Octavia JULIUS 
- Born: 13 Jun 1854, Farnham SRY
- Christened: 9 Jul 1854, Wrecclesham Church Farnham SRY
- Died: 15 Jul 1942, Southborough Kent aged 88
- Buried: 18 Jul 1942, Southborough Kent
Baptism Date: 9 Jul 1854
Baptism Place: Wrecclesham, St Peter, Surrey, England
Father: Henry Richard Julius
Mother: Mary Anne Julius
Reference Number: WREC/1/1
Octavia was a missionary in Japan
JULIUS JOTTINGS January 1900 No 1
Extract from a letter from MISS OCTAVIA JULIUS, Tokio, Japan
October 1st - I do not like the Japanese as a nation, or taking them in any class; they have no moral backbone whatever, and are so utterly deceitful and dishonest. How can one like them? Numbers of young men come here: "Please teach me about Christianity; I have a Bible and know a little, and want to become a Christian." Somehow this smells fishy. I say, "I will gladly teach you about Christianity and read the Bible ; when can you come? We are here for that purpose - but do not teach English." "Oh, I don't want English."
Do you think that young man will come again? Not he ; never again he wants to get taught English for nothing, though there are plenty of schools and teachers to be had. The people are so small and mean. How can you like them ? Hardly one to be trusted, and very few even among Christians.
In spite of this, there are a good many .individuals whom I like very much. For instance, our two girls, Kibe and Inaba; they are so earnest and whole-hearted in their work, and willing to do anything; moreover, they take a scolding very well. Then, some of our Christians and inquirers one cannot help liking. Japan is a strange country. Flowers have hardly any smell, though there are several very sweet flowering shrubs. 'Very few of the birds sing, and no food has much taste. Beef, fowls, fish, vegetables, fruit all most uninteresting, and very little taste, quite different to what you have in England, and even if imported they soon get all the same.
Last week I went in the evening with our Vicar, Tomita San, to call on a family called Takahashi. It was a strange household, especially in Japan, where everyone is married, unless a priest, or diseased. It consisted of a young man, about 23, who is a catechumen, and always at church ; his elder sister, about 26 ; these are the heads of the house, and are both dentists ; his aunt, about the
same age ; and a young man, also a relation, studying dentistry under him; and these four live together in a very nice semi-foreign house. Tomita has been visiting them for some time, but the two ladies wanted to be taught by one of their own sex, so Inaba and I are to go every Tuesday evening at seven. They are busy all day. It would be nice if they all became real Christians.
JULIUS JOTTINGS April 1900 No 2
Part of a letter from Miss Octavia Julius Missionary at Tokio.
Lately we have made acquaintance with a really charming family in a high Japanese position. The father is an Advocate and Member of Parliament; he is almost always away from home- now in America. His wife is head of the house during his absence, and he has two big boys at school, one girl about fifteen, a dear little boy of nine, and a sister of the husband about twenty two.
We became acquainted with them through Miss S., who met them at Nikko in an hotel in the summer. They were very friendly, and she asked us to call them, which we did, and from the first they were most agreeable. Miss P gives an English lesson, followed by a Bible reading, to the sister and another married lady twice a week.
Last Thursday they invited its to spend the afternoon with them; we arrived about two. The house is nothing special, just a comfortable goodsized one We soon started off in very nice kurumas the little boy riding with Katharine, with whom he is great friends-first to the zoo, then to see the chrysanthemums, which are very extraordinary. They are trained to form clothing for figures, life-size, and head, hands and feet are stuck on.
These figures are arranged in groups illustrating famous Japanese scenes, ancient and modern, chiefly murders and such like. These scenes are on sort of stages, and every few minutes the slage turns round and another scene is presented; scenery, figures, all done with flowers and greenery. All is accompanied with drums and flutes, which make a horrid din.
Thousands go to see them, and as each pays a small sum to enter each separate stage, they must make a lot of money. I was thankful when it was over ; I hate to see the pretty flowers treated so. Though it may be very clever, it seems an indignity to them, but this sort of thing exactly suits the Japanese.
In your letter you observe that you expect to hear that I went up " Asama." " Naka naka ! " as we say in Japan, or, " Indeed no! " It is eight miles in a straight line, but much further by road, and though we have pack-horses and kurumas, you might as well talk of going up Mont Blanc in a bath-chair as going up the latter; and you forget that, going up a volcano, you walk ankle deep in ashes, and there is no footing for a horse, being very steep, and for the last two or three miles not an inch of level; this makes it a very trying climb.
