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Title: Japan
Author: Murray, David, 1830-1905
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                        David Murray, Ph.D., LL.D.

            Late Advisor to the Japanese Minister of Education

                              Third Edition


                             T. Fisher Unwin

                            Paternoster Square

                      New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons


                    Copyright by T. Fisher Unwin, 1894

                           (For Great Britain)

                  Copyright by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1894

                    (For the United States of America


Chapter I. The Japanese Archipelago.
Chapter II. The Original And Surviving Races.
Chapter III. Myths And Legends.
Chapter IV. Founding The Empire.
Chapter V. Native Culture And Continental Influences.
Chapter VI. The Middle Ages Of Japan.
Chapter VII. Emperor And Shōgun.
Chapter VIII. From The Ashikaga Shōguns To The Death Of Nobunaga.
Chapter IX. Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Chapter X. The Founding Of The Tokugawa Shōgunate.
Chapter XI. Christianity In The Seventeenth Century.
Chapter XII. Feudalism In Japan.
Chapter XIII. Commodore Perry And What Followed.
Chapter XIV. Revolutionary Preludes.
Chapter XV. The Restored Empire.
Appendix I. List Of Emperors.
Appendix II. List Of Year Periods.
Appendix III. List Of Shōguns.
Appendix IV. Laws Of Shōtoku Taishi.


It is the object of this book to trace the story of Japan from its
beginnings to the establishment of constitutional government. Concerned as
this story is with the period of vague and legendary antiquity as well as
with the disorders of mediæval time and with centuries of seclusion, it is
plain that it is not an easy task to present a trustworthy and connected
account of the momentous changes through which the empire has been called
to pass. It would be impossible to state in detail the sources from which
I have derived the material for this work. I place first and as most
important a residence of several years in Japan, during which I became
familiar with the character of the Japanese people and with the traditions
and events of their history. Most of the works treating of Japan during
and prior to the period of her seclusion, as well as the more recent
works, I have had occasion to consult. They will be found referred to in
the following pages. Beyond all others, however, I desire to acknowledge
my obligations to the _Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan_. A
list of the contributors to these transactions would include such names as
Satow, Aston, Chamberlain, McClatchie, Gubbins, Geerts, Milne, Whitney,
Wigmore and others, whose investigations have made possible a reasonably
complete knowledge of Japan. The _Transactions of the German Asiatic
Society_ are scarcely less noteworthy than those of her sister society. To
these invaluable sources of information are to be added Chamberlain’s
_Things Japanese_, Rein’s _Japan_ and the _Industries of Japan_, Griffis’
_Mikado’s Empire_, Mounsey’s _Satsuma Rebellion_, Dening’s _Life of
Hideyoshi_, the published papers of Professor E. S. Morse, and the two
handbooks prepared successively by Mr. Satow and Mr. Chamberlain.

To friends who have taken an interest in this publication I owe many
thanks for valuable and timely help: to Dr. J. C. Hepburn, who for so many
years was a resident in Yokohama; to Mr. Benjamin Smith Lyman of
Philadelphia who still retains his interest in and knowledge of things
Japanese; to Mr. Tateno, the Japanese Minister at Washington, and to the
departments of the Japanese government which have furnished me material

In the spelling of Japanese words I have followed, with a few exceptions,
the system of the Roman Alphabet Association (Rōmaji Kai) as given in its
published statement. I have also had constantly at hand Hepburn’s
_Dictionary_, the _Dictionary of Towns and Roads_, by Dr. W. N. Whitney,
and _Murray’s Handbook of Japan_, by B. H. Chamberlain. In accordance with
these authorities, in the pronunciation of Japanese words the consonants
are to be taken at their usual English values and the vowels at their
values in Italian or German.



                              Bell At Kyoto


The first knowledge of the Japanese empire was brought to Europe by Marco
Polo after his return from his travels in China in A.D. 1295. He had been
told in China of “Chipangu,(1) an island towards the east in the high
seas, 1500 miles from the continent; and a very great island it is. The
people are white, civilized, and well favored. They are idolaters, and are
dependent on nobody. And I can tell you the quantity of gold they have is
endless; for they find it in their own islands.” The name Chipangu is the
transliteration of the Chinese name which modern scholars write
Chi-pen-kue, by which Japan was then known in China. From it the Japanese
derived the name Nippon, and then prefixed the term Dai (great), making it
Dai Nippon, the name which is now used by them to designate their empire.
Europeans transformed the Chinese name into Japan, or Japon, by which the
country is known among them at present.

Marco Polo’s mention of this island produced a great impression on the
discoverers of the fifteenth century. In Toscanelli’s map, used by
Columbus as the basis of his voyages, “Cipango” occupies a prominent place
to the east of Asia, with no American continent between it and Europe. It
was the aim of Columbus, and of many subsequent explorers, to find a route
to this reputedly rich island and to the eastern shores of Asia.

The islands composing the empire of Japan are situated in the northwestern
part of the Pacific ocean. They are part of the long line of volcanic
islands stretching from the peninsula of Kamtschatka on the north to
Formosa on the south. The direction in which they lie is northeast and
southwest, and in a general way they are parallel to the continent.

The latitude of the most northern point of Yezo is 45° 35’, and the
latitude of the most southern point of Kyūshū is 31°. The longitude of the
most eastern point of Yezo is 146° 17’, and the longitude of the most
western point of Kyūshū is 130° 31’. The four principal islands therefore
extend through 14° 35’ of latitude and 15° 46’ of longitude.

The Kurile islands(2) extending from Yezo northeast to the straits
separating Kamtschatka from the island of Shumushu belong also to Japan.
This last island has a latitude of 51° 5’ and a longitude of 157° 10’. In
like manner the Ryūkyū islands, lying in a southwest direction from Kyūshū
belong to Japan. The most distant island has a latitude of 24° and a
longitude of 123° 45’. The whole Japanese possessions therefore extend
through a latitude of 27° 5’ and a longitude of 33° 25’.

The empire consists of four large islands and not less than three thousand
small ones. Some of these small islands are large enough to constitute
distinct provinces, but the greater part are too small to have a separate
political existence, and are attached for administrative purposes to the
parts of the large islands opposite to which they lie. The principal
island is situated between Yezo on the north and Kyūshū on the south.

From Omasaki, the northern extremity at the Tsugaru straits, to Tōkyō, the
capital, the island runs nearly north and south a distance of about 590
miles, and from Tōkyō to the Shimonoseki straits the greatest extension of
the island is nearly east and west, a distance of about 540 miles. That
is, measuring in the direction of the greatest extension, the island is
about 1130 miles long. The width of the island is nowhere greater than two
hundred miles and for much of its length not more than one hundred miles.

Among the Japanese this island has no separate name.(3) It is often called
by them Hondo(4) which may be translated Main island. By this translated
name the principal island will be designated in these pages. The term
Nippon or more frequently Dai Nippon (Great Nippon) is used by them to
designate the entire empire, and it is not to be understood as restricted
to the principal island.

The second largest island is Yezo, lying northeast from the Main island
and separated from it by the Tsugaru straits. Its longest line is from
Cape Shiretoko at its northeast extremity to Cape Shira-kami on Tsugaru
straits, about 350 miles; and from its northern point, Cape Soya on the La
Perouse straits to Yerimosaki, it measures about 270 miles. The centre of
the island is an elevated peak, from which rivers flow in all directions
to the ocean. Hakodate the principal port is situated on Tsugaru straits
and possesses one of the most commodious harbors of the empire.

The third in size of the great islands of Japan is Kyūshū, a name meaning
nine provinces, referring to the manner in which it was divided in early
times. It lies south from the western extremity of the Main island. Its
greatest extension is from north to south, being about 200 miles. Its
width from east to west varies from sixty to ninety miles. Its temperature
and products partake of a tropical character.

To the east of Kyūshū lies Shikoku (meaning four provinces) which is the
fourth of the great islands of Japan. It is about one half as large as
Kyūshū, which in climate and productions it much resembles. It is south of
the western extension of the Main island and is nearly parallel to it. Its
length is about 170 miles.

In the early history of Japan one of its names among the natives was
Ōyashima, meaning the Great Eight Islands. The islands included in this
name were: the Main island, Kyūshū, Shikoku, Awaji, Sado, Tsushima, Oki,
and Iki. The large island of Yezo had not then been conquered and added to
the empire.

Awaji is situated in the Inland sea between the Main island and Shikoku.
It is about fifty miles long and has an area of 218 square miles. Sado is
situated in the Japan sea, off the northwest coast of the Main island. It
is about forty-eight miles long and has an area of about 335 square miles.
Tsushima lies half-way between Japan and Korea, and has a length of about
forty-six miles, and an area of about 262 square miles. Oki lies off the
coast of Izumo and has an area of about 130 square miles. Finally Iki, the
smallest of the original great eight islands, lies west of the northern
extremity of Kyūshū and has an area of fifty square miles.

The Japanese islands are invested on the east by the Pacific ocean. They
are separated from the continent by the Okhotsk sea, the Japan sea, and
the Yellow sea. The Kuro Shiwo (black current) flows from the tropical
waters in a northeast direction, skirting the islands of Japan on their
east coasts, and deflecting its course to the eastward carries its
ameliorating influences to the west coast of America. It is divided by the
projecting southern extremity of the island of Kyūshū, and a perceptible
portion of it flows on the west coast of the Japanese islands through the
Japan sea and out again into the Pacific ocean through the Tsugaru and the
La Perouse straits. The effect of the Kuro Shiwo upon the climate and
productions of the lands along which it flows is not greatly different
from that of the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic ocean, which in situation,
direction, and volume it resembles.

The body of water known among foreigners as the Inland sea, but which the
Japanese call Seto-no-Uchi-Umi (the sea within the straits), is a
picturesque sheet of water situated between the Linschoten straits on the
east and the Shimonoseki straits on the west. The latter is seven miles
long and at its narrowest part not more than two thousand feet wide. It
separates Kyūshū on the south from the Main island on the north. The
Inland sea is occupied by an almost countless number of islands, which
bear evidence of volcanic origin, and are covered with luxuriant
vegetation. The lines of steamers from Shanghai and Nagasaki to the
various ports on the Main island, and numberless smaller craft in every
direction, run through the Inland sea.

The principal islands of Japan are interspersed with mountains, hills and
valleys. Yezo the most northern of these islands is traversed by two
ranges of mountains; the one being the extension of the island of
Saghalien, the other the extension of the Kurile islands. These two ranges
cross each other at the centre of the island, and here the greatest
elevation is to be found. The shape given to the island by these
intersecting ranges is that of a four-pointed star. The rivers in nearly
all cases flow from the centre outward to the sea. There are few large
rivers. The most important is the Ishikari which empties into Ishikari
bay. The valley of this river is the most rich and fertile part of the

The mountain ranges on the Main island extend usually in the greatest
direction of the island. In the northern and central portions the ranges
chiefly run north and south. In the western extension of this island the
mountain ranges run in nearly an east and west direction. The ordinary
height attained by these ranges is not great, but there are many volcanic
peaks which rise out of the surrounding mass to a great elevation. The
highest mountain in Japan is Fuji-san (sometimes called Fuji-yama). It is
almost conical in shape; although one side has been deformed by a volcanic
eruption which occurred in 1707. It stands not far from the coast, and is
directly in view from the steamers entering the bay of Tōkyō on their way
to Yokohama. It is about sixty miles from Tōkyō in a direct line, and
there are many places in the city from which it can be seen. Its top is
covered with snow during ten months of the year, which the heat of August
and September melts away. The height of Fuji-san according to the
measurement of English naval officers is 12,365 feet.(5)

Next to Fuji-san the mountains most worthy of notice are Gas-san in Uzen,
Mitake in Shinano, the Nikkō mountains in Shimotsuke, Haku-san in Kaga,
Kirishima-yama in Hyūga, and Asama-yama in Shinano. Asama-yama is about
8,000 feet high, and is an active volcano.

From time immemorial the Japanese islands have been affected with
earthquakes. Occasionally they have been severe and destructive, but
usually slight and ineffective. It is said that not less than five hundred
shocks(6) occur in Japan each year. The last severe earthquake was in the
autumn of 1891, when the central part of the Main island, especially in
the neighborhood of Gifu, was destructively disturbed. During the long
history of the empire many notable cases(7) have occurred. Mr.
Hattori-Ichijo in a paper read before the Asiatic Society of Japan, March,
1878, has compiled a list of destructive earthquakes, and has deduced from
it some important generalizations.

Closely associated with earthquakes in Japan as elsewhere are the
phenomena of volcanoes. The whole archipelago bears evidence of volcanic
formation. The long line of islands stretching from Kamtschatka to Borneo
is plainly the product of continued volcanic action. Dr. Rein(8)
enumerates eighteen active volcanoes now in existence within the empire.
Fuji-san in all its beauty was no doubt thrown up as a volcano. The last
time it was in action was in 1707, when in connection with a series of
severe earthquake shocks, an eruption took place on the south side of the
mountain, and its symmetrical form was destroyed by the production of the
new crater, Hōye-san.

Among the mountainous districts many small lakes are found, a few of which
are large enough to be navigated. In Yezo there are six considerable
lakes. In the Main island the largest lake is Biwa, in the beautiful
mountain region north of Kyōto. It received its name from its fancied
resemblance to the shape of a musical instrument called a _biwa_. There is
a legend that this lake came into existence in a single night, when the
volcanic mountain Fuji-san 300 miles distant was raised to its present
height. It is about fifty miles long and about twenty miles broad at its
greatest width. It is said to be not less than 330 feet at its greatest
depth. It is navigated by steamboats and smaller craft. It is situated
about 350 feet above the ocean. Lake Suwa in Shinano is 2,635 feet above
the ocean. Lake Chūzenji in the Nikkō mountains is 4,400 feet; and Hakoné
lake near Yokohama is 2,400 feet.

Owing to the narrowness of the Main island, there are no rivers of a large
size. Most of them take their rise in the mountainous regions of the
middle of the islands, and by a more or less circuitous route find their
way to the ocean. The Tone-gawa (_gawa_ means river) is the longest and
broadest of the rivers of Japan. It rises in Kōtsuke and flows in an
eastern direction, receiving many tributaries, attains a breadth of more
than a mile, and with a current much narrowed, empties into the Pacific
ocean at Chōshi point. It is about 170 miles long and is navigated by
boats for a great distance. The Shinano-gawa, which may be named as second
in size, rises in the province of Shinano, flows in a northern direction,
and empties into the Japan sea at Ni-igata. The Kiso-gawa also rises in
the high lands of Shinano, and, flowing southward, empties into Owari bay.
The Fuji-kawa(9) takes its rise in the northern part of the province of
Kai, and in its course skirting the base of Fuji-san on the west, empties
into Suruga bay. It is chiefly notable for being one of the swiftest
streams in Japan and liable to sudden and great floods.

To these rivers may be added the Yodo-gawa, which is the outlet of Lake
Biwa, in the province of Ōmi, and which flows through Kyōto, and empties
into the Inland sea at Ōsaka. This river is navigable for flat-bottomed
steamboats as far as Kyōto. In the islands of Kyūshū and Shikoku there are
no large rivers; but there are many streams which give to these islands
their richness and fertility.

The climate of Japan, as might be expected from its great stretch from
north to south, and the varied circumstances of ocean currents, winds, and
mountains, is very different in the different parts. The latitude of Tōkyō
is 35°, which is not very different from that of Cyprus in the
Mediterranean, or the city of Raleigh in North Carolina. Besides the
latitude of the islands of Japan, the most noticeable cause of their
climatic condition is the Kuro Shiwo (black current). This current flows
from the tropical regions near the Philippine islands, impinges on the
southern islands, and is divided by them into two unequal parts. The
greater part skirts the Japanese islands on their east coast, imparting to
them that warm and moist atmosphere, which is one source of the fertility
of their soil and beauty of their vegetation. To this important cause must
be added another, which is closely related to it in its effects. The
Japanese islands are in the region of the north-east monsoon,(10) which
affects in a marked degree the climate of all parts over which the winds
extend. The same monsoon blows over the eastern countries of the
continent, but the insular character of Japan and the proximity of the
warm current on both sides of the islands give to the winds which prevail
a character which they do not possess on the continent. During the greater
part of September the northern wind blows, which brings a colder
temperature, condensing the moisture contained in the atmosphere. This
month is therefore generally a rainy month. Gradually the atmosphere
becomes more dry, and the beautiful autumn and early winter follow in

The winter is very different in the different parts. On the east coast the
temperature is very moderate. Even as far north as Tōkyō the snow rarely
falls to a depth of more than a few inches, and then rapidly melts away.
Ice seldom forms to a thickness, even on protected waters, to permit
skating. In all this region, however, snow covers the high mountains.

On the west coast of the Main island the conditions are very different.
The winds of the continent take up the moisture of the Japan sea, and
carry it to the west coast, and then, coming in contact with high ranges
of mountains which run down the middle of the island, impart their
moisture in the form of rain in summer, and snow in winter. These
circumstances produce extraordinary falls of snow on the west coast. This
is particularly true of the provinces of Kaga, Noto, Etchū, Echigo, and
even farther north, especially in the mountainous regions. In the northern
part of these districts the snow is often as much as twenty feet deep
during the winter months. The inhabitants are obliged to live in the
second stories of their houses and often find it necessary to make steps
from their houses out to the top of the snow. One effect of these deep
snows is to cover up with a safe protection the shrubs and tender plants
which would otherwise be exposed to the chilling winds of winter. By this
means the tea-shrub and the camellia, which could not withstand the open
winter winds, are protected so as to grow luxuriantly.

The southern islands are materially warmer than the Main island. The
tropical current together with the warm sunshine due to their low
latitude, immerses them in a moist and warm atmosphere. Their productions
are of a sub-tropical character. Cotton, rice, tobacco, sugar, sweet
potatoes, oranges, yams, and other plants of a warm latitude, flourish in
Kyūshū and Shikoku. The high mountains and the well watered valleys, the
abundance of forest trees, and wild and luxuriant vegetation,(11) give to
these islands an aspect of perennial verdure.

The productions of the Main island are, as might be expected, far more
various. In the southern part, especially that part bordering on the
Inland sea, the productions are to a large extent similar to those in the
southern islands. Rice and cotton are raised in great abundance. Tea
flourishes particularly in the provinces near Kyōto and also in the rich
valleys of the east coast. Silk-raising is a principal occupation. Nearly
one half in value of all the exports from Japan is raw and manufactured
silk, and a large part of the remainder is tea. The principal food raised
in nearly all the islands is rice. The streams of water which abound
everywhere make the irrigation which rice cultivation requires easy and
effective. Besides the rice which is raised in paddy land there is also a
variety called upland rice. This grows without irrigation but is inferior
to the principal variety in productiveness. In the early rituals of the
Shintō temples prayers were always offered for the five cereals. These
were understood to be rice, millet, barley, beans, and sorghum. All these
have been cultivated from early times, and can be successfully raised in
almost all parts of the islands. Rice cannot, however, be raised north of
the Main island. Millet, barley, and beans are cultivated everywhere, and
are the principal articles of food among the country population. Buckwheat
is also cultivated in all northern parts. It is believed to have been
introduced from Manchuria where it is found growing wild.

The domestic animals of Japan are by no means so abundant as in the
corresponding parts of the continent. The horse has existed here from
antiquity but was only used for riding or as a pack-horse, but never until
recently was used for driving. The cow, owing perhaps to the restrictive
influence of the Buddhist doctrines, was never used for food. Even milk,
butter, and cheese, which from time immemorial formed such important
articles of food throughout Europe and among the nomadic peoples of Asia,
were never used. Sheep are almost unknown even to this day, and where they
have been introduced it is only in very recent times and by foreign
enterprise. Goats are sometimes but not commonly found. On the island of
Ōshima,(12) off the province of Izu, they had multiplied to so great an
extent and were so destructive to vegetation that about 1850 the
inhabitants combined to extirpate them. Swine are found in the Ryūkyū
islands, where they had been brought from China and they are found only
incidentally in other places when introduced by foreigners. Dogs and cats
and barnyard fowl are found in all the islands.

Wild animals are only moderately abundant, as is natural in a country so
thickly inhabited. The black bear is found frequently in the well-wooded
mountains of Yezo and the northern part of the Main island. The great
bear, called also by the Japanese the red bear, and which is the same as
the grizzly bear of North America, is also common in the Kurile islands
and in Yezo. The wolf is sometimes found and the fox is common. The
superstitions concerning the fox are as remarkable as those in the north
of Europe, and have doubtless prevented its destruction. Deer are found in
abundance in almost all parts of the islands. They are, however, most
common in Yezo where immense herds feed upon the plentiful herbage.

The waters around Japan abound in fish. The coast is indented by bays and
inlets which give opportunity for fishing. The warm currents flowing past
the islands bring a great variety of fish which otherwise would not reach
these islands. By far the most common article of food, other than
vegetable, is the fish of various kinds and the shell-fish which are
caught on the coasts and carried inland to almost all parts.

The division of the empire into provinces (_kuni_) was an important step
in practical administration, and it is often referred to in these pages.
This division was first made by the Emperor Seimu A.D. 131-190, when
thirty-two provinces were constituted. The northern boundary of the empire
was indicated by a line across the Main island from Sendai bay to a place
on the west coast nearly corresponding to the present situation of
Ni-igata. North of this line was the acknowledged territory of the Ainos,
and even south of it were many tracts which were the disputed border.

The Empress Jingō, after her return from the expedition against Korea in
A.D. 303, introduced the Korean system of division, by constituting the
home provinces and circuits. After some changes and subdivisions in
subsequent times the apportionment was settled as follows: _Gokinai_ or
the five home provinces, viz. Yamashiro, Yamato, Kawachi, Izumi, and
Settsu; _Tōkaidō_, or eastern sea circuit, 15 provinces; _Tōzandō_, or
eastern mountain circuit, eight provinces; _Sanindō_, or mountain back
circuit, eight provinces; _Sanyōdō_, or mountain front circuit, eight
provinces; and _Saikaidō_, or western sea circuit, nine provinces; in all
sixty-eight provinces. After the close of the war of restoration in 1868,
the large territories in the north of the Main island represented by the
provinces of Mutsu and Dewa, which had been conquered from the Ainos, were
subdivided into seven provinces, thus making seventy-three. Still later
the island of Yezo, with which were associated the Kurile islands, was
created a circuit under the name of _Hok-kaidō_, or north sea circuit,
having eleven provinces. The number of existing provinces therefore is
eighty-four. In recent times these eighty-four provinces have for
administrative purposes been consolidated into three imperial cities
(_fu_), forty-two prefectures (_ken_), and one territory (_chō_). The
imperial cities (_fu_) are Tōkyō, Ōsaka, and Kyōto; the one territory
(_chō_) comprises the island of Yezo and the adjacent small islands
including the Kuriles; and the prefectures (_ken_) have been formed from
the provinces by combining and consolidating them in accordance with their
convenience and proximity.

There are only a few large cities in Japan, but very many of a small
size.(13) Tōkyō,(14) the capital, contains 1,155,200 inhabitants. Ōsaka,
the second largest city contains 473,541; Kyōto, the old capital, 289,588;
Nagoya, 170,433; Kōbé, 136,968; and Yokohama, 127,987. These are all the
cities containing as many as 100,000 inhabitants. Besides these there are
four cities which have between 100,000 and 60,000; twelve which have
between 60,000 and 40,000, and twelve which have between 40,000 and
30,000. The number of smaller towns is very great. The division of the
country into _daimiates_, and the maintenance of a _daimyō_ town in each
led to the establishment of many cities and large villages.

The population of the empire of Japan is to a large extent massed in
cities and villages. Even in the country, among the farmers, the people
are gathered in settlements with wide spaces of cultivated and
uncultivated land between. This is due in a great measure to the character
of the crops and to the primitive nature of the cultivation. Rice, which
is the most common crop, requires irrigation for its successful tillage.
This limits the area occupied to the valleys and to those hillsides where
the streams can be diverted to the rice fields. The area of land under
actual cultivation is about 12,000,000 acres. It has been estimated that
the average amount of land under cultivation is only three quarters of an
acre for each of those engaged in farming. This amount seems to us very
little and can only be explained by the character of the cultivation. The
land almost always is made to bear two crops each year. As soon as one
crop is cleared away, and often even before that, another is planted.

According to the census(15) of 1890 the population of the Japanese empire
is as follows:

Kwazoku (nobles)              3,768
Shizoku (_samurai_)       2,008,641
Heimin (common people)   38,441,052
Total                    40,453,461

The areas of the several large islands and their dependencies together
with their population are given below:

                                Sq. m.   Population.
Main island and dependencies    87,485    31,052,068
Shikoku and dependencies         7,031     2,879,260
Kyūshū and dependencies         16,841     6,228,419
Yezo and dependencies           36,299       293,714
Totals                         147,656    40,453,461


                           Shintoists: Preacher


                            Shintoists: Dancer


                          Shintoists: Assistant


                       Shintoists: The Mirror Dance


In the present population of Japan there are two distinct races, the Ainos
and the Japanese. Of the former there is only a small number now remaining
in the island of Yezo. There was also a remnant in the island of
Saghalien, but in 1875, when a treaty was made with Russia ceding the
Japanese claim to the southern half of Saghalien in exchange for the
Kurile islands, permission was granted for all Japanese subjects who
wished, to remove to the Japanese island of Yezo. Accordingly among other
Japanese subjects seven hundred and fifty Ainos removed to the valley of
the Ishikari, where they have continued to reside.


                               Aino Family

The Ainos are probably the original race, who in early times inhabited the
Main island down to the Hakoné pass and possibly farther to the south.
From Japanese history we learn that the military forces of the empire were
constantly employed to suppress the disturbances caused by the barbarous
people of the north. The necessity of this forcible repression, which
frequently recurred, was a chief reason for the formation of a military
class in the early history of Japan. One of the duties imposed on
Yamato-dake by his imperial father (A.D. 71-130) was to chastise and
subdue the Yemishi. This is the name by which the barbarous peoples of the
north and east were known among the Japanese. According to Chamberlain(16)
in his translation of _Kojiki_, the Chinese characters with which the
Yemishi is written mean Prawn Barbarians, in allusion to the long beards
which make their faces resemble a prawn’s head. The hairy people now known
as Ainos are almost certainly referred to. The origin of the term Aino is
unknown. By the Japanese it is believed to be derived from _inu_, meaning
a dog, and to have been bestowed on them in contempt. The name is not used
by the Ainos themselves. In common with the inhabitants of the Kurile
islands and the Japanese portion of Saghalien they call themselves Yezo.

The present characteristics of the Ainos have led many to doubt whether
they are really the descendants of the hardy barbarians who so long
withstood the military power of the Japanese. But the effect of centuries
of repression and conquest must be taken into account. The Ainos have
become the peaceable and inoffensive people which we now find them, by
many generations of cruel and imperious restraint. That they should have
become in this sequence of events a quiet and submissive people is not
wonderful. The number of Ainos in the island of Yezo is given in 1880,
which is the last census made of them, as 16,637(17); and this number is
believed to be gradually decreasing. Travellers who have visited them
unite in testifying to their great amiability and docility. Physically
they are a sturdy and well developed race. The characteristic which has
been noticed in them more than any other is the abundant growth of hair.
The men have a heavy and bushy head of hair and a full beard which is
allowed to grow down to their chests. Other parts of the body are also
covered with a growth which far surpasses that of the ordinary races. In
the matter of food, clothing, houses and implements, they remain in the
most primitive condition. In personal habits they are far less cleanly
than their Japanese neighbors. Travellers(18) who have remained with them
for many weeks assert that in all that time they never saw them wash
either their persons or their clothes.

They practise few arts. The making of pottery even in its rudest forms is
unknown. All vessels in use are obtained by barter from the Japanese.
Occasionally an old-fashioned Japanese matchlock gun is found among them,
but mainly their hunting is carried on with bows and arrows. Their fishing
is conducted with the rude apparatus which their ancestors used. They have
no written language, and even the pictorial writing, which has often been
found among rude people, seems to be utterly unknown among them. Their
religious ideas(19) are of the most vague and incoherent description. The
objects of worship are chiefly inanimate objects such as rivers, rocks and
mountains. They seem to have a certain fear of the spirit land. They do
not readily talk about their deceased ancestors. Their places of burial
are concealed, and foreigners rarely obtain access to them.

In their rude superstitions the bear seems to have a singular part.
Whether their traditions concerning this animal had their origin in some
earlier fear of the bear as a ferocious neighbor it is impossible to
determine. In every community the men capture each spring a young cub
which they bring home. They entrust it to a woman who feeds it on the milk
from her breast. When it is too old to be further nursed in this way, it
is confined in a bear cage provided for the purpose. Then in the autumn of
the following year the grand bear festival is held. At an appointed signal
the door of the cage is opened and the bear, which has been infuriated by
hunger and teasing attacks, rushes out. The assembled hunters rush upon
him with bows and arrows, clubs and knives, and after an exciting struggle
despatch him. The carcass is cut in pieces and distributed among the
families of the community, who feast upon it with great delight. Mingled
with this rough and exciting scene is much _saké_ drinking. This is one
accomplishment which they have learned from the Japanese. The men are all
confirmed _saké_ drinkers, and both men and women persistent smokers. Of
the meaning and object of this bear feast the Ainos themselves are
ignorant. It goes back to a period beyond their present traditions.
Whether it has in it an element of bear worship it is impossible to learn.

The remains of the Stone age which are found in the northern part of the
Main island are usually attributed to the Ainos. These remains have been
collected and studied both by native scholars and by foreigners. Among the
most important of them have been the articles found in shell heaps
uncovered in different parts of the empire. The first(20) to which foreign
attention was drawn was that at Ōmori, near Tōkyō. Since then many others
have been opened and many valuable finds have been reported. The shell
heaps have evidently been used like kitchen-middens in Europe and
elsewhere, as places for dumping the refuse of shell-fish used for food.
These became places for the throwing of useless and broken articles used
in the household, and thus have been the means of preserving many of the
implements used in prehistoric times. The most significant discovery made
in these shell heaps was that at Ōmori, of the bones of human beings
artificially broken in such a way as to indicate that cannibalism had been
prevalent at the time. Whether this can be assumed as sufficient proof of
so grave a charge has been disputed. It is claimed(21) that in at least
seven similar shell heaps no human bones and no evidences of cannibalism
were found. If however the case is considered as sufficiently proved, it
is clear from this as well as from many other circumstances that the Ainos
of that early day were by no means the mild and gentle race which we now
find them. It is interesting to note that Marco Polo(22) mentions
cannibalism as one of the customs which were believed to exist in Japan in
his day.

Besides the Ainos there is evidence of the existence of another savage
tribe, which at an early date seems to have been found in many parts of
the Main island, and at a later date in the island of Yezo and the Kurile
islands on the north. They are the so-called pit-dwellers. In the very
earliest writings of the Japanese we find references to them. They dug
pits in the earth and built over them a roof, and used these pits or
cellars as rooms in which to sleep. The Japanese conquerors in the central
parts of the Main island had many conflicts with these pit-dwellers. And
in the north and east they as well as the Ainos were encountered by the
military forces of the empire. They were probably driven north by the more
powerful Ainos and have almost disappeared. Abundant evidence(23) however
is found in the island of Yezo of their previous existence. The Ainos in
their traditions call them Koro-pok-guru,(24) or hole-men. Among the
Japanese they are spoken of as Ko-bito, or dwarfs. There are said to be
still in Yezo the remains of villages where these men lived in earlier
times. In the Kurile islands, in the peninsula of Kamtschatka, and in the
southern part of Saghalien remnants of this primitive people are met with.

Turning now to the Japanese race which extends from the Kurile islands on
the north to the Ryūkyū islands on the south, we see at once that it is a
mixed race containing widely different elements. Even after the many
centuries during which the amalgamation has been going on, we recognize
still the varying types to which the individuals tend. In the south more
than in the north, and more among the ruling classes than in the laboring
classes there are specimens of a delicate, refined appearance, face oval,
eyes oblique, nose slightly Roman, and frame delicate but well
proportioned. Then there is another type which has been recognized by all
observers. It is found more in the north than the south and is much more
common among the laboring population than among the higher classes. The
face is broad and the cheek bones prominent. The nose is flat and the eyes
are horizontal. The frame is robust and muscular, but not so well
proportioned and regular as in the former type. These two types with many
intervening links are found everywhere. The characteristics are perhaps
more marked among the women than the men. Especially among the aristocracy
the women have been less affected by weather and exposure and physical
exertion than the men. In the regions about Kyōto and in the western
portions of the Main island the prevalence of what may be called the
aristocratic type is most marked. Even in the time of the Dutch trade with
Japan, Kaempfer(25) refers to the women of Saga, on the south coast of the
Inland sea, as “handsomer than in any other Asiatic country.” The northern
regions, including the old provinces of Mutsu and Dewa, show a much larger
element of the more robust type. The men are more muscular and of a darker
complexion. Their faces are broader and flatter and their hair and beard
more abundant. They show probably the influence of the admixture with the
Aino race, which within historic times inhabited these provinces.

Dr. Baelz, a German scholar who has spent many years in Japan, has devoted
much study to the races of Japan, and has made elaborate measurements both
of living specimens and skeletons. His conclusions may be safely followed,
as having been reached by adequate study and by personal
investigation.(26) Mainly following him therefore we give briefly the
results of the best thought in regard to the ethnography of the races now
inhabiting the Japanese islands.

The Ainos of the present day are the descendants of the original occupants
of northern and central portions of the Main island. Their share in the
ancestry of the present Japanese people is not great, but still sensible,
and has contributed to the personal peculiarities which are found in the
inhabitants of these regions. They probably came originally from the
continent by way of the Kurile islands, or by the island of Saghalien.
They belong to the northern group of the Mongolians who inhabit the
regions about Kamtschatka and adjacent parts of Siberia. They have left
marks of their occupancy on the Main island as far south as the Hakoné
pass, in the shell heaps, flint arrow-heads, and remains of primitive
pottery which are still found. These marks indicate a low degree of
civilization, and the persistence with which they withstood the Japanese
conquerors, and the harshness and contempt with which they were always
treated, have prevented them from mingling to any great extent with their
conquerors or accepting their culture.

The twofold character of the Japanese race as it is seen at present can
best be explained by two extensive migrations from the continent. The
first of these migrations probably took place from Korea, whence they
landed on the Main island in the province of Izumo. This will account for
the mythological legends which in the early Japanese accounts cluster to
so great an extent around Izumo. It will also explain why it was that when
Jimmu Tennō came on his expedition from the island of Kyūshū, he found on
the Main island inhabitants who in all essential particulars resembled his
own forces, and with whom he formed alliances. This first migration seems
to have belonged to a rougher and more barbarous tribe of the Mongolian
race, and has given rise to the more robust and muscular element now found
among the people.

The second migration may have come across by the same route and landed on
the island of Kyūshū. They may have marched across the island or skirted
around its southern cape and spread themselves out in the province of
Hyūga, where in the Japanese accounts we first find them. This migration
probably occurred long after the first, and came evidently from a more
cultured tribe of the great Mongolian race. That they came from the same
race is evident from their understanding the same language, and having
habits and methods of government which were not a surprise to the
new-comers, and in which they readily co-operated. On the contrary, the
ruder tribes at the north of the Main island were spoken of as
Yemishi,—that is, barbarians, and recognized from the first as different
and inferior.

While the natural and easiest route to Japan would be by way of the
peninsula of Korea, and by the narrow straits about 125 miles in
width,—divided into two shorter parts by the island Tsushima lying about
half-way between,—it is possible that this second migration may have taken
place through Formosa and the Ryūkyū islands. This would perhaps account
better for the Malay element which is claimed by many to be found in the
population of the southern islands. This is attempted to be accounted for
by the drifting of Malay castaways along the equatorial current upon the
Ryūkyū islands, whence they spread to the southern islands of Japan. But
the existence of this Malay element is denied by many observers who have
visited the Ryūkyū islands and aver that among the islanders there is no
evidence of the existence at any time of a Malay immigration, that the
language is only slightly different from the Japanese, and in personal
appearance they are as like to the Koreans and Chinese as the Japanese

Some of the most important measurements which Dr. Baelz has made of the
Japanese races are here given, converted into English measures for more
ready comprehension.

The average height of the males among the Japanese, as obtained by the
measurements of skeletons verified by measurements of living specimens, is
5.02 feet, ranging from 4.76 feet to 5.44 feet. The average height of the
females measured was 4.66 feet, ranging from 4.46 feet to 4.92 feet.
Referring to the skulls measured by him he says that relatively they are
large, as is always the case among people of small size.

The measurements of the Ainos by Dr. Scheube as given by Dr. Rein(27) are:
average height of males 4.9 feet to 5.2 feet, and of females 4.8 feet to
5.0 feet, which do not differ very greatly from the measurements of the
Japanese as given by Dr. Baelz.


The art of writing and printing was not introduced into Japan until A.D.
284, when it was brought from China. Up to that time therefore no written
accounts existed or could exist of the early history of the country. Oral
tradition was the only agency by which a knowledge of the events of that
epoch could be preserved and transmitted. That such a method of preserving
history(28) is uncertain and questionable no one can doubt. We may expect
to find therefore in the accounts which have come down to us of those
centuries which transpired before written records were introduced, much
that is contradictory and unintelligible, and much out of which the truth
can be gleaned only by the most painstaking research.

The oldest book of Japanese history which has come down to us is called
_Kojiki_,(29) or _Records of Ancient __ Matters_. This work was undertaken
by the direction of the Emperor Temmu (A.D. 673-686), who became impressed
with the necessity of collecting the ancient traditions which were still
extant, and preserving them in a permanent record. Before the work was
ended the emperor died, and for twenty-five years the collected traditions
were preserved in the memory of Hiyeda-no-are. At the end of that time the
Empress Gemmyō superintended its completion, and it was finally presented
to the Court in A.D. 711. By a comparison of this work with _Nihongi_, or
_Chronicles of Japan_, which was completed A.D. 720, only nine years after
the other, we are convinced that the era of Chinese classicism had not yet
fallen upon the country. The style of the older book is a purer Japanese,
and imparts to us the traditions of Japanese history uncolored by Chinese
philosophical ideas and classic pedantry which shortly after overwhelmed
Japanese literature. But in many particulars these two works, almost
equally ancient, supplement and explain each other. The events given in
the two are in most respects the same, the principal difference being that
the _Chronicles_ is much more tinctured with Chinese philosophy, and the
myths concerning the creation especially show the influence of that dual
system which had been introduced to give a philosophical aspect to the
Japanese cosmogony.

The _Kojiki_(30) has been translated into English, to which have been
added a valuable introduction and notes. The _Nihongi_ (_Chronicles of
Japan_) has never been translated entire into English, but has been used
by scholars in connection with the _Kojiki_. Among the Japanese it has
always been more highly esteemed than the _Kojiki_, perhaps because of its
more learned and classical style.

Besides these two historical works the student of early times finds his
chief assistance in the Shintō rituals(31) contained in a work called
_Yengishiki_ (_Code of Ceremonial Law_). They have been in part translated
by Mr. Satow, who for many years was the learned Japanese secretary of the
British legation, and who read two papers on them before the Asiatic
Society of Japan, and afterward prepared an article on the same subject
for the _Westminster Review_.(32)

It will be apparent from these circumstances that the knowledge of the
earlier events, indeed of all preceding the ninth century, must be derived
from tradition and cannot claim the same certainty as when based on
contemporaneous documents. Not only the whole of the so-called divine age,
but the reigns of the emperors from Jimmu to Richū, must be reckoned as
belonging to the traditional period of Japanese history, and must be
sifted and weighed by the processes of reason.

Relying on the narratives of the _Kojiki_ and the _Nihongi_, Japanese
scholars have constructed a table of the emperors which has been accepted
by the great mass of the readers, both foreign and native. It will be
found in the Appendix.(33) It must be remembered that the names of these
early emperors, their ages at the time of accession and at the time of
death, and the length of reign, must have all been handed down by
tradition during almost a thousand years. That errors and uncertainties
should have crept in seems inevitable. Either the names and order of the
successive emperors, or the length of time during which they reigned would
be liable to be misstated. If we examine the list of emperors(34) we find
that the ages at death of the first seventeen, beginning with Jimmu and
ending with Nintoku, sum up 1853 years, with an average of 109 years(35)
for each. The age of Jimmu is given as 127 years; of Kōan 137 years, of
Kōrei 128 years, of Keikō 143 years, of Nintoku, the last, 110 years, etc.
Then suddenly the ages of the emperors from Richū onward drop to 67, 60,
80, 56, etc., so that the ages of the seventeen emperors, beginning with
Richū, have an average of only 61-½ years. This reasonable average extends
down through the long series to the present time. It is plain that up to
this time there must have existed a different system of reckoning the ages
than that which pertained afterwards. Either the original epoch of the
Emperor Jimmu has been rendered more remote and the lives of the emperors
have been prolonged to fill up the space, or, if we assume the epoch of
Jimmu to be correct, we must suppose that a number of the emperors have
been dropped from the count.

The sudden depression in the ages occurs about the time of the
introduction of writing from China, which occurred in A.D. 284. Wani, who
came from Korea to Japan bringing continental culture with him, was
appointed tutor to the heir-apparent who became the Emperor Nintoku.
During his and subsequent reigns a knowledge of Chinese writing gradually
spread, so that the annals of the Imperial court were kept in regular and
stated order. This will account without difficulty for the sudden change
and for the irregularity of the early chronology.

Notwithstanding the almost absolute certainty of error which exists in the
received Japanese chronology, it is by far more convenient to accept it in
the form it is presented to us, and use it as if it were true. The early
history must be treated as traditional and only the later period from the
beginning of the fourth century can be accepted as in any sense
historical. Yet the events of the earlier period which have been preserved
for us by oral tradition are capable with due care and inspection of
furnishing important lessons and disclosing many facts in regard to the
lives and characteristics of the primitive Japanese.

In writing the history of Rome, Dr. Thomas Arnold(36) said that the only
way to treat its early history was to give the early legends in as nearly
the form in which they had been handed down as possible; that in this way
the spirit of the people would be preserved and the residuum of truth in
them would become the heritage of the present generation. We have tried to
treat the myths and legends of Japanese history in this manner, and have
given the principal stories as they are preserved among the Japanese.

_The Origin of the Celestial Deities._

The scene opens in the plain of high heaven. When heaven and earth began
there were three deities(37) in existence, that is:


These three came into existence without creation and afterwards died.

Then two other deities were born from a thing that sprouted up like unto a
reed shoot when the earth, young and like unto floating oil, drifted about
medusa-like, viz.:


These two deities likewise came into existence without creation and
afterward died.

The five deities above named are called the Heavenly Deities.

Next were born,


These two deities likewise came into existence without creation and
afterwards died.

Next were born,

Mud-Earth-Lord and Mud-Earth-Lady,
Germ-Integrating-Deity and Life-Integrating-Deity,
Elder-of-the-Great-Place and Elder-Lady-of-the-Great-Place,
Perfect-Exterior and Oh-Awful-Lady,
The-Male-who-invites and The-Female-who-invites;
or Izanagi and Izanami.

The two deities named above together with these five pairs are called the
seven divine generations.

_The Creation of the Japanese Islands._

Then the heavenly deities gave commandment to Izanagi and Izanami to make,
consolidate, and give birth to this drifting land. For their divine
mission they received a heavenly jewelled spear. With this, standing on
the floating bridge of heaven, they reached down and stirred the brine and
then drew up the spear. The brine that dripped from the end of the spear
was piled up and became the island of Onogoro(38) or Self-Coagulated
Island. Then the pair descended upon this island and erected thereon a
palace eight fathoms long. Here they lived and begat successive islands.
The first was the island of Hirugo, which, as it was a miscarriage, they
put in a boat of bulrushes and let it float away. The second was the
island of Awa, which also is not reckoned among their offspring. The next
was the island of Awaji,(39) and the next the land of Iyo by which is
understood the present island of Shikoku.

So in succession they produced the islands of Mitsugo, near the island of
Oki, the island of Tsukushi, which is now called Kyūshū, the island of
Iki, the island of Tsu, and the island of Sado, and lastly the
Great-Yamato-the-Luxuriant-Island-of-the-Dragon-Fly, which is supposed to
mean the principal island, named in these pages the Main island. Afterward
they produced Kojima in Kibi, Ōshima, the island of Adzuki, the island of
Hime, the island of Chika, and the islands of Futago.

Thus were finished the labors of this industrious pair in producing the
islands of Japan. Then they turned to the duty of begetting additional
deities, and thirty-five are named as their descendants. But as their
names do not appear in the record of subsequent events, we omit them here.
Finally the Deity of Fire was born, and the mother in giving birth to this
child died and departed into hades. Izanagi was overwhelmed with grief at
his wife’s death. The tears which he shed turned into the
Crying-Weeping-Female-Deity. In his madness he drew the ten-grasp(40)
sabre with which he was augustly girded, and cut off the head of the Deity
of Fire. Three deities were born from the blood that stuck to the blade;
three were born from the blood that besprinkled the sword guard; two were
born from the blood which oozed out through his fingers as they grasped
the hilt; and eight were born from the head and trunk of the slaughtered

_Descent into Hades._

Then Izanagi resolved to follow his spouse into the land of hades. At the
gate of the palace of hades she came out to meet him. After an interview
with him she went back to seek the advice of the deities of hades. To her
impatient husband she seemed to tarry too long. So he broke off the
end-tooth of the comb stuck in his hair, and kindling it as a torch he
went in. He was appalled by the dreadful pollution of the place, and by
the loathsome condition of his spouse. He fled from the scene followed by
the furious guards. By guile and by force, however, he escaped and came
again to the upper regions.

_Purification of Izanagi._

Then Izanagi, in order to purify himself from the pollution of hades, came
to a small stream on the island of Tsukushi. So he threw down the august
staff which he carried and it became a deity. He took off his girdle and
it became a deity. He threw down his skirt and it became a deity. And he
took off his upper garment and it became a deity. And from his trousers
which he threw down there was born a deity. Three deities were born from
the bracelet which he took from his left arm, and three from the bracelet
which he took from his right arm. Thus twelve deities were born from the
things which he took off.

Then he found that the waters in the upper reach were too rapid, and the
waters in the lower reach were too sluggish. So he plunged into the waters
of the middle reach. And as he washed, there were born successive deities,
whose names it is not needful to mention. But when he washed his left
august eye there was born from it the
Heaven-Shining-Great-August-Deity,(41) or as she is often called the Sun

When he washed his right august eye there was born
His-Augustness-Moon-Night-Possessor. Then when he washed his august nose
there was born His-Brave-Swift-Impetuous-Male-Augustness. Thus fourteen
deities were born from his bathing. All these deities, as well as those
before produced, seem to have come into being in full maturity, and did
not need years of growth to develop their final powers.

Izanagi was greatly delighted with the beauty and brilliancy of these last
three children. He took from his neck his august necklace and gave it to
the Sun Goddess, saying, Rule thou in the plains of high heaven. Then he
gave command to the Moon-Night-Possessor, Rule thou the dominion of the

And to His-Impetuous-Male-Augustness he commanded, Rule thou the plain of
the sea. But His-Impetuous-Male-Augustness did not assume command of his
domain, but cried and wept till his beard reached the pit of his stomach.
Then Izanagi said to him, How is it that thou dost not take possession of
thy domain, but dost wail and weep? He replied, I weep because I wish to
go to my mother in hades. Then Izanagi said, If that be so thou shalt not
dwell in this land. So he expelled him with a divine expulsion (whatever
that may mean).

_Visit of His-Impetuous-Male-Augustness to the Heavenly Plains._

Then His-Impetuous-Male-Augustness said, I will first take leave of my
sister who rules in the plains of heaven. When the Sun Goddess saw her
brother coming she put jewels in her hair and on her arms, slung two
quivers of arrows on her back, put an elbow pad upon her left arm, and,
brandishing her bow, she went out to meet him. She demanded of him why he
ascended hither. Then he replied that he had no malicious intentions; that
his august father had expelled him with a divine expulsion, and that he
had come to take leave of her before departing to the land of hades.

Thereupon she proposed to him a test of his sincerity. They stood on
opposite sides of the tranquil river of heaven. She begged him to reach
her his mighty sabre. She broke it into three pieces and crunched the
pieces in her mouth, and blew the fragments away. Her breath and the
fragments which she blew away were turned into three female deities. Then
His-Impetuous-Male-Augustness took the jewels which she wore in her hair,
and the jewels which she wore in her head-dress, and the jewels she wore
on her left arm, and the jewels she wore on her right arm, and crunched
them and blew them out, and they were turned into five male deities. Then
the Sun Goddess declared that the three female deities which were produced
from her brother’s sword belonged to him, and the five male deities which
were produced from her own jewels belonged to her. But
His-Impetuous-Male-Augustness was angry at this decision, and broke down
the fences of her rice fields, and filled up the water sluices, and
defiled her garden. And as she sat with her maidens in the weaving hall,
he broke a hole in the roof and dropped upon them a piebald horse which he
had flayed with a backward flaying.(42)

_Retirement of the Sun Goddess._

Then the Sun Goddess closed the door of the cave in which the weaving hall
was, and the whole plain of heaven and the Central-Land-of-Reed-Plains
were darkened, and night prevailed, and portents of woe were seen on every
hand. Myriads of deities assembled in the bed of the tranquil river of
heaven and besought the deity Thought-Includer, child of the
High-August-Producing-Wondrous-Deity, the second of the original trio of
deities, to propose a plan for inducing the Sun Goddess to reappear. They
gathered the cocks of the barn-door fowl and made them crow; they wrought
a metal mirror; they constructed a string of beautiful jewels; they
performed divination with the shoulder-blade of a stag; they took a plant
of Sakaki and hung on its branches the strings of jewels, the mirror, and
offerings of peace. Then they caused the rituals to be recited, and a
dance to be danced, and all the assembled deities laughed aloud. The Sun
Goddess heard these sounds of merriment and was amazed. She softly opened
the door and looked out, and asked the meaning of all this tumult. They
told her it was because they had found another goddess more illustrious
than she. At the same time they held before her luminous face the mirror
which they had made. Astonished, she stepped out, and they shut and
fastened the door behind her. And the plain of heaven and the
Central-Land-of-Reed-Plains became light again.

Then the assembled deities took council together, and caused
His-Impetuous-Male-Augustness to be punished and expelled with a divine

_His-Impetuous-Male-Augustness in Izumo._

So His-Impetuous-Male-Augustness came to the river Hi in Izumo. And he
found there an old man and an old woman and a young girl, and they were
weeping. And he asked them why they wept. And the old man answered. I once
had eight daughters; but every year an eight-forked serpent comes and
devours one of them; and now it is the time for it to come again. Then the
deity said, Wilt thou give me thy daughter if I save her from the serpent?
And he eagerly promised her. Then the deity said, Do you brew eight tubs
of strong _saké_, and set each on a platform within an enclosure. So they
brewed and set the _saké_ according to his bidding. Then the eight-forked
serpent came and putting a head in each tub drank up all the _saké_, and
being intoxicated therewith went to sleep. The deity then with his sabre
hacked the serpent in pieces, and the blood flowed out and reddened the
river. But when he came to the middle tail his sabre was broken, and when
he searched he found that within the tail was a great sword which he took
out. And this is the herb-quelling-great-sword.

Then His-Impetuous-Male-Augustness built for himself a palace and dwelt
there with his wife, and made the old man the master of his palace.

Here follows a line of legends relating to the deities of the land of
Izumo, which do not concern particularly our story, except that they show
that Izumo was closely connected with the early migrations from the
continent. It must be remembered that Izumo lies almost directly opposite
to Korea, and that this would be a natural point to which the nomadic
tribes of Asia would turn in seeking for new fields in which to settle.

_Plans for Pacifying the Land._

Then the heavenly deities consulted together how they might pacify the
lands of Japan. They sent down one of their number to report on its
condition. But he went no farther than the floating bridge of heaven, and
seeing the violence which prevailed he returned. Then they sent another;
but he made friends with the insurgent deities and brought back no report.
Again they sent an envoy, who married the daughter of the insurgent deity,
and for eight years sent back no report. After this they sent a pheasant
down to inquire why a report was not sent. This bird perched on a cassia
tree at the palace gate of the delinquent envoy, and he hearing its
mournful croaking shot it with an arrow, which flew up through the ether
and landed in the plains of heaven. The arrow was shot down again and
killed the envoy. Finally two other envoys were sent down, who landed in
Izumo, and after some parley with the refractory deities of the land
received their adhesion and settled and pacified the land. Then they
returned to the heavenly plains and reported that peace was established.

_Descent of the August Grandchild._

The Central-Land-of-Reed-Plains(43) being now reported as peaceful, the
heavenly deities sent
who was a grandson of Her-Augustness-the-Sun-Goddess, to dwell in and rule
over it. There were joined to him in this mission(45) the
Deity-Prince-of-Saruta as his vanguard and five chiefs of companies. They
gave him also the string of jewels and the mirror with which the Sun
Goddess had been allured from the cave, and also the
herb-quelling-great-sword which His-Augustness-the-Impetuous-Male-Deity
had taken from the tail of the serpent. And they charged him saying,
Regard this mirror precisely as if it were our august spirit, and
reverence it as if reverencing us.

Then His-Augustness-Heaven’s-Prince-Rice-Ear-Ruddy-Plenty, taking leave of
the plains of heaven, and pushing asunder the heavenly spreading clouds,
descended upon the peak of Takachiho(46) in Tsukushi, a mountain which is
still pointed out in the present island of Kyūshū. And noting that the
place was an exceedingly good country, he built for himself a palace and
dwelt there. And he married a wife who was the daughter of a deity of the
place, who bore him three sons whom he named Prince Fire-Shine, Prince
Fire-Climax, and Prince Fire-Subside.

_Princes Fire-Shine and Fire-Subside._

Now Prince Fire-Shine was a notable fisherman and Prince Fire-Subside was
a hunter. And Prince Fire-Subside said unto his elder brother, Let us
exchange our occupations and try our luck. And after some hesitation on
the part of the elder brother the exchange was made. But Prince
Fire-Subside was not successful and lost the fish-hook in the sea. Then
Prince Fire-Shine proposed to his younger brother to exchange back the
implements which they had used. But the younger brother said he had had no
luck and had lost the hook in the sea. But Prince Fire-Shine was angry and
demanded his hook. Then Prince Fire-Subside broke his sword into many
fragments and made them into fish-hooks, which he gave to his brother in
place of the one he had lost. But he would not receive them. Then he made
a thousand fish-hooks and offered these. But he said, I want my original

And as Prince Fire-Subside was weeping by the sea shore the Deity
Salt-Possessor came to him and asked him why he wept. He replied, I have
exchanged a fish-hook with my elder brother, and have lost it, and he will
not be satisfied with any compensation I can make, but demands the
original hook. Then the Deity Salt-Possessor built a boat and set him in
it, and said to him, Sail on in this boat along this way, and you will
come to a palace built of fishes’ scales. It is the palace of the Deity
Ocean-Possessor. There will be a cassia tree by the well near the palace.
Go and sit in the top of that tree, and the daughter of the
Ocean-Possessor will come to thee and tell thee what to do.

So he sailed away in the boat and came to the palace of the
Ocean-Possessor, and he climbed the cassia tree and sat there. And the
maidens of the daughter of the Sea Deity came out to draw water, and saw
the beautiful young man sitting in the tree. Then he asked them for some
water. And they drew water and gave it to him in a jewelled cup. Without
drinking from it he took the jewel from his neck and put it in his mouth
and spat it into the vessel, and it clung to the vessel. So the maidens
took the vessel and the jewel clinging to it into the palace to their
mistress. And they told her that a beautiful young man was sitting in the
cassia tree by the well.

The Sea Deity then went out himself and recognized the young man as Prince
Fire-Subside. He brought him into the palace, spread rugs for him to sit
on, and made a banquet for him. He gave him his daughter in marriage, and
he abode there three years.

At last one morning his daughter reported to the Sea Deity that Prince
Fire-Subside, although he had passed three years without a sigh, yet last
night he had heaved one deep sigh. The Sea Deity asked him why he sighed.
Then Prince Fire-Subside told him about his difficulty with his brother,
and how he would accept no compensation for his lost fish-hook, but
demanded the return of the original. Thereupon the Sea Deity summoned
together all the fishes of the sea and asked them if any one of them had
swallowed this hook. And all the fishes said that the _tai_ had complained
of something sticking in its throat, and doubtless that was the lost hook.
The throat of the _tai_ therefore being examined, the hook was found and
given to Prince Fire-Subside.

Then the Sea Deity dismissed him to his own country, and gave him two
jewels, a flow-tide jewel and an ebb-tide jewel. And he set him on the
head of an immense crocodile and bade the crocodile convey him carefully
and come back and make a report. And Prince Fire-Subside gave the
recovered hook to his brother. But a spirit of animosity still dwelt in
his heart, and he tried to kill his brother. Then Prince Fire-Subside
threw out the flow-tide jewel, and the tide came in upon the Prince
Fire-Shine and was about to drown him. And he cried out to his brother and
expressed his repentance. Then Prince Fire-Subside threw out the ebb-tide
jewel and the tide flowed back and left him safe.

Then Prince Fire-Shine bowed his head before his younger brother, and
said, Henceforth I will be thy guard by day and night, and will faithfully
serve thee.

And His-Augustness-Prince-Fire-Subside succeeded his father and dwelt in
the palace of Takachiho five hundred and eighty years. The place of his
tomb is still shown on Mount Takachiho in the province of Hyūga of the
island of Kyūshū. And he left as his successor his son, whom the daughter
of the Sea Deity had borne him. And this son was the father of
His-Augustness-Divine-Yamato-Iware-Prince, who is known to posterity by
his canonical name of Jimmu, the first emperor of Japan.


We have now come to the time when the movements which resulted in the
establishment of the empire of Japan took place. The events are still
overlaid with myth and legend, which could only have been transmitted by
oral tradition. But they have to do with characters and places which are
tied to the present by stronger cords than those of the divine age. What
the events really were which are involved in the myths of the preceding
chapter it is impossible to predicate. That the celestial invasion of the
island of Kyūshū means the coming thither of a chief and his followers
from the continent by way of Korea seems most reasonable. The
inter-mixture of Izumo with these legends may mean that another migration
of a kindred race took place to that part of the Main island. The easy
access to both Izumo and Kyūshū from Korea makes these migrations the
natural explanation of the landing of the Japanese upon these fertile and
tempting islands.

Without settling the difficult ethnographical questions which are involved
in this problem, we propose to follow the Kyūshū invaders into the Main
island. We will note the slow and laborious steps by which they proceeded
to establish a government, which through many changes and emergencies
continues to this day.

The Prince, whom we will continue to call Jimmu,(47) had an elder brother,
Prince Itsu-se, who seems, however, to have been less active and energetic
than the younger. At least, even from the first it is Prince Jimmu who is
represented as taking the initiative in the movements which were now
begun. The two brothers consulted together and resolved to conduct an
expedition towards the east. It will be remembered that their grandfather
had established his palace on Mount Takachiho, which is one of the two
highest peaks in Kyūshū, situated in the province of Hyūga, nearly in the
middle of the southern extension of the island of Kyūshū. It was from this
place that the two brothers started on their expedition. It was no doubt
such an expedition as the Norse Vikings of a later day often led into the
islands of their neighbors. They had with them a force composed of the
descendants of the invaders who had come with their grandfather from the
continent. They marched first through the country called Toyo, which was a
luxuriant and fertile region on the northeast part of the island. Thence
they marched to the palace of Wokada, situated in a district of the island
of Tsukushi, lying on the northwest coast facing Tsushima and the
peninsula of Korea, and bordering on the straits of the Inland sea. Here
they remained a year and probably built the boats by which they crossed
the Inland sea.

From Tsukushi they crossed to the province of Aki in the Main island on
the coast of the Inland sea, where it is said they remained seven years.
The progress seems like that of the hordes of the Goths in the early ages
of European history. It was not merely a military expedition, but a
migration of a tribe with all its belongings, women and children, old men
and old women, and household and agricultural effects. The military band
under Prince Jimmu and his brother formed the vanguard and protection of
the tribe. During their seven years’ sojourn in Aki they were compelled to
resort to agriculture as well as fishing for their support.

Then they skirted along the north coast of the Inland sea to Takashima in
the province of Kibi. Thence they crept with their awkward boats eastward
among the luxuriant islands. They met a native of the coast out in his
boat fishing and engaged his services as a guide. He conducted them to
Naniwa, which now bears the name of Ōsaka, where they encountered the
swift tides and rough sea which navigators still meet in this place.
Finally they landed at a point which we cannot recognize, but which must
have been in the neighborhood of Ōsaka at the mouth of the Yodo river.

Here their conflicts with the natives began. The whole region seems to
have been occupied by tribes not unlike their own, who had probably come
thither from the settlements in Izumo. The first to dispute their progress
was Prince Nagasuné (Long Legs), of Tomi, who raised an army and resisted
the landing of the invaders. It was in the battle that ensued at this
place that Prince Itsu-se, the elder brother, received a wound in his hand
from an arrow shot by Prince Nagasuné. The reason given reveals a curious
superstition which seems to have prevailed from this early time. The
Japanese prince on receiving the wound exclaims, “It is not right for me,
an august child of the Sun Goddess, to fight facing the sun. It is for
this reason that I am stricken by the wretched villain’s hurtful hand.”
Prince Itsu-se, after a few days, died from the effects of the wound. He
is buried on mount Kama in the province of Kii.

It is needless to recount all the legends which cluster around this
invasion of the central provinces of Japan; about the wild boar which came
out of the mountains near Kumano, before which Prince Jimmu and all his
warriors fell down in a faint; about the miraculous sword which was sent
down from the heavenly plains to aid him in subduing the
Central-Land-of-Reed-Plains; about a crow eight feet long which was sent
to guide him in his expedition, and about the deities with tails who in
several places were encountered. To our conception they seem meaningless,
and do not in any measure contribute to the progress of the story. They
bear evidence of a later invention, and do not belong legitimately to the

At Uda, on the east coast of the Yamato peninsula, there lived two
brothers named Ukashi. The elder brother undertook to deceive Prince
Jimmu, and set a trap in which to capture and slay him. But the younger
brother revealed the plot, whereupon the followers of Prince Jimmu
compelled the traitor to retreat into his own trap, where they killed him.
The younger brother was honored and rewarded by Jimmu, and appears
afterward among the hereditary princes of the country.

Again, as he was making his progress through the country Prince Jimmu came
upon a company of the savages known as pit-dwellers,(48) whom the _Kojiki_
calls earth-spiders, and describes them as having tails. There appear to
have existed at this period remnants of these tribes as far south as the
35th parallel. At a later period they were driven out by the Ainos, and
nothing but some of their relics now exists, even in Yezo. The peculiarity
by which they were known was, that they lived in a sort of pit dug out of
the earth in the sides of the mountains, over which they built a roof of
limbs and grass. In the present case there were eighty of the warriors of
this tribe. Prince Jimmu made a banquet for them in one of their pits and
assigned an equal number of his own men to act as attendants. Each of
these attendants was girded with a sword. Then from a post outside he sang
a song,(49) and at a given signal in this song the eighty attendants fell
upon the eighty earth-spiders and slew them all.

Thus having subdued all opposing forces and brought the country into
subjection, Prince Jimmu established himself in a palace built for him at
Kashiwara in the province of Yamato. This is usually regarded by Japanese
historians as the beginning of the empire, and the present era(50) is
reckoned from this establishment of a capital in Yamato. From the record
of the length of the reigns of the several emperors contained in the
_Kojiki_, and the _Nihongi_, and later books, the date of the accession of
the Emperor Jimmu is fixed at 660 B.C. We have given elsewhere(51) our
reason for believing the record of the early reigns of doubtful
authenticity. Nevertheless, as it is impossible to propose a definite
change, it is better to use the accepted scheme with its admitted defects.

