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Title: A Diplomat in Japan - The inner history of the critical years in the evolution - of Japan when the ports were opened and the monarchy - restored, recorded by a diplomatist who took an active - part in the events of the time, with an account of his - personal experiences during that period
Author: Satow, Ernest Mason
Language: English
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                          A DIPLOMAT IN JAPAN



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    [Illustration: THE LAST OF THE SHOGUNS
    Tokugawa Yoshinobu (Keiki)]



                                   A
                           DIPLOMAT IN JAPAN

             THE INNER HISTORY OF THE CRITICAL YEARS IN THE
                 EVOLUTION OF JAPAN WHEN THE PORTS WERE
                   OPENED AND THE MONARCHY RESTORED,
                   RECORDED BY A DIPLOMATIST WHO TOOK
                    AN ACTIVE PART IN THE EVENTS OF
                      THE TIME, WITH AN ACCOUNT OF
                        HIS PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
                           DURING THAT PERIOD


                                   BY
                    THE RIGHT HON. SIR ERNEST SATOW
                        G.C.M.G., LL.D., D.C.L.;
                  British Minister at Peking 1900-05;
                   Formerly Secretary of the British
                           Legation at Tokio


                      WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND PLANS


                                 LONDON
                     SEELEY, SERVICE & CO. LIMITED
                        38 GREAT RUSSELL STREET
                                  1921



                      PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY
                  THE DUNEDIN PRESS LIMITED, EDINBURGH



                                PREFACE


The first portion of this book was written at intervals between 1885 and
1887, during my tenure of the post of Her Majesty's minister at Bangkok.
I had but recently left Japan after a residence extending, with two
seasons of home leave, from September 1862 to the last days of December
1882, and my recollection of what had occurred during any part of those
twenty years was still quite fresh. A diary kept almost uninterruptedly
from the day I quitted home in November 1861 constituted the foundation,
while my memory enabled me to supply additional details. It had never
been my purpose to relate my diplomatic experiences in different parts
of the world, which came finally to be spread over a period of
altogether forty-five years, and I therefore confined myself to one of
the most interesting episodes in which I have been concerned. This
comprised the series of events that culminated in the restoration of the
direct rule of the ancient line of sovereigns of Japan which had
remained in abeyance for over six hundred years. Such a change involved
the substitution of the comparatively modern city of Yedo, under the
name of Tôkiô, for the more ancient Kiôto, which had already become the
capital long before Japan was heard of in the western world.

When I departed from Siam in 1887 I laid the unfinished manuscript
aside, and did not look at it again until September 1919, when some of
my younger relations, to whom I had shown it, suggested that it ought to
be completed. This second portion is largely a transcript of my
journals, supplemented from papers drawn up by me which were included in
the Confidential Print of the time and by letters to my chief Sir Harry
Parkes which have been published elsewhere. Letters to my mother have
furnished some particulars that were omitted from the diaries.

Part of the volume may read like a repetition of a few pages from my
friend the late Lord Redesdale's "Memories," for when he was engaged on
that work he borrowed some of my journals of the time we had spent
together in Japan. But I have not referred to his volumes while writing
my own.
                                                   ERNEST SATOW.
    OTTERY ST MARY,
        _January 1921_.

                               * * * * *

_Note._--In pronouncing Japanese words the consonants are to be taken as
in English, the vowels more or less as in Italian. _G_, except at the
beginning of a word, when it is hard, represents _ng_.



                                CONTENTS


                                CHAPTER I                       PAGE
    APPOINTMENT AS STUDENT INTERPRETER AT YEDO                    17

                               CHAPTER II
    YOKOHAMA SOCIETY, OFFICIAL AND UNOFFICIAL                     22

                              CHAPTER III
    POLITICAL CONDITIONS IN JAPAN                                 33

                               CHAPTER IV
    TREATIES--ANTI-FOREIGN SPIRIT--MURDER OF FOREIGNERS           42

                               CHAPTER V
    RICHARDSON'S MURDER--JAPANESE STUDIES                         50

                               CHAPTER VI
    OFFICIAL VISIT TO YEDO                                        61

                              CHAPTER VII
    DEMANDS FOR REPARATION--JAPANESE PROPOSALS TO CLOSE
    THE PORTS--PAYMENT OF THE INDEMNITY                           72

                              CHAPTER VIII
    BOMBARDMENT OF KAGOSHIMA                                      84

                               CHAPTER IX
    SHIMONOSEKI: PRELIMINARY MEASURES                             95

                               CHAPTER X
    SHIMONOSEKI--NAVAL OPERATIONS                                102

                               CHAPTER XI
    SHIMONOSEKI--PEACE CONCLUDED WITH CHÔSHIÛ                    116

                              CHAPTER XII
    THE MURDER OF BIRD AND BALDWIN                               134

                              CHAPTER XIII
    RATIFICATION OF THE TREATIES BY THE MIKADO                   141

                              CHAPTER XIV
    GREAT FIRE AT YOKOHAMA                                       156

                               CHAPTER XV
    VISIT TO KAGOSHIMA AND UWAJIMA                               167

                              CHAPTER XVI
    FIRST VISIT TO OZAKA                                         185

                              CHAPTER XVII
    RECEPTION OF FOREIGN MINISTERS BY THE TYCOON                 194

                             CHAPTER XVIII
    OVERLAND FROM OZAKA TO YEDO                                  204

                              CHAPTER XIX
    SOCIAL INTERCOURSE WITH JAPANESE OFFICIALS--VISIT TO
    NIIGATA, SADO GOLD MINES, AND NANAO                          228

                               CHAPTER XX
    NANAO TO OZAKA OVERLAND                                      239

                              CHAPTER XXI
    OZAKA AND TOKUSHIMA                                          252

                              CHAPTER XXII
    TOSA AND NAGASAKI                                            265

                             CHAPTER XXIII
    DOWNFALL OF THE SHOGUNATE                                    281

                              CHAPTER XXIV
    OUTBREAK OF CIVIL WAR (1868)                                 295

                              CHAPTER XXV
    HOSTILITIES BEGUN AT YEDO AND FUSHIMI                        310

                              CHAPTER XXVI
    THE BIZEN AFFAIR                                             319

                             CHAPTER XXVII
    FIRST VISIT TO KIOTO                                         332

                             CHAPTER XXVIII
    HARAKIRI--NEGOTIATIONS FOR AUDIENCE OF THE MIKADO
    AT KIOTO                                                     343

                              CHAPTER XXIX
    MASSACRE OF FRENCH SAILORS AT SAKAI                          351

                              CHAPTER XXX.
    KIOTO--AUDIENCE OF THE MIKADO                                356

                              CHAPTER XXXI
    RETURN TO YEDO AND PRESENTATION OF THE MINISTER'S
    NEW CREDENTIALS AT OZAKA                                     364

                             CHAPTER XXXII
    MISCELLANEOUS INCIDENTS--MITO POLITICS                       373

                             CHAPTER XXXIII
    CAPTURE OF WAKAMATSU AND ENTRY OF THE MIKADO INTO
    YEDO                                                         386

                             CHAPTER XXXIV
    ENOMOTO WITH THE RUNAWAY TOKUGAWA SHIPS SEIZES
    YEZO                                                         395

                              CHAPTER XXXV
    1869--AUDIENCE OF THE MIKADO AT YEDO                         400

                             CHAPTER XXXVI
    LAST DAYS IN TOKIO AND DEPARTURE FOR HOME                    409



                         LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                                PAGE

    THE LAST OF THE SHOGUNS                           _Frontispiece_

    SIR ERNEST SATOW--1869                                        56

    SIR ERNEST SATOW--1903                                        56

    PAYMENT OF THE INDEMNITY FOR THE MURDER OF RICHARDSON         80

    KAGOSHIMA HARBOUR: BOMBARDMENT                             90-91

    THE STRAITS OF SHIMONOSEKI                               106-107

    INTERIOR OF A JAPANESE BATTERY AFTER THE LANDING OF
    THE ALLIED NAVAL FORCES                                      112

    DAIMIO OF CHO-SHIU AND HIS HEIR                              184

    CHO-SHIU COUNCILLORS                                         184

    GROUP PHOTOGRAPHED DURING A VISIT TO OZAKA                   192

    NIIRO GIOBU, A SATSUMA COUNCILLOR                            272

    KATSU AWA NO KAMI                                            272


       _The Design on the Cover of this Book is the Family Crest of
                          the Tokugawa Shôguns._



                          A DIPLOMAT IN JAPAN



                          A DIPLOMAT IN JAPAN


                               CHAPTER I

           APPOINTMENT AS STUDENT INTERPRETER AT YEDO (1861)


MY thoughts were first drawn to Japan by a mere accident. In my
eighteenth year an elder brother brought home from Mudie's Library the
interesting account of Lord Elgin's Mission to China and Japan by
Lawrence Oliphant, and the book having fallen to me in turn, inflamed my
imagination with pictures verbal and coloured of a country where the sky
was always blue, where the sun shone perpetually, and where the whole
duty of man seemed to consist in lying on a matted floor with the
windows open to the ground towards a miniature rockwork garden, in the
company of rosy-lipped black-eyed and attentive damsels--in short, a
realised fairyland. But that I should ever have a chance of seeing these
Isles of the Blest was beyond my wildest dreams. An account of Commodore
Perry's expedition, which had preceded Lord Elgin's Mission, came in my
way shortly afterwards, and though much more sober in its outward
appearance and literary style, only served to confirm the previous
impression. I thought of nothing else from that time onwards. One day,
on entering the library of University College, London, where I was then
studying, I found lying on the table a notice that three nominations to
student-interpreterships in China and Japan had been placed at the
disposition of the Dean. Here was the chance for which I had been
longing. Permission to enter myself for the competition was obtained,
not without difficulty, from my parents, and having gained the first
place in the public examination, I chose Japan. To China I never wished
or intended to go. My age was sufficient by a few hours to enable me to
compete. I was formally appointed in August 1861, and quitted England
full of joyful anticipation in November of that year.

Owing to the prevalence of a belief among those who then had the
direction of our affairs in Japan that a knowledge of Chinese was a
necessary preliminary to the study of Japanese, my fellow-student, R. A.
Jamieson, and myself were at first stationed for a few months at Peking,
where we were joined early in 1862 by Russell Robertson, who also
belonged to the Japan establishment. I pass over our sojourn there,
which, though not without its own interest, was not long enough for me
to gain any useful knowledge of China. But I learnt a few hundred
Chinese characters which were of great help to me afterwards, and I even
began the study of Manchu.

Our stay at the Chinese capital was suddenly cut short by the arrival of
a despatch from Yedo, containing the original text of a Note from the
Japanese Ministers, which it was found no Chinaman could decipher, much
less understand. This was decisive of the question whether the short cut
to Japanese lay through the Chinese language. I thought then, and still
think, that though an acquaintance with Chinese characters may be found
useful by the student of Japanese, it is no more indispensable than that
of Latin is to a person who wishes to acquire Italian or Spanish. We
were consequently bundled off to Japan with the least possible delay.

Of the eight students belonging to the China establishment then at
Peking, three only are still (1885) in the service--H. J. Allen, C. T.
Gardner, and W. G. Stronach, each of whom attained the rank of consul in
1877. They had all passed the examination at the same time as myself.
The man who came out second was "allowed to resign" in 1867, three are
dead, and one, the best man of the whole set, and who oddly enough was
last or last but one in the examination list, passed in 1872 into the
Chinese Customs Service, in which he now holds one of the highest
appointments. So unequal are the results obtained by even limited
competitive examination. When the competition was afterwards thrown open
to the public, the results became even more uncertain, as later
experience has shown, at least in Japan, and perhaps elsewhere.

The great fault of the system is that it takes no account of moral
qualities. Whether a candidate has the manners or feelings of a
gentleman cannot be ascertained from the way in which he will reproduce
a proposition of Euclid or translate a passage from a Greek author. It
does not test the intellectual powers, for a stupid young man who has
been properly coached will almost always beat the real student who has
not got the right "tips." Nowadays, every candidate for a public
examination goes to a crammer, who trains him in a few months for the
contest, and enables him to bring forth forced fruit for a moment. Show
me a successful examinee, and I will show you a well-coached candidate.
In the majority of cases the process disgusts the man who has undergone
it, and takes away any inclination he may previously have had for study.
And without serious study it is not possible to acquire such languages
as Chinese, Siamese or Japanese. The scheme of examination is no test of
the linguistic capabilities of the men, and sometimes sends into the
service those who can no more learn to speak a foreign language than
they can fly. My own success in the examination was due to my having
left school more recently than any of the other competitors.

While I was at Peking the whole body of students was invited to dine one
evening with the Bishop of Victoria, who was stopping at the Legation in
the absence of Mr. Bruce, the Minister. The conversation fell upon the
effects of Chinese studies on the intellectual powers, and the Bishop
inquired of us whether we did not find that the mind was weakened by
close application to such a dry, unproductive form of learning. At
least, his own experience had been to that effect. This was a curious
admission to make, but the matter of his conversation certainly
corroborated it. I do not think any of us was candid enough to confess
to a similar result in his own case.

I should like to dwell longer on our life in Peking--the rides in the
early morning over the plain on the north of the city, excursions to the
ruins of the Summer Palace, beautiful still in its desolation, the
monasteries among the blue mountains west of the city, the magnificent
temples inside and outside the walls, the dirt and dust of the streets
in wet or fine weather, the pink lotus blossoms on the lake of the
marble bridge, the beggars with their cry of _K'olien, k'olien, shang
i-ko ta_, the bazaar outside the Ch'ien Men Gate, with its attractive
shops, the Temple of Heaven, the view of yellow, brown and green-tiled
roofs embosomed in trees as one saw them from the city wall, the carts
bumping over the stone pavements worn into deep ruts, the strange
Eastern life that surrounded a band of boys fresh from school or college
or their mothers' apron-strings, and the splendour of the newly restored
buildings of the Liang Kung Fu, occupied by the British Legation--which
will never be effaced from my memory: but there is no time. Mr,
afterwards Sir Frederick, Bruce was then our Minister there, a tall man
of about fifty, with a noble forehead and brown eyes, grey beard,
whiskers and moustache; altogether a beautiful appearance. The Chinese
Secretary was Mr, afterwards Sir Thomas, Wade, a great Chinese scholar,
to whom we looked up with awe, and who was said to be of an irascible
temper. A story was told of his visiting the Chinese Ministers with the
chief, and waxing very warm in argument. The president of the Ts'ung-li
Ya-mên remarked: "But, Mr. Wade, I do not observe that Mr. Bruce is so
angry." "D'ye hear that, Mr. Bruce, they say you're not angry."
Whereupon Mr. Bruce, with a benevolent smile and with the most
good-tempered expression in the world, replied: "Oh, tell them I'm in a
deuce of a rage."

We, that is to say Jamieson, Robertson and myself, got away early on the
morning of August 6, arriving that evening at Ho-si-wu, a town on the
way, and reached Tientsin next day. Thence we took boat to Taku, where
we passed some days under the hospitable roof of the Vice-Consul Gibson.
He was later on transferred to a post in Formosa, where he got into
difficulties with the Chinese officials and called on the commander of a
gunboat to bombard the Custom House, for which he was smartly
reprimanded by the Foreign Office. Shortly afterwards he died, it was
said, of a broken heart. This happened in the days when the so-called
"gun-boat" policy was no longer in favour, and poor Gibson fell a victim
to his excess of zeal.

At Shanghai Jamieson left us, to start a newspaper on terms which
promised him a better future than the Consular service could offer.
Robertson and I embarked in the steamer _Lancefield_, and started for
Japan on September 2. The first land we sighted after leaving the coast
of China was Iwô Shima, a volcanic island to the south of Kiû-shiû, and
on the 7th we found ourselves close to Cape Idzu in a fog. Luckily it
lifted for a moment, and the captain, who was new to the coast, ordered
the ship to be put about, and we ran down among the islands. Next
morning early we were steaming over the blue waves east of Vries Island,
passed the serrated wooded range of Nokogiri yama on our right and the
tiny inlet of Uraga to our left, and stood across the broad bay towards
Yokohama. It was one of those brilliant days that are so characteristic
of Japan, and as we made our way up the bay of Yedo, I thought no
scenery in the world could surpass it. Irregular-shaped hills, covered
with dark-green trees, lined the whole southern coast, and above them
rose into the air for 12,000 feet and more the magnificent cone of Fuji,
with scarcely a patch of snow visible. The noble ranges of Oyama and
others bounded the plain on its western side, while by way of contrast,
a low-lying sandy coast trended rapidly away on our right, and speedily
sank below the horizon in the direction of the capital.

Curious duck-shaped boats of pure unpainted wood, carrying a large
four-square sail formed of narrow strips of canvas loosely tacked
together, crowded the surface of the sparkling waters. Now and then we
passed near enough to note the sunburnt, copper-coloured skins of the
fishermen, naked, with the exception of a white cloth round the loins,
and sometimes a blue rag tied across the nose, so that you could just
see his eyes and chin. At last the white cliffs of Mississippi Bay
became closer and more distinct: we rounded Treaty Point and dropped
anchor on the outer edge of the shipping. After the lapse of more than a
year I had at last attained my cherished object.



                               CHAPTER II

            YOKOHAMA SOCIETY, OFFICIAL AND UNOFFICIAL (1862)


THREE years had now elapsed since the opening of the country to foreign
trade in consequence of the Treaties of 1858, and a considerable number
of merchants had settled at the ports of Nagasaki and Yokohama.
Hakodaté, however, offered then, as now, few attractions to mercantile
enterprise, and being far removed from the political centre, shared very
slightly in the uneasy feeling which prevailed elsewhere. At Nagasaki
most of the territorial nobles of Western Japan had establishments
whither they sent for sale the rice and other produce received in
payment of tribute from the peasants, and their retainers came into
frequent contact with foreigners, whose houses they visited for the
purchase of arms, gunpowder and steamers. Some sort of friendly feeling
thus sprang up, which was increased by the American missionaries who
gave instruction in English to younger members of this class, and
imparted to them liberal ideas which had no small influence on the
subsequent course of events. At Yokohama, however, the foreign merchants
had chiefly to do with a class of adventurers, destitute of capital and
ignorant of commerce. Broken contracts and fraud were by no means
uncommon. Foreigners made large advances to men of straw for the
purchase of merchandise which was never delivered, or ordered
manufactures from home on the account of men who, if the market fell,
refused to accept the goods that would now bring them in only a loss.
Raw silk was adulterated with sand or fastened with heavy paper ties,
and every separate skein had to be carefully inspected before payment,
while the tea could not be trusted to be as good as the sample. Now and
then a Japanese dealer would get paid out in kind, but the balance of
wrong-doing was greatly against the native, and the conviction that
Japanese was a synonym for dishonest trader became so firmly seated in
the minds of foreigners that it was impossible for any friendly feeling
to exist.

The Custom House officials were in the highest degree corrupt, and
demanded ever-increasing bribes from the foreigners who sought to elude
the import duties. One of the worst abuses was the importation of large
quantities of wines, beer, spirits and stores, for which exemption from
the payment of duty was claimed as goods intended for "personal use."

The local administration was carried on by a large staff of officials
established at the Custom House. There were two Bugiô, or Governors; two
Kumi-gashira, or Vice-Governors; two Metsuké, whose function was that of
keeping an eye on the doings of the others; a number of Shirabé-yaku, or
Directors; and Jô-yaku, or chief clerks, besides a host of scribes,
interpreters, tidewaiters and policemen, in black or green robes. Dutch
was the common medium of communication both orally and in writing, for
English was as yet scarcely studied by the natives, and the foreigners
who could speak Japanese might be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Yet all knew a little. A sort of bastard language had been invented for
the uses of trade, in which the Malay words _peggi_ and _sarampan_
played a great part, and with the addition of _anata_ and _arimasu_
every one fancied himself competent to settle the terms of a complicated
transaction. In this new tongue all the rich variety of Japanese speech,
by which the relative social position of the speakers is indicated, and
the intricate inflexion of the verbs, were conspicuous by their absence.
Outside the settlements it was of course not understood, and its use by
Europeans must have contributed not a little to the contempt for the
"barbarian" which was characteristic of the native attitude towards
foreigners.

By virtue of the treaties Kanagawa had been at first fixed upon for the
residence of Europeans, but, lying on the Tôkaidô, or principal highway
between Yedo and Kiôto, it was only too well calculated to afford
occasion for collision between the armed followers of the Japanese
nobles and the foreign settlers. Early in the day the Tycoon's
government sought to avoid this difficulty by erecting a Custom House
and rows of wooden bungalows at the fishing village of Yokohama, across
the shallow bay to the south. Some of the foreign representatives, more
intent upon enforcing Treaty provisions than desirous of meeting the
convenience of the native officials and the European merchants, strongly
opposed this arrangement, but the practical advantages of proximity to
the anchorage and personal security won the favour of the merchants, and
Yokohama became recognised as the port. Long after, and perhaps to this
day, the foreign consuls continued to date their official reports from
Kanagawa, though they were safely ensconced at the rival site, where a
town of 100,000 inhabitants now exists, and curious stories are told of
the difference in freight that used to be earned on goods shipped from
Europe to Yokohama or Kanagawa as the case might be.

The foreign settlement, for greater security, was surrounded on the land
side by wide canals, across which bridges were thrown, while ingress and
egress were controlled by strong guards of soldiers placed there with
the double object of excluding dangerous characters and levying a tax on
the supplies introduced from the surrounding country. At first land was
given away freely to all applicants, some of whom were employés of the
different consulates. These latter afterwards sold their lots to new
arrivals bent upon commercial pursuits, and thus pocketed gains to which
they had no shadow of a right. When further additions were afterwards
made to the "settlement," precautions were taken which effectually
prevented any one, whether merchant or official, from obtaining land
without paying an adequate price. Later on, title-deeds were made out,
by which the ground was conveyed to the holders, their heirs,
administrators, executors and assigns, thus creating a form of property
new to English experience, which purported to be at once real and
personal. Streets were laid out with but little thought of the general
convenience, and slight provision for the future. The day of wheeled
carriages had not dawned upon Japan. It was sufficient if space were
left for handcarts, and the most important Japanese commercial town of
the future was thus condemned in perpetuity to inconveniences of
traffic, the like of which can be best appreciated by those who knew the
central parts of business London fifty years ago, or the successive
capitals of the Italian kingdom when they were raised to that rank.
Architectural ambition at first was contented with simple wooden
bungalows, and in the latter part of 1862 there were not more than half
a dozen two-storied buildings in the foreign portion of the town.

Behind the settlement lay a newly filled-in tract of ground known as the
"swamp," still unoccupied except by a racecourse track, and in the rear
of this again, across a foul marsh, were conspicuous the flimsy
buildings of the Yoshiwara, euphemistically described by a noble Duke
from his place in Parliament as an "establishment for the education of
young ladies," and where a colonial bishop, to the intense amusement of
the younger and more irreverent of the foreign community, had innocently
left his visiting-card upon the elderly female who presided over the
pleasures of the place. But in those days all the residents were young.

Two churches, however, had already been erected, by Catholics and
Protestants respectively, and a foreign cemetery had been set apart on
the outside of the settlement. The health enjoyed by the European and
American inhabitants was such that the only occupants of the
burial-ground were some Russian officers and two Dutch merchant
captains, who had fallen victims to the deadly and mistaken patriotism
of Japanese _samurai_ (two-sworded men). No one had yet succumbed to
disease in that beautiful sunny climate.

The foreign community of Yokohama of that day was somewhat extravagantly
described by an English diplomat as "the scum of Europe." No doubt there
was a fair sprinkling of men who, suddenly relieved from the restraints
which social opinion places upon their class at home, and exposed to the
temptations of Eastern life, did not conduct themselves with the strict
propriety of students at a theological college. That they were really
worse than their co-equals elsewhere is unlikely. But in a small
community, where the actions of everyone are semi-public and concealment
is not regarded as an object of first-rate importance, the vices that
elsewhere pass unnoticed become prominent to the eyes of those who are
not exposed to the same temptations. There were also not a few who came
there without much capital to make a livelihood, or, if possible,
something more, and hastened to the attainment of their object without
being troubled with much scruple. And the difficulty which soon
presented itself of obtaining a sufficiency of native coin in exchange
for the silver dollar of Eastern commerce was the cause of extravagant
demands being presented to the Japanese Treasury. But the compromise
eventually arrived at, by which the merchant had to buy his _ichibus_ in
the open market, while the official obtained the equivalent of his
salary, and often much more, in native coin nearly weight for weight of
his "Mexicans," was to the minds of all unprejudiced persons a far
greater scandal. Detractors said that the advantages thus given to
Ministers, Consuls, sailors and soldiers was a bribe to induce their
compliance with violation of treaty stipulations to the prejudice of
their non-official countrymen; but this is unfair. It was the result of
false theories as to the nature and function of money, and personal
interest worked against a conversion to views more in accordance with
the principles of political economy.

The fact, however, remains, that in September 1862 the current rate of
exchange was 214 _ichibus_ for 100 dollars, though the latter were
really exchangeable for 311 _ichibus_ according to the Treaty. Each
diplomatic or consular establishment was allowed to exchange monthly a
certain number of dollars, supposed to represent the total salaries of
the staff, and other government charges, thirteen _ichibus_ per $100
being deducted for coinage. An official whose salary was $100 received
298 _ichibus_, the surplus of which over his bazaar expenses he
proceeded to change back into dollars; but practically he received
$139.25, or a profit of nearly 40 per cent. The gains of a Minister
whose salary was £3000 a year it may easily be seen were very large.
This was not all. The balance of the monthly quota of _ichibus_ was then
reconverted into dollars, the amount due to the official chest was
deducted, and the profit then divided among the staff in proportion to
their salaries. On a nominally small income it was consequently possible
to live well, keep a pony and drink champagne. As time went on, the
number of _ichibus_ thus put into circulation increased, and the rate of
exchange eventually declined to par. Then and only then the system was
abandoned. Where the money came from that was thus transferred to the
pockets of officials can be best explained by those who are versed in
economical questions. For my own part, I cannot look back on that period
without shame, and my only excuse, which is perhaps of little worth in
the court of history, is that I was at the bottom of the ladder, and
received the proportion paid to me by those who were in charge of the
business.

A few words may be devoted to describing the Yokohama society of those
days. There were few ladies in the settlement. Japan was a long way from
Europe, with no regular steam communication, and the lives of foreigners
were supposed to be not very safe at the hands of the arm-bearing
classes. The two great China firms of Jardine, Matheson & Co. and Dent &
Co. were of course represented. The latter came down with a crash a year
or two after my arrival. Fletcher & Co., another important Shanghai
firm, had a branch, and so had Barnet & Co., both now long forgotten.
Most of the remainder were Japan firms, amongst whom Aspinall, Cornes &
Co., Macpherson, Marshall & Co., were the foremost English, and Walsh,
Hall & Co., the leading American firms. Germans, French and Dutch were
considered of "no account." Money was abundant, or seemed to be, every
one kept a pony or two, and champagne flowed freely at frequent
convivial entertainments. Races were held in the spring and autumn, and
"real" horses competed in some of the events. A favourite Sunday's
excursion was the ride along the Tôkaidô to Kawasaki for tiffin, and
back again toward evening. Longer outings were to Kanazawa, Kamakura and
Enoshima; but anyone who had ventured as far as Hachiôji or Hakoné,
which were beyond the Treaty limits, was regarded as a bold, adventurous
spirit. The privilege of travelling beyond a distance of 25 miles from
Yokohama was reserved to the diplomatic representatives of foreign
powers, and Yedo could be visited only in the disguise of a member of
one of the legations, with the permission of its head. Such favours were
regarded with extreme jealousy by those who were debarred by
circumstances from obtaining them, and loud murmurs were heard that it
was the Minister's duty to invite his countrymen to the capital, and
give them board and lodging, irrespective of the shape which their
private relations with him might have assumed. Then, and perhaps even
yet, there existed a theory that public servants were practically the
servants of the extremely small section of the public that inhabited
Yokohama, and when the servants failed to comply with the wishes of
their employers they were naturally and rightly abused--behind their
backs.

So strong was the hostility excited in the breasts of the
English-Scotch-Irish portion of the community by the unlucky phrase,
"scum of Europe," that no member of either legation or consulate of
their country was allowed admittance into the Yokohama Club, composed
chiefly of British merchants; and this feeling lasted until the year
1865 brought about a permanent change in the representation of Great
Britain. The excuse for such relations between the British residents and
one who ought to have been the leader of the small society, is to be
found in the comparative youthfulness and ignorance of the world which
characterised the former. The experience of men and manners which saves
the dwellers in Little Peddlington from believing that others are
deliberately plotting to inflict insults on them is seldom attained
before middle life, especially when Little Peddlington happens to be
located in an Eastern land where the mind's growth comes to a
standstill, and a man's age is virtually to be reckoned by the years
actually spent in the mother country. For all purposes of mental and
moral development the time passed on the opposite side of the world must
be left out of the calculation.

It was agreed in the Treaties that Yedo should be the residence of the
foreign diplomatic representatives, and four Buddhist monasteries had,
in accordance with Japanese custom, been assigned to the representatives
of the four chief powers--Great Britain, France, Holland and the United
States. Sir R. Alcock[1] occupied Tô-zen-ji, in the suburb of Takanawa;
M. de Graef van Polsbrock lived in Chô-ô-ji, a little nearer the city;
then came Sai-kai-ji, the residence of M. Duchesne de Bellecourt; and
Mr. Harris had settled down at Zem-puku-ji in Azabu. But a series of
alarming occurrences had caused the European portion of the diplomatic
body to transfer their quarters to Yokohama, and the American Minister
alone held out, declaring his confidence in the good faith of the
Japanese Government and their ability to protect him. In September of
1862 he had already been replaced by General Pruyn, who followed the
example of his predecessor, until eventually driven out of the capital
by a fire which destroyed his house, whether purely accidental or
maliciously contrived. The English legation in 1861 had been the object
of a murderous attack in which the Secretary, Mr. Laurence Oliphant, and
Mr. G. C. Morrison were wounded. The assailants were principally
retainers of the Daimiô of Mito, but others belonging to various clans
were concerned in the affair, and some of these are still living. Sir R.
Alcock had consequently removed to Yokohama, where the strong guard
placed by the Japanese government at the entrances to the town and the
foreign men-of-war in the harbour offered sufficient guarantees for
safety. On his quitting Japan for a term of leave early in 1862, his
locum-tenens, Colonel Neale, not believing in a danger of which he had
no experience, brought the legation back to Tô-zen-ji. But he had no
sooner installed himself there than an event occurred which led him to
change his opinion. This was nothing less than the murder of the sentry
who stood at his bedroom door and of a corporal on his rounds, at the
hands of one of the Japanese guard, in revenge for an insult offered to
him, it is said, by the youngest member of the staff, a heedless boy of
fifteen or sixteen. So the British Legation packed up their archives and
hastened back to Yokohama, where they installed themselves in a house
that stood on the site of the present Grand Hotel. This building
belonged to an Englishman named Hoey, who was murdered in his bed in
1870, apparently from motives of private revenge. The foreign consuls
were all stationed at Yokohama with the exception of the American
consul, Colonel Fisher, who remained at Kanagawa. Mr. Harris, it is
said, would never admit that Yokohama could be rightfully substituted
for Kanagawa, the town mentioned in the Treaty, and would not permit his
consul to reside there. He even carried his opposition so far as to
declare that he never would countenance the change of settlement, and
carried out his vow by leaving Japan without having set foot in
Yokohama.

    [1] It would be inconvenient to observe chronological exactness
        in matters of official rank or title, which in the case of
        most individuals are subject to progression. I shall speak
        therefore of persons by the titles they bore at the latest
        portion of the period covered by these reminiscences.

At the time of my arrival there, Colonel Neale, an old warrior who had
seen service with the Spanish Legion commanded by Sir de Lacy Evans, and
who, gossip said, regarded Sir R. Alcock, formerly attached to the
Marine Brigade of Portugal in the quality of surgeon, with no friendly
feelings, was Secretary of Legation, and consequently chargé d'affaires
in the absence of his chief. He had great command of his pen, and
composed most drastic Notes to the Japanese Government, some of which
have been printed by my friend, Mr. F. O. Adams in his _History of
Japan_. He had previously been consul at Varna and Belgrade, and
consequently had a sufficient experience of the system known as
"extra-territoriality," which in most non-Christian countries of the
East exempts Europeans from the operations of the local law. In stature
considerably less than the average Englishman, he wore a heavy grey
moustache, and thin wisps of grizzled hair wandered about his forehead.
His temper was sour and suspicious. Of his political capacity there is
not much to be said, except that he did not understand the circumstances
amongst which he was thrown, as his despatches sufficiently indicate,
well-written and incisive as they are. But this is only an example of
the fact that power of speech with tongue or pen is not a measure of a
man's fitness for the conduct of affairs. In his jovial moments he
easily unbent, and would entertain his companions with snatches of
operas of which he carried a large assortment in his memory.

At this period he was about fifty-five, and probably already affected
with the beginnings of the disease which carried him off a few years
later at Quito.

The second in rank was the so-called Japanese Secretary. He was neither
a native of Japan nor had he any knowledge of the language, so that the
title must be understood as signifying "secretary in charge of
correspondence with the Japanese Government." At our mission in China
there is always an official who bears the corresponding title of Chinese
Secretary, but there the post has always been held by a scholar. Dutch
was the only European language of which the Japanese knew anything, and
therefore when the Foreign Office came to provide a staff of officials
for the consular establishment, they sought high and low for Englishmen
acquainted with that recondite tongue. Four were at last discovered, one
of whom was first appointed interpreter to the legation and afterwards
accorded the higher title. Part of his salary was expressly granted by
way of remuneration for instructing the student-interpreters in the
language of the country, and consequently could not be said to be
earned. He retained his office for eight years, when a consulate became
vacant, and the opportunity was at once seized of "kicking him up the
ladder." All the domestic virtues were his, and of actively bad
qualities he showed no trace.

Next to this gentleman came a First Assistant, sociable and
accomplished, musical, artistic and speaking many languages beside his
own, but no lover of hard work. In his hands the accounts fell eighteen
months in arrear, and the registers of correspondence were a couple of
years behind hand. It was his function to preside over the chancery, and
he left it to his successor in a condition which the latter aptly
compared to that of an "Aegean stable." He was the sort of man who is
always known among his friends by his Christian name, and no higher
tribute to personal qualities is possible. In the course of time he
became a consul, and retired from the service at an early age, carrying
with him the regrets and good wishes of everybody who knew him.

In the legation staff there were also included two doctors, who at the
same time discharged the functions of Assistants in the chancery. One of
them shortly quitted the service, and set up in Yokohama as a general
practitioner, to retire with a competent fortune after but a few years.
The other merits more extended notice, on account both of his character
and public services of every kind. I mean my life-long friend, William
Willis. Perhaps no other man ever exhibited in a greater measure the
quality which we are wont to call conscientiousness, whether in his
private relations or in the discharge of his duties. Those who have had
the fortune to profit by his medical or surgical aid, feel that no man
could be more tender or sympathetic towards a patient. He was devoted to
his profession, and lost no opportunity of extending his experience. In
those days a doctor had frequently to encounter personal risks such as
fall to the lot of few civilians; he exposed himself freely, in order to
succour the wounded. In the chancery his services were indispensable. He
it was who "swept the 'Aegean stable,'" arranged the archives in order,
and brought the register up to date. Always on the spot when he was
wanted, an indefatigable worker, and unswervingly loyal to his chief.
After nine years service he was promoted to be a vice-consul, but by
this time the Japanese had become so impressed with his value as a
surgeon and physician that they begged him to accept a salary more than
four times what he received from the Foreign Office, and he went where
his great qualities were likely to be of more use than in trying petty
police cases and drawing up trade reports of a city which never had any
foreign commerce. His gigantic stature made him conspicuous among all
the Europeans who have resided in Japan since the ports were opened, and
when I first knew him he was hardly five and twenty years of age. A man
endowed with an untiring power of application, accurate memory for words
and things, and brimful of good stories from the three kingdoms. Big men
are big-hearted, and he was no exception. We shall come across him again
repeatedly in the course of these reminiscences, and for the present
these few words must suffice.

Besides these, the legation staff included Russell Brooke Robertson and
myself, as student-interpreters.

Last, but not least, were the officers of the mounted escort and
infantry guard. The latter was commanded by Lieut. Price of the 67th
Regiment, and was soon replaced by fifty marines under the command of a
man widely known in the service to which he belonged as
"Public-spirited" Smith. I shall say more of him later on. The cavalry
escort consisted of a dozen men from the Military Train, a corps which
went by the honorary title of "Pig-drivers," and at their head was a
lieutenant, a good, harmless sort of fellow, whose only weakness was for
fine uniforms and showy horses. Not being learned in the extremely
complicated subject of military costume, full dress, half dress, and
undress, I cannot say what it was that he had adopted for himself, but
it was whispered about that he had been audacious enough to assume the
insignia of a field-officer, which is undoubtedly a serious offence
against discipline. However that may be, the blaze of gold which
decorated his person was wonderful to behold, and on at least one
occasion, when we were going in solemn procession to an audience of the
Tycoon, caused him to be mistaken for the Envoy by the Japanese
officials, who gave him the salutes that rightfully belonged to his less
conspicuously adorned diplomatic chief. To determine whether the
pleasure derived from this confusion of persons by the one outweighed
the mortification which might not unnaturally have been felt by the
other would have required a delicate moral balance, which was not
available at the moment; but judging from the relative scale of the two
men in other points of character, I am inclined to infer that the good
preponderated largely over the evil, and that applying consequently the
criterion so unfairly attributed to the utilitarians by their opponents,
we must arrive at the provisional conclusion that the lieutenant's
uniform was highly virtuous and worthy of the applause of mankind.

But it is time to quit this gossiping tone and speak of more serious
matters.



                              CHAPTER III

                     POLITICAL CONDITIONS IN JAPAN


AT this period the movement had already commenced that finally
culminated in what may fitly be called the Revolution of 1868, by which
the feudal system was destroyed and the old monarchical government
revived. The tendency of the times was as yet scarcely perceived by
foreigners, with but one or two exceptions. They generally supposed that
political strife had broken out between the sovereign and a few unruly
vassals dissatisfied with the treaties that permitted the sacred soil of
Japan to be defiled by the footsteps of "barbarians," and secured all
the profits of trade to the head of the State, the vassals being enabled
to defy their suzerain owing to his own feebleness and the incapacity of
his Ministers. It was still believed that the potentate in whose name
the Treaties had been concluded was the Temporal Sovereign, and that the
Mikado was little more than the head of the priesthood, or Spiritual
Emperor. This theory of the Japanese Constitution was almost as old as
the earliest knowledge of the country possessed by Europeans. Marco
Polo, indeed, says nothing of its system of government in the two short
chapters which he devotes to Zipangu, but the Jesuit missionaries who
laboured in Japan during the 16th and 17th centuries uniformly held the
Mikado to be a spiritual dignitary, and spoke of the Shôgun as the real
ruler of the country, the temporal king, and even Emperor. Kaempfer, the
best known and most often quoted of the authorities on Japan, writing at
the beginning of the 18th century, calls the two potentates
Ecclesiastical and Secular Emperors, and his example had, up to the time
I am writing of, been followed by all his successors without exception.
The truth is that the polity of the Japanese State had assumed already
in the 12th century the form which it was still displaying at the
beginning of the latter half of the 19th, and institutions which could
boast of such a highly respectable antiquity might well be supposed to
have taken a deep enough hold to be part and parcel of the national
life.

The history of Japan has still to be written. Native chronicles of the
Mikados and annals of leading families exist in abundance, but the
Japanese mind is only just now beginning to emancipate itself from the
thraldom of Chinese literary forms, while no European has yet attempted
a task which requires a training different from that of most men who
pursue an Eastern career. Until within the last two decades, the
literature of Japan was almost entirely unknown to Europeans, and the
existing keys to the language were ridiculously inadequate. The only
historical works accessible to foreigners were the scanty _Annales des
Dairi_, translated by Titsingh with the aid of native Dutch interpreters
and edited by Klaproth with a degree of bold confidence that nothing but
the position of a one-eyed man amongst the blind can give; and a set of
chronological tables, translated by Hoffman for Siebold's _Nippon_. It
is no wonder, therefore, if at the outset of Treaty relations, the
foreign representatives were at a loss to appreciate the exact nature of
the political questions that confronted them, and were unable to
diagnose the condition of the patient whose previous history was unknown
to them.

To trace in detail the development of the Japanese monarchy, from its
beginnings as a pure theocracy of foreign invaders, attracting to itself
the allegiance of a number of small tribal chieftains, the fusion of
these tribes with their conquerors into one seemingly homogeneous race,
the remodelling of the administration which followed upon the
introduction of Chinese laws and philosophy, the supplanting of the
native hero and native worship by the creed of Gautama, the rise of a
military caste brought about by the constant warfare with the barbarous
tribes in the east and north of the country, the rivalry of the Taira
and Minamoto clans, both sprung from base-born younger sons of the
Mikados, and the final suppression of the civil administration in the
provinces by the distribution of the country amongst the followers of
the Minamoto and their allies, would require a profound study of
documents which no one has yet undertaken. With the appointment of
Yoritomo to be Commander-in-Chief the feudal system was fully
established. The ancient official hierarchy still existed at Kiôto, but
in name only, exercising no influence whatever over the conduct of
affairs, and in the 14th century its functions were already so far
forgotten as to become the subject of antiquarian research. The civil
and penal codes borrowed from the great Empire of Eastern Asia fell into
disuse, and in part even the very traces of them perished. Martial law
reigned throughout the land, half the people were converted into a huge
garrison, which the other half toiled to feed and clothe. Reading and
writing were the exclusive accomplishments of the Buddhist priesthood
and of the impoverished nobles who formed the court of a Mikado shorn of
all the usual attributes of a sovereign, and a deep sleep fell upon the
literary genius of the nation. The absence of danger from foreign
invasion rendered the necessity of a strong central administration
unfelt, and Japan under the Shôguns assumed the aspect of Germany in the
middle ages, the soil being divided between a multitude of petty
potentates, independent in all but name, while their nominal head was
little better than a puppet.

This state of things lasted till the second quarter of the 14th century,
when an attempt was made under the Mikado Go-Daigo to re-establish the
pristine rule of the legitimate sovereigns. A civil war ensued that
lasted for over fifty years, until the Ashikaga family finally
established themselves in the office of hereditary Shôguns. Before long
they split up into two branches which quarrelled among themselves and
gave opportunity for local chiefs to re-establish their independence. In
the middle of the 16th century a soldier of fortune, Ota Nobunaga by
name, profited by the central position of the provinces he had acquired
with his sword to arrogate to himself the right of arbitrating between
the warlike leaders who had risen in every direction. After his
assassination a still greater warrior, known most commonly by the title
of Taicosama, carried on the work of pacification: every princelet who
opposed his authority was in turn subdued, and he might have become the
founder of a new line of "_maires du palais_." He died, however, before
time had sufficiently consolidated his position, leaving an
inexperienced youth heir to his power, under the tutelage of guardians
who speedily quarrelled. The most distinguished of these was Iyéyasu,
who, besides the vast domains which he had acquired in the neighbourhood
of Yedo, the modern Tôkiô, possessed all the qualities which fit a man
to lead armies and rule kingdoms. He had been Taicosama's sole remaining
competitor for power, and at the death of the latter naturally assumed
the most prominent position in the country. A couple of years sufficed
for the transference to him of all, and more than all, the authority
wielded by his two predecessors. No combination against him had any
chance of success. The decisive battle of Sekigahara in 1600 brought the
whole nation to his feet, and he made full use of this opportunity to
create checks upon the _Daimiôs_ of whose fidelity he was not
sufficiently assured, by grants of territories to his own friends and
followers, a few of the older families alone being allowed to retain
their ancient fiefs. Among these were Shimadzu in the south of Kiû-shiû,
Môri in the extreme west, and Daté, Nambu and Tsugaru in the northern
provinces of the main island. His own sons received portions in Owari,
Ki-shiû, Mito and elsewhere. In 1616, at Iyéyasu's death 19-20ths of the
whole country was held by his adherents. Thus there arose five or six
classes of barons, as they may best be called, to render their position
intelligible to the English reader. Firstly, there were the Three
Families descended from his most favoured sons, from whom according to
the constitution established by him in case of a default of direct
heirs, the successor to the Shôgunate was to be chosen (as a matter of
fact resort was had only to Ki-shiû when a break in the line occurred).
Next came the Related Families (_Kamon_) sprung from his younger sons,
and in the third place were ranked the Lords of Provinces (_Koku-shi_).
The members of these three classes enjoyed the revenue of fiefs
comprising one or more provinces, or lands of equivalent extent. Below
them in importance were the Hereditary Servants (_fu-dai_) and
Banner-men (_hatamoto_) composed as has been said before of the
immediate retainers of the Tokugawa family, and the Stranger Lords
(_tozama_), relics of the former barons, who had submitted to his
supremacy and followed his banner in his last wars. The qualification of
a _daimiô_ was the possession of lands assessed at a production of
10,000 _koku_ (=about 5 bushels) of rice and upwards. The _hatamotos_
were retainers of the Tokugawa family whose assessment was below 10,000
_koku_ and above 1000. Below them came the ordinary vassals
(_go-ke-nin_).

The fiefs of all classes of the _daimiôs_ were in their turn at first
partitioned out among their retainers, and called _Ke-rai_ in their
relation to their immediate lords, and _bai-shin_ (arrière vassals) as
being vassals of those who acknowledged the suzerainty of the Shôgun.
_Samurai_ and _ashigaru_ denoted the two ranks of sword-bearing
gentlemen and common soldiers among the retainers of the _daimiôs_. In
the end every retainer, except the _samurai_ of Satsuma, received an
annual allowance of so much rice, in return for which he was bound to
perform military service and appear in the field or discharge the
ordinary military duties required in time of peace, accompanied by
followers proportioned in number to his income. In Satsuma the feudal
sub-division of the land was carried out to the fullest extent, so that
the vassal of lowest rank held the sword in one hand and the hoe in the
other. No taxes were paid by any feudal proprietor. The _koku-shi_ and
other barons of equal rank ruled their provinces absolutely, levying
land-tax on the farmers and imposts on internal trade as they chose.
They had further the power of life and death, subject only to the
nominal condition of reporting once a year the capital sentences
inflicted by their officers. The other nobles were less independent.
Every _daimiô_ had to maintain an establishment at the capital, where
his wife and children resided permanently, while the lord passed
alternate years in Yedo and in his territories.

On his journeys to and fro he was accompanied by a little army of
retainers, for whose accommodation inns were built at every town on the
main roads throughout the country, and the expense involved was a heavy
tax on his resources. A strict system of etiquette regulated the
audiences with which the _daimiôs_ were favoured on their arrival and
departure, and prescribed the presents they were to offer as a symbol of
their inferiority. There was little social intercourse among them, and
they lived for the most part a life of extreme seclusion surrounded by
vast numbers of women and servants. A fixed number of hereditary
councillors (_karô_ and _yônin_) checked all initiative in the
administration of their fiefs. They were brought up in complete
ignorance of the outer world, and the strings of government were pulled
by the unseen hands of obscure functionaries who obtained their
appointments by force of their personal qualities. After a few
generations had passed the descendants of the active warriors and
statesmen of Iyéyasu's time were reduced to the state of imbecile
puppets, while the hereditary principle produced a similar effect on
their councillors. Thus arose in each daimiate a condition of things
which may be compared to that of a Highland clan, where the ultimate
power was based upon the feelings and opinions of a poor but
aristocratic oligarchy. This led to the surprising results of the
revolution of 1868, when the power nominally exercised by the chief
_daimiôs_ came to be wielded by the more energetic and intelligent of
their retainers, most of whom were _samurai_ of no rank or position.
These men it was who really ruled the clan, determined the policy of its
head and dictated to him the language he should use on public occasions.
The _daimiô_, it cannot be too often repeated, was a nobody; he
possessed not even as much power as a constitutional sovereign of the
modern type, and his intellect, owing to his education, was nearly
always far below par. This strange political system was enabled to hold
together solely by the isolation of the country from the outer world. As
soon as the fresh air of European thought impinged upon this framework
it crumbled to ashes like an Egyptian mummy brought out of its
sarcophagus.

The decline of the Mikado's power dates from the middle of the 9th
century, when for the first time a boy of nine years ascended the throne
of his ancestors. During his minority the country was governed by his
father-in-law, the chief of the ancient Fujiwara family, who contrived
for a long period to secure to themselves the power of setting up and
removing their own nominees just as suited their convenience. A similar
fate befel the institution of the Shôgunate. After the murder of
Yoritomo's last surviving son, the country was nominally ruled by a
succession of young princes, none of whom had emerged from the stage of
boyhood when appointed, and who were deposed in turn after a few years
of complete nullity, while the real heads of the government were the
descendants of Hôjô Tokimasa, Yoritomo's father-in-law. The vices of the
hereditary principle in their case had again full sway, and the later
Hôjô were mere puppets in the hands of their principal advisers. A
revolution in favour of the Mikado overthrew this system for a short
interval, until the Shôgunate was restored for a time to reality by the
founder of the Ashikaga family. But after the lapse of a few years its
power was divided between Kiôto and Kamakura, and the two heads of the
family fell under the dominating influence of their agents the
_Kwan-rei_ Uyésugi and Hosokawa.

Towards the end of the Ashikaga period the Shôgun had become as much an
empty name as the Mikado himself, and the country was split up among the
local chieftains. The bad condition of the internal communications
between the provinces and the capital probably contributed to this state
of things. Iyéyasu was the first to render consolidation possible by the
construction of good military roads. The governmental system erected by
him seemed calculated to ensure the lasting tranquillity of the country.
But the hereditary principle again reasserted its influence. The third
Shôgun, Iyémitsu, was a real man. Born four years after the battle of
Sekigahara and already twelve years of age when his grandfather died in
the year succeeding his final appearance in the battlefield, he had the
education of a soldier, and to his energy was owing the final
establishment of the Tokugawa supremacy on a solid basis. Iyéyasu and
his successor had always been in the habit of meeting the _daimiôs_ on
their visits to Yedo outside the city. Iyémitsu received them in his
palace. He gave those who would not submit to their changed position the
option of returning home, and offered them three years for preparation
to try the ordeal of war. Not a single one ventured to resist. But he
was succeeded by his son Iyétsuna, a boy of ten. During Iyétsuna's
minority the government was carried on in his name by his Council of
State, composed of Hereditary Servants (_fu-dai daimiôs_), and the
personal authority of the head of the Tokugawa family thus received its
first serious blow. But worse than that, the office of chief councillor
was from the first confined to four baronial families, Ii, Honda,
Sakakibara and Sakai, and the rôjiû or ordinary councillors were
likewise _daimiôs_.

On them the hereditary principle had, in the interval between the close
of the civil wars and the accession of the fourth Shôgun, produced its
usual result. Nominally the heads of the administration they were
without any will of their own, and were guided by their own hereditary
councillors, whose strings were pulled by someone else. The real power
then fell into the hands of ministers or _bu-giô_, chosen from the
_hatamoto_ or lesser vassals, and many of these were men of influence
and real weight. Still with them the habit of delegating authority into
the hands of anyone of sufficient industry and energy to prefer work to
idleness, was invincible, and in the end the dominions of the Tokugawa
family came to be ruled by the _Oku go-yû-hitsu_ or private secretaries.
The machine in fact had been so skilfully constructed that a child could
keep it turning. Political stagnation was mistaken for stability.

Apart from one or two unsuccessful conspiracies against the government,
Japan experienced during 238 years the profoundest tranquillity. She
resembled the sleeping beauty in the wood, and the guardians of the
public safety had a task not more onerous than that of waving a fan to
keep the flies from disturbing the princess's slumbers. When her dreams
were interrupted by the eager and vigorous West the ancient, decrepit
and wrinkled watchers were found unfit for their posts, and had to give
way to men more fit to cope with the altered circumstances which
surrounded them.

Socially the nation was divided into two sections by a wide gulf which
it was impossible to pass. On the one hand the sword-bearing families or
gentry, whose frequent poverty was compensated for by their privileges
of rank, on the other the agricultural, labouring and commercial
classes; intermarriage was forbidden between the orders. The former were
ruled by the code of honour, offences against which were permitted to be
expiated by self-destruction, the famous _harakiri_ or disembowelment,
while the latter were subject to a severe unwritten law enforced by
cruel and frequent capital punishment. They were the obedient humble
servants of the two-sworded class.

Japan had already made the experiment of free intercourse with European
states in the middle of the 16th century, when the merchants and
missionaries of Portugal were welcomed in the chief ports of Kiû-shiû,
and Christianity bade fair to replace the ancient native religions. They
were succeeded by the Spaniards, Dutch and English, the two latter
nations confining themselves however to commerce. The gigantic
missionary undertakings of the two great English-speaking communities of
the far West were the creation of a much later time. It will be
recollected that in 1580 Spain for a time absorbed Portugal. The Roman
Catholics began before long to excite the enmity of the Buddhist and
Shintô priesthood, whose temples they had caused to be pulled down and
whose revenues they seemed on the point of usurping. Nobunaga had
favoured them, but in the civil wars that raged at that period the
principal patrons of the Jesuits were overthrown, and the new ruler
Taicosama soon proclaimed his hostility to the strangers. Their worst
offence was the refusal of a Christian girl to become his concubine.
Iyéyasu, a devout Buddhist, pursued the same religious policy as his
predecessor in possession of the ruling power. His dislike to
Christianity was stimulated by the fact that some of Hidéyori's
adherents were Christians, and the young prince Hidéyori was himself
known to be on friendly terms with the missionaries. The flame was
fanned by the Dutch and English, now become the hereditary political
foes of Spain, and the persecution was renewed with greater vigour than
ever. Missionaries were sought out with eager keenness, and in the
company of their disciples subjected to cruel tortures and the most
horrible deaths. The fury of persecution did not relax with Iyéyasu's
disappearance from the scene, and the final act of the drama was played
out in the time of his grandson.

An insurrection provoked by the oppression of the local _daimiôs_ broke
out in the island of Amakusa, where thousands of Christians joined the
rebel flag. After a furious struggle the revolt was put an end to on the
24th February, 1638, by the assault and capture of the castle of
Shimabara, when 37,000 people, two-thirds of whom were women and
children, were put to the sword. It is hardly possible to read the
native accounts of this business without a feeling of choking
indignation at the ruthless sacrifice of so many unfortunate creatures
who were incapable of defence, and whose only crime was their wish to
serve the religion which they had chosen for their rule of life. The
Portuguese were forbidden ever to set foot again in Japan. The English
had previously retired from a commercial contest in which they found
their rivals too fortunate and too skilful, and the edict went forth
that the Dutch, who now alone remained, should thenceforth be confined
to the small artificial island of Déshima, off the town of Nagasaki,
where for the next 2-1/4 centuries they and the Chinese were permitted
to carry on a restricted and constantly diminishing trade. Attempts were
made once or twice by the English, and early in the present century by
the Russians, to induce the government of Japan to relax their rule, but
in vain. The only profit the world has derived from these abortive
essays is the entrancing narrative of Golownin, who was taken prisoner
in Yezo in connection with a descent made by Russian naval officers in
revenge for the rejection of the overtures made by the Russian envoy
Resanoff, perhaps the most lifelike picture of Japanese official manners
that is anywhere to be met with. No further approaches were made by any
Western Government until the United States took the matter in hand in
1852.



                               CHAPTER IV

          TREATIES--ANTI-FOREIGN SPIRIT--MURDER OF FOREIGNERS


THE expedition of Commodore Perry to Loochoo and Japan was not the first
enterprise of its kind that had been undertaken by the Americans. Having
accomplished their own independence as the result of a contest in which
a few millions of half-united colonists had successfully withstood the
well-trained legions of Great Britain and her German mercenaries (though
not, it may be fairly said, without in a great measure owing their
success to the very efficient assistance of French armies and fleets),
they added to this memory of ancient wrongs a natural fellow-feeling for
other nations who were less able to resist the might of the greatest
commercial and maritime Power the world has yet seen. While sympathising
with Eastern peoples in the defence of their independent rights, they
believed that a conciliatory mode of treating them was at least equally
well fitted to ensure the concession of those trading privileges to
which the Americans are not less indifferent than the English.

In 1836 they had despatched an envoy to Siam and Cochin-China, who was
successful in negotiating by peaceful methods a treaty of commerce with
the former state. In China, like the other western states, they had
profited by the negotiations which were the outcome of the Opium War,
without having to incur the odium of using force or the humiliation of
finding their softer methods prove a failure in dealing with the
obstinate conservatism of Chinese mandarins. For many years their eyes
had been bent upon Japan, which lay on the opposite side of the Pacific
fronting their own state of California, then rising into fame as one of
the great gold-producing regions of the globe. Warned by the fate of all
previous attempts to break down the wall of seclusion that hemmed in the
'country of the gods,' they resolved to make such a show of force that
with reasonable people, unfamiliar with modern artillery, might prove as
powerful an argument as theories of universal brotherhood and the
obligations imposed by the comity of nations. They appointed to the
chief command a naval officer possessed of both tact and determination,
whose judicious use of the former qualification rendered the employ of
the second unnecessary. Probably no one was more agreeably surprised
than Commodore Perry at the comparative ease with which, on his second
visit to the Bay of Yedo, he obtained a Treaty, satisfactory enough as a
beginning. No doubt the counsels of the Dutch agent at Nagasaki were not
without their effect, and we may also conjecture that the desire which
had already begun to manifest itself among some of the lower _Samurai_
for a wider acquaintance with the mysterious outer world was secretly
shared by men in high positions. Fear alone would not have induced a
haughty government like that of the Shôguns to acquiesce in breaking
through a law of restriction that had such a highly creditable antiquity
to boast of.

Most men's motives are mixed, and there was on the Japanese side no very
decided unwillingness to yield to a show of force, which the pretext of
prudence would enable them to justify. England and Russia, then or
shortly afterwards at war, followed in the wake of the United States.
Next an American Consul-General took up his residence at Shimoda, to
look after the interests of whaling vessels, and skilfully made use of
the recent events in China to induce the Shôgun's government to extend
the concessions already granted. In 1858 the China War having been
apparently brought to a successful conclusion, Lord Elgin and the French
Ambassador, Baron Gros, ran across to Japan and concluded treaties on
the same basis as Mr. Harris, and before long similar privileges were
accorded to Holland and Russia. In 1859 the ports of Nagasaki, Hakodaté
and Yokohama were thrown open to the trade of the Five Powers, and a new
age was inaugurated in Japan.

It was not without opposition that the Shôgun's government had entered
into its first engagements with the United States, Great Britain and
Russia. An agitation arose when the first American ships anchored in the
Bay of Yedo, and there were not wanting bold and rash men ready to
undertake any desperate enterprise against the foreign invaders of the
sacred soil of Japan. But at this time there was no leader to whom the
malcontents could turn for guidance. The Mikado was closely watched by
the Shôgun's resident at Kiôto, and the _daimiôs_ were divided among
themselves. The principal opponent was the ex-Prince of Mito, whose
constitutional duty was to support the Shôgun and aid him with his
counsels in all great national crises.

During the presence of Commodore Perry the reigning Shôgun Iyéyoshi had
fallen ill, and he died not long after the squadron had sailed. He was
succeeded by his son Iyésada, a man of 28, who does not seem to have
been endowed with either force of character or knowledge of the world.
Such qualities are not to be expected from the kind of education which
fell to the lot of Japanese princes in those days.

In view of the expected return of the American ships in the following
year, forts were constructed to guard the sea-front of the capital, and
the ex-Prince of Mito was summoned from his retirement to take the lead
in preparing to resist the encroachments of foreign powers. By a curious
coincidence, this nobleman, then forty-nine years of age, was the
representative of a family which for years had maintained the
theoretical right of the Mikado to exercise the supreme government, and
was at the same time strongly opposed to any extension of the limited
intercourse with foreign countries then permitted. Nor can it be
wondered that Japan, who had so successfully protected herself from
foreign aggression by a policy of rigid exclusion, and which had seen
the humiliation of China consequent upon disputes with a Western Power
arising out of trade questions at the very moment when she was being
torn by a civil war which owed its origin to the introduction of new
religious beliefs from the West, should have believed that the best
means of maintaining peace at home and avoiding an unequal contest with
Europe, was to adhere strictly to the traditions of the past two
centuries. But when the intrusive foreigners returned in the beginning
of the following year, Japan found herself still unprepared to repel
them by force. The treaty was therefore signed, interdicting trade, but
permitting whalers to obtain supplies in the three harbours of Nagasaki,
Hakodaté and Shimoda, and promising friendly treatment to shipwrecked
sailors.

While making these unavoidable concessions, the Japanese buoyed
themselves up with the belief that their innate superiority could enable
them easily to overcome the better equipped forces of foreign countries,
when once they had acquired the modern arts of warfare and provided
themselves with a sufficient proportion of the ships and weapons of the
nineteenth century. From that time onwards this was the central idea of
Japan's foreign policy for many years, as the sequel will show. Even at
this period there were a few who would have willingly started off on
this new quest, and two Japanese actually asked Commodore Perry to give
them a passage in his flagship. They were refused, and their zeal was
punished by their own government with imprisonment. The residence of Mr.
Harris at Shimoda and the visit which he insisted on paying to the
capital created fresh difficulties for the advisers of the Shôgun.
Written protests were delivered by non-official members of his council,
and he was obliged at last to ask the Mikado's sanction to the treaties,
in order to strengthen his own position. This invocation of the Mikado's
authority may fairly be called an innovation upon ancient custom.
Neither Nobunaga, Hidéyoshi nor Iyéyasu had thought it necessary to get
their acts approved by him, and Iyéyasu granted trade privileges
entirely on his own responsibility, without his right to do so ever
being questioned. This reference to Kiôto is the first sign of the
decadence of the Shôgun's power.

The supremacy of the Mikado having been once admitted, his right to a
voice in the affairs of the country could no longer be disputed. His
nobles seized the opportunity, and assumed the attitude of obstruction,
which has always been a powerful weapon in the hands of individuals and
parties. One man out of a dozen, of sufficient determination, can always
force the others to yield, when his position is legal, and cannot be
disturbed by the use of force. On the one hand, Mr. Harris pressed for a
revision of the treaty and the concession of open ports at Kanagawa and
Ozaka; on the other was the Court, turning an obstinately deaf ear to
all proposals. In its desperation the Shôgun's government appointed to
be Prime Minister, or Regent as he was called by foreigners, the
descendant of Iyéyasu's most trusted retainer, the _daimiô_ Ii Kamon no
Kami of Hikoné, and Mr. Harris, as has already been said, skilfully
turning to account the recent exploits of the combined English and
French squadrons in the Chinese seas, obtained his treaty, achieving a
diplomatic triumph of the greatest value purely by the use of "moral"
pressure. The English, French, Russian and Dutch treaties followed. The
Shôgun stood committed to a policy from which his new allies were not
likely to allow of his receding, while to the anti-foreign party was
imparted a consistency that there had previously been little chance of
its acquiring.

Scarcely was the ink of these engagements dry, when the Shôgun, who had
been indisposed for some weeks past, was gathered to his fathers,
leaving no heir. According to the custom which had been observed on two
previous occasions when there had been a break in the direct line, a
prince was chosen from the house of Ki-shiû to be his successor. The
ex-Prince of Mito, and several of his sympathisers among the leading
nobles, namely, Hizen, Owari, Tosa, Satsuma and the Daté of Uwajima, a
man of abilities superior to the size of his tiny fief in Shikoku, had
desired to choose a younger son of Mito, who had been adopted into the
family of Hitotsubashi. But the Prime Minister was too strong for them.
He insisted on the election of his own nominee, and forced his opponents
to retire into private life. Thus to their disapproval of the political
course adopted by the Shôgunate, was added a personal resentment against
its chief minister, and this feeling was shared in a remarkable degree
by the retainers of the disgraced nobles. A bloody revenge was taken two
years later on the individual, but the hostility to the system only
increased with time, and in the end brought about its complete ruin.

Mito was the ringleader of the opposition, and began actively to
intrigue with the Mikado's party against the head of his own family. The
foreigners arrived in numbers at Kanagawa and Yokohama, and affronted
the feelings of the haughty _samurai_ by their independent demeanour, so
different from the cringing subservience to which the rules of Japanese
etiquette condemned the native merchant. It was not long before blood
was shed. On the evening of the 26th August, six weeks after the
establishment at Yedo of the British and American Representatives, an
officer and a seaman belonging to a Russian man-of-war were cut to
pieces in the streets of Yokohama, where they had landed to buy
provisions. In November, a Chinese servant belonging to the French
vice-consul was attacked and killed in the foreign settlement at
Yokohama. Two months later, Sir R. Alcock's native linguist of the
British Legation was stabbed from behind as he was standing at the
gateway of the British Legation in Yedo, and within a month more two
Dutch merchant captains were slaughtered in the high street at Yokohama.
Then there was a lull for eight or nine months, till the French
Minister's servant was cut at and badly wounded as he was standing at
the gate of the Legation in Yedo. On the 14th January, 1861, Heusken,
the Secretary of the American Mission, was attacked and murdered as he
was riding home after a dinner-party at the Prussian Legation. And on
the night of July 5 occurred the boldest attempt yet made on the life of
foreigners, when the British Legation was attacked by a band of armed
men and as stoutly defended by the native guard. This was a considerable
catalogue for a period of no more than two years since the opening of
the ports to commerce. In every case the attack was premeditated and
unprovoked, and the perpetrators on every occasion belonged to the
swordbearing class. No offence had been given by the victims to those
who had thus ruthlessly cut them down; they were assassinated from
motives of a political character, and their murderers went unpunished in
every instance. Japan became to be known as a country where the
foreigner carried his life in his hand, and the dread of incurring the
fate of which so many examples had already occurred became general among
the residents. Even in England before I left to take up my appointment,
we felt that apart from the chances of climate, the risk of coming to an
untimely end at the hands of an expert swordsman must be taken into
account. Consequently, I bought a revolver, with a due supply of powder,
bullets and caps. The trade to Japan in these weapons must have been
very great in those days, as everyone wore a pistol whenever he ventured
beyond the limits of the foreign settlement, and constantly slept with
one under his pillow. It was a busy time for Colt and Adams. But in all
the years of my experience in Japan I never heard of more than one life
being taken by a revolver, and that was when a Frenchman shot a
carpenter who demanded payment for his labour in a somewhat too
demonstrative manner. In Yedo I think we finally gave up wearing
revolvers in 1869, chiefly because the few of us who resided there had
come to the conclusion that the weight of the weapon was inconvenient,
and also that if any bloodthirsty two-sworded gentleman intended to take
our lives, he would choose his time and opportunity so as to leave us no
chance of anticipating his purpose with a bullet.

In the spring of 1862 Sir Rutherford Alcock returned to England on leave
of absence, and Colonel Neale was left in charge. As I have said before,
disbelieving in the validity of the reasons which had led the Minister
to remove his official residence to Yokohama, the Chargé d'Affaires
reestablished himself at the temple formerly occupied as the British
Legation. On the anniversary, according to the Japanese calendar, of the
attack referred to on a previous page, some Commissioners for Foreign
Affairs in calling upon Colonel Neale, congratulated him and themselves
on the fact that a whole year had elapsed since any fresh attempt had
been made on the life of a foreigner. It was not unnatural, therefore,
that in the first impulse of indignation at the savage and bloody
slaughter of the sentry and corporal almost at his bedroom door, he
should have conceived the suspicion that the visit of the Commissioners
and their language in the morning, had been intended to put him off his
guard, and that consequently the Japanese government, or rather the
Shôgun's ministers, were implicated in what looked like a barbarous act
of treachery that deprived the Japanese nation of all right to be
regarded as a civilized community; more especially as the native watch
had been recently changed, and fresh men substituted for those who had
fought so well in defence of Sir Rutherford Alcock the year before. But
on reflection it will easily be seen that there was no real
justification for such a belief. The assassin was one of the guard.
After the murder of the two Englishmen he returned to his quarters and
there committed suicide by ripping himself up in the approved Japanese
fashion. We may be sure that if his act had been the result of a
conspiracy, he would not have been alone. Ignorant as the Shôgun's
ministers may have been, and probably were, of the sacred character of
an envoy, it was not their interest to bring upon themselves the armed
vengeance of foreign powers at a moment when they were confronted with
the active enmity of the principal clans of the west. I think they may
be entirely absolved from all share in this attempt to massacre the
inmates of the English Legation. But on the other hand it seems highly
probable that the man's comrades were aware of his intention, and that
after his partial success they connived at his escape. But he had been
wounded by a bullet discharged from the pistol of the second man whom he
attacked, and drops of blood on the ground showed the route by which he
had made his way out of the garden. As his identity could not be
concealed, he had to commit suicide in order to anticipate the penalty
of death which the Shôgun's government could not have avoided inflicting
on him. The apparent cognisance of the other men on guard (who were what
our law would call accessories before the fact), and the fact that
nevertheless they took no share in his act, is consonant with the
statement that he was merely accomplishing an act of private revenge.
His selection of the darkness of night seems to indicate that he hoped
to escape the consequences. Willis said that when he arose and looked
out, the night was pitch dark. It was the night before full moon, and in
the very middle of what is called in Japan the rainy season. He informed
me that there was a high wind and that heavy black clouds were drifting
over the sky. The stormy weather and the lateness of the hour (11 to 12
o'clock) might perhaps account for the native lanterns which were hung
about the grounds having ceased to give any light, but even under those
circumstances it is a little suspicious that the guard should have
neglected to replace the burnt out candles.

It was at Taku on our way down from Peking that Robertson, Jamieson and
I heard of this new attack on the legation. I believe our feeling was
rather one of regret that we had lost the opportunity of experiencing
one of the stirring events which we had already learnt to regard as
normally characteristic of life in Japan. It certainly did not take us
by surprise, and in no way rendered the service less attractive. But
Jamieson had found a better opening in Shanghai, and the remaining two
went on to Yokohama as soon as they could get a passage.



                               CHAPTER V

                 RICHARDSON'S MURDER--JAPANESE STUDIES


THE day after my arrival at Yokohama I was taken over to Kanagawa and
introduced to the Rev. S. R. Brown, an American Missionary, who was then
engaged in printing a work on colloquial Japanese, and to Dr J. C.
Hepburn, M.D., who was employed on a dictionary of the language. The
former died some years ago, but the latter is at this moment (1886)
still in Japan,[2] bringing out the third edition of his invaluable
lexicon and completing the translation of the Bible on which he has been
occupied for many years. In those days we had either to take a native
sculling boat for an _ichibu_ across the bay to Kanagawa or ride round
by the causeway, the land along which the railway now runs not having
been filled in at that time. Natives used to cross by a public ferry
boat, paying a _tempô_ (16-1/2 to the _ichibu_) a-piece, but no
foreigner was ever allowed to make use of the cheaper conveyance. If he
was quick enough to catch the ferryboat before it had pushed off, and so
seize a place for himself, the boatmen simply refused to stir. They
remained immovable, until the intruder was tired of waiting, and
abandoned the game. It was only after a residence of some years, when I
had become pretty fluent in the language and could argue the point with
the certainty of having the public on my side, that I at last succeeded
in overcoming the obstinacy of the people at the boathouse who had the
monopoly of carrying foreigners. There was in those days a fixed price
for the foreigner wherever he went, arbitrarily determined without
reference to the native tariff. At the theatre a foreigner had to pay an
_ichibu_ for admittance, and was then thrust into the "deaf-box," as the
gallery seats are called, which are so far from the stage that the
actors' speeches are quite indistinguishable. The best place for both
seeing and hearing is the _doma_, on the area of the theatre, close in
front of the stage. On one occasion I walked into the theatre, and took
my place in one of the divisions of the _doma_, offering to pay the
regular price. No, they would not take it. I must pay my _ichibu_ and go
to the foreigner's box. I held out, insisting on my right as one of the
public. Did I not squat on the floor with my boots off, just like
themselves? Well then, if I would not come out of that, the curtain
would not rise. I rejoined that they might please themselves about that.
In order to annoy a single foreigner, they would deprive the rest of the
spectators of the pleasure they had paid to enjoy. So I obstinately kept
my place, and in the end the manager gave way. The "house" was amused at
the foreigner speaking their language and getting the best of the
argument, and for the rest of my time in Yokohama I had no more
difficulty in obtaining accommodation in any part of the theatre that I
preferred.

    [2] Dr Hepburn died in 1911.

In those days the Yokohama theatre used to begin about eleven o'clock in
the morning and keep open for twelve hours. A favourite play was the
_Chiu-Shin-Gura_, or _Treasury of Faithful Retainers_, and the
_Sara-Yashiki_, or the _Broken Plate Mansion_. The arrangement of the
interior, the fashion of dress and acting, the primitive character of
the scenery and lights, the literary style of the plays have not
undergone any changes, and are very unlikely to be modified in any
marked degree by contact with European ideas. There is some talk now and
then of elevating the character of the stage and making the theatre a
school of morals and manners for the young, but the good people who
advocate these theories in the press have not, as far as I know,
ventured to put them to practical proof, and the _shibai_ will, I hope,
always continue to be what it always has been in Japan, a place of
amusement and distraction, where people of all ages and sizes go to
enjoy themselves without caring one atom whether the incidents are
probable or proper, so long as there is enough of the tragic to call
forth the tears which every natural man sheds with satisfaction on
proper occasions, and of the comic by-turns to give the facial muscles a
stretch in the other direction.

On the 14th September a most barbarous murder was committed on a
Shanghai merchant named Richardson. He, in company with a Mrs Borradaile
of Hongkong, and Woodthorpe C. Clarke and Wm. Marshall both of Yokohama,
were riding along the high road between Kanagawa and Kawasaki, when they
met with a train of _daimiô's_ retainers, who bid them stand aside. They
passed on at the edge of the road, until they came in sight of a
palanquin, occupied by Shimadzu Saburô, father of the Prince of Satsuma.
They were now ordered to turn back, and as they were wheeling their
horses in obedience, were suddenly set upon by several armed men
belonging to the train, who hacked at them with their sharp-edged heavy
swords. Richardson fell from his horse in a dying state, and the other
two men were so severely wounded that they called out to the lady: "Ride
on, we can do nothing for you." She got safely back to Yokohama and gave
the alarm. Everybody in the settlement who possessed a pony and a
revolver at once armed himself and galloped off towards the scene of
slaughter.

Lieut.-Colonel Vyse, the British Consul, led off the Legation mounted
escort in spite of Colonel Neale's order that they should not move until
he or their own commander gave the word. M. de Bellecourt, the French
Minister, sent out his escort, consisting of a half-dozen French
troopers; Lieut. Price of the 67th Regiment marched off part of the
Legation guard, accompanied by some French infantry. But amongst the
first, perhaps the very first of all, was Dr Willis, whose high sense of
the duty cast on him by his profession rendered him absolutely fearless.
Passing for a mile along the ranks of the men whose swords were reeking
with the blood of Englishmen, he rode along the high road through
Kanagawa, where he was joined by some three or four more Englishmen. He
proceeded onwards to Namamugi, where poor Richardson's corpse was found
under the shade of a tree by the roadside. His throat had been cut as he
was lying there wounded and helpless. The body was covered with sword
cuts, any one of which was sufficient to cause death. It was carried
thence to the American Consulate in Kanagawa, where Clarke and Marshall
had found refuge and surgical aid at the hands of Dr Hepburn and later
on of Dr Jenkins, our other doctor. There was only one British
man-of-war lying in the harbour, but in the course of the evening
Admiral Küper arrived in his flagship, the _Euryalus_, with the
gun-vessel _Ringdove_. The excitement among the foreign mercantile
community was intense, for this was the first occasion on which one of
their own number had been struck down. The Japanese sword is as sharp as
a razor, and inflicts fearful gashes. The Japanese had a way of cutting
a man to pieces rather than leave any life in him. This had a most
powerful effect on the minds of Europeans, who came to look on every
two-sworded man as a probable assassin, and if they met one in the
street thanked God as soon as they had passed him and found themselves
in safety.

It was known that Shimadzu Saburô was to lie that night at Hodogaya, a
post-town scarcely two miles from Yokohama. To surround and seize him
with the united forces of all the foreign vessels in port would, in
their opinion, have been both easy and justifiable, and viewed by the
light of our later knowledge, not only of Japanese politics but also of
Japanese ideas with regard to the right of taking redress, they were not
far wrong. In the absence of any organised police or military force able
to keep order among the turbulent two-sworded class it cannot be doubted
that this course would have been adopted by any Japanese clan against
whom such an offence had been committed, and the foreign nationalities
in Japan were in the same position as a native clan. They were subject
to the authorities of their own country, who had jurisdiction over them
both in criminal and civil matters, and were responsible for keeping
them within the bounds of law and for their protection against attack. A
meeting was called at Hooper's (W. C. Clarke's partner) house under the
presidency of Colonel F. Howard Vyse, the British Consul, when, after an
earnest discussion and the rejection of a motion to request the foreign
naval authorities to land 1000 men in order to arrest the guilty
parties, a deputation consisting of some of the leading residents was
appointed to wait on the commanding officers of the Dutch, French and
English naval forces and lay before them the conclusions of the meeting.
The British admiral, however, declined to act upon their suggestion, but
consented to attend another meeting which was to be held at the
residence of the French Minister at 6 a.m. on the following morning. The
deputation then went to Colonel Neale, who with great magnanimity waived
all personal considerations and promised to be present also. The idea
had got abroad amongst the foreign community that Colonel Neale could
not be trusted to take the energetic measures which they considered
necessary under the circumstances. In fact, they found fault with him
for preserving the cool bearing which might be expected from a man who
had seen actual service in the field and which especially became a man
in his responsible situation, and they thought that pressure could be
put upon him through his colleagues and the general opinion of the other
foreign representatives. But in this expectation they were disappointed.
At the meeting Colonel Neale altogether declined to authorise the
adoption of measures, which, if the Tycoon's government were to be
regarded as the government of the country, would have amounted virtually
to making war upon Japan, and the French Minister expressed an opinion
entirely coinciding with that of his colleague. Calmer counsels
prevailed, and Diplomacy was left to its own resources, arrangements,
however, being made by the naval commanders-in-chief to patrol the
settlement during the night and to station guard-boats along the
sea-front to communicate with the ships in case of an alarm.

Looking back now after the lapse of nearly a quarter of a century, I am
strongly disposed to the belief that Colonel Neale took the best course.
The plan of the mercantile community was bold, attractive and almost
romantic. It would probably have been successful for the moment, in
spite of the well-known bravery of the Satsuma _samurai_. But such an
event as the capture of a leading Japanese nobleman by foreign sailors
in the dominions of the Tycoon would have been a patent demonstration of
his incapacity to defend the nation against the "outer barbarian," and
would have precipitated his downfall long before it actually took place,
and before there was anything in the shape of a league among the clans
ready to establish a new government. In all probability the country
would have become a prey to ruinous anarchy, and collisions with foreign
powers would have been frequent and serious. Probably the slaughter of
the foreign community at Nagasaki would have been the immediate answer
to the blow struck at Hodogaya, a joint expedition would have been sent
out by England, France and Holland to fight many a bloody battle and
perhaps dismember the realm of the Mikados. In the meantime the commerce
for whose sake we had come to Japan would have been killed. And how many
lives of Europeans and Japanese would have been sacrificed in return for
that of Shimadzu Saburô?

I was standing outside the hotel that afternoon, and on seeing the
bustle of men riding past, inquired what was the cause. The reply, "A
couple of Englishmen have been cut down in Kanagawa," did not shock me
in the least. The accounts of such occurrences that had appeared in the
English press and the recent attack on the Legation of which I had heard
on my way from Peking had prepared me to look on the murder of a
foreigner as an ordinary, every-day affair, and the horror of bleeding
wounds was not sufficiently familiar to me to excite the feelings of
indignation that seemed to animate every one else. I was secretly
ashamed of my want of sympathy. And yet, if it had been otherwise, such
a sudden introduction to the danger of a horrid death might have
rendered me quite unfit for the career I had adopted. This habit of
looking upon assassination as part of the day's work enabled me later on
to face with equanimity what most men whose sensations had not been
deadened by a moral anæsthetic would perhaps have considered serious
dangers. And while everyone in my immediate surroundings was in a state
of excitement, defending Vyse or abusing Colonel Neale, I quietly
settled down to my studies.

In those days the helps to the acquisition of the Japanese language were
very few. A thin pamphlet by the Rev. J. Liggins, containing a few
phrases in the Nagasaki dialect, a vocabulary compiled by Wm. Medhurst,
senior, and published at Batavia many years before; Rodriguez' _Japanese
Grammar_, by Landresse; a grammar by MM. Donker Curtius and Hoffmann in
Dutch, and a French translation of it by Léon Pagès; a translation by
the latter of part of the Japanese-Portuguese Dictionary of 1603;
Hoffmann's dialogues in Japanese, Dutch and English; Rosny's
_Introduction à la langue Japonaise_, were about all. And but few of
these were procurable in Japan. I had left London without any books on
the language. Luckily for me, Dr S. R. Brown was just then printing his
_Colloquial Japanese_, and generously allowed me to have the first few
sheets as they came over at intervals from the printing office in
Shanghai. A Japanese reprint of Medhurst's vocabulary, which could be
bought in a Japanese bookshop that stood at the corner of Benten-Dôri
and Honchô Itchôme, speedily proved useless. But I had a slight
acquaintance with the Chinese written characters and was the fortunate
possessor of Medhurst's Chinese-English Dictionary, by whose help I
could manage to come at the meaning of a Japanese word if I got it
written down. It was very uphill work at first, for I had no teacher,
and living in a single room at the hotel, abutting too on the bowling
alley, could not secure quiet. The colonel ordered us, Robertson and
myself, to attend every day at the "office" (we did not call it the
chancery then) to ask if our services were required, and what work we
had consisted chiefly of copying despatches and interminable accounts.
My handwriting was, unfortunately for me, considered to be rather better
than the average, and I began to foresee that a larger share of clerical
work would be given to me than I liked. My theory of the duty of a
student-interpreter was then, and still is, to learn the language first
of all. I considered that this order would be a great interruption to
serious work if he insisted upon it, and would take away all chances of
our learning the language thoroughly. At last I summoned up courage to
protest, and I rather think my friend Willis encouraged me to do this;
but I did not gain anything by remonstrating. The colonel evidently
thought I was frightfully lazy, for when I said that the office work
would interfere with my studies, he replied that it would be much worse
for both to be neglected than for one to be hindered. At first there was
some idea of renting a house for Robertson and myself, but finally the
Colonel decided to give us rooms at one end of the rambling two-storied
building that was then occupied as a Legation. It stood at the corner of
the bund and the creek, where the Grand Hotel now is, and belonged to a
man named Hoey, who took advantage of my inexperience and the love of
books he had discovered to be one of my weaknesses to sell me an
imperfect copy of the _Penny Cyclopædia_ for more than a complete one
would have cost at home. I used to play bowls sometimes with Albert
Markham (of Arctic fame), who was then a lieutenant on board H.M.S.
_Centaur_, and Charles Wirgman, the artist-correspondent of the
_Illustrated London News_. Towards the end of October we induced the
colonel to consent to our getting two lessons a week from the Rev. S. R.
Brown, and to allow us to engage a native "teacher," at the public
expense. So we had to get a second, and pay for him out of our own
pockets. He also agreed to leave us the mornings free for study up to
one o'clock. A "teacher," it must be understood, does not mean a man who
can "teach." In those days, at Peking and in Japan also, we worked with
natives who did not understand a word of English, and the process by
which one made out the meaning of a sentence was closely akin to that
which Poe describes in the _Gold Beetle_ for the decyphering of a
cryptograph. Through my "boy," who was equally ignorant of English, I
got hold of a man who explained that he had once been a doctor, and
having nothing to do at the moment would teach me Japanese without any
pay. We used to communicate at first by writing down Chinese characters.
One of his first sentences was literally "Prince loves men, I also
venerate the prince as a master"; prince, as I afterwards divined, being
merely a polite way of saying _you_. He said he had lots of dollars and
_ichibus_ and would take nothing for his services, so I agreed with him
that he should come to my room every day from ten to one. However, he
never presented himself again after the first interview.

    [Illustration: SIR ERNEST SATOW
    1869]

    [Illustration: SIR ERNEST SATOW
    1903]

My "boy" turned out to be what I considered a great villain. I had at an
early date wanted one of the native dictionaries of Chinese characters
with the Japanese equivalents in _Katakana_. I sent him out to buy one,
but he shortly returned and said that there were none in the place, and
he must go over to Kanagawa, where he would be sure to find what I
wanted. After being out the whole day, he brought me a copy which he
said was the only one to be found and for which he charged me four
_ichibus_, or nearly two dollars. This was just after my arrival, when I
was new to the place and ignorant of prices. Six weeks afterwards, being
in the bookseller's shop, I asked him what was the price of the book,
when he replied that he had asked only 1-1/2 _ichibu_. My boy had taken
it away and returned next day to say that I had refused to give more
than one, which he consequently accepted. Unconscionable rascal this,
not content with less than 300 per cent. of a squeeze! I found out also
that he had kept back a large slice out of money I had paid to a
carpenter for some chairs and a table. He had to refund his illicit
gains, or else to find another place.

After a time I got my rooms at the Legation and was able to study to my
heart's content. The lessons which Mr. Brown gave me were of the
greatest value. Besides hearing us repeat the sentences out of his book
of _Colloquial Japanese_ and explaining the grammar, he also read with
us part of the first sermon in the collection entitled _Kiu-ô Dôwa_, so
that I began to get some insight into the construction of the written
language. Our two teachers were Takaoka Kanamé, a physician from
Wakayama in Ki-shiû, and another man, whose name I forget. He was stupid
and of little assistance. Early in 1863 Robertson went home on sick
leave, and I had Takaoka Kanamé to myself. In those days the
correspondence with the Japanese Government was carried on by means of
Dutch, the only European tongue of which anything was known. An absurd
idea existed at one time that Dutch was the Court language of Japan.
Nothing was farther from the truth. It was studied solely by a corps of
interpreters attached to the Dutch settlement at Nagasaki, and when
Kanagawa and Hakodaté were opened to foreign trade, some of these
interpreters were transferred to those ports. On our side we had
collected with some difficulty a body of Dutch interpreters. They
included three Englishmen, one Cape Dutchman, one Swiss, and one real
Dutchman from Holland, and they received very good pay. Of course it was
my ambition to learn to read, write, and speak Japanese, and so to
displace these middlemen.

So Takaoka began to give me lessons in the epistolary style. He used to
write a short letter in the running-hand, and after copying it out in
square character, explain to me its meaning. Then I made a translation
and put it away for a few days. Meanwhile I exercised myself in reading,
now one and now the other copy of the original. Afterwards I took out my
translation and tried to put it back into Japanese from memory. The plan
is one recommended by Roger Ascham and by the late George Long in a
preface to his edition of the de Senectute, etc., which had been one of
my school books. Before long I had got a thorough hold of a certain
number of phrases, which I could piece together in the form of a letter,
and this was all the easier, as the epistolary style of that time
demanded the employment of a vast collection of merely complimentary
phrases. I also took writing lessons from an old writing-master, whom I
engaged to come to me at fixed hours. He was afflicted with a watery
eye, and nothing but a firm resolve to learn would ever have enabled me
to endure the constant drip from the diseased orbit, which fell now on
the copy-book, now on the paper I was writing on, as he leant over it to
correct a bad stroke, now on the table.

There are innumerable styles of caligraphy in Japan, and at that date
the _on-ye-riû_ was in fashion. I had unluckily taken up with the
mercantile form of this. Several years afterwards I changed to a teacher
who wrote a very beautiful hand, but still it was _on-ye-riû_. After the
revolution of 1868 the _kara-yô_, which is more picturesque and
self-willed, became the mode, and I put myself under the tuition of
Takasai Tanzan, who was the teacher of several nobles, and one of the
half dozen best in Tôkiô. But owing to this triple change of style, and
also perhaps for want of real perseverance, I never came to have a good
handwriting, nor to be able to write like a Japanese; nor did I ever
acquire the power of composing in Japanese without making mistakes,
though I had almost daily practice for seven or eight years in the
translation of official documents. Perhaps that kind of work is of
itself not calculated to ensure correctness, as the translator's
attention is more bent on giving a faithful rendering of the original
than on writing good Japanese. I shall have more to say at a later
period as to the change which the Japanese written language has
undergone in consequence of the imitation of European modes of
expression.

The first occasion on which my knowledge of the epistolary style was put
into requisition was in June 1863, when there came a note from one of
the Shogun's ministers, the exact wording of which was a matter of
importance. It was therefore translated three times, once from the Dutch
by Eusden, by Siebold with the aid of his teacher from the original
Japanese, and by myself. I shall never forget the sympathetic joy of my
dear Willis when I produced mine. There was no one who could say which
of the three was the most faithful rendering, but in his mind and my own
there was, of course, no doubt. I think I had sometime previously
translated a private letter from a Japanese to one of our colleagues who
had left Yokohama; it must have been done with great literalness, for I
recollect that _sessha_ was rendered "I, the shabby one." But it could
not be made use of officially to testify to my progress in the language.

After the Richardson affair the Tycoon's government erected guardhouses
all along the Tôkaidô within Treaty limits, and even proposed to divert
the trains of the _daimiôs_ to another route which ran through the town
of Atsugi, but this project fell through. Foreigners were in the habit
of using it for their excursions, but Robertson and I had to pass along
it twice a week on our way to and from our Japanese lesson at Mr.
Brown's, and though determined not to show the white feather, I always
felt in passing one of these trains that my life was in peril. On one
occasion as I was riding on the Tôkaidô for my pleasure, I met a tall
fellow armed with the usual two swords, who made a step towards me in
what I thought was a threatening manner, and having no pistol with me, I
was rather alarmed, but he passed on, content probably with having
frightened a foreigner. That is the only instance I can recollect of
even seeming intention on the part of a _samurai_ to do me harm on a
chance meeting in the street, and the general belief in the bloodthirsty
character of that class, in my opinion, was to a very great extent
without foundation. But it must be admitted that whenever a Japanese
made up his mind to shed the blood of a foreigner, he took care to do
his business pretty effectually.

My first experience of an earthquake was on the 2nd November of this
year. It was said by the foreign residents to have been a rather severe
one. The house shook considerably, as if some very heavy person were
walking in list slippers along the verandah and passages. It lasted
several seconds, dying away gradually, and gave me a slight sensation of
sickness, insomuch that I was beginning to fancy that a shaking which
lasted so long must arise from within myself. I believe the sensations
of most persons on experiencing a slight shock of earthquake for the
first time are very similar. It is usually held that familiarity with
these phenomena does not breed contempt for them, but on the contrary
persons who have resided longest in Japan are the most nervous about the
danger. And there is a reason for this. We know that in not very recent
times extremely violent shocks have occurred, throwing down houses,
splitting the earth, and causing death to thousands of people in a few
moments. The longer the interval that has elapsed since the last, the
sooner may its re-occurrence be looked for. We have escaped many times,
but the next will be perhaps our last. So we feel on each occasion, and
the anticipation of harm becomes stronger and stronger, and where we at
first used to sit calmly through a somewhat prolonged vibration, the
wooden joints of the house harshly creaking and the crockery rattling
merrily on the shelves, we now spring from our chairs and rush for the
door at the slightest movement.

My experiences in Japan of an exciting kind were pretty numerous, but, I
regret to say, never included a really serious earthquake, and those who
care to read more about the insignificant specimens that the country
produces now-a-days must be referred to the pages of the Seismological
Society's Journal and other publications of the distinguished geologist,
my friend Professor John Milne, who has not only recorded observations
on a large number of natural earthquakes, but has even succeeded in
producing artificial ones so closely resembling the real thing as almost
to defy detection.



                               CHAPTER VI

                         OFFICIAL VISIT TO YEDO


DURING the later months of 1862 a good deal of correspondence went
forward about the Itô Gumpei (murderer of the sentry and of the
corporal) affair and the Richardson murder, and Colonel Neale held
various conferences with the Shôgun's ministers. The diplomatic history
of these proceedings has been already recounted by Sir Francis Adams,
and as for the most part I knew little of what was going on, it need not
be repeated here. The meeting-place for the more important discussions
was Yedo, whither the Colonel used to proceed with his escort and the
larger portion of the Legation staff. Some went by a gunboat, others
rode up to the capital along the Tôkaidô. At that period and for several
years after, the privilege of visiting Yedo was by Treaty restricted to
the foreign diplomatic representatives, and non-official foreigners
could not cross the Rokugô ferry, half way between Kanagawa and Yedo,
except as the invited guest of one of the legations. And now all the
foreign ministers had transferred their residences to Yokohama in
consequence of the danger which menaced them at Yedo. We younger
members, therefore, appreciated highly our opportunities, and it was
with intense delight that I found myself ordered to accompany the chief
early in December on one of his periodical expeditions thither. We
started on horseback about one o'clock in the afternoon in solemn
procession, the party consisting of Colonel Neale, A von Siebold,
Russell Robertson, and myself, with Lieutenant Applin commanding the
mounted escort. It was a miserably cold day, but R. and I combated the
temperature by dropping behind to visit Mr. Brown on our way through
Kanagawa, and then galloping on after the others. They had evidently
been going at a foot's pace during the interval. At Kawasaki we
encountered an obstruction in the shape of an obstinate head ferryman,
who did not recognize the British Chargé d'Affaires, and refused to pass
us over. The men on guard at the watch-house commanding the ferry, on
seeing some of us approach to demand their assistance, ran away. The
Colonel fumed with wrath, but fortunately at this moment there arrived
in breathless haste a mounted officer from Kanagawa, who had followed us
of his own accord on hearing that the English Chargé d'Affaires had
passed without a Japanese escort. So the ferryman collected his men, and
we got over without further trouble. A couple of miles beyond the river
we came to the well-known gardens called _Mmé Yashiki_, the
plum-orchard, where we were waited on by some very pretty girls.
Everybody who travelled along the Tôkaidô in those days, who had any
respect for himself, used to stop here, in season or out of season, to
drink a cup of straw-coloured tea, smoke a pipe and chaff the
waiting-maids. Fish cooked in various ways and warm _saké_ (rice beer)
were also procurable, and red-faced native gentlemen might often be seen
folding themselves up into their palanquins after a mild daylight
debauch. Europeans usually brought picnic baskets and lunched there, but
even if they started late were glad of any excuse for turning in to this
charmingly picturesque tea-garden. Everyone now-a-days is familiar with
the Japanese plum-tree as it is represented in the myriad works of art
of these ingenious people, but you must see the thing itself to
understand what a joyful surprise it is to enter the black-paled
enclosure crowded with the oddly angular trees, utterly leafless but
covered with delicate pink or white blossoms which emit a faint
fragrance, and cover the ground with the snow of their fallen petals. It
is early in February that they are in their glory, on a calm day when
the sun shines with its usual brilliance at that season, while in every
shady corner you may find the ground frozen as hard as a stone. But to
my taste the plum-blossom looks better on a cloudy day against a dull
background of cryptomeria when you sit by a warm fire and gaze on it out
of window. In December, however, only the swelling buds are to be seen
stretching along the slender shoots of last spring. We proceeded on our
way without any special incident until we reached the notorious suburb
of Shinagawa, half consisting of houses, or rather palaces, of ill-fame,
where a drunken fellow who stood in the middle of the road and shouted
at us got a fall from one of the troopers, and so we reached the
Legation about sunset. The rest of the staff and the infantry guard, who
had come by sea, landed about an hour later.

The building occupied as the legation was part of a Buddhist temple,
Tô-zen-ji, behind which lay a large cemetery. But our part of it had
never been devoted to purposes of worship. Every large temple in Japan
has attached to it a suite of what we might call state apartments, which
are used only on ceremonial occasions once or twice in the year, but
from time immemorial it has been the custom to accommodate foreign
embassies in these buildings. A suitable residence for a foreign
representative could not otherwise have been found in Yedo. As a general
rule every Japanese, with the exception of the working classes, lives in
his own house, instead of renting it as do most residents in an European
capital. The only purely secular buildings large enough to lodge the
British Minister and his staff were the _Yashiki_ or "hotels" of
_Daimiôs_, but the idea of expropriating one of these nobles in order to
accommodate a foreign official was probably never mooted. There
remained, therefore, only the "state apartments" of some large monastery
as a temporary residence until a site could be obtained and the
necessary buildings constructed. Consequently there was no ground for
the reproach which one writer at least has urged against the foreign
ministers, that by turning sacred edifices into dwelling-houses they had
insulted the religious feelings of the Japanese people. In the early
years of our intercourse with Japan it is true that we were regarded as
unwelcome "intruders," but in native opinion we "polluted" the temples
by our presence no more than we should have "polluted" any other
residence that might have been assigned to us. Tô-zen-ji lay in the
suburb of Takanawa fronting the seashore, and was therefore conveniently
situated for communication with our ships, the smallest of which could
anchor just inside the forts, at a distance of perhaps a mile and a
half. Owing, however, to the shallowness of the bay, boats were unable
to get up to the landing place at low tide, and the assistance which
could have been rendered by a gunboat in the event of a sudden attack,
such as had been experienced in 1861, was absolutely _nil_. There
remained, however, the comfort derived from knowing that a refuge lay at
no great distance, and no doubt the appearance of a gunboat within the
line of forts that had been built to keep out foreign fleets produced a
considerable moral effect upon the general population, though
desperadoes of the sort that assaulted the guard in July 1861 would
certainly have been no whit deterred by any number of threatening
men-of-war which could not reach them. Behind the house there was a
small ornamental garden with an artificial pond for gold fish, on the
opposite side of which rose a hill covered with pine-trees. A good way
off from the quarters of the minister, and at the back of the cemetery
belonging to the temple, there was a small house named Jô-tô-an, which
was occupied by the senior chancery assistant. A tall bamboo fence cut
us off entirely from this part of the grounds, and joined the house at
either end. The rooms were not spacious, and very little attempt had
been made to convert them into comfortable apartments. I think there was
an iron stove or two in the principal rooms, but elsewhere the only
means of warming was a Japanese brasier piled up with red hot charcoal,
the exhalations from which were very disagreeable to a novice. The
native who wraps himself up in thick wadded clothes and squats on the
floor has no difficulty in keeping himself warm with the aid of this
arrangement, over which he holds the tips of his fingers. His legs being
crumpled up under him, the superficies he presents to the cold air is
much less than it would be if he sat in a chair with outstretched limbs
in European fashion. To protect himself against draughts he has a screen
standing behind him, and squats on a warm cushion stuffed with silk
wool. These arrangements enable him even in winter to sit with the
window open, so long as it has a southern aspect, and foreigners who
adopt the same system have made shift to get on. But if you are going to
live in Japan in European style, you must, in order to be moderately
warm during the winter months, replace the paper of the outer wooden
slides with glass, stop up the openwork above the grooves in which the
slides work that divide the rooms, and either build a fireplace or put
up an American stove. But even all this will not make you thoroughly
comfortable. Underneath you there are thick straw mats laid upon thin
and badly jointed boarding, through which the cutting north-west wind
rises all over the floor, while the keen draughts pierce through between
the uprights and the shrunken lath-and-plaster walls. The unsuitability
of such a building as a residence for the minister and his staff had
been perceived from the outset, and long negotiations, having for their
object the erection of a permanent legation, had by this time resulted
in the assignment of an excellent site, on which a complete series of
buildings was being constructed from English designs, but at the expense
of the Shôgun's government. Other sites in the immediate vicinity had
been given to the French, Dutch and Americans for the same purpose. All
these were carved out of what had been once a favourite pleasure resort
of the people of Yedo, whither in the spring all classes flocked to
picnic under the blossoms of the cherry-trees in sight of the blue
waters of the bay. Gotenyama was indeed a famous spot in the history of
the Shôgunate. In its early days the head of the State was wont to go
forth thither to meet the great _daimiôs_ on their annual entry into
Yedo, until Iyémitsu, the third of the line, to mark still more strongly
the supremacy to which he felt he could safely lay claim, resolved that
henceforward he would receive them in his castle, just like the rest of
his vassals. From that time the gardens had been dedicated to the public
use. But already before the foreign diplomats took up their abode in
Yedo, Gotenyama had been partially diverted from its original purpose,
and vast masses of earth had been carried off to form part of the line
of forts from Shinagawa to the other side of the junk channel that leads
into the river. The British minister's residence, a large two-storied
house, which from a distance seemed to be two, stood on an eminence
fronting the sea. Magnificent timbers had been employed in its
construction, and the rooms were of palatial dimensions. The floors were
lacquered, and the walls covered with a tastefully designed Japanese
paper. Behind and below it a bungalow had been erected for the Japanese
secretary, and a site had been chosen for a second, destined for the
assistants and students. On the southern side of the compound was an
immense range of stables containing stalls for 40 horses, and on the
second storey quarters for a portion of the European guard. Some slight
progress had been made with the buildings for the French and Dutch
legations. But we knew that the people disliked our presence there. The
official and military class objected to the foreigner being permitted to
occupy such a commanding position overlooking the rear of the forts, and
the populace resented the conversion of their former pleasure-ground
into a home for the "outer barbarians." To press on the completion of
the houses and to take possession was rightly considered an important
matter of policy. A deep trench was being dug round the enclosure, and a
lofty wooden palisade was built on the inner margin, which, it was
expected, would afford sufficient protection against a repetition of
such attacks as that of the 5th July 1861, and the British ensign was to
be hoisted again in Yedo as soon as the buildings should be ready for
occupation. We all looked forward to that event with the liveliest
feelings of anticipation, and for myself I anxiously expected its
arrival because Yokohama was a hybrid sort of town, that by no means
fulfilled my expectations, and I hoped before long to become a resident
of the famous city to which I had looked with longing eyes from the
other side of Europe.

