Farmers of Forty Centuries; Or, Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan eBook

Franklin Hiram King
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 311 pages of information about Farmers of Forty Centuries; Or, Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan.

In other cases, as in the Shantung province, illustrated in Fig. 60, the surface of the field may be thrown into broad leveled lands separated and bounded by deep and wide trenches into which the excess water of very heavy rains may collect.  As we saw them there was no provision for draining the trenches and the water thus collected either seeps away or evaporates, or it may be returned in part by underflow and capillary rise to the soil from which it was collected, or be applied directly for irrigation by pumping.  In this province the rains may often be heavy but the total fall for the year is small, being little more than twenty-four inches hence there is the greatest need for its conservation, and this is carefully practiced.


Some customs of the common

The Tosa Maru brought us again into Shanghai March 20th, just in time for the first letters from home.  A ricksha man carried us and our heavy valise at a smart trot from the dock to the Astor House more than a mile, for 8.6 cents, U. S. currency, and more than the conventional price for the service rendered.  On our way we passed several loaded carryalls of the type seen in Fig. 61, on which women were riding for a fare one-tenth that we had paid, but at a slower pace and with many a jolt.

The ringing chorus which came loud and clear when yet half a block away announced that the pile drivers were still at work on the foundation for an annex to the Astor House, and so were they on May 27th when we returned from the Shantung province, 88 days after we saw them first, but with the task then practically completed.  Had the eighteen men labored continuously through this interval, the cost of their services to the contractor would have been but $205.92.  With these conditions the engine-driven pile driver could not compete.  All ordinary labor here receives a low wage.  In the Chekiang province farm labor employed by the year received $30 and board, ten years ago, but now is receiving $50.  This is at the rate of about $12.90 and $21.50, gold, materially less than there is paid per month in the United States.  At Tsingtao in the Shantung province a missionary was paying a Chinese cook ten dollars per month, a man for general work nine dollars per month, and the cook’s wife, for doing the mending and other family service, two dollars per month, all living at home and feeding themselves.  This service rendered for $9.03, gold, per month covers the marketing, all care of the garden and lawn as well as all the work in the house.  Missionaries in China find such servants reliable and satisfactory, and trust them with the purse and the marketing for the table, finding them not only honest but far better at a bargain and at economical selection than themselves.

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