wds of people were coming and
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    by water; and when I tell[Pg 276] you that it contains half a million of inhabitants, you will understand that it must have had prosperity to make it so great. The streets are of good width, and they are kept cleaner than those of most other cities in Japan. The people are very proud of Osaka, and are as tender of its reputation as the inhabitants of any Western city in America are tender of theirs. There are not so many temples as in Tokio, and not so many palaces, bu

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    t there is a fair number of both; and, what is better in a practical way, there are many establishments where cotton, iron, copper, bronze, and other goods are manufactured. As a commercial and

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    manufacturing centre, Osaka is at the head, and without a rival so far as Japan is concerned." Towards sunset the party took a stroll through the city, stopping in front of several shops, a

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    nd entering one or two of the larger. The boys[Pg 277] were of opinion that the shops of Osaka were larger than those of Tokio, and there was one silk-store that was twice the size

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    of any they had seen in the eastern capital. The goods that were displayed were not materially different from what they had already seen, and consequently they were not

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    disposed to linger long on the way. They extended their walk to the upper part of the city, where several temples are situated, and they finally reached the famous Castle of Osaka, whence there is a line view from the walls. There was some difficulty in entering the castle, but through the explanations of John the matter was arranged and they went inside. THE CASTLE OF OSAKA. THE CASTLE OF OSAKA. One of the wonders

    of Japan is the wall of the Castle of Osaka, or[Pg 278] rather of a portion of it. During the sixteenth century Osaka was the capital of the empire, and remained so for many years; while it was the capital the emperor commanded the tributary princes to assist in building the walls of the imperial residence, and each was to send a stone for that purpose. The stones are there, and it would be no small matter to remove them. Our friends had no mean

    s of measurement at hand, but they estimated that some of the stones were twenty feet long by half that width, and six feet in depth. They were as large as an ordinary street-car, and some of them were larger; and how they could have been transported over the roads of Japan and hoisted into their places was a mystery no one could explain. The view from the top of the castle walls is magnificent, and well repays the

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    trouble of making the ascent. In front is the city like a broad map, and there is no difficulty in tracing the lines of the streets and the sinuosities of the rivers and canals. Beyond the city, on the right, is the water of the bay, which opens into the Pacific, while on the left is the plain that stretches away to Kobe and Hiogo. Beyond the plain is the range of

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    sharp hills and mountains; and as one turns slowly to the west and north he can sweep the landscape almost to the gates of Kioto and the shores of Lake Biwa. To the east, again, there are mountains rising sharply from the fertile plain, so that one seems to be standing in a basin of low land with a curving rim of mountains. The sun was about setting as our party reached the top of the high wall, and they remained ther

    e in full enjoyment of the scene until the shadows began to fall and the light to fade out from the sky. It was the most delightful landscape view that had fallen to the lot of the youths since their ascent of Fusiyama. They regretted the necessity of departing from the castle, but regrets were of no use, and they descended to the streets just as the lamps were getting into full blaze. CHAPTER XX. THE MINT AT OSAKA.—FROM OSAKA TO NARA AND

    KIOTO. Through the assistance of a gentleman to whom Doctor Bronson had a letter of introduction, our friends were enabled to pay a visit to the imperial mint at Osaka. They found a large establishment, like a foundry, on the bank of the river, and just outside the thickly settled portion of the city. A tall chimney was smoking vigorously, and gave signs of activity; and there was an air of neatness about the su

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