NOTES AND APPENDICES.
THE JAPANESE ORIGIN OF THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS.
AN examination of a good globe or map of the Pacific Ocean, with the currents well marked, will show that the Kuro Shiwo, or Black Stream of Japan, arising from the equatorial belt, flows up past Formosa, Japan, the Kurile, and Aleutian Islands, Alaska, Oregon, California, and thence bends westward to the Sandwich Islands. A junk or tree left in the Kuro Shiwo off Kiushiu would, if not stopped or stranded, drift round the circuit from Japan to Hawaii.
For twenty centuries past, Japanese fishing-boats and junks caught in the easterly gales and typhoons have been swept into the Kuro Shiwo, and carried to America. Their number, large before the full development of marine architecture in the Ashikaga centuries, must have been greatly increased after the early Tokugawa period, when ship - building was purposely confined to junks and fishingboats. Traditions and absolute facts of' this kind are known to fishermen and junk-sailors all along the eastern coasts of Japan. It is to them an ever-threatening danger. Had we the records of all the Japanese and AinŎ boats wrecked on American shores, the number would probably be thousands, and the Japanese origin of many, at least, of the aboriginal tribes of America be demonstrated.
From 1782 to 1876, we have certified instances, with dates, of forty-nine purely Japanese junks wrecked, met, or seen on American and Hawaiian shores. I had already made a list of these; but as that of Mr. Charles Wolcott Brooks, H. I. J. M. Consul at San Francisco, is much larger, I summarize his data, first read in a paper before the San Francisco Academy of Sciences, and given in the Daily Evening Bulletin of March 2d, 1875. Of the forty-nine junks, nineteen stranded, or their crews landed, on the Aleutian Islands; ten in Alaska or British America; three on the coast of the United States; and two on the Sandwich Islands. Nearly every one of the others was picked up within the currents along the American coast, or in the westerly current toward Hawaii. Of the junks, some had been eighteen months adrift, a few were water - logged, full of live fish, or black with age.
An average crew for a trading-junk consists of ten men: passengers would increase the number. Of junks picked up on the Pacific by foreign captains, the known crews were respectively 17, 9, 9, 17, 13, 15, 12, 20, 12, and 16 souls; the known number of corpses seen were 14, 5, 14, 9, 4, 4, 11, "many," "several," "a number," etc.; the known number saved was 112 at least. Instances of men landing from junks are also traditionally known, but numerical data are lacking. In the absence of exact numbers, "many," "several," describe the number.
All probabilities tend to demonstrate the Japanese origin of a large portion of the American native races. It is evident that the number of Japanese known to have reached America in eighty-six years is but a fraction of those subject to the same dangers during two thousand years, and east away. I do not know of any females being found among the waifs, but I know that women often live or go on the trading and fishing junks in Japan. The probabilities favor the idea of Japanese women reaching America also.
Arguments from language, are not wanting, though this field of research awaits a competent tiller. The comparison both of languages and other data should be between those of ancient as well as modern Japan and those of America. In examining vocabularies of Indian languages, I have found unaltered Japanese words and shortened forms. A knowledge of the phonetic changes, and a view of vocabularies Romanized according to a uniform system, with a study of structural form, will undoubtedly yield rich results. Some of the very peculiar Japanese idioms, constructions, honorific, separative, and agglutinative particles are found identical, or nearly so, in the Indian languages. The superstitions, customs, and religions of ancient Japan and America bear an extraordinary resemblance. The sacred mask - dances, the worship of the sun and forces of nature, are instances. In the Aztec and Japanese zodiac, six of the elements agree in both. As the horse, sheep, bull, and boar were not found in ancient America, the absence of these animals as signs in the Mexican system is easily accounted for. The most characteristic superstitions in Japan are the fox - myths, in which the powers of metamorphosis and infliction of evil on man are ascribed to these animals. These identical ideas were found by the first European settlers among the Indians in New England and in Mexico. They are still universally current among the aborigines of the Pacific slope, the coyote being the object of them. The totems, crests, wampum-belts, calculating-machines of colored threads, picture-writing, etc., all bear striking resemblance to ancient methods in Japan. There is little in Aztec, Central American, or Peruvian antiquities that might not have been derived from ancient Japan.
Arguments from physiognomy are not wanting. I took a number of photographs of Colorado and Nebraska Indians with me to Japan. On showing them to the Japanese, they were invariably taken for their own countrymen. Some affirmed that they were acquainted with the persons represented, supposing them to be known friends. Scanty or no beard, color of skin, hair, and eyes were alike.
Siebold has discussed this subject. I have given in this note only my own data. See also in the "Mémoires du Congrès International des Orientalistes," Paris, 1874; "Rapports du Japon avee L'Amérique."
Few, if any, Chinese could have reached America, as the coast of China lies inside the Kuro Shiwo. Boats drifting northward would pass into the Gulf of Pechili and Sea of Japan, as they occasionally do now, and frequently have done in the past. The Buddhist mystical term "Fusan," and the phrases "10,000 ri," "20,000 ri," though striking in English, are of little value to determine geographical facts. The two latter are simply indefinite expressions for "many," "all," or "a great distance."
A large majority of the Japanese waifs were rescued by American captains in American ships. A few by Russian and English ships are noted. Among the returned survivors thus picked up were Mungéro Nakahama, educated in the United States, now captain in the Imperial Navy, who translated "Bowditch's Navigator," and as sailing-master of the Imperial Japanese steam corvette Kanda Meru crossed the Pacific to San Francisco, arriving March 17th, 1860; Toro, Héko, Sentaro ("Sam patch," see page 548), and Denkichi ("Dankirehe," or "Dan Ketch," see pages 292-294, vol. i., and pages 45-50, vol. ii., Alcock's "Three Years in Japan," New York edition), with thirteen others, were picked up after drifting fifty days at sea. Toro was for a time clerk to Wells, Fargo, & Co. Héko, educated in Baltimore, is now an American citizen, doing business in Yokohama. Denkichi beeame a British citizen,and was interpreter of Her British Majesty's Legation. Other waifs, whose names I do not have, were more or less well educated in the United States, or in Holland or England. They returned to Japan, and are now prominent in disseminating the ideas that dominate in the mikado's empire.
Mr. C. W. Brooks has also pointed out the hearing of data furnished by a study of the Japan current on the great similarity between the flora and fauna of the Pacific Coast and those of Japan. The necessity of supposing the floor of the Pacific to be a submerged continent, on which life existed, seems to be made unnecessary by proof's of the work done by this Gulf Stream of the Pacific in transporting the seeds, animals, and men of the Central Asiatic to the Western American continent.