Document 28B: Excerpt from Margaret Sanger, World Trip Journal, Kyoto, Japan, 29 March 1922, pp. 63-65 (Margaret Sanger Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, The Margaret Sanger Papers Microfilm Edition: Smith College Collections, reel S70, frames 81-86).

[p. 63]


March 29--

   Rooms comfortable & warm service excellent. We went to see a silk factory, hand looms broad brocade silk--old fashioned work, women get 2 yen a day.

   This city is facinating--It gives an atmosphere like Munich or a quaint city of Europe--artistic & happy clean & well ordered. Very happy children everywhere they wave their hands & call out to us as we pass--They do not do this at Tokio.

   Went to see the Willow Cherry tree just in full bloom also temple of Budda. The tree is two or three hundred years old & well cared for--propped up on all limbs & carefully groomed. Landscape garden superb.

   Also went to first original

[p. 64]

Landscape garden in which is the Golden Temple.[A]

   As soon as one enters the gate one feels the awe of a great work of art. Everything was planned to give one thought, meditate & concentrate, nothing of color, no birds or rushing water to distract the attention. In fact the people disturb the silence & the desire to sit & meditate which comes upon you as once strolls about.

   We also visited a famous owner of three hundred carp--some of them over a hundred years old. A quaint old gentleman, whose hobby is fish. They love him & allow him to touch them with his hands & to clean them also.

   We then went to see the damascene factory & lacquer

[p. 65]

factory also then a walk through the park.

   Another cherry tree old is about to bloom & tea houses are being built for the occasion.

   So many thousands will come from near & far to see these old trees in bloom that it is necessary to provide accomodations for their comforts.

   I have respect for these people whose love of a tree in bloom brings them miles to see it. Their temples & their trees seem to be their religion--"Only God can make a tree."[B]

   Callers to arrange for meetings.


A. The Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion) was built in 1397 and made into a Zen Buddhist Temple, known for the gilding of its two top stories. The temple was opened to the public in 1894. The tree that Sanger likely visited was in Maruyaami Park, with a four-foot wide trunk and wide spreading branches which were propped up to protect them from winds and accidents. (Patrick Taylor, ed., Oxford Companion to the Garden [Oxford Reference Online] accessed December 10, 2009; Franklin Hiram King, Farmers of Forty Centuries: or Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan [Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale Press, 1911, 1973], pp. 403-05.)
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B. Sanger quoted the poet Joyce Kilmer's 1914 work, "Trees" (Joyce Kilmer, Trees and Other Poems [New York, N.Y.: George H. Doran Company, 1914], p. 19.)
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