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A well

A well.jpg Raw fish, whole and slicedThumbnailsA skylight and the Kitchen-GodRaw fish, whole and slicedThumbnailsA skylight and the Kitchen-God

Beside the sink are an earthen jar to hold water for washing and a wooden pail for drinking water, but there is really no difference in the quality of the liquid in the two receptacles as it has in either case been drawn from the well. The wells are either private or public; in the latter case, they are used by the whole neighbourhood, a small tax being levied for their maintenance, and are the favourite resorts for the exchange of scandals. As these wells have all wooden sides and a square wooden flooring where washing is done, they present a far from cleanly appearance, and the water is as often as not contaminated, especially in the crowded quarters of the city. The Tokyo municipality undertook some years ago to supply pure water, and as water-pipes have been laid throughout the city, the wells are rapidly disappearing in Tokyo.

Home Life in Tokyo
Author: Jukichi Inouye
Published: 1910
Available from gutenberg.org