XXII. THE GROWTH AND CUSTOMS OF FEUDALISM
JAPAN, of all the Asiatic nations, seems to have brought the feudal system to the highest state of perfection. Originating and developing at the same time as in Europe, it became the constitution of the nation and the condition of society in the seventeenth century. When in Europe the nations were engaged in throwing off the feudal yoke and inaugurating modern government, Japan was riveting the fetters of feudalism, which stood intact until 1871. From the beginning of the thirteenth century, it had come to pass that there were virtually two rulers in Japan, and as foreigners, misled by the Hollanders at Déshima, supposed, two emperors.
The growth of feudalism in Japan took shape and form from the early division of the officials into civil and military. As we have seen, the Fujiwara controlled all the civil and offices, and at first, in time of emergency, put on armor, led their troops to battle, and braved the dangers of war and the discomforts of the camp. In time, however, this great family, yielding to that sloth and luxury which ever seem, like an insidious disease, to ruin greatness in Japan, ceased to take the field themselves, and delegated the uncongenial tasks of war to certain members of particular noble families. Those from which the greatest number of shōguns were appointed were the Taira and Minamoto, that for several centuries held the chief military appointments. As luxury, corruption, intrigue, and effeminacy increased at the capital, the difficulty of keeping the remote parts of the empire in order increased, especially, intrigue, and effeminacy increased at the capital, the diffiorganised, and the generals at Kiōto lost their ability to enforce their orders.
Many of the peasants, on becoming soldiers, had, on account of their personal valor or merit, been promoted to the permanent garrison of household troops. Once in the gay capital, they learned the details of intrigue and politics. Some were made court pages, or attendants on men of high rank, and thus learned the routine of official duty. They caught the tone of life at court, where every man was striving for rank and his own glory, and they were not slow to imitate their august examples. Returning to their homes with the prestige of having been in the capital, they intrigued for power in their native districts, and gradually obtained rule over them, neglecting to go when duty called them to Kiōto, and ignoring the orders of their superiors in the War Department. The civil governors of the provinces dared not to molest, or attempt to bring these petty tyrants to obedience. Having armor, horses, and weapons, they were able to train and equip their dependents and servants, and thus provide themselves with an armed following.
Thus was formed a class of men who called themselves warriors, and were ever ready to serve a great leader for pay. The natural consequence of such a state of society was the frequent occurrence of village squabbles, border brawls, and the levying of black-mail upon defenseless people, culminating in the insurrection of a whole province. The disorder often rose to such a pitch that it was necessary for the court to interfere, and an expedition was sent from Kiōto, under the command of a Taira or Minamoto leader. The shōgun, instead of waiting to recruit his army in the regular manner - a process doubtful of results in the disorganized state of the War Department and of the country in general - had immediate recourse to others of these veteran "warriors," who were already equipped, and eager for a fray.
Frequent repetition of the experience of the relation of brothers in arms, of commander and commanded, of rewarder and rewarded, gradually grew into that of lord and retainers. Each general had his special favorites and followers, and the professional soldier looked upon his commander as the one to whom his allegiance was directly due. The distant court at Kiōto, being utterly unable to enforce its authority, put the whole power of quieting the disturbed districts, whenever flie disorder increased beyond the ability of the civil magistrate to repress it, into the hands of the Minamoto and Taira. These families thus became military clans and acquired enormous influence, enjoyed the monopoly of military patronage, and finally became the virtual rulers of the land.
The power of the sword was, as early as the twelfth century, lost to the court, which then attempted, by every means in its power, to check the rising influence of the military families and classes. They began by denying them high rank, thus putting them under social ban.
They next attempted to lay an interdict upon the warriors by forbidding them to ally themselves with either the Taira or the Minamoto. This availed nothing, for the warriors knew who rewarded them. They then endeavored, with poor success, to use one family as a check upon the other. Finally, when the Minamoto, Yoriyoshi, and Yoshiiyé conquered all the north of Hondo, and kept in tranquillity the wholo of the Kuantō for fifteen years, even paying governmental expenses from their private funds, the court ignored their achievements. When they petitioned for rewards to be bestowed on their soldiers, the dilatory and reluctant, perhaps jealous, nobles composing the court not only neglected to do so, but left them without the imperial commission, and dishonored their achievements by speaking of them as "private fends." Hence they took the responsibility, and conferred upon their soldiers grants of the conquered land in their own name. The Taira followed the same policy in the south and west.
