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Travel Journal - Hawaii and Japan, 1917

Transcribed and edited by Elinor Howell Thurman, 2002.

[Inscription on flyleaf:]
“For to admire, and for to see
For to behold the world so wide
It never done no good to me
But I cant help it if I tried”

Dorothy Dix
Jan 14, 1917

January 14 [1917]

At 2 pm, George and I started forth on the great adventure that I have planned so long.  By such prosaic means on a taxi cab and the Grand Central we set out on the journey that is to take me, I hope, to far countries and strange scenes that have been the country of my dreams since childhood, for always have I heard the East a-calling[.]

January 15 [1917]

We met the snow at Albany yesterday, and all of today we have slid through a white world, with every shed “roofed with Carara [sic], and every elm tree wearing ermine too dear for an Earl”[.]

Reached Chicago just in time to catch the 8.05 p m train over the Santa Fe[.]

January 16 [1917]

Breakfast at Kansas City.  Then a long day thro Kansas.  Long, long vistas everywhere of snow covered fields, with tiny farm houses flanked by big red barns.  Miles and miles of prairie with no trees except a little bunch about the houses.  How the pioneer women in those dreary little homes must have dreamed of the waving branches of the forrest [sic] back home!  It made my heart ache to think of it[.]

January 17 [1917]

New Mexico and Arizona have passed & are passing under our flying wheels.  Got to Alburquerque [sic] at 10.30 and had a peep at the Indians & their wares which are doubtless made in Conn.  I mean the wares.  The Indians are home product.  Some of the scenery has been lovely.  Range after range of snow clad mountains that the sun turned into molten silver, and that were dyed crimson and orange and saphire [sic] at sunset[.]

January 18 [1917]     Hotel El Tovar

Reached Grand Canyon at six this morning.  A blighting disappointment awaited us for the snow covered the faces of the rocks so that we could only guess at their splendor of coloring.  Took the drive around the rim in the snow.  No one can describe that awful & majestic spectacle spread before ones eyes, but to me the serried ranks of huge fantastic shaped piles of granite looked like the wrecked play house of the gods – as if fabled monsters, giants, gnomes had on[c]e disported themselves here in monstrous orgies & left these as relics of their games.

January 19 [1917]

Still snow, and yet we are in California.  The scenery has been beautiful – snow covered mountains shot through with the vivid green of pine & cedar as if we journeyed thro a Christmas tree land.  Crossed the San Bernardino grange at 3 p m, and plunged at once down into the orange groves, now heavy with golden fruit[.]

Reached Pasadena in a blinding rain storm & taxied out to Las Encinas – which is the lovely Spanish for live oaks[.]

January 20 [1917]

Cos [Cousin] John is “doing us well” as the English say.  We have the quaintest bungalette [–] two rooms and two baths all to ourselves – set in the midst of a garden of delight[.].  Roses over the door, acacias[,] palms, orange trees crowding up to the very door.  Las Encinas is a sanitarium, set in the midst of the most beautiful grounds and is a heavenly place in which to be sick if you really want to enjoy poor health.

January 21 [1917]

  Took beautiful auto ride with the Osbornes.  Went to the country place of Leslie Brand, who has a picture place[,] a white villa that is a reproduction of the East Indian village at the Chicago fair, & that is set like a jewel in a rim of mountains and orange groves.  Back of the house is a brown bungalow containing dancing space, billiard & card tables etc & back of that tennis courts & swimming tank.  The feature of the bungalow, however, is a minature [sic] bar room, perfect even to roulette wheel, where on wet nights the host puts on a white jacket & apron & gets behind the bar & asks “What is yours?”  Ours was Scotch.

January 22 [1917]

Spent the day with Rose & Eliz in their very little flat & made our first acquaintance with tamales [.]

January 23 [1917]

Spent most of the day with Cos [Cousin] Tillie who makes a vice of cleanliness.  Afterwards had beautiful drive around the Foothill Boulevard, and along some of the enchanting residence streets of Pasadena[.]

January 24 [1917]

Had a beautiful ride down to the San Gabriel Mission – a picturesque old church that was like a dream of the dead & gone Padres and the dusky folk to whom they brought not only religion but a knowledge of the arts & crafts.  In this church is a wonderful old hammered copper baptismal font made by the Indians.  There are 21 of these Franciscan missions a days journey apart, stretching thro’ the rich California valley on a road still called El Camino Real, & marked by the women of Cal with mission bells[.]

January 25 [1917]   Thursday

Went to the Ostrich farm and Buschs garden.  The latter disfigured by a series of cast iron figures of gnomes or Brownies – or some other German atrocity – scattered under the lovely trees in supposedly “cute” attitudes.  Afterwards had long and lovely drive to the very base of the Sierra Mts –

January 26 [1917]

Went up Mt Lowe – wonderful view of Rabio canyon going up.  Spent an hour at the Alpine Tavern & came down the Mt at sunset with the whole of San Gabriel Valley bathed in amethystine glory[.]

January 27 [1917]

Long auto ride to Sierre [sic] Madre, and by the famous Lucky Baldwin ranch[.]

January 28 [1917]

Mr & Mrs Osborne & Mr & Mrs Dillon & Mr & Mrs Sage & Geo & myself drove in 2 cars down to the famous Mission Inn at Riverside.  It is a dream hotel that revives the atmosphere of old Spain in America.  Chief of the attractions of the place is a long hall, like the Knight chapel of an ancient castle hung with tapestries & with altar pieces from Spanish cathedrals & with an antique gilt carved altar from Barcelona.  No words can describe the picturesqueness of this building with its gray walls & red roofs set in tropic foliage and its color note perfect even to the flaming cockatoos on their perches.  But the food is vile[.]

January 29 [1917]

Moved into San Antonio to Hotel Clark.  Went to tea with Rose to Hotel Alexandria[.]  Met Mrs Hughes & Mrs Eagle[.]

