p. 269 (408 words)
The people have all the characteristic courtesy and reserved but pleasing manners of the Japanese. A scene at one of the public baths, where the sexes mingled indiscriminately, unconscious of their nudity, “was not calculated to impress the Americans with a very favorable opinion of the morals of the inhabitants.
This may not be a universal practice throughout Japan; but the Japanese people of the inferior ranks are, undoubtedly, notwithstanding their moral superiority to most oriental nations, a lewd people.
Apart from the bathing scenes, there was enough in the popular literature, with its obscene pictorial illustrations, to prove a licentiousness of taste and practice among a certain class of the population, that was not only disgustingly intrusive, but disgracefully indicative of foul corruption.
The chief diet of the inhabitants of Simoda consists of fish and vegetable food. There are poultry, chickens, geese and ducks, and some few cattle, but the latter are used only for beasts of burden, and their flesh is never eaten.
Rice, wheat, barley, and sweet potatoes are the chief articles raised in and about Simoda, although Irish potatoes, buckwheat, Indian corn, taro, beans, cabbages, cresses, and egg plants are produced to some extent.
The wheat and barley are reaped in May, and the rice, which is first sown and then transplanted, as in Lew Chew, is ready for the latter operation in the middle of June, and these crops succeed each other year after year.
During the winter, part of the rice-fields, that which lies low, is left fallow, while the terraces are turned into wheat fields. In preparing the fields for the reception of the young shoots of rice, they are overflowed with water, and then reduced by ploughing and harrowing into a soft well mixed mud.
Subsequently, a substratum of grass and small bushes is trodden down below the surface by the feet. The laborer, putting on a couple of broad pieces of wood, like a pair of snow shoes, goes tramping over the grass and bushes, laboring until they all disappear below the surface of the mud.
This operation over, the small plants are transferred from the plot where they have been sown to the fields, where they are allowed to remain until maturity.
The rice crop is ready for harvesting in the latter part of September or early in the ensuing month. Oxen and horses are occasionally used in agricultural operations, but the labor is mostly performed by hand.