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I\\ ENT Y ESI ERDAY to the Agricultural Col
lege of the Imperial University of Japan, sit uated at Komaba. near Tokyo, where I had an appointment with Director Matsut. My purpose was to get further information concerning the gen eral condition of Japanese farmers and Japanese farming, but the biggest fact my researches brought out was not in regard to rice or barley or potatoes or taro, or any other held product of the Mikado’s Empire. Rather It waB a fact with re gard to w-hat Is in every land the most important of all farm crops—the crop of boys and girls. And the big fact 1 discovered was simply this: Theme brown Mongolian farm children, whose land we opened to civilization but fifty years ago, and whom we thought of but yesterday as backward heathen—they are getting, as a general proposi tion, Just twice ns much schooling as is furnished in our Southern rural districts their parents are providing, in their zeal for their children's wel fare, JuBt twice as good educational facilities as wo are giving our Southern farm boys and girls who bear in their veins the blood of a race which has carried the flag of human progress for a thou sand years, and whom we are expecting to con tinue to be leaders in civilization and enlighten • MV M V* Japanese Farm Children Getting Ten Months’ Schooling. In other words, so Dr. Matsul told me (and I went to-dny to the Japanese National Department of Education to verify the fact), the Japanese farm boys and girls are getting ten months’ school ing a year, while the Southern farm boy or girl Is getting only five or six months—and when I was In a Southern country school fifteen years ago not nearly so much ns that! Do you wonder that I avoided telling the Japanese educational officer Ju»t how our provision for farm boys and girls compares with Japan’s, and that I also neglected to tell him how we compare In the matter of utilising school advantages, when he showed me that of all the children between 6 and 14 In all the Empire of Japan the school attendance Is 98 per cent—9S out of every 100 children of “school ago” attending school, and In several provinces 99 out of every 100. Thirty-five years ago the average school attendance In Japan was only 28. and In 1893 only f*9. but by the time of the war with Russia It had passed 90, and since then has been climbing straight and steadily toward the amazing maximum Itself, the official figures showing a gain of 1 per cent a year -9 1 per cent, then 95, then 96, then 97. and now 98, and the leaders are now ambitious for 99 or 100, as they told mo to-day. No More Illiteracy In Young Japan. And then In the matter of compulsory attend ance: when this officer of an "Inferior race" show ed me that Japan Is so Intent upon educating every boy and girl In her borders that she com pels attendance on the public schools for eight years. I didn't tell him that In civilized America, the great enlightened nation so long held up to him uh a model, demagogues and others, on one pretoxt or another, have defeated almost every ef fort for effective compulsory education laws, In the South at least, and If a boy's parents are in different to his future, the State does not compel them to give him a lighting chance in life—for Its own sake and for the boy's. With those facts before me, as I have said, I did not make any vainglorious boasts of the great educational progress of our Southern States these last twenty years: all the proud reports I have heard at educational rallies and conferences seem ed somehow to collapse llko punctured gas-bags. However much progress we have made, these brown Japanese "brethren” have beaten us. While there is no official census on Illiteracy here, every Japanese man In his twenties must serve two years In the army (unless he Is In a normal school study ing to be a teacher) and a record us to literacy Is kept In the army, and the Department of Educa tion Informed me to-day that the illiterate column Is now absolutely blank: there are no illiterates among Japan's rising generation. •Theie lettor* are partly protected by copyright, but wo ubnll be lla,l to have editor* reprint not more than one-third of any one article Tli a UNj. Sof tho »erloa. . Where Five Acres is a Large Farm. More than this, we have to reflect that it is out of their poverty that the Japanese are doing more than we are doing with our plenty. We waste more in a year than they make. Even with a hundred acres of land the farmer in the South is likely to consider himself poor, but when I asked my Japanese guide the other day if 2 cho (five acres) would be an average-size farm here, he said: "No, not an average; such a man would he regarded as a middle-class farmer—a rather large farmer.” And the figures which I have Just obtained in a call on the National Department of Agriculture and Commerce more than justify the reply. Forty-six farmers out of every 100 in Japan own less than 1} acres of land; 26 more out of every 100 own less than 2& acres; and only one man In a hundred owns as much as 25 acres, (in the matter of cultivation also 70 per cent cultivate less than 2J acres, and nearly half are tenants.) This year the situation is even worse than usual, for disastrous floods have reduced the rice crop trice represents one-half Japan’s crop values) 20 per cent below last year’s figures, and many people will suffer. But ordinarily these little pocket handkerchief farms yield amazingly. It has been shown by Prof. F. H. King that the fields of Japan are cultivated so intensively, fertilized so pains takingly, and kept so continuously producing some crop, that they feed 2,277 people to the square mile—21,321 square miles of cultivated fields in the main islands supporting a population of 48, 5 12,376. If the tilled fields of North Carolina, for example, supported an equal number of peo ple per square mile, the population so supported would be 29,525,969, of if Mississippi’s 11,875 square miles of land under cultivation supported each 2,277 persons, then 27,041,375 people, or thirteen times the population of the State, could live off their produce! I’ropcrly Managed Lands Do Not Wear Out. Anil yet these lands have been In cultivation for unnumbered centuries. Some of them may have been cleared when King Herod trembled from his dream of a new-born rival in Judea, and certainly "the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome” had not faded from the earth when some of these fields began their age-long ministry to human need. And they have been kept fertile simply by each farmer putting back on the ground every ounce of fertility taken from It, for commer cial fertilizers were absolutely unknown until our own generation. Of course with a population so dense and with each man cultivating an area no larger than a garden-patch in America, the people are poor, and the wonder is that they are able to produce food enough to keep the country from actual want. Practically no animal meat is eaten; If we except fish, the average American eats nearly twice as much meat in a week as the average Japanese does in a year: 150 pounds of meat per capita is required per year for the average American, to be exact, against 1.7 pounds (about 27 ounces) for the average Japanese! Many of the farmers here are too poor even to eat a good quality of rice. Consequently Japan presents the odd phenomenon of being at once an exporter and a large importer of rice. Poor farmers sell their good rice and buy a poorer quality brought in from the mainland of Asia and mix it with barley. Only about one farmer in three has a horse or an ox; In most cases all the work must be done by hand and with irude tools. It is pitiful—or rather I should say, it would be pitiful if they were not so content ed—to see the men breaking the ground not by plowing but digging with kuwas: lone handled tools with blades perhaps six inches wide and two feet long. At the Agricultural College farm in Komaba I saw about thirty Japanese weeding rice with the kama—a tool much like an old-fashioned sickle, except that the blade is straight: the right hand quickly cut the roots of the weed or grass plant and the left hand as quickly pulled it up. With the same sickle-like kawas about thirty other Japanese were cutting and shocking corn: they are at least too advanced to pull fodder, I was in terested to notice! (Concluded next week.) | “ What’s The News?” | AS THE election draws nearer the political situation seems to become more complex and uncertain. The Democratic “landslide’' so freely predicted a month or so ago may come; but the most expert “election prophets” scarcely expect it. That the Democrats will make great gains is conceded by all, and it is more than likely that they will have a majority in the next House, and will probably gain several seats in the Sen ate. It is not expected, however, that in sections where the insurgent Republicans are in control the Democrats will make any great gains. In fact, the fighting this year is most bitter in States usually safely Republican. Massachusetts, Con necticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are all doubtful States. In Massachu setts it is probable that the Democrats threw away their chances of success by squabbling among themselves, but it looks as if they would elect the Governors in both Connecticut and New Jersey. Judge Baldwin in the first-named State and Woodrow Wilson in the latter are making campaigns that appeal to good citizens every where, and the bad repute of the Republican ma chines in both States is in their favor. In New York it looks as if Mr. Dix would be elected, though he is handicapped by having on the ticket with him several notoriously unfit men. Mr. Roosevelt Is fighting desperately, for if his candl date is defeated, his position as party leader is at once gone. In Pennsylvania ex-Treasurer Berry, who discovered the graft in connection with the building of the new State Capitol, is an Inde pendent candidate. Tener, the Republican candi date, has been charged by the Philadelphia North American with a number of disgraceful acts of "high finance,” and has brought suit for criminal libel against that paper. If he wins the suit, he will surely be elected; if the charges against him are sustained, it would seem that even Pennsyl vania would not be willing to bear the shame of such a Governor. The Democratic candidate is an ordinary rlngster. Governor Harmon, of Ohio, seems practically certain of election; and Indiana will probably go Democratic again. Nebraska may elect a Democratic Senator, but will almost certainly defeat Dahlman, tbe Democratic candi date for Governor, on the issue of wide-open sa loons. Missouri votes on a prohibition amend ment to the State Constitution. It is not ex pected to carry. In the South, outside of a few doubtful Congressional districts, the only notable fight is in Tennessee, where a Republican Gover nor is likely to be elected solely on the question of law enforcement. In the big cities of that State the prohibition law has been openly disregarded, and not until Judge McCall last week issued an injunction against tbe holders of Federal licenses was there any pretense at obeying It. • • • i ne neucii in me auminisiranon or me ro»i office Department for the year ending June 30 we* only $6,100,000, and Mr. Hitchcock Is predicting a one-cent postage rate for letters. What Is need ed more than this. Just now. Is the parcels poet, which, would. In all probability, make the system self-sustaining and give Americans a much-needed convenience which all other civilized peoples en joy. • • • The Census Bureau reported last week that only 6,410,000 bales of cotton had been ginned to October 18, against 5,530,000 at the same date last year. The effect of this report was an imme diate rise in price of $3 a bale. • • • The airship craze Is over the land and “avia tion contests” are being held everywhere. Ralph Johnstone rose to a height of 8,471 feet at s Long Island meet the other day. • • • General Interest attaches to the recent death of David Rankin, of Tarkio, Mo., a man who had made $4,000,000 or $5,000,000 farming. He was the world’s largest corn raiser, but bought corn every year. • • • The volcana Epomeo, on the Island of Ischia near Naples, Ttaly, which has been quiet for 600 years, burst Into eruption last week, causing great loss of life and property. • • • President Taft has appointed Wm. H. Lewis, of Boston, a negro, Assistant Attorney-General of the United Staes. • • • The unrest in Spain continues, Portgual, on the other hand, seems as quiet aB usual.