We rode daily in the environs of Yedo, to the pretty tea-house at Oji,
which is depicted with such bright colours in Laurence Oliphant's book,
to the pond of Jiû-ni-sô on the road to Kô-shiû, to the other pond
called Senzoku half way to Mariko, and to the temple of Fudô at Meguro,
where the pretty damsels at the tea-houses formed more than half the
attraction. Within the city we made excursions to the temple of Kwannon
at Asakusa, then and for long afterwards the principal sight of interest
to the foreign visitor, to Atagoyama, where other pretty damsels served
a decoction of salted cherry-blossoms, and to the temple of Kanda Miôjin
for the view over the city. But the gorgeous mausoleums of the Shôguns
at Shiba and Uyeno were closed to the foreigner, and remained so up to
the revolution of 1868. We were allowed in riding back from Asakusa to
catch a passing glimpse of the lotus pond Shinobazu-no-iké, which is now
surrounded by a racecourse after the European manner, but the Fukiagé
Park, since known as the Mikado's garden, and the short cut through the
castle from the Sakurada Gate to the Wadagura Gate of the inner circle
were shut to us in common with the Japanese public. A large portion of
the city in the immediate neighbourhood of the castle, and large areas
in every quarter were occupied by the _Yashiki_ of _Daimiôs_ and
_Hatamotos_, of which little could be seen but long two-storied rows of
stern barrack-buildings surrounding the residence of the owner. From the
top of Atagoyama alone was it possible to get a view of the interior of
such enclosures, and it must be admitted that the knowledge thus gained
completely upset the idea that the nobles lived in palaces. Irregular
masses of low brown roofs and black weather-boarded walls alone were
visible. The use of telescopes was strictly forbidden on Atagoyama, lest
the people should pry into the domestic doings of their masters.
Wherever we went a band of mounted guards surrounded us, ostensibly for
our protection, but also for the purpose of preventing free
communication with the people. These men belonged to a force raised by
the Shôgun's ministers from the younger sons of the _hatamotos_, and
numbered 1000 or 1200. They wore the customary pair of swords (_i.e._ a
long and short sabre thrust through the belt on the left side), a round
flat hat woven from the tendrils of the wistaria, for the rank and file,
and a mound-shaped lacquered wooden hat for the officers, a mantle or
_haori_, and the wide petticoat-shaped trousers called _hakama_. Between
them and the members of the foreign legations there existed no tie of
any kind, for they were changed every fifteen days just like so many
policemen, and mounted guard indifferently at all the legations. It was
not until 1867 that I managed to break through this rule and get a
special body of men attached to myself. Small guardhouses were dotted
about the legation grounds for their accommodation. As soon as it became
known that a foreigner was about to go out on foot or on horseback,
half-a-dozen were detailed to follow him at all hazards. It was
impossible to escape their vigilance. They were to prevent our speaking
to any person above the rank of a common citizen or to enter a private
house. On one occasion two members of our legation managed a visit to
the father of a young _samurai_ named Kotarô, who lived with us to study
English. The fact was reported, and when the visitors went a second time
they found the occupants of the house had removed to another part of the
city. We were allowed to sit down in shops, and even to bargain for
articles that took our fancy; but two kind of purchases were strictly
prohibited, maps and the official list of _daimiôs_ and government
officials. Anything we bought had to be sent afterwards to the legation,
and delivered to the officials of the foreign department who lived
within our gates, and payment was made to them. On one occasion the
Prussian representative, Herr Max von Brandt, made a determined stand
against this prohibition. Entering the shop of the bookseller Okada-ya
in Shimmei Maye, where we foreigners were in the habit of buying books,
he inquired for the List of Daimiôs. The bookseller replied that he had
it not in stock. Herr von Brandt knew that he had, and announced his
intention of remaining there until he was furnished with what he
required. He sent a member of his party home to the Legation to bring
out the materials for luncheon, and sat determinedly down in the shop.
The guards were at their wits' end. At last they dispatched a messenger
to the castle to represent the impossibility of inducing him to give
way, and at last towards evening there came an order to say that for
this once the foreigner was to have the book. So the day was won. As a
matter of fact, however, it was never necessary to proceed to this
extremity, as we could easily procure what we wanted in the way of maps
and printed books through our Japanese teachers. MSS. were always a
difficulty. As nothing could be published without permission, any book
that touched upon governmental matters had from of old to be circulated
in MS. Amongst such works were the so-called "Hundred Laws of Iyéyasu,"
which were supposed to embody the constitution of the Japanese
government. The book contains references to offices of state that were
instituted after his time, and the utmost that can be alleged in its
favour is that it perhaps contains a few maxims from his lips and
certain rules as to the appointment of high political functionaries that
were observed in actual practice. There was another book, of undoubted
authenticity, containing a vast mass of administrative regulations, of
which I never obtained a copy until after the revolution, when it was no
longer of practical value. That MS. is now in the British Museum.
Another expedient for eluding the censorate was printing forbidden books
with moveable types. It was frequently resorted to during the last years
of the Shôgunate and at the beginning of the new rule of the Mikado,
especially for narratives of political events during that period and for
one or two important treatises on politics. Shimmei Maye was one of our
favourite resorts in those days; here were to be had cheap swords,
porcelain, coloured prints, picture-books and novels. I much regret that
I did not then begin to collect, when the blocks were comparatively
fresh; a complete set of Hokusai's Mangwa, in perfect condition, could
be had for a couple of dollars, and his Hundred Views of Fuji for about
a couple of shillings. But I had little spare cash for such luxuries,
and all my money went in necessaries.

Two days after our arrival in Yedo we paid a visit to the Gorôjiû, or
Shôgun's Council. The word means "August Elders." It was somewhat _infra
dig._ for a foreign representative to use the prefix _go_ in speaking of
them, but the phrase had been caught up from the Japanese who surrounded
the minister, and for a long time I believe it was thought that _go_
meant five. I unveiled the mistake, and when I afterwards became
interpreter to the Legation we adopted the practice of giving them the
bare _rôjiû_, except in addressing them direct, when etiquette demanded
the honorific. I was unprovided with anything in the shape of uniform,
and had to borrow a gold-laced forage cap from Applin. We came
afterwards to look with much contempt on these gauds, and to speak
derisively of "brass caps," but in 1862 I was young enough to take
considerable pride in a distinctive mark of rank, and after this
occasion lost no time in buying a bit of broad gold lace to wear like my
fellow officers. It was an imposing procession, consisting as it did of
half-a-dozen "brass caps," the military train escort of twelve men under
their gorgeous lieutenant, and a flock of about forty Japanese guards
hovering about us before, behind, and on either flank. In these days a
foreign representative may often be detected approaching the office of
the minister for foreign affairs without any suite, and in the humble
_jinrikisha_ drawn by one scantily clad coolie. The interview took place
in a long room in the house of one of the _rôjiû_. A row of small
black-lacquered tables extended down each side, and chairs were set for
the Japanese as well as the foreigners. On each table stood an earthen
brasier, a black-lacquered smoking-stand, with brass fire-pot and
ash-pit, and two long pipes, with a supply of finely cut tobacco in a
neat black box. Three of the ministers sat on the right side of the
room, and with them an _ometsuké_, whose title was explained to me to
mean spy. I suppose "censor" or "reporter" would be nearer. Below them
sat eight _gai-koku bu-giô_, or commissioners for foreign affairs. We
used to call them governors of foreign affairs, probably because the
governor of Kanagawa was also a _bu-giô_. In the centre of the room sat
a "governor" on a stool, while two interpreters (one of whom was
Moriyama Takichirô) squatted on the floor. The four higher Japanese
officers alone were provided with tables and chairs, the "governors"
sitting on square stools, with their hands in the plackets of their
trousers. After some complimentary talk about the weather and health,
which are _de rigueur_ in Japan, a double row of attendants in light
blue hempen robes (we used to term the upper part "wings") came in
bearing aloft black lacquer boxes full of slices of sponge cake and
_yôkan_ (a sweetened bean paste), and afterwards oranges and persimmons.
Then tea was served in two manners, simply infused, and also the
powdered leaf mixed up with hot water and frothed. The conversation
proceeded at a very slow pace, as it had to be transmitted through two
interpreters, ours who spoke Dutch and English, and theirs who spoke
Japanese and Dutch. This gave rise to misunderstandings, and the
Japanese ministers seemed every now and then to profit by this double
obstruction to answer very much from the purpose, so that Colonel
Neale's observations had to be repeated all over again, interpreted and
re-interpreted. Often the ministers would seem at a loss, whereupon one
of the "governors" would leave his stool and glide up to whisper
something in his ear. This proceeding reminded one of the flappers in
Laputa. The principal topic was the murder of the sentry and corporal
at Tô-zen-ji which has already been related. To all the demands made by
Colonel Neale, in accordance with the instructions he had received from
Lord Russell, the _rôjiû_ objected, and when he informed them that the
British Government required the payment of £10,000 in gold as an
indemnity to the families of the two murdered men, they opened their
eyes very wide indeed. They offered $3000. Colonel Neale at last lost
all patience, which no doubt was what they were aiming at. He gave them
a piece of his mind in pretty strong language, and the interview came to
an end, after, I suppose, a sitting of about three hours length, without
anything having been settled. I forget whether it was on this occasion
that Siebold literally translated the epithet "son of a gun" by _teppô
no musuko_; the adjective that preceded it he did not attempt to
translate, as it has not even a literal equivalent in Japanese. The way
in which the ministers contradicted themselves from time to time was
something wonderful, and the application of the good unmistakeable
Anglo-Saxon word for him who "says the thing that is not," was almost
venial.

Of course Colonel Neale did not omit to complain of the ferryman and the
guards at Kawasaki, who had run away instead of putting us over the
river, and Eusden in translating used the words _zij sloopen alle weg_,
which excited my risible muscles kept at too great a stretch through
these tedious hours. I whispered to my neighbour, "they all sloped
away"; a terrible frown from the old gentleman rebuked my indecorous
behaviour, and I was afterwards informed that I should never be allowed
thenceforth to be present on one of these solemn occasions. That was a
relief to me, but I confess I ought to have felt more contrite than I
did. At the age of nineteen and a half a boy is still a boy, but I ought
to have manifested more respect for my elders.

Early in February we received news that the legation buildings in
Gotenyama had been destroyed by fire on the night of the 1st. Many years
afterwards I learnt on the best possible authority that the incendiaries
were chiefly Chôshiû men belonging to the anti-foreign party; three at
least afterwards rose to high position in the state. These were Count
Itô, Minister President of State (1886); Count Inouyé Kaoru; who the
third was I forget. It need scarcely be said that they long ago
abandoned their views of the necessity of putting an end to the
intercourse of their country with the outside world, and they are now
the leaders of the movement in favour of the introduction into Japan of
whatever western institutions are adapted to the wants and wishes of the
people.

Willis and I were now living together in a wing of the legation house at
No. 20 on the Bund, and a young Japanese _samurai_ named Kobayashi
Kotarô messed with us. He had been placed under Willis' charge by the
Japanese Government in order to acquire the English language, and was a
nice boy, though perhaps not endowed with more than average abilities.
He disappeared to his home about the time that the ultimatum of the
British Government was presented to the Council of the Tycoon in the
spring of 1863, and we never heard of him again. I had the teacher
Takaoka Kanamé now all to myself, and was beginning to read Japanese
documents. Across the hills south of the settlement lived a priest who
knew something of the Sanskrit alphabet as used in Japan, and I used to
go once or twice a week to him for instruction, but these studies were
interrupted by the rumours of war that began soon to prevail; and the
lessons from the American missionary, Mr. Brown, also came to an end, as
I was now able to get on alone.



                              CHAPTER VII

           DEMANDS FOR REPARATION--JAPANESE PROPOSAL TO CLOSE
               THE PORTS--PAYMENT OF THE INDEMNITY (1863)


A VERY complete account of the murder of Richardson, and the failure of
the Japanese Government to afford satisfactory redress either for that
injury or for the attack on the Legation in June, had been sent home to
the Foreign Office, and in March 1863 Colonel Neale received
instructions to demand ample reparation from both the Tycoon and the
Prince of Satsuma. On the 6th April he sent Eusden up to Yedo on board
the gunboat "Havoc" to deliver a Note, demanding the payment of £10,000
in gold for the wives and families of Sweet and Crimp, an ample apology
for the other affair, and the payment of £100,000 as a penalty on the
Tycoon for allowing an Englishman to be murdered in his territory in
open daylight without making any effort to arrest the murderers. He
warned the Council that refusal would be attended with very deplorable
consequences to their country, and gave them twenty days to consider
their reply. This lengthened period was allowed on account of the
absence of the Tycoon and his chief advisers, who had left for Kiôto on
the 3rd. If at the conclusion of the term allotted no answer was
returned, or an unsatisfactory one was given, coercive measures would
immediately be taken. It was also intended that on the return of the
"Havoc" from Yedo, the "Pearl" should be despatched to Kagoshima to
demand of the Prince of Satsuma the trial and execution of the murderers
of Richardson in the presence of one or more English officers, and the
payment of £25,000 to be distributed to the relatives of Richardson, to
Marshall, Clarke and Mrs Borradaile.

On the 10th Eusden came back from Yedo, bringing a receipt for the note
and a refusal on the part of the Council to send an officer down to
Kagoshima to advise the Prince of Satsuma to admit the demands to be
made upon him. So the idea of despatching the "Pearl" was abandoned for
the moment, as it was impossible to foretell whether the Council would
give in. If they were obstinate, reprisals would at once, it was
thought, be commenced, and all our available force would be required to
coerce the Tycoon's people. Satsuma must be left to be dealt with
afterwards. So the Colonel waited until the 26th. By the 24th April we
had in the harbour the "Euryalus," 35 guns, bearing the flag of Admiral
Küper, the "Pearl," 21 guns, "Encounter," 14 (commanded by the brave
Roderick Dew), "Rattler," 17, "Argus," 6, "Centaur," 6, and 3 gunboats.
The despatch boats "Racehorse" and "Ringdove" were employed in
travelling backwards and forwards between Yokohama and Shanghai with the
mails, and the "Coquette" was daily expected from Hongkong.

But as was to be anticipated, the Council begged for further delay. They
asked for thirty days, and Colonel Neale gave them fifteen.

My teacher Takaoka, who had private relations with the _yashiki_ of the
Prince of Ki-shiû, said they had never expected to get more than a
fortnight, and as they felt certain the English Chargé d' Affaires would
cut down their demands, they asked for double. He believed that the only
motive for the delay was to gain time for preparation, and that war was
certain. In the native quarter it was rumoured that the English had
asked for the delay, which had been graciously granted by the Council;
otherwise we should have been attacked the very day after the term
elapsed. The inhabitants of Yedo expected war, and began to remove their
valuables into the country. Young Kotarô had been carried off by his
mama about the 20th. At Uraga, the little junk-port just outside the
entrance to the bay of Yedo, there was a panic, and the people were said
to have decamped with all their movable property to Hodogaya on the
Tôkaidô. On the other hand, there was some alarm felt in the foreign
settlement. Meetings were held at which resolutions were passed to the
effect that it was the duty of the executive to provide for the safety
of the European residents. At the same time the merchants declared their
intention of not leaving the settlement unless specially called on to do
so by Colonel Neale, as they believed that if they deserted their
property without such an order, they would not be able to recover its
value afterwards in the event of its being destroyed. The precedent of
the opium surrendered to Captain Elliot, the British Superintendent of
Trade at Canton in 1839, was of course in their minds, and they acted
prudently in throwing the responsibility on the authorities.

On the 1st May the Council asked for another delay of fifteen days.
Eusden was sent up to Yedo with a message to the Council that before the
Colonel could grant their request they must send down to Yokohama one of
their number to receive an important communication which he had to make
to them. The native population now began to be seriously alarmed, and
the shopkeepers of Kanagawa removed their effects to Hodogaya so as to
be out of reach of a bombardment, and to secure a further retreat into
the interior, if necessary, by the cross-country paths. The 2nd of May
was the last day on which the Yokohama people were permitted by the
native authorities to send away their property to Yedo. The government
circulated a sensible proclamation from door to door telling them not to
be alarmed as there would be no war. At the same time notice was served
on the peasants within two miles of Yokohama to be prepared to give up
their houses to the troops, but as yet no soldiers had appeared on the
scene.

On the 4th and 5th May long conferences took place between the English
and French representatives and Admirals and two Commissioners for
Foreign Affairs, Takémoto Kai no Kami and Takémoto Hayato no Shô, who
had been deputed by the Council to explain the reasons why a further
delay was necessary. They probably represented that the difficulty in
acceding to the English demands arose from the opposition of the
_daimiôs_, for it seems that an offer was made to them that the English
and French forces should assist the Tycoon to quell the resistance of
the anti-foreign party, in order to enable him to carry out the promises
to which he was bound by treaty. They offered, it was reported, to pay
the money indemnity, disguising it under the ingenious fiction of
payment for a man-of-war ordered in England, and wrecked on its way out.
Finally an extension of time was accorded until the 23rd of May, in
order that the personal consent of the Tycoon, who was expected to
return by that date, might be obtained to the English ultimatum.

I rode out to Hodogaya on the afternoon of the 5th and met the train of
the wife of a _daimiô_ going westwards, but saw very few armed men other
than those who accompanied her. A rumour had got about that 10,000 men
were in the village and its neighbourhood, but the report was obviously
without foundation.

During the night of the 5th May there was a general exodus of all the
native servants employed in the foreign settlement. Many of them took
advantage of the occasion to "spoil the Egyptians." When Willis and I
rose in the morning and called for "boy" to bring breakfast, there was a
dead silence. I descended to the pantry and found it empty. Servants and
cook had gone off, carrying with them a revolver, a Japanese sword,
several spoons and forks which they doubtless imagined to be silver, and
the remains of last night's dinner wrapped in a table-cloth. This theft
was the more curious, as I had the day before entrusted my servant with
a considerable sum of native money to change into Mexican dollars, which
he had faithfully delivered to me. But we ought to have suspected their
intentions, as they had asked for an advance of half a month's wages,
and had contentedly received wages up to date. Takaoka and my groom were
faithful, so was also the messenger who went off into fits of
congratulation on learning that the petty cash-box, of which I had
charge, had not disappeared. It is much to the credit of the latter
class that they have often stuck by their masters on occasions of
trouble and even danger, when every one else has deserted the foreigner.

With some difficulty we procured some eggs and sponge cake, and I went
off to the customhouse to report the robbery. The officials, of course,
promised to find the thieves, but we never heard anything more of them
or of our property. All day long the townspeople continued to depart at
a great rate. I went down to the native town, where I found many of the
houses shut up, and at others everything ready packed for removal. Among
the rest my friend the bookseller, at the corner of Benten-dôri, had
taken to his heels. But during the afternoon a proclamation was issued
by the customhouse to tell the people that there would be no fighting,
and many of them returned. The excitement was great throughout the town,
both among foreigners and natives, and a lamentable instance of
hastiness occurred on the part of a Frenchman. A native merchant,
accompanied by two others, went to ask payment of a small debt that he
claimed, and on its being refused, tried to obtain the money by force.
Thereupon the Frenchman shot him, and two others, including the
vice-consul, also fired their revolvers. Four bullets passed through the
body of the unfortunate man, but without killing him. The French Admiral
was excessively angry. He at once arrested the merchant and had him
conveyed on board the flagship. Two Americans were likewise attacked,
and one of them was carried off halfway across the swamp by eight men,
who frightened him with a spear and an iron hook which they held over
his head. He was rescued by the tall sergeant of our legation guard, or
else he would probably have been severely beaten, if not killed, for the
Japanese were unable to distinguish between foreigners of different
nationalities.

On the 11th my teacher told me that a messenger had come to him from
Yedo, sent by a personage of high rank, who desired to learn
confidentially the intentions of the English Chargé d'Affaires, and
whether he was disposed to await the return of the Tycoon, which would
not be for three or four months, before taking hostile measures. In that
case the high personage, who was superior in rank to the Council, would
agree to issue a proclamation that a delay of a thousand days had been
agreed upon, which would have the effect of restoring tranquillity at
Yokohama. That if Colonel Neale, getting tired of these repeated delays,
should change the seat of the negotiations to Ozaka, the high personage
would have to perform _hara-kiri_, which he rather wished to avoid, as a
penalty for failing to induce the foreigner to listen to his
representations. I communicated this to Colonel Neale, and the reply
sent was that he could not consent to wait so long as three months.

The Council had announced the return of the Tycoon for the 24th May, and
Colonel Neale had replied that under the circumstances he would give
time for "His Majesty's" settling down again at home, but on the 16th a
note was received from them stating that circumstances had arisen which
prevented their fixing any date whatever for his arrival at Yedo. This
seemed to point to an indefinite postponement of a settlement, but the
Colonel's patience was not even yet exhausted. This accorded with what
my teacher had told me. The high personage turned out to be the Prince
of Owari. Takaoka now said that having transmitted Colonel Neale's
answer to Kiôto, he would no longer be under the necessity of committing
suicide, as he had been able to show that he was not responsible for the
foreigner's obstinacy.

Up to the 16th the general feeling was that the Council would give way,
but the demand for a further postponement of the Japanese answer did not
tend to encourage the hope of a peaceful settlement. A Japanese friend
told me that the Tycoon could not by any means accept the assistance of
foreign powers against the _daimiôs_, and that the abolition of the
Mikado's dignity was impracticable. If we attacked Satsuma the Tycoon
and _daimiôs_ would be bound to make common cause with him. I suppose
the idea of the foreign diplomatic representatives at that time was to
support the Tycoon, whose claim to be considered the sovereign of Japan
had already been called in question by Rudolph Lindau in his "Open
Letter" of 1862, against the anti-foreign party consisting of the Mikado
and _daimiôs_, and if necessary to convert him into something more than
a mere feudal ruler. For we had as yet no idea of the immense potency
that lay in the mere name of the sovereign _de jure_, and our studies in
Japanese history had not yet enabled us to realize the truth that in the
civil wars of Japan the victory had as a rule rested with the party that
had managed to obtain possession of the person of the Mikado and the
regalia. There has probably never been any sovereign in the world whose
title has rested upon so secure a basis as that of the ancient emperors
of Japan.

On the 25th another conference took place between the English and French
diplomatic and naval authorities on the one side, and Takémoto Kai no
Kami and a new man named Shibata Sadatarô on the other. The latter began
by thanking the foreign representatives in the name of the Tycoon for
their offer of material assistance, which he was, however, compelled to
decline, as he must endeavour to settle the differences between the
_daimiôs_ and himself by his own unaided forces and authority. As to
the indemnity, the Tycoon's government recognized that the demand was
just, but they were afraid to pay immediately, as their yielding would
bring the _daimiôs_ down upon them. But they offered to pay the money by
instalments in such a manner as not to attract public notice, and the
further discussion of the details was put off to a future occasion.
Probably Colonel Neale did not care very much how the matter was
arranged, provided he could show to Her Majesty's Government that he had
carried out his instructions. So the basis of an understanding was
arrived at, and it was further conceded that the foreign
representatives, that is those of England and France, should take
measures to defend Yokohama from attack by the anti-foreign party.

Colonel Neale had written to Major-General Brown, who was in command at
Shanghai, applying for a force of two thousand men, but a despatch now
arrived from the general stating his inability and objections to
furnishing any troops. It was said that he had ridiculed the idea of a
military expedition against Japan long before Colonel Neale proposed it
to him. Nevertheless the establishment of a garrison of English troops
at Yokohama was merely delayed by this refusal, and after Sir Rutherford
Alcock's return to Japan in the spring of 1864 good reasons were given
to the same general why he should change his mind.

All this time there existed considerable alarm with respect to the aims
and intentions of a somewhat mysterious class of Japanese called
_rônin_. These were men of the two-sworded class, who had thrown up the
service of their _daimiôs_, and plunged into the political agitations of
the time, which had a two-fold object, firstly, to restore the Mikado to
his ancient position, or rather to pull down the Tycoon to the same
level as the great _daimiôs_, and secondly, the expulsion of "the
barbarians" from the sacred soil of Japan. They came principally from
the south and west of the country, but there were many from Mito in the
east, and a sprinkling from all the other clans. About the end of May
there was a rumour that they designed to attack Kanagawa, and the
Americans still living there were compelled to transfer their residence
to Yokohama, not, however, without "compensation for disturbance."

The Tycoon's people were naturally desirous of doing all that was
practicable to conciliate their domestic enemies, and turned such
rumours to account in the hope of being able to confine the foreigners
at Yokohama within a limited space, such as had formed the
prison-residence of the Dutch at Nagasaki in former times. Incidents,
too, were not wanting of a character to enforce their arguments. One of
the assistants of the English consulate was threatened with personal
violence by a couple of two-sworded men as he was entering a tea-house
on the hill at Kanagawa. He pulled out his pistol, and pointed it at
them, on which they drew back. Taking advantage of the opportunity he
ran down to the landing-place, where he got a boat and so returned in
safety to Yokohama. It was reported that the officials at the guardhouse
tried to prevent the boatmen from taking him across the bay, but however
this may be, they pacified his assailants, one of whom had half-drawn
his sword; and in those days we were always told that a _samurai_ might
not return his sword to the scabbard without shedding blood, so that the
affair was entitled to be ranked as very alarming.

At the beginning of June, in consequence of a report that half-a-dozen
_rônins_ were concealed in the place, the _betté-gumi_ (a body from
which the legation guards at Yedo were supplied), together with some
drilled troops, came down to Yokohama, and took up their quarters at
some newly erected buildings under Nogé hill, and from that date until
long after the revolution of 1868 we had constantly a native garrison. I
recognized among the former several men with whom I had become friends
during the visit to Yedo already narrated. Fresh additions were made to
the British squadron in the shape of two sloops, the "Leopard" and the
"Perseus." The rumours of warlike operations had died away, and it was
given out that the intention of directly enforcing our demands on
Satsuma had been abandoned, as the Tycoon had undertaken to see to that
part of the business, and it was believed also that to insist upon them
at present would give rise to a civil war.

On the 14th June there arrived at the legation in Yokohama Kikuchi Iyo
no Kami and Shibata Sadatarô, Commissioners for Foreign Affairs, to
complete arrangements for paying $440,000 (representing £110,000) in
seven instalments extending over six weeks, the first to be delivered on
the 18th. But on that day came a note of excuse from one of the Council
stating that unavoidable circumstances had arisen which prevented the
agreement being carried out, and that he himself would in a day or two
arrive at Yokohama to discuss matters with the English Chargé d'
Affaires. Colonel Neale very properly refused to hold any more
communications with the Tycoon's ministers, and after a couple of days'
consideration, finally placed the solution in the hands of Admiral
Küper. The latter, it was said, did not know what to do. He had never
seen a gun fired in action, and hardly appreciated the Colonel's
suggestion that he should at once proceed to seize the steamers lately
purchased in such numbers by the Japanese. The Council at Yedo now
became thoroughly frightened; they had temporized as long as possible,
and had worn out the patience of the English authorities. But they left
no stone unturned to avoid openly giving way, and Ogasawara himself came
down to Yokohama to bring the French Chargé d'Affaires and Admiral to
intercede. The latter, however, refused; insisted on the demands of
Great Britain being satisfied, and claimed that the defence of Yokohama
should be entrusted to them. Ogasawara had just returned from Kiôto with
an order from the Tycoon, dictated to him by the Mikado and the
anti-foreign element in the ancient capital, to make arrangements with
the foreign representatives for closing all the ports! For himself he
seemed to dislike his instructions, and even gave hints to the French
Chargé d'Affaires as to the nature of the reply which had best be given.
A pageful of notes of exclamation would not be sufficient to express the
astonishment of the foreign public of Yokohama when this extraordinary
announcement was made, but the presence of the combined squadrons in the
harbour relieved them from any anxiety as to the manner in which the
diplomatic representatives would reply to it.

The Japanese Government, having completely failed to persuade the French
authorities to intervene on their behalf, which would have indeed been
impossible when the request was accompanied by the preposterous demand
that foreigners should forthwith clear out of Yokohama, sent a message
to Colonel Neale at one a.m. on the morning of the 24th June to say that
the money should be paid, and requesting to be informed at what hour he
would receive it. The reply was that the original agreement to pay in
instalments, having been broken by the Japanese Government, was now null
and void, and that the whole must be delivered in the course of the day.
This was accordingly done; at an early hour carts laden with boxes
containing each a couple of thousand dollars began to arrive at the
legation. All the Chinese shroffs (men employed by merchants and bankers
in the Far East to examine coin to see whether it is genuine) were
borrowed to do the shroffing and counting. The chancery was crowded with
the intelligent Chinamen busily employed in clinking one coin against
another, and putting them up into parcels, to be replaced in the boxes
and carried off on board the squadron. The process occupied three days.
But already on the 24th Colonel Neale had addressed a letter to the
Admiral relieving him of the unwelcome task of undertaking coercive
operations.

   [Illustration: PAYMENT OF THE INDEMNITY FOR THE MURDER OF RICHARDSON]

The note, dated on the very day on which the indemnity was paid, in
which Ogasawara Dzusho no Kami (to give him his full title) had conveyed
to Colonel Neale the orders of the Tycoon to close the ports and expel
all foreigners from the country, was the first on which I was called to
exercise my capacity as a translator. Of course I had to get the help of
my teacher to read it, but my previous practice in the epistolary style
enabled me to understand the construction, and to give a closer version
perhaps than either of the others which were prepared in the legation.
This, to me supremely important, document ran as follows:--

    I communicate with you by a despatch.

    The orders of the Tycoon, received from Kiôto, are to the effect
    that the ports are to be closed and the foreigners driven out,
    because the people of the country do not desire intercourse with
    foreign countries. The discussion of this has been entirely
    entrusted to me by His Majesty. I therefore send you this
    communication first, before holding a Conference as to the
    details.

    Respectful and humble communication.

It is perhaps a little too literal. The opening phrase is simply
equivalent to the "Monsieur le Chargé d'Affaires," and the sentence with
which the note concludes is about the same thing as the "assurance of
high consideration," which we have borrowed from the French. But the
rest of it is accurate, and the allusion to the Mikado which appears in
the version made from the Dutch translation furnished by the Japanese
(_vide_ the Bluebook) had nothing to support it in the original text. I
cannot forbear from quoting the reply of Colonel Neale, though as far as
possible I intend in these "Reminiscences" not to rely on published
sources of information. It ran thus:--

    Lieutenant-Colonel Neale to the Japanese Minister for Foreign
    Affairs.

                                            Yokohama, June 24, 1863.

    The undersigned, Her Britannic Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires, has
    received, in common with his colleagues, and with extreme
    amazement, the extraordinary announcement which, under
    instructions from the Tycoon, His Excellency has addressed to
    him.

    Apart from the audacious nature of this announcement, which is
    unaccompanied by any explanations whatever, the Undersigned is
    bound to believe that both the Spiritual and Temporal sovereigns
    of this country are totally ignorant of the disastrous
    consequences which must arise to Japan by their determinations
    thus conveyed through you to close the opened ports, and to
    remove therefrom the subjects of the Treaty Powers.

    For himself, as Representative of Her Britannic Majesty, the
    Undersigned has to observe, in the first instance, that the
    Rulers of this country may perhaps still have it in their power
    to modify and soften the severe and irresistible measures which
    will, without the least doubt, be adopted by Great Britain most
    effectually to maintain and enforce its Treaty obligations with
    this country, and, more than this, to place them on a far more
    satisfactory and solid footing than heretofore, by speedily
    making known and developing any rational and acceptable plans
    directed to this end, which may be at present concealed by His
    Majesty the Tycoon or the Mikado, or by both, to the great and
    imminent peril of Japan.

    It is therefore the duty of the Undersigned solemnly to warn the
    Rulers of this country that when the decision of Her Majesty's
    Government, consequent upon the receipt of Your Excellency's
    announcement, shall have in due course been taken, the
    development of all ulterior determinations now kept back will be
    of no avail.

    The Undersigned has in the meantime to inform Your Excellency,
    with a view that you may bring the same to the knowledge of His
    Majesty the Tycoon, who will doubtless make the same known to
    the Mikado, that the indiscreet communication now made through
    Your Excellency is unparalleled in the history of all nations,
    civilized or uncivilized; that it is, in fact, a declaration of
    war by Japan itself against the whole of the Treaty Powers, and
    the consequences of which, if not at once arrested, it will have
    to expiate by the severest and most merited chastisement.

    With Respect and Consideration.

                                               EDWD. ST. JOHN NEALE.

With the exception of the lapse from the third person to the second, in
the second, third and fourth paragraphs, this note is well constructed,
and its periods nicely balanced. The language is perhaps rather stronger
than more modern taste would approve, but with a powerful, almost
overwhelming squadron of men-of-war at one's back, the temptation to
express one's feelings with frankness is not easy to resist.

What the writer meant by "rational and acceptable means" directed to the
end of placing the treaty obligations of Great Britain with Japan on a
more "satisfactory and solid footing than heretofore" can only be
conjectured. I think it is an allusion to the plan that had been mooted
of our affording material assistance to the Tycoon in suppressing the
opposition of the _daimiôs_ of the west and south to the pro-foreign
policy of the Japanese Government, and perhaps to a formal agreement
between the Tycoon and the Mikado that the latter should ratify the
treaties. Certainly the successful execution of such a plan would have
placed the Tycoon firmly in the seat of his ancestors, and have
forestalled the revolution of 1868 by which his successor was upset, but
it would not have been effected without enormous bloodshed, and the
Japanese people would have hated the ruler who had called in foreign aid
to strengthen his position. He could then only have maintained himself
there by the adoption of the severest measures of repression, and the
nation would have been subjected to a terrible and lasting despotism. It
is certainly a thing to rejoice at that the Tycoon's council had
sufficient patriotism to reject such an offer. The Japanese were left to
work out their own salvation, and when the revolution did at last break
out, the loss of life and property was restricted within narrow limits,
while the resulting benefits to the Japanese nation in the establishment
of civilized and comparatively free institutions have been such as would
have been for ever precluded had the suggestions of certain Europeans
been listened to.



                              CHAPTER VIII

                        BOMBARDMENT OF KAGOSHIMA


THUS one portion of the instructions sent out from home had been carried
into effect, and there now remained only the exaction of reparation from
the Prince of Satsuma. The demands to be made included, it will be
remembered, the trial and execution in the presence of English officers
of the murderers of Richardson, and the payment by the Prince of an
indemnity of £25,000 as compensation to Richardson's relatives and to
the three other members of the party who had been attacked. Marshall and
Clarke had recovered from their wounds, which in the case of the latter
were serious enough, as he had received a dangerous sword cut in the
shoulder, and Mrs Borradaile, who was not wounded, had returned to
China. The Tycoon's people were naturally desirous of having the
settlement with Satsuma left in their hands, but I suppose Ogasawara,
when pressed on the point by Colonel Neale, acknowledged that the
government were impotent in the matter, and the British Chargé
d'Affaires consequently assumed the responsibility of requesting the
Admiral to convey him and his staff to Kagoshima, in order to present
the demands he had been instructed to formulate.

The Admiral had at first been unwilling to send more than a couple of
ships, but it was finally determined that the squadron should consist of
H.M.S. "Euryalus," "Pearl," "Perseus," "Argus," "Coquette," "Racehorse,"
and the gunboat "Havoc." The whole staff of the legation, from Colonel
Neale down to myself, embarked on board the various ships, Willis and
myself being in the paddle-sloop "Argus," Commander Lewis Moore. The
weather on the voyage down was remarkably fine, and the squadron arrived
at the mouth of the Bay of Kagoshima, where it anchored for the night,
on the afternoon of the 11th August. Early on the following morning we
proceeded up the bay, and came to an anchor off the town.

A letter had been prepared beforehand stating the demands, which had
somehow or other been translated into Japanese by Siebold and his
teacher; it was a difficult document, and I fancy the Japanese version
did not read very well. A boat at once came off from the shore with two
officers, to whom the letter was delivered. In the afternoon of the
following day some other officials visited the flagship, and stated that
it was quite impossible to say when the answer would be given. The name
of the principal official who visited Colonel Neale on this occasion was
Ijichi Shôji. I knew him very well afterwards in Yedo. He and his
retinue of forty men came on board, after having exchanged a parting cup
of _saké_ with their prince, with the full design of making a sudden
onslaught upon the British officers, and killing at any rate the
principal ones among them; they intended in this way to make themselves
masters of the flagship. It was a bold conception, and might have been
successful but for the precautions taken on our side. Only two or three
were admitted into the Admiral's cabin, while the marines kept a
vigilant eye upon the retinue who remained on the quarter deck. While
they were still on board another boat arrived, whether with
reinforcements or orders to countermand the intended slaughter I do not
know, but Ijichi, after communicating with the men who came in her, said
he must return to the shore. In the evening a written reply was
received, the bearer of which was told to return on the following
morning to learn whether it was considered of a satisfactory character.

The letter on examination proved to contain a _fin de non recevoir_; it
said that the murderers could not be found, blamed the Tycoon for having
made treaties without inserting a clause to prevent foreigners from
impeding the passage of the prince along the highroads; spoke of delay
until the criminals could be arrested, captured, and punished, after
which the question of an indemnity could be discussed, and practically
referred the British Chargé d'Affaires back to the Yedo Government. When
the messenger arrived on the morning of the 14th, he was informed that
the reply was considered unsatisfactory, and that no further
communication would be held with the Japanese except under a flag of
truce. The Admiral then made a little trip up the bay to reconnoitre
some foreign-built steamers lying at anchor off Wilmot Point in the
plan, and take some soundings at the head of the bay beyond. On his
return in the afternoon the commanders of the various ships were
summoned on board the flagship to receive their instructions from the
Admiral. There was no intention on our part of immediately attacking the
batteries, but the Admiral probably supposed that by adopting reprisals,
that is taking possession of the steamers, he would induce the Satsuma
men to give some more satisfactory reply than that already received.

In pursuance of this plan, Captain Borlase in the "Pearl," with the
"Coquette," "Argus," and "Racehorse," proceeded to seize the steamers at
dawn of the 15th. We were, of course, very excited, and busily engaged,
as we approached, in estimating the probability of their offering
resistance; but as the "Argus" was laid alongside the "Sir George Grey,"
we saw the crew rapidly disappearing over the other side into shore
boats with which they had already provided themselves. No attempt was
made by us to take any prisoners, but two remained on board the "Sir
George Grey," who gave their names to me as Godai and Matsugi Kôwan. On
being transferred to the flagship they adopted the aliases of Otani and
Kashiwa. The former was a remarkably handsome man, with a noble
countenance, and was, I believe, the captain of the steamer. The
profession of the second was that of a physician; he had been to Europe
with the first Japanese embassy in 1862, and had in fact only just
returned. Both of them were afterwards well known, the first as a rather
speculative man of business who established indigo works at Ozaka with
capital borrowed from the Mikado's government, the second was for a
short time prefect of Yokohama in 1868, and afterwards Minister for
Foreign Affairs under the name of Terashima Munénori, and he still (in
1887) holds office at Tôkiô.

We returned, with our prizes lashed alongside, to the anchorage under
the island of Sakura Jima, whither the squadron had removed on the
afternoon of the 12th in order to be out of range of the guns in the
forts before the town, the "Euryalus" and "Pearl" lying about mid
channel, between us and the forts. Here we awaited the development of
events, which came sooner than was expected. The Japanese made no sign,
and we could not divine their intentions from the slight glimpses
obtainable of the movements on shore. But at noon the report of a gun
was suddenly heard, and immediately all the batteries opened fire upon
the squadron. Although it was raining and blowing like a typhoon, the
Admiral at once gave orders to engage, and made a signal to us and the
"Racehorse" and the "Coquette" to burn the prizes. On this we all rushed
on board our prize and began to plunder. I secured a Japanese matchlock
and a conical black war-hat (_jin-gasa_), but some of the officers found
money, silver _ichibus_ and gilt _nibus_. The sailors seized hold of
everything portable, such as looking glasses, decanters, benches and
even old pieces of matting. After about an hour of this disorder the
steamer was scuttled and set on fire, and we went to take up our order
in the line of battle. The plan shows how the line was formed.

Some time elapsed before we returned the fire of the Japanese, and it
was said that the tardiness of the flagship in replying to the first
shot of the Japanese (two hours) was due to the fact that the door of
the ammunition magazine was obstructed by piles of boxes of dollars, the
money paid for the indemnity being still on board. The "Perseus," which
was lying close under fort No. 9, had to slip her cable, and the anchor
was months afterwards recovered by the Satsuma people and returned to
us. Owing to this delay she had to take the last position in the line.
It was a novel sensation to be exposed to cannon shot, and the
boisterous weather did not add at all to one's equanimity. The whole
line went a little way up the bay, and then curving round to the left
returned along the northern shore at a distance of about 400 yards, each
vessel as she passed pouring her broadside into the successive forts.
About three quarters of an hour after the engagement commenced we saw
the flagship hauling off, and next the "Pearl" (which had rather lagged
behind) swerved out of the line. The cause of this was the death of
Captain Josling and Commander Wilmot of the "Euryalus" from a roundshot
fired from fort No. 7. Unwittingly she had been steered between the fort
and a target at which the Japanese gunners were in the habit of
practising, and they had her range to a nicety. A 10-inch shell exploded
on her main-deck about the same time, killing seven men and wounding an
officer, and altogether the gallant ship had got into a hot corner;
under the fire of 37 guns at once, from 10-inch down to 18 pounders. The
"Racehorse" having got ashore opposite fort No. 8, the "Coquette" and
"Argus" went back to tow her off, which we succeeded in doing after
about an hour's work. During this time she kept up a constant cannonade,
and the gunners in the fort were unable to do her any mischief. But at
one moment it was feared that she would have to be abandoned and set on
fire. I shall never forget the interest and excitement of the whole
affair, from the bursting of the shells high in the air against the grey
sky all round the flagship as she lay at anchor before we weighed, till
we came into action ourselves and could see first the belching forth of
flame from the middle of a puff of smoke, and then, strange to say, a
round black thing coming straight at us. This black thing, however,
suddenly rose high into the air just as it seemed about to strike us,
and passed overhead. The "Argus" was struck only three times, first in
the starboard gangway, then by a shot which went right through the
mainmast, but left it standing, and thirdly by a round shot near the
water line which penetrated about three inches, and then fell off into
the sea. By five o'clock we were all safely anchored again under Josling
point, except the "Havoc," which went off to set fire to five Loochooan
junks that were lying off the factories. Probably the latter were set on
fire by sparks from the junks, but credit was taken for their wilful
destruction. Under the impression that a large white building in the
rear of the town was the prince's palace, every effort was made to
destroy it, but it turned out afterwards to be a temple, and we learnt
that during the engagement the prince and his father had not been within
range. Rockets were also fired with the object of burning the town, in
which we were only too successful. The gale had increased to such a
height that all efforts on the part of the townspeople to extinguish the
flames must have been unavailing. It was an awful and magnificent sight,
the sky all filled with a cloud of smoke lit up from below by the
pointed masses of pale fire.

Our prize was still burning when we came back to our former anchorage,
and as she had 140 tons of coal on board she made a good bonfire. At
last she gave a lurch and went to the bottom. It was no doubt a great
disappointment to the sailors, for the steamers alone were worth
$300,000, and everyone would have had a good share of prize money if we
had been able to carry them off. It was rumoured that the prizes were
burnt at Colonel Neale's instance, who was very anxious, like the old
warrior that he was, that every ship should go into action unhampered.
It was also said that poor Captain Josling urged the Admiral against his
better judgment to fight that day, in spite of the adverse weather.

On Sunday morning the 16th August the bodies of Captain Josling,
Commander Wilmot and of the nine men who had lost their lives in the
action were buried in the sea. In the afternoon the squadron weighed
anchor and proceeded down the bay at slow speed, shelling the batteries
and town at long range until we left them too far behind. We anchored
for the night at some distance from the town, and on the 17th proceeded
to return to Yokohama. Most of us on board the "Argus," and I believe
the feeling was the same on board the other ships, came away bitterly
discontented.

The Japanese guns still continued firing at us as we left, though all
their shot fell short, and they might fairly claim that though we had
dismounted some of their batteries and laid the town in ruins, they had
forced us to retreat. Had we maintained the bombardment until every gun
was silenced, and then landed, or even lain off the town for a few days,
the opinion was that the demands would have been acceded to. Rumour said
that Colonel Neale was very anxious that the Admiral should land some
men and carry off a few guns as trophies of victory, but that he
declined to send a single man on shore. And men said that he was
demoralized by the death of his flag-captain and commander, with whom he
was talking on the bridge when the shot came that took off their heads.
But none of this appears in the official correspondence. I believe the
real explanation to be that differences had arisen between the
diplomatist and the sailor, the former of whom interfered too much with
the conduct of the operations. No doubt the etiquette was for him to
remain silent after he had placed matters in the hands of the Admiral,
but this the impetuosity of his nature would not permit him to do. It is
also possible that insufficiency of the supply of coals, provisions and
ammunition may have been a factor in the determination that was come to.
The Admiral in his report, which was published in the London "Gazette,"
took credit for the destruction of the town, and Mr. Bright very
properly called attention to this unnecessary act of severity in the
House of Commons; whereupon he wrote again, or Colonel Neale wrote, to
explain that the conflagration was accidental. But that I cannot think
was a correct representation of what took place, in face of the fact
that the "Perseus" continued to fire rockets into the town after the
engagement with the batteries was at an end, and it is also inconsistent
with the air of satisfaction which marks the despatch reporting that
£1,000,000 worth of property had been destroyed during the bombardment.

[Illustration: KAGOSIMA HARBOUR]

After the return of the squadron to Yokohama we settled down quietly
again, and the trade went on pretty much as usual; there were some
complaints that the Tycoon's council were laying hands on all the raw
silk destined for exportation, with a view doubtless of forcing up the
price and so recouping themselves out of foreign pockets for the
indemnities they had been forced to pay to the British Government. But
on a strong protest being made to them by Colonel Neale, the embargo was
removed. Rumours reached us of disturbances at Kiôto, where the
retainers of Chôshiû had been plotting to take possession of the palace,
and seize the person of the Mikado. Failing in their plans, they had
been dismissed from their share in guarding the palace, and had departed
to their native province, taking with them seven court nobles who had
been mixed up in the plot. Amongst them were Sanjô Sanéyoshi,
Higashi-Kuzé and Sawa, who afterwards held high office in the government
of the restoration.

The ill-success of the Chôshiû clan, which had been one of the foremost
in demanding the expulsion of the foreigners, was a turn of luck for the
Tycoon, and the result was the withdrawal of the circular of Ogasawara
proposing the closing of the ports. Ogasawara himself was disgraced.
Foreigners at Yokohama began to breathe freely again, and to renew their
former excursions in the neighbouring country.

But on the 14th October a fresh outrage completely upset our
tranquillity. A French officer of Chasseurs named Camus, while taking
his afternoon's ride at a distance of not more than two or three miles
from the settlement, and far from the high road, was attacked and
murdered. His right arm was found at a little distance from his body,
still clutching the bridle of his pony. There was a cut down one side of
the face, one through the nose, a third across the chin, the right
jugular vein was severed by a slash in the throat, and the vertebral
column was completely divided. The left arm was hanging on by a piece of
skin and the left side laid open to the heart. All the wounds were
perfectly clean, thus showing what a terrible weapon the Japanese
_katana_ was in the hands of a skilful swordsman. No clue to the
identity of the perpetrators of this horrible assassination was ever
discovered, but it made a profound impression upon the foreign
community, who after that were careful not to ride out unarmed or in
parties of less than three or four. Not that we were able to place much
confidence in our revolvers, for it was pretty certain that the
_samurai_ who was lying in wait to kill a foreigner would not carry out
his purpose unless he could take his victim at a disadvantage, and cases
of chance encounters with peaceably inclined Japanese were not known to
have occurred. Excepting perhaps the Richardson affair, from the very
first all these murders were premeditated, and the perpetrators took
care to secure their own safety beforehand.

It was an agreeable surprise to us a month later, when there appeared at
the legation two high officers of Satsuma, who undertook to pay the
indemnity of £25,000 and gave an engagement to make diligent search for
Richardson's murderers, who upon their arrest were to be punished with
death in the presence of British officers, in accordance with the
original demand. We may give Colonel Neale credit for knowing that there
was no genuine intention on the part of Satsuma to carry out this
promise, but on the other hand there was strong reason to suppose that
Shimadzu Saburô himself had actually given the order to cut down the
foreigners, and it could hardly be expected that the Satsuma men would
ever consent to do punishment upon him. The actual doers of the deed
were merely subordinate agents. We could not with justice have insisted
on their lives being taken, and at the same time suffer the principal
culprit to go scot-free. In order to succeed therefore in enforcing the
whole of the demands made by Her Majesty's Government, it would have
been necessary to invade Satsuma with an overwhelming force and
exterminate the greater part of the clan before we could get at their
chief; and we may be sure that he would never have fallen alive into our
hands. We had bombarded and destroyed the greater part of the forts and
town, probably killed a good many persons who were innocent of
Richardson's murder, and had thereby elevated what was in the beginning
a crime against public order into a _casus belli_. There would indeed,
it seems to me, have been no justification after that for taking more
lives by way of expiation. The Satsuma envoys, however, formally
acknowledged that their countrymen had been in the wrong, and they paid
the fine demanded by the British Government. No one therefore can blame
the British Chargé d'Affaires for having made peace on these terms. It
should be mentioned, however, that the Satsuma men borrowed the money
from the Tycoon's treasury, and I have never heard that it was repaid.



                               CHAPTER IX

                   SHIMONOSEKI; PRELIMINARY MEASURES


SIR RUTHERFORD ALCOCK returned from Europe early in March 1864, and
Colonel Neale took his departure. The members of the legation gave him a
farewell dinner, at which he delivered himself of prognostications as to
the future of those who had served under him. For me he prophesied a
professorship of Japanese at an English University, but so far his words
have not come true. The new chief was liked by everyone, and he was
particularly gracious to myself, relieving me from all chancery work, so
that I could devote the whole of my time to my Japanese studies. Willis
and I occupied a wooden house in a back street between the native town
and the foreign settlement, and there I worked industriously with my
three teachers. Sir Rutherford had brought with him very ample powers,
which he determined to make use of to chastise the Chôshiû clan for its
hostile attitude. We had, it might be said, conquered the goodwill of
Satsuma, and a similar process applied to the other principal head of
the anti-foreign party might well be expected to produce an equally
wholesome effect. In the summer of the previous year the Chôshiû people,
acting upon the orders which they had extorted from the Mikado for the
"expulsion of the barbarians," had fired upon an American merchant
vessel, a Dutch corvette and a French despatch-boat as they passed
through the straits of Shimonoséki. The corvette had returned the fire,
and in the other two cases satisfaction of an incomplete kind had been
obtained by the United States sloop "Wyoming" and the French squadron
under Admiral Jaurès respectively. The batteries had been destroyed, but
as soon as the foreign men-of-war quitted the scene, the Chôshiû men set
to work to rebuild the forts, to construct others, and to mount all the
guns they could bring together. So the hornet's nest was after no long
interval in good repair again, and more formidable for attack and
defence than before. That no foreign vessels could take their way
through the straits of Shimonoséki, which they had been in the habit of
passing from time to time after touching at Nagasaki in order to make a
pleasant and easy passage to Yokohama, instead of encountering the
stormy Cape Chichakoff, was felt to involve a diminution of western
prestige. Nothing but the complete subjugation of this warlike clan, and
the permanent destruction of its means of offence, would suffice to
convince the Japanese nation that we were determined to enforce the
treaties, and to carry on our trade without molestation from anybody,
irrespective of internal dissensions.

Sir Rutherford Alcock therefore lost no time in diligently setting to
work in order to bring about a coalition with the representatives of
France, Holland and the United States. In this he completely succeeded.
The Tycoon's government were warned that if they did not within twenty
days give a satisfactory undertaking to re-open the straits, the foreign
squadrons would be despatched thither to bring the Prince of Chôshiû to
reason. By a curious coincidence there had just returned to Japan two
out of a band of five young _samurai_ of Chôshiû, who the year before
had been smuggled away to England to see the world, and learn something
of the resources of foreign powers. Their names were Itô Shunsuké and
Inouyé Bunda. The other three who remained in England while their
companions, armed with the new knowledge, set forth on their journey to
warn their fellow clansmen that it was no use trying to run their heads
against a brick wall, were Endo Kinsuké, Inouyé Masaru and Yamao Yôzo.
They made themselves and the object of their return known to Sir
Rutherford, who promptly seized the opportunity thus offered of entering
into direct communication with the _daimiô_ of Chôshiû, and while
delivering a sort of ultimatum, of affording him the chance of
abandoning his hostile attitude for one more in accordance with the
treaties. He obtained the consent of his colleagues to the despatch of
two men-of-war to the neighbourhood of Shimonoséki in order to land the
two young men at a convenient spot, and delivered to them a long
memorandum for presentation to their prince.

A French officer (Commandant Layrle) and a Dutch naval officer, besides
Major Wray, R.E., were sent at the same time to gain what information
might be obtainable as to the present condition of the batteries, and to
my great joy I was lent as interpreter, along with my colleague, Mr. J.
J. Enslie. On the 21st July we left in the corvette "Barrosa," Captain
W. M. Dowell, and the gun vessel "Cormorant," Commander Buckle, and
passing up the Bungo channel, anchored off Himéshima Island after dark
on the 26th. We ran ashore, but managed to get off again, smashing the
jib-boom of the "Cormorant" as we did so. Early on the following morning
we landed our two Japanese friends Itô and Inouyé (who at that time went
by the name of Shiji), after promising to call for them on the 7th
August at the island of Kasato, off the coast of Suwô. On the way down I
had talked a good deal with them, and between us, with the aid of my
teacher, Nakazawa Kensaku (a retainer of Ogasawara, who had to seek his
livelihood in consequence of his master's disgrace), we had managed to
put Sir Rutherford's memorandum into Japanese. They were to cross over
in an open boat and land at Tonomi in Suwô. At eight o'clock we saw them
leave the shore. In Nakazawa's opinion the chances were six or seven out
of ten that their heads would be cut off, and that we should never see
them again.

We landed later on in the day at Himéshima and found the people very
friendly. They sold to us a plentiful supply of fish, but there were no
vegetables, beef or chickens to be had. Cattle were pretty plentiful and
fat, but the people looked poor and half starved. The population was
about 2000. The island was not fertile. I tried to buy some beef, but
the pretext that it was wanted as medicine for sick sailors (a Japanese
idea) was useless. Half the population was engaged in salt-burning; 1/2d
and 1d banknotes were current, and very little coin was to be seen. At
one place we gave a man an _ichibu_, worth say 10d. He pretended to turn
it over and look at it carefully, and then said "these are very rare
things here."

Next day we went round to the north side of the island and anchored
there. Here we again landed to visit the salt pans, and met with the
same friendly reception as before. On the 29th we crossed in one of the
ship's boats to Imi in Iyo, where the villagers refused to have anything
to do with us, but at Takeda-tsu, a mile or two further west, they made
no difficulties, and we were able to lay in a supply of pumpkins and
brinjalls. On the 1st August we weighed anchor before sunrise, and stood
away towards the straits. The "Barrosa" anchored about ten miles on this
side of Shimonoséki, and we went on in the "Cormorant," steaming towards
the coast of Buzen and then up to Isaki Point. When half-way across the
mouth of the straits we saw signal guns fired all along the north coast
from Chôfu to Saho. After going nearly up to Tanoura, keeping carefully
out of the range of the batteries, and cruising backwards and forwards
for a while, in order that the situation of the batteries and the number
of guns might be accurately noted, we finally returned to Himéshima. We
used to go on shore there for a walk every day, and found the people
inquisitive but friendly. On one occasion, however, as we were returning
through the village to our boats, we met a party of four _samurai_, who
appeared to form part of a detachment sent over from Kitsuki in Buzen to
protect the island against a possible attack from us. I spoke civilly to
them, and asked where they had come from, but they answered in a surly
manner, "from a distance." They looked as villainous a set as one could
wish to see, and remained at the water's edge watching our movements
until we got on board.

On the 6th August we made another trip to Shimonoséki in the "Cormorant"
to reconnoitre, going in a little further than before in the direction
of Tanoura. On this occasion, in addition to the signal guns, the
batteries fired a round shot and a shell as a warning, which fell in the
sea about a mile ahead. When we got back to the "Barrosa" at half-past
ten in the evening we found Itô and Shiji had already returned. After
dinner we had a long talk, and received the prince's answer. They
brought with them a single retainer, but said they had been accompanied
down to the coast by a guard of soldiers given them by their prince.
They commenced the delivery of the communication with which they were
charged by saying that they had found him at Yamaguchi, and had handed
over the letters of the four foreign representatives to him in person.
He had then consulted with his chief retainers and come to the following
conclusion: that he entirely acknowledged the truth of what was stated
in the letters, and was conscious of his own inability to cope with the
forces of western nations. But he was acting under orders which he had
received, once from the Tycoon, and oftener from the Mikado, and not on
his own responsibility, and it was out of his power to reply to the
foreign representatives without first receiving permission. It was his
intention, therefore, to proceed to Kiôto in order to impress his own
views on the Mikado, which he calculated would take about three months.
He begged therefore that the powers would postpone operations for that
period.

They brought no written documents with them, not even a letter to
certify that they were the accredited agents of their prince, but told
us they could procure one if the vessels were delayed for two or three
days. They were informed that a mere verbal reply such as they had
brought could not be expected to satisfy the foreign representatives.
They then inquired whether they should send a written reply to Yokohama
with copies of the orders of the Tycoon and Mikado, but Captain Dowell
replied that their prince might do as he liked about that. His
instructions did not go so far as to enable him to express an opinion.

In private conversation they afterwards told me that their prince had
originally been favourable to foreigners, but had gone too far now in
the opposite direction to be able to retract, and they did not believe
that the matters at issue could be settled without fighting. They
suggested that it would be a good measure for the foreign
representatives to throw over the Tycoon, and proceeding to Ozaka,
demand an interview with the Mikado's ministers in order to conclude a
direct treaty with him. They spoke with great bitterness of the Tycoon's
dynasty, accused them of keeping all the trade, both foreign and native,
in their own hands, by taking possession of every place where trade was
likely to develope, such as Nagasaki and Niigata, and they said these
feelings were shared by most of the people. The way in which they
delivered their message made me suspect that it was couched in far more
uncompromising terms than those which they made use of in communicating
it. This was the first occasion on which I had been in full and frank
communication with men belonging to the anti-Tycoon party. Their
proposal that we should at once try to enter into negotiations with the
Mikado was a bold one, and calculated, if it had been adopted, rather to
injure than help their cause. The time was not yet ripe, for the
Shôgun's authority, though much weakened, was still admitted and obeyed
by a large majority of the _daimiôs_. His troops had not as yet
exhibited their inferiority in arms, and as a matter of fact almost at
this very moment the forces of the Prince of Chôshiû were suffering an
overwhelming defeat in their attack upon Kiôto, which was defended in
the Tycoon's interest by Aidzu and Satsuma. By the time we returned to
Yokohama, and before the idea could have been even considered by the
foreign representatives, Chôshiû's principal men were either fugitives
or dead, and the Tycoon was temporarily master of the field.

Itô and his companion left again during the night. I could not help
feeling sorry for their failure to impress on their prince the warning
which they had come all the way from Europe to impart. But there was no
help for it. We weighed anchor early on the following morning and
arrived at Yokohama on the 10th.

As soon as it became known that Chôshiû would not give way preparations
were actively made for carrying out the resolutions previously agreed
upon by the representatives of the four Powers. They held a conference
with the ministers of the Shôgun, in order to impress on them that the
moment had now come when the naval forces must be charged with the duty
of opening the straits, but before the meeting had separated there came
like a thunderbolt on their deliberations an announcement of the return
from Europe of a mission that had been despatched in the month of
January to treat with Great Britain and France. They brought with them a
convention concluded with the latter Power which provided for an
indemnity in respect of the attack on the French gunboat, for the
removal by the Shôgun's government within three months of the
impediments to the navigation of the straits of Shimonoséki, for a
modification of the import tariff in favour of French manufactures, and
for the payment of an indemnity of $35,000 to the relatives of
Lieutenant Camus. This news seemed to Sir Rutherford Alcock to threaten
an utter collapse of his plans, for if the convention were ratified, the
French at least would be compelled to withdraw from the coalition. But
it was of course clear to those on the spot that the second article
could not be possibly carried out by the Tycoon's government, and never
could have been seriously intended, at least on the Japanese side.
Pressure was therefore put on the council to make them declare that they
would not ratify the convention, and a note from them to this effect
reached the foreign representatives on the 25th August. On the same day
they signed a memorandum declaring the necessity of a resort to force,
which was then communicated to the naval commanders-in-chief, and four
days later the allied squadrons put to sea to carry into execution the
plans decided on before the return of the envoys had for a moment seemed
to threaten the disruption of the diplomatic union so strenuously worked
for by our chief. It was an immense responsibility that he had assumed.
There was no telegraph in those days to any point nearer than Ceylon,
but a despatch dated 26th July was already on its way to him positively
prohibiting the adoption of military measures in the interior of Japan,
and limiting naval operations against the Japanese Government or princes
to defensive measures for the protection of the life and property of
British subjects. By the time it reached his hands, his schemes had
already been accomplished with the happiest possible results, and he was
able to console himself with the conviction that he had done the right
thing, even though he might be censured for acting contrary to the
wishes of Lord John Russell, and have incurred the penalty of a recall
from his post.

The United States steamer "Monitor" had been fired at as she lay at
anchor in a bay on the north coast of Nagato on July 11. This afforded
fresh justification of the action adopted by the foreign
representatives.



                               CHAPTER X

                     SHIMONOSEKI--NAVAL OPERATIONS


TO my great satisfaction I was appointed interpreter to Admiral Küper,
and, packing up a few necessaries, embarked on board the "Euryalus." I
was messed in the ward room, and as there was no cabin available, slept
on a sofa. The officers were a very pleasant set of fellows; among them
I especially remember Tracey and Maclear, both of them now
post-captains. The former is a very distinguished officer, but what
particularly attracted me towards him was his love of books, and his
wide knowledge of modern languages, acquired by dint of sheer
perseverance amid all the noisy distractions of life on board ship.

The "Coquette" was sent off to Nagasaki to bring up Sir Rutherford's
stepson, Fred. Lowder, to be additional interpreter. The only other
civilian on board the flagship was Felix Beato, the well-known
photographer, who, making his first start in life with a camera in the
Crimean war, had also accompanied the Anglo-French expedition to North
China in 1859, and had subsequently settled in Japan, where his social
qualities had gained him many friends. My teacher Nakazawa had been
secretly taken away from me by the Tycoon's government as a punishment
for having accompanied me on the visit to Himéshima; many years
afterwards I was made acquainted with the treachery of the foreigner who
had denounced him to the Commissioners for Foreign Affairs. But Willis
lent me his Japanese instructor and pupil in medicine, Hayashi Bokuan,
and I was able to make shift with this faithful man, though as a scholar
he was greatly inferior to Nakazawa.

The English squadron consisted of the flagship "Euryalus," 35, commanded
by Captain Alexander; the corvettes "Tartar," 21, Captain Hayes;
"Barrosa," 21, Captain W. M. Dowell; the two-decker "Conqueror," 48,
Captain Luard; the paddle-sloop "Leopard," 18, Captain Leckie; the
paddle-sloop "Argus," 6, Commander Moresby; the "Coquette," 14,
Commander Roe; and gunboat "Bouncer," 2, Lieutenant Holder. The French
frigate "Sémiramis," 35, bearing the broad pennon of Admiral Jaurés, and
the American chartered steamer "Takiang," carrying a Parrot gun and its
crew from the United States corvette "Jamestown," under the command of
Lieutenant Pearson, accompanied us. The French corvette "Dupleix," 10,
and despatch boat "Tancrède," 4, with the Dutch corvettes "Metalen
Kruis," 16, Captain de Man; "Djambi," 16, Captain van Rees; "Amsterdam,"
8; and "Medusa," 16, Captain de Casembroot, left the bay of Kanagawa on
the 28th August, and the remainder of the ships on the following day. We
had calm weather and a smooth sea on the way down, sighting the
south-west corner of Shikoku on the 1st September. About 5 p.m. we fell
in with the "Perseus," 17, Commander Kingston, towing a collier, and
bringing the Admiral's mail. The "Perseus" had met Commander Buckle in
the "Cormorant" on his way to Shanghai for the mail, who, having started
from Yokohama about the time of the return of the Japanese embassy,
reported that the expedition was indefinitely postponed; she had
therefore cast off the collier and steamed away at full speed for
Yokohama, but falling a little later in with the "Coquette" on her way
to Nagasaki, learnt a very different tale, and turning round, had picked
up the collier again and brought her on. On the following day we reached
Himéshima and anchored a little after noon; here we found the "Djambi"
and "Metalen Kruis." Shortly afterwards the "Medusa" and the three
French ships appeared, and by midnight every ship of the allied squadron
had arrived. We had still to wait for the "Coquette," and either the
"Cormorant" or "Osprey."

In the afternoon the Admiral, Captain Alexander, with other officers,
went ashore for a walk, and I acted as their guide. The poor village
mayor made his appearance in a great state of alarm. He was indeed in an
uncomfortable position, uncertain of the disposition of the strangers,
and sure of punishment from his own countrymen if he manifested too
great friendliness towards us. He promised, however, to send us off some
fish, "quite privately," but was positive that he could sell no
bullocks. He had despatched a messenger to Kitsuki to inquire whether
the islanders might hold intercourse with the squadron and furnish us
with what supplies they had.

During the night we took in 150 tons of coal, and the 3rd of September
was spent by the rest of our squadron in replenishing their bunkers. In
the afternoon I went ashore to the mayor's house, where I found three of
the garrison from Kitsuki. They were very reticent, not to say sulky,
and only one of them, who was evidently afraid of his companions, could
be induced to open his mouth. It was a grand sight to see the master of
the collier and his wife parading along the beach with a couple of dirty
little village urchins running ahead of them. The common people were
friendly enough, except when the eyes of the two-sworded men were upon
them.

On the 4th September we weighed anchor at nine o'clock and proceeded
towards the straits of Shimonoséki, the eight British ships in the
centre, with "Euryalus" leading, the French squadron and the "Takiang"
in a line on the left, and the four Dutch vessels on the right. It was a
beautiful show as the allied squadrons steamed in the consciousness of
irresistible strength calmly across the unruffled surface of this inland
sea, which lay before us like a glassy mirror in its framework of blue
hills. Towards half past three we anchored at a distance of about two
miles from the mouth of the straits, and prepared for action. Everything
was in readiness by the time we had got half-way through our dinner, but
to the disappointment of the more eager spirits, we remained where we
were without firing a shot. Every one was naturally very anxious that no
new complication should arise to delay the longed-for encounter with the
enemy. Early on the following morning two Chôshiû men, common soldiers,
came on board to inquire why all these men-of-war had come to the
straits, but the Admiral refused to hold any parley with men of
evidently inferior rank, and they were told to return on shore at once.
One of them told me very innocently that if we intended to go through he
must go on shore to make preparations for us, and when I asked what
preparation, he said "for fighting."

I was then sent in a boat to overhaul a couple of junks that in the
meanwhile had been stopped as they were entering the straits. One was
the "Isé Maru," of Matsuyama in Iyo, going to load coals at Hirado, the
other belonged to Kurumé in Chikugo, and was returning from Ozaka with a
miscellaneous cargo. As they did not belong to the enemy we let them go.

About two p.m. the two men who had previously visited the ship came on
board again to announce the arrival of a _bugiô_ or commissioner of some
sort, accompanied by Inouyé Bunda (he had now laid aside his alias of
Shiji). But signals had already been made to the captains to take up the
positions allotted to them for shelling the batteries, and when my
friend Inouyé and his companion reached the flagship the only answer
they received to their request that hostilities might be deferred with a
view to negotiation was that the time for a peaceable arrangement had
passed.

We went into action at ten minutes past four. The "Barrosa," "Tartar,"
"Djambi," "Metalen Kruis," "Leopard," and "Dupleix" moved along the
southern coast of the funnel-shaped entrance to the strait, and took up
their station in front of Tanoura, as shown in the annexed plan, while a
light squadron consisting of the "Perseus," "Medusa," "Tancrède,"
"Coquette," and "Bouncer" passed along the northern shore, the
"Amsterdam" and "Argus" being held in reserve. The "Euryalus,"
"Sémiramis," "Conqueror," and "Takiang" anchored out of range of the
enemy's batteries, at a distance of about 2500 yards from the central
cluster at Maeda mura, and consequently near enough to reach them with
our 110-pounder breech-loading Armstrong gun on the forecastle. The
first shot was fired from the "Euryalus," and the whole of the Tanoura
squadron then followed her example. The light squadron speedily silenced
the three-gun battery on Kushi Saki Point, but not before it had managed
to pitch a shot pretty near the British flagship. Then the "Sémiramis,"
which had been occupied in getting springs on her cable, opened fire
from her quarter-deck guns with terrible effect, scarcely a shot falling
short. The "Takiang" did her best with her single gun, and the
"Conqueror" fired three shells, one of which burst beautifully among the
great cluster of batteries. The "Euryalus" fired only sixteen rounds
between 4.10 and 5.10 p.m. from her 110-pounder, which was pretty good
work, considering that the vent piece got jammed once and a considerable
time was lost in digging it out with handspikes. Another time the vent
piece was blown up into the fore-top owing to its not having been
screwed in tightly enough. The six vessels anchored south were soon
engaged in a sharp conflict with the batteries opposite, while the light
squadron, having silenced the batteries on the north, came to their aid,
enfilading the 4, 7, and 9-gun batteries. The furthest shot fired from
the "Euryalus" was at 4800 yards, and it went plump into a battery.

    [Illustration: THE STRAITS OF SHIMONOSEKI]

By 5.10 the principal batteries had been silenced, and a signal was made
to discontinue firing. A fire now burst out among the buildings in the
Maeda mura batteries and a magazine exploded, making the third "blow-up"
during the afternoon. We continued firing a shot now and then up to six
o'clock. The quarter-deck 40-pounder Armstrongs were fired once only, as
their range proved to be too short, and none of the smooth-bore guns on
the main deck were brought into action, to the great disappointment of
the bluejackets, who had probably not forgotten the slaughter made
amongst their comrades at Kagoshima, and burned to avenge it. It must be
admitted that the Japanese fought well and with great persistence, for I
attach no value to the story that was told that the gunners were only
allowed to fire once, and were then replaced by fresh men. At first many
of our shot fell short, but when the range was found, they struck the
batteries every moment, as we could see by the clouds of dust that were
knocked up. After the signal to discontinue firing had been made,
Kingston of the "Perseus" and De Casembroot of the "Medusa" landed and
spiked fourteen guns in the Maeda mura batteries. At the small battery
on Kushi Saki Point two out of the three guns had been dismounted by our
fire. The entire casualties on our side this first day were six men
wounded in the "Tartar," which bore the brunt of the fire.

Early on the following morning one of the Maeda mura batteries re-opened
fire on the squadron anchored off Tanoura, but was replied to with such
effect that it was speedily silenced, and the barrack behind was set on
fire. The "Dupleix" lost two killed and two wounded, while the first
lieutenant of the "Tartar" was struck by a round shot on the posteriors
and severely wounded. He recovered, however, contrary to the
expectations of the surgeons. I slept through the noise, but was woke by
somebody with a message that I had to land with Captain Alexander, who
was to command the small-arms party of the "Euryalus," 200 strong. From
the "Conqueror" there landed the battalion of 450 marines under Colonel
Suther, besides her own complement of 100, and some bluejackets, small
detachments of marines being added from the other ships of our squadron.
The French landed 350, and the Dutch 200. Another calculation showed
that 1900 men were put ashore, of whom we furnished 1400.

We rowed straight for the nearest land, followed by a string of cutters
and pinnaces so full of men that there was only just room to work the
oars, and got on shore at nine o'clock exactly. The task assigned to
Captain Alexander's party was to scale a bluff immediately to the east
of the Maeda mura batteries, and take a one-gun battery. It was a stiff
pull up the steep grassy hill, but up went the bluejackets pell-mell, as
if they were out on a picnic, every man for himself. On climbing over
the earthwork we found that the gun had been either carried off or
concealed. There were a score or so of the enemy on the platform, who
retreated as soon as the first of our people showed his nose above the
parapet, but they kept up a dropping fire from the other side of the
hill. Here one of our men received a bullet wound in the leg, and a
second was accidentally shot through the body by the sailor immediately
behind him. Passing through the battery, we clambered up the hill
behind, through a tangled brake of ferns and creepers. The heat was
intense. It was a difficult job to keep one's footing on the narrow path
cut through the slippery grass. Our bluejackets were very eager to get
at the enemy, but not a single one was to be seen. Descending the other
side of the hill, we at last found ourselves in a sort of covered way,
which ran along the side of a narrow valley. It was reported that the
enemy were posted further up the valley in considerable numbers, but
instead of pursuing them we turned to the left along the covered way,
which brought us down past a magazine into the central battery of the
principal group. It turned out afterwards to be a fortunate
counter-march, for if we had proceeded in the other direction we should
have stumbled on a stockade defended by three field guns, which would
have played "Old Harry" with our small force.

The first battery we entered was already in the possession of the French
landing party and some of our marines, who, having disembarked below the
bluff, had marched along the beach, meeting with no opposition. This
work was of earth, having a parapet about twenty feet wide, armed along
the edge with a chevaux-de-frise of pointed bamboo stakes. In battery
No. 7 the guns were mounted en barbette, on carriages with enormous
wheels, and worked on pivots. They were of bronze, very long, and threw
a 32-pound shot, though marked as 24's. They bore a Japanese date
corresponding to 1854, and had evidently been cast in Yedo. Besides
these, there was a short 32-pounder, and on the other side of a
traverse, containing a small magazine, was a single 10-inch gun, also of
bronze. We upset them all, broke up the carriages, threw the shot and
shell into the sea, burned the powder, and even dragged a couple of guns
down on to the beach. This occupied us till three or four o'clock in the
afternoon. During this time our men were perpetually firing musketry at
the enemy on the hill, who every now and then showed themselves to give
us a shot or two. In the 9-gun battery were a couple of heavy 11-inch
bronze guns. Afterwards we proceeded to the next battery, which was
almost _à fleur d' eau_. It was divided into two by a traverse
containing a magazine, on one side of which were one 10-inch howitzer,
two 32-pounders, and one 24-pounder; on the other side were the same
number, with the addition of a single 24-pounder. These likewise were
overturned, and the carriages and ammunition disposed of as before. The
Japanese field battery up the valley, which had been advanced some
little way from the stockade along a path leading towards Maeda mura,
Dannoura and Shimonoséki annoyed us considerably during this operation,
firing shells over us and at long ranges into the sea, while their
musketeers kept up a pretty constant fire, though no one was touched on
our side. Part of our men were told off to keep them in check, but our
aim was not much better than that of the enemy. The great thing in war,
until you come to close quarters, seems to be to make as much noise as
you can to put your foes in a funk, or in other words to demoralize
them. You can't do much harm, and it was laughable to see how many of
our men ducked to avoid the shot, and I confess I followed their example
until reason came to my aid.

The "Medusa" moved up and threw a few shells in among them, while the
"Perseus," "Amsterdam," and "Argus" fired over the hill from their
station before Tanoura. This quieted the zeal of our warrior foes for a
while, and we returned to the first battery we had dismantled, for the
men to have their dinners. Crowdy of the Engineers, McBean the
assistant-surgeon of the flagship and I divided a loaf of bread and a
tin of sardines, which we opened with Crowdy's sword. There were no
knives or forks handy, but that did not hinder us from satisfying our
well-earned appetite as we sat on the steps of the magazine in the
traverse. After dinner we helped the French to overturn the guns in
their battery, which were four in number, very long 32-pounders, mounted
on field carriages. The enemy still continued annoying us from their
position up the valley, while some of our men kept up a fitful musketry
fire in reply, without much damage on either side.

The afternoon being already far advanced, the signal to re-embark was
made from the "Euryalus," and the French and Dutch detachments, some of
the marine detachment, and the "Conqueror's" small-arms men, were
already in their boats, when about six o'clock we saw Colonel Suther's
battalion of marines returning from the Maeda mura 15-gun battery
through a heavy fire from the Japanese. The Japanese on perceiving them
threw a round shot in among them, but without doing any harm; our men
replied, and for fifteen minutes there was nothing but ping, ping, ping
on both sides. At last the Colonel came up to Captain Alexander and
said:--"Where are these men who are annoying us. I've enough men to take
any battery." "All right," replied Alexander, "I'll take the left side
of the valley and you the right." So the marines clambered up into the
French battery (the eastern-most one) and proceeded up the covered way,
while the "Conqueror's" men disembarked again, and the advance
commenced. Beato and I stuck close to Alexander, and followed the
bluejackets across the paddyfields by the narrow "bunds," and then along
the path on the western side of the valley. How the bluejackets shouted
and cheered, each man running on by himself, now stopping to take aim at
an enemy from behind one of the pine trees that lined the edge of the
road, and then on again. There was no order or discipline. Some of them
wasted their ammunition on imaginary foes on the hillsides. I passed
several wounded men as I went up, some seriously hurt, and the corpse of
a sailor who had been killed by an arrow.

At last we reached the battery, whence the gunners had been driven by
our fire, dismounted the guns and threw them into the paddyfield close
by, after destroying the carriages. Here Alexander was wounded by a ball
which passed through the ankle-joint of his right foot, and he had to be
carried to the rear on a stretcher. From this point the valley
contracted rapidly, while immediately in front of us was a stockaded
barrack into which most of the Japanese retreated, turning back
repeatedly to fire. But I saw others in black armour and white surcoats
retreating with great rapidity along the road to the left. Lieutenant
Edwards and Crowdy of the Engineers were ahead with a middy named D. G.
Boyes, who carried the colours most gallantly; he afterwards received
the V.C. for conduct very plucky in one so young. When I got up to the
front of the stockade there were three or four dead Japanese lying about
and one of our men, shot through the heart. He presented a most ghastly
sight as he lay there, getting visibly bluer and bluer, without any
exterior signs of blood to show how he had come by his death. Having
directed some of the men to put his corpse into a huge oblong basket
which was on the ground close by and carry him off, I passed on into the
stockade whence the Japanese had already fled. In retiring they had set
fire to some houses close to the magazine, with the amiable intention of
blowing us up, but the train was discovered and the explosion prevented.

After ranging over the whole place and removing whatever was worth
carrying off as trophies, such as armour, bows and arrows, spears and
swords, and bayonets bearing a foreign maker's name, we set fire to the
buildings and retired in good order. The loss of the enemy was about
twenty killed, but they had carried off all their wounded. We had five
killed and thirteen or fourteen wounded, two mortally. What the marine
battalion was doing all this time I cannot say, for the excitement about
what was going on ahead left me no disposition to look elsewhere, but I
rather think that having marched along the covered way with great
steadiness they managed to arrive just as the more active and impetuous
"jacks" had finished the business. And no blame to them either for going
about their work in a business-like manner. If we had met with a check
in our heedless, headlong advance, the marines would have saved us from
destruction. It was lucky for us that the skirmish terminated as it did,
for our loss in small-arms' men would have been much greater if the
Japanese had been strong enough to stand to their guns, or had posted
marksmen on the hills to take us in flank as we hurried up the valley.
They had the advantage in position, besides possessing seven small field
pieces, while on the other hand we had at least a couple of hundred men
in excess of their number, which it was supposed was 600. But I fancy I
remember having heard since from a Chôshiû man who was present that
their force was only one half of that. The bluejackets bore the brunt of
the business, as they had to cross the line of fire and to advance along
the outer edge of the horn-shaped valley, which curved away to the east
out of sight of the shipping. The Japanese could not stand our advance,
the sharp musketry fire threw them into disorder, and they had to run
for it. In only one case was an attempt made to come to close quarters.
One fellow had concealed himself behind a door with uplifted sword in
both hands, ready to cut down a man just about to enter. But contrary to
his expectation, his intended victim gave him a prod in the belly which
laid him on his back and spoilt his little game. Our French companions
in arms were disgusted at not having been present at the affair, and
turned up their noses at it, as _pas grand chose après tout_. It was the
fortune of war, and we commiserated them sincerely.

    [Illustration: INTERIOR OF A JAPANESE BATTERY AFTER THE LANDING
    OF THE ALLIED NAVAL FORCES]

The marines who in the first instance marched on Maeda mura had one man
killed and two wounded. They dismantled fifteen guns in the battery
there.

During the day a boat belonging to one of the Dutch men-of-war, with two
men in her, got loose and drifted down with the tide towards the town.
They were immediately shot, though quite defenceless. Fred Lowder and
his brother George, who had come up with him from Nagasaki "to see the
fun," had a narrow escape as they were paddling about in a Japanese
boat, which became unmanageable and was drifting off in the same
direction; they jumped into the water and swam ashore, or they would
probably have encountered the same fate.

The eastern end of the town of Shimonoséki (more properly speaking, I
believe, Akamagaséki) was set on fire, but the number of houses burnt
was extremely small. It was alleged that this was done by the French
because some Japanese soldiers had fired thence on their men, but I do
not know whether this is a fact. The "Perseus" ran ashore opposite the
nearest batteries, and as the tide ebbed her bow was high out of the
water, nor did she get off again until the following day.

I found myself on board again at half-past seven o'clock, very dirty,
very tired, very hungry and very thirsty.

On the 7th September working parties of bluejackets landed under the
protection of some marines to take possession of the guns, ten of which
they got into the boats. Others went up to the stockade and found some
field pieces, which they destroyed, hove down wells, or brought away. We
got together sixty, all but one of bronze, with two mortars and six
cohorns. We blew up all the powder and threw the shot and shell into the
sea. There was not a single hostile Japanese to be seen. The "Perseus"
had to be lightened by discharging all her guns and coals, and so
managed to get afloat by noon.

Our list of casualties during the two days' operation was eight killed
and thirty wounded, of whom one or two were not expected to live. We
landed at half-past one on the Tanoura side to bury our dead, the French
having already buried two in the forenoon. In digging the graves our men
found particles of a glittering substance which was at first taken to be
gold dust, but turned out to be mica. I met a party of Ogasawara's
two-sworded men, who asked how many dead we had, and how we had fared on
the previous day. On learning what a complete thrashing we had given the
enemy at the stockade, they expressed great satisfaction, and recounted
how the Chôshiû people had crossed over the straits in the previous
year, cut down their crops, carried off their live stock, and driven the
peasants away, after which they held possession of Tanoura for some
time, until public opinion and the necessity of providing for the
defence of Chôshiû's own territories had compelled them to withdraw.
Ogasawara's men feared that when Chôshiû came to find out that
communication had taken place between us and the Buzen folk, he would
visit them again after the withdrawal of the squadron, but I boldly
assured them that they need not alarm themselves, as we intended to
destroy the batteries, and deprive Chôshiû of his territory. For I knew
that part of the plan entertained by Sir Rutherford and his colleagues
was the seizure of a sufficient piece of territory near Shimonoséki as a
material guarantee for the payment of an adequate indemnity, and to hold
it until it could be conveniently handed over to the Tycoon's
government.

Sir Rutherford contemplated nothing less than the complete subjugation
of the Chôshiû clan, and he had enjoined upon the Admiral the necessity
of attacking Hagi, which was supposed to be the stronghold of the
_daimiô_. The Admiral, however, who was a prudent commander, and by no
means disposed to take orders from the civil representatives of Her
Majesty further than he was obliged, came to the conclusion that the
resources at his disposal did not permit of a permanent occupation of
any portion of Chôshiû's territory, and considered that as soon as the
forts were destroyed and the straits opened, his task was accomplished.
Fear had made the Ogasawara _samurai_ wondrously polite. The villagers
were also friendly enough, and I made them laugh good-humouredly with
some commonplace jokes, but did not succeed in inducing them to sell any
supplies. The officials, after hunting all through the village, as they
assured us, produced eight or ten eggs, which they said was all they
could find. Our bluejackets brought me some papers which they had picked
up in the stockade, and which appeared to contain evidences of plots by
Chôshiû against the Mikado, also quantities of pills made, or said to be
made, from bear's gall, and banknotes for small sums, such as were
commonly used in the territories of all the _daimiôs_. I believe that
silver coin was current at that time in the dominions of the Tycoon
alone.

On the 8th, fatigue parties landed again to bring off more guns; we got
all but two from the group of batteries, which made nineteen, besides
fifteen from Maeda mura and an equal number from the batteries on
Hikushima, the large island in the western entrance of the straits. I
went on shore to Maeda mura, and found a well built battery, with a
parapet twenty feet wide cased with stone towards the sea, and divided
into four sections by traverses, between which the guns were planted in
unequal numbers. In the rear stood a stone-built magazine, the roof of
which had been smashed by a round shot that went right through it. The
powder magazine, also of stone, which stood on one side of the valley
behind, had been blown up the previous day. Further up was a stockaded
barrack, which the French had burned. I went towards the advanced guard
near the town, but as the enemy began to show themselves and fire at us,
I made a prudent retreat.



                               CHAPTER XI

               SHIMONOSEKI; PEACE CONCLUDED WITH CHÔSHIÛ


Returning to the ship at noon, I found there my acquaintance Itô
Shunsuké, who had come to say that Chôshiû desired peace, and that a
_karô_ or hereditary councillor, provided with full powers, was coming
off to treat. A boat was accordingly despatched to meet the great man,
who shortly afterwards stood on the quarter-deck of the flagship. He was
dressed in a robe called the _daimon_, which was covered with large
light blue crests (the paulownia leaf and flower) on a yellow ground,
and wore on his head a black silk cap, which he took off on passing the
gangway. His queue was then seen to be loose, hanging over the back of
his head like a tassel, and his white silk underclothing was a marvel of
purity. His two companions, who bore a rank next only to his own, wore
their hair in the same fashion, but were without mantles. They were
conducted into the cabin, and presented to the Admirals, the Abbé
Girard, Lowder and myself acting as interpreters. They began by stating
that the Prince of Chôshiû acknowledged his defeat, and desired to make
peace with a view to the establishment of friendly relations. The
Admiral thereupon asked to see their credentials, and finding they had
none, intimated that he would give them forty-eight hours to provide
themselves with a letter from their _daimiô_. They were told that the
letter must contain the substance of what they had said, acknowledging
that he had committed a grievous wrong in firing upon foreign ships, and
begging for peace, that it must be signed with his own hand and sealed
with his seal, and that a copy must be addressed to each of the four
senior naval officers in command.

The conditions imposed were--first, that we should continue to remove
the guns and destroy the forts; second, that we would discontinue
hostilities, they on their side doing the same, but that if they fired
another shot we should burn everything we could lay our hands on in
Chôshiû's territories; third, they must deliver up intact the Dutch
sailors and boat which had fallen into their hands on the 6th; and
fourth, that they should endeavour to induce the villagers to bring off
poultry and fresh vegetables for sale. In order that they might have a
token of a peaceable disposition on our part, a white flag should be
hoisted at the main until the expiration of the time fixed for their
return. They gave as their names Shishido Giôma, adopted son of Shishido
Bizen, minister of Nagato; Sugi Tokusuké and Watanabé Kurata,
councillors. They then returned on shore, leaving communications
addressed to each of the commanders of the allied squadron, which they
had been charged to deliver at Himéshima before the bombardment. They
handed these over at the Admiral's desire, remarking that we should
perceive from the contents that the documents were useless now.

Itô gave me also transcripts of the orders received from the Mikado and
the Tycoon to expel foreigners from Japan, which Shishido certified with
his own hand to be true copies. The translations made of these papers
were afterwards published in the bluebook on Japan, where the curious
can consult them. There is no doubt that they were perfectly authentic.
It was amusing to observe the change which manifested itself gradually
in the demeanour of the envoy, who was as proud as Lucifer when he
stepped on board, but gradually toned down, and agreed to every proposal
without making any objections. Itô seemed to exercise great influence
over him. After the truce was agreed to, the country people ventured
freely along the road near the batteries, and passed on into the town,
no doubt heartily pleased at the termination of hostilities. It must be
said to their credit that the terms were faithfully adhered to by the
Chôshiû people, none of whom, except Itô and Inouyé, had supposed
Europeans to be any better than mere barbarians.

On the 9th September the "Coquette" took the two Admirals through the
straits to visit the batteries on Hikushima, and as usual I accompanied
them to interpret. From the eastern side the strait contracts rapidly,
between lofty well-wooded hills, to a width of no more than six cables'
lengths, and then as quickly opens out again, with the long line of
houses forming the town of Shimonoséki on the northern shore, while to
the left the coast trends away southwards past the village of Moji and
the town of Kokura. In front lay the broad undulating Hikushima. Passing
right out through the strait till we reached the north-west corner of
the island, we turned back again and came along its coast, passing a
little cove crowded with junks, till we came to Lime Point. Here we
disembarked to inspect the site of the batteries, from which the guns
had already been removed by our people. One of the batteries, which
originally had six guns mounted, was cut out of the cliff, and there had
evidently not been time to complete it. Immediately below the parapet
was a single gun in a pit. A little further east was a battery of eight
guns mounted _à fleur d'eau_, and close by was a smaller battery with
four embrasures which had never been armed. The only other sign of a
battery on this island was an old earthwork to the west of Lime Point,
also without guns. Kokura appeared to be strongly fortified, and it was
reported that the Chôshiû people had demanded, but unsuccessfully, to be
allowed to work the batteries against us. The "Tartar," "Dupleix,"
"Djambi," and "Metalen Kruis" had been stationed here since the 7th,
chiefly for the purpose of dismantling the batteries.

Leaving them we steamed up to Kushi saki Point, where three brass and
four _wooden_ guns had been taken. The latter were about four feet long,
and were constructed of single logs with a bore about eight inches in
diameter, having a chamber behind capable of holding about a pound and a
half of powder. Bamboo hoops surrounded the gun from breech to muzzle,
then came a layer of boards, and then more bamboo hoops; the wood itself
was only about 3-1/2 in. thick. The shot consisted of a small bag of
pebbles fastened to a wooden disk, and was intended to act like grape at
close quarters against a landing party. These curious weapons were
simply laid on the earthen parapet, and were not calculated to be used
more than once.

The Japanese had shown themselves very friendly to the working party,
and had themselves carried down the guns for delivery. They were not
improbably glad to get rid of the toys that had brought them into so
much trouble. On returning to the flagship we found a couple of boats
laden with fowls and vegetables which Shiji Bunda had sent on board as a
present. There was a note from him saying that the common people were
much too frightened to come near us to sell supplies, and complaining
that one of the ships had been firing again, an action which, he said,
would tend to endanger the friendly relations so recently established.
But this was a mistake on his part, for no incident of the kind had
occurred. The bumboatmen were shown over the ship, and expressed
themselves much delighted with the novel and wonderful sight. We sent
half of Shiji's present to the French Admiral, and our share was divided
among the officers and men of the flagship.

On the following day the envoys of the Prince of Chôshiû arrived
punctually on board the "Euryalus." Shishido and Sugi, however, did not
make their appearance, their absence being explained to be caused by
illness from want of sleep and the hot weather in combination. Admiral
Küper observed that it was singular how often this sort of thing
happened, and ironically begged that if the negotiations were not
concluded in one sitting, the delegates would take care of their health
until everything was settled. Their names were Môri Idzumo, Minister
(_Karô_) 'Yamada Uyemon, Hadano Kingo (Hadano was afterwards better
known as Hirozawa Hiôsuké) and Watanabé Kurata, councillors (_sansei_),
and Isota Kenzô and Harata Junji of Chôfu, councillors, with Shiji
Bunda. We had looked up the Japanese "blue-book" in the meantime, and
fancied we had reason to suppose the previous envoy had given an
incorrect account of his position, but they were able to clear up the
discrepancy in a satisfactory manner. The officer there called Shishido
Mino had recently changed his name to Shishido Bizen, and retired from
public life in favour of Giôma, who now represented the family. They
produced a letter from their prince which, on being read, was found to
declare in satisfactory terms that he sued for peace. The Admiral then
said: "We quite agree with your prince in desiring peace. It was never
our intention to fight your countrymen. We solely desire to cement
amicable relations between Japan and foreign countries, and to carry on
trade."

Môri replied that these were entirely the views held by the prince.

_Ad. Küper_--"Do you wish us distinctly to understand that you will
offer no further opposition to the free passage of the straits?"

_Môri_--"We do."

_Ad. Küper_--"We should like very much to have an interview with the
prince, for we could concede much to him that we could not perhaps
concede to you. We are ourselves of high rank in our own country, but
will come on shore to meet him at Shimonoséki."

After consulting among themselves they named the 14th September as the
date on which he should come down from his capital to receive the two
Admirals in the town.

_Ad. Küper_--"We will first state our demands, which can be ratified by
the prince when he comes. We shall then be able to explain to him many
matters connected with the customs of foreign countries which will
prevent mistakes arising in future. In any case the transaction of
business will be facilitated and time will be saved by the prince's
coming, as in any case his ratification has to be obtained to the terms
agreed on."

"In the first place, no batteries must be constructed in the straits
until all questions between foreigners and Japanese have been settled by
the Tycoon's government and the foreign ministers at Yedo."

"Secondly, according to the custom of foreign nations in time of war, a
ransom for the town of Shimonoséki must be paid, because we spared it
when we had a perfect right to set it on fire, for our people had been
fired on from the houses. The amount shall be communicated to the prince
himself at the conference which is to take place."

"Thirdly, when foreign vessels passing through the straits are in need
of coals, provisions, or water, they shall be permitted to purchase what
they want."

These conditions were readily accepted by the envoy, who said that as
the tides were very strong in the straits, and both wind and waves
sometimes violent, persons in distress should be permitted to land.

The Admiral then informed him that during our stay we should go on shore
at Shimonoséki to buy whatever we required, and requested him to tell
the townspeople to bring together for sale what they could, in fact to
start a market for the fleet. To this they at first objected, on the
ground that the town had been completely abandoned by its inhabitants,
but eventually agreed to do what was desired. Then Môri got up, and
leaning over to me said confidentially that there was one thing about
which he was very anxious. The peace they had obtained was a most
precious and valuable thing, and they would greatly regret if any
untoward event were to injure our present friendly relations. It might
happen that an ill-disposed person would lie in wait to attack
foreigners, and, to prevent anything of this kind occurring, he begged
that those who went ashore would be on their guard. This was interpreted
to Admiral Küper, who at once replied that we had no fear of any such
evilly disposed persons, but that if a single European were hurt, the
whole town should be burnt to the ground. The Japanese authorities, he
added, were in the habit of saying this sort of thing, solely to prevent
our landing, and it looked to him a little suspicious.

Môri answered that he feared the purity of his intentions in giving this
warning was not understood. He was sure the Japanese authorities would
on their part take every precaution to prevent mishaps, and he had only
mentioned this to prevent mistakes.

_Ad. Küper_--"Very well. We shall not go into the country at all. No
doubt there is a governor in the town. You can give orders to him to
keep out the ill-disposed, and if he cannot defend the place, we will
land and do it for him."

_Môri_--"We will give orders to the governor."

This finished the business part of the conference, but the Admiral was
curious to know the details of what had recently taken place at Kiôto,
where it was reported there had been fighting between the Chôshiû and
Aidzu men. Thereupon Shiji told us a long story, the gist of which was
that after Chôshiû had received the orders of both the Mikado and Tycoon
for "the expulsion of the foreigners," and had acted upon them to the
best of his ability, he got a great deal of abuse for having done so.
Being both surprised and hurt at this treatment, he sent several times
to Kiôto to inquire the reason, but his people were driven out of the
capital, and he was forbidden to present himself there again. He became
indignant at this injustice, and his retainers sympathized with him very
strongly. At last a band of them, who could bear it no longer, set out
for Kiôto to demand an explanation from the Mikado's ministers. They
took swords, spears, and other warlike weapons in their hands. For why?
On a former occasion, nay twice, Aidzu had put to death every Chôshiû
man to be found in Kiôto. So, said they, "Aidzu may attack us also, and
then we must defend ourselves; we will not be killed for nothing." The
prince, happening to hear of their departure, sent three of his
ministers (_karô_) to recall them, but they refused to return. Then the
governor of Kiôto summoned Chôshiû's agent at the capital to send the
men home again, "for if you don't," said he, "I shall attack them."
However, the agent refused, and a battle ensued. When the "Barrosa" came
the first time to Himéshima with the letters of the foreign
representatives, the prince despatched his son to communicate with the
Mikado, but owing to the disturbed state of affairs he was unable to
effect anything. Shiji hoped we would not believe that the Chôshiû clan
harboured any treasonable intentions towards the Mikado, and the whole
truth was that they had simply tried to get an explanation of the manner
in which they had been treated. He added that we ought not to put any
trust in what was told us by the Kokura people or the junk sailors, who
came from Yedo and Hizen and all parts of the country, and were enemies
of Chôshiû.

Our visitors were then conducted over the ship, and after being
entertained with some music by the band they went over the side, and we
parted on very friendly terms.

A comparison of dates with the account given in Adams, chapters 25 and
26, of what had passed at Kiôto during the summer, shows that the
Chôshiû clansmen were marching from Ozaka to Kiôto at the very time that
Itô and Shiji landed from the "Barrosa" and reached Yamaguchi to convey
the messages of the foreign representatives to the princes. From time to
time other bodies of Chôshiû men reached the capital, and the
accumulated elements of civil war finally exploded on the 20th August,
before the younger prince of Chôshiû, who seems to have really started
from home to calm the excited spirits of the clansmen with news of a new
enemy in their rear, had time to arrive. The best fighting men were
consequently absent when the allied squadron appeared at the straits,
and our victory was therefore a much easier affair than it would
otherwise have been. I doubt whether any of the fugitives from Kiôto got
home in time to take part in the defence of the place.

Next day Captain Hayes of the "Tartar," Major Wray, R.E., and I went
ashore for a walk through Shimonoséki. The eastern end of the town had
received a good many round shot on the 6th September, and some of the
houses were almost knocked to pieces. I believe the Chôshiû men had
brought out a field piece or two and fired from that point against the
squadron lying in front of Tanoura. This had drawn on them our heavy
artillery. The townspeople were flocking back, and had commenced to
settle down again, but very few shops were open. The common people
followed us in crowds, and appeared very friendly, but the prices asked
by the shopkeepers were exorbitant. We were somewhat surprised, though
of course without reason, to find that the proportion of _curio_ shops
was very small as compared with Yokohama. We saw several soldiers, some
armed with rifles, others carrying swords and spears; they of course
could not be expected to look very amicably at their late foes.

