Japan and the Japanese (A narrative of the US Government Expedition to Japan Under Commodore Perry by Matthew Calbraith Perry, Robert Tomes)

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p. 201

The Japanese and the Lew Chewans differ slightly from each other, the latter being more effeminate and somewhat less intelligent, but this may be owing to their simple, retired life, upon a remote island, where their wants are few, and nature is generous.

They have, however, such strong resemblances that it is almost impossible to resist the conviction of their sameness of origin. They have both the same height, and very similar features. In both, the head is oval, approaching in form that of the European, the frontal bones rounded, and the forehead high, the face oval, and the general expression mild and amiable, the eyes large and animated, though more so in the Japanese than in the Lew Chewans; the irides in both are dark brown or black, the lashes long, and the eyebrows rather heavy and arched.

The long angular form of the internal canthus of the eye is seldom seen, either in the Japanese or Lew Chewan. The nose in each is generally handsome, and well proportioned to the other features; the root of it is not depressed, as in the Chinese or Malay, and the nostrils are not so widely dilated. The cheek bones are not very prominent, and consequently there is a want of that squareness of face which is so remarkable in some eastern races.

The mouth is rather large, the teeth broad, very white and strong, and the chin neatly cut. One mark the Japanese and Lew Chewans have in common to distinguish them from the Malay or Chinaman; it is the possession of a strong black beard, of which both the latter are destitute to any extent. In other parts of the body the same conformity of organization exists in the Lew Chewan and Japanese.

But it is not in mere physical conformity that we trace the same origin of both races. The identity of the two races is proved by the more satisfactory testimony of affinity of language, as may be seen by the following vocabularies :

 Lew Chew.  Japanese.

 Water,  Mizee, Mi-dsoo.

 Tea,  Chaa,  Ts-ga.

 Sun,  Fee,  Fi.

 Fire,  Fiee, Fi.

 Moon,  Sichee, Ts'kL

 Star,  Huzee,  Ho-sL

 Wind,  Hadzee,  Ka-zee.

 Chicken,  Nuatuee,  Ne-wa-ts-ri.

 Egg, Tomague,  To-ma-go.

 Sea,  Oomee,  Oo-mi.

 Eye,  Mee,  Me.

 Hand,  Tee,  Te.

 Nose,  Hanaa,  Ha-na.

 Month,  Koochee,  Koo-tse.

Tree,  Eee,  Ki

Rice,  Kumee, Ko-me.

 Sweet potato,  Karaemu,  Ka-ran-da-iino.

 Pan,  Nudee,  Ko-na-be.

 Wine,  Sakee,  Sa-kee.

 Tobacco,  Tobako,  Ta-ba-ko.

 Basket chair,  Kagoo,  Ka-go.

 Silver,  Nanzee,  Si-ro-goone.

 Iron,  Titzee,  Tets'.

 Cap,  Hachee-machee,  Ba-oosi.

 Looking-glass,  Ka-ga-me,  Ka-ga-mi.

 Book,  Soomuzee,  S'yo-mots.

 Chair,  Tee,  K'yoH'rokf.

 Stone, Ezaa,  I-si.

 Swine, Boobaa,  Boo-ta.

 It will be observed that two-thirds of the words, at least, in the comparative vocabularies, are, with the slight differences of spelling, almost exactly the same. The orthography of a language employed by a foreigner depends more or less upon his capricious estimate of the sounds that the strange words seem to his ear to possess, and accordingly different observers will necessarily employ a variety of spelling. In these words in the comparative lists, which seem to differ, there will, on investigation, be found considerable affinity, and they will almost invariably show a common derivation from the same root.


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