January 30 [1917]

Went to lunch at Mrs Richardsons at Beverly Hills – The house the most adorable I have ever seen – a long, low bungalow covered with vines, big wood fires in every room, & curios from all the world everywhere.  From every window marvelous views of sea and land.  Mrs Eastman told story of old Negro preachers sermon on Prodigal Son who “came to himself” by means of sluffing off clothes until he threw away his undershirt – another Negro story old auntie who was sent by her young mistress to buy chiffon & asked a lady clerk if she had her shift-on[.]

January 31 [1917]

Spent most interesting day at Universal City, the home of the movies, and had lunch at cafeteria with the motley throng in their makeup – Afterwards went to tea at Mrs McReynolds beautiful home in Berkely Square and saw the new baby[.]

February 1 [1917]

Was guest of honor at the Ebell Club, the big Womans Club of Los Angeles[.]  It has an immense club house with picturesque patio[.] 

Later in the day motored down to San Monica beach and had my first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.  Had wonderful drive up the beach by the various resorts[.]

February 2 [1917]

  Spent day resting in hotel[.]

February 3 [1917]

Spent day with Cos John and Clara[.]

February 4 [1917]

Had wonderful ride thro’ Griffith Park – a wild mountain given to Los Angeles by an early settler.  From the top of the Mt is a wonderful view of the San Fernandino [Fernando] Valley spread out like a checker board below you.  Went down to Long Beach to the Virginia hotel – which is like the Plaza stranded on the sands.  Perfect spring day with roses blooming every where[.]

February 5 [1917]

Beautiful ride with the Osbornes –

Tea with Elizabeth Colburn & party at the Alexandria[.]

February 6 [1917]

Spent day with Cos John & Clara Ross at Las Encinas[.]

Took Osbornes [to] dinner at Spanish Kitchen[,] awfully good food – enchillados, an unknown substance covered with onions & floating in liquid pepper, chile con carne, Spanish rice, tortellas [sic], Mexican beans etc[.]

February 7 [1917]

Made daylight ride from Los Angeles to San Francisco[.]  The scenery is spectacularly beautiful – grim mountain ranges flanking a shining sea so blue-green it looks as if made of lapis lazuli.  The road runs for more than a hundred miles right on the edge of the ocean and I have seen nothing more enchanting than the view especially towards twilight, when mountain & sea and little villages all set in roses & palms melted into a purple and golden glory.  Arrived at S. Fr. At 10 p m[.]

February 8 [1917]

Staid at St Francis hotel, a model hostelry with superlative cookery.  Arrived with a dreadful cold – which is superimposed upon the one I caught at Pasadena – California has just been one damned sneeze after another to me so it’s a tribute to its charms that I like it at all.  Spent day hunting up passport, getting steamer tickets etc - & taking a long street car ride – So far have seen nothing of any particular interest – just a nice, modern, up-to-date American city[.]

February 9 [1917]

Took long ride to Cliff house, Presidio & by the old exposition grounds, now forlorn as some banquet hall deserted.  At night went to Chinatown, a new, clean electric lighted Chinatown, were the chief amusement was some little Chinese children singing “Tipperary.”  O, how dull compared to the thrilling inner view I had of the N. Y. Chinatown when I was writing the story of the murder of Elsie Siegel[.]

February 10 [1917]

  Long ride to Oakland, Berkely [sic], Piedmont etc.  Saw the U of Cal buildings, and the beautiful Greek theatre given by Mr Hearst[.]

February 11 [1917]

Rainy Sunday.  Mr  Boad drove me out to his pretty little bungalow[.]

February 12 [1917]

Left San Francisco on Great Northern at 4 p.m.   Great shower of confetti thrown by those on board & the dock made the scene gay.  Steamed thro the Golden Gate in a golden haze that made the entrance to the city deserve its name[.]

February 13 [1917]

Arrived at San Pedro[,] the harbor for Los Angeles at 9 – spent a long tiresome day lolling about the boat and half sea sick[.]

February 14 [1917]

Nature never designed me for a home on the ocean wave and life on the rolling deep.  At sea I always wish I were dead[.]

February 15 [1917]

Another day of misery added to by the society of a new rich woman who asks me if I “have saw” her husband, and tells me her husband insisted on bringing his automobile to Honolulu[,] but as they were just going to make the round trip of the boat she [thought] it might [be] better not – How I hate people who tell me lies that presuppose I am a fool to believe them[.]

February 16 [1917]

Still miserable, so miserable [I] ceased resenting the lady with the saw, tho’ she wants to know if I don’t think she has a Southern accent[.]

February 17 [1917]

Another day of misery[.]  A man asked me if I was travelling for pleasure[.]

February 18 [1917]

A day of days!  Arrived at Hilo, which is a beautiful little tropic seaport in Hawaii[,] the largest island of the Hawaii group.  Mauna Loa, a great snow covered peak[,] stands guard over it.  Had a long auto drive thro’ native villages & Jap villages, picturesque with inhabitants in native costume.  Went to Kilauea, the largest active volcano in the world.  You drive thro a tropic forrest [sic] until you suddenly come upon the abomination of desolation[,] miles & miles of ashes, then fields of twisted & tortured lava, then the great crater, a sullen, mass of molten lava from which rise geysers of fire – hell itself[.]

February 19 [1917]

Arrived at Honolulu at 10 – Met by Mrs Waddell – Mr Trent had gotten us rooms at Moana Hotel.  It is Carnival time – saw wonderful parade, dealing with native life.  Then went to a luau – a native feast – The tables were heaped with fish & pork cooked in ti leaves – a salad of raw salmon – chicken stewed with green tarra, & bowls of poi – which looks & tastes like bill stickers paste – everyone ate with their own fingers.  After dinner the guests were entertained by a marvellous native band & gorgeous hula-hula dancers.  An old toothless man played on the gourd & chanted the ancient Hula Melee[.]

February 20 [1917]

Went to the aquarium & saw the marvelous fish – veritable butterflies of the ocean.  Took long street car ride thro’ the picturesque city.  At night attended Haiwaiian [sic] festival at which songs of old Hawaiia [sic] were given by native artist[s] and a huge chorus.