JULIUS JOTTINGS 0CTOBER 1900 No 3
TOKIO, February 22nd, 1900.
I must congratulate you on the first number of Julius Jottings. Every contribution was interesting to me ; it not only gives most welcome news of our large and scattered family, but brings out literary talent front many among the rising generation in a most startling manner. I ought, perhaps, to say " risen," as we old aunts must now be reckoned the " waning generation."
I must observe that, you picked out a wicked bit from my letters, it was written in answer to one from the Lady Cheshire, in which she remarked, "So and So seems so fond of the Chinese, much more so than you seem of the Japanese, and certainly more than I should be." I think my answer must, have been written after several disarrangements and disappointments, and I was right down in the " blues." I only hope my friends out here won't see it, or I should "catch it"
As I have never been favoured by a visit, from any of my many relations, in this fascinating country, they will have no idea what a topsy-turvy land it is, especially as regards the. language, where every sentence begins where we should end, and there are such funny adjectives, such as " The fast-legged man," "A high-nosed boy," i.e., proud, etc. ; so, as I have entered the 13th year of my sojourn in Japan, please put down curiously-expressed sentences, incorrect grammar, etc., to this fact, and also that the climate affects brains to a remarkable degree.
My partner, Miss Peacocke, and I live in a Japanese house next door to a large theatre. From upstairs in the summer you can see what is going on inside, but in spite of comical and old-fashioned Japanese dresses, it does not appear very attractive. All the actors are men or boys ; they wear masks, or else have their faces painted like clowns.
We are very proud of living in the Capital, in which are great contrasts of high civilisation to debasing barbarism; we have many friends among the Japanese (to say nothing of foreigners), and there are many opportunities of various kinds of work for our Master.
I shall have been out for the second time five years next November, when a furlough is due, and it is probable that we shall both return the following spring. I only wish the Siberian or Indian railway might be finished by then, as the long sea voyage is a sort of nightmare, even to contemplate. But the thought of the many dear ones to meet at the end cheers one through. OCTAVIA JULIUS.
JULIUS JOTTINGS. January 1901 No 4
On November 28th, Miss Octavia Julius reached home after a five years' sojourn in Tokio, Japan, having started on October 27th. She and her friend, Miss Peacocke, started earlier than they anticipated, and chose the shortest route home, as they were in charge of an invalid missionary who was obliged to return to England as quickly as possible.
Even the shortest route is 12,000 miles of land and sea, via Yokohama, Tacoma, St. Pauls, Chicago and New York, and is a singularly uninteresting journey, especially a this time of year, but yet this one was not quite uneventful.
Half-way across the Pacific, November 5th was kept, not by burning Kruger on the captain's bridge, and having a bonfire on deck, as one of the passengers suggested, but by sending up rockets of distress, and burning blue lights, much to the amazement of the Chinamen on board, cheering, and finally singing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow"
A little further on, in a high wind and fog, the "Victoria " passed one of her companion ships, that had got out of her course so closely that there were only a very few feet between the two large vessels; had they collided none would probably have survived to tell the tale, as no help was within hundreds of miles ; the gale which blew the one ever quicker home, had retarded the other, and she was rolling about helplessly, but finally reached her destination safely.
At Tacoma, an island on the West Coast of America, there was some difficulty about quarantine, the Chinese cargo being specially unsavoury, so the captain gave out that the ship would not start before 5 p.m. Relying on this statement., Octavia and a friend went for a glorious walk over the, hills. After a while a series of shrieks from the syren was heard, but they paid no attention, thinking it was merely taking vocal exercise, and continued their walk, returning at 1 p.m. in time to see the " Victoria" gliding away from the wharf, ungallantly leaving her two helpless passengers to their fate. A friend seized a speaking-trumpet and shouted "Come on by the night boat," which they did; but, alas, in so doing they missed the only fine scenery of the voyage.
Between Tacoma, and St. Pauls the train had a slight collision with a "switch engine" but, though all were shaken and startled, no one was hurt. The very night before, a collision took place on the same spot, when twenty-seven people were killed.
On the whole, the weather was most unpropitious, both on the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the sea being rough the whole way. Across the Continent rain or snow fell every day, and from New York the log reported a "gale" the whole distance.
At Queenstown many passengers were to land at 6 a.m, some of them got up at 3 a.m. to have their breakfast, and be quite ready; but, alas when the port was reached, though the fine ship " Majestic " was steady, the little tender that put off to meet her tossed so violently that no luggage, mails, or unfortunate passengers could be landed, and though they could almost see their friends waiting for them "so near and yet so far " they were relentlessly carried on to Liverpool a twelve hours' journey, to be returned at the first opportunity.