When Yoritomo became Sei-i Tai Shōgun at Kamakura, erected the dual system, and appointed a military with a civil governor of each province in the interest of good order, feudalism assumed national proportions. Such a distribution soon ceased to be a balance, the military pan in the scale gained weight and the civil lost until it kicked the beam. At, the end of the Hōjō domination, the court had lost the government of the provinces, and the kugō (court nobles) had been despoiled and impoverished by the buké (military). So thoroughly had feudalism become the national polity, that in the temporary mikadoate, 1534-1536, the Emperor Go-Diago rewarded those who had restored him by grants of land for them to rule in their own names as his vassals.
Under the Ashikagas, the hold of even the central military authority, or chief daimiō, was lost, and the empire split up into fragments. Historians have in vain attempted to construct a series of historical maps of this period. The pastime was war - a game of patchwork in which land continually changed possessors. There was no one great leader of sufficient power to overawe all; hence might made right; and whoever had the ability, valor, or daring to make himself pre-eminent above his fellows, and seized more land, his power would last until he was overcome by a stronger, or his family decayed through the effeminacy of his descendants. During this period, the great clans with whose names the readers of the works of the Jesuits and Dutch writers are familiar, or which have been most prominent since the opening of the empire, took their rise. They were those of Hosokawa Uyésugi, Sataké, Takéda, the "later Hōjō of Odawara," Mōri, Ōtomo, Shimadzŭ, Riuzoji, Ōta, and Tokŭgawa.
As the authority of the court grew weaker and weaker, the allegiance which all men owed to the mikado, and which they theoretically acknowledged, was changed into loyalty to the military chief. Every man who bore arms was thus attached to some "great name" (daimiō), and became a vassal (kérai). The agricultural, and gradually the other classes, also put themselves, or were forcibly included, under the protection of some castle lord or nobleman having an armed following. The taxes, instead of being collected for the central government, flowed into the treasury of the local rulers. This left the mikado and court without revenue. The kugé, or Kiōto nobles, were thus stripped of wealth, until their poverty became the theme for the caricaturist. Nevertheless, the eye of their pride never dimmed. In their veins, they knew, ran the blood of the gods, while the daimiōs were only "earth thieves," and the parvenus of feudalism. They still cherished their empty titles; and to all students of history their poverty was more honorable than all the glitter of the shōgun's train, or the splendor of the richest daimiō's mansion.
The daimiōs spent their revenues on their retainers, their personal pleasures, and in building castles. In almost every feudal city, or place of strategic importance, the towers, walls, and moats of these characteristic specimens of Japanese architecture could be seen. The strictest vigilance was maintained at the castle-gates, and a retainer of another daimiō, however hospitably entertained elsewhere, was never allowed entrance into the citadel. A minute code of honor, a rude sort of chivalry, and an exalted sense of loyalty were the growth of the feudal system.
Many of the mediæval military customs were very interesting. During this period the habit originated of the men shaving the hair off their temples and from the middle of the scalp, and binding the long cue into a top-knot, which was turned forward and laid on the scalp. The object of this was to keep the hair out of the eyes during battle, and also to mark the wearer as a warrior. Gradually it became a universal custom, extending to all classes.
When, in 1873, the reformers persuaded the people to cut off their knots and let their hair grow, the latter refused to "imitate the foreigners," and supposed they were true conservatives, when, in reality, the ancient Japanese knew nothing of shaven faces and scalps, or of top-knots. The ancient warriors wore mustaches, and even beards.
The practice of keeping the face scrupulously bare, until recently so universally observed except by botanists and doctors, is comparatively modern.