February 21 [1917]

The feature of Wdays programe [sic] was the pageant given at Kapiolani Park.  A love story of old days was enacted – Prince Iwikaui (etc)  seeks the hand of a princess in marriage – is refused – joins rebels etc.  The costumes faithfully represented the old ones worn by royalty & the priests - & were made of gorgeous feathers.  The spectacle of the gay greens & reds & yellows against the green of the park was most picturesque.  There were also interesting revivals of old games, spear throwing by dashing warriors in scarlet feather helmets that looked like the combs of fighting cocks.

February 22 [1917]

Military parade, very fine in the morning.  At night marvelous Japanese [word illegible]  parade[.]  Thousands of quaint figures with bobbing lights, singing.  The marshall [sic] on horseback in gorgeous gold plaited cvalry [sic] mail of ancient shogun.  Cherry tree with blossoms & lanterns underneath, followed by a long procession with little lanterns & cherry blossoms.  Float representing Geo Washington crossing Delaware with real ice industriously chipped by Jap sailor – another float pink cherry tree in full bloom – Jap Geo about to use his little hatchet on it.  Old men & tiny children in parade[.]

February 23 [1917]

Wonderful entertainment – given by school children in the Oahu College grounds[.]  1000 children, of 15 different nationalities took part[.]  Formed American flag & sang rotten patriotic songs.  The cute feature were the little children dressed in their national costumes – tiny tots in gorgeous kimonos, & little pink & blue satin panties & coats & with their hair dressed up with all sorts of flowers & fancy combs – Some had flecks of gold paint on their shining oiled coiffures –

February 24 [1917]

Spent long happy idle day wandering around the shops, sitting on hotel lannai  [sic] watching the waves – doing nothing generally –

February 25 [1917]

Loafed & invited my soul – went street car riding, and loafed among the shops –

February 26 [1917]

  Another day of blissful rest and doing nothing, but just soaking in the warm tropic atmosphere[.]

February 27 [1917]

Went out to the wonderful Bishop Museum – Mrs B was the great grand daughter of Kammehameha, the Illustrious.  This museum contains the most extensive collection of relics of ancient Polynesia in the world.  Among the interesting things in it are the feather cloaks & helmets & standards[.]  It is said that these are made from the feathers that grew under the wings of a certain bird & that only one or two were found on a bird.  They are of gorgeous colors – scarlet & yellow.  In the museum are the throne & relics of the tiny Kingdom of Hawaii – poor & pitiful –

February 28 [1917]

Just a day of glorious loafing, broken by a most interesting visit with Mr Gifford to his pineapple factory – or cannery to speak by the card.  His brand is the Del Monte[.]

February 29 [1917]

Another of day of the rest that passes all understanding[.]

 March 1 [1917]

Mr Parks took us on beautiful ride around Diamond Head, to the top of the Punchbowl, and out to Pearl Harbor – no pen can describe the beauty of the shimmering sea, the green valleys and canyons & the mountains around in blue mists – Hawaiian scenery is a mosaic of all these at any turn, a case of too much richness – you are drunk on beauty[.]

March 2 [1917]

Mr Williams, Mrs Mozier[,] Geo, Miss Hall & I had a fine loafing morning together.  Went thro’ the palace which is noble & beautiful inside – the stairs magnificent, the woodwork all koa & ohia.  On the walls portraits of kings presented by themselves & one of Kammehameha by Russian government[.]  Large portrait of Lili & Emma in room of Ref –

Afterwards went out to Country Club – wonderful view down the Nuanu Valley –

March 3 [1917]

Charming day doing nothing in particular[.]

March 4 [1917]

Mrs Warren took us for drive up Pacific Heights & to the Pali[.]  The Pali is the great  cliff 500 ft high over which Hammhameha drove the enemy when he gained possession of Oahu.  The view is one of the most magnificent in the world – sea & sheer mt & valley[.]

March 5 [1917]

Mr Park, the W’s & Geo & I hired car & drove out to Hallewa & Wilmea beach – wonderful drive thro’ pineapple orchards, by Schofield barracks etc – The beach is one of the finest on the islands – Scenery marvelous all the way[.]

March 6 [1917]

Went to studios to see the native hand work[.]  Saw an old man beating taro root into poi & another digging out a calabash by hand & women weaving lalluah[?] mats.

March 7 {1917]

Had most interesting interview with Queen at her palace – she is a feeble old woman, with mind almost gone.  Her house like a La [Louisiana] plantation house, furnished in Ohia & Koa wood – with great feather duster standards – Case with feather leis & capes – around porch [word crossed out: coats] reproductions of decorations conferred on Kali Ku on his journey around the world – Queen had on crepe de chine native dress – gray hair – splendid emerald & diamond ring – said I live only in my sentiments[.]

March 8 [1917]

Made trip around the island with Warrens – Went by Pali & had an awe inspiring view from the top of the great cliff.  Then on for miles & miles along the edge of the sea with always the peacock sea breaking in white foam on one side of the road & the Mts flanking the narrow valley on the other side.  Went thro’ the heart of the sugar & pineapple district & saw the tunnel bored thro’ the mountain for water for irrigation[.]

March 9 [1917]

Had lovely ride & lunch with Mrs Charles Forbes at the tea house called Lanalia[.]  The other guests were Gov Peckham, Mr & Mrs Warren Thayer.  This tea house has native hut where an old man is making calabashes & women are weaving mats etc[.]

March 10 [1917]

Invited to a Chinese lunch given in my honor by Mrs Walter Coombes at her beautiful home on the heights.  She has wonderful bungalow overlooking the city & sweeping from Punch bowl hill to the sea.  Lunch served on lanai by a little Chinese maid was typically Chinese – Mrs Coombes living room was all in brown and with brown mats & willow furniture & was a treasure house of things she has picked up in the Orient – She is herself a particularly charming woman[.]

March 11 [1917]

In afternoon had long ride with Mr Parks & the Williams.  Went again to the Pali – Read the inscription on the Memorial, which says it commemorates the victory of Kamehameha when he drove the troops of the King of Oahu to this spot & forced the whole army over the cliff – then establishing the Kamehameha dynasty in 1795 –

March 12 [1917]

Had tea with Miss Damon at her sisters on beautiful lanai furnished with tapa cloth hangings & willow furniture.  Learned how to pronounce Honolulu[.]