Julius Jottings June 1901 No 5.
You ask me dear Editor to write something about life in Japan. So much has been written about that interesting country, both false and true, that I think I had better tell a little of what our experience has been, without describing the people themselves or their customs ; only I should like to observe that Japan is a land of astonishing contrasts.
In the capital, Tokio, we have trams, electric lights, telegraphs, telephones, factories, at least 12 postal deliveries every day, bicycles, and modern inventions of all kinds, fine European-looking public buildings, plenty of good carriages and horses, some streets are unusually wide, though much of the city is still composed of the old, low Japanese houses, crowded together, with narrow streets and courts ; parts of Tokio are very pretty, the ground hilly, and the detached houses, each standing in their own gardens, filled with flowering shrubs.
The population is just under 1.5 million. But a very few miles out brings you into the country villages, where a foreigner is rarely, if ever, seen, and the customs and habits of the farmers make one think that they have never changed for a thousand years or so, the primitive spindle and large loom, the ancient plough drawn by oxen or perhaps a small horse, the flail for threshing, the rough cart with sometimes solid wheels, etc.
Though even here there are signs of change in the village schools, prominent everywhere, for education is compulsory.
Miss Peacocke, my co-worker, and I live next door to a large theatre, close to the Foreign Concession. As the plays only go on by day, and the drums are always inside the building, we are not seriously inconvenienced by it; from the passage window in our Japanese house we can see on to the stage, and the audience sitting on the floor in their boxes, gazing entranced, or chatting or eating and drinking, the children meanwhile running about, sometimes peeping behind the curtain; going to the theatre is an all-day affair, perhaps lasting 10 hours.
After breakfast and prayers we have Bible study in both Old and New Testaments (of course everything in Japanese) with our 3 helpers, one an old lady and 9 young girls of 23; in the afternoons visiting is usually the order of the day, sometimes people in easy circumstances, living in pretty, roomy houses, keeping servants; but oftener among the very poor, either Christians or heathens; among the latter we have cottage meetings from time to time; every evening but Saturday is taken up with prayer meetings or meetings of some sort or other; on Thursday one is held at our house and is well attended, chiefly by our Christian women.
Then we have visitors coming at all times, often the Catechists from the country stations coming in for a chat, or a word of cheer, interest, and sympathy. Between us we have 6 or 7 Sunday Schools, and Miss Peacocke has a good deal of work among the students, several attending her Bible Class on Sunday afternoons and often coming in for a talk.
Periodically we go into the country for work; my favourite outstation is Misaki, a lovely fishing village on the sea, 6 hours from Tokio by a small steamer; here there are 10,000 people, mostly living in tiny cottages, having never heard anything more of Christianity than perhaps the name, so we have a wide scope for work.
Last time I went, my helpers and I used to look out for a promising site, and planting a long bamboo pole, we hung up a hymn printed in large easy characters, then out comes my concertina and its sweet (?) strains soon attract an audience, of course largely composed of children, yet adults, both men and women, thickly fringing the crowd; after; a hymn, a scripture picture is hung up, and a simple talk from my helper and myself follows, and is always listened to with interest and attention. One evening, after so windy and wet a day that the men could not go out to catch fish, about a dozen of them came in to see us "foreigners," and to hear what we had come for.
You could hardly realize their ignorance! Imagine men, perhaps 40 years old, with ordinary capabilities, not able to read a word, and not even knowing they possessed a soul l All they thought of and lived for was the present, working, eating, and drinking; spending all their money as soon as it was earned, and enjoying themselves in their uncommonly questionable ways; even their gods, to whom they are very attentive, and the priests are only useful to keep them in time of danger, and make them lucky in their catch of fish; to the first rudiments of truth some listened interestedly, others mocked.
Just opposite Misaki is a lovely rocky island, with old fine trees growing about it, and a village nestling in a sheltered nook; on going over there by a small ferry-boat, and passing through the village, we heard a man remark, " Those are Christian teachers, I should like to hear what Christianity is?" So in a few days we went again, and spoke in the middle of the village to about 100 of the lowest and most degraded looking people. Once we were interrupted by an old man, who cried out, in a high squeaky voice, "What ! isn't the moon a god?" Evidently the poor old fellow had been worshipping it from childhood, and it seemed hard to give up what he had believed a god for so long.
