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Inscription

by unknown hand, upper center in graphite: 2; lower right in graphite: 91.4398; lower right in graphite: 19B 09; on verso, by unknown hand, center left in graphite: 3; center in typeset print on paper label: "GO". / A PECULIARITY among the Japanese is that they appear to have a prodigious amount of time on their hands. / With us, tradesmen who have but little to do, like to look as if they had much; and any of them caught / playing a game at cards or backgammon in the middle of the day, would be likely to have the fate of "the / idle apprentice" prognosticated for them. But it is otherwise in Japan. All the shops are open, and the shopkeepers / sit on their heels on their mats, exposed to the view of every passer-by. It would be impossible to got through the / native town of Yokohama any day, at any time, without seeing such a scene as is depicted in the accompanying photo- / graph in many of the shops. It is a game rejoicing in the emphatic-sounding name of "G." It is a rude kind of / chess, but we have never seen any foreigner who has troubled himself to master it. In the merchant's warehouse, / the clerks or bantos, and in the retail shops the shopmen, fly to it to kill time whenever business flags; and any foreigner / would come to the conclusion, from the numbers he sees playing at "go," that everything like "occupation" had absolutely "gone."
[This label describes the next image in album, which is not in the NGA collection. There is no matching descriptive label for this photograph in the collection.]

Provenance

Michael and Jane Wilson, Wilson Centre for Photography, London, acquired 1991; gift to NGA, 2012.