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THE BOY SCOUTS OF FEUDAL JAPAN
adept. For this pilgrimage the chigo, or junior members, don the ancient dress of a time "when reds and blues were indeed red and blue"-the heavy cloth stuffs which were the garb of the Samurai on occasions which did not call for the more protecting but cumbersome armor, and were much worn, even in battle, by the rank and file. The older lads, those above fifteen years, make the journey clad in the full armor of metal and completely helmeted a feat not to be carelessly undertaken. In each file is a boy carrying a streamer bearing the name of his organization, just as in past days the name of the knight in command was borne by his colorbearer.
With bugles blowing, pennants flying, and dressed in these heavy trappings of war, the Samurai sons traverse the twenty miles to the village shrine consecrated to the greatest of Satsuma's warriors-Shimadzu Yoshihisa. This Yoshihisa, the most notable of a notably warlike family, has been canonized by the Satsuma people for his bravery at the battle of Sekigahara-the Japanese Marston Moor. On this occasion he found himself, through the treachery of a supposed ally, in the midst of a fearful debacle, which threatened to annihilate his whole command. Undaunted, however, Yoshihisa formed a forlorn hope, and with some seventy of his men cut his way through whole regiments of the victorious forces.
The Satsuma people have that all too rare worship for the hero even in his defeat. has probably never occurred to them that their lord was defeated. He is their hero, and as such still lives in their ceremonies.
The last of the year's celebrations returns to the austere idea of revenge which we saw characterizing the umbrella burning. On the evening of December 14 the lads assemble in their respective sha, and under the leadership of their seniors read that famous old drama of the Forty-seven Ronin. The reading begins about seven, and is carried on continuously by alternating readers until fifteen small volumes are gone through-usually about four in the morning.
The story of the Forty-seven Ronin is too long for detailed narration here; indeed, it forms a history of itself, and is too well known to foreign readers through Mitford's "Tales of Old Japan" to bear repetition. Suffice it to say that it is a story whose motif lies in a revenge brought about by fortyseven knights after long months had elapsed.
These Samurai had formerly been attached to the service of a great lord, who, having got into a quarrel at the palace in ancient Tokyo, had attempted to assassinate his enemy. According to the old rules, such an attempt was punished by an enforced suicide and forfeiture of estate. These retainers, ever faithful to their lord, decided on revenge, and in order to divert suspicion became ronin, a sort of condottieri, and scattered all over the Empire. The chief of these knights even went so far in his effort to blind the spies of the enemy as to divorce his wife, purchase a concubine, and frequent the gay quarters of the town, in the hope that word of his dissoluteness would reach Tokyo.
While the leader was in the depths of his dissipation a Satsuma Samurai found him sleeping in a gutter, intoxicated, and, to show his contempt for a creature fallen so low that he refused to revenge his lord, kicked the drunken ronin and spat in his face.
At length the ruse of these men was successful. All suspicion was buried, the large guard which had been maintained in the Tokyo castle was dismissed, and these fortyseven men entered in the dead of night and wrought their vengeance. Having obtained satisfaction, these retainers despatched themselves by hara-kiri and were all buried together in a cemetery which is now visited yearly by thousands of pilgrims.
But it is a forty-eighth grave which interests the sha boys-that of the Satsuma knight who had insulted the drunken leader in the street. Hearing that. the dissipation of the chief of the band had been part of the general scheme, this old Satsuma warrior journeyed to the little shrine in the inclosure of the cemetery where they were interred, and, beseeching pardon for his mistake, himself committed hara-kiri.
This, in outline, is the story hundreds of Satsuma youths listen to from the lips of their elders. Many writers have taken occasion to lament the influence that such teaching must have on the children. Yet, withal, it is such as was necessary to meet the demands of the morality of feudal Japan.
Stern training in the heat of summer and the cold of winter, constant attention to the code of Bushido and to a medieval ethics, together with a sterling sense of loyalty to lord and piety towards parents, were the services which these societies of Boy Scouts in Feudal Japan were organized to promote.
EIGHT MINUTES' COMMON-SENSE PLAY
FOR THE GROWING CHILD
BY WILLIAM J. CROMIE
INSTRUCTOR IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
PHOTOGRAPHS BY HAESELER PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPANY
This article concludes the series of three articles by Mr. Cromie about "Eight Minutes' Common-Sense Exercise." The first, "Exercise for the Busy Man, appeared in The Outlook for June 23. The second, "Exercise for the Nervous Woman," appeared in the issue of July 25.—The Editors.