The military tactics and strategic arts of the Japanese were anciently copied from the Chinese, but were afterwarf modified as the nature of the physical features of their country and the institutions of feudalism required. No less than seven distinct systems were at different times in vogue; but that perfected by Takéda and Uyésugi, in the Ashikaga period, finally bore off tile palm. These tactics continued to command the esteem and practice of the Japanese until the revolution wrought by the adoption of the European systems in the present century. The surface of the country being so largely mountainous, uneven, and covered with rice-swamps, cavalry were but little employed. volley of arrows usually opened the battle, followed by a general engagement along the whole line. Single combats between commanders of hostile armies were of frequent occurrence. When they met on the field, their retainers, according to the strict etiquette of war, gave no aid to either, but encouraged them by shouts, as they called out each other's names and rushed to the combat. The battle slackened while the leaders strove, the armies becoming spectators. The victor cut off the head of his antagonist, and, holding it up, shouted his name and claimed the victory. The triumph or defeat of their leaders often decided the fate of the army. Vengeance against the victor was not permitted to be taken at the time, but must be sought again, the two armies again joining battle. The fighting over, those who had slain distinguished personaces must exhibit their heads before their chiefs, who bestowed rewards upon them. This practice still continues; and during the expedition in Formosa in 1874, the chief trophies were the heads of the Boutan cannibals; though the commander, General Saigo, attempted to abolish the custom. Whoever saved his chieftain's life on the field was honored with the place of highest rank in the clan. These customs had a tremendous influence in cultivating valor and a spirit of loyalty in the retainer toward the prince. The meanest soldier, if brave and faithful, might rise to the highest place of honor, rank, emolument, and influence. The bestowal of a reward, the investiture of a command, or military promotion, was ever an occasion of impressive ceremony.
Even in time of peace the samurai never appeared out-of-doors unarmed, invariably wearing their two swords in their girdle. The offensive weapons - spears long and short, the bows, arrows, and quiv er, and battle-axes - were set on their butts on the porch or vestibule in front of the house. Within doors, in the tokonoma, or recess, were ranged in glittering state the cuirass, helmet, greaves, gauntlets, and chain-mail. Over the sliding partitions, on racks, were the long halberds, which the women of the house were trained to use in case of attack during the absence of the men.
The gate of a samurai, or noble's, house was permanently guarded by his armed retainers, who occupied the porter's lodge beside it. Standing upright and ready were three long instruments, designed to entangle, throw down, and pin to the earth a quarrelsome applicant. Familiar faces passed unchallenged, but armed strangers were held at bay till their business was known. A grappling-iron, with barbed tongues turned in every direction, making a ball of hooks like an iron hedgehog, mounted on a pike-staff ten feet long, thrust into the Japanese loose clothing, sufficed to keep at a wholesome length any swashbuckler whose sword left its sheath too easily. Another spiked weapon, like a double rake, could be thrust between his legs and bring him to the earth. A third, shaped like a pitchfork, could hold him helpless under its wicket arch. Three heavy quarter staves were also ready, to belabor the struggling wight who would not yield, while swords on the racks hung ready for the last resort, or when intruders came in numbers. On rows of pegs hung wooden tickets about-three inches square, branded or inscribed with the names of the retainers and servants of the lord's house, which were handed to the keeper of the gate as they passed in or out.
The soldiers wore armor made of thin scales of iron, steel, hardened hide, lacquered paper, brass, or shark-skin, chain-mail, and shields. The helmet was of iron, very strong, and lined within by buckskin. Its flap of articulated iron rings drooped well around the shoulders. The visor was of thin lacquered iron, the nose and mouth pieces being removable. The eyes were partially protected by the projecting front piece. A false mustache was supposed to make the upper lip of the warrior dreadful to behold. On the frontlet were the distinguishing symbols of the man, a pair of horns, a fish, an eagle, dragon, buckhorns, or flashing brass plates of various designs. Some of the helmets were very tall. Kato Kiyomasa's was three feet high. On the top was a hole, in which a pennant was thrust, or an ornament shaped like a pear inserted. The "pear-splitter" was the fatal stroke in combat and the prize-cut in fencing. Behind the corslet on the back was another socket, in which the clan flag was inserted. The breastplate was heavy and tough; the arms, legs, abdomen, and thighs were protected by plates joined by woven chains. Shields were often used; and for folorn-hopes or assaults, cavalrymen made use of a stuffed bag resembling a bolster, to receive a volley of arrows. Besides being missile-proof, it held the arrows as spoils. On the shoulders, hanging loosely, were unusually wide and heavy brassarts, designed to deaden the force of the two-handed sword-stroke. Greaves and sandals completed the suit, which was laced and bound with iron clamps, and cords of buckskin and silk, and decorated with crests, gilt tassels, and glittering insignia. Suits of armor were of blacks, white, purple, crimson, violet, green, golden, or silver colors.