March 13 [1917]

Happy loafing day at hotel & around town[.]

March 14 [1917]

Another joyous day of doing nothing.  In evening went to see [word illegible] moving pictures of volcano[.]

March 15 [1917]

Mrs Coombs gave Japanese lunch – at Japanese tea house – put on Kimona & sandals & sat on mats at lunch table.  Food cooked at table by little Japanese maid – tiny bits of chicken fried on charcoal brazier – rice & fried eels (ugh!)[,] nothing done, or fit to eat from our point of taste.  Mrs Dodge[,] art critic[,] gave interesting story of her stay in Japan[.]

March 16 [1917]

Mrs Maury gave me a delightful [word crossed out: lunch] tea and dinner at the Davenport[.]  Mr Mathewson told story of former mayor of Honolulu who going to the ancestral cave to bury another ancestor observed what beautiful teeth were still attached to his grandmother’s skull.  He knocked them out with a stone & put them in his pocket – Later when his own teeth failed he had a dentist insert grandmas in his mouth – Same man had watch charm made of knuckle joints & cuff links of finger bones[.]

March 17 [1917]

Went to baseball game with Mr Watson, a brother of Dudley Watson – Bored to extinction by the national game[.]

March 18 [1917]

Have come to the end of a perfect month in Honolulu.  Leave this afternoon at 4 with profound regret.  Many new friends down to see us off & we went laden down with leis –

March 19 [1917]

On board the good ship Columbia, Pacific Mail line, a fine vessel built for the tropics[.]  Very shady but has not kept me from sea sickness which started in before I was well out of sight of Honolulu[.]

March 20 [1917]

Utterly miserable with sea sickness – Oh, how I wish I was back in dear Honolulu[.]

March 21 [1917]


March 22 [1917]

     Ditto, and more of it[.]

March 23 [1917]

Ditto & more of it yet[.]

March 24 [1917]

Same thing[.]

March 25 [1917]

Same thing[.]

March 26 [1917]


The passengers are very interesting[.]  Made up for the most part of men who have explored all of the Seven Seas & to whom the by ways of the tropics are as familiar as Broadway is to me.  There is one man who trades among the islands of the South Seas to naked savages who drink champagne out of coacoanut [sic] hulls, others who are going to buy pearls, & silks & curios in strange places & still others who are taking Heinz’s pickles to the benighted heathen & carrying [words crossed out: Christ to] Am [word illegible] to the [remainder of sentence illegible]

March 27 [1917]


Long reaches of blue summer seas, velvet soft warm nights – a sea like a lake & yet I’m miserable[.]

March 28 [1917]

I hate myself for being sea sick without cause[.]

March 29 [1917]

Among the nice people I have met  Mrs Chas Guest & husband & Daughter Collette & Mr & Mrs Frank Clark of N.Y. – Two forlorn little missionaries going to China named Taylor & Capt & Mrs Guette & Dr & Mrs Knudler of Manilla [sic] & a party of six from Rochester N.Y.

March 30 [1917]

In bed all day nearly splitting headache & nausea –

March 31 [1917]

Feeling better at the bare sight of land.  Came into Yokohama at dusk with the pink flow of sunset irradiating Fujiyama and turning it an unearthly pink.  Rode up to Grand Hotel in jinriksha – my first experience in this overgrown baby carriage[.]  Had a jolly little pony of a man who paced along at a smart clipp [sic].  After 11 o’clock too another ‘ricksha ride down thro the business section – awfully interesting & picturesque with its quaint houses & teeming population[.]

April 1 [1917]

Grand Hotel[,] Yokohama -

Arrived – safe on land again, thank God[.]

Went for a long ricksha ride thro tiny streets not ten feet wide – Could see the women at work in their doll-houses cooking, eating, sewing.  Saw millions of babies dressed in gay Kimonos strapped on the backs of children who played apparently unconscious of their burdens.  Went to the Hiye Shrine up 101 steps – The priests were praying for a sick baby, that gorgeously dressed lay limp in its mother’s arms.  Other women threw money to the gods & the priests waved a queer looking wand covered with three cornered papers over the woman & child & she departed looking comforted[.]

April 2 [1917]

Had nice rickshaw ride in morning along Bund & thro shopping district.  In aft wrote syndicate article[.]

April 3 [1917]

Went out by train to Kamakura, then by Rickshaw to Buddhist temple.  Saw the Diabutsu[,] the largest statue of Budda [sic] in the world[,] a huge bronze cast over 200 yrs ago.  Went to another temple where there was a statue to the Goddess of Mercy in gold lacquer on camphor wood over 60 ft high.  All along the road were little shrines to the Goddess Gezi who plays with little dead children[.]  [She probably means the God Jizo, who was believed to hide the souls of dead children in his big sleeves.  She refers to this belief in her travel book, MY JOY-RIDE ROUND THE WORLD.]  It was Jap holiday & the roads were full of people picnicing[.]  The young girls & little children looked like flowers in their gay kimonos.  Went with Miss May & Miss Maybury[.]

April 4 [1917]

Did 2 articles & went out to Hara Park, a beautiful estate of a rich silk merchant.  Cherry trees beginning to flower[.]

April 5 [1917]

     Did 2 more articles.  Very, very tired[.]

April 6 [1917]

Left Yokohama at 9.30 for Kobe with Mr & Mrs Frank Woodward of Rochester.  Mr & Mrs Critenden, Mrs Garrison & Mrs Morrissee – Had wonderful trip thro’ farming country – fields of rice & barley – tea gardens & mulberry farms.  The road runs thro’ mountainous country but many of the mountains were terrassed [sic] to the top, wherever a sprig of anything could grow.  The cars were small seats on the side & not comfortable compared with our R.R’s.  A Japanese farmer got on our train & there was much kow-towing to him.  Arrived at Kobe at 10.30[,] went to Oriental Hotel[.]

