"Japanese Dwarfing of Trees" from Brooklyn Daily Eagle

      "Consul Harris and Japan" (1859), the first of four paragraphs reads thus:

       "The value of having the right man in the right place was never more forcibly illustrated than in the case of the American Consul in Japan.  In proportion to the delicacy and difficulty of the task seemed to be the tact and ability which he brought to its accomplishment. -- The Philadelphia Ledger refers to the obstacles which he had to encounter in the character of the people.  Polite, highly civilized, suspicious of strangers from the misconduct of the first missionaries, it was not an easy matter except by force of arms to open any sort of intercourse with them.  They had had the art of printing since the thirteenth century.  Their manufactures would compare with the Chinese.  Our Japan ware received its name and the very idea came from them.  They have many arts such as that of dwarfing trees, carried to a degree of perfection in which we are very far behind.  Refinement and perfection in little things is the characteristic of their civilization, just as enlargement of mind, boldness of conception and combinations are the characteristics of ours.  It is clear, therefore, that we are each capable of doing the other good, and that commerce will not only lead us to an interchange of products, but of ideas of greater value, both pecuniarily [sic] and in every other point of view, than can very soon be estimated." 1


1     Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 27, 1859, pg. 2Townsend Harris was America's first consul to Japan.

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