JAPAN, sometimes called the Sunrise Kingdom, consists of a body of islands, forming an empire lying off the coast of Asia. The coasts of Japan are much broken by bays and inlets, and are very difficult of access, not only from the multitude of rocks and islands that surround them, but from the prevalence of gales and fogs. The rivers are numerous, but none are large; they are mostly mountain torrents, with short and rapid courses. Though there are some large plains, the surface of the country is in general very much broken by hills and valleys. The soil is fertile, and is almost everywhere cultivated. Even the rugged mountainsides, where the plough cannot be used, are often built up in terraces and tilled by hand. 

The abundant rains of spring and summer make a luxuriant growth of vegetation. The weather, however, is subject to sudden changes, and violent thunderstorms are very frequent. Earthquakes are so common that the natives pay very little regard to them.

The Japanese people are of medium size, and mostly of a yellow color, though some are brown and others nearly white.

Their eyes are small, oblique, and deeply sunk in the head. 

Their noses are thick and short, and their hair heavy, black, and glossy.

Some of the ladies who are not exposed to the sun have perfectly fair skins and blooming cheeks. The dress of men and women is very much alike. 

It consists of a number of loose, wide gowns worn over each other, and fastened at the waist by a girdle. The sleeves are very long and wide, and the part of the sleeve that hangs below the arm is used as a pocket. The women usually wear brighter colors than the men, and often border their robes with gay embroidery or gold. 

Upon occasions of full dress, a cloak is worn, together with a sort of trousers called hakkama. Within doors, socks are the only covering for the feet, but shoes are worn out of doors. 

These shoes consist of soles of straw matting, or wood, and would seem very awkward and inconvenient to us. They are always taken off and left at the door on entering the house. 

Neither men nor women wear any covering on their heads, except occasionally as a protection from the rain. 

They screen their faces from the sun by the fan, which is carried by all classes, ladies, priests, soldiers, and beggars.

These people have many curious customs. If you were to make them a morning call, they would at once offer you a cup of tea and a pipe. At the conclusion of the visit, sweetmeats are handed you on a sheet of white paper ornamented with tinsel; these are to be eaten with chopsticks, and if you do not eat the whole, you are expected to fold up the remainder in the paper and carry them away with you. At grand dinners each guest is expected to take with him a servant or two to carry off in baskets the remnants of the banquet. 

Thus many things are made custom with them, which in our country would be considered quite rude.

The houses of the Japanese are as singular as the people. Of the better classes, the houses are of stone, or are constructed of a frame-work of bamboo, or lath, covered with tenacious mud; this being covered with a coat of plaster, is either painted or becomes bleached by exposure. Moldings are often arranged in diagonal lines over the surface of the building, and these being painted white, and contrasting with the dark ground behind, give the houses a curious piebald look. The roofs are often of tiles, colored alternately black and white, the eaves being extended low down in front of the walls, so as to protect the inmates from the sun, and the oiled paper windows from the effects of the rain. At night, sliding doors, or shutters, are put on outside the paper windows.

A raised floor extends over the whole area of the house inside. This floor is a neat platform about two feet high, and is always covered with thick matting, except that on the front edge there is a strip of bare plank. The mats are neatly woven, and bound with cloth; they are all of uniform size, and placed in rows upon the floor so neatly as to have the appearance of one piece. 

One who has visited these houses says: "This matting is always clean as clean can be, and the naked part of the floor not only clean, but polished until it fairly glistens." In the house there is no furniture, no table, no chairs, no bedsteads. Upon the clean mats the people sit to take their meals, and to converse with their friends, and on them they lie down at night to sleep, having then a stuffed quilt for a cover and a hard box for a pillow.

Taken as a whole, the Japanese are an intelligent and interesting people. 

Those who wish to learn more about them will find no lack of books on the subject. Of late they are becoming very much interested in having their young people educated, and numbers of them have been sent to this country to receive an American education.

 E. B

A LITTLE child, seven years old, one 

day said to her mother, "Mother, I have 

learned to be happy.”  "My dear, how 

can this be done?" said her mother. 

The child answered, "It is not caring 

about myself, but trying to make