April 7 [1917]

Left Kobe on large steamer for trip down Inland Sea.  Scenery superb whole way – a saphire [sic] sea as smooth as glass over which we flew between Emerald isles.  On either bank were tall mountains[,] some sterile with only a few stunted pine trees, others cultivated to their top.  Here & there a little village would huddle on the waters edge, or a Shinto shrine with its Torii gate be silhouetted against the green.  There was a full moon & as we reached one spot of especial loveliness the Capt invited us up on bridge.  Met queer old English dowager on the boat with purple dress –

April 8 [1917]    Sanyo Hotel

Arrived at Shimoneski [Shimonoseki] at 7.  Spent day in sight seeing[.]  Went to beautiful Shinto temple, saw them drawing prayers by shakend [sic] dice – You get the number & the priest gives you the prayer that calls for[.]  Afterwards went to beautiful inn “upper crust” Jap tavern in which peace treaty between Japan & China was signed[.]  Had real Japanese tea, waited on by geisha.  Very interesting ride thro streets not 6 ft wide[.]  Renewed impression of how Japs really lead the simple life[.]  No furniture, no clothes, no cooking, no nothing except babies, babies everywhere[.]

April 9 [1917]   Miayajama Hotel

Left at 10 for Miyajima the sacred island of Japan & which is also called one of the three great sights by the Japs.  It is a mountain rising precipitately from the sea with a mere rim of valley on the shore.  The mts are densely wooded with great fern like pines – cytomeria [cryptomeria] – which with the bloom of the cherry trees & the scarlet of the budding maple make it ravishingly beautiful.  We are staying in a real Japanese house with paper walls.  It is heated by a hibachi which the boy brings in the morning before we get up.  In our front yard is a tiny lake the size of a postage stamp, full of gold fish[.]

April 10 [1917]

     As this island is supposed to be consecrated ground no births or deaths are permitted to occur on it, those having these elements to pull off being ferried over to the main land.  The Shinto temple here is one of the oldest & largest in Japan, & all day we saw crowds of pilgrims who had come to make their prayers at its altar[.]  On one side was a stall with a white stallion in it, the sacred pony that the gods only ride.  The floor of the temple is made of boards of camphor wood 30 ft long & 5 ft wide sawed by hand.  At night the hundreds of stone lanterns were lit giving an impression of fairy like beauty[.]

April 11 [1917]

No words can describe the beauty of Maple Park, at Miyajima.  It is in what they call a canyon in Cal, a little gulch in the mountain side.  Here are detached houses, tiny structures of paper, & wood, with overhanging roofs clinging to the side of the hill, or built across a little mountain stream.  There are scores of the little gardens of stunted shrubs the Japs love with stone lanterns & tiny fountains[.]  And all of this artificial beauty is silhouetted against the velvet green of the forrest [sic] covered Mt & shot thro’ with all the varying shades of pink of the cherry blossom & the scarlet of the budding maples[.]

April 12 [1917]   Oriental Hotel

Kobe – Spent pleasant day ricksha-ing around the city.  Nothing of especial interest to see except the shops.  Bought Satsuma lamp base at queer little shop at the foot of the hill leading to the “female” water fall.  Mr Dougherty passed on it & pronounced it fine.  Saw the artists at work sitting cross legged on the floor, & working at their little tables[.]

April 13 [1917]

Joyous day shopping[.]  Got some lovely old prints & some Karkemonas[.]  Rickshawed out to the park & climbed steep hill from whence had superb view of the city and harbor.

April 14 [1917]   Osaka Hotel

Spent day at Osaka.  Went out to an old feudal castle that was once the largest in Japan[.]  It took 6000 men working day & night 3 yrs to build it – Some of the stones are 40 ft long & one wonders how they were ever gotten in place in a day when there was no hoisting machinery.  The castle was built in 1583 & partially destroyed in a war some 75 yrs later.  Went to see the big bell in a Buddhist temple – the largest hanging bell in the world.  One of the interesting things in O was a statue of a horse built in memory of the horses killed in war[.]

April 15 [1917]  Miyako Hotel – Kyoto

Spent day going to the Damascene factory and saw the patient workmen laying threads of gold no bigger than the finest linen cambric thread in solid steel.  Then went to the Cloisonne factory and saw that made.  Then to the lacquer store & saw the various processes that is put through.  The beautiful and artistic products of each factory made you wish you had all the money in the world to spend[.]

April 16 [1917]

Went to the great Buddhist temple of Chion-in – chu no neen – very beautiful altar all gold & cloisonne.  Then to many stores & the finest pottery in the city, but the loveliest thing of all was going to the garden of a rich merchant – which realized with its babbling brook & tiny water falls & stunted trees & blooming flowers all of one[’]s ideals of Japanese gardens.  What impresses me more than anything else is the decorative effects they get by the use of rocks – They put down a big stone, plant some iris by it, or bend a tree over it & make a picture out of it –

April 17 [1917]

Went down to the rapids of the Hodzu river – 13 miles of foaming torrent between mountains whose green was misted over with the pink of cherry blossoms.  Stopped for a picnic lunch at the foot of the rapids where there were hundreds of Japanese picnicing & enjoying the beautiful scenery.  At night Mr Dougherty took us to the Japanese theatre where the play was a queer mixture of drama & movie, each helping in telling the story.  The audience left its shoes at the door, and ate & drank tea & smoked during the performance.  The hall was hung with banners, which is the Jap way of sending flowers to foot light favorites –

April 18 [1917]

Spent day in shop – at night went to see the famous Cherry Blossom dances by Geisha girls.  It took place in the theatre of the Geisha girls school, a big room that was packed 3 times a day.  We removed our shoes at the door & were shown into a beautiful room where tea was served by dainty little ‘prentice geishas in gay kimonos.  There were 52 girls in the dance[.]  An orchestra of 10 girls on each side of the stage furnished the awful wail the Japanese consider music.  The dancers were perfectly trained & went thro’ a long pantomime dance beautifully. It was all exquisitely beautiful and chaste.  Stage setting lovely[.]

