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MUSIC OF JAPAN.                      221
The effect of the martial scenes is much increased by a bass drum, called " taiko " (after a celebrated ancient warrior), which is sometimes played with a smaller one called " kakko."*
The building where these plays take place is very plain. The theatre at Matsmai, the capital city of the Island of Jesso, is thus described, f
" It is a large and pretty high building; at the back is a stage which with us, has a raised floor. From the stage to the front wall, where the entrance is situated, two rows of seats are placed for the spectators. In the middle where we have the pit, there is a vacant space in which straw mats are laid down for the spectators. As this space is much lower than the stage, those in front do not intercept the view from those behind. Opposite the stage, where in our theatre the galleries and chief boxes are situated there are only a bare wall, and the door for entrance.
There were no ornaments in the interior; the walls were not even painted. The dressei and decorations are kept in a separate building."
In Yeddo this is far different and keeps more pace with civilization, and, as Yeddo supplies the surrounding provinces with both actors and plays, the change is spreading throughout the empire. The plays begin at six or seven, p. m., and last (without the before-mentioned alternations) until one or two o'clock in the morning. Theatres are exceedingly numerous in the city; each has its
•Dr. Mailer, German East. Asiatic society.
t Japan and the Japanese. Capt. Golownln, r. II, p. 148.

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