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never apart from the ladies, but in their priests; 4th, the military. These are society. And hence he has a pleasing the “upper classes,” who jaay wear a address, and most polished manners. The sword-belt
, two sabres, and loose pettisame is true among the lower orders. coat trowsers, or leggings. Every where a civil question brings a ci It is the greatest degradation for a Javil answer.
panese to lose his caste. Therefore (unIt is one of the problems of our subject less he be disguised to do spy-work) you that in private life there should be such must look at his trowsers to tell whether courtesy, while the official functionaries a man belongs to "the upper four.” are so regardless of feeling and so re The 5th class is composed of medical morseless in desolating the comities and and other professional men. The 6th charities of intercourse. The problem is class are merchants and wholesale tradesresolved, in some measure, by considering These possess the chief wealth of the laws and government of Japan, to the community. They rival one another which we will presently devote in the number of their retainers; hired thoughts.
(as in Charles II.'s times) to swell the All travellers speak of the populous- consequence of their patrons.
But no ness of the country. In some fertile dis money,” says a Japanese annalist, “ can tricts the villages are so close as to form procure the privilege, or rather the inesti& continuous street. This is most re mable honor, of wearing petticoat trowmarkable on the plain watered by the
This would be to rise above one's Yedogawa, for twenty miles between the caste, which is not permissible. The 7th port of Osacca and the capital, Miaco. class are small shopkeepers, peddlers, meAfter a careful comparison of authorities, chanics, artisans, and includes painters McFarlane estimates the entire population and other artists. of Japan at twenty-five millions of inhabit The 8th class are the peasantry, and ants.*
McCulloch, in his Geographical all agricultural and day laborers. These Dictionary, says that the population has are little better than serfs attached to the been fixed by some writers at more than soil
, and the property of the landholders. fifty millions. Japanese writers affirm There are still lower classes, not enumethat an army of eighty thousand men rated, because esteemed vile by the laws may be raised from among the inhabitants and customs of Japan. Such are public of Osacca alone. Jeddo, the secular capi- executioners, butchers, jailers, undertatal of the empire, contains (according to kers, tallow-chandlers, and every man Portuguese writers) two millions; or connected in any way with hides and (according to Dutch writers), one million leather, as tanners and curriers. They five hundred thousand inhabitants. Mi live, like the leprous, apart. They are not aco, the residence of the Spiritual Empe admitted into any house, nor can they eat ror, contains five hundred thousand souls. or drink by the wayside, except out of It has six hundred temples within its their own vessels. Writers on Japant walls. The three other imperial towns have sought for reasons of this ban and of Osacca, Nangasaki, and Matsmai, are interdict on so large a class of the people. likewise densely populated.
The conjecture, most probable, is that of By the religion of the Japanese, meat McFarlane, who suggests the cause in the (excepting venison) is, for the most part, religious doctrine of the Sintoo faith, prohibited. They yoke their cows; they " That whosoever comes in contact in any have no knowledge of butter or cheese ; way with a dead body is thereby defiled.” hardly of milk. The food of the people The religion of the Japanese is a diffiis vegetables and fish. Consequently the cult subject to investigate. It is supposed coasts of Japan are densely inhabited—a that, being of a Mongol origin, the origirast proportion of the people being ichthy nal religion was Syn-sin, a kind of mystiophagous-while the agricultural popula- cism, which derives its name from the tion is spread all over the land, subsisting word syn, faith, and sin, gods. The bechiefly on rice, and drinking sackee (a li- lievers of this system are called Sintoos. quor distilled from rice). The mountains The religious devotees, recluses and faare cultivated even to their summits. natics are professors of this form of doc
The immense population of the Empire trine, of which the characteristic is the of Japan is divided into eight classes. very early Eastern notion of the impurity
Next to the two emperors come, 1st, of matter, and the necessity of disconthe hereditary vassal princes; 2d, the he necting the soul from the contagion of the reditary nobility, holding serfs, as under flesh. the feudal system of Europe; 3d, the But the conquering influence of the
doctrines of Buddhism invaded Japan and among themselves in high society; particintroduced its idolatries there, to impair ularly their vanity, mortification under the spiritualism of the Sintoo religion. blame or insult, and recourse to self-murBesides Buddhism, there are counted der. One of the travellers in Japan rethirty-four different sects, all of whom lates an instance, which occurred within are tolerated in Japan. Buddhism has his own knowledge, that we may
