Dwelling among the people, learning their language, making himself in many ways like them, Mr. Hearn has been able to seize and record a host of impressions to which the average traveler and tourist are utter strangers. . . . His volumes form a rich storehouse of delight to the reader, and material for the scholar. Some of the sacred places have been seen through foreign eyes for the first time by Mr. Hearn. He presents us a wonderful picture of the Japanese soul.
, can be understood only by those who have lived in the farther East. For even the printed characters of Japanese or Chinese imported texts give no suggestion of the possible beauty of the same characters as modified for decorative inscriptions, for sculptural use, or for the commonest advertising purposes. No rigid convention fetters the fancy of the calligrapher or designer: each strives to make his characters more beautiful than any others; and generations upon generations of artists have been toiling from time immemorial with like emulation, so that through centuries and centuries of tire-less effort and study, the primitive hieroglyph or ideograph has been evolved into a thing of beauty indescribable. It consists only of a certain number of brush- strokes; but in each stroke there is an undiscoverable secret art of grace, proportion, imperceptible curve, which actually makes it seem alive, and bears witness that even during the lightning-moment of its creation the artist felt with his brush for the id
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