When I arrived, Nagasaki was quiet—maybe 6,000 inhabitants. Now, there are over 15,000; the markets and warehouses are full of trade goods. Wares made for export to the Portuguese and Dutch are easy to find, especially porcelain.
The Japanese value craftsmanship, trade, and personal relationships above all. They can be inscrutable, and do look down on us, especially the white Portuguese and the Jesuits. They joke behind our backs of our foreign smell and bad diet. I cannot disagree, comparing ourselves to them.
The city is laid out very neatly. When we are given passes to travel out of the foreigners area, we see a city clean and orderly. The roads are narrow, but well kept; everywhere is laid with gravel and stone. The houses lining the streets are wooden, and make use of joinery and other intricate woodworking. I have taken the time to draw and paint one such scene; I happened on a vantage point while walking to a factory, and was able to quickly capture it. I should like to spend more time here, if it possible.
We marvel at the way they worship their Shinto gods, with elaborate ceremonies and the bose offering chants. The Jesuits are absolutely aghast; the sailors smile behind their backs at all the similarities with Christian rituals.
A family on our street sent their child to visit me with a present of Japanese apples, a sort of sweet fruit, and some other sweet cakes called muche. The girl also brought me some drawing and writing papers; there is much paper in Nagasaki. Japanese have great skill in manufacturing all kinds of drawing and writing instruments, especially brushes. I have yet to master their use, but I try.