On the 12th, Hadano and the two governors of the town came off to tell
the Admiral that a market would be opened at a wharf called Nabéhama
from ten to twelve in the forenoon for the sale of fresh provisions. We
of course suspected them of having made this arrangement in order to
have everything under their own control, and to keep the prices as high
as possible. The Admiral demanded a market from six to eight o'clock, to
which after much discussion they agreed. I learnt through my teacher
that the people were told to sell dearly to us, in spite of the promise
given to us by the officials that they would not interfere. The latter
had begged that our men might be ordered not to purchase anything in the
shops, on the ground that we should buy up all the provisions intended
for the townsfolk.

On the 13th, Captain Dowell transferred to the "Euryalus" as
flag-captain, vice captain Alexander invalided. Next day I accompanied
the two Admirals on shore to the clean little village of Moji. On asking
some Kokura men whom we met to show us the way up to the battery on the
point where the strait sweeps round, they inquired whether we had
permission from the guard established at a temple close by. The answer
to this astounding query was that we were not in the habit of asking
leave. "Was that the path?" "Yes, that's the path." So we toiled up a
hill through the pine trees, turned to the left, and descended into the
battery, which was constructed for three guns. It commanded a view right
up and down the straits, from Manshiû to Hikushima. It was a splendid
position for guns, though a shell pitched in the line of the work would
of necessity have fallen into it, unless passing very high, as it was
cut out of the hillside. All about it there were places cleared for guns
which would have a powerful effect against ships. The thick brushwood
would prevent any attempt at escalade, and a single gun is not easily
hit. I do not know what might be done with modern artillery, but it was
the opinion of all our engineer officers that if the Japanese of that
day had known the advantages of the position, they could easily have
rendered it impregnable.

At two o'clock in the afternoon arrived the Chôshiû delegates, who by
agreement made earlier in the day were to represent the prince. The
story they told us was that he had voluntarily shut himself up in order
to await the will of the Mikado, or as they phrased it, he had placed
himself in an attitude of respectful attention (_tsutsushindé oru_).
Lest it should be supposed that this is merely a joke, I must explain
that in the old times, whenever a member of the _samurai_ class had
committed an act in person or vicariously which might be expected to
bring down upon him the wrath of his political superiors, he at once
assumed a submissive posture, and as it were delivered himself up, tied
hands and feet, to the pleasure of his lord. It was a sort of voluntary
self-imprisonment as a first-class misdemeanant. We did not accept the
excuse, which it was natural to suppose had been invented to save him
the trouble of travelling to Shimonoséki, but I now incline to think
that horrorstruck at the violent proceedings of his followers who had
dared to fight against the defenders of the palace (and also repenting
of their failure), the old prince had hastened to atone for the crime of
treason, as far as lay in his power, by declaring his readiness to
undergo any penalty that might be decreed by the sovereign--if his
retainers would let him, being understood.

Their names were Shishido Bizen, Môri Idzumo, Shishido Giôma and Ibara
Kazuyé, ministers; and Nawozaki Yahichirô (_metsuké_, a secretary), Itô
Shunsuké, Hadano Kingo and another whose name I did not note down.
Bizen, it appeared, had after all not completely retired from public
affairs. Both the Admirals were present. As soon as the conference was
formed, Admiral Küper asked why they had not let him know earlier that
the prince was in seclusion, as the truce had been granted solely that
there might be time for him to reach Shimonoséki. They answered that the
boat was slow, and they had only arrived late on the previous day. They
had spent a long time arguing with the prince and using their best
efforts to persuade him to come, but he always answered that it was an
old custom from which he could not depart. He was in disgrace with the
Mikado, and was not able to see even his own confidential retainers,
much less could he see the Admirals. They regretted it very much, but it
could not be helped. The prince would have greatly liked to meet the
Admirals.

After this question had been so thoroughly thrashed out that the
Japanese could not but suppose that great importance was attached to a
direct undertaking on the part of the prince, the Admirals' demands were
announced, as follows:--

_Firstly._ Foreign vessels passing through the straits to be treated in
a friendly manner; to be permitted to purchase coals, provisions, water
and other necessaries. If driven in through stress of weather, the crews
to be permitted to land.

_Secondly._ Henceforth no new batteries to be constructed, the old ones
not to be repaired, and no guns to be mounted in them.

This article caused some discussion, for as now put it deprived them of
a loophole that had been left open on the previous occasion. But when
they were asked for what purpose the batteries had been erected, they
had but one answer--"for making war on foreigners." "Well then, those
foreigners having destroyed the batteries, and taken the guns, will not
permit any more to be put in the same place. The article is
indispensable, and must stand as it is." So they agreed to it.

_Thirdly._ The town of Shimonoséki might justly have been destroyed,
because it fired on our ships. But it was left unhurt, and therefore a
ransom must be paid. Furthermore, the prince must defray the cost of the
expedition. The whole amount will be determined by the foreign
representatives at Yedo.

To this our friends offered strenuous opposition. Chôshiû and Bôshiû
were two very small provinces, and possessed a revenue of scarcely
360,000 _koku_ of rice. Of this, 200,000 went to support the retainers,
the balance having been spent in batteries, guns, and all other manner
of warlike equipments. If the sum demanded were beyond their resources,
they could not pay it. There were plenty of men in the province who
cared nothing for their lives in comparison with the fulfilment of their
duty towards the prince. It is he who wishes to make peace, and he has
much difficulty in repressing their zeal. The Admiral replied that they
should have calculated the price beforehand. They had chosen to make
war, and now that the bill was being presented to them, they must pay
it. Finally they agreed to this article, but it struck me that their
object was solely to let us know that their spirit was not entirely
broken, and that if our demands were too exorbitant they would fight
rather than yield.

Last of all we inserted in the draft a declaration that this was merely
a treaty for the temporary cessation of hostilities, and was entirely
independent of any questions connected with Chôshiû which might have to
be settled later on between the foreign representatives and the Japanese
Government. I imagine that this clause had reference to the indemnities
which might be demanded on the part of France, Holland and the United
States. At any rate, it was agreed to without any discussion. A fair
copy was written out, to which two of the _karôs_ affixed their
signatures, and a couple of days were given to them to go to Yamaguchi
in order to obtain the prince's signature. Those who had not previously
seen the ship were taken the usual round through the lower deck and
engine room, and they left in a body.

On the 15th things seemed quiet enough for a little private exploration
on my own account in company with my teacher. We went first to call on
Ibara Kazuyé, one of the envoys who had negotiated the agreement of the
day before, and asked him to come on board to be photographed by Beato.
Then while Hayashi, whose crown was by this time black with a
fortnight's bristly growth, went to a barber's shop to get himself clean
shaved, I strolled about the streets alone, and turned into an
eating-house where we had agreed to meet. The people received me
civilly, and showed me upstairs to a room, one side of which was
entirely open to the air, and overlooked a small courtyard. In the next
apartment were some Chôshiû two-sworded men leaning over the wooden
balcony, who waved their hands to me to go away, but I called out, "What
do you want!" in a fierce tone, and they collapsed immediately, so great
was the prestige of our victory. When Hayashi joined me, we ordered an
_awabi_ to be got ready, and while it was being cooked, devoured nearly
the whole of a ripe water melon. The _awabi_ (rocksucker) was cooked
with sugar and proved terribly tough. Two sorts of _saké_ were served,
and the waiting maid smoked all the while to perfume the room. We wound
up with terrapin soup and rice. During the rest of my stay at
Shimonoséki, which lasted nearly a month, I was constantly on shore, and
never had any trouble with the townspeople, who were always civil and
friendly.

The treaty was brought down on the 16th, and found to be duly signed and
sealed. At the same time the Japanese produced a paper which they wanted
the Admirals to sign, undertaking that the officers and crews should
keep within certain limits, and above all, should not land at night.
There was a good deal of misunderstanding about this document. The Abbé
Girard's teacher maintained that it was a memorandum or note-verbale
from the Chôshiû authorities, and as I was younger and had not the
prestige of the Abbé as a Japanese scholar, I had to give way. So we
concocted a letter in reply, which I wrote out, and took on shore to the
governor. Our letter said that the principal restrictions which the
Japanese asked us to agree to had been granted already, and that as for
the rest, the governor had on the occasion of his last visit said there
were no complaints to make of our people trespassing on either
guardhouses or temples, and therefore it was unnecessary for them to
make such demands. In future, if they had anything to communicate, it
must be done by letter, signed and sealed by Ibara Kazuyé. On reading
this, the governor to my delight said, "Here's a mistake. What I brought
to you was a draft of a letter for the naval commanders to write to us."

The object of the naval operations in the straits having been completely
attained by the destruction of the batteries and the establishment of a
good understanding with the Prince of Chôshiû, preparations were now
made to withdraw the major portion of the allied squadrons, leaving only
three ships to prevent the possibility of the passage being again
fortified. I received orders to remain behind on board the "Barrosa." A
day before the Admiral sailed a letter came from the governor asking him
to give a passage as far as Yokohama to a _karô_ and two officers. The
request was at once granted, but the three passengers not arriving in
time, word was left that they might apply to the French Admiral, who was
to leave a day later. But this they declined to do, having been
instructed to ask for a passage in an English ship, and they would go by
no other. Eventually the "Barrosa" took them.

On the 20th accordingly, all the British ships except the "Barrosa," and
all the Dutch ships but the "Djambi," sailed away up the inland sea
towards Ozaka, the French, however, remaining. I went ashore afterwards
with some officers of the "Barrosa" for a walk, and as we passed the
guardhouse, its occupants called out, "Take off your hats." I replied,
"What do you say." The man on guard, "Take off your hats. This is the
honourable guardhouse of Shimonoséki." Answer from our side, "What folly
do you talk! If you repeat it, the governor shall be informed." So we
passed on into the town to the governor's house and laid a complaint in
due form against the over-zealous guardhouse keeper. The governor
promised to administer a reprimand, and was as good as his word, so that
when some other officers came ashore and passed the same spot, the
Japanese officers rushed out into the road to tell them that they need
not uncap.

I found the townspeople very communicative about the exploits of the
Americans and French in 1863, and from their relation it was easy to see
that while Captain M'Dougall of the "Wyoming" had given a very modest
account of his achievements in the way of sinking ships and firing
houses, the French had greatly exaggerated their own deeds of valour.
The "Wyoming" ran the gauntlet of all the batteries and sank the
"Lancefield" and the brig right in front of the town, whereas the
"Sémiramis" never ventured further than Tanoura. The common folk were
all entirely convinced that the Tycoon had given orders for the
expulsion of the foreigners, and I overheard a man in the market say
"the _Bakufu_ is playing a double game." _Bakufu_ was the most common
term by which the Tycoon's government was then designated. I was asked
whether the Tycoon had asked us to come down and destroy the batteries,
to which I answered "No; but he said he could not open the straits."
Then I gave them our view of the case, which was that the Tycoon,
finding himself in a tight place between the _daimiôs_ and the
foreigners, had to give assurances to both which were inconsistent with
each other, whereupon they all cried out with one voice: "_Homma da_, it
is true." That evening there arrived from Nagasaki the steamer
"Victoria" with the vice-governor of that port and an interpreter.
Passing in front of the town they paid the French Admiral a call, and
then anchored near us in Tanoura Bay. Coming on board to make inquiries,
they asked whether Chôshiû had been beaten, and on our replying in the
affirmative, they produced a copy of the prince's first letter begging
for peace addressed to the _Americans_, which they said had been
furnished to them by the Kokura people. That I told them bluntly must be
a lie, but they would not confess the source from which they had
obtained the document. They said their instructions were to ask the
Admiral not to believe the lies Chôshiû was telling about orders
received from the Tycoon to expel foreigners, and also that having heard
the fleet was going to Ozaka, the governor of Nagasaki, who was afraid
that the appearance of so large a force before the city, fresh from the
destruction of the batteries of Shimonoséki, might cause a panic, had
sent them to prevent any difficulties between the Admiral and the
governor of Ozaka. They were very anxious lest a treaty had been
concluded with Chôshiû for the opening of Shimonoséki to foreign trade,
which would have caused the commercial ruin of Nagasaki; but we declined
to give them any information. Having beaten the Chôshiû people, we had
come to like and respect them, while a feeling of dislike began to arise
in our minds for the Tycoon's people on account of their weakness and
double-dealing, and from this time onwards I sympathized more and more
with the _daimiô_ party, from whom the Tycoon's government had always
tried to keep us apart.

On the 21st the "Sémiramis" and "Dupleix" quitted the straits, leaving
behind them the "Tancrède." Some of us went ashore to the _honjin_ to
inquire whether we could obtain a supply of bullocks for the ship. The
officials promised to do all they could, but said it would be difficult,
as they killed none for themselves. We also asked them to change some
Mexican dollars into Japanese money, which they promised to do at the
Nagasaki market rate, but it was finally arranged that if we found
ourselves in actual need of coin, they should lend us a thousand
_ichibus_, to be returned to their agent at Yokohama. They proved so
obliging that we could not help regretting that in order to gain their
friendship it had been necessary to come to blows with them. And it is
not a little remarkable that neither the Satsuma nor the Chôshiû men
ever seemed to cherish any resentment against us for what we had done,
and during the years of disturbance and revolution that followed they
were always our most intimate allies.

That day we walked the whole length of the town unattended by any guard,
and got a glimpse of the China sea beyond the straits. We met, however,
with a little show of insolence from a couple of two-sworded men, who
motioned us back to our boats, but I discoursed to them in their own
tongue, and they were speedily reduced to silence: the exhibition of a
revolver had something to do with the production of this effect.

Itô came on board one day with a couple of men who, he said, were
merchants, but it was evident from the respect he paid to one of them,
who wore two swords, that they belonged to the high official class. They
were conducted round the ship and entertained with various liquors. He
declared that in all the fighting they had only seven or eight men
killed, and about twice that number wounded, but one of his companions
told me that the number killed was nearly twenty. Itô said that trade
could be done at Shimonoséki in cotton, wax and silk produced in
Chôshiû, as well as in all the productions of the northern provinces and
Ozaka. Probably they might manufacture paper for the English market. The
prince, he added, was very desirous of opening the port to foreign
commerce, but just at present they expected an invasion of the combined
forces of the Tycoon and all the _daimiôs_, and all their attention was
directed to their own defence. The two vessels sunk by the "Wyoming" in
1863 had been raised, and sent round to Hagi. I was surprised to learn
that the batteries at Maeda mura, as well as those at Kushi saki Point,
were within the territory of the _daimiô_ of Chôfu, who was however not
in so far independent that he could stand aside when the head of the
family went to war. Last year, at the time when the Dutch corvette
"Medusa" was fired on as she passed the straits, batteries had existed
on the low hills behind the town, and at two points on the sea front,
but the guns had subsequently been removed thence to Dannoura and Maeda
mura; their fate was to fall into our hands. The small three-gun battery
on Moji Point within the Kokura territory was also the work of the
Chôshiû men, who had levelled land and commenced the construction of
barracks, which were however destroyed by the Kokura people when the
failure of the prince's Kiôto schemes drove him to withdraw within his
own boundaries for self-protection.

We went one day in our boats down to Kokura with the intention of
landing there to walk through the town, but after keeping us waiting an
hour and a half, and repeatedly promising to open the gate, they finally
refused to admit us. They did indeed open it, but only to let out a
couple of fellows, who told us in the lowest of low voices that Kokura
not being a treaty port, we could not be allowed to enter. I took care
to inform them of our opinion that it was a great piece of ingratitude
on their part to treat us in so inhospitable a manner after we had
thrashed their enemy for them. Crowds of people had collected to look at
us, and doubtless we should have been mobbed if we had landed. There was
no idea on our part of forcing our way in.

Towards the end of the month smallpox broke out on board, and W. H.
Cummings, who had succeeded to the temporary command on Captain Dowell's
transfer to the flagship, determined to leave for Yokohama as soon as
the necessary arrangements could be made. On the 27th we applied
therefore to the authorities for a pilot to take the ship through the
inland sea, and gave notice that the commanders of the three ships would
pay a visit to Ibara on the morrow in order to settle about the passage
up to Yokohama which had been promised to him and two other officers. I
took the message on shore, and stopped to have a meal with Itô, who
good-naturedly had made great efforts to get up a dinner in European
style. He had built a table seven feet long by half that width, covered
with a short cloth of some coarse foreign material. Four plates were
laid, flanked by long knives, villainously sharp, attenuated brass
spoons with flat bowls, and a pair of chopsticks. The first dish
consisted of a boiled rockfish, which I found great difficulty in
cutting, but accomplished the task at last by inserting a sharpened
chopstick into the head, and using a spoon to remove the flesh. Soy, a
large bowl of rice, and a small saucer full of coarse salt, were also
placed on the table. The second course was broiled eels, and then came
a stewed terrapin, both of which were very good, but the boiled _awabi_
and boiled chicken which followed were quite out of the question. It was
a problem how to cut up a fowl with a knife that had no point, and whose
blade threatened at every moment to part company with its handle. I
abandoned the attempt, and served my companions with slices from the
breast. Unripe persimmons, peeled and cut in four, with sweet rice beer
(_mirin_) were now produced, and this was excellent. This was certainly
the earliest attempt ever made in that part of Japan at giving a dinner
in European style, perhaps the first in Japan.

It was finally determined that the party that was to visit Yokohama
should consist of Ibara, a councillor named Sugi Tokusuké, a secretary,
and Itô, with four servants, who were to be accommodated on board the
"Barrosa" and "Djambi." The "Tancrède," which was to leave before us,
could not find room for more than half the party, and as they did not
wish to be separated longer than they could help, they elected to come
with us. On the 4th October the "Racehorse," Commander Boxer, arrived to
relieve us. Ibara and his secretary, Yamagata Keizô, and we sailed the
following morning.

News of our successful result of the naval operations and of the
conclusion of a convention with the Prince of Chôshiû was at once
conveyed to the foreign representatives at Yokohama, who lost no time in
calling the Tycoon's government to account for their apparent complicity
with Chôshiû, as evidenced by the copies of orders from Kiôto which Itô
had given us. The explanation was feeble, and the representatives found
no difficulty in obtaining from the ministers their consent to pay
whatever war indemnity might be due from Chôshiû, or else to throw open
to trade a port in the inland sea. Although in the sequel the receipt of
the indemnity money by us actually took place, it was in a manner forced
upon the four Powers and their diplomatic agents, and certainly as far
as Sir R. Alcock is concerned, he may be entirely exonerated from the
accusation of a desire to exact an indemnity from either the defeated
_daimiô_ or the government which assumed responsibility for him. The
principal object he sought was to obtain the sanction of the Mikado to
the treaties, so as to put an end to the agitation against foreign
commerce which had been carried on by hostile _daimiôs_ in the Mikado's
name ever since the opening of the ports. Now that Satsuma and Chôshiû,
the two ringleaders of the opposition, had been brought to their senses,
it ought to have been, he thought, an easy matter for the Tycoon's
government, if they sincerely desired to carry out their treaty
obligations, to assert their authority and compel the whole country to
accept the new policy of foreign intercourse. The fixing of an indemnity
was intended only to provide a means of pressure upon the Tycoon's
government in order to procure the Mikado's ratification of the
treaties, and the consequent extension of commercial relations.

Ibara and his companions reached Yokohama on the 10th October, and
obtained an interview the same day with Sir Rutherford Alcock and Mr.
Pruyn, the United States minister. The reception accorded to them was of
such a nature as to convince them that the foreign powers were not
hostilely disposed towards the _daimiô_ of Chôshiû, and it was no doubt
with a sense of relief that they learnt the intention of the foreign
representatives to claim the payment of the indemnity from the Tycoon.
At the same time it was clearly understood by both parties that the
other engagements entered into by Chôshiû respecting the permanent
disarmament of the straits of Shimonoséki and the hospitable treatment
of foreign vessels were to be faithfully adhered to, and on these heads
his subsequent conduct gave no ground for complaint. It was somewhat a
curious position for the retainers of a prince, who had been declared a
rebel against the Mikado and enemy of the Tycoon, to land at Yokohama, a
port belonging to the latter, but as far as I remember, they confined
their visit to the foreign settlement, where they were safe from
interference, and on the 14th the "Tartar" left with them on board to
return to their native province.



                              CHAPTER XII

                     THE MURDER OF BIRD AND BALDWIN


IT was about this time that Sir Rutherford Alcock received Lord
Russell's despatches recalling him to England. Ostensibly for the
purpose of consulting with him on the situation of affairs, this summons
to London was accompanied by the expression of an opinion that the
passage of the inland sea was not necessary to foreign commerce, which
amounted to a censure upon his conduct. It is seldom that an agent of
the Foreign Office is told in so many words that he is recalled because
his conduct of affairs has not given satisfaction, but inasmuch as leave
of absence is usually granted upon the application of the ambassador,
envoy, or whatever the title of the head of a mission may be, an
invitation to return home is equivalent to the removal of a diplomatic
officer from his employment. But arriving just at the moment when his
policy had been successful in every direction, and when all the
foreigners in the country were united in a chorus of gratitude to him
for his energetic action, he and all the members of his legation felt
that the displeasure of Lord John Russell was not a matter of much
moment. The crushing defeat of Chôshiû by the foreign squadrons coming
so immediately after the repulse of his troops from the gates of the
palace at Kiôto restored confidence to the Tycoon's government, and
enabled them to declare firmly to the Mikado that the idea of expelling
foreigners from the country and putting an end to trade was utterly and
entirely impracticable, while on the other hand the demonstrated
superiority of European methods of warfare had converted our bitterest
and most determined foes into fast friends. The vindication of his
proceedings was no difficult task, and the despatch in which he
justified the course he had taken was conceived in a style at once calm
and convincing. It is only fair to Lord Russell to say that he lost no
time in acknowledging that his agent had been in the right, and in
conveying to him the Queen's full approbation of his conduct. But this
solatium to his feelings did not reach Yokohama until he was already on
his way to England.

The Shôgun's government voluntarily undertook to be responsible for
whatever sum might be fixed upon as the indemnity to be paid by the
Prince of Chôshiû. On the 22nd October a convention was signed by a
member of the Shôgun's second council and the four foreign
representatives by which three millions of dollars were to be paid in
satisfaction of all claims, or as an alternative the opening of
Shimonoséki or some other port in the inland sea, if the Tycoon
preferred to offer it and the Powers were willing to accept. The
division of this sum of money among the different Powers was reserved
for adjustment between the four governments. Advantage was also taken of
the desire to conciliate foreign Powers now manifested by the Tycoon's
ministers to obtain the promise of various improvements at Yokohama
calculated to add to the comfort and well-being of the foreign
residents, and Sir Rutherford, having thus reaped all the fruits of his
courage and perseverance was preparing to quit Japan in obedience to the
instructions of Lord Russell, when a fresh and totally unforeseen event
occurred which for a time delayed his departure.

After our successes at Shimonoséki, and the frank admission by the
Tycoon's government of the necessity of maintaining the treaties, the
confidence of foreign residents in the safety of the neighbourhood had
so completely revived that they no longer feared to make excursions
within the limits marked out by the treaties. But they received a rude
shock on the night of the 20th November when the governor of Kanagawa
came to Mr. Winchester, the British Consul, and informed him that Major
Baldwin and Lieutenant Bird of the xxth regiment had been barbarously
murdered at Kamakura, a well-known resort some twelve miles from
Yokohama. Baldwin was killed on the spot, but according to the testimony
of the inhabitants, Bird had lived for some hours after he was disabled.
The two officers had visited the famous colossal Buddha, and riding
along the road towards the temple of Hachiman, were just about to turn
the corner into the avenue when a couple of men sprang out upon them
with their keen-edged swords and inflicted such ghastly wounds as
brought them to the ground almost unresistingly. The horror of the
foreign community can be more easily imagined than described, and it was
further deepened when as the result of the inquest it came to be
suspected that the mortal wound to which Bird had succumbed had been
inflicted some hours after the assassins had left the spot. This, in the
opinion of the surgeons, was a wound in the neck completely dividing the
spinal cord between the second and third cervical vertebrae, which
clearly must have been followed by instant death. Now all the evidence
went to show that the younger victim had lived until ten o'clock in the
evening. If so, by whom was this wound given, and with what motive?
Those who implicitly relied upon the report of the regimental surgeons
jumped to the conclusion that it was the act of one of the officials
despatched to the scene of the murder by the governor as soon as the
news was brought to him, which was no doubt some three or four hours
before he himself went to communicate it to Mr. Winchester, and the
motive was suggested to be a desire to prevent the wounded man from
giving such information to his countrymen as might have led to the
identification of the murderers. But I cannot believe that any Japanese,
official or not, could ever have compassed such a treacherous deed. I
believe on the contrary that the surgeons who dissected out the wound,
not using sufficient care, themselves divided the spinal cord with a
probe or some other instrument, and that Bird's death was caused in
reality by the loss of blood from his numerous wounds. And this was the
view taken by Dr Willis of our legation and Dr Jenkins, then established
as a general practitioner in Yokohama, neither of whom was invited to
assist at the _post mortem_.

The two surgeons having made a hurried examination and enunciated
certain views as to the nature of Bird's wounds, without foreseeing the
inferences that might be drawn, would naturally, and probably with
entire good faith, adhere to those views afterwards, especially as it
would not appear to them at all incredible _à priori_ that the
countrymen of the men who had committed such a foul assassination should
be capable of a deed, dastardly enough in itself, but no doubt
justifiable in the opinion of any foreigner-hating Japanese official.
There are many additional considerations suggested by the reports
contained in the Parliamentary papers which would corroborate the view
here put forth, if I had space to discuss them. But as this book is
intended to be a record of my own experiences and memories, and not a
compilation from published materials, it is not the place to go into all
these particulars at length.

The Tycoon's government made all the exertions in their power to trace
the assassins, and before a month was over they had arrested one of the
guilty persons, named Shimidzu Seiji. Already on the 16th two of his
associates named Gamaiké and Inaba, accused of combining with him in a
plot to murder foreigners, and of extorting money from a rich farmer,
had been executed, though they were not actual accomplices in the
Kamakura crime.

I was present at the execution of these two men, which took place in an
enclosure outside the Japanese gaol in the afternoon of the 16th
December 1864. There was a large concourse of spectators, both foreign
and native. A little after three o'clock a whisper ran round that the
condemned were being brought out. A door opened, and a man blindfolded
and bound with cords was led through the crowd. He was made to kneel
down on a rough mat placed in front of a hole dug in the ground to
receive his blood. The attendants drew his clothes downwards so as to
lay the neck bare, and with the hand brushed his hair upwards, so as to
give full play to the sword. The executioner secured a piece of cotton
cloth round the handle of his weapon, and having carefully whetted the
blade, took up a position to the left of his victim, then raising the
sword high above his head with both hands, let it fall with a swoop that
severed the neck completely. The head was held up for the inspection of
the chief officer present, who simply remarked: "I have seen it," and it
was thrown into the hole. The second man being then carried in, the
attendants seemed to have a little trouble in getting him to kneel in
the proper position, but at last the arrangements were completed to
their satisfaction. The neck having been bared as before, a fresh
executioner advanced, took his place at the prisoner's left side, and
raising the sword with a flourish, let it descend with the same skill as
his predecessor. It was a horrible sight to see the attendants holding
the headless corpse down to the hole, and kneading it so as to make the
blood flow more readily into the hole, and I left the spot in all haste,
vowing that mere curiosity should never induce me to witness another
execution.

Capital punishment was much commoner in Japan in those days than it has
been since the promulgation of the present humane penal code, and
included transfixing with spears. Many of the foreign residents must
have been present at such sanguinary spectacles, merely impelled by
curiosity, and without the natural excuse of desiring to see the
sentence of the law fulfilled upon an offender against their own blood.

The night before Sir Rutherford embarked for England news was brought to
him of the arrest of Shimidzu Seiji, one of the actual murderers of
Baldwin and Bird. Owing to the reputed excellence of the native
detective police, which under a despotic government is usually
efficient, it was believed by us that the Japanese Government could
always have procured the arrest of the assailants of foreigners, if they
had been determined to do so. The names, _e.g._, of many of those who
were engaged in the attack on our legation in 1861 were, as I learnt
some years afterwards, matter of common notoriety, but in the difficult
political position that the Tycoon's advisers had created for
themselves, they did not dare to convict the murderer of a foreigner.
This then was the first instance of such a crime being brought home to
its perpetrators. The British minister had good reason to feel gratified
at this proof that his policy had been the right one, and it was a very
natural movement that induced him to take off his watch and chain and
throw them over the neck of the messenger of good tidings.

Shimidzu Seiji was executed on the 28th December at ten o'clock in the
morning, in the presence of a detachment of the English garrison.
Whatever doubts may have existed as to the complicity of Gamaiké and
Inaba in his designs against the lives of the foreign residents, there
is none as to the fact that this man was one of the actual murderers of
Baldwin and Bird. I was instructed to accompany Mr. M. O. Flowers, the
acting consul, to the prison on the preceding day to hear the sentence
pronounced. We waited some hours till he arrived from Yedo in custody of
a strong guard, and he was at once confronted with the witnesses, who
examined his features in silence. They were then separately
interrogated, and one and all recognized him, the most important witness
being the boy who had seen the attack. Afterwards we proceeded to
another room and questioned the prisoner, who acknowledged his guilt in
the clearest manner possible. He was proceeding to say something more,
but was ordered by the Japanese officers to be silent. But the best
evidence of his identity was obtained by another member of the consular
service, who after the murderer had been paraded round the town preceded
by a banner on which his sentence was inscribed (this was part of his
punishment), accompanied the procession back to the execution ground.
Here Mr. Fletcher overheard him say: "When I killed the foreigners, I
expected one of them might be a consul," and every one who knew our
colleague will acknowledge that he was a man of the most exact
truthfulness, who was not in the least degree likely to make a mistake
in such a matter, or over anxious to believe that the Japanese
Government were in this instance departing from the bad faith which is
the usual refuge of Asiatics in a difficult position.

On the morning of the 28th the garrison was marched over to the
execution ground, and drawn up on one side. The prisoner was brought out
about ten o'clock. The first words he uttered were a request for some
_saké_. Being again questioned, he frankly acknowledged his guilt. I
asked him what it was that he had been prevented from saying to us on
the previous day, to which he answered that if Bird and Baldwin had got
out of his way he would not have attacked them. Whether this was true or
not I have no means of judging, but it does not accord with his written
deposition. That, it must be recollected, is not in Japan a simple
record of everything a prisoner says, but is a reduction in writing by
an officer of the court of the final result of all the statements made
by him on the different occasions when he was examined, and resembles
much more the summing up of the evidence on a criminal trial in England
by the presiding judge. He begged the Japanese officials not to bandage
his eyes, and began to chant a verse which might be thus translated:

    "I do not regret being taken and put to death,
    For to kill barbarians is the true spirit of a Japanese."

As the attendants were drawing back the clothes from his neck to prepare
it for the executioner's stroke, he bade them loosen his cords so that
they might do it with greater ease, adding: "In after ages they will
say, what a fine fellow was Shimidzu Seiji." He also remarked, "I don't
think the sword that cut off Gempachi's head will do for me," alluding
probably to the thickness of his own neck, and begged that the blade
might be well whetted. Then saying, "Cut neatly if you please," he
stretched out his neck for the stroke. These were the last words he
spoke, but just as the sword began to descend he turned his head to the
left as if to address some further observation to the officials, so that
the cut partly missed its purpose, and the executioner had to hack the
head off--a most horrible sight. Simultaneously with the delivery of the
first blow, a gun fired by the battery of Royal Artillery announced to
all that the assassin had received the punishment of his crime, and we
dispersed as quickly as possible. The head was taken to the bridge at
the northern entrance of Yokohama and there exposed on a gibbet for
three days. Copies of the sentence were posted up at Totsuka and at the
scene of the murder, and a few days later I accompanied the Legation
mounted guard to see that this part of the undertaking given by the
Japanese authorities had been duly performed. We found that they had
fulfilled their promises to the letter, and thus ended one of the most
dramatic incidents in the whole of my experience in the country.

It was impossible not to hate the assassin, but nevertheless, looking at
the matter from a Japanese point of view, I confess that I could not
help regretting that a man who was evidently of such heroic mould,
should have been misguided enough to believe that his country could be
helped by such means. But the blood of the foreigners who fell under the
swords of Japanese murderers, and the lives which were sacrificed to
avenge it bore fruit in later days, and fertilised the ground from which
sprang the tree of the national regeneration.



                              CHAPTER XIII

               RATIFICATION OF THE TREATIES BY THE MIKADO


SIR RUTHERFORD having quitted Japan, the conduct of affairs was assumed
by Mr. Winchester as Chargé d'Affaires. Before long despatches reached
us from Lord Russell expressing the entire satisfaction of the British
Government with the policy pursued by our late chief, and we heard that
he had been rewarded by promotion to the more important post of minister
at Peking. He was succeeded by Sir Harry Parkes, who came to us invested
with the prestige of a man who had looked death in the face with no
ordinary heroism, and in the eyes of all European residents in the far
east held a higher position than any officer of the crown in those
countries. And whatever may have been his faults and shortcomings,
especially towards the latter part of his career, it must be
acknowledged that England never was represented by a more devoted public
servant, and that Japan herself owes to his exertions a debt which she
can never repay and has never fully acknowledged. If he had taken a
different side in the revolution of 1868, if he had simply acted with
the majority of his colleagues, almost insurmountable difficulties would
have been placed in the way of the Mikado's restoration, and the civil
war could never have been brought to so speedy a termination. He was an
indefatigable worker, entirely absorbed in the duties of his post,
untiring in his endeavours to obtain a correct view of his surroundings,
never sparing himself, and requiring from his subordinates the same
zealous assiduity. Of his personal courage I had the opportunity
afterwards of witnessing one striking example, and brilliant as have
been the achievements of many of our Indian civilians, I do not think
that his coolness and fortitude in the moment of peril have ever been
surpassed by any man not bred to war. He was strict and severe in
service matters, but in his private relations gracious to all those who
had occasion to seek his help, and a faithful friend to all who won his
goodwill. Unfortunately I was not one of these, and the result was that
from the beginning we were never friends, down to the very last, though
he never had reason to complain of sloth or unreadiness to take my share
of the work, and so it came about that before long I became one of his
assistants, and in the end of 1866 was finally transferred from the
Yokohama Consulate (where I had been appointed interpreter early in
1865) to the Legation.

The accomplice of Shimidzu Seiji in the murder of Bird and Baldwin,
named Mamiya Hajimé, was executed on the 30th October 1865. I went out
early with Flowers in pouring rain to question the prisoner on some
points which had to be cleared up in connection with the crime. He was
condemned to the same punishment as his confederate, and we went out
again at one o'clock to be present at his decapitation. It was a pouring
wet day, and the dull leaden sky overhead was in keeping with the
melancholy occasion. Mamiya was a young fellow, and endowed with far
less fortitude than Shimidzu, and in order to enable him to face the
executioner he had been allowed to stupify himself with drink. His head
was taken off at a single blow. The usual doubts as to his identity were
expressed by the local foreign press, but for myself I was convinced
that he was one of the assassins. If the Tycoon's government had
substituted any other criminal for a man whom they had not succeeded in
capturing, the truth would have surely leaked out, and by this time we
had sources of information which would have enabled us speedily to
detect any trick.

Sir Harry Parkes reached Yokohama early in July, and Mr. Winchester took
his departure for Shanghai, where he had been appointed to be consul. F.
S. Myburgh was transferred at the same time from Nagasaki to the
Yokohama consulate. In passing through Nagasaki Sir Harry had already
learnt from the agents of some of the _daimiôs_ that a civil war was
expected at no distant date, the object of which would be the overthrow
of the Tycoon. He already in September began to speak to the Tycoon's
council of the desirability of obtaining the Mikado's ratification of
the treaties, but the credit of the idea is in reality due to Mr.
Winchester, who (I did not know it at the time) as early as April had
suggested to the British Government that the written adhesion of the
Mikado to the treaties, and the reduction of the import duties to a
uniform tariff of 5 per cent. _ad valorem_ might be obtained in return
for the partial abandonment of the Shimonoséki indemnity, the Tycoon's
ministers having stated they could not continue to make the quarterly
payments of $500,000 at a time, as had been stipulated in the
convention. In fact Sir Rutherford Alcock had begun to lay stress on the
necessity of the Mikado's ratification of the treaties almost
immediately after the bombardment of Shimonoséki. This suggestion was
approved by Lord Russell, who at once communicated it to the governments
of Holland, France, and the United States, and sent despatches to Japan
to the same effect which reached Sir Harry Parkes towards the end of
October. He lost no time in consulting with his colleagues, and in
proposing that they should proceed in a body to Ozaka, supported by a
considerable squadron of men-of-war, to negotiate direct with the main
body of the Tycoon's ministers. I should have mentioned before that the
Tycoon was at Kiôto, having proceeded thither in the month of June,
ostensibly for the purpose of taking command of the army which was to
chastise the presumptuous rebel, the Prince of Chôshiû, and was still
detained there by various intrigues and the insufficiency of his
military means.

The French minister, who was at first strongly opposed to the
abandonment of the indemnity in exchange for the opening of a port, had
received instructions from his government which had induced him to come
over to the views of the British representative, who found the United
States Chargé d'Affaires and Netherlands Political Agent equally willing
to follow his lead. As to the latter, we were accustomed to believe that
Sir Harry had him "in his pocket," as the phrase goes, and the Americans
had at that time partially abandoned the affectation of acting on
different lines from the "effete monarchies of Europe." Unity of action
being thus secured, the word was passed to the naval commanders to get
ready for sea, and the legations having packed up a sufficient quantity
of foolscap paper, silk tape, quill pens and bottles of ink, embarked on
board the next day but one after the signature of a protocol in which
the four diplomatic representatives had recorded their views and
projects. Sir Harry took with him John Macdonald, Alexander von Siebold
and myself.

The squadron was an imposing one, though not so overwhelmingly strong as
that which had destroyed the batteries at Shimonoséki in the previous
year. Of British ships there were the "Princess Royal," 73, flying the
broad pennant of Admiral St George Vincent King; the "Leopard," 18;
"Pelorus," 22; and "Bouncer," 1; of French, the "Guerrière," 36;
"Dupleix," 12; and "Kienchang," 4; while the Netherlands contributed the
corvette "Zoutman." Our Admiral was extremely good-natured, and had
fitted up private cabins for us three civilians on the main deck. I was
delighted to find myself on board with my friend A. G. S. Hawes, a
marine officer recently transferred to the flagship from the "Severn."

The foreign representatives, it was rumoured, proposed, in addition to
the Mikado's ratification of the treaties and the reduction of the
tariff, to ask for the opening of Ozaka and Hiôgo to foreign trade on
the 1st January 1866. By the Treaty of 1858 these places were to have
been opened on the 1st January 1863, but the powers had in 1862 agreed
to a postponement of five years, in order to give time for things to
settle down. In return, the four powers were ready to forgo two-thirds
of the Shimonoséki indemnity, and the option of deciding was to be left
to the Tycoon. This much was bruited about among the members of the
foreign legations. Outsiders said that we were about to present an
_ultimatum_, and that the creation of two new centres of foreign trade
was to be demanded without alternative. The men in the service who
expected appointments would of course have been eager to believe this
version but for the glorious uncertainty which surrounds all diplomatic
projects.

The Yedo government were alarmed at the energetic step on which the
representatives had resolved, and Midzuno Idzumi no Kami, the only
member of the first council who had remained behind in Yedo when the
Tycoon went up to Kiôto, came down in the company of Sakai Hida no Kami,
one of the second council, to exert all his powers of dissuasion with
Sir Harry. It was the first time that a functionary of so high a rank
had ever visited a foreign legation, and the evidence of anxiety thus
afforded simply confirmed the resolution that had been taken to bring
matters to a crisis. That Midzuno and his subordinate hoped their
efforts would be successful there is no reason to suppose, and in fact
they contented themselves mainly with offering some advice as to the
best method of proceeding on the arrival of the representatives at
Hiôgo.

We left on the 1st November, and proceeding in a leisurely manner along
the coast, passed the Idzumi Straits at 8 a.m. on the 4th. The guns were
loaded and the men beat to quarters, but the garrison of the forts at
Yura showed no signs of molesting us, and everybody soon quieted down
again. At half-past eleven we came in sight of Ozaka, lying on the low
land at the mouth of the Yodo river. The mountains which enclose the bay
on either side here appear to retire far into the interior, until they
disappear in the haze. The Tycoon's castle was easily distinguished by
its innumerable many-storied white towers, rising at the back of the
city. But of the town very little was visible owing to the slight
elevation of the houses and the distance from the deep water outside
where we were passing. The allied squadron formed in one line, headed by
the "Princess Royal," and gradually rounded off in the direction of
Hiôgo, where we anchored at half-past one. One by one the other ships
came in and took up the positions indicated to them.

The bay was crowded with junks of all sizes, and we counted seven
Japanese steamers lying at anchor. From one of these, belonging to the
Tycoon's War Department, a couple of officers came on board to make the
usual inquiries, and shortly afterwards some very inquisitive
shore-going officials came off, who put a great many questions about the
object of our visit and where we had come from. They got very little
information in reply, but were told that some officers would be going by
sea to Ozaka on the following day, and that notice should be sent to the
governor of the city in order that he might despatch somebody down to
the landing-place to meet them. They were also requested to provide
pilots for the two vessels to be despatched to Ozaka, but they declared
themselves unable to promise anything we asked. However, as by their own
rules they were under an obligation to send information to the governor,
this refusal was not of any great consequence.

The Abbé Girard, who had acted as interpreter to Admiral Jaurès the
previous year at Shimonoséki, was on this occasion replaced by M. Mermet
de Cachon, a Jesuit attached to the French legation. He, with Messrs
Macdonald and von Siebold of our legation, and Mr. Hegt, the clerk of
the Netherlands Political Agent, were despatched on the following day in
the "Kienchang" to Ozaka bearing letters from the foreign
representatives. The "Bouncer" was to have taken our people, but her
commander was not able to get up steam in time, so that the French flag
alone made its appearance at the bar of Ozaka. First point scored by the
French. M. Mermet had ingeniously prepared the French's minister's
letter in Japanese, inserting at the end a long paragraph, which did not
appear in the other three letters, empowering himself to state in
outline to the Tycoon's council the objects of the foreign
representatives, hoping thus to become the spokesman for all four.

On arriving at the mouth of the river, they were met by the two
governors of the city (all officials were kept in duplicate in those
days), who conducted them to a building close at hand, evidently
prepared beforehand for their reception. On learning that M. Mermet and
his companions desired to have a personal interview with one of the
council, the governors started off immediately to fetch him, as they
said, promising that he should be down by four o'clock. In the meantime
Macdonald, Siebold and Hegt started off to walk to Ozaka, intending to
seek out the ministers there, but after wandering a long distance, they
found themselves at three o'clock only just in sight of the city, and
had to hurry back in a boat. The governors, however, did more than keep
their promise, and instead of one, produced two of the council, namely
Ogasawara Iki no Kami and Abé Bungo no Kami. The letters were delivered
to them, and they listened civilly and even affably to the messages
which Mermet and Macdonald delivered, but were unprepared of course to
give any answer. It was agreed, however, that Abé should proceed to
Hiôgo on the 9th to meet the four representatives on board the "Princess
Royal," as sole negotiator on behalf of the Tycoon, who, it was stated,
had gone up to Kiôto. For me had been reserved the less glorious task of
opening up communications with the local officials, and in company with
Captain W. G. Jones I went ashore to talk about beef, water, coals, and
other ship's requirements. We also informed them that the officers would
land, and requested that the townspeople might be ordered to treat them
with civility. This they promised to do, but added that their duty to
their chiefs, the governors of Ozaka, would oblige them to detail one or
two constables to watch over the safety of each party. After we had
conversed awhile with the head constable, a young man of 19 or 20, some
higher officials made their appearance and assumed the power. They
promised to do everything we asked, and to help their memories made very
full notes. In the afternoon accordingly, leave to go ashore was given
to all the ships, and many of the officers availed themselves of the
opportunity of visiting what was then a _terra incognita_ to most
Europeans. The Admiral, Sir Harry and myself walked from one end of the
town to the other, and found the inhabitants well-disposed, though they
followed us in crowds.

This was a very different reception from what the Tycoon's officers had
warned us to expect. They always talked to us of the hostility of the
_daimiôs_ and the dislike and fear of us entertained by the common
people, but we met with nothing but indications of goodwill from all
classes. It became clearer to us every day that the Shôgunate feared
lest free communication between foreigners and those sections of the
Japanese people who were outside its direct control would impair the
authority of the institutions that had now lasted, with no small benefit
to the Tokugawa family, for the last 260 years, and that consequently it
could not be a desirable policy for Great Britain to endeavour to
bolster up a decaying power. As an instance of the manner in which the
Tycoon's officials endeavoured to obstruct intercourse, it may be
mentioned that they published a notification in Ozaka forbidding the
townspeople to visit the ships, knowing full well that a closer
acquaintance would make their subjects and foreigners better friends.

The next few days were spent in exploring the neighbourhood with a view
to selecting a site for a foreign settlement, and there was a good deal
of running up and down to Ozaka by sea with messages for the council.
Abé was not able to come on Thursday, and at first it was held out that
another member of the council would replace him, but when the day
arrived, the two governors of Ozaka made their appearance with other
excuses. Sir Harry spoke very strongly to them, and insisted on seeing
some one on Saturday at the latest. But as he did not expect that his
request would be complied with, he despatched Siebold, Hegt and myself
early in the morning to Ozaka. On approaching the anchorage, however, we
saw a Japanese steamer coming from the opposite direction, and lowering
a boat we went on board. We found that she was conveying Abé Bungo no
Kami to Hiôgo to see the foreign ministers. It was arranged therefore
that Siebold should return with him, while Hegt and I went on with a
couple of officials lent to us by Abé. But as soon as we anchored these
men began to be obstructive, refusing to accompany us on shore until the
port officers had first visited the ship. Seeing, however, that we were
determined to go, without them if necessary, they at last stepped over
the side into the boat with a very bad grace indeed. We rowed in safely
in the ship's gig, with four bluejackets well-armed, over the bar, which
a few days before had been rendered impassable by a strong west wind,
and landed in a small creek behind the battery at Tempôzan Point. We at
once took possession of a house where Macdonald and Siebold had lodged
on their last visit, disregarding the excuses of the officials, who said
it was occupied by a sick person, but we were used to such subterfuges,
and of course there was no sick man there at all. After a while we
returned to the gig, and rowing up the river in half-an-hour, reached
the outskirts of the city, where we landed to inspect a house that had
been assigned for the accommodation of the foreign representatives. The
latter intended to negotiate in Ozaka itself, but this idea was
subsequently abandoned. As this one house was evidently not large enough
for the representatives and their suites, I said I would go to the
governor and ask him to provide other accommodation. The officials
became alarmed at this, and at once offered to show us another house, to
which they would take us in a boat. As we wished to see something of the
city, I declined this proposal, and to their horror we proceeded to walk
along the bank. A dense crowd of people gathered round us, but they were
very quiet, and after passing the Ajikawa-bashi, the first of the series
of bridges that span the river right up to the castle, we were shown a
temple which, however, proved to be again insufficient for our needs. It
being clear that our guides were not animated by goodwill, I again
menaced them with a visit to the governor, but here they became utterly
obstinate, and I had to give way. So we returned to our gig, and
resolving to have a good look at the city, got on board and started to
row up stream.

Before long we reached a barrier composed of native boats moored right
across from bank to bank, with the evident intention of impeding our
further progress. Some officials in a guardhouse on the bank shouted to
us to go back, but we pushed straight ashore, and I ascended the steps
to demand the reason of this obstruction. Orders from the governor was
the reply. A somewhat heated altercation ensued, and I demanded that
either we should be allowed to pass or that I should at once be
conducted to the governor's house. At last they gave way and removed one
or two of the junks, leaving just enough space for our gig. Taking one
of the guardhouse officials on board, we proceeded up the river, not a
little proud of our victory over the bumbledom of a city of 400,000
people, and fully determined to go right up to the castle. Dense crowds
of people collected on the bridges, sometimes yelling and abusing us,
now and then throwing stones. Hegt began to lose his temper, and drawing
his revolver, threatened to fire, but I made him put it back in his
pouch. We were in no danger, and could not afford to commit murder for
such a trifling reason.

At last, after grounding once or twice on the sandbanks, we reached the
Kiô-bashi just below the castle. On our left was a small boat full of
officials who called to us to come and report ourselves, while on the
right extended a grassy bank crowded with soldiers dressed in
semi-European costume, among whom were a few men in plain dress,
apparently noblemen's retainers. One of these came down to the water's
edge, close to which we had approached, and shouted out to the Japanese
who was with us for his name and office. Our man replied: "Who are you?"
and they wrangled for about five minutes, while we kept a watchful eye
on the straggling soldiery. But it was clearly unadvisable to land in
the midst of a hostile armed crowd, and we reluctantly turned the boat's
head down stream, which now carried us swiftly along. The same crowds
still occupied the bridges, and shouted abusive epithets as we passed,
to the great alarm of the Japanese official, who had not got over Hegt's
fierce demeanour on the way up, and trembled for fear lest there should
be a row. Landing the poor fellow, whose tone had become remarkably
fainter and humbler since he first made our acquaintance in the morning,
we pulled out across the bar to the "Bouncer," and in a few minutes more
were on our way back to Hiôgo, having seen a good deal more of Ozaka
than any one else, and braved the wrath of multitudinous _yakunins_. I
began to feel contempt for the weak-kneed officials who so easily
allowed themselves to be browbeaten by a few Europeans.

A curious rencontre took place during our stay at Hiôgo. A Satsuma
steamer was lying in the port, and one day the captain, Arigawa Yakurô,
came on board the flagship with some of his officers. One of them
remembered having seen me at Kagoshima, and we immediately fraternized
very heartily. After drinking and smoking a good deal they took leave,
promising to send a boat for me next day to accompany them ashore to a
Japanese dinner. But they forgot their promise. The day after my
expedition to Ozaka, Siebold and I went on board Arigawa's ship to find
him on the point of weighing anchor. He was very glad to see us,
abounded in apologies for being unable to fulfil his engagement to give
an _onna gochisô_, and showed us the cabin that had been fitted up for
the entertainment. This gentleman was too civil by half, but still the
contrast to the "offishness" of the Tycoon's officials was very
agreeable. If I would like to visit Kagoshima and Loochoo he would be
glad to give me a passage. We passed some time on board eating raw eggs
and drinking _saké_. I rather think I here met Kawamura for the first
time. A few days later when the steamer returned I again went on board
and made an even more interesting acquaintance. This was a big burly
man, with small, sparkling black eyes, who was lying down in one of the
berths. His name, they said, was Shimadzu Sachiû, and I noticed that he
had the scar of a sword cut on one of his arms. Many months afterwards I
met him again, this time under his real name of Saigô Kichinosuké. I
shall have more to say of him hereafter.

Abé Bungo no Kami had a _five hours'_ interview with Sir Harry on the
10th, after which he went on board the "Guerrière" to see Mr. Roches,
the French envoy. I learnt from Siebold that the conversation had not
been of a satisfactory character. His answer to the three propositions
of the representatives amounted to a _non possumus_. The Tycoon would
pay up the second instalment of the indemnity rather than run the risk
of incurring unpopularity by giving way to our demands. _Jin-shin
fu-ori-ai_, the popular mind very unsettled, was the excuse then, and
for many a day after. Sir Harry had given Abé a piece of his mind, and
said he had better return to his colleagues and get them to reconsider
their answer.

On the 13th he was to have come down again, but feigning indisposition
as an excuse (this is well-known in Japan under the name of _yaku-biô_,
official sickness), he sent a member of the second council, Tachibana
Idzumo no Kami, to inform the representatives that the Tycoon had
hitherto never spoken to the Mikado about acknowledging the treaties,
but that now he had made up his mind to do so. But he required a delay
of fifteen days for this purpose. The ministers up to this moment had
believed, on the faith of assurances given by the Tycoon's council in
1864 after the Shimonoséki business, that the Mikado had long ago been
approached on this subject, and that Abé himself had been entrusted with
a mission to Kiôto to that effect. They were therefore naturally both
surprised and incensed, but consented to a delay of ten days. The
prospects of the negotiation looked very dark indeed. The Tycoon seemed
either unable or unwilling to obtain the Mikado's sanction to the
treaties, and it began to be thought that we should have to throw him
over entirely. If the Tycoon was controlled by a superior authority, he
was clearly not the proper person for foreign Powers to deal with, who
must insist upon direct communication with the authority. For the
present, however, it was too early to talk of going to see the Mikado
against his will. We had not sufficient men in the allied squadrons to
force a way up to Kiôto, and even if we had, Sir Harry's instructions
would not have enabled him to take such a step. So there was nothing for
it but to wait.

An interesting visit was that of some retainers of Aidzu and Hosokawa,
who came on board privately to talk politics and to pick up what
information they could for their own princes. The former was the
commander of the Tycoon's garrison in Kiôto, the latter one of the more
important _daimiôs_ in the island of Kiûshiû, nominally a partizan of
the Tycoon, but already beginning to consider whether it would not suit
him better to go over to the other party. For by this time a definite
issue had been raised between the Tycoon and the court of the Mikado.
The former being the friend of foreigners and an usurping vassal, the
war cry of the latter was "serve the sovereign and expel the
barbarians." My visitors talked a great deal about the "unsettled state
of popular feeling." They said the Mikado had already given his sanction
to the treaties in a general sort of way, and had consented to Nagasaki,
Hakodaté and Shimoda being opened to foreign trade. But Kanagawa had
been substituted for the latter port without his approval. They felt
quite certain that the Mikado would not agree at present to the
establishment of foreign merchants at Hiôgo. They maintained that the
anti-foreign feeling was pretty general among the people, but admitted
that Chôshiû made use of it as a mere party cry with the object of
dispossessing the Tycoon of his power.

After an interval of five days Tachibana paid Sir Harry another visit.
He reported that the Tycoon had not yet started for Kiôto to obtain the
Mikado's ratification of the treaties, being detained at Ozaka by a
headache! Abé and Ogasawara were afflicted with indisposition which
prevented their having the pleasure of coming down to call on the
British minister. Sir Harry administered some home-truths to the
unfortunate prevaricator, and demonstrated very clearly to him that as
the council acknowledged the inability of the Tycoon to carry out the
treaty stipulations in respect of the opening of new ports without the
Mikado's consent, which they had little hope of obtaining and still less
desire to get, they must eventually go to the wall, and the foreign
Powers would be compelled to make a demand for the ratification direct
on the Mikado. It was pitiable to see the shifts that the Tycoon's
officials were put to in face of his merciless logic; they were
perpetually being driven into a corner and left without a leg to stand
on.

The demands presented by the foreign representatives had created a
considerable movement at Kiôto, and dissension followed among the
advisers of the Tycoon. In a few days we heard that Abé and Matsumai
Idzu no Kami had been dismissed from office. They were believed to be in
favour of accepting our demands, and their disgrace seemed to threaten
the failure of the negotiations. The representatives thereupon resolved
on the important step of addressing a _note identique_ to the Tycoon
himself, containing a repetition of the demands already made, and
warning him that if an answer were not made within the period of ten
days originally fixed, it would be assumed by them that their
propositions were refused. M. Mermet and I went ashore together to
deliver the letters of our respective chiefs, and I learnt that the
indefatigable little man had translated the French copy into Japanese
and induced his minister to sign the translation. He had also addressed
it to the council, instead of to the Tycoon, though he told me
otherwise. On our arrival at the governor's house, he wrapped it in a
sheet of Japanese paper, in order that I might not see the address, but
the officials who received the Notes, of whom I afterwards inquired,
voluntarily assured me that it was addressed to the council at Ozaka.
What Mermet's object can have been I was not able to conjecture, and it
is probable that he did it merely to keep his hand in. It is a dangerous
thing for an habitual intriguer to get out of practice by acting
straightforwardly, even in unimportant matters. We learnt that the
Tycoon had presented a memorial to the Mikado urging him to ratify the
treaties as well for his own sake as for that of the nation in general.
That on its being refused, he had resolved to return to Yedo, but was
stopped by an order from the court before he had got half-way to Ozaka.

The dismissal of the pro-foreign members of the council seemed to
forebode resistance and the probable outbreak of hostilities. Japanese
steamers lying at Ozaka got up steam and went off in every direction,
some passing through Hiôgo on their way. Siebold and I pulled on board
one of these which belonged to Satsuma, and learnt that she was going
off to Yura in Kishiû in order to be out of the way in case the Mikado
should issue such orders to the Tycoon as might result in war-like
measures being taken by the allied squadron. On the 24th, the last day,
notice was given to the governor of Hiôgo that the ships would move on
the morrow to Ozaka to await there the answer of the Tycoon's
government. From him we learnt that Ogasawara would surely be down next
day with the reply, but as had already happened so often in the course
of these negotiations, he was ill, and Matsudaira Hôki no Kami took his
place. The interview with the foreign representatives lasted several
hours, but the gist of it was that the Tycoon had at last obtained the
Mikado's consent to the treaties, by his own urgent representations,
backed by those of his cousin Shitotsubashi, who declared (so it was
said) that he would perform disembowelment unless the Mikado yielded. At
last the latter gave way, saying "Well, speak to the nobles of my court
about it." The opening of Hiôgo was, however, to be still deferred until
January 1, 1868, but the tariff would be revised, and the remaining
instalments of the indemnity paid punctually. Thus the foreign
representatives had obtained two out of the three conditions, and those
the most important, while giving up nothing in return. It must, however,
be acknowledged that the payment of the indemnity was never completed by
the Tycoon, and survived the revolution to be a constant source of
irritation and ill-feeling between the Mikado's government and the
British minister.

Hôki no Kami, on leaving the "Princess Royal," promised that a note
embodying these arrangements should be sent off in the course of the
evening. But as it had to be sent up to Ozaka to receive the signatures
of his two remaining colleagues, the document did not reach us before
half-past two in the morning. I sat up till that hour in expectation of
its arrival, and was called into the cabin to read it to Sir Harry and
M. Roches, and then make a translation. The Mikado's decree to his
vizier the Kwambaku delegating the conduct of foreign affairs to the
Tycoon, a short document of only three lines, was enclosed in it. At Sir
Harry's request Hôki no Kami added an engagement to promulgate the
decree throughout the country. It was a proud night for me when I
displayed my knowledge of written Japanese in the presence of the French
minister, whose interpreter, M. Mermet, even could not read a document
without the assistance of his teacher.

Thus successfully ended the negotiations which up to the day before
showed no signs of fruit. The foreign representatives had to
congratulate themselves on having secured the means of tranquillizing
the country, while at the same time consolidating the relations between
the Japanese people and foreign nations. The opening of Hiôgo on the 1st
January 1866 was a concession which few people had been sanguine enough
to expect, but something had been secured which was of more immediate
value, namely the solemn reiterated promise of the council to adhere to
the London agreement of 1862. It was hoped also on good grounds that Sir
Rutherford's convention of the previous October would also be carried
out in its entirety. At dinner the following evening the Admiral made a
speech, proposing Sir Harry's health and giving to him the whole credit
of the success achieved. He replied by disclaiming any merit, and
attributing a far greater share of the achievement to M. Roches; "but
after all," he added, "it was you who did it, Admiral, for without you
and your magnificent ship, we should not have made the slightest
impression."

On our return to Yokohama we found that the wildest rumours had been
flying about. The United States Chargé d'Affaires, Portman, was said to
have been killed, and Sir Harry taken prisoner, while Siebold and myself
were also reported to have fallen martyrs to the cause. The "Japan
Times," a newspaper conducted by Charles Rickerby, affected to pooh-pooh
the whole affair, and denied the authenticity of the Mikado's decree,
which, he said, ought to have been covered with seals. I wrote a letter
to his paper, controverting his arguments, but without convincing him.
There was one point about it, however, that escaped notice at the time,
namely that the existing treaties were not explicitly sanctioned. All
that the Mikado had given was a general authority to conclude treaties
with foreign countries, and he had added a rider enjoining on the Tycoon
the cancellation of the undertaking to open Hiôgo and Ozaka to trade.
This, however, was carefully concealed from the foreign representatives,
and we only came to know of it later. But without seeing it, no one
could have guessed that the document represented to the foreign
ministers to be the Mikado's sanction to the existing treaties had not
that meaning, because of the absence of the definite article in
Japanese. In English it makes a great deal of difference whether you say
"the treaties are sanctioned," or simply "treaties are sanctioned," but
in Japanese the same form of expression does for both, and we had no
ground for suspecting the Tycoon's ministers of taking refuge in an
ambiguity in order to play a trick on us and to gain time.



                              CHAPTER XIV

                         GREAT FIRE AT YOKOHAMA


IN pursuance of instructions from the chief, I proceeded to Yedo the day
after my return to find out if possible what had been the popular
feeling about our doings at Hiôgo, but did not succeed in discovering
anything of importance. A general curiosity prevailed, and the result of
the negotiations was yet unknown. A meeting of the _daimiôs_' agents had
been held on the receipt of the news that two of the council had been
dismissed, and it was rumoured that the Tycoon had asked to be allowed
to retire, but that his petition had been rejected. I stopped at the
monastery of Dai-chiû-ji, which had been temporarily lent to Sir Harry
for a residence. It was in a convenient position, nearer to the centre
of the city than our former location at Tô-zen-ji, but the rooms were
dark and scarcely numerous enough for the accommodation of the staff in
addition to the minister and his family. A new building had therefore
been already commenced in front of Sen-gaku-ji, about half-way between
the two, and, instead of being called the British Legation, was to be
named the _setsu-gu-jo_ or "place for meeting (sc. foreigners)," in
order to avoid the risk of its being burnt down by the anti-foreign
party. Report said that the Prince of Sendai, offended at not having
been consulted on this matter, had retired to his castle in great
dudgeon. Sen-gaku-ji is a well-known monastery containing the tombs and
effigies of the celebrated "Forty-seven faithful retainers." After a
couple of days' stay at the capital, I returned to my duties at the
consulate in Yokohama, where I now held the post of interpreter.

I was beginning to become known among the Japanese as a foreigner who
could speak their language correctly, and my circle of acquaintance
rapidly extended. Men used to come down from Yedo on purpose to talk to
me, moved as much by mere curiosity as by a desire to find out what
foreign policy towards their country was likely to be. Owing to my name
being a common Japanese surname, it was easily passed on from one to
another, and I was talked about by people whom I had never met. The
two-sworded men were always happy to get a glass of wine or liqueur and
a foreign cigar, and they were fond of discussion. They would sit for
hours if the subject interested them. Politics afforded the principal
material of our debates, which sometimes became rather warm. I used to
attack the abuses of the existing régime, and then explain that I liked
them very much, but hated despotic institutions. Many of the men who
visited me were retainers of _daimiôs_, from whom I gained every day a
firmer conviction that the Tycoon ought not to be regarded by foreigners
as the sovereign of the country, and that sooner or later we must enter
into direct relations with the Mikado. And the state papers, of which
copies came into my hands through these men, proved that the Tycoon
regarded himself as nothing more than the Mikado's principal vassal. At
the same time the Tycoon's ministers still persevered in their endeavour
to keep the conduct of foreign affairs in their own hands, and had
succeeded in persuading Mr. Winchester that this was an ancient and
indefeasible prerogative of the Tokugawa family. Sir Harry Parkes,
however, from the first, with clearer insight, held that this was
untenable, and resolved to press matters to a definite solution, which
should bring the sovereign face to face with foreign Powers.

Sir Harry had gone over to Shanghai to meet Lady Parkes and his
children, and immediately after his return set to work at the revision
of the tariff on the basis agreed to at Hiôgo. The negotiations, which
began about January 1866, took much less time than is usual in these
days, and the new convention was signed in June. I had little to do with
it beyond assisting in its translation into Japanese. In February he
began to make use of me as a translator, in addition to my work at the
consulate.

My salary as interpreter at the Yokohama consulate, which I had joined
in April 1865, was only £400 a year, and after the Hiôgo business, where
I had demonstrated my knowledge of the Japanese language, I began to
think my services worth quite as much as those of the Dutch
interpreters, who received £500. At an interview with the Japanese
ministers they used to translate into Dutch what the minister said, and
the native Dutch interpreters translated this again into Japanese. The
reply had in the same way to go through two men. But when Siebold or I
interpreted, the work was performed much more quickly and accurately,
because we translated direct into Japanese. It was the same with the
official correspondence, for I was able, with the assistance of a native
writer, and sometimes without, to put an official note directly into
Japanese. Then I was able to read and translate into English all sorts
of confidential political papers, which the Dutch interpreters could
make nothing of. We took a bold resolution, and in August 1866, Sir
Harry having given me a quantity of political documents to translate, we
addressed letters to him asking that he would recommend us to the
Foreign Office for an additional £100 a year. This brought down his
wrath upon our heads, and I became convinced that my application would
be refused. Under these circumstances I wrote to my father that the
service was not worth remaining in. At that time the telegraph reached
only to Ceylon, but in as short a time as possible I received a telegram
from him telling me to come home at once, and that I should have an
allowance sufficient to enable me to go to the university and afterwards
to the bar. Armed with this, I approached Sir Harry again, and asked him
to accept my resignation. I had received a telegram from home which
necessitated my immediate return to England. After a little humming and
hawing, he finally produced from a drawer a despatch from Lord
Clarendon, which had been lying there for several days, granting the
applications of both Siebold and myself, and I consequently abandoned my
intention of quitting the service.

About March 6, 1866, a review and sham fight were held of the English
garrison in combination with the Japanese drilled troops commanded by
Kubota Sentarô on the dry rice fields between Jiû-ni-ten and Hommoku.
The enemy was entirely imaginary, his place being taken by a crowd of
spectators. The marching of the Japanese was very good, and received all
the greater praise because they had received no practical instruction.
Their officers had got it up from books, the difficult passages being
explained to them by ours. The English soldiers looked magnificent by
the side of the rather dwarfish Japanese. The bluejackets from the fleet
were very amusing; one or two got drunk and danced a hornpipe in the
face of the supposed enemy, to the great wrath and disgust of their
commander, a young lieutenant. There was the usual amount of firing with
blank cartridge, which, when it comes from one side only, renders every
one so plucky and desirous of charging the foe. It was a wonder that no
ramrods were fired away, nor was any one hit by a wad. The day was
universally voted a great success.

The 2/xx regiment was despatched to Hongkong about March 20, and
replaced by the 2/ix.

The danger to foreigners had so much abated since the execution of the
murderers of Bird and Baldwin, and the ratification of the treaties by
the Mikado that we began freely to make excursions into the surrounding
country.

On one occasion I went away for a few days with Charles Rickerby of the
"Japan Times," and having thus become intimate with him, was permitted
to try my inexperienced pen in the columns of his paper. My first
attempt was an article upon travelling in Japan, but before long an
incident occurred which tempted me to write on politics. It was
doubtless very irregular, very wrong, and altogether contrary to the
rules of the service, but I thought little of that. A Satsuma trading
steamer had come into the bay, and was ordered by the authorities to
anchor far away on the Kanagawa side, so that there might be no
communication between the foreign community and the people on board.
Taking this for my text, I descanted on the insufficiency of the
treaties concluded with the Tycoon, which confined us to commercial
intercourse with the inhabitants of his dominions, and thus cut us off
from relations with a good half of the country. I called therefore for a
revision of the treaties, and for a remodelling of the constitution of
the Japanese government. My proposal was that the Tycoon should descend
to his proper position as a great territorial noble, and that a
confederation of daimiôs under the headship of the Mikado should take
his place as the ruling power. And then I proceeded to make various
suggestions for the improvement and modification of the existing
treaties. With the aid of my teacher, Numata Torasaburô, a retainer of
the Prince of Awa, who knew some English, I put them into Japanese in
the form of a pamphlet for the perusal of his prince, but copies got
into circulation, and in the following year I found myself to be
favourably known through this means to all the _daimiôs_ retainers whom
I met in the course of my journeys. In the end the translation was
printed and sold in all the bookshops at Ozaka and Kiôto under the title
of "Ei-koku Saku-ron," English policy, by the Englishman Satow, and was
assumed by both parties to represent the views of the British Legation.
With this of course I had nothing to do. As far as I know it never came
to the ears of my chief, but it may fairly be supposed to have been not
without its influence upon the relations between the English Legation
and the new government afterwards established in the beginning of 1868.
At the same time, it doubtless rendered us more or less "suspect" to the
Tycoon's government while the latter lasted.

During Sir Harry's absence in July on a visit to the _daimiôs_ of
Satsuma and Uwajima after the signature of the tariff convention, some
of us at the legation made up a party with three or four officers of the
ix regiment, and went for a trip to Hachiôji and Atsugi. In those days
all the high roads were intersected at certain points by strictly
guarded barriers, where all travellers had to show their passports.
Beyond Hachiôji a few miles to the west was one of these, just at the
foot of a hill known as Takao-zan, about 1600 feet high, with a good
road to the top. Up this we rode on our sure-footed ponies, and after
lunching under the shade of the lofty cryptomerias, descended to the
high road again, but unintentionally reached it beyond the barrier. The
guards, who were inclined to interpret their duties rather too strictly
than otherwise, shut the gates and refused to let us pass. It was in
vain that we explained our mistake; they had orders not to let
foreigners through. One would have thought that as we were on the side
where we had no business to be, and were desirous of getting back to the
right side, the officers in command would have facilitated our wishes to
repair our error. But nothing would move them. At last Willis, who stood
6 feet 8 inches in his stockings and weighed then about 20 stone, made
as if he would charge the gate on his pony, and seriously alarmed lest
he should batter the whole thing down in a rush, they prudently flung it
open, and we rode through triumphantly.

A similar incident occurred on another occasion when I was out with
Francis Myburgh, Captain W. G. Jones, R.N., of the flagship, and Charles
Wirgman. The limit of excursions from Yokohama in the direction of the
capital was formed by the Tama-gawa, which in the treaties is called the
Logo river (a corruption of Rokugô). We had slept at Mizoguchi, and
ascended the right bank on horseback to Sekido, where without difficulty
we induced the ferryman to put us across, and rode into the town of
Fuchiû to visit a well-known Shintô temple. We were bound for a
monastery on the other side of the river, where we had planned to spend
the night, and to do this it was necessary to recross further up to the
Buddhist monastery of Ren-kô-ji. But on arriving there, and shouting to
the ferryman, we got a blank refusal, accompanied by the information
that we had no business to be where we were. "We know that we are, and
want to get back where we ought to be." _Ferryman_: "Can't help that.
Our orders are not to ferry any foreigner over." It was impossible to
convince him that though he would be right in refusing to facilitate a
breach of the law, he was bound to assist the repentant and contrite
offenders in repairing such a breach, and we saw ourselves menaced with
separation from our baggage and perhaps a cold night on the stones. Just
above the ferry was a shallower spot, too deep to cross on ponies
without getting rather wet. Charles Wirgman and I therefore took off our
trousers, and tucking our shirts up as high as possible waded to the
other bank, walked down to the ferry house, jumped into the boat before
the ferrymen had time to recover from their surprise at our audacity,
poled it across to our friends amid cries of _Koré wa rambô-rôzeki_
(about equivalent to "Robbery and murder") from the guardians of the
posts, and so got the whole party across.

On the 26th of November occurred one of the most destructive fires with
which Yokohama has ever been visited. One fourth of the foreign
settlement and one-third of the native town were laid in ashes. The
fire-bell began to ring about nine o'clock in the morning. Willis and I
ascended to the look-out on the roof of our house and saw the flames
mounting to the sky exactly to windward of us, maybe half a mile away. I
rushed into a pair of boots (unluckily my oldest), and putting on my
hat, hastened forth to find out the location of the fire. My servants
said it was only a few doors off, but when I got that distance it proved
to be further away, and I pursued my course for a quarter of an hour
before arriving on the scene. From the lower end of a narrow street,
usually well crowded but now absolutely crammed with people, there
surged along an agitated multitude carrying such of their goods as they
had been able to snatch from the devouring element that closely pursued
them. I approached as near as I could to the burning houses, but finding
that the conflagration was rapidly advancing, beat a hasty retreat and
made my way to the open space at the back of the settlement, where a
terrible spectacle of confusion presented itself to my eyes. The portion
of the native town where the fire was raging most violently was on a
small island surrounded by a muddy swamp and connected with the rest of
Yokohama by a wooden bridge, already crowded with fugitives; to wade or
swim across to the firm ground was impossible. There were one or two
boats available, but they were already overcrowded, and their occupants
were so paralysed by fear that they never thought of landing and sending
back the boats to take off others. Most of the inhabitants of the
quarter were women. I saw a few poor wretches plunge into the water in
order to escape, but they failed to reach the nearer bank. It was a
fearful sight to see the flames darting among the roofs of the houses on
the causeway, and sending forth jets here and there where the fire had
not yet attained full mastery, when suddenly one half of the street
nearest blazed up with a tremendous flash, and a volume of black smoke
arose which obscured the sky. This was an oil merchant's shop that had
caught fire. I turned and fled homewards, for there was no time to lose.
I knew my own house was doomed, as it lay directly to leeward, and a
violent wind was blowing from the north-west. As I passed through the
little garden I shouted to Willis to bestir himself, and called my
servants to assist in packing up my movables. My first thought was for
my MS. dictionary; if that went I lost the results of two years' labour.
So I put it into a light chest of drawers, and huddled some clothes in
from the wardrobe. To get our things out we had to break down the high
wooden fence round the garden. At this moment up came some friends, who
plunged into the house and reappeared, some with books, others with half
a chest of drawers, and we worked with a will until the building was
cleared of everything but carpets, curtains, and the heavier furniture.
My harmonium, a massive article, was also got into the street, and some
men from the garrison carried it away to a place of safety.

By the time we had removed the salvage to what we thought was a
respectable distance, the fire had reached the house, which five minutes
later was a heap of glowing embers. It now became evident that the
houses in the rear of the settlement had caught fire, and as my property
was lying on the open space between the foreign and native towns, it had
to be transported further. Here occurred a serious loss. Most of my
books were in boxes which had been carried out bodily, but the rest,
hastily wrapped up in blankets, had to be left. There were plenty of
pilferers about, who, under the pretence of helping, carried off chests
full of clothing that I never saw again. I lost a good many European
volumes and a large number of Japanese books, besides some notes on
Manchu and Chinese which were irreplaceable.

After we had deposited our property where we thought it would be in
safety, it was threatened by the progress of the flames, and was
therefore removed to a godown belonging to our friends Wilkin and
Robison at No. 3 in the settlement. By this time the area of destruction
had extended to the main street of the native town, and the houses where
A. B. Mitford, A. von Siebold, Walsh and Vidal lived, as well as our
own, had already gone. A Japanese house lightly built of wood, with
paper instead of glass, takes little time to burn. Next the fire spread
to the nearest houses in the foreign settlement. Huge sparks and pieces
of red hot wood flew across the intervening space, set the American
consulate alight, ignited the roof of Jardine, Matheson & Co., and began
to spread along both streets of the settlement. The supposed "fireproof"
godown where most of our things were deposited caught fire, and nearly
everything we had saved was destroyed. It was a scene of the wildest
confusion. Bluejackets were landed from the ships, and soldiers came
down from the camp to work at the fire engines. There was no discipline
among the men, and no organization existed for dealing with the
disaster. After the final destruction of my own property I went about
helping others to save theirs or to fight the flames, handing buckets,
fetching water, pouring it on whatever seemed most inflammable. Some of
the redcoats behaved disgracefully. They had managed to get hold of
liquor, and stood by drinking and jeering, while we civilians did the
work they had been brought there to perform. At the close of the day
there remained to me only the clothes I had on my back, and I was
hatless. But the excitement had been so lively that I felt rather
pleased at the idea of beginning the world afresh. I had saved the
manuscript of the English-Japanese dictionary on which Ishibashi and I
were then engaged, as well as that of an annotated edition of Sir R.
Alcock's _Colloquial Japanese_, which was then in the press, though
destined never to see the light. My loss came to between £300 and £400,
a portion of which was afterwards made good to me by Her Majesty's
Government. The losses of the insurance offices amounted to $2,800,000,
or about £700,000. The value of what was not insured was not great.

The conflagration raged so fiercely among the foreign warehouses and
residences that before four o'clock in the afternoon it had made its way
half down the bund, leaving only the club-house standing, and at one
period it was thought that the whole settlement would be in a blaze
before night. If that had happened the European community would have had
to seek an asylum on board ship, but fortunately our fears were not
realized. The flames seemed invincible by the side of our puny efforts.

The expedient was resorted to of blowing up houses in the line of fire,
but not with great success, for some of those so destroyed were never
touched by it at all, while in other instances the _débris_ could not be
cleared away, and only helped it to spread to the buildings beyond. One
hundred and seven Europeans and Americans were rendered homeless, and
many of those who had trusted in their so-called fireproof godowns were
left without anything in the world but the clothes they stood in.
Merchants whose goods were uninsured were devoured by a terrible
anxiety, for the most solidly-constructed stone godowns seemed to offer
little more resistance than the wooden houses of the Japanese.

Although the wind had fallen, much apprehension was entertained for the
safety of what still remained unburnt, for owing to the damaged
condition of the hose, all the fire engines had become useless, and
nothing could be done to extinguish the smouldering embers. The fire was
therefore left to burn itself out, and four days elapsed before the
flames entirely died down. The price of clothing rose incredibly, as
also did house rent. Yokohama was not as well supplied with hatters,
tailors and bootmakers as it is in these days, and most men were in the
habit of supplying themselves from home. For the next two years,
consequently, I was reduced to a very moderate wardrobe. I had, for
example, to pay $4, or 18 shillings, for five pocket handkerchiefs.

After the fire I took up my abode with my friend Tom Foster, then the
manager of Gilman & Co.'s Yokohama branch, until the 9th or 10th of
December, when I migrated to the Legation at Yedo. The new buildings in
front of Sen-gaku-ji were now completed, and enclosed by a lofty black
wooden fence which imparted to the establishment somewhat of the aspect
of a jail. There were two long wooden buildings, one of which was the
minister's residence, the other being occupied by the members of the
chancery. Eusden had gone to Hakodaté as acting consul, and the staff
consisted of Mitford as second secretary, Willis as assistant accountant
and medical officer, Siebold and myself as interpreters, and Vidal as
student interpreter. The infantry guard was commanded by Lieutenant
Bradshaw. Sidney Locock, the first secretary, a married man with a
family, lived at Yokohama, as did also H. S. Wilkinson, still a student.
They were "ramshackle" buildings, all windows and doors, terribly cold
from want of proper fireplaces and bad construction, which admitted
draughts on every side. But I did not live there long.

After my transfer from the Yokohama consulate to the Legation in the
autumn of 1866, one of the first matters in which I was able to be of
use to our new chief was connected with the wording of the treaty. In
the English text the Tycoon was spoken of as "His Majesty," and thus
placed on a level with the Queen. In the Japanese version, however, this
epithet was rendered by the equivalent of "Highness," and it was thus to
be inferred that our sovereign was of lower rank than the Mikado.
Moreover, the word "queen" had been translated by a title which was
borne by great-grand-daughters of a Mikado. I recommended that a new
Japanese version should be made, in which "Majesty" should be rendered
by its proper Japanese equivalent, and "Queen" by the word _Kôtei_
(Hwang-ti), usually translated by "Emperor" in all the Chinese-English
dictionaries, but really meaning "supreme sovereign," and applicable to
both sexes. The preparation of the new version was entrusted to my
hands, and with the aid of my teacher I managed in about a month's time
to complete an accurate translation, which was adopted as official. It
was the keynote of a new policy which recognized the Mikado as the
sovereign of Japan and the Tycoon as his lieutenant. We gave up the use
of "Tycoon," which my reading had taught me was properly a synonym for
the Mikado, in our communications with the Japanese government, though
retaining it in correspondence with the Foreign Office, in order not to
create confusion, but the most important result was to set in a clearer
light than before the political theory that the Mikado was the
treaty-making power. As long as his consent had not been obtained to the
existing treaties we had no _locus standi_, while after he had been
induced to ratify them, the opposition of the _daimiôs_ ceased to have
any logical basis.



                               CHAPTER XV

                     VISIT TO KAGOSHIMA AND UWAJIMA


A FEW days after I had assumed my new duties, and had settled down, as I
thought, for a period of uninterrupted study, Sir Harry informed me that
he contemplated sending me down to Nagasaki in the "Princess Royal,"
which was about to proceed thither through the inland sea, to collect
political information at Hiôgo and elsewhere. I was to return in the
"Argus" by way of Kagoshima and Uwajima. The Tycoon had recently died,
and had been succeeded by his cousin Shitotsubashi, whose position,
however, was not very clearly defined. Before his elevation to the
headship of the Tokugawa family he had been regarded as a partisan of
the "return to the ancient régime," now so much in men's mouths, and it
was desirable to learn as much as possible of his probable line of
policy. In Yedo we were too far away from the political centre to learn
much. I was greatly pleased at the prospect of visiting Nagasaki, but
took care not to seem too desirous of being sent on the proposed
mission, lest over-eagerness should defeat itself. Next day I got a note
from Sir Harry, who resided chiefly at Yokohama, telling me that he had
not yet seen the Admiral, but that he still thought I should have to go.
So I packed up some clothes in a wicker basket such as the Japanese use
when travelling, and went down to Yokohama in the gunboat which was our
principal means of conveyance between the two places. In the evening I
learnt that the matter had been arranged, and that the "Princess Royal"
would sail the next day but one. I wrote to Willis for his teacher
Hayashi, whom I intended to put ashore at Hiôgo to collect news, and for
a tin box containing some stationery, and a little money, but neither
arrived in time. In despair I borrowed a few hundred _ichibus_ from
Foster, bought a box of cheroots, wrapped a few sheets of foolscap in a
newspaper, and got on board on the 12th December just in time.

We had fine weather for our start, but encountered a strong westerly
wind outside, which prevented our passing between Vries Island and the
mainland. For four days I lay in my cot, utterly unable to eat, but
consoling myself with reference to previous experiences of the same
kind. At last I was revived by a plateful of greasy beefsteak pudding
that Admiral King sent me, and a glass of champagne. The gale had not
abated, and the huge two decker rolled terribly. At one time the betting
was strong on Hongkong as our first port of anchorage, and Hiôgo was
given up as quite unattainable. Hakodaté, Yokohama and Nagasaki rose by
turns to the position of favourite. We were blown right out of the chart
of Japan, and at last, after many days of tossing to and fro, tacking
and wearing, we sighted the Linschoten Islands, where we turned to the
north, and steaming as fast as 400 horse power will carry a vessel of
3500 tons, got into Nagasaki on the evening of the 23rd.

The appearance of the town and foreign settlement, lighted up by
innumerable lamps dotted all over the hillsides, reminded me of
Gibraltar as I had seen it from the deck of the "Indus" a little more
than five years previously.

At Nagasaki I made the acquaintance of some retainers of Uwajima, the
most important of whom was Iséki Sayemon, afterwards prefect of Yokohama
in the first years of the Mikado's rule. He came to call on me, and said
that the proposed assemblage of a council of _daimiôs_ at Kiôto had been
put off for the present. But it was sure to take place eventually, and
one of the first topics of discussion would be the position of Chôshiû.
About half of Shi-koku was in favour of Hiôgo being opened to foreign
trade, but the Kiûshiû people opposed it, on account of the anticipated
decline of Nagasaki. He thought that the visit of the Admiral and Sir
Harry Parkes in the "Princess Royal" to Uwajima had done immense good,
by familiarizing the common people with the appearance of foreigners,
and their ingenuity in the construction of ships and warlike appliances.
The _daimiô_ of Uwajima and his brother the _ex-daimiô_ (who was the
leading spirit of the clan) had excused themselves on the ground of
sickness from attending the council at Kiôto. Shitotsubashi had not yet
been invested with the office of Shôgun and its attendant court titles,
and the probability was that they would be withheld until he had settled
the Chôshiû difficulty, which would doubtless give him a good deal of
trouble. When I met him again on the following day the conversation
turned upon our relations with Chôshiû. I told him that the British
Government had stationed a man-of-war at Shimonoséki to prevent merchant
vessels frequenting the straits during the continuance of hostilities
between Chôshiû and the Tycoon; we did not wish to interfere in any of
the civil quarrels of the Japanese. We were at peace with Chôshiû, who
had agreed to let foreign vessels pass without molestation, and had
undertaken to let them purchase wood, water, and other necessaries,
while promising to build no more batteries.

The Tycoon's government had undertaken to pay the indemnity imposed upon
the Prince of Chôshiû. The powers, however, did not care for the money,
and would be willing at any time to abandon the indemnity if their doing
so would tend to the improvement of relations with Japan. The Tycoon's
people had asked for delay in making payment of the remaining
instalments, and in consenting to this, the foreign ministers had
obtained in return the concession of permission for Japanese to travel
in foreign countries. It was to be supposed, however, that the nation
was desirous of having the ancient prohibition removed, and the
government would have had, therefore, no excuse for maintaining it.
Hiôgo would certainly be opened on the 1st of January 1868 in accordance
with the undertaking entered into by the Tycoon; the intention of the
Powers was to uphold the treaties in their entirety and get them carried
out. We could not ask for the opening of Shimonoséki under the present
treaties, as the Tycoon's authority did not extend so far. It would
require a separate treaty with Chôshiû. As long as the present treaties
remained unchanged, no ports could be opened in _daimiôs_' territories.

At Hiôgo we had discussed matters with the Tycoon's Council, who, we now
learnt, had deceived us by concealing the Mikado's injunction to them to
negotiate for the abandonment of Ozaka and Hiôgo as seats of foreign
commerce. It was a pity we had not thrown them over, and negotiated
direct with the Mikado's court, from which we heard that a noble had
been deputed to visit the foreign representatives.

During my stay at Nagasaki I made the acquaintance of officers from Tosa
and Higo. One of the latter said that there never would be another
Shôgun, but that the Mikado would be restored to the throne. Here was a
clear glimpse into the future. My instructions from Sir Harry were to
proceed from Nagasaki to Kagoshima and Uwajima, and call in at Hiôgo on
my way back. I embarked, therefore, on the 1st January 1867 in the
"Argus," Commander Round, with my two servants, Noguchi Tomizô and Yasu.
The former was a young _samurai_ of Aidzu, who had left his home and
attached himself to Vyse, our consul at Hakodaté, in order to study
English. In the autumn of 1865 he came to live with me, to carry on his
studies, and on the present occasion he had accompanied me to Nagasaki,
whence he was to have gone to England as cabin-servant to Alexander
Buller, the Commander of the flagship. But whether it was the tossing
about on the way down, or the disagreeable servant's position, he now
changed his mind, and begged me to take him back to Yedo. Buller
expressed himself as somewhat annoyed, but I could not help it. Noguchi
eventually went with me in 1869 to England, where I paid for his
schooling during a couple of years. After my return to Japan he stayed
on awhile in London at the expense of the Japanese government, and
eventually came back to Tôkiô, where he obtained a minor appointment in
a public office. In spite of his then comparatively elevated position,
he never gave himself airs, or forgot that I had befriended him, and it
was with great regret that I heard of his death about the beginning of
1885. He was honest and faithful to the end. Yasu was a young monkey
belonging to the lower classes, and I don't remember that he had any
virtues.

Round did not treat me very well, and made me sleep in the cockpit, a
sort of common den in the bottom of the ship, where the midshipmen keep
their chests and sling their hammocks. There was no privacy, and we were
crowded together in a most uncomfortable manner. I got a cot to sleep
in, but no mattress or pillow, and was forced to borrow a cushion off a
bunk in the captain's cabin and roll up my greatcoat for a pillow.

We reached Kagoshima next day early in the afternoon. As soon as we
dropped our anchor, some officers pulled off from the shore, bringing a
flag for us to hoist while firing the salute in answer to theirs.
Matsuoka Jiûdaiyu came on board to explain that the prince and his
father were in retirement owing to the recent death of the latter's
mother. As neither was able to receive visitors, the duty of receiving
the Admiral's letter, of which we were the bearers, would be performed
by the prince's second brother and two councillors. This was a letter
thanking him for kindness shown to shipwrecked sailors. Sir Harry and
the Admiral on their visit in the previous summer had seen and conversed
with both the prince and his father Shimadzu Saburô, but I do not
suppose that my being unable to meet them made much difference to the
result of my visit, as the conduct of affairs was to a great extent in
the hands of the principal retainers. I went ashore to stay at the
factory with three Englishmen named Sutcliffe, Harrison and
Shillingford. The last of these, an engineer by profession, had been
engaged by the _daimiô_ in connection with some cotton mills which he
was erecting, the other two had come to Kagoshima in search of
employment.

On the 3rd, Round came on shore with a party of officers to deliver the
Admiral's letter, and I accompanied him to interpret. We were met at the
landing-place by some high officials, who conducted us through the town
for half a mile to the house, where we were received by Shimadzu Dzusho,
a handsome youth, the second son of Shimadzu Saburô, Niiro Giôbu, a
councillor who had been in England, and Shimadzu Isé, also a councillor.
It was a house set apart for the reception of visitors. The prince's
brother, 29 years years of age, seemed a perfect child as far as
intelligence went. All the talking was done by the high officials who
sat on his right hand. I interpreted the contents of the letter, which
was then handed to Shimadzu Dzusho, the whole ceremony not occupying
more than five minutes. We then sat down to an entertainment, which
opened with a few courses of Japanese cookery with _saké_, but consisted
in the main of an interminable succession of European dishes, moistened
with sherry, champagne and brandy. I took my revenge upon Round by
keeping up a lively conversation in Japanese, and translating none of
it, so the poor man was driven to count the oranges in a dish which
stood near, in order to keep off ennui. After the banquet, the officers
dispersed themselves through the town, while I remained behind to assist
in making a translation of the Admiral's letter. Niiro also stopped. We
talked about the proposed meeting of _daimiôs_, which had been postponed
_sine die_. Then I praised the composition of a letter which had been
addressed to the Mikado in the name of the Prince of Satsuma some months
back.

"Did you see it? What a stupid document it was," said Niiro.

"Not at all," I replied. "I thought it excellent, and the style was
worthy of all praise."

"Had it not reference to Hiôgo?"

"No. I mean the memorial objecting to sending Satsuma troops to
co-operate with those of the Tycoon against Chôshiû."

"Oh, yes. Shimadzu Isé, who sat next to me to-day, was the writer of
that letter. He was in Kiôto at the time."

"How is the Chôshiû business getting on," I asked. "I hear the Tycoon
has withdrawn the greater part of his troops."

"Chôshiû is very strong," he replied, "and he has right on his side.
None of the _daimiôs_ will support the Tycoon, and the latter has now no
chance of beating him."

"Well, I think that if he had put his best troops into the field, and
attacked Chôshiû energetically at first, he must have conquered him."

"No, never. He had not right on his side."

"You appear to be very friendly with Chôshiû," I remarked.

"No," said he, "not friendly, but we have a natural fellow-feeling for
one of our own class."

Niiro's reference to the letter of the Prince of Satsuma, which he
supposed I had seen, revealed the important fact that the Satsuma clan
were opposed to the opening of Hiôgo, and in fact it was the
presentation of this letter or memorial to the Mikado during the visit
of the foreign representatives in November 1865 which had encouraged the
Mikado to make it a condition of giving his sanction to the treaties
that the Tycoon should arrange for that port being given up. It was
necessary, therefore, to impress on Niiro's mind, for the benefit of his
fellow clansmen, that the foreign Powers would not for a moment
entertain the idea of giving up Hiôgo or any other part of the treaties.

At this moment there was lying in the bay a little steamer named the
"Otentosama," belonging to Chôshiû. She had brought down the leading man
of that clan, Katsura Kogorô, afterwards known during the year of the
revolution as Kido Junichirô. I said to Niiro that I should like to call
on him to inquire after some of my Shimonoséki friends. Niiro replied
that Katsura was to have an interview with Shimadzu Saburô at ten
o'clock the same evening, and a meeting afterwards with some of the
Satsuma councillors at three in the morning. If I wished particularly to
see him, I might go and sleep at his lodgings, and wait till he turned
up. I declined the invitation, preferring a European bed, for at that
time I was not so accustomed to Japanese ways as I afterwards became. It
was weak on my part. But what Niiro said rendered it perfectly clear
that an understanding was being negotiated between the two most powerful
of the western clans, and that they would henceforth be united against
the Tycoon. Fortunate for us that they were on friendly terms with us,
and fortunate also for the general interest of foreign Powers, between
whom and the revolutionary government of 1868 the British Legation acted
as mediators. The French Legation on the other hand supported the
Tycoon. M. Roches was projecting the foundation of the arsenal at
Yokosuka, which would place the military organization of the Tokugawa
family on a new and superior footing, and he had procured a
distinguished staff of French officers to drill the Tycoon's troops. It
was even rumoured that he had made, or was contemplating making, offers
of material assistance to Shitotsubashi. And this policy he pursued
until the logic of facts at last demonstrated its folly, being followed
by the North German Chargé d' Affaires, Herr von Brandt, and the Italian
Minister, Count La Tour. The Netherlands Political Agent, however,
adhered to Sir Harry, while the new American Minister, General van
Valkenburg, was neutral.

We had felt the pulse of the Japanese people more carefully and
diagnosed the political condition better than our rivals, so that the
prestige of the British Minister in the years 1868 and 1869 was
completely in the ascendant.

On the 4th January the prince's reply was to have been delivered on
board the "Argus," but at noon Niiro presented himself to say that it
was not yet ready. We therefore landed and inspected the glass factory,
shot and shell foundry, gun foundry and pot and kettle foundry near the
prince's garden at Iso. The letter now arrived in charge of Matsuoka,
and after its formal delivery, we sat down once more to a banquet in
European style. It was shorter than that of the previous day, and the
dishes better cooked, but it was politeness rather than gastronomic
satisfaction that caused us to praise it. For in truth the dinner was
bad and ill-arranged.

About five o'clock I started off with Sutcliffe to call on Niiro, who
had not been seen since the morning. After an hour's walking, we arrived
at his house, darkness having already set in. Niiro received us very
cordially, and entertained us with tea, oranges, beer, cakes and
conversation for an hour and a half. He told me that in passing through
Hiôgo lately he had heard that the French Minister was shortly expected
there with a letter from the Emperor Napoleon III, and that there was to
be a general gathering of foreign representatives. Shitotsubashi had
disappointed his friends by accepting the succession to the headship of
the Tokugawa family, and was suspected of wishing to establish his power
as Tycoon with the aid of foreigners.

He gave me to understand that they regarded the French with dislike and
distrust, and seemed to be all the more friendly with us because they
had learnt to appreciate the value of our enmity. The Satsuma people
seemed to be making great progress in the civilized arts, and gave me
the impression of great courage and straightforwardness. I thought they
would soon be far ahead of the rest of Japan.

Tycoon, as I have said before, was the title given in the treaties to
the temporal sovereign. The Japanese, however, never used it. Sei-i-tai
Shôgun, or "Generalissimo for the subjugation of barbarians," was his
official designation, which delicacy prevented his ministers from
employing in their official communications with the foreign
representatives, while the common people spoke of him as _Kubô sama_.
The "opposition" _daimiôs_, however, had adopted the term _Baku-fu_,
which most closely might be rendered by "military establishment," and it
was this term that my friends and I used in conversation. In like
manner, for the honorific designation _Gorôjiû_ (noble old men) applied
in the east of Japan to the Tycoon's council of ministers, the
expression _Kaku-rô_ (old ones) was substituted. The opposition refused
to recognize that the government which they wished to upset was entitled
to any mark of respect.

On the 5th January we left Kagoshima and anchored in Uwajima Bay at
eleven o'clock on the following day.

The beautiful bay is completely landlocked, and surrounded by hills of
varying height up to 2000 feet. Close behind the town, on its east side,
rises a high peak known as Oni-ga-jô, the "demon's castle." The prince's
fortress was a conspicuous object to the right of the town; it stood on
a low, wooded hill, close to the seashore, and consisted of a
three-storied keep, surrounded by a double wall of stonework surmounted
by white plastered walls, almost hidden by the trees. South of this lay
the official quarter, the citizens' quarter being to the east and north,
stretching for some distance along the shore, as the hills behind leave
the town no room to expand. Close in shore the water is very shallow,
and advantage had been taken of this to construct salterns and reclaim
rice fields by building a dyke. There was a small battery on each side
of the bay, more for show than for defensive use.

About an hour and a half after we anchored, a boat was noticed hovering
about the stern, with a person in the stern-sheets busily engaged in
examining the ship through an opera glass. Finding out that it was the
prince, Commander Round sent a gig at once to invite him on board. He
explained his curious behaviour by saying that he had wished to remain
_incognito._ The Admiral's letter wishing him a happy new year was
produced, and after I had translated its contents, he took possession of
it. He was aged 32, of about middle height, and had an aristocratic cast
of countenance, with a slightly aquiline nose, on the whole a handsome
man. As a matter of course he was shown over the ship. In the meantime I
had some conversation with a gentleman-like young man of about twenty
years of age named Matsuné Kura, son of the principal _karô_. He said
that Satsuma and Uwajima were on very friendly terms, which was natural,
as the ex-_daimiô_ and Shimadzu Saburô had been amongst the little band
of princes who were disgraced for their opposition to the elevation of
the lately deceased Tycoon. Shitotsubashi had not been appointed Shôgun,
and perhaps never would be.

When the prince returned on shore I accompanied him in the gig, and
found a number of his women waiting for him on the bank with his
children, the eldest of whom was a little boy of seven years of age. The
others were mostly babies in arms, and each was attended by an
undernurse bearing a small sword wrapped in gold brocade. The Japanese
_samurai_ was accustomed to the companionship of his weapon from his
very infancy. The prince was extremely affable, and promised to repeat
his visit on the following day, and to bring the _in-kio_ or _ex-daimiô_
with him. I said good-bye, and went into the town, where I met three
officers from the ship engaged in "curio" hunting. An immense crowd
followed us everywhere, examining our clothes and asking all manner of
questions, but behaving with the utmost civility. I felt my heart warm
more and more to the Japanese.

On the 7th January it rained violently and blew hard all day, but the
weather did not prevent the _daimiô_ and the _in-kio_ from coming on
board. The latter was a tall man with strongly marked features and a big
nose, and reputed to be one of the most intelligent of his class,
imperious in manner, and 49 years of age. He was not a born _Daté_ (that
was the surname of the Uwajima _daimiôs_), but had been adopted from a
_hatamoto_ family in Yedo. After his adoption the present _daimiô_ was
born, and the relationship between them was that of brothers by
adoption. But still the adopted son could not be set aside, and he
eventually succeeded to the title and fief, but by way of compensation
to the younger brother who had lost his birthright, he adopted him as
his son. Consequently, when the prince was disgraced in 1858 the real
heir succeeded. _In-kio_ (living retired) is a common term for the head
of a family, whether noble or commoner, who has given up the active
headship and the management of the estate to his son, a not unusual
thing in "Old Japan" for a father who had reached the sixties. Here the
_in-kio_ was manifestly the ruling spirit, and it was touching to
observe the immense respect paid to him by the titular prince, who
always addressed him as father, while he on his part used the
depreciatory term _sengaré_ (my youngster) in speaking of the _daimiô_.
They stopped for a couple of hours talking and drinking some Moselle
with which I had provided myself at Nagasaki.

The _in-kio_ began to talk eagerly to me about the very suspicious
intimacy that existed between the Tycoon's government (_baku-fu_) and
the French Legation, but as soon as old Matsuné, the principal
councillor, perceived that his master was becoming indiscreet, he
hurried him away on the pretext that it would be too late to fire the
salute. So away they went, amid the thunder of seventeen guns, which was
returned from one of the batteries. After he left the wives and families
of the two princes flocked on board. They were not in the least afraid
of us, and conversed with as much ease and readiness as European ladies.
There was a Japanese officer on board, afterwards Admiral Hayashi Kenzô.

