They found a large and well-lighted room in the centre of the house; and, as before stated, near the entrance. In the middle of this room there was a raised platform, with some little furnaces set in the floor. On this floor the cooking of some fish was going on under the supervision of a woman, who was watching to see that everything progressed satisfactorily. A few pots and pans were visible, but not a tenth of the number that would be found in the kitchen of a hotel of similar capacity in America. The Japanese cookery is not elaborate, and therefore only a few articles are required for it. A small fire in a brazier that could be carried in the hand is all that is needed to offset the enormous ranges with which we are familiar. From the roof two or three safes are hung for the preservation of such things as the dogs and cats might take a fancy to. At first glance they are frequently taken for bird-cages, and this mistake was made by Fred, who innocently remarked that he wondered what kind of birds they kept there.
"Some of them could hardly see out of their eyes on account of the fat around them; and when their arms were doubled up, they looked like the hams of a hog. I was told that the Japanese idea of a wrestler is to have a man as fat as possible, which is just the reverse of what we think is right. They train their men all their lives to have them get up all the fat they can; and if a man doesn't get it fast enough, they put him to work, and tell him he can never be a wrestler. It is odd that a people so thin as the Japanese should think so much about having men fat; but I suppose it is because we all like the things that are our opposites. But this isn't telling about the wrestling match.
"We had no trouble after that; but we only allowed fifty men on deck at one time, and those under a strong guard. You can be sure we were in a hurry to finish the voyage, which we did without accident. I had had all I wanted of the coolie-trade, and never went on another voyage like that."
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