April 19 [1917]

  Drove by auto to Lake Biwa[,] the largest freshwater lake in Japan.  Very interesting drive thro innumerable little villages.  At Biwa went to one of the 50 holy places in Japan, a temple nearly 1300 years old whose floor was worn in grooves by the bare feet of devotees.  Lunch at a tea room then back to hotel thro the canal which has been cut thro’ the mountain[.]  You go thro’ 2 tunnels – one it takes 20 minutes – It is weird, dark as erebus [sic], cold & clammy with the racing tide under you & every few minutes a ghostly boat looming up out of the blackness, pulled by nearly naked men.  The poor, tired men who are beasts of burden[.]

April 20 [1917]

Went to the famous Buddhist temple which is one of the largest in Japan.  In order to make ropes to lift the heavy timbers for this women gave their hair.  There were 90 of these ropes one 900 ft long & 16 inches in circumference[.]  Saw Nijo castle, the abiding place of a rich shogun, a marvel of splendor – gold & carving & lacquer.  Afterwards went to Imperial Palace[,] in comparison a modest edifice[.]  Here the coronation took place 3 yrs ago – saw coronation chairs.  The most beautiful garden in all Japan is attached to this palace & it is a dream of flowers & trees & water –

April 21 [1917]

Interest[ing] ride thro Tea Pot Lane, a queer conglomeration of tiny shops filled with china & odds & ends.  Afterward went to a superb antique shop for a cabinet of carved lacquer.  Left for Narra [Nara] at 4, went thro miles & miles of tea gardens.

April 22 [1917]

Spent the day at the picturesque old city of Narra.  Lovely views everywhere.  Beautiful temple at the end of a superb avenue of cryptomerias[.] The park is full of tame deer that eat out of your hand.  Saw the Great Duabutsu [Diabutsu,] the largest statue of Buddha in existence.  He is depicted sitting on a lotus leaf with the goddess[es] of Wisdom & Mercy on either side.  In afternoon went to museum full of ancient statues of god[s] & goddesses chiefly remarkable for the weird imagination shown by their creators.

April 23 [1917]

Reached Nagoya in rain – at three o’clock – Spent afternoon in much needed rest –

April 24 [1917]

Went to see the Nagoya Castle, a magnificent well furnished feudal castle that with its three moats, its thick walls[,] its dungeons and so on fully realized ones idea of the fortresses built in olden times to resist long sieges by an enemy without 42 centimeter guns.  The roofs of this castle, built pagoda fashion, of solid sheet copper, each corner ending in a dolphin[,] are the most beautiful I have ever seen.  Two large dolphins of gold surmount the roof.  The castle was built in 1611-13 –

April 25 [1917]

Staid all night at a little town called Shidzuoka [Shizuoka] at the Daitokwan Hotel.  The hotel had a very interesting & beautiful Japanese wing & we were shown how they make down a bed.  Had a beautiful view for 4 hrs of the majestic Fuji – its top covered with eternal snow.  The R.R. [railroad] runs in 9 miles of it, at its closest point.  Reached Kodzau at 3 & motored over to Miyanoshita[,] one of the loveliest spots I have ever seen.  The beautiful hotel looks out upon mountains now a vision of tender spring green misted over with the white & pink & purples of cherry & azalea blooms[.]

April 26 [1917]

Went to Hakone Lake in chairs borne on the shoulders of bearers.  The road is a steep mountain pass where a goat can scarcely get footing so the trip was a chilling & hair raising one.  The scenery all along the route was superb – gray green of volcanic mountains[,] brilliant green of other mts shot thro’ with the tender pink & purple of azaleas & cherry.  Lake Hakone is a silver shield set in encircling mt like Loch Lomand [sic].  Came home by Big Hell where the volcanic fires can still be heard roaring & sending up smoke.

April 27 [1917]

Loitered around the shops & picked up some dandy old sword hilts that once belonged to fighting old Damyios [Daimyos.]

        “Their bones are dust

        Their good swords rust

         Their souls are with the Lord

                    We Trust – “

In afternoon had another chair ride over perilous mt roads – Went to Gold Fish Tea House with its wonderful garden whose whole back is a veil of shimmering water falls.  Saw the cherry trees in their perfection – whole mountains a boquet [sic] of pink & purple & every shade of green[.]

April 28 [1917]

We have come to the end of a perfect day – three weeks of wonderful new sights and sounds that are never to be forgotten. Rickshawed down 6 ½ miles in a pouring rain – but it wasn’t rain[,] it was raining fresh beauty on every inch of the mountains.  Went from Kodzau by train to the Grand Hotel at Yokohama.

April 29 [1917]

Spent the day resting & renewing acquaintance with new-old friends who seem like long lost brothers in this far land.  Had exciting episode in fire in hotel in the morning.  Narrow squeak – if it had happened at night – good night for most of us.  The view from this hotel is the most interesting sea scape it is possible to fancy – all the ships of all the seven seas anchor right under its broad gallery, and every minute there is something exciting going on on the water front –

April 30 [1917]

Got typewriter & got back on my job – darn contracts that you have to keep when you are a pleasuring[.]


ghita  - shoes

fusama – inner panels [sic]

shonji[?] – water[?] slides

hibachi – stove

This O being insufficient the matter is difficult

Get Mitfords Tales of Old Japan – 47 Ronins

Tsuba – sword guard

neutske (netsky) button

shishi – gods


Mo chi gouashi – cakes

May 1 [1917]

Worked in morning.  In afternoon went with Mr Dougherty to beautiful botanical garden & saw the most marvelous peonies, azaleas & wisteria[.]

May 2 [1917]

Worked all day[.]

May 3 [1917]

Worked – walked in aft with Mr Manders 4 miles to quaint little fishing village[.]


If Kwannons image is too near the suppliant he can write his request on a piece of paper, chew it into a spit ball & throw it at her.  If it sticks it is a sign his prayer will be answered[.]