The Emperor Jimmu after his accession continued to reign seventy-five
years and, according to the _Kojiki_, died at the age of one hundred and
thirty-seven. The _Nihongi_, however, gives his age at death as one
hundred and twenty-seven, and this has been adopted by the government in
its published chronology.(52) His burial place is said to be on the
northern side of mount Unebi in the province of Yamato. It is just to
assign to the Emperor Jimmu the exalted place which the Japanese claim for
him in their history. That he was a prince of high enterprise is evident
from his adventurous expedition from the home of his family into the
barbarous and unknown regions of the Main island. He accomplished its
conquest with less slaughter and cruelty than the customs of the times
seemed to justify. He made it his policy to effect terms with the native
princes and seek their co-operation in his government. He extended his
sway so that it covered Anato, now known as Nagato, and Izumo on the west,
and reached probably to Owari on the east. All this time he had held a
firm hand on the island from which he had come, so that few if any
outbreaks occurred among its restless Turanian or native inhabitants.

The Emperor Jimmu was succeeded by his third son, known by his canonical
name as the Emperor Suizei. The reigning emperor, it seems, exercised the
right to select the son who should succeed him. This was not always the
oldest son, but from the time he was chosen he was known as _taishi_,
which is nearly equivalent to the English term crown prince. The Emperor
Suizei, it is said, occupied a palace at Takaoka, in Kazuraki, in the
province of Yamato. This palace was not far from that occupied by his
father, yet it was not the same. And in the reigns of the successive
sovereigns down to A.D. 709, when the capital was for a time established
at Nara, we observe it as a most singular circumstance that each new
emperor resided in a new palace. In the first place, the palace spoken of
in these early times was probably a very simple structure. Mr. Satow, in
his paper(53) on the temples at Isé, gives an account of the form and
construction of the prehistoric Japanese house. The Shintō temple in its
pure form is probably a survival of the original palace. Before the
introduction of edge-tools of iron and boring implements or nails, the
building must have been constructed in a very primitive fashion. It will
be understood that stone or brick were never used. Wood was the only
material for the frame. The roof was thatched with rushes or rice straw.
The pure Shintō temples of modern times are built with the utmost
simplicity and plainness. Although the occasion for adhering to primitive
methods has long since passed away, yet the buildings are conformed to the
styles of structure necessary before the introduction of modern tools and
appliances. To build a new palace therefore for a new emperor involved by
no means such an outlay of time and work as might be imagined.

It is not improbable that when a young man was chosen crown prince he had
an establishment of his own assigned to him, and this became his palace
which he occupied when he became emperor. When a man died, and especially
when an emperor died, it was an ancient custom to abandon his abode. It
became unclean by the presence in it of a dead body, and therefore was no
longer used.


                              Shinto Temple

Nothing is narrated of the immediate successors of the Emperor Jimmu of
importance to this story. The accounts contained in either of the oldest
histories relate merely to the genealogies of the several sovereigns.

The Emperor Suizei was, as we have seen, the third son of Jimmu and
reigned thirty-two years, dying at the age of eighty-four.(54)

The third emperor was Annei, the only son of the Emperor Suizei. He
reigned thirty-seven years and died at the age of fifty-seven.

The fourth emperor was Itoku, the oldest son of the Emperor Annei. He
reigned thirty-three years and died at the age of seventy-seven.

The fifth emperor was Kōshō, the oldest son of the Emperor Itoku. He
reigned eighty-two years and died at the age of one hundred and fourteen

The sixth emperor was Kōan, the oldest son of the Emperor Kōshō. He
reigned one hundred and one years and died at the age of one hundred and

The seventh emperor was Kōrei, the second son of the Emperor Kōan. He
reigned seventy-five years and died at the age of one hundred and

The eighth emperor was Kōgen, the oldest son of the Emperor Kōrei. He
reigned fifty-six years and died at the age of one hundred and sixteen.

The ninth emperor was Kaikwa, a younger son of the Emperor Kōgen. He
reigned fifty-nine years and died at the age of one hundred and eleven.

The tenth emperor was Sūjin, a younger son of the Emperor Kaikwa. He
reigned sixty-seven years and died at the age of one hundred and nineteen.
It is narrated that during his reign a pestilence broke out which was so
severe that the country was almost depopulated. The emperor was greatly
disturbed by this calamity, and there appeared to him in the night a
divine vision. The Great Deity, the Great Master of Things, appeared and
revealed to him, that if he would cause him to be appropriately worshipped
the pestilence would cease. The worship was accordingly ordained and
executed, and the pestilence forthwith abated.

In this reign expeditions were also sent into the northwestern and
northeastern districts of the Main island to repress the disturbances
which had arisen. The reports from these expeditions were in each case
favorable, and the whole empire was in a condition of quiet and
prosperity, such as had not before existed. Taxes were for the first time
levied on the proceeds of the chase and on the handiwork of the women.
Reservoirs for the collection of water, used in the irrigation of the rice
crops, were constructed in the imperial provinces, and encouragement was
everywhere given to the growing industries of the country.

The Emperor Sūjin was succeeded by his younger son who is known as the
eleventh emperor under the name of Suinin. He is said to have reigned
ninety-nine years, and to have died at the age of one hundred and

A conspiracy came near ending the life of this emperor. A brother of the
empress was ambitious to attain supreme authority. He approached his
sister with the subtle question, Which is dearer to thee, thine elder
brother or thy husband? She replied, My elder brother is dearer. Then he
said, If I be truly the dearer to thee, let me and thee rule the empire.
And he gave her a finely tempered dagger and said to her, Slay the emperor
with this in his sleep. So the emperor, unconscious of danger, was
sleeping one day with his head on the lap of the empress. And she,
thinking the time had come, was about to strike him with the dagger. But
her courage failed her, and tears fell from her eyes on the face of the
sleeping emperor. He started up, awakened by the falling tears, and said
to her, I have had a strange dream. A violent shower came up from the
direction of Saho and suddenly wet my face. And a small damask-colored
snake coiled itself around my neck. What can such a dream betoken? Then
the empress, conscience-stricken, confessed the conspiracy with her

The emperor, knowing that no time was to be lost, immediately collected a
force of troops and marched against his brother-in-law. He had entrenched
himself behind palisades of timber and awaited the emperor’s attack. The
empress, hesitating between her brother and her husband, had made her
escape to her brother’s palace. At this terrible juncture she was
delivered of a child. She brought the child to the palisades in sight of
the emperor, and cried out to him to take it under his care. He was deeply
moved by her appeal to him and forthwith planned to rescue both the child
and its mother. He chose from among his warriors a band of the bravest and
most cunning, and commanded them, saying, When ye go to take the child, be
sure that ye seize also the mother.

But she, fearing that the soldiers would try to snatch her when they came
for the child, shaved off her hair and covered her head with the loose
hair as if it were still adhering. And she made the jewel-strings around
her neck and arms rotten, and she rendered her garments, by which they
might catch hold of her, tender by soaking them in _saké_. When the
soldiers came to her she gave them the child and fled. Then they seized
her by the hair and it came away in their hands; and they clutched at the
jewel-strings and they broke; and then they grasped her garments, but they
had been rendered tender and gave way in their hands. So she escaped from
them and fled. Then they went back to the emperor and reported that they
had been unable to capture the mother, but they had brought the babe. The
emperor was angry at what the soldiers told him. He was angry at the
jewellers who had made the rotten jewel-strings and deprived them of their
lands. He called to the empress through the burning palisades around the
palace—for the soldiers had set fire to the palace—saying, A child’s name
must be given by its mother; what shall be the name of this child? And she
answered, Let it be called Prince Homu-chiwake. And again he called: How
shall he be reared? She replied, Take for him a foster-mother and bathing
woman who shall care for him. Then he asked again, saying: Who shall
loosen the small, fresh pendant which you have tied upon him? And she gave
directions concerning this also. Then the emperor paused no longer, but
slew the rebellious prince in his burning palace, and the empress perished
with her wicked brother.

Following this is a long legend concerning this child which was dumb from
its birth, and how he was sent to worship at the temple of the deities of
Izumo, and how he miraculously attained the power of speech and was
brought back to his father.

It was during the reign of this emperor also that Tajima-mori was sent to
China to fetch specimens of the orange-tree for introduction into Japan.
He returned with them, but when he reached the capital the emperor was
dead. The messenger was shocked and brought the specimens of the
orange-tree to the burial place of the emperor, where he died from grief.

Up to this time it seems to have been the cruel custom to bury with the
deceased members of the imperial family, and perhaps with others of high
rank, the living retainers and horses who had been in their service. It is
said that when the emperor’s younger brother died (B.C. 2) they buried
along with him his living retainers, placing them upright in a circle
around him and leaving their heads uncovered. Night and day were heard the
agonizing cries of these thus left to die of starvation. The emperor was
greatly moved and resolved that this terrible custom should be abolished.
Four years later the empress herself died, and the emperor called together
his counsellors to propose some plan by which this practice of living
sacrifices could be avoided. Thereupon one of his counsellors,
Nomi-no-Sukuné, advanced and begged the emperor to listen to a scheme
which he had to present. He suggested that, instead of burying the living
retainers with their master or mistress, clay images of men and women and
horses be set up in a circle around the burial place. The plan pleased the
emperor vastly, and images were at once made and buried around the dead
empress. As a mark of his high appreciation Nomi-no-Sukuné was appointed
chief of the clay-workers guild.

It appears probable that this cruel usage of burying living retainers with
their dead master was not entirely ended by this substitution of clay
images. As late as A.D. 646 the emperor found it necessary to prescribe
regulations for funerals and to forbid the burial of living retainers. Mr.
Satow(55) has given a most interesting account of this edict which
pertains not only to the practice of burial of retainers, but also to the
size of vaults and mounds and the number of laborers who might be employed
in preparing the structure.

The images used as a substitute for living retainers were called _Tsuchio
Ningio_ (clay images). They have been found in many parts of the country,
especially in the home provinces where the burial of the imperial families
and the connected nobility took place. This burying of images seems to
have died out about A.D. 700. Its discontinuance probably was owing to the
growing prevalence of Buddhism which discountenanced a custom founded on a
religion anterior to it.


                              Buried Images

The Emperor Suinin was succeeded by his younger son Keikō who became the
twelfth emperor. He reigned fifty-nine years, and died at the age of one
hundred and forty-three. His son, Prince O-usu, who afterward was known as
Yamato-dake, is represented as pursuing a most daring and romantic career.
The myths concerning him are among the most picturesque in Japanese

The first adventure narrated of him was regarding his elder brother. His
father asked him, Why does not thy elder brother make his appearance at
the imperial banquets? Do thou see after this and teach him his duty.

A few days after his father said again to him, Why dost not thy brother
attend to his duty? Hast thou not warned him as I bade thee?

The young prince replied that he had taken that trouble. Then his father
said, How didst thou take the trouble to warn him? And the prince coolly
told him that he had slain him and thrown his carcass away.

The emperor was alarmed at the coolness and ferocity of his son, and
bethought how he might employ him advantageously. Now there were at Kumaso
in Kyūshū two brothers, fierce and rebellious bandits, who paid small
respect to the imperial wishes. The emperor conceived that it would be a
fitting achievement for his fearless son to put an end to these reckless
outlaws. So Yamato-dake borrowed from his aunt her female apparel, and
hiding a sword in the bosom of his dress, he sought out the two outlaws in
their hiding-place. They were about to celebrate the occupancy of a new
cave which they had fitted up for themselves. They had invited a goodly
number of their neighbors, and especially of the female sex. Prince
Yamato-dake, who was young and fresh-looking, put on his female disguise
and let down his hair which was still long. He sauntered about the cave
and went in where the two outlaws were amusing themselves with their
female visitors. They were surprised and delighted to see this new and
beautiful face. They seated her between them and did their best to
entertain her.

Suddenly, when the outlaws were off their guard, he drew his sword from
his bosom and slew the elder brother. The younger rushed out of the door
of the cave, the prince close at his heels. With one hand he clutched him
by the back and with the other thrust him through with his sword. As he
fell he begged the prince to pause a moment and not to withdraw his sword
from his fatal wound.

Then the outlaw said, Who art thou? And he told him and for what purpose
he had come.

The outlaw said, There were in the west none so brave as we two brothers.
From this time forward it shall be right to praise thee as the August
Child Yamato-dake (the bravest in Yamato).

As soon as he had said this, the prince “ripped him up like a ripe

Then after he had subdued and pacified the rebellious princes of the
districts about the straits of Shimonoseki he returned to the emperor and
made his report.

Following this account of Yamato-dake’s adventures in the West, there are
given the interesting traditions concerning his expedition to the East,
and his encounters with the Ainos, who inhabited the northern part of the
island. That there was a basis of fact to these traditions there cannot be
a doubt. Yet the events have such an air of fable and poetry that it is
impossible to separate the fact from the legend. As we have done in
previous instances, we give the stories in their essential entirety,
leaving to scholars hereafter the task of winnowing the grains of fact out
of the chaff which the imagination of the race has left for us.

Prince Yamato-dake took on his expedition to the East the Prince
Mi-suki-tomo-mimi-take. The emperor gave him these instructions: “Subdue
and pacify the savage deities, and likewise the unsubmissive people of the
twelve roads(57) of the East.”

Prince Yamato-dake first visited the temple of the Sun Goddess in Isé,
where he worshipped at the shrine of his great ancestress. He must have
had a presentiment that he never would return alive from this expedition.
His aunt Yamato-hime,(58) who was the priestess of this temple, gave him
on his departure the sword(59) which the Impetuous-Male-Deity discovered
in the tail of the snake which he slew in Izumo. She also gave him a bag
which he was not to open until he found himself in pressing difficulty.

He came to the land of Owari, and appears there to have been smitten by
the charms of the Princess Miyazu. And, planning to wed her on his way
back, he plighted to her his troth and went on. Then he came to the
province of Sagami, where he met the chief of the land. But he deceived
him and said that in the midst of a vast moor there is a lagoon where
lives a deity. Yamato-dake went over the moor to find the deity. Whereupon
the chief set fire to the grass, expecting to see him consumed. But
Yamato-dake seeing his danger, and being assured that the time of pressing
difficulty had come, opened the bag which his aunt, Yamato-hime, had given
him. There he found a fire drill,(60) with which a fire could be struck.
He cut away the grass around him with the sword which had been given him,
and then set fire to the moor. When he was safe from the fire he sought
out and slew the traitorous chief and all the chiefs who were associated
with him.

From Sagami he undertook to cross in a boat the waters of Yedo bay to
Kazusa opposite. But the sea was rough and they were on the point of being
overwhelmed and drowned. Then his wife, the Princess Oto-Tachibana, who
accompanied him on this expedition, threw out mats from the boat, and
saying, “I will enter the sea instead of the prince; you must finish the
task on which you are sent,” she sprang from the boat and sat down on the
mats(61) she had thrown out. Immediately the waves were quiet and the boat
sailed on in safety. And the comb of the princess was washed ashore, and
the people built for it a sacred mausoleum in which it was kept.

Then Prince Yamato-dake penetrated the regions occupied by the Ainos(62)
and subdued them. Having accomplished this principal object of his
undertaking, he returned by way of the Usui pass opposite to mount Fuji.
As he stood in this lofty position and looked out on the sea where his
wife had sacrificed herself for his safety, he cried out: “Azuma ha ya!”
(O my wife!) Azuma is a name often used in poetry for the part of Japan
north of this pass. But whether this myth was invented to explain the
name, or the name was derived from the incident, it is impossible to

Then Prince Yomato-dake went into the high lands of Shinano and after he
had settled the disturbances which existed there, he came back to Owari
where he had left the Princess Miyazu. In one of his excursions into the
rebellious regions he was stricken with a fatal illness. In his enfeebled
condition he struggled on, almost unable to walk. He made his way towards
Isé. At Ōtsu, a village on the coast of Owari bay, he recovered the sword
which he had left on his way to the East. In his painful journey he sat
down under a pine tree. The spirit of poesy even in his pain came upon him
and he sang this little poem(63) in praise of the pine tree:

    O mine elder brother, the single pine tree
    That art on cape Ōtsu, which directly faces Owari!
    If thou single pine tree! wert a person,
    I would gird my sword upon thee,
    I would clothe thee with my garments,—
    O mine elder brother, the single pine tree!

He went on a little farther to Nobono and his sickness became more
serious. And there in the open fields he felt that his end had come. He
sent the spoils of his expedition to the temple of his great ancestress,
the Sun Goddess. He sent his faithful companion Prince Kibi-no-Takehito to
the emperor to carry his last message. It was: “I have chastised the
eastern barbarians according to your imperial order with the help of the
gods and with your imperial influence. I hoped to return in triumph with
my weapons wrapped in white. But I have been seized with a mortal disease,
and I cannot recover. I am lying in the sweet open fields. I do not care
for my life. I only regret that I cannot live to appear before thee and
make my report of my expedition.”

And he died in the thirty-second year of his age. And they buried him
there and built a mausoleum over his remains. The emperor lamented the
death of his gallant and immortal son, and made an imperial progress into
the regions which he had conquered and pacified.

The successor to the Emperor Keikō was known by the canonical name of
Seimu. He was the thirteenth emperor, and was the grandson of his
predecessor, having been a son of the hero Yamato-dake who was the crown
prince until his death. The Emperor Seimu reigned fifty-nine years and
died at the age of one hundred and eight. Nothing noteworthy is narrated
of his reign.

His successor, the fourteenth emperor, was Chūai, his eldest son. He
reigned only eight years and died at the age of fifty-two. It is
remarkable that his capital was in the island of Kyūshū and not in the
Main island, like his predecessors from the time of the Emperor Jimmu.
This removal was probably due to the preparations which had already begun
for the invasion of Korea. The island of Kyūshū is most favorably situated
for the preparation and sailing of such an expedition. The wife of this
emperor was Jingō-Kōgō, who was a much more forcible and energetic
character than her husband.

She is one of the heroines around whom much tradition has gathered, and
her successful invasion of Korea is an event which the Japanese writers
and artists are never tired of representing. The legend—for undoubtedly
much of the story is legendary—is essentially as follows:

The emperor was busy in Kyūshū in reducing to subjection the tribes of the
Kumaso who inhabited the southern portion of the island. Up to this time
these restless tribes had given much trouble to the empire and expeditions
were constantly needed to keep them in order. They were unquestionably of
a kindred race with the Japanese who accompanied the Emperor Jimmu into
the Main island. The empress, afterward known as Jingō-Kōgō and the
faithful prime-minister Take-no-uchi(64) were at their temporary palace at
Kashihi. The empress in an interview on the campaign became divinely
possessed. And she spoke to the emperor in the name of the deity that
possessed her saying, “There is a land at the westward, and in that land
there is abundance of various treasures dazzling to the eye, from gold and
silver downwards. I will now bestow this land upon thee.”

Then the emperor replied, “If you ascend to a high place and look
westward, no country is to be seen; there is only the great sea.” And he
pushed away the lute upon which he was playing and said, “They are lying
deities which have spoken to you.” Then the deity was very angry and spoke
again through the empress. “This empire is not a land over which thou art
fit to rule. Go thou the one road.”

The prime-minister Take-no-uchi then said to the emperor, “I am filled
with awe, my heavenly sovereign, at this fearful message. I pray thee
continue playing thy august lute.” Then he played softly; and gradually
the sound died away and all was still. And they took a light and looking
in his face, behold he was dead.

The empress and the prime-minister Take-no-uchi concealed for the time the
death of the emperor, and she herself proceeded to carry out the plan for
the invasion of Korea. With indefatigable energy she gathered her forces
and equipped a fleet for the descent upon Korea. She set out from Wani in
Kyūshū in the tenth month of the year A.D. 202. Even the fish of the sea
were her allies, for with one accord they bore the ship in which she
sailed across the intervening straits on their backs.

The coming of the Japanese was a complete surprise to the people of Korea.
At this time the peninsula now known to us as Korea and to the Japanese as
Chōsen, was divided into three kingdoms, Kōrai, Shiraki, and Kudara. The
fleet of Jingō-Kōgō landed in the kingdom of Shiraki. The king was so
completely unprepared for this incursion that he at once offered his
subjection and proposed to become a tributary kingdom. The proposition was
accepted. The kings of Kōrai and Kudara made similar proposals which also
were accepted. Each was to make an immediate contribution to the empress,
and annually thereafter to send tribute to the capital of Japan. Thus they
became the three tributary countries (_sankan_) dependent on Japan.
Although this invasion of a foreign country without cause or provocation
must be pronounced indefensible, yet it is not unlikely that the subject
kingdoms were quite as safe and free under the distant and little
intermeddlesome dominion of the Japanese empire, as they had been in the
past or were likely to be in the future from their troublesome neighbors,
China and the restless Mongolian tribes. To Japan the connection with the
continent was of momentous value. It opened up a natural and easy way for
the influx of those continental influences which were to be of so great
service in their future history.

The empress, having within three years completely accomplished the object
of her expedition, returned with her fleet to Kyūshū. She brought back
with her hostages from the conquered kingdoms, to ensure their fulfilment
of the promises they had made. She had learned many lessons of government
which she was not slow to introduce into her administration at home. Soon
after reaching Kyūshū she was delivered of the son of whom she was
pregnant at the time of the death of the emperor, and who afterwards
became the Emperor Ōjin.

The object which she and her faithful prime-minister had in concealing the
death of the emperor was accomplished. They now made the fact public, and
proclaimed her own son as her successor. Two older sons of Chūai by
another empress were unwilling to submit to the rule of a younger brother.
But the Empress Jingō, who had now become a national idol by her Korean
expedition, soon put down the conspiracy of these princes and reigned till
the end of her life and left a quiet succession to her son.

She is said to have reigned as empress-regent(65) sixty-eight years, and
to have died at the age of one hundred.

Her son became the fifteenth emperor and is known by the canonical name of
Ōjin. He commenced his reign in the year A.D. 270, and reigned forty years
and died at the age of one hundred and ten. But the beginning of his reign
is reckoned in the government list from the death of his father. The
Emperor Ōjin is widely worshipped as Hachiman the god of war, although he
is by no means noted as a warrior. The explanation of this curious
circumstance is found in the fact that his mother was pregnant with him
during her famous invasion of Korea, and her heroism and success are
attributed to the martial character of her unborn son.

The good fruits of the Korean conquest particularly showed themselves in
A.D. 284, when the king of Kudara sent his usual tribute to the emperor of
Japan. The ambassador for that year was Ajiki, a learned man who was
familiar with Chinese literature. At the request of the emperor he gave
the young prince, who afterwards became the Emperor Nintoku, lessons in
the Chinese language and literature. The year following the king of Kudara
seeing how much his efforts to furnish Chinese learning were appreciated,
sent an eminent Chinese scholar, Wani, who took with him the _Confucian
Analects_ and the _Thousand Character Essay_, two noted Chinese classics
and presented them to the emperor. The prince continued his studies under
Wani and became a very learned man.

The emperor had three sons between whom he wished to divide his authority,
wishing however to establish his youngest son as the crown prince and his
successor. He summoned them before him and put this question to the elder,
“Which should be preferred, a younger son or an older?” Then the elder son
replied that he thought the older son should be preferred. But the emperor
turned to the second son and asked him the same question. He replied that
as the older son was more grown and less of a care, he thought the younger
son would be more of a favorite. The emperor was pleased with this reply
because it coincided with his own sentiment. He created his youngest son,
Prince Waka-iratsu, the crown prince and ordered his second son, Prince
Osasagi, to assist him. He gave the charge of the mountains, rivers,
forests, fields, etc. to his eldest son.

So when the Emperor Ōjin died A.D. 310, the younger son urged his brother
to accept the imperial power; but he declined, saying: “How can I disobey
the commands of my father?” The oldest of the three brothers, learning of
the controversy, undertook to secure the authority for himself by a plot.
The conspiracy was, however, soon put down and the elder brother slain.
The friendly dispute between the two other brothers lasted three years and
was finally ended by the younger committing suicide, and thus devolving
the imperial office on his remaining brother. This brother was the noted
Emperor Nintoku. He began his reign in the year A.D. 313, and died A.D.
399 in the one hundred and tenth year of his age. He was a most careful
and considerate ruler. By observing his subjects he was convinced that
they were overburdened and impoverished with the taxes which the
government collected from them. So he announced by an imperial decree that
for three years all taxes should be remitted. Even the sums which were
necessary to keep the palace in repair and to provide his court with
suitable clothing were not collected. And the palace grew shabby, and its
roof leaked, and he himself went about in coarse and cheap garments. And
the farmers came to him and begged that they might contribute to his
wants. But he refused, and suffered three years to pass. In the meantime
the country revived, and the farmers being relieved from the burdens which
they had so long borne entered on a long period of encouraging prosperity.
He surveyed the land from a high outlook, and saw the curling smoke and
the fertile fields and rejoiced. Then he gave commands, and the taxes were
renewed, and the people paid them willingly, and they in their gratitude
called Nintoku the Sage Emperor.

It was in the reign of the Emperor Nintoku that the noted prime-minister
Prince Take-no-uchi is said to have died. He had served six emperors,
viz.: Keikō, Seimu, Chūai, Jingō-Kōgō, Ōjin, and Nintoku. His age(66) is
given variously from two hundred and eighty-two to three hundred and
eighty, in different books, one of which is a Chinese work and one a
Korean. It will be remembered that he was the chief adviser of the warlike
Empress Jingō in her invasion of Korea, and took an active part in the
events which followed that expedition. That there was such a figure in
Japanese history there can be little doubt, but that much of his life and
the great age to which he lived are like many of the stories of the
characters in the midst of which he lived, legendary and mythical, no one
can question.

It was in this reign also that we have it stated that historiographers
were sent out to the provinces and directed to make record of all
important events and forward them to the court.

We have now reached a point in Japanese history where the accounts
compiled by the historians of the times have written records on which to
rely. The legendary and marvellous stories which have been the bulk of the
preceding history may now be replaced by the soberer narrations which
writing has preserved for us. It will be seen that the lives(67) of the
emperors now drop from the astonishing age which in previous years they
attained to a very moderate and reasonable length. In the subsequent
chapters will be found the sober and chastened story to which Japanese
history is henceforth reduced.


Before going on to the meagre story which is supplied to us by the early
years of Japanese history, it will be well to glean from the myths and
legends which tradition has preserved the lessons which they contain.
Although we may be unable to concede the truth of these traditions in
their entirety, and believe in the celestial origin of the race and the
wonders of the divine age, we may be able to obtain from them many
important facts regarding the habits and manner of life of the early

We have often referred to the admirable work Mr. Chamberlain has done in
his translation of the _Kojiki_, and in the scholarly notes he has added.
But in our present enquiries we must give him still greater credit for the
important lessons which he has drawn from the myths and legends of the
_Kojiki_ in his learned introduction. No writer at the present day can
afford to dispense with the deductions which he has been able to draw from
the oldest writings of the Japanese, and from the traditions of an older
date which these writings have preserved. Relying therefore chiefly on
this learned introduction,(68) we propose to enumerate in a summary manner
the particulars concerning the early Japanese life.

In the first place the government of the early Japanese was of the tribal
order. The emperor was the chieftain of an expedition which came from the
island of Kyūshū and established a government by conquest. The chiefs of
the various localities were reduced to subjection and became tributary to
the emperor, or were replaced by new chiefs appointed by the emperor. The
government was therefore essentially feudal in its characteristics. The
emperor depended for the consideration of his plans and for their
execution upon officers who were attached to his court. There were guilds
composed of those who manufactured various articles, or who were employed
to execute special plans. Thus we have guilds of clay image makers, guilds
of ladies attendant on the emperor, guilds of butlers, guilds of cooks,
guilds of guards, etc. To each of these there was a captain who became by
appointment hereditary chief. We have no mention of money for the payment
of services rendered. The taxes were probably paid in kind. And all
transactions as far as they are mentioned at all seem to have been of the
nature of barter.

The religious notions of the prehistoric Japanese were founded on the
myths relating to their ancestor. Notwithstanding the vast number of
deities who came into existence according to tradition, most of them
vanish as soon as they are named and are no more heard of. Even deities
like Izanagi and Izanami, who are represented as taking so important a
part in events, are not perpetuated as objects of worship in Japanese
history, and have no temples erected to their memory and no service
prescribed or maintained in their honor. The most important deity in the
Pantheon of the Japanese was Amaterasu-ō-mi-kami, who is also called in
Chinese characters Tensho Daijin or the Sun Goddess. She appears not only
in the myths concerning the origin of the Japanese race, but as the
grandmother of the divine prince Hiko-ho-no-ni-nigi, who first came down
to rule the Japanese empire. In the Shintō temples at Isé the principal
deity worshipped at Gekū is Uké-moche-no-Kami, and the secondary deities
Ninigi-no-Mikoto, who came down to found the Japanese empire and was the
grandmother of the Emperor Jimmu, and two others. At the Naikū the
principal deity is Amaterasu-ō-mi-kami (from heaven shining great deity),
also called the Sun Goddess, and two secondary deities. The temples at
Isé, especially those that are dedicated to the Sun Goddess, are the most
highly regarded of any in Japan. Other temples of considerable popularity
are situated in other parts of the empire. Thus there are Shintō temples
in Kyūshū and in Izumo, which are old parts of Japan settled long before
Buddhism was introduced.

The Shintō religion must be regarded as the primitive religion of the
Japanese people. It prevailed among them long before Buddhism was
propagated by priests from Korea. It differs from all known systems of
religion, in having no body of dogma by which its adherents are held
together. The greatest advocate of Shintoism, Moto-ori, a writer of the
18th century, admits that it has no moral code. He asserts that
“morals(69) were invented by the Chinese because they were an immoral
people, but in Japan there was no necessity for any system of morals, as
every Japanese acted rightly if he only consulted his own heart.”

Reference is frequently made in the early stories to divination, or the
process of obtaining the will of the gods by indirection. The oldest
method of divination was by using the shoulder-blade of a deer. It was
scraped entirely free from flesh, and then placed over a fire made from
cherry wood. The divine will was determined by the cracks caused by the
fire in the bone. A later method of divination was by using the shell of a
tortoise in the same way as the shoulder-blade of the deer was used. They
had superstitions about fighting with the back to the sun; about using
only one light in the house at once; about breaking off the teeth of a
comb in the night-time; about the destination of the first arrow shot in
battle, etc.

The superstition of impurity being attached to the mother at the birth of
a child, and to the house and those associated with it in which a death
occurred, is often mentioned. A mother, when about to be delivered, was
required to retire alone into a separate dwelling or hut without windows.
This cruel custom has prevailed in the island of Hachijō(70) down almost
to the present time. A custom prevailed, also, of abandoning the dwelling
in which a death had occurred. The dead body was removed to a mourning
hut, where amid sobs and weeping the mourners continued to hold a
carousal, feasting upon the food provided for the dead. This abandonment
of the house occupied by the living may explain the custom, so often
referred to, of each new emperor occupying a different palace from that of
his predecessor. We have already referred to the dreadful custom which
prevailed until the reign of the Emperor Suinin, of burying living
retainers around the sepulchre of their dead master. The custom was
replaced by burying clay images of servants and animals around the tomb,
and this continued till about A.D. 700.

There is no evidence that children received any kind of education other
than a training in the use of arms and implements. The art of writing was
brought over from Korea in A.D. 284. Up to this time there is nothing to
show that the Japanese possessed any means of recording the events which
occurred. No books existed, and reading and writing were unknown. The
language spoken by the people was an ancient form of that which now
prevails. The earliest examples of this language are found in the songs
preserved in the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_. As in every language, the
earliest preserved specimens are poetry, so in Japanese the fragments
which have been remembered and brought down to us, are scraps of songs.
The origin of this language is, like the origin of the race, impossible at
present to verify. It seems plain that the race came from the continent by
way of Korea. If this is to be taken as the origin of the race, then the
language which developed into the Japanese came from the northern tribes
of China and of Siberia.

There is no indication of the method by which the early Japanese reckoned
time. The sun in the daytime and the cocks by night, must have given them
their division of hours. The year made itself apparent by the changes of
temperature. It was not, however, till the introduction of calendars from
China that anything like an accurate system of estimating and recording
time was introduced.

The food of the primitive Japanese was much more largely animal than it
became in later times. To the early Japanese there was no restriction in
the use of animal food, such as the Buddhists introduced. Fish and
shell-fish have always been, and doubtless from the first were, principal
articles of food. The five grains, so called, are often referred to, and
are specially mentioned in the Shintō rituals, whose origin goes back to
prehistoric times. These grains(71) are rice, millet, barley, and two
kinds of beans. Silkworms and their food plant, the mulberry, are likewise
spoken of. The only kind of drink referred to is _saké_. It will be
remembered that in the myth concerning the Impetuous Male Deity in Izumo,
the old man and old woman were directed to prepare eight tubs of _saké_,
by drinking which the eight-headed serpent was intoxicated. In the
traditional history of the emperors, they are represented as drinking
_saké_, sometimes even to intoxication. And in the rituals recited when
offerings are made to their deities, the jars of _saké_ are enumerated
among the things offered. The Japanese writers claim that _saké_ was a
native discovery, but there is a well supported belief that in very early
times they borrowed the art of manufacturing it from the Chinese. There is
at least a difficulty in believing that this liquor should have been
invented independently in the two countries. Chopsticks are mentioned in
early Japanese times, and clay vessels for food, and cups for drinking
made of oak leaves. On the whole, the conclusions to be drawn from the
earliest traditions concerning the Japanese lead us to regard them as
having attained a material degree of civilization in all matters
pertaining to food and drink. Yet it cannot be regarded as other than
strange that milk, cheese and butter are nowhere mentioned, and had never
been used.

In the matter of clothing we have little except hints to guide us in
forming inferences. The rituals enumerate(72) “bright cloth, soft cloth,
and coarse cloth.” Mr. Satow remarks(73) on this enumeration that “in the
earliest ages the materials used were the bark of the paper-mulberry
(_broussonetia papyrifera_), wistaria tendrils and hemp, but when the
silkworm was introduced the finer fabric naturally took the place of the
humbler in the offerings to the gods.” The paper-mulberry which is now
used for making paper, was in early times twisted into a thread and woven
into a very serviceable cloth. Cotton(74) which now furnishes so large a
part of the clothing of the people is nowhere mentioned. The skins of
animals were doubtless used as clothing before the introduction of
Buddhism made the killing of animals uncommon. In the legend of the
purification of Izanagi(75) we read of a girdle, of a skirt, of an upper
garment, of trousers, and of a hat. What the shapes of these garments were
we cannot tell, but the number of different garments indicates a
considerable development in the ideas of clothing. In the same myth, and
in many other places, mention is made of the bracelets which Izanagi wore
on the left and right arm. And when he wished to show his pleasure in the
daughter who had been produced in washing his left eye, he invested her
with his necklace taken from his own neck. Jewelry seems in these
prehistoric times to have been more commonly worn than in modern
historical times. The jewels(76) used were the _magatama_ and _kudatama_
which have been found in the ancient burial places.


                          Magatama and Kudatama.

Rings have also been found which are believed to date back to prehistoric
times. From the clay images which have come down to us it is now
ascertained that the rings were worn as ornaments to the ears and never as
rings to the fingers. These rings are of copper or bronze, plated with
gold or silver. Combs and mirrors are spoken of, but how the metal mirrors
are made we do not know.

The only indications of the character of the houses(77) used by the early
Japanese are found in the traditions respecting the primitive Shintō
temples. The early methods of building were perpetuated in these temples,
and in the eighteenth century a very persistent effort was made for the
revival of pure Shintō. Under the influence of this movement the temples
at Isé and elsewhere were purified from the contaminations which had been
introduced by Buddhism. After the close of the war which resulted in the
restoration of the emperor to his proper authority in 1868 a small temple
in the most severe Shintō style was built at Kudan, one of the picturesque
heights of Yedo, in memory of the soldiers who perished in the conflict.
From a careful examination of all that can illustrate the houses of the
early Japanese, we infer that they were of extreme simplicity. Stone was
never used. The structures were entirely of wood. Even the palaces of the
emperors were what we would call merely huts. Four upright posts sunk in
the ground formed the corners. At the half-way intervals between these
posts, were planted four other posts; those at the gable ends were high
enough to sustain the ridge pole. On the other sides on the top of the
posts were laid two plates. Abutting on these plates and crossing each
other at the ridge pole stood the rafters, which sustained the thatched
roof. In the absence of nails and pins, the timbers were fastened together
by the tough tendrils of climbing plants. A hole in the gable end
permitted the escape of the smoke from the fire built on the ground floor.
Around the sides of the interior stood a raised couch on which the
occupants sat by day and slept at night. The other parts of the floor were
uncovered and consisted only of earth. They used mats made from the skins
of animals or from rushes, on which they sat and slept. The doors of their
dwellings were fastened by means of iron hooks, and swung on hinges unlike
the modern Japanese door which always is made to slide.

The agricultural plants spoken of are numerous but leave unmentioned many
of the plants of first importance. Tea, now so extensively cultivated, is
nowhere spoken of. Tobacco was a late importation and came in with the
Portuguese in the sixteenth century. Cotton was not introduced, as we have
already said, until the beginning of the ninth century. Potatoes,
including both the sweet potato and the white potato, are unmentioned. The
orange came to Japan according to the received tradition at the close of
the reign of the Emperor Suinin (A.D. 29-70).

Very little is said of the implements used by the primitive Japanese.
Metal of any kind was almost unknown. We read of swords and fish-hooks,
but these are the only implements referred to which seem to have been made
of metal. Pots and cups of earthenware were used. The axes which they must
have used to cut down the trees for building and for fuel must have been
of stone, or sometimes of deer’s horn. Archæologists both native and
foreign have brought to light many ancient implements of the Stone age. An
interesting and detailed account of these discoveries will be found in the
work on _Japanese Archæology_ by Henry Von Siebold, Yokohoma, 1879.

The arms used by the warriors were spears, bows and arrows, and swords.
Numerous arrow heads have been found which bear a striking likeness to
those found in Europe and America. Spear heads of flint have also been
found. That the people were emerging from the Stone age is shown by the
swords made of metal which they are represented as habitually using. They
also seem to have had a small sword or dagger, as in the myth of the
traitorous plot entered into by the empress and her brother against the
Emperor Suinin. Castles in the modern sense are not referred to, although
the same word _shiro_ is used to represent the stockades with which they
protected themselves. The castles of modern times, such as those at
Kumamoto, Owari, and Yedo, are without doubt the outgrowth of the
primitive stockade, and the same name has continued to be applied in all
the successive changes.

Few domestic animals are mentioned. The horse is spoken of as an animal
for riding, but not for driving. The same thing may be said of the use of
horses in Japan even until modern times. The domestic fowl is referred to
in the myth of the disappearance of the Sun Goddess. Dogs are mentioned in
the later parts of the traditional period, but not cats. The cow and the
products of the cow are not referred to. To these domestic animals may be
added the cormorant,(78) which was used for fishing, in the same way that
it is used in the eastern parts of China and to a small extent in the
waters of Owari and Mino at the present time. The wild animals of that day
were the deer, the bear, the boar, the hare, etc. These animals were
hunted for their flesh and for their skins.

The islands of Japan being largely interspersed with water much of the
travel even from the earliest time was performed in boats. The expedition
of Jimmu from the island of Kyūshū was in part conducted in the boats
which the colony had constructed for the purpose. Whether these boats were
of the form now used in Japan it is impossible to determine. It is
probable however that the present form of boat is an evolution of the
primitive boat, which was used by the prehistoric Japanese and which was a
part of the equipment with which their ancestors came over from Korea to
the islands of Japan. Travel on land was principally on foot, although as
we have said the horse was used at this early day for riding. No wheeled
vehicle is mentioned. The bullock cart used in later times was restricted
to the use of the imperial household, and probably was introduced by the
Buddhists. There were government roads constructed from the home provinces
in different directions to those more distant. It is said that this scheme
was more fully carried out after the return of the Empress Jingō from her
conquest of Korea.

Let us now turn from these evidences of native culture to the events of
Japanese history which have to do with the introduction of the
civilization from the continent. For three thousand years before the
Christian era China has been looked upon as one of the cultured nations of
the earth. No written language has ever been or is now understood by so
many people as the Chinese. The Chinese were a civilized people centuries
before the Japanese had, even according to their own uncertain legends,
emerged into the light as an empire. If we accept the opinion which seems
most reasonable, that the Japanese came over to the Japanese islands from
the continent by way of Korea, and belong to the Mongol tribes of central
Asia, then we must assume that the Japanese were closely related to a
large section of the Chinese. They have been from the beginning of their
history a receptive people. They have stood ready to welcome the good
things which were offered to them, coming from whatever direction. They
accepted eagerly the Chinese written language and the philosophy with
which it came charged. They accepted Buddhism with its priesthood and
dogma and ritual, and permitted it to crowd their native religion until it
became a pitiful minority. They have in recent times accepted with a
hearty impetuosity the civilization of western nations, and are absorbing
it as rapidly as the habits and thoughts of a people can take in so
important a change.

We have already referred to the first introduction(79) of Chinese
literature into Japan. It took place in the reign of the Emperor Ōjin A.D.
284. The ambassador who brought the tribute from Korea that year was Ajiki
who was familiar with the Chinese literature. He gave lessons in Chinese
to the crown prince. The next year the king of Korea sent out an eminent
scholar named Wani,(80) who continued to give instruction to the crown
prince. From this time a knowledge of Chinese gradually spread and
scholars were attached to the government to make a written record of the
events which took place. Historiographers were sent out during the reign
of the Emperor Hanzei, A.D. 404, who were directed to make a record of all
important events and forward them to the court. These steps soon began to
show themselves in the absence of the wonderful and legendary from the
narrative of events. Beginning with the reign of the Emperor Richū the
ages of the emperors which before his time had been of such a marvellous
length now drop to a reasonable and moderate period.

The nineteenth emperor was Inkyō, the fourth son of the Emperor Nintoku.
He was of an amiable and philanthropic temperament, and accepted the
position of emperor with great reluctance. His health was delicate, and he
feared to take upon himself such a responsibility. In the meantime there
was an interregnum, and the court officials were anxious to have him enter
upon the duties of emperor. At last he consented and became emperor A.D.
412. It was during his reign that confusion arose concerning the family
names, or rather, that the confusion which had been long growing now had
its settlement. Family names had been a matter of growth, and many persons
claimed the right to use a certain name who were in no wise entitled to
it. The emperor took a singular and effectual method to settle the
troublesome and personal questions that arose. He summoned all those who
claimed to belong to any family whose claim was disputed to appear at
Amakashi and show that they were entitled to the names they claimed. He
placed jars of boiling water and required each one to plunge his hand in
the water. He who was injured by the hot water was pronounced a deceiver,
and he who came off unhurt was pronounced as entitled to the name. The
emperor took occasion to settle the questions concerning names, and put
the matter on a more stable basis. And as the art of writing now began to
be more common among the people mistakes in regard to names did not again
seriously recur.

The emperor’s ill-health was the occasion for the introduction of another
of the civilizing arts of the continent. When the annual tribute from
Korea was sent it so chanced that the ambassador who came with it was a
person versed in the medical art. If we estimate this man’s science or
skill by that of the Chinese practitioner of a later day, we should
certainly not place a very high value on it. It is narrated, however, that
he cured the imperial invalid, and by this means gained great credit for
his profession, and added another to the obligations which Japan owed to
the continent.

After the death of the Emperor Inkyō there was a quarrel about the
succession between his two sons, Prince Kinashi-no-Karu and Prince
Anaho-no-Ōji. The courtiers all favored the latter, who was the younger
brother, and he surrounded his elder brother in the house of
Monobe-no-Ōmai. Seeing no way of escape he committed suicide.(81) The
younger brother then became the twentieth emperor, who is known under the
canonical name of Ankō. He had another difficulty growing out of social
complications. He wanted to make the younger sister of Okusaka-no-Ōji, who
was the brother of the preceding Emperor Inkyō, the wife of
Ōhatsuse-no-Ōji, his own younger brother, who afterwards became the
Emperor Yuriyaku. He sent as a messenger the court official, Ne-no-Ōmi, to
ask the consent of her elder brother, who gladly gave it, and as a token
of his gratitude for this high honor he sent a rich necklace. Ne-no-Ōmi,
overcome with covetousness, kept the necklace for himself, and reported to
the emperor that Okusaka-no-Ōji refused his consent. The emperor was very
angry, and sent a detachment of troops against the supposed offender. They
surrounded the house and put him to death. His chief attendants, knowing
his innocence, committed suicide by the side of their dead master. The
emperor then completed his design of taking the sister of Okusaka-no-Ōji
as the wife of the Prince Ōhatsuse-no-Ōji, and he also took his widow and
promoted her to be his empress.

Out of these circumstances arose serious troubles. His new empress had a
young son by her first husband named Mayuwa-no-Ō, said to have been only
seven years old. With his mother he was an inmate of the palace, and was
probably a spoiled and wayward boy. The emperor was afraid lest this boy,
when he came to understand who had been the cause of the death of his
father, would undertake to revenge himself. He talked with the empress
about his fears and explained his apprehensions. The boy accidentally
heard the conversation, and was probably stimulated thereby to do the very
thing which the emperor feared. Creeping stealthily into the room where
the emperor lay asleep he stabbed him and then fled, taking refuge in the
house of the Grandee Tsubura. The emperor was fifty-six years of age at
the time of his death. This tragical event produced a great excitement.
The younger brother of the emperor, Ōhatsuse, amazed and angry because his
two older brothers were not, as he thought, sufficiently enraged by the
murder of the emperor, killed them both. Then he attacked the Grandee
Tsubura and the boy Mayuwa in their refuge. Seeing no way of escape
Tsubura, at the request of the boy, first slew him and then killed

Subsequently Ōhatsuse, who seemed to have been of a violent disposition,
murdered Ichinobe-no-Oshiha, son of the seventeenth emperor, Richū. His
two sons, then merely boys, Ōke and Woke (literally big basket and little
basket), hearing of this catastrophe escaped into the province of Harima
where they worked as cow-herds. Ōhatsuse was crowned as the twenty-first
emperor and is known by the canonical name of Yūriyaku Tennō.

In the year A.D. 470 an ambassador came from Go in China and by order of
the emperor was entertained by the Grandee Ne-no-Ōmi. A court official,
Toneri, was directed to see that this duty was suitably performed. Now
Ne-no-Ōmi, it will be remembered, was the grandee who, on a former
occasion, was sent by the Emperor Ankō to solicit the hand of the Princess
Hatahi-no-Ōji for the present emperor, who was then the crown prince. In
order to entertain the Chinese ambassador with becoming magnificence,
Ne-no-Ōmi robed himself in a gorgeous manner and among other things put on
the rich necklace which he had stolen. Toneri reported to the emperor the
superb entertainment which Ne-no-Ōmi had accorded to the Chinese
ambassador, and especially the necklace which he wore. The emperor
innocently asked that Ne-no-Ōmi should appear before him in order that he
might see his superb dress. The empress, who was with her husband when
Ne-no-Ōmi came in, recognized the necklace which had been sent by her
brother to the late emperor. The theft was charged and Ne-no-Ōmi compelled
to confess. The emperor proclaimed the innocence of Okusaka-no-Ōji and his
great regret at the mistaken punishments.

There are many traditions current in Japanese early history concerning
this emperor. In one he is represented in his imperial journeys to have
seen a house belonging to Lord Shiki built with a raised roof like that of
the imperial palace. He was greatly enraged that any subject should dare
to take such a liberty, and sent his attendants to burn the house down.
The poor frightened lord hastened to the emperor and humbly apologized for
his stupidity. And he presented to the emperor in token of his humble
submission a white dog clothed with cloth and led by a string. So he was
forgiven and his house was spared.

In another legend he is said to have come upon a beautiful girl by the
river side washing clothes. He stopped and conferred with her, and said to
her, “Do not thou marry a husband, I will send for thee.” With this he
returned to the palace and forgot about his promise. But the poor girl did
not forget. Year after year passed, till at last after eighty years of
waiting she was a very old woman. Then she thought, “My face and form are
lean and withered, there is no longer any hope. Nevertheless, if I do not
show the Heavenly Sovereign how truly I have waited, my disappointment
will be unbearable.” And so with such gifts as she could afford she
presented herself before the emperor. He wondering at her and her gifts
asked her, “What old woman art thou, and why art thou come hither?” She
replied, “Having in such and such a month and such and such a year
received the Heavenly Sovereign’s commands, I have been reverently
awaiting the great command until this day, and eighty years have passed
by. Now, my appearance is decrepit and there is no longer any hope.
Nevertheless, I have come forth in order to show and declare my
faithfulness.” Thereupon the Heavenly Sovereign, greatly agitated,
exclaimed, “I had quite forgotten my command; and thou meanwhile, ever
faithfully awaiting my commands, hast vainly let pass by the years of thy
prime. It is too pitiful.” He sent her back to her home with such
consolation as rich gifts could impart.

We give one more of the legends which cling to the name of this emperor.

He was making an imperial progress to the moor of Akizu for the purpose of
hunting. And as he sat down to rest a horse-fly bit his august arm. But
immediately a dragon-fly came and seized the horse-fly and flew away.
Thereupon he composed an august song as follows:

    Who is it tells in the great presence that game is lying on the
    peak of Womuro, at Mi-Yeshinu? Our Great Lord who tranquilly
    carries on the government, being seated on the throne to await the
    game, a horse-fly alights on and stings the fleshy part of his arm
    fully clad in a sleeve of white stuff, and a dragon-fly quickly
    eats up the horse-fly. That it might properly bear its name, the
    land of Yamato was called the Island of the Dragon-Fly.(82)

After a long reign Yūriyaku is said in _Kojiki_ to have died at the age of
one hundred and twenty-four.

The son of the Emperor Yūriyaku, Prince Shiraka, succeeded him. He is
known in history as the Emperor Seinei. He lived only five years after his
accession and left no descendant to fill the throne. Search was
accordingly made for some one of imperial blood who might become emperor.
It will be remembered that the Emperor Yūriyaku, before his accession, had
murdered Prince Ichinobe-no-Oshiwa, son of the eighteenth emperor, and
that his two sons, then young boys, Princes Ōke and Woke, made their
escape into the province of Harima. A new governor of this province had
just arrived and was in attendance at the festivities in honor of the
opening of a new cave(83) by a citizen of the place. As usual there was
feasting, and drinking, and dancing. The two young men Ōke and Woke, who
occupied menial positions in this household, were called upon to dance.
After some hesitation they each in succession danced and sang some of the
songs which they had learned in their boyhood.(84) The new governor
recognized these songs to be such as were taught at the court, and on
enquiring found the young men to be grandsons of the Emperor Richū. He
brought them to the palace and presented them to their aunt Queen Ii-Toyo.
After a friendly contest between the two brothers, the younger one, Prince
Woke, became the twenty-third emperor under the canonical name of Kenzō.
His reign was a very short one, only eight years according to the _Kojiki_
and three years according to the _Nihongi_. The only incident of
consequence recorded of him is that he sought out the burial place of his
father, who had been murdered by the Emperor Yūriyaku, and transferred his
remains to a fitting mausoleum. He also contemplated the desecration of
the mausoleum of the murderer as a mark of his vengeance, but was
dissuaded by his brother from the undertaking.

He died without children and was succeeded by his elder brother Prince Ōke
who became A.D. 488 the twenty-fourth emperor under the canonical name of

Concerning the emperor and several of his successors there is little of
interest to record. The twenty-fifth emperor, Muretsu (A.D. 499), who was
a son of the emperor Ninken, was chiefly notable for his cruelty. Some of
the acts recorded of him can only be equalled by those of the degenerate
occupants of the imperial throne of Rome in its worst days. He reigned
eleven years and died without children. The twenty-sixth emperor was
Keitai Tennō, who was the fifth descendant from Ōjin Tennō. The only
noticeable events in his reign were an expedition to Korea to settle
difficulties which had then intervened, and an expedition to Chikushi, the
northern part of Kyūshū, to repress tumults which had arisen. The next
emperors were Ankan Tennō and Senkuwa Tennō, whose reigns were uneventful.

The twenty-ninth emperor was Kimmei Tennō, (A.D. 540-571), who was the son
of Keitai Tennō. He reigned thirty-two years and died at the age of
sixty-three. It was during his reign, in A.D. 552, that an ambassador from
Kudara, one of the three provinces of Korea, presented to the emperor an
image of Shaka, and also Buddhist books explaining the doctrine. He
commended highly the new religion, and the emperor was deeply impressed
with its novelties. This seems the more probable because up to this time
Japan looked upon China and Korea as leaders in civilization, and
therefore was disposed to regard what had obtained a footing there as
worthy of acceptance.

The prime-minister Soga-no-Iname favored the new religion, and urged that
the image of Shaka which had been brought over should be duly set up and
worshipped. But the ministers Monobe-no-Okoshi and Kumako opposed the
proposition, saying, “Our country has its own gods; and they perhaps will
be angry with us if we pay our devotions to a foreign god.”

But the emperor settled the matter by saying, “Let Iname try it.” He gave
the idol to Iname with the directions that he should set it up and pray to
it. Accordingly Iname took the image of Shaka and established it in a
house of his own, which he created a temple, and worshipped it.

But shortly after this an epidemic broke out in the country, and Okoshi
and Kumako declared that it was due to the strange god which had been
received from the western barbarians, and besought the emperor to have it
thrown away. The image therefore by the emperor’s command was thrown into
the sea near Naniwa,(85) and the temple in which it had been erected was
destroyed. This was the first movement towards the introduction of

In the reign of the thirtieth emperor, Bitatsu Tennō, A.D. 572, who was
the son of Kimmei Tennō, Kudara again made a contribution of Buddhist
emblems, viz.: books of Buddhist doctrine; a priest of Ritsu sect; a
priest; a nun; a diviner; an image maker; and a Buddhist temple carpenter.
These were all housed in the temple of Owake-no-O at Naniwa. Seven years
after this two Japanese ambassadors who had been sent to Kudara brought
back with them several Buddhist images of stone, which the Daijin Umako
obtained as his possession. He built several Buddhist temples in which he
placed the images and other precious relics which he had secured. He also
built a pagoda and houses in which the priests and nuns resided. When
Umako was sick he asked from the emperor that he might avail himself of
the Buddhist ritual. The emperor gave him this privilege, but commanded
him to restrict it to himself.

The Emperor Bitatsu died A.D. 585 at the age of forty-eight. His successor
was Emperor Yōmei the thirty-first in order from the Emperor Jimmu. He was
by his mother a descendant of the Soga family and his first wife was also
a daughter of the prime-minister, the Noble Iname who was also of the Soga
family. The bitter hostility between the members of the court who favored
Buddhism and those who opposed it continued. The leader of the former
party was Umako now the prime-minister, while the opponents of Buddhism
were led by Moriya. One of the occasions when their hostility broke out
was when the emperor was taken sick and he wished to try the effect of the
Buddhist Sampō, that is, the three precious elements of Buddhism, Buddha,
the rites of Buddhism, and the Buddhist priests. Moriya and his party
advised against this conformity to Buddhism, but Umako supported him in
his wishes and introduced a Buddhist priest into the palace to attend upon
the emperor. In spite of all this effort, however, the emperor died,
having reigned only three years.

The death of the emperor was the signal for the breaking out of serious
disturbances. Moriya the champion of the old religion was killed and his
party overpowered. From this time Buddhism may be said to have triumphed
in Japan. The thirty-second emperor, Sujun, was crowned A.D. 588. He was
the son of the Emperor Kimmei, and at the time of his accession was
sixty-nine years of age. The communication with Korea continued, and more
and more of the Buddhist culture was introduced. Umako, who now had
undisputed sway in the government, sent out to Korea persons to study the
Buddhist faith, and consecrated many priests and nuns and erected temples
for the new worship.

But everything did not move smoothly. Umako, with all his zeal and
enthusiasm for Buddhism, was suspected of personal ambition, and was
looked upon with distrust. A plot to assassinate the emperor was planned
by Umako, which terminated his life, after a reign of only four years, in
the seventy-third year of his age.

The thirty-third sovereign was the Empress Suiko, who was the sister of
the Emperor Yōmei. Her coronation took place A.D. 593. Her reign was
chiefly remarkable for the active influence of Umaydo-no-Ōji (A.D.
572-622), who was the second son of the Emperor Yōmei, and who was made
crown prince under the empress, and aided her in the administration of the
political affairs of the government. This prince is better known by his
posthumous title of Shōtoku Taishi (great teacher of the divine virtue),
and is held in great reverence as the principal founder and promoter of
Buddhism in Japan. His name has been linked with many legends, which are
still current after the lapse of fourteen hundred years. It is said that
as soon as he was born he was able to speak, and was in all respects a
very clever boy. His memory was wonderfully acute. He had Napoleon the
Great’s talent of attending to several things at the same time. He could
hear the appeals of eight persons at once, and give to each a proper
answer. From this circumstance he sometimes went by the name of
Yatsumimi-no-Ōji, that is, Prince of Eight Ears.

The prince threw the whole influence of the government in favor of
Buddhism. Many temples were built in different central districts for the
convenience of the new religion. Under his influence the officers of the
government rivalled each other in founding temples and maintaining them at
their own expense. He took as his teacher a priest who had recently come
from Korea, and from him for the first time learned the five Buddhist

      1. Against stealing.
      2. Against lying.
      3. Against intemperance.
      4. Against murder.
      5. Against adultery.

He gave command to an artificer in copper to make large images of Buddha
for each of the officers in the government. The king of Koma in Korea
hearing of this great undertaking sent a contribution of three hundred
_ryō_ of gold. The images were finished in due time and an imposing
religious ceremonial was held in honor of the event. Many of the principal
temples of Buddhism in different parts of Japan take their origin from the
time of Shōtoku Taishi, and no single character in history is so
intimately connected with the development of Buddhism.

It was not only as a religious reformer, however, that he deserves to be
remembered. He was a a most painstaking and enlightened ruler. He
studiously gathered from the Chinese the elements and methods of
government and adapted them to his own country.(86) From his time the
study of Chinese literature became the essential culture of the active
minds of Japan.

Shōtoku Taishi died A.D. 622, having been the principal officer of the
government for twenty-nine years.

The impulse which Shōtoku had given to Buddhism did not subside. In the
year following his death officers were appointed to govern the growing
religious communities, called Sosho and Sozu, which in dignity and power
corresponded to archbishops and bishops in Christian nomenclature. The
first archbishop was Kwankin, a priest from Kudara, and the first bishop
was Tokuseki of Kurabe. These officials examined every priest and nun and
made a register of them. A census of Buddhism is also given which belongs
to this same period. According to this there were forty-six Buddhist
temples and 1385 priests and nuns.

In the year A.D. 626, Soga-no-Umako the _daijin_ and a life-long friend
and promoter of Buddhism died, and two years later the Empress Suiko died.
So nearly all the prominent participants in the events which had taken
place since the first entrance of Buddhism into Japan, had disappeared. In
the meantime a religion had taken possession of a field in which it was
destined to exert a wide influence and undergo a national development.

Along with this religion had come a literature and a culture, which when
absorbed into the life of this people gave them the permanent
characteristics which we now recognize as the Japanese civilization. The
freer and more frequent intercourse with China and Korea brought with it
not only a knowledge of books and writing, but many improvements in arts
and many new arts and agricultural industries. When the forces of the
Empress Jingō returned from Korea they brought with them persons skilled
in many industrial occupations. It is a tradition that a descendant of the
Kan dynasty in China had fled to Korea on the fall of that dynasty, and in
the twentieth year of the Emperor Ōjin (A.D. 290) had migrated to Japan
with a colony who were familiar with weaving and sewing. In the
thirty-seventh year of the same emperor an officer was sent to China to
obtain more weavers and sewers. The cultivation of the mulberry tree and
the breeding of silk-worms(87) was introduced from China in A.D. 457, and
in order to encourage this industry the empress herself engaged in it. At
this early period this important industry was begun, or at least received
an impulse which has been continued down to the present time.

With these industrial arts came in rapid succession the elements of a
higher civilization. Books on almanac-making, astronomy, geography and
divination were brought to Japan from Korea and China. The Chinese
calendar(88) was first used in the reign of the Empress Suiko under the
regency of Shōtoku Taishi. This almanac was based on the lunar periods and
the civil year began with the new moon occurring about the beginning of
February. But as the length of the civil year is not an exact multiple of
the number of days contained in a lunation, the twelve lunar months used
by the Chinese and Japanese will be about eleven days shorter than the
solar year. Hence to prevent the discrepancy from increasing and throwing
the seasons entirely out of their place in the calendar, an intercalary
month was inserted nearly every third year. It was inserted not at the end
of the year but whenever the discrepancy had reached the number of days in
a lunation. The month thus inserted was called by the same name as the
preceding with an explanatory prefix. From this period therefore the dates
of Japanese events may be relied upon with some degree of certainty. For
events occurring before this period, a knowledge of which must have been
transmitted by oral tradition, the dates assigned to them in the _Nihongi_
must have been computed by counting back to the supposed time according to
the calendar in use at the time of the writing.

The astronomy and geography introduced into Japan along with
almanac-making in the fifth century were without question very primitive
sciences. At this time even in Europe the knowledge of these sciences was
not advanced beyond the imperfect notions of the Greeks. It was not until
the sixteenth century, when the discoveries of the Portuguese and the
Spaniards and the English had revealed the shape and the divisions of the
earth, and the Jesuits had carried this knowledge to China and Japan, that
anything like a correct astronomy or geography was possible. By
divination, which is mentioned as one of the sciences brought over from
Korea, was meant the determination of future events or of lucky or unlucky

The most important civilizing force introduced from China at this period
was the formal institutions of education. Although the first establishment
of a school dates from the reign of the Emperor Tenji (A.D. 668-671), yet
it was not till the reign of the Emperor Mommu (A.D. 697-707) that the
university was regularly organized. Branch schools were also established
in the several provinces. In the university there were departments for
Chinese literature, for medicine, for astronomy and almanac-making, and
for astrology. Under the first head were included the art of writing the
Chinese characters, the practice of composition, the study of the Chinese
classics, and the reading of books of Chinese history. In like manner the
training of the students in medicine chiefly consisted in making them
familiar with the methods which prevailed in China. The properties of
medicinal plants, the variations of the pulse in health and disease and in
the changing seasons, and the anatomy of the human body were the chief
subjects of study. The human cadaver was never dissected, but a knowledge
of anatomy was obtained from diagrams which were wholly hypothetical. In
early times medical officers were appointed to experiment with medicines
upon monkeys, and also to dissect the bodies of monkeys. From these
dissections, as well as from the printed diagrams of Chinese books the
imperfect knowledge which they had reached was derived. It was not till
1771 that Sugita Genpaku(89) and several other Japanese scholars had an
opportunity to dissect the body of a criminal, and by personal observation
found the utter falsity of the Chinese diagrams on which they had hitherto
relied, and the correctness of the Dutch books, which they had, contrary
to the laws of the country, learned to read.

The great reverence felt for Chinese culture led to the introduction at an
early date of the Chinese system of official rank. The system remained in
force down to the restoration in 1868. The officers were _Daijō-daijin_
(Prime-Minister), _Sa-daijin_ (Minister of the Left), _U-daijin_ (Minister
of the Right), together with eight boards,(90) charged with the various
duties of administration. These boards were divided into sections, and the
various departments of the government were respectively performed by them.
In this way the administration became thoroughly bureaucratic, in
imitation of the Chinese empire, to which the Japanese at this time looked
up with the most complete reverence.