Noguchi, who had been ashore to have a hot bath and get shaved, had
brought me an invitation to dine with Iriyé, the captain of the battery.
So I took a boat and went off in spite of the wind and rain. My host had
not yet returned from his duties, but his wife asked me to come in, and
in about a quarter of an hour he made his appearance. Soon afterwards
another artillery officer named Mori came in, and then two more juniors.
Dinner was at once ordered. It consisted of innumerable courses of fish
and soup, and lasted from six o'clock till eleven. We talked, drank hot
_saké_, and sang by turns, and I had to answer a multitude of questions
on all possible subjects. This gave me numerous opportunities of
uttering appropriate wise saws and proverbial sayings, which gave my
hearers unbounded delight, and inspired them with no small amount of
respect for the philosophy of the western peoples. At half-past eleven
the last guest retired, and after we had eaten a little rice, we went to
bed in Japanese fashion. I was surprised to find that one could sleep
comfortably without sheets.

On the following morning, after a good breakfast _à la Japonaise_, I
rejoined the ship, and started in company with Round, and Wright and
Dunn of the ixth regiment, who as I have hitherto neglected to mention,
had come on board at Nagasaki, for the rifle range, in accordance with
an engagement made on the previous day. A guard of honour of 25 men
received us at the landing-place, and we were escorted by an officer of
the Uwajima navy. Half-way we found another guard, which fell in and
led us up a pretty stiff hill to the ranges. Some of our small-arms men
were landed to exhibit their skill. We had to walk a short distance and
climb the hills. There is not sufficient flat ground in Uwajima for a
proper rifle range, so the butts were placed on the side of another hill
separated from us by a valley about 700 yards wide. Here we found tents
set us, and the _in-kio_, his own son, and the prince awaiting our
arrival. Our men, who were not accustomed to shooting across a chasm of
unknown depth and width, showed themselves less skilful than the Uwajima
marksmen, who had the advantage of knowing their ground.

We got the shooting over by half-past one, and the whole party then
proceeded to the _goten_ or palace, which was outside the castle. It was
an old building, dating from about 500 years back, but without
pretensions to architectural style. We were not received at the great
entrance, but at some temporary steps erected for the occasion which led
up at once from the garden into the verandah. Here old Matsuné met us
and conducted us into a long room, which was shut off on all sides by
handsome folding screens covered with gold leaf. At one end of the room
was a particularly large screen, which the prince said was a present to
his ancestor from the great Taikô-sama. A table was placed down the
middle of the room, with armchairs on the right side for the _in-kio_,
the prince, and Matsuné, while on the left were seated Round and his
officers. I sat at the head of the table to facilitate conversation.

The dinner was beautifully got up, every separate dish prettily arranged
and decorated, but the most tasteful of all was a wild duck with all its
plumage perfect, and the roasted meat cut up small and laid on the back
between the wings, elevated in such a way as to convey the idea that the
bird was swimming and flying at the same time. Other dishes consisted of
huge crayfish, and there was a large baked tai, as required by
etiquette, for each person. Each of us had a large porcelain cup to
drink from, and the warm liquor was handed round in pewter vessels with
long spouts, like flat teapots. The ex-prince exchanged cups with Round,
myself, and the two redcoats in turn, and the same ceremony was aftwards
gone through with the prince and his minister, old Matsuné.

There was a good deal of eating and saké drinking, and the _in-kio_
presented me with a large shallow cup of red lacquer which I had first
to empty. My companions left early, while at the _in-kio's_ request I
remained behind for some conversation on politics. He began by speaking
of Hiôgo, as to which he had expressed his opinion to Sir Harry Parkes
in July last. But he was now in favour of opening the place to foreign
trade, and so was Shitotsubashi. He had heard that negotiations were
proceeding with the French for its being opened next September, but he
would prefer that the arrangements should be made with us rather than
with the French, whom he did not like. I replied that I believed the
French policy was based upon the belief that the country needed a
recognized head, and that as they had a treaty with the Shôgun, who
apparently was the most powerful political personage, they thought it
would be better to strengthen him as far as possible. The English policy
was different. We regarded our treaty as having been made with Japan,
and not with the Shôgun in particular. If with the latter, then as there
was no actual Shôgun at the moment, our treaty would have to be regarded
as being in abeyance. We did not wish to interfere, and were quite
content that the Japanese should settle their internal disputes among
themselves.

"But," said _In-kio_, "if civil war becomes chronic, your trade will
suffer, and you will have to put an end to it for your own sakes."

"No," I replied, "for if we interfered and took a side, matters would
become ten times more difficult, and the foreign trade would come
altogether to an end."

The _in-kio_ then remarked that his idea was for Japan to become a
confederated empire, with the Mikado for its head, and that this idea
was favoured by Satsuma and Chôshiû. I said I thought there was no other
way out of the difficulty, and I had written an article in a Yokohama
newspaper to that effect. "Oh," said the _in-kio_, "I have read it,"
meaning the translation which has been already mentioned. At last the
ex-prince said, "Let us send for the women and have some music. The
captain will be jealous if he hears that I produced them to you after he
had left, so don't tell him, but if he hears of it, you may say I was
drunk."

Here the conversation was interrupted by the entrance of the ladies of
the harem, such a bevy of pretty women, some wives and some not. All the
children came in too. I had to drink _saké_ with all of the ladies, till
I began to fear my head might give way. Musical instruments were brought
in, and a great deal of _saké_ was drunk, greatly to the increase of
friendliness and conviviality, but not to the advantage of the
interchange of political views. In fact the _in-kio_ gave himself up to
enjoyment and would talk no more. He afterwards said in a casual sort of
way: "You must not let it appear in the newspapers that I went on board
the "Argus," for I have declined attending the meeting at Kiôto on the
ground of sickness, and I should not wish the government to hear of it.
I should not like to be at Kiôto just now." After the music had begun, I
looked round and saw one of the officers of the "Argus," who had come in
after the captain's departure, performing a Japanese dance. I proposed
to him to dance a hornpipe, which he at once did, and the ex-prince, a
man of the sober age of 49, got up, placed himself opposite, and tried
to imitate the steps, holding up his loose trousers with both hands. The
fun infected two of the ministers, who joined him in a three-handed
reel.

After drinking a great deal of _saké_ with the two princes and their
ladies, I was carried off--no, led--to his own house by old Matsuné,
where more _saké_ was produced, and I was made acquainted with the rest
of his family. After about an hour's conversation, I was glad to get to
bed, for the fumes of the hot _saké_ were beginning to have some effect
on my head. Hayashi, young Matsuné, another Japanese and myself, slept
in one room. Next morning I was roused before daylight by the report of
a signal gun fired from the "Argus" to announce that she was ready to
leave. I dressed hastily and went on board with young Matsuné, to whom I
presented my opera glass as a souvenir. Noguchi and my boy Yasu, who had
also been sleeping on shore, had not yet made their appearance, but
Round refused to wait for them. So I begged Matsuné to send them somehow
to Yokohama, and advance them any money which they might ask for, to be
repaid to the Uwajima agent in Yedo. At half-past six we weighed anchor,
and steamed out of the bay, full of regrets at being obliged to part
from our kind, hospitable friends.

We reached Hiôgo about noon on the 11th of January, after visiting one
or two unimportant places in the inland sea. I went on shore to inquire
whether we could get coals, beef and vegetables. After arranging with
the local officials to send some supplies on board, I walked about the
town, and found the people quite accustomed to the sight of a foreigner.
I met some two-sworded men, who protested that they were determined to
prevent the opening of Hiôgo to foreign trade, but they were evidently
joking. A Hizen man whom I came across declared that I was an old
acquaintance, though I had never set eyes on him before. Afterwards
Hayashi Kenzô and I went on board a Satsuma steamer that was lying in
port, and made the acquaintance of her captain, Inouyé Shinzayemon. She
had brought up from Kagoshima one of the leading Satsuma men named
Komatsu Tatéwaki; he had gone up to Ozaka to meet Saigô, the greatest of
all the Satsuma leaders. I immediately proposed to go up to Ozaka and
see them, and letters were written by Inouyé and Hayashi to Godai
Saisuké (our captive of 1863 at Kagoshima) to make the necessary
arrangements. Next day, however, I heard that Saigô was himself probably
coming to Hiôgo, and in the meantime Hayashi took me ashore to have a
hot bath and some luncheon _à la Japonaise_.

Here for the first time I learnt how to put on a cotton gown (_yukata_)
after the bath, and enjoy the sensation of gradually cooling down. We
had just sat down to eat when it was announced that Saigô had arrived,
and hastily swallowing our rice, we sallied forth to the other
house-of-call of the Satsuma men. Saigô, as I had all along suspected,
turned out to be identical with the man introduced to me as Shimadzu
Sachiû in November 1865, and he laughed heartily when I reminded him of
his alias. After exchanging the usual compliments, I began to feel
rather at a loss, the man looked so stolid, and would not make
conversation. But he had an eye that sparkled like a big black diamond,
and his smile when he spoke was so friendly. I began about the
employment of foreigners in Satsuma and the difficulties which might,
under certain circumstances, arise from the residence of British
subjects outside the treaty limits and beyond the jurisdiction of the
consular authorities. But this did not produce much in the way of
response. So I bethought myself of another subject which was more likely
to draw him, and inquired if Shitotsubashi had not lately received in
person a letter addressed to him by the Emperor of the French. He
replied "Yes." A short time ago he memorialized the Mikado to the effect
that there was a letter from the French Emperor addressed to the Shôgun,
the reception of which had been delayed owing to the late Tycoon's
detention at Kiôto in connexion with the expedition against Chôshiû;
that he now intended to summon all the foreign representatives to Ozaka,
and would profit by the occasion to receive the letter in question.
Shitotsubashi would accordingly come down to Ozaka on the 17th of the
Japanese month (22nd January), and expected the representatives to
arrive shortly afterwards. We (the Satsuma people) sent up a copy of the
memorial to Sir Harry Parkes by the hands of Yoshii Kôsuké, but he had
replied that he was uncertain whether he would accept the Tycoon's
invitation, not having yet heard anything direct about the matter.

"But," I asked, "how can Shitotsubashi receive a letter addressed to the
Shôgun. He is not Shôgun, is he?"

"Yes; he received his commission the day before yesterday."

"Well," I replied, "that is very unexpected. I thought he had to settle
Chôshiû's affair first. But his influence must have increased immensely
for him to have been able to manage this."

"Yes, indeed"--(emphatically)--"A man who was yesterday no better than a
beggarly _rônin daimiô_ is to-day _Sei-i-tai-shôgun_."

"Who," I asked, "contrived it."

"Itakura Suwô no Kami" (a newly appointed member of the council).
"Shitotsubashi is in great favour now with the Mikado, and he could
become _Kwambaku_ (grand vizier) if he chose. He has made his brother
Mimbutayu, a younger scion of the Mito house, head of the Shimidzu
family, which had become extinct, and he is going to send him as
ambassador to France."

"On what business?"

"We have not the least idea."

"And for what is Shitotsubashi going to summon the foreign
representatives to Ozaka?"

"We have not the slightest idea of that either," said Saigô.

"How odd that he should be able to do these things without consulting
the _daimiôs_."

"The _daimiôs_ ought to have been consulted, as we expected they would
be henceforth on all political matters. The _Baku-fu_ have got on so
badly of late years that my prince is of opinion that they should not be
left to ruin the country as they please. And when certain of the
_daimiôs_ were summoned by the Mikado to Kiôto, they expected to have a
share in the government. Now they perceive that such is not the
intention of the _Baku-fu_, and they don't intend to be made fools of.
So they have one and all refused to attend. Echizen stopped there as
long as he could, but went away at last."

"Then everything is over for the present?" I said.

"Well, we shall be able to find him out in the next three years, I
suppose."

"Three years is a long time. But this council at Kiôto, was it not
connected with the latter part of the decree giving power to the Shôgun
to conclude treaties, where the Mikado says, 'There are points in the
existing treaties which I wish you to rectify in concert with the
_daimiôs_?'"

"Oh no!" said Saigô, "you are quite wrong there. It was intended, as I
have said before, that the _daimiôs_ should consult with the _Baku-fu_
about government reforms."

"I suppose," I said, "that among other questions for discussion the
Chôshiû affair and the opening of Hiôgo were included. What is the
position with regard to Chôshiû? We foreigners cannot comprehend it?"

"It is indeed incomprehensible," Saigô replied. "The _Baku-fu_ commenced
the war without justification, and they have stopped it equally without
reason."

"Is it peace, or what?"

"No. Simply that hostilities have ceased, and the troops have been
withdrawn. There the matter rests."

"For us foreigners it is a great puzzle why the _Baku-fu_ attacked
Chôshiû at all. It was certainly not because he had fired on foreign
ships. If he really had offended the Mikado, surely your prince, with
his profound affection for the 'Son of Heaven,' could have lent
assistance."

"I believe the _Baku-fu_ hated Chôshiû all along," replied Saigô.

"It is a great pity the council did not take place, because it is of the
highest importance that the affairs of the country should come to a
settlement within this year. We have a treaty with Japan, not with any
particular person, and we don't intend to interfere with you in the
settlement of your domestic disputes. Whether Japan is governed by the
Mikado or the _Baku-fu_, or becomes a confederation of separate states
is a matter of indifference to us, but we want to know who is the real
head. I confess to you that we have serious doubts about the _Baku-fu_.
We saw that they are not supreme, or rather not omnipotent when they
asked us to let them off the opening of Hiôgo. Then the murder of
Richardson and the impotence of the _Baku-fu_ to punish his murderers
showed us that their authority did not extend as far as Satsuma. Then
when ships-of-war belonging to friendly nations were fired on by
Chôshiû, we had to go and punish him because the _Baku-fu_ could not do
it. And we see now that Chôshiû has got the best of the late war. These
things make us doubt the supremacy of the _Baku-fu_ throughout the
country, and we had hoped that the council would settle the difficulty.
The _Baku-fu_ will again be in a difficult position next year when, as
we intend to do, we demand the opening of Hiôgo, if the _daimiôs_ oppose
it."

"My master does not oppose the opening of Hiôgo, but objects to its
being opened after the fashion of other ports. We want it to be opened
so as to be a benefit to Japan, and not solely for the private advantage
of the _Baku-fu_."

"But how would you have it opened?" I asked.

"By placing all questions regarding Hiôgo in the hands of a committee of
five or six _daimiôs_, who would be able to prevent the _Baku-fu_ from
acting exclusively for its own selfish interests. Hiôgo is very
important to us. We all owe money to the Ozaka merchants, and we have to
send the productions of our provinces to them every year in payment of
our debts. Our affairs will be much thrown out of order if the place is
opened on the same plan as Yokohama."

"I see now why you attach so much importance to Hiôgo. It is your last
card. It is a great pity you cannot settle all your internal
difficulties before the port is opened."

"When we sent Yoshii up to see Sir Harry Parkes, he told him if he came
to Ozaka to ask for us. We could not go to call on him for fear of
incurring suspicion. And Sir Harry replied that he would ask not only to
see the Prince of Satsuma, but all the other _daimiôs_ as well."

_Saké_ and _sakana_ (_i.e._ its accompaniments) were now introduced, and
we were waited on by a good-looking girl who was said to be a sweetheart
of Godai's. Saigô excused himself and retired for a few moments with my
companion Hayashi, who was apparently a confidential agent of the
Satsuma people. After the second course, as he seemed in a hurry to get
away, I rose to go, but he would not hear of my leaving so early. I
begged him not to stand on ceremony, but to leave whenever he chose, as
I knew he had a long way to go. After a few minutes more, he rose, and
saying, "In case Sir Harry wants to communicate anything to us, he has
only to send a message to our house at Yedo, and we will despatch anyone
he likes from Kiôto to see him," he took his departure. I thanked him
very warmly for coming so far to see me, and we bade each other
farewell. The feast was resumed, and after numerous courses, Hayashi and
I went back on board the "Argus" by half-past seven. Next day we left
for Yokohama. During our stay at Hiôgo we had walked freely about the
town, and found the people perfectly civil. They were evidently becoming
accustomed to the sight of foreigners, and scarcely took any notice of
us as we passed through the streets.

    [Illustration: CHOSHIU COUNCILLORS
    Katsura Kogorû and Kikkawa Kemmotsu]

    [Illustration: DAIMIÔ OF CHÔ-SHIU AND HIS HEIR
    Môri Daizen and Môri Nagato]



                              CHAPTER XVI

                          FIRST VISIT TO OZAKA


ON reaching Yokohama on the 15th January 1867, I duly made my report to
the chief of all I had seen, heard, and said, and took up my quarters on
the following day at Yedo. The first news I learnt was that the Shôgun
had invited all the foreign representatives to meet him at Ozaka, and
that they would probably accept. His object, it was explained, was to
break through all the traditions of the past eight years and to make the
treaties of friendship which had been concluded by Japan with foreign
countries more of a reality than they had hitherto been. But Sir Harry,
who had now learnt enough of the internal political condition to
convince him that the Shôgun's power was fast decaying, still hesitated,
and it was only when he found a majority of his colleagues determined to
go, that he made up his mind to join them. But he persuaded them that it
would be well to have inquiries made beforehand as to the kind of
accommodation that would be provided, and consequently deputed Mitford
and myself to proceed thither in the "Argus." We were joined by Captain
Cardew of the 2/ix, and reached Hiôgo on the 9th of February, after a
two days' run. A couple of subordinate officials of the Shôgun's foreign
department had accompanied us to make the necessary arrangements, and
were landed at once to provide for our going to Ozaka without loss of
time. We determined to go by land. The "Princess Royal," "Basilisk,"
"Serpent," and "Firm" were in port, having just arrived from visiting
the Princes of Chikuzen at Fukuoka, and the Princes of Chôshiû at
Mitajiri. Lord Walter Kerr of the "Princess Royal" kindly gave me
photographs of the four nobles and of two of the leading councillors of
Chôshiû, which are here reproduced. Among them will be recognized
Katsura Kogorô, already mentioned. On board the "Princess Royal" I met
some native traders, who were greatly interested in the approaching
opening of the port, and discussed various suitable sites for a foreign
settlement. They also conveyed to me the news of the Mikado's death,
which had only just been made public. Rumour attributed his decease to
smallpox, but several years afterwards I was assured by a Japanese well
acquainted with what went on behind the scenes that he had been
poisoned. He was by conviction utterly opposed to any concessions to
foreigners, and had therefore been removed out of the way by those who
foresaw that the coming downfall of the _Baku-fu_ would force the court
into direct relations with Western Powers. But with a reactionary Mikado
nothing but difficulties, resulting probably in war, was to be expected.
It is common enough in eastern countries to attribute the deaths of
important personages to poison, and in the case of the last preceding
Shôgun rumours had been pretty rife that he had been made away with by
Shitotsubashi. In connexion with the Mikado I certainly never heard any
such suggestion at the time. But it is impossible to deny that his
disappearance from the political scene, leaving as his successor a boy
of fifteen or sixteen years of age, was most opportune.

Noguchi and my boy Yasu turned up here, having been forwarded from
Uwajima. They were full of excuses, which were readily admitted.

We got away on the morning of the 11th, and Lieutenant Thalbitzer, a
Danish officer from the "Argus," having joined us, we were a party of
four. Ponies had been provided by the Japanese authorities, and we had
an escort of nine men armed with swords from the corps which supplied
the guards of the foreign legations at Yedo. Our steeds were small,
ill-fed, and untrained, but each had a splendid running footman attached
to it, who kept up the pace in magnificent style. Troops had been posted
along the road for our protection, and the whole number thus detailed
cannot have been less than 1500. This gave us a novel and somewhat
embarrassing sense of importance. The road is perfectly flat the whole
way, and fairly straight until it approaches Ozaka, when it begins to
make zig-zags which lengthened it unnecessarily. This plan was formerly
adopted nearly all over Japan in the vicinity of _daimiôs_' towns for
strategical purposes. As the roads nearly always run through the swampy
rice fields, a hostile force is unable to march straight at its point of
attack, but must follow the road, being thus constantly exposed to a
flank fire from the defending force occupying the other arm of the angle
ahead.

Soon after passing Ama-ga-saki we came in sight of the castle of Ozaka,
a conspicuous object in the landscape by its shining white walls and
many-storied towers, visible for many a league. At last we reached the
city. Although our guides missed the route at first, and here and there
a break occurred in the troops which lined the narrow streets, the crowd
quietly made way for us, and stood in front of the houses without
uttering a sound. At every corner there was an immense concourse, and
the side-streets were filled with eager, gazing faces as far as the eye
could reach. We crossed the great wooden bridge over the river which
runs through the city, turned to the left along the embankment, and
bending again to the right proceeded down a long, apparently
interminable street until we finally reached our lodgings at the
Hon-gaku-In monastery. Here we found some officials of the foreign
department, and received calls from a few of the local functionaries.
Everything had been done to make us comfortable, and the locality was
the best that could have been selected. It was impossible to avoid
contrasting this generous hospitality with the reluctant, almost
hostile, reception accorded to us on the occasion of our visit in 1865.
The times had evidently changed since the accession of the new Shôgun,
and the recent death of the Mikado did not appear to have made any
difference in his plans and intentions for the carrying-out of a
conciliatory policy.

Preparations had been made by the officials for our accommodation to the
best of their ability. After washing off the dust of our long ride in a
comfortable bathroom, we sat down to a dinner served in imitation of
western fashion, with French wines, including an excellent bottle of
Larose. Alas, it was the only one. The seats, however, were mere
four-legged wooden stools, and I suffered a good deal from them during
our stay. Afterwards we inspected the bedrooms. The bedsteads were mere
makeshifts, but there was a plentiful supply of bedding, consisting of
cotton quilts and stuffed silk coverlets. The toilet service was made up
of two ludicrously small basins and, underneath the toilet table, a huge
water pot; at the side were a cake of almond soap and a bottle of
eau-de-cologne. But what seemed especially unusual was the deference of
manner and language exhibited by all the officials with whom we came in
contact. Hitherto I had experienced only familiarity approaching to
rudeness at the hands of government officers.

On the following morning we were visited by Suzuki, an official of the
Uwajima clan, who came with a message from the resident _Karô_ to beg
that we would not visit them at their _yashiki_, but at the same time he
managed to convey the contrary impression. I sent Noguchi to the Satsuma
_yashiki_ to invite Komatsu to call on us, and to that of Uwajima to
convey my thanks for the kindness exhibited to my two servants. In the
afternoon we went out for a walk in the Shinsai-bashi Suji, which is the
principal street of the city, preceded by a small band of one-sworded
men, who emitted a cry like a crow--_kau, kau_--to warn the people out
of the way. Dense crowds hovered on our footsteps, eager to catch a
glimpse of the strangers, for no Europeans had been in Ozaka since the
last Dutch mission from Nagasaki had passed through a few years before.
We were no less inquisitive, and made a great round, past all the
booksellers' and mercers' shops, till dark.

Our next visitor was Yoshii Kôsuké, whom I have already mentioned. He
reminded me that we had met at Hiôgo in the autumn of 1865 on board the
steamer, when I had also seen Saigô for the first time. Yoshii was a
little man, very vivacious and talked with a perfect Satsuma brogue.
Every day we spent the greater part of our time in sight-seeing, and the
officials proved obliging in every way. We had only to express a wish
and it was immediately gratified. In a day or two we got Komatsu and
Yoshii to tiffin. The former was one of the most charming Japanese I
have known, a Karô by birth, but unlike most of that class,
distinguished for his political ability, excellent manners, and a genial
companion. He had a fairer complexion than most, but his large mouth
prevented his being good-looking. They partook heartily of pâte de foie
gras and pale ale, and at last became so merry that we feared they might
make indiscreet revelations in the presence of the Tokugawa servants who
crowded the house.

On the next day Mitford and I returned their visit at the Satsuma
_Kura-yashiki_, or produce agency, near the river bank. Yoshii received
us at the door, and ushered us into a room where we found Komatsu, the
agent and Matsuki Kôwan; the latter was one of the two prisoners taken
by us in 1863, and I had some suspicion that he was not altogether to be
trusted, as he was reported to have been in the Tycoon's service during
the interval. So after the exchange of compliments I suggested that we
might have some more private talk. It was a mistake on my part, however.
Matsuki afterwards changed his name to Terashima Tôzô, or perhaps merely
reassumed it, and held office pretty constantly since the revolution of
1868, chiefly in connexion with foreign affairs. So Komatsu, Yoshii,
Mitford and I retired together into an inner room. They told us that the
Mikado's death had taken place on the 30th January, though the date
officially announced was the 3rd February. He had been succeeded by his
son, a youth of fifteen, who, it was thought, had in him the makings of
a clever man if properly educated in foreign and domestic politics. But
unfortunately the _Baku-fu_ would not allow him to be approached by any
teachers who could improve his mind. During the new Mikado's youth, the
conduct of public affairs would be carried on in his name by the
Kwambaku (best rendered vizier). This officer is chosen from one of five
noble court families, nominally of course by the Mikado, but in reality
by the Tycoon and principal _daimiôs_. The present Kwambaku was a wise
and good man, but too much disposed to listen to the counsels of the
_Baku-fu_. They thought the new Shôgun's idea in inviting the foreign
representatives to Ozaka was merely a counter move to the invitations
which Sir Harry Parkes had accepted from the _daimiôs_ of Satsuma and
Uwajima. The Shôgun would probably talk a great deal about drawing
closer the bonds of friendship, etc., but would avoid treating about the
opening of Hiôgo. The _Baku-fu_ in fact did not wish that event to take
place, because it would let a flood of light into the minds of the
Mikado and the court nobles. Komatsu said he had remonstrated with the
_Baku-fu_ for delaying to hand over the land at Hiôgo and postponing the
notification of the tariff convention of last June, their answer being
that they had not yet made up their minds on those subjects. Satsuma, he
said, had purchased some land near Kôbé as a site for a _Kura-yashiki_,
of which they would be willing to let us have the greater portion for a
foreign settlement. Satsuma wished to see the place opened to foreign
trade, but wanted it to be done in a proper manner. Many of the court
nobles were also in favour of the measure; these were men of liberal
tendencies, but not in favour with the _Baku-fu_, who had imprisoned
some of them; they were not allowed to have access to the Mikado.

Affairs being in a critical condition, it was probable that the Shôgun
would stop a long time at Kiôto. Were he to return to Yedo, he would
lose his hold over the Mikado, and Chôshiû might make another dash at
the palace. None of the _daimiôs_ had proceeded specially to Kiôto for
the investiture of the Shôgun, the absent ones being represented by
their agents. Komatsu begged us to tell Sir Harry that it was not the
desire of Satsuma and the other _daimiôs_ who acted with him to upset
the _Baku-fu_, but simply to restrain them from misusing their powers.
They hoped, however, to see the Mikado restored to his ancient position
as _de facto_ ruler of the country. All the plans and hopes of Satsuma
tended to the benefit of the country, and not to a revolution against
the Shôgun. If Sir Harry on his arrival would propose to make a treaty
with the Mikado, the _daimiôs_ would at once give in their adhesion, and
flock to Kiôto in order to take part in carrying out the great scheme.
All that was necessary was for him to help them to this extent, and they
would do the rest.

The conversation had now lasted so long that we thought it best to break
off, for fear of exciting suspicion, and we returned to the other room,
where a capital Japanese luncheon was spread out. To my great surprise
we were joined by Inouyé Bunda, whom I had not seen since the
bombardment of Shimonoséki. His face was now disfigured by a huge scar,
the vestige of one of several wounds which he had received in the course
of a party fight down in Chôshiû. He said his people had now got the
steam up and would like to give the Shôgun another thrashing. He brought
a message from the prince to Sir Harry inviting him to visit the
province at the earliest opportunity. When Sir Harry last passed through
Shimonoséki, he said, the French Minister was there, and that accident
had prevented an intended interview. The Satsuma people expressed the
hope that Mitford and I would visit Kagoshima as soon as possible.

We had a discussion with Shibata Hiûga no Kami, one of the Commissioners
for Foreign Affairs, about Sir Harry's public entry into Ozaka, and
settled all the details quietly and amicably. But when we came to the
ceremony of presentation to the Shôgun some difficulties cropped up. He
wanted the British Minister to make his bow outside the room in which
the Shôgun would be, and we could not allow this. Our object was to
insist on the forms being as like those of European courts as possible.

Noguchi, as I have said, belonged to the Aidzu clan, which furnished the
best part of the Shogun's fighting force at Kiôto. I had sent him there
to see his people, and he returned with the news that some were coming
down to call on me. Accordingly, late in the evening of the 17th, four
of them appeared, named Kajiwara Heima (a _Karô_), Kurazawa Uhei, Yamada
Teisuké and Kawara Zenzayemon, bearing as presents rolls of light blue
silk damask, and lists of swords and other articles to be hereafter
given to Sir Harry, Mitford, and myself. In making official presents the
custom was that a list written on thick, light cream-coloured paper
called _hôsho-gami_ should accompany the articles, and often, if these
were not ready, the list was handed over beforehand. We had nothing to
give in return, but entertained them to the best of our ability.
Kajiwara in particular distinguished himself by drinking champagne,
whiskey, sherry, rum, gin and gin and water without blinking or
shrinking. He was a particularly handsome young fellow, with a fair
complexion, and had perfect manners. We gave them a letter of
introduction to Captain Hewett of the "Basilisk," as they wanted to see
a foreign man-of-war. This was the foundation of a close friendship
between myself and the Aidzu clan, which survived the war of the
revolution and the completest possible difference of opinion on Japanese
internal politics. But they never resented the part we took, clearly
seeing that all the English wanted was the good of the Japanese as a
nation, and that they were not partisans of any faction. Our new friends
came a couple of days later to tiffin, when they were regaled with
champagne and preserved meats, greatly to the elevation of their
spirits. It ought to be noted that in those days it was quite the proper
thing to get drunk at a dinner party, and a host whose guests went away
sober would have been mortified by a feeling that his hospitality had
not been properly appreciated. One of them got very tight, and began to
talk things unfit for the ears of boys or maidens, while another
produced a packet of indecent pictures, which he generously distributed
among the four of us. In return for this entertainment Kajiwara invited
us to go and drink _saké_ with him in the evening. We at once accepted,
but had some trouble with the foreign department officials from Yedo, to
whom it appeared an improper violation of all precedent for members of a
foreign legation to attend a feast given by a _daimiô's_ man, even
though the _daimiô_ belonged to the Shôgun's party. We could therefore
trust them to make every effort behind our backs to prevent the
entertainment coming off.

    [Illustration: GROUP PHOTOGRAPHED DURING A VISIT TO OZAKA
    Yasu. Noguchi. Akum. Mitford. Linfu.
    Satow. Cardew. Thalbitzer.]

The afternoon was spent in visiting the boats in which it was proposed
to bring the British Minister and his suite to the temporary Legation,
and a long weary tramp of it we had, but at last we got to the place
where they would leave the men-of-wars' boats. Embarking here, we made
an experimental trip ourselves, and came to the conclusion that it would
not do. To begin with, the distance was very great, and poling against
the stream was a slow method of progression; next, instead of showing
themselves to the populace, the minister and his staff would be almost
hidden from view, and would be taken through a succession of narrow,
obscure, and not very clean canals, to a very short distance from their
lodgings, to which they would have to proceed on foot. We found a dense
crowd had collected at the landing-place to see us, although it was
quite dark. We had been more than a week in the city, and the curiosity
of the inhabitants seemed not a whit abated, though we had traversed the
city in all directions, and not a day passed without our taking a long
walk. Noguchi, who had gone with the Aidzu men to find out where the
symposium was to be held, was not yet back, so reconciling ourselves to
the idea that the officials had succeeded in putting it off, we sat down
to a dinner of terrapin soup and boiled terrapins. In the middle of it,
however, Noguchi appeared to announce that all was ready. The guard
that usually dogged our steps when we went out had all retired to rest
for the night, so we got away unaccompanied except by one man carrying a
lantern. The streets were by this time quite deserted, and we hugged
ourselves with the consciousness of an adventure. No European had yet
been abroad in the streets of a Japanese city at night as a free man. We
had to walk a couple of miles, and then turn down by the river till we
came to a house close to the great bridge. Here we found our friends
awaiting our arrival. Blankets were spread for us on the floor at the
upper end of the room, while the Aidzu men sat on cushions opposite to
us, a row of tall candlesticks occupying the centre. Tea was served by
some very ancient females, and we began again to fear a disappointment,
for the invitation had been accompanied by a promise to show us some of
the most celebrated singing and dancing girls of the city. However, when
the _saké_ was brought up, they descended from the upper storey, where
they had been engaged in completing their toilette. Some of them were
certainly pretty, others decidedly ugly, but we thought their looks
ruined in any case by the blackened teeth and white-lead-powdered faces.
In later times I became more accustomed to the shining black teeth which
were then the distinctive mark of a married woman, as well as of every
"artiste" old enough to have an admirer, so much so that when the
empress set the fashion by discontinuing the practice, it was long
before I, in common with most Japanese, could reconcile myself to the
new style. I have always thought Japanese dancing, or rather posturing,
extremely uninteresting. It is a sort of interpreting by more or less
graceful (or, as one may look at it, affected) movements of body and
limbs, of the words of a song chanted to the accompaniment of a kind of
three-stringed lute. It is some help to know the words of the song
beforehand; they are no more comprehensible when sung than the sounds
given forth by the singers in Italian opera are to the majority of their
audience. But no foreigner, unless he be an enthusiast, would ever take
the trouble to educate himself to appreciate this form of art. He can
enjoy the beautiful in other ways at much less cost of time and mental
exertion. Then it takes a long apprenticeship to accustom the European
ear to music constructed with a set of intervals that are different
enough from ours to make nine-tenths of the notes seem out of tune. This
form of entertainment is universal all over the east, in India, Burma,
Siam, China and Japan, with local variations, and is, to my uncultivated
taste, everywhere equally tedious. Our Yedo officials had found us out,
and did not cease to urge our return, until at eleven o'clock we gave
way to their importunity and said good-bye to our hosts, after only a
short stay. I daresay they kept it up to a much later hour. This was the
evening before we left Ozaka.



                              CHAPTER XVII

              RECEPTION OF FOREIGN MINISTERS BY THE TYCOON


ON our return to Yedo we were horrified to learn of the death by his own
hand of poor Vidal, the junior student interpreter. No motive was
assignable for the terrible act, except ill-health. Insane he certainly
was not. A more lucid intellect it would be difficult, to find. He had
abilities of a very high order, but was a prey to a torpid liver, which
seemed always to embitter his existence. His first nomination was to
Siam, but before he had taken up his appointment he was transferred to
Peking. After a year or two there, finding the climate did not suit him,
he obtained a change to Japan. But even there he was not content with
his lot, and preferred annihilation.

The next few days were spent in visiting Atami and Hakoné in company
with some friends from Yokohama. There is nothing worthy of record about
this excursion, except that Atami, which then contained only a couple of
hotels, now (1887) possesses at least a dozen, and has become a
fashionable winter resort, much frequented by the higher classes living
in Tôkiô (Yedo). The cost of transport then was much less than it would
be now. We paid the coolies who carried our baggage over to Hakoné, a
distance of about ten miles, 1-3/4 _ichibus_, about 2 shillings and 4d
per man. At that time there existed a barrier at the eastern end of the
village, at which all travellers had to exhibit their passports to the
men on guard. The notice-board at the guardhouse, among other
provisions, stated that dead bodies, wounded persons, and individuals of
suspicious aspect were not allowed to proceed without the production of
a passport. A lady of our party accomplished the difficult feat of
riding on a Japanese pony down the steep and badly paved road which
descends from the top of the pass to Odawara. We established ourselves
in the official inn, where we were received with due respect and
cordiality by the innkeeper. It was a one-storied building spread over a
considerable area, and containing ten or fifteen rooms of the regulation
size, namely 12 feet square, besides a huge kitchen and an entrance
hall. Here we passed the night, and on the following day Noguchi
procured for us packhorses and coolies at the government rates, which
were 1 horse load 464 cash, 1 coolie load 233 cash, for a distance of
ten miles. Now 6600 cash were equal to one _riô_, that is four
_ichibus_, or at par rates about 5s 4d, so that the official rate for
the coolie was about two and a fifth pence for the whole distance or a
little over the 1/5 of a penny per mile. The coolies were obliged to
perform the labour as corvée, and if they were not in sufficient number,
the population of the post towns had to hire men at ordinary rates to
let them out at the government tariff. It was a heavy tax, and one of
the first reforms of the new government established after the revolution
was the abolition of this system. At Hodogaya I parted from the rest of
the party, who returned to Yokohama, and went on to Kanagawa, where I
slept at the _hon-jin_ or official hotel, occupying the best rooms,
which were reserved for _daimiôs_ and high officials of the government.
I rode in a _kago_ or palanquin from Hodogaya, just five miles, and was
two hours accomplishing that short distance. It was, however, the
ordinary rate of travelling in those days. One of the native legation
guard went ahead, also in a _kago_, preceded by a big bamboo and paper
lantern on a pole, then came my _kago_, followed by a coolie carrying my
baggage in a couple of wicker boxes slung on a pole (_riô-gaké_), and a
second guardsman. Noguchi probably walked. Next morning when I came to
discharge the bill for my whole party, including rooms, _saké_ and
_sakana_, supper and breakfast, I found it amounted to about 8s 6d, and
I gave one _ichibu_ (say 1s 4d) to the hotelkeeper as _cha-dai_ or tea
money, which was considered quite enough. In Japan the charge for a
night's lodging, called _hatago_, used to include everything, rice, tea,
sleeping accommodation, fuel, candles, and use of the hot bath. The only
extras were _saké_ and _sakana_, which a liberal-minded traveller
ordered "for the good of the house," but if he was of an economical
turn, he contented himself with the regular two meals, which were quite
enough to satisfy his appetite. _Sakana_ (fish) is more played with than
eaten, and is merely the excuse for _saké_. The comparison with a
European hotel bill, with its charges for candles, firing and bath, is
striking. Moreover, in Japan, you give no tips, for none are expected,
and the tea money takes the place of the charge for the room you occupy.

It was after my return from this journey that Mitford and I removed to a
little house outside the legation, situated in a pretty garden on the
rising ground which overhangs the side road leading from the Tôkaidô to
Sen-gaku-ji. It was in reality a small monastery named Monriô-In, and we
occupied the guest apartments, having each a bedroom and one sitting
room. No palisade surrounded it, and our only protection was a hut at
the gate which held three or four of the _betté-gumi_. We thought
ourselves very plucky in thus braving the risks of midnight
assassination, when the legation grounds below us were patrolled all
night, and sentries passed the word to each other as the hours struck.
Here we spent several months together, living entirely on Japanese food,
which was brought three times a day from a restaurant known as _Mansei_,
much frequented by our friends the Satsuma men.

Mitford devoted himself with unflagging diligence to the study of the
Japanese language, as he had before at Peking to that of the Chinese,
and made rapid progress. I began to compile for his use a series of
sentences and dialogues which some years afterwards were published under
the title of Kwai-wa Hen. It was convenient to be outside the legation
compound, because I could receive visits from the retainers of _daimiôs_
without obstruction. I used to go a good deal to the Satsuma _yashiki_
in Mita to get political information from two men named Shibayama
Riôsuké and Nambu Yahachirô; the former met his death towards the close
of the year in a remarkable manner. The _yashiki_, having gained evil
repute as the refuge of a number of _rônin_ and other disorderly
political characters, was surrounded and set on fire by the Shôgun's
police. There was a fight, many were killed, but Shibayama was made
prisoner. When brought up for examination, he boldly avowed that he had
been the ringleader, and then drawing a pistol from the bosom of his
dress, shot himself through the head. He was a capital companion, and I
had more than one agreeable adventure with him.

Towards the middle of April the foreign diplomatic representatives moved
in a body down to Ozaka. The French Minister, M. Roches, had already
been there in March in furtherance of the special line of policy he was
pursuing, and seen the Shôgun; doubtless promises of support had been
given; at any rate, counsel had been offered. In fact, as it afterwards
turned out, M. Roches so far committed himself with the _Baku-fu_ that
he found it impossible to remain one day longer in Japan after its final
overthrow. On our side Sir Harry Parkes was resolved henceforth to treat
the Shôgun as of no more importance than a vice-gerent; henceforward he
was styled by us His Highness, while for the Queen we used a Japanese
title placing her on full equality with the Mikado.

Sir Harry took with him to Ozaka the mounted escort under Captain
Applin, and a detachment of 50 men from the 2/ix, commanded by Captain
Daunt and Lieutenant Bradshaw. Lady Parkes was also of the party. The
staff consisted of the secretary of legation, Sidney Locock, Mitford,
myself (I was acting Japanese secretary), Willis, Aston and Wilkinson.
We had persuaded Sir Harry to let Charles Wirgman come with us. We
numbered about seventy Europeans, besides some thirty Chinese and
Japanese, writers, servants and grooms. The Tycoon's government
furnished all the fresh supplies required. Great offence was caused by
this exclusive privilege, and Rickerby in the "Japan Times" poured out
his wrath upon the head of our friend the artist. It was perhaps not an
unreasonable complaint from their point of view that no representatives
of the mercantile community were invited to accompany the foreign
ministers, but it is quite certain that they would have been very much
in the way.

The British Legation occupied four spacious temples or monasteries at
the further end of a street called Tera-machi, the other representatives
being accommodated in perhaps somewhat inferior buildings nearer to its
entrance. But the British Minister had taken the trouble to send down
two of his staff beforehand to make all the arrangements, while the
others were ready to be contented with what was provided for them by the
Japanese Government. Mitford, Wirgman and I occupied one end of a temple
(Chô-hô-ji) overlooking the city, while at the other end were Sir
Harry's "office" and the temporary chancery. The whole mission messed
together in the temple on the other side of the street, where Sir Harry
and Lady Parkes had their abode. Next door was a temple given up to the
officers of the guard and two student interpreters, and the fourth was
set apart for guests. I had a charming set of rooms on three floors. The
bottom was occupied by the Japanese writers and my retainers, the centre
floor, consisting of two rooms, served as a bedroom and "office," and
the top was a sort of parlour where I received guests, only twelve feet
by nine, but large enough to accommodate a dozen persons, as it did not
contain a single piece of furniture.

It was a busy time. I was employed from morning till night translating
and interpreting, and remember that on one occasion I had to talk
Japanese for eleven successive hours, as the chief had Japanese guests
both at luncheon and dinner. For this reason I found no time to keep my
journal, and what follows is a pure effort of memory, aided only as far
as the dates are concerned by reference to printed sources.

A great part of our time was taken up with the regulations under which
settlements were to be formed at Hiôgo and Ozaka, the conditions under
which land was to be leased to foreigners, and the creation of a
municipality at each place, and Sir Harry being the most practical man
among the whole body of foreign representatives, the work fell in the
main on his shoulders. The Japanese Government were evidently desirous
of conciliating the representatives, and the negotiations proceeded with
unaccustomed smoothness and celerity. No more angry discussions and
heated arguments (in which the heat and anger of our chief were opposed
to the stolid calm of the imperturbable Japanese Ministers) such as had
characterized our official interviews at Yedo. At the word of the new
Shôgun an entirely new line had been adopted, and a serious endeavour
was made to convert the treaty of friendship into a reality.

Then we had visits from Satsuma, Awa and Uwajima men, and tried to
ascertain what was likely to be the out-turn of the political movement
that had been in progress now for thirteen years. But on the whole
everything seemed to point to the triumph of the Shôgun over his
opponents. And one of the principal objects with which he had invited
the foreign ministers to Ozaka was that he might make their personal
acquaintance, and thus manifest his desire to cultivate friendly
relations with foreign countries. Who put this into his head I do not
know, but it does not seem _á priori_ unlikely that a closer intimacy
with the legations had been suggested to him by one of the
representatives themselves. A good deal of time was consumed in
discussing the etiquette to be observed at the audiences of the Shôgun,
but in the end it was arranged that it should be entirely according to
European fashion. The first interview was a private one. Sir Harry
proceeded to the castle on horseback, accompanied by all the members of
the mission, preceded by the mounted escort, and with a detachment of
the infantry guard before and behind. A cloud of the Japanese guard
called _betté-gumi_ hovered on our flanks and kept back the crowd. A
rather ludicrous incident was the presentation of arms by the soldiers
who lined the open space in front of the castle to the officer in
command of the escort, whose resplendent uniform had led them to mistake
him for the minister. At the nearer end of the causeway crossing the
moat there used to stand a wooden board inscribed with the Chinese
characters for "alight from horseback," but as had been agreed upon
beforehand, we took no notice of this and passed on through the gateway
to the very door of the palace. If I recollect rightly, this was almost
close to the gate. The palace unfortunately exists no longer, having
been destroyed by fire during the retreat of the defeated _Baku-fu_
forces early in February 1868. But it was reputed to be the most
splendid example of domestic architecture then extant in Japan. It
certainly was far superior to the Mikado's Palace at Kiôto. Wide and
lofty matted corridors, partitioned off by painted screens, of choice
cryptomeria wood, ran along the front of a succession of large rooms and
away to the right by the side of the three large apartments constituting
the _ôbiroma_ or hall of audience. The other apartments had each a
specific name, and the _daimiôs_ were classified according to their
right of waiting in one or the other for their turn of admission to the
presence. Over these wooden screens were large panels of carved wood
representing birds and animals surrounded by foliage, but somewhat too
richly painted, very much in the style familiar to those who have
visited the mausoleum of Iyéyasu at Nikkô.

We were conducted along the matted corridor by the Commissioners for
Foreign Affairs, who had some difficulty in walking, as the court rules
prescribed their wearing long wide trousers that extended far beyond
their feet, so as to give them the appearance of moving on their knees,
until we reached the further room, where the Shôgun was awaiting us. He
shook hands with Sir Harry, and sat down at the head of a long table,
with Sir Harry on his right and on his left Itakura Iga no Kami, who
might be styled Prime Minister. The rest of the staff sat next to Sir
Harry, and I had a stool between him and the Shôgun. He was one of the
most aristocratic-looking Japanese I have ever seen, of fair complexion,
with a high forehead and well-cut nose--such a gentleman. I felt
somewhat nervous, not knowing whether I had got hold of the forms of
speech required by court etiquette, and remember making a ridiculous
blunder over an observation of Sir Harry's that all that was
disagreeable in the past relations of Great Britain and Japan was now
forgotten. There was no business talk on this occasion, and after the
conversation was over, the whole company adjourned to a smaller
apartment where dinner was served in European style. The Shôgun sat at
the head of the table, and was very gracious. Round the walls hung
paintings of the thirty-six poets, and Sir Harry having admired them,
the Shôgun made him a present of one. Whiskey and water were produced
after the repast, and I had the honour of brewing toddy for the great
man. It was dark when we left.

A few days later there was a formal audience, at which the captains of
the men-of-war were presented. We had arranged beforehand the address of
Sir Harry and the reply of the Shôgun, who had been tutored also into
saying a few words to each person presented to him. These somewhat
resembled the Turkish Pasha's remarks as translated by the dragoman at
the famous interview described in _Eothen_. To Captain Haswell, who had
been on a polar expedition, for instance, he said what really amounted
to "you had a long journey," but was interpreted in much more
complimentary style.

I remember receiving a visit from Saigô and others of that party, who
were not at all pleased at the _rapprochement_ between us and the
Shôgun. I hinted to Saigô that the chance of a revolution was not to be
lost. If Hiôgo were once opened, then good-bye to the chances of the
_daimiôs_.

The street in which the foreign representatives lodged was shut in at
each end by solid wooden gates, at which a number of the _betté-gumi_
were stationed on guard day and night, and it was impossible to get out
into the city without an escort, as the guard had instructions to follow
us wherever we went. This was very irksome to Mitford and myself, until
we found out a gap in the wall which surrounded one of the temples, and
from that time we used to make nocturnal excursions to all parts of the
town, accompanied by my retainer Noguchi. The sense of a certain peril
to be encountered, combined with a sort of truant schoolboy feeling,
rendered these explorations into the night life of Japan very enjoyable.
On one occasion young Matsuné joined us on an expedition to the quarter
occupied by singing and dancing girls; it was a moonlight night, and the
chance of detection by the guard was so much the greater. After getting
through our gap, we doubled back, and passing behind the legations, got
into a lower street running parallel to that in which we lived, where we
ran along for some distance keeping close in the shadow of the houses,
then darted into another street at right angles, turned to the right
again until we felt sure of having baffled any possible pursuers, after
which we walked on quietly, and crossing one of the long bridges over
the river, found ourselves at our destination. A room had been taken in
Matsuné's name, and some of the bepowdered and berouged girls were
awaiting the arrival of the Japanese party they had expected to meet,
when to their surprise and horror three Europeans were ushered into
their midst. We were at that time objects of more alarm than interest to
the women of Ozaka. The fair damsels starting up with a scream fairly
ran away, and no assurances from our friend would induce them to return.
The keeper of the house besought us to leave, as a crowd might collect,
and if there was any disturbance he would get into trouble, and so we
had to submit to our disappointment. But even the slight glimpse we had
of the native beauties seemed to compensate for the risk run, for here
in Ozaka no foreigner had ever been admitted to the quarter. On another
occasion, when we were accompanied by some of the guard we had better
success, and enjoyed the society of some gei-shas for several hours, the
government officials having given their consent and even interfered, I
believe, on our behalf. Matsuné, being a _daimiô's_ man, was looked on
with much suspicion. It seemed a plucky thing on his part to spend so
much time with us, and even to accompany us in broad daylight to the
tea-gardens opposite to where the Mint now stands. Everything was new
and delightful in Ozaka, politics and diplomacy afforded unceasing
interest and excitement, the streets, shops, theatres and temples were
full of life and character of a kind thoroughly distinct from what we
were accustomed to in Yedo and Yokohama, and the difference of dialect
and costume imparted additional piquancy to the women.

During the whole five weeks we spent there we had not a single dull day.
There was always something to do in the intervals of our official work,
visits to temples and theatres, tea-drinking according to the elaborate
ceremonial of the _cha-no-yu_, an excursion to the large commercial town
of Sakai, the existence of which in such close proximity to Ozaka seems
hard to explain. Near our residence was a florist's establishment,
famous for its collection of orchids, which in Japan are cultivated more
for their foliage than for their flowers; this taste is conditioned by
the fact that in Loochoo, China and Japan there are very few species
bearing conspicuous or fine blossoms, and the amateur makes the best of
what is procurable. More attractive to the European was the exhibition
of tree-peonies, which was going on during our stay. These flowers are
now fashionable in England, but at that time were not much known; the
magnificent pink or white blossoms of various shades, often as much as
nine inches in diameter, are quite unsurpassable, and fully justify the
Chinese title of "king of flowers." In Chinese and Japanese decorative
art it is always associated with the lion, and has often been mistaken
for the rose by European writers. _Curio_ shops and silk stores also
took up a good deal of our time, but the fabrics of the loom had not
then attained the high artistic development of later years. We went
about the city in every direction, and though frequently encountering
men of the two-sworded class, never met with any instance of rudeness,
while the common people were uniformly friendly to us.

The negotiations between the foreign representatives and the delegates
of the Japanese Government proceeded satisfactorily though somewhat
slowly, and about the middle of May had reached a stage at which it was
felt that nothing more could be done for the present. All the ministers,
therefore, made their preparations for returning to Yedo. Before leaving
that part of the country Sir Harry made a trip across to Tsuruga, which
had been talked of as a possible substitute for the port of Niigata,
reported to be practically closed to commerce for one half of the year
by the combined inconveniences of a bar at the mouth of the river on
which it stands, and the persistent north-west gales that raise a most
dangerous sea. It had been agreed between us and the Japanese that as a
supplementary refuge for ships the harbour of Ebisuminato in the island
of Sado should be opened if necessary, but only as an anchorage. If
after an inspection of these two places the combined arrangement should
appear unworkable, then some other port was to be substituted, either
Tsuruga or Nanao. Sir Harry was accompanied by Lady Parkes and some of
the staff. He proceeded by way of Fushimi, along the western side of the
Biwa Lake, and returning by the eastern shore. The anti-Shôgun party
made a great grievance of this journey, and fell foul of the government
for having permitted the "barbarians" to approach so near to the sacred
capital, Fushimi being practically a suburb of Kiôto, and the Satsuma
people put in a written memorial on the subject, more to annoy the
Tycoon's government than as a mark of real hostility to us. Of course we
did not know of this until long after. I obtained leave to return to
Yedo overland, and Wirgman became my travelling companion.

A proposal was made to Sir Harry by the Tycoon's government through
Kawakatsu Omi no Kami to procure professors for English for a large
public school to be established in Yedo on the basis of the existing
Kaiseijo. Dr Temple was asked by Her Majesty's Government to furnish a
sufficient staff at salaries which we in the legation thought quite
adequate, but he took no trouble about the matter, and we thus lost the
opportunity of giving an English turn to the higher class education of
the country.



                             CHAPTER XVIII

                      OVERLAND FROM OZAKA TO YEDO


FOR centuries the interior of Japan had been closed to all Europeans,
with the exception of the head of the Dutch trading factory at Nagasaki,
who used to travel overland to Yedo at fixed intervals to pay his
respects to the Shôgun and carry valuable presents to him and his
ministers. Perhaps the best account of these tribute bearing missions is
to be found in Kaempfer. But in the new treaties a provision had been
inserted giving to the diplomatic representatives of foreign powers the
right of travelling throughout the country, and Sir Rutherford Alcock
had availed himself of this privilege a few years earlier, as he has
recounted in his "Court and Capital of the Tycoon." As a guide to
succeeding travellers it cannot be said that his description of the
journey was of much assistance. But the Japanese are great travellers
themselves, and the booksellers' shops abound in printed itineraries
which furnish the minutest possible information about inns, roads,
distances, ferries, temples, productions, and other particulars which
the tourist requires. Then a fairly good map was easily procurable, not
drawn to scale, but affording every geographical detail that can be of
any real service, and there was a splendid illustrated guidebook to the
Tôkaidô containing all the legendary and historical lore that an
Englishman accustomed to his Murray can desire. There are two great
roads which unite the eastern and western capitals, namely the Nakasendô
or road through the mountains, which, as its name implies, traverses the
central provinces, and the Tôkaidô or road along the sea to the east,
which follows the sea shore wherever practicable. Properly speaking this
is not the original name of the road, but rather of the administrative
division through which it runs, but practically it came to the same
thing. It was the latter which had been chosen for me as the principal
highway in the country, and the best provided with inn accommodation.
Ever since the third Tokugawa Shôgun established the rule that each
_daimiô_ must pass a portion of the year in Yedo, the great highroads
had become important means of internal communication. Posting stations
were established at every few miles for the supply of porters and
baggage ponies, and at each of these were erected one or two official
inns called _hon-jin_ for the use of _daimiôs_ and high functionaries of
government. Around these sprang up a crowd of private inns and houses of
entertainment where the _daimiôs_' retainers and travelling merchants
used to put up. The Tôkaidô was the recognized route for all the
_daimiôs_ west of Kiôto, and of course for those whose territories lay
along it. Then it was the main route for the pilgrims who flocked
annually to the sacred shrines in Isé, and was the means of access to
many other famous temples; so that of all the roads in Japan it was the
most frequented and the most important from every point of view. Who
that collects Japanese colour prints is unacquainted with the numerous
delightful series of views devoted to its illustration, which present
such vivid pictures of Japanese life. One of the most famous of all
native novels is occupied with the adventures of a couple of merry dogs
on their way from Yedo up to Kiôto, and the list of its fifty-three
posting towns was one of the first lessons in reading and writing which
the youth of Japan had to commit to memory. On account of its historical
and legendary associations, to say nothing of its famous scenery, it
occupied something of the same place in the imaginations of the Japanese
that the Rhine formerly did in the minds of English tourists before the
Loreley rock had been tunnelled, and crowds of indifferent travellers
were hastily whirled in a few hours along an iron track on either side
of the great stream which at one time it was the fashion to "do" with
dignity in a carriage and four. Carefully as one may study a map, there
is no way of learning geography comparable to the pedestrian method,
which, by a thousand associations of pleasure, fatigue and weather,
fixes indelibly the minutest topographical facts, and enables the
student of history to understand the vicissitudes of warfare.

Japan being a country where a peculiar political system had taken its
birth from centuries of civil war, the more we saw of its interior
districts, the more likely were we to arrive at a correct understanding
of the problem which at that moment was being attacked by the rival
parties. I do not pretend that any considerations such as these
determined my application to the chief for permission to return to
headquarters by land. Insatiable curiosity as to everything Japanese, a
certain love of adventure, and dislike of life on board of a man-of-war
were the real motives, the last perhaps as strong as any, and probably
many persons would agree with me in preferring to spend a day in walking
from Calais to Dover, if it were practicable, to taking their chance of
rough weather in a steamer, even though it might not last for more than
an hour and ten minutes.

Wirgman and I were by this time so accustomed to living on Japanese food
that we resolved not to burden ourselves with stores of any kind, knives
or forks, finger glasses or table napkins. Ponies were not procurable,
so we bought a couple of secondhand palanquins, called _hikido kago_,
such as were used by public officials, and had them repaired. They cost
the small price of 32 ichibus each, or not £4. The pole was a long piece
of deal, called by euphemism paulownia wood. A cushion of silk damask,
thickly stuffed with raw cotton, was spread on the bottom, and there was
then just room enough to sit in it cross-legged without discomfort. In
front was a small shelf above the window, and underneath a small flap
which served as a table. The sliding doors also had windows, furnished
with a paper slide to exclude cold, and another covered with gauze to
keep out the dust while letting in the air. If it rained, blinds made of
slender strips of bamboo were let down over the windows. The body of the
palanquin could also be enveloped in a covering of black oiled paper, in
which a small aperture was left for the occupant to peep out of, a blind
of the same material being propped up outside; this arrangement was,
however, only resorted to on days of persistent rain. Each of us had a
pair of oblong wicker-work baskets to hold our clothing, called
_riô-gaké_, which were slung at opposite ends of a black pole and
carried by one man over his shoulder. My bedding, which consisted of a
couple of Japanese mattresses covered with white crape and edged with a
broad border of common brocade known as _yamato nishiki_, and one of the
huge stuffed bedgowns called yogi of figured crape with a velvet collar,
with a couple of European pillows, was packed in a wicker box of the
kind called _akéni_, and formed a burden for two men. To each package
was fastened a small deal board on which my name and titles were
inscribed with Indian ink in large Chinese characters. As escort we had
ten picked men belonging to the native legation guard (_betté gumi_),
and a couple of officials belonging to the Japanese Foreign Department
(_gai-koku-gata_) were attached to us, who were instructed to make
arrangements for our accommodation along the road. Last of all, a list
was made out of the places at which we were to take our mid-day meals
and sleep at night, the journey of 320 miles from Fushimi being
calculated to occupy sixteen days.

On the 18th May, having exchanged farewell calls with the commissioners
of foreign affairs, we got away from our temple lodging at nine o'clock
in the morning. Willis, who was to join Sir Harry Parkes' party at
Fushimi, accompanied us. We embarked at the Hachikenya wharf on the
river side in a houseboat, the escort and _gai-koku-gata_ in another,
two open boats following with the luggage of the whole party. The stream
was very strong, and our progress was correspondingly slow, but we felt
that we were travelling in a dignified manner, and therefore repressed
our natural impatience. Where the stream was deep enough close in shore,
the boatmen landed, and towed us by a line attached to the top of a mast
fixed in the front of the boat, while the steersman remained at his post
to prevent us from running into the bank. When the towing path changed
to the opposite side, the boatmen came on board and poled across to
resume their labour as before. The river, which winds a good deal, is
enclosed between lofty dykes, so that we had no prospect but the broad
surface of the river itself and the tops of ranges of mountains peering
over the bank. It was a fine day, and we were full of eager
anticipations about the novel scenes we were about to pass through,
every inch of the way being entirely new to us as far as Hakoné, and for
myself the prospect of a fortnight's holiday was especially exhilarating
after the hard work of the past five weeks.

By one o'clock we reached Suido mura, a small village on the right bank
about five miles above Ozaka, and landed to take our lunch. There was
nothing to be had but rice and bean-curd, which did not constitute a
very palatable meal. But _à la guerre comme à la guerre_. We passed a
large number of crowded passenger boats descending the river, and ten
barges laden with bales of rice. At half-past six we stopped at
Hirakata, a somewhat more important place than Suido mura. Here we
landed to dine off soup, fish and rice, the ordinary constituents of a
traveller's meal. The charge for our three selves and three servants was
less than an _ichibu_, and a second _ichibu_ was given as _cha-dai_ or
"tea-money." Noguchi was paymaster, and gave whatever he thought right
under this heading. The charge seemed extraordinarily cheap, which was
explained by a regulation binding innkeepers to supply persons
travelling in an official capacity at one quarter of the rates charged
to ordinary people. We started again by moonlight, and as the night
advanced, a thin mist rose and covered the surface of the broad river,
imparting to the landscape that mysterious, sketchy indistinctness which
is so characteristic of Japan, that none but native artists whose eyes
have been educated to it from their childhood have ever been able to
seize and represent.

The air now became as cold as it had been hot during the day time. We
had blankets fetched from one of the baggage boats, and lay down to
sleep in opposite corners of the boat. At two in the morning I woke and
found that we were lying off the guardhouse on the right bank opposite
to Hashimoto, which was held by troops of Matsudaira Hôki no Kami, a
member of the Tycoon's Council, the other bank being in the charge of
Tôdô, the _daimiô_ of Isé. We had been as far as Yodo, where they turned
us back because our pass had not been viséd here, and we did not reach
Yodo again till four o'clock. It was still dark, the moon having set
during the night. The river is here joined by the Kidzu kawa, and is
divided into several channels by islands lying in its course. We kept
along the right bank, and arrived at Fushimi about six, where we found
Sir Harry on the point of starting for Tsuruga. Here a generous member
of his party gave us a last cigar. Our stock had been completely
exhausted during the long stay in Ozaka, and for the rest of the journey
we had to content ourselves with Japanese tobacco, smoked in tiny whiffs
out of the diminutive native pipes, all inadequate to satisfy a craving
nourished on something stronger. The worst of the Japanese pipe, with
its metal bowl and mouthpiece united by a hard bamboo stem, is the
rapidity with which it gets foul, necessitating cleaning at least once a
day with a slender spill twisted out of tough mulberry-bark paper.
Willis left us here, and joined the chief. Special precautions had been
taken by the government to prevent Sir Harry turning aside to Kiôto,
which it was thought his adventurous disposition might tempt him to
visit.

After breakfast we started in our _kagos_ for the journey overland. A
crowd of _machi-kata_, who were a sort of municipal officers of all
grades, dressed in their Sunday best, escorted us out of the town. Our
road lay for a mile or so between the banks of the Uji-kawa and the low,
fir-clad hills masked by clumps of graceful bamboo, and then leaving the
tea plantations of Uji to the right, we journeyed along a level road
winding through the hills to Oiwaké, where we joined the Tôkaidô. A kind
of stone tramway ran from Kiôto all the way to Otsu, our next
resting-place, for the heavy, broad-wheeled bullock carts, of which we
passed a couple of score laden with rice for the use of the Tycoon's
garrison at the capital. Oiwaké was famous for pipes, counting boards
(_abacus_), and a species of comic prints called _toba-yé_, and lies at
the foot of the hills separating the province of Yamashiro from the
beautiful Biwa Lake. By the roadside we had an opportunity of inspecting
some tea-firing establishments on a small scale, like every other
manufacturing enterprise in those days. The fresh tea leaves were
damped, then spread out on a flat table heated from beneath by fuel
enclosed in a plastered chamber, and twisted by hand. This new tea forms
a delicious and refreshing drink when infused after the Japanese method
for the finer qualities, with lukewarm water. At each establishment
there were not more than two persons at work.

At one o'clock we got to Otsu, and after lunch went to a monastery
called Riô-zen-ji to enjoy the celebrated prospect of the lake, but the
mid-day heat had covered its surface with a dull grey haze, and hid it
entirely from view. We found everything nicely arranged for us at
Takajima-ya, where we rested for the mid-day meal, while the escort and
foreign office men in our train vied in accommodating themselves to our
wishes. From Otsu a level road skirted the lake, and, soon after passing
through Zézé, the "castle town" of Honda Oki no Kami, we got out to
walk. In crossing the great double bridge of Séta we saw a couple of men
in a boat spinning for carp; the shallows here are crowded with traps,
irregular shaped enclosures of reeds planted in the mud, into which the
fish enter when stormy winds agitate the surface of the water and
deprive them of their equanimity. But before reaching Kusatsu, where we
were to put up for the night, we retreated into our kagos, in order not
to be overwhelmed by the crowd, and for the better preservation of our
dignity, which required that we should not be seen on foot. At the
confines of the town we were met by a deputation of the municipal
officers and by the host of the official inn, who escorted us in with
great pomp, keeping back the inquisitive multitude. Our bearers
quickened their pace, not indeed to our satisfaction, for the _kago_,
which is uncomfortable at all times, becomes almost uninhabitable when
the men get out of a walk.

At last we turned round a corner, and passing through a black gate,
before the posts of which were two neatly piled-up heaps of sand,
flanked by buckets of water, were set down in the wide porch of the
official inn. It was one of the most beautifully decorated buildings of
its kind that I have ever seen. That implies woodwork of the finest
grain, plaster of the least obtrusive shades of colour, sliding doors
papered with an artistic pattern touched up with gold leaf and framed
with shining black lacquered wood, and hard thick mats of the palest
straw edged with stencilled cotton cloth. In the principal room, only
twelve feet square, raised six inches above the rest of the house, lay
two thick mats forming a sort of bed-place, where the distinguished
traveller was expected to squat without moving. The baggage was
deposited in the corridor which ran round two sides of the apartment.
There was no view from the windows, which looked out on a small
courtyard enclosed by a sulky-looking, black wooden fence. Etiquette
prescribed that a great man should neither see nor be seen. Our host
came in with a small present, and bowed his forehead to the sill. After
a few minutes he returned to give thanks in the same humble manner for
the gift of two _ichibus_ which he had received as _cha-dai_. We went in
turn to the hot bath, where a modest, not to say prim, young damsel
asked whether she might have the honour of washing our "august" back,
but not being trained from our youth up to be waited on by lovely
females during our ablutions, we declined her assistance.

At dinner time we ordered a dish of fish and a bottle of _saké_, which
had to be several times replenished before the artist had had enough.
The people of the inn were astonished to find that we could eat rice,
having been taught to believe that the food of Europeans consisted
exclusively of beef and pork. When we went to bed, soft silk mattresses
in plenty were spread on the floor, and the chambermaid placed within
the mosquito net a fire-box with a bit of red-hot charcoal neatly
embedded in white ashes for a last smoke, and a pot of freshly-infused
tea. _O yasumi nasai_, be pleased to take your august rest, was the end
of the first day.

In Japan travellers are in the habit of making an early start. A native
usually rises before day, makes a hasty toilet by scrubbing his teeth
with a handful of salt from a basket hanging over the kitchen sink,
washes his hands and face without soap, swallows a hasty breakfast, and
is on the road as soon as the sun is up, or even earlier. His principal
object is to arrive at the town where he is going to pass the night at
as early an hour as possible, in order to secure a good room and the
first turn at the hot bath, there being only one tub and one water for
the whole of the guests. In some out of the way places this is not even
changed every day, and I remember on one occasion to have found the bath
absolutely green with age and odorous in proportion. We were not
expected to do as the vulgar herd, and did not get away much before
half-past seven. Our average rate of going was about three miles an
hour, and the day's journey not over twenty miles, but there were so
many interruptions that we rarely reached our evening's destination
before six o'clock.

First and foremost there was the mid-day meal (_o hiru yasumi_), which
consumed at least an hour, and then our exalted rank required that we
should stop to rest (_o ko-yasumi_) at least once in the morning and
once again in the afternoon. Then we stopped again at every point of
view to drink tea, and to taste every dish of cakes or other comestibles
of which centuries of wayfarers had been in the habit of partaking
before us. Thus on the third day we stopped at Mmé-no-ki to take tea at
a house commanding a fine view of the legendary mountain Mukadé yama
(Centipede's Mount), and again for half-an-hour at Ishibé, where a big
board was stuck up outside inscribed with "the little resting-place of
the interpreter (the officer) of England." We lunched sumptuously at
Minakuchi on fish, soup and rice, and so got through an hour and a
quarter. At Ono, celebrated for pheasants' meat preserved in _miso_
paste, we again drank tea, which was served out by pretty girls who made
a great pretence of bashfulness. Wirgman's costume, consisting of wide
blue cotton trousers, a loose yellow pongee jacket, no collar, and a
conical hat of grey felt, gave rise to a grave discussion as to whether
he was really an European, or only a Chinaman after all. At Mayéno, a
centre of tea production, we stopped for another half-hour to taste
several sorts of leaf at a tea-dealer's shop. This was a great act of
condescension on the part of such distinguished personages, but we made
up for this derogation from our dignity by having our purchases paid for
by Noguchi, the real Japanese swell being supposed to know nothing about
money, not even theoretically. The dealer declared that unless the leaf
is picked and fired by virgins, it will not be drinkable, but I fear he
was humbugging the innocent foreigner.

Many of the houses bore a notice-paper inscribed with Chinese characters
meaning "Economy in all things," a laconic sentence which was
interpreted to signify that the occupants had forsworn social
entertainments and other unnecessary sources of expenditure. Wirgman
made himself very popular by the sketches he threw off and gave away to
the innkeepers, sometimes of ourselves as we appeared on the road, or of
a bit of local scenery, or perhaps a pretty girl, whose bashful pride on
discovering that her features had been perpetuated on paper was a
pleasant sight to contemplate. It usually took some time before the
waiting maids overcame what seemed to us to be their excessive modesty,
but it was explained to us that women were not usually permitted to
approach the dais-room, as noble swells had their own men-servants to
attend on them. We regretted the exigencies of our lofty position, and
pitied the _daimiôs_ who have always to be correct and proper--in
public. Another consequence of our supposed high rank was that in many
towns the people knelt down by the side of the street as we passed
along, being invited to assume that posture by the municipal officers
who preceded us beadle-fashion, crying out _Shitaniro, shitaniro_
("down, down"). This honour used in those days to be rendered to every
_daimiô_, no matter whether travelling in his own dominions or those of
another nobleman, and also to the high officials of the Shôgun's
government, as, for example, the governor of Kanagawa, to the great
indignation of the European residents. The only reported instance of a
foreigner ever submitting to this indignity was that of Mr Eugene van
Reed, who is said to have fallen in with the train of Shimadzu Saburô on
the day fatal to poor Richardson, and to have then and there conformed
to the native custom. The practice had its origin, perhaps, in the
necessity of protecting the nobles from sudden attack, combined with the
rule of Japanese etiquette which considers that a standing posture
implies disrespect. This latter fact was forcibly impressed on me at
Fuchiû, where I went to visit the public school for the sons of
_samurai_. Having taken off my shoes and laid my hat on the floor at the
entrance, I was escorted into a room where about thirty youngsters were
squatting on the floor, with Chinese books before them which they were
learning to repeat by rote from the mouths of older and more advanced
pupils, under the superintendence of half-a-dozen professors. I bowed
and remained standing, but to my surprise no one acknowledged my salute;
I had in my ignorance of propriety assumed what to the Japanese appeared
an attitude of disrespect, and it was only on being admonished by one of
the escort that I discovered my error, which being at once repaired, the
professors returned my bow, made in proper form with head to the ground.
I afterwards found it necessary to adopt Japanese manners, as far as was
compatible with a certain stiff-jointedness that forbade my sitting on
my heels for more than a very limited period, but could never resist the
uneasy feeling that while I was pressing my forehead on the mats, the
man opposite might perhaps be taking advantage of the opportunity to
inflict a slight on the "barbarian" by sitting bolt upright. In fact,
Japanese themselves were not exempt from a similar uncertainty, and they
might sometimes be detected, whilst performing the obeisance, in the act
of squinting sideways to ascertain whether the person they were saluting
lowered his head simultaneously and to the same level.

Whenever we passed through a town of any importance, the population
turned out _en masse_, eager to convert the occasion into a holiday. At
Kaméyama, for instance, which is a _daimiô's_ castle town, the streets
were thronged with _samurai_ and their children in gala dress,
presenting a gay appearance; some of the young girls were extremely
pretty, in spite of the quantity of white powder with which fashion
condemned them to bedaub their faces.

Some odd methods of locomotion were practised in this part of the
country, such as children riding in nets of coarse cord suspended from
opposite ends of a pole carried by a man on his shoulder, women riding
in pairs on packhorses, and in the flat plain between Séki and Kuwana in
small open omnibuses, not unlike the costermonger's carts in which fruit
is hawked about the streets of London, but drawn by a man instead of a
donkey; perhaps half-a-dozen grown-up persons in one of these small
vehicles, the precursors of the jinrikisha which came into vogue in
1869. Wirgman, who was too careless of his dignity (for he was
travelling not as an artist, but in the quality of a _yakunin_ or
government official), insisted in getting into one of these, and rode
all the way from Tomida to Kuwana, a distance of at least five miles,
for three tempôes, say 2-1/2d. At a tea-house at Komuki we were
presented by our host with some teapots of very inferior Banko ware;
this is the famous unglazed pottery moulded by hand, and showing all
over its surface, both inside and outside, the marks of finger tips.

On the 22nd we reached Kuwana, a large town belonging to one of the
principal hereditary vassals of the Tokugawa family. Here an enormous
concourse of people had collected to see us make our entry, and we had
some difficulty in making our way through the crush, until suddenly the
procession turned aside through a gateway under a tower, and traversed
the outer enceinte of the castle, finally arriving at the official inn
on the shore of the bay. Dealers in Banko ware, curious stones from Mino
and fans from Nagoya came flocking in, and the evening was passed in
bargaining.

The stage from Kuwana to Miya is by sea, across the head of the bay of
Owari. Nowadays (1887) people perform the journey by steamer, but in
1867 we had to content ourselves with a rather dirty boat, roofed in
with planks. We left at half-past seven and arrived at the termination
of our voyage a little after eleven, but as the distance is estimated at
seven ri or 17-1/2 miles, we were precluded from going further that day.
I proposed, therefore, to devote the afternoon to visiting Nagoya, of
which Miya is little more than a suburb.

It boasts a castle founded by Nobunaga towards the end of the sixteenth
century. It is famous throughout Japan for two huge golden dolphins
which surmount the donjon tower, and is one of the finest extant
specimens of that sort of architecture. But the foreign department
officials had no instructions to let us deviate from the high road, and
did not venture to take on themselves the responsibility for making
other arrangements. They promised, of course, to see the governor of the
town, and ask him to get permission which they represented was required
before they could take us into the castle town of a great noble like the
Prince of Owari, but it was all fudge. Shopkeepers flocked in laden with
fans, metal work, lacquered porcelain and crape, with which we occupied
the interval till an answer should be received from the authorities at
Nagoya. A report of Wirgman's skill with the brush having spread, he was
overwhelmed with quantities of Chinese paper and fans which, our host
said, had been brought by the leading inhabitants who desired specimens
of his art, and I wrote mottoes to his productions. The _saké_ bottle
furnished us with the necessary inspiration. But we found out at last
that the fans thus decorated were being sold outside at an _ichibu_ a
piece, and refused to be imposed on any further.

In the evening we had in some singing and dancing girls, and having got
ourselves up in native costume, invited the two foreign office clerks
and some of our escort to join the party. One or two of the latter
became so merry that they could not resist a temptation to perform
buffoon dancing, and Sano, the biggest and most good-humoured, gave
imitations of famous actors. We did not get rid of our guests until nine
o'clock, by which time they had taken a good quantity of _saké_ on
board.

In passing through Arimatsu on the following day, famous for cotton
_shibori_, dyed in the same way as the Indian _bandhana_, we called at
the shop where the heads of the Dutch factory at Nagasaki had been in
the habit of stopping from time immemorial on the occasion of their
annual journeys to Yedo, and were shown a ledger containing records of
the purchases made by them year after year. It was a matter of
obligation to follow this time-honoured example, and we selected some
pieces of the stuff, which oddly enough is called by the name not of the
place where it is made, but by that of the last post-town, Narumi.
Noguchi and the two foreign department officials did the bargaining,
while Wirgman and I looked on and smoked in dignified silence as if we
were utterly unconcerned about the prices. The owner of the shop was a
distinguished person, evidently invested with a municipal function, in
consequence of which he was allowed to have a few stands of matchlocks
in his hall. Many of the houses were of more substantial construction
than usual, thus testifying to the prosperity conferred by the local
manufacture.

At Chiriû the landlord of the inn where we lunched came privately to
Noguchi and asked him for four _ichibus_ as "tea money," on the ground
that Sir R. Alcock had given that sum in 1861, but his request was
refused, and he was forced to content himself with what we had paid
elsewhere, namely, half an _ichibu_. I always left such questions to his
discretion, and have no doubt that he acted rightly. In the afternoon
when the train stopped as usual to give the palanquin bearers a rest,
the people of the _tatéba_, or half-way tea-house, presented us with
buckwheat vermicelli, for which, as they assured us, the place was
reputed famous. It was, however, inferior to what I have eaten in other
places. Wirgman's fame having preceded him, paper, brushes and ink were
brought, and he executed a masterpiece representing us eating vermicelli
and drinking _saké_ from a gourd which he had been careful to get
replenished at Miya.

The bridge over the Yahagi-gawa being broken down, we crossed the river
in a ferry boat, and were met at the entrance of the town by municipal
officers and constables, the latter being furnished by the local
_daimiô_, whose function was to walk at the head of the procession and
to cry "Down, down." Down went the whole crowd of spectators, including
men of the two-sworded class, all the more willingly perhaps because
that was the only way they had of bringing their eyes to a level with
the windows of our palanquins. For etiquette demanded that we should
always ride in entering and quitting a town, the vulgar practice of
proceeding on foot being allowable only in the more countryfied portions
of the highroad.

The following day opened with what promised to be persistent rain, and
we had to be fastened up in our palanquins with the oiled paper covering
thrown over us; through a small opening we could just manage to see a
few yards to right and left. All day long we ploughed our way onwards
along the almost level road, which in places was flooded nearly six
inches deep. At Arai there was then a guardhouse close to the shore of
the Hamana Bay, where all travellers had to alight from their palanquins
and walk through, taking off their hats and shoes in order to show
respect while submitting to a searching examination. Over the _saké_ on
the preceding evening there had been a good deal of chaff about our
being obliged to subject ourselves to this rule, which was said to admit
of no exceptions. I was inwardly resolved not to submit, and was much
relieved when the time came to find that the warden was satisfied with
the _kago_ door being opened about half-way as we were carried past;
this slight concession had been arranged overnight by the foreign
department officers, in order that the letter of the rule enforcing
inspection might be observed, and we were quite contented, as the door
was opened by a third party, so that our dignity as Europeans was duly
saved by our not having to alight.

Some years ago a series of dykes and bridges exceeding a mile in length
was thrown across the shallowest part of the bay. We had, however, to
embark in boats so small that they would not hold more than a single
_kago_. The spits which run out towards each other at the mouth gave the
bay the appearance of a landlocked lake, until we got half-way across
and the breakers became visible; nevertheless the sea at the point where
we crossed was as smooth as a mirror. Two miles on the western side of
Hamamatsu we were met by some retainers of Inouyé Kawachi no Kami, the
local _daimiô_, wearing black hats as flat as a pancake, who, being
himself a member of the Tycoon's Council, had no doubt given special
orders regarding our reception, and at the entrance of the town they
were joined by more. The procession was now formed in the following
order. Two _machi-kata_, in green mantles with one in brown between
them, marched a long way ahead to clear the street, followed by a couple
of aldermen (_shuku-yakunin_) in single file on each side of the road,
and a couple of _seishi_ or heralds, whose fierce demeanour was
delightful to behold, who roared out _shitaniro, shitaniro_, and warned
some young _samurai_ who displayed a disposition to approach too close
that they must keep at a respectful distance. Then followed our _kagos_,
with one of the native escort (_betté-gumi_) walking on each side. Then
a constable (_dôshin_) carrying a spear, and behind him the rest of the
escort, servants and baggage.

On arriving at the inn, we received visits from the head merchants, and
were told that we were to be specially cared for, by orders of the
_daimiô_, some of whose retainers kept watch and ward in the kitchen
throughout the night, this being very spacious and situated in the front
of the house. In leaving on the following day the procession was
arranged in the same way, and as we passed the castle gates a high
official stationed there handed his card to one of the _betté-gumi_ to
present to me. At the end of the town the escort was changed, and we
were placed again in charge of the four black-hatted _seishi_, who did
not leave us until we arrived at the boundary of Inouye's, the
_daimiô's_, territory.

After the rain of the day before yesterday the country looked especially
beautiful; ripe fields of barley behind the rows of tall pine trees that
lined the road stretched right away to the foot of the nearer hills,
behind which rose range after range in the blue distance. We met
yesterday and to-day soldiers of the 3rd regiment of the Tycoon's
drilled troops marching to Kiôto to support the new policy of the head
of the government, and perhaps to defend him against an armed
confederation of the leading _daimiôs_ of the west.

As soon as the local escort had turned back we descended from our
palanquins to pursue our way on foot to the Tenriû-gawa, which we
crossed by means of ferry boats. The river here is very wide and the
current swift, and except during freshets is divided into two branches
by a sandbank which occupies the middle of the stream. Wirgman had
stopped behind to sketch, and I waited with one of the foreign office
officials, who confided to me that we should probably meet a "barbáre"
on the road. By this I understood the _rei-hei-shi_, a high official of
the Mikado's court who was returning from a mission to the tomb of
Iyéyasu at Nikkô. He was of higher rank than any Japanese _daimiô_, and
everyone on meeting him had to get out of his palanquin and go down on
his knees. My informant hoped we should manage to avoid him, and I hoped
so too. The rest of the party having at last come up, we proceeded by a
short cut through the fields, which saved us a couple of miles walking.
We got to Mitsuké, where we were to lunch, some time before noon. The
streets were crowded with pretty girls, who had turned out to see the
foreigners. Our host, who had put on his robes of ceremony, made his
appearance, bowing low and bearing a gift of dried white-bait fry, which
when toasted and dipped in soy is very palatable. Handsome Turkish
carpets had been spread in the bedroom. Two charming little boys about
ten years of age, with perfect manners, were told off to wait on us.

The _rei-hei-shi_ was of course the principal topic of discussion. He
had not yet passed, and our followers were full of anxiety. Noguchi said
that all Japanese of rank, down to the lowest two-sworded man, got out
of his way, because his followers were in the habit of extorting money
on the pretext that the proper amount of respect had not been paid to
the great man. I was quite ready to follow the example of the Japanese
in avoiding if possible the chance of an encounter. We were told that
the _rei-hei-shi_, whose rank by this time had been much diminished in
the mouths of our informants, was to stop the night at Fukuroi, the very
next town, only four miles further, so we hurried away hoping to get to
our own destination early in the afternoon. Two miles over the
tableland, then zig-zag down a beautiful hill covered with pine trees,
then two more over the rice field flat to Fukuroi, where we changed the
palanquin and baggage porters and hastened on without stopping.

To-day, the 27th of May, the peasants were cutting barley and planting
out the young rice. I did the six miles more to Kakégawa in two hours,
including the last stoppage, which was considered very quick going. A
young Satsuma man who was on his way to Nagasaki called at our inn and
gave me an account of the _rei-hei-shi_ and the doings of his retainers,
for whom he professed the greatest contempt. He said they were wretched
citizens of Kiôto hired for the occasion, and dressed in a little brief
authority. At Shinagawa, the last suburb of Yedo, they had seized
eighteen people and fined them for exhibiting a want of respect towards
the Mikado's messenger. It was rumoured that he would pass through about
six o'clock, and spend the night at Fukuroi. Six o'clock came, but no
_rei-hei-shi_; we passed the evening in expectation, and went to bed;
still no _rei-hei-shi_.

Wirgman and I slept in separate rooms, Noguchi in a third, and all the
escort but one were quartered at another house a little way off. At a
quarter past one I was roused from sleep by a Japanese saying to me:
"Mr. Satow, Mr. Satow, get your sword; they've come." My sword was an
old cavalry sabre, not good for much but to make a show. I got up and
groped my way through the black darkness to the sword-stand in the
alcove and got the weapon. The Japanese led me by the hand, and we stood
together in a corner of the next room, wondering what was going to
happen. He said: "I wish the escort would come." Meanwhile violent
noises were heard, as if of people breaking in. Bewildered by the
darkness, I imagined them to be coming from the little garden at the
back, on to which my bedroom looked. We remained still and breathless.
In three minutes all was silent again, and I heard a voice cry "Mr.
Satow." It was Noguchi, who appeared with a light, and reported that the
enemy had fled. Wirgman and my chancery servant Yokichi were nowhere to
be found. The Japanese who had woke me proved to be Matsushita, the
youngest of the escort. We proceeded then towards Noguchi's room; the
wooden door opposite was lying on the floor, where the assailants had
broken in. As we stood in the passage, others of the escort came in, all
dressed in fighting mantles, with drawn swords in their hands and
wearing iron forehead pieces. Seeing my scarlet sleeping trousers, they
begged me either to hide myself or take them off, but the danger being
past, I only laughed at them. Two of them went in search of Wirgman, and
found him in an alley leading to the back of the house; they narrowly
escaped being shot.

We began to feel cooler, and Noguchi narrated what had happened. He
heard the noise of the front door being broken down, jumped up, tied his
girdle, and stood in the doorway of his room, a sword in the right hand,
a revolver in the left. Some men approached and asked for the
"barbarians," to which he replied that if they would only come in, he
would give the "barbarians" to them. They took fright at his attitude
and determined tone, and fled. Altogether there were, he thought, about
a dozen, two armed with long swords, the rest with short ones. On
looking about, we discovered that the mosquito nets in the room diagonal
to Wirgman's had been cut to pieces, the occupants having escaped. It
was lucky for us that we had put out the lamps before going to bed, so
that the assailants could not find their way.

Wirgman explained that on being awakened by the noise of people breaking
down the doors and shouting for the "barbarians," he followed the people
of the house, who took to their heels. A lantern that had been dropped
by one of the "ruffians" led to the conclusion that they belonged to the
_rei-hei-shi_'s suite. No one was hurt, except one of the assailants,
who in the hurry-scurry of running away was accidentally wounded by a
companion. After everyone had related his own experiences, I retired to
bed, while Wirgman called for _saké_ and sliced raw fish, with which he
and the escort regaled themselves until daylight.

On getting up in the morning my first step was to send for the two
foreign office officials, and endeavour to obtain redress through them.
The escort, who had not appeared on the scene till the danger was past,
were now very anxious to distinguish themselves by some act of valour. I
told the officials, with the full support of the escort, that they
should either get the guilty men delivered up to me, or that I would go
with my escort and take them by force. This was the attitude maintained
until mid-day. I verily believe that if I had given the signal, the
escort would have attacked the _rei-hei-shi's_ lodgings. At last the
official came back and said that the _rei-hei-shi's_ people refused to
give the men up to me; as an alternative they proposed to obtain a
written apology, coupled with a promise to punish the assailants on
their reaching Kiôto. To this I expressed my willingness to assent, in
the hope that we should be able to pursue our journey before night set
in. But the negotiations lingered, and this was not to be. So we sent
for some musicians, and invited the two officials and the escort to a
banquet. Wirgman and one of the escort entertained the company with
dancing. Another of the escort got very drunk, and begged me to take him
into my personal service on the same terms as Noguchi. We heard that the
townspeople were delighted at the _rei-hei-sh_i and his blackguards
being so bothered by a couple of foreigners. No Mikado's messenger was
ever before stopped on his road and talked to in our imperious manner.
Four or five of the escort, when full of _saké_, started up the street
in their fighting mantles and created great alarm in the minds of the
_rei-hei-shi's_ retainers, who, thinking they were to be attacked in
earnest, begged for a guard from the _daimiô_ of the town. The captain
of the escort and two others in particular behaved in a delightfully
swaggering manner. But in spite of all this, nothing was settled, and we
had to stop a second night.

On the following morning on getting up, I was told that matters were
nearly arranged, that the men who had attacked our lodgings were to be
left behind in the custody of the _daimiô_, the people at the castle
giving a receipt on his behalf. The morning wore on without the desired
document making its appearance, and I feared they would slip through my
fingers altogether. I got tired of waiting and went to sleep, from which
I was awakened by one of the foreign office officials, who had been
acting as go-between, bringing me a certified copy, signed by the
governor of the town, of a written undertaking given by a leading
retainer of the _rei-hei-shi_ to remain there with three of the
assailants. Another copy was given to him, and he started at once for
Ozaka with it, accompanied by one of the escort. I was now asked whether
I would permit the _rei-hei-shi_ to depart, to which I gave my assent.
We saw him and his retinue pass the inn; there were two large
palanquins, half-a-dozen smaller ones, and about fifty ruffianly-looking
fellows in green coats. We had thus remained on the field of victory. As
soon as the _rei-hei-shi_ was clear of the place, we started in the
opposite direction about three o'clock in the afternoon. The _daimiô's_
people offered to give us a body of men to escort us out of the town,
but I replied that my escort was sufficient to ensure our safety. A
guard of honour was drawn up in front of the inn as we left, and eight
policemen accompanied us to the exit of the town.

Ultimately, some months later, these men and three others implicated in
the affair were brought to Yedo and put on their trial. Two were
condemned to death, and four more to transportation to an island. Sir
Harry wanted me to be present at the execution of these two men, but I
persuaded him to send some one else instead. To look on at the execution
of men who have tried to take one's life would have borne an appearance
of revengefulness, which one would not have liked. But I think that
under the circumstances of those times the punishment was rightly
inflicted.

Our next stage was to Nissaka, a pretty little town lying in a basin of
hills. Beyond rose a steep ascent, which we climbed not without fatigue,
to find ourselves on the top of a tableland running away to the sea on
our right, while on the left hills rose ever higher and higher above the
road, being cultivated up to their summits in tiny level plots cut out
of their sides. At the highest point of the road we rested at a
tea-house, where a kind of soft rice cake, bedaubed with a substance
resembling extract of malt, was served to us by a diminutive girl.
Though fifteen years of age, and consequently nearly full grown, she did
not measure four feet in height.

On the further side of the tableland lay Kanaya, the next post-town, and
beyond that the Oi-gawa, which had to be crossed before we could gain
our stopping place for the night. A hundred naked porters hurried
forward to carry our palanquins and baggage to the other bank. For
ourselves there were a sort of square stretcher, carried on the
shoulders of twelve men for greater safety, who made a point of plunging
into the deepest part of the torrent to give us a greater idea of the
difficulties they had to contend with. For the idea then entertained by
every Japanese was that the force of the stream was too great for a boat
to live in it, and that a bridge was impossible. As it has since been
successfully bridged, the probability is that this belief was purposely
inculcated on the people on the principle of _divide et impera_, and
what more effectual means of division could be found than a river which
was not to be passed but by taking off your clothes and running the risk
of drowning in it while effecting the passage, to say nothing of the
inconvenience of emerging half-naked on the other side; that is to say,
unless you could pay to be carried.

Following the economical practice we had observed all along of limiting
our tips to the smallest respectable sum, we threw a _bu_ to the men,
who clamoured loudly for its division, the share of each being somewhat
over 2/3 of a penny. We did not get to the inn till eight o'clock. Our
host was particularly polite, and thanked us profoundly for doing him
the honour of stopping at his humble abode. We were still under the
influence of the excitement produced by our recent adventures, so _saké_
and fish were ordered in, and the liveliest of the escort were bidden to
the feast. Some one distinguished himself by adding a new verse to the
popular ballad then in vogue, expressive of our contempt for the
"turnip-top" coated retainers of the _rei-hei-shi_, which was sung over
and over again to the accompaniment of a lute played by an exceedingly
ugly red faced damsel who waited on us.

The next day brought us to the large town of Fuchiû, formerly the
residence of Iyéyasu after his retirement from the active government of
the state early in the seventeenth century, and since re-christened
Shidzuoka. It is an important centre of the tea and paper trades, and at
the time we passed through was the seat of one of the principal
universities of Japan, but greatly fallen from its ancient grandeur. On
our way we had to taste various local delicacies, among which was a
horribly tenacious kind of gruel, resembling bird-lime in appearance,
made from the powdered root of the Dioscorea japonica, a species of wild
potato. We found the streets so full of spectators that it became
necessary to get into our palanquins to avoid the crush of curious
sightseers. The town is also noted for a variety of articles of cabinet
work and lacquered ware of the ordinary sort, and the room next to our
apartment had been converted into a kind of bazaar in expectation of our
arrival. The articles were of the class common enough at Yokohama, and
not much cheaper; in fact the prices were such as befitted the supposed
exalted rank of the travellers. In those days in Japan it was a well
observed doctrine that "noblesse oblige" in the matter of payments.

Next morning when we rose at six, we got a beautiful view of Fuji, the
"Peerless One," springing from the ground as it seemed almost behind the
inn, and lifting its beautiful head into the pale blue sky, above
horizontal wreaths and stretches of cloud. After breakfast we paid a
visit to the "university," where we found about thirty youngsters seated
on the floor in one room, with copies of some Chinese classic before
them, learning to read by rote from the mouths of older and more
advanced pupils. This instruction was given for about two hours each
morning, and six times a month explanations of the text were imparted by
professors. The headmaster, who was from the Confucian College at Yedo,
used to be changed annually. And this, with the addition of learning to
write with a brush, constituted the education of a young Japanese in the
olden time. The system was one that cultivated the memory, but failed
altogether to appeal to the reasoning faculties. Of course all this has
long ago disappeared, and it is possible that this system of instruction
is as obsolete in Japan as the dodo.

The great mountain having at last appeared on our horizon, we were to
have its company for nearly every step of the rest of the journey. Near
Ejiri we caught a delicious view of the summit appearing over the lower
mountains on the left hand. At one o'clock we reached Okitsu, where we
were to lunch. The inn stood close to the sea shore, and possessed an
upper room commanding a magnificent view, in favour of which we
abandoned the dignified glories of the _jô-dan_ or dais. On the left the
blue promontory of Idzu stretched away far into the ocean until it
became almost invisible in the haze; on the right hand the low hills of
Kunô-zan terminating in a low spit of sand covered with irregular growth
of pine trees, the famous Miyo no Matsubara of the Japanese poets. From
the back window we had a glimpse of the snowy peak of Fuji peeping over
the tops of the intervening hills, and by craning our necks out sideways
the double-topped head of the Futagoyama near Hakoné.

On leaving this spot, which we did with reluctance, we followed the base
of the cliffs for two or three miles along the shore, when suddenly we
turned a corner and Fuji came full in view; in front, the base of the
great mountain was hidden by the low range which runs down into the sea
near Kambara, and a white cloud encircled its middle. Wirgman sat down
to make a sketch, from which he painted a picture which is still in my
possession. Next we reached Kurazawa, famous for Venus-ear (_awabi_) and
_sazai_, a big whorl with a curious spiral operculum. Of course we
rested here awhile to eat of the local dish, washed down with repeated
cups of _saké_, in which the guard joined us. Since the affair of
Kakégawa we had become great friends, as men usually do who have shared
the same perils. The road followed the sea-shore here to Kambara, and
would be one of the most picturesque in Japan, but for the dirty
uninteresting fishing villages which line nearly the whole of its
length.

Next morning we were astir early, and crossing the low intervening
hills, reached the banks of the Fuji kawa at eight o'clock. Extensive
preparations had been made at the official hotel for our reception, mats
laid down to the entrance and red blankets spread on the floor of the
dais. At the urgent entreaty of the innkeeper we turned in for a few
minutes, and discovered that Wirgman was an ancient acquaintance of our
host, having seen him when he travelled overland from Nagasaki to Yedo
in 1861 in the suite of Sir Rutherford Alcock. We were shown into the
best room with much ceremony, and when we had taken our seats on the
floor, piled-up boxes (_jû-bako_) were brought in full of chestnut meal
cakes, the speciality of the village, with a bit of pickled radish on
the top. Other "famous things" sold here are ink stones, bits of crystal
with green streaks in them supposed by the common people to be grass,
also agates. We crossed in a boat the narrow turbulent Fuji kawa,
running between wide beds of shingle. Nowadays you cross in the train.
We then had a view of Fuji almost rising out of the sea and drawing its
skirts up gradually behind it, curious but not so beautiful as when it
is partly concealed by lesser summits which afford a standard of
comparison. It looks in fact more like an exaggerated molehill than
anything else.

We met on the road two little boys of twelve and fourteen years of age,
who, having begged their way as pilgrims all the way from Yedo to the
sacred temples of Isé and of Kompira in Sanuki, were now on their way
home, carrying slung across their backs huge packages of temple charms
done up in oiled paper. The road was terribly sandy and hot, and passing
for the most part between the bamboo fences of cottagers' gardens, was
the reverse of picturesque.

We had intended to sleep at Hakoné, but owing to delays for sketching,
to say nothing of a huge feast of broiled eels and _saké_ at
Kashiwabara, did not manage to get beyond Mishima, at the western foot
of the hills.

Next morning we started at half-past six to ascend the pass which climbs
the range of mountains by an excellent road paved with huge stones after
the manner of the Via Appia where it leaves Rome at the Forum, and lined
with huge pine trees and cryptomerias. At a tiny hamlet more than
halfway up some hunters came to present us with eggs, according to
immemorial custom. Three hours brought us to Hakoné, the little mountain
village standing on the southern border of the lake, surrounded by steep
grassy hills. The warmth of the day tempted me to take a bath in the
lake, which at first was strenuously opposed by the foreign official
with us. It appeared that no boats were allowed on the lake, nor was any
one permitted to swim in it, lest he should take the opportunity of
swimming round at the back of the barrier gate, and so avoid the
necessity of showing his passport. With considerable trouble I persuaded
the objector to withdraw his opposition, by representing that my
natatory powers were altogether insufficient for the purpose.

After a couple of hours spent in this charming spot, which nowadays has
become a fashionable summer retreat of foreigners residing at Yokohama,
we resumed our journey down the eastern side of the pass, already
described in a previous chapter, and got to our inn at Odawara by five,
little dreaming of what lay before me.

A letter from Sir Harry Parkes was at once delivered to me urging me to
hasten my return, as there were important negotiations on foot. On
conferring with the leader of the escort, I learnt that by starting at
once and travelling post-haste through the night, I might get to Yedo
next morning. Eight porters in relays of four would be able to carry the
palanquin at the rate of about four miles an hour. So the men were
ordered without delay. The Japanese on these occasions, to save
themselves from being too severely shaken, wind a broad piece of cotton
cloth tightly round the waist, and tie another piece round the temples.
A third is suspended from the ceiling of the palanquin, to which the
traveller clings with might and main. I had to adopt this arrangement,
and in addition stuffed my palanquin full of bedding and pillows.
Noguchi and two of the escort accompanied me to negotiate the changes of
coolies at the various posting stations on the way, and by seven o'clock
we were in motion. The porters maintained a constant crying "eeya-oy,"
"eeya-oy," in order to keep step with each other and render the swinging
of the palanquin less unendurable. To sleep was impossible, as this
noise continued all night. When the day broke we had done twenty-six
miles, which was slower than I had expected. So we urged on the fresh
men we got here, and accomplished the remaining twenty-two miles by ten
o'clock. From sitting cross-legged so many hours I was almost unable to
stand upright when I got to the Legation. And the vexatious part of it
all was that the important conference, which I had hurried to be present
at, turned out to be a mere complimentary visit of a crowd of officials
for whom anyone could easily have interpreted.



