March 15, 1894. — We went in the early afternoon to witness the fencing in the Exercise Hall at the Palace. It was a curious and extremely exciting exhibition. The fencers were dressed in a species of divided skirt, and were protected by helmets, visors, and breast-plates, while the couples facing each other hammered away with all their might and main, using split bamboo staffs for the operation. There were also trials of skill between men with wooden swords and men with staffs and lances. It was very amusing and exciting, and these uncanny-looking objects showed wonderful agility and strength. All the time they were fighting and banging away at each other they uttered the most hideous sounds, a sort of war-cry, which sounds seemed to me far more alarming than the blows exchanged. We were the guests of M. Sannomiya, and Mr. and Mrs. Saxton Noble and Captain Münter were also there. We went on later to call on the ladies of the Palace, as it was their reception day, and all these ladies of the Empress receive together.
Eleanora Mary Haggard d'Anethan (1860-?, de zus van de romanschrijver Henry Rider Haggard) was de vrouw van baron Albert d'Anethan, die 17 jaar de Belgische afgezant in Japan was. Mary hield gedurende het grootste deel van die tijd een dagboek bij: Fourteen years of diplomatic life in Japan.