John Muir


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May 5. Temperature 6:00 A.M. 64. Still cloudy, dark and almost rainy. Small white caps. Arrived Nagasaki about 6:30 _.M. The harbor exceedingly beautiful in the number of islands, their collocation, trees, grass patches of rice very pale green, their sculpture like part of Alexander Archipelago, purely glacial. The trees along ridges and rocky tops are mostly conifers, spiry or broad-topped like those about Hongkong. The different tones of green very struking. Interesting trip to Shinto Temple. At steps of Temple left rickshaws and climbed hill of the Temple gardens, perhaps 250 feet high, commanding view of harbor, the town and representative terraced, cultivated hill with its comic forms separated from the Temple hill by ravine. In garden, temple like natural forest, main tree Camphor from 3 to 8 feet in diameter, 4 feet above ground. Noble trees. Ghinko cryptomeria, etc. May 6. Temperature 8:00 A.M. 59. Left Nagasaki at 6:00 A.M. going north along the west coast through wild charming island scenery like that of south east Alaska. Immediately north of Nagasaki Harbor, the scenery is particularly fine in number and bold forms of islands with trees. Along the main coast innumerable patches of cultivation on terraced slopes where soil can be found. The Straits of Sansake (?) very narrow, the big ship seemingly groping her way, half lost in the crooked island-blocked fiords. The Inland Sea deserves its fame, though not more beautiful than much of Alexander Archipelago. Every feature glacial. The ridge tops and precipitous parts of islands generally are forested or brushy. Pines, crooked, wide headed, picturesque, firs also and spruce, cypress, camphor, etc. All the rest minutely cultivated in terraced patches, terraced walls built of stone mostly. No squalor visible even in the very poorest families. Even the coal passers women and mere girls as well as men careful of dress. Coal handled in baskets.

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Original journal dimensions: 9 x 15.5 cm.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist