XVIII. NEW JAPAN.
THE history of Japan from 1872 to 1876 is intimately connected with that of the mikado. On the 1st of January, 1872, he visited the imperial navy, dock-yards, and machine-shops at Yokosŭka, displaying the liveliest interest in all he saw. By his conduct throughout the entire day, and coolness and self-possesion during a critical moment, when a damp mold, full of molten iron, exploded and bespattered the imperial person, he proved himself more than a petty pseudo-divinity. He showed himself a man. The last act of the mystery-play was over. As a god, the mikado is a failure; as a man, he is a splendid success. If he has any divinity, it is the divinity of common sense. From dwelling in mediæal seclusion in the palace, steeped in sensual delights, degraded in body and mind to the intellectual level of a girl, the sovereign of Japan has taken his place among; men of thought and action, a student, a thinker, an earnest and enlightended ruler. In April, Mutsŭhito visited the Imperial College; and, being in his presence several hours, and immediately before him during the performance of experiments and recitations by the students, I was enabled to study his countenance as he sat surrounded by princes of the blood, court nobles, and ministers of the cabinet, all robed in variegated brocade. He was then dressed in flowing robes of crimson and white satin, with black cap or crown, bound by a fillet of fluted gold, with a tall, upright, plume, or stiff ribbon of gold. He appeared is the picture oil page 102 represents some, one of his ancestors. I afterward (January 1st, 1873) had the pleasure of an audience in the imperial palace, seeing him sitting on hair, or throne, richly ornamented with golden dragons and lions, flanked by his sword-bearer and train of courtiers, in all the gorgeousness and variety of silk robes and ceremonial caps, so characteristic of rank in Dai Nippon. At the openime of the new buildings of the Imperial College - thenceforth called the Imperial University of Japan - I saw him dressed in the costume shown in the portrait on page 37, thoroughly Europeanized in dress and person. I consider the likeness in photograph and wood-cut to be a capital one.
On the 3d of April, 1872, at 3 P.M., during the prevalence of a high wind, a fire, breaking out inside the castle circuit, leaped wall and moat, and in five hours swept Tōkiō to the bay. Five thousand houses and hundreds of yashikis and temples - among them the great Monzéki, in Tsŭkuji - were destroyed. The foreign hotels were left in ashes, which covered many square miles. Out of this calamity rose the phenix of a new plan with a new order of architecture. The main avenues were widened to ninety feet, the smaller ones to sixty feet. Rows of fine houses in brick and stone, and new bridges, in many cases of stone or iron, were built. Tōkiō is now thoroughly modernized in large portions. The foreign residents joined in the work of alleviating the distress. As bearer of their silver contributions to the mayor of the city, I found my old friend, Mitsŭöka (Yuri), of Fukui, sitting amidst the ashes of his dwelling, but happy in the possession of an imperial order to visit America and Europe, to study municipal government and improvements.
During the summer, Mr. Katsv Awa was made Minister of the Navy, and Mr. Ōkubo Ichiō, Mayor of Tōkiō. A large number of ex- Tokugawa vassals were called into the service of the Government, and the old lines of division obliterated. The head of the Tokurawa family appointed by the mikado's court in 1868, is Jiusammi Tokugawa Kaménosŭké, whom I often met in Tōkiō. The Tokugawa clansmen are now among the loyal upholders of the throne and the new order of things. Mr. Katsŭ devoted himself to the thorough organization of the navy (see page 597). The British model had already been selected. In the accompanying cut, is given a specimen of the, national fleet, the Tsukuha Kan, which visited San Frncisco during 1875. The nortrait of the Commander show the, japanese naval officer of the period in modern tonsure and uniform. The sun-flag of Japan floats astern. In I the latter part of June, 1872, the mikado left Tōkiō in the flag- ship of Admiral Akamatsŭ, who was trained in Holland with Enonioto, and made a tour in Kiushiu and the South and West of the empire. For the first time in twelve centuries, the Emperor of Japan moved freely and unveiled among his subjects, whose loyalty and devotion were manifested in the intense but decorous enthusiasm characteristic of a people to whom etiquette is second nature. In several ancient places the imperial hands opened, in anticipation of the Vienna Ex position, store-houses which had been sealed since time time of Seiwa Tennō (A.D. 859-876). Vienna was already engaging the attention of the Government. The mikado visited Nagasaki, Kagoshima, Nara, Kiōto, Ōzaka, and other places, returning to Tokis, August 16th, riding from Yokohama by railway.