The rations of the soldiers were rice, fish, and vegetables. Instead of tents, huts of straw or boughs were easily erected to form a camp. The general's head-quarters were inclosed by canvas, stretched on posts six feet high, on which his armorial bearing were wrought. The weapons were, bows and arrows, spear, sword, and, rarely, battleaxes and bow-guns; for sieges, fire-arrows. The general's scabbard was of tiger-skin. Supplies of this material were obtained from Corea, where the animal abounds. His baton was a small lacquered wand, with a cluster of strips of thick white paper dependent from the point. Flags, banners, and streamer were freely used; and a camp, castle, or moving army, in time of war, with its hunderds and thousands of flags, presented a gay and lively appearance. Drums, hard-wood clappers, and conch-shells sounded the reveille, the alarm, the onset, or the retreat.
Owing to the nature of the ground, consisting chiefly of mountains and valleys, or plains covered with rice-swamps intersected by narrow paths, infantry were usually depended upon. In besieging a castle, the intrenchments of the investing army consisted chiefly of a line of palisades or heavy planks, propped up from within by hinged supports, at an angle of forty-five degrees, behind which the besiegers fought or lived in camp life, while sentinels paced at the gates. Lookouts were posted on overlooking hills, in trees, or in towers erected for the purpose. Sometimes huge kites able to sustain a man were flown, and a bird's-eye view of the interior of the enemy's castle. thus obtained. Fire, treachery, stratagem, starvation, or shooting at long range having failed to compel surrender, an assault took place, in which the gates were smashed in, or the walls scaled. Usually great loss resulted before the besiegers were driven off, or were victorious. Rough surgery awaited the wounded. An arrow-barb was usually pulled out by a jerk of the pincers. A sabre-cut was sewed or bound together with tough paper, of which every soldier carried a supply. The wonderfully adhesive, absorptive, and healing power of the soft, tough, quickly wet, easily hardening, or easily kept pliable, Japanese paper made excellent plasters, bandages, tourniquets, cords, and towels. In the dress, ing of wounds, the native doctors to this day, as I have often had occasion to witness, excel.
Seppuku (belly-cut) or hara-kiri also came into vogue about the time of the beginning of the domination of the military classes. At first, after a battle, the vanquished wounded fell on their swords, drove them through their mouth or breast, or cut their throats. Often a famous soldier, before dying, would flay and score his own face beyond recognition, so that his enemies might not glory over him. This grew into a principle of honor; and frequently the unscathed survivors, defeated, and feeling the cause hopeless, or retainers whose master was slain, committed suicide. Hence arose, in the Ashikaga period, the fashion of wearing two swords; one of which, the longer, was for enemies; the other, shorter, for the wearer's own body. The practice of hara-kiri as a judicial sentence and punishment did not come into vogue until in the time of the Tokugawas.
Thrust into a tiny scabbard at the side of the dirk, or small sword, was a pair of chopsticks to eat with in camp. Anciently these were skewers, to thrust, through the top-knot of a decapitated enemy, that the head might be easily carried. Besides, or in lieu of them, was a small miniature sword, ko-katana (little sword), or long, narrow knife. Although this was put to various trivial uses, such as those for which we employ a penknife, yet its primary purpose was that of the card of the owner. Each sword was adorned with some symbol or crest, which served to mark the clan, family, or person of the owner.