In addition to these official boards, six official ranks were also
introduced from China. These ranks were designated, first, virtue; second,
humanity; third, propriety; fourth, truth; fifth, righteousness, and
sixth, wisdom. Each of these ranks(91) was divided into two orders termed
respectively the Greater and the Lesser. Thus there were twelve
distinctions in this system. It was introduced in the reign of the Empress
Suiko, A.D. 604, and is generally attributed to the Regent Shōtoku, who
was a great admirer of the continental civilization. It existed in this
form until the time of the Emperor Kōtoku, when, A.D. 649, it was extended
to nineteen distinctions. These were not given to the individual in
recognition of talent, but to families to be by them transmitted to their
posterity as hereditary rank.

For many years during this period of active intercourse with China and
Korea, Dazaifu, situated on the west coast of Kyūshū, north of the present
situation of Nagasaki, was the recognized port where strangers were
received. This city was the seat of a vice-royalty, having control over
the nine provinces of Kyūshū. The office of vice-governor was considered a
place of honorable banishment to which distinguished men who were
distasteful at court could be sent.

These continental influences continued for many years and indeed have
never ceased. There has always existed a class of scholars who looked upon
Chinese learning as the supreme pinnacle to which the human mind could
attain. This was especially true of the admirers of Confucius and
Confucianism. Although it was not until a much later period that the
culture of a Chinese philosophy attained its highest mark, yet even in the
early arrangement of the studies in the university we see the wide
influence which the writings of the Chinese classics exerted.

We close this chapter with an event which evinced the advance which
Japanese civilization had made, and aided greatly in promoting this
advance in the subsequent centuries. This event was the publication of the
_Kojiki_ (Record of Ancient Things) and the _Nihongi_ (Chronicles of
Japan). A book still older than these is said to have been composed in
A.D. 620, but it perished in a fire in A.D. 645, although a fragment is
said to have been rescued. The circumstances attending the preparation of
the _Kojiki_ are given by Mr. Satow in his paper(92) on the “Revival of
Pure Shintō,” and also by Mr. Chamberlain(93) in his introduction to the
translation. The Emperor Temmu had resolved to take measures to preserve
the true traditions from oblivion. He had the records carefully examined
and compiled. Then these collated traditions were one by one committed to
one of the household officers, Hiyeda-no-Are, who had a marvellously
retentive memory. Before the work of compilation was finished the emperor
died; but the Empress Gemmyō, who after an interval succeeded him, carried
it on to its completion in A.D. 712. By her direction the traditions were
taken down from Are’s dictation in the form in which we now have them. It
is by no means a pleasing or attractive work, even in the opinion of the
Japanese. It is bald and archaic in its form and composition. It is,
however, notable as being freer from the admixture of Chinese learning,
and therefore a better index of the native culture of the race than the
works which followed it.(94) Much of it consists of mere genealogies of
the emperors and naked statements of leading events, but there are besides
this many legends and poems which bear evidence of having been handed down
in essentially their present form. As an authority for the chronology of
the early events it is, of course, of small value. It is evident that
where a narrative of events has been carried through many centuries by
tradition alone, without written records to check or assist it, no
dependence can be placed on the chronology of the events, further than,
perhaps, on the order of sequence.

Only eight years after the publication of the _Kojiki_, a second work
termed _Nihongi_ or Chronicles of Japan was issued. It was prepared by
imperial command and appeared in A.D. 720 in the reign of the Empress
Genshō. It differs from the older book in being composed in the Chinese
idiom, and in being much more tinctured with the ideas of Chinese
philosophy. These two works, so nearly contemporaneous, both of them
composed in so great a degree of the legendary elements of Japanese
history, must be looked upon as marking a distinct epoch in the story of


The theory of the Japanese government during the greater part of its long
career has been that of an absolute monarchy. The emperor was supposed to
hold in his hands the supreme authority, and to dispose, as he saw fit, of
honors and emoluments, offices and administrative duties. There was no
fundamental law of succession, by which the order of accession to the
throne was regulated. The reigning emperor usually selected during his
lifetime some one of his sons, or, if he had no sons, some other prince of
the imperial family, who became the crown prince during the life of the
emperor, and on his death succeeded to the throne.(95) The selection was
usually made with the concurrence of the officers of the court, and very
often must be credited entirely to the preference of these officers.
Sometimes the emperor died before the appointment of a crown prince had
taken place. In this case the selection lay in the hands of the court
officers, and many cases are recorded in the history of the empire where
serious disturbances arose between the partisans of different aspirants to
the throne. These disturbances usually account for the _interregna_ which
are so often found between the reigns of successive sovereigns.

To the freedom which has prevailed, not only in the imperial house but
also in all the families of the empire, in regard to the rights of
succession, must be attributed the long and unbroken line which the
imperial house of Japan is able to show. That a line of sovereigns should
continue from the time of Jimmu down to the present without break by
reason of the failure of children, is of course impossible. But the
difficulty disappears when it is remembered, that in case of the failure
of a son to succeed, the father provided for the want by adopting as his
son some prince of the imperial family, and appointing him as his heir.
With this principle of adoption must be mentioned the practice of
abdication(96) which produced a marked and constantly recurring influence
in the history of Japan. Especially was this the case in the middle ages
of Japanese history. The practice spread from the imperial house downwards
into all departments of Japanese life. Although the principle of
abdication and adoption was probably brought from China and was adopted by
the Japanese as a mark of superior culture, yet these practices were
carried to a much greater extent in Japan than was ever thought of in
their original home. We shall see in the story of Japanese times the
amazing and ludicrous extent to which the abdication of reigning
sovereigns was carried. We shall witness even the great and sagacious
Ieyasu himself, after holding the office of shōgun for only two years,
retiring in favor of his son Hidetada, and yet from his retirement
practically exercising the authority of the office for many years.

In A.D. 668 the Emperor Tenji(97) began a brief reign of three years. As
he had been regent during the two preceding reigns, and chiefly managed
the administration, very little change occurred after his accession to
power. His reign is mainly remarkable for the first appearance in a
prominent position of the Fujiwara family. The emperor appointed his
counsellor Nakatomi-no-Kamatari as _nai-daijin_ (private minister), an
office next in rank after _sa-daijin_, and which was created at this time.
Nakatomi, was authorized to assume the family name of Fujiwara, meaning
wistaria-field. The ancestor of this family, Nakatomi-no-Muraji,(98) was
fabled to have come down from the celestial plains to the island of
Kyūshū. The family therefore ranks with that of the emperor as the oldest
and most honored in the empire. From the time of its establishment down to
the present it has enjoyed many honors and privileges, and has played a
very distinguished part in the history of the country. This family first
became prominent during the reign of the Emperor Kōtoku. The Soga family
from the times of the first introduction of Buddhism had grown to be the
most powerful and influential in the empire. Umako had held the position
of _daijin_ and his son Yemishi became _daijin_ after his father’s death.
Yemishi presumed upon his promotion to this high office and put on the
airs of hereditary rank. He built castles for himself and son and
organized guards for their defence. His son Iruka became _daijin_ after
his father’s death and conducted himself with even greater arrogance. At
last his conduct became intolerable and he was assassinated A.D. 645. The
chief actor in this plot was Nakatomi-no-Kamatari, who was at this time on
intimate terms with the prince who afterwards became the Emperor Tenji.

Further experiences, this time disastrous, with Korea were encountered
during this reign. A Japanese garrison had been maintained in Kudara, the
western division of Korea. But at this time the people of Shiraki with
help from China attacked this garrison and compelled it to retreat to
Japan. Along with the Japanese came many of the Koreans who had been
friendly with them, and who carried with them, like the Huguenots when
driven from France, a knowledge of many arts and a culture which were
eagerly welcomed by the rising Japanese empire. They were colonized in
convenient quarters in different provinces, and as an encouragement freed
from taxation for a time. Their influence upon the opening civilization of
Japan cannot be overlooked or neglected in our estimate of the forces
which conspired to produce the final result. In the book of Japanese
annals called _Nihon Shoki_ there is a statement(99) that in the fifth
month of the second year of _Reiki_ (A.D. 717) 1799 Koreans were collected
together in the province of Musashi and formed the district of “Koma-gōri”
or Korean district. Again in the third year of _Tempyō Hoji_ (A.D. 760)
forty inhabitants of Shinra (a kingdom of Korea) and thirty-four priests
and priestesses came to Japan and founded the “Shinra-gōri,” or Korean
district. These events occurred not long after the time we are now
considering and show that the Korean colonization still continued and that
the influence of the arts and culture which the colonists introduced was
marked and important.

Few events are noted during the reigns which succeeded. The following are
the most worthy of mention. The Emperor Temmu (A.D. 673-686) added several
new degrees of rank to those already established. He also favored the
Buddhist religion by making its services obligatory, and by forbidding the
eating of flesh. Silver was first discovered in Tsushima A.D. 674, which
was followed twenty years later by the manufacture of the first silver
money. Copper was discovered in Musashi in the reign of the Empress Gemmyō
(A.D. 708-715) and the making of copper money came into vogue. Before that
time the copper money in use was obtained from Korea and China. Gold coin
is said to have been first issued under the Emperor Junnin (A.D. 759-765).
An observatory was established for the inspection of the stars in
connection with the new department of astrology. The cultivation of the
lacquer tree and the mulberry and the raising of silk-worms were still
further encouraged and extended. Cremation was first practised about A.D.
700 in the case of a Buddhist priest who left directions that his body
should be burned. Since that time cremation has been employed for the
disposal of the dead by the Shin (or Monto) sect, and is now authorized
but not made obligatory by the government. The progress made by Buddhism
is shown by the census of temples which was made in the reign of the
Empress Jito (A.D. 690-702) and which gave the number as 545. The
publication of the _Kojiki_ in A.D. 712, and of the _Nihongi_ eight years
later, has already been referred to at the close of the preceding chapter.
These works are still looked upon as the foundations of Japanese
literature and the highest authorities of Japanese history.

In the reign of the Empress Gemmyō (A.D. 710) the imperial residence was
fixed at Nara. Up to this time the custom(100) derived from antiquity had
prevailed of changing the residence on the accession of each new emperor.
But the court continued at Nara for a period of seventy-five years running
through seven reigns; and in consequence Nara has always been looked upon
with peculiar reverence, and is the seat of several of the most notable
Buddhist and Shintō temples(101) and structures. It is here that
Kasuga-no-miya was founded in A.D. 767 and dedicated to the honor of the
ancestor of the Fujiwara family. Here also is Tō-dai-ji a Buddhist temple
famed for containing the bronze statue of Great Buddha. This colossal idol
was constructed in A.D. 736 under the Emperor Shōmu, during the time that
the imperial court resided at Nara. The height of the image is fifty-three
feet, being seven feet higher than the Daibutsu at Kamakura. The temple
was built over the image and in A.D. 1180 was destroyed by a fire which
melted the head of the image. This was replaced. The temple was burned
again A.D. 1567, from which time the image has remained as the Japanese
say “a wet god.”

In A.D. 794(102) during the reign of the Emperor Kwammu (A.D. 782-806) the
capital was removed to Kyōto on the banks of the Kamogawa. The situation
and the environs are lovely, and justify the affectionate reverence with
which it has ever been regarded. Here were built the palaces and offices
for the emperor and his court. It was officially called Miyako, that is,
residence of the sovereign. It continued to be occupied as the capital
until A.D. 1868, when the court was moved to Tōkyō. At this time the name
of the city was changed to Saikyō, which means western capital, in
distinction from Tōkyō, which means eastern capital.

The Emishi in the northern part of the Main island continued to give much
trouble to the government. During the reign of the Emperor Shōmu (A.D.
724-756) Fujiwara-no-Umakai was sent against these restless neighbors and
succeeded in reducing them to subjection, which lasted longer than usual.
A fort was built to keep them in subjection, called the castle of Taga.
There is still standing a stone monument at Taga, between Sendai and
Matsushima, on which is an inscription which has been translated by Mr.
Aston,(103) of the British legation. The inscription gives the date of its
first construction, which corresponds to A.D. 724, and of its restoration,
A.D. 762. Mr. Aston points out that the _ri_ here mentioned is not the
present Japanese _ri_ equivalent to miles 2.44, but the ancient _ri_ which
is somewhat less than half a mile. This makes it evident that the part of
the Main island north of a point near Sendai was at this time denominated
Yezo, and was occupied by the barbarous tribes who then as now called
themselves Yezo.

The employment of a Fujiwara in this expedition was probably purely
perfunctory. So far as we know, this family, which had by this time risen
to a position of great influence, was in no respect military, and the
appointment of Umakai as chief of the forces sent against the Ainos was
due to the political prominence of his family. For many centuries the
relations of the Fujiwara family to the imperial house was most intimate.
Indeed the late Viscount Mori,(104) in his introduction to _Education in
Japan_, speaks of this relation as a “proprietorship.” “The throne for a
time became virtually the property of one family, who exclusively
controlled it.” This family was that of Fujiwara,(105) to which reference
has already been made. The founder of this house, Kamatari, was a man of
great talent and administrative ability, and his immediate successors were
worthy of their ancestor’s fame, and in succession filled the office of
_daijin._ In this way the office came to be regarded as hereditary in the
Fujiwara family. The office of _kuambaku_, also from about A.D. 880,
became hereditary in the Fujiwara house. Owing to the great age and
prominence of the family, it became customary to marry the emperors and
princes of the imperial house to ladies taken from it, so that after a
time the mothers and wives of the princes of the imperial house were
without exception descendants of the Fujiwara, and the offices of the
court were in the hands of this family. In this condition of things the
abdication of emperors, before they had reigned long enough to learn the
duties of their position, became the common practice. This vicious custom
was encouraged by the Fujiwara, because it placed greater authority in
their hands, and left them to conduct the administration without
troublesome interference. The Emperor Seiwa (A.D. 859-880) commenced to
reign when he was nine years of age, and abdicated when he was
twenty-six.(106) Shujaku (A.D. 931-952) became emperor when he was eight
years of age and abdicated at the age of twenty-three. Toba became emperor
(A.D. 1108) at five years of age, and resigned at the age of twenty.
Rokujō was made emperor (A.D. 1166) at the age of two and resigned at the
age of four. Takakura, who succeeded Rokujō (A.D. 1169), was eight years
of age and abdicated at the age of nineteen. It often happened that there
were living at the same time several retired emperors, besides the actual
emperor.(107) Thus, in the period when Ichijō began his reign at the age
of seven (A.D. 987), there were three retired emperors still living, viz.:
Reizei, who began to reign (A.D. 968) at eighteen, and retired at twenty;
Enyū, who began to reign (A.D. 970) at eleven, and retired at twenty-six;
Kwazan, who began to reign (A.D. 985) at seventeen, and retired at
nineteen. At a period somewhat later than the one now under consideration,
during the reign of Go-Nijō, who had just been made emperor (A.D. 1301) at
seventeen, and who retired at nineteen, there were four retired emperors
living. When the emperors retired they often went into a Buddhist
monastery, taking the title of _hō-ō_ or _cloistered emperor_. From this
sacred seclusion they continued many times to wield the powers of

The object of this abdication was twofold. The sovereigns themselves often
became restless and dissatisfied in the constrained attitude which they
were compelled to maintain. If they were in the least ambitious to meet
the requirements of their elevated position and realized in any degree the
legitimate claims which their country had upon them, their natural efforts
to take part in the administration were promptly checked, and they were
reminded that it was unbecoming and unfitting for the descendants of the
gods to mingle in ordinary earthly affairs. In this way it often fell out
that the ablest of the emperors retired from the actual position of
reigning emperor in order to free themselves from the restraints of
etiquette and from the burden of _ennui_ which held them captive. They
assumed the dignity of retired emperors, and often from their retirement
wielded a greater influence and exerted a far more active part in the
administration of affairs than they ever had been able to do when upon the
imperial throne.

Besides this motive which affected the occupants of the throne, there was
a corresponding one which led the officers of the court to encourage and
perhaps sometimes to compel the emperors to abdicate. These administrative
officers, into whose hands the management of the government had fallen,
were desirous to retain their authority, and therefore whenever an emperor
exhibited signs of independence, or any disposition to think or act for
himself, they contrived means to have him retire and leave in his place
some inexperienced boy who could be more easily controlled.

In this kind of supervising statesmanship the Fujiwara family became, and
for centuries remained, supreme experts. For a period of four hundred
years, from A.D. 645 to 1050, they monopolized nearly all the important
offices in the government. The wives and concubines of the feeble emperors
were all taken from its inexhaustible _repertoire_. The men of the family,
among whom were always some of administrative ability, found it a task of
no great difficulty to rule the emperor who was supposed to be divinely
inspired to rule the empire, especially when he was usually a boy whose
mother, wife, and court favorites were all supplied from the Fujiwara
family. This kind of life and environment could not fail to produce on the
successive emperors a sadly demoralizing effect. They were brought up in
an enervating atmosphere and their whole life was spent in arts and
employments which, instead of developing in them a spirit of independence
and a high ambition and ability to govern well the empire committed to
them, led them to devote themselves to pleasures, and to leave to others
less fortunate the duty of administering the affairs of government.

The same circumstances which demoralized the occupants of the imperial
throne served in a certain though less degree to enervate and enfeeble the
Fujiwara family. Although they sometimes appointed one of their number the
commander of an expedition against the Emishi, or to put down fresh
revolts in the island of Kyūshū, yet his duties were purely honorary. He
usually remained at home and sent one or more of the active military
chieftains to lead the forces against the enemy in the field. If the
expedition was successful, however, the honorary commander did not forget
to have himself duly promoted, and rewarded with additional lands and

Other families besides the Fujiwara, rose in these long and weary
centuries to prominence, and seemed on the point of disputing the security
of their position. Thus the Tachibana in the eighth century attained high
honors and distinction. It was an old family, and even as far back as the
legend of Yamato-dake(108) we find that a princess of the Tachibana family
was his wife, who sacrificed herself in the bay of Yedo to appease the
turbulent waters. It was Maroyé, a member of the Tachibana family and a
favorite of the Emperor Shōmu (A.D. 724-756), who compiled the collection
of ancient Japanese poetry called Man-yōshū or collection of Myriad

Another family which attained prominence was the Sugawara. It originated
in the province of Kawachi. The most noted representative of this family
was Sugawara Michizané, who was first conspicuous as the teacher of the
young prince who afterward became the Emperor Uda (A.D. 888-898). He was a
brilliant scholar in Chinese, which was then the learned language of the
East. Even down to modern times his family has been devoted to learning.
The Sugawara(109) and Ōye families both had adopted literature as their
hereditary profession, and the government made them an allowance for the
expenses(110) of those who might be pursuing their studies in the national
university. The influence of Michizané over the emperor was marked and
salutary. Under his wise tutelage Uda showed so much independence that the
Fujiwara _Kwambaku_ found means to lead him to abdicate in favor of his
son, who became the sixtieth emperor, and is known under the historic name
of Daigo. Michizané became the counsellor and was created _nai-daijin_
under the new emperor, who at the time of his accession was only fourteen
years old. But the _Kwambaku_ Tokihira determined to free himself from the
adverse influence of this wise and honest counsellor. So he had him sent
in a kind of honorable banishment to Dazaifu, the seat of the vice-royalty
of the island of Kyūshū. It is said that he died here in A.D. 903. There
was a great re-action in regard to him after his death, and he was
canonized under the name of Tenjin(111) (Heavenly god), and is held sacred
as the patron saint of men of letters and of students. The twenty-fifth
day of each month is kept as a holiday in schools, sacred to Tenjin-Sama,
and the twenty-fifth of June as an annual _matsuri_.



But the families which finally displaced the Fujiwara from their position
of supremacy were what were technically called the military families. The
separation of officers into civil and military was made under the reforms
introduced from China. The Fujiwara in the main restricted themselves to
civil duties. Wherever it was necessary to send military expeditions
against the barbarians of the north, or rebels in Kyūshū, or into the
disaffected districts of Korea, commanders were selected from families
devoted to military service. The Taira family was of this class. Hei is
the Chinese equivalent of the Japanese name Taira, and is more often used
in the literature of the times. The Taira family sprang from the Emperor
Kwammu (A.D. 782-806) through one of his concubines. The great-grandson of
Kwammu, Takamochi, received permission to adopt the name of Taira, and
thus became the founder of the family. They were the military vassals of
the crown for many generations.

A little later than the Taira arose another family, the Minamoto, whose
equivalent Chinese name was Gen. It sprang from the Emperor Seiwa (A.D.
859-880). His son Tadazumi became minister of war. Tadazumi had two sons,
who were granted the family name of Minamoto; the descendants of one of
them, Tsunemoto, being created military vassals.

The almost constant wars in which the empire was engaged led to the
extension of the military class. From the time now under discussion the
military class came to be looked upon as a distinct and separate part of
the population. It was composed of those who in the time of war showed an
aptitude for arms, and who were most serviceable in the campaigns which
they undertook. Gradually they became distinct from the agricultural
peasantry, and by education and training came to look upon arms as their
legitimate profession. They naturally attached themselves to the military
commanders who led them in their various expeditions, and thus were in
time regarded as the standing troops of the empire. This growth of a
military class, whose commanders were restless and ambitious, gradually
undermined the authority which the Fujiwara up to the tenth century had
almost unrestrictedly exercised. The employment of commanders from the
military families raised in them an ambition to share in the powers of
government. The struggles which ensued, first between the Fujiwara and
Taira, and then between the Taira and Minamoto, continued to keep the
country embroiled for more than a century. The suffering and desolation
resulting from these weary internecine wars can only be paralleled by such
conflicts as that between the White and Red Roses in England, or the
Thirty Years’ War in Germany. Of these struggles it will be possible to
give only an outline.

It has already been mentioned that the Taira family sprang from the
Emperor Kwammu,(112) whose great-grandson, Takamochi received permission
to take Taira as his family name. The Emperor Shirakawa tired of the
arrogance of the Fujiwara in A.D. 1087 retired into a cloister, and from
this seclusion continued to exercise a controlling influence in the
conduct of affairs. Tadamori a descendant of Taira-no-Takamochi was a
favorite in his court, and even had a _liaison_ with one of his

The ex-emperor complaisantly informed the courtier that if the child to be
born proved to be a daughter he himself would adopt it, but if a son then
it should belong to Tadamori. Accordingly the child being a son was a
Taira, and rose to great eminence as Taira-no-Kiyomori. Tadamori acquired
for himself great credit by his successful expedition against Korean
pirates who had cruised along the eastern coasts of Japan. In the troubles
which subsequently arose in reference to the succession the Taira took an
important part. The Emperor Toba, who succeeded to the throne in A.D. 1108
at the age of six, abdicated in A.D. 1123 at the age of twenty-six. Both
his father, the ex-Emperor Horikawa, and his grandfather, the ex-Emperor
Shirakawa, were still living in retirement. He was succeeded by his son
the Emperor Shutoku in A.D. 1124, then six years old, who after reigning
seventeen years abdicated. He had a son but was succeeded A.D. 1142 by his
brother Konoye who was four years of age. This mature youth reigned
thirteen years and died without abdicating. On his death-bed he adopted as
the crown prince his brother Go-Shirakawa, thus displacing the lineal
heir. The succession was now bitterly disputed. The Minamoto chiefly
espoused the cause of the displaced heir, while Kiyomori and the Taira
together with Minamoto-no-Yoshitomo supported Go-Shirakawa. In a battle
fought A.D. 1156 Kyomori won the victory. This victory raised him to a
pinnacle of power. He began a career of nepotism and patronage which was
not inferior to that of the Fujiwara. The ex-Emperor Shutoku and his son
were banished to the province of Sanuki where it is said that Shutoku died
of starvation. Tametomo a member of the Minamoto clan who was famed for
his great strength and for his skill in archery was sent as an exile to
the island of Hachijō, southeast of the promontory of Izu. From this
island he escaped, and it is a tradition that he made his way to the
Ryūkyū islands where he rose to prominence and became the ancestor of the
kings of these islands.

Yoshitomo of the Minamoto clan, who had sided with Kiyomori in the recent
dynastic conflict was a brother of the Tametomo just mentioned. He was
greatly offended by the violent use which Kiyomori made of the power which
had come into his hands. With all the Minamoto and Fujiwara he conspired
to overthrow the victorious and arrogant Taira. But Kiyomori suspecting
the plans of his enemies took measures to counteract them and suddenly
fell upon them in the city of Kyōto. Yoshitomo was obliged to save himself
by fleeing to Owari, where he was assassinated by the agents of Kiyomori.
The death of the head of the Minamoto only made the tyrant more determined
to crush all opposition. Even the ex-Emperor Go-Shirakawa, who was a
son-in-law of Kiyomori, but who showed some signs of disapproval, was sent
into exile. Several of the sons of Yoshitomo were put to death; but
Yoritomo then a boy of thirteen was saved by the interference of the
mother-in-law of Kiyomori, and was sent into exile in the province of Izu,
and put into the safe-keeping of two faithful Taira men, one of whom Hōjō
Tokimasa will be heard of hereafter.

Besides the four sons of Yoshitomo by his wife, he had also three sons by
a concubine named Tokiwa. She was a woman of great beauty, and for that
reason as well as because she was the mother of the romantic hero
Yoshitsuné, she has often been chosen by Japanese artists as the subject
of their pictures. Tokiwa and her three children, of whom Yoshitsuné was
then an infant at the breast, fled at the breaking out of the storm upon
Yoshitomo and the Minamoto clan. They are often represented as wandering
through a storm of snow, Yoshitsuné being carried as an infant on the back
of his mother, and the other two little ones pattering along with unequal
steps at her side. In this forlorn condition they were met by one of the
Taira soldiers, who took pity on them and gave them shelter. From him they
learned that Kiyomori had taken the mother of Tokiwa prisoner, and held
her in confinement, knowing that this would surely bring back to him the
fair fugitive and her children. In the Chinese teachings of that day, in
which Tokiwa had been educated, the duty of a child to its mother was
paramount to that of a mother to her child. So Tokiwa felt that it was
unquestionably her duty to go back at once to the capital and surrender
herself in order to procure the release of her mother. But her maternal
heart rebelled when she remembered that her babes would surely be
sacrificed by this devotion. Her woman’s wit devised a scheme which might
possibly furnish a way between these terrible alternatives. She determined
to surrender herself and her children to Kiyomori, and depend upon her
beauty to save them from the fate which had been pronounced upon all the
Minamoto. So with her little flock she went back and gave herself up to
the implacable tyrant. Softened by her beauty and urged by a number of his
courtiers, he set her mother at liberty in exchange for her becoming his
concubine, and distributed her children in separate monasteries. The chief
interest follows the youngest boy, Yoshitsuné, who was sent to the
monastery at Kurama Yama(113) near Kyōto. Here he grew up a vigorous and
active youth, more devoted to woodcraft, archery, and fencing than to the
studies and devotions of the monastery. At sixteen years of age he was
urged by the priests to become a monk and to spend the rest of his days in
praying for the soul of his father. But he refused, and shortly after he
escaped from the monastery in company with a merchant who was about to
visit the northern provinces. Yoshitsuné reached Mutsu, where he entered
the service of Fujiwara-no-Hidehira, then governor of the province. Here
he spent several years devoting himself to the military duties which
chiefly pertained to the government of that rough and barbarous province.
He developed into the gallant and accomplished soldier who played a
principal part in the wars which followed, and became the national hero
around whose name have clustered the choicest traditions of his country.

Meanwhile, as we have seen, Yoritomo,(114) the oldest son of Yoshitomo,
and by inheritance the head of the Minamoto clan, had been banished to Izu
and committed to the care of two faithful Taira adherents. Yoritomo
married Masago, the daughter of Hōjō Tokimasa, one of these, and found
means to induce Tokimasa to join him in his plans to overthrow the tyrant
Kiyomori, who now ruled the empire with relentless severity. Even the
retired emperor joined in this conspiracy and wrote letters to Yoritomo
urging him to lead in the attempt to put down the Taira. Yoritomo summoned
the scattered members of the Minamoto clan and all the disaffected
elements of every kind to his assistance. It does not seem that this
summons was responded to with the alacrity which was hoped for. The
inexperience of Yoritomo and the power and resources of him against whom
they were called upon to array themselves, led the scattered enemies of
Kiyomori to hesitate to join so hopeless a cause. The rendezvous of the
Minamoto was at Ishibashi Yama, and it is said that only three hundred men
gathered at the call. They were followed and attacked by a greatly
superior force, and utterly routed. It is a tradition that Yoritomo and
six friends, who had escaped from the slaughter of this battle, hid
themselves in the hollow of an immense tree. Their pursuers, in searching
for them, sent one of their number to examine this tree. He was secretly a
friend of the Minamoto, and when he discovered the fugitives he told them
to remain, and announced to those who sent him that the tree was empty. He
even inserted his spear into the hollow and turned it about to show that
there was nothing there. When he did this two doves(115) flew out, and the
artful soldier reported that spiders’ webs were in the mouth of the

Yoritomo now fled to the promontory of Awa, east of what became known
afterward as Yedo bay. He sent messages in every direction summoning the
enemies of Kiyomori to join him. His brother Yoshitsuné gathered what
forces he could from the north and marched to the region which was to
become famous as the site of Kamakura. He was joined by others of his clan
and soon felt himself in such a position as to assume the aggressive. He
fixed upon Kamakura as his headquarters about A.D. 1180, and as his power
increased it grew to be a great city. It was difficult of access from
Kyōto and by fortifying the pass of Hakoné,(116) where the mountainous
regions of Shinano come down to the eastern coast not far from Fujisan, it
was rendered safe from attacks coming from the south.

While these notes of preparation were being sounded Kiyomori, who as
_daijō-daijin_ had ruled the empire for many years, died A.D. 1181, at the
age of sixty-four. He was fully aware of the portentous clouds which were
gathering around his family. On his death-bed he is said to have warned
them of the danger arising from the plans of Yoritomo. According to the
_Nihon-Gwaishi_, he said, “My regret is only that I am dying, and have not
yet seen the head of Yoritomo of the Minamoto. After my decease do not
make offerings to Buddha on my behalf nor read sacred books. Only cut off
the head of Yoritomo of the Minamoto and hang it on my tomb.”

The death of Kiyomori(117) hastened the triumph of Yoritomo. Munemori the
son of Kiyomori became the head of the Taira clan, and continued the
contest. But Yoritomo’s combinations speedily reduced the country to his
power. Yoshitsuné with his army from the north was at Kamakura; Yoshinaka,
a cousin of Yoritomo, was in command of an army gathered in the highlands
of Shinano; while Yoritomo himself led the forces collected in Awa, Kazusa
and Musashi. The point to which all the armies were directed was the
capital where the Taira were still in full control. Yoshinaka was the
first to come in collision with the forces of the capital. Munemori had
sent out an army to oppose Yoshinaka who was swiftly approaching along the
Nakasendō. The Taira army was completely defeated and Yoshinaka marched
victoriously into the capital. Munemori with the reigning emperor Antoku,
then only a child six years of age, and all the imperial court crossed the
Inland sea to Sanuki, the northern province of the island of Shikoku. The
two retired emperors Go-Shirakawa, and Takakura who sympathized with the
revolutionary movements of Yoritomo, remained behind and welcomed
Yoshinaka to the capital. The retirement of the emperor from the palace
was taken as his abdication, and his younger brother, Go-Toba, then seven
years old, was proclaimed emperor.

Yoshinaka, puffed up by his rapid success, and disregarding the paramount
position of Yoritomo, assumed the superintendence of the government and
had himself appointed _sei-i-shōgun_,(118) which was the highest military
title then bestowed upon a subject. He even went so far as to antagonize
Yoritomo and undertook to pluck the fruits of the military movements which
had brought about this revolution of the government.

Yoritomo at once despatched Yoshitsuné at the head of his army to Kyōto to
put down this most unexpected and unnatural defection. He met Yoshinaka’s
army near lake Biwa and inflicted upon it a severe defeat. Overwhelmed
with shame and knowing that he deserved no consideration at the hands of
his outraged relatives, Yoshinaka committed suicide. Yoshitsuné then
followed the fugitive court. He destroyed the Taira palace at Hyōgo, and
then crossed over to Sanuki, whither the court had fled. Alarmed by the
swift vengeance which was pursuing them, Munemori together with the
emperor and his mother and all the court hastily embarked for what they
hoped might be an asylum in the island of Kyūshū. They were pursued by the
Minamoto army in the junks which had brought them to Sanuki. They were
overtaken at Dan-no-ura not far from the village of Shimonoseki, in the
narrow straits at the western extremity of the Inland sea. The naval
battle which here took place is the most famous in the annals of the
Japanese empire. According to the _Nihon-Gwaishi_ the Taira fleet
consisted of five hundred junks, and the Minamoto of seven hundred. The
vessels of the Taira were encumbered by many women and children of the
escaping families, which put them at a great disadvantage. The young
emperor, with his mother and grandmother, were also the precious freight
of this fugitive fleet. Of course, at this early date the vessels which
contended were unlike the monstrous men-of-war which now make naval
warfare so stupendous a game. They were not even to be compared with the
vessels which made up the Spanish Armada in A.D. 1588, or the ships in
which the gallant British sailors repulsed them. Cannon were no part of
their armament. The men fought with bows and arrows, and with spears and
swords. It was, however, a terrible hand-to-hand fight between men who
felt that their all was at stake. Story-tellers draw from this battle some
of their most lurid narratives, and artists have depicted it with
realistic horrors. The grandmother of the emperor, the widow of Kiyomori,
seeing that escape was impossible, took the boy emperor in her arms, and
in spite of the remonstrances of her daughter, who was the boy’s mother,
she plunged into the sea, and both were drowned.

The great mass of the Taira perished in this battle, but a remnant escaped
to the island of Kyūshū and hid themselves in the inaccessible valleys of
the province of Higo. Here they have been recognized in recent times, and
it is claimed that they still show the surly aversion to strangers which
is an inheritance derived from the necessity under which they long rested
to hide themselves from the vengeance which pursued them.(119)

This battle was decisive in the question of supremacy between the Taira
and Minamoto clans. The same policy of extermination which Kiyomori had
pursued against the Minamoto was now remorselessly enforced by the
Minamoto against the Taira. The prisoners who were taken in the battle
were executed to the last man. Munemori was taken prisoner and
decapitated. Whenever a Taira man, woman, or child was found, death was
the inevitable penalty inflicted. Yoritomo stationed his father-in-law
Hōjō Tokimasa at Kyōto to search out and eradicate his enemies as well as
to supervise the affairs of the government.

It will be remembered that Go-Toba, a mere child (A.D. 1186) only seven
years of age, had been put on the throne, in the place of the fugitive
Antoku. Now that the latter had perished at Dan-no-ura, there could be no
question about the legitimacy and regularity of Go-Toba’s accession. The
retired Emperor Go-Shirakawa, who had been a friend and promoter of the
schemes of Yoritomo, was still alive, and rendered important aid in the
re-organization of the government.

The darkest blot upon the character of Yoritomo is his treatment of his
youngest brother Yoshitsuné. It was he who had by his generalship and
gallantry brought these terrible wars to a triumphant conclusion. He had
crushed in the decisive battle of Dan-no-ura the last of the enemies of
Yoritomo. With his victorious troops he marched northward, and with
prisoners and captured standards was on his way to lay them at the feet of
his now triumphant brother at Kamakura. But the demon of jealousy had
taken possession of Yoritomo. He resented the success and fame of his more
winning and heroic brother. He sent orders to him not to enter Kamakura,
and to give up his trophies of battle at Koshigoye near to Enoshima. Here
at the monastery of Mampukuji is still kept the draft of the touching
letter(120) which he sent to his brother, protesting his loyalty and
denying the charges of ambition and self-seeking which had been made
against him. But all this availed nothing. Yoshitsuné returned to Kyōto
and, in fear of bodily harm from the machinations of his brother, made his
escape with his faithful servant Benkei,(121) into his old asylum with his
friend Fujiwara Hidehira the governor of Mutsu. Shortly after his arrival,
however, Hidehira died, and his son Yasuhira abjectly connived at his
assassination(122) A.D. 1189, with a view to secure Yoritomo’s favor. He
was at the time of his death only thirty years of age. He has lived down
to the present time in the admiring affection of a warlike and heroic
people. Although Yoritomo is looked upon as perhaps their greatest hero,
yet their admiration is always coupled with a _proviso_ concerning his
cruel treatment of his brother.

In order not to rest under the imputation of having encouraged this
assassination, Yoritomo marched at the head of a strong force and
inflicted punishment upon Yasuhira for having done what he himself desired
but dared not directly authorize.

The way was now clear for Yoritomo to establish a system of government
which should secure to him and his family the fruits of his long contest.
In A.D. 1190, he went up to the capital to pay his respects to the Emperor
Go-Toba as well as to the veteran retired Emperor Go-Shirakawa. The latter
was now in his sixty-sixth year, and had held his place through five
successive reigns, and was now the friend and patron of the new
government. He died, however, only two years later. Yoritomo knew the
effect produced by a magnificent display, and therefore made his progress
to the capital with all the pomp and circumstance which he could command.
The festivities were kept up for a month, and the court and its
surroundings were deeply impressed with a sense of the power and
irresistible authority of the head of the Minamoto clan.

Yoritomo did not, however, choose to establish himself at Kyōto amid the
atmosphere of effeminacy which surrounded the court. After his official
visit, during which every honor and rank which could be bestowed by the
emperor were showered upon his head and all his family and friends, he
returned to his own chosen seat at Kamakura. Here he busied himself in
perfecting a system which, while it would perpetuate his own power, would
also build up a firm national government.

His first step, A.D. 1184, was to establish a council at which affairs of
state were discussed, and which furnished a medium through which the
administration might be conducted. The president of this council was
Ōye-no-Hiromoto.(123) Its jurisdiction pertained at first to the
Kwantō—that is, to the part of the country east of the Hakoné barrier.
This region was more completely under the control of the Minamoto, and
therefore could be more easily and surely submitted to administrative
methods. He also established a criminal tribunal to take cognizance of
robberies and other crimes which, during the lawless and violent
disturbances in the country, had largely prevailed.

But the step, which was destined to produce the most far-reaching results,
consisted in his obtaining from the emperor the appointment of five of his
own family as governors of provinces, promising on his part to supervise
their actions and to be responsible for the due performance of their duty.
Up to this time the governors and vice-governors of provinces had always
been appointed from civil life and were taken from the families
surrounding the imperial court. He also was authorized to send into each
province a military man, who was to reside there, to aid the governor in
military affairs. Naturally, the military man, being the more active,
gradually absorbed much of the power formerly exercised by the governor.
These military men were under the authority of Yoritomo and formed the
beginning of that feudal system which was destined to prevail so long in
Japan. He also received from the court, shortly after his visit to Kyōto,
the title of _sei-i-tai-shōgun_, which was the highest military title
which had ever been bestowed on a subject. This is the title which, down
to A.D. 1868, was borne by the real rulers of Japan. The possession of the
power implied by this title enabled Yoritomo to introduce responsible
government into the almost ungoverned districts of the empire, and to give
to Japan for the first time in many centuries a semblance of peace.

There were also many minor matters of administration which Yoritomo, in
the few remaining years of his life, put in order. He obtained from the
emperor permission to levy a tax on the agricultural products of the
country, from which he defrayed the expenses of the military government.
He established tribunals for the hearing and determining of causes, and
thus secured justice in the ordinary affairs of life. He forbade the
priests and monks in the great Buddhist monasteries, who had become
powerful and arrogant, to bear arms, or to harbor those bearing arms.



In all these administrative reforms Yoritomo was careful always to secure
the assent and authority of the imperial court.(124) In no case did he
assume or exercise independent authority. In this way was introduced at
this time that system of dual government which continued until the
resignation of the Tokugawa Shōgun in 1868. After his first visit to
Kyōto, in A.D. 1190, Yoritomo devoted the remaining years of his life to
the confirmation of his power and the encouragement of the arts of peace.
In A.D. 1195 he made a second magnificent visit to Kyōto and remained four
months. It is because of these peaceful results, which followed the long
internecine struggles, that the Japanese regard Yoritomo as one of their
most eminent and notable men. Under the influence of his court Kamakura
grew to be a great city and far outranked even Kyōto in power and
activity, though not in size.

In the autumn of the year A.D. 1198, when returning from the inspection of
a new bridge over the Sagami river, he had a fall from his horse which
seriously injured him. He died from the effects of this fall in the early
part of the following year, in the fifty-third year of his age. He had
wielded the unlimited military power for the last fifteen years. His death
was almost as much of an epoch in the history of Japan as his life had
been. We shall see in the chapters which follow the deplorable results of
that system of effeminacy and nepotism, of abdication and regency, which
Yoritomo had to resist, and which, had he lived twenty years more, his
country might have escaped.


The death of Yoritomo brought into prominence the very same system which
had been the bane of the imperial house during many centuries. His son and
the hereditary successor to his position and power was Yoriiye, then
eighteen years of age. He was the son of Masago, and therefore the
grandson of Hōjō Tokimasa, who had been Yoritomo’s chief friend and
adviser. He was an idle, vicious boy, and evinced no aptitude to carry on
the work of his father. In this wayward career he was not checked by his
grandfather, and is even said to have been encouraged to pursue a life of
pleasure and gayety, while the earnest work of the government was
transacted by others. Tokimasa assumed the duties of president of the
Council as well as guardian of Yoriiye, and in these capacities conducted
the administration entirely according to his own will. The appointments of
position and rank which the father had received from the emperor were in
like manner bestowed upon the son. He was made head of the military
administrators stationed in the several provinces, and he also received
the military title of _sei-i-tai-shōgun_, to which Yoritomo had been
appointed. But these appointments were only honorary, and the duties
pertaining to them were all performed by the guardian of the young man.

In the year A.D. 1203, that is in the fourth year succeeding Yoritomo’s
death, Yoriiye was taken sick, and was unable to fulfil his duties even in
the feeble manner which was customary. His mother consulted with Tokimasa,
and they agreed that Yoriiye should abdicate and surrender the headship of
the military administration to his brother Semman, who was twelve years of
age, and his son Ichiman. Yoriiye seems to have resisted these
suggestions, and even resorted to force to free himself from the influence
of the Hōjō. But Tokimasa was too powerful to be so easily dispensed with.
Yoriiye was compelled to yield, and he retired to a monastery and gave up
his offices. Not content with this living retirement, Tokimasa contrived
to have him assassinated. Semman, his brother, was appointed
_sei-i-tai-shōgun_, and his name changed to Sanetomo. But Sanetomo did not
long enjoy his promotion, because his nephew, the son of his murdered
predecessor, deemed him responsible for his father’s murder, and took
occasion to assassinate him. Then in turn the nephew was put to death for
this crime, and thus by the year A.D. 1219 the last of the descendants of
the great Yoritomo had perished. In the meantime Tokimasa had, A.D. 1205,
retired to a Buddhist monastery in his sixty-eighth year, and in A.D.
1216, when he was seventy-eight, he died. The court at Kamakura was now
prepared to go on in its career of effeminacy after the pattern of that at

Mesago, the widow of Yoritomo and daughter of Tokimasa, although she too
had taken refuge in a Buddhist nunnery, continued to exercise a ruling
control in the affairs of the government. She solicited from the court at
Kyōto the appointment of Yoritsuné, a boy of the Fujiwara family, only two
years old, as _sei-i-tai-shōgun_ in the place of the murdered Sanetomo.
The petition was granted, and this child was entrusted to the care of the
Hōjō, who, as regents(125) of the shōgun, exercised with unlimited sway
the authority of this great office. The situation of affairs in Japan at
this time was deplorable. Go-Toba and Tsuchi-mikado were both living in
retirement as ex-emperors. Juntoku was the reigning emperor, who was under
the influence and tutelage of the ex-Emperor Go-Toba. Fretting under the
arrogance of the Hōjō, Go-Toba undertook to resist their claims. But
Yoshitoku, the Hōjō regent at this time, quickly brought the Kyōto court
to terms by the use of his military power. The ex-Emperor Go-Toba was
compelled to become a monk, and was exiled to the island of Oki. The
Emperor Juntoku was forced to abdicate, and was banished to Sado, and a
grandson of the former Emperor Takakura placed on the throne. Even the
ex-Emperor Tsuchi-mikado, who had not taken any part in the conspiracy,
was sent off to the island of Shikoku. The lands that had belonged to the
implicated nobles were confiscated and distributed by Yoshitoku among his
own adherents. The power of the Hōjō family was thus raised to its supreme
point. They ruled both at Kyōto and Kamakura with resistless authority.
They exercised at both places this authority without demanding or
receiving the appointment to any of the high positions which they might
have claimed. They were only the regents of young and immature shōguns,
who were the appointees of a court which had at its head an emperor
without power or influence, and which was controlled by the creatures of
their own designation. This lamentable state of things lasted for many
years. The shōguns during all this time were children sent from Kyōto,
sons of emperors or connections of the royal family. The Hōjō ruled them
as well as the country. Whenever it seemed best, they relentlessly deposed
them, and set up others in their places. In A.D. 1289 the Regent Sadatoki,
it is said, became irritated with one of these semi-royal shōguns, named
Koreyasu, and in order to show his contempt for him, had him put in a
_nori-mono_(126) with his heels upward, and sent him under guard to Kyōto.
Some of the Hōjō regents, however, were men of character and efficiency.
Yasutoki, for instance, who became regent in A.D. 1225, was a man of
notable executive ability, taking Yoritomo as his model. Besides being a
soldier of tried capacity, he was a true friend of the farmer in his
seasons of famine and trial, and a promoter of legal reforms and of the
arts, which found a congenial home among the Japanese.

But this condition of affairs could not last always. The very same
influences which put the real power into the hands of the regents were at
work to render them unfit to continue to wield it. Abdication and
effeminacy were gradually dragging down the Hōjō family to the same level
as that of the shōguns and emperors. In A.D. 1256 Tokiyori, then only
thirty years old, resigned the regency in favor of his son Tokimune, who
was only six years. He himself retired to a monastery, from which he
travelled as a visiting monk throughout the country. In the meantime his
son was under the care of a tutor, Nagatoki, who, of course, was one of
the Hōjō family. Thus it had come about that a tutor now controlled the
regent; who was supposed to control the shōgun; who was supposed to be the
vassal of the emperor; who in turn was generally a child under the control
of a corrupt and venal court. Truly government in Japan had sunk to its
lowest point, and it was time for heroic remedies!

Occasionally, in the midst of this corruption and inefficiency, an event
occurs which stirs up the national enthusiasm and makes us feel that there
is still left an element of heroism which will ultimately redeem the
nation from impending ruin. Such was the Mongolian invasion of Japan in
A.D. 1281. According to accounts given by Marco Polo, who evidently
narrates the exaggerated gossip of the Chinese court,(127) Kublai Khan had
at this time conquered the Sung dynasty in China and reigned with
unexampled magnificence. He had heard of the wealth of Japan and deemed it
an easy matter to add this island empire to his immense dominions. His
first step was to despatch an embassy to the Japanese court to demand the
subjection of the country to his authority. This embassy was referred to
Kamakura, whence it was indignantly dismissed. Finally he sent an invading
force in a large number of Chinese and Korean vessels who took possession
of Tsushima, an island belonging to Japan and lying midway between Korea
and Japan. Trusting to the effects of this success a new embassy was sent,
which was brought before the Hōjō regent at Kamakura. The spot on the
seashore is still pointed out where these imperious ambassadors were put
to death, and thus a denial which could not be misunderstood was given to
the demands of the Grand Khan. A great invading force, which the Japanese
put at a hundred thousand men, was immediately sent in more than three
hundred vessels, who landed upon the island of Kyūshū. This army was met
and defeated(128) by Tokimune, and, a timely typhoon coming to their aid,
the fleet of vessels was completely destroyed. Thus the only serious
attempt at the invasion of Japan which has ever been made was completely

But notwithstanding this heroic episode the affairs of Japan remained in
the same deplorable condition. As a rule children continued to occupy the
imperial throne and to abdicate whenever their Hōjō masters deemed it
best. Children of the imperial house or of the family of Fujiwara were
sent to Kamakura to become shōguns. And now at last the Hōjō regency had
by successive steps come down to the same level, and children were made
regents, whose actions and conduct were controlled by their inferiors.

In the midst of this state of things, which continued till A.D. 1318,
Go-Daigo became emperor. Contrary to the ordinary usage, he was a man
thirty-one years old, in the full maturity of his powers. He was by no
means free from the vices to which his surroundings inevitably tended. He
was fond of the gayety and pomp which the court had always cultivated. But
he realized the depth of the degradation to which the present condition of
affairs had dragged his country. A famine brought great suffering upon the
people, and the efforts which the emperor made to assist them added to his
popularity, and revealed to him the reverence in which the imperial throne
was held. His son Moriyoshi, as early as A.D. 1307, was implicated in
plans against the Hōjō, which they discovered, and in consequence
compelled Go-Daigo to order his retirement into a monastery. Later
Go-Daigo undertook to make a stand against the arrogance and intolerance
of the Hōjō and induced the Buddhist monks to join him in fortifying
Kasagi in the province of Yamato. But this effort of the emperor was
fruitless. Kasagi was attacked and destroyed and the emperor taken
prisoner. As a punishment for his attempt he was sent as an exile to the
island of Oki. The Hōjō Regent Takatoki put Go-Kōgen on the throne as
emperor. But Go-Daigo from his exile continued his exertions against the
Hōjō, and assistance came to him from unexpected quarters. He effected his
escape from the island and, having raised an army, marched upon Kyōto.
Kusunoki Masashigé, who had given his aid to the emperor on former
occasions, now exerted himself to good purpose. He is held in admiring
remembrance to this day by his grateful country as the model of patriotic
devotion, to whom his emperor was dearer than his life. Another character
who stands out prominently in this trying time was Nitta Yoshisada. He was
a descendant of Yoshiiye, who, for his achievements against the Emishi,
had received the popular title of Hachiman-tarō. Nitta was a commander in
the army of the Hōjō, which had been sent against Kusunoki Masashigé. But
at the last moment he refused to fight against the army of the emperor and
retired with his troops and went over to the side of Masashigé. He
returned to his own province of Kōtsuke and raised an army to fight
against the Hōjō. With this force he marched at once against Kamakura
through the province of Sagami. His route lay along the beach. But at
Inamura-ga-saki the high ground, which is impassable for troops, juts out
so far into the water that Nitta was unable to lead them past the
promontory. Alone he clambered up the mountain path and looked out upon
the sea that lay in his way. He was bitterly disappointed that he could
not bring his force in time to share in the attack upon the hateful Hōjō
capital. He prayed to the Sea-god to withdraw the sea and allow him to
pass with his troops. Then he flung his sword into the waves in token of
his earnestness and of the dire necessity in which he found himself.
Thereupon the tide retreated and left a space of a mile and a half, along
which Nitta(129) marched upon Kamakura.

The attack was spirited and was made from three directions simultaneously.
It was resisted with determined valor on the part of the Hōjō. The city
was finally set on fire by Nitta, and in a few hours was reduced to ashes.
Thus the power and the arrogant tyranny of the Hōjō family were sealed. It
had lasted from the death of Yoritomo, A.D. 1199, to the destruction of
Kamakura, A.D. 1333, in all one hundred and thirty-four years. It was a
rough and tempestuous time and the Hōjō have left a name in their country
of unexampled cruelty and rapacity. The most unpardonable crime of which
they were guilty was that of raising their sacrilegious hands against the
emperor and making war against the imperial standard. For this they must
rest under the charge of treason, and no merits however great or
commanding can ever excuse them in the eyes of their patriotic countrymen.

The restoration of Go-Daigo to the imperial throne, under so popular an
uprising, seemed to betoken a return to the old and simple system of
Japanese government. The intervention of a shōgun between the emperor and
his people, which had lasted from the time of Yoritomo, was contrary to
the precedents which had prevailed from the Emperor Jimmu down to that
time. It was the hope and wish of the best friends of the government at
this time to go back to the original precedents and govern the country
directly from Kyōto with the power and authority derived from the emperor.
But the emperor was not equal to so radical a change from the methods
which had prevailed for more than a century. He gave great offence by the
manner in which he distributed the forfeited fiefs among those who had
aided his restoration. To Ashikaga Taka-uji he awarded by far the greatest
prize, while to Kusunoki and Nitta, who had in the popular estimation done
much more for him, he allotted comparatively small rewards. Among the
soldiers, who in the long civil wars had lost the ability to devote
themselves to peaceful industries, this disappointment was most
conspicuous. They had expected to be rewarded with lands and subordinate
places, which would enable them to live in that feudal comfort to which
they deemed their exertions had entitled them.

At this time a feud broke out between Ashikaga Taka-uji and Nitta. The
former had accused Nitta of unfaithfulness to his emperor and Nitta was
able to disprove the charge. He received the imperial commission to punish
Ashikaga and marched with his army upon him in the province of Tōtōmi. In
the battles (A.D. 1336) which ensued, the forces of Ashikaga were
completely victorious. The emperor and his court were obliged to flee from
Kyōto and took up their residence in a Buddhist temple at Yoshino in the
mountainous district south of Kyōto. This was the same monastery where
Yoshitsuné and Benkei had taken refuge previous to their escape into
Mutsu. Almost every tree and every rock in the picturesque grounds of this
romantic spot(130) bear some evidence of the one or other of these
memorable refugees. The southern dynasty lasted in all fifty-seven years,
down to A.D. 1374, and although it was compelled to starve out a miserable
existence in exile from the capital, it is yet looked upon by historians
as the legitimate branch; while the northern dynasty, which enjoyed the
luxury of a palace and of the capital, is condemned as illegitimate.

This period of exile witnessed many notable events in the bloody history
of the country. Ashikaga Taka-uji was of course the ruling spirit while he
lived. He proclaimed that Go-Daigo had forfeited the throne and put Kōmyō
Tennō, a brother of Kōgen Tennō upon it in his stead. The insignia of the
imperial power were in the possession of Go-Daigo, but Kōmyō, being
supported by the battalions of Ashikaga, cared little for these empty
baubles. The bloody sequence of affairs brought with it the death of the
heroic Kusunoki Masashige. He with Nitta and other patriots had undertaken
to support Go-Daigo. It is said that contrary to his military judgment he
attacked the forces of Ashikaga, which were vastly superior in number. The
battle took place A.D. 1336, on the Minato-gawa, near the present site of
Hyōgo. The Ashikaga forces had cut off Kusunoki with a small band of
devoted followers from the main army. Seeing that his situation was
hopeless and that his brave troops must be destroyed, with one hundred and
fifty men—all that were left of his little army—he retired to a farmer’s
house near by and there they all committed _hara-kiri_.(131) Kusunoki
Masashige, when about to commit suicide, said to his son Masatsura: “For
the sake of keeping yourself out of danger’s way or of reaping some
temporal advantage, on no account are you to submit to Taka-uji. By so
doing you would bring reproach on our name. While there is a man left who
belongs to us let our flag be hoisted over the battlements of Mount Konzo,
as a sign that we are still ready to fight in the emperor’s cause.”

A little later than this, in A.D. 1338, the great companion and friend of
Kusunoki, Nitta Yoshisada, came to his end. He had undertaken to promote
the cause of the Emperor Go-Daigo in the northwestern provinces by
co-operating with Fuji-wara-no-Yoritomo. Nitta with about fifty followers
was unexpectedly attacked by Ashikaga Tadatsune, with three thousand men
near Fukui in the province of Echizen. There was no way of escape with his
little troop. In this condition he was urged to secure his personal
safety. But he refused to survive his comrades. Then he rode with his
brave company upon the enemy until his horse was disabled and he himself
was pierced in the eye with an arrow. He drew out the arrow with his own
hand, and then, in order that his body might not be identified, with his
sword cut off his own head, at least so it is said! Each member of his
troop followed this grewsome example, and it was only after examining the
bodies of these headless corpses and the finding upon one a commission
from the Emperor Go-Daigo, that the remains of the heroic Nitta were
recognized. The head was sent to Kyōto and there exposed by the Ashikaga
commander, and the body was buried near the place where the tragic death

The Ashikaga family had now the uninterrupted control of affairs. They
resided at Kyōto and inherited in succession the office of shōgun.
Taka-uji, the founder of the Ashikaga shōgunate, and who had held the
office from A.D. 1334, died in A.D. 1358, when about fifty-three years
old. He was succeeded by his son Yoshinori who was shōgun from A.D. 1359
to A.D. 1367. Having retired he was succeeded by his grandson Yoshimitsu
who in turn retired in favor of his son Yoshimotsu. By this time the
precedents of abdication and effeminacy began to tell upon the Ashikaga
successors, and like all the preceding ruling families it gradually sank
into the usual insignificance. Some of the Ashikaga shōguns, however, were
men of uncommon ability and their services to their country deserve to be
gratefully remembered. A number of them were men of culture and evinced
their love of elegance and refinement by the palaces which they built in
Kyōto. Ashikaga Yoshimitsu was shōgun from A.D. 1368 to 1393, and at the
latter date retired in favor of his young son Yoshimotsu, but lived in
official retirement in Kyōto till A.D. 1409. He built the palace now known
as the Buddhist monastery Kinkakuji.(133) Its name is derived from
_kinkaku_ (golden pavilion) which Yoshimitsu erected. The whole palace was
bequeathed by him to the Zen sect of Buddhists and is still one of the
sights best worth seeing in Kyōto.

Yoshimitsu has been visited by much obloquy because he accepted from the
Chinese government the title of King of Japan, and pledged himself to the
payment of one thousand ounces of gold as a yearly tribute. It is said in
explanation of this tribute that it was to compensate for damages done by
Japanese pirates to Chinese shipping. But it was probably negotiated for
the purpose of securing an ambitious title on the one hand and on the
other making a troublesome neighbor a tributary kingdom.

Another building which takes its origin from the Ashikaga is the Tō-ji-in.
It was founded by Ashikaga Taka-uji and contains carved and lacquered
wooden figures of the Ashikaga shōguns which are believed in most cases to
be contemporary portraits.(134)

Another of the notable Ashikaga shōguns was Yoshimasa, who held the office
from A.D. 1443-1473. He retired at the latter date, and lived as retired
shōgun until A.D. 1490. In this interval of seclusion he cultivated the
arts, and posed as the patron of literature and painting. That curious
custom called _cha-no-yu_, or tea ceremonies,(135) is usually adjudged to
him as its originator, but it is most probable that he only adopted and
refined it until it became the fashionable craze which has come down to
modern times. These ceremonies and his other modes of amusement were
conducted in a palace which he had built called _gin-kaku_ (silver
pavilion). Yoshimasa left this palace to the monks of Shō-koku-ji, with
directions that it should be converted into a monastery, and in that
capacity it still serves at the present time.

The period of the two imperial dynasties lasted until A.D. 1392, when a
proposition was made by the Shōgun Yoshimitsu to the then reigning emperor
of the south, that the rivalry should be healed. It was agreed that
Go-Kameyama of the southern dynasty should come to Kyōto and surrender the
insignia to Go-Komatsu, the ruling emperor of the northern dynasty. This
was duly accomplished, and Go-Kameyama, having handed over the insignia to
Go-Komatsu, took the position of retired emperor. Thus the long rivalry
between the northern and southern dynasties was ended, and Go-Komatsu
stands as the ninety-ninth in the official list of emperors. In that list,
however, none of the other emperors(136) of the northern dynasty appear,
they being regarded as pretenders, and in no case entitled to the dignity
of divine rulers of Japan.

This settlement of dynastic difficulties and the unrestricted ascendancy
of the Ashikaga shōguns gave the country a little interval of peace. The
condition of the peasantry at this time was most deplorable. The continual
wars between neighboring lords and with the shōguns had kept in the field
armies of military men, who were forced to subsist on contributions
exacted from the tillers of the soil. The farmers everywhere were kept in
a state of uncertainty, and had little encouragement to cultivate crops
which were almost sure to fall into the hands of others.

On the coasts of Kyūshū and other islands facing towards the continent
piracy also sprang up and flourished apace. It was indeed an era of piracy
all over the world. The Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch traders of this
period were almost always ready to turn an honest penny by seizing an
unfortunate vessel under the pretence that it was a pirate. The whole
coast of China, according to the accounts of Pinto, swarmed with both
European and Asiatic craft, which were either traders or pirates,
according to circumstances. Under this state of things, and with the
pressure of lawlessness and want behind them, it was not surprising that
the inhabitants of the western coasts of Japan should turn to a piratical

Knowing the Japanese only since centuries of enforced isolation had made
them unaccustomed to creep beyond their own shores, we can scarcely
conceive of their hardihood and venturesomeness during and subsequent to
this active period. Mr. Satow(137) has gathered a most interesting series
of facts pertaining to the intercourse between Japan and Siam, beginning
at a period as early as that now under review. Not only did this
intercourse consist in sending vessels laden with chattels for traffic,
but a colony of Japanese and a contingent of Japanese troops formed part
of the assistance which Japan furnished to her southern neighbor.

While these signs of activity were apparent on the coast, the provinces in
the interior were alive with political unrest. Particularly the principal
daimyōs, who had never since the days of Yoritomo felt a master’s power
over them, took the present occasion to extend their dominions over their
neighbors. For centuries the conflicts among them were almost unending. It
is needless to undertake to disentangle the story of their wars. These
daimyōs were a far more distinct and pressing reality than the harmless
emperor, or even than the far-removed shōgun. While their ceaseless civil
wars rendered the condition of the country so uncertain and so unsettled,
yet the authority of the local rulers tended to preserve peace and
dispense a rude kind of justice among their own subjects. Thus while in
many parts of Japan poverty and desolation had eaten up everything, and
lawlessness and robbery had put an end to industry, yet there were some
favored parts of the islands where the strong hand of the daimyōs
preserved for their people the opportunities of life, and kept alive the
chances of industry.(138)


In almost the worst period of the Ashikaga anarchy, A.D. 1542, the
Portuguese made their first appearance in Japan. Galvano, who had been
governor of the Moluccas, gives an account of this first visit, when three
fugitives from a Portuguese vessel in a Chinese junk were driven upon the
islands of southern Japan. Concerning the doings(139) of these fugitives
we have no account in any foreign narratives.

But Fernam Mendez Pinto,(140) in his travels, etc., gives a detailed
narrative of the visit which he and his companions made a few years later
in a ship with a Chinese captain and merchandise. The exact year cannot be
ascertained from Pinto’s narrative, but Hildreth(141) assumes that it
could not have been earlier than A.D. 1545. Pinto landed on Tane-ga-shima,
an island south of the extreme southern point of the island of Kyūshū.
They were received with great cordiality by the prince, who evinced the
utmost curiosity concerning the Portuguese who were on this ship. Pinto
naïvely confesses that “we rendered him answers as might rather fit his
humor than agree with the truth, ... that so we might not derogate from
the great opinion he had conceived of our country.”(142)

As a return for some of the kindnesses which the prince showed them, the
Portuguese gave him a _harquebuse_, and explained to him the method of
making powder. The present seems to have been most acceptable, and Pinto
declares the armorers commenced at once to make imitations of it, “so that
before their departure (which was five months and a half after) there were
six hundred of them made in the country.” And a few years later he was
assured that there were above thirty thousand in the city of Fucheo,(143)
the capital of Bungo, and above three hundred thousand in the whole
province. And so they have increased from this one _harquebuse_ which they
gave to the prince of Tane-ga-shima, until every hamlet and city in the
empire in a short time were supplied with them.(144)

A short time after their reception at Tane-ga-shima the Prince of Bungo,
who was a relative of the Prince of Tane-ga-shima, sent for one of the
Portuguese, and Pinto, by his own consent, was selected as being of a
“more lively humor.” He was received with great consideration, and proved
himself of vast service in curing the prince of gout, with which he was
affected. His success in this cure gave him immense repute, and he was
initiated into all the gayeties and sports of the prince’s court. In
particular he amused and interested them all by firing the matchlock which
he had brought with him. A son of the prince of about sixteen or seventeen
years of age was infatuated with this sport, and one day, unknown to
Pinto, he undertook to load and fire the matchlock, as he had seen the
foreigner do. An explosion occurred, by which the young prince was much
injured, and owing to this Pinto came near being put to death for having
wrought this disaster. But the young prince had more sense than the
attendants, and at his request Pinto was given a chance to bind up the
wounds and take care of him. The result was that the young prince quickly
recovered, and the fame of this cure was spread everywhere. “So that,”
says Pinto, “after this sort I received in recompense of this my cure
above fifteen hundred ducats that I carried with me from this place.”