The 14th of October was a day of matchless autumnal beauty and ineffable influence. The sun rose cloudlessly on the Sunrise Land. Fuji blushed at dawn out of the roseate deeps of space, and on stainless blue printed its white magnificence all day long, and in the mystic twilight sunk in floods of golden splendor, resting at night with its head among the stars. On that auspicious day, the mikado, princes of the blood, court nobles, the, "flowery nobility" of ex-daimiōs, and guests, representing the literature, science, art, and arms of Japan, in flowing, pictutresque costume; the foreign Diplomatic Corps, in tight cloth smeared with gold; the embassadors of Liu Kiu, the Ainō chiefs, and officials in modern dress, made the procession, that, underneath arches of camellias, azaleas, and chrysanthemums, moved into the stonebuilt dépôt, and, before twenty thousand spectators, stepped into the train. It was a sublime moment, when, before that august array of rank and fame, and myriads of his subjects, the one hundred and twenty-third representative of the imperial line declared the road open. The young emperor beheld with deep emotion the presence of so many human beings. As the train moved, the weird strains of the national hymn of Japan, first heard before the Roman empire fell or Charlemagne ruled, were played. Empires had risen, flourished, and passed away since those sounds were first attuned. To-day Japan, fresh and vigorous, with lew blood in her heart, was taking an upward step in life. May the Almighty Disposer grant the island empire strength, national unity, and noble purpose while the world stands!
These were my thoughts as the smoke puffed and the wheels revolved. Past flower-decked stations, the train moved on. When at Kanagawa, puffs of smoke and tongues of flame leaped from the fleet of the foreign war-ships as their broadsides thundered the congratulations of Christendom to New Japan. But all ceremony, pageant, and loyal hosannas paled before the sublime significance of the act of the mikado, when four of his subjects, in the plain garb of merchants, stood in the presence of majesty, and read an address of congratulation, to which the emperor replied. The merchant face to face with the mikado? The lowest social class before traditional divinity? It was a political miracle! I saw in that scene a moral grandeur that measured itself against centuries of feudalism. What were war's victories, or the pomp of courts, compared with that moment when Japanese, social progress and national to regneration touched high-water mark? It foreshadowed the time to come when the merchant, no longer despised, should take his place in the council-halls of the nation.
When representative government comes, as come it must, the, merchant, becoming senator, will help to sway the national destinies. The emperor in whose reign the eta were made citizens - an act as morally grand as the emancipation of slaves - now dwells at times the guest of a merchant. Before the end of this century, it may be, the throne, no longer stilted on the effete fiction of petty divinity, may rest wholly upon constitution, law, and intelligent patriotism.
The doctrine of the divine decent of the mikado has been very useful in times past; but its work is done. Its light is paling; it is time for its wane; it can not long remain above the horizon. There are so many Sons of Heaven, so many Centres of the Universe, Infallibilities, etc., in Asia, where the fashion still lingers of making gods of men for the purposes of political machinery, that the very mention of such in idea is all evidence of weakness, even of imbecility. Japan will win the respect of civilization by dropping the fiction.
Again, in the same year, Japan challenged the admiration of Christendom. The coolie trade, carried. on by the Portuguese at Macao, in China, between the local kidnapers and Peru and Cuba, had long existed in defiance of the Chinese Grovernment. Thousands of ignorant Chinese were yearly deceyed to Macao, and Shipped, in \sweltering ship-holds, under the name of "passengers." In Cuba and Peru, their contracts were Often broken, they were cruelly treated, and only a small proportion of them returned alive to tell their wrongs.
