Kobe, Japan

Friday, September 20, 1929

To start the day in fitting manner Cecil and I had three sets of ping pong. The day was cloudy and my sightseeing excursion soon began to look like a wet proposition. Cecil stayed in to do some writing and I went down to Motomachi St. to buy this book and two more—Buddhism and Buddhists in Japan by Robert Cornell Armstrong and a small History of China by W. E. Soothill.

As expected, the rain was not long in coming. Suddenly the street came to life with Japanese parasols of all colors and designs.

Went to see the Shipping Board agent. As I said before, a boat left yesterday afternoon. There will be a boat the middle of next month, possibly two. The William Penn is a fast one, not sure of calling at Honolulu, but calling at Panama, a couple of Central American ports, Havana, then probably New York. The second is slower, leaves about the same time, calling at Honolulu and Panama but not certain of any other ports in that vicinity. At present the William Penn seems the best if I can get accommodations. It will reach New York about the middle of December, but of course I would leave it at Havana or in the West Indies.

Spent the afternoon at writing and the evening at ping pong. Still raining.

Last night I saw the first trained canary birds I have ever seen. Down on Motomachi Street in the evenings stands a man who has a queer performance to offer. There are two small cages in which are two birds that are very similar to canaries but I think they are of another family. One places a five sen piece on a small pedestal before the cage. The man calls the bird’s attention to it, then opens the cage door. Out hops Mr. Bird, picks up the coin with his bill, hops along a sort of bridge of cross rungs to a small box. Dropping the coin through a slot in the lid, it continues its way to a temple, pulls a string which rings a bell, then opens the door and disappears within a moment later to reappear with a tiny paper, folded, and bound with a red band. This he drops into your open hand and sometimes breaks the seal, then returns to its cage. The paper tells your fortune—but in Chinese.

Comments are closed.