Pinto made a second visit to Japan in the interests of trade in 1547,
which was attended by a circumstance which had far-reaching results. In
critical circumstances they were called upon to take off two fugitives who
appealed to them from the shore. A company of men on horseback demanded
the return of the fugitives, but without answer they pulled off to the
ship and took them aboard. The principal of these two fugitives(145) was
Anjiro, whom the Jesuits usually name Anger, and his companion was his
servant. They were taken in the Portuguese vessel to Malacca, where Pinto
met Father Francis Xavier, who had just arrived upon his mission to the
East. Xavier became intensely interested in these Japanese fugitives, and
took them to Goa, then the principal seat of Jesuit learning and the seat
of an archbishopric in the East Indies. Here both the Japanese became
converts and were baptized, Anjiro receiving the name of Paulo de Santa
Fé(146) (Paul of the Holy Faith), and his companion the name of John. They
learned to speak and write the Portuguese language, and were instructed in
the elements of the Christian religion. With these efficient helps Xavier
was ready to enter Japan and commence the evangelization on which his
heart had long been set.

At last arrangements were made with a Chinese vessel, which according to
Pinto’s account was a piratical craft, to convey Xavier and his companions
to Japan. They arrived at Kagoshima, the capital of the province of
Satsuma, August 15, A.D. 1549. Besides Xavier and his Japanese companions
there were Cosme de Torres, a priest, and Jean Ferdinand, a brother of the
Society of Jesus. They were cordially received by the Prince of Satsuma,
and after a little, permission was given them to preach the Christian
religion in the city of Kagoshima. The family and relatives of Anjiro, who
lived in Kagoshima, were converted and became the first fruits of the
mission. In the letters which Xavier wrote home about this time we have
his early impressions concerning the Japanese. The princess took great
interest in the subjects discussed by Anjiro, and was especially struck
with a picture of the Madonna and child which he showed her. She asked to
have the heads of the Christian faith put in writing in order that she
might study them. For this reason a creed and a catechism were prepared
and translated into the Japanese language, for the use of the princess and
other enquirers. In one of his early letters he says: “I really think that
among barbarous nations there can be none that has more natural goodness
than Japan.”(147) In the same letter he says: “They are wonderfully
inclined to see all that is good and honest and have an eagerness to
learn.” Xavier, in letter 79, narrates his meeting with the Buddhist
priest whom he calls Ningh-Sit, which name he says means Heart of Truth.
This priest was eighty years old, and in the conversation expressed great
surprise that Xavier should have come all the way from Portugal to preach
to the Japanese.

The biographers of Xavier have given us the fullest details of his life
and works. That he was a man of the most fervent piety as well as the most
conspicuous ability, is apparent from the energy and success with which he
conducted his short but brilliant mission. Both in their accounts of him,
as well as in the papal bull announcing his canonization, the claim is
distinctly set forth of his possession of miraculous power. He is
represented as having raised a Japanese girl from the dead; as possessing
the gift of tongues, that is, as being able to speak in fluent Japanese,
although he had not learned the language; as having given an answer which
when heard was a satisfactory reply to the most various and different
questions,(148) such as, “the immortality of the soul, the motions of the
heavens, the eclipses of the sun and moon, the colors of the rainbow, sin
and grace, heaven and hell.”


                           St. Francis Xavier.

Yet it must be stated that Xavier himself does not claim these miraculous
powers. Indeed among the letters published by Father Horace Tursellini is
one in which he thus speaks of himself: “God grant that as soon as
possible we may learn the language of Japan in order to make known the
divine mysteries; then we shall zealously prosecute our Christian work.
For they speak and discourse much about us, but we are silent, ignorant of
the language of the country. At present we are become a child again to
learn the elements of the language.”

The desire for trade with the Portuguese seems to have been a principal
reason for the ready reception of the missionaries. And when the
Portuguese merchant ships resorted to Hirado, an island off the west coast
of Kyūshū, instead of the less accessible Kagoshima, the Prince of
Kagoshima turned against the missionaries and forbade them from preaching
and proselyting. From Kagoshima Xavier went to Hirado, where he was
received with a salvo of artillery from a Portuguese vessel then at anchor
there. Here he made a short stay, preaching the gospel as usual and with
the approval of the prince establishing a church. Leaving Kosmé de Torres
at Hirado and taking with him Fernandez and the two Japanese assistants he
touched at Hakata, famous as the place where the Mongol invaders were
repulsed. Then he crossed over to the Main island and travelling by land
along the Sanyōdō he entered Yamaguchi in the province of Nagato. His
humble and forlorn appearance did not produce a favorable impression on
the people of this city and he was driven out with obloquy. He set out for
Kyōto with a party of Japanese merchants, and as it was winter and Xavier
had to carry; on his back a box containing the vestments and vessels for
the celebration of mass, the journey was trying and difficult. He arrived
at Kyōto A.D. 1550 in the midst of great political troubles. A fire had
destroyed a great part of what had been once a beautiful and luxurious
city. Many of the principal citizens had abandoned it and taken up their
residence with local princes in the provinces. Xavier could obtain a
hearing neither from the emperor nor from the Ashikaga shōguns, who
maintained a representative in the capital at this time. He preached in
the street as he could obtain opportunity. But the atmosphere was
everywhere unfavorable, and he resolved to abandon the field for the
present. Accordingly he went back to Bungo, whence he sailed for China
November 20, A.D. 1551, with the purpose of establishing a mission. He had
spent two years and three months in Japan and left an impression which has
never been effaced. He died on his way, at the little island of Sancian,
December 2, A.D. 1552, aged forty-six. His body was carried to Malacca and
afterward to Goa, where it was buried in the archiepiscopal

The departure and death of Xavier did not interrupt the work of the
mission in Japan. Kosmé de Torres was left in charge and additional
helpers, both priests and lay brothers, were sent to prosecute what had
been so conspicuously begun. The political disturbances in Yamaguchi for a
time interfered with the labors of the missionaries there. Bungo was the
principal province where their encouragement had made their success most
conspicuous. The prince had not indeed been baptized but he had permitted
the fathers to preach and he had allowed converts to adopt the new
religion, so that the work had assumed a promising appearance. The Prince
of Ōmura became a convert and by his zeal in the destruction of idols and
other extreme measures aroused the hostility of the Buddhist priesthood.
In Kyōto the progress of the work encountered many vicissitudes. The
political troubles arising out of the contests between Mōri of Chōshū and
the rival house interfered with the propagation of Christianity both in
Yamaguchi and Kyōto. Mōri himself, the most powerful prince of his time
and who once held the control in ten provinces, was hostile to the
Christians. By his influence the work in Kyōto was temporarily abandoned
and the fathers resorted to Sakai, a seaport town not far from Ōsaka,
where a branch mission was established.

It was in A.D. 1573 that Nagasaki became distinctively a Christian city.
At that time the Portuguese were seeking various ports in which they could
conduct a profitable trade, and they found that Nagasaki possessed a
harbor in which their largest ships could ride at anchor. The merchants
and Portuguese fathers therefore proposed to the Prince of Ōmura, in whose
territory the port of Nagasaki was situated, to grant to them the town
with jurisdiction over it. The prince at first refused, but finally by the
intervention of the Prince of Arima the arrangement was made.(150) The
transference to Nagasaki of the foreign trade at this early day made it a
very prosperous place. The Prince of Ōmura had the town laid out in
appropriate streets, and Christian churches were built often on the sites
of Buddhist temples which were torn down to give place for them. It is
said that in A.D. 1567 “there was hardly a person who was not a

We shall have occasion often in the subsequent narrative to refer to the
progress of Christianity in the empire. In the meantime we must trace the
career of Nobunaga, who exerted a powerful effect on the affairs of his
country and particularly upon the condition of both Buddhism and
Christianity. He must be regarded always as one of the great men of Japan
who at an opportune moment intervened to rescue its affairs from anarchy.
He prepared the way for Hideyoshi and he, in turn, made it possible for
Ieyasu to establish a peace which lasted without serious interruption for
two hundred and fifty years.

Ota Nobunaga was descended from the Taira family through Ota Chikazane, a
great-grandson of Taira Kiyomori. The father of Chikazane had perished in
the wars between the Taira and Minamoto families, and his mother had
married as her second husband the chief man in the village of Tsuda in the
province of Ōmi. The step-child was adopted by a Shintō priest of the
village of Ota in the province of Echizen, and received the name of Ota
Chikazane. When he grew up, he became a Shintō priest and married and
became the father of a line of priests. One of this succession was Ota
Nobuhide, who seems to have reverted from the priestly character back to
the warlike habits of his ancestors. In the general scramble for land,
which characterized that period, Nobuhide acquired by force of arms
considerable possessions in the province of Owari, which at his death in
A.D. 1549 he left to his son Ota Nobunaga. This son grew up to be a man of
large stature, but slender and delicate in frame. He was brave beyond the
usual reckless bravery of his countrymen. He was by character and training
fitted for command, and in the multifarious career of his busy life, in
expeditions, battles, and sieges, he showed himself the consummate
general. Like many other men of genius he was not equally as skilful in
civil as military affairs. He was ambitious to reduce the disorders of his
country, and he was able to see in a great measure the success of his
schemes. But he failed in leaving when he died any security for the
preservation and continuance of that peace and unity which he had

At the time Nobunaga became prominent, the Emperor Go-Nara had died and
Ōgimachi in A.D. 1560 had just succeeded to the throne as the one hundred
and fifth emperor. Ashikaga Yoshifusa had become shōgun in A.D. 1547 as a
boy eleven years old, and was at this time a young man, who as usual
devoted himself to pleasure while the affairs of government were conducted
by others. Both emperor and shōgun were almost powerless in the empire,
the real power being held by the local princes. In many cases they had
largely increased their holdings by conquest, and were almost entirely
independent of the central authority. For more than a century this
independence had been growing, and at the time of Nobunaga there was
little pretence of deferring to the shōgun in any matter growing out of
the relations of one prince to the other, and none at all in reference to
the internal government of the territories within their jurisdiction. The
principal local rulers at this time were the following: Imagaya Yoshimoto
controlled the three provinces of Suruga, Tōtōmi, and Mikawa; Hōjō Ujiyasu
from the town of Odowara ruled the Kwanto, including the provinces of
Sagami, Musashi, Awa, Kazusa, Shimosa, Hitachi, Kōtsuke, and Shimotsuke;
Takeda Shingen ruled the province of Kai and the greater part of the
mountainous province of Shinano; Uesugi Kenshin held under his control the
northwestern provinces of Echizen, Echigo, Etchū, and Noto; Mōri Motonari
after a severe contest had obtained control of almost all the sixteen
provinces which composed the Chūgoku or central country; the island of
Kyūshū had been the scene of frequent civil wars and was now divided
between the houses of Shimazu of Satsuma, Ōtomo of Bungo, and Ryōzoji of
Hizen; and finally the island of Shikoku was under the control of
Chōsokabe Motochika.(151) Besides these principal rulers, there were many
smaller holders who occupied fiefs subordinate to the great lords, and
paid for their protection and their suzerainty in tribute and military
service. In the letters of the Jesuit missionaries of this period the
great lords are denominated _kings_, but neither according to the theory
of the Japanese government, nor the actual condition of these rulers can
the name be considered appropriate. The term daimyō(152) came into its
full and modern use only when Ieyasu reorganized and consolidated the
feudal system of the empire. But even at the period of Nobunaga the name
was employed to indicate the owners of land. We prefer to continue down to
the time of the Tokugawa shōguns the use of the terms _prince_ and
_principality_ for the semi-independent rulers and their territories.

The holdings which Ota Nobunaga inherited from his father consisted only
of four small properties in the province of Owari. Acting according to the
fashion of the times he gradually extended his authority, until by A.D.
1559 we find him supreme in Owari with his chief castle at Kiyosu near to
the city of Nagoya. His leading retainers and generals were Shibata
Genroku and Sakuma Yemon, to whom must be added Hideyoshi,(153) who
gradually and rapidly rose from obscurity to be the main reliance of his
prince. Nobunaga was a skilful general, and whenever an interval occurred
in his expeditions against his hostile neighbors he employed the time in
carefully drilling his troops, and preparing them for their next
movements. He found in Hideyoshi an incomparable strategist, whose plans,
artifices, and intrigues were original and effective, and were worth more
to his master than thousands of troops.

It was not difficult in those days to find excuses to invade neighboring
domains, and hence we find Nobunaga, as soon as he had made himself master
of Owari, on one pretext or another making himself also master of the
provinces of Mino, Ōmi, and Isé. Before this was accomplished, however, we
see plain indications both on the part of Nobunaga and his retainers that
the ultimate aim in view was the subjugation of the whole country, and the
establishment of a government like that of Yoritomo.

At this time (A.D. 1567) the affairs of the Ashikaga shōguns, who ruled in
the name of the emperor, were in a state of great confusion. Yoshiteru,
the shōgun, had been assassinated by one of his retainers, Miyoshi
Yoshitsugu. The younger brother of Yoshiteru was Yoshiaki, who desired to
succeed, but this did not comport with the designs of the assassins.
Accordingly after making several unsuccessful applications for military
aid he finally applied to Nobunaga. This was exactly the kind of alliance
that Nobunaga wanted to justify his schemes of national conquest. With his
own candidate in the office of shōgun, he could proceed without impediment
to reduce all the princes of the empire to his supreme authority. He
therefore undertook to see Yoshiaki established as shōgun, and for this
purpose marched a large army into Kyōto. Yoshiaki was installed as shōgun
in A.D. 1568, and at his suggestion the emperor conferred on Nobunaga the
title of Fuku-shōgun(154) or vice-shōgun. This was Nobunaga’s first
dealings with the imperial capital, and the presence of his large army
created a panic among the inactive and peaceful citizens.

He appointed Hideyoshi as commander-in-chief of the army at the capital,
who with a sagacity and energy that belonged to his character set himself
to inspire confidence and to overcome the prejudice which everywhere
prevailed against the new order of things. Kyōto had suffered so much from
fires and warlike attacks, and still more by poverty and neglect, that it
was now in a lamentable condition. To have somebody, therefore, with the
power and spirit to accomplish his ends, undertake to repair some of the
wastes, and put in order what had long run to ruin, was an unexpected and
agreeable surprise. The palaces of the emperor and the shōgun were
repaired and made suitable as habitations for the heads of the nation.
Streets and bridges, temples and grounds were everywhere put in order.
Kyōto for the first time in many centuries had the benefit of a good and
strong government.

It was the custom to celebrate the establishment of a new year-period with
popular rejoicings. The period called Genki was begun in December A.D.
1570 by the Emperor Ōgimachi. Nobunaga brought to Kyōto on this occasion a
very large army in order to impress on the minds of the nation his
overwhelming military power. He intended, moreover, to march his forces,
as soon as this celebration was over, against Prince Asakura Yoshikage of
the province of Echizen, who had not yet submitted himself to Nobunaga’s
authority, and who had not given in his adhesion to the new shōgun. Taking
with him Hideyoshi and all the troops that could be spared from Kyōto,
Nobunaga marched north into the domains of Yoshikage. He was aided in his
resistance by Asai Nagamasa, the governor of the castle of Itami in the
province of Ōmi. An attempt had been made by Nobunaga to conciliate
Nagamasa by giving him his sister in marriage. But Nagamasa was still
cool, and now at this critical time he turned to help Nobunaga’s enemy.
The unexpected combination came very near causing Nobunaga a disastrous
defeat. At an important battle which was fought in this short campaign, we
see together the three most noted men of their time, Nobunaga, Hideyoshi,
and Ieyasu. The last of the three was only a few years younger than
Hideyoshi, and had already shown indications of the clear and steady
character of which he afterward gave such indubitable proof. The result
was the defeat of Nobunaga’s enemies and his victorious return to the
castle of Gifu in the province of Mino.

But his way was not yet quite free from obstacles. Asakura Yoshikage and
Asai Nagamasa although defeated were not crushed, and made various efforts
to regain the advantage over Nobunaga. The most noted of these was when
Nobunaga was absent from Kyōto with troops quelling a disturbance in
Ōsaka, Asakura and Asai took advantage of the opportunity and marched a
strong force upon the city. They had proceeded as far as Hiei-zan on the
borders of Lake Biwa. This mountain was then occupied by an immense
Buddhist monastery called Enriaku-ji from the year-period when it was
established. It was said, that at this time there were as many as three
thousand buildings belonging to the monastery. The monks of this
establishment were exceedingly independent, and were so numerous and
powerful that they were able to exact whatever concessions they desired
from the government at Kyōto, from which they were only a few miles
distant. They disliked Nobunaga and his powerful government with which
they dared not take their usual liberties. Accordingly they made common
cause with Asakura and Asai and furnished them with shelter and supplies
on their march to Kyōto. But Nobunaga met them before they reached Kyōto,
and so hemmed them in that they were glad to sue for peace and get back to
their own provinces as well as they could. But on the ill-fated monastery
Nobunaga in A.D. 1571 visited a terrible revenge. He burned their
buildings, and what monks survived the slaughter he drove into banishment.
The monastery was partially restored subsequently by Ieyasu, but it was
restricted to one hundred and twenty-five buildings and never afterwards
was a political power in the country.

During these years of Nobunaga’s supremacy, the Jesuit fathers had been
pushing forward their work of proselyting and had met with marvellous
success. The action of the Buddhist priests in siding with his enemies and
the consequent aversion with which he regarded them, led Nobunaga to favor
the establishment of Christian churches. In the letters of the fathers at
this period frequent references are made to Nobunaga and of his favorable
attitude toward Christianity and their hope that he would finally become a
convert. But it is plain that the fathers did not comprehend fully the
cause for the enmity of Nobunaga to the Buddhist monks, and his political
reasons for showing favor to the Christian fathers. He remained as long as
he lived friendly to the Christian church, but made no progress towards an
avowal of his faith. Under his patronage a church was built in Kyōto, and
another at Azuchi on Lake Biwa, where he built for himself a beautiful
castle and residence. By this patronage and the zeal of the fathers the
Christian church rose to its greatest prosperity(155) during the closing
years of Nobunaga’s life. In the year A.D. 1582 a mission was sent to the
pope, consisting of representatives from the Christian princes of Bungo,
Arima, and Ōmura. This mission consisted of two young Christian princes
about sixteen years of age, accompanied by two counsellors who were of
more mature years, and by Father Valignani, a Portuguese Jesuit, and by
Father Diego de Mesquita as their preceptor and interpreter. They visited
the capitals of Portugal and Spain, which at this time were combined under
the crown of Philip II. of Spain, and were received at both with the most
impressive magnificence. They afterward visited Rome and were met by the
body-guard of the pope and escorted into the city by a long cavalcade of
Roman nobles. They were lodged in the house of the Jesuits, whence they
were conducted by an immense procession to the Vatican. The Japanese
ambassadors rode in this procession on horseback dressed in their richest
native costume. They each presented to the pope the letter(156) which they
had brought from their prince, to which the reply of the pope was read.
The presents which they had brought were also delivered, and after a
series of most magnificent entertainments, and after they had been
decorated as Knights of the Gilded Spears, they took their departure. In
the meantime Pope Gregory XIII., who had received them, a few days later
suddenly died A.D. 1585. His successor was Pope Sixtus V., who was equally
attentive to the ambassadors, and who dismissed them with briefs addressed
to their several princes.

Shōgun Ashikaga Yoshiaki, whom Nobunaga had been instrumental in
installing, became restive in the subordinate part which he was permitted
to play. He sought out the princes who still resisted Nobunaga’s supremacy
and communicated with them in reference to combining against him. He even
went so far as to fortify some of the castles near Kyōto. Nobunaga took
strenuous measures against Yoshiaki, and in A.D. 1573 deposed him. He was
the last of the Ashikaga shōguns, and with him came to an end a dynasty
which had continued from Taka-uji in A.D. 1335 for two hundred and
thirty-eight years.

Nobunaga assumed the duties which had hitherto been performed by the
shōgun, that is he issued orders and made war and formed alliances in the
name of the emperor. But he never took the name of shōgun(157) or presumed
to act in a capacity which from the time of Yoritomo had always been
filled by a member of the Minamoto family, while he was a member of the
Taira family. Whether this was the cause of his unwillingness to call
himself by this title to which he might legitimately have aspired we can
only conjecture. Of one thing we may be sure, that he was disinclined to
arouse the enmity of the ambitious princes of the empire, whose
co-operation he still needed to establish his power on an enduring basis,
by assuming a position which centuries of usage had appropriated to
another family. The emperor bestowed upon him the title of _nai-daijin_,
which at this time however was a purely honorary designation and carried
no power with it.

The Prince of Chōsū was one of the most powerful of those who had not yet
submitted to the supremacy of Nobunaga. The present prince was Mōri
Terumoto, the grandson of the Mōri Motonari who by conquest had made
himself master of a large part of the central provinces. Nobunaga
despatched Hideyoshi with the best equipped army that at that time had
ever been fitted out in Japan, to subdue the provinces lying to the west
of Kyōto. He did not overrate the ability of the general to whom he
entrusted this task. They set out in the early part of the year A.D. 1578.
Their first movement was against the strongholds of the province of
Harima, which he reduced. We for the first time find mention in this
campaign of Kuroda(158) Yoshitaka, who in the invasion of Korea was a
notable figure. His services to Hideyoshi at this time were most signal.
The campaign lasted about five years and added five provinces to
Nobunaga’s dominions. Then after a visit to Kyōto he continued his
conquests, never meeting with a defeat. The most remarkable achievement
was the capture of the castle of Takamatsu, in the province of Sanuki.
This castle was built with one side protected by the Kōbe-gawa and two
lakes lying on the other sides, so that it was impossible to approach it
by land with a large force. Hideyoshi, with the genius for strategy which
marked his character, saw that the only way to capture the fort was to
drown it out with water. He then set his troops to dam up the river below
the fortress. Gradually this was accomplished and as the water rose the
occupants of the castle became more uncomfortable. Hideyoshi understanding
his master’s character feared to accomplish this important and critical
exploit without Nobunaga’s knowledge. He therefore wrote asking him to
come without delay to his assistance. Nobunaga set out with a group of
generals, among whom was Akechi Mitsuhide, with the troops under their
command. They started from Azuchi on Lake Biwa, which was occupied as
Nobunaga’s headquarters. They were to proceed to the besieged fort by the
shortest route. Nobunaga with a small escort went by way of Kyōto,
expecting soon to follow them. He took up his temporary abode in the
temple of Honnōji. It was observed that Akechi with his troops took a
different route from the others and marched towards Kyōto. When spoken to
about his purpose he exclaimed, “My enemy is in the Honnōji.” He explained
to his captains his purpose and promised them unlimited plunder if they
assisted him. He led his troops to Kyōto and directly to the Honnōji.
Nobunaga hearing the noise looked out and at once saw who were the
traitors. He defended himself for a time, but soon saw that he was
hopelessly surrounded and cut off from help. He retired to an inner room
of the temple, set it on fire, and then calmly committed _hara-kiri_. His
body was buried in the burning and falling ruins. His death occurred in
A.D. 1582.

Thus ended the career of one of Japan’s great men. He had shown the
possibility of uniting the provinces of Japan under one strong government.
He had given to Kyōto and the provinces lying east and north of it a
period of peace and quiet under which great progress had been made in
agriculture, the arts and in literature. He was a warrior and not a
statesman, and for this reason less was done than might have been in
confirming and solidifying the reforms which his conquest had made
possible. Personally he was quick-tempered and overbearing, and often gave
offence to those who were not able to see through his rough exterior to
the true and generous heart which lay beneath. The cause of the plot
against him was probably the consequence of a familiarity with which he
sometimes treated his military subordinates. It is said that on one
occasion in his palace when he had grown somewhat over-festive he took the
head of his general Akechi(159) under his arm and with his fan played a
tune upon it, using it like a drum. Akechi was mortally offended and never
forgave the humiliating joke. His treason, which resulted in Nobunaga’s
death, was the final outcome of this bit of thoughtless horse-play.


The death of Nobunaga in the forty-ninth year of his age left the country
in a critical condition. Sakuma and Shibata had been his active retainers
and generals for many years, and they had the most bitter and envious
hatred toward Hideyoshi, whom they had seen advance steadily up to and
past them in the march of military preferment. It was to Hideyoshi that
the country looked to take up the work which Nobunaga’s death had
interrupted. Akechi began to realize when too late that he must reckon
with him for his terrible crime. He appointed two of his lieutenants to
assassinate Hideyoshi on his way back to the capital. He sent word to Mōri
Terumoto, who was trying to raise the siege of the castle of Takamatsu,
concerning Nobunaga’s death, hoping that this tragedy would encourage
Terumoto to complete his designs.

In the meantime the news had reached Hideyoshi. Terumoto had heard of the
starting of Nobunaga with additional troops, and had determined to make
peace with Hideyoshi. He had sent messengers with a proposition for peace.
The measures for taking the castle had succeeded and it was surrendered.
In this state of things Hideyoshi(160) pursued a course which was
characteristic of him. He sent word to Terumoto that Nobunaga was now dead
and that therefore his proposition for peace might, if he wished, be
withdrawn. You must decide, he said, whether you will make peace or not;
it is immaterial whether I fight or conclude a treaty of peace. To such a
message there could be only one answer. Peace was at once concluded and
Hideyoshi started for Kyōto to deal with the traitors.

The attempt to assassinate Hideyoshi on his journey came very near being
successful. He was in such eagerness to reach his destination that he
hurried on without regard to his army which accompanied him. A small
body-guard kept up as well as they could with their impatient chief. At
Nishinomiya in this journey Hideyoshi, when in advance of his body-guard,
was attacked by a band of the assassins. His only way of escape was by a
narrow road between rice fields, leading to a small temple. When he had
traversed part of this lane he dismounted, turning his horse around along
the way he had come, and stabbed him in the hind leg. Mad with pain, he
galloped back with disastrous effect upon the band which was following
him. Meanwhile Hideyoshi hurried to the temple. Here the priests were all
in a big common bath-tub, taking their bath. Hastily telling them who he
was, and begging their protection, he stripped off his clothes and plunged
in among the naked priests. When the assassins arrived, they could find
nothing but a bath-tub full of priests, whom they soon left in search of
the fugitive. As they disappeared, the anxious body-guard arrived, and
were astonished and amused to find their chief clad in the garb of a
priest and refreshed after his hurried journey with a luxurious bath.(161)

Hideyoshi, as soon as he arrived at Kyōto, issued an invitation to all the
princes to join him in punishing those who had brought about the death of
Nobunaga. A battle was fought at Yodo, not far from Kyōto, which resulted
in the complete defeat of Akechi. He escaped, however, from this battle,
but on his way to his own castle he was recognized by a peasant and
wounded with a bamboo spear. Seeing now that all hope was gone, he
committed _hara-kiri_, and thus ended his inglorious career. His head was
exposed in front of Honnōji, the temple where Nobunaga perished.

As might have been expected, this premature death of Nobunaga—for he was
only forty-nine years old—created an intense excitement. The idea of
heredity had so fixed a place in men’s minds, that the only thought of
Nobunaga’s friends and retainers was to put forward in his place some one
who should be his heir. There were living two sons, both by concubines,
viz. Nobuo and Nobutaka, and a grandson, Sambōshi, still a child, who was
a son of his son Nobutada, now deceased. Each of these representatives had
supporters among the powerful retainers of the dead prince. It may be
assumed that each was supported not because of the rightful claim which he
had to the estates and the power which the dead prince had left behind
him, but solely because the supporters of the successful heir would be
entrusted with special authority, and endowed with conquered provinces. It
is sufficient to explain here that Hideyoshi supported the candidacy of
the grandson, Sambōshi, probably with no higher motive nor more
disinterested purpose than the others. After a noisy and hot debate it was
finally agreed that the grandson should be installed as successor, and
Hideyoshi undertook to be his guardian. He had a large army at Kyōto, and
with this he felt strong enough to carry things with a high hand. He
appointed a funeral ceremony to be held in honor of Nobunaga, to which all
the princes were invited, and he posted his troops in such a way as to
command every avenue of approach. He claimed for himself, as guardian of
the child Sambōshi, precedence of all the princes and generals. So at the
funeral service, with the child Sambōshi in his arms, he proceeded in
advance of all others to pay memorial honors to the dead. He supported
this action with such an overwhelming display of military force that his
enemies were afraid to show any resistance.

The disappointed princes retired to their provinces and hoped that by some
fortuitous circumstances they might still be able to circumvent the plans
of Hideyoshi. He saw well that he must meet the opposition which would be
concentrated on him by activity and force. As a general not one of his
enemies could compare with him in fertility of resources, in decisiveness
of action, and in command of military strength. His first contest was with
his old comrade in arms Shibata Katsuie, who had served with him under
Nobunaga, and who was intensely jealous of Hideyoshi’s rapid rise in
military rank and territorial authority. Shibata had championed the cause
of Nobutaka in the contest as to the successor of Nobunaga. He had command
of troops in Echizen, and Nobutaka was governor of the castle of Gifu in
the province of Mino. The campaign was a short and decisive one. The
battle was fought at Shigutake and resulted in the complete defeat of
Shibata and his allies. It is notable that in this battle artillery were
used and played a conspicuous part. Shibata after his overthrow committed
_hara-kiri_. Nobutaka having escaped also put an end to himself. Thus the
active enemies of Hideyoshi in the north and west were overcome and the
forfeited territory made use of to reward his friends.

His next contest was with the adherents of Nobuo, the other son of
Nobunaga. This was made memorable by the assistance which Ieyasu rendered
to Nobuo. Hideyoshi’s army, himself not being present, was defeated.
Ieyasu being satisfied with this victory and knowing that he could not
ultimately triumph now made peace with Hideyoshi. The island of Shikoku,
which was under the control of Chōsokabe Motochika was reduced to
subjection in a brief campaign and the chiefs compelled to do duty to
Hideyoshi as their head.

It seems that at this time Hideyoshi was ambitious to attain official
appointment which would legitimately descend to his children and make him
the founder of a new line of shōguns. He applied to the ex-shōgun
Yoshiaki, whom Nobunaga had deposed(162) and who was now living in
retirement, intimating that it would be to his interest to adopt him as
his son so that he could be appointed by the emperor as shōgun. But
Yoshiaki declined to comply with this suggestion on account of Hideyoshi’s
humble origin. In place of this appointment, however, he was installed
A.D. 1585 by the Emperor Ōgimachi as _Kuambaku_, which is higher in rank
than any other office in the gift of the imperial court. Hitherto this
title had been borne exclusively by members of the Fujiwara family, and it
must have been a severe blow to their aristocratic pride to have a humble
plebeian who had risen solely by his own talents thus elevated by imperial
appointment to this dignified position. He also received at this time the
name of Toyotomi(163) by which he was afterward called, and in recognition
of his successful conquest of much territory he received A.D. 1575 the
honorary title of Chikuzen-no-kami.

There were a few years from about A.D. 1583—with an important exception
which will be given below—when peace reigned in all the territories of
Japan, and when Hideyoshi devoted himself wisely and patiently to the
settlement of the feudal condition of the country. It was at this time he
began building his great castle at Ōsaka which occupied about two years.
Workmen were drawn from almost all parts of Japan, and a portion of it is
said to have been finer and more massive than had ever been seen in Japan.
This magnificent work(164) survived its capture by Ieyasu in 1614 and
remained undisturbed down to the wars of the restoration in 1868, when it
was burned by the Tokugawa troops at the time they were about to evacuate

The exception to which reference is made above was the important campaign
which Hideyoshi was called upon to conduct in the island of Kyūshū against
the Satsuma clan.(165) The distance at which Kyūshū lay from the centre of
imperial operations, the mountainous and inaccessible character of a great
part of the territory, made it no easy matter to deal with the refractory
inhabitants of this island. The Satsuma clan even at that early day had a
reputation for bravery and dash which made them feared by all their
neighbors. The prince of Satsuma at this time was Shimazu Yoshihisa, a
member of the same family who held the daimiate until the abolition of the
feudal system. It is a tradition that the first of this family was a son
of Yoritomo, who in the year A.D. 1193 was appointed governor of Satsuma.
Like all the feudal princes of the period, the prince of Satsuma was
ambitious to extend his dominion as far as possible. Hyūga, Bungo, Higo,
and Hizen were either wholly or in part subject to his authority, so that
by the year A.D. 1585 it was the boast of the prince that eight provinces
acknowledged him as lord.(166)

It was in this critical period that Hideyoshi was appealed to for help by
the threatened provinces. He first sent a special envoy to Kagoshima, who
was directed to summon the prince to Kyōto to submit himself to the
emperor and seek investiture from him for the territories which he held.
Shimazu received this message with scorn, tore up the letter and trampled
it under his feet, and declared that to a man of mean extraction like
Hideyoshi he would never yield allegiance. Both parties recognized the
necessity of deciding this question by the arbitrament of war.

Hideyoshi called upon thirty-seven provinces to furnish troops for this
expedition. It is said that 150,000 men were assembled at Ōsaka ready to
be transported into Kyūshū. The vanguard, consisting of 60,000 men under
Hidenaga, the brother of Hideyoshi, set sail January 7, A.D. 1587. Troops
from the western provinces joined these, so that this advanced army
numbered not less than 90,000 men.

In due time, January 22d, Hideyoshi himself, with his main army,
consisting of 130,000 men, left Ōsaka, marching by land to Shimonoseki,
and from this point crossing over to Kyūshū. The Satsuma armies were in
all cases far outnumbered, and step by step were compelled to retreat upon
Kagoshima. Hideyoshi had by means of spies(167) acquired a complete
knowledge of the difficult country through which his armies must march
before reaching Kagoshima. After much fighting the Satsuma troops were at
last driven into the castle of Kagoshima, and it only remained for
Hideyoshi to capture this stronghold in order to end in the most brilliant
manner his undertaking.

It was at this juncture that Hideyoshi made one of these surprising and
clever movements which stamp him as a man of consummate genius. Instead of
capturing the fortress and dividing up the territory among his deserving
generals, as was expected, he restored to the Shimazu family its original
buildings, viz., the provinces of Satsuma and Ōsumi and half the province
of Hyūga, only imposing as a condition that the present reigning prince
should retire in favor of his son, and that he should hold his fief as a
grant from the emperor. Thus ended one of the most memorable of the
campaigns which Hideyoshi had up to this time undertaken, and with this
also closed a series of events which exerted a permanent influence on the
history of Japan.

It will be desirable at this point to trace the incidents which had
transpired in connection with the Jesuit fathers. It will be remembered
that the work of the fathers(168) was much interfered with by the
political troubles which preceded the advent of Nobunaga. Owing to their
taking sides with his enemies he was very much incensed against the
Buddhist priests and visited his indignation upon them in a drastic
measure.(169) His desire to humiliate the Buddhist priests probably led
him to assume a favorable attitude towards the Christian fathers. As long
therefore as Nobunaga lived, churches were protected and the work of
proselyting went on. Even after the death of Nobunaga in A.D. 1582 nothing
occurred for some time to interfere with the spread of Christianity.
Hideyoshi was too much occupied with political and military affairs to
give much attention to the circumstances concerning religion. Indeed the
opinion of Mr. Dening(170) in his _Life of Hideyoshi_ is no doubt true,
that he was in no respect of a religious temperament. Even the
superstitions of his own country were treated with scant courtesy by this
great master of men.

Gregory XIII. seeing what progress the Jesuits were making, and realizing
how fatal to success any conflict between rival brotherhoods would be,
issued a brief in A.D. 1585, that no religious teachers except Jesuits
should be allowed in Japan. This regulation was exceedingly distasteful to
both the Dominicans and the Franciscans, especially after the visit of the
Japanese embassy to Lisbon, Madrid, and Rome had directed the attention of
the whole religious world to the triumphs which the Jesuits were making in
Japan. Envy against the Portuguese merchants for their monopoly of the
Japanese trade had also its place in stirring up the Spaniards at Manila
to seek an entrance to the island empire. The opposition with which
Christianity had met was represented as due to the character and behavior
of the missioners. In view of these circumstances the Spanish governor of
Manila sent a letter to Hideyoshi, asking for permission to open trade
with some of the ports of Japan. Four Franciscans attached themselves to
the bearer of this letter and in this way were introduced into the
interior of Japan. Among the valuable presents sent to Hideyoshi by the
governor of Manila was a fine Spanish horse(171) with all its equipments.
These Franciscans who came in this indirect way were permitted to
establish themselves in Kyōto and Nagasaki. They were at once met by the
protest of the Jesuits who urged that the brief of the pope excluded them.
But these wily Franciscans replied that they had entered Japan as
ambassadors and not as religious fathers, and that now when they were in
Japan the brief of the pope did not require them to leave.

A very bitter state of feeling from the first therefore manifested itself
between the Jesuits and Franciscans. The latter claimed that the
opposition they met with was due to the plots and intrigues of the
Jesuits, and they openly avowed that the Jesuit fathers through cowardice
failed to exert themselves in the fulfilment of their religious duties,
and in a craven spirit submitted to restrictions on their liberty to
preach. Hideyoshi’s suspicion was aroused against the foreigners about
this time, A.D. 1587, by the gossip of a Portuguese sea-captain which had
been reported to him. This report represented the captain as saying: “The
king, my master, begins by sending priests who win over the people; and
when this is done he despatches his troops to join the native Christians,
and the conquest is easy and complete.”(172) This plan seemed so exactly
to agree with experiences in China, India, and the East Indies, that
Hideyoshi resolved to make it impossible in Japan. He therefore issued an
edict in the year A.D. 1587 commanding all foreign religious teachers on
pain of death to depart from Japan in twenty days. This edict, however,
gave leave to Portuguese merchants “to traffic and reside in our ports
till further order; but withal we do hereby strictly forbid them, on pain
of having both their ships and merchandises confiscated, to bring over
with them any foreign religious.”(173)

In consequence of this edict, in A.D. 1593 six Franciscans and three
Jesuits were arrested in Ōsaka and Kyōto and taken to Nagasaki, and there
burnt. This was the first case of the execution of Christians by the order
of the government. To explain the transportation of these missionaries to
Nagasaki and their execution there, it should be stated that in A.D. 1586,
at the close of the Satsuma campaign, Nagasaki had been taken from the
prince of Ōmura and made a government city, to be controlled by a governor
appointed immediately from Kyōto. Shortly after this, in A.D. 1590, on
account of its superior harbor, it was fixed upon as the only port at
which foreign vessels would be admitted.

There was still one refractory element in his dominions which it was
necessary to deal with. Hōjō Ujimasa maintained a hostile attitude at
Odawara. He was determined once for all to reduce this rebellious chief
and the others who might be influenced by his example. It is unnecessary
to give the details of this short but decisive undertaking. Only one
incident deserves to be given as illustrative of the character of
Hideyoshi. In sending troops to the field of action it was necessary that
a large number of horses should cross the sea of Enshū,(174) which was
usually very rough at that time of year. The boatmen, as is usual, were
very superstitious, and had a decided aversion to transporting the horses
in their boats; averring that the god of the sea Ryūgū had a special
dislike for horses. Hideyoshi sent for the boatmen and told them that he
had undertaken this expedition at the command of the emperor, and that the
god of the sea was too polite to interfere in anything pertaining to the
transportation of troops for such a purpose. He said however that he would
make it all right by writing a letter to Ryūgū, instructing him to insure
the safe passage of the ships. This was done, and a letter addressed “Mr.
Ryūgū” was thrown into the sea. The boatmen were satisfied, and the horses
were taken over without difficulty.(175)

With the fall of Odawara the whole of the Kwantō, comprising the provinces
of Sagami, Musashi, Kōtsuke, Shimotsuke, Hitachi, Shimōsa, Kazusa, and Awa
came into the possession of Hideyoshi. During the progress of the siege,
it is said that he and Ieyasu were standing in a watch tower which they
had built on the heights above the castle of Odawara. Hideyoshi pointed to
the great plain before them and said(176): “Before many days I will have
conquered all this, and I propose to give it into your keeping.”

Ieyasu thanked him warmly and said: “That were indeed great luck.”

Hideyoshi added: “Wilt thou reside here at Odawara as the Hōjō have done
up to this time?”

Ieyasu answered: “Aye, my lord, that I will.”

“That will not do,” said Hideyoshi. “I see on the map that there is a
place called Yedo about twenty _ri_ eastward from us. It is a position far
better than this, and that will be the place for thee to live.”

Ieyasu bowed low and replied: “I will with reverence obey your lordship’s

In accordance with this conversation after the fall of Odawara, Ieyasu was
endowed with the provinces of the Kwantō and took up his residence at
Yedo. This is the first important appearance of Yedo in the general
history of Japan. It had however an earlier history, when in the fifteenth
century it appears as a fishing village called _Ye-do_, that is _door of
the bay_. Near this fishing village Ōta Dōkwan, a feudal baron, built
himself in A.D. 1456 a castle. With the advent of Ieyasu, Yedo became a
place of first importance, a rank which it still holds. The object of
Hideyoshi in thus entrusting this great heritage to Ieyasu seems to have
been to secure him by the chains of gratitude to himself and his family.
Already Ieyasu was connected by marriage with Hideyoshi, his wife being
Hideyoshi’s sister. By making him lord of an immense and powerful country
he hoped to secure him in perpetual loyalty to himself and his heirs.

In order that he might be free from the cares and responsibilities of the
government at home, Hideyoshi retired from the position of _kwambaku_ A.D.
1591 and took the title of _Taikō_. By this title he came to be generally
known in Japanese history, Taikō Sama, or my lord Taikō, being the form by
which he was commonly spoken of. His nephew and heir Hidetsugu was at this
time promoted to the title of _kwambaku_, and was ostensibly at the head
of the government. The Jesuit fathers speak of him as mild and amiable,
and as at one time a hopeful student of the Christian religion. They note
however a strange characteristic in him, that he was fond of cruelty and
that when criminals were to be put to death he sought the privilege of
cutting them into pieces and trying cruel experiments upon their suffering

In A.D. 1592 Taikō Sama had by one of his wives a son, whom he named
Hideyori. Over this new-born heir, whom, however, many suspect of not
being Taikō Sama’s son, he made great rejoicing throughout the empire. He
required his nephew to adopt this new-born son as his heir, although he
had several sons of his own. The result of this action was a feeling of
hostility between the uncle and nephew. Hidetsugu applied to Mōri, the
chief of Chōsū, to aid him in the conflict with his uncle. But Mōri was
too wary to enter upon such a contest with the veteran general. Instead of
helping Hidetsugu, he revealed to Taikō Sama the traitorous proposition of
his nephew. Hidetsugu was thereupon stripped of his office and sent as an
exile to the monastery of Kōya-san in the province of Kii. A year later he
was commanded with his attendants to commit _hara-kiri_; and with an
unusual exhibition of cruelty, his counsellors, wives, and children were
likewise put to death.

Hideyoshi had for a long time contemplated the invasion of Korea and
ultimately of China. In a conversation with Nobunaga when he was about to
set out on his conquest of the western provinces he is represented as
saying(177): “I hope to bring the whole of Chūgoku into subjection to us.
When that is accomplished I will go on to Kyūshū and take the whole of it.
When Kyūshū is ours, if you will grant me the revenue of that island for
one year, I will prepare ships of war, and purchase provisions, and go
over and take Korea. Korea I shall ask you to bestow on me as a reward for
my services, and to enable me to make still further conquests; for with
Korean troops, aided by your illustrious influence, I intend to bring the
whole of China under my sway. When that is effected, the three countries
[China, Korea, and Japan] will be one. I shall do it all as easily as a
man rolls up a piece of matting and carries it under his arm.” He had
already carried out part of this plan; he had brought the whole of Chūgoku
and of the island of Kyūshū under his rule. It remained for him to effect
the conquest of Korea and China in order to complete his ambitious

For this purpose he needed ships on a large scale, for the transportation
of troops and for keeping them supplied with necessary provisions. From
the foreign merchants, who traded at his ports, he hoped to obtain ships
larger and stronger than were built in his own dominions. It was a great
disappointment to him when he found this impossible, and that the
merchants, whom he had favored, were unwilling to put their ships at his
disposal. It is claimed by the Jesuit fathers that this disappointment was
the chief reason for the want of favor with which Hideyoshi regarded them
during the last years of his life. It is also advanced as one reason for
his entering on the invasion of Korea, that he might thus employ in
distant and dangerous expeditions some of the Christian princes whose
fidelity to himself and loyalty to the emperor he thought he had reason to
doubt. He was ambitious, so they said, to rival in his own person the
reputation of the Emperor Ōjin, who rose in popular estimation to the rank
of Hachiman, the god of war, and who is worshipped in many temples,
because, while he was still unborn, his mother led a hostile and
successful expedition into this same Korea.

The immediate pretext(178) for a war was the fact that for many years the
embassies which it had been the custom to send from Korea to Japan with
gifts and acknowledgments had been discontinued. In A.D. 1582 he sent an
envoy to remonstrate, who was unsuccessful. Subsequently he sent the
prince of Tsushima, who had maintained at Fusan, a port of Korea, a
station for trade, to continue negotiations. After some delay and the
concession of important conditions the prince had the satisfaction, in
A.D. 1590, of accompanying an embassy which the government of Korea sent
to Hideyoshi. They arrived at Kyōto at the time when Hideyoshi was absent
on his campaign against Hōjō Ujimasa at Odawara. He allowed them to await
his return, and even when he had resumed his residence at the capital he
showed no eagerness to give them an audience. On the pretence that the
hall of audience needed repairs, he kept them waiting many months before
he gave orders for their reception. It seemed that he was trying to
humiliate them in revenge for their dilatoriness in coming to him. It is
not impossible that he had already made up his mind to conduct an
expedition in any event into Korea and China, and the disrespect with
which he treated the embassy was with the deliberate intention of widening
the breach already existing.

Mr. Aston has given us an account of the reception which was finally
accorded to the ambassadors, drawn from Korean sources, and which shows
that they were entertained in a very unceremonious fashion. They were
surprised to find that in Japan this man whom they had been led to look
upon as a sovereign was only a subject. They presented a letter from the
king of Korea conveying his congratulations and enumerating the gifts(179)
he had sent. These enumerated gifts consisted of horses, falcons, saddles,
harness, cloth of various kinds, skins, ginseng, etc. These were articles
which the Japanese of an earlier age had prized very highly and for the
more artistic production of some of which the Koreans had rendered
material assistance. Hideyoshi suggested that the embassy should return to
their own country at once without waiting for an answer to their letter.
This they were unwilling to do. So they waited at Sakai whence they were
to sail, till the _kwambaku_ was pleased to send them a message for their
king. It was so arrogant in tone that they had to beg for its modification
several times before they dared to carry it home. The letter plainly
announced his intention to invade China and called upon the Koreans to aid
him in this purpose.

The ambassadors went home with the conviction that it was Hideyoshi’s
intention to invade their country. At their instigation the government
made what preparations it could, by repairing fortresses, and collecting
troops, arms, and provisions. The country was a poor country, and had had
the good fortune or the misfortune to remain at peace for two hundred
years. The arts of war had been forgotten. They had no generals who could
cope with the practised soldiers of Japan. Firearms which had been
introduced into the military equipments of Japanese armies were almost
unknown in Korea. It is true that they had been taken under the protection
of China and could call upon her for aid. But China was distant and slow,
and Korea might be destroyed before her slumbering energies could be

The preparations which Hideyoshi made, as was his custom, were thorough
and extensive. Each prince in Kyūshū, as being nearest to the seat of war,
was required to furnish a quota of troops in proportion to his revenues.
Each prince in Shikoku and in the Main island, in like manner, was to
provide troops proportionate to his revenue and his proximity to the seat
of war. Princes whose territories bordered on the sea were to furnish
junks and boats, and men to handle them. The force which was thus
assembled at Nagoya, now called Karatsu, in Hizen was estimated at 300,000
men, of whom 130,000 were to be immediately despatched. Hideyoshi did not
personally lead this force. It was under the command of two generals who
were independent of each other, but were ordered to co-operate. One of
these generals was Konishi Yukinaga Settsu-no-kami, whom the Jesuit
fathers refer to under the name of Don Austin. From an humble position in
life he had risen to high and responsible rank in the army. Under the
influence of Takeyama, a Christian prince, whom the Jesuit fathers call
Justo Ucondono, he had been converted to Christianity. Hideyoshi, as has
been pointed out, was desirous of securing the help of the Christian
princes in Kyūshū, and therefore appointed a Christian as one of the
generals-in-chief. Under him were sent the contingents from Bungo, Ōmura,
Arima, and other provinces where the Christian element was predominant.
This division of the invading army may therefore be looked upon as
representing the Christian population of the empire. The other
general-in-chief was Katō Kiyomasa,(180) who had been associated with
Hideyoshi ever since the times of Nobunaga. He was the son of a blacksmith
and in A.D. 1563 he became one of Hideyoshi’s retainers. He was a man of
unusual size and of great personal bravery. He commanded an army collected
mainly from the northern and eastern provinces, which comprised the
experienced veterans of Hideyoshi’s earlier campaigns. He is usually
spoken of as inimical to the Christians, but this enmity probably grew up
along with the ill-feeling between the two armies in Korea.

Konishi’s division arrived in Korea April 13, A.D. 1592, and captured the
small town of Fusan, which had been the port at which the Japanese had for
generations maintained a trading post. After the arrival of Katō the two
divisions marched towards the capital, reducing without difficulty the
castles that lay in their way. The greatest terror prevailed among the
inhabitants, and the court, with King Riyen at its head, resolved to flee
into the province bordering on China. The armies reached the capital and
then set out northward. The dissensions between the commanders had by this
time reached such a point that they determined to separate. Katō traversed
the northeastern provinces and in his course captured many Koreans of

Konishi marched to the north and found the king at Pingshang on the
borders of the river Taitong-Kiang. Here he was joined by Kuroda Noritaka,
whom the Jesuit fathers named Condera(181) Combiendono, and by Yoshitoshi
the prince of Tsushima, who had marched with their forces by a different
route. An effort at negotiations at this point met with no success. The
king continued his flight northward to Ichiu, a fortified town on the
borders of China. After he left a sharp contest took place between the
besiegers and defenders, which resulted in the abandonment of the town and
its capture by the Japanese. The stores of grain which had been collected
by the Koreans were captured with the town.

Konishi was anxious to conduct further military operations in connection
with the Japanese vessels which had been lying all this time at Fusan.
Directions were accordingly sent to have the junks sent round to the
western coast. The Koreans picked up courage to show fight with their
vessels, which seemed to have been of a superior construction to those of
their enemies. They allured the Japanese boats out to sea and then turned
upon them suddenly and treated them so roughly that they were glad to get
back to the protection of the harbor and to give up the purpose of
cruising along the western coast. The result of this little success
encouraged the Koreans so much that it may be said to have been a turning
point in the invasion.

In the meantime the piteous appeals of the Koreans to China had produced
some effect. A small army of five thousand men, which was raised in the
adjoining province of Laotung, was sent to their aid. This insufficient
force rashly undertook to attack the Japanese in Pingshang. But they led
the invaders into the town, and then so thoroughly routed them that the
escaped remnants made their way back to Laotung. This experience led the
Chinese officials to see that if they wished to help the Koreans at all
they must despatch a stronger force. This they set to work at once to do.
They endeavored to gain some time by pretending to enter upon negotiations
for an armistice. During the autumn months of A.D. 1592 the Japanese
troops were almost idle. And they were very much taken by surprise when
near the end of the year the Chinese army, forty thousand strong, besides
Koreans, made its appearance on the scene. The Japanese commander had no
time to call for help, and before he realized the imminency of the danger
Pingshang was attacked. Being far outnumbered Konishi deemed it prudent to
make his escape from the beleaguered town, and to save his army by a
retreat, which was a painful and inglorious one.

The other division of the Japanese army under Katō, who had occupied the
west coast, found its position untenable with a superior Chinese army
threatening it. It also was compelled to retreat towards the south. But
the veteran army of Katō was not content to yield all that it had gained
without a struggle. A bloody engagement followed near Pachiung, in which
the Chinese and Korean army suffered a significant defeat. The Chinese
army then retired to Pingshang, and Katō was not in a condition to follow
it over the impassable winter roads and with deficient supplies. The
Japanese troops had suffered an experience such as never befell them under
the redoubtable leadership of Hideyoshi. And the Chinese had had enough of
the terrible two-handed swords which the Japanese soldier could wield so

The chief obstacle to peace was the mutual distrust with which each of the
three parties regarded the others. Korea hated the Japanese with a perfect
and justifiable hatred; she also feared and despised the pompous and
pretentious pride of China. But in the negotiations which ensued the
country which had suffered most had least to say. It remained for the two
greater powers to come to some agreement which should be satisfactory to
them; and whether Korea were satisfied or not was of secondary moment.

The Japanese envoy proceeded to Peking and is said to have negotiated
peace on these conditions: That the emperor of China should grant to
Hideyoshi the honor of investiture, that the Japanese troops should all
leave Korea, and that Japan should engage never to invade Korea again.
There was some jangling about the withdrawal of the Japanese soldiers but
at last this matter was arranged.

An embassy was sent by the Chinese government to Japan to carry out the
ceremony of investiture. They arrived in the autumn of the year A.D. 1596.
Taikō Sama made elaborate preparations for their reception. Some fears
were felt as to how Taikō Sama would regard this proposition of
investiture when he came to understand it. The Buddhist priest, who was to
translate the Chinese document into Japanese(183) for the benefit of Taikō
Sama, was urged to make some modification in the wording to conciliate his
ambition. But he was too honest to depart from the true rendering. He read
to Taikō Sama and the assembled court a letter from the Chinese emperor
granting him investiture as king of Japan, and announced having sent by
the ambassadors the robe and the golden seal pertaining to the office.

Taikō Sama listened with amazement,(184) as he for the first time realized
that the Emperor of China by this document had undertaken to invest him as
king of Japan instead of (“Ming emperor”). He was in an uncontrollable
rage. He tore off the robe which he had put on. He snatched the document
from the reader and tore it into shreds, exclaiming: “Since I have the
whole of this country in my grasp, did I wish to become its emperor I
could do so without the consent of the barbarians.” He was with difficulty
restrained from taking the life of the Japanese ambassador who had
negotiated the treaty. He sent word to the Chinese envoys who had brought
the robe and seal to begone back to their country and to tell their
emperor that he would send troops to slaughter them like cattle. Both
Korea and China knew that a new invasion would surely result from this
disappointment. Katō and Konishi the Japanese generals in the previous
campaign and who had gone home during the interval were ordered back to
take command of the old troops and of fresh recruits which were to be
sent. They busied themselves with repairing the fortifications which had
been left in possession of the Japanese garrisons.

The disgraced and frightened Chinese ambassadors made their way back to
Peking. They were ashamed to present themselves without showing something
in return for the gifts they had carried to Taikō Sama. They purchased
some velvets and scarlet cloth, which they represented as the presents
which had been sent. They pretended that Taikō Sama was much pleased with
the investiture, and that his invasion of Korea was due to the fact that
the Korean government had interfered to prevent the free and kindly
intercourse between China and Japan. The cloth and velvet, however, were
at once recognized as European productions and not derived from Japan. So
the ambassadors were charged with deceit and at last confessed.

The Japanese army was reinforced, it is said, with 130,000 fresh troops.
Supplies, however, were difficult to obtain, and the movements were much
hindered. A small Chinese army of 5,000 men arrived at the end of the year
A.D. 1597 to aid the Koreans. An attack on the Japanese ships at Fusan was
made by the Korean navy, but it was without difficulty repelled and most
of the attacking ships destroyed. After some material advantages, which,
however, were not decisive, the Japanese troops were forced to return to
Fusan for the winter. The principal engagement was at Yöl-san, a strong
position, accessible both by sea and land. It was garrisoned by troops of
Katō’s division, who were brave and determined. The army composed of
Chinese and Koreans, under the Chinese commander-in-chief Hsing-chieh,
laid siege to this fortress, and succeeded in cutting off all its
communications. But Kuroda and Hachisuka came to Katō’s assistance, and
compelled the Chinese general to raise the siege and retreat to Söul, the
Korean capital. It was in one of the battles fought during the summer of
A.D. 1598, that 38,700 heads of Chinese and Korean soldiers are said to
have been taken. The heads were buried in a mound after the ears and noses
had been cut off. These grewsome relics of savage warfare were pickled in
tubs and sent home to Kyōto, where they were deposited in a mound in the
grounds of the temple of Daibutsu, and over them a monument erected which
is marked _mimi-zuka_ or ear-mound. There the mound and monument can be
seen to this day.(185)

The death of Taikō Sama occurred on the day equivalent to the 18th of
September, A.D. 1598, and on his death-bed he seems to have been troubled
with the thought of the veteran warriors who were uselessly wearing out
their lives in Korea. In his last moments he opened his eyes and exclaimed
earnestly: “Let not the spirits of the hundred thousand troops I have sent
to Korea become disembodied in a foreign land.”(186) Ieyasu, on whom
devolved the military responsibility after the Taikō’s death, and who had
never sympathized with his wishes and aims regarding Korea, did not delay
the complete withdrawal of the troops which still remained in Korea.

Thus ended a chapter in the history of Japan, on which her best friends
can look back with neither pride nor satisfaction. This war was begun
without any sufficient provocation, and its results did nothing to advance
the glory of Japan or its soldiers. The great soldier who planned it and
pushed it on with relentless energy gained nothing from it except
vexation. Much of the time during which the war lasted he sat in his
temporary palace at Nagoya in Hizen, waiting eagerly for news from his
armies. Instead of tidings of victories and triumphs and rich conquests,
he was obliged too often to hear of the dissensions of his generals, the
starving and miseries of his soldiers, and the curses and hatred of a
ruined and unhappy country. All that he had to show for his expenditure of
men and money were several _saké_ tubs of pickled ears and noses with
which to form a mound in the temple of Daibutsu, and the recollection of
an investiture by the emperor of China, which could only bring to him pain
and humiliation.

The only beneficial results to Japan that can be traced to all this was
the introduction into different provinces of some of the skilled artisans
of Korea. The prince of Satsuma, Shimazu Yoshihiro, in A.D. 1598, brought
home with him when he returned from the Korean war seventeen families of
Korean potters,(187) who were settled in his province. They have lived
there ever since, and in many ways still retain the marks of their
nationality. It is to them that Satsuma _faïence_ owes its exquisite
beauty and its world-wide reputation.



When the Taikō realized that his recovery was impossible he tried to
arrange the affairs of the empire in such a way as to secure a
continuation of the power in his son Hideyori, who was at that time only
five years old. For this purpose he appointed a council consisting of
Tokugawa Ieyasu, Maeda Toshi-ie, Mōri Terumoto, Ukita Hide-ei and Uesugi
Kagekatsu, of which Ieyasu was the president and chief. These were to
constitute a regency during his son’s minority. He also appointed a board
of associates, who were called middle councillors, and a board of military
officers called _bugyo_. He called all these councillors and military
officers into his presence before he died, and made them swear allegiance
to his successor Hideyori. There seems to have been among them a suspicion
of the fidelity of Ieyasu, for the Taikō is represented as saying to two
of his friends: “You need not be anxious about Ieyasu. He will not rebel
against my house.(188) Cultivate friendship with him.” Thus in his
sixty-second year died (September, 1598) the greatest soldier, if not the
greatest man, whom Japan has produced. That he rose from obscurity solely
by his own talents, is a more conspicuous merit in Japan than in most
other countries. Family and heredity have always counted for so much in
this land of the gods, that few instances have occurred in which men of
humble birth have risen to eminence. That one such in spite of his low
birth, in spite of personal infirmities, in spite of the opposition and
envy of contemporaries, had risen to so high a position in the empire, has
been a source of pride and encouragement to thousands of his countrymen.

The Taikō was buried close to the Daibutsu temple, which he himself had
built to shelter the colossal figure of Buddha, constructed in imitation
of the Daibutsu which Yoritomo had built at Kamakura. The figure was to be
one hundred and sixty feet in height, and the workmen had it nearly
finished when a terrible earthquake in A.D. 1596 shook down the building.
In the following year the temple was rebuilt, and the image was completed
up to the neck. The workmen were preparing to cast the head, when a fire
broke out in the scaffolding and again destroyed the temple, and also the
image. It was one of the schemes of Ieyasu, so it is said, to induce the
young Hideyori to exhaust his resources upon such expensive projects, and
thus render him incapable of resisting any serious movement against
himself. He therefore suggested to the boy and his mother that this temple
and image, which Hideyoshi had begun, should not fail of erection. They
therefore resumed the construction, and carried it on with great
lavishness. It took until A.D. 1614 to complete the work, and when it was
about to be consecrated with imposing ceremonies, Ieyasu, who by this time
was supreme in the empire, suddenly forbade the progress of the ceremony.
He affected to be offended by the inscription which had been put on the
bell,(189) but the real reason was probably his desire to find some
pretext by which he could put a quarrel upon the adherents of Hideyori.


Among all the friends and retainers of Hideyoshi the most prominent and
able was Tokugawa Ieyasu. He was six years younger than Hideyoshi, and
therefore in A.D. 1598, when the Taikō died, he was fifty-six years old.
He was born at the village of Matsudaira in the province of Mikawa A.D.
1542. His family counted its descent from Minamoto Yoshi-ie, who in the
eleventh century had by his military prowess in the wars against the Ainos
earned the heroic name of Hachiman-Tarō. Therefore he was, as custom and
tradition now for a long time had required for those holding the office of
shōgun, a descendant from the Minamoto family.(190) The name Tokugawa,
which Ieyasu rendered famous, was derived from a village in the province
of Shimotsuke, where his ancestors had lived. His first experiences in war
were under Nobunaga, side by side with Hideyoshi. He proved himself not
only a capable soldier, prudent and painstaking, but also a good
administrator in times of peace. Hideyoshi had such confidence in him, and
so much doubt about the wisdom of requiring the guardians to wait until
his son, a mere child five years old, had grown up to years of
responsibility, that he is represented as having said to Ieyasu: “I
foresee that there will be great wars after my decease; I know too that
there is no one but you who can keep the country quiet. I therefore
bequeath the whole country to you, and trust you will expend all your
strength in governing it. My son Hideyori is still young. I beg you will
look after him. When he is grown up, I leave it to you to decide whether
he will be my successor or not.”(191)

As soon as the Taikō was dead, and the attempt was made to set in motion
the machinery he had designed for governing the country, troubles began to
manifest themselves. The princes whom he had appointed as members of his
governing boards, began immediately to quarrel among themselves. On Ieyasu
devolved the duty of regulating the affairs of the government. For this
purpose he resided at Fushimi, which is a suburb of Kyōto. His most active
opponent was Ishida Mitsunari, who had been appointed one of the five
_bugyō_, or governors, under the Taikō’s arrangement. They grew jealous of
Ieyasu, because, under the existing order of things, the governors were of
very minor importance. Mitsunari had acquired his influence with the
Taikō, not through military achievements, but by intrigue and flattery. He
was cordially detested by such disinterested friends as Katō Kiyomasa and

The ground on which the opposition to Ieyasu was based was that he was not
faithfully performing his duty, as he had promised to the dying Taikō,
towards his child and heir. It is not improbable that even at this early
day it was seen that Ieyasu proposed to disregard the pretensions of the
youthful son of Hideyoshi, in the same way that he in his day had
disregarded the claims of the heir of Nobunaga. The rough and warlike
times, and the restless and ambitious manners of the feudal lords of these
times, made it impossible to entrust the country to the hands of a child.