Before taking up the play life of the child, let us see if we can determine what play is. There are four view-points in the theory of play, all of which should be considered. The "feeling fit," or overflowing with surplus energy, is advanced by H. Schiller and Herbert Spencer, while directly opposed to this is the idea that play is an opportunity (Lazarus's theory) afforded for the relaxation of exhausted powers. Professor Karl Groos claims that play is important in the development of the individual, while, opposing this, Professor G. Stanley Hall explains play as a rehearsing of ancestral activities.
bert Spencer, in his "Principles of Psychology," in upholding the first of these four views, claims that " play is characteristic of nerve processes that the superfluous integration of ganglion cells should be accompanied by an inherited readiness to discharge." This sounds quite technical; it means that on account of the advanced development of man he has more force than is needed in order to digest, breathe, keep the organic processes going, and is able to allow some of his processes longer periods of rest while others are being exercised.
Imitation seems to be quite general in the play of the child, who dramatizes the acts of adults in the dressing of dolls and the building of toy houses; still, imitation cannot be called the universal standard of play. Not imita
tion or superfluous energy, but the life of impulse and instinct alone can make special forms of play comprehensible to us. that is needed to set the claws of a kitten in motion is to roll a ball of cord toward it, while the full-grown cat starts up at the sight of a mouse. If a father gets upon his hands and knees in the nursery, the child instinctively is ready for a romp. The feeling-fit theory is all right as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. Recreation or play appeals to one when one is tired or exhausted and still does not wish to rest or sleep. Play is the diversion of thought from the weightier conflicts of life to the seemingly lighter diversions of the hour. As the strings of a violin and the string of a bow should not always be taut if the instrument is to retain its usefulness, so does man need the relaxation of play. When a student plays a game of baseball or tennis, he tones up his relaxed mental powers at the same time that he finds a means of relieving his accumulated motor impulses, repressed during his work in the clinic, laboratory, or at the drawing-board. Play which disposes of his surplus energy, and, again, which restores his lost powers, is a valuable supplement to the Schiller-Spencer idea, but still does not solve the theory of play. New recreative activity is often closely related to the work of which one is weary, as the changing from one scientific book to another. When almost exhausted from long, continuous walking on the level, I have found diversion and become rested by up-and-down-hill walking, and vice versa. This is due to the fact that different sets of muscles are employed. The swimmer becomes rested by turning over on his back.
While the theory of surplus energy accounts for play in the case of many children when there is no need for recreation, this need may produce play, as illustrated by adults with whom
EIGHT MINUTES' COMMON-SENSE PLAY FOR THE GROWING CHILD 189
there is no surplus energy. While play may be started in the absence of superabundant energy, it may then be carried to the utmost limit of exhaustion. Baldwin explains the almost irresistible tendency to repeat by calling it "circular reaction." A child never tires of hearing the same story over and over; roosters fight till they fall exhausted, and, when rested, renew the fighting. A phrase or advertising sign will often stay with one for days, being constantly repeated or reviewed in the mind's eye. This impulse toward repetition is the reason for carrying on play to the utmost limit of strength. Some parents imagine their children evilly inclined because, while leaping and running, they sometimes are seized with a wild impulse for destroying things or for inflicting pain upon animals. Children should not be punished for this, because they are following the mysterious law of "circular reaction," or the frenzy of play. While the play life of the child should be encouraged, still it should be carefully supervised by the parent and teacher, and the child should not be allowed to play too much. A child has not the self-control of the adult, and so gives way to the impulse of repetition. I have seen both a boy and a girl faint from the effects of over-indulgence in play, the boy during Marathon running, and the girl in rope-jumping. During the unrestrained impulse of the adult, even, we can see evidences of the tendency to repeat. The dancer whose movements are adjusted in harmony with the rhythmic repetition of pleasant sounds is possessed by a kind of temporary madness which makes him exert his powers to the utmost. Some religious sects do unseemly things while laboring under the fervor of religious ecstasy. The frenzy of play is well exemplified in the ghost dance of the American Indians and among savage tribes in other parts of the world which in
flict atrocious self-torture and dance till exhausted. Parents should not, then, repress the shouting, singing, and playing of the child when they themselves can hardly at times restrain the same impulse. Professor Karl Groos, in his Play of Man," says that play is of great importance in the physical and mental development of the individual; that it is, in short, preparatory to the tasks of life. He claims that, before the child's education begins, his whole existence, except the time devoted to sleeping and eating, is occupied with play. He says that this does not involve heredity impulses, but that its peculiar and inherent nearness to the springs of life and life's realities demands a complete explanation grounded on a general principle which is applicable at once to youth and to the play which lasts throughout life.
