lake but confined between levees more than twelve feet high, and we had already passed beneath two raised viaducts after leaving Kusatsu. Other crops were being grown side by side with the rice on similar lands and apparently in rotation with it, but on sharp, narrow close ridges twelve to fourteen inches high. As we passed eastward we entered one of the important mulberry districts where the fields are graded to two levels, the higher occupied with mulberry or other crops not requiring irrigation, while the lower was devoted to rice or crops grown in rotation with it.
On the Kisogawa, at the station of the same name, there were four anchored floating water-power mills propelled by two pair of large current wheels stationed fore and aft, each pair working on a common axle from opposite sides of the mill, driven by the force of the current flowing by.
At Kisogawa we had entered the northern end of one of the largest plains of Japan, some thirty miles wide and extending forty miles southward to Owari bay. The plain has been extensively graded to two levels, the benches being usually not more than two feet above the rice paddies, and devoted to various dry land crops, including the mulberry. The soil is decidedly sandy in character but the mean yield of rice for the prefecture is 37 bushels per acre and above the average for the country at large. An analysis of the soils at the sub-experiment station north of Nagoya shows the following content of the three main plant food elements.
Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium Pounds per million In paddy field Soil 1520 769 805 Subsoil 810 756 888 In upland field Soil 1060 686 1162 Subsoil 510 673 1204
The green manure crops on this plain are chiefly two varieties of the "pink clover," one sowed in the fall and one about May 15th, the first yielding as high as sixteen tons green weight per acre and the other from five to eight tons.
On the plain distant from the mountain and hill land the stems of agricultural crops are largely used as fuel and the fuel ashes are applied to the fields at the rate of 10 kan per tan, or 330 pounds per acre, worth $1.20, little lime, as such, being used.
In the prefecture of Aichi, largely in this plain, with an area of cultivated land equal to about sixteen of our government townships, there is a population of 1,752,042, or a density of 4.7 per acre, and the number of households of farmers was placed at 211,033, thus giving to each farmer's family an average of 1.75 acres, their chief industries being rice and silk culture.
Soon after leaving the Agricultural Experiment Station of Aichi prefecture at An Jo we crossed the large Yahagigawa, flowing between strong levees above the level of the rice fields. Mulberries, with burdock and other vegetables were growing upon all of the tables raised one to two, feet above the rice paddies, and these features continued past Okasaki, Koda, and Kamagori, where the hills in many places had been recently cut clean of the low forest growth and where we passed many large stacks of pine boughs tied in bundles for fuel. After passing Goyu sixty-five miles east from Nagoya, mulberry was the chief crop. Then came a plain country which had been graded and leveled at great cost of labor, the benches with their square shoulders standing three to four feet above the paddy fields; and after passing Toyohashi some distance we were surprised to cross a rather wide section of comparatively level land overgrown with pine and herbaceous, plants which had evidently been cut and recut many times. Beyond Futagawa rice fields were laid out on what appeared to be, similar land but with soil a little finer in texture, and still further along were other flat areas not cultivated.
At Maisaka quite half the cultivated fields appear to be in mulberry with ponds of lotus plants in low places, while at Hamamatsu the rice fields are interspersed with many square-shouldered tables raised three to four feet and occupied with mulberry or vegetables. As we passed upon the flood plain of the Tenryugawa, with its nearly dry bed of coarse gravel half a mile wide, the dwellings of farm villages were, many of them surrounded with nearly solid, flat-topped, trimmed evergreen hedges nine to twelve feet high, of the umbrella pine, forming beautiful and effective screens.
At Nakaidzumi we had left the mulberry orchards for those of tea, rice still holding wherever paddies could be formed. Here, too, we met the first fields of tobacco, and at Fukuroi and Homouchi large quantities of imported Manchurian bean cake were stacked about the station, having evidently been brought by rail. At Kanaya we passed through a long tunnel and were in the valley of the Oigawa, crossing the broad, nearly dry stream over a bridge of nineteen long spans and were then in the prefecture of Shizuoka where large fields of tea spread far up the hillsides, covering extensive areas, but after passing the next station, and for seventeen miles before reaching Shizuoka we traversed a level stretch of nearly continuous rice fields.
The Shizuoka Experiment Station is devoting special attention to the interests of horticulture, and progress has already been made in introducing new fruits of better quality and in improving the native varieties. The native pears and peaches, as we found them served on the hotel tables in either China or Japan, were not particularly attractive in either texture or flavor, but we were here permitted to test samples of three varieties of ripe figs of fine flavor and texture, one of them as large as a good sized pear. Three varieties of fine peaches were also shown, one unusually large and with delicate deep rose tint, including the flesh. If such peaches could be canned so as to retain their delicate color they would prove very attractive for the table. The flavor and texture of this peach were also excellent, as was the case with two varieties of pears.