Under this strained relation, the members of the regency divided into two
parties. Speaking broadly, it was again a contest between the north and
the south of Japan. Ieyasu’s association had been from the beginning with
the Kwantō, and now more than ever his power was centred about Yedo.
Mitsunari on the contrary had leagued himself with the princes of Chōsū
and Satsuma, and with others of minor importance, all more or less
representative of the southern half of the empire. The Christians chiefly
sided with Hideyori and his adherents. Mitsunari himself was a Christian
convert, and the Jesuit fathers explain that his position and that of the
other Christian leaders were due to their conscientious desire to fulfil
their oath of fidelity to Hideyori. That Ieyasu should have been derelict
in such a solemn duty was a sufficient cause for their opposition to him.

Events now rushed rapidly to a culmination. One of the most powerful of
the princes allied against Ieyasu was Uesugi Kagekatsu, the lord of Echigo
and Aizu. He had retired to Aizu after having solemnly made a
covenant(192) with the others engaged in the plot to take measures against
Ieyasu. He was summoned to Kyōto to pay his respects to the emperor, but
on some trivial excuse he declined to come. Ieyasu now saw that nothing
but war would settle the disputes which had arisen. He repaired to Yedo
and to Shimotsuké, and made preparations for the conflict which he saw

In the meantime the members of the league were busy. Mitsunari sent an
urgent circular to all the feudal princes, charging Ieyasu with certain
misdeeds and crimes, the chief of which was that instead of guarding the
inheritance of the Taikō for his son, he was with the blackest guilt
endeavoring to seize it for himself. A formidable army was gathered at
Ōsaka consisting of 128,000 men.(193) Made up as it was from different
provinces and officered by its provincial leaders, it lacked that element
of unity and accord which is so essential to an army. The first movement
was against the castle of Fushimi, which was the centre from which Ieyasu
governed the country. After a short siege it fell and then, it is said,
was accidentally burned to the ground.

The news of the attack upon Fushimi was brought to Ieyasu in Shimotsuké,
and a council of his friends and retainers was held to determine what
steps must be taken to meet the emergency. It was urged that the time had
come when Ieyasu should meet his enemies, and settle by battle the
questions which had risen between them. It was determined that all the
scattered troops should be gathered together, and that they should march
to Fushimi prepared to encounter the enemy in battle at whatever point
they should meet them. The eldest son of Ieyasu, Hideyasu, was put in
charge of Yedo and entrusted with the care of the surrounding provinces.
This was an important trust, because the powerful prince Uesugi lay to the
north of him and would seize the first opportunity to attack him. To
Fukushima was given the command of the vanguard. The principal army was
divided into two parts, one of which was to march along the Tōkaidō under
the command of Ieyasu himself, the other was placed under the charge of
Ieyasu’s second son Hidetada, and was to take the route along the
Nakasendō. The whole army consisted of 75,000 men, a number much smaller
than the army of the league, but which had the advantage of being
controlled by one mastering and experienced commander.

The armies met at Sekigahara,(194) a little village on the Nakasendō,
October, A.D. 1600. One place on the neighboring hill is still pointed out
whence Ieyasu witnessed the battle and issued his orders. Both sides
fought with determined bravery, and the battle lasted the whole day.
Cannon and other firearms were to some extent made use of, but the
old-fashioned weapons, the sword and the spear, were the terrible means by
which the victory was decided. For a long time the battle raged without
either party obtaining a decisive advantage. Notwithstanding his
inferiority in numbers Ieyasu was completely victorious. The carnage was
dreadful. The number of the confederate army said to have been killed was
40,000.(195) This seems like an impossible exaggeration, and the Japanese
annalists are, like those of other nations, given to heightened
statements. But that the loss of life on both sides was very great there
can be no doubt.

Two ghastly mounds called Kubi-zuka, or head piles, are still shown where
the heads of the decapitated confederates were buried. This battle must
always stand with that at Dan-no-ura between the Minamoto and Taira
families, as one of the decisive battles in the history of Japan. By it
was settled the fate of the country for two hundred and fifty years.

It was fortunate that the victor in this battle was a man who knew how to
secure the advantages to be derived from a victory. It is said that at the
close of this battle when he saw success perching on his banners, he
repeated to those around him the old Japanese proverb: “After victory
tighten the strings of your helmet.”(196) The division of Hidetada joined
him after the battle, and he promptly followed up his victory by seizing
the castles on his way and taking possession of Kyōto and Ōsaka. The
feudal princes who had stood aloof or opposed him nearly all came forward
and submitted themselves to his authority. Uesugi and Satake in the north,
who had been among his most active opponents, at once presented themselves
to Hideyasu at Yedo and made their submission. Mōri, the powerful lord of
the western provinces, who had been most active in the confederation
against him, sent congratulations on his victory, but they were coldly
received. Finally he was pardoned, being however deprived of six out of
his eight provinces. He was suffered to retain of all his rich inheritance
only Suō and Nagato. Several of the leaders were captured, among whom were
Mitsunari, Konishi, and Ōtani, who being Christians deemed it unworthy
their faith to commit _hara-kiri_. They were carried to Kyōto where they
were beheaded and their heads exposed in the dry bed of the Kamo-gawa.

The work of reducing to order the island of Kyūshū was entrusted to the
veteran generals Katō Kiyomasa and Kuroda Yoshitaka. The former undertook
the reduction of Hizen, and the latter that of Bungo, Buzen, and Chikuzen.
The house of Shimazu, although it had taken sides against Ieyasu in the
great contest, duly made its submission and was treated with great
consideration. The whole of the territory assigned to it by Hideyoshi
after the war of A.D. 1586 was restored to it, namely, the whole of the
provinces of Satsuma and Ōsumi, and one half of the province of Hyūga. To
Katō Kiyomasa(197) was given the province of Higo, which had, after the
Korean war, been assigned to Konishi in recognition of his services, but
which was now taken from his family because he had been one of Ieyasu’s
active opponents. The Kuroda family received as its inheritance a portion
of the province of Chikuzen with its capital at Fukuoka, which it held
until the abolition of feudal tenures in 1871.

Ieyasu was a peaceful and moderate character, and in the settlement of the
disturbances which had marked his advent to power, he is notable for
having pursued a course of great kindness and consideration. With the
exception of the cases already mentioned there were no executions for
political offences. It was his desire and ambition to establish a system
of government which should be continuous and not liable, like those of
Nobunaga and Taikō Sama, to be overturned at the death of him who had
founded it. By the gift of Taikō Sama he had already in his possession a
large part of the Kwantō. And by the result of the war which had ended at
Sekigahara, he had come into possession of a great number of other fiefs,
with which he could reward those who had been faithful to him. It was the
difficult and delicate part of his work to distribute judiciously among
his supporters and retainers the confiscated estates. To realize how
completely the feudal system as reformed by Ieyasu was bound to him and
constituted to support and perpetuate his family, it is only necessary to
examine such a list of the daimyōs(198) as is given in Appert’s _Ancien
Japon_.(199) Out of the two hundred and sixty-three daimyōs there
enumerated, one hundred and fifty-eight are either vassals or branches of
the Tokugawa family. But while he thus carefully provided the supports for
his own family, he spared many of the old and well-rooted houses, which
had incorporated themselves into the history of the country. He built his
structure on the old and tried foundation stones. With far-sighted
statesmanship he recognized that every new form of government, to be
permanent, must be a development from that which precedes it, and must
include within itself whatever is lasting in the nature of its forerunner.

The dual form of government had for many centuries existed in Japan, and
the customs and habits of thinking, and the modes of administering justice
and of controlling the conduct of men had become adapted to this system.
It was therefore natural that Ieyasu should turn his attention to
reforming and perfecting such a form of government. A scheme of this kind
seemed best adapted to a country in which there existed on the one hand an
emperor of divine origin, honored of all men, but who by long neglect had
become unfit to govern, and in whom was lodged only the source of honor;
and on the other hand an executive department on which devolved the
practical duty of governing, organizing, maintaining, and defending.
Though he was compelled to look back through centuries of misrule, and
through long periods of war and usurpation, he could see straight to
Yoritomo, the first of the shōguns, and could trace from him a clear
descent in the Minamoto family. To this task, therefore, he set himself:
to maintain the empire in all its heaven-descended purity and to create a
line of hereditary shōguns who should constitute its executive department.

In pursuance of this plan, he sent his son Hidetada to the emperor to make
a full report of everything that had been done in the settlement of the
affairs of the country. The emperor was graciously pleased to approve his
acts and to bestow upon him, A.D. 1603, the hereditary title of
Sei-i-tai-shōgun. This was the title borne by Yoritomo when he was the
real ruler of the country. Since that time there had been a long line of
shōguns, the last of whom was Ashikaga Yoshiaki, whom Nobunaga deposed in
1573, and who had died 1597. With this new appointment began a line of
Tokugawa shōguns that ended only with the restoration in 1868.

Ieyasu’s most radical change in the system of government consisted in the
establishment of the seat of his executive department at Yedo. Since A.D.
794 Kyōto had been the capital where successive emperors had reigned, and
where Nobunaga and Hideyoshi exercised executive control. Kamakura had
been the seat of Yoritomo and his successors. But Ieyasu saw advantages in
establishing himself in a new field, to which the traditions of idleness
and effeminacy had not attached themselves, and where the associations of
his own warlike career would act as a stimulus to his contemporaries and
successors. He remained at Fushimi until necessary repairs could be made
to the Castle of Yedo(200) and the roads between it and the capital put in
order. The place which henceforth was to be the principal capital of the
country first comes into notice, as we have before mentioned, as a castle
built by Ōta Dōkwan in A.D. 1456. He had been placed here by the
authorities of Kamakura to watch the movements of the restless princes of
the north. Recognizing the strength and convenience of the high grounds on
the border of Yedo bay, he built a castle which, through many
transformations and enlargements, finally developed into the great feudal
capital of the Tokugawa shōguns. It was here that Ieyasu, after the fall
of Odawara, by the advice of Hideyoshi,(201) established himself for the
government of the provinces of the Kwantō which had been given to him.

And it was without doubt this earlier experience which led him to select
Yedo as the centre of his feudal government. The reputation which this
eastern region bore for roughness and want of culture, as compared with
the capital of the emperor at Kyōto, seemed to him an advantage rather
than an objection. He could here build up a system of government free from
the faults and weaknesses which had become inseparable from the old seats
of power. After the repairs and enlargements had been completed he took up
his residence there. Besides this castle, Ieyasu had for his private
residence, especially after his retirement from the shōgunate, an
establishment at Sumpu, now called Shizuoka. Here he was visited by
English and Dutch envoys in reference to the terms of allowing trade, and
here, after the manner of his country, he maintained his hold upon the
administration of affairs, notwithstanding his formal retirement.

A continued source of disquietude and danger to the empire, or at least to
the plans of Ieyasu for a dynasty of Tokugawa shōguns, lay in Hideyori,
the son and heir of Taikō Sama. He was born in 1592, and was therefore at
this time, 1614, in his twenty-third year. As long as he lived he would be
naturally and inevitably the centre to which all the disaffected elements
of the country would gravitate. The failure of Ieyasu to support the cause
of his old master’s son would always prove a source of weakness to him,
especially in a country where fidelity to parents and superiors was held
in such high esteem. He determined, therefore, to bring to a conclusion
these threatening troubles which had so long been hanging over him.
Accordingly, on the ground that Hideyori was plotting with his enemies
against the peace of the state, he set out from Sumpu, where he was then
residing as retired shōgun, with an army of seventy thousand men. Hideyori
and his mother had for a long time resided at the castle of Ōsaka, and
against this Ieyasu directed his large army. It was bravely and skilfully
defended, and without the help of artillery, which at this early day was
rarely used in sieges, a long time elapsed before any decided advantage
was gained. At last the defenders were tempted beyond the protection of
their fortifications, and a battle was fought June 3, 1615. It is
described by the Jesuit fathers, two of whom witnessed it, as being
sanguinary beyond the example of the bloody battles of the Japanese civil
wars. It resulted in the complete overthrow of Hideyori’s adherents, and
the destruction of the castle by fire. Both Hideyori and his mother were
said to have perished in the conflagration. Reports were current that they
had, however, escaped and taken refuge in some friendly locality. But no
trace of them was ever found, and it was taken for granted that this was
the end of Hideyori and his party.

Before ending this chapter, which is designed to record the establishment
of the Tokugawa shōguns, reference should be made to the settlement of the
questions left in dispute by Taikō Sama respecting Korea. There remained
after the war, with all its attendant atrocities and sufferings, a feeling
of intense bitterness towards the Japanese on the part both of the Koreans
and Chinese. The absence of any sufficient cause for the invasion, and the
avowed purpose of Taikō Sama to extend his conquests to China had awakened
against him and his armies a hatred which generations could not wipe out.
Soon after the recall of the Japanese troops which followed the death of
Taikō Sama, Ieyasu opened negotiations with Korea through the daimyō of
Tsushima. He caused the government to be informed that any friendly
overtures on its part would be received in a like spirit. The king of
Korea accordingly despatched an embassy with an autograph letter,
addressed to the “King of Japan.” A translation of this letter will be
found in Mr. Aston’s last paper(202) on Hideyoshi’s invasion of Korea.
Among other things it says: “The sovereign and subjects of this country
were profoundly grieved, and felt that they could not live under the same
heaven with your country.... However your country has now reformed the
errors of the past dynasty and practises the former friendly relations. If
this be so, is it not a blessing to the people of both countries? We have
therefore sent you the present embassy in token of friendship. The
enclosed paper contains a list of some poor productions of our country. Be
pleased to understand this.” This letter was dated in the year 1607. A
friendly answer was returned to it, and from this time it may be
understood that the relations between the two countries were placed on a
satisfactory basis. These steps were taken on the part of Korea with the
knowledge and approval of China, which now claimed to hold a protectorate
over the peninsula of Korea. The same negotiations therefore which
resulted in peaceful relations with Korea brought about a condition of
amity with China which was not disturbed until very recent times.

The ruinous effects of this invasion, however, were never overcome in
Korea itself. Her cities had been destroyed, her industries blotted out,
and her fertile fields rendered desolate. Once she had been the fruitful
tree from which Japan was glad to gather her arts and civilization, but
now she was only a branchless trunk which the fires of war had charred and
left standing.


                             Tokugawa Crest.


To the readers of the story of Japan the most interesting episode is that
of the introduction and subsequent extirpation of Christianity. We have
therefore given an account of the first arrival of the Jesuit missionaries
with the sainted Xavier at their head, and we have seen their labors
crowned with a very wide success. During the times of Nobunaga and
Hideyoshi the question had assumed something of a political aspect. In
several of the provinces of Kyūshū the princes had become converts and had
freely used their influence, and sometimes their authority, to extend
Christianity among their subjects. In Kyōto and Yamaguchi, in Ōsaka and
Sakai, as well as in Kyūshū, the Jesuit fathers had founded flourishing
churches and exerted a wide influence. They had established colleges where
the candidates for the church could be educated and trained. They had
organized hospitals and asylums at Nagasaki and elsewhere, where those
needing aid could be received and treated.

It is true that the progress of the work had met with a severe setback in
A.D. 1587, when Taikō Sama issued an edict expelling all foreign religious
teachers from Japan. In pursuance of this edict nine foreigners who had
evaded expulsion were burnt at Nagasaki. The reason for this decisive
action on the part of Taikō Sama is usually attributed to the suspicion
which had been awakened in him by the loose and unguarded talk of a
Portuguese sea captain.(203) But other causes undoubtedly contributed to
produce in him this intolerant frame of mind. Indeed, the idea of
toleration as applied to religious belief had not yet been admitted even
in Europe. At this very time Philip II., who had united in his own person
the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal, was endeavoring to compel, by force of
arms, the Netherlands to accept his religious belief, and was engaged
throughout all his immense dominions in the task of reducing men’s minds
to a hideous uniformity.

Even in several of the provinces of Japan where the Jesuits had attained
the ascendancy, the most forcible measures had been taken by the Christian
princes to compel all their subjects to follow their own example and adopt
the Christian faith. Takeyama, whom the Jesuit fathers designate as Justo
Ucondono, carried out in his territory at Akashi a system of bitter
persecution. He gave his subjects the option of becoming Christians or
leaving his territory. Konishi Yukinaga, who received part of the province
of Higo as his fief after the Korean war enforced with great persistency
the acceptance of the Christian faith, and robbed the Buddhist priests of
their temples and their lands. The princes of Ōmura and Arima, and to a
certain extent the princes of Bungo, followed the advice of the Jesuit
fathers in using their authority to advance the cause of Christianity. The
fathers could scarcely complain of having the system of intolerance
practised upon them, which, when circumstances were favorable, they had
advised to be applied to their opponents. It was this impossibility of
securing peace and harmony, and the suspicion of the territorial ambition
of Spain and Portugal, which drove Taikō Sama to the conclusion that the
foreign religious teachers and the faith which they had so successfully
propagated, were a source of imminent danger to his country. To him it was
purely a political question. He had no deep religious impressions which
had led him to prefer the precepts of the old Japanese faith to those of
Christianity. These systems could not apparently live together, and it
seemed to him the safest and most sensible way to extinguish the weaker
and most dangerous before it became too strong. Hence he began that policy
of repression and expulsion which his successor reluctantly took up.

During the first years of Ieyasu’s supremacy the Christians were not
disturbed. He was too much occupied with the establishment of the new
executive department which he had planned. In 1606 the Portuguese resident
bishop, Father Louis Cerqueria, was received by Ieyasu at Kyōto. The
fathers speak of this audience with great hopefulness, and did not seem to
be aware that the court which most of the Christian princes were at that
time paying to Hideyori was likely to prejudice Ieyasu against them. Again
in 1607 Ieyasu, who was then at Kofu in the province of Kai awaiting the
completion of his castle at Yedo, expressed a desire to see the
Provincial. Accordingly when he waited on Ieyasu he was received very
cordially. The Christian fathers were much encouraged by these indications
of the favor of Ieyasu. But whatever they may have been, they cannot be
interpreted as showing any intention on his part to promote their
religious proselytism. Even in the very midst of these assumed favors he
issued in 1606 what may be called a warning proclamation,(204) announcing
that he had learned with pain that, contrary to Taikō Sama’s edict, many
had embraced the Christian religion. He warned all officers of his court
to see that the edict was strictly enforced. He declared that it was for
the good of the state that none should embrace the new doctrine; and that
such as had already done so must change immediately.

This proclamation of Ieyasu did not, however, prevent the Catholics at
Nagasaki from celebrating in a gorgeous manner the beatification(205) of
Ignatius Loyola, the founder and first General of the Society of Jesus.
The bishop officiated in pontifical robes, and the members of the society,
together with the Franciscans, Dominicans, and Augustinians, made a solemn
procession through the city. This celebration was in distinct
contravention of the orders which had been issued against such public
displays. It was made more emphatic by being also held on the same day in
the province of Arima, whose daimyō was an ardent advocate of the
Christian doctrine. These open and determined infractions of the
directions of the government provoked Ieyasu to take severe measures. He
began by punishing some of the native Christians connected with his own
court, who were charged with bribery and intrigue in behalf of the daimyō
of Arima. A number of these accused Christians were banished and their
estates confiscated.

In the meantime both the English and Dutch had appeared on the scene, as
will be more fully detailed in the next chapter. Their object was solely
trade, and as the Portuguese monopoly hitherto had been mainly secured by
the Jesuit fathers, it was natural for the new-comers to represent the
motive of these fathers in an unfavorable and suspicious light. “Indeed,”
as Hildreth(206) says, “they had only to confirm the truth of what the
Portuguese and Spanish said of each other to excite in the minds of the
Japanese rulers the gravest distrust as to the designs of the priests of
both nations.”(207)

Whether it is true as charged that the minds of the Japanese rulers had
been poisoned against the Jesuit fathers by misrepresentation and
falsehood, it may be impossible to determine definitely; but it is fair to
infer that the cruel and intolerant policy of the Spanish and Portuguese
would be fully set forth and the danger to the Japanese empire from the
machinations of the foreign religious teachers held up in the worst light.

During the latter years of Ieyasu’s life, after he had settled the affairs
of the empire and put the shōgunate upon a permanent basis, we see growing
evidence of his prejudice against Christianity. That he had such prejudice
in a very pronounced form is clear from his reference to the “false and
corrupt school” in chapter xxxi. of the _Legacy_. And he had inherited
from Taikō Sama the conviction that the spread of this foreign faith was a
menace to the peace of the empire. The instructions(208) which were issued
to the members of the Society of Jesus, however, forbade any father to
meddle in secular affairs or to interfere in any way with the political
concerns of the government in which they were laboring. That there were
occasional instances of the disregard of this regulation by the
enthusiastic members of the order may be supposed, but it will be unjust
and unfounded to attribute to this society a settled policy of
interference in the affairs of the nations where they were employed as

Ieyasu, evidently having made up his mind that for the safety of the
empire Christianity must be extirpated, in 1614 issued an edict(209) that
the members of all religious orders, whether European or Japanese, should
be sent out of the country; that the churches which had been erected in
various localities should be pulled down, and that the native adherents of
the faith should be compelled to renounce it. In part execution of this
edict all the members of the Society of Jesus, native and foreign, were
ordered to be sent to Nagasaki. Native Christians were sent to Tsugaru,
the northern extremity of the Main island. Takeyama, who had already been
banished by Taikō Sama to the province of Kaga, was ordered to leave the
country. He was sent in a Chinese ship to Manila, where he soon after
died. In order to repress any disturbance that might arise from the
execution of this edict, ten thousand troops were sent to Kyūshū, where
the converts were much the most numerous, and where the daimyōs in many
cases either openly protected or indirectly favored the new faith.

In accordance with this edict, as many as three hundred persons are said
to have been shipped from Japan October 25, 1614. All the resident Jesuits
were included in this number, excepting eighteen fathers and nine
brothers, who concealed themselves and thus escaped the search. Following
this deportation of converts the most persistent efforts continued to be
made to force the native Christians to renounce their faith. The accounts
given, both by the foreign and by the Japanese writers, of the
persecutions which now broke upon the heads of the Christians are beyond
description horrible. A special service was established by the government
which was called the Christian Enquiry,(210) the object of which was to
search out Christians in every quarter and drive them to a renunciation of
their faith. Both the foreign priests who had remained in the country in
spite of the edict and the native converts were hunted down and punished
with the most appalling tortures. Rewards were offered for information
involving Christians of every position and rank, even of parents against
their children and of children against their parents. At what time this
practice began it is difficult to say, but that rewards were used at an
early period is evident from the re-issue of an edict in 1655, in which it
is stated(211) that formerly a reward of 200 pieces of silver was paid for
denouncing a father (_bateren_) and 100 for denouncing a brother
(_iruman_); but from this time the rewards should be: for denouncing a
father, 300 pieces; a brother, 200 pieces; and a catechist, 50 pieces. In
1711 this tariff was raised, for denouncing a father to 500 pieces, a
brother to 300 pieces, and a catechist to 100 pieces; also for denouncing
a person who, having recanted, returned to the faith, 300 pieces. These
edicts against Christianity were displayed on the edict-boards as late as
the year 1868.

The persecution began in its worst form about 1616. This was the year in
which Ieyasu died, but his son and successor carried out the terrible
programme with heartless thoroughness. It has never been surpassed for
cruelty and brutality on the part of the persecutors, or for courage and
constancy on the part of those who suffered. The letters of the Jesuit
fathers are full of descriptions of the shocking trials to which the
Christians were subjected. The tortures inflicted are almost beyond
belief. Mr. Gubbins, in the paper(212) to which reference has already been
made, says: “We read of Christians being executed in a barbarous manner in
sight of each other, of their being hurled from the tops of precipices, of
their being buried alive, of their being torn asunder by oxen, of their
being tied up in rice-bags, which were heaped up together, and of the pile
thus formed being set on fire. Others were tortured before death by the
insertion of sharp spikes under the nails of their hands and feet, while
some poor wretches by a refinement of horrid cruelty were shut up in cages
and there left to starve with food before their eyes. Let it not be
supposed that we have drawn on the Jesuit accounts solely for this
information. An examination of the Japanese records will show that the
case is not overstated.”(213)

The region around Nagasaki was most fully impregnated with the new
doctrine, and it was here that the persecution was by far the most severe.
This was now an imperial city, governed directly by officers from the
government of Yedo. The governor is called Kanwaytsdo by Warenius, relying
on Caron and Guysbert, but I have been unable to identify him by his true
Japanese name. Beginning from 1616 there was a continuous succession of
persecutions. In 1622 one hundred and thirty men, women, and children were
put to death, among whom were two Spanish priests, and Spinola an Italian.
The next year one hundred more were put to death. The heroism of these
martyrs awakened the greatest enthusiasm among the Christians. In the
darkness of the night following the execution many of them crept to the
place where their friends had been burnt and tenderly plucked some charred
fragments of their bodies, which they carried away and cherished as
precious relics. To prevent the recurrence of such practices the officers
directed that the bodies of those burnt should be completely consumed and
the ashes thrown into the sea. Guysbert in his account mentions that among
those executed at Hirado was a man who had been in the employ of the Dutch
factory and his wife. They had two little boys whom the factor offered to
take and have brought up by the Dutch. But the parents declined, saying
that they preferred to have the boys die with them. A plan was devised by
which the heads of households were required to certify that none of their
families were Christians, and that no priests or converts were harbored by

All this terrible exercise of power and the constantly recurring scenes of
suffering were more than the governor could endure, and so we find him at
last complaining that he could not sleep and that his health was impaired.
At his earnest petition he was relieved and a new governor appointed in
1626. He signalized his entrance upon his duties by condemning thirteen
Christians to be burnt, viz.: Bishop Franciscus Parquerus, a Portuguese,
seventy years old; Balthazar de Tores, a Dominican, fifty-seven years old,
together with five Portuguese and five Japanese laymen. When it came to
the crisis the five Portuguese renounced their faith and escaped death. On
the twelfth of July nine more were executed, five by burning and four by
beheading. On the twenty-ninth of July a priest was caught and executed
who had concealed himself in a camp of lepers, and who had hoped in that
way to escape detection.

The governor exerted himself to bring about recantations on the part of
those who had professed themselves Christians. He promised special favors
to such as would renounce their faith, and in many cases went far beyond
promises to secure the result. He set a day when all the apostates dressed
in their best clothes should present themselves at his office. Fifteen
hundred appeared on this occasion, and were treated with the greatest
kindness and consideration. But the officers began to see that putting
Christians to death would not prevent others from embracing the same
doctrine. There grew up such an enthusiasm among the faithful that they
sought rather than avoided the crown of martyrdom. As Guysbert points out,
the knowledge of the Christian religion possessed by these converts must
have been exceedingly small; they knew the Lord’s prayer and the _Ave
Maria_, and a few other prayers of the Church, but they had not the
Scriptures to read, and many of them could not have read them even if they
had been translated into their own language. And yet these humble and
ignorant people withstood death, and tortures far worse than death, with a
heroism worthy of all praise.

On the eighth of February, 1627, twelve persons were captured in a
hiding-place about a mile from Nagasaki; they were first branded with a
hot iron on the forehead, and then on each cheek; then because they would
not recant they were burnt to death. Subsequently forty more were
captured, among whom were a father and mother with their three young
children. The children were frightened at the dreadful preparations, and
would have recanted, but their parents refused to permit them to take
advantage of the offers of clemency. After the branding and beating, those
who were not yet driven to recant were sent off to the boiling springs of
Onsen in Arima. Here they were tortured by having the boiling water of the
springs poured upon them, and by being compelled to breathe the
suffocating sulphurous air which these springs emitted.

On the fourteenth of the following May, nine martyrs suffered all the
torments which could be contrived and finally were drowned. August
seventeenth five Christians were burnt and eighteen otherwise put to
death, of whom one was a Franciscan monk and the rest were natives.
October twenty-sixth three Japanese magnates who had joined Hideyori
against Ieyasu were discovered to be Christians, and were shipped off to
Macao. In the following year, 1628, it is said that three hundred and
forty-eight persons were tortured for their faith, including torture by
the boiling springs, beating with clubs, and burning. It had been reduced
to such a science that when they saw a subject becoming weak and likely to
die, they suspended their torments until he revived. Whenever a priest was
captured in any household the whole family by whom he had been concealed
were put to death.

Another new governor was sent to Nagasaki on the 27th of July, 1629. He
came with the high purpose of rooting out every vestige of Christianity.
He set about his work in the most systematic manner. Nagasaki, it must be
understood, is laid out in streets which can be closed up by gates. Each
street had its head man, and every five houses in each street were under
the special charge of a separate overseer. These overseers were
responsible as to what occurred and who were concealed in each of the
houses under his charge. The gates were all closed at night and opened
again in the morning.

The governor went through these streets house by house, and examined every
person in every house. If the occupants were not Christians, or if they
renounced their Christianity, they were allowed to go undisturbed; but if
any one persisted in the new doctrine he was sent off to be tortured by
hot water at the boiling springs. This torture was now improved by
requiring the victim to have his back slit open and the boiling water
poured directly on the raw flesh. He used the most monstrous means to
force the people to renounce their faith. He compelled naked women to go
through the streets on their hands and knees, and many recanted rather
than suffer such an ordeal. Other cases are recorded too horrible to be
related, and which only the ingenuity of hell could have devised. That any
should have persisted after such inhuman persecutions seems to be almost
beyond belief. Guysbert says that in 1626 Nagasaki had forty thousand
Christians, and in 1629 not one was left who acknowledged himself a
believer. The governor was proud that he had virtually exterminated

But the extermination had not yet been attained. The severity of the
measures adopted in Nagasaki had indeed driven many into the surrounding
provinces, so that every place of shelter was full. They awaited in terror
the time when they too should be summoned to torture and death. Usually
they had not long to wait, for the service of the Christian Enquiry was
active and diligent. New refinements of cruelty were constantly invented
and applied. The last and one of the most effectual is denominated by the
foreign historians of these scenes the _Torment of the Fosse_. Mathia
Tanner, S. J., in his _History of the Martyrs of Japan_, published in
Prague, 1675, gives minute accounts of many martyrdoms. His descriptions
are illustrated by sickening engravings of the tortures inflicted. Among
these he gives one illustrating the suspension of a martyr in a pit on the
16th of August, 1633. The victim is swathed in a covering which confines
all parts of the body except one hand with which he can make the signal of
recantation. A post is planted by the side of the pit, with an arm
projecting out over it. The martyr is then drawn up by a rope fastened to
the feet and run over the arm of the post. He is then lowered into the pit
to a depth of five or six feet and there suffered to hang. The suffering
was excruciating. Blood exuded from the mouth and nose, and the sense of
pressure on the brain was fearful. Yet with all this suffering the victim
usually lived eight or nine days. Few could endure this torture, and it
proved a most effectual method of bringing about recantations. Guysbert
says that he had many friendly conversations with those who had
experienced the torture of the _Fosse_. They solemnly assured him “that
neither the pain caused by burning with fire, nor that caused by any other
kind of torture, deserves to be compared with the agony produced in this
way.” Not being able longer to endure the suffering, they had recanted and
been set free. Yet it is told as a miraculous triumph of faith that a
young girl was submitted to this torture, and lived fifteen days without
recanting and at last died.

It is surely not unnatural that human nature should succumb to such
torments. Even the well seasoned nerves of the Jesuit fathers were not
always able to endure to the end. The enemies of the Jesuits delight in
narrating the apostasy of Father Christopher Ferreyra, seventy years old,
a Portuguese missionary and the provincial of the order. He was captured
in Nagasaki, 1633, and was tortured by suspension in the _Fosse_. After
five hours he gave the signal of recantation and was released. He was kept
for some time in prison and compelled to give information concerning the
members of his order in Japan. He was set at liberty and forced to marry,
assuming the Japanese dress and a Japanese name. There was a report set on
foot by the Jesuits that in his old age when on his death-bed he recovered
his courage and declared himself a Christian, whereupon he was immediately
carried off by the Japanese officers to the torture of the _Fosse_, where
he perished a penitent martyr.

It was at this time that the method of trial called _E-fumi_,(214) or
trampling on the cross, was instituted. At first pictures on paper were
used, then slabs of wood were substituted as more durable, and finally in
the year 1660 an engraver of Nagasaki, named Yusa, cast bronze plates from
the metal obtained by despoiling the altars of the churches. These plates
were about five inches long and four inches wide and one inch thick, and
had on them a figure of Christ on the cross. We take from the French
edition of Kæmpfer’s _History of Japan_(215) an account of what he calls
“this detestable solemnity.” It was conducted by an officer called the
_kirishitan bugyō_, or Christian inquisitor, and began on the second day
of the first month. In Nagasaki it was commenced at two different places
at once, and was carried on from house to house until the whole city was
finished. The officers of each street were required to be present. The
metal plate on which was a figure of the Saviour upon the cross was laid
upon the floor. Then the head of the house, his family, and servants of
both sexes, old and young, and any lodgers that might be in the house,
were called into the room. The secretary of the inquisitor thereupon made
a list of the household and called upon them one by one to set their feet
on the plate. Even young children not able to walk were carried by their
mothers and made to step on the images with their feet. Then the head of
the family put his seal to the list as a certificate to be laid before the
governor that the inquisition had been performed in his house. If any
refused thus to trample on the cross they were at once turned over to the
proper officers to be tortured as the cases required.

This same method of trial was used in the provinces about Nagasaki, the
governor lending to the officers the plate which they might use.

Without following the entire series of events which resulted in the
extirpation of Christianity, it will be sufficient to give a brief
narrative of the closing act in this fearful tragedy. It is just, however,
to explain that the Shimabara rebellion was not due to the Christians
alone, but that other causes contributed to and perhaps originated it. In
view, however, of the cruel persecutions to which the Christians were
subjected, it is not surprising that they should have been driven to
engage in such a rebellion as that in Arima.(216) The wonder rather is
that they were not often and in many places impelled to take up arms
against the inhumanities of their rulers. The explanation of this absence
of resistance will be found in the scattered condition of the Christian
communities. Nowhere, unless it might be in Nagasaki, was the number of
converts collected in one place at all considerable. They were everywhere
overawed by the organized power of the government, and the experience of
those who joined in this Arima insurrection did not encourage a repetition
of its horrors.

The beginning of the revolt is traced to the misgovernment of the daimyō
of Arima. The original daimyō had been transferred by the shōgun to
another province, and when he removed from Arima he left nearly all his
old retainers behind him. The newly instituted daimyō, on the contrary,
who came to occupy the vacated province brought with him a full complement
of his own followers. To make room for these new retainers the old ones
were displaced placed from their dwellings and holdings, and compelled to
become farmers or to take up any other occupation which they could find.
Like the _samurai_ of other parts of Japan who had been unaccustomed to
any calling except that of arms, these displaced retainers proved very
unsuccessful farmers, and were of course very much dissatisfied with the
new course of things. The daimyō was a cruel and inconsiderate man, who
made small account of the hardships and complaints of the _samurai_
farmers. The taxes were made heavier than they could pay, and when they
failed to bring in the required amount of rice, he ordered them to be
dressed in straw rain-coats which were tied around their neck and arms.
Their hands were fastened behind their backs, and in this helpless
condition the rain-coats were set on fire. Many were fatally burned, and
some to escape the burning threw themselves into the water and were

This senseless cruelty awakened an intense feeling of hatred against the
daimyō. And when his son who succeeded him was disposed to continue the
same tyrannical policy, the farmers rose in insurrection against their
lord. The peasants of the island of Amakusa, which lies directly opposite
to the province of Arima, also joined in this rising, owing to their
discontent against the daimyō of Karatsu.

The Christians, who had so long groaned under the persecutions of their
rulers, seized this opportunity to rise, and joined the farmers. They
declared that the time had now come for them to avenge the innocent blood
of Christians and priests who had perished throughout the empire. The
rising of the Christians began at the village of Oyei in Amakusa, October,
1637. The excitement was intense, and in a few days it is said that eight
thousand three hundred men and one thousand women were assembled at this
village. They chose as their chief Shirō Tokisada, the son of the head man
of the village of Hara, who proposed to march immediately upon Nagasaki
and open negotiations with foreign nations, and if possible obtain from
them the help of troops. He was an enthusiast and without experience in
war. The leading spirit in the insurrection seems to have been a
_rônin_(217) named Ashizuka, who recommended that the insurgents should
cross over to Shimabara. But Shirō and his enthusiastic followers resolved
to attack the castle of Tomioka situated on the north-west coast of
Amakusa. They were, however, unable to make any impression upon it, and
were obliged to withdraw. Ashizuka and a few followers succeeded in
breaking into the castle of Shimabara and seizing the arms and ammunition
and provisions which were stored there. The government rice stores were
seized both on the mainland and on the island of Amakusa. All the
insurgents, including men, women, and children, then gathered into a
deserted castle at Hara, which was capable of holding 40,000 to 50,000
persons. It was supposed to be impregnable, and was put in order and
provisioned for a long siege. The number gathered here is estimated by the
Japanese writers at 40,200, but this number without doubt is an

The local rulers finding themselves unable to cope with the rebellion, and
seeing its proportions swelling every day, appealed to Yedo for help. The
shōgun at this time was Iemitsu, the son of the preceding shōgun, and
grandson of Ieyasu. He possessed many of the good qualities of his
grandfather, and is looked upon, with the exception of Ieyasu, as the
greatest of the Tokugawa line. He had imbibed all the prejudices of his
predecessors against foreigners and against the religion of the
foreigners. He feared that this rebellion was begun at their instigation,
and would be carried on with their encouragement and help. He prepared
therefore for a sharp and desperate struggle, which he was determined
should be carried out to the bitter end.

Itakura Naizen was sent down as commander-in-chief, and given full powers.
Under his direction the siege of the castle, in which the rebels were
gathered, was commenced on the 31st of December, 1637. The daimyōs of
Kyūshū, on the demand of the government, sent additional troops, so that
the besieging army amounted to 160,000 men. Yet with all this force, urged
on by an ambition to end this rebellion, no serious effect had yet been
produced on the castle. The attacks which had been made had produced no
breach in its walls. We have no information concerning the progress of
affairs among the inmates. It must be remembered that a part of the rebels
were _samurai_ farmers, who were inured to arms, and who knew perfectly
that neither consideration nor mercy would be shown them or their families
in case the castle were taken. The remainder of the besieged force were
the Christian insurgents, who had been driven to this rebellion by their
cruel persecution. Nothing could be worse than what they had already
endured, and they had no expectation that if they were beaten in this
contest any pity would be shown to them. Despair made the attitude of both
divisions of the rebels one of determined resistance, and their obstinacy
led the besiegers to put forth every effort.


                             Pleasure Yacht.


                             Pleasure Yacht.


                             Merchant Vessel.

One step which they took in this matter led to much discussion and to the
widening of the breach between the Dutch and the Portuguese. On the 11th
of January, 1638, the besiegers applied to the Dutch at Hirado for a
supply of gunpowder, which request was complied with, and at the same time
an apology was tendered that no larger quantity could be sent. Again, on
the 15th of February a request for cannon to be used in the siege was
received, and the guns were sent. Mr. Koeckebacker says: “We gave the
largest and most uniform guns in our possession.”(218) Finally, on the
19th of February, Mr. Koeckebacker was asked to send one of the Dutch
ships(219) then at Hirado to the assistance of the besiegers. The _de Ryp_
was accordingly sent, and Mr. Koeckebacker himself accompanied her. The
guns which had been first sent were mounted as a land battery, and the
guns of the _de Ryp_ from her anchorage in the bay were trained on the
castle. It was a new experience for the Japanese to see cannon used in the
siege of a castle, but the effect was much less than had been expected. No
practicable breach was made, and the final result seemed as far off as
ever. “During the fifteen days from the 24th of February to the 12th of
March, there were thrown into the camp of the enemy four hundred and
twenty-six cannon balls from the twenty guns of the ship _de Ryp_.”(220)

In the meantime the Japanese officers began to feel that it was not a
dignified proceeding to call upon a foreign nation to help them to put
down a local rebellion. Even the insurgents had shot an arrow into the
imperial camp to which a letter was attached, deriding them for calling
for assistance when there were so many courageous soldiers in Japan.
Whatever may have been the cause, the Dutch received notice on the 12th of
March that their ship was no longer required, and accordingly they
returned to Hirado. The castle was taken by assault on the 12th of April,
1638, after a siege which had lasted one hundred and two days, and about
seven months from the breaking out of the rebellion. By special orders
from Yedo the insurgents captured in the castle were to the last man,
woman, and child put to death.(221) The father of Shirō, the young leader,
was crucified, and Shirō himself was decapitated, and his head exposed for
seven days on the great pier at Nagasaki. The daimyō, whose misgovernment
had brought on this rebellion in Amakusa, was stripped of most of his
territories, and he was so intensely hated in what remained to him that he
committed _hara-kiri_. The daimyō of Arima, whose misconduct and neglect
had driven the _samurai_ farmers into their fatal rising, was also
permitted to take his own life.

The help, which the Dutch rendered in this siege, exposed them to much
vituperation. Naturally, the Jesuit historians have taken a very
unfavorable view of the Dutch share in this sad transaction. Dr. Geerts in
his defence of the Dutch argues: “Koeckebacker did no more than any one
else of any nationality would probably have done in the same difficult
position.... His endeavor was to preserve from decline or destruction the
interests intrusted to him, and this was done at the smallest possible
price.... Moreover, the letters of Koeckebacker clearly show that the
Japanese government did not ask the aid of the Dutch in the persecution of
Christians, as has often been asserted by foreign authors, who have not
taken the trouble to inform themselves thoroughly on the subject, but they
requested the guns and the aid of the Dutch vessel for the purpose of
subduing rebellious subjects.... There could be no valid reason for
Koeckebacker to refuse the pressing request for aid, and consequently he
agreed to give assistance, as every wise man would have done in his
place.... Koeckebacker did not take part in the general massacre which
followed on the 11th of April, when the fortress of the rebels was taken
by the imperial troops, as he left with his ship for Hirado on the 12th of
March, leaving the guns behind in Arima. Had it been in his power to
prevent such a general massacre after the fortress had been taken, and the
rebels were prisoners, he would no doubt have done so.”(222)

This frightful termination to the rebellion, followed as it was by severe
and persistent measures against Christians everywhere, was apparently the
death-blow to the church in the empire. No further efforts were made,
either by the daimyōs of provinces or by the heads of the church, to make
open headway against the determined efforts of the government. Whatever
was done was in secret, and every means was tried on the part of those who
still clung to the Christian belief, and especially of those who were
still daring enough to try to minister to them, to conceal their locality
and their identity.(223)

The history of Christianity in Japan from this time downward was that of a
scattered and dismembered remnant struggling for existence. A long line of
edicts reaching to modern times was directed against “the corrupt sect,”
repeating again and again the directions for its suppression. The
_kirishitan bugyō_, or Christian inquisitor, had his office in Yedo, and
under him was a numerous and active corps of assistants. Inouye
Chikugo-no-Kami for a long time held this position. A place is still
pointed out called _Karishitan Zaka_, or Christian Valley, where once
stood the house in which were confined a number of the foreign priests.
Here may be seen the grave of Father Chiara, who had under torture abjured
his faith, and remained a prisoner for forty years, dying 1685.(224)
Professor Dixon says that “there are two bamboo tubes inserted in sockets
in front of the tomb, which I have never found empty, but always full of
flowers in bloom. No one knows who offer these flowers, but they must be
descendants of the Doshin Christians, or believers in Christianity, or
worshippers of Koshin.” Here also was confined Father Baptiste Sidotti, a
Sicilian Jesuit who ventured to enter Japan in 1707 with the purpose of
resuming the work of the Jesuits which the persecution had interrupted.

And yet with all this vigilance and severity on the part of the
government, what was the amazement of the Christian world to learn that
the old faith still survived! In the villages around Nagasaki there were
discovered in 1865,(225) not only words and symbols which had been
preserved in the language, but even communities where had been kept alive
for more than two centuries the worship bequeathed to them by their
ancestors. We shall have occasion hereafter to refer to this interesting
memento of the Christianity of the seventeenth century.


Ieyasu was not only a general of eminent abilities, who had from his youth
been accustomed to the responsibility and management of great campaigns,
but he was a statesman who knew how to secure the advantage to be obtained
from victories and conquests. After the decisive battle of Sekigahara,
when the control of the empire became fixed in his hands, we hear little
more of him as a general, excepting in the battle at Ōsaka, when the
fortunes of Hideyori were finally and definitely settled. The common
conception of Ieyasu is not that of a great commander like Hideyoshi, but
rather of an organizer and law-maker, who out of confused and dismembered
provinces and principalities of the empire constructed a firm and abiding
state.(226) After his settlement of the dissensions at home, and his
admirable adjustment of the outstanding difficulties with Korea and China,
which we have already traced, we shall find Ieyasu principally engaged in
framing a government which should be suited to the peculiar wants and
founded on the historical antecedents of the country.



There was one characteristic of Ieyasu which has not received sufficient
attention. Although not a great scholar in any sense, even in the age in
which he lived, he was more familiar than most men of affairs of his day
with the Chinese classical writings, and was in the more leisurely periods
of his life a noted patron of learned men. The Chinese classics were said
to have been brought to Japan at an early period, even before the first
introduction of Buddhism. But the period was too early and the condition
of the country too rude to make the reading and study of the philosophical
and political writings of Confucius and Mencius an essential part of the
education of the people. The culture which Buddhism brought with it,
accompanied with a knowledge of the writing and reading of the Chinese
letters, was all that obtained any currency during the disturbed and
warlike ages of Japanese history. But when peace was at last established
by the supremacy of Ieyasu, and the active Japanese intellect had some
other employment than fighting, then learning took a great start. And as
the only idea which the Japanese possessed of learning was that which
prevailed in China and was imbedded in the Chinese writings, they
naturally turned to them for thought and systematic training.

Fortunately Ieyasu was a man who appreciated at its full value the effect
of learning on the character of his people. He caused the Confucian
classics(227) to be printed at a press which he patronized in Fushimi, and
this was said to be the first time these works had ever been printed in
Japan. He gathered scholars about him at Fushimi, at Yedo, and after his
retirement at Shizuoka (Sumpu). He favored education and encouraged the
daimyōs to establish schools where the children of their retainers could
be taught not only military accomplishments but the elements of a good
education. The Chinese classics were made the essentials of such an
education, and the chief duty of a school was to teach the pupils to read
and write and understand the works which their venerable and learned
neighbor had furnished them.


                         Mixing Ink For Writing.

Unfortunately this movement in behalf of learning was hampered by the
impracticable nature of the Chinese written language. Instead of a few
characters representing sounds, like European alphabets, it consists of
thousands of symbols, each representing an idea. The pupil must therefore
spend years in learning to make, and know and read the mere signs of
language. And in the modern necessities of printing,(228) the compositor
must handle not less than 4,000 or 5,000 Chinese characters, besides the
Japanese _kana_ and other needful marks. The _kana_ here mentioned were
the result of a promising effort which was made to simplify the Chinese
written language by expressing it in symbols representing sounds.
Forty-seven _kana_ letters—by repetition extended to fifty—each
representing a syllable, are used to express Japanese words.


 Styles Of Letters: (Chinese Proverb: Hiroku koriwo aisuruwo jintoyu. To
love universally is true humility.) 1. Kaisho (book letters). 2. Ditto. 3.
    Gyosho (script letters). 4. Ditto. 5. Hirasaua (Japanese script).


                           Japanese Syllabary.

The castle of Yedo was reconstructed and enlarged after the battle of
Sekigahara, while Ieyasu continued to reside at Fushimi. The Jesuit
fathers, who accompanied the Father Provincial on his visit to Ieyasu,
assert that 300,000 men were employed in this work. Very much of the
ground where the present city of Tōkyō now stands, was then, according to
old maps, covered with water. In excavating the moat which surrounds the
castle, and the canals connecting this moat with the Sumida-gawa, immense
quantities of earth were obtained, which were used to fill up lagoons and
to reclaim from the shallow bay portions which have now become solid land.
This work of building the castle and fitting the city for the residence of
a great population, was carried on by many of the successors of Ieyasu.
The third shōgun, Iemitsu, the grandson of Ieyasu, made great improvements
both to the castle and the city, so that the population and position of
Yedo in no long time placed it as the chief city of the empire.(229)

The task to which Ieyasu devoted himself during the years of his residence
at Yedo was that of consolidating and settling the feudal system of the
empire. The daimyōs had for centuries been so accustomed to conduct
themselves independently, and to govern each his own province in his own
way, that they might be expected to resent any efforts to restrict their
action. Fortunately Ieyasu was a mild and temperate man, who, while he
could act with firmness, was most considerate of the feelings and motives
of others. After the decisive victory of Sekigahara he readily and
cordially made terms with his enemies, and did not show himself rapacious
in exacting from them undue penalties for their hostility. To the daimyō
of Satsuma, as we have already seen, he restored the entire territory
which Taikō Sama had given him. The daimyō of Chōshū was allowed to keep
two of the provinces out of the ten which he had acquired by conquest, yet
these two made him still one of the richest and most powerful princes in
the empire. With others he dealt in the same liberal spirit, so that out
of the old proud daimyōs whom he spared and permitted to continue in their
holdings, he created for himself a body of fast friends.

But it must be remembered that the end Ieyasu had in view was to establish
a system which should continue loyal to his successors, and to a line of
successors who should be of his own family. Hence out of the confiscated
territories, and out of those which were in part vacated as a fine on the
former holders, and out of those which had become vacant by natural
causes, he carved many fiefs with which he endowed members of his own
family and those retainers who were closely affiliated with him. He had
twelve children,(230) nine sons and three daughters. The daughters were
married to three daimyōs. The oldest of his sons, Nobuyasu, had died at an
early age. His second son, Hideyasu, had been adopted by Taikō Sama, and
to him Ieyasu gave the province of Echizen as his fief. The third son,
Hidetada, who shared with his father the command of the forces at the
battle Sekigahara, had married a daughter of Taikō Sama, and succeeded his
father as shōgun. On his youngest three sons he bestowed the rich
provinces of Owari, Kii, and Mito, and constituted the families to which
they gave rise as the _Go-san-ké_, or the three honorable families. In
case of a failure in the direct line, the heir to the shōgunate was to be
chosen from one of these families.

Without undertaking to give a detailed account of the feudal system as
modified and established by Ieyasu, it will be sufficient to give the
classes of daimyōs as they continued to exist under the Tokugawa
shōgunate.(231) It must be understood that feudalism existed in Japan
before the time of Ieyasu. It can be traced to the period when Yoritomo
obtained from the emperor permission to send into each province a _shiugo_
who should be a military man, and should act as protector of the _kokushū_
or governor, who was always a civilian appointed by the emperor. These
military protectors were provided with troops, for the pay of whom
Yoritomo got permission from the emperor to levy a tax. Being active men,
and having troops under their command, they gradually absorbed the entire
authority, and probably in most cases displaced the _kokushū_, who only
represented the powerless government at Kyōto. Under the disturbed times
which followed the fall of the house of Yoritomo these _shiugo_ became the
hereditary military governors of the provinces, and usurped not only the
functions but the name of _kokushū_. They became a class of feudal barons
who, during the interval when no central authority controlled them,
governed each one his own province on his own responsibility. Even after
the establishment of a central authority, and continuously down to the
abolition of feudalism, the government of the people was in the hands of
the daimyō of each province. The assessment of taxes, the construction of
roads and bridges, the maintenance of education, the punishment of crime,
the collection of debts, the enforcement of contracts, and indeed the
whole circle of what was denominated law were in the hands of the local
government. In truth, in Japan as in other feudal countries there was
scarcely such a thing as law in existence. The customs that prevailed, the
common-sense decisions of a magistrate, the final determinations of the
daimyō, were authoritative in every community. And in all these each
province was in a great degree a law unto itself.

The classes of daimyōs as arranged and established by Ieyasu were not
altered by his successors, although the number included under each class
was liable to minor changes. Before Ieyasu’s time there were three classes
of daimyōs, viz.: eighteen _kokushū_, who may be termed lords of
provinces, thirty-two _ryōshu_ or lords of smaller districts, and two
hundred and twelve _jōshu_ or lords of castles, that is two hundred and
sixty-two in all. The distinction between the first two was one of rank,
but the third differed from the others in the fact that the assessment in
each case was less than 100,000 _kōku_ of rice. The number of _kokushū_
daimiates was increased by the addition of Kii and Owari, to which Ieyasu
appointed two of his sons as daimyōs. A third son he appointed daimyō of
Mito, which was already of the _kokushū_ rank. He vacated this place by
compelling the previous holder to accept in place of it another daimiate
of equivalent value.

Ieyasu divided all daimyōs into two distinct classes, the _fudai_ and the
_tozama_. The term _fudai_ was used to designate those who were considered
the vassals of the Tokugawa family. The _tozama_ daimyōs were those who
were considered as equal to the vassals of the Tokugawa family, but who
were not in fact vassals. Of the former there were originally one hundred
and seventy-seven, and of the latter eighty-six.(232) Twenty-one of the
_fudai_ daimyōs were relatives of the shōgun’s family, of whom three, as
has been stated, were the “honorable families.” All the others, numbering
eighteen, bore the name of Matsudaira, one of the family names of Ieyasu,
derived from a small village in the province of Mikawa, where Ieyasu was
born. This was allowed to them as a special honor.

We give here the classification of the daimyōs as enumerated by M.
Appert(233) in his list for the epoch about 1850:

1. Go-san-ké (three honorable families)                  3
2. Fudai daimyōs (vassals of Tokugawa family)          137
3. Tozama daimyōs (equal to vassals)                    99
4. Kamon (all the other branches of Tokugawa family)    18
5.  Daimyōs, not classified                              6
Total                                                  263

The five leading _tozama_ daimyōs were Kaga, Sendai, Aizu, Chōshū, and
Satsuma, and although they ranked after the _go-san-ké_, they had some
superior advantages. They were classed as _kyakubun_, or guests, and
whenever they paid a visit to the capital of the shōgun, they were met by
envoys and conducted to their residences.

Besides these daimyōs of different classes, Ieyasu established an inferior
kind of feudal nobility, which was termed _hatamoto_. This means literally
_under the flag_. They had small holdings assigned to them, and their
income varied very greatly. Mr. Gubbins, in his paper, puts the number at
about 2,000. It was the custom to employ the members of this minor class
of aristocracy very largely in filling the official positions in the
shōgun’s government. Indeed, it was held as a common maxim, that the
offices should be filled by poor men rather than by rich.(234) The
_gokenin_, numbering about 5,000, were still another class who were
inferior to the _hatamoto_. They had small incomes, and were mostly
employed in subordinate positions. Beneath these again stood the ordinary
fighting men, or common _samurai_, who were the retainers of the daimyōs
and of the shōgun. They were the descendants of the soldiers of the time
of Yoritomo, who appointed _shiugo_ to reside with a company of troops in
each province, for the purpose of keeping the peace. They had already
grown to claim a great superiority over the common people, and Ieyasu
encouraged them in this feeling of superciliousness. The people were
divided into four classes, arranged in the following order: _samurai_,
farmers, artisans, and merchants. And in his _Legacy_ Ieyasu thus
expresses himself(235): “The _samurai_ are masters of the four classes.
Farmers, artisans, and merchants may not behave in a rude manner towards
_samurai_ ... and a _samurai_ is not to be interfered with in cutting down
a fellow who has behaved to him in a manner other than is expected.” Again
he says(236): “A girded sword is the living soul of a _samurai_.”

The authority coming from so high and so revered a source did not grow
less during the centuries of feudalism which followed. The _samurai_ did
not fail to use all the privileges which were allowed them by Ieyasu’s
testamentary law. Especially in the large cities where great numbers of
them were gathered, and where idleness led them into endless evil
practices, the arrogance and overbearing pride of the _samurai_ made them
an intolerable nuisance. Nevertheless it must be allowed that nearly all
that was good, and high-minded, and scholarly in Japan was to be found
among the ranks of the feudal retainers. It is to them that the credit
must be given of the great changes and improvements which have been
initiated since Japan was opened up to foreigners. They were the students
who went out into the world to learn what western science had to teach
them. They have been pioneers in a return to a central authority and to
the experiment of a representative government, and to the principles of
freedom and toleration to which the country is committed. To them Japan
owes its ancient as well as its modern system of education. Its old stores
of literature, it is true, are not due to them, but surely all its modern
development in newspapers, magazines, history, political science, and
legal and commercial codes, is to be traced to the adaptability and energy
of the old _samurai_ class.



The _samurai_ had the privilege of carrying two swords; the principal one
(_katana_) was about four feet long, nearly straight, but slightly curved
toward the point, the blade thick and ground to a keen though blunt edge.
It was carried in a scabbard thrust through the _obi_ or belt on the left
side, with the edge uppermost. Besides the _katana_ the _samurai_ carried
also a short sword about nine and a half inches long, called _wakizashi_.
The blade of the sword was fastened to the hilt by a pin of wood and could
be readily detached. On the part of the blade inserted in the hilt, the
maker’s name was always inscribed, and it was a special matter of pride
when he was one of the famous sword-smiths of Japan. The most noted makers
were Munechika, Masamune, Yoshimitsu, and Muramasa, who ranged from the
tenth down through the fourteenth century. The quality of the Japanese
sword has been a matter of national pride, and the feats which have been
accomplished by it seem almost beyond belief. To cleave at one blow three
human bodies laid one upon another; to cut through a pile of copper coins
without nicking the edge, were common tests which were often tried.(237)


                      Sword, Spears, And Matchlock.

It was an essential part of the education of a young _samurai_ that he
should be trained thoroughly in martial exercises. The latter part of
every school day was given up to this kind of physical training. He was
taught to ride a horse, to shoot with the bow, to handle the spear, and
especially to be skilled in the etiquette and use of the sword.(238) They
went through again and again the tragic details of the commission of
_hara-kiri_, and had it impressed on their youthful imaginations with such
force and vividness, that when the time for its actual enactment came they
were able to meet the bloody reality without a tremor and with perfect

The foundation of the relations between the feudal chiefs and their
retainers lay in the doctrine of Confucius. The principles which he lays
down fitted in admirably to the ideas which the historical system of
Japanese feudalism had made familiar. They inculcated absolute submission
of the son to the father, of the wife to her husband, and of the servant
to his master, and in these respects Japanese feudalism was a willing and
zealous disciple. On these lines Ieyasu constructed his plans of
government, and his successors enthusiastically followed in his footsteps.


                          Daibutsu At Kamakura.

In religious belief the nation by the time of Ieyasu was largely
Buddhistic. Through ten centuries and a half the active propagation of
this faith had been going on, until now by far the greater number of the
population were Buddhists. In his _Legacy_ Ieyasu expresses a desire to
tolerate all religious sects except the Christian. He says: “High and low
alike may follow their own inclinations with respect to religious tenets
which have obtained down to the present time, except as regards the false
and corrupt school (Christianity). Religious disputes have ever proved the
bane and misfortune of the empire, and should determinedly be put a stop

While he was therefore tolerant towards all the different sects of
Buddhism and towards the old Shintō faith of the country, he particularly
patronized the Jōdo sect to which his ancestors had been attached, and to
which he charges his posterity to remain faithful.(241) In the archives of
the Buddhist temple Zōjōji at Shiba in Tōkyō was preserved an account
written by the head priest of the time, how Ieyasu, in 1590, visited the
temple and took it under his patronage, saying,(242) “For a general to be
without an ancestral temple of his own is as though he were forgetful of
the fact that he must die.... I have now come to beg of you to let me make
this my ancestral temple here.” So that from the time of Ieyasu the Jōdo
was the authorized sect to which the court of the shōguns was especially
attached, and to this is to be attributed the fact that its temples and
monasteries in Tōkyō have always been of the most majestic and gorgeous

Ieyasu did not long hold the office of shōgun, which the emperor had
conferred upon him in 1603. It is not easy to understand why a man, who
was only sixty-three years of age and who was still in vigorous health,
should wish to throw off the responsibilities of office and retire to
private life. We must remember, however, that it was the custom of his
country, consecrated by the usage of the imperial house and of the shōguns
and regents who had preceded him. Morever, though he surrendered to his
son the title of shōgun, he retained in his own hands a large part of the
power which he had hitherto exercised.

It may be supposed that he was anxious to establish the succession of the
shōgunate unquestionably in his own family. For this purpose he deemed it
wise to initiate a successor while he still had the influence and the
power to compel the acquiescence of the feudal lords of the empire. Acting
upon these considerations Ieyasu, in 1605, retired in favor of his third
son Hidetada. He received from the emperor the title of
_sei-i-tai-shōgun_, which his father had held. Ieyasu took up his
residence at Sumpu(244) (now Shizuoka), which was situated on Suruga bay,
one hundred and fourteen miles from the shōgun’s capital. Here he
maintained a court and practically in all important matters governed the
country. He was free, however, from the petty details of the
administration, and devoted himself as an amateur to a literary life, to
the collection and printing of books, and to the encouragement and
patronage of literary men, in which he delighted.

In the meantime important events had been taking place which had great
influence on the history of Japan. The contest between the Spanish on the
one hand, and the Dutch and English on the other, was not confined to the
Atlantic, but broke out in the Pacific, where the Portuguese and Spaniards
had so long been predominant. A preliminary to the opening of trade with
the Dutch were the arrival of William Adams and his extraordinary
experiences in Japan. As we learn from his own letters,(245) he was born
near Rochester in England, 1574, and when twelve years old was apprenticed
to Nicholas Diggins as a pilot. With him he served for twelve years, then
took service as pilot major of a fleet of five sail, which was about to be
despatched by the “Indish Companie” to take part in the trade of the East
Indies. This fleet had a rough time, and with fevers and scurvy and want
of food a great part of the crews of the five vessels died. They sailed by
the way of the straits of Magellan, then northward past Chili, and
westward across the broad Pacific. Two of the ships turned back at the
straits and returned to Holland. A third vessel was captured by the
Spaniards, and the pinnace of a fourth was seized by eight men, and run
into some island on their way, supposed to be one of the Sandwich Islands,
and there wrecked, and the eight men probably eaten. The two vessels still
remaining were the _Hope_ and the _Charity_. The former of these was never
more heard of. The sole remaining vessel was the _Charity_, of which
Jaques Maihore was the master, and William Adams was the pilot. Sickness,
especially the scurvy, which was the frightful scourge on board the
vessels of that day, had reduced the crew, so that only four were able to
walk, of whom Adams was one, and four more could creep on their knees.

In this condition they reached, on the eleventh of April, 1600, the
northeastern coast of the island of Kyūshū, landing in the province of
Bungo, whose prince in earlier days had been the friend and patron of the
Portuguese Jesuits. They were kindly received, the governor of the
district furnishing a guard to protect their property—too late however for
the preservation of much of it—and a house in which the sick could be
cared for. In a few days a Portuguese Jesuit and other Portuguese arrived
from Nagasaki, through whom the Dutch could communicate with the natives.
The national and religious animosity between the strangers and their
interpreters could not fail, however, to manifest itself. The Portuguese
tried to create the impression that the refugees were pirates and unworthy
of protection and help.

In accordance with the usual custom, word was immediately sent to Ieyasu
(whom Adams calls the emperor), who at this time was at the castle of
Ōsaka. He sent boats to Bungo, by which Adams and one of the crew were
conveyed to his castle. Adams gives an interesting account of his
reception, of the questions asked concerning his country, and its
relations to the Spanish and Portuguese. He took occasion to explain, that
the object of the Dutch in entering the East was purely that of trade,
that they had in their own country many commodities which they would be
glad to exchange for the products of the eastern nations.

