Chapter 15. Journey to the Orient: Korea and China
Published:June 01, 2015
Extract from beginning of chapter:
The harbor of Fusan is surrounded by treeless, green hills, pitching steeply down to the sea. There was much evidence of new developments about the railroad terminus: quarrying, grading, and new buildings. The Koreans, squatting leisurely along the station wall in sunshine, their heads bound with colored handkerchiefs, reminded one of southwestern Indians. On the way up to Seoul, the country recalled Montana in some places, Nevada in others. In striking contrast to the moist and cloudy atmosphere of Japan, the air was brilliantly clear and the sky light blue.
Near Fusan, granite hills were strewn with large blocks and boulders, dark with lichens, the ground between covered with light-yellow sand. Occasional villages of Korean huts, thinly thatched, on which were sunning golden pumpkins, rose above stone walls in crowded groups.
Farther on were high mountains of dark-colored porphyry with barren talus slopes. Mountains and hills were steep, the topography accentuated. River valleys were flat, with small villages at the base of the slopes, the houses picturesque with blotches of bright red peppers drying on the roofs, and the gardens gay with small, red-blossomed trees. Plowing was being conducted in a primitive fashion, cattle served as pack animals, and laborers hauled boats up the broad stream beside which the railroad traveled. The sparse timber appeared to consist of scrubby pines and a few large deciduous trees. At times, magpies, fish hawks, herons, and swallows could be recognized from the train. In the high, central region near Kinsen station, low