APPENDIX. PEACE OVER THE PACIFIC
[Delivered at the Leland Stanford, Jr., Uuiversity, September 1911]
I CONSIDER it a great kindness on your part to invite me to this institution, whose fame as a contributor to knowledge has reached all quarters of the globe. I am conscious of the rare honour you have conferred upon me by so doing. I have accepted the invitation, however, not simply because I feel it an honour to do so, but because I feel myself under double obligation to this distinguished academic body. There is no institution of learning outside of our native country which has so many of my compatriots studying under such favorable circumstances as those I see around me. If in some parts of California you build your gates too narrow for our people to enter, here, at least, I see the portals wide open to welcome mankind irrespective of colour. Here, at least, the American flag flies over every race of man, to assure equal justice and equal opportunity. It is certainly a pleasure to stand in your midst and to thank you in person for the generous welcome you have extended to my fellow countrymen. But there is still another circumstance which puts me under obligation to you. Three weeks ago, I had the privilege of having your honoured and beloved president under my own roof. I had not had the pleasure of meeting him before, and I was delighted to make the acquaintance of this man, whose scientific achievements have placed him upon a pedestal of immortal fame, and who, nevertheless, has not lost a childlike simplicity of nature, whose arms are ever extended to unite the world in the bonds of peace.
America has done much in educating Japan; but if there is any one message which you must send to us just at this juncture, it is the one which Dr. Jordan is carrying to my country; for, owing to one reason or another, there seems to be afloat in the air the most mischievous and the most unfortunate of rumours regarding a possible estrangement between the United States and Japan. I know that you, as members of the Leland Stanford Jr. University, have imbibed the spirit of peace and a general love of mankind. Why, these very walls preach peace and good-will to men, and do not make it incumbent upon a stranger to repeat what you have always heard; but in the world outside the rumours are wild and loud. Many interests are involved in keeping them alive. "Most of them," very rightly said Dr. Brow in the Lake Mohonk conference last year, "most of them belong in the category of thoughts which are fathered by a wish. Men who fear and dislike the Japanese are eager to see some nation fight them." There are not a few business concerns which profit by agitation about war; there are not a few individuals who utilise the falsest reports for their own promotion or profit; and there are not a few nations that would derive benefit from an outbreak betwixt your country and ours. I do not like to indulge in suspicion, but my suspicions are well grounded that many an individual, many a business concern, and many a nation is bent upon stirring up strife between the two countries, solely from selfish motives. I do not charge any particular company with this crime; but many a company can get good orders for ship-building materials and armament and provisions, simply by inciting a war-scare.
While the peace-loving community is alarmed and distressed at the prospect of any rupture, the interested parties grow fat at their expense. A scarecrow in a melon-patch may frighten away innocent birds, but a thief may be hiding himself under the scarecrow itself. When I reflect that the general public is so easily swayed by the fabrications and machinations of scare-mongers, the infinite credulity of the human mind strikes me as appalling. You and I, however, who enjoy the advantages of a higher education than is allotted to the average citizen, certainly ought to know better. Sift all this empty talk of war, and what have you left? Air-bubbles cannot be sifted, nor can mere froth and foam. Not a grain of reason is left that can be given as a just occasion for war, whereas there is every reason to believe that the two nations which border the Pacific are united by bonds of friendship stronger than those that bind any other two nations. You may say, that sounds all very well, but what about radial differences? Is there not already a Rassen-Kampf (race struggle)? Furthermore, there is no legal instrument that unites the two nations in permanent peace; no alliance, no arbitration treaty. But, my friends, there are ties that bind more closely than blood. There are words that join us more strongly than treaties and documents. If you doubt this, cast your glance upon the history of American-Japanese intercourse from its very beginning, or, if you can afford more time, study it page by page, and you can draw a conclusion for yourself that the alpha and omega of this history is exhausted in the one word- Peace.