The Japanese Government had, with a fierce jealousy, born of their experiences of slave-trade in the sixteenth century, watched the first beginnings of slave-trade in the sixteenth century, watched the first tian" nations seemed to have a special inclination to trade in human flesh. The Dutch at Déshima during two centuries gave them exampies of sordid greed that stops not it selling men. Even their own pagan morals taught them the iniquity of the traffic. The works of Japanese authors condemn the crime in unsparing terms, and load those guilty of it with obloquy. In the last days of the bakufu, Coolies traders came to Japan to ship irresponsible hordes of Japanese coolies, and women for a viler purpose, to the United States. To their everlasting shame, be it said, some were Americans. A few cargoes were sent to Hawaii and California, and natives of Japan were actually sold for contemptible sums to task-masters. Of those who returned were some of my own students. Among the first things done by the mikado's Government after the Restoration was the sending of an official who effected the joyful delivery of these people and their return to their homes. No Japanese are ever allowed to go abroad, except as responsible, competent, and respectable citizens, who will do credit, to their country.
The story of the Maria Luz is a long one. I hope to condense it justly. The Peruivian ship, loaded with Chinese, put into the port of Yokohama. Two fugitive coolies in succession swam to the English war-ship, Iron Duke. Hearing the piteous story of their wrongs, Mr. Watson, the British chargé d'affaires, called the attention of the Japanese authorities to these illegal acts committed in their waters. A protracted inquiry was instituted, and the coolies landed. The Japanese refused to force them on board in duress against their will, and later, shipped them to China, a favor which was gratefully acknowledged by the Peking Government. This act of a pagan nation achieved a grand moral victory for the world and humanity. Writing now, in 1876, we see the coolie-traffic - a euphemism for the slave- trade - abolished from the face of the earth, and the barracoons of Macao in ruins. China, shamed into better care of her people, has sent commissioners to Cuba and Peru, and has refused to enter into any treaty obligation with any South American State so long as a single Chinaman remains in the country against his will. Instead of a bombardment by Peruvian iron-clads, and war, so generously threatened, Japan and Peru have clasped reconciled hands in friendship. The ease of the Maria Luz, referred to the Emperor of Russia for arbitration, was decided by him in favor of Japan. A Peruvian legation is now established in Tōkiō. Yet the act of freeing the Chinese coolies in 1872 was, done in the face of clamor and opposition and a rain of protests from the foreign consuls, ministers, and a part of the press. But abuse and threats and diplomatic pressure were in vain. The Japanese never wavered. As straight as Gulliver through the hail of pin-point arrows, the Japanese marched to the duty before them.
They had freed their eta; they now liberated the slaves. The British chargé and the American consul, Colonel Charles O. Shepherd, alone gave hearty support and unwaverng sympathy to the right side.
During the year 1872, two legations and three consulates were established abroad. The number of these is now ten in all. At home the Work of national consolidation went, on, occasionally interrupted by sporadic uprisings of peasantry, too ignorant to see that local abuses or privileges were being adusted ot a national basic of just equality. The press of Japan passed from the realm of experiment into that of an estate. The wondrous growth of this civilizing force is best seen by a study of the postal statistics on page 590. Ten daily newspapers in the capital, and two hundred publications in the empire, furnished wiht metal type and pringing-presses, are flooding the country with informationa and awakening thought. The editors are often men of culture, or students returned form abroad, and special scholars are found on the editorial staff. The surprisingly large measure of liberty of the press grnted in 1872, 1873, and 1874 was severely curtailed in 1875, and the problem of allowing newspapers in a country still governed by a despotic monarchy remains unsolved. The Japanese statesmen seem to imagine that a people may be educated thoroughly, and yet be governed like children. To show the power possessed by the Government over the people, it is enough to say that the whereabouts of ninety-nine hundredths of all the citizens during any given past twenty-four hours can be told with great certainty.
The establishment of the pess has also exposed the fact that in these isles of the blest, in which some foreigners supposed existed only innocence, gentleness, or good-mannered poverty, reeks every species of moral filth, abomination, crime, and corruption. To sea the columns of an average Japanese newspaper is to read a tale of horror and nastiness that puts to the blush the obscene calendars in the sensational dailies and illustrated Police Gazettes of New York, which find their way only too plentifully into the editorial rooms of
Japanese cities. As one measure of crime in Dai Nippon, I believe the number of executions and deaths in the native prisons averages three thousand per annum. There is scarcely a form of sin known to Sodom, Greece, Rome, or India, but has been, or is, practiced in Japan, which has sorest need of moral renovation.