The longer one lives in a heathen land the more wonderful it seems that anyone should ever become a Christian. The only possible explanation is, that it is by means of a Divine power alone, quite outside man, and that God certainly does still work miracles. Now try and put yourself into this man's place ; he is a Ghinto priest, earning a most comfortable competence by blessing the fishermen's boats as they start off on their expeditions, he hears and is struck by a foreign religion of which he has heard the name, but naturally hates, but now lie can't shake off what he has heard, and finally becomes a Christian. Mark the result: Of course he loses his former means of livelihood, and not only that, but is turned out of his home, cast off by his friends, and even his wife is taken away from him; in order to live he joins a gang of coolies, and works on a new railroad. Or, again-an old woman with very strong opinions of her own, receives a visit from me, introduced by my Bible-woman, who is an old acquaintance of hers; she is polite and listens, and afterwards even lends her house for a meeting of the neighbours, but why should she attend to a stammering story by a stranger from the ends of the earth causing her by-and-bye to get rid of her idols, and, as she lies awake on her hard bed at night, constantly to commune with and lift up her heart to the new-found Deity? Surely this is a marvel!
And once more-a Christian doctor requests us to visit a patient, for whom he can do no more; we find a woman is the last stages of consumption but the poor heart of conscience is suffering far more than the body. "How can I find peace? How can I be saved?" is her incessant thought, as she tosses wearily from side to side, and for the first time she hears of the Saviour who came to save such as she is and soon after her heart is filled with rest and peace, the pained expression of her face quite gone, and when I asked her, did she sometimes think of what Christ had suffered for her, she whispered, "I am always thinking of Him; "and many others might be mentioned, all showing surely that miracles are still going on, really quite as wonderful as healing the sick or raising the dead.
But this is already too long, and I will only add that in the summer we have a holiday for 6 weeks, and go up into the hills about 6 hours train from Tokio, a cog-wheel engine taking us 4,000 feet high, where there is quite a little colony of wooden houses, foreign-built, mine among them. The air there is considered the best in Japan, and there are numerous expeditions, both far and near, to be made, on one's honourable understandings on train, on saddle or pack-horse, the last being the most novel and amusing, albeit the slowest.
Close by is the famous volcano, Asamo, who not unfrequently favours us with a shower of ashes or even small stones, and whose summit is fascinating to watch as it sends out sometimes huge volumes of smoke, and at others just a harmless-looking amount, such as a fire of weeds would emit. I came home the end of last November, and am much hoping to be able to return some time next year.
Julius Jottings June 1901 No 5.
Miss Octavia Julius has gone to Switzland for part of the summer.
UK, Passenger Lists
Departure Date: 17 Oct 1895
Port of Departure: Liverpool, England
Destination Port: Quebec, Canada
Ship Name: Laurentian
Shipping Line: Allan Line
Master: A McDongall
Miss O Julius
Port of Departure: New York, New York, United States
Arrival Date: Nov 1900
Port of Arrival: Liverpool, England
Ports of Voyage: Queenstown, Ireland
Ship Name: Majestic
Official Number: 97763
Miss O Julius
Departure Date: 3 Nov 1904
Port of Departure: Southampton, England
Destination Port: Yokohama, Japan
Ship Name: Seydlitz
Master: Captain Dewers
Canadian Passenger Lists
Arrival Age: 63
Birth Year: abt 1855
Birth Country: England
Departure Port: Yokohama, Japan
Arrival Date: 12 Jun 1918
Arrival Port: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Vessel: Empress of Japan
Octavia made many trips to Asia sometimes travelling via North America overland.
60 Prospect Road , Southborough U.D., Kent, England
OctaviaJulius Birth 01 Jun 1854 Retired missionary in J Single
Julius Octavia of 60 Prospect-road Southborough Tunbridge Wells's spinster died 15 July 1942 Probate Llandudno 2 February to Alfred Julius Stevens and John Osmond Julius Stevens solicitor's
Effects L1008 14s 2d Re-sworn L2220 1s 9d
Ref: National Probate Calendar
1. Census: England, 2 Apr 1871, The Priory Minster Yard Lincoln LIN. Octavia is recorded as a (school) boarder aged 16 a scholar born Wrecclesham
2. Census: England, 3 Apr 1881, Rectory Wrecclesham Farnham. Octavia is described as a daughter aged 26 single born Farnham SRY
3. Census: England, 31 Mar 1901, Wythall Vicharage Kings Norton Worcestershire. Octavia is a guest of her sister she is described as a visitor aged 46 a missionary born Wrecclesham SRY
4. Census: England, 2 Apr 1911, Ethel Villa Church St March CAM. Octavia is recorded as a boarded aged 56 single of private means born Farnham SRY. The house contained 6 rooms