The Satsuma men wore swords with red-lacquered seabbards. Later, the Tokugawa vassals, who fought in the battle of Sékigabara, were called "white hilts," because they wore swords of extraordinary length, with white hilts. The bat, the falcon, the dragon, lion, tiger, owl, and hawk, were among the most common designs wrought in gold, lacquer, carving, or alloy on the hilts, handles, or scabbard; and on the ko-katana was engraved the name of the owner.
Feudalism was the mother of brawls innumerable, and feuds between families and clans continually existed. The wife whose husband was slain by the grudge-bearer brought up her sons religiously to avenge their father's death. The vendetta was unhindered by law and applauded by society. The moment of revenge selected was usually that of the victim's proudest triumph. After promotion to office, succession to patrimony, or at his marriage ceremony, the sword of the avenger did its bloody work. Many a bride found herself a widow on her wedding-night. Many a child became an orphan in the hour of the father's acme of honor. When the murder was secret, at night, or on the wayside, the head was cut off, and the avenger, plucking out his ko-katana, thrust it in the ear of the victim, and let it lie on the public highway, or sent it to be deposited before the gate of the house. The ko-katana, with the name engraved on it, told the whole story.
Whenever the lord of a clan wished his rival or enemy out of the way, he gave the order of Herodias to her daughter to his faithful retainers, and ussually the head in due time was brought before him, as was John's, on a charger or ceremonial stand.
The most minutely detailed etiquette presided over the sword, the badge of the gentleman. The visitor whose means allowed him to be accompanied by a servant always left his long sword in his charge when entering a friend's house; the salutation being repeated bowing of the forehead to the floor while on the hands, and knees, the breath being sucked in at the same time with an impressive sound. The degree of obeisance was accurately graded according to rank. If alone, the visitor laid his sword on the floor of the, vestibule. The host's servants, if so instructed by their master, then, with a silk napkin in hand, removed it inside and placed it, with all honor, on the swordrack. At meetings between those less familiar, the sheathed weapon was withdrawn front the girdle and laid on the floor to the right, an indication of friendship, since it could not be drawn easily. Under suspicious circumstances, it was laid to the left, so as to be at hand. On short visits, the dirk was retained in the girdle; on festal occasions, or prolonged visits, it was withdrawn. To clash the sheath of one's sword against that of another was a breach of etiquette that often resulted in instantaneous and bloody reprisal. The accompanying cut by Hokusai represents such a scene. The story is a true one, and well told by Mitford. Fuwa Banzaëmon - he of the robe marked with the nurétsubami (swallow in a shower) - and Nagoya Sanzaburo - he of the coat figured with the device of lightninig - both enemies, and rōnin, as their straw hats show, meet, and intentionally turn back to back and clash scabbards, holding their hands in tragic attitude. In a moment more, so the picture tells us, the insulted scabbards will be empty, and the blades crossed in deadly combat. In the story, which has been versified and dramatized, and which on the boards will hold an audience breathless, Nagoya finally kills Fuwa The writing at the side of the sketch gives the clue to the incident: saya-até (scabbardcollision), equivalent to our "flinging down the gauntlet."
To turn the sheath in the belt as if about to draw was tantamount to a challenge. To lay one's weapon on the floor of a room, and kick the guard toward a person, was an insult that generally resulted in a combat to the death. Even to touch another's weapon in any way was a grave offense. No weapon was ever exhibited naked for any purpose, unless the wearer first profusely begged pardon of those present. A wish to see a sword was seldom made, unless the blade was a rare one. The owner then held the back of the sword to the spectator, with the edge toward himself, and the hilt, wrapped in the little silk napkin which gentlemen always carry in their pocket-books, or a piece of white paper, to the left. The blade was then withdrawn from the scabbard, and admired inch by inch, but never entirely withdrawn unless the owner pressed his guest to do so, when, with much apology, the sword was entirely withdrawn and held away from those present. Many gentlemen took a pride in making collections of swords, and the men of every samurai family wore weapons that were heir-looms, often centuries old. Women wore short swords when traveling, and the palace ladies in time of fires, armed themselves.