                              CHAPTER XIX

          SOCIAL INTERCOURSE WITH JAPANESE OFFICIALS--VISIT TO
                  NIIGATA, SADO GOLD MINES, AND NANAO


OUR relations with government officials suddenly from this time onward
assumed a character of cordiality which formerly would have been thought
impossible. This was, of course, in consequence of very explicit
instructions given by the Tycoon to his ministers to cultivate the
friendship of the foreign missions, and especially of the British
Legation, in order doubtless to counteract the intimate intercourse
which was known to be carried on between ourselves and the retainers of
Satsuma and Chôshiû. Each of the commissioners for foreign affairs in
turn invited me to dine with him in Japanese fashion, and as I was
extremely ignorant of Japanese etiquette, Noguchi used to accompany me
on these occasions to be my tutor. An exchange of presents was always an
important part of the entertainment, and this was a very troublesome
business on account of the difficulty of buying anything at the foreign
stores in Yokohama that was worth giving away as a specimen of English
productions. Most of these officials lived in a very modest way. The
rooms in which they gave their entertainments were usually upstairs,
perhaps not more than twelve feet by fifteen, but as there was no
furniture, there was plenty of space. On arriving at the house we were
shown up a very narrow staircase, and through an equally narrow door.
Down we plumped on our knees immediately, and bowed our heads to the
mats to the host, who did the same. Then ensued a contest of politeness,
our entertainer trying to get us nearer to the top of the room, and we
protesting that we were very comfortable where we were. Of course it
ended in my being put down in front of the recess (_tokonoma_), which is
the seat of honour, while Noguchi remained where he was, just inside the
door. Usually I was then allowed to cross my legs in tailor fashion,
owing to my joints not having yet acquired the lissomness of the
Japanese. Then Noguchi with great solemnity unwrapping the present,
would slide across the floor and deposit it between the host and myself.
In Japan you don't use brown paper for parcels, but every household
possesses a set of cloths of different sizes, silk or crape for the
smaller, of cotton dyed green for the larger, which fulfil the same
purpose as paper. Then I pushed the present gently towards my
entertainer, saying "This is really a very shabby article, but as it is
a production of my contemptible country, I ..." To which he would reply,
"Really I am quite overpowered. What a magnificent article. I am really
ashamed to deprive you of it." And then all women folk, the servants,
and the children who were peeping in at the door or round the corner of
the balcony which ran along the front of the room would crane out their
necks to get a glimpse of the precious rarity from the far west. Then
the other guests, three or four in number, would begin to arrive. If
they were strangers, the following dialogue would take place. Each
person putting his hands together on the mat in front would bend over
and almost touching them with his forehead, say "I have the honour to
present myself to you for the first time. My name is so-and-so. I hope
to enjoy your friendship in perpetuity." To which either may add that he
has often heard of the great fame of the other, and longed for an
opportunity of meeting him.

When these bowings and prostrations are over, a small apparatus for
smoking is brought in and placed before the guest, after which tea and
sweetmeats are served. Perhaps an hour passes in this way, for the
entertainment is provided from a restaurant, as the domestic who
performs the office of cook in a household only knows how to boil rice
and make commonplace stews; and in those days at least neither clocks
nor punctuality were common. If you were invited for two o'clock, you
went most often at one or three, or perhaps later. In fact, as the
Japanese hour altered in length every fortnight, it was very difficult
to be certain about the time of day, except at sunrise, noon, sunset and
midnight. At last you began to hear a gentle clatter of dishes below
stairs; the teacups, cakes and sweetmeats were removed, and a covered
lacquered basin was set before you on a square tray, with a pair of
chopsticks, the ends of which were neatly wrapped in paper. At the same
time a girl put a basin half full of water down on the middle of the
floor, with a small pile of diminutive flat cups by the side. Your host
took one of these, held it out for a little of the hot _saké_, which is
poured from a slender porcelain bottle, and having drunk it, slid
forward to the basin to wash it. Having well shaken it, he crawled to
where you were sitting, bowed profoundly, and presented the cup to you
on his crossed palms. You bowed, and taking the cup between your own two
hands deposited it on the floor, after which you were bound at once to
present it to the damsel to be filled for yourself.

If your host, or one of the guests who has offered you the cup, wished
to be very polite indeed, he waited before you with his hands resting on
the floor in front of him while you emptied the cup, or at least took a
good sip. When this ceremony had been gone through with all the guests,
your host lifted the cover off his soup-basin, and invited you at the
same time to follow his example. You drank a little of the soup, just
dipped the end of the chopsticks into it by way of pretending to touch
the meat, and laid down the bowl again; usually you replaced the cover.
A number of dishes were brought in piled up with fish-cake, white beans
boiled with sugar, raw, broiled and boiled fish, perhaps some boiled
fowl or roast wild duck, cut up in small pieces, and these were served
on small plates or saucers, and each person received a bowl containing a
sort of pudding made of eggs, loach and the large seeds of the
maidenhair tree. The raw fish, which was usually either _bonito_ or
sole, was sliced up very thin, and eaten with soy, raw laver (seaweed)
and grated _wasabi_, which is the root of a plant belonging to the same
order as the horse-radish, and resembling it in taste.

Towards the end of the feast a second water _souché_ was brought in, and
perhaps some broiled eels. The courses were not removed as each
succeeding one was brought in, and the plates collected on your tray and
the floor close by you till all the extent of the feast was exhibited.
You ate very little, picking here a mouthful, there a mouthful, but you
drank as much _saké_ as you could stand, and sometimes more. After two
or three hours of conversation, perhaps enlivened by some music and
singing performed by professionals hired for the occasion, and you felt
that you had had enough liquor you bowed to your host, and said that you
would like some rice. This was the well-understood signal. A fresh tray
was brought in with a large lacquered bowl for rice, and a couple more
containing soups, accompanied almost invariably by the fish of ceremony
called sea-bream, and the bigger it was the greater the honour. You had
your bowl filled with rice, of which you were, however, not able to eat
much, as your appetite had been nearly destroyed by the repeated
libations of warm _saké_, so after a few mouthfuls you handed the bowl
to the maid, who filled it half full of very weak tea, or on very formal
occasions with hot water, and thus you managed to swallow the contents,
aided by a piece of salted radish or vegetable marrow pickled in the
lees of _saké_. That over, you carefully replaced the covers on their
respective bowls, pushed the tray a foot or two away from you, and
executed a bow of profound gratitude to your entertainer. The feast was
then removed downstairs, where all the portable parts of it were packed
into a box of white wood-shavings and delivered to your servant, if you
had one in your train, to carry home. Freshly infused tea was brought
in, after which you thanked your host for the feast, and took your
leave, being accompanied to the door of the house by the whole family,
to whom you made as low a bow as possible before mounting your pony or
entering your palanquin.

For the next six or seven weeks we were very busy arranging with the
Japanese the details of a scheme for organizing their navy, with the
assistance of a body of English officers who were to be sent out from
England, as a counterpoise to the French Military Mission, which had
been at work since the beginning of the year, and for the establishment
of a college to be superintended by a body of graduates from English
Universities. The former plan was successfully carried out, and some
months later a mission under the command of Commander, now Admiral,
Richard Tracey, arrived in Japan. The educational proposal, however,
came to nothing. Ultimately the Japanese obtained the assistance of a
leading American missionary residing at Nagasaki, and the present (in
1885) educational system was in fact established by teachers from the
United States.

Sir Harry, as I have said before, had already visited Tsuruga, which was
suggested as a possible alternative to Niigata as the port to be opened
on the west coast, but before deciding this question, it was necessary
to make a careful examination of Niigata itself. So in the latter part
of July he started off on a voyage of inspection, taking Mitford and
myself with him. I had Ono Seigorô, one of the legation writers, and my
trusty Noguchi with me. We left Yokohama on the 23rd July in the
"Basilisk," commanded by Captain, afterwards Sir William, Hewett, V.C.
In less than four days we reached Hakodaté, where the usual visits were
exchanged with the governor, a little dark-faced man named Koidé Yamato
no Kami. A good deal was said about the coal mine at Iwanai on the west
coast of Yezo, at which a commencement of working had recently been made
under the superintendence of my friend Erasmus Gower. Admiral Keppel was
already here in the yacht "Salamis," and on the 1st August we left again
for Niigata, arriving there after a prosperous voyage of thirty-six
hours.

From the sea the view of Niigata is very fine. In the background the
mountains of Aidzu rise at some distance inland, stretching far away to
right and left. In front lies a level plain, consisting mainly of rice
fields, fringed with trees. The foreground is a sandy shore, rising into
sandhills to the right of the river mouth, and at some distance to the
west the prospect terminates in the lofty peaks of Yahiko yama. I landed
immediately with Dr Wilson of the "Basilisk," and the sea being quite
smooth we crossed the bar without difficulty. Inside the water is very
deep, and some eighty junks were lying there at anchor. The town is
situated a little way up the river, not quite close to the bank. We
chose what seemed a convenient landing-place, and pushed ashore.
Immediately a number of two-sworded officials made their appearance, and
forming themselves into an escort, led the way to a Buddhist temple, the
reception rooms of which had been prepared for the use of foreigners.

After we had waited for a few minutes the governor came in; he proved to
be Shiraishi Shimôsa no Kami, an old acquaintance of mine when he held a
similar post at Yokohama in 1864 and 1865. In those days we used often
to have serious disputes about the claims of British subjects against
defaulting Japanese merchants and questions of customs' duties, but I
found him now in quite a different mood. He was very polite and cheery,
and alluded with regret to the ridiculous arguments which in former days
under a different régime he had been obliged to maintain against me. Now
that the foreign ministers had visited the Tycoon at Ozaka all was to be
changed, and our intercourse was to be really friendly. He had himself
received from Kiôto a copy of instructions to that effect. After some
further talk about the possibility of Niigata being made an open port, I
arranged for him to call on Sir Harry on the following morning on board
the "Basilisk," bringing all the maps in his possession, and took my
leave.

On our way back to the ship we stopped at a new hotel, where we dined in
Japanese fashion, and made some purchases of the curious lacquered
articles called _mokusa-nuri_, which are manufactured in Aidzu, and
China grass cloth woven in the villages further inland. This was not to
be had in the shops, but was hawked about the town by people from the
country. Here for the first time I saw the frozen snow, which in those
days was the Japanese substitute for ice, and we found it a great luxury
at that season of the year. Niigata was laid out in the form of the
truncated segment of a circle, and intersected by canals, the banks of
which were lined with willow trees, suggesting a Dutch model. The
canals, however, were narrow and dirty, and better deserving perhaps the
name of ditches. At this moment the feast of Tanabata was at hand, and
the streets were crowded with little boys carrying paper lanterns of all
sizes and colours, many of them adorned with clever sketches in colour
representing Japanese historical traditions and popular customs.

On the following day the promised interview came off on board, and we
returned the governor's visit in the afternoon at his official
residence. He had hastily had some benches constructed, which were
covered with red cloth, the best substitute procurable for
leather-bottom chairs.

Old Shiraishi renewed acquaintance with me some twelve years later at
Tôkiô, and used to give me lessons in the interpretation of the _utai_
plays; his son became my librarian, and died in my house.

After a two hours' talk we started off to inspect an island in the river
which it was proposed should be converted to the uses of a foreign
settlement. Sir Harry, who was of an active inquisitive temperament,
here signalized himself in the eyes of the natives by scrambling up to
the top of a large shed, under which a junk was in course of
construction, to get a view of the surrounding country, much to the
horror of Mitford and myself, who were so orientalized by this time in
our notions that we longed to see our chief conduct himself with the
impassive dignity of a Japanese gentleman. This exploit being over, he
dragged us all, including Hewett, about the town till half-past six, not
to the improvement of the tempers of that gallant officer or of his
boat's crew, who thus lost their dinner. I remained behind with Noguchi,
dined again in Japanese fashion, and spent the night on shore, in the
enjoyment of a few hours' perfect freedom. In fact, I did not return to
the ship till the following afternoon, and then had some difficulty in
getting off, as there was a heavy swell on the bar, though outside there
was neither wind nor rough sea.

From Niigata we crossed over to the island of Sado, the site of gold
mines that have for a long period been famous. The Japanese proverb is
that the "soil of Sado is the most effective of love-philtres." We had
been told by the governor of Niigata that there was a good port here,
where foreign vessels could lie, when the bar at the mouth of the
Shinano River was too rough to cross owing to the northwest winds that
prevail during the winter.

A letter had been sent off from Niigata on the previous day to announce
the visit of the British Minister, and as soon as we let go our anchor
some of the local officials came off to call. The mines however lay at
Aikawa on the other side of the island, where the governor resided. He
had sent over his own _kago_ for Sir Harry to perform the journey in,
but the chief did not relish either the idea of locomotion after this
fashion, nor yet of walking across the island and of passing the night
on the floor of a Japanese house in native quilts, and with nothing
better than rice and fish to eat. So he decided to send me across in his
stead, and proceeded round to Aikawa in the "Basilisk." This arrangement
suited me down to the ground. It was much jollier to travel by one's
self than to play second fiddle to one's chief always. The distance was
about sixteen miles to Aikawa, and the officials made me extremely
comfortable for the night.

Next day Sir Harry and a large party, including some of the officers of
the "Serpent," Commander Bullock and W. G. Aston our interpreter, landed
at Sawané, where I went to meet them, and we walked over the hills to
the village near the mines, where I had put up. On his arrival at the
house where I had lodged, which in fact had been prepared for his
reception, one of those scenes occurred which were not infrequent in
those days, when the Japanese tried to treat foreigners with indignity,
and it became necessary to resent their impertinence. At the door he was
met by one of two vice-governors, who ushered him into a side room,
where the idea was that he should do "ante-chamber" till the governor
deigned to receive him. But Sir Harry was equal to the occasion, and
promptly turning round without saying a word, walked out of the house. I
overtook him at the gate, and having found out what was the matter, was
on my way back to tell the alarmed officials that the governor must
receive the British Minister at the door of the house, when I met the
two vice-governors hurrying after us with some ridiculous excuse. So we
turned back, walking with immense dignity so as to give him time, and by
the time we arrived back again the old fellow made his appearance
beaming with smiles, as if nothing had happened. He was at once
forgiven, and led the way into a large room where a long row of chairs
extended down one side for ourselves, faced by three others for himself
and the vice-governors.

We speedily became great friends and drank a quantity of _saké_
together, Sir Harry and the governor vying with each other in the
manufacture of the most high-flown compliments. After this the whole
party adjourned to visit the gold mines, which were then, whatever they
may be now, low-roofed burrows half full of water, and those who
ventured in returned to the outer air again looking more like
half-drowned rabbits than human Englishmen. I had never been able to see
much pleasure in this sort of subterranean excursion, and carefully
stayed outside. We got on board that night, and weighed anchor in order
to proceed to Nanao in Noto. There a fine harbour was said to exist,
which we thought could perhaps be substituted for Niigata.

Early on the morning of the 7th August we came in sight of the lofty
mountains of Etchiû, which centre round the volcanic peak of Tatéyama,
nearly 10,000 feet high, and at eleven o'clock reached the southern
entrance of the harbour, which is formed by a considerable island lying
opposite to a bay. The "Serpent" led the way, in discharge of the
functions appertaining to her as a surveying ship, but we had to take
great care on account of the numerous patches of shoal water, and did
not come to an anchor in front of the town till half-past twelve. Nanao,
or Tokoro no kuchi, at that time containing from 8000 to 9000
inhabitants, was rising into importance as a port for the few steamers
belonging to the _daimiô_ of Kaga, and was administered by a _machi
bugiô_ or prefect named Abé Junjirô. He was a young man who had been to
Nagasaki and knew a little English, both of which facts in those days
gave him a title to be considered travelled and learned, but he had no
authority to speak on behalf of his prince. We therefore waited until
the arrival of some more representative officials named Sano and Satomi,
who were expected from Kanazawa, the capital of this daimiate. They
turned up on board the "Basilisk" on the 9th August, and sat talking, or
rather being talked to, by Sir Harry for five mortal hours. The chief
topic was the question of the suitability of Nanao as a substitute for
Niigata. What the Kaga people feared was that this would lead to its
being taken away from them by the Tycoon's government, as in former
times had happened in the case of Nagasaki and Niigata. But they did not
venture to state this openly, and alleged therefore various other
excuses, such as that the inhabitants were not accustomed to see
foreigners, that the majority would object on account of the general
rise in prices which would follow on the exportation of produce, and the
_daimiô_, however willing to see the place opened to foreign trade, must
of course act in harmony with the wishes of the people.

Sir Harry then gave up pressing the point directly, enlarged on the
inconveniences of the anchorage at Niigata, the need of a port of
refuge, and the "fact" that none existed nearer than Nanao. He said
nothing of our having inspected Ebisu Minato in Sado with the view of
using it as an alternative anchorage to Niigata. Would the _daimiô_
object to foreign vessels anchoring at Nanao when the weather was bad at
the bar of Niigata. The reply was that for the sake of humanity and of
our friendly relations he would be unable to refuse this. Well then, as
ships could not afford to lie a long time at Nanao doing nothing, would
there be any objection to their cargoes being landed and stored till
they could be transported to Niigata. No, probably not, in the interests
of humanity. Who then, asked Sir Harry, should undertake the
construction of the necessary warehouses? The reply was that either
foreigners or the Kaga administration could do this as seemed most
convenient. Well then, supposing that the people of Nanao should wish to
buy any of the goods so stored by foreigners, would it not be a hard
thing to prevent the sale? They said perhaps it might be, but to give
such permission would lead to converting Nanao into a foreign trading
port; nevertheless, if all the articles required were ordered
beforehand, and not selected from those stored with a view to their
transportation to Niigata, there could be no objection. But in actual
fact, to speak frankly, they thought they could undertake the regulation
of the port and the storage of goods without the assistance of the
Tycoon's government. The territory of Nanao had belonged to the Maeda
clan from very early times; it was the only good port in the three
provinces of Kaga, Etchiû and Noto, and could ill be spared. They would
dislike to share the local administration with the government, nor could
they give it up to them altogether.

Sir Harry expressed his concurrence in these views, and then proceeded
to talk about the means of transport for himself and his party overland
to Ozaka. This subject had been discussed in the legation before our
departure from Yedo, though when the governor of Niigata had asked Sir
Harry whether it was not his intention to return by land from Nanao, our
very diplomatic chief had replied that such an idea had never entered
his head. They received his suggestion with no marks of cordiality, and
drew on themselves a severe rebuke for their want of friendship towards
foreigners, so different to the feelings displayed by certain other
clans. This plain speaking completely spoiled their temper. They became
very sulky and silent, and alleging hunger, probably with much truth,
took their departure.

As soon as they had left the ship Sir Harry made up his mind to send
Mitford and myself overland to Ozaka, while he went round by way of
Nagasaki in the "Basilisk." It was, of course, evident that we could
travel through the country in a much less formal style than would be
necessary for him, and on our part of course we were only too delighted
to get the opportunity of seeing a part of the interior where foreigners
had never been before. I was therefore sent on shore to get hold of the
prefect. Bullock was ordered to remain behind with the "Serpent" to make
a complete survey of the bay. The Admiral, who had arrived from Niigata
the day before us, got up steam in the "Salamis," and was off at
half-past three, the "Basilisk" following a couple of hours later.

The chief, who liked to keep us by him till the last moment, took us as
far as the entrance of the harbour, where we put our traps into a boat
belonging to the "Serpent." But just as we were pulling away, the
"Basilisk" got ashore in a shallow place, and they signalled to us to
return to her. Eventually we were released from dancing attendance on
him, and reached the shore at eight o'clock in the evening.

We proceeded to a house where I had more than once passed the night, and
shortly received a visit from Sano and Abé, who were to make all the
arrangements for our journey. Thither came also two officials of the
Yedo Foreign Department, who had come from Yokohama with Sir Harry, and
whom he had left behind with injunctions to facilitate the survey of the
harbour by Bullock. But as soon as they heard that we were going
overland, they conceived the plan of offering that one of them should
accompany us, to spy upon our movements. They alleged that although
everything might go well with us in the territories of the _daimiô_ of
Kaga, we should meet with difficulties further on. We should be unable
to procure baggage and palanquin coolies; we might be attacked and
killed. They had instructions in fact to accompany us wherever we went
on shore, and that it was a law of Japan that foreigners must not travel
without foreign department officials to look after them. To this I
replied with equal weight that they were bound to respect the
injunctions laid on them by Sir Harry, to whom they had been lent by the
Tycoon's Council. He had told them to remain at Nanao for a specific
purpose, while we had positive orders from our chief not to take them.
We felt assured that the _daimiôs_ of Kaga and Echizen, which was the
territory that lay immediately beyond, would do everything to smooth our
way; and as regarded the rest of the line of road, they might write to
the Tycoon's people at Kiôto to send down the necessary instructions,
and even take on themselves the responsibility of transmitting the
orders direct to the authorities of the towns we should have to pass
through.

As for the law they mentioned, I felt convinced that it had no
existence. At best there was only a custom to that effect, which we
could decline to abide by at our option. These considerations proved to
them that argument would not help them, so they tried to work upon my
feelings by representing that they would get into hot water with their
superiors in Yedo if they suffered us to depart alone. But this also
failed. Finally they washed their hands of the business, and begged to
be excused from all responsibility for any difficulties we might
encounter. This request was most readily granted, and they retired with
a secret intention of getting Bullock to dispense with their services,
while we betook ourselves to our beds with the consciousness of a
victory achieved.



                               CHAPTER XX

                        NANAO TO OZAKA OVERLAND


NEXT morning Sano and Abé presented themselves with the welcome news
that everything was ready for our journey, and made many apologies for
the inconveniences we should have to put up with. They had provided a
handsome palanquin for each of us, and ordinary ones for Noguchi and
Mitford's Chinese servant, the philosophic Lin-fu. A guard was furnished
of twenty two-sworded men carrying long staves, under the command of an
officer named Tominaga. We got away at half-past eight. Looking out to
sea, we perceived that the "Basilisk" had departed, and that the
"Serpent" was lying peacefully at anchor. The foreign department
officials did not show up, and it was to be concluded that they had made
up their minds to submit. So we were perfectly free, away from our
chief, from Tycoon's officials, from any other Europeans, embarked on an
adventure in a totally unknown part of the country, which might end
anyhow for aught we cared, but at any rate was of an altogether novel
character.

As soon as we were clear of the town we got out and walked. It was a
piping hot day. Each man of the twenty who formed the escort as he went
along fanned himself with one hand, and wiped the perspiration from his
brow with a towel carried in the other. It soon became evident that we
were to be treated with great distinction, for we had not travelled more
than an hour and a half before we were invited to rest and refresh
ourselves with delicious water melons and tea; nectarines were also
offered, but of such fearful unripeness that we dared not make their
close acquaintance. An hour further we had again to rest. Every one was
excessively polite; the peasants whom we met were made to crouch down
and take off their hats. This was much more than could have been
expected after the scolding Sir Harry had given to Sano and his
colleagues on the previous day. The road lay up a gradually narrowing
valley, cultivated principally with rape and hemp. At a quarter past one
we stopped for lunch at a clean inn where they gave us a capital meal.
After a nap we resumed our way at three o'clock down another valley,
stopped to rest at half-past four, and reached our night quarters at
half-past six, having accomplished eighteen miles. This was the village
of Shiwo, prettily situated on the banks of a tiny stream, and close to
the mouth of a valley, the view up which into the hills growing ever
higher and higher was one of the charming prospects in which Japan
abounds. After the hot bath, they served an excellent dinner with many
polite apologies for its badness.

The next day brought us some sixteen miles further to Tsubata, where we
joined the high road which traverses the dominions of the _daimiô_ from
one end to the other at no great distance from the coast. Here our
escort left us, and a new set of men took their place. We were now
passing through a more populous part of the country, and were objects of
intense curiosity to the inhabitants. At Morimoto the front rooms of the
houses on both sides of the street were filled with spectators sitting
in rows three or four deep or on mats placed at the side of the roadway.

Shortly after leaving this place we caught a glimpse of the white castle
walls of Kanazawa peeping through the pine trees. As soon as we came in
sight of the town itself we got into our palanquins, and were carried to
one of the first houses, where we met Satomi and another official named
Tsunékawa. Crowds of spectators had assembled, and some of them were so
eager to gratify their curiosity that they even stood in a muddy lotus
pond which commanded a view of the back of the house where we were. Here
delicious melons and apples were served with frozen snow from the
mountains behind the town. Gold paper screens lined the walls, there
were tables piled high with fruit and cakes, and in the recess behind
the seat of honour a beautiful writing box of the finest gold lacquer,
in case we wished to sit down and write letters. A most unnecessary
piece of ceremonial preparation, one would say.

The officials asked us to proceed from here on foot in order that the
people might see us better, but we preferred making use of our
palanquins, as we had on our travelling garments, and were somewhat
dusty and way-worn. The streets were thickly lined with spectators of
all ranks and ages, among whom were some very pretty girls. Another
charming resting place had been prepared for us, into which they obliged
us to turn aside, although we had previously expressed our wish to go on
straight to the inn. Continuing thence along the street, thickly filled
with inquisitive but perfectly orderly townspeople, we crossed a bridge,
and after turning a few times to right and left, at last reached our
inn, rather tired with all the fuss and ceremony.

At the porch we were welcomed by Satomi, who had hurried on ahead to
superintend our reception. He conducted us through several rooms into an
inner room of great size, spread with a huge velvet-pile carpet and
furnished with Chinese tables and scarlet-lacquered chairs such as the
high priests of Buddhist temples occupy on grand ceremonial occasions.
The host immediately presented himself, bowing his head to the floor as
if he were saluting a pair of kings. Each servant who brought in the
tobacco trays or tea bowed low to the ground, then advanced holding the
article high in both hands, deposited it on the table, and then retiring
backwards to the edge of the carpet, knocked his head on the floor again
before withdrawing. We were conducted in turn to the bath with great
ceremony, and then put on our best clothes (which were neither new nor
good) to receive visitors. The first to call was a special messenger
from the _daimiô_, to express a hope that we had not suffered from the
heat, and rejoicing at our fortunate arrival. Mitford replied with great
dignity that we had not felt the heat. We were deeply grateful for the
hospitality and kindness shown to us, and would like to call on the
_daimiô_ to thank him in person. "My master," said the messenger, "is
unfortunately indisposed, otherwise he would have been delighted to make
your acquaintance." Mitford expressed a hope that he would soon recover.
The real truth I imagine to have been that an interview between a
_daimiô_ and two foreigners would have involved far too important and
complicated decisions on questions of etiquette for it to be lightly
contemplated. The messenger added that he had been commanded by his
master to offer us a small entertainment, and to accompany us in
partaking of it. Mitford rose to even greater heights of flowery speech
than before, and invented a message from Sir Harry Parkes (which if the
chief did not actually charge us with, the omission could only be
attributed to inadvertence), expressing his desire to swear eternal
friendship with the _daimiô_ and people of Kaga, which gave very great
satisfaction to the messenger and everyone else present. Doctors were
also introduced, whom the prince had deputed to attend on us in case we
felt any ill-effects from the heat.

To this exchange of compliments succeeded a feast resembling in
character what has already been described but far surpassing it in
magnificence and the number of courses. Observing that our Japanese
entertainers were not comfortable on their chairs, we proposed to banish
the furniture and squat on the floor after the manner of the country,
and thus facilitate the passing of the _saké_ cup. After a considerable
time had been passed in general conversation, and everyone's head was
more or less heated, we introduced political topics, which were
discussed very confidentially in the presence of a crowd of people.

The structure of a Japanese house is such that no secrets can be
whispered; there is always some one listening behind a paper partition
or on the other side of a screen, and if you wish to hatch a plot, your
best way is to transfer your deliberations to the middle of the garden,
where you can keep off eavesdroppers. However, as we could not do that
on the present occasion, it seemed better to take all who chose it into
our confidence. The gist of the conversation amounted to this--that the
Kaga people wished to trade with foreigners, but did not wish avowedly
to make an open port of Nanao, because the Tycoon's government would
then try to deprive them of it; but they would agree to its being an
anchorage for foreign vessels, ancillary to Niigata, and to goods being
landed there, in which case everything else would naturally follow. If
the Tycoon's government were to inquire what view they took of the
question, they would reply ambiguously. Our answer was that of course we
desired to act in harmony with the wishes of the _daimiô_, and would do
nothing that could possibly be prejudicial to his interests. This proved
very satisfactory to our entertainers, who declared the warm feelings of
friendship for us which animated them, and a stratagem, the details of
which I do not recollect, was agreed upon for keeping up secret and
confidential communications with them after our return to Yedo. Both
sides bound themselves to secrecy, and the party broke up.

The bedding, which was of the most magnificent description, was then
brought in, piles of soft, quilted mattresses covered with silk or
crape, and stuffed with silk wool, and a large net of silk gauze was
hung up to keep off the mosquitoes. Then a freshly-infused pot of green
tea, with teacups, on a small tray, and the necessary apparatus for
smoking, were gently slid under the bottom of the mosquito curtain, and
the people of the house wished us a good night's rest. In the morning
the very first thing, before we were awake, the same elements of a
comfortable existence were provided in the same unobtrusive manner.

The forenoon was spent in choosing lacquer and porcelain. On the
previous evening an arrangement had been made for our visiting the
neighbouring hills, but some hitch had occurred, and we were now asked
to accept instead an excursion to Kanaiwa, the port of Kanazawa. It lay
at a distance of about five miles, so we started on horseback about
three o'clock. Our steeds were rather shabby-looking ponies, unshod,
with saddles in the European fashion covered with thick black paper
instead of leather, and painfully stiff bridles of badly tanned leather.
Noguchi was mounted on a pony splendidly caparisoned in the native
style, and the philosophic Lin-fu, who could not ride, was put into a
palanquin. Though we had such a very short way to ride, it was supposed
that delicately nurtured persons like ourselves would feel the fatigue,
and three resting places had been prepared, two on the road and one at
Kanaiwa itself. The so-called port proved to be an open roadstead at the
mouth of an insignificant stream, quite useless except in perfectly calm
weather.

At dinner that evening we had some further talk with a couple of
officials. They had come to the conclusion, after thinking over the
conversation of the previous evening, that it would be their wisest
course to admit to the Tycoon's government the probability of a certain
amount of trade taking place at Nanao. In that way no danger would arise
of their getting into trouble for what would otherwise be smuggling. We
approved of this proposal, and suggested their sending to Yedo some one
authorized to treat with the government and the foreign representatives.
In the course of conversation on the domestic politics of the country,
they said that in their opinion the Tycoon's government ought to be
supported, and not done away with altogether, as the Satsuma and Chôshiû
people, with other clans, were believed to be advocating. But at the
same time limits ought to be placed on its authority. They had read my
pamphlet, and entirely approved of the suggestions it contained. After
that, all one could say was that we entirely concurred in the views of
the Kaga clan. As a matter of fact, these people were rather too remote
from the main centre of political thought to be cognisant of or
sympathise with the aspirations of the southern and western clans. They
lay in an isolated position on the northern coast, in a part of the
country that had always been looked upon somewhat as the home of
ignorance and want of culture. They cared only for themselves. The lands
held by the _daimiô_ of Kaga were assessed at a much greater annual
value than the fief of any other prince, which gave the clansmen an
importance in the eyes of the rest of the world with which they were
thoroughly satisfied; an alteration in the political organization of the
country could hardly benefit them, and they were at bottom disposed to
be contented with the _status quo_.

The British Legation, on the contrary, were determined that so far as
their influence went, the Mikado should be restored to the headship of
the nation, so that our treaties might receive a sanction that no one
would venture to dispute, and for this purpose it was necessary that the
constitution of the Tycoon's government should be modified in such a
manner as to admit the principal _daimiôs_ (or clans rather) to a share
in the distribution of power.

Our hosts would have been contented to keep us longer, but we were due
at Ozaka at a fixed date, and could not stay with them. We resumed our
journey, therefore, on the morning of August 14. The landlord was very
urgent with us that we should call in passing at a shop for patent
medicines kept by a relation, to lay in a stock of a preparation called
"purple snow" (_shi-setsu_), composed chiefly of nitre and perfumed with
musk, and believed to be a remedy for most of the ills to which flesh is
heir. The streets were again crowded with eager spectators. When just
clear of the town we were forced to alight from our _kagos_ for a
parting feast at a restaurant on a height commanding a picturesque view
of the castle, which planted plentifully with trees presented a
park-like aspect very unlike the grim fortresses which in Europe usually
go by the name. Here we spent an hour eating fish and drinking _saké_,
and vowing eternal friendship with the Kaga clansmen, with whom previous
to this visit we had had no intercourse whatever.

We lunched that day at Mattô, where I had a long talk with the mayor
upon things in general, in the presence of a vast and attentive crowd,
and reached Komatsu in the evening, having accomplished twenty miles.
This was very fair going, considering the numerous delays and stoppages
for refreshment. The next day we passed the boundary line between the
territories of Kanazawa and Daishôji, where the escort was changed. At
the latter town we found the streets entirely cleared, and crowds of
people quietly sitting in the front rooms of the houses, among them many
daughters of the best families in holiday garb, with wreaths of silver
flowers on their heads, their faces nicely powdered with white lead, and
their lips stained with the safflower dye which imparts such a curious
metallic lustre to the skin. Here we took a formal farewell of Okada and
Shimbô, two Kaga gentlemen who had accompanied us during the previous
days. Mitford's Chinese servant came in for a share in the general
leave-taking, and philosophically remarked that he did not understand
Japanese etiquette, which appears to consist chiefly in the performance
of the _ko-t'ou_.

About three miles further we finally quitted the domains of the Maeda
family, and passed into the territory of Echizen. There was no guard to
meet us, only a couple of policemen, and it was proposed that we should
retrace our steps to a tea-house half a mile back, to wait till an
escort could be procured. To this we objected, saying that we were
willing to go on without a guard. The _rusui_ or head bailiff of the
_daimiô_ of Daishôji said that it would not be correct for his men to
undertake our protection beyond the limits. Finally a compromise was
effected. Okada and Shimbô, who in spite of the formal parting that had
taken place at Daishôji, were still of the party, borrowed ten men from
the bailiff on the distinct understanding that they were not any longer
a guard, and walked on with us. Shortly afterwards we met an Echizen
official of low rank (he was a _metsuké_ or assistant clerk), and our
Kaga friends took their final leave of us, not without expressing the
opinion that the Echizen people showed very little courtesy in not
deputing some one of more exalted rank to offer us a welcome. But the
fact was we were not welcome at all, as we speedily found, for although
every possible pains had been taken to provide us with good food and
quarters, the whole Echizen clan held aloof from us. For instance at
Kanadzu, where we passed the night, the whole town was illuminated with
coloured lanterns, and the spectators who crowded the main street went
down on their knees in the usual respectful manner.

Very beautiful guest rooms had been prepared for us at a monastery,
chairs and tables had been provided, and a couple of good little boys,
of preternaturally solemn demeanour, sat on the floor behind us to fan
away the mosquitoes. The superior civilization and resources of the
country, as compared with Kaga, were exhibited by the production of beer
and champagne. Next day we reached Fukui, the capital of the province, a
town of about 40,000 inhabitants. Here again the streets had been
cleared; spectators in their best were seated in rows in the shops, and
looked just as if they had paid for their places, like the people who go
to see the Queen open Parliament. I never saw so many pretty girls
together anywhere. White brooms and buckets of water stood before each
house, as a sign that the road had been swept clean and the dust laid.
We were conducted to the monastery of the Hongwanji sect, a new and
handsome building, where a large room had been prepared for us, and hung
with silk crape curtains dyed with the Echizen crest. In the recess
stood a beautiful vase containing a huge bouquet of lotus flowers,
standing quite six feet high. The table was loaded with piles of fruit
and cakes, and the usual Japanese luncheon was served, with champagne.
No one approached us, with the exception of a young Japanese who had
been in the service of a foreigner at Nagasaki and spoke a little
English; but numbers of officials, some of high rank, collected in the
passages to stare at us. We took no notice of them, adopting the
perfectly cold and impassive manner of Orientals on their dignity. This
was bad, but worse came behind.

Although on our quitting Fukui, they sent men before us to sweep the
road ahead, our guards were rude, and chaffed about us among themselves.
At Fuchiû, the town where we stopped for the night, a noisy crowd
pursued us from the entrance of the town to our lodging, running along
the other side of the stream which lay along the middle of the street.
Arrived at the inn, we found the dais room shut up, and the matted
floors spread with _shibukami_, a sort of thick, tough paper in sheets,
which is laid down when any particularly dirty household business is to
take place. It is the correlative of the dust sheets used in England to
cover up furniture when a weekly cleaning takes place. We were, of
course, indignant, but I think these, to us, offensive precautions had
been taken in the belief that we were ignorant of Japanese manners and
customs, and would walk in with our shoes on.

The day after this we crossed the boundary on the top of a hill called
the Tochinoki Tôgé (Horse-Chestnut Pass), where we said good-bye to the
rude Echizen escort, and were taken charge of by men belonging to Ii
Kamon no Kami, the _daimiô_ of Hikoné. A very moderate bill was
presented to us for our board, lodging and coolie hire, which we paid,
and we offered payment also for the extras in the shape of beer,
champagne and fish, but could not induce the officials to accept it.

It is not very easy to explain why the Echizen people showed such an
utter want of cordiality, but I think it may perhaps be attributable to
the difficult position in which the clan then stood. Its head was
closely allied to the Tycoon's family, being in fact descended from one
of the sons of Iyéyasu, the founder of the Tycoonate. Although perfectly
well aware of the difficulties in which the Tycoon was involved, he was
not prepared to side with the Satsuma and Chôshiû party, which aimed at
the restoration of the Mikado, and was probably acquainted with the
policy of the British Legation, as supposed to be set forth in my
pamphlet. Intimacy with foreigners had never until quite lately been a
part of the government programme, and the Echizen people very likely
thought it wiser to hold entirely aloof from us, in spite of the recent
change of attitude on the part of the Tycoon, especially as the
south-western _daimiôs_ had never openly adhered to the policy of
friendship with foreigners. The "expulsion of the barbarians" was still
their ostensible party cry. So that on the whole I incline to the
opinion that extreme caution was the keynote to the want of cordiality
displayed by the Echizen folk.

We stopped that night at a little village among the hills called
Naka-no-kawachi, where we could get nothing to eat but rice and tea. In
ordinary years there are no mosquitoes here, owing to its elevation, and
we had therefore considerable trouble in procuring mosquito curtains.
The general aspect of the country reminded me closely of Scawfell Pass
in Cumberland. At the further foot of the hills we passed one of those
barriers, curious relics of a past full of suspicion, where no woman was
allowed to pass, and where every man had to exhibit a passport. At
Nagahama we met an official of the Tycoon's government named Tsukahara
Kwanjirô (brother of Tsukahara Tajima no Kami), with eighteen of the
foreign guard, who henceforward charged themselves with our protection.
Sir Harry Parkes had passed through here in May last in returning from
his visit to Tsuruga, and we found the people disposed to be familiar
and careless of our comfort. We felt that we were now little better than
prisoners; farewell all jollity and all politeness on the part of the
inhabitants. We hastened on as rapidly as possible, being now as anxious
to get over the rest of our journey as we had in the beginning been
disposed to loiter among a friendly population.

At Takamiya, where we lunched, we found the dais room closed against us,
but I took the innkeeper and his servants roundly to task, and made them
open it. After this, they recognized that we understood Japanese
etiquette, and for their previous rudeness substituted perfect courtesy.
As we were now about to quit the territory of Ii Kamon no Kami, we
offered to settle our bill for lodging and coolie hire, but the official
in charge refused to accept payment, alleging that he had received
reiterated orders not to take anything from us. So we contented
ourselves with addressing to him a letter of acknowledgment, and told
him we would thank the _daimiô's_ people on our return to Yedo. The
local escort left us at Nakajiku, the boundary, and we were consigned to
the care of the foreign guard, who concerned themselves very little on
our behalf. The consequence of this was that the people crowded in upon
us at every village, and were extremely rude in their behaviour. On our
arrival at Musa I administered a quiet blowing-up to the commander of
the guard, who promised that things should be better arranged for the
morrow.

Next day we reached Kusatsu, where, to our surprise, we fell in with a
couple more Tycoon's officials, whom I knew very well, Takabataké Gorô
and a young fellow named Koméda Keijirô, the latter of whom spoke
English remarkably well. They told us that they had come overland from
Yedo with Hirayama Dzusho no Kami, one of the Tycoon's second council,
and had been dropped here by him to look after us. He had charged them
to say to us that the temple of Ishiyama, just below the Seta Bridge,
which had been closed to Sir Harry in May, would be shown to us, and was
well worthy of a visit. This temple in fact lay on the route which
Tsukahara had already persuaded us to adopt. We were to take boat at
Kusatsu, descend the river which flows out of the Biwa Lake as far as
the rapids, then walk for about a couple of leagues (five miles), and
take boat again to Fushimi. This, he said, was a much shorter and
pleasanter route than that which Wirgman and I had taken in May. We
therefore jumped at the offer made on the part of Hirayama, whom we
voted a capital fellow, and some amicable conversation followed on
Japanese politics, in which they tried to persuade us that the positions
taken up by my pamphlet were all wrong, but without success.

After they left, Noguchi came to me and said that the road over the
hills to Uji, instead of being only ten or twelve miles, as had been
represented to us, was in reality much nearer five-and-twenty, so that
we could not possibly get there by mid-day. A misgiving immediately
arose in my mind that there was something concealed behind all this
solicitude about our seeing temples. Probably the Tycoon's officials
wanted to get us away from Otsu, which lay on the direct route, and the
vicinity of Kiôto, in order to prevent trouble with the anti-Tycoon
party, such as had occurred in May when Sir Harry passed through there.
I therefore despatched Noguchi to probe Tsukahara, and sent for the
posting officer to inquire about the distances. What he told me only
confirmed my suspicions, which I then mentioned to Mitford. We therefore
resolved to go by Otsu and to run all risks. We had invited Takabataké
and the other man to dinner. Just before our guests arrived Noguchi
returned, and I imparted my suspicions to him. He thought I was wrong.
As soon as they came in, I announced to Takabataké our intention of
taking the usual route. He was greatly disconcerted, declared it would
be very inconvenient, nay impossible. I replied that we were indifferent
to temples and scenery, but extremely fond of saving time in travelling;
and as the road by Otsu was the shorter, we would take it. Seeing that
we were very firm in our resolve, he retired from the room, and got hold
of Noguchi, whom he begged to use his influence. Noguchi thereupon
called me outside for a private conversation, and urged me to adhere to
the original arrangement. I replied that it was useless; we wanted to go
by the shorter route, and if altering the arrangements as to boats,
etc., cost money, we were willing to pay it. I returned to the
dining-room, and my answer was communicated to Takabataké, who thereupon
called out Koméda. Koméda came back, and begged me in turn to come out;
as soon as we were alone, he said that he wished to have a friendly
talk, and confessed that the whole thing was a plant. I said that we
knew it before, and had felt convinced that Tsukahara had been sent down
from Kiôto by the Tycoon's prime minister (Itakura Iga no Kami) to
hoodwink us. If they had told us the truth in the beginning, we would
have complied with their wishes; but that now it was too late to talk to
us of going so far out of our way merely to oblige them. We then
returned to the dining-room again, and tried to proceed with our meal.

The three Japanese were very crestfallen, and became still more so when
Mitford suddenly turned to Koméda and said to him in English that if the
private secretary (_ometsuké_) who had been sent down from Kiôto on this
particular business would address to him a letter stating explicitly the
reasons why they wished us to change our route, we would fall in with
their wishes; otherwise we would go by Otsu, even if the guard should
refuse to accompany us. After a little demur, they accepted his offer,
as the easiest alternative, and Takabataké went off to prepare the
letter. We had great difficulty in obtaining a document to our minds.
Takabataké produced three drafts, one after the other, which had to be
rejected, because it was alleged in them that we were travelling without
the permission of the government, and the phraseology was so confused
that it became impossible to make head or tail of it. At three o'clock
in the morning they at last brought the fair copy of what we had
insisted on being put down in black and white, namely that great
complications had arisen at Kiôto in the previous May on account of Sir
Harry's passing through Otsu, which was only six miles from the Mikado's
capital, and begging Mitford as a favour to go by way of Uji. Great
victory for us and corresponding defeat for the Japanese officials.

I had very little sleep that night, for we were on the move by a quarter
to seven. We went in palanquins as far as the bridge of Séta, and
embarking in a boat, proceeded down the river to Ishiyama-dera. As soon
as we were sighted by the priests in charge, they ran to shut the gates
in our face. So much for Hirayama's promise of admission. It was a very
hot day. We left the river to ascend and descend a series of little
hills for four miles, and then came out by the river again. Here we got
a scanty meal of rice and tea, all that was procurable in such an
out-of-the-way spot. Then along the path for a mile or so by the river,
which roared over its rocky bed between steep schistose hills, and then
climbed a very stiff ascent, trying in the extreme under the burning
August sun. At every peasant's hut they told us that it was still four
miles to Uji. Frequently we had to stop and wash out our mouths by some
scanty stream trickling from the rock. But at last we reached the
summit, and gained a magnificent view of the great plain below, in the
centre of which lies the mysterious and jealously guarded Kiôto, like a
Japanese Mecca, in which it was death for the heathen foreigner to set
his foot. To the left lay Fushimi, with its network of canals and
rivers, far away in front the sacred top of Atagoyama. At four o'clock
we got to Uji, hot and tired, having trudged our weary way almost
unceasingly since noon. We rested for a couple of hours at a charming
tea-house on the bank of the river close to the broken bridge. At six we
embarked in a comfortable houseboat, and drifted rapidly down stream to
Fushimi, where we got a bath and dinner at the official hotel. Noguchi
afterwards told me that he had overheard some men there talking about
the advisability of murdering us. However, they lacked the courage to
carry out their idea, and we got away safely at nine in a large boat. It
was too hot to sleep inside, so I lay all night on the gangway which ran
along the gunwale, overhanging the water.

Early in the morning we reached Ozaka, washed our faces in the stream,
dressed, and betook ourselves to the temple we had occupied in the
spring. Sir Harry turned up in the afternoon, with the news of the
murder of two sailors of H.M.S. "Icarus" at Nagasaki, as they were lying
in a drunken sleep on the roadway in a low quarter of the town. Before
this new outrage the tale of our experiences paled altogether in
interest.



                              CHAPTER XXI

                          OZAKA AND TOKUSHIMA


THE next few days were occupied almost exclusively with the question of
what measures were to be adopted for the detection and punishment of the
murderers of the "Icarus" sailors at Nagasaki. Sir Harry, as was very
natural, took up the matter with great warmth, and used some extremely
strong language to the principal minister of the Tycoon, a good-natured,
yet not by any means weak, old gentleman named Itakura Iga no Kami. He
seemed to be old, though probably not over five-and-forty. The rumour at
Nagasaki had been that the perpetrators were Tosa men, and the suspicion
was strengthened by the fact that a sailing vessel and a steamer
belonging to Tosa, which were lying in the harbour, suddenly left before
dawn, a few hours after the murder. It was suggested that the
perpetrators had escaped in the sailing vessel, as she left an hour and
a half before the steamer, and that they were transferred to the latter
somewhere outside the harbour. As far as we could judge, the Tycoon's
government seemed to entertain the same suspicions. The Tosa men had
always had the reputation for being more savagely disposed than any
other Japanese. The government promised to dismiss the two governors of
Nagasaki, and to send a body of 500 men from Yedo to patrol the foreign
settlement at Nagasaki to prevent anything of the kind recurring. Upon
this Sir Harry accepted an invitation to see the Tycoon, who had come
down from Kiôto to give an audience to the French Minister, M. Roches,
about the recent arrest of some native Christians at Nagasaki. Sir
Harry, Mitford and I went accordingly to the castle in palanquins, as
the weather was very hot, and no good ponies could be procured. We were
received in the private drawing-room (_shiro-in_). The Tycoon, who
looked a little worn, had with him Itakura and Hirayama; the latter was
a little old man of rather low origin with sharp cunning features, who
had lately been promoted. We nicknamed him the fox, and he deserved it
well.

After an hour's talk, on indifferent matters, we were joined by Admiral
Keppel and his staff. This led to some conversation on naval affairs,
but I came to the conclusion that His Highness took very little interest
in the subject. After a while the Tycoon sent for Matsudaira Kansô, the
ex-_daimiô_ of Hizen, an oldish-looking man of forty-seven, and
introduced him to Sir Harry and the Admiral. He had a sharp countenance,
and spoke in a fitful, abrupt manner, constantly winking with both eyes.
He had the reputation of being a time-server and a great intriguer, and
certainly, up to the very moment of the revolution, which took place in
1868, he never allowed anyone to guess what side he would take. He sat
next to the Tycoon on his left, and the only other mark of respect,
other than that due to equals, which he employed in speaking was the
word "kami," for "you." Sir Harry endeavoured to get an invitation out
of him to visit his place at Saga, but he was too wary, and merely
expressed the expectation that they might meet some day at Nagasaki; but
that never came to pass. When the Tycoon was tired of talking we
adjourned to the next room, where a Japanese luncheon was served, with
cold _saké_; which was a sign that no one was expected to take more than
enough.

Early that morning I had received a call from Saigô Kichinosuké, and
here I insert a translation of a letter which he afterwards wrote to
Okubo Ichizô giving an account of our conversation. The original was
found many years afterwards among the papers of Iwakura Jijiû, and a
copy was given to me in 1906, as I was passing through Tôkiô on my way
home from Peking, by my old friend Matsugata Masayoshi.


    Copy of letter addressed by Saigô Takamori to Okubo Toshimichi.

    Yesterday morning at 6 I arrived at Ozaka, and on inquiring
    where was the lodging of the English, I learnt that it was at
    the temple where they were in the spring; so I at once sent to
    Satow to inquire at what time to-day it would be convenient for
    me to call. The answer was that I should come at 7 o'clock. I
    went at that hour, and found he had just woke, and I was shown
    upstairs. I said that hearing of the minister's arrival at
    Ozaka, I had been, as you know, sent as a special messenger to
    inquire after his health. The ordinary compliments having been
    offered, he said the mail to England was being despatched about
    ten o'clock, and that at half-past eleven the minister was going
    to the Castle. I said that I had no particular business, but had
    only come to call in order to congratulate him on his arrival at
    Ozaka. As he must be very busy, I would not trouble him with a
    personal interview, and begged him to say so to the Minister. He
    replied that the Minister particularly wished to meet me, but as
    he was so much occupied he would ask to be excused that day. He
    said the Minister would remain two or three days at Ozaka, and
    particularly desired to meet me, and he thought he would be able
    to give me an interview in two or three days. He said he would
    sail from here on the 2nd of next month in order to return to
    Yokohama (or probably Yedo).

    When I saw Satow, he said things were exactly as before and that
    there had been no change of any importance, and the position
    being just as before, it was entirely different from what
    Shibayama had suspected; therefore I told him that the Ozaka
    Commercial Co. has, as I said to you the other day, agreed with
    the French, and is planning to make great profits. [An obscure
    passage follows.]

    I said I should like to try to discuss the settlement of
    Japanese affairs by the French, on which Satow replied that he
    would very much like to argue it. I told him the French said
    Japan must have a single concentrated government like all
    western countries, and the _daimiôs_ must be deprived of their
    power. Above all it was desirable to destroy the two provinces
    of Chôshiû and Satsuma, and that it would be well to join in
    subduing them. I asked what he thought of this. Satow then
    answered that it might be seen from the two previous attempts at
    subjugation, that a government which had not been able to beat
    Chôshiû alone would certainly not be able to deprive all the
    _daimiôs_ of their powers. I said: How could such weak people be
    helped. He replied that not a word could be said to that, and
    the argument was impossible. If such an argument were publicly
    brought forward, there was no doubt that they would help the
    government to destroy the _daimiôs_. It was heard that the idea
    was that in two or three years' time money would be collected,
    machinery be provided, French assistance be invoked and war be
    begun. As the French would then send troops to give assistance,
    it would be dangerous unless an opposite great Power were got to
    assist. If a report were then spread that England would also
    send out troops to protect, it would be impossible for French
    auxiliary troops to be set in motion; he said that therefore it
    was necessary to come to a thorough agreement beforehand. In the
    first place the English idea was that the sovereign of Japan
    should wield the governing power, and under him the _daimiôs_
    should be placed, and so the establishment of the constitution
    (or national polity) would be similar to the system of all other
    countries. This was the first (word omitted here) thing of all.
    The sovereign of England had lately sent to the _Bakufu_ a
    letter addressed to the sovereign of Japan. This was a letter of
    condolence on hearing of the death of the late Emperor. This was
    to be delivered to the Emperor by the _Bakufu_. It would be
    improper if no reply were made to it, but up to the present no
    reply had been received.

    Although that was what they had declared with respect to the
    Emperor of Japan, at Kiôto H.M. did not take that view at all.
    It was maintained that the admission of aliens into the capital
    would be a defilement. As that sort of thing was undesirable, it
    would be necessary that a definite form of government vis-a-vis
    all countries carried on ordinary relations. If it was desired
    to consult with England, he would like to be informed, and as he
    was disposed to undertake the assistance asked for I replied
    that we would exert ourselves for the transformation of the
    Japanese government and we had no justification (?) vis-a-vis
    foreigners.

    The French grabbed profit at Yokohama and entered into
    agreements for their own pleasure. England was a country based
    on commerce, and would strenuously oppose any attempt to hinder
    commerce, and was therefore extremely indignant.

    The culprits who had killed two English sailors at Nagasaki were
    not yet known. We had heard it was rumoured to be the act of
    Nagasaki[3] men. He heard that Nagasaki was very badly spoken
    of. When Satow and others travelled overland from Echizen,
    Nagasaki men lay in wait for them at Fushimi. It was also said
    by many that they committed acts of violence at Kiôto, and
    gathered gamblers together. If it was Nagasaki men who had
    killed aliens at Nagasaki, it was to be much regretted as doing
    a great injury.

        [3] Substituted by Saigô for Tosa.

    When they came to Echizen no one came to meet them. Though local
    governors came to meet them in the country, no one came to see
    them at the castle-town, but they were entertained hospitably
    with _saké_ and _sakana_. Satow said he could not understand
    this.

    The above is a summary of the important points. Satow says he
    will come here to-morrow at ten o'clock, and I think there will
    be more conversation. I propose to stay two or three days
    longer, so please understand that. Satow's language about the
    _Bakufu_ is very insulting. I will tell you all in detail.
    Good-bye. 27th of 7th moon.

                                              SAIGO KICHINOSUKE.
    Okubo Ichizô sama.

    P.S. note by penman.--This copy of the letter contains
    obscurities, and some incorrect transcriptions.

Next day I went to see Saigô at the Satsuma agency, in order to learn
from him how things were going on at Kiôto. He talked a good deal of a
parliament of the whole nation, to be established as a substitute for
the existing government of the Tycoon, which I found from my young
friend Matsuné was a very general idea among the anti-Tycoon party. To
me it seemed a mad idea. Saigô also revealed to me a plan conceived by
the government for monopolizing all the trade of Ozaka and Hiôgo by
placing it in the hands of a guild of twenty rich native merchants,
which was no doubt copied from the old arrangement at Canton before the
opium war of 1840.

This piece of news, when it was brought to him, inflamed the chief's
wrath, who immediately got hold of the prime minister and insisted upon
the scheme being abandoned. A new proclamation was issued, annulling the
previous one establishing the guild, but as it was extorted by dint of
great diplomatic pressure, I had very little belief in its being acted
on. It was, and always has been, a Japanese idea to regulate commerce,
both domestic and foreign, by means of the guilds, who pay for their
monopoly, and make the most of it. Whatever may be the abstract merits
of such a system, it is not altogether in accordance with western ideas,
and we have never ceased to make war upon it whenever it crossed our
path in eastern countries.

Another matter about which we had to speak very strongly was the wording
of the Tycoon's reply to the Queen's letter, conveying the usual
expressions of condolence on the death of the late Mikado. The ministers
apologized very humbly for having made use of discourteous forms, and
promised to take great care for the future. The style of official
documents addressed to the British Minister was also a subject upon
which we had never-ending disputes with the Japanese officials, and it
was only after the revolution that I succeeded in getting these things
done in proper form. Their object was always by the use of particular
forms and turns of phraseology to convey to their own people the belief
that the foreign representatives were the inferiors of the Tycoon's
ministers; doubtless they did not in their own country hold a rank at
all approaching that of the high functionaries they had to deal with,
most of whom were _daimiôs_, and it was a difficult matter, as it always
has been in every eastern country, to induce them to recognize the
official position of a diplomatist representing his sovereign.

I have said in an earlier chapter that one of my teachers at Yokohama
had been a retainer of the _daimiô_ of Awa. During the spring, when we
were first at Ozaka, there had been some talk about my going to pay the
_daimiô_ a visit at his capital, which lay not far from that city, but
owing to a misunderstanding it came to nothing. On the present occasion
the Awa people had sought me out again, and renewed the invitation,
which I however persuaded them to transfer to Sir Harry and the Admiral.
It had been already agreed that the British Legation should proceed to
the province of Tosa in company with some special Commissioners of the
Tycoon, in order to discover, if possible, the murderers of the two
sailors belonging to H.M.S. "Icarus." Our wily old friend Hirayama was
selected, along with a couple of other officials, for this business, and
they wished to precede us by a few days in order to make a preliminary
inquiry. So when the projected visit to Awa came to the ears of the
ministers, they pressed Sir Harry to accept it, as Tokushima lay in the
direct route to Tosa, and also because they believed that the _daimiô_
was not a dangerous opponent, but rather inclined to be a partisan of
the Tycoon, if he took any side at all. Sir Harry was pleased, because
he liked these entertainments, and so the matter was settled to every
one's satisfaction. I took care to keep to myself the fact that the
invitation had really been intended for myself alone, the _daimiô_
having heard about me from my teacher, and being curious to see the
writer of the pamphlet on "English policy."

Sir Harry and Mitford went off in the "Basilisk" with Hewett, the
"Salamis" remaining behind to pick me up on the following morning. She
was to leave at eleven, so I had to pack up overnight, and start very
early. I hurried off with the Legation writer Ono, leaving Noguchi in
charge of the baggage, and as usual he was late. I waited some time, but
still he delayed. I became impatient, and desperately started in a boat
with only the writer. Just as we were passing the proposed site of the
foreign settlement, Noguchi came alongside in a tiny skiff, without the
baggage. Further down, near the mouth of the river, we changed into a
larger boat, built to cross the bar, and got on board half-an-hour late.
Two Awa officials had joined just before me, and to my great joy and
relief the baggage boat came alongside a quarter of an hour afterwards.
We weighed anchor precisely at noon, and steaming southward through the
Yura straits, got to the little harbour of Nei in Awa about six o'clock
in the evening. The "Basilisk" was there already. Apparently no one
awaited our arrival. Sir Harry therefore despatched me to Tokushima to
find out what sort of reception he might expect. I got into a big native
sailing boat with one of the Awa officials, while the other man hastened
on ahead in another.

There was a fresh breeze, and we rushed along under the cliffs at a good
pace until we found ourselves approaching the bar at the mouth of the
river on which Tokushima is situated. It was already dark, and the
breakers extended right across the entrance. The other boat, which had
preceded me, now turned back, and as she passed the people on board
shouted out that the passage was no longer safe. My pilot however
disregarded the warning, and pushed boldly on. The passage was extremely
narrow, between widely extended sandbanks on either side; the huge waves
tossed about the boat, big as it was, like a child's toy. At last after
some anxious minutes we got inside, and were now in comparatively smooth
water, without having shipped a drop. A great deal of apparently
unmeaning shouting and hallooing took place, and our boat was allowed to
surge hither and thither, till we drifted back again to the sandbank,
where we found the other Japanese; they had run their boat ashore in the
most reckless way, narrowly escaping a drowning in the surf.

After mutual congratulations, we got into a houseboat and proceeded up
the river to the landing-place, where I had to wait some time till a
guard of soldiers could be brought down. This gave time for a crowd of
spectators to collect, in spite of the advanced hour. At last the guard
arrived; it consisted of cavalry, in long boots and conical hats, with
white plumes of horsehair, commanded by a grizzled old warrior named
Hachisuka Mimasaka, a descendant of the robber chieftain who founded the
House of Awa, but a retainer for all that. They escorted me in solemn
procession to a temple that had been prepared for our accommodation, by
laying down red felt carpets and furnishing it with hastily constructed
tables, chairs and bedsteads. It was evident that they had expected only
a small party of three or four Europeans, but I explained to them that
Sir Harry would not land without the Admiral, and neither of them could
come on shore without the whole of his staff. So they had to make the
best of it, and greatly extend their preparations before I would
acknowledge myself satisfied. They had written up our official titles
over the doors of the rooms intended for us, and mine had been rendered
by "tongue-officer," a euphemism for interpreter; this I immediately had
done away with, and my name substituted, for in Japan the office of
interpreter at that time was looked upon as only fit for the lowest
class of domestic servants, and no one of _samurai_ rank would ever
condescend to speak a foreign language. I had often to fight pretty hard
with Japanese of rank in order to ensure being treated as something
better than a valet or an orderly.

My good Awa friends, anxious to make me as happy as possible, had racked
their brains in order to produce a dinner in European style, and a most
dismal banquet it was; uneatable fishes in unsightly dishes, piles of
unripe grapes and melons, heavy and tasteless sponge cakes, with coarse
black-handled knives and forks to eat with. A wretched being, who had
been to the United States as a sailor and had picked up a few words of
low English, was put forward prominently to wait upon me, as if I were
so ignorant of Japanese as to need an interpreter. It was explained that
he was the only person in the clan who understood European manners and
customs. I found him disgustingly familiar, and had to address a private
remonstrance to one of the officials who had come down with me, who said
that he was a privileged person "on account of his great learning."
Nevertheless he administered a rebuke to the individual in question, who
thereupon reverted to his native Japanese good manners.

I had entirely lost my appetite, owing to having been without food since
the middle of the day. We proceeded to discuss various points of
etiquette connected with our proposed visit to the _daimiô_ at his
castle. It was the first occasion on which foreigners of rank had been
received within the walls of a native baron's fortress. It was finally
decided that we should ride past the place where the notice to dismount
stands, and get off our horses at the inner gate. The question of
precedence at table was also decided. On one side were to sit the
_daimiô_, his eldest son and a _karô_ named Mori, Commander Suttie of
the "Salamis," Major Crossman of the Royal Engineers, Lieutenant
Stephenson (flag lieutenant); on the other Sir Harry Parkes, Admiral Sir
Harry Keppel, Captain Hewett, Mitford and Mr. Risk, the Admiral's
secretary; I was to sit at the head of the table between Sir Harry and
the _daimiô_. Separate and special individual presents were to be given
to Sir Harry Parkes, to the Admiral and to myself, and a general present
to all the others, to be divided among them as they liked. After all
these knotty points had been disposed of, at a late hour I got to bed.

On the following morning I left early and went down to the mouth of the
river to see whether it was possible to cross the bar in order to meet
Sir Harry, but found that it was still impassable owing to the heavy
swell that continued to roll in from the open sea. After wasting a good
deal of time in this vain attempt, I returned to the town, and procured
nine horses, with which I started off overland to Nei, where the ships
were lying. The road was pretty good in places, but at times very
narrow, and wound in and out among the hills. The ponies were sturdy
little animals, and though unshod trotted over the stones without
stumbling, but they had hard mouths, and would not obey the snaffle. At
Nei I got a small boat and went on board. From Sir Harry downwards
everyone was willing to risk the ride to Tokushima, in spite of the
weather. We started at four, and in a couple of hours reached the town,
in a heavy storm of rain and wind. The streams, which had been quite dry
when I passed in the middle of the day, were now so swollen that the
water came up to the ponies' girths. We were wet through. If we changed
at the temple, there was the risk of getting wet again in riding to the
castle. It was arranged therefore that we should go on as we were, and
dress in an ante-room. Mitford and Aston were engaged in drying their
clothes. I had got into a pair of pyjamas, and could not ride in that
costume. So I tried to procure three palanquins for us, which took an
unexpectedly long time to produce. Sir Harry lost his temper, and swore
he would not be kept waiting for all the d----d _daimiôs_ in Japan.

Numata (my old teacher) and the other Awa people manifested the most
stoical indifference to all this wrath. Mitford volunteered to go on
horseback, so they set out. Aston, as a punishment for not being ready,
was forbidden by Sir Harry to join the party, a prohibition which caused
him the intensest joy. At last my palanquin arrived, I got in, and the
bearers went off at such a pace that I reached the castle at the same
moment as the others. In the dark, for it was now nine or ten o'clock,
the walls of cyclopean masonry, as we entered the gates and wound
through the outer fortifications, seemed very imposing, though they were
not so in reality. We had to alight outside the point at which I had
agreed with the officials, but luckily no one seemed to be aware of the
alteration. We got into the palace and were shown into rooms where we
changed our dress; and the different garb worn by the various members of
the party was very curious, no proper uniforms or evening dress at all.
I could only muster a shirt, a white coat and trousers, no waistcoat,
and no cummerbund. Sir Harry was the only one who kept his shoes on, as
every one had got his feet wet in riding from Nei.

Everyone being at last ready, we were ushered through a series of wide
passages into the banqueting room, and were met by the prince, who
according to the agreement was clad in the ordinary costume of a
gentleman, wide trousers, gown and mantle of silk. The introductions
followed in the proper order of rank, and the prince led the way to the
tables. The top one was oval, having been made months ago when it was
expected that Mitford and I would be the only guests; the others were
square. For the prince and his son there were elaborately carved chairs
of old-fashioned style, for the rest of us there were three-legged
chairs with semi-circular seats, very rickety and badly balanced. We
were placed with our backs to the alcove (_tokonoma_), this being the
seat of honour, on which the presents were laid out, a magnificent
bronze about two feet high occupying the centre.

Sir Harry and the Admiral gave the prince a couple of revolvers, which
seemed to afford him much pleasure, and the return presents, consisting
of rolls of brocade, crape and so forth, were then announced by one of
the attendants. Sir Harry, who had by this time quite recovered his
equanimity, made himself very agreeable to the prince, talking on
general topics, instead of dwelling on the "relations of friendship
which happily unite our respective countries" and the usual diplomatic
commonplaces. The prince, Awa no Kami, to give him his proper title, was
a man of about forty-seven years of age, of middle height, and with a
refined countenance, slightly pock-marked; his manner abrupt and
imperious, but his good humour without limits. Awaji no Kami, the son,
was about twenty-two, a little taller than his father, with a mild, fat
countenance, a gentle and subdued manner; and he exhibited great
deference towards his father.

The usual order of a Japanese dinner was reversed, the rice, soup and
baked fish being first placed on the table. When this course had been
removed, drinking commenced, a red lacquer cup being handed first to Sir
Harry. I whispered to Sir Harry to call for the bowl to dip it in, and
he returned it to the prince, who then offered it to the Admiral and to
Captain Hewett, and then it travelled down the line to Stephenson, from
whom it was returned to the prince. There was a good deal of picking at
the various dishes of the banquet which was placed before us, and a
great quantity of _saké_ was drunk. After a while a play was announced,
and in order to get a better view of the acting we moved our chairs down
to the other end of the room, where tables with our plates and drinking
cups were placed before us. The actors were retainers of the prince
wearing the long trousers belonging to the court costume, but not
otherwise dressed for their parts. In the first piece there was three
characters--master, servant, and guest. The master tells the servant to
imitate him in all things, which injunction he takes literally, and
addresses the guest in exactly the same style as his master employs to
him; this enrages the master, who cuffs the servant, and he in turn the
guest. This sort of fun continues with variations until the master's
patience is quite exhausted, and he kicks the servant out of the room.

The second piece is a well-known one, entitled "The Three Cripples." A
rich and benevolent person advertises for cripples to enter his employ,
and there enter successively a lame, a blind and a dumb man, gamblers
who having become beggars have adopted these disguises in order to
impose on the charitable. They are accepted, and having placed them in
charge of three store-houses, their employer goes out. Then the three
recognize each other as old comrades, and agree to open one of the
store-rooms, which is full of _saké_, after which they will rob the
other two. However, they get so drunk that when their master returns
each forgets the part he had previously played; the blind man assumes
dumbness, the lame one blindness, and the dumb pretends to be deaf.
Their detection of course follows, with the natural consequences.

After the play was over we drew round the little tables, and the _saké_
cup passed freely from hand to hand; Awa no Kami vowed that the Admiral
was his father, and Sir Harry his elder brother, while Awaji no Kami
expressed himself to me in a similarly affectionate manner. It was
arranged that we should have a review of the troops on the following
day, and about midnight the wind and rain having moderated we took our
leave, getting back to our lodging at one in the morning. I found that
even our servants had not been forgotten, presents having been sent to
each one of them; not a single person was passed over. This was truly
princely hospitality. I forgot to mention that before we started for the
castle, a polite message of welcome was brought to Sir Harry from the
prince, accompanied by a box three feet long, one deep and one wide,
full of eggs, another of the same size full of vermicelli and a basket
of fish. The trouble that had been taken to make us comfortable was very
great, even after they had heard of the increased number they would have
to entertain; they had gone to work to make bedsteads and tables, and
even to build bathrooms.

The morning turned out finer than could have been reasonably hoped for
after the storm of the preceding day, and after breakfast we started for
the parade ground. Our way lay through the castle, and over a
considerable stream which washed one side of the fortress. It was a very
good ground, though rather small, but the prince explained that he could
not enlarge it without pulling down some Buddhist temples, which would
shock the religious feeling of the townspeople. Some five hundred men,
divided into five bodies of varying strength, were put through their
drill. Their uniform was in imitation of European style, black trousers
with red stripes down the side, and black coats; happy the soldier who
could muster a pair of boots, the rest had only straw sandals. On their
heads they had hats of papier-maché, either conical or of dish-cover
shape, with two horizontal red bands. They used the English infantry
drill, with the quaint addition of a shout to indicate the discharge of
their firearms. In the opinion of those who were competent to judge,
they acquitted themselves very creditably. We viewed the evolutions from
a sort of grand stand, with tables before us piled up with various
delicacies. _Saké_ of course formed part of the entertainment, and
Hewett was singled out by the prince as assuredly the best toper of us
all, on account of his jolly red face. Everyone this morning had
remarked what a capital liquor is _saké_, it leaves no bad effects
behind, from which it may be inferred that we had returned home on the
previous night in a happy frame of mind and body.

About noon we took our leave. Sir Harry presented a ring to the young
prince, and the Admiral put another on the finger of Awa no Kami, to
their intense delight. On our way back from the drill ground we were
taken to a temple on a hill commanding an extensive view, where we were
entertained with a luncheon washed down with bad champagne procured in
Yokohama for the occasion. The prince whispered privately into my ear
that he intended to abdicate and pay a visit to England. To Sir Harry he
said all sorts of friendly things about the opening of Hiôgo to foreign
trade. The Admiral promised to bring the "Ocean" and "Rodney" to Nei in
the coming winter to show him what English men-of-war were like. After
returning to our lodgings we had a substantial lunch off the provisions
brought from the ships, but our entertainers were not contented till
they had made us sit down to a final feast prepared by themselves, just
for five minutes, to drink a farewell cup and receive a parting message
from the prince. At last we got away, some on horseback, others in
palanquins, and in three hours after leaving Tokushima we were safely on
board ship. Sir Harry was accompanied by four principal officials to the
"Basilisk," where Hewett gave them some excellent champagne, and they
went over the ship's side full of affectionate regrets at having to part
from us. The "Salamis" left at once for Yokohama with the Admiral,
Mitford, Aston and Crossman, while we remained to pursue our voyage to
Tosa on the morrow in the "Basilisk."



                              CHAPTER XXII

                           TOSA AND NAGASAKI


EARLY on the morning of September 3 we anchored outside the little
harbour of Susaki in Tosa. Inside were lying the Tycoon's war steamer
"Eagle" (Kaiten Maru) and a smaller one belonging to the Prince of Tosa.
We had fully expected a hostile reception, and preparations had been
made for action. Shortly afterwards Takabataké Gorô and Koméda Keijirô
came on board to say that Hirayama, the chief commissioner, was up at
Kôchi. Gotô Shôjirô, the leading Tosa minister, also paid us a visit,
but we told him to go away till we could get the ship inside the bay.
Then arrived the other two commissioners (Togawa and an ômetsuké) to
tell us that no evidence implicating any of the Tosa men had been
discovered. The little schooner "Nankai," in which the assassins were
supposed to have escaped from Nagasaki, was lying higher up the bay at
Urado. Later on Gotô came on board with two other local officers. They
promised to do all they could to discover the murderers, even if they
should not be Tosa men. Sir Harry, who had quite made up his mind that
the Tosa men were guilty, tried to browbeat them, adding oddly enough
that with Tosa he could have none but friendly relations; the official
discussions must take place with the Tycoon's government. After they
left, Hirayama made his appearance; a long and stormy interview took
place, in the course of which he heard a good deal of strong language,
and was told that he was of no more use than a common messenger. He
recounted to us in a plaintive manner the hardships he had undergone on
the way down and since his arrival, for the Tosa people were extremely
angry at the suspicions cast on them.

Later on Sir Harry sent me ashore to see Gotô, and detail to him all the
circumstances which seemed to us to be evidence against his fellow
clansmen. He renewed the assurances he had given in the morning, and
said he felt certain my writer Ono and Noguchi were neither more nor
less than government spies. The next morning I saw Gotô again, who
renewed his protestations, and complained of Sir Harry's rough language
and demeanour, which he felt sure would some day cause a terrible row. I
was myself rather sick of being made the intermediary of the overbearing
language to which the chief habitually resorted, and told Gotô to
remonstrate with him, if he really thought this; as for myself, I did
not dare to hint anything of the kind to my chief. I also saw Hirayama,
and arranged with him that I should be present at the examination of the
officers of the "Nankai," who were to be sent down from Urado. At three
o'clock two small steamers arrived, yet it was seven before the Tycoon's
officials reached the "Basilisk" to say that everything was in
readiness. As dinner was now announced, the inquiry was put off till the
next day.

On the 5th September the examination was accordingly held in my
presence. On the Japanese side the evidence went to show that the
"Nankai" did not leave till ten p.m. on the 6th August, while Sir
Harry's version was that she sailed at half-past four that morning, only
an hour and a half after the schooner; and it was on this alleged fact
that the whole of the suspicion against the Tosa men was founded. (It
was proved at the end of 1868 that the murderers belonged to the
Chikuzen clan, which was rather an unfortunate conclusion for him.) I
reported this to Sir Harry, who was of course greatly dissatisfied. Gotô
afterwards came on board to see Sir Harry and there was the usual talk
about cultivating friendly relations between the English and Tosa. Sir
Harry said he wished to send me as his envoy to call formally on the
retired _daimiô_ of Tosa, to which Gotô replied that Sir Harry could
himself see the ex-_daimiô_, if we were on friendly terms. Otherwise, it
was useless to hold any communications even by messenger. I knew
perfectly well that I could easily manage to visit Kôchi, if left to
myself, without the chief taking a roundabout way to get me there under
the pretext of a mission to the old prince.

By this time my relations with the Japanese were such that I could have
gone anywhere with perfect safety. A visit from Hirayama and his
colleagues came next. The evidence taken was discussed, and Sir Harry
said the inquiry must now be removed to Nagasaki, and that Hirayama
ought to proceed thither to conduct it. Hirayama objected strongly,
offering to send his two fellow commissioners, but it would not do, and
he was finally forced to consent. The poor old fellow was almost at his
wit's end. He became actually impertinent, and remarked that after all
this murder case concerned Englishmen alone, while he had business to
transact at Yedo which concerned all nations. I was much astonished to
find that Sir Harry did not get into a passion on being talked to in
this somewhat unceremonious way by a Japanese, but simply replied to it
in a quiet argumentative tone. But a more curious thing followed.

After dinner Gotô came on board to have a talk on politics. He spoke of
his idea of establishing a parliament, and a constitution on the English
model, and said that Saigô entertained similar notions. That we had
learnt at Ozaka. Then followed a good deal of abuse of the Tycoon's
government, especially with reference to the proposed formation of a
guild to control the foreign commerce of Ozaka and Hiôgo. We showed him
the proclamation we had extorted from the government, intended to annul
the previous one constituting these guilds. He replied that it was a
mere blind, and I confess that I agreed with him. Sir Harry took a great
fancy to him, as being one of the most intelligent Japanese we had as
yet met with, and to my own mind Saigô alone was his superior by force
of character. They swore eternal friendship, and Gotô promised to write
once a month to report anything that might come to light in connection
with the "Icarus" murder. Last of all he remonstrated with Sir Harry, at
some length and in very explicit terms, about his rough demeanour on
previous occasions, and hinted that perhaps others would not have
submitted so quietly to such treatment. It was by no means a pleasant
task for me to put his words into English, especially as Hewett's
presence rendered the rebuke all the more galling, and Sir Harry at
first seemed inclined to resent being thus lectured by a Japanese.
However he managed to keep his temper, so no bones were broken.

Poor old Hirayama was made quite ill by the struggle he had had with the
chief, but he did not venture to break his promise to proceed to
Nagasaki and pursue the inquiry in person. I now received detailed
written instructions from Sir Harry to follow the old fox, as we called
him, to Nagasaki, to watch the proceedings and stimulate both the
Tycoon's officials and the Tosa people to leave no stone unturned in
their search for the murderers. Sir Harry himself was obliged to return
to Yedo in the "Basilisk," and it was arranged that I should take a
passage down to Nagasaki in a Tosa steamer, together with the
incriminated officers of the "Nankai" and the officials named to conduct
the inquiry. I was to be clothed with authority equal to that of the
consul, but was not to interfere in any measures he might think fit to
take. Sir Harry left on the 6th September, and I transferred myself to
the Tosa steamer along with my writer and the faithful Noguchi.

There I spent the next day, after having seen the Tycoon's war steamer
"Eagle" depart with Hirayama on board. In the middle of the night I was
woken up by a messenger from Gotô, bringing an invitation for me to go
up to Kôchi and make the acquaintance of the ex-_daimiô_. They had sent
down a tugboat for me, so I went on board at once at four, after a hasty
meal of rice and tea, and falling asleep on a locker, woke up at
daylight to find myself already some way from Susaki. We did not anchor
at Urado till half-past nine. The view outside of distant hills and a
belt of pine trees fringing the shore reminded me strongly of the Bay of
Point de Galle in Ceylon, where the eastern mail steamers used to call
before the construction of the harbour at Colombo.

Kôchi Bay is in reality an estuary, with a very narrow outlet, much
obstructed by rocks. We seemed to be running straight on to the sandy
beach, when a sudden turn to the left put our head into the river, and
we came to an anchor in fifteen feet of water inside a little cove. The
river widens considerably above this point, but is so shallow that only
boats drawing less than a foot of water can go up. I was transferred to
a houseboat, which made very slow progress. At last, after traversing
two or three broad lake-like reaches, we came in sight of the castle of
Kôchi, rendered conspicuous from a distance by its lofty donjon four
storeys high. Soon afterwards we turned up an embanked canal to the
left, and touched the shore under a large new building on the outskirts
of the town. Here I was met by Gotô, who told me that the ex-_daimiô_
would shortly arrive. While waiting for his appearance I changed my
dress, and was introduced to a host of Gotô's colleagues. At last the
ex-_daimiô_ Yôdô was announced, and I was conducted upstairs into his
presence. He met me at the threshold, and saluted me by touching the
tips of his toes with the tips of his fingers. I replied by a bow of
exactly equal profundity. We then took our seats, he on a handsome
Japanese armchair with his back to the alcove, and I on a common
cane-bottomed wooden chair opposite, a little lower down to his right.
Gotô and some of his fellow councillors squatted on the sill dividing
the room from that next to it.

He began by saying that he had heard my name. I replied by thanking him
for according me the honour of this interview. He then renewed the
assurances already given through Gotô that if the murderers were Tosa
men, they should be arrested and punished, and that even if it should
appear that the guilty persons belonged to another clan, he would not
relax his efforts to trace them out. He had received a letter from the
Tycoon stating that he had heard there was strong evidence against Tosa,
and advising him to punish the offenders. This of course he would be
ready to do, supposing that the murderers were men of his clan, but he
did not understand what the Tycoon meant by "evidence." I replied that
we supposed the government to be in possession of proofs which they had
not disclosed, as it was not likely that they were convinced simply by
what Sir Harry had said to them. Perhaps, I added, they threw the
suspicion on Tosa in order to get rid of an unpleasant discussion. This
remark called forth from Gotô somewhat unmeasured expressions of
indignation, and he announced his intention of giving the government a
piece of his mind on the subject. Old Yôdô said that he had received a
letter from a friend advising him to try and compromise the matter, as
the English were greatly incensed at the murder of their men, but he
would do nothing of the kind. If his people were guilty he would punish
them; he could do no more; but if they were innocent he would declare
their innocence through thick and thin.

Matsuné Dzusho (the chief man of Uwajima) had told Iyo no Kami that Sir
Harry had said the Tycoon's government had assured him of Tosa's guilt.
I replied again that from the language of the Tycoon's ministers we
could not help inferring that they had independent grounds for their
suspicions. Yôdô remarked that the only thing Hirayama had alleged was
the supposed transfer of men from the schooner "Yokobuyé" to the steamer
"Nankai," which had never been proved. I answered that this was all we
had to go upon, but I should consider that we had good reason to blush
if after all we had said the men should turn out to belong to another
clan; at present I saw no ground for supposing that we were mistaken.

An argument then ensued between Gotô and myself as to the nature of
suspiciousness in general, and what might be held to be sufficient
justification for that attitude of mind; in the end he admitted that we
were entitled, by our past experience, to mistrust all Japanese _à
priori_, though he maintained that in the present case the rule did not
apply. After this Yôdô and Gotô plied me with questions about the
Luxemburg affair, the constitution and powers of parliament and the
electoral system; it was evident that the idea of a constitution
resembling that of Great Britain had already taken deep root in their
minds. Later on a proposition was actually made to either Mitford or
myself, I forget which, to enter the service of the Mikado and assist in
organizing their parliament for them.

Huge dishes of fish were now placed on the table, and waiting women,
_coiffées_ in the exaggerated style of the _daimiôs'_ courts, poured out
the _saké_. While we drank and conversed, a pair of anatomical models of
the male and female human being, life size, were exhibited and taken to
pieces for my especial edification! Rice was afterwards served in the
next room, Yôdô excusing himself on the ground of indisposition. The
fact was, he preferred to remain alone with the _saké_ bottle, of which
he was notoriously fond. I had once in my possession a scroll of Chinese
verses from his brush, signed "Drunken old man" (_sui-ô_).

Before taking my departure, I saw him once more for a few minutes, when
he presented me with seven rolls of white crape. Under the circumstances
I should have preferred to decline them, but Gotô argued that they were
a part of the entertainment, and I could not refuse without being
ungracious, almost discourteous. I therefore accepted, subject to the
chief's approval, and we parted, with the same exchange of formal bows
as before.

Yôdô was a tall man, slightly pock-marked, with bad teeth, and a hurried
manner of getting out his words. He certainly looked very ill, and
over-indulgence in _saké_ would quite account for that. From some of the
remarks he made, I gathered that he was free from prejudice, and not by
any means conservative in his political notions. Still, it may be
doubted whether he was prepared to go the same lengths as Satsuma and
Chôshiû in the direction of change.

It was not considered advisable or safe for me to promenade through the
town, and I made no attempt to insist on doing the sights. As I returned
back to Urado in the gondola, multitudes of people followed in small
boats, anxious to get a sight of the first European that had visited
their part of the country since the wreck of the Spanish galleon in
1596, and even grappling with us in order better to satisfy their
curiosity. No order was kept, and I was easily convinced that a walk in
Kôchi itself might have given rise to a tumult.

Next day they took me to Susaki, and put me on board the "Shooeyleen,"
the steamer in which we were to proceed to Nagasaki. For the past two
days I had been suffering from a whitlow on one of the fingers of the
right hand, and felt utterly indifferent to all that passed around me.
Bad food, a dirty cabin, excessive heat, sullen fellow-voyagers were all
accepted with the calmness of exhausted misery. The "Shooeyleen's"
boilers were old, and we steamed along at the rate of two knots an hour.
Luckily the weather was calm, otherwise there was every reason to think
we must have gone to the bottom. Passing through Shimonoséki, I went on
shore to ask after old friends, and found Inouyé Bunda, who was a
perfect sink of taciturnity. There was no appearance here of guns or
men-of-war, nothing to indicate that Chôshiû was still at war with the
Tycoon; but all around were signs of peace and prosperity. The Tosa
officers also landed, one and all, on some pretext or other, and the
whole day was spent at anchor. Towards evening we set forth again in the
same leisurely fashion, and reached Nagasaki on the 12th September late
in the afternoon. Here I put up with Marcus Flowers, the consul. At
dinner that evening I met for the first time the well-known Kido
Junichirô, otherwise Katsura Kogorô, who came to the consulate together
with Itô Shunsuké, whom I had known since 1864. Katsura was remarkable
for his gentle suave manner, though under this there lay a character of
the greatest courage and determination, both military and political. We
had some talk after dinner about politics, but I think they mistrusted
me. At any rate they thought it necessary to assert that their prince
was a much wronged, innocent and harmless individual, who had never
entertained any schemes for overturning the Tycoon's government. But we
had long been in possession of indisputable evidence that the abolition
of the Shôgunate was the cardinal point in the policy pursued by the
western _daimiôs_ acting in concert.

On the following day Flowers and I went to meet Hirayama at the
custom-house. The two governors were also present. Though they had been
severely blamed by Sir Harry, they did not appear to be particularly
disturbed by his censures. The Tosa steamer "Nankai" had left, in fact
she steamed out of the harbour just after Sir Harry went off in the
"Basilisk." On the 19th of August, as she was about to leave for
Kagoshima, she was stopped, and an examination was held, which lasted
through the night until the afternoon of the 20th, but without any
evidence of complicity in the murders being elicited. The officers and
crew were then entrusted to the charge of Iwasaki Yatarô, Tosa's agent
(_kiki-yaku_), who undertook to produce them whenever they should be
wanted. But she sailed the same evening, in defiance of Iwasaki's
orders, at least so the Tosa people alleged. Nothing had been discovered
with respect to the real criminals, and, as far as we could see, the
governors had not exerted themselves to find out the guilty persons.

The 14th I spent with Itô and Katsura at a tea-house called Tamagawa,
away at the back of the town close to the stream which flows down
through it. We had a long discussion on Japanese politics, domestic and
foreign, ending with the conclusion that Europeans and Japanese would
never mix, at least not in our time. On my way back I called on Hikozô
(the well-known Joseph Heco), who told me of a document, said to be
signed by Satsuma, Tosa, Geishiû, Bizen and Awa, which had been
presented to the Shôgun Keiki, requiring him to resign his office and
allow the government to be reconstituted.

On Sunday the 15th I lunched with Hirayama. He said that Sasaki
Sanshirô, the Tosa _metsuké_ (equivalent to attorney-general, but not
trained in law), was overruled by the Tosa society called the
_Kai-yen-tai_, a sort of local navy league, who would not allow him to
carry out the official orders received from his prince to have search
made for the criminals. This was natural enough, as it was afterwards
proved that the Tosa men were altogether innocent of the affair.

    [Illustration: KATSU AWA NO KAMI
    Commissioner of the Navy]

    [Illustration: NIIRO GIÔBU, SATSUMA KARÔ]

The 16th was spent at the custom house in the examination of the men of
the "Yokobuyé," a Tosa sailing-vessel. It appeared certain that the
"Nankai" did not leave Nagasaki till the evening of the 6th August. Two
of the _Kai-yen-tai_, one of whom was the captain of the "Yokobuyé,"
were shown to have been at a house of entertainment opposite to the spot
where the British sailors were murdered up to midnight. This looked
suspicious, but I told the Japanese officials that if they did not
disbelieve the statements that had been made, neither did I. The Tosa
people did not want to make the "Yokobuyé" return, neither did the
government officials seem to insist on her recall. As my plan was to
throw on the government officials the responsibility of discovering the
murderers, I did not urge it, but left it to Flowers, who was associated
with me in the inquiry, to do so if he judged it necessary.

In the evening of the 18th I went to see Hirayama, and communicated to
him my suspicions regarding a young fellow of forbidding countenance,
who was with the captain of the "Yokobuyé" on the night of the murder at
the house of entertainment referred to. I suggested that his companion
should be sent for, and also the four men stated to have gone to Karatsu
(in the north of Hizen, near the boundary of Chikuzen) in the "Nankai,"
and to have landed there. I advised that the keeper of the house of
entertainment should be examined, and asked for copies of all
depositions received, especially of the two Tosa men. What had fixed
suspicion upon men of that province in particular was their general evil
reputation as being predisposed towards assassination. The depositions
were sent to us by the governors in the afternoon of the 19th, and on
discrepancies being pointed out in those of the two Tosa men, they
promised to send for one of them whose further examination appeared to
be especially desirable. The translation of the depositions occupied me
for the whole of the succeeding day. Then on the 21st I went to see
Niiro Giôbu, a Satsuma _karô_, and asked him to make an inquiry about
the murder among his own people. He said this had already been done, and
offered to give me a copy of the record. As he said that nothing
suspicious had been discovered, I declined his offer with thanks. But I
hinted to him the possibility of the exclusion of all two-sworded men
from the foreign settlement after dark, unless the murderers were
discovered and delivered up by the combined clans, a measure which had
been recommended to Flowers and myself by Sir Harry, for if the
discovery were made by the government, it would be taken to be a proof
of the complicity of his clan at least. He did not at all like this
suggestion. Then I went to Sasaki Sanshirô, with whom I had travelled
from Tosa. He said that the governors had lent a steamer to fetch the
captain of the "Yokobuyé" and another man, and complained of Hirayama's
supposition that he was lukewarm, seeing that he had given money to all
the detectives in the place, and had offered a reward of 4000 pieces of
silver (worth £450) for the discovery of the murderer or murderers.

Next to Hirayama, to whom I proposed that he should order the Nagasaki
representatives of all the clans to examine their men as strictly as the
Tosa agents were doing, for as we had been ten days at work without
being able to fix the responsibility on them, it was not unreasonable to
admit the possibility of men of some other clan being guilty. I proposed
that every two-sworded man should be called upon to give an account of
his doings on the night of the murder, and that all the houses of
entertainment should show their lists of guests on that date. There was,
I said, no real difficulty in discovering the perpetrators. In
consequence of all this one of the governors called the next afternoon.
We proposed to him that the two-sworded men should be excluded from the
settlement after dark, to which he added an amendment that if they had
urgent business there in the evening, they should be escorted to and
fro. The examination of all the clansmen and of persons who were in a
house of entertainment close to the site of the murder was again urged
by us. The governor also promised to have guard-houses erected at three
points in the foreign settlement.

Two days later the same governor called again, and promised that the
precautionary measures we had proposed to him should be taken. Nothing
further was done until the 28th, when I attended at the custom house to
hear the examination of two Tosa men who had been brought from Kôchi in
the government steamer. It led to this result, that the governors
declared that they found nothing to incriminate any of the men who had
left Nagasaki in the "Yokobuyé" and "Nankai," and considered the Tosa
people to be cleared of all suspicion as far as these two vessels were
concerned. We rejoined that on the contrary we entertained very strong
suspicions, not founded on any ocular testimony, but on circumstantial
evidence, namely, that the murder was almost certainly committed by men
in white foreign dress a little after midnight. That one of the two men
with a companion were close to the spot where the murder was committed
at the very moment, and that they were dressed in that fashion, and that
no one else had been shown to have been in the brothel quarter in
similar costume. We afterwards addressed a letter to the governors
demanding the arrest of these two men on the above grounds, but we were
not sanguine of obtaining their consent, as it was evident that the
government officials were unable to exercise any control over the Tosa
people.

Very little progress was made after this, as was natural enough, seeing
that the Tosa people were entirely innocent of any share in the murders,
as was afterwards proved. On October 6 I had an opportunity of
conversing amicably with the vice-governor. I said that the Tosa people
tried to throw obstacles in the way of discovering the criminals,
instead of courting inquiry in accordance with Prince Yôdô's expressed
wishes. That the government had lost much ground with foreigners in this
affair. Firstly, the possibility of the murder being committed in such a
manner showed the incapacity of the government to maintain order, and,
secondly, it was not fitting that a body calling itself a government
should allow _daimiôs_ to enjoy such rights of extraterritoriality to
the extent that was shown by the recent examinations at the
custom-house. The vice-governor replied that he had nothing to do with
these matters, to which I rejoined that this was precisely the reason
why I had spoken to him about them. We received a refusal to our demand
for the arrest of the two Tosa men. A few days later a drunken
Englishman was cut about the head and an American wounded slightly in
the arm by a Tosa man, who straightway gave himself up to his own
authorities, and they reported the affair. Having failed entirely in our
attempts to bring the crime home to the Tosa people, Flowers and I
agreed that it was useless for me to remain any longer, and accordingly
I returned to Yedo, leaving about midnight of the 12th October on board
H.M.S. "Coquette," which had been lent by the Admiral to bring me back
to Yokohama.

During my stay at Nagasaki we heard a good deal about the discovery and
arrest of native Roman Catholic Christians of Urakami, a village near
the town. Niiro Giôbu of Satsuma, who came to see me on the 12th
October, said that besides the Urakami people, some of the inhabitants
of a village close by, belonging to the _daimiô_ of Omura, had been
converted, and were now in prison at Nagasaki. According to Japanese law
this was a capital offence. The Omura officials had hitherto conformed
to the practice of the Nagasaki government with respect to the
punishment of criminals, and desired to act accordingly in the present
case. It was, however, reported that the governors intended to pardon
all those who were willing to abjure, because the number of offenders
was so large. This offended the Omura officials, who held that believing
in Christianity was a very grave crime; further, that the proposal to
let such criminals off on the pretext that they were too numerous to
punish was revolutionary and subversive of good government, and they
were endeavouring to induce all the _daimiôs_ of Kiûshiû to join in a
representation in that sense to the government at Yedo. This proposal
was of course intended as a general manifesto against the Shôgun's
government. I replied that he must quite well know that Christianity was
not harmful to any country by whose people it was professed, and that
even a Protestant government such as that of England would not be
pleased to hear of Roman Catholics being persecuted on the ground of
their religious belief, but if the only object of the remonstrance was
to annoy the Shôgun's government, we should not disapprove of that by
itself. On the general subject of Japanese internal politics, he said he
did not believe that civil war would break out, or at least he pretended
not to, though at the same time he acknowledged its possibility.
Hirayama, to whom I said good-bye on the same day, told me that all the
Christians of Urakami had been forgiven on their promising "not to do so
again," and that they would be permitted to believe what they liked,
doubtless on condition of their not professing their religion openly. He
thought the Omura officials would also forgive their Christians. This
opinion of his was, however, in contradiction to what I had heard from
Niiro.

My stay at Nagasaki afforded me useful opportunities of making the
acquaintance of _samurai_ of various southern clans. I have already
mentioned my introduction to Kido Junichirô.

The 14th I spent almost entirely in the company of Kido and Itô. A few
days later Kido called to offer me the use of a steamer to Ozaka, if it
suited me to return to Yedo by that route, but I deferred accepting, as
my plans were not yet settled. Eventually arrangements were made for my
being conveyed to Yokohama in one of H.M. ships, so that I was able to
decline his obliging proposal. When Itô came to say good-bye on
September 23, he was accompanied by a young fellow-clansman whom he
wished me to take to Yedo, nominally as a pupil. This was Endo Kinsuké,
one of the party of five Chôshiû men to which Itô had belonged, who went
secretly to England in 1863, as already narrated. He bore the alias of
Yamamoto Jinsuké. Itô's pseudonym was Hayashi Uichi, and Inouyé Bunda
went by the name of Takada Harutarô. Amongst other interesting
information given to me by Itô was that my friend Yamagata Keizô, who
was one of the Chôshiû men that had accompanied me to Yokohama in
October 1864, had been adopted by Shishido Bizen. It was his father,
Yamagata Taiga, who wrote the pamphlet of which the title translated is
the equivalent of "The present _daimiôs_ are not vassals of the prince,"
_i.e._ of the Shôgun, and not Nagai Uta, to whom it was usually
attributed. Itô was a pupil of the well-known patriot Yoshida Torajirô,
the author of several books controverting the views of Yamagata and
Nagai. He said there were two schools of Chinese philosophy in Japan,
namely, of Teishi (Ch'êng-tzu) and Oyômei (Wang Yang-ming), of which the
first inculcates the duty of resisting tyrants, the second that of
self-reformation. Yamagata belonged to the latter, hence his arguments
against any attempt to disturb the existing political arrangements. (But
the most widely diffused system in Japan was that of the philosopher Chu
Hsi.)

Niiro Giôbu I saw four times. I dined with him once at a Japanese
restaurant, when he said that he knew nothing of the engagement of
Frenchmen by Iwashita Sajiemon, a Satsuma man who had gone to Paris for
the exposition of 1867, and there came under the influence of the Comte
de Montblanc. Directly he heard of it he wrote to Iwashita that the
engagements must be cancelled, but his letter did not reach Paris in
time. I said that of course we could not object to Satsuma employing
Frenchmen, but as French views of Japanese domestic politics differed so
widely from ours, and it was well understood that ours coincided to a
certain extent with those of Satsuma, it was natural to ask whether this
engagement implied a change of policy on the part of the Satsuma clan.
Niiro replied that such a supposition would be quite natural, but that
in fact no such change had occurred. Since the time when Osumi no Kami
(father of the Prince of Satsuma, and virtual ruler of the clan
notwithstanding his formal retirement from public life) had decreed the
adoption of English methods, the whole province had become enthusiastic
in their favour, and objected very strongly to the proposed introduction
of Frenchmen. He was afraid he should have to send them home again. A
few days later Niiro dined with Russell Robertson (assistant at the
consulate) and myself at Robertson's house, when we engaged a French
cook to serve the dinner. On this occasion no political conversation
took place, but he told us that Saigô was Osumi no Kami's confidential
man, and Komatsu Tatéwaki one of the seven _shussei_ (administrators) of
the Satsuma clan. The prince, whose title was Shiuri no Taiyu, was 29
years of age, and his brother, Shimadzu Dzusho, 28. Altogether there
were ten brothers and sisters, besides the three girls of the late
prince, Satsuma no Kami. My last talk with Niiro was on October 12, when
he gave me information about the native Christians, already recorded.

Last year I had met at Robertson's house a doctor belonging to the
Kurumé clan, and he now came with his son to ask permission to bring
some of his fellow clansmen to call on me. This they did on the 8th
October. Their names were Imae Sakai, said to be connected with the
government of the clan; Nagata Chiûhei, who was visiting Nagasaki for
the first time in his life; and Tanaka Konoyé. Originally a Kiôto
clockmaker, he had developed into a skilled mechanical engineer, and had
constructed engines and boilers for a couple of Japanese steamers. After
drinking a bottle of champagne together, we sallied forth to a Japanese
restaurant, where we had a little feast in the style of the country, and
a great deal of political talk. They said their principal reason for
objecting to Hiôgo being opened as a port for foreign trade was that the
tea consumed at Kurumé came from the provinces to the west of Hiôgo, and
they feared it would be diverted to that place for exportation. With
regard to internal affairs, I said I did not see how they could be
settled without a war of some kind or other, as the _daimiôs_ could not
agree among themselves. A civil war might last twenty or thirty years,
and greatly impoverish the country, while it would afford an opportunity
to foreign powers to appropriate bits of Japanese territory by aiding
one party against the other. But a foreign war, in which Kiôto became
the object of attack, would lead to the reconciliation of their internal
differences, and when peace came to be made we could conclude treaties
with the Mikado, in which the constitutional position of the Tycoon
might be defined.

Nagata, who was already drunk, shouted out: "You must not attack Kiôto,
but destroy the _Baku-fu_." This was the term, meaning "military power,"
by which the adversaries of the Tycoon were in the habit of speaking of
his government. It appeared from this utterance that the men of Kurumé
shared what was evidently the general feeling in the west of the
country. Afterwards we adjourned to another restaurant, where a grand
feast was served. More of the Kurumé clan came in, and the room was
gradually filled with courtesans and musicians. Most of my friends got
very drunk, so after about two hours of this festivity I left, and the
party broke up. I also had a dinner with a Tosa man named Yui, who was
captain of the "Yugawo."