In the whole course of this history, you have always taken the active side; we have always maintained the passive. You have helped us in our début into the society of nations; you have always chaperoned us in our youthful career; and though gratitude is outside the category of political virtues, our national memory keeps alive the good-will that America has always manifested in her dealings with us. I am not so unsophisticated as to believe that Commodore Perry's expedition was prompted by an impulse of unalloyed Christian charity. I know that its motive was the advantage to be derived from possessing a coaling station, a refuge for the American sailors and waifs, and from the extension of commerce; but I also believe that it was the desire of the United States Government to effect its purpose in the kindliest manner. From his own account, we are aware that Commodore Perry was not always peacefully disposed. More than once did he ask his Government whether he might resort to arms, should diplomacy prove unavailing. As often was he told to refrain from using force. Because Perry succeeded in what was at that time regarded as an impossible task, by luckily avoiding bloodshed, he is called the benefactor of our country. From what he himself stated about his real attitude of mind, it seems that peaceful means were imposed upon him by his Government. We have erected a monument to his memory on the spot where he first landed, and it is far from me to detract one iota from the honour due his name, but we can call him the benefactor of our country only by a rhetorical stretching of the term. That term is more deservedly applied to the man and to the Government that stayed his hand from possible violence, and as long as the United States Government is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, the gentle feeling of gratitude ought to go out, as it does, to you as a nation. And this incident in the life of Perry ought to teach us that whatever military and naval men may say, as long as public opinion, as long as you-men, women, and children- keep up the peaceful tradition of your fathers, the waters of the Pacific will remain calm and unbroken.
The American who came after Perry was indeed the type and in very deed the representative of Americans, of just and true Americans.
Townsend Harris, a merchant of New York, was dispatched to Japan, the first Minister representing the United States. A man of stern rectitude and gentlest powers of persuasion, he, indeed, more than any other, deserves the epithet of benefactor; because in all his dealings with us, the weaker party, he never took advantage of our ignorance, but formulated a treaty with the strictest sense of justice. He did not hesitate to sacrifice the many advantages which his country would gain by apparently honest means, if he saw that there would be undue loss for Japan. After him there were many representatives of this country, and a large majority did credit both to their people and to the cause of justice and humanity at large. Names such as Bingham, Hubbard, and Buck are still remembered, as will be that of your last Ambassador, Mr. O'Brien, with deep respect and affection. As I have said, you have been the active party in our diplomatic relations and it was fortunate, not only for us and for the other countries of the Far East, but for every friend of peace and justice, that your envoys did not represent merely their Government in Washington, but the cause of humanity as well. We are nowadays prone to forget, in our enthusiasm for nationality, that there is a cause higher and nobler than nationality. It is said that the Americans and the Japanese are the two most patriotic nations on the face of the globe; that they are most sensitive to national honour and interest; that they are most easily moved by any appeal to their patriotism; and it is no wonder that we are alike in this respect, for we are the youngest of nations. No other peoples feel as keenly as do we that we have made our respective countries what they are.
It is the bounden duty of every individual who looks upon national responsibility as though it were a personal one, to maintain the amicable relation that has existed between us. Sometimes suspicion creeps in between us, and sometimes arguments threaten to rend us apart. So-called scientists declare from the platform that races so diverse as the White and the Yellow cannot live under the same sky, apparently forgetting that there is no race known under the sun which has not enjoyed citizenship under the Stars and Stripes. It has been one of the grandest and most exalting sights that can be witnessed, to see thousands of immigrants, representing more than fifty distinct nationalities, pouring into America, and to see those streams of varied hues merging in a short time into one current of republican citizenship. To exclude a race on account of racial difference is to admit the incapacity of American institutions to assimilate all races- as was once the boast of the country. I cannot believe that the present generation of Americans has lost the power which its forefathers possessed and exercised, under conditions more strenuous.
One of the greatest sons of California, Mr Burbank, has intimated in his Training of the Human Plant, that, the wider the field for selection or for sports to grow and the more chances there are for the crossing of species, the greater is the probability of evolving a plant of importance; and Mr. Kidd states that as yet no scientific standard has been discovered to gauge the superiority of one race over another. Every race has traits which, when contributed, make the human plant richer and higher.
Then there are economists who whisper to you that cheap labour must be excluded, who forget that labour is only one of the many factors of production. If it is true that, the cheaper the labour, the greater is the necessity for its exclusion, why not, as Bastiat would say, burn all the latest inventions in machinery?
Then, again, there are moralists who are anxious lest the good manners of their own people should be spoiled by lower, alien standards of morality. This is an old argument, which was current as far back as the Middle Ages, and while examples are not wanting to give colour to this solicitude, proofs are on record that a strong nation exercises beneficent influence not only upon those who come thither from afar, but upon neighbouring nations. And certainly America, in the prime of its national manhood, can exert a superior influence upon other peoples.