May 4 [1917]

Bought bronze statue of Kwannon – Buddhist goddess of mercy – She hears prayers & can deliver you from all danger.  Her chief duty is to succor the unhappy – according to legend Kwannon was born in the province of Setchuen in China & was a daughter of the governor of the town of Souilin.  Her name was Myo-in.  One day when she was 18 she went to a temple where there were 500 bonzes & was detained by them.  Her father the next night in revenge burned the temple & put the bonzes to death.  She was supposed to have perished but appeared to him the next night & told him she had escaped the flames & become a goddess.  In Japan Kwannon is the idealization of all that is sweet & lovely in woman & is represented with a Madonna face.  In Kyoto is a temple with 33333 – the goddess with a thousand eyes & 1000 arms & at Kamakura a statue with a 60 ft glory disc carved out [of] a single piece of camphor wood & richly gold lacquered[.]

May 5 [1917]

Worked – saw boys altar – boys festival – carp flying, flags etc – presents – sort of combination of 4 of July & Christmas –

May 6 [1917]

Worked –

May 7 [1917]

     Came up to Tokio in afternoon – to Hotel Imperial – Took walk down Ginza street – the Broadway of Tokio – full of cheap looking shops.  Went riding by Parliament & Gov’t houses & out by the Imperial Palace – a picturesque enclosure guarded by a mediaeval moat.  Could only see the lovely green grass & flowers & old pine trees & the top of the quaint pagoda towered gray watch towers.  The Mikado never leaves this sacred retreat except on state occasions[.]

May 8 [1917]

Went to beautiful Shiba Park & the Mausolea of the Shoguns – There is a wonderful court full of gray stone lanterns – then a temple[,] a glittering mass of crimson & black lacquer & gold & the most marvelous carving – then on a hill under the trees the great bronze tomb under which the shoguns ashes rest – Then went to Gen’l Nogi house & saw room in which he & his wife committed suicide after the death of the late emperor – the last flicker of feudalism in Japan.  Then went to the Military Museum full of the ancient armor & weapons of old Japan –

May 9 [1917]

Went to Wyeno Park (Weena)[,] a beautiful park in which is the Imperial Museum – full of the treasure of old Japan – china & lacquer & gold & silver & bronze – Wonderful collection of old armors & old costumes – particularly interested in figure of Shogun who on starting forth to battle or death ate only pure food – water chestnuts, sea weed – no meat that had been killed.  Marvelous old bullock carts of the emperor 8x10 ft – lacquered & carved bronze incrusted palanquin in which great ladies journeyed from place to place –

May 10 [1917]

Went to Yoshiwara, the restricted district which was formerly a great show – the courtesans “dressing the windows[,]” kneeling inside, gorgeously dressed on gay mats – Now the law has shut the windows & generally put the lid on this public display – Very handsome houses – much the most pretentious I have seen in Japan as a group –

Went to see wisteria & peonies in taxi cab.  Never again!  Escaped death & murder by inches a hundred times – Automobiling in Japan is the most nerve racking experience possible[.]  No wonder there are so few cars!

May 11 [1917]

Went to Wrestlers Tournament in a great hall like Chicago auditorium where 30,000 Japanese men & boys cheered themselves hoarse over their favorite athlete[.]  The wrestlers are huge giants – some of them over 6 ft tall & weighing between 300-400 lbs.  They were absolutely naked except for breech clout & wore hair long & put up like a woman.  The bouts were feats of strength & skill but lasted only a second or two as outside of a narrow ring was out.  The umpires were more gorgeous than Solomon in all his glory.

May 12 [1917]

Went to Nikko – staid at Kanaga Hotel.  In afternoon went down to the wonderful sacred bridge, built of red lacquer[,] over which none but the Mikado may pass.  According to tradition this bridge was built to commemorate a miracle.  A holy man, on a pilgrimage to the sacred mountain found his journey broken by a roaring stream.  He sat down & prayed whereupon the spirit of the shrine opposite summoned a red & blue dragon which linking their tails made a bridge over which he safely passed.  The former bridge stood hundreds of years but was destroyed by a flood.  This one modern.

May 13 [1917]

Went to Lake Chuzenji – a pretty little lake on the top of a mountain. The road is so steep we had 3 men to a rickshaw.  The trip is marvelously beautiful – up & up & up almost a precipitous mt side, now a glory of azaleas & the tender green of spring – Passed innumerable water falls dashing down from the snow topped mts. & scattering their spray in rainbow jewels.  The scenery is superb beyond description & weird with here & there in the green a black path of cinders that tells where some volcano has wrought devastation[.]

May 14 [1917]

The first and only rainy day since we left New York on Jan 14 – There have been a few showers – it rains almost every day in Honolulu – but not enough to keep one in longer than an hour or two.  Spent the morning lazing around the hotel and looking at the cloud swept mts.  In afternoon had some straw sandals tied on my feet & had a fine time shopping in the village[.]

May 15 [1917]

Went to the famous shrines of whose glory the half had not been told.  They were built in 1615 as a last resting place for the first Shogun of the Tangawara dynasty[,] Iemitsu.  Situated in the heart of a grove of cryptomeria they gleam like some barbaric jewel – crimson and black lacquer, intricate carvings whose colors are still rich as wine, carved gold & chased brass all lend their splendors to make such a gorgeous spectacle as the world scarcely holds again.  All the artists of that time gave the very flower of their genius to making the last resting place of a dead man superb[.]

May 16 [1917]

Went to a little mountain village called Ikau (Ekaw)[,] a most tiresome trip, only redeemed by the ride to the stations down the long avenue of cryptomerias – This avenue 25 miles long leading to the shrines was the gift of a dymio [daimyo] too poor to give gold or jewels to the shogun who levied contribution on all his henchmen[.]

May 17 [1917]

Went to Lake Haruna in chairs, a most exhausting experience.  The mountains hereabouts are volcanic & look so like Hawaii they make you homesick.  The road, no bigger than a great path, & covered with rock, winds up & up among the mts until it comes to a tiny lake, in the pit of a dead volcano.  Ikau is a picturesque little village with natural hot water running down its gutters heated from volcanic fires.  Thousands of Japanese come here every year for hot baths.

The hotel is very poor –

May 18 [1917]

A long tiresome day to Tokyo & the Imperial hotel.  Train crowded with Japanese[,] among them a little Jap mother with her first baby who was gorgeously attired in a Kimono all the colors of the spectrum[.]  Both mother & father cooed & gurgled & booed over the baby quite in the manner of fond American parents who are sure they have the most wonderful baby in the world.