Yet in the department of jurisprudence vast progress has been made. I doubt whether any nation on earth can show a more revolting list of horrible methods of torture and punishment in the past with so great amelioration in so short a time. Their cruel and bloody codes were mostly borrowed from China.
Since the Restoration, revised statutes and regulations have greatly decreased the list of capital punishments, reformed the condition of prisons, and made legal processes less cruelly simple, but with elaboration of mercy and justice. The use of torture to obtain testimony is now entirely abolished. Law schools have also been established, lawyers are allowed to plead, thus giving the accused the assistance of counsel for his defense. The cut represents the old style of trial.
The prisoner, the torturer, secretary, and judge were the chief or only personages at the trial. A museum as curious as am to be found in Europe might be made of the now obsolete instruments of torture. Let us hope that the system of jurisprudence founded on Roman law, infused with the spirit of Christianity, may be imported, and flourish in Japan. This is now being done.
In moral character, the average Japanese is frank, honest, faithful, kind, gentle, courteous, confiding, affectionate, filial, loyal. Love of truth for its own sake, chastity, temperance, are not characteristic virtues. A high, almost painful, sense of honor is cultivated by the samurai. In spirit, the average artisan and farmer is a sheep. In intellectual capacity the actual merchant is mean, and in moral character low. He is beneath the Chinaman in this respect. The male Japa nese is far less overbearing and more chivalrous to woman than any other Asiatic. In political knowledge or gregarious ability the countryman is a baby, and the city artisan a boy. The peasant is a pronounced pagan, with superstition ingrained and dyed into the very finest fibre of his nature.
In reverence to elders and to antiquity, obedience to parents, gentle manners, and universal courtesy and generous impulses, the Japanese are the peers of any, and superior to many, peoples of Christendom. The idea of filial obedience has been developed into fanaticism, is the main prop of paganism and superstition, and is the, root of the worst blot on the Japanese character - the slavery of prostituted women.
To sum up: Japanese are simply human, no better, no worse than mankind outside. The attempts of good people, with eyes jaundiced by theological dogmatics, to put so heavy a coat of moral tar and feathers upon the Japanese as to make them sinners above all nations; or of hearty haters of all missionary labors, who are in love with the Utopia of their own creation, to make them guileless innocents, must alike fail before the hard facts.
The whole, question of the ability of the Japanese to receive the highest form of civilization is intimately connected with their physical constitution.
The physique of the mountaineers and sailors, fishermen and steadily employed coolies, seems to be the finest. The average height of the men is five feet. The Japanese never smoke opium, like the Chinose; but, the habit of filling the lungs, with tobacco-smoke and exhaling it through the nose does not tend to pulmonary health, and, in comparison with the white nations, they are notably flat-breasted. The question has been raised as to whether the Japanese are a degenerate race. I think the evidence loans to the negative side. In their method of rearing infants, only the hardy ones can survive the exposure to which they are subject. Deformity is strikingly rare. Rhenmatism, chills, and fever in the low-lying marshy districts, catarrh, and diarrhea are common, though not strikingly so. Nervous disorders are, not general. Leprosy, or elephantiasis, is known, and kakké (leghumor) is peculiar to Japan. It is probable that the people do not always take extraordinary pains to real deformed infants. Exposure or desertion of children is in almost unheard-of thing. The maiming and breaking, of limbs, caused by accidents - by falling, explosions, etc. - so frequent in countries where high buildings and machinery are in general use, are rare among the Japanese. Varicose veins, resulting from sans-culottism, furnish a curious argument in favor of a liberal supplement to Eden's costume, even to the donning of unpicturesque pantaloons. Since the introduction of the jin-riki-sha, the prevalence of heart-disease among the coolies has assumed frightful proportions. The almost national change for the better in the diet, clothing, and public hygienic protection and education of the people must bear good fruit for future generations, and greatly improve the averge physique of the nation.
