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Unbeaten Tracks in Japan by Isabella L. (Isabella Lucy) Bird
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UNBEATEN TRACKS IN JAPAN
AN ACCOUNT OF TRAVELS IN THE INTERIOR
INCLUDING VISITS TO THE ABORIGINES OF YEZO AND
THE SHRINE OF NIKKO BY ISABELLA L. BIRD




PREFACE



Having been recommended to leave home, in April 1878, in order to
recruit my health by means which had proved serviceable before, I
decided to visit Japan, attracted less by the reputed excellence of
its climate than by the certainty that it possessed, in an especial
degree, those sources of novel and sustained interest which conduce
so essentially to the enjoyment and restoration of a solitary
health-seeker. The climate disappointed me, but, though I found
the country a study rather than a rapture, its interest exceeded my
largest expectations.

This is not a "Book on Japan," but a narrative of travels in Japan,
and an attempt to contribute something to the sum of knowledge of
the present condition of the country, and it was not till I had
travelled for some months in the interior of the main island and in
Yezo that I decided that my materials were novel enough to render
the contribution worth making. From Nikko northwards my route was
altogether off the beaten track, and had never been traversed in
its entirety by any European. I lived among the Japanese, and saw