To the Young Women of Malolos

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  • Topic: Japan, Hotel, Yamato people
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Chapter 12
Romantic Interlude in Japan
(1888)

One of the happiest interludes in the life of Rizal was his sojourn in the Land of the Cherry Blossoms for one month and a half(February 28 – April 13, 1888). He was enchanted by the natural beauty of Japan, the charming manners of the Japanese, and the picturesque shrines. Moreover, he fall in love with a Japanese girl, whose loveliness infused joy and romance in his sorrowing heart. Her real name was Seiko Usui. Rizal affectionately called her O-Sei-San. He had to sacrifice his own happiness to carry on his work for the redemption of his oppressed people

Early in the morning of Tuesday February 28, 1888, Rizal arrived in Yokohama and the next day he proceeded to Tokyo and took a room at Tokyo Hotel, where he stayed from March 2 to 7. He was impressed the city of Tokyo. He wrote to Professor Blumentritt: “Tokyo is more expensing than Paris. The walls are built in cyclopean manner. The streets are large and wide. After arrival in Tokyo he was visited at his hotel by Juan Perez Callero, secretary of the Spanish Legation.

Rizal, being an intelligent man, realized that the Spanish diplomatic authorities were instructed from Manila to monitor his movements in Japan. He accepted the invitation for two reasons: (1) he could economize his living expenses by staying at the legation and (2) he had nothing to hide from the prying eyes of the Spanish authorities. On March 7, Rizal checked out of Tokyo Hotel and lived at the Spanish Legation. He and Perez Caballero became good friends. In the letter to Blumentritt, he described the Spanish diplomat as “a young , fine, and excellent writer” and “an able diplomat who had traveled much”

During his first day in Tokyo, Rizal was embarrassed because he did not know the Japanese language. To avoid further embarrassment, Rizal decided to study the Japanese language. Being a born linquist, he was able to speak within a few days. He also studied the Japanese drama(kabuki),...
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