25 JANUARY 1908, Page 9


Old and New Japan. By Clive Holland. (J. M. Dent and Co. 15s. net.)—This is a delightful book, and in saying this we have practically indicated its character. It cannot be said that there is much in it that is positively new, or has escaped the attention of previous writers who have endeavoured to make the now Japan known to us. It is the admirable illustrations in colour of Mr. Montague Smyth, dealing with nearly all the most picturesque aspects of modern Japan, from its fishing villages to the geisha dances, that lend it its special value. Certain of the chapters, as, for example, those which deal with the religion of the country, are almost too conventional. It is rather too late in the day to tell us that "it is not alone the vast resources of the Japanese nation which make the study of this interesting and progressive people fascinating, but it is also the undreamed-of developments which will probably be the out- come of the intense love of the Fatherland knit to many centuries of practice in filial piety and unswerving loyalty to the living symbol of power and the nation's great dead. Thus the Shinto faith, though truly devoid of all the features generally associated with conventional religious beliefs, has yet in it the essentials of a true, and time-enduring, and even immutable faith, with a power to inspire a heart-whole patriotism and ensure an unexampled faithfulness to national ideals and earnestness in life." The most informing, and on the whole most useful, chapters are those which deal with the domestic and civic life of Japan both in city and country.