The station was also experimenting with the production of marmalades and we tasted three very excellent brands, two of them lacking the bitter flavor. It would appear that, in Japan, Korea and China there should be a very bright future along the lines of horticultural development, leading to the utilization of the extensive hill lands of these countries and the development of a very extensive export trade, both in fresh fruits and marmalades, preserves and the canned forms. They have favorable climatic and soil conditions and great numbers of people with temperament and habits well suited to the industries, as well as an enormous home need which should be met, in addition to the large possibilities in the direction of a most profitable export trade which would increase opportunities for labor and bring needed revenue to the people. In Fig. 242 are three views at this station, the lower showing a steep terraced hillside set with oranges and other fruits, holding out a bright promise for the future.
Peach orchards were here set on the hill lands, the trees six feet apart each way. They come into bearing in three years, remain productive ten to fifteen years, and the returns are 50 to 60 yen per tan, or at the rate of $100 to $120 per acre. The usual fertilizers for a peach orchard are the manure-earth-compost, applied at the rate of 3300 pounds per acre, and fish guano applied in rotation and at the same rate.
Shizuoka is one of the large prefectures, having a total area of 3029 square miles; 2090 of which are in forest; 438 in pasture and genya land, and 501 square miles cultivated, not quite one-half of which is in paddy fields. The mean yield of paddy rice is nearly 33 bushels per acre. The prefecture has a population of 1,293,470, or about four to the acre of cultivated field, and the total crop of rice is such as, to provide 236 pounds to each person.
At many places along the way as we left Shizuoka July 10th for Tokyo, farmers were sowing broadcast, on the water, over their rice fields, some pulverized fertilizer, possibly bean cake. Near the railway station of Fuji, and after crossing the boulder gravel bed of the Fujikawa which was a full quarter of a mile wide, we were traversing a broad plain of rice paddies with their raised tables, but on them pear orchards were growing, trained to their overhead trellises. About. Suduzuka grass was being cut with sickles along the canal dikes for use as green manure in the rice fields, which on the left of the railway, stretched eastward more than six miles to beyond Hara where we passed into a tract of dry land crops consisting of mulberry, tea and various vegetables, with more or less of dry land rice, but we returned to the paddy land again at Numazu, in another four miles. Here there were four carloads of beef cattle destined for Tokyo or Yokohama, the first we had seen.
It was at this station that the railway turns northward to skirt the eastern flank of the beautiful Fuji-yama, rising to higher lands of a brown loamy character, showing many large boulders two feet in diameter. Horses were here moving along the roadways under large saddle loads of green grass, going to the paddy fields from the hills, which in this section are quite free from all but herbaceous growth, well covered and green. Considerable areas were growing maize and buckwheat, the latter being ground into flour and made into macaroni which is eaten with chopsticks, Fig. 243, and used to give variety to the diet of rice and naked barley. At Gotenba, where tourists leave the train to ascend Fuji-yama, the road turns eastward again and descends rapidly through many tunnels, crossing the wide gravelly channel of the Sakawagawa, then carrying but little water, like all of the other main streams we had crossed, although we were in the rainy season. This was partly because the season was yet not far advanced; partly because so much water was being taken upon the rice fields, and again because the drainage is so rapid down the steep slopes and comparatively short water courses. Beyond Yamakita the railway again led along a broad plain set in paddy rice and the hill slopes were terraced and cultivated nearly to their summits.
Swinging strongly southeastward, the coast was reached at Noduz in a hilly country producing chiefly vegetables, mulberry and tobacco, the latter crop being extensively grown eastward nearly to Oiso, beyond which, after a mile of sweet potatoes, squash and cucumbers, there were paddy fields of rice in a flat plain. Before Hiratsuka was reached the rice paddies were left and the train was crossing a comparatively flat country with a sandy, sometimes gravelly, soil where mulberries, peaches, eggplants, sweet potatoes and dry land rice were interspersed with areas still occupied with small pine and herbaceous growth or where small pine had been recently set. Similar conditions prevailed after we had crossed the broad channel of the Banyugawa and well toward and beyond Fujishiwa where a leveled plain has its tables scattered among the fields of paddy rice, this being the southwest margin of the Tokyo plain, the largest in Japan, lying in five prefectures, whose aggregate area of 1,739,200 acres of arable lands was worked by 657,235 families of farmers; 661,613 acres of which was in paddy rice, producing annually some 19,198,000 bushels, or 161 pounds for each of the 7,194,045 men, women and children in the five prefectures, 1,818,655 of whom were in the capital city, Tokyo.