take as an outer and an inner teaching, like the an illustration. Two high officers of exoteric and esoteric doctrines of the an the court met on the palace stairs and cient Platonists. The inner doctrines are jostled each other. One was an irascible for the initiated, the outer for the common man and immediately demanded satisfacpeople. The leading article is a belief in tion. The other, of a mild disposition, the metempsychosis or transmigration of represented that the circumstance was acsouls. There are also traditions of an in cidental, and tendered an ample apology, carnation and of a resurrection, with ideas representing that satisfaction could not be of a final judgment day. From these reasonably demanded. The irascible man, dogmas, writers have inferred that Bud however, would not be appeased, and dhism was a corruption of Christianity. finding he could not provoke the other to But, if so, it is of a Christianity without a conflict, suddenly drew up his robes, the Cross. Others have argued that it unsheathed his cattan, and cut himself in was an offspring of Satan, mocking Chris the prescribed mode. As a point of hotianity by its semblance to some of its nor, his adversary was under the necessicardinal truths. It appears certain that ty of following the example; and the Buddhism thoroughly permeates the Sin irascible man, before he breathed his last, too worship. For the Sintoo temples, had the gratification of seeing the unforanciently, contained only a mirror, the tunate person, who, innocently, had irriemblem of the soul's purity, and were tated him, dying by his side."* This is decorated with a gohei, which is formed an improvement, it must be confessed, on of many strips of spotless white paper, the heathen custom of duelling, which another emblem of purity. But the tem prevails in some parts of Christendom. ples now possess images of the Kami Having thus a morbid sensitiveness to the (which are born-gods and deified mortals, least insult, which only blood can wash regarded as mediatory spirits), whose away, the Japanese gentlemen are assiduidols are set up and worshipped.
ous in treating one another with profound The doctrines of Con-futz-zee or Confu
respect. cius, obtained currency in Japan at an ear If the “law of honor” among us rely day, when commerce was not restrict quired both gentlemen to sacrifice themed with China. These doctrines inculcate selves, insults and duels, we imagine, an exemplary morality. They are called would become rare. We can learn some"the Suto," or the way of philosophers. thing from the heathen yet. Sutoism proclaims five points of duty, viz., The cosmogony of the Japanese deterD'sin, Gi, Re, Isi, and Sin. (1.) The max mines the nature of their government. im of the first is, " Live virtuously.”. (2.) This is the case with all countries in the The second is to “Do right.” (3.) The East. The princes delight to claim a dithird, “Be civil.” (4.) The fourth, “ Be vine genealogy. As the Chinese Emperor prudent.” (5.) The fifth, Preserve a is the Son of Heaven, so the Mihado of good conscience."
Japan is the Child of the Sun. We have Suicide is not only permitted but com alluded to the Japanese cosmogony, in statmended by Sutoism. Sutoism is a sys ing the origin of the Island of Kewsew tem which prescribes no worship and en to be the work of one of the Kami, or courages none. Though an excellent Celestial Divinities, descended from the counterfeit of Christian morality, its mo Sun-goddess. The Emperor assumes a tives are purely selfish; and while refin legitimate descent from that member of ing the sense of honor to a keen sus her family. And the theory of the Jaceptibility, it nurtures pride of heart, ar panese constitution regards him as mediarogance and self-complacency to an extra tor with that deity. Every day it reordinary growth.
quires of him to be placed upon the throne The upper classes in Japan are said to at Miaco, to receive the homage of his be imbued with Sutoism. It is the boast adoring subjects. It is a law that he of their scholars, writers and literati. It must not move a muscle; only he is not accounts for the conduct of their magis- permitted to fix his eyes, lest that part trates in their supercilious regard of for of the empire upon which he looked eigners, as well as for some of the pecu should be visited with some dire calamity. liar manners and customs that obtain
Consequently he must keep his eyes in
* M. Cason in Randall's " Memorial," quoted by McFarlane, p. 299.
cessantly rolling hither and thither over the kingdom. In late years, it is said, this usage is superseded, and instead of the Mihado, they place on the throne his crown, which can't look and can keep still
. That will do as well, while it does not inconvenience his majesty so much. On great occasions only is he enthroned. The Emperor at Miaco accordingly is a sort of deity, and rules by divine right. But though worshipped, he is confined to his palace, and is treated as a puppet. He has one wife and a harem.