Another acquaintance I made was that of Hosokawa Riônosuké, younger
brother of the Prince of Higo, who came to call on Flowers. He had a fat
round face, was about 25 years of age, and intelligent. He tried to pump
me about the Tosa affair but failed, and when he proceeded to talk
politics I held my tongue, for Higo was supposed not to belong to the
Satsuma party. He then invited me to visit him on board his steamer and
have a long conversation, but when I went at the appointed hour on the
following day he was absent. However, next day two of his men called to
apologize for his breaking the engagement, and he also appeared in
person to tell me of the desire cherished by the Higo people to invite
Sir Harry Keppel, the Admiral in command of the China squadron, to some
point off their coast to display naval evolutions; for the clan having
ordered an iron-clad man-of-war and two smaller war steamers to be built
in England, wanted to learn how they should be manoeuvred. He was at
great pains to prove that he was on the best of terms with Kido (_alias_
Katsura), and that the Hosokawa brothers loved the English more than
they did any other nation, for all their steamers, besides 16,000 rifles
of different patterns, had been bought from us. I replied that their
inviting the Admiral to a place off their coast and not to the castle at
Kumamoto, was like sending for a troupe of tumblers to perform before
one's house, into which one would not care to admit them. If a man were
prevented from inviting a guest to his own house, it would be more
courteous to go and call on him than to ask him to come half-way, and
that Riônosuké at least ought to come to Nagasaki and visit the Admiral
first of all. He said he intended going to Shimonoséki with one of the
Higo _karô_ (councillor) to arrange an alliance between Higo and
Chôshiû.

Endo presented himself on the 12th, but instead of coming straight to
me, he sent in his card by my Aidzu retainer Noguchi, who read it and at
once discovered who he was. We embarked in the course of the evening,
and steamed out of the harbour at eleven p.m. through the inland sea,
and without calling anywhere, arrived at Yokohama at midnight on the
16th.



                             CHAPTER XXIII

                       DOWNFALL OF THE SHOGUNATE


BEFORE leaving Yedo I had taken a lease of a house known as
_Taka-yashiki_ (high mansion) on a bluff overlooking the bay, at a
monthly rental of 100 _ichibus_, equal to £6 13s. 4. It was the retired
home of a Japanese gentleman of rank, who had abdicated his position in
favour of his eldest son, and had bought a piece of ground to build
himself a residence after his own taste. Consequently it was one of the
oddest houses imaginable, consisting of a number of small rooms of
varying sizes, and the garden was laid out in little hills and
grass-plots, planted with trees and shrubs. The only flowers were those
of the camellia and St John's wort bushes (Hypericum Chinense), for
herbaceous borders are almost impossible to manage in Japan, owing to
the heavy summer rains, which beat down all plants that have not woody
stems. The whole covered about two-thirds of an acre. There was an upper
storey, where I had my bedroom and apartments for the entertainment of
Japanese guests, and three staircases provided means of escape in case
of attack from the midnight murderer. Downstairs was a room for the
reception of European visitors, and two waiting rooms for callers, one
more for the accommodation of my head man and my own study. This was
nine feet square, with a circular window commanding a view of the sea,
and a square one at the side overlooking the garden. It was fitted up
with numerous small cupboards and shelves for the accommodation of books
and papers. It held a writing desk, a small table, a chair for myself
and one for my Japanese teacher, and a stool for the Chinese teacher
attached to the legation. There were also a large bathroom, a kitchen,
and a two-storeyed building beyond where my head man lived, and where
the young Japanese to whom I intended to teach English were to be
lodged. My food was entirely in the Japanese style, sent in from the
well-known house called Mansei, but I continued to drink English beer.
The household consisted of my head man (the Aidzu _samurai_, Noguchi,
who has been already mentioned), whose function was to superintend
everything, pay my bills, arrange for necessary repairs, and receive
persons who came on business which did not require a personal interview
with myself. Next to him came a small boy of fourteen who waited at
table and acted as valet. He was of the _samurai_ class, and so entitled
to wear sword and dagger when he went abroad. Then there was a woman of
about thirty years of age, whose duty it was to sweep the floors, open
the sliding shutters in the morning and close them at night, and sew on
my buttons. As there was hardly any furniture, she had very little
dusting to do. I was to engage a man to go, not run, on errands, perhaps
cook the rice for the whole family, and make himself generally useful.
Lastly came a gatekeeper, who had also the duty of sweeping the garden,
and a groom or running footman. When I went out walking or on horseback,
I was accompanied by a couple of the mounted escort that had been
attached to me by the Tycoon's government since my journey overland from
Ozaka in the earlier part of the year.

Thus established as a householder after my own liking, able to devote
myself to Japanese studies and to live intimately with Japanese and thus
become acquainted with their thoughts and views, I was perfectly happy.
In my journal I find noted down a dinner on November 6 with Nakamura
Matazô at the Sanku-tei near Shimbashi, with _geisha_ of course to pour
out the _saké_ and entertain us with music and bright conversation, and
on the 7th a dinner of broiled eels and rice at the Daikokuya,
Reiganbashi, with Yanagawa Shunsan, a teacher at the foreign language
school (_kaiseijo_). The political ferment threw a great deal of work on
me in interpreting for Sir Harry in his talks with government people,
and in translating official papers from and into Japanese, and these
duties often occupied me from nine o'clock in the morning till nine in
the evening, with only short intervals for meals.

In the dead of night on November 16 Ishikawa Kawachi no Kami, one of the
commissioners for foreign affairs, came to impart to Sir Harry the
momentous news that the Tycoon had resigned the direction of government
into the hands of the Mikado, and in future would simply be the
instrument for carrying out His Majesty's orders. We had heard from
other sources that he had abdicated, and that the office of Shôgun would
cease to exist. Already on the 14th Ogasawara Iki no Kami had told us
confidentially that the programme of the future consisted of a council
of the great _daimiôs_, decision by the Tycoon subject to the approval
of the Mikado.[4] The actual date of Keiki's resignation was November 8.

    [4] For the detailed circumstances of this event I must refer
        the reader to Chapter V. of my friend Mr. J. H. Gubbins'
        valuable volume "The Progress of Japan, 1853-1871."

At an interview with Sir Harry two days afterwards, Iki no Kami read out
a long paper explaining the causes which had led to the Tycoon's
decision to surrender the government into the hands of the Mikado. He
went into a long retrospect of affairs from the commencement of the
renewed intercourse with foreign nations. The blame was, of course,
thrown on the agitators for political change. Keiki, it said, had not
resigned the chieftainship of the Tokugawa clan, but had simply
abolished the office of Shôgun. The new arrangement would not involve
any change in the previous agreements about the opening of the new ports
which had been entered into earlier in the year. Two of the Council of
State, Nui no Kami and Hiôbu Taiyu, were off to Kiôto.

Katsu Awa no Kami told us that he was afraid that the Tycoon's party
would precipitate events, and cause the outbreak of civil war. Kanéko
Taisuké, a retainer of Sakai Hida no Kami, told us that the _daimiôs_
were collecting troops at Ozaka. Satsuma had 5000 men, and Chôshiû and
Tosa men, under the command of Môri Nagato, were also encamped there, so
that we should find ourselves in a hornets' nest when we went down to
superintend the opening of the ports. The Tycoon had ordered 4000 or
5000 men to be despatched thither. The Council of State had informed his
chief and Matsudaira Hôki no Kami that in future they might be Tycoon's
or Mikado's men as they liked. A secret circular had been sent round
among the _hatamoto_ (retainers of the Tokugawa chief holding fiefs
assessed at less than 10,000 _koku_ of rice) inciting them against
Keiki, by accusing him of having poisoned the previous Shôgun Iyémochi,
and calling upon the faithful to assemble at Mukôjima, a suburb of Yedo.
The _sampei_ or drilled troops were clamouring for their pay. Civil war
at Kiôto was inevitable.

Truly it seemed as if the end of the old régime had come.

A week later Iki no Kami circulated another paper to be substituted for
the first, in which he had vented a little too much abuse of the
anti-Tycoon party. Matters had quieted down very much in the interval.
Kanéko also came to us and confessed that there was no foundation for
the rumours he had previously reported. Last night there arrived a
letter from Gotô Shôjirô, brought by Gotô Kiûjirô, one of the aliases of
him whom we afterwards knew so well as Nakai Kôzô, and a companion. They
produced a copy of the Tosa memorial of last month, advising the Tycoon
to take the step he had since adopted, and proposing various reforms. Of
these the most important were the establishment of an assembly composed
of two houses, the erection of schools of science and literature in the
principal cities, and the negotiation of new treaties with foreign
powers. They asked me for detailed information about parliamentary
practice, which I did not possess, so I put them off by promising that
they should get it from Mitford when we went to Ozaka for the opening of
the ports. They were succeeded the following day by a messenger from
Yoshii Kôsuké of Satsuma, to report that all was going on well, and that
they hoped to be "favoured with a call" as soon as we reached Ozaka.
Saigô and Komatsu had gone down to Kagoshima to fetch either Osumi no
Kami or Shiuri no Taiyu.

We had now become acquainted with the Satsuma agents in Yedo; the
_rusui_ (as the principal representative of a _daimiô_ was called)
Shinosaki Hikojirô scoffed at the notion that the Tycoon had given up
the reins of government because he thought it would be better for the
country at large to be ruled by an assembly; the fact was that he could
not help himself. Messages arrived by post from Tosa and Satsuma, the
"two or three clans acquainted with the dispositions of foreigners"
mentioned in the Mikado's most recent edict respecting foreign affairs.
This seemed to indicate a pretty strong desire to gain our support. We
now prepared to start for Ozaka. On the 27th November I went down to
Yokohama with my little pupil, Tetsu, dressed like a drummer-boy.
Mitford and I sailed on the 30th at daylight in H.M.S. "Rattler,"
Captain Swann. On December 2, as we were steaming up the Kii channel, we
encountered a strong northwest breeze, against which the ship could only
do two knots, so deficient in boiler-power were the British men-of-war
of that period. We anchored off Ozaka in the afternoon, and as no boats
put off from the shore, we had to conclude that the bar was impassable.
However, we managed to get ashore about noon, and proceeded to call on
the governors at their official residence opposite the castle. It is a
remarkable proof of Mitford's linguistic powers that he was able to
carry on the conversation in Japanese entirely unaided, although he had
been in the country no longer than twelve months.

Our mission was to find quarters for the legation, and after
consultation with them we went to inspect a _yashiki_ behind the castle,
which had been occupied in the spring by Iga no Kami, Keiki's principal
minister. We arranged for its repair, and for the construction of a
temporary barrack for the mounted escort and a detachment of fifty men
of the 9th regiment, who were to arrive as a guard. Everything was to be
ready by the 18th if possible. This peaceable and entirely commercial
city was full of two-sworded retainers of _daimiôs_. Finding that Saigô
had not yet returned from Kagoshima, and that Yoshii was in Kiôto, we
wrote to the latter asking him to come down to see us, but he replied
that he was too busy, and recommended us to wait until Saigô came back.
We visited the site of the intended foreign settlement, where we found
bonded warehouses, a custom-house, a guardhouse and a palisade being
erected, the object of the latter being to cut off the foreign residents
from the city. This proceeding was altogether contrary to treaty
stipulations, and we lost no time in lodging a protest with the
governors.

On December 7 we called on two of the Council of State and their
colleagues of the second council (Inaba Hiôbu Taiyu, Matsudaira Nui no
Kami, Nagai Hizen no Kami and Kawakatsu Bingo no Kami), who were on
their way to Yedo, and had orders from the Tycoon to stop at Ozaka to
see us. They gave us no information worth mentioning, but asserted that
he had long ago been intending to take the step of surrendering the
government to the Mikado. This of course we did not believe, our view
being that he was tired of being badgered by Satsuma, Chôshiû, Tosa and
Hizen, and that in order to give unity to his own party, he had resolved
to call a general council, which possibly might reinstate him by a
majority of votes, and thus establish his authority more strongly than
ever.

On December 12, having transacted all our business at Ozaka, we started
in palanquins for Hiôgo. Mitford walked as far as Ama-ga-saki, which he
reached in 3-3/4 hours, and I in a palanquin took half-an-hour more. By
three o'clock in the afternoon, after travelling six hours, we had got
only half-way. So we betook ourselves to Shanks' mare. Mitford's
Japanese teacher Nagazawa and our escort had to trot in order to keep
pace with us, and we got on board the "Rattler" soon after six. Having
dined with Captain Swann, we went ashore again, and took up our quarters
for the night at the municipal office (_sô-kwai-sho_). Next day we
called on the newly appointed governor, Shibata Hiuga no Kami, to
discuss various business details. He told us that there had been a week
of feasting at Kôbé in honour of the anticipated opening of the port,
with processions of people dressed in red silk crape, with carts which
were supposed to be transporting earth to raise the site of the proposed
foreign settlement. Its situation appeared to us entirely satisfactory.
Fêtes at Hiôgo itself were also projected. These we took to be marked
signs of goodwill on the part of both government and people, and to
promise a great extension of friendly intercourse between Japanese and
foreigners.

The same day we returned to Ozaka by boat, accompanied by Noel
(afterwards Admiral Sir Gerard Noel), first lieutenant of the "Rattler."
There we found the whole population occupied with festivities in honour
of the approaching opening of the city to foreign trade. Crowds of
people in holiday garb, dancing and singing "Ii ja nai ka, ii ja nai ka"
(isn't it good), houses decorated with rice-cakes in all colours,
oranges, little bags, straw and flowers. The dresses worn were chiefly
red crape, a few blue and purple. Many of the dancers carried red
lanterns on their heads. The pretext for these rejoicings was a shower
of pieces of paper, bearing the names of the two gods of Isé, alleged to
have taken place recently.

On the 14th we received a visit from our Satsuma friend Yoshii. He told
us that the coalition, which was determined to push matters to the last
extremity in order to gain their points, consisted of Satsuma, Tosa,
Uwajima, Chôshiû and Geishiû. Higo and Arima were inclined to join,
Hizen and Chikuzen indifferent. On the whole, it might safely be said
that all the western clans were pretty much of one mind. Osumi no Kami
(who suffered a good deal from _kakké_, a sort of dropsy of the legs)
was too ill to come to Kiôto, and Shiuri no Taiyu was to take his place,
arriving in a few days. Saedani Umétarô, a Tosa man whose acquaintance I
had made at Nagasaki, had been murdered a few days ago at his lodgings
in Kiôto by three men unknown. The Tycoon had about 10,000 troops at
Kiôto, Satsuma and Tosa about half that number between them, part in
Kiôto, part in Ozaka. Other _daimiôs_, such as Geishiû, would also bring
up troops. The Chôshiû question would be difficult to settle peacefully,
as the Tycoon's party included a large number of men who wished to force
on a renewal of the war in order to effect the complete destruction of
that clan.

I took occasion to say that the murder of our sailors at Nagasaki was by
no means disposed of, and that one of the first demands to be laid by us
before the new government would be for the punishment of the murderers;
that no money compensation would be accepted, and that the Japanese, if
they wished to remain on good terms with foreigners and to avoid a
disaster, had better prevent the occurrence of such incidents. Yoshii
replied that if internal affairs were not placed on a sound footing on
the present occasion, the _daimiôs_ would wreak their wrath upon
foreigners, in order to provoke bad relations between the Tycoon and the
treaty powers. I responded that they would not gain their object, as we
could no longer hold the Tycoon responsible for the acts of persons over
whom he had no real control.

On the 16th I received a visit from two Uwajima men, Sutô Tajima and
Saionji Yukiyé, the former a man of high rank in his clan, the other an
official whom I had met when I was at Uwajima in the spring of the year.
They had come up to Ozaka as precursors of Daté Iyo no Kami, who was
expected to arrive early in January. They represented him as greatly
pleased with the existing prospect of the establishment of a parliament,
regarding which the old prince had talked to me on more than one
occasion. I mentioned the Nagasaki affair in similar terms to those I
had used to Yoshii, and assured them that the question of reparation was
by no means abandoned, but was simply in abeyance for the present, and I
explained that we were on as good terms with Tosa as before.

No sooner had they gone than Nakai came in to say that Gotô had arrived
the previous evening, but was too busy to call on us. We offered to call
on him instead of his coming to us, a proposal which was joyfully
accepted, and meeting Gotô in front of the Tosa _yashiki_ (agency), we
turned in there with him. Our first topic was the murder of our two
sailors. We said that though the particular suspicion against Tosa was
removed by the discovery that there was no foundation for the report of
the "Yokobuyé" and "Nankai" leaving the port together on the night of
the murder, the fact that our men had been killed by Japanese still
remained, and that we should not rest until redress was afforded, not in
the shape of a pecuniary indemnity, which some people appeared to
suppose would satisfy the British Government, but by the punishment of
the criminals, and that we were content to wait until the establishment
of the new constitution gave us an opportunity for presenting our demand
with effect. He replied that the recent murder of two of his own
subordinates inspired him with sympathy for our feelings, and that both
the ex-Prince Yôdô and he himself held that no stone should be left
unturned to discover the criminals. I then asked him to take charge of a
gun which I wished to present to Yôdô as a small return, though not of
any great value or beauty, for his kindness to me. We then discussed the
constitution which he proposed for the new government, and particularly
the senate he desired to see established. The upshot of the conversation
was that he promised to come down from Kiôto to see the chief on his
arrival, and to stay a few days at Ozaka in order to learn more from
Mitford and myself about the English form of government. All we could do
on that occasion was to give him some information about the composition
of the Cabinet, and the method of carrying legislation through
Parliament.

Gotô said he wanted to employ a foreigner, such as myself for instance,
to collect information for him, and with whom he could consult. I
replied that I was content to serve my own government, and could not
take service under that of any other state, but that if the clan wanted
the services of an officer they should apply to the minister for the
loan of one.

The idea of taking _pay_ from a Japanese, however highly placed, did not
suit me, and I was resolved, in case I quitted Her Majesty's service,
not to seek another career in Japan.

That evening we, that is, Mitford, Noel and I, devoted to a _dîner en
ville_ in the Japanese fashion at a sort of "Trois frères" called
Tokaku, and about half-past six we started forth. It was expected that
the streets would be full of merry-makers, and the two men of my escort
who were detailed to accompany us wished that the rest of them should be
summoned to attend us. But I threw the burden of decision on their
shoulders by saying that I thought the two of them would be enough for
anything, and no more was heard of that proposition. So we issued into
the streets, and dived through all sorts of back lanes to find a shorter
cut, for my instinct seemed to show the road, but our escort triumphed
after all, and they brought us to the place of entertainment by what
proved to be a circuitous route.

Some difficulty was experienced in making our way through the crowds of
people in flaming red garments dancing and shouting the refrain _ii ja
nai ka_. They were so much taken up with their dancing and
lantern-carrying that we passed along almost unnoticed, but I was half
afraid the escort (_betté_) would provoke a quarrel by the violent
manner in which they thrust people aside in order to make way for us; on
the contrary, the crowd did not offer any rudeness to us, and let us
pass without hindrance. On reaching Tokaku we found the principal rooms
occupied by festival makers and the rest of the house shut up. Our
messenger had been just that instant turned away with a refusal to
receive us. While we stood there trying to persuade the people of the
house to give us a room, a herd of young men and boys trooped in,
shouting and dancing, and tossing about in their midst a palanquin
occupied by a fat doll clad in the most gorgeous robes. All the feasters
in the house came out to meet them, one cannot say at the doors, for in
Japan there are no doors, but on the thresholds in which the sliding
screens run that divide the different parts of a house. After a violent
united dance executed by all present, the troop disappeared again. The
number of pretty girls who appeared as dancers was much larger than
previous experience had led us to suppose Ozaka could possibly contain.
We could not prevail on the Tokaku people to take us in, but they gave
us a guide to a house about "five minutes" walk distant. There we found
the doors locked, the explanation being that all the inmates had gone to
the dance. We began to despair of success, and contemplate the
possibility of having to return to our quarters and sup on whatever cold
food "the philosopher" (Mitford's Chinese servant Lin-fu) could give us.
Luckily however the guide, a little man on sturdy legs, said he knew of
a house called Shô-ô-tei (Hall of the Old Man of the Pine Tree), where
we might as well call, since it lay on our road home. So we went there,
and after waiting a few minutes were shown into a very good room, where
we had our meal, waited on by the women of the house, who carried on the
conversation and passed the wine cup, offices usually discharged on such
occasions by _geishas_. The entire absence of fear or dislike on the
part of the Ozaka women was very remarkable when compared with the cold
and often hostile reception we were accustomed to meet with in Yedo.
Curiosity apparently triumphed over every other feeling; and besides,
the attendants mostly had their teeth dyed black, a sign of mature age,
instead of wearing them as they are naturally, and probably felt immune
from attempts at flirtation. We got home early, very pleased with our
adventure.

Noel returned next day to his ship, and we moved over from our lodgings
in Tera-machi to the quarters prepared for the whole legation behind the
castle. The main building was large enough to accommodate the minister
and three or four members of what he delighted to call "the staff," a
military term picked up during his campaigns in China. The outbuildings
were given up to Mitford, the officers of the detachment from the 2/ix
regiment shared a second, guests were to be put up in a third, the
mounted escort in a fourth, and the fifth I reserved for myself; a
temporary shed was provided for the infantry guard.

After settling in, we went to call on Saigô, with whom we found Iwashita
Sajiémon, just back from Europe, accompanied by his friend the Comte de
Montblanc. The conversation turned on the murder of the two bluejackets
of H.M.S. "Icarus." Saigô paid me the compliment of saying that I gave
little hits, but hard ones. Opinion seemed to be divided as to the
probability of more such murders being committed. I used to find that
men who desired the progress of Japan, and were actuated by friendly
feeling towards its people, maintained that the attacks on foreigners
would cease, but that unprejudiced observers did not give one much
encouragement to leave off the practice of carrying revolvers. We gave
them clearly to understand that the "Icarus" affair could not be
disposed of by the payment of a sum of money by way of "indemnity." They
were anxious to disprove the possibility of there having been a plot on
the part of Tosa and Satsuma men to murder Mitford and myself when we
passed through Fushimi in the previous August. (Fortunately we changed
our route for other reasons.) But I had no doubt myself of the fact.
Noguchi had told me when we reached Ozaka that he had overheard some
men, whom he believed to be Tosa _samurai_, expressing their regret at
having failed to carry out their project, and when I told Gotô at Susaki
that I had heard this story, he replied that being in Kiôto at the time
he too had heard such a report, and took measures to prevent the scheme,
if there were one, from being carried out. Saigô tried to show that it
could not have been true, and asserted that Gotô was not then in Kiôto.
We assured him that we did not think it probable that men of either
Satsuma or Tosa would desire to take the lives of foreigners, but that
the clans contained ruffians who sometimes took such ideas into their
heads quite independently of their chiefs.

Ishikawa Kawachi no Kami, a commissioner of foreign affairs, came to see
us on the 18th. He told us that no date had been fixed for the
assembling of the _daimiôs_, and no one of them could be blamed if he
arrived at Kiôto later than the others. Even supposing that the few who
were already there, or were about to arrive, should discuss matters and
come to a decision, how could they enforce it? Objections would surely
be raised. We came to the conclusion from this conversation that civil
war was after all not unlikely to break out, and that the omission to
fix a date for the assembly was part of the Tycoon's plan for
embarrassing his opponents.

Letters which arrived overland from Yedo on the 20th reported the
general impression to be that there was no more a Tycoon, and that Keiki
was nobody. So much did distance and report by word of mouth change the
look of the situation. Itô Shunsuké's opinion was that war would begin
almost immediately, with the object of depriving the Tycoon of a part of
his domains, which were far too large for the peace of the country. He
had only seven battalions of infantry in Kiôto, all reinforcements
having been countermanded in the belief that no cause for war existed.
Of course Hiôgo and Ozaka would not be the most peaceful places of
residence for foreigners if war did break out, and our Legation,
situated just at the back of the Ozaka castle, would be endangered, as
that fortress was certain to be the centre of a severe conflict in arms.
He wanted to know whether Sir Harry's arrival and the opening of Hiôgo
and Ozaka to foreign trade could not be deferred, and whether Saigô had
written to the chief to make this proposal. I said "No, of course"
(though I did not know). Then, said he, their object must be to open
these two places, and so content foreigners, while the Japanese went on
with their plans for the reformation of the government. Some one however
must be appointed to represent Japan at Ozaka and Hiôgo. I suggested the
present governors, but he replied that they would immediately be
expelled when the crisis arrived. I rejoined that as long as the
insurgent forces did not attack the residences of foreigners, they might
do as they liked with the Tycoon, but that if they interfered with us
they would have a couple of English regiments and all the foreign
men-of-war to fight against, as well as the Tokugawa troops. Itô did not
think they would wish to do this, and promised to let me know beforehand
when the actual day for taking action became imminent. A body of Chôshiû
men was coming up under the command of Môri Heirokurô and Fukumoto
Shima, Katsura (_i.e._ Kido) and Kikkawa Kemmotsu being obliged to
remain at home to carry on the administration of the province.

Sir Harry arrived on December 24, took a look at the legation quarters,
and then went back to the ship that had brought him down. There was a
fine confusion all day. I received a letter from Shinosaki Yatarô
comparing the present condition of the country to an eggshell held in
the hand, and begging me to persuade Komatsu and Saigô to keep the
peace. On Christmas Day Kasuya Chikugo no Kami, a commissioner of
foreign affairs, called. He said that the _daimiôs_ of Hikoné, Bizen and
Geishiû, all three men of importance, were in Kiôto, and he appeared to
be doubtful what was going to happen. My old friend Hayashi Kenzô, who
had made the cruise in H.M.S. "Argus" with me in January, called on the
28th, and reported that 1500 Chôshiû men had disembarked at Nishinomiya
on the 23rd, under the command of Môri Takumi. He also seemed uncertain
whether there would be any fighting, but he thought that Saigô and Gotô
were trying to keep the peace. My protégé Endo naturally went off to
Nishinomiya to see his clansmen, and doubtless to report what he had
learned in Yedo to Môri Takumi. The latter had the reputation of being a
man of capacity, which was perhaps the reason why he had retired into a
private position (_in-kio_) early in life. On the 29th Iga no Kami came
to see the chief, accompanied by Nagai Gemba no Kami, who had the credit
of being almost the only adviser of the Tycoon at the moment, though of
course Iga no Kami was admitted into their secrets. All the governors of
Ozaka and Hiôgo were present, and the only subjects of discussion
related to the arrangement for opening these places to trade on January
1. "All the governors" is the phrase, because the practice in those days
was to duplicate nearly every administrative office.

Next day the two great men came again, and the Nagasaki murders were the
topic of conversation. It appeared unlikely that we should obtain any
satisfaction. It was however agreed that old Hirayama should again go to
Nagasaki, in spite of Gemba's efforts to get him let off this
disagreeable errand. The Foreign Office had written approving Sir
Harry's action, and he seemed inclined to keep this question hanging
over the Tycoon's government as a perpetual nightmare. He told them in
the strongest language that we would never desist from pressing the
matter until the murderers were seized and punished. Our callers asked a
great number of questions about the English constitution, just as Gotô
had done, so that it appeared as if both parties were desirous of
getting our advice. Then Sir Harry told them that unless they got all
troops away from Ozaka, where they might come into collision with
foreigners, he would send for a couple of regiments. I could not help
feeling that it was unfair of him to meddle in this way in Japanese
domestic affairs and thus add to the Tycoon's embarrassments, for as the
_daimiôs_' forces had taken Ozaka merely as a stage towards advancing on
Kiôto, where else could they go except to the capital? Following on this
move, he sent me the following day to Koba Dennai, the Satsuma agent, to
explain why he wished their troops to be removed. Koba replied that
there were only two hundred and fifty, but doubtless they could be sent
elsewhere, and he would write to Saigô on this point. From there I went
on to see a Chôshiû man named Nagamatsu Bunsuké, who had come over from
Nishinomiya, and was stopping with the Geishiû people. A proclamation
was out announcing that the Chôshiû forces, having been ordered to come
up to the neighbourhood of the capital, were allowed to borrow the use
of the Geishiû _yashiki_, and to be quartered also at the Nishi
Hongwanji temple. Nevertheless, they had no wish to come to Ozaka, and
thought it a great piece of luck that the English Minister had proposed
to the Tycoon's people what they themselves happened to desire most
particularly. I found it impossible to get any explanation from
Nagamatsu of the real reason for their coming.

Iga no Kami had told us that by a messenger who left Geishiû on the
15th, instructions were sent ordering them not to come, but he went by
sea, thus missing a Chôshiû messenger who arrived there by land to
report that they were starting in compliance with the orders previously
given. (This was evidently a mere fiction.) He also said that on the
20th three Chôshiû steamers full of troops put in at Mitarai in Geishiû,
and asked for Geishiû officers to accompany them. This request was
refused, and they were advised to return home, which they declined to
do, alleging their prince's orders; without a recall from him they
were unable to go back to Chôshiû. This was the Geishiû story, which
it was impossible to believe. I felt certain that it had been
concocted between the two clans, and was simply in accordance with the
general plan of campaign. That the Tycoon should have sent orders to
countermand the movements of Chôshiû troops was pretty clear proof
that when the original instructions were given (if they really were
given), the present change of policy on the part of the government was
not contemplated--as Iki no Kami had pretended to us--but in reality had
recently been forced on them by the confederate daimiôs. It had been
intended by the chief that I should go down to Nishinomiya to ascertain
how the land lay, but having learnt all that the Chôshiû man was willing
to tell me, I was relieved from the necessity of undertaking a toilsome
journey.

That day, the last of the year 1867, despatches arrived from the Foreign
Office sanctioning my appointment as Japanese Secretary, with a salary
of £700 a year, in succession to Eusden, transferred to Hakodaté as
consul.



                              CHAPTER XXIV

                      OUTBREAK OF CIVIL WAR (1868)


ON New Year's Day salutes were fired at Tempôzan, the fort at the mouth
of the Ozaka river, and at Hiôgo, in honour of the opening of the city
and the port to foreign trade. Many Japanese had been under the
impression that it had been deferred, owing to the notification about
the west coast port, _i.e._ Niigata, which they took to mean Hiôgo
because of its situation west of Kiôto. I conceived a plan for taking
the chief up to Kiôto to mediate between the contending parties, and to
prevent the Japanese from cutting each other's throats, and I proposed
to go ahead of him to Fushimi in order to make the necessary
arrangements with Saigô and Gotô. But this ambitious scheme was
frustrated by the rapidity with which events developed at Kiôto.

Rumour was very busy during the next few days. First, we heard that the
two princes of Chôshiû had been reinstated in their titles. The Tosa
_in-kio_ (Yôdô) landed on the afternoon of January 1, and went up to
Kiôto at once without stopping at Ozaka. It was said that the Tycoon's
position was weak, for he had no support except from Aidzu and one or
two of the smaller clans. Chôshiû's people had taken military possession
of Nishinomiya, and were patrolling the surrounding country, as if
afraid of being attacked. My man Noguchi told us that the Chôshiû troops
had left Nishinomiya, and marched ten miles to Koya on the road to
Kiôto. All the Aidzu men at Ozaka had gone up to Kiôto. The prince was
dissatisfied with the Tycoon's leniency in the Chôshiû business, and
intended to resign his office of guardian of the Mikado's person
(_Shugo-shoku_). On the 4th January there were symptoms of a great
disturbance at Kiôto. The ministers of the other Treaty Powers came to
visit the chief and impart their views of what had passed. For the most
part these were of very slight value, for they were very much in the
dark as to the internal condition of Japan. Von Brandt, the Chargé
d'Affaires of the North German Confederation, was so little acquainted
with the geography of the country as to confound Geishiû and Kishiû.
Endo, who had come back from Nishinomiya, told me that Môri Takumi was
already at Kiôto with part of the Chôshiû force, and that another part
had occupied Fushimi in conjunction with Satsuma troops. But more
significant than anything else was the fact that Satsuma, Geishiû and
Tosa were guarding the imperial palace in the place of Aidzu. There was
some talk of the Tycoon intending to come down to Ozaka, and boats were
said to have been embargoed at Yodo to convey his drilled soldiers down
the river. That the object of the _daimiôs_ was not to fight the Tycoon,
but only to extort concessions from him. They proposed to deprive him of
a million _koku_ of lands as a punishment for the transgressions of the
Tokugawa family. It was certain, Endo said, that the Chôshiû question
was settled, and that the guards of the palace had been changed.
Noguchi's story was that Aidzu, disgusted with the Tycoon, sent in his
written resignation, but that it was intercepted by Kuwana. The Tycoon
however had heard of Aidzu's intention, of which he informed Iga no Kami
directly after the return of the latter from Ozaka, and sent him his
dismissal. Then the three clans above-mentioned seized the environs of
the palace. The _daimiôs_ thereupon proceeded to the palace to discuss
the situation, but the Tycoon refused to attend. He would neither fight
nor take any decided action; his sole aim was to arrange matters
peaceably. Noguchi evidently was reflecting the war-like disposition of
his clan. Ishikawa Kawachi no Kami gave a somewhat different account,
but it was clear that up to that moment there had been no disturbance of
the peace. The _Kwambaku_ Nijô, a nephew of the Tycoon Iyénari, who died
in 1841 aged 52, was said to have been dismissed, and either Konoyé or
Kujô appointed in his place. Chôshiû's troops had entered Kiôto on
January 2.

Ozaka was not perturbed by the events that had passed at the capital,
and on the 5th I was able to give an entertainment to my Japanese escort
at a restaurant in the city. We had two charming _geishas_ to attend on
the party, one looking as if she had just stepped out of a picture, the
classical contour of the face, arched nose, small full underlip, narrow
eyes, and a good-hearted expression of countenance. The other personally
more attractive according to western notions of beauty, but with a
little of the devil in her eyes. Lastly, there was an old _geiko_ or
musician of six or eight and twenty, a clever woman. The streets were
still illuminated at night for the festival, and crowded with dancers.

On the 6th the mystery was cleared up by Ishikawa, who came to tell me
that on the 3rd Satsuma had proposed to abolish not only the Tycoon, but
also the _Kwambaku_, _Tensô_ and _Gisô_, the three offices intermediary
between the Mikado and the Tycoon. The new administration would consist
of _Sôsai_, which sounded like secretaries of state; _Gijô_, which he
thought meant a cabinet; and thirdly _Sanyo_, resembling our
under-secretaries of state. This looked rather like what we had
suggested to Gotô as the framework of the future executive.[5] He said
that this proposal had met with great opposition from others besides the
_fudai daimiôs_, who were afraid that the extremists might go further
and abolish the Mikado. I endeavoured to reassure him on this point. "It
is not," he continued, "a proposal which can be discussed over the
table, and fighting must decide." It seemed from his account that the
Tycoon personally did not object, but his followers objected for him,
while he seemed willing to make every possible sacrifice in order to
secure peace.

    [5] But it was not quite correct. The Sôsai were to be a
        sort of partners in the office of Minister-President, as
        we should call it, and Gijô were to be the heads of
        administrative departments.

From a letter of January 4 to my mother, I find that on the 1st Locock,
Mitford and Willis, the legation doctor, and I were to have gone over to
Hiôgo to dine with the Admiral, whose steam-launch was to come to Ozaka
to fetch us. So we went down to the foreign settlement, and, having no
other resource, got into a large Japanese boat managed by a single
little boy with a paddle. At first we proceeded very slowly, but a
sailing boat gave us a tow, after which we shoved off and had to depend
again on the small boy. It was bitterly cold, with a north-east wind. I
sat in the bows, holding up a railway rug with my teeth. Two of the
others protected themselves with umbrellas, and Mitford's Chinese
servant, the faithful Lin-fu, hoisted a mat on a pole. So we sailed down
the river to the port at its mouth. No signs were to be seen of the
launch, so we tried to hire a Japanese boat to carry us across the bay,
the distance being only eleven miles and the wind fair, but one and all
refused, on account of the gale they would have to encounter in coming
back. So we were compelled to put our luggage into a boat and return.
The distance from the fort to the Legation was about seven miles and a
half, but it took us several hours, as we had to call in at the newly
established vice-consulate in the foreign settlement. We dined all
together at the Legation, the chief being confined to his room with a
sharp attack of lumbago, which had not, however, prevented his making a
formal entry into Ozaka on horseback, accompanied by the mounted escort
and the guard of fifty infantry detached from one of the regiments
stationed at Yokohama.

By January 7 all was over with the Tycoon. That morning Moriyama, the
ancient Dutch linguist who used to interpret between the foreign
ministers and the Rôjiû, came to communicate the news of Keiki's
withdrawal from Kiôto. At first I feigned to suppose that he was coming
down to see the French Minister. "Not at all, he is coming here,
deprived of the office of _Shôgun_." He had already made up his mind to
do this four or five days before, but was persuaded to countermand the
orders given for his departure, whereat the commissioners for foreign
affairs stationed at Ozaka had rejoiced greatly. But now the orders had
been repeated, and would be carried out. We sauntered out to look at the
preparations made for his arrival. Small bodies of drilled troops were
marching about headed by drummers, and field-pieces were placed so as to
sweep the narrow streets. We saw men in all sorts of military costumes
with their heads muffled up to protect them from the cold, not
presenting a very martial appearance. We went on to the restaurant on
the river bank, where in the spring we had been often entertained _à la
Japonaise_, and found it full of Aidzu men, whose arms were piled
outside. There was a _karô_ inside, on whom I paid a call. He ascribed
the Tycoon's withdrawal to his unwillingness to fight under the walls of
the palace, and described the leading _daimiôs_ as being at loggerheads,
Satsuma desiring to carry out their plans by main force, and Tosa
preferring to rely on reason; but their objects were identical. It was
not Kaga, but Tosa, that was endeavouring to negotiate an arrangement
between Satsuma and the Tycoon. He talked a good deal about forms of
government, and thought that Gotô's plans would be delightful, if
feasible, but the nation was not yet ripe for fundamental changes. I
agreed with him that representative government would be a curious
substitute for the despotic form of authority that had existed hitherto.
Mitford and I went out again about two o'clock to have another look at
the preparations, and wandered over the Kiô-bashi bridge on to the Kiôto
road. Here it was evident that the Tycoon was expected to arrive at any
moment. There were wonderful groups of men in armour, wearing surcoats
of various gay colours, armed with spears and helmets. Here we found
Kubota Sentarô, the commander of the Tycoon's drilled troops, with a
couple of colleagues, one of whom told Mitford in bad Japanese that they
were very brave and intended to die. I whispered to Kubota that a brave
man did not retreat in this fashion. He repeated the explanation of the
Tycoon's objection to fighting at the steps of the throne, and perhaps
endangering the person of the Mikado. I replied that he should not have
given up the guard of the palace. Kubota alleged the Mikado's orders. I
suggested that if the Mikado ordered that there should be no fighting,
that order must be obeyed. The significant rejoinder was: "Yes, by the
Tycoon, but not by his retainers."

We had just got to the end of the street that ran by the castle moat
when the bugles sounded to arms, and we saw a long train of drilled
troops advancing. We stood on one side opposite to a man wearing a
gorgeous red surcoat, till the troops should pass. On they went,
followed by a herd of men in fantastic costumes (_yû-géki-tai_, "brave
fighting men"), some wearing helmets with long wigs of black or white
hair reaching half-way down their backs, others in ordinary helmets,
basin-shaped war-hats (_jin-gasa_), flat hats, armed, some with long
spears, short spears, Spencer rifles, Swiss rifles, muskets, or the
plain two swords. Then a silence came over the scene. Every Japanese
knelt down as a group of horsemen approached. It was Keiki and his
train. We took off our hats to fallen greatness. He was muffled in a
black hood, and wore an ordinary war-hat. What could be seen of his
countenance looked worn and sad. He did not seem to notice us. Iga no
Kami and Buzen no Kami, members of his council, who came next, on the
contrary nodded gaily to our salute. Aidzu and Kuwana were also there.
Then followed other _yû-géki-tai_, and the procession closed with more
drilled troops. We turned round with the last of these, and hurried on
to see the entrance into the castle. On the way we met the chief, who
had come out to have a look at the Tycoon, to whose downfall he had
contributed as far as lay in his power. The defiling across the bridge
over the moat was an effective scheme of colour, and the procession
entered by the great gate (_ôté_). Every one dismounted except the
Tycoon. Rain fell, in much accordance with the occasion.

The chief insisted, much against my own feeling, in sending to ask for
an interview on the morrow. In the letter I sent, I spoke of Keiki as
Tycoon Denka (His Highness the Tycoon). The reply which came back styled
him simply Uyésama, the title borne by the head of the Tokugawa family
before his formal recognition as Shôgun by the Mikado's Court.

Endo came back with the following information. Arisugawa and Yamashina,
both princes of the blood, Ogimachi and Iwakura, court nobles, were
appointed _Sôsai_; the princes of Owari, Echizen, Geishiû, Satsuma and
Tosa were appointed _gijô_. Ohara (a court noble) and various others
were to be _Sanyo_, besides three from each of the great clans. Satsuma
in this way was represented by Iwashita, Okubo and Saigô. Those of the
other clans were not known to him. The titles of the Prince of Chôshiû
and his son had been restored to them. The palace was guarded by Satsuma
and Geishiû, Chôshiû's troops held the city of Kiôto. A Satsuma steamer
had left for Chikuzen to bring back the five court nobles who had fled
in 1864, Sanjô (afterwards prime minister for a series of years),
Sanjô-Nishi, Mibu, Shijô and Higashi-kuzé (subsequently minister for
Foreign Affairs).

It was difficult to accuse Keiki of cowardice. No one had ever yet
expressed such an opinion of him, and the probability was that he could
not put confidence in the courage of his troops. How a new government
which did not include the Tokugawa chief could hope to succeed one did
not see. He must either join the _daimiôs_ or be destroyed. Perhaps the
latter alternative was what his adversaries designed. Keiki had declined
to see the chief on the following day, and it looked as if the audience
would have to be deferred. The policy advocated in the _Sakuron_,
translated from my articles in the "Japan Times," seemed to govern the
situation. The opening of Yedo to foreign trade must evidently be
postponed, as Locock had declined the responsibility of superintending
the execution of the arrangements.

On the morning of January 8 the chief became very impatient, and about
noon ordered me to prepare a note to the effect that Locock and I should
go to the castle and arrange for an audience. Its despatch was delayed
by a private note from Koba Dennai asking me to name an hour for an
interview with him. At three o'clock our note was to have gone in, when
in came Tsukahara and Ishikawa to inform us that the French Minister was
to see the Tycoon, as we still called him, at once, and that Keiki could
receive Sir Harry to-morrow at any hour he chose to name. On hearing
that he had been outstripped by his colleague, his wrath was unbounded;
he claimed priority on the ground of superior diplomatic rank, and
ordered out the escort. We proceeded to the castle in pouring rain. I
was a little behind the others, and entered the audience chamber just as
Roches and Sir Harry were exchanging words about what the former
stigmatized as a breach of _les convénances_ in interrupting his
interview. But he got as good as he gave, and the audience then
proceeded, after Aidzu and Kuwana had been presented and ordered to
retire. Aidzu was a dark-complexioned man with a hooked nose, about
thirty-two years old, of middle stature and thin; Kuwana an ugly young
person, apparently twenty-four years of age, pock-marked and of dwarfish
proportions. The old fox Hirayama sat behind the Uyésama and took notes.
 Shiwoda Samurô, who spoke French well, interpreted for Roches and I for
Sir Harry simultaneously the words which fell from Keiki's lips. He gave
but a lame account of the events of the last few days, professing at one
moment to have withdrawn his troops from the palace in accordance with
an imperial order, while refusing to recognize another such order, which
he felt was equally dictated by Satsuma. Perhaps this was natural on his
part, for it abolished his office and forbade him access to the palace.
He had had it hinted to him that he should also resign his rank of
Naidaijin, and offer to surrender two million _koku_ of lands; but he
had resolved not to heed the suggestion, on the ground that this
property belonged to him apart from his office, just as much as the
lands of Chôshiû, Satsuma and the other _daimiôs_ belonged to them. He
appeared to feel that the _daimiôs_ had stolen a march on him by
preparing their plans beforehand, instead of proceeding with the general
congress of princes at which each should be free to speak his own mind;
in other words, he was vexed at having been taken in by a stratagem.
That the proposal of a congress was merely intended to throw dust in his
eyes was pretty evident. He explained the order for the withdrawal of
the Aidzu palace guard by saying that other _daimiôs_, amongst them
Satsuma and Geishiû, held some of the gates under Aidzu, and that they
introduced certain proscribed court nobles into the precincts after the
_Kwambaku_ and other dignitaries had retired for the day on the morning
of January 3rd., and that at noon the same day these persons issued the
proclamation setting up the new government. This he said was a
preconcocted matter; they had it all ready on paper, and took these
measures without consulting anyone. At one time he seemed to say that
the five great _daimiôs_ were divided among themselves, at another he
spoke of the decrees as having been agreed to by them all beforehand.
After finishing his account, he asked the opinion of the two ministers.
Both expressed admiration of his patriotism in surrendering power, and
the justice of his desire to settle all questions by a general congress,
Roches in very flattering terms, Sir Harry more moderately, asking also
some pertinent questions, which were answered without much frankness.
Keiki gave as his reason for coming down to Ozaka his fear lest a tumult
should arise in the vicinity of the palace, and his desire to appease
the indignation of his followers. It was his intention to remain at
Ozaka, but could not say whether the opposite party would attack him
there. To another question as to the form of government that had been
set up at Kiôto, he replied that the Mikado ruled nominally, but that
Kiôto was occupied by a set of men who did nothing but quarrel among
themselves, anything but govern. Yet he did not appear to claim that he
himself possessed any authority, and he did not know whether the other
_daimiôs_ would rally to his support. Some of those who were at Kiôto
had been disgusted at the congress not having come into existence, and
had returned to their homes; others who were confounded by the audacity
of the five still remained there. Our inference, of course, was that
they were not of his party.

The Uyésama finally said he was tired, and so put an end to the
conversation. One could not but pity him, so changed as he was from the
proud, handsome man of last May. Now he looked thin and worn, and his
voice had a sad tone. He said he would see the ministers again in order
to consult with them. The commissioners for Foreign Affairs gave us a
paper announcing Keiki's resignation of the office of Shôgun, and the
change of his title back to Uyésama.

It turned out that what Koba wanted was to ask whether I could tell him
what the Uyésama's plans were; was he returning to Yedo in order to
gather his forces together, or remaining at Ozaka with the intention of
undertaking a "ruffianly" expedition to the capital. I sent back a reply
by Itô that I knew nothing of Keiki's intended movements. To suppose
that I would supply information on such points showed great simplicity.

The diplomatic body being intent on the observation of neutrality
between the contending parties, held a meeting on the morning of January
9 at the Prussian Legation to frame a declaration, and a request to be
informed where the government was being carried on. The French Minister
did his best to make the former a declaration of non-partizanship with
the _daimiôs_. Shiwoda his interpreter and I had to translate it into
Japanese, which we did separately. His version was very literal, and he
rendered "divers partis" by a term which could only be applied to
conspirators. I also wished the translation to be in free Japanese, not
adhering slavishly to the wording of the original, and we had a quarrel
over this point. After Shiwoda left me, Ishikawa came in, to whom I
showed my version, in order that whatever were the result, no doubt
should be possible as to the attitude of the British Legation. Up to a
late hour at night nothing was settled, except that the interview with
the Uyésama, which was to have been immediate, was put off. On the
following morning, after the two translations had been compared, the
chief suggested an alteration in the French original which removed the
cause of dispute. Then Locock and I went round to the other ministers
and got them to accept my translation. While we were at the French
Legation Hirayama and Kawakatsu came in, and they took the paper away
with them to prepare the Uyésama's reply. A difference had arisen
between Roches and Sir Harry as to relative precedence. The former was
only minister plenipotentiary, while our chief was envoy extraordinary
and minister plenipotentiary. According to all rules he was senior, but
the other ministers held that Roches, having arrived first in Japan, had
precedence. This decision did away with Sir Harry's claim to be _doyen_,
and his reason for asserting a right to have audience before any of his
colleagues. The latter pretension was, of course, one that could in no
circumstances be upheld.

At three o'clock the whole diplomatic body assembled at the castle in
the _o-shiro-jô-in_, all the other apartments being occupied by Aidzu,
Kuwana and Kishiû. The same ceremony was observed as at an European
court. Behind the Uyésama stood his pages; at his left Aidzu, Kuwana,
Makino Bitchiû no Kami, Matsudaira Buzen no Kami (two councillors of
state), and a noble person whom I took to be Ogaki, then Hirayama and
Tsukahara. On his right were a number of _ô-metsukés_. In Japan, as in
China, the left was the position of honour. Close to His Highness stood
Iga no Kami, on whom devolved the task of reading the translation of the
Diplomatic Body's address. The reply was a very long one, spoken by the
Uyésama himself. He began by explaining his policy, vindicating his
retirement from Kiôto, and expressing his determination to abide by the
decisions of a general council. His reply to the particular question
asked by the ministers was that foreigners should not trouble themselves
about the internal affairs of Japan, and that until the form of
government was settled he regarded the conduct of Foreign Affairs as his
own function. The commissioners for foreign affairs, who were probably
apprehensive that they might to-day become nonentities, were obviously
relieved. They became joyful, and somewhat triumphant. The audience was
over in an hour and a half. After the delivery of his speech the Uyésama
went round the row of foreign ministers and spoke a few words to each.
To Sir Harry he said that he hoped for a continuation of his friendship,
and for his assistance in organizing the Japanese navy. The chief
replied in florid style that his heart was the same as it had ever been
towards him, and that he trusted the sun shining through the windows was
an omen of his future, a metaphor which I found some difficulty in
putting into Japanese. However, the Uyésama pretended to take it all in.
One of the private secretaries, Tsumagi Nakadzukasa, came in the evening
to assist me in translating the answer into English.

From Kuroda Shinyémon I received the correct text of the Kiôto decrees.
He told me that the _daimiôs_ were unanimously awaiting Keiki's reply to
the demand for two million _koku_ of lands and the surrender of a step
in court rank. They expected to be joined by the other western
_daimiôs_, and also by the northern ones. I advised that they should not
fight if they could help it, but if they judged it necessary, to do it
at once. He nodded assent. It was intended that in three or four days
the _daimiôs_ would declare their intentions to the foreign ministers.
It showed, I thought, a good deal of courage on the part of a Satsuma
man to come all the way past the castle sentries to our legation, and to
spare him this risky proceeding I promised to go and see him at his own
quarters.

Ishikawa brought me a document purporting to be a protest of the
retainers of Awa, Hizen, Higo, Chikuzen and other great _daimiôs_
against the violent proceedings of the Satsuma party, and insisting on
the convocation of a general council. As far as could be inferred from
their language, it did not appear that war was contemplated by either
party. We heard that in a day or two Owari, Echizen and the court noble
Iwakura would come down to receive the Tokugawa answer to the demands
already mentioned. The troops of Sakai Uta no Kami of Obama in Wakasa, a
powerful adherent of the Uyésama, had been sent to Nishinomiya, where
there were probably Satsuma and Chôshiû troops. Endo however was of
opinion that war would certainly break out. He said that a hundred of
Satsuma's people arrived from Kiôto last night to escort thither the
five court nobles who had been recalled from exile.

On the 12th I went to see Kuroda Shinyémon and Koba Dennai, and gave
them copies of the address of the foreign diplomatic representatives to
the _ci-devant_ Tycoon as well as of his reply. They acknowledged the
authenticity of the protest of Awa and the other eleven clans, and said
that there were others who had disapproved of his restoring the
sovereign power to the Mikado. From this it was evident to me that the
reason why the five clans were in such a hurry to act was that they
wanted to carry out their plans before the others arrived. Kaga was said
to have left Kiôto in order to muster his forces for the assistance of
Keiki. It now became evident that the Tokugawa party were preparing for
war. Kishiû's men were at Tennôji, Sumiyoshi, and Kidzu, close to Ozaka.
Aidzu had occupied the castle of Yodo, a few miles south of Kiôto on the
direct road, with 500 of his own troops, and 300 of the Shinsen-gumi, a
recently raised body of Tokugawa infantry, had also proceeded thither,
while all along the road small detachments were stationed. Owari,
Echizen and Iwakura were expected on the 18th January, but it was
possible that the five clans might march on Ozaka before that date.

Koba Dennai invited us to the Satsuma _yashiki_ on the 14th, so Mitford
and I went there, and there we met Terashima Tôzô (formerly known as
Matsugi Kôan), who had arrived from Kiôto that morning. He explained
that it was thought better to delay issuing the Mikado's announcement to
foreign countries of his having assumed the government until the
question of a surrender of territory by the late Tycoon, which Owari and
Echizen had undertaken to arrange, should be settled. (It must be
understood that in conversation with Japanese this title was never
employed, as it was only invented for foreign use. Either Tokugawa, or
the _Baku-fu_, was the term we employed.) It had been originally
proposed that only Aidzu and Kuwana should come down to Ozaka, in order
to return by sea to their respective countries, but as they were
unwilling to come alone, Keiki was allowed to accompany them. The
territory to be surrendered by him was to form the nucleus of a national
treasury, and it had been proposed by Tosa and some other clans that
each _daimiô_ should sacrifice a smaller proportion for the same
purpose, but Satsuma objected to this latter part of the scheme. The
Mikado's notification would be in archaic Japanese,[6] stating that he
was the head of the confederated _daimiôs_, that he alone was the
sovereign of Japan, that the office of Shôgun was abolished, that the
government was entrusted to a general council of _daimiôs_ subject to
his supervision, and lastly that the treaties were to be remodelled in
his name. We quite agreed with him that to issue the announcement in the
present undecided state of affairs would be premature. A civil governor
had been appointed for Kiôto, and a night patrol to arrest marauders and
disturbers of the public peace. Of course Keiki's plan of calling a
general council of _daimiôs_ to deliberate on the state of the country
was put forward because he was certain of securing a majority by the aid
of those of them who were his own vassals, and that he would get a vote
carried in favour of reinstating him in his previous position of
authority. This stratagem had been defeated by the bold stroke of
Satsuma getting possession of the Mikado's person.

    [6] This was stated in reply to a question about the court
        language. When the document eventually was delivered, it
        was found, as far as my memory serves me, to be framed in
        classical Chinese.

Next day Sir Harry paid a visit to the castle with the object of pumping
the Uyésama about his plans for the general council and the new form of
government, but he was anticipated by inquiries about the British
Constitution, which took up all the time available, and he was only able
to get in a question or two at the end. These the Uyésama adroitly
parried by saying that the events he narrated on the last occasion of
their meeting had upset all his arrangements. The escort was ordered,
and we were obliged to leave. As we were going, Aidzu came up and
saluted the chief with great cordiality, who replied that he was very
fond of making the acquaintance of _daimiôs_, and already knew several.
He hoped to know more of them. Could the Prince of Aidzu tell him
whether the Prince of Awa was at Kiôto or Ozaka. Aidzu replied that he
did not know. The chief rejoined that last year he had been to Awa's
place, and had been very civilly treated. This rather broad hint,
however, produced no effect.

The same day there came to see me a young Tosa man, of Kishiû origin,
named Mutsu Yônosuké, with whom I discussed the question of the
recognition of the Mikado's government by the foreign ministers. I
explained that it was not for the foreign representative to take the
first step. We had received assurances from the Tokugawa chief that he
would continue to carry on the administration, and as no communication
had yet come from the Kiôto side, we had to go on holding official
relations with him. If the Kiôto government wished to assume the
direction of affairs they should inform the _Baku-fu_ that they were
going to notify their assumption of foreign affairs to the ministers,
and then invite the latter to Kiôto. This would be to all the world a
clear proof of the position held by the Mikado.

Mutsu replied that he had not come as a messenger from Gotô, but was
merely giving his individual views. He thought a prince of the blood
should come down to Ozaka and hold an interview at the castle with the
foreign representatives, at which the Tokugawa chief should attend and
resign the conduct of foreign affairs, on which the prince of the blood
would deliver the Mikado's declaration of policy. Of course he would be
escorted by _daimiôs_ and their troops. I warmly approved his
suggestion, and at his request promised not to divulge it to anyone.

The next day Mitford and I went again to the Satsuma _yashiki_, and
found that a list of questions to be put to us had been sent down from
Kiôto. We gave one answer to everything, namely, that it was only
necessary for the Mikado to invite the ministers to Kiôto, and compel
the ex-Tycoon to abandon his claim to conduct the foreign affairs of the
country. They proposed to make Keiki withdraw his answer of the 10th. I
gave them copies of Sir Harry's Note conveying the Queen's condolences
on the death of the late Mikado, and of Itakura's reply; but they were
not able to say whether the Note had been communicated to the court. The
_daimiô_ of Higo had arrived and proceeded to Kiôto. Bizen was to
garrison Nishinomiya. The five exiled court nobles were expected to
arrive that evening, and would go up to Kiôto by the river.

Echizen and Owari came down from Kiôto and went to the castle, as had
been announced several days previously. The former sent a message
through the Japanese Foreign Department to ask when his retainers might
come to see our guard go through their drill. We replied that they did
not drill. Perhaps they had heard of the mounted escort being exhibited
to the Tycoon on some previous occasion. We should have preferred to
have this request made to us direct.

On the 23rd Ishikawa came to tell us that our Japanese guard was to be
increased by one hundred men in consequence of disturbances that had
occurred at Yedo. On the night of the 16th, he said, some Satsuma men
had attacked the Shiba barracks of Sakai Saemon no jô, _daimiô_ of
Shônai in the north, but were beaten off. On the next day but one
Sakai's people went together with some troops which they had borrowed
from the government, intending to demand the surrender of the men
concerned in the violence of the 16th, but before they reached the
Satsuma _yashiki_ fire was opened on them with field pieces and small
arms, to which they replied. In the end the _yashiki_ was burnt to the
ground. Some of the defenders were killed, others captured, and some
escaped to a Satsuma war vessel that was lying in the bay. This at once
attacked a government ship, but the result of the fight was unknown. At
any rate, the other _yashikis_ of Satsuma and of Shimadzu Awaji no Kami
had also been burnt. It was possible that the Satsuma people who had
escaped might try to revenge themselves by creating disturbances at
Ozaka. Though it was not likely that they would attack the castle, it
was thought desirable as a measure of precaution to station some troops
where we were. The chief's answer was that they must first write all
this officially to him and await his reply before sending a single man
to the Legation. To alarm us still further Ishikawa told us a story of
boatmen having reported that the student interpreters we had left at
Yedo had been fired at from the Satsuma _yashiki_ in the street called
Tamachi, the date of the letter which brought this news being January
14th. As this was two days before the Satsuma attack on the Sakai
_yashiki_, we did not give credit to his tale. What we thought was that
Keiki had returned a refusal to the ultimatum of the _daimiôs_, and
feared they would attack him at Ozaka. Echizen and Owari returned to
Kiôto that day, but we did not hear what had been the result of their
mission. On the 24th the Admiral arrived with news from Yedo confirming
all that Ishikawa had reported. His account of it was that on the night
of the 17th the Satsuma people had contrived to set a part of the castle
on fire, and carried off Tenshô-In Sama, a princess of theirs who had
married the last Tycoon but one. Thereupon the government people
attacked all the Satsuma _yashikis_ in Yedo and burnt them, and the
occupants getting on board their steamer put to sea. In the meanwhile,
the "Eagle" and other government vessels received orders to get up steam
and attack her. A sea fight ensued, which ended by the "Eagle" and the
Satsuma steamer disappearing in the offing. The former was met by H.M.S.
"Rodney," the Admiral's flagship, returning next day with her fore-yard
gone, and the latter was seen off Cape Oshima, south of the province of
Kishiû, on the 23rd. The story that our student interpreters Quin and
Hodges had been fired at about the 12th as they were passing in front of
the Satsuma battery in a Japanese boat was true, but no harm was done.



                              CHAPTER XXV

                      HOSTILITIES BEGUN AT FUSHIMI


ON the evening of the 27th a great blaze was seen in the direction of
Kiôto. Endo said it was at Fushimi, three miles from the capital, and
that the ex-Tycoon's troops and those of Satsuma and his allies were
fighting there. The government ship "Kaiyô-maru" with others were
blockading Satsuma vessels at Hiôgo. On the preceding day a couple of
battalions had been seen parading for the march to Kiôto, and were
probably among the troops engaged at Fushimi. Report said that Keiki
himself would take the field in a few days. Willis' servant, the
faithful Sahei, who passed through Fushimi the same day, saw bodies of
Satsuma men waiting about in the streets and warming themselves at
fires, but he could not say for certain whether there were any other
imperialists with them. A little on the nearer side of Fushimi were the
_shinsen-gumi_, and behind them large bodies of infantry, all apparently
eager for the fray. During the succeeding night the Satsuma _yashiki_ on
the Tosa-bori canal, where we used to meet our friends, was burnt down.
Some accounts said it was set on fire by the occupants before they stole
away, others that the Tokugawa troops sent three or four shells into it
and so caused the blaze. At any rate the Satsuma people got into boats
and went down the river, pursued by the Tokugawa men, who fired at them
from the banks, and killed two of the fugitives. Sir Harry went to call
on Itakura, who told us that the town of Fushimi had been set on fire by
Satsuma troops, who were opposing the entry of the Uyésama's forces into
Kiôto. Fighting began at four o'clock, and the result was not yet known.
Another detachment marching up the Toba road, which follows the right
bank of the river, fell into an ambuscade and was forced to retire. He
could not tell us when the Uyésama would start. The troops that had been
opposed at Fushimi were his advanced guard, destined to occupy the
castle of Nijô in Kiôto, as he was returning there shortly, having been
invited to do so by Echizen and Owari. All the other _daimiôs_ were
tired of the arrogant conduct of Satsuma. Probably it was his troops
alone which had fought at Fushimi. Ishikawa gave me a copy of a letter
from the commandant at Fushimi, who writing to Tsukahara and Buzen no
Kami mentioned that guns had been lent for the destruction of the
Satsuma _yashiki_. It was reported that Tsukahara had disappeared, and
it was conjectured that he had been shot during the imperialist attack
on the official residence of the governor of Fushimi, but we could not
ascertain that he had been seen farther on than Yodo.

Next day the chief went to Itakura's house just inside the Tama-tsukuri
Gate near our legation, where he saw Nagai Gemba no Kami. Nagai told us
that up to last night the Tokugawa troops had been repulsed on both
points of their advance, and were going to try another road, the Takéda
kaidô, further to the west. To us it appeared that they ought to have
done better, as they were 10,000 to 6000. They reported the enemy force
to consist of Satsuma and Chôshiû men, assisted by _rônin_, which
probably meant the men of other clans, but the remaining _daimiôs_
appeared to be preserving a neutral attitude. The Uyésama's
commander-in-chief was Takenaga Tango no Kami. The denunciation of
Satsuma's crimes was carried by the advanced guard, whom Gemba no Kami
described as the Uyésama's "retinue." He still maintained that the
Uyésama had not wished to have recourse to arms, but was forced into it
against his will. Still Gemba no Kami could not give a satisfactory
explanation of the firing on the Satsuma steamer "Lotus" as early as the
evening of January 26. The same evening reports came in that the
Tokugawa troops had retired 7-1/2 miles from Fushimi, and had destroyed
the bridge over the Kidzu-kawa river below Yodo, to obstruct the further
advance of the Satsuma forces. Seven boat-loads of wounded had come down
the river.

From what we heard on the morning of the 30th, it appeared that the
prospects of the Tokugawa party were not very encouraging. In the
afternoon great fires were distinctly visible from the hill by the
castle, in the direction of Hirakata and Nashimoto, about half-way
between Ozaka and Fushimi, which showed that the battle was approaching
nearer. A consultation was held by the chief with the Legation staff,
the result of which was that we were to hire as many boats as possible
to convey the archives to the British squadron, and when they were
placed in safety we should be able to await the development of events
with calmness. After dinner Sir Harry went to see the French Minister,
and returned about half-past nine with information that a circular was
to be addressed to the foreign ministers announcing that the Uyésama
could no longer defend them, and they must take their own measures for
the protection of their flags. At eleven came an official messenger with
the circular, who promised to get us as many boats as possible on the
following morning to move our baggage; and after packing up the archives
we went to bed. At four o'clock in the morning, Locock woke me with the
news that a note had come from the French Minister to say that the enemy
would enter the city early in the day, and that we must run off at
daylight with what we could carry. So we all got up, frightfully cold
though it was, and packed up our belongings. No boats had arrived. At
daylight my Japanese escort came to say that with the greatest
difficulty they had managed to procure one large boat; on this the
archives were placed, and started off about nine. Then came Ishikawa,
who said he was powerless to help us. The imperialists had not yet
appeared, but he considered it advisable for us to get off at once. So
Sir Harry and I went off with him to look for the porters, whom we met
outside the great gate of the castle. Just at that moment we saw a
curious procession going in. It consisted of a palanquin like a
_mikoshi_, one of those gods' litters carried in religious pageants, a
large umbrella held over it and two men with lanterns on long poles in
front. Ishikawa let out that he thought it was conveying a messenger
from the Mikado. He and I came back with the porters, and brought the
greater part of the baggage down to the bank of the stream behind the
legation, but still there were no boats. So we went off to the
governor's residence and tried to interest the officials on our behalf.
They appeared to be in a state of extreme perturbation, and declared
that it was impossible to procure any boats. Ishikawa almost shed tears,
and vowed that he would never again try to get boats and porters for the
legation; it was none of his business. We agreed therefore to deposit
the greater part of the baggage inside the castle. Luckily however this
proved unnecessary, for when I returned to our quarters I found the
chief radiant with joy, five boats having arrived in the interval. About
ten o'clock therefore we were able to make a start for the foreign
settlement, but I stayed behind with the six men of my Japanese escort,
capital fellows who had stuck to me ever since we made the journey
overland from Ozaka to Yedo in 1867. I had to procure boats for my own
baggage, which by an oversight had been left behind, and to get the
stores removed to the castle. However, more boats arrived than had been
expected, so I put all the baggage on board, including even a huge pot
of mince-meat. Unluckily, a fine gold lacquer cabinet of Mitford's, for
which he had recently paid 800 _ichibus_, was overlooked. About noon I
started for the foreign settlement in great triumph. There was even a
house-boat (_yakata-buné_). I asked a man whom I had never seen before
for whom this was intended, and was greatly flattered when he replied
innocently that it was for Satow sama. This enabled me to go down
comfortably instead of walking the whole distance. On the way we all
nodded and dozed, for we had had no proper night's rest. From time to
time we were challenged by the posts on the banks, but no attempt was
made to stop us. On arriving at the settlement I found the wind was
blowing too strongly from the west to allow of our passing the bar at
the mouth of the river. The chief, Locock, Willis and Wilkinson were all
fast asleep. Captain Bruce, commandant of the infantry guard, and the
constable had gone off again to the Legation to endeavour to recover the
remainder of our property that had been left behind, and I got
Lieutenant Bradshaw a boat with the same object. Towards evening they
returned. A steam launch from the squadron was lying off the settlement,
and the Legation was located at the vice-consulate there. It was
bitterly cold, and we were glad to get to bed, after what was a very
good dinner considering the circumstances. The other foreign
representatives were at Tempôzan, at the mouth of the river, in
miserable huts, and with very little to eat. We felt pity for them,
mingled with pride, when we compared our situation with theirs. Rumours
were flying about among the townspeople that Keiki had been declared a
rebel (_chô-téki_).

About nine o'clock on the following morning (February 1), Locock and I
took an escort from the 2/ix detachment and went off to the castle to
see what was the state of things there. In front of it there was a great
crowd, and all the gates seemed deserted. We knocked at the governor's
door, but got no answer, a clear sign that he and his people had taken
to flight. The crowd laughed. We sent in to the castle by one of my
Japanese escort to inquire who was there, and were told in reply that
Keiki had departed, leaving it empty. We went on to the Legation, where
we found everything just as we had left it. We got back by noon, and as
we were at lunch there came in a detachment of thirteen Frenchmen, who
in return for being stoned by the crowd had fired and killed some eight
or nine people. This was looked upon as a wholesome lesson to the rabble
not to cry out abuse of foreigners, but nevertheless was much to be
regretted, as it would tend to make the foreign colleagues believe Ozaka
unsafe for themselves. During our walk to the castle and back we had
observed no signs of hostility, a fact which seemed to show that the
population were able to distinguish between nationalities. The French
Legation had been pillaged and the furniture smashed.

After lunch, Sir Harry, Willis and I went down to Tempôzan, the chief to
call on his colleagues, Willis to attend to the wounds of some Aidzu men
who had been brought down from Kiôto, where they had fought against the
imperialists. The colleagues were furious with Sir Harry for having been
so fortunate as to save all his baggage and archives, and for having had
the pluck to remain four miles nearer the supposed danger than they had.
A rather angry discussion ensued. Sir Harry declared that he would not
leave Ozaka unless he was able to carry off every atom of Legation
property, and he did not know when that might be possible. They, on the
contrary, said that having struck their flags, it was their intention to
move across to Kôbé (Hiôgo), and await the course of events. I went to
make friends with some of the Aidzu wounded, who were waiting for boats
to put them on board of Tokugawa ships. They asserted that they would
have beaten the enemy if they had been properly supported, but Tôdô had
turned traitor at Yamazaki (on the right bank of the river, nearly
opposite Yodo), which was the most important point of the defence, and
Keiki's general Takénaga had gone over to the enemy at Yodo itself.
Moreover, the drilled infantry were useless; if one man ran the rest
followed like a flock of sheep (as we should say). They estimated the
Satsuma force at the low figure of 1000, but said the skirmishing of the
enemy was very good, and they were armed with breech-loaders. Keiki had
run away, they knew not whither, but probably to Yedo. We found that the
fort at Tempôzan, and one a little further up the river, which had
hitherto been under the charge of Kôriyama (a Kiûshiû _daimiô_) had been
dismantled, the guns in the former being spiked, and the ammunition
embarked in the Tokugawa warship "Kaiyô-maru," which left at noon. Keiki
was believed to be on board of her. Old Hirayama was in the fort at
Tempôzan, but studiously concealed himself. Chanoine (many years
afterwards for a brief period French Minister of War) and another
officer of the French military mission had arrived the previous night
from Yedo, but had had to leave again, greatly disappointed that they
had come too late for the fair. Obviously it had been intended that they
should act as advisers to Keiki's commander-in-chief. The town of Sakai
was reported to have been burnt, and also the houses round the
Namba-bashi bridge over the Yamato-gawa, but it was not known whether by
accident or intentionally. No Satsuma men had yet entered Ozaka. The
French Minister was our authority for a story that Keiki, on finding
that the majority of the _daimiôs_ were arrayed against him, had
surrendered the castle and city of Ozaka to Echizen and Owari, because
they had been kind and polite to him when they came on their mission
from the court! The Aidzu men were very grateful to Willis for the
assistance he gave in attending their wounded, and apparently regarded
the English as the best and kindest people in the world. It was resolved
by Sir Harry that he should go to Hiôgo in order to avoid a quarrel with
his colleagues, and I volunteered to remain at Ozaka with Russell
Robertson as acting vice-consul, and half the guard from the 2/ix under
the command of Bruce, so that the honour of the flag might be
maintained. It was certain that Noguchi and my Japanese escort would
stand by me, and we were determined to fight to the last if we should be
attacked, but that I did not anticipate. I despatched the Chôshiû
student Endo Kiôto-wards to urge that the _daimiôs_ should forthwith
make their declaration of policy to the foreign representatives, as
Mitford and I had given the draft of a notification to our Satsuma
friends, and there was also my private understanding with Tosa on that
subject. The Aidzu soldiers at the fort said that Satsuma men had been
found in the castle in disguise, and that there even were some amongst
Keiki's drilled troops; cunning devils they must have been if all we
heard was true.

Accordingly on February 2, the chief went away to Hiôgo to arrange for
H.M.S. "Rattler" to convey Locock to Yokohama, where he was to be in the
charge of the Legation, and also for his own temporary withdrawal to
Kôbé. About half-past eight in the morning we saw from the
vice-consulate a puff of white smoke ascend in the direction of the
castle, followed by dense clouds of black smoke. The report soon spread
that the castle was on fire, and so it was in fact. After breakfast
Locock and I took forty of the 2/ix guard, with Bruce and Bradshaw, and
went off to see the fire and find out whether our Legation had been
burnt. We marched along the bank of the river to the Kiôbashi gate of
the castle, and turning in there, found that the granaries and the
_hommaru_ (inner circle) had been set on fire, but no one could tell us
by whom this had been done. The wind was blowing from the north, and
sparks had spread the conflagration to some of the huts previously
occupied by the drilled troops on the south side. We walked round to
Tama-tsukuri, where we found that the Legation buildings were being
plundered by people of the lowest class. We pursued some of them, but
were not in time to put an end to the devastation. All the furniture had
been destroyed, and the godown sacked. Unfortunately this contained
Mitford's beautiful _étagère_, which had no doubt been carried off.
There was an immense crowd in front of the castle, and men were pouring
in and out of the gates, but they offered no opposition to us, and did
not stone us as we might have expected them to do. The mob had, of
course, destroyed the official residence of the governors as far as was
possible.

We got back to the vice-consulate about mid-day, and found there Endo,
who had already returned from his mission. He said that two or three
hundred of the Chôshiû folk were already in the castle, and that an
official had been left behind to hand the place over to Owari, but the
flames broke out before the ceremony could be completed. Whether the
fire was started by the rabble or by Keiki's followers he did not know.
The only imperialists who had yet arrived were Chôshiû men.

About two o'clock we left the foreign settlement in a lifeboat with
Locock and Wilkinson, who were to be embarked on board H.M.S. "Rattler"
and proceed to Yedo. Halfway down the river we met the steam-launch,
with two other large boats, bringing the chief and Captain Stanhope of
H.M.S. "Ocean," who, seeing what they took to be a general conflagration
of all Ozaka, had come to take us away and haul down the flag. How angry
I was! We were not in the slightest danger, either of being attacked by
the victors or from the burning of the castle, and I would have answered
with my life for the safety of every person left with me. Had I not
received repeated assurances from Satsuma, Tosa and Chôshiû that our
Legation would be respected. However, there was no help for it; orders
had to be obeyed. We found great difficulty in procuring barges, and had
to send the steam-launch out to seize as many as we wanted. We secured
three, into which we packed everything, including the vice-consul's
furniture; the archives and the baggage of the 2/ix having been already
started off. Everything was got away by half-past six, and we eventually
crossed the bar in safety. The steam-launch, in which I was, grounded
three times, and finally stuck fast, but Captain Bullock of H.M.S.
"Serpent" fetched me off in his gig. Willis, who, with the safe
containing the Legation funds, was in a boat towed by the "Serpent's"
pinnace, did not get on board till midnight. Then she took all the
barges in tow, and steamed over to Hiôgo.

Next morning we landed there, and got the baggage on shore. Most of the
party found accommodation at the consulate. I took possession of the
district administrator's house, which had been occupied by some
custom-house officers. The caretaker objected. I insisted however that
as we had been turned out of Ozaka by the _Baku-fu_, we had the best
right in the world to the abandoned accommodation of the _Baku-fu's_
officials. So I had my baggage carried in and set up house there. Our
chief had quartered himself at the consulate, and the other five foreign
representatives, French, Dutch, American, North-German and Italian,
occupied the custom-house, a large two-storeyed building in foreign
style, which the officials would otherwise have set on fire to prevent
it falling into the hands of the victors. The governor, an old
acquaintance of ours named Shibata, had chartered the steamer "Osaka" at
$500 a day (say £100) to convey himself and his staff back to Yedo,
whither he started the same afternoon.

Satsuma's man Godai, I learnt, had gone to Ozaka the previous night, or
early that morning, in order to assure the chief that he might safely
remain there, but of course he came too late. The next thing one heard
was that it had been intended to declare Keiki a rebel if he did not
withdraw his troops from Ozaka, Kiôto and other points between the two
cities, and that Satsuma, Geishiû, Chôshiû and Tosa were charged with
the duty of using force to compel obedience if he refused to listen to
the advice offered to him by Echizen and Owari in the first place. This
seemed to explain his hasty flight, but from any point of view, European
as well as Japanese, it was disgraceful. After informing the diplomatic
representatives that he regarded himself as charged with the direction
of foreign affairs, the only further intimation they received from his
officials was that he could no longer protect the Legations, but he
never so much as hinted that he was about to abscond. I was also
informed that it was intended to invite the ministers to Kiôto, and
Keiki had been ordered to transmit the invitation to them, which of
course he omitted to do. In fact the policy of the Tokugawa government
from the very beginning of their relations with the outer world of
Europe had been to keep foreigners from coming in contact with the Kiôto
party; and in this they were heartily assisted by Roches, the French
Minister. I well recollect how, when we went to the castle to see Keiki
after his retirement from Kiôto, some of the commissioners for foreign
affairs jeered at me, saying, "Of course you now expect to get to Kiôto,
but don't be too sure," or words to that effect.

A report having been circulated that somebody, either Satsuma or
Tokugawa people, were going to blow up the martello tower which stood at
the end of the dry river bed between Hiôgo and Kôbé, boats were sent
from H.M.S. "Ocean," the French flagship "Laplace" and the "Oneida"; the
door was locked and the key taken away.



                              CHAPTER XXVI

                            THE BIZEN AFFAIR


ON February 4, Bizen troops were passing through Kôbé from the early
morning, and about two o'clock in the afternoon the retinue of one of
their _karô_ shot an American sailor who had crossed the street just in
front, which according to Japanese ideas was an insult that deserved
mortal chastisement. After that they attempted the life of every
foreigner whom they met, but fortunately without any serious results.
What at a later time became the foreign settlement was then an open
plain; at the upper edge of it ran the high road, and as the Bizen
people passed along they suddenly opened fire, apparently from
breech-loaders. Then every foreigner was seen scurrying across the plain
for safety. The American marines immediately started in pursuit, our
guard of 2/ix was called out, and some French sailors were landed. Half
of our guard under Bruce were despatched to occupy the entrance from
Kôbé into the foreign quarter, and the other half followed in pursuit.
On reaching the Ikuta-gawa stream-bed, at the eastern extremity of the
plain, we perceived the Bizen men marching in close column about 600 or
700 yards ahead, so we passed through the gap in the river bank and
opened fire. There were at least half-a-dozen civilians with us, all
armed with rifles, who likewise fired. Willis, Mitford and I had only
our revolvers. At the first volley from our side, the enemy turned into
a field by the side of the road, and fired at us from below a bank. On
our returning their fire, they all took to flight. We pursued them,
every now and then firing at one or other who had failed to get under
cover, but finally they took to the hills and disappeared completely.
Sir Harry, followed by his mounted escort of ex-policemen, galloped some
distance down the road in the direction of Nishinomiya, but was unable
to catch sight of the foe. If any of them had suffered from our fire, he
must have been carried off by his comrades. Willis found an old peasant
woman lying by a bank with a bullet wound through both ankles, whom he
brought back and cured of her hurt. Then we took prisoner a wretched
porter, who escaped with his life by a mere miracle, for at least
fifteen revolver shots were fired at him at close quarters as he rose
from his place of concealment, without his receiving a single wound. We
opened the baggage which had been dropped by the fugitives, but found
nothing of value, only three small weapons, representing a cross between
a matchlock and a howitzer, and a few carpenters' tools. From the
porter, whom we led home as our prisoner, we ascertained that the
detachment consisted of two Bizen _karô_, Ikéda Isé and Hiki Tatéwaki,
who were on their way with about 400 men to reinforce the garrison of
Nishinomiya, and that some of them had remained behind at Hiôgo. On
returning to the settlement we found a quantity more baggage which had
been dropped in Kôbé by the men whom Bruce had intercepted. Sentries
were then posted along the main street of Kôbé as far as the first
barrier gate, where a strong guard was stationed with a howitzer. A line
of sentries was also drawn round the north and east sides of the plain.
From some of these, who were Americans, sailors or marines, an alarm was
raised about ten o'clock. Great alacrity was displayed by the naval
people; field pieces were landed and numbers of small-arms men. After
all, no enemy made his appearance to justify so great a stir being made.
I proposed to Sir Harry that we should issue a manifesto declaring that
if Bizen's people did not satisfactorily explain their behaviour, the
foreign powers would make it a quarrel with Japan as a whole. He induced
his colleagues to agree to this, and I started our prisoner back to his
people with a copy, though I did not feel much confidence in its
reaching its destination. About half-past one, a hundred Chôshiû men
sent down for the protection of Kôbé and Hiôgo against Tokugawa troops
arrived just outside our post in the middle of the village, and were
within an ace of being fired on by our guard. Luckily I came up at the
moment, and went to an inn at which they had billeted their rank and
file, to arrange that they should withdraw, which they did very readily.

During the afternoon, four steamers belonging to Chikuzen, Kurumé,
Uwajima, and one it was thought to the Tokugawa, were seized at Kiôgo
and Kôbé, to hold as a "material guarantee."

The morning of February 5 brought me again an invitation from Yoshii to
visit him at Ozaka and talk over affairs, but it was impossible, for I
had too much on my hands. The "Whampoa," a steamer belonging to Glover &
Co., of Nagasaki, had arrived, and a rumour was invented and spread that
she was conveying 800 Satsuma troops, so I was sent off in a boat to
stop their landing. There was not a single Satsuma man on board. Some
men of Awa in Shikoku had decamped in boats from Hiôgo, and our people
pursued them, but as they were only a few in number and very miserable
in appearance, they were not molested. We then issued proclamations,
with the wording of which I was entrusted, explaining why we had seized
the steamers, a second exhorting the people to go quietly about their
business, and a third announcing that all unarmed persons would be
allowed to pass our posts. About one o'clock a Dutchman (appropriately
enough in accordance with popular notions) raised an alarm that the
Japanese were advancing to the attack. The report spread as far as the
quarters of the Foreign Representatives at the custom-house, where von
Brandt was making a great fuss about a body of at least three hundred
armed men that he asserted were menacing Kôbé from the hills close by on
the north side. I had a look at them through his glass, and certainly
saw men, but if they were armed, I was sure they were friendly Chôshiû
men. So I got leave to take Lieutenant Gurdon of H.M.S. "Ocean" with ten
men, and we started out to explore, and to paste up our proclamations
wherever we found one of Chôshiû's. The only people on the hills turned
out to be peasants. The Chôshiû troops were billeted at Shôfukuji, a
large temple, or Buddhist monastery, about two miles away among the
hills, so it was manifest that they were keeping their engagement to us.
We marched through Hiôgo, and pasted a copy of our first notification on
the door of the Bizen official hotel (_honjin_), and the whole series of
four on the house where their troops had passed the night of the 4th.
Having accomplished all this, we returned to relieve the anxiety of our
fellow foreigners.

Just as I got back I met Yoshii and Terashima, who had come down to have
a talk. The chief gave them a short interview, at which he advised them
to send off at once and get the Mikado's messengers to come down with
their notification to the Foreign Representatives. They wanted him to
let 300 Satsuma troops pass through our lines, but he refused, on the
ground that as we did not know anything officially from the Mikado, we
could not recognize Satsuma as acting under His Majesty's orders. So
they agreed to bring their men into Hiôgo by another route. Then I went
off with them to their _honjin_ at Hiôgo, and they told me a good deal
about the course of recent events. Theirs had been a continuous course
of victory from the very first, for being like "rats in a bag," they had
to fight hard for their lives, and were compelled to be victorious. At
Fushimi they had had a desperate fight, but after that they pressed on
and drove the Tokugawa forces into Yodo. This place, as well as the long
bridge over the river, was fired by the retreating troops. Aidzu's men
fought very bravely. The plan of the _Baku-fu_ was to get the Satsuma
and Chôshiû soldiers engaged with Aidzu and the _Shin-sen-gumi_ (a body
of armed _samurai_ recently raised), and then to creep round to the
imperialist right with the drilled infantry and seize Kiôto. Higo too
was only waiting for signs that Satsuma was getting the worst of it, in
order to seize the palace, but now he was very humble. The number of
Satsuma and Chôshiû men actually engaged was about 1500, the remainder
being employed in the defence of the city. Anyhow, as the roads to be
held were very narrow, large bodies could not have been employed to any
advantage. They loaded their field-pieces with bags of bullets, which
did great execution on the enemy. About twenty Satsuma men were killed,
and the entire list of casualties did not exceed 150. They took a good
many prisoners, and captured numbers of guns and small arms, etc. Tôdô's
defection was a great help to the imperialists. His men had been
fighting against them, but when the Mikado's standards, the sun in gold
on a red ground and the moon in silver, were displayed, they lost heart
and changed sides. Another of their advantages was their good
skirmishing. Ninnaji no Miya, a prince of the blood, also known as Omura
no gosho, was the commander-in-chief. They anticipated that all the
clans as far as Hakoné would submit, and that Sendai would join them.
Kishiû already showed signs of a desire to come to terms, and Ogaki had
submitted, as indeed had nearly all the other clans who had fought, with
the exception of Aidzu. They said that Iwashita, Gotô and Higashi-Kuzé,
the latter one of the five runaway court nobles, were to come down to
Kôbé to communicate the Mikado's proclamation to the foreign
representatives. It would be the desire of the new government to show
perfect impartiality in its relations with foreign states, but as the
English had been the good friends of the Kiôto party, they would always
be regarded with particularly grateful and amicable feelings. I remained
with Yoshii and Terashima till half-past ten in the evening. They seemed
to admit that we had acted within our rights in seizing the steamers,
and while I was with them they wrote and despatched long letters to
their own people at Ozaka, explaining the affair and enclosing our
notification. They also wrote up to Kiôto urging that no time should be
lost in despatching the Mikado's messengers with the announcement to the
foreign ministers.

Early on the morning of the 6th Satsuma troops came over from
Nishinomiya in large boats, and were landed at Hiôgo, in accordance with
our agreement of the previous day.

Some retainers of Omura in Hizen, Watanabé Noboru and Fukuzaka Kôzô,
came to inquire about our intentions with regard to their steamer which
had been seized, and was now held by the French. The steamer belonged to
Uwajima, and was only borrowed by Omura for this trip. So I gave them
copies of our manifesto against Bizen, and another one explaining why
the steamers were seized, and they declared themselves quite convinced
that we had acted rightly. Our bluejackets however and the Americans and
French also, were getting us a bad name by committing all sorts of petty
pilfering.

I went to call on Katano, commander of the Chôshiû troops, who said that
the two Bizen _karô_ had gone to Ozaka or Kiôto, he did not know which,
after the affray on the 4th, the rank and file remaining behind.

It was on February 7th that the Mikado's messenger, Higashi-Kuzé,
accompanied by Iwashita, Terashima and Itô, with a small retinue,
arrived at Hiôgo in a little steamer belonging to Geishiû. As soon as I
received the note informing me of this, I went over to the chief, on
whom devolved the task of seeing his colleagues, and arranging with them
the place and hour of meeting. Apparently they were greatly annoyed,
especially the French Minister, at finding themselves as it were
ignored, and that their English colleague had thus become the channel of
communication between the Mikado and themselves. They tried to pump him
about the contents of the imperial message, but he did not tell them
even the little he knew. It having been decided that the interview
should take place at the custom-house at noon on the following day, I
went over to Hiôgo and informed Iwashita. There had been a report that
300 Bizen men had entered the town, but I could not find a trace of
them. All our marines had been withdrawn on account of the difficulty
experienced in forming mixed posts, and the Americans now had charge of
the gate in the middle of the town, so that they would henceforth be
responsible for all the petty pilfering that went on. I found them most
unpleasantly strict, and because I had no pass they obliged me to go a
long way round in order to reach my destination and get back again.

So on the 8th of February the fateful communication was made by
Higashi-Kuzé at the place and hour previously fixed. Higashi-Kuzé was a
small man even for a Japanese, with sparkling eyes, irregular teeth,
which were not yet completely freed from the black dye (_o-haguro_) worn
by court nobles, and with a stutter in his speech. The document was
drawn up in classical Chinese, and might be thus translated:--

    The Emperor of Japan announces to the sovereigns of all foreign
    countries and to their subjects that permission has been granted
    to the Shôgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu[7] to return the governing
    power in accordance with his own request. We shall henceforward
    exercise supreme authority in all the internal and external
    affairs of the country. Consequently the title of Emperor must
    be substituted for that of Tycoon, in which the treaties have
    been made. Officers are being appointed by us to the conduct of
    foreign affairs. It is desirable that the representatives of the
    treaty powers recognize this announcement.

    February 3, 1868.                       MUTSUSHITO (L.S.).

        [7] Keiki, by which he was usually spoken of, is the
            pronunciation of the two Chinese characters with
            which his name Yoshinobu was written.

This document was very ingeniously framed. It assumed as a matter of
course that the treaties were binding on the Mikado, and therefore only
mentioned them incidentally, in saying that the Mikado's title must be
substituted for that of Tycoon. After the translation had been made and
shown to all the ministers, a fire of questions was directed against the
envoy, who answered them well. Roches asked whether the Mikado's
authority extended throughout the whole of Japan, to which he replied
coolly that the rebellion of Tokugawa prevented that from being the case
at present; but it would gradually extend all over the empire. Roches'
interpreter (who was a Tokugawa man) then made a wilful mistake by
representing the envoy to say that "if all the people submitted to the
Mikado, he would be able to govern the country," whereas he really said,
"the people will all submit to the Mikado as a natural consequence of
his taking the reins," as we ascertained on repeating the question. With
regard to the Bizen affray, the Mikado's government undertook to protect
the lives and property of foreigners at Kôbé for the future, and to
satisfy the demands of the Foreign Representatives for the punishment of
Bizen. On these conditions, it was agreed that the marines and
bluejackets should be withdrawn to the ships, and the steamers released.
Ozaka was not as yet perfectly quiet, but normal conditions would soon
be restored, and foreigners would be formally invited to return there.
On the part of the Mikado's government the envoy desired to know whether
the Foreign Representatives would report the announcement to their
governments and proclaim it to their people. This was tantamount to
asking for "recognition." Roches became very angry, and said: "We must
not throw ourselves upon the necks of these people," whereupon the
Italian Comte de la Tour and the German von Brandt raised their voices
against him, and replied that so far from doing anything of the sort we
had waited till they came to seek us (not knowing, of course, of our
secret negotiations at the Satsuma _yashiki_ in Ozaka). On this,
everyone said he would report to his government, and that satisfied the
envoy. A great deal of desultory conversation went on while he was
waiting for the gunboat to convey him back to Hiôgo, but on no
particularly important topic. Itô said to me that it was all right about
our going to Kiôto, that there would be no difficulty. I pretended to be
indifferent, though in truth I was very eager to get a view of the city
and its famous buildings, from which foreigners had been so jealously
excluded for over two centuries.

Next day Higashi-Kuzé, at his own request, went to visit H.M.S. "Ocean."

A joint note was sent in to him demanding reparation for the Bizen
offence, namely a full and ample apology and the capital punishment of
the officer who gave the order to fire. The ministers, and especially M.
Roches, insisted that the fact that they were under fire increased the
gravity of the offence--as if their presence there could have been known
to the Bizen troops passing through on the march. Itô seemed to think
that the government would agree to make the Bizen _karô_ perform
_harakiri_. He said that Chôshiû had relinquished to the Mikado the
territories he had conquered in Kokura (on the south side of the strait
of Shimonoséki) and in the province of Iwami. Katsura (_i.e._ Kido) and
Itô wanted him to go much farther, and resign to the Mikado all his
lands, retainers and other possessions, except so much as might be
required for the support of his household. If all the _daimiôs_ would do
this, a powerful central government might be formed, which was
impossible with the existing system. Japan could not be strong as long
as it was open to every _daimiô_ to withdraw his assistance at his own
pleasure, and each prince to drill his troops after a different fashion.
It was the story of the North German Confederation over again; the petty
sovereigns must be swallowed up by some bigger one. The _daimiôs_ of
Matsuyama and Takamatsu in Shikoku, who were partizans of the Tokugawa,
would be destroyed, and their territories imperialized. Tosa was charged
with the execution of this measure, having offered to undertake the
duty. It was probable that Himéji, a few miles west of Hiôgo, would also
be attacked by the imperialists.

A notification, signed by Iwashita, Itô and Terashima, as officers of
the Foreign Department, was placarded about the town, informing the
people that the Mikado would observe the treaties, and enjoining on them
proper behaviour towards foreigners. It was given out that Roches, with
his interpreter Shiwoda, would leave that evening for Europe, Baron
Brin, the secretary, remaining in charge. The official declaration made
the day before by the Kiôto envoy had quite thrown him on his beam-ends,
and he could not bear to stand by and see his policy turn out a complete
failure. His intention was to proceed first to Yokohama, where I
suspected that he would try to rehabilitate his reputation as a
diplomatist by some of his artful tricks. However, he thought better of
this idea, and remained in Japan until matters shaped themselves so that
he could accept the Mikado's invitation to Kiôto, and so decently
recognize the new political arrangements. The other ministers behaved
very correctly, having very little to do but to follow Parkes' lead.

The foreign ministers had another interview on February 10 with
Higashi-Kuzé, who was accompanied by Iwashita and Gotô. They told us
that Itô was to act temporarily as superintendent of customs and
governor of the town of Kôbé. It seemed curious, we thought, that a man
of certainly not very high rank should be thought fit for this double
post, and that the common people should be ready to obey him, but the
Japanese lower classes, as I noted in my diary, had a great appetite for
being governed, and were ready to submit to any one who claimed
authority over them, especially if there appeared to be a military force
in the background. Itô had the great recommendation in his favour that
he spoke English, a very uncommon Japanese accomplishment in those days,
especially in the case of men concerned in the political movement. It
would not be difficult, owing to the submissive habits of the people,
for foreigners to govern Japan, if they could get rid of the two-sworded
class, but the foreigners who were to do the governing should all of
them speak, read and write the Japanese language, otherwise they would
make a complete failure of their undertaking. But as the _samurai_ were
existent in large numbers, the idea was incapable of realization.
Looking back now in 1919, it seems perfectly ludicrous that such a
notion should have been entertained, even as a joke, for a single
moment, by any one who understood the Japanese spirit.

Gotô was to proceed to Kiôto with the joint note about the Bizen
business, and there was every reason to expect that the court would
agree to the infliction of the capital sentence, but they would probably
desire to let the _karô_ Hiki Tatéwaki perform _harakiri_ instead of
having him decapitated. At least that was what I heard privately from my
Japanese friends, who also asked that, until the question was finally
disposed of, foreigners should abstain from visiting Nishinomiya, where
Bizen men were stationed. Everything was now reported to be quiet at
Ozaka, and we looked forward to returning there in a few days.

Gotô Kiûjirô, as he had called himself previously, now resumed his real
name of Nakai, and was attached to the Foreign Department. He was a very
cheery and gay personality, always ready for any kind of fun and
jollity, and when an entertainment had to be got up, it was to him that
its organization and conduct were entrusted. In this way he earned the
nickname of _Gaimushô no taikomochi_, "jester of the Foreign
Department."

On the 11th, Higashi-Kuzé with his staff came to the consulate to talk
business with Sir Harry and von Brandt, a talk which lasted three hours.
We exhibited to them all the Treaties, Conventions and Agreements
respecting the opening of the ports, all of which had to be confirmed by
the chief minister for Foreign Affairs, Ninnaji no Miya, a prince of the
blood, in the name of the Mikado. There was much said by way of question
and answer about the recent transactions at Kiôto, which ended in their
promising to furnish a detailed narrative, rebutting the statements made
by Ogasawara Iki no Kami and other supporters of the former _régime_.
The general council, which Keiki complained had been violently
anticipated by Satsuma, ought to have met on December 15. The western
_daimiôs_ waited a considerable time after this date, but none of the
others arrived, so they were compelled to take action. The demands made
on the _Baku-fu_ were that, together with the governing power, they
should surrender as much territory as would suffice to maintain that
power. They estimated that 2,500,000 _koku_ of lands would then be left
to the Tokugawa family, besides the territories of the _fudai daimiôs_
and most of the _hatamoto_. Tokugawa had declined, but offered to
surrender 800,000 _koku_ of lands, and to continue his subsidy for the
support of the imperial establishment. When leaving Kiôto however he had
agreed to make the surrender demanded of him, though this was
strenuously opposed by Aidzu and Kuwana. Then when Echizen and Owari
came down to Ozaka, they invited him back to Kiôto to conclude these
arrangements, but it was never intended that Aidzu and Kuwana should
form the van of his retinue, and that was how it happened that fighting
ensued. At the date of this conversation nearly all the _daimiôs_ west
of Hakoné had been reduced, or had given in their adhesion, or would
soon be compelled by force to submit to the Mikado, and thus about seven
out of the eight million _koku_ of lands possessed by Tokugawa would be
actually in the hands of the Mikado. If Tokugawa then submitted, he
would be left peaceably with the remainder of his possessions. It was to
be feared however that he would endeavour to regain what he had lost,
and in that case the Mikado's party would destroy him. It was intended
to despatch forces against him by the north-eastern road (which passes
through the provinces of Echizen and Kaga), by the central road through
Shinshiû, and by the Tôkaidô. Ii Kamon no Kami of Hikoné and later
adherents to the Kiôto party would be placed in the van of the imperial
forces, in order that their fidelity might be tested. The _daimiôs_ of
the north had nothing to thank Tokugawa for, and there was no reason why
they should support him. Awa had submitted, and was assisting in
garrisoning Hiôgo. Prisoners taken in Kiôto during the recent fighting
would be returned to their homes on the restoration of peace, instead of
being put to death according to the ancient Japanese custom in civil
war.

We understood that the Mikado's party intended to call upon the Foreign
Powers to observe strict neutrality.

A report went about that Nambu Yahachirô and Shibayama Riôsuké, old
friends of mine in the Satsuma _yashiki_ at Yedo, had been put to death,
the one by crucifixion the other by simple decapitation, and I felt that
I should like to do something to avenge them, for to western minds the
idea of taking the lives of prisoners was revolting.

We heard that old Matsudaira Kansô, the retired _daimiô_ of Hizen, Mr.
Facing-both-ways as he was universally regarded, was expected to make
his appearance shortly at Kiôto. Also that the governors of Nagasaki had
departed, and that the town was occupied by Satsuma, Geishiû and Tosa,
Hizen holding the batteries.

The mail which reached us on February 13 brought a letter from Iki no
Kami to Sir Harry very diplomatically framed, in which Keiki's failure
to reach Kiôto was attributed entirely to the machinations of Satsuma,
and a hope was expressed that a momentary success on the part of the
latter would not cause the violation of engagements of long standing. He
entirely burked the question put to him by Locock, as to the course the
chief should take in case the Mikado sent an envoy to the Foreign
Representatives. The news came from home that Mukôyama,[8] had
complained at the Foreign Office of Sir Harry having applied the title
of "Highness" to the Tycoon instead of "Majesty"; to this Lord Stanley
replied that he understood there was a higher title than that of _Denka_
in use in Japan, and that consequently _Denka_ could not mean "Majesty,"
which was the highest designation applicable to any potentate. It was
also a noteworthy fact that in this letter of Iki no Kami _Heika_ (which
is synonymous with "Majesty") was reserved for the Queen, _Denka_ being
used of the Tycoon. As modern slang would have it, this was giving away
the whole show.

    [8] Hayato no Shô, who went to Europe for the French Exhibition
        of 1867.

Godai and Terashima came to see me, after which they had a long talk
with the chief on political matters. They told him that in three weeks
or a month's time affairs would have made sufficient progress at Kiôto
to enable the government to invite the Foreign Representatives thither
in order to enter on friendly relations. They also asked for the loan of
a surgeon to attend to their wounded at Kiôto. The chief replied that
the alleviation of suffering in the case of any human being was always a
pleasure, and that as the Legation doctor had looked after the wounds of
Aidzu men, no objection could exist to his treating the hurts of others;
but his consent would depend upon the nature of the reply the ministers
received about the Bizen affair. The question of the Legation returning
to Ozaka was mooted, and Buddhist temples were offered for our
accommodation as the buildings which we had occupied behind the castle
had been too much knocked about to be fit for a residence; but this
would not matter much, as they would be occupied only temporarily. Godai
and Terashima were very anxious that I, and I alone, should visit Ozaka
at once. (In fact I believed I could have gone anywhere that I liked,
for instance to Kiôto the next day, by only expressing a wish.) Godai
wanted to buy an English man-of-war with which to attack Yedo; it was a
curious notion that we had H.M. ships for sale. I advised them to get
their Note demanding neutrality on the part of all Foreign Powers sent
in at once, because then they could request the American Minister to
prevent the "Stonewall Jackson" being delivered to the Tokugawa people,
as well as the two iron-clads from France which were expected. Godai
said further that Uyésugi and Sataké, two _daimiôs_ of Déwa province,
had asked to have the duty of chastising Aidzu entrusted to them, and
their request had been granted.