Of all the reasons which are given for the alienation of Japan from America, the one which has seemed most disturbing to the American people at large is the assertion that the Japanese are incapable of assimilation. Lafcadio Hearn has given currency to the term "race antipodalism," the belief that the Japanese are psychologically so far removed that, the more you educate them even in Western knowledge, the farther they will diverge from you in thought. Hearn with all his wonderful insight into Japanese nature, or perhaps because of his enthusiasm for things Japanese, may have thought that he was serving the cause of our people by making them appear as a unique nation, and his opinion is echoed by many who fling it into our very face. Unfortunately, there are rampant Chauvinists among us, as there are everywhere else, who pride themselves upon being different from the rest of the world; who exaggerate small differences, and who insist upon diverging from the path the Western nations pursue; who identify idiopathy with native strength, and who, in so doing, exalt national foibles into national virtues, and purposely keep themselves aloof.
I myself have no patience with those whose mental vision never reaches beyond their limited horizon. They have failed to read in history that the peoples who called themselves special favourites of their Creator, who prided themselves upon what they possessed and upon what they did not possess, fell easy victims to the barbarians, Gentiles, and the heretics whom they were wont to despise. The time has long passed when a nation could live in seclusion and isolation. The modern age does not tolerate apartness. It grinds down peculiarities and will even coerce nations to surrender their characteristics until they learn to associate with others on a common, equal basis of right and wrong, of good and bad. I confess that the two great wars in which we came out triumphant have turned the head of some of our weaker brethren. They believe that our success was due expressly to the spirit of Bushido, the remnant of that excellent teaching which formed the samurai's code of honour. I myself feel partly responsible for disseminating this idea. I do not regret that I wrote regarding it and in behalf of it, and what I have written and spoken about it I have no mind to take back; but I do not share the views of the Chauvinists that the spirit of Bushido is the peculiar monopoly of our people; neither do I share the view that it is the highest system of morality that man can conceive or construct. I know its weakness. I know all its temptations to misinterpretation and degeneration, and I should feel a regret too deep for words, if my people failed to see that the new wine requires a new wine-skin. I should be most sorry if the noble ethics of Bushido were converted by bigots into an anti-foreign instrument. I know that I am exposing myself to grave suspicion and misunderstanding on the part of my countrymen, as though I were catering to the anti-Japanese effusions of some Americans by dilating upon the seamy side of what usually passes as patriotism; but patriotism itself is a word so grossly abused! Doctor Samuel Johnson said long ago that this word is the resort of the scoundrel. Especially among Chauvinists is it freely used as a substitute for reason and argument. Crimes, robbery, and slaughter are committed under the spell of its name. What common sense and morality cannot justify is exonerated under its sanction. Greed of territory and wars ensuing therefrom are vindicated by an appeal to it. So much so, that some one has recently defined it not as love of land but as "love of more land." Two such patriotic nations as Japan and America, unless they are on their guard, can easily deceive themselves into believing that in some territory which they covet, whether mutually or separately, they may come into conflict. We were highly amused at the strict surveillance of American authorities over the Japanese in the Philippines. It is too soon to forget the agreement signed November, 1908, between the two countries, through which instrument we mutually disclaimed all aggressive designs, in consequence of which each Government respects the territorial possessions of the other on the Pacific. This should be a sufficient guarantee that Japan entertains no ambition to acquire the Philippines or Hawaii. Equally amusing sound to our ears such articles as often appear in different magazines in regard to Japanese artifice in China. Now and then appears a book from the American press by some so- called authority on Manchuria: full of suspicions but with no facts to substantiate them, yet always winding up with the hackneyed conclusion-Japan is stealing American trade in China.
Americans ought to know by this time that, however mistaken it may be in some directions, our patriotism is not love for more land. My contention is, on the contrary, that our patriotism is confined too narrowly within the home land and feeds itself upon the insular spirit, which does not see that there are regions untouched by man where, if they but work, our people will be welcome. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, social economy abhors a dearth of labour when land and capital can be had in abundance. Look at those orchard hills and valleys where the fruits are ripe for the hand of the picker; look at those plains where the sugar beets are ready for the weeder and the thousands of acres grown with grain and vegetables, all waiting for the labour of men; certainly California needs more labour. The State has indeed been for years in the condition of "chronic labour famine." A great state of over 165,000 square miles, larger than the area of Japan itself by some 10,000 square miles, and provided with only two and one-third million of population, equal to one-twenty- second part of our own, with a density of only fifteen per square mile, must depend upon foreign labour for the proper cultivation of its soil. Mr. McKenzie's report says that Japanese labour is responsible for nearly $30,000,000 worth of produce in this State. It is depressing to think of the vast wealth lying unexplored and unexploited in this great State, so abundantly blessed by nature, simply because of lack of labour. I wish some Stanford man would take up for scientific treatment,-perhaps under direction of such an authority as Professor Miller, the subject of the economic loss sustained by California on account of Orientophobia. Some new facts may come to light, as was the case in the study of a former member of your university, Miss Mary Roberts Coolidge, whose impartial researches made clear many points perraining to Chinese labour. I shall not be at all surprised if in the near future, when prejudice shall have exhausted its breath in vociferation, and when the Orientophobic scales shall have fallen from the eyes of labour rings-California may once more open its doors for our people. I know too well the awful power of prejudice, but I also know that economic law is stronger than prejudice. What California lacks can be supplied by Japan, and what the superabundant population of Japan, the density of which is three hundred and thirty-six per square mile, lacks- namely, field for employment-California can offer in abundance. Far from there being any conflict, there is actually harmony of interests, and a little concession on both sides will surely do away with the few obstacles that may be imposed. Amicable solution of any questions arising from these obstacles is certainly possible, if only the minds of both parties are open to it.