But although the Spiritual Emperor is the sovereign de jure, the Secular Emperor wields the sceptre by might. The rise of the Secular Empire is a curious piece of history. In former days there was a rebellion. The Spiritual Emperor found it hard to suppress the insurrection. Soldier after soldier was beaten in battle. At length one was found, who, rising from the ranks, manifested military genius that quelled the insurgency. But he did not lay down his authority as easily as he took it up. In the East the mayor of the palace,” as in the West, became lord of his master. And on the easy condition of a pilgrimage, periodically, to the holy city of Miaco,
to pay homage to the Mihado, his authority was confirmed. The Secular Emperor's court is at Jeddo. He is, in theory, again, all-powerful in secular matters. Yet he is ruled by a Council of State. And the council is ruled, in turn, by ancient custom. The Council of State consists of eight Princes of the Empire, and seven of the hereditary nobles. Every matter is referred to the Council, and from them goes to the emperor for his confirmation and decree. If the Council and Emperor chance to differ, the question is left to three Princes of the Empire for arbitration. If the arbitrators decide in favor of the Council, the Emperor is bound to abdicate the throne. If the Emperor be in the right, then the Council must die the death, by ripping open their bowels. On these terms, there is not much likelihood of a difference of opinion; and innovation upon ancient laws is the rarest possible contingency.
The vassal Princes are the governors of the provinces and cities of the Empire. As there is a dual throne, so there are dual viceroys. The families of the two governors must reside at Jeddo ; while they, alternately, live at the place of their viceroyalty. In this way, their allegiance is secured; their families being hostages. Each vassal-prince-governor has two secretaries, whose families, in like manner, reside at Jeddo. And besides the pledge of fidelity, resulting from this arrangement, each prince and
each secretary is a spy upon the other. Indeed the government of Japan is a government of espionage. Fouché himself might have taken lessons of the Japanese in this foul art. One spy watches another. Each man is surrounded by a hundred eyes. Every five families in a town, are responsible for the good behavior of each member, each servant, and the stranger within their gates. When the Governor of Matsmai was once complained of, the people were surprised to find, in his successor, a journeyman tobacco-cutter, who had been working in a shop opposite the governor's palace.
This tobacco-cutter was a nobleman, sent frem Jeddo to watch the governor of Matsmai. Thus, every rank in life furnishes its If a man be nominated as a spy, he must serve; or else (if belonging to the higher classes) he must commit suicide in the usual manner; or (if not of the higher classes) he must consent to be decapitated.
Hence, it comes to pass that people in office in Japan are cruel, severe, unrelenting, changed in nature; while the private gentleman is frank in manners, open in speech, and most sensitive in honorable dealing. And hence also, it comes to pass, that people in Japan do not covet office, as they are said to do in some other countries.
Indeed, it is quite common for the Ziogun himself to abdicate the crown in favor of his eldest son (for the rights of primogeniture obtain in the Japanese Empire), rather than endure the slavery of the throne. The Secular Emperors are said to be for this reason young men ; none being willing to forego freedom until too late to enjoy it. Death is the common punishment for all crimes without distinction. Yet the magistrate, though he may pronounce sentence of death, is not obliged to do so, except in homicides. House arrests, which are utter seclusion; imprisonment in a cage, and confinement in dungeons are permitted. The laws are published by edicts of the Emperor. These are read in town-meeting over the Empire, printed and placarded. Travellers say they are always curt and to the point. “A law once published is never revoked. No money can compound a transgression of law, it being derogatory to Japanese dignity to allow impunity to be purchased with money.
The laws are sacred. But above the law, overruling with a tyranny which is despotic, and with a sway which is irresistible, are hoary customs. These customs of the Empire overrule the legislature and direct it. Enthroned in a dark antiquity ; enveloped in mystery impenetrable; clothed with awful majesty; sits the true sovereign
of Japan, in the idea of fixed immemorial tions, more or less mixed; supported by usage.
