Kyoto, Japan

Tuesday, September 24, 1929

J’ai dort la grasse matinée or something similar. At any rate it was two in the afternoon when I stopped writing to eat fish and rice at my ritzy rice house around the corner. Walked to the station and rode back.

Japan goes as far as any country I have seen in military training. All school boys wear a uniform either of blue or white, usually much worn and dirty, but a uniform nevertheless.

I have often wondered at the English signs and writing you see everywhere in Japan. Even a timetable will use English numerals though the rest be in Japanese. Shop-keepers hang signs in English before their shops when they themselves cannot understand a word of it. Of course Japan is a tourist center, but a large majority of these signs were never made for tourist trade.

It seems to me that the suppressed Japan of the past is finding an outlet in modern foreign amusements and cultures. That would explain why a Japanese will, many of them, go to great length to keep you in conversation, to prolong it. They are more than anxious to learn English. Of course many never get past being able to count and there is some tendency to learn only business terms and phrases.

Speaking of tourists, fortunately I am out of season. So far I have seen very few whites in Japan—one in Nagasaki, nine in Kobe exclusive of a half dozen I have seen working in shipping offices, seven in Kobe, and nine in Nara.

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