We have already gone a long way toward the solution of the problem, having adopted a method which is clear and summary. To put it concisely, we have taken upon ourselves the duty of restricting immigration to your shores. Without any treaty or convention, purely by a gentlemen's agreement, this has been accomplished. The result is patent to all. I have just come across the Pacific on one of our largest steamers. She was laden to her fullest capacity with silk and tea; but the steerage was almost empty, and the few Japanese passengers in it were bound to a French island of the Lesser Antilles. The rest consisted of a number of labourers from the Philippines, new American subjects who were, of course, admitted free of conditions. But to return to my Japanese immigration problem, though a practical solution has been reached for the time being, there is some doubt as to the permanency of the present arrangement, for a proviso regarding immigration at the end of Act II. of the old treaty was omitted in the new treaty made public last spring. Thus the whole situation depends upon the spirit of concession on the side of Japan, upon her magnanimity, as Professor Coolidge of Harvard puts it. "The arrangement," he says, "which will give the United States the protection it demands, will rest not on the efficiency of its own laws, but on the fulfilment of obligations voluntarily assumed by a foreign state." However willing Japan may be to continue the same course of restriction, America "cannot depend indefinitely on the generosity, real or presumed, of a neighbour."
Professor Coolidge is certainly right, speaking as a jurist,-just as Professor Von Holst was right in speaking as a publicist, of the dangers threatening the United States through what its Constitution has not provided for. At the same time, if a bona fide check to emigration is scrupulously carried out in Japan, it will in a few years become, as our Minister of Foreign Affairs said during the last session of our Parliament, the established policy of the Empire; then, the question will bother neither you nor us, for then there will be no question. Good-will can put to rights the confusion which an appeal to law can only make more confused. I believe there is not a single case that cannot be settled by friendly means better than by legal procedure. I think it was Mr. Rowell who expressed his solicitude lest, in the absence of a treaty stipulation, the act of a rowdy boy who might feel like smashing a Japanese window should lead to international complications, or at least jeopardise amity between the two Powers. If the authorities in California are as genuinely disposed as are the Japanese to settle such difficulties amicably, the police and the Court of Justice ought to be able to do so in five minutes. It is also feared that a demagogue may arise in Japan and make of a trifling incident an issue of international magnitude. I am sorry to own that there are demagogues in my country as in yours, and fire-spitting journalists, too, and hair-splitting jurists as well; but a foreign policy, such as the policy of restriction, once established and efficiently carried out, is hardly likely to be upset by them. If I may be allowed to express my private opinion, that policy is too vigorously and too conscientiously put into practice; so that some of our most promising students are debarred from the advantage of American education and some of the most intelligent working-men are lost to American economy. I may add this opinion of mine is shared by many American residents in Japan.
But, pardon me, I have sojourned too long on the California coast, because my mind is full of California impressions. Though I landed here only last Saturday, such strange sights and sounds as I did not perceive twenty-eight years ago, when I first passed through San Francisco on my way to Baltimore, overwhelmed my senses. There was then no talk of war; no word of ill-will was heard, no sound of shipwrights working on a Dreadnaught, no sound of masons building a fort, no din of trumpet or of drum; all was peace along the Pacific. I can scarcely believe my own eyes and ears, so stupendously changed is the tone of American life. I wonder if this is progress. For myself, I cannot believe so. I live in a land famed for its soldiers and sailors; but I cannot free my mind from the thought that armament and militarism and what they bring in their train, will ultimately spell the ruin of the nations that play with them.
So, as a son of Japan, and as a well-wisher of America, it is my sincere hope that all these rumours of war may prove but a transient dream, a horrible nightmare that passes with the coming of the dawn. May we earnestly pray, and diligently work toward the end, that, wherever else war-clouds may darken this earth, lasting peace shall reign over the Pacific.