May 19 [1917]

Back at the Grand in Yokohama which has come to seem like home.  Spent day resting with a little shopping on the side[.]

May 20 [1917]

More days of resting and idling around the shops – Just to sit in the sun parlor of the Grand & see the Oriental world go by is like having a front seat at the great drama of humanity -

May 21 [1917]

Spent a couple of hours watching a woman digging clams in water up to her waist with her baby strapped on her back.  At night now the fishermen steer their sampans into the broad shafts of light from the hotel & fish by it – so do the old & modern meet.

May 22 {1917]

Went up to Tokyio [sic] with Mr & Mrs Woodworth to lunch at their Japanese friends.  Missed him & had to come back without doing anything because Mr W was afraid he’d get lost!  Had a quiet chuckle to myself when he had to ask Minnie to read the signs[.]

May 23-26 [1917]

Mr Tateech came after us & conveyed us safely to Tokyio [sic].  Took us first to the wonderful museum of a rich merchant.  It is a dream of a place, built of the wood of a palace that once belonged to a prince of the Zanguwara family.  It has carved & painted wood & lacquered ceilings like the Shoguns palace at Niji – This museum contains the largest collection of Buddhas in the world, gathered from all the nations who worship Amida[.]  There are about 50000 of these statues – Hindu, Japanese, Chinese, Corean [Korean], Javanese, Thibetan & so on – most grotesque, some calmly beautiful.  There is a large one like my little one – the loveliest of all Buddhas, I think – This museum also contains the finest collection of Chinese jade & Japanese lacquer – Some of it made me feel like committing murder to get it –

After the museum went to Mr Tateech[’s] house for lunch – He lives in typical Japanese fashion in a bird nest house with a tiny garden.  We took off our shoes & ascended a ladder[-]like staircase to the living room.  The whole shojigi[?] was pushed open giving a fine view of the ocean.  We sat on cushion[s] at tiny tables a foot high & presently two little maids came in, bowed three times with their heads to the ground & set before each of us a tray on which were a bowl of fish soup, a bowl of rice, a bowl containing mushrooms, something that tasted like both irish and sweet potatoes, something like asparagus, chicken[,] some salmon & goodness knows what all stewed up in soyer [sic] sauce.  Beside this was a boiled golden carp with his tail curled up in a weird manner.  Afterwards we had delicious strawberries & tea with cream in compliment to our being foreigners – which we hated .  Mrs T____ doesn’t speak a word of English but was a perfect hostess, bringing out all sorts of lovely things for us to see.

May 27 [1917]

Started home on the Vondell whose right name is the Vonhell – The Cook man assured us this boat was like the Pacific Mail – I’m going to take a trip back to Japan to tell him what I think of him[.]

May 28 [1917]

The food is simply rotten[,] a mixture of formaldehyde, cinnamon, nutmeg & rancid butter.  Not a steward or a stewardess speaks a word of English & when you want things you have to make signs & then get something you never thought of.

May 29 [1917]

As a compensation I am not sea sick for the first time in my life on the ocean.

May 30 [1917]

Many pleasant people[,] among them Mr & Mrs Uhler, Mr Nelson & Dr Random, all of Johannesburg So Africa.  Also some nice Dutch people from Java & Borneo – Col & Mrs Stalk – Dr Van Loon & a Mr Deckwajer – at our table are 3 Americans who are boring wells at Burmah & an Englishman named Fox going over to fight - & the usual rafts of missionaries[.]

May 31 [1917]

Every day is like the one before it – Breakfast which the Dutch devour making a dainty repast of cold smoked eel, dried herring, cheese, egg & bacon[.] Ugh!  I manage to gulp down some lukewarm tea that has been stewed a week – then lunch, “tiffin” here – talk – tea – dinner & more idle talk & bed[.]


Hokusai –

Hirosijhe [Hiroshige] born 1797 – at Chobra 1858[,] came into prominence in 1820 with his 36 views of Fuji – soon afterwards 53 stations of the Tokaido

June 1 [1917]

People are beginning to tell me the story of their lives – such queer experiences in strange places.  Mrs Stalk was the first white women [sic] to go into the heart of Borneo.  Once the head hunters got her husband & wounded him terribly.  She put on trousers[,] took a revolver in each hand & with no one but native boys who were ready to murder her at any minute – she went to him thro’ the forest.  Once for 3 days & nights she sat with her revolver in her hand.

June 2 [1917]

Dr Van Loon is another interesting person – his government sent him out to stop the Bubonic plague in Java & he & his colleagues fought it inch by inch until they saved the world from a greater death harvest than this war.  He says Java is the most interesting part of the East & showed me pictures of a great Buddhist temple bigger than the pyramids[.]

June 3 [1917]

Dr Lembach, the famous naturalist & anthropologist is also on board.  He has spent years among the Bushmen of Africa & the head hunters of Borneo[.]  Is coming up into civilization now after three years in the wilds of Borneo[.]

June 4 [1917]

People are bringing up their loot to show – Laces & embroideries from Russia & Japan – an elephant foot mounted in carved Burmah silver – unset rubies & saphires [sic] & marvelous queer cloth from Java made by waxing over the cloth in intricate designs & painting in one color of the figure – for every shade there must be a new waxing – endless labor & patience[,] diamonds from South Africa – heaven knows what of beauty – the very ship smells of sandal wood[.]

June 5 [1917]

Same days idling – killing time which is darned hard to kill when you try it –

June 6 [1917]


June 7 [1917]


June 8 [1917]

A wonderful day at my beloved Honolulu – Everybody so glad to see me – Long rides with Mrs Warren[,] fine dinner at Moara[.]  At night visit from Mr Allen – Went to see the hedge of night blooming cereus – a mile of wondrous beauty & fragrance[.]

June 9 [1917]

Back on ship but brought some food so not quite so starved[.]

June 10 [1917]


June 11 [1917]


June 12 [1917]


[No entries for June 13 and 14.]

June 15 [1917]

Arrived San Francisco & went [to the] St Francis – Glad to be at home again but sorry to leave the Orient[.]