After this interview Adams was kept thirty-nine days in prison, expecting
to suffer the punishment of crucifixion, which he understood was the
common mode of disposing of such characters. He found afterwards that the
Portuguese had been using means to poison the mind of Ieyasu by
representing them as dangerous characters, and recommending that all the
refugees should be put to death as a warning to others. But he tells
us(246) that Ieyasu answered them, that “we as yet had done to him nor to
none of his lands any harm or dammage [and it was] against Reason and
Justice to put us to death. If our countreys had warres the one with the
other, that was no cause that he should put us to death.”

While Adams was thus kept in prison, the _Charity_ had been brought to
Sakai, near to Ōsaka. Finally he was set at liberty, and suffered to
revisit his ship, where he found the captain and remnant of the crew. The
goods and clothing on board had been stolen by the natives, which Ieyasu
tried to recover for them. But everything had been so scattered that it
was impossible to regain it, “savinge 50,000 Rs in reddy money was
commanded to be geven us” [as compensation]. After this settlement they
were ordered to sail with their ship to the “land of Quanto and neere to
the citie Eddo,” whither Ieyasu was about to proceed by land. Here they
had a mutiny among their men, which ended in the entire disbanding of the
crew, and the dividing up among them the money which they had received for
their goods. Each man was left to shift for himself. The captain got
permission to sail in a Japanese junk to Patan, where he hoped to meet
Dutch vessels.

Adams himself was kept about the shōgun’s court, and was made useful in
various ways. His first achievement was to build a vessel of about
eighteen tons burthen, which gained him great favor, in which he made
several short voyages. Then in 1609, by command of the shōgun, he built
another ship of one hundred and twenty tons burthen, which also was a
successful venture. For it so happened that the governor of Manila was on
his way to Nova Spania(247) in a large ship of one thousand tons burthen,
and was wrecked on the east coast of Japan, in the province of Shimosa.
The governor and those of his comrades who were saved from the shipwreck
were sent on to Acapulco in the ship which Adams had just built. In the
year following, the governor, in recognition of their kindness to him,
sent back to the Japanese government a much larger vessel as a present,
the original being sent to and retained at Manila.

Adams was a straightforward, honest fellow, and commended himself to
Ieyasu by usefulness not only in such matters as building ships, but in
furnishing information concerning foreign affairs, which at this time were
pressing on the government. In order to render him more content, Ieyasu
gave him a small holding at Hemi, near the present town of Yokosuka, a few
hours’ sail from Yedo. He himself speaks of this property as “a living
like unto a lordship in England, with eighty or ninety husbandmen, that be
as my slaves or servants.”(248) He probably also had a residence in Yedo,
for there is to this day a street called _An-jin-chō_, or Pilot Street,
near Nihonbashi, which is popularly believed to have been the street in
which Adams lived. He himself says that he was known among the Japanese as
“An-gin Sama,” or Mr. Pilot. To console himself for the loss of his wife
and children left in England, he married a Japanese wife, who, with
several children, is mentioned by Captain Cocks in the visit above
referred to. Notwithstanding his frequent endeavors to get back to
England, he was never able to return, but after much important service
both to the Dutch and English, to which we shall refer below, he died May
6, 1620.(249)

The first appearance of the Dutch after Adams’ shipwreck, as above
described, was in 1609, when the _Red Lion_ and the yacht _Griffon_
arrived at Hirado. They were well received by the daimyō, and a deputation
was sent to Yedo to visit the shōgun. Adams, in his second letter, speaks
of their being “received in great friendship, making conditions with the
emperor (shōgun) yearly to send a ship or two.” They were given a letter
addressed to the “King of Holland,” with which they went back, arriving
home July, 1610. This letter, among other things, promises, “that they
(your subjects), in all places, countries, and islands under mine
obedience, may traffic and build homes serviceable and needful for their
trade and merchandises, where they may trade without any hindrance at
their pleasure, as well in time to come as for the present, so that no man
shall do them any wrong. And I will maintain and defend them as mine own

In accordance with this agreement the first vessel to arrive was a small
yacht in July, 1611. A deputation from this vessel also went to visit the
shōgun and the retired shōgun. It so chanced that a Portuguese party had
preceded them by a few days. These deputations met at the court of Ieyasu.
By the assistance of Adams, who was ready to do a favor to his old
friends, the Dutch were kindly welcomed by the ex-shōgun’s court, and in
spite of the hostility, or perhaps aided by the hostility, of the
Portuguese, they received from him a patent for continued trade. As given
in Kaempfer in translation it is as follows:

“All Dutch ships that come into my empire of Japan, whatever place or port
they may put into, we do hereby expressly command all and every one of our
subjects not to molest the same in any way, nor to be a hindrance to them;
but, on the contrary, to show them all manner of help, favor and
assistance. Every one shall beware to maintain the friendship, in
assurance of which we have been pleased to give our imperial word to these
people; and every one shall take care that our commands and promises be
inviolably kept.

“Dated (in Japanese equivalent to) August 30, 1611.”(251)

This was the authority on which the Dutch trade in Japan began, and under
which, with many changes and vicissitudes, it continued to the time when
the country was opened by treaty to foreign nations.

The effort made by English merchants to open a trade with the Japanese was
made only a little after this time. Indeed, it is said that the report
brought back by the Dutch in the _Red Lion_ concerning Adams’ presence and
influence in Japan, gave the impulse which started an expedition under
Captain John Saris in January, 1611. Saris was an old adventurer in the
East, and therefore fitted to encounter the varied experiences of his
proposed trip. He carried a letter from James I., then king of England, to
Ieyasu the retired shōgun. At Bantam on his way he found that Adams’ first
letter,(252) contained in the collection of his letters, and dated October
22, 1611, had just been received by the English merchants. It encouraged
Saris to push on in his expedition. He arrived at Hirado, June, 1613,
where the daimyō welcomed him and immediately sent off a special messenger
to the shōgun’s court to summon Adams to their aid. He came at once, and
by his advice Captain Saris with a party set out to pay his respects to
the retired shōgun. He gives an interesting account(253) of this journey
and visit, which resulted in a charter of privileges(254) for the London
East India Company to trade in any port of the empire. Having arranged to
his great satisfaction this important matter he returned to Hirado, where
he established a factory to serve as the basis for future English trade.
In this, however, he encountered no little opposition from the Dutch
traders, who had a factory in the same place. For while these enterprising
nations, who had been allies in the days of the Armada, could combine very
readily in opposition to the Spanish and Portuguese, it was not easy for
either of them to look on complacently while the other secured for itself
superior advantages in the matter of trade. Captain Saris tried to come to
some agreement with his rivals, so that the prices of commodities might be
kept up, but he was compelled to see the Dutch factory, in order to crowd
him out of the field, putting the goods which they had for sale at prices
which were ruinous to both. Having established matters, however, on as
satisfactory a footing as he could arrange, and having left his comrade,
Captain Cocks, in charge of the English factory, he sailed for home.

The subsequent events in the history of English trade with Japan may as
well be traced here. The relations of the English and Dutch in the East
grew steadily more inimical. Perhaps this was due to the increasing
rivalry in trade and navigation which prevailed between them at home. In
1617 the London East India Company fitted out an expedition of five large
vessels. This fleet arrived in the East in the summer of the following
year. After much hostile skirmishing in which the Dutch obtained the
permanent advantage, and the English commander was about to retire, word
was brought to them from Europe that a peace had been arranged between the
two countries. The English and Dutch vessels accordingly sailed to Japan,
where they took a hand at trade; because in those days ships always were
sent to the East prepared either to fight or trade as the case required.
But this amicable arrangement did not last many years. The massacre at the
Spice Islands in 1623, for which Cromwell afterward exacted an indemnity,
ended all attempts at co-operation in the East. Soon after this the
English company withdrew entirely from the Japanese trade, having lost in
the effort forty thousand pounds. The Dutch were thus left without a
rival, and we shall see on what conditions and at what sacrifices they
continued to maintain their monopoly.

During the period of Ieyasu’s retirement, which lasted from 1605 until his
death in 1616, he devoted himself, as we have seen, to the consolidation
of his family dynasty and to such literary occupations as his leisure
allowed. He was a patron of the art derived from Korea, which then was
popular in Japan, of printing with movable types.(255) This art fell into
disuse afterwards, but during Ieyasu’s retirement in Sumpu he interested
himself in printing with blocks as well as by the new method. When he died
he was engaged in seeing through the press an edition of an important
Chinese work.

He left behind him a document, called the _Legacy of Ieyasu_, which to
those desirous of studying the character and motives of the founder of the
Tokugawa dynasty possesses a supreme interest. Some doubt has been thrown
by Japanese critics on the authenticity of this composition. It has been
asserted that it was not the work of Ieyasu and therefore not worthy of
the reverence in which it has been held. But whether the _Legacy_(256) was
originally composed by him or approved and sanctioned by him, matters
little for our purpose. It dates from the time of the founding of the
Tokugawa shōgunate, and has been an unimpeachable authority during all its
history. One of the singular features in the disposition of the _Legacy_,
to which Professor Grigsby directs attention, was the secrecy in which it
was kept. The original was preserved in Kyōto and was never seen, while an
authenticated copy was kept at the shōgun’s court in Yedo, and once a year
was open to the inspection of all above a certain rank. To us it seems
unaccountable that a body of so-called laws, by which the conduct of men
was to be guided, should be kept secret from them. But it must be
remembered that in those days there were no such things as laws in the
sense we now understand the term. There were magistrates who heard causes
and complaints, but their decisions were based not on laws which had been
enacted by the government, but upon prevailing custom and upon the innate
sense of justice which was assumed to be present in the mind of every man.
Whatever laws or rules therefore were in existence were not for the
information of the people, but for the guidance of the magistrates.

The _Legacy of Ieyasu_ consists of one hundred chapters, arranged without
any attempt at logical order. Each chapter treats of a single, separate
subject, and is usually of a very moderate length. As Professor Grigsby
has pointed out: “Sixteen chapters consist of moral maxims and
reflections; fifty-five are connected with politics and administrations;
twenty-two refer to legal matters, and in seven Ieyasu relates episodes of
his own personal history.” The moral maxims are quoted chiefly from the
works of the Chinese sages, Confucius and Mencius. While the collection on
the whole has a military aspect, and plainly encourages and promotes the
well-being of a military class, yet we see in it the mild and peaceful
nature of Ieyasu. The fifteenth chapter says: “In my youth my sole aim was
to conquer and subjugate inimical provinces and to take revenge on the
enemies of my ancestors. Yuyō teaches, however, that ‘to assist the people
is to give peace to the empire,’ and since I have come to understand that
the precept is founded on sound principle, I have undeviatingly followed
it. Let my posterity hold fast this principle. Any one turning his back
upon it is no descendant of mine. The people are the foundation of the

His estimate of the social relations is given in the forty-sixth chapter,
in which he says: “The married state is the great relation of mankind. One
should not live alone after sixteen years of age, but should procure a
mediator and perform the ceremony of matrimonial alliance. The same
kindred, however, may not intermarry. A family of good descent should be
chosen to marry into; for when a line of descendants is prolonged, the
foreheads of ancestors expand. All mankind recognize marriage as the first
law of nature.”

The old custom of servants and retainers following their masters to death,
and committing suicide in order to accompany them, is referred to in the
seventy-fifth chapter.(257) It is not improbable that some exhibition of
this custom occasionally was seen in the days of Ieyasu, for he very
sternly condemns it thus: “Although it is undoubtedly an ancient custom
for a vassal to follow his lord to death, there is not the slightest
reason in the practice.... These practices are strictly forbidden, more
especially to primary retainers, and also to secondary retainers even to
the lowest. He is the opposite of a faithful servant who disregards this
prohibition; his posterity shall be impoverished by the confiscation of
his property, as a warning to those who disobey the laws.”(258)

It is not necessary to follow in detail the line of Tokugawa shōguns. Few
of them impressed themselves in any marked manner on the history of their
country. Iemitsu, the third shōgun, who was a grandson of Ieyasu, was a
man of great ability, and left many marks of his talents upon the empire.
Under his administration the capital made great advances. He bound the
daimyōs to his house by requiring them to maintain residences in Yedo
under the surveillance of the government. His mausoleum is placed with
that of his grandfather amid the august glories of Nikkō. Tsunayoshi
(1681-1709) during his incumbency was more than usually interested in the
peaceful prosperity of his country, and is gratefully remembered for his
patronage of education and letters. But on the whole they were content to
fill the office of shōgun in a perfunctory manner, and to leave to
subordinates the duty of governing.

Japan reached the acme of her ancient greatness during the Tokugawa
dynasty. The arts which have given her such a deservedly high rank
attained their greatest perfection. Keramics and lacquer, which are her
most exquisite arts, achieved a degree of excellence to which we can now
only look back with hopeless admiration. Metal-work, as shown in the
manufacture of bronze and in the forging and mounting of swords, was
scarcely less notable. The still higher art of painting, which came to
Japan from China, rose during the Tokugawa period to the rank which it
still holds in the estimation of the artistic world.

The best evidence, however, of the civilization of a people is found in
their social condition. To learn the true culture of a nation it is
necessary to study their education and literature, their laws and system
of government, and their morals and religion. In some of these particulars
it is still difficult to obtain an adequate knowledge of Japan. But
gradually they are being revealed to us. The laws and legal
precedents(259) which prevailed during the Tokugawa period have been
unearthed from the archives of the Department of Justice and are being
published in the _Transactions of the Asiatic Society_.

The medical and scientific advancement of Japan in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries was not co-ordinate with her progress in the arts.
They were hampered with the old Chinese notions about a male principle and
a female principle which were conceived to prevail in nature, and with the
five elements to which the human organs were supposed to correspond.
Fortunately nature has ways of healing diseases in spite of theories and
drugs. To this benign principle must be assigned the fact that the human
race has survived the surgery and medicaments of mediæval Europe as well
as mediæval China and Japan. In one particular the medical art of Japan
seems to have been differently, perhaps better, conducted than in Europe.
It is narrated by the Japanese annalists,(260) that if a physican made a
mistake in his prescription or in his directions for taking the medicine
he was punished by three years’ imprisonment and a heavy fine; and if
there should be any impurity in the medicine prescribed or any mistake in
the preparation, sixty lashes were inflicted besides a heavy fine.


                          Oban. Gold Coin, 1727.

Three peculiar modes of medical practice deserve notice. The first was
acupuncture, which consisted in inserting a thin needle through the skin
into the muscles beneath. A second was the cauterization by _moxa_(261)
(Japanese _mogusa_). This was effected by placing over the spot a small
conical wad of the fibrous blossoms of mugwort (_Artemisia vulgaris
latifolia_). The cone was kindled at the top and slowly burned till it was
consumed. A painful blister was produced on the spot, which was believed
to have a wholesome effect in the case of many complaints. A third mode of
treatment is the practice of _massage_ (_amma_), which western nations
have borrowed, and which in Japan it has long been the exclusive privilege
of the blind to apply.


                          Cauterizing With Moxa.

Many of the improved notions of western medicine were introduced by the
Dutch, and this accounts for the unprecedentedly rapid advance which this
science has made since the opening of the country.


The most potent cause which led to the breaking down of the Tokugawa
Shōgunate, was the attitude which the empire had assumed toward foreign
nations. There were other causes which co-operated with this, but none
which were capable of such far-reaching and revolutionary effects. We have
seen that this attitude was due to the fears entertained concerning the
designs of the Portuguese and the Spanish. These fears may have been
unfounded, but they were none the less real and operative. Such fears may
have been stimulated by the Dutch, who had no reason to deal tenderly with
the fanatical enemies of the independence and religion of their country.
The spirit of trade with large profits was at the bottom of the great
enterprises which were sent out from Europe to the East and West Indies
during the seventeenth century.

The rivalry between the Dutch and Portuguese resulted in the banishment of
the latter, and the establishment of the Dutch at Nagasaki in 1640. They
occupied the little artificial island of Deshima, about three acres in
extent, where were erected their houses, their offices and stores, and
where for more than two hundred years their trade was conducted. And this,
together with a like limited arrangement with the Chinese, was the sole
foreign intercourse allowed with Japan.

It is plain now that this seclusion was a great mistake. It would have
been of inestimable value to this enterprising and progressive people, to
have kept in the race for improvement with the other nations of the world.
They would not at this late day be compelled, under a dreadful strain of
resources, to provide themselves with the modern appliances of
civilization. Long since they would have tried the experiments with which
they are now engaged, and would have found a way through the intricacies
of politics to a free and stable government. To Ieyasu and his successors
the way of safety seemed to be, to shut themselves up and sternly deny
admittance to the outside world, while they continued to work out their
destiny in their own way.

With whatever shortcomings the Dutch are to be charged in their
intercourse with Japan, the world owes a great debt of gratitude to them
for what they accomplished. Whatever was known concerning Japanese history
and civilization down to the times of Commodore Perry, came chiefly from
the Dutch. And not less than the debt of the rest of the world is that of
Japan herself. Although the influence of the government was always exerted
against the admission of foreign ideas, not a few of the seeds of western
civilization were by them planted in a fertile soil and bore abundant
fruit. To Kaempfer and Baron von Siebold particularly we must always look
for our knowledge of the Japan of the days of its seclusion. Many efforts
were made at successive times to open intercourse by the representatives
of different nations. The Russians were the most persistent, and their
attempts did not cease until the imprisonment of Captain Galowin in 1811.
In comparatively recent times numerous essays were made resulting in
disappointment. The American brig _Morrison_ in 1837, the British
surveying ship _Saramang_ in 1845, Captain Cooper in 1845, Commodore
Biddle in 1848, Admiral Cecille in 1848, Commander Glynn in 1849, and
Commander Matheson in the same year, all made efforts to communicate with
the government, but were rebuffed. It is plain that affairs were rapidly
verging towards a point when the isolation of Japan must be given up.

Several causes contributed to the creation of a special interest in the
United States of America, concerning the opening of negotiations with
Japan. One of these was the magnitude to which the whale fishery had
attained, and the large financial investments(262) held in this industry
by American citizens. A second cause was the opening of China to foreign
trade as a result of the opium war. But the most active cause was the
discovery of gold in California in 1848, and the consequent development of
that state as a centre of trade. It was an early scheme to run a line of
steamers from San Francisco to the newly opened ports of China. To
Hongkong the distance is about 6,149 nautical miles, and if a steamer is
to traverse the whole distance without a break, she must carry an enormous
load of coal. The only remedy lay in establishing a coaling station on the
Japanese islands, and this could only be effected when Japan abandoned her
policy of seclusion and entered with a free heart into the comity of

The interest of the government and people of the United States at last
eventuated in the expedition under Commodore Matthew C. Perry. He had for
a long time been convinced of the importance and feasibility of such an
undertaking, and when he was summoned to take charge of it he made the
most thorough preparation for his task.

At his suggestion the government procured all available books, maps, and
charts, and he made himself master of every conceivable detail. From
manufacturing establishments he secured models of railways, telegraphic
lines, and other interesting industrial equipments. He realized the
necessity of taking with him such a naval force that its appearance in
Japanese waters would produce a profound impression upon the government.
And knowing that all his predecessors, who had sought access by way of
Nagasaki, had been repelled, he resolved to avoid it and its Portuguese
and Dutch traditions and venture boldly into the bay of Yedo.

As soon as it was known that a diplomatic expedition was to be despatched
to Japan under the command of Commodore Perry he was deluged with
applications, both from England and America, to be permitted to join it.

But Perry resolutely declined all these enterprising offers. In his long
career as a naval officer he had seen the danger of admitting on board
men-of-war persons who were not under the authority of the commander. From
such dangers he meant to be free. He therefore refused to take on board
the ships of his squadron any but regularly accredited officers and men
over whom he exercised legitimate control. He even made it a rule that if
any of the officers kept diaries during the progress of the expedition,
they should be the property of the Navy Department and could not be
published without its permission and authority.

Commodore Perry carried with him a friendly letter from the President of
the United States to the Emperor of Japan,(263) who is therein addressed
as “Great and Good Friend.” The letter pointed out the contiguity of the
two countries and the importance of their friendship and commercial
intercourse; it announced that Commodore Perry had been sent to give
assurance of the friendly sentiment of the President, and to arrange for
privileges of trade, for the care of shipwrecked sailors, and for the
appointment of a convenient port where coal and other supplies might be
obtained by the vessels of the United States.

After some provoking delays and disappointments the expedition sailed from
Norfolk on the 24th of November, 1852,(264) proceeding by the way of the
cape of Good Hope to the China sea. There taking on board Dr. S. Wells
Williams as interpreter, and visiting several ports in China, the Bonin
islands, and the Ryūkyū islands, they sailed to Japan. The squadron, led
by the _Susquehanna_ and followed by the _Mississippi_, the _Plymouth_,
and the _Saratoga_, entered Yedo bay, July 8, 1853.(265)


                          Commodore M. C. Perry.

The Japanese government had been warned of the preparation and coming of
this expedition by the Dutch. Eager to maintain their position with the
government the King of the Netherlands addressed to the Shōgun a letter in
1844 suggesting the relaxation of the laws excluding foreign nations from
trade. But in the following year he received an answer declining to make
any changes.

With all the warning, however, which the government had received and the
preparations which had been made for the momentous occasion, the
appearance of the squadron at the entrance of Yedo bay was an intense
surprise. Two large steam frigates—the _Susquehanna_ and the
_Mississippi_—and two sloops-of-war—the _Plymouth_ and the
_Saratoga_,—although much inferior to the squadron promised, composed such
an array as had never before made its appearance in Yedo bay. As they
plowed through the peaceful waters, in full view of the white-capped peak
of Fuji-yama, every height and vantage ground along the shore seemed alive
with troops and with wondering and alarmed inhabitants. The vessels came
to anchor off the village of Uraga, which is not far from the present site
of the dockyards at Yokosuka.

The account(266) of the preliminary negotiations conducted by Commodore
Perry with the officers of the government is interesting, as showing the
efforts made by them to send him to Nagasaki, and his absolute refusal to
go thither or conduct his business through the Dutch or Chinese. When
there seemed no other way, consent was given to receive, through an
officer of adequate rank, the letter from the President of the United
States to the Emperor of Japan. When he had formally delivered this
letter, he took his departure with an intimation that he would return at a
future day and receive the answer.(267)

There can be no doubt that the display of force which Commodore Perry took
care to make in all his transactions with the Japanese officials at the
same time that he was careful to convey assurances of his friendly
purposes and objects, produced a deep impression on the government with
which he had to deal. It is useless to deny that it was on this display of
force that Commodore Perry largely relied for the success of his
expedition. That he was prepared to use force had it been necessary we may
feel sure.(268) But the instructions of his government and his own sense
of international justice bound him to exhaust every peaceful resource
before resorting to measures of coercion.

The government of the shōgun was greatly troubled by this responsibility
so suddenly laid upon it. They knew not what would be the result of their
refusal to enter upon negotiations when Perry returned. The seclusion in
which they had kept themselves so long had cut them off from a knowledge
of the relations in which the nations of the world stood to each other.
Notwithstanding Commodore Perry’s protestations of friendliness, they were
afraid of his great ships and their powerful armaments. Should they, as
they might easily do, make their way up the bay till they were within
gunshot of the capital, what resistance could the government show, or how
could it prevent them from battering down the castle and all the daimyōs’

The sentiment of loyalty to the emperor and opposition to the shōgun,
which had been growing up so insidiously and had now become really
formidable, was a source of the greatest perplexity to the Yedo
government. Should they proceed with their negotiations and make a treaty
with the Americans, this anti-shōgun sentiment was ready to manifest
itself against them with terrible effect. If they refused to negotiate,
then they must be ready to meet the invaders of their soil with their
miserable obsolete armor and with hearts that two hundred years of peace
had rendered more obsolete than their armor.

The first thing to be done was to consult the daimyōs and learn to what
extent they could rely on their co-operation. The daimyō of Mito,(269) a
descendant of the famous Mitsukuni, seemed to have inherited one at least
of the opinions of his ancestor. He advocated the observance of a greater
reverence for the emperor at Kyōto, and criticised the assumption of
imperial powers by the shōgun. At the same time he was an ardent
foreign-hater, and in 1841 had been placed in confinement because he had
melted down the bells of the Buddhist temples of his domains, and cast
cannon for their protection. But now he was pardoned and appointed to take
measures for the defence of the country. On the 15th of July—the American
squadron was still in the bay, for it left on the 17th—the daimyō of Mito
sent in to the government a memorial(270) setting forth his decisive views
on the subject. He gave ten reasons against a treaty and in favor of war.
We give them here in Mr. Nitobe’s translation:

“1. The annals of our history speak of the exploits of the great, who
planted our banners on alien soil; but never was the clash of foreign arms
heard within the precincts of our holy ground. Let not our generation be
the first to see the disgrace of a barbarian army treading on the land
where our fathers rest.

“2. Notwithstanding the strict interdiction of Christianity, there are
those guilty of the heinous crime of professing the doctrines of this evil
sect. If now America be once admitted into our favor, the rise of this
faith is a matter of certainty.

“3. What! Trade our gold, silver, copper, iron, and sundry useful
materials for wool, glass, and similar trashy little articles! Even the
limited barter of the Dutch factory ought to have been stopped.

“4. Many a time recently have Russia and other countries solicited trade
with us; but they were refused. If once America is permitted the
privilege, what excuse is there for not extending the same to other

“5. The policy of the barbarians is first to enter a country for trade,
then to introduce their religion, and afterward to stir up strife and
contention. Be guided by the experience of our forefathers two centuries
back; despise not the teachings of the Chinese Opium War.

“6. The Dutch scholars say that our people should cross the ocean, go to
other countries and engage in active trade. This is all very desirable,
provided they be as brave and strong as were their ancestors in olden
time; but at present the long-continued peace has incapacitated them for
any such activity.

“7. The necessity of caution against the ships now lying in the harbor
(_i.e._, Perry’s squadron) has brought the valiant _samurai_ to the
capital from distant quarters. Is it wise to disappoint them?

“8. Not only the naval defence of Nagasaki but all things relating to
foreign affairs have been entrusted to the two clans of Kuroda and
Nabeshima. To hold any conference with a foreign power outside of the port
of Nagasaki—as has been done this time at Uraga—is to encroach upon their
rights and trust. These powerful families will not thankfully accept an
intrusion into their vested authority.

“9. The haughty demeanor of the barbarians now at anchorage has provoked
even the illiterate populace. Should nothing be done to show that the
government shares the indignation of the people, they will lose all fear
and respect for it.

“10. Peace and prosperity of long duration have enervated the spirit,
rusted the armor, and blunted the swords of our men. Dulled to ease, when
shall they be aroused? Is not the present the most auspicious moment to
quicken their sinews of war?”

The government sent to all the daimyōs copies of the American letter to
the shōgun, and asked for their opinions concerning the course to be
pursued. Many answers were immediately received. They almost unanimously
declared against the opening of the country. Some advocated the
alternative suggested in the letter itself, to open the country
temporarily and try the experiment for three years, or five years, or ten
years. In the meantime the defences of the country and new and improved
arms and armaments could be perfected. The government did indeed busy
itself during Perry’s absence in hurrying forward defensive preparations.
The line of forts which still are visible in the shallow water of the bay
opposite Shinagawa, the southern suburb of the capital, were hastily
constructed. Bells from monasteries and metal articles of luxury were
melted down and cast into cannon. Lessons were given and became quickly
fashionable in the use of European small-arms and artillery. The military
class from the various clans flocked to Yedo and Kyōto in large numbers,
expecting to be called upon to defend their country against the impudent
intrusion of the barbarians.

During this busy time of perplexity and preparation the Shōgun
Ieyoshi,—the twelfth of the Tokugawa dynasty—died August 25, 1853. His son
Iesada succeeded him as the thirteenth shōgun. The death of the reigning
shōgun did not produce any marked effect upon the policy of the
government. Long before this time the custom of abdication, and the habits
of luxury and effeminacy in which the family of the shōgun was reared, had
dragged the house down to the usual impotent level. The government was
conducted by a system of bureaucracy which relieved the titular shōguns
from all responsibility and allowed them to live in profitless
voluptuousness. So that one died and another reigned in his stead without
causing more than a ripple upon the surface of current events.

Shortly after the departure of the American squadron from Yedo bay, the
Russian Admiral Pontiatine appeared in the harbor of Nagasaki, and made
application for a national agreement to open ports for trade, to adjust
the boundary line between the two nations across the island of Saghalien,
and to live in neighborly intimacy. English vessels were also in Chinese
waters watching the Russians, and the war, usually called the Crimean war,
actually broke out in the spring of 1854. A visit from these vessels might
therefore be expected at any time.

Commodore Perry during the interval between his two visits to Japan sailed
to the ports of China where the Taiping rebellion was then in action. The
confusion and insecurity occasioned by this uprising rendered the presence
of the squadron most acceptable to the American merchants.

On the 13th of February, 1854, he made his appearance a second time in
Yedo bay with a fleet of seven ships, viz., three steam frigates and four
sloops-of-war. Three additional vessels were to join, and did join, the
fleet in Yedo bay. So that when the fleet was all mustered there were ten
fully armed vessels, comprising such an array as had never before appeared
in Japanese waters.

After some haggling about the place where the negotiations should be
conducted, it was finally settled that the place of meeting should be at
Kanagawa, near the village (now the city) of Yokohama. Here after much
deliberation and discussion, proposals and amendments, banquets and
presents, a treaty was agreed upon. The signing and exchange took place on
the 31st of March, 1854. It was immediately sent to Washington for

As this was the first formal treaty(271) made with any western country we
give a synopsis of its provisions.

Art. I. Peace and amity to exist between the two countries.

Art. II. The port of Shimoda to be opened immediately and the port of
Hakodate to be opened in one year, and American ships to be supplied with
necessary provisions in them.

Art. III. Shipwrecked persons of either nation to be cared for, and
expenses to be refunded.

Art. IV. Shipwrecked and other persons not to be imprisoned but to be
amenable to just laws.

Art. V. Americans at Shimoda and Hakodate not to be subject to
confinement; free to go about within defined limits.

Art. VI. Further deliberation to be held between the parties to settle
concerning trade and matters requiring to be arranged.

Art. VII. Trade in open ports to be subject to such regulations as the
Japanese government shall establish.

Art. VIII. Wood, water, provisions, coal, etc., to be procured only
through appointed Japanese officers.

Art. IX. If at any future day privileges in addition to those here
enumerated are granted to any other nation, the same to be allowed to

Art. X. Ships of the United States not to resort to other ports than
Shimoda and Hakodate except in stress of weather.

Art. XI. Consuls or agents of the United States to reside at Shimoda.

Art. XII. The ratification of this treaty to be exchanged within eighteen


As might have been expected, as soon as this treaty with the United States
had been signed there was a rush of other nations to obtain similar terms.
Admiral Sir John Sterling, acting in behalf of the government of Great
Britain, negotiated a treaty which was signed at Nagasaki on the 15th of
October, 1854. Admiral Pontiatine negotiated a similar treaty for Russia,
which was signed at Shimoda on the 7th of February, 1855. A treaty with
the Netherlands was signed on the 30th of January, 1856.

None of these were in any general sense commercial treaties, providing for
trade and making regulations by which it might be conducted. They were
rather preliminary conventions, making arrangements for vessels to obtain
necessary provisions, and stipulating for the protection of those
suffering shipwreck, and for vessels driven under stress of weather to
take shelter in the harbors of Japan. They each provided for admission to
two ports: The American treaty to Shimoda and Hakodate; the English treaty
to Nagasaki and Hakodate; the Russian treaty to Shimoda and Hakodate.

All these treaties contained what is called “the most favored nation
clause,” so that where the privileges granted to any one nation were in
excess of those granted previously to others, these privileges were also
without further negotiation extended to the nations that had already made

These dealings with foreign nations produced the most intense excitement
throughout the empire. The old sentiment of hostility to foreign
intercourse showed itself in unmistakable intensity. The song of the Black
Ship, by which term the vessels of foreign nations were designated, was
heard everywhere. Two distinct parties came into existence called the
_Jo-i_ party, who wished to expel the barbarians; and the _Kai-koku_
party, who were in favor of opening the country.(272) The members of the
latter party were principally connected with the shōgun’s government, and
had become impressed with the folly of trying to resist the pressure of
the outside world. The _Jo-i_ party was made up of the conservative
elements in the country, who clung to the old traditions of Japan that had
matured during the two centuries of the Tokugawa rule. Besides these
conservatives there was also a party who nourished a traditional dislike
to the Tokugawa family, and was glad to see it involved in difficulties
which were sure to bring down upon it the vengeance of the nation. These
were chiefly found among the southwestern daimiates such as Satsuma,
Chōshū, Hizen, and Tosa. The daimyō of Mito(273) although connected with
the shōgun’s family was bitterly hostile to the policy of holding any
friendly relations with foreigners. He was therefore regarded as the head
of the _Jo-i_ party, and many of the disaffected _samurai_ rallied about
him as their champion and leader.

It was charged against the shōgun that in making treaties with foreign
nations he had transcended the powers(274) that rightly belonged to him.
He was not the sovereign of Japan and never had been. He was only the
chief executive under the emperor, and was not even next in rank to the
emperor. It was impossible, therefore, that treaties made by the shōgun
and not ratified by his sovereign should be regarded by the Japanese as
legitimate and binding.

The question of the legality of the treaties which the shōgun had made was
an important one, and interested not only the Japanese themselves but the
foreigners whose privileges under these treaties were at stake. There is
no doubt that Commodore Perry as well as all the subsequent negotiators,
believed that in making treaties with the shōgun they were dealing with a
competent authority. The precedents occurring in the history of Japan
seemed all to bear in this direction. The Portuguese and the Spanish had
dealt with the shōgun and never with the emperor. The Dutch had received
from Ieyasu the privileges of trade and had ever since continued under the
shōgun’s protection. Captain Saris in his negotiations in 1614 received
written assurances of protection and privileges of trade from the shōgun.

It was because the shōgun’s power had become weakened, and there had grown
up an active sentiment against him, that the question in reference to his
legitimate authority arose. “Had the treaty” (with Perry) “been concluded
when the power of Yedo was at its former height, it is probable that no
questions would have been asked.”(275)

According to the terms of the treaty made with the United States it was
provided that a consul should be appointed “to reside at Shimoda at any
time after the expiration of eighteen months from the signing the treaty.”
In execution of this provision the United States government sent out
Townsend Harris, who arrived in August, 1856. After some hesitation he was
allowed to take up his residence at Shimoda. He was a man of great
patience and tact, and gradually urged his way into the confidence of the
government. He became the counsellor and educator of the officials in
everything pertaining to foreign affairs. He was received December 7,
1857, by the shōgun with the ceremony due to his new rank of
plenipotentiary which he had then received.(276) In a despatch, dated July
8, 1858, he tells of a severe illness which he had suffered; how the
shōgun sent two physicians to attend him, and when a bulletin was sent to
Yedo that his case was hopeless, the physicians “received peremptory
orders to cure me, and if I died they would themselves be in peril.”

The principal effort of Mr. Harris was the negotiation of a commercial
treaty which should make provision for the maintenance of trade in
specified ports of Japan. The treaties already made by Japan with foreign
nations only provided for furnishing vessels with needed supplies, and for
the protection of vessels driven by stress of weather and of persons
shipwrecked on the Japanese islands. It remained to agree upon terms,
which should be mutually advantageous, for the regular opening of the
ports for trade and for the residence at these ports of the merchants
engaged in trade.

The excitement occasioned by the steps already taken rendered the shōgun’s
government exceedingly reluctant to proceed further in this direction. It
was only after much persuasion, and with a desire to avoid appearing to
yield to the appearance of force(277) with which the English were about to
urge the negotiation of a commercial treaty, that at last, on the 17th of
June, 1857, a treaty “for the purpose of further regulating the
intercourse of American citizens within the empire of Japan” was duly
concluded. The port of Nagasaki was to be opened in addition to those
already stipulated. American citizens were to be permitted to reside at
Shimoda and Hakodate for the purpose of supplying the wants of the vessels
which visited there.

This does not seem to have been adequate, for only about a year later a
further treaty, revoking that of June, 1857, was arranged. It was signed
at Yedo on the 29th of July, 1858. Equivalent treaties were negotiated by
other nations, and it is under the terms of these that the intercourse
between Japan and the nations of Europe and America is still conducted.
They provided for the opening of the ports of Ni-igata and Hyōgo, and for
the closing of Shimoda, which had been found unsuitable, and the opening
in its place of Kanagawa.(278) They fixed dates for the opening of the
cities of Yedo and Ōsaka, and provided for the setting apart of suitable
concessions in each of them for residence and trade. They provided that
all cases of litigation in which foreigners were defendants should be
tried in the consular court of the nation to which the defendant belonged,
and all cases in which Japanese citizens were defendants should be tried
in Japanese courts. They fixed the limits within which foreigners at any
of the treaty ports could travel, but permitted the diplomatic agent of
any nation to travel without limitation. They prohibited the importation
of opium. Commercial regulations were attached to the treaties and made a
part of them, which directed that a duty of five _per centum_ should be
paid on all goods imported into Japan for sale, except that on
intoxicating liquors a duty of thirty-five _per centum_ should be exacted.
All articles of Japanese production exported were to pay a duty of five
_per centum_, except gold and silver coin and copper in bars. These trade
regulations stipulated that five years after the opening of Kanagawa the
export and import duties should be subject to revision at the desire of
either party. The treaties themselves provide that on and after 1872
either of the contracting parties may demand a revision of the same upon
giving one year’s notice of its desire.

These stipulations in reference to a revision of the treaties, and
especially of the tariff of duties to be paid on imported goods, have been
a source of great anxiety and concern to the Japanese government. The
small duty of five _per centum_, which it has been permitted to collect on
the goods imported, is scarcely more than enough to maintain the machinery
of collection. And while the initiative is given to it to ask for a
revision of the treaties, it has never yet been able to obtain the consent
of the principal nations concerned to any change in the original hard

Another provision in the treaties which has been the occasion of endless
debate is that which requires all foreigners to remain under the
jurisdiction of the consuls of their respective countries. It is claimed
on the part of the Japanese that this provision, which was reasonable when
the treaties were first made, is no longer just or necessary. The laws
have been so far perfected, their judges and officers have been so
educated, and the machinery of their courts have been so far conformed to
European practice that it is no longer reasonable that foreigners residing
in Japan should be under other than Japanese jurisdiction. It is earnestly
to be hoped that these sources of irritation between Japan and the treaty
powers may speedily be removed, and that the efforts of this progressive
race to fall into line in the march of civilization may be appreciated and

Any one who reads the diplomatic correspondence covering this period will
see how serious were the troubles with which the country was called upon
to deal. He will realize also how almost impossible it was for the
diplomatic representatives of the western powers to comprehend the
difficulties of the situation or know how to conduct the affairs of their
legations with justice and consideration.

A succession of murders and outrages occurred, which awakened the fears of
the foreign residents. It is plain enough now that this state of things
was not so much due to the want of effort on the part of the government to
carry out its agreements with foreign nations, as to the bitter and
irreconcilable party hatred which had sprung up in consequence of these
efforts. The feudal organization of the government, by which the first
allegiance was due to the daimyō, rendered the condition of things more
demoralized. It was an old feudal custom, whenever the retainers of a
daimyō wished to avenge any act without committing their lord, they
withdrew from his service and became _ronins_. Most of the outrages which
occurred during the years intervening between the formation of the
treaties and the restoration were committed by these masterless men.
Responsibility for them was disclaimed by the daimyōs, and the government
of Yedo was unable to extend its control over these wandering
swash-bucklers. There was no course for the foreign ministers to pursue
but to hold the shōgun’s government responsible for the protection of
foreigners and foreign trade. This government, which was called the
_bakufu_,(279) had made the treaties with the foreign powers, as many
claimed, without having adequate authority, and had thus assumed to be
supreme in matters of foreign intercourse. It was natural therefore that
the representatives of the treaty powers should look to the _bakufu_ for
the security of those who had come hither under the sanction of these

It was in consequence a bloody time through which the country was called
to pass. The prime minister and the head of the _bakufu_ party was Ii
Kamon-no-kami,(280) the daimyō of Hikoné in the province of Mino. On
account of the youth of the shōgun he was created regent. He was a man of
great resolution and unscrupulous in the measures by which he attempted to
carry out the policy to which he was committed. By his enemies he was
called the “swaggering prime minister (_bakko genro_).” Assured that the
foreign treaties could not be abrogated without dangerous collisions with
foreign nations, he sought to crush the opposition which assailed them.
The daimyō of Mito, who had been the head of the anti-foreign party at
Yedo, he compelled to resign and confined him to his private palace in his
province. Numerous other persons who had busied themselves with
interfering with his schemes and in promoting opposition in Kyōto, he also

Suddenly on the 23d of March, 1860, Ii Kamon-no-kami was assassinated as
he was being carried in his _norimono_ from his _yashiki_ outside the
Sakurada gate to the palace of the shōgun.

The assassins were eighteen _ronins_ of the province of Mito, who wished
to avenge the imprisonment of their prince. They carried the head of the
murdered regent to the Mito castle, and after exhibiting it to the
gloating eyes of the prince, exposed it upon a pike at the principal gate.

The death of the regent was an irreparable blow to the government. There
was no one who could take his place and assume his _rôle_. His loss must
be reckoned as one of the principal events which marked the decadence of
the shōgun’s power.


The outrages which now succeeded each other with terrible frequency were
not confined to the native members of the opposing parties. Foreigners,
who were so essentially the cause of the political disturbances in Japan,
were particularly exposed to attacks. On the 14th of January, 1861, Mr.
Heusken, the secretary and interpreter of the American legation, when
riding home at night from the Prussian legation in Yedo, was attacked by
armed assassins and mortally wounded. The object of this murder is
supposed to have been the desire of one of the ministers of foreign
affairs to take revenge on Mr. Heusken,(281) for his activity in promoting
foreign intercourse.

The weakness and the fears of the government were shown by the warning,
which they sent to the foreign ministers to avoid attending the funeral of
Mr. Heusken, lest further outrages might be committed. They did attend,
however, and no disturbances occurred. It only remains to mention that Mr.
Harris subsequently made an arrangement with the government for the
payment of an indemnity(282) of $10,000 to the mother of Mr. Heusken, who
was then living at Amsterdam in Holland.

The next circumstance which awakened universal attention was an attack
made on the British legation, on the night of the 5th of July, 1861. At
this time the British minister occupied as a legation the buildings of the
temple Tozenji, situated at Takanawa in the city of Yedo. It was guarded
by a company of Japanese troops, to whom the government had entrusted its
protection. Mr. Alcock had just returned by an overland journey from
Nagasaki, and with a number of other Englishmen was domiciled in the
legation. The attacking party consisted of fourteen _ronins_ belonging to
the Mito clan, who had banded themselves together to take vengeance on the
“accursed foreigners.” Several of the guards were killed, and Mr.
Oliphant,(283) the secretary of legation, and Mr. Morrison, H. B. M’s
consul at Nagasaki, were severely wounded. On one of the party who was
captured was found a paper,(284) which set forth the object of the attack
and the names of the fourteen _ronins_ who had conspired for its

That the government regarded such outrages with alarm is certain. They
took the earliest opportunity to express their distress that the legation
under their protection had thus been invaded. They assured Mr. Alcock with
the most pitiable sincerity that “they had no power of preventing such
attacks upon the legation, nor of providing against a renewal of the same
with a greater certainty of success.” “They could not,” they said,
“guarantee any of the representatives against these attempts at
assassination, to which all foreigners in Japan were liable, whether in
their houses or in the public thoroughfares.”(285) They pretended to
punish, and yet were afraid openly to punish the persons engaged in this
attack.(286) They promised to do what they could for the protection of the
foreign representatives; but their measures necessarily consisted in
making the legations a kind of prison where the occupants were confined
and protected.

And yet, with all these assurances of danger, the foreign representatives
seem to have been singularly ignorant of the real difficulties with which
the government had to deal. This was due, no doubt, to the want of candor
on the part of the Japanese officials in not explaining frankly and fully
to them the political complications which existed between the governments
of Yedo and Kyōto. They represented a widespread discontent to have grown
up since the negotiation of the treaties, owing to the increased price of
provisions, the derangement of the currency, and the danger of famine. In
view of these pressing difficulties they asked for the postponement of the
time fixed by the treaties for opening a port on the western coast and
Hyōgo on the Inland sea, and for the establishment of definite concessions
in the cities of Yedo and Ōsaka. These modifications of the treaties were
finally accepted, and it was arranged that the opening of the ports named
above should be postponed for a period of five years from the first of
January, 1863.

This postponement of the opening of the ports was the chief reason for
sending to foreign countries their first embassy. This set out from
Yokohama in January, 1862, and visited the United States, then England,
and the other treaty powers. They were everywhere received with the utmost
kindness and distinction. The immediate object of their mission was, as we
have seen, accomplished. The opening of additional ports was deferred on
condition that in those already opened the obstacles which had been put in
the way of trade should be removed.

But, besides the attainment of this end, the visit of the embassy to
foreign capitals and countries produced a salutary influence both on the
foreigners whom they met and on the influential personages of which it
consisted. The former learned to their surprise that they had a
cultivated, intelligent, and clever race to deal with, whose
diplomatists,(287) although inexperienced in European politics, were not
unqualified to enter the courts of western capitals. But the revelation to
the Japanese envoys was still greater and more surprising. For the first
time they saw the terrible armaments of western powers, and realized the
futility of attempting to make armed resistance to their measures. But
they encountered on every hand not hatred and aversion, but the warmest
interest and kindness,(288) and a desire to render them every courtesy.
Instead of barbarians, as they had been taught to regard all foreigners,
they found everywhere warm-hearted and intelligent friends who were
anxious to see their country treated with justice and consideration.

On the 26th of June, 1862, a year after the first, a second attack was
made upon the British legation. Lieutenant-Colonel Neale was at this time
_chargé d’affaires_, and had just removed from Yokohama and resumed the
occupancy of the temple of Tozenji. The government took the precaution to
establish guards, who daily and nightly made their rounds to protect the
buildings. Besides this there was a guard detailed from the British fleet
to render the legation more secure. The officials persisted in claiming
that only one person, Itō Gumpei, was engaged in the attack, and that it
was a matter of private revenge for an insult which one of the English
guards had put upon him. Two of these guards were killed in the attack,
and Itō Gumpei the assassin escaped to his own house, where he was
permitted to commit _hara-kiri_. There was probably no plot on the part of
those whose duty it was to protect the legation. But the uncertainty which
hung over the affair, and the repetition of the violence of the preceding
year led Colonel Neale to abandon his residence at Yedo and return to
Yokohama. An indemnity of £10,000 was demanded and finally paid for the
families of the two members of the guard who had been murdered.

In the meantime the relations between the courts at Kyōto and Yedo had
become more and more strained. The efforts at reconciliation, such as the
marriage between the young shōgun and the sister of the emperor in 1861,
produced no permanent effect. The disease was too deep-seated and serious
to be affected by such palliations. Shimazu Saburō, the uncle(289) and
guardian of the young daimyō of Satsuma, came in 1862 to Kyōto with the
avowed purpose of advising the emperor in this emergency. He was
accompanied by a formidable body of Satsuma troops, and on these he relied
to have his advice followed.

On his way thither he had been joined by a body of _ronins_ who were
contemplating the accomplishment of some enterprise which should be
notable in the expulsion of foreigners. They imagined that the powerful
head of the Satsuma clan would be a suitable leader for such an
enterprise. They approached him therefore and humbly petitioned to be
received under his standard. Not quite satisfied to have such a band of
reckless ruffians under his command, he, however, scarcely dared to refuse
their petition. He therefore permitted them to join his escort and march
with him to Kyōto.

The emperor’s court, although bitterly hostile to the liberal policy which
prevailed at Yedo, were alarmed by the desperate allies which Shimazu was
bringing with him. He presented their memorial to the emperor, and favored
their wishes to use all the force of the country to dislodge the hated
foreigner from its soil. Other powerful daimyōs were collected at the same
time at the imperial capital, and its peaceful suburbs resounded with the
clank of warlike preparations. The most notable of these was the daimyō of
Chōshū, who at this time was joined with the Satsuma chief in the measures
against the shōgun’s government.

Shimazu continued his journey to Yedo in the summer of 1862, where he
endeavored to impress on the _bakufu_ the necessity of taking measures to
pacify the country. It is safe to say that his suggestions were coldly
received, and he was made to feel that he was in an enemy’s camp. It is
said that the shōgun refused to receive him personally, but referred him,
for any business which he had to present, to the council. It is certain,
therefore, when he left Yedo in September, 1862, with his train and
escort, he was in no amiable frame of mind. And it was in this condition
of irritation that he became the chief actor in an event which was the
saddest of all the collisions between the Japanese and the foreigners.

The Satsuma train left Yedo on the morning of the 14th of September by way
of the _Tōkaidō_, which runs through Kawasaki and skirts the village of
Kanagawa. It consisted of a semi-military procession of guards on foot and
on horseback, of _norimonos_, in which the prince and his high military
and civil attendants were carried, of led-horses for them to ride when
they desired, and of a long straggling continuation of pack-horses and men
carrying the luggage of the train. It was said to contain not less than
eight hundred _samurai_ in attendance on their master.

The etiquette of the road for such trains was well settled in feudal
Japan. The right of way was always accorded to the daimyō, and all
unmilitary persons or parties were required to stand at the side of the
road while the train was passing, to dismount if on horseback, and to bow
to the daimyō’s _norimono_ as it was carried past. It may be supposed that
the _samurai_ in attendance upon the incensed Shimazu were in no humor to
have these rules trifled with, and especially would not deal very tenderly
with any foreigners who might fall in their way.

On the afternoon of the day on which the Satsuma train left Yedo, a small
riding party left Yokohama for the village of Kawasaki, on a visit to the
temple at that place. It consisted of one lady and three gentlemen, one of
whom was Mr. Charles L. Richardson, who had for many years been a merchant
at Shanghai, but who was visiting Japan previous to his return to England.
A few miles north of the village of Kanagawa they encountered the head of
the train, and for some distance passed successive parts of it. They were
either ignorant of the etiquette which required them to withdraw during
the passage of such a cavalcade, or underrated the danger of disregarding

Presently they came upon the troop which had special charge of the
_norimono_ in which the prince was carried. It was surrounded by a
formidable body of retainers, armed with swords and spears. The reckless
riders paid little heed to their scowling looks, and rode carelessly on,
sometimes even threading their way through the interstices of the
straggling train. When they were nearly opposite to the prince’s
_norimono_, which they were about to pass without dismounting or saluting,
they were so alarmed by the evidences of danger that one of the gentlemen
called out to Mr. Richardson who was riding ahead, “Don’t go on, we can
turn into a side road.” The other also exclaimed, “For God’s sake let us
have no row.” Richardson, who was foolhardy and ignorant of those with
whom he had to deal, answered, “Let me alone, I have lived fourteen years
in China and know how to manage these people.” Suddenly a soldier from the
centre of the procession rushed upon them with a heavy two-handed sword
and struck Richardson a fatal blow on his side under the left arm. Both
the other gentlemen were also severely wounded, and the lady had her
bonnet knocked off by a blow aimed at her, but escaped unhurt. They all
started at full speed towards home, riding over the Japanese guards who
undertook to interfere. All except Richardson reached Kanagawa without
further hurt; he after riding a few rods fell from his horse and died from
the effect of his terrible wound.(290)

The excitement in the town was intense. There was a proposition to
organize immediately a force and pursue after the train, in order to
capture the murderer and the Satsuma chief. It was with no small effort
and with the almost unanimous sentiment of the foreign community against
him, that Colonel Neale, the British _chargé d’affaires_, restrained them
from an act which would have brought quick vengeance upon the town and
involved Great Britain in a war with Japan. A demand was made upon the
government for the capture and punishment of the assassin of Mr.
Richardson, and for the payment of an indemnity of £100,000, by the
shōgun’s government and an additional sum by the daimyō of Satsuma.

Neither the surrender of the assassin nor the payment of this indemnity
was willingly undertaken by Satsuma. It ended therefore in Admiral Kuper
being despatched with a squadron of seven vessels to Kagoshima in order to
enforce on the recalcitrant daimyō the terms agreed upon with the
government at Yedo. He arrived on the 11th of August, 1863, and was
received with frowning batteries and a terrible typhoon of wind and rain.
Negotiation failed to effect a settlement and the naval force was called
upon to play its part. Three valuable new steamers, which the daimyō had
recently purchased, were captured and burned. The batteries which lined
the shore were dismantled by the guns of the ships. The city of Kagoshima,
said to have had at this time a population of 180,000 and to have been one
of the most prosperous towns in Japan, was almost completely destroyed by
fire. After this drastic lesson the money demanded was paid, but the
murderer of Richardson was not and probably could not be surrendered, and
never has been publicly known.

The most important result which followed this severe experience was its
moral effect on the Satsuma leaders. They had become convinced that
western skill and western equipments of war were not to be encountered by
the antiquated methods of Japan. To contend with the foreigner on anything
like equal terms it would be necessary to acquire his culture and
dexterity, and avail themselves of his ships and armaments. It was not
long after this therefore, that the first company of Japanese
students(291) were sent to London under the late Count Terashima by the
daimyō of Satsuma, and the purchase of cannon and ships of war was

In the meantime another collision still more serious had occurred with the
treaty powers. The daimyō of Chōshū had, as we have seen, taken sides with
the court of Kyōto against the more liberal policy of the shōgun’s
government. He had placed men-of-war as guards and had erected batteries
within his territory on the shores of the Shimonoseki straits through
which ships usually passed on their way to and from the western ports. It
is claimed, and is not improbable, that he was encouraged by the Kyōto
statesmen to attack foreign ships on their way through these narrow
straits, in order to embroil the Yedo government with the treaty powers.

Accordingly on the 25th of June, 1863 the _Pembroke_, a small American
merchant steamer on her way from Yokohama to Nagasaki was fired upon by
two men-of-war belonging to the daimyō of Chōshū. She was not hit or hurt
and escaped through the Bungo channel without injury. Shortly afterwards,
on the 8th of July, the French gunboat _Kienchang_ while at anchor in the
straits, was also fired upon and severely injured. And lastly the Dutch
ship-of-war _Medusa_, in spite of a warning from the _Kienchang_,
undertook to pass the straits and was fired upon by the ships and
batteries of the daimyō of Chōshū, to which she responded with decisive

News of these hostile acts was brought immediately to Yokohama. The U. S.
Steamship _Wyoming_ was lying there, and was at once despatched to avenge
the insult to the American flag. She arrived at Shimonoseki on July 16th,
and in a conflict with ships and batteries sunk a brig and exploded the
boiler of a steamer. On the 20th inst. the French frigate _Semiramis_ and
the gunboat _Tancrede_ under the command of Admiral Juares arrived to
exact vengeance for the attack on the _Kienchang_. One of the batteries
was silenced, and a force of two hundred and fifty men were landed who
destroyed what remained.

These acts of signal vengeance were followed by negotiations for damages.
The shōgun’s government disavowed the actions of their rebellious
subordinate; but this did not free them from responsibility for the
injuries which he had inflicted. The American minister secured the payment
of twelve thousand dollars for alleged losses by the _Pembroke_, although
as we have seen the vessel got off without any damage. Negotiations in
regard to freeing the Inland sea from obstructions dragged along for
almost a year. The _bakufu_ promised to take measures to reduce to a
peaceful attitude the daimyō of Chōshū whose territories bordered on the
narrow straits of Shimonoseki. But the growing political disturbances of
the nation and the impoverishment of the shōgun’s treasury made it
impossible to carry out its pacific designs.

Finally an expedition was organized by the treaty powers to visit
Shimonoseki, in order to destroy whatever might be in existence there. It
consisted of nine British(292) ships-of-war, four Dutch, three French, and
one steamer, chartered for the occasion to represent the United
States.(293) It sailed from Yokohama on the 28th and 29th of August, 1864.
The attack was made from the 5th to the 8th of September. The daimyō,
finding it useless to contend against such overwhelming odds, gave in his
absolute submission.

After the return of the expedition the representatives of the allied
powers held a conference with the Japanese ministers of foreign affairs
with reference to the final settlement of this unfortunate business. A
convention(294) was entered into between the interested parties, dated the
22d of October, 1864, by which an indemnity of three million dollars was
to be paid by Japan to the four powers for damages and for expenses
entailed by the operations against the daimyō of Chōshū. This sum was to
be paid in instalments of half a million dollars each. The four powers
agreed among themselves as to the division of this indemnity: That France,
the Netherlands, and the United States, in consideration of the actual
attacks made on their shipping, were to receive each one hundred and forty
thousand dollars, and that the remaining sum should be divided equally
between the four powers.

It has always been felt that the exaction of this large indemnity was a
harsh if not an unwarrantable proceeding. The government of Yedo had
disavowed and apologized for the conduct of the rebellious daimyō, and
promised, if time were allowed, to reduce him to subjection. Of the powers
which were allied in the expedition, Great Britain had suffered no damage,
and the United States had already received an indemnity for the injuries
and expenses of the vessel fired upon. To insist, therefore, upon the
government not only paying for the damage inflicted, but for the expense
of an unnecessarily large and costly expedition to suppress the rebellious
subordinate, which was sent contrary to the express protest of the
responsible government, seems too much like that overbearing diplomacy
with which western nations have conducted their intercourse in the
East.(295) The promised sum, however, was at last, after much financial
distress, all paid, and the painful episode was ended.

One undesigned benefit resulted from the Shimonoseki expedition. Just as
the bombardment of Kagoshima had taught the daimyō of Satsuma the folly of
resisting western armaments, so now the daimyō of Chōshū had learned by an
expensive experience the same bitter lesson. For the future these two
powerful clans might therefore be counted on, not only to oppose the
moribund government of Yedo, but to withstand the folly of trying to expel
the foreigners who by treaty with an unauthorized agent had been admitted
into the country. The Chōshū leaders had also taken advantage of their
experiences in this conflict with foreigners to put their troops on a
better basis as regards arms and organization. For the first time the
privilege of the _samurai_ to do all the fighting, was disregarded, and a
division(296) of troops was formed from the common people, which was armed
with foreign muskets and drilled in the western tactics. They went by the
name of “irregular troops” (_kiheitai_), and played no small part in
rendering nugatory the efforts of the shōgun to “chastise” the daimyō of
Chōshū in 1865 and 1866.

Another noteworthy military event deserves mention here. Colonel Neale had
applied to his government for a military guard to protect British
interests at Yokohama. Two companies of the 20th regiment were sent from
Hongkong, and with the consent of the Japanese government took up their
residence in 1864 at barracks in the foreign settlement. They were
afterwards joined by a French contingent, and for many years they were a
familiar sight, and gave a sense of security to the nervous residents.

While these serious collisions were taking place between Japan and the
foreign powers, there was an increasing and irreconcilable animosity
developed between the Kyōto and Yedo governments. The ostensible reason,
which was put forward on all occasions, was the difference of opinion upon
the question of the foreign treaties and foreign intercourse. The Yedo
government had by the force of circumstances become practically familiar
with the views of the representatives of foreign nations, and had been
convinced that the task of expelling foreigners and returning again to the
ancient policy of seclusion was far beyond the power of Japan. On the
contrary, the court of the emperor was a hot-bed of anti-foreign sentiment
in which all the ancient prejudices of the empire naturally flourished,
and where the feudal princes who were jealous of the shōgun found a ready
element in which to foment difficulties.

Two important games were in progress. Yedo was the field on which one of
these was to be decided, and the players were the representatives of the
treaty powers on the one side, and the shōgun’s government on the other.
Victory had already been virtually declared in favor of an open country
and foreign intercourse. The other game was being played at Kyōto between
the shōgun’s friends and his enemies. The stake was a momentous one,
namely, to determine whether the present dual government was to continue
and who was hereafter to wield the destinies of the empire.

The government of the shōgun had long been convinced that it was necessary
to make the best of the presence of foreigners in the country and that it
was vain to make further exertions for their expulsion. But a vast number
of the feudal retainers of the daimyōs were still bitterly hostile, and
took frequent occasion to commit outrages, for which the government was
held responsible. Besides the cases which have been already mentioned, a
new legation which the British government had built in Gotenyama, a site
which the Japanese government had set apart in Yedo for foreign legations,
was burned to the ground in 1863. In the same year the temple buildings in
Yedo which the United States had leased for a legation were burned. Twice
the shōgun’s castle in Yedo had been destroyed by fire. A murderous attack
was made upon British subjects in Nagasaki; Lieutenant de Cannes of the
French troops was assassinated in 1864; and in the same year Major Baldwin
and Lieutenant Bird, two British officers, were murdered at Kamakura.

These repeated outrages seriously disturbed the Yedo government, and led
to several attempts to curtail the privileges which by the treaties were
secured to foreigners. The last proposition of the kind which was made was
one conveyed to the French government by an embassy sent out in 1864. They
presented a request to have the port of Kanagawa closed up and trade to be
confined to Hakodate and Nagasaki. They received no encouragement,
however, and returned with their eyes “opened by the high state of
material and moral prosperity which surrounded them,” and reported the
complete failure of their attempts at persuasion. “The _bakufu_
reprimanded them for having disgraced their functions, and, reducing their
incomes, forced them to retire into private life.”(297)

It is necessary now to trace the course of events at Kyōto. According to
the theory of the government of Japan the emperor was the supreme and
unlimited ruler and the shōgun was his executive. The maintenance of the
emperor and his court was a function of the shōgun, and hence it was
almost always possible for him to compel the emperor to pursue any policy
which he might desire.

At the time now under review Kōmei, the father of the present emperor,
occupied the imperial throne. He had succeeded to this dignity in 1847 at
the age of eighteen, and he died in 1866 at the age of thirty-seven. The
shōgun was Iemochi, who in 1858 had been chosen from the family of Kii,
because of the failure of an heir in the regular line. At the time of his
election he was a boy of twelve years of age, and was placed under the
guardianship of the prime minister Ii Kamon-no-kami. After the
assassination of the prime minister in 1861, Hitotsubashi Gyōbukyō, a son
of the daimyō of Mito, was appointed guardian, and served in this capacity
until the shōgun’s death.

Around the court of the emperor were gathered many discordant elements.
The party of the shōgun was always represented, and the daimyō of Aizu,
its ardent friend and champion, had the honorable distinction of guarding
the imperial palace. By invitation many other daimyōs were at Kyōto with
retinues of officers and attendants, and with guards of troops. The
southern and western daimyōs were present in imposing numbers, and
although they did not always agree among themselves, they were in harmony
in the general purpose to discredit the government at Yedo and to promote
the imperial authority.

The expulsion of foreigners was the common subject of discussion and
agitation. Although again and again it had been assured that it was
impossible to dislodge the treaty powers from their position in the
country, the court still continued to direct its efforts to this object.
For the first time in two hundred and thirty years,(298) when Iemitsu went
up to the imperial court, the Shōgun Iemochi visited Kyōto in 1863 in
order to consult about the affairs of the country. In accordance with the
precedent set by Iemitsu, the shōgun distributed on this occasion rich
presents to the emperor and the officers of his court. He also scattered
among the townspeople his largesses, until “the whole populace, moistened
in the bath of his mercy and goodness, were greatly pleased and

Conferences(300) were held between the daimyōs who were present in Kyōto
and the officials of the court, and in spite of the objections and
remonstrances of the Yedo official, an imperial edict was issued and
entrusted to the shōgun for execution, to expel from the country the hated
foreigners. This edict was notified to the representatives of the treaty
powers by the Yedo officials. They seemed, however, to regard their duty
fully done when this notice was given. No serious steps were ever taken to
carry out these expulsive measures, unless the obstruction of navigation
of the Shimonoseki straits by the daimyō of Chōshū be regarded of this

In 1863 a plot was alleged to have been formed by the Chōshū men to seize
the emperor and carry him off to their own territory. The object aimed at
by this plot was of course to get the court out of the hands of the
shōgun’s friends, and surround it by influences favorable to the plans of
the southern daimyōs. The court, however, became alarmed by the reports in
circulation, and steps were taken to forbid the Chōshū troops, who guarded
Sakaimachi gate, access to the grounds of the imperial palace. Offended by
this action they retired to their own territory. Seven of the most
prominent court nobles (_kuges_)(301) who sympathized with Chōshū in his
aims and purposes accompanied them, and were thereupon deprived of their
rank and revenue.

