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Chapter Summary

This front matter section of the book Japanese Episodes contains the introduction, a prefatory note and the table of contents. A key to House's influence - and a primary reason for his midcareer move to Tokyo in 1870 - lay in the diverse nature of his interests and ambitions. The Tribune assignment that eventually landed House in Japan came in 1860, when he was sent to Washington to cover Japan's first diplomatic mission to the Western world. As the 1870s progressed, House gradually shifted his focus, from culture to politics. The first of the works, 'Little Fountain of Sakanoshita', is a piece of reality-based fiction, which describes a foreigner who helped an inn assistant and a rickshaw puller surmount obstacles of class and poverty on their path toward marriage. The book provides quite a clear - and representative - snapshot of House's early understanding of Japanese culture.

Keywords: Japan's first diplomatic mission; Little Fountain of Sakanoshita; Tribune

10.1163/ej.9781905246212.i-248.2
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