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THE CHRISTMAS SHOW. I

- - - - - - THE HANDS IN COLD…

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AMATEUR THEATRICALS AT CHESTER.

| JAPAN TO-DAY.

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| JAPAN TO-DAY. MR. SATORI KATO'S LECTURE. I The last of the Y.M.C.A. series of lectures was delivered on Monday evening at the Music Hall. The large audience proved that the interest of the public was undiminished and the applause which greeted the announcement by Mr. J. P. Hodge that the committee had decided to hold a similar course next winter was convincing testimony of the appreciation with which this autumn's innova- tion has been received. It must have required no little courage on the part of the Y.M.C.A., in the then state of their finances, to launch out on the expense of such a series of lectures, and it was eminently satisfactory to hear that the accounts shewed a substantial balance on the right Bilk. We understand that the enterprise originated with the energetic secretary of the Chester branch (Mr. James Jamieson), to whom praise is due not only for this but for the advance the association has made in the city during the time he has been here. The final lecture was on "Japan of To-day," by Mr. Satori Kato. The Bishop of Chester pre- sided, and was accompanied on the platform by Mr. H. T. Brown (chairman of the Y.M.C.A., Chester), and others. Mr. J. P. Hodge, in making the announcements already referred to, on behalf of the committee, thanked the audienoe for their kind support, and expressed their gratitude to Mr. H. E. Crane and his band for voluntarily dis- coursing music during the interval of waiting— (applause)—and to those gentlemen who had taken I the chair at the lectures and thus shewn their appreciation of the work of the Y.M.C.A. The Bishop said those lectures were a public benefit to Chester. (Applause.) He was sure the audience had realised how very greatly the public pleasure and intelligence had been administered to by the instrumentality of the Y.M.C.A. The association as a whole were continually improving their methods; for example, those who still bore in mind the events of the South African war knew what admirable service had been done in admin- istering to the soldiers in the field by the repre- sentatives of the Y.M.C.A. An organisation doung such good work could not have too much money entrusted to it. (Applause.) They were there to give a most hearty welcome to Mr. Satori Kato. They welcomed him in the first place as the representative of a nation they were proud to call the ally of England. (Applause.) We ;hoped that our ally, who had shewn such marvellous qualities in preparing for war. and in going through the strain and stre.-w of war, would be able to shew no less meritorious qualities in the even greater trial of success and assured peace and prosperity. We believed Japan would shew herself as noble under those new circum- stances as she had done in the past. (Applause.) They also accorded Mr. Kato a very warm wel- come for his own Bake. (Applause.) Mr. Satori Kato then proceeded with his lecture. He is a member of an eminent Samurai family, and his figure is typical of his race. He is remarkably diminutive, looking quite a boy. Although he. spoke apparently not without some effort, yet he displayed a large vocabulary, and his range of words was as varied as many Englishmen's. He had not mastered English pronunciation, nor the structure of some sentences, and while sometimes the audience lost his mean- ing, they were at other times amused by his quaint sayings. Allowing for the great difficulties a foreigner must have in mastering our tongue it must be acknowledged that Mr. Kato was remarkably successful. He commenced by stating that he felt exceedingly fortunate in being in this beautiful city. They in Japan had heard of Chester for some time. Later he said that a Cestrian had written a poem to their Emperor. which had been published in the paper having the Largest circulation in Japan, so that the Japanese were always proud of Chester. Alluding to the alliance, he said that in personally representing to them his beloved country he was not going to describe a far remote country, but one of our allies, with whom we had undertaken vast powers. We had taken them into our bosom confidence, and now they trusted u& and they believed sorae good would come through such allies as they now had. (Applause.) Arm in arm, we and Japan could be the guardians of the world, especially against those pretentious powers in Europe, whose i aims might be all right, but whose actions were distressing. (Applause.) Without adopting any fixed line. Mr. Kato discoursed pleasantly on most phases in the life of Japan. In his allusions to the war, he expressed the belief that it could have been avoided without difficulty if the world, especially Russia, had known the quality of his humble country. People thought Japan made a great blunder when she commenced the war against Russia, with the terrib'e Cossacks, but Japan could do everything. Their oavalry was poor, but their infantry could chase their enemies. (Laughter.) The Japanese never spoke badly of the. Russians, whose gallantry they recog- nised, and they did not say the things about Russia, which he feared were said even in London. Mr. Kato appealed to them not to take China so ) jokingly. China was an immense country, with i enormous wealth and enormous resources for the benefit of civilisation in that part of the world. The future of China was not to be under- estimated. The Chinese were very faithful and upright, and their commercial probity waa beyond suspicion. China ought to be stimulated to rise. The awakening of that country was, he asserted, the dawn of universal peace and pros- perity. Alluding to our Queen's generosity to the unemployed, he said their Emperor and Empress were doing "exceedingly good for charity works." Wherever there was distress they jointly or separately donated something to assist the needy. The problem of the unemployed was not so extreme in Japan, and they had no workhouses there. People might say that the wages paid by the Government to their employes were very small. It was not the amount, but how far it would go, that mattered. (Applause.) In Japan a man did not require the same amount of money he required in London to live in the same .style. The expenditure in the west was unnecessarily increased, and the simple life of the Japanese people, especially in foodstuffs, had made the country thrifty and courageous. He thought Japan was achieving so well because they did not trust everything to foreigners. Their first railways were built by English contractors, but to-day they could build the railways at one-tenth the cost they paid to the contractors. The rail- way employes were treated very nicely, and they had had only one strike in thirty years. (Ap- plause.) The railways managed to pay from eight to fiftn per oent. in dividends, so they were just going on nicely. There were no rail- ways when he was at school, and with others he had to walk a distance of 300 miles twice a year from his home to Tokio to obtain higher educa- tion. On the road fftere were many tea shops, where travellers could obtain nothing to drink but tea, because the people were very much sub- jected to sobriety. (Laughter.) Speaking of recreation, he said people in England went to music halls and listened to vile music, which was absolutely contrary to the sense of morality. He thought it was most deplorable. (Hear hear.) The Japanese might fall into such temptations, but he hoped they would refrain from giving way to that dangerous tendency of life and luxury. (Hear, hear.) We had no good composers in this country. (Laughter.) In Japan they did not attach much importance to music. They preferred giving their children more training in mathematics and trigonometry. (Hear, hear.) They did not stir up people by their music, but they quieted them and made them more thoughtful and given to meditation. Speaking of the com- mercial development of the country, he said Japan was built on a coal-bed. He could recollect the time when the Japanese did not know coal. His sc hoolmaster shewed him a small piece of rock like substance and told him it was burnable. They did not know exactly what it was, but tç day they exported to Hong-Kong and Singapore and supplied many vesæls. Mr. Kato touched on the religion of the country. Shintoism was not so much opposed to the ideas of the west, and Japan was fast coming to the idea of the Father- hood of God and the brotherhood of man. (Ap- plause.) The lecture was illustrated by an excellent series of lantern views thrown on the screen by Mr. Siddall.

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