Conservatism need not look sur large detachments of heathen priests. To ther for its paradise than Japan. Pro leration, however, was conceded in the gress has no name in that language. The widest liberality to all. Xavier was remanifest destiny" principle, probably oeived most kindly. The people were inwas never heard of there. The Emperor telligent, courteous and grateful. The art has never yet been persuaded to accept of printing (on blocks of wood) had fura labor-saving machine. An oil-mill nished books for ages in Japan. The peowas once shown him. He said it was ple were educated in free schools, nobility very ingenious, but it would injure ma and commons together, until the time nual labor, and disturb the Empire. came for the boys to separate for their We shall see what the American ex distinct professional studies. Colleges pedition will effect. It has carried out was flourishing at Miaco, Jeddo, and å steam engine, a locomotive, with a few other parts of the Empire. Mathematics miles of railroad, and a magnetic tele was studied; astronomy was understood. graph. It has, likewise, taken specimens There were almanacs in which eclipses of our manufactures. Cotton and woollen were duly calculated, barometers, thergoods, from the mills of America, are on mom
the mariner's compass; in their way to Japan. Perhaps the Yankees short, a high degree of intelligence and rewill introduce a new idea, and ingraft a finement, in science, the arts, in literature new word on the vocabulary of a Japa
and in manners. Xavier quitted Japan nese dictionary. And perhaps not. For after a residence of three years, and sailed we are assured, that it would be woe to for China, where he died, in the Canton the Japanese who even proposes such an River, A. D. 1551. He made many conenormity. He must disembowel himself verts and established several churches. if he does, and die the death. Anterior to In a letter, he speaks of the Japanese thus: the year of our Lord 1615, the Japanese “I know not when to have done when I drove a brisk commerce with China and speak of the Japanese. They are truly the Islands, and with Asia. Japanese the delight of my heart.” In 1566, the soldiers served as soldiers of fortune in Portuguese advised the opening of the foreign countries.
excellent harbor of Nangasaki, and trade But now, the stern of a Japanese junk flourished. The successor of Xavier bapis open to the waves, and the prow, like tized thirty thousand Japanese and wise, in some instances is open. This is founded fifty churches. And in 1591–92, an order of Government, to prevent, it is the missionaries baptized twelve thousaid, the possibility of long voyages. The sand converts. This large accession to extent of the foreign commerce of Japan the Roman Catholic faith, excited the is the Loo-Choo islands: no Japanese jealousy of the heathen priests. This was going further than these islands is permit the first symptom of uneasiness. The ted to return, no, though he were driven priests besought the Emperor to banish by stress of weather. Let us inquire into the Christians. To whom the Emperor the origin and cause of the present seclu replied: "How many sects
are there sion of this singular country, and learn in Japan?” They rejoined, Thirty-five. why the Japan Government is so hostile “Then,” said he, "one more will do no and inveterate against foreign influence. harm.
When Japan was first discovered (as Affairs remained in this posture with some say, by the old Venetian, Marco foreigners until 1597. In the year 1600, Polo; others say by a Portuguese bound William Adams, an Englishman (a mefor Macao in 1542), the inhabitants were morable name in the Japanese annals), hospitable and friendly. In 1549, a Japan arrived in a Dutch ship as pilot. This ese fled to Goa, a Portuguese settlement was in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when on the coast of Malabar. He was there the English and Dutch were beginning converted to the Roman Catholic faith, their enterprises after the commerce of and sent back to his native country with India. The Portuguese vilified Adams and goods and merchandise. The celebrated the Dutch to the Emperor, as Protestant Francis Xavier (joint founder of the order heretics, infidels, pirates, and many other of Jesuits, with Ignatius Loyola) went to hard names. They advised that they be Japan in the same vessel. The voyage crucified forthwith. But the good Emwas 1300 leagues from Goa. In vain were peror, Minna Motono, was more merciall the dissuasions of the friends of Xavier. ful. He commanded Adams to be brought He nobly said, that, where merchants before him, and sent his own galley to ventured life for perishable riches, he fetch him. Adams became a favorite; might go to gain immortal souls. Xavier lived at court; made the king two ships ; found the religion of the Japanese to be advised him prudently; and in four or the Sintoo, Buddhist, and Suto supersti five years, became influential as the Grand.