The Corean war project had, in 1872, become popular in the Cabinet. It was the absorbing theme of the army and navy. The samurai burned to make "the glory of Japan shine beyond the seas." It has been said that "if Japan weighs one hundred pounds, Satsuma is fifty of them." This warlike clan, and that of Hizen, boiling over with patriotism, vexed their righteous souls daily because the revolution of 1868 had gone too far. The Yamato damashi and warlike policy were giving way to considerations of finance. They clamored for a general return to ancient ideals, principles, dress, tonsure, and side- arms, to which they still clung. During the Tokugawa period Corea had regularly sent embassies of homage and congratulation to Japan; but, not relishing the change of affairs in 1868, disgusted at the foreignizing tendencies of the mikado's Government, incensed at Japan's departure from Turanian ideals, and emboldened by the failure of the French and American expeditions, Corea sent insulting letters, taunting Japan with slavish truckling to the foreign barbarians, declared herself an enemy, and challenged Japan to fight. The divulging of this news, after vain attempts to repress it, acted like a moral volcano.
About this time, a Liu Kiu junk was wrecked on eastern Formosa. The crew were killed by the savages, and, as it is said, eaten. The Liu Kiuans appealed to their tributary lords at Satsuma, who referred the matter to Tōkiō. English, Dutch, American, German, and Chinese ships had, from time to time, been wrecked on this "cannibal" coast, the terror of the commerce of Christendom. Their war-ships vainly attempted to chastise the savages. Soyéjima, with others, conceived the idea of occupying the coast to rule the wild tribes, and of erecting light-houses, in the interests of commerce. China laid no claim to eastern Formosa, all trace of which was omitted from maps of the "Middle Kingdom." In the spring of 1873, Sovéjima went to Peking, and there among other things granted him was an audience with the chinese emperor. He thus reaped the results of the diplomatic labors of half a century. The Japanese embassador stood upright before the Dragon Face and the Dragon There, robed in the tight black dress-coat, pantaloons, and white neck linen of Western civilization, bearing the congratulations of the young mikado of the Sunrise to the youthful emperor of the Middle Kingdom. In the Tsung Li Yamen, Chinese responsibility over Eastern Formosa was disavowed, and the right of Japan to chastise the savages granted. A Japanese junk was wrecked on Formosa, and its crew stripped and plundered, while Soyéjima was absent in China. This event piled fresh fuel on tile flames of the war feeling, now popular even among the unarmed classes. The only thing waited for before drawing the sword was the arrival of the embassy.
In its subordiuate objects the embassy was a signal success. Much was learned (of Christendom. The results at home were the splendid series of reforms which mark the year 1872 is epochal. Moral, social, legal, political, educational, and material elmnges were so numerous and sweeping as to daze the alien spectator on the soil, and cause him to ask again "Can a nation be born at once?
In its prime object the embassy was a magnificent failure. Beyond amusement, curiosity, thirst for knowledge, its purpose was constant, single, supreme. It was to ask that in the revision of the treaties the extra-territoriality clause be stricken out, that foreigners be made subject to the law of Japan. The failure of the mission was predicted by all who knew the facts. From Washington to St. Petersbrg point-blank refusal was made. No Christian governments, would for a moment trust their people to pagan edicts and prisons. While Japan slandered Christianity by proclamations, imprisoned men for their belief, knew nothing of trial by jury, of the habeas-corpus writ, or of modern jurisprudencle; in short, while Japan maintained the institutions of barbarism, they refused to recognize her is peer in the comity of nations.