Three views taken in the eastern portion of this plain in the prefecture of Chiba, July 17th, are seen in Fig. 244, in two of which shocks of wheat were still standing in the fields among the growing crops, badly weathered and the grain sprouting as the result of the rainy season. Peanuts, sweet potatoes and millet were the main dry land, crops then on the ground, with paddy rice in the flooded basins. Windsor beans, rape, wheat and barley had been harvested. One family with whom we talked were threshing their wheat. The crop had been a good one and was yielding between 38.5 and. 41.3 bushels per acre, worth at the time $35 to $40. On the same land this farmer secures a yield of 352 to 361 bushels of potatoes, which at the market price at that time would give a gross earning of $64 to $66 per acre.
Reference has been made to the extensive use of straw in the cultural methods of the Japanese. This is notably the case in their truck garden work, and two phases of this are shown in Fig. 245. In the lower section of the illustration the garden has been ridged and furrowed for transplanting, the sets have been laid and the roots covered with a little soil; then, in the middle section, showing the next step in the method, a layer of straw has been pressed firmly above the roots, and in the final step this would be covered with earth. Adopting this method the straw is so placed that it acts as an effective mulch without in any way interfering with the capillary rise of water to the roots of the sets; it gives deep, thorough aeration of the soil, at the same time allowing rains to penetrate quickly, drawing the air after it; the ash ingredients carried in the straw are leached directly to the roots where they are needed; and finally the straw and soil constitute a compost where the rapid decay liberates plant food gradually and in the place where it will be most readily available. The upper section of the illustration shows rows of eggplants very heavily mulched with coarse straw, the quantity being sufficient to act as a most effective mulch, to largely prevent the development of weeds and to serve during the rainy season as a very material fertilizer.
In growing such dry land crops as barley, beans, buckwheat or dry land rice the soil of the field is at first fitted by plowing or spading, then furrowed deeply where the rows are to be planted. Into these furrows fertilizer is placed and covered with a layer of earth upon which the seed is planted. When the crop is up, if a second fertilization is desired, a furrow may be made alongside each row, into which the fertilizer is sowed and then covered. When the crop is so far matured that a second may be planted, a new furrow is made, either midway between two others or adjacent to one of them, fertilizer applied and covered with a layer of soil and the seed planted. In this way the least time possible is lost during the growing season, all of the soil of the field doing duty in crop production.
It was our privilege to visit the Imperial Agricultural Experiment Station at Nishigahara, near Tokyo, which is charged with the leadership of the general and technical agricultural research work for the Empire. The work is divided into the sections of agriculture, agricultural chemistry, entomology, vegetable pathology, tobacco, horticulture, stock breeding, soils, and tea manufacture, each with their laboratory equipment and research staff, while the forty-one prefectural stations and fourteen sub-stations are charged with the duty of handling all specific local, practical problems and with testing out and applying conclusions and methods suggested by the results obtained at the central station, together with the local dissemination of knowledge among the farmers of the respective prefectures.
A comprehensive soil survey of the arable lands of the Empire has been in progress since before 1893, excellent maps being issued on a scale of 1 to 100,000, or about 1.57 inch-to the mile, showing the geological formations in eight colors with subdivisions indicated by letters. Some eleven soil types are recognized, based on physical composition and the areas occupied by these are shown by means of lines and dots in black printed over the colors. Typical profiles of the soil to depths of three meters are printed as insets on each sheet and localities where these apply are indicated by corresponding numbers in red on the map.
Elaborate chemical and physical studies are also being made in the laboratories of samples of both soil and subsoil. The Imperial Agricultural Experiment Station is well equipped for investigation work along many lines and that for soils is notably strong. In Fig. 246 may be seen a portion of the large immersed cylinders which are filled with typical soils from different parts of the Empire, and Fig. 247 shows a portion of another part of their elaborate outfit for soil studies which are in progress.
It is found that nearly all cultivated soils of Japan are acid to litmus, and this they are inclined to attribute to the presence of acid hydro-aluminum silicates.
The Island Empire of Japan stretches along the Asiatic coast through more than twenty-nine degrees of latitude from the southern extremity of Formosa northward to the middle of Saghalin, some 2300 statute miles; or from the latitude of middle Cuba to that of north Newfoundland and Winnipeg; but the total land area is only 175,428 square miles, and less than that of the three states of Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. Of this total land area only 23,698 square miles are at present cultivated; 7151 square miles in the three main islands are weed and pasture land. Less than fourteen per cent of the entire land area is at present under cultivation.
If all lands having a slope of less than fifteen degrees may be tilled, there yet remain in the four main islands, 15,400 square miles to bring under cultivation, which is an addition of 65.4 per cent to the land already cultivated.