In no country has the, sword been made an object of such honor as in Japan. It is it once a divine symbol, a knightly weapon, and a certificate. of noble birth. "The girded sword is the soul of the samurai." It is "the precious possession of lord and vassal from times older than the divine period." Japan is "the land of many blades." The gods wore and wielded two-cdged swords. From the tail of the dragon was born the sword which the Sun-goddess gave to the first emperor of Japan. By the sword of the clustering clouds of heaven Yamato-Daké subdued the East. By the sword the mortal heroes of Japan won their fame.
"There's naught 'twixt heaven and earth that man need fear, who carries at his belt this single blade." "One's fate is in the hands of Heaven, but a skillful fighter does not meet with death." "In the last days, one's sword becomes the wealth of one's posterity." These are the mottoes graven on Japanese swords.
Names of famous swords belonging to the Taira, Minamoto, and other families are, "Little row," "Beard-cutter," "Knee-divider." The two latter, when tried on sentenced criminals, after severing the heads from the body, cut the beard, and divided the knee respectively. The forging of these swords occupied the smith sixty days. No artisans were held in greater honor than tile sword-makers, and some of them even rose to honorary rank. The forging of a blade was often a religious ceremony. The names of Munéchicka, Masamuné, Yoshimitsu, and Muramasa, a few out of many noted smiths, are familiar words in the mouths of even Japanese children. The names, or marks and dates, of famous makers were always attached to their blades, and from the ninth to the fifteenth century were sure to be genuine. In later times, the practice of counterfeiting the marks of well-known makers came into vogue. Certain swords considered of good omen in one family were deemed unlucky in others.
I had frequent opportunities of examining several of the masterpieces of renowned sword-makers while in Japan, the property of kugés, daimiōs, and old samurai families, the museum at Kamakura being especially rich in famous old blades. The ordinary length of a sword was a fraction over two feet for the long and one foot for the short sword. All lengths were, however, made use of, and some of the old warriors on horseback wore swords over six feet long.
The Japanese sword-blade averages about an inch in width, about seven-eighths of which is a backing of iron, to which a face of steel is forged along its entire length. The back, about one-fourth of an inch thick, bevels out very slightly to near the centre of the blade, which then narrows to a razor edge. The steel and the forging line are easily distinguished by a cloudiness on the mirror-like polish of the metal. An inch and a quarter from the point, the width of the blade having been decreased one-fourth, the edge is ground off to a semiparabola, meeting the back, which is prolonged, untouched; the curve of the whole blade, from a straight line, being less than a quarter of an inch. The guard is often a piece of elaborate workmanship in metal, representing a landscape, water-scene, or various emblems. The hilt is formed by covering the prolonged iron handle by sharkskin and wrapping this with twisted silk. The ferule, washers, and eleets are usually inlaid, embossed, or chased in gold, silver, or alloy. The rivets in the centre of the handle are concealed by designs, often of solid gold, such as the lion, dragon, cock, etc.
In full dress, the color of the scabbard was black, with a tinge of green or red in it, and the bindings of the hilt of blue silk. The taste of the wearer was often displayed in the color, size, or method of wearing his sword, gay or proud fellows affecting startling colors or extravagant length. Riven through ornamental ferules at the side of the scabbards were long, flat cords of woven silk of various tints, which were used to tie up the flowing sleeves, preparatory to fighting. Every part of a sword was richly inlaid, or expensively finished. Daimiōs often spent extravagant sums on a single blade, and small fortunes on a collection. A samurai, however poor, would have a blade of sure temper and rich mountings, deeming it honorable to suffer for food, that he might have a worthy emblem of his social rank as a samurai. A description of the various styles of blade and scab bard, lacquer, ornaments, and the rich, vocabulary of terms minutely detailing each piece entering into the construction of a Japanese sword, the etiquette to be observed, the names, mottoes, and legends relating to them, would fill a large volume closely printed. A considerable portion of native literature is devoted to this one subject.
