A Japanese Tea Gatherer

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
This view is worth your study for a number of reasons. It gives you an idea of the way the farming country of Japan looks. It also shows tea growing on terraces, or leveled places on hillsides. And not least it furnishes a close view of the dress of a country girl of Japan. You will notice that the rice fields in the valley are laid out like little gardens. They are tilled like gardens, too. Labor is plentiful. In fact Japan has more people than it can very well support. It is necessary then that no land is allowed to remain idle if it can be tilled. If a bad year for crops occurs, many people must go hungry. What other countries have a dense population? Observe the fine tea bushes just back of the girl. Tea grows best in a sandy loam. The shrubs need plenty of moisture but they cannot stand too much water. For these reasons the finest tea plantations are found on the lower slopes of hills. There are the sandy loam and a plentiful soil water. The valleys may be flooded by the heavy rains, but the lower hillsides are well drained. However, in this view tea is grown on terraces. It is uncommon to see such a plantation. This is one of the sections that is known to the Japanese as a producer of fine teas. The fields you see are in Shizuoka, about 30 miles southwest of Fujiyama. Most of the finest tea that Japan grows is not exported. The Japanese are such lovers of the drink they keep the best tea for home use. The girl is full-grown. How tall do you think she is? Do you see anything queer about her eyes? Her hat looks like a toadstool. Of what do you guess it is made? Notice her shoes. How are they fastened to her feet? Why does she not have gloves that cover her fingers? What part of the tea shrub will she carry back in her basket? Keystone ID: 14739 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.