Next day they brought Notes from Higashi-Kuzé enclosing copy of the
instructions he had received from Daté Iyo no Kami (Uwajima) and Sanjô
Sanéyoshi (one of the fugitive court nobles) accepting on behalf of the
Mikado's government the terms of settlement of the Bizen affair laid
down by the Foreign Representatives, namely the capital punishment of
the officer who had given the order to fire on foreigners and the
apology. The ministers expressed themselves gratified with the
promptness of the reply, which was received twenty-four hours before the
expiration of the delay accorded. They said they would wait three or
four days for the letters of apology and for the announcement of
detailed arrangements for carrying out the execution. Godai and
Terashima stated that if Bizen were to refuse to surrender the officer,
the Mikado's troops would compel obedience. They also brought a Note
from Ninnaji no Miya, ratifying the Treaties and all subsequent
engagements in the name of the Mikado, and notifying his own appointment
as Chief Administrator of Foreign Affairs, with Daté, Sanjô and
Higashi-Kuzé as his assistants. There was also a Note demanding strict
neutrality on the part of the British Government and its subjects, and a
like Note to each of the other Representatives. Facsimiles of the
Mikado's notification to the Treaty Powers were also handed to those of
the ministers who had not yet received it. The request for Willis to go
to Kiôto to treat the wounded was repeated and granted, and a proposal
made by myself to accompany him was accepted with alacrity.

News was received that day from Nagasaki that the withdrawal of the
governor Kawadzu Idzu no Kami had been quietly effected on the night of
the 7th, and a provisional government formed on the following day of all
the _daimiôs_' agents in the port, thirteen clans in all. The direction
of local affairs had been offered by the governor to Hizen and Chikuzen,
but they declined undertaking such a responsibility without the
co-operation of the other clans. All the subordinate custom-house
officials and interpreters, as well as 500 troops raised at Nagasaki for
defensive purposes, were taken over by the provisional government, so
that the business of the port had not been interrupted for a single day.
A few fires broke out, but were soon extinguished.



                             CHAPTER XXVII

                          FIRST VISIT TO KIOTO


The next day was taken up with our preparations for Kiôto, including the
purchase of sufficient stores for a fortnight. Saionji Yukiyé of Uwajima
called, and I offered him a passage to Ozaka in the gunboat which was to
convey Willis and myself to the starting-point of our journey. A Satsuma
man named Oyama Yasuké,[9] whom I had known in Yedo, came to announce
himself as commander of our escort. That European surgical skill was
very necessary for the treatment of the wounded can be seen from the
fact I find recorded in one of my letters home, that the Japanese
surgeons had sewn up all the gunshot wounds, and some of their patients
died from this cause. The prospect of visiting the city from which
foreigners had been rigidly excluded ever since the ports were opened in
1859 was enticing, especially as we were now being invited thither by
the very people who, we were told by the Tycoon's officials, had all
along tried to keep us out.

    [9] Afterwards Field-Marshal Oyama, Commander-in-chief in
        Manchuria in 1904-5 in the Russo-Japanese War.

Sir Harry was now in high spirits and in very good temper. We had no
more of the interviews with Japanese officials at which he used strong
language, and interpreting for him, which used to be a painful duty, was
changed into a labour of love. Success makes a man kind, and certainly
Sir Harry had been successful. By the departure of the French Minister
he became the _doyen_ of the diplomatic body, and the rest of his
colleagues followed his lead with perfect unanimity, for they had begun
to see that his policy was the right one to adopt. It was his influence
that induced his colleagues to join him in issuing declarations of
neutrality in the conflict between the Mikado and the Tycoon, which
among other things prevented the delivery to the latter of the American
iron-clad ram "Stonewall Jackson," bought with Japanese money. These
declarations were subsequent to the departure of M. Roches to Yokohama,
and while his secretary Baron Brin was in charge of the French Legation.

We started about nine o'clock in the morning of February 16 on board the
gunboat "Cockchafer," having in our train Noguchi, a boy-pupil named
Tetsu, one of my Japanese escort named Matsushita, and Willis' servant
the faithful Sahei. Off the Ozaka bar we found the Satsuma steamer
"Keangsoo" and another engaged in disembarking a large body of troops.
On landing at the city we found lodgings had been taken for us at a
Buddhist temple close to a burnt Satsuma _yashiki_ called Takamatsu, and
no sooner had we seated ourselves than a messenger arrived, in the
person of Koba Dennai's secretary, to ask us to stop two or three days
in Ozaka so that Willis might see some men who were ill of fever, and
that boats to convey us up the river were not obtainable. We replied
that Willis had not made any preparations for treating fever patients,
and had brought appliances for wounds only; that we supposed boats were
as numerous at Ozaka as they had been before the recent fighting
up-river, and that we could not understand this delay being interposed,
after we had been so urged and hurried by Iwashita and Terashima, who
had wished us to start even a day earlier than we had found possible.
So the secretary went out, and Yasuké after him. They stayed away a
whole hour, and we came to the conclusion that the permission to bring
us into Kiôto had been revoked, resolving to return to Kôbé rather than
waste our time at Ozaka. At four o'clock Oyama returned, bringing with
him an old, ugly, mis-shapen fellow named Ijichi Shôji, who appeared to
be one of the Satsuma generals. After bestowing on us a vast quantity of
complimentary phrases, this individual brought out in a jerky St Vitus'
dance sort of way the same sort of excuses as had been made by Koba's
secretary. To this we returned the same answer as before, with the
addition that if they found it inconvenient to receive us in Kiôto, we
would go back at once to Kôbé. This decided attitude induced Ijichi to
give orders at once for boats to be got ready, and we then went off to
see the castle ruins. There was a notice at the front gate refusing
entrance to any but Satsuma and Chôshiû men, but as we had one of the
former clan with us we found no difficulty in gaining access. Passing
through the gate we came upon a wide scene of desolation. The
white-plastered towers and wall of the inner moat were gone; all the
barracks and towers of the outer wall to the south likewise; only the
stones of the gateway to the right remained. We passed into the
_hommaru_ or keep, through the gateway constructed with huge blocks of
stone, the largest measuring 42 by 16 feet and 35 by 18 feet. Nothing
was left but the masonry, giving somewhat of the look of the ancient
Greek Cyclopean walls of Tiryns. The magnificent palace itself had
disappeared; all that there was to show where it had once stood was a
level surface covered with half-calcined tiles. The way to the
foundation tower of the _tenshi_ remained clear, and we mounted to the
summit. Here in the exfoliation of the stones were traces of a former
conflagration; a plaster wall built right round had escaped not only the
flames, but also the explosion of the great magazine close underneath.
Four doors in this wall gave on to the outer parapet, from which the
view of the river, with its three great bridges, winding through the
city to the sea, and the hills on the further side of the bay surpassed
anything I had ever seen. In the opposite direction the stream could be
distinguished here and there as it meandered through the fields down
from Fushimi. The interior of the castle had been completely destroyed,
with the exception of a few rows of store-houses, which had escaped
through being situated to windward of the flames. The three concentric
walls of masonry, including the one from which we looked, reminded one
of the appearance that West's Tower of Babel would have presented if
viewed from above. We sounded the well, whence is drawn the famous
_ô-gon-sui_, or golden water, and found the depth to be 140 feet.
Issuing again from the gate at the base of the _tenshi_, we came upon a
quantity of burnt armour and helmets piled up round a store-house which
the flames had spared; some had been melted by the violent heat into an
irregular mass of metal. There were also piles of thousands of matchlock
barrels, with a few rifles among them. Curious to see what had become of
our temporary legation buildings, we took our way out of the ruined
Tamatsukuri gate. The whole place, excepting the houses that had been
occupied by Mitford and myself, was level with the ground, and even they
had been gutted so completely by the rabble as to be quite beyond the
possibility of repair. It was a melancholy sight.

On returning to our lodging we found Godai, who with many profuse
apologies conducted us to a house close by which was better fitted for
inhabitation by human beings. He explained that we could not start for
Kiôto before the following morning. From what he said it appeared that
delay in issuing the permission from the Imperial Court for our entrance
into Kiôto was caused by Ninnaji no Miya's having unexpectedly gone
there himself, but as he, Godai, had at once despatched a messenger, the
pass would be received at Fushimi the next evening before our arrival
there. This arrangement being accepted by us, _saké_ and its
accompaniments were ordered in, and half-a-dozen singing girls attended
to help us pass away the time.

February 17, at ten o'clock in the morning, saw us start in a houseboat
from the stairs below the burnt Satsuma _yashiki_. The party, seven in
number, included our merry friend Oyama, and another officer in command
of a guard for our protection. Although we had only just breakfasted,
_saké_ and various dishes were soon introduced, and the entertainment
was repeated all through the day at short intervals. It was a fine
morning, and the scenery was as beautiful as on the previous occasion in
May, when Willis, Wirgman and I had made the same journey. Conversation
naturally turned for the most part on the incidents of the recent
fighting. The Tokugawa forces had been pressing all day along the Toba
road until four o'clock, when they made an attempt to force the Satsuma
position. The attack was met by a steady fire from a field-piece planted
in the middle of the path (for the so-called road was very little
wider), and from three others in position on the left, while troops
concealed in the brushwood opened on them with musketry. This unexpected
reception threw the Tokugawa men into confusion, and they retired
precipitately leaving numbers of dead and wounded on the ground. The
imperialists at Fushimi, on hearing the sound of firing in the direction
of Toba, from which place they were about a mile distant, attacked the
Tycoon's troops as they formed outside the governor's residence, and the
fighting lasted till the middle of the night. The officers on the
Tycoon's side set the example of flight, and their men could not resist
the temptation, so that the rout became general. After Yodo was passed
no more fighting occurred on the road to Ozaka. At Hirakata the drilled
infantry broke into the storehouses of the townspeople who had run away,
and disguised themselves in the finest garments they could find; other
townspeople pursued the marauders and killed six of them.

We passed Hirakata at four, but did not reach our hotel at Fushimi till
midnight. Tôdô was holding his old post at Yamazaki, and Kaga occupied
Hashimoto. Dear old Yoshii was at our hotel to welcome us, and more
respectably dressed and shaven than I had seen him for a long time past.
A fresh supply of _saké_ was produced, and we kept up the conversation
till past two in the morning. These late hours did not prevent our being
ready to start at ten o'clock, escorted by a company of eighty-eight
men. Large palanquins of the sort called _kiri-bô kago_, that is "with a
Paulownia-wood pole," used by personages of the highest rank, had been
provided for us, but Willis, who was 6 feet 3 high and big in
proportion, was not able to double himself up inside, and preferred to
walk. The route lay through Fushimi for some way, issuing on to the
Takéda road, fifteen feet wide, then ascended to the top of a dyke
constructed to keep the river within bounds, crossed a bridge and so
into the city of Kiôto. At a temple by the roadside we fell in with
Komatsu, who had followed us from Fushimi, and by one o'clock we arrived
at Sô-koku-ji, a Buddhist temple close to the Satsuma _yashiki_ at the
back of the imperial palace. Shiuri no Taiyu, the Prince of Satsuma,
paid us a visit of welcome, accompanied by his confidential adviser
Saigô. After shaking hands with us both, he sat down in a chair placed
at the end of the table by the door, while we occupied chairs behind the
table in a position of greater dignity. All his attendants squatted on
the floor. After the exchange of a few complimentary speeches he took
his leave, and we accompanied him as far as the door. The grounds of
Sô-koku-ji were extensive, and well planted with trees, the temple
itself a fine example of wood architecture, the state apartments divided
off by splendid gold paper screens decorated with landscapes in Indian
ink, the coffered ceilings fifteen feet above the floor. To suit the
convenience of us westerners a table and chairs had been provided, and a
luxurious feast was served immediately after the prince had taken his
leave. In the afternoon Willis went to look after the wounded, while I
took a walk down to the bookshops in Sanjô-dôri, accompanied by an
escort. It was not until I reached this point that the populace seemed
to be certain that I was a foreigner; one little boy asked whether I
were not a native of Loochoo. The Tokugawa Castle of Nijô struck me as
insignificant compared with many a fortress belonging to a small Fudai
_daimiô_. It was then occupied by the troops of Owari; the _yashiki_
which had been the head-quarters of Aidzu as military governor of Kiôto
was tenanted by a few of Tosa's troops. The men who had accompanied me
about the city took the liberty of sitting down with us to dinner, and
showed great want of good manners. It was evident that they took a
departure from the polite social observances characteristic of the
Japanese to be an evidence of what was held to be civilization, i.e. in
their own words _hiraketa_.

Next day I went to ask Saigô about the settlement of the Bizen affair.
He replied that Hiki Tatéwaki, the _karô_ who was riding in the
palanquin, could not be regarded as free from blame, and that he would
be imprisoned in the charge of three clans. The officer who had been
riding on horseback would be executed. The Mikado's inspectors
(_kenshi_) would attend, the sentence would be pronounced, and a copy
would be furnished to the foreign Representatives. Afterwards the
sentence and an account of the proceedings would be circulated
throughout the country for the information and warning of others. Saigô
said the Mikado's government hoped to be able to keep the whole of Japan
in order, so as to prevent the necessity ever arising for foreigners to
take the law into their own hands. I said that this view was shared by
Sir Harry; that in regard of the Bizen outrage he had felt confident
that an envoy would be sent from the Mikado, and he had therefore
resisted the solicitations of those around him, who had urged that a
force should be despatched against the Bizen people at Nishinomiya; he
preferred to leave the opportunity open to the Mikado. Saigô also
explained the reference in the Mikado's proclamation regarding the
observation of the treaties, to the "reform of abuses," to mean that the
new government would propose a revision of those agreements. I mentioned
three points on which changes were desirable, firstly, the residence of
the foreign ministers being fixed at Yedo (for it was naturally supposed
that the government of the country would in future be conducted from
Kiôto); secondly, the confinement of foreigners to a radius of ten _ri_
(245 miles) round treaty ports; and thirdly, the circulation of all
foreign coin throughout the country. While abolishing the ten _ri_
limit, it should be made obligatory on a person travelling about the
country to carry a passport signed either by the Minister or the Consul,
and countersigned by the governor of the port from which he set out.
This last proposal was in fact one made by the Japanese themselves.

In the afternoon we went to return the call of the Prince of Satsuma. As
during his visit yesterday, he scarcely opened his lips, but Willis said
that he had treated Sir Harry in the same way when he went to Kagoshima
in 1866, and that it was supposed he was advised by his councillors not
to talk, lest he should make a fool of himself; a probable though not
very charitable explanation. We spent the afternoon in exploring the
city, which had been little more than half rebuilt after it was burnt in
1864 in the Chôshiû attack on the Palace.

Next day I went with Yoshii to call on Gotô, to whom I spoke about the
Bizen affair. He told me pretty much the same thing as Saigô, but less
decisively. He talked of executing the man who used his spear before the
firing began. Then he discussed the new constitution, and said he
despaired of getting a deliberative assembly, because the majority would
always be stupid and wrong-headed. I advised him to make the experiment
nevertheless; if the members ran their heads against a block of stone,
they would learn reason from the blow. He seemed to favour the idea of
governing by a _junta_ composed of the prime minister and the cleverest
men in the country, in default of one man of heroic mould, who should
rule autocratically. Of course he included himself among "the cleverest
men" (_jinketsu_). During this part of our conversation Gotô had
excluded Yoshii, as well as Saionji of Uwajima, who happened to be
calling on him, and Yoshii expressed his annoyance to me afterwards at
having been treated with so little confidence. I pacified him by saying
that we had been discussing the settlement of the Bizen affair. After
these two were admitted some general conversation ensued among them,
from which I gathered that it was by no means decided as yet who was to
be what, and that the chief men of the different clans found it
difficult to manage each other, that mutual jealousy, and especially
jealousy of Satsuma, prevented their pulling together. I gave them a
hint to use in revising the treaties, namely, the establishment of mixed
courts for trying cases between foreigners and Japanese, instead of
deciding them according to the laws of the defendant's nationality. I
also called on Katsura (Kido), but we did not meet till the next day,
when he came to our lodging in company with a Chôshiû naval captain
named Shinagawa, who for some time past had been living in Kiôto as a
Satsuma man. Yoshii also turned up, but the conversation flagged until
Willis came back from the hospital, and during lunch a heated argument
arose as to the best way of preventing affrays from happening between
Japanese and foreigners. Katsura and I had previously agreed that the
Japanese Government should discuss the procedure with the foreign
representatives; foreigners should be informed that to break through a
procession is an offence in Japanese eyes, and Japanese on the other
hand should be taught that they must not use weapons, but simply arrest
offenders and hand them over to their own authorities; further, that
when a _daimiô's_ train was to pass along a thoroughfare, constables
from a mixed force of westerners and Japanese should be stationed to
keep the road clear. Willis dissented from this view, and maintained
that the only way to preserve the peace between foreign rowdies and
Japanese bullies was to keep them apart, and to carry the high road
round at the back outside Kôbé. My argument against this, in which
Katsura concurred, was that a change of road would give rise to a great
deal more ill-will between the opposite nationalities than the murder of
a few foreigners, and that from what we had hitherto seen in this
country a little fighting would open the eyes of the Japanese and make
us all better friends than before; in fact, we held it was better to
apply caustic at once than to let the disease linger on and attempt to
cure each symptom as it presented itself. We did not settle the
question, but I noted down what precedes as being a Japanese view.

In the evening I went to call on Okubo Ichizô, a Satsuma _karô_, who was
one of the councillors of the Home Department. Last year he and I had
sent presents to each other, but had never met, so I wished to make his
acquaintance. Instead of merely exchanging formalities, we had some
interesting conversation. He said that 7000 infantry were being sent
forward to Hakoné, and 5000 to a pass on the Nakasendô. Satsuma and
Chôshiû were determined to prosecute the war, and perfect unanimity
prevailed among the _sanyo_ (councillors). Even Echizen and Higo, who at
first had been opposed to the employment of force, were now working
hand-in-hand with the other clans. The _daimiô_ of Ogaki, who was a
councillor of the Finance Department, until recently an adherent of the
Tokugawa, had expressed his hope that the expedition against Yedo would
soon be sent on its way. Probably the Mikado would accompany the army in
person, a step which would greatly weaken the rebels. He thought that
the return of M. Roches to France would have the effect of determining
the Tycoon to submit, as he would have no one to rely on for material
assistance. If he submitted, his life might be spared, but Aidzu and
Kuwana must lose their heads. At Ozaka the discovery had been made of
the diary kept by a confidential adviser of Keiki's, in which the false
hopes that had given rise to the expedition against Kiôto at the end of
last month were plainly expressed; the other clans were represented as
getting tired of Satsuma, and even Chôshiû to be divided into two
parties, one for war the other for peace; that Gotô Shôjirô was inclined
towards making terms with the Shôgun, and that the Court desired to see
him back in Kiôto. But, said Okubo, Keiki was in too much of a hurry,
and now the whole situation had completely changed; those who previously
had wavered were now convinced of the _Baku-fu's_ weakness, and were
eager to be first in striking a blow at the Tokugawa. At his request I
explained to him as well as I could the working of our executive
government in combination with the parliamentary system, the existence
of political parties and the election of members of the lower house. The
Bizen affair he said was pretty well settled, and his account agreed in
the main with what Saigô and Gotô had told me. Next day however there
arrived a very peevish letter from the chief, complaining that the Bizen
business did not appear to be nearing a settlement, that sufficient
preparations had not been made at Ozaka for the reception of the Foreign
Representatives, that he doubted whether he would ever go there at all,
and winding up by ordering Willis and myself to rejoin him by the 24th
at latest. This gave me one day more at Kiôto, but it considerably upset
Willis' arrangements, as he had calculated on a fortnight's stay. Okubo
having called to return my visit, and Yoshii also, I took the
opportunity of urging on them the necessity of settling Bizen at once.
They replied that they did not belong to the department concerned, but
undertook to see Gotô and Higashi-Kuzé, and repeat to them what I had
said. I had to go, but left Willis to await further orders. On the 23rd
Saigô came to say good-bye to me, and present me with two large rolls of
red and white crape and two of gold brocade. He said there was no
possibility of my carrying back the final decision of the Bizen affair.
When he was gone, Yoshii came in; he told me Sir Harry perfectly well
understand the cause of the delay, and had consented to wait a week. A
letter had gone from Higashi-Kuzé to him, which had probably crossed his
to me. The final decision would probably be arrived at on the morrow or
the day after. Daté (Uwajima) and Gotô would go down next day to Ozaka,
and Higashi-Kuzé would follow with the sentences of the Bizen men as
soon as they were made out. Both Saigô and Yoshii begged that Willis
would stay five or six days longer.

The war news was that the town and territory of Kuwana had submitted to
the imperial messenger, but the retainers replied that they could not
undertake for their prince, who was in Yedo, having accompanied Keiki
thither. Everyone in Kiôto hoped that the Yedo people would resist
instead of peaceably submitting, for the western men were all "spoiling
for a fight."

At three o'clock in the afternoon I therefore set out alone. It took me
a long time to get through the city to the Gojô bridge, as I completed
my sight-seeing as I went, and I did not reach Fushimi till dark. There
I found Oyama's elder brother, who was Satsuma agent (_rusui_), and from
words dropped by Notsu, the captain of my escort, I learnt that the
orders to march on Yedo were expected to be issued in a day or two. At
nine o'clock we embarked for Ozaka in a fifty _koku_ flat-bottomed boat,
long and narrow, with a roofing of coarse straw mats supported by
rafters resting on a pole laid from one end of the boat to the other,
horribly uncomfortable, and especially so when crowded. We got to our
destination at 6.30 next morning, and I crossed to Hiôgo in the gunboat.
Notsu said that in the recent fighting the heads of all the wounded who
could not escape had been taken off, a proceeding hardly reconcilable
with what we had been told about the resolution to spare the lives of
prisoners; unless, indeed, it was done to put them out of their pain.

The next entry in my journal is of February 29th, when Daté came over
from Ozaka. On arriving he went to the consulate by invitation from the
chief to have lunch, and began to talk about the Foreign Representatives
being presented to the Mikado, who was to be brought down to Ozaka,
perhaps by March 13. We had to stop this interesting communication in
order that he might go to call on the other ministers. In the evening I
went to see him, when he told me M. Roches had asked to see Saigô,
Okubo, Komatsu and Gotô, as he understood they were the leaders of the
Kiôto movement; this had greatly annoyed the dear old man, who resented
being ignored in that fashion, and said he hated Roches and his
interpreter. Roches had sent to say he would call next morning, and it
was with difficulty that I persuaded him to receive the visit, instead
of going on board H.M.S. "Ocean" on Sir Harry's invitation. Inouyé
Bunda, whom I saw that day, told me the French consul at Nagasaki had
refused to pay duties to the provisional government, and had threatened
war, especially against Satsuma and Chôshiû. We had a good laugh over
this exhibition of impotent wrath.



                             CHAPTER XXVIII

          _Harakiri_--NEGOTIATIONS FOR AUDIENCE OF THE MIKADO
                                AT KIOTO


NEXT day Daté introduced to the Foreign Representatives Sawa Mondô no
Kami, one of the five fugitive court nobles of 1864, who was proceeding
to Nagasaki as governor, together with the _daimiô_ of Omura, who was to
furnish his guard. Sawa wore rather a forbidding expression of
countenance, not to say slightly villainous, but for all that had the
look of a good companion, and a year or two later, when he was minister
for Foreign Affairs, we liked him greatly. Omura Tango no Kami, to give
him his full title, was a weak, sickly looking man, who did not utter a
word during the interview, and seemed even afraid of speaking to a
foreigner. Sawa's son, a dissipated-looking young man, with the white
complexion of a woman, was also present. After the compliments were
over, these three were turned out of the room, and we learnt that the
Bizen affair would be wound up by the decapitation of the responsible
officer. Early that morning the chief had been asking my opinion about
the advisability of granting a reprieve, or rather a mitigation of the
penalty. Mitford learnt from von Brandt that the colleagues knew him to
have leanings that way, and that he was believed to have put forward
Polsbroek, the Dutch Political Agent, to advocate clemency. Mitford and
I had however agreed previously that lenience would be a mistake, and
that was the view I maintained in reply to Sir Harry. Daté and Sawa came
to dinner that evening with the chief, an arrangement which he fancied
he had kept secret from his colleagues, but they knew of it as soon as
the invitation was accepted. Afterwards there was a long conversation
which lasted until midnight, a principal topic being the proposed visit
of the Mikado to Ozaka. Daté said the object of the excursion was to
open the mind of the young sovereign by showing him something of the
outer world, and also a big English man-of-war. Of course, he added, if
the foreign diplomats were there at the time, they might be presented.
Parkes said the Mikado might receive the Diplomatic Body as a whole, but
not each minister separately, his object being to secure priority of
presentation for himself, as he had already written home for new
credentials. Daté suggested that the capital might possibly be moved
from its present position to Ozaka, as it was situated at a spot hemmed
in by mountains, to which all supplies had to be transported by water.
My own belief was that Satsuma and Chôshiû wanted to get the person of
the Mikado into their own hands in order to make him march with the
army, and secondly to have him on the sea-coast in order to be able to
cut and run whenever it might become necessary. This was confirmed by
the fact that the Mikado had issued an order announcing that he was
taking the field in person. In reply to a question as to the fate of the
ex-Tycoon, Daté said it would depend on circumstances, which no one
could foretell. The people of Ozaka, aware of the anti-foreign policy of
the late Mikado and the former political opinions of Chôshiû, supposed
that since the Court and Chôshiû had come into power, foreigners would
be generally obnoxious, not any longer having the Tokugawa power to
defend them; that was the reason of the populace having wrecked the
various legations. Perhaps the Bizen people had been actuated by the
same notions. This last suggestion furnished an additional ground for
our refusing to reduce the capital sentence.

By this time M. Roches had come back to Kôbé, to the great annoyance of
his colleagues, who considered that he had played a trick on them in
leaving his secretary here as Chargé d' Affaires, in order that he might
not be unrepresented, and at the same time playing the part of French
Minister in Yedo.

It did not cause us, that is Mitford and myself, much surprise when in
the afternoon of the next day Godai and Itô came to ask for the life of
Taki Zenzaburô, the retainer of Hiki Tatéwaki, who had been condemned to
perform _harakiri_ as the penalty for ordering his soldiers to fire on
foreigners. A long discussion took place between the foreign ministers
which lasted for nearly three hours, in which Sir Harry voted for
clemency, but the majority were for the sentence being carried out. It
was half-past eight o'clock in the evening when Godai and Itô were
called back into the room and told in a few words that there was no way
but to let the law take its course. So we started at nine o'clock,
Mitford and myself, with a single representative of each of the other
legations. We were guided to the Buddhist temple of Sei-fuku-ji at
Hiôgo, arriving there at a quarter to ten. Strong guards were posted in
the courtyard and in the ante-chambers. We were shown into a room, where
we had to squat on the matted floor for about three-quarters of an hour;
during this interval we were asked whether we had any questions to put
to the condemned man, and also for a list of our names. At half-past ten
we were conducted into the principal hall of the temple, and asked to
sit down on the right hand side of the dais in front of the altar. Then
the seven Japanese witnesses, Itô, Nakashima Sakutarô, two Satsuma
captains of infantry, two Chôshiû captains, and a Bizen _o-metsuké_ took
their places. After we had sat quietly thus for about ten minutes
footsteps were heard approaching along the verandah. The condemned man,
a tall Japanese of gentleman-like bearing and aspect, entered on the
left side, accompanied by his _kai-shaku_ or best men, and followed by
two others, apparently holding the same office. Taki was dressed in blue
_kami-shimo_ of hempen cloth; the _kai-shaku_ wore war surcoats
(_jimbaori_). Coming before the Japanese witnesses they prostrated
themselves, the bow being returned, and then the same ceremony was
exchanged with us. Then the condemned man was led to a red sheet of
felt-cloth laid on the dais before the altar; on this he squatted, after
performing two bows, one at a distance, the other close to the altar.
With the calmest deliberation he took his seat on the red felt, choosing
the position which would afford him the greatest convenience for falling
forward. A man dressed in black with a light grey hempen mantle then
brought in the dirk wrapped in paper on a small unpainted wooden stand,
and with a bow placed it in front of him. He took it up in both hands,
raised it to his forehead and laid it down again with a bow. This is the
ordinary Japanese gesture of thankful reception of a gift. Then in a
distinct voice, very much broken, not by fear or emotion, but as it
seemed reluctance to acknowledge an act of which he was
ashamed--declared that he alone was the person who on the fourth of
February had outrageously at Kôbé ordered fire to be opened on
foreigners as they were trying to escape, that for having committed this
offence he was going to rip up his bowels, and requested all present to
be witnesses. He next divested himself of his upper garments by
withdrawing his arms from the sleeves, the long ends of which he tucked
under his legs to prevent his body from falling backward. The body was
thus quite naked to below the navel. He then took the dirk in his right
hand, grasping it just close to the point, and after stroking down the
front of his chest and belly inserted the point as far down as possible
and drew it across to the right side, the position of his clothes still
fastened by the girth preventing our seeing the wound. Having done this
he with great deliberation bent his body forward, throwing the head back
so as to render the neck a fair object for the sword. The one
_kai-shaku_ who had accompanied him round the two rows of witnesses to
make his bows to them, had been crouching on his left hand a little
behind him with drawn sword poised in the air from the moment the
operation commenced. He now sprang up suddenly and delivered a blow the
sound of which was like thunder. The head dropped down on to the matted
floor, and the body lurching forward fell prostrate over it, the blood
from the arteries pouring out and forming a pool. When the blood vessels
had spent themselves all was over. The little wooden stand and the dirk
were removed. Itô came forward with a bow, asking had we been witnesses;
we replied that we had. He was followed by Nakashima, who also made a
bow. A few minutes elapsed, and we were asked were we ready to leave. We
rose and went out, passing in front of the corpse and through the
Japanese witnesses. It was twelve o'clock when we got back to the
consulate, where we found Sir Harry waiting up to receive our report.

The newspaper reports which reached England of this execution, and of
the subsequent execution by _harakiri_ of eleven Tosa men at Sakai gave
a very distorted view of the facts. Charles Rickerby who was the owner
and editor of "The Japan Times" of Yokohama was responsible for the
attempts to mislead public opinion in both instances. He invented an
account of the proceedings witnessed by Mitford and myself which was
entirely false, and wound up by saying that it was disgraceful for
Christians to have attended the execution, and that he hoped the
Japanese, if they took revenge for this "judicial murder" would
assassinate gentlemen of the foreign Legations rather than anyone else.
As for being ashamed of having been present at a _harakiri_ on the
ground that it was a disgusting exhibition, I was proud to feel that I
had not shrunk from witnessing a punishment which I did my best to bring
about. It was no disgusting exhibition, but a most decent and decorous
ceremony, and far more respectable than what our own countrymen were in
the habit of producing for the entertainment of the public in the front
of Newgate prison. The countrymen of this Bizen man told us that they
considered the sentence a just and beneficial one. As regards the case
of the Tosa men at Sakai, no punishment was ever more righteously
inflicted. These Japanese massacred a boat's crew of inoffensive and
unarmed men, who were never alleged to have given the slightest
provocation. Twenty were condemned to death, and one could only regret
that Captain du Petit Thouars judged it necessary to stop the execution
when eleven had suffered, for the twenty were all equally guilty, and
requiring a life for life of the eleven Frenchmen looked more like
revenge than justice.

A few days afterwards all the ministers returned to Ozaka. We went over
on board H.M.S. "Ocean," Captain Stanhope. She was an iron-clad, of 4000
tons, carrying 26 muzzle-loading rifled guns of the Woolwich pattern,
enough to blow any vessel on the station into tiny fragments. With us
went Daté and Polsbroek, and the transport "Adventure" conveyed our
baggage. Our former temporary residence having been destroyed by fire,
we were accommodated at temples in Naka-dera-machi, and were fortunate
enough to light upon some of the furniture stolen by the mob after we
decamped in January. The townspeople recognized us as "the foreigners
who ran away the other day," but they were very civil, and did not shout
after us as they rudely did in the last days of the ex-Tycoon's
occupation of the city. From Yedo we heard reports that the feeling
among Tokugawa people was that he should be compelled to perform
_harakiri_ and that his principal advisers should be beheaded, in order
to appease the imperialists. It was difficult not to feel a certain
degree of sympathy for him, mingled with resentment, for he had let us
believe he would fight at Ozaka, while he had made up his mind to beat a
retreat. If he had told us the truth we could have remained there
tranquilly, for we were well assured of the friendliness of Satsuma and
Chôshiû.

The "Ocean's" steam launch landed us at the foreign settlement, and we
marched through the city with our guard of the 2/ix to our new quarters.
There had been a great deal of talk about the Mikado being brought down
to Ozaka to see some steamers and to meet the foreign ministers, but I
hoped this would not happen. If we were to have an audience of His
Majesty, we ought to have it at Kiôto, otherwise the ceremony would lose
half its significance. In the afternoon Iyo no Kami and Komatsu paid
friendly visits to Sir Harry. It was evident that we were in a fair way
to regain the diplomatic ascendancy of which we had been deprived by the
recall of Sir Rutherford Alcock in 1864. When Daté and Higashi-Kuzé
called next day on the foreign representatives they came to us last of
all, which was convenient. Sir Harry spoke to them about the proposed
audience of the Mikado. They acknowledged the advantages that would
result from its taking place at Kiôto instead of at Ozaka, but were
evidently not prepared to promise that immediately. The American,
Prussian and Italian Representatives had told Daté that they wished to
leave in three days' time, thus causing some amount of consternation in
the minds of the Japanese, who desired to keep them for the audience,
while they fully appreciated what the chief told them, namely that the
three Representatives who wanted to get away would not stop for an
audience which was to be merely incidental to the Mikado's visit to some
Japanese steamers. It would be unsuitable to the dignity of the
Representatives to be presented to His Majesty while at Ozaka on a visit
made ostensibly for a different purpose. I myself greatly hoped that the
way in which the chief had put the matter would induce the Japanese to
invite the ministers at once to Kiôto. That would be the consummation of
the imperialist theory and scheme. Von Brandt had said privately that he
would not accept even if asked, but publicly had said he would, while
the American Minister was apparently of the same way of thinking. Sir
Harry had proposed that the Mikado should receive the whole Diplomatic
Body together, on one day, and not accord separate audiences until they
could present credentials, and this suggestion had been readily adopted.

On the 7th March an important conference was held between the Foreign
Representatives and high Japanese functionaries, Daté, Higashi-Kuzé,
Daigo Dainagon a court noble appointed governor of Ozaka, and _karôs_ of
Owari, Echizen, Satsuma, Chôshiû, Tosa, Geishiû, Hizen, Higo and Inshiû,
practically all the great territorial nobles of the west. It is a
remarkable fact that the princes of Echizen, Bizen and Inshiû, now
ranged among the enemies of the Tokugawa, were descended from the
founder of that house. The conference took place in the vast hall of the
Buddhist temple of Nishi Hongwanji. After the Japanese Ministers had
expressed their good wishes for the extension of friendly intercourse
between Japan and foreign countries, and declared that the _daimiôs_
there represented heartily supported the foreign policy of the Mikado,
discussions arose about the ministers going up to Kiôto for an audience
of the Mikado, about exchange of foreign coin for Japanese and the sale
of land in the foreign settlements at Ozaka and Hiôgo (Kôbé). We were
told that letters were expected from Kiôto in a day or two fixing a date
for the audience, so that the ministers could go up one day, see the
Mikado on the next, and come down again, thus being absent only three
days from Ozaka. M. Roches was of course deadly opposed to accepting any
such arrangement. Van Valkenburg the American, von Brandt and de la Tour
the Italian seemed unwilling to commit themselves too deeply with the
imperialists. The chief tried hard to conceal his determination to
accept the invitation in any case, while Polsbroek put on an appearance
of indifference. Roches attempted to get an unconditional refusal
conveyed to the Japanese Ministers, but was unsuccessful thanks to the
watch I kept over his interpreter Shiwoda, and finally the decision was
left to depend on the contents of the letters expected from Kiôto.
Yamanouchi Yôdô, the older Prince of Tosa, was reported to be very ill
at Kiôto, and the services of Willis were asked for on his behalf. This
request was readily acceded to by the chief, and Willis started the same
evening accompanied by Mitford.

My personal relations with the Awa clan had long been of an intimate
character, and it was therefore no surprise when Hayamidzu Sukéyomon,
formerly Awa agent at Yedo and now at Ozaka, came to call on me on March
8, bringing a present of silk for Major Crossman in return for the
treatises on artillery which the latter had sent to Awa no Kami. It was
with great regret that I learnt from him of the death of that friendly
and hospitable old gentleman on January 30th. His son and successor, who
had been kept at home till the period of mourning expired, was now
expected at Ozaka on his way to Kiôto. Hayamidzu brought a budget of
Yedo news which mostly proved afterwards to be little better than mere
gossip, such as that Itakura was reported to have committed suicide by
_harakiri_ because the other ministers of state differed from him in
opinion; that the _fudai daimiôs_ and _hatamoto_ talked of compelling
Keiki to disembowel himself; of cutting off the heads of Aidzu and
Kuwana in order that those two families might escape destruction. He had
not heard of Keiki being allowed to retire into private life (_in-kio_),
and thought it absurd to suggest such a step under existing
circumstances. His conduct had been too shabby for him to become
entitled to such consideration. On the 7th February Hori Kura no Kami,
one of the second council, had performed _harakiri_, after having vainly
endeavoured to persuade Keiki to take that step, and offering to
accompany him in the act. All Yedo applauded Kura no Kami and said Keiki
ought to follow his example. The _Baku-fu_, said my friend, had no
desire to fight. The Awa clan was now supporting the Mikado and was
taking part in the expedition to subjugate Tokugawa, and would like to
make a declaration to the foreign representatives such as was made by
the other clans on the previous day.

In the afternoon I went to Daté to inquire whether he had any news from
Kiôto about the invitation of the ministers. He said they would be asked
to start on the 11th, but the date of the audience not having been
fixed, the invitations could not be sent out. I advised him to go at
once to invite each of the ministers and to say that the day after their
arrival in Kiôto would be appointed for the audience, because he and
Higashi-Kuzé had written asking for that arrangement to be made, and
therefore no doubt existed that it would eventually be done. So off he
started, beginning with the French Minister, who kept him to dinner, but
declined going to Kiôto until he could perceive actual evidence of the
Mikado's supremacy. He was answered that even were the _Baku-fu_ to be
restored with all its original powers, the Mikado being undoubtedly the
sovereign of Japan, and the Shôgun only his vicegerent, no offence could
possibly be given by being received in audience by the former. From him
Daté went to the Italian, Prussian, American and Dutch Representatives.
The first three refused on the ground of pressing business at Yokohama,
but the last said he would act in the same way as the British Minister.
And when Iyo no Kami came to our chief, he accepted the invitation.



                              CHAPTER XXIX

                  MASSACRE OF FRENCH SAILORS AT SAKAI


UNFORTUNATELY just at this moment news was received that a boat-load of
Frenchmen had been massacred by the Tosa troops at Sakai. This put an
end to the conversation and to all hope of going to Kiôto for an
audience. Two men were reported killed on the spot, seven missing, seven
wounded, while five escaped unhurt. The account received by Daté just as
he left the French Legation was that only one had been killed. It was
evident to everybody that the execution of the Bizen officer had not had
the effect of a warning. Confusion, despair; hopes dashed to the ground
just on the point of fulfilment. No better accounts being given by Daté
and Higashi-Kuzé on the following morning, and the missing sailors not
having been given up, the Foreign Ministers resolved to withdraw their
flags. When the two Japanese Ministers called on the French Minister to
express their deep regret, he refused to see them, and addressed a
letter to the Japanese authorities demanding the surrender of the
missing men by eight o'clock the following morning. The French, Italian,
Prussian and American representatives embarked. We and the Dutch
political agent remained on shore. But on the morning of the 10th the
British flag was formally lowered, and Sir Harry went on board the
"Ocean," leaving Russell Robertson and myself at the vice-consulate,
with Lieutenant Bradshaw and six men of the 2/ix. The dead bodies of the
seven missing French sailors having been found, Daté and Higashi-Kuzé
went on board the French flagship "Vénus" to inform M. Roches. But by
some curious blunder the boxes containing the corpses were sent first to
the British transport "Adventure," where they were mistaken for cases of
"curios" belonging to our Legation, and how the discovery was made of
the real nature of the contents I never heard, but they did not arrive
at the French flagship till late in the afternoon. I saw Daté on his way
back, who said he was greatly pleased with the moderation with which the
French Minister was treating the affair. Next day Sir Harry landed, and
carried off Bradshaw and his men. He instructed me to call on Daté and
say to him that the Representatives would consult together after the
funeral as to the reparation to be demanded from the Mikado's
government, and that if they were unanimous the Japanese might feel
assured that the demands were just. In that case the best thing they
could do would be to accept them without delay. On the other hand, if
the requirements of M. Roches exceeded the bounds of justice, the other
ministers would refuse to join him, and the Japanese Government could
then appeal to the French Government and those of the other Foreign
Powers. In Sir Harry's own opinion a large number of the Tosa men ought
to suffer death, but he did not approve of pecuniary indemnities. Having
given me these instructions he went off to Hiôgo to attend the funeral
of the murdered Frenchmen, eleven in all. Robertson and I called on Daté
to deliver the chief's message, and after having executed our
commission, we went with Komatsu and Nakai to a Japanese restaurant and
had a feast in the usual style. We got home about seven o'clock, and as
the day was still young we took it into our heads to give ourselves an
entertainment, and with a guide carrying a lantern went to the quarter
of the town where such amusements are provided, to a house to which I
knew that a foreigner had been introduced, and that by Tosa people. The
master said he was afraid of his trade being injured if he received
foreigners, but suggested our applying to the local authority for
permission. While we were still in the shop a Tosa man came down from a
room upstairs, and on seeing us asked for his sword, but the people of
the house refused to give it, and led him away. It never entered my head
that the master of the house wished to get rid of us on account of his
Tosa guests. So we went to the municipal office, and came back again
with the desired permission, but the landlord was still not satisfied.
We were conversing with him when the same Tosa man came down sword in
hand, and squatting down before us with a threatening air, demanded to
know who we were and what we were doing there. I replied that we were
English officers and was proceeding to explain what we wanted, but he
interrupted by fiercely questioning our right to be present. One of his
companions roused by the disturbance came downstairs and carried him up
again, the women taking his sword and hiding it. The peaceful man then
came to us, and was offering an apology, when the madcap descended again
with a naked weapon in his hand, at least that was Robertson's
impression. His friend rushed to stop him; a struggle took place on the
stairs and we bolted through the door into the street. The master of the
house came out after us with our lantern, saying that our guide had
disappeared, and as he was not to be found, the old man had to escort us
home.

Mitford and Willis arrived back from Kiôto on the 12th, Sir Harry's
letter giving permission for the latter to remain having crossed him on
the way. Having made arrangements for his going back again, we went on
board the "Adventure" to see the chief, and while we were there Daté and
Komatsu arrived to tell him what the French Minister's demands were:
namely, 1st, the execution of all the men concerned in the massacre
(about twenty Tosa men and twenty townspeople armed with fire-hooks,
they told us); 2nd, $150,000 for the families of the murdered men; 3rd,
apology of the principal minister for Foreign Affairs at Ozaka (this was
Yamashina no Miya, a Prince of the Blood); 4th, apology of the Tosa
_daimiô_ Yamanouchi Tosa no Kami on board a French man-of-war at Susaki
(the port of Tosa); 5th, the exclusion of all Tosa armed men from treaty
ports and cities. These had all been agreed to. We then returned ashore
and started Willis on his way back to Kiôto.

Next day we moved over to Hiôgo on board H.M.S. "Adventure." All the
Foreign Representatives had addressed Notes to the Japanese Government
counselling them to comply with the French demands. Hasé Sammi, a Court
Noble, arrived as an envoy from the Mikado to the French Minister
bearing a message of condolence. He afterwards saw Sir Harry and
arranged with him that he should go to Kiôto for an audience of the
Mikado, as soon as this affair was disposed of. M. Roches had not fixed
any date, but it was expected by the Japanese authorities that
everything would be finished by the 16th. M. Roches seemed to be harping
on one string, that it would be regrettable if any single representative
went to Kiôto by himself, and Komatsu, who told us that he had expressed
himself to Hasé in that sense, thought that this was intended as a hit
at Sir Harry. However, Polsbroek had also promised the Japanese that he
too would go up to Kiôto as soon as satisfaction for the Tosa outrage
were afforded. Next day Daté arrived at six o'clock with Komatsu and
went on board the French flagship to deliver to Roches the Note
accepting his demands. The 5th demand was understood to mean not merely
that no Tosa troops should garrison treaty ports and cities, but that no
Tosa _samurai_ of any class should be allowed at the treaty ports. This
appeared to be too severe, and we held that it would have to be
modified. After he had finished with Roches, Daté came over to see Sir
Harry and to tell him what had been arranged. Two officers and eighteen
rank and file were to perform _harakiri_ at Sakai at two p.m. the next
day, and Yamashina no Miya was simultaneously to call on Roches to
deliver the apology, and also invite him to Kiôto. On the day after that
the prince was to call on Sir Harry, at the same hour, on board H.M.S.
"Ocean" at Kôbé. We were to leave Kôbé for Ozaka on the 19th, pass the
night of the 20th at Fushimi, and enter Kiôto the next day. On the 22nd
we were to receive visits, and have audience of the Emperor on the 23rd.
This was only a private and confidential arrangement with Daté, and
would only become official after Yamashina no Miya delivered the formal
invitation. In accordance with this programme the Prince, who was a
first cousin once removed of the Mikado, and principal minister for
Foreign Affairs, came to Kôbé on the 18th to call on Sir Harry and
Polsbroek. We learnt from him that Roches had begged off nine out of the
twenty condemned men, taking only one life for each of the murdered
Frenchmen,[10] and that he had decided to go to Kiôto having heard from
Daté that Sir Harry would accept the invitation. The Miya was dressed in
the same costume as the other court nobles we had seen, a purple silk
robe (_kari-ginu_) and a small black-lacquered wrinkled hat perched on
the top of the head. His age might be about fifty, and he wore a short
beard and moustache. His teeth bore marked signs of having been once
dyed black. He was accompanied by Higashi-Kuzé, a son of the latter, and
by Môri Heirokurô, son of Môri Awaji no Kami; this young man was to go
to England with the son of Sanjô Sanéyoshi and young Nakamikado. It was
expected, they said, that the Mikado would move down to Ozaka about the
end of the month, and remain there until Yedo was finished with. Keiki
had sent an apology through his relative Echizen, but it was not
considered satisfactory, and military operations would be continued.


    [10] This statement was not exact. The fact was, as we
        learnt afterwards, that Captain du Petit Thouars, commanding
        officer of the "Dupleix" to which ship the murdered sailors
        belonged, who had been deputed by the French senior naval
        officer to witness the execution with a party of his men,
        finding that the completion of the proceedings would involve
        the detention of his men on shore after dark, raised his
        hand after the eleventh man had suffered. The nine whose
        lives were spared were grievously hurt, we were afterwards
        told, and no wonder, considering what the spirit of the
        Japanese _samurai_ was. Patriotic death poems by the men who
        suffered the extreme penalty were afterwards circulated
        among the people. The following are prose translations of
        some of these:

        Though I regret not my body which becomes as dew scattered
        by the wind, my country's fate weighs down my heart with
        anxiety.

        As I also am of the seed of the country of the gods, I
        create for myself to-day a glorious subject for reflection
        in the next world. The sacrifice of my life for the sake of
        my country gives me a pure heart in my hour of death.

        Unworthy as I am I have not wandered from the straight path
        of the duty which a Japanese owes to his prince.

        Though reproaches may be cast upon me, those who can fathom
        the depths of a warrior's heart will appreciate my motives.

        In this age, when the minds of men are darkened, I would
        show the way to purity of heart.

        In throwing away this life, so insignificant a possession, I
        would desire to leave behind me an unsullied name.

        The cherry flowers too have their seasons of blossoming and
        fading. What is there for the Japanese soul to regret in
        death?

        Here I leave my soul and exhibit to the world the
        intrepidity of a Japanese heart.



                              CHAPTER XXX

                     KIOTO--AUDIENCE OF THE MIKADO


ON March 19 the whole legation crossed to Ozaka in H.M.S. "Adventure." I
left my Japanese escort behind, as they would have been in the way at
Kiôto, and probably, being Tokugawa retainers, in fear of their lives
the whole time. Our party slept at the vice-consulate, and next day we
rode up to Fushimi, escorted by Komatsu and a couple of Hizen officers,
one of whom named Nakamuta was the commander of the "Eugénie," a steamer
recently acquired by Nabéshima. The party on horseback consisted of Sir
Harry, Lieutenant Bradshaw and myself, with the legation mounted escort.
We went nearly the whole way at a foot's pace, the road being in fairly
good condition, but the bridges at Yodo having been burnt during the
recent fighting we had some difficulty in getting across the Kidzukawa,
which falls into the river there. We got to Fushimi about six o'clock,
and found comfortable quarters prepared for us in the guest rooms of a
Buddhist monastery, where we were well looked after by some Hizen
officers. The rest of our party, together with the infantry guard of the
2/ix, were to come up in boats, starting at three o'clock in the
afternoon, and travelling through the night. They gradually reached
Fushimi next morning, and we managed to make a start about ten o'clock.
The first half of the way we were escorted by Hizen men, who were then
joined by Owari troops, and here we were met by Gotô and our cheery
little friend Nakai. The streets were crowded with spectators, who
observed perfect order. Chi-on-in, a very fine Buddhist monastery at the
foot of Higashi-yama, had been prepared for our accommodation, and
guards were posted consisting of Higo, Awa and Owari troops. We found
the Owari officials who were in charge to attend to our comforts very
dilatory people, and as yet quite unacquainted with foreigners and their
requirements. The apartments assigned to us were magnificently
decorated, altogether in the style of a feudal noble's palace, such as
we had seen at Tokushima the previous year. Shimadzu Osumi no Kami
(father of the Prince of Satsuma) had occupied them for some time when
he first visited Kiôto. As soon as we settled in, a grand feast of many
dishes in Japanese style was served up to us, but of course we had
brought our own cooks and utensils with us, for most of us were
unaccustomed to Japanese food. Old Yôdô of Tosa, whom Willis had been
attending, was reported to be out of danger and in a fair way of
recovery.

The 22nd March was spent by the chief in making a round of visits. It
took the Owari folk three hours to get us the necessary palanquins and
bearers. We called first on Yamashina no Miya, who was very affable and
jolly, his dirty beard shaved off, and his teeth dyed black in correct
style; he was dressed in the costume called _nôshi_, and wore the tiny
black lacquered hat as before. The conversation turned upon the
delightfulness of the occasion which had brought the British Minister to
Kiôto. Just after leaving the prince's residence we were stopped in the
road to let Ninnaji no Miya pass. He was on horseback, a stoutish,
swarthy, thick-lipped young man, with his hair just beginning to sprout;
for until recently he had been in the Buddhist priesthood. Our next
visit was to Sanjô, who had had his title of Dainagon just restored to
him, a pale effeminate-looking undersized man of thirty-three years of
age. He discoursed very formally on the happiness it gave to all the
Court people to see foreign ministers in Kiôto. From there we went
through the enclosure known as the Nine Gates, past the Imperial Palace.
It was surrounded by a finely stuccoed wall four feet thick at the base,
with gates like those of a Buddhist temple, very neatly thatched with
small shingles. Iwakura, whom we called on next, had his temporary
residence just inside and opposite the Kugé Mon gate on the west of the
palace. He was a severe-looking oldish man, but frank in speech. He told
the chief it was true that the Mikado and Court Nobles had hated
foreigners hitherto, and talked of "barbarian-expelling" (_jô-i_), while
the _Bakufu_ was all for "opening the country." But now that was
completely changed. They had specially to thank the English for having
been the first to recognize the truth that the Mikado was the sovereign.
Itô told me that after we had left the house Iwakura expressed to him a
fear that he might have given offence by speaking too frankly about the
former attitude of the Court towards foreigners. We then went to the
Hizen _yashiki_, and saw the prince, a young good-looking man of about
twenty-four years of age; he had been appointed to the department of
Foreign Affairs, but we would not discover that he had any great
aptitude for official work. Daté and Higashi-Kuzé luckily were not in
when we called. We also visited the younger Chôshiû prince, Nagato no
Kami, whom we easily recognized by his likeness to the photograph taken
when Admiral King was in Chôshiû. At the other houses we had been
accommodated with chairs, but here we had to squat on the floor in
Japanese fashion, and when we rose to leave it was with difficulty that
we could straighten our knee joints. We exchanged with him hearty
expressions of goodwill and congratulations on our ancient friendship.
On returning to Chi-on-in we found Daté and Gotô who had come to discuss
the details of the audience that was to take place on the morrow. They
expressed much anxiety lest the Mikado should find some difficulty in
making his speech to the minister, as he had not up to the present ever
spoken to any one but inmates of the Palace, and it was only ten days
since he had first shown his face to a _daimiô_. So we finally arranged
that His Majesty's speech should be written down, that he should try to
repeat it, and then hand the copy to Yamashina no Miya, who would read
it out, and hand it to Itô for translation. The document was finally to
remain in Sir Harry's possession. Then the latter would reply direct to
the Mikado through Itô acting as interpreter. The only member of the
legation staff to be admitted to the audience was Mitford, as he alone
had been presented at court in England. He was to be introduced by
Yamashina no Miya, and the Mikado would salute him with the word _kurô_,
which might be freely rendered by "Glad to see you." The _Shishinden_
where the audience was to take place was, they told us, a large hall 28
yards deep by 36 in length, with a floor of planking, with a dais and a
canopy for the Mikado, and another dais, rather lower, specially
arranged for the ministers. _Daimiôs_ who were received in audience had,
we were assured, to kneel on the bare planks. The three foreign
representatives, Roches, Sir Harry and Polsbroek were to assemble in one
room, and be thence conducted into the presence of the Mikado.

It was now our turn to suffer an assault at the hands of the fanatics of
patriotism, from which our constant advocacy of the rights of the
sovereign afforded us no protection.

It was arranged that we should start from Chi-on-in for the palace at
one o'clock on March 23. The procession was to be headed by the mounted
escort, led by Inspector Peacock and Nakai, then Sir Harry and Gotô,
myself and Lieutenant Bradshaw, the detachment of the 2/ix, followed by
Willis, J. J. Enslie, Mitford in a palanquin (being unable to ride) and
five naval officers who had come up with us. We descended the whole
length of the street called Nawaté opposite to the main gate of
Chi-on-in, but just as the last file of the mounted escort turned the
corner to the right, a couple of men sprang out from opposite sides of
the street, drew their swords, and attacked the men and horses, running
down the line and hacking wildly. Nakai observing what was passing
jumped down from his pony and engaged the fellow on the right, with whom
he had a pretty tough fight. In the struggle his feet got entangled in
his long loose trousers, and he fell on his back. His enemy tried to cut
off his head, but Nakai parried the blow, receiving only a scalp wound,
and pierced the man's breast with the point of his sword at the same
time. This sickened him, and as he was turning his back on Nakai he
received a blow on the shoulder from Gotô's sword, which prostrated him
on the ground, and Nakai jumping up hacked off his head. In the
meanwhile the troopers on the left had turned, and some of them pursued
the other villain, who rushed down the street from which Sir Harry and I
had not yet emerged. I had only just arrived at a comprehension of what
was taking place; my presence of mind had deserted me, and as he passed
my sole idea of defence was to turn my pony's head round to ward off the
blow aimed at me. It was a narrow escape, as I afterwards found, for the
animal received a slight cut on the nose, and was also wounded on the
shoulder an inch of two in front of my knee. As soon as I recovered my
equanimity I moved up to the head of the procession. There I saw Sir
Harry Parkes, in his brilliant uniform of an Envoy and Minister calmly
sitting on his horse in the middle of the cross-roads, with Inspector
Peacock close by, also on horseback, and a crowd of Japanese spectators.
The Japanese infantry, 300 men of Higo, who had led our procession had
disappeared, as had also those who had originally brought up the rear.
But our Japanese grooms stuck to us with the greatest cool pluck. Behind
me was the infantry guard of the 2/ix, facing to the left. Upon them he
hurled himself, cutting one man over the head and inflicting a severe
wound, but here his career came to an end, for one of the soldiers put
out his foot and tripped him up, and others drove their bayonets into
him. Nevertheless he managed to get to the end of the line, where being
stopped by Mitford's palanquin, he fled into the courtyard of a house,
dropping his sword outside. Here he was found by Bradshaw, who
discharged a pistol at his head, but the bullet struck the joint of the
lower jaw, and did not penetrate the bone. On this he fell down in the
yard, and became nearly insensible. Our wounded were too numerous to
admit of our proceeding to court. Nine of our escort were wounded, and
one of the 2/ix guard, besides Nakai and Sir Harry's Japanese groom. We
therefore procured bearers for the palanquins which had been abandoned
by their frightened porters, and returned to our quarters without any
further mishap. When the wounds were examined it was found that none
were in a vital part, though there had been much loss of blood. A cut
into the knee of one man, and the almost complete severance of the wrist
of another were the worst cases. It was a great piece of good fortune
that we had such an experienced surgeon as Willis with us. The captured
assailant appeared to be a Buddhist priest, at least his head was
shaven. Assisted by a retainer of Sanjô's we examined him. He expressed
great penitence, and asked that his head might be cut off and exposed
publicly to inform the Japanese nation of his crime. His wounds were
attended to by Willis, and he was carefully deposited in the guard-room.
Nakai brought the head of the other man back with him, and kept it by
his side in a bucket as a trophy; it was a ghastly sight; on the left
side of the skull a terrible triangular wound exposed the brain, and
there was a cut on the right jaw which apparently had been dealt by the
sword of one of the escort.

My diary contains no further entry until the middle of May, and letters
I wrote to my parents narrating the incidents which befel us at Kiôto
have not been preserved. A very full account of this affair, written by
Mitford to his father, was communicated to the "Times," and the despatch
of March 25 in which the chief reported the whole affair was included in
a volume of "confidential print" and has not been published. See also
"Memories" by Lord Redesdale, ii. 449. A briefer narrative based on
official documents is to be found in vol. II of "The History of Japan"
by F. O. Adams. As long as we remained at Kiôto I was so busy with
interpreting between the chief and Japanese high functionaries and in
translating documents that my journal had to be neglected, and my memory
of what occurred over fifty years ago, left unrecorded at the time, is
scarcely full enough to afford material for completing this chapter
unaided.

It will readily be comprehended that this fanatical attack on the
British Minister, who had proved himself a cordial friend of the
imperialist party, caused a feeling of utmost consternation at the Court
as soon as the news was received there about four o'clock in the
afternoon. The French Minister and the Dutch Political Agent had
punctually reached the Palace, where they were kept waiting for the
arrival of their colleague. As he failed to make his appearance their
reception was hurried through, and on leaving the audience chamber they
received the notes Sir Harry had sent off informing them of what had
happened. About six o'clock in the evening there came to him straight
from the court Tokudaiji, Echizen Saishô, Higashi-Kuzé, Daté and the
Prince of Hizen to express the deep regret of the Mikado. The minister
replied that he would leave the matter in the hands of the Mikado's
government. He considered that a graver outrage had been committed upon
the Mikado than upon himself, and he felt assured that the government
would know how to vindicate the honour of their sovereign. They
manifested a degree of feeling and concern which showed that
remonstrance from him was not needed to make them sensible of the
gravity of the offence. They reproached themselves for not having taken
better precautions for his safety, and deplored the disgrace attaching
to themselves for an outrage committed on a foreign representative
specially invited by the Mikado to Kiôto. He added that of course their
apologies would take a written form, but he recurred to arguments he had
previously addressed to various members of the government as to the
necessity of an enactment which should attach the penalty of an
ignominious death to all _samurai_ who committed murderous attacks on
foreigners instead of allowing them to die with credit by their own
hand; as in the case of the eleven men who were executed for the murder
of the French seamen at Sakai. He urged also that the Mikado's
government should make known by public proclamation that His Majesty
really desired to cultivate friendly relations with foreign powers. It
was their duty to eradicate the spirit of hostility towards foreigners
to which so many had fallen victims, and which was fostered by the
erroneous idea entertained by a certain class that in attacking
foreigners they were doing the Mikado good service. Accordingly the
written apology was delivered next day, together with a copy of the
sentence depriving the prisoner of his rank as _samurai_, and passing a
sentence of decapitation on him. Sanjô, Iwakura, Tokudaiji, Higashi-Kuzé
and other ministers called to offer their regrets, and promised that the
proclamation should be posted on the public notice-boards which were a
feature in every town and village. They offered also in case any of our
wounded should die, or be deprived of their livelihood by inability to
perform their duties, to provide suitable compensation.

This affair having been satisfactorily disposed of, the chief agreed to
have an audience of the Mikado, which took place on March 26th. Of
course we were not able to make such a show as on the 23rd, since most
of the mounted escort were incapacitated by the severity of their
wounds. On the other hand extraordinary precautions were taken for the
security of the party in passing along the streets. As had previously
been arranged, of the legation staff only Mitford was presented. The
minister and he ascended the Shishinden by steps at the north end,
entered by the door on the south, and issuing from it after the audience
descended by steps at the south end. Those of us, like Willis and
myself, and the other members of our party walked through the courtyard
past the hall of audience, and rejoined them as they came down again.
The Mikado was the first to speak, and his speech ran as follows:--

    I hope your sovereign enjoys good health. I trust that the
    intercourse between our respective countries will become more
    and more friendly, and be permanently established. I regret
    deeply that an unfortunate affair which took place as you were
    proceeding to the palace on the 23rd instant has delayed this
    ceremony. It gives me great pleasure therefore to see you here
    to-day.

To this the minister made the following reply:--

    Sire,

    Her Majesty the Queen is in the enjoyment of good health. I
    shall have great pleasure in reporting to my government Your
    Majesty's inquiries and assurances of friendship. The condition
    of the foreign relations of a state must ever be dependent upon
    its internal stability and progress, and Your Majesty is taking
    the best measures to place the foreign relations of Japan upon a
    permanent footing by establishing a strong general government
    throughout Your Majesty's dominions, and by adopting the system
    of international law universally recognized by other states. I
    am deeply sensible of the manner in which Your Majesty has been
    pleased to notice the attack made upon me on the 23rd instant,
    and I appreciate the exertions of Your Majesty's ministers on
    that unfortunate occasion. The memory of it will be effaced by
    the gracious reception which Your Majesty has given me this day.

The foreign representatives left Kiôto the following day. Saegusa
Shigéru, the captive of our bow and spear on the 23rd, was executed that
morning. Three supposed accomplices before the fact were sentenced to
perpetual exile, but we were never convinced of their guilt. If it had
been proved against them they ought to have suffered the same penalty,
but the chief did not care to press the point.

It was Sir Harry's wish that I should remain at Ozaka to keep up
communication with the court, but I persuaded him to leave Mitford there
for the purpose. Two motives actuated me. I wished to get back to my
newly acquired house at Yedo, and Mitford knew much more than I did
about English parliamentary institutions, which was a subject in which
the leaders of the _samurai_ class at Kiôto, and especially Gotô
Shôjirô, were greatly interested. For their hope was to base the new
government of Japan on a representative system.



                              CHAPTER XXXI

           RETURN TO YEDO AND PRESENTATION OF THE MINISTER'S
                        NEW CREDENTIALS AT OZAKA


ON March 31 I arrived back at Yokohama with the chief, and went up to
Yedo on April 1 to find out what was the state of things there. I took
Noguchi and my six Japanese escort men with me. The latter were lodged
in a building by the gate of my house. My chief source of information
was Katsu Awa no Kami who had been the head of the Tokugawa navy. To
avoid exciting attention I used to visit him after dark. The van of the
imperialist army had already arrived in the neighbourhood of Yedo, the
advanced posts being at Shinagawa, Shinjiku and Itabashi. Slight
skirmishes with detached bodies of disbanded Yedo troops had taken place
on the Kôshiû and Kisô roads, which had delayed the arrival of the
imperial forces for a day or two. Small parties of Satsuma and Chôshiû
men wandered about the streets of the city unmolested, and a smaller
Satsuma _yashiki_, near our legation, was re-occupied on March 7 by a
few soldiers of that clan. Arisugawa no Miya, the commander-in-chief,
was reported to be still at Numadzu, half a day's journey west of the
top of the Hakoné pass. Keiki was residing in retirement at the Tokugawa
mausoleum of Uyéno, straining every effort to keep his retainers in a
submissive temper towards the Mikado, by means of notifications to the
people and a body of armed police. Already as early as March 4 a
proclamation had been issued declaring that the ex-Shôgun was determined
to submit to any orders which might be given to him by the Mikado, and
that no opposition was to be offered to the imperial troops. Aidzu and
his clansmen had retired to their home at Wakamatsu in Oshiû, after
dismantling all the clan establishments in Yedo. Nearly all the other
_daimiôs_ who had been residing in Yedo until recently had either
returned to their territories or gone to Kiôto to give in their
allegiance to the Mikado. The _hatamoto_, or retainers of Tokugawa below
the rank of _daimiô_ were daily following their example. The people of
the city, ignorant of the demands about to be made on Keiki, and mindful
of the misfortunes some of them had experienced when the Satsuma
_yashiki_ were attacked in the previous December, were apprehensive of a
general conflagration. Some had removed their household property, but
the shops were still open, and the panic was by no means general. The
forts in the bay of Yedo were handed over to the imperialists on April
4, after the guns bearing on the city had been dismounted. This was the
news on the 8th. On the 12th I went up again for a three days' stay, and
found the city much quieter, owing to a feeling that the terms offered
to Keiki would be such as he could accept. Katsu, who was now
commander-in-chief of the Tokugawa forces, told me that he and Okubo
Ichiô had charge of the negotiations. On the other side Saigô
represented Arisugawa no Miya, the imperialist commander-in-chief who
was still at Sumpu. The demands made on Keiki were that he should
surrender all arms and munitions of war, all vessels of war and other
steamers, evacuate the castle of Yedo, and execute those of his officers
who had been foremost in prompting and conducting the attack on Fushimi;
when these demands were complied with the Mikado would show clemency
towards the ex-Shôgun. The nature of the further conditions covered by
the word "clemency" was the subject of negotiations between Katsu and
Saigô, which took place at a house in Shinagawa. Katsu was willing to
agree to any arrangement that would save the life of his chief and
secure sufficient revenue to support his large body of retainers. He had
hinted to Saigô that less favourable terms would be met by armed
resistance. Keiki also desired to retain possession of his steamers and
munitions of war, and had addressed a petition to the Mikado on this
subject. Saigô, carrying this petition and Katsu's verbal proposals, had
returned to Sumpu to lay them before Arisugawa. From there he had
journeyed to Kiôto, but was expected back on the 18th. Katsu said he was
ready to fight in defence of Keiki's life, and expressed his confidence
in Saigô's ability to prevent a demand being made which might not only
be a disgrace to the Mikado, but prolong the civil war. He begged that
Sir Harry Parkes would use his influence with the Mikado's government to
obviate such a disaster. This the chief did repeatedly, and in
particular when Saigô called on him at Yokohama on April 28, he urged on
him that severity towards Keiki or his supporters, especially in the way
of personal punishment, would injure the reputation of the new
government in the opinion of European Powers. Saigô said the life of the
ex-Shôgun would not be demanded, and he hoped that similar leniency
would be extended to those who had instigated him to march against
Kiôto. Keiki was still at the monastery at Uyéno, but some of his late
advisers, whom he had ordered into strict seclusion (_kin-shin_) had
secretly fled. Amongst these Katsu mentioned Ogasawara, late chief
minister for Foreign Affairs, Hirayama, whom we used to call "the old
fox," Tsukahara, an official whom we greatly liked, and Oguri Kôdzuké no
Suké, a finance minister. The most remarkable statement Katsu made to me
was that at a conference between the ex-Shôgun's ministers and M. Roches
in February the latter strongly urged resistance, and that the officers
of the French Military Mission were persistent in advising the
fortification of the Hakoné pass and other measures of a warlike nature.
On the whole Katsu was of opinion that he and Okubo Ichiô would be able
to arrange satisfactory terms, if they could manage to escape the
hot-heads of their own party who were threatening their lives.

By this time the first division of the imperialist naval force had
arrived to co-operate with the army which had advanced by land. There
seemed to be little likelihood of fighting, but even a peaceable
settlement would be disadvantageous to the prosperity of the city. Now
that the _daimiôs_ whose wants had been supplied by the merchants and
shopkeepers had left for their country homes, the population would
naturally decrease. It was a sad thing that Yedo should decline, for it
was one of the handsomest cities in the Far East. Though it contained no
fine public buildings, its position on the seashore, fringed with the
pleasure gardens of the _daimiôs_, and the remarkable huge moats
surrounding the castle, crowned with cyclopean walls and shaded by
picturesque lines of pine-tree, the numerous rural spots in the city
itself, all contributed to produce an impression of greatness. It
covered a huge extent of ground, owing to the size of the castle, and
the large number of official residences, intersected by fine broad
well-gravelled streets. The commercial quarter was actually smaller than
the city of Ozaka.

Newspapers, to a large extent in the nature of gazettes, had lately been
started in Kiôto and Yedo, and contained a great number of interesting
political documents, which I had to translate for the information of my
chief. Previously we had been obliged to rely on such manuscript copies
as we could obtain from our friends in _daimiôs' yashikis_, and the
supply was limited. Nor were the papers that came into our hands
altogether trustworthy. There was as much forgery of memorials,
manifestoes and correspondence as in any other part of the world in a
time of political excitement. There were rumours about this time that
the capital would be transferred from Kiôto to Ozaka, an arrangement we
felt inclined to welcome, for it would have been very inconvenient to
establish the foreign legations at Kiôto, so far inland and away from
our sources of supply, subject to great cold in winter and excessive
heat in summer. Even at Ozaka, close to the sea, the climate was almost
unbearable in July and August. But as everyone knows, Yedo was after all
constituted the centre of government, and its name changed to Tôkiô.

During this period my time was passed half at Yedo gathering information
and half at Yokohama making translations and drawing up reports. Bread
and beef were unprocurable at Yedo, and I could not afford to set up a
cuisine in European fashion, so while there I used to have my food
brought in from a well-reputed Japanese restaurant close by, and came to
like it quite as well as what I had been accustomed to all my life.

As early as the end of November 1867 Sir Harry had applied to Lord
Stanley for letters of credence to the Mikado. No time was wasted in
their preparation and despatch, and they reached him at the end of March
1868, but it was not till the middle of May that things had quieted down
at Yokohama sufficiently to allow of his leaving that part of the
country. By that time Sidney Locock and his family had left for home,
and his successor Francis Ottiwell Adams had arrived. We started from
Yokohama in the Admiral's yacht "Salamis" on May 15, Sir Harry, Adams,
J. J. Quin the senior student interpreter, and myself. Next afternoon we
anchored in the harbour of Oshima, between the island of that name and
the southernmost point of the province of Kii. On a neck of land there
was a small village, very dirty, stinking and labyrinthine, surrounded
by prettily wooded hills, where we started several pheasants in the
course of a walk. At dusk we weighed anchor, and reached Hiôgo at nine
o'clock the next morning, where we found H.M.S. "Ocean" and "Zebra"
already in harbour. We had passed H.M.S. "Rodney," the flagship of
Admiral Sir Harry Keppel, on the way up the Kii channel. These ships
were assembled off Ozaka to give _éclat_ to the presentation of the
first letter of an European sovereign to the rightful sovereign of
Japan. We got to the Ozaka bar about noon, and afterwards Adams, Quin
and I went ashore with the baggage. The chief did not land until the
18th, when a salute was fired from the fort in his honour. We then
became busily occupied with the arrangements for the presentation of the
minister's credentials, of his staff and a large number of naval
officers. We took up our quarters at the vice-consulate for the sake of
convenience in communicating with the squadron outside the bar. The 22nd
was fixed on as the day for the ceremony. Then the credentials had to be
translated into Japanese, and the number of officers to be presented had
to be agreed upon. I had to be present, much to my annoyance, for I
possessed no diplomatic uniform. The chief offered me the loan of a sort
of staff jacket of blue serge fastened in front with frogs, and an old
pair of trousers with gold lace down the sides, but I put them away in a
cupboard and went to Court in plain evening dress. As soon as Sir Harry
landed he was visited by Gotô, one of the two _samurai_ who had fought
in our defence at Kiôto on the 23rd March, and by Daté. With the latter
we had a discussion about the recently published edict against
Christianity; it revived the ancient prohibition, but in less stringent
terms. Daté admitted that the wording was objectionable, and said that
he had caused it not to be exhibited on the public notice-boards at
Ozaka and Hiôgo. He had tried to get the expression (translated "evil"
or "pernicious" sect) altered, but said it would be impossible to
suppress the proscription of Christianity altogether. Sir Harry
responded that religious toleration was a mark of civilization, and to
us he said privately that the presentation of the Queen's letter was a
good opportunity which we ought to turn to account. Afterwards I had a
long talk with Nakai on this subject, and suggested that instead of
specifically mentioning Christianity the decree should merely forbid
"pernicious sects" in general. It was clear that the Japanese Government
would not be induced to revoke the law completely, for that would be to
give a free hand to the Roman Catholic missionaries at Nagasaki, who had
already made themselves obnoxious by the active manner in which they had
carried on their proselytism. It was however agreed that Sir Harry
should meet Sanjô, Daté, Gotô and Kido on the following day to dispose,
if possible, of this question, but Nakai warned me that not even the
heads of the government (_sôsai_) could make a definite promise; they
were not absolute, as he said. So on the 19th we had a palaver at the
Nishi Hongwanji, at which Yamashina no Miya, the president of the
Foreign Board, was present, besides those already mentioned, and several
more. They defended what had been done on the ground that the hostility
to Christianity was still intense, and that in popular opinion it was
allied to magic or sorcery. This I knew myself to be a fact. I had once
been asked by a Japanese to teach him "Kiristan," which he believed
would enable him to discover what his wife was doing in his absence from
the house. They admitted however that an error had been committed in
describing Christianity as a pernicious sect, and said that this wording
would be altered. To have published nothing would have been tantamount
to toleration, "silent approval" as the Japanese expression goes, and
upon this they could not venture. On the 24th Sir Harry recurred to the
subject with the same set of ministers, with whom Iwakura was joined.
Perhaps it was on this occasion that a young _samurai_ of Hizen, Okuma
Hachitarô, whom we had not met before, assured us that he knew all about
the subject, for he had read the Bible and the "Prairie-book." It
appeared that he had been a pupil of Dr Verbeck, an American missionary
at Nagasaki. Sir Harry gave them a copy and a Japanese version of a
despatch on this subject, which had been received from Lord Stanley. The
other foreign diplomats took the same line, but their united
remonstrances produced little effect, and the measure of exiling to
other parts of the country some four thousand Japanese of all ages and
both sexes mostly from the village of Urakami near Nagasaki, was
unflinchingly carried out.

The presentation of the minister's letters of credence took place on the
22nd. Admiral Keppel landed in the morning accompanied by his
flag-Captain Heneage, and Captain Stanhope of the "Ocean"; Commander
Pollard and Lieutenant Kerr in command of a gunboat; Pusey, commander of
the "Salamis"; his secretary William Risk, and Garnier, flag-lieutenant,
and joined us at the vice-consulate. The legation party included the
chief, Adams, Mitford, who had just been gazetted second secretary, and
myself. Our procession consisted of a hundred marines from H.M.S.
"Rodney" and the same number from H.M.S. "Ocean," twelve palanquins in
which such of us rode as had legs flexible enough, four of the legation
escort on foot, and two bodies of Japanese troops who preceded and
followed us. We arrived punctually at one o'clock at the Nishi
Hongwanji, assigned for the performance of the ceremony. The theory of
the Mikado's presence at Ozaka was that he was at the head of the army
operating from Kiôto against the rebellious Tokugawa chief at Yedo, and
he was therefore obliged to put up with such accommodation as he could
find in the Buddhist monasteries, which were not very imperial in their
appointments. We were ushered into an ante-chamber which was merely a
part of the hall of audience divided off by screens. Down the middle ran
a long table covered with cloth of gold, about the only piece of
splendour in the place; on one side of this we took our seats, the
Japanese ministers for Foreign Affairs on the other. Tea, and sweetmeats
piled on wooden trays were brought in for our refection, and we had to
wait about half-an-hour before the chief of the ministry entered the
room and made the polite speeches necessary on such an occasion. In a
few minutes more we were informed that everything was ready, whereupon
the second and third ministers proceeded to usher us into the throne
room. This was an apartment of considerable size down each side of which
there ran a row of wooden pillars supporting the roof. On a dais at the
extreme end sat the Mikado, under a canopy supported by black-lacquered
poles, and with the blinds rolled up as high as was possible. We
advanced up the middle of the room in double column, the one on the
right headed by the Admiral and composed of naval officers, the other
headed by the minister, and consisting of the legation staff. Everyone
made three bows, first on advancing into the middle of the room, the
second at the foot of the dais, the third on mounting the dais, which
was large enough to afford place for us all. The Mikado rose and stood
under the canopy from the moment that we began to bow. The principal
minister for Foreign Affairs and one other great personage knelt, one on
each side of the throne.

In front of the throne, on each side, stood a small wooden image of a
lion; these are of great antiquity and are much revered by the Japanese
people. Behind the throne a crowd of courtiers were ranged in a double
row, wearing little black paper caps and gorgeous brocade robes of
various hues. As the Mikado stood up, the upper part of his face,
including the eyes, became hidden from view, but I saw the whole of it
whenever he moved. His complexion was white, perhaps artificially so
rendered, his mouth badly formed, what a doctor would call prognathous,
but the general contour was good. His eyebrows were shaven off, and
painted in an inch higher up. His costume consisted of a long black
loose cape hanging backwards, a white upper garment or mantle and
voluminous purple trousers. The proceedings were as follows: the
minister stood in front of the Mikado's right, with the Legation behind
him in order of seniority, the Admiral with his personal staff and the
other naval officers on the imperial left. Sir Harry then recited his
address, which he had got by heart; it seemed truly absurd when one at
last stood face to face with the recipient. Then Itô, who discharged the
functions of interpreter on the occasion, read the translation, and we
all bowed. Sir Harry stepping forward put the Queen's letter into the
hand of the Mikado, who evidently felt bashful or timid, and had to be
assisted by Yamashina no Miya; his part was to receive it from the
Mikado. Then His Majesty forgot his speech, but catching a word from the
personage on his left managed to get out the first sentence, whereupon
Itô read out the translation of the whole that had been prepared
beforehand. Sir Harry then introduced each of us in turn, and next the
Admiral, who presented his officers. The Mikado expressed the hope that
all was well with the squadron under his command, and we retired
backwards out of the presence into the ante-chamber, bowing as we went,
and congratulating ourselves that everything had passed off without a
hitch. In the evening we went to dine with Daté, who gave us a banquet
cooked as nearly in European fashion as he could manage. Next day we
celebrated the Queen's birthday in advance by firing salutes, and a
large party of Japanese nobles went on board the "Rodney" to lunch with
the Admiral. Yamashina no Miya proposed the Queen's health, which was
responded to enthusiastically by everyone present. Many of the guests
were intelligent and well behaved, but the Prince of Chôshiû, who
insisted on my sitting next to him, behaved like a great baby, and drank
more champagne than was good for him. One felt however that Japanese
princes could not be blamed if they were weak-minded, their education
being planned so as to produce that result. The son of the Mikado's
maternal uncle was possessed with a huge desire to see an European cat,
while another great man wanted to get sight of a negro, and we had great
difficulty in satisfying their wishes. The principal minister for
Foreign Affairs, who had of course to be saluted, desired that as little
powder as possible should be used, because the sound of a violent
explosion hurt his ears. One of the great attractions was the "Rodney's"
band, which played a great deal of noisy music for the benefit of the
Admiral's guests, and the bandmaster of the "Ocean" gained great
applause by composing a march and a Japanese national anthem, which he
dedicated to the Mikado. The conference held at Ozaka on the following
day (a Sunday), at which among other things the Christian question was
discussed, lasted for six hours, and that meant six hours for me of
interpreting from English into Japanese and from Japanese into English.
So it was a certain amount of relief to me when on the 25th we
reembarked on board the "Salamis" to return to Yokohama. The Mikado left
Ozaka on the 28th and returned to Kiôto, the submission of the ex-Tycoon
being held to justify this step.



                             CHAPTER XXXII

                 MISCELLANEOUS INCIDENTS--MITO POLITICS


ADAMS and I set up housekeeping together in the First Secretary's house
at Yokohama, but I still kept on the Japanese _yashiki_ I had rented at
Yedo, and spent a great deal of time there watching the course of
events. From time to time I returned to Yokohama to report to my chief,
or else reported to him by letter. I was very busily occupied in making
translations from the official gazette that was now being published at
Kiôto and the popular newspapers that had started into existence at
Yedo. One of these contained documents of the highest interest, the
terms communicated to Keiki on April 27, the acceptance of which by him
involved his retirement to Mito on May 8, and the provisional
recognition of Kaménosuké (Tayasu) as the head of the Tokugawa clan. The
castle of Yedo was occupied by the imperialist forces, and the troops of
Satsuma, Chôshiû and other clans moved freely about the city. On June 23
I went up to Yedo for a three days' stay with Adams; I found there in
the local papers interesting communications which were probably
fictitious. Thus one, said to be written by a retainer of the Miya of
Chi-on-in, where the British Legation had been lodged in March, who
though regarding the expulsion of foreigners as perhaps difficult of
achievement, recommended that the organization of the army be diligently
taken in hand, in order that foreigners might be humbled and kept in
subjection. He also deprecated audiences being granted by the Mikado to
foreign diplomatic representatives. Another such paper professed to
represent the views of Chôshiû "irregular troops" and protested against
audiences being granted, because such friendly treatment of foreigners
would prevent the nation from affording hearty support to the Mikado
when the time should arrive for "expelling the barbarian." When I
mentioned these publications to my friend Katsu, he replied that a
council of court and territorial nobles (_kugé_ and _daimiôs_) was held
at Kiôto about the end of May, at which the former expressed the opinion
that a favourable occasion for expelling foreigners from the country had
now presented itself; their attempt to introduce Christianity at
Nagasaki might be alleged as the justifying ground of the measure. That
the _daimiôs_ were silent and that the Mikado, on being referred to,
took no notice of the proposal. Katsu was not very accurately informed,
but it is a fact that on May 14 the principal members of the government
and _daimiôs_ in attendance on the Mikado at Ozaka were summoned before
His Majesty at the Hongwanji, and were informed that Christianity was on
the increase at Urakami, a village near Nagasaki; he asked for their
opinion as to the best way of dealing with the matter, and it was
understood that their replies would be published in the government
gazette. Daté denied to Mitford that part of the story which said that
the meeting was for the purpose of considering whether an anti-foreign
policy might not be resorted to. It was difficult for us to obtain
accurate information, and probably every Japanese in the position of
Katsu or Daté experienced similar difficulty. I do not think however
that these documents ever saw the light, and the suggestion is very
natural that some of them were of such a character that it was
considered advisable to suppress them. The formal appointment of
Kaménosuké, a mere boy of six years of age, took place on June 19, and
the leading men of the Tokugawa clan waited on him the following morning
to present their felicitations. The situation and extent of the
territory to be left to the clan had not then been determined. Katsu
told me that Sanjô, who had arrived in Yedo on the 13th, was waiting for
the reinforcements expected from the south and west before announcing a
decision on these points. He gave me such statistics about the revenue
hitherto accruing to the Tycoon's government as showed, to his
satisfaction at least, that it would not be possible for the Mikado to
derive any income from forfeiture of that revenue, and there was danger
of his government falling to pieces for want of funds. Higashi-Kuzé, who
was then in Yedo, said to me that the revenue to be granted to the
Tokugawa would not be fixed until that part of the clan still in arms
against the Mikado was entirely reduced to submission. The war was being
vigorously prosecuted near Niigata in Echigo and in the neighbourhood of
Aidzu. I myself saw a considerable body of southern troops march into
Yedo on June 25, which effectually contradicted the hopes of the
Tokugawa people that the imperialists were weakening, and that some of
the western clans, in particular Higo, were likely to afford them
sympathy, if not actual support.

M. Roches finally left Yokohama on June 23, having been succeeded by M.
Outrey, with the intention of visiting Ozaka and Nagasaki on his way
home. His policy had proved a complete failure, as far as supporting the
Shôgun against the Mikado was concerned. He had succeeded however in
procuring for French engineers the construction of the arsenal at
Yokosuka and the engagement of a French military mission, which were
continued for several years after the establishment of the new
government.

Noguchi had an elder and a younger brother, the latter of whom had
joined the followers of the Tokugawa who after the withdrawal of Keiki
to Mito had gathered themselves together in the mausoleum enclosure at
Uyéno. Thence they issued forth at night and assassinated imperialist
soldiers from time to time. At last it was decided to attack them in
their stronghold, and early in the morning of July 4 an advance was made
which led to the destruction by fire of a considerable part of the city
lying between the outer moat and the main gate of Uyéno, and also of the
great temple building which occupied the centre of the enclosure. The
burial places of the Shôguns were not damaged. Rinôji no Miya, the
imperial prince who had always resided there in the character of abbot,
and whom the recalcitrant Tokugawa men talked of raising to the throne
as Mikado, was carried off by the survivors at the end of the day. The
fighting began at eight o'clock in the morning and was over by five
o'clock in the evening. During this affair I was at Yokohama, having
been kept there since my last visit to Yedo at the end of June. At the
beginning of that month Willis and I were in Yedo together for a few
days, while he attended to wounded men of the Satsuma and other clans,
such as Toda, Chôshiû and Bizen. The latter occupied Tôzenji, which had
formerly been the British Legation, and he recorded in his report the
fact of his being received and treated by the Bizen men with great
courtesy, which showed that they entertained no feelings of hostility
against foreigners, and regarded the death of Taki Zenzaburô as a just
retribution for the attack on foreigners at Kôbé in the previous
February. The condition of these wounded men was deplorable, for at that
time Japan had no experienced surgeons, and the treatment of gunshot
wounds was of a very amateurish character. There were but few cases of
sword-cuts. Subsequently some of the more urgent cases were at Willis'
suggestion sent down to Yokohama, and towards the end of July there were
176 patients in the building appropriated as a military hospital. Under
the previous government it had been a school for instruction in the
Chinese classics. Two-thirds of the number were Satsuma men, Chôshiû and
Tosa soldiers together made up a fourth. About 40 had been wounded in
the recent fighting at Uyéno, the others had received their injuries in
the expeditions to the north of Yedo against Aidzu. Willis' services
were so greatly appreciated that the minister was asked in October to
lend them again to the troops which had been fighting in Echigo. This
arrangement was facilitated by the fact that he was now vice-consul at
Yedo, a post which he was unable to take up because the opening of the
city to foreign residence and trade had to be deferred; and he was
relieved at Yokohama by Dr J. B. Siddall who had been appointed medical
officer to the legation early in January.

On the 29th July I went to Yedo with Adams, and spent four days in
visiting Okuma, Katsu and Komatsu, but though I must have reported to my
chief the result of the conversation with these persons of importance, I
have no record, except of voluminous translations from the Japanese of
anti-Christian pamphlets and political documents of all kinds. I went
alone to Yedo again on August 17, and next day called on Okuma, whom I
found in bed looking very ill. From him I learnt that fighting had
commenced on the 13th at Imaichi, near Nikkô. The imperialists were
victorious and were still advancing on Aidzu, 75 miles further. A
messenger who left Echigo on the 8th reported that Niigata was still
held by Aidzu men. Subsequently to the capture of Nagaoka by the
imperial troops more fighting had taken place, in which both sides lost
heavily. The imperialists were holding their ground, and expected
further reinforcements which would enable them to advance on Wakamatsu,
the capital of Aidzu, at the same time as the divisions from Shirakawa
and Akita. The Prince of Hizen, Okuma's own chief, had been urged by his
troops in Shimotsuké, where Imaichi is situated, to lead them against
the enemy, but his councillors (_karô_) had dissuaded him from taking
the field. Since the beginning of the year several constitutions had
been framed and issued one after the other, and about this time I was
engaged in translating the newest edition, which bore the date of June.
It showed marked traces of American political theories, and I have
little doubt that Okuma and his fellow-clansman Soyéjima, pupils of Dr
Verbeck, had had a considerable part in framing it. "The power and
authority of the _Daijôkan_ (_i.e._ government), threefold, legislative,
executive and judicial," was the wording of one article. By another it
was provided that "All officers shall be changed after four years'
service. They shall be appointed by a majority of votes given by ballot.
When the first period for changing the officers of government arrives,
half of the present staff shall be retained for an additional space of
two years, in order that there be no interruption of the public
business." In this we seemed to hear an echo of the "spoils system."
Okuma explained that the "executive" represented the executive
department in the United States Constitution, "consisting of the
president and his advisers," but that in fact it was the head of the
Shintô religion, finance, war and foreign departments. It is needless to
say that this state paper has long ago been superseded by the existing
Itô constitution of 1889. Then I went on to Katsu. He said that Sumpu
(now called Shidzuoka) was to have been formally handed over to the
Tokugawa family two days previously, but as a matter of fact it had
always formed part of their possessions. He took down from a shelf a
memorandum in which he had noted down some years before the names of the
ablest men in different clans. Many of them were already dead. Satsuma
and Chôshiû accounted for the largest number; of the Tokugawa clan there
were very few. All our friends of Satsuma, Chôshiû and Tosa were among
the number of those still living. While I was there Tsumagi Nakadzukasa,
who had given me a dinner a couple of months earlier, came in. He had
returned a few days before from Mito, where he had left Keiki, employing
his leisure in the composition of Japanese poetry, and not expecting to
be invited at present to take a share in the government. This was an
absolutely baseless notion on his part, if he in reality entertained it.
He had sent an affectionate message to Katsu, which Tsumagi appeared to
be afraid of delivering in my presence, but it proved to be nothing more
than a warning to care for his personal safety, which was said to have
been threatened by the hot-headed younger Tokugawa men. He said that
about 500 Mito men had gone to join Aidzu. The outcome of their
conversation was that there was nothing in the existing political
situation to cause them anxiety. The Tokugawa people were desirous of
getting Katsu to take office under Kaménosuké, but he was unwilling. I
asked him whether he had heard of a general feeling of dislike towards
the English. That he replied was an old thing, dating from the time when
Sir Harry used to advise the Shôgun's ministers to refrain from
attacking Chôshiû. The idea was no doubt fostered by Roches, who told
them that unless they asked the British Government to lend naval
instructors, the English would back up the _daimiôs'_ party, and the
want of confidence in British friendship was the reason why Dutchmen had
been engaged to bring out the "Kaiyô-maru," a ship of war constructed in
England for the Prince of Higo by Glover & Co. of Nagasaki, which had
come into the possession of the Mikado's adherents. I had heard from
Komatsu and Nakai that imperialist troops landed from the "Kaiyô-maru"
at Hirakata about the 5th or 6th August had gained a victory there over
a mixed force of Sendai men and Tokugawa _rônin_, and this was confirmed
by Tsumagi. On the 19th I walked as far as the Nihom-bashi, the bridge
in the centre of the city from which all distances were measured by
road, and from there to the huge hotel at the foreign settlement
constructed under the supervision of the Tokugawa government for the
accommodation of foreigners. The commercial quarter was very lively, the
streets were crowded, especially by _samurai_ belonging to the
imperialist forces, but the neighbourhood of the _daimiôs' yashikis_
below the castle was like a city of the dead. On the 20th I had a visit
from Kawakatsu Omi, an ex-commissioner for Foreign Affairs. He said that
the Castle of Sumpu was little better than a ruin, and that there were
no houses which could receive the Tokugawa retainers. He would like to
become a retainer of the Mikado (_chô-shin_); his family was not
originally in the service of the Tokugawa family, but was of more
ancient descent. He would be satisfied if he was made a minister of
public instruction. Midzuno Wakasa, a former governor of Yokohama, and
Sugiura Takésaburô, another Tokugawa man, would probably be employed by
the imperialist government to make all the arrangements with regard to
the foreign settlement at Yedo. Mimbu Taiyu, the younger brother of
Keiki, then still in France, was to be fetched home to succeed the late
Prince of Mito, who had died just about the time of Keiki's retreat
thither. About a hundred and thirty _hatamotos_ went up to Kiôto in
February and by surrendering to the Mikado, secured the possession of
their lands. He regretted that he had lost everything through not
following their example. The Tokugawa family were to retain 700,000
_koku_ of lands, which would enable them to keep a good many retainers,
but not all the 30,000 who had hitherto belonged to the clan as
_go-ké-nin_. My own Japanese escort, who belonged to the body of
_betté-gumi_ created several years before to act as guards and escorts
for the foreign legations, 300 of whom were to be kept together for that
purpose, all wanted to become Mikado's men.

On the 21st Komatsu and Nakai came to call on me. They said the troops
sent by way of Hirakata to Tanagura in Oshiû had been completely
victorious, and that more would speedily follow. In fact, while we were
talking, 500 Satsuma men marched past the house along the main-road by
the seashore in order to embark for the north. Kido, who had gone to
Kiôto to report the state of affairs at Yedo, was expected back soon.
They thought that a good deal of pressure would be necessary to induce
the very conservative Kiôto Court to bring the Mikado there. That
afternoon I called on Okuma, who was still very unwell, and, like most
of the Hizen people, not disposed to be communicative. From him I went
to Nakai, who showed me the draft of the state paper by which Gotô
overturned the late government in the previous October. It differed
slightly from the published copies, in that it contained proposals for
the engagement of French and English teachers of language, to get
military instructors from England, and to abolish the Tycoon and reduce
the Tokugawa clan to the same level as the others. These were all struck
out on reconsideration in order to avoid exciting a suspicion that Gotô
and his political allies were too partial to foreigners, and provoking
the hostility of the _fudai_ and _hatamotos_. He had also the drafts of
a letter from Higashi-Kuzé to Sanjô, in which, among other things which
strengthened the Aidzu resistance to the imperial troops, he reported
that foreign vessels anchored at Niigata and supplied the rebels with
arms and ammunition; and Higashi-Kuzé said that on his informing the
foreign representatives of this, they replied that they would put a stop
to the practice. I pointed out to Nakai that this must be a mistake. The
Ministers having issued proclamations of neutrality had nothing to do
with their enforcement, and that if the Japanese authorities wished to
put an end to this traffic, they had merely to notify to the foreign
representatives the blockade of the port of Niigata, and that a
vessel-of-war was stationed there to prevent communication with the
shore. This must have appeared a very strange doctrine to him, but
international law was a complete novelty in Japan in those days. He also
showed me the draft of Komatsu's letter to Kiôto about the treatment of
the Nagasaki Japanese Christians, embodying the arguments recently used
to him by Sir Harry, and advocating the adoption of milder measures.

Next day I went again to see Nakai, and found with him a very attractive
Satsuma man named Inouyé Iwami, who was greatly interested in the
development of the resources of the island of Yezo. He was full of
schemes for its colonization from Japan, and for the introduction of the
European system of farming under the supervision of a German named
Gaertner. He said that Shimidzudani, a young Court noble of about 25,
was to be governor of Hakodaté, and that he intended to make him learn
English. We discussed various leading personalities with considerable
freedom--I hinted that Higashi-Kuzé, in spite of his rank, was not the
best representative man to send to Europe as Ambassador. I thought Daté
or Iwakura or even Kansô of Hizen would do better. He replied that
Iwakura could not be spared. The most important and interesting
suggestion he made was that the Mikado must move to Yedo, and make it
his Capital, as otherwise it would not be possible to keep in order the
rebellious clans of the north. Both he and Komatsu, who joined us later
on at a restaurant on the river, approved of what I had suggested about
the blockade of Niigata.

On the 23rd I dined with Komatsu and Nakai to meet Okubo, the Satsuma
statesman who had suggested the removal of the Capital from Kiôto to
Ozaka earlier in the year. I have no doubt that the final decision to
make Yedo the centre of government, and to change its name to Tôkiô or
Eastern Capital was largely his work. He was very taciturn by
disposition, and the only information he vouchsafed was that Daté was to
go to Sendai to endeavour to persuade the _daimiô_, who was the head of
the Daté family and all its branches, to abandon the cause of Aidzu.
Komatsu talked a good deal about the English naval instructors who had
been engaged by the previous government, whom he evidently wished to get
rid of, and I encouraged him to dismiss them, for I felt it would not be
fair to insist on their keeping these officers in their service during a
period of civil war, when the British neutrality proclamation prevented
their making use of them. Komatsu told me that their plan was to retain
the services of the commissioned officers, but to send the petty
officers and seamen back to England.

About two months before this time some Higo men had called on me, and
said they were going north to Tsugaru. They argued that any other system
than feudalism was impossible in Japan. Now I heard that the Higo clan
had privately sent messengers to Wakamatsu to endeavour to effect a
reconciliation between Aidzu and the _daimiôs_ of the west and south,
but Aidzu replied that matters had gone too far, and the questions at
issue must be decided by the sword. I thought it likely that these
envoys from Higo were the men who had been to see me, as the ideas which
they entertained seemed to be similar.

The translation of the June Constitution, which superseded one that had
been promulgated in March, had given me a great deal of trouble. I was
unable to decide upon the best name in English for the second
department. It might be Imperial Council, Privy Council, or Cabinet. It
appeared that the officials of this department were merely secretaries
to the two prime ministers, and had no real executive authority; and
that the administration was divided into this nameless department and
the other four which followed it. This was Okubo's explanation. It was,
however, pretty evident that this constitution was not to be the final
one, and it seemed to me to contain in itself the elements of change.
There were so many appointments that were held by dummies of high birth,
while the real work was done by their underlings. The ancient ranks and
precedence had been practically done away with, and I could not help
thinking that the court and territorial nobles (_kugé_ and _daimiôs_)
would have to be struck out of the list of officials. There was hardly
one of them fit to occupy the place of head of a department, and yet
these appointments were confined to them, no commoner being eligible.

The 25th August was chiefly occupied with arrangements made with Nakai
for the opening of Yedo on October 1, by instructions from the chief,
the abolition of the absurd existing rules about passports for
foreigners proceeding to Yedo, and for ordering one of the naval
instructors there to buoy the channel. The ex-Tycoon's government had
arranged to have a huge hotel built for the accommodation of foreign
visitors, and the owners would have liked to let it, but it seemed
unlikely that any foreigner would undertake to run such an establishment
on his own account, and I advised that they should engage a man from
Yokohama to act as steward for the proprietors, make out the visitors'
bills and purchase the necessary wines and provisions.

It was evident that the imperialists were gathering their forces for a
combined attack on Aidzu, and as Nakai said, if they could not crush him
with their troops they now had in the field, they never would succeed.
An American sailing barque named the "Despatch" was hired for $3000 to
carry men to Hirakata. On August 25 I saw 200 men march through
Shinagawa to embark for the north; on the 22nd a large body of Chô-shiû
men arrived, and were billetted in Sengakuji, the temple in which the 47
Faithful Rônins were buried. And Nakahara Naosuké, a Satsuma man,
usually believed to be their admiral, but in reality an artillery
officer, had been sent to Echigo with four companies of artillery, and
great things were expected of him.

August 26 I went to see Katsu, and found him greatly relieved in his
mind as the result of a visit paid to him on the previous day by
Komatsu. He said that the Castle of Sumpu had been handed over to the
head of the Tokugawa clan on the 18th, but that the territories assigned
to him had not yet been vacated by their previous possessors, who were
very difficult to move, so that the lands at present available did not
exceed 80,000 _koku_ in extent. He hoped Kaménosuké, by which he, of
course, meant the guardians of the six-year-old child, would not go to
any great expense in building or in engaging crowds of retainers. He
said that the "Kaiyô-maru," flagship of Enomoto Idzumi, who commanded
the Tokugawa fleet, was supplied with provisions by that clan. Enomoto,
otherwise known as E. Kamajirô, was a naval officer who had been trained
in Holland.