Vizier. Under his auspices commerce himself; or the Christians' God; or the was opened to the Dutch and English. great God of the universe, if he violate A treaty signed by the Emperor Minna this command shall pay for it with his Motono (now extant in the archives of
head." * the East India Company), was also pro The Dutch were, henceforth, required to cured by Adams in behalf of the English. abjure Christianity. All who serve them It was most liberal and complete. But or have dealings with them, are bound to after a short trial with losses, the Eng take an oath of renunciation and hatred of lish Company gave up in despair, and the Christian religion, twice, and even forsook Japan. Meanwhile, the Romish
thrice a year.
They are required to sects poured into Japan in a flood. trample under foot the cross and other Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans, Augus emblems of the faith. A Japanese joke is tinians perambulated the Empire. Bitter told by writers; that a Dutchman being jealousies, feuds, hatreds, ensued between surprised by the police and challenged, them ; till at length the Emperor ordered “ Are you a Christian ?” replied, “No! Í that no
more should come to Japan. am a Dutchman!” Truly it was so. ReNeverthless, more were smuggled in, giv ligion was extinct with them. ing great offence to the court. This was Ever since the edict of 1637, the Dutch in 1597. At length the fires, burning have been confined to the harbor of Nansecretly, burst forth in a blaze of perse- gasaki, on
gasaki, on a little island or peninsula, cution. A Portuguese bishop meeting a six hundred feet long by two hundred Japanese grandee on the road, refused
to and forty feet broad, called Desima, adalight from his palanquin and tender the joining the town, and put under the usual civilities. The grandee was incensed strict surveillance of the Japanese authoat the indignity, as only a Japanese knows rities. The Emperor judged that they how to be. He became a bitter foe. In who had so willingly assisted him in 1612 the persecution began. In 1614 exterminating a Christian community, many Christians were crucified. In would be equally faithless to a heathen 1622 there was a general massacre of the monarch, if their interest should chance native converts, who displayed heroic con
to urge them.
On the arrival of a Dutch stancy in the profession of their faith. ship at Nangasaki, an embassy, with preAt this juncture a Portuguese ship from sents, is required to present itself at court. Japan was captured by the Dutch, having We have derived much of our knowledge treasonable letters to the King of Portu of Japan from the annalists of these gal and the Pope, written by a native journeys. They met with great cordiality convert and zealot, inviting their invasion and politeness from the people, while the of Japan, and offering to assist the arma officials treated them with contumely, and ment to overturn the throne. The Dutch perplexed them with endless annoyances, at once revealed the plot and the names On approaching the Emperor, they crawled of the conspirators. In 1637 proclamation on their hands and knees, leaving their was issued banishing the Portuguese, and gifts at the foot of the throne; and then forbidding for ever any further intercourse backed out, like a crab, without lifting with that nation. That native Christians their eyes from the floor. On their rerebelled, were pursued and slain; churches turn to Nangasaki they are compelled to were razed to their foundations; crosses thank the governor for his protection, and and crucifixes were trampled upon; every then to slink back into their dismal islvestige of the Christian faith, which the and. Under such degrading circumRoman Catholics had introduced, was ob stances has foreign commerce been carried literated. The Dutch helped in this ex on with Japan, for more than two centerminating persecution. A last remnant turies. In such a contemptible aspect has of the Christians retreated to a stronghold, the Christian character appeared in the which the guns of the Japanese could not eyes of those haughty heathen! And hurt. The Dutch bombarded the fort from what is the prize for which commerce has their ships. When the breach was made, consented to all this debasement and this the Japanese rushed in and put to death shame? forty thousand native Christians, who died The productions of Japan are gold, like their brethren, “not accepting deliver which is so plentiful that the roofs of ance."
Over the vast grave of those palaces and the ceilings of rooms are heroic victims, the Emperor of Japan set of pure gold. “Niphon," in the language up this blasphemous inscription, “ So long of a writer, " is a great gold mine." Gold as the sun shall warm the earth, let no sands abound in many parts of the JaChristian be so bold as to come to Japan; panese Archipelago. Pearls are large and let all know that the King of Spain and abundant. Mother-of-pearl ; beautiful
McFarlane, p. 50.