"Whenever the [reference deleted] discusses the geography of America, it always compares it with China. Indeed, the two countries occupy very fertile lands in the eastern and western hemispheres. They are located in similar positions, their latitudes are the same, and their shape and sizes are also similar. However, in China, mountain-chains run east to west and there are many clear rivers, while in America the mountain ranges furn north to south and the rivers tend to be muddy. The races are distinct, as are their customs. Their geographical features may be similar, but their occupations are very different, and the people of each country produce their own distinctive products; one has what the other lacks. Thus, both countries find advantage in commerce and transport. Moreover, they are both naturally endowed with fertile soil, so with the increasing flow of people and civilization across the Pacific, both countries are expected to prosper through trade and exchange."
- From "Chapter 2: A General Survey of the United States of America" in A True Account of the Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary's Journey of Observation Through the United States of America and Europe (Tokumei zenken taishi Beio kairan jikki) compiled by Kume Kunitake and published by Hakubunsha in 1878.
Translation by Martin Collcutt.