Meanwhile, at home the watch-word was progress. The sale of orphan female children to brothel-keepers, the traffic in native or European obscene pictures, the lascivious dances, even to nudity, of the singing-girls, the custom of promiscuous bathing in the public baths, and of the country coolies going naked or nearly without clothing, were abolished. Public decency was improved, and the standards of Christendom attempted. The law entered that the offense might abound. Many things absolutely innocent became at once relatively sinful. It was an earnest effort to elevate the social condition. With a basis of education and moral training in the minds of the people to underlie the Government edicts, complete success may be hoped for; but even in the mikado's empire the moral character of a people is not made or unmade by fiat. Marvelous progress has, however, been made. The slanderous anti-Christian kosatsŭ were also taken down, and the last relic of public persecution for conscience' sake removed. The engraving, page 368, represents a vanished curiosity. A noble step was still further taken in the face of a bigoted priesthood and fanatic conservatives. All the "Christians" torn from their homes at Urakami, near Nagasaki, in 1868 and 1869, and exiled and imprisoned in Kaga, Echizen, and other provinces, were set free and restored to their native villages. This measure had long been urged by Hon. Charles E. De Long, Sir Harry Parkes, Mr. F. O. Adams, and Count Turenne. In this year (1872) I made a tour of one month, over nine hundred miles,', to Shidzŭöka, Kisto, Fukui, and along the Sea of Japan, to near Niigata, thence through Shinano and Kōdzuké. I went to spy out the land and see how deeply civilization had penetrated. A week's journey was also made through Kadzusa and Awa, another in Shimōsa and Hitachi, and three separate trips for purposes of research in Sagami, Idzu, and Suruga. My intense enjoyment of the classic ground was shadowed by the vivid realization of the poverty of the country, the low estate of the peasantry, the need of something better than paganism, and the vastness of the task of regenerating an agricultural nation. The task, though great, is not hopeless. I was pleased to find education thoroughly extended, schools everywhere, and boys and girls alike studying with the help of such new improvements as slate and pencil, blackboard and chalk, charts and text-books on geography, history, reading, etc., translated from standard American school-books.
In Europe, Iwakura and his colleagues were cognizant of home affairs. With eyes opened by all they had seen abroad - mighty results, but of slow growth - they saw their country going too fast. Under the war project lay an abyss of financial ruin. It must be crushed. Shrewdly they laid plans, warily they kept silence, sudden ly they struck the blow. The war scheme, brought up in a cabinet meeting, was squelched. The disappointment of the army was keen, that of expectant foreign contractors pitiable. The soldiers vented their rage in curses, the contractors in printed mud. Finding it useless to resist the crushing power of Iwakura, backed by Ōkubo, Kido, Katsŭ Ito, and Ōki, the ablest men of the cabinet, Goto, Soyéjima, and Eto resigned and retired to private life.
The volcano hardened to an outer crust. The war-loving samurai looked upon Iwakura as a peace-at-any-price man. He was also intimately connected with the financial scheme, now promulgated, of commuting, with a view to final extinction, the samurai pension. The. nation, groaning under this burden - the legacy of feudalism - must throw it off, become bankrupt, or go back to isolation. It was throtthing the life of the nation.
It has been said that "the actual government of Japan is despotism, tempered by assassination." The old spirit was not yet dead. On the evening of January 14th, outside the castle moat, and near the palace-gates, the U Dai Jia was returning from in interview with the emperor. In the twinkling of all eye, his bettō was cut down, the driver wounded, and the sides of the carriage pierced and cut to ribbons with spear-points and sword-blades. Iwakura, wounded in two places, leaped out on the edge of the moat. He fell, and rolled into the water. The foiled assassins, in the pitch-darkness, not daring to linger for search, and unable to see or find their victim, made off. In spite of wounds, cold, and immersion, the U Dai Jin recovered. Soon afterward, nine rōnins - eight from Tosa and one from Satsuma - were arrested, and their crime proved. The U Dai Jin pleaded that mercy be shown them. In vain. The nine heads rolled into the blood-pit.
On the 17th of January, the ex-ministers, Goto, Soyéjima, Eto, Itagaki, with Yuri, of Fukui, and others, sent in a memorial, praying for the establishment of a representative assembly, in which the popular wish might be discussed. They complained that authority lay neither with the crown nor people, but with the officials in power. Their request was declined. It was officially declared that Japan was not ready for such institutions.
Hizen, the home of one of the great clans of the coalition of 1868, was now the chief seat of disaffection. With perhaps no evil intent, Eto, who had been head of the Department of Justice, had gone back to his home in Ilizen, an example which many of his clansmen follow ed, among them Katsŭki Kéguro, a student educated in Albany and London. It was the old story of sectionalism against national interests. It was miniature secession. Scores of officials and men, but very few students, bound by oath and duty to the National Government, which had nourished or educated them, assembled with arms and traitorous intent in Hizen, and raised the cry of "On to Corea!"