The bow and arrows were the chief weapons for siege and, longrange operations. A Japanese bow has a peculiar shape, as seen in the engraving. It was made of well-selected oak (kashi), incased on both sides with a semi-cylinder of split bamboo toughened by fire. The three pieces composing the bow were then bound firmly into one piece by thin withes of rattan, making an excellent combination of lightness, strength, and elasticity. The string was of hemp. Arrows were of various kinds and lengths, according to the arms of the archer. The average length of the war-arrow was three feet. The "turnip-head," "frog-crotch," "willow-leaf," "armor-piercer," "bowelraker," were a few of the various names for arrows. The "turniptop," so named from its shape, made a singing noise as it flew. The "frog-crotch," shaped like a pitchfork, or the hind legs of a leapingfrog, with edged blades, was used to out down flags or sever helmet lacings. The "willow-leaf" was a two-edged, unbarbed head, shaped like the leaf of a willow. The "bowel-raker" was of a frightful shape, well worthy of the name; and the victim whose diaphragm it penetrated was not likely to stir about afterward. The "armorpiercer" was a plain bolt-head, with nearly blunt point, well calculated to punch through a breastplate. Barbs of steel were of various shape; sometimes very heavy, and often handsomely open-worked. The shaft was of cane bamboo, with string-piece of bone or horn, whipped on with silk. Quivers were of leather, water-proof paper, or thin lacquered wood, and often splendidly adorned. Gold-inlaid weapons were common among the rich soldiers, and the outfit of an officer often cost many hundreds of dollars. Not a few of these old tools of war have lost their significance, and have become household adornments, objects of art, or symbols of peace. Such especially are the emblems of the carpenter's guilds, which consist of the half-feathered "turnip-head" arrow, wreathed with leaves of the same succulent, and the "frog-crotch," inserted in the mouth of a dragon, crossed upon the ancient mallet of the craft. Those adorn temples or houses, or are carried in the local parades and festivals. As Buddhism had become the professed religion of the entire nation, the vast majority of the military men were Buddhists. Each had his patron or deity. The soldier went into battle with an image of Buddha sewed in his helmet, and after victory ascribed glory to his divine deliverer. Many temples in Japan are the standing monuments of triumph in battle, or vows performed. Many of the noted captains, notably Kato, inscribed their banners with texts from the classics or the prayers, "Namŭ Amida Butsŭ," or "Namu miō hō," etc., according to their sect. Amulets and charms were worn almost without exception, and many a tale is told of arrows turned aside, or swords broken, that struck on a sacred image, picture, or text. Before entering a battle, or performing a special feat of skill or valor, the hero uttered the warrior's prayer, "Namu Hachiman-Dai-bosatsu" (Glory to Hachiman, the incarnation of Great Buddha). Though brave heroes must, like ordinary men, pass through purgatory, yet death on the battle-field was reckoned highly meritorious, and the happiness of the warrior's soul in the next world was secured by the prayers of his wife and children.
[Note on the Development of Feudalism. - A thoroughly competent critic in The Japan Mail of November 25th, 1876, in a review of this. work, criticising the author's treatment of Japanese feudalism, says: "In Japan, as in other Asiatic countries, the two main functions of government were the collection of the land revenue and the repression of rapine. In the palmy days of the mikado's power, both these functions were united in the hands of the prefects, who were appointed from Kiōto, with a tenure of office restricted to four years. What Yoritomo ostensibly did was to procure a division of these two departments of governmental activity, leaving one (the collection of revenue) to the mikado's functionaries, and obtaining the control of the other (the repression of crime) for himself. This control he acquired not. . . . in virtue of his military office of Sci-i-Tai Shōgun, but by cloaking his military power under the guise of his civil title, Sō Tsuiho Shi, which might well be rendered Chief Commissioner of Police, or High Constable of the Realm, The extension of the system of appointing military magistrates, which was found to work so well in the Kuantō, to the central and western provinces, was effected some years before he received his rank of Barbarian-quelling Generalissimo. The second step in the direction of feudalism . . . . was the system, initiated by the Ashikaga shōguns, of making the military magistracies hereditary in the families of their own nominees. The third was when Hidéyoshi parceled out the fiefs without reference to the sovereign, by titles granted in his own names. This was the precedent that Iyéyasŭ followed when he based the power of his dynasty on the tie of personal fealty of the Fudai daimiōs and hatamotos to himself and his successors as lords-paramount of their lands."]