The chaplain, in the course of his wanderings, had an opportunity of seeing one of the largest towns of Japan, that of Kanagawa, which, with its numerous wide streets, and its crowded population, had quite an imposing appearance. He penetrated into several of the dwellings and temples, and, by his pertinacious perseverance, succeeded in obtaining, in one of the shops, some Japanese money in exchange for American coin. The native authorities seemed particularly worried in regard to this last matter, as it was so great an offence against their laws.
The Japanese, in their report of the occurrence, stated that the American officer had gone into a shop by the roadside, and asked the keeper to allow him to see some coins. The Japanese shopman complied with the request, but as he seemed somewhat chary in the display of his treasure, the chaplain insisted upon seeing more, which demand was also granted. Scales were now asked for, which being brought, the chaplain took out some silver pieces, and weighing them in one balance against the Japanese gold and silver coins, mixed indiscriminately in a heap, in the other, transferred the latter to his pockets, and left his American coin to console the shopman for the loss of his Japanese change. The authorities further reported that the chaplain was not content with gentle exhortations and mild persuasions, but had used threatening gestures, in which his drawn sword had figured conspicuously. They, however, mildly and courteously added in their report, “that they supposed that it was with no intention to do harm, but for his own amusement.” There was a gentle and graceful charity in the suggestion of an apology for the conduct of the American officer, which showed an example in beautiful accordance with the precepts of the faith of the intruder, and well worthy of imitation. On the next day Yenoske brought back the sum of three dollars and a half in American silver coin, which had been left in compulsory exchange with the Japanese shopman, and stated that six pieces of gold, six of silver, and the same number of copper, were in possession of the chaplain. Yenoske requested that the Japanese money should be returned, which was done on a subsequent visit.
The Japanese are naturally social, and freely mingle in friendly intercourse with each other. “Woman, too, participates in the enjoyments of society with no more restriction than with us. Evening parties are common to both sexes, where, as in the United States, the friendly cup of tea is handed round, and the company is enlivened by the usual gossip and amusements, such as music and card-playing. It is the jealous watchfulness of the government alone which prevents the people from the exercise of their natural companionable disposition in a friendly communion with foreigners. Polygamy does not prevail in Japan as in other Oriental countries, and the natural effect is a high appreciation of the female sex, and a reverence for the domestic virtues.