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Under the old laws of Japan it was the custom for the Daimios to have a very complete right of way whenever their trains were out upon the Tokaido or any other road. If any native should ride or walk into a Daimio's procession, or even attempt anything of the kind, he would be put to death immediately by the attendants of the prince. This was the invariable rule, and had been in force for hundreds of years. When the foreigners first came to Yokohama, the Daimios' processions were frequently on the road; and, as the strangers had the right to go into the[Pg 159] country, and consequently to ride on the Tokaido, there was a constant fear that some of them would ignorantly or wilfully violate the ancient usages and thus lead the Daimios' followers to use their swords.