Japanese Printing. The Japanese people continue to follow at present, as they have followed in the past for unknown centuries, the primitive method of printing the pattern upon their fabrics by hand. The work of printing is all done in rude sheds, the roofs of which are thatched with straw. The sheds are open on three sides to admit of plenty of light, and are filled with rows of long tables upheld by low trestles. On these are spread smoothly the silk or cotton fabrics to be printed with gaily colored patterns. Several men and boys, dressed in the short breeches and blue cotton jacket of the Jap workman, on the back of which is printed a big red sign or seal denoting the "master" for whom they work, bend low over the tables in performing the work. The machinery used consists solely of a few stencil plates, brushes and saucers of fluid paints, and the human hand — the most obedient and succesful of all machines, when guided by the mind of the artist-workman. A stencil plate is temporarily fixed by brad awls to the cloth, and with a flat bladed knife a paste of rice and flour is spread rapidly and evenly over the surface of the plate. The paste passes onto the cloth through the pattern cut out of the stencil plate, and thus covers the part or parts intended to be left white in the design. The plate is then removed and the paste is allowed to dry. Thus the workman passes down the long table, which is the length of an entire piece of cloth, and using the same stencil plate, he quickly covers over the intended white spaces throughout the whole extent of the cloth. A series of stencil plates are then used in succession in order to draw in the outlines, and put in the colors and shades of the design. Thus, one plate will give the outlines of one-half of the birds and flowers, the balance being completed by the next plate. With a third plate the brown tints of the bird's wings are put in, with the fourth their beaks and claws, with the fifth any other color of their plumage, with a sixth the pink shades of the plum blossoms, with a seventh the green leaves, and so on, the number of the stencil plates being only limited by the complication of the design and by the varieties of the colors and tints in it. The colors are laid on moist, with flat round brushes. The depth, tone and shading of the colors depend on the taste and skill of the workman and it is delightful to watch him at work and to find how instinctively and rapidly he feels that a tone is here too strong, there too weak, and to see him shade and temper it by dipping his brush into the dish of clean water always at hand, or deepen it with a few strokes of the paint brush. Rapidly the design in all its complications grows beneath the apt fingers of the printer, and soon the long strip of cotton or silk is covered with fans and birds and flowers; but the base of the cloth still remains white. To dye it blue (for instance), the parts which have been already printed are covered with a thick layer of rice paste. When dry the whole surface of the cloth is brushed over with a paste of indigo and rice, or is dipped into the indigo vat. The cloth is then steamed to "fix" the colors by the mordants with which the dyes are mixed; and finally the rice paste is washed off, when a design of birds or plum blossoms on a white fan upon a blue ground, will appear as clear and distinct as if just drawn with the brush. The simplest designs of mere dots and lines are executed by the same process, as well as the most eloborate. It can be easily understood that such a method as that described above will allow of the greatest elaboration of design and its most artistic realization. The more complex effects are, however, sometimes obtained by painting; and from the hands of the stencil printer, the stuff often passes to the painter, who with a small brush puts in tints or markings on wings or feathers or flowers.