The latest view of play is held by Professor G. Stanley Hall, who says that "the first spontaneous movements of infancy are keys to the past; that in play every mood and movement is instinct with heredity." The power to throw with accu
racy and speed was in the long ago necessary for survival. Those who could throw unerringly overcame enemies, killed game, and sheltered the family, while those who could not were eliminated. Running and dodging with speed and endurance and hitting with a club were also basal to hunting and fighting. These exercises are still necessary for developing and perfecting the organism, and this is what makes the game of baseball so racially familiar and our National sport. Does not the typical college game of football revive memories of the conflict and struggle of primitive ages? It does' not take a Carlisle eleven to make a gridiron resemble a battlefield of savages, illustrating, as it does, the joys of victory and the crushing sorrowsofdefeat. Why will twenty or thirty thousand persons sit for
two hours cheering their favorites, oblivious of the cold, rain, and blinding snow, if not impelled by ancestral traits handed down by those football tactics of running, dodging, tackling, and throwing of the primitive man? Is it not a racial instinct that impels one to sit all day on the bank of a stream and fish? Some exercises and play are more interesting than others because they touch and revive the basic emotions of the race. Play," continues Professor Hall, "at best is only a school of ethics. It gives, not only strength, but courage and confidence, tends to simplify habits, gives energy, diversion, and promptness to the will, brings consolation and peace of mind in evil days, is a resource in trouble, and brings out individuality." The conclusion, then, I take it, is that all four ideas discussed must be included in order to give the best definition of play. Surplus energy and recreation for exhausted powers may operate simultaneously; while in the free, untrammeled use of one's powers individual qualities may be developed during the rehearsing of those ancestral activities as reproduced in play.
THE BIOLOGIC ASPECT OF PLAY
In the science of life play may be considered from two standpoints: its genetic explanation and its biological value. It is as difficult to explain its origin satisfactorily as it is to explain the origin of man. Darwin's theory of descent has constantly increasing opposition. Still, there is no better doctrine than that of evolution, and man's obscure origin may never be fully comprehended. Darwin's theory of descent, however, is symbolic of the biologic aspect of play, evolution by means of the inheritance of acquired characters, and, again, evolution by means of the survival of the fittest in the struggle for existence. Play is deep-seated in biology because it secures the maximum of joy in life with the minimum of expense. Especially is this true with games and movements of rhythm, such as college yells, cheers, walking, horsebackriding, dancing, and gymnastics with music.. Students will exercise and dance with energy and spirit till almost exhausted when accompanied with popular music, while without it the same exercise loses its attraction and is then often performed as an irksome task. Students like to yell, sing, and whistle in connection with gymnastics and play, and this should be encouraged. In a growing youth shouting, like the crying of infants, causes
tension and flushing of various organs, enlarges the caliber of blood-vessels, and forces the blood into newly growing fibers, cells, and organs, which atrophy if not thus fed. Play is a sign of youth, and the absence of it reveals the fact that one is getting old.
THE PSYCHOLOGIC ASPECT
From the intellectual standpoint, play con tains three essentials, viz., its pleasurable effect, the conscious or unconscious imitation of useful activities, and the reproduction of the original aim in a playful one. The psychology of play rests on the satisfaction of unborn impulses, such as fighting, sexual, imitation, and social instincts, and these, pressing for discharge, lead to pleasure when they find it in play. Some forms of play are not psychological, such as the play of young animals and infants, nor can they be said to be pleasurable. The child in his first grasp of an object clutches at it instinctively, and play then begins. From a biological point of view, this is practice of an instinct and may be termed a contact play. The child then develops the playful activity with the rest of the sensory apparatus by his sensations of temperature, taste, smell, sound, and sight. These movements cannot be considered play from a psychologic standpoint until through repetition they acquire the character of conscious processes accompanied by attention and pleasure. The pleasure in play and exercise may direct the attention and imagination of youth from questionable things to those that make for character. Properly directed games and play, by exalting one's spirit almost to the point of ecstasy by its intense physical pleasure, will diffuse, irradiate, and lessen the sexual stress just at the age when its premature localization is most dangerous. The proper amount of play or exercise at the proper time gives moral selfcontrol and favors all higher human inspiration. The higher mental powers are employed and developed in play to a remarkable extent. The infant experiments during play with such feelings as physical pain, mental suffering, surprise, and fear. The illusion of the child is so strong that the little girl with her doll imagines she is its real mother, while the boy is just as really a soldier or robber. In games of tag the child runs with as much fear as if the bogie-man were real. Older persons also play with the feelings, as a sensitive tooth is constantly touched by the tongue or a slight wound repeatedly pressed or