Here was armed rebellion. Were the flames to spread, all Kiushiu would be involved. In the midst of the impending civil war, the foreign ministers pressed the payment of the last installment of the Shimonoséki indemnity, expecting that Japan could not or would not pay it, but would grant more one-sided concessions. In pride and anger, the Japanese passed over the money-bags, and closed the contemptible business forever.
The political barometer now began rapidly to fall. The Hizen war-cloud gathered blackness. The storm broke in war-fires and battle-blood. The rebels attacked the castle, and killed the garrison. Elated, they waited to see all Kiushiu join them. Their reckoning was fifty years behind the age. The days of Old Japan were passed. The era of steam, electricity, and breech-loaders had come. From the national capital darted the telegraphic lightnings. On the wings of steam, the imperial battalions swooped on Saga, as if by magic. The rebellion was annihilated in ten days. The leader, master-spirit, and judge was Okubo, modest in demeanor, wise in council, but in the field the lion-hearted hero that, knows no fear. Eto, Katsŭki, and ten other ringleaders were sent to kneel before the blood-pit. The sword fell as each chanted his death-song. The heads of Eto and Shima were exposed on the pillory. The National Government was vindicated, and sectionalism crushed, perhaps, forever.
The story of the Formosan affair is more familiar to my readers. Thirteen hundred Japanese soldiers occupied this island for six months. In the few skirmishes with the savages, breech-loaders prevailed over arrows and smooth-bores. the imperial troops were commanded by Saigō Yorimichi, brother of Saigō Kichinosuké. They built roads, and kept camps, and made fortifications in the style of modern engineering and military art. The attitude of China at first had been that of the sleeping crocodile that allows the tiny bird to enter its mouth to pick its teeth for food. Incited, however, by foreign influence in Peking, the sleepy nation woke in wrath and shame at the rebuke of Japan. The Chinese Government began to urge their claims on Formosa, to declare the Japanese intruders, and to menace hostilities. For a time, war seemed inevitable. Again the man for the crisis was Ōkubo, who went to Peking. The result of this was that the Chinese paid, in solid silver, an indemnity of seven hundred thousand dollars, and the Japanese disembarked. To outsiders in Europe, the whole, affair seemed but a "tempest in two tea-pots;" but, morally, it was sublime. Japan, single-handed, with no foreign sympathy, but with positive opposition, had, in the interests of humanity, rescued a coast from terror, and placed it in a condition of safety. In the face of threatened war, a nation having but one-tenth the population, area, and resources of China, had abated not a jot of its just demands, nor flinched from the wager of the battle. The righteousness of her cause was vindicated. China now occupies Eastern Formosa. The expedition cost Japan five millions of dollars. Seven hundred victims of disease in peaceful graves sleep under the camphor-trees on the templed slopes of the Nagasaki hills.
The Corean affair ended happily. In 1875, Mr. Arinori Mori went to Peking. Kuroda Kivotaka, with men-of-war, entered Corean waters. Patience, skill, and tact were crowned with success. On behalf of Japan, a treaty of peace, friendship, and commerce was made between the two countries, February 27th, 1876. Japan has thus peacefully opened this last of the hermit nations to the world.
Japan was among the first to accept the invitation to be represented at the centennial of American independence. A commission was appointed, of which Ōkubo was made president, and General Saigō Tsukumichi vice-president.
