Four Letters written by Walter, an American Engineer in Yokohama, Japan , to his mother in America, May-June 1922

Four letters, folio, eight pages, written on thin Japanese rice paper, in ink, some folds and nicks, last page a bit torn and chipped, affecting text slightly, otherwise in good, legible condition.

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Walter writes describing his impressions and various incidents while in Japan

Yokohama, Japan, May 13, 1922

"Dear Mamma-

        Another week has rolled by, and a lot of things have happened. On Tuesday Holly and I went up to Tokyo with a Japanese in our office named Tsukamoto. Here we met our Japanese representatives. We had lunch in a nice restaurant, which looked like a restaurant in New York except for the waitresses in their kimonos and tabi (a sort of sandal.)

       Our representatives placed an auto at our disposal and we drove around the city, saw the emperors' palace, the parks, etc. We spent about two hours visiting an exposition being held in celebration of peace, and saw many interesting and beautiful exhibits.

        On Thursday I moved from the hotel to the home of the Boyntons on the Bluff, the foreign residence section, and it is very pleasant here I get both room and board here.

        On Saturday night most of the Americans go to the Grand Hotel and dance. So last night we all dolled up in our evening clothes and went down. I didn't dance but just looked on. If I stay here I will have to learn to dance, as that and playing bridge is about all they do.

       I have a great time wandering around town and seeing the interesting and odd sights. I have got lost a couple of times and once had to get a rickshaw to get out. Everything is perfectly safe and orderly, if anything more so than in the states, and I am enjoying it immensely.

       I will not try to catch any particular boat, but will just stick my letters in the mail and let them go where they will." Walter."

Yokohama, May 22, 1922

"Dear Mamma:- Well another week has flown by.

        On Thursday of last week we went up to Tokyo to see a Japanese gentleman who was going to the states. On the afternoon we went to the wrestling match. This is the Japanese national game. The wrestlers are immense men, totally unlike the average Japanese. They wear long hair brought to a top knot and go thru some amusing antics. The games last ten days and are bulletined in the stores all over the country, just like the ball games at home.

        Yesterday we went up to Tokyo again and visited a Buddhist Temple, and then went to a Japanese movie show. The pictures we saw were all American. An announcer stands in front and explains the picture to the audience.

       Probably next Sunday we will go to Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, and now a center of art.

       Three of us clubbed together today and bought 20 yards of  Chinese porgee from which we will have summer suits made. The cloth and making will cost about 40 yen ($20) per suit. I will probably have to get some linen or cotton suits for everyday wear and keep the Porgee for best. Most of the fellows have six to eight suits but I will try to get along with about four. They need a lot because it is very hot and dusty in summer.

       Enclosed is a picture of Holly and I at Honolulu. My Kodak has been out of order and I haven't used it since leaving the States. Am getting it fixed now, and hope to get a lot of pictures before I leave."

Yokohama, May 28, 1922

"Dear Mamma:-

        The days go by pretty fast and it is beginning to get hot. My palm beach suit is dirty and the porgee is not finished yet, so will have to get along for another week yet. Will probably have to get a couple of duck suits also, as it is very dusty and clothes get dirty quick.

       Your letter mailed on May 3rd arrived here during the week, and I was very glad to hear from you. This letter probably came b way of San Francisco. The fast mail comes by way of Seattle and Vancouver, and takes about 9 to 10 days. However, the authorities route the mail according to the boats, of which they have complete schedules. ...

      Next Tuesday night I am to be the guest of honor at a dinner in Tokyo to which 100 engineers have been invited. I hope I don't expire before the evening is over. On June 22nd I lecture before the Japanese Institute of Electrical Engineers at Tokyo and on July 2nd at Moji. I don't mind this, but dislike the dinner very much. However, will probably survive. Will let you know how I come out later.

      At the end of next week we plan a trip to Kyoto ... Took part this P.M. in Decoration Day Celebration with American Legion. The American Ambassador spoke."

Yokohama, Japan, June 4, 1922

"Dear Mamma -

      Last week I wrote that there was a dinner coming off in Tokyo in my honor. Well it took place in a magnificent club and there were 105 prominent engineers present. The dinner was preceded by a vaudeville show in a nice theatre in the club. The dinner was a nice one of many courses, foreign food. Then there were speeches in Japanese, to which I responded in English. Flashlights were taken of the principal speakers. After the dinner I showed a couple of moving pictures Everything went off in good shape and was very enjoyable.

       On Friday night we went to dinner next door and on Saturday night went to dinner at Mr. Geary's (manager of the office here). This was followed by a dance at the Grand Hotel, where all the foreigners go Saturday night. ...

      Yesterday we went up to Tokyo and saw the artist printing from wood blocks, an old Japanese process. Today we saw the Empire State off for San Francisco. One of the men on the office went back on this boat..."