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A New Zealander in Japan.

•w Mr Charles Nettleship, who left Auckland some time ago for Japan, in writing ■ to Mr E. Morton, gives the following account of his surroundings : —" You will be glad to hear that we like the country and people, and in no wise regret having left Hew Zealand to come to Japan. I ' am at present English teacher to two of the 1 schools under the Japanese Government. The language of the country is, indeed, very difficult, in fact, its difficulties are beyond description. Those who are in a position to know say that Hebrew and . Greek are child's play in comparison. Up to the present time I have been so fully occupied in teaching^ both in and out of school hours, that I have really had no time to devote to the study of the language. Here, .in Tokushima, there are only nine foreigners. We therefore naturally see a great deal of Japanese life, and sometimes a little too much : for instance, if we go for a walk we are followed the whole distance by a crowd of children, who follow so closely on our heels that if we tetop suddenly we have the whole crowd around us. If we go into a shop, the crowd of children go in too, their i , number being considerably augumented by men and women. Every word we give utterance repeated by each individual member of the gathering. The missionaries , sometimes have their time and patience sorely taxed, for men will go to them and ■ say .they have come to inquire about Christianity. They are kindly received, and after they have wasted some valuable ' hours, they will ask how soap is made, or if they can, be taught English for noth''injj. One man went three times to the Rev C.;F; Warren, of Osaka, and the ' third time took away with him an overcoat out of the hall. He has not been a fourth time to inquire about Christianity, you may. be sure.' The Japanese are very • polite to each other, but they do not seem to possess any real affection. They .think, nothing of plucking their fowls alive, and letting them go about the steeets nearly , bare. They will also without any compunction, kick a dog from one side of the road to the other. Instead of whipping their children, they calmly burn them. With all their faults we like '■ them very much, and hope when we have mastered their language to be able to ■ work effectually among them. This is the orthodox Japanese writing paper and Japanese ink. Therefore, I hope you will excuse all shortcomings. This paper is prepared from the inner bark of a tree. • It is very light, and therefore commends itself to us for that reason."

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Bibliographic details

A New Zealander in Japan., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2438, 30 May 1890

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A New Zealander in Japan. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2438, 30 May 1890