The departure of the Chōshū clansmen and the triumph of the shōgun’s party
seemed to have put an end to the anti-foreign policy. The emperor and his
court had been forced to the conclusion that the effort to expel the
treaty powers was far beyond the powers of Japan, even if it were united
and its exertions directed from one centre. From this time may be
estimated to begin a new phase in the contest which was to end in the
restoration of the original form of government.

The territory of Chōshū had become the rendezvous for all the disaffected
elements of the empire. The daimyō was looked upon as the patriotic leader
of the country, and _ronins_ from all parts hastened to enroll themselves
under his banner. In the summer of 1864 the Chōshū forces, to the number
of several thousand, composed not only of the _samurai_ of the province,
but also of the disaffected _ronins_ who had gathered there, and of the
“irregular troops,” _kiheitai_, which had been organized, started to
re-enter Kyōto in order to regain the position they had previously
occupied. The contest which followed has been described with lurid
distinctness by native annalists. They were encountered by Hitotsubashi in
command of the troops of Aizu, Echizen, Hikoné, and other loyal clans.
After a battle which lasted several days, and which raged chiefly about
the imperial palace, the Chōshū troops were completely defeated and forced
to retire. It gives us an idea of the terrible earnestness of these
Japanese warriors to read how a little remnant of the Chōshū troops took
refuge on Tennōzan; and when they heard their pursuers approaching, how
seventeen of them committed _hara-kiri_(302); and lest their heads should
be recognized and their names disgraced, how they had thrown themselves
into the flames of a temple which they had set on fire. Three of the
company who had performed the friendly act of decapitation for their
comrades had escaped by mountain roads and made their way back to Chōshū.


                             Kido Takeyoshi.

The usual concomitant of fighting in a town had followed, and a great part
of Kyōto had been destroyed by fire.(303) The Satsuma troops had taken an
important part in this repulse of Chōshū. They had intervened at a very
critical moment, and had captured a considerable number of Chōshū
prisoners. But they had treated them with great consideration, and
subsequently had even sent them home with presents, so that the Chōshū men
felt they really had friends instead of enemies in the warlike southern
clan. It is in this battle we catch the first glimpse of the Chōshū
leader, Kido Takeyoshi, then known as Katsura Kogorō.(304) He must have
been about thirty-four years of age, and already gave promise of the
talents which made him one of the most conspicuous and influential
statesmen of the restoration.

In 1865 Sir Harry Parkes arrived in Japan as the envoy plenipotentiary of
the British government. He had resided in China from boyhood, and had been
especially conspicuous in the war between China and Great Britain in 1860.
His career in Japan continued until 1883, when he was promoted to the
court of Peking. He had the good fortune to be the representative of his
country during the most momentous years of modern Japanese history, and in
many of the most important events he exerted an influence which was


                         Udaijin Iwakura Tomomi.

The troubles in Chōshū were finally brought to a close. The efforts of the
shōgun, although conducted at great expense, were unavailing. Satsuma,
when summoned to render aid in crushing the rebellious prince, declined to
join in the campaign. Through the efforts of Saigō Kichinoske,(305) a
treaty of amity was effected between the two clans. The kind treatment of
the Chōshū prisoners in the attack on Kyōto was remembered, and the help
and alliance of the powerful Kyūshū clan were eagerly accepted. Peace was
negotiated between the shōgun and the rebels. Thus the Chōshū episode was
ended, with no credit to the shōgun’s party, but with a distinct gain to
the cause of the imperial restoration.(306)

It had long been recognized that the treaties which had been made by the
foreign powers would possess a greatly increased influence on the Japanese
people if they could have the sanction of the emperor. The shōgun Iemochi
had been summoned to Kyōto by the emperor to consult upon the concerns of
the nation, and was occupying his castle at Ōsaka. The representatives of
the foreign powers thereupon concluded that it would be a timely movement
to proceed with their naval armaments to Hyōgo, and wait upon the shōgun
at Ōsaka, with the purpose of urging him to obtain the imperial approval
of the treaties. This was accordingly done, and an impressive display of
the allied fleets was made at the town, which has since been opened to
foreign trade.

The shōgun was both young and irresolute, and personally had neither
weight nor influence. But his guardian, Hitotsubashi, was a man of mature
years and judgment. He recognized the importance of obtaining the approval
of the emperor to the foreign treaties, and of thus ending the long and
ruinous agitation which prevailed in the country.

A memorial(307) was presented to the emperor in the name of the shōgun,
setting forth the embarrassment under which the administration of the
country had been conducted on account of the supposed opposition of the
emperor to the treaties, and begging him to relieve them by signifying his
sanction; and assuring him that if this is not given, the foreign
representatives who are at Hyōgo will proceed to the capital and demand it
at his hands.

It ended in the sanction of the treaties being signified October 23, 1865,
by the following laconic decree(308) addressed to the shōgun: “The
imperial consent is given to the treaties, and you will therefore
undertake the necessary arrangements therewith.”

During this critical time the Shōgun Iemochi died September 19, 1866, at
his castle in Ōsaka at the age of eighteen. He had been chosen in 1858, in
the absence of a regular heir, by the determined influence of Ii
Kamon-no-kami, who was then all-powerful at Yedo. He was too young to have
any predominating influence upon affairs. Until the assassination of the
prime minister Ii Kamon-no-kami in 1861 the boy shōgun had been under his
guardianship. Since then that duty had been devolved upon Hitotsubashi, a
son of the diamyō of Mito, who had been himself strongly pressed for the
office of shōgun, but who was alleged to be too mature and resolute a
character for the prime minister’s purposes. As guardian, Hitotsubashi had
taken an active part in the effort to obtain the sanction of the treaties,
and the final success of this important step must in a great measure be
attributed to him.

After the death of Iemochi without direct heirs, the office of shōgun was
offered to Hitotsubashi as a representative of Mito, one of the “honorable
families” from whom a shōgun was to be chosen in case of a failure of
direct heirs. It is said that he accepted the office with great
reluctance, knowing the troubles which would surely await him who assumed
it. He assented only on the command of the emperor and the assurance of
support from many of the diamyōs. He has thus the distinction of becoming
the last of the long line of Tokugawa shōguns, under the name of Tokugawa

A few months after the death of Iemochi, on the 3d of February, 1867,
Emperor Kōmei also died from an attack of small-pox. He is said to have
been strongly prejudiced against foreigners and foreign intercourse, and
it was claimed at the time of his death, that when he sanctioned the
foreign treaties the divine nature left him to fall a prey to the ravages
of ordinary disease. His son Mutsuhito, then in his fifteenth year,
succeeded him and is now the reigning emperor, the one hundred and
twenty-first of his line.


                          The Reigning Emperor.

It was thought that the death of an emperor of strong prejudices and of a
mature age would naturally favor a more complete control by the new
shōgun. It was not to be anticipated that an emperor, still only a youth,
would pursue the same policy as his father, and undertake to assume a real
and active part in the government of his country. But the shōgun and his
friends underrated the influences which were gathered at Kyōto, and which
now went far beyond an anti-foreign sentiment and were chiefly concerned
with schemes for restoring the imperial power and unifying the form of

The daimyō of Tosa, who was a man of liberal sentiments and of great
penetration, addressed a letter to the shōgun in October, 1867, in which
he frankly says: “The cause [of our trouble] lies in the fact that the
administration proceeds from two centres, causing the empire’s eyes and
ears to be turned in two different directions. The march of events has
brought about a revolution, and the old system can no longer be persevered
in. You should restore the governing power into the hands of the sovereign
and so lay a foundation on which Japan may take its stand as the equal of
other countries.”(310)


                             Imperial Crests.

The shōgun being deeply impressed with the wisdom of this advice drew up a
document addressed to his vassals, asking their opinion of the
advisability of his resignation. Among other things he says: “It appears
to me that the laws cannot be maintained in face of the daily extension of
our foreign relations, unless the government be conducted by one head, and
I propose therefore to surrender the whole governing power into the hands
of the imperial court. This is the best I can do for the interests of the
empire.”(311) According to this announced resolution, on the 19th of
November, 1867, the shōgun resigned into the hands of the emperor his
authority. This surrender was accepted, and thus a dynasty which had
lasted from 1603 came to an end. That this surrender might be declined and
the power still continue to be held by the Tokugawa, was perhaps the hope
and wish of the last shōgun. But it was not to be. The powerful clans who
for years had labored for the destruction of the Tokugawa primacy were
ready to undertake the responsibility of a new government. And although
the change was not to be effected without a struggle, yet from this point
may be counted to begin the new period of the restoration.


The resignation of the shōgun was accepted by the emperor, on the
understanding that a conference of the daimyōs was to be called and its
opinion taken in reference to the subsequent conduct of affairs. In the
meantime the ex-shōgun, under the command of the emperor, was to continue
the administration, particularly of those interests which concerned the
foreign powers. But the allied western daimyōs feared the effect of
leaving the administration in the hands of their enemies. The possession
of the person of the emperor was always reckoned an important advantage.
Especially was this the case when the emperor was only a boy, whose
influence in the affairs of the government could have little weight. They
resolved, therefore, to take measures which would definitely ensure the
termination of the shōgun’s power, and secure for themselves the result
for which they had been so long laboring.

On January 3, 1868, by a so-called order of the emperor,(312) but really
by the agreement of the allied daimyōs, the troops of the Aizu clan, who
were in charge of the palace gates, were dismissed from their duty, and
their place assumed by troops of the clans of Satsuma, Tosa, Aki, Owari,
and Echizen. The _kugés_ who surrounded the court and who were favorable
to the Tokugawa party were discharged and forbidden to enter its
precincts. The vacant places were filled by adherents of the new order of
things. The offices of _kwambaku_ and _shōgun_ were by imperial edict
abolished. A provisional plan of administration was adopted and persons of
adequate rank appointed to conduct the several departments. “A decree was
issued announcing that the government of the country was henceforth solely
in the hands of the imperial court.”(313)

One of the first acts of the new government was to recall the daimyō of
Chōshū, who had been expelled from Kyōto, in 1863, and to invite back the
_kugés_ who had been exiled and deprived of their revenues and honors. The
sentence of confiscation which had been pronounced upon them was abrogated
and they were restored to their former privileges. One of them, Sanjo
Saneyoshi, as prime minister spent the remainder of his life in reviving
the ancient and original form of government. The Chōshū troops who had
been driven out of the capital in 1863, were recalled and given a share
with the loyal clans in guarding the palace of the emperor.

This powerful clan,(314) which had suffered such a varied experience, was
destined to take and maintain a leading position in the future development
of the restored empire.

The Aizu and other clans which had been devoted friends of the Tokugawa
shōguns were especially outraged by this conciliatory spirit shown to the
Chōshū troops. They claimed that this clan by resisting the imperial
commands had merited the opprobrious title of rebels (_chōtoki_), and were
no longer fit for the association of loyal clans. But the Chōshū daimyō
had been restored to the favor of his emperor, and moreover was allied
with the clans whose power was paramount at Kyōto, so that the
disapprobation of the Tokugawa adherents had little terror for him.

At the suggestion of his friends the shōgun retired to his castle at
Ōsaka, and the troops attached to his cause also retreated and gathered
under his standard. The situation of affairs was for a time uncertain. The
shōgun had resigned, and his resignation had been accepted, but he had
been asked by the emperor to continue his administration. Subsequently,
under the pressure of the allied clans, the emperor had abolished the
shōgunate and entrusted the administration to a provisional government.
This last action the friends of the ex-shōgun resented as the doings of
revolutionists. It is believed that he himself was averse to further
conflict. Any step which he might take in the vindication of his rights
must involve war with the allied clans, and he was not a man of war.

While these critical events were taking place, the representatives of
foreign powers came down from Yedo to Hyōgo with an impressive array of
men-of-war. By invitation of the ex-shōgun they visited him at Ōsaka. In
reply to the representatives he made an address,(315) complaining of the
arbitrary conduct of those who now had possession of the imperial person,
and notifying them that he was willing and able to protect their rights
under the treaties, and asking them to await the action of a conference to
be summoned. In consequence of the conflict which was now imminent, the
representatives of the treaty powers issued a notice to their citizens
that neutrality must be maintained under all circumstances, and arms and
ammunition must not be sold to either party.

The first armed conflict between the two parties took place during the
closing days of January, 1868. Two of the allied daimyōs, Owari and
Echizen, were sent to Ōsaka to confer with the ex-shōgun, in the hope that
some terms might be agreed upon, by which further difficulty could be
avoided. They were both Tokugawa daimyōs, Owari belonging to one of the
_go-sanké_ families, and Echizen being a descendant of Ieyasu’s son. They
offered to the ex-shōgun an honorable appointment, and if he would come to
Kyōto they assured him a ready audience before the emperor. He promised to
obey the emperor’s command and visit the capital.

After the envoys had gone his friends raised suspicions in his mind
concerning his personal safety. The daimyōs of Aizu and Kuwana offered to
accompany him in case he determined to go. They organized, therefore, a
force of about 10,000 men with which they proposed to escort him. He must
have known that a formidable military escort like this would precipitate a
conflict. However, he set out. The news of the preparations of the
ex-shōgun was brought to Kyōto, and aroused a determination to resist his
invasion of the capital. He had been invited to the palace by the emperor,
but he was to come as a peaceful visitor. If he had determined to come
with a guard composed of the enemies of the empire he must be resisted.

Troops of the Satsuma and Chōshū clans were, therefore, posted to
intercept the march of the ex-shōgun’s escort. It is believed that they
numbered about 1,500(316) men. The fighting took place on the roads
leading from Ōsaka to Kyōto, and lasted during the 28th, 29th, and 30th of
January. It ended in the complete defeat of the rebel army, although it so
far outnumbered its adversaries.

The ex-shōgun being thus disappointed in his plan to enter the capital
with a commanding force retired to his castle at Ōsaka, from which he
proceeded on a steam corvette to Yedo.(317) The castle at Ōsaka was burnt,
and the defeated troops made their way by land to the same rendezvous. The
antipathy existing between the Satsuma clan and the Tokugawa adherents
showed itself in a very pronounced manner in Yedo. The Satsuma _yashiki_,
which was occupied by troops of that clan and by _ronins_ favorable to
them was surrounded by Tokugawa troops and burnt. Collisions between the
two parties were of constant occurrence, which continued until the arrival
of the imperial troops restored order. In Hyōgo too, which with Ōsaka was
opened to foreign trade on the first of January, 1868, there were
difficulties between the foreigners and anti-foreign element in the
population. But these troubles rapidly disappeared, because the new
government took pains at once to make it plain that the treaties with
foreign powers were to be kept, and outrages committed against those who
were in the country under these treaties were not to be tolerated.

On February 8, 1868, the emperor sent to the foreign representatives a
request that they communicate to their governments the fact that hereafter
the administration of both internal and external affairs would be
conducted by him, and that officers would be appointed to conduct the
business which may arise under the foreign treaties.

In token of the sincerity of this communication an invitation was conveyed
to the representatives of the powers then at Hyōgo to present themselves
before the emperor on March 23d. The significance of this event can
scarcely now be conceived. Never before in the history of the empire had
its divine head deigned to admit to his presence the despised foreigner,
or put himself on an equality with the sovereign of the foreigner. The
event created in the ancient capital the utmost excitement. The French and
Dutch ministers had each in turn been conducted to the palace and had been
received in audience. No serious incident had occurred. But during the
progress of Sir Harry Parkes,(318) the British representative, from his
lodgings to the palace, two fanatical _samurai_ rushed upon his escort,
and before they could be overpowered wounded nine of them. One of the
would-be assassins was killed and the other was captured after being
desperately wounded. The party returned at once to the lodgings of the
envoy who fortunately was uninjured.

The court, by whose invitation the ministers had undertaken to present
themselves before the emperor, was overwhelmed with mortification. High
officers at once waited upon Sir Harry and tendered their sympathy and
profound regret. After making every reparation in their power,
arrangements were made to hold the audience on the day following that
originally appointed. It was held accordingly without further incident.
Warned by this alarming occurrence, the government issued an edict, that
as the treaties had now been sanctioned by the emperor, the protection of
foreigners was henceforth his particular care; that if therefore any
_samurai_ were to be guilty of an outrage against them, he should be
degraded from his rank, and denied the honorable privilege of committing
_hara-kiri_; he should suffer the punishment of a common criminal and have
his head exposed in token of dishonor. Miyeda Shigeru, the surviving
culprit, was thus punished.

The scene of the brief contest was now shifted to the east. The ex-shōgun
seemed to vacillate between a complete surrender of his power and a
provisional retention of it until the will of the nation could be taken by
a conference of the daimyōs. On the arrival of the imperial forces in Yedo
the final terms of his future treatment were announced to the ex-shōgun:
That he retire to Mito, and there live in seclusion; that the castle in
Yedo be evacuated; and that the vessels and armaments now in the
possession of the ex-shōgun be surrendered. These terms were accepted, and
he took up his residence in his ancestral province of Mito. Subsequently
he was permitted to remove to the castle of Sumpu at Shizuoka. With him
the dynasty of Tokugawa shōguns vanishes from history.

His adherents, however, still continued to resist the imperial forces. For
months the Aizu troops hovered about Yedo, and at last came to blows with
the imperial troops at the grounds of the Uyeno temple on July 4, 1868. It
was a hard-fought battle, and was at last decided by an Armstrong gun in
the hands of the Hizen troops. The fine old temple was destroyed, and the
rebel forces withdrew to the north.

Further complications arose—fighting at Utsunomiya, etc.,—but at last they
were ended by the surrender of the castle of Wakamatsu, where the daimyō
of Aizu had made a stand. With generous fortitude he took the blame upon
himself and submitted to the clemency of his sovereign.

It is only necessary now in order to bring to a close the account of this
short military contest, to refer to the movements of the fleet lying at
Shinagawa. It will be remembered that by the terms accepted by the
ex-shōgun these vessels were to be surrendered to the imperial forces.
There were seven of them, mounting in all eighty-three guns. They were
under the command of Enomoto Izumi-no-kami, who had learned in Holland the
science of naval war. He did not approve of his master surrendering these
muniments of war. On the morning of the day when the vessels were to be
delivered over to the imperial commander, they had disappeared from their
anchorage. In the night Enomoto had got up steam, crept out through Yedo
bay, and sailed northward to more friendly climes. The imperial fleet
followed, and after some manœuvring at Sendai proceeded to Hakodate. Here
the warlike operations between the rebels and the imperial troops lasted
till July, 1869. Finally, the leaders, Enomoto and Matsudaira Tarō, seeing
that it was hopeless to contend longer against a constantly increasing
enemy, offered to commit _hara-kiri_, in order that their followers might
be saved by a surrender. Their unselfish purpose was not, however,
permitted. Then it was determined that the two leaders should give
themselves up to the besiegers, to save the rest. This was done. The
prisoners were sent to Yedo, and their gallant conduct and heroic devotion
to the cause of their prince were so keenly appreciated that they were all

While these events were transpiring in the east and north, the work of
establishing a system of administration was proceeded with at Kyōto.

A constitution was drawn up, detailing the various departments of the
government, and the duties of the officers in each. These departments
were: 1. Of supreme administration; 2. of the Shintō religion; 3. of home
affairs; 4. of foreign affairs; 5. of war; 6. of finance; 7. of judicial
affairs; 8. of legislative affairs. This scheme underwent several changes,
and for a long time was regarded as only tentative.

The ablest men in the movements which were now in progress were afraid of
the traditions of indulgence and effeminacy which attached to the court at
Kyōto. In order to restore the government to a true and self-respecting
basis, it seemed necessary to cut loose from the centuries of seclusion in
which the emperor had remained, and enter upon the work of governing the
empire as a serious and solemn task. It was in this spirit that Ōkubo
Toshimichi of Satsuma, one of the ablest of the statesmen of the new era,
made in 1868 a novel and startling proposition. It was in a memorial(319)
addressed by him to the emperor. He proposed that the emperor should
abandon the traditions which had grown up respecting his person and his
court, and rule his empire with personal supervision. To do this
successfully, he recommended that the capital be transferred from the
place of its degrading superstitions to a new home. He suggested that
Ōsaka be the place selected.

If the emperor’s court had been under the same influences as had governed
it in past years, such a proposition would have been received with horror.
Perhaps even the bold proposer would have been deemed fit for the ceremony
of _hara-kiri_. But the men who surrounded the emperor belonged to a
different school, and the emperor himself, although he was still an
inexperienced youth, had already begun to breathe the freer air of a new
life. The proposition was welcomed, and led to the great change which
followed. After discussion and consideration it was determined that the
emperor should make his residence not in Ōsaka, which would have been a
great and impressive change, but in Yedo, where for two hundred and fifty
years the family of Ieyasu had wielded the destinies of the empire. By
this change more than any other was emphasized the fact that hereafter the
executive as well as the ultimate power was to be found in the same
imperial hands.

Acting on these principles the emperor followed his victorious army and,
November 26, 1869, arrived at Yedo and took up his residence in the
castle. Reports were made to him of the complete settlement of all
difficulties in the north and the establishment of peace. In token of his
arrival the name of Yedo had been changed to Tōkyō(320) (eastern capital),
by which name it has since been known. As a compensation to the
disappointed and disheartened citizens of Kyōto, their city received the
corresponding designation of Saikyō (western capital). The year-period,
which from January, 1865, had borne the name of Keiō, had been changed to
_Meiji_(321) (Enlightened Peace), and was fixed to begin from January,
1868. Heretofore the year-periods had been changed whenever it seemed
desirable to mark a fortunate epoch. But by the edict establishing the
_Meiji_ year-period, it was settled that hereafter an emperor was to make
but one change in the year-period during his reign.

The emperor returned to the western capital during the spring of 1869 for
a brief visit. The usual etiquette of mourning for his father required his
presence at the imperial tomb. He also availed himself of this visit to
wed the present empress, who was a princess of the house of Ichijō,(322)
one of the ancient families descended from the Fujiwara. He came back
again in April, but there was so much opposition on the part of the
inhabitants of the ancient capital to the complete loss of their emperor,
that it was deemed most prudent for the newly married empress to remain
behind. She did not set out for Tōkyō to join her husband until the
November following, where she arrived without incident.

A surprising reminiscence of the Christianity which was supposed to have
been extinguished in the seventeenth century came to light in 1865.
Several Christian communities in the neighborhood of Nagasaki(323) were
discovered, who had preserved their faith for more than two hundred years.
Without priests, without teachers, almost without any printed instruction,
they had kept alive by tradition through successive generations a
knowledge of the religion which their ancestors had professed. These
communities had no doubt maintained a discreet quiet as to the tenets of
their belief. They had a traditional fear of the persecution to which
their fathers had been subjected and sought by silence to remain
undisturbed. It was the rejoicing at their discovery which directed the
attention of the government to the fire which had been so long

A new edict of the imperial government, displayed upon the public
edict-boards in 1868, first called the notice of the foreign
representatives to the measures which were being taken.(324) It was as
follows: “The evil sect called Christian is strictly prohibited.
Suspicious persons should be reported to the proper officers, and rewards
will be given.” Nearly all the ministers of foreign powers remonstrated
against this proclamation, as throwing discredit on the religions of their
countries. The Japanese officials defended the punishment of Christians by
alleging the national prejudice against them, which had come from the
preceding centuries. They argued that the question was one of purely
domestic concern, of which foreign nations could have no adequate
knowledge, and in which they had no right to interfere.

The Christians chiefly lived in Urakami, a village near Nagasaki. They
were said to number about four thousand. Orders were sent by the
government from Tōkyō in June, 1868, that all the families who would not
recant should be deported and put in the charge of daimyōs in different
provinces. Only a small part of the Christians were thus exiled. The
government probably dealt with greater leniency because they found the
treaty powers so deeply interested. Subsequently the measures taken
against the native Christians were withdrawn. In March, 1872, those who
had been dispersed among the daimyōs were granted permission to return to
their homes, and persecution for religious belief was ended forever.

On April 17, 1869, before his court and an assembly of daimyōs, the
emperor took what has been called the charter oath(325) in five articles,
in substance, as follows:

1. A deliberative assembly shall be formed, and all measures decided by
public opinion.

2. The principles of social and political economics should be diligently
studied by both the superior and inferior classes of our people.

3. Every one in the community shall be assisted to persevere in carrying
out his will for all good purposes.

4. All the absurd usages of former times should be disregarded, and the
impartiality and justice displayed in the workings of nature be adopted as
the basis of action.

5. Wisdom and ability should be sought after in all quarters of the world
for the purpose of firmly establishing the foundations of the empire.

The promise in the first article to establish a deliberative assembly was
watched with the greatest solicitude. And when during the same year the
_kogisho_(326) (parliament) was called together, great hopes were
entertained of its usefulness. It was composed of persons representing
each of the daimiates, who were chosen for the position by the daimyōs. It
was a quiet peaceful debating society,(327) whose function was to give
advice to the imperial government.

That it was a thoroughly conservative body is apparent from the result of
its discussion upon several of the traditional customs of Japan. On the
proposition to recommend the abolition of the privilege of _hara-kiri_ the
vote stood: Ayes 3, noes 200, and not voting 6. On the proposition to
abolish the wearing of swords, which was introduced and advocated by Mori
Arinori, the final vote was unanimously against it in a house of 213.(328)
After a short and uneventful career the _kogisho_ was dissolved in the
autumn of the same year in which it was summoned. It had been a step, but
not a very important step, in the direction of parliamentary government.

We must now give an account of the most remarkable event in the modern
history of Japan. We refer to the termination of feudalism by the
voluntary surrender of their feudal rights on the part of the daimyōs.
This action was a logical consequence of the restoration of the executive
power into the hands of the emperor. It was felt by the statesmen of this
period that in order to secure a government which could grapple
successfully with the many questions which would press upon it, there must
be a centralization of the powers which were now distributed among the
powerful daimyōs of the empire. To bring this about by force was
impossible. To discover among the princes a willingness to give up their
hereditary privileges and come down to the position of a powerless
aristocracy was something for which we have hitherto looked in vain.


                              Mori Arinori.

Doubtless the _fainéant_ condition of nearly all the daimyōs at this time
made the accomplishment of this event more easy. With only a few
exceptions, the hereditary princes of the provinces had come to be merely
the formal chiefs of their daimiates. The real power was in the hands of
the energetic and capable _samurai_, who were employed to manage the
affairs. They saw that any scheme for transferring the political authority
of the daimyōs to the central government would render more important their
services. They would become not merely the formal administrative
functionaries, but the real officers to whom responsible duties and trusts
would be confided. Some of this class of subordinates had already in the
new imperial government tasted the savoriness of this kind of service, and
they were ready to carry out a plan which seemed to have patriotism and
practicability in its favor.

The most notable circumstance in this series of events was the
presentation to the emperor of an elaborate memorial signed by the daimyōs
of Chōshū, Satsuma, Tosa, Hizen, Kaga, and others, offering him the lists
of their possessions and men. This memorial(329) appeared in the official
gazette March 5, 1869. Its preparation is attributed to Kido Takayoshi,
and bears supreme evidence to his learning and statesmanship. With lofty
eloquence the memorial exclaims: “The place where we live is the emperor’s
land, and the food which we eat is grown by the emperor’s men. How can we
make it our own? We now reverently offer up the lists of our possessions
and men, with the prayer that the emperor will take good measures for
rewarding those to whom reward is due and taking from those to whom
punishment is due. Let the imperial orders be issued for altering and
remodelling the territories of the various classes.... This is now the
most urgent duty of the emperor, as it is that of his servants and

The example thus set by the most powerful and influential daimyōs was
followed rapidly by others. Two hundred and forty-one(330) of the daimyōs
united in asking the emperor to take back their hereditary territories.
And in the end only a small number remained who had not so petitioned.
Prince Azuki in his memorial says: “1. Let them restore the territories
which they have received from the emperor and return to a constitutional
and undivided country. 2. Let them abandon their titles and under the name
of _kwazoku_ (persons of honor) receive such properties as may serve for
their wants. 3. Let the officers of the clans abandoning that title, call
themselves officers of the emperor, receiving property equal to that which
they have hitherto held.”

In response to these memorials a decree(331) was issued by the emperor
August 7, 1869, announcing the abolition of the daimiates, and the
restoration of their revenues to the imperial treasury. It was also
decreed that the ranks of court nobles (_kugés_) and of daimyōs be
abolished and the single rank of _kwazoku_ be substituted.

Thus at one stroke the whole institution of feudalism which had flourished
from the time of Yoritomo was cut away. The government made provision for
the administration by creating prefectures (_ken_) to take the place of
daimiates. This was done in 1871. At first the daimyōs were appointed
governors of the prefectures. But it was soon found that these hereditary
princes were as a class utterly unfit for the chief executive offices of
their old provinces. Hence, one by one other competent persons were
appointed to vacancies, until it came to be understood that competence and
fitness were to be the requisite qualifications for such appointments.

The financial questions involved in the suppression of the feudal system
were serious and difficult. When the daimyōs surrendered their fiefs, they
did so with the understanding that they themselves should “receive such
properties as may serve their wants,”(332) and that the emperor should
take “measures for rewarding those to whom reward is due.”(333) It was
decided that each ex-daimyō, and each of the suzerains that were dependent
on him, should receive one tenth of the amount of their income from their
fiefs. The ex-daimyōs received this amount free of any claims upon them
for the support of the non-productive _samurai_, who formed the standing
armies of each clan. The central government assumed all the payments to
the _samurai_ for services of whatever kind. This heavy charge of the
government was met by borrowing $165,000,000,(334) which was added to the
national debt. With this sum they undertook to capitalize the pensions,
which was finally accomplished by a compulsory enactment. Each claimant
received from the government interest-bearing bonds for the amount of his
income reckoned at from five to fourteen years’ purchase according to its
sum. Thus to the great relief of the country the matter of pensions was
disposed of.

To many of the _samurai_ this summary settlement had unfortunate results.
The lump sums which they received were often soon consumed, and they were
left penniless and helpless. The traditions under which they had been
trained led them to look down upon labor and trade with disdain, and
rendered them unfit to enter successfully on the careers of modern life.
In many cases worry and disappointment, and in others poverty and want,
have been the sequels which have closely followed the poor and obsolete

Several minor but noteworthy steps in reform were taken. The ancient
disqualifications of the _eta_ and _heimin_ were removed in 1871, and
these pariahs placed on the same legal footing as the rest of the
population. The first railway in Japan was opened between Yokohama and
Tōkyō in 1872. The European calendar, so far as it regarded the beginning
of the year and the beginning of the months, was adopted in 1873. The year
was still counted from Jimmu Tennō, 1873 of the Christian era
corresponding to 2533 of the Japanese era, and also by the _Meiji_
year-period, the commencement of which was from 1868.

Several international events deserve notice here. A number of Ryūkyū
islanders (vassals of Japan) had been shipwrecked on Formosa and some
killed by the semi-savage inhabitants. To punish this cruelty, and to
insure a more humane treatment in the future, the Japanese government sent
an expedition under General Saigō Tsugumichi. They made short work of the
inhuman tribes and enforced upon them the lesson of civility. China, who
claimed a sovereignty over this island, acknowledged the service Japan had
rendered, and agreed to pay an indemnity for the expenses of the

The long-pending dispute between Russia and Japan concerning the boundary
in Saghalien was settled in 1875 by a treaty(335) which exchanged the
Japanese claims in Saghalien for the Kurile islands (Chishima).

An unexpected attack by the Koreans upon a Japanese steamer asking coal
and provisions awakened an intense excitement in Japan. An expedition
after the pattern of Commodore Perry’s, under the command of General
Kuroda Kiyotaka, was despatched in January, 1876, to come to an
understanding with the Koreans. The negotiations were entirely successful,
and a treaty(336) of amity and commerce was concluded, and thus another of
the secluded kingdoms of the East had been brought into the comity of
nations. Then outbreaks of this kind in Saga, in Higo, in Akizuki, and in
Chōshū occurred, but they were all put down without difficulty or delay.
The promptness with which the government dealt with these factions boded
no good to the reactionary movements that were ready to break out in other

Although the Satsuma clan had taken the most prominent part in the
destruction of the shōgunate and in the restoration of an imperial
government, there was in it a greater amount of conservatism and
opposition to modern innovations than was to be found elsewhere. Indeed,
the clan had split into two distinct parties, the one aiding in all the
reforms and changes which the government was attempting to carry out, the
other holding resolutely to the old feudal traditions which they saw
endangered by the present attitude of the emperor’s counsellors. The
latter party had for its leaders Shimazu Saburō and Saigō Takamori, both
of whom had played conspicuous parts in the recent history of their
country. The government had tried to conciliate these two influential men
and to secure their co-operation in the administration. But both had
retired from Tōkyō, and declined longer to share the responsibility of a
course which they could not approve.

Saigō, who was the idol of the _samurai_, after his retirement established
near Kagoshima a military school, where the young men of that class were
drilled in the duties of the army. Branch schools on the same model were
also carried on in several other places in the province. In all it was
said that not less than 20,000 young _samurai_ were receiving a training
in these dangerous schools. They were filled with the most violent
antipathy to the government and were with difficulty restrained, even by
their leaders, from outbreaks in sympathy with the uprisings which
elsewhere were taking place.

The government was naturally solicitous concerning these collections of
inflammable material. A collision with the students over the removal of
some stores of arms and ammunition, revealed their readiness to break into
rebellion. It is not improbable that designing conspirators took advantage
of the open and chivalric character of Saigō to push him into the
initiation of hostilities. Admiral Kawamura, himself a Satsuma man and a
connection of Saigō, was sent down to hold an interview with him and if
possible to make a peaceful settlement. But the interview was declined.
The rebellious elements were at once gathered together, and Saigō, at the
head of a force of 14,000 men, started about the middle of February, 1877,
on his march up the west coast of Kyūshū, on his way to Tōkyō. The
conspirators estimated that a force of 30,000 troops could be counted on
to take part in the expedition.

The first impediment in their march was the castle of Kumamoto,(337) where
the government had a garrison of 2,000 to 3,000 men under General Tani.
Saigō determined to reduce it before making further progress. He spent
several weeks in this vain attempt. This was a precious delay for the
government, which it spent in organizing and sending forward troops for
opposing the advance of the rebels. All available forces were collected
and put in motion to the seat of war. Prince Arisugawa-no-miya was
appointed commander-in-chief and established his headquarters at Fukuoka.

The equipment of troops at the seat of government was under the
supervision of General Saigō Tsugumichi, a younger brother of the rebel
leader. Loyal as he was to his emperor, it was a painful task for him to
organize war against his brother. With native delicacy he left to others
the duty of fighting on the field, and confined himself to the less
conspicuous part of gathering and sending troops as they were needed.

The rebels had besieged Kumamoto and had already reduced it to great
straits. But the imperial forces came in time to its relief. There was
desperate fighting, but at last the besiegers were compelled to withdraw.

They retreated toward the east coast with the apparent purpose of seeking
a way to the north by Hyūga and Bungo. Promptly they were followed and
confined to a defensive attitude. The most desperate battles were fought
in this part of the campaign. Though disappointed and outnumbered, the
rebels fought with consummate bravery. They were almost in the shadow of
the mountains where their celestial ancestor was fabled to have descended
upon the Japanese islands.(338) Their last stand was at Nobeoka in the
northeast corner of Hyūga. Their leaders realized that to continue the
contest would only cause unnecessary and hopeless slaughter.

Under these circumstances Saigō saw that to end the fighting and save his
followers he must leave them. Accordingly with about two hundred of those
who were personally devoted to him, he broke through the imperial line and
escaped to Kagoshima. The army, finding they were forsaken, surrendered,
August 19, 1877. Saigō, with his little band, entrenched himself on the
summit of the hill Shiroyama overlooking Kagoshima. Here he was surrounded
by the imperial forces and bombarded night and day. The veteran leader was
at last wounded in the thigh, and seeing that all hope of escape was gone,
he requested one of his lieutenants to perform for him the friendly office
of severing his head from his body. After the capture of the stronghold,
the bodies of Saigō and his comrades were discovered. Admiral Kawamura
himself with tender hands washed the bloody head of his dead friend, and
saw that the bodies of all were decently buried. Thus, on September 24,
1877, the last and most serious of the attempts which have been made to
disturb the empire in its new career came to an end.

There was, however, one mournful sequel to this rebellion. Ōkubo
Toshimichi, a statesman and patriot of the purest type, had from the
beginning resisted the reactionary movements of his clan. At the time of
the rebellion he was minister of Home Affairs and put forth all his
exertions to suppress it. A baseless slander that he had sent to Satsuma
hired assassins to take Saigō’s life, had been used by the reckless
conspirators to force the rebel leader to an outbreak. This was believed
by many of the _samurai_, not only in Satsuma but in other provinces. On
May 14, 1878, Tōkyō was startled by the news that Ōkubo, while driving
through a secluded spot in the old castle grounds, on his way to the
emperor’s palace, had been murdered. The assassins were from the province
of Kaga, and gave as the reason for their crime their desire to avenge the
death of Saigō. Japan could ill afford to spare at this time her most
clear-headed statesman and her noblest and most unflinching patriot.


                            Okubo Toshimichi.

What followed these important events must be told in a summary manner.
There was a powerful and growing party in the empire, who looked forward
to a modification of the absolute form of government to which they had
returned in 1868. This party was particularly aggressive in the province
of Tosa. They recalled to themselves and others the solemn pledge which
the emperor had given to his people in his charter oath,(339) when he
announced that “a deliberative assembly shall be formed, and all measures
decided by public opinion.”

The ruling minds in the government feared that the people were too
inexperienced and too unaccustomed to deciding and acting for themselves
to be entrusted with the grave duty of constitutional government. As a
preparation for so important a step local assemblies were authorized and
established in 1878. Matters referring to the government of each _fu_ and
_ken_ were to be discussed, and to a certain extent decided in these
assemblies. It was believed that the experience gained in such bodies
would go far towards preparing men for service in an imperial legislative
body. The expectations founded on these local assemblies were realized and
in a fair degree they continued to fulfil their purpose.

In further pursuance of the plan of constitutional government, the
emperor, on February 11, 1889, at his palace, promulgated a
constitution(340) for his people. In the presence of his cabinet and court
he took a solemn oath to govern under its limitations and powers. This
constitution contains seven chapters consisting of one hundred and eleven
articles: Chapter I. The Emperor; II. Rights and Duties of Subjects; III.
The Imperial Diet; IV. The Ministers of State and Privy Council; V. The
Judicature; VI. Finance; VII. Supplementary Rules. The emperor also
announced that the imperial diet would be convoked in the twenty-third
year of _Meiji_ (1890), and that the constitution would go into effect at
the date of its assembling.


                              Ito Hirobumi.

It would seem that no great advance can be secured in Japan without the
sacrifice of a valuable life. As Ii Kamon-no-kami was murdered in 1860,
and as Ōkubo fell by the assassin’s hand at the close of the Satsuma
rebellion, so now on the very day when the emperor was to promulgate this
liberal constitution, Viscount Mori Arinori fell a victim to the fanatical
hatred of one who looked with distrust upon the progress which his country
was making. No one could look, or did look, on this progress with more
interest than Mori. He had so long and so earnestly advocated a liberal
and tolerant policy in the councils of his country, and had been a leader
in all that was high and noble, that we cannot regard, except with
profound regret, his untimely death.


(The list here printed is the official list issued by the government, and
has been revised by Mr. Tateno, the Japanese Minister at Washington.)

Name.                            Date of    Date of   Age at
                                 Access.    Death.    Death.
1. Jimmu                        660 B.C.   585 B.C.      127
2. Suizei                            581        549       84
3. Annei                             548        511       57
4. Itoku                             510        477       77
5. Kōshō                             475        393      114
6. Kōan                              392        291      137
7. Kōrei                             290        215      128
8. Kōgen                             214        158      116
9. Kaikwa                            157         98      111
10. Sūjin                             97    30 A.D.      119
11. Suinin                       29 A.D.         70      141
12. Keikō                             71        130      143
13. Seimu                            131        190      108
14. Chūai                            192        200       52
Jingō (Empress Regent)(341)          201        269      100
15. Ōjin                             270        310      110
16. Nintoku                          313        399      110
17. Richū                            400        405       67
18. Hanzei                           406        411       60
19. Inkyō                            412        453       80
20. Ankō                             454        456       56
21. Yūriyaku                         457        479       ——
22. Seinei                           480        484       41
23. Kenzō                            485        487       ——
24. Ninken                           488        498       50
25. Muretsu                          499        506       18
26. Keitai                           507        531       82
27. Ankan                            534        535       70
28. Senkwa                           536        539       73
29. Kimmei                           540        571       63
30. Bidatsu                          572        585       48
31. Yōmei                            586        587       69
32. Sujun                            588        592       73
33. Suiko (Empress)                  593        628       75
34. Jomei                            629        641       49
35. Kōkyoku (Empress)                642         ——       ——
36. Kōtoku                           645        654       59
37. Saimei (re-accession of          655        661       68
38. Tenji                            668        671       58
39. Kōbun                            672        672       25
40. Temmu                            673        686       65
41. Jitō (Empress)                   690        702       58
42. Mommu                            697        707       25
43. Gemmyō (Empress)                 708        721       61
44. Genshō (Empress)                 715        748       69
45. Shōmu                            724        756       56
46. Kōken (Empress)                  749         ——       ——
47. Junnin                           759        765       33
48. Kōken (re-enthroned)             765        770       53
49. Kōnin                            770        781       73
50. Kwammu                           782        806       70
51. Heijō                            806        824       51
52. Saga                             810        842       57
53. Ninna                            824        840       55
54. Nimmyō                           834        850       41
55. Montoku                          851        858       32
56. Seiwa                            859        880       31
57. Yōzei                            877        949       82
58. Kōko                             885        887       58
59. Uda                              888        931       65
60. Daigo                            898        930       46
61. Shujaku                          931        952       30
62. Muragami                         947        967       42
63. Reizei                           968       1011       62
64. Enyū                             970        991       33
65. Kwazan                           985       1008       41
66. Ichiyō                           987       1011       32
67. Sanjō                           1012       1017       42
68. Go-Ichijō                       1017       1028       29
69. Go-Shujaku                      1037       1045       37
70. Go-Reizei                       1047       1068       44
71. Go-Sanjō                        1069       1073       40
72. Shirakawa                       1073       1129       77
73. Horikawa                        1087       1107       29
74. Toba                            1108       1156       54
75. Shutoku                         1124       1164       46
76. Konoye                          1142       1155       17
77. Go-Shirakawa                    1156       1192       66
78. Nijō                            1159       1165       23
79. Rokujō                          1166       1176       13
80. Takakura                        1169       1181       21
81. Antoku                          1181       1185       15
82. Go-Toba                         1186       1239       60
83. Tsuchi-mikado                   1199       1231       37
84. Juntoku                         1211       1242       46
85. Chūkyō                          1222       1234       17
86. Go-Horikawa                     1221       1234       23
87. Yojō                            1232       1242       12
88. Go-Saga                         1242       1272       53
89. Go Fukakusa                     1246       1304       62
90. Kameyama                        1259       1305       57
91. Go-Uda                          1274       1324       58
92. Fushimi                         1288       1317       53
93. Go-Fushimi                      1298       1336       49
94. Go-Nijyō                        1301       1308       24
95. Hanazono                        1308       1348       52
96. Go-Daigo                        1318       1339       52
97. Go-Murakami                     1339       1368       41
98. Go-Kameyama                     1373       1424       78
99. Go-Komatsu                      1382       1433       57
100. Shōkō                          1414       1428       28
101. Go-Hanazono                    1429       1470       52
102. Go-Tsuchi-mikado               1465       1500       59
103. Go-Kashiwabara                 1521       1526       63
104. Go-Nara                        1536       1557       62
105. Ōgimachi                       1560       1593       77
106. Go-Yojō                        1586       1617       47
107. Go-Mizuo                       1611       1680       85
108. Myōshō (Empress)               1630       1696       74
109. Go-Kōmyō                       1643       1654       22
110. Go-Nishio                      1656       1685       49
111. Reigen                         1663       1732       79
112. Higashiyama                    1687       1709       35
113. Naka-mikado                    1710       1737       37
114. Sakuramachi                    1720       1750       31
115. Momozono                       1747       1762       22
116. Go-Sakuramachi (Empress)       1763       1813       74
117. Go-Momozono                    1771       1779       22
118. Kōkaku                         1780       1840       70
119. Jinkō                          1817       1846       47
120. Kōmei                          1847       1867       37
121. Mutsuhito (reigning            1868


Name.          Japanese Era.   Christian Era.
Taikwa                  1305              645
Hakuchi                 1310              650
Saimei                  1315              655
Tenji                   1322              662
Sujaku                  1332              672
Hakuhō                  1333              673
Suchō                   1346              686
Jitō                    1347              687
Momm                    1357              697
Daihō                   1361              701
Keiun                   1364              704
Wadō                    1368              708
Reiki                   1375              715
Yōrō                    1377              717
Jinki                   1384              724
Tembiō                  1389              729
Tembiō shōhō            1409              749
Tembiō hōji             1417              757
Tembiō jingo            1425              765
Jingo keiun             1427              767
Hōki                    1430              770
Tenō                    1441              781
Enriaku                 1442              782
Daidō                   1466              806
Kōnin                   1470              810
Tenchō                  1484              824
Jōwa                    1494              834
Kajō                    1508              848
Ninju                   1511              851
Saikō                   1514              854
Tenan                   1517              857
Jōgwan                  1519              859
Gwangiō                 1537              877
Ninna                   1545              885
Kwampei                 1549              889
Shōtai                  1558              898
Engi                    1561              901
Enchō                   1583              923
Jōhei                   1591              931
Tengiō                  1598              938
Tenriaku                1607              947
Tentoku                 1617              957
Ōwa                     1621              961
Kōhō                    1624              964
Anna                    1628              968
Tenroku                 1630              970
Ten-en                  1633              973
Jōgen                   1636              976
Tengen                  1638              978
Eikwan                  1643              983
Kwanna                  1645              985
Ei-en                   1647              987
Eiso                    1649              989
Shōriaku                1650              990
Chōtoku                 1655              995
Chōhō                   1659              999
Kwankō                  1664             1004
Chōwa                   1672             1012
Kwannin                 1677             1017
Ji-an                   1681             1021
Manju                   1684             1024
Chōgen                  1688             1028
Chōriaku                1697             1037
Chōkiū                  1700             1040
Kwantoku                1704             1044
Eijō                    1706             1046
Tengi                   1713             1053
Kōhei                   1718             1058
Jiriaku                 1725             1065
Enkiū                   1729             1069
Jōhō                    1734             1074
Jōriaku                 1737             1077
Eihō                    1741             1081
Ōtoku                   1744             1084
Kwanji                  1747             1087
Kahō                    1754             1094
Eichō                   1756             1096
Jōtoku                  1757             1097
Kowa                    1759             1099
Chōji                   1764             1104
Kajō                    1766             1106
Tennin                  1768             1108
Tenei                   1770             1110
Eikiū                   1773             1113
Genei                   1778             1118
Hō-an                   1780             1120
Tenji                   1784             1124
Daiji                   1786             1126
Tenjō                   1791             1131
Chōjō                   1792             1132
Hō-en                   1795             1135
Eiji                    1801             1141
Kōji                    1802             1142
Tenyō                   1804             1144
Kiū-an                  1805             1145
Nimbiō                  1811             1151
Kiūju                   1814             1154
Hōgen                   1816             1156
Heiji                   1819             1159
Eiriaku                 1820             1160
Ōhō                     1821             1161
Chōkwan                 1823             1163
Eiman                   1825             1165
Ninan                   1826             1166
Ka-ō                    1829             1169
Jō-an                   1831             1171
Angen                   1835             1175
Jishō                   1837             1177
Yōwa                    1841             1181
Ju-ei                   1842             1182
Genriaku                1844             1184
Bunji                   1845             1185
Kenkiū                  1850             1190
Shōji                   1859             1199
Kennin                  1861             1201
Genkiū                  1864             1204
Kenei                   1866             1206
Jōgen                   1867             1207
Kenriaku                1871             1211
Kempō                   1873             1213
Jōkiū                   1879             1219
Jō-ō                    1882             1222
Gennin                  1884             1224
Karoku                  1885             1225
Antei                   1887             1227
Kwangi                  1889             1229
Jō-ei                   1892             1232
Tempuku                 1893             1233
Bunriaku                1894             1234
Katei                   1895             1235
Riakunin                1898             1238
En-ō                    1899             1239
Ninji                   1900             1240
Kwangen                 1903             1243
Hōji                    1907             1247
Kenchō                  1909             1249
Kōgen                   1916             1256
Shōka                   1917             1257
Shōgen                  1919             1259
Bunō                    1920             1260
Kōchō                   1921             1261
Bunei                   1924             1264
Kenji                   1935             1275
Kōan                    1938             1278
Shō-ō                   1948             1288
Einin                   1953             1293
Shōan                   1959             1299
Kengen                  1962             1302
Kagen                   1963             1303
Tokuji                  1966             1306
Enkiō                   1968             1308
Ōchō                    1971             1311
Shōwa                   1972             1312
Bumpō                   1977             1317
Gen-ō                   1979             1319
Genkō                   1981             1321
Shōchū                  1984             1324
Kariaku                 1986             1326
Gentoku                 1989             1329
Shōkiō                  1992             1331
Kemmu                   1994             1334
Engen                   1996             1336
Kōkoku                  1999             1339
Shōhei                  2006             1346
Kentoku                 2030             1370
Bunchū                  2032             1372
Tenju                   2035             1375
Kōwa                    2041             1381
Genchū                  2044             1384
Meitoku                 2050             1390
Ō-ei                    2054             1394
Shōchō                  2088             1428
Eikiō                   2089             1429
Kakitsu                 2101             1441
Bunan                   2104             1444
Hōtoku                  2109             1449
Kōtoku                  2112             1452
Kōshō                   2115             1455
Chōroku                 2117             1457
Kwanshō                 2120             1460
Bunshō                  2126             1466
Ōnin                    2127             1467
Bummei                  2129             1469
Chōkō                   2147             1487
Entoku                  2149             1489
Mei-ō                   2152             1492
Bunki                   2161             1501
Eishō                   2164             1504
Dai-ei                  2181             1521
Kōroku                  2188             1528
Tembun                  2192             1532
Kōji                    2215             1555
Eiroku                  2218             1558
Genki                   2230             1570
Tenshō                  2233             1573
Bunroku                 2252             1592
Keichō                  2256             1596
Genna                   2275             1615
Kwanei                  2284             1624
Shōhō                   2304             1644
Kei-an                  2308             1648
Jō-ō                    2312             1652
Meireki                 2315             1655
Manji                   2318             1658
Kwambun                 2321             1661
Empō                    2333             1673
Tenna                   2341             1681
Jōkiō                   2344             1684
Genroku                 2348             1688
Hō-ei                   2364             1704
Shōtoku                 2371             1711
Kiōhō                   2376             1716
Gembun                  2396             1736
Kwampō                  2401             1741
Enkiō                   2404             1744
Kwanen                  2408             1748
Hōreki                  2411             1751
Meiwa                   2424             1764
Anei                    2432             1772
Temmei                  2441             1781
Kwansei                 2449             1789
Kiōwa                   2461             1801
Bunkwa                  2464             1804
Bunsei                  2478             1818
Tempō                   2490             1830
Kōkwa                   2504             1844
Ka-ei                   2508             1848
Ansei                   2514             1854
Manen                   2520             1860
Bunkiū                  2521             1861
Genji                   2524             1864
Kei-ō                   2525             1865
Meiji                   2528             1868


_I.—The Dynasty of Minamoto. 1186-1219._

1. Minamoto Yoritomo, 1186-1199, died; received his appointment as shōgun
in 1192.

NOTE.—In this as in the later cases, the dates will be cited which
correspond to the attainment of power and its general recognition, but
which do not, in many cases, correspond to the grant of the title, which
frequently was much later.

2. Minamoto Yori-iye, 1199-1203, son of the preceding, first deposed by
his grandfather, Hōjō Tokimasa, and banished to Izu, there was murdered in

3. Minamoto Sanetomo, 1203-1219, eleven years old, brother of the
preceding, murdered by his nephew Kokio, the son of Yori-iye.

_The Time of the Shadow Shōguns. 1220-1338._

The shōguns of this period, taken partly from the Fujiwara family, partly
from the princes of the imperial house, were mostly children, and in every
instance the weak agents of the Hōjō family, whose chiefs, as regents
(_shiken_), had the power in their hands, although the nominal bearers of
the same were likewise principally only children.

4. Fujiwara Yoritsune, 1220-1243, nine years old, dethroned by Hōjō
Tsunetoki, died 1256.

5. Fujiwara Yoritsugu, 1244-1251, son of the preceding, seven years old,
deposed by H. Tokeyori, died 1256.

6. Munetaka Shino, 1252-1265, eleven, according to others thirteen, years
old, deposed by H. Tokimune, died 1274.

7. Koreyasu Shino, 1266-1289, son of the preceding, three years old,
deposed by H. Sadatoki, died 1325 (1326?).

8. Hisa-akira Shino, or, as he was called, Kumei Shino, 1289-1307, sixteen
years old, deposed by H. Sadatoki, died 1328.

9. Morikuni Shino, 1308-1333, son of the preceding, seven years old,
dethroned by Nitsuda Yoshisada, died in the same year.

10. Moriyoshi Shino, 1333-1334, son of the reigning Emperor Go-Daigo,
dethroned by Taka-uji, murdered, in 1335, by Minamoto Nao-yoshi.

11. Nari-Yoshi Shino, 1334-1338, dethroned and murdered by Taka-uji.

_II.—The Regents of the Hōjō Family._

Hōjō Tokimasa, died 1215, did not have the title of regent (_shiken_).

Hōjō Yoshitoki, 1205-1224, from 1205 regent (_shiken_), murdered.

Hōjō Yasutoki, 1225-1242, died.

Hōjō Tsunetoki, 1243-1246, grandson of the preceding, retired in favor of
his younger brother, Tokiyori, and died thirty-three years old.

Hōjō Tokiyori, 1246-1256, retired in favor of his son, Tokimune, and died
1263, thirty-seven years old.

Hōjō Tokimune, 1257-1284, seven years old, under the guardianship of H.
Nagatoki and H. Masamura, died.

Hōjō Sadatoki, 1284-1300, adopted son of the preceding, retired in favor
of Morotoki, the grandson of Tokiyori, but continued to exercise a potent
influence over the regency, died 1311.

Hōjō Morotoki, 1300-1311, died.

Hōjō Takatoki, 1312-1326, the son of Sadatoki, nine years old, under the
guardianship of Hirotoki and Mune-nobu, retired in favor of his younger
brother, Yasuye, who likewise soon withdrew.

Until the fall of the Hōjō family Takatoki really conducted the regency,
although others held the title. After the taking of Kamakura by Nitta
Yoshisada in 1333, he killed himself.

_III.—The Dynasty of Ashikaga. 1334-1573._

12. Ashikaga Taka-uji, 1334-1358, died fifty-three years old.

13. Ashikaga Yoshimori, 1359-1367, retired in favor of his son Yoshimitsu,
died 1408, fifty-one years old.

14. Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, 1368-1393, retired in favor of his son,
Yoshimochi, at the age of thirty-seven years, died 1409.

15. Ashikaga Yoshimochi, 1394-1422, retired in favor of his son,

16. Ashikaga Yoshikatsu, 1423-1425, died nineteen years old. Ashikaga
Yoshimochi, 1425-1428, the fifteenth shōgun, took the power again, and
died forty-three years old.

17. Ashikaga Yoshinobu, 1428-1441, murdered by Akamatsu Mitsusuke,
forty-eight years old. From 1429 called Yoshinori.

18. Ashikaga Yoshikatsu, 1441-1443, son of the preceding, eight years old,

19. Ashikaga Yoshinari, called Yoshimasa, 1443-1473, brother of the
preceding, eight years old, retired, and died in 1490.

20. Ashikaga Yoshinao, 1473-1489, died twenty-five years old; from 1488,
called Yoshihiro.

21. Ashikaga Yoshimura, 1490-1493, nephew of Yoshimasa, twenty-five years
old, taken prisoner and dethroned by Hosokawa Motomoto.

22. Ashikaga Yoshimitsi, 1493-1508, had to flee, died 1511; from 1449
called Yoshitaku, and from 1502 Yoshisumi; Yoshitada, 1508-1521, is
Yoshimura, who from the year 1501 bore the name, and since that time was
the shōgun of the enemy at war with Yoshisumi, had to flee, was deposed,
and died, 1523.

23. Ashikaga Yoshinaru, 1521-1546, son of Yoshisumi, retired in favor of
his son, Yoshifushi, died 1550, forty years old.

24. Ashikaga Yoshifushi, 1547-1565, eleven years old, killed himself in
his palace, having been confined there by the rebels.

25. Ashikaga Yoshigi-ei or Yoshinaga, 1568 died, important as opposition

26. Ashikaga Yoshi-aki, 1568-1573, deposed by Nobunaga, died 1597.

_IV.—The Time of the Usurpation. 1573-1603._

27. Taira-no-Nobunaga, 1573-1582, killed himself, having been forced to do
so by Akechi Mitsuhide.

Akechi Mitsuhide, who usurped the title of shōgun, ruled only twelve days,
and fell conquered by Hideyoshi 28. Samboshi, 1582-1586, grandson of

29. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, 1586-1598, was never shōgun, but kwambaku; (on his
retirement called Taikō-sama).

30. Hidetsugu, 1591-1595, nephew of the preceding, killed himself, was
also kwambaku.

31. Hideyori, 1600-1615, son of Hideyoshi, killed himself, conquered by
Ieyasu. According to other accounts, he escaped and fled to Satsuma; was
Naifu (Minister of the Interior) from 1603.

_V.—The Dynasty of the Tokugawa. 1603-1868._

32. Ieyasu, 1603-1605, died 1616; 1603 appointed shōgun (posthumous title
Gongensama). The shōguns of this dynasty frequently retired, as soon as
their successors grew up, but in spite of this fact they continued to lead
the regency.

33. Hidetada, 1605-1623, died 1632, son of the preceding.

34. Iemitsu, 1623-1651, died 1652, son of the preceding.

35. Ietsuna, 1651-1680, died, son of the preceding.

36. Tsunayoshi, 1681-1709, son of Iemitsu, killed by his wife.

37. Ienobu, 1709-1712, grandson of Iemitsu, died.

38. Ietsugu (Ietsubo according to Klaproth), 1713-1715, died, son of the

39. Yoshimune, 1716-1745, retired, died 1751, formerly fifth Prince of

40. Ieshige, 1745-1760 (according to others 1761 or 1762), son of the
preceding, died.

41. Ieharu, 1760-1786, son of the preceding, died.

42. Ienari, 1787-1836, died 1841, son of the preceding.

43. Ieyoshi, 1837-1852, son of the preceding.

44. Iesada, 1853-1857, son of the preceding.

45. Iemochi, 1858-1866, died, formerly thirteenth Prince of Kii.

46. Yoshihisa (Yoshinobu according to Adams, vol. ii. p. 37), 1867-1868,
son of the Prince of Mito, Nari-akira, adopted by the Prince of
Hitotsubashi, retired at the fall of shōgunate in 1867.


[From _Dai Nihonshi_, vol. xii., folio 28 to 31.]

I.—Harmony shall be esteemed and obedience shall be held in regard.
Because dissensions prevail, therefore men are often unfaithful to their
prince and disobedient to their fathers. Let adjoining districts be left
in peace, thus harmony between superior and inferior shall be cultivated
and co-operation in matters of state shall be promoted, and thus the right
reason of all things may be reached and the right thing accomplished.

II.—Let bountiful honor be always paid to the three precious elements of
Buddhism, that is, to its priests, its ritual, and its founder. It is the
highest religion in the universe, and all people in all generations must
pay becoming reverence to its doctrines. Do not harshly censure men’s
wickedness but teach them faithfully until they yield obedience. Unless
men rely upon Buddhism there is no way to convert them from the wrong to
the right.

III.—To the commands of the Emperor men must be duly obedient. The prince
must be looked upon as the heaven and his subjects as the earth. The earth
contains all things and the heaven stretches over it. The four seasons
pass orderly along and the spirit of the universe is harmonious. If the
earth were to cover the heaven the effect would be distraction. Hence the
prince must command and the subject obey; superiors must act and inferiors
yield. Men ought therefore to pay due heed to the orders of the Emperor;
if not they will bring ruin on themselves.

IV.—Politeness must be the chief rule of conduct for all officers and
their colleagues in the court. The first principle governing subjects must
be politeness. When superiors are not polite then inferiors will not keep
in the right; when inferiors are not polite their conduct degenerates into
crime. When both prince and subjects are polite, then social order is
never disturbed and the state is kept in a condition of tranquillity.

V.—Covetousness and rapacity must be expelled from the hearts of officers,
and they must adjudicate with just discrimination in all suits that come
before them. Even in a single day there are thousands of such suits, and
in the course of years how great must be the accumulation! If the suit is
won through bribery, then the poor man can obtain no justice but only the
rich. The poor man will have no sure place of dependence, and subjects
will be driven to abandon their duty.

VI.—To punish vice and to encourage virtue is the rule in good ancient
law. The virtuous man must therefore be promoted, and the vicious man must
be surely punished. The man who is untruthful is a powerful instrument to
endanger the state and a keen weapon to destroy the nation. The flatterer
loves to tell the faults of the inferior to the superior, and also to
disclose the errors of the superior to the inferior. Such men are alike
unfaithful to the prince and unfriendly to fellow citizens, and in the end
fail not to stir up social disorder.

VII.—The duty of men in the government must be assigned according to their
capacity. When intelligent men take service the applause of the people
follows, but when bad men are in office calamities ensue. If wise officers
are put on duty the matters of state are well managed, and the community
is free from danger and prosperity prevails. Therefore in ancient times
the wise king never selected the office for the man, but always selected
the man to suit the office.

VIII.—Too often officers and their colleagues come early to their offices
and retire soon; so that the public work accomplished in a single day is
small. It is incumbent on them to devote sufficient time to their tasks;
if not, then the work of the government cannot be done.

IX.—Everything must be faithfully done, because fidelity is the origin of
justice. The distinction between good and bad, between success and
failure, depends on fidelity. When both prince and subjects are faithful
then there are no duties which cannot be accomplished, but when both are
unfaithful nothing can be done.

X.—Give up all thoughts of indignation and be not angered with others on
account of a disagreement of opinion. Each one may have a different point
of view and may therefore come to a different conclusion. If the one side
be right then the other must be wrong, or the cases may be just reversed.
It would be unjust to set down one man as surely wise and another as
positively stupid; because men cannot attain perfection in their
characters. It is impossible to decide either side to be perfectly right
or perfectly wrong. While you are angry with another who has a different
view from you, you cannot be sure lest you be in the wrong. Therefore
though you may think yourself in the right, it is safer to follow the
opinions of the many.

XI.—Let merit and demerit be carefully considered, and let rewards and
punishments be meted out accordingly. In times past this has often failed
to be justly done. It is incumbent on all who are entrusted with the
direction of public affairs and on all officers of the government to look
carefully after the distribution of rewards and punishments.

XII.—Governors of provinces and their deputies must be careful not to
impose too heavy duties on their subjects. One state never has more than
one prince, and in like manner the subjects cannot have more than one
master. The prince is the head of all his dominions and of all his
subjects. The officers of government are also the subjects of the prince;
and there is no reason why they should dare to lay undue burdens upon
others who are subjects of the same prince.