In 1907 there were in the Empire some 5,814,362 households of farmers tilling 15,201,969 acres and feeding 3,522,877 additional households, or 51,742,398 people. This is an average of 3.4 people to the acre of cultivated land, each farmer's household tilling an average of 2.6 acres.
The lands yet to be reclaimed are being put under cultivation rapidly, the amount improved in 1907 being 64,448 acres. If the new lands to be reclaimed can be made as productive as those now in use there should be opportunity for an increase in population to the extent of about 35,000,000 without changing the present ratio of 3.4 people to the acre of cultivated land.
While the remaining lands to be reclaimed are not as inherently productive as those now in use, improvements in management will more than compensate for this, and the Empire is certain to quite double its present maintenance capacity and provide for at least a hundred million people with many more comforts of home and more satisfaction for the common people than they now enjoy.
Since 1872 there has been an increase in the population of Japan amounting to an annual average of about 1.1 per cent, and if this rate is maintained the one hundred million mark would be passed in less than sixty years. It appears probable however that the increased acreage put under cultivation and pasturage combined, will more than keep pace with the population up to this limit, while the improvement in methods and crops will readily permit a second like increment to her population, bringing that for the present Empire up to 150 millions. Against this view, perhaps, is the fact that the rice crop of the twenty years ending in 1906 is only thirty-three per cent greater than the crop of 1838.
In Japan, as in the United States, there has been a strong movement from the country to the city as a natural result of the large increase in manufactures and commerce, and the small amount of land per each farmer's household. In 1903 only .23 per cent of the population of Japan were living in villages of less than 500, while 79.06 per cent were in towns and villages of less than 10,000 people, 20.7 per cent living in those larger. But in 1894 84.36 per cent of the population were living in towns and villages of less than 10,000, and only 15.64 per cent were in cities, towns and villages of over 10,000 people; and while during these ten years the rural population had increased at the rate of 640 per 10,000, in cities the increase had been 6,174 per 10,000.
Japan has been and still is essentially an agricultural nation and in 1906 there were 3,872,105 farmers' households, whose chief work was farming, and 1,581,204 others whose subsidiary work was farming, or 60.2 per cent of the entire number of households. A like ratio holds in Formosa. Wealthy land owners who do not till their own fields are not included.
Of the farmers in Japan some 33.34 per cent own and work their land. Those having smaller holdings, who rent additional land, make up 46.03 per cent of the total farmers; while 20.63 per cent are tenants who work 44.1 per cent of the land. In 1892 only one per cent of the land holders owned more than twenty-five acres each; those holding between twenty-five acres and five acres made up 11.7 per cent; while 87.3 per cent held less than five acres each. A man owning seventy-five acres of land in Japan is counted among the "great landholders". It is never true, however, except in the Hokkaido, which is a new country agriculturally, that such holdings lie in one body.
Statistics published in "Agriculture in Japan", by the Agricultural Bureau, Department of Agriculture and Commerce, permit the following statements of rent, crop returns, taxes and expenses, to be made. The wealthy land owners who rent their lands receive returns like these:
For paddy field, For upland field, per acre. per acre. Rent $27.98 $13.53 Taxes 7.34 1.98 Expenses 1.72 2.48 Total expenses $9.06 $4.46 Net profit 18.92 9.07
It is stated, in connection with these statistics, that the rate of profit for land capital is 5.6 per cent for the paddy field, and 5.7 per cent for the upland field. This makes the valuation of the land about $338 and $159 per acre, respectively. A land holder who owns and rents ten acres of paddy field and ten acres of upland field would, at these rates, realize a net annual income of $279.90.
Peasant farmers who own and work their lands receive per acre an income as follows:
For paddy field, For upland field, per acre. per acre. Crop returns $55.00 $30.72 Taxes 7.34 1.98 Labor and expenses 36.20 24.00 ------- ------- Total expense $43.54 $25.98 Net profit 11.46 4.74
The peasant farmer who owns and works five acres, 2.5 of paddy and 2.5 of upland field, would realize a total net income of $40.50. This is after deducting the price of his labor. With that included, his income would be something like $91.
Tenant farmers who work some 41 per cent of the farm lands of Japan, would have accounts something as follows:
For paddy field, For upland field, 1 crop. 2 crops. per acre. per acre. Crop returns $49.03 $78.62 $41.36 Tenant fee 23.89 31.58 13.52 Labor 15.78 25.79 14.69 Fertilization 7.82 17.30 10.22 Seed .82 1.40 1.57 Other expenses 1.69 2.82 1.66 ------------- ------- Total expenses $50.00 $78.89 $41.66 Net profit --.97 --.27 --.30

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