Let us now award to every nation due honor. The Porturuese discovered Japan, and gave her slave-traders and the Jesuits; the Spaniards sent friars, Slavers, and conspirators; the Dutch ignobly kept alive our knowledge of Japan during her hermit life; the Russians, after noble and base failures to open the country, harried her shores. Then came Perry, the moral grandeur of whose peaceful triumph has never been challenged or compromised. The United States introduced Japan to the world, though her opening could not have been long delay ed. The American, Townsend Harris, peer and successor to Perry, by his dauntless courage, patience, courtesy, gentleness, firmness, and incorruptible honesty, won for all nations treaties, trade, residence, and commerce. The Dutch secured the abolition of insults to Christianity. To the English was reserved a quiet victory and a mighty discovery, second to none achieved on the soil of the mysterious islands. English scholarship first discovered the true source of power, exposed the counterfeit government in Yedo, read the riddle of ages, and rent the veil that so long hid the truth. It was the English minister, Sir Harry Parkes, who first risked his life to find the truth; stripped the shōgun of his fictitious title of "majesty;" asked for at home, obtained, and presented credentials to the mikado, the sovereign of Japan; recognized the new National Government, and thus laid the foundation of true diplomacy in Japan. It is but fair to note that Americans have, in certain emergencies, derived no small advantage from the expensive show of English and French force in the seas of China and Japan, and from the literary fruits of the unrivaled British Civil Service.
Let us note what Americans have done. Our missionaries, a noble body of cultured gentlemen and ladies, with but few exceptions, have translated large portions of the Bible in a scholarly and simple version, and thus given to Japan the sum of religious knowledge and the mightiest moral force and motor of civilization. The standard Japanese-English and English-Japanese dictionary is the fruit of thirteen years' labor of an eminent scholar, translator, physician, and philanthropist, J. C. Hepburn M.D., LL.D. The first grammar of the Japanese language printed in English, the beginnings of a Christian popular literature and hymnology, the organization of Christian churches, the introduction of theological seminaries, and of girls' schools, are the work of American ladies and gentlemen. The first regular teachers in their schools, and probably half their staff in their colleges, are Americans. In the grand work of agricultural and mineral development, in the healing art, and in jurisprudence, education, and financiering, Americans have done valuable service.
Foreigners suppose the present Government to be modeled on the French system of ministries, whereas it is simply the modernized form of the constitution of the Osei era (see pages 103, 104): 1. the Emperor; 2. the Dai Jō Kuan; 3. the Sa In, Left Chamber; the Genrō In, or Council of State; 4. the U In, or Right Chamber, Council of Ministers or Heads of Department (Shō), which number ten (see page 598). The Dai Jō Kuan also directs the three imperial cities (fu) and sixty-eight ken, or prefectures. The "provinces" are now merely geographical divisions.
In accordance with the oath of the mikado in Kiōto, in 1868, that "intellect and learning should be sought for throughout the world, in order to establish the foundations of the empire " (see page 318), about four hundred foreigners, from many countries, have been in the Civil Service of the Government. All these, with but two exceptions, are simply helpers and servants, not commissioned officers, and have no actual authority. To their faitliful and competent advisers they award a fair measure of confidence and co-operation. To the worthless, nepotic, or those who would play the lord over their employers, they quietly pay salary and snub. Whoever expects to be master will find himself a cipher. Nevertheless, whosoever would serve well will surely rule.
Can an Asiatic despotism, based on paganism, and propped on a fiction, regenerate itself? Can Japan go on in the race she has begun? Will the mighty reforms now attempted be completed and made permanent? Can a nation appropriate the. fruits of Christian civilization without its root? I believe not. I can not but think that unless the modern enlightened ideas of government, law, society, and the rights of the individual be adopted to a far greater extent than the have been, the people be thoroughly educated, and a mightier spiritual force replace Shintō and Buddhism, little will be gained but a glittering veneer of material civilization and the corroding foreign vices, under which, in the presence of the superior aggressive nations of the West, Dai Nippon must fall like the doomed races of America.
A new sun is rising on Japan. In 1870 there were not ten Protestant Christians in the enipire. There are now (May, 1876) ten churches, with a membership of eight hundred souls. Genlty but resistlessly, Christianity is leavening the nation. In the next century the native word inaka (rustic, boor) will mean "heathen." With those forces that centre in pure Christianity, and under that Almighty Providence who raises up one nation and casts down another, I Cherish the firm hope that Japan will in time take and hold her equal place among the foremost nations of the world, and that, in the onward march of civilization which follows the sun, the Sun-land may lead the nations of Asia that are now appearing in the theatre of universal history.