I asked him whether the son of the late Prince of Mito was dead, or
whether he was to be set aside in favour of Mimbu Taiyu. On this he gave
me the following account of Mito politics, which had been a puzzle for
many years to foreign observers.

Noriakira, commonly called "the old prince of Mito," was the younger son
of Harutoshi, and his childhood's name (_zoku-miô_) was Keisaburô. His
elder brother Narinobu was the heir, and his portion as a younger
brother was only 200 _koku_. Being averse to society on account of his
deafness, he spent his time in wandering about the country and
acquainting himself with its actual condition, and no doubt then formed
the habits of simplicity and frugality which distinguished him in after
life. On the death of Harutoshi, Keisaburô's elder brother succeeded
him, but dying shortly afterwards, left the prince-dom vacant. By that
time two parties had gradually formed themselves in the Mito clan, one
which supported the ancient Kiôto policy of the author of the
Dainihonshi, the other which, fearing Keisaburô, had formed an alliance
with the Court of Yedo, at that time ably directed by Midzuno Echizen no
Kami, father of Idzumi no Kami until lately a member of the Go-rôjiû
(Council of State). The latter party schemed to set aside the claims of
Keisaburô in favour of an adopted heir from the then Shôgun's family. A
will of the late prince was however discovered, in which he declared his
desire that the claims of blood should be respected, and his brother
Keisaburô be appointed as his successor. The will was backed up by a
strong party known as the _Tengu-ren_, and Keisaburô became prince of
Mito. This was in 1834 when he was about 30 years of age.

The new prince was bent on carrying out certain reforms which the
luxurious habits of the age appeared to him to render necessary. With
this object he obtained a relaxation of the ancient rule which required
the head of the house of Mito to be a resident in Yedo, the more easily
because he had rendered himself obnoxious to the Go-rôjiû by the
ostentatious manner in which he seemed to reprove their pomp and luxury
by the simplicity of his own dress and manner of life, and retiring to
his province on the pretext that it was necessary for him to superintend
personally the government of the clan, he devoted his time to drilling
troops in the only fashion then known in Japan. Openly advocating the
supremacy of the Mikado, and non-intercourse with the western world
(_Kin-ô, jô-i_), he secretly introduced into the province every Dutch
scholar he could find, and made himself acquainted as far as was then
possible with the resources of European science. With incredible labour
he constructed from drawings contained in old Dutch books a frigate,
which long lay at Yokohama for the protection of foreigners, but had he
believed been since broken up. The report of his doings having been
brought to Yedo, it was represented to the Go-rôjiû that the drilling of
men and building of warships were merely preparations for carrying out
the traditional Mito policy, and that the prince was plotting rebellion.
In 1844 he was compelled to retire into seclusion, and he was succeeded
by his son, the late prince, then a mere boy.

In 1851 a Dutch man-of-war made its appearance at Nagasaki, and caused
no slight consternation at Yedo. It was said that the Nagasaki Dutchmen
were becoming restive, and that the ship was merely a precursor of the
English, who at that time bore the detestable reputation of being a
nation of pirates ready for any violence. Succeeding events proved to
the Shôgun's government that Japan was in danger of being forced into
relations with European Powers; the advent of Admiral Perry and his
squadron heightened their alarm to such a degree that they yielded to
the voice of public opinion, and inviting the old prince of Mito to Yedo
admitted him again into their councils.

In 1858 the Shôgun Iyésada died, and the old prince of Mito wished to
secure the succession to his seventh son, who having been adopted as
heir to the house of Shitotsubashi was in a legitimate position to
become the Shôgun's heir. It was at this moment that Ii Kamon no Kami
came into power, and though it is uncertain whether he had a previous
understanding with the Ki-shiû family that they should furnish an heir,
it is certain that he found them ready to comply; and his influence was
strong enough to force old Mito to retire a second time into private
life, and to order Echizen, Tosa and Uwajima, who had supported the Mito
claims, to resign their _daimiates_ to their sons. The assassination of
Ii Kamon no Kami a couple of years later by Mito men was the
consequence.

Other influences were then at work in the west. The Kiôto policy and the
expulsion of foreigners had been warmly espoused by Satsuma and
Chô-shiû. Hence the bond of union between them and the _Tengu-ren_
section of the Mito men, who on hearing that civil war had broken out at
Kiôto, made their appearance before the castle of the prince, and
demanded that he should carry out the clan policy. This action proving
unsuccessful they raised the standard of rebellion on Mount Tsukuba in
Hitachi, whence they were expelled by the forces of the Shôgun after
some hard fighting. Their fate among the mountains of Kaga was a
well-known tale. Takéda Kô-un-sai, who had been driven by the force of
circumstances to join them, and several hundred of his comrades were
beheaded at Tsuruga. The remainder of the _Tengu-ren_ fled to Kiôto,
where the ex-Tycoon, at that time still bearing the name of
Shitotsubashi, took them into his pay. Now that the revolution of the
previous January had so completely changed the face of affairs, these
men had returned to their native province, headed by Takéda Kinjirô, a
grandson of Kô-un-sai, and their political opponents, whom they styled
_Kan-tô_ (traitors), finding themselves on the losing side, and likely
to be in a perilous minority, since the _Tengu-ren_ were backed up by
the imperialists, had gone off to Echigo, to the number of some five
hundred. The _Tengu-ren_, out of gratitude to their former protector,
had determined to set aside the heir in favour of Mimbu Taiyu,
Shitotsubashi's younger brother, and had despatched agents to bring the
latter back from Paris.

That day Nagaoka, younger brother of Higo, arrived by sea with a large
number of retainers, and on the 29th the Prince of Awa marched in in
great pomp with about 600 men. On the 28th I had a great feast with
Komatsu, Inouyé Iwami and young Matsuné of Uwajima. One of the party
drank so much _saké_ that he lay down on the floor and went to sleep. In
half an hour's time he woke up quite sober, and was able to repeat the
process.

From September 8 to October 17 Adams and I were absent on a wild-goose
chase after the Russians who were reported to be occupying the northern
coast of Yezo, in the course of which H.M.S. "Rattler," in which we had
embarked, was wrecked in Sôya Bay. But as this was not concerned with
the progress of political events in Japan, it seems unnecessary to
occupy space in narrating our experiences. We were rescued by the French
corvette "Dupleix," Captain du Petit Thouars.



                             CHAPTER XXXIII

              CAPTURE OF WAKAMATSU AND ENTRY OF THE MIKADO
                               INTO YEDO


NOVEMBER 6th was celebrated with much pomp and ceremony as being the
Mikado's birthday. A review of the 2/x regiment was held at Yokohama to
which Sir Harry invited Sanjô, now promoted to the rank of Udaijin. The
foreign men-of-war joined with the Kanagawa fort in firing a royal
salute, which the party viewed from my upstairs verandah overlooking the
bay. Besides Sanjô we had Nagaoka Riônosuké, Higashi-Kuzé and
Madé-no-kôji. A luncheon at the minister's residence followed, and the
swords of honour sent out from England for presentation to Gotô and
Nakai in recognition of their gallant conduct on the 23rd of March were
handed over. Nakai at once girt his on, and strutted about with a
gold-laced cap on his head, to his own great delight and the intense
amusement of the rest of the company. As it happened to be the second
day of the Yokohama races it was proposed that the whole party should
adjourn to the race-course. Sanjô and Higashi-Kuzé, who had on white
_maedaré_ and black-lacquered paper caps, declined. I rode down with
Madé-no-kôji and Nagaoka, who enjoyed themselves immensely. On returning
home I took Nakai in with me and gave him tea; in exchange for this he
informed me that news had been received of the capture of the outer
castle of Wakamatsu, and that only the inner ring and citadel remained
in possession of the defenders; also that the Mikado would arrive at
Yedo about November 27.

Next day I went up to Yedo on board a Japanese steamer belonging to the
Yokosuka arsenal with Sanjô, Higashi-Kuzé, Nagaoka and Nakai. By a
mistake of Nakai's about the hour of leaving I kept the party waiting
for me at the custom house and a mounted messenger had to be sent to
fetch me. I hurried down and found them sitting quietly smoking. They
protested against my apologising. How different from some Europeans!

On the 8th Mitford and I went to call on Katsu. His wife had gone off to
Sumpu, but he remained to do the "head muck-and-bottle-washing"
(_miso-zuri_) of the clan. He hoped to obtain the Shimidzu lands,
amounting to 110,000 _koku_, for feeding the retainers who had lost
their lands and pay. Instead of the lands promised in Oshiû, part of
Mikawa and the whole of Enshiû had been conceded, but the _daimiôs_
hitherto entitled had not yet given up possession. Keiki had preceded
Kaménosuké to Sumpu. Katsu also had a story that Brunet, one of the
French military instructors, went off in the Kayô-maru, when the
Tokugawa naval squadron left the Yedo anchorage on the night of October
4. We doubted this, as we knew that he had just received promotion in
the French army. Nevertheless it turned out to be a fact. He was
accompanied by another officer named Caseneuve, and several other
Frenchmen.

We also visited Nakai, who gave us a first-rate dinner from the hotel.
He said that the citadel of Wakamatsu was captured on October 29. He had
also received a letter from Kido placing the question of the Mikado's
coming to Yedo beyond a doubt. And as we returned to my house we found
that great preparations were already being made in anticipation of His
Majesty's arrival, roads being re-made, bridges rebuilt, and ward-gates
being constructed in side streets where they had never existed before.

One of my _betté_ Sano Ikunosuké called to present his thanks for having
been selected by the court to remain one of the Yedo guard for
foreigners; all my sixteen men had been engaged for this service. He
said that the Shimidzu domain had been granted provisionally to the
Tokugawa family for the purpose mentioned by Katsu. To-day (November 9)
was the last day on which men of the Tokugawa clan could send in their
names for service under the Mikado. In some cases they would receive
about half their former revenue, but others would be better off than
before, because their allowances, though nominally diminished, would be
issued in rice instead of in money at a low fixed rate. That evening
Mitford and I dined with Nagaoka at the Higo _yashiki_ in Shirokané,
close by our legation, Higashi-Kuzé and Nakai being the other guests. It
was a dinner in European style served from the hotel in a picturesque
two-storeyed house, built in the garden so as to command a view over the
_nagaya_ in the direction of the bay. In the garden there were some
splendid trees and pretty shaded nooks. Hosokawa himself was there, very
fat and amiable, very small eyes and a tendency to "fly catching." On
the 10th I went back to Yokohama.

At an interview on November 16 between all the Foreign Representatives,
Higashi-Kuzé and Térashima, the Japanese ministers stated that the
castle of Wakamatsu had surrendered on the 6th November to the imperial
forces. The two princes, father and son, in robes of ceremony and
preceded by a retainer carrying a large banner inscribed with the word
"surrender" (_kô-fuku_), and followed by the garrison, likewise in robes
of ceremony and with their heads shaven, came to the camp of the
besiegers and gave themselves up. The castle and all the arms it
contained were handed over, and the two princes retired into strict
seclusion (_kin-shin_) at a Buddhist monastery in the town. Nakamura
Hanjirô, the chief of the staff (_gun-kan_) wept when he went to take
delivery of the castle and its contents. It was a pleasure to us to see
how the countenances of some of those who had to listen to the story
fell, for they had counted on a desperate resistance on the part of
Aidzu to defeat the imperialist party and frustrate the policy of the
British Legation. Now that this exciting episode was at an end, the
speedy submission of the other northern clans could be counted on with
confidence. The detailed report made by the Hizen clan, dated November
16, published in the "Kiôto Gazette," shows that the garrison included
_samurai_ soldiers 764, troops of a lower class 1609, wounded 570,
outlaws from other territories (_rônin_) 462; women and children 639,
officials 199, civilians 646, personal attendants of the princes 42, and
porters 42. There was no record of the number of men killed in the
defence. On November 19 I went to Yedo with Captain Stanhope, Charles
Wirgman the artist, and Dr. Siddall, after breakfasting with Du Petit
Thouars on board the "Dupleix." Adams and William Marshall went up by
road. On our arrival possession was at once taken of Siddall, by a
Japanese doctor named Takéda Shingen, and he was carried off to the
military hospital established at the Tôdô _yashiki_ in the Shitaya
quarter. On the 21st Adams, Mitford, Marshall and Wirgman went to the
Yoshiwara and had a feast in fine style at the Kimpeirô, part of which
was furnished in western style for such Japanese guests as liked it. The
admission of Europeans into that quarter of the town, from which they
had until then been jealously shut out, was hailed as the dawn of a day
of friendly intercourse of the frankest character. Next evening I gave a
great entertainment at my own house. There were three _geisha_ from
Shimmei-mae and two _taikomochi_ (jesters). We kept it up boisterously
till midnight. The jesters performed a foreigner and his escort arriving
at the Kawasaki ferry on the way to Yedo, and meeting with the usual
obstruction at the hands of the men placed there to guard the crossing.
My escort men also exhibited some comic scenes, much to their own
satisfaction and to the delight of the household, who were admitted to a
room at the top of the stairs. Letters arrived from the chief to say
that he wanted a stand erected for himself opposite to the gate of our
former legation buildings, in front of Sengakuji, for him to see the
Mikado pass in (he was expected to reach Yedo on the 27th), and that
Higashi-Kuzé and I must go down to Yokohama on the 24th to see himself.
We wrote in reply to say that a stand was altogether an impossibility,
seeing what Japanese etiquette was in such matters, and that I could not
leave Siddall alone in Yedo without some one to interpret for him. So
next day Wirgman and I went over to see Siddall, and found that the Tôdô
_yashiki_ had now been turned into a general hospital. Here we fell in
with old Ishigami, the Satsuma doctor who married a daughter of old
Freiherr von Siebold by a Japanese mother, a very cheery person. After
lunch we went with him and a crowd of other Japanese doctors to Uyéno,
intending to get in and examine the scene of the fighting that took
place on July 4, but the gate was shut in our face, and though we waited
and argued patiently for a whole hour with the sentries, we could not
convince them that we might safely be admitted. I think our Japanese
companions felt even more annoyance than we did. The gateway was riddled
with bullets, and it was evident that a pretty stiff fight had taken
place there in July.

We stayed the night at the hospital, and spent a jolly evening with
Ishigami and another doctor named Yamashita. Next morning, in spite of
the bitter cold, we went round the wards with the doctors. All the state
apartments of the _daimiô's_ mansion (_go-ten_) had been converted into
wards, and provided with iron bedsteads and hair mattresses. There was a
very plucky little Tosa boy, probably a drummer, who had had his foot
amputated. Then our attention was attracted to an aristocratic-looking
little surgeon from Chôshiû, with his sleeves turned up like ruffles
over a pair of delicate little wrists. At noon there came the two
brothers Notsu, Shichizayemon and Shichiji, who persuaded Wirgman and
myself to go to the Yoshiwara with them, instead of keeping an
engagement with Nakai. Siddall compounded _mistura vini gallici_, and
after partaking of this we started on a journey of exploration. It was a
terribly cold day, with a gale from the north-west coming straight down
the plain from the snowy peak of Asama-yama and other mountains of
Shinshiû. The Yoshiwara lay right out in the middle of the rice-fields,
occupying a considerable extent of ground. It was entered through a
narrow gate at the end of a long causeway. After passing this gate, we
were introduced into the upstairs rooms of a rather shabby house,
evidently much frequented by the Satsuma clan. _Geishas_ were of course
sent for, and the _saké_-cup circulated merrily. Towards nightfall it
was proposed that we should visit the Kimpeirô, a hideous house
furnished in what was regarded as European style; but we stayed there
only a few minutes, and then returned to the house where we had first
been entertained. Here we had more drinking, dancing and playing at
_nanko_. In this game a wooden chopstick is broken up into six pieces,
of which each player receives three. He puts in one palm as many as he
thinks fit, and guesses at the total of what his hand and the hand of
the other player contain. If he guesses right, the loser has to drink,
and his turn comes to give the challenge. Evidently this is the way to
get speedily drunk. We stopped there till a message came from Ishigami
to say that he was awaiting us at another house to drink sober again. We
went in search of him to a restaurant on the river bank, the
_Yu-mei-rô_, where much singing, dancing, drinking and _nanko_ followed,
till we had had enough of it, and came home by boat to the hospital,
accompanied by three of the _geishas_. Next afternoon the artist and I
said good-bye to Siddall, and walked over to Nakai's, but not finding
him at home, we went to the hotel for refreshment, where we sat down in
the garden and found ourselves overwhelmed with melancholy at the
ugliness of the building. For five cups of tea and a bundle of Manila
cheroots the manager charged us a dollar, to the surprise and horror of
the Japanese boy who waited on us. To him it appeared an exorbitant
demand. The cheroots were perhaps worth 20 cents, which left 16 cents
for a cup of tea. On getting home to Takanawa we found that Rickerby,
the proprietor and editor of the "Japan Times," had just arrived in a
boat from Yokohama to witness the ceremony of the following day.

November 26, 1868. About ten o'clock in the morning the Mikado passed
into Yedo, having slept at Shinagawa. Mitford, the artist, Rickerby and
I saw the procession from the open space recently created in front of
the new gate of what had previously been Sir Harry Parkes' diplomatic
residence, now transformed into a sort of foreign office. The display
could not be described as splendid, for the effect of what was oriental
in the courtiers' costumes was marred by the horribly untidy soldiers
with unkempt hair and clothing vilely imitated from the west. The
Mikado's black-lacquered palanquin (_hôren_) was to us a curious
novelty. As it passed along the silence which fell upon the crowd was
very striking. Old Daté, who rode between it and the closed chair in
which the Mikado was really seated, nodded to us in a friendly manner.
Rickerby wrote and published an excellent newspaper account of the whole
show a few days afterwards in the "Japan Times." In the afternoon he and
I walked to Kai-an-ji, a Buddhist religious house at Shinagawa,
celebrated for its very pretty plantations of maple. From there we
proceeded to a house of entertainment, the Kawasaki-ya, close by, to
drink _saké_ and crack jokes with the girls about the Prince of Bizen,
who had passed the night there. The house was full of troops from the
west, but they scarcely took any notice of us, and in fact all those we
met on the road ignored us completely. It must be said that whenever I
went out into the streets of Yedo I was always accompanied by my Aidzu
_samurai_ Noguchi and from four to six of my personal escort of the
_betté-gumi_.

On the 28th Sir Harry and Dr. Alford the Bishop of Victoria, Hongkong,
came up to Yedo, and were entertained in European style at the new
foreign office by Daté and Higashi-Kuzé. Machida and Môri, young Satsuma
men, were also of the party. Both had been in England and spoke English,
the latter, who was only about one-and-twenty, particularly well.

Next day Mitford and I went to call on Nakai. We met there Machida, and
Yamaguchi Hanzô, a Hizen _samurai_, who brought with him a man who had
just returned from Shônai. He reported that Shônai had submitted on the
4th instant, and that two foreigners, one an American, the other an
Englishman, both from Hakodaté, were present as spectators. Nakai, who
was a member of the local government of the city, now called the
Tô-kei-fu instead of Yedo, had given in his resignation because he found
that the governor-general instead of placing confidence in himself and
the other officials, was in the habit of upsetting their arrangements on
the complaint of a few wretched tradespeople.

Wirgman and I went down to Yokohama on the 30th, walking as far as
Namamugi-mura (where Richardson was murdered in 1862), whence we took
boat across to the foreign settlement. At Kawasaki-ya in Shinagawa we
fell in with Notsu Shichizayémon and Ijiû-in, with two Kurohané men and
one from Utsunomiya, companions on the occasion of our visit to the
Yoshiwara, of whom the Satsuma men were on their way home. There was a
large consumption of _saké_ and Japanese dishes, and much Doric Japanese
spoken. Further on, at Mmé-yashiki or Bai-rin, as it had now become the
fashion to call this very pleasant half-way house between Yedo and the
ferry at Kawasaki, we found Oyama, who was like the others returning to
Kagoshima as the civil war was practically at an end. We drank many
parting cups together, and then walked with him to his hotel at
Kawasaki. The road was full of homeward bound Satsuma men and Tokugawa
people going to Sumpu. A report had got about that difficulties had
arisen between Satsuma and Higo, and that the latter in conjunction with
Arima and Chikuzen were going to fall upon the great clan; that in
consequence of this the troops were rushing off as fast as possible to
forestal the attack. Another rumour, much credited by the French
Legation, was that Aidzu surrendered only on condition that the Satsuma
troops should be withdrawn from the east and north of the country, and
the Mikado come to Yedo. But as others besides the Satsuma fighting men
were also going home, these stories were easily discredited. On December
3 I went back to Yedo, half-way in a _kago_ (common palanquin) from
Kanagawa, and on foot from Kawasaki. At Bai-rin I met Midzuno Chinami,
hurrying back from Shimoda where he had been put ashore from H.M.S.
"Manila." Here was the late governor of Yokohama, who last year used to
ride in a state palanquin (_nagabô_), with a large cortége and preceded
by running footmen crying _shitaniro_, "down on your knees," now
travelling in a wretched cheap hackney _kago_, without a single
retainer. For all that he seemed cheerful enough. A good deal of my time
in those days was passed in the compilation of an English-Japanese
dictionary of the spoken language and in reading Japanese novels. On the
4th I went over to the hospital, where I found Siddall with his hands
full, wounded men from Echigo having begun to arrive. Willis had gone on
from Echigo to Wakamatsu to look after the Aidzu wounded, of whom there
were nearly 600 in the castle when it was surrendered. My new pony
"Fushimi," a present from Katsu before he left Yedo, carried me
splendidly; the imperialists who crowded the streets appeared to admire
with envy a black chimney-pot hat which I was wearing. On the 5th I went
there again to pass the night, with Ishigami and Yamashita. They
complained bitterly of one Mayéda Kiôsai, who had been appointed chief
of the hospital, and said that the patients had threatened to cut his
head off because he spent his time in driving about the city in a
carriage and pair instead of attending to his duties. The reflection
came naturally that you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, or
give the standing of an European physician to a Japanese half-educated
apothecary.

On December 9 I went to the hotel to dine with Machida. The
indispensable Nakai was there, also Okubo and Yoshii. The latter had
left Wakamatsu on December 1st. Willis was there looking after the
wounded, of whom he said there were at least two thousand on the Aidzu
side alone. Snow was lying deep both in Echigo and Aidzu. Shônai was
pacified, and the whole country might now be said to be at peace, a
state of things which of course was displeasing to anti-imperialists,
whether among diplomatists or merchants. Information had arrived that
the murderers of the two sailors of H.M.S. "Icarus" in August 1867 had
been discovered; they were from Chikuzen and the party to which they
belonged was said to number nine in all. This of course would be welcome
news to the Tosa people. It was strange that retainers of Chikuzen, who
entertained Admiral King so hospitably in January should have been
guilty of such a wanton crime. The newly issued paper money, known as
_kinsatsu_, was much discussed, and it was evidently creating a great
ferment among the people. Uchida, the mayor (_nanushi_) of Kanasugi, who
had been to see me a few days earlier, said that a refusal to receive
these notes in the payment of taxes was the only obstacle to their free
circulation. Nakai denied the correctness of the statement that taxes
might not be paid with them, but he thought that in the end it would be
found necessary to establish a proper banking system by giving authority
to the great firm of Mitsui to issue notes against a reserve of coin or
bullion. It was a matter of vital importance to the imperial government,
which had not found any money in the Tokugawa treasury, and the Mikado
had always been kept very poorly supplied by the Shôgun's ministers.



                             CHAPTER XXXIV

          ENOMOTO WITH THE RUNAWAY TOKUGAWA SHIPS SEIZES YEZO


ON December 11 Machida came to me with a report from Hakodaté that the
Tokugawa pirates, as they were styled after their refusal to surrender
and their exodus from Yedo Bay on October 4, had landed at that port
from the Kaiyô-maru and her consorts. The rebels were led by a member of
the French military mission sent out in 1866 who had gone off with them
when they left the bay, and it was very annoying for the French Legation
that this officer should have violated the neutrality proclaimed by the
Minister, and have joined rebels against the authority of a sovereign
with whom France maintained friendly relations. A fight had ensued near
Hakodaté, in which a large number of imperialists were killed or
wounded. The Yokohama foreign press however represented that the
Mikado's men had won the victory at a place about 15 miles from the
port. According to despatches received from the consul the rebels had
had by far the best of it. The foreign residents were in a great state
of alarm. The consul wrote thus: "As the enemy approach we shall retire
towards the hill; if he comes nearer, we shall go up the hill, and
should it come to the last extremity we shall have no resource but to
put our trust in an over-ruling Power." Nakai came on the 13th to talk
about the new paper money, and the difficulties with foreigners to which
it would give rise. Tom Glover's opinion was quoted in favour of a paper
circulation, but he did not himself agree that a merchant, who was
naturally an interested party, should be regarded as an authority on
currency. This paper money had been issued to the troops, who forced the
shop-keepers and the hucksters on the high roads to accept it in
payment. But this could not go on long, for the paper did not pass
current amongst the civilian population. We spoke about the state of
foreign relations. He admitted that the old distrust of foreigners still
existed; the foreign representatives were regarded as a necessary evil,
to be endured, but not to be embraced. Nothing pleased the Mikado's
government so much as to see the diplomatists living at Yokohama, and
the idea of asking their advice upon any matter was never entertained
for a moment. In fact the representatives were looked upon much in the
same light as the agents (_rusui_) of the _daimiôs_, _i.e._ persons sent
to Japan by their respective governments to receive the Mikado's orders,
whenever occasion might arise. The representatives were themselves
partly to blame for this state of things. Fine houses, comfortable
living and whole skins at Yokohama were doubtless preferable to
makeshifts and dangers at Yedo, but for all they knew or could learn of
pending international questions they might just as well be resident at
Hongkong.

Another day was spent with the mayor of Kanasugi and three or four
retainers at the classical theatre Kongo-daiyu in Iigura chô, to see
_Nô_ and _Kiôgen_. Minami Torajirô was also among the audience. This was
a young Aidzu _samurai_, who had come in the previous April to see me,
with his countryman Hirozawa, when I had a great argument with the
latter about Japanese politics and especially about the part our
Legation had taken. It was the first time a foreigner had been present
at this kind of theatrical performance. _Nô_ is a sort of tragedy or
historical play, _Kiôgen_ is low comedy. There is no scenery and the
costumes are all in an ancient style. The stage is about 24 feet square,
and a long passage on the left connects it with the greenroom from which
the actors make their appearance. There are 200 _Nô_, and printed books
of the text, known as _utai_, could be bought for a trifling cost. They
are delivered in slow recitative to the accompaniment of the music, or
rather dissonance, of the fife and small drum. The orchestra, likewise
dressed in antique fashion, were seated on campstools at the back of the
stage. The _Kiôgen_, which pleased me most, were _Suyéhirogari_, in
which a sort of Moses Primrose is sent to Kiôto to buy a fan, and is
cheated by the merchant into paying 500 _riô_ for an umbrella, and _Oba
ga saké_, in which a fellow having tried in vain to persuade his aunt, a
rich old curmudgeon, to give him some _saké_, puts on a devil's mask and
frightens her into submission, while he goes to get drunk at the store
room where the liquor is kept. He threatens to eat her if she looks his
way; her cries,"Oh fearful to behold; spare your retainer's life"; her
anger on discovering in the drunken and sleepy demon her rascally
nephew, were infinitely diverting. The _Nô_ I could not understand until
I borrowed the book from a Japanese lady in the next box, and was
enabled to follow the text. This was _Hachi no ki_. Sano Genzayémon, who
has been deprived of his feudal estate, entertains a Buddhist priest at
night. Having no food to offer him nor fuel to warm the room, he cuts
down his own favourite dwarf plum, cherry and pine trees, and makes a
fire of the branches. In return for this the holy man persuades the Lord
of Kamakura to restore to him his forfeited lands. There were at that
time three other companies of _nô-yakusha_; Kanzé-daiyu, Kôshô-daiyu and
Kompara-daiyu. The audience consisted entirely of the _samurai_ class.

The two Aidzu princes were brought to the suburb of Senji on December
15. Matsudaira Higo (now, like all other rebels, shorn of his title of
_Kami_) was placed in the charge of Inshiû, and Wakasa in that of
Chikuzen. Ninnaji no Miya, the commander-in-chief of the imperialist
forces engaged in Echigo and Oshiu, was expected to arrive in Yedo on
the 17th. And on or about the 16th the foreign representatives were
officially notified of the restoration of peace. The guns and stores of
H.M.S. "Rattler" which had perforce to be left behind at Sôya when the
"Dupleix" brought us away, had been offered to the Mikado's government
and accepted by them. This was the news heard from Okubo and Yoshii,
whom I met at Nakai's on the 16th.

As a measure of protection for British and French subjects at Hakodaté
the "Satellite" and "Vénus" were despatched thither on the 14th, the
former conveying our secretary of legation Adams. His "History of
Japan," vol. ii., gives an account of what he saw and did there. Up to
the 5th of December however that place had not been threatened with an
attack from the fugitive Tokugawa navy.

My old writing master Tédzuka, who came to call, gave me the following
statistics about his clan. The chief's name was Sengoku Sanuki no Kami,
and he ruled over territories assessed at 30,000 _koku_. The actual
yield to the _daimiô_ was 16,000 _koku_ of rice; of this 8000 _koku_
were accounted for by fiefs held by retainers; 4000 _koku_ were required
for the maintenance of the _daimiô's_ personal establishment, and an
equal quantity went in expenses of administration. The latter included
official salaries, cost of journeys to court at Yedo, of soldiers in the
field, arms, etc. The clan numbered no more than 60 _samurai_ families.
Its constitution as regards the offices of _karô_ and _yônin_ was the
same as in the case of other clans. In accordance with orders
promulgated in No. 5 of the Kiôto Gazette the old practice of hereditary
office-holding had been abolished, and a system of promotion by merit
established in its stead. In order to carry out these new arrangements,
the hereditary fiefs of the retainers ought he thought to be equalized.

When I went back to Yokohama on the 18th I found that news had been
received of the capture, which I had anticipated, of Hakodaté by the
runaway Tokugawa ships, and the flight of Shimidzu-dani with all his
staff. The consul was, as one would expect, very seriously alarmed. And
from the "Satellite's" expedition to the spot one could not look for any
results of importance.

On December 21 a great conference was held at the legation in Yokohama
of the chief with Daté, Higashi-Kuzé, Komatsu, Kido, Machida and Ikébé
Goi (of Yanagawa in Kiûshiû). The first thing they wanted was that Sir
Harry would arrange to give Yamaguchi Hanzô a passage on board an
English man-of-war to Hakodaté, in order that he might open negotiations
with the rebel leaders. The chief seemed to me to fear that this would
involve him too much in the opinion of the public as a partizan of the
imperial government, and he advised them instead to despatch a common
messenger across the strait from Awomori bearing written offers to
treat. Seeing that they could not induce him to accede to their request,
they acquiesced in his suggestion, but in such a half-hearted manner as
to make one doubt whether they would follow his advice. A great
discussion took place on the Christian question, in which the Japanese
spoke very reasonably, and Sir Harry likewise, until he unfortunately
lost his temper over the arguments used by Kido, and made use of very
violent language such as I do not care to repeat. The result was that
they promised to write Notes to the Foreign Representatives announcing
the Mikado's intention of showing clemency to the converts. Next day
Ikébé came to me to explain the theory of the imperial paper currency,
but I did not understand much of what he said, and we wandered off into
other subjects, especially Christianity. The old fellow professed to be
not only an admirer of its doctrines, but also a believer. In the
afternoon the chief and I went to return Daté's call at what had
formerly been the governor's official residence at Tobé, a suburb of
Yokohama. They had a long conversation, especially about the Christian
question and the representative system, and Sir Harry tried to pump him
about the future capital. Would it be at Kiôto, Ozaka or Yedo (Tokei,
Tôkiô), for we had of course read what Okubo Ichizô had written on the
subject early in the year. The old prince gave him some very polite
"digs in the ribs" about his violent language of the previous day,
saying that when people became animated in conversation, spectators were
apt to think that a dispute was going on, whereas instead of that being
the case, it was merely that the speakers were in earnest; and naturally
every man desired to express his own views. The chief replied that his
animation was caused by the extreme regret he felt at seeing the
Japanese do things that were prejudicial to themselves. On this Daté
observed that it did them good now and then, to be got angry with (_hara
wo tatté morau_). This set the chief "a-thynkynge," and as we were
driving home he suddenly said: "I think they would never have spoken to
the other representatives about Christianity, had it not been for the
little piece of excitement I got up yesterday." I replied: "Well, it may
be so but I think you hurt Kido's feelings; he shut up at once and
preserved a marked silence." "Did you think so?" says P. "I am sorry to
think he was offended." I then said: "If you will excuse my speaking
freely, I believe that although that sort of thing may have a good
effect in a particular case, it makes the Japanese dread interviews with
you." Upon this the chief declared that he would have Kido to breakfast
the next morning, and begged me to write him as polite a note of
invitation as possible.



                              CHAPTER XXXV

                  1869--AUDIENCE OF THE MIKADO AT YEDO


ON January 2 I went back to Yedo (as we long continued to call the
Eastern capital, being, like most Englishmen, averse to innovation). The
city had been opened to foreign trade and residence on the 1st, and dear
old William Willis was installed as H.M. vice-consul. He and Adams had
returned on December 29th, the one from caring for the wounded in Echigo
and Aidzu, the other from Hakodaté.

On January 5 we had an audience of the Mikado. On this occasion Sir
Harry asked a large number of naval and military officers, besides
Captain Stanhope, R.N., of the "Ocean," and Colonel Norman, in command
of the 2/ix. So the list of persons to be presented, fixed originally at
twelve, was increased to double that figure. As usual the chief had
mismanaged the business, because he insisted on doing it all himself
instead of leaving details to his subordinates, and he did not even know
the names of those who were to be presented. The Squadron furnished a
guard of a hundred marines. The costumes worn were very various,
especially those of the legation and consulate men. It was a terribly
cold day, snow falling, which changed into sleet, and then into rain by
the time we reached the castle, and what made things worse was that we
had to ride on horseback instead of driving in carriages. The audience
took place in the palace of the Nishi-no-Maru, just inside the Sakurada
Gate. We were allowed to ride over the first bridge, past the usual
_géba_ or notice to alight, right up to the abutments of the second
bridge, where we got down. Here we were met by Machida, who conducted us
into the courtyard, from which we ascended at once into the
ante-chamber. The Prince of Awa, Sanjô, Higashi-Kuzé, Nakayama Dainagon
and Okubo came in and exchanged the usual compliments. Then we were
ushered into a very dark room, where the Mikado was sitting under a
canopy rather larger than that used at Ozaka. It was so dark that we
could hardly distinguish his dress, but his face, which was whitened
artificially, shone out brightly from the surrounding obscurity. The
Prime Minister stood below on the right and after H.M. had uttered a few
words of inquiry about the Queen's health, and congratulated the chief
on continuing at Yedo as minister, read the Mikado's speech. To this Sir
Harry replied very neatly. After the audience, which took up no more
than five minutes, was over we cantered back to the old Legation
building in Takanawa, now converted into a branch of the Japanese
Foreign Office, where we had great feasting beginning by an
entertainment in Japanese style, very good of its kind, followed by a
late luncheon supplied from the hotel. Awa and Higashi-Kuzé presided in
our room. The American Minister and the North German Chargé d'Affaires
were also present. Higashi-Kuzé proposed the health of the Queen, the
President and the King of Prussia _en bloc_, after which we drank to the
health of the Mikado.

Katsu had come back to Yedo, and early in January was to start again for
Sumpu, to lay a foundation for negotiation with the Tokugawa runaway
ships at Hakodaté. On the 8th a review of the English troops in garrison
at Yokohama was held for the entertainment of the prince of Awa, as our
particular friend, and a party of young Court nobles. These were not men
of political importance, and I do not think we ever heard of them again.
The rapidity of the fire from the Snider rifles was a surprise to all
the spectators.

On the 9th the chief and I having ridden up to Yedo in the morning, he
had an important interview at Hama-goten, the sea-side palace of the
Shôguns, with Iwakura. Kido, Higashi-Kuzé and Machida were also present.
Many compliments were offered to Sir Harry, and assurances of the
gratitude which the Mikado's government felt for the hearty recognition
they had received from Great Britain. To this succeeded some
confidential conversation. It was intended that the Mikado should return
to Kiôto to be married, and also for the performance of certain funeral
rites in honour of his late father. When these ceremonies were completed
he would come again to his Eastern Capital to hold a great council of
the empire. The date of this was not yet fixed; it might be in the first
month of the Japanese calendar, perhaps in the third. Sir Harry advised
Iwakura to notify this to all the Foreign Representatives. The question
of foreign neutrality and the situation at Hakodaté were then discussed.
Iwakura denounced very eloquently those of the ministers who, while
recognising the Mikado as sovereign, granted the status of belligerents
to the Hakodaté pirates. Sir Harry declared for himself and the French
Minister, Outrey, that no neutrality existed, and that they did not
recognize Enomoto and his associates as belligerents; nor did van
Polsbroek. To this Iwakura responded: "Why does the American Minister
still allege a declaration of neutrality as the ground of his refusal to
hand over the 'Stonewall Jackson' to the lawful government?" Sir Harry
replied that the declaration in question had been of very great service
to the Mikado's government, that but for its existence Enomoto would now
be in possession of the iron-clad ram, and that he himself had been
mainly instrumental in procuring the signature of that document. This
was quite true. An excellent lunch was served from the hotel, and we
parted from our hosts just at sundown, both parties well satisfied with
each other.

I went on the 10th January to visit Siddall at his hospital on the other
side of the city; there I found Willis, who on the way there from
Tsukiji, the foreign Settlement, had been threatened by a swash-buckler.
We discussed together the means by which the Japanese government might
be induced to apply for the services of Willis for a year in order to
assist them in establishing their general hospital. So we told Ishigami
that Siddall was to be recalled to the Legation, and that Higashi-Kuzé
must ask for Willis. The Mikado had presented Willis with seven rolls of
beautiful gold brocade, and Higashi-Kuzé wrote a nice letter thanking
the dear old fellow for his services to the Japanese wounded warriors.

On January 12 we heard that the "Kaiyô-Maru" had sailed from Hakodaté,
with her rudder lashed to her stern; her destination was supposed to be
Esashi, where fighting was going on. It was believed that the pirates
were running short of money and rice. The Ainos were reported to have
joined the people of Matsumae in resisting the pirates.

I had some interesting conversation with Ikébé Goi, whom I went to see
on the 13th. At his lodgings I met a young man named Yoshida Magoichirô,
a councillor of the Yanagawa clan. We talked about Christianity, and
Ikébé cited the Sermon on the Mount as a composition that pleased him
more than anything written by Buddhist or Confucian Sages. I remarked
that the Christian religion reversed the Chinese saying: "Do not unto
others as ye would not that others should do unto you"; upon which he
quoted the command to turn the other cheek to be smitten. After a little
he began to talk about my chief's violence in conference, and said: "Now
in his case, when he gets in a rage, so far from offering the other
cheek, I feel inclined to kick him out of the room." Ikébé said that the
Mikado would leave for Kiôto about the 17th or 18th January, and that a
notification had been issued announcing his departure during the first
decade of the 12th month, to return again in the spring.

On the morning of the 15th I was summoned by the chief to Yokohama in a
great hurry to attend a conference between Iwakura and the foreign
colleagues. I rode the 20 miles on my pony "Fushimi," in two hours and a
half without drawing bridle, and arrived at the Legation to find the
conference just assembling. Iwakura addressed to the colleagues pretty
much the same arguments as he had made use of at Hama-goten on the 9th.
They put a number of questions to him by way of reply, and at last said
they could not give answer to so important a matter as he had laid
before them without mature consideration. Iwakura then said that he
would take the opportunity of saying a few words about the causes of the
existing political situation. The present Mikado was the descendant of
sovereigns who ruled the country more than 2000 years back; the
Shôgunate was an institution not more than 700 years old. Still, the
power had been in its hands, and it was during the continuance of its
authority that the Americans came to the country in 1853. The Shôgun's
people were sharp enough to see the necessity and advantage of entering
into relations with foreign countries, while the Mikado's Court,
followed by the greater part of the nation, professed the anti-foreign
policy. The country thus became disturbed, and the authority of the
Shôgun could no longer be maintained. Then both the Mikado and the
Shôgun died, and the latter's successor, a man of ability, was able to
see the absolute indispensability of a government directed by the
Mikado. Sincerely convinced of this, he surrendered the power into the
hands of the Mikado, not as a mere gift, but because it was the only way
of solving the political difficulties which existed. Thereupon the
Mikado's government changed its policy with regard to foreigners, and
did what never could have been done under the late sovereign, that is,
entered into relations with the Treaty Powers. Hitherto our relations
had been merely commercial, but the government hoped that they would
improve and become something like those which existed among European and
other civilized nations. The foreign ministers replied that they would
consult together, and send him a reply without delay.

Sir Harry came up on the 19th from Yokohama to tell Iwakura the result
of yesterday's conference of colleagues on the subject of neutrality. We
were to have met him at Hama-goten, but when we got there we found the
gates shut, and since no orders had been received to admit us, we came
away. As we were returning to the Legation Mori came after us in a great
hurry, and begged the chief to turn back, but he refused, and said
Iwakura might come to see him. This message was misunderstood by Mori,
and there was more delay, but at last everything was arranged, and
Iwakura came at half-past seven to the Legation, accompanied by
Higashi-Kuzé. Iwakura had sent through Mori to ask me to come to Yedo,
in order that he might speak to me personally, but I took no notice of
this request, treating it merely as an invitation to the chief, or
rather as a request to me to be present on the 19th in order to perform
interpretation. He asked Sir Harry what had been the result of the
conference of foreign ministers, and all he could say was that it had
been adjourned. It appeared that the colleagues were willing to make a
declaration that the war was over, but were not willing to give up the
"Stonewall Jackson"; and that in order to justify her retention they
would not withdraw their notifications of neutrality. To us this
appeared highly illogical. The chief, after Iwakura had repeated all his
arguments and had added that so far from desiring to get hold of the
"Stonewall" in order to attack Enomoto, the Mikado's government were
determined to offer him lenient terms, declared that in his own opinion
the war had ceased, and that the neutrality lapsed with it; and that he
was ready to state this in writing. Iwakura said that the Mikado was
very desirous of knowing the answers of the ministers, and had therefore
ordered him to stop behind for five days in order to try to settle this
question and to rejoin him at Shimidzu, a port on the Tôkaidô, that he
would like to get Sir Harry's answer confidentially, so that the Mikado
might have a pleasant souvenir to carry away with him. Another thing
Iwakura said was that the Mikado's government had made a sufficient
display of power by reducing the provinces of Oshiû and Déwa in six
months, whereas in former wars twelve years had been nothing
extraordinary; that their intention was to adopt a humane line of
conduct, and they had therefore ordered the two Tokugawas of Sumpu and
Mito to proceed against the remaining rebels, and if they succeeded in
arranging matters Keiki would be pardoned and restored to favour. He had
himself seen Katsu, who believed that the offer of lenient terms would
induce submission. The Mikado's government would not however consider
any capitulation satisfactory that was not accompanied by a complete
surrender of arms and ships of war. If the rebels proved obstinate they
must be reduced by force. This frank statement drew out a favourable
reply from Sir Harry. Iwakura also appeared to be alarmed about the
attitude of Russia, and asked whether she might not possibly enter into
an alliance with Enomoto. The chief thought this unlikely. The interview
lasted three hours, and ended with many thanks from Iwakura and
apologies for having kept Sir Harry waiting at the gate of Hama-goten.
The chief on his side undertook to do everything possible to bring his
colleagues round to his view and to induce them to send in their answer
by the 25th, and he engaged to publish his own reply in the "Japan
Herald" of the same day; that would be as decisive a manifestation of
his policy as he could possibly give. I was greatly pleased myself to
find that he had now made up his mind to "go the whole hog."

The Mikado passed through Takanawa about eight o'clock the following
morning, on his way back to Kiôto. His train appeared to be smaller than
on the occasion of his entry. News arrived from Hakodaté on January 21
that the "Kaiyô-maru" had got on the rocks near Esashi and was expected
to stick there; her guns had been thrown overboard and buoyed.

The sentences on Aidzu and Sendai were promulgated on the 21st, with the
penalties inflicted on other _daimiôs_ of the northern provinces, and a
few more who had held out to the last. The Aidzu princes were let off
with their lives, but the whole of their territories were confiscated.
Sendai was reduced from 625,000 to 280,000 _koku_. The reigning prince
was made to retire into private life, and was succeeded by a son of our
old friend, the Daté of Uwajima.

On the 22nd a further conference of the ministers was held with
reference to the question of withdrawing the declarations of neutrality,
and the little Italian minister, who came up to Yedo on the 23rd,
assured us that only Sir Harry and Polsbroek were willing to consent,
the others having refused. Letters however arrived from Sir Harry
showing that all the colleagues had agreed to write a _note identique_
acknowledging that the war was over, but demanding a short delay in
order to concert measures for the simultaneous withdrawal of their
notifications. Also a note from him instructing me to arrange an
interview with Iwakura for Adams and Montebello (Secretary of the French
Legation) in order that they might hand to him the petition which the
Tokugawa rebels at Hakodaté had asked M. Outrey and Sir Harry to forward
to the Mikado. The translation of this document was made and sent off at
once. Then, after learning from Higashi-Kuzé that 2 o'clock was fixed
for the interview, Mitford and I went off to Kido, to whom I gave a copy
of the _note identique_ about neutrality. He at once pitched on the
'short delay' clause as unsatisfactory, but I could only give him my
opinion that this was inserted as a sort of compromise; it was better, I
said, for the Mikado's government that all the ministers should agree to
recognise that the war was over, even with this slight drawback, than
that only two of them should have recognised the fact and the other four
have continued to declare themselves neutral. A memorandum reached us
from Adams stating the nature of the final arrangement, and suggesting
that the government should make it generally known by publishing the
correspondence in their official Gazette. Then I went off to
Higashi-Kuzé's place, to meet Adams, Montebello and Dubousquet,[11] who
arrived there about a quarter past two. Proceedings began by Montebello
handing in Outrey's copy of the _note identique_; Iwakura at once
pointed out the sentence in the letters of the English and French
ministers which spoke of 'a short delay,' and asked what was its
meaning. Both Adams and Montebello replied that they had no authority to
say anything on this point, but they undertook at his request to write
to their chiefs, and obtain if possible a definite date. I also
whispered to Yamaguchi Hanzô to tell Iwakura afterwards that Kido
already knew all about the compromise. The business of handing over the
petition of the Tokugawa rebels was then proceeded with. Iwakura was
told that in delivering this document the ministers did not offer any
opinion on its contents, and they renounced for themselves any idea of
acting as mediators; but that as the Japanese Foreign Minister had
expressed to both of them his desire to learn if possible the feelings
and intentions of the fugitives, they were very glad to have this
opportunity of complying with his request.

    [11] An officer of the French Military Mission who devoted
        himself to the study of the Japanese language, and
        ultimately became interpreter to the French Legation.

Iwakura replied that these men had now been declared to be rebels, and
the two clans of Mito and Sumpu had been ordered out against them. That
the proper course to adopt in presenting the petition which he had just
read was to send it through the chiefs of those two clans. From the
hasty glance he had cast over the document he could not profess to judge
of its merits, but he was glad to see that the petitioners had some
desire, however slight, of returning to their allegiance. (But if he had
been aware of the extreme bumptiousness of the letter to Parkes and
Outrey in which the petitions were forwarded, he would hardly have
thought so.) Still, while thanking the ministers, and appreciating the
disinterestedness of their motives, he could not consent to receive the
petition through such a channel. Would the ministers mind forwarding it
through the Tokugawa clan?

Adams and Montebello declined to have any business relations with the
clan, and after some urging from the French side, Iwakura said he would
accept the petition temporarily and give his answer to-morrow. We then
returned home and Adams despatched a report to the chief. Next day (the
25th) in the afternoon came fresh instructions. Adams was to go to
Iwakura, inform him of the surprise felt by both ministers at the
refusal to accept the petition, and state that the expression 'a short
delay' in the _note identique_ respecting neutrality meant what it said.
After consultation with Montebello, it was decided to ask for an
interview with Iwakura at 10 o'clock on the morning of the 26th, and a
letter to that effect was sent off to Higashi-Kuzé. Before an answer
could be received at the Legations there came a letter from Yamaguchi
Hanzô written by Iwakura's order, refusing to accept the petition, and
saying that as he was going down to Yokohama next day to see the
representatives on the subject of neutrality, he would take the
opportunity of speaking to the two ministers about the other matter as
well. However Higashi-Kuzé's reply to our letter soon arrived to say
that Iwakura's departure was postponed for a day, and that he would see
the two secretaries as proposed by them.

On the 26th, as I was unwell, Mitford went in my stead to interpret for
Adams. Iwakura receded from his previous attitude, and declared himself
ready to receive the petition from the two ministers, but that he
intended to return it to the Tokugawa fugitives without taking any
notice of its contents. Further, that he was determined to demand from
the ministers the meaning of the words 'a short delay.' He also
addressed a letter to the two ministers thanking them for the trouble
they had taken about the petition, which he characterized as
impertinent; it would therefore have to be returned direct. This was a
slap in the face for our two chiefs, who ought never to have presented
the petition, considering the covering letters received by them, which
threatened to throw down the gauntlet to the Mikado's government if it
did not leave them in quiet possession of Yezo. But Sir Harry was drawn
on by the fear that Outrey would manage to get the petition accepted,
and thereby win prestige; but if so, Outrey's little game was frustrated
by Iwakura's good luck or perspicacity.

The following day I had to rush down to Yokohama for Iwakura's meeting
with the Foreign Representatives. He asked what they meant by 'a short
time.' They appeared to him to have had time enough already. When
issuing their original notifications of neutrality they had acted
immediately on receiving the communication of the Mikado's government,
and why hesitate now? The colleagues fenced a little with the question
and then retired into another room to consider their answer. When they
emerged they announced their readiness to issue proclamations in
fourteen days' time at the furthest. With this Iwakura was forced to be
content. But our chief had gained the battle, and was correspondingly
rejoiced. Iwakura left the same afternoon in the "Keangsoo"[12] for the
port of Toba in Shima. Higashi-Kuzé informed the ministers that Yedo was
to be the capital of the country, after the Mikado's return there next
Japanese New-Year, but this decision was not at present to be made
public. He displayed a map of the city and offered them the whole
waterside from the Kanasugi Bridge to the Hotel, except the Owari
_yashiki_, where the Foreign Office was to be, for sites on which to
build Legations. All but Sir Harry declared their unwillingness to
accept sites; I remarked to myself that he was gradually getting out of
the bad habit of believing all the Japanese told him to be lies.

    [12] Originally the flagship of Captain Sherard Osborn, when in
        command of the Chinese flotilla brought out by H. N. Lay,
        and afterwards bought by Satsuma.



                             CHAPTER XXXVI

               LAST DAYS IN TOKIO AND DEPARTURE FOR HOME


A WEEK before this Iwakura had sent me a present of a beautiful
lacquered cabinet by way of thanks for the trouble he said I had taken
in interpreting for him on various occasions, and on January 28th when I
returned to Yedo I found a letter from Saméshima Seizô with presents
from the Prince of Satsuma, Okubo, Yoshii and himself. The letter said:
"Prince Satsuma wishes me to give you his thanks for your kindness and
the trouble you have hitherto taken for his sake. He presents you the
two boxes, and the rest, though a little, Okubo, Ioxy and myself present
you merely to thank you for your kindness. We hope you will always keep
them as our memorial." The prince's present consisted of a silver boat
in the form of a peacock (called Takara-buné, or Ship of Treasures) and
the lacquered stand, besides two rolls of white silk; Yoshii sent two
pieces of Kiyo-midzu porcelain, and each of the others two pieces of
white satin brocade. The spelling Ioxy, which is in accordance with
ancient Portuguese orthography of Japanese names, shows that this letter
came in English.

My translation of the sentences of the northern _daimiôs_ was published
in the "Japan Herald" of January 30. This state paper completed the
discomfiture of the _som-bak-ka_ diplomats, the term invented by the
Japanese for application to the foreign ministers who supported the
cause of the Shôgunate as far as was possible for them.

February 11 was the Japanese New Year's Day, which I passed at Yedo.
Rice-cakes (_mochi_) had been prepared and decorated in proper fashion
with a Seville orange and fern, and dried fronds had also been hung up
in the alcove (_toko no ma_) of my study. Silk cushions had been
provided for a guest and myself to sit on as we ate our _zôni_. This is
a soup in which pieces of fried _mochi_ are soaked; on the first day of
the year one is eaten, on the second two, on the third three. A New
Year's drink called _toso_ was also provided; this is a sweet _saké_
mingled with spices; it is drunk from porcelain cups of gradually
decreasing size, placed on a stand. Every member of the household came
in turn to wish me a happy new year, and to thank me for the _O Sébo_,
or presents given to them at the end of the year, proportioned to the
respective merits of the different servants. Next evening I gave an
entertainment to my Japanese escort, to which the Legation writer Ono
Seigórô, Mitford's teacher Nagazawa and my household were also invited.
Mitford and I sat on white brocade cushions at the head of the room,
with a big lacquered brazier between us; the Japanese guests were ranged
along both sides of the room and at the end. I had to apologize by way
of form for sitting on a cushion, which as host I ought not to have
done, under the pretence that it made my knees sore to squat on the
mats. There was a great deal of stiff conversation at first, until the
_saké_ was brought, and the waiting women from the restaurant that
supplied the dinner, the _geishas_, Noguchi's wife and a very clever
girl from Yokohama made their appearance. We had comic dances, charades,
songs and the Manzai new year's dance. An immense quantity of _saké_ was
drunk, and every one departed well pleased by twelve o'clock.

Alexander Siebold, who had been in France with Mimbu Taiyu, had at last
arrived back in Japan, releasing me from the duties that had kept me two
years longer than provided by the existing rules about leave of absence.
On February 14 he and I went to call on Katsu, who had been such a
valuable source of political information ever since the downfall of the
Shôgunate. Katsu thought the Tokugawa rebels at Hakodaté would give in
their submission. At parting he gave me his _wakizashi_ (short sword),
and we separated with many mutual expressions of regret. He was
quartered in an outhouse at the Ki-shiû _yashiki_, where old Takénouchi,
a Ki-shiû retainer who had been our purveyor of news and papers current
among the _daimiô yashikis_, was also living; we had to go into his
rooms and drink a cup of tea; there I found the secretary of Daté Gorô,
a distinguished Ki-shiû official, to whom I sent my farewell
compliments. We got back to my house just in time to rush off again, to
a dinner at the hotel, given by Higashi-Kuzé in honour of my departure.
Besides Mitford, Siebold and myself, the other guests were the Prince of
Bizen, the Court Noble Ohara Jijiû, Kido, Machida, Mori (afterwards
known as Mori Arinori), Kanda Kôhei a professor at the School of
Languages and editor of one of the recently established Yedo newspapers,
and Tsudzuki Shôzô of Uwajima. It was a very pleasant party. Little
Bizen greeted me very politely, said he had heard a great deal about me,
but had not had a previous opportunity of meeting me, so had taken
advantage of this farewell entertainment to make my acquaintance. I had
the post of honour at the left of Higashi-Kuzé. After dinner they drank
my health in bumpers of champagne and wished me a pleasant voyage. Every
one had some commission to give me. The Japanese government wanted six
expensive gold watches and chains. Tsudzuki Shôzô, who presented me with
a farewell letter written in the name of old Daté, asked for a copy of
Hertslet's Treaties. Besides parting gifts from the Prince of Satsuma,
Okubo, Yoshii and Saméshima, I received presents from Machida, my
Japanese escort men, and a host of other people, including Kido. The
latter spoke to me confidentially after dinner about the advantages
which would result to Japan from opening a port in Corea; not so much
material as moral, by teaching the Coreans to look abroad outside their
own country. Both he and Mori talked about the native Christians and
asked my advice. I counselled moderate measures, and long Notes to the
Foreign Ministers now and then to keep them quiet. I acknowledged the
difficulty of instilling the idea of toleration into the minds of the
whole Japanese people by Act of Parliament, and told them of the
disabilities under which Protestants had lain in Spain until recently,
but I did not see the advantage of Mori's suggestion of allotting lands
in Yezo to the Christians with the free exercise of their religion.
Tsudzuki confided to me as a great secret the intended visit to England
of a young Bizen _karô_ named Tokura. Altogether we spent a very
satisfactory evening, in spite of the long distance we had to go for our
dinner.

Next day I left Yedo for good. As I passed the entrance to the barracks
of the Legation mounted escort of London policemen, Inspector Peacock
and the men came out to wish me a pleasant journey. Noguchi, Mitford's
teacher Nagazawa and four of my Japanese guard came down the road as far
as Mmé-yashiki, where we had a parting cup. Higashi-Kuzé sent me a
complimentary letter, regretting my departure, and presenting me with a
big lacquered cabinet as a mark of the Mikado's appreciation of all I
had done to smooth diplomatic relations. Kido also wrote, asking me to
communicate to him any information about Japanese affairs that I might
pick up in Europe, promising to answer any letters I might send him,
wishing me a fine voyage and a happy arrival in England.

On the 24th February I sailed from Yokohama in the P. and O. steamer
"Ottawa," 814 tons, master Edmond. Lady Parkes also was on board on her
way to England, and the English community paid her the compliment of
sending out a band, which played "Home, sweet home" as the anchor was
weighed. I felt the tears come into my eyes. It would be hard to say
whether they were caused by the emotion that a much-loved piece of music
always produces, or by regret at leaving a country where I had lived so
happily for six years and a half. With me I had my faithful Aidzu
_samurai_, Noguchi Tomizô.



                       GLOSSARY OF JAPANESE WORDS


    akéni, a wicker trunk for luggage.

    anata, you.

    arimasu, is, there is.

    ashigaru, common soldier in the service of a baron.

    awabi, rocksucker, a species of univalve shell-fish, haliotis
    japonicus, which furnishes also mother-of-pearl.


    bai-shin, arrière vassal.

    baku-fu, 'military power,' term applied to the _de facto_
    government by its adversaries. See p. 172.

    betté, a member of the corps of guards enrolled for the
    protection of the foreign legations.

    betté-gumi, the corps of guards, see betté.

    bugiô, governor, commissioner.


    cha-dai, present made to an innkeeper, which takes the place of
    tips to waiters and chamber-maids.

    cha-no-yu, tea-drinking with an elaborate ceremonial.

    chô-téki, rebel against the sovereign.


    daimiô, baron, see p. 36.

    denka, Highness.

    doma, the pit in a theatre.

    dôshin, constable.


    fudai, lesser barons, vassals of the Tokugawa family, see p. 36.


    gai-koku bugiô, commissioners for foreign affairs, corresponding
    to our Under-Secretaries of State.

    gai-koku-gata, official of the department of foreign affairs.

    gaimushô, ministry of foreign affairs.

    Gautama, family name of the founder of Buddhism.

    géba, notice to alight from horseback.

    gei-sha, a female musician, employed at dinner-parties.

    gijô, head of an administrative department, see p. 297 n.

    gisô, a councillor acting as intermediary between the Mikado and
    the Tycoon, q.v.

    go-ké-nin, an ordinary retainer of the Tokugawa family.

    gorôjiû, the Shôgun's council, see p. 68.

    goten, the palace of a _daimiô_ or baron, as distinguished from
    his castle.

    gun-kan, army-inspector.


    hakama, a pair of wide trousers.

    haori, a mantle.

    harakiri, self-immolation by disembowelment, described at p. 344.

    hatago, charge for entertainment at an inn.

    hatamoto, name of lesser vassals of the Tokugawa family, see p.
    36.

    heika, Majesty.

    hikido kago, a palanquin with sliding doors, see p. 206.

    hiraketa, civilized.

    homma da, it is true.

    hommaru, keep of a castle.

    honjin, literally 'headquarters,' mostly used for the official
    inn at a posting town.

    hôren, phoenix-chariot, name given to the Mikado's state
    palanquin.


    ichibu, a silver coin, value varying from 10d to 1s 8d, according
    to the rate of exchange.

    inkio, applied to the retired head of a family, whether noble or
    commoner, see p. 174.


    jimbaori, war-surcoat.

    jingasa, war-hat.

    jinketsu, a man of mark, cleverest man.

    jinrikisha, vulgo 'rickshaw,' a light carriage for one person,
    drawn by a man.

    jin-shin fu-ori-ai, unsettlement of the popular mind.

    jô-dan, elevated floor.

    jô-i, expulsion of barbarians.

    jô-yaku, a chief clerk.

    jû-bako, consisting of a pile of open boxes for holding food, the
    top one of which alone has a cover.


    kago, a palanquin.

    kaiseijo, government school for teaching European languages.

    kai-shaku, 'best man' of one who is performing _harakiri_, q.v.
    p. 345.

    kakké, dropsy of the lower limbs.

    kakurô, unceremonious appellation of the Tycoon's Council, see p.
    172.

    kami, title corresponding to earl, baron, when following the name
    of a province, but after the name of a government department
    equivalent to minister.

    kami, English 'sire.'

    kami-shimo, costume consisting of hempen trousers and mantle,
    worn on occasions of ceremony.

    kamon, a class of barons, see p. 36.

    kan-tô, rebel, traitor.

    kara-yô, the Chinese style of running-hand script.

    kari-ginu, gala dress of a noble.

    karô, the higher class of hereditary councillors of a baron.

    katakana, a Japanese syllabary, corresponding to our Roman
    alphabet.

    kenshi, an official inspector.

    kerai, retainer of a baron.

    kiki-yaku, agent for the sale of a baron's produce as rent paid
    in kind.

    kin-ô, jô-i, honouring the sovereign and expelling barbarians.

    kinsatsu, gold-note, paper-money so-called.

    kinshin, voluntary self-confinement in expiation of an offence.

    kiôgen, farce.

    kiri-bô kago, a palanquin suspended from a pole of Paulownia
    wood.

    kô-fuku, surrender.

    koku, a measure, equal to about 5 bushels, used also as a measure
    of land assessment, see p. 36.

    kokushi, a baron whose fief comprised one or more provinces.

    kôtei, Emperor, the same as the Chinese term 'hwang-ti,' see p.
    163.

    ko-t'ou, Chinese expression meaning to knock the forehead on the
    floor.

    kubô-sama, title applied by the people to the Shôgun, and meaning
    'civil ruler'; _sama_ is the equivalent of the French 'monsieur,'
    see p. 172.

    kumi-gashira, vice-governor.

    kurô, trouble, used in the sense of 'thank you.'

    kwambaku, Grand Vizier, see p. 152.

    kwanrei, administrator for the Shôgun, see p. 38.


    machi-kata, municipal officer.

    mae-daré, apron.

    metsuké, an official with no administrative functions, whose duty
    was to report, if necessary, on the proceedings of others,
    variously translated, see pp. 23, 122, 245, 272.

    Mikado, the ancient title of the Japanese sovereign.

    mikoshi, a god's litter carried in religious pageants.

    mirin, a sweet liquor brewed from rice.

    miso, a paste made from a bean called _ko-mamé_, and used chiefly
    in the preparation of soup.

    mochi, a cake made of glutinous rice.

    mokusa-muri, lacquered articles showing a sea-weed pattern.


    naga-bô, long pole, used to denote a palanquin with an extra long
    pole.

    nanko, name of a game, see p. 390.

    nanushi, mayor.

    Nippon, same as Nihon, the Japanese word which we have corrupted
    into Japan.

    nôshi, a noble's court dress.

    nô-yakusha, actor of the classical drama, see p. 397.


    ôbiroma, hall of audience.

    ohaguro, a dye composed of galls and sulphate of iron, used for
    staining the teeth.

    ohiruyasumi, midday rest; _o_ is an honorific prefix.

    okoyasumi, a slight rest.

    oku-go-yû-hitsu, an official private secretary.

    ometsuké, see _metsuké_; _o_ is the honorific prefix.

    ô-metsuké, a chief _metsuké_, q.v.; _ô_, chief.

    onna-gochiso, an entertainment at which women were employed to
    amuse the guests.

    on-ye-riû, a Japanese style of running-hand script.

    o-shiro-jô-in, a hall in the Tycoon's palace inside the castle.

    o yasumi nasai, 'good-night,' literally 'be pleased to repose.'


    peggi, corruption of a Malay word, used in Japan in the sense of
    'go away.'


    rambô-rôzéki, disturbance and violence, see p. 159.

    rei-hei-shi, name of an envoy sent by the Mikado to worship at
    the tomb of Iyéyasu at Nikkô.

    riô, a Japanese coin of account, formerly equivalent to about
    1-1/3 Mexican dollar.

    riô-gaké, a pair of wicker-trunks for luggage, suspended from the
    opposite ends of a pole carried on the shoulder.

    rô-jiû, councillors of the Shôgun, see pp. 39 and 69.

    rônin, a run-away retainer of a baron, see p. 78.

    rusui, a person left in charge of an establishment during the
    absence of the owner or master.


    sakana, food taken with liquor; as it chiefly consists of fish,
    it is often used in the sense of 'fish' as a food.

    saké, a light liquor brewed from rice, mostly drunk mulled.

    sakuron, 'a political discussion,' see p. 300.

    samurai, a member of the military class, entitled to wear a pair
    of swords, a longer and a shorter one, the latter being an
    over-grown dirk.

    sanyo, councillor, see p. 297.

    sarampan, corruption of a Malay word used in Japan in the sense
    of 'break,' 'broken.'

    sazai, a shell-fish named Turbo cornutus; the shell also
    furnishes mother-of-pearl.

    sei-i-tai-Shôgun, the full title of the Tycoon or Shôgun, see p.
    174.

    seishi, herald, harbinger.

    sengaré, a familiar word meaning son, and used only by the father
    in speaking of him.

    sessha, a self-depreciatory word used for the pronoun of the 1st
    person.

    shibori, a kind of crape resembling the Indian bandhanna.

    shibukami, thick paper rendered tough by being soaked in the
    juice of the unripe persimmon fruit.

    shinsen-gumi, a body of armed _samurai_ or two-sworded men,
    recently raised.

    shirabé-yaku, director in an administrative department.

    shishinden, name of the Emperor's hall of audience.

    shiro-in, private drawing-room.

    shisetsu, literally 'purple snow,' a patent medicine.

    shitaniro, down!

    Shôgun, the _de facto_ ruler of Japan when it was opened to
    foreign trade in 1859, see p. 33. By foreigners he was usually
    called 'the Tycoon,' which means 'great prince,' a title properly
    belonging to the sovereign. It seems to have been originally used
    in diplomatic correspondence with Korea; see also p. 163.

    sô-kwai-sho, municipal office.

    sôsai, chief minister, see p. 300.

    shugo-shoku, office of the guardian of the Mikado's person, see
    p. 295.

    shuku-yakunin, alderman of a posting-station.

    shussei, administrator, minister.


    tai, Serranus marginalis, sometimes called sea-bream.

    taikomochi, a professional jester.

    tatéba, a halfway tea-house between two posting-stations.

    tengu-ren, 'goblin-band,' name assumed by a society of seditious
    men of the military class.

    tenshi, the central tower rising from the keep of a castle.

    tensô, an official whose duty it was to report to the Mikado the
    decisions of the Shôgun.

    tobayé, caricature.

    tokonoma, the shallow recess or alcove in a room, originally the
    bedplace; in front of it was the place of honour.

    Tô-kai-dô, properly speaking the row of provinces along the coast
    between Ozaka and Yedo, but also applied to the high road from
    Kiôto to Yedo.

    toso, a new-year's drink, see p. 409.

    tozama, descendants of barons who had submitted to the supremacy
    of Iyéyasu, see p. 36.

    tsutsushindé oru, used to express the retirement of a personage
    in order to signify his acknowledgment that he has committed an
    offence against his superior.

    Tycoon, see Shôgun.


    utai, the classical drama of Japan.


    wakizashi, the short sword or dirk worn alongside of the fighting
    sword by a member of the military class, and not laid aside
    within doors as the other is.

    wasabi, Eutrema wasabi, root of a plant belonging to the same
    order as horse-radish.


    yakata-buné, house-boat.

    yaku-biô, official indisposition.

    yakunin, official.

    yamato-nishiki, cotton brocade.

    yashiki, the hotel of a baron or lesser noble, also at trading
    centres the depôt for the sale of a baron's produce received as
    payment of rent or taxes in kind.

    Yedo, the original name of Tôkiô, the seat of government.

    yogi, large stuffed bed-gown, used as a coverlet.

    yônin, hereditary councillor of a baron, of lower rank than
    _karô_, q.v.

    yû-geki-tai, literally 'brave fighting-men,' see p. 299.

    yukata, a cotton bathing-gown.


    zoku-miô, the name borne by a male child until adolescence.

    zôni, a soup eaten at New Year, see p. 409.



                                 INDEX


    Abé Bungo no Kami, 147.

    Adams, F. O., 29.

    Adventure with a Tosa man, 352.

    Aikawa, 234.

    Ainos, The, 402.

    Alcock, Sir R., 28, 29, 47, 93, 132, 134.

    Alexander, Capt., 103.

    Alford, Bp., 391.

    Allen, H. J., 18.

    American guards, 324.

    American missionaries, 22.

    American sailor shot, 319.

    Americans, 42.

    Anatomical models, 270.

    Archaic Japanese, notification in, 306.

    Arigawa Yakuro, 149.

    Arimatsu, 215.

    Ashigaru, The, 37.

    Aspinall, Cornes & Co., 27.

    Atami, 194.

    Attack on the Foreign Officials, 359.

    Attack on the French, 314.

    Attacks on _Yashikis_, 308.

    "Attitude of respectful attention," 124.

    Audience Chamber, The Mikado's, 358.

    Audience with the Shôgun, 199.

    Awa, 257.

    Awa Clan, The, 249.

    Awa no Kami, 261.


    Babies, Samurai, 175.

    _Bakufu_, 128, 174, 279.

    Banquet, A, 371.

    Barnet & Co., 27.

    Barons, 36.

    Baths, Japanese, 211.

    Batteries, Japanese, 118.

    Bedrooms, Japanese, 187.

    Bird, Lieut., Murder of, 135.

    Bizen Affair, The, 319, 325, 327, 337.

    Bombardment of Kagoshima, 87.

    Bombardment of Shimonoséki, 105.

    Boyes, D. G., V.C., 112.

    Borradaile, Mrs., Attack on, 51, 84.

    Brandt, Max von, 67.

    "Brass caps" and marks of rank, 69.

    Brown, Rev. S. R., 50, 55.

    Bruce, Sir F., 20.


    Capital punishment, 137.

    Camus, Murder of, 90.

    Candidates, Qualities of, 18.

    Cash, Value of, 195.

    Castle of Ozaka, Burning of the, 316.

    Castle of the Shôgun, 199.

    Chinese as an aid to Japanese, 18.

    Chinese, Studying, 18.

    Chi-on-in Buddhist Monastery, 356.

    Chôshiû, 99, 119;
      indemnity, 125, 326.

    Chôshiû and Aidzu, 121.

    Chôshiû Clan, The, 90, 93.

    Chôshiû and the Mikado, 96, 98.

    Chôshiû, Peace with, 116.

    Chôshiû, The Prince of, 371.

    Christianity, Edict against, 368.

    Christianity and Magic, 369.

    Civil Wars, 85.

    Classes, Division of, 40.

    Coalition, A, 286.

    Coin and Currency, 25.

    Competitive Examinations, Value of, 18.

    Conference at Ozaka, 372.

    Constitutions, Framed and Issued, 377.

    Convention with France, 100.

    Convivial Evening, A, 215.

    Coolies, 195.

    Corvée, System of, 195.

    "Court and Capital of the Tycoon," Sir R. Alcock's, 204.

    Court Language, 306.

    Custom House Officials, 23.


    Daimiôs, The, 36.

    Daimiôs, Curtailing the Power of the, 326, 328.

    Daimiôs and Mikado, 77.

    Daishôji, 245.

    Dancing Girls, 192.

    Daté, 351.

    Deferred Audience with the Mikado, 362.

    Dent & Co., 27.

    Dining with the Shôgun, 200.

    Dinner, An English, 258.

    Dinner, A Japanese, 178.

    Diplomatic Assembly, A, 304.

    Discourtesy, Acts of, 213.

    Doctors, Personal Risks of, 31.

    Document, An Important, 324.

    Domestic Attendants, 282.

    "Drunken Old Man," 270.

    Dutch, The, 41.

    Dutch Language as a Medium, 23, 58.


    Early Impressions, 17.

    Earthquakes, 60.

    Echizen Clan, Cool Reception by, 245.

    English Policy, 178, 257.

    Entertaining, Japanese, 228.

    Entertainment, An Evening, 352.

    European Dinner, A, 131, 173.

    Etchiû, Mts. of, 235.

    Etiquette, 228, 259.

    Exchange, Rate of, 26.

    Execution of Murderers, 137.

    Expulsion of Foreigners, Order for the, 117, 121.


    Ferry at Yokohama, 50.

    Ferryman, An Obdurate, 161.

    Feudal System in Japan, 36.

    Fire at Yokohama, Destructive, 161.

    Fish Traps, 209.

    Fisher, Col., 29.

    Fletcher & Co., 27.

    Flight from the Legation, 313.

    Forbidden Books, 68.

    Foreign Residents, Conditions, 337.

    Foreign Settlement, The, 24.

    French Policy, 178, 277, 323, 326, 366.

    French Support of the Tycoon, 173.

    Fuchiu, 223, 246.

    Fuji Kawa, 225.

    Fuji yama, 224.

    Fukui, 246.

    Fushimi, 356.

    Fushimi, Troops at, 310.

    Fushimi, A Visit to, 203.


    Gardens, 62.

    Gardner, C. T., 18.

    Gibson, Vice-C., 20.

    Godai, 86.

    Gold Mines, 235.

    Gorôjiû, or Shôgun's Council, The, 68, 174.

    Gotenyama, 65.

    Gotô, 265, 267, 287.

    "Governors," 292.

    Governors of Foreign Affairs, 69.

    Gubbins, J. H., 283.

    Guardhouses, 128, 194.

    Guards, Personal, 66.

    Guide Books, Japanese, 204.

    "Gun-boat" Policy, 20.

    Guns, Japanese, 109, 118.


    Hakodaté, 22.

    Hakodaté, Capture of, 398.

    Hakoné, 194, 226.

    Hamamatsu, Reception at, 217.

    Hamana Bay, 217.

    Harakiri, 345.

    Harris, Mr., 45.

    Heated Discussions, 398.

    Hepburn, Dr. J. C., 50.

    Higashi-Kuzé, 324.

    High Roads, The, 160.

    Highway Barriers, 160.

    Higo Clan, The, 381.

    Himéshima, 95, 97.

    Hiôgo, 144, 149, 154, 169, 180, 185.

    Hiôgo, Transference to, 317.

    Hirayama, 257, 265.

    "History of Japan," by F. O. Adams, 361.

    Hoey, 56.

    Hôki no Kami, 154.

    Hosokawa Riônosuké, 279.

    Hospital, Visit to a, 388.

    Hospitality, Princely, 262.

    Hotel Charges, 195.

    House, A Japanese, 281.

    Houseboat, Travelling in a, 207.

    Houses, Uncomfortable, 64.

    "Hundred Laws of Iyéyasu," The, 68.


    _Ichibu_, The, 25.

    Ijichi Shôji, 85, 333.

    Iki no Kami, 283.

    _In-kio_, 176.

    Indemnities and Penalties for Murder, 72, 80, 143.

    Indemnity from Chôshiû, 125.

    Indemnity for Murder of French Sailors, 353.

    Indemnity paid by Satsuma, 91.

    Inn Charges, 208.

    Inouyé Bunda, 190.

    Interpreting and Translating, 198.

    Introductions, 229.

    Itô Constitution, The, 377.

    Itô as Governor of Kôbé, 327.

    Itô, 130, 276.

    Itô and Inouyé, 95.

    Itô and Shiji, 97, 98.

    Itô's European Dinner, 131.

    Iwakura, 357, 404.

    Iyémitsu, 39, 65.

    Iyéyasu, 35.


    Jamieson, R. A., 18.

    Japan: First Impressions 21,
      Mikado and Shôgun 33,
      Literature 34,
      Civil Wars 35,
      Feudal System 36,
      Daimiôs 37,
      Decline of Mikado's Power 38,
      Shôgunate 38,
      Divisions of Classes 40,
      Intercourse with Europe 40,
      Religious Persecution 41,
      Americans 42,
      Treaties 43,
      Decline of the Shôgun 45,
      Murders, 46, 51,
      Written Language 58,
      the Tôkaidô 59,
      Earthquakes 60,
      Yedo 61,
      Tea-gardens 62,
      Temples 63,
      Houses 64,
      the _Rônin_ 78,
      Bombardment of Kagoshima 88,
      Convention with France 100,
      Bombardment of Shimonoséki 108,
      Order for Expulsion of Foreigners 117, 121,
      Treaty with Chôshiû 127,
      Double Dealing of the Tycoon's Party 131,
      Squadron at Ozaka 161,
      Mikado's Consent to Treaties 153,
      Fire at Yokohama 161,
      Death of Mikado 186,
      Travelling 211,
      Guilds 256,
      Abdication of the Shôgun 282,
      Deposition of the Tycoon 299,
      Civil War 319,
      Suppression of the _Daimiôs_ 326.

    Japan, Appointed to, 17.

    "Japan Times," The, 154.

    Japanese Caligraphy, 58.

    Japanese, Difficulties in the Study of, 55.

    Japanese Secretary, Promotion to, 294.

    Japanese Wounded, Treatment of, 332.

    Jardine, Matheson and Co., 27.

    "Jester of the Foreign Department," 327.

    Jinrikisha, The, 213.

    Josling, Capt., Death of, 87.

    Journalism, 159.

    June Constitution, Translating the, 381.


    Kaempfer, 33.

    Kaga Clan, The, 244.

    Kagoshima, 84,
      Bombardment 87, 170.

    Kai-yen-tai Society, The, 272.

    _Kaiyô-Maru_, The, 402.

    Kajiwara, 191.

    _Kaku-rô_, 174.

    Kanagawa, 23.

    Kanaiwa, 243.

    Kanazawa, 240.

    _Karô_, or Hereditary Councillor, 116.

    Katsu, A Visit to, 387.

    Katsura Kogorô, 172, 271.

    Kawakatsu Omi, 378.

    Keiki, 283.

    Keiki deposed, 300.

    Keiki's Flight from Ozaka, 318.

    Keiki, Terms to, 365.

    Keisaburô, Prince of Mito, 383.

    Kidzukawa, R., 356.

    Kiôto, 121, 325, 332, 367.

    Kneeling to Daimiôs, 212.

    Kobayashi Kotarô, 71.

    Kôbé, Fêtes at, 286.

    Kôchi Bay, 268.

    Kokura, 130.

    Komatsu, 188.

    Küper, Admiral, 52, 79.

    Kurazawa, 225.

    Kusatsu, 210.

    Kwai-wa Hen, 196.

    Kwambaku, The, 189.


    Land, Feudal Sub-division of, 87.

    Legation Officials, 30.

    Legation Residences, 65,
      Destroyed 71.

    Letter to Okubo Ichizô, 253.

    Letters of Credence, 369.

    Lindau, Rudolf, "Open Letter" of, 77.

    Literature of Japan, 34.

    Locomotion, Odd Methods of, 213.

    London Agreement of 1862, 154.


    Macpherson, Marshall & Co., 27.

    Maeda Mura, 130.

    Mamiya Hajimé, 142.

    Marco Polo, 33.

    Marshall & Clarke, 84.

    Matsudaira Kansô, 253.

    Matsugi Kôwan, 86.

    Matsuki, 188.

    Mayéno, A Centre of Tea Production, 211.

    "Memories" by Lord Redesdale, 360.

    Mermet, M., 146, 152.

    Mexican Dollars, 26.

    Milne, Prof. J., 60.

    Mikado, The, 371.

    Mikado, Audience with the, 358.

    Mikado and Shôgun, 33.

    Mikado and Tycoon, 157.

    Mikado's Birthday, The, 386.

    Mikado's Consent to Treaties, 153.

    Mikado and the Treaties, 324, 327.

    Mikado's Reception, The, 370.

    Moji Point, 130.

    Monasteries as Residences, 197.

    "Monitor," U.S., 101.

    Monriô-In, Monastery, 196.

    Môri, 120.

    Morrison, G. C., Attack on, 28.

    Murder of Baldwin and Bird, 135.

    Murder of Foreigners, 46.

    Murder of Sailors, 251, 265-266, 287.

    Murderous Plan, A, 290.

    Music, Japanese, 193.

    Mission to Great Britain, 100.

    Mita, A Yashiki in, 196.

    Mitford's Linguistic Powers, 285.

    Mito Clan, The, 383.

    Mito, ex-Prince, 44.

    Mitsuké, 218.


    Nagasaki, 22, 168.

    Nagoya, 214.

    Nakai, A Visit to, 379.

    Nakasendô Road, The, 204.

    Nanao, 235.

    _Nankai_, The, 265.

    Nanko, The Game, 390.

    Navy, Organising the, 231.

    Neale, Col., 29, 47, 53, 70, 78, 79, 81, 93.

    Nei, Harbour of, 258.

    Neutrality of the Western Powers, 331.

    Neutrality, A Question of, 405.

    New Year's Day, Japanese, 409.

    Newspapers, Japanese, 366.

    Night Attack, A, 220.

    Niigata, Port, 202, 231, 232.

    Niiro, 174.

    Niiro Giôbu, 273.

    Nocturnal Escapades, 200.

    Noguchi Tomizô, 170, 176.

    "Notes," Official, 81.


    Official Correspondence, 256.

    Official Inn, An, 210.

    Official Interview, An, 69.

    "Official Sickness," 150.

    Official Visits, 357.

    Ogasawara, 80.

    Oi-gawa, Crossing the, 222.

    Oiwaké, 209.

    Oji, Tea-house at, 66.

    Oliphant, L., Attack on, 28.

    Omnibus, Native, 213.

    Oshima, 367.

    Ota Nobunaga, 35.

    Outrages in Yokohama, 75, 76.

    Overland Journey, An, 206.

    Owari Officials, Dilatory, 356.

    Oyama, Field-Marshal, 332.

    Ozaka, 285.

    Ozaka, Arrival of Deposed Tycoon, 299.

    Ozaka, Destruction of the Castle of, 333.

    Ozaka, Fêtes at, 286.

    Ozaka, Life in, 201.

    Ozaka, Legation at, 197.

    Ozaka, Squadron for, 143, 145, 148, 187.


    Palanquin, Travelling by, 227.

    Palanquins, 206.

    Paper Money, Difficulties with, 393, 395.

    Parkes, Sir H., 141, 154, 198, 231, 233, 257, 260, 267, 301, 303,
        315, 332, 352, 371, 398.

    Peking, At, 18, 19.

    "Pernicious" Sects, 368.

    Perry, Commodore, 42.

    Pilfering by Sailors, 323.

    Pipes, Japanese, 208.

    Plays, Tragic and Comic, 396.

    Plays, Private, 262.

    Plum-tree, Japanese, 62.

    Portuguese, The, 41.

    "Prairie" Book, The, 369.

    Precedence, A Question of, 301, 303.

    Presents, 191, 229, 261.

    Prizes, 87.

    Procession, A, 391.

    Procrastination and Prevarication, 76, 79.

    Pruyn, Gen., 28.

    Public Roads, 186.


    _Racehorse_, Grounding of the, 88.

    Rapid Travelling, 226.

    Reforms, Proposed, 284.

    _Rei-hei-shi_, The, 218.

    Religious Persecution, 41, 275.

    Ren-kô-ji, Buddhist Temple, 161.

    Resignation of the Shôgun, 282.

    Restrictions and Prohibitions, Personal, 67.

    Retainers, 37.

    Review, A, 158, 263.

    Revolt of 1638, 41.

    Richardson, Murder of, 51.

    Richardson, Indemnity for the Murder of, 91.

    Roads, Main, 204.

    Robertson, R. B., 32.

    Robertson, Russell, 278.

    Roches, M., Policy of, 197, 353.

    Roman Catholics, 40.

    _Rônin_, The, 78.

    Russell, Lord John, 134.

    Russians, The, 41.


    Sado, Island of, 234.

    Saigô, 181, 200.

    Sakai, Murder of French at, 351.

    Saké, 62.

    Salary of Interpreter, 157.

    Samurai, The, 25, 37, 46, 47, 53, 60, 79, 91, 96, 98, 126, 129,
        157, 175, 327.

    Satsuma People, The, 174.

    Satsuma, Prince of, 72, 84, 336.

    Schools of Philosophy, 277.

    Sea-Fight, A, 309.

    Sékigahara, Battle of, 36.

    Sen-gaku-ji, 156, 165.

    _Sengaré_, 176.

    Shibayama, Tragedy of, 196.

    Shimadzu Saburô, 52.

    Shimadzu Sachiu, 150.

    Shimidzu Seiji, 137, 138.

    Shimmei Maye, 68.

    Shimonoséki, 93, 102, 105.

    Shiraishi Shimôsa no Kami, 232.

    Shitotsubashi, 167, 173, 175, 181, 186.

    Shiwo, 240.

    Shôgun, Abdication of the, 282.

    Shôgun and Foreign Representatives, 199.

    Shôgun, Status of, 197.

    Shôgunate, The, 38.

    Shôguns, The, 35.

    Shooting Competition, A, 177.

    Smith, "Public-spirited," 32.

    Sô-koku-ji, Hospitality at, 336.

    Squadron at Yokohama, The, 73.

    _Stonewall Jackson_, The, 404.

    Stronach, W. G., 18.

    "Swamp," The, 25.


    Taicosama, 35.

    Takaoka, 58.

    Takao-zan, Incident at, 160.

    Takasai Tanzan, 58.

    _Taka-yashiki_, 281.

    Tanabata, Feast of, 233.

    Tea-firing Establishments, 209.

    Tea-houses, 66.

    "Tea-money," 215.

    "Teachers," Native, 56.

    Temples, 63.

    Tenriû-gawa, The, 218.

    Theatre at Yokohama, 50.

    Threats, 287.

    Throne Room, The, 370.

    Time, Japanese, 229.

    Titles, The Question of, 197, 329.

    Titles in Treaties, A Question of, 165.

    Tôkaidô, The, 23, 204.

    Tôkaidô, Guard Houses on the, 59.

    Tokaku, Reception at, 289.

    Tokugawa Pirates, The, 395.

    Tokugawa, Suppression of his Power, 328.

    Tokushima, The Bar at, 258.

    "Tongue-Officer," or Interpreter, 258.

    Tosa, 265.

    Tosa Men, Character of, 252, 273.

    Tô-zen-ji, British Legation at, 29, 63.

    Tracey, Capt., 102.

    Trade Relations, Unsatisfactory, 22.

    Transport, Cost of, 194.

    Travelling in Japan, 211.

    Travel, Limits of, 27.

    Treaties, 43.

    Treaties of 1858, 22, 43,
      with Chôshiû, 127, 144,
      London Agreement, 154.

    Tree-peonies, 202.

    Tycoon, Arrival in Ozaka, 300.

    Tycoon and Anti-Tycoon Parties, 99.

    Tycoon, Obstruction by the, 151.

    Tycoon's Party, Double Dealing of, 129.

    "Tycoon," The Title, 174.


    Uji, 251.

    University, A, 224.

    Urakami, Religious Persecution at, 276.

    Uwajima Bay, 174.

    Uyéno, Fighting at, 375.

    Uyésama, 302.


    Victoria, The Bp. of, 19.

    Vidal, Death of, 194.

    Vyse, Lt.-Col., 52.


    Wakamatsu, Capture of, 386, 388.

    Walsh, Hall & Co., 27.

    Willis, Wm., 31, 52, 332, 349, 376.

    Wilmot, Comm., Death of, 87.

    Winchester, Mr., 141, 142.

    Wirgman's Sketches, 212.

    Wounded, Treatment of, 375.

    Wreck of the "Rattler," 385.

    Written Language, The, 58.


    _Yashiki_ of Daimiôs, The, 66.

    Yamashina no Miya, 354.

    Yedo, British Legation at, 28, 61, 366.

    Yedo, Audience with the Mikado at, 400.

    Yôdô, ex-Daimiô, 268, 270.

    _Yokobuyé_, The, 272.

    Yokohama, 22, 23,
      Foreign Community 25,
      Society 26,
      Legation 29,
      Public Ferry 50,
      Theatre 50,
      Murder of Richardson 51,
      Life in 56,
      Squadron at 73,
      Scare in 74, 75,
      Fire 161.

    Yokohama Races, 386.

    Yoshii, 188.

    Yoshiwara, The, 390.



                            IN UNKNOWN CHINA

        A Record of the Observations, Adventures and Experiences
        of a Pioneer of Civilization During a Prolonged Sojourn
               Amongst the Wild and Unknown Nosu Tribe of
                             Western China

                                   BY

                              =S. POLLARD=

                 Author of "In Tight Corners in China."

                             [Illustration]

      _Demy 8vo. With Many Illustrations & Maps. Price 25s. Nett_


                          SOME EARLY REVIEWS.

"Fascinating, racy and humorous."--_Aberdeen Journal._

"An amazing record of adventure. Mr. Pollard is delightful from every
point of view. By the valiance of his own heart and faith he wins
through."--_Methodist Recorder._

"Mr. Pollard is not merely an interesting man, but a courageous one....
The first white man to penetrate into Nosuland where live the bogey-men
of the Manchus.... This is a people that has struck terror into the
hearts of the neighbouring Chinese by the cruelty and the fierceness of
its valour."--_Sketch._

Mr. Pollard's book is laid where dwell amid almost unpenetrable hills a
race the Chinese have never yet succeeded in subduing."--_Western
Morning News._

"In addition to its engrossing matter, Mr. Pollard's book has the
attraction of a bright and pleasant style, which reveals at times a
happy sense of humour, a characteristic feature not always very marked
in this branch of literature."--_Glasgow Herald._

"Nosuland is a very interesting region.... Mr. Pollard has some awkward
experiences. That, of course, makes his narrative all the more lively
and interesting."--_Liverpool Post._

"Mr. Pollard during his travels held his life in his hand from day to
day, and owed his ultimate safety to his own conciliatory
prudence."--_Manchester Guardian._

"Full of adventure and strangeness, with many excellent
photographs."--_Daily Mail._

"Very readable and valuable.... Admirably printed and generously
illustrated." _Bristol Times and Mirror._


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                             MODERN TRAVEL

    A Record of Exploration, Travel, Adventure & Sport in all Parts
            of the World During the Last Forty Years Derived
                from Personal Accounts by the Travellers

                                   BY

                   =NORMAN J. DAVIDSON, B.A. (Oxon.)=

                   [Illustration: A MALAYTA SPEARMAN]

      _Demy 8vo. With 53 Illustrations & 10 Maps. Price 25s. Nett_

                          SOME EARLY REVIEWS.

"A veritable classic of travel."--_Dundee Courier._

"A wonderful record, beautifully illustrated. The whole book is packed
with epic adventure."--_Aberdeen Journal._

"The author has collected his material from the accounts of travellers
in widely-diversified regions.... He has a light touch and a turn for
picturesque and clear narration that keep his book from becoming a mere
dull file, and makes it a glowing and adventurous record.... Sumptuously
produced with more than fifty illustrations.... A veritable classic of
travel."--_Dundee Courier._

"Mr. Davidson has a keen sense of what is of general as opposed to
specialist interest, and the result is a fascinating book, well
illustrated and mapped."
                                                   _Birmingham Gazette._

"A veritable library. Opening with chapters on hunting mighty game, the
work goes on to deal with adventures in Labrador, Paraguaya, and the
Sahara, treats next of the Haunts of Slavery and of the Wilds of Africa,
takes up the tale of Madagascar as Nature's Museum, depicts New Guinea
('a Land of Perpetual Rain'), proceeds to the Home of the Bird of
Paradise, and concludes with accounts of the Treacherous Tribes of
Oceania."
                                                  _Aberdeen Free Press._

"A unique volume.... It has furnished me with many delightful hours."
                                                    _Dundee Advertiser._

"Strange and thrilling pictures of other peoples and lands.... A very
readable and enjoyable book."--_Sheffield Daily Independent._


      =SEELEY, SERVICE & CO., LTD., 38 GREAT RUSSELL STREET, W.C.=



                               AMONG THE
                            IBOS OF NIGERIA

        An Account of the Curious & Interesting Habits, Customs,
           & Beliefs of a Little-known African People by one
               who has for Many Years Lived Amongst Them
                       on Close & Intimate Terms

                                   BY

                     =G. T. BASDEN, M.A., F.R.G.S.=

                   [Illustration: A YOUNG AWKA GIRL]

       _Demy 8vo. With 32 Illustrations & a Map. Price 25s. Nett_

                          SOME EARLY REVIEWS.

"Expertly and admirably handled; the book is without question one of the
most fascinating of its kind."--_Illustrated London News._

"One of those books which make a people live before us.... Most
admirably illustrated."--_Baptist Times._

"One of the most readable books about primitive peoples which have
appeared in recent years."--_Manchester Guardian._

"The author knows his subject, not as an observant, impressionable
tourist, but as a man who has lived among the Ibos for many
years."--_Birmingham Gazette._

"The classical authority on the very curious people it
describes."--_Record._

"A comprehensive study of the customs and beliefs of the Ibo people,
describing their marriage usages, their burial rites, their arts,
crafts, music, trade and currency; their ways of making war; their
religious beliefs (so far as these can be accurately discovered), and
their sacrificial rites.... There are nearly forty admirable
photographs."--_Times._

"A mass of information about Ibo life and character and customs which is
probably unique, and which no British official or trader can ever hope
to possess; and the substance of this information the author has
condensed into these twenty-five well arranged and well written
chapters."--_Record._

"He tells us what he knows about the Ibos--and he knows a great deal....
He knows too much to dogmatise.... What he does say one accepts without
question.--_Times._


      =SEELEY, SERVICE & CO., LTD., 38 GREAT RUSSELL STREET W.C.=



                        THE LIFE & EXPLORATIONS
                                   OF
                        FREDERICK STANLEY ARNOT
                                F.R.G.S.

             The Authorised Biography of a Great Missionary

                                 BY THE
                         REVEREND ERNEST BAKER
                  Author of "The Return of the Lord."

         _Demy 8vo. Illustrations & Map. Price 12s. 6d. Nett_

                          SOME EARLY REVIEWS.

"A second Dr. Livingstone ... as stimulating as it is
interesting."--_Aberdeen Journal._

"Amongst the greatest of Travellers."--_Glasgow Herald._

"A rich and moving book."--_Methodist Recorder._

"This book is a worthy memorial to a great man and a great
work."--_Birmingham Gazette._

"We know very few missionary biographies equally IMPRESSIVE AND
TOUCHING. Arnot was spiritually A VERY GREAT MAN. That he was one of the
most faithful of Christ's servants is apparent from every page of the
book. Mr. Baker has done his work in the right spirit, and with full
sympathy.... There was much of austerity in Arnot's career, but there
was no severity. There is a quiet and patient reliance through all--a
reliance which carried him through most exacting circumstances.... One
authority said that he had two great characteristics of a thorough
African traveller--pluck and kindness to the natives.... Sir Francis de
Winton said that Mr. Arnot had made the name of Englishman respected
wherever he went, and had helped effectually in stopping the slave
trade."--_British Weekly._

[Illustration]

"A GREAT STORY GREATLY TOLD. From first page to last this book is of
compelling interest. The diaries of the Great African Missionary are
laid under contribution and the result is not only a fascinating story
of adventure and travel, but an autobiographical record of immense
value. THE BOOK IS LIKELY TO RANK AS A CLASSIC."--_Western Daily Press._

"Full of exciting incidents, the young can find in it plenty of
remarkable jungle stories, and those of riper years will enjoy the
graphic descriptions of travel in the tropics, the folk-lore, and
especially the 'nerve' of Stanley Arnot in boldly facing and overcoming
any task from 'buying' a little slave to amputating a chief's arm with a
penknife and an old razor! Or, again, in boldly telling Cecil Rhodes
that he would not play his game, and as boldly denouncing Portuguese and
native rulers for prosecuting the horrible traffic in slaves."
                                                  _Manchester Guardian._

       SEELEY, SERVICE & CO., LTD., 38 GREAT RUSSELL STREET, W.C.



                           Transcriber Notes:

Passages in italics were indicated by _underscores_.

Passages in bold were indicated by =equal signs=.

Small caps were replaced with ALL CAPS.

Throughout the document, the oe ligature was replaced with "oe".

Throughout the dialogues, there were words used to mimic accents of the
speakers. Those words were retained as-is.

The illustrations have been moved so that they do not break up
paragraphs and so that they are next to the text they illustrate. Thus
the page number of the illustration might not match the page number in
the List of Illustrations, and the order of illustrations may not be the
same in the List of Illustrations and in the book.

There were two two-page maps, which were converted into one-maps by
converting the two image parts of the maps into single images.

Errors in punctuation and inconsistent hyphenation were not corrected
unless otherwise noted.

Throughout the document, instances of "Mr" were replaced with "Mr." when
preceding a name.

Since hyphenation was not used in the Japanese language of the this
period, and since the transliteration of Japanese words in this text
sometimes used hyphenation, no attempt was made to "correct"
inconsistencies in that hyphenation.

In the glossary of Japanese words, the order changed to be
"alphabetical" in the western sense.

On page 9, "Choshiu" was replaced with "Chôshiû".

On page 27, "Ministers'" was replaced with "Minister's".

On page 103, a quotation mark was added after "Tancrède,".

On page 113, the period was removed after "Fred".

On page 116, "CHOSHIU" was replaced with "CHOSHIÛ".

On page 122, "Ito" was replaced with "Itô".

On page 124, "Ito" was replaced with "Itô".

On page 179, "bcomes" was replaced with "becomes".

On page 182, a period was placed after "I said".

On page 184, "Choshiu" was replaced with "Chôshiû".

On page 197, "somwhat" was replaced with "somewhat".

On page 206, "betté gumi" was replaced with "betté-gumi".

On page 237, "couple of house" was replaced with "couple of hours".

On page 269, "It his people" was replaced with "If his people".

On page 275, "bue" was replaced with "but".

On page 282, "sumurai" was replaced with "samurai".

On page 304, "the the" was replaced with "the".

On page 310, "of of" was replaced with "of".

On page 318, "Kôbè" was replaced with "Kôbé".

On page 362, the period after "Those of us" was changed to a comma.

On page 371, "artifically" was replaced with "artificially".

On page 373, "housekeping" was replaced with "housekeeping".

On page 384, "quadron" was replaced with "squadron".

On page 384, "Chô-shiû" was replaced with "Chôshiû".

On page 386, "Madé-no-koji" was replaced with "Madé-no-kôji".

On page 388, "Dr Siddall" was replaced with "Dr. Siddall".

On page 391, "Dr Alford" was replaced with "Dr. Alford".

On page 400, "2/IX" was replaced with "2/ix".

On page 401, "artifically" was replaced with "artificially".

On page 413, a period was placed after "also mother-of-pearl".

On page 417, "see p. 172." was replaced with "see p. 174.".

On page 417, a period was placed after "two posting-stations".

On page 418, a period was placed after "offence against his superior".

On page 420, a period was placed after "Christianity, Edict against,
368".

On page 420, "Etchiu" was replaced with "Etchiû".

On page 421, a period was placed after "Hamamatsu, Reception at, 217".

On page 421, a period was placed after "Houseboat, Travelling in a,
207".

On page 423, "Matsudairo Kanso" was replaced with "Matsudaira Kansô".

On page 423, "Matsugi Kowan" was replaced with "Matsugi Kôwan".

On page 423, a period was placed after "Mikado, Audience with the, 358".

On page 424, a period was placed after "Neutrality, A Question of, 405".

On page 425, a period was placed after "Roches, M., Policy of, 197,
353".

On page 424, "Tenriu" was replaced with "Tenriû".





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Diplomat in Japan - The inner history of the critical years in the evolution - of Japan when the ports were opened and the monarchy - restored, recorded by a diplomatist who took an active - part in the events of the time, with an account of his - personal experiences during that period" ***

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