The Japanese soldier--His dignified demeanour--His artistic taste--Delicate touch--Appreciation of Art--Watches for preference.
THE Japanese soldier in many respects resembled the British, but was more reserved, and less anxious to be everybody's friend. The innocent and frank simplicity of the Briton was replaced in the Oriental by a more graceful, yet a stolid and dignified demeanour. But at heart both were alike, both dare-devils, yet gentle enough if treated the right way. The point where a marked difference lay between the two was in the true and keen artistic sense of the beautiful inborn in the sons of the Mikado's Empire, and altogether absent in the British Tommy. All that was ancient, refined in line and taste, or pleasing to the eye in colour, had for a Japanese more fascination than anything of ten times its intrinsic value. In other words, an old cup, a bowl, a rolled-up painting yellow with age, a scroll done with a dash of the brush, offered more temptation to the Japanese than a costly roll of silk, for which he would not seem to care at all. I went into a house which had been entered by a number of Japanese privates. They had found a cabinet of old china, and each soldier was revolving in his supple fingers a cup or a vase or dish, and carefully examining the design.