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Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas

CHAPTER IV JAPAN

JAPANESE BOY SCOUTS

JAPAN is an island a little bigger than the United Kingdom ; it is 162,000 square miles in size with a population of 49,000,000. The British Isles are 121,000 square miles with 45,000,000 inhabitants.

Just as the sun was setting in a splendid blaze of colour we steamed into the great bay of Yokohama, and high up in the golden haze there appeared to be a great cloud shaped like a pyramid. It was the mountain Fuji, which is the pride of Japan.

One of the compliments paid to a lady in Japan is to say that she has a forehead shaped like Fuji. It certainly looked beautiful as we first saw it.

The narrow entrance to the bay is defended by forts among the pretty wooded knolls on either side and on islets inside, so that it would seem impossible for an enemy’s ship to come in. And lurking under the shadow of the hill-sides inside the bay we could see half a dozen huge, grey warships of the Japanese navy.

So that although one knows Japan to be a smiling, peaceful country, our first glimpse of it showed us not only its beauties, but also its strength.

As we steamed across the great bay to the harbour of Yokohama, a small steamer “dressed” with flags came out to meet our ship and to escort us. The Union Jack was flying conspicuously at the top of the mast; the deck was crowded with Boy Scouts.

So the Scouts of Yokohama had come out to welcome me.

As soon as we anchored they came on board, and they were a fine lot of fellows, smart and keen, nearly all British. Japan gives them good opportunities for Scout work, especially sea scouting, which I hope will be taken up by the Scouts not only at Yokohama, but also at Tokio and Kobe, where there are also a number of British, American, and European boys.

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