XIII.—Each officer of the government has his appointed duty. Sometimes
officers complain of the stagnation of business, which, however, is caused
by their own absence from their appointed duties. They must not make a
pretence of the performance of their duties, and by their neglect
interrupt public affairs.

XIV.—Subjects and officers must not be jealous of each other. If one
person is envious of another, the second is sure to be envious of the
first. Thus the evils of jealousy never end. If men shall envy each other
on account of their talent and wisdom, no single wise man would ever be
obtained for government service through a thousand years. What a noble
method of governing a state would that be which expelled from its service
all wise men!

XV.—To sacrifice private interests for the public good is the duty of the
subject. When men are selfish there must be ill-will; when ill-will comes,
then with it must come iniquity, which will disturb the public welfare.
Ill-will is sure to bring about the breaking of wholesome rules and the
violation of the laws of the state. It is for this reason that the harmony
between superior and inferior spoken of in the first article is so

XVI.—To select a convenient season in which to employ men for public work
is the rule of good ancient law. Winter is a time of leisure; but during
the season between spring and autumn, in which they are employed on their
farms and in feeding silk-worms, it is not expedient to take men from
their work, or interfere with them in their efforts to supply food and

XVII.—Important matters should only be settled after due conference with
many men. Trifling matters may be decided without conference, because they
are not so material in their effects; but weighty matters, on account of
their far-reaching consequences, must be discussed with many councillors.
It is thus that the right way shall be found and pursued.


_    1 The Book of Ser Marco Polo, the Venetian_; translated by Colonel
      Henry Yule, C.B. Second edition, London, 1875, vol. ii., p. 235.

    2 These islands belonged to Russia until 1875, when by a treaty they
      were ceded to Japan in exchange for the rights of possession which
      she held in the island of Saghalien.

    3 E. M. Satow, _Transactions of the Asiatic Society_, vol. i., p. 30.

    4 This word is not a _proper name_ but a descriptive designation, and
      must be understood in this way when used by Dr. Griffis in his
      _Mikado’s Empire_ and by Dr. Rein in his two works on Japan. In the
      successive issues of the _Résumé Statistique_, published by the
      Statistical Bureau, the term Nippon is used to designate the
      principal island. This name has the advantage of having been used
      extensively in foreign books, but its restricted use is contrary to
      the custom of Japan. After much consideration we have determined to
      designate the principal island by the term “Main island,” which is
      the translation of the word _Hondo_.

    5 See Satow and Hawes’ _Handbook_, p. 108.

    6 See Chamberlain’s _Things Japanese_, second edition, p. 122.

    7 One of the most notable of these is that which occurred in 1596 when
      Hideyoshi was at Fushimi. In 1854 a series of shocks followed by
      tidal waves occurred on the east coast of the Main island. The town
      of Shimoda, which had been opened as a port for foreign trade was
      almost destroyed, and the Russian frigate _Diana_ which was lying
      there was so injured that she had to be abandoned. In 1855 a severe
      earthquake occurred at Yedo, which was accompanied by a great fire.
      About 16,000 dwelling-houses and other buildings are said to have
      been destroyed, and a large number of lives were lost. _Transactions
      of Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol. vi., p. 249.

    8 Rein’s _Japan_, p. 44. In _Things Japanese_ second edition, p. 122,
      Japan is credited with no less than fifty-one active volcanoes.

    9 The word _gawa_ (river) takes the form _kawa_ when euphony so

   10 Dr. Rein was the first clearly to apprehend and state the influence
      of the northeast monsoon on the climate of Japan. See Rein’s
      _Japan_, p. 104.

   11 Camellia trees are frequently found from twenty to twenty-five feet

   12 Chamberlain, _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. xi., p. 162.

   13 These details of the population, area, etc., are taken from the
      government publication, _Résumé Statistique de l’Empire du Japon_,

   14 In the population of the imperial cities is included that of the
      suburban districts politically attached to them.

_   15 Résumé Statistique_ (Government publication), 1892, p. 11.

_   16 Asiatic Society Transactions_, supplement to vol. x., p. 213.

   17 Batchelor, _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. x., p. 211.

   18 Batchelor, _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. x., p. 216.

   19 Miss Bird’s _Unbeaten Tracks in Japan_, vol. ii., p. 96.

   20 Professor E. S. Morse, _Memoirs of the University of Tokio_, vol.
      i., part i.

   21 Henry von Siebold, _Notes on Japanese Archæology_, p. 14.

   22 “But I must tell you one thing still concerning that island (Japan)
      (and ’tis the same with the other Indian Islands), that if the
      natives take prisoner an enemy who cannot pay a ransom, he who hath
      the prisoner summons all his friends and relations, and they put the
      prisoner to death, and then they cook him and eat him, and they say
      there is no meat in the world so good!”—_The Book of Ser Marco
      Polo_, London, 1875, vol. ii., p. 245.

   23 Professor Milne, _Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan_,
      vol. viii., p. 82.

   24 Rev. John Batchelor, _Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan_,
      vol. x., p. 209.

   25 Hildreth’s _Japan_, etc., p. 337.

_   26 Mittheilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft_, etc., as reviewed in
      _The Chrisanthemum_, May, 1883.

   27 Rein’s _Japan_, p. 383.

   28 “We know that for all points of detail and for keeping a correct
      account of time, tradition is worthless.”—_The History of Rome_, by
      Rev. Thomas Arnold, D.D., 1864, p. 10.

   29 For easy access to this valuable Japanese work we are indebted to
      the translation by Basil Hall Chamberlain, _Transactions of the
      Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol. x., Supplement.

   30 See Chamberlain’s translation of _Kojiki_, or _Records of Ancient
      Matters_, _Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol. x.,

   31 Satow, “Ancient Japanese Rituals,” _Transactions of the Asiatic
      Society of Japan_, vols. vii. and ix.

   32 Satow, _Westminster Review_, July, 1878.

   33 See Appendix I.

   34 Bramsen, _Japanese Chronological Tables_, p. 30.

   35 I remember presenting this point to a Japanese scholar in this way,
      and he answered me that he thought this great age of the Japanese
      emperors no more wonderful or unreasonable than the ages of the
      patriarchs in the Bible.

   36 “I wished to give these legends at once with the best effect, and at
      the same time with a perpetual mark, not to be mistaken by the most
      careless reader,—they are legends and not history.”—_The History of
      Rome_ by Thomas Arnold, D.D., 1864, Preface, p. vii.

   37 For the translation of these names, and for the principal events of
      these myths, we rely upon Mr. Chamberlain’s translation of the
      _Kojiki_, and his admirable notes and introduction. _Transactions of
      the Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol. x., Supplement.

   38 This is supposed to have been one of the small islands off the coast
      of Awaji in the Inland sea.

   39 An island about fifty miles long in the Inland sea.

   40 This probably means that the sword was ten breadths of the hand in

   41 The Japanese name of this most venerated goddess is

   42 There seemed to have been an old superstition about flaying from the
      tail toward the head.

   43 This is one of the ancient names of the Main island of Japan.

   44 The name of this prince of which the translation is here given is
      usually shortened to Ninigi-no-Mikoto.

   45 Nakatomi-no-Muraji is also among these, who was the ancestor of the
      Fujiwara family that from the reign of the Emperor Tenji attained
      great political distinction.

   46 Dr. Rein in 1875 was shown an old sword on the top of this mountain
      which is claimed to have been carried on this occasion.—Rein’s
      _Japan_, p. 214, note.

   47 This canonical name was given to him in the reign of the Emperor
      Kwammu, who commanded Mifune-no-Mikoto to select suitable canonical
      names for all past emperors, and these have since been used.

   48 See Milne’s paper on “Pit-Dwellers of Yezo and Kurile Islands,”
      _Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol. x., p. 187.

   49 A large number of songs are handed down in the traditions of this
      period. They are in the most ancient form of the language and are
      not easy to translate. We give as a specimen Jimmu’s song from
      Chamberlain’s translation of _Kojiki_, _Asiatic Society
      Transactions_, vol. x., Supplement, p. 142.

      Into the great cave of Ōsaka people have entered in abundance and
      are there. Though people have entered in abundance and are there,
      the children of the augustly powerful warriors will smite and finish
      them with their mallet-headed swords, their stone-mallet swords: the
      children of the augustly powerful warriors, with their mallet-headed
      swords, their stone-mallet swords, would now do well to smite.

   50 For example, the organization of a parliament took place in 1890,
      which in the Japanese reckoning would be 2550 from Jimmu’s setting
      up his capital in Yamato.

   51 See p. 32.

   52 See list of emperors, Appendix I.

   53 Satow, _Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol. ii. p.

   54 We follow in these figures the chronology which has been authorized
      by the government. Appendix I.

   55 E. M. Satow, “Ancient Sepulchral Mounds in Kaudzuke,” _Transactions
      of the Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol. viii., pp. 11, 330.

   56 Chamberlain’s translation of _Kojiki_,—_Transactions of the Asiatic
      Society of Japan_, vol. x., Supplement, p. 208.

   57 The roads or circuits here spoken of refer to the roads constructed
      by the government along contiguous provinces and used for the
      passage of troops and other government purposes. These circuits have
      continued in use down to the present time.

   58 Yamato-hime or Yamato-princess had been appointed high priestess of
      the temples in Isé, and in that capacity had charge of the imperial
      regalia which were deposited there. She is a very celebrated person
      in Japanese legendary story and is said to have lived several
      hundred years.

      See Chamberlain’s translation of _Kojiki_, p. 183, note 7; _Asiatic
      Society Transactions_, vol. x., Supplement.

   59 See p. 45.

   60 See Satow’s paper on the use of the fire drill in Japan,
      _Transactions of Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol. vii., p. 223.

   61 It is one of the favorite subjects of Japanese art to represent the
      Princess Oto-Tachibana sitting upon a pile of mats and the boat with
      her husband sailing off in the quieted waters.

   62 The name by which these savage tribes were designated was Yemishi;
      the name however is written in Chinese characters which signify
      Prawn-Barbarians; in allusion to their heavy beards which gave them
      the appearance of prawns. See p. 22.

   63 See Chamberlain’s translation of _Kojiki_,—_Asiatic Society
      Transactions_, vol. x., Supplement, p. 218.

   64 He is chiefly notable to foreigners because he is said to have lived
      through the reigns of three emperors and to have reached the age of
      three hundred years.

   65 She is not included in the government list of emperors, and is given
      in Appendix I. as empress-regent.

   66 See _Kokushian_, compiled under the Department of Education. _Ad

   67 See Appendix I.

_   68 Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol. x., Supplement.

   69 E. M. Satow, _Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol.
      ii., p. 135.

   70 E. M. Satow, _Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol.
      vi., p. 435.

   71 Satow, “Ancient Japanese Rituals,” _Asiatic Society Transactions_,
      vol. vii., p. 423.

   72 E. M. Satow, _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. vii., p. 109.

   73 Ditto, p. 119.

   74 Cotton is said to have been brought to Japan from India in the reign
      of the Emperor Kwammu, A.D. 800. T. B. Poate, _Transactions of the
      Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol. iv., p. 146.

_   75 Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol. x., Supplement,
      pp. 39 and 40.

   76 Henry von Siebold, _Japanese Archæology_, Yokohama, 1879, p. 16. The
      diagram in the text is from this work on Archæology, and shows the
      variety of jewels in use in prehistoric times.

   77 For the so called cave dwellings see p. 68.

_   78 Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. v., p. 110.

   79 See p. 32.

   80 In the _Kojiki_ it is said that the king of Kudara sent with Wani
      the _Confucian Analects_ in ten volumes and the _Thousand Character
      Essay_ in one volume. It conflicts seriously with the chronology of
      this period to learn, as both Mr. Satow and Mr. Chamberlain have
      pointed out, that the _Thousand Character Essay_ was not written
      until two centuries after the date assigned to the advent of Wani.

   81 The _Kojiki’s_ statement is that the elder brother was banished to

   82 The name, “Island of the Dragon-Fly” had already been given to the
      Main island by Jimmu Tenno.

   83 In these early days a _muro_ or excavation of the earth, roofed with
      timber, was often used as a residence. See p. 68.

   84 In this story the princes are represented as boys, but as they fled
      on the murder of their father by the Emperor Yūriyaku before his
      accession, this must have been at least twenty-eight years before;
      so that they could not have been less than forty years of age.

   85 After the triumph of Buddhism a temple called Tennoji was erected
      near this place in honor of this image, which was miraculously
      rescued from the sea and is still preserved at this temple.

   86 See the laws which he compiled and published as found in the 12th
      volume of _Dai Nihon Shi_, Appendix IV.

   87 This must mean that improved methods of silk culture were
      introduced, for we have seen that this art was already known to the

   88 Bramsen’s _Japanese Chronological Tables_, Tokio, 1880, p. 18.

   89 The author is indebted to the valuable paper read before the Asiatic
      Society of Japan by Willis Norton Whitney, M.D., for much of the
      information concerning medicine in Japan.—_Asiatic Society
      Transactions_, vol. xii., part iv., p. 329.

   90 For an enumeration of these boards and the officers and duties of
      each, see Walter Dickson’s _Japan_, p. 72.

   91 See a note by Mr. Satow in Adams’ _History of Japan_, London, vol.
      i., p. 24.

_   92 Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. iii., part i.

_   93 Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. x., Supplement.

   94 The _Kojiki_ has been translated into English by Professor B. H.
      Chamberlain, _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. x., Supplement.

   95 See Mori Arinori’s introduction to _Education in Japan_, New York,
      1873, p. 17.

   96 See a paper on “Abdication and Adoption,” by Mr. Shigeno An-Eki,
      translated by Mr. Walter Dening, in _Asiatic Society Transactions_,
      vol. xv., p. 72.

   97 His predecessor died A.D. 661, and there was an _interregnum_ during
      which Tenji was regent till A.D. 668, when he was made emperor.

   98 See p. 47, note.

   99 Quoted in Henry von Siebold’s _Japanese Archæology_, Yokohama 1879,
      p. 8.

  100 See p. 58.

  101 Satow and Hawes’ _Handbook of Japan_, London, 1884.

  102 For ten years preceding 794 the capital was a wanderer.

  103 See the _Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol. viii.,
      p. 88. The inscription is in part as follows:

      Castle of Taga,
      Distant from the capital, Ri 1500
      Distant from the frontier of Yezo, Ri 120
      Distant from Hitachi, Ri 412
      Distant from Shimotsuke, Ri 274
      Distant from Makkatsu, Ri 3000.

_  104 Education in Japan_, New York, 1873, p. 17.

  105 See p. 47.

  106 These instances are taken from the paper on abdication and adoption,
      by Shigeno An-eki, as translated by Mr. Walter Dening, _Asiatic
      Society Transactions_, vol. xv., p. 74.

  107 See Chamberlain’s _Things Japanese_, under the article on
      abdication. Yokohama, 1892.

  108 See p. 66 _et seq._

  109 At the time that Dickson collected his statistics of the families of
      the court, two of the Sugawara family were teachers of the young
      emperor. Six families of _kuges_ count their descent from the
      Sugawara. Dickson’s _Japan_, London, 1869, p. 59.

  110 See chapter on “Education in the Early Ages,” by Otsuki Sinji, in
      _Japanese Education_, New York, 1876, p. 64.

  111 While I write these lines there is hanging before me a _kakemono_
      representing Sugawara Michizané, which it has been proposed to hang
      in every public school under the care of the Department of
      Education, as an emblem of the true scholarly temperament.

  112 See p. 132.

  113 See Satow and Hawes’ _Handbook_, p. 383.

  114 He was born in A.D. 1146 and therefore was twelve years older than

  115 Doves are not eaten by the Minamoto to this day, owing, it is said,
      to this miraculous interposition in behalf of Yoritomo.

  116 About A.D. 1618 Hakoné was created a barrier to separate the eastern
      from the central provinces. Persons were not allowed to go through
      this barrier without a passport.

  117 In A.D. 1286, more than a century after his death, a monument was
      erected to Kiyomori in Hyōgo which still exists. Satow and Hawes’
      _Handbook_, p. 338.

  118 The title of shōgun is said to have been created by the Emperor
      Sujin, who divided the empire into four military divisions, each
      commanded by a shōgun or general. When Yoshinaka assumed control in
      Kyōto at the time of his victory he was appointed _sei-i-shōgun_
      (barbarian compelling general). Subsequently Yoritomo secured the
      supreme military authority and having resigned the civil offices
      held by him he was appointed by imperial edict _sei-i-tai-shōgun_ or
      great barbarian compelling general.

      See G. Appert’s _Ancien Japon_, vol. iii., p. 84; also Satow’s note
      to Adams’ _History of Japan_, vol. i., p. 42.

  119 Adams, in his _History of Japan_, vol. i., p. 37, gives a quaint
      quotation from _Nihon-Gwaishi_ as follows: “The crimes of the Heishi
      against the imperial family were atoned for by their services, and
      heaven therefore would not cut off their posterity. And this
      probably was right.”

  120 See Satow and Hawes’ _Handbook_, p. 57.

  121 There are almost as many legends current concerning Benkei as his
      master. Their first encounter was upon the Gojō bridge in Kyōto,
      where Benkei prowled for the purpose of robbing passengers.
      Yoshitsuné, then only a youth of sixteen years, displayed so much
      agility and swordsmanship that the veteran robber yielded to him,
      and ever after followed him as his faithful body servant. The
      _Japanese Fairy World_, by W. E. Griffis, contains the legend of
      Benkei stealing a huge bell five feet high from the monastery at
      Miidera, and carrying it on his shoulders to Hiyēsan (see p. 93).
      When Yoshitsuné was compelled to flee from the vengeance of his
      brother, he came with Benkei, both disguised as begging priests, to
      a guarded barrier. The custodians refused them passage, but Benkei,
      who was cunning as well as strong, pulled out from his bosom a roll
      of blank paper and pretended to read a commission from the abbot of
      Hōkōji, in Kyōto, authorizing the two travellers to collect funds
      throughout the country for casting a great bell for their temple.
      The custodians were deeply impressed with this holy message and
      allowed the travellers to pass without further question.

  122 There are many legends, existing among the Ainos, of Yoshitsuné
      having lived among them and taught them improved arts of hunting and
      fishing. There is a wooden image of him at the village of Upper
      Piratori, which is saluted (not worshipped) in token of honor to his
      memory. Rev. John Batchelor, who has lived as a missionary among the
      Ainos many years, is of the opinion that this reverence is largely
      due to a desire on the part of the Ainos to conciliate their
      Japanese masters. It has seemed not unreasonable to suppose that the
      traditions concerning Yoshitsuné among the Ainos have been carried
      from the Main island by the retreating tribes, and that Yoshitsuné
      never lived with them in Yezo, but was only familiar with them in
      the wild regions of Mutsu and Dewa.

      See paper by Rev. J. Batchelor, _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol.
      xvi., part 1, p. 20.

  123 Ōye-no-Hiromoto was a powerful adherent of Yoritomo, and was a
      member of his administrative council. He was the ancestor of the
      Mōri family, who afterward became famous as the daimyōs of Chōshū.

  124 We owe to Kaempfer, perhaps, the erroneous notion which has been
      repeated by subsequent writers that there was both an ecclesiastical
      and a temporal emperor. This was never true. There has been only one
      emperor, who, in the Japanese theory, was the direct descendant of
      divine ancestors and who has always been the supreme authority. From
      the time of Yoritomo, however, the administration was in the hand of
      an hereditary shōgun who always received the commission of the
      emperor for the performance of his duties. See Kaempfer’s _Histoire
      de l’Empire du Japon_, vol. i., p. 182.

  125 The Japanese term is _Shikken_, which is usually translated

  126 A travelling palanquin.

  127 See _Travels of Marco Polo_, second edition, London, 1875, vol. ii.,
      p. 240.

  128 In the year A.D. 1890 two pictures were brought to light which
      represent the events of this memorable battle. They are believed to
      have been painted about A.D. 1294 by Naganori and Nagatoki, painters
      of the Tosa school. They have been in the family of one of the
      captains in the Japanese army of that day, and while the figures of
      the men and horses are not well drawn the pictures in other respects
      have great historical value. Alongside of the scenes represented,
      legends are written in explanation. It is said that these valuable
      historical pictures are likely to come into the Household Department
      and thus be more carefully preserved than they are likely to be in a
      private house.—_Japan Weekly Mail_, 1890, p. 581.

  129 For a description of this locality, which is justly famed in
      Japanese annals, see Satow and Hawes’ _Handbook_, p. 56.

  130 See Chamberlain’s _Handbook_, 1891, p. 337.

  131 Quite an animated and interesting controversy took place a few years
      ago with reference to this suicide of Kusunoki. Popular opinion
      strongly justifies the act and rewards with its highest approval the
      memory of the patriot. But Mr. Fukuzawa, one of the most radical of
      the public men of to-day and an active and trenchant writer,
      condemned the act as indefensible and cowardly.

  132 Mr. Griffis says that when he resided in Fukui in A.D. 1871—more
      than five hundred years after the event,—he saw the grave of the
      heroic Nitta almost daily strewed with flowers.—_The Mikado’s
      Empire_, 1876, p. 190.

  133 Satow and Hawes’ _Handbook_, p. 356.

  134 It is an evidence of the feeling which still exists towards the
      Ashikaga shōguns that in 1863 these figures were taken from the
      Tō-ji-in and beheaded and the heads pilloried in the dry bed of the
      Kamogawa, at the spot where it is customary to expose the heads of
      the worst criminals. Several of the men who were guilty of this
      outrage were captured and were put into the hands of various daimyōs
      by whom they were kept as prisoners.—Satow and Hawes’ _Handbook_, p.

  135 See the full account of tea ceremonies in Chamberlain’s _Things
      Japanese_, 1892, p. 404.

  136 The official list of emperors will be found in Appendix I. The names
      of the northern which are not included in this list are as follows:


      Kōmiō, 1996 years from Jimmu, 1336 A.D.
      Shukō, 2009 years from Jimmu, 1349 A.D.
      Go-Kōgen, 2012 years from Jimmu, 1352 A.D.
      Go-Enyū, 2032 years from Jimmu, 1372 A.D.
      Go-Komatsu, 2043 years from Jimmu, 1383 A.D.

  137 See _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. xiii., p. 139.

  138 It is said that in this disastrous time the poverty of the country
      was so great that when, in A.D. 1500, Go-Tsuchimikado died at his
      palace in Kyōto, the corpse was kept for forty days because the
      means for the usual funeral expenses could not be had. M. von Brandt
      as quoted in Rein’s _Japan_, p. 261.

  139 Mr. W. A. Woolley, in a paper read before the Asiatic Society of
      Japan, gives an account derived from Japanese sources as follows:
      “Amongst those who landed on this occasion was one of the _Literati_
      of China, who acted as interpreter between the foreigners and the
      chief of the island Hyōbu-no-jō Tokitada. [Since both the Chinese
      and Japanese used the same ideographic characters, they could
      understand each other’s writing but not speech.] In reply to
      questions the interpreter is represented as having described his
      friends the foreigners as being ignorant of etiquette and
      characters, of the use of wine cups and chop sticks, and as being,
      in fact, little better than the beasts of the field. The chief of
      the foreigners taught Tokitada the use of firearms, and upon leaving
      presented him with three guns and ammunition, which were forwarded
      to Shimazu Yoshihisa, and through him to the shōgun.”—_Asiatic
      Society Transactions_, vol. ix., p. 128.

  140 See _Adventures of Mendez Pinto_, done into English by Henry Cogan,
      London, 1891, pp. 259 etc.

  141 Hildreth’s _Japan_, etc., 1855, p. 27, note.

_  142 Adventures of Mendez Pinto_, p. 281.

  143 This is the name by which Pinto calls this city (see _Adventures of
      Mendez Pinto_, London, 1891, p. 265); the real name, however, at
      this time was Fumai, and is now Ōita.

  144 The author himself saw in Japan in 1874 the native hunters using an
      old-fashioned matchlock, in which the powder was fired by a slow
      burning match, which was brought down to the powder by a trigger.
      This kind of firearm, which was in use in Europe in the fifteenth
      century, was taken to Japan by the Portuguese, and continued to be
      used there until the re-organization of the army introduced the
      modern form of gun.

  145 In the accounts given by the biographers of Xavier, it is said that
      there were two companions of Anjiro who in the subsequent baptism
      received the names of John and Anthony.

  146 This was the name of the seminary in Goa where Anjiro had been

  147 See Coleridge’s _Life and Letters of St. Francis Xavier_, London,
      1872, p. 237.

  148 Bouhour’s _Life of Xavier_, p. 274.

  149 In the _Life of St. Francis Xavier_ by Bartholi and Maffei the
      following circumstance is given: “It seems that a rat had invaded
      the sanctuary and gnawed the ornaments of the altar. The sacristan
      appealed to the saint thus: ‘Father Francis! people say that you
      passed from this life in the vicinity of China; that you were a
      saint, that your body still remains entire and incorrupt at Goa. Now
      here am I your sacristan; and I ask is it consistent with your honor
      that a rat should have the audacity to gnaw the ornaments of your
      altar? I demand his death at your hand.’ On opening the door of the
      sanctuary the next morning the sacristan found the culprit quite

  150 See Woolley, “Historical Notes on Nagasaki”, _Asiatic Society
      Transactions_, vol. ix., p. 129.

  151 For these facts concerning Nobunaga and Hideyoshi, and the condition
      of the country during their times, the author is largely indebted to
      the _Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi_, by Walter Dening, Tokio, 1890.

  152 The word _daimyō_ means _great name_, and was used in reference to
      the ownership of land; _shomyō_ means _small name_, and was at first
      employed to indicate the small land-owner. But the word never
      obtained currency, the small land-owner always preferring to call
      himself a daimyō. See Chamberlain’s _Things Japanese_, p. 84.

  153 The element of comedy shows itself from the beginning in Hideyoshi’s
      character when he adopted the calabash, in which he had carried
      water, as his symbol of victory. He added a new one for each
      victory, and at last adopted a bunch of calabashes for his
      coat-of-arms. Afterwards he had this constructed of gold, which was
      carried as the emblem of his triumphant career.

  154 See Dening’s _Life of Hideyoshi_, p. 207.

  155 In Chamberlain’s _Things Japanese_ the estimate is given that at
      this most prosperous time the number of Japanese professing
      Christianity was not less than six hundred thousand, p. 297.

  156 See the letter which the ambassador from the Prince of Bungo
      presented on this occasion. Hildredth’s _Japan_, etc., p. 89.

  157 In the First Part (1873) of _Mittheilungen der Deutschen
      Gesellschaft für Natur und Völkerkunde Ostasiens_, p. 15, the times
      of Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, etc., are termed “die zeit der usurpatoren,”
      the time of the usurpers. But Nobunaga and Hideyoshi were no more
      usurpers than the Tokugawas, who succeeded them by force of arms.

  158 Mr. Satow with rare literary insight has identified this Kuroda with
      the Condera Combiendono of the Jesuit fathers. _Asiatic Society
      Transactions_, vol. vii., p. 151.

  159 See Shiga’s _History of Nations_, Tōkyō, 1888, p. 128.

  160 Dening’s _Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi_, p. 274.

  161 See Dening’s _Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi_, p. 278.

  162 See p. 189.

  163 His original name was Nakamura Hyoshi, the family taking its name
      from the village where he was born. Then at his induction to manhood
      A.D. 1553 his name was changed to Tokichi Takayoshi. At another turn
      in his career he became Kinoshita Tokichi Takayoshi. In the year
      A.D. 1562 he received permission to use the name Hideyoshi instead
      of Tokichi, and A.D. 1575 his name was again changed to Hashiba,
      which the Jesuit fathers wrote Faxiba.

  164 See Satow and Hawes’ _Handbook_, p. 341.

  165 The facts here related concerning this most interesting episode in
      the life of Hideyoshi are chiefly taken from a paper furnished by
      Mr. J. H. Gubbins to the _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. viii.,
      p. 92.

  166 The Emperor Ōgimachi retired from the throne A.D. 1586, and was
      succeeded by Go-Yojō, then sixteen years old. It shows of how small
      account the emperors had become, that this change in the head of the
      nation is scarcely mentioned in the histories of the time.

  167 The spies and guides employed by Hideyoshi were priests of the Shin
      sect of Buddhists, who after the fall of Kagoshima were discovered
      and crucified. A decree was also issued that every inhabitant of
      Satsuma who was connected with this sect must renounce his creed. To
      this day there exists among the people of Satsuma a general
      hostility to the Buddhists which can be traced to this trying
      episode. See _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. viii., p. 143.

  168 See p. 178.

  169 See p. 186.

  170 See Dening’s _Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi_, pp. 148, 344.

  171 When Father Valignani came to Japan in A.D. 1577 it is said that he
      brought as one of his presents a beautiful Arabian horse. It is not
      improbable that some of the improved breeds, now seen in the
      southern provinces, owe their origin to these valuable horses sent
      over as presents.

  172 See Chamberlain’s _Things Japanese_, 1892, p. 298, note. According
      to Charlevoix this indiscreet speech was made by a Spanish captain.
      See Gubbin’s paper, _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. vi., part
      ii., p. 16.

  173 For the text of this edict see Dickson’s _Japan_, p. 172.

  174 See Satow and Hawes’ _Handbook_, 2d ed., p. 72.

  175 See Dening’s _Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi_, p. 405.

  176 See Adams’ _History of Japan_, vol. i., p. 66.

  177 See Dening’s _Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi_, p. 263.

  178 We are indebted to Mr. W. G. Aston for a full and clear account of
      Hideyoshi’s invasion of Korea, which he had derived not only from
      Japanese books and documents, but from Korean sources which, until
      his researches, were inaccessible. See _Asiatic Society
      Transactions_, vol. vi., p. 227; ix., pp. 87, 213.

  179 The peculiarly Eastern form of expression is noticeable in
      announcing these presents: “You will find enclosed a list of some of
      the poor productions of our country, which we beg you will refrain
      from laughing at immoderately.”

  180 He became one of the most famous heroes of Japan, and is worshipped
      under the name of Seishōkō, at a shrine connected with the temple of
      Hommonji at Ikegami. Satow and Hawes’ _Handbook_, p. 30.

  181 See Mr. Satow’s identification of this name. _Asiatic Society
      Transactions_, vol. vii., p. 151.

  182 See Mr. Aston’s paper, _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. ix., p.

  183 A Japanese scholar could read such a document in the ideographic
      Chinese characters without translation; but Taikō Sama was not a
      scholar and therefore was not aware of the purport of the document
      until it was translated to him.

  184 See Mr. Aston’s description of this humiliating scene as given in
      _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. ix., p. 217; also Dening’s
      _Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi_, p. 360.

  185 See Satow and Hawes’ _Handbook_, p. 369.

  186 See Dening’s _Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi_, p. 380.

  187 See Mr. Satow’s paper entitled “The Korean Potters in Satsuma,”
      _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. vi., p. 193; also as referred
      to in Mr. Satow’s paper, Mr. Ninagawa’s _Notice Historique et
      Descriptive sur les Arts et Industries Japonais_, part v., Tōkyō,

  188 “In point of fact, however, making Ongoschio (Ieyasu) regent was
      placing a goat in charge of a kitchen garden.”—_Warenius_, p. 20.

  189 See Satow and Hawes’ _Handbook_, p. 368.

  190 See the pedigree of Ieyasu as given in _Mittheilungen der Deutschen
      Gesellschaft_, etc., Heft i., p. 19.

  191 See Dening’s _Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi_, p. 377.

  192 This covenant is said to have been signed with blood in accordance
      with a custom still occasionally prevalent, in which a drop of blood
      is drawn from the middle finger and sealed by pressing it with the
      thumb nail. Rein’s _Japan_, p. 297, note.

  193 See Dening’s _Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi_, p. 397.

  194 This place receives its name from a barrier that was erected in the
      ninth century to control the travel towards the capital. Its meaning
      is, “Plain of the Barrier.” See Chamberlain’s _Handbook_, p. 268.

  195 See Dening’s _Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi_, p. 399.

  196 This proverb is quoted as having been used by Hideyoshi when
      remonstrating with Nobunaga about following up his victory over
      Imagawa Yoshimoto. See Dening’s _Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi_, p.

  197 Kiyomasa was a bitter enemy of the Christians, owing no doubt to the
      rivalry and antagonism which had sprung up with Konishi, who was a
      Christian, in the Korean war. He is termed Toronosqui by the Jesuit
      fathers from a personal name Toronosuke which he bore in his youth,
      and he is characterized as “_vir ter execrandus_,” on account of his
      persecution of the Christians in his province. Perhaps on account of
      this fierce opposition he was greatly admired by the Buddhists, and
      is worshipped under the name of Seishōkō by the Nichiren sect at a
      shrine in the temple of Hommonji at Ikegami. Another monument to his
      memory is the Castle of Kumamoto, which he built and which still
      stands as one of the best existing specimens of the feudal castles
      of Japan. As an evidence of its substantial character, in A.D. 1877,
      under the command of General Tani, it withstood the siege of the
      Satsuma rebels and gave the government time to bring troops to crush
      the rebellion.

  198 The plural of this word is here and elsewhere used in its English
      form, although no such plural is found in Japanese.

_  199 Ancien Japon_, par G. Appert, Tōkyō, 1888, vol. ii.

  200 A full account of the Castle of Yedo will be found in a paper by Mr.
      J. R. H. McClatchie in the _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. vi.,
      part 1, p. 119.

  201 See p. 207.

_  202 Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. xi., p. 124.

  203 See p. 204.

  204 See Dickson’s _Japan_, p. 227.

  205 His beatification was decreed by the pope in 1609, and his
      canonization in 1622.

  206 Hildreth’s _Japan_, etc., p. 176.

  207 The Jesuit historians relate with malicious satisfaction how one of
      the Spanish friars, in a dispute with one of Adams’ shipwrecked
      company, to sustain the authority of the church appealed to the
      miraculous power which its priests still possessed. And when the
      Hollander challenged an exhibition of such power, the missionary
      undertook to walk on the surface of the sea. A day was appointed.
      The Spaniard prepared himself by confession, prayer, and fasting. A
      great crowd of the Japanese assembled to see the miracle, and the
      friar, after a confident exhortation to the multitude, stepped,
      crucifix in hand, into the water. But he was soon floundering over
      his head, and was only saved from drowning by some boats sent to his
      assistance.—Hildreth’s _Japan_, etc., p. 140.

  208 “This will seem to you less strange, if you consider how the Apostle
      St. Paul commands us to obey even secular superiors and gentiles as
      Christ himself, from whom all well-ordered authority is derived: for
      thus he writes to the Ephesians (vii. 5): ‘be obedient to them that
      are your temporal lords according to the flesh, with fear and
      trembling in the simplicity of your heart, as to Christ; not seeming
      to the eye, as it were pleasing men, but as the servants of Christ
      doing the will of God from the heart, with a good will seeming as to
      the Lord and not to men.’ ”

      The above is an extract from an Epistle of St. Ignatius, the 26th of
      March, 1553, which is still regarded as authoritative and is read
      every month to each of the houses. It was supplied to me by Dr. Carl
      Meyer and verified by Rev. D. H. Buel, S. J. of St. Francis Xavier’s
      College, New York City. Dr. Meyer has also pointed out that the
      Second General Congregation, 1565, severely forbids any Jesuit to
      act as confessor or theologian to a prince longer than one or two
      years, and gives the minutest instructions to prevent a priest from
      interfering in any way with political and secular affairs in such a

  209 This edict of Ieyasu is given by Mr. Satow in his contributions to
      the debate on Mr. Gubbins’ _Review of the Introduction of
      Christianity into China and Japan_. Fifteen rules to guide the
      Buddhist priests in guaranteeing the orthodoxy of their parishioners
      are also given.—_Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. vi., part i.,
      p. 46.

  210 See Gubbins’ paper, _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. vi., part
      i., p. 35.

  211 See Mr. Satow’s contributions to the debate on Mr. Gubbins’ paper,
      _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. vi., part i., p. 51.

_  212 Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. vi., part 1, p. 35.

  213 See chapter xi. of a _Description of the Kingdom of Japan and Siam_,
      by Bernhard Warenius, M.D., Cambridge, Printing-House of John Hayes,
      Printer to the University, A.D. 1673. The volume is in Latin, which,
      as well as a translation of the same in manuscript, has been
      furnished to me by Mr. Benjamin Smith Lyman, of Philadelphia.
      Warenius was a Lutheran, and need not be suspected of being
      prejudiced in favor of the Jesuits. See also _History of the Martyrs
      of Japan_, _Prague_, 1675, by Mathia Tanner, containing many
      engravings of the horrible scenes, such as burnings, crucifixions,
      and suspensions in the pit, etc.; also _Histoire des Vingt-six
      Martyrs du Japon, Crucifié à Nagasaqui le 5 Février, 1597_, par D.
      Bouix, Paris, 1862.

  214 See Woolley’s “Historical Notes on Nagasaki,” _Asiatic Society
      Transactions_, vol. ix., part 2, p. 134; also Mr. Satow’s
      contributions to the discussion of Mr. Gubbins’ paper, _Asiatic
      Society Transactions_, vol. vi., part 2, p. 52. Specimens of the
      metal plates are in the Uyeno Museum of Tōkyō.

  215 See Kæmpfer’s _Histoire de l’Empire de Japon_, tome i., p. 287.

  216 In the narrative which we give of this insurrection we have relied
      chiefly upon the accounts of Mr. Gubbins in his “Review of the
      Introduction of Christianity,” _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol.
      vi., part 1, p. 36; of Mr. Woolley in his “Historical Notes on
      Nagasaki,” _do._, vol. ix., part 2, p. 140; and on Dr. Geerts’ paper
      on the “Arima Rebellion and the Conduct of Koeckebacker,” _do._,
      vol. xi., p. 51. Mr. Gubbins and Mr. Woolley had access to Japanese
      authorities, and we have in their papers been enabled to see this
      bloody episode for the first time from a Japanese standpoint. Dr.
      Geerts has rendered an invaluable service in giving us translations
      of letters written by Koeckebacker, the head of the Dutch factory
      during the events, which show us how this insurrection was regarded
      by the Dutch East India Company.

  217 A _rônin_ was a retainer who had given up the service of his feudal
      master, and for the time being was his own master.

  218 See Dr. Geerts’ paper, _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. xi., p.

  219 The ships in use at this time among the Japanese were far less
      seaworthy than those of European nations. The accompanying figures
      given by Charlevoix, although probably somewhat fanciful, show the
      impractical character of the vessels of that time.

  220 See Dr. Geerts’ paper, _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. xi., p.

  221 Mr. Koeckebacker says: “The rebels counted in all, young and old, as
      it was said, about forty thousand. They were all killed except one
      of the four principal leaders, being an artist who formerly used to
      gain his livelihood by making idols. This man was kept alive and
      sent to Yedo.”—Dr. Geerts’ paper, _Asiatic Society Transactions_,
      vol. xi., part 1, p. 107.

      There is a tradition that a number of the prisoners who were
      captured at this castle were hurled down from the rocks of the
      island now called Papenberg in Nagasaki harbor. But Dr. Geerts
      ridicules this notion and says: “A little local knowledge would show
      it to be impossible to throw people from the rocks on Papenberg into
      the sea, as the rocks are by no means steep bluffs, but possess an
      inclined shape and a shore. A little knowledge of the Dutch language
      would further show that the name Papenberg means ‘mountain of the
      priest,’ in allusion to the shape of a Roman Catholic priest’s cap
      or bonnet.”—_Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. xi., part 1, p.

  222 See Dr. Geerts’ paper, _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. xi.,
      part 1, pp. 110 and 111.

  223 A Japanese writer thus sums up the result of the effort to introduce
      Christianity into his country: “After nearly a hundred years of
      Christianity and foreign intercourse, the only apparent results of
      this contact with another religion and civilization were the
      adoption of gunpowder and firearms as weapons, the use of tobacco
      and the habit of smoking, the making of sponge-cake, the
      naturalization into the language of a few foreign words, and the
      introduction of new and strange forms of disease.”—Shigetaka Shiga’s
      _History of Nations_, Tōkyō, 1888. The words introduced into the
      language from the Portuguese, except several derived from
      Christianity, are as follows: _tabako_, tobacco; _pan_ (_pāo_),
      bread; _kasutera_ (from Castilla), sponge-cake; _tanto_, much;
      _kappa_ (_capa_), a waterproof; _kappu_ (_copa_), a cup or wine
      glass; _birōdo_ (_vellendo_), velvet; _biidoro_ (_vidro_),
      glass.—Rein’s _Japan_, p. 312.

  224 See Mr. Satow’s contributions to the discussion of Mr. Gubbins’
      paper, _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. vi., part 1, p. 61; also
      Satow and Hawes’ _Handbook_, p. 22; also Griffis’ _Mikado’s Empire_,
      p. 262; and Professor Dixon’s paper on the Christian Valley,
      _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. xvi., p. 207.

  225 See Chamberlain’s _Things Japanese_, 1892, p. 300.

  226 See _Legacy of Ieyasu_, cap. xv.

  227 The _Confucian_ classics consist of the Four Books, viz.: _The Great
      Learning_, _The Doctrine of the Mean_, _The Confucian Analects_, and
      _The Sayings of Mencius_; and the Five Canons, viz.: _The Book of
      Changes_, _The Book of Poetry_, _The Book of History_, _The Canon of
      Rites_, and _Spring and Autumn_ (_Annals of the State of Lu_, by
      Confucius). Chamberlain’s _Things Japanese_, 1892, p. 92.

  228 An accurate and amusing account of the printing of a modern
      newspaper in Japan is given in Mr. Henry Norman’s _Real Japan_, p,
      43 _et seq._

  229 For a history of the city of Yedo, and reference to the disasters to
      which it has been subject from fires, earthquakes, and pestilences,
      see Satow and Hawes’ _Handbook_, p. 6. See also “The Castle of
      Yedo,” by T. R. H. McClatchie, _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol.
      vi., part 1, and “The Feudal Mansions of Yedo,” _Asiatic Society
      Transactions_, vol. vii., part 3.

  230 See Dickson’s _Japan_, p. 294.

  231 Those who desire a fuller explanation of this complicated and
      difficult matter are referred to Dr. Yoshida’s _Staatsverfassung und
      Lehnwesen von Japan_, Hague, 1890, and to the paper on “The Feudal
      System in Japan,” by J. H. Gubbins, Esq., _Asiatic Society
      Transactions_, vol. xv., part 2; also to the introduction by
      Professor Wigmore, _do._, vol. xx., Supplement, p. 25.

  232 In the _Legacy of Ieyasu_ will be found the following statement:
      “The _fudai_ are those _samurai_ who followed me and proffered me
      their fealty before the overthrow of the castle of Ōsaka in the
      province of Sesshū. The _tozama_ are those _samurai_ who returned
      and submitted to me after its downfall, of whom there were
      eighty-six.”—See _Legacy of Ieyasu_, cap. vii.

_  233 Ancien Japon_, vol. ii.

  234 Dickson’s _Japan_, p. 303.

  235 See _Legacy of Ieyasu_, cap. xiv.

  236 See _Legacy of Ieyasu_, cap. xxxvii.

  237 For the general history of the sword, see Mitford’s _Tales of Old
      Japan_, vol. i., p. 70; T. R. H. McClatchie’s, The sword of Japan,
      _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. vi., p. 55; Chamberlain’s
      _Things Japanese_, 1892, p. 396. For the mode of manufacture, see
      Rein’s _Industries of Japan_, p. 430; and especially for the
      artistic decoration of swords, see Satow and Hawes’ _Hand-book_, p.

  238 I have been told by a young Satsuma _samurai_ that when he was a boy
      it was a test of skill with the sword, to set a chop-stick (which
      was about six inches long) on its end and before it could fall over
      to draw a sword from its scabbard and cut it in two.

  239 For an account of _hara-kiri_ see the “Story of the Forty-Seven
      Ronins” in Mitford’s _Tales of Old Japan_, vol. i., p. 1.

  240 See _Legacy of Ieyasu_, cap. xxxi.

  241 See _Legacy of Ieyasu_, cap. xxviii.

  242 T. R. H. McClatchie, “The Castle of Yedo,” _Asiatic Society
      Transactions_, vol. vi., part 1, p. 131.

  243 As illustrative of Buddhism at its greatest splendor we give here
      the figures of the great bronze image of Buddha at Kamakura, and of
      the great bell at the temple of Daibutsu in Kyōto. [Transcriber’s
      Note: This bell is shown as the Frontispiece to the book.] The
      former was erected about A.D. 1252 after plans initiated by Yoritomo
      before his death. The statue in its sitting posture is nearly fifty
      feet in height. It is constructed of separate plates of bronze
      brazed together. Formerly it was enclosed in a temple, but this was
      twice destroyed by tidal waves, and since its last destruction in
      1494 it has not been rebuilt.

      The bell given in the illustration is that at the temple of
      Daibutsu, the inscription on which is said to have offended Ieyasu.
      It is nearly fourteen feet in height and nine feet in diameter. Its
      weight is more than sixty-three tons.—See Satow and Hawes’
      _Handbook_, p. 368.

  244 In the account given by Don Rodrigo de Vivero, the late governor of
      Manila, of a visit made in 1608 by him in behalf of Spanish trade,
      Yedo is described as a city of seven hundred thousand inhabitants,
      and Sumpu, which he calls Suruga, where the emperor (as he
      denominates Ieyasu) lived, is estimated to contain from five to six
      hundred thousand inhabitants. He was so pleased with the country
      through which he travelled that he declares, “if he could have
      prevailed upon himself to renounce his God and his king he should
      have preferred that country to his own.”—See Hildreth’s _Japan_,
      etc., pp. 145, 147.

  245 These letters were written from Japan between 1611 and 1617. They
      were printed in part in Purchas’ _Pilgrimes_, and are included in
      the publications of the Hackluyt Society. From the latter source
      they were printed in pamphlet form by the _Japan Gazette_ at
      Yokohama, 1879. It is from this last source these references are

  246 First letter of Adams in pamphlet edition. Yokohama, 1878, p. 8.

  247 This name, Nova Spania or New Spain, was first given to the
      peninsula of Yucatan, and was afterward extended to the territory of
      Mexico conquered by Cortez. Finally it was given to all the Spanish
      provinces extending on the Pacific coast from Panama to Van Couver’s
      island. Acapulco was the principal harbor on the Pacific coast.—See
      Prescott’s _Conquest of Mexico_.

  248 Captain Cocks in his “Diary,” contained in Purchas’ _Pilgrimes_,
      part 1, book iv., gives an account of a visit he made to Yedo in
      1616, on the business of the English trade, at which time he visited
      Adams’ seat, which he calls “Phebe,” doubtless mistaking the sound
      of the real name “Meni.”—See Chamberlain’s _Things Japanese_, 1892,
      p. 15.

  249 His place of burial was identified in 1872 by Mr. James Walter of
      Yokohama on a beautiful hill near Yokosuka, where both he and his
      Japanese wife lie buried. His will, which was deposited in the
      archives of the East India Company in London, divided his estate
      equally between his Japanese and English families. His Japanese
      landed estate was probably inherited by his Japanese son. His
      personal estate is stated at about five hundred pounds sterling.—See
      _Letters of William Adams_, p. 39.

  250 Hildreth’s _Japan_, etc., p. 142, quoted from Purchas, vol. i., p.

  251 Hildreth’s _Japan_, etc., p. 157.

  252 See _Letters of William Adams_, No. 1.

  253 See Purchas’ _Pilgrimes_, part 1, book iv.

  254 These privileges are given in full by Hildreth, p. 169, taken from

  255 Mr. Satow has collected many facts concerning the history of
      printing in Japan, and among others has shown that printing with
      movable type in Korea was used as early as 1317, that is one hundred
      and twenty-six years before the date of the first printed book in
      Europe.—_Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. x., p. 63.

  256 A translation of this document was made by Mr. J. F. Lowder and
      published in Yokohama in 1874. We are indebted to W. E. Grigsby,
      Esq., formerly professor of law in the University of Tōkyō, for a
      valuable paper on the _Legacy of Ieyasu_ in which a careful analysis
      is given and a comparison of its details is made with the provisions
      for the regulation of early communities elsewhere.—See _Asiatic
      Society Transactions_, vol. iii., part 2, p. 131.

  257 Ieyasu may have had in mind a shocking example of _junshi_ (dying
      with the master) which occurred in his own family. Tadayoshi, his
      fifth son, to whom had been assigned an estate in Owari, died young,
      and five of his retainers, in order to follow their master,
      committed _hara-kiri_ in accordance with the old feudal custom. This
      is believed to have been almost the last instance of the kind, and
      must have touched Ieyasu very closely.—_Mikado’s Empire_, by W. E.
      Griffis, D.D., p. 272.

  258 Notwithstanding this positive prohibition left by Ieyasu,
      occasionally the strength of the old feudal habit was too great for
      the more merciful spirit. It is said when the third shōgun of the
      Tokugawa family (Iemitsu) died, two of the daimyōs, Hotta of Sakura
      and Abe of Bingo, committed _hara-kiri_. Hotta’s sword, still
      stained with blood, is retained in the _kura_ of the daimiate at
      _Tōkyō_, and on the anniversary of the event is shown to the
      _samurai_, who appear on the occasion in full dress.

  259 See _Asiatic Society Transactions_, vol. xx., Supplement, in which
      Prof. J. H. Wigmore has undertaken to publish the material
      discovered by him, with a valuable introduction on the
      “Administrative and Commercial Institutions of Old Japan.”

  260 See Whitney’s “Notes on Medical Progress in Japan,” _Asiatic Society
      Transactions_, vol. xii., part 4, p. 276.

  261 See a description of this process in Kaempfer’s _History of Japan_,
      and also in Whitney’s “Medical Progress,” _Asiatic Society
      Transactions_, vol. xii., part 4, p. 289.

  262 See Griffis’ _Life of Matthew Calbraith Perry_, p. 296.

  263 The term emperor was employed in this letter in accordance with the
      usage of the Jesuit Fathers, the Dutch writers, and William Adams,
      all of whom designated the shōgun as emperor, although this term
      could be properly applied only to the Tennō at Kyōto.

_  264 Official Narrative of the Japan Expedition_, vol. i., p. 80.

_  265 Official Narrative of the Japan Expedition_, vol. i., p. 231.

  266 See the _Official Narrative of the Japan Expedition_, vol i., p. 233
      _et seq_; also Griffis’ _Life of M. C. Perry_, p. 314 _et seq_; also
      Bayard Taylor’s _India, China, and Japan_, 1855, p. 411 _et seq_.

  267 I have received from Mr. F. S. Conover, who was a member of the
      Japan expedition as lieutenant of the navy, many interesting details
      of experiences in Yedo which I have incorporated in my account.

  268 “The question of landing by force was left to be decided by the
      development of succeeding events; it was of course the very last
      measure to be resorted to, and the last that was to be desired; but
      in order to be prepared for the worst, the Commodore caused the
      ships constantly to be kept in perfect readiness, and the crews to
      be drilled as thoroughly as they are in the time of active
      war.”—_Japan Expedition_, vol. i., p. 235.

  269 See the _Kinsé Shiriaku_, a history of Japan from 1853 to 1869,
      translated by E. M. Satow, Yokohama, 1876.

  270 See Nitobe’s _Intercourse between the United States and Japan_, p.

  271 See _Treaties and Conventions between Japan and Other Powers_, p.

  272 See the _Constitutional Development of Japan_, by Toyokichi Iyenaga,
      Ph.D., Johns Hopkins Press, 1891, p. 12.

  273 See p. 279.

  274 See selections from a pamphlet by a German resident at Yokohama
      given in Mossman’s _New Japan_, pp. 142, 143, and quoted in Nitobe’s
      _Intercourse between the United States and Japan_. “The reason the
      Tycoon breaks his promise is because he cannot keep it, and the
      reason he cannot keep it, is because he had no right to give it.”

  275 See Nitobe’s _Intercourse between the United States and Japan_, p.

  276 Prince Hotta was at this time president of the Council of State
      (_Gorōjiu_) and had charge of this first audience. I have seen in
      the possession of his descendant, the present occupant of the
      beautiful family _yashiki_ in Tōkyō, the original of the memorandum
      showing the arrangement of the rooms through which Mr. Harris was to
      pass, and the position where he was to stand during the delivery of
      his congratulatory remarks.

  277 In a despatch to the Secretary of State, dated November 25, 1856,
      Mr. Harris explains the condition of the negotiations in reference
      to a commercial treaty. He narrates his interview at Hongkong with
      Sir John Bowring, who told him that he was empowered to negotiate a
      commercial treaty. Mr. Harris shrewdly observes: “I shall call their
      (the Japanese government’s) attention to the fact that by making a
      treaty with me they would save the point of honor that must arise
      from their apparently yielding to the force that backs the
      plenipotentiary and not to the justice of their demands.”

  278 Although Kanagawa was made an open port for trade by these treaties,
      the adjoining village of Yokohama was found practically better
      suited for the purpose. The very proximity of Kanagawa to the
      _Tōkaidō_, which led foreigners to prefer it when the treaties were
      made, proved to be an objection in the disordered times that
      followed. On this account Yokohama rapidly rose to the importance
      which it still holds.

  279 The word means Curtain Government, in reference to the curtain with
      which the camp of a general was surrounded. The term is equivalent
      to Military Government, and is used to designate the shōgun’s as
      distinguished from the emperor’s court.

  280 See _The Life of Ii Naosuke_, by Shimada Saburo, Tōkyō, 1888; also
      the _Constitutional Development of Japan_, by Toyokichi Iyenaga,
      Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1891, p. 15.

  281 Mr. Heusken who had gone to Japan with Mr. Townsend Harris in 1858
      was a Hollander by birth. The Dutch language at that time was almost
      the only medium through which communication could be had with the
      Japanese. A native interpreter turned the sentiment into Dutch, and
      then a person who understood both Dutch and English translated it
      into the latter tongue. This circuitous system of interpretation
      was, however, soon remedied by native scholars learning English, and
      by English and American scholars learning Japanese.

  282 See _American Diplomatic Correspondence_, November 27, 1861.

  283 A full account of this affair may be found in Alcock’s _Capital of
      the Tycoon_, and in the _Life of Laurence Oliphant_.

  284 A translation of this paper cited from the correspondence presented
      to Parliament is given in Adams’ _History of Japan_, vol. i., p.

  285 See Adams’ _History of Japan_, vol. i., p. 139.

  286 In Mr. Satow’s translation of _Kinsé Shiriaku_ (p. 18) it is said
      that the _bakufu_ ordered the house of Mito to arrest the men who
      had broken into the English temple residence, but they made their
      escape into Ōshiu and Dewa.

  287 See the account of the negotiations of this embassy with Earl
      Russell in Adams’ _History of Japan_, vol. i., p. 177 _et seq._

  288 One of the officials naïvely told the American minister when
      speaking of the reception of the embassy in the United States: “We
      did not believe you when you told us of the friendly feeling of your
      country for us; but we now see that all you said was true.”

  289 The daimyō was really his own son who had been adopted by his
      brother, the former daimyō, and who on the death of his brother had
      succeeded him as daimyō. Shimazu Saburō was therefore legally the
      uncle of his own son.

  290 Dr. J. C. Hepburn, a resident in Kanagawa at this time, attended to
      the wounded men at the U. S. Consulate. In a letter to me after
      reading the above account, he says that, “it was the common report
      at the time that Richardson did ride into Satsuma’s train and that
      he (Satsuma) said, ‘Kill him.’ It was the general belief that
      Richardson brought the whole catastrophe on himself.”

  291 In addition to Terashima there were in the company Mori Arinori,
      Yoshida Kiyonari, Hatakeyama Yoshinari, and others. They became
      deeply imbued with the spirit of western institutions and with the
      principles of constitutional liberty and toleration. Their influence
      upon the new career of their country was marked and salutary.
      Through the agency of Mr. Laurence Oliphant a part of them became
      misled with the delusions of Thomas Lake Harris, and with him
      removed to Brocton on the shores of Lake Erie, U. S. where they
      resided for a time as members of the Brotherhood of the New Life.
      They had as associates in this singular community Lady Oliphant and
      her distinguished son, and like them were called upon to perform the
      ordinary menial employments connected with the community.

  292 It should be stated here that a despatch to the British envoy from
      Earl Russell arrived just after the sailing of the expedition in
      which he says: “That Her Majesty’s government positively enjoin you
      not to undertake any military operation whatever in the interior of
      Japan; and they would indeed regret the adoption of any measures of
      hostility against the Japanese government or princes, even though
      limited to naval operations, unless absolutely required by
      self-defence.” Had this order arrived in time, it is probable that
      the expedition would not have sailed.—_Correspondence Respecting
      Affairs in Japan_, 1875, No. 1, p. 45.

  293 It will be remembered that the United States at this time had
      occasion to use all her ships-of-war at home in the civil war that
      was raging.

  294 See _Treaties and Conventions between the Empire of Japan and Other
      Powers_, p. 318.

  295 The only additional circumstance that deserves mention in this
      connection is that in response to a widely expressed public
      sentiment the Congress of the United States in 1883 refunded to
      Japan $785,000.87, her share in this indemnity.—See _Treaties and
      Conventions between the Empire of Japan and Other Powers_, p. 320.

  296 See translation of _Kinsé Shiriaku_, Yokohama, 1876, p. 59.

  297 See translation of _Kinsé Shiriaku_, Yokohama, p. 50.

  298 See translation of _Kinsé Shiraku_, Yokohama, p. 24.

  299 See citation in Adams’ _History of Japan_, vol. i., p. 260.

  300 Toyokichi Iyenaga, Ph.D., in his pamphlet on the _Constitutional
      Development of Japan_, p. 17, traces the evolution of the present
      parliamentary institutions to the conferences which were held at
      this and subsequent times.

  301 Among these was Sanjō Saneyoshi, who afterwards for many years was
      the prime minister of the restored government.

  302 See Adams’ _History of Japan_, vol. i., p. 431.

  303 The annalist from whom Adams quotes gives the number of houses
      burned as 27,000. Adams’ _History of Japan_, vol. i., p. 434.

  304 See the Genji Yumé Monogatari and Satow’s note in Adams’ _History of
      Japan_, vol. i., p. 407.

  305 This distinguished soldier is better known under the name of Saigō
      Takamori. He was originally an ardent anti-foreign partisan, and
      through this sentiment became an advocate of a restoration of the
      emperor. His services in this revolutionary movement were rewarded
      by a pension granted and accepted by the emperor’s express
      command.—See Mounsey’s _Satsuma Rebellion_, London, p. 22.

  306 In this reconciliation of the Satsuma and Chōshū clans the court
      noble, Iwakura Tomomi, took a prominent part, and after the
      restoration was complete he became one of the principal officers in
      the new government, holding the office of _Udaijin_ until his death.
      He is best known to foreigners as the head of an embassy which
      visited western countries in 1872-3.

  307 See this memorial as given in Adams’ _History of Japan_, vol. ii.,
      p. 24.

  308 See Adams’ _History of Japan_, vol. ii., p. 24.

  309 See Adams’ _History of Japan_, vol. ii., p. 37.

  310 Translation of _Kinsé Shiriaku_, Yokohama, p. 30.

  311 Translation of _Kinsé Shiraku_, Yokohama, p. 80.

  312 See translation of _Kinsé Shiriaku_, Yokohama, p. 82.

  313 See translation of _Kinsé Shiriaku_, Yokohama, p. 82.

  314 With that talent for nicknaming which the Japanese exhibit, the
      leading party in the new government was called _Sat-chō-to_; derived
      from the first syllables of the clans, Satsuma, Chōshū, and Tosa.

  315 See Adams’ _History of Japan_, vol. ii., p. 84.

  316 The numbers here given, of 10,000 troops in the rebel army and 1,500
      in the imperial army, are much less than those claimed by the
      Japanese authorities, but Mr. Satow who had means of ascertaining
      the truth gives the numbers as stated in the text. See Adams’
      _History of Japan_, vol. ii., p. 99, note.

  317 An incident connected with this return illustrates both the times
      and customs of the country. Hori Kura-no-kami, a prominent retainer
      of the ex-shōgun, besought his master to commit _hara-kiri_ as the
      only way in which his own honor and the dignity of the Tokugawa clan
      could be preserved. He offered to join him in this tragic ceremony,
      but the ex-shōgun declined to end his life in this way. Thereupon
      the devoted retainer retired and in the presence of his own friends
      himself committed _hara-kiri_.

_  318 American Diplomatic Correspondence_, April 3, 1868.

  319 An English translation of this memorial will be found in Black’s
      _New Japan_, vol. ii., p. 84. It shows what prejudices the statesmen
      of that day had to overcome. See also _American Diplomatic
      Correspondence_, 1868, p. 727.

  320 See _Kinsé Shiriaku_, Yokohama, p. 116.

  321 See _Kinsé Shiriaku_, Yokohama, p. 125. Also _American Diplomatic
      Correspondence_, March 14, 1871.

  322 This house was one of the five regent families (_go-sekké_) all of
      the Fujiwara clan, from whom the _kwambaku_, _daijō-daijin_, or
      _sesshō_, the highest officers under the emperor, were always filled
      and from which the emperors selected their wives.—Dickson’s _Japan_,
      p. 52.

  323 See Chamberlain’s _Things Japanese_, 1892, p. 300.

  324 Adams’ _History of Japan_, vol. ii., p. 126. _American Diplomatic
      Correspondence_, May 30, 1868.

  325 Iyenaga’s _Constitutional Development of Japan_, p. 33.

  326 See the despatch of Sir Harry Parkes, _British State Papers_, Japan,

  327 See Iyenaga’s _Constitutional Development of Japan_, p. 35.

  328 See _British State Papers_, 1870, Japan.

  329 A translation of this memorial will be found in the _British State
      Papers_, 1870, Japan; also cited in Adams’ _History of Japan_, vol.
      ii., p. 181.

  330 See an analysis of the daimyōs who joined in this memorial in
      _British State Papers_, 1870, Japan.

  331 See _British State Papers_, 1870, Japan.

  332 See Prince Azuki’s _Memorial_.

  333 See Kido’s Original _Memorial_.

  334 See Mounsey’s _Satsuma Rebellion_, pp. 247, 248.

_  335 Treaties and Conventions between Japan and Other Powers_, Tōkyō,
      1864, p. 646.

_  336 Treaties and Conventions between Japan and Other Powers_, Tōkyō,
      1884, p. 171.

  337 This castle was built by Katō Kiyomasa after his return from the
      Korean war. It still stands, being one of the most notable castles
      of Japan.

  338 See p. 47.

  339 See p. 380.

  340 This able document was prepared by Count Itō Hirobumi. An official
      translation was published at Yokohama in 1889.

  341 In the official list Jingō is not reckoned, and the time of her
      reign is counted with that of her son and successor.

  342 From _Japanese Chronological Tables_, by William Bramsen, 1880.

      The system of counting from year-periods (_nengō_) was introduced
      from China. These periods of Japanese history do not correspond to
      the reigns of the emperors. A new one was chosen whenever it was
      deemed necessary to commemorate an auspicious or ward off a malign
      event. By a notification issued in 1872 it was announced that
      hereafter the year-period should be changed but once during the
      reign of an emperor. The current period, _Meiji_ (Enlightened
      Peace), will therefore continue during the reign of the present

      The numbers in the second column of this table indicate the years as
      counted from the founding of the empire by Jimmu Tennō. According to
      the official chronology this occurred B.C. 660.

  343 Translated from the chronology of the shōguns in _Mittheilungen der
      deutschen Gesellschaft fur Natur und Volkerkunde Ostasiens_, Heft 3,

  344 The translation of these laws of Shōtoku Taishi was furnished by Mr.
      Tsuji Shinji, late vice-minister of state for education, and by